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How to improve as a healer?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Roles
How to improve as a healer?

Kacynski's Avatar


Kacynski
02.04.2015 , 07:20 AM | #1
Hi there,

as said in a few other posts, I mostly play tanks but as it is right now in my raid group it looks I will need to heal most of the time. I'm not very new to healing but I was never a main healer before, so I'm certainly not that experienced.

What I'm wondering now is, what are the things I should focus on to improve myself? As a DPS I would exercise at the dummy until my rotation is good, but I think as a healer that's the wrong approach. Also looking at the parses seems not to be too valuable, becasue what kind of HPS and eHPS someone is pulling in a given fight also strongly depends on what amount of healing is needed (because of avoidable damage being avoided or not e.g.).

So, what are the things I could look at after a raid night to figure out my weak points as a healer? I'm not talking so much about wipes, more about fights that have been successful. But did we succeed because of the good healing or in spite of the bad healing? That's kinda the thing I want to figure out - where my healing was bad, but my co - healer or someone else pulled us through.

I know from my tanking experience, that I kind of can feel is someone who is a good healer. A good healer will never let you get this sense of "dread" that you get when you see your hitpoints trickle away leading to a certain death from a big hit. In the hands of a good healer a tank feels comfortable, but how to get to this level? I know, experience, experience and some more experience will do the trick, but I am looking for specific things that can act as a guideline for improvement.

oturak's Avatar


oturak
02.04.2015 , 08:37 AM | #2
Hi,

The quickest way to have a good headstart is to do some PVP with your healer. It will teach you mobility, a good grasp at prioritization and multitasking, and a good idea of how you can burst heal and manage your resources in emergency situations. I've seen many decent PVE only healers who became utterly useless whenever the situation took an unexpected turn (such as getting aggroed by an add, or everyone in the raid are suddenly low on HP).

You don't have to remember a set rotation, but you need to know how to manage your "normal" cycle and how to burst heal.

Concerning your issues :

Compare your ehps with your cohealer (taking into amount the bubbling). If there's a big difference, something is probably wrong. Use Parsec or Starparse to see how your healing was distributed amongst raid members.

Work with your gut feeling :

Were you comfortable healing, or were you struggling with keeping up or resource ?

Are you able to get good numbers when the raid needs to be mobile or very spread out ?

Are you able to anticipate mechanics and precast heals when big hits are coming or are you purely reactive ?

Do you (or your group) need to overgear significantly the content to clear it or no ?

The difficulty as a healer is that all these issues could either be your fault, or your group's fault if they're doing wrong and taking unnecessary damage. Sometimes having a scale to compare to (like getting in a ops with another experienced healer) is necessary.

Nateous's Avatar


Nateous
02.04.2015 , 02:23 PM | #3
This is a really good question, how to determine the effectiveness of a healer?

In my guild, I am a jack of all trades, master of few. In progression, I am relagated to healing temporarily.

While I am considered a decent /above average healer, some of my co healers are not.

I would like to help them do better, but not necessarily sure how to go about it. Aside from raw output and effective percentages, how do I approproiately messure myself And thus others? Could it be thaat my reaction times are just higher and therefore their numbers suffer because of it?

Oxidsed's Avatar


Oxidsed
02.04.2015 , 05:10 PM | #4
Having played tank and healer, I think some of the best feedback you can get as a healer, is to ask the tank how he thought the heals went. Not much point in asking DPS, as most of them don't even notice when their HP bars drop, they just get to the end of the fight and are like, "I'm still alive, marvellous..."

I think the most important thing a good healer does is to communicate - a lot! Talk with ur co-healer, agree if you are going to do MT/raid healing roles, or look after your own group, or just both watch the whole raid. Call out if your resource is low, or someone is out of range. Talk to the tanks, work out when to rely on tank CD's and when to use yours. Knowing the fights is key, knowing when to line up big heals, and when you have time to refresh HOTs. Healing really starts to shine when you can look at what is happening in the raid and become intuitive in your response - do you throw a big AoE, do you tunnel the tank, do you throw a few short casts cos you know you will have to get mobile in 5sec and want to save your instants.

Best advice I ever got was to look up! You need to see what is going on in the raid, not just stare down those raid frames. Also, I use the focus target a lot, either for the boss, so I can see when he starts to cast a big mechanic type moves, or the tank if I need to keep track of him for a tank swap, or a cleanse or something. Changes each fight. Keybind your set focus to something quick and easy.

While rotations are less important as healer, you need to understand a good burst sequence that doesn't kill your resources completely, (or if ur are able to use something like vent heat), and nice steady state efficient mode where you can sit there and heal all day.

and lastly, I really mean last, if not much is going on, know how to dump some dps if things are quiet. I played merc, and would keep up net on the boss, and if I had time, DFA and unload were close at hand. Just be careful though, someone dying while you are dpsing is VERY bad if you are a healer.
The Mėtal Legacy - The Harbringer
Oxidised - Mercenary; Moltėn - Assassin

JouerTue's Avatar


JouerTue
02.04.2015 , 06:32 PM | #5
if you are not doing it already i suggest you to use keybinds(like i recommend in any case) for skills and click on the ops frame to. adjust your interface to see clearly the debuffs.

best advice i agree with, is going pvp, you won't be hit by any circle on the ground and any add is a fleshraider compared with a couple of maras. healing is a walk in the park if everything is going as intended and a nightmare when the **** hits the fan, or if people act dumb( or bad pugs) and that's where you want to do the difference.
ask for feedback from your tanks and your co-healer since it's another good way to track your performance.

try to do some dps since that's another thing where a good healer can distinguish himself, and learn the fights so you can someway pro-act instead of react.
The Red Eclipse
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The Harbringer- Republic: hobogo; Empire: qarrarr

Kacynski's Avatar


Kacynski
02.05.2015 , 12:26 AM | #6
thanks for all the advise, it is heighly appreciated. I think doing some pvp might be a good idea. But also the other advise is sound.

DZechman's Avatar


DZechman
02.05.2015 , 07:44 AM | #7
A couple of tips that I haven't seen listed here yet (everything listed so far is spot-on):

Learn the fights, and the flow of each battle. Knowing what is about to happen allows you to deal with it when it happens AND be ready to deal with it before it happens.

Learn to play each type of healer class and each type of tank class. I'm not suggesting that you need to become an expert, but just enough to give you some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your co-healer and of each of the 3 types of tanks. Also, experiencing the tanking first-hand will go a long way helping you to learn the fights and be able to anticipate what the tanks will do.

This is going to sound a bit convoluted, but bear with me. I keybind my 'F' key to "Select Target of Focus Target". WTH is that about? In fights with tank-swaps and heavy boss damage (Dread Palace had a lot of this), you can Focus-target the boss. Then you can periodically hit 'F' --especially at times when there might be a tank-swap. If there isn't, nothing happens. If there is, BOOM, you've just auto-switched to the tank that now has aggro and you don't have to wait until you hear them call it out or see the "other" tank start to take heavy damage to realize it.

Oxidsed's Avatar


Oxidsed
02.05.2015 , 05:11 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by DZechman View Post
This is going to sound a bit convoluted, but bear with me. I keybind my 'F' key to "Select Target of Focus Target". WTH is that about? In fights with tank-swaps and heavy boss damage (Dread Palace had a lot of this), you can Focus-target the boss. Then you can periodically hit 'F' --especially at times when there might be a tank-swap. If there isn't, nothing happens. If there is, BOOM, you've just auto-switched to the tank that now has aggro and you don't have to wait until you hear them call it out or see the "other" tank start to take heavy damage to realize it.
Ah yes, great reminder, I used to do that on my healer a lot, but have found I do it less so now that I tank more. Very handy trick though, especially on that tank swap on those pesky walkers
The Mėtal Legacy - The Harbringer
Oxidised - Mercenary; Moltėn - Assassin

Orderken's Avatar


Orderken
02.06.2015 , 01:21 AM | #9
1. Know your class well. For an in-depth guide, follow the link in my signature that's for your healer's class.

2. For most fights, spike damage occurs at predictable moments. Learn these. Ensure that the abilities that you'll need, including any with a long cooldown, are available. Pre-cast if you can.

3. You and your co-healer are a team. For each fight that is challenging to heal, discuss priorities for healing and for handling certain mechanics, such as cleanses.
Orderken, <Hates You>, Prophecy of the Five

Guides and Model for Healing
Sorcerer / Sage / Mercenary / Commando / Operative / Scoundrel

Kacynski's Avatar


Kacynski
02.06.2015 , 02:08 AM | #10
Thanks again @all and special thanks for Orderken for the guides. These were my first source to got to anyway, when I started healing
I think I already have a good idea about the fights as I used to tank before in my raidgroup, so fight mechanics and what to do in an OP in general I think are not a problem. And with these tips and advise, I think it just basically comes done to getting more experience.

Do you guys also analyze logfiles after a raidnight? If yes, what are you concentrating on?