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  Clerics (A HEALING class)


Playing a Rejuv Spec Cleric can be a great deal of fun if you understand some of the tactics clerics use. I doubt anything listed here is completely new under the sun, but I hope to give some clerics out there some ideas about how I use mine. I also wanted to push more clerics into using them as they were designed.. AS A HEALING CLASS. The following "guide" is really more of how I envisioned a specific type of cleric. The "marathon" healer. He is designed this way because I am the only cleric in my regular PvE group. This is how I solved some of the problems.


Specs (The Power or the Power to heal)

39r/37e/4s -- second tier spread heal and yellow con resists
40r/36e/4s -- full rez, second spread heal, and 2 yellow resists address
40r/35e/9s -- trades 1 yellow resist for the next lvl PBAOE Mezz.


The 100% rez is a must have to me. I imagine there are damn good clerics out there using all of these specs and more, I chose 40 rejuv. The point is, you have a choice. Explore a great deal with the forums and the toon builder. These are tailored around specific tastes, but in general work almost identically. Ultimately people expect you to keep them standing. (PERIOD). Pick one ya like and run with it because all of them are arguably better in different specific ways. Smite is nice, but its very power hungry. It's also designed to make you a dmg dealer. It's second class at best compared to other dmg dealers. Granted you get chainmail armor, but that only delays the enivitable when your party starts dropping around you. Enhancement is another good line, but again, it's secondary to keeping your group standing. Having it as a strong second line compliments your healing nicely though, so it should be seriously considered as your second line. It's a subtle thing. With Enhancements you can not only give your group an additional 1/3 health to fight with, but you can increase their dmg output by 1/3 at least when you consider the faster, more power attacks due to stat increases. The bonuses to resists are nice as well.

In my case, I wanted to balance big heals with the endurance to cast them in long fights. Throwing a 900pt single heal is nice unless it burns a 1/3rd of your mana bar. The 40 Rejuv spec gives me the 2nd highest in everything as well as the 100% rez. If for no other reason, get the 100% rez. Being able to bring a caster, cleric or tank back to his feet with 100% health is just too valuable. Tanks can immediately wade right back into the fight. Granted, they are still rez sick, but they are up and swinging, as opposed to seated or dead. Nukers/healers get a base power pool to work with, so they can start hammering right away. As a caveat, the 100%
costs the EXACT same mana as the lower rezzes, so quit boggarting it..


Quickbar (Keep what you use handy)

My quickbar is setup for marathon healing. I use low power heals. I also tiered them by mana usage, not amount healed. Frankly, power usage is more important in most cases. Let me list my quickbar with some delved amounts and you'll get a clearer picture of what I'm talking about. This is Quickbar 1.

1. Minor Heal- Cost: 17power, Heals 119 (with TOA armor this is 181)
2. Major Heal- Cost: 48power, Heals 307 (with TOA armor this is 430+)
3. Spreadheal- Cost: 95power, Heals 241 (heals for roughly 2K groupwide)
4. Single Insta - Heals for 80% health on a single target with no power cost
5. Group Insta - Heals Entire group for 75% with no power cost
6. Mezz PBAOE - I use this to get room to cast a full stun on a mob
7. Stun - Lvl 46 - Sticks often and allows you to control the early tempo
8. Smite - Lvl 50 - Sticks well and good for polishing off mobs at 10% or less
9. MCL - I put it here since I use it a great deal
0. BoF - I use Bunker of Faith as an oh shit! button. I need it handy.


An example of why I tiered them this way is the Greater Heal spell. This spell costs 86 power to cast and heals for 432 delved (prob close to 600 with TOA Armor), BUT notice the power cost in comparison to the spreadheal cost. Spreadheal cost 9 more power to cast and heals for significantly more health groupwide. It's a fast large heal, but again the trade off is power cost. This is also why you dont see the regular group heals on my quickbar listing. In 99% of the cases it's better the throw a spreadheal instead of a plain group heal. The spreadheal's "intelligence" assures you that health is not wasted on members with very little to no dmg taken. An additional benefit of this is easier aggro managment w/ protects. We'll get to that next...

One last note regarding power usage. Since power regens at different rates, do what you can to keep your bar above 50%. Burn MCL, sit between heals, whatever you can do to keep your bar above 50%. Above 50% means you regen power significantly faster, you still have power for good solid heals, in general, it means you have options. When you get to your last 50% power, spend a second and check the mobs health. You're making a judgement call as to whether your mana bar will outlast the mobs. If it doesnt look like a cinch, let the group know you're low on power. Many other classes have options you dont, so keeping them informed might save your group.

A good necro is damned hard to beat:
The fact that he can nuke and replenish your power bar makes them a keeper. A necro and I regularly work together. A typical fight might go like this. We pull 3 mobs. The main tanks are moving in to engage the 1st and probably the 2nd incoming at least. Typically I start stunning the 2nd or 3rd add at this time. The necro starts hammering on one of the stunned adds with his power tap. I keep the mob stunned for 15 secs. typically, allowing him to nuke it to dust at range. At this point he will throw me some power, then pick another mob for nuking. This is easy to coordinate. When you see his powertap spell affect, you know you need to stun that mob soon if its not stunned already since he's drawing big aggro with his nukes. When he sees your stun affect over 2-3 mobs heads, he can pick any of them and start pounding. Again, if you see him nuking a mob, be ready to pause it. Luckily, Necros can tank a mob if needed, but then he's not free to cast, so keep your necro clear or at least at range from mobs. Lastly, thank him/her. Sometimes funneling power to a healer is a thankless job. Make sure you necro knows you appreciate their efforts in making you a healing god.


Aggro 101 (What's he pissed at me for?)

When you heal you are doing damage like typical nukers and tanks. Its indirect, but it still counts. Think of battles like this. The enemy has 3000 health you have to work thru, your group has 3000 health. Armor and resistances slow down the rate of dmg done, but your group and the enemy are still taking dmg. Healing dmg taken adds to the amount of dmg your enemy has to do to your group to bring you down. So while a nuker might be doing 500+ per shot, he can get resisted. You on the other hand are landing every single spell and continually adding to the total the enemy has to inflict to start killing group members. Your heals cannot be resisted so every single point of power is being put to good use. Sounds great doesnt it. Well frankly, it is, but it comes with a price. Aggro.
Let's use another example to illustrate this point. Your tank has inflicted roughly 600 pts of dmg on the mob up to this point. He has taken 300-400 points of dmg during the fight. You decide you want to top him off so you throw 2 of the smallest heals in your bar (if you set it up like mine, this is quickbar slot 1). These land for 181 and 181 again. The mob then turns and attacks you?!? Lets look at the math:

The tank did 600 pts of dmg gaining the initial aggro
The healer healed for roughly 400pts, BUT healing counts as 3X the value in aggro.
So our healer just did 1200 pts of dmg as far as Mob Aggro is concerned!

Now the tank(s) have to inflict another 400-500 pts to pull the mob back off of you. Before anyone freaks out there are other factors that determine mob aggro, BUT unless you want to do algebra mid-fight calculating dmgs, just be satisfied with this simplified system. Assume your doing 3 times the listed values in dmg as far as the mobs aggro is concerned. This is yet another reason I chose lower value heals. It's a bit more work to have to throw 2 of them sometimes, but at the same time, I draw significantly less aggro than a healer slinging 600+ point
heals and dead healers heal for significantly less. A good way to test this for yourself is to let your group get generally low in health and fire your group insta. Now notice the attention the mobs are giving you. I rest my case..

Protects are a clerics best friend. When a fighter-type slaps protect on the healer, a portion of the healing aggro goes to the tank. This is great for keeping aggro on the tank. Make sure your main tank has protect on you at all times. Oftentimes more than 1 tank will have protect on you. When this happens share the love. If a caster is drawing major aggro, ask one of the tanks to put their protect on that caster. Not only will this balance the groups aggro better, but it will save you much power not having to heal a cloth-wearer constantly.
In summary, you normally want your tanks to lock down some mob aggro before you start throwing any heals. Good tanks will typically get in 1-2 hits on each mob before starting to focus on one. This is so you can heal them with a lesser chance of pulling the mob off of them. There are times you will have to heal when you KNOW you are going to draw some major aggro, but frankly it's your job. Going down healing the group is not the best possible
outcome, but again it's your purpose, so get to healing and hope for the best.


Aggro 2: The Spawning (The care and feeding of your group depends on it)

Aggro management is semi-complex. Not only do you have to have a good feel for the amount you can heal before drawing a mob's attention, but to be good you have to do more. The Cleric Baseline Stun is a great spell.
If it's not in your quickbar 1, move it there now. No arguements.
I'll wait right here................................done? great.. thanks.

With this great little spell you can pause mobs in their tracks. Even better, it differs from mezz in that inflicting dmg on the stunned mob DOES NOT BREAK THE STUN. The downside is Stun only lasts for 9 secs. max. You can repeat stun a mob up to 3 times, but the time stunned is halved each time. In other words, you can hold a mob with stuns for about 15 secs at best. 9 secs on the first one, 4.5 secs on the second and roughly 2 secs on the third. The uses of this are many. Pausing adds so the tanks can gang up on 1 target, stunning mobs in combat to
give your group 9 seconds of unanswered damage output, pausing a mob headed for you or a caster to give the tanks time to pull it back into the melee and much more. Using Stun is a big part of being a cleric, so use it often. Just be wary of the power cost. Ultimately your job is healing, so dont use more than 1/3rd of your power to stun and typically use less.

You're PBAOE mezz is rather dink due to its low level. It will lock down a large number of blues or greens on you, occasionally some yellows, but rarely higher con mobs. It's dink, but its free and sometimes handy. I chose a 9 smite to actually get a 1 tier higher version of this single spell. The trade off is losing a 2nd yellow resist, but I feel it was a good call. I keep it handy and it's saved me often enough to remain on my main quickbar. It's a random chance to get clear of aggro and sometimes any chance is better than none.

Another toy the devs gave clerics is Baseline Smite. While it's not up to doing massive dmg, polishing off a mob so the tanks can move on to another is a great use. When mobs get down below 10% health, throw a baseline Smite or 2 and no more mob. It's a small thing, but it does help. Again, don't overuse it. Your power is for healing, not Smiting. You're goal is to use the smites to drop a mob, preventing you having to use more power healing the dmg that mob would have done while the tanks beat it down that last 10%.


Leadership

Briefly, you have the time, so manage the fight. Standing in the back watching someone's health bar slowly drop is quite boring. Do more. Direct fighters to mobs that are endangering other party members. Use stuns to control the tempo of the fight. Use smites to polish off weakened mobs. To a lesser extent, you can also use your smites as a morale booster after you've gained the groups confidence. When the group sees their healer throwing a couple smites into the battles it boosts their morale in a subtle way. If their healer has time and power to throw
smites, things cant be all that bad. So throw a few out there. Let them know you're doing fine in the back and that they can concentrate on nuking mobs without worrying about you being out of power or not paying attention to their falling health bars. Moreso, its about trust. It's been said in a group I work with regularly that if "I couldn't save ya, there was little anyone could have done". That statement alone made my day, since that is my goal. To keep my group standing and fighting and to give them the impression that no matter what we get into, with me along, we have a chance. Something I cannot state strongly enough, your power is for healing, not smiting, so use it sparingly. Nothing annoys a group more than 5 min breaks between fights so the healer can regen power, so just be wary of the cost.


Realm Abilities (They can tip the balance, choose carefully)

There are some realm abilities you should consider.

Acuity 2 - This is the minimum for most of the speicals Clerics get so get it first. It's a boring RA I know, but trust me here, just spend the 4 pts and get it over with.

Bunker Of Faith - This little gem only costs 10 points, but its the best 10 realm points you'll spend. When this spell affect is active your group takes 50% less melee dmg. While that may not sound impressive, it is. To Qoute a fellow Cleric (Emotep of Palo):
1. Use Bof
2. Be Invulnerable
3. Profit

MCL - This is another great Realm Ability you will come to love. Using it simply
restores a portion of your power bar. I personally dont see much of a need beyond MCL2. MCL restores over 1/3 of your power and MCL2 gets back just over half. It can be used every 5 mins. It's listed as not usable in combat. The exact defination is vague here. I've had success getting it to fire in most situations. Hitting Escape to clear your current target before using it helps a bit as well. The only exception is I've never been able to make it work while a mob is in melee with me, but other than that, spam it a bit if it doesnt fire on the first try, and it will work.

Serenity 3 - Higher is nice, but Serenity 3 will give you a nice boost in the rate your power comes back and its passive so it works all the time. It's almost like sorc or minstrel power regen. You simply regain power faster whether your fighting or not. Another great benefit is it stacks with Power Regen, so you'll be regaining power at an incredible rate with power regen running too.

I personally haven't experimented with the other Cleric Realm Abilities. I'm sure there are some gems out there and as time goes by and I have more RPs, I'll be checking them out. The ones I listed above fit perfectly with my PvE philisophy on clerics. Power, more Power and some extra power on top of that to keep me healing for the long haul.

Equipment:

I use 4 pieces of the TOA quest armor to give me some nice %-based bonuses. The armor actually gives you more than I have listed, but I only wanted to list the important ones.

22% healing effectiveness
22% enhancement effectiveness
5% casting speed

I use a gem and a belt that give me a total of +24% power pool


Using a combination of ROG jewelry and a couple of Spell crafted armor pieces all of my resistances are at 26% or better. This is the balance I was happiest with. I get a nice fat 20%+ bonus to healing and enhance, a small boost to combat speed and a great big fat 24% bonus to available power. I can heal more using the same power for longer. What more can a cleric ask for? Some people say SpellCrafted Armor is much better and in some cases I can completely understand that, but I built this cleric from the ground up to be a monster in PvE. He does well in RvR, but his armor isn't built around that concept. In general, RvR armor should be maxed in resists and you should cap your Piety and Con at least. Make sure your + to spec lines are topping you off, then consider probably Dex & Power after that if you have spare slots and have already maxed out the ones listed.



Enhancements (The other white meat)

This is about using the enhancement line for best value in your group. This assumes your not using a red spec throwing bot, but instead have a cleric that has spent time and energy giving himself a high enough enhance to be useful to a group. Most of the time we spend our spec points in Rejuv or less commonly, Smite. The layout of the enhancement spell-line is probably the worse in the game. While I cant profess intimate knowledge of most other spell-lists, I do know the cleric's list was put together with a eye toward sadism. Its a horrible jumble of varying spell levels. Not impossible to sort, but come on...

The 20 buff max starts to really crap your buffage in a full group. The question I find myself asking is what 2-3 buffs will help the specific class the most. Since you can only cast 20 of them you have to make choices. The following is the reasoning I use when being the only cleric in a group. It's fairly simple, but gives you something to compare or improve on. I always start with my own basic buffs. Base Con, Spec Con/Str and Spec Quick/Dex. This is your minimum and you should rarely if ever be without them. God gave you con, so dammit, max that bad boy. I typically have over 1700 health depending on exact equipment. Add health like that to Chain Armor and the word survivability surfaces in a cleric-unfriendly world.

Baselines:
Str -
Enhances the strength stat. Adds 50 points delved, with TOA items mine can adds 60+ points. I use this when I'm in small groups. It makes the tanks that much better if they haven't already hit caps.

Dex -
I use this as a bonus speed/accuracy. Typically on Dex based classes (Friars, Casters, etc), but always as a second to Spec Dex/Quick. The spec line is twice the buff for the same slot.

Armor Factor -
I never use this spell. It adds almost nothing to a lvl 50s Armor Factor. It's a waste, remove it from your bar...

Con -
Useful, but I prefer the spec con/str as a primary Con buff, with this being used
as a secondary buff.


SpecLines:
Str/Con -
I use this as my primary Con buff. A few more points of Con than the baseline and it throws in a nearly free + same amount in Strength. It costs more concentration to hold but the str freebie is just too good to pass up.

Dex/Quick -
This spell is the Str/Con version of Dex/Quick. It has all the same value when your trying to pump a toons

Dex/Quick.

Spec AF -
I rarely use this one. It's not a bad spell but most people would rather have
the stat buffs and various affects that are cast by other classes can cancel or conflict with it.
Only cast when asked for.

Health Regen:
It draws more aggro than its worth generally. It's useful for shortening downtime, but I generally dont use it in a fight. Well, RvR is a bit different..

Acuity -
Every caster gets this.

Self Combat Dmg -
30%+ is not to be snubbed. But obviously its use is limited.

Defensive Proc Group -
Free cast. Takes no Conc, but has to be recast every 10 (delved) mins. Having a % chance that a group member will heal himself whenever he takes a hit is handy, but you have to balance its aggro. It's an odd spell, it never seems to help enough when your group is getting beat down and it does tend to draw some aggro. Experiment with it. Some use it regularly, some dont. In RvR always use it since regular aggro rules do not apply.

Resists (Body, Spirit and Energy)
These are a great way to top off your groups resists. Use it often. Its "free" so get to casting.



RvR (Can someone get this friggin Troll off me?)
(This portion written entirely by Geaien Evansoul - Cleric of Aeonian Prophecy - Albion, Palomides)

Edit - Since RvR tactics differ so much from PvE, I thought it might be appropriate to include some RvR information and ideas. Geaien was nice enough to compile some of the things he's learned into the following guide. I've only made small cosmetic and typo changes. It is presented here almost verbatim from his post on palo. Thanks again Geaien!!


SPREAD OUT

Unlike our counterparts in the other realms we have nothing we need to do during the first 3-5 seconds of a fight. Instead of wasting precious time, the first few seconds of the fight needs to be spent hiding from the enemy. Hide behind a tree, get behind the milefort, get inside the "thimble", do anything that will buy you extra seconds later on in the fight.

Even when you don't have any nearby objects to hide behind, or you prefer to watch the battle, you can still make yourself harder to kill. Elevate yourself (i.e. climb the slope of the hill). You'll be surprised how often people don't look up. Swing behind the enemy. When you turn a corner and find yourself smack in the middle of an enemy group, run behind them. The enemy MA often needs a few seconds to process the onrush of new targets. During this time, you can slip off the edge of his screen and get behind his group. Doing so can leave him lost when he looks
to kill clerics.

At the very least, spread out. You want to get outside of the AE mez radius; you want to get outside of the enemy's casting range; and you want the melee train to take an extra second or two to reach you. Of course, don't get so far away that you can't heal/be healed or give/receive group RA's.

HEAL =P

By far the most efficient heal spell in 90% of RvR is the spread heal. Any healer with any RvR experience will tell you this. However, the other spells do have some use. The Greater Heal spell casts faster and heals a single target for more than a spread heal. Versus a disciplined melee train in an 8v8 it is oftentimes the only action that can keep a target alive. It eats mana like a hog on crack, but the 15 extra seconds you keep the sorcerer alive is an extra 15 seconds before the melee train comes looking for you. The major heal line is also useful for topping off health inbetween fights or in keep fights when mana efficiency becomes important.

Before you throw a heal be sure to hit your /face hotkey. Doing it immediately stops your movement and prevents the annoying *you can't cast while moving* message. Also, use /face to keep a visual on the support classes in your group and the location of the enemy train. Oftentimes there is a lag between when a hit actually occurs and when the hp drop registers on your group window. Seeing the enemy train approach your groupmate lets you mitigate
the effects of lag. Moreover, when you watch the approach you can select the group member and time the heal to hit a split-second after the first hit lands thereby "frontloading" your heals.

Another tip is to have the weakest group member selected when you run around between battles. It saves you one thing to do when the battle starts. Also, if anyone goes down during a battle, try to rez them, especially a sorcerer or another cleric. You'll be surprised how often it can turn a fight when a rezzed sorcerer lands that second AE mez or when a rezzed cleric
uses raging power to heal like a madman.

INTERRUPT OTHER HEALERS

If your group isn't taking damage, i.e. party has SOS, it is often useful for you to interrupt the opposing healers. If you see anyone casting, run by them and smack them or throw them a smite or two. Remember, if a healer is casting that usually means someone in their group is dying. That interrupt will seriously annoy them and more often than not result in the premature death of their groupmate.

Also, if an enemy healer has prevented you from casting, i.e. druid pet and healer lull. Don't stand there and just take it. Rush the healer and bash him with your mace. If you can't heal, you had better make sure someone on their side isn't healing as well.

BRUSH OFF ATTACKERS

Unlike the other realm's healers, clerics are often left to fend for themselves. Druids can root for each other. Healers and shamans can mez/root for each other. Clerics can stun for each other? Har har. If you're being chased, chances are your sorcerer is already dead, and your minstrel is often busy stunning the MA's target. You really do have to look out for yourself, and since pbae mez is a joke, this brings us to another important skill: brushing off attackers.

Most RvR novices know to sprint when attacked but end up running in circles and dying because they can't shake attackers who are sprinting just as fast.

First off, pack a couple of end pots cause you're going to need them. While you're at it, get longwind 1 cause that helps a lot too. Players who claim Albion has the best end regen conveniently forget that pally end regen only has 1000 range, leaving support classes high and dry.

One of the easiest ways to brush off attackers is to use objects to impede their movement. If you're near a tree or a rock brush up and swing around the object to wedge the object between you and your attackers and then sprint away. The walls of the "thimble" can also be used in the same way. Run along the inside of the wall and when you reach the door do a quick 180 to get outside. If you do it correctly you can get the wall between you and the enemy. Voila, you are outside the attacker's reach.

Another easy place to lose attackers is around mile forts. Run up the mile fort stairs and clip your attackers on the second flight as you swing back around. You can clip them again at the top level and then jump down the stairs so you can use the stairs again.

You can also use doors if you think you won't die while you wait for them to open/close. Open the doors and then position your attacker(s) inbetween the doors. If you place them correctly they'll get stuck when the door closes on them. This gives major style points. =)

Also, if you have a good system and a great connection you can try running up sharp inclines like the slopes of hills. People with poor systems will lag behind and hopefully get you outside of their reach.Lastly, if you find yourself snared in an open field here¡¦s another trick to try. When the enemy reaches you, stop for a couple seconds, long enough to turn off sprint mode for your attackers. Then suddenly sprint away. Oftentimes you can catch them off guard and get out of their reach before they realize they aren't sprinting anymore.

When you're doing all of this keep an eye on your health bar cause the enemy is bound to get a few hits. Have your insta-heals ready and use BoF if you find yourself in a real bind.
If this all sounds kind of foreign to you, get a realm mate to /duel you and have him chase you as you try to practice your escape technique.

Unfortunately, everything I've listed above does nothing against pets. If you have a decent pbae mez, this is the time to use it. Run on top of the pet before hitting the mez to get full effect. Otherwise, if you have a druid pet on you, go find the nearest druid and bash him. If you have an enchanter pet on you, get within melee range so it stops snaring you. Then go find the nearest druid and bash him. Also, take a swing at anyone in your path who happens to be casting. Once again, if you find yourself unable to heal, make sure someone on their side isn't healing as well.

Finally, when all else fails run in front of your melee train so they know you're under attack. If the tanks have any sense they'll try to help you or at least have someone throw a slam your way.

Hopefully, this little guide will help you realize there's more to being a competent cleric than hitting spread heal and BoF (apologies to Emotep =P).


This guide was put together in hopes of giving some clerics some ideas to expand their class a bit. It's not meant to be the end-all-be-all, but I hope that there is enough useful information here to make it useful. Corrections and additions to this guide were made when I posted it on palonet. I'd like to give some credit to these folks. Thanks to: Ente1369, Gravis RnR, EmoteP, Larudor (aka. Geaien Evansoul), Krennick & many more. Thanks again for taking the time to help me make this guide more accurate and more informative. This could not have been done
without you...
Send mail to GND@amzeus.co.uk with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 02/16/07
 

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