As a giant rock monster ravages my group, I curse the entire cuddly, cub-sized Popori race. They may be cute, but they're darn hard to heal. Size matters in the MMORPG TERA for the same reason it does in an FPS: the bigger you are, the easier you are to hit—even for me, their healer. And right now, I'm having a tough time keeping those tiny woodland creatures in my health-restoring crosshairs.
If this were WoW, I'd just click their portrait in the corner of my screen and watch my heals hit 'em without exception. In DC Universe Online, I'd only have to aim in their general direction. In TERA, however, I have to snipe my ailing Sorcerer with non-deadly precision in the heat of combat if I want to keep him alive.
It's exhilarating. My Priest's primary healing spell mends two targets simultaneously, but only as fast as I can click them—if I can click them at all. I get the odd sensation that I'm tethering my teammates together with holy ropes as I click-drag-click frantically around my group to keep their health bars full.
As I heal, ability suggestions pop up on my screen, letting me hit spacebar to continue down a chain of like-minded spells, similar to Aion's spell chain system. When I cast an area-of-effect damage spell as a Mystic, it recommends another AoE spell to follow it up. I tap Spacebar to accept and a wave of white light knocks back all the enemies around me. When I fall down, I slap Spacebar to bring all my allies to their feet with me as I rise.
I rarely look down at the interface; it's more useful to keep my eyes on the action, gauging enemy movement and teleporting around to make sure that line-of-sight on my allies is never broken. It reminds me of playing a Medic in Team Fortress 2—always on the move, always keeping an eye on the big picture—except that in TERA, I have tons of options for how to heal my teammates.
I love playing a support role in groups—the satisfaction that comes from being the unsung hero that helps others achieve great feats is addicting. But all too often, boredom gets the better of me: I go stir-crazy sitting at the back of raids playing whack-a-mole on a row of character portraits. That's why I'm so enthused by my weekend spent in TERA's beta—it looks poised to do the impossible: make healers exciting, skill-based, and genuinely fun to play.
Priests live to heal. They don't fuss with mana regen or crowd control—if it's friendly and has a health bar, the Priest will find a way to keep that health bar filled.
My best moment: Pulling off a flawless streak of five lifesaving heal shots on our tank and top DPS through a chaotic battlefield to save the day.
There are many more ways to support teammates than just filling their health bar: Mystics restore mana, control enemies, command pets, and summon health or mana potions to help allies help themselves.
My best moment: Covering an entire bridge with consumable healing orbs before my group started a last stand-style mission. This tactic made me available for DPS during the battle, and we all lived.