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Know Your Role - The Priest

By Stacy Jones -

If the soldier is the figurehead of any good group then the priest is undoubtedly the backbone. The priest is the lifeblood of a group. They keep them healed and standing to carry on the fight until their foes have been vanquished. A good priest can see a group through the most dire of times with skillful healing and excellent use of their skills in a pinch, but a priest that doesnÂ’t know their role will bring a group down faster than anything.

The question that you have to ask yourself is simple. Do you know your role? Knowing your characters role will go a long way in securing your place as a skilled priest in the eyes of your fellow players. The ability of a given archetype varies from game to game, but all have similar roles that remain constant. It is your job to learn yours, but fear not, Ten Ton Hammer is here to lend aid if you are trying to learn or just want a basic refresher on what the role of your archetype will be when joining a group. This week we will learn the role of the priest.

Age of ConanÂ’s (AoC) priest archetype will have three distinct and very unique classes. The Bear Shaman, Tempest of Set, and the Priest of Mitra will make up the bulk of the healing class in AoC. Each will be capable of carrying out the role of healer but in different and unique ways. Funcom has taken the healing archetype in a unique direction, giving them new skills that will even add on to their roles in a group.

Mitra

The Priest of Mitra embodies great healing and crowd control.

Your first duty as a healer is simple. Keep your group healed and alive. Pay close attention to this next point. When you are recruited for a group, people will be expecting you to be a healer. Now on occasions I have experienced the ever so popular battle cleric or battle (insert healer class name), but when you are recruited to a group people will be expecting you to fill the role of healer. Embrace it and accept it. If when recruited you have no intention of filling that role because the mana needed to heal will cut into your dps output, make that known up front so the leader can find another healer or replace you if need be. Nothing earns contempt from a group more than wiping in a deep dark dungeon and asking the healer why they didn’t heal only to hear, “I’m a battle (blah) I don’t heal." Before you ask, yes this has happened to me. So first rule, "Know what your class is considered as and that people will naturally expect you to fill that role. If you are a healer class, nine times out of ten that is what a group will want you for."

As a Priest there are a few other important things to keep in mind, aside from healing that is. The first is to always assist the main assist when you engage the enemy to do damage. This will prevent you from beating up a mezzed mob or splitting the aggro, thus driving the tank nuts. Second, if you have buffs, use them. Every little benefit will aid your group in their bloody path to victory. Lastly, AoC priest will be given some crowd control abilities. This is not generally the standard in other MMOGs, but in AoC one of your roles may in fact also be crowd controlling. These are small basic things, but follow them and any groupmates you meet will appreciate and remember you for it.

Every Priest will be able to resurrect their fallen allies so no one class will monopolize the rezzing abilities. Each class will heal in a unique way, but they will also have an assortment of damage skills, buffing, and crowd control abilities. This will add a unique chance for healers to also be crowd controllers, and through an assortment of damage dealing skills a decent source of DPS. Just donÂ’t go into a blood lust while dealing damage and forget to heal your group. LetÂ’s take a look at the classes and how their roles might play out in a group.

Priest of Mitra

The Priest of Mitra will have a unique approach to the healing class. They will be able to perform various heals and through the use of the feats system they will be able to add other effects to certain healing skills such as mana and stamina regeneration. This class will be able to pull a group through some tough battles.

Shaman

The Bear Shaman heals increase with their damage output.

The Priest of Mitra is not the most offensively powerful class in the game, but what they lack in offensive damage they make up for with their incredible healing and crowd control abilities. As the Priest of Mitra levels up they will gain access to an assortment of crowd control abilities such as blind, fear, stun, snare, and knockback. The role of this class is first and foremost a healer, but they will be able to compliment other healing classes with beneficial feats, and pull a group through tough times with some awesome crowd control.

Bear Shaman

Said to be one of the more unique and difficult classes to master, the Bear Shaman will bring an offensive healing type to the fold. The Bear Shaman is the only priest of the three that can wear medium armor and this is due to their offensive nature. This class will be able to gain healing strength through dealing damage. It is said one of the more challenging aspects of the Bear Shaman is balancing their offensive strikes with the healing needs of the group.

The Bear Shaman will make use of totems that will grant them various attributes. Some totems will aid in dealing damage while others aid their group. One definite benefit of the bear Shaman is its ability to dish out damage. The damage dealing abilities have been said to be somewhere between that of the Conqueror and the Assassin. The Bear Shaman will compliment any group well as a healer and better yet, a healer with some kick.

Tempest of Set

Tempest

The Tempest of Set has elemental abilities to go with their healing.

The Tempest of Set is a combination of the former two classes of the Druid of Storm and the Scion of Set. The new creation brings another unique healing class to the game. The Tempest of Set will embody many skills and feats that can enhance their healing abilities to aid a group. Some feats will allow the healing power of the Tempest to increase, while others will generate a heal to those friendly allies around the recipient of a Tempest offensive spell.

Not to be outdone by its two counterparts, the Tempest of Set will also have the ability to crowd control. In some cases they can paralyze an enemy or even make them see things that arenÂ’t there, leading to their foe swinging wildly at an apparition of sorts. To compliment their healing and crowd control abilities, the Tempest of Set will be able to grant mana regeneration better than any other class in the game. This alone is a sure fire invite to any group. If that wasnÂ’t enough to make you click the invite button then this will. They can also increase their area of effect damage and defensive skills by surrounding themselves with a cyclone. I doubt this class will have a problem finding a group in Hyboria.

FuncomÂ’s approach on the priest archetype is certainly a unique one. The priest of Hyboria will not be the backseat healers we know and love from games like Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, and even World of Warcraft. Healers will have a more significant role in AoC as they will have the ability to deal significant damage and crowd control. These are pretty unique abilities when it comes to the healer types of MMOGs and it should serve to make these classes a lot more popular. Just donÂ’t forget, at your core, your still a healer, and that is what people will expect of you in a group. The rest is just bonus.

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(Note: Information for this article is taken from our Class Interview section. For more information on these classes be sure to check out our class interviews.)

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