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This article was written by the player Prisoner, and was posted on Oct 16, 2008.
It was last updated by Shadowfax on May 26, 2014.

A Guide to Healing in Alter Aeon - Introduction

Being a healer can be as easy as simply deciding to heal the tank in a group, but you can improve your ability to heal and take better care of your group by paying close attention to different and learning the consequences of certain spells and types of equipment. This guide tries to explain some of these things, and will hopefully help you become a better group healer.

For clarity, this article focuses on the cleric class. Although it is possible for mages and druids to heal via brewing, clerics can cast instantaneous spells to restore hit points and movement, which no other class can do.

The Healer Equipment Set

The ideal healing set focuses on two things: mana and mana regeneration. There is an excellent guide in the Alter Aeon Articles archive that details how to gear for mana regeneration while sleeping, but for healing in groups it is more important to gear toward having as much mana as possible while maintaining a high resting regen rate.

The first step toward having a high mana is to max out int and wis, then focus on +mana items. One thing to realize is that beyond maxing your mana regeneration, cast level is unnecessary for healing.

The target regeneration to aim for before you start healing in earnest is 50 per tick while sitting, not sleeping. This allows you to heal the tank one more time for every tick spent in combat.

Buff and Protective Spells

Often it is the healer's job to pay attention to the spells that a tank has on him or her. Each spell gives the tank some survivability and decreases the total mana you'll have to use in combat. Many tanks, while they have trouble healing themselves in combat, can often pick up their own buff spells out of combat, as long as you pay attention to what they need and when.

Some of the most commonly used protective spells are:

Cleric Spells:
  • Bless: Saving spell and +hitroll
  • Armor: +20 armor class
  • Sanctuary: Damage reduced based on caster's cleric level
  • Faith shield: Damage reduced based on target's cleric level
  • Slow poison: Saving poison
  • Curse ward: Protect against enemy cleric curses

Note that even though technically 'faith shield' and 'slow poison' cannot be cast on others, they can be groupcast.

Mage Spells:
  • Displacement: +40 armor class
  • Crystal coat: Saving normal plus elemental saves

If your mage level is high enough, you should try to keep these buffs going in most combat situations.

The spells 'sanctuary' and 'crystal coat' have relatively short durations and high mana costs, so it is important to pay close attention to them. In general, you should try to set things up so that these spells don't fall during combat, or so that if they do, you and the group are prepared for it.

Healing in Combat

The key to healing in combat is mana conservation. One of the most important things to know is how much each of your spells cost. You want to keep enough in reserve for that extra heal, or in an emergency, 'group recall'. The spells that you will use (in rough order of how often) are:

  • Heal: 50 mana
  • Area Refresh: 28 mana
  • Crystal coat: 55 mana
  • Sanctuary: 75 mana
  • Group Recall: 50 mana
  • Breath of Life: 25+ mana
  • Area Heal: 100 mana
  • Rejuvenate: 35 mana

'Crystal coat' and 'sanctuary', unless you're grouped with more than one healer, are typically the only buff spells that are important enough to use mana on in combat (and even those are only meaningful if your tank is taking a lot of damage.)

The key decision in combat is always which spell to use in order to keep your group alive. If combat is going badly and the tank is almost dead, using 'group recall' instead of 'heal' with your last 50 mana is often the best decision. Group recalling when others think you were going to win the fight will often make your group angry. Knowing what to use when comes only with experience and familiarity with your group members and leaders, but, if you are unsure, you should default to recalling.

Remember that the 'heal' spell adds about 110 hit points. Once people are missing more than 110, you're going to get a fully effective heal. If you cast before that point, some of your mana will be wasted. Also, save 'breath of life' for group members that are severely injured.

An excellent tool for healers is the 'monitor vitality' command, which lets you closely watch another group member's health by broadcasting it to your own prompt.

Lastly, when you are waiting to heal other, use the 'hphurt' command frequently. It will show you the stats of everyone in the group that needs healing, and gives more information than the 'monitor' command.

Attitude

Everyone blames the healer. Part of the job of being a healer is being a scapegoat. Often it is the healer's fault, but the only way to learn which decision to make in a tough situation is through experience and practice. Persistence, patience, and more than anything else, keeping your cool, are the most important part of healing. This is discussed more in the second page of this article.


NEXT - Introduction to Healing in Groups, Page 2



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