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Thread: Biased, Subjective, Unscientific Rules of Thumb for the Doctor Profession v.2.0

  1. #1

    Biased, Subjective, Unscientific Rules of Thumb for the Doctor Profession v.2.0

    With so many new doctors, and so many returning doctors, and so many people starting to level up their old doctors, I felt it was time to provide my highly biased, subjective, unscientific (and undoubtedly dubious) opinions on the practice of medicine in Rubi-Ka.

    Sheffy, Jynne and others have provided some of the finest advice and analysis available to the doctor profession. But they tend to give you the facts, and let you decide. Go read the sticky guides for good advice. Here, you will only get potentially bad (but possibly good) advice.

    1. Mental Adjustment

    The number one rule for doctors is to really internalize the following concept:

    You do not kill; you outlast.

    For those starting a doctor as a second career, this is very difficult to grasp initially. You're used to killing things -- you therefore care about things like weapons and damage and so on. Doctors obsess about weapons, that's true, but realize that none of us ever kill anything. We simply outlast the enemy with our heals. I've taken to calling my dual Gelids "D DoT" -- it ticks once a second or so for about 890pts of damage (if I hit at all). 890 is pitiful at 209; look at what a shade or an MA or a soldier at 209 does. THAT is damage. What I do is "D DoT", along with the other DoT's, and then outlast the monster in question.

    The earlier you grasp and internalize this concept, the earlier you will find yourself easing into the medical profession.

    2. Healing Ain't Just Healing

    o.O? What the devil does that mean?

    Being a Doctor is not to be just a healer -- there are plenty of others who can heal: Advents, MP's, Keepers, etc. If you see yourself as just a healer, even if it's the best healer in the game, you are only half-a-Doc (if that). Being a Doctor means maximizing the survival chances of your team.

    Your main tool in doing this, of course, is The Best Debuff In Game otherwise known as Uncontrollable Body Tremors, or UBT. -1452 to inits means the mob in question suddenly slows down its attack rate to a point where you may not even need to heal before it is bludgeoned, shot, pierced, slashed, and otherwise reduced to a steaming pile of remains by your bloodlust-crazed weap... er, teammates.

    However, do not fall into the trap of thinking it's "UBT or Else". I've met too many Doctors who have skipped all other init debuffs until they can cast UBT. That's just silly; it's as if a Soldier decided it's Superior Perennium Blaster or Else! They'll just use their starter Solar rifle until then.

    Rapid Palsy debuffs inits by 1165; Induce Musculature Spasms debuffs by 908; Muscle Atrophy debuffs by 681. If you don't think that makes a difference, go run into a mission, pull 5 mobs, then cast Muscle Atrophy on yourself. See how that feels.

    Your first nano should be an init debuff 99.9% of the time. Do it even if it doesn't feel like the debuff is doing that much. Do it even if the mob is grey. Do it until it becomes second nature; the minute you see a red dot, your finger should automatically be moving towards that hotkey for UBT/RP/IMS/etc.

    Keep in mind that "init debuffs" are heals of a sort. It makes no difference whether your tank gets hit for 1k and you heal for 1k, or if your tank doesn't get hit for 1k at all thanks to UBT. Look at the following:

    Scenario 1: No Init Debuff

    Heckler whacks Tank for 1k
    You heal Tank for 1k
    Heckler whacks Tank for 1k
    You heal tank for 1k
    Heckler whacks Tank for 1k
    You heal tank for 1k


    Scenario 2: Init Debuff

    Heckler whacks Tank for 1k
    You cast RP/UBT
    Heckler would dearly love to whack the Tank for 1k, but is winding up thanks to UBT
    You heal Tank for 1k
    Heckler finally lands blow on Tank for 1k
    You yawn and organize your inventory.
    Heckler is winding up for the second blow
    You heal Tank for 1k

    Either way, the Tank is at full health. The damage that is not dealt has the same end-result as damage that is healed but is in fact better overall. Less wear and tear on the armor and such.

    In addition to Init Debuffs, of course, we have health buffs, both long-term team health buffs (such as Superior Omni-Med Enhancement) and short-term health buffs (such as Life Channeler). We also have HOT's which are quite good -- just takes a ton of NCU and doesn't last very long.

    And of course, we have perks...

    3. Perks Shmerks

    Because healing generates so much aggro, FC in its infinite wisdom has given us a full range of defensive perks. I heartily recommend maxing Acrobat, Bioshielding, and Careful in Battle line of pe... wait a minute... sorry, was daydreaming....

    Sadly, we don't get those lovely defensive perks. We do, however, get some more-or-less useful perks all geared towards the concept of Outlasting. See Jynne's wonderful guide to perks for a clear explanation. Of course, Jynne is too wise to make silly recommendations; I have no such problem like wisdom. So here we go.

    I would max Assault Force Medic and NanoSurgeon with every opportunity. They add BM, MM, health, Treatment, First Aid, and have perks that heal. What's not to like?

    In addition, I would max Nano Doctorate with every opportunity -- the perk actions suck, but it's difficult to contemplate casting the SL heals without this. (Once you're 205+ and have oodles of Alien perks and DeValos sleeves and org contracts and whatnot, maybe... otherwise, train these).

    Genius2 for the nano regain is a no-brainer until 780 Psychic is reached with triple implanted Nanoregen clusters (or symbiants with nanoregen).

    After that... the leftover points go into XP perks (like Explorer) or Enhance DNA for the uber HOT -- no, just kidding. Enhance DNA is to get symbiants in earlier/easier.

    Specialist Healer is a perkline whose utility I question. Others feel differently. Seek out the wisdom, young padawan.

    4. Weapon Progression

    Keep in mind that our primary weapon is the Enforcer, the Soldier, the MA, and so on and so forth, who are in team with us. Having said that, it feels good to have a D DoT once in a while. So what is a Doctor to do?

    My opinion:

    Level 1-175: Pistols

    Level 175-205: Depends

    Level 205+: Whatever strikes your fancy.

    Here's why: Cellular Recuperation. This first SL-heal, which requires 1087 BM/MM and Spec 3, should be every Doctor's goal from Level 1-175 (and beyond). Before you are able to cast CR, you are just a squishy little thing, constantly in danger of death from all manner of sources. After you are able to cast CR, you are an uber death-defying outlaster.

    Now, unless you've got oodles of AI perk points, and belong to an uber org with massive advantages and got a tower up and the rest of that, chances are, you'll need some sort of a buffing weapon to cast CR at or near 175.

    Three are available: Pensive Phulakterion, Pillow With Important Stripes, and Soft Pepper Pistol. Of the three, the Pensive is a catacombs boss drop -- hard to find. Pillow is fine, but requires all kinds of silly skills you would never want to use on a Doctor anyhow. Soft Pepper only requires Pistol and Multi-Ranged.

    So, I think Pistol is the best weapon choice for a Doctor from 1-175. There are any number of reasonable choices as the "D DoT" weapon to be dual-wielded with a Soft Pepper: CDR (aka, Best Pistol In Game), Flux Pistol, Kyr'Ozch Pistol, heck, even an Original Electronicum. Just think of them as your "D DoT" and you'll find that you obsess about damage far less, and more about the healing.

    By the way, you know that Chalice from TotW? Don't do it. Soft Pepper adds similar bonuses -- but you can have a D DoT weapon in the main hand.

    From 175-205, the weapon choices open up. And you start to get tempted with all these shiny new toys: JAME Blasters, Maw of Abyss, Gelids, or what-have-you. My take on this is simple: If you can cast CR without a buffing weapon, then do whatever you want. Your choice of D DoT is up to you. If, however, you cannot cast CR w/o a buffing weapon, then there's no debate: Use the Soft Pepper to cast CR. So your D DoT is a little lower -- big deal. You don't kill; you outlast.

    By 205, you should no longer need any sort of buffing weapon to cast the SL heals. Yeah, maybe you got a bit of trouble squeezing out Touch of Kindness at 207 -- but you probably could, at least with a good CI. Besides, the difference between CR and AP and ToK are not enormous. The difference between LGE and CR, however, is night and day. So at this point, go with whatever strikes your fancy as a D DoT. Want to dual-wield Energy Rapiers? Go for it. Bow? Shotgun? Pistol? Gelids? JAME? Bare hands? It really doesn't much matter.

    5. Important Doctor Gear: Armor

    Some have asked questions about non-weapon gear. Again, keeping in mind that we do not kill -- we simply outlast, I strongly believe that having updated armor is far more important than having updated weapons.

    If you are Omni, then there really is only one choice from Level 1-175: OmniCarb. It has good AC's (hole in Energy, but that's all right), it adds NCU, it adds health, it adds nano, it adds NCU, it even adds Nano Init. What more could you ask for from armor?

    If you are Clan, then head to the nearest Book terminal, buy an Omni-Tek Application Form, and fill it out. It appears from feedback that Storm Carb is a POS.

    Tier-1 is horrid. Period, end of sentence. I think basic Carb armor might be superior, simply because it has better bonuses and adds NCU.

    Exceptions to the Omni-Carb Rule:

    A. Elysian Protector Cuirass: Adds MM, Adds -Nanocost, decent AC's. I still wear this at 209. You can't go wrong with this.
    B. Head: I can't stand Carb helmets. So I've always worn something else on the head. Some reasonable choices are Ceremonial Watchman's Hood (drops in IS), Exterminator Unit Crepuscule Skin Chip (adds nanoskills), Temple Tubes (if you're rollin' in the dough), or Cure for Baldness (adds BodyDev, adds +2% heal efficiency, and -2% Nanocost; crappy AC's but again, it's all right).

    Back Item: Please refer to the CR-rule above. If you can do it without the Blue Dress (aka, Reanimator's Cloak, +11 to nanoskills), then wear whatever you feel like. Albrecht Tank is a fine choice, as is any of the Notum-spangled OmniTek cloaks (999 to all AC's). But if you need the +11 to cast CR, then you're running around in a blue dress.

    At 175, the option of Azure opens up to you. If such an opportunity presents itself, take it.

    At 190, option of OTAF/Sentinel opens up. If you don't have Azure, then get these. Again, can't go too wrong.

    After that... it's really all about fine-tuning and tweaking to become even more uber. You don't need any advice at that point.

    Biochemyst, TL7 Eternalist with Scalpels
    Sombris, TL5 spoiled-brat Shade
    Agoniste, TL 6 Adventurer with gimpy gear

    Originally posted by Agamundos
    The point of AO is to make hecklers extinct, its a never-ending battle.

  2. #2

    part 2

    6. Important Doctor Gear: Symbiants & Other Toys

    Symbiants for Doctors are among my top complaints. They're entirely too difficult to get, especially for a young Doctor without an uber sugardaddy main to camp the boss mobs. You will likely have to buy all the key symbiants until 205+ when you start to become solo deities. And then there's the issue of Nanos -- SL nanos in particular are NOT cheap (last heal I bought was 11m; in total, I think I've spent roughly 75m on SL nanos alone). And of course, we have NCU to worry about -- especially since we want to have a Recompiler, a Hardcore Compressor, and a Range Increaser (at times).

    So... save ALL your money for the following:

    QL 190 Enduring Brain Symbiant, Support Unit (45-50m)
    QL 200 Growing Ocular Symbiant, Support Unit (35-45m)
    QL 180 Awakened Chest Symbiant, Support Unit (40-100m) -- NB: I sold my Awakened for 100m; some people not recognizing the value of this thing sell for 40m. ANY price under 75m is a bargain; snap it up as soon as possible. Beg, borrow, sell your soul, if you find one of these at less than 75m.
    QL 180 Awakened Ear Symbiant, Support Unit (5-10m)

    Now... until you can equip these symbiants, really don't sweat symbiants. QL 200 Implants have better nanoskill mods than symbiants for the most part. Especially the Left Arm(MM), Right Hand(MC), and Waist(BM) slots. If you happen to come across a nice brain, eye, or ear, by all means, get them in. But no reason to sweat it too much.

    3x Yutto's NCU: 10-14m each. You may want to buy a fourth for those situations where you don't need the range, but want extra buffs.

    SL Nanos (as above)

    Treatment and Pharmacy Library -- we Docs get a special one of these. Get a QL200 ASAP.

    7. XP = The Answer To All Your Questions

    Because we're all about outlasting, fact is that a Doctor is not dependent on any piece of equipment. We're not a Mobile Weapons Platform Profession (e.g., Shade, Soldier, Trader, Fixer, etc.). Conversely, however, we're not much without XP. Whenever you hit a rough patch, and think that some piece of equipment would pull you over the hump, just recognize that XP is the answer to all your problems.

    [Exception: Specialization. You must do all your Specs as early as possible; you do not want to be 207 and still casting CR because you don't have your Spec 4 done.]

    So it's all about getting XP until you get to TL6+. That's when the true power of the Doctor profession begins to manifest itself.

    But how to get there in today's rough-and-tumble environment? This leads us to...

    8. How To Level & Teaming Guide

    We Doctors are tied to a team. Because they are our primary weapon. But where to level? And how? I haven't done any AI newbie levelling, so I can't speak on that subject.

    However, the following Rule of Thumb should be followed to maximize your XP intake: Go where the people are. Since other people are our main weapons, why would we want to spend our 20's soloing?

    This means SL from Level 1 through about Level 40-50. 1-10 or so in Jobe Backyard; 11-30 or so in Nascence killing spiders, tigers, cripplers, whatever; 30-40/50 in Ely killing non-Heckler mobs. As a Doctor, you have the ability in these non-structured environments to create a team: just spam and look for others who like the idea of not dying because someone exists to heal them.

    Unfortunately, at around 40/50, you do need to take a break from levelling and go do your Temple of Three Winds goodies. It's not about levelling in there -- SL offers far more xp/hour. It is, however, about grabbing Guardian Circuit Board (best NCU belt for a long long time), Exarch Robe, Notum Ring of the Three, Platinum Ring of the Three, and whatever else strikes your fancy. If you really dislike levelling and must have the best gear possible, stick around till you get 5 Dark Memories or Memory Loops, and a Guardian Tank Armor. But I dislike the camping; in the time it takes to farm those, you could level 30 or 40 times.

    From 50-150 or so, chances are you will be spending your levelling time in Ely. Why? Because that's where the people are. If you have a regular play group, then fine, wander around, go to Sheol, kill stuff there. But most people during this time are in Ely doing either Cold Rock Spiders, Redeemed/Unredeemed Mobs, or Hecklers.

    Ah, the joy of pickup Heckler Teams... in a playfield where lvl 210 Soldiers/MA's love to ingot farm, and where NT kites ruin many a team's day. Well, you gotta do it sometime, I guess.

    I do have a Rule of Thumb about these however: If you, the Doc, die first (and you have not CH'ed), then leave the team. On the other hand, if the Tank dies first, and then you die, then stay in that team as long as possible. And get to know that tank; he will become a good and valuable weapon... er, I mean teammate.

    150-205: Welcome to the First Circle of Hell. You're now going to be looking to level exclusively in Adonis. Sadly, this is less and less possible unless it's a verrrry slow time of day. You will see me there at 209, and likely at 215, because... well, Adonis is where the people are. As much as I would prefer to team in Inferno or at least Penumbra, my weapons are usually LFT in Adonis -- so I have to be there too. And, many teams think you are not valuable to their SK'ing because of your crappy damage, and until CR, your heals are not particularly impressive.

    So... here's what I would do as a 140-190 Doc.

    A. Look for Adonis Heckler Team. Don't do it too much -- spend maybe 5-10 mins, and if nothing, move on to Plan B. Teams either need a Doc, or they don't. Those that do, will contact you immediately; those that don't, won't ever recruit you until they become a team that needs a Doc. Don't hold your breath.

    B. Try to put a Sheol Team together. *GASP* Sheol???##$(#@$? That forsaken place where hecklers hit you from other side of the brink? Yes, Sheol. People often do not realize that Sheol hecklers, while buggy, can be done without overwhelming difficulty -- especially if you have a mezzer. And making xp > sitting in garden spamming "LFT" over and over again until you log out. However... because most people are idiots and don't want to deal with Sheol...

    C. Try to get a Whirling Rocks team together. Whirlies are found on the East side of Adonis; jump off the Redeemed Garden and you're right there. A good team of 150ish can do Whirling Rocks with some judicious pulling; and again, XP > spamming LFT.

    D. Try to get a RK mission going. At 140-180, you can make more XP/hour doing a BS mission than doing Adonis Hecklers, after you've taken the two hours spent spamming "160 Doc LFT" into account. Besides, you're likely nowhere near your 1k token board -- now is a good time to try and get some of that going. RK missions also yield loot, which can be sold or used. It's an excellent way to get past the hump.

    E. Penumbra Team -- As soon as you hit 160, you must endeavor to swim through the Abyss and get into Pen. Ask for help from people if you need to. Save in Pen Garden, and do not move it until you get the Pen Garden key. With a good enough tank, and secondary healers (MP/Advy/etc.), you can support a Pen Heckler team with LE. Once you get CR, you can do it easily.

    Because of the presence of the Gen Hx noobs amongst our Weapons (i.e., other profs who /afk'ed their way to 190 in NT kite teams), you must apply the Rule of Thumb here as well. If you, the Doc, die first -- leave. If the tank dies, then you die, stay.


    Obviously, all of this is highly biased, highly subjective, and could very well be wrong. And I recognize that the medical profession seems like a long hard slog with annoyance constantly your companion. That's true.

    Your reward, if you manage to complete this internship, is to become as close to immortal as AO allows. You will solo things that other professions only dream of soloing; because you don't kill them, you just outlast them. Your org will constantly need you on raids, on aliens, for teaming. Your presence in a team will ensure that XP/SK goes smoothly, without panic, without unwarranted death. And you will know what power means when you can put the CH button back on your quickbar, confident in your ability to use it, and still survive.

    I hope this has been of at least moderate usefulness. Thanks for reading a long, rambling post.

    Biochemyst, TL7 Eternalist with Scalpels
    Sombris, TL5 spoiled-brat Shade
    Agoniste, TL 6 Adventurer with gimpy gear

    Originally posted by Agamundos
    The point of AO is to make hecklers extinct, its a never-ending battle.

  3. #3
    Again, very nice

    I think Yuttos cost around 12m with maxed comp lit.

    As to leveling........

    1. Level 5-24 in Subway.
    2. Level 22-50ish TOTW.

    Consider doing a few team missions in there as well, tokens never hurt :P

    Its also possible to level reasonably fast 50-150 doing RK team missions. Especially 120-150 there is "decent" xp in 205ish team missions without worrying about kite trains, heckler noobs, etc. Also, I find that many alts and "twinks" are doing team missions, so team quality can be very good.
    LVL 220 Vanguard Out to pasture
    LVL 220 Eternalist researching
    LVL 220 Dictator Retired
    LVL 220 Field Marshal Resetting/twinking

    LVL 220 Savior (researching)

    Firetree Server, Horde of course

  4. #4
    Very nice guide indeed

    I would stress the importance of getting the 1k tokenboard- preferibly doing missions before hitting 200. It's simply invaluable.

    Also regarding Specialist Healer - as you mentioned there are different oppinions on this one - but it comes with some very nice toos for removing dots, deprives and initdebuffs on yourself and your teammates.

  5. #5
    Nicely done. Makes me want to go out and start playing my doc again. (or even just start playing again).
    Guide to Teaming With Docs! is the funniest post ever. | "Engie Got Bot" song spoof
    AO chat log of Titanic sinking is the second funniest post ever

    No matter how many levels I gain, the Lag Monster is always red to me.

    Currently playing The Secret World.

  6. #6
    Nice post. Should help some up and comming docs pretty good.
    Best part about lvling on RK missions is you can use CH without getting into trouble

  7. #7
    Great post
    Squisheh Quinnipiac Bunneh - 200 Trox NT Semi-Retired
    Julius Eccco Caesar- 129 Soli Doc (New Focus)
    The Hoya Sage - 95 Trox MP (Eccco's Traveling Companion)
    (all RK1)

  8. #8
    Bump. this post is great and should be rooted
    Last edited by Dokalicious; Oct 30th, 2004 at 19:05:17.
    Teh "Dokalicious"
    Unit Commander of Legion

    Setup still working on it...

  9. #9
    but at the lower lvls until 140 you can stay in SL for faster XP

    Shadowlands Quick lvls:
    1-8 backayrd hecks
    8-12 Spirits
    12-22 Spiders
    22-30 Criplers
    30-45ish Crokers
    45-90 HEcklers
    90-105ish Spiders in Ely
    105-160 Hecklers
    160 - ... Ado hecklers

    Best Choice:

    1-8 backayrd hecks and otehr mobs
    8-12 Spirits
    12-22 Spiders
    22-30 Criplers
    30-45ish Croakers
    45-90 HEcklers
    90-150ish Team missions. for tokens, but slower xp and some ely heck's
    160 - ... Ado hecklers and other mobs in later areas for more SK
    Last edited by Dokalicious; Oct 30th, 2004 at 19:04:48.
    Teh "Dokalicious"
    Unit Commander of Legion

    Setup still working on it...

  10. #10
    Its All About The Phats.
    Yeh this was a great post Not often i read posts this long, but it was fun

    Biased? Yup.
    Subjective? Almost certainly.
    Unscientific? Well, i guess....
    Undoubtedly dubious? Without a, well, doubt.

    Amusing? Yes.
    Informative? Yes.
    Usefull? Yes
    Well Written? Definatly.

    My doc is now 205, its my 3rd 200+ toon and i found this guide great Whilst there might be perfectly accurate, letter specific guides out there, nothin tells it like it REALLY IS, like this post does


    Acetsuntura (220]/21/70) - Adventurer

  11. #11
    another bump for a great post
    Teh "Dokalicious"
    Unit Commander of Legion

    Setup still working on it...

  12. #12

    a good read
    Udon (doctor), Koyangi (trader), Jajangmyun (adventurer) of Shattered Dreams of Rimor. [website]

    (now in order of play/activity! along with some other lowbie alts.)

  13. #13
    Why do I hear this post squeaking out "root me..... please...."

    "With your feet in the air and your head on the ground Try this trick and spin it, yeah Your head will collapse But there's nothing in it And you'll ask yourself Where is my mind "

  14. #14
    Agree. Lots of good information here. No matter how biased, subjective or unscientific

  15. #15
    bump so it looks like it got stickied
    Squisheh Quinnipiac Bunneh - 200 Trox NT Semi-Retired
    Julius Eccco Caesar- 129 Soli Doc (New Focus)
    The Hoya Sage - 95 Trox MP (Eccco's Traveling Companion)
    (all RK1)

  16. #16


    Very well written and very helpful.

    ***My attention may be easy to get, but can you hold it?***

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Docagami
    Why do I hear this post squeaking out "root me..... please...."

    cause its just itchin to be read... thats why

    i can hear it now: Thread earns grammy...

  19. #19
    Thank you very much for this! Very good advice especially to a second-career doc
    Tiger Claw's site has changed! Please visit us at!

  20. #20
    Very nicely done, Biochemyst. Again.

    Can't believe I ignored this thread for so long.

    Bump for sticky!

    \o\ \o\ go bio /o/ /o/

    <Insert witty quote here>

    Blondenurse :: 220/30/67 :: doc
    Decepticon :: 220/30/70 :: adv
    Icingdeath :: 200/16/36 :: adv
    Sykebil :: 148/xx/xx :: doc
    And many other alts

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