Posted tagged ‘flash of light’

Holy Specs Debate: The Big Picture as of 3.3

February 1, 2010

Ah, speccing holy! For no other reason but to confuse us, there are two general PvE trends: Holy/Prot, sometimes called Bubble Spec, and Holy/Ret, sometimes called Crit Spec.

Making choices shouldn't be frightning.

There are tiny sparks of discussion floating around the internet, but I have yet to see someone address the issue the way I want it addressed. Ferraro’s holy speccing guide needs to be updated (I think it will be soon). The Holy Paladin does an excellent job of describing both specs, but doesn’t tie them together (here and here). At World of Matticus, @Dtotheug and jeffo briefly skimmed over the topic and left me spectually frustrated (sorry, bad joke, couldn’t help myself). At WoW.com, Chase Christian did a good job on his Holy 101 article, but I’d like to go more in depth. There’s the occasional thread on specs at Plus Heal, but forums are limiting. So I’m taking matters into my own hands.

Here’s the deal with the two holy spec trends.

Bubbles and Crits : An Overview

A Bubble Spec, 51/17/0+3 for example, is all about utility. Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian (DS/DG) are considered must haves for progression raids (read about them in 3.3 here!). Your Sacred Shield, a respectable source of damage mitigation, gets a boost via the Divine Guardian talent as well. The lowered cooldown on Hand of Protection is a favorite of mine for keeping those unruly dps (and occasional overzealous healing priest) under control. Stoicism, Improved Righteous Fury and the extra point in Toughness are lovely to have when you want to do some BGs without having to switch to a PvP spec. While they are considered PvP talents, they also shine at the most crucial moments in raids.

A Crit spec, 51/0/15 +5 for example, maximizes healing output and mana conservation/regen. Depending on what you do with your extra points, you can get 5 to 8% extra crit. What does that mean? It means your mana efficient Flash of Light heal and your instant Holy Shock have a higher chance of hitting harder. Harder is good, we like hard. Ok, the crit also boosts your already crazy powerful Holy Light heals, which will likely all go to overheal. Still, a toe-curling Holy Light crit has triggered many sighs of relief in my WoW life and shouldn’t be disregarded.

Who says crit also says Illumination. The more you crit, the more mana back you get. Everyone likes mana back, especially new 80 healers being tortured by merciless dps standing in junnk and pulling aggro left and right.

Other landmarks in the Crit spec are access to Heart of the Crusader and Improved Blessing of Might, should your raid be depending on you to contribute these buffs.

For discussion on debatable or “optional” talents, scroll down some! Also inserting cut due long long long post.
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Your Holy Paladin Gear: Holy Light Builds vs Flash of Light Builds

November 22, 2009

Someday someone is going to wonder why I constantly take strange poses in the beer garden


Last updated March 25, 2010

I see the question of Holy Light versus Flash of Light builds asked a lot. As I’m getting used to a new healing style in a new guild, my own thoughts are pondering this topic. I’ve been sitting on this post for awhile, so I figured now would be a good time to finish it and give you all some Sunday reading material. Ferarro and Holypaladin.net both posted their own takes on FoL vs HL yesterday so it’s apparently a hot topic right now. I’ll hand out links their posts and to a recent Plus Heal thread at the end of this post. Happy exciting Sunday reading!

So, um, what are these Builds you speak of?

As the names imply, a Holy Light build revolves around using Holy Light (HL, big heal) as your primary spell and a Flash of Light revolves around using Flash of Light (FoL, little heal) as your primary spell. The Holy Light build is what you’ll see most often in PvE, with Int Gems in every socket save one to activate the meta gem. The key is to this build is to have enough mana to pump out a lot of strong, toe-curling, in yo’ face heals for the whole fight. You’ll still use the Flash of Light spell, but your gear is tuned towards using Holy Light as much as you need to. The Flash of Light build is one you’ll see occasionally, but not as often. Spell Power gems all over with some haste or crit (no point in having more than 676 haste for a FoL build) and mp5 gems to get every ounce of Spell Power socket bonuses. The point is to make Flash of Light a powerful, nearly instacast spell. It also gives Sacred Shield some extra oomph, as 75% (or 95% if you’re specced into Divine Guardian) of your spell power is added to the base absorption of the Shield.

Are there talent builds that are connected to each type?

Not exactly. There are two common specs for PvE as a paladin, the “crit spec” (holy/ret to get Conviction and sometimes Sanctity of Battle) and the “bubble spec” (holy/prot to get Divine Sacrifice). The crit spec has advantages for both types of play, maximum mana return due to crit (always good) and extra output for a FoL spec. Bubble spec, however, gives you the glorious Divine Sacrifice and delightful reduction on the hand of protection CD. Utility is important as a paladin, if you’re not making yourself useful, you fall into the paladin cliché who does nothing but spam 1-2 spells the entire time. Whats the fun in that?

Many holy paladins actually have both specs and swap between them depending on the fight. If you don’t have an offspec you frequently use, this is a great option.

Glyphs, on the other hand, change depending on whether you want to go FoL or HL:

Holy Light Glyphs
1- Glyph of Holy Light
2- Glyph of Seal of Wisdom
3- Glyph of Divinity, Glyph of Flash of Light, Glyph of Beacon of Light or Glyph of Holy Shock (all depending on your style and raid environment)

Flash of Light Glyphs
1- Glyph of Flash of Light
2- Glyph of Seal of Light
3- Personal Choice

Help! How do I choose?

If you’re looking for a PvE build and asking the question, go Holy Light. You can’t go wrong. If a Flash of Light build is better for you, you probably already know. Generally, a Flash of Light build is used when the tanks are geared enough for the content that they’re not taking a lot of damage per hit and the dps is both high and good at avoiding fires. That said, depending on your group makeup, having a Holy Light paladin team up with a Flash of Light paladin can be a very cool combo. The Holy Light paladin keeps the tank at full health while the FoL pally ensures that the tank has a reasonable heal hit about every second.

When in doubt, Holy Light. Out of the two builds, it’s the easiest to find information on and it allows the most flexibility. Maybe it’s not the most efficient build for every situation, but you can get by with it everywhere, as far as I know.

What about you, bossy blog person? What do you do?

I’m gemmed for int. I’m glyphed for a Holy Light build. And lately in raids I’ve been spamming…Flash of Light. Which is why I have builds on the mind. Switching teams has been an interesting experience to say the least. New raid makeup and new approach to raiding. I seem to be doing acceptably (I haven’t gotten in trouble for anything that matters yet!), but the question is, how do I bring out the best from my character?

With my previous raiding experience being a laid back setting, I’m amazed at how little damage there is now. I’ve also done all my 25 mans so far with 2 other holy paladins which means that there are more than enough big heals to go around. That, along with my own personal preferences, could justify a FoL build. However, I’m worried about the lack of flexibility of a FoL build. I’ve been pugging a lot and in pugs you want a Holy Light build. I’m also suspecting the 3 holy paladin runs aren’t a regular thing, plus I don’t know what Icecrown Citadel will bring in terms of pally healing. (Oh, I could find out about IC if I wanted to, but I’m a hands on learner.)

Conclusion, for now I’m sticking with HL and may reconsider once I’ve found some stability.

What about the pros? What are the pros doing?

I spied on a few pallies as I wrote this. The two pallies from Ensidia were HL, with one of them having a couple of gems that weren’t pure intellect. I found a paladin from Premonition that was FoL. That said, I suspect that the paladins in high end guilds swap gear sets based on fights.

Can I have two sets?

Good luck convincing your guild (especially other paladins gearing up) that you deserve two sets! In a perfect world, having two sets would be wonderful, but unless you’re a farmer extraordinaire and have no competition for drops, it’s not going to happen. I know tanks can collect multiple sets, but tanking gear has the advantage that different stats are good for different things so its easier for them to recycle. The low stam, high strength gear your tank is replacing on his effective health (boss) set can be used for a threat (trash/5 mans) set. Your low int, low SP gear will not become more useful than your new high int, high SP gear, no matter how you gem it. However, keep all your trinkets and librams nearby and swap them around according to the fight.

Can I mix and match HL and FoL stuff?

The blog/forum reader in me wants to say no, but in practice I’ve seen it done effectively. I’m not a theorycrafter so I’m not going to add much more. As said before, trinkets and librams can always be swapped around and if you don’t mind switching glyphs a lot, that can be an option as well.

Where else can I read about this fascinating topic?

Plus Heal Discussion
Ferarro does a pretty good job of explaining it in her own way
Holypaladin.net did a response post to Ferarro’s on their site

Also, if any of you holy paladins passing by have some 2c or links to throw in, I can never have too much reading material.

EDIT: Note that this isn’t a response to Ferraro’s post. It was more or less coincidence that we posted about the same topic around the same time. I was also careful not to read her post until I had mine finished, purposely to avoid turning this into a response. We have different approaches to the discussion so if you’re interested in it, I definitely recommend reading her work if you haven’t done so already.

My first meme-that-is-not-a-meme!

October 27, 2009

Jessabelle, aka Miss Medicina, recently came up with a great initiative to encourage some of us newer healing bloggers to get to know each other. While I’m not technically a healing blogger, I do find myself talking about paladin healing more often than I talk about tanking. Besides, I’m so flattered and excited about being tagged that I would gladly write about anything asked of me. Yes, anything.

I’m a bit run down with a fever, so my brain is soggy, but I’ll do my best to provide coherent and thoughtful answers.

So here’s how it works:

Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.

1- What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Rykga, paladin, mainspec prot, offspec holy, bubble spec

2- What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Mainly 25 man raiding, but I do 10s about once a week, 5 mans a few times a week and the occasional BG healing. Note that I’m primarily a tank in pve, although I do run as a healer rather frequently.

3- What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Hmm. Our pure healing spells are kind of crappy! I’d have to say Divine Sacrifice, which isn’t exactly a healing spell. I just really love gadgets and anything gadgety. While situational spells tend to be despised by the average player, they’re generally my favorites. It’s fun to plan around: “ok, I’ll use my DS on the first Frozen Blows, no wait, I’ll save it for the third when the healers are low on mana”. It’s not powerful enough to use as an “oh shit” button, but I love giving the healers a little cushion whenever I bubble. Trying to figure out how it works is also loads of fun. Bonus point about DS: I can fit it in all my specs!

4-What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Um. Not really a healing spell but Divine Favor. Why? Because I haven’t macroed it into a combo with my Holy Shock and I rarely think to use it. Hey, we all have our weaknesses!

5-What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
We have rock solid, toe-curling, in-yo-face spells. Lots of sustained and burst tank healing. We can keep a tank up – or save one that was neglected, without breaking a sweat. We can also heal two targets at once, perfect for those 2 tank fights.

6-What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Can’t move, dammit! Every time I end up in the fire, I have to interrupt my holy light, move, lose whatever haste buff I had, start casting again, only for the tank to die 0.0001sec before I’m finished the spell. I exaggerate, but moving is difficult and your timing has to be perfect. We’re also not great at raid healing. When 2-3 people take damage at a time, it’s no biggie, but when the entire raids decides to hang out in green goo, my little AoE splash heals aren’t much help.

7- In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
As a paladin, tank healing all the way. As a person, I especially enjoy doing little tasks that call for a bit of extra situation awareness. Healing Kologarn’s fist or Jaraxxus’ Incinerate flesh help me stay awake during those late, late raids. Funny thing is that my healing leader discovered that I liked those things before I did. First time I was assigned to heal Kolo’s fist people, I was indignant: “what do you mean I’m not healing the MT?!?!” After the fight, I whispered him: “you were right, I loved it.”

8- What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
It really depends! When we’re sharing a target, I’d have to say Disc priests. The damage on the tanks just seems less spikey with a disc priest nearby. If I’m 2 man healing a 10 man, then either druids, shamans or certain holy priests. In my experience, personal style has a larger impact on who makes a good partner than their class.

9- What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Again, it depends! In a 25 man, I really don’t care who I’m healing with. If I’m 2 man healing a 10, then I find it most difficult with a disc priest or fellow pally. But for the most part, it depends more on the individual I’m healing with than their class.

10- What is your worst habit as a healer?
I always forget Divine Favor! I’m also terrible at mana management. Because I don’t heal regularly, I’m not in touch with my mana bar. I either end the fight at 95% mana, or meleeing because I’m dry. There’s no in between.

11- What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
I have to agree with Jes here- I really hate when people say “so and so needs heals!” over vent, as if I wasn’t staring at health bars. But then, I’m guilty of calling out when I need heals too. I do, however, wait until I’m at low health for quite some time before inquiring if my healer fell asleep. I also have trouble when I’m raiding with other holy paladins because I get very critical about technique.

12- Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
With other healers, yes, I think we’re neither inferior nor superior to other classes overall. We are probably the most challenged class when it comes to raid healing, but we make up for it by being such strong tank healers, and we have cool buttons like Hand of Salv and Hand of Protection.

13- What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
When my target doesn’t die before I do, it’s usually sign that I’m doing a decent job! I make sure that I used my Hand spells (Salv and Protection, sometimes Freedom), my bubble and DS at the right times. I do look at my stats, but evaluating paladin healing isn’t straightforward. On the more difficult fights, I’ll make sure that I kept Judgments of the Pure and Light’s Grace up most of the time, I check to see how much I was using Sacred Shield and Beacon and I compare my use of Holy Light and Flash of Light with the amount of damage taken by the tank.

14- What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Hmm, I’m not sure! I don’t hear people talk about holy paladins that much. On the Plus Heal forums, there will be the occasional thread from a raid leader wondering why he should take a holy paladin on a raid when he could take a disc priest. Never having been in a guild where all the healers min/max, I can’t speak from a theory crafting perspective, but in my casual raiding experience, a good holy paladin and a good disc priest are pretty much equal. If you have to pick between the two based on class, pick the one that could supply whatever buffs are missing from your raid.

15- What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Oh boy! The hardest thing for competitive-dps-turned-holy paladin to learn is that the meters represent very little of how good you are as a healer. You can have the HPS of a monster, if you can’t work with other healers, your timing is off and you don’t use your spells appropriately, you’re not getting the most out of your class. For people who are new to raiding all together, then it seems to be remembering to keep Beacon up and use it. Also, Flash of Light tends to be greatly overestimated. FoL is great in 5 mans, pvp or when you outgear the content, but if your target is constantly dying, for the love of the Light, use a stronger spell!

16- If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
It depends on the fight. On fights with a lot of tank damage, we shine and look fabulous on overall healing output. Otherwise, we’ll usually be somewhere in the middle with a lot of overheal. My guild has a casual approach to raiding, so how each player looks on recount is more due to their personal style than to their class.

17- Haste or Crit and why?
Haste. We’re pretty good for mana supply, so the faster we can pump out our consistent, big heals, the better. Crit used to be godly for paladins, but it’s role in mana regen has been significantly reduced, which lessened its appeal. I also run with a bubble spec (as opposed to a crit spec) so I prefer to focus on timing and reliability than crit.

18-What healing class do you feel you understand least?
I’m terrible with other healing classes. I just can’t keep them straight! Shamans are probably the class I have the least grasp on because the ones I play with are very quiet and don’t get involved in mechanics discussions.

19- What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Grid+clique. Amazing what you can configure those addons to do for you! Otherwise, I like Omen because it tells me who’s about to pull aggro (Hand of Salv FTW!). I think that’s pretty much it.

20- Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Intellect above all. I love having a delicious mana pool I can swim around in. After that, Spell power and Haste. I don’t ignore mp5 like I used to, but I still don’t find it as important as the previous 3 stats.

So now I need to tag another blogger! The thing is, I’m not the most outgoing person in the world so I have no idea if these people will ever know I tagged them. But here are some newer healing bloggers that I would love to hear more from:

Leafie over at Leaf-Head, who is a healing druid and, according recent posts, experimenting with the arena world.

Andracon from Empowered Healing, a newer member of the priest community who makes great posts that always leave me wanting to hear more!

(Quick, everyone spam click on the links so they know they’ve been tagged!)

Also be sure to check out the other people who’ve answered this questionnaire!


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