This is meant to focus on a narrow idea spawned in the Super Healers Away!
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.
: 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:
--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-dayBonus Healing:
--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:
--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.