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A dedicated healing class might
well be the dividing line between traditional MMORPGs and active combat
MMORPGs. Despite the prevailing opinion of healers as whack-a-mole
gamers, that healers play the UI and not the game, the healer remains
the purest example of a support class and, as a result, the most
MMO-ish class there is. So why the animosity? What does a dedicated
healing class bring to MMO gaming, and how will healers fare in the
2011 MMORPG lineup? That and more in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/oct/4">Loading…
Healers Plz.

cellspacing="0" width="100%">


You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">What
is The Pulse?).

top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">EverQuest 2 
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/99">Lord
    of the Rings Online 
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/43">EVE
    Online (UP 1)  
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/115">Age
    of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
    (UP 2) 

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online

    - UP 8
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/183">Guild
    Wars 2

    - down 4
    style="text-decoration: underline;">
  3. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2">StarCraft

    - down 4
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2461"
    for Speed World
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2" target="_blank">StarCraft
    II: Wings of Liberty
  • size="-1">8/17
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/140">City
    of Heroes: Going Rogue (release)
  • size="-1">8/18
    - href="http://everquest2.com/free_to_play">EverQuest
    II Extended (release)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/7
    - size="-1"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion:
    Assault on Balaurea (free
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/29
    - Everquest
    2 Extended

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/30
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv">Final
    Fantasy XIV (release)


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">October
    26, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/170">LEGO
    Universe (release)

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">November
    2, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online (release)


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/5 -
    10/8 - href="http://www.gdconline.com/">GDC
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/8 -
    10/10 - href="http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/">New
    York Comic Con
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011) - href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/" target="_blank">CCP
style="font-weight: bold;">Rift
- Ask the Devs!

Have you got a question about style="font-style: italic;">Rift:
Planes of Telera?
Well, you have a chance to ask the devs at Trion Worlds directly. Just
submit your questions href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53660">in
our forums.
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore/scoreboards"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 249px;"
alt="World of Warcraft PlayerScore"

your PlayerScore?
World of
Warcraft players, find out at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore">playerscore.com.

Loading... Every MMOG's secret

The href="http://swtor.com/news/blog/20101001">latest style="font-style: italic;">Star Wars: The Old
Republic blog
introduces advanced classes, a concept that strikes me as pretty
similar to the archetype -> sub-class -> class
progression in style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest 2
(ex. Scout -> Predator -> Ranger or Warrior ->
Crusader -> Paladin), the principal difference being a shared
skill set between the subclasses.

The concept has been adopted or adapted a number of times since, so
Advanced Classes, so far as I can tell, isn’t especially
original or noteworthy. But what seems like a response to
Arena.net’s stance on healers in style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
is interesting to me:

play style generally associated with the ‘healer’
role in MMOs is very popular with many players and we wanted to make
sure that we offered that role in our game for our audience. In fact,
we are offering two classes that can develop into fully capable healers
for each faction via one of their Advanced Classes.”

Contrast that with this,
from the recent style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
dev blog, “ href="http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/combat/healing-death/">A
New Look at Healing and Death”:

“Healing is
the least dynamic kind of support there is. It is
reactive instead of proactive. Healing is for when you are already
losing. In Guild
Wars 2
we prefer that you
support your allies before they take a beating. Sure, there are some
healing spells in style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2,
but they make up a small portion of the support lines that are spread
throughout the professions. Other kinds of support include buffs,
active defense, and cross-profession combinations.”

Reactive heals and heal-over-time buffs, what A.net is likely referring
to as active defense, has always been hybrid healer territory. What
most of us think of when we think of a dedicated healer is direct
healing – the ability to restore large amounts of hitpoints
at once. Pulling groupmates back from the clutches of death is at least
as satisfying to a healer as is having the highest DPS to a mage or
rogue type, and the kind of elation you feel as a healer at bringing
your group through a boss fight perhaps a little too tough for their
skills can’t be denied.

No other class has the sole ability to turn the tide of a fight quite
like a good dedicated healer, one that knows the nuances of mana
management and spell efficiency, and any good healer knows that healing
well is a pretty dynamic exercise in its own right. Plus, a good MMORPG
encounter has all traditional elements of drama, the exposition, the
rising action, the complication or climax, and the resolution. What
gets the group past the complication is, nine times out of ten, the
healer, and I don’t quite see how you can have a good,
throaty, thrillingly suspenseful encounter without the possibility of
some serious direct healing.

A dedicated healing class might well be the dividing line between
traditional MMORPGs and active combat MMORPGs. Despite the prevailing
opinion of healers as whack-a-mole gamers, that healers play the UI and
not the game, the healer remains the purest example of a support class
and, as a result, the most MMO-ish class there is.

That’s why omission of a dedicated healing class is perhaps
the boldest stroke of games like style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
and (as far as I can tell) style="font-style: italic;">DC Universe Online.
All of our previous examples of MMOs featuring “active
combat” – style="font-style: italic;">DDO
and Age
of Conan
– offer at least one  direct healing class. As for
future MMORPGs, healers can take heart. The bassist in the MMO band
will still play a very prominent role in 2011 MMORPGs like style="font-style: italic;">Rift: Planes of Telara,
and Star
Wars: The Old Republic

Not to rehash the “ href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/editorials/no-more-healers">No
More Healers” discussion,
but do you agree that dedicated healers are the soul of the traditional
MMORPG? Do you like how action MMOs are moving away from specialization
and towards hybridization, or do you like that old timey
“aces in their places” feel? Have your say in the
Loading… forums!

Epic Thread of the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=487">Contest
Announcements Forum

Your Vindictus Beta Key!

you like us? Then prove your like! We want you to...ugh, no. Put your
clothes back on; we don't need you to prove yourself quite that
way. Simply head over to our href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Ton-Hammer/9621518062"
target="_blank">Facebook page
and click the shiny LIKE button.

And if you need incentive to like us (we're not above bribery), we have
some beta keys to the hot, fast-paced free-to-play MMOG, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2462"
to give away to a few lucky, random likers. Vindictus kicks off open
beta on October 13, but you could get in now with a key from Ten Ton
Hammer. And, what's better, if you win a key you can claim two more to
share with your friends or the folks in this thread. Liking Ten Ton
Hammer makes you awesome. Sharing beta keys makes you a rockstar. It's

Go href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Ton-Hammer/9621518062"
target="_blank">fall in like with us
for your chance to win.


Quotes from the Epic Thread

but Shay, the others only like you for your beta keys whereas I on the
other hand... heh, almost got through that with a straight face.

- href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showpost.php?p=443230&postcount=2">Anacche


and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

6 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 12 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 1072 in 2010!


LEGO Universe Preview


of the existing LEGO toys and video games are sure to fall in love all
over again with this adorable franchise once they've played the MMOG
version. In this hands-on preview, we'll cover some of the ups and
downs of our time in the LEGO Universe beta and tell you why this
kid-friendly title is sure to enchant gamers of all ages


Talk: Where the Girls Aren't - The Role of Women in the Gaming Industry


it comes to women in video games there’s no shortage of
characters; from Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) to Tifa Lockheart (Final
Fantasy VII) there’s a long history of virtual women kicking
pixel ass.
But things are a bit different in the video gaming industry, where
real, flesh and blood female developers and industry experts are still
a bit of a rarity. Ten Ton Hammer spoke to industry professionals to
get their perspectives. We asked whether they felt women were given
equal opportunity in the gaming industry currently, and bid them to
tell us how they saw the role of women in gaming evolving.


Releases Latest Screenshots of Metropolis


month is closing in for DC Universe Online and SOE is ramping up hype
with the announcement of Lex Luthor in game and the release of these
new screenshots.  Get an early look at the DCUO world with
across Metropolis and some of the areas that players will find
themselves in once they've donned their tights and have set out to
fight (or create) chaos.


World of DC Universe Online


Universe Online has been flying below the hype radar which makes it
almost hard to believe that the latest super hero incarnation will be
launching soon. If you have missed any of the DCUO news that has been
slowly coming out of SOE, no worries! We have a full recap on all the
game basics to catch you up on what the world of DC Comics will be
bringing to the MMO genre this November.

Cost of Transmutation - A Look at Microtransactions in Guild Wars 2

recently announced that "transmutation stones" were going on sale in
the Guild Wars 2 item shop to allow players to keep the looks of the
gear with the stats of new gear that they've found. These consumables
stones are sparking a bit of controversy over how microtransactions
will work in the upcoming Guild Wars 2. Our latest article takes a look
at how the item shop may work in GW2 and what all of this means. While
you're here come join our community forums and href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53882">share
your opinion on the subject.

Cataclysm – Twilight Highlands Zone Preview


players level in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm they will eventually
reach the new end-game zone called The Twilight
Highlands. This is
the zone where ultimately the fate of Azeroth is set to be
decided. In this zone you get to face off against the Twilight
Hammer Cultists and the Black Dragonflight to determine the
fate. The zone is extremely large and varied, and highly story
driven.  Join Byron “Messiah” Mudry as he
explores the game’s new
end zone.

Top 10

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">LEGO Universe
    Preview href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/mastery"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/mastery"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW
    - Introduction to the Mastery System href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/reviews/final-fantasy-xiv"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/reviews/final-fantasy-xiv"> style="font-weight: bold;">Final Fantasy XIV
    Review at Ten Ton Hammer
  4. href="http://tentonhammer.com/interviews/devtalk/2010/sep">Dev
    Talk: Where the Girls Aren't - The Role of Women in the Gaming Industry
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/rogue_cataclysm_talents"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW
    Rogue Talent Guide for Patch 4.0.1 href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/shso/previews/sept-2010"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/shso/previews/sept-2010"> style="font-weight: bold;">Marvel Super Hero Squad
    Online - A Heroes &
    Helicarriers Preview
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/90254">Ten Ton
    Hammer's Beginner's Guide for style="font-weight: bold;">LotRO
    - General Gameplay
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/features/reviews/character-rating-tools">Measuring
    Gear and Comparing Scores in style="font-weight: bold;">World of
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2/interviews/dave-georgeson-sep-2010">Return
    to Norrath! An Interview with style="font-weight: bold;">EverQuest
    Dave Georgeson 
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/dcuo/editorials/the-world-of-dcuo">The
    World of DC
    Universe Online

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.