Future of healers as we know them

I was thinking to ponder a bit about the future of healing classes, in WAR first and foremost, but also in MMO games that will follow WAR's [inevitable] success. I know a bit about healing; I levelled three classes to (then current) max level in World of Warcraft and spent my time standing in the back, wearing a bathrobe and, as Paul so glamorously explained it, casting heal, heal, heal, heal *insert silly hand moves here*.

I'm sorry that I use "classes" when I mean "careers", it's not WoW's fault, I'm just used to the Dungeons & Dragons system. I might begin to refer to them as careers, but it probably require me to play the game.

WAR take a different approach to the healbot problem - and yes, it's a problem, you can ask any healer who quit because of raids. In WAR some classes have healing spells they can cast all the time, but are slow or ineffective until you start doing damage. Others require you to do damage to be able to cast healing. And some spells heal from part of the damage they do.
It's a interesting approach; it doesn't make healing not as required and healers obsolete, and at the same time it require healers to take more part in bringing their opponent down by doing damage.

Healing is very rewarding, in the sense that people acknowledge and are thankful of the help you give, in saving their characters lives. In real life, everyone respects doctors - they save lives. But healing can also be frustrating, in that you are standing safely behind all the others when battling monsters, and probably the only thing you see during battles are colored bars which display the health of your party members.
Hitting the monsters with big pointy weapons are much more rewarding in the sense of bringing them down, even though healing offers more to the success of the party by keeping everyone alive.

In other games, healers can specialize to heal, or to do damage; but never the same in a efficient way. WAR enable you to fill the best of two worlds: hitting the monsters with weapons/spells while effectively healing your team. It's one of those things that you just wonder "why didn't anyone do this before?". Since innovation in today's MMO games consist of "borrowing" pieces from competing games, it's probably only a matter of time before we see healers in other games ripping of their bathrobes and start poking holes in monsters.

Except Warrior Priests, they will still run around in bathrobes.


  1. hey running around in a bathrobe sounds like me, when not at work ;p

  2. What, don't they have casual fridays at your work? ;)