Ladies and gentlemen, Illumination has not yet gone the way of the dodo. (See below for update.)
I didn’t even realize it was still in the game until I went digging through my logs and did some solo-testing.
Fact: Illumination, which used to cost two talent points in order to get 30% of mana back on a critical cast, is no longer in our talent tree.
Fact: Aura Mastery is now in the same spot as Illumination was in our tree, using one talent point.
Fact: I received 1357 mana back from a critical Flash of Light. 1357 is 30% of 4525, FoL’s cost at level 84. I also received 1509 mana back from a critical Divine Light. 1509 is 30% of 5008, which is the mana cost of Divine Light at 84. More to the point, it SAYS that I gained mana back from my Illumination. Clicking on Illumination in the combat log gives us an out-of-date tooltip (because Divine Light isn’t listed, but you do get mana back from it). (Click for a larger version.)
Fact: I was able to proc Illumination’s mana return with a crit without having specced for Aura Mastery, so having a point there or not doesn’t affect Illumination, which means that it’s not “leftover” in the talent tree system.
Fact: While reviewing the logs from my Blackrock Caverns run the other night, I saw this in the power gains section:
Fact: As noted, Spiritual Focus has been removed from its spot in the holy paladin baseline abilities. This is visible by looking at the summaries of the three paladin trees and it is gone in practice as well, given that I have experienced spell pushback even with Concentration Aura up. Without Spiritual Focus, we have one less baked-in ability than the other paladins trees do.
Conclusion: Is Illumination replacing Spiritual Focus as a baked-in holy paladin baseline ability?
I see no other reason for us to be able to proc Illumination once we spec holy.
I didn’t notice this until today, while testing things out with Judgements of the Pure and I saw myself gaining mana back. That’s when I checked my combat log and then my parse from the other night. With 14% chance to crit, no wonder I didn’t notice this before when grouping. It just doesn’t happen enough due to lack of crits (crit rating from ICC gear translates to horribly low crit at higher levels) and rarely do you have time to even look at the numbers to notice whether or not you gained mana back from something.
Even the sound wasn’t something that tipped me off. If you listen carefully, there’s a small… magical sound, I guess, whenever you gain mana back from Illumination. I hear this all the time on live. It’s something I’ve heard all the time for 4 years. I’m used to it. So when I heard it (as I must have) during my recent BRC run, I didn’t think anything of it. My expectation is to hear it, even if I logically know Illumination is “gone”. So that didn’t tip me off, either.
Anyways. That’s my latest beta discovery. Off to see if I can get Ghostcrawler to confirm that this is intended.
A poster on the beta forums who actually wasn’t a tool offered this explanation (emphasis mine):
I still get benefit from Expose WEakness. I think its just that they didn’t remove the ‘spell’ completely from the game, so people who had it previously – sinc the talent doesn’t exist for them to remove by respecing you – will stay until they decide to wipe it. Prettymuch every beta and even some of the ptrs have had things like this happen.
Now that actually makes sense to me.
So I unspecced as holy and tried it out, not being specced at all.
Bam. Illumination procs a mana return.
I swapped to my ret spec and tried it out.
Bam. Illumination procs a mana return.
Thus, my overall conclusion is that it is a bug and because it does not exist in the talent tree to wipe it, it will persist until Blizzard actually removes the spell from the game.
My new question is why on earth would they take away our sweet, sweet Spiritual Focus, then? :P