The Daily Grind: Which MMO in 2019 offers the best content for healers?

    
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Bingpot.

A few weeks ago, there was a neat post on the MMORPG subreddit about healing. Author Rapthorne Lightweaver points out that “the industry seems to be slowly but surely phasing out” the healing role from MMOs – which is a damn shame for those of us who love it.

My first true MMORPG character was a dedicated healer – thanks to bandages in Ultima Online, and I actually worked hard in the years following that trying to get myself more accustomed to other roles. But the truth is I like defense and reactive healing, especially in games with Grid-esque healing mods that really let me get into the “zone” of making the bars go up.

But among the MMOs I’m currently playing, few actually support the playstyle. For example, in Guild Wars 2, all of my characters have heals, but nobody is truly a dedicated healer in the classic sense, and even if I specced into, say, Druid, it’s not quite the same playstyle or utility as in older games.

Do you agree that it’s gotten harder to find this core support role in MMOs? Where would you go, in 2019, for the best healing experience in an MMORPG?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Dilly Dolly

I haven’t played a lot of MMOs. So I share a bit of my experience.

I’ve played Tree of Savior only as a Cleric(a Tank+Healer, very pleased with this setting).
Now there’s my friend A as Warrior; friend B as an Archer (and this Archer never tried evade attacks), now I’ve much lower damage and tons of defense/healing/buff/debuff skills, it helps a lot for the Warrior but not the Archer. Archer died in the midst of mob gang and I’m the ONLY one that can use Revive on anyone.

Then I encountered Guild Wars 2.
Right there’s no specific Healer class (i exclude elite specialization here), every classes has a bit everything, so everyone should and could look out for themselves.
So as someone who is so fond of Tank-Healer, I might want to stick to Guardian but it makes me want to play other classes.
I always love to play as Support in a game. In GW2 every classes have their own form of Supporting. (eg, Warrior=tank+stun+areal buffs+heal…; Guardian=areal healing+shielding+knock away…, Necromancer=numbers+debuffs; Ranger=buffs…).
There and so manys each class can be a Support, either offensive/defensive.
Another good thing is anyone can Revive a defeated player regardless of their class.

Now I stick to GW2 not only because I like their world, but I can play as a Support with any classes.

Oh and Engineer has a dedicated Healing kit.

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Rottenrotny

WoW has the best, most fun healing IMO. I have main-ed a priest since 05 and it’s been great fun in all it’s forms.

Respectful nod to Rift and it’s Bards and Chloromancer Mages.

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NecrococoPlays

I liked healing in SWTOR. I’d briefly played a Shaman healer in WoW right before SWTOR launched, and wound up loving the operative/scoundrel heals. Loading up my group with HoTs and then focus healing. I liked that I could mainly focus on healing the tank outside of group AoE or a DPS pulling aggro. It was just a clean, efficient system for me.

I’ve mained an Ele in GW2 since launch, and while I appreciate the utility of the water line, I’ve never felt it did enough to qualify as meaningful healing.

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Jeremy Barnes

FFXIV. The general lack of damage meters meaning that no one cares if the healer is doing DPS does wonders.

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James D

I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic or just looking to trigger people.

Consider me TRIGGGERRRRRRRREDDDD.

For those reading this and thinking he’s serious, the White Mage class quests literally go through a storyline where the healer doesn’t want to use damage spells, she just wants to use healing spells, and why that isn’t a good idea. For non-end-game content, most of what you’ll be doing is DPS. If you aren’t doing DPS, unless the tank is garbage, you’d just be standing around for 15 – 30 seconds not helping your team kill the boss or trash packs faster because there isn’t anything to heal. Healer DPS is about 50 – 60% of a typical DPS jobs damage, so it’s very good and can cut 5 minutes off a 20 minute dungeon run. Hell, I know healers that can out-DPS damage dealers because their AOE toolkit is so good (See Holy and Gravity)

There isn’t an in-game DPS meter, but there are 3rd party overlays that can give you group wide DPS numbers, so anyone on PC can see you, you lazy arse healer, not helping the squad.

If you don’t want to do DPS, play WoW. WoW healer damage output is very low and that’s the only MMO I’ve played where your group won’t care. But in FFXIV, you’ll be shunned out of groups if you aren’t helping.

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Sarah Cushaway

Yeaaaaaaah, FFXIV healers are totally expected to do DPS. WoW? Nope. Just make sure your team isn’t dead and no one cares if you’re doing /dance the entire fight between your heals.

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Kaorin Sakura

I agree that Healers in FFXIV are expected to DPS but that’s far from their primary function in the group. They’re valued at high-end content more for their support capabilities than their damage output and are expected to heal before doing any DPS. But yes, during your healing downtime you are expected to be dealing damage and adding to the fight, not just standing around waiting for people to take damage.

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Sarah Cushaway

When I play healer, I prefer to focus on healing. To each their own.

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Kaorin Sakura

As the person who has tanked since 2.3 in my FC by necessity I can say without a doubt that I prefer my healer healing than dealing damage. Too often I’ve seen people die from a negligent healer wanting to deal damage instead of following the bare minimum of their role. About the only time I’d say I’d want my healer to deal damage is when there isn’t any healing to do and no on one is taking damage. But first and foremost I expect healers to heal.

On topic, however, I say that FFXIV can be a fun place for healers. Though I’ll note that in 2 months the trio of healing jobs are being reworked for a hopefully more healthy dynamic between the three.

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tiltowait

despite the fact that you do not need to dps in WoW, it can be helpful, even critical when pushing progression bosses, key phases which are DPS checks, etc. I played FFXIV and was expected to use 2 dps spells (a dot and a thrown rock) for 50 levels, just punching the same keys? Compared to WoW, FFXIV is a phone-clicker game.

Not playing either now, but as someone who likes healing, I’d say steer clear of ffxiv.

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Alex Willis

You want to automatically find a dungeon group in ESO? Play a healer. I never queue for longer than 5 mins when I’m on my healing toons. The game itself offers lots of modular opportunities for healing, and every character should have some skills dedicated to self-healing at least. But higher-level content requires focus, and in that sense, ESO delivers on the options for how to get there. Because so much of class-building is intermixed with weapon, armor, guild skills, there’s no single “best” way to get to a satisfactory result. I think that’s good design.

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Mallus

I agree and in ESO as a healer you’re expected to deliver some decent damage as well. IMO ESO is the best MMO currently available and I’ve played almost every MMO ever created.

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Jeremy Barnes

DPS required. You’re describing the opposite of old school healers..

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Alex Willis

Well, it’s all “off-DPS”. No class in ESO is 100% focused on a role. Even tanks are expected to contribute to something besides aggro (usually shields or healing rather than DPS).

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

and buffs like Warhorn Ultimate.

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Mallus

I’m not sure what you’re talking about, this thread has nothing to do with old school healing… “Which MMO in 2019 offers the best content for healers?”

quark1020
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quark1020

Well, you can’t talk about healing in games in 2019 without bringing up healing in earlier games.

…Just like Bree did when she brought up Ultima Online in the article..

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Or roll a tank.

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Vunak

More than likely TERA.

In TERA you aren’t just there as a firehose. Tons of mechanics revolve around the Healer doing specific things throughout the dungeons. You aren’t looking at bars off to the side or wherever you place them. You are looking at the actual fight and watching everyones positions, your own position, DPSing, debuffing, doing the healer specific mechanics etc etc etc.

But I am a little bias because I found TERAs endgame PvE to be better than just about any MMO out including WoW and FFXIV since the combat just forces you to be better and make split second decisions while maintaining and doing all the mechanics that are in the tab target games.

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camren_rooke

I thought you just had to lay red and blue eggs everywhere.

:P

I kid. I really like Tera’s combat and somewhat different take on classes.

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Vunak

Ahhh yes the Mystic’s Skittles.

TERA was a game that never lived up to its potential imo. I played it for years hoping it would eventually, but it unfortunately didn’t. I hope its combat style doesn’t fall into obscurity because it really was amazing.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I think Tera’s storyline was awful, uninspired, confusing, and just not worth doing.

Also questing was painfully dull in the ‘kill ten rats’, ‘talk to this guy standing next to me, then talk to me’ sense.

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Minimalistway

Is there videos form the players showing these mechanics? sometimes i read comments here explain MMOs i don’t play and i wish there is a video showing all these interesting systems :-)

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Vunak

I’m sure you could find videos from a healers PoV. Liliths Keep was an okay dungeon to showcase some healer mechanics. A few times throughout the fight, if a healer doesnt debuff the boss its a one shot. Healer has about 2-3 seconds to position themselves to not be one shot by the AoE mechanics and cast and land the debuff in time.

That was the last hardmode dungeon I did I am sure there are more updated dungeons. Timescape for example was a realllly fun dungeon to do.

But im on a tablet so hard to link anything

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Oleg Chebeneev

Was thinking about TERA as an aswer to this. Btw how much endgame content there is now?

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Vunak

I couldn’t say I stopped playing TERA a few months back, I know there has been a few big changes to the game, a level cap increase to 70 for example. But I couldnt give specifics as its been about 6 months since I played.

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Toy Clown

It looks like true, fun healing is falling away in the path of newer MMOs in which development is trying to cater to the fast buck and the “I want it now” mentality of some gamers that don’t want to put a lot of effort toward obtaining rewards and prefer to pay real cash for advancement instead. They don’t want to rely on other people for rewards.

The majority (if not all) of AAA MMOs have dedicated healers. Even GW2 has moved toward dedicated healer builds when they introduced raiding.

I started enjoying the healer playstyle again when I picked up FFXIV. I was a dedicated healer main through UO (of which I created my build around the one heal spell!), EQ 1 and 2, SWG and the enjoyment died with WoW and the introduction of dungeon finders, where I came across a cesspool of humanity that scared me more than driving through a barrio in a brand new convertible with the top down.

FFXIV brought the fun back and the people were had fewer cesspool mentalities that I came across in random dungeon finders. I enjoy having the ability to DPS with my healers as it means I’m not stuck in just one role and reliant on others to help me do the simplest content.

In hindsight, I do miss the tactics that applied to healing in EQ1 the most. It was strategic on a level I haven’t seen in an MMO since. You had to be really careful and balance out healing with mana supply, especially when a fight would have the group sitting and getting mana back for 7-8 min before being able to pull again! I prided myself on my ability to keep heals to a minimum so there was less downtime between pulls, and we found friends that were great about not taking unnecessary damage. When I mastered that, so to speak, I started dual-boxing an enchanter alongside the healer, which gave us mana regen spells and the ability to lock down mobs so the group wouldn’t take a beating and thus wipe out that precious mana supply.

It’s the enchanter role that I miss terribly, as no other MMO I tried had a class that was truly a master of crowd control like an EQ1 enchanter was. To a degree they had a class like that in DAOC that was also a healer. Loved it, but with diminishing returns on use it wasn’t as fun. That’s where I learned to dislike PvP games because everything was balanced toward that and it killed a lot of the fun I had with PvE.

I digressed a little, but yes, FFXIV!

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Reht

As long as it’s still around, Rift’s Chloromancer/Frostkeeper – active engaging heal style that’s more just looking at health bars.

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Bannex

I really enjoyed healing in ESO. For some reason it felt so much more interesting than tanking or dps in that game.

Warhammer Online had some pretty fun healing roles with the DoK and the order version warrior priest thing. They also did a good job with the goblin and dwarf healers.

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IronSalamander8 .

I generally main tanks with healers 2nd. I was a raid healer in WoW in Wrath and I had healing alts in SWTOR and EQ1. I tried healing in FF14 and it’s far tougher than in the others, barring EQ1, but also satisfying.

I haven’t healed in WoW for a time. I tried it in Legion but disc was changed so much I went back to holy and found it was just not a satisfying or enjoyable experience anymore so focused on my warlock instead.

With all that considered, I’d say FF14 wins overall.