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.

*Whew* ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get our hands dirty. I’ll exclude the Tier changes (unless extra info was provided), because to tell you the truth, I haven’t really seen the talent trees truly completed, and won’t worry until they are. I’ll try to organize them as best as I can, and provide some extra commentary.

Light of Dawn
OMGWTFBBQSPEW!!!! This is a really cool sounding spell, and something that I haven’t seen before.  This spell will “Send a wave of healing energy before you, healing all friendly targets up to 30 yards away fro 1832.7 to 2239.97. / 21% of base mana, Instant cast, 30 se cooldown.” Again, we really don’t have any hard numbers on the amount of spellpower it will take advantage of, however this is a great spell to add to our limited raid healing repertoire. Imagine a line of folks with you at one end, and the last one 30 yards away.  That’s a lot of healing in one fell swoop.

Healing Hands
We’re starting to get a better glimpse at what this spell can do, and what limitations it has. First up, we know that it only has a 10 yd radius.  That’s a little small in my eyes, but as Blizzard said, they don’t want us to have a carbon copy of the other AoE heals such as Circle of Healing, Healing Rains, etc. It also appears that we can’t cast it as often as you would those other AoE heals, since its cooldown is a hefty 1 min. I am not in the Beta, and have yet to see what the sizes of these heals are, but I’d hope that the size of the heal can make up for these other short comings. Now to jump ahead slighty, a new talent called “Speed of Light” has now been added that, among other things, increases your movement speed by 10/20/60% (I’m assuming that 60% should be a 30%, but you never know) for 10 sec. It also lowers that 1 min cooldown by 10/20/30 sec. Still a hefty cooldown for an AoE heal, but the movement speed increase at least allows you to get to the groups you need to heal quicker, if not provide histerical visuals.

New Faster Moving Healing Hands

New Faster Moving Healing Hands

Divine Plea
They look to have dropped the level requirement for this spell down to 58 from 68. A welcome addition for the leveling pally, though I’m unsure what the true reasoning behind it is.

Light’s Beacon
I t appears that this talent will allow all heals to affect the Beacon of Light, and not just Holy Light.  This also notes that the healing provided will be only 50% instead of the full 100%. This makes me a sad panda. I guess it was only a matter of time before they decided that having a 100% auto heal was going to cause some contention. I still believe that it would have been a better decision to only have this limitation if you were healing the beacon directly, still allowing the 100% heals to pass from the other targets.

Holy Wrath
Looks like Holy Wrath is getting the limiters that Blizzard, Hellfire, Rain of Fire, Volley, etc. are getting.  Instead of scaling by attack power, according to this description, it sounds like Holy Wrath will now deal a flat 2400 damage divideed among the targets within 10 yards. Not a really big deal, as I had often used Holy Wrath as more of a quick CC to slow down a fight amongst several undead targets. Using some quick and dirty math, that means that if you are going for the “Zombiefest!” achievement, and you happen to have ALL 100 zombies around you at once, you’ll do 2400/100=24 damage to each target.. O_o haha.

Holy Shock
Ah, my favorite spell, despite it’s dislike among hardcore paladins. I love this spell, and have always been since it’s inception. Now with Cataclysm it will become a very important spell it seems. First up, it grants a charge of Holy Power (Zeal). Also, as of the latest information, it will also provide some excellent utility via the new talent “Speed of Light”. If you have Speed of Light spec’d you will now be granted 5/10/30% spell haste for your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Divine Light! That’s an awesome change. Now, I will have to do a bit of research before I make this statement permanent, but I believe that that, combined with Seals of the Pure (still unsure if it’s been revamped or not), should provide a massive chunk of spell haste, making near instant Flash of Lights, and super quick Holy and Divine Lights.

Seal of Wisdom
Gone.  Oh well, at least we only have to worry about using one judgement now, in addition this will also make the choice between Glyph of Seal of Light and Glyph of Seal of Wisdom a lot easier.

Seal of the Pure
According to the initial tests, it appeast that this will aso have a chance to restore the Paladin’s mana. I almost wonder if Seal of Wisdom has been “baked” into this talent allowing Holy Paladins to continue to get some mana restoration from tossing judgements.

Update: Ok, I was able to take a closer look at the skill, and now see what it does.  Basically Seal of the Pure has taken the place of both Seal of Light and Seal of Wisdom. It also appears that the haste buff part has been removed. This changes some of my previous comments on the double hasted heals.  Oh well, still it’s a nice consolidation of the two abilities, and removes one more decision I guess.

Another Update: Wow, let me stick my foot in my mouth.  Actually it’s Judgements of the Pure that provides the 3/6/9% increase in casting and melee haste upon Judgement, so quick healbombs are still a go.

Holy Light
Well, dear Holy Light, you’re not the big dog anymore, you’re just the middle man, but it appears that you are still getting some love. For example, Infusion of Light now only affects Holy Light, no longer affecting Flash of Light or Divine Light. This is great for increasing your chance at a crit-Holy Light, but a sad change in that there are no more insta-FoLs anymore. Anyway, it will also heal a bit more conservatively, and has been chosen by Blizzard as a paladin’s goto heal now in place of Flash of Light.

Divine Light
We’re getting a better idea as to the size of heal that our new healbomb will be able to provide. According to the tests/tooltips it appears that Divine Light will provide a heal of 7761.99 – 8648.16 with a cost of 30% base mana (4394 * .30 = 1318.2 mana) and a cast time of 2.5 seconds (kind of like the Druid Healing Touch). I do not have any data though on the spellpower coeffictient that it will be using. I can only assume that it will be somewhere near the level of Holy Light, as it can’t be too high provided the already massive size of the heal.

Divine Favor
Not much new, except that it now works with the new heals Word of Glory and Divine Light.

Denounce
Very interesting talent, especially to have 2 points dedicated to it. In response to Blizzards guidance to have healers do a little bit of dps while healing, here is another talent directed directly to that. With the talent maxed, you will have a 100% chance to have an instant mana-free Exorcism to use on an enemy upon having any of your Holy spells getting a crit. This is very cool news for those of us who do spend a little bit of time  helping the dps if the mana allows. However, it is even bigger news for Protection and Retribution. Originally only Retribution had the ability to use instant Exorcisms via the talent Art of War. I do realize that Protection had it at one time, but that is the past. Anyway, it doesn’t appear that this has been removed from Art of War, but does allow Protection Paladins to take advantage of the extra dps when it’s needed. For example, getting a critical strike from an Avenger’s Shield will allow the prot pally to increase the threat on one of those targets with a quick insta-Exorcism, also handy when getting a critical from their Shield of Righteousness or Hammer of Righteousness. Nice change if you ask me.

Infusion of Light
Only affects Holy Light (used to affect Divine Light too). This is a sad change, as I loved the ability to cast Divine Favor, get a guaranteed critical Holy Shock, and then follow it up with an instant Flash of Light, providing me with the ability to heal a target with a large chunk of health in a VERY short period of time. I’m sure this will not be changed either, so I guess that I will need to get used to it.

Tower of Radiance
It appears that the addition of Holy Power is allowing for developers to provide some extra synergy between different heals. This new talent provides you with a % chance to gain a charge of Holy Power upon directly healing the Beacon of Light. Providing a little bit of incentive to not ignore the beacon, and still provide some direct heals when a few charges of Holy Light may be needed.

Sanctified Light
A couple small changes. This talent now affects the new Word of Glory spell as well as increasing critical chance by 6%/12% instead of the original 5%/10%. Small change, but always welcome.

Speed of Light
SEXAY! This new talent now provides you with the ability to gain 5/10/30% spell haste on your next FoL, HL, or DL from casting Holy Shock. Very nice change especially if it stacks with the haste buff of Judgements of the Pure. This talent also adds that it will provide a speed boost to you of 10/20/60% when you cast Healing Hands, in addition to shortening the cooldown of said spell. This is a pretty cool change, but also points to the fact that it seems that Healing Hands is still going to be considered a “moving healing totem” spell, and that you really can’t do much while it is active unless everybody clumps in on you. I also suspect that the “60%” increase may be a typo, as that would be like hitting Sprint on a Rogue and shooting across the room.  Ah the joys of Beta.

Clarity of Purpose
This is a nice little talent that will reduce the casting time of your Holy Light and Divine Light spells by 0.1/0.2/0.3 sec. This mixed with Speed of Light and a judgement with Judgements of the Pure will provide some wicked fast healbombs.

Well folks, there  you have it. Lots of new information hitting the web now about the paladin changes, and it’s shaping up to be a big change in how us healing pallies will be doing things. New mechanics, new “combo points”, new spells, lots of great new stuff for us to play around with.

Next time I hope to put together a guide much like this one on the changes provided for our Protection brothers, followed up with a little in-depth look at the Retribution changes.

Until then, Light be with you!

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3 thoughts on “Holy Guacamole!

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Holy Guacamole! « Illumination -- Topsy.com

  2. Nice summary of the current Beta build. I am excited by some of the changes to a Healadin’s tool kit.

    What I am not excited by is the current implementation of the AoE heals available to a Healadin. We are getting 2 of them instead of just one which is nice but to have each of them on a 30 second CD (assuming you spec into Speed of Light)? That is severly dissapointing.

    And both our AoE heals are geographically based? Really? No ability to target an injured person on Grid/Healbot/Raid Frame and AoE heal them along with their friends; now you have to have situational awareness of where they phsically are on the battlefield and make sure you cast your heal in the right direction / in the right area. No other healer in the game has this terrible limitation when attempting to heal multiple people at once with the exception of nitch healing spells (Holy Nova, Healing Stream Totem).

    The Shaman Healing Rain comes close to having some of these same limitations but then they always have smart Chain Heal to fall back on.

    Sigh….I like that Blizzard is FINALLY giving the Healadin some tools that justify them wearing Plate and carrying a shield and wanting them to be up close and personal. I just wish that they were not so worried about “copying” other healing classes and gave us the same basic tools that they give them. I am tried of being the “special snowflake” of WoW healers.

    Good article.

  3. I do agree that the limitations of our new AoE heals are a bit harsh. However, I also see where they have “buffed” them via other talents spells (an example being Healing Hands getting a movement speed buff through Speed of Light). The cooldown, however, makes them very situational. 30 seconds (1 minute untalented) is a very long time to wait if damage is rampant.

    I am unsure how the mage “Cone of Cold” works, however since it is a much closer range attack, I wonder if this “Cone of Heal” will be targeted, and turn your character automatically, especially since it can cast 30 yds. We’ll just have to see really.

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