Just some basics. I’ve always loved playing Clerics in Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve now seen in DDO people who play a healerbot. I think this is a waste and doesn’t do a Cleric justice. There also seem to be some folks out there who are Clerics yet refuse to heal. I cannot for my life understand why anyone would do that either. In my opinion, if you want to play Cleric you should make every attempt to utilize the full potential of your character, both offensively & defensively. Please note: I’m not a guru or the greatest out there but I think I may be able to help some people out.
Here are some Hoglum tips on success at playing a Cleric.
Whether you play as a caster cleric or a battle cleric – no matter. Yes, there are differences. For one, I believe the aura on a battle cleric is more valuable than one on a caster but let’s put all that aside. The point here is that whichever you choose to play – don’t forget to take care of the party!
1. Treat playing Cleric as if you’re driving a car. The hit point bars are the rear view mirror. Watch where you are and use the map to see if anyone has strayed off. Awareness is crucial. Glance frequently at the rear view mirror. You can keep steering, working the peddles, shifting (AKA fighting, casting, etc.) yet still heal & help all at the same time. If someone’s HP bar is low, hit the F1-6 key of that character & heal. This will not interrupt your other activities much. You can continue fighting, etc. without missing much. If you focus on someone who is in trouble & heal yourself, they are out of range. Since you are aware of what is happening on the map, you can run in the direction of whoever got pulled away from the party. Save that person. One caveat: if everyone is running amock all over, all bets are off – I’m talking about people who play as a team here so let’s keep that assumption moving forward. Obviously, if a group decides to split up such as in wizard king to take a tower, this won’t apply.
2. Be aware of what icons are over people’s heads. Have a hotbar with wands of cure blindness, remove curse, remove disease, neutralize poison, and restoration. I put these cures in the same order on every character & they are alphabetized so I know exactly where each one is at all times – blind (B), curse (C), disease (D), etc. Between each wand, put a stack of potions. Use wands for your team, potions for yourself (if you need to take care of your own thing in a hurry). Generally speaking you can cure curses, diseases & poison between fights. Things you should help out with immediately are: blindness, ORANGE curses, and restoring. You may not be able to see stat damage so if you’re in a dungeon you know has lots of stat damage occurs, ask the party to tell you if they have any.
3. Pet’s. In the options you can turn on a function where you can see people’s wolves and robot dogs. Take care of them too. I haven’t seen many people who do but they can be valuable to the party. Once you see their HP bar they are easily accessed by hitting “CTRL + F(number of the player who owns the pet)”. The robot dogs are hard to heal but an amped up heal spell will still generally do the trick.
4. If things go bad, BACK OFF, get to a safe position – and *HEAL* like there’s nothing else. While I don’t believe in just healing as a Cleric, there are circumstances where the best thing you can do is simply keep everyone alive. Embrace it, do it, & do it well. It feels really good when several people in a party say after a fight, “wow, good job Cleric I thought we were done for there!”
5. Scrolls: keep these scrolls handy and in abundance: restoration (& greater), raise dead, & heal. Also keep 3-4 wands of each cure critical, serious & moderate wounds. These are good for topping people off between fights. If you don’t have money yet, turn in “Wavecrasher Manifests”. For low level people without much money this can help supply cure moderate wounds wands until building up some wealth.
6. Negative levels: If someone in the party takes neg levels hit them with: greater restoration, a heal of some sort to max up the hit points, then death ward to prevent further neg levels. If you don’t have time to read a scroll of restoration, get near that person and hit a radiant blast, then cast death ward. Beholders are a bit different but I can’t help with that because I usually run away and let my GF (the beholder slayer!) deal with them. Haha!
7. Death: When you lose someone, first make sure everyone else is taken care of. If things are too busy, wait until the fight is under control (meaning that nobody else is imminently about to die. If the rest of the party are handling themselves, break off and scroll them up (if things are busy, a quickened raise will do better, especially if you’re in danger of missing a concentration check). If a multiple people are down, first raise the one you think has the best healing capability themselves or could potentially raise dead & help revive the party. Once someone accepts the raise, heal them (unless you used a powerful spell such as true resurrection). Once they are healed, immediate hit them with Protection from Elements. If there is a specific element being thrown around in the fight a lot (such as fire in Enter the Kobold), hit them with resist as well. The protection from elements gives a small buffer for the other player to regain their composure and get back in the fight. Depending on what you are fighting you might want to hit them with death ward and perhaps freedom of movement too. The tendency I've seen is that when someone dies the first time it gets easier to die the second time - help give them a chance to get back into it.
8. People who can’t heal themselves. Some other players may not have or they may run out of supplies to take care of themselves. Most of my healing wands, potions, and scrolls tend to be guild bought. They are bound! Make sure you have at least some supplies you can trade. See the lists above for ideas. Here are some I think are important: potions of cure serious, remove curse, remove disease, lesser restoration. In certain dungeons such as A New Invasion this can be the difference between success and failure. If someone runs out of remove curse potions it can get real ugly real fast. Using this example I’ll ask if everyone has remove curse. I’ll even ask people to make room in their main hotbar and make sure they have them accessible in a quick way. It gets exceedingly difficult to take care of a situation where orange curse are following by high damage. If people chug a potion as soon as they receive the curse, your cure is much more likely to land. If they don’t, you run the risk of losing the heal spell points, missing the heal, then having to take care of the curse and heal again. I’ve lost people because of this. Moral: sharing some supplies can help take the heat off you in tight circumstances. Wizard King mummy rot, devil curses, etc. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re poor but by high level most people should be able to afford some extra supplies. Keeping some unbound healing supplies not only helps the party – it can help you too.
9. One last thing I’ll throw in just for fun since I was talking about supplies. On all my characters I try to have a stack of +5 theives tools. You never know if the rogue forgot to stock up!
Anyhow, I’m tired of typing & there’s probably more I could say but these are some things I’ve worked on in order to play an effective cleric. I can generally fight, cast, etc. yet still help out those in need. I’d like to see people ditch the ideas of healerbot and battle cleric who is stingy with heals. That serves no purpose. The good part is that it helps keep the game fun. Make it a challenge to yourself to cause some damage, wreak some havoc upon thy foes, & keep your party alive in the process!