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Why survivability matters in Cataclysm class design

Brian Wood

Blizzard has told us again and again that survivability is going to matter more in Cataclysm, and it sounds like we may have to unlearn a lot of the bad habits from Wrath. I think this point was really driven home by developer Ion Hazzikostas in the class Q&A at BlizzCon 2010.

A player was complaining about being forced to take utility talents to reach the bottom of her tree, and she gave as an example a talent that reduced the magic damage taken. She pointed out that the only time you'd take damage was if you stood in fire, which should never happen anyway.

Ion could have pointed out the many, many boss encounters in which the room just pulses unavoidable AoE damage throughout the fight, but instead, he went in what I think was a very insightful route when he responded:

In an ideal world, none of these things would be needed, right? In an ideal world, something like combat rez wouldn't be a useful ability because no one should ever die. In reality, people die.
This is pretty much spot on. We've had a lot of discussion recently about combat rez changes -- but just like no one should ever get hit by a void zone, so too should no one ever die if everyone is doing his or her job. But they do, and combat rez is a great ability. With healers at risk of running OOM in Cataclysm, anything that reduces your damage taken or increases your self-healing is going to help your raid. After all, dead DPS do no damage, and wiped raids kill no bosses.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

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