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. :)

13 Responses to “The Fine Art of Bandaging”
  1. gmazeroth says:

    When I got my wife to play, she wanted to play a priest, so I rolled a druid to be able to tank while she dps/healed. It worked really great. Now we have a Draenei pair, and I went with a paladan, but she wanted to do the pure DPS mage class. It still works out really well, though I tend to not watch my health and cast heals on myself. So this bandaging thing makes a lot of sense! She’s crazy about trade skills too, so this is right up her alley.

    We’ve also been utilizing the dungeon finder to level as a pair in instances. It’s a nice break when you’ve done the level grind through quests a few times before already.
    .-= gmazeroth´s last blog ..Icecrown Raid Updates =-.

  2. Kayeri says:

    Heh, hubby and I are currently levelling a shaman/priest pair… we can both throw heals at need, but your point about the bandages is VERY true, in fact, now that I look, I have neglected her First Aid and must remedy this asap….

    Netherweave, here we come!!

  3. Lazaros of Llane says:

    Wait wait wait. You’re telling me that people play something other than the true hybrids? And like it?

    I ran into a pair doing this a few weeks ago. The oddity of the pair: they were mages. One “tanked” while the other “healed.” It was hilarious to watch, but fascinating. I wish I could recall their names, but I was just too far in awe of their setup.

  4. Sarah says:

    The downside is the bandage “HoT” is canceled upon taking damage with a 1 minute debuff until that target can be bandaged again. That damage can potentially cancel a bandage before it’s first tic essentially doing zero healing worst case scenario. Any DoTs up make bandaging in combat a very tricky business.

    Still between pulls bandages are great, again watching out of any DoTs that are still ticking.

    As the person being bandaged I usually prefer to bandage myself so I can reliably manage my own 1 minute cooldown as well as picking the best time to do it so I don’t get smacked and waste it.

  5. Sarabian says:

    I have a junior warrior that I’m boredom-leveling. He got first aid right away and has it maxed. Now at level 38, he’s sporting those bandages and uses them all the time just for reducing downtime. I haven’t tried the twosome tactic yet, but that’s a great idea. I know it reduces my questing downtime to near zero and it is amazingly easy to keep myself in netherweave for making them.

  6. Alexis says:

    I levelled my main (a resto shaman) as elemental pairing almost 100% of the time with my boyfriend’s retadin. It was an awesome combo, because paladins are so OP and with a pocket healer capable of lightning, it made it even easier.

    Chain lightning… heal… chain lightning… heal… chain lightning… heal… all day long. On big packs of undead mobs like in the plaguelands he barely even needed me, besides to help clear poisons/diseases etc because paladins are even more ridic against undead. But tank + healer (especially because his main is a tank, so now that I’ve levelled to 80 and am able to raid and do heroics and he’s abandoned his paladin at 76, we keep the same tank/healer synergy going on).

    Very useful to have you tank in your living room. “Get it off me! Get it off me!”

  7. Lytstep says:

    I have started a shammy without any heirlooms leveling strickly through the LFD, only questing until I was able to use the LFD, and sometimes doing instance quest if they are shared by the group. Strickly healer, average wait like 30 seconds. At level mid 30’s, I like to have her rested up so I usually can do one or two levels with double exp. Interesting thing is that the early in I was able to the dungeon in Origomer. I wonder how many of the alliance have done that one or the hord have done stockades?? I think using the /play time I have played about 24 hours or so. I am going to try and go to 80/85 just through dungeons and some BGs. Only quests I am doing are for the totems. Doing the dungeons on a class that I have never played brings a freshness to the game.

    Lytstep

  8. Wavemancali says:

    People really overlook bandages. I’ve saved raids with bandages as a healer that was OOM but still had bandaids on my hotbar from soloing. 8 seconds of bandaging someone gives you the tick of mp5 to get one more heal off too.

  9. Russ says:

    It’s funny, any of my toons that I’ve done any serious leveling with have maximum First Aid skill, out of habit I guess. But I rarely use bandages. It’s just a practice I never got into, but your post is food for thought – bandages are not just a joke! :)
    .-= Russ´s last blog ..T10 4-piece bonus for kitties: in my (distant) future? =-.

  10. Tcx says:

    Perhaps the first time I write in your blog… Funny to think of that, I’ve been reading it for so long.
    Well, I play with my brother in 2 different class combos, planning a 3rd.
    Me brother
    Bear ;) Holy Pala
    Shadow PriestBalance Druid
    (planned)
    Resto ShamanProt Warrior

    Apart from the 2nd group which we only use for fun and some BGs, there is obviously no queue for Tank/Healer group anywhere.
    And the second group, queues as Healer/DPS+Tank/DPS/Healer when needed.
    Perhaps a little off-topic but playing with hybrids is really REALLY fun.
    Btw, does anyone know about where to read/learn about class pairing and class synergies?
    Everywhere I look for something like that I end up with “Learn everything about arena 2v2!”

    Well, this is definitely not needed but(t), great blog! Really.
    And of course, Dire Bear tanks ftw! :)

  11. Clapus says:

    Wife, enhanced shammy/ me balanced druid. Most enjoyable time playing. Total noobs for sure.
    Now we are resto/feral still our best combo. Worst combo, warr/mage we made it to 80 but it seemed to be a chore.

  12. Kauket says:

    For many years on and off, I only played WoW because it was “family time”. At various points, we’ve had up to 8 members of the extended family playing at the same time, but prior to WotLK, the vast majority of my time was spent duoing with my hubby.

    A bit before BC was released, I made my first foray into Azeroth. We had duoed in previous MMOs prior; however, this time I was adamant about not being stuck frikkin’ healing. Again. So we rolled up undead warrior (him, prot specced, and to put it as kindly as possible, in those days, prot was “teh suxxor”) and rogue (me). Oh, the agony: if there’s a less synergistic duo, I would not care to try it. We now reminisce in that fond “thank goodness we’ll never be stuck doing that again” way about how many times we were desperately trying to heal ourselves between fights by gobbling down the corpses of our slain foes, and how much we hated fighting non-humanoids.

    Then BC was released, and we rolled…blood elf warlock and mage. Again, total lack of any healing capacity, but after level 10, we had our friendly neighborhood blueberry soaking up the damage, and later as he demonology specced, health could be pumped into the void, the drained from our foes. This duo so outperformed the warrior/rogue that they were left to gather dust at 60, while the lock/mage blew past to 70.

    We then also played around with a feral druid/holy pally combo, which proved ridiculously survivable; however, they only made it to the 40s as the family was once again abandoning WoW for greener pastures. Though I was pretty “meh” about playing a healer again, I do have fond memories of that pally. Given that I was actually leveling as holy, I ended up with a wild mix of armor types in my goal for healer gear. The number of times I had people say “wut R U doing n cloth? lol n00b” or the equivalent…I ended up with a macro: “/gasp /s OMG it’s cloth! Arrrg, get it off, get it off, get it off!” /panic” Well, it was good entertainment for me at least as they slowly backed away all spooked.

    Returning with WotLK, we ended up with a boomkin and blood DK. Blood and DKs in particular being what they are, leveling was a blast. And amazingly, the guild the family happened to be in didn’t explode a week after we’d reached max level, so we ended up raiding for the first time. My goal, happily achieved, quickly became turning myself into such a great DPSer that I’d never ever be asked to tank. The hubby, though, was getting dissatisfied with his boomkin’s performance and getting ready to leave WoW once again. I persuaded him to try healing, as it was something he’d never done before. Ironically, after all those years of him wanting to DPS and forcing me into healing, it turned out he’s an absolutely brilliant healer. /facepalm

    We did end up taking another duo to 80: elemental/resto shaman and feral (all bear all the time) druid. Have to say that combo blew away all prior ones. It’s fairly telling when the duo’s reaction to a “5 players recommended” quest was giggles and “Leeeeeroy!”

    Eh, that was rambling. Even with bandaging, I’d still probably steer well clear of warrior/rogue. The best duos definitely seemed to be the hybrid classes.

  13. bigbearbutt says:

    Kauket… that was beautiful. What a great tale of fun with different combinations!

    I’ll agree with you, having a duo that can cover tank/heals while also pumping out DPS just the two of ‘em is probably the most powerful/easiest combo.

    On the other hand… I have to say, ahem, I’ve been enjoying playing a super-squishy Mage past 40, something I never thought would ever be possible with my “tank with my face” mentality.

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