Shared Topic: Where’d My Bandage Go?

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?


23 thoughts on “Shared Topic: Where’d My Bandage Go?

  1. I thought I was the only one that noticed this. Yes, I do level first aid, and always keep a stack of 20 bandages on every character, near useless as they are these days, I think it’s still something I need to do and keep on top of. A few times in heroics I’ve had either a very squishy tank that needs a lot of healer attention or a healer that thinks they’re only there to heal the tank and DPS get very little attention in the middle of a boss fight. Several times I’ve had to stop mid fight and bandge up, I’m sure it’s saved my ass more than a few times. Sure I might only heal for a few thousand, but I’ve survived boss fights by that much. And dead damage dealers do very poor DPS, it’s part of our job to stay alive.

    Long live the bandge! Now double its effectiveness.

    • It’d definitely be more useful if we could manage to get a few more HP from the things! I always carry a stack and I’ve used it from time to time, but it was one of the first things that got sacrificed in the great bar binge a couple of years ago because my usage was so erratic.

  2. I always felt First Aid was a waste of good cloth. I always preferred the combination of health pots (in combat) and food (out of combat) on my warrior. Bandages never seemed to do much except leave me with a debuff…. Nowadays, since I play a healer, they’re doubly useless. I did level First Aid to 525 just in case, but I don’t expect to ever use it… except maybe in a BG when I’m seriously OOM.

    • I think because I’ve never had a “serious” tailor, that I always loved having a way to burn it for a useful purpose (and I seriously hate the AH :P) I’ve noticed in the last couple of expansions, however, that I only do first aid on my main, and sell the rest when making alts.

      I’ve found pots good for raiding, but I’ve always hated them for leveling. It seems that you either have 20 of the things or none depending on your luck with drops πŸ™‚

      • I was a major noob on my warrior so honestly I can’t remember much… but nowadays my bank is so full of pots it’s overflowing. I could get an army of alts back to full HP by this point πŸ˜›

  3. Just checked – I am indeed carrying a stack of 20 bandages on my main (healy priest) … I don’t even have bandages on my bars! Such a carryover from levelling my hunter and warlock when I had no idea how to live through an encounter with even a single mob πŸ™‚

  4. I always level first aid up last on my healers and first on my toons that can’t heal. Yes, there are classes that have healing abilities but it’s not like a healing spell. I carry at least 40 bandages on my toons, but I have noticed that we don’t use Bandages as much compared to how it was in Classic. Even healers used Bandages in Classic to conserve mana XD

    • I had forgotten about the healers standing around bandaging! My husband complained that he always hated self-bandaging in vanilla because it caused more threat than it was worth, but he played a restoration shaman way back when πŸ™‚

  5. I loved first aid, I still have it maxed on my tank. I don’t use it as often as I did in the past, but I do occasionally.

    The last time I know it was used in a raid environment was when we first did BH in blues and greens. Saving mana because of the dispel mechanic eating it made it so that we got through the fight the first couple of times probably because we used them.

    I know I used a couple on Chimeron as well if I saw myself get low.

    The most epic use of a bandage was in a ToC run where everyone had died except for the two tanks. I ended up letting the other tank take the boss while I bandaged, when he dropped I was able to finish off the boss. It was awesome.

    I do miss bandages… they should be more effective than they are.

    • I agree that the potential is still there, and I have both been bandaged and have done the same for others, but the circumstance is so rare, it still feels like a wasted endeavor for the most part.

  6. Bandages are still very useful. Not very useful at max level but for leveling they are ridiculously overpowered. Exceptionally so in pvp. One tick of a high level bandage heals for most if not all of your hp.

    If you powerlevel first aid you can use high level bandages. For example it’s possible to use heavy runecloth bandages at level 1. You can CC a target with something like a stun for 2 or 3 sec and you’ll have plenty of time to bandage up to full hp.

    • I fully admit my complete and utter ignorance of everything PvP πŸ™‚

      Personally I’ve found I never bandage anymore. I’m much more likely to pop a pot and keep on trucking since their AH value is harder to recoup than cloth which almost always goes at a premium.

  7. Great post – I love trips down memory lane. I, too, always level my First Aid, even on characters that I do not level fishing or cooking on. I always have a stack of bandages, too, just in case, despite the fact that every class has been given some way to heal itself.

    I feel they should make the same change to bandages that they did to lightwell, that it should take 33% of your hp pool to cancel the effect. This would, like it did with lightwell, make bandages more effective than they are now.

    Nice post!

    • That actually sounds pretty awesome. You can tell how often I play a priest in that I had no idea that was how they currently worked πŸ˜›

  8. I used heaps of heavy netherweave bandages on my level 50 rogue while soloing maraudon (at least on the princess). They heal me for my full health if I can get far enough away – sprint and bandages having the same length cooldown helps!

  9. I keep as many bandages as possible in my main’s bags. I use them to top up my health when I’m not that low but in somewhere like Molten Front, and I occasionally pop back during fights in dungeons and raids to boost myself if I’ve already downed a pot and dropped back down, so that the healers have one less heal to toss on me that they can toss on a tank instead.

    And sometimes if I’m out in the lowbie areas and see someone taking a beating from a mob, I’ll bandage them up. Dense embersilk may not take me from the verge of death to full health, but it can definitely do that for most of the lower levels. True, I could just as easily throw Gift of the Naaru on them, but that heals for a percentage of their health rather that a straight-up 35k and I pretty much only use it in a situation where I can’t down a pot or step away to bandage without taking damage.

    I’ll probably only stop using embersilk for bandages when my wee tailor is high enough level and skill to put it to use.

    • I’m honestly surprised! I haven’t seen anyone use a bandage in a raid setting in so long that I assumed it was a dead art πŸ˜‰ While I don’t use bandages that often when solo’ing, I do still level it on all my characters “just in case.”

  10. I like First Aid to the degree that I have both the 500 Frostweave Bandages and the 500 Emberslik Bandages on my hunter. Ever since Vanilla, I’ve had First Aid (though I didn’t really “jump into the deep end,” if you will, until about late BC, early Wrath), and obviously, it’s very useful since hunter is one of the very few (if not the only) class with no self-heal (Chimera Shot doesn’t count. It requires combat, and honestly, it sucks).

    It’s a little joke in my guild that I like to help out the healers with my bandages (hey, I had 500 Embersilk bandages in my bags. I had to get rid of them. Right now, I have about 200).

    Though, there IS an use for bandages – at least, as a hunter. Every once in a while when my guild runs a heroic, and a wipe happens, I would put away my wolf and pull out my turtle, send him to tank the boss, and shoot away. If Mend Pet isn’t doing its job, bandages help. If I’m low on health, I would FD, have my pet taunt, and then bandage myself. I’ve soloed several boss fights that way.

    But yeah, I think a better solution to make bandages more useful to raiders would be converting the hard numbers into percentage (instead of 45k for Embersilk – or is it Frostweave? – make it heal, like, 18% or 20%).

    • I’m just going to say “Bravo!” I’m currently working on those pesky 500 bandage achievements and it’s no easy feat (and please don’t tell anyone–I’m sure someone will eat me alive for wasting valuable cloth ^^.)

      I’m finding it interesting how people “sneak in” bandage use, and I think part of it is exposure and just love of First Aid. I think a percentage (for bandages and pots) would be awesome, and make the profession as a whole remain viable throughout expansions.

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