Holy Power and More for the Post-Cataclysmic Paladin

Holy Power and More for the Post-Cataclysmic Paladin

Please give a warm World of Matticus welcome to guest-blogger Ophelie, and remember to visit Bossy Pally for more great Paladin posts!

I came home from a weekend in the wilderness to discover my class turned upside down. That’s what happens when you spend two days and a night in the middle of nowhere without internet. You come back and you’re lost.

As I was scrambling to piece together the bits of news, Matt suggested I guest post about it. Guest post about the paladin news, of course, not my scrambling. So I did what I always do when having to talk about Cataclysm news. I grabbed a pen, some paper and called up Google.

And if that wasn’t enough, a new beta build was released between then and now, just for confusion purposes.

So…here’s what I found out, and there’s what I think of it all.

Apparently, last Friday there was a certain Twitter Developer Chat. Apparently, some paladiny stuff was said. Apparently, it was stuff like:

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.

As for the release of new talents builds, for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to witness them first hand, here’s a link to the MMO Champion version.

I’m going to stick with the holy side of the things, because I’m primarily a healer and this, after all, is primarily a healing blog. I’m also going to stick with the big picture and what stood out to me. I figure anyone who really cares about the nitty gritty details has already read (if not tested) them anyway.

Back to the dev chat news, in other words, we get a new bar (like a health or mana bar, and yes it’s currently supposed to be an actual bar and not cute circles on our screen) to record stacked up combo-like points as we cast Holy Shock, as we directly heal our Beacon target (via the Tower of Radiance talent) and possibly as we do other things. We’re then given Word of Glory, a get-out-of-jail free card for when there’s need to fill in one of the gaps caused by Holy Shock cooldowns.

More Bars, More Bars!

When I first heard of a Holy Power bar, I froze for a second, worried that my mana bar was being replaced. But no, they’re actually adding a new bar and not removing old bars. I like that. It gives us something else to keep our eyes on and to make the mental hamster run faster. It’s not too complex, after all, last I heard, Holy Power only stacked up to 3. 3 points is totally something I can keep track of.

Forcing us to use Holy Shock regularly, keeping track of Holy Power stacks and deciding when to use a finishing move is a small but welcome addition to the holy paladin thought process.

EDIT : In the comments, Esh, who’s been playing in the beta, reported that Holy Power is actually a buff icon and not a bar, at least at lower levels. It’s been assumed that Holy Power would be a bar due to a post by Ghostcrawler, but a buff icon certainly makes more sense.

Holy Shock: A Love Story

Personal confession time: I love Holy Shock. I’ve always loved Holy Shock. Holy Shock and I go way back. Holy Shock was the whole reason I specced Holy in the first place (hey I was new to the game and didn’t realize there were more efficient ways to deal damage). Though I eventually discovered it wasn’t the wonderful spell I had imagined, it’s still been there for me through all the hard times. Whenever I needed to quickly save someone without abandoning the tanks, it didn’t hesitate. It was my companion during all those ICC fights that had me casting and running (and cursing!) at the same time.  It listened to all my problems and never laughed at me… Erm. Moving on.

In one sentence, it should come as no surprised that I’m thrilled to see Holy Shock finally getting the game mechanics buff it deserves.

Oh, and if adding importance to Holy Shock wasn’t enough, its mana cost is brought down to 8% from 18% and it helps with all the slow casting via the talents Infusion of Light and Speed of Light, somewhat replacing the current Light’s Grace.

There’s also a new spell, Holy Mending, that gives Holy Shock a small heal over time. 15% of a Holy Shock over 9 seconds seems a little silly, but, um, you know, at least they’re trying.

EDIT: Ryonar left an excellent comment that is unfortunately stuck in pending comment limbo. He pointed out that Holy Mending is already in the game: it’s the tier 8 2p bonus. The MMO Champion Paladin page makes it look like a skill trainable at level 80. It either a bug, or it’s becoming a permanent skill in the expansion.

Addressing the Movement Issue

Remember what I said about casting and running at the same time?

Sorry, I couldn’t heal I was moving.”

How often has an embarrassed paladin said that following a premature tank death? (There’s also the slightly more disturbing “sorry, I couldn’t move I was healing”.)

To me, the new emphasis placed on Holy Shock, and the addition of Word of Glory, another instant heal, looks like an attempt to make movement more manageable. I’m curious to see how much assistance the final mechanics of Healing Hands and Light of Dawn end up providing to the current movement impaired paladin. As of now, both are instant and both seem to allow movement during the spell effect.

Healing Hands even increases movement speed by up to 60% when talented into Speed of Light. Being someone who staged a large protest when she couldn’t fit Pursuit of Justice into all her paladin specs, my stomach did summersaults when I discovers the good news.

Feelin’ Like a Paladin

Like druid healers and their tree forms, like shamans with their skirts, like priests with, um, whatever is meaningful to priests (normally I’d make a joke about priests always being dead, but for some reason, it feels like a bad idea to do that here), us paladins have a sense of identity too.

In our history, we’ve been blasphemized. We’ve been forced to wear certain pieces of mail gear because it was better itemized than plate. (Min/maxers even went as far as equipping the Meteor Chaser’s Raiment, which is made of toilet paper, of all things). Again and again, we’ve been sent to the back of the room with all the casters. Many of us were even deprived of shields, resigning ourselves to carrying orbs or lamps in our off-hands. The horrors just never end.

On top of it all, Cataclysm promises to lessen the differences between the healing classes, in an effort to promote Blizzard’s “blame the player not the class” campaign (or was it, “bring the player, not the class”? I can never get it straight.)

But you know what?

I’m ok with it.

Seriously. Healing Hands and Light of Dawn introduce some multi-target healing beyond the limitations of Beacon of Light and Glyph of Holy Light. Healing Hands and Holy Mending/Holy Shock also flirt with heals over time, another element lacking in paladin healing.

Yet, while the end results are similar from one class to another, our ways to reach those ends are tailored to our unique paladin interests (special little snowflakes that we are). The mechanics of our new spells encourage us to get up close and personal (hopefully, my stubborn plate wearing tendencies will finally be useful) and Holy Power…

Ah! Holy Power!

I can just picture my little paladin puffing up with zealousness as she casts, then unleashing it all in one blow.

Oh, and yes, I do agree with Rohan and a number of others in their preference for the term Zeal. The concept of Holy Power is terrific, the name Holy Power, however, makes me think of energy drinks.

But you know that when we’ve reduced ourselves to complaining about semantics, we’re finally getting some pretty promising Cataclysm news.

Breaking Down a Paladin’s Efficient Heals

Breaking Down a Paladin’s Efficient Heals

pally-equation

This is a guest post by Hitty the Pally. Be prepared for heavy math towards the end of the post (well, at least, it was for me :D).

I recently went back to becoming a full time Holy Paladin for 3.1.0 for many reasons including having some of our healing raiders leaving the guild.  Just to give you a quick history lesson on Hitty the pally, I started as holy hybrid in 1.0 dispelling my way through MC and switched to protection spec in 2.0 to fill a large gap left by our MT taking some time off.  Eventually he came back and ended up being a ret paladin in the late stages of TBC and stuck with it for 3.0.  I’ve always enjoyed being a dependable raider filling in all three roles when needed.

So here I am, most of my core training was from healing lava packs in Molten Core and boy was I in for a holy shock.  There are so many new toys to play with outside of the simplistic trio of Holy Light, Flash of Light and Cleanse.  So here I am getting the crash course on healing by a fellow holy paladin teammate with all these fancy terms like Bacon, Sacred Shield and JotP.  My pally friend has this enact ability to top healing charts with his eyes closed.  Now I know and understand thoroughly that being a healer you are part of a team.  Everyone on this team plays a role in which if everyone succeeds the raid will have a good chance of winning (its NHL playoffs isn’t it Matticus?). 

Editor’s note: Playoffs ended when the Canucks were eliminated.

Not to take anything away from my counterpart.  He is just that good and dependable (except with buffing… I can win there!).  The common joke in our guild is he has a big red button that he presses when he wants to top the healing charts.  Anyways he plays a major part in our guilds progression and we love him for it. But there’s a dps fire inside of me   I want to become number 1!   Talk about ego and insecurity problems /sigh.

The goal is to beat my friend and wins the heal meters among pallys!  So with every raid night the past 3 weeks, I start by pumping myself up to prepare for the challenge.  I put on some classic energy songs before raids such as Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n Roses to “Remember the Name by Fort Minor to Crowd Chantby Joe Satriani.  Hungry like a dps machine to test myself against my competition I wait for the perfect opportunity.  The chance arrived in my lap, there was no danger to the raid and I went for it. FAIL.  Next boss to try again, FAIL.

It seems that I have a gear issue in that my mana isn’t as infinite as my counterpart.  This was to be expected as my gear is inferior to my opponent but there was a few interesting findings in Recount and WWS logs.  I was able to keep up my effective healing on three conditions.  1, the fight must be short as I am chaining holy lights till I’m oom or 2, there are enough ppl who required healing or 3, stand in the fire and selfishly heal myself.  The short story is I need to boast my mana regen capability which means I need more Cowbe- err Crits!!!

Mana regeneration for Paladins have always been interesting compared to the other healers.  The bread and butter of our mana regen are through Divine Plea and critical proc heals with the Illumination talent.  Generally speaking we are never out of the 5 second casting regen not to mention Spirit doesn’t do pally’s any good.  In combat mp5 regen isn’t much better as it is very hard stat to stack as most cases the preference would be to increase Int for divine plea, +spell, and +crit.  Illumination is a talent that has a 100% proc rate to gain 60% of the base cost of FoL, HL or HS.  Looking specifically at spell crit, I have a lot of work to do.  Generally speaking, my sworn enemy will have more crits than normal spell casts in every category with a crit rate of BLAH.  My numbers really show as I would be opposite with more normal spells than crits.  Alright!  Time for science.  Divine Favour allows me to crit one of my spells every 2 minutes, which spell would be optimal to use in conjunction with Divine Favour to return the most mana. 

Please keep in mind that all these numbers and calculations are very simple math equations without factoring many different buffs, procs, talents and environments. 

Illumination Rank 5

After getting a critical effect from your Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock heal spell you have a 100% chance to gain mana equal to 60% of the base cost of the spell.

Divine Favour

3% of base mana

Instant cast                                         2 min cooldown

When activated, gives your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock spell a 100% critical effect chance.

Holy Light Rank 13

29% of base mana

2.5 sec cast                                         40 yd range

Heals a friendly target for 4888 to 5444.

Flash of Light Rank 9

7% of base mana

1.5 sec cast                                         40 yd range

Heals a friendly target for 785 to 879.

Holy Shock Rank 7

18% of base mana

Instant cast 6 sec cooldown         20 – 40 yd range

Blasts the target with Holy energy, causing 1296 to 1402 Holy damage to an enemy, or 2401 to 2599 healing to an ally.

Okay, starting in 2.4 there were certain spells that required a percentage of the base mana.  With 3.0, it’s pretty much the norm.  Now this basically means the amount of mana a certain class has before any modifiers such as int, racial or buffs.  So I got nekked for the purpose of science and found that for a Paladin, your base mana will always be 4394 at level 80.  I tried to ask a blood elf to help me confirm my findings but all I got was a slap.

Divine Favour = 4394*3% = 132 mana to cast.

Holy Light = 4394*29% = 1275 mana to cast.

Flash of Light = 4394*7% = 308 mana to cast. 

Holy Shock = 791 mana to cast. 

With these values now, we can find out how much mana it cost to cast both spells plus how much mana is returned.

DF/HL 132+1275 = 1407 mana cost.  1275*60% = 765 mana return for 2.5 second cast. 

The net cost to cast a HL would be 1407-765 = 642

DF/FoL 132+308 = 440 mana cost. 308*60% = 185mana return for 1.5 second cast.

The net cost to cast a FoL would be 440-185 = 255.

DF/HS 132+791 = 923 mana cost. 923*60% = 475 mana return for 1.5 second cast. T

The net cost to cast a HS would be 923-554 = 448.

Woot! Let’s break this down to mana regen per second. 

HL would be 642/2.5 = 257/1,

FoL would be 255/1.5 = 170/1 and

HS would be 475/1.5 = 316/1. 

The winner is… Holy Shock! 

So here we go, I found a new trick to add to my trade and hope it’ll help me inch closer and closer to my formidable opponent.  Here’s a new trick for an old dog.  If anyone has any other tricks to share, please do!!  I can’t wait till the next opportunity I get.  Nothing’s wrong with a little competition, ya?

Post edited with updated values May 27, 09

Holy Light Spam – Less Calories than the Original

Holy Light Spam – Less Calories than the Original

holy-spam

This is a guest post by Sientina, a Holy Paladin

I’ve been reading a few (okay, a bit more than a few) paladin threads lately, sifting through the arguments about what to gem and what is the premiere paladin stat. It never fails that in every single thread at least one or more people comment how ‘I have X amount of Y and I spam Holy Light for the entire boss fight’.  With how healers mana is in the current content, I can understand why they would just spam Holy Light, and if glyphed, AoE five melee around that particular tank.  But with the exception of Patchwerk or Instructor Razuvious (on the Understudies if your priests were a bit off their game) I can’t think of a single boss fight in the current content that would warrant Holy Light spam.

There’s always a defensive reply from the paladins who spam the light when they’re confronted.

“My overhealing meters don’t count if no one dies!”

No, but unless you’re healing a five man, there are others healing with you.  Are your raid healers going low on mana?  Think about helping them out.  Why not spread some Flash of Light throughout the raid? If the tank needs a heal bomb, Divine Favor + Holy Shock + Instant Flash of Light at the cost of two global cooldowns for about the same healing as one Holy Light will work just fine.  Perhaps you’ve been working on the 6 minute Malygos achievement but haven’t gotten it yet. If more healers were being mindful of who else is taking damage and taking care of it instead of mindlessly spamming, maybe you could run it with one less healer. Who’s pulling the healing weight in your raid?

“If I have the mana to support spamming Holy Light, why shouldn’t I?”

If you have the mana, you’re overgeared for the content. Plain and simple. If you are overgeared, your overhealing is through the roof and into outer space assuming your tanks are overgeared as well. If you don’t need the extra healing, why do it? DPS a little, judge a bit more often.  Of course, keep an eye on your tank but watch everything else around you.  Get in the mindset of watching what happens to the raid. Warlocks that get high up on threat and need a Hand of Salvation. That mage that tends to pull aggro at the wrong time and needs a BoP.  We are currently in Kara-like content, people.  This is easy mode.  Ulduar will not let you get away with just pressing 2-2-2-2-2,. Getting healer tunnel vision will screw you over later.

Ask yourself this question. Why would Blizzard change the paladin class from spamming Flash of Light to spamming Holy Light?

Back in vanilla wow, Flash of Light was a paladin’s bread and butter spell.  All one did was hit FoL over and over and over again while refreshing 5 minute blessings.  In Burning Crusade, we were gifted with Holy Shock, a very mana inefficient spell with a long cool down, but it was great when everything went to hell.  Once Wrath came, we were reworked into a healing machine. Holy Shock got a longer range, critting with it made our Flash of Light instant or our Holy Light faster.  On top of that, we got Sacred Shield and while it was active, our Flash of Light gets an extra 50% to crit.

Blizzard made our spells to be synergistic. Use the mechanics to make the best out of the paladin class. Play with your spells. We are still the healers of the main tank more than any other class, but we are not limited to just that.  Sure we don’t have a chain heal, a wild growth, or a circle of healing, but who cares? With the mana regen changes coming in 3.1, Shamans, Druids and Priests will have to be more mindful of mana. I know I’ll be there backing them up.

So please, lay off the canned meat. Its just not healthy for you or for your raid.