Regardless of what MMOG you play, you will find a common theme in general group dynamics; healers have a very important role in nearly any group. There are never enough to go around, and when you find a good one, you never want to let them get away. In DC Universe Online, you'll find that same theme. Unfortunately, because healers might be a little intimidating to play, not enough people are trying out the Nature and Sorcery powersets. This guide will help demystify the Nature healer and clear the path for healers by giving loadout options that work.
If you desire popularity in DCUO, crave excitement, and have plenty of courage to spare, you need to roll a Nature healer. You might find survivability to be an issue at lower levels, but don't let this discourage you, it gets better once you get a wider variety of powers. For weapon choice, a lot of healer prefer to stick with ranged. It helps keep the healer at a safe distance during group battles, but still allows the player to stay active in combat. If you're a solo player, pick whichever weapon you like and are comfortable with. I personally rolled my Nature character with a staff and I really enjoy that combination.
Who needs the flying power when you have this freakin' cool creature form?
The Nature powerset's trait trees are vastly different and they have powers that are unique to this class that I found to be really cool. Plants traits utilizes the Naturist's relationship with plant life. You'll find damage powers, stuns, and heals in this tree. The Shapeshifting traits tree contains various creature forms that add some impressive effects as well as some healing and damage powers. The forms might be a little odd to use at first, but you quickly grasp which forms provide which benefits and switching in and out of forms will become second nature.
No one really plays a healing class for its damage potential alone, but players who spend some time soloing will certainly need to know how to stack for damage. You don't really have a lot of options to work with in this regard, but I spent some time playing solo on my Nature hero and it can be done.
First, from the Plants traits line, Vine Lash is really handy to have. Nature players tend to be a bit more squishy than the heartier classes, so being able to effectively pull mobs away from the pack is really very essential. If you head down the left side of the trait tree you can pick up Impaling Thorns or Briar at lower levels, both of which are solid damage powers to have on hand.
In the Shapeshifting traits tree, another early power that is useful throughout your career is Roar. It stuns and does some rapid damage over time that can really take a nice chunk out of the opponent's health. You may not use the creature forms as much if you are in a damage role, but the Primal Wolf Form is kind of fun to play in and it helps with damage potential. Finally, even though you are damage focused, it would be silly not to have a heal on board for when you need it. It's cheaper than soder colas and has a far better re-use timer. Metabolism is my favorite heal, but Blossom will get you by at lower levels.
For quick leveling, you can pretty much plow through mobs casting Vine Lash, followed by Roar, then going nuts with weapon skills. It's a quick and easy combination and it does the trick well into your late teens. If you're having trouble staying alive, replace Roar with Swarm Shield instead for a bit of defense.
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The best part of being a healer is that you are rarely in want for a group. Reputations build fast though, so being a well organized and prepared healer is super important if you want to keep getting into groups. Your loadout will mostly be stacked with heals but this is your chance to play with your forms as well.
This girl is definitely not a timid little flower.
The shapeshifting powers end up being far more useful for your healer loadout. Gorilla Form is a good general shapeshifting power to have if you are working both healing and damage. For more serious healing, you can pick up Insectoid Form (instead of Gorilla Form) in combination with Hive Mind. There is some debate as to whether or not these powers are working as they should be, but I didn't find them to be troublesome.
The rest of your powers will be heals...all the heals you can get! Obviously you'll have to gain these powers progressively, but eventually you will want to have Blossom, which is a smallish low level heal, and Bloom (later replaced by Cross Pollination if you're running out of space), which is a group heal over time, from the Plant traits tree. From the Shapeshifting tree, you'll definitely want Metabolism, another heal over time. Regeneration is also a good option to keep on your loadout if you have the space for it. It's a supercharge power, but it ticks up health and power for the whole group.
If you are working a small group and would like to have a damage power on board, grab any one of the damage powers mentioned above and replace a lower level heal, such as Blossom, with your damage power. You should be okay without any damage powers if you have a weapon skill set that you enjoy playing. In the healing role, you can whack away at stuff with my staff and never miss not having damage powers.
Do you play a Nature powerset healing? Share your experiences with other players on our forums and let us know what loadouts work for you.