4.2 – Build 14133

Thanks to Boubouille at MMO-Champion, we have a list of forthcoming changes to holy paladins for the 4.2 patch.

Holy

Well, now. Isn’t that interesting?

Let’s look at them one-by-one.

The Beacon of Light Change

My preferred method of healing is to beacon the tank I am healing for Tower of Radiance procs when I inevitably use Divine Light or, occasionally, Flash of Light, to heal my target. During “down times”, I can easily toss Holy Shocks or Holy Lights on the raid and I do that frequently on normal-mode fights and even on heroic Chimaeron (since I’m not tank-healing that fight and my beacon is on the “DPS” tank).

The change to Beacon means that we can put our Beacon on a tank and not look at them too often, particularly if we’re healing other targets (including another tank, perhaps) a lot with Holy Light. This still isn’t enough for us to solo-heal two targets, the way we did in Wrath of the Lich King (heroic Saurfang was a great spot for this) but it’s a welcome change. During periods of low tank damage, I can spread the love around the raid with Holy Light and know that my tank is still getting 100% of those heals.

My Holy Light hits for a modest 11k or thereabouts, critting for close to 16k. But in 4.2, with 100% crits, that Holy Light that will transfer from a raid member to my tank will hit for ~22k if it crits.

Suddenly, the Beacon of Light change looks a LOT better and so does healing “off-target”, so to speak.

Holy Shock

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I guess it got posted because the change has actually made it into the PTR build. While Holy Light, Divine Light and Flash of Light will all get bumped in cost, Holy Shock will drop in cost, if only slightly. And it means that, with our 2pc T12 bonus procced, Holy Shock will only cost us 1% of base mana (234 mana), which isn’t too bad.

Infusion of Light

Man, I remember when this made Holy Light instant-cast in the Wrath beta… Anyways, this is most likely a PVP-related change. That said, this could be clutch for getting your target an extra 20k or so, on a non-crit. And, again, with 100% healing crits in 4.2, that’s potentially an instant 40k when Infusion of Light procs.

Tweeting about this the other night was amusing.

I said:

WHOAH. HOLD THE PHONE. “Infusion of Light now also affects Flash of Light.” Instant FoLs again????

Chase Christian, of WoW Insider, responded:

@kurnmogh Instantly drains your manas!

Although I laughed at that, he’s not wrong. In 4.2, assuming the mana cost remains 31% of base mana for Flash of Light, that’s 7261 mana for each cast of that spell. I mean, sometimes you might need to haul it out, especially if it’s instant, but Flash of Light is REALLY still just an emergency heal.

Other Stuff

That post at MMO-Champion also links some new data-mined items, including intellect plate items. The off-set helm is very similar to the tier helm, but instead of haste, has mastery. Definitely worth checking out to see what we can expect to drop in Firelands.

It's Not Easy, Bein' a Baby Holy Paladin

When 4.0 hit and we got our new, smaller talent trees, it seemed to work out just fine.  There was an adjustment period, obviously, and we didn’t have all the talent points we’d have at 85, but we had 36 of them and could snag a lot of useful talents.

As I work on getting my baby paladin to 85, I’m realizing that the talents are horribly placed for a toon that’s not at least level 80, who is doing a lot of PVE healing and very little questing. The baby pally is level 75 and I’ve seen a plethora of issues with our tree as I’ve painstakingly put talent after talent into our Holy tree.

Let’s look at the first tier of the Holy tree.

Arbiter of the Light – a healer won’t take this.

Protector of the Innocent – Still a dumb talent, seven months after 4.01 dropped, despite the fact that I now have 3/3 points in this at 85. As I gained levels on the baby paladin, I ended up putting two points here just to advance to the second tier.

Judgements of the Pure – Haste? Really? At level 10, I need 3% more casting/melee speed? Nope, I really don’t think that I do.

None of this really helps healing in low-level dungeons. By the time I was 15, I had 3 points in JotP and 1 point in PotI and, honestly, it didn’t feel like those four talent points — points that are supposed to be meaningful, or else we’d have unlimited specs — were doing a lot for me at that level.

Anyways, I then added a second point into Protector of the Innocent at 17 to go with my 3 in Judgements of the Pure, so I could get to the second tier.

Clarity of Purpose – More haste stuff. I don’t know about you, but with Holy Light, Flash of Light, Holy Shock and Word of Glory as my only healing spells at level 17, I don’t need all that time off of Holy Light. Divine Light isn’t even in my spellbook at level 17, and it won’t be. Not until level 62, I discovered. Why give us access to a talent that helps out a spell you get 45 levels later? Still, I took 3/3. What else was I going to pick to get me to the third tier?

Last Word – Okay, this was actually a bit useful. 2/2 here, despite the fact that, at level 85, I typically only have one point here.

Blazing Light – As someone who quested very little and instanced quite a lot, I ignored Blazing Light.

On to the third tier at level 27!

Denounce – Ignored it.

Divine Favor – Well, I took it, but only because you never know what idiots you may be running with in random pugs.

Infusion of Light – Finally, something sort of useful. Increased chance of Holy Shock crits and… wait, what’s this? More cast time reduction on Holy Light. And Divine Light. Something that, at level 27, I still won’t get for another 35 levels! Left with Denounce as an option, I took IoL instead so I took 2/2.

Daybreak – Yummy. 2/2 here. So far, this is probably the best talent in the tree because we have two of the three spells that proc it and it’s a handy proc.

On to the fourth tier of our tree, meaning we should now be level 37.

Enlightened Judgements – Meh. We’ll come back to this.

Beacon of Light – Finally, we have our Beacon and actually can heal the tank via healing other people. I was quite pleased to pick this up in the middle of Uldaman when I dinged 37.

Speed of Light – Are you KIDDING me? More spell haste? Holy Radiance cooldown? I’m sorry, I can pick this up at level 37 and I won’t get Holy Radiance for another 48 levels! Still, you take it, because what ELSE are you going to take?

Sacred Cleansing – I got this right after Beacon, so at 39. Dispelling magic effects is win.

Level 47 means we can hit the fifth tier of our talents.

Conviction – Well, yeah. Pick this up.

Aura Mastery – So very, very useless at this level. Completely and totally useless for PVE scenarios. I can see where Aura Mastery + Concentration Aura would be nice for silence/interrupts in PVP, but AM+Devo or +Ret is pretty useless when you’re rolling through Scholomance. I always like being able to use Resistance Aura with AM, but… we don’t even have Resistance Aura for another 29 levels! Skip this for now.

Paragon of Virtue – Well, we HAVE Divine Protection, but we almost certainly don’t need to use it. And what’s that? Avenging Wrath? We only get that at level 72, 25 levels from now. How about Hand of Sacrifice, you ask? Wouldn’t that lowered cooldown be useful? Sure, if we didn’t get Hand of Sacrifice at level 80. What were the designers thinking, making PoV available when only one of the three spells affected by it are even trainable by level 47?

So I got 3/3 Conviction and then pondered what to do.

I decided on 1/2 Enlightened Judgements and, since I had Beacon of Light, I threw in that last 3/3 point for Protector of the Innocent. I still hate that, but I have to admit that PotI is more useful than PoV at this level.

Level 57 brings us to tier six in our talent tree.

Tower of Radiance – a no-brainer. Snag it!

Blessed Life – I skipped it. I wasn’t getting hit enough to justify putting points here.

I still needed two more points somewhere to get to Light of Dawn.

Eventually, I dropped them into Aura Mastery after all, and 1/2 into Paragon of Virtue, then picked up Light of Dawn at 67. Your mileage may vary. You may prefer 2/2 Enlightened Judgements or something else, butthat’swhat I decided on.

You see what I mean, though, right? From level 10 to 67, there are just so many awkward moments where you don’t know where to put your talents because the talents are aiding spells you don’t even HAVE yet a lot of the time.

You get Divine Light at 62. However: Judgements of the Pure, Clarity of Purpose, Infusion of Light, Daybreak and the first point of Tower of Radiance all involve or affect Divine Light use… when we don’t have it.

How about spell haste? We have: Judgements of the Pure, Clarity of Purpose, Divine Favor, Infusion of Light and Speed of Light that all have to do with improved our casting speed… but you don’t need your casting speed improved when you’re healing Deadmines. Or Zul’Farrak. Or even Hellfire Ramparts, really.

So what’s the real issue here? Well, the holy tree is clunky for someone who is using the dungeon finder, primarily, to heal and level.

I believe that the reason for it is so that prot and ret paladins cannot access talents that really improve healing, lest they become very imbalanced. (They have a 20-second cooldown on Word of Glory since 4.1 hit because it was deemed that both those specs were doing too much healing – likely prots in PVE and rets in PVP.)

So you can’t have anything that affects the baseline paladin healing spells in the first two tiers, lest you buff prot and ret. And you can’t spend 10 talents in the holy tree all buffing the one spell we have early on that is inaccessible to other paladin specs, Holy Shock, because, well, Holy Shock does not have 10 talent points worth of  modifications to undergo. It’s a simple heal, it’s an instant heal and while it would be nice to bring it to a 5 second cooldown with those three points in Clarity of Purpose, I don’t really see where else we could buff it substantially without us being too overpowered.

This, naturally, leaves all kinds of “useful” (I use that term loosely) talents to pick up in the first two tiers. It’s the utility stuff. Increase your self-healing. Increase your haste when you judge. A 3-second Divine Light cast time at 85 would suck so they put it in reach of the prots and rets, if they want to snag Clarity of Purpose for some reason, but it doesn’t do my level 19 holy paladin much good to drop a talent point in there and get .15 seconds off my Holy Light.

Having said that, I want to be clear that just because I understand why they do it that way doesn’t mean that I like it, nor does it make it any easier to tangibly feel as though I’m improving my character when I drop a point into Paragon of Virtue at level 59, without having two of the three spells affected by that talent. As if the fact I don’t have them yet isn’t enough, they’re not even within arm’s reach, either. These are spells that I won’t get for 13 levels, in the case of Avenging Wrath, and 21 levels in the case of Hand of Sacrifice.

Of course, when you’re 80, you don’t notice most of this. You just drop your 31 points into Holy and 5 points elsewhere and, at the Shattering, I was fine with that. I had absolutely no idea how clunky, awkward and just downright nonsensical the holy tree was for the paladin who was not max level at the end of Wrath of the Lich King.

The baby pally is now 75 and I’ve taken to tanking my way through Wrath content, after seeing far too many would-be tanks who are clearly incapable of understanding what a tank is and should do.

The prot tree, from what I can see, does not suffer from these issues. If it does, the issues are nowhere as serious as in the holy tree.

Prot Tier 1:

Divinity – All healing done by you and healing effects ON you by 2/4/6%. Well, gee. Tanks get healed. That’s certainly useful!

Seals of the Pure – more damage! Damage equals threat. True, we only have Seal of Righteousness at the time we can put points in here, but that’s just a damage modifier for basically all of your seals. It’s not like it’s a modifier for your casted spells or usable abilities, most of which you don’t have yet. It’s modifying something you always have up, regardless of which one you use most. (Well, apart from Seal of Insight.)

Eternal Glory – nummy, but we’ll come back to it.

Prot Tier 2:

Judgements of the Just – The thunderclap effect for paladins. Useful for tanks so you don’t need to rely on someone else to slow the attack speed of the boss. A USEFUL TALENT. (And useful to ret/holy PVPers  for the Seal of Justice modifier.)

Toughness – Increased armor up to 10%. These are all TANKING talents! In the tanking tree! Shocking!

Improved Hammer of Justice – whatever, any remotely knowledgeable tank is going to take the other talents for PVE situations.

You can see that ret and holy would both love Toughness, Improved HoJ, Eternal Glory and Divinity for PVP situations for sure, but these are all useful, right from when you get them, as a baby prot pally.

I still maintain that .15 seconds off my Holy Light is not useful at level 17. At level 85, I love it. But not at level 17.

The holy tree is unpleasantly broken for characters who aren’t 80 yet and does a great disservice to those who wish to immerse themselves in the spec so that they may feel more comfortable and competant in the holy spec at max level. However, because they can’t put talents that are useful to holy at level, due to possibly buffing the rets and prots among us, and because this isn’t an issue of balance or tuning for those who are at max level, I don’t think we’ll see any reorganization of the tree or even a change of when we get our various class abilities. (Seriously, Hand of Sacrifice at 80? What are these people on??)

Our old talent trees, as bloated as they could be, didn’t have this problem. Spiritual Focus, which is baked-in now, was useful to us, granting us 70% pushback protection on our casted healing spells, meaning that with Concentration Aura up, we were able to cast without fear of pushback. In a low-level dungeon, this is surprisingly useful, given that you will almost certainly get healing aggro since the chances are quite good that your tank will have no idea how to tank at all. Healing Light, which was extra +healing to our healing spells, was useful to us. Divine Intellect gave us 10% extra intellect towards the end of Wrath and was, shockingly, useful to us at level 16 or level 80. And now, we have Judgements of the Pure, Protector of the Innocent, Clarity of Purpose and Last Word for those 10 talent points. There’s just no comparison. The old talents buffed our healing and intellect. These talents buff our cast times, give us a silly self-heal in Protector of the Innocent that will transfer through beacon (which we won’t have for another 27 levels if we max out PotI as soon as we can) and gives us a situational healing buff if someone is under 35% health.

Underwhelming.

I don’t have statistics on  how many holy paladins are quirky enough (like me) to level primarily as holy, whether from 80-85 or 1-85 or some bunch of levels in there, but given that the dungeon finder is a viable alternative levelling method to questing, I feel strongly that my talents should mean something, even in the early levels. Right now, my talents feel like they might eventually pay off, and that’s only because I know what I want my holy spec to look like at 85. That’s why I eventually picked up 1/2 in  Paragon of Virtue. I still need to respec so that I drop to 1/2 in Last Word and put 2/2 in PoV, but it feels ridiculous to do so now because, even at 75, I still only have two of the three spells Paragon of Virtue modifies! I have to wait until 80 for Hand of Sacrifice before it feels as though a respec would make sense.

It’s a very frustrating experience and if this is meant to be this way, if we’re supposed to be frustrated that we’re not yet max-level and that’s why half our talents don’t do what they’re supposed to, yet, that’s a pretty poor incentive to level, if you ask me.

Patch 4.2 – PTR Build 14107

Another day, another batch of 4.2 news, courtesy of MMO-Champion.

*    Denounce has been redesigned. It still reduces the mana cost of Exorcism. However, it no longer has a chance on Holy Shock of making Exorcism free and instant. Instead, it has a 50/100% chance to prevent the Exorcism target from causing critical effects for the next 6 seconds. This effect can be dispelled.
*    Holy Shock mana cost has been decreased to 7% of base mana, down from 8%.
*    Speed of Light now reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 40 sec, up from 30 sec.

First up, Denounce. A talent that doesn’t have a lot of use in PVE, but I still pick it up for Chimaeron P2 and for soloing purposes. This now makes it firmly a PVP talent, as I see it.

Next, Holy Shock. Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light are all going UP in cost, but Holy Shock goes down a percent. Given the 2pc T12 set bonus for holy paladins, this is pretty sweet. Having a 40% chance for your Holy Shock to cost 234 mana instead of 1640 is a very nice bonus. I think, anyways.

And finally, Speed of Light’s change means that we can use Holy Radiance every 20 seconds. I don’t think anyone’s mana pool could sustain such use, but hey. It’ll be nice that it’s basically always up.

So far: increased mana cost on our three casted spells, slight decrease in mana cost on Holy Shock, Denounce being changed for PVP and the ability to use Holy Radiance every 20 seconds.

Druids got a new mastery. I wonder if we’ll get one eventually. I don’t even need it now, but it sure would be nice to have a new one for 4.3 or 4.4 or something during this expansion. I don’t want to go a whole expansion hating our mastery.

T12 Bonus Changes, Mana Costs

MMO-Champion has the new T12 set bonuses for us, as well as a post by the blues about why they’re raising our mana costs significantly.

Old set bonuses:

Paladin T12 Holy 2P Bonus: Casting Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Divine Light on your Beacon of Light target has a 40% chance to grant you 2% of your base mana.

Paladin T12 Holy 4P Bonus: Your Divine Light also heals a nearby injured target for 20% of the amount healed.

New set bonuses:

Holy Paladin 2-Piece: Old bonus removed and replaced — Healing with Holy Shock has a 40% chance to grant you 6% of your base mana.

Holy Paladin 4-Piece: Old bonus removed and replaced — Your Divine Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Light spells also heal an injured target within 8 yards for 10% of the amount healed.

My thoughts: (Edited May 14, 2011)

The 2pc is a lot better. 40% of the time you cast Holy Shock, you will only spend 1% 3% of your base mana instead of 9% (which is the current cost) or 7%, which is the new 4.2 cost (at least as of build  14107). Actually, you will probably need to have 7% mana (1640) in order to cast, but when this procs, you will probably get a refund of about 1406 since the real cost will be around 234 mana. Since Holy Shock is our cheapest heal that costs mana in 4.2 (Holy Light will be 12%) and is our primary method of Holy Power generation, this is a nice little bit of mana back. Remember, though, this could be on an internal cooldown, much the way Eternal Glory is!

With this bonus, it seems that they want to further emphasize the use of Holy Shock and so it is now taking Flash of Light’s place as an uber-cheap heal. In the old days, Flash of Light was stupidly cheap and even if you had pretty much no mana whatsoever, you could always afford a Flash of Light.

The 4pc is better, but not a ton, IMHO. They halved the healing of the splash heal to 10% from 20% but let us use more of our spells AND there’s no “you must heal the beacon” requirement. We still have to use a casted spell, but it can be any of the three casted spells. Even with the increase in mana to Holy Light, we’re still going to be using that quite a bit.

Mana Costs

Zarhym said:

We increased paladin mana costs because they were too efficient at healing. In raid encounters, for instance, paladins were sitting at 40% of their mana while the other healers were flat out of mana. Paladins were casting Divine Light as their main heal because they didn’t need the efficiency of Holy Light. You personally may not have been in that situation, but when looking at the overall picture, as well as running plenty of tests, this was our conclusion overall.

To which I say, “you know what? This is what you get when you design mana-free heals. You have now introduced Holy Power to the paladin class and the holy paladins now have two resources with which to heal.” But no other class has that. Blizzard now has the unenviable task of balancing holy paladins between the maximum amount of holy power one can possibly generate (through use of Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, Tower of Radiance and the Blessed Life talent), plus their mana costs and regen rates in current gear levels VERSUS everyone else’s mana costs and regen rates.

Essentially, they’ve screwed up by giving us Holy Power and we are forever going to be overpowered if they tune our mana to what other healers have, but forever underpowered if people don’t make smart use of Holy Power or, perhaps more importantly, don’t smartly generate Holy Power.

It’s still early in the expansion and I’m still trying to find what’s right for me. I like to tank heal. So I have Tower of Radiance. But on a fight like Chimaeron, where I am not tank healing, I don’t pick up Tower of Radiance. Instead, I take advantage of the crazy raid damage that fight has and I pick up two points in Blessed Life. The last time I killed Heroic Chimaeron, I picked up 12 Holy Power that way instead of the 0 Holy Power I would have generated since I am emphatically NOT healing my beacon target on that fight.

There are much better players than myself out there, much more progressed players than myself, who have probably figured out the balance as it works best for them and it’s probably also a very efficient way for them to heal, which is likely why they’re better players than I am. (Though I would challenge anyone to heal through heroic Maloriak, keeping their tank alive, at 3fps at some points, though. I would totally win.)

So my thoughts are that Blizzard has screwed up. We will never be tuned “properly” because of Holy Power, unless they specifically limit the rate at which Holy Power is generated. They’ve already taken steps to do so — Holy Light on the beaconed target no longer gives Holy Power, as it used to with Tower of Radiance. Blessed Life now has an internal cooldown and cannot occur more than once every eight seconds.

There’s already a limit on how often we can cast Holy Shock (6 seconds) and Crusader Strike (4.5 seconds) and there’s a less-tangible limit on how much Holy Power we can gain from Tower of Radiance, due to the exorbitant mana costs of Flash of Light and Divine Light — which are only going to get more expensive.

I don’t think the limits are firm enough, though, and it’s going to make balancing us a really difficult job for the next few major patches.

My two cents.

4.2 News: Holy Paladin Tier 12, Mana Costs

So MMO-Champion has some data-mined information out there for patch 4.2 from the PTR build 14040. Since we don’t care about the legendary staff since it has hit and we can’t equip staves, I’ll just focus on the Tier 12 holy paladin set and the class changes.

Tier 12:

At first glance, and remember that this information can be changed at any time, our tier does  not suck.

Tier 11 had absolutely no haste on any of it. There was mastery and crit, and a lot of it.

Tier 12, on the other hand, looks much more promising.

First of all, despite the fact we have a skirt again, it looks pretty darn awesome.

Second of all, the stats are pretty great.

Immolation Mantle, our Tier 12 shoulders: 282 Intellect, 454 Stamina, 229 Spirit, blue socket (+10 int bonus, which means we’ll just put an intellect gem there anyways) with 134 crit. I know, it’s not fantastic, but it’s not bad.

Immolation Greaves, our Tier 12 legs: 368 Intellect, 611 Stamina, 271 Spirit, a red and a blue socket with a 20 int socket bonus and 233 haste. Yummy! So much nicer than our current tier legs, which are so inferior to the Legguards of the Emerald Brood.

Immolation Headguard, our Tier 12 helm: 348 Intellect, 611 Stamina, 239 Spirit, a meta and a red socket with a 30 intellect socket bonus (tasty!) and 245 haste rating. Yay!

Immolation Breastplate, our Tier 12 chest: 368 Intellect, 611 Stamina, 276 Spirit, two blue sockets with a 20 intellect bonus and 225 critical strike rating. Eh.

Immolation Gloves, our Tier 12 gloves: 282 intellect, 454 Stamina, 0 Spirit, one red socket with a 10 intellect bonus and 176 crit rating and 204 haste rating.

Looking it over, our shoulders and our chestpiece are the likely places where we’ll ditch one of them for an offset piece after we’ve acquired the 4pc bonus, as neither of them have any haste. The shocking thing here? There is absolutely no mastery on any of our tier 12 gear. Instead, we have loads of haste.

I’m actually looking forward to collecting my tier gear, assuming these stats stay the same.

There’s only one other intellect plate piece of loot that’s been datamined so far and it’s a pair of shoulders: 282 Intellect, 454 Stamina and 213 Spirit, with a blue socket (10 int bonus) and 162 mastery.

I might stay with heroic T11 before swapping out to that (assuming I have heroic T11 shoulders. I have the Heroic Burden of Mortality at the moment, but would swap the crit on the tier for the mastery on these), but I guess we’ll see what other changes are in store for us before I make up my mind on that.

Mana Costs

Again, this is just PTR information and is subject to change at any time.

Divine Light will go from 30% base mana cost to 35% base mana cost.
Flash of Light will go from 27% base mana cost to 31% base mana cost.
Holy Light will go from 10% base mana cost to 12% base mana cost.
Holy Shock will go from 8% base mana cost to 9% base mana cost.

Again, this is subject to change, but it seems odd that they dropped the cost of our spells by about 10% with 4.1 and now want to raise them across the board again in 4.2. I guess we’ll see what happens in future builds and launch day. :)

Tier 12 Set Bonuses

The various news sites have a first look at Tier 12 set bonuses. (MMO-Champion, Wowhead)

Holy Paladin:

Paladin T12 Holy 2P Bonus: Casting Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Divine Light on your Beacon of Light target has a 40% chance to grant you 2% of your base mana.

Paladin T12 Holy 4P Bonus: Your Divine Light also heals a nearby injured target for 20% of the amount healed.

Obviously, we don’t know how these bonuses will work, yet, but there are a few things here that are interesting to note. Typically, Blizzard ties bonuses to spells they want us to use a lot. Witness our 2pc bonus (and any other healer’s T11 2pc bonus): it’s 5% crit on Holy Light/Heal/Healing Wave/periodic Lifebloom heals. (Never mind the fact that a lot of people go for offset pieces due to the lack of haste on tier, at least for paladins.)

Let’s talk about the 2pc bonus first.

a) You need to be casting Flash of Light or Holy Light or Divine Light. This effect does not trigger from Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Light of Dawn, Holy Radiance or, it appears, triggers from Beacon of Light.

b) You need to be casting those spells ON your Beacon target. This is in line with the Tower of Radiance talent that some paladins forego entirely and is, perhaps, Blizzard’s way of trying to encourage us to cast on our Beacon directly.

c) There’s a 40% chance to get back 2% of base mana. Do you know how much, or, rather, how little mana 2% is? Try 468 mana. So we have to cast a heal that’s about 7k (FoL) or 2k (HL) or nearly 8k mana (DL) in order to have a CHANCE to get 468 mana back. Not sure about you, but unless this changes, I’m just going to heal as I normally do and consider that mana to be icing on the cake.

It’s particularly insulting to us, given what the other healing classes are potentially getting. (And yes, I know, it’s datamined PTR info that’s subject to change.)

– Druids: Your periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.

That’s a 40% chance to gain 186 mana each time Lifebloom TICKS. Lifebloom ticks (unhasted) once a second. Good resto druids, as I understand it, should ALWAYS have Lifebloom ticking on someone for Omen of Clarity procs, due to Malfurion’s Gift. In our first-ever heroic Chimaeron kill, my resto druid had 423 ticks or tick/crits of Lifebloom.  40% of that is 169. So, roughly, 169 chances to proc the bonus, assuming no internal cooldown.

– Priests: Your Flash Heal, Heal, and Greater Heal spells cause you to regenerate 2% of your base mana every 5 sec for 15 sec.

That is a 100% chance (no percent chance, no chance of failure) to regen 412 mana every 5 seconds for 15 seconds. So that’s 412 times 3 for a total of 1236 mana every time they use Flash Heal, Heal or Greater Heal.

– Shaman: Your periodic healing from Riptide has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.

That’s a 40% chance to restore 234 mana on each Riptide tick. And you can have more than one Riptide going at once.

Clearly, the holy paladins have been screwed over here. The shaman and druids have the same chance as us to proc, but are restricted to one spell. However, that one spell (for both of them) ticks constantly if the class is being played well.

The priests have the same spell limitations as we do (short, expensive heal or the long, cheap heal, or the long, expensive heal) but don’t have the percent chance, nor are they limited by target the way we are, since our heals MUST be on the beaconed target.

d) The possibility of an internal cooldown exists. This isn’t unheard of. Eternal Glory‘s 30% chance to make Word of Glory not cost any Holy Power has a 15-second internal cooldown.

All said, I think the two-piece bonus COULD be great, but the mana returns are too low, we’re too limited in terms of our targets and, frankly, every other healer is going to get more procs off of their bonuses than we are, should it stay the way it is.

And now for the 4pc:

Raid-buffed, my average Divine Light hits for about 30k and crits for about 45k. So the 4pc bonus is going to allow me to hit my target for a bit more than that (given gear upgrades meaning more intellect), so let’s say about 38k and 52k for a DL hit and a DL crit in a raid with 4 pieces of T12.

20% of 38k is 7600 and 20% of 52k is 10400.

So my 4pc bonus will allow me to heal some random person near my target for 7600 or 10400 or some value in between?

– Will it be a smart heal or will it just heal anyone? A pet? Someone at full health?
– Define “nearby”

My concern here is that the radius will be small and that the heal will be random. If it is not random and if the radius is about the size of the old Glyph of Holy Light, this is a nice bonus. If it heals the player with the lowest health in its decently-sized ranged, I’ll be thrilled.

Sadly, my gut tells me it’s random, won’t care if the target is a pet or at full health already and will be pretty useless sometimes.

Having said that, no one knows how these bonuses are actually going to work. We’ll have to wait and see. I just really, REALLY hope these get some work done on them before 4.2 releases.

Illuminated Healing: An Examination of the Holy Paladin Mastery

What is Illuminated Healing?

Illuminated Healing is the holy paladin mastery. It is, to be blunt, underwhelming. It is a stat that I reforge away from and a stat I do not seek out. How does it work? Well, each Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light, Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Light of Dawn and Lay on Hands heal we cast will take 10% of that heal (plus whatever mastery rating you have) and form it into a shield on your target that lasts for 8 seconds. I have 203 mastery rating, which bumps my mastery from the 10% base to somewhere in the realm of 11%. That’s how little I value mastery; I barely have enough of it on my gear to add a single percentage point to my base amount.

According to MMO-Champion, it’s getting a buff in the 4.1 patch. The shields will persist for 15 seconds instead of 8 seconds.

Not only is this increase in duration just as underwhelming as the mastery itself, but it fails to address the problem with our mastery. Our Illuminated Healing shields do not stack; the smaller shields will be overwritten by larger ones and refreshed by smaller ones.

Why is our mastery a shield effect?

The short answer is this was almost certainly Blizzard’s way of compensating for the lack of Sacred Shield. Sacred Shield was a baseline paladin ability that was introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. Originally, you could cast it on multiple targets at once (I’m not quite sure how I managed to heal through Loken in Halls of Lightning without it!) but this was deemed far too powerful and it was then restricted to a single target.

It wasn’t your typical shield, however. When you think of an absorption shield, you likely think of something like Power Word: Shield, the priest ability. While Power Word: Shield is active, it absorbs all incoming damage up to its maximum amount (which is dependent on the spellpower and level of the casting priest). Sacred Shield was a buff that existed on the target you cast it on and, if that person took damage while Sacred Shield was on them, an effect would trigger. This triggered effect was the damage absorption effect and lasted until consumed or for 6 seconds and could only get triggered every six seconds. (4 seconds with the 4pc Tier 8.) It actually was pretty substantial mitigation over the course of a fight when placed on a tank, when specced properly. It wasn’t perfect, but it was unique and it was ours.

They had also incorporated Flash of Light to leave a heal-over-time effect (HoT) on a target that had Sacred Shield on them, which would tick for 100% of the Flash of Light heal over the next 12 seconds. So if my Flash of Light hit for 12,000 on a target with Sacred Shield, they would receive that 12k healing and then receive 1k per second for 12 seconds.

It was nice synergy.

They removed Sacred Shield for Cataclysm. It’s actually returned as a Retribution talent, albeit in a different form. Still, the idea of a short-duration damage absorbing shield was clearly incorporated into the holy paladin mastery.

Why is Illuminated Healing underwhelming?

You’d think that damage absorption would be a good thing, that you would want to stack as much of this as possible. However, in part due to the short duration of the shields (which is, admittedly, getting buffed in 4.1, as previously mentioned), many of the shields are just plain wasted when cast on the raid.

Even on tanks, where you think it would make a large difference, it just isn’t all that effective. Due to the fact that the shield’s size is dependent on the size of the heal (and mastery rating), in order to get even a shield in the realm of 4000 or 5000, you need to be using Divine Light, our large, expensive heal.

Since 100 mastery only increases our shielding by 0.697% (as per Elitist Jerks), the item allocation points are almost certainly better served by reforging to something like haste, which provides 0.78% spell haste for every 100 haste rating. I’m not a math person, but even I can see that I’m gaining more haste for 100 points than I would gain shield power by adding 100 mastery. Since haste leads to a shorter global cooldown and a faster cast time on spells, I personally feel that haste is a better stat than mastery is. Most people tend to agree with me.

So what would be a good mastery for holy paladins?

Ah, the $64,000 question. In order to answer this, we should look at all the other specs and see what their masteries do.

This Wowpedia page is somewhat out of date as there have been several changes to people’s masteries, but it’s a good baseline.

DPS death knights get increased frost or shadow damage. Appropriate.

Tanking death knights get a shield based on a self-heal. Also appropriate.

DPS druids get increased damage from Eclipse or bleeds. Seems fair.

Tanking druids get increased absorption from an ability. Seems in-line with the Blood DKs.

Healing druids get increased healing if their targets already have a HoT on them. That makes sense; HoTs are the staple of druid healing.

Beast Mastery hunters gain more pet damage, Marksmanship hunters get extra shots off and Survival hunters deal more elemental (soon to be “magical”) damage. All of this seems excellent. I know I enjoy Wild Quiver procs when I play my Marksmanship hunter.

Mages also seem pretty appropriate. Arcane mages deal more damage the more mana they have, which is very much in-line with the spec. Arcane has always been about increasing mana, so it stands to reason that good mana conservation/replenishment would add bonus damage. Fire mages gain more periodic fire damage, which is excellent for them, as they have dots flying all over the place. Frost mages deal more damage against frozen targets, which is a staple of the frost spec. All seems well.

Protection paladins gain increased chance to block with their mastery, which is fair. They have a shield and blocking has always been the protection paladin niche.

Retribution paladins gain extra holy damage from Templar’s Verdict, Crusader Strike and Divine Storm with their mastery. Again, this is a staple of the spec.

Discipline priests have increased shield effectiveness, and rightfully so. They are the masters of mitigation.

Holy priests get an extra HoT effect on their direct heals, once again proving that holy priests are the most versatile of all the healing classes, able to take advantage of both direct heals and HoTs.

Shadow priests gain more damage from their shadow orbs. Not that I know what on earth a shadow orb is, but it’s clearly something that deals more damage. It’s in-line with their spec, whether or not it’s good. (It could be, or it could be terrible. I honestly don’t know.)

The rogue masteries all look good, if not at least useful. Assassination’s increases poison damage, Combat’s procs extra off-hand attacks and Subtlety’s increases damage on finishers and Slice and Dice.

Elemental shaman get a version of the Marksmanship hunter’s Wild Quiver, where they have a chance to proc an extra Lightning Bolt or Lava Burst. Enhancement shaman deal more elemental damage, something that is quite handy given the fact that Lava Lash and Lightning Bolt are core parts of their rotations.

Restoration shaman’s healing (all of it, in 4.1) is increased via mastery. Period. It’s a throughput stat for them.

For warlocks, the Affliction spec’s mastery increases, shockingly, periodic shadow damage. Demonology’s increases the pet’s damage and the warlock’s damage when they’re in demon form. Destruction’s mastery increases fire damage done. Again, all in-line with the strength of the spec.

Arms warriors can proc an extra attack with their mastery and Fury warriors improve abilities that cause them to be enraged, as is befitting the spec.

Protection warriors, the other shield-wearing tank class, also get increased chance to block but also have the chance to critically block attacks.

So, let’s see…

Tanks (no shields): Get absorption.
Tanks (shields): Get more block.

DPS: Get more DPS via extra damage appropriate to the spec or extra attacks.

Healers (shaman, druids, holy priests): Get more throughput
Healers (discipline priests, holy paladins): Get more mitigation

Shaman, druids and holy priests all get more throughput via their mastery, as is befitting their specs. They are throughput healers. Discipline priests get more mitigation, which makes sense because they are the mitigation healers.

Why on earth do paladins get mitigation?

We got mitigation because they did away with Sacred Shield in its Wrath of the Lich King form.

It has nothing to do with our spec or our class.

Paladins are the single-target healers. We are the cooldown healers. Paladins have always been a proc-based class, from Reckoning generating extra attacks to Sacred Shield having to have its actual absorption effect be triggered.

It would stand to reason that a holy paladin mastery would incorporate something proccing, something to do with our cooldowns or something to do with single-target healing.

We don’t need the throughput help, since Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn do a good job of boosting us up on the meters (which is all that so many people tend to care about , which makes me sad — but that’s another post for another day!). We could use more mitigation help, but not something that would be overpowered if we were to stack mastery. It would have to be something that would work on a single target, but wouldn’t require us to focus on the single target, given that so many paladins out there have taken to raid healing and just slapping their beacon on a tank. It would also have to affect more than just one spell of ours.

How about if, after casting Hand of Sacrifice, Hand of Protection or Lay on Hands, you had a % chance to generate a new effect? That effect could be a hefty shield, based on your spellpower, mastery rating and character level. It would be cast immediately on the person you cast the spell on and would last until consumed or for 15 seconds. It would have an internal cooldown of ~2 minutes, so you couldn’t spam it by spamming those abilities. It could be called Sacred Armor or something appropriately “holy paladinesque”.

That’s just an idea, but the fact that it’s a proc and it’s procced from our cooldown abilities ties in nicely with how holy paladins have always worked. An internal cooldown would mean holy paladins aren’t completely overpowered. I’m not sold on it, but I think it would encourage more use of our cooldown spells (which so many people still don’t use!) and would give us a bit more mitigation right when we need it, since we’re casting HoSac, BOP and LOH when we’re anticipating a lot of damage or when we’ve seen a lot of damage just hit.

If you could redesign the holy paladin mastery, what would you do?

Light of Dawn Nerf/Unnerf: Update & Thoughts

The Update:

So on Friday, they nerfed us.

On Saturday, they unnerfed us.

Bashiok said:

The hotfix note correctly describes what an attempt to fix a bug ended up changing, which was not actually the original intent. We’re reverting the hotfix until we can fix the bug without causing Light of Dawn to no longer trigger Beacon.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2065788305?page=15#282)

So the question is, what was the bug?

Forum poster Trexokor had this to say:

If you cast Light of Dawn in the direction of friendly healable targets not in your group, there seems to be no target cap.

This appeared to have been fixed during the Light of Dawn nerf period.  Once again, there is no outside-raid target cap.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it worked in situations such as Tol Barad, where you had a couple raids working side by side.  By using Light of Dawn on a large group of players, anyone outside your raid would get healed by it, well above and beyond 6 targets.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2065788305?page=17#339)

I’ve witnessed this odd behaviour before, so this seems a likely bug they were trying to iron out. However, the unintended repercussion of ironing out that bug was that LoD no longer transferred through Beacon of Light.

My Thoughts:

I’m not happy with where paladin healing is. I’m not talking about a numbers thing, because with the reversion of the new bug, paladins can easily top meters. I put very little care or faith into meters.

I thought maybe with the nerf, we’d see some redesigning of the holy paladin tree a bit, or at least our abilities, but it doesn’t look as though that’s going to happen.

Talents I would love for our tree to be rid of or changed.

– Protector of the Innocent
– Beacon of Light in its current form
– Light of Dawn in its current form

I’d throw out PotI entirely. I’d make BoL only transfer our direct heals (Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light) that are cast on people who are not the Beacon. Light of Dawn would get unnerfed back up by that 40% they nerfed it down to before, but would also be off Holy Power and back on to mana, with a 12s cooldown. The cost would be equivalent to Divine Light’s cost.

I haven’t given the changes terribly much thought, but those changes emphasize healing deliberately, not passively, and reward players for smart use of LoD, rather than some of the mindless “FLASHLIGHT TIME OH YEAH!!!!” we’re seeing.

The lack of faith I have in Blizzard and the paladin healing model is pretty astounding at this point. I don’t imagine we’ll be properly balanced before T12/T13 and I find myself unhappy at the prospect of spending the next year wondering what nonsense Blizzard will spout next and what foolishness they’ll enact on the class based on that nonsense.

LoD Nerf Reverted?

Honestly, I think I have whiplash.

I got home last night around midnight to read that Light of Dawn healing no longer transferred via Beacon of Light.

Insert long blog post complaining about this.

And now, Ophelie says it’s working for her.

It wasn’t working for me. But about 45 minutes later, lo and behold, it was. I just tested it out with Walks.

WILL BLIZZARD PLEASE MAKE UP THEIR DAMN MINDS ABOUT THINGS BEFORE PUSHING THINGS LIVE?!

There’s been absolutely no contact from Blizzard to holy paladins in the last 24 hours. Just a flip of a switch to turn off LoD through Beacon transfers and another one to switch it back on.

I think there’s one thing we can glean from all of this: Holy Paladins are in a bad spot at the moment. We are broken on several levels — too effective at healing in some cases, not effective enough in others and the use of Light of Dawn, the very existence of Holy Power and the whackadoodle uses of Beacon of Light are only serving to muddle things.

I can’t wait to see what Blizzard has to say about this weekend’s changes.

(Don’t miss out on my follow-up post, located here at Kurn’s Corner!)

Holy Light of Dawn Nerf, Batman!

I was having a pretty good Friday. Thursday night, Apotheosis killed the Twilight Ascendant Council, so I was feeling pretty good going into Friday. In the afternoon, a friend called me up and we made plans to get dinner and a movie. While at dinner, I discover that my best friend gave birth to her second child earlier in the day. It was a great Friday.

I got home and see this:

Beacon of Light no longer triggers from Light of Dawn.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2259389)

(Please note that this change was reverted. You can read more about it here at Kurn’s Corner: Post 1, Post 2.)

For those holy paladins who made frequent use of this mechanic, this is a crippling blow to their healing numbers and their overall style of healing that has had a few months to develop.

Kurn, slow down. What the hell are you talking about?

Right, sorry. Let me talk about the style a little bit before I explain how this change deserves the term “crippling blow”.

In Cataclysm (and since the 4.0 patch), holy paladins have had two real methods of healing.

Method 1: Beacon a target (likely a tank) and heal the beacon directly, making use of Tower of Radiance to build up holy power in order to use spells like Word of Glory and Light of Dawn.

Method 1 is close to old-school healing and paladins still do really well when it comes to single-target healing. The major difference between this style and Wrath-style healing is that we are generally beaconing the target we are directly healing. Since 4.0, Beacon of Light has only transferred 50% of our heals (including overheals) to our beaconed target, so it’s not as though we can heal one target and beacon another and not have to worry about the beaconed target any longer. No more “set it and forget it” healing when we have a second target to heal, especially if it’s a tank. In current content, I’m pretty sure I can’t keep two tanks up all by myself. And that’s okay. I can still mostly keep one tank up on my own.

Method 1 is my preferred style. I’ve spent my whole WoW career focused on healing single targets and tanks. This is what feels comfortable to me. It’s also fairly clear that Blizzard intends for us to do things this way because of the very existence of the Tower of Radiance talent.

Method 2: Beacon a target (likely a tank) and heal the raid, making use of Holy Shock and likely Blessed Life procs and possibly using Crusader Strike (or, on occasion, directly healing the beacon if you’re even specced into Tower of Radiance, which you may not be!) to get Holy Power in order to cast Light of Dawn (preferably glyphed) to heal the living crap out of the beacon target, while doing some moderate raid healing.

In this way, you are still doing a great deal of healing to the beacon target, but the heals tend to spike; low heals here and there, then a big spike when you get 3 holy power for a Light of Dawn.

Here’s an example of some heals my fellow holy paladin cast during one of our recent raids, with some annotations to show where the beacon heals are coming from and where the holy power is coming from.

[22:42:26.717] Holy Paladin Divine Light Fury Warrior +30777
[22:42:26.993] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +*826* (O: 5877)
[22:42:27.412] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 18147) — from the DL
[22:42:27.756] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 3952) — from the PotI

[22:42:28.535] Holy Paladin Holy Shock Kitty +*4418* (O: 10545)
[22:42:29.067] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +4162 (O: 198)
[22:42:29.367] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 7793) — from the HS (1 HP)
[22:42:29.736] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 2571) — from the PotI

[22:42:30.686] Holy Paladin Enlightened Judgements Holy Paladin +*0* (O: 4414) — judgement
[22:42:31.519] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 2602) — from EJ

[22:42:32.532] Holy Paladin gains 1 from Holy Paladin’s Blessed Life — 1 HP

[22:42:35.419] Holy Paladin Holy Light Hunter +12396
[22:42:35.847] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +5310
[22:42:36.054] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +6198 — from HL
[22:42:36.537] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +2505 — from PotI

[22:42:36.537] Holy Paladin Holy Shock Hunter 2 +10011 — 1 HP
[22:42:37.116] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +4987
[22:42:37.591] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +2420 (O: 2586) — from HS
[22:42:37.926] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 2352) — from PotI

[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Enhancement Shaman +0 (O: 8401)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Ret Paladin +7402 (O: 955)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Fury Warrior +0 (O: 8596)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn DK Tank +*12149*
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Rogue +8935 (O: 928)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Frost DK +8300
[22:42:39.813] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +0 (O: 5272)
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4200 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4178 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4055 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4109 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4150 — from LoD
[22:42:40.688] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +2487 — from PotI

Over ~13 seconds, the paladin did a lot of healing to the raid and did about 86k in healing to the beacon target, a DK tank.

This is how it broke down, via timestamps:

22:42:27: 22099 — Big chunk from a DL beacon
22:42:29: 10364 — small
22:42:31: 2602 — smaller
22:42:36: 8703 — small
22:42:37: 7358 — small
22:42:40: 12149 (direct LoD heal) + 23179 — huge

So while it was “only” about 86k to the tank, he healed a lot of raid members, too.

Meanwhile, this is what my ~13 seconds looked like:

[22:42:28.083] Madrana Holy Light Prot Pally +*3433* (O: 14287)
[22:42:28.524] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +*0* (O: 6877)
[22:42:29.367] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 3438)

[22:42:30.688] Madrana Holy Shock Prot Pally +0 (O: 8780) — 1 HP
[22:42:31.021] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +0 (O: 4163)
[22:42:31.717] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 2082)

[22:42:34.200] Madrana Divine Light Prot Pally +2801 (O: 26806) — 1 HP
[22:42:34.200] Madrana Holy Shock Prot Pally +0 (O: 8787) — 1 HP
[22:42:34.643] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +*7077*
[22:42:35.419] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3538

[22:42:36.902] Madrana Light of Dawn Madrana +7240
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Resto Shaman +8038
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Fire Mage +6838
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Shadow Priest +7013
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Moonkin +*10750*
[22:42:37.591] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +*6355*
[22:42:37.591] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3620
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3705
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3625
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3717
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +5697
[22:42:38.238] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 3177)

[22:42:40.250] Madrana Divine Light Prot Pally +21437 (O: 9401)
[22:42:40.688] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +0 (O: 4278)
[22:42:41.510] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 2139)

130470 healing to my beacon target in ~13 seconds, broken down this way:

22:42:29: 21158 — big
22:42:31: 10862 — small
22:42:35: 41932 — huge
22:42:38: 23541 — big
22:42:41: 32977 — huge

So while my heals on my beacon target, a paladin tank, were generally bigger and more regular than my fellow holy paladin’s heals, I also didn’t really do a lot of raid healing. In fact, I’m sure that if you add it all up, he did more healing than I did in that span, especially because a lot of my heals overhealed my tank.

You can see that these are two distinct styles with different focuses. There are different specs for them, different glyphs and it changes how you generate holy power.

So, what does this Light of Dawn/Beacon of Light change mean?

It means that Method 2, which is beaconing a target like a tank and going to town on the raid, becomes a lot less viable. Light of Dawn was that guaranteed big, instant heal. 20k, easily, as long as people were in front of you and you had three stacks of holy power. You really need that extra oomph to help steady out your beacon target. If you could time it well so that just as soon as your target needs that hit, you had that 3 charges of holy power and were properly placed to maximize the number of people Light of Dawn would hit, you were golden. My fellow holy paladin is AWESOME at this and that’s why I put him on the raid and assign him a beacon target and I balance the healing on that target knowing how good he is at getting that LoD to go off at the right time.

With this change, I COULD continue to have him on the raid, but would have to compensate for the lack of big heals from LoD. It would probably be easiest to stick him on a tank full time, which I don’t think he’d like very much. (We’ll talk about it, buddy!)

So can paladins still raid heal?

Eh. Kind of? There’s no excuse not to pick up Tower of Radiance and Eternal Glory now, since our use of Word of Glory should skyrocket since we’re not going to be using our holy power on Light of Dawn very much anymore.

If your paladin is good at using Holy Radiance and is willing to make sure they’re raid-healing using Word of Glory (which will still transfer to the beacon) and direct heals, there’s no reason they can’t raid heal, but I can’t help but think that all priests are better at it than paladins are, with Prayer of Healing, plus Circle of Healing and Sanctuary. Druids can use Wild Growth more frequently now and get extra healing via their mastery by layering Rejuvenation on top of Wild Growth, not to mention, they have Efflorescence. And then shaman are still able to use Healing Rain and Chain Heal… it’s going to be a tough job to raid heal going forward without relying on Light of Dawn for those little spikes on the raid and the cumulative effect on the tanks.

I would be more inclined to put holy paladins on the tanks, but a good player should be able to still raid heal. It’ll just be more difficult.

Any ideas for how to fix paladins, if, indeed, you think they’re broken?

I’m not a numbers person. I don’t look at the healing meters and go “ZOMG I R GUD” if I happen to top them. (Which rarely happens because I’m focused on my tank.) If I did my job, I’m satisfied and my job will mostly consist of healing a tank. I like that job and I feel I’m still able to do it.

However, removing this more dynamic style of healing is going to suck. Why even bother to cast Light of Dawn now? The healing it provides is pretty low at 6-8k a person. With 130k or so raid-buffed, even 10k hits aren’t all that huge. Part of the fun of being a paladin in early Cataclysm was the ability to help out on the raid while healing the tank or helping out on the tank while healing the raid. It seems as though we will be able to do one or the other, but not both — and we’re heavily slanted towards single-target healing with our current spells.

What I would do:

– Restore Holy Light’s Holy Power generation via Tower of Radiance: More holy power to use leads to more LoD use, even if it doesn’t benefit the beacon any longer.
or
– Restore Light of Dawn’s power back up to its level before it got nerfed in terms of strength (either 40 or 60%, I can’t keep all these numbers straight): A stronger LoD means we won’t NEED to cast it as often to still help out on the raid.
or
– Lower the cooldown (and possibly slightly lower the mana cost) of Holy Radiance: If Holy Radiance is used more often, we won’t need to keep trying to use up holy power in order to help out on the raid.
or
– Give us a mastery that actually doesn’t suck.
or
– Chuck Beacon of Light and Light of Dawn and completely redesign the Holy tree in a way that makes us WANT to spend points in it: No details on this because I don’t even know what I’d like to see. I do know that when I look at resto druid trees and holy priest trees, I get jealous, because I can see where it’s an actual choice to pull points from their main trees and put them in disc/shadow or feral/balance. I resent having to spend 31 points in the holy paladin tree and would go another 5 points deep in ret if I could (without losing my 5 in prot). I feel like I should want to drop as many points in holy as possible and really have to make a tough choice to drop talents into prot or ret.

That’s all my opinion, mind you.

But wait! Kurn, what’s this about a Conviction nerf?! Two nerfs in one day?

Sadly, this is true. Holy Radiance crits no longer trigger Conviction. This will lead to less uptime on Conviction, which leads to lower healing overall. Granted, even in 346-level gear, I had about 80% uptime on Conviction. Nowadays, I have about 90% uptime on it and I don’t abuse Holy Radiance on cooldown, so I don’t expect to see too much of a difference in my overall numbers due to this.

Crappy day to be a holy paladin?

So what else is new?

The funniest thing about all this is that when Holy Light was changed to no longer grant holy power through Tower of Radiance, Nethaera was like:

It is intended that Protector of the Innocent and Light of Dawn transfer healing through Beacon of Light. Furthermore, we didn’t feel that changing either of those would have fixed the problem.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1532043235?page=70#1386)

Yeah. You guys got some ‘splainin’ to do.