I was thinking that since this is a turn-based combat system, and oftentimes exactly when each ability will proc is unknown (for both allies and enemies), that it would be beneficial for at the very least heal abilities, if not both heals and buffs, could be pushed to the top of the queue regardless of whose "turn" it is supposed to be. It has been somewhat frustrating to see one particular character get ganged up on by the enemies, have a plan to heal them, but then the odd interrupt, counterstrike, etc. ability will proc for the enemy, and the ally ends up knocked out.
I understand the whole turn-based combat system from my early console RPGs (and by going way back to early... as in NES early...now lay off of the old jokes. ), and I understand the stress that is put on figuring out strategies to get you through the battle, but I haven't really experienced anything like this before where it feels so completely, for a lack of a better word, random.
From watching my husband play Wizard101 with our son, and even from what he himself is saying, the combat system for this game is leaps and bounds better than that of Wizard101 (in our opinions, at least!). I appreciate the fact that it's difficult to develop a MMO game combat system that is accomodating to all levels of players, but I think that tweaking the buffs & heals to be initiated earlier in the allies' turn will 1) reduce the frustration of players who are used to playing MMOs targeted for adults & use real-time combat systems that is caused by the randomness that is involved in the combat system of Pirate101, and 2) it will help younger or less-experienced gamers not only survive longer, but also teach them a bit more, dare I say, "realistic" expectation of how heals and buffs are generally supposed to work.
The ability for other players to join in pretty much any fight at any time throws even more of a monkey wrench in the whole battle system when it comes to planning out a battle strategy in general, let alone heals & buffs! We're never sure when or where allies are going to end up on the game board, and therefore whether or not they will be in range for any needed buffs or heals.
I will admit that neither my husband, my son, nor I have level-capped or anything crazy like that, so I am unsure if this becomes less of an issue as the game progresses, or in a worst-case scenario, becomes more of an issue later on. I just wanted to bring it up as something that the devs might possibly be able to take a look at, or the team to at least monitor, as more and more people start playing.
Thank you very much for your time, and your work on this game! It's a fun game that we can enjoy as a family, and are looking forward to seeing what rolls out in the coming months!
If you shift to a perfect realm you will have less people joining in.
It might be best to have your healer (Privateer) enter combat first. Not only for the early healing, but for all the class's boosting ability (increased crits, increased accuracy, increased will, etc).
To me, it is all part of the strategy. You are able to see what abilities the enemy has so if you feel you might be knocked out by a vengeance/riposte/overwatch etc then change your attack. The order stays the same throughout a battle, so you can know when an attack or heal will be done.
Here are a couple of things I have figured out about the combat system: 1) Pets and allies, technically, go first. So if your pet triggers an enemies first strike ability it won't be available to trigger when your units attack. 2) If you are knocked out but there are other people still fighting (your companions or other payers) don't flee. As long as one person is alive and finishes off the enemy, you will be revived where you are (with 1 health) and you will be able to get treasure and quest credit for that battle. 3) Healing abilities will be used even if all the enemies are defeated. By this I mean that if you have given an order to heal someone, and before that unit can have it's turn the lase enemy is defeated, that unit will still do the healing. 4) Healing range depends on what it was at the start of your turn. If you are healing someone and they move out of range before you use the heal, they will still get healed. This is not the case for buffs which require units to be around the caster at the time of casting (but this can be used to your advantage).
If your main character is not a Privateer, then one of the first choices that I would make for using my Practice Points is for the Privateer's Rouse spell (Minor Healing). There are also some equipment which have the Rouse Spell or other healing spells attached to it.
You also might try increasing the level of your Companions by using Training Points as this will increase their Health.
Another thing you might try is traveling with a Privateer or a Player that has healing spells. It would be a trade off. He heals you and you do a larger part of the fighting.
What I've had to do is stop a quest until I healed myself and/or restored all of my characters. Usually I did this by porting back to Skull Island, using the Life Fountain, finding Yum Yum Fruit, and then porting back. I try to do this all the time before I enter a dungeon because I want to be at full strength when I enter. Some dungeons will let you port back to Skull Island and do this without losing your place in the dungeon. Others warn you that if you do go back to Skull Island, you will have to start the dungeon all over. If I'm in a dungeon that won't let me port and I'm fairly far into the dungeon, I will use my Mojo Potion. I just have to remember to fill it up when I see Blue Yum Yum Fruit later or one of the mini-games.