Here’s a question that has bothered me since I rolled a priest in WoW. Why doe s resurrecting a fallen player cost so much mana?

Mana limits the number and magnitude of actions that you can perform in, or near, combat. Heal too much, sling too many fireballs, whatever — you’ll go OOM and have limited use in combat.

How does Resurrection fit in?

Resurrection can’t be cast in combat.It’s got a six-second cast time, and it costs 60 percent of base mana. Shammy and pally rezes have even higher mana costs.

These penalties slow down group activities. In a five-man group, they’re an annoyance; the rezzer may have to drink twice or so to do multiple rezes and buffs after a partial wipe. Turns a 2-minute down period into a 3-4 minute one.

Where it’s pure murder is in a raid. Lose 5-10 people in a pull on a 25-man raid and that’s 5000-10000 mana that has to be spent on rezes alone, atop the 2000 per decedent tax on buffs.

In the game I play most, WoW, and in most MMOs, resurrection is a pacing mechanism, designed to keep groups hurrying to their goal — clearing to the boss before trash repops, for example.

This philosophy of using trash as a pacing mechanism has been roundly lambasted by players, largely rightly, in my opinion. But some of that criticism should also be directed at the pointlessly punitive resurrection mechanic.

The problem, of course, is PvP. Eliminate the mana costs and you make resurrections insanely overpowered in PvP. There’s no clear-cut way to buff it in PvE without making it overpowered in PvP, either.

How about a real tradeoff between rez abilities and combat? How about reducing the mana cost, but make casting a resurrection spell apply a debuff to the caster that reduces healing to the rezzer for 10 seconds? That would hardly slow down PvE wipe recovery while making resurrection a real trade-off in PvP.

Shouldn’t death, and its concomitant need to heal up and rebuff, be its own penalty? Why penalize the group more by what’s essentially a resurrection tax? I’m sure I’m missing something here. Help me out.