Posts Tagged ‘healing’

Heroic Healing – Stop that healer!

September 27, 2009 1 comment
Charging Haymaker

Charging Haymaker

Beta gave me the impression that healers are powerful and I still have that feeling during Retail. So I will discuss a few methods to counter healers. Of course, there’s a counter for those tactics as well. Generally, healers are rare in MMORPG’s, but in Champions Online most characters will end up with some kind of healing power. The current flavor of the month seems to be Mindful Reinforcement from the Telepathy framework. It’s a shield and a heal combined that’s very strong at ranks 2 and 3.

The following tricks work well:

  • Holds
  • Knockbacks/Pulls
  • Separation
  • AOE
  • Heal reduction

Actually, the biggest item stopping healers at the moment is that they are not rewarded fairly for their effort compared to damage dealers. My own healer is not really shelved, but leveling rather slowly for that reason.


The healer will have to break out of the hold before he can continue healing again. As pure healers will probably not have Strength or Ego superstatted, hold should be fairly effective on them. Either use the hold period to kill the healer or kill the one he’s healing. Holds have to be charged to get a decent strength on them so try to charge them out of the healer’s direct line of sight


  • use crafted/questing gear which reduces hold time.
  • move away during the charge
  • block during the charge if you expect to be attacked.
  • holds are not affecting Swinging characters. I assume this is a bug.


Haymaker hits

Haymaker hits

It is not possible to heal during a knockback/pull. While these effects will generally last shorter than pure holds, they’re a good interrupt. Also, while Holds have to be charged to become powerful, knockbacks and pulls can be done instantaneously. Knockbacks and pulls are also great to separate the healer from the team. Having the opponent land into a hazard like lava (UTC Fire Temple) or near NPC’s/turrets (Stronghold) is a bonus and possibly even fatal. Also, fall damage itself is significant.


  • use crafted/questing gear which reduces hold times.
  • keep away from characters using knockback/pulls
  • you will not take fall damage while flying


A healer can only keep a team alive if they’re in his range. An organised team will keep close to their healer, but pick-up groups can often be lured away. Long, charged knockbacks are great to remove one member of the team.


  • be aware of the location of the healer/team at all times
  • put a shield like Mindful Reinforcement on the target before he goes of out range


Single target healing is very strong, but AOE is not that great. If it is not possible separate the opponents from each other, the use of AOE may overtax the healer. AOE that has a secondary fear/disable effect is especially effective.


  • AOE zones are smaller than healing range. Warn the team not to clump up too much.
  • 3D movement works as well as 2D movement to avoid AOE’s.

Heal reduction

Unspecting Dummy...

Unsuspecting Dummy...

Haymaker, an ability from the Might framework has the advantage Nullifying Punch which temporarily shuts down healing over time effects and causes all incoming heals to be 50% less effective. This ability hurts both the healer as well as the one being hurt.


  • go to the Powerhouse/use an alt to see the animation. If someone is hitting like that, either avoid them, crowd control them or make sure you team focuses them. Or look at the pictures accompanying this post.

Wrapping up

While healers are powerful, there a plenty of counters. The greatest of those I did not mention, because it is a real no-brainer: team-work.

In solo PvP everyone needs a heal. Check all the frameworks even if healing does not seem to be fitting in your concept, there’s probably one with the right flavor.

...gets to fly.

...gets to fly.


Heroic Healing – beta impressions

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I had no doubt that when I started playing a superhero I would want to knock enemies around and send them flying in all directions. And it is great fun. I may not be strong enough yet to knock people into orbit, but one day… During CO’s Open Beta I joined several player vs. player cage matches and playing as mainly Might was still fun. I had taken a ranged energy builder, so when I came close to someone I would often have a full energy bar to unload.

I noticed two things during those matches: some people were really squishy, while others were really difficult to damage and the lack of healers. The first issue was quickly explained: without passive defenses like Invulnerability, Personal Force Field and Regeneration, people die fast. I did not understand the second, so I made a healing character myself.

Movement powers make it a challenge to keep in range of everyone

Movement powers make it a challenge to keep in range of everyone

Where’s my heal button?

CO does not have as many healing abilities as fantasy MMO’s. I chose several Psionic abilities with the help of the excellent Champion Builder tool.

  • Empathic Healing did not impress me too much. It’s a relatively cheap channeled heal, but easily interrupted and it has a short range of only 50 feet.
  • Psionic Healing on the other hand turned out the be awesome. This charged heal had a range of 100 feet and it heals quicker than EH.

Games like WoW and Warhammer taught me that healers get focused, so I took Regeneration to keep myself alive and Teleport. Both are great on their own, but together they made me incredibly difficult to stop. If I got damaged, I could simply teleport away while regeneration restored my health. And as an added bonus: Psionic Healing can be charged while in the teleport. So the moment I would reappear, I would also be at full health again. I had hoped that Ego Blast would keep attackers away from me, but Condemn (from Supernatural) proved much more effective. It’s Hold lasts longer than EB’s and it’s AOE. I added the self-heal Resurgance later on to keep me alive during Holds. It heals so much that there is no reason for anyone not to take it. Playing as a healer made me feel so powerful that I will dedicate a future post to strategies on how to counter healers.


Healing does cost a serious amount of energy, but there was basically always someone in range of my Psi Lash energy builder. A few shots and I would be back in action. Often I would have energy to spare and I could help finish an opponent off. This made the healing game great fun for me. I have never enjoyed playing a pure healer for long, but if I can help keep pressure on the opposing team, then I’m having a blast. I do hope a friendly target will be added in the future, so you can keep both an opponent and an ally targetted, because quickly tab-targetting will often get a droid/pet instead of a player.

On a final note, travel powers are great to get away… from healers. People often do not seem to notice yet that they’re being healed and they run away when they start getting low on health. If there’s a healer on your team: check where they are, because they will be healing you and while you’re at it: keep the opponents away from them.