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Ghostcrawler and Beta Changes

June 20th, 2012 | Posted by Getsu in Mists of Pandaria | Paladin | World of Warcraft

Two things related to the Beta caught my attention this week. The first is a post by Ghostcrawler where he talks about the current state of Holy Paladins on the Beta, the second is a new Patch for the Beta that makes some changes to a few of our talents. I’ll start by talking about the talent changes since there’s not as much to talk about there.

The post with the full list of changes can be found on MMO Champion.

Talents

  • Clemency When activated, immediately finishes the cooldown on your Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation. Instant. 5 min cooldown. You can use Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation twice each before incurring their cooldowns.
  • Sacred Shield The shield also absorbs (5,879 + 52% 78% of SPH) damage when the target takes damage, but no more than once every 6 sec. 18% 27% of Base Mana.
  • Sanctified Wrath You gain Avenging Wrath lasts 50% longer and grants more frequent access to one of your abilities during Avenging Wrath. while it lasts. Holy Holy Shock has no cooldown. Holy Reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 50%. Protection Judgment has no cooldown. Protection Reduces the cooldown of Judgment by 50%.Retribution Hammer of Wrath has no cooldown. Retribution Reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Wrath by 50%.
Holy

  • Holy Radiance Imbues a friendly target with radiant energy, healing that target for (4,196 + 37.2% 50.0% of SP) and all allies within 10 yards for 50% of that amount.
  • Holy Shock Holy Shock has a 25% chance to be a critical strike.
As far as the changes to the talents go:
 
The change to Sacred shield is minor and is just a number tweak that will affect how the spell scales with our spell power. 
 
The changes to Clemency and Sanctified Wrath are a little more significant.

Clemency is no longer a paladin’s version of Preparation. It now makes it so that you an use all of the abilities listed twice before their cooldown’s are incurred. This is a nice change that will work to give us some choice in how our utility abilities will be affected by this talent. If you need two or more of these spells to be used multiple times in quick succession, you may have had to give up your bonus on one of them before due to the fact that the renewed cooldowns came at the use of Clemency. Now that they are separate, you can use the bonus for each spell independent of all the other spells. This makes the talent a little more appealing as far as a utility standpoint goes. If aggro is an issue, your dps will appreciate you being able to bring to Salvations early in a fight. 

 
Sanctified Wrath now increases the duration of Avenging Wrath, putting it up a 30 second duration, but it also only reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 50%. If you cast Holy Shock on cooldown that  means you can get 10 Holy Power just from this spell. That is a bit of a nerf as far as Holy Power goes as before you could gain a possible 15 if used constantly while spending on finishers. I think this may hurt this talents ability to help in high damage movement situations, but it should still prove very powerful because of the increased duration. I’ll have to play with this once it’s implemented to have a final opinion on it. 
 
The change to Holy Radiance will be another number tweaking change. It is likely due to many people saying that they felt the spell was nerfed far too much. It may not be a huge change, but I will gladly take a buff. 
If I understand the change to Holy Shock properly, it will add 25% crit to the spell. This is a very welcome change that will help bring the spell closer to what it is on live. Not a huge change, but it should help quite a bit with passive throughput. 
Now to Ghostcrawler’s post on our current place in Beta:
A few things:It’s hard just to compare heal costs and numbers without looking at the whole package. Paladin heals tend to be expensive because so much of their healing costs no mana. Likewise, we don’t balance around perfect Beacon transference, but you can’t ignore it either.If you look at how much paladins actually heal in a fight though, it should be pretty competitive with the other healers. I know that’s not easy to look at right now on beta, but it will get easier once A) raids are open, B) we enable mods again, C) more theorycrafters conclude that we aren’t fiddling with numbers so much so that their time isn’t being wasted. (We aren’t fiddling with numbers nearly so much, so maybe that will encourage some theorycrafters).

Remember though, that each healer is different. Example: Resto shaman look great on fights where everyone can cluster for Healing Rain and Chain Heal and any time everyone stays very wounded for very long.

Because paladins have so many mana-free heals, they actually can’t subsist on fumes as long as other healers. If every healer decided just to cast their Holy Light equivalent and nothing else, paladins would go out of mana faster. Now there shouldn’t be any situations where you really heal like that.

Two concerns that I think warrant us looking at further are the healing of Holy Radiance and the crit chance of Holy Shock. We nerfed Holy Radiance so that Light of Dawn can be stronger — it feels weird when the “finisher” is puny compared to the “builder.” On the other hand, healers don’t always have the luxury to wait for the finisher before doing some heavy healing. We’ve heard a lot of feedback that Holy Radiance is a little weak, so we’ll take a look at it.

As far as Holy Shock goes, it did suffer from the pruning of many of the passive talents and glyphs that gave it such a high crit rate. In a vacuum, it doesn’t need a high crit chance. It is an instant, relatively cheap heal that delivers on Holy Power. You’re going to want to push it. But we agree that Infusion of Light is intended to help mix up what heals you cast and that it needs to proc at a reasonable rate.

I’ll ignore what he has to say about Holy Radiance and Holy Shock as the new Beta patch will work to fix those issues. The other things he says are more interesting and hold a lot of weight to the design stance that they are taking for Holy Paladins. I’ve heard a few complaints on forums from people saying that they feel our class has been overly nerfed and while our mana costs are too high. I think that what Ghostcrawler is saying makes a lot of sense though. Many of our spells don’t cost mana, and our if specced properly we have at least one cooldown that increases Holy Power gain. In a sense, that makes those cooldowns into longevity cooldowns because we aren’t using as much mana as we would be without them. 
Our style is also unique because if you have Beacon on someone, as you always should, your spells aren’t healing just one person. You’re direct heals are healing two targets, and a situation where two targets are taking moderate to high damage is also a situation where we shine compared to other healers. On top of that I think it’s also very important to remember that the current situation that people are testing is just 5 mans. It may in fact turn out that we are weaker in 5 mans, but we haven’t yet seen how we will perform in raids. I will wait to pass final judgement on our situation compared to other healers until we can get into raids with some sort of add on to give us real numbers compared to other healers. 

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