In my opinion, one of the most enjoyable parts of WoW is not just playing with close friends, but leveling with close friends.
The standard, of course, has been for folks to solo while leveling, and then look for friends to group with to do instances. Or, acknowledging the reality, look for friends with high level characters to run them through quickly to knock off some high-XP quests and get an item upgrade or two. The new low level LFD tool has made it even easier to solo the whole way through, either by ignoring questing and just staying in LFD or by mixing them up, and never even involve your friends at all.
Talking briefly with my buddy Melpo last night, about his level 51 Paladin, and he shared that in the last two weeks he’s used LFD to run as a tank in instances, and he complained that he never gets a chance to train skills or do quests, because there is no queue wait for him. He’s gone from the 30′s to 51 in those two weeks, in LFD groups.
I have to imagine he isn’t alone. I’m pretty sure Elystia is doing much the same thing, at least with her Horde side Mage. :)
The interesting thing is, playing with your close friend or significant other is awesome while leveling, especially if you both choose classes that complement each other.
The most traditional style groupings are those that include a tank and a DPS that can cast heals, you know, your Druids, Paladins, Shamans, Priests.
Having one person tanking and locking up a group of mobs, and the other person doing DPS, but able to cast a heal or two in a jiffy is ideal, right? Unending beatdown, no downtime.
The problem with that can be that maybe the other person doesn’t want to play a Druid, Paladin, Shaman or Priest. Classes that have healing spells are also classes that people love soloing with in the first place.
That’s where the magic of Bandaging comes into play.
It’s long been a joke, one person asks for a healer to join their group;
- “Pit of Saron LFM, have tank, need healer and good to go.”
- “I have bandages, I’ll go.”
In a two person leveling group, that actually can be true.
Take, for example, the Tank and Frost Mage combo. As this is my blog, we’ll of course make the Tank a Bear.
The Bear runs or charges forward, gathers up the mobs and Swipes them up. A Maul gets thrown.
Then the Frost Mage runs forward, Frost nova pins them all in place, and Blizzard begins raining down chilly destruction on the whole group.
Bigger the group of mobs, the better. Except… the Bear is taking a multiple beating.
Bear tanks, of course, can pop Rejuvenation and Regrowth on themselves just before charging in, but if you’re chain pulling groups, it can be annoying to build up Rage only to drop it again by popping out of forms to heal all the time.
And if the Bear’s health is dropping like a stone a little too fast, what is the Mage supposed to do?
One potential answer is Bandages. No, really.
Once you reach level 35, you can learn max First Aid skill to 300 right from the Azerothian trainer. You can learn how to make, and use, Bandages up to Heavy Runecloth.
But that’s not all. The only requirement for using Bandages is that you have the applicable First Aid skill level.
And on top of that, you can train your level 35+ character past 300, to a max of 375, by visiting Olissara the Kind, the First Aid trainer in Dalaran.
That’s right, you can learn how to make, and use, Bandages up to Frostweave directly from the trainer in Dalaran, even at level 35.
By way of comparison,
Why use Runecloth when Netherweave is so easy to come by, and let’s hold off on talking about Frostweave, since it’s potentially useful in crafting Cloth gear so it’s more valuable in general than Netherweave. Heck, if only for making 20 slot Frostweave Bags, Frostweave is too tasty to blow on Bandages all the time.
And that’s what we’re talking about. Using Bandages ALL the time.
The Heavy Netherweave Bandage clocks in at healing 3400 damage over 8 seconds.
As you well know, that ain’t “wait 8 seconds and get one big heal”, instead that’s 3400 healing spread out over time, and the more powerful the Bandage you use, the bigger the healing in a short time.
At level 35 to 40, the tank portion of your group will likely have, even with optimized tanking gear, less than 3400 total health.
If the tank has aggro on the groups, then you can run forward and Bandage the tank. Damage taken interrupts healing, on the person doing the healing, not the person getting the heals.
Your tank can be getting pounded on, and as long as they have aggro, you can channel the entire 8 seconds and heal them to full.
Even if you’ve got mobs in the group that pull off the tank and go after you, or who do AoE damage that will break you out of your Bandage channeling… if you just get a couple ticks of healing off on the tank, that’s one hell of a boost.
Using a Silk Bandage? Useful, but no big deal.
Using a Heavy Netherweave Bandage? Suddenly, you ARE a DPS/healer, at least for the sake of your two person group.
I wanted to bring this up, because I really do love the idea of having folks playing classes they might not solo themselves, from squishiness or from boredom. If I can help encourage just one couple to think, “Hey, why not try tank and Mage, or tank and Warlock” when they might not have given a squiddly a try, then my work here is done. :)