Age of Conan Class Interview #8: The Priest of Mitra

Questions by Benjamin “Machail” de la Durantaye 
Questions by Benjamin “Machail” de la Durantaye 
and Cody Bye 

Answers by Evan Michaels, Game Designer for Funcom

The truth is revealed about Priests of Mitra! Often referred to as perhaps the most "powerful" healers, Evan Michaels tells us the facts about the class. We learn a little about their offensive and defensive capabilities, as well as find out how their ability to control crowds affects their other abilities and how it all comes together on the PvP battle field.

Ten Ton Hammer: Priests of Mitra, along with the other priests, have the ability to “cone heal” which will provide a moderate heal on the priest, and a powerful heal on all allies in the cone area. How wide is this cone? Will the players in the cone have to be visible for the heal to take place? Is there anything else you can tell us about the cone heal?

Evan Michaels: The default size of the Priest of Mitra and all other Priest cone heals is a 120 degree cone, offset 60 degrees from the center of one’s character. This cone extends 6 meters from the caster, and targets must be in line of sight of the healer at the time the heal is cast. Provided these criteria are met, the heal will be applied to any friendly targets (even ones outside the group) within the area.

We feel that this method of healing is fairly unique to the MMO genre—where single-target healing is the norm—and contributes greatly to the action-oriented nature of combat. In most games, healers are typically forced into very passive role, which really is not an option for us with Age of Conan’s combat system. Executing healing in this manner provides a clear reason for Priests to get up in the fray and experience combat first-hand.

The Priest of Mitra

Ten Ton Hammer: How does the “flavor” of the Priest of Mitra compare to other classes? You’ve mentioned time and time again that there aren’t any “good” or “evil” classes in Age of Conan, but the Priest of Mitra seems to come very close. How will this affect who plays the priest, and might roleplayers be able to play an “evil” priest of Mitra?

Evan: While one may be inclined to presume that the Priest of Mitra may be the “good” healer—especially when compared to the Tempest of Set—this assumption wouldn’t be totally correct. At their core, Priests of Mitra are a bit on the vengeful and (perhaps overly) righteous side, using religious zeal as a source of power and strength. While a Priest is often portrayed as being “nice”, Priests of Mitra are often a bit more inclined to smite their enemies with Mitra’s wrath than try to sit down and have a friendly conversation. In the end, good and evil is fairly subjective and the holy vengeance of Mitra could probably be viewed as either one—depending on the beholder, of course.

Ten Ton Hammer: You’ve previously stated that the Priest of Mitra will be able to do more damage as they heal their allies. How will this ability work? How will players know whether they’ve “topped out” their potential damage? Will this ability work in “short fight” situations?

Evan: We are using many variations of this theme when designing the Priest of Mitra and, as such, a large number of their feats and abilities are molded around this concept. For instance, the “Spiritual Feedback” feat places short-term a stacking holy damage increase buff on the Priest depending on how many targets they succeed in hitting with a cone heal. There are also similar abilities which cause each tick of the Priest’s heals to provide an effect, such as returning mana and stamina to their group, or causing the Priest’s next damage spell to cost no mana.

Ten Ton Hammer: Apart from healing, Priests of Mitra dabble in damage dealing, crowd control and buffing. This sounds like a pretty powerful class. What are their limitations?

Evan: The Priest of Mitra is pretty powerful indeed, especially in the crowd-control department; they do, however, lack in offensive capabilities when compared with some other classes. Additionally, when they aren’t able to rely on their crowd-control, they can be a bit vulnerable to direct attacks. That said, they can be a very formidable opponent in most situations.

Ten Ton Hammer: During the Oslo trip, it was stated that the Priest of Mitra was receiving a “revamp”. What sorts of changes were made and how does the PoM stand up in the overall gameplay now?

Evan: At the time of the trip, the Priest of Mitra had really not gone through the same iteration processes as most of the other classes—which involved a review of all their abilities to make sure they have all the tools we would like them to have. By the end of the process, we were rather happy with how the class had come together, and feel that it offers a very unique take on the hybid healing/damage-dealing role.

Ten Ton Hammer:  In the class preview of the Priest of Mitra, you have defined them as the primary healer in any group they might join. Will this nullify a need or want of other priest classes? How will the priest classes compliment each other in a group?

Evan: The simple answer to this question is that all the healers are equally capable of supporting their group if they are chosen to be the primary healer. While each healer has their own way of performing this rather important role, they are all ready and able to do so.

Due the fact that all the healers have a different “style” of healing, having multiple healers in the same group does have a fair bit of synergy. For instance, the Priest of Mitra has an ability called “Reciprocal Healing” which pulses an additional heal to all nearby teammates if they are the target of another Priest’s heal.

Ten Ton Hammer: Priests of Mitra seem to be pretty potent healers. Will this also reflect in their resurrection abilities; offering a more powerful resurrection spell than other priests? Can you explain how resurrection works in Age of Conan?

Evan: Very similar to the healing answer, Priests of Mitra have the same resurrection capabilities as the other Priest classes. We didn’t feel that having such a core ability be specifically geared towards one class would encourage our “similar, but different” approach with the Archetypes.

Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of skills can a Priest of Mitra bring to the PvP playing field? Will their nukes be sufficient to slay their enemies? Will they have a hard time keeping up both healing and nuking?

Evan: When looking at the Priest of Mitra’s skillset from a PvP perspective, one would probably view their large array of crowd-control techniques as a primary point of interest. Once they reach level 80, a Priest of Mitra has access to stun, fear, knockback, snare, and blind abilities—granting them a rather formidable crowd-control toolset. The time gained by proper usage of these abilities should give the Priest the ability to support their group in many ways—be it via damage or healing.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else you would to share about the Priest of Mitra?

Evan: From my point of view, the Priest of Mitra is a very unique take on a healing-oriented class and offers a great deal of enjoyment when compared to the more straightforward or simplistic Priest-type classes out there. In my opinion, the combination of having to pay attention to positioning, dealing damage, and using crowd-control lends itself to a very action-oriented way of playing. All in all, I’m very happy with how the Priest of Mitra has developed and look forward to players getting a chance to see the final version of the class.

What are your thoughts on the Priest of Mitra? Is it what you expected? Let us know on the forums!

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