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TT vs AC: Healer edition

SaeduSaedu Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
The posts regarding TT vs AC are overwhelmingly about doing DPS with the occasional mention of healing. I thought it may be good to have a thread dedicated to people's opinions on this topic strictly from a healing perspective.

My opinion:
I see AC okay for some heals such as frontal ~10-15 yard cone heals, PBAoE heals, or GTAoE heals. I could see an augment giving the play the option to switch a heal from being GTAoE to targeted AoE. It could be the same strength either way and each one would have its own tactical benefits (targeted AoE would be faster to cast, but GTAoE gives a better chance to hit who you want to hit).

AC would be terrible for single target heals/hots/shields (imagine trying to snipe the tank with a heal over and over again while 5-6 melee DPS keep getting in the way. Or imagine trying to put single target HoTs/shields on the group before a damage spike and having to skill shot each one of them). I'd put chain heals in this category as well, but perhaps to a lesser extent since at least there is a higher chance to smart heal the person who needs it (assuming each heal jump doesn't weaken in power).

For these single target heals/hots/shields, I don't think traditional TT is the answer either... It's all about mouseover healing (sometimes referred to as mouseover macros).

To provide some context, when I do any sort of competitive healing in WoW the first thing I do is replace all of my healing keybinds with mouseover macros (as this behavior is not default in WoW... Shame on you Blizzard! It can be done via macros or addons only). My macros looks like this (replace "Flash Heal" with the name of the spell):

/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Flash Heal; Flash Heal

What this does is:
1) If I have my mouse over another player's unit frame (or character in game), then that player will get the heal (regardless of what I'm targeting)
2) If I am not mousing over anything, then my target gets the heal if it is friendly
3) If I have no target or my target is an enemy, then I get the heal

This setup makes it much quicker to respond to healing a group/raid as I just hover and hit the keybind. It's about 50-75% faster reaction time than clicking to target > heal > click to target > heal. This is especially important for any sort of healer who mixes in damage while also healing (which is required for some of the most fun classes in WoW like Disc Priests. But really is something every good healer should be doing to maximize healing downtime). Switching targets between your team and the enemy team/boss can be annoying and even more inefficient that switching between targets in your raid. I like to tab target the enemies while I mouseover heal my team and weave the dps/heals to optimize my gameplay. This makes the healing EXTREMLY satisfying. If I was focusing on just healing I probably wouldn't do it as its just becomes a wack-a-mole game.

Oh, on a related note, I hope AoC has some sort of grid UI for raids as well as the option to use that UI for party healing as well. The default "party spread out on the left hand side of the screen" is terrible for healing, especially for anyone gaming on a widescreen monitor". Having a compact grid that shows health/mana/buffs/debuffs for the group/raid that can be positioned more closely to the middle of the screen is the way to go. (I'll include some screenshots some time of my WoW UI if there is interest).

Not having mouseover healing + a grid I can position on the screen would be dealbreakers for me to be a healer. I've done heals, DPS, and tanking competitively and healing is by far the most challenging. It doesn't need a heavy focus on AC to add to the already intense split second decision making needed to keep your team alive.

Comments

  • As someone who chronically plays a healer-main in MMO's, yours truly is hoping for the ability to simply click-target an ally in a group-frame to select them for healing - instead of dropping a healing spell in a cone-of-effect or AOE.

    Will be Cleric/Cleric here, from day one!



  • When I'm playing something like WoW, I always end up finding that I'm mainly playing the UI and moving away from damage. For me AC would feel less like a UI game but would be less impactful for single target heals for reasons given above but if there was an intention to go full AC then there are enough abilities for it to work, it would just feel different and follow different rules to the TT we already know. If they try to design it so you can play one or the other, it will end up making both of them feel worse. I feel like it should simply be a hybrid system where you have the TT spells for single target and AC for AoE.
  • I want to be able to click on them to select them, I want to be able to click on their player bar in the Party window, I want to be able to assign shortcut keys to select them from my party, I want to be able to Tab-Target them, I want to be able to AoE-heal them. I'm not particularly bothered about Action-Combat healing. Just seems like it would be a little inefficient.
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/
  • SaeduSaedu Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Yea shortcut keys to target make sense for small groups, but doesn't scale for raid healing. That's why I've avoided it in the past. I know some high end players like in though (especially in 3v3 arenas). FYI, Mouseover healing doesn't mean you can't still target allies and heal that way as well, it just gives you a shortcut so you can heal faster. For example let's say you are just healing and not DPSing the boss. You could keep your tank targeted most the time and mouseover to spot heal the group/raid when someone needs it (throwing in the AC based AoE heals as needed as well).

    Looking at the current healer 1-10 abilities it seems like there is a decent amount intended to use against the enemy. Given this, I think mouseover healing your raid frames is going to be especially critical in this game.
  • When I'm playing something like WoW, I always end up finding that I'm mainly playing the UI and moving away from damage. For me AC would feel less like a UI game but would be less impactful for single target heals for reasons given above but if there was an intention to go full AC then there are enough abilities for it to work, it would just feel different and follow different rules to the TT we already know. If they try to design it so you can play one or the other, it will end up making both of them feel worse. I feel like it should simply be a hybrid system where you have the TT spells for single target and AC for AoE.

    THIS seems like the most-intuitive way to format an AoC healer's game-play - and a good fit for the present incarnation of the hybrid system.



  • SaeduSaedu Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    When I'm playing something like WoW, I always end up finding that I'm mainly playing the UI and moving away from damage. For me AC would feel less like a UI game but would be less impactful for single target heals for reasons given above but if there was an intention to go full AC then there are enough abilities for it to work, it would just feel different and follow different rules to the TT we already know. If they try to design it so you can play one or the other, it will end up making both of them feel worse. I feel like it should simply be a hybrid system where you have the TT spells for single target and AC for AoE.

    THIS seems like the most-intuitive way to format an AoC healer's game-play - and a good fit for the present incarnation of the hybrid system.



    I agree with the hybrid approach, just be sure TT includes the ability to mouseover heal (they are not mutually exclusive)
  • CypherCypher Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited March 2021
    Play Overwatch, or look up a video showcasing all the healing characters.

    It’s not an MMO, however, it demonstrates different ways to heal that you might not have thought were possible and makes it much easier to get around the notion that healing single targets would be difficult. There are straight beams that heal, beams that connect more like a rope than a beam which locks to your target and keeps the heal going until you let go, sniper darts that heal, healing auras, healing grenades, a healing orb that you throw that attaches to a single target, etc.

    If you’ve never played it, this might seem overwhelming or insane. It’s not. And don’t say “that’s an FPS, that could never work in ‘muh RPG’!” Because you’d be wrong. It’s a simple matter of changing the camera from first person to third person and the skills themselves all still function.

    Bottom line, there are plenty of ways to heal single targets and groups, whether the target you’re trying to heal is blocked by another friendly or enemy, does not matter. Some abilities could easily be made to go through targets or you as the healer may also need to move around to be in position to heal a specific target.

    We know there will be tab and action skills even for the healer. So I’d imagine you’ll be able to have your point and click heals while also allowing action players who actually do like to move around and do more than stand still and click names, to take advantage of positioning themselves in a riskier fashion to pull off stronger heals. Much more engaging and I’d actually make a healer alt if that was the case.

    Thanks for coming to my Ted talk.
  • TyranthraxusTyranthraxus Member
    edited March 2021
    Cypher wrote: »
    Play Overwatch, or look up a video showcasing all the healing characters.

    It’s not an MMO, however, it demonstrates different ways to heal that you might not have thought were possible and makes it much easier to get around the notion that healing single targets would be difficult. There are straight beams that heal, beams that connect more like a rope than a beam which locks to your target and keeps the heal going until you let go, sniper darts that heal, healing auras, healing grenades, a healing orb that you throw that attaches to a single target, etc.

    If you’ve never played it, this might seem overwhelming or insane. It’s not. And don’t say “that’s an FPS, that could never work in ‘muh RPG’!” Because you’d be wrong. It’s a simple matter of changing the camera from first person to third person and the skills themselves all still function.

    Bottom line, there are plenty of ways to heal single targets and groups, whether the target you’re trying to heal is blocked by another friendly or enemy, does not matter. Some abilities could easily be made to go through targets or you as the healer may also need to move around to be in position to heal a specific target.

    We know there will be tab and action skills even for the healer. So I’d imagine you’ll be able to have your point and click heals while also allowing action players who actually do like to move around and do more than stand still and click names, to take advantage of positioning themselves in a riskier fashion to pull off stronger heals. Much more engaging and I’d actually make a healer alt if that was the case.

    Thanks for coming to my Ted talk.

    This doesn't seem as inconceivable to the ears of others, as you may think: In having watched the Apocalypse videos involving PvP, many of the fights seemed to feel very FPS, as players/testers went at it with ranged weapons. I understand that this was a prototype combat system from 2018, but I was nonetheless quite surprised to see players fight in that format, in Apoc; Healing from a FPS-perspective doesn't seem that far-fetched, given this footage. Melee looked different, but it seemed like most players favored ranged combat, in the PvP footage that was shown.



  • SaeduSaedu Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I played quite a bit of Overwatch the first year or so it came out. Zenyatta was my main character. I can't stand Ana's snipe heals. I don't think that style of healing would translate well into a MMO. The healing is more scarce/passive in a FPS overall compared to healing in a MMO.

    I'd rather play a MMO than a loot shooter.
  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Yes for mouse-over heals!!

    Taking inspiration from LoL's Bard, I also like placeable orbs that you drop around the backline, and people touch them when they need it.
    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited March 2021
    I don't think they will ever take out the option to have tab targeted single target heals. As long as healing spells are one dimensional and require only for you to consider the mana cost and cast time, healing will stay the same as it always has been. Healing from my experience (which I really love and would like to main) is the most independent role of the holy trinity as you are expected to do your job which may include being in charge of tank healing or party heal, not much required in terms of active communication (again, my personal anecdotal experience).

    The easy solution to shake up healing imo, which can work with either action or tab targeting, is to have more healing spells with conditional properties, through augments or otherwise. For example, heals more/less the more/less players are around target; heals more/less the more/less the distance of the target from you; aoe heal location that can only heal a certain # and so party decides how long to stay inside managing how fast it's depleted; a healing "gate" that requires players to walk through; healing rope between you and an ally that heals everyone that passes through the rope between you (or you move to have the rope pass around them);healing that requires players to stand still etc. Essentially make healing a team effort that requires the coordination of your party to optimize.

    In general, tanking DPS and healing should all have not just individual skill ceilings, but also have increased potential when executed by an organized group.
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Played many a healer in my day. Here is my take:

    AC healing is way more annoying than TT healing. Players can be wiggly AF. It is worst when the game is forcing you to be wiggly as well. When it is crunch time and you miss a heal, it hurts.

    TT healing is just way easer. The only AC healer I enjoyed was medic in Wildstar and that was because my templates were big enough to hit everyone I needed to, and if someone was too far away that was their bad not mine (Normally the case in any healing, but more so with medics templates).

    With AC heal that require a reticle to aim I would hope that the heals are the biggest in the game. Otherwise they just wont get used.

    Mouse over healing is great, I don't know if we will get it without macros. Maybe it will be built into the skills or togglable. Considering that healers are always something in demand, I would want healers to have access to as many tools as possible.

    Ultimately it comes down to just getting the balance right so that people want to use AC. Like I have said in the past in this "War of five threads" on AC vs TT it just comes down to IG getting the balance right so that both are viable. Then players can pick and choose what is right for them.
    TVMenSP.png
    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
  • When I'm playing something like WoW, I always end up finding that I'm mainly playing the UI and moving away from damage.

    If the game ends up like this, might as well have a black screen with red for damage, and that's it. I enjoy healing, but having to pay more attention to UI instead of game it's just boring.

    Wow with so many adds on it's like following a guide

    1- Heal now
    2- Purify now
    3- Puri yourself now

    I don't want something like that, I want something more engaging and not looking at UI seems a good step.
  • DreohDreoh Member
    Wildstar is a game that did non-targeted healing right, though it's whole combat system kind of catered to it. It did also have some targetted heals, but the heals that weren't targetted were very unique and rewarding.
  • What about a system where there's skills that 'pick' the player to heal in a certain proximity.
    Examples:

    Heal the player with the highest max health within 30m for X amount.
    or Heal the player with the most % of health missing within 30m for X amount.


    This wont fix the fact that if you want to heal a different specific target, this wont help. But maybe it can add onto the conversation.
  • DreohDreoh Member
    Jxshuwu wrote: »
    What about a system where there's skills that 'pick' the player to heal in a certain proximity.
    Examples:

    Heal the player with the highest max health within 30m for X amount.
    or Heal the player with the most % of health missing within 30m for X amount.


    This wont fix the fact that if you want to heal a different specific target, this wont help. But maybe it can add onto the conversation.

    That's very simple and requires no skill at all
    Would you have fun just running around spamming that ability? Why even have it as an ability at that point? You'd basically just become a heal turret npc.

    It'd be fine as like an augment that adds that kind of effect on top of another spell possibly
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dreoh wrote: »
    That's very simple and requires no skill at all
    Would you have fun just running around spamming that ability? Why even have it as an ability at that point? You'd basically just become a heal turret npc.

    It'd be fine as like an augment that adds that kind of effect on top of another spell possibly

    I stupidly picked healer when ESO came out. I don't remember there being a single heal worth specing into that did not work this way. I would run around Cyrodiil spam healing people board out of my mind racking up points from participation. I hated it, but it was the most valuable thing I could be doing so I did it.

    I also ended up refusing to run any dungeons because It meant I could not let someone die if they were standing in stupid. Which is my favorite thing to do as a healer...
    More importantly it meant that if the tank got hit and a melee DPS got hit, the melee DPS got the next heal first and the tank would die since melee takes more DMG than tanks.

    My memory is a little fuzzy on all of this, but that is basically what I remember from healing in ESO. I hope it did not stay that way.
    TVMenSP.png
    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
  • SaeduSaedu Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think some smart heals are okay, but they can't be the core of your healing and they can't be super strong (if they are strong they need to be on a cooldown).

    One good example where smart heals can work is when you are healing through DPS. So for example, you have a 15 second self buff that is on a 1 min CD that causes your damage abilities to do 25% more damage and smart heal 3 allies for 175% of the damage done. This is a very fun/meaningful type of ability as it's temporarily switching your entire playstyle for some strong burst healing/dps, but it isn't overpowered as it's governed by a cooldown. As a healer you would need to make the tactical decisions of trying to maximize using this ability as much as possible with using it when the group needs the burst the most.

    Compare this to a basic "your damaging abilities always heal 2 party members for 50% of the damage done"... this is a much less exciting way of smart healing through dps as it's really only useful during low damage periods/healing downtime. It's still a useful type of passive smart healing though as you would use your actual healing spells when the damage is coming in.

    If most healing was done via smart heals it would not make for a very fun healing game.
  • Have to watch out for aoe healing. I haven't played this game myself, but one thing I hear a lot about GW2 is that all the healing is aoe, so everyone just stacks on a spot and then healers just kinda smash the heal button. Maybe the character collision will fix this issue, but I would prefer combat and healing require more precision than this. I dont want to "play the UI" like I do in WoW, but just dumping aoe heals on a cluster sounds pretty boring.
  • McShave wrote: »
    Have to watch out for aoe healing. I haven't played this game myself, but one thing I hear a lot about GW2 is that all the healing is aoe, so everyone just stacks on a spot and then healers just kinda smash the heal button. Maybe the character collision will fix this issue, but I would prefer combat and healing require more precision than this. I dont want to "play the UI" like I do in WoW, but just dumping aoe heals on a cluster sounds pretty boring.

    It's actually more awkward than you think. I was thinking about GW2 because I've dumped so many hours into the game. Then I thought about how awful the healing is in this game. Sure, world events are ez mode and stacking for buffs and heals is the meta. But get into fractals(dungeons) and raids, that's a whole other story.

    Fractals and raids are designed for people to be moving around, usually spread out to avoid aoe spells yourselves. Having to aim aoe spells to heal your 9 other teammates that are also dodging boss moves is a huge pain. Some aoe heals are easier to hit than others but examples like druid's druid form's skill 1 having a targeted 120 radius and revenant's remnant heal which moves a slowish rock to heal really puts GW2's heal game in an annoying place.
  • LeonerdoLeonerdo Member
    edited March 2021
    Keeping it brief. I enjoyed TERA's Mystic class, which could heal with a lock-on kind of heal. You hit the skill, mouse over up to four people and it locks on to them, then release to heal them. Plus a boomerang heal, and little health orbs you could toss/drop on the ground to be picked up later.

    There's plenty of ideas for good action combat heals out there, if Intrepid is willing to take the risk on them.

    I can't remember where I heard about this, but it's also possible to have a combat system allowing for multiple targets to be selected simultaneously. Like you could keep a healing target and enemy target at the same time, so you don't have to switch all the time to weave heals and damage.
  • SaeduSaedu Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    hmmm... I should go try out Tera's system. So far my experience with healing has been best in WoW. I think overall they did a really good job with healing... its more challenging that DPS or tanking, and there are a lot of good options of healing types they have. Some AOE healing is a PBAoE or a GTAoE. Some AoE healing you target one player and it chains to 3-5 other players (so you can make sure you heal who you need to for sure, then get some smart heals on top of it for others). Some AOE is through dpsing, some is chasing hots (e.g. you put out your hots on a few targets and when you cast a heal on one target it also AoEs to the other target's with your HoT/shield on them). Various cast times/mana costs/cooldown timers also add to the variety.

    Having a wide variety of heal options/styles is a good thing. The one thing I wouldn't really advocate for is a single target sniper/skill-shot like heal as it would have to be really strong to work and there is just too much that can go wrong with it due to bad DPS/tank movement. Maybe if it heals all targets in its path and its not too OP it would be okay, but if its just the first target there are gonna be a lot of dead tanks cause the melee DPS got in the way.

    I'm also not too much of a fan of orb healing. Its an okay idea so I'm not totally against it, but in my experience the DPS are too lazy/unaware to move to grab the orb so it often goes unused or used at the wrong time.
  • FrostshotFrostshot Member
    edited March 2021
    Priest healing in Tera was fun. I enjoyed it. The other, not so much.

    Revenant healing in GW2 took a big hit a while back, and is not so great now. GW2 mass pvp is all about standing within 6' of other teamates and spamming buffs and damage. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. I would prefer a system that doesn't require buffs to be constantly reapplied. That would be my main complaint with GW2 combat. Otherwise the combat is a lot of fun.

    WoW has some decent healing models, I enjoyed the variety when switching from Druid to my Priest.

    I personally hope there is a combination of healing skills available in AoC, single tab targeted, AOE circles, HoTs, healing marks, and directional heals. Give some choice to how we play, and ability to modify things for different situations. Instead of just being the water fountain people have to bring on dungeon runs.
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