Professions: The Healer
The Healer's Profession by Anna Fairweather; edited by Raphael the scribe

Introduction

This essay is based upon the original healers essay written by Clarence in 1999. It has been rewritten to take into account the many game changes that we have seen in the past two years.

The essay covers how to train and use the essential healer skills plus some suggestions on complimentary skills for your healer. I also cover the controversy of healing folk in guild wars, factions, criminals and murderers.

The essay doesn't just explain the game mechanics - a lot of space has been devoted to the art of being a healer and not just a person who heals. If you are able to become a healer in terms of attitude, philosophy and commitment then you will understand why "true" healers are one of the most respected and trusted character types in this game.

Healer Basics

There are three healing abilities that a healer has and they are dependent upon your healing and anatomy skill values. If you have less than 61 in both then you can only heal wounds (recover hit points). If you have between 61 and 81 in both then you are able to cure poison as well as heal wounds. If you have at least 81 in both then you can resurrect the dead, cure poison and heal wounds.

The higher your skills in both healing and anatomy, the greater chance of success you have at effectively healing, curing or resurrecting your patient. Even a grandmaster in healing and anatomy fails to cure poison or resurrect from time to time.

All healing abilities are triggered by using a bandage on the desired target. The target must be either your own character or another character (player / NPC / monster) that remains next to your own character (within one tile) for the duration of the time spent applying the bandage (meaning the moment you start healing and the moment you finish applying the bandages).

Time to heal in seconds based on target
  Self Other **
Heal Wounds 10 - 15 * 3 - 5 *
Cure Poison 10 - 15 * 3 - 5 *
Resurrect -- 8 - 10 *
* The actual time it takes to heal, cure or ressurect depends on your dexterity. The higher your dexterity, the faster you will be. The given range shows the duration with minimum (DEX = 10) and maximum speed (DEX = 100).
** These creatures can be healed using the Healing skill: Trolls, Cyclops, Ophidians, Ogres, Ettins, Orcs, Harpies, Headless, Lizardmen, Ratmen, and Humans (including player characters).

If you are trying to use any healing ability and you are attacked by a spell, missile or melee attack then you are likely not able to apply the bandage as well as you would have had without the attack. You may receive a “your fingers slip” message – the more of these you receive, the less successful your healing attempt will be (as you really need to concentrate to heal wounds). Healers with high dexterity and high healing will suffer from slipped fingers less than a novice healer with low dexterity. Note: The exact way how dexterity and healing interact has not been released to players and so I can not give any precise information about it here.

When healing, you soon appreciate the value of a bandage. There are two ways to supply yourself with bandages – the expensive way and the cheap way!

Getting bandages the expensive way


Go to a tailor shop

Make sure you have some gold with you

Buy a bolt of cloth (costs 100 gold coins)

Use your scissors on the bolt of cloth

You get "cut cloth"

Use your scissors on the cut cloth

You get 50 clean bandages from one bolt of cloth

Getting bandages the cheap way

Bandages from wool
Find a nice fluffy sheep
Use a blade on the sheep to cut off its wool
Collect more wool as you travel the lands
Use wool on a spinning wheel
You get one ball of yarn for each pile of wool
Use balls of yarn on a loom
You get a bolt of cloth for each 5 balls of yarn
Use your scissors on the bolt of cloth
You get "cut cloth"
Use your scissors on the cut cloth
You get 50 clean bandages from one bolt of cloth

Sheep are quite common in the land and come in two forms. Fluffy ones can be shorn for their wool and they then loose their fluffy look . Collecting wool not only means that you get a steady supply of bandages for nothing. It also means that you get out into the fresh air and meet other folk. Tamers and bards are very common where sheep can be found – why not team up with them for a while and get some healing training done at the same time?

The easiest way to get wool from sheep is to go to the Yew sheep pastures. Each pasture has between 15 to 20 sheep. And if you're not a member of the local animal protection association, you can as well kill the sheep and wait for new ones to spawn. The new ones will come as the fluffy type, with wool still attached to them. Just remember to first cut the wool of the sheep, then kill it, not vice versa.

Yew sheep pastures

Bandages from cotton
Find some cotton plants Harvest the cotton (double click a cotton plant). Collect more cotton as you travel the lands Use cotton on a spinning wheel You get one spool of thread for each bit of cotton Use the thread on a loom
You get a bolt of cloth for each 10 spools of thread Use your scissors on the bolt of cloth You get "cut cloth" Use your scissors on the cut cloth You get 50 clean bandages from one bolt of bloth

Cotton fields are not as common as sheep in the land and vary in their location from shard to shard. However, there does appear to be at least one site that is common to all shards – the south fields of Moonglow.

Moonglow Cotton Fields

Picking cotton in the Moonglow Cotton Fields and then using the handy spinning wheels and looms found in nearby player homes is by far the most convenient way to get a large supply of cloth - if you spend a couple of hours there then you can get over a thousand bandages with ease. If you are short of gold then do not cut the cloth – there is a ready market for bolts of cloth and NPC tailors will pay around 60 gold for each – in an hour you should be able to get enough cloth to raise around 3,000 gold.

While cotton is easier to collect than wool, it also has its drawbacks: Neither the cotton itself nor the spools of thread stack, as both, wool and balls of yarn do. This means a huge mess in your backpack, and you can't use a "Last Object - Last Target" macro while spinning and weaving them. Finally, you need to spin six times as often and weave two times as often as you have to with wool.

Limitations to Healing

There was a time when a healer could heal any player with the only drawback being flagged as a criminal when you healed a criminal (including a murderer). This allowed healers to heal those involved in things such as guild wars – much to the annoyance of some folk. Why would people be upset that a healer heals folk you ask? Well the reason is due to the fact that these healers (known as “blue healers”) took sides in a guild war and the other side could not attack them as they would suffer being flagged as a criminal and be liable to a murder count. People often made use of these so-called blue healers to get an unfair advantage in their guild wars – which also gave the true healers a bad name.

The way that healers can interact with players was changed when the land of Trammel was created. The two lands carried very different healing rules – known as beneficial acts. With the recent discovery of the land if Ilshenar these healing rules were changed yet again. Who you can heal and where (and the consequences of such healing) is vital knowledge for any healer.

Healing Scenarios: Limitations and Consequences
Healing Scenario Location is Felucca Location is Trammel/Ilshenar Consequence of Healing
You attempt to heal, cure or resurrect a criminal (grey or red) in a guard zone. Action is possible – subject to the faction rules (see below) Action is possible – provided that the person being healed is not in a guild war (see below) You are flagged as a criminal and almost guaranteed to be killed by the guards – healing criminals in a guard zone is not recommended.
You attempt to heal, cure or resurrect a criminal (grey or red) outside of a guard zone. Action is possible – subject to the faction rules (see below) Action is possible – provided that the person being healed is not in a guild war (see below) You are flagged as a criminal. If you are in Felucca then you are highly likely to be killed by others for your act of mercy. Until the criminal flag goes (two minutes) you are advised to remain hidden.
You are in a faction and wish to heal a member of the same faction. Action is possible Action is possible None, unless the person being healed was a criminal (see above).
Your are in a faction and wish to heal a member of another faction. Action is not possible Action is possible You are flagged as a criminal to fellow faction members.
You are not in a faction and wish to heal a person in a faction. Action is not possible Action is possible - providing that the person being healed is not in a guild war (see below) None, unless the person being healed was a criminal (see above).
You are not in a guild war and wish to heal a person who is in a guild war. Action is possible Action is not possible None, unless the person being healed was a criminal (see above).
You are in a guild war and wish to heal a fellow guild member. Action is possible Action is possible None, unless the person being healed was a criminal (see above).
You are in a guild war and wish to heal a member of a guild you are at war with. Action is possible Action is not possible You are flagged as a criminal to other members of the guild war for two minutes. If the person being healed was a criminal then you will be flagged as a criminal to all people.
You wish to heal a monster that is not tame. Action is possible Action is not possible This is a criminal action and you will be flagged as a criminal for two minutes.
You wish to heal a monster that has been tamed. Action is possible, unless the owner of the monster is a member of a faction, and you are not in the same faction (requires Veterinare/Animal Lore) Action is not possible, unless the owner of the monster is a member of a guild that is at war (requires Veterinare/Animal Lore) None.
You wish to heal a person that is not in a guild war, he/she is not in a faction, not a criminal or murderer and you are none of these as well. Action is possible Action is possible None.

Creating a healer from scratch

If you wish to start a healer from scratch, then you need to use the "advanced" option on the character creation screen. A word of warning here: If you are still new to Ultima Online and still a "Young" player, then using the advanced option to create a character is not recommended as you will not get any of the new player quests for that particular character.

Using the advanced option allows you to select two or three skills and distribute 100 skill points amongst them. I’d suggest that you allocate 50 skill points to Healing, 49 skill points to Anatomy and one skill point to a skill that gives you a "newbie" item that you want. Newbie items are items that remain with you when you die – I like going for hiding myself as it is not only a useful skill but also gives you a cloak. Other options are Musicianship to get a newbie instrument for Provocation or Peacemaking or Magery for a spellbook with a few spells and a wizard's hat.

You might want to consider spending your skill points on other skills that are hard to train even in the lower levels or require a lot of ressources to train, such as Magery, Hiding or whatever. The reason is that getting from 0 to 50 skill points is rather easy in both skills, Healing and Anatomy, and it gives your stat points a boost.

If you want to have combat skills on your healer, training Healing from scratch is the way to go, as it will increase your strength. And for a mage, you should do Anatomy from 0 on, as it will boost your intelligence. However, put at least 1 skill point in Healing as this will give your char a pair of newbie scissors, which you will need often.

An ideal place to start is in Britain itself as it has some cliffs in the city that you can use to train your skills on (see below). It is also the largest and most populous city in the land.

If you are determined to become a healer then I would strongly suggest that you seek out a guild for healers on the shard you're playing on. They are a good source of help when it comes to training your skills and philosophy. Details on the known healer guilds are below.

Training Healing and Anatomy

As with any training, serious effort should be spent on your skills in the first hour online for each character. During this "power hour" you have a greatly increased chance of gains from using your skills as you will gain from fails as well.

Training Anatomy can be done two ways – directly and indirectly. The direct method is as simple as setting up a "Use Skill – Anatomy" macro and then targeting people as you walk around town. You must target different people though in order to maximize your gains. The indirect method will give you Anatomy gains when you use other skills that also use Anatomy – like Healing and combat related skills. Whether you opt for the direct or indirect method is really up to you. It is possible however to attain GM Anatomy without ever having to resort to combat.

When talking about healing training below, it is assumed that you have an anatomy score at least equal to that of your healing score.

Training healing can be done only one way – actually healing the wounds of the injured (this includes curing poisons and resurrecting the dead). If your healing skill is below 50 then it is better for you to spend your intensive training sessions with a friend at one of the cliffs in a guard zone (there are cliffs in the towns of Delucia and Britain).

Cliffs in Britain

Cliffs in Delucia

Get your willing friend to throw him/herself off the cliffs a few times – don’t worry they can’t die from this. Get them to jump once and then heal, then twice before you heal – carry on until you get the message “you apply the bandages but they barely help”. This message means that the amount of damage inflicted is right at the limit of your healing skills – healing that much damage each time will increase the chances of skill gains. You can also throw yourself off the cliff and heal yourself if you are unable to find a training partner – but it will take a bit longer.

Once you get to the mid 50’s in healing, you should consider going out with a few warriors and heal them as they engage in combat. Unless you have trained in combat as well make sure you stay away from the fighting. The best thing that a disciplined fighting group can do is to form a protective wall around their healers: The warriors engage in hand to hand combat, and the healers keep them alive.

At the mid 50’s you can also think about starting to train on curing poison – though many skip this these days as you can continue to train simply by healing wounds. If you do wish to train on poison then you will really need a willing partner. Get them to lock their Taste ID skill at 0 and then use the Taste ID skill on a bit of bread that has been poisoned (they must not eat the bread). After two or three attempts you will find that they become poisoned and you can start to cure them. They can continue to use taste ID on the poisoned bread for ever – it is never used up. You can also try to cure poison by getting a friend to drink poison potions – useful if you are also learning Alchemy as someone is using up all those potions! Get them to start on the lesser poison first, and as your skill progresses move onto poison and eventually greater poison once you get up to lower 70’s.

When you reach around 76 in Healing, then you should start training on ghosts for maximum gains. The best way to do this is to find a group of healers who have a boat and a ghost. Sailing the seas training resurrection on a ghost may seem like a strange thing to do but it is the best way to work within the rules of the game and maximize the ability for your character to become the great healer that you want to be. Some folk may talk of sailing in a certain pattern or direction – personally I just sail around and make sure that the folk on board have a good time. If you start doing this when you hit 76 in Healing then you should be able to resurrect after two or thee one hour long boat sessions (during your characters "power hour").

Getting to Grandmaster in Healing and Anatomy is just a matter of time and patience - it's as simple as that. Continue with the boat training, but also make sure that every waking hour in the game your healer uses these skills that you have so carefully trained in. Go to places where people engage in combat and heal them. If there are scenario events going on, then go to those places and offer your services to those that fall to the monsters blows. Above all remember that training Healing and Anatomy is but a small part in the complete training to become a healer.

Complimentary skills

Healers need not be pacifists – in fact, a great deal of them are highly skilled warriors. In the old days you had to be a dab hand at self defence just to get to the bank. Things are different now, yet there are many folk who follow the path of the fantasy type cleric. Mace skills are the most common for a cleric – actually having combat skills and training them will greatly increase your healing and anatomy skills.

If you live in Felucca, then team up with a trusted friend and engage in some hand to hand combat on each other. Make sure you heal each other in order to get the most from the training. Be careful though as one of you will be flagged as a criminal for this. If you are in Trammel then the only way you can train combat as well as healing is to be in the same guild as them. The only other way to train any combat skills in Trammel is on monsters or animals.

Other skills that many healers learn are Magery, Alchemy, Spirit Speak and Tailoring. There are extensive notes on all of these but Spirit Speak – a little known skill that almost died out a year ago. The skill gives you the ability to understand what all those "OOoo’s" spoken by a ghost are without having to make them a party member. Many of you will wonder why folk train a skill which does not offer them any great game advantage – dedicated healers will know the answer to this.

The philosophy of a healer

So just what is a healer? Are they a person that has the ability to cure the sick and injured. Can they resurrect the dead? The answer is "yes and no". A healer is more than a person who heals. A healer is a person that goes out of their way to heal and help those in need. They go to places of great danger in order to take their skills to the masses without thinking of the personal danger to themselves. They treat all people in the same way – even those who have strayed from the law abiding path. A modern analogy to a healer would be a cross between the most skilled surgeon/doctor and a Tibetan lama.

A healer embraces the virtues of compassion, sacrifice, humility and honesty…

  • Compassion is the ability to be sympathetic to the feelings and sufferings of others. To share their pain, and, to do what thou can to ease their misery. Show compassion in all thy dealings, lest thy heart grow hard and cold.
  • Sacrifice is to love thy fellow creatures enough, that thou art bravely able to give off thyself. To give without thought of reward or gain. To sacrifice that which thou dost need to aid those that are in need. Delve deep into thy heart and soul that thou may find true generosity of spirit.
  • True humility is the opposite of pride, without humility the path of the Avatar will be a rocky one. For, if thy spirit is filled with pride then how cans't thou learn? Thus shed thy pride, that thou may humbly follow the virtues of the Avatar.
  • Thou shalt not steal or lie, but more than this, seek the truth in all things. Strive to be honest in all thy actions. Look deep into thyself for, only by knowing thyself can thou know truth.

Shard healer guilds

Shard Guild Name Web URL Contact Details

Atlantic
Anthrax Healers Guild [AHG]

Healers of Britania [MD]

Nitemare Healers Society [NHS]

Nomadic Healers [NMD]

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-

-

-

-

-

-

-


Pacific
Evil Healers [E^H]

Healers of Britannia [HLR]

Healers of Wounds [1o1]

World Health Organization [WHO]

-

Web site

-

-

-

Madeleine

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-


Great Lakes
Healer To All [HTA]

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-


Lake Superior
Healers of the Lost Land [HLL]

Wandering Healers Faction [WhF]

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-

-

-


Baja
Bards & Healers [B&H]

Friendship of road healers [R-C]

Healing Hands [^o^]

The Healers Guild [)H(]

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-

-

-

-

-

-

-


Chesapeake
Church Of The Healing Hand [CHH]

Healers of Chesapeake [HLR]

-

Web site

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Guildmaster Clarence


Napa Valley
Healers Of Truth [H0T]

Healers of Virtue [HoV]

-

-

-

-


Catskills
Betty The Guild Master Healer [*B*]

Britannia Healer Society [BHS]

Healers of Sosaria [HoS]

-

-

-

-

-

-


Sonoma
Healers Guild of Sosaria [+]

Web site

[email protected]


Yamato
Healers [(+)]

Sisterhood of Healers [SoH]

Trammel Healer's Guild [THG]

-

-

-

-

-

-


Asuka
Wandering Healer Organization [WHO]

White Healer Angels [Wha]

World Wide Wandering Healers [W3H]

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-

-

-

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Wakoku
Heal The World [*]

I'm Healer [!!]

Nora healer [RES]

SilverHand Healers Guild [SHH]

TravelersHealingSociety [THS]

Wakoku Healer Organization [WHO]

-

Web site

-

Web site

Web site

-

-

[email protected]

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ICQ: 12666228

[email protected]

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Europa
Dark Healers Of Europa [Mo0]

Healers de Brittania [HoB]

Healers of Europa [HLR]

PK Healers [PkH]

Quebec Grandmaster Healer GM [none]

-

-

Web site

-

-

-

-

[email protected]

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-


Drachenfels
Healers of Britannia [HoB]

The Society of Healer's [H]

-

-

-

-


Hokuto
Healing Academy [RES]

The Healing Hand [=1=]

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-

-

-


Oceania
No guilds known on this shard    

Izumo
Guild of Healers [GH]

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-


Siege Perilous
No guilds known on this shard    

Arirang
No guilds known on this shard    

Formosa
No guilds known on this shard    

Balhae
No guilds known on this shard    

Mizuho
No guilds known on this shard    

AOL Legends
No guilds known on this shard    

Conclusion

This should get you started, and well on your way. Welcome to the healing arts! The world can always use more of us...

- Anna Fairweather