Mid-level Esper Healing in WildStar
Yes, I know I said I would stop writing about WildStar so much after the first few weeks of the launch but it’s all I wanna write about at the moment! Bear with me…
So as I mentioned last week I’ve done both of the level 20 dungeons, multiple times now. Even mentored down from level 25+ I get half a bar of XP from a run, and as a healer type I’m always happy to run lower level guildies through their first dungeon.
I’m glad I chose to level an Esper first because the healing style is extremely reminiscent of healers I’ve played in previous MMOs. This means that I’ve been able to pick up the basics of healing fairly quickly, leaving plenty of mental power to focus on telegraphs and general mobility and interrupts.
Wait, interrupts?! Usually the sole domain of DPS and tanks, at least in my experience, in WildStar thanks to interrupt armor there are plenty of fights where a healer will need an interrupt on their bar. You might be part of the planned rotation, or maybe just an “oh crap” backup, but if you’re engaging a boss that needs an interrupt at any point you should probably have one available.
Unlike Spellslingers and Medics, Espers have mostly targeted heals which makes them excellent at tank healing in particular. I’ve found that for the most part DPS can look after themselves — as long as they’re staying out of telegraphs the occasional group heal seems to keep everybody in good shape.
Which brings me to another general point: one of the neat things about WildStar’s talent system is that it’s incredibly easy to switch between “specs” or sets and equally as fast to switch out individual abilities within a set. The dungeons seem to have been designed with this in mind, so don’t be shy about taking a moment before a pull to make sure you’ve got the best tools for the job.
Okay, let’s look at the specifics:
R: The Esper innate is really useful but also quite situational. It grants absorb and interrupt armor, but more importantly you’ll get 5 Psi Points over 5 seconds. However, it also renders you immobile (except for dodge). This is obviously useful when you need the Psi Points RIGHT NOW for a big heal, but not when you also have to be on the run.
1: Bolster. This is a HoT that can stack two times on a target. Always keep it up on your tank! At level 26, double Bolster ticks for about +230 health every second, which really makes a difference in heavy damage fights. This is also the second-most important spell to give ability points to, in my opinion.
2: Mind Over Body. This is your bread and butter heal. It has a 1.5 second cast time and no mobility, but it grants a Psi Point. When in doubt, cast Mind Over Body! This is the most important spell for ability points, and the one I immediately buffed up to the “Tier Major Upgrade” level at level 25.
3: Reverie. An instant AoE healing spell with a fairly wide range. Your #1 group healing spell! Healing power is increased based on the number of Psi Points, so this pairs nicely with the innate skill. Also players must be in front of you and within line of site to be healed. Spell effect is pretty floating paper lamps!
4: Mending Banner. An instant single target healing spell. Healing power is based on the number of Psi Points, so again this is a good pair with your innate skill. Since it’s instant, this spell is good to have “banked” for tank top-ups during crazy movement phases. It also only costs Psi Points to cast, so using this regularly can help with Focus (aka mana) management.
5: Phantasmal Armor. Buffs absorb and interrupt armor on its target, making it a great cooldown for the tank when things get tense.
6: Something? I am trying out different spells here but haven’t found one that I really like yet. Soothe is a Psi Point-based mobile AoE heal, but it has an awkward mechanic and a short target range. Mirage has a gorgeous spell effect (columns of fish!) and will do a ton of healing, but it requires team mates to run through it and the 3 second cast time makes it prohibitive to use mid-battle.
7: Boss-specific button. Sometimes this will be Crush for the interrupt, sometimes Catharsis for the cleanse (argh, Darkwitches I hate you so much), and other times Psychic Frenzy if there is a pure DPS burn phase.
The above is what I’ve figured out so far. If you have a different way of healing or some suggestions about what I should put in that weird spot 6 on my bar, let me know!
P.S. Yesterday I recorded boss kills of the other level 20 dungeon, Stormtalon’s Lair: