By this point, I have played many healers in many MMOs. Each game has tried to put its own twist on healing, from Tera’s position-dependent spells to RIFT’s crazy multiple soul configurations. But no matter what game I was playing and what kind of healer I was, I always missed one thing: the WoW priest spell Prayer of Mending.
On a visceral level, the spell just feels good. It shoots out from your hands to the target like some kind of starry healing bullet, and their character animation buckles slightly when it hits. Doing this also makes a great, solid sound that you can clearly hear even in the middle of combat. (If you’re totally unfamiliar with PoM, here’s a very quick video demonstration.)
I would definitely count it as one of the most fun spells to use simply for cosmetic reasons, but it also is useful in ways that other games don’t seem to have. The key is that you can apply it before the target takes damage, and it will hang out for 30 seconds waiting to heal something. Once it does, PoM shoots over to another party/raid member, and sits there for 30 seconds or until they take damage. Repeat 3 more times.
This gives PoM two distinct advantages that most other healing spells don’t have. First, you can just release it into the wild, as it were, upon cooldown and rest assured that even if you are doing something else your heals are still out there to a degree. Second, pre-healing. Other games have shields (although they’re still relatively uncommon, in my experience) but the benefits from having a heal already sitting on the tank the very first second they takes damage cannot be over-stated. Often that first pull is totally chaotic enough as it is, and having an extra second to start casting a big heal is very useful.
I’m a little ish on smart heals in general — if nothing else they reduce my ability to grudge-heal puggies, dammit — but no matter what MMO I’m playing my PoM finger is always itchy.
Sorry I’ve been talking about WoW so much lately. (Hi, Corr.) Well, not THAT sorry. Some non-WoW specific things:
I met the super nice folks behind Escape Goat at PAX, and they kindly sent me an alpha version of Escape Goat 2 to try. I made a video of the first 8 levels or so, seen below. If you like puzzles and/or goats who are accused of witchcraft, I highly recommend putting this on your future shopping list!