My thoughts on gaming and some creative writing pieces
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Its done! This video is done! I spent the better part of my Saturday doing it, but I managed to get a video together that I am pretty happy about. It’s nothing extremely fancy, but I talked about what I wanted to discuss in video form! I apologize if I am abusing exclamation marks, but I’m just really happy that this came together!

I don’t really have much experience with videos and things like this, so if you notice that I made a mistake could you please comment and leave me some advice on how to make better videos in the future? I’d really appreciate it!

Now then, I want to get serious for a bit and just write up what I talk about in the video.

I’ve said a few times that Holy Prism is very interesting and that it’s definitely earned its place as my favorite of the level 90 Paladin talents, but I think I need to talk about why a little bit more. Most importantly, the spell gives you the option to use it as a single target heal or an AoE heal. Along with the amount of choice that the spell presents, it gives us the ability to heal and do some damage at the same time. Whether you’re using it as a single target heal or an AoE heal, it will have damage paired with it.

Light’s Hammer also has that ability to do healing and damage simultaneously, but it is strictly an AoE spell. The fact that it doesn’t have that same choice attached to it makes me prefer Holy Prism, but this spell still fills the same role.

The reason that I think that these spells, with healing and damage attached on one spell, are important is because they allow us to do damage without hindering our healing. In a tight situation, you can still use these spells and help with damage without the risk of letting someone die. While it may not seem extremely important to be able to do damage as a healer, I think that in challenge modes we will be expected to be able to do damage and keep the group alive.

Challenge modes present an interesting way of playing where everyone is being pushed to their limits to be able to make the Gold time standards. In this situation, a healer who can also do some damage is going to be worth much more than one who can’t. This allows for Holy Prism and Light’s Hammer to shine if used properly. These spells are going to be great during normal gameplay, but I think that if mastered they will proved to be invaluable in the Challenge Mode setting.

From the dungeons that I’ve been doing on the beta I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for how Paladins are going to play out in MoP. There have been a few changes to the basic spells that a Holy Paladin uses to heal, so I will start off delving into my thoughts on the class by talking about the healing spells that we will be using.
(I’ll be excluding any spells that require being talented into for when I share my thoughts on talents.)

Here’s a list of all the spells before I talk about my thoughts on how they seem to be working so far.

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Healing Spells 

Seal of Insight: Improves healing by 5% and allows melee hits to replenish health and mana.

Holy Light: Cheap Heal.

Flash of Light: Quick expensive heal. Generates 1 Holy Power if used on Beacon

Divine Light: Big Heal.  Generates 1 Holy Power if used on Beacon.

Holy Shock: Strong single target heal. 6 second cooldown. Generates 1 Holy Power

Word of Glory: Holy Power consuming single target heal. 1.5 second cooldown.

Holy Radiance: Heals target for modest amount and spreads 50% of that heal to nearby allies. Generates 1 Holy Power

Light of Dawn: Holy Power consuming AoE heal. Heals 6 lowest health allies withing 30 yards.

Beacon of Light: Allows our spells to heal two targets at once. Can generate Holy Power through use of Flash of Light and Divine Light.

Cooldowns

Divine Plea: Restores 12% of total mana over 9 seconds while reducing healing by 50%.

Avenging Wrath: Increases healing by 20%.

Devotion Aura: Grants immunity to silence effects and reduces spell damage taken by 20% for 6 seconds.

Hand of Sacrifice: Transfers 30% of the damage taken by the target to the paladin for 12 seconds.

Guardian of Ancient Kings: Heals target of single target heals and nearby allies for 10% of original heal while increasing Haste by 10% for each heal. 5 charges.

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Single Target Healing

 

Holy Light: This spell is still the same small cheap heal that it currently is. It’s the best spell to spam for minor damage.

Flash of Light: Our quick expensive heal. It heals for quite a bit and when paired with Glyph of Flash of Light it will increase the amount of the next heal by 10%.

Divine Light: Our big heal.

Holy Shock: Our Primary method for building Holy Power and a strong heal. It does about the same amount of healing as Flash of Light with the mana cost of Holy Light. It has kept it’s six second cooldown, but now has a bonus AoE component if we have Daybreak up when we cast it. With Glyph of Illumination this spell can also return 1% of our base mana at the cost of reducing Holy Insight returns.

Word of Glory: Our primary Holy Power consumption heal. It now has a 1.5 second cooldown, which I assume is meant to keep us from using two in quick succession now that we can have up to 5 Holy Power at once.

 

Our single target healing is just as strong as it has always been. When the only damage going out is tank damage, I have found it very easy to heal through it. Storing two extra Holy Power also has a lot of use in our ability to quickly burst heal someone up while moving. Burst single target damage is also very easy to deal with when using the Glyph of Flash of Light. Hitting someone with a Flash of Light to give them a quick heal and then following it with a boosted Divine Light has been working wonders for me.

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Multi Target Healing

New animation for Light of Dawn

Beacon of Light: This spell has had its duration removed, but it now has a three second cooldown. It now also has the added benefit of healing the Beacon for 15% of the amount healed by Holy Radiance. The Glyph of Beacon of Light can even remove the global cooldown that the spell causes.

Holy Radiance: Still our main source of AoE healing, but it has been reworked to exclude it’s HoT. All of the healing is upfront now so the spell is better for burst AoE situations than prolonged damage periods. It has also gained the ability to make Holy Shock an AoE spell via Daybreak.

Light of Dawn: This spell is still our AoE Holy Power consumption spell, but it has now been changed to heal the 6 most injured allies within 30 yards instead of in front of us.

 

The changes to all three of these spells have made healing damage on multiple targets so much easier as a paladin. If everyone is grouped up, tossing a Holy Radiance allows the use of Holy Shock as an AoE spell and sets up a very nice dynamic between the two spells. The changes to Beacon have also made it so that, in five mans at least, while AoE healing I don’t fear that the tank’s health is going to slip too low to be able to keep them up. Removing LoD’s facing requirement also made a very nice change to our AoE healing. I’m not really afraid of missing someone with LoD and simply cast it when the whole group needs a heal. It seems to me that Blizzard is doing a great job in moving paladin’s away from being the single target power houses and giving us some much needed AoE healing capabilities. These changes have made it so that we can AoE heal and not have it be just spamming Holy Radiance.

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Cooldowns

Testing out Guardian healing… with wasps

 

Divine Plea: This is still our mana regen spell that grants us 12% of our total mana while reducing our healing. With Glyph of Divine Plea, the 9 second healing reduction is removed and replaced with a 5 second cast time. The old Glyph of Divine Plea is not in the beta, so it seems that we will only get 12% from this spell.

Avenging Wrath: Still works in the same manner as it does currently. Nice throughput cooldown.

Devotion Aura: Has taken the place of the old Aura Mastery as a raid cooldown and now simply reduces spell damage taken by 20% for six seconds. Main downside is that it has a three minute cooldown up from the two that Aura Mastery had, but it is now also available from all specs.

Hand of Sacrifice: Still works the same way as it does currently. A strong cooldown for tanks.

Guardian of Ancient Kings: Now heals everyone, including the original target of your heal, for 10% of the amount of your heal. It also increases your Haste by 10% every time the effect heals a friendly player.

 

The first thing I noticed with cooldowns was the loss of Divine Favor. That was a very strong cooldown that I’m sad to see go, but we seem to be doing fine without it so far.
Our other throughput cooldowns, Avenging Wrath and Guardian of Ancient Kings, are still in game. Avenging Wrath has remained exactly the same, but Guardian has received some changes to its design. Everyone affected by the heal, including the original target, will receive an extra 10% of the amount healed.  The spell now also increases Haste by 10% for 7 seconds  for every heal used. The Haste bonus has the ability to stack up to 50%. These changes make it so that we have added choice in where the throughput provided by the Guardian goes. We are free to do what we want with that haste, whether it be more single target healing or AoE healing through Holy Radiance. I am a big fan of having choice in healing and think that this bonus will work out better than having the extra healing from Guardian boosted.

As far as our damage mitigation cooldowns go, they have stayed basically the same. Hand of Sacrifice still works exactly the same as it does currently and Aura Mastery has been changed to Devotion Aura. This new spell is available to all specs of paladin and comes with 20% magic damage reduction on a three minute cooldown. I think that the straight damage reduction is going to be a lot stronger than simply increasing resistances. This spell also has the added benefit of being available to all three specs of paladin which should be a nice plus to any ten man groups who may have struggled with availability of cooldowns in the past.

Now for our mana regeneratio cooldown. Divine Plea without glyphs works exactly as it does currently. It provides 12% over 9 seconds with a healing reduction. If glyphed that healing reduction is replaced by a cast time of 5 seconds. To me this change doesn’t seem to have really made a huge amount of difference. You are only affected for half the time of the debuff, but you are completely unable to cast any heals. The cast time also bring in the possibility of having the cast interrupted if used intelligently. It may be better to take the cast time in some situations where you have a very short window to regen and wont be able to deal with the debuff, but so far it seems to me that they come out about the same in levels of utility.

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As a whole I think our abilities cover everything we need. We have very strong single and multi target healing that in my experiences on the Beta have been more than enough to deal with the outgoing damage. Our cooldowns are also very strong and we have what we need to cover any healing situation that we encounter. I think that Mists is working out to be very good for Holy Paladins and I am enjoying trying out all the changes on Beta.

I feel that to focus on my paladin I need to understand how it differs from my druid. To that end, I’m going to compare the two classes roughly and give some insight on where I think both classes shine. I’m going to start this off by giving my opinion on the two healing styles, but I’ll write up a more detailed side by side comparison of things after that.

Druids have been thought of as strict raid healers as long as I’ve played them. All of their instant cast  heal over time abilities made them perfect for fights where there was a lot of damage spread out over the entire raid. In ICC, Rejuvenation blanketing was a perfect way to keep the whole raid up. We weren’t doing a huge amount of healing on any one person, but our HoTs countered damage enough for other healers to be able to bring people up. This is still about the same way that we heal now as long as we have the mana regen for it. Our main spells have remained Rejuv and Wild Growth, with a Swiftmend and a direct heal tossed in for Harmony. Because of this the druid healing style is also very preemptive with a huge focus on throughput. It is best to put up HoTs before large damage phases so that you do not get behind on your healing.

Paladins on the other hand have been thought of as tank healers. Their huge single target heals and Beacon of Light have always made them good at keeping tanks up in most encounters. While they are currently being given abilities to be good at raid healing as well, they still have arguably the best single target healing in the game. I personally feel that the paladin play style feels much more reactive because of the way that it’s single target heals work. While it’s mastery is all about making the spec be more preemptive than reactive, it’s hard to keep shields on a large group of people without burning through mana. On a single person, say the tank, it is easy to continually heal with a cheap spell and keep a bubble on them. The class also has a lot more cooldowns to assist with mitigation of damage than druids do.

 

All the numbers I use here will come from the Wowhead MoP talent calculator.

Single Target Healing Spells

 Paladin  Druid
Holy Light
Heals for 9322 to 10385
14% of Base mana
Nourish
Heals for 6151 to 7148
Heals for an additional 20% if a Hot is present on the target.
10.2% of Base Mana
Flash of Light
Heals for 132031 to 14813
42% of Base mana
Regrowth
Heals for 9813 to 10954 and an additional (2361*) over 6 seconds
29.7% of Base Mana
Divine Light
Heals for 17678 to 19695
40% of Base Mana
Healing Touch
Heals for 18460 to 21800
28.9% of Base Mana
Eternal Flame *Level 45 Talent*
Heals for 1548 Per Holy Power consumed every 3 seconds for 30 seconds.
Lifebloom
Heals for (6210*1) over 10 seconds. When Lifebloom expires target is healed for ((8150*+SPN*.752)*).Stacks up to three times.
Can only be cast on one target. When cast on a new target all stacks are transferred.
5.9% of Base Mana
Holy Shock
Heals for 10016 to 10849
Generates 1 charge of Holy Power
6 second cooldown
16% of Base mana
Rejuvenation
Instanlty heals for 4234 and an additional 4234 every 3 seconds for 12 seconds.
16% Base mana.
Execution Sentence *Level 90 Talent*
Heals the target for (holy spell power*4566/1000+26.72716306*375) over 10 sec.
Swiftmend
Heals a target with Rejuvenation or Regrowth present on them for for 13966.
Also restores (13966*.12) health to three injured allies within 8 yards every 1 second for 7 seconds
8.5% of Base mana
15 second cooldown
Word of Glory
Heals for 4106 to 4574 per Holy Power consumed
Can consume up to three Holy Power
1.5 second cooldown

Paladin spells cost much more for the casted healing spells, but druids would also be putting HoTs up on a single target. It also seems to me that the raw numbers for each of the casted heals seems a bit odd. I will assume that this is due to Holy Insight and how the spells scale with spell power.
It doesn’t surprise me to see that Paladins have more options for single target healing. Some of their talented heals also seem very interesting. Execution Sentence seems like it will work out about the same as Lifebloom does now.  Having a long term HoT only seems like it can be interesting to work with on certain encounters.
Looking at the druid numbers, they will have the same single target healing spells in MoP that they currently do. The only real changes I see are that Nourish has had a bit of it’s HoT bonus added back in and that Efflorescence has been baked into Swiftmend.

Multiple Target Healing Spells

Paladin Druid
Holy Radiance
Heals a friendly target 3776 to 4614
All allies within 10 yards healed for 50% of that amount. Amount decreases for every target over
6
Generates one charge of Holy Power
40% of Base Mana
Swiftmend
Heals a target with Rejuvenation or Regrowth present on them for for 13966.
Also restores (13966*.12) health to three injured allies within 8 yards every 1 second for 7 seconds
8.5% of Base mana
15 second cooldown
Light of Dawn
Heals up to 6 targets for 2027 to 2257 for every Holy Power consumed.
Can consume up to three Holy Power
Wild Growth
Heals up to 5 allies for 6930 over 7 seconds
22.9% of base mana
8 second cooldown
Holy Prism *Level 90 Talent*
If an enemy is the prism, they take 11172 to 13654 Holy damage and radiate 8374 to 10234healing to 5 nearby allies within 15 yards.
6% of Base mana
20 second cooldown
Wild Mushroom: Bloom
Heals all allies within 12 yards for 6074 to 7348.
10.3% of Base mana per Wild Mushroom
10 second cooldown
Light’s Hammer *Level 90 Talent*
Hurl a Light-infused hammer into the ground, where it will blast a 10 yard area with Arcing Light for (16 sec.5) sec.
Deals 2513 to 3071 Holy damage to enemies within the area and 2513 to 3071 healing to allies within the area every 2 sec.
1 minute cooldown

I included Swiftmend here as well because of Efflorescence being combined with it.
Holy Radiance now has no HoT component and has all of it’s healing done by the initial heal. It no also procs Daybreak which makes your next Holy Shock have an AoE component though. There is some very nice synergy between those two spells for AoE, and Light of Dawn can easily be added in as a Holy Power dump.
Holy Prism and Light’s Hammer both seem like very interesting abilities. On fights where a large group of the raid will be near a boss/add, Holy Prism should be a very powerful option. Light’s Hammer provides more choice in placement though. Regardless of which one is used, it seems that these spells are geared towards giving paladins some prolonged AoE healing where the other AoE spells are geared much more towards burst healing.
The only change for druids is the Bloom spell for Wild Mushrooms. It gives druids a nice burst AoE heal that they had been missing before. It seems like the majority of druid AoE healing will still rely on having HoTs spread out and using Swiftmend on cooldown though.

Throughput Cooldowns

 Paladin  Druid
Avenging Wrath
Increases all damage and healing caused by 20% for 20 seconds.
3 minute cooldown
Tranquility
Heals 5 nearby lowest health party or raid targets within 40 yards with Tranquility every 2 sec for 8 sec. Tranquility heals for 3882 plus an additional343 every 2 sec over 8 sec. Stacks up to 3 times. The Druid must channel to maintain the spell.
3 minute cooldown
Guardian of Ancient Kings
GoaK will heal the target of your next 5 single target heals, and nearby allies for 10% of the amount healed. Every time the Guardian heals it increases your haste by 10%.
5 minute cooldown
Nature’s Swiftness *Level 30 Talent*
When activated, your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 sec. becomes an instant cast spell.  If that spell is a healing spell, the amount healed will be increased by 50%.
1 minute cooldown
Lay on Hands
Heals a friendly target for an amount equal to your maximum health.
10 minute cooldown
Incarnation *Level 60 Talent*
Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 120%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarly enhanced while shapeshifted.
3 minute cooldown
Holy Avenger *Level 75 Talent*
Abilities that generate Holy Power will generate 3 Holy Power for the next 15 seconds.
2 minute cooldown
Force of Nature *Level 60 Talent*
Summons three treants to assist in the druids combat role for 15 seconds.
1 minute cooldown
Nature’s Vigil *Level 90 Talent*
Increases all damage and healing done by 20% for 30 seconds.
3 minute cooldown

It seems that druids have much more option when it comes to throughput cooldowns. Excluding talents, do have more available to them, but druids are able to change things more for what suits their situation.

For Paladins, Avenging Wrath has stayed the same in that it provides a straight increases to healing done. Lay on Hands has also stayed the same and keeps the place of an emergency single target heal.
Guardian of Ancient Kings has had a nice bonus added to it in the form of stacking haste for every heal that the Guardian casts. On top of this, Paladins have access to a new cooldown: Holy Avenger. This spell works the same way that a Retribution Paladin’s current Zealotry works and allows the paladin to put out very strong healing through the use of either Word of Glory or Light of Dawn. Paladins also have the option of altering Avenging Wrath through another Level 75 talent so that it removes the cooldown of Holy Shock. This change would work very well during periods of high movement where healing is still required. Regardless of the situation, it seems that Paladins have quite a few divers tools to work through most situations.

Druids have their main throughput spell, Tranquility, without any changes. Through talents they have also gained access to four other throughput spells. Incarnation and Nature’s Swiftness are simply the old Tree of Life and Nature’s Swiftness made into talents. There is also the addition of Force of Nature and Nature’s Vigil to the druid’s tools.
It seems to me that as far as the level 60 talents go, Force of Nature will be better suited to situations where there are multiple rough patches in a fight and you need a small cooldown more often. In the same manner I think Incarnation will end up being a much stronger cooldown that is more suited to fights with a few very healing intensive portions.
Nature’s vigil seems to be a straight throughput cooldown similar to Avenging Wrath.

Damage Mitigation Spells

 

 Paladin  Druid
Hand of Sacrifice
Places a Hand on a party or raid member, transferring 30% damage taken to the Paladin.  Lasts 12 sec or until the Paladin has transferred 100% of their maximum health.  Players may only have one Hand on them per Paladin at any one time.
3 minute cooldown
Ironbark
The target’s skin becomes as tough as Ironwood, reducing all damage taken by 20%.  Lasts 12 sec.
2 minute cooldown
Devotion Aura
Inspire all party and raid members within 40 yards, granting them immunity to Silence and Interrupt effects and reducing all magic damage taken by 20%. Lasts 6 sec.
3 minute cooldown
Cenarion Ward *Level 30 Talent*
Protects a friendly target, causing any damage taken to heal the target for 6174 every 2 sec for 6 sec.  Gaining the healing effect consumes the Cenarion Ward.  Useable in all shapeshift forms.  Lasts 30 sec.
30 second cooldown
Sacred Shield *Level 45 Talent*
Protects the target with a shield of Holy Light for 30 sec, which increases the critical chance of your Flash of Light on the target by 30%. The shield also absorbs 5879+0.52*holy spell power damage when the target takes damage, but no more than once every 6 sec.
Can only be active on one target at a time

With this expansion, druids have finally been given a tank cooldown. It has less of a decrease of damage than Hand of Sacrifice, but also a shorter cooldown so they should work out to be about even.
Where paladins pull ahead is with a raid damage mitigation. Even if it is only magic damage, druids don’t have a real raid cooldown other than Tranquility.
I also included here Sacred Shield and Cenarion Ward although they aren’t really mitigation cooldowns. They both serve the purpose of extra healing/absorption on a single target that work automatically.

Mana Regeneration

 Paladin  Druid
Divine Plea
You gain 12% of your total mana over 9 sec, but the amount healed by your healing spells is reduced by 50%
2 minute cooldown
Innervate
Causes the target to regenerate 10% of the caster’s maximum mana over 10 sec.  If cast on self, the caster will regenerate an additional 10% of maximum mana over 10 sec.
3 minute cooldown

Divine Plea and Innervate both have a their pros and cons as for how they work. Divine Plea has a shorter cooldown but it also restores less mana. It also includes the added hindrance of 50% less healing over the duration, but it can be glyphed to change that to a 5 second cast. This spell is definitely provides more freedom.
Innervate on the other hand has the ability to be give to allies and provides slightly more mana per minute of cooldown if used on oneself.

Altogether I think that both classes have very unique feels to them. I’ve enjoyed the healing style that druids have to offer and absolutely loved the time I spent playing it, but I’m excited to really jump into raiding on my paladin. I’ll continue playing on the beta and writing up my opinions on the class from here.