Updated Fri, Apr 25, 2014 by Mem
In an ideal world, all classes would be equal. Never would one do more DPS, be a better healing, or have a skill that outshone the rest. This way, players could choose a class based on what they actually wanted to play, not because it was “better”. All classes created equal does have a nice ring to it.
This is one of the major goals that Blizzard seems to be pushing towards in the newest World of Warcraft expansion; Warlords of Draenor. The first sign we got was the total reworking of racial abilities. No more picking a race just because it makes your class that much better.
The changes don't stop there. In the latest Alpha patch notes, Blizzard reveals another stunning change that is just one more step in the quest to bring classes back on equal ground. Combat resurrection is being totally reworked and it will surely change the face of raiding forever.
Before we talk about the changes to combat resurrection and what it could mean for you, I think it is important to take a look back at the history of resurrection in raids. Back in the days of 40 man raids and Molten Core, it was pretty normal to have at least one player who was an out of combat resurrector, on top of any available combat resurrections. This person (usually a shaman), would be tasked with standing back during the fight, stepping in only when they needed to resurrect another player.
Of course, this practice ended when Blizzard made it utterly impossible for any player to remain out of combat during a raid boss. However, it shows us just how important Resurrection is to a raid. While the days of OOC resurrection are just a memory, combat resurrections have come even more important than ever.
After OOC resurrection was removed, it became essential to the game to have classes that could use combat resurrection. These resurrections could be cast at any time and after waiting for the spell cool down, could be cast multiple times during the course of a raid. A powerful tool indeed and one that made classes with this skill pretty desirable in raids.
In Mists of Pandaria, the limits have become even more stringent. One single combat resurrection was given for any boss encounter for 10-player raids, 3 for 25-player and 3 for Flexible Raids, regardless of size. This of course made stacking classes with these abilities a little less appealing and brought us closer to a game where all classes were equally important.
Blizzard plans to reform combat resurrection once again in Warlords, to combat the new expanded Flexible Raid technology. Here are the changes players can expect to see to combat resurrection when the expansion hits:
After looking over these new limitations and reformations, it is easy to feel a bit jilted. Especially if you remember the days when combat resurrections were handed out left and right. However, if you sit and think about it, it may really be for the best.
Combat resurrections have always made classes with them more desirable. They are a powerful tool, so limiting them only seems right. Not only to make boss fights more challenging, but to make sure classes with combat resurrection weren't selected primarily over other classes.
The new Flexible Raid technology being introduced in Warlords has thrown things out of whack again. Letting things as they stand, with a constant three combat resurrections, would encourage players to only have the smallest possible raid. Setting a hard break point would keep group sizes just under those break points. In both situations, players would find themselves trying to adhere to certain raid sizes and compositions to maximize combat resurrections.
You could also argue that perhaps we could go back to the days where combat resurrections were unlimited, as long as their respective cool downs were up. But this would only encourage players to fill their raid spots with these particular classes. Not to mention, this makes fights seem less challenging, and the importance of staying alive less intense.
Using this new limitation system will make the threat of death an imposing thing, while still allowing for a few mistakes a long the way. Also, unlike the Mists of Pandaria system currently in place, resurrection charges can accumulate during the boss fight if it continues long enough. The most important part of this new system is that it still makes stacking a certain class, because of its ability to resurrect other players, seem silly.
This new system will also take the guess work out of things and allow for the number of combat resurrections your raid has will be tracked and will be visible on the screen. A problem that has plagued players since the early days of WoW. Players will also be able to tell who the resurrection has been handed out to, taking the guesswork out of this process and if you resurrection someone who has gone AFK or can't accept the resurrection, it doesn't count against your total combat resurrection charges.
In my opinion, this system is pretty close to perfect. It easily allows players to use and view the combat resurrections they currently have and have used, while not forcing a raid to be a certain size or stack certain classes. While some may find these limitations restraining, I find them to be a great recipe for a challenging boss fight.
How do you feel about the new resurrection system in Warlords of Draenor? Is is too restrictive? Will it ensure that players won't choose certain classes over others? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!