Healing tiles

ErikPeterErikPeter Posts: 718 Critical Contributor
In a recent thread I speculated a simple change that could moderately buff healing abilities and tune OBW's punishing streaks.

The idea is to create a new tile, Healing tiles, which are conceptually identical to attack tiles, except they heal your team by a small amount at the end of each turn instead of dealing damage. Characters with burst healing powers could be updated to place Healing tiles instead of or in addition to their burst heals (which would then be toned down for balance).

OBW, for example, would modify her Anti-Gravity Device burst heal to instead create a few Healing tiles totaling 20% of her current heal. If the tiles remain for at least 5 turns, the power was just as effective, and if they stick around longer, it's a win for the player. The numbers would have to be tweaked so it doesn't feel like a nerf.

Visually, healing tiles could appear with a healthpack.png health cross icon, white for allied and black for enemies by convention. Each turn during special tile activation they flash the value healed in small numbers like attack tiles do (but in green).

Why Healing tiles?
Right now, all of the burst team healing in the game is incredibly situational. Strong heals, like Spidey's or OBW's, can occasionally be used to great effect, but only after my team has taken a beating. Lesser ones are mostly used only when you've got nothing better to do with that color. Every other type of power rewards you for building up AP and using it right away, but heals generally need to be sat on until they're cost effective (and the match is often over before then.) Healing tiles would make healing powers more usable right away, as they could provide extra benefit if the tiles stick around for a while.

AoE heals are less effective on defense/AI; since the player is mostly damaging one AI at a time, the "extra" effect of healing teammates is often nothing. Healing tiles would boost that by remaining on the board until matched/destroyed. On the flip side, big burst heals can also create a very frustrating moment if the AI gets lucky and pops one right before being downed (as mentioned in the OBW thread linked above). Everyone who has suffered a seemingly endless fight against H.A.M.M.E.R. Lieutenants know what I'm talking about. Because of the drip nature of Healing tiles, you have a few turns to down an enemy (or destroy the Healing tiles) before an equal amount of healing is applied. Additionally, those Lieutenants could be tweaked to create yellow healing tiles, which limits the total amount of healing that could stack each turn and might interfere with further countdown placement as well.

While the healing over time is a drawback, the fact that Healing tiles remain on the board, gaining usefulness the longer they stay out, more than makes up for it.

Healing tiles vs. Protect tiles
Protect tiles and Healing tiles share a niche: Damage mitigation. However, like Strike and Attack tiles, they each have their advantages and are different enough to co-exist. Healing tiles heal the whole team, once per turn, while Protect tiles prevent damage on every strike. Healing tiles are good for the player, and less good for the AI (again, since players mostly attack one target at a time). Defense stops damage NOW, while Healing takes back damage already caused. Overall Defense is stronger mitigation but both give the player's team significant survivability compared to current burst healing powers.

To sum up:
  • Healing tiles would make healing proactive
  • Healing tiles are always useful, instead of occasionally
  • Lower-rated healing characters like Beast and She-Hulk would become more desirable
  • Could be combined with smaller burst heals to retain burst usefulness


  • OzarkBoatswainOzarkBoatswain Posts: 673 Critical Contributor
    This is a good idea that deserves a second look. I would suggest that Heal tiles only heal the front character to be the protective equivalent of Attack tiles.
  • NotwenNotwen Posts: 38 Just Dropped In
    This is an interesting idea that deserves some thought.
    Adding special tiles needs to be very carefully considered, think about the interactions with characters like Kitty, Nico, and Polaris.
    This mechanic could be largely introduced into the game without the new special tiles. Countdown or repeater tiles can dish out healing. In some ways that is better because characters can vary in how their healing works (temporary versus permanent; self, front, or team healing; etc.). A couple characters already have a version of this (like 4* Wolverine).
  • AkoniAkoni Posts: 696 Critical Contributor
    This is a good idea that deserves a second look. I would suggest that Heal tiles only heal the front character to be the protective equivalent of Attack tiles.
    I agree. If comparing to Attack tiles, this makes perfect sense. In addition, the player would need to think about every match being made since the match determines who is in front. Also, the presence of friendly Healing tiles AND enemy Attack tiles could make for some strategic decision making. 

    The question is which goes off first. Do friendly Healing tiles heal before enemy Attack tiles deal damage or vice versa? If healing takes place before damage, it's good for the player on the player's turn, but bad for the player on the enemy's turn.
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