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Warlords of Draenor: Combat resurrection system overhaul

Combat resurrection is one of those mechanics in World of Warcraft that seems to change far more than others. Personally, I remember in vanilla WoW where it was possible for a player to remain out of combat on a raid boss, and you could designate a paladin to resurrect your raid members indefinitely as they died. Of course, no one considered that legitimate gameplay, only a ... creative use of game mechanics. Those days are long gone. We moved from there to a system where legitimate combat resurrections were able to be used without limit, and every expansion (and many content patches) afterwards, the number you were allowed to use in any given fight changed often. Now Warlords is bringing another overhaul.

Warlords of Draenor is not only refining the number of combat resurrections able to be used in any given boss fight, it's also bringing some transparency to the process. The relevant excerpt from the patch notes is below.
Combat Resurrections

Combat resurrections are an extremely powerful tool that players have while in combat. Naturally, we apply some limitations. In Mists of Pandaria, that limit was 1 resurrection during a given raid boss encounter for 10-player modes and 3 for 25-player modes. With Flexible difficulty introduced in Patch 5.4, we erred on the forgiving side, and gave Flexible Raids 3 resurrections regardless of raid size.

In Warlords of Draenor, the Flex tech has expanded to more difficulty levels, and we needed a new system to handle combat resurrections more fairly. We knew that continuing with a constant 3 would encourage using the smallest possible raid sizes, while scaling with hard breakpoints would discourage specific group sizes just under those points. Additionally, the limit is not shown anywhere in-game, so it can be easy to lose track of how many resurrections the raid has available (or even know that the limit exists).

So we've built a new system to be more transparent, and improve usability.

  • During a boss encounter, all combat resurrection spells now share a single raid-wide pool of charges that's visible on the action bar button.
  • Upon engaging a boss, all combat resurrection spells will have their cooldowns reset and begin with 1 charge. Charges will accumulate at a rate of 1 per (90/RaidSize) minutes.
    • Example 1: A 10-player raid will accumulate 1 charge every 9 minutes (90/10 = 9).
    • Example 2: A 20-player raid will accumulate 1 charge every 4.5 minutes (90/20 = 4.5).
  • A charge will only be deducted when a combat resurrection is successful (when the target accepts the resurrection).
  • Raid frames now show a debuff indicating that a dead player has a pending combat resurrection available.
  • Outside of raid boss encounters, combat resurrection spells retain their normal cooldown behavior.


With Flex Raids capping at 30 players in Warlords of Draenor, the largest possible raid size will accumulate a combat res every 3 minutes. The base UI tracking all of that information is a great addition and perhaps not something Blizzard would have done in years past -- raiders often rely on addons for tracking that sort of thing. Of course, the raid leaders won't necessarily be the ones with the ability to combat res, making addons necessary anyway.

Whether that's a problem or not is debatable -- raiding has always made certain addons near-mandatory. If not for raiders as whole, at least for raid leaders or role leaders. Still, this system creates a more transparent environment.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor, News items

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