Updated for Drop 6
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. In drop 6, focus management took a rather significant turn – spells cost about 3x more than before. This means that focus management became really important and also changed the value of healing skills in terms of cost/benefit.
It should be noted that the largest challenge for healers in Wildstar is paying attention. DPS need to focus on avoiding the red stuff, interrupting and then doing some damage with their skills. Tanks need to figure out what red stuff they can stand in, interrupt enemies and then gently poke the bad guys. Healers need to avoid the red stuff, stay in range of the moving DPS/Tanks, aim their healing skills at their party, and interrupt enemies. The days of Clique/Grid are gone in Wildstar.
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.
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. There’s a question of casting it at C2 or C3. I prefer C3 but your mana pool will dictate which is best. My personal go-to heal, in all situations. Of all abilities, this one should be maxed to T8 as it applies a HoT.
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. 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).
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.
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.
A stationary AE Heal over Time. Really low output that doesn’t scale very well and has a high focus cost. This changes at T8, due to the absorb and buffs. It’s likely to be your go-to heal for tanks. Very useful now.
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. The benefit is with the Guardian rune set, in that it continually applies a shield to affected members, for extremely low focus costs. Keeping 100% uptime is key to get the most out of it.
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.
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.
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.
- There are new stats in Drop 6
- Intensity – increases healing inputs by a percentage but also increases the focus cost. This second part actually makes it a poor stat choice.
- Focus Pool increases the total amount of focus you can have.
- Focus Recovery increases the percentage of focus you get per second.
- Stat priority is simple enough to start, get focus regen to ~20 per second. This depends on your focus pool and recovery stat, so some juggling may be required. You’ll get a feel for the size of the focus pool as you play. Raiding is around 1700 or so.
- From that point, it’s Multi-Hit > Critical Hit Chance > Critical Hit Severity > Intensity
- Not all skills require focus and those that do often have varying amounts required.
- You want to start your gearing with a fair chunk of Focus Recovery, try aiming for 20 FR/s
- It’s a good idea to have more recovery than increasing your focus pool to start. Once recovery is in a good spot, then gradually raise the pool to a 1:1 ratio
- 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 were redone in Drop 6
- I also suggest you read my post about how runes work
- You can only complete a run set in a single piece of gear (pants for example), so you’ll need high quality runes and at least 4 slots to complete a level 8 rune set
- You can use the same regular set in other pieces (better stat optimization), but not class sets
- Class sets require ilvl 100, which is raid quality gear. Then you’ll look for Hardened (ilvl 120) or Guardian (ilvl100)
- Regular sets should be either Cynosure or Resurgence. They also have ilvl requirements.
- Fusion runes are gear specific, can fit into any rune type slot, and provides an AMP-like effect:
- Weapon: Exuberance
- Gloves: Soothing Light
- Head: Heavenly Echoes
- Chest: Virtuous Circle
- Until you’re in full dungeon gear, it’s not advisable to spend more than 50g per regular/set rune, and 2p for Fusion runes.
- Class sets are on raid gear and you should know what’s going on by then.
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.
There is little pity for DPS in this game. They can die in 2 hits if they are not paying attention and should learn to interrupt when needed. Combat damage was changed somewhat in drop 6, with a bit less focus on the constant damage and more on telepgraphs, which mean damage is going to come in spikes. The focus should always be keeping yourself above 50%, the tank above 50% and then the rest as you see fit.
#I’ll keep this as up to date as I can…