Re-Inventing Professions – First Aid

First Aid is a basic instinct in most living things.  If something hurts, stay off of it.  If it is bleeding, stop the bleeding.  Have an open wound?  Clean it, wrap it, protect it.  There are many ways to do this, splints, salves, bandages, but how do you translate this in game?  A splint would be unwieldy and would penalize movement speed, a salve would take time to apply, and you would have to keep re-applying it for it to be effective.

Blizzard did the correct thing when considering first aid – limit it to bandages.  They are simple to implement – you just need cloth, and a bit of time to apply it.  But as it is, first aid is just a bit too simplistic.  Lets look why.

The first thing that comes to mind is that bandages don’t work like they do in game.  You cant just be suddenly healed by applying a bandage.  Bandages take time to work, and you often have to change them to prevent infections.  The latter would not be fun in game.  Could you imagine stopping every 3 minutes in a fight to re-apply a bandage to continue benefiting from its effect?  So, that is out.  But I would like to see the bandage become a HoT.  Apply it, and after 5 seconds, it starts ticking for xxx seconds (maybe 60 seconds?  maybe 20?).  This would be a bit more realistic and interesting.

Also, bandages can be applied to other people, even if they are still fighting, provided that they dont walk out of range, and take no damage.  Yes, you have to take the movement penalty, not the damaged party.  If we are going to improve First Aid to be interesting and more worth while in game (honestly, when is the last time you used a bandage in game?  I never do anymore – more on that later), we need to change it up.  Both parties should be forced to stop or the bandage fails.  If you are gaining something as valuable as a 20 or even 60 second HoT, it would be an important tradeoff – Health for mobility for 5 seconds.

Bandages take a lot of cloth to make as well.  Have you looked at an Ace bandage lately?  Its a strip of cloth that is about 4 inches wide, and about 3-4 feet long.  I am certified in first aid, and I couldn’t make a bandage like that.  I could make a rudimentary bandage, yes, something torn form a shirt or cheesecloth, but not one 3 feet long.  First Aid’ers (is that what they are called in WoW?  LOL) should only be able to make rudimentary bandage scraps – the lowest available bandages for the particular type of cloth.  Tailors should be able to make the more elegant cloth bandages, the ones in the highest class (heavy).  Here is the trade off – only skilled first aid players can apply heavy bandages.  It only makes sense that a good bandage be applied, and is useful, for those that have studied on how to use them.

Hit point inflation has all but pushed out the usefulness of bandages in end game at the moment.  Heavy bandages currently heal me – a ret paladin – for only about 33% of my hit points.  Back in BC, I would stop and apply a netherweave bandage and it would heal me 100% of my hit points.  I would like to see bandages become more important, and usable.  Tanks especially have little use for something that is only going to heal them for a small fraction of the health.

Finally, where is the magic?  I mean, hell, we have mages throwing huge fireballs, calling down blizzards – paladins and priests smiting their foes with holy power, druids wielding the power over nature, and all bandages are are simple cloth pieces?  I would love a mechanic that would use enchanting mats to infuse bandages with certain powers – much lesser powers than enchants, but benefits none the less.  This is one place where we can bring in some fun stuff.  How about our mount speed bonuses?   Yeah, apply a bandage enchanted with this dust and you get a mount speed bonus for 5 minutes.  Its a nice compromise to the whole speed enchants and trinket mess that blizzard has been trying to solve.  But what about other things – like MANA.  Holey moley, that would be nice.  A bandage that heals mind and soul – ret pallies would be in heaven.  I would have to be a small amount, but something like a slightly beefed up replenishment for the next 30 seconds – max one bandage per fight (just like potions now).

As it is now, First Aid in wow is overly simplistic – movement penalty to only the bandager, no magical effects, and just the general un-use of the bandages because of hit point inflation, has left First Aid a mostly unused profession.

One Response to “Re-Inventing Professions – First Aid”
  1. Chronic says:

    Bandages still see a fair amount of use in PvP since they’re quicker than eating (and in fact in arenas you cannot eat) and because you can use them in combat. Anecdotally, I still use a few stacks a week.

    Speaking purely from an arena perspective, I think they fill a useful niche.

    I agree there’s some untapped potential there; the anti-venoms early on were kind of fun but they haven’t done anything like that recently.

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