It looks like the Templars have stolen all the healers from the upcoming third installment, Dragon Age: Inquisition. While there’s no dedicated healer class, there are instead a multitude of ways of preventing and dealing with damage. Potions and certain abilities effects give your characters a health buffer that enemies will have to whittle through before getting to your precious red stuff.
Bioware developer Patrick Weekes has taken to the forums to quell the concerns of the community. “I've completed two playthroughs of Dragon Age: Inquisition on Normal, and I'm now working through a playthrough on Hard.” said Weekes. “Here were my concerns, and here is what I've found and how I've handled things.”
First off, you won’t find yourself chugging potions in every clash with an enemy. “In what we call a "popcorn fight" (a small fight that is not meant to really threaten the party), I rarely have to use a potion at all.” explained Weekes. “After a normal-level fight against wandering creatures (a single large enemy or a group of normal enemies around my level), I usually use one or two potions (total, not per person). During a particularly difficult plot-related fight (which will usually give me a chance to rest afterward), I might use one or two during the fight and then one or two after the fight, for a total of three or four.”
You’ll also have access to a “Barrier” skill, which gives you a temporary shield of sorts to absorb damage. “If you have a mage in your party, and you SHOULD have a mage in your party, this single spell covers you a lot of the time.” Weekes stated. “I've seen people say that it makes you immune to damage for a short time, which isn't really accurate. Instead, think of it as giving you an additional health bar that the enemy has to take out before they can actually damage your normal health. (For Mass Effect players, think of shields or biotic barriers; for d20 tabletop players, temporary hit points.) Barrier costs little mana and covers a reasonable area. Cast it at the start of the fight, and everyone on your front line has an additional health bar to soak damage.”
If that’s not enough for you, your tanky party members also have a damage blocking ability. “Guard is similar to Barrier in its function: an additional health bar the enemy has to take down before they can damage your character's normal health.” said Weekes. “The key difference is that you gain guard from any of several different warrior abilities, not from a spell. You almost always only give guard to yourself, and you get less guard from each ability than you get from the Barrier spell, but there are several abilities that give you guard, and they stack.”
If you want to learn more about how to deal with everyday adventures without a healer, Patrick has written an extensive thesis-like essay on the subject. For me, I’m actually not too bothered. It always pained me when you’re forced to bring that healer companion solely for their abilities, and even worse if their personality clashed with your hand-crafted group.
For everything we know about the launch check our Dragon Age: Inquisition guide.