Holy Sh-…. Shock

The world is continuing to be torn asunder, and along with it the talent trees are shifting wildly. Protection paladins are losing and gaining spells left and right, Retribution paladins are still gaining their footing, and Holy paladins are constantly feeling their buffs rearranged. 

However, among all these things, one thing seems for certain. Holy Shock is turning out to be a monster. 

Betcha didn't know Goku was a Paladin

Betcha didn't know Goku was a Paladin

Here’s the basics: 

Holy Shock
8% of base mana
20-40 yd range
6 sec cooldown
Blasts the target with holy energy, causing 1399 to 1515 Holy damage to an enemy, or 3938 to 4266 healing to an ally, and grants a charge of Holy Power 

From the last notes I was able to read up on, it had an 81% spellpower (healing) coefficient. 

At the moment, I am sitting at 2813 Spellpower unbuffed, with a 30.78% crit chance. This would mean that my base Holy shock should heal for around 3938 + (2813 [SP]*.81) = 6216.53 to 6544.53 with no talents or buffs added. 

So, let’s start adding some talents.  First we’ve got Divinity, which is currently Tier 1 on the Holy tree.  It provides, when maxed at 3/3, an increase in all healing done by you by 6%. Next we have Healing Light, sitting in Tier 2, providing, when maxed at 3/3, an increase in the amount healed by your Word of Glory and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 30%. Lastly we have Crusade, sitting in Tier 1 of the Retribution Tree, (meaning we can’t put points into it until level 70). With Crusade maxed at 3/3, you will have an increase in the damage of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of Righteous, and Templar’s Verdict by 30% and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 30%. 

So, let’s add these up. First let’s think about what is affected by the percentage increases that the talents provide. Will they be added to the base spell strength where the SP coefficient is added at the end, or will it be added on top of the spell’s strength after the SP coefficient has been added.  I’ll put both in, just to see what the difference may be. 

[D] = Divinity
[H] = Healing Light
[C] = Crusade
[SP] = Spell Power
In addition to the SP Coefficient (Before):
3938 + (3938 * .06 [D]) + (3938 * .30 [H]) + (3938 * .30 [C]) + (2813 [SP]*.81) = 8815.61 to 9360.09
Including the SP Coefficient (After):
(3938 + (2813 [SP]*.81)) = 6216.53
6216.53 + (6216.53 * .06 [D]) + (6216.53 * .30 [H]) + (6216.53 * .30 [C]) = 10319.44 to 10863.94

So, we now have an idea as to what kind of potency the new Holy Shock will have.  This is not even including the crit chances which will increase this amount by 150%-200%. Holy Shock is turning out to become one of the most useful spells in our spellbook, even though I already use it plentifully, this will make it even better. 

Now the other talents that it will affect.  First up, it will provide a stack of Holy Power.  Holy Power being our new extra resource to manage, allowing us the instant mana free heal called Word of Glory. Outside of its new primary function, Holy Shock will provide some cast time reductions for Holy Light via Infusion of Light, dropping its cast time by 1.5 sec. Next, via Speed of Light, Holy Shock will also grant upwards of 30% spell haste for your Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine Light spells (if talented 3/3). So mixing Holy shock with a Judgement, via Judgements of the Pure, you could increase your overall haste by 39% for at most 1 minute. 

I know this is a lot of information to take in at once; however the effects of these changes are huge.  We are going to truly have the flexibility that we may not have had before, mostly thanks to Holy Shock. 

I hope this helps get you a bit excited about the upcoming changes, though they are still in Beta, they really do appear to be shaping up to be something great. Again, until Blizzard makes it law, it’s only speculation, but it sure does get me ready to start trying some of this out in Cataclysm. 

[start emo mode]
But I’m not in the Beta… *sigh* /wrist
[end emo mode]

Holy Guacamole!

Well, looks like us Paladins are on a roll now. After being rudely awakened this morning by a not so happy 4 month old, I decided after calming him down that I’d take a quick look at MMO-Champion to see if there were any updates on the paladin changes announced during the Twitter chat.  As some may also know, the Beta had a patch yesterday, where several of the new things were to be implemented.

And implemented they were.

Awwwww YEAHHH!!!

Awwwww YEAHHH!!!

Here’s what I found while perusing the site (I’ll stick with Holy for now):

Holy

  • Healing Hands now has a 1 min cooldown
  • Divine Plea is now trained at level 58. Down from 68.
  • Light’s Beacon (!) now affects each heal you cast on the target instead of just Holy Light and Holy Shock. Now heals the beacon for 50%. (Down from 100%)
  • Holy Wrath no longer scales from attack power and deals 2400 Holy damage divided among all targets within 10 yards.
  • Holy Shock now grants a charge of Holy Power.
  • Seal of Wisdom is gone.
  • Seal of the Pure (!) now seems to have a chance to restore the Paladin’s mana.
  • Holy Light is now trained at level 14. Up from 5.
  • Divine Light – A large heal that heals a friendly target for 7761.99 to 8648.14. Good for periods of heavy damage. // 30% base mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
  • Divine Favor now increases your chance to critically hit with your next Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Divine Light by 100% / Instant, 1 min cooldown
  • Denounce (!)- You have a 50/100% chance when any of your Holy spells get a critical effect to make your next Exorcism spell instant and cost no mana.
  • Sacred Cleansing is now Tier 4 Talent. Down from Tier 5.
  • Infusion of Light is now a Tier 3 Talent. Down from Tier 4. It now only affects Holy Light. (No longer affects Divine Light)
  • Blessed Life is now a Tier 6 Talent. Up form Tier 4.
  • Enlightened Judgements is now a Tier 3 Talent. Down from Tier 4.
  • Healing Light now affects Words of Glory.
  • Tower of Radiance (NYI) *New* (!) - Directly healing the target of your Beacon of Light has a % chance to generate Holy Power.
  • Judgements of the Pure is now a Tier 1 talend. Down from Tier 2.
  • Sanctified Light now affects Word of Glory and increases critical chance by 6/12%. (Up from 5/10%)
  • Speed of Light *New* (!) - Casting Holy Shock grants 5/10/30% spell haste for your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Divine Light, and casting Healing Hands grants you 10/20/60% movement speed for 10 sec. Also lowers the cooldown on Healing hands by 10/20/30 sec at all times.
  • Clarity of Purpose *New* – Reduces the casting time of your Holy Light and Divine Light spells by 0.1/0.2/0.3 sec.

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Ze Mastery, it be changin’

Big changes were just released by the boys of Blizz. Sounds like there is going to be a big change in the way that Mastery is going to be determined, as well as how the Talents are going to (or not) affect them. Below is the post on the changes directly from Zahrym.

Mastery & Specialization

Mastery & Specialization

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Making Ret Interesting

Colbert Faceroll

LOLFACROLLRETPALLIES!

I’ve been thinking lately about the Retribution rotation. There are several variations on how it can done, and how effective it may be, but the standard First Come First Cast Priority rotation is:

1) Judgement of Light/Wisdom
2) Crusader Strike
3) Divine Storm
4a) Hammer of Wrath, so long as the mob is below 20%
4b) Exorcism, so long as Art of War has proc’d
5) Consecration, so long as it will not pull threat or burn you out of mana

I would also dare to include Holy Wrath, in the cases of multiple Undead/Demon mobs.

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These Crits are real.

Wow, Blizzard is really passing the information out since the preview. We just got a little bit more clarification on both Hands of Healing and the Critical Healing mastery.

Those Crits are Real.

Those Crits are Real.

As paladin healers, we have almost always looked for Crit Rating/Crit Chance, etc., on gear. Esepecially since BC and WotLK was released and the addition of Illumination and Infusion of Light. Our spells become more powerful with Crit, and with already high spell coifficients on our biggest spells, we can get even more out of them with Crit. Fortunately, Blizzard seems to be following this vision and making our Crits even better.

Critical Healing (Mastery)
I’m not sure I understand the logic here. Having larger crits makes crit chance attractive on gear, but I don’t think the reverse is true. You won’t be at a disadvantage if you have high crit and low mastery because you will just crit more often. You won’t be at a disadvantage if you have low crit and high mastery because when you do crit, your heals will be larger. Crit and mastery do complement each other well and I can understand why it might be a problem if haste and Spirit weren’t attractive stats so you were pigeon-holed into just crit + mastery gear, but those should both be very good stats.

(I’m ignoring the effects of Illumination, overhealing and the (specious) argument that “crit is inherently bad because it’s RNG” to keep things simple, so let me know if any of those is key to understanding this.)

This explains the importance, yet seeming to restate the obvious again, of having Crit chance on gear.  With the new Mastery system, the more crit you have, not only will you crit more often, but because of “Critical Healing Effect” you will have more heal per crit.

Also with the changes in encounters and tank damage, I don’t feel that those bigger Crits are going to be overheals as often as they are now.

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More Paladin Healing

Looks like some more updates and clarifications came down the pipe this weekend. I’m going to go ahead and post the blue post below and follow it up with some of my commentary, and hopefully follow it up with some of your commentary, haha. Anyway, this little tidbit seems to be focusing on the Paladin’s AE healing abilities.

Paladin Class Changes

For Tarinae :)

Our goal is for paladins to be able to raid heal. Don’t look at the designs for spells that none of you have even been able to try and conclude those mechanics can’t possibly allow you to raid heal and therefore our goal can’t possibly be met and will therefore be abandoned. It’s fine to raise concerns — that’s one of the reasons we announce stuff like this early — but some of you are trying to get a spell buffed that you haven’t even cast yet.

I will say our vision for the AE spell though is not that the paladin runs around constantly, but that you position yourself where you can do the most good. Sometimes that will be back with the healers. Sometimes that might be in the melee. Sometimes you’ll have to spread out and your group healing won’t be as efficient (in the same way a shaman’s group healing isn’t as good in the same scenario).

Tranquility is on a very long cooldown. It is not the way druids AE heal. We want to shift it from 5-person group to raid because we’d like to do that with every spell. Having to organize players by arbitrary group is a strange concept since it doesn’t actually manifest itself in the real world (in the way distance from you on the battlefield does).

We aren’t going to give paladins anything resembling Circle of Healing. One (or two) of those spells in the game is plenty.

Spirit will be a good stat to stack but only to a point. Once you can heal say a six minute boss fight without going out of mana, then any additional Spirit is pretty much wasted. At that point stats like crit start to look pretty attractive because they increase your spell’s throughput without increasing the mana cost. Maybe you’ll be able to heal someone with one cast, allowing you to swap over and heal another player. In today’s healing environment, where a lot of that excess healing will be wasted overhealing, getting a huge crit on a spell isn’t nearly as valuable.

We’ll have to see how raid healing goes. We might be okay with the tendency for groups to still assign paladins to tank healing because they are particularly good at it. What we want to avoid are those cases where a group feels like they can’t possibly keep tanks alive because they lack a paladin or they can’t possibly keep groups alive because they have too many paladins.

Wow, that was a good bit of info right there. Sadly it makes my visualization of Hands of Healing null and void, as it stresses that HoH isn’t going to have  you running around like mad, but instead having you place yourself where the heals are needed, limiting the efficiency of the AE healing in cases where players are spread out.  They allude to Shaman raid healing as an example, and how it is limited by range as well.

I do agree that it would be beneficial and a change in tactics for groups to actually group up depending on what healing is needed.  I also really like the idea that paladins will be moving closer to the melee area in some cases, and not always in the background with jazzhands.  However, I disagree with the comparison to Shaman healing.  The disagreement comes with the fact that a shaman can target where it heals bounce from.  While standing in the back of the room, the Shaman can still throw a chain heal into the melee group, and let it do the bouncing; while on the other hand, a Paladin will need to mosey on up to the melee group and start farting heals.  The time lost getting up there could be a factor.

Farting Heals

HoH under Thermal Imaging

Now, the Blizzard poster does have a point.

Don’t look at the designs for spells that none of you have even been able to try and conclude those mechanics can’t possibly allow you to raid heal and therefore our goal can’t possibly be met and will therefore be abandoned. It’s fine to raise concerns — that’s one of the reasons we announce stuff like this early — but some of you are trying to get a spell buffed that you haven’t even cast yet.

The point is well taken.  We can’t really determine how the spell will work if we’ve never seen it yet. I would, however, appreciate what ideas they have for range/strength of the heal being emitted. However, again, we really can’t determine what kind of use it will have until we can use it… maybe this post will catch Blizzard’s attention… and get me a beta key! :P

Another not pointed out in this blue post was the mention of stacking spirit.  It’s stated that stacking spirit is a good idea, up to a point.  An example being healing a 6 minute fight without running out of mana.  I’m assuming that this includes using all of our normal mana regen cooldowns (if they exist come Cataclysm), on top of the stacked spirit. A sentence did stick out a bit, and maybe I’m just reading into things:

At that point stats like crit start to look pretty attractive because they increase your spell’s throughput without increasing the mana cost.

What did they mean by “without increasing the mana cost” in the statement above? Obviously crit is going to increase the throughput of your heals by doubling (think Critical Healing Effect Mastery) their output, but are they meaning “increasing the mana cost” by having to cast more heals? I can only assume that is the case, but could there be a new mechanic being added that allows increased throughput with increased mana usage (think Arcane Power, more power for more mana).  Again, maybe I’m just reading to much into this, but it does pop some light bulbs above my head.

In conclusion though, it does appear that the powers that be, don’t mind letting us fill the Tank healing niche. They just hope that having more than one paladin healer isn’t a hinderance in AoE healing.  As usual, time will tell.

What do you think about the paladin AoE heal? Will you still be running around like mad anyway?

Blizzard’s Suggested Paladin Healing Model

Ya, creative title isn’t it :P

Anyway, I found some new information that came from some blue posters.  This pertaining directly to the Paladin healing model.  Here’s the text from the thread:

Paladin Healing model
We talked a lot about keeping the paladin model inverted, where the small heal is super efficient. There is probably a way it could still work. In the end we were just concerned that it would end up biting us in the rear. Somewhere along the way we’d have to make special rules to handle the paladin, who would risk being too mana efficient or too incapable of healing when forced to heal outside of their mana-efficient comfort zone. Could we have designed it? Probably. But frankly I’d rather spend our time on more interesting mechanics and spells. I’d rather the new AE heal really make paladins feel like they can AE heal rather than really making sure FoL felt small, cheap and fast. I agree it erodes a little bit of  distinction among the classes, but only a little bit. There are far more interesting ways to make healers feel unique than in the relative mana efficiency of their small spell.

This accentuates the point of how they plan to change how us paladins heal.  It’s going to be real hard for me to not want to use FoL a lot, as I already do now. In fact, I’m almost going to have to just change my Clique setup, so that I do it subconsciously.  We are going to have to get very used to using Holy Light as our Flash of Light replacement, and use the Super Holy Light as our healing bomb.  But this makes me wonder where Flash of Light is going to come into play.  I understand that it is still going to be a quick heal, and I’m sure the spell power coefficient will likely stay the same (or hopefuly go up), but when will it be better to use it in place of Holy Light or Super Holy Light?

Also mentioned is how they plan to have our AE heal feel like we’re able to AE heal.  I still am really skeptical on how Hands of Healing will work.  We are going to be a moving HoT, but unless there is enough healing radiating from our pores, then we’ll still need to stand still and cast something.

My prediction is that they will provide a decent range (15-20 yds?) and at least a decent amount of healing + (spellpower coeffcient * 100), to allow us to continue running around the raid keeping the HoT moving and reaching those who need it.

I can’t resist… here’s my visualization again:

lol HoH

lol Hands of Healing... lololol... >_>

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  (no pun intended)  There was mention of some clarification to the Critical Healing Effect passive Mastery abilities we would get as Holy Paladins.

Critical Healing Effect
There also seems to be some confusion about Critical healing Effect which simply means a critical heal can do more than 150%. (Think of talents like Ruin for warlocks.) We wanted to keep some of the feel of Holy paladins getting big critical heals and caring about crit in general. This mechanic wouldn’t really have worked in Wrath of the Lich King because big crits just translated into overhealing. In Cataclysj that shouldn’t be the case.

This is exactly how I interpreted the change.  I figured that they would simply increase the amount of output that Critical Heals generate by increasing the percentage (150% -> 175% or even 200%).  It also gives further insite into how large some of our health pools will be, or at least the kind of damage that is going to be output.

I do have a question about it though.  If our health pools get larger, and the new bosses will hit a bit less hard, but hit more often…. what are going to happen to the current HARD hitting bosses?  Is it going to be much more difficult to heal through these encounters if we decide to have an old school raid night?  Really interesting thing to think about.

What are your thoughts on Blizzard’s new Paladin healing model?

Mmmm Bacon

Good morning folks…

I was hard pressed to figure out a post for today, until I ran across this comment on my Paladin Clarification post.

Reassurance
I have a sneaking suspicion you’re reading the wrong things into your preferred beacon revision. To me, it reads like a “beaconed target” is anyone but the person carrying the beacon. Those are the ones that give you the double heals.

So, beaconing the tank would cause direct tank heals to cost the normal amount of mana, but healing anyone in 60 yards of the tank would cost more.

I’m not convinced it’s the better solution, but it does fit with the other Cataclysm changes – easier access to persistent buffs, and wildly different mana costs for different healing styles.

So, today I’d like to focus on the possible changes to Beacon of Light, and how it may affect the way us paladins will heal in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

Bacon of Light

Bacon of Light

According to the powers that be, there is going to be a change in how Beacon of Light works, as well as what spells will affect it.

Now, I hope not to step on Rohan’s toes since Blessing of Kings recently had a post on this subject, as I hope to bring it in a different direction.  In reference to the comment above, I began to think of what Blizzard meant when they suggested the “Beaconed target” would cost extra mana to heal.

My interpretation was that the “Beaconed target” was the target by which you cast Beacon of Light on.  In this case, the cost would be greater to heal that target, simply because you are getting two heals, on one target, for the price of one heal.  In the suggested scenario, it would cost slightly more mana to heal that target, simply because you were getting a 2-for-1 deal.

Rohan said it best.  The current Beacon of Light mechanic is more of a Black Hole for heals.  Instead of radiating light from the beacon, it is instead sucking in light to the beacon.

According to Reassurance their interpretation, was that all targets within the 60yd range were the “Beaconed targets”, and it would instead cost extra healing on them, rather than the player holding the beacon.

Here’s the quote from Blizzard:

An alternative idea is that Beacon increases the mana cost of a heal cast on a beaconed target, since you’re essentially getting a double heal. Under this model, Beacon itself would cost no mana.

This is where the interpretation gets a bit messed up, and further clarification would be needed.  The part that determined my interpretation was the statement “since you’re essentially getting a double heal“.  This statement sounded as if you are healing that target, AND it is getting the effect of the Beacon.  This can only occur if you are healing the player who has Beacon of Light present on them, leaving the other targets within 60yds open to normal cost heals, as they are only passing the heal to the Beaconed target.

As I’ve stated earlier, it’s all up to interpretation.

Now, on a side note, I absolutely agree with Rohan on the terminology used for Beacon of Light and Hands of Healing.  The names should really be swapped.  I could see you casting Hands of Healing on the tank (or whatever target), and then in an RP sense, each time you cast a heal on a party member, they are placing their hands on the HoH target who receives the heal as well.  While on the other hand, you are running around the raid/group as a Beacon of Light, radiating healing from yourself.  That also means that I have to update my animation… but that will come later :)

I feel that Beacon of Light has become the defining healing ability of the Paladin class.  It’s what sets us apart from other healers, and puts us partially in the tank healing niche. It is also what allows us to step slightly into the raid healing realm.  With the changes coming in Cataclysm, I feel that we are going to be stepping even further into that raid healing realm, and some changes will be needed, so that we don’t get stuck as Tank Healers only again.

What are your thoughts on the suggested Beacon of Light changes? Do you look forward to being able to possibly raid heal?

Paladin Cataclysm: Holy Clarifications

Ceontemplating the new changes

Contemplating the new changes.

After the release of the Paladin Class Preview, Blue Poster Nethaera put out some clarifications.  These answered some of the questions that I had about the suggested changes, and brought up a few more questions.  This post will deal mostly with the Healing aspect, and hope to put together another post about some of the Tanking and Ret changes as well.

First up, some clarification of the Flash of Light/Holy Light/Big ‘ol Holy Light change.  According to the post.

Flash of Light remains a fast heal, but will be more expensive to justify the cast speed.  Holy Light will be the go-to heal that has average efficiency and throughput.  Beacon of Light needs to be changed so that its benefit is letting the paladin heal two targets at once, not letting the paladin get two heals for the mana cost of one. It’s intended to save GCDs and targeting time, not mana.

In addition we’re changing the paladin heal design to match that of the other healers. Holy Light is the middle heal. It’s very efficient, but not particularly fast and doesn’t have a lot of throughput. Flash of Light will be the faster heal that costs more mana. (Currently paladins sort of flip the model around by having a fast, efficient heal.) Holy paladins can talent into an additional heal tha tis like a giant Holy Light. It might take three of these big heals (or two crits) to get a tank from death’s door back to 100% health.

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Crusader’s Patience: Paladin Cataclysm Changes

Well, we waited patiently, and here it is.  Somewhat lack luster and I plan on updating the post as I put together more commentary on it.

It does appear that they are creating a “Concecration of light” that moves along with you… I actually have some comments on that already in my Paladin Predictions post.  Anyway, here’s the meat of the post.

Paladin Class Preview

Bout damn time...

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