Divine Sacrifice, now and after now
Ah, divine sacrifice! One of my favorite spells. One of the more interesting and confusing in my spell book too. It’s getting a face lift in patch 3.3 and I wanted to try my hand at figuring it out. I’m not the first to touch on this topic, so if you want to see what the pros are saying, check out Honershammer’s post as well as the thread on Plus Heal. There are quite possibly others discussing this, but I have yet to find them.
For the sake of simplicity, lets use for our examples, a prot paladin with 40k health and a holy paladin with 20k health. We can imagine they do their 5 mans with 4 friends their 10 man raids with 9 friends and their 25 man raids with 24 friends.
This is how things are now:
Divine Sacrifice: 30% of all damage taken by party or raid members within 30 yards is redirected to the Paladin (up to a maximum of 150% of the Paladin’s health).
Divine Guardian: Improves the effectiveness of your Divine Sacrifice spell by an additional 10% and increases the duration of your Sacred Shield by 100% and the amount absorbed by 20%.
To the non-paladins reading (why would a non-paladin read this?), those are the two talents that affect the divine sacrifice spell. How does this look in practice?
Say our prot paladin with 40k health pops divine sacrifice! 150% of her health is 60k. That means up to 60k damage can be redirected to her.
How much is that per person? Say she’s running a 5 man with 4 friends. We divide 60k by number of friends (60k/4), which gives us 15k maximum redirected damage per person – assuming everyone takes the same damage at the same time. The maximums in a tablish form:
4 friends: 15k redirected damage per person
9 friends (10 man): 6 667 redirected damage per person
24 friends (25 man): 2 500 redirected damage per person
So say our little group takes 10 000 damage each. 30% or 40% (depending on whether the paladin is specced in to Divine Guardian) of the damage is redirected to the paladin, up to the maximums determined above. So 3000 damage or 4000 damage would be redirected.
As you can see from the maximums, the 5 man and 10 man teams would benefit from the 30/40% damage reduction but due to the paladin’s health limitations, the 25 man teams is getting less than 30% of their damage transferred.
If we take our holy paladin with 20k health, she can receive a maximum of 30k damage redirected. Maximum redirected damage per person:
5 man: 7500
10 man: 3333
25 man: 1250
Considering the same 10k damage, the 10 man and 5 man group both benefit of their full 40% damage reduction, assuming the paladin has 2 points in divine guardian, but the 25 man team gets a bit cheated. The final amount of damage taken by each of the friends is as follows:
5 man : 6000 damage taken
10 man: 6000 damage taken (if prot pally) or 6667 damage taken (if holy pally)
25 man: 7500 damage taken (if prot pally) or 8750 damage taken (if holy pally)
On paper, this doesn’t look like the greatest spell ever, but since people take a varying amount of damage due to resistances and such, the damage reduction will help those who need it most. Plus, the spell is currently “bugged” so when the paladin is bubbled during Divine Sacrifice, she can sometimes receive more than the maximum damage redirected to her.
On the downside, when our holy paladin uses divine sacrifice, she needs to bubble or she’ll die very, very fast. Since bubble is on a 5 minute cooldown, she can usually only use this once person fight. Plus, if she bubbles to avoid death early on, she won’t be able to use DS when needed. Our prot paladin can get away with using her shield wall, but her healers still need to be on their toes.
So them 3.3 changes, eh?
Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active.
Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin’s health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the damage transferred to the paladin is now reduced by 50% before being applied to the paladin. Finally, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases.
Ok, ok, ok, what? Lets break this down.
Assuming our paladins are always in a party of 5, the maximum amount of damage that can be redirected to them is 200% of their health (40%*5 = 200%). So our prot pally can receive up to 80 000 redirected damage and our holy pally can receive up to 40 000. To figure out how many this is per person, we divide the maximums by the number of friends in the party (4) and get 20k damage per person for our prot pally’s party and 10k for our holy pally’s party.
I’m assuming that the amount of damage redirected to the paladin is still 30% as per the original talent. Lets look at our 10 000 damage hitting the raid Without Divine Guardian:
Party members each get their 30% damage reduction, are spared 3000 damage and take 7000 damage.
Rest of the raid gets no damage reduction
Now we toss in Divine Guardian (minus 20% damage taken to everyone) to our 10 000 damage scenario:
Party members are taking 20% less damage so they take 8000 damage. 30% of that (2400) is redirected to the tank total of 5600 damage. Damage reduction is almost half.
Raid members are taking 10 0000 damage minus 20% (2 000) and take a total of 8000 damage.
Is this good or bad?
In all honesty, the different does not seem hugely significant to me. In my scenario, the party will be taking slightly less damage after 3.3, in a 10 man raid, non-party members will be taking somewhat more damage, depending on the paladin’s maximum health and in 25 mans raids, non-party members will be taking about the same, or less damage, depending on the paladin’s maximum health. If I wanted to go deeper into the topic, I would need to draw an excel graph. (Which I can do if anyone *really* cares) Due to the “bug fix”, everyone will be taking more damage in practice, but without some stats to work with, it’s hard to pinpoint numbers
What is nice is that the paladin suffers only 50% of the redirected damage, which means that as long as:
- she is not taking significant damage from other sources
- the redirected damage doesn’t hit all at once
- she is healing herself or receiving adequate heals
she should be able to use divine sacrifice without depending on her bubble cooldown.
Since Divine Sacrifice has a strong effect on the paladin’s party, this will either make raid leaders very happy or very annoyed at having to adjust groups strategically.
Note that this is my first serious attempt at playing with numbers, so any of you passerbys feel free to point out any discrepancies you may find!
Edit: Found a mistake! Doesn’t change the final outcome though.
Edit #2 : This was recently added to the patch notes: “Finally, damage which reduces the paladin’s health below 20% now cancels the effect early.” My thoughts? It may take away from the efficacy of the spell, but will certainly prevent some oopsies.
Edit #3 : The damage redirected by DSac is no longer reduced by 50%. This post is outdated but not really worth changing.