Clerics are the premier healers in EverQuest. They have very little damage-dealing ability, but none of the other healing classes can even approach their healing supremacy.
Clerics also have very substantial HP buffs, a series of buffs (known as the Vie line) that reduces the melee damage someone takes, a series of buffs that make spells cast faster, and Divine Intervention which provides a "death save." Clerics have a line of fast heals (******* Remedy) that heal a relatively small amount of HP and do so inefficiently but do so quickly, a line of slower heals (******* Light) that heal more and do so more efficiently but are slower, a line of (Word of *******) that is a group heal plus cure for a massive amount of mana, and several other types of heals including Complete Heal, the Promised Renewal line which is a 18 second buff that heals the target when it fades, and the Desperate Renewal line which is a massive fast-casting heal for a massive amount of mana. Clerics also have two lines of heal-over-times, the ******* Elixir line of single target HOT's, and the Elixir of ******* line of group HOT's.
Clerics receive a number of important and useful spells that are unique to the class. The extraordinarily mana efficient (if misnamed) Complete Heal has shaped many cleric healing and raid strategies for many years. Divine Intervention acts as a buff and provides a chance (and with AA's a guarantee) at a substantial heal if the person who has previously had DI cast on them becomes low on health. This provides an important safety-net in difficult situations, helping to ensure that the tank will not die even if there is a missed heal.
Clerics also receive a unique series of Damage Shield spells, the Mark of Karn and the Mark of Retribution lines, which eventually combine in to the viral Blood of the Devoted line, which spreads from mob to mob and combines the effects of both Karn and Retribution. The Karn line heals anyone who hits the mob by a certain amount, while the Retribution line dispells any existing damage shields and makes the mob take damage whenever he hits anyone.
The Vow of Valor line, introduced in TSS and later given to both lower and higher levels, procs a powerful self-heal that allows clerics to solo content they previously could not. In conjunction with the cleric damageshields and the Ward of Retribution line, clerics can have excellent survivability while soloing while still putting out enough DPS to kill their target, albeit slowly. Vow of Valor has allowed high end clerics to go back and solo more old-world raid bosses than any class, including the Avatar of War.
So, you are a cleric getting ready for some of your first major raids. You will probably start off in the Plane of Power Tier One and Tier Two zones. The healers in a raid are most often the make or break point in a successful raid. Many classes have healing spells that can be used during a raid. Poor communication and poor timing can result in the healers attracting aggro and wipe the raid because all the healers are dead before the melee classes assigned to bodyguard duty can come to the rescue. Also, wasting mana on duplicating buffs, or landing a 17K heal on a tank that has just gotten a 100% heal can drain even the best mana pools unnecessarily fast. Successful raids rarely just happen, they must be planned, the strategy understood by the raid members and every one should know their job. If you are a cleric, your main job is healing during the raid. Your secondary job is buffing and resurrecting the fallen.
Setup and Organization While the raid is getting organized, you get organized. 1. Make chat windows to separate your chat channels. Designate a chat window for raid chat and group chat, a chat window for the healers channel and tells sent directly to you, and the main chat window that shows all the rest of the information. This will assist you in keeping track of information that won't scroll by so fast that you may miss something. Also, assign different colors to group, raid, heal channel, and tells. Example: Group chat can be dark blue, and your comments a lighter shade. Raid chat in the same window can be dark orange, with your raid say comments in a lighter shade. 2. Make sure that your potion belt, bandolier, veteran rewards, tribute benefits, AA clickies, and or any other method of improving your healing, or mana pool are set up and ready to use. 3. Have a supply of invisibility potions, SoW potions, Elixer of Clarity potions, a stack of healing potions, and some shrinking potions or a shrink clicky. You can cast the healing potion on yourself to save your mana for healing the tank. 4. Summon some food and water and fill your self up before the raid starts, so you and your horse will not eat your Misty Thicket Picnic Baskets and drink your Taelosian Black Tea. You need to keep your magic foods in the top food slots in you backpack so that you will get the added benefits from your magic foods and beverages. Offer the left over summoned food and drink to raid members who may need to do the same thing. Your mount will make you want to eat and drink more often, so check on your food status from time to time. 5. Reset your bind point to a safe spot close to the raid's staging area. Some prefer to set their bind in the Guild Lobby, they can then zone into Guild Hall, and take the portal to the location. 6. Join the healers' channel! The healers in the healchain should all use the same healers channel announcement format to reduce confusion and healers' channel spam. Make sure you know who is casting in front of you and who is casting after you. The clerics aren't the only ones monitoring the healers' channel. Many times the druids, shamans, main tanks, and the raid leader are watching also. Another key point, don't spam the raid channel with healing announcements. The raid leader, the group leaders, and the tanks need to know that their instructions will not be lost in the confusion. 7. Start making your hotkeys.
Creating the HotKeys With the introduction of the Depths of Darkhollows expansion there are now 4 Hot Key boxes available to players. Set up your hotkeys in advance. The first Hot Keys box is the keyboard numbers 1 through 0. Set up the second hot key box for Alt 1 through 0. In the Actions box, tab over to the Socials, create your necessary macros, and make the socials into hotkeys by holding down the right mouse button and dragging to the Hotkey window.
I do not like to depend on being able to target my tanks by mouse clicking while in the middle of the action during a raid. There is a lot of movement, spell casting, and the problem of lag to deal with and that presents a targeting problem. I believe that it is important to make a specific hotkey for instantly targeting the Main Tank and the succeeding Main Assist, and separate keys for each person is going to step up when whoever is tanking goes down. Also, I do not have to hunt around for my tanks, I can just click a targeting hotbutton and they are defined by that neat little targeting ring. Another option is the raid window (Alt R). You can target someone by clicking on their name if they are in range. The raid window is a bit time consuming, but you can scroll through the group lists to find a target.
Social button name “Verlane” Top line: /target Verlane
Social button name “Fushae” Top line: /target Fushae
Social button name Donnag Top line: /target Donnag
Drag your social macro button over to the second Hot Buttons window and assign them slots 1, 2, 3, etc. in order of tanking as directed by the raid leader. This is much easier now that the Depths of Darkhollow expansion has been released. I do keep the %T variable hotkey up, in the event that everything goes badly and it is necessary to heal the very last line of defense. You know those guys... that poor little beastlord sending his pet into the fray to be pounded into jelly (yes, I will heal that pet if it is suddenly my tank) or a necromancer in nuking in suicidal bliss, attempting to stave off a wipe. Sometimes, it works.
A Pause for a Pause The “pause” numbers shown in the examples are just for reference. A second is equal to six ticks. It is important to make sure that you have you “pause” set to an appropriate time.
/pause 6 = 1 second /pause 12 = 2 seconds /pause 18 = 3 seconds /pause 24 = 4 seconds
MGB Healchain The most powerful Clerics, Shamans and Paladins with the largest mana pools and who have the Mass Group Buff Heal capabilites need to be organized into their own temporary MGB healchain. When the going gets tough, the MGB Heals is what keeps the raid on its feet. Needless to point out that everyone in the raid needs to know who has the MGB Heals and make sure they are in range to be close enough to get the heal and also close enough to pull aggro off these MGBers. When the MGBs have been cast, the recover time before another can be cast pretty much means that these MGBers immediately become another chain of healers that targets the Main Assists or moves to heal support for the other healchain and/or for their groups. MBG heals are vastly draining of mana and will cause that cleric to aggro every evil thing in the zone. Dark Elf clerics seem to like the idea of going down in a blaze of glory. A strategy to consider, preposition at least 2 healers capable of MBG Heals and of resurrecting near the center of the raid force. When they cast their MBG heals, let them spam heal until they are OOM and let them suicide, and resurrect them quickly. They will have lost aggro, and can self buff with potions for healing and clarity and a cloudy potion for invisibility while meditating up their mana pools. Also, if a wipe is imminent, they can camp out in place at the raid, to be able to log back in to begin resurrecting the raid. A paladin is particularly useful in this capacity. More suggestions on pre-camping a cleric or pally for raid place holding farther on in this article.
Set up the MBG Heal Chain hotkey announcement like this:
Social Name: MBG Heal
First line: /3 Casting MBG Heal. (/3 being the healers' channel. Make sure you are sending your heal announcement to the correct channel.)
Second line: /cast 2 (Slot ‘2' being the slot where the MBG Heal spell is memorized. Important to make sure you have the correct slot in your /cast #)
Third line: /pause 20 (/pause 20 is really 20 ticks or about 3.2 seconds. This interval can be much shorter or longer, depending on the situation.)
Fourth line: /3 Go…Whoeverisnextinline…CAST MGB Heal NOW (Make the name of the person who casts after you easy to read. Add a couple of blank spaces or series of dots before and after their name.)
This is what is seen in the healers' channel:
Just 2 lines. No confusing spam. Easier to follow the action.
You may want to consider sending your MGB heal message to the entire raid. This would alert the raid members they have approximately three seconds to move into your casting range, if possible.
/rsay Casting MGB Heal NOW
Also, a healchain does not have to be standing in one little bunch together. More likely, the heal chain members will be instructed to position themselves in a loose semi-circle or a staggered line behind the battlefield.
Cleric Healchain In a perfect world, there are always enough clerics ready to show up for a raid. Alas, Norrath is not a perfect world. Example: in a PoP raid, the ideal FAST heal chain consists of 7 or more clerics casting consecutive, overlapping complete heals. The more clerics you have in your healchain the longer the healchain mana can last. A Complete Heal heals for 7500 hp, but it takes ten seconds to cast. In my experience on a successful Plane of Earth raid, the Cleric Healchain consisted of seven clerics level 62 - 65 (pre Omens of War) casting a complete heal every second. This means that the main tank is getting 7,500 hitpoints of healing every 1.3 seconds. In some high level zones, this may not be enough. With high level Alternate Advance abilities, it is possible for a seven cleric heal chain to land a 15K heal every second for up to five minutes before the OOM whining begins. That's a lot of healing!
This chain is of clerics only casting the same spell, for the same amount of healing, in the same allotment of time. A class included in this chain who's most powerful heal is only 2,000 hitpoints puts the tank at risk of not getting that 5,500 hps of healing for an additional couple of seconds. An extra two seconds of lag between heals will get the tank killed.
Not Enough Clerics Here's how you compensate for the differences between the classes: The Lead Healer needs to be aware of who can cast what spell for how many hitpoints within a certain time frame to establish a baseline heal for the tank within the heal chain. If other classes of healers are in the chain, then the Lead Healer is responsible to set up the heal chain accordingly. Example: number 1 healer casts a 7.5k Complete heal on a pause 20, followed by number 2 healer who casts a 2K heal on a pause 5, followed by number 3 healer casting a 4K heal on a pause 10, then number 4 healer with a 7.5K heal on a pause 20 again. The number 2 and 3 healer may not bring the Tank back up to 100%, but they will keep him alive until the next complete heal lands with in the next two seconds. It takes ten seconds to cast a complete heal, and 2.5 seconds to recover before the cleric can begin to cast again. This is 12.5 seconds (approximately /pause 75) until the first cleric is able to cast the next healing spell. So, when setting up the heal chain, do the math. Three clerics on a pause 20 will not work. The first cleric hasn't recovered yet to begin to cast; he needs another 1.5 seconds. Use you targeting hotkey to easily pick out your tank in the crowd and the Heal Tank hotkey to cast.
Set up the Cleric Heal Chain hotkey announcement like this:
Social Name: Heal Tank
First line: /cast 1 %T (Slot ‘one' being the slot where the Complete Heal spell is memorized to and ‘percent Target' being the name of the tank for whom you have created a targeting hotkey. Important to make sure you have the correct spell slot in your /cast #.)
Second line: /3 Casting Complete Heal on …Maintank…. (/3 being the healers' channel. Make sure you are sending your heal announcement to the correct channel. Don't spam Raid Say with heal announcements.)
Third line: /pause 5 (/pause 5 is really five ticks, and is slightly less than 1 second. The /pause command is not seen in the message that appears in the chat window)
Fourth line: /3 Go…Whoeverisnextinline…CAST NOW (Make the name of the person who casts after you easy to read. Add a couple of blank spaces or dots before and after their name. EQ Chat windows sometimes cut off the last part of your text message. Adding dots to the end helps your message to be seen in the other players chat window in its entirety)
This is what is seen in the healers' channel:
Just 2 lines. Much better than all the fancy spam announcements and far less distracting.
A variation is to insert your casting order number into the macro. Example: Soandso, Whatshisname, Cherrin, and Whoeverisnextinline in the chain, casting in that order.
Second line: /3 (3) Casting Complete Heal on…Maintank…(3) Fourth line: /3 Go…(4)Whoeverisnextinline(4)….CAST NOW”
This is what is seen in the healer's channel:
Healing Backup The clerics, paladins, shammys, and druids who are not in the healchain need to be assigned Spam Heal targets. This is usually someone in their own local group. Total random spamming wastes mana. Druids and Shamans have some pretty awesome heals also. They are more effective at Spam Healing the Tanks, the cleric Healchain and equally important, the Casters. They are also fast at getting off their heals. It is a good idea to organize Druids, Shamans, and Paladins into some type of healing backup. Paladins also have some amazing healing abilities. Paladins will keep an eye on the healers and casters in their groups, put they will mostly be stunning, nuking, and doing as much melee damage as possible to the mob. A 16K Paladin is very much up to the challenge of tanking just about anything in the Planes of Power. Paladins cast their own heals knowing it will pull aggro off the healchain and on to them. I've even been saved by a ranger on bodyguard duty, who healed me for 103 points, to attract aggro off of me and died a hero's death.
LOM and OOM There is another issue to deal with. Someone in the healchain is going to run out of mana. Prepare a Low On Mana key to send to the Healer channel to warn the chain to prepare them to be ready to skip you when you do run out of mana. Low On Mana is usually about 20%, or when you have enough mana to cast you biggest heal twice. Be ready to post the percent of mana remaining in your mana pool.
Social Name LOM Top line: /3 I am LOM.
Next, make an OOM (Out Of Mana) hotkey to alert the chain. Post the OOM message in your rotation spot in the heal chain:
Social Name: OOM Top line: /3 I am OOM… GO…Whoeverisnextinline…CAST NOW
This also alerts the mana pumpers. Hope that you have regened enough mana to cast the next time your turn comes around.
You're Dead If you die, please remind the healchain so they will know to skip you. Make a “I'm dead” hotkey:
Social Name “Dead” Top line: /3 I'm dead… GO…Whoeverisnextinline…CAST NOW
This acts as a place holder in the heal chain. Idealy it lets the next person know to begin casting. If several have died, then it makes it easier to keep track of the sequence.
A lot of hotkeys? Yes. It saves lots of time and reduces the opportunity for mistakes. My Hot Key Pages look like this:
Hot Key Window 1 Page 1 Corresponds with Spell Set 1 Page 1 1. casting complete heal on main tank 2. casting quicky heal on %T 3. casting heal over time on %T 4. casting group heal 5. OOM 6. I'm dead 7. LOM 8. AA ability 9. AA ability 0. Gate to Bind Point
Page 2 Corresponds with Spell Set 2 1. casting complete heal on main tank 2. casting quicky heal on %T 3. casting heal over time on %T 4. casting group heal 5. casting HP Buff (Conviction, Virtue or HoV) 6. casting spell focus buff (Blessing of Rev.) 7. casting Resurrection spell 8. Veteran Reward 9. AA ability 0. Gate to Bind Point
Hot Key Window 2 1. Social button for targeting name “Verlane” 2. Social button for targeting name “Fushae” 3. Social button for targeting name “Donnag” 4. Another Targeting Hot Key 5. Another Targeting Hot Key 6. Another Targeting Hot Key 7. Social Name: Rezz 8. Social 9. Social 0. Gate to Bind Point
On your Keyboard: F1 Targets yourself F2 Targets top name in your group window F3 Targets second name in group window F4 Targets third name in group window F5 Targets fourth name in your group window F6 Targets fifth name in your group window F7 Targets nearest Player F8 Targets nearest Mob Press the F key twice to target the pet
Fizzle Fizzling will happen. By the time you have gotten your fizzled message, it may too late to begin cast recasting your complete heal if you are on a pause 18 (three seconds) or less. Cast your fastest quicky heal, example: Supernal Remedy as quickly as you can. It may be possible to cast your quicky heal twice. This is a mana drain, but it is sometimes necessary.
I usually do not announce the quicky heal, a heal over time, or the group heal.
My second hotkey page is also my AA, Veteran reward abilities, buffs and rezzing macros. There is always the need to refresh a buff like Conviction, Blessing of the Reverent, or Resist Magic, and the resurrection message. I send these messages directly to the target. Note: make a Resurrection macro that goes directly to the heal channel. I have my epic clicky Water Sprinkler which means I will have my inventory window open faded to 10% and it may be covering action or a chat window. I can miss seeing in the main chat window where another cleric or paladin has begun to cast a spell.
Social Name “Rezz”
/3 Rezzing the corpse of %T
Also, for that nasty time when I am running around in my newbie suite waiting on my own corpse to arrive with my gear:
Social Name “Rezz2”
First line: /cast 7 %T
Second line: /3 Rezzing the corpse of %T
Third line: /e mumbles a hasty prayer to Tunare and kicks bit of dirt over the corpse of %T
(ACK! Spam! I have my emotes filtered to the main chat window)
What spells to keep loaded? You probably should have a couple of spells sets saved. I have my spell sets named Raid 1 and Raid 2. For most of my career at healing in raids, the top spell, Slot 1 was Complete Heal. Your top spell should be your biggest heal, the second slot could be your fastest heal, and the third slot could be your best Heal Over Time. The number four slot could be one of your better mana conservative heals or a group heal. Slots 5 and 6 are buffs and Slots 7 and 8 are Divine Barrier and Gate. Another spell to consider loading would be your root spell. If you are attacked, you could possibly lead the mob away from the clerics and casters, root it and scamper back to your position. However, you also want to make sure that you do not lead your bodyguards away from their positions, either.
The second raid spell set, Raid 2 keeps the first 2 and the last one slots the same, but number 3 is now Resurrection, the number 4 slot now memorizes Blessing of Reverence, number 5 slot is now Virtue, number 6 is now Armor of the Zealot, number seven remains Divine Barrier. Some clerics like to keep Yaulp up on their spell set at all times and forgo a spam heal or the Divine Barrier. My mana regen is maxed out, so I usually keep DB up. It gives the bodyguards 18 seconds to save my butt when I aggro a mob. Notice, I keep Gate up at all times, and I still die a lot. Oh, well.
Make sure you have the correct spell set loaded for the Hot Key macros. It just wouldn't do to cast Divine Barrier Spell slot 7 on Spell Set Raid 1 when you really wanted to cast Resurrection Spell slot 7 on Spell Set Raid 2
Spell Set Raid 1 1. Complete Heal 2. Supernal Remedy 3. Celestial Elixer 4. Group heal 5. Ensnaring Roots 6. Yalup IV 7. Divine Barrier 8. Gate
Spell Set Raid 2 1. Complete Heal 2. Supernal Remedy 3. Resurrection 4. Blessing of Reverance 5. Virtue 6. Armor of the Zealot 7. Divine Barrier 8. Gate
What? No heal chain?! Ok, the most uber of guilds with the top level members can raid without a heal chain. HUH? Yes. Just keep in mind these players have lots of experience and have probably been working as a group for a very long time. The newer expansions have given clerics, shammans, druids, and paladins some very, very good healing abilities along with the new potion belts for easy access to healing potions. A short fight doesn't need a healing chain.
FYI 1. It is rumored that using a healing over time potion does not attract aggro. The jury is still out on that. My opinion that it does attract aggro, but not as much as casting a healing spell does. 2. Did you know clerics are able to land a healing spell on a player up to 45° around a corner? Positioning is critical. If the Cleric is 45° around a corner from the tank who is 45° degrees to the mob, the cleric is now 90° off the mob and out of direct line of sight to it. Not much help for the mob's area effect (AE) damage spells but can make a difference when adds spawn. 3. Innoruk in Nadox is a good small raid to learn chain healing on. Innoruk has some AE's and also has a nasty “knock-back” spell that can throw you half way across the zone if you happen to be standing with your back to an open doorway. 4. How does a cleric change a light bulb? (He holds it up to the socket and the room revolves around him) 5. Camping out in the middle of a raid? Sure, just have one of the senior guildies or someone you know to call you on the phone when time to log back in. Thanks to caller ID, you don't have to answer the phone, saving a long distance phone call. Uhmm… if you are a minor, you should get parents' permission before giving out your home phone number to strangers you've met online. Let's play safe. 6. Names mentioned in the sample macros was intentionally done to make the evil, guilty mana sponges squirm. 7. After being a cleric for some years now, for the very first time I saw in Raid Say…. Cleric Cherrin is MT. Druid Shasta is the Assist! Followed by a collective OH sh*t!! Well, this was when the last handful of people still standing at the tail end of a very spectacular wipe. When all other plate, chain, and leather classes are dead, then the next in line is the remaining plate class: the clerics. Summon pet hammer, load a nuke, a stun, and hopefully you have Divine Aura or Divine Barrier pre-loaded. I lasted almost 40 seconds and hammered Rallos Zek down from 13% to 11%. Amazing! A battle cleric is very rare, but we do have some awesome plate armor. 8. /say sends message to general chat /e is an emote, send to general chat /rs or /rsay raid say... sends message to the raid /gu send message to guild /g send message to your group only. /cast ___ command to cast a spell /target ____ command to target whom ever you have clicked on or insert name of target. Use in creating hotkeys. /pause ___ command to insert a delay in a hotkey social. /list ____ command to list the members of what ever channel number you are monitoring.