Healing in TERA - Cooperate This Instant!
Every real party needs a healer. That's a basic MMORPG rule, right? Even in an action combat game like TERA, the healing classes are an essential part of just keeping things running. I've had a lot of good and even great parties on both my Mystic and Priest -- but the parties that are bad really make me want to swear off MMOs forever.
I love healing in MMOs. Taking some damage? Get healed! Inflicted with a negative status effect? Be cleansed! Die because the tank is bad or because life is suffering? Arise, my child! See a therapist next time you're in Velika.
Because of the lack of a tab-targeting system in TERA, healing requires manual aiming and a bit of finesse. You're not going to be tabbing or F-keying between party members, casually pressing your skill keys. You're running around the battlefield, tossing out lock-on heals and dropping motes (Mystic) or popping some distance-based AOE heals (Priest).
Healing in TERA is some of the most fun I've had keeping half-wits alive, but when it gets bad it really is terrible.
Mystic - "plz use motes, they give heals"
Mystic was my first healer and it has a special place in my heart. Dropping the motes (health balls that can be picked up on the field) is a unique concept and the combining that with the class's lock-on heal (Titanic Favor) makes them competent health and mana healers.
Unfortunately, despite it being common knowledge that motes heal, a lot of people seem to think they're poisonous and should not be touched. This isn't such a problem with the Arun's (mana) motes, but ignoring the healing motes it is a pretty big problem. Tossing out Titanic Favor is fine, I'm okay with that -- but I don't spend a minute before a big fight tossing out healy balls for the chumps I'm partied with to ignore them and die.
Any part of the Mystic class that doesn't require action on the part of other people is great. The motes are also great -- if people would use them. Watching a half-health party member purposefully go around a mote and ram themselves into an enemy makes my soul seep from my ears and pure rage crawls up my nose and settles itself in my brain.
You only had to pick up my motes..
Priest - "plz dont run, the circle heals"
The Priest is TERA's certified healbot. The Mystic is a good healer, but their strengths lie in party-wide buffs (auras, PVE) and the ability to kite (PVP). The priest was made to heal, and by jove it heals the hell out of stuff. Even if that stuff is retarded.
What I like about the Priest over the Mystic is that healing requires less of the people I'm partied with. If I really want someone to feel the loving touch of an angel's healing embrace, they are going to feel it, damnit. The only real problem is positioning, and that can be a pretty big issue.
A huge chunk of Priest healing is based on the location of your character. Let's look at some examples:
- Restorative Burst - Heals in a circle 10 meters ahead of you.
- Regeneration Circle - Heals within 16 meters around you.
- Purifying Circle - Removes status effects of party members 17 meters around you.
- All buff spells - Provide buffs to players between 8 and 15 meters around you.
- Healing Circle - Only heals allies directly in front of you.
As such, you spend a lot of time running around in circles, trying to get in the perfect position to heal or buff. Missing party members with a heal can make or break a fight, and it can be all too easy to miss your spells.
Party members running away from your healing as a Priest can be even worse than those who won't pick up your motes as a Mystic. Healing Circle is incredibly powerful, but the chances of getting who you want to get in on those sweet heals is low unless they've been knocked down, are stationary anyway, or if you are some sort of mind wizard.
But hey, you have a lock-on heal as well!
Work and Reward
Considering how irritating healing people who refuse to stay still or think motes are made of lava can be, it feels rewarding to clear a dungeon with a competent party. It always feels good to be the one thing keeping the people in your party from going comatose, but TERA gives it a new dimension of challenge. I'm not saying it's anything revolutionary, but the end feeling is way better than standing in the back and tab-target healing.
TERA has its problems, but healing in the game is some of the most PVE fun I've had in an MMO in a long time -- even when things go wrong. In a way I'm glad it's going free to play, but at the same time I'm not looking forward to the players who disregard healing and acquire dying in the dirt. Really not looking forward to that.