What does it take to be a front line healer?

Wotcha everyone,

Warrior Priests.  God I love’em!

What feels like forever ago, I decided that Warrior Priests were for me.  They ticked all the boxes; they healed, they smacked things, they wore armour, and they looked like angry eggs in a human power-suit.  Many of you know how much I like Warrior Priests already, but hey, I need an introduction.

Now that we’re here, and the game is live?  Nothing has changed.

Every time I’m in combat, and I hear the words “Bugger!” and “Nadgers!”, not only does Sigmar smile, but I smile too.

I’ve said “Bugger!” in PvE, in open RvR, and in scenarios.  I have also been smiling my way through them.  Why?  Well, I’m really enjoying my Warrior Priest.  He’s a feisty little fellow, with a good range of skills (even at level 11, which is rare in an online game), that allows me to fight using differing styles, so each fight is as different as I want it to be.  It also means I can perform multiple roles, dependant on situation.

Not only that, but for the first time in PvP gaming, when I see one of my enemies charging towards me, I’m not immediately looking to run like a startled bunny towards my nearest ally.  I’m confident that I’ve been given the tools to really make a go of a one-on-one fight, and not only that, but I won’t be punished unduly for making the odd mistake.  I have emerged victorious from these fights due to good play, and knowing my class.  Through use of strategy and tactics, rather than by spamming my “I win” button as fast as possible, as much as possible.

This, more than anything else, makes me happy.  The developers haven’t made the Warrior Priest overpowered; they’ve made it viable.  To the same level as the other classes.  Hell, I have been charging stragglers, uncaring if I’m being followed by allies, I’m that confident.  Sometimes I do the happy Hawley dance, and sometimes I’m danced on.  Either way, I know it’s going to be a fun fight.

Group RvR is also a lot of fun.  Healing with a Warrior Priest is different to playing a healer in most other online games that I’ve played previously, and at the moment I’m thinking he’s a great “top-up” healer.  I don’t have big heals, I have a few Heal Over Time spells that will keep people out of harm’s way, as opposed to saving them when they’re at death’s door.  They can also be pretty short ranged, so the moral of the story is; Get in the front line, with your Warrior Priest!

Which brings me to the melee part.  Mmm.  I’m not a melee powerhouse.  Witch Hunters have nothing to fear in terms of damage output, and Iron Breakers and Swoooshmasters have nothing to fear from the amount of pain I can take.  But smacking people in the face with a hammer is wonderfully cathartic, and it’s most certainly not a case of melee only being useful for regaining Righteous Fury in a rush.  During beta I tended to concentrate on learning how to heal with a Warrior Priest, but with launch I am learning how to smack things at the same time as healing, and it’s fun.  Challenging for me, as I am at heart a slacker, but still fun.

So for me, the Warrior Priest has sailed out of Launch day having lost none of it’s fun factor.  Nice one, Devs.



7 Responses

  1. For a look at how warrior priests feel from the other side, Keen summarises how they feel to play against – http://www.keenandgraev.com/?p=1474

    As you can see from the comments there, peoples response is pretty binary based on which realm they’re playing.

    My tuppence would be, that at least to mid-teens where I am, they seem streets ahead of the rest of the healing archetype on survivability, healing and damage output, often at the same time. But in truth, none of the balance stuff matters overly in the mid-teens. It would be wonderful to have classes balanced at every level, but really it’s post 25 I guess where it matters, for the people who will at end of T3 and T4, where most of the gameplay will be after the levelling drive.

    Anyhow, thanks as always for a great blog!

  2. We see Disciples of Khaine in the same way, feign. They seem very tough and to put out a lot of damage. But I also think Hawley is right, they couldn’t function as front line healers without the survivability.

    Although oddly enough, a lot of my solo kills have been DoKs … sometimes they forget to heal themselves and run away from the tank who was guarding them.

  3. I guess I shouldn’t pipe up with one of mine and Hawley’s favourite games? Run in to somewhere strange where healers shouldn’t be.. heal each other like mad and see how many Destruction players we can distract. We die a LOT, both of us – seriously. But we have fun too.

  4. Nice article Hawley… almost made me want to try one. Also its been fun smashing things wiv ya!

  5. arbitrary – I’ve actually tried that as part of a pair of dual shamans, running in and heal/distracting, but in mid-teens we lack the straight mitigation it seems; together with the fact that unless you get time to get off some damage spells – by which time I’m dead usually – my main heal spell is so slow as to be unusable for that tactic!

  6. feign – I have similar experiences on my Archmage. The High Magic (Mork/Gork) system seems as though it would be a perfect duo, but doesn’t. Their system is only advantageous 1 in 6 spells at most.

    From experience, however, both classes are quite fun to play in groups, which is what MMO gaming and RvR is all about!

  7. If you want a real exercise in futility, try a WP vs. a DoK fight. Happened to me over the weekend in Pheonix Gate. Fought for about five minutes, neither of us was able to make any headway against each other. Eventually, the DoK got bored and left.

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