So, I have been casually playing my AST that I got for the Feast, doing leveling roulette from time to time when I am bored, and I hit level 50 today.
So far, Duty Finder mostly gave me low level dungeons like Sastasha and Haukke Manor, so I don't have a good sense of how difficult healing is, although I did not struggle so far. Tank almost dead? Benefic 2, she's healthy again. DPS ate a mechanic? Essential dignity, he's healthy again!
Maybe things will change in the higher level dungeons, but the strength of healing spells at low level feels incredible. A single Essential dignity can raise a DPS from nearly dead to nearly full. And you have abilities such as Lightspeed that make all spells instant for a while.
There was one point in Cutter's Cry where the situation became tricky. For those who are unfamiliar, the Chimera's "The Ram's Voice" does heavy damage and leaves a dot that will kill the players who survived if you do not Esuna it quickly. If multiple players are hit by it, you must stay calm, esuna the players who are almost dead (while hoping they do not get hit by anything else), and heal them up one by one. I actually enjoyed it a lot, and nobody died, so I guess I did okay!
I think the cards are disappointing. You press buttons for a puny 5% buff that lasts only a few seconds. AST does comparable raid dps to WHM and SCH in Savage, so there is no doubt that the buffs given by the cards are numerically balanced. But shouldn't the feeling and satisfaction of players be taken into account, too? A 5% buff feels neither impactful nor valuable, it feels like a chore added to keep skilled players from being bored rather than an integral part of the job...
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I think in some way, playing a healer made me more elitist. After seeing the immense power of the tools that healers have, even at a low level, I found it harder to sympathize with those who cannot handle large pulls while dpsing (provided your tank is also properly played and well geared, of course).
Maybe it's not such a good idea for me to play healer after all. Lol!