Jul 10, 2010

Posted by in Diplomatically Immune: Jedi Consular | 3 Comments

Healing in a Group – Multiplayer Video Analysis

It’s time to continue our series of analysis articles on the group combat video from E3 that was released as part of last Friday’s update. Earlier this week, we talked about resource pools, and this time around our very own Katherinne takes the reigns to offer some observations of the Jedi Consular.

She brings with her a large swath of MMO experience, ranging from EverQuest to Dark Age of Camelot to World of Warcraft, and many others in-between. She prefers to play the healer role and that makes her uniquely qualified to take a look at the Jedi Consular from afar…

With the release of the E3 multiplayer combat video, we finally have a look and what it means to be healer on the Republic side of the war in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Say hello to the Jedi Consular!

In initial observations, I am not seeing that the Consular can heal on the move;  all of the heals that were performed were done while the character was standing still. At this low level,  there looks to be just one heal available to her. She does not seem to have resource problems, as her Force bar seems to refill quickly after the heal is completed. But again, this is a level eight fight so hopefully regeneration will scale and her resources will be able to keep up with her heals at higher levels.

It was surprising to see the amount of time she spends doing damage, which is not the usual experience for a dedicated healer.  During the fight, I was able to watch her target switching, and several times she switched to target an enemy NPC  to make use of a damage dealing or crowd control ability.

When the fight begins, she stuns one of the two Imperial Troopers on the left, with what looks like a Force slam, as the Jedi Knight takes on the one to the right.  Her Force slam seems to temporarily disable him, while an ability that looks like Force push does some amount of damage to the other. Something interesting though, at the point where the Jedi Knight runs over to engage the remaining Imperial Trooper on the left, the original Imperial Trooper recovers and there seems to be some sort of lag or hitching as he suddenly appears in front of the Jedi Knight, shooting at the Consular.  She heals the Smuggler at that point.  This seems to indicate that she retains aggro from the Imperial Trooper, as you might expect.

She then targets the Imperial Breach Droid and manages to get off several saber hits on him, and even deflects a blaster bolt or two from enemy fire. During this time she doesn’t appear to be healing at all.  The next heal I see is when the Imperial Breach Droid finally jumps to the Trooper. So halfway through the fight, she’s only performed two heals.

Soon, a wave of Repair Droids enter in an effort to reach the Imperial Breach Droid to repair him and restore his health. She manages to get the attention of one of the Repair Droids, which she proceeds to kill in one shot.  At this point in the fight, she definitely starts focusing more on healing than damage. She heals the Jedi Knight who has taken on the powerful Security Guard on the left (the one with the Vibroblade!) The she proceeds to heal the Trooper as the Imperial Breach Droid slams into him.  Another interesting thing is that when at one point the Breach Droid slams into the Trooper, she is standing nearby and the damage he deals does not appear to affect her. There is an area of affect (AoE) effect, but it seems to be cosmetic.

From here on, she alternates healing mostly between the Jedi Knight who is taking a lot of damage from his powerful foe, and the Trooper who has his hands full with the Imperial Breach Droid. And it looks like she gets the killing blow. (Editor’s Note: Kill stealing by healers will not be tolerated! ;) )

The heal that she performed during this fight appeared to heal for approximately half of the friendly player’s health.

The UI as shown seems to give you needed info in a scrolling text fashion. I saw the warnings “Out of Range”, “No Target Selected” and “Need More Force”. The lightsaber seems to do a fair amount of damage though I wish we could have seen more information about how much. Some of the scrolling combat text indicated white damage of about 40-50.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully the fact that she was able to do at least as much damage as healing means that BioWare is sticking to their promises about having a “loose trinity” model, where companions may actually be able to come in and assist with certain roles. The Trooper’s health only became critical twice from what I can tell, which she was able to easily keep up with.

Was there anything we missed? Any other long-time MMO healers have some thoughts to share? We’d love to hear them!

  1. cdstephens says:

    This is my personal opinion, but I was never fond of a ranged Jedi to begin with. I’m still waiting on this “twist” to healing they’ve mentioned before. I really hope healing in TOR doesn’t become spam healing or anything of that sort.

  2. Katherinne says:

    I’m with you, I’d love to actually experience a whole fight rather than have my attention constantly on health bars.

  3. Impressive. I actually enjoyed the Jedi Consular and really felt that the player did a good job of healing when needed, but also doing a lot of work. It wasn’t just a spam healer, but instead, it was an actual asset. Nicely written, Katherinne.

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