This is a guide for the Melee spec for the Healer class in Allods Online.
- 2010 March 28: because of the issue with Holy Avenger, dropped 3/3 Holy Avenger and 3/3 Bearer of Light to free up 6 rubies to take Divine Foresight. Updated ruby grid images and link to calculator
- 2010 March 19: added 3rd PVP video and updated the content for Holy Avenger and Condemnation. HA-generated Fanaticism buffs do not proc Brilliant Faith heals
- 2010 March 12: added links to my narrated PVP videos
- 2010 March 9: updated the ruby progression numbered chart, fixed some tooltip descriptions, and added section re: PVP
- 2010 March 3: updated the ruby progression numbered chart to get Banished Words at 23 for Holy Lands PVPVE
- 2010 February 27: added the ruby progression numbered chart and commented on Perpetual Healing
- 2010 February 23: added more content to the tips for beginners
- 2010 February 20: added tips for beginners
- 2010 February 19: clarified that all our damage is affected by the same set of stats. Updated names of abilities and rubies to match to the in-game tooltips
- 2010 February 17: updated names of talents and rubies and their descriptions per in-game tooltips and updates to allodsbase.com calculator. Also made 1 change to the filler ruby placement in the Cleansing Flame tree
- 2010 February 12: posted original version
1. Melee Healer Class Mechanics
In AO, Melee Healers (MH) are viable because of 4 synergistic mechanics:
- Their two core melee abilities (Verdict and Holy Rage) have a chance to apply a stacking buff called Fanaticism, and each time the buff stacks it generates an AOE party heal and decreases the cast time of non-instant-cast spells by 0.5 sec
- They can deliver excellent melee burst damage with 2h weapons
- They have multiple ranged CC abilities (snare, knockdown, mez, and silence) which are great counters against kiters and runners
- They have very good survivability – thanks to plate armor, self-heals, and a bubble
The closest analogy to an AO MH is a WAR Warrior Priest (melee-based healing) blended with a WoW Retribution Paladin (plate armor + bubble + burst).
To give you an idea what a MH is capable of, check out this video of a level 40 MH:
Video of 40 Melee Healer (Russian AO) – not Taugrim
It’s important to note that unlike games such as WAR and Aion, AO does not have a consistent auto-face opponent mechanic. So in AO a skilled meleer can circle-strafe an opponent, just as the player in the video did.
Here are the downsides to the MH spec:
- The spec is incredibly mana-intensive
- It lacks the burst healing and sustained healing of a healing-centric Healer spec (duh!)
- It has limited nuke capability. Its damage mechanics require the MH to get up close and personal
The spec I’m going to describe below is a MH with strong DoT/HoT capability. Here is a link to the spec on a spec calculator:
In AO, there are two ways you spec your character: via talents (abilities) and rubies (buffs and procs for talent abilities, new abilities, passive defenses, etc). Here is my endgame talent tree:
- 1/3 Holy Blast: this is a caster DPS spell and you automatically have 1 point in it. No reason to invest more points in it
- 3/3 Verdict: the first of our two core melee abilities
- 3/3 Cleansing Flame: ranged (spammable) instant-cast DoT. I’ll go either 2/3 or 3/3. Some MH specs do not max this out
- 0/3 Spiritual Focus: grants immunity to spell casting interruption and buffs the next spell or heal
- 0/3 Devoted Plea: this is the bread-and-butter cast-time heal, but most of this spec’s healing will be generated from melee abilities and instant-cast heals. It is worth investing 1 point in this ability early in the game so that you have an on-demand heal as you level up to 40
- 3/3 Blind Faith: ranged 5 sec snare and disorient, 21 sec cooldown with 3 points and rubies (see next section). Surprisingly useful in PVE and incredible in PVP
- 1/3 Heavenly Smite: 1 point just to get this ability because it is a ranged AOE knockdown. It has a fixed 4.5 sec cast but with 9 stacks of Fanaticism buffs this becomes instant-cast
- 3/3 Holy Shield: 12 sec invulnerability bubble on a 3 min cooldown with 3 points
- 1/3 Calming Prayer: 1 point just to get this mana regen ability
- 3/3 Perpetual Healing: maxed out (spammable) instant-cast HoT
- 0/3 Resurrection: it’s not usable in combat. At endgame you can complete a World Mystery to get an AOE rez, at which point you don’t need this ability any more. I did end up putting 1/3 Resurrection to have a rez for grouping
- 3/3 Holy Rage (HR): the second of our two core melee abilities. What’s nasty about HR is that it creates a stacking buff which increases the ability’s damage by 10% and mana cost by 20%. This is what you see generating huge crits in MH videos. This ability requires a ton of mana to use so it’s best to spend talent points here last
- 3/3 Divine Prayer: maxed out emergency instant-cast heal. Very mana inefficient but it complements the mobile playstyle
- 1/3 Purification: removes a debuff
- 1/3 Holy Rejuvenation: 1 point to get the ability. This is a large burst heal with a fixed 6 sec cast time but remember that Fanaticism buffs reduce the cast time
- 1/3 Binding Light: this is a mez ability. 1 point just to get the ability, to complement our arsenal. Should be very valuable in small-scale PVP and gapping an opponent
3. Rubies (0/22/16)
As discussed above, rubies are used to obtain buffs and procs for talent abilities, new abilities, passive defenses, etc.
Here is my endgame ruby spec (note I do not put any points in the Holy Blast tree):
Specific Verdict tree rubies:
- 3/3 Blessed Steel: +30% to physical damage. Our two core melee abilities are physical
- 2/3 Ray of Light: when health is < 50%, healing received is increased by 20%
- 1/1 Banished Words: 6 sec silence ability, with a 21 sec cooldown with 3/3 Condemnation (see below)
- 3/3 Power of Faith: reduces cooldown of our two core melee abilities by 20%
- 2/2 Devout Servant: increases the chance for Verdict and HR to proc a Fanaticism buff by 20%
- 3/3 Divine Instincts: increases Dodge by 100% with a 2h weapon
- 3/3 Condemnation: reduces cooldowns for Blind Faith, Binding Light, and Banished Words by 30%. This is one of our best rubies, don’t underestimate it1
- 3/3 Brilliant Faith: when Fanaticism buff procs, it generates a party heal
As you can see, Power of Faith and Devout Servant synergize to increase the number of party heal procs with Brilliant Faith. That combination of rubies is what makes this build tick.
Specific Cleansing Flame tree rubies:
- 3/3 Surge of Faith: +45% increase to output of HoT and DoT abilities
- 3/3 Illuminated Mind: +15% to Wisdom which reduces the target’s armor and increases our mana pool and regen
- 3/3 Enlightenment: +15% to Intelligence stat, which drives all our damage (both physical and light damage types) and healing
- 1/3 Ascension: 1 point to get the self-buff that increases our crit chance by 200% and reduces threat by 200%
- 2/4 Blaze of Faith: filler rubies. Note that Guardian of Faith only works against demons, so I don’t take it
- 3/4 Unshakeable Faith: +15% to Faith, which drives all our healing
- 1/1 Divine Foresight: creates an auto-heal on the target when their health drops to 35% or less. This can save the target in situations when damage taken would have dropped the target’s health to 0. Note that the mana is spent on casting the buff not when the heal procs, and each time the cooldown expires you can place the buff on an additional target
Some MH specs invest points in the Holy Smite tree to get the ability Entreaty, which is an excellent instant-cast self-heal on a 30 sec cooldown, instead of Divine Foresight. However, I don’t like like the 4 required rubies to get to Entreaty.
4. Melee Healer Stats
As a caster class, the following stats affect our damage:
- Intelligence increases our damage (and healing)
- Luck affects our % to crit and % to have a glancing blow (i.e. an anti-crit)
- Perception reduces our chance to miss and the target’s chance to dodge/block/parry
- Wisdom reduces the target’s armor (mitigation)
Another important stat for Healers is Faith, which affects how much “wound complexity” our heals ignore. There is an excellent thread on the Allods Online forum that describes the mechanics of the these 5 stats.
It’s important to note that regardless what abilities you use (melee or ranged, physical vs spell damage, etc), the stat mechanics are the same. E.g. Intelligence increases our damage for melee abilities and for spells. I think this was a great design choice by the developer as it simplifies the game.
The conventional wisdom among Closed Beta testers is to keep stats balanced, so you don’t want to go overboard on stacking any one stat (e.g. Intelligence).
dchipeev, a veteran poster on the AO forums, recommends the following stats (excluding Luck):
Perception = Wisdom > Faith = Intelligence
miwacho points out that Wisdom and Luck are rare stats on Healer gear.
okokomo recommends the following rules of thumb:
Perception: 10% chance for dodge/block/parry
Intelligence: 10% for damage bonus
Luck: 10% chance for glancing blow chance
I’m planning on spending my stat points 75% on Wisdom and 25% on Luck. Your mileage may vary!
5. Ability Rotations
I would cast the HoT and DoT abilities before engaging in melee and refresh them as needed. Melee attack spam would be mostly HR and Verdict.
Use of CCs would be dictated by the situation. We can use our snare (Blind Faith) and silence (Banished Words) frequently due to their relatively short cooldowns against casters and kiters. Our AOE knockdown (Heavenly Smite) has no cooldown – it just has a long cast time of 4.5 sec but with enough Fanaticism buffs stacked that won’t matter. Keep in mind that Heavenly Smite can be “pre-casted” without a target so that when you cast it with a target it’s instant-cast. Our mez (Binding Light) is a great oh-crap CC against humanoids.
In tight situations we can use our bubble (Holy Shield) and / or instant-cast self-heal (Divine Prayer).
6. Other Game Mechanic Considerations
As you probably know, AO is a F2P (free-to-play) game with a CS (cash shop) from which players can buy in-game items with real money.
One of the CS items is a consumable called incense, which increases the player’s max HP for 30 minutes. Many players are unhappy that this item exists because the HP buff is regarded as essential for some endgame PVE encounters and makes a huge difference in survivability in PVP.
For PVP, classes that can meaningfully heal themselves, such as MHs, will probably be less impacted by not using incense than classes that can’t heal themselves. In most games healers stack enough HP to survive a reasonable amount of burst, then they focus on other stats. So if you are concerned about incense and don’t plan to quest for it or buy it from the CS, a healing class may be a wise choice for you.
7. Class Tips for Leveling
Stat Points Allocation
I recommend putting 75% into Wisdom and 25% into Luck, because those stats are rare on gear relative to Intelligence, Perception, and Faith.
I recommend the following talent point progression through level 12, which enables you to kill quickly while still being able to heal in groups:
- Verdict 2
- Devoted Plea 1 – it’s worth taking this heal for leveling because without it you have no healing whatsoever until the upper teens. Useful all the way to 40 because it’s a spammable heal and generates Fanaticism proc heals
- Verdict 3
- Cleansing Flame 2
- Cleansing Flame 3
After level 12, you have the option of taking Blind Faith, Heavenly Smite, or Holy Shield. I took Holy Shield 1 then Heavenly Smite 1. However BF has surprisingly strong utility in PVE so I would recommend getting BF 2 before obtaining either Holy Shield or Heavenly Smite. BF 2 has a 1 min cooldown but CC’s a mob for 10 or 15 seconds, which is a long time, and you can continue to DPS on that mob without breaking the effect. Definitely get BF3 by level 25 if you can for PVP in Holy Land.
Perpetual Healing is available as early as level 18 and it’s a very good HoT.
Here is the order of rubies I recommend taking:
- Divine Instincts 1-3: the Dodge bonus is good so this is not a useless talent by any means
- Power of Faith 1-3: the mana cost and cooldown reductions do work, even though the cooldown isn’t reflected in the tooltip; see my comment below to Kikiz
- Brilliant Faith 1-3
- Blessed Steel 1 in the upper-right hand corner
- Devout Servant 1
- Banished Words
- Devout Servant 2
- Blessed Steel 2
- Condemnation 1-3: these rubies are key for lowering the cooldowns of our CC. You could take these before Blessed Steel 2. Depends whether you want more CC or more damage first
- Ray of Hope 1-2
- Blessed Steel 3
At level 23, you will have Banished Words for the silence which is key for PVP. I managed to get two World Mystery rubies (I think via clearing Dark Citadel and all but the last boss of Castle Blight) which enabled me to get Condemnation 3 by level 26.
Once you fill out the Verdict tree, it’s up to you whether you pursue Divine Foresight or Ascension first in the Cleansing Flame tree.
Gear and Healing
It’s totally worth getting the blue reputation gear at level 10 and throughout the leveling process. What you can do is quest until you are close to hitting level 10, then do the rep repeatables (e.g. the flour quest on League side) to get to 25k rep. I had to run the flour quest 9 times to get to 25k rep and it took about 20 minutes – boring but well worth it. It’s easy to solo heal the first level 10 instance (e.g. Oreshek on League side) even as a Melee Healer so long as you have DP1 and the level 10 blue rep gear. With the level 10 blue rep gear you gain a massive improvement in your ability to heal, because the gear boosts your Faith into the upper 40s (or higher) which causes your heals to land more effectively.
For leveling 2h is the way to go. I tried alternating 1h and 2h on the same mobs and the difference in kill speed was very noticeable. Once you reach level 18 you can obtain the talent Perpetual Healing which tips the scales even more in favor of 2h as the HoT will keep your HP high.
Instead of writing out a detailed description of PVP, please watch the narrated PVP videos I have posted on this blog. If a picture is word a thousand words, a narrated video is worth a million :)
If you have feedback/comments/questions on my MH spec, please post ’em!