This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Thoughts on healing in PvP" by dais. In the thread, dais wonders what the MMORPG.com community feels about whether DPS classes should be able outdamage the healing output of a healer:
So I wanted to see if I could get some feedback from some of you guys/gals on something that I have seen pretty heated arguments for and against. The current game that I am playing until my month is up is SWTOR, and my main is a healer. I have played a ton of MMOs but the ones that I spent a good amount of time PvPing in was WoW and to a lesser extent Rift. The question that I have for you guys is do you feel that healers should outheal DPS, or should a DPS always out damage heals (healing resources excluded). Here are a couple of hypothetical scenarios:
1) Fighter A finds Fighter B afk, and starts to beat on him. Random neighborhood friendly healer stumbles upon the fight and tries to spam heal Fighter B to save him. Assuming Fighter A never switches targets and the healer never runs out of mana, should Fighter B ever die?
2)In a 2v2 arena in an open field with no LoS issues, with two teams at exactly the same skill/classbalance/gear level should a 2 DPS team win over a 1 DPS / 1 Heal team?
The purpose of me asking these questions isn't an attempt at a "gotcha" moment, or any attempt at a trick question. I am really just curious because this is one of those topics that is a constant tug of war, and it is a VERY fine line that seperates being underpowered/overpowered. In my opinion when I left WoW healers were very strong, and in good gear could laugh with impunity at 2 DPS beating on them, all the while keeping their team alive in battlegrounds. Rift seemed pretty balanced, but I only played it for a few months after release; I have no idea how it is now. With SWTOR healers seem very underpowered. DPS seem to have a very easy time keeping up with if not exceeding healing output, and once you throw in the overabundance of stuns/interrupts/knockbacks the game seems to have showered onto the DPS it's game over for that healer. Most 1v1 fights with a healer vs DPS at equal skill the healer would be eating dirt.
Ultimately this isn't about any one specific game, but just where should a healers place be in that struggle. In the #1 scenario above my view is Fighter B should never die, until the healer runs out of healing resources. Also in scenarion #2 I think the team with the healer should be the winning team. I would like to see healers in a place where 1v1 if they know their class they should always survive the encounter, but not always kill their opponent. In a 2v1 all they could hope to do is run away successfully. In the end if a healer cannot keep up with the damage then why even bring a healer? At that point everyone should just play DPS and strive to do more damage than your opponent to win.
Ikeda offers a fairly nuanced response on the discussion:
I see what you're saying. I played a Priest in WoW, a heal spec in Rift, and now have a Sawbones.
If you follow the trend though, why not end with the obviously GW2 "Everyone heals"?
I should be able to heal people. I wouldn't mind getting the snot pummelled out of me by DPS'r if it didn't affect my cast time.
For example, I think that if Warrior is being attacked by Warrior, a healer should ROUGHLY be able to heal up the warrior abou 4-5 times from down to full. By then you should be seriously hurting for mana.
I think that if you were healing said warrior, and Rogue started punching you in the back, you should be able to protect yourself for roughly half your health, have enough time to get a heal down on yourself, before you dropped. That seems like the best terms for ME. For the other Warrior, it'd be a WTF NERF THIS WARRIOR opinion. For the Rogue, it'd be a PRIEST IS OP NERF THEM! If a Priest dropped in 2 hits it'd be, PRIEST is so crap. They need a buff.
Xstyles feels the balance should be even, and offers some commentary on the overall paradigm of healers in PvP:
Healing is the most proactive form of support there is and it's stupid for a class to only being able to heal and do nothing else.
I think that healers often ruin the excitement of PvP. People don't have to play defensive, They just steamroll, because someone is constantly healing them and the team with the best balance of healers/damage dealers wins..
In 1v1 a dps should be able to kill a healer, BUT the healer should also have a chance to kill the dps. That means down the healing output and up the damage of healers.
The most fun PvP I ever had was when there were no healers present.
Guild wars 2 has no healers or tanks. I'm looking forward to it :)
gaeanprayer flat out thinks healers should be able to outheal DPS:
Yes, I do think a healer should be able to out-heal dps. People are forgetting there are more ways to win a battle than simply stabbing someone. If a healer can't really heal you for the damage you're taking, they're not worth having. Likewise, if the only thing you are capable of doing is slashing at the healer, don't be surprised when it's inneffective. Damn near every MMO I can think of outfits even the purest of meleers with a few crowd control abilities (stuns, knockdowns, etc.) to combat the situation.
First off, thanks go out to dais for creating such an excellent discussion! This is a matter I tend to be fairly opinionated on. Playing SW:TOR with friends, for example, I often find it amusing when they complain about not being able to kill a healer. Well, in my mind, I don't think you should be able to unless you focus it down with at least one other person. If healers can't outheal a single character's DPS, well, they aren't going to be able to perform adequately.
It's a fairly simple balance. It's not always the goal to kill the healer. Even if you can't kill them, applying pressure via your DPS actually contributes to the battle as the healer has to focus on healing his or herself instead of their allies. This is almost as good as killing the healer outright. Where things get out of whack is when there are a disproportionate number of healers on either team (assuming this is a team based conflict). In such a case, obviously the team with more healers will have a better chance at winning, but this isn't always the case. Things obviously get a bit harder to discuss when you start considering the varied ways a team can be built, especially in a PUG environment. But if it comes down to should a single DPS character be able to outdps the heals of a single healer? My answer is no. Healers often deal with even more pressure than that, and they need to be able to withstand a bit of pressure to perform adequately.
Now, if your game design actually supports the role of tanks in PvP, well, then you can get a bit looser with what healers should be able to withstand as tanks should be protecting healers from DPS classes crossing the front line. For all the CC in Warhammer Online, there was just something satisfying about being able to confidently protect your healer as a Swordmaster, knocking groups of enemies away and guarding them from damage.
What are your thoughts on healers in PvP? Share 'em in the comments below!