Section 1: Intro
I have been playing druid for a long time and through my experience i have learned many different strategies as a druid to be successful as a healer. Healing effectively and efficiently as a druid is not an easy thing to do, at least in comparison to our healing counter parts the priests.
I won’t talk about DPS Druid skills in this guide, just healing. In this guide i will go into detail for healing strategies and give many example situations where these strategies work. I will also cover the usage of all the healing elite skills and how they differ and how they can be used.
Section 2: Grouping Vs proximity
WHen your character starts or join a party in this game, you are assigned to a group. Each group has a max of 6 people in it; obviously if you in a party preparing to run a instance where only 6 people can enter knowing what group you are in is not important. However some instances can take up to 36 players and as such there will be 6 groups each containing a maximum of 6 people in that one party. When you join a party like this please take note of which group your character belongs to as this is very important because some healing spells and Group buffs will only target (or can only be placed on) members in the same group as you.
The Spring of Blessing Spell from the Druid/Mage and healing Wind from the Druid/Warrior uses this type of targeting, it will hit all six group members (including you) that are withing XXX (typically 80-180) range units from you. The Druid Concentration prayer buff also work using this type of targetting.
The next type of targetting is by proximity and it is more complex to use but also more versatile. Some healing spells will have a point of origin and will hit/heal all friendly and in some cases neutral targets within it’s range regardless of what group the party member belongs to. This type of targetting allows for very precise and
sophisticated control of healing but becomes almost impossible to control in large group when everyone is stacking.
The spell Mother natures Fountain uses this type of targeting, you select a party member and then cast the spell at which point will heal the targetted party member and the next three closest members to him/her within a rnage of 100. The Druid/scout elite spell called healing arrows works by proximity also, upon casting this spell you get a Area of effect circle with a diameter of 200 range units which you can move and target, once you confirm the location of the spell the spell will cast and the origin of the spell will be the center of the circle you just targetted; party members closest to the center of the circle will be the one affected by the spell.
Understanding these two types of in game targetting is something all Druids should know. Especially the classes D/M and D/W.
Section 3: Good Foundational Druid Healing Strategies
Making Smart use of Mother Natures Fountain (works for any Druid/x combo) (6 man Group)
Mastering pro usage of MNF is not an easy thing to do but i assume you once you get it you will be able to healing most everything in the game. Location is everyhting to make this healing strategy work. Please take a look at the image, this or similar is the ideal setup.
So your job will go like this… Keep the regens from Recover (14 seconds) and Blossoming Life (20 seconds) on the Tank at all time, ALL TIMES! When MNF is ready or when the DPS group needs heals target the Red colored DPS and cast, this will ensure that all the DPS are hit. Inbetween MNF cool down heal yourself if needed and perform any spot healing if needed. If there is nothing to do drop extra blossoming Life, mana pot or buff the party.
Take a look at this second picture, your DPS might be Warriors or Rogues.
This setup is a bit harder because you might have to dance MNF between two groups. Still it is manageble just stay sharp and keep regens up on the tank and additional blossoming life on others and you should do fine.
Blanket Healing (6 man for D/x , 7 man for D/R , 8 man for D/Wn)
This strategy consist of dropping Recover and Blossoming life on each party member sequentially. Recover lasts for 14 seconds so this HOT gives you enough time to cycle through an entire 6 person party have have them all regening with Recover and blossoming life.
D/r get a casting speed increase so they can strecth this strategy to 7 party members, the D/warden has an elite skill that extends the HOT time of Recover to 20 seconds just like blossoming life so you can do this for
8 party members, with a clear thought potion you could do 9. Just stand close enough to the tank to cast MNF when/if he needs it.
* the Druid/Warden has an elite skill which is a large AOE heal which can be used in addition to this Blanket strategy for some serious cozyness! The Druid/warden is unmatched in cozy blanket healing.
Section 4: Specific Healing strategies (using Elite skills)
Strategy A: Your Moms a HOTO! (D/M 6 man solo heal)
This is the strategy i developed to successfully solo heal hoto as a d/m. I think i was the only one on the server at the time when i did this and FYI this was Pre-chapter 3 and I had a tier 8 HD Artful gusher as my weapon with about 12K HP and 10K mana.. Hoto is Druid Hell but with this strategy and a sharp team it can be done. I later found this D/M strategy to work for almost any situation.
The spell rotation is as follows: Start with at least 5 natures power and target the tank.
Curing Seed on Tank
Spring of blessing (-2NP)
Mother natures fountain (self targeted -1 NP)
Blossoming Life on Tank
Restore Life X 2 on tank (+2NP)
Mother natures fountain (Self targeted -1 NP)
Restore life x 2 on tank (+2NP)
That’s the general setup but you can swap out a restore life for a Recover if the tank needs a bit of extra heals, it was a problem back then but now with forest bath and the new 20 second Unity with mother nature it should not be a problem at all.
Advantages of this strategy: THis is probably the most universal of all druid healing strategies and i found later that it work pretty much anywhere.
Disadvantages: almost none, except in 12 main parties the targetting of MNF gets harder to control.
Strategy B: Patch Healing (D/S any party size healing)
What can i say Camelia Flower (instant cast, spammable) and Healing Arrows (2 second cast, spammable) as a D/S allow you to put SOO many regens on the whole party it’s like ZOMG like a double Rainbow! Alright D/S is the very best class in the game to spot heal entire raids, trust me i know thats more or less what i have been doing since HOS.
In a 12 man raid i keep AT ALL TIMES the hots from Recover, Blossoming life and Camelia flower on the main tank. This ensures that the tank and me (Life Guide FTW) are safe and always healed. Meanwhile if there are any scouts in the party with blood arrow on it’s easy to drop a single camelia flower on them which keeps them at 100% HP.
In my experience 1-3 scouts is easy, 4 is okay but 5 scout with blood arrow or more start to hinder my ability to keep the party alive. With 5 scout i usually ask them to group together and get everyone else to go somewhere else so i can put healing arrows on all the scouts at once and then focus Camelia flowers on the other members of the party. But Remember Blossoming life, Camelia flower and Recover on the Tank at all times. Remember to save MNF as an emergency spot heal because spamming healing arrows takes alot of natures power.
This strategy requires the most game experience and knowledge of boss strategies. Simply performing reactive spot healing isn’t good enough, you have to anticipate that a certain member of your party is about to or will have incoming damage so be sharp and be ready and be pro-active.
Strategy C: OMG double Group heal! All the way! (D/W Double Group heal)
I found D/W to work very well as a group healer even better than my D/S. The key is you have to manage your Natures power, Rage and Mana (tough times, see my D/W guide) and your timing needs to be impecable.. Mother natures Fountain is a proximity group and Healing Wind is a Grouping group heal. In combination a single druid can heal a 12 man raid. By having the druid in one group with 5 DPS classes healing wind will take care of the druid and the DPS while the druid can spot heal (restore life) and use proximity group heal on the main tank and 1-2 other Close-range Dps-ers nearby…. It’s a thing of beauty.
I will talk about managing mana at the end of this guide but as for managing rage honestly this requires you to physically hit monsters which is risky so when gearing make sure you have enough +STAM, +HP and +PDEF. Basically you will generate rage faster than you can use it by hitting monster so spam Healing Wind when it’s up and Spam MNF when it’s up to heal you and your tank, inbetween the cool downs cast earth arrow or Restore life (Spot heal) to generate natures power. Be mindful of location because druid group heals have short range.
Advantages of this strategy: Two group heals allows for some very nice timing tricks and life savers if you understand the boss strategies. TIMING IS KEY!
Disadvantages: Your always in melee range of monster (risky business) and you have to constantly keep track of 3 energy bars (rage, mana and NP).
There is no special healing strategy for the Druid/Rogue because they don’t get any additional healing elite skills. I won’t talk about the Druid/Warden either because i already mentioned them in the generic healing strategies. D/Warden also gets another healing spell called healing ripple which is worthy to note that it is great for Duo-ing bosses with someone but it’s not enough to center an entire strategy around.
Section #5: Managing Mana
See my early Druidhood guide for basic tricks regarding managing mana, i pretty just say always drink your mana pots (both kinds). In addition to this have a large supply of Exotic Fruit pie (lowers mana consumption by 25%) in your inventory and use them frequently. Also carry around "Mana Source" Potions (increases Mana pool by 10%) and always use them at the start of boss fights. The Druid/mage has an elite skill called Spiritual gush which reduces mana consumption by 35% when leveled it is most excellent. Also the Druid/Warden can exchange NP for mana and Mana for NP, this convertion is very handy.
Credits go to Xerise’s.