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All good things come to an end

All good things come to an end

Hi there! I hope everyone is doing well in these weird times and taking care of their loved ones. So, I have been playing the Elder Scrolls Online since the beginning of 2017. I had great times on it and really enjoyed creating educational content. […]

Dragonhold update – Rest in peace, Infallible Aether

Dragonhold update – Rest in peace, Infallible Aether

Dragonhold was released last Monday. While the bulk of the patch brought no changes for us healer, an improvement to the warden class brings a pretty significant shift in our gear choice! We cover this transition in this post:).

Scalebreaker PTS Patch Notes 5.1.0 – An end-game healer opinion on the matter

Scalebreaker PTS Patch Notes 5.1.0 – An end-game healer opinion on the matter

On Saturday the 6th of July, some leaked patch notes for the upcoming Scalebreaker ESO update were revealed. As a response to these leaks, Zenimax has published the real Patch Notes for PTS week 1 (5.1.0). While these showed some interesting adjustments, they also showed two seriously worrisome changes that could impact drastically PvE – and in particular, PvE healing.

Many healers have already reacted. In particular, Stileanima made very good points in her post here. I created a petition to gather the voice of the people who disagree with these changes. While this petition was meant kind of as a troll, it shows that many people do care about the issue.

I also listened to the points of friends of mine who have experience in both the PvE and PvP raiding scenes. In this short post, I give my opinion on these changes. In addition, I propose some alternatives, using the feedback I’ve gathered as well as my own knowledge. I keep in mind the fact that these changes were mostly made to impact PvP, to the best of my knowledge.

I discuss first the changes made, then offer my point of view on them. Lastly, I offer some substitute adjustments which could be made. A special thanks to Imidazole, Stileanima, Healsthefeels and Cloudz for useful insights. 

The Relevant Changes

Grand Healing Changes

This is the live version of the skill,

which is one of the basics of any healer setup both in PvE and PvP.

  • In PvE, Grand Healing is used as a strong, short HoT that can outheal incoming bursts. The stacks are essential to the survivability of the group during the most hard-hitting mechanics. While beginner PvE healers tend to spam this ability, end-game healers only use it when necessary.
  • In PvP, Grand Healing is spammed in large groups to soak up any incoming damage. PvP healers benefit from the Magicka return of Healing Springs to “pave” the way of their group with healing.

Zenimax proposes the following changes.

Grand Healing: Converted this ability into a true AoE HoT, rather than a hybrid spammable hybrid HoT.
  • Increased the duration from 3 seconds to 8 seconds, but you may only have 1 active at a time.
  • Reduced the healing per tick by approximately 44%.
  • Reduced cost to 2808 from 3510.
    • Healing Springs (morph): This ability now grants 30 Magicka every time it heals an ally, rather than restoring 330 Magicka for up to 3 allies healed by the initial hit. This will result in a higher return if you hit all 6 targets for the full duration, but will require more coordination to obtain.
    • Illustrious Healing (morph): This ability continues to increase the duration. The new duration is 9 seconds, which ranks up to 12 seconds at Rank IV.

The main point here is you can only have one Grand Healing AoE on the floor active, with a weaker HoT than on live.

Necrotic Orb Changes

The live version of the Energy Orb morph of this skill,

is vital in PvE healing and very strong in PvP.

  • In PvE, it provides a strong HoT all along the passage of the orb. Whenever an ally synergizes it, it restores a significant amount of resource (proc-ing the Undaunted Command passive as well). The burst heal provided by Combustion is almost “negligible”, as it often comes at an a time when it is not needed. As a synergy, Energy Orb also enables your group to use sets such as Lokkestiiz or Alkosh with good uptimes.
  • In PvP, orbs are used in ball groups running Harmony jewels. The Combustion synergy thus provides an insanely large burst heal or damage, depending on the morph used.

Zenimax proposes the following changes.

Necrotic Orb:
  • Reduced the base cost of this ability and its morphs to 3780 from 4590.
  • Reduced the damage per tick of this ability and the Mystic Orb morph by approximately 13%, but it can now deal damage every half second instead of every second.
  • You can only have 1 orb active at a time.
  • Decreased the speed to 2 meters per second from 3 meters per second to help it deal damage or heal targets more reliably as the orb passes them.
    • Healing Orbs (morph): Reduced the healing per tick of this ability by approximately 13%, and fixed an issue where allies affected by the Heal from this ability were unable to take damage from Necrotic or Mystic Orbs from some players.

Again, the key point of these adjustments is that you can now have only one (healing or damaging) orb active at a time.

My Opinion

Grand Healing

At first glance, I thought this would affect very little PvE. As mentioned before, as an end-game PvE healer, I rarely use Grand Healing anyway.

However, there are some instances where using and stacking this strong AoE HoT is essential. During most of the trash phases and during the Troll boss fight in Sanctum Ophidia, the strong, constant HoT is needed. Or again, in order to out-heal Baneful Mark in Cloudrest. Or, in Sunspire, in order to out-heal the beam hit and the following static DoT in Lokkestiiz Hard Mode (see a clip of me, struggling to out-heal this DoT, layering springs and as many HoTs as possible). There are many other such instances, but I am sure you got my point. In those situations, as an experienced healer, I am not sure we would survive without Grand Healing stacking. So how can we expect the more casual player base to even clear this type of content?

As Stileanima mentioned in her post (linked in the introduction), Grand Healing as also essential when your group is moving during a boss or trash fight. If only one AoE is active, how can we take into account DDs lagging behind or going forward a bit too fast? No raiding group, let it be end-game or let alone beginner-leveled, has such a high-level of coordination.

When it comes to PvP, it appears indeed that Healing Spring spam is  overpowered in Cyrodiil. I assume that this is why such a nerf has been decided.  However, the most coordinated groups are already running only two healers, mitigating damage by running Purge spammers. Substracting springs will only encourage to run fully stamina-based groups stacking health recovery and echoing vigors while only bringing one or two magicka as Purge bots. The nerf will therefore have little effect on organized raiding PvP groups.

Energy Orb

This change is the one I am the most worried about. In PvE, orb spamming is vital. It gives back resources to your group, it provides a strong HoT if your group is sufficiently stacked. Most importantly, in my opinion, using Energy Orbs promotes teamwork and group coordination. Using synergies should never be that nerfed, as they make for interesting group compositions and strategies. The introduction of sets such as Alkosh and Lokkestiiz in particular encourage using synergies at key moments. The proposed change would greatly kill this playstyle as they would make orbs much less available. 

Furthermore, with Grand Healing being nerfed, having Energy Orb nerfed as well would be essentially be gutting out HoTs in PvE. This would make some content (mentioned above), hard to clear for experienced groups – let alone for the average player. As an illustration of this point, let me show you a screenshot from logs of Lokkestiiz Hard Mode.

As you can see, even using defensive ultimates (Reviving and Replenishing Barrier), and Minor Lifesteal, Illustrious Healing and Energy Orb are by far our main sources of healing. Keep in mind that this is in a group where healers actually heal only when absolutely necessary, buffing, debuffing and dealing damage the rest of the time. How are we supposed to survive consistently mechanics without these two abilities?

The (solo) orb being slower also hits healing diversity. In PvE groups where the tanks are less experimented, they often need the resource return from Energy Orb. If there is only one orb available, moving slowly through the group, what are the chances of it being able to reach the tanks in time? This will encourage more people to bring Templar healers in raid – for shards – in the detriment of other classes.

As for PvP, the orb nerf will certainly affect them as well. However, the biggest issues of orb usage in PvP, being Combustion healing/dealing a huge burst of damage, is not addressed.

Alternative Adjustments

I propose here some alternative adjustments that could be make in order to change Grand Healing and Energy Orbs, without gutting PvE healing.

Grand Healing

Grand Healing: 
  • Reduced cost to 2808 from 3510. Casting again within 6s costs 50% more magicka. 
    • Healing Springs (morph): This ability now grants 30 Magicka every time it heals an ally, rather than restoring 330 Magicka for up to 3 allies healed by the initial hit. This will result in a higher return if you hit all 6 targets for the full duration, but will require more coordination to obtain.
    • Illustrious Healing (morph): This ability continues to increase the duration. 

This change would strongly punish Grand Healing spam, but not make it impossible. In PvE, it would hurt Grand Healing mindless spam. In PvP, it would prevent large groups from paving their way with Healing Springs. The modified Magicka return from Healing Springs would actually make it even harder, as groups are often moving.

Energy Orb

Necrotic Orb:
  • Reduced the base cost of this ability and its morphs to 3780 from 4590.
  • Reduced the damage per tick of this ability and the Mystic Orb morph by approximately 13%, but it can now deal damage every half second instead of every second. Reduced the damage dealt by the Combustion synergy by approximately 75%.
  • You can only have 4 orbs active at a time.
  • Decreased the speed to 2 meters per second from 3 meters per second to help it deal damage or heal targets more reliably as the orb passes them.
    • Healing Orbs (morph): Reduced the healing per tick of this ability by approximately 13%, and fixed an issue where allies affected by the Heal from this ability were unable to take damage from Necrotic or Mystic Orbs from some players. Reduced the healing done by the Combustion synergy by approximately 75%.

While this adjustment would stay in the same spirit as the proposed change, they would be far less restrictive in PvE and actually keep on promoting teamwork and coordination. The nerf to the damage/healing done by Combustion would strongly decrease the power of orbs in ball groups in PvP.


Final Words

I feel like most of these changes were designed to make healing in PvP less of a mindless spam. However, they hit PvE too strongly. PvE healing is, in my opinion, mostly balanced, and does not need those changes. A nice way to balance PvP while keeping PvE intact would be to just modify damage and healing modifiers in Cyrodiil.

Thank you for reading through this essay. As I said, it gathers my concerns as a PvE healer. If you have the same concerns, feel free to share it around.

How I set up Srendarr

How I set up Srendarr

Introduction Have you ever wondered how to track your buffs&debuffs efficiently in ESO? The addon Srendarr is one of the most popular ways to do so and is clean and simple. However, it can be a bit tricky to set up properly, especially for the […]

Necrotic Guardian – Necromancer healing guide (Dragonhold updated)

Necrotic Guardian – Necromancer healing guide (Dragonhold updated)

Introduction Welcome to my necromancer PvE healing guide :)! I will present here the skills and gear I would use in general for healing PvE content such as trials or 4-man dungeons and arenas. Some sections are kept short intentionally as my templar healing guide […]

Front Kiter in vAS – Bow/bow meta (Scalebreaker updated)

Front Kiter in vAS – Bow/bow meta (Scalebreaker updated)

Since the Wrathstone patch, bow/bow stamina dds proved to be better than magicka dds in Asylum Sanctorium. As we were pushing for a score in this trial, I modified my build to fit into this meta. In this note, I detail the build I am using, and explain a little bit the gameplay.

Attributes, consommables and Mundus

Our goal this patch is to burn Olms fast enough so that Felms does not enrage and can be completely ignored. Because of this, I have a lower health pool than usual. Therefore, I use 32 points in health and 32 points in magicka.

For food, I use Arteum Pickled Fish Bowl, playing Breton: if you are playing another race, you may want to choose a different food. I use tri-stats potions in this fight as it helps both my magicka and stamina sustain: both are equally important.

The biggest change I made to my build is regarding the Mundus stone. Indeed, I am using the Serpent Mundus to boost my stamina recovery. The strength of bow/bow builds this patch comes from the Shadow Silk synergy. Therefore, I want to be able to spam that skill as much as possible, and need a consequent stamina recovery pool. Using the Serpent Mundus along with the clockwork food gave me the best stats overall.

Gear

Here is the gear I am using with this setup:

  • On jewels and body pieces: Infallible Aether, that I keep up on the main boss and on the spheres closer to me.
  • On body pieces and on weapons: Torug’s pact. Because of the stam meta, we need a support to wear Morag Tong. We chose to have the main tank run Morag Tong, and so I needed to wear Torug’s. Depending on your group, you may want to have your tank run Torug’s Pact and run Z’en’s Redress, adjusting your build accordingly.
  • As a monster set: Symphony of Blades. This set is great to help with the group’s sustain, and there really isn’t a good alternative.

I am running 6 lights and 1 heavy, all divines (except for one piece that I was too lazy to re-craft). Running 5/1/1 would probably be better but again, too lazy to re-craft. On the big body pieces, I am running tri-stat enchants.

For the weapons, I ran double infused, with a weakening enchantment on my restoration staff and a crusher enchantment on my lightning staff. I chose to run crusher on my back bar as it is the bar on which I spend most of my time. As I am the only one running Torug’s, it is important to keep an uptime as high as possible on this debuff.

On my jewels, I ran two swift traits and one arcane. I found that because I was using more spiders and less orbs, I had to spend less time as close as possible to the group, so two swift jewels were enough. I chose to run one stamina and two magicka recovery enchantments.

Skills

The skills I use are the same as in my Front Kiter guide, the only exception being elemental drain that I replaced with Shadow Silk. Indeed, as we run only stamina dds, elemental drain is not needed.

Champion points

These CPs are the same as in my other guide.

Green tree :

Sprinter 63

Arcanist 75
Tenacity 49

Shadow Ward 40
Tumbling 43

Red tree :

Iron Clad 72
Spell Shield 75

Hardy 23
Thick Skinned 23
Elemental Defender 64

Bastion 13

Blue tree :

Blessed 64
Elfborn 66
Spell erosion 22
Elemental expert 32

Staff expert 14
Master-at-arms 28

Thaumaturge 44

Gameplay

Compared to before, we want to use the spider skill as much as possible when the boss is vulnerable. Basically, this means that we have to pay attention and know when there is a protector up, as using spiders at this time is wasting our stamina.

When the boss is not protected, we want to use spiders every other skills to leave some time for the ability to be activated. In particular, before the 90% jumps, that is what we want to do. At the same time, all the usual buff, debuffs and synergies should be kept up, with the addition of crusher.

On the other hand, when the boss is invulnerable or when we are out of stamina, we go back to use radiative regeneration and energy orb in the group to help with the healing and with the sustain.

I hope it helped and feel free to ask questions!

Racial changes in Wrathstone: a healer point of view

Racial changes in Wrathstone: a healer point of view

In this post, we discuss the racial changes that happened in Wrathstone, and how it impacted our racial choice for PvE healing. For this, we consider the case of templar, warden and sorcerer healers, are those are the most relevant choices in the current meta.:) […]

Flower Power – Warden healing guide (Dragonhold updated)

Flower Power – Warden healing guide (Dragonhold updated)

Introduction Welcome to my warden PvE healing guide :)! This build aims to be as general as possible, whether you are new to healing in ESO or you want to improve your healing game play, or just read different thoughts.

vCR kiting – Warden healing guide (Murkmire updated)

vCR kiting – Warden healing guide (Murkmire updated)

Introduction

Welcome to my warden healing guide for Cloudrest. This guide is similar to my AS front kiting guide, as it focuses on one role : shard picker and kiter in CR. The build as pretty much entirely been designed by the amazing @Nick5262 <3, and is Gryphon Heart approved :D.

This guide will be organized as follows :

1. Kiter in Clourest : Your Role
2. Setup
3. Champion Points
4. Game play

Make sure to hover your mouse pointer over the underlined sets and skills to see the tooltips :)!

1. Kiter in Cloudrest : Your Role

As a kiter in vCR, you have several missions

  • Pick up shards for the shadow real mechanics. It’s really important you get them asap as your teammates can’t complete the mechanics without them.
  • Kiting the crushing darkness outside of the group. For that, you need to be the player the furthest away from Z’maja. Note that even with that, it doesn’t always target you :).
  • Kiting the jumps from the different mini bosses.

2. Setup

Gear, attributes and consumables

Here is the setup I use for kiting. The other healer should use Olorime and drain as we are running double resto staff.

 SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadBogdanHeavyDivinesTristat
Shoulders Bogdan
LightDivinesMagicka
ChestWorm
LightDivinesMagicka
LegsWorm
LightDivinesTristat
HandsWorm
LightDivinesMagicka
WaistWorm
LightDivinesMagicka
FeetWorm
LightDivinesMagicka
NecklaceInfallible AetherArcaneSpell damage
Ring 1Infallible AetherSwiftMagicka Recovery
Ring 2Infallible AetherSwiftMagicka Recovery
Main bar weaponInfallible Aether Restoration StaffPoweredWeapon Damage enchant
Off bar weaponInfallible Aether Restoration StaffInfusedCrusher

I use Infallible Mage (or Infallible Aether) set on jewels and weapons : it is really helpful for the group as it gives high minor vulnerability uptimes. Try to keep it up on Z’maja and on the different mini bosses. I am using it on both bars as I am not using combat prayer, so asylum staff is not an option. In addition, I use Worm’s raiment since every dd in this trial should be magicka. It is a great supportive set for the group. As a monster set, I run Bogdan which is a great additional healing for you and your group, as every dds should be more or less always stacked.

I am running 6 pieces of Light armor, and using Max Magicka, Max Health food (such as the Solitude Salmon-Millet soup).

For attributes, I put 64 points in Magicka, as blue food gives us enough hp, and run the Atronach mundus for regen. I prefer this to gold food + ritual, because the increased max magicka pool is really comfortable. We will use tristats potions because we need that extra stamina back to sprint around the map, and warden has access to major sorcery and prophecy.

 

Stats

Here is a superstar screenshot of the build if you want to compare stats and gear.

 Skills

Front bar

  • Inner light gives a bit of extra max magicka, and major prophecy on front bar, which we don’t get otherwise because we are using tristats potions.
  • Enchanted growth, Illustrious Healing and Rapid regen are here to heal ourself and our group. Enchanted growth is our panic heal, beware that it needs to be targeted properly. We don’t spam rapid regen too much, just use it for ourselves when we’re out of the group, and when the group is moving. I prefer illustrious healing to healing springs in CR as it gives me more time to use other skills, such as orbs.
  • Energy orbs are to be used on our main tank and our dds for resources, they also do a ton of healing so spam them as much as possible.
  • Blue betty is here for our own sustain, as it gives us around 300 effect regen. We also use it for major sorcery, that we don’t get otherwise, and because it gives you 12% additional regen on our front bar for having it slotted.
  • ULTIMATE : We use Northern storm on our front bar to get an additional 8% max magicka. If your group is progressing, healing thicket is a great panic ult.

Back bar

  • Overflowing altar is an amazing skill in cloudrest, because the healing is does is incredibly useful when people get the healing debuff. Try to have it up as much as possible, in particular, we want no down time in execute.
  • Bone surge is a really useful skill in cloudrest, I use it almost only in execute. It helps our dds, and we can also help our tanks with it.
  • We use deceptive predator for the major expedition buff. It’s really helpful to pick up shards quickly, this way we can come back easily to heal our group. It also gives us 12% regen on our back bar.
  • Finally, we use Budding seeds pretty much only for the synergy. We want to center it on our main tank because the synergy goes to the three people closest to the center of the aoe.
  • ULTIMATE : Aggressive horn is our main ulti.

About traits and enchants

  • For body pieces, I use full divines with two tristats enchants. Infused on big pieces is also a strong choice.
  • For jewels, I run two swift, increasing my movement speed by 12%. I have been experimenting with it a bit, and found that using two swift jewels was really comfortable without being a huge sacrifice of resources, so I’d recommend to try out and see if you enjoy it !:)
  • For weapons, I like powered front bar to boost a bit my healing, cause I feel like it’s needed in the most intense phases of the fight. The weapon damage enchant helps to push that even more. On back bar, I run infused crusher to be able to debuff orbs and creepers. Be careful, if your tanks are using Torug’s, not to proc the enchant on minis or main boss.

3. Champion Points

While my blue CPs are the same as in my “standard” healing setup, I change my green and red CPs when I’m going in CR.

Green tree :

Sprinter 35
Warlord 30

Arcanist 75
Tenacity 75

Shadow Ward 20
Tumbling 35

In CR, I almost never block, which is why I use so little points in Shadow Ward. I put some of those in Sprinter as it helps a lot with mobility.

Red tree :

Iron Clad 72
Spell Shield 57

Thick Skinned 66
Elemental Defender 64

Quick Recovery 11

Almost all your incoming damage is magical (except for the damage from the little adds coming out of the portal).

Blue tree :

Blessed 100
Elfborn 81
Spell erosion 24
Elemental expert 32

Staff expert 9
Master-at-arms 13

Thaumaturge 28

 

4. Game play

Our role in there is pretty straightforwards : try to always be the furthest away from Z’maja, and pick up shards whenever your teammates are in the shadow world ! Here are some tips.

Malevolent Sphere dot

It can be hard at first to deal with the dot from the orbs, so make sure to have rapid regen on you, and put one or two springs on which to kite if you feel like you’re taking a lot of damage. Something to know is that the dot is applied by a projectile shot by the orbs when they are killed, that you can dodge or block : if you do, you won’t get afflicted by the dot.

Gryphon mechanics in +X

  • I would strongly advice not to take on the ice aoe. First of all, as we are supposed to kite away from the group, we will most likely drop it away too, and our teammates will have to spread to get it. Then, the snare is really annoying for us to pick up shards and react. Lastly, as we are away from the group, we don’t have nearly as much HoTs on us than the dds or the other healer, so the ice dot can kill us really easily.
  • If you get the fire bomb on you, you should obviously go in the group to avoid dying. The biggest danger is that it overlaps with the crushing darkness mechanics. In that case, try to wait as much as possible, buff yourself with major expedition, and then rush in the group. Make sure to announce this so your dds can prepare and stay stacked, making it easier for you. I try to always pop one bone shield when I get the fire bomb, so it protects people around even if they don’t use a shield themselves.
  • Make sure to avoid having the overload mechanics on your front bar. This is the bar on which you have all your healing power, so you should always have access to it.

Execute

  • During the execute, I am actively trying to avoid the baneful mark healing debuff by staying just a few steps away from the boss. Indeed, we have only one overflowing altar in the group so it means that I don’t have access to that synergy, making it much harder to heal up after the debuff.
  • Try to use bone shield as much as possible to protect your dds (without emptying your stamina pool as you want to be able to roll dodge if you’re targeted by a creeper). You should also monitor your main tank after each baneful mark. If he doesn’t get healed up fast enough, go to him to give him bone shield too : it really makes the biggest difference.
  • Keep synergies up to help the dds and the tanks :)!

Finally, here is the video of our gryphon heart run, where you can see how I played there. This wasn’t the best run for me cause I played really safe when the boss was under 40% hp, but still you can get an idea of the game play.

I hope this was helpful, if you have questions make sure to let me know :)!

Summerset Update – What is new for healers

Summerset Update – What is new for healers

The Summerset update finally came ! And with it, a lot of exciting changes for us healers. While I will update my healer guide soon (after some testings), I wanted to write this small post to discuss the main changes that are relevant to us […]