Initial 4.0.1 Thoughts

I followed my own advice from my 4.0.1 post. Specced for 3/3 Divinity and 2/3 Crusade after 31 into Holy. Glyphs of Word of Glory, Seal of Insight and Holy Shock for primes, with Divinity, Beacon and Divine Plea for majors and Seal of Insight, Kings and Lay on Hands for minors.

I healed a heroic Nexus without Grid and without getting Clique configured right and felt fine. No mana issues at all.

The major issue was that the tank couldn’t hold aggro from the ret pally, from a DK or even from me, on occasion.

I also had zero confidence in my ability to heal someone quickly from low health. Cases in point, the ret pally and the DK and myself. :P

The 20yd range on judgements really wasn’t too bad, although I did have to shuffle forward here and there.

Overall, it was quick and relatively painless. No mana issues whatsoever. I did keep half-expecting Eternal Glory to proc and kept wanting to hit Holy Radiance, but apart from that, it was okay.

And yet, I’m thoroughly depressed about it. I just don’t feel like “myself”. Blah.

New beta build thoughts sometime tomorrow. I like what they’re doing with Holy Radiance.

How was your first day with 4.0.1?

PTR Build 13156 – Quick thoughts.

According to MMO-Champion, holy paladins are getting buffed.

  • Divine Light base healing increased by 10%
  • Flash of Light base healing increased by 10%
  • Holy Light base healing increased by 10%
  • Holy Shock base healing increased by 10%
  • Walk in the Light (Passive) now increases healing by 15%, up from 10%.

So, 10% more base healing to all three of our casted spells, plus Holy Shock (our most-used spell) AND 5% more healing to everything we cast.

There’s nothing wrong with any of this. In fact, for months, I’ve been saying that the Walk in the Light passive we get that increases our healing vs. a prot or ret in healing gear, has been pretty lame at 10%. 15%… well, it’s an improvement, to be sure, and when added to the extra healing we’re now getting on FoL, HL, DL and HS, it’s going to feel like a bit more.

I’m definitely happy about these changes, although since they’re happening on the PTR, I won’t be able to play with them until they make it over to beta. (The beta client is supposedly acting as a PTR client, but mine isn’t working and I’m not installing 13+ more gigs of WoW on my computer.) I imagine this will make us more willing to use some of these casted spells instead of relying on Holy Shock and Word of Glory so very much.

I still think there’s something just very wrong with holy paladin healing right now in the beta. Is it just the change to a three-heal system? I don’t think so. Is it just the overall weakness of our healing, which these changes are trying to alleviate? I don’t think so.

I think there’s something very “wrong” with relying so extensively on Holy Shock and its clone, Word of Glory.

I feel like they’ve taken the paladin and not only turned it upside down, like all other healers (poor freaking druids) but also inside out. FoL is expensive, contrary to what it’s always been. HL is cheap, contrary to what it’s always been. Paladins are suddenly going to be a very mobile healer, contrary to what we’ve always been. We’ve lost some raid utility (JoL, JoW) and we’ve always BEEN the “utility” class for the Alliance.

I’m almost certainly going to play a holy paladin in Cataclysm. Apart from anything else, I KNOW the class and I KNOW the changes.

But it feels to me like we’ve been changed beyond recognition. Paladins in Cataclysm barely resemble paladins when I first started playing, and even those paladins are somewhat removed from how they were at launch.

Anyways. I’m rambling and I should get to sleep. It’s been a long day and tomorrow promises to be even longer.

What Holy Paladins Need to Know for 4.0.1

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

*Small updates on Monday, October 18th, 2010 – Spell coefficients, a note about Enlightened Judgements vs. Paragon of Virtue*

*Update on Monday, November 22, 2010 – Glyph section somewhat out of date, links to 4.0.3a post.*

With 4.0.1 here as of Tuesday, October 12th, there are several things every single holy paladin absolutely needs to know. I’m going to try to break this down into TALENTS/SPELLSGEAR/STATS and GLYPHS. With regards to gemming, both Runed Cardinal Rubies and Brilliant King’s Ambers turn into Brilliant Cardinal Rubies, giving us 20 intellect. We can no longer gem for spellpower. I’m not changing out my gems quite yet, but as we gain levels, we might want to re-examine our gemming.

TALENTS/SPELLS

1) We cannot spec 31/5/5 at launch, because we only get 36 talents at 80. We are not going to be balanced for content at 80 with only 36 talents to spend. Assuming the talent trees stay the same, we have to drop 31 points into holy and then have a tough choice to make. Where do we put the remaining five talents?

Our only real choices:

0-3/3 Divinity: 0%/2%/4%/6% extra healing done to and by us. This is the same talent as the one that exists on live today, only it’s three talent points instead of five.

0-2/2 Eternal Glory: 0%/15%/30% chance for our Word of Glory not to consume Holy Power. This is an amazing talent that allows us to throw out more mana-free heals.

0-3/3 Crusade: 0%/10%/20%/30% extra healing (and damage) on Holy Shock (and lots of damage stuff by 30%). I kid you not, Holy Shock is an amazing spell in Cataclysm. 30% extra healing to it is not insignificant.

0-2/2 Improved Judgement: 0/10/20 extra yards on the range of Judgement. Combined with the extra 5/10 yards on Enlightened Judgements in the holy tree, we are looking at regaining our 40 yard range by dropping two points here.

My recommendations:

3/3 Divinity: 6% flat increase on healing. Do it.

0/2 Eternal Glory: Mana matters, but is not as huge an issue at 80 as it is at 85. The mana costs at 80 are not huge.

From a very early beta build:

Flash of Light: 1658
Holy Light: 263
Divine Light: 1842

Holy Light did get bumped to 9% of base mana sometime after I got these values, which is about 396 mana at level 80. I’m not sure if these values are even still remotely accurate. However, I know that mana wasn’t a huge problem until I hit 82-83. Bear in mind that a lot of things have changed since I was level 80 in beta and I might change my mind on this, but based on the trees right now and my beta experience so far, Eternal Glory doesn’t need our extremely precious two points. If mana is terrible, this should get consideration, but the level 80 values weren’t too bad.

2/3 Crusade: No, really, my hand to God, Holy Shock is used constantly. Holy Shock reduces cast time on FoL, HL and DL and is not an insignificant heal itself. We want Holy Shock to hit as hard as possible. Which means…

0/2 Improved Judgement: I hate that I’m not picking this up, but we’re out of freaking points and we have the base distance of 10 yards on the judgements and an extra 10 yards over in holy. Plus, there’s no more Judgement of Light or Judgement of Wisdom. Judgement is seriously JUST damage and to proc Judgements of the Pure. Judging is now a selfish thing that you do once a minute, so it’s not worth it, with so few points available to us, to drop even a single point here.

So, as of right now, my recommended spec for 4.0.1 is:

31/3/2

Bear in mind that 2/2 Enlightened Judgements can be swapped to 1/2 and you can grab 2/2 Paragon of Virtue, although I think the range is a better choice for us right now in Wrath content.

2) The Holy Power Resource.
I nearly forgot to mention this, actually. Holy Power is a secondary resource, meaning it’s used alongside mana, not instead of it.

As you can see, you can have 0, 1, 2 or 3 charges of Holy Power.

For the moment, the only thing that a holy paladin can really use Holy Power for is to heal with our new heal, Word of Glory. Word of Glory with 1 charge of Holy Power heals for less than 2 charges, which heals for less than 3 charges. Word of Glory is an instant-cast heal that is basically a clone of Holy Shock, only there’s no cooldown and it doesn’t use mana. It’s solely dependent on Holy Power.

How do you generate Holy Power?

a) Crusader Strike, which is now baseline for all paladins. (This will be, admittedly, not something we probably use to generate Holy Power all that often.)

b) Using Holy Shock, which is now a passive just for picking holy as your spec. Every time you use Holy Shock, you get a charge of Holy Power.

c) Directly healing your Beacon with Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine Light. Doing so generates one charge of Holy Power, if you’re specced for 3/3 Tower of Radiance. And you should be.

3) There is no more Flash of Light spec/style, no more Holy Light spec/style. These distinctions are gone. You cannot spam Flash of Light. It is expensive in the new Cataclysmic world. You cannot spam Divine Light, our new big heal, which is sort of equivalent to Wrath’s Holy Light. It’s also expensive. Holy Light is dirt cheap, but heals for itty bitty chunks. We need to adjust to our new heals – the potency of Holy Shock, the weakness of Holy Light, the cost of Flash of Light and the additions of Divine Light, Word of Glory and Light of Dawn. Holy Radiance only comes into play at 83, so we can ignore that for the moment. (But it’s a lot of fun.)

4) Mana matters. We have lost Illumination. Seal of Wisdom is gone, replaced with Seal of Insight, which works a bit like Seals of Light and Wisdom combined, but procs from Seal of Insight only grant us 4% of *base* mana, not *maximum* mana the way Seal of Wisdom did. Further, Divine Plea is nerfed: 10% of mana over 15 seconds, two minute cooldown, reduces healing done by 50% while active. This can be glyphed to 15% of mana back, but that’s still a huge change. We cannot rely on it the way we have throughout this entire expansion. Nor can we rely on Innervates — your druid companions will almost certainly be using this on themselves. Innervate will also only work off the casting druid’s maximum mana, so feral Innervates will be useless. Even Replenishment has been changed. Instead of 1% of maximum mana per 5 seconds, it’s 1% of maximum mana per 10 seconds. What’s that? Mana Tide Totem will still be awesome? HAH. It will now increase party members’ Spirit by 200% for 12 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown.

I say again, mana matters.

5) Beacon of Light only heals for 50% of what you heal others for. That’s right, the OP awesomeness of our beacon is gone. Combined with the Tower of Radiance talent, it’s clear that we are no longer going to want to set a beacon on someone and just ignore that target except for refreshing beacon, as we currently do.

6) Sacred Shield is gone and its effect has been rolled into our mastery. Mastery is a new stat that all 30 specs can make use of and each spec has its own. Ours is called Illuminated Healing and it means that when we cast a heal on someone, we create a shield the size of 8% of the heal on them, which lasts for six seconds or until it’s been consumed by damage. The 8% scales up with more mastery, which is increased by getting gear with mastery rating on it. Word has it that these shields our heals create are supposed to “roll” or at least not have a smaller shield replace a bigger shield.

7) Blessings have changed. For starters, Blessing of Wisdom is gone. You can find its mana regen properties in Blessing of Might, along with the attack power bonus. Blessing of Kings now only adds 5% to various stats and adds some token resistence to magic schools. Kings does NOT stack with Mark of the Wild. They are identical. Further, these are all 60-minutes and raid-wide and require no reagents.

8) Divine Intervention is gone. Farewell, old friend.

9) Resistance auras have been merged together. So have resistance totems.

10) In case you missed it above, Judgement NO LONGER applies the Judgement of Light OR the Judgement of Wisdom debuff to mobs. Goodbye, passive healing and goodbye passive mana regen.

11) Lay on Hands cooldown reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes.

12) Our spell coefficients have changed. Thanks to Ophelie from The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon for doing all the scary math for us. Here are the new spell coefficients.

GEAR/STATS

1) In order to benefit from our armor specialization, you need to wear all plate. Wearing all plate grants us an extra 5% intellect. This is godly, since our spellpower is based on our intellect. Do it.

I’m currently wearing two mail pieces: Heroic Unclean Surgical Gloves and Earthsoul Boots. I plan to swap to Gauntlets of Overexposure from the Emblem of Frost vendor, which are identical to Fallen Lord’s Handguards from regular Lady Deathwhisper on 25m.

Ideally, Halion will drop his boots, Foreshadow Steps, (although Walks and I both know these are clearly a myth and do not actually exist). If they don’t drop for me by the time 4.0.1 drops, I will probably switch to my old 258 boots, Boots of the Courageous from Icehowl in TOGC 25, since I didn’t get the Protectors of Life crafted. The Earthsouls were better. Anyways, obviously not everyone is killing Halion with regularity, not everyone is killing Deathwhisper on 25 every week, so your options may be a bit more limited.

I would be inclined to say switch to plate however you can, but keep in mind things like haste (see point #2) as you do so.

2) The amount of haste we want is going to rise. Bear in mind that Judgements of the Pure is dropping from 15% haste to 9% haste and the 3% haste from Swift Retribution/Improved Moonkin is GONE. That means the soft cap for haste that you want to aim for just jumped up from 676 to something like 1017 haste or thereabouts for a 1s GCD, given JotP + 5% spell haste (from a variety of sources — moonkin aura, shadowform’s aura and a shaman’s Wrath of Air). *** This number changes to 894 haste in 4.0.3a ***

That’s a large number, I know. Do not panic.

Why did we want to hit a 1s GCD in Wrath of the Lich King? We had a lot of spells that we needed to cast that were instant. Things like Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield, judging regularly, using Divine Shield and Divine Sacrifice… these are all on the GCD and with 1s GCDs, we’re able to hit these and get back to healing that much faster.

With the removal of Sacred Shield, the movement of Divine Guardian way out of our reach, the fact that we only need to judge once a minute, can we afford GCDs that are longer than 1s? Maybe. Though we’re losing Sacred Shield and judging 2-3 times a minute, we are gaining Holy Shock as a useful spell, which, thanks to Speed of Light, also gives us 30% haste to our next Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine Light.

This haste can offset the longer cast times of Holy Light (3 seconds base, 2.5 seconds with 3/3 Clarity of Purpose, no more Light’s Grace!) and Divine Light, but it means using Holy Shock pretty much on cooldown.

We also gain Word of Glory, which is essentially a clone of Holy Shock, only it’s dependent on Holy Power instead of mana. Just like Holy Shock, Word of Glory is also instant. We also have Light of Dawn as our 31-point talent, which is an instant, conal heal that doesn’t heal for a ton, but can hit a lot of people at once. So, we lose:

– Sacred Shield (1/minute)
– Frequent judgements (2-3/minute)
– Divine Sacrifice/Guardian (1-2/fight)

Our commonly-used instants are now:

– Beacon of Light (refreshing every 60-90 seconds, depending on glyph)
– Holy Shock (6s cooldown, glyph no longer lowers cooldown, more if Daybreak procs)
– Judgement (1/minute)
– Word of Glory (when 3 Holy Power is accumulated)
– Light of Dawn (situational, but up to every 30 seconds)

So is it important to maintain as close to a 1s GCD as possible? Yes, I would say so. However, the other major benefit to haste rating is the lowering of cast times on various heals and that’s where Holy Shock and Speed of Light come in very handy. That’s why you shouldn’t panic. A 1.2s GCD isn’t as optimal as a 1s GCD, obviously, but don’t panic because your casted heals after a Holy Shock are still going to be pretty snazzy.

Some early beta build numbers are below. Bear in mind that in order to proc Speed of Light, you have to cast Holy Shock before the casted spell.

With 1026 haste only:

Flash of Light: 1.14s cast
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.68s cast

With 1026 haste and JotP:

Flash of Light: 1.05s
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.54

With 1026 haste and Speed of Light (3/3):

Flash of Light: 0.879s
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.29

With 1026 haste and JotP AND Speed of Light:

Flash of Light: 0.806s
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.18s

A Speed of Light-hasted Holy Light casting in 1.18s is even a bit faster than I currently get on live.

I’m going to do my best to maintain my current haste rating of 1036, which I add to with 40 haste food. However, as previously noted, I need to replace my boots and my gloves with plate equivalents. IF I get the boots from Halion, I’ll be at 1016 haste. If I don’t, I’ll be at 1006, since I’ll drop to my TOGC 25 boots. (I ALWAYS keep everything I wore in the previous tier, just in case I need a resist set or something.)

3) Librams are now stat-sticks. That’s right, we get our very own ranged weapon slot for our relics (and many will no longer be class-specific in Cataclysm!) and they add to our stats. What this means is that, almost certainly, the higher the ilvl libram or relic you have, the better stats are on it. Pallies with the Libram of Renewal will want to get Libram of Veracity which turns into this lovely thing or, if you can spare the Emblems of Frost, the Libram of Blinding Light. (I know. I kind of died inside.) But it turns into this:

GLYPHS

*** This section is outdated for 4.0.3a, please see the 4.0.3a post for updates on some Glyphs and some Glyph choices ***

Glyphs are changing. They’re not going to be consumed any longer, but rather learned. We also have a new kind of glyph: Prime glyphs, in addition to Major and Minor.

Keeva at Tree Bark Jacket says that we’ll get 1 Prime/Major/Minor at 25, 50 and 75, so we’ll have all 9 slots at 80.

What this means for holy paladins is that we want to get all of our glyphs and we want them ASAP.

First off, what glyphs do we want?

Prime Glyphs, by the way, are supposed to be the no-brainers of the glyph world and they exist in order to let us be more choosy in terms of major glyphs, while minors are supposed to be more cosmetic.

PRIME

1) Glyph of Divine Favor. Divine Favor has changed, as you can see by the talent in the talent tree. This glyph extends the duration of Divine Favor by 10 seconds. This is lovely.

2) Glyph of Holy Shock. No longer does this reduce the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second. This now increases its crit by 5%.

3) Glyph of Seal of Insight. This works just like the current Glyph of Seal of Light. While you have Seal of Insight active, all your healing is increased by 5%.

4) Glyph of Word of Glory. Increases the healing done by Word of Glory by 10%. Get this.

I would start out with Holy Shock, Seal of Insight and Word of Glory and eventually get enough crit to drop Holy Shock and pick up Divine Favor.

MAJOR

1) Glyph of Beacon of Light. Unchanged from live, it makes your Beacon last 90 seconds instead of 60 seconds. Yoink!

2) Glyph of Cleansing. Reduces the cost of your Cleanse by 20%. Not something I would personally invest in.

3) Glyph of Divine Plea. This used to be for prot pallies, but this is ours, now. This allows you to get an extra 5% mana back when you use Divine Plea, so you’re getting 15% mana back every two minutes instead of 10% mana back.

4) Glyph of Divinity. Same as on live, will grant you mana back and grants double the mana it normally does to its target. Actually has a spot in my glyph book, now.

5) Glyph of Light of Dawn. Reduces the cooldown of Light of Dawn by 10 sec and the amount healed by 20%. I wouldn’t touch this. LoD already heals for such a small amount (3k or so per target) that we do not need LESS healing done more often. I don’t think, anyways. This is a situational glyph, but I’ve been glyphed for it more often than not. This is golden on Infest on the Lich King, although this spell and its glyph are both changing in 4.0.3a.

6) Glyph of the Long Word. Your Word of Glory heals for 50% less up front, but provides an 50% additional healing over 6 seconds.

So what I would take here is Glyph of Beacon of Light, Glyph of Divine Plea and Glyph of Divinity. I’m not a fan of Glyph of the Long Word.

MINOR

1) Glyph of Lay on Hands. Reduces the cooldown of Lay on Hands by 2m. Since Lay on Hands is a 10m cooldown now, this brings it to 8m. Lovely.

2) Glyph of Insight. Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Insight by 50%. Doesn’t sound like much, but at 85, that’s like, 1500 mana savings or something, since the seal costs over 3000 mana.

3) Glyph of Blessing of Kings. Reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Kings by 50%.

4) Glyph of Blessing of Might. Reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Might by 50%.

Obviously, Glyph of Lay on Hands, particularly since I recommend Glyph of Divinity. The other two are up to you, but those are the only minors a holy would find at all useful.

Also, El (of El’s Extreme Anglin’) says that there are several glyphs that will be turned into new ones.

Here’s the conversion chart.

Among them, some that affect holy paladins:

Flash of Light -> Word of Glory
Holy Light -> Divine Favor
Seal of Light -> Seal of Insight
Seal of Wisdom -> Light of Dawn (so many people will have this — make sure to replace it!)


Okay, I think that sums it up. It’s a long post, I know, but I will definitely update this post going forward, since there will undoubtedly be changes to the beta and PTR before 4.0.1 launches and probably some 4.0.1 changes that will, uh, surprise us…

And for those of you who like to tank in your spare time (or tank most of the time and heal in your spare time), here’s the Righteous Defense guide to Everything you need to know about Prot and 4.0.1 at 80.

Please bear in mind that this guide is somewhat out of date as of the launch of 4.0.3a. Please see that post for updates.

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

Cataclysm Beta Build 13066

A new beta build, 13066, was released on the weekend. Here are the changes from the MMO-Champion post that I believe affect holy paladins.

Holy

* Spiritual Focus no longer gives you hit based on your Spirit. Renamed to Paragon of Virtue – Reduces the cooldown of your Divine Protection by 10/20 sec and the cooldown of your Avenging Wrath by 30/60 sec.
* Enlightened Judgements now also grants hit rating equal to 50/100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects.

Okay, so hit is now dumped into Enlightened Judgements. We now have our range and our hit and we get some passive healing every time we judge. Okay.

Paragon of Virtue is interesting. Avenging Wrath is only 3 minutes anyways, so being able to pop it every 2 or 2.5 minutes is… interesting. Also interesting — actually, you know, I’d go so far as to say nifty — is that it changes Divine Protection’s cooldown, which is currently one minute. 20% less damage for 10 seconds every minute is hot. 20% less damage for 10 seconds every 40-50 seconds is downright nifty. Especially considering the prot changes.

Protection

* Divine Shield’s Forbearance effect no longer affects Divine Protection.
* Hand of Protection’s Forbearance effect no longer affects Divine Protection.

So we can now pop Divine Protection without getting Forbearance on us, which means we can still bubble if something’s coming to get us. And I just tried it out — Avenging Wrath does not prevent you from bubbling and does not give you Forbearance. I was able to pop wings and bubble immediately thereafter.

How, then, does this change what I found to be the ideal build?

Not too darn much, actually.

31/5/5

It’s pretty much the same as the last build. I’m in favour of 2/2 Enlightened Judgements. Not only does it give us our extra 5/10 yards back, but it now also adds hit rating from our spirit AND gives us passive healing.

If I could find a way to do it, I would sneak a point to grab 2/2 Paragon of Virtue. But I don’t see where to steal the point.

But wait, there’s more!

MMO-Champion is reporting that build 13082 is coming out to the PTRs and that there’s a change in the ret tree.

Rule of Law no longer increases the critical effect chance of Holy Shock, affects Hammer of the Righteous instead.

Now, this was to be expected, really, if you’ve been reading blue posts.

Ghostcrawler said on the 25th:

We’re going to try to get the 10 points Holy spends in other trees to be a little less cookie-cutterish. Options include making Divinity or Rule of Law not healing related.

And there we have it. Rule of Law is not healing related except for the extra crit to Word of Glory. But as it is, Divinity is worth more than Rule of Law as it stands (extra crit to Holy Shock and Word of Glory) but now, that option has effectively been removed from us, at least in 13086.

My question here is, how on earth does removing Rule of Law from our equation make things less cookie-cutter? We had some great discussion about where to put points and if Divinity is worth it or not and so if we chose not to pick up Divinity, we could grab Rule of Law. Now without Rule of Law, it’s literally a no-brainer.

You go for 6% extra healing done to and by you. You go for 30% chance for your WoG not to consume holy power. You go for 20 extra yards on judgements. You go for 30% extra healing done by Holy Shock.

What are your other options? Filling out Protector of the Innocent (which is horribly bugged at the moment, healing the target of your heal and mirroring that fully via beacon)? What about Denounce? Oh, wait, I know! Let’s get Arbiter of the Light. :P

If they keep the change to Rule of Law AND change Divinity to not be healing-related, I’d fill out Paragon and get two points in Pursuit of Justice or Guardian’s Favor:

32/2/7 or 32/2/7

Honestly, I don’t know how removing our healing options gets rid of the cookie-cutter. Anyone out there able to explain it to me?

In other beta news, I healed a regular Lost City today. It was fine. A quest was bugged in that we didn’t get credit for it, but I really do like this whole notion of questgivers right inside the instance entrance, much like Utgarde Pinnacle.

That’s about all for now. More at some point later. I’m feeling pretty bewildered by all this at the moment.

Cataclysm Beta Build 12984

MMO-Champion is reporting new beta build changes, indicating that a new build is around the corner.

Holy changes are being reported as follows:

* Holy Light base healing has been reduced by 25%. Mana costs changed to 9% of base mana, up from 6% of base mana.

Wait, so you’re taking the one heal that’s got a cast time that we can use a lot, even though we don’t usually, because it’s so weak, and you’re making it weaker? AND more expensive?

* Light of Dawn base healing has been increased by 10%. Can no longer consume Holy Power to increase healing.

I’ll have to see what these numbers are like without charges of Holy Power. I’m thinking instead of around 4-4.5k for 3 charges, we’ll be lucky to see 3.5-4k.

* Improved Concentration Aura is gone.

That’s okay. They’re making all spell pushback base 70% resist. Regular Concentration Aura is fine.

* Daybreak now has a 10/20% chance to make your next Holy Shock not trigger a cooldown if used within 12 sec. (Old – 15/30% chance to reset Holy Shock’s cooldown)

I liked the first iteration of Daybreak, but this allows for two Holy Shocks in a row. We’ll be even more dependant on Holy Shock with a weaker Holy Light.

* Spiritual Focus (Tier 5) *New* – Grants hit rating equal to 50/100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects.

Well, that’s good. Yay for our judgements hitting.

Then in prot tree news, this:

* Guardian’s Favor is now a Tier 2 Retribution talent.

That makes it easily accessible to holy paladins for a reduced CD on Hand of Protection. I’ve always loved my shorter BOP cooldown, so this may fight for points.

However, it should be noted that Eternal Glory will be gone from ret and dropped into Tier 1 of the prot tree.

This means we’re looking at 31/2/8 as our ideal build for PVE healing, where we make a choice between Rule of Law (extra 5/10/15% crit to Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, Word of Glory) and Guardian’s Favor.

Note that this hasn’t been released on the beta yet and this is just what I’ve gleaned from reading MMO-Champion, but… Well, I’ll keep you posted on how healing is once this has launched.

This is probably a kneejerk reaction, but basically, I just want to say “So really, what do you want me to heal with going forward?” because that’s kind of how I feel right now. They have just augmented our absolute dependency on Holy Shock by weakening Holy Light and by changing Daybreak, which will allow two Holy Shocks in a row.

It feels very much like I have two spells:

1) Holy Shock: Instant-cast heal with a cooldown. Creates charges of Holy Power.

2) Word of Glory: Instant-cast heal with no cooldown, but dependent on charges of Holy Power.

And that’s it. That’s how it *feels*. I haven’t played much yet in instances and not at all with this build. But I’ll keep you posted.

Please feel free to ask me questions and I’ll do my best to respond.

Ding, 85.

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

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

Some quick numbers.

At 85, the following spells cost…

Flash of Light: 6323 mana

Holy Light: 1405 mana

Divine Light: 7026 mana

Cleanse: 3279 mana

Holy Shock: 1873 mana

Beacon of Light: 1405 mana

Light of Dawn: 4918 mana

Holy Radiance: 9368 mana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cataclysm Build 12942 – A Closer Look

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

Illumination: Gone for real.

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

It is now gone from the game entirely.

Holy Shock: Now with 30% less healing!

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

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

Crits:

9519, 9646, 9677.

Holy Power: Decay & Combat Text

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

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

Daybreak: “Power Aura” change

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

New:

Old (click for larger):

Guilds:

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

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

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

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

Heirloom helms require a guild to reach Level 20.

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

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

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

The crazy-ass requirements for these recipes:

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

Broiled Dragon Feast: Place 5,000 feasts.

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

Flying:

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

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

Zones:

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

Instances/Freezing:

Freezing issues seem resolved. Stonecore is still not itemized.

Blizzard Raid Frames:

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

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

Archaeology:

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

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

A Quick Look at Cataclysm Build 12942

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Tower of Radiance no longer affects Holy Shock.

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

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

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

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

Edited to add:

Totally forgot to talk about this, sorry:

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

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

Kurn’s Conclusion

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

Oh, also, Holy T11 set bonuses:

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

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

More later!

Grim Batol (Beta Build 12857)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/ypf184h036rec74m/

Illumination – Not Quite Dead Yet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EDIT:

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

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

Now that actually makes sense to me.

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

Bam. Illumination procs a mana return.

I swapped to my ret spec and tried it out.

Bam. Illumination procs a mana return.

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

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