Healing in regards to Pathfinder Online


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

Good afternoon,

This might have been already discussed, if so I apologize! I'd like to know the viewpoint of Goblinworks on how healing will work in Pathfinder Online. Will all characters have some type of heal or the potential to get a heal spell/ability if desired? Or will it be more akin to a World of Warcraft type setup that allows only healing classes to have healing spells and abilities?

In Ultima Online for example, a grandmaster (maxed out skill level) mage had access to heal spells, or they could even train the healing skill to be able to bandage themselves. Will Wizards in Pathfinder be able to heal themselves or allies or both? Or will those types of spells be only found on Clerics, etc?

Also, does Goblinworks plan on including ranged heals? If so, on what classes?

Thanks in advance!

Goblin Squad Member

Some of this was discussed in the Q&A video from the last blog. (Most?) heals will be touch-based, so you'll have to be close to whomever you're healing. You'll be able to train and slot healing abilities, but you might lose a Dedication bonus if you don't slot just Cleric abilities.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

There was some talk of it in the latest vlog.

In general, ranged heals will be AoE heals as per tabletop rules (where Cure X Wounds is a touch range spell, but Mass Cure X Wounds has a small area).

And the lack of a strict class system means that any character will be able to acquire healing; it's just that the characters with the lowest opportunity cost to do so will be 'clerics', who will probably also tend to wield maces and wear medium armor, and be able to handle attacks better than the 'mages' but not as well as the 'fighters'.

Goblin Squad Member

What are the plans to prevent a "perfect" setup? Where everyone seems to be specialized the same way? Or is this a concern?

Also, will wizards who specialize in only wizard skill lines have access to any types of healing? Perhaps a self heal?

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Typically arcane casters get very limited access to healing. Bards get healing, but dedicated wizards do not. Healing is mostly a Divine ability.

Goblin Squad Member

Damage is being divided into HP and Injury Points. HP is a temporary fight-to-fight measure that decides whether you are up or down. Most characters will have slow recovery over time of this, and will typically have ways to more quickly restore this measure out of combat.

IP are the longer-term wounds, often caused by critical hits. When IP surpasses various thresholds (currently playing around with that threshold being HP) you begin taking penalties to everything you do. This is the realm where divine magic, "extended rests", and potentially consumables will come into play.

Short jaunts without a character with healing magic should go just fine. But you'll probably want to take one along if you are going out on an extended campaign.

Goblin Squad Member

Also, define perfect setup? If the game is built right, the concept of "Perfect Setup" will vary from role to role. I would hope to see a system where Spellcasting is strong against large groups and where melee is the best way to approach singular foes - not by nature of spellcasting being weaker but through it being a waste of resources for no major gain.

GW isn't worried about trying to balance out role options, at least not yet. But if the design is any good, there should be inherent weaknesses with pretty much any setup. Heavy armor isn't as good for dodging and resisting spells, for example. Fast and light weapons should be able to shred opponents with low armor, but but you'll need slower heavy hitters to nail that guy in full plate. Though that same huge blade might be easy for that unencumbered fellow over there to dance around and avoid because it is slower to swing and more predictable.

Goblin Squad Member

Lifedragn wrote:
Also, define perfect setup? If the game is built right, the concept of "Perfect Setup" will vary from role to role.

I would add that "perfect setups" are really only possible in a heavily constrained system. It's easy to figure out the perfect setup for a particular Raid Boss. It's possible to get a near-perfect setup in a game like WoW where there are known "best-in-slot" items, and static Talent Trees that only have a limited number of points. I don't think it'll be a problem in PFO because there is simply too much variety and too many options and each instance of PvP is going to be significantly different from any other.

Goblin Squad Member

Lifedragn wrote:

Also, define perfect setup? If the game is built right, the concept of "Perfect Setup" will vary from role to role. I would hope to see a system where Spellcasting is strong against large groups and where melee is the best way to approach singular foes - not by nature of spellcasting being weaker but through it being a waste of resources for no major gain.

GW isn't worried about trying to balance out role options, at least not yet. But if the design is any good, there should be inherent weaknesses with pretty much any setup. Heavy armor isn't as good for dodging and resisting spells, for example. Fast and light weapons should be able to shred opponents with low armor, but but you'll need slower heavy hitters to nail that guy in full plate. Though that same huge blade might be easy for that unencumbered fellow over there to dance around and avoid because it is slower to swing and more predictable.

In Ultima Online, for example, most characters who participated in PvP who were mages were maxed out in the same 7 skills. These 7 skills were the norm in the PvP world and if one strayed from this they were looked upon as gimp. The setup was deemed "tank mage" and if you wanted to participate in PvP you were told to specialize in this way.

Goblinworks Game Designer

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We don't want people to try to build dedicated healers. The guy that stands in the back babysitting bars isn't a party position we expect to be viable. This is partially due to thinking the trinity is a bad idea in most MMOs, and partially that it's particularly bad for our game (where PvP opponents are never going to keep beating on a tank being healed through instead of just taking out the healer first). We want healing to be useful without people feeling like they can't take a group out without a healer.

So all heals are limited in one or more ways. Virtually all cost power and have end of combat cooldowns, so you'll only get a few per fight and per day. Those very few that can be used more frequently still have at least a round cooldown and heal for a small amount.

As others have noted, most heals are currently set up to model touch effects, so have the same range as melee attacks. Those that aren't are generally point blank AoE heals. We haven't ruled out the possibility of single target ranged heals, but since the existing ones both model tabletop and work toward our goal of not having a healer that just sits in the back and heals, we'd take a lot of convincing to put them in.

Divine casters get the biggest variety of heals. Most everyone else can get some form of self heal (but generally very few with more limited options for use even than cleric heals), but usually not a target heal. Plus there are healing potions. We may start looking into "bandage" consumables to heal others once we have the core consumables done.

Right now, heals are for a fixed number of HP, but we're planning to change most heals to be a small fixed number + a percentage of the target's max HP so they scale better. I don't know if that functionality will be in for Alpha or not, though, which is why I mention it for the record :) .

Goblin Squad Member

Thank you much Stephen!

Goblin Squad Member

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Stephen Cheney wrote:
So all heals are limited in one or more ways. Virtually all cost power and have end of combat cooldowns, so you'll only get a few per fight and per day. Those very few that can be used more frequently still have at least a round cooldown and heal for a small amount.

This is music to my ears, and something I've been advocating for a long time.

Goblin Squad Member

I wouldn't be surprised if Wizard (and most other characters) learn some healing skills, and have them slotted for combat. The downside is potentially losing the dedication bonus and giving up a slot.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Ravening wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised if Wizard (and most other characters) learn some healing skills, and have them slotted for combat. The downside is potentially losing the dedication bonus and giving up a slot.

I would be surprised if they slotted them for combat if they're in a group.

Goblin Squad Member

Yep, I already have a strong bias to pursue the Wizard Dedication Bonus, and I don't even know what it does.

Goblin Squad Member

Stephen Cheney wrote:

We don't want people to try to build dedicated healers. The guy that stands in the back babysitting bars isn't a party position we expect to be viable. This is partially due to thinking the trinity is a bad idea in most MMOs, and partially that it's particularly bad for our game (where PvP opponents are never going to keep beating on a tank being healed through instead of just taking out the healer first). We want healing to be useful without people feeling like they can't take a group out without a healer.

So all heals are limited in one or more ways. Virtually all cost power and have end of combat cooldowns, so you'll only get a few per fight and per day. Those very few that can be used more frequently still have at least a round cooldown and heal for a small amount.

As others have noted, most heals are currently set up to model touch effects, so have the same range as melee attacks. Those that aren't are generally point blank AoE heals. We haven't ruled out the possibility of single target ranged heals, but since the existing ones both model tabletop and work toward our goal of not having a healer that just sits in the back and heals, we'd take a lot of convincing to put them in.

Divine casters get the biggest variety of heals. Most everyone else can get some form of self heal (but generally very few with more limited options for use even than cleric heals), but usually not a target heal. Plus there are healing potions. We may start looking into "bandage" consumables to heal others once we have the core consumables done.

Right now, heals are for a fixed number of HP, but we're planning to change most heals to be a small fixed number + a percentage of the target's max HP so they scale better. I don't know if that functionality will be in for Alpha or not, though, which is why I mention it for the record :) .

Thank you for the quick reply. I find your response both interesting and perplexing at the same time. Without a class able to cast continuous heals, will there be any way for a group of smaller players to sustain fighting, let's say, a zerg of enemies? If so, how?

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

I don't think a zerg of enemies that can't be overcome by formations will be common.

Goblin Squad Member

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Tactics and combined arms.

and/or running like a bat outa hell

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

As the Brother implies, if you're faced with overwhelming odds, you don't necessarily want to stick around.

Goblin Squad Member

Drakhan Valane wrote:
As the Brother implies, if you're faced with overwhelming odds, you don't necessarily want to stick around.

Depends on the person, I'd like to try and fight unless the odds are impossible. However, without a dependable healer it seems like it will be tough to take on anything but an even fight.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

A desire to fight doesn't make it a good idea. That dedicated healer is the first one to drop putting you right back in the situation of not having a dedicated healer. And again, formations are going to be used to fight large, unorganized mobs.

Goblin Squad Member

Drakhan Valane wrote:
A desire to fight doesn't make it a good idea. That dedicated healer is the first one to drop putting you right back in the situation of not having a dedicated healer. And again, formations are going to be used to fight large, unorganized mobs.

Being that this is a video game one is inclined to make choices even if the odds aren't in your favor. I haven't read up on formations, I'll do that, thank you.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nevy wrote:
Without a class able to cast continuous heals, will there be any way for a group of smaller players to sustain fighting, let's say, a zerg of enemies? If so, how?

Let's not forget that healing works both ways. If you have a dedicated healer on your side, the zerg probably has a few of their own. So the odds of beating them is much worse than if you had limited healing on both sides.

Goblin Squad Member

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Since friendly fire rules apply, won't AoE heals also heal the foe?

Goblin Squad Member

@being

I doubt it. I think AoE heals will be party-company-settlement-faction based. but it would be funny.

Goblin Squad Member

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Well fireballs hit your own I should thing AoE heals would behave similarly. Useful against undead tho.

Goblin Squad Member

hmmm... remind me, how do they work in tabletop. I've never really ever used them somehow...

Goblin Squad Member

I haven't played TT in years and never pathfinder. Othrs here may inform us, but according to the info we have clerics at least will have a few short-range Area of Effect as well as touch-based heals.

Since only Divine-based clerics offer these AoEs I suppose the deity might allow for greater selectivity than arcane evocation.

Goblin Squad Member

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For those who wanted/needed a quick breakdown of AoE ability TT clerics get in Pathfinder...

In TT Pathfinder Clerics get an AoE ability called Channel Positive energy (they also can choose negative energy..). Positive energy heals players and harms undead. (negative energy will harm players and heal undead..)edit* they don't do both at the same time, the character chooses if they are going to heal players with positive or harm undead with positive. during the pathfinder TT beta play test it actually did both at the same time but was changed to only doing the players choice when beta play test was concluded * edit done..

There is a feat in TT that allows a cleric to remove targets from the effects of the AoE called Selective Channel. This feat allows you to remove a number of players from the effect = to your charisma modifier.

I think it is a mistake to think all Clerics are going to be your typical MMO healer type, you are going to get some that focus on inflicting wounds and channeling negative energy..Just still have yet to hear how GW plans on implementing negative energy clerics.

edit* additional notes on channel energy- paladins get a healing ability called lay on hands, but i think at 4th level they can convert to uses of their lay on hands healing into the channel a cleric does.

for those interested in the power curve of the amount of healing this ability in TT heals 1d6 for every 2 levels. So 1 d6 at level 3. This scale also is the scale rogues use to determine sneak attack damage.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Well fireballs hit your own I should thing AoE heals would behave similarly.

Nihimon may know where the reference is, as it's escaping me, but I thought we'd heard that AOE healing was indeed going to be a direct corollary to AOE damage...affects everyone/everything.

Goblin Squad Member

Jazzlvraz wrote:
Being wrote:
Well fireballs hit your own I should thing AoE heals would behave similarly.
Nihimon may know where the reference is, as it's escaping me, but I thought we'd heard that AOE healing was indeed going to be a direct corollary to AOE damage...affects everyone/everything.

I'm not sure. I found this, but I try to avoid reading things too literally when it's not clear the author was actually thinking about the effect I'm interested in.

Hostile (Target you've attacked/Member of Settlement you're at war with/etc.): You cannot buff or heal this target.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

In TT cleric AoE heals from channel effect all targets UNLESS the cleric has a feat called 'selective channel' ... if they do they can exclude a number of targets equal to their charisma modifier.

A mass cure spell is also available, which is a targetable AoE, allowing 1/target per level, none which can be more than 30 feet apart.

Both types can damage undead.

Goblin Squad Member

Interesting. My play-style gravitates toward the support and/or crowd-control/utility roll. So I've been trying to decide which class encompasses those particular traits. I'm going to start doing some research on how the classes are implemented and what the general role attached to them is expected to be. Something tells me I'll end up playing a Bard, Wizard or Cleric... Lol. Indecisive much?

Does anyone know if the main reasoning for wanting a wizard in a party is for DPS? I like being able to control the battle instead of just blowing things up. :)

Goblin Squad Member

TT Control/Buff wizard is quite a powerful ally. Best example is blaster wizard loves fire ball and at 5th level does 5d6 damage. The conltro/buff wizard uses haste and grants all his allies an extra attack for 5 rounds.

On the surface the 5d6 looks impressive, but compared to 4allies getting extra attacks for 5 rounds. The total dps contributed by the control/buff wizard dwarfs the blaster..

Edit spelling. Typing on my phone is hard to do.

Goblin Squad Member

Tuffon wrote:

TT Control/Buff wizard is quite a powerful ally. Best example is blaster wizard loves fire ball and at 5th level does 5d6 damage. The conltro/buff wizard uses haste and grants all his allies an extra attack for 5 rounds.

On the surface the 5d6 looks impressive, but compared to 4allies getting extra attacks for 5 rounds. The total dps contributed by the control/buff wizard dwarfs the blaster..

Edit spelling. Typing on my phone is hard to do.

Interesting, what say you about Bards, Sorcerers and Clerics and their support and/or control role?


Nevy wrote:
Tuffon wrote:

TT Control/Buff wizard is quite a powerful ally. Best example is blaster wizard loves fire ball and at 5th level does 5d6 damage. The conltro/buff wizard uses haste and grants all his allies an extra attack for 5 rounds.

On the surface the 5d6 looks impressive, but compared to 4allies getting extra attacks for 5 rounds. The total dps contributed by the control/buff wizard dwarfs the blaster..

Edit spelling. Typing on my phone is hard to do.

Interesting, what say you about Bards, Sorcerers and Clerics and their support and/or control role?

You have to remember, that PFO is an open class game.

So, if you dont know what to play, or want to play a lot of things, it should fit :p

Goblin Squad Member

Honestly bards to this day still baffle me. TT bards get a fair amount of skills. Their offensive spells are enchantment and charm effects. The one thing they do super well is sing/preform and can provide almost any type of buff a situation needs.

Sorcerers get very limited spells but they also get some pretty good bloodline abilities. Destined draconic elemental abysal etc. Basically the bloodlines give boost to certain aspects.

Clerics do well as they actually wear decent armor. Mant low level spells are buff type but not many offensive options. The domains can help parties with certain abilities ie protection can influence ac.

Fot the most versatile option imo is still wizard. Armor stinks hp are usually lower but they can buff and attack and arent as limited as sorcerers in spells known.

Goblin Squad Member

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Bards are actually pretty strong if you can do it right. There are three types of bards if you are doing it right, melee bards, ranger bards, and controller bards. They are like rogues who have spells instead of trap-finding and heals and more up-front potential instead of sneak attack.

Goblin Squad Member

Nevy wrote:
Does anyone know if the main reasoning for wanting a wizard in a party is for DPS? I like being able to control the battle instead of just blowing things up. :)

In TT, blaster casters tend to help in a fight, while control casters tend to win fights. :)

Goblin Squad Member

I wonder if PO online will also have control-type wizards?

Goblin Squad Member

I don't see why not

Goblin Squad Member

I think "control" will be much less effective in an MMO than it is on the tabletop.

Ryan has said for a long time that "It's highly likely that something like Hold Person will be in the game."

On the other side:

The current plan (which has not been extensively playtested for feel) is that most crowd controls are extremely short duration (2 seconds standard), only on attacks with cooldowns and/or conditional on somewhat complex setups, and use up a significant portion of an attack's "budget" such that it will be much less effective in damage and/or other effects to a non-crowd-control attack. Currently, some of the more powerful expendables are penciled in as having longer crowd controls (up to two rounds at the highest level), but that may be way too long and we're happy to wheel them back if it proves so. Finally, all crowd controls apply stacks of Freedom or Mind Blank, which make it harder and harder to land subsequent crowd control.

So ideally it should take a coordinated team effort or someone blowing Power to lock you down for even a round at a time. Even if that's accomplished, locking you down for multiple rounds will get harder and harder as your stacks of resistance improve.

Goblin Squad Member

I see CC going away from the individual level and heading more towards the formation and war level

Goblin Squad Member

Long duration CC isn't the problem in MMOs, it's the poor way the systems are implemented and the lack of counters and "cures" that exist. Take Dark Age of Camelot for example, it has the longest duration CC spells out of any MMO I've played, yet it was seen as a positive thing due to it's elegant design. Many classes can cure CC, promoting team work. There were also abilities that a player could possess to fee themselves. Most importantly DAoC's UI was organized and user-friendly which made recognizing negative (and) positive effects on one's character quite easy. Short duration CC, like SWTOR scares me because if always turns into players constantly casting the same spell over and over. But, I'm sure Goblinworks will prove me wrong.

Goblin Squad Member

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The problem I see with CC, Nevy, is that if there are stuns, dazes etc, then each character HAS to take a stun/daze removal and an character (cleric?) usually takes group stun/daze removals. Great ideas in theory, but it just becomes a matter of everyone has to have one or be seen as subpar.

I like the system that was discussed previously, where CCs such as stun, hold person etc, removed stamina from the target for a period of time which allowed them to undertake less actions while the spell was in effect.

In this way, a CC is powerful if used against the right enemy character, but not so powerful that everyone has to take a stun removal.

Goblin Squad Member

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Jiminy wrote:
... then each character HAS to take a stun/daze removal...

I think that's a really good point, and it sounds like something Lee or Stephen might say.

Goblin Squad Member

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TT control is not only about crowd control. It is more battle field control
Haste your allies Slow your enemies. Use wall spells (fire, force, ice, wind) to protect your group and force the bad guys to where you want them.

Once you can funnel them you can hit with ae spells or have your allies burn them down. Not sure if pfo will have wall of force and the others but control doesnt have to mean stun lock.

Goblin Squad Member

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Stephen Cheney wrote:
We may start looking into "bandage" consumables to heal others once we have the core consumables done.

Nice. Advocated for this quite a while back, so that you could have something more like a physician or field medic than a deity centered cleric and still be helpful in patching people up.

Goblin Squad Member

Understanding how utility, crowd control, healing and DPS will be implemented in Pathfinder Online is something I really look forward to as I tend to play the more complex, not-so-obvious role. There are so many games I use to compare PO with (in order to deduce the ebb and flow of Pathfinder Online) which perhaps may be my undoing. I just can't help but wonder to myself will characters in Pathfinder Online be more independent (IE Ultima Online) or more dependent (IE Dark Age of Camelot)? If it is the latter, which is what I've often read is the goal, my mind is flowing with questions on how a group of dependent adventurers in Golarion can survive without having a dedicated healer to depend on.

For example, in Ultima Online, there were no "dedicated healers." In fact, in UO, a dedicated healer was not optimal in combat (which is very similar to what Stephen Cheney said about pure healers not being optimal in PO). However, in Ultima Online you could gain healing abilities by either 1) dedicating yourself to being highly skilled in the "magery" skill (which had a few heal and cure spells) and/or being skillful in the "healing" skill (which was how you bandaged yourself and/or others). Let me get to my point, in Ultima Online you were expected, by the norm, to play either a tank (melee skills, the "healing skill") or a tank/mage ("magery" skills and melee skills). Both of these setups were greatly independent (they could solo alone) and dependent (in a group PvP fight, they depended on their allies to heal and/or resurrect) them.

Stephen, is your plan for Pathfinder Online characters to be independent, dependent, or both? I plan to play alongside my father with him gravitating towards the fighter role and myself the wizard. Will I be able to toss him a heal or two if needed (and not be a total gimp wizard because I dabbled in a cleric ability, those losing my dedication) and will he be able to heal or support me if a pesky bandit appears out of the shadows to slaughter me? If so, how? Would he have to specialize in cleric abilities? And, if that is the case, wouldn't all players "feel the need" dabble in, at least some, cleric abilities in order to be useful to their allies?

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