On Comparing Healers in Video Games

A while back, a long while back, I wrote a handful of articles pitting various healer characters against each other in a weird healing and fighting sort of thing. It’s pretty fun taking characters from different games and throwing them at each other in a hypothetical fight. No one will ever know the true winner until every character in existence appears in Smash Bros or something, but you can make some interesting comparisons. Determining a winner though is much more easily done with characters that do a lot of damage. For example, comparing Widowmaker from Overwatch with the TFC Sniper shows some interesting results, mostly based on who sees who first.

Comparing healing classes on the other hand is a little bit trickier. As shown in the “Battle of Healers” series I did a while back (in which I compared the TF2 Medic to people like LoL’s Sona and a weird alien thing), it’s not as easy, since 1. these beings are designed to heal, not kill and 2. healing varies WILDLY in games. Heck, even much closer comparisons, like comparing TF2’s Medic with Mercy from Overwatch, are very hard to judge because, while they look similar on the surface, Mercy was designed to heal in a world full of abilities and glowing ultimates while Medic was designed to heal in a world full of bullets.

Different games, exactly the same damn problems. Medic and mercy
Different games, exactly the same damn problems.

The obvious way to compare healing characters though is to just look at their healing output and go from there. You could look at things as a pure numbers game based on how much health someone can heal at any one point. This does give some very strange results though, because our buddy the TF2 Medic heals at about 25 health per second, but Oberon, a healing Warframe, has a regenerative aura that can heal 40 health per second and Moira, an Overwatch support class, can heal up to 80 health per second, while another healer, Lucio, heals about 17 health per second constantly in an aura around him. That may seem like a lot but the most Medic will ever heal is a Heavy from 1 health to 300 health (plus Overheal) while Oberon’s base health is 375, and, with mods, will probably get to over 900 health with ease. Meanwhile Moira’s healing requires recharging and Lucio switches between speed buffs and health buffs.

You have to include context in this healing though. From the above, it seems that maybe Moira is the strongest healer, but Moira’s healing is reliant on other things and both Moira and Lucio, like how I mentioned with Mercy earlier, are in a very ability-heavy environment. Meanwhile, Oberon not only takes and heals damage in a different way, fighting hordes of enemies, but healing is just a quarter of what Oberon does.

But even if you ignore healing as your main source of comparisons, and just look at damage output, things are still tricky. Technically TF2 Medic could out-damage a Mercy in a fight, but 99% of healers would end up being gunned down not just by generic “healers” who happen to have rifles and medpacks, but they’d also get obliterated by the likes of the TFC Medic, who is probably one of the most powerful and versatile healers in existence. And even TFC Medic pales in comparison to the power of Trinity, a Warframe that can instantly max out your health and gain huge damage resistances and strip armour and produce an infinite source of energy as long as something is alive.

And then there’s looking at things from a lore perspective. Because while Medic and Moira are both healers, they’re also people would happily kill anyone foolish to get in their way. Heck, in a hand-to-hand situation, both Moira and TF2 Medic could take on TFC Medic. Mercy on the other hand? She’ll always be a pushover


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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