Posted tagged ‘Paladin’

Spending those hard earned Valor Points (Holy Edition)

February 22, 2011

Now that I’m not raiding on a regular basis, I’m suddenly very, very conscious of my valor points. While I wasn’t lucky with the RNG in the month and a half I was killing a lot of raid bosses (I didn’t see a single plate drop, not one!), I still hoped. Now my mantra is: If you’re a good girl and do your random heroic every day and pug your Baradin Hold once a week, every month or so you can choose a new piece of gear.

Since every Valor Point is precious to me, I’ve been very, very careful with the order I spend them in. Don’t want to buy a piece of gear I might replace later on in the week. Eventually I was able to make a list of the items I wanted, in the order I wanted, as an occasional raider who has intermittent access to raid loot.

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Beacon of Light Strategies

January 27, 2011

A common complaint of holy paladins is about their healing leads. About their healing leads blindly telling them where to put their Beacon of Light (BoL).

When told by a healing lead where to put my BoL, I’ve always retorted with where that healing lead can put my BoL, with proper anatomical references and the issue would be closed for the reminder of my time with that healing lead. (I’m joking of course- the more effective the communication among members of a healing team, the better the team performs. If you have a game plan for your BoL that conflicts with your leads’, just say so.)

Fact is, optimal placement of BoL is strategic. It always has been to an extend, but until recently, you could get away with “beacon the tank and spam heals around“. Most of the time at least. Now that Beacon only transfers half of a heal, getting the most out of its use isn’t as straightforward.

These days, you’ll want to know a few things before deciding where to put your Beacon (or, if you’re a healing lead, before risking being told where to put your Beacon assignments):
– Damage patterns
– Number of holy paladins in the raid
– Everyone else s healing assignments.

If you’re healing with other paladins, you’ll want to make sure you track all the Beacons in the raid. If a teammate isn’t cooperating with the current BoL strategy in place, you need to know so you can adjust according.

A Little Background on Beacon

Beacon of Light is a buff you can put on yourself or on another party or raid member. It transfers half (50%) the value of each of your heals onto the player with the BoL buff. So, if you have Beacon on Mary and cast a 3000 heal on Jack, Mary receives a 1500 heal through Beacon. Beacon doesn’t care about effective and overheal, 50% of the total heal with transfer.

One paladin can only have one Beacon active at a time, but one player can be buffed with several Beacons from several paladins at a time (in other words, Beacons stack).

Most paladin heals (direct heals, Light of Dawn, Protector of the Innocent, Enlightened Judgments and, if you’re reading this before 4.0.6, Lay on Hands) transfer through Beacon. However, heals received by the person with the Beacon don’t transfer. If you cast your 3000 heal on Mary, she’ll only receive the 3000 health from that heal. (I think they did transfer at some point, but we’ve since been hotfixed).

An added feature to BoL is via the Tower of Radiance talent: directly casting Divine Light and Flash of Light on your Beacon target will give you one (1) charge of Holy Power. (The tooltip still mentions Holy Light, but the tooltip is a LIAR.)

Strategy 1: Beacon the tank (or your single target assignment) and heal around

This was the strategy of choice during Wrath, but thankfully we can be a bit more creative now, at least in raids. 5 mans generally don’t give us a lot of options: you’ll almost always want your tank Beaconed so you can stray and heal the dps (or yourself!) as needed and not worry about the tank turning into a smoothie.

In any setting, the biggest advantage of this trick is building up Holy Power faster with the Tower of Radiance talent, given you cast Divine Light or Flash of Light on your Beacon target/tank/singe target assignment. It can also come in handy on fights where you might temporarily be out of direct healing range of your target. The range on Beacon transfers is 60 yards from the target of your heal, while direct heals only reach 40 yards. So if your assignment pops out of range, dumping a Divine Light on someone standing between you and your assignment, can make the difference between a kill and a wipe.

There are two main disadvantages to this strategy. The first is that Beacon of Light only transfers 50% of a heal. Damage in Cataclysm, especially in raids, is intense, so straying from your assigned target is risky. The second is that heals on your Beacon target don’t double up. So by direct healing your Beacon target, you’re wasting a lot of potential healing.

Situations where I like to use this strategy:
– 5 mans.
– When raiding with an uncooperative or communicationally challenged paladins.
– When being out of range of my assignment is very likely (have yet to encounter a fight where this situation applies… maybe Ascendent Council, but I still prefer cross-beaconing for that fight)
– When assigned to raid/melee healing on fights with high tank damage (Magmaw, Valiona)

Strategy 2: Cross-Beaconing

Cross-Beaconing is when you have two paladins, each assigned a separate target. The paladins each direct heal their own target and Beacon their teammate’s target. Alternatively, a solo paladin variant is to direct heal your target and have another tank (or target taking a lot of damage) Beaconed.

While you’ll be getting a lot less Holy Power from Tower of Radiance using this strategy, you’ll get extra healing output. Having some cushion heals on your target from your teammate is also helpful in case you have to move/get out of range/scratch your leg.

Even when I’m the solo paladin (ok, that has yet to happen in Cata, but lets pretend it has), I like having my Beacon on a tank I’m not currently assigned to. Healing my beacon target for reasons other than charging up Holy Power just feels like a waste.

Situations where I like to cross-beacon:
– 2 tank fights, when I’m tank healing
– Raid trash
– Fights with a lot of movement and two paladins.

Strategy 3: Beacon Stacking

You’ll need at least one other holy paladin for this one. Beacon stacking is when two or more holy pallies Beacon the same target and heal a different target. This strategy works by constantly bombarding the target of multiple beacons with small, but very frequent, heals. As you may imagine, this trick is best used on targets taking damage too frequently to be healed at a conventional pace.

Fights where I like to Beacon Stack:
– Halfus (Beacon stack on the drake tank)
– Chimearon, when tank healing (Beacon stack on the main tank)

Strategy 4: DPS Beacon

I rarely use this one, but it has its moments. Instead of putting your Beacon on a tank, you put it on a dps, preferably one who has trouble healing itself.

Sitautions where I’d pick a DPS Beacon target
– When damage isn’t really aggro based (Cookie in Deadmines, those exploding wisps in Vortex Pinnacle before finding high stam Cataclysm gear)
– When perfectly-timed raid healing is crucial (when healing a party on Chimareon)

A Note about Beaconning Yourself

During Wrath, there were a few times when Beaconing yourself was an awesome trick. Last phase of Sindragosa normal mode or Putricide any mode, for example. This doesn’t translate to Cataclysm: unless you’re spamming Divine Lights and pumping out Light of Dawns, Protector of the Innocent offers as much or more self-healing than a Beacon would. Beaconing yourself, therefore, is a huge waste of healing.

Conclusion

The first time we faced Halfus sporting our blues and greens that probably wouldn’t have even gotten us through heroics, we had our arses handed to us. With both hands. Especially our drake tank. When I looked at parses from guilds who had killed Halfus, I discover they were doing something we weren’t, and it wasn’t wearing content-appropriate gear. It was Beacon stacking. The light shone, the little naked angels sung. We Beacon stacked on our drake tank, and Halfus toppled over dead.

The moral of this story is that Beacon strategies can make or break a progression fight. Too often, Beacon positionning is left out of healing discussions, or worse, assigned inappropriately. So be vocal about your Beacon use. Be vocal with your healing lead, with your fellow pallies, with your fellow healers and even with your entire raid team.

It’s like they say, “the better the Beacon brainstorming, the smoother the raid“.

Holy Paladin Reforging

December 22, 2010

Don’t we all love questions with no clear answers?

I’ve had a few people ask about reforging. Each time, I make my way to Elitist Jerks.

At first, the answer I got from there was “Definitely Haste. All Haste all the time OMG yes.

Then I went back and got the answer “Haste is nice, but Crit packs a better punch.

When I looked closely, I also saw “How about Mastery? Can we give Mastery a try?

Then I spoke with paladins who don’t frequent the various resources and received an overwhelming: “Moar Spirit plz!


For the time being, reforging isn’t a black and white issue. And I hope it stays that way- I love paladin healing right now: it feels as if each successful paladin has their own style and adapts in their own way to different content. Which is how healing should be. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the constant adjustments to fit each unique situation is the whole reason I fell in love with healing in the first place.

Love story aside, I’m going to take a look at the different reforging options. If you want a “do this” answer, scroll down a bit and you’ll find some reforging suggestions to fit your paladining lifestyle. And if you read all the way to the end, I’ll let you in on my personal strategy.

I’m going to inspire myself from the debate in the Holy Paladin thread on Elitist Jerks as well as use my own experiences to weigh the pros and cons. Two Three weeks into the expansion, I’ve done countless heroics, with pugs of all skill (and common sense) levels as well as guild groups, I’ve killed Conclave of Wind on 10 man, 25 man kills are Halfus (X2) and Argaloth (I’ve done quite a bit of log parsing from other guilds for Halfus too, to see how other healing teams are handling the fight), with a some wiping experience on a few other 25 man bosses. The only area I haven’t investigated much is the world of PvP, so you die hard PvPers are unfortunately on your own for this.
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An “In-Practice” Take at the Holy Paladin Nerfs

December 15, 2010

By now, pretty much every holy paladin blogger has posted their thoughts, comments, disdain and disgust about Tuesday’s holy paladin changes. In case you’ve been missing out, here’s what happened:

- Holy Light doesn’t pump up your holy power bar anymore when you cast it on your beaconned target.
Light of Dawn, an already weak spell with the exception of how it transferred nicely through beacon, had it’s healing reduced by 40% so the beacon transfers don’t give healing envy to Word of Glory.

The rationale is that paladins have too much mana and are relying too much on the “pump up Holy Power via Holy Light and use Light of Dawn transfers to bomb the tank” strategy.

On the mana part, if you’re rubbing your eyes, I don’t blame you. When I started running heroics a few days ago, the idea of “too much mana” would be have had me laughing until my sides hurt. But, now that I’m decked in heroics gear and running with other heroically geared players, I kind of have to agree. Holy Light, with it’s low mana cost and long cast, becomes basically free with enough passive mana regen.

As for the “Light of Dawn abuse“, well, it was nice while it lasted. According to Tuesday’s raid logs, with a mix of 333-349 ilvl gear and 25 man raid buffs, my Light of Dawn was hitting individual targets for ~ 8k, occasionally critting for ~ 15k. Which looks great, but considering that everyone had over 100k hp and were taking insane damage left and right, LoD was actually crap for raid healing. Where it shone was through beacon. Say my LoD hit 5 targets for 8k for a total of 40k. Half of that (so 20k) was transferred to the tank, which is more than my ~15k World of Glory could heal them for.

How the changes affected my heroics healing

In all honesty, they didn’t. I kept the same “Holy Shock on cooldown, then Holy Light unless massive damage” strategy I used before. I couldn’t use Word of Glory as often, but, meh, other than making me crave haste (the instant cast component of WoG is nice), it didn’t matter. With heroics gear, Holy Light is basically free and Word of Glory is a weak spell. When my group didn’t screw up, I still ended fights at nearly full mana. I even started using Holy Radiance on cooldown.

How the changes might affect 25 man raiding

I raided Sunday and Monday, but I won’t get to test the changes until Thursday night. It’s difficult for me to predict how it’ll affect raiding. At our last attempts, our offtanks were too undergeared and our raid team too undisciplined (we have a lot of new guildies who are on their first raids with us and aren’t used to our ways) for me to get a clear idea of Cataclysm 25 man raid healing. Our attempts on Halfus Wyrmbreaker were under 2 minutes long and my tank was getting smacked with 40k-60k hits every 2 seconds.

To (attempt to) keep up with that kind of damage, I was using Holy Shock on cooldown and otherwise spamming Divine Light. Light of Dawn was a good option when I had at least 4 people in front of me (which didn’t happen often) so I might notice a loss there. Holy Light wasn’t in the equation at all when it came to healing in raids.

A Return to Wrath Healing?

We have too much mana… To which Blizzard responded by attacking the very mechanics they wanted our class to use. With our glorious passive mana regen untouched and with Word of Glory and Light of Dawn being so weak, I can see us going back to single or double spell spamming pretty quickly.

Aunna at Bandage Spec made some excellent suggestions that could solve our problem of being overpowered without ruining our new and improved playstyle. I have some suggestions of my own:

1- Nerf our specialization – 50% of mana regen from spirit is too much? Bring it down to 40%, or 35%.
2- Raise the mana cost and effectiveness of Holy Shock – Right now Holy Shock doesn’t do much beside give us holy power. It helps a little bit with raid healing, but that’s about it. Make it more expensive and more useful and it’ll put a dent in our mana bar.
3- Reduce the mana back from judging Seal of Insight or increase the cooldown on Judgement – Seriously, 3500 mana every time I use an 8 second cooldown spell? For real? No wonder my mana bar is full!
4- Increase the mana cost of Holy Light – It’s too cheap? Make it less cheap.
5- Buff Light of Dawn, but don’t let it transfer through beacon - Light of Dawn is a really week spell without the beacon component. With the amount of health people have, you couldn’t even notice the 8k heal. (Fannon as well as a few others have mentioned this too)
6- Make it harder to stack holy power, but buff Word of Glory – I don’t care how free and instant Word of Glory is, it’s not powerful enough to be worth working for. If it healed, for like, say 30k, I might be tempted to put some effort into getting 3 stacks of holy power.

So final words, if you’ve been worrying about the nerfs, you can relax. They haven’t affected us a whole lot. But! I can see the nerf bat heading our way again shortly, so gear up and farm heroics while we still have it sort of easy.

Let’s Talk About Spirit

November 29, 2010

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about spirit lately. Which took me by surprise at first (while I love getting pally questions, I don’t get them often!), but it makes sense: we’ve gone a long, long time without having to worry about Mana Regen. Suddenly we’re bombarded with the notion that our infinite mana pools are a thing of the past and that spirit, spirit the stat we snubbed throughout our whole healing careers, is finally useful to us.

It’s ok, learning something new can be a good thing. Hey, I learned something new! I learned that intellect directly affects our MP5 or mana regen. Apparently it’s done that all along but because mana regen has always been something that took care of itself, I never paid attention. And no one ever thought to pull me aside one day and tell me “hey, you don’t care about this now, but one day you’ll be happy to know that intellect increases mana regen“. Anyway, as I was double checking my facts for this post by playing dress up with my paladin, I realized that “AAAMG MY SPIRITLESS BRACERS ARE UPPING MY MP5″.

No, I’m not embarrassed. I’m not embarrassed because, according to the replies I got when I asked on Twitter, many of you didn’t know either.

So what about ‘em Spirit.

Do I need to start stacking Spirit?

I can sense the panic radiating from that question. Cataclysm drops in 2 weeks. Most of us aren’t raiding anymore, those of who are raiding, aren’t raiding too seriously. So close your eyes and take a deep breath. You don’t have to spend tons of gold regemming gear you’re going to vendor in two weeks after you respec to retribution to zerg your way to 85.

Besides, even if you’re still raiding, if you’re managing your spells right, you shouldn’t be having trouble with mana. Remember, Holy Light and Holy Shock are cheap spells, Divine Light and Flash of Light are expensive spells.

From my experimenting last night in ICC, I could get away with a lot of Divine Light and Flash of Light casting on every fight but Lich King (where I did run out of mana very fast, but in my defense, I think we lost Replenishment when our ret pallies left). I have 334 Spirit.

If you are struggling with mana due to gear level or a stubborn need to spam Divine Light, then feel free to add some Spirit gems or do some reforging, but don’t panic. Don’t panic.

What about Spirit and Cataclysm? What about that?

I’m unfortunately not the right person to ask about Cataclysm gossip. I like to discover things on my own and because I wasn’t in the beta, I shy away from the spoilers.

That said, rumor has it that our mana won’t be flowing as freely as it did during Wrath, but with intelligent spell choosing, it shouldn’t be a disaster. The Thinkers over at Elitist Jerks seem to be suggesting that our custom of gemming for intellect will survive the expansion, or at least, the beginning of it.

How does Intellect help me get mana back?

Intellect helps with mana in a few ways:
– It increases your mana pool
– It helps you get more mana back from Divine Plea
– It helps you get more mana back from Replenishment (Replenishment is a raid buff that certain classes/specs can trigger passively- Ret pallies, Resto Druids, Frost Mages and Destro Locks are the ones I’m aware of.)
– If you’re a Blood Elf, it boosts the mana you get back from Arcane Torrent

It also works with Spirit to increase the mana that regens happily on its own while you’re not worrying about it.

How does Spirit work?

You’ve stacked all the Intellect in the world, you’re cautious about your spell casting and you’re still running low on mana. Maybe you need more Spirit.

Spirit and Intellect work together to boost your mana regen. When you open your character panel, you’ve got three types of mana regen.


Let’s be creative and start from the bottom:

a) Combat Mana is the speed you’re regaining mana whenever you’re in combat, including when you’re casting.
b) Mana Regen is the speed you get your mana back while you’re out of combat
c)The MP5 when you mouse over the your Spirit tab is how much faster you’ll regain mana 5 seconds after you’ve stopped casting. It adds on to your Combat Mana while you’re in combat and it adds your Mana Regen while you’re not in combat.

The formula by which Spirit and Intellect affect these numbers is complicated and I’m not sure if the exact formula has been figured out for Cataclysm so lets just settle with both numbers increase mana regen and Spirit increases it more than Intellect.

For the visuals, I made a graph! (Don’t be scared, I’ll explained it below.)

Ignore the equations. This graph shows the story of me playing dress up with my pally.

The bottom (blue) line shows my mana regen (the MP5 from the Spirit tab) with different amounts of Intellect while my Spirit was at the human pally base of 108 (EDIT: the graph says 106, it’s just a transcription error and doesn’t affect the results at all). The next (pink) line up is the same thing, but with 215 Spirit. Next (green) line is with 384 Spirit and the top (purple) line is with 431 Spirit.

If graphs aren’t your thing and you’re still lost, the bottom line is this:

The more Spirit you have, the more bang for your buck you get from Intellect. If you need more regen, you don’t have to swap all your Intellect for Spirit. Just adding 100 or so Spirit (probably a bit more at level 85) can make a huge difference in how much Intellect is contributing to your Regen. And the more Intellect you have, the less Spirit you have to add to see that difference.

And that’s my lecture about Spirit. May your Cataclysm experience be rich in lavish mana pools.

Note: Big thanks to Lodur and Naithin for their help in sorting out the Intellect and MP5 mystery.

Shared Topic: Your Autoblogography

November 11, 2010

From Look Ma! I made a WoW Blog, April 7, 2009

A bossy pally can only chase people around to talk to them about WoW for so long before said people become good at getting away. Then, all thats left is the internet. You can still run away on the internet, oh yes. But sometimes you unknowingly run towards trouble and accidently read things.
[...]
So I started a blog because I wasn’t getting enough WoW talk. I’m not yet sure where I want to go with this or if I’m going to go anywhere at all. Only time will tell, I guess?

We were running short on Shared Topics at Blog Azeroth (so you should all totally go and suggest some) and it was therefore my turn to come up with a Topic. And what do I like reading about? That’s right. Big, fat, juicy, behind the scenes blogging stories. Hence the Topic: Your Autoblogography.

The Topic starts next week and you can prepare for it by reading this post and by checking the thread at Blog Azeroth.
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Shared Topic: Fringe Benefits of Bringing Classes to Raid

November 10, 2010

Or, in the perspective I’m going to take, how to make them want you (and your paladin) badly.

Here’s a Shared Topic that’s pretty timely for our class. It was suggested by death knight veteran Shop of Runeforge Gossip and you can see what bloggers from other classes had to say by checking out the grand collection of links thread at Blog Azeroth. Since this post isn’t being written at the last minute (yay!) you can even write about it yourself and post a link to it in that thread.

And while you’re in the Shared Topics forums, please do me a favor and suggest a Topic. PLEEEEEASE!

Right, so I still don’t have a computer. Which means no WoW for screenshots or facts checking. Also means no photo editing, so you’ll be stuck with recycled pictures. I’m sorry. I’ll try to compensate with more dirty jokes.

Meters are Backstabbing Jerks

The day after 4.0.1 dropped, a pally friend whispered me: “We’re still bad at raid healing, and now we’re bad at tank healing too. Anything we can do, every other class can do better. There’s just no point in bringing us to raids anymore.

Even after the hotfix, it’s no secret paladins are looking terrible on the meters. This may or may not have improved since my forced vacation from WoW. In a guild with a strong, knowledgeable healing team this doesn’t matter (I’ve yet to receive a single negative comment from my guildies) but out in wild wild PuGs with under geared tanks and incompetent co-healers, our weaker output on paper (or is it on screen?) makes us the innocent target of much abuse.

Death to the Mediocre Paladin

It used to sadden me (ok, that’s an understatement, it sent me into a blind rage) when people would complain about paladin healing being too easy before 4.0.1.

What is more accurate is that pre-4.0.1, paladin healing was easy to be mediocre at. Any moron could spam holy light and keep a tank up while looking great on the meters. The good holy paladin, however, saved many teammates with the clever use of their Hands and Holy Shock. Prevented wipes with their cooldowns. Could compensate for dead or incapacitated co-healers by creatively adjusting Beacon and Sacred Shield targets. Being good, now, that took perfect reflexes, excellent judgment and a deep understanding of fight mechanics.

I’ve raided with many, many holy paladins in my time. I can count the good ones on the fingers of a single hand.

Ok, so enough about the past, you say. What about now? How do I make them love me now? And, well, more or less the same as before. Except now mediocrity isn’t enough.

How to Really Shine as a Healadin in 4.0.1

1) Expect the worst. Remember that girl at Blizzcon who said dps shouldn’t be taking damage? She wasn’t a healer. Unless you’re raiding with Ensidia or some other high end guild (and you’re probably not if you’re reading this blog), people are going to be stupid and terribad in every possible way. And you’re going to shut up and appreciate the challenge. After sweating buckets healing a tank standing in the fire (or healing a 5 man tanked by a mage), you’re going turn around and say “thank you, may I have another“. Always come prepared for the worst case scenario. It’s the rationale behind stacking mana you won’t use up, behind keeping a cooldown handy, behind watching everyone’s health bar, not only your assignments’. Your job comes first, but preventing a wipe is a close second and is everyone’s responsibility.

2) Gauge each player. The tank in blues will risk being two shotted and will struggle with aggro. The overgeared hunter will pull aggro all over the place. The priest with ungemmed gear will be dead weight. When you regularly run with the same group, notice patterns in their behaviour. The DK tank who often runs out of line of sight. The bear who forgets to use his cooldowns. The priest who gets tunnel vision. The rogue that always runs to the wrong side. Knowing each player’s individual flaws lets you act preemptively, whether it be positioning yourself strategically, hovering your finger over a cooldown at the right moment or being ready to yell “PERSON A! OTHER SIDE!”

3) Use Your Hands You’ve got four of them! Hand of Protection (which you can read about in depth if you click the link) will keep those clothies up all night. Or at least during trash and adds heavy fights. Hand of Salvation, or should I say Handjob of Salv, will earn you the undying love of at least one dps. (I’ve always wanted a macro that whispers my HoSalv target with “Handjob of Salv on you…enjoy the afterglow!“) Hand of Freedom will shut up many whiny tanks who complain they can’t move. Hand of Sacrifice, though inconveniently needing to be paired with Divine Protection or Divine Shield (depending on circumstances), is still a powerful single target damage reduction tool. You won’t use it often, but when everyone else’s cooldowns are used up and all hope is lost, you’ll learn to love it.

4) Use the right Aura. A common oversight that needed to be mentioned. Your raid will remind you if you forget to remove Crusader Aura, but no one will tell you if you leave Retribution Aura up. Resistance Aura for magic damage fights (you can use it for pretty much all of ICC) and Devotion Aura for physical damage fights. Since you’re now the only person with Aura Mastery, you’ll want to keep up the Aura most useful to the current fight.

5) Blizzard gave you cooldowns for a reason. I love cooldowns. I love cooldowns a lot. I keep pictures of cooldowns in my locker. I cried when they took Divine Sacrifice from me. It leaves us with Aura Mastery as our only real mass raid mitigation ability. If you’re expecting a period of major damage (or of mass stupidity), save it. Otherwise give everyone a break and use it on cooldown. Single target-wise, you’ve got your Hands and also your Lay on Hands. With the new short cooldown, you can use it about once a fight now. It’s perfect for those EEKINEEDASPELLBUTNOTIME moments. Save a tank, lay your hands on them.

6) Bubble for the cure Simultaneous need to move and cast Divine Light? Bubble, cast, move. Don’t abuse Divine Shield, but in a pinch, you’ve got an extra 8 seconds of reaction time.

7) Dispell, dispell, dispell What more do I have to say? If you can dispell it, do so. Unless it’s the abom on Putricide. Don’t dispell that unless a wipe is called.

8.) Remember it’s a healing TEAM. If you know you won’t be able to keep the tank up, get a druid to spare some HoTs. If another healer falters, spare an instant cast on their target while they recover. Notice damage patterns. Share your observations. In a PuG, your efforts won’t always be welcome, but more often than not, they will be.

Finally, remember that timing is everything. What holy paladins are currently missing in mitigation and raw output, we make up for in precision. With short but powerful abilities like Hand of Protection or Divine Shield, with several instant spells that can prevent a two-shot and with a mastery that allows a small buffer to cover casting periods, your timing can make or break your gameplay and be the difference between a kill and a run back.

Get the right spells out and the right times, and you’re a machine. You can’t fix meter-obsessed idiots, but you can prevent a wipe.

A Theorycrafting Stumble

October 28, 2010

EDIT: And the mystery is solved! Huge thanks to Suicidal Zebra for pointing out where I went wrong and how to fix it. I’m going to leave this post here though, as it’s a good lesson for other number newbies like me who’re trying to figure how this mathematical magic happens.

You number people will love this one.

I promised I’d do some research to find the new spell coefficients for holy paladins. Since the tooltips weren’t updated with the paladin hotfix, I was left with the immense pleasure of doing it all by hand. So that’s what I did. I stood in Darnassus, hit a dummy to stay in combat and recorded my overheal as I showered myself with heals.

I tested all of our spells, approximately 50 hits per spell and was feeling rather smug about myself. Then I got the idea to retest the spells with a different spell power.

Surprise, surprise, they didn’t match up.

The equation: Heal output = Base heal + SP*Coefficient

I used the base values from Wowhead, which, for Holy Light are 2871 to 3197, averaging at 3034.

I made a special blank talent tree to avoid the annoying Conviction talent. I left my retribution glyphs in, but I checked several times to make sure none of them affected healing. Finally, I removed my Ashen Band of Endless Wisdom to avoid the spell power proc. None of the rest of my gear had any procs that affected spell power or healing.

My results with 3427 spell power were the following:

I used the crits as a second sample to compare values. Dividing the crit values by 1.5 produces 6014-6343-6742.

Both samples produced the same coefficients: 0.92 for the minimum value, 0.97 for the average value and 1.0 for the maximum value. While the coefficients don’t exactly line up, I took into consideration that the max and min values are extremes and concluded that 0.97 was my Holy Light coefficient.

Just to be safe, though, I retested it a few days later after removing some clothes. At 1968 spell power, I received the following values:

Dividing the crit by 1.5 produced 5533-5797-6040.

I plugged in my coefficient equation and obtained: 1.35 as minimum, 1.4 as the average and 1.44 as the maximum.

Again the crits and hits produced identical coefficients.

Which leaves me with the following theories:

1) I screwed up somewhere (that’s where you guys come in handy!)

2) There’s diminishing returns to our spell power, at least for Holy Light.

3) The spell power coefficient is now exponential.

4) We received a hotfix between my high spell power and low spell power testing.

I checked #4 by testing Holy Light at full spell power again, this time on the same day as my low spell power test. At 3622 spell power, I received the following:

The crit values, divided by 1.5 are 6111-6358-6579.

The coefficients for this sample are: 0.89 minimum, 0.91 average and 0.93 maximum.

Again, the coefficients for the crits and the hits are almost identical.

These results seem to suggest diminishing returns with spell power, at least for Holy Light: the more spell power we stack, the lower the coefficient.

Thoughts?

Numbers for 4.0.1

October 18, 2010

EDIT: As of Oct 19, there were changes made to our spells so the coefficient values might not be correct anymore. The tooltips are no longer accurate, so it’s back to the old fashion method. I’m leaving for Blizzcon Wednesday night, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to update this. I’ll try for tomorrow, but chances are it’ll be next week.

I jotted down my numbers for 4.0.1 and thought that others might want them as a reference. Feel free to double check my math.

Stat Conversions
46 mastery rating = 1 point of mastery
1 int = 0.0075% Crit, 1 SP

Spell Coefficients
WoW automatically calculates the range of each spell and displays it in the tooltips now (screenshots after the cut), so I calculated the coefficients by comparing the in-game numbers to the values on Wowhead.
Coefficients work like this: Base heal value + (Spell power*coefficient) = Heal output

Holy Light = 0.33
Divine Light = 1.04
Flash of Light = 0.77
Holy Shock = 0.69
Word of Glory = 0.22 (calculated for 1 point of holy power, assuming coefficient is independent of holy power points)

(more…)

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.


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