This week Mia suggested we head back down memory lane and regale our beloved audiences with, if not moaning, at least a nostalgic bit of the game that has left us behind and is no more. While there’s a few things I could probably point to, like an old attunement post, what I’d like to talk about is something that’s still in the game but rarely if ever used.
Once upon a time, I was a rogue. I loved sneaking my way into an encounter, unleashing a powerful blow against the enemy and feinting my way away from a smash in the face. There was a time during every encounter where my job required me to disappear in a cloud of smoke, step away from the fray and apply a bandage to myself. Healers had limited resources, rogues were perpetually in danger of expiring, and those resources couldn’t be wasted on a bunch of idiots who thought standing behind a boss would save them from damage.
When I started raiding in BC, this model had changed dramatically. A bandage might be useful from time to time while grinding alone, and even sometimes in a small group, but if you pulled out your pack of bandages during a boss encounter, people would look at you funny.
Moving forward, the bandage has rapidly been diminished. Most classes have the ability to self-heal to some extent, especially when playing solo. Why bandage when you can just charge into the next group and get a healing bonus? Or finish a mob off and watch your health tick back up as you track down your next enemy. Despite their continued inclusion in the game, bandages are obsolete other than their achievement value.
I’m really not sure why the transition has been moved away from the bandage. Sure, there’s been new mechanics that interrupt the effect making it difficult. Even the best bandages scale poorly to health pools. But those are developer decisions that have resulted in a very relevant and necessary secondary profession to one that has dwindled in importance to a gimmick.
Once upon a time one of my main criterion for eyeballing new raiders was whether or not they bothered to level first aid. Now I rarely even look.
Would it be so bad for players to have additional responsibility for monitoring their own health pools? In the newer climate of attempting to limit healer throughput to make healing decisions “meaningful” wouldn’t a mechanic already available in the game make the dynamic more interesting?
Did you ever enjoy First Aid? Why do you think it’s dropped from raider’s bag of tricks as a mechanic?