To open, I’d like to get a discussion going about a wide variety of MMO
mechanics, but part 1 is going to be about healing.
I wanted to start with healing because it is the most reactionary
mechanics in the Holy Trinity of RPGs, and I think there is a great
variety of fundamental changes that can be made to the system that will
benefit players and be fun.
Lets begin with mechanics basics, then move into resource management,
damage and special ability functions.
Fundamentally, healing is about keeping your friends alive and being
valuable to the group, which is fun. Soloing as a healer is usually not
fun. Healing is very reactionary, and if your buddies’ green bar doesn’t
move, you often run short on buttons to press.
As far as actually mechanics are concerned, there are a number of usual
suspects in the healing ability game. Short cast time direct heals, long
cast time direct heals, instant Heal over Time, cast time Heal over
Time, instant direct heal, and aura healing. We’ll place things like
absorbs, immunities, and dispelling under the special ability heading.
What type of healing mechanic do you find most fun? I personally like to
queue up a short cast time direct heal followed by an instant cast heal
over time. Something about that sequence says “I got you man” to me.
Healers with nothing but direct heals are probably the most boring and
reactionary. You don’t spend your free time loading up the HoTs or auras
or absorbs, you wait for the green bar to get smaller, then you make it
In most MMOs, the resource of the healer is of a large pool, slow
depletion, slow regeneration type. It behooves the healer to get this
pool as big as possible, so they can heal for longer without reaching
the most dreaded state of a healer: being Out Of Mana.
Being OOM is one of the mechanics I would most like to change in future
MMO gaming. Running around in circles, useless, while your buddies
slowly(or quickly) die, hoping to get maybe one heal off is just a
I’d like to implement a small pool, fast depletion, fast regeneration
system for healers. Think Energy. The healer can spam heal only 3 or 4
heals in a row before OOMing, but in a matter of seconds they can cast
again. To make this work, not all heals would use Energy. Perhaps the
cast-time heals that require the healer to stand still for a period of
time either cost no Energy or regenerate it. Proper management could
look like keeping the pool half-full by mixing Energy generating and
depleting abilities, or blowing through Energy and then pooling with
your non-Energy depleting abilities in a sort of full-empty-full-empty
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i like cod with the automatic regenerate from wounds, so if you can last
a certain amount of time without getting hit by something, you
automatically get healed, then you dont need healers at all.
I love healing in MMORPGs, especially dedicated healing (where you stand
there and quick heal some people, reaction-heal some, etc). However, I
think the best solution to the solo problem is so simple, I don’t know
why games don’t do it
Why don’t games make it so that heals that hit monsters deal damage? It
could be holy damage or whatever, but it’s such a simple concept and I
don’t know why it isn’t used.
As for the possible problem of healing spells having significantly
higher values (as far as dmg or hp) than normal spells, then just use a
multiplier to tone it down.
What are your thoughts on this?
Tyler: Warcraft 3 (which isn’t an MMO, but ok) had such a spell: “Holy
light”; It would heal friendly units, and do half the damage to enemy
I like the concept a lot, but it would probably make the healer a very
Im old school gammer. Making the Mana pools larger makes it easier to
run a healer. Ya just spam heals without thinking about it. And if ya
think about it what fun is that? A good healer will learn to manage
his/her mana, yeah sometimes ya run out and wipe but that just happens
sometimes and most groups will laugh and say well either our strategy is
wrong or bad luck (especially if they see the healer has done a good job
While soloing as a healer, you wont do the DPS as most of the classes
but you will still win most of the time in the long run. And most games
a healer is like gold if your good at it you wont ever have to solo.