Okay, so I figured I would do a review of the healing classes, focusing on the Zealot, not only because a few of you have been asking for it, but also because I love healing. And the Zealot is (so far) my FAVORITE healer.
I have played all of the healing classes so far, and UK2K has already provided the skills listing, so instead of dissecting individual classes and their, I will focus on mechanics as a whole, and which healer has the most impact/suvivability/general utility/healing utility/etc.
All of the healing classes have similar core healing skills. There is a hot, a group hot, a group heal, a heal + hot, a direct heal, a shield and a rez. They also have, through masteries or core skills, a "health transfer" type heal. Basically, all of the healers have quite a few heals, so when I look at it in terms of utility, it's not always healing utility. This game is not like WoW, where the healers all have different types of healing utility. There is no "master of HoTs" like the WoW druid. There is no "master of group heals" like the chain healing Shaman in WoW.
As it currently stands, I would have to say that the healer with the most healing utility is the Zealot. The Zealot has a "Prayer of Mending" type heal that jumps from player to player, which is basically what seals the deal for me. Also, the Zealot has more buffs than any of the other healers. And the Zealot has better buffs. For example, the Zealot has an instant cast buff/heal that will heal you for about 1300-1800 and then increase your hit points by the same amount. Another great utility the Zealot has is a self rez. I can't explain how great this ability is. The Zealot is quite squishy, and its always nice to be able to come back after dying and keep kicking ass. Oh, and as a side note, all of the rezzes in game are combat rezzes. In terms of more offensive utility, I like the melee healers. The melee healers (WP and DoK) have a number of cripples that are quite useful in PVP, and quite a few bleeds. Their heals are nothing extraordinary, however, and it is often quite irritating that you are dependent on "soul essences" or "righteous fury", which often runs out. Even more so now that the pools were nerfed. I find myself converting AP to Essences more often than not, and it irks me. Also, not having any ranged attacks to build "Essence" makes it difficult to healbot, though I guess that was sort of the point.
When it comes to healing impact, I feel as though all of the healers have an equal impact on the game. Healing plays a HUGE part of RvR, and currently on the beta servers, one of the best things about playing destruction is the healers. The zealots and DoKs do a great job keeping people alive, and rezzing people as soon as they die, and it makes a massive difference. I have, as a lone zealot, kept 7 people alive while they were being pounded by BW spam. Ive kept alive a marauder as he ran into a huge group of order and sliced them all up, because everytime they managed to take a chunk of his health down, I would just heal him back up to full. I dont know why they never came after me. I've been a sorc and a witch elf, taking people out with my feeble amount of hit points, but never dying because some very focused disciple was doing an awesome job of keeping me alive. On the other hand, when playing order, I often have to beg for heals and rezzes. There have been times when I have died, and waited the entire 30 seconds before being respawned, continuously asking to be rezzed for the entire 30 seconds. I'm not really sure why that is, but I've found that destruction is usually dominating order, and I think that healing has a lot to do with it. After all, if you dont let players die, then how will the other side win?
Next, I thought I would address survivability. From what I have seen, both the Archmage and Zealot have poor survivability in terms of hit points. However, the Zealot has the better survivability of the two because of two things:
1. The instant cast Demonic Fortitude buff, which heals the Zealot for about 1300-1800 and increases the Zealot's HP by the same amount.
2. The Zealot self rez. Because even though the Zealot is squishy and lacks hit points, she can always come back to fight again.
I feel like the melee healers probably have the best survivability in terms of sheer hit points, and armor. My DoK/WP has about 1400 armor and 5000 wounds, which is quite good. The melee healer's heals, on the other hand, are nothing special, and nothing is more annoying than trying to cast a hot while running, realizing that youre out of righteous fury/soul essence, and having to stop to create more.
Lastly, I thought I would address offensive capabilities. When it comes to offensive capabilities, I have to say that the ranged healers are my favorites. The Zealot and Archmage don't do amazing dps. However, they have the advantage that they can strike from at a range. They can stand in one spot, throwing heals and casting offensive spells, while the DoK and WP have to actually enter the fray to do any damage. In a PVE situation, this is not that much of a problem as long as the tank has his aggro under control. However, it completely changes in PVP. In PVP, everybody stays back and the ranged nukers basically duke it out while the healers stand back and heal. A few melee dps/tanks usually make their way forward into the massive opposing crowd while the healers spam heals on them in a desperate attempt to keep them alive while they get mauled by the crowd. Considering the mexican standoffish-ness of PVP, its generally better that the melee healers just stand back and heal rather than charge into the opposing realm and put even more strain on the other healers.
Well, that's all for now. I hope you guys enjoyed the review, and I will be posting some pictures to accompany this huge wall of text soon.
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