(N)EverQuest Scrolls

How to play a cleric? At 53?

by on Sep.20, 2003, under Uncategorized

[edited from my posts on EQ Cleric forums]

I normally agree with all the posts about how to learn a class you have to play one up through the levels as a main. But I’m not sure that I do for a cleric. The reason being that cleric style changes a lot at key levels.

Before 39, a cleric is comparable to a druid that can’t nuke/snare, or a shaman that can’t slow – but with bigger heals. It’s nothing like 39+. I used to treat it as a balancing act – keep the group percent hit points at or above my mana percentage – but always keep the enchanter at full. That usually slows down fast pullers who don’t pay attention to caster’s mana.

Be aware of aggro: getting this right is the sign of a good cleric. A mob hitting you makes it very hard to cast heals, and impossible to use Complete Heal. Sometimes you want to pull a mob off another caster, so aggro works both ways. You can get aggro in several ways: healing early, before the mob has taken more damage than you are healing for – which will happen to mobs that aren’t mezzed/rooted on a multiple pull; over healing, when you heal someone to full; or sitting, especially healing then sitting immediately. You can reduce aggro by intelligent timing of heals; never Complete Heal on incoming, heal between mobs, and use heal over time for low aggro when a CH would be too much – you can still follow with a CH, but a few seconds later for less aggro.

From 39 Complete Heal is your main healing strategy; groups work better if they work with a Main Tank, and no one else needs healing. There comes a slight change at 44 with Celestial Healing, the first good Heal over Time. You’ll use this to heal on incoming, to buffer against unslowed mobs without stealing aggro, and generally to heal efficiently where speed isn’t of the essence.

At 53, the best group heal is Word of Vigor, which is as close to useless as the 19 HoT is; I used it specifically only on AoE fights where I wasn’t in the chain, and wasn’t assist healing. The only difference from older cleric strategies is that Remedy is your new small-but-fast heal.

In the quiet times, you buff; don’t do buffs when you’re low on mana in the middle of a pull. Use Heroic Bond if you have 3 or more in the group, otherwise single cast Heroism. Cast symbol on an enchanter and your main tank, or use Temperance. Put Blessing of Faith on all casters.

Cast CH when your tank is somewhere in the 40-60% HP range, you’ll find out when. A hotkey with a message keeps the tanks nerves calmer. Use an anti-fizzle hotkey, where you put the /cast command twice.

You’ll probably use Remedy to heal everyone else. Keep your enchanter at full HPs if you possibly can, let druids, shamans and necros manage their own HPs – but don’t be afraid to heal them if they let themselves get too low, you don’t want them to pull a mob with low HP aggro. Experiment with Celestial Healing, it can be very effective once you know how to use it.

Sit and med the rest of the time, on a horse if you can.

Watch caster mobs, and mem a couple of stuns to interrupt them when they cast – especially gaters and healers. Bash works wonders for this, as well.

Root runners.

If you have excess mana, nuke.

If you can see a wipe coming, call evac *before* anyone dies. If you have to, use DA/DB and leg it for the zone, or try to channel a gate off. I never remember, I’m always trying to cast one last heal on the MT.

In some locations, keep the appropriate cure loaded to deal with slows – getting Pure Blood is a good idea, if you don’t already have it.

Learn to pull, and how to CR – it’s the same skill. Use pacify to split pulls and for CRs, and root then atone on the CRs if you get aggro.

Check your cleric’s skills – you will want to make sure he has decent defense, and will want to raise 1HB, offense and bash. Get a reagent conservation III item, and consider MP III and extended range III, flowing thought and improved healing III/IV if you can.

The rules change completely when you regularly group in PoP zones, and when you reach 56, with Yaulp V and the first decent summoned hammer. From this point, if you aren’t a melee cleric (in normal groups and especially in LDoN) then you’re a waste of space. Sure, sit while you’re figuring out the group, or if mana is in extremis. The 54 pet is less efficient than a nuke for all except long (2 minute plus, I’ll have to calculate it exactly) fights.

At 58/59 new HoT and fast heals make these more efficient, but don’t change the game. 61+, healing strategies change again, as mana pool improves, group heals get better, and fast heals are big enough to act as a CH for many classes.

The only thing I’ll add is that playing cleric as the main from time to time should be considered essential to learning the class – but simply because the cleric’s role is going to change a lot with each couple of further levels.


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