Rip off that Bandaid

Having played a DoK at launch of WAR, it’s a career that I think about often. Even more so, the concept of lifetapping healers is something I think about a lot. I know I’m not alone, but when I heard about Warrior Priests and Disciple’s of Khaine, I was excited for the concept of a melee healer. It was an exciting and heady concept – being able to stay in a fight and heal your group. The best of both worlds, the thrill of combat and the fulfillment of playing a vital role. At launch, the careers were not so hot. It’s hard to remember since the two have been so powerful for so long (regen on off-hand item was the straw), but there was a time, when even healing spec for the two classes was less than optimal. In today’s game, melee healing isn’t a real viable path, but playing DPS and being a back-line healer is. Most I’ve talked with will admit they are TOO good at both, and have never really hit the vision we were presented with.

This stray from the original concept wasn’t intended obviously, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Instead, I think it was more a result of trying to do a really tough job from the start and please too many bases at once. When people started to realize that what was presented earlier wasn’t reality, players started to revert to traditional patterns of the healer role-fullfillment; sitting in the back, playing the green-bar version whak-a-mole. Beyond that, we saw the people who wanted to be in the combat and to stick with the careers, take that aspect as far as they can with that, and in some cases (DoKs moreso than WP), have become frightening killers in their own right. So, instead of hitting the middle ground of a melee healer, the result was a pair of extremes, neither of which was originally intended.

So, being the type to inexorably tinker and fiddle with things, my natural inclination is ponder on how to push the two extremes back to the middle. I think the first thing would be to completely decouple healing on life-taps from the damage they deal.

Let that sink in for a minute. The reasoning for this is there, but maybe not apparent at first.

The first, and biggest one, is that it creates a more consistent basis for results. So if a DoK is pounding on a Knight, the healing aspect is going to be just as significant as if he was cutting into an Archmage. So, the melee heals will behave like regular heals! It’s not as if a tank gets less health from a direct heal just by virtue of having heavier armor (though tactics like Malkewith’s Bulwark reduces healing receive by player choice). The first argument against this would be that melee healers would no longer have to worry about target selection. Which I completely dismiss as ignorance of game mechanics. The strike will still need to land still for the heal to fire off, with 1.4 and the heavy lean toward defense, and the fact that the pulled guard change will probably rear it’s head again in some form, Tanks will be blocking a LOT. Melee DPS characters tend to have pretty good parry, so you’re going to see the most bang for your buck from hitting light armored casters, so the target selection still holds a place of consideration. And none of that relates to the other abilities a melee healer has at their disposal like heal-debuffs, silences, snares, etc… and how those are better applied to different targets.

Secondly, it mean damage can be easily toned down and healing toned up, independent of the other. This makes tactics like Divine Fury truely a tactic that is there for those who want to fill in the role of DPS (aside: I’m not saying that DPS should be impossible for a melee healer, merely that it should be nowhere equivocal to a true DPS career), and not as a necessity for those who are trying to melee heal. Tactics like Grace of Sigmar/Empowered Transfer can still exist with just a minor tweak – the healing portion of each are increased by X%. The counter-argument for this aspect becomes “But what about stat should we focus on then?”. The answer would have to be another change in tandem with it: heal portion of melee heals gain contribution from strength. If this is possible to enact, this would be an elegant solution, as it wouldn’t shift the desired stat for current meleers, would ensure their strength stays relatively high to land blows consistently.

As I see it, the separation of heals from damage needs to be made. Anything else means that to do good healing you HAVE to do good damage, and combining the two never leads to a happy ending. Separation is the best option I see if these careers are ever going to be true healers who live in middle of the brawl.

About Shadow
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8 Responses to Rip off that Bandaid

  1. There needs to be more melee heals.

  2. Mr noone says:

    I’m having a bit of difficulty understanding the rationale of your proposed changes.
    My understanding is that you are trying to uncouple the DPS which a Dok does from the amount that they can heal.
    If this is correct, why should the melee HEALER still be reliant on a stat that causes them to do more DPS?
    If it’s simply a matter of parry/block strike-through, why not just make it so that melee heals work even IF the attack is blocked of parried?
    Second question: Other healers have life-taps too and they are reliant on blocks, disrupts resists and toughness mitigation rather than armour. Should their healing also be decoupled from their DPS too?

    What you propose sounds like a ‘buff’ and the only thing that you have suggested to off-set the buff is that, by decoupling the DPS and the healing proportion of the life-tap, Mythic would be able to ‘nerf’ the DPS. Instead of a life-tap ability doing ‘X’ damage with 800 strength, you’re suggesting that Mythic would reduce ‘X’ and reduce the overall damage that the life-tap does in return for more reliable healing.
    The ‘nerf’ to counterbalance the ‘buff’ is pretty unlikely. Too many ‘Male Witch Elves’exist for this ever to go down well.

    In my opinion, those that want to heal should be able to heal, those who want to DPS should be able to DPS and those who want to melee heal should be able to melee heal. However, they should be distinct from eachother.

    If a melee healer’s healing capacity is decoupled from his DPS potential (i.e. ignoring the damage done and working even if blocked or parried), then his DPS potential no longer matters. Why not make melee-heals reliant on Willpower rather than strength?

    The Male Witch Elves’ DPS would be unchanged (it may even be buffed) with strength.

    • shadowwar says:

      Before I get to the meat of your comment: yes I agree, all life taps should work this way, not just those for the melee healers.

      Onto the bulk:

      First, I want to point out your statement “…those who want to DPS should be able to DPS and those who want to melee heal should be able to melee heal.”

      I agree (somewhat). And I agree that they should all be distinct from each other. However, there is no reason for the melee healing path to not be a LESS viable form of healing. Afterall, it was the original design concept for the careers. The distinction comes about from it’s method of delivery.

      If you create the heal portion reliant on Willpower, then your forcing the career to focus on two stats, Will power for healing, Strength to land the hit. Unless you go along with your proposed change of making the heal work no matter what. While that is a combination that would techincally work as far as stat contribution is made, the problem arises of target selection for a melee healer: it would be a non-issue except for following the damage train. No matter who the healer attacked, their heal would still go off. Creating the entire thing based upon one stat will allow for similar itemization methods as the majority of other classes, without trivializing the need for target awareness.

      Essentially, it seems as if your entire stance hinges upon “The ‘nerf’ to counterbalance the ‘buff’ is pretty unlikely.” because of “too many ‘male witch elves’…”. Which is a presumption, possibly accurate, but I don’t believe it to be so, in particular because the argument of “It’s been this way too long” or “too many people would be displeased” has never really seemed to be the determiner for the decisions made by the designers. Nate Levy himself said they’d like to make melee healing more viable, and that it’s not where they want it to be. DPS healers may have to eventually swallow the bitter pill, that if they want to use those taps to heal, then they are going to have to accept a significant reduction in damage.

      • Mr Noone says:

        #If you create the heal portion reliant on Willpower, then your forcing the career to focus on two stats, Will power for healing, Strength to land the hit. Unless you go along with your proposed change of making the heal work no matter what.#

        Yes, tying healing to Willpower will only work if the life-tap works 100% of the time.

        I do not believe that the change will actually force the archtypes to focus on two stats to play their role properly. Under my proposed change if you want to stand back and heal; get Willpower. If you want to charge in and heal WELL; get Willpower. If you want to be MDPS; get strength.

        Under the current system, maximising the melee heals means maximising your DPS. I would compare it to a BW who is tougher to kill the more Intelligence and Magic Crit they get.

        Under proposed changes, those DoKs and WPs who want to DPS will still be able to do so. Their DPS may even be increased since it wouldn’t have any effect on their healing potential. However, if they focus on Strength rather than Willpower, they will won’t be very good healers.

        A “Male Witch Elf” is a Dok that focuses entirely on his own DPS (and MAYBE his tank’s surviability). They don’t care about their healing potential so long as they can keep themselves alive. (I just know someone’s going to mention the Vulture Lord, since it’s something that 99% of the player base has intimate acquaintence with…)

        A “Melee Healer” would be someone that is able to run into the front-lines, cast effective, instant heals to those around them 100% of the time on the move but do minimal damage themselves.

  3. Rikker says:

    Interesting thought.

    I’d definitely agree that they have potential to be too good at both (I saw an R33 DoK outheal an RR80 Zealot in full sov….Numbers in SC boards, so I know that’s not the most reliable, but still..), and the survivability of the medium armor class is a large chunk of that.

    I do like the “decouple” idea though. It would make for viable melee healing, and you could drop both levels in exchange for the survivability that the class brings to the table. Make him a “some damage, some healing, survivability” version of the squishier magic healers, as originally intended. Nice post.

  4. Mr. Meh says:

    I’m good with your changes. As since I won’t be playing my DoK/WPs anymore

    “hey guys. Can I be in your premade?”

    “Let me get this straight. You want is to guard you instead of the Slayer? ”

    “Ummmm yes. I heal through melée better now”

    “yeah bro. We gonna take the RP that can out heal you anyway. Also doesn’t need a guard.”

    Yeah. So up that melée heal an destroy that range heal. I’m all for their nerf in pvp. Make my RP more valuable. You create a super easy
    Mode dungeon class though.

    • Rikker says:

      I disagree. DoKs wouldn’t factor that much into the priority chain of guard. They have medium armor and can heal. And they don’t have a mechanic that hurts them, a’la a slayer/choppa.

      Any decent tank will be switching guard anyway, it’s not extremely relevant which one is getting the guard. Any group running a train has the advantage, as they only have 1 squishy to watch for/protect, and the two rezzers will never be close to each other. I think a viable melee healer can only help any group it is in.

      Keep in mind, I’m assuming 1 tank, 3 dps, 2 heal, so it would end up being 1 tank, 3.5 dps, 1.5 heal. With a Dok’s survivability, I think it would work pretty well.

  5. Xyris says:

    DPS healers, of all varieties, are currently OP. No class should be able to top DPS and still put out half again that number in healing. Seriously, if Mythic is going to keep supporting that, they should give DPS and tank classes the ability to out heal the healers.

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