Holy Trinity 2.0 – Healers

(Recommended to read the Intro for further understanding of this post.  For comments basically stating “that wont work because tanks/healers do xxxxx instead” – be sure to read both the tanking and DD posts when they are up.)

Holy Trinity 2.0 – Healers

I’m going to start with Healers, because as in the Intro post, I think there is an issue with DDs requiring heals when they make a mistake.  The DD discussion would feel out of place considering current mechanics – that is, without first removing the ability to heal DDs from Healers.

What changes would I make to DDs so they are more self-sufficient? That is, so that others could not compensate for them in the event of major failures?  Well, aside from encounter design that’s basically just “go DPS that add over there” or “use some ability to CC or otherwise control this add”, it seems that the biggest help DDs get is from external healing.  Hrmm, that’s maybe something we could change.

You might say, “Of course they get external healing (from Healers), that’s because they can’t heal themselves!!”  In current design, no, they can not.  Currently, Healers are expected to heal all damage from all sources done to all players.  But what if Healers couldn’t heal DDs?  What if GCDs were too constrained, or casts were too long, or healing was more channelled?

Let me give some examples. 

A change could be made to make healing require a very strict use of GCDs such that missing too many would lead to tank death.  This might be too harsh penalizing those with less than stellar connections, and less than perfect understanding of the class.  The idea here is that Healers would litterally not have the GCD requirement to use heals for DDs.

Changes could be made to make more (all) healing spells channeled.  Think a healing version Mind Flay. Having all spells be channeled might be boring, so asomething would likely be needed to keep healing interesting.  The idea here is that putting a quick HoT on the DDs then continueing to heal the Tank is out of the question.  Channeling a heal for the DDs would obviously mean the Tank isn’t getting heals for the duration. 

Alternate: “Charged” heals – just pressing the healing button casts a very small, very expensive heal.  The longer you hold down the healing button, the more efficient the spell gets.  More mana would be used, but healing amount would go up at a higher rate. When the button is released, the heal is cast/mana used based on how long you held down the button.  This technique could possibly be used to also throw in some heals for DDs, but they would be very inefficient and likely not enough to cover mistakes – also takes away from Tank healing at the same time. 

Similar idea with long cast times – starting a 5 sec cast on a DD means the tank won’t be getting healed for at least 10 secs (5 secs for the DD heal to go off, then another 5 for the Healer to get a 2nd heal for the Tank.)  Similar problems with the channeled/charged strategy in that this would probably be a pretty boring playstyle only pressing a button once every 5 secs or less. 


What about this?  Make healing spells cost a ludicrous amount of mana (maybe 2-4x current costs). Then give Healers a buff they can place on the tank that reduces the mana cost of heals back to “normal” levels (50-80%).  This way, healing Tanks is equal to current mechanics, but throwing a heal on a DD would cost a huge portion of the Healers mana pool.  The cost of the buff would also be hugenormous, leaving out the idea of putting the buff on the DD, then healing him, then putting it back on the Tank and resuming business as usual.  The idea is that DDs litterally can not be healed, and that healing a DD would be a mistake on the part of the Healer.

Other obvious changes would need to be made, such as removing AoE healing, and/or modify it so that it can not be used often.  I like the idea of the old school 5 min Tranquility, and wouldn’t mind keeping that in – but everything else would pretty much go.

There are probably other ways to ensure that Healers do not heal DDs during an encounter.  These are some I came up with off the top of my head.


~ by Andenthal on December 16, 2011.

2 Responses to “Holy Trinity 2.0 – Healers”

  1. I like the way you’re thinking about this stuff, challenging the paradigm and so on, but I think you’re looking at this from an odd perspective.

    Healing gameplay is based mainly around triage; managing the health of a your party, at the same time that you are relying on them to manage their own incoming damage, trying to be as mana efficient as you can but constantly calculating this against the risk of someone dying.

    It’s not as simple as “you stood in the wrong place, you fail now”, there are “fail” mechanics in the game that are deliberately very hard to avoid or can only be sometimes avoided so that people will be hit by them, it’s about how often this happens and how many people get hit and your strategies for damage reduction, stuff that multiple people in the raid can take responsibility for in different ways. Managing DPS’ health bars is and always has been a team effort; the overall skill level of the raid one one side to prevent damage, and the skill level of the healers on the other to heal it; that determines whether everyone lives.

    Currently, having good healers can make up for having below-average DPS, and the reverse is also true. Preventing healers and DPS from being able to affect each other’s gameplay diminishes the impact teamwork has on the success or failure of the team.

    If your group is failing because people refuse to take responsibility for their own health bars, well, then you already know why the group is failing.

    I also feel it necessary to point that out having only having a single target to heal would make for a very boring game for healers.

  2. The Damage Dealer post for this series isn’t up yet. In that, I will address most of what you are asking.

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