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Finally got to heal some Ops.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Finally got to heal some Ops.

Inune's Avatar


Inune
01.24.2012 , 11:37 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by Tyrborn View Post
I applaud most of what you've written in this post as it's well-reasoned and well-written. Having been a healer from way back in EQ (beta'd as a cleric, played as a 2 boxed cleric/enchanter, man am I old), I'd only point out that you can differentiate bad healers from good ones no matter what the tools are and that the tools dictate how the content is designed. I'd prefer not to see it get to the point of WoW where you basically couldn't do your job as a healer without certain add-ons, which is where most of the whining would come from I think.
I agree that you can differentiate bad from good regardless of the toolbox each player is given. Hell, even if the toolbox was a single button that you just spammed repeatedly, there would probably still be nuances that good players would figure out and bad players wouldn't.

That said, I do think that the more well designed the toolbox you give healers, the higher you can push the skill ceiling. The higher you can push the skill ceiling, the more you can allow the truly talented to display their abilities and the more you can meet them at their skill level with the challenges you give them. There aren't just "good" and "bad" healers. There are world first healers. There are regional top 100 healers. There are average-heroic-raid-guild healers. There are healers that don't see heroic modes, but dominate normals. You get the idea.

I think the notion that WoW eventually got to the state of "required" addons demonstrates this rather eloquently, honestly. Vanilla WoW healing was about on par to what we have now in TOR (perhaps with less interesting individual class mechanics), and not too much of a step above CH chains and battle rez zerging in terms of its complexity. However, the player base itself (aided by the fact that Blizzard allowed customization in the form of macros and addons) pushed the skill ceiling higher of its own accord and Blizzard allowed this instead of stymieing it. So, the good players figured out macros and created addons, among other things like establishing an impressive knowledge base of game information on the internet, to help them capitalize on their latent abilities, play more efficiently, etc; the developers created challenges to match the higher skill ceiling; and eventually through a long process and multiple expansions we go from a Ragnaros fight with, by best recall, 3-4 unique mechanics (melee knockback, caster knockback, adds, possibly something I'm forgetting) to a Ragnaros fight that has somewhere around 20. The players were the ones who drove the game in that direction by raising the skill ceiling of the game.

Now, I almost share the queasiness over mandatory third party addons, but I think if things get to that point, it demonstrates something about the current state of the game. Mandatory third party addons indicate that players have figured out a boost to efficiency so profound that one of two things is happening:

Sometimes an addon or macro is just clearly overstepping its bounds - mostly when an addon begins to flat out making decisions for the player (recall the AVR fiasco at the end of Wrath of the Lich King). This is a significant issue because it raises the skill floor . I.e. in addition to allowing talented players more opportunity to excel, it literally plays the game for bad players and prevents them from failing. As much as trolls bemoan things like macros, addons like WoW's Grid, mouseovers, etc. they most assuredly do not fall into this category because they don't make decisions for the player. Addons like AVR start to tread in the territory of making decisions for the player and I agree with shutting them down.

Other times, I think that it simply demonstrates how limiting, or possibly incomplete, the fundamentals built into the game are. In this case, whatever tool we're talking about isn't raising the skill floor and literally preventing failure, but is an undeniable boost to efficiency for those who know how to use it. If anything, I think the onus here is on the developer to then create a first-party version of it.

For that second category, essentially, it's not the addon's fault it's mandatory; it's more the developers' fault for not including it in the first place.





Side note, I know I'm laying a lot of this at the feet of what is probably an already overstressed development team, but this is the kind of stuff that just has to be taken care of if you're going to compete with a behemoth like WoW and believe me when I say that I want TOR to be able to compete with a behemoth like WoW.





.....But seriously. "Grapple" on those trash mobs in Eternity Vault. What the ****, man?

Zellandine's Avatar


Zellandine
01.25.2012 , 02:48 AM | #12
Two things. I don't disagree with a majority of your post, but two things really got to me. First of all, you do not need mouseover healing to be good. If you're really that desperate to have mouseover healer to function, you need better reflexes. It's that simple. It shouldn't take you but a split second to target someone, and it shouldn't be the difference between life and death.

That said, people need to understand that this is not WoW. SWtoR does not use the same engine, it's not even on the same playing field. Their graphics engine is a great deal more powerful, and more draining on older computer systems. WoW, even when it was newly released, had been coded to be kinder on older machines. That was what made it more accessible. In short, if you're experiencing such horrendous lag, turn your graphics down or invest in a new card/machine.

Overall, a good post. The UI is a little... behind the times, and though it's primitive and lacking a few nice components, it will not make or break a good healer. Work with what you have, it's what good healers have always done. WoW didn't always have such a nice, clean UI, or an excessive number of addons to choose from, and yet, vanilla healers did just fine, tackling some of the hardest content in the game without the hand holding of addons that made things easier.

Over time, things will get better, things will get easier. For now, use what you have and understand the game developers are still learning what works and what doesn't.

Arabelle's Avatar


Arabelle
01.25.2012 , 07:53 AM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Zellandine View Post
Two things. I don't disagree with a majority of your post, but two things really got to me. First of all, you do not need mouseover healing to be good. If you're really that desperate to have mouseover healer to function, you need better reflexes. It's that simple. It shouldn't take you but a split second to target someone, and it shouldn't be the difference between life and death.
The problem with the lack of mouseover/click-casting healing is not that you need it in order to be "good".

The problem is that you want healing to be fun and accessible to maintain a healthy population of healers. We're not just talking about ops here; from the moment you pick up an advanced class at level 10, you want people who are interested in healing to find the activity enjoyable and fun. You don't want them to get bored, frustrated, and burned out.

Lack of mouseover/click-casting healing in particular contributes to the "all I see is health bars" syndrome, which is further exacerbated by the lack of target of target information, tiny debuff icons, etc. But mouseover/click-casting is probably the biggest thing. Most importantly, it allows you keep a mob targeted while casting heals; interact with it, see who it targets (assuming you have target-of-target information), see what abilities it casts, and so forth. In short, any form of healing that does not require you to actively target your group members allows you more interaction with the game world on top of interaction with the party/op frames. That's a significant QoL issue.

Morthis's Avatar


Morthis
01.25.2012 , 11:24 AM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Zellandine View Post
Two things. I don't disagree with a majority of your post, but two things really got to me. First of all, you do not need mouseover healing to be good. If you're really that desperate to have mouseover healer to function, you need better reflexes. It's that simple. It shouldn't take you but a split second to target someone, and it shouldn't be the difference between life and death.
I've never used mouse over healing, but I know most healers do, and many MMO's these days allow you to do it. I think this is simply a habbit they would like to take into SWTOR because it is a good concept, and they are disappointed it doesn't work here. If you've been used to MO healing for years, I could easily see mistakes happen when things get really crazy because you attempted to MO heal instead of targeting.

Quote:
That said, people need to understand that this is not WoW. SWtoR does not use the same engine, it's not even on the same playing field. Their graphics engine is a great deal more powerful, and more draining on older computer systems. WoW, even when it was newly released, had been coded to be kinder on older machines. That was what made it more accessible. In short, if you're experiencing such horrendous lag, turn your graphics down or invest in a new card/machine.
For things like stuttering you might have a point, but my heal that's a 2 second cast taking 4 seconds because when the cast bar is finished I stand there for an extra 2 seconds doing nothing? No that's not my computer.

Quote:
Overall, a good post. The UI is a little... behind the times, and though it's primitive and lacking a few nice components, it will not make or break a good healer. Work with what you have, it's what good healers have always done. WoW didn't always have such a nice, clean UI, or an excessive number of addons to choose from, and yet, vanilla healers did just fine, tackling some of the hardest content in the game without the hand holding of addons that made things easier.
Some of the hardest content at the start of vanilla was extremely trivial by "modern raiding standards". Healing was still done in rotations, most healers were 1 button wonders (like priest flash heal), boss mechanics were extremely simple. By the time genuine harder fights came around (like C'thun or Naxx) we also had much better tools available to us already, and healers had been improved to have a little more depth at least.

In SWTOR, they skipped ahead with some of this, without giving us the tools for it. Healers already have proc based mechanics and buffs to track (double KB for example), but the UI is completely horrid for actually managing these things. Tracking procs is staring at tiny buff icons between a sea of useless ones, and tracking KB means targeting people and then looking for the KB buff stack between another sea of useless buff icons. It's great that they wanted to make healers more interesting and in depth from the start, but they overlooked one of the most crucial aspects for healers, which is the UI they have to work with.

trotsky_tor's Avatar


trotsky_tor
01.25.2012 , 12:29 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by Inune View Post
edit to say here: The 1.5s GCD also exacerbates the issue of feeling unresponsive. It may be that I'm still just used to WoW's 1s GCD, but that extra .5s feels like an eternity when there's burst damage from the boss going out.
WoW's GCD is 1.5s for non-melee abilities. It is, however, reduced by Haste, unlike Alacrity in TOR.

Inune's Avatar


Inune
01.25.2012 , 04:21 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Zellandine View Post
Two things. I don't disagree with a majority of your post, but two things really got to me. First of all, you do not need mouseover healing to be good. If you're really that desperate to have mouseover healer to function, you need better reflexes. It's that simple. It shouldn't take you but a split second to target someone, and it shouldn't be the difference between life and death.
You don't need mouseovers to be good, but they do raise the skill ceiling on what you're able to accomplish as a healer. I would draw a comparison here to Keybinding + mouse turning vs Clicking action bars + keyboard turning for tanks/DPS. A clicker can be good, better even than most bad players who keybind, but will not be as good as a similarly talented player who keybinds. It's just a simple consequence of one method being more efficient and effective than the other*.

The fractions of a second you save by using mouseover instead of hard targeting may not individually be the difference between life and death, but they certainly add up across a fight.



edit: *Just to cover my bases: There are other ways to boost healing efficiency too (e.g. click-healing), so it's not just method 1 vs method 2 like clicking vs keybinding is, but you take my meaning on the general idea of efficient method vs inefficient method.

Loklamone's Avatar


Loklamone
01.25.2012 , 06:26 PM | #17
to put it into perspective for people who mainly dps, or who have always played by selecting somone then healing them. Not having mouse over healing to someone who has played with it for years would be the same if they didnt allow you to change the key bindings for you skills. So now you can only press 1-0 and alt 1-0 and ctrl 1-0 that should be all you need. yes its slower and a pain in the butt to reach across you key board to hit that 0 but hey, you'll get used to it. Learn to play with the tools you have. Im pretty sure that you would quickly see alot of posts asking to allow key binding which is exactly what the healers here are asking for.
Yes we don't 100 percent need it in order to heal effectivly and yes eventually we may get used to this style of healing. But what are the forums for anyway if not to ask for a feature that you would like implemented into the game.
Arguing you dont need this to play is not needed, if you dont like this feature its fine just play with the regular UI we are just asking for the option to play how we are comfortable playing.

Loklamone's Avatar


Loklamone
01.25.2012 , 07:07 PM | #18
first off im gonna tell myself to cry more noob and l2p just so i can be first but.

My passion in all MMO's is pvp, i find it very dynamic and always evolving making me think on my toes to best my foe. In this game I have become so overly frustraited in trying to play a heal role that I cant bring myself to do it any more. In pvp I find myself in my group running into a fight and some guy next to me has a stealther jump him and crit him big so i try to react and click him for an instant heal but the stealther is running around him all sparaticly so i keep clicking him rather then my friend... ok plan B ill see what his name is real fast and then find him on the bar and click him and heal him, oh wait his name is like 5 words long.... Apocolypto major cletus van buren.... hmm which part is his name and which is the title well there is no apocolypto or major or clutus ok he was dead 5 seconds ago while i was trying to find him among the other 4 people taking damage around me but hey if mr apocolypto is around me again ill know who to look for.

How im used to playing is mr apocolypto gets jumped i tab target the enemy hit an instant cc. click my instant heal and the game knows i dont wanna heal the enemy so it puts it on my mouse i hover my mouse over my friend in front of me and even if mr enemy jumps in the way of my mouse the smart target system heals the friend behind him. woohoo hes saved. now i can keep mr bad guy targeted as well as mouse over heal my friend at the same time, also keep the enemy dotted, i can interrupt his channeled abilities with cc or just straight out help my dps damage him. HURRAY im contributing twice as much to my team rather then being just a heal bot, and all those other abilities on my bar that arnt heals actually mean something. plus i can now watch the flow of the battle and adjust positioning according to needs to be healed so they dont LOS me rather then camping my raid frame.

As is, i find myself staring at health bars on my screen not moving hoping no one sneaks up on me. Then i spam heal across the board and hope no one runs out of range or LOS's me. very very very frustraiting.

Arabelle's Avatar


Arabelle
01.26.2012 , 04:45 AM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Morthis View Post
I've never used mouse over healing, but I know most healers do, and many MMO's these days allow you to do it. I think this is simply a habbit they would like to take into SWTOR because it is a good concept, and they are disappointed it doesn't work here. If you've been used to MO healing for years, I could easily see mistakes happen when things get really crazy because you attempted to MO heal instead of targeting.
I'm afraid that it's not just a habit. I've been healing in WoW since vanilla (when there was no mouseover healing or click-casting), and am also still playing other MMOs that do not have mouseover/click-casting functionality. In short, I have extensive experience with all of those styles.

I can function fine as a healer without mouseover/click-casting functionality, but I strongly prefer not to, just because it's so damn uncomfortable. Just as, while I could run a 100m sprint in high heels, I strongly prefer not to.