Sadly, I missed my chance to get into this month’s Twitter Developer chat, but the news that was revealed turned out to be a massive shift for us paladins. It appears that the mechanic change that was mentioned earlier, did actually make it’s way to the public sooner than I had expected. Contrary to my belief from the last post that this change would be “controvercial”, I actually don’t feel that it will be that much of a problem to most of the paladins who are out there. Well at least to the ones who play Paladins for the class and lore, and not just because they can sometimes get the job done by being facerollers.
The actual change is quoted below:
All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:
- An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
- A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
- A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
- Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
- Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power
We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest’s Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.
Q: Can you give us a sneak peek at one or two of the new Retribution abilities or talents?
A. Templar’s Verdict: An instant weapon attack that causes a percentage of weapon damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to increase damage dealt:
- 1 Holy Power: 55% Weapon Damage
- 2 Holy Power: 125% Weapon Damage
- 3 Holy Power: 225% Weapon Damage
Word of Glory: Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for a specific amount per application of Holy Power (0 mana cost, 0 cooldown, instant cast)
This makes for some really interesting changes in playstyle, and also brings up a couple of questions.
I’m going to try and focus mostly on the Holy side, since that’s pretty much what I’m specc’d most of the time, and so, in that case, it appears that Holy Shock will be getting used a good bit more. This also depends on the “other talents” that they plan to implement to add to your Holy Power. The reason I say this, is the note that Holy Power will be stacked up on your character by using “Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents“.
I myself have always been a big fan of Holy Shock, and actually getting to use it for more than just a quick heal when things get hairy is a nice change. I myself have also used it as part of a Divine Favor macro since it provided a decent amount of instant healing to a target:
/cast Divine Favor
/castsequence Holy Shock, Flash of Light
(that’s the quick and dirty version)
Here’s a quick scenario. Let’s say you’re on a boss with adds. You’re busy healing away, as I’m sure there is some raid damage going on. Suddenly an add heads your way. Normally, you would either pray for the tank to pull it off of you, use Hammer of Justice to stun it, or you’d bubble, and let it go to the next target on it’s list. Well, now, you can be a bit more agressive and slap the add with a quick Crusader Strike (now that it’s baseline), in turn adding a point of Holy Power to your stack, then do whatever is needed to relieve yourself of the add’s presence, you could even hit it again with a Holy Shock to gain another stack before being rid of it. Upon the add leaving you alone, you can then Holy Shock another target (friendly or foe) to add yet another point. You could then either spend the free heal (Word of Glory, cool name BTW) on a target that needs it or continue to save it up and gain more points to drop a healbomb on the tank once the boss slams him. It really does change the decisions that you would/could make.
Here’s something else though. We all know a bit about Healing Hands, which has now been determined to have a 10 yard radius. Which I still find to be a bit small, but it is still the beta. What if we could use the Holy Power stacks to increase that radius? In turn increasing our ability to raid heal a little further. Something to think about, and points out some of the great things that this new mechanic can be used to provide.
Now that we have taken care of that huge subject, we’ll take a quick look at some of the other information revealed. We get new spells!
Already mentioned is the Divine Light. It will become our new Heal bomb, in place of Holy Light. Kind of an analog of the Priest’s Greater Heal. But the newest addition, and one that I am excited about, is the new Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range). It is going to change how we position ourselves even more than before. Just imagine standing at the edge of a boss area, taking care of heals, when suddenly a stalagtite falls from the ceiling and strikes the ground along a line of dps, or even another cluster of healers. Now, you can target someone in that group, and toss a cone of healing across the area (30 yards) and heal them, as well as any others in the path of that heal. This is an awesome concept. I could almost see the graphic following the concept of a Hammer of Justice (little waves of light), barreling towards the target of the heal, healing all who are in the way.
Well, that’s most of the big news from the latest Twitter spill, and it looks to be a bright future for the paladin class. I believe that this new addition will provide us with some more options, not only as Prot or Ret, but also as Holy. We will now have more than 2 (maybe 3) buttons to push, and actually have to make decisions on when to use what.
I hope to look further into the Holy Power implementation, and put together another post with some more speculation and possible uses for this very cool mechanic.