Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & BRD

During Vanilla, I spent a lot of time raiding on my hunter, it’s true. But I also spent a lot of time doing stuff on Madrana. It was these experiences in Zul’Gurub, AQ20 and Molten Core that helped me to make the decision that I would heal full-time as a paladin in raids, starting in Burning Crusade.

These posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons around level 50. Suffice it to say, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go.

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

Additionally, while I love the armor, Lightforge Armor is actually terrible for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect on them! However, it’s worth it to collect it, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. (It’s not fantastic, but it’s not awful. The 4-piece set bonus is pretty great.) Later on, come Phase Five, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

All right, all of that said, let’s get on with it!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Blackrock Depths

I freaking love this dungeon. There’s so much to do here. How about a bar run? Or Jailbreak? Let’s get attuned to Molten Core. Feel like an Emperor run? And so much more. That said, let’s focus on what’s of interest for a holy paladin here. There’s a lot of stuff. You are going to spend a lot of time here doing All The Things, though, so don’t worry if you don’t get everything you’re seeking in a couple of runs. I should note that, at least back in Vanilla, there was very little need to wear all plate. There was no bonus to doing so. As such, shaman-type mail and even some leather or cloth pieces are recommended. However, I’m not saying that just because you can wear all armour types that you should get dibs on everything listed here. Don’t be a jerk, please be considerate of the people in your group.

Helm: Foreman’s Head Protector, requires level 50. This helm drops off of Fineous Darkvire who you need to kill in order to get the key for BRD. That said, if there’s no cloth-wearer in your group, don’t be afraid to snag the Chief Architect’s Monocle! Sure, it’s cloth, but it’s 27 intellect, which is superior to the Foreman’s Head Protector. This is probably best for a priest, mage or warlock, but if none of them need it or there’s no cloth-wearer, go for it. Also, a note, if you intend to do any tanking and you see Golem Skull Helm drop from Phalanx, grab it if your tank is a plate-wearer who doesn’t want it, or if your tank isn’t a plate-wearer.

Neck: Absolutely nothing of use for a holy paladin.

Shoulders: Frankly, I don’t like most of the options here, just because there are better ones out there, but the Earthslag Shoulders drop from Lord Roccor and require just level 47. The mail Lead Surveyor’s Mantle is clearly shaman gear, but since the Alliance doesn’t have shaman, you can call dibs on this item, if they drop for Alliance groups. The shoulders require level 50 and drop from Fineous Darkvire.

Chest: Spiderfang Carapace, requires level 49. This chest drops off Hedrum the Creeper in the Ring of the Law event, which has random different mobs, so this isn’t always a guaranteed boss you’ll kill.

Cloak: Spritecaster Cape, requires level 47, drops from High Interrogator Gerstahn or the Houndmaster (currently uncertain — probably the Houndmaster, though). This is legitimately the only cloak of note in here for a holy paladin, unless you get a Nightshade Cloak of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Bracers: Lord Incendius drops a variety of randomly-enchanted bracers of different armor types. As with the Nightshade Cloak, if you can snag of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration, those would be decent.

Belt: Chillsteel Girdle, requires level 52. This mail belt drops off of Warder Stilgiss, who’s in the Vault room. Again, this may not drop for Alliance groups!

Gloves: Hands of the Exalted Herald, requires level 54. They’re cloth gloves, but have intellect and +33 healing. Can’t really say no to that. They drop off Moira on an Emperor run. Additionally, your Lightforge Gauntlets drop off the Emperor. Get them, if only because why not? But they’re not something you should be using to heal with. When Phase Five of WoW Classic rolls out, these will no longer drop off the Emperor, mostly because that’s a serious PITA for some gloves that are not amazing. When Phase Five rolls out, they will drop off of Timmy the Cruel on the live-side of Stratholme. Also, I’m not sure how Classic is handling this, but the tier 0 gloves, belts and bracers were all Bind on Equip after a certain point.

Legs: Senior Designer’s Pantaloons, require level 50 and are cloth +healing pants with some intellect on them. They drop off Fineous Darkvire. Another option would be Leggings of Frenzied Magic, from Gorosh the Dervish in the Ring of the Law event.

Boots: Entrenching Boots, require level 50. These drop off of Grizzle in the Ring of the Law event. Yes, there’s agility on them, but 10 int and +7 damage/healing. Another option, requiring level 52, are the Firemoss Boots, which are basically resto druid boots since they’re leather and +healing, but if you’re healing and these are an upgrade, go for it. They drop from Hurley Blackbreath in the bar.

Main Hand: The Hammer of Grace, no, there’s no intellect on it, but it’s one of the best pre-60 healing maces in the game with a beefy +31 healing done. It’s one of the possible rewards from the event of The Seven.

Off-hand: Thaurissan’s Royal Scepter is a nice reward for an Emperor run, as it has some intellect and a pure +22 healing on it.

Ring: Bloodclot Band, requires level 52. Great healing ring, drops off Gorosh the Dervish in, you guessed it, the Ring of the Law event.

Trinkets: Second Wind requires level 54 and drops from Golem Lord Argelmach. Yes, it has an absurdly long cooldown of 15 minutes, but it also has a passive +22 healing, which is solid. Another option you have is Burst of Knowledge, which requires level 53 and drops from Ambassador Flamelash. This is more of a caster DPS trinket. However, the mana savings (albeit with an insanely long cooldown) is useful, as is +12 damage/healing. Also, if you’re doing any tanking at all and you see Force of Will drop AND your tank doesn’t want it, grab it.

Next time…

There you have it, pretty much anything I’d consider equipping as a holy paladin that comes from Blackrock Depths. Any surprises here? Any questions? Let me know!

Next time — Lower Blackrock Spire!

6 Levels, 22 Hours, 1 120 Shaman

For the first time ever, my second toon to max level in an expansion is not my paladin. Rather, it’s my shaman.

And, for the first time in several expansions, I actually felt pressured to get to level 120 by a certain point. That point was by June 25th, the day of Patch 8.2.

The reason for both of these is that my shaman is my herbalist and scribe, while Madrana, the paladin, is a jewelcrafter/alchemist.

For whatever reason, it didn’t dawn on me until like, Sunday evening, that I would need to be level 120 to get to Nazjatar, one of the new zones in Battle for Azeroth. And that the profession trainers are in Nazjatar. As such, I “wasted” my weekend getting Kurn through almost all the requirements for Pathfinder Part 1 (just missing some rep) because I figured that flying is The Most Important Thing.

Except it’s not.

I went to bed early (for me) on Sunday and then woke up with a bad sinus headache at like, 3:45am. So naturally, I took headache meds and then logged on to WoW, whereupon I realized that:

a) My shaman was 114

b) My mage (miner) was 113

c) My paladin was 111

I wasn’t going to be able to benefit from any new profession stuff on any toon except Kurn. And, let’s be fair, I did not make millions of gold at the launch of the expansion on Kurn, who is a skinner/leatherworker. I made millions of gold on my shaman, making Darkmoon Cards and decks.

So by 4am on what was technically Monday morning, I queued up to heal dungeons on my shaman, something I haven’t done since probably getting through the last couple of levels in Mists or maybe Warlords of Draenor. Typically, since my shammy was my dual gatherer for quite some time, I just herbed and mined my way to max level most of the time.

Wearing the heirloom helm, cloak, shoulders, chest, pants and the Dread Pirate Ring (god, I love that I once won the fishing competition), I had 50% extra XP. I was also rested. So I went for it.

I hit 116 before going back to bed around 7:30-8am. Then I napped for three hours, then worked ’till 7pm and then cracked my knuckles and was like “LET’S DO THIS”.

My brother logged on to his rogue (114ish?) and we queued up for a couple of dungeons. By and large, these went fine and I got to 117.

However. There was this one dungeon we ran that I feel I must absolutely discuss: Tol Dagor.

Let us be very clear, neither my brother, nor I, know anything about this dungeon and its mechanics. I’d run it maybe twice before, once on the shaman and once on my hunter, maybe. My brother had also seen it once.

The run was off to a not amazing start when our tank ran and pulled a ton of stuff right before the Sand Queen, the first boss. And said in chat, “lust”.

I was like “wtf is lu—-ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, bloodlust. Meaning, heroism.” Because, of course, I’m a shaman and I apparently have that ability. So I blew it and we finished this insanely large pack of mobs and then dude pulls the boss without pause. Great. Anyway, we move on and it’s on the third floor, I want to say, where we run into trouble. We’ve done three bosses so it’s some trash on our way outside to the ramparts where we wipe… and our tank leaves. The group is composed of me healing, a moonkin, and two rogues, my brother and someone else. We got a tank and then proceeded towards the ramparts, but no one knows what they’re doing re: cannons. So we wipe and the tank leaves. Something bugged out and we weren’t in the queue for a new tank. I tried to leave the queue and requeue, like I used to be able to do, but I couldn’t do that, either. It was very weird. So now we’re in a room right before the ramparts part, literally five mobs from the boss, but have no tank. Oh, and the dudes see through stealth, so my brother can’t whatever the AOE stealth thing is to get me through.

TIME TO GET CREATIVE.

I told my brother to just run for the cannon, while I’d run in and drop my Earth Elemental (Josh!) and then we’d just take down the mobs with the help of the cannon. Boom, we succeed. Then the moonkin goes BEAR and we get the last two overseers with the cannon and some great heals. ;)

And then, the last boss, Overseer Korgus.

Everyone except the tank died on this fight. First the other rogue. Then me. Then my brother. Then the moonkin REZZES ME and we kicked some ASS and finally got him down! VICTORY.

It’s these hard-won victories that remind me of Vanilla. Like, in those days, I would have wanted to invite the moonkin to my guild.

Anyway, while we were doing this, our favourite football, Daey, shows up on Discord and is like “haven’t you done island expeditions?” and I’m like “what are island expeditions?”

Insert EZ mode here. Daey takes my brother and I on like, three (?) island expeditions on his demon hunter, and I’m like, midway through 118 by the time my brother goes to bed around 11ish or so. Daey and I kept doing them and next thing you know, I’m 119. And there’s an assault up in Stormsong Valley, so heyyyyyyyyy, yes, I would like another 10% XP, THANK YOU KINDLY.

So I went and did those quests, got my buff and we got Daey done with his demon hunter and pally (almost) for the expeditions. Dude, I am not kidding, it took three island expeditions to get 18 bars of XP with my 60% XP buffs. DISGUSTING AND AMAZING ALL AT ONCE.

And for the last expedition of the night, I queued up with Daey on his pally and on Kurn, since I hadn’t done one on my hunter yet. So Daey got all his expeditions done on the pally, I got one done on Kurn (on Heroic, no less!) and my shaman is level 120 and ready to go herbing in Nazjatar.

More than that, though, my shammy is ready to learn the Inscription trinkets from Nazjatar.

And I am ready to make a crapton of gold.

Hopefully. :)

And that, my friends, is how I got from 114-120 in less than 22 hours (owing to sleep and work) primarily through sick XP boosts and island expeditions!

Give me the Energy achievement
So many expeditions!

DPSing vs. Healing

I started playing World of Warcraft in October of 2005, as a hunter named Kurnmogh. I primarily raided as a hunter throughout Vanilla, although I was certainly asked to swap to my alt holy paladin, Madrana, for several raids. (I remember healing Sulfuron and Golemagg in MC as Madrana, in particular, not to mention a couple of ZG clears and some AQ20 partial runs.)

When Burning Crusade came out, I dinged 70 on my hunter first. And then I didn’t really have any place to raid. So I dinged Madrana 70 and promptly got snatched up by a guild that was looking for healers. When that situation didn’t work out (8 of the 12 people on the main raid team in that guild got poached by another guild on the server), Majik, myself and a bunch of old Fated Heroes members (our Vanilla guild) formed Apotheosis.

Here’s the thing — I was so well-geared as Madrana, and we had so few healers, that I basically didn’t have a choice but to continue to heal as Madrana in raids.

It was okay. I wasn’t upset. It was very weird to me to progress as a healer, mind, but it wasn’t a problem for me. I just hadn’t really had the ability to choose what I wanted to do during BC. I mean, I wanted my guild to succeed, so I healed because I had the gear and because we needed healers. As time went by, I could have recruited another healer or two in order to replace me, but I didn’t. Over time, I’d made the decision that Kurn would get all the holiday titles and such (primarily for the free epic flying that came with the violet proto-drake) while Madrana would get all the raid titles and mounts and stuff. I’d made my peace with Kurn being my non-raiding character.

When Wrath of the Lich King came out, I was on the fence over what to do. I really enjoyed playing Kurn. I always had. So while I levelled Kurn to 80 first (as always, Kurn is the first to hit level cap), I was debating whether or not I’d raid as Kurn. Almost as soon as I dinged 80 on Kurn, I started levelling Madrana to 80. But I also dipped my toes into casual 10-man Naxxramas runs that my guildies were doing — as Kurn. I figured that it would be a good way to see if I wanted to change how I played the game.

It was the Abomination wing that made up my mind for me. We were trying to down Grobbulus. I’m sure most people in the 10-man raid were undergeared, not hit-capped and such, but we were dying to stupid things. People weren’t dropping things where they were needed to be dropped, adds were running amok and the like.

It was then that I realized that I was just one DPS. No matter what I did, I could not, single-handedly, kill everything. I was doing everything right and still, that was not enough. More to the point, it would never be enough. I, as a single DPS, would never, ever be enough to make up for all the other DPS in a raid situation.

By contrast, a single healer can make a huge difference. A massive difference. Our very first Vashj kill happened because I threw Lay on Hands on our sole remaining tank and it crit, buying us the precious few seconds we needed to get the kill. A well-timed cooldown here, a clutch heal there… Even one healer out of six or seven can make a huge difference, at least compared to one DPS out of 17. And, personally, I like being someone who really makes a difference on a fight.

Why am I talking about this?

I’ve been on a bit of an LFR binge. As of this writing, I have done all the LFRs relating to Tier 14 once. (And gained 5 Sigils of Wisdom and 8 Sigils of Power or something like that.) Of course, I’ve been doing these on my hunter, who has gotten a chunk of gear over the last few days. Madrana, much as I love healing with her, is still sitting pretty at 85, although it’s tempting to start the grind to 90.

We were on Wind Lord Mel’jarak and both tanks were dead by the three-minute mark. The fight continued for another four and a half minutes (total time was 7:22!) and I was literally mashing my buttons and trying to do anything I possibly could to get more damage out. At one point, I realized that was it: I could not put out any more damage. Everything (Rapid Fire, Murder of Crows, Stampede, agi potion, even my cat’s Rabid) was on cooldown and all I could do was wait for something to come back up and try to keep a perfect rotation while I waited.

As we whittled the boss down, I sat there thinking about how I could have made a difference as a healer. Maybe I could have kept at least one of the tanks alive. Maybe a druid would have given me Symbiosis, granting me a battle rez, allowing me to rez one of the tanks. The boss’ health kept dropping, I kept mashing my buttons and watching as OmniCC’s 1m started counting down in seconds on a couple of my abilities, rather than minutes.

Throughout it all, I knew that even that boost granted me by Rapid Fire and Murder of Crows was, ultimately, not the make-it-or-break-it portion of the fight. Even if the fight were extended by another 15 or 20 seconds, we would probably down it. Of course, it was LFR. In a normal or, more likely, heroic version of a fight where there are unforgiving enrage timers, DPS makes more of a difference. They have to put out a lot of damage or the entire raid will die. But even in those cases, I don’t think that I can ever feel as though I, personally, made a difference. Anyone can do damage. The fact that I’ve ranked on World of Logs on the majority of my LFR excursions, after not playing for 13 months, attests to that. ;)

There have always been jokes in my guild, and among my friends, that I’ve always wanted to raid as my hunter. I got teased a lot about it in Cataclysm as new people would join the guild and go “what the fuck, you don’t raid as Kurn but you want us to call you that and you refer to your non-raiding character as your main? What is up with THAT, you freak?!” (Well, perhaps they were a bit more polite than that, at least until they’d been in the guild for a while.) People made the assumption that because I wanted them to call me Kurn and because Kurn was my so-called “main”, that I wanted to raid as Kurn.

Nope. Healing is my preferred raid role. I could easily blame it on being used to healing, but that wouldn’t really be honest. I like being someone who is a difference-maker. That’s not to say DPS can’t make a difference, because they can — we had lots of people in Apotheosis whose presence would be the key to downing a new fight. But individually, I personally feel a lot more useful as a healer than as a DPS.

The fringe benefits (shorter queues for various content) are nice, too, but, for me,  it’s really all about keeping those other people alive so THEY can do crazy amounts of damage, as a solid group of 17ish DPS. As for myself, I’ll take being part of a kick-ass team of healers over disappearing into the huge group of DPS any day of the week.

As for my plans for the last three days of this trial: I have one mob left for the Glorious! achievement and I plan to try to do all of Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar’s LFRs over the course of the weekend. (Wish me luck!) And I’d also like to get Gold Proving Grounds, too. :)

What are you doing in WoW this weekend?

What's New with Kurn

Hi, folks! I have had a heck of a weekend, first watching my brother (aka Fog) get married and then skipping his reception to fly to Toronto where I stayed overnight before grabbing a flight to Newark, whereupon Daey and Toga picked me up and then I got dropped off at the lovely golf club where Majik was going to get married — and I was a bridesmaid.

I’ll write up a post later, I’m sure, about meeting Daey, Toga, Dar, Kam and all the others, but I’m still exhausted from my 4 airports, 3 flights and two weddings in the span of 72 hours. (Add 11 hours of sleep in that time span to get a really good idea of how tired I still am.) Short version: Everyone was awesome and excellent and the 21 hours I spent in NY were not enough.

Also, I have a short recording from the post-reception afterparty that I will be using in a super special BONUS episode of Blessing of Frost! It is hilarious and I can’t wait for you guys to hear it.

In the meantime, I’m still writing up that how to be a kick-ass GM guide. Not done yet and I’m at nearly 27,000 words for the whole thing. The first module (about actually starting a guild and getting things in place) is just over 5,000 words and I think most modules average 5,000-7,000 words, although the How to Recruit module is almost 11,000 words and I am still adding to it, because recruitment sucks a LOT.

Anyhow, this is really going to be a complex, in-depth, modular guide and I hope you guys will enjoy reading it and learning from it as much as I’m enjoying writing it.

Oh, speaking of the guide… From this weekend’s post-reception afterparty: Dar told me that Daey was telling her that the only thing I need to include in my guide section about loot is “/roll”. Oh, Football. Never change.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this game called Healer that Megs pointed me to. Dar and I were talking about how we missed healing and I said that this game was really the solution to healing without playing WoW. It’s very, very similar to WoW healing and there’s even an Onyxia-type encounter. Dar ended up playing the game on my iPad post-afterparty for like, 20+ minutes and this game is the sole reason she actually wants a tablet now. (I think the game is only available for iPad, not iPhone or any other platform.) Time to start up a Tabletfordar fund. ;) The game is really neat and I quite enjoy it. Check it out if you have a healing itch. (Note, it’s $4.99, but I think it’s pretty well worth it.)

Okay, I should wrap this up as I have some errands to run and, clearly, lots of guide-related and Blessing of Frost-related work to do! Enjoy your 5.3 patch day, folks. :)

Better Late Than Never

Ladies and gentlemen of the holy paladin community… hello.

You are probably all caught up on this stuff, but since it was a lingering issue throughout the Pandaria beta and well into live, I thought I’d actually update here. Thanks to Ophelie’s post that reminded me I hadn’t updated the situation!

Shortly after 5.1 came out, I sent a note to Jacii, a holy paladin in Apotheosis. I was like, “dude, can you please do me a favour and see if they actually fixed Holy Avenger like GC promised they would?”

He happily obliged, for which I thanked him profusely. Then I got caught up in holidays and family and junk.

So here, now, are the results of Jacii’s testing:

Holy Avenger will now grant 30% extra healing to Flash of Light and Divine Light on the Beacon of Light target while active.

Additionally, they will continue to give you three Holy Power when benefiting from Tower of Radiance, when Holy Avenger is active.

Here are the averages of about 10 casts WITHOUT Holy Avenger active:

Holy Shock – 34,755
Holy Radiance – 25,674
Flash of Light – 46,791
Divine Light – 62,204

And here they are WITH Holy Avenger active:

Holy Shock  – 45,147
Holy Radiance – 33,421
Flash of Light – 60,999
Divine Light – 80,516

Jacii kindly also included the percentage differences, which means I don’t have to do math. Yay!

Holy Shock – 29.90%
Holy Radiance – 30.17%
Flash of Light – 30.36%
Divine Light – 29.44%

Obviously, the offsets here and there are due to heals healing for a RANGE of healing and not always, say, 35k, 25k, 47k and 62k. It seems as though Holy Avenger now properly grants 30% extra healing to all heals that grant Holy Power, as the tooltip indicates! Yay!

If you want to see the screenshots from Jacii, they’re all available here: http://imgur.com/a/pD0qr

Anyhow, my apologies to being late on this, but that pesky “real life” thing tends to get in the way an awful lot. :) Thanks again to Jacii from Apotheosis for getting me the info (like, six weeks ago) and thanks again to Ophelie for reminding me, however unintentionally. ;)

Lastly, Majik and I are still plotting planning our grand finale episode of Blessing of Frost. We’re looking for YOUR comments on what you liked best about Episodes 43-74! Recording will likely occur in early February, so get your comments in now! Tweet us @kurnmogh and @majjity or email us at podcast [at] blessingoffrost [dot] com. :)

 

BREAKING NEWS: Holy Avenger and Holy Paladins

Back in preparation for 5.0, I wrote a post where I talked about talents, including Holy Avenger. In it, I said:

You can see that Holy Shock and Holy Radiance both get the appropriate 30% bump. Even though I had Beacon on me and was healing myself with Flash of Light and Divine Light (and getting the extra holy power), neither of those spells were affected by the 30% bump.

[…]

Remember, though — those would only on the beacon target and it may actually be intended that you don’t get a bump to healing with those spells on a beacon.

So let’s look at Holy Avenger’s tooltip:

Abilities that generate Holy Power will deal 30% additional damage and healing, and generate 3 charges of Holy Power for the next 18 sec.

For a holy paladin, we can generate holy power in the following ways:

– Casting Holy Shock on any target
– Casting Holy Radiance on any friendly target
– Using Crusader Strike on an enemy target

… but we can also cast Flash of Light or Divine Light on a target with our Beacon of Light on them to gain holy power, via the Tower of Radiance baseline holy passive ability.

Now, if you were to use Flash of Light or Divine Light on a beacon target, you WOULD get the three holy power. Great. But you would NOT receive the 30% extra healing.

Since late beta testing and early 5.0.4 testing when I noticed this, I’ve been asking (bug report forum, beta forum, tickets, even tweets to Ghostcrawler) which behaviour is intended? The way I saw it, the Tower of Radiance heals were either incorrectly giving the extra holy power (if those kinds of heals are not supposed to benefit from Holy Avenger) or they were incorrectly not benefiting from the extra 30% healing bonus (if those kinds of heals are supposed to benefit). And I could not get an answer about it. Either way, it was buggy. Half of the tooltip worked on those heals, half of the tooltip did not. You see the issue, right?

Finally, today, Ghostcrawler responded to a tweet I included him in with the holy paladin in my guild, Jacii, who had been lamenting that he had accidentally kept Holy Avenger as a talent through last night’s raids after testing to see whether or not the Tower of Radiance heals did or did not benefit from it.

So he said it wasn’t intended to work with Flash of Light and Divine Light on a beacon target. Okay, that’s fine, that makes sense — but why, then, does it grant extra holy power?

I tested it on live servers and screenshotted the combat log and you can clearly see it IS giving me 3 holy power due to Tower of Radiance and Holy Avenger.

So there you have it, holy paladins. Holy Avenger WILL work with Tower of Radiance heals in 5.1. As to right now? Nope, still not working.

The first two heals are without Holy Avenger. Flash of Light hits for about 31k, Divine Light (non-crit) for about 40k. (Bear in mind this is on my pally at level 85 in heroic Dragon Soul gear.) The next three are with Holy Avenger and you can see that there isn’t a substantial difference between the first two heals and the last three heals (barring the crit, but if a crit is an increase of 100% from a non-crit heal, you can do math and see that the crit Divine Light wasn’t empowered either, since half of 82k is 41k).

You can see that though I’m gaining the extra holy power through Holy Avenger and Tower of Radiance, Flash of Light is still hitting for about 31k and Divine Light is still hitting for 40-41k, all before Holy Avenger fades.

CONCLUSION

Holy Avenger is still broken in terms of the healing bonus on live right now, but Ghostcrawler says it DOES work in 5.1.

So there you have it, holy pallies — don’t completely discount Holy Avenger once 5.1 goes live. I’m glad I was able to get in one last piece of important holy paladin information for you guys before my subscription ran out. :)

UPDATE: This has been fixed in 5.1.

First 5.0.4 Raid as a Holy Paladin

All right, I’ve had a night in Heroic 25-man Dragon Soul. I’ve also redone some of my testing and updated some numbers and such in my 5.0.4 guide.

The first thing I did after I recovered from the addon explosion in my UI was try to do an LFR. I zoned in and died on Ultraxion trash because, oh look, my addons were still exploding. (TipTac seems to have been my primary culprit, your mileage may vary.)

Once I got that sorted, I went back into LFR and zoned in for Spine and Madness. Apart from a wee bit of lag whenever the Burning Tendons popped up, things went fairly well. However, I realized two things:

1) Holy crap, I was burning mana FAST.

2) My UI was still insanely unhelpful.

So I did the following before my real raid:

– swapped to Heartsong on my Heroic Maw
– took out my 3x 67 intellect JC-only gems, replaced them with epic reds
– since I wasn’t getting the socket bonus on my pants anyhow, I gemmed all three sockets in my pants with the 67 spirit gems

Without Heartsong active and without any external buffs, that’s 4006 mp5 in combat, according to my character sheet.

With 10 stacks of Heart of Unliving and Heartsong active, that goes up to 4698 mp5 in combat.

I figured I was good to go.

Wrong. I still felt the pinch when I healed a bit too aggressively on Heroic Hagara (frost phase) and Heroic Blackhorn, not to mention Heroic Spine. We didn’t actually kill Heroic Madness last night, although we’ll be finishing that up tomorrow, but on our longest attempt, I felt the pinch on the fourth platform and into P2.

Part of it, at least on Madness, may have been our comp. We didn’t have a disc priest in the raid, so no barrier means more overall damage done since we had fewer people with damage-reduction CDs. (We could have bothered our rets or our prot to use more Aura Mastery Devotion Aura, but I know I didn’t think of it.)

Speaking of Devotion Aura, it’s better than Aura Mastery was, although we pay for that with an extra minute on the cooldown (DA is 3m vs. AM’s 2m). Why is it better? It works on Watery Entrenchment on Hagara. It works on Hour of Twilight on Ultraxion. These are two areas where Aura Mastery did zip.

Back to the instance… I think that it was more challenging than I suspected it would be, to be constrained to 100k mana (102k with the meta gem that grants you 2% extra mana) and to be careful not to overextend myself. I found myself in trouble a number of times. Thank goodness for Hymn of Hope sticking around as well as Mana Tide Totem!

Of note, with the redesign to Blessing of Might, I think all pallies need to bear in mind that we have a crazy amount of mastery just by virtue of being fully raid-buffed now. Illuminated Healing did a LOT of healing/absorption. Part of that might also be because I was making great use of Eternal Flame, which contributes to Illuminated Healing on each tick. (Remember not to overwrite a stronger Eternal Flame with a weaker one!)

I forgot, several times, that Light of Dawn is now a circle around you, not a cone, and I still have Judgment (new spelling) on my bars, although I should throw it away at some point. I’m not sure what I’d put in its spot, though!

So those were my experiences — I loaded up on more Spirit (but maintained an intellect flask with intellect food) and had a couple of sticky situations. I would recommend people be conservative to start their regularly scheduled content until they get the “feel” of the new size of their mana pools, too.

How was your first experience raiding in 5.0.4?

Deep Diving for Deep Corruption

On the Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping encounter, you will certainly find yourself not wanting to kill the purple slime, or the Shadowed Globule, as it is properly named. (I’ll still be calling it “purple slime”, because I’m a rebel. Or something.) Allowing Yor’sahj to absorb the purple slime will cause him to affect the whole raid with one stack of Deep Corruption. This means that if you heal after that debuff has been placed on the raid, they will gain stacks of Deep Corruption. If they hit five stacks of Deep Corruption, they will do a lot of raid-wide shadow damage to the raid. On the 25-man Heroic version, that person will promptly deal around 95,000 shadow damage to each person in the raid.

Naturally, unless you’re trying to wipe, this is inadvisable.

The good news is that about 25 seconds into any phase where purple has been absorbed, the debuff resets itself, so you technically can heal someone more than just a couple of times over the entire course of the phase. One of the best ways to deal with this is to assign healers to specific people in the raid.

You may have already known all of this, but I appreciate you bearing with me, because now I’m going to talk about how to get a World of Logs parse to show you who That Guy (or That Girl) is who is stubbornly cross-healing or healing themselves or someone else when they shouldn’t be, which will stack Deep Corruption during a purple phase and will therefore explode. Every raid group has people who cross-heal or heal someone when they probably shouldn’t, so it’s important that you be able to ascertain who screwed up to nip that problem in the bud, or at least identify the actual problem, rather than insist everything will be fine if everyone just does what they’re told to do.

Plus, your healers (or DPS with self-healing abilities, or people who click the Lightwell when Deep Corruption is up) will be like “holy crap, how did they know it was me?!” when you whisper them and go “Stop cross-healing” or whatever. ;) It’s actually really quite simple, so let’s get started.

First things first, you need to be using World of Logs for these step-by-step instructions to work. It’s likely that you can figure it out with Recount or Skada, but I’m a logs geek, so that’s what I’ll deal with here.

Second, you’ll need to figure out if Deep Corruption ever blew up your raid. If you’re using something like Fatality in the raid, this will tell you why people died and who caused that damage, but I did say we were going to deal with World of Logs, so let’s start there.

Find an attempt in World of Logs where you’re fairly certain Deep Corruption went off. You can determine this by seeing if Deep Corruption caused any damage to your raid on the Dashboard page of a specific attempt.

Then go to the Friendly Fire screen for that attempt. Hover over the top-most person and if it says Deep Corruption, bingo.

In this case, there was a hunter who blew up the raid. But this is almost certainly NOT the fault of the individual who blew up the raid. How do you determine who did the healing to that hunter? Was it specifically the person who was on that group or was there cross-healing happening? Or something else?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… The Log Browser.

First thing to do is click “remove” on that Show all events query because otherwise you’re going to have every single thing that happened to your raid sitting in there.

Then, click on Add Query. You’ll see this pop up.

First thing to do is type in Deep Corruption in the Spell box, then hit Save. You’ll now see this on the main log browser page:


Next, hit Add Query again. This time, tick the “Heal” box in the upper half and then, in the Target box, type in the name of the person who dealt all that damage. While it wasn’t Kurnmogh, I’ll use my own name there to show you where to place it.

Hit Save. Your log browser screen should now look like this:

Now hit Run!

The lower half of your log browser window is now jam-packed with information. Here’s what you need to do.

1) Find when Yor’sahj casts Deep Corruption and it afflicts everyone in the raid. This may happen multiple times.
2) Find when Deep Corruption fades from someone and that person appears to hit people with Deep Corruption.
3) Look at the heals that person received between being afflicted by Deep Corruption and when it fades from them and they hit everyone in the raid with shadow damage.

Here’s what my log looked like:

I know, that looks like a LOT of healing. But it’s not.

The hunter receives 5 heals that add to his stacks before he blows up:

1) Priest’s Holy Word: Serenity
2) Priest’s Prayer of Healing
3) Priest’s Prayer of Healing
4) Druid’s Wild Growth
5) Priest’s Greater Heal

Boom.

For the record, Echo of Light (holy priest mastery) doesn’t add stacks, nor does Prayer of Mending, nor does the Glyph of Prayer of Healing, nor do the ticks of Wild Growth — just that initial hit of it.

While this post is mostly intended for 10-man tanks, it’s an amazing guide to what does and does NOT stack Deep Corruption on the Heroic Yor’sahj encounter: A Sunnier Bear: Heroic Yor’sahj Tanking Guide, so that’ll help. Also of note, apparently the heal from the Eye of Blazing Power Firelands trinket (and its heroic version) called Blaze of Life, is apparently currently causing stacks.

Anyhow, hope that helps diagnose some of your Heroic Yor’sahj wipes!

Late Night Math: Pets, Beacon and Heroic Yor'sahj

Apotheosis (A-25m-2/8HM, seeking casters and a resto shaman! </shamelessplug>) got Heroic Hagara down as a server-first and our next target is Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping.

Assuming holy paladins are in the mix, a popular healing strategy is to beacon the tanks and heal the pets in the raid, because heals from Beacon of Light do not stack Deep Corruption and pets don’t receive stacks of Deep Corruption.

The question came up, the other day, about whether or not a hunter should use a Tenacity pet, who has the Blood of the Rhino talent. Would the lower DPS be worth 40% extra healing to a pet and then, ostensibly, 20% extra healing to the tank through Beacon of Light?

This was a popular strategy back on Valithria Dreamwalker. You would park a turtle or some other Tenacity pet with the same +healing talent basically on top of Dreamwalker or right next to her and you’d heal the pet for extra healing done. Unfortunately, this stopped being viable eventually when they fixed Blood of the Rhino to only affect the pet and no copied heals from that (ie: Beacon of Light).

But that was back in 3.3. Did 4.3 mean this was somehow working again?

I bothered Daey to get on his holy paladin, Saerani, while I was on Kurn and we experimented with him beaconing me and healing my pet. The first pet he healed was my cat, Whisper, who has no +healing talents at all, being a Ferocity pet.

So you can see here that Daey hits Whisper for 55355 (crit). This bounces to me for 27677, which is just half of that heal. (Yeah, I miss 100% Beacon transfers, too!) The same with the 27672 hit, that gets me for half — 13836. That is totally expected. This is the control for the experiment. Now let’s look at Daey healing my bear, Fozzie.

First, note that the non-crit heal hits for 40,102. Based on the heals Whisper got, it’s clear that Fozzie has the Blood of the Rhino talent if it hit him for a 40k non-crit.

But then you see that the heal to me was only 14322.

MATH TIME.

14322 x2 = 28644 x 1.4 = 40,101.6 = 40,102.

So the original heal size, without the Blood of the Rhino bonus was 28644. With the 40% extra healing, we get 40,101.6 (rounded up to 40,102). If this +healing did transfer through Beacon of Light, we wouldn’t see me being healed for half of the original heal’s size. We would see it be half of the final heal’s size. The final heal was 40,102, so we would be looking for 20,051 as the heal that I got. But alas, I was only healed for 14,322.

Let’s see how this holds up with the next heal.

Fozzie is healed for 71865. I get healed for 25666.

25666 x2 = 51,332 x 1.4 = 71,864.8 = 71,865

Yup, same deal.

So it’s quite clear — Blood of the Rhino does not transfer any extra +healing from the pet to the Beacon of Light target. As such, on the Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping encounter, I do encourage you to beacon the tanks and heal the pets, but don’t gimp your hunters’ DPS by forcing them to bring a Tenacity pet to the raid. Their regular pet will do exactly the same thing a Tenacity pet will.

Co-operation vs. Competition

Anyone who’s healed with me, particularly with me as their healing lead, knows that I do not put a huge emphasis on numbers while healing. I don’t care who’s topping the healing meters, I don’t care who’s at the bottom. I take those numbers in stride and I don’t sweat it, so long as people are not dying due to lack of healing.

This is because I care more about defeating the encounter as a team than topping the meters. I don’t even have Recount or Skada up most of the time because I don’t want to focus on numbers. If I have it up, it is almost certainly as a quick diagnostic tool for after the pull, so I can see if people were respecting their assignments.

Please bear in mind that I’m not saying it’s not important to do your best on an encounter, but it’s not doing your best, for example, to allow Gushing Wound to stay on the tank during Alysrazor, just so you’ll have more healing to do. That’s padding the numbers and artificially inflating them at the risk of killing your tank.

At this point in the expansion, after having raided for several months with my own healing team in Apotheosis (up to a year in some cases), I just flat-out don’t care which of us tops the meters or which of us (that would be me) is occasionally outhealed by our DK tank. (Actually, that was all of us on Baleroc, sometimes…!)

My healing roster in Apotheosis currently consists of: 2 holy paladins, 2 resto druids, 1 disc priest, 1 holy priest and 2 resto shaman (one is in his trial). But I don’t look at them and say “oh, holy priest, huge buffs, God, I hate Sara for having a more powerful healing cooldown!!” Nor do I look over at Walks and curse at him for grasping holy paladin raid healing better than myself. Nor do I gripe about Kal and her amazing bubbles on the tanks when my “bubbles” are pathetic and miniscule, even with a hefty amount of mastery. (Okay, I gripe a little, but screw mastery anyway.)

I don’t get upset when Kit saves the day with a well-timed Spirit Link Totem. I don’t get angry when Jasyla or Featherwind manage to squeeze in another Tranquility for an extra few hundred thousand healing. I don’t begrudge any of my healers their successes, because when they succeed, my whole team succeeds.

On December 6th, the Holy Paladin 4pc set bonus was nerfed in a hotfix. No longer would our 4pc set increase healing done by Holy Radiance by 20%, it would now only increase it by 5%.

In the PTR notes for 4.3.2, the change is mentioned because the tooltip will now read 5% instead of the incorrect-since-December-6th 20%.

I noticed a few tweets and such about the nerf, from people who had not read the hotfixes (or perhaps they had and it just didn’t register as anything interesting at the time), basically cheering that holy paladins were being nerfed and they thought that holy paladins were being nerfed from the level they’re at now.

My question here is why?

Why on earth would you be glad to see your teammates be nerfed?

When resto druids got a 20% nerf to WG’s healing and a glyph change that is ridiculous, I didn’t cheer, I didn’t express my sheer joy. I was upset on their behalf. When holy priests complained of not having a really viable raid cooldown during 4.0-4.2, I was right there with them, saying yes, it would make so much sense for holy priests to have a real raid cooldown that matters! When they got their Divine Hymn buffs, I was thrilled!

When resto shaman got Spirit Link Totem, I was really pleased for them, same with when resto druids got the reduced CD on Tranquility. And in the early days of T11, I got spoiled rotten by having not one, but two Power Word: Barriers at my disposal, thanks to Kal and Num.

My question here is… why does the success of my class make people feel so angry that they then feel HAPPY when my class gets nerfed?

This isn’t a new thing, not at all, but I feel as though the inter-class arguments have gotten worse in recent times. I feel as though many players just no longer care about the team aspect of the game and are only out to make sure that they’re topping the meters.

Can you top meters while being a good team player? Sure. Does that happen often? No. Generally, in my six years of playing, if a healer was concerned about topping the healing meters, that healer would not follow their assignment and their assigned people would die. That’s why I don’t care about the meters. If I top them, great. If I don’t, well, did my target or targets live? If so, good. If not, then we have a problem.

I feel strongly that the WoW community has become too fractured and divisive. Tanks argue that other tanks are OP, pure DPS argue about hybrids being too competitive and healers… healers lose sight of the fact that we’re all on the same team and that, ultimately, we all want the raid to live and bosses to die.

I heal as a holy paladin because I like the class, overall. I can’t imagine relying on hots, I am bad with the large priest toolkit and the idea of chain heal is still pretty foreign to me, despite the fact I’ve done some ICC 10/25 on my shaman (and several dungeon runs/heroic dungeons since).

I won’t reroll a healing class because a certain class is OP and I won’t shelve my paladin if we’re completely ineffective. I play the class because I enjoy my capabilities within that class. (Although I miss Divine Intervention. A lot.)

So it boggles my mind when I see other healers, good healers, rejoice at a nerf to a class they feel is overpowered. It makes me disappointed in them and the community at large. It makes me wonder what happened to team spirit and being happy and pleased about the successes of your team members. When did it all become about the self?

I feel, more and more, as though my team-first attitude is endangered. I feel as though 25-mans are endangered. I feel as though the game, somewhere, changed forever and the community it’s built up since that change is filled with “gogogo” people who are obsessed with their own personal performance.

Again, I will reiterate that there is nothing wrong with maximizing your own performance, so long as the team comes first. But I have to question if other people even understand what a team is anymore. Sadly, I think a lot of people view their fellow healers as competition and not as teammates.

I celebrate the successes of my team. You, almost certainly, cannot solo-heal raids. You do it with a partner or two or five or six. I ask that you show them some respect, no matter how badly you may be outhealed or no matter how badly you outheal them. For better or for worse, they are your teammates, even in LFR, and if you don’t show respect to your fellow healers, those poor people in the trenches with you as you struggle to keep that death knight or warrior alive, then how on earth can you be a team player?

We’re all on the same team, with the same goal. Let’s remember that the next time a series of nerfs or buffs come down, shall we?