In my very first MMORPG, I was obsessed with the idea of becoming a healer — not someone who cast healing spells but someone who used bandages to heal the people around her. But video games, never mind MMOs, aren’t known for their realistic portrayal of medicine; even in a sci-fi game, you’re likely to be lobbing heal stims or something equally silly. That’s why Revival’s approach is so novel.
“[The chirurgeon’s] player uses diagnose and clicks on the [sick] girl. [He] kneels before the girl as the game camera pushes in to focus on the girl, with certain aspects of the girl’s form glowing subtly. Each of these is a ‘diagnostic indicator’ and if the player clicks on them he will see the information related to the indicator. How accurate these indicators are depends on two aspects of Chirurgie: The character’s fleshmending skill, and the suite of medical ‘flags’ the character has acquired in its data; the medical knowledge the character has amassed in the world. Each diagnostic indicator the player can see is related to a tag or game effect package attached to the client that falls into the medical categories the character knows about. The larger the character’s collection of knowledge and the better the character’s fleshmending skill, the more details these indicators will be and the more obvious the correct diagnosis becomes.”
After the patient has been diagnosed, a basic chirurgeon will be able to cleanse and treat the patient using a truly awful array of tinctures and bandages. “First aid is a bit more ‘standard fare’ but that’s because it’s meant to be done quickly,” writes Illfonic. “In the flow of a large scale battle, most injuries will be ‘fixed’ with first aid so that the soldiers can get back into the field as quickly as possible, even without mages who can heal.”
More serious wounds — like a crushed leg — require a more skilled chirurgeon to operate, realigning the bone, cleaning the wound, cauterizing it, stitching it closed, and applying bandage and brace, all of which will cause ever more damage to the patient and all of which happens through the fleshmending minigame.
The whole dev blog is worth a thorough read, but it’s graphic, so maybe do it when you’re not eating!