A Priest Guide to Group Healing – Runes of Magic
No matter what your secondary class, the role of a priest in an instance should also be a healer. Keeping your group alive requires a lot of things from both you and your group. Healers need to be thinking ahead, more aware of their surroundings than a tank and be prepared to toss heals quickly.
MMO Healing in General
There are many aspects of healing in MMOs that are the same from game to game. These basic principles are important to understand when analyzing any healing class in any MMO. I highly recommend that you read An Introduction to Healing in MMORPGs.The information in that article is useful to players of any experience level.
Healing Spells and How To Use Them Effectively
The role the priest must take in any group is the healer and buffer. Priests should be able to keep everyone in the group buffed and healed at all times. Lets take a quick look at all the skills that really matter and how you will use them to become an effective group healer..
Soul Source – This is one of your 'holy crap' buttons. For whatever reason if your entire group starts taking a large amount of damage you are going to want to use this. You have to be picky when using it though because it has a 10 minute cooldown. The neat thing about this spell is that it consumes none of your mana and will restore your entire party's health to full.
Wave Armor – You are going to want to save this for your tank just before he pulls a group and refresh it when it fades. It lasts 60 seconds or until it absorbs a certain amount of damage depending on how high of a level you have it. Wave Armor can be thought of as a tool to help you save mana. If your tank doesn't take damage you don't need to heal and you can regen mana faster.
Healing Salve – Temporarily increases the amount you will heal your target for by a considerable amount, lasts 60 seconds. This is another one of your abilities that will require constant refreshing. If you have it at a high enough level all of your heals on the buffed target can heal for 100% more than usual for a full 60 seconds.
Regenerate – Also known as a HoT, Regenerate will heal the target over 20 seconds. The amount that is healed per 2 seconds depends on the level you have it at. Typically its a good idea to constantly have this on anyone taking damage unless you are having mana issues.
Urgent Heal – A 1 second cast time that will heal your target for a moderate amount. You should be using this heal if your tank, or any other party member, is low on health. It is your fastest heal so don't be afraid to toss some around at any time.
Heal – With a 2 second cast time it really is not a good idea for this to be your main spam heal. However, your target has both Wave Armor and Regenerate then you could probably get away with a 2 second cast without anyone dying. It's a slow heal but its a big heal and it should be used when ever a party member is below about 30% health.
There are a few other heals that are available to the priest and you are encouraged to find ways to use them. The five I listed above, if used under the right circumstances, is all you will really need to be a successful healer.
Healing is your primary role and buffing is a minor secondary role. While it isn't completely necessary to have high level buffs it can certainly help so long as you don't gimp your healing spells. Here is a list of the most important buffs for both your party and yourself.
Grace of Life – Increases the maximum hit points of your target by an amount depending on level for 30 minutes. If you can get this high enough it can really make healing an easy job, especially on the tank.
Faith – Increases the effects of your healing by a certain percent. Simply put, the higher level this skill is the more your healing spells will heal for which is the whole point of being a priest. Invest as many points into this skill as possible. It is passive so you will not have to actually cast this spell.
Cleanse – Used primarily to remove debuffs from your party. A common use of this spell is to remove poison from a party member. Simply use it whenever you can clear a debuff.
Blessing of Humility – If by some off chance you manage to pull aggro you can use this to clear your threat on all targets (unless your flying solo). It clears your threat for 15 seconds which should be more than enough time for the tank to regain aggro.
The Priest class has quite a few more abilities that you can invest points into but the ones listed above require a higher priority. In Runes of Magic there really is no place for a priest that does damage so keep that in mind before you invest points into any damaging abilities.
Runes of Magic is what is called a potion quaffing game. This simply means that there is not enough mana or health regen for any class to be self sufficient enough to not require them. While this may not be true for some classes, this is a fact for the priest class. If you do not join a group with a lot of potions, you are going to run out of mana. It's a good rule of thumb to have around 200 mana potions on you at all time, especially when you first enter a dungeon. It may sound a bit silly but currently it is the only way for a priest to be an effective healer.
Lastly, be sure to keep your equipment repaired. Broken armor gives no bonus's. If your gear is broken you may as well just come naked to the group, which wouldn't be very attractive.