Cataclysm Build 12857 – Don't Panic. Yet.

The beta realms are going down for “maintenance” shortly, which usually means a new build is incoming. MMO-Champion details a LOT of stuff that’s being added in.

Let us talk about our latest changes as far as they affect holy paladin PVE healing, shall we?

– Divine Plea now lets you gain 10% (down from 25%) of your total mana over 15 sec. Cooldown changed to 2 min, up from 1 min.

And holy paladins the world over screamed “nooooooooo!” This change reinforces two new ideas about paladin healing:

1) Intellect (which grants us mana, as you know, but will also be the new “spellpower” stat) will not be a regeneration stat for us. Intellect and haste and probably crit will be throughput stats for us, leaving Spirit as the regen stat. We will no longer want to stack intellect for mana regeneration purposes. We may want to stack it for throughput, but it’s too early in the game to tell yet.

2) Mana will almost certainly be a huge issue at all levels of progression. They’re changing how innervate works so that a feral druid’s innervate restores less mana than a moonkin’s or a resto druid’s — it’s now going to be based on the casting druid’s mana pool. The change to Divine Plea is almost certainly part of that same thinking. We appear to be going back to the days where we will be reactive healers instead of proactive healers.

– Lay on Hands cooldown reduced from 20 min to 10 min.

If this means my Glyph makes this five minutes, that’s cool. ;) No, seriously, this seems to be a positive thing, assuming they don’t revert it back to using all of our mana again, the way it did in Vanilla and Burning Crusade. I wouldn’t expect any glyphs to do anything significant to the cooldown, though.

– Tower of Radiance now procs from Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine Light.

Hello, nerfbat. Nice to see you again. Previously, Tower of Radiance procced from any direct heal to your tank — and that included Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance (formerly Healing Hands). That led to a ridiculous amount of Holy Power available to a holy paladin. I understand this change and, while it’s sad to see it implemented, it was just a matter of time.

– Blessed Life now has a chance to proc whenever you take direct damage. (Old – “All attacks against you”)

I’m going to have to wait to actually get on Beta once the realms come back up, but that’s interesting. It was not proccing from standing in fire in previous builds, though. This change will probably mean that AOE damage or other damage-over-time effects will not proc charges of Holy Power. This probably means that the very short time where Blessed Life was maybe going to be a PVE talent has come and gone and almost certainly means that it returns to the PVP talent category.

– Illumination is gone.

I had to read that one about six times before I actually believed what I was reading.

Illumination has had a long life. It was in the game from the beginning. Back in Vanilla WoW, this was amazing. You would get 100% of your mana back for every spell that crit. Holy Light crits? Here, have free mana. It was beautiful.

In Burning Crusade, they dropped the mana return to 50% and then raised it to 60%, which is the change that went live.

In Wrath of the Lich King, they dropped the mana return to 30% from 60%. Crit declined in desirability to the point where mp5 was usually a wiser choice for Holy Light spamming holy paladins, up to a certain point.

And now… it’s gone.

You know what, Blizzard? I would have been a LOT happier to see you pull the plug on it FOUR YEARS AGO than watch it die this horribly long, lingering death. Illumination has been a defining part of the holy paladin playstyle for the entire length of this game. Had they ripped it out four years ago, it wouldn’t have been as ingrained in paladin culture as it currently is.

It’s a sad day, really.

– Healing Light renamed to Blazing Light – Increases the damage of your Holy Shock and Exorcism by 10/20%. (No longer affects Word of Glory’s healing)

They must have figured “hey! While we’re at it, let’s just throw out the majority of the tree!” Not only did this change from Wrath to Beta, in that it used to increase healing by Holy Light, Flash of Light and Holy Shock and then just affected damage/healing of Holy Shock and the healing of Word of Glory, but now it doesn’t increase healing at all!

– Arbiter of the Light no longer affects Holy Light.

That’s a Tier 1 talent that affected the critical effect of your Judgements, Templar’s Verdict and Holy Light. Now it’s just a DPS talent.

– Conviction is back as a Holy Tier 5 talent – Gives you a 1/2/3% bonus to damage and healing for 15 sec after causing a critical effect from a weapon swing, spell, or ability. This effect stacks up to 3 times.

This is probably what is replacing Illumination. I did like that bonus of up to 9% healing, but it feels lacklustre, given that it’s based on crits, which are pretty much random. At least it’s a reason to keep crit on our gear?

– Daybreak (Tier 3) *New* – Your Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light have a 15/30% chance of resetting the cooldown on your Holy Shock.

This does not make any sense to me whatsoever. Holy Shock is, at base, a six second cooldown. There’s a Glyph (that may no longer exist at release, who knows? It’s currently still in the game and active.) that reduces this to a five second cooldown. With Word of Glory, you don’t really need your Holy Shock to be off cooldown. But will we, based on future content? It may well be the case.

Even if we don’t want it, we’ll probably need to take it anyways, though.

I’m looking at the previous build’s tree, keeping all the changes in mind, and I’m stuck needing one more point in tier 3 before moving down, and then I get stuck again on Tier 5 until I put in another point somewhere. So I could fill out Daybreak and the new Conviction to get all the way down to Tier 6… and then I run out of places that I want to put my points with only 28 spent in the tree altogether.

Honestly, I don’t want to take Denounce, Arbiter of the Light, Blazing Light, Enlightened Judgements, Improved Concentration Aura (although this is likely what I will end up taking, barring other changes) or Blessed Life. But I’m going to have to in order to get down to Light of Dawn.

Am I alone in wanting to heal and, you know, not DPS while healing? Am I the only one who doesn’t think a holy talent like the new Denounce is fun?

– Denounce revamped – Reduces the mana cost of Exorcism by 25/50%. In addition, you have a 50/100% chance when casting Holy Shock to make your next Exorcism spell instant and cost no mana.

I don’t want to do damage if I’m on my paladin. If I wanted to do damage, I would play my hunter or my mage. You know. Pure DPS classes.

It seems to me that the holy got nerfed out of the holy tree in this build, assuming MMO-Champion’s information is accurate (which, let’s face it, it probably is). Doesn’t it seem wrong that out of the first six talents in the holy tree, only three of them have anything to do with healing, and only one of those three has anything to do with the total amount of healing from any spell?

I know they have to give prot and ret something to make spending points in holy at least attractive, the way they gave us some ret talents that are at least useful for us, but the ret talents that affect healing all still do damage! Except for Eternal Glory, which has a chance to not consume your Holy Power, which ret and prot pallies can then use… to do damage!

So where are OUR healing talents? There’s basically nothing left in the tree that increases our healing, apart from Divinity and the holy-baseline “Walk in the Light”, which grants us a whopping 10% extra potency on our healing spells.

I’m not asking for us to go back to the days where priests, for example, had 18 million talent points all improving different types of heals. But certainly improving the strength of our heals needs to happen. Otherwise, what’s the point of being holy?

I titled this post “Don’t Panic. Yet”. I sound like I’m panicking. I’m not, I assure you. Beta is still buggy. We don’t even have a release date. There is a lot of time yet for holy paladins to be refined. For all I know, they’ve bumped up Walk in the Light to 30% potency and changed all the mana cost values. Who knows?

What we know so far is this:

– They seem to be pushing Holy Shock beyond anything else.

– They don’t want us to regen mana from Divine Plea.

– They don’t want us to regen mana from crits.

– They may want us to do damage in encounters, similarly to Priests and Smile, Druids and Wrath and Shaman and Lightning Bolt.

Everything else is up in the air. I’ll have more details once the servers come back up.

Don’t panic yet and feel free to leave your feedback here. I’ll be posting about this build on the official forums and would love to bring your feedback to Blizzard.

11 Replies to “Cataclysm Build 12857 – Don't Panic. Yet.”

  1. Honestly, these changes (while I couldn’t predict them) were coming. In the previous builds, all you could do was pick up +heal talents and hit LoD at the end of the tree and then go over to ret and pick up more throughput talents. Everyone said “where’s the choice?” Well, now you have the choice the devs have been saying they want in the game. A choice where, you have all the talents you need to do your job, and then talents to get you further down the tree.

    I’m no big fan of these proposed changes, (since I don’t like holy shock that much, and yes.. 6 sec cd.. why should we care about resetting it? Hello incoming “holy shock now has a 10 (or 12) sec cd”). It seems like in this build, we’re being put more into a healing mechanic similar to a dps rotation? If that makes sense at all? I mean, why do I want to see HS come off cooldown? Nevermind about it being a short cd, but is it that much better than my other heals? When it’s off cd, do I want to hit that button immediately? Is that the direction they’re going?

    As for your “I don’t want to dps” sentiment, it’s all over the forums when shaman/druid/priest changes were announced months back. It was just a matter of time until we got our “you must take dps talents!”.

    I’m very distraught over illumination going however. It was something that made us unique, but since we’re moving away from our inverted healing structure they’ve had us built on since vanilla; I suppose it makes sense. Just.. that one’s like our baby. I think you nailed the sentiment on the head… except for the fact that 4 years ago I would have hated to see it removed. I will agree that had it been removed then, I wouldn’t care now about it. Poor poor illumination. Maybe it’ll come back?

    I’ll have to see how it all plays out, but frankly… I’m not enthused by these changes one bit. So much of our talents gone, or stripped bare. While we’re getting “new spells” and mechanics changes in the coming xpac, it just feels like everything interesting has been gutted. The class I chose to play is no longer.

  2. I don’t mind that they removed some of our healing talents. It was my understanding that are tree isn’t supposed to be chock full of “you heal % more” talents. However, they should replace them with fun/utility talents, not damage talents.

    I’m happy illumination is gone. They should have removed it a long time ago, instead of nerfing it over and over and over. However, I am concerned because I wanted to be a holy paladin because I wanted to pick the most efficient healer– now it seems like we have less tools than any of the healing classes for efficiency but maybe I’m underestimating word of glory.

  3. So does Divine Plea still inflict MS? I seems to me that the mana nerf AND the cooldown extension warrant the removal of the debuff. However, I’m cynical and I bet it stays, which is kinda ridiculous if it’s only going to give 10% mana.

    I haven’t looked at the talents, but I was wondering how they were going to make us want spirit. I had hoped they would make spirit more attractive instead of massacring intellect’s value. >_>

  4. Personally, I would rather see Divine Plea still at 25% or maybe even buffed a little and have a 100% healing penalty. This would allow for much more interesting DP usage.

    I’m really, really sad to see Illumination go. Really. I’m not so sure it can really be replaced.

    I would *really* like to see a mechanic similar to that of Resto shamans, where we can do damage to reduce mana cost for healing spells. This would at least feel useful for healing and I’d have a good reason to do DPS while healing.

    I would also love to see Holy paladins pushed more towards using utility spells *instead* of DPS. Doing damage just isn’t our thing. We’re a buff and utility class, why not take advantage of that? Not sure how this could be implemented to make any sense at all, but you know, it would just feel more “right”.

  5. On the “I’m a healer, not a DPSer” topic:
    With the current build on none of the other classes HAVE to take the ‘here, have some DPS’ talents. they can all go through and cherry pick out throughput/efficiency talents as they see fit. I know that during some of the past builds resto druids had to take some ‘have some DPS’ talents. There are also a number of very tempting DPS centric talents in different trees (The shaman one isn’t mana regen, it’s actually a healing buff, and Archangel in Disc looks like it could be good). IF paladins end up having to take DPS talents that would be unfortunate.

    Wooo, I got my beta invite the other day, and am really hoping they don’t leave in the ‘you must visit a dungeon before you can use the DF to get into it’ thing. I really wanted to test out how healing/tanking was, unfortunately only Culling was open for me to poke around in, so I have to go level up/quest a bunch before I can go back to poking at group mechanics (aka, what I’m interested in).

  6. I am pretty sure that adjustments are on the way, but this build was by far the worst….dont panic (until there is one week left on launch)

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