[WoD] Battle Rezzes and You: What Every Druid, Warlock, Death Knight, Hunter, and RAIDER Should Know — Part 2

Battle rez spells have been highly normalized in Warlords of Draenor, though there are still some slight difference between all four options which every raider should be aware of.  Please read my first post on this topic for an overview of how battle resurrections work in a raid environment.

Death Knight Raise Ally

The Death Knight battle resurrection is an instant cast spell. The downside to Raise Ally is that it costs 30 Runic Power, which often requires a few  seconds of power ramp up time where the Death Knight must be very careful about avoiding abilities that require Runic Power. Using Raise Ally triggers a 10 minute cooldown on the ability when not in a raid encounter.

Death Knights are the only tank class that can cast a battle rez spell without needing to wait for taunt; using Raise Ally will not expose a Death Knight to higher incoming damage like Rebirth would for a Guardian Druid. Raise Ally brings players back to life with 60% health, 20% mana, and a cosmetic 10 minute debuff called Void-Touched which gives the player a ghostly appearance. The Major Glyph of Raise Ally will remove the Runic Power cost, making this free for the Death Knight to cast.

Druid Rebirth

The original battle resurrection spell. Feral and Guardian Druids have a 2 second cast time for Rebirth, while level 100 Restoration and Balance Druids have a Enhanced Rebirth, which makes Rebirth an instant cast spell. When not in a raid encounter, using Rebirth triggers a 10 minute cooldown on the ability. Rebirth will bring a player back to life with 60% health and 20% mana, but this can be modified by the Major Glyph of Rebirth which will cause players to be returned to life with 100% health and 20% mana.

Guardian Druids must be particularly careful about when they use their spell as it will force them out of Bear Form. In most circumstances, Bears should be the last ones called upon to use their battle resurrection. However, with common sense and consideration of encounter mechanics, a Bear can pull this off –just don’t expect an immediate battle rez.

Hunter (Beast Mastery Spec w/ Quillen Pet) Eternal Guardian

This is a very rare battle resurrection spell as Hunters do not always favor the Beast Mastery spec, and when they do, they don’t usually prefer to run with a quillen pet.  Eternal Guardian is an instant cast spell that, when not in a raid encounter, will trigger a 10 minute cooldown on the ability.  This will bring a player back with 60% health and 20% mana.  There are no glyphs that modify Eternal Guardian.

Outside of raid encounters, Eternal Guardian has a unique, and very gimmicky feature: the cooldown is tied to the individual pet.  A Hunter with multiple quillen pets could use Eternal Guardian, then switch to the second quillen and use it again; the first quillen is on a 10 minute cooldown, while the second was not.  A Hunter could even do this while in combat (in a dungeon or world boss or group quest). Note, this will only work in non-raid situations.  During a raid a pet switch would not be necessary as all of the quillens’ Eternal Guardian cooldowns would be the same time as the duration left on the charge timer (see my first post on WoD battle rezzes for more details on battle rez cooldowns during a raid encounter).

Warlock Soulstone

Warlocks have the unique ability to choose someone ahead of time for their Soulstone spell. Before an encounter begins, they can create a Soulstone and place it on another player. That player will receive the Soulstone buff for 15 minutes, during which, if they die, they’ll have the option to use the Soulstone and be resurrected.  The main benefit of using a Soulstone before the encounter begins is that the Warlock does not still have to be alive to have a potentially useful battle rez.  However it can be very difficult to predict ahead of time who might die during any given attempt.

Alternatively, the Warlock can use their Soulstone similarly to a battle rez, waiting until a character has died before using their Soulstone on them. The Warlock should ensure they have a Soulstone ready to go in their bags at the start of an encounter to eliminate cast times.

The spell Create Soulstone takes 3 seconds to cast with a 10 minute cooldown (when not in a raid encounter), and creates a conjured Soulstone. Soulstones are “unique,” meaning a Warlock can only carry one at a time. Using the conjured item is an instant action, and will give the target player a 15 minute buff.  If the Warlock creates another Soulstone after their 10 minutes cooldown has expired, but before the first 15 minute buff expires on the first target player, and casts it on a new player, the old Soulstone buff will be removed on the first target player, superseded by the new cast on the new player.  A Soulstone will resurrect a player with 60% health and 20% mana. This can be modified with the Major Glyph of Soulstone, which increases the amount health restored to 100%.

When using battle resurrection abilities, communication is key. The caster should announce when they are using their battle rez spell, who they are casting it on, and if it has suddenly become unsafe to accept the resurrection. If you are the usual battle rezzer for your raid and you have died, make sure you communicate this to your group so that alternatives can be quickly put into action.

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[WoD] Battle Rezzes and You: What Every Druid, Warlock, Death Knight, Hunter, and RAIDER Should Know — Part 1

Battle resurrections went through another big change at the start of Warlords of Draenor.  Instead of being limited to 1 battle rez for a 10 person raid and 3 for a 25 person raid, battle resurrections are now available on a charged based system.  Your raid starts with one available battle rez and then after a few minutes an additional resurrection can be come available.

Battle Rez Charges

For each raid encounter, your team will always start with 1 battle rez, and will gain 1 additional battle rez charge every 90/x minutes, where x is the number of people participating in the encounter.

For example, a 10 person raid will earn a charge every 9 minutes (90/10 = 9).  Since most encounters are less than 10 minutes in duration in LFR, Normal, or Heroic raid, you will probably have only the starting battle rez available to your team.

During a flex encounter with more raiders, such as 15 people, the raid will earn a charge every 6 minutes (90/15 = 6).  It’s feasible that a raid encounter on LFR, Normal, or Heroic mode could last 6 minutes, in which case you would start with a single battle rez, and then after 6 minutes of fighting the raid boss, a second charge will be earned by your team.

During an encounter with 20 raiders, the raid will earn a charge every 4.5 minutes (90/20 = 4.5).  During a 10 minute encounter (something typically seen in high difficulty Mythic raids), the team will earn a total of three battle resurrections through out the duration.

You do not need to use a charge in order to get a second charge.  The timer starts ticking the second an encounter is pulled.  In a 20 person raid, the second battle rez is earned 4.5 minutes into the encounter, the third 9 minutes into the encounter, etc.

A battle rez only counts against the raid’s charges when it has been accepted by the target player.  If the target player declines the battle rez, the raid will NOT lose the charge and the caster’s battle rez will NOT go on cooldown.  If a battle rez is pending on a player (meaning they have neither accepted or declined) the caster’s battle rez will be unavailable until the target accepts, or it will be refunded if the target declines.  This last bit may not seem important, but if you having a pending resurrection and someone potentially more valuable to your raid (i.e. a tank) dies, you have the option to decline the battle rez so that someone else may use it.

The Battle Resurrection Cooldown

The tooltip of a typical battle rez says the spell has a 10 minute cooldown.  This is not the whole picture.  If you are in a dungeon, participating in a group quest, or you are just casting the battle rez on someone while soloing out in the world, your spell will indeed have a 10 minute cooldown.  However…

Raid encounters change everything. For simplicity, I’m going to use a 20 person raid team in these example (meaning the raid will earn a battle rez charge every 4.5 minutes).

All battle rez casters will have their battle rez go on and off cooldown at the same time.  If a Druid casts Rebirth 2 minutes into the fight, the raid will then have 0 battle rez charges remaining and all Warlocks, Druids, Death Knights, and Hunters in the raid will have their battle rez spell go on cooldown.  All caster’s battle rezzes will go on cooldown if another member of the raid team accepts a battle rez and the raid has no additional charges.

If a caster’s battle rez has gone on cooldown, the length of this cooldown is the same as the time remaining until the next charge. In a 20 person raid, the caster’s battle rez cooldown has a maximum of 4.5 minutes.  If a caster rezzes someone 3 minutes into the encounter, the cooldown for every battle rez caster in the raid will be 1.5 minutes long since the team’s second battle rez becomes available at that time.  If a caster uses the first battle rez on someone 5 minutes into the encounter, the raid will have earned a second charge and no one’s battle rez spell will go on cooldown.  If the raid team has additional charges, all battle rez casters will NOT be on cooldown, even the caster.

Effectively, in a 15 minute encounter with 20 raiders, a sole Druid can cast all three Rebirths.  She could cast them once every 4.5 minutes, or, if raiders have died only after 13.5 minutes have elapsed, she could cast all three in quick succession.

No matter how much time is left on a caster’s battle rez cooldown, it will reset at the end of a boss encounter (killing the boss or wiping to the boss).  However, if a battle rez was used on the trash leading up to a raid boss, that specific caster will have to wait for the full 10 minute cooldown before being able to cast it, even if the raid has pulled a boss and the raid has charges available.  In this scenario, other battle rez casters will still be able to use theirs normally.

Tracking the Shared Battle Rez Charges

The best way to manage your raids shared battle rez charges is to use a simple tracking addon.  Personally, I find oRA3 to track encounter battle resurrections very effectively.  The oRA3 addon does a lot of raid leader related things (tracking healer and dps cooldown usage, making it easier to invite many people at once for a raid, etc), but for battle rezzes specifically it puts a timer and a counter on my screen, which tells me at a quick glance how many battle rezzes are currently available in this encounter and how long until the next one will be available.  It also shows who rezzed who throughout the encounter.

Since I’ve been using oRA3 as a general raid addon for years, I haven’t searched out other options for battle rez tracking.  If anyone has a suggestion for a solid, standalone, battle rez tracking addon I’d love to hear about it!

[Cataclysm] Battle Rezzes and You: What Every Druid, Warlock, Death Knight, and RAIDER Should Know — Part 2

Every raider should know the slight differences between the three types of Battle Rez spells and understand how they impact the decision to resurrect a player during combat.

Warlock Soulstone

Warlocks have the unique ability to choose someone ahead of time for their Soulstone spell. Before an encounter begins, they can create a Soulstone and place it on another player. That player will receive the Soulstone buff for 15 minutes. If the receiving player dies while this buff is active they will have the choice to resurrect upon death. The main benefit to this is that as long as the Warlock has a Soulstone active on another player, the Warlock herself does not still have to be alive to bring that player back to life. There aren’t many situations in current content where this is useful, but I am reminded of the Assembly of Iron encounter in Ulduar. The tank with Overwhelming Power was going to die without question, using a Soulstone on them ahead of time would ensure they would be able to come back and finish the fight even if the Warlock ended up dead from other encounter mechanics.

Alternatively, the Warlock can use their Soulstone similarly to a Battle Rez, waiting until a character has died before using their Soulstone on them. The Warlock should ensure they have a Soulstone ready to go in their bags at the start of an encounter to eliminate cast times.

The spell Create Soulstone takes 3 seconds to cast, has no cooldown, and creates a conjured Soulstone. Soulstones are “unique,” meaning a Warlock can only carry one at a time. Using the conjured item is an instant action, but doing so will initiate a 15 minute cooldown on the Warlock preventing the use of a second Soulstone.

A Soulstone will resurrect a player with 30% health and 30% mana. This can be modified with the Major Glyph of Soulstone, which increases the amount health restored by 40%. In other words players brought back to life with a glyphed Soulstone return with total of 70% health and 30% mana.

Death Knight Raise Ally

The Death Knight battle resurrection is an instant cast spell. The downside to Raise Ally is that it costs 50 Runic Power, which often requires several long seconds of power ramp up time where the Death Knight must be very careful about avoiding abilities that require Runic Power. Using Raise Ally triggers a 10 minute cooldown on the ability. Death Knights are the only tank class that can cast a Battle Rez spell without needing to wait for taunt; using Raise Ally will not expose them to higher incoming damage as Rebirth would for a Feral Bear tank.

Raise Ally brings players back to life with 30% health, 30% mana, and a cosmetic 10 minute debuff called Void-Touched which gives the player a ghostly appearance. There are no glyphs that modify a Death Knight’s Battle Rez spell to grant its recipients more health or mana.

Druid Rebirth

This is the original battle resurrection spell. Unlike the other two types of Battle Rezzes, the unmodified spell requires the druid to carry a Maple Seed reagent which is consumed upon spell cast. Using the Minor Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth will remove the reagent requirement. Rebirth has a 2 second cast time and triggers a 10 minute cooldown on the ability.

Standard Rebirth will bring a player back to life with 20% health and 20% mana (10% less than either Soulstone or Raise Ally). However, the Major Glyph of Rebirth makes the Druid Battle Rez truly shine in all situations. Using Rebirth while modified by that glyph will cause the Battle Rez spell to bring a player back to life with 100% health and 20% mana. Yup, full health. Though a Battle Rez recipient should always be watching timers to make certain a big AoE damaging spells isn’t about to go off (see part 1!), coming back to life at 100% health certainly helps out in uncertain situations.

Though all Druids can use Rebirth, Druid tanks must be particularly careful about when they use their spell as it will force them out of Bear Form. In most circumstances, Bears should be the last ones called upon to use their battle resurrection. However, with common sense and consideration of encounter mechanics, a Bear can pull this off –just don’t expect an immediate Battle Rez.

Plan for the most effective use of each different battle resurrection spells. If a tank just died, a Druid with a glyphed Rebirth is likely the best choice to quickly get them back on their feet with enough health to immediately taunt the boss back. If the raid lost a healer and they need to be back in action immediately, a Warlock Soulstone might be the most appropriate spell as the recipient will return with more mana than if they were brought back by a Death Knight or Druid. Calling upon a Death Knight to use Raise Ally might be the best option when a DPS dies and the raid has a few moments to spare before they must be brought back. Admittedly, this sort of planning might make more sense in a 25s raid setting, but it is worth knowing what to expect from a Battle Rez in any situation.

As with most raiding strategies, communication is key. The caster should announce when they are using their Battle Rez spell, who they are casting it on, and if it has suddenly become unsafe to accept the resurrection. If you are the usual Battle Rezzer for your raid and someone dies while you are still on cooldown, make sure you communicate this to your group so that alternatives can be quickly put into action.

A Battle Rez cannot always save the day… but having a plan and understanding the spells can increase the chance that it will!

[Cataclysm] Battle Rezzes and You: What Every Druid, Warlock, Death Knight, and RAIDER Should Know — Part 1

This is the first of two slightly out of date posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for about a month or so.  They were intended to be helpful posts and may still be useful so I’ve decided to finish them up and post them.   It was getting a little long though, so now it’s split into two posts! Hopefully someone out there with questions about then whens, whys, and hows of Battle Resurrection spells will come across these posts. =D

With 4.1 came a big change: Warlocks and Death Knights now have the ability to resurrect fellow raiders during a battle.  This change follows closely along the heals of other changes Blizzard has recently implemented to the game; making certain that all critical raid buffs are spread out among at least three unique classes.  For another example you can look at Heroism/Bloodlust, which is now provided by Shamans, Mages, and (Beast Master) Hunters.

In addition to the recently added Battle Rezzes, Cataclysm changed how raid leaders and raiders should fundamentally approach the spell by enforcing a hard per encounter limit; three Battle Rezzes in 25s, one in 10s.

Historically, some guilds allowed resurrection to be used whenever the Druid thought it was appropriate, and some guilds restricted the spell, requiring the raid leader to call out for someone’s resurrection.   From my experience, many guilds and raid leads allowed for an amalgamation of the two methods.  Often times, the more Druids in your raid, the freer they were to use their Battle Rez at will.

However, in Cataclysm (even in a 25s setting) the increased number of people who can Battle Rez coupled with the decreased number of allowed Battle Rezzes and the method in which Battle Rezzes are counted forces us to be more careful about when we use the spell, on whom we cast it, and if we should accept a combat resurrection sent our way.

It’s that last bit I want to focus on:

Should you always accept a combat resurrection sent your way?

The short answer would be no.

A Battle Rez only counts against your encounter limit when it has been accepted by the recipient.  If someone sent a Battle Rez your way and you decline (or even if you simply sit on the “Accept or Decline” window), the combat resurrection does not count towards the encounter limit and another Battle Rez can still be cast.

This places an equal burned on the person accepting a Battle Rez as the person casting the Battle Rez.  The caster has triggered (and potentially wasted) their personal 10/15 minute cooldown, but the recipient has the final say on whether or not the resurrection counts against the encounter limit.

In this new world of limited Battle Rezzes, you should consider a quick checklist before accepting any combat resurrection sent your way:

  • Did someone more valuable die while the spell was being cast? (Be honest with yourself about what you can contribute to the raid)
  • If so, is there another Druid/DK/Warlock available to combat resurrect the other person? (Some addons, such as ORA3, will help track Battle Rez cooldowns)
  • Was the caster in a safe location when they cast the Battle Rez? (You’ll return to life at the exact location the caster was standing when they used their ability; listen/watch for communications from your rescuer, a good combat resurrecter will let you know if it is not safe to accept)

Ideally, you should be running through this list and paying attention to the locations of your potential rescuers from the moment you die until combat ends or you receive a Battle Rez.  The tides of battle can turn swiftly if you are able to act quick enough and get back into the fray with minimal downtime.

Part 2 of this post will cover the details of all three combat resurrection spells, including a discussion of their differences and suggestions on their best uses.

[4.1] Battle Rezzes for DKs & Warlocks, Changes to Efflorescence & Tranquility

Edit: Well, the latest build info was just posted and it includes more information on the Efflorecense and Tranquility changes I mentioned in this post.  Check out this post for the updated info from Build 13707.

Battle Rezzes

So there was this recent announcement…

Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

– Patch Notes, 4.1 (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2356431)

And now we hear this…

Our plan is still to let Soulstones be used on dead targets, effectively giving warlocks a combat resurrection as well. Unlike the death knight one, which was a relatively straight forward change, the warlock one requires new code. We still plan on making this change for 4.1, but we will keep you updated.

– Zarhym (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2140450499#14)

Well, as the opening poster in the Warlock thread points out, Blizzard had been hinting at making Soulstone more like a “battle rez” for a while now, so this isn’t really “new.”   But when this didn’t happen at Cataclysm’s launch and Blizzard didn’t make any further mentions of it, I began to wonder if it really were going to happen.  Even when Blizzard announced the changes for Death Knights, I thought perhaps they had merely shifted the non-Druid battle rez to them instead…  But this change makes sense.  Three classes can provide Heroism…and now three classes will be able to provide a battle rez.

Efflorescence

Any Resto Druid currently on the PTR has probably noticed that Efflorescence is behaving oddly.  I’ve only had a few opportunities to check it out myself, but it’s seems to be acting as a smart heal.  Though originally assumed to be a bug, Blizzard has decided they like the effect and will be implementing it as a feature:

The change to Efflorescence becoming a smart heal was actually originally just a bug. Since so many of you responded so favorably to it though, we’re actually going to redesign Efflorescence to work similarly. We expect the redesign to help the talent be more useful in 5 and 10 player content as well. We’ll have more details at a later time.

-Bashiok (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2140510015#19)

I wonder if they’ll be making a similar change to a Priest’s Holy Word: Sanctuary?  Also, I’m not sure they’ll implement it in exactly the same fashion that Keeva describes, that seems a little too powerful to me based on what Blizzard has done so far to healing.  I have a feeling the overall healing on Efflorescence might be reduced, but, even if that happens, it will be an overall buff to the talent.  The question becomes, is it worth picking back up?  Will they unlink it from Living Seed?  If not, what 6 talent points should I (and others who are currently skipping Efflor) drop from my spec to snap it back up?

Tranquility

Gift of Nature (passive) also reduces Tranquility’s cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.

– Patch Notes, 4.1 (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2356431)

As many people have already stated the wording for this makes little to no sense.  Currently, Gift of Nature is a passive “specialization” something we get automatically for choose the Restoration talent tree; it has no ranks, and thus the two step cooldown reduction doesn’t really work.  It is also not clear whether Tranquility’s base cooldown is being raised, which might mean something like Resto Druids can cast it every 8 minutes, but Ferals and Moonkin can only cast it every 13 minutes, or something like that.  The information is just so incomplete at this time.

Another possibility; will it be a 2 point talent?  We don’t really have room in our spec for any new talents, so if they go this route I think it’ll be attached Malfurion’s Gift, or maybe Naturalist. There really aren’t many other good 2 point talent options.  One option would be redesigning Living Seed and/or Efflorescence down to 2 point talents and attaching this Tranquility change to either of those.  It would make either talent much more desirable and free up a point or two for the other nice talents that many choose to sacrifice for Efflorescence.

Really, at this point, the only thing I can say about this tiny bit of information is that it hints to still further changes in the works for Restoration Druids in Patch 4.1.

…and that’s not evening including the Cooldowns that were promised us a few weeks back. Hold tight, fellow Druids!  Let’s see where this ride takes us. =)