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A Healer is a Player Who Gets No Love from ZOS

Ryan Getchell Posted:
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I’ve been spending a lot of my free time on the PTS playing the Thieves Guild, so much that when I logged into the live servers today I had been removed from my Trading Guild. Perhaps, I need to properly manage my game time a bit better. While playing on the PTS I’ve come to realize something, something that I’m not particularly happy about and it’s more of an observation than a realization but it’s still upsetting. Zenimax hates healers.

I always play a healer in every MMORPG that I invest my time into. I don’t really understand why I’m drawn to those roles. Maybe it stems back to my mother not giving me enough hugs when I was a child and I just want to feel needed, but whatever the reason is, that’s my role. I really enjoy playing them in ESO because it’s not the typical “whack-a-mole” style of healing. That being said, I do feel like Zenimax gives the healers the short end of the stick.

A couple weeks back I wrote about how ESO could benefit from adding an additional class to the game. I spoke a bit about the Warden class.  If you remember, the Warden class was supposed to be the dedicated healing class with more skills designed around healing than damage. However it got removed prior to closed beta. This may have been the first sign of Zenimax’s dislike towards the healer role.

Looking back at all the crafted sets that have been released since launch we don’t have any dedicated to healing. The 9 trait crafted sets have always been interesting to do builds with. When they first released the Twice Born Star set with update 4, the builds people made with it were very unique but it  in no way was designed for a healer, more of an all class set. Then we get a Health and resistance focused 9 trait set, designed more towards a tank style. Then a stamina DPS 9-trait set. One would suspect that the next set should follow suit and be a Magicka based set, but that isn’t the case. It’s another Stamina DPS set. Why there isn’t a healer focused crafted set?

You could say that Eyes of Mara is the healer focused crafted set, and to some extent you’d be right as it does reduce the cost of Restoration staff abilities.  But does that even compare to the other sets like Armor Master, Morkuldin or even the Eternal Hunt set? Those all offer some insane bonuses for a specific role. Armor Master offers a massive amount of damage mitigation, Morkuldin summons an animated weapon that does a decent amount of damage, and the Eternal Hunt set placed a proximity mine that does a high amount of damage and immobilizes the enemy every time you dodge. A reduced healing cost set can’t hold up against that.

There are a few decent healer.  Off the top of my head there is Combat Prayer, Healer’s Habit and the Transmutation set. However, while these are exceptionally good sets for a healer there is one major flaw to them when comparing to the fact we have no craftable sets. These set pieces require a ton of farming and time investment. Worst of all they all come from dungeons and content that as a healer, you can’t do solo, at least not in any timely manner.

Elder Scrolls Online is all about diversity and allowing you to play the way you want. If you want to play as a tank you can do so being any of the four available classes, use any weapon type you want and you could even get away with using any armour type you wish. Perhaps you want to take on the role of damage dealer. Again you pretty much have free reign of any of the classes, weapon types and armour. Now, what about if you wanted to take on the stressful role of keeping your friends alive while they try and kill something much larger than them. Well, you’re very limited when it comes to options. Sure you can pick any of the four classes, but you’re restricted to a restoration staff. If you decide to play as a Templar at least you have the freedom of being a pretty decent healer without the use of a restoration staff but more than likely you’ll still have one.

When Dark Brotherhood releases in June we’ll see some options open up for healer in terms of gear because of the removal of Veteran Ranks. We don’t know exactly how this’ll affect the game but if they remove the rank requirements on the gear, healers will have a decent amount of options available to them that aren’t well below the level cap. This is going to be great but it doesn’t change the fact that we will still have to farm for endless hours to obtain them. Hopefully with Update 10 we’ll see some healer love and get a 9 trait item set designed just for us.

Perhaps it’ll have something like this for a set bonus;

  • 2 Items – Adds 843 Maximum Magicka
  • 3 items – Adds 112 Magiicka Recovery
  • 4 items – Adds 112 Spell Damage
  • 5 items (Adrenaline Junky) – Whenever you heal two or more allies who are below 25% health provide them with a 5500 damage absorbing shield and gain 400 spell damage for 5 seconds. Can’t happen more than once every 15 seconds.

I wouldn’t object to as set like that, it may need some balancing though.

I don’t know about you, but it really does feel like the healer role takes a back burner to the DPS role and the damage mitigation roles. As I said maybe with update 10 we’ll see some new additions for healers that don’t require a plethora of farming and time investment. It’s hard enough to stay current with gear when new items and pieces get released every three months, we don’t need more time sinks for healers.


Ryan Getchell