confessions of a once-reluctant healer

Typically, I do not like healing in MMOs.

I know people who love it. Who always roll healers. Who install all the mods. It’s not even that I resent it on some stereotype level — girls always healing or something — it’s that I’m not good enough at it for it to be fun. Watching health bars go up and down all day? Blech.

But after re-speccing as a destro/restro staff templar in light armor, devoting that resto staff to emergency healing was pretty much required. And I have to say…it’s pretty fun.

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Mainly due to that key word: emergency. When you heal in pvp in Cyrodiil, you aren’t grimly trying to keep your quota within a target range specified by your tight-lipped guild leader. (As opposed to, say, hours-long raids in vanilla WoW’s Molten Core — still my #1 example of a bad time.) You are necessary. Your pals are turning toes up to the daisies right and left, and if they go down, you’re next. So you are spamming those heals every which way, and you don’t even need to stare at health bars to appreciate your success — if you’re still alive and walking it’s because they are, too. Hooray!

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It helps, to no small degree, that instead of limiting your healing to a group you are in, the game allows you you affect people on your side in the general area. Gone are the days when your options were either no progress or having to put up with Teamspeak chat nonsense like “Let’s go rape those cunts on the wall.” (* Actual in-game TS quote. Burn in hell, relevant guild. For the Covenant! I switched to DC just to fight those asshats.) Now you can skip all that, remain a lone agent, and still get exp and help. Of course you should follow the basic rules of courteous pugmanship — if they’re stealthed, gtfo; they’re doing some plan that you can’t and shouldn’t hear about so don’t mess it up for them, and don’t lead enemies into their midst hoping they’ll save you either — but still. You don’t have to be in a group.

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Which means that yes, your no-name ass barreling over the crest of a hill, spamming Restoring Aura left and right, is appreciated. People rez you. No one ever rezzes me as DPS! But you see a dead healer,  you rez her. Because you’re probably going to want her around. It’s great.

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And it’s not like you have maintain some chilly distance from the action, either. Got a group setting up a battering ram? You’d better be squatting in there under the eaves with them, or else the flaming oil is going to torch them all before the doors even budge. Charging up the stairs in a heavily-guarded tower? Yeah, you’re not going to get a line of sight on people in those tight spaces — it’s leg day for you. Up the stairs you go!

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On a very basic visual level, too, filling the screen with golden glow and sparkles just feels better. More Sailor Moon, less Mortal Kombat. (Is it an accident that I keep ending up with khajiit-style staffs, which always end in moon-shapes? Neoooope. Moon Healing Escalation is go, people!)

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Also: attainable goals. Look at all those trebuchets. That is a shit ton of trebuchets. That is not going to be a good morning. But if you’re healing, you don’t have to worry about not being able to wreak havoc on those A-list pvp guild nightblades down there. All you have to worry about is keeping your people up on the wall — you know, the cunts they plan on raping — alive. And when they do survive to stick it to the bastards trying to tear down your castle, well.

It feels good.

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