HoT heal - a skill that heals its target gradually over a set amount of time.
Burst heal - a skill that heals its target for a large amount once.
spike - a large amount of damage dealt in a very small amount of time
alpha strike - the first spike of an encounter.
signals - hints that your opponents give you to let you know who they will attack
prebuff - giving a target heals before the target takes damage.
Linebacking - using your offense as a defensive tool to aid in survivability.
"oops I win" - see "healing"
__________Many officers choose to go either damage or crowd control in their path to success in pvp. Without me however, your chances of success are slim to none. At best I am an impenetrable fortress that keeps the opponents torpedoes from incinerating you in moments. At worst I am that precious time that you need to incinerate your opponents. I cannot do it alone however; treat me well and you have an ally for life, neglect me and I will let you die with impunity. Who am I? No, I'm not a healer...I'm your health bar. Stop treating me like I'm a second rate citizen.
__________Healing, like DPS and CC abilities, is essential to your survival and success in pvp. Far too often is healing neglected in pvp. Properly practiced, healing provides an almost invulnerable defense against enemy attacks. From reducing the damage an opponent takes by great amounts and providing the health buffer necessary to survive even the hardiest of spikes, healers can easily turn the tide of a battle. This guide goes over some of the basics of healing, explains skill choices, and dabbles in a few of the more advanced tactics.
``````````Faithborn's Guide to Space Healing``````````
Part 1 - The Basics
I. - Why Healing is Important:
__________Healing is on the opposite side of the coin from damage. Healing balances against DPS to determine whether or a player lives or dies in combat. Without healing, even small amounts of damage would prove to be lethal over time. That is where healing comes in. Healing works directly against damage to ensure that players survive against damage. It is often impossible to keep a team at one hundred percent the entire match, but contrary to popular belief that is not the goal of a healer. Healers work to keep their team alive long enough to kill the team's opponents. In other words, healing buys your team enough time to enable your team to kill your opponents' team.
II. - Healing skills
Auxiliary Power to Structural- System: Auxiliary Power. Auxiliary Power to the Structural Integrity Field delivers and instant hull heal, while providing good damage resistance over the duration. Increases in effectiveness based on current auxiliary power level.
Moderate burst heal, moderate resistance, low duration - Strong in version 3.
Chaining has limited results.
Efficacy is based on AUX subsystem power level.
Engineering Team - System: Crew. Engineering Team delivers a good instant hull heal and grants an engineering skill buff for your own ship or ally. Also repairs subsystem damage and engineering debuffs for the duration.
large burst heal, low duration - strong in version 2 and 3.
Chaining has excellent results. 2 copies can be chained perfectly.
Hazard Emitters - System: Hazard. Hazard Emitters provides a large hull heal over time, a small damage resistance buff over the duration, and will cleanse the ship of hazard debuffs over duration. Increases in effectiveness based on current auxiliary power level.
Large HoT heal, moderate duration - strong in any version.
Chaining has moderate results.
Efficacy is based on AUX subsystem power level at time of cast.
Attack Pattern Delta - System: Maneuvers. Attack Pattern Delta targets your own or an allied ship granting them a damage resistance buff. Any ship that attacks the target will receive a damage resistance and stealth debuff.
Large resistance, moderate duration - strong in any version.
Cannot be chained except by escorts.
Starship Dampening Field - System: Deflector Field. Starship Dampening Field projects a shield around your ship reducing the damage to you and nearby allies recieve from incomming energy weapon fire. Increases in effectiveness based on current auxiliary power level.
moderate burst heal, low duration - very weak in all versions.
Chaining has excellent results. 2 copies can be chained perfectly.
Transfer Shield Strength - System: Deflector Field. Transfer Shield Strength transfers power from the deflector field to provide a large shield heal over time and a small shield damage resistance buff over duration. Increases in effectiveness based on current auxiliary power level.
Large HoT heal, moderate duration - strong in any version.
Chaining has moderate results.
Efficacy is based on AUX subsystem power level at time of cast.
III. - Active and Passive healing.
Active healing - refers to using health boosts to directly mitigate an opponent's damage. Active healing prevents damage in a 1:1 ratio meaning that for every point of healing used, the opponent must deal that much more to kill a target. Active healing requires a quick reflex and good judgment to determine which party member needs healing and when they need it. As an opponent deals damage the healer must be ready to heal the damage quickly or risk the teammate dying from taking too much damage. Active healing requires a quick reflex but less skill than passive healing, due to the reactionary nature of active healing. Misthrowing an Active heal is dangerous because it can possibly give your opponents a window of opportunity large enough to spike out a kill.
Large burst heals.
Very strong against spikes.
Effective against pressure.
Easy to use; short cooldowns and immediate effects.
Requires active attention to health bars and opponents.
Requires devoting higher ranks of skill slots in order to be effective.
Passive healing - refers to using damage resistances to mitigate an opponents damage. Resistance stacking enables targets to take significantly higher amounts of damage than would be possible with just active healing. Passive healing requires knowledge of who the opponents are attacking. Passive heals require more skill to use than active heals because they should be used proactively - meaning that they should be used as the target starts to take damage or before. A passive heal on a teammate that is not receiving damage is worthless and should be used when you know the target is taking damage.
Strong against pressure.
Effective as a suppliment to active healing.
Can keep a teammate alive with only moderate investment.
IV. - Self Defense
__________Self Defense is a very important part of playing a healer. You cannot heal anyone if you are dead, so it is very important to stay alive as long as possible while healing as much as possibe. The main problem with self defense skills is that the more you take, the less space you have available for skills that heal and protect your allies. If you dedicate too little to self defense you become susceptible to enemy fire, but if you dedicate too much to self defense your ability to support the team becomes diminished. additionally if you stack too much defense then the enemy will be less inclined to attack you and will instead aim for easier to kill targets, which you cannot support due to bringing too many self defense skills.
__________It is important to find a happy medium between self defense and team support. Cruisers can easily field a few self defense skills inside the ensign and lieutenant engineering slots without crowding out the most powerful heals (engineering team 3 and extend shields). Science vessels on the other hand, will find that they must make a hard choice between self defense, healing abilities, and offensive debuffs. Generally speaking, most higher level versions of self-targeted skills tend to be overshadowed by higher level versions of skills that can target allies.
If you should find yourself under constant focus fire, These skills can help your survivability by large amounts. They are not as flexible as skills that can target allies and as a result are generally viewed as less powerful when in a proper group.
Hull healing and resistance boosts - self only
Auxiliary to Inertial Dampeners – Kinetic Damage Resistance, Movement Buff, Repel and Knockback Immunity. It provides a large kinetic damage resistance buff, a speed and turn rate buff, as well as immunity to repel and knockback effects. Performance tied to Auxiliary Power setting.
Miracle Worker - Miracle Worker is a powerful burst hull heal that all engineering captains gain. Miracle worker has a long cooldown but a very impressive effect in that it recharges all shield power and regenerates a large amount of hull strength instantly.
Polarize Hull - Polarize hull provides a fairly large amount of hull resistance and provides immunity against tractor beams for a moderate duration. The hull resistance scales with Auxiliary Power. Shares hazard subsystem with Hazard Emitters, which is a major detractor towards the effectiveness of the skill.
Shield healing and resistance boosts - self only
Emergency Power to Shields - Emergency Power to Shields has four effects. The skill will refill a small amount of shield strength immediately, boost Shield power levels by a large amount, repair any shield disabling of a single side, and reduce shield damage by a small amount for a long duration. Each of the effects is small on its own, but greatly helps towards the survival of a ship.
Reverse Shield Polarity - Reverse Shield Polarity grants a short invulnerability to energy damage, and restores shield strength based on the damage taken. One of the most powerful anti-spike skills in the game. Skill rebalances have made this skill significantly less useful against pressure damage, but still very strong against spikes.
Rotate Shield Frequency - Rotate Shield Frequency grants a moderate Shield regeneration and a large resistance bonus for thirty seconds. all engineering players have access to this skill. Great for stacking resistances against spikes. comes free so there is no reason not to use it.
V. - Captain Skills
__________Regardless of career, all captains need to properly outfit themselves with the best equipment that they can use in order to maximize their builds. Proper console, deflector, and skill selection can make or break the captain. because of the ambiguity of using bridge officer skill (the clickable abilities) and the captain skills (the ones you train), bridge officer skills will be called abilities for this section.
__________All abilities are strengthened by investing in three captain skills; a tier one skill, a tier two skill, and a tier three through tier five skill. To find what skills benefit a certain ability, hit "P" while in space (default power bar list tray) and click on the ability to bring up the description on it. Scroll all the way down to find text like this:
Originally Posted by Emergency power to Auxiliary 1
attributes that affect this skill:
Starship Warp Core Training
Starship Auxiliary Systems Maintenance
Starship Auxiliary Systems efficiency
__________When choosing skills it is important to select only skills that will benefit your bridge officer abilities and ship performance. Investing skill points into skills that provide no benefit to your skills or performance is generally not a good idea because they will usually turn into wasted skillpoints. By investing skillpoints into skills hat actively benefit your ability to play you give yourself many advantages. Healing in particular is very weak if no skillpoints are invested in the skills that boost the abilities. Training skills that improve healing skills makes a noticable difference, the skills become significantly better at keepig people alive. Additionally, some skills grant energy level benefits. For more information visit Inbleedingrapture's guide here.
VI. - Deflector Dish & Consoles
__________Deflector dishes and consoles serve to further boost the efficacy of abilities. Deflector dishes exist to boost the power levels of science skill. Consoles can provide a variety of effects such as increased armor, increased crew survivability, and supplimentary boosts to captain skills. When choosing consoles and deflector dishes, look for consoles with attributes that increase the potency of your abilities. Avoid consoles and deflector dishes that do not benefit your build or provide a reasonable boost to other performance, instead take consoles and skills that will have an effect on your ability to play.
VII. - Noteworthy Consoles
Armor consoles - This refers to several consoles that grant resistance bonuses. These consoles come in a variety of flavors. There are consoles that mitigate large (relatively) amounts of a small variety of weapon types and consoles that mitigate small amounts of a large variety of weapon types.
EPS Flow Regulator - This console increases the rate at which your subsystem power changes. A single console effectively doubles the rate of transfer.
SIF Generator - This console boosts your hull repair skill. Hull repair benefits natural health regeneration and Engineering Team.
Induction Stabalizer - This console boosts your deflector field skill. Deflector field benefits Science Team and Transfer Shield Strength.
Halon system - This console boosts your hazard system skill. Hazard system benefits Hazard Emitters.
Tactical consoles - serve to boost offensive skills, there is literally no option asides from consoles that boost your damage.
VIII. - Sample builds
__________The following are builds that have been painstakingly crafted with extreme care over the course of gameplay. They are all highly refined and each one contains a bit of wisdom expressed by the creator. Included are both skill layouts, and a few paragraphs on how to play the builds. If you are unsure about where to start with a build for your ship, consider reading into these builds. The creators have put a bit of their heart and soul into their work, all of them are high quality.
__________It is important to know when to heal and when not to heal a target. Before throwing the target a heal, ask the following questions; Will the target survive without a heal? If I heal this target, will someone else die because they did not receive a heal? Will this heal be enough to keep the target alive? These questions are very prudent to a healer. As a healer it is your job to keep the team alive, not at 100% hull and shields. While it is important to keep your teammates health high, sometimes it is simply not possible. You will need to prioritize who receives healing and who can go without it in the middle of a battle.
__________Generally speaking, your primary healing targets should be those targets that are in immediate threat of being killed. Most likely they will be the target of most of the enemys' firepower. Watch the opponents as they come in, do a quick tab cycle and look at the target's target window to see who they are targeting. If a group of opponents are all targeting the same person then they will most likely be focusing their fire on that target. Be quick, if you see them open fire throw a HoT skill on their target as quickly as possible to blunt the damage. Apply heals as necessary to keep them alive. As the combat progresses the enemy will begin to change their targets multiple times. This is where the job gets tricky. You need to keep watching the enemy's dps, tabbing through targets repeatedly to figure out who they are attacking. Watch your team's health bar, Read signals that your opponents are giving you, and above all else - stay calm.
__________After you have played for a short time, check the score boards to figure out who is doing the most damage on the opponents' team. Watch these people intently, figure out who they are attacking, whether or not they like to switch targets often, how much spike damage potential they have, and try to figure out what they will do next. If you can keep up with them then you will have the advantage. If you can stay one step ahead of them then you can exploit that advantage by giving your team even better survivability.
Originally Posted by Different types of damage need different responses
Catching Spikes: A spike is when your opponent condenses a lethal amount of damage within a small timeline. Skilled players can condense a heavy spike within an average of five seconds. Skilled teams can condense a heavy spike within an average of two seconds. If the spike goes through undeterred, the player will die - no ifs, ands, or buts. In order to save the target you should use ANY available active heals on the player between the beginning of the spike and the end of the spike. Passive heals can be used to stop a spike, but it is significantly harder because they must be applied BEFORE the spike begins.
Fighting pressure: To pressure an enemy means to focus on pumping out a steady amount of damage. This is done to punish overextending, force enemy healers to use their skills as actively as possible (which opens the opponent up for a spike), or force an opponent to change positions. Passive heals really shine when fighting pressure, the resistances given by the heals mitigate large amounts of damage and the heals recoup any losses that the resistances allowed through. Linebacking the opponent's offense and liberal application of active heals helps to fight pressure.
Oops, I win: Sometimes a death is not preventable. Most damage is dealt in relatively small time windows, but sometimes it can one=shot a person. Most of the time this is a critical hit from either a weapon that triggers for an insanely large amount of damage. You had no way of knowing that this would happen, you thought you would at least have a few seconds to react. Don't sweat the details, even the best fail.
[OrganizedPVP] Minimax@EmoeJoe: Your Heavy Tricobalt Torpedo deals 74322 (81657) Kinetic Damage to Ailish with Torpedo Explosion I.
Oops, you had no idea that would happen. Don't worry.
II. - Situational Awareness
Watch the opponent's dps players - Opponents generally have two or three strong dps characters devoted towards damage. Watch these players, read the signals that they give you. If they have a teammate in their target's target window, chances are that they are going to attack that teammate so it is important to be ready with a heal. If you see them loading a large amount of buffs, be ready for an attempted spike. If you see them start running capitalize on the opportunity and spike them before they can escape.
Do not focus on the party health bar - While this may aid in your reaction times, it will completely wreck your ability to anticipate spikes. Do not use the party health bar as a crutch, it helps at gaging who needs heals but it cannot tell you who the enemy is attacking nearly as well as your opponent's signals will.
Stay together and try to avoid overextending (this is mostly pointed at DPS characters) - Keep your team within 5km of each other. Extending past 5km is dangerous, overextending outside of 10km makes it impossible to receive heals immediately. Overextending is the basic term given to someone who wanders too far away from their party's backline, dangerously into the opponents' damage. The more the character overextends, the harder it is for the healers to reach him and the more likely that player will be spiked. Overextending is sometimes necessary to ensure a kill but should be avoided as much as possible.
Do not ball up against AoE attacks. - AoE stands for Area of Effect. AoE skills will affect everyone within their radius of effect. AoE effects are balanced around hitting at least two people with their effect, and although they may have a weak effect if they only hit one target the effect becomes exponentially stronger when they hit multiple targets. Balling up against these attacks is a very quick and easy way to overload the team with high amounts of damage and other very nasty effects. Spread out against these attacks; if your team is facing a large amount of these aoe skills it would be wise to keep team members at least 3km away from each other and push the outer limits of the skill usage range while avoiding overextending. Be aware that sometimes an opponent may try to force a player to overextend by using tractor beam repulsors in this situation.
Try to minimize overhealing - The one big issue that keeps you from being a healing machine are your cool downs. Do not waste a skill that heals for 13000 hull points on a party member that is only missing 2000 hull points to full health. Note that it is your job to keep your party alive, not keeping them at 100% health. It is perfectly fine and in several cases advisable NOT to heal party members who got damaged for a small amount of health. Wait until they are damaged strongly enough that you won't overheal. Knowing how long you can wait without risking a death because of a sudden spike of damage is part of being a good healer.
If at first you don't succeed - Examine the situation, figure out what you did wrong, and then adapt from there. What is the point of making a mistake if you do not learn from this? Absolutely nothing. Many people miss this, blindly rushing into death without understanding why it causes death is a mistake. Learn from your mistakes and adapt your team's strategies accordingly. Remember that a fool rushes in where an angel fears to tread.
III. - Working as a Team
Communicate frequently - Communication is key to victory in PvP. Your DPS needs to coordinate spikes against the opponents, focus pressure, and call when they need heals. Your healers need to know what is going on just as much as your DPS does. In situations with more than one healer, overhealing becomes a definite possibility and can open up the team to unnecessary windows of opportunity for the opponents to capitalize on. If you have burned all your heals let the team know that your heals are on cool down. If your teammates are out of healing range let them know that so they can get back into range. If you accidently die in combat let the team know how far away from the group you are regularly to give them a timetable on when to expect you back. Most organized pvp fleets use voice communication in the form of Ventrilo, Mumble, or TeamSpeak. In addition to easier communication than typing (typing in combat = greatly improved chances of dying; avoid it when possible) voice communication helps to bind a team closer together.
One person cannot heal the entire team - Everyone in the team needs to be carrying support. Skilled healers can stop alot of damage, but they cannot pull off miracles. If five people are focusing their fire on a single person, then the damage of five people must be mitigated to keep the person alive. It is extremely hard, if not impossible, for a single healer to blunt a five man alpha strike without support from his teammates. Everyone can take support, it only requires a few skill points when training and a few ensign level bridge officer skills. If everyone is coordinated on healing then a recipient is exponentially more likely to survive an encounter with the enemy.
Mix shield and hull healing - Shield and hull healing both have different pros and cons to taking them, but for best effect they should be mixed. It will lower the chances of overhealing and give players a higher chance of surviving spikes and pressure. If you can organize your team before hand, try to bring a balanced mix of shield and hull healing to ensure optimal survivability.
__________It is extremely important to be in a team during a pvp match. While a premade team is often substantially more coordinated than a pug team, either will do for the purpose of this portion of the guide though. If you are going into a match alone, the first thing you need to do upon entering is group your team. If there is not a team going, right click everyone and invite them to your team. If there is a team already started, right click one of them and request to join them. nine times out of ten the other players will either accept the invite or accept you into the team. The other ten percent severely hurts the ability of the team to win.
Teaming has three purposes:
first it lets you know who is on your side; a quick scan can tell you what class of player each person is, what type of ship they are piloting, and what level they are (generally not important).
Second, any players in your team can be targetted using the f2-f5 keys (f1 is reserved for yourself). hitting the corresponding targetting with your left hand and clicking the appropriate heal with your mouse is substantially faster than clicking the ship and hitting the appropriate key command for the heal. Remember to hold the targetting key down while you click the heal otherwise the heal could hit another player unintentionally.
finally it gives you access to team chat, a vital form of communication that the enemy cannot read. Inside of teamchat you can talk to eachother, share tips, coordinate who to attack, and other vital features.
Additionally; If you are pugging up a group, TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE A HEALER. let them know to stay close to you, and that beyond 5km your abilities to heal them are harder to use and impossible past 10km. Chances are that the team will stay close. If you have a player that insists on staying out of range and keeps dying during combat, remind him that you are a healer but cannot work miracles - if he doesn't stay in range of your heals then he will likely die alot during the fight (players are often motivated by this, the ability to deal large amounts of damage while being nearly invulnerable is often sought after). Remind players to stay in range constantly if they start to seperate from eachother.
Part 3 - Conclusion
__________I often get mail and comments asking me how I heal people so well. The key is to practice, practice, practice. On the flip side, I'm also very blunt. If you need help just send a mail to me or ask it on the forums. Remember that this guide is only a starting point, the real trials only begin when you get onto the battlefield and face you opponents. Who knows, maybe it will even be me! If your team continues to get destroyed by something, stop for a moment and reflect on what happened and then adapt your stratagy to overcome it. Build your friends lists with people you like to play with and have talent, get to know how your friends play, build stratagies together and above all else... Have fun.
~@faithborn, Leader of The Spanish Inquisition.
Originally Posted by Derwood Fincher
Experience is what allows us to repeat our mistakes, only with more finesse
and now a special word from my dear friend Ambience in regards to keybinding, a very useful and beneficial couple of lines that will help many healers;
Originally Posted by ambience
Healing With Binds (AKA "Dammit Jim, I gots too many powers over here")
One of the things I realized as a engi/cruiser healer was that we run a lot of duplicated powers, and we have a LOT of powers that we have to use every match. To try and make things easier, I leveraged some tricks with the in-game /bind functions in STO to bind multiple copies to a single button so we aren't hunting around the keyboard as much.
For the left half, here's the key to the powers and their ranks:
Top Row (Tray 2): ET III, HYT I, RSP I, Haz Emit I, EPtS I
Middle Row (Tray 3) : ET III, ST I, HazEmit II
Bottom Row (Tray 1): Balance Shields, TSS II, RSP I, EPtS I
Now a simple example of a bind:
/bind alt+1 "+TrayExecByTray 1 0 $$ +TrayExecByTray 2 0 "
That's my ET III bind. The way multi-command binds work is that the /bind mechanic marches from left to right for each command (with $$ between them), executing the 1st one it can. A power cannot be executed if it's on cooldown, or otherwise greyed out. If any command is unusable, it marches on to the next command in the bind. Also, you're not allowed to execute multiple powers to a single bind, so it always stops after it succeeds on a power. To activate any other legal powers in the chain, you have to press it a 2nd time.
So the bind above works as follows. The first time I press Alt+1, it attempts to activate the ET III on the top row (rows and buttons start at 0, so "1 0" means Tray 2/Power 1. After that power is activated, that power goes on the full cooldown, and the 2nd ET III in row 2 goes on the shared cooldown.
If I press Alt+1 again immediately, nothing happens because both powers in the command are unusable due to cooldowns. However, after the shared cooldown expires, if I press Alt+1 again, it attempts to activate the top row ET III (and fails since it's still on cooldown), then tries to activate the middle row ET III, and succeeds.
So using that mechanic, you can bind multiple instances of a power to a single key-combo, and it will attempt to activate the first one it can. You can also order it by priority, like I do for hazard emitters:
/bind alt+3 "+TrayExecByTray 2 2 $$ +TrayExecByTray 1 3
This says to try the HazEmit II in the middle row first, then if that's unusable to try the Haz Emit I in the top row. So in essence, it's saying "Use the best Hazard Emitters ability first, and if that's on cooldown, use the lesser one instead".
I use these combos for ET, RSP, EPtS, and Hazard Emitters. That way all I have to do is use 4 key combos to manage 8 abilities. I also try to shift as many of my key heals to the left half of the keyboard so as to not have to move my left hand away from the WASD keys as much.
Here are all of the binds I use. Note that the button4 (side mouse button) bind is for my torpedoes. I have it fire off HYT1 with the first press, and then it fires my aft or forward torpedo depending on my facing. If HYT1 is on cooldown, it just launches my torps like usual. Also, you'll notice that everything in the top row (The Ctrl+# hotkeys) are my copies; I did that to avoid the Ctrl-# combos so I didn't move my hand as much from the WASD position.
I'm about half way through. It's very interesting and as I am trying to get back to my Fed character a bit more with a focus on healing I'm hoping to learn something. I've been playing too long tonight though and my eyes are going crossed >_< so I'll have to finish up during maint in the morning. Thanks for the new guide.
Polarize Hull - Polarize hull provides a fairly large amount of hull resistance and provides immunity against tractor beams for a moderate duration. The hull resistance only applies towards energy weapons (unlike most skills) and scales with Auxiliary Power. Shares hazard subsystem with Hazard Emitters, which is a major detractor towards the effectiveness of the skill.
Small fix - I believe Polarize Hull now provides resistance to everything, not just Energy damage.