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.

31 Replies to “PTR Build 13156 – Quick thoughts.”

  1. I really think holy paladins just have too many single target direct heals. They also removed things like sacred shield and even judgement of light (which I never though I would miss!) and kind of just made our healing more boring, even though we use more of our heals now.

    There is just something off about it.

  2. I really liked GC’s comment on the forums in that “gimmick” thread. “Because we’re not done? :)”

    I think too many people are getting caught up in trying to design the class or spot flaws in mechanics. Blizzard’s hooked a lot of us in this game. They’ll get it right. Hardly anyone is ever 100% happy with their class, even when they’re OP. (ret paladins at the start of WotLK still wanting a gap closer and an interrupt). People will never be happy, but just remember who’s job it is to design the game.

    Care to elaborate on what you think is wrong with our reliance on HS and WoG?

    The devs really did gut this class and turn it on its head. I also feel like we’ll be the best class to adjust to these healing systems. In classic, it was cleanse and FoL for the most part. TBC, we came out of the “secondary healer” shadow and spammed FoL with HL working in. WotLK I suppose was a step back with the HL playstyle. Now in Cata, we’re back to fitting the right heal for the right situation. There were times in TBC where a tank might let a crushing blow in, and there wasn’t enough time to land that HL. But with crushing blows gone, hopefully we don’t end up in those situations. Basically, I just see us return to that TBC style where we FoL until it becomes appropriate to cast HL. It’s just that now, we have a few more tools, as well as the ability to cast some party/raid heals. I’m excited.

    I’m sad to see our judgement debuffs gone, but at the same time I don’t really care that much. JoW really only benefited a few classes but lots of classes have regen mechanics and it’s pretty unnecessary. JoL? Pff, who cares.

    The balance will be there, it won’t be perfect but it really never is so why should the community think it has the one perfect answer? Patch 4.0 better launch this Tuesday!

    Also, I really found these two videos to be hysterical, informative, and somewhat nostalgic.
    Part 1:
    Part 2:

  3. Yeah Paladins are like a completely new class in Cata by the looks of it and the mobility will be kinda fun I suppose. Im still concerned about where we stand on raid healing though, as don’t think HR and LOD are gonna cut it at a 30 second cd. But you’ve been on beta so maybe you can address how well they work; the only thing that comes to mind for me on those is to stagger the cd ie: cast HR let it fall off then use LOD so that you have 15 seconds between each raid spell but im not certain it will work all that well in practice.

    Also I’m still not all that impressed with how Word of Glory and Holy Shock are basically identical, which is why as I’ve said before I want to toy with the glyph of long word hopefully the glyph is available when 4.0 launches and I can let you know how well (or poorly) it works.

  4. Wasselin pretty much sums up my problems: we have nothing to do but heal directly. This was okay when we did it amazingly well, but now that every other class has a similar setup, there just doesn’t seem to be anything all that special about being a Holy Paladin. Increasing throughput just seems like a bandaid to our larger issues.

    It is hard to define what a “Holy Paladin” is when each class brings the same thing plus more. We’ve clung to Beacon and our utility as defining characteristics, but things get kind of murky with a lack of any talents to underscore our Hands and the removal of Sacred Shield.

    While not Kurn, I’ve thought a lot about this.

    The problem with Holy Shock and Word of Glory is that the majority of our talents are tied to these two (nearly identical) heals. Holy Shock procs Infusion of Light, Speed of Light, a Charge of Holy Power, and makes Word of Glory possible. Word of Glory is the best/only spell to use in any situation you have three stacks of power because of Last Word and its mana cost.

    Our casted heals have the chance to proc two back to back Holy Shocks or to generate Holy Power via Tower of Radiance. We’re rather inflexible in the fact that we need to hit Holy Shock on cooldown unless we have three Holy Power (Word of Glory) or Eternal Glory procs (Word of Glory). Using the right heal in any situation is not tough, or particularly challenging, to suss out for our class as it stands.

    I also think the reason that so many people are the forums are looking to redesign the class is the fact that there is no clear answer to “What makes a Holy Paladin different and fun?”


    My biggest worry about Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn being on such long cooldowns is that they’ll have to design encounters around AOE damage any more than every thirty seconds. It isn’t that way in heroics— Rahj, for example, will continually hit the party with damaging pulses that eat away for twenty percent of their health or so. The problem here is that we need to save Holy Radiance to combat the biggest AOE phase. This is challenging in some ways, but also more easily handled by any other healer. I don’t want them to design things based around Holy Radiance or Light of Dawn so that raids will feel compelled to bring Holy Paladins.

    The solution seems to be to make either Light of Dawn or Radiance have a shorter cooldown. But who knows?

  5. If you look at all the changes that we’re seeing to healers from a battleground PVP balancing point of view, you can see why they are doing what they are to the healing classes. Look at druids…currently, in tree form, a geared/skilled resto druid is pretty much impossible to shut down without concerted coordination (as in a battleground and not arenas). Add in another healer, and you can forget about killing anyone on the opposing team. So…they take away tree form, and now druids are squishy-er. They make beacon heal for 50% so now a paladin has to make a choice when it comes to placing the beacon on themselves…heal myself and let the team die, or get off a few heals on a teammate and die myself. Anyway, I think blizz is going to place a huge emphasis on battlegrounds…even more than they’ve stated, just like they did back in the day for arenas. It’s a good way to keep players busy, without having to spend much dough on development….I mean 6 group PVP maps in 5 years??

  6. @walks
    oh I am a little worried about HR and LoD as well I was just commenting that if we get stuck with those long cds then maybe we can stagger them so we have an aoe of cd every 15 seconds but im not in beta so idk how feesible that would be. Was hoping Kurn or someone else in beta could comment on it.

  7. Everything that I’ve read regarding the new style of Paladin healing leads me to believe that we are not going to be giving up our image as “Tank Healers” any time soon. I’m not in the beta and haven’t experienced these changes yet, but it seems like we’re still best suited for the tank healing role, just not quite so dominate or single-purpose as before. It will be interesting to see how this plays out when Cataclysm raiding begins, but I can’t see a holy paladin being chosen as a raid healer over a holy priest for the raid healing role even with the new tools that Paladins have been given.

    I have no problem with Paladins leaning on Holy Shock and WoG. I use HS frequently in live to give myself a cushion for the Holy Light to hit, or to top up a clothie that looks like they might bite it before the raid healer can get to them. Having a powerful, short cooldown instant cast spell (like Circle of Healing for Holy Priests… can you tell what my other toon is?) as your go-to heal works well as it forces you to weave it in around your other spells with a cast time.

    I for one am looking forward to seeing the changes. It’s totally different, but I think Blizz knows what they’re doing.

    @Kurn: BTW, I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed your coverage on the upcoming changes. Yours is a great blog, and it’s on my daily must-read list. Keep it up!

  8. @Cyranor

    Oh, I totally feel you. I’ve been running into the issues I mentioned in beta heroics. While spacing out the heals is a good thing, each boss fight where I have to maximize my AOE coverage I have to mark myself and explain that the party needs to be on top of me to stay alive.

    Use of HoR takes precise timing. That I like. It’s just that LoD currently doesn’t heal for enough to make a difference.

    It’s kind of amazing how easier it gets having the passive AOE healing from a Shadow Priest in your group.


    The heavy use of Holy Shock isn’t that hard to get used to. Our healing does feel much more dynamic in how we use spells. It’s just the inflexibility (wherein each cast is better after a Holy Shock since Shock gives haste to all spells).

  9. @Walks
    Is it any more inflexible than the current system where the only way to be able to cast Holy Lights effectively is to continuously cast Holy Light? It seems more flexible since the addition of a haste buff after a Holy Shock affects all spells, theoretically increasing your options. Much like Judgements of the Pure, only tied to a heal instead of a melee attack.

  10. Wasselin – I agree that it’s more boring in that we’re juggling less. No more shield, no more JoL/JoW debuff in addition to JotP…

    And I agree that there’s something “off”.

    Rahmiel – Regarding “They’ll get it right.”… I’m not even asking to be 80% happy with my class. My issues have to do with the fact that “my class” doesn’t feel like “my class”. Will it work out? Almost certainly. Five healing specs WILL work in tandem and we WILL be able to get through the content. And if we can’t, they’ll tweak things. They always do. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like how they’re going about it.

    Case in point, HS and WoG.

    We have to cast HS on cooldown. We basically don’t have a choice. It’s gone from being available to us with a 6s cooldown (although rarely used) to being necessary to cast, if only for the haste it lends FoL, HL and DL through Speed of Light. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to be without that haste. But I resent that I am FORCED to use Holy Shock before any of my casted spells in order to maximize their use. Especially since it’s Holy Shock, which was a spell I used in WotLK when I wanted to heal myself or someone else quickly and usually while moving, or when I wanted to try to proc Infusion of Light.

    Going from almost constant casted heals to using an instant every 6 seconds or less (depending on Daybreak or Eternal Glory or charges of Holy Power) represents a major change in the basic healing style of the holy paladin. Maybe we’re due for a change. Maybe the mobility will be welcome. But it’s a huge change. So much so that it doesn’t even feel like I’m a holy paladin anymore. It feels like I’m some sort of combination of a priest and a paladin. Throwing off instants every chance I get with the ability to cast some spells? That’s not overly paladin-like.

    Basically, I just see us return to that TBC style where we FoL until it becomes appropriate to cast HL. It’s just that now, we have a few more tools, as well as the ability to cast some party/raid heals. I’m excited.

    If you actually mean using Flash of Light constantly, that’s not going to happen due to FoL’s exorbitant mana cost. If you mean HS/WoG/HL until we have to cast FoL/DL, that may be more like the reality.

    JoW was very important to several classes — all specs of paladin, moonkins, mages, hunters, ele/enhance shammies, shadow priests… The amount of mana regained was not unsubstantial and could often aid down a boss that much more quickly.

    JoL was, similarly, very useful on any fight with a persistent damage aura. In particular, heroic Blood Queen Lana’thel and heroic Sindragosa.

    I’ll miss the utility of these spells, if not the spells themselves.

    Cyranor – The issue with LoD and HR is that if you wanted to alternate them every 15 seconds, you would be very quickly out of mana. The prices on these are absolutely immense. Our base mana at 85 is approximately 23422.

    Holy Radiance costs 40% of base mana, Light of Dawn costs 21% mana.

    So that’s 9369 mana for HR and 4919 for LoD.

    Even with 65k mana, that’s just a handful of casts of each before you’re woefully oom.


    It is hard to define what a “Holy Paladin” is when each class brings the same thing plus more. We’ve clung to Beacon and our utility as defining characteristics, but things get kind of murky with a lack of any talents to underscore our Hands and the removal of Sacred Shield.

    I don’t mind not being The Tank Healer, particularly since they need to allow for the possibility of 10-man groups without a paladin, but I feel as though our heals aren’t enough to distinguish us from other healers.

    Cyranor – Walks is also in beta with me and has probably spent more time testing things out than I have. :) But like I said, alternating the AOEs isn’t really going to happen due to mana cost.

    Fannon – I strongly believe that any of the healers can do a good job at tank healing and every healer will struggle, to varying degrees, with raid healing.

    I learned in TOGC that using HS to pad health instead of using Holy Light right off the bat usually led to a dead tank. I had to sit there going through the logs and found that, with the amount of haste I had at the time (not enough!), I was killing the tank by using HS over HL. So I’ve stayed away from that combo, even in ICC with the buff, where the buff to HS’s healing probably IS enough to maintain a cushion.

    I don’t like the coming reliance on it, for Holy Power and the cast speed reduction it adds to our casted spells. I’m working with it, but it doesn’t feel like the mechanics are finished, yet. Sure, there’s some synergy and such, but it doesn’t feel like it flows from anything except Holy Shock, which we are absolutely forced to use, both for its reasonable cost and for its role in getting Holy Power.

    Glad you’re enjoying the blog, BTW! :)


    It’s kind of amazing how easier it gets having the passive AOE healing from a Shadow Priest in your group.

    Or a tank that can heal himself with Death Strike… Really, any extra healing is just so beneficial for a pally healer. Kind of tragic, really.


    Is it any more inflexible than the current system where the only way to be able to cast Holy Lights effectively is to continuously cast Holy Light? It seems more flexible since the addition of a haste buff after a Holy Shock affects all spells, theoretically increasing your options. Much like Judgements of the Pure, only tied to a heal instead of a melee attack.

    In my opinion, yes, it is more inflexible. We HAVE to cast Holy Shock for two reasons.

    1) Low mana cost
    2) Its role in generating Holy Power

    We HAVE to cast it every 6 seconds. When it comes to Holy Light spamming, we could do so without repercussion as we stacked intellect and had an amazing mana regen tool up every 60 seconds. We’re not using Holy Shock because it’s a FANTASTIC spell that can handle every situation thrown at us. We’re using it because we HAVE to. IMHO. :)

  11. @Kurn

    Well, I guess this is where we don’t see eye to eye. I’m with you that we are forced to use our HS spell on cooldown, but.. it’s given as *the* spec defining spell. So I’m cool with that. I don’t necessarily see us as being priests just because we have 2 instant cast spells, but our days of nothing but cast-time spells seem to be gone. If that’s what you identified as “being a holy paladin” then yeah, we’re not that anymore. I do not see that as a huge negative and furthermore, yes I think we were due for a change in that department.

    The direct heals is something that’s the same though so I don’t think the departure is all that drastic. Again though.. maybe I’m wrong.

    I also did not mean FoL in Cata. I was saying back in TBC, we basically kept a downranked HL to keep up light’s grace, and used nothing but FoL and weaving in HLs where appropriate. In Cata, those spells have changed but the playstyle is more similar. HLs and HSs constantly, weaving in FoL or DL as necessary. I find that a lot more intriguing (maybe not fun, that depends on encounters/content for me) than “let’s cast HL weaving in FoLs when I feel like not going balls to the wall and HS when I move”. I think there’s far more room for screw up (oops, I casted 4 FoLs when I really should have only casted 3) and so there’s a greater challenge to be good. I think these changes will separate the good healers from the bad. It’s simply not a twitch whack-a-mole game anymore, but a strict (at the start) mana management and triage type system. I’m excited about that.

    And honestly, the only thing for me, that defines a holy paladin are utility and direct heals. Damage redirection, physical immunity, and threat reduction along with direct heals. So far, from what I’ve seen, I’m really super excited. That could all change, and I value your input so far (that’s why I keep coming back) but I just don’t see HS and WoG being a big detractor to what “a holy paladin is”. I can’t even define it, the shit I said above is what came to mind, but I don’t believe it necessarily. I think it’s extremely hard to define what a holy paladin is, and whatever one person says, won’t be what another person thinks of it, or the next, or the one after that.

  12. @Rahmiel

    “Damage redirection, physical immunity, and threat reduction along with direct heals.”

    Here is where I start to bemoan the loss of Sacred Shield. Has there been any clarity about why this spell was removed, anyway? It functioned differently than our mastery and is much, much more interesting. Passive healing is dumb. WTB more to do. I mean, I specced into Aura Mastery and Divine Guardian early on just to have more buttons to push.

  13. Thanks for the reply Kurn, I don’t have beta access and ptr won’t let me on (don’t care enough to trouble shoot it) so was curious about spell costs and how they play with our mana at 85. At that cost I don’t know how we can sustain any amount of raid healing. Are similar aoe spells costing that much for the other classes? (I know they are different and work different but still would give me some idea of where we stand for our raid healing compared to theirs) Our raid healing viability has been one of my biggest concerns for the class since they announced the “removal of roles” and from the sidelines it looks pathetic to say the least. I figure it will be a good indicator of good vs. bad paladins as far as who can use the tools given to their fullest extent but still feel we need something else, just my 2 cents.

  14. @Kurn
    “…using HS to pad health instead of using Holy Light right off the bat usually led to a dead tank. I had to sit there going through the logs and found that, with the amount of haste I had at the time (not enough!), I was killing the tank by using HS over HL.”

    I don’t mean to be argumentative, Kurn, but how is this scenario not entirely inflexible? The idea that choosing ANY spell other than Holy Light equals a Dead Tank is precisely my point. I like the idea that we need to choose different spells to make our other spells better and that the “One Spell Spam” strategy now equals a dead tank.

    I’m going to miss Sacred Shield as well. It’s interesting that Blizzard’s goal was to make Paladin healing more interactive and interesting, and yet they take away our shield and make them automatic and completely non-interactive. Seems kinda inconsistent.

  15. I am with Fannon on this about HL over HS. The problem as I see it is the total devotion to wanting Haste over Crit. More Crit increases heal size while haste just makes you cast more smaller heals. For the Emergencies Haste is best, but for overall thoughput Crit will save mana and Haste will not.
    I am looking at a soft cap of Haste then Crit only till the I can afford Haste again. But I am hoping that Crit affects Mastery shields, if it does then we are golden, if not then Haste will be exaclty equal to Crit.
    I never was a one spell spammer, I use HS on cooldown all the time, at 50% Crit Raid buffed IoL proc was more often then not, so a instant FoL or 20% HL followed it. Besides Crit bigger heals means better Shields.

  16. @Rahmiel
    “Damage redirection, physical immunity, and threat reduction along with direct heals.”

    Those are of course different from the other healers, but the same tools other paladins bring. The four other specs of healers each have something unique about their actual healing abilities as well as the utility spells they bring. Long cooldowns just doesn’t cut it for making the holy paladin feel like a unique healer.

    I feel like the devs ran out of creativity when they got to holy paladins. D=

  17. Wow, great discussion today.

    I find it interesting that there seems to be as many ideas about what a Paladin should “feel like” as there are posters here. I suppose there really is no right answer, only preferences.

  18. @fannon
    pretty much. I know what I like does not translate to what someone else may like. As long as no one gets uppity and calls someone else and idiot, should all be alright.

    I don’t really see damage reduction, or physical immunity brought by other healers but there could be a couple things I’m not familiar with. I follow paladin changes exclusively and I don’t really bother with the other classes (through beta). What do you consider a long cooldown as well? I think 2 min is a great cooldown time. Then again, it all depends on the ability. HS at 6 sec is aight, not too long, not too short. Something like divine favor, maybe 3 min is too long, but it’s also a really good cooldown, imo. Any particular abilities you’re upset with in the cooldown?

    I too miss divine guardian. Like you, I spec’d for dmg reduction (AM and DG) and I thought it was huge. Especially pushing content. Sure, you can heal it, but if you can prevent dmg and thus reduce healing/mana, then you can spend that elsewhere. I know both abilities made attempts possible, and I really do miss DG. I can agree it can be considered a class defining ability, I just don’t see it as a dealbreaker. I also miss DI. Poor repair bill, rest in piece 20g wipe nights.

    @Richard Gilbertson
    I’m going to give crit a shot. I understand people saying more haste leads to faster HLs, which can lead to faster HP generation, more WoGs leads to more mana saved. As an added perk, you can get that FoL and DL off faster which could be the difference between a wipe or kill. However, I really want to give crit a chance. Crit is more healing, so it’ll lead to a bigger shield from our mastery, as well as hopefully reducing the number of heals, so I have mana to keep going or push throughput. I don’t like to numbers something until I get to play with it thoroughly. The only time I ever went haste crazy, was Sunwell and into WotLK. I’m eager to see how crit will turn out.

    The consensus seems to be int = spirit > haste > mastery and crit is garbage. I’m curious to check out crit > mastery > haste > spirit. I don’t include int simply because all of our gear will have int, and it’s not “reforge-able”

  19. sorry, I meant damage redirection (via HoSac) and not damage reduction in my above post. Grr… of course other classes bring damage reduction.

  20. @Fannon
    Please I really would like to know about Crit on Beta or PTR. Some on EJ are talking about Holy Pally using Crit instead of Haste. At worst I would give Crit=Haste and I doubt that with huge Sta and little spike damage how Haste would out preform Crit. Bigger HS/HL/DL/FoL should pay off big.

    Question does Crit affect WoG or HR or LoD?

  21. I wonder if some of the crit v. haste debate will only be solved when our role in raids is finally settled.

    I’m not in the beta, and my PTR experience is limited still. But I can imagine that in dungeons and heroics at 85 where you’re the only healer, haste may be more important than crit. As the sole healer, you’ve got to get those heals out, NOW!

    When we get into raiding, however, our role will almost certainly change. If we’re responsible for healing tanks, and damage is big but slow, maybe crit becomes better. If damage is fast, maybe haste will be better. If we end up becoming viable raid healers, maybe haste is better. I find it hard to see what the crystal ball is trying to show me. Once raids hit the beta perhaps it will become more clear for everyone.

  22. I see it boiling down to the mere fact that Haste is a predictable reality and critical strike rating relies on chance. Stacking crit rating will never bring you to a situation where your heals are guaranteed to crit. Faster heals save tanks and allow more Word of Glory casts. If Illumination still gave us mana back from critical strikes, I could see your point.

    Honestly? In my testing:
    Int = Spirit, Mastery, Haste, Crit. At early levels your will want to consider reforging all of your critical strike rating (and possible haste) to mastery and spirit, but as gear levels improve this becomes less important (because, naturally, you will gain more mastery from items). The inherent and talent crit modifiers on Protector of the Innocent, Holy Shock, and Word of Glory do not make maintaining conviction all that stressful.

    Given this, we’ll be swimming in crit rating from our gear anyway. 3/5 of our t11 set pieces have crit and zero haste. The other 2/5 have Mastery Rating.

    In today’s atmosphere? It is no secret that the paladin community values Haste over all stats from a throughput standpoint. Gearing/speccing for Illumination died out after the talent was gutted to 30%.

  23. @Walks
    I understand your point about haste. And that’s the thing, you have a sure thing (haste) against a chance (crit). In the long run, over an entire encounter though, you may come out “on top” with the crit. But it’s not always about the end, but how you get there. If you don’t crit when you need to, crit’s not going to be good for you.

    Still though, I wouldn’t mind trying crit. I really would like to see if we can be effective by casting fewer heals throughout an encounter. Even with illumination gutted, I think crit still has value.

  24. @Richard
    As I stated in my first post, I am not on the beta or the PTR, so I honestly don’t know how crit is going to work. LOL, that’s why I read Kurn… so I can find out these things. My comments on the new style of healing are based only on what I’ve read, not from direct experience, so value them accordingly.

    I think that conceptually, haste will always win if we have any one of two factors in play:
    1) Incoming Damage is fast and hard. IE: if your tank can die within the space of a GCD, haste is by far the most important stat you can stack to ensure that your heal hits in time.
    2) Incoming Damage is spread out and you need to heal multiple targets in a short amount of time by single target heals with cast times.

    Blizzard has stated that they want to reduce the threat of #1 happening by adding much larger health pools. #2 is reduced by the addition of new multi-target heals in the Paladin’s toolbox and is very dependent on the encounter and raid/party composition. However, everything I’ve read indicates that both of these factors continue to exist in Cataclysm.

    I can see Crit becoming more valuable only if we have all of these factors in play:
    1) The health pools are large enough that the extra healing crit provides is beneficial. As of right now, stacking crit is fairly pointless because most healing targets can be topped up quickly with one or two normal HLs. Given the changes to health pools and our heals, I think this one is a given.
    2) We have time to spare to wait for the slower heal to land, since we won’t have the quicker cast times that haste provides.
    3) The target doesn’t die if the heal doesn’t crit.

    I think in the end, when we’re facing the Internet Dragons, Haste is still going to be your best friend. In fact, we’re probably going to need far more haste and it’s going to be far more valuable than ever. IMO, of course.

  25. @Fallon
    Sorry have to totally disagree. Crit=Haste means we have to have equal amounts and GC has said that all stats are equal as a design goal in Cata.
    Crit is not regen it is THROUGHPUT and increased output is saved mana.
    Haste is not THROUGHPUT but increased number of casts so is mana sponge.
    More health for Party and Tanks means less need for speed as less healing per cast costs more mana. Also Haste does not affect thoughput so will not increase all heals across the entire list of heals.

    I will bet money if I use slightly more Crit then Haste I can out heal and out last any Holy Pally with same gear and stacking Haste only.
    (Int + Spi of course being exactly the same on both pallys)
    Yes I will not Crit all the time, but over time I only get better while the Haste pally over time is only going to be sucking the DP nerf all the time.

    The whole point of being a healer is to outlast the boss, and never use DP if at all possible.

  26. Hi all,

    Kurn, first off, I want to say I’m a long time reader, first time poster. I love your blog and have really appreciated all the beta information!

    Also, I’m not on beta or the ptr, so please correct me if I state anything wrong…

    I think the thing that is making me the most nervous about 4.0 changes are the fact that our two main heals are based off a cooldown and a charge. Yes, the cooldown is “only” 6 seconds. But, if you’re being expected to funnel all your heals through HS, then 6second between heals can be pretty restrictive. In theory, you could say that our GCD is now 6seconds. Obviously, that’s not actually the case. (You *can* still cast something other than HS.)

    However, from what I understand, if you cast another heal without casting HS first, you’re running the risk of going oom (not getting a stack of HP and then not being able to use WoG as often) or being slow (not getting the SoL.)

    @Rahmiel- “let’s cast HL weaving in FoLs when I feel like not going balls to the wall and HS when I move”

    I’ve always chafed at the depiction of holy paladins being a one-spell, HL spammer. I’ve always felt that our class was really the utility, jack-of-all-trades healer. Beacon, Salv, Sacred Shield, JoW/ JoL, JotP, DG, DI, AM, DSac, Lay on Hands…the list goes on and on. It was about being able to juggle all those balls and cooldowns while still keeping the tanks alive with your HL bombs that was fun, imo. A lot of that has been taken out and it makes me sad.

    Overall, I’m anxious to see the changes for myself. Right now, I’m still planning on playing my holy paladin as my main. She’s my very first toon and I leveled her holy 1-80. I’m not about to give up on her now. However, I’m nervous. I want to know that there’s going to be a place for me raiding, and that I will still be able be a viable option as a healer.

  27. @KURN
    Please I really would like to know about Crit on Beta or PTR. Some on EJ are talking about Holy Pally using Crit instead of Haste. At worst I would give Crit=Haste and I doubt that with huge Sta and little spike damage how Haste would out preform Crit.
    Bigger HS/HL/DL/FoL should pay off big.
    Also Conviction and Infusion of Light would have higher uptime.
    Beacon would benefit the most from Crits.

    Question does Crit affect WoG or HR or LoD?

  28. Are you all noticing on the Beta that Holy Shock is not triggering Protector of the Innocent heals? I noticed this on PTR last night and it’s still continuing. Intersting in that it procs off of everything, including LoD and WoG, but not Shock. I’m wondering if it’s simply a bug or an intended change that they didn’t tell us about.

  29. Oh God, that’s right. These are the comments I meant to respond to the other day… I apologize for my tardiness in replying and the fact that I won’t get through them all before the realms come back up! (There is this thing called “dinner” getting in the way, as well.)

    Rahmiel – Why, of all things, is HOLY SHOCK our spec-defining spell, though? Marks hunters get Aimed Shot and THAT makes sense, THAT feels right. It was a key ability in Vanilla, BC, Wrath… Holy Shock has never had a lot of use except in “oh shit I have to move” moments. I guess that’s part of my annoyance that we basically have to use it on CD.

    Being a holy paladin, to me, is about casting spells, not shooting off instant heals. Instant heals? Be a druid or a priest, IMHO. Shammies and pallies are the real casters. I don’t mind more mobility and more instants, but I kind of resent being shoehorned into using the instants all the damn time. I completely agree with you that it’s kind of hard to define “what is a holy paladin”. I think, maybe, we’re best defined as being “not very mobile”, or we were. Or “not very squishy”. And utility-based. But lots of our utility is going away, which makes me feel sad. There’s just so much history behind talents like prot’s Reckoning (RECK BOMBS!) or

    In BC, for myself, I used a great amount of Holy Light, actually. I was a main tank healer for my guild and I wove FoLs where I could get away with them or was low on mana. I DID downrank HL to 8 for my “heal around the raid” heal but had HL11 (?) ready to go for the tanks. God, I miss downranking!

    I don’t mind losing “whack-a-mole”, though. That was something I never really enjoyed, which is probably why I like tank healing as much as I do. :)

    Walks – Not gonna say anything here except that you and I are on the same wavelength. :)

    Cyranor – Circle of Healing is 21% of base mana for priests and Wild Growth is 27% of base for druids. Chain Heal is 17%. Light of Dawn is 21% for pallies. 10 second cooldowns for priests and druids, no cooldown for shammies, 30 second cooldown for paladins.

    We are still not “raid healers”. When you start looking at Holy Radiance and its 40% base mana cost, the situation doesn’t improve a whole lot. Healing Rain (shammy AOE at 83) is 46%, though, so I suppose it could be worse. ;) I see HR and LoD as “oh shit” buttons or some such. I do not see them as the answer to making a pally a raid healer.

    Fannon – ah, but to spec and glyph and gem and enchant in the “holy light style” was my choice. I chose it because it’s the more flexible of the “FoL style” and the “HL style”. I CAN sustain someone through a lot of damage using just Flash of Light, but I CAN sustain someone through a CRAPTON of damage by using Holy Light. If I had wanted to, if I’d had the gear for it back in TOGC, I could have gone to the FoL style and then I COULD have used a HS, since my SS would have been stronger and my hot would have ticked for more and could have resumed FoL spam, weaving in a Divine Favor or even could have used a few HLs.

    I really don’t mind diversity. I chose the HL route for a variety of reasons, including the flexibility it afforded me. But I do resent being forced — by Blizzard — to use HS at every single opportunity.

  30. Finally, I have a few minutes to come back to this post.

    Richard – I think crit will have its place *in 4.0.3* and at 85. I don’t completely devalue crit. However, I don’t prioritize crit right now because I still have a very healthy amount of crit at 80 in 4.0.1.

    With 40%+ crit at the moment, unbuffed, I’m not concerned about my crit and more concerned with the amount of haste I have because too little haste means limiting the speed with which I come off the GCD and hit a second Holy Shock after Daybreak, or a Word of Glory or anything else following an instant cast.

    Crit does affect the shields from Mastery, but they’re still a little buggy and, to my knowledge, are not rolling at the moment.

    Wasselin – I feel like they ran out of creativity, too. :/

    Fannon – You’re right — there are no right answers and not even “most efficient” as an answer, yet. :)

    Rahmiel – As I said to Richard, I don’t think crit is garbage, but I would be hesitant to try out a crit > mastery > haste > spirit priority in 4.0.1. I think I’m looking at:

    Haste (that 2.5s cast on stupid HL/DL sucks) > mastery > crit > spirit


    jeffo – I think you, sir, are the winner:

    I wonder if some of the crit v. haste debate will only be solved when our role in raids is finally settled.

    More responses soon!

  31. Walks – I agree with you with regards to haste being a certainty and crit still being “a chance”. I can’t see people not going haste for the 1s GCD at the very least.

    Spirit doesn’t seem to be a huge deal right now at 80, though, and I don’t even know if our mastery is working properly. I’m seeing procs in logs, but no evidence that anything is being absorbed. So right now, at 80, I’d be inclined to go:

    Int > Haste > Mastery > Crit > Spirit

    Unless you have mana issues, at which point I’d put Spirit ahead of Mastery.


    Still though, I wouldn’t mind trying crit. I really would like to see if we can be effective by casting fewer heals throughout an encounter. Even with illumination gutted, I think crit still has value.

    In current content, from what I understand, this is just going to be overhealing. With 6ish healers, paladins are getting outhealed by shadow priests, even feral druids, and disc shields are preventing most damage from hitting, at least from what I’ve seen.

    At 85, crit may be higher up on the priority list, but for now, I don’t think it really has a huge place. Granted, it’s nice to see Conviction up all the time, as compared to the beta (where I have trouble getting 2 stacks up!) but the lack of haste is killing me over there. On live, it’s a lot better in terms of haste and the 1s GCD, but I also have zero mana problems right now and my crit is upwards of 40% unbuffed.

    Fannon – From my somewhat limited dungeon experience on the beta, tanks rarely are in the situation where they are going to die immediately. I feel like you have a bit more time before they bite the big one than you do on live (or, rather, pre-4.0.1 live). I do see issues with incoming damage being spread out here and there on certain fights in five-mans.

    That said, neither of those are completely eliminated.

    However, yes, the health pools are large enough that crit will probably prove more beneficial than it currently is and will, in certain situations, be very valuable. (I remember back in BC, when my Lay on Hands on our sole remaining tank on Lady Vashj crit for 15k and we downed her.) I don’t think it’s going to ever outweigh reaching a 1s GCD for us, though.

    Richard – I have to disagree with what you say to Fannon here:

    Crit is not regen it is THROUGHPUT and increased output is saved mana.
    Haste is not THROUGHPUT but increased number of casts so is mana sponge.

    Crit hasn’t been “regen” for most pallies for quite some time and, given our absurd overhealing stats, we’ve thrown it by the wayside because we don’t need that throughput.

    However, I must firmly say that haste is a throughput stat. The goal of haste is to give you more casts in the same amount of time. It’s not to say that the throughput given us by haste doesn’t come at a cost. It certainly does, because when you get to higher levels of haste, you do start to be concerned with mana. But more casts = more heals = more healing done.

    I also disagree when you say that haste will not “increase all heals across the entire list of heals”, because it will.

    Imagine a 1s GCD (1017 haste or so right now) and a 1.5s GCD (0 haste) – although I’m not counting Speed of Light or JotP, first of all because SoL is being changed and second of all, my math sucks in general.

    Pally with 1.5s GCD:
    00:00.00 – Holy Shock (instant)
    00:01.50 – Holy Light (2.5s cast)
    00:04.00 – Holy Light (2.5s cast)
    00:06.50 – Holy Shock (instant, crit, IoL proc)
    00:08.00 – Holy Light (1s cast)
    00:09.50 – Word of Glory (delayed by .5s, instant)
    00:11.00 – end of WoG’s GCD

    Pally with 1s GCD:
    00:00.00 – Holy Shock (instant)
    00:01.00 – Holy Light (1.75s cast)
    00:02.75 – Holy Light (1.75s cast)
    00:04.50 – Holy Light (1.75s cast)
    00:06.25 – Holy Shock (instant, crit, IoL proc)
    00:07.25 – Holy Light (Less than 1s cast, but 1s GCD)
    00:08.25 – Word of Glory (much less of a GCD delay, instant)
    00:09.25 – Holy Light (1.75s cast)
    00:11.00 – end of HL cast

    Obviously, that’s not entirely accurate because of the lack of JotP in the first example whereas the second example has the 1s GCD and so it’s implied that JotP is up. However, you can see that the pally with a 1s GCD gets two more Holy Lights in than a pally with a 1.5s GCD. Even with JotP up in both, I’m sure that you’d still get one more cast in. It’s in this way that haste is a throughput stat. You can cast more often, particularly when your GCD is at 1s.

    Haste beyond the 1s GCD point is still definitely in the realm of “questionable” right now, but with 40% crit unbuffed, there’s no reason to get more crit, particularly with our current health pools, especially without any Illumination whatsoever.

    Janyaa – Glad to see you posting! I’m pleased you’ve enjoyed what you’ve been reading. :)

    You shouldn’t be worried about filling the time between Holy Shocks. You can still get a stack of HP via direct heals on your Beacon of Light target (via 3/3 Tower of Radiance). We’ll have to deal with the slowness of the casts with the upcoming changes to Speed of Light, too. :/

    BTW, I agree — a lot of our utility has been removed and that makes me sad, too. I loved using Holy Light like crazy, then watching for BQL to stride to the middle of the room, hit my DS/DS (Divine Shield/Divine Sacrifice macro) just before everyone (but me!) gets feared, and then they took 20% less damage while feared, for the most part, then popping Aura Mastery during the latter half of the air phase.

    Thanks again for posting, hope we’ll see more from you soon. :)

    Richard – See my above comments regarding haste and crit, but yes, I believe your crit chance does affect Word of Glory, Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn.

    jeffo – I think this is proccing on live, not sure about the later days of the PTR. :)

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