Master game designer Raph Koster ponders the thinness of the role of the healer in massively multiplayer roleplaying games, and noodles around with ideas for a healer-centric game:
Picture an MMORPG just like the ones today, but everywhere you see combat, replace it with healing. A six-man encounter would be a surgical operation that required teamwork. Soloing would be a brilliant doctor doing drive-by diagnostics. Raids would be massive experimental treatments.
Rather than spawning mobs, spawn ill people. Instead of weapons, have medicines. Instead of managing aggro, manage fever. Instead of armors, we have disinfectants.
Quests would include tasks to find and gather new plants for pharmaceuticals, and bespoke missions to fix the sanitation in a remote village. Puzzles might involve finding the standing water where the mosquitoes are breeding.
Interesting ideas. Reminds me of the way that Cheq’s Quest changed the whole violent mechanism of Doom, back in the day. I’ve long bemoaned the lack of fun cooperative games that I could play happily with my partner. It can’t be a cooperation to kill something, or she won’t play. It can’t be treadmill, or I’ll be bored.