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.
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?