So you want to heal huh? Do you have what it takes to keep people alive through all sorts of chaos? Do you have the mentality it takes to be excellent? This guide is to teach you healing 101 and provide helpful tips on keep party members alive! So let’s get started with our ESO Healing Guide.
What’s a Healer’s Job?
I think of healing in a completely different way than most. Being a healer is the co-captain of the defense. The idea here is that the tank (damage taker) and you work together to position the team, keep party members alive, and optimize the group. This can be done in various ways and the best healers are those that prevent damage, not heal through it.
- Healing – The obvious one here. Someone(s) takes damage, you heal them up so they don’t die. Very simple yet challenge sometimes. Information is key to healing. Knowing you’re parties strengths and weaknesses, the fight mechanics, or the overall meta of the game (the big picture). Great healers rely on themselves for information not the tank or others.
- Positioning – Like I said above, the best healers are those that prevent damage. You should always be communicating with your team through typing or voice communication where to position. Though chaotic, you’ll be watching health bars and will see the spike damage and guide your team through to safety.
- Communicating – “Get out of the red stupid.” Yes this does work, but explaining mechanics and understanding them will help your team better than yelling. Hold people accountable as well. If you want to complete bleeding edge content, everyone in the group is responsible for their role. Ask for feedback like “what killed you?” Or “could I have healed through that?” All the teams I’ve been on respect someone trying to learn and will stick through a few deaths while you get the hang of it.
- Buffing – Before the encounter starts, understand buffs. These temporary or permanent boost to your character or the group. Ask your group, “do we all have potions, food, weapons charged etc?” While this doesn’t seem to fall on the healer, you can’t heal the boss to death. You’ll need support from DPS to take down the enemies. If they’re well equipped, less healing for you.
- Purging – This removes negative effects from friendly players and prevents a lot of damage. In Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) there are very few purges and the Efficient Purge (Alliance War skill morph of Purge) is a must have. Remember, prevent damage is just as important as healing health.
- Damage – Yes, you’ll still need to do some damage. My ol’ saying goes, you can’t heal a boss to death. I rely on Ultimate’s to take care of my damage and emergency damage mitigation. If everyone is full up, start doing damage.
How to Heal
Area (AoE) – ESO is basically all area healing except for a few specific class abilities. Healing in this game is very different than others and can provide unique challenges and opportunities. Since AoE healing is the name of the game, it’s important to factor in positions. Let me show you a couple of pictures to demonstrate. Keep in mind, the most simple and effective heal in the game is Healing Springs (morph of the Restoration Staff ability Grand Healing).
In picture one, the tank is facing the boss away from the group. The big yellow circle is the Healing Springs radius. Makes sure you’re team is relatively close to this circle for best results. In picture two, the two DPS are facing the healer. Not as good as one because you’ll need the boss or the DPS behind so they avoid Cleve or area damage. Red circles are bed, face the boss away from healer and the DPS is good.
Single Target – Really there’s few single target heals. The one that I most commonly use is Healing Ward (morph of Restoration Staff ability Steadfast Ward). It provides a good damage bubble then pops to restore some health. The only problem is you can’t direct it, the ability goes to the lowest health ally by default.
HoTs or Heals over Time – The main source of HoTs is from Regeneration the Restoration Staff ability. While both morphs are good, I’d recommend Rapid Regeneration over Mutagen at this point. Reason being, I have a oh crap heal button with Healing Ward so I want the HoTs constantly up and providing a consistent stream of healing. It’s recommended to use Foundry Tactic Combat or FTC to watch timers. Once the HoTs near falling off, re-cast them.
Burst – This game has limited single target burst healing. The best example of this is Honor the Dead or Breath of Life from the Templar ability Rushed Ceremony. The Restoration Staff has Blessings of Protection which does a decent job though I rely on constant Healing Springs over this ability.
Utility – Great healers bring more than a couple of HoTs to the table. Whether it’s your class damage buff, a speed increase or a super powerful ultimate, make sure you can help the team. The best example of this is Necrotic Orb from Undaunted skill line. Not only does this ability provide a powerful damage synergy, but it restores allies magicka. Another great group utility ability that uses stamina is Rapid Maneuvers morphed into Retreating Maneuvers from the Alliance War skill line. When I’m tanking, it’s hard to run out of the red with little to no stamina. This can make or break a team needed to run for cover.
Defense Wins Dungeons – Just like the ol’ NFL cliche, defense wins championships, so to does it help finish dungeons. Make sure your team is positioned okay, buffed up, and prepared to fight. If something goes wrong, don’t blame each other come up with a game-plan and keep trying. If you’re having trouble dying over and over, play defensive. Have a back-up healer, someone focused on buffs, and a strong range DPS. This will help finish that never before seen content.
Setting Up Your Bar
There’s many class specific abilities that are great for healing. But I wanted to make this guide for ALL classes. I’m going to assume you have access to these abilities and or the time and energy it takes to acquire them (minus Replenishing Barrier). Let me explain how I use these abilities.
Bar One | Main Healing
- Inner Light – 20% critical chance, yea you’ve got to have this. Make sure it’s on or turn it on and off to proc the Mages Guild passive for boosted spell power.
- Healing Springs – The standard spam on the ground and make numbers. This is a great, low cost and simple heal that can literally keep everyone alive. The trick is your party must stay together to get maximum results. Keep positioning the group around this and spam when the group needs heals.
- Rapid Regeneration – Our main source of HoTs and it should be on at all times. Even if the HoTs are up and you’re full on magicka, re-cast early for when things get rough.
- Healing Ward – If someone drops below 50%, bang, pop this on them a couple of Springs and they’ll recover.
- Retreating Maneuver – This is the utility ability and can be replaced if needed. I find it useful for tanks, speed runs, etc. I could see putting a lot of things here such as Igneous Weapons for a Dragonknight or Luminous Shards for a Templar.
- Replenishing Barrier (ultimate) – This is one of the high end PvP abilities and might not be easy to get. You essentially need a big time defensive ultimate. Every class has them, Dragonknight Standard of Might, Templar Solar Prison, Nightblade Veil of Blades, and Sorcerer Absorption Field. Keep rotating ultimates for a constant 30% damage reduction. Preventing damage is just as important as healing it.
Bar Two | Resources and Utility
- Inner Light – I like it on the second bar so it doesn’t go on and off. Unfortunately it takes up 20% of our skills.
- Siphon Spirits – I love this ability because the group get’s health and magicka for attacking an enemy. Best thing to do is pop this on the boss early and often. If you’re party is calling for magicka, re-cast and watch your buff bar to see when it’s dropping off.
- Ring of Preservation – Most people haven’t ever heard of this ability but it’s a powerful one. Ring’s uses stamina not magicka and provides tons of armor, spell resistance, and more if fighting Daedra. Since I run a light armor tank, it’s crucial that someone in the party run this. Ultimately this could be replaced by an effective class ability. Sorcs might use Hardened Ward and NB’s might use Funnel Health.
- Efficient Purge – We gotta have someone to remove DoTs and this is it. An area cast, so once again positioning is a must. You’ll need to watch the party closely to see if they’re effected by damage and pop regularly.
- Spell Symmetry – If we don’t have magicka to heal, we die. If we die, the whole team dies. The trick to this ability is making sure the tank has aggro on the high priority target, cast 3-4 times then bang Healing Ward. You can’t heal yourself for a few seconds, but someone else can. Talk to your teammates and let them know you’re “sacing, tapping, whatever.” And trust me, you will die a few times before you get the hang of this.
- Sturdy Horn (ultimate) – You can place a utility ultimate or a damage dealing one here. I love the War Horn morphed into Sturdy Horn for all the resources. You’re party will love hearing that sound and see the DPS and HPS increase rapidly.
That’s a sample healing setup that can work for every class. Just like anything in the game or life for that matter, check your attitude. If you come into a dungeon thinking I’m a lousy healer and nobody wants me, you’ll get that result. If you enter that same situation with the attitude that I’m the best healer and no one is going to die on my watch, you’ll get that result.
Understand that when people die, it’s not always your fault. Some will try to blame you that’s for sure. But remember, they don’t have the courage or guts to try in heal. Healing isn’t for everyone, but if you get it right, wow you’ll never be without a party. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article. Next up is tanking, maybe the hardest and most feared role in MMOs.