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New Heal Skills Incoming!

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December 8, 2013 - 5:00am -- Lee B.

The 10th will give all of the classes a new heal skill to weigh in their builds, along with some massive changes to character builds. All of these skills will cost 25 skill points and unlocking it in one game mode unlocks it in all of them. All of these new skills seem to synergize with some trait or another related to the class and provides all sorts of trait combinations to make them even stronger.

Below we'll lay out all the details of the heals, and offer a bit of an opinion on each. After we'll discuss the new heals in general. So yeah! Let's dig right in.

( We will be getting new images for these heals ASAP! Just had to work with what we had from the livestream! )

Elementalist's Arcane Brilliance

  • Arcane Type Skill
  • 3/4 second cast time - 25 second cool down
  • 240 Radius
  • 3k base heal + 20% heal increase per target hit (up to a maximum of 5 enemies for a 100% bonus)
  • Personal AOE blast finisher

I like this heal in that it encourages that close melee style of gameplay for Elementalists in the damage, the heal per each enemy hit and it provides that blast to further accent what you need in a fight. My only complaint is that it's ANOTHER blast finisher for Elementalists, and a relatively quick one. At this rate Elementalists will be able to fully buff up a squad without stressing themselves out too much.

Engineer's A.E.D.

  • Gadget Type Skill
  • 1 second cast time - 40 second cool down - 5 second duration
  • 4k base heal when duration completes, 12k base heal if you take lethal damage during the duration

Toolbelt: Static Shock

  • 3/4 second cast time - 25 second cool down
  • 180 Range
  • 845 Damage
  • 1 second stun

This is one of the heals I don't really like when it comes to PvP modes. Engineers already get a butt load of blocks and invulnerabilities and now they have a get out of death for free card, especially when they trait for a free heal when they reach 25% health. I know, I know you're saying "Well you don't have to attack them!" well I respond with it's generally not the nature of this game to suddenly stop attacking people in the midst of a match and even less so in WvW.  I personally think they need to turn down the base heal after lethal to make this better for me.

Guardian's Litany of Wrath

  • Meditation Type Skill
  • 1 second cast time - 30 second cool down - 6 second duration
  • 1.5k base heal plus 20% of all damage dealt returned to you as healing.

This heal is clearly for DPS guardian builds only. You went to hit as hard as you can as fast as you can, and because you don't have access to Quickness you need to balance fast attacks with heavy hits to get the most out of this. I like the method Karl, the developer on the livestream, used with hammer and two meditations. However I also have to wonder if I really want to blow three skills for a full heal.  Kind of under whelming, I'd say, if you're stuck waiting on cooldowns and all you have is auto-attack.

Mesmer's Signet of the Ether

  • Signet type skill
  • 1 second cast time - 35 second cool down
  • Passive Healing: 300 base heal for 1 illusion, 600 base heal for 2 illusions, 1k base heal for 3 illusions every 3 seconds
  • Active Heal: 5k base heal

This one I have mixed feelings about. On one hand: Awesome! A sustain skill for phantasm Mesmers is gonna be sweet. And it refreshes all phantasm skills on activation? Even better! On the other hand: It's already fraggin' hard enough to kill Mesmers as is! GAH!

In all honesty I like the idea, as it does encourage a different idea for builds. We'll see if it sticks!

Necromancer's Signet of Vampirism

  • Signet and Life Siphon type skill
  •  1 1/4 second cast time - 35 second cool down - 5 second duration
  • Passive Healing: 300 health regained when hit by a foe, 1 second internal cool down
  • Active Healing: 4k base self heal, 400 base heal whenever striking marked foe
  • 280 Base Damage
  • 1,200 Range

 This heal I feel is the most strangest of the bunch. I never really think to put my Necromancer as a heal supportive role, and this heal does just that. 25 stacks of Vampiric Mark on one target, each player only able to draw 5 stacks of that Mark from the target for up to a 2k base heal. It's a great idea I wish was on the Guardian instead of the Necromancer, cause it feels out of place on the class to me.

Other than that I think this heal is great for PvE, dungeon groups but there are just too many people that can steal the heal away from you in WvW and in PvP there is just too many ways to avoid a person for 5 seconds so that you can't get the full heal out of it.

Ranger's Water Spirit

  • Spirit type skill
  • Spirit Passive:
  • 1 1/2 second cast time - 20 second cool down - 60 second duration
  • 35% chance to heal yourself on hit, for 800 base healing every 10 seconds
  • 1,000 Range

Spirit Active:

  • 1 second cast time - 25 second cool down
  • 3k base self heal, 1k base AoE heal around the spirit
  • 240 Radius

I like this skill in that it's notable bursts of health that can actually sustain a team, and traited with a full suite of spirit traits it can really make a party equipped to handle all kinds of situations. I don't like this skill because it's further solidifying the superior stance of a spirit ranger. I do take satisfaction in knowing a spirit ranger will have a hard time choosing between this or Healing Spring (for the condition removal) but it still doesn't feel like it's offering diversity for a very stagnant class.

Thief's Skelk Venom

  • Venom type skill
  • 1 second cast time - 45 second cool down - 30 second duration
  • 4k base self heal, 600 heal every time you hit an enemy

This heal is powerful. With the ability to spread it to allies and increase the number of hits you can get AND give life siphon on top of it? I feel like this is just an even more potent version of the Necromancer's new heal skill and makes more sense for a Thief because a thief CAN be a buff/healing support. Entirely worth looking into for all sorts of game play.

Warrior's Defiant Stance

  • Stance type skill
  • 1/4 second cast time - 35 second cool down - 3s duration
  • 1k base heal

This is the one heal I feel is the most shocking compared to the others. A three second invulnerability that converts all damage to healing? To me that is way better than the Guardian's elite "Renewed Focus" which just provides 2 second of invulnerability, recharges virtues and prevents you from capturing a point. Sure it relies on the opponent dumping damage, but it still stops damage one way or another! Either they stop attacking while you run or wait for back-up, or you get massive boosts to healing that is directly tied to if your opponent crits or not. So incredibly over-powered when comparing it to similar abilities. Not a fan at all of this one only because of how incredibly powerful it is.

So thoughts. All in all I'm rather pleased with these new skills. It offers a lot of new options for play styles and really opens up builds to new ideas. It's a good place to start when trying to update classes, and I hope they go through and introduce new traits, utility skills, elites and finally some new weapon skills! I'd be so happy.

I am kind of disappointed about the feel of "balance" when just analyzing these new skills to one another and other similar skills. The Elementalist, Guardian, Mesmer, Thief and Ranger classes feel like they got really balanced skills that traded off well. Necromancers I feel got the short straw based on the the thoughts above. Finally, I think Warriors and Engineers got the most bang for their buck.

Just the two cents of one man who spends waaaay too much time in this game! If you want to see the details for yourself visit the Twitch Channel for Guild Wars 2: here. Don't forget to also visit that page on the 9th for a sneak peak at Wintersday!