Good News, Everybody!

Just a quick update here about live raiding. My guild finally got heroic Professor Putricide down on 25-man.

It was a guild first and I am so very proud of them and pleased that I could help at all. We beat our heads against this guy for a long time, but we finally did it.

I haven’t killed Putricide on heroic since May.

It felt really good to be part of a guild’s first, even though it was my… fifth? Sixth?

So we turn from Putricide to heroic Sindragosa as our progression boss.

I know damn near everything there is to know about heroic Sindragosa. I am a champ at that fight. I know how to play through it from any perspective, even though I’ve only ever healed it. This is the fight in ICC that is *mine*.

It’s a killer fight, though. Even with the buff, there is SO much coordination that makes Sindragosa more difficult than Putricide in many ways. Putricide is more “okay, pop quiz, hotshot!” and Sindragosa is more “and everyone in perfect sync, go left! Go right! Run around like a tool!”.

It’s like Putricide is so random with the plague and the ooze target and the gas target that you really just have to be able to react instantly. More to the point, you need to know what to do given some very specific circumstances. Example:

Someone next to you has had the plague for 8 seconds. You already have the plague debuff. No one else is in range. The plague has at least another 20 seconds of duration on it.

What do you do? Do you let your raid mate die? Do you grab the plague and ferry it to someone else? Do you grab it and die yourself?

I vote for ferrying, but that’s something I would only do in very specific circumstances. (It’s on a healer, it’s on a tank, we don’t have SSes or BRs left.)

Sindragosa is a very deliberate dance with a bit of randomness inserted, but no more randomness than your regularly scheduled encounter. In fact, because you KNOW that 3 healers and 3 casters will get Unchained Magic, it’s less random. If it were to be six healers at once, that would be unworkable, if hilarious. So they made sure that only 3 healers and only 3 casters get it at once. That’s a good portion of randomness gone. So you deal with 3 of your heals with it and you can count on that. You deal with six ice tombs in air phases and you all line up according to a pattern you’ve pre-determined.

You know when her Icy Grip is off cooldown, so you can be ready.

It’s really not a fight about dealing with the random elements. It’s a fight about being coordinated enough as a group to deal with the mechanics.

Putricide was super easy for my last guild. A couple of nights of attempts and then a kill. Sindragosa is who gave us trouble.

It’d be nice for my guild to get through Sindragosa. I really like that I’ve been able to help them out and help their strats and stuff. Just my presence helped get Dreamwalker saved for the first time on heroic. I helped out with heroic LDW strats. I’ve had a LOT to say about Putricide. And I’ve already written an essay’s worth of words on Sindragosa in various posts on our forums.

In related news, I’m actually on standby for the first time ever tomorrow night. I’m actually excited about this, but I’m not sure how I’m going to spend three hours on standby. Fishing? haha.

Ding, 85.

After 22 hours spent at 84 (much of that running around, testing things, not getting XP in instances and the like), I finally hit 85 on the beta.

Suffering through zones and quests that weren’t itemized, meaning I get beat on within an inch of my life was probably not the best choice, but I wanted to get to 85 and get my guardian dude thing and then focus on instances and not questing (as ret, no less).

Some quick numbers.

At 85, the following spells cost…

Flash of Light: 6323 mana

Holy Light: 1405 mana

Divine Light: 7026 mana

Cleanse: 3279 mana

Holy Shock: 1873 mana

Beacon of Light: 1405 mana

Light of Dawn: 4918 mana

Holy Radiance: 9368 mana

Yeah, I want to cry, too. I have about 60k mana, I think it is.

At 85, I also got Guardian of Ancient Kings. He looks like a moron. (Click for a larger image.)

He’s wearing some kind of bastardized Lawbringer armor, it looks like, is carrying a Val’anyr and is wearing a mask reminiscent of Batman.

Not only that, but he’s on a 5-minute cooldown. He lasts 30 seconds or 5 heals, whichever comes first. Here’s the effect.

I haven’t run an instance with him or anything, but… ugh.

And he … cries out in what sounds like pain. Or anger, according to Walks.

I want to heal on beta later today and report back on some of the instances. At the very least, I’ll comment on this post MMO-Champion put up. It’s by our friendly neighbourhood Lead Systems Designer, Ghostcrawler:

Right now on the Beta videos a lot of the healers seem to be spamming the weak “Heal” for 90% of the time. So spamming is ok and we are expected to spam for most of the fight as long as what we’re spamming is a weak spell? is this truly what is intended for Cata healers?

No, that’s not the intent. We made those heals very cheap so that healers wouldn’t be in constant terror of running out of mana. We also are making the normal modes easier than the heroic modes. You’ll have to pair the right heal for the right situation to a greater degree in heroic modes. I think part of what you’re seeing is that healers are using the base heal because they can get away with it. It’s also possible that in our effort to distinguish them from the more expensive heals that we made the base heals too cheap or efficient. (Source)

I have so many things to say in reply to this and I just don’t even know where to start.

Anyways, more later as the day goes on. Gotta love Tuesdays!

Something A Little Different

While on beta, chatting with Matticus about paladin healing, he accused me of being depressing on my blog sometimes. ;) While this is absolutely true, since I’m usually spurred to write in my blog because of something that makes me facepalm or want to cry, I thought I’d try something a little different today.

Over the last several months, I’ve heard from a lot of people about a variety of topics (and I have more to say about the hunter stuff, including responses to people, but that’s another blog entry) but one comment that always surprises me is the one that has to do with my being a progression raider and still being “nice” enough to talk to those who aren’t big-name bloggers or raiding what I’m raiding.

On Sunday night, I had the opportunity to invite a player to Apotheosis, my Burning Crusade-era guild that I’m reforming for Cataclysm. Apple has the intention of healing as a holy paladin in the next expansion and she’d like to do it with Apotheosis. So I promoted her to the internal rank of Member. The ranks will be redone and most everyone will be demoted to Initiate to begin with, but I know that Apple will work hard to get this toon to 80 and I know she’s been reading my blog voraciously to learn what to do now and how to do it differently later on when Cataclysm is released. To me, it was a no-brainer to promote her to Member in anticipation of her working to earn her raid spot.

It was a huge deal to her.

I read the blog entry I linked above and my smile nearly broke my face.

I think a lot of people who don’t raid the highest levels of progression are really intimidated by those of us who do. There are those who are jealous, those who are intimidated, those who are bitter, those who don’t care and those who are sort of awestruck and probably more types of people as well.

But I think there are people who are intimidated by higher-end raiders and the proof is in Apple’s blog post or Will’s tweets to me telling me that I’m down-to-earth and how he’s surprised.

So I’ll tell you a secret. I’m down-to-earth about my progression (although admittedly unforgiving on basics of raiding/classes/etc) because it wasn’t long ago that I was that casual raider who didn’t know WTF she was doing.

I started playing this game in October of 2005. That’s like, five years ago.

I stumbled into a social levelling guild, courtesy of my brother.

My brother promptly LEFT the guild to go do this mysterious thing called “raiding” with another guild. He described the Rag fight to me and I discovered Ragnaros had OVER A MILLION HEALTH. And instantly, I knew that I wanted to do these encounters.

So I set out to get my guild to raid. The desire was there, but there was no organization, no one tried to do anything and so the 60s who hit 60 in the guild just up and left, looking for a guild that raided.

The guild I was in was called Fated Heroes. We eventually gathered enough in-house people and recruits to do ZG, AQ20 and set foot in Molten Core. We ran our first ZG on April 1st, 2006 and spent three hours trying to kill Venoxis, which we finally did do.

By the time we stopped raiding in November of 2006, we had cleared ZG, including Jin’do, several times. We’d gotten to 3/6 AQ20. We’d spawned Majordomo twice, although never attempted him. We’d gotten Onyxia into phase 3, but had never downed her with just us (although many of us got her down together when another guild on the server was putting together a pug).

Throughout this time, we farmed the 5-mans and Blackrock Spire. We did the 0.5 quest chains. We worked hard to get our upgrades, we worked hard to bring in recruits who would help out and we were the ones standing there, slack-jawed in Ironforge when the main tank of Eternal Force, Thack, walked around with his fancy Scarab Lord title on his Black Qiraji mount. I was all proud of having my Zandalar shoulders because it required getting to Revered with the Zandalar Tribe… and there’s Thack, the main tank of EF, in his 9/9 Tier 3, just standing there in Ironforge.

Was it intimidating? Yes. To see people walking around in Judgement Armor or sporting Thunderfury or Quel’Serrar was intimidating. It was infuriating. It seemed to us that the only way to get into a raiding guild was to have raid gear, which meant having to raid, but how do you raid if you’re not in a raiding guild?

So a few of us pulled together and basically dragged Fated Heroes through ZG, some of AQ and 8/10 Molten Core.

By golly, we wanted to raid, so we were GOING to raid.

The guild imploded for a variety of reasons, but we sort of reconvened in May of 2007 and reformed as Apotheosis on June 1, 2007 with the shared goal of clearing BC content.

This is where we learned how to play. We learned about hit rating, crit immunity, how to avoid crushing blows, when crowd control was necessary (oh God, Tempest Keep trash when you’re undergeared is terrible) and when it wasn’t (CAN DAYDEN TANK IT?!).

We learned about cleaves and how standing in front of a boss who cleaves is bad. We learned about how standing in fire can be detrimental to your health and your raid leader’s blood pressure. We learned how to execute things together as a team.

And still, we were behind in progression. Of course we were. Everyone had a huge head start on us. We only killed Maulgar on September 2nd, 2007 and Gruul on September 11th, 2007. When Burning Crusade ended, Apotheosis was the only guild that had cleared Black Temple (all of three times, thank you very much) without downing anything in Sunwell. We finished 9th on the server, 6th on Alliance.

We were still looking up at other raiders, like those in Epic Again and Tempest, two guilds that had continued into BC from Vanilla. We were lucky to have even one, MAYBE two pieces of our Tier 6 sets and looked at those who had all four pieces from Sunwell for the set bonuses and the other non-set pieces that blew the Hyjal/BT pieces out of the water. We’d made a lot of progress, but the truth of the matter is, some of us felt like we were still those Fated Heroes; sitting in our Zandalar set while looking at Thack in 9/9 T3.

We made some costly mistakes at the start of Wrath and so on March 1, 2009, we stopped 25-man raiding. I’ve been bouncing around other servers since. I’ve gotten a couple of server firsts since I last raided with Apotheosis. I’ve gotten my Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher for Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25). I’ve been killed by the Lich King on heroic. I’ve been the last healer standing on heroic Putricide and seen him die.

I’ve been around the block this expansion — I’ve done a lot, seen a lot, written a crapton about my experiences.

When I went 11/12 in ICC 25 hard modes, I looked over at Eldre’Thalas’ progression. There was Epic Again… at 9/12. And it dawned on me that even if there’s no one left in Epic Again who was there in pre-BC, that guild is still one of the guilds we all looked up to and envied. They had gotten into Naxx, pre-BC, and done well! They’d cleared all but Kil’jaeden in BC. But there they were, two progression bosses behind me.

Do you know how that felt?

Wrong. It felt wrong.

It felt wrong that I, a Fated Hero at heart, was ahead of Epic Again in progression.

It felt wrong that I, a Fated Hero at heart, was ahead of Epic Again in progression on another server with another group of people.

In that moment, I wanted to be on Eldre’Thalas, surrounded by my Apotheosis crew, the core of whom are Fated Heroes, too.

The Fated Heroes among us are scrappy. We’re hungry for progression. We want to see content. We want to progress along with the other big guilds on the server. It’s a feeling of inadequacy we’re trying to alleviate and we’ve had that feeling for over four years in many cases.

It was that attitude that kept us holding on through Burning Crusade, even when things looked bleak. We pushed, dammit. We wanted it. We got it. We killed Illidan! The freaking Fated Heroes killed ILLIDAN. We were Hands of A’dal. Killing the bosses 6 months or a year after others didn’t matter too much. Just doing it at all, and together, meant something to us. It’s not about epeen or reputation or status, not really. It’s knowing that we had seen what the big guilds had seen and we proved that we could hold our own against the same measuring stick. In my heart, I’m still a Fated Hero. I’m not “nice”, I’m not “down-to-earth”. This is just who I am and who I’ve always been in this game. Progression is progression, whether you’re competing for server firsts or you’re just determined to get your crew through that encounter. You do it for the challenge, not necessarily the loot or the bragging rights. You do it so you can say you did it with your friends, your companions, your brothers and sisters in arms. Despite my personal success this expansion, I’ve experienced a huge loss — I couldn’t progress with my guild, I couldn’t lead us to this point. I made mistakes that cost us. So even though I have my drake and various titles from “Twilight Vanquisher” (when it was still current content) “Astral Walker” (when it wasn’t really current), I’m still one of those people who envies the gear someone might have. I admit, that happens less often these days, but I’m still someone who wants to do this kind of progression with my old crew, on my old server.

I’ve learned an incredible amount of stuff about this game, about raiding, about people over the last five years and I think that maybe I’m ready to help lead Apotheosis to success in Cataclysm. I think that maybe this is our expansion to finish in the top five of the server. I think that I’ve learned from my mistakes and failures. I think that I’ve learned from my successes. I think that I’m ready to listen to my officers and what they’ve learned in the last year and a half since we all raided together. Three of my six 80s are back at home on Eldre’Thalas and are ready for the next step.

Whatever happens as Cataclysm launches, I know that I will face it with the same attitude I’ve had since the very first time I heard about Ragnaros; if you want it, get your stuff together and do it yourself. No one’s going to hand it to you. You have to work for it. You may succeed. You may fail. But you took your future in your own hands and did what you thought was best.

It’s what we underdogs do. And sometimes, the result can be very surprising. :)

Quick Hunter Thoughts

Don’t have a lot of time today, but I did want to chime in on the whole “hunter’s pet is a replacement for X buffs, including Heroism” thing.

On the one hand, as a hunter, it would be nice to have that kind of raid utility. Half the reason I made a paladin was in order to buff people, I’m not kidding. (I was a level 50ish hunter at the time and was very jealous that my brother, a druid, could give people Mark of the Wild and Thorns.)

On the other hand, you must be joking. You’re giving an exotic pet, which is the sole domain of Beast Master hunters, the equivalent of HEROISM? The pet ability system, as it stands, consists of abilities which can be auto-cast or triggered by the player.

Imagine auto-cast heroism right on the pull courtesy of THAT HUNTARD in your group who has no idea how and when to use heroism.

So it’s not only not enough that mages get heroism (through Time Warp) but they’re giving it to HUNTERS?

Look. I’m not the best hunter there ever was, but I know how to play my class. I know how to play my class enough to know that there is a staggeringly large percentage of people playing hunters who deserve to be called huntards. Giving THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE heroism with the ability to be on auto-cast is probably one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard.

Beyond that, what about personal choice of the hunters for a pet? I don’t think I like that, in a 10-man scenario, I might be asked to bring a boar or hyena for the extra bleed debuff. Or that my trusty wolf, Sparky, is going to be a replacement for Leader of the Pack/Rampage.

So instead of basically any class, you can bring a hunter and have them bring a specific pet to buff your group.

I thought we had something with the Drums of Forgotten Kings, Drums of the Wild, Runescroll of Fortitude and such.

This seems like a really, really bad call because I truly believe, with all my heart and soul, that they’re SERIOUSLY overestimating the intelligence of the vast majority of people who play hunters. Like, the people who figured out how to tame a pet at 72. Or the people who still autoshot… and that’s it. Or the people who melee. You know, people who would never even think to google “how can i be a better hunter?” or something.

Sure, I raid primarily as a paladin, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know the basics of being a hunter. I can pull with the best of them, I can kite pretty damn well and I pull stupid hunter tricks all the time (hi, soloed my way to the Elder in Halls of Stone for the achievement). I do pretty decent DPS considering how poor my gear is and I take pride in making a warrior tank think twice about NOT giving me his vigilance in a heroic random.

What they’re doing to hunter pets represents two things:

– further consolidation of the classes, which I loathe.

– the removal of a hunter’s ability to choose what pet is best suited for his or her DPS.

It’s now going to be the hunter’s job to fill in for what’s missing in terms of raid buffs. No shaman? No mage? Get a BM hunter with a Core Hound. Never mind that the hunter might loathe Beast Mastery and might prefer Marks or Survival. You NEED to be BM for the Core Hound which is the pet with heroism.

Does this sound selfish? Perhaps. But maybe not. Hunters are crowd-controllers and ranged damage-dealers. There are several points throughout ICC where a hunter has a specific job to do — dispel the enrage on the Shambling Horrors on Lich King, use his or her pet to help take care of orbs on Blood Prince Council, potentially use their pet for healing purposes on Valithria Dreamwalker. There may even be a time when, due to a complete and utter lack of shaman (and therefore a nature resistance totem) that a hunter may be asked to take a huge DPS loss for Aspect of the Wild. A good hunter should do all of these things (and then beg for a shaman for the next time they do that encounter).

But asking us to provide those missing buffs on a regular basis, especially with some of those skills (heroism, healing, fort, healing debuff) tied to a spec most people dislike and a spec that, at least in Wrath, was not regarded as competitive raid DPS… that’s where you go too far.

If I tamed Sparky because I liked his old Furious Howl and how it upped my DPS, that was my choice. I could make the choice to go with, I don’t know, a cat, and do less DPS. But it was primarily affecting me. With hunter pets getting various group buffs, raid leaders are going to want to control what pet hunters bring.

“Kurn, if you want to raid on your hunter, I need you to have a BM spec and tame a Core Hound. I also need you to bring a wolf, a boar or hyena, a bear and maybe a fox.”


“You know, in case we need heroism, Leader of the Pack, Mangle, Demo roar and Thunderclap.”

I have very little interest in being a hunter when our pets will be determined for us by our raid leaders or we likely won’t be able to raid. You can tell me to research my class, to research my gear, to even research my pets, but ultimately, those should be my choices and my choices should not have to constantly revolve around what is best for the raid group. They SHOULD revolve around what is best for my DPS and, on occasion, I will take a DPS hit by using Aspect of the Wild or being on dispel duty or kiting duty or something.

But tying pets to the buffs belonging to other classes? No thanks.

At least, I suppose, this almost certainly means I won’t raid as the hunter. That leaves five 80s to choose from. Wonder which class I’ll rule out next?

Cataclysm Build 12942 – A Closer Look

Okay, here’s a round-up of what happened in 12942 that affects holy paladins as well as some general stuff.

Illumination: Gone for real.

Well, that’s it. The last remaining vestiges of Illumination are gone. You may recall that I did some thorough testing earlier in the week that indicated it was still around and the reason was basically that since it was no longer a talent, it was not removed from my repertoire of abilities with a simple wipe of the talents.

It is now gone from the game entirely.

Holy Shock: Now with 30% less healing!

Holy Shock, at level 84, with 3705 spellpower, Seal of Insight up and the Glyph of Seal of Insight (essentially Seal of Light and its glyph as they are in-game currently), now hits for…

6254, 6283, 6086, 6205, 6088, 6236, 6138, 6075, 6224, 6091.


9519, 9646, 9677.

Holy Power: Decay & Combat Text

I do believe Holy Power now decays at a rate of one charge per 10 seconds. This is a new change, different from last build (no decay) and the original builds with Holy Power, which held on to all the charges over the course of 30 seconds before dropping them all at once.

It’s also been added to the scrolling combat text Blizzard provides, showing when you gain charges of Holy Power, either through Holy Shock, Tower of Radiance, Crusader Strike or Eternal Glory. (+1 Holy Power, +3 Holy Power, etc)

Daybreak: “Power Aura” change

Daybreak’s alert graphic has changed. I actually liked the old one better.


Old (click for larger):


A little screwed up right now. I was having a lot of trouble inviting someone to the guild, although it eventually rectified itself. This could just be lag, but Kody at World of Raids couldn’t invite my shammy to the guild, so… Who knows?

You can now force a rank in a guild to need an authenticator! This is actually busted in beta in that Kody has an authenticator that wasn’t recognized by the in-game system, but…

Cash Flow (Level 5 – 5% of what you looted as cash gets generated and deposited into the guild bank) is actually working! I justed looted 9s10c and 45 copper was just deposited on my behalf.

Heirlooms are linked to guilds. A guild must reach Level 10 to unlock access to the heirloom cloaks, which increase experience gained by 5%.

Heirloom helms require a guild to reach Level 20.

I’m pretty sure this is moderately screwed up as well, because some of them are costing 20,000g and some of them 2s50c and some of them 120g.

What’s very interesting is the recipe for the Cataclysm equivalent of the Fish Feast (Seafood Magnifique Feast) is something you get from the guild. So is the lesser version. The Seafood Magnifique Feast gives you 90 stamina and 90 in another “useful” stat, and the lesser version is 60 stam/60 other.

I would imagine, then, that if you got these recipes (oh god, these requirements have to be wrong!), you would lose them if you left the guild.

The crazy-ass requirements for these recipes:

Seafood Magnifique Feast: Catch 50,000 fish from fishing pools.

Broiled Dragon Feast: Place 5,000 feasts.

At least no one will be getting the Reins of the Dark Phoenix anytime soon. The requirement is Glory of the Cataclysm Raider. Good luck with that. ;)


In order to fly in Azeroth, you MUST first purchase Azerothian Navigation for 250g from a flying trainer. This is available at Level 60.

As an aside, the spectral gryphons are at full speed again!


Uldum has had some quests added, but I still don’t think anything’s itemized yet. Not sure about Twilight Highlands, but I have to assume the same.


Freezing issues seem resolved. Stonecore is still not itemized.

Blizzard Raid Frames:

At some point, they became more customizable to show actual useful information, like health, etc. I popped into Stonecore for a few pulls and a boss before the tank left the group and set mine up like this.

I had trouble healing the mage — he wasn’t recognized by my Clique. I changed my Clique.lua to recognize CompactPartyFrameMember5 but I’m not sure if that’ll work and I won’t be able to tell you for a bit because there’s no groups at 6am. ;)


Trainable, in the game, people having issues with it. But it’s getting there.

Aaaaaaand I think that’s about it for now. I should probably get back to sleep at some point here.

A Quick Look at Cataclysm Build 12942

Given the maintenance happening now on the beta realms and information from MMO-Champion, it appears that a new build (12942) is being released.

With it, according to MMO-Champion, there are some changes that will affect Holy Paladins.

* Holy Shock base healing has been reduced by 30%.

Reducing the potency of what has become our go-to heal (strange DK tanks who heal themselves for 17k aside) is a real head-scratcher. I can’t wait to check out the numbers. My Holy Shock in an instance (with various buffs like kings, spellpower, etc) seems to hit for about 8.5k and crit for about 12.5k.

* Beacon of Light now has a 60 yards radius, up from 40 yards. Now affects all heals instead of just Holy Light and Holy Shock.

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Even Light of Dawn was working with Beacon of Light in the last build.

[22:48:24.267] Madrana Light of Dawn Bear +0 (O: 5994)
[22:48:24.267] Madrana Light of Dawn Gullo +4038
[22:48:24.267] Madrana Light of Dawn Wastecoat +0 (O: 3904)
[22:48:25.090] Madrana Beacon of Light Shiramune +2140
[22:48:25.091] Madrana Beacon of Light Shiramune +2019
[22:48:25.091] Madrana Beacon of Light Shiramune +1952

* Tower of Radiance no longer affects Holy Shock.

Well, that’s annoying. I guess they don’t want us to be able to gain Holy Power by 2 charges when we heal the beacon target with Holy Shock. That’s not game-breaking, but it’s discouraging, particularly when paired with the nerfing of Holy Shock’s healing.

The only other change that really affects PVE healing is this:

* Eternal Glory  now has a 15/30% chance to proc, down from 20/40%.

Still no better use for those two talent points, if you ask me. Eternal Glory is amazing when it procs.

Edited to add:

Totally forgot to talk about this, sorry:

Seal of Insight now restores 4% of the paladin’s base mana instead of his/her maximum mana.

There goes our mana regen and basically any reason to stand in melee at all ever. Which is okay by me, since I didn’t make a ton of use of this, but this is definitely going to hurt.

Kurn’s Conclusion

Nerfbat to the shin. At least it wasn’t to the face. I’ll report back after my raid tonight and such after I’ve had a chance to see what the nerfage looks like in terms of real numbers.

Oh, also, Holy T11 set bonuses:

  • Item – Paladin T11 Holy 2P Bonus – Increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Light spell by 5%. / Instant
  • Item – Paladin T11 Holy 4P Bonus – Whenever your Holy Radiance spell is active, you gain 1620 Spirit. / Instant

The 2pc is kind of meh. The 4pc is perhaps a bit interesting. That is a whackload of Spirit, which, if you’ll remember, is a regen stat for us. Could it be to help us offset the cost of Holy Radiance? For a minute there I thought it was to help us benefit better from Innervate, but it’s been a while since Innervate was based on spirit!

More later!

Grim Batol (Beta Build 12857)

Okay, after some serious technical issues tonight, I believe I’ve finally managed to produce an actual video. It’s not perfect, it’s ugly in some spots… But here ya go.

I don’t know if it was my group or if the instance was really just that different from, say, Blackrock Caverns, Throne of the Tides or Stonecore… but Grim Batol was easy to heal.

It could also have been my gear. I swapped out some ICC pieces for some greens, reforged a lot of spirit and some crit both to Mastery to give me a significant amount of mastery (400-some instead of like, 40-some) and so my heals were creating shields that were 11% of the heal, not 8%.

There are these drakes you’re supposed to mount up on that will allow you to supposedly blow up groups of trash, but they’re bugged, apparently, so we did things the old-fashioned way — with crowd control. We used a lot of hex and banish (haha, many elementals were immune to the shammy’s Bind Elemental, but not the warlock’s Banish) and a lot of Freezing Traps.

My tank was a level 85 death knight who had over 100k health once buffed.

Two of the DPS were also 85 and were around 70kish health. The other DPS was 84 and was around 60k health. I think I had the least at around 50-55k.

If this Grim Batol run is an example of what healing is supposed to be like in Cataclysm, then *maybe* things aren’t quite so bleak. I still don’t feel too much like a paladin, mind you, but let me tell you about the instance run.

Over the course of the run, there was 10,149,585 damage done. There was 10,098,252 healing done. We had one wipe on a bad pull, but that was it. 26.7% overhealing done.

There are four bosses. The first and last are not in the video, unfortunately.

The first is General Umbriss. He’s a dragon who is hilariously bugged. His Bleeding Wound is not ticking for 5-6k extra damage. Oh, no.

[23:05:44.390] General Umbriss casts Bleeding Wound on Shiramune
[23:05:44.390] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 11408 (O: -1)
[23:05:44.390] Shiramune afflicted by Bleeding Wound from General Umbriss
[23:05:46.430] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 13299 (O: -1)
[23:05:48.402] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 13299 (O: -1)
[23:05:50.412] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 11831 (O: -1, A: 1468)
[23:05:52.407] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 13299 (O: -1)
[23:05:54.394] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 9210 (O: -1, A: 765)
[23:05:56.414] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune Absorb (9974)
[23:05:57.662] Shiramune’s Bleeding Wound fades

It only faded because I threw Hand of Protection on my tank once I saw how low he was getting. We knew it was bugged going in and the plan was to sort of kite/ping-pong him around a bit. So when I noticed the tank actually running away and getting really low on health, I tossed him a BOP, then waited a second, then a Hand of Freedom to wipe off the BOP. I cannot emphasize how important that combination has been in various instances and raids since Trial of the Crusader. Stupid Gormok was actually good for something!

And no, I’m not sure what the hell that absorb is. That’s way too much absorption for my piddling little mastery and it doesn’t show that I used Lay on Hands or anything (although I know I used it now and again).

Anyways, the tank grabbed the boss shortly after I healed him to full (hello, Divine Light, how ARE you?) and got the bleed again:

[23:06:21.759] General Umbriss casts Bleeding Wound on Shiramune
[23:06:21.764] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 9916 (O: -1)
[23:06:21.764] Shiramune afflicted by Bleeding Wound from General Umbriss
[23:06:23.772] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 26153 (O: -1)
[23:06:25.696] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 25161 (O: -1, A: 991)
[23:06:27.742] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 26152 (O: -1)
[23:06:29.721] General Umbriss Bleeding Wound Shiramune 19614 (O: -1)
[23:06:31.715] Shiramune’s Bleeding Wound fades

Let me just say that that tank’s Death Strike was healing him for upwards of 17k.

After the boss, which should be a lot easier when the bleed is fixed, you move through the instance a bit and get some trash packs with two casters and a Gronn. The casters, Twilight Beguilers, cast Chained Mind, which stuns you for five seconds. 1.5 second cast. I’m not sure if it’s interruptable, but make sure you CC one of these guys, because the tank AND the healer getting stunned is bad.

The Enslaved Gronn Brute does hit hard. I forgot to mention this in the video, but he can cast Crunch Armor on his target. It’s very possible to deal with one Beguiler and the Gronn at once, then deal with the CCed mob.

Forgemaster Throngus is the second boss, who is fairly well detailed in the video.

You can see that he starts out hitting hard, but relatively slowly:

[23:11:31.754] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune  14776 (O: -1, A: 1408)
[23:11:35.160] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 2261 (O: -1, A: 12101)
[23:11:37.021] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 12388 (O: -1)

Then he gains his sword thing (Dual Blades) and starts to hit more frequently, although it seems it’s for a little less, particularly from the off-hand. (4-5k hits, as opposed to 10-12k hits.)

[23:11:45.186] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune  Absorb (11344)
[23:11:46.084] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 2117 (O: -1, A: 2204)
[23:11:46.196] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune Dodge
[23:11:46.196] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 7743 (O: -1, A: 2204)
[23:11:47.130] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 10726 (O: -1)
[23:11:48.225] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 4206 (O: -1, A: 741)
[23:11:49.306] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 11928 (O: -1)
[23:11:49.417] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 12730 (O: -1)
[23:11:49.417] Forgemaster Throngus hits Shiramune 10612 (O: -1)

Key points here: That is not a Consecration! Don’t stand in it! It’s a visual cue to get you to move out of the Cave In. ;)

The third boss is Drahga Shadowburner, a caster, who summons elementals and a dragon. The dragon will eventually run away and you can finish off Shadowburner at that point. Really, not a challenging fight. It reminds me a little of the Rend fight in UBRS, but that was a lot more difficult than this seemed to be.

The last boss is Erudax. He looks like General Vezax and there are some Forgotten One type mobs in the trash in his room.

Near as I can understand it, you want to be spread out for this boss to avoid sharing the Binding Shadows, but you need to group up for Shadow Gale. Other than that, not a tough encounter, although I did see an add. Whether the add was part of the fight or we didn’t clear all of the trash, I’m not sure.

Anyways, I hope that look at Grim Batol is useful! Here’s the parse, which doesn’t break things up all nicely yet, but at least you can take a look at things.

Typical Tuesday… Truths?

(Yeah, I’m a fan of alliteration. So sue me!)

All kinds of news and updates to report today!

1) Operation: Gnomeregan is live! And so is the Horde equivalent. I’m not sure what level is required for it, but I presume it’s 80. Start off by going to see High Tinker Mekkatorque in Ironforge to get the first quest to kick them all off. Note that you can motivate all five citizens one after the other and then ride them all down to Steelgrill’s Depot at once.

I don’t like gnomes, but I have to admit that I got chills as I helped Mekkatorque move to retake Gnomeregan.

Apparently, these quests also count for Loremaster, if you’re into that.

I do not believe you get any rep for it with the gnomes, although I could be mistaken.

Go forth and help Mekkatorque take back Gnomeregan!

(As an aside, “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take… our INNOVATION!”, may be one of the best damn lines in this game.)

2) Healing in Cataclysm MAY not suck as much as we think it will. Maybe. I’ll have more details on this later, but I healed an amazingly EASY Grim Batol run on the weekend. Like, really easy. One wipe. One bugged boss (which wasn’t even the cause of the wipe). Bunch of bugged dragons, causing us to do a stupid amount of trash. But it was pretty easy.

Possibly the strangest thing about this run is that I used Holy Light the most. I made a concerted effort to use it a lot. Anyways, you’ll see what I mean. I took some video and while the quality does suck, you should be able to see some of the incoming damage and the reactions I’m having.

3) MMOwned estimates November 18th as the release. I’m not going to link to the site, because it encourages exploits, hacks and bots and I’m pretty firmly against all of those. That does not, however, mean that I won’t consider the news coming from there regarding a release date.

November 18th makes sense to me, especially with the start of the pre-Cataclysm events that launched today. I fully expect 3.9 to drop in the first or second week of October, followed by a mid-November release of Cataclysm. I’m wondering if they’re going to nerf bosses at 3.9 the way they did when 3.0 dropped. After all, we weren’t tuned to be 70 with the abilities we had (pallies didn’t even get Divine Plea until 71), so it made sense that they nerfed things a bit, although the 30% nerf was really ridiculous back then. But I wonder if we won’t see something like that when 3.9 drops. If we do, maybe they’ll even remove some of the abilities off LK or Sindragosa that make them so very challenging (the way Illidan had Shear removed).

If I were designing things, I wouldn’t remove anything, exactly, but I’d make it so only 4 people got Unchained Magic on Sindragosa instead of 6 (on 25-man). I would imagine a nerf to LK’s health would be enough for most to get him down, but otherwise, I’d change it to 2 Valks instead of 3 and make the Vile Spirits or Raging Spirits a little less punishing.

For Putricide, it would be all about removing that third goo on heroic… ;)

I do strongly suspect that raid content is going to be changed in some fashion when 3.9 drops, though. With the changes and the inability to get all of our talents and skills at 80, something has to change. I mean, based on the wowhead talent calculator, we’ll have 36 points to spend at 80 after 3.9 drops. That means 31 points in our main tree, plus 5 points in other trees. For a holy paladin, that would mean Crusade and Improved Judgement, but no Eternal Glory or Rule of Law. Something like this:


Without Inquisition (81), ret pallies are screwed. Without Holy Radiance (83), holy paladins are screwed. It’d be nice to have Guardian of Ancient Kings, too, but that’s only at level 85. We are not going to be properly tuned for this content, so I fully expect a similar nerfage to Wrath mobs and bosses the way we saw with BC mobs and bosses when 3.0 dropped.

4) In a sign that perhaps the world (of warcraft) is facing a cataclysmic ending, Chase Christian at sent me a crapton of traffic, linking to me twice from his latest article which was posted Sunday. Many of you may recall my initial annoyance with regards to Mr. Christian and Most of that has long-since faded away and I’m glad that my blog could be a resource that he found useful for holy paladins. That’s all I ever wanted to provide to the community so I’m glad that we’re both doing what we can to inform the paladin community of the upcoming changes in Cataclysm.

5) Apotheosis v2.0 preparations are coming along. I’ve got a new forum up and running, 24 past, present and future Apotheosians signed up, I’m filling out the officer roles and basically just trying to do what needs to be done. We’re not recruiting yet, exactly, but will likely have to recruit from the start (possibly even pre-Cataclysm release) to ensure we hit the ground running.

And I have a new front page for the guild website which will make updates super easy. It’s still very much under construction, mind you.

Already, I’ve had more “paperwork” to do for Apotheosis in the last couple of weeks than I’ve had to do in the last… six or eight months? Last time I did any kind of paperwork like this was when I was reviewing the healers in my last guild.

My plans are to remain with my paladin in my current guild and continue raiding with them until they stop 25-man raiding or Cataclysm comes out, whichever comes first.

I’ll probably be leaving my druid (or my mage) on my other main server (with my RL friend the resto druid) and move all five other 80s back to Eldre’Thalas in one fell swoop. Then my brother’s going to transfer his paladin, his hunter and possibly his 40-something shaman back to ET.

WTB mass-transfer discount, PST.

Anyways, that’s what’s new with me and what’s going on around here. Off to finish going through some parses before I get to work on that post about healing. And I should probably get some time in on the beta tonight to get to 85. It’s so frustrating right now, because nothing’s itemized and you don’t get XP from dungeons right now when you’re past level 83, so levelling = ret questing in crap gear, hahaha. Good times.

Illumination – Not Quite Dead Yet?

Ladies and gentlemen, Illumination has not yet gone the way of the dodo. (See below for update.)

I didn’t even realize it was still in the game until I went digging through my logs and did some solo-testing.

Fact: Illumination, which used to cost two talent points in order to get 30% of mana back on a critical cast, is no longer in our talent tree.

Fact: Aura Mastery is now in the same spot as Illumination was in our tree, using one talent point.

Fact: I received 1357 mana back from a critical Flash of Light. 1357 is 30% of 4525, FoL’s cost at level 84. I also received 1509 mana back from a critical Divine Light. 1509 is 30% of 5008, which is the mana cost of Divine Light at 84. More to the point, it SAYS that I gained mana back from my Illumination. Clicking on Illumination in the combat log gives us an out-of-date tooltip (because Divine Light isn’t listed, but you do get mana back from it). (Click for a larger version.)

Fact: I was able to proc Illumination’s mana return with a crit without having specced for Aura Mastery, so having a point there or not doesn’t affect Illumination, which means that it’s not “leftover” in the talent tree system.

Fact: While reviewing the logs from my Blackrock Caverns run the other night, I saw this in the power gains section:

Fact: As noted, Spiritual Focus has been removed from its spot in the holy paladin baseline abilities. This is visible by looking at the summaries of the three paladin trees and it is gone in practice as well, given that I have experienced spell pushback even with Concentration Aura up. Without Spiritual Focus, we have one less baked-in ability than the other paladins trees do.

Conclusion: Is Illumination replacing Spiritual Focus as a baked-in holy paladin baseline ability?

I see no other reason for us to be able to proc Illumination once we spec holy.

I didn’t notice this until today, while testing things out with Judgements of the Pure and I saw myself gaining mana back. That’s when I checked my combat log and then my parse from the other night. With 14% chance to crit, no wonder I didn’t notice this before when grouping. It just doesn’t happen enough due to lack of crits (crit rating from ICC gear translates to horribly low crit at higher levels) and rarely do you have time to even look at the numbers to notice whether or not you gained mana back from something.

Even the sound wasn’t something that tipped me off. If you listen carefully, there’s a small… magical sound, I guess, whenever you gain mana back from Illumination. I hear this all the time on live. It’s something I’ve heard all the time for 4 years. I’m used to it. So when I heard it (as I must have) during my recent BRC run, I didn’t think anything of it. My expectation is to hear it, even if I logically know Illumination is “gone”. So that didn’t tip me off, either.

Anyways. That’s my latest beta discovery. Off to see if I can get Ghostcrawler to confirm that this is intended.


A poster on the beta forums who actually wasn’t a tool offered this explanation (emphasis mine):

I still get benefit from Expose WEakness. I think its just that they didn’t remove the ‘spell’ completely from the game, so people who had it previously – sinc the talent doesn’t exist for them to remove by respecing you – will stay until they decide to wipe it. Prettymuch every beta and even some of the ptrs have had things like this happen.

Now that actually makes sense to me.

So I unspecced as holy and tried it out, not being specced at all.

Bam. Illumination procs a mana return.

I swapped to my ret spec and tried it out.

Bam. Illumination procs a mana return.

Thus, my overall conclusion is that it is a bug and because it does not exist in the talent tree to wipe it, it will persist until Blizzard actually removes the spell from the game.

My new question is why on earth would they take away our sweet, sweet Spiritual Focus, then? :P

Cataclysm Build 12857 – The "Trifecta of Doom" Build

Ladies and gentlemen, Cataclysm Build 12857 shall hereafter be known to me as the “Trifecta of Doom” build.

Paladin Summaries

To begin, let us look at the paladin tree summaries, which let you know what abilities you get just for spending your first points in that tree. (Click for a larger version.)

Notice anything weird? Wrong? Strange?

How about the fact that the Holy tree only has 3 abilities listed, followed by their mastery, whereas prot and ret both have four?

Take a closer look at the Holy summary.

Holy Shock, fine. Walk in the Light (still at 10%, mind you), fine. Meditation (50% of regen while casting), fine. Mastery seems fine.

What’s missing?

I was about halfway through a Blackrock Caverns run last night when I realized what the problem was.

Spiritual Focus is missing.

Are you kidding me? There I am, in Blackrock Caverns, and someone, while running back to the group, accidentally pulled a pack of mobs and trained them right to us. We got a couple of them CCed, the tank grabbed the rest but there was a caster who wasn’t CCed who kept shooting me with Arcane Missiles. And my casts were being pushed back, even with Concentration Aura on.

I have faint hopes that this might be retooled or something, but for right now, it’s just gone. It seems as though Blizzard has completely gutted holy paladins.

The Trifecta of Doom Build’s Major Changes

I call this build the Trifecta of Doom Build because three major tenets of our class have been changed or removed, along with a couple of minor things.

1) Illumination has indeed been removed from the Holy tree. It’s just flat-out gone. Vanished. Poof. After four years of consistently nerfing a core talent in the Holy tree, Blizzard has finally gotten rid of it. I honestly have a visceral reaction to this change. They should have tossed it out four years ago. It would have been more along the lines of having a good friend die suddenly in an accident, rather than seeing that friend die a slow, painful death. Sure, it would have hurt like hell to begin with, but with it having only been part of Vanilla WoW, rather than Vanilla, Burning Crusade AND Wrath, it would have hurt less overall.

2) Divine Plea now only returns 10% of your mana over 15 seconds (down from 25%) and the cooldown has been raised from 1 minute to 2 minutes. Healing reduction remains at 50% while Divine Plea is active. Considering what an important role Divine Plea has played in holy paladin healing for almost two years, this definitely comes as a blow.

3) Spiritual Focus‘ disappearance was a wholly unexpected change. One of the few benefits to being a healer who mostly casts spells with a cast time is that, with Spiritual Focus (70% pushback resist) and even the base Concentration Aura (35% pushback resist), we were not able to be interrupted by damage. Sure, we were very susceptible to interrupt effects. There’s nothing quite as panic inducing as watching EVERY ABILITY YOU HAVE go on cooldown at the same time! But at least we didn’t get interrupted by damage.

Did you know that priests no longer have a pushback resist talent? And neither do druids. Shaman do, in their resto baseline skills, as do elemental shaman, and mages still have Burning Soul. But warlocks, priests, druids and paladins don’t have pushback talents or skills.

That’s 9 specs without access to pushback resistance (outside of Concentration Aura) versus 5 who do. Who here thinks that they’re phasing out pushback resistance entirely?

<raises hand>

The minor things I mentioned are the removal or change of most talents that actually improve our healing, as I mentioned the other day. We have precisely one talent in our first two tiers that actually improves healing, which is Divinity. We have Last Word, which increases the critical strike chance of Word of Glory, if used on someone under 35% health, yes, but this is not a flat increase. This is a random proc under certain conditions. We have cast-time reductions on Holy Light and Divine Light with Clarity of Purpose, true, but again, this isn’t an increase in healing, it’s just a haste increase on two spells.

Other Changes

Holy Power generation has been fixed, finally. I now can generate Holy Power through the following methods:

a) Using Holy Shock grants 1 charge of Holy Power.

b) 3/3 Tower of Radiance means that directly healing your Beacon of Light target with Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine will grant you 1 charge of Holy Power. (Yes, using Holy Shock on your Beacon target still grants you 2 charges.) This eliminates the Word of Glory bug and removes the Holy Power generation from using Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance.

c) Using Crusader Strike , which is a baseline paladin ability in Cataclysm, will grant you 1 charge of Holy Power.

You also no longer get the red W buff that was a placeholder for Holy Power in your buff area. Holy Power charges are only visible on your character portrait. It does not seem as though there is a time limit on Holy Power charges any longer. When we had the little buff icons, Holy Power was lasting 30 seconds. If there’s no longer a duration, this is good and means we can store Holy Power charges, then drink, then move on to the next pull with a full Holy Power bar.

If there is a duration, it is certainly much longer than 30 seconds as I’ve been sitting here with 3 charges on me for about five minutes, now.

In the cosmetic area…

Hammer of Wrath has had its graphic changed to the old 2H Weapon Specialization graphic from the ret tree:

Cleanse‘s graphic has gone back to the old Purify graphic. I suppose this makes sense because Cleanse removes magic, poison and disease, whereas Purify only does poison and disease, and prots and rets won’t be able to remove magic.

Clarity of Purpose‘s graphic is now the old Blessing of Wisdom graphic. This makes me happy. Blessing of Might now provides attack power and mp5, so to see the Blessing of Wisdom icon still somewhere in the game makes me smile.

Daybreak is a new talent that is actually surprisingly useful. The Glyph of Holy Shock now increases Holy Shock’s critical strike chance by 5% instead of reducing its cooldown by 1s, so resetting the cooldown on Holy Shock isn’t bad, especially if you proc Infusion of Light to get a super-fast Holy Light. (Too bad Holy Light still doesn’t heal for much of anything.) You can hit Holy Shock, then if it crits, you can hit Holy Light for a sub-one-second (and very cheap) cast and hope for a Daybreak proc, then go back to Holy Shock. Daybreak, by the way, has got a pretty “power aura” notification, as seen below. (And that was a Holy Light cast, by the way. 6782 at level 83. Sigh.)

Speaking of Infusion of Light, it almost works properly, now. Instead of giving you an instant Flash of Light (as the live version does), it now actually reduces the cast time of your Holy Light by 1.5 seconds as advertised. Trouble is, it’s still currently consumed by your next Flash of Light, even though it does nothing for the cast time. Ah, beta.


Okay, since we’re moving into talent discussion, let’s take a look at what I think the best talent spec for a holy paladin is at the moment.


Let’s walk through it together.


Tier 1

Arbiter of the Light: 0/2. This is largely because it no longer adds critical strike chance to Holy Light.

Divinity: 3/3. No-brainer.

Judgements of the Pure: 3/3. Also a no-brainer.

Tier 2:

Clarity of Purpose: 3/3. 0.5 seconds off healing spells is a good thing.

Last Word: 2/2. In previous builds, I’ve scoffed at this talent. There seemed better places to spend one’s points. Not only do we no longer have better places to spend our points, but this is actually really useful in those “holy crap” situations. There are two particularly foul attacks by Evolved Twilight Zealots in Blackrock Caverns:

1) Gravity Strike: Inflicts damage equal to 70% of an enemy’s current health and briefly reduces its Attack Power.

2) Grievous Whirl: A vicious attack that causes the target to bleed profusely until fully healed.  Deals 750 damage every 2 seconds until healed.

The combination of those two? VERY BAD. So Last Word, while originally not as great as some of the other talents we could have picked up, does have its uses.

Blazing Light: 0/2. All damage. Damage of Holy Shock and Exorcism. Unless you want to be a Shockadin (which won’t ever be viable as a raiding spec, but definitely seems like a decent soloing idea), stay away from this.

Tier 3

Denounce: 0/2. If this worked the way Telluric Currents does for resto shammies, I’d be much more inclined to pick this up. As it is, it’s a free, instant Exorcism after every Holy Shock. Shockadin territory.

Divine Favor: 1/1. Different icon than the live version, different ability altogether, but 20% spell haste and 20% spell crit for 20 seconds on a 3m cooldown? Definitely worth the investment.

Infusion of Light: 2/2. Even if this didn’t lead into Speed of Light, this is still a good talent. Snag it.

Daybreak: 2/2. As I explained above, very nice to have.

Tier 4

Enlightened Judgements: 0/2. PVP talent. I mistakenly took this when I was respeccing because I’m apparently hard-wired to click on that icon. So when I ran Blackrock Caverns last night, every time I judged, I healed myself for 4.2k-5.5k. This heal can crit, too, and I saw crits of 6-7k.

Beacon of Light: 1/1. 50% of healing done is still better than 0% of healing done.

Speed of Light: 3/3. Excellent talent to reduce the cooldown on Holy Radiance and to help with positioning.

Sacred Cleansing: 1/1. I still can’t believe we have to waste a point just so that our Cleanse remains exactly the same as in Vanilla, BC and WotLK, but it’s well-worth the point anyways.

Tier 5

Conviction: 3/3. Bonuses to healing are good.

Aura Mastery: 1/1. Same as the live version, definitely worth the point.

Improved Concentration Aura: 2/2. With Spiritual Focus missing, presumed dead, this is a must-have. 50% chance to resist pushback for you and your group.

Tier 6

Tower of Radiance: 3/3. No-brainer. Any way to gain Holy Power is good. 267 charges gained over the course of my run last night.

Blessed Life: 0/2. I specced 1/2 for this last night to test it out. From what I can tell, this does require direct damage done from a mob in order to proc. I do not think AOE effects count, as I stood in Quakes and Blast Waves and such to no effect. It only granted me 61 charges over the run.

Tier 7

Light of Dawn: 1/1. Still has a crappy animation, but you should definitely take it.


Take no talents here.


Tier 1

Eye for an Eye: 0/2. Worthless to us as healers.

Crusade: 3/3. Holy Shock’s healing increased by 30% is all we care about.

Improved Judgement: 2/2. It’s not quite as far as in Wrath (30yd as opposed to 40), but it’s well-worth taking anyways.

Tier 2

Eternal Glory: 2/2. What a freaking lifesaver this thing is. I gained 176 charges of Holy Power over the course of the run because of this talent.

Rule of Law: 3/3. Well, I can only get 1/3 at the moment, since I’m only 83, but we’ll want to fill this up to increase crit chance on Word of Glory and Holy Shock.

And that’s about it for talents. About the only wiggle room I see is dropping Conc Aura for Blessed Life or Enlightened Judgements, but if Spiritual Focus is really dead, I can’t advise that for any reason in PVE healing.

Blackrock Caverns

So I did a Blackrock Caverns run last night with a fairly decently geared tank from my live realm. As a healer/tank combo, we still waited about 15 minutes for a queue, probably due to the late hour.

After some initial lag issues relating to using addons, I turned them all off and just healed the way I always have in Beta — terrified because I can’t properly see things on my laughable version of raid frames.

It went reasonably well. The first boss wasn’t a problem. Even the second boss wasn’t too bad. The third boss was okay. That’s as far as I’d previously gotten, so everything beyond that was new to me. There’s a Core Hound fight, it’s AWESOME. haha. It was actually the one fight that I felt was tuned well for our group. It was annoying to be feared and have fire show up, etc, but I finished the fight with just about no mana and everyone alive. The damage wasn’t horrible, but it was challenging, particularly with a movement aspect.

The last boss is ridiculous. As near as I can figure, you have the boss and he has two adds. The adds are elementals. The adds do not go after whoever has the highest aggro on them, but rather, WHOEVER HIT THEM LAST.

Sounds like a fun mechanic, right?


These little bastards, if you’re close enough to them, inflict a debuff on you.

Would you like to know what this non-dispellable debuff looks like?

It’s called Crepuscular Veil. And it reduces healing done on its target by 99% for four seconds. It only gets cast when they’re in range, mind you, so you basically have to kite them. They are immune to stuns, but Entangling Roots work just fine. It wouldn’t have been quite so bad if we had had a shaman for Bind Elemental or a warlock for Banish, but we didn’t. Our group was, I kid you not, four paladins and a feral druid.

Repentence doesn’t work on elementals. And they’re immune to stuns, so Hammer of Justice is worthless.

It’s clear that what you’re supposed to do is CC one of them and kite the other while you bring down the boss. A hunter would have been great. Anything with a pet would have been great, too — just stick the pet on one for a good 15 seconds or so, then pull the add off the pet, heal the pet, put the pet back on the add.

We couldn’t get it done with our group composition, although we got the feral druid to go resto and basically cast roots and then he and I were going to ping-pong the remaining add. It actually didn’t go that badly, but we’d tried 3-4 times or so and X (not xmolder, but the tank from my live guild) had to go, so we called it.

During one of the attempts, I noticed the druid dropped this green thing on the ground. “OH MY GOD,” I said out loud, to myself, “EFFLORESCENCE!!!!” So I went and stood in it! (Click for the larger version.)

Apart from that healing debuff, the Grievous Whirl and the Gravity Strike, things weren’t too bad. It was important that our tank be aware of his debuffs (charging into the alloys with 48 stacks of a “take more fire damage” debuff is bad!) and that the DPS watch the floor and not stand in front of mobs who cleave. But it wasn’t terrible.

What is surprising is the healing breakdown. (Yes, I logged the run. I love World of Logs.)

Here’s my healing by spell:

1) Holy Shock: 1,603,147 healing, 20.4%, 165 hits, 63 crits, 228 total. 21.7% overheal.

2) Beacon of Light: 1,186,292 healing, 15.1%, 357 hits/total. 29.2% overheal.

3) Word of Glory: 1,158,982 healing, 14.8%, 75 hits, 105 crits, 180 total. 10.3% overheal.

4) Flash of Light: 1,143,394 healing, 14.6%, 106 hits, 36 crits, 142 total. 14.7% overheal.

5) Divine Light: 1,124, 898 healing, 14.3%, 69 hits, 24 crits, 93 total. 9.2% overheal.

6) Holy Radiance: 561,679 healing, 7.2 %, 525 hits, 177 crits, 702 total. 36.1% overheal.

7) Holy Light: 494,658 healing, 6.3%, 66 hits, 16 crits, 82 total. 17.4% overheal.

8) Light of Dawn: 331,583 healing, 4.2%, 96 hits, 26 crits, 122 total. 37.5% overheal.

9) Lay on Hands: 144,643 healing, 1.8%, 4 hits, 1 crit, 5 total. 24.8% overheal.

10) Enlightened Judgements: 93,592 healing, 1.2%, 38 hits, 8 crits, 46 total. 58.4% overheal.

First of all, that’s probably the most I have EVER used Holy Shock in my life. Daybreak procced 93 times, which is nice, but it’ll also proc even if Holy Shock isn’t on cooldown, oddly, so that might or might not have had anything to do with it.

Second of all, look at the next few spells I used. Look at the percentages. 15%, 14%, 14%, 14%. With Holy Shock at 20% and my next four spells at 14-15%, that’s a pretty even distribution, particularly considering where holy paladins are at right now. I also could have used Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance a LOT more frequently.

And if I had used Holy Light every time Infusion of Light procced (63 times), then I probably would have had more Holy Lights used. It’s so difficult to think that the sound effect for IoL means I should cast HL instead of FoL. It’s a very different mindset, especially considering I’m still healing on live and can’t get used to the new way without screwing myself over on live.

What This Means

It seems to me that this is what they probably want — healers of all kinds to use different spells as appropriate instead of relying on one or two spells. But part of why I used such a variety of spells is because I wasn’t sure what to use next.

They say that Holy Light is our go-to spell. Well, it doesn’t heal for much. It’s okay that Holy Light heals for next to nothing IF you basically pair it with an Infusion of Light proc. If you don’t, it’s next to worthless. Like I’ve said before, I have 50k health in my HOLY GEAR. My tank last night had 75k health in a regular dungeon, not, you know, ICC. Do you know what a 6-7k heal does to a tank who has lost 70% of his existing health due to Gravity Strike? It as though you didn’t actually cast a damn thing. And it took you about 2.2 seconds to do it, with over 1000 haste, at level 83. If it took you .7 seconds to do it, which it does, after an Infusion of Light proc, that’s fine.

In my experience, Holy Shock is our go-to heal. I’m pretty sure I don’t like that. I’m also pretty sure that this is how Blizzard can justify the loss of Spiritual Focus. “But you’re NOT always casting spells with a cast time! Holy Shock! Word of Glory! Light of Dawn! Holy Radiance!”

And maybe they’re right. Maybe paladins are supposed to be the new mobile healing class. Except that Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance are on 30 seconds cooldowns, Holy Shock is on a 6 second cooldown and Word of Glory is dependent on a whole other resource that is, as I’m sure Walks will mention, strongly linked to none other than Holy Shock. And Holy Light, a spell with a stupidly long cast time, is supposed to be our go-to spell.

I just don’t understand what they’re doing. Usually, I can see the method to the madness, even if I loathe the method with all my being. But I just can’t see what they’re trying to do here. It feels as though Blizzard is all over the place with holy paladins right now. “No, don’t cast!” “But a casted spell is your go-to spell!” And then they throw things like Gravity Strike at us. The content is telling us to do one thing (Divine Light and Flash of Light fairly frequently) but our talents are telling us to do another (Cast Holy Shock ALL OF THE TIME!).

I’ve been thinking a lot since my run last night, while writing up this post and doing regular, everyday stuff. I don’t see what direction they want us to go in. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s too early in the beta to see that.

What I can see, though, is the death of the spec I have loved playing since July of 2006. That’s when I started really trying to level my paladin as holy and I’ve basically been holy ever since. I keep trying to make sure my emotions don’t overly inform my posts, but I can’t help but be disappointed. There is very little that is at all familiar about holy paladins right now. Illumination gone. Divine Favor changed. Divine Illumination gone. Divine Plea changed. Spiritual Focus gone. Sacred Shield gone. Flash of Light’s HoT gone.

The only thing I remotely recognize about paladins in Cataclysm is Holy Shock. Everything else is completely different or gone. The talent trees are dumbed down and you can now almost happen upon the optimal spec by chance, just by allocating 5 points per tier. And yet, the content is challenging to people in ICC gear?

I know. Tuning of the encounters, of the abilities, of the talents, of the glyphs, of everything. I know.

But I do think that this Trifecta of Doom build has turned a corner for holy paladins and I’m not quite sure we can ever go back.