Syl has a good post detailing her healing experiences in Wildstar thusfar. The main point is that it’s incredibly hectic but at the same time, extremely rewarding. I had started a comment but realized it was getting too verbose, hence this post.
The following is my perspective on healing as an Esper. They are more akin to the traditional healer in MMOs, when compared to Medics (mid-range, shield and AE focused) and Spellslingers (long range, Spellsurge dependent, absorb focused).
Espers work with Psi Points, obtained through builders. They cap at 5 and unless you have a specific AMP, any gained past that point are wasted. They last for about 10 seconds in combat.
Our main healing resource is Focus, analogous to Mana from other games. You have a decent amount, it regenerates over time and there are a few skills that can boost it.
This section will give you an overview of all the healing skills and their value. While Esper healing is somewhat simple (builder + finisher), there are many options depending on the event.
Our innate that no longer roots us! 30 second cooldown that gives you an absorb shield, increases output and gives you PP over time. You want to use this at 4 PP, to get to 5 quickly then cast a finisher. You’ll be back at 5 in a flash just afterwards. Get used to using this often as it’s extremely powerful.
It can also be used for movement portions with low combat, such as dodging laser beams. It will give you an absorb shield and enough PP to cast Reverie to maybe save a few folk.
One of the most powerful skills we have, it heals for about 75% of Mind over Body and is a great group heal. You need to target it in a wide beam, so the group needs to work together. I cast this at 3 charges, continuously. My personal go-to heal, in all situations. Of all abilities, this one should be maxed to T8 as it applies a HoT. Costs 13/17/25 focus.
Mind over Body
While I have this slotted, it has very limited use for 2 reasons. First, it requires a lot of focus and can drain you quick. Second, it’s the only ability that the Esper needs to stand still to cast. There are very few times where you can use this outside of some raids and dead spots during boss events. Even then, the ramp up time for point generation is rather slow. I sometimes use this on heavy boss fights on the tank, if we’ve wiped previously. Costs between 25-37 focus. If you’re a dedicated tank healer, then slot this to T8 as it increases future heals by 15%.
Super group AE heal, massive space but you still need to make sure everyone is in range. T8 increases future healing by 10%, which makes this thing an awesome chain heal in big AE battles (which is nearly all bosses). Costs 7/13/20/27/33 focus.
Single target mega heal. A good “oh crap” skill that has to be T4 to get the armor buff on the tank. T8 gives a chain heal but only 10m. Costs a variable amount of focus, slightly more than Reverie.
I use this to start the fight and then when the tank is dipping a little low. It’s a great damage shield. Never found a reason to upgrade it mind you. Costs 69 focus.
It’s a raid buff, plain and simple. The heal is minor but the 5% increase to attack/support power is amazing with more than 5 players, at T4. Otherwise, I leave it off. Costs 20 focus.
A stationary AE Heal over Time. Really low output that doesn’t scale very well and has a high focus cost. If your tank is having trouble staying alive due to gear issues, then you can drop it on them for some support. Costs 35 focus.
This is simply a way to generate 2 charge PP near instantly. Sadly, pretty much required. If you can, target the tank, otherwise it’s a self-cast. Costs 13 focus.
Very similar to Warden but has no focus cost because it’s centered on you. The range is so small, you need to be in melee range to hit the tank. Same issues that Warden has, in terms of scaling too. I’d much prefer replacing Warden with this and allow it to be targeted.
Crush / Incapacitate
For when you need to break armor and interrupt. Depends highly on your group composition and your level of trust.
A cleanse ability that can be upgraded to a purge but that needs a T8 investment, way too much. It’s very situational and will only be used on a few bosses. Costs 38 focus.
Takes 5s to cast and regenerates focus, 1 more per tier. T4 gives you 2 PP. You also can’t move while casting, which is a massive downside. At low focus regen levels, it has uses on long fights but I prefer Fixation.
A “get out of crap” card that breaks stuns and roots and throws you backwards. Situational but quite useful – aiming can be tricky.
Allows you to sprint forward and give a minor heal. This is more of a DPS skill, in my opinion, to keep a gap on the enemy. Rather slow too. In high movement fights, where a double dash + sprint is not enough, then this has some value. But you probably made a bunch of mistakes for this to be useful. Costs 39 focus.
If for some reason you still have room on your bar, CB will give you 2 PP after they hit and deal some minor damage. It’s been a while since I’ve played with it active but it certainly has uses.
At T4, it gives a focus regen on top of giving you 3 PP. Very powerful and I use it pretty much on cooldown. Scorchwing with 2 healers is possible with this skill. If your regen gets high enough, then I can see you dropping it. If you’re reading this guide though, your regen isn’t high enough.
There aren’t many bad choices, outside of perhaps Companion and Mirage, which need some rework. AMPs that trigger on crits are useful, or that add extra shield/healing power. If you don’t get Fixation, then you can fill out all of the T2 support skills.
There are 2 core builds, an AE focused and a tank focused, which prescribe 3 main skills per.
AE – Soothe + Reverie + Bolster (My Base Build)
Tank – MoB + MB + Bolster (My Base Build)
The rest of the skills are highly dependent on your preferences and the actual event. Fixation should be on the bar if you have the AMP. Phantasmal Armor is always useful. Crush or Incapacitate (I like the latter) will save your bacon and help the team.
- Not all skills require focus and those that do often have varying amounts required.
- You want to reach ~3.5 focus per second. The AH has some decent gear to get you started but when looking at upgrades, FPS is right up there with Support Power and Insight.
- For any non-boss fight, focus isn’t an issue. For bosses, if you’re spamming MoB + MB, you’re going to run dry in a flash. You can practically chain Soothe + Reverie forever. Think about what you’re casting.
- Runes are really good to address focus issues. The General Rune for focus regen is where you want to go for 12/12. This will give you a ton of regen.
- Rune Slots are extremely powerful. You should use them. Don’t bother unlocking a rune slot unless you’re wearing a blue-level item though.
- While there’s some overlap between rune slots, some give better bonuses than others. For example, many rune slots give Support Power but Life and Water give the largest bonus. The breakdown works as follows:
- Fire: Crit / Insight
- Fusion: Support Power
- Life: Insight/ Crit Severity / Focus
- Logic: Crit / Crit Severity
- Water: Insight / Focus
- Air: Focus
- Earth: Crit Severity
- Stat priority is simple enough to start, get focus regen to 3.5 per second. After that, it’s Support Power > Insight (1680) > Finesse > Crit (~25%) > Crit Severity. There’s no cap on Support Power and a soft cap on Insight as 1680 is the last milestone.
- You do not need Strikethrough, unless you’re using CB. Missing a CB is a lost PP.
- Tech (for deflect) and Grit (for hit points) are not terribly useful but can provide some skill buffer. You are a glass canon after all.
Learning to Heal
My suggestion for this has always been the same, regardless of the game. Learn to heal in PvP first. Start with single target healing – find a tank and shadow them. Figure out what skills work best for you. Move on to group heals so you learn to aim the darn telegraphs. Once you’re comfortable, move to open-world group content – in particular Scorchwing for 5+ group quests to learn the ropes. Following that, move onto Adventures, then dungeons. You’ll learn all about situational abilities, how to manage focus, what rhythm works best for you.
WS is hard enough to require triage but forgiving enough to let a few things slide. If you’re at 50%, then you’re going to live – if you’re not the tank. And if things are really going wrong, in 99% of the cases, your group is not using interrupts properly. Smart play is very well rewarded.
#I’ll keep this as up to date as I can…