Is Combat Resurrection Still Needed?

I participated in a neat Twitter discussion last night about the merits of combat res. The original point started with the desire for Priests to gain access to a combat res. From a lore perspective, I can understand that. Priest are the flagship class for healing for any fantasy-based game. They embody the essence of healing. It makes sense for a Priest to be able to bring their allies back from the dead in the middle of an engagement.

But not in WoW.

Priests are extremely well rounded as it is and the addition of a combat res cooldown would tip them over the edge in desirability. Abilities to group heal, single heal, save lives, and so forth is just enough for them. Mechanically speaking, I can’t imagine why it would be necessary at all.

Actually, if I had it my way, I’d argue for the removal of all in-combat resurrection spells from the game entirely.

That’s right. No more soul stone, no more raise ally, no more rebirth.

All gone.

Individual player accountability would have no choice but to go up. Can’t really be as reckless anymore. Can’t take those risky, stand-in-fire-for-extra-DPS moves because that safety net is gone. All you need to do is ask yourself how different you would play if you knew that the only way you were coming back to life is on the next attempt. You’d play tighter, right? You’d check your threat closer. You’d watch timers better. You would do everything you could to make sure that YOU don’t die. The psychology of a combat res provides the raid with that safe comfort knowing that there’s effectively 3 extra lives in play (on 25).

This isn’t vanilla WoW anymore. We don’t need 40 people to run raids. I remember when combat res spells had no limits. Back then, those second chances were a necessity. There was only one difficulty level: Punishing. It was one of the main reasons why druids were so sought after (Read: Job security). Each combat res was another player and another chance at getting through the encounter. Burning Crusade was much the same way.

It’s certainly useful for progression. Those unsuspecting boss attacks and abilities that come out of no where can be solved with a simple combat res. If combat res spells were gone from the game, the overall amount of progression wipes needed would mostly go up across the board. It might even slow the game down overall since content would last a little bit longer. I’m inclined to believe that most guild first boss kills utilize the maximum allowable number of combat res’s.

Yet, another part of me can imagine the pain and frustration for raiding guilds dealing with players who just can’t seem to cut it. Combat res’s have that cushion. If it were out of the game, player deaths in raids would be magnified and not easily as forgiven by peers. Hell, if I kept dying to the same stupid mechanic week after week without getting any better at avoiding it, I’d be super discouraged too. But then I might come to the conclusion that the stuff I’m doing is just something I’m not currently capable of and would come back after a few more raid finders or normal modes.

What about disconnects or buggy boss mechanics? My guild has experienced countless heroic Zon’ozz wipes due to weird ball bouncing bugs. Don’t get me wrong as I’m grateful for the option to bring back the dead from unfair and undeserved deaths. We’ve also had people disconnect or crash at the wrong time and a combat res helped save the 8 minutes we would’ve lost from a wipe and having to do it all over again.

Disconnects will always happen until we level up or tech to the point where computers are crash free and we’re all hardwired to the internet without any possibility of losing a connection. Bugged mechanics? Then it’s time for additional testing or go with abilities that are proven to work. It doesn’t feel right to me to use player abilities to offset encounter errors.

So long as combat res is still in the game, I’m not going to shy away from using utilizing it. It’d be crazy not to. It helps make up for the inevitable mistakes that occur. I feel like it’s a requirement. It’s a crutch. It’s something to lean on. It’s there to give players like me hope that if I screw up, I can maybe count on something to bail me out, even though I hate it.

After a player-saving-Life Grip, Rebirth is the only other spell that says to the player “You screwed up and died. Here’s me saving your butt and giving you another go. Don’t mess it up.”

Before death knights and warlocks could revive players mid combat, I’d occasionally  join raid pickup groups on my alt that didn’t have druids. Every move, every step had a purpose. I sacrificed a little bit of DPS to move away from projectiles faster. I didn’t want to get tagged and risk getting destroyed.

Ultimately, combat res or not, you are responsible for your well being. Whatever happens, don’t be that guy whose name the raid leader puts on the “Do not Res” list. I guarantee you, most raid leaders have such a list. That list is there because they know that if they res you, you’ll most likely blow your chance and die again anyway.

Anyway, that’s my piece. What do you think? Do you believe it continues to be invaluable or should it just get cut?

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

12 comments
SometimesATree
SometimesATree

I don't really see the problem. People go in and die all the time to the new abilities a boss has, and that's how they learn. What a battle rez does is let that player get back up and the fight keep going long, potentially letting you see that 2nd new ability on the first pull instead of hitting it and wiping on your second pull.

"This isn’t vanilla WoW anymore. We don’t need 40 people to run raids." 

No, and we don't reach bosses with the attitude that if we decurse we get free loot. We don't expect to down each boss, if not on the first attempt, then after only a couple of wipes. Multiple wipes are now acceptable and necessary in the new landscape of raiding.

SunnierBear
SunnierBear

I've never really enjoyed having a combat res as a bear, and if I were designing this game I think I would drop it. That said, I'd be surprised if lacking a battle res would make me play better. I'm already playing at 100%. Dying to avoidable mechanics is shameful enough, and it's hard for me to imagine someone taking a risky move simply because they have a battle res available (though maybe I live in my own little world full of accountable and responsible raiders). Especially in 10 man, where your raid only gets one, being that person to use up the battle res when you never know if a healer or tank will need it at the end of a tough encounter is just terrifying.  :S

Jasyla
Jasyla

I honestly don't think a lack of battle Rez would make anyone play better. I dont think a dos tunnels because they know they'll a BR will give them a second chance. When I die it's because I've screwed up or just didn't pay attention. Whether or not there's a rez available to me isn't something I think about. In an ideal world we wouldn't need battle rezzes, they are a crutch, but I don't think getting rid of them would make anyone a better player or cause anything but extra frustration.

nazaniel
nazaniel

My 10 man team in WOTLK had 1 druid - the main tank.  On most fights, abattle res was a lucky heroic maneuver on his part, and on some fightsit was practically impossible for him to get a res off.  Players got alot better, very quickly, when they realized that there was no rescoming if they messed up.  That said, it was quite painful - sometimespeople do make honest mistakes and it was always a wipe and run back,which made for some very long progression nights.

Felade
Felade

One of the most difficult things about 10s in progression is the lack of battle rezzes. You only have that ONE do-over, and even the best raider will spend it accidentally on some sort of mental misfire during a long progression night. Spending that rez early can mean the difference between a kill and a wipe very easily.Losing the battle rez would make progression raiding very stressful. Take it from a 10 man RL, we still need battle rezzes in even the most hardcore of hardcore guilds. Removing it could very well drive us all insane.

wowbeta
wowbeta

What about tanks dying because the healer goofed ? You assume the player always is responsible for his death. Not so. Healer dc, goes oom, goofs off, there goes the tank. Don't rezz the tank and boss chews you up. your choice.

amkosh
amkosh

I thought the idea was to keep players playing.  

"Hell, if I kept dying to the same stupid mechanic week after week without getting any better at avoiding it, I’d be super discouraged too. But then I might come to the conclusion that the stuff I’m doing is just something I’m not currently capable of and would come back after a few more raid finders or normal modes."

That is you.  I'm sure there are other like you as well.  But the rest of us, well we'll just go play something else. WoW no longer exists in a vacuum,. there are enough other fun games out there to play.  

Will people leave b/c of no combat res?  Not many.  Will people leave because the game becomes harder and thus more frustrating?  Yes.  

carson63000
carson63000

"This isn’t vanilla WoW anymore. We don’t need 40 people to run raids. I remember when combat res spells had no limits."

Remember the good old days of a paladin standing back and staying out of combat, so he could provide unlimited rezzes? We had a guy in our guild who specialized in that in Molten Core, he never got into combat at all unless he screwed up. :-)

wewhoeat
wewhoeat like.author.displayName 1 Like

As the druid that pretty much does all the combat rez-ing in our guild I kinda disagree too. I guess my experience in combat rez-ing is that there's two kinds, the guy that's a slacker or just can't cut it and the other is every once in a while bad stuff just happens and someone dies. Like you say, I do have my own "do not rez list" and those people in the first group fit squarely in there and I'm more than happy to finish the boss attempt with nine going and them just staying dead, I do not rez them. Its that 2nd group which I find the spell invaluable at just saving time in raid. Every once in a while stuff just happens and good players make mistakes and that what I find the combat rez useful for, to essentially smooth out the "player RNG" and keep on trucking.

The combat rez becomes even more valuable in 5mans and PUGs where people are more likely to be idiots and or do stupid things. It gives us a chance to save time, and protects me from their stupidity when their actions caused someone else's death.

taufmonster
taufmonster

That's all well and good for a hardcore/progression oriented perspective but I firmly disagree.

Fobok1
Fobok1

@taufmonster Yeah, as someone who plays mostly LFDs, I have to disagree as well. It's bad enough dealing with the tanks that race ahead and don't give a chance for the healer to even type 'sec' let alone regain mana, or DPS that go out of their way to tag CC'd mobs, let alone not having an emergency rez.