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Interview with a healer

 Interview with a healer

I’m here with Playlish, from Don’t Die Alone, who mains as a healer and is possibly the #1 healer in all of New World. Thanks for joining us, are you happy to have a chat with me today, Playlish?

Playlish: Hi Landi, sure.

Landi: So, what do you like about healing?

Playlish: Um, it’s a lot of work.

Landi: Okay, so you like hard work?

Playlish: No. I like it because there’s a lot of things to focus on. They changed the cast times a while ago and it was an annoying change at the time, but I really like trying to predict the right amount of time to cast a heal before someone gets damaged.

Landi: Before someone gets damaged? So, you’re talking about psychic healing?

Playlish: Yeah! I love psychic healing. It’s about observing everyone’s individual movements as a player and also watching the enemies’ animations for their big attacks. You can then correlate which person you will need to heal or use Splash of Light if it’s an AOE attack.

Landi: So you mainly use it for targeted heals as I guess you don’t need to be psychic to know when to cast Sacred Ground. Or is that part of it too?

Playlish: I think you do need to know when to cast the Sacred but it’s not as important to be psychic for that. When to cast it is based off the position of the group, you don’t want to put the Sacred somewhere and everyone moves out of it real fast. You want to wait until the mobs are in position, so the fight’s in it.

So, what three abilities do you use as a healer? Do you use the Sacred?

Playlish: Yeah, I use Sacred, it’s the best one. Everyone should use Sacred.

Landi: Why is it so good?

Playlish: Because number one, it’s AOE, so everyone can stand in it. Also, it ticks fairly high for a good period of time. And, I think this is a perk you have to spec in, it increases incoming healing for everyone standing in it. And there’s the increased stamina regen as well.

Landi: So it’s really a heal and buff?

Playlish: Yeah, it’s a heal and a buff.

Landi: Nice. What other two abilities do you use?

Playlish: I use Splash of Light, which I think is a relatively uncommon one, I don’t see a lot of people using it. It gives every group member a heal, like a targeted one but smaller. It doesn’t require line of sight, which is a big advantage. And it has a 100 metre radius around you, which is a good distance.

Landi: That’s a really big radius

Playlish: It is a big radius. In Laz, I’m in the top of the three rooms and it will reach the bottom person, so it’s really nice to keep everyone alive.

Landi: Nice. So you’re using Sacred Ground, Splash of Light and which other ability?

Playlish: My third and favorite is Divine Embrace, which is one of the single target heals. If you’re going for a single target heal, there’s Light’s Embrace and Divine Embrace to choose from. It used to be that Light’s Embrace had faster cast time, so that’s why it was much better. But when they changed the cast times, they became more similar. Even through Divine takes a bit longer to cast, it’s hardly noticeable. And I really love the perks you can get with Divine Embrace. The skill perks you can get in the actual tree are if you heal someone who is under 50% health, it will hop to another player so you can get two people, and if they’re under 50% it will hop again so you can heal three people. The weapon perk you can get is Refreshing Divine Embrace, when your target is under 50% health it resets the cooldown almost instantly, so you get two heals back-to-back. So if you play your cards right, that can be three people, big heals, back-to-back.

Landi: Nice. How close do the people have to be to one another to get that bounce heal?

Playlish: It’s quite close, it’s like 5 or 10 metres.

Landi: So, it will probably just get the melee dps, if you heal the tank.

Playlish: Yeah. I think I’m also an advocate for ranged players standing next to each other, just for that, so they have a chance for the bounce.

Landi: Oh I never thought of that. Something to keep in mind.

Playlish: Another thing. If all the players are stacked on top of each other, one single target will heal every player who’s in the stack. So on chest runs, where there’s 50 million people, you can hit so many of them with one single target heal in the right spot.

Landi: Ooooh, interesting. I’ve seen that little, tiny heal circle on the ground …

Playlish: Yeah! You can free-cast any targeted heal with the middle mouse button and then you can just put it wherever you want. That applies for single targets as well and it’s just like a tiny Sacred or tiny AOE about the size of a player.

Sacred Ground Icon
Divine Embrace icon
Splash of Light icon

Have you ever re-specced into a different healer build or do you tend to just stick with this one?

Playlish: I started as a heavy healer, playing with sword and shield like a paladin build. Heavy armour, sword and shield, lifestaff. At the time I used Sacred Ground, Orb of Protection, and Beacon. Because when you’re playing tank and healer, you don’t have the cast time. So, you want the fast casts. The Sacred’s the longest one so you start with Sacred, then Beacon and Orb on the enemy, so you can tank inside your Sacred. That’s good for what it was, but they changed the armour, so if your heals are half decent you have to be at least Medium, but really you want to be Light.

Landi: What is the bonus for that?

Playlish: So, Medium’s no bonus right, it’s just neutral, then Light Armour gives a 30% healing bonus and Heavy gives you 30% weaker heals.

Landi: 30% – that’s a lot

Playlish: It is a lot … what was the question? Oh yeah, I tried to stay with paladin when I switched to Light but it didn’t work out, so then I changed out Beacon for Light’s Embrace, which was better back then. So, Orb, Sacred and Light’s Embrace. I still wasn’t really the healer for the group at the time, so as I moved into healing, I got rid of the Orb because it just wasn’t worth it compared to the Splash of Light, which was just better for me.

I do see how a Beacon can be used well, specifically in a team where all the DPS are very close together. Because if you have your Beacon and Sacred stacked together, with the extra 50% healing from the Sacred Ground buff, the Beacon works as a second tick with the same amount of healing as the Sacred.

Landi: So it basically doubles it?

Playlish: Yes, it doubles it.

Landi: But what would you sacrifice?

Playlish: I’d go Splash of Light. Because I think that Splash is especially good when a group is broken up, so it’s the opposite of that.

Also, I think theoretically doubling your Sacred is really good, but it’s hard to stack them properly.

Landi: I guess you’re also just relying on one type of heal, a tick heal, rather than getting heals when they’re needed.

Playlish: Yeah, it’s a blanket heal compared to a heal when someone gets hit.

Landi: For sure.

Right. I think we’re covered that pretty well so we’re going to move on to talking about your gear. Everyone’s favorite part of New World – all the gear and how we have to manage it! What gear do you run as a healer? We’ll talk about armour first, what are you wearing?

Playlish: Alright, so there’s two pieces of armour I have in every set, which have no Ward on them. That’s my pants, which have Fortifying Sacred Ground and my gloves, which have Purity Of Light. So I like to keep my weapon perks on all of my builds. Then I have the helmet, chest and boots out of Dynasty mutations, the Empress set. I do an inefficient weight set, because as a light set you want a medium chestpiece and the rest light, but I really like the look of the Empress chestpiece.

Landi: I think that’s completely understandable, I mean who wouldn’t?

Playlish: I feel like it’s not that big of a difference, as long as I’m not slipping over into Medium.

Landi: So you run Corrupted Ward, is that just because you like the look of pieces that have that on them or because you fight a lot of Corrupted?

Playlish: It’s a bit of both. Obviously these corrupted ward pieces look really nice and I love them. But also I think that corrupted is the most common type of enemy to fight, with open world and dungeons. So it’s useful in a lot of places.

Landi: Do you have ward for the other enemy types? So do you carry Ancient or Angry Earth or Lost Ward armour?

Playlish: Umm, I am working on building the other wards. Ancient is the most done and that’s awkward because it’s only two pieces. I have helmet and boots for Ancients …

Landi: So you can still look good

Playlish: Well, the piece I want is the Forgotten Protector’s Chestpiece. I mean I’m not grinding for it as I like mine but if I got it I would change it out when running Ancient enemies. That one’s a hard drop to get because it’s a random roll.

Landi: So what you mean is you want a gold one, not purple?

Playlish: Yes I want a gold one. I’ve already got a gold chest so …

Landi: Do you think it’s okay for a healer to not be in full ward for mutations?

Playlish: I think it’s less important for a healer than a DPS to have full ward. I think it’s most needed for DPS because they have less health, then tank then healer, because theoretically, I’m not getting hit.

Landi: Theoretically

Playlish: We can hope

Okay so onto the weapons. What do you think is the best Life Staff in the game and do you own it?

Playlish: Yes. I own it and I think it’s the Glowing Lifecrystal Staff, which is again from mutated Dynasty, which is where you get all the good healer things. It has Blessed, which is a required thing, and Refreshing Move, which helps with cooldowns, and Refreshing Divine Embrace. That is the weapon perk that I chose to go on the weapon instead of armour, because it’s the one I want the most. Having it on the weapon makes the cooldown faster so that’s why my cooldown is almost instant. So I really like that.

Fortifying Sacred Ground is also a very good perk but if you switch off the Life Staff it doesn’t stay, or have they changed that?

Landi: What I read was that if someone steps onto the Sacred when you’re off the Life Staff, they won’t get the fortify. I don’t know if that’s right though.

Playlish: I don’t know either. But either way, I really like the Refreshing Divine Embrace.

Landi: Speaking of the off-hand weapon, what do you use? I know a lot of healers use a Void Gauntlet.

Playlish: I do run VG most of the time, with a few exceptions like Barney and Tempest final boss, I like to run hatchet. So those are my main two that I run, VG most of the time because the Oblivion is so good as a buff and the bonus healing from Orb of Decay is also good. Then I use the Void Blade, which is good for refreshing the Oblivion.

So, we’ve been running Gen with 4 DPS 1 healer, and the middle boss, he is a sucker. So I’ll use the blade to get the Oblivion back up multiple times to maximise our damage and I think it really helps.

Landi: And what do you use a hatchet for?

Playlish: I started using it in OPR, which is its own thing, it’s just, Defy Death is very helpful and I have Rending Throw, which gives a little team buff which can be helpful. I like it in Tempest and Barney final bosses because they scare me. They do so much damage and if I can get a little Defy Death, I will.

Landi: Nice to have that extra life.

Playlish: Mmm hmm

Landi: What perks do you look for on a Void Gauntlet?

Playlish: I run 625 gear and my VG is purple. It’s got Blessed, which I think is essential, and, what’s the Oblivion perk?

Landi: Nullifying Oblivion

Playlish: Nullifying Oblivion. And it’s not even that good of a perk but if you have the perk on the weapon, it reduces the cooldown, so it charges up faster.

Landi: Oh, that’s good to know. So you think Blessed is important on a Void Gauntlet?

Playlish: Yes, I think it’s very important. I’m using it for healing. Also, a little fun fact, the Orb of Decay heal ticks at around the same as an uncharged Sacred. Which isn’t huge but it’s nice to have the extra.

Landi: Okay, so just to recap. The perks that you think are important are the perks for your weapon abilities. We’ve also talked a bit about Wards. Are there any other perks that you think are worth mentioning?

Playlish: Yes, specifically jewelry. Each piece has it’s own special perk buckets that nothing else can have. So, Sacred on the ring, is the most important I would say, just about as important as Blessed on the Life Staff. Again on the ring, Hearty is really fun, it increases the maximum stamina you have. So you can roll twice and you don’t get exhausted, so I love that. On the Amulet, Health is essential for everyone, and Divine, I think that everyone should have Divine. I mean, I’m the healer but I heal myself and Divine increases incoming healing. Everyone is getting heals, they should all have Divine. I know people are, “well mainly the tank” … everyone! And then I have Nimble on the earring but I don’t think it’s as important.

Landi: Refreshing Toast?

Playlish: Yeah, I have Refreshing Toast but I don’t think it’s important. The other main thing is on my armour and jewelry, I tend to run Refreshing Evasion, which actually isn’t the best, because Refreshing is more even if you do the maximum amount of dodges. But I just like feeling like I’m doing something to get my cooldowns. I just feels good.

Speaking of feeling good, what is the best experience you’ve had as a healer?

Playlish: I don’t know. I don’t have many standout experiences as a healer. Obviously, I have my high score heal, which was in a mutated Depths run and it was on the final boss, Thorpe. It was a very perfectly timed heal – it was over 12,000 and on the tank, and it was perfectly timed because it was between Thorpe’s swings and the tank only had a tiny bit of health left so it was very satisfying to do that heal. But I don’t remember anything else about that run, just the big heal.

Landi: That’s an experience in itself though. What about invasion healing, do you enjoy that?

Playlish: I do, but I think invasion healing specifically is not a good measure because everyone’s so organised with the different teams on the gate, which is good but the back always has more enemeies, which means more damage, which means more healing. So the healer on the back gate will usually have a higher score. But then, you can skew the stats by having a friend who will stand in the corruption and you can just get heals off of them.

Landi: Is that how you’ve got your best scores in Invasions?

Playlish: Um, I will not disclose this

Landi: haha

Playlish: Sometimes I do like invasions because I can see my total number at the end and compare it to the others and say I’m better.

12449 heal
12k heal on Narok in mutated Depths - click to see clip

What’s the worst part of healing?

Playlish: Um, when you fail it.

Landi: haha

Playlish: No, but if I just mistime something, it has drastic consequences and, you know, no-one is super excited when I get a good heal …

Landi: Except for you

Playlish: Except for me, I have started congratulating myself. But, when I get a well-timed Splash of Light, I love it but no-one else notices. Like, in the final boss in Gen we had two hatchets on the boss when she does the floor and they both defied death but I did the Splash of Light so you couldn’t even see their health drop that low. No-one noticed but I noticed and I thought I was so cool.

Finally, do you have any advice for new healers?

Playlish: Advice for new healers! Obviously there’s the perks advice, that we covered earlier, Blessed and Sacred. There are also a couple of essential Life Staff passives, Bend Light and Intensify, both of which increase healing power, one by dodging and one by heavy attacking. 

Another thing is that there’s different abilities and builds that are for different skill levels and confidence levels.

Landi: Oh yeah? So what do you mean by that?

Playlish: So, AOE healing is quite easy. It doesn’t take too much skill. With the stronger single target healing it takes noticing all the animations, predicting when people are going to get damaged …

Landi: That psychic healing you were talking about earlier?

Playlish: That psychic healing, yes. I think that’s a lot harder to learn and you have to be more observant. If there’s any distractions, even a conversation going on, it will sometimes offput everything. So AOE healing is easier. If you run Sacred and Beacon, it’s not a lot of casting and there’s heals all over the place. Then Orb probably, for the fast cast, a bit of damage even though that’s not your job, and a little healing tick. Maybe boosted healing output if you have Mending Protection.

Then for a transition, Splash of Light is also not that hard, but the reward isn’t as good as if you were to go with a single target. Single target is very strong.

Landi: So you’re saying you could run Sacred, Beacon and Splash and that would be easy for a beginner?

Playlish: Yeah, that would probably be the easiest healing build. Orb is also around that, Orb and Splash are about at the same skill level. But then if you get rid of Beacon and get a single target, that is the hardest to do well but it can have the highest payoff.

Landi: Like a 12000 heal

Playlish: Like a 12000 heal. You know that 12000 heal was only 350 focus and I’m running 450 now? I need more big heals! Quite hard to get with even tanks dropping their con.

Landi: Well, thanks for chatting with me today Playlish. I learned a lot about healing and hopefully our readers will find something valuable in this interview. I hope to be healed by you in game soon.

You can view Playlish’s gear and character build on New World Guide.

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Landi is an avid furniture collector and regular DPS for Don't Die Alone. She contributes to the Mutation Rotation and Faction Control series of articles.


  • Thanks for your perspective Lish! I started trying to as good a healer as Landi, but its since changed to be as good as you 🙂 You are a great healer (and you know it!), so this is a great way for players to learn from your greatness. I’m totally not just saying this to stay in your good books either; I genuinely think you’re awesome 🙂

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    • You’re welcome Bunni, and thanks for your kind comment 🙂

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