So You Want to Become a Doctor? (By Ghost)
The medic is one of the 3 base classes available to all players in NOTD right from the get go. It is also one of the few classes that is available in every campaign unlike other classes who may be replaced there. Playing medic requires you to acknowledge your role as a support caster rather than frontline DPS dealer and take pride in ensuring your team makes it out alive in one piece through the use of both healing and support talents. As with most classes, it is advisable to choose and remain on one talent tree until you obtain the Tier 3 talent. Medic players receive the Lifesaving Medal for every game they win alive as medic. At 5 CP the medic turns dark blue and at 10 CP the medic turns white and you receive Dr. In front of your name. Your score screen rank icon will also change as a result.
- Base Health: 185
- Base Energy: 200
- Base Shields: 30
- Base Armor: 1
- Energy Regen: 1.1992
- Move Speed: 2.59
- Weight Class: Light
- Inventory Slots: 4
- Accessory Slots: 2
- Medic is hit tolerant and is less prone to Rating loss from Hits.
- Medic gains additional shared XP per allied and own kills.
- Medic starts the game with 2 Bandages
- Anti-Venom: 15 Energy, 3 Cooldown, 2.5 Range
- Cures 1 stack of Venom and heals 10 HP
- Surgical Laser: 20 Energy, 30 Cooldown, 3.5 Range
- Removes 1 stack of Open Wound, Cripple, and Blindness and heals 10 HP
For the most part, the medic will get a hold of items once everyone else has had their share primarily as it has no true DPS boosters and is a caster class. Equipment that you generally will be using is:
- M45 Marksman Rifle
- Flamethrower MK-3
- P-45 Gauss Pistol
- C4 Armor/Reactive Armor (once tank has a Reactive or their armor of choice, further Reactives belong to you)
- Combat Mobility Augment
- Arc Reactor
- Ocular Implants
You generally will want to have good protection and just take whatever gun is left over. As you will often be wading through think creeps to save teammates from certain doom, it is only fair to give you the means to deal with it. Pistol is an ideal weapon for the Field Aid medic in particular as it is extremely light weight and does not impair movement as a result. Remember you are a Light class and weight can drastically reduce your speed. Unless it is required by a DPS class, the pistol should go to you. In order to power your spells you will need energy and Arc reactors unless required by a Demolition or Technician Tank should find their way to you. Similarly, you want to get to the incident scene quickly and be able to find and fix teammates quickly, so a combat mobility augment will make that task much easier. Outside of Mobility recon, no other class should have a higher priority on this item than you. It may be tempting to grab and keep any items you find, but remember your role as a medic and that your life (especially as Field Aider) is actually made easier by giving the right equipment to the right teammates as they will be less likely to take hits and die.
The purpose of this talent tree is to keep you and your teammates alive during the course of a campaign. Nearly every talent will restore hitpoints and increase survivability of those who have taken hits. Just as other classes can deal major damage to enemies, you can prevent and cure the damage that was done to your team.
3 HP per 1 Energy, Channeling, 6 Range
Heals 3 / 5 / 7 HP per second
Improved Surgical Laser
20 Energy, 30 Cooldown, 3.5 Range
Removes 1 stack of Open Wound, Cripple, and Blindness and heals 20 / 30 / 40 HP and reduces cooldown to 8 / 6 / 4 seconds
20 Energy, 3 Cooldown, 5 Range
Replenishes lost shields and increases max shields by 30 / 60 and shield armor by 1 / 2 for 20 seconds
- Note: Requires target to be shield capable and makes target immune to Eos's Shriek
30 Energy, 10 Cooldown, 3 Range
Heals 5 / 8 HP per second for 15 seconds
- Note: Can also affect Mechanical
25 Energy, 10 Cooldown, 6 Range Heals 70 HP and restores 15 Energy to all allied targets in AoE, heals self for 40 HP. Applies Restoration buff - casting Anti-Venom or Surgical Laser removes all associated ailment stacks. Surgical Laser can cure Madness.
- Note: Can also affect Mechanical, does not affect Massive
- Primary: Intelligence [More energy]
- Secondary: Endurance - Agility [Survival and Mobility]
- Tertiary: Strength [Survival]
A dead medic does not contribute towards the team and a slow medic will not get there in time. A medic with no energy is no different from a mini marine.
Order of Distribution
The order in which you allocate your talents throughout the game differs primarily in who your designated tank is. Anything else generally should not factor into the decision.
- Talent 1: Surgical Laser I
- Talent 2: Heal I
- Talent 3: Surgical Laser II
- Talent 4: Surgical Laser III
- Talent 5: Nano Shield I
- Talent 6: Nano Weave I
- Talent 7: Nano Weave II
- Talent 8: Nano Shield II
- Talent 9: Restoration
This is the basic levelling order of a Field Aid medic. Should your primary tank be a Demolitions or a Flamethrower, you want to level Nano Shield II before obtaining Nano Weave I. For Assault and Technician, keep to the above order.
The rationale behind beelining to Nano Shield II being that Demolitions and Flamethrower have high base shields and generally need to soak damage for the team before their talents enable them to make themselves more resistant to damage. Later in the game, when they obtain their resistance talents, you will then have Nano Weave to take care of the rest. The remainder of your team generally should not be taking large amounts of damage for you to require Nano Weave ASAP. If they do, you probably won't win with everyone alive anyway - people who habitually get hit a lot early on are likely going to get hit a lot later on as well, and later game enemies hit a lot harder. The reason that you procure Nano Shield before Nano Weave at all times comes down to energy conservation. Nano Shield costs 20 Energy and increases max shields by 30 in addition to restoring the target's shield pool. Thus casting it on a Marksman with 55 Shields who has just taken a hit (or is about to lose shields) will "heal" him for a grand total of 85 shields instantly for 20 Energy. It will also prevent him from taking HP damage, which you then will not have to spend energy on, and means he will not have a chance of receiving an Ailment. Note that ailments are expensive to remove - 20 Energy for Surgical Laser based ailments and 15 for Venom based ailments. Casting Nano Shield to prevent a hit means you likely saved energy on the other talents. Over time this adds up and allows you to direct your energy towards other emergencies. Now why 3 Surgical Laser over 3 Heal you ask? The primary reason is that you will have Nano Weave and Restoration eventually which do exactly what Heal does, just better. Similarly, maxing the alternate (Surgical Laser) means it heals nearly as well as Heal too, so you end up with 3 talents which heal large amounts of damage and can be used sequentially to the extent that by the time you used the 3rd talent, your 1st talent is off cooldown again. Add to this, maxing Surgical Laser means that its cooldown is halved, so you can cure teammates that much faster. You simply won't have the time and energy to use Heal at all. Heal also is a channeling spell which means you cannot do anything (besides knifing) while using the talent. This means you are not contributing towards your team's DPS and force your team to remain in one place as opposed to moving on. Furthermore, consider that anyone who ends up with an Open Wound or Cripple will have taken damage to receive the ailment - they will not have an ailment and be at full HP.
- Player 1 takes 60 damage and has become crippled
- Surgical Laser 3 means you spend 20 + 20/3 = 27 energy to fix him
- Heal 3 means you spend 20 + 40/3 = 34 energy to fix him
- The time investment is nearly the same at 7 vs 6 seconds, but you wasted an additional 7 energy.
For 40 damage and no ailment, Surgical Laser fixes that instantly for 20 energy and allows you and your teammate to continue to move and fire while Heal will cost 14 energy and put you and your teammate out of action for 6 seconds. Therefore if you intend on maxing out Field Aid (and even if not) you should always aim for 3 in Surgical Laser as opposed to Heal. The only downside being the very early game (first 10 minutes) you will not be able to fix multiple highly damaged teammates at once - but this should not be something that happens in the first place. Once you cross that boundary, you will have outclassed a Heal based medic already with even a semi-capable team.
Life after Restoration
There is no reason to max Heal after obtaining Restoration and you should move directly over to the Nanotech tree. Ideally you want to be picking up 3 Nano Strength asap and then capacitors on Tier 2. What you do after that should the game still be going on is up to you. Do not be tempted to max Nano Shock after Restoration as you simply will not have the energy to cast that and your Field Aid talents and the synergy is lower. Increasing your team's DPS and movement will mean they are less likely to take damage and therefore less likely to require you to spend energy on healing.
Efficient Use of Talents
So you have a build, how do you put it to good use without draining yourself needlessly on energy?
Minor damage (under 20): generally does not need your attention unless you are at full energy and have nothing to spend it on. Zap them with Surgical Laser
- Moderate damage (up to 50): Zap them with a Surgical Laser.
- High damage (up to 90): Use Restoration and monitor whether further intervention is required.
Critical damage (greater than 90): Use Restoration first, then follow up with Nano Shield. Top up with Surgical Laser if required. Monitor for further intervention requirements, such as adding a Nano Weave on top if they are still taking damage.
Major Incident (multiple Trauma cases): Use Restoration and ensure you are positioned correctly to reach all the casualties. Then Shield the teammate most likely to take large amounts of damage next. Then Weave the most injured teammate or tank who can soak the damage. Then Surgical Laser the next most injured person who also has a Laser based ailment. Then use anti-venom to start removing venom, then use Restoration again. You should have the situation under control now.
Proper use of Nano Shield requires that you do not spam shield on the tank/teammate as soon as the cooldown is up, but to monitor when the shield is about to dissipate and add it back on. If you spam shield like no tomorrow, you will run out of energy very quickly and your teammate likely dying as a result.
As an example, if the Demolitions' shields have run out or are about to (less than 2 blue pips), use shield. If during the next 20 seconds (duration of Nano Shield) the nano shield animation is still up, you will not need to cast it again unless you can see he is taking damage from multiple sources or high damage from a single source which may break the shield in the next 1 (not 3 not 5) hit. If you are travelling in a group and a teammate has lost shields and is still being attacked, always cast nano shield instead of starting to shoot at the enemy. You will both prevent a hit and yourself from spending energy on healing/ailment removal. If you see a parasite nydus spawn or about to spawn or if a teammate is too close to an Infestor as it is about to die, you should always cast Nano Shield on the most likely teammate to be hit, even if they are at full shields. If you are fighting the Queen and you see the text "The Queen lets out a horrific shriek" you want to shield yourself first, and the tank second (especially if Demolitions), or otherwise shield someone with DPS capability in case random spawns attack the group. There is no point trying to shield the tank who may lose the shield before the shriek procs or lag preventing your shield from casting on the tank in time, both of which leave everyone vulnerable. Even if your tank is not shielded in time and stunned, you will have all the time you need to prevent him and others from dying because you are not stunned.
Nano Weave on a fully skilled Field Aid medic tends to have more of a niche use. The primary function being to restore a moderate-high amount of damage before you obtain Restoration and to keep an Assault/Technician Tank alive as they soak up damage - shield is generally a poor spell to cast on them except in rare circumstances. Weave can also be useful when using it on a teammate who has max venom stacks (15) and you are likely to not move around a lot in the near future, as it is a lot more efficient to use nano weave on him until the venom wears off naturally as opposed to using anti-venom constantly. Once you obtain Restoration however, it is more efficient to use Restoration followed by anti-venom to cure all stacks at once for 40 energy total. It is also a skill you may consider using (while restoration is on cooldown) if several people have open wounds from Apoptosis and you need time to fix them all. Note that the duration of Weave is longer than the cooldown and multiple uses do not stack, so never spam it on the same target if their weave is still active, or you will be wasting energy.
Dealing with self harmers is something you will also be doing as a medic. Self harmers tend to be Commandos and Technicians. Generally Surgical Laser will restore a Commando and Nano Weave a Technician after 1 use of self harm talents. However, it is more efficient when dealing with Commandos to wait for 2 self harms and use restoration instead of laser, as the hit point difference after regeneration is around 7, but you saved 15 energy and granted another 15 energy to the commando, meaning he will not need to self harm as often. You should therefore aim to not laser him unless you are on the move and it is not safe to wait for the second cut.
General Notes: Do not be tempted to heal the person that screams the loudest first. Always observe and ensure you target the person with the greatest medical need first. Just because the marksman with 1 stack of venom is screaming his lungs out and calling you names doesn't mean that he is a priority over the Assault who has a wound as well as several venom stacks. Your job is to keep people alive, not keep them happy. You should also remember to keep an eye on the team bar at all times to ensure you are up to date on who is taking hits and who has ailments that may need fixing - if you also know where your teammates are relative to your location, you also have a time advantage. Do this and your team will be thankful when you eventually win with everyone alive.
The nano medic in contrast to the healer is a combat support caster. Instead of focussing mainly on the team bar and your team's well being, you will be paying more attention towards threat mitigation, team buffing and target softening. However, while you turn into a offensive caster, remember you remain a medic first and foremost, so dealing with venom and the like is still your job. You will need to find a balance between spamming offensive skills and contributing to your team's survival. That balance is something that many people will find difficult to achieve.
30 Energy, 7 Cooldown, 12 Range
Deals 20 / 40 / 80 damage to targets in 3 AoE and stuns for 1 / 1.5 / 2 seconds
10 Energy, 2 Cooldown, 7 Range
Increases attack damage and move speed by 10% / 15% / 20% and increases HP regeneration by 0.1 / 0.2 / 0.3 per second for 30 seconds
Increases max energy by 100 / 200
15 Energy, 2 Cooldown, 12 Range
Decreases target's armor by 1 / 2 and causes target to explode for 75 / 150 damage on death in 4 AoE
- Note: Stacks up to 4 times
25 Energy, 5 Cooldown, 15 Range
Deals 25 damage per second to all enemies and slows attack and move speed by 10% in 5 AoE for 60 seconds
- Note: Stacks up to 5 times
- Primary: Intelligence [More energy]
- Secondary: Endurance [Survival and minor Mobility]
- Tertiary: Strength and Perception [Survival and Vision]
Unlike the Field Aider, move speed is not quite as important to you as a nano medic due to the use of nano strength. You want to be able to survive damage in case you take it as a runner. Perception can be of some use as well to spot enemies from afar and better plan your spells, however your spells can be blind cast, so there is nothing preventing you from just casting without vision.
Order of Distribution
- OPTIONAL: Start with Surgical Laser I
- Talent 1: Nano Shock I
- Talent 2: Nano Strength I
- Talent 3: Nano Strength II
- Talent 4: Nano Strength III
- Talent 5: Volatile Injection I
- Talent 6: Energy Capacitors I
- Talent 7: Volatile Injection II
- Talent 8: Energy Capacitors II
- Talent 9: Nano Sear
Note that while Surgical Laser is an innate talent now, its cooldown is 30 seconds so the majority of nano medics will still feel compelled by their team and their own conscience to start with 1 in Surgical Laser before choosing any talents on the Nanotech tree. While this certainly has benefits, it also delays your support potential to a large extent, given that the XP requirement per level increases dramatically, so you need to decide on a case-by-case basis whether you choose to improve Surgical Laser at the start or take it towards the end.
Something you will find useful to know is that Nano Strength can serve as a replacement for Surgical Laser when dealing with the Cripple ailment. That ailment reduces move speed by 30%, however Nano Strength can mitigate this to 10%. The remaining 10% is relatively negligible and can also be remedied by moving with Hold Fire active (something that everyone should be doing regardless). That way, the teammate will not be falling behind.
Unless you are on a Navy Cross run (unlikely with a nano medic) you should also have no issues dealing with Open Wounds as bandages tend to be available in large supply. This leaves you however to deal with any venom cases, and these ought to be priority if someone has 3 or more stacks only. 1 or 2 stacks of venom won't kill anyone generally unless they already are at low HP, in which case Medkits are available.
Moving on to the actual build, Nanotech unlike Field Aid comes down a lot more to preference than set orders. Therefore the order above is only a suggestion, not a must follow. You may choose to max out volatile injection before obtaining capacitors and you might choose to skip capacitors / volatile altogether and max Nano Shock instead. The world is your oyster.
Life after Nano Sear
Depending on your own judgement of how the team is faring and what you will still be facing, you either want to get/max Surgical Laser on the Field Aid tree and then follow the Field Aid build or max Nano Shock or another talent you have not yet maxed yet on the Nanotech tree.
Efficient Use of Talents
In terms of skill effectiveness, Nano Strength generally outclasses Nano Shock in nearly all circumstances. It increases DPS considerably and allows your team to move faster (or negate their Cripple status). It is also long lasting and fast to cast on everyone in a short time period. Use it during hold outs and boss battles in particular to supercharge your team's DPS and for times when the whole team needs to run from A to B. For general travel, it has some utility but you should use that time to charge up your energy pool for when you really need it. Generally that will outclass any damage you could possibly obtain from Nano Shock. However, Nano Shock is mostly skilled less for damage and more for the stun. You may well agree with me however that 2 additional points for only 1 second of stun is a poor trade-off when you could get much better talents instead. Note that you will also kill Banelings/Blindlings outright only if you have this skill on level 3. Not on level 1 or 2 in higher SR and Nightmare games at least. The use of Nano Shock is mainly to free people from Huggers and to buy the extra second of time to get away from a high damage creep. It can also be used to temporarily reveal any cloaked units as its stun will break all cloak effects.
Volatile Injection is the Medic's laser designator with a twist. You can reduce a target's armor by up to -8 with it within 6 seconds and it is permanent, so you don't need to re-cast it. Additionally, it causes your target to explode on death. As having one big explosion from 1 target is less effective than 4 separate explosions which can chain up over a much larger area, only inject a target more than once if it is a Heroic unit mostly and inject targets only once if it is anything else. You also want to generally inject targets further inside a group of enemies instead of the closest target to maximize any explosion damage dealt. It is also important for you to understand that as Volatile Injection is permanent, you should not be injecting bosses with it if your team is relying on Laser Rifles for DPS as you will permanently render those rather ineffective. Once injected, the choice is made and cannot be undone.
Nano Sear is a talent which you will be using very similar to Volatile Injection. Stack it on bosses to cause constant non-reducible damage and reduce both their attack & movement speed and cast it once on creeps to quickly fry them. Generally I would not recommend using volatile together with sear unless you are dealing with a boss, as the damage from sear easily outclasses that of volatile and you need to spend your energy wisely, even with a larger total pool. When fighting a boss without laser rifles, start with sear to slow them and then stack on the volatiles while sear is on cooldown. Once volatile stacks have been maxed, continue with Sear until you reach 5 stacks. Do not cast it again at the boss until about 40 seconds after the last cast as otherwise you will be wasting energy. During the wait time, remember to nano strength your team and deal with any ailments that the boss might be inflicting.
General Notes: You will still want to remain close to your team at all times to benefit from your higher shared XP and to maximize the use of your talents, in particular nano strength and volatile injection. There may be instances where you can serve as a runner as nano strength and your medic's base move speed can make you run extremely fast with mind blast to stop any dangers in their tracks. Even with a big energy pool, you need to keep an eye on your energy at all times as it will drain a lot faster than you think, with most nanotech talents fairly expensive to cast and on low cooldowns. Your energy regeneration is not improved by capacitors.