This is meant to focus on a narrow idea spawned in the Super Healers Away! thread.
Not that this is meant to be a theory discussion, if you wish to discuss how to produce actual builds, please go to the Super Healers or other relevant thread.
If this is a completely redundant thread, please let me know and point me to the relevant thread.
By now we are all aware of the fundamental change in healing from past editions to 4e. Healing surges alters the relationship between healers and their comrades, in positive and negative ways(positive and negative referring to relative strength, not passing judgment on whether a change is a good or bad thing).
However, with the advent of the Adventurer's Vault, something interesting has happened: the return of non-surge healing. I've created this thread to discuss the nature and CO uses of this occurance.
Surge Healing: The use of healing surges.
Bonus Healing: Healing granted in addition to the standard surge value.
Pure Healing: Any healing that does not rely on healing surges to function.
Some of my thoughts so far:
--Surge healing is dependent on the innate durability of the target. The primary reason Fighters are less squishy than wizards is that Fighters have more HP(giving a higher surge value) and more surges(more potential to be healed). After all, as has been shown elsewhere, staff wizards can stay on par with Fighter AC up until Godplate.
--Surge healing has a high burst value: the target is always guaranteed a minimum of 1/4 his total hp in healing.
--Surge healing is the most important factor for healing defenders and other high-surge, high-hp group members.
**Therefore, optimizing for defender healing means increasing the number of surges you can grant per-encounter and per-day
--Bonus healing is completely independent of surge value, and so is partly independent of target durability.
--While it requires a surge to function, bonus healing is very valuable for healing less durable allies.
**Therefore, optimizing for individual squishy healing means increasing the bonus healing you grant per surge.
--Pure healing is entirely unaffected by target durability.
--Most pure healing so far is very limited in amount. An example is the Symbol of the Warpriest(AV), which grants enhancement bonus hp in healing to one party member for every successful attack the cleric makes with it. The numbers work out to be relatively small compared to total surge healing, but the healing is completely in addition to the normal healing the cleric is doing, and has no limit on the number of times it can function.
**Therefore, optimizing for long-term healing ability raises the importance of pure healing.
*Caveat: any high-value pure healing(if a power comes out that grants Divine Regeneration to a target, as an extreme example) that appears will be highly valuable regardless of what you're optimizing for.
--Assault swordmages can benefit highly from healers optimized for Bonus healing. Because they tend to be low-con defenders, they have a need to get the maximum benefit from each surge.
--Shielding swordmages may have enough Con that they would rather have a healer optimized for Surge Healing.
These are just my thoughts so far. I intend to update this post with any relevant pieces of theory, and reserve 2 posts afterward for relevant Math or other stuff.
Please share your perspectives, ideas, etc. on Healing Theory as it relates to optimizing Surge, Bonus and Pure healing.
Some leader powers allow surgeless healing- or at least powers that cause surge healing without spending surges. I'm not sure whether you've included those in your analysis yet.
Your link in the OP is broken, it should be Super Healers Away!.
It should be noted that to increase the durability of the party, healing surges must be spend wisely. To prevent the squishy having too many surges at the end of the day because the defender did his job and got it in the fact 1 too many times, thus leaving him stretched thin on surges an Healing Belt increases the total healing surges the party has (each healer's sash refreshes each day with 1 charge) and lets the wearer contribute the front lines by giving his healing surge to the meat shield.
Because it's an encounter power it isn't a drain on the power gamer that sacrifices all his Healing surges to the salve of power god, as others can put their surges in and he can still heal the party.
OK, I like the idea of "heal theory" but I think there's something missing here.
First of all, we have to consider HOTs vs. temp HPs and burst healing. Consecrated Ground, for example, can keep you alive with tons of damage (save ends), but will not protect you against a 50 point hit when you are already near 0. You will still hit -bloodied and die.
Furthermore, how can I heal you if I'm not alive myself? That's why we have to consider SELF-healing, such as that provided by the Cord of Divine Favor.
I'm curious what you think about these and if you can incorporate it into your theory in some way.
Always carry around a belt of vigor for after battle healing.
It's unfortunate they nerfed the healer's sash. My party typically has wildly unbalanced healing surges when its time to take an extended rest. One of the huge bonuses to being an artificer, I suppose.
One of the surgeless healing options of note that I'll likely be taking is the level 6 utility Spirit of Life (or Health?), a daily that grants surgeless HP to any ally adjacent to the spirit that hits an enemy. With a +4 Wis bonus, this can be as much as 12 HP right at that level, which puts it just under a free surge value in HPfor defenders.
Only problem I have, is that it looks like your trying to simplify a complicated processes. By complicated, I mean you're not taking into account party make up, encounter vs daily healing, item vs power healing, etc.
Then there's also regeneration and Temp HP. Where would you put those into your healing?
Thanks for the head's up, I actually stumbled across that today before jumping on the forums. The only downside is that a HS is needed to power the ritual, but given the imbalance I mentioned it isn't a large issue.
Now the question is whether we can get to a place where our DM will allow us to buy it. Rituals have been underused in our campaign.
That ritual was pretty huge during a playtest last night. I'm sold on its benefits.
Addressing Surgeless Healing, Healing-over-time (HOT), Regeneration, Temp HP, and Self Healing:
Surgeless Healing is covered in the previous statement by pure healing, but there is one particular DM call I would like to bring to light- the Pacifist Healing feat and its relation to “as if” in some healing powers. In some powers, the powers state that the target is healed as if he/she had spent a healing surge. From my experience, some DMs will not allow the extra healing from the feat on “as if” powers because “as if” is technically not spending a surge. If you decide to take the feat, ask your DM on his/her view of this topic. The DM’s answer may affect your power and/or feat selection. Outside of PH,“as if” powers are great for burst healing defenders but not as much for squishy allies, and, conversely, pure healing is great for softer allies and not meat shields. Overall, “as if” healing is worth selecting as pure healing because you get good healing for a wider variety of companions.
Healing-over-time should really only be used if you plan on toughing out a battle for an extended amount of time or for use in early levels. I consider HOT a secondary or situation-specific type of healing. If you plan on being a HOT healer (which seems to be a challenge at the moment), go for broke. Do that and not much else. I would recommend it for a party that tends to not deal much damage or for a party where there are multiple healers, because, with both of those situations, every little bit helps. Regeneration would also fall into this part. If you can focus on building a good regen effect and put it on one of your pin cushions, regen can work wonders. I consider this as another secondary type of healing and should be used if you have more than one healer or expect a lot of OG damage.
Since Temp HP doesn’t stack up, it’s mostly a good idea for emergency situations or pre battle buffs. It is also good in early levels or as an OG damage soaker. As a super healer, if you have nothing better to do, pass out temps like candy. Extra damage soak can always be a good thing. I’ll finish this section thusly: if your party is running into a lot of OG or taking considerable damage every round go for some Temp HP powers.
Self Healing shouldn’t be a problem if you are focused on healing and not damage dealing. If you go down, someone in your party should have a potion of healing to revive you (preferably a striker with buku movement or an artilleryman). Remember, your party should always have a redundancy for each key role, even if it is only temporary until the real deal can get back in the game.
The game is about party cohesion and synergy... and thwarting the DM, so select the powers, feats, and abilities that suit your comrades the best.
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