Okay, time for a post that talks not only about stuff I’ve done, but allows me to explain a few things about Cataclysm holy paladin healing in a way that might actually be useful to others entering beta and perhaps even useful in 4.0 itself.
I’ve made reference in a lot of past Holy How-To Guides about “paladin instincts”.
While they are very important to hone and to make use of in Wrath content, you can basically throw the book out the window when it comes to Cataclysm dungeons. Seriously, get used to the idea that we will, in all likelihood, completely change how we heal. Entirely.
I made a huge mistake Friday night/Saturday when I first got into beta. I remembered what Blizzard said about Holy Light being our go-to spell. Combined with the low cost at level 80 (263 mana without the Libram of Renewal, 150 mana with), despite its 3s cast time, I was making use of it often, not even paying attention to various numbers floating over people’s heads.
In my defense, I don’t usually play with scrolling combat text (Blizzard’s or anyone else’s, really) on my paladin. I’ve got Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text that’ll show me mana returns and damage I’ve done (judgement hits/misses, the occasional Holy Wrath or Hammer of Wrath) but that’s it. So I have to chalk it up to sleep deprivation and relying on old paladin habits when I tell you that I was very wrong to continue using Holy Light.
Without Speed of Light active and Judgements of the Pure, it’s foolish to cast Holy Light when you need to heal someone. The heal just isn’t going to land in time and, even if it does, it’s not going to heal for very much. Thus, it requires multiple casts. I have 1026 haste and, especially once you ding (so the haste needed per percent changes drastically), that’s STILL not enough for Holy Light to be a heal you want to use all that regularly, because you just plain do not have the throughput needed.
Of course, it’s exceptionally cheap. Even after swapping the Libram of Renewal out for the Libram of Veracity and now, the Libram of Blinding Light (yes, I really AM using Holy Shock enough that this makes sense! I still do not recommend you pick it up unless you have Emblems of Frost to waste, because who knows what Cataclysm librams will be like?) and gaining a level (which seems to have upgraded my spells in cost and potency?), it’s still cheap. And yet, there is an undeniable truth here:
Using Holy Light is bad.
What’s more, using Flash of Light is bad, since it’s terribly expensive. And so’s using Divine Light. Geez, what are we supposed to USE? If Holy Light is too long a cast and not powerful enough to even rival something like Holy Shock or Flash of Light, but HS has a cooldown and FoL is stupidly expensive, what do we do?
I’ve been using a lot of Divine Light. It’s the one that feels most like current Holy Light does — about the same output, about the same cast time, even about the same mana cost. It’s expensive, so I’m using Divine Plea more than I indicated I was earlier.
I’m not having a LOT of mana problems, but if the group isn’t using CC much (or at all), someone’s going to die because I just can’t keep up with the incoming damage. Taking 20 stacks of Lacerate from certain naga in Throne of the Tides is almost certainly going to mean a death; either the tank will die or, if I can get a BOP off, followed by a Hand of Freedom (to wipe off the BOP — only one Hand can be active on a target, per paladin), a DPS may die.
There’s a lot of incoming damage and I don’t imagine it’ll be THAT much easier on any healer to keep up. For me, that’s both mana-wise and GCD-wise. I’m really looking forward to Healing Hands, although that’s going to be an expensive spell with a cooldown, too. Hopefully, it’ll heal more than Light of Dawn, though. Don’t get me wrong, Light of Dawn is the coolest new spell we have thus far, but it’s healing people for like, 4k.
I’m sorry, have you SEEN the health pools? The sheer amounts of stamina everywhere? Without buffs, I’m at about 35k health in my holy gear. 4k to a maximum of 4 people (since it doesn’t hit you as well) every 30 seconds is less than a drop in the bucket. It’s sort of like a molecule of water in a small lake. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Let’s say a large pond.
I also have to admit that without my pretty little clcbpt addon (that shows timers for my Beacon, my Judgement, my Sacred Shield and my Flash of Light hot), I’m sucking at keeping my Judgement up. That means I’m sucking at keeping Judgements of the Pure up. In my defense, though, there’s very rarely TIME when I can go “oh look, I have a free global — judge!”. It’s very much “OH GOD TANK IS GOING TO DIE OH THANK YOU SWEET JESUS OH NO WHAT IS THAT IDIOT DPS—” followed by a lot of muscle-memory healing.
Which is another thing that’s screwing me up. Thumb-clicking on the party frame does nothing — it does not cast Holy Shock on someone. :P Granted, when I raided on live tonight (Monday), I kept hitting my ` key to cast Light of Dawn and kept hitting G for Word of Glory, so maybe just practice makes perfect, eh?
Kurn, you’re rambling. How the hell am I supposed to heal in Cataclysm, or at least the beta?
– Use Divine Light. Make use of Holy Shock a LOT. Watch for your stacks of Holy Power, make use of Word of Glory.
– Use your Beacon. I still beacon the tank but this really might not be efficient. Maybe I should be beaconing myself. I still worry about leaving the tank alone for more than one GCD without beacon on them, though.
– When Infusion of Light procs, you currently don’t get a Holy Light haste. It does reduce the cast time of Flash of Light by 1.5 seconds, like it does on live. And you’re almost always critting on Holy Shock. On this Throne of the Tides run that I actually finished, I had a 76% crit chance on Holy Shock, judging from the parse. Anyways, I was constantly using the instant FoL + 3-stack Holy Power Word of Glory. WoG not as often as I should have, but if I was moving, I was using it, usually on the tank, so that I could get more Holy Power charges.
– Glyph for Holy Shock. No, really.
– Use your cooldowns. Seriously. BOP, Hand of Sacrifice, Hand of Salvation. USE THEM. Use Divine Shield, Divine Sacrifice and Divine Protection. Use every spell at your disposal.
That’s basically the advice I have for you guys and what I plan on doing myself; very little Holy Light casting, lots of Divine Light casting, LOTS of Holy Shocking.
Here’s the parse, such as it is. Remember that some spells aren’t found because they don’t exist on live yet and Seals of Insight has the same spell ID as Seal of Light (so I might try glyphing for it and see if that still works!) and obviously, there’s no boss/trash/etc breakdowns because, well, none of this is live, yet. Most of the spells are available at cata.wowhead.com, though.
Also, Protien only took so much damage because of a debuff from the last boss. At the end, he had something like 132 stacks of this crap on him and was healing himself through it while DPSing the last boss. Hilarious.
Anyways, off to go try to get Madrana to level 82. I want 83 badly so I can test Healing Hands.
I’m questing as ret, by the way. I amuse myself with my own lameness at melee DPS.