Healing used to be considered one of those pretty useless skills [not so long ago...]. Players who decided on the profession of Healer commanded less respect than npc wandering healers. And often more than not, healing players didn't make a noticeable difference in their hp unless you were at least a Journeyman or Adept Healer. And you couldn't heal the same player, monster, or npc until they were hurt at least another 10 points or during a 30 s-3 min duration.
The perk before the latest patch: You could heal anyone of any notoriety, including npcs and monsters, without being flagged or losing karma. GM Healer? A very nice title.
Well, yea the latest patch changed that so the rules of notoriety apply to healing =(
Yet, the Healer has had some enhancements and is now quite a worthy profession these days. As a healer, you must be well versed with a formerly obscure and trifling skill called Anatomy. The ability to study the body and the corpse is primary to knowledge of the healing arts. It cannot be effective otherwise!
The key points of the healing trade include:
Raising Healing Skill:
The only real way to do this is by practicing! This skill tends to shoot up fairly quickly, the only pesky thing really being the time delay. There are several ways to do this: Home Training vs Field Work.
Field work can turn out rather entertaining (and perhaps hazardous depending where you decide to practice). Since the latest patch (of course) royally screwed up the game again, the so-called 'newbies' of UO can now join virtue guilds without lifting a finger. I'm sure this was calculated to increase the in-town skirmishes, thereby creating a whole lot of plain killing fun. This is where a healer can come in and, in a neighborly fashion, practice on these weak(er) players. Dungeons, as a group's medic, you will most likely be receiving many patients. This is ideal for cooperative playing, and cuts down the cost of adventuring.
On the other hand, you, like many other players may opt to concentrate solely on building up this skill as quick as possible. The home-training method requires at least 1 'dummy.' Although you cannot gate creatures to your home, there have been methods to coerce surface-stranded ones. Healing these aggressive creatures seems to bring the most skill gain, depending on your healing level. If you bought up to about 30 points of healing from an NPC, you may wish to start practicing your art on Orc Lords. You must first hurt the OL to 1/4 HP before this works however. So this is also your chance to tone up your melee skills. Once you progress into the 50's-70's you may wish to try healing Trolls and Earth Elementals. Players serve as a steady source of skill but as with any other skill, it gets harder to raise at higher levels.
Moreover, the more wounded your patient is, the more skill increase you receive for applying your bandages. Also, healers can opt to practice healing ghosts. Obviously you have a very little chance of actually resurrecting the ghost unless you have say 85-90 skill (in healing and anatomy).
Orc Lords give you skill up to approximately 48; by then, healing them when they're upon the verge of death yields skill gain of .01 or less per heal.
The profession Healer is being tested and evaluated by Daeden and Werble. Precise statistics are unavailable at this time.
*Healing skill correspond to amount you get of equal magery skill.
**Greater Heal potions are a convenience but are limited to 9-35 points of damage healed (and requires 70-80 Alchemy skill to create them with better than 30% success).