Posted tagged ‘4.0.1’

Keeping Your Head Above Water in 4.0.1

October 17, 2010

Update Oct 19, 2010 – Looks like Blizzard gave in to our begging and gave us a boost. Pretty much everything here still holds true, although the “our output suuuuucks” jokes loose somewhat of their meaning. Because we’re still very much single target healers and mastery still isn’t recorded (I know a few people have found a trick to make Recount show mastery, but I tried it and all it did was crash Recount), we’re still low on the meters, but at least now our spells are smacking for amounts that seem reasonable.

Healing meters in 4.0.1:

Don’t be shocked. It sucks, but that’s the way it is. Keep in mind that the absorbs done by our Mastery, Illuminated Healing aren’t recorded by either Recount or World of Logs, so we aren’t doing quite as badly as we think.

After fooling around in-game, talking to other paladins (<3 Kurn, Anolaana and the paladin formally known as the hunter Grindin) and reading Elitist Jerks, blogs, Plus Heal and even the official forums (most of it is QQ, but there are a few early guides posted), I’ve compiled my notes for Holy, version 4.0.1.

At this point, there is very little agreed upon and most of the Big Thinkers are keeping their eyes on Cataclysm, so any arguing, criticizing, complaining and commiserating is totally welcome.

Spec and Seal

More challenging but probably more efficient: 31/2/3
If you don’t want to give up your old healing style: 31/3/2

For the last two minor glyphs, take your pick. With the exception of Lay on Hands, our minor glyphs are really stupid.

Seal of Insight is the seal you’ll keep up.

Gemming and Stats

Keep your Brilliant Cardinal Rubies for now (+20 Intellect). Can’t go wrong with the more mana, spell power and crit they provide.

Meta gem-wise, I’m having trouble giving up my Insightful Earthsiege Diamond, but Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond is good too.

Enchants are:
Head – Arcanum of Blissful Mending or Arcanum of Burning Mysteries
Shoulders - Greater Inscription of the Crag or Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle
Back – Greater Speed or Wisdom
Chest – Powerful Stats or Greater Mana Restoration (now gives 20 spirit)
Legs – Brilliant Spellthread
Wrists -Superior Spellpower or Exceptional Intellect or Major Spirit
Hands – Exceptional Spellpower
Feet – Tuskarr’s Vitality or Greater Spirit or Icewalker
Rings – Greater Spellpower
Weapon – Mighty Spellpower or Exceptional Spirit or Major Intellect

*Be sure to wear all plate gear (no more of that stinky mail) now, as Plate Specialization now gives us a 5% Intellect boost.

As for other stats beyond Intellect:

Spirit: Often listed as 2nd important stat after Int. Depends on your gear and playstyle. Reports vary from “my mana bar is stuck at 100%” to “I was OOM a few seconds into the first pull”. Personally, I go through my whole mana bar during an ICC 25 HM fight, but I’m not struggling, even after reforging my spirit to mastery. Adjust your spirit according to your mileage. Err on the side of caution: as long there is mana, there can be life.

Haste: Unknown. Soft cap (global cooldown reduced to 1 second) is reported to be 1019 (thanks Auracen) when raid buffed and Judgments of the Pure is up. Opinions vary on whether to bother reaching the soft cap, staying at the soft cap or going beyond. If you’re keeping an old fashion playstyle (big heal spamming) pump up the haste. Otherwise, you’ll be using a lot of instants with a few long casts (Holy Light and Divine Light) thrown in, so my recommendation is keep your haste, but don’t gem or reforge to it either.

Crit:Yes. With the exception of Divine Light (which is expensive and slow), all our heals are pathetic. Crit amplifies healing, triggers Conviction and makes for more Mastery absorbs. A Holy Shock crit triggers Infusion of Light. Embrace crit.

Mastery: Probably good. To my knowledge, the absorbs from Illuminated Healing (IH) aren’t tracked anywhere so I don’t know how it looks in practice. However, IH does trigger after every heal (except Protector of the Innocent, thanks Jeffo), which is good. The duration is too short to be used for raid healing, but on a tank or in PvP, it offers a free mini-heal in the form of an absorb between heals.

Buff, Proc and Cooldown Tracking

Buffs: Set your raid frames to track Beacon of Light and Illuminated Healing.

Procs: Have a notification for Infusion of Light. If you don’t like the default Holy Power tracker, consider finding an addon to notify you when you reach 3 stracks. Some paladins are also tracking Speed of Light, but since it procs every time you use Holy Shock, it seems a bit silly.

Cooldowns: Holy Shock. Keep an eye on Avenging Wrath, Divine Favor, Aura Mastery and Divine Plea as well.

Addons

Holy Trinity: Tracks cooldowns and Holy Power. Not the overly useful for holy pallies, but awesome if you’re polyspectual.

Ristretto Power: Tracks Holy Power stacks.

clcInfo:Seems to keep track of anything you want. Not usable straight out of the box, unfortunately.

Pally Power:
Not as essential as it was… Good if you like the buff timer and Righteous Fury reminder.

Playstyle

See Dreaming’s blog, A Touch of Arcane, for a quick explanation of the Tower of Radiance build.

The idea of a rotation as a paladin healer disturbs me, but the way to wring the most out of our miserable state is this:

1- Any time you have 3 stacks of Holy Power, use Word of Glory.
2- Any time you do not have 3 stacks of Holy Power and Holy Shock is available, Holy Shock.
3- After every Holy Shock, can Divine Light, unless you’re in situation #1 or #2.
4- If Infusion of Light procs, cast Divine Light followed by Holy Light, unless you’re in situation #1 or #2.
5- When waiting for Holy Shock cooldowns and building Holy Power stacks, cast Divine Light.
6- If mana is an issue, swap Divine Light for Holy Light.
7- If time is of the essence, swap Divine Light for Flash of Light. (This shouldn’t happen often.)
8- Avenging Wrath can be used every time it comes off cooldown.

Basically, your rotation looks like HS->HS (if Daybreak prevented the CD)-> DL->HL/DL (depending on mana or Infusion of Light proc)->DL->HS->WoG->WoG (if you’re specced into Eternal Glory and it procs).

Alternatively, you can spam Divine Light/Holy Shock/Word of Glory on your assignment until you run out of mana. You’ll be far from your best, but it is possible to keep the tank up while fumbling with your spells.

Light of Dawn: If there’s a lot of AoE damage and people are closish together, have fun with it. (Also use when feeling the urge to admire new glowy sparkly spell effects -courtesy of @Alice_desu)

Beacon of Light: Keep on your assignment in most situations. To maximize the Holy Power you get, cast Divine Light and Holy Light on your beacon target. Depending on the fight, you may cast Holy Shock and Word of Glory on other targets, but remember that beacon has been seriously nerfed and under most circumstance, it’s not enough to keep a tank up.

Divine Favor: Haste and crit boosting cooldown, use on cooldown or during periods of heavy damage.

Divine Plea: Has been nerfed into the ground, sadly. Like before the patch, if you use it mid-combat try to pop a healing output boosting cooldown to take an edge off the 50% healing penalty.

Conclusion:

Now, if you do everything perfectly and don’t waste a single global cooldown, you should be able to beat the shadow priest on the healing meters. Most of the time ;D.

Don’t get me wrong, healing as a paladin in 4.0.1 is really fun. It’s fast paced, it’s interactive, it keeps you on your toes. Unfortunately, as things are now, our healing style isn’t compatible with healing meters, which is discouraging. Despite what some believe, we are still very capable of keeping a tank up. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Shut off Recount (enjoy the lag reduction from that), take the “Healing Done” page on World of Logs with a grain of salt and just focus on having a good time. From what I’m told, in a couple of weeks we’ll get some better changes when a certain Cataclysm becomes available at a gaming store near you.

The Night of 4.0.1 and Some Initial Thoughts

October 13, 2010

The servers came up about an hour before our raid time. I quickly hopped on my Auction House character and posted the glyphs I made the night before. Auctioneer was broken… I panicked for a second as I tried to put up glyphs one at a time. Then I figured I’d give Auctionator a try. I have to say, I really like it. For my AH style, it’s actually faster at posting than Auctioneer was.

Once that was out of the way, I quickly copied the spec Kurn suggested, equipped the glyphs I had laid out the night before and stuck the gem I was saving into my libram. I talked to my trainer a bit and flipped through my spellbook. I redid my keybinds, screamed at my not-working Grid, got the default raid frames into something that didn’t look like boxes were vomitted all over my screen and took a deep breath. I would have taken a screenshot, but I’ll spare you that kind of trauma.

The Joys of Raiding after a Patch

We were only slightly late at getting the raid started, pulling barely an hour after the servers came up. We were 20 manning it, addons were bugged all over the place, bringing everyone’s FPS into the negatives, disconnects were going off right and left, and most of us had no idea what we were doing. I was also struggling with 4000-7000 latency. And latency is probably my #1 in-game anger trigger- delays in casting times send me into a blind rage every.single.time.

Probably my biggest flaw as a healer, and one of my biggest flaws as a person, is that I get very stressed when I’m learning something. With me, learning is always an intense process. And here I was with a character I felt I’d never played before and disgusting raid frames I had to shield my eyes from, trying to figure out which of my spells did what.

We then proceeded to spend two hours wiping on Heroic Marrowgar 25. I was a sobbing, hyperventilating mess. Between my lag and frustration at not knowing how to play my character, I was utterly furious. But as I was typing an “ok, I can’t do this, I’m off to bed” message, it suddenly dawned on me that I was the only one bothered. Everyone else was laughing and joking around as we wiped, waited for all the disconnected people to come back online, tried to figure out which addon was causing which problem. I forced myself to calm down a little.

That’s when we killed the boss.

We took a couple of shots at heroic Deathwhisper, then called it.

Paladin Impressions

It’s hard for me to give a good impression because I was lagging so badly. I didn’t run out of mana! Probably because I couldn’t cast anything…

But from I was able to tell from less laggy moments and from spamming myself in Ironforge, I don’t think mana will be the problem it was predicted to be. I still had well over 40k mana and could spam quite a bit of the new big heal (Divine Heal? I’m terrible with names) without making so much of a dent. So while spirit is a useful stat now, I don’t think it’ll be at the forefront of stat stacking.

I’m currently gemmed all intellect, and it seems like a good choice for now. With the conversion of int into both spell power and mana, it’s a pretty sweet stat. I do feel like I need more haste, but whether that was due to the lag or a change in mechanics, I’m not sure. It just seemed that my global cooldown last years, while pre-patch, I didn’t even notice the global cooldown.

I’ll give it another go tonight by running some heroics, but I think I might I might do some reforging to up my haste. I believe I’m at around 1100 haste right now and it just doesn’t feel like enough.

About crit, I didn’t get the chance to look into it much. Everything seems to increase crit, but I haven’t figured out what happens when you crit, other than you get some unreliable overheal. I’m sure crit triggers something, but I’m in a crappy timezone, so I had to go to bed right after the raid.

Spell wise, the new little spell, Holy Light, seems to hit for a lot less than the old Flash of Light. At 4000 spell power, I felt like it wasn’t doing much. The new big heal, however, is comparable to the old Holy Light, so I was mostly casting that last night. The new Flash of Light, the “fast, hard hitting spell”, was a piece of crap, in my opinion. It took about the same casting time as new Holy Light, and barely healed for more. Might as well just use Holy Shock.

Holy Shock is fun, seems to be comparable in strength to what it was before. I kept forgetting about Holy Power and using, um, Word of Glory?. Word of Glory seems nice, doesn’t hit for very much (wtb more possible stacks of Holy Power), but it’s instant and it’s mana free, so no right to complain. Light of Dawn looks very cool. Very disco lighty. I didn’t get much chance to use it since we were spread out all over the place during Marrowgar’s AoE damage, but I can think of a few uses for it. Not our top spell, but, you know, situational.

With the nerf to Beacon of Light, I felt very cheated. One of our weaknesses in the past was that we were stuck with single target healing. At least then we could do double target healing. Last night, I had BoL on the tank that seemed to be taking the biggest beating, and was spam healing my tank. That’s it, just spam healing my tank. Very sad. Since my newly found global cooldown couldn’t really be spared to pitch in anywhere else, I feel like I’m even more restricted than I was before.

Last Word on Tank Healing

I didn’t check last night’s logs. Too discouraged. However, my tank was always the last one to die. Now whether this is because we’re still kickass tank healers or because the other tank healers had to stop healing their targets to heal mine, I don’t know.

Oh, and when I checked my AH character after the raid, I had 2000 gold waiting in my mailbox. Not bad for barely 15 minutes of work!

How was everyone else’ patch night?

ps. Apologies for the hastily written, unresearched post. Only had a few minutes between classes and I wanted to write a bit.


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