In AOE3de, healing units for the most part has now become a overly convoluted and clunky process which has lead it to be ignored by most competitive players. I think there needs to be a rework of this mechanic to make it a more plausible option in a real game scenario.
I think that all civs should have the ability to build a limited number of “field hospital” type building directly from their standard healer, priest, iman, missionary, priestess, abun or griot, rather than having to waste a shipment card on sending surgeons or a surgeon tech from the HC. Alternatively, have it at least as an a standard church upgrade tech to allow the training of surgeons (maybe in Age 3). This would mean when your troops are momentarily standing idle they can collectively be healed before their next deployment.
Priests and church have been made cheaper and the church has added functionality of xp trickle now, so obtaining priests isn’t so much an investment as it used to be. I think the lack of use in competitive play is more because players aren’t used to utilizing them and too often overlook their usefulness. AoE3 today seems more about late stage macro and less about early game micro where healers would potentially play a bigger role as well.
There are a few glaring outliers where obtaining healing units is very costly, however. Most native civs, which arguably would get the most benefit from healing units, require a ridiculous amount of ville seconds to produce. 1 healer, for Lakota, costs a whopping 539 ville seconds. Japan also must pay a significant cost to gain ability to heal their units, 225 wood for church and 200 wood 100 coin for the upgrade.
Part of the issue is that healers are very inconsistent and not user friendly. Only some of them are selected with the military gather command (Griots, Abuns, and Warrior Priests aren’t), and only some of them actually function as they should when you command them using attack move (Griots use their stun, but some just start punching instead of healing).
Some of the new healers like Abuns and Griots actually are really good so what they need to do is just buff the rest to make them usable. Surgeons should be able to heal in battle at least as well as Abuns can. The rest of the healers could be given area of effect healing to that they can more effectively heal. Another option could be to let normal healers could continue healing a unit that enters battle, as long as they started healing it while it is at rest (at least for a short duration).
I think surgeons should cost 150c. They are about 50% better than a priest but currently cost 125% more. USA has access to them by default but I think it almost seems like a penalty because of the high cost.
i mean, us aoe3 players just generally kinda forget healing exists. even aztecs literal global heal rately gets used and i guarantee healing a large army is worth more res than a few xp or skull knights ever could be.
I think ottoman are the vanilla civ most inclined to use healers, they have a lot of super high value high quality units and very slim eco early. In my days of playing otto casually i would train an imam or 2 almost every single game to heal up spahi, mams, falcs, manchu, and easily have them pay for themselves. it’s even better now that imam have received so many buffs.
I’ve recently discovered griots but they’re so busy doing like 5 different roles simultaneously so its hit and miss. nothing hausa has besides mercs and magadi are terribly high value initially thoug, but griots are great for lots of other reasons so its worth training them and looking at healing as a side benefit. Even just grabbing early Mission Fervor and using them as tanks isn’t a bad idea.
My personal japan build order gets a church early so I’m used to having access to priests there, but japan just has so much bottomless eco midgame that it doesn’t ever feel worth training them when you can replace units easily. Japan mercs also arent even super high values until you get like, ronin, which basically either win fights hard or die so never get healed anyway.
I feel the same with brits and dutch as I do with japan
Germany probably could learn to use monks, uhlan raids often leave a lot of half hp uhlans, and they’re free(ish) so probably a good way to leverage more civ bonus value. Germany uses mercs more too.
It makes no sense to me why the USA has Surgeons replacing Priests. Surgeons being available by default makes sense, they did make big advances during their civil war. But that doesn’t necessitate having no religious healer in the church. The country was founded by religious fundamentalists and experienced huge religious developments in the great awakening. They really ought to have some kind of “Preacher” unit in order for the faction to be at all accurate.
Religious buildings (and Monasteries, Community Plazas, Universities, etc) could also have healing abilities in addition to trickle XP, like a sacred field or Athos Monastery. It is much simpler than adding a field hospital-like building to all civs.
As for saying about the Priests, “slow-healing, inconvenient, and non-combat” healers don’t get along in fast-paced modern RTS, especially in PVP settings. To increase the usage of healer units, at least one of three should be changed.
I think some small buffs can make healers more usable:
-Remove the population cost of healers and add a build limit, like the Spanish Missionaries.
-“Master Surgeons” card ALSO ships 1 Surgeon, improves the healing speed of all healers, and allows healers to heal in combat.
-Allow healers to be garrisoned in churches and other temples. This allows temples to heal units around them (Like the British “Florence Nightingale” card).
I can’t remember, does the “Florence Nightingale” HC card give manor to heal with an area of effect or only single units at a time ?
British should probably have the “Master Surgeon” card anyways as it feels weird their in-ability to train surgeons, whilst they’re available from the British consulate for Indians and Chinese. Maybe to balance this card with the Florence Nightingale card by making it an Age 3 card and let it deliver 5 surgeons (with 0 pop) and allow the training of surgeons in the church and maybe deliver a couple surgeons to all your allies. By doing this you’ll give the British an early game 1v1 option and a long game treaty option.
Maybe make the old “Medicine Man” the surgeon for Native American civs. And let them build “healing camps” or something.
It’s so weird to me because in other games Healers are just a natural part of armies. I kinda feel like here the issue we have and hasn’t been properly adressed is that they are both too slow and too clunky.
Before the Ethiopian Abun healers couldn’t even help units in combat, and I believe that’s what led them to be considered useless even through all the other buffs they’ve had which has led to funny situations like Aiz discovering Priests are absurdly strong if you use them as meatshields rather than their intended purpose lmao.
I love healing units, you pay to get much more in terms of units saved and fights won because I don’t have to replace units and I have more mass and my opponent can’t micro my wounded units because I don’t have any at the start of the fight . The coolest thing besides the Ethiopian healer that I can’t remember the name you can use the Mexican Padre and keep him behind to heal the units especially in a skirmish fight and use his ability to ring the bell to ensure that during the fight you will hardly lose units because as soon as they are injured they will heal themselves for 15 seconds if I’m not mistaken. China with its marvel a must too useful if you know when to use it. Usually with France or Germans I often use some priests to heal the horses coming out of raid fight or simply hit by tc or rook and saved by micro.
We have everything we already need, needless to put anything else