Let The Companion Heal

I’m a healer and the husband is a tank.  One would think that, for questing, we’d grab 2 DPS companions and just go from there.

Yech, that did not work.  It was much better to have his companion heal.  I felt a little inadequate.

(1) They Can Target Better

Ok, it is bad enough that we don’t have mouseover macros.  But at least in flashpoints using ops frames with 4 people, I can see all the bars together and heal accordingly.

When it’s just me and another person and our 2 companions, it’s not so easy.  The ops frames are one place.  My companion is on the bottom left.  His companion is nowhere.  As a workaround, I can use Alt-F to focus his companion but the focus frame is clear on the other side of the screen.  Not to mention, the focus disappears every time we get on a speeder.

Which leaves me looking in 3 different places for health bars.  The companion has no such problems with its cheater AI

(2) Range

This is a perpetual tank problem.  The tank wanders off and starts pewpewing and you’re back going where did you GO?  If we use the tank’s healing companion as our healer, he can never get out of range of his own companion without some serious maneuvering.  So that solves that.

(3) My Companion Management

If I’m healing, I usually start out HEALING people.  But then my companion just stands there and doesn’t get the memo to join the combat.  So I have to be sure to click on the appropriate mob who isn’t already dead, send the companion, then retarget health frames.  Honestly, it’s a hassle.  If I go in DPSing, on the other hand, my companion simply follows my lead and I don’t need to do much with the companion interface.

(4) Exception: C2-N2

Ok, you CAN outfit C2-N21 to heal, but it’s only effective for comic relief.  You can use droid parts with +aim and +endurance to make him more effective and sturdier but he does not use a weapon of any type.  And, indeed, he technically can heal.

However, he’s kind of a moron.  Even with heal mode toggled on, he will find time to neglect his healing duties and punch the mobs (remember, he can’t hold a weapon).  If you put him on passive, he will not punch.  He also will not heal you, and will watch you croak.  Lovely.

In Summary: A real-person healer will shine in flashpoints with a full group of real people, but for duoing quests, I am finding the companion-healer far better.  What about you?

  1. For you dirty imps, that’s your ship droid

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    Let The Companion Heal — 16 Comments

    1. I don’t exactly know why, but I’m totally gearing up with droid parts so that as soon as I get my ship I can swap in C2 to follow me around and “heal”. This may turn out to be a mistake, and I’ll pull Qyzen off whatever mission he is on to come thwack stuff with his sword again. Right now, it just feels too strange when rolling as a Jedi Shadow to have a tanky companion with half his abilities turned off.

      • It’s totally possible to run without either of you (you or companion) being able to heal through Nar Shaddaa (I’m doing that now on my knight). And by then you should have a “real” healer.

    2. Heck, at lower levels, companions make better tanks. Players get 50% increased threat, companions get 100%. So until you start taking some of the good talents in your tanking tree, the companions will definitely out tank you.

      Now if only they’d get their own frames, so you could actually HEAL them in a party. X_X

      • Companions make better tanks AND healers at really low levels. At 10, most healers have one piddly weak heal, while Mako has options. I’m jealous.

    3. Honestly, I’d be OK with the lack of companions in operations frames if I could just rely on the whole focus mechanic to work. I’ve even gotten accustomed to re-applying focus to Qyzen every time I dismount from my speeder. But it feels as if there is something like a 20% to 25% chance when I use the focus-modifier keybind to cast a heal on Qyzen as my focus target (while keeping a nasty elite sith targeted, because I HAVE to be able to see when he starts doing some horrible AOE force storm thing so that I can use my one ranged interrupt…) it will just cast the heal on me. This has caused some furious scrambling as I suddenly realize that I’m massively overhealing myself while poor Qyzen comes closer and close to death. And it’s infrequent enough that I can sometimes go for an hour-long play session without it happening. Then it will suddenly happen two or three times in a row. :(

    4. We’ve sort of settled on the same setup, though my SO plays a damage dealer. Basically, as soon as he got Elara Dorne, he insisted on dragging her everywhere, and we’d pointlessly snipe each other’s heals while Aric (my companion) stood by scratching his butt and my boyfriend was the only one to actually attack anything. So now I just do sucky heal-dps and let Elara do her thing unless things get hairy. I do feel kind of jealous though.

      Also, I have to paraphrase something that I said to Dwism as well – as the UI is right now, is it really preferable to insist on ops frames that won’t actually let you see companions over just using the default UI? I’d rather move my mouse a little more between health bars and actually have all of them available instead of having to muck about with focus frames for every little thing.

      • So if you use the default GROUP frames instead of ops frames for a group, the companions DO show up? If that’s the case, I’m swapping back!

    5. Garr, if the party frames were movable I’d totally switch back just to be able to see companions. I’m duoing a lot, sometimes with my brother and sometimes with my boyfriend, and I could use the option to heal their companions. But I hate hate hate and loathe having to click stuff on the left edge of my screen.

      Actually, I have no idea who even came up with the idea to put party frames over there on the standard MMO default layout. Do most people mouse with their left hand? Does it make sense to put something on the opposite side of the screen from the hand that controls it? /facepalm To me it feels like if trying to write right to left or if they expected me cross my wrists and type asdf with my right hand and jkl; on my left. It’s always felt unnatural to me and I won’t do it. :P

      • The left side of the screen is the exact same distance from the center of the screen as the right side is. If you click on a target and then move to your party frames, it should be the same. :P

        I’m not really mouthing you, just teasing. I do not use a mouse with my left hand (that would be so weird) but I am left-handed and that’s probably why I don’t have any issue with the frames being on the left. I guess. Although in WoW I keep my healing frames on the right. Hmm…

        • I don’t click my abilities, I keybind them all, so really I guess the issue is I want my frames to be close to my natural mouse resting point – which is slightly right of center. Maybe I’m just weird?

    6. Shintar has it right: using the default UI makes it simpler to heal when there are two players and two companions. I grumbled a lot when my husband suggested I switch back from operations frames, but as I am not usually running with anyone but my husband and our companions, it made sense to just do it.

      And, yes, companion management can be a bit of a pain, depending on what you are doing. But it’s not so much of a pain that I’m going to admit defeat and completely switch to Elara’s healing. It just rubs me the wrong way.

    7. Yep, I’ve found exactly the same thing with my best friend – he’s playing a vanguard tank, I’m a commando combat medic, and he uses his Elara to heal while I pewpew along with Aric.

      We actually started doing it that way because those were the companions we wanted to take, to get affection with our respective romantic options, but we found it just worked even better that way.

      The difference is even more pronounced when you’re doing one of those occasional quests where you get extra minions with you — NPCs to escort, and the like. It’s far, far easier for Elara to heal them than for me to try and keep them all up.

      • Oh yes! NPC minions are impossible. Especially when I have one minion and my husband has another minion. I can focus target my minion but that’s about it.

    8. My husband and I leveled up together as tank (him) and heals (me) as well. In the beginning (read: before we got a healer companion), I had to keep the regular group frames going or his companion or my companion would die too often. His second companion, fortunately, wound up being a healer companion that he preferred which really worked out well for us. I wouldn’t get a healer pet on my class until my very last pet (go figure), so it worked for us to use one healing companion and one dps companion, well, once I finally got one, all the way up. That extra bit of healing really made all the difference.