Massively goes to WAR: An overview of Healing careers for Destruction

Kyle Horner
K. Horner|08.20.08

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Massively goes to WAR: An overview of Healing careers for Destruction

If you're a planning on being a Destruction player in Warhammer Online and want to focus on healing, consider yourself covered. For starters, don't worry about being a heal-bot, this game probably has some of the most damage capable healers in an MMO that we've seen to date. That's not to say a healer can out-damage a DPS class, instead they're simply deft at dealing with combat on their own terms. For example: whether you enjoy keeping some distance from combat while supporting allies or prefer to get down and dirty, your needs will be met. It's indeed a diverse healing world in Warhammer Online and we've got it all mapped out for you.

All classes in Warhammer Online use Action Points. Most abilities drain action points when used, but each class also has a special mechanic that allows them to do their own special thing.

Goblin Shaman

The closest thing you'll find to a traditional healer on the Destruction side of Warhammer Online is the Goblin Shaman. Gork and Mork are more or less the Greenskin gods, but the greenies arent sure which one they want to worship. So, to be safe, they worship one and then the other in an endless loop. This is the Shaman healing mechanic at its core. Whenever you cast a damage spell, your healing spells will gain a temporary boost. What this boost actually does is dependent on the healing spell itself. If you have five levels of Gorkiness built up -- that's the maximum amount -- your next direct-heal spell casts instantly instead of over, say, six seconds. Likewise, your next heal over time (HoT) will tick higher heals each second. On the flipside of the coin, healing repeatedly means you can expect to see damage spells casting faster or doling out more damage over time. It's a way to tempt healers to mix things up a bit, plus it allows someone who might've gone for an all-out ranged-DPS to consider a damage-type Shaman so they can heal a little on the side, too.

Shamans spit and -- literally -- fart copious amounts of green graphical effects. In fact, just about everything they do is green, except for how their enemies look after they've made 'em good an' dead. The spells and animations are both well done and highly entertaining at later levels, especially when you learn the art of farting magic.

The Gork and Mork mechanic is displayed via a user interface graphic of two Greenskin symbols above your hotbar. They'll open their mouths and show you the current tally of how much Gork (or Mork!) you've built up. This also allows a player to easily see how much Gorkiness or Morkiness they've got stored up without the need to take their eyes off of combat.

Shaman Mastery paths

You gain Mastery points as you level, starting at rank 11 and going up to rank 40. Mastery paths contain abilities, morale and tactics that will play off of your chosen path. Each path contains three tactics, three abilities and one morale ability. Also, as you add points into any Mastery, it will increase the power of specific abilities associated with that Mastery's specialty.

  • Path of Mork
    Healing and restorative powers are the focus of this path
  • Path of Gork
    Prefer to destroy your enemies first and get to the healing later? Choose this path!
  • Path of Da Green
    Can't decide if you like Mork or Gork? Then go green! Buffing and debuffing are your spells of choice here.

Chaos Zealot

Hunched over, holding a twisted dagger in one hand and an ominously grisly skull (or another life-deprived object) in their other, Zealots are a unique sight in any MMO. In Warhammer Online, they represent a figure that can swing the tide of battle in their favor. Visually speaking, they call down deathly crows and cast forth lunging ethereal tentacles to afflict their foes with all sorts of nasty harm. That's just in the first five or so levels, too.

Quite possibly the most advanced of all three healers (although the Disciple of Khaine is a close second) the Zealot really shines at buffing and debuffing enemies. That's not to say a Zealot can't focus on healing or damage, but many of your buff-type spells also heal and many damaging spells also debuff. It's essentially built into the class.

No matter what you focus on -- healing, damage or buffs/debuffs -- you'll want to make use of your Marks of Tzeentch. These Chaos-powered brandings can work both for your allies' benefit and against your enemies'. What makes a Mark of Tzeentch special is that when you buff an ally, they actually gain an extra damaging or healing ability from your Mark. One of the best Marks of Tzeentch increases the Toughness of its bearer -- which improve their defense -- and also allows said bearer to revive themselves while the Mark remains active. Tanks are going to absolutely love Zealots for that one.

Another ability that should see a lot of use at the higher levels a lot are Dark Rituals. These area of effect buffs are nice to stack on top of other buffs and offer up healing, protective and Action Point regenerative effects. So, a skillful Zealot really can turn the tide of battle in his allies' favor. Now if only they had an emote that let them flow up in the air all god-like. Hmm.

Zealot Mastery paths
(see Shaman Mastery)

  • Path of Alchemy
    The primary healing mastery.
  • Path of Ritual
    Focuses on buffs and debuffs.
  • Path of Witchcraft
    Focused on enhancing your damage dealing capabilities.

Dark Elf Disciple of Khaine

So you want to wade waist-deep into battle while also supporting your allies through healing and buffs? Say hello to the class for you. Disciples are clad in spiky bondage gear and carry either two large Ritual Blades or just one blade and a malicious looking chalice/scepter into battle. Calling these guys unbalanced, bloodthirsty maniacs would be an understatement.

Mechanically, Disciple's of Khaine operate on something called Soul Essence (SE). As you attack your enemies you build up your SE, which caps out at 250. A chalice sits on top of your hotbar and fills up with blood to indicate your total SE. Oh and there's a number above it, for those of you who demand precision.

As a Disciple of Khaine you really have to stay on the frontlines to be effective. Unlike the Shaman or Zealot, this class is designed to be capable in a melee fight and can give and receive damage while supporting allies. Every attack ability you use will come with either a healing, buffing or debuffing effect and also build up that ever-important SE. One such higher level attack will remove one Enchantment from your target and only has a ten second cool-down to boot.

Disciples can fight for a while and then pull back to cast some supportive spells, or keep in the thick of things and alternate between damaging and healing as they like. Then again, they can forgo healing altogether and deal out quiet a bit of damaging attacks that also reduce a target's effectiveness in battle. This type of Disciple coupled with a tank or two can be incredibly potent. It's almost like peanut butter and chocolate.

Meet the Disciple of Khaine
Abilities learned during levels 1-5
Meet the Disciple of Khaine 6-10
Abilities learned during levels 6-10
Meet the Disciple of Khaine 11-15
Abilities learned during levels 11-15

Disciple of Khaine Mastery paths
(see Shaman Mastery)

  • Path of Dark Rites
    Focused on healing and restorative powers.
  • Path of Torture
    Focused on melee combat.
  • Path of Sacrifice
    Focused on siphoning power from your enemies.
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