Jan 10, 2012

Posted by in Halls Of Healing | 6 Comments

Halls Of Healing: Building A Healing Team – Part 1

Each week or thereabouts here at Ask A Jedi, we’ll meditate on the finer points of the healer’s role in Star Wars: The Old Republic. No matter where your allegiance lies, you’re sure to find guidance here in the Halls Of Healing!

Right now in that galaxy far far away, it’s a really interesting time to be recruiting. If you’re the healing team leader, depending on your guild’s situation it can both be a time of pleasure and a time of pain. What we know for sure is that the launch period is a unique situation during the lifecycle of an MMO, and as the leader of your healing team you need to adapt accordingly.

What am I talking about? For starters, the server communities are completely fresh. There aren’t many people who know each other yet and even the guilds that have been around for some time have to in some way adapt to new roles and new faces. There is also a large absence of max-level players, bigger than there ever will be in the game again. Another thing that there’s already been a lot of discussion about is the large amount of not-so-experienced MMO players – players that can be excellent, but are not used to the way online games work, both in terms of gameplay and socially.

While all of this makes a difficult environment to build a good healing team in it does create a great opportunity that can, if you seize it, make things a lot easier down the road.

Finding Your Healers

If you want to recruit effectively, which you should, before you do anything else think of what kind of player you’re looking for. This goes for any form of recruiting, not just for healers, but considering the heavy amount of communication, coordination and camaraderie that you usually see in healing teams, I’d say it’s especially important when recruiting healers.

You should also consider what it is you want. If you want to progress quickly, you should probably go overboard with recruiting and take in as many members as possible. If you can score some progression quickly, you’ll get free publicity from that alone. If you on the other hand aren’t interested in racing to the top of the progression charts,  you should try to focus more on a method I mention further down – involving your tanks.

Recreate Your Team’s Atmosphere

What kind of atmosphere do you have in your guild and healing team? You should ask yourself this question and it should affect the way you do your recruiting. Try to recreate that atmosphere when dealing with potential recruits out doing Flashpoints, Operations and Missions. Healers are group animals, and we want to know we fit in, especially those of us who know what it means to really be a healer. Show your potential recruits that this is something you have!

Incorporate Your Tanks

Right now. there aren’t any really good testing environments to test your potential healing recruits. There are very few people doing Operations and the few who are, most likely already have the setup that they need, or close to it. Most of your auditioning of potential recruits is going to be have to be done in Flashpoints. The problem here lies in that you can’t, or at least shouldn’t, have two healers in your group.

The solution? Involve your tanks in your recruiting. As the guild healing team leader, you can specialize into damage dealing for a while and go nuts with Flashpoints, but you’ll also be able to socialize directly with your future team members and test them in the process. From my experience, outside of doing half-pug half-guild-runs, this is where a lot of the best recruits come from.


Create New Healers

No, I’m not talking about creating a new healer like Frankenstein created his monster, I’m talking about introducing new players to the world of healing and educating them on the role. There is a massive amount of potential in this community, thousands of players who have never healed before that still have a lot of gaming experience. If you teach yourself to spot these players, you’ll achieve a power greater than any Je..err..recruiter.

Do you have any method or tips of your own that you’re using in your recruiting of your new healers? Share them in the comments!

In the next part of the article we’ll take a look at the more team-building methods of your healing team.

Reedyn is the chief nerf-herder over at Force Heal, the healing community for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Artwork is done by strawbeki.

  1. I’ve not done it in SWTOR, but back in That Other Game, I was the healer in training for a while, and the way it was done was indeed by dungeon mentorship. You shouldn’t have two healers in a group, sure, but even without being specced for healing an experienced healer with just the basic skills can be an excellent support pillar for someone new to have along, rather than a tank. If they are unsure about the hows and whys in a “real” situation, it is reassuring to know that the experienced person is there to catch what falls through the cracks, letting them both learn by doing, but not at the deteriment of progressing through the dungeon and having fun.

    • This is a good way of doing it as well! =)

      My preference with having a tank you know, especially if that person is on Voice Chat with your it’s very easy to control and create various situations to heal in and see how the healer adapts. The tank can pull some more and not use cooldowns etc, as well to test things like how quickly the person is to move into Line of Sight if the tank moves. These things are why I prefer to have a tank I know in the group =)

      • Both have their merits, and I think the difference is really in whether you are evaluating someone for their abilities (in which case using the tank to setup situations sounds like the means to use), or whether you have taken someone in and you are training them to do better, in which case I think having an experienced healer along to offer advice or tips would be preferable. Ideally you’ll have both of course.

        I gave up healing shortly after and became a tank, and while my days as a healer helped me understand how to make life a little easier for the healers, I very soon fell out of touch with what exactly they were doing back there. I imagine many tanks are in a similar position: there is too much to keep track of in their own world for them to also understand the healing side beyond “they make me not die, if I behave”. :)

  2. Lady Republic says:

    This is a fantastic article, and as a tank I can’t wait to try some of your advice in game. I’ve always been mystified by healing – and also a little terrified of it ;) – but it’s perhaps the least appreciated and most vital role on a team.

    I know in our guild, we haven’t really had role leads, but it’s worth thinking about. Hmm…Maybe an idea for a future article, the merits of having healing role leads?

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