Apparently, I’m still near the top of the Google index for Neverwinter search terms I wanted to add a couple more posts on the game.
Getting to 60
There really isn’t much strategy here. Follow the sparkle path in each zone. Do your incantation every hour (ctrl-I) for buffs and experience. Take Leadership as your Profession and focus on maximum XP per hour per task. Try to get some Astral Diamond rewards too, that way you can upgrade your minions through the AH rather than wait 18 hours multiple times. Make sure you do the Neverwinter Graveyard (I think that’s it) as the final quest (Clockwork Tower) gives you your final free bag. You can’t miss the one before that. Also take the Artifact quest in the mid-teens, it’s a stat boost. Do run skirmishes during the bonus hour, the queue times are super short. Don’t run dungeons. Do run the Foundry during the bonus hour. Slot +exp enhancements. Don’t do any of the above if you want to “experience the game”.
My DC did everything by the book, saw every skirmish and dungeon along the way and I had a ton of fun. My Guardian Fighter did the first 2 zones and has been leveling through incantations and professions since, and is 42.
At 60 – Gearing
The first thing once you hit 60 is to head over the the auction house. Search for rare (purple) level 60 equipment. Try to get a set bonus, doesn’t matter much which for now. Use level 4 enhancements and slot a 2:1 ratio of Power/Crit across the equipment. Utility is +movement. Defense is +defense. Slot your companion with level 4 enhancements that give you a stat boost from their stats (6% each I think) and give them blue-level gear. Use all the enhancements you’ve acquired from leveling to refine your offensive enhancements to level 5. Once all are at 5, work on getting them to 6. Weapon enchants can wait. Refine your artifact to level 29 but don’t upgrade. With everything at level 4 your gear score will be around 9000. Level 5 plus a boosted artifact will have you above 10,000 gear score, eligible for 99% of all content.
Now you can worry about getting gear improvements through dungeons and raids. Try to aim for 3000 power, 2000 crit, 2500 recovery, hopefully in that order. Defense is useful, as is movement. Lifesteal, to me, is superior to regeneration based on skill usage.
At 60 – Skill Set
I will make this somewhat generic as through play you’ll likely find more options.
Dailies: Hallowed Ground and Flamestrike
Hallowed Ground is great for group play, heals for a chunk and has a great boost for players. There really isn’t a better option that I’ve seen. Not as useful for solo play. Flamestrike is for when you need to deal damage/knockdown, pretty much any non-boss encounter. “Saving” dailies is rarely useful.
At Will: Sacred Flame / Astral Seal or Lance of Faith / Brand of the Sun
Sacred Flame and Astral Seal are the group based at wills. They don’t do any damage but do provide some hit points to the team. Astral Seal should always be up on the boss. Lance of Faith and Brand of the Sun are solo skills. The latter does ~75% damage to a normal enemy at 60, so I tag everyone.
Encounter: Sunburst, Astral Shield, Forgemaster’s Flame or Daunting Light
Divine Power is needed for most of these. Sunburst gives you breathing room and a small heal. Astral Shield gives a buff plus healing if you use DP. Forgemaster’s Flame with DP heals nearby targets, which is oddly super powerful. Daunting Light I use in solo play as it will kill 3-4 normal enemies in a single shot. Great for bosses who summon friends. Plus, no need for DP.
Some people will use Bastion of Health but that requires aiming, which is pretty hard to do consistently. Healing Breath doesn’t get you much further as the regen is offset by damage.
Passives: Healer’s Lore and Foresight
Healer’s Lore is a decent boost for healing power and Foresight gives a defense boost to everyone. Divine Fortune is an option if you find yourself DP starved.
This is my selection. You can move stuff around if you like but it works for me.
At 60, Targetting
The biggest challenge in any action-rpg is aiming. Wildstar is going to have the same problem. Neverwinter doesn’t have fixed targets, everything is soft lock or aimed on the ground. Soft-lock attacks, mostly the at-will skills, will require you to move to avoid hitting something else in front of it, due to line-of-sight. As most bosses are taller, you can always aim up too. Ground aiming is a bit tougher. For buffs, I aim the center of the buff slightly behind the tank, unless I have people attacking the rear of the boss, then I move it around 180 degrees. For damage attacks, I use the edge of the area on my primary target as hit boxes are pretty darn big. This means you hit the big bad guy + a couple minions. This takes a ton of practice to do while running around. The good news is, that if you’re aiming and hitting an at-will attack, the AE attack will auto-center on your target.
The other thing to worry about is threat. There’s no easy answer here, as threat is a weird beast in Neverwinter. You don’t want to land a huge heal at the start. You’ll never be able to keep everyone at 100%. In fact, the only person you should be directly healing is the tank, everyone else will be hit by AE effects or your at-wills. Knowing where to place AE heals so that you can stand close enough to heal but far enough to not get hit is through practice.
Lastly, running away is a valid tactic. As the game is heavily based on timers, a second or two of running away is likely going to save you. HoTs and AE heals will work while running away.
Your best bet is to run a few skirmishes to get a hold on how to triage healing and aim. Then when you have a solid feeling, move to dungeons. They are more complex due to walls and corners and bosses with tons of adds but you should have enough basics down to move forward. And don’t be afraid to take a lower level dungeon to practice.
The good news is that as we’re the only healing class, there’s a massive demand. Yay.