a bit of game breaking
Or at least that’s what they’ll have you believe, the old-timers. And in some ways they’re right. The “Old Way” isn’t going to stick around.
I haven’t played at the big end, but at the little end the idea of a dedicated healer is, well, it isn’t possible. The best you’ve got for frigates is spider tanking — think taking a warrior and giving each of them a healing wand that they use with some negatives. If every fighter pushes healing to everyone else, and on call focus on healing whoever’s taking, it’s almost as good. More or less. For PVE. And to a small degree PVP, but only if your opponents don’t have their acts together.
What’s going to change is the frigate healers. They’re as fragile as any other frigate, so “kill the priest” is still valid. But like having healers they’re really beneficial.
Numbers. The spider sacrifices one gun slot to throw 96 points of ‘healing’ (for shields) every 5 seconds, and the ships have to remain within 4 km of each other. The Burst (the shield healer) can be expected to throw up to 144 points per gun slot every five seconds. And since it’s not shooting it can fill three gun slots. 432 points of healing over 5 seconds, or 4.5 ‘warrior’ slots freed up. Let’s assume a spider of 5 ships each with 3 gun slots – 2 guns and one healing device. That’s 10 guns. We drop one fighter for a healer. We lose 0.5 healing and pick up 2 guns.
Oh, and I almost didn’t mention. The healer gets to sit 24 km from the fight. In a knife fight brawl with short range weapons that helps, a lot — and a lot of frigate fights are knife fights. In long range fights the healer just keeps the fighting frigates between it and the attackers – not because they can stop the attack, but because the extra range can still be “out of range”.
But that was an equal exchange. Where this is really going to make a difference is for duos and trios. A duo … 432 healpoints every five seconds neutralizes a hair over 86 dps. Good fits of T1 frigates do 200-250 — heck, Jester’s FOTW Thrasher only gets 300. Provided the supported frigate can stand the alpha strike, the healer cuts a third to half the DPS of the attack.
Caveat here that should be obvious: Tier 2 and 3 frigates can get a lot higher. But that, like today’s good healer ships, takes time to train and costs a lot of money. Right now you can pick up a Burst for under 70KISK. In case you don’t play, that means you can buy several after any one of the training missions. They aren’t quite gimme ships, but they’re close.
There will be a lot of tweaking, of course, but players should be completely unsurprised to see frigate gangs with a handful of healers making old-fashioned heavy-hitter gangs cry. If you’re a heal-oriented player, your opportunities to play have climbed significantly.
(before I go I’d also like to reference Jester’s Healing Scimitar. It’s a parallel – and to be honest the inspiration for this post – only at the cruiser level. Cruisers are also easy for new players to get into – certainly within the first couple of weeks – but it’ll take a month or so to be really good with the skills due to various frigate-level prerequisites. I’m going to guess that eventually the Big Healers – the T2 Logistics ships that need Logistics skills – are going to be eye-opening. At the same time heal-oriented players can learn the basics before they jump into the epic battles.
But it’s still going to change how things work. And that will bring tears to long-time player — well, some of them anyway.)