Captains can heal?

January 5, 2010

I say this, tongue firmly in cheek, as an unapologetic healing Captain. Without bragging, I’d say we’re up there as primary healer if specced the right way and playing with a sympathetic group that understands how to make things easier for me (ie. assisting with the on-defeat heals, understanding I can barely heal myself and that healing them costs my morale).

I assume most Captains know they have this capability and those that don’t need to spec as main healers have a more hybrid approach to tackling back-up healing. Which is why it surprised me to read this thread over on the Turbine Captain forums. It starts with a simple enough question about the Dol Guldur cluster of instances – how does Captain healing fare in them?

It’s even a good question. Siege of Mirkwood brought some changes, new legacies, combat and power things to get used to. We know how we managed in the Mines of Moria and Shadows of Angmar content, with a new expansion, we want to know what’s changed with regard to healing.

The answers vary. Most commentators agree that a healing Captain works well in the 3-man instances, and that Captains couldn’t solo heal raids (which I’d hope no-one would expect them to). The answers relating to the new 6-man instance Sammath Gul are the most interesting/depressing/intriguing. It seems at the start that almost everyone (and we assume these are people who play Captains) are pretty down on the idea of a Captain solo healing the 6-man without heavy support from burglar conjunctions or other healers. At least by the current end of the thread the belief turns around with some screenshots proving it’s possible!

A couple of days ago, before the thread had fully panned out, I was a little surprised at how little faith in their own healing many Captains have. I was a little more shocked at some of the ardent disbelief people showed to players who said they HAD solo healed Sammath Gul. I don’t think I’d be so disbelieving if a Captain said they’d tanked the Sword Halls (something I’m relatively sure I couldn’t do with my current spec!).

We’re pretty resilient healers. We need a group to understand some things about our healing. That it can involve being in melee. That we can do great things with on-defeat actions (so kill little things fast for extra openings). That our healing involves using our own morale and we can’t heal ourselves much. That In Harm’s Way/Last Stand will not make the group invincible anymore, but will take half of all damage to the Captain. And that our single heal can be used on the move and is instant (though with a short cooldown). Oh, and we also have a mark that gives some healing.

Personally, I’ve main-healed every instance in the game (not raids, obviously). My group tends to consist of LM, Champ, Guardian, until Mirkwood a burglar. We often take other Champs, Hunters, to make up numbers. Most often I play with another Captain in the group, so the main-heal attempts are the exception rather than the rule, though. Didn’t try Dark Delvings after the changes made it harder (or didn’t try to solo heal it, anyway), but did it beforehand.

And yes, I’ve done Sammath Gul a few times.

Keep the Faith!



  1. Great post! Makes me want to play my captain more.

  2. I would not let Captains solo heal Sammath Gûl, too. It can (probably) be done, if the group does everything very well.

    But if the group has major issues you reach the breakpoint where healing is not sufficient enough anymore much earlier than for a Minstrel or Runemaster.

    Know your limits, that’s what the discussion is all about. And I think that healing SG all alone is a lot of work for the poor Captain.

    I recently had a SG run full of Hunters and Runemasters. I was the tank – and also had to interrupt. Champion tanking is possible, even with one or two trigger happy Hunters – after a while you can always transfer %’s of aggro to you, so you will always get it back. I just do not really approve of Hunters who prefer to tank for quite some time and make my rotation more difficult. You know, the problem was I also had to interrupt, with the low fervor gain in the glory stance I often had to use very power intensive instant attacks to charge up the single fervor point needed for Clobber.

    I was so busy that I only took 2 rather bad screenshots of this run…^^

    I prefer Captains for the three man instances. I actually prefer them over Runemasters or Minstrels in the Swordhalls and the Warg-pens. I am not sure about the Dungeons, I heard this dungeon exists, but as I told you some time ago, next to nobody goes there anymore.

    • I honestly can’t believe you said ‘it can (probably) be done’ just after I said I’d solo-healed it a number of times, without that much stress on the group!

      Are you saying I should know my limits and not even try? Which would also be foolish, given that our group succeeds on Challenge-mode with this set-up quite contentedly.

      You might not want to let a Captain main-heal the instance, that’s your prerogative, but don’t tell me what I can’t do (to quote John Locke from Lost).

      • Is captain to minstrel the same as warden to guardian in regard to ‘oh shite’ moments in less skilled/less well balanced groups? I’m afraid I don’t know enough about captain healing except seeing it work in the groups I’m in (though I do not count myself as particularly skilled or well-balanced!)

        • Not quite the same! Will explain it sometime

  3. Well as far as I am concerned, I have seen captain healing in action in the Warg Pens HM and Sword Halls HM and it rocks!
    (said captain being arb; skilled and well-traited). We did SG with two captains the other day and it went well. I can see it working with one. In many ways captains can work better than minstrels, being more resilient, as arb says, less prone to healing interrupts and being able to heal on the move.

  4. Wotcha Arbitrary,

    Hates captains, with all their evil healing ways!

    Or, more sensibly: I’m not surprised that captains can be a healing powerhouse. No-one seems to worry about the capabilities of hybrids with healing in other games, but somehow there is the belief that only Minstrels can heal in Lord of the Rings Online.
    Just like anything else in MMO gaming, a class played well can perform in well in any role it has the skills to fulfil.

    Nice one, Arbitrary.


  5. O Arbitrary! Don’t tell everyone we can do it! It’s the big SIKRET we don’t let anyone know outside our mafia. I will have to speak to our capo di tutti capi about you now. Moreover now everyone will expect me to be able to do it too… Why do you hate me that much… 😉

    This post was mainly a jest in case you didn’t catch my intentions. 😉

    • Yep Tirnel. I shall be looking at you with total trust on my little guardian face.

      • Wotcha everyone,

        I, however, do not trust Tirnel. His face is too open and honest, and his manner far too nice.

        And you never see him and the Mouth of Sauron in the same room. Coincidence?

        I think not.


        • this made me laugh. a lot.

    • hehe

  6. I just ran SG for the first time last night and this really doesn’t surprise me too much. SG is set up pretty well for captain healing as there are LOTS of adds in there. But like you said, I wouldn’t try pugging it with cappie heals 😉 the group needs to adapt.

  7. If we get a healing nerf in the next update, we’ll blame you, now. Just so you know, you have been warned 😛

  8. I have to honestly say that I did not know Captains could heal. I have only played one up to level 12 so I have very little knowledge on how the class works.

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