Posted tagged ‘specs’

I Bet You All Want Me to React to 4.0.6a

February 13, 2011

Paladins
* Beacon of Light no longer triggers from Light of Dawn.

- Blizzard, Feb 11, 2011

There’s this weird pressure that comes from being a class blogger. I’ve never been one to keep up on the news. (What are patch notes?) Yet whenever something happens, a couple of people look at me (via email, twitter or in game whispers) from the corner of their eye, to see how I’m going to react.

So I bet you all want to know how I reacted when I found out about Friday night’s nerf (I found out from Kurn of course, do I look like a blogger who reads Blizzard?). For your entertainment pleasure, here’s a time-line of events, starting with time 0 being when I processed the information:

0 sec: /facepalm
5 sec: OMG HOW COULD THEY?!? I’M SO MAD GODDAMN BLIZZARD QQ
30 sec: Wait a minute, I’m only a part-time/backup raider. And my 10 man team comp doesn’t really let me use Light of Dawn (LoD) anyway. These changes don’t change much for me.
1 minute: SHIT! Now I have to update my Beacon technique post. GODDAMN IT!
2 hours: Hey, I should test these changes. Wait a minute. My LoD are transferring through beacon. I WAS LIED TO.

That said, I only had one person to group with, so I don’t know if all the LoD heals transfer through to Beacon or it just one heal transfers. Those of you with more friends than me should test it and tell me about it ;D.

EJ seems to having the same experience as me.

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Adventures in and Reflections on Lowish Level Tanking

March 8, 2010

EDIT: I need to put a disclaimer on this. This post was written well over a year ago, before specialization. While tanking in retribution spec at low levels *may* be possible (after all, the instances are designed to be rather idiot-proof) in Cataclysm, I haven’t tried it myself and therefore can’t comment on it.

I love getting post requests. Not that it happens often, but when it does, it’s great. I don’t have to go through the stress of “what kind of topic should I work on, what haven’t I done too recently but that readers will still enjoy and that I’ll still have fun writing“. Plus, I know that regardless of the topic, at least someone will appreciate it. As long as I don’t screw it up too bad.

So when @amypage on Twitter asked if I would write some about tanking, I jumped up and down. Then I asked what exactly about tanking. We chatted for a bit and I found out that her retribution paladin was leveling through BC content and this was her first character. It’s always fun to give tips to people who are newer to the game because, unlike those leveling their 7th+ alt, they never write back with that “omg I totally already knew that” look.

We talked a bit about tanking in a retribution spec. Valkyrierisen chimed in, testifying that tanking in a retribution spec is indeed a lot of fun, at least until the 60s where things start to smack you a little harder.

I have to admit, I was rather clueless in that department. I tanked the early Wrath instances in my leveling retribution spec, but that was the extend of my experience. And between you (all of you) and me, when you’re going through Nexus/Utgarde Keep/AN in tier 5 tanking gear, you don’t really need any talents at all.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I dusted off Ophelie-Eredar, level 53 retribution paladin extraordinaire.

This armor totally doesn't cover my love handles

While all of you were chitchatting with Single Abstract Noun peeps (yes, I will join EVENTUALLY but there are not enough hours in the day dammit!), I was taking care of SRS BZN. And by taking care of SRS BZN, I mean farming BRD (because APPARENTLY there are no other level 50-60 instances) and telling other leveling paladins what to do. (A former guildie of mine once gave me dating advice. He said I should wait until at least the third date before correcting everything a guy says. I answer that it was too much to ask.)
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Level 40! Time To Get That Healing Offspec

February 24, 2010

I recently received my first email asking for paladin advice. I was super excited! Strangely enough, I get quite a few emails on blogging and writing styles (which I find both flattering and amusing since I’m a noob to blogging and my English education comprises of a few English Second Language classes back in high school), but for whatever reason, I’m very rarely asked about paladin stuff.

The question was from Mike, who has recently hit level 40 on his retribution paladin and was considering grabbing a healing offspec. He was looking for some recommendations and, in my enthusiasm, I replied with a wall of text he’s probably not finished reading yet.

After I hit the “send” button, I thought it would make for a good blog post. With everyone and their cousin leveling healers in the LFD system these days, I’m sure many players would benefit from some pointers. Plus, the last time I leveled a holy paladin was 4 years ago, so I’m sure you guys have stuff to add that I wouldn’t even have thought of.

So, after the cut is how I would go about building a healer at level 40.
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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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Divine Sacrifice in 3.3: What You Need to Know

December 12, 2009

It’s no secret, I love gimmicky spells and Divine Sacrifice (affectionately, DS) gives me my money’s worth. It got changed with 3.3 (I don’t like to think of it as nerfed) and the patch notes are, um, interesting, to say the least. I did play around with some math when the changes to DS were first announced, however further changes have outdated that post (WHICH I WILL NOT LINK) and I don’t think it’s worth fixing. What is worth doing, though, is compiling the important stuff for reference purposes. Because, you know, if it concerns paladins, then it’s important. (Duh!)

The changes that went live, copied and pasted from the patch notes, are as follows (skip this if you don’t care):

Protection
* 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. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration.
* 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 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. Finally, damage which reduces the paladin’s health below 20% now cancels the effect early.

This left us with the following end result:

You better work you stupid picture that I spend tons of time cutting and pasting

What this means in plain English:

The damage redirected to the paladin by Divine Sacrifice is party-only, covers up to 30% of the party’s damage and maxes out at either twice the paladins health (assuming a full party) or when the paladin’s health is at 20%, whichever happens first.

When specced into Divine Guardian as well, hitting the Divine Sacrifice spell also offers a raid-wide 20% damage reduction for 6 seconds, regardless of whether or not Divine Sacrifice is canceled.

Also, while bubbling during Divine Sacrifice (Bubble Sac!) used to increase the damage redirected to the paladin beyond the paladin’s health cap, this is no longer the case. As a result, the spell is somewhat less effective, even within a party.


So what do we do with this?

Before I say anything else, I want to point out that Divine Sacrifice (DS – 1 talent point) and Divine Guardian (DG – 2 talent points) are connected and are respectively 10 and 15 points into the protection tree, meaning that a paladin will have to go at least 17 points into the protection tree to get full benefit from the spell.

Retribution paladins

Elitist Jerks has concluded that the DS/DG is not worth speccing into for PvE. DG is just too far down the prot tree and DS isn’t useful enough on its own. They recommended going up the holy tree for Aura Mastery when the urge for a utility spell strikes. PvP is a different story, with one point into DS being fine.

Protection Paladins

Theck from Maintankadin suggests getting the DS/DG talents and using the following macro to take advantage of the 20% raid wall without taking unnecessary damage:

#show
/cast Divine Sacrifice
/in 0.5 /script CancelUnitBuff(“player”,”Divine Sacrifice”)

Note that you might need an Ace2 addon to get the macro to work, but most players will have at least some addon installed with Ace2 included. There is an alternative macro, however you will have to hit it twice for it to work:

/cast Divine Sacrifice
/cancelaura Divine Sacrifice

Using Divine Sacrifice without canceling it immediately can also be a strategy for paladin tanks willing to spare their party damage, but it is best used while not main tanking something.

Holy Paladins

I haven’t found any buzz about recommended spec changes. I have been wondering whether many holy paladins would take advantage of the “nerf” do Divine Sac to move into a Holy/Ret spec for the extra crit, but it seems like everyone is sticking with their current specs. What can I say? We love our utility.

Raid leaders

Because of the party-only effect of Divine Sacrifice, placing paladins who use the spell for the party damage mitigation in separate groups is ideal. Alternatively, placing 2 or 3 such paladins in the tank group for extra CDs is another strategy.

The party effect of DS will cancel if the casting paladin’s health drops below 20%, so the paladin will have to bubble in order to get full benefit from the spell. The bubble cooldown is 5 minutes (barring tier bonuses) and DS has a 2 minute cooldown.

Anything to add bossy paladin blog person?

Now that DS can’t kill us, we can use it without bubbling and keep the spell on cooldown, which is very nice. It lets us fit it into our regular fighting so we don’t have to save it for special abilities or OMG ITS ALMOST A WIPE moments. The spell is more effective if we bubble, but I like the freedom of being able to adapt as needed. One can never be too flexible.

Also, I was looking at some post-3.3 raid stats. One of our ret paladins who is still specced into DS (but not DG) did do some reasonable mitigation (40kish) during a Deathwhisper fight. This isn’t the time or the place to compare the usefulness of DS and Aura Mastery in a retribution build, but there’s room for thought (unless the discussion already took place in the 200 pages of retribution discussion on EJ that I didn’t read).


Where can I find more information on this amazing topic?

3.3 Patch Notes: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
Divine Sacrifice Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=64205
Divine Guardian Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=53530
Elitist Jerks Retribution thread: http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t68951-retribution_updated_3_3_a/#Talent_Options
Caer Morrighan’s 3.3 Retribution take: http://morrighan13.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/retribution-paladins-in-patch-3-3/
Maintankadin 3.3 spec thread: http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/forum/index.php?f=1&t=26864&rb_v=viewtopic
Rhidach’s takes on 3.3 for Tankadins:
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/10/the-definitive-divine-sacrificeguardian-macro/
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/08/patch-3-3-for-tankadins/


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