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 
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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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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.

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title="Priest of Mitra"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 200px; height: 480px;" alt=""

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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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

style="font-weight: bold;">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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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?

style="font-weight: bold;">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? href="">Let
us know on the forums!

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