My current goal in Rift is to finish all of the epic story quests for the Saga of the Endless. While I was leveling, I got stuck on one in Moonshade Highlands which needed me to take on three level 40 elites and I never quite found the time to put a group together. It’s unfortunate because I spoiled the story a bit for myself by accidentally finishing some related quests in other zones.

After getting some help from guildmates earlier this week to finish the quest (thanks Faraii and Gaar!), I was able to do the next part solo but then the follow up quest wanted me to go into the Runic Descent, which is the Highlands dungeon. So last night I popped on and was able to get a guild group together (special thanks to Battlemage for tanking andMMO Gamerchick for helping with the healing) to head into the Descent. Since most of us were over level, it seemed like a good chance to practice being a healer. I’d been using my Chloromancer healing role quite a bit in rifts, but I found out that the free-for-all aspect of rift play is very different from running a dungeon instance.

I did okay, but anytime a fight started to go sideways I found it very difficult to pull of a save. Poor Battlemage suffered quite a few deaths as we made our way through the instance, and while not all of them were my fault I still feel like I should have been able to do better. I’m not sure if it’s my build, the rotation I was using, or just being rusty. I haven’t played a healer in a long long time, my last healing character was my beloved Troll Shaman, Nallas, in Dark Age of Camelot.

About half to three quarters of the way through the instance, GeeCee and I switched roles. She took over with her Cleric’s healing build and I switched to my Stormcaller/Elementalist build. Things went a lot smoother after that.

The challenge for me playing a Chloromance was it has few oh-shit abilities. Most of the healing comes from damage done via life spells, and the majority of them have casting times. So there’s very little time in order to react when the tank’s health starts to plummet. It always seemed like Battlemages health took a nosedive when Bloom was still halfway through its cool down.

Adjusting to using the interface differently was as big a challenge as using the Chloromancer soul. As a DPSer, I’m focused on the tank’s target or my pet’s target primarily. I’ll occasionally pick up an add if it is attacking the healer, but for the most part it’s: target a mob, burn him down, and target the next. I use tab targeting usually and select party members using the mouse (since I do it so rarely I’ve never picked up using the F-keys). The casting time on Chloromancer heals really required me to start using the F-keys in order to respond quickly enough to swap targets, and it’s going to take me some time to get that habit ingrained. I haven’t setup and of the smart targeting options either, but I plan to tonight, so that I can stay focused on the tank a bit more and have damage spells forward to their target (I think that’s how it works in Rift).

So I’m not giving up on the Chloromancer yet, but I do have a lot more to learn and practice. I also don’t think rifting is working to get me the role experience I need. Bad news for my guild’s tanks.

Back to the Drawing Board
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8 thoughts on “Back to the Drawing Board

  • April 15, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Keep it up! I doubt you’re doing anything wrong, like you said, it just comes down to practice. When I healed my first instance, I was like OMGWTFBBQ because I was unused to the way tanks took damage. It took a while to get the timing down, and I’m sure each class has its own way of doing things.

    Any time you need help with the saga quests, just give me a holler. It’ll give me an idea of what I’m in for now that I’m starting to do them as well. After you logged in tonight, I actually had to go back to do IT again…turns out there was a quest I had to get from Uriel and I didn’t have it, so no wonder the communication device didn’t shine for me. After I got the quest, the dungeon unfortunately reset. I tried to solo it again and actually managed to get the 3 kings down myself this time…just barely. Surprisingly, it worked better in my caster role…I took a lot more damage, but I was able to burn down the caster much quicker, and I had the help of a health pot.

    • April 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Glad you were able to get back through solo, it was kind of fun to run through the instance like that.

  • April 15, 2011 at 3:30 am

    I only played in the Betas, so take this with a grain of salt:

    I had to spec my Cleric for healing only, Sentinel alone was not good enough, Warden and/or Purifier were needed as well to keep the tank alive between the big Sentinel heal spells.

    * I am not sure if a Chloromancer can do this at all. *
    They way they work they seem to be more raid healers than main tank healers!

    I’m a bit surprised that you suddenly become a dungeon monster! 🙂 I did not get the impression you liked the LOTRO dungeons. Wonder if it’s due to dungeon design / gameplay or simply because of more and better company in Rift?

    • April 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Chloromancer is the only healing soul, but there are two souls that are support related which could be some help: Archon and Dominator. I’ve seen a lot of builds that use some combination of Warlock or Elementalist and Archon with Chrloromancer. Warlock has a lot of boosts to damage output, criticals, and shortening casting times. Archon does…. stuff, it’s a complicated looking soul and I haven’t dug into it much yet. I did make some changes though and figured out a way to do some pet testing/practicing, hopefully I’ll have more to write about soon.

      I wouldn’t say I didn’t like the dungeons in LotRO. It was more that I just never had much opportunity to run them. I was not in a Kinship for a long time, but once I was I did do a few dungeon runs. Never anything regular though. I think it might be because the repetition kills the lore experience for me.

      For Rift, it’s not necessarily better company but the fact that I’m actually at the level cap early enough to join in on whatever instance runs the active players are doing. I’ve not messed around at all with expert mode dungeons yet or even hit all of the instances (I think I’ve done about half of them so far), so I can’t comment much on the design except to say that the environments and graphics are beautiful.

  • April 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Logasc has me wondering if there are some buffing/ debuffing specialist souls you could pair with chloromancer to make the tank’s health less spikey. While I have zero experience with Chloromancy, on the rare occasions I end up being the only healer for a party on my Loremaster in LoTRO I have an analogous problem. Even on a LM that has all the healing traits I can get my hands on slotted, my heal can only be used about once or twice per fight. Keeping all of the big guys constantly debuffed (I can get their damage output down to about half) is the only way I can keep up.

    And yeah, boulder of salt since I’ve only seen the game up to 16 and have no idea if that’s a useful suggestion or not. I may be getting the CE this weekend though, so maybe I can provide some more informed commentary soon 🙂

    • April 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      The debuff pairing is basically the Archon/Chloromancer builds that I’ve seen. The other option is to pair Chloro with Warlock which has some abilities to decrease casting time and boost damage. Since most Chloro heals are based on damage output that helps quite a bit.

      The most helpful change I’ve figured out so far was a different rotation of spells to use. There were a couple of abilities that I wasn’t using that I should’ve been (including my opener) and there was one I was using a lot that isn’t as useful as I thought it was. I wasn’t doing bad for having arranged my bats based on five minutes reading the tooltips, but going to the forums and playing with an online build tool definitely cleared up a few issues I had.

  • April 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Chloromancer here, level 50, 51 points.

    The problem with chloromancer is the spikey damage. That problem get lower after the chloro stack some HOT (heal over time) at middle of the battle. But too much spikey damage at the start of battle will be dangerous.

    Remember to cast the buffs before battle. Lifegiving Veil and Living Energy for group, and cast Synthesis to tank. Lifeving Veil it is your most important spell, Radiant Spores is the second one.

    Lifegiving Veil is the reason why a mage healer need have gear with high focus and other damage stats: diferent from a cleric healer, chloro work causing damage that Lifegiving Heal convert to healing. Chloro heals don’t work as cleric heals, they are diferent animals. For chloro, more damage, more heals.

    My order of spells in combat is (using forward target at tank):

    Radiant Spores, Withering Vine, Vile Spores, Ruin, Radiant Spores, rinse repeat

    You will use Lifegiving Veil as group buff, so Vile Spores and Ruin will work as fast (but small) group healing, that is the reason the rotation above will constantly generates healing. You can throw an Entropic Veil (consumes charge) will augment the damage of Vile Spores and Ruin at 10%, so too the healing from Lifegiving Veil.

    Withering Vine is a DOT/HOT and first tick will cause Lifegiving Veal heal. Withering Vine will stack on mob. Recast Withering Vine is a fast way to have more than one HOT at group members and to repeat the Lifegiving Veal healing from damage.

    Mantain Radiant Spores ever up, it will be at target for 16 seconds (some chloro skills make it stick to enemies near the target, some perks like that make good to go chloro all 51 points, or at leas 44+ points), if you follow that sequence you will cast it again before the 16 seconds go out.

    I throw some Nature’s Fury when there are too many enemies fighting tank. You need use Bloom and Flourish when need, but I try to mantain the use of these spells for emergencies.

    For fight some bosses is good idea too use Nature’s Cleansing and Wild Abandon, for clean the dots adn debuffs boss throw up, and Blight, for stop boss from heal itself.

    You too have Soul Tether, it is a combat rez, if someone get down at middle of battle, use it. The cooldown is 5 minutes, so take care when using it.

    Stream of Reclamation and Void Life (51 POINSTS SPELL): USE THEM IF COMBAT IS GOING BAD. Lifegiving Veil will convert first tick to heal. You will use them freqeuntly at long boss battles.

    I sometimes get close to tank fighting too much mobs and use Corrosion, it is a way to aoe mobs and get some healing done from Lifegiving Veil.

    • April 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Most of that is stuff I was trying to do. I did end up using the combat rez a few times. My biggest issue was using Bloom a few times out of panic when a hit came in right after that nearly wiped them out again. Of course at that point there was nothing I could do since more damage would come in before I could get any other heals off and Bloom was on cooldown.

      While I definitely needed to tune my spell rotation and shift the points I’d spent in my Warlock secondary, quite a bit of my trouble was timing and reflexes. I’ve setup a Chloro/Warlock/Elem build and had some good luck soloing and using the Lesser Earth Elemental as a practice tank for healing. I’m hoping that the habits and timing I’m learning will apply to a group situation. I think it will as a few “oh crap” moments happened solo that felt much like what happened in my groups. At least this way I can get some good habits in place without causing someone a ton of soul damage.

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