Basic Healer Trainers
All these are first circle trainers, available to any healer.
Faustus teaches you to "improve your healing speed." However, while you heal faster, you proportionally expend that much more spirit and health. Fighters like healers to train with Faustus; they never like waiting to be healed. But remember, once you've exhausted your spirit and/or health, you'll need time to recover.
Respia teaches you to "recover spiritual energy faster." The third bar shows how full your spirit pool is. The more you train with Respia, the faster it goes up, or the slower it goes down if you're healing someone. Many healers train enough Respia so their spirit does not go down while healing. The breakeven is roughly 4 lessons of Respia for every 3 lessons of Faustus.
While healers unanimously agree that you can never have too much Respia, training Respia is also felt to be rather boring. The effect is rather gradual. For the same investment in ranks, most other trainers will have a more noticeable effect.
Sespus teaches you to "increase your spiritual energy." His training increases your spirit pool, so it can hold more spirit. Your spirit bar will therefore move more slowly (up or down), since each pixel represents more spirit. It can be used for self-healing, or for healing others. Since the mercurial staff drains all your spirit, a larger spirit pool means your bursts will be larger, which fighters will appreciate, especially if this means you don't need to touch them (read "get in their way") as frequently.
Higgrus teaches you to "improve your physical well-being." The first bar shows how much health you have. The more you train with Higgrus, the slower it goes down when you get damaged (and the slower it goes up when you are healed). In other RPGs this is commonly known as hit points.
While you sacrifice some health in healing others, the main importance of having health is to be able to take battle damage. Healers cannot train to defend themselves to the degree fighters can, so having a good reservoir of health is necessary for survival. No degree of self-heal will help you if you're knocked down in a single blow. In a way, health translates into time: the more you have, the more time you have to figure out what to do, and the more time you have to do it, while in the midst of taking damage from hostiles.
Combination Healer Trainers
What is a good balance between these four areas of training? Fortunately, there are combination trainers which train some of each, which are good to start with until you get a feel for these abilities, and have your own ideas of what you want. These are also first circle trainers, with the first two available to all healers and the last one available to all exiles.
Eva says she teaches "a balanced healing style." She does teach some of each of the above four trainers, and the proportions are reasonable. One could train just with Eva and do rather well. Moreover, you get a bonus when training with Eva, because the sum of what she trains takes fewer ranks than training those abilities separately. It's like getting a free rank every three or four ranks. Eva also teaches a tiny amount of the 2nd circle trainers Horus and Awaria.
Although pure Eva training can work out just fine, most healers feel she needs to be supplemented with some Respia training.
According to Azriel's notes, Eva provides the following amounts of these trainers per 1 rank trained: .37 Respia, .33 Faustus, .27 Sespus, .25 Higgrus, .06 Horus, and .06 Awaria. So every rank of Eva provides a 22% bonus in terms of ranks simply among the first four trainers, and a 34% bonus in terms of ranks awarded for all trainers included in Eva's training. (Although how much of a bonus Eva's training means for you depends on how much you value the constituent trainers relative to each other.)
Sprite says she teaches "how to improve your spirit for healing." She's a combination trainer like Eva, although she teaches less of Faustus, Respia, Sespus, and Higgrus than Eva does, and teaches no Horus or Awaria. However, her training improves how fast you are healed, both by others and by yourself. It's like giving each person healing you more Faustus, except that those healers don't experience any greater spirit drain (they do experience proportionally greater health drain). That attribute alone makes Sprite worth training, and since she also trains some Faustus, Respia, Sespus, and Higgrus it makes her a worthy alternative to Eva.
Sprite is not considered as balanced as Eva. Most healers feel she's light in Respia and Higgrus. Sprite's ability to improve how fast you heal yourself works well in combination with a lot of spirit recovery (Respia), which allows you to apply self-healing more frequently, but she teaches proportionally less of that than Eva. Also, Sprite's ability to improve how fast you are healed by others works well in combination with having a lot of health to heal (Higgrus), in order to be a rod point, but she teaches proportionally less of that than Eva as well.
Master Spirtus, who resides in Town Hall rather than the Healer Guildhall, teaches a combination much like Sprite, including that ability to "improve your spirit for healing." The main differences are that Master Spirtus teaches more Higgrus and not any Respia. His training is considered slightly inferior to that of Sprite.
Advanced Healer Trainers
This second circle trainer teaches you how to use the Sylphstone Ring (Maxes out at 30 lessons. A healer won't be able to use the ring until all 30 lessons are completed.) This ring will self-heal you half as fast as your moonstone, and only works when your spirit pool is full, but allows you to use your right hand for other things than your moonstone, like chaining, cadding, or fighting.
This second circle trainer teaches you how to heal those closer to death. See Raising a fallen for a discussion of how Horus works with respect to raising fallen exiles.
This is a second circle trainer, who teaches you to heal yourself more efficiently. Her training increases how much health you get from each self-heal pulse (moonstone or sylphstone), without consuming any additional spirit. [Faustus will add much more health per lesson, but costs spirit.]
However, this bonus self-healing cannot exceed your nonbonus self-healing. That is, you cannot more than double the health you get from each self-heal pulse by training with Awaria. This limit is commonly referred to as the Awaria Cap, which is a misnomer. For Sprite and Spirtus also provide bonus self-healing, and it is the combined bonus which is capped. Awaria does not warn you when you exceed the cap, although she obliquely refers to it by qualifying her training with "to an extent." Healers over the cap can get back under by training with either Faustus or Eva (because they increase your nonbonus self-healing).
Because Sprite also provides bonus self-healing, and because one can hit the cap just by training with Sprite, training with Awaria is not recommended. Instead, if you are interested in improving your self-heal, train with Respia, and get most of your healing speed by training with Sprite.
Proximus, a third circle trainer, teaches you how to heal over distances using your Caduceus or Mercurial Staff. More Proximus ranks increase your total distance and "safe distance." ("Safe distance" is where you heal the person at your normal rate of health and spirit consumption. Healing outside of your "safe distance" both consumes your health and spirit a lot quicker than normal healing, and substantially reduces how fast you are healing the target person.)
Hardia, a third circle trainer, teaches "how to survive in a hostile world." Basically, Hardia is an extended Bodrus trainer for healers, and maxes at 300 ranks. However, healers who have studied Bodrus can only take advantage of an additional 200 ranks from Hardia. Some people think Hardia teaches a different skill set from Bodrus, but others think it is the same.
Virgil, a fourth circle trainer, teaches a healer how to use the Purgatory Pendant, and requires 50 lessons in order to complete his training and use the Purgatory Pendant (which also costs 10,000 coins).
The An* Trainers.
These are fifth circle combo trainer of faustus:respia. They can also be trained by any circle (including first) via ledger holders.
"I can teach you the ratio of healing speed to spirit recovery, about 1:1."
"I can teach you the ratio of healing speed to spirit recovery, about 1:2." With this ratio, you have more than enough spirit inflow to keep up with spirit used to heal others (3:4 suffices).
"I can teach you the ratio of healing speed to spirit recovery, about 1:3." With this ratio, you have enough extra spirit inflow to maintain your health with a moonstone while healing others (excepting those others who have trained with Rodnus and/or Spirtus which results in additional health drain).
"I can teach you the ratio of healing speed to spirit recovery, about 1:4." With this ratio, and with Metta Sylpha training, you have enough extra spirit inflow to maintain your health with a sylphstone ring while cadding others in range (excepting those others who have trained with Rodnus and/or Spirtus which results in additional health drain).
This is fifth circle combo trainer of faustus:respia. "I can teach you the ratio of healing speed to spirit recovery, about 1:7." With this ratio, you have more than enough extra spirit inflow to maintain your health with a sylphstone ring (2nd circle training) while cadding others in range (excepting those others who have trained with Rodnus and/or Spirtus which results in additional health drain).
Metta Sylpha, a fifth circle trainer, gives you advanced lessons in the Sylphstone Ring. (Requires 30 lessons to max out and see any benefit) The ring will then self-heal you 3/4 as fast as your moonstone.
Radium increases the speed at which you heal multiple people, and the radius of your aura healing. In order to heal someone within your aura, that person either must be sharing with you, or must be a healer. Radius healing is always at least a bit less efficient than healing one person, then another in terms of speed. However with Radium training, it becomes as efficient when healing 3 or more exiles*. Generally, only a small amount of radium in comparison to one's Faustus is needed to make maximum use of the Asklepian and the Asklepian Staff for a lower number of exiles. The more exiles one heals increases the need for more Radium only slightly.
The exact formula to determine the best amount of radium to train is beyond the scope of this article, however this information can be found on the Sentinel.
- Correction: According to recent Sentinel discussions Radium can increase the sum of Faustus applied to 3 or more people.
See Gorvin's Entry here: http://www.vagilemind.com/clanlord/viewtopic.php?p=92497#p92497 The Recent discussion in plain terms: http://www.vagilemind.com/clanlord/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8911#p184106 Thanks Gorvin for the clarification.