Analysis, Spells and Talents
One of the things that makes World of Warcraft unique when compared to many of the MMOs that preceded it are the considerably lighter penalties for dying (repair bills and invulnerable corpse runs). Along with the much lessened penalties, the designers decided to spread the ability to counter these penalties among many classes instead of a few. Shamans can resurrect themselves, warlocks can conjure Soulstones, and paladins, shamans, and priests all have the ability to resurrect fallen comrades. Druids, on the other hand, have the Rebirth spell, a method of resurrection which, unlike standard Resurrection, can be employed in combat:
Of the four classes who can primary heal (priests, druids, paladins, and shamans), druids are the only class who do not have a resurrection spell not subject to a cooldown, the idea being that Rebirth is a strong enough spell — even with its 30 minute cooldown — that druids should not also be able to cast a time-unrestricted version. It has also been stated that Blizzard worries about the combination of an unlimited resurrection spell being used in conjunction with Stealth.
Prior to and immediately following the release of the Burning Crusade, druids were more or less quiet about the issue of not having a normal resurrection spell. However, as more and more druids performed the role of main healer for the new 5-man instances, the concern grew. And today with many druids reaching the threshold where their gear can only be further improved by Heroic instances (or raiding), the forums are cacophonous with complaints about the lack of this ability. Restoration-specced druids struggle to find places among Heroic groups because groups rightfully worry that the inevitable result of using a druid for main healer will be endless, time consuming runs back to the instance. There are ways to get around this limitation, such as being sure to bring a paladin, shaman, or priest along, but this makes druids the only class required to bring someone else along to perform part of what should be considered their role (when specced and geared for it). It also assumes a plethora of available healing-types which does not always exist and imposes a competition for healing items to which other healers are not subjected.
Druitt of Lothar made a post asking those druids clamoring for the addition of a normal Resurrection spell address five issues that he perceives with the spell being given to druids. Like most threads of its type, you have to filter out a lot of superfluous bickering to find logical discussion, but I thought that the points he raised would serve as an excellent framework for this entry.
1. Stealth + Resurrection would be overpowered.
It is possible for a group of rogues and druids to stealth to the back of some instances, assassinate the boss mob(s), and hearth out (this is currently possible in Sethekk Halls and is considered the best way for rogues and druids to acquire the Shoulderpads of Assassination). It is also an instance dynamic that Blizzard has been aware of for some time, dating back to stealth runs for the Seal of Ascension quest in LBRS. When Blizzard wants to prevent this from being a viable option, they employ one or more of the following methods:
- Mobs which have Truesight and have a larger aggro radius toward characters who are stealthed. Partied rogues are frequently unable to sap a given group of mobs because one or more of them see through stealth.
- Stealthed and triggered spawn mobs. These are mobs that you can't see until they're in range to aggro and attack you. These mobs include the assassins in the room with Blackheart the Inciter.
- Narrow corridors in which mobs patrol, making it harder to stay out of the perception range. Sometimes these corridors have the added difficulty of one or more stealthed or triggered spawn mobs, making getting through while stealthed even more difficult.
It's also worth noting that stealth and resurrection is the most difficult and time consuming method of respawn circumvention. A group would be much better off with a Soulstone, Reincarnation, or Divine Intervention. And in many cases, it would often be faster to reclear the mobs that have respawned.
2. Rebirth + Resurrection would be overpowered.
According to Druitt:
"No other healing class has a full-blown IC rez. Soulstones, Ankhs, etc, have specific limitations and do not work like your standard rez. If Druids get an unlimited, OOC rez then a unique IC rez becomes OP."
While it is true that Soulstone, Reincarnation, and Divine Intervention all have specific limitations, it is also true that Rebirth is subject to some pretty hefty limitations:
- Only usable once every 30 minutes (identical to Soulstone/Divine Intervention/Reincarnation).
- Hugely prohibitive mana cost (68% of base mana), forcing you to often forgo its use as wipe prevention for fear you won't have enough mana to complete the encounter.
- Nominal reagent cost (18s).
I feel that these costs sufficiently offset the costs associated with other classes' wipe prevention/wipe recovery abilities. And all of those classes (with the exception of the Warlock) also have a standard Resurrection spell.
3. "All the other healers can do it" is not a valid reason for needing the ability.
To the contrary, the game post Burning Crusade is heavily balanced around creating solid, capable groups, both in PvP and PvE. When a Restoration druid has sacrificed the ability to farm, solo, or kill other players to be a better healer, she does so with the understanding that she will be "compensated" for her sacrifices by increased desirability in groups. A druid should have every reason to expect to be as desired as a Holy priest or Holy paladin. A paladin can even have fewer points in her Holy talent tree and still be more desirable since she has the Resurrection spell which is needed so often for Heroic instances. Just as a feral-specced druid can expect to have tools comparable to those of a warrior so that she is desired as a group tank, so too should a Restoration druid be granted tools that make her competitive with priests, paladins, and shamans.
4. Druid abilities that are not unique to Druids, but are not shared by all healing classes.
This, I feel, is probably the weakest argument presented by Druitt in his post, the basic premise being that we should not ask to have the same abilities of other healers. Some examples of these abilities might be Fade, Blessing of Protection, or Power Word: Shield. The difference is that these abilities, while very strong and helpful, are not necessary to the role of a healer. Resurrection very much is, to the point where druids are turned down for advertised healing spots because, "sorry, we need a rezzer."
5. Druids are flexible in filling roles even when off-spec.
Finally, Druitt puts forth the argument that, because druids can also tank and dps, they should not expect to be on par with other healers. This is a disappointing sentiment to hear from a Druid. Feral-specced, he should recognize that he is far from a stellar healer when he's specced for Bear Form tanking (what is odd is that he claims to be superior to his restoration-specced Shaman when healing from his Feral spec). Similarly, I cannot hope to tank anything (besides possibly 5 STV gorillas) with my 43-point Restoration build. I made the tradeoff to be a good healer and expect to have the necessary tools available to me as a result.
All in all, I don't see that any of the above arguments holds much water when really scrutinized. I can only hope that Blizzard takes some of these things into consideration and levels the playing field among all the healers of various classes.
Along with the discussion of whether or not druids should have access to Resurrection, there has been substantial discussion as to the form/limitations that said access should take. Many ferals have expressed reticence at being given access to a spell that would force them into the role of a healer post raid wipe (helping with resurrection). With that in mind, I think that it should probably be a talented skill, on the same level as Nature's Swiftness, 21 points into the Restoration tree. This would allow players who enjoy using the Dreamstate build to heal to pick up the skill as well as the forest of more deeply-specced Restoration druids.
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