[GW] ISO Healer

Is there any way to get the Guild Wars hero monks to focus their efforts on you? I’m repeatedly facing the problem that my entire party of heroes is at full health while I am dying. The enemies are frequently focus-firing me down at 250+ DPS while my monks are making sure my flamingo is topped off. The wiki says, “Heroes will pick the ally with the least health as target,” but that doesn’t seem to work for me, and they really don’t care that I have -(7+) health degredation.

Also, any comments on that monster AI vs players? Some fights, they really do just shoot me. I can then get resurrected, at which point all the enemies will drop their current targets, and focus fire me while the healers top off the flamingo. Or I will start a fight and have 6 hexes and conditions on me in less than a second.

: Zubon

22 thoughts on “[GW] ISO Healer”

  1. For Hero Monks, just bring up their action bar (I keep mine up at all times), click on your own name (or anyone’s) in the team list, and click on the ability you want the Monk to use on you (or that target). If you don’t want to micromanage, you’ll have to settle for either exclusivity (target yourself via the team list and then click that targeting reticle icon on the Monk’s bar) or else let them do whatever they want…

    GW’s monster aggro mechanics rather suck and are different from pretty much every other games’. http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Aggro seems a pretty accurate run through of the mechanics, but basically monsters prefer to go after those using staves/wands over martial weapons, and those with lower health & armor (hence why they mostly ignore Warriors and run around like headless chickens trying to catch the Elementalists, Monks, and Mesmers).

    1. It’s not really a bad idea on the monsters’ part, since that is an intelligent prioritization (healers and mages over tanks). That suggests that warriors have questionable value, if they cannot tank unless the healers and casters are all out of aggro range.

      1. Warriors are primarily damage dealers, especially hero warriors. If you want a warrior, or any other class, to tank you need to use the terrain, such as corners and choke points, to create roadblocks. Because the monster AI wants to get to the casters so badly, they will usually get all bunched up on the tank, who is standing in the way (they are generally not smart enough to go around the tank, and try to go through the tank), allowing the rest of the team to nuke them into oblivion. Hero’s are really, really, really bad at this sort of behavior. You are far better off using minion masters to soak damage.

        One of the most faceroll hero team builds available: http://pvx.wikia.com/wiki/Build:Team_-_Discordway

          1. Also, it is extremely important to be calling targets at all times when running with heroes, otherwise they just do what they want most of the time, and that is generally not what you would like them to be doing. Ctrl-Space FTW!

          2. Koss seemed useless because, just like all melee heroes, he simply IS useless. The hero AI is way more suited for caster than melees, which have problems with pathfinding, attack chains, target choice and switching. Not to mention running out of AoE attacks that do not even hurt them because the backline keeps them healthy.

  2. I agree with ogre, best to use the reticle option, but that means the monk turns into your own personal stalker and will ignore everyone else.

    I remember hearing that enemy ai will focus on the player with the lowest armour value (or at least it is one of the variables which they consider most important.)

  3. A few builds to try out:

    An E/Mo Ether Renewal can spam prots, esp Protective Spirit which you can precast on yourself, but usually not necessary.

    A Soul Twisting Rit can keep Shelter up, which limits damage taken to 10% for the whole party, very useful in hard areas, unnecessary early on.

    A good AoE monk build is either Unyielding Aura (fast rez, v useful if you keep dying) or Healing Burst, then Patient Spirit, Cure Hex, Dwayna’s Kiss, both Heaven’s Delight/Divine Healing, Waste Not, Want Not and Power Drain.

    There are some maintained enchantments: Life Bond, Protective Bond, sometimes useful to keep important NPCs alive but can easily do without.

    Besides checking healing builds, a minion master is really useful in providing alternative targets besides you, and a mesmer with interupts to shutdown enemy elementalists.

      1. No no, those are all builds that heroes can use well, and can easily be left to their own devices, except maybe when facing off against an elementalist boss, when it is helpful to set up some things like Protective Spirit and Shelter beforehand. Thinking about it now, the one that will make the biggest difference is a minion master hero (this was the first hero that I geared out fully). Also Heroes are great interupters so carry around several interupts, power drain is a good interupt and energy supply for healers, I never bring a monk healing hero without it.

        1. Hero builds to try out, check. And I have received the suggestion to make alts to unlock the skills, since I do not have all that many plat or skill points about.

  4. #1 Figure out why you are the sole target!
    Either you are playing in some way that makes you ‘the only game in town’ e.g. using a shortbow in a party full of casters, or your armor and/or health is lower than it probably should be for solo.
    On that front; I don’t personally use any health-lowering runes when soloing, and I do usually opt for the ever handy Survivor upgrades.

    #2 While this is the norm, mitigate!
    Protective Spirit – either on your own bar or your monks’ – is the go to skill, but there are plenty of ranger options too e.g. Dodge, Dryder’s Defense, Escape.

    #3 Learn the tricks of the trade.
    I saw Vekk in your level 20 Flamingo picture, so you have access to The Eye Of The North – progress Artificer Mullinix’ quest chain there (easy as can be), and you’ll learn the ever valuable Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support PvE skill.
    This lets you throw an expendable decoy ally to start fights, who’ll promptly absorb all those hexes & conditions that are plaguing you.
    Dabbling in ritualism or minion mastery (the latter of which heroes excel at) will make a big difference too, once you have the hang of them – monks are really only one small facet of survival (especially in later content), though they seem fundamental at first.

    Best defensive effect in the game? Weakness!
    Don’t leave home without a good weakener in your party (e.g. Enfeebling Blood), or you’ll be leaving non-caster monsters 200% stronger than they need to be – spammier, lengthier & broader AoE than any protection spell.

    1. Weakness actually isn’t very strong, since it doesn’t affect the bonuses from attack skills (with the exception of attribute reduction). So in reality you’re just decreasing the amount of damage done by auto-attacks, which is pretty minimal even for a Strength-specced warrior, and especially so for enemy AIs (until late game and elite missions, when they break you in two shots and 33% reduction is substantial but still ineffective).

  5. If you’re the one who initiates aggro you’ll get hit first. I would suggest flagging your heroes into the fray when you start a fight.
    I’m not sure what’s wrong with the hero monk though. If I had to guess I would suggest your monk is running out of energy.

  6. What I did a lot when I was playing my warrior with H/H teams was plan to be the primary target for enemies. Since I took agro first and was going to stay up front it worked for me. I gave my Tahlkora skills that I knew she would use on me when I took the brunt of the enemies fire. I also tied her skills to my number pad so I could force cast for her easier when needed.

    Protective Spirit which I would precast before running into combat to keep down any spikes that might surprise me before they can react. Shield of Absorption which I sometime precast or forced as a first cast once combat started, although she was pretty good about using it when I was getting constant attacks from non casters. Finally, Divert Hexes (Elite) which is great for peeling off degen and bringing me back to near full health after the mobs get their initial cast out of the way, assuming they have hexes.

  7. When you start taking damage, kite your enemies through the clump of your heroes. If you back away far enough and they aren’t making any forward progress, they’ll retarget. It might seem mean, but you won’t die.

    1. Naw, squishies dragging aggro to the tanks is just good sense, especially in a game with body blocking instead of an aggro-meter.

    2. This works very well with a minion master Necromancer on team. You’re likely to pick up either Master of Whispers or Livia fairly soon and in full flow and set up well, they can have up to 12 Bone Minions in tow much of the time. This makes for a mobile shield-wall of body-blocking. As a Mesmer soloing with Heroes, I usually aggro with a ranged hex, then deliberately train the enemies onto the minions as they rush forward to engage. In the ensuing pandemoinum, they usually forget about me! Enemies will only spend a fraction of a second trying to go around an adjacent melee atacker, then usually turn to deal with the new threat. Be sure not to use the ranged sort of bone spitting minions for this.

      Look into Ritualist Restoration healing instead of Monks too – these tend to be in the form of deployable healing turrets with local aoe and partywidde effects. You’ll need Factions for that and a bit of unlocking, but a powerful alternative to absent-minded Monks.

      Failng that, try a mix of Healing Prayers and Protection Prayers Monks (Aegis, Protective Spirit, etc) as noted above … the prevention/mitigation aspects help reinforce the straight healing quite a bit.

      As noted elsewhere, interrupts are very helpful and something Heroes are excellent at – Mesmers and Rangers do well at that. Try experimenting with Elementalist Wards (Earth Magic) too – the big glowing rings. Not done a lot with those myself, but seem like a helpful source of mitigation for your back-line. Depends how mobile your team is.

  8. Stuff to consider: (apologies for redundancy)

    (1) What class are you playing?

    (2) First in cops the first aggro. If you’re not a tanker, make sure you have some way of sending your tankiest hero in first.

    (3) GW aggro mechanics encourage the bad guys to alpha-strike and focus fire. You need ways to mitigate this (interrupts are great).

    (4) Make sure all your healer heroes have energy management skills! Mo/Me builds are common for this reason, using a couple of Inspiration Magic skills to provide the monk with a way to top up their energy bar.

  9. Options:

    1) If you’re getting pounded – armor up. Enemies tend to focus on less well-armored characters (“squishies”) and ignore the “crunchies”. Put runes and insignia on to boost armor and use one of your quick weapon slots for (weapon) & shield combo, use +armor mods on those. Even if you don’t have the listed stats for the shield, you will get half-value from the shield, so from a max shield (+16) you get at least +8 armor overall with a possible +5 or so more for the weapon, making +13 from the weapon/shield and every class has at least one rune with +10 armor, so +23 overall. This changes a caster AC 60 into a caster ac 83, which exceeds standard warrior armor at ac80, and tends to cause retargeting.

    Switch when getting pounded, switch back to whatever you normally use when the pressure comes off.

    2) Buff up – use survivor insignia and runes of vitality to bump your HP up over 600 (no superior runes!) so your healers have more time to heal you.

    3) Rebuild your monk heroes. There are a number of easily-acquired skills that really make a difference in their healing. Give them a handful of the most potent runes to make them truly effective and the hexes and conditions will melt away.

    4) Practice the art of the draw. Use the hero / henchie control flags below the compass and only let your crunchies draw aggro. Keep your monks and squishies back until aggro sets, then release them.

    5) Micro-manage healing. This is a dead-last choice for me because I prefer being “in” the game not chasing red bars for hero-healing. Still, on extremely tough missions or when NPCs must survive, sometimes this is a viable choice.

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