I finally broke down and went back to my MMO comfort zone this weekend. One of my guildies was awesome enough to supply me with a set of insight gear, so I tried my hand at healing dungeons in WildStar.
It took me a while during beta to really get a feel for WildStar’s combat system. We ran adventures and dungeons and poor Gracie would usually have the most deaths every time. I eventually got the hang of moving all the time and dodging telegraphs and the sweet, beautiful chaos of the game. Or so I thought.
Now I’ve healed in multiple other MMOs. With some perseverance and various groups of talented people I’ve cleared some of the most difficult raids and challenges available there. It didn’t really prepare me for healing in WildStar though. Of course, raider reflexes for getting out of “the bad” are always useful, but healing in this game is such a different beast from any other MMO I have played.
I am glad that I ran things as DPS for a while first because the healing feels much more similar to the way I play DPS in this game than to healing in other games. All those years of staring at rows of boxes with green bars? Throw them out the window. Healing was the same game of dodging bad telegraphs while lining up good ones that everyone else in the group got to play. I didn’t feel disconnected and bored at any point. The only thing that felt awkward at all was the occasional time that I had to actually click on someone to use my one-and-only single-target heal. I was too busy running around and shooting (with healing love) to stare at a UI element.
So I think this may have spoiled me on going back to healing in other games. This is the first time healing felt like I was playing THE SAME GAME AS EVERYONE ELSE instead of a weird micromanaging whack-a-mole minigame. Bravo, Carbine!