The Night of 4.0.1 and Some Initial Thoughts

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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16 Comments on “The Night of 4.0.1 and Some Initial Thoughts”

  1. Arybeth Says:

    I had a blast healing a couple heroics last night, because paladins now have so many tricks! But I’m really worried about the dinamics on our regular ICC scenario with 2 second tank killer streaks.

    Props to your guild for tring to raid on stupid patch night. I could barely log on my toons, who’d even say risk healing a raid.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Haha, I wouldn’t recommend it. The servers and most addons should be stable by now, though. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens tonight.

  2. SmashNHeal Says:

    Thanks for posting your initial thoughts on healing in a raid. I am tempted to switch from Tank/DPS to Tank/Heals in Cat, and your feedback on our possibly-newfound-possibly-not raid healing capacity (if you ever do get a chance to raid heal) as well as if there is any difference from Wrath tank healing (BoL + HL spams), is of interest to me.

    As for my patch night, it was double-patch. The first attempt completed within 30 minutes of servers coming up, but revealed to have corrupted my WoW data files…forcing me to completely re-install the game. 3 hours later, I was re-installed, patched, and playing, if you want to call it that. By time I got my gear re-forged, setup my talents, and tried the ‘new’ tank rotation a few times on the training dummy, the rest of the guild had started logging to get sleep. Arrggh! Don’t they know they’ll get all the sleep they need when they’re dead?

    • Ophelie Says:

      Ewww that sounds nasty! The worst thing about patch night isn’t all the changes- it’s the technical bugs!

      From what I understand, healing will be a bit different at 85. I’m very anti-Cata spoilers, though, so I couldn’t say HOW different.

      How are you liking the new tanking so far?

      • SmashNHeal Says:

        Oooh, I can’t wait to hear about it then. Since I have so much DPS gear, I off-specced Ret again and found it chaotic and boring at the same time. Maybe it’s the nerfed DPS, but I’m not interested in DPSing these days. So, it gives me even more reason to hear how healing turns out in Cat.

        As far as tanking, I’m liking it. For single target situations, the imbalance of super-buffed DPS vs tanks that need to build Vengeance makes the first 9 seconds of a boss a bit of a waiting game. Vengeance could scale a little faster, but when it is maxed and Shield of the Righteous crits with 3 HoPo, no more worrying about aggro. I had a 65k crit on Festergut when I had 9 stacks of Gastric Bloat on me. I felt like a Ret Pally on steroids. As for AoE tanking, the loss of Consecrate spams doesn’t seem to make any difference. With Hammer of the Righteous splash damage hitting unlimited number of mobs and being spammed every 3 seconds, aggro is fairly easy. On 10m LK the other night, I don’t think I hit Consecrate once, and we never had a runaway ghoul.

        But like you pointed out, there are still some more critical talents on the way to 85 that might change the feel. Inquisition will provide a different HoPo-consuming spell for AoE tanking. And Guardian of the Ancient Kings will give a much welcomed damage reduction cooldown spell (I’m looking at you Soul Reaper).

        Ok, I give. There is one small complaint about tanking in 4.0.1. I’m squishy. I’m not talking about the loss of 2 damage reduction cooldowns (Div Guard & glyphed Hand of Salv). I’m talking about armor nerfing. We 2-tank the BPC, where I double-team Taldaram and Valanar. I pulled them to start the encounter and they proceeded to mush me into the ground in less time than the healers could react. It was the fastest wipe we’ve ever had on a boss encounter. We all laughed, but it was a wake-up call. I’m 2.6% shy of pushing hit completely off the table (WTB more Mastery), so I doubt that it was unlucky RNG. I guess we’re just not tuned for ICC bosses anymore.

        So where do I sit? Definitely liking the changes. I am sure the devs will figure out how to fix my threat so the DPS aren’t waiting on Sunders, er, I mean Vengeance. And I am sure they will figure out how to de-squishify me. Yes, I just created that word. Until then, I’m having fun being a different Pally tank. But I like change. It made the game fun again for me.

        • Ophelie Says:

          I decided to keep my ret offspec…prot just seems so scary and complicated since the patch. I was a poor pally tank when pally tanking was “easy”, so I can’t imagine how terribad I’d be now!

          My guild’s pally tank is away, so I don’t know what it’s like to heal one in 4.0.1. I feel for you guys šŸ˜¦

  3. Arkhen Says:

    After reading all the PTR posts and the “sky is falling” blogs about 4.0 i was afraid. Last night (after the proper reforging to get some decent mastery and haste) we went into ICCH25 and blasted the instance. Holy Paladin healing felt different in a good way, a lot of healing tools, solid mana regen (was not missing illumination or DP on CD, of course you dont need to spam anymore) and the MOBILITY we lacked since day 1.
    LoD is just awesome, just too good that i feel it will be nerfed anytime soon, of course the trick is about positioning but once you get it…oh boy the numbers.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hehehe, it’s great to see someone had a good experience raiding!

      You wouldn’t happen to have some logs floating around by any chance? I’m looking at what other paladins are doing for inspiration and it’s nice when I know for sure that I’m looking at the logs of a paladin who knows what they’re dong.

  4. Dreaming Says:

    Hi here šŸ™‚
    Interesting feedback, thank you for sharing it with us all. I have only been testing Pala heals in heroics myself for my first post 4.0 night, getting a feeling of it before going into hard mode ICC 10-Man tonight.
    Last night was our let’s test all these new specs night in our guild. Everyone got the alts out, and we ran about 20 heroic 5-Man with 2 groups.
    I went for the Holy Shock / Word of Glory spec, basically 2 pts into Eternal Glory and 3 into Crusade. I healed 3 instances, among them was Heroic Halls of Reflections that I consider nearly raid level on the healing side.
    Two words: I never ran under 90% mana even though I have less than 150 bonus spirit on my gear, I never used anything else than Holy Light / Holy Shock / Word of Glory, even when my tank was stun locked and took like 50K damage in a few seconds. The Holy Shock crits, Word of Glory double spam thanks to Eternal Glory, and no cd Holy shocks from Daybreak were just resulting in crazy low mana heal spam.

    The nerf to Beacon, the low mana regen we have when having to spam Divine Light (the new big heal) instead of going for the Holy Shock / Word of Glory combo, and our mastery (shield procs aka Divine Aegis for paladins) make me feel that we will mostly be raid healers now, with Beacon on the tank for regular heal influx. I think priests and especially druids will be new tank healers, seeing how Blizzard push druids towards using Lifebloom (hot can only be cast on one target, the tank mostly).

    We’ll see what future will give us. Have fun with the Disco Light, it’s just so pimp XD

    • Ophelie Says:

      The abundance of instants are something I’m really looking forward to playing with. I practiced reacting to Daybreak procs, so I’m excited to see how tonight’s raid will go.

      What I feel like right now is that we’re not very good at anything besides having infinite mana. With instants and Disco Lights, we can certainly pitch in, but we still lack the ability to consistently heal multiple targets at the same time.

      Tank healing hasn’t changed much (Diving Light replaces Holy Light), but looking at my guild’s logs from Tuesday, the healing my tank received was something like :
      1% direct holy pally heal
      99% Disc Priest Shield

      I exaggerate, but you get the idea.

      HOWEVER, World of Logs doesn’t show the absorb done by Mastery yet, so it’s hard to gage how effective that is.

      I agree with what you wrote in your post- that we seem to be support healers for now. I’m not sure I like that though.

      • Dreaming Says:

        I have played my first ICC raid night with our new build. And I can feel what you said now.
        It’s more fun than before, we got a huge increase in mobility, but our global healing went down on the meters, because other healers that are faster than us are now stronger than before. I mean damage prevention (disc priests) and hots (druids, holy priests).

        Holy Shock esp. with Daybreak procs combined to Word of Glory are very nice tools for emergency raid healing. Very nice during Marrowgar whirl, or when dpsers are going crazy during trash pulls and aggro jumps everywhere.
        Light of Dwan is, for me, cute but near from useless. If hp pools go up that much during cataclysm, it will become ridiculous and I’ll drop it from the tree for sure.

        As for now we have so much mana that Divine Light can be used on the tank without much concern. I’m not sure it’ll stay true at level 85, and I don’t think we can keep a tank up without it.
        I’m still wondering if we’ll be tank healers during Cata.
        What could become the trend is for most healers to have “something” on the tank and participate to keeping him up together (Beacon + Shield + Lifebloom …).

  5. Oestrus Says:

    The more that I read your blog, Ophelie, the more I realize that I can relate to most of what you say or how you operate. It’s quite uncanny. I myself am a recovering control freak and have even seen a shrink about it (and still do), we’re both “O” characters (although I’m the O, of course) and we both are very intense learners. I related quite a bit to your part about growing frustrated while trying to learn something and it’s not uncommon for me to lash out people when I’m just not “getting it.” It’s not healthy and I apologize afterwards, but I admit that I do it.

    I did not get to participate in the “night of” celebrations for 4.0, though I heard for most people it was somewhat of a shit show or radically different than what they are used to. It took about 12 hours for the patch to fully download and for me to be able to play. I haven’t touched my druid since the patch hit, but I have been on my priest and healed a few Heroics with friends. I was quite pleased with the Justice Point costs of T10 and some part of me is strangely excited at the notion of farming up that full set for myself, in the near future. I would just have to find a balance between doing that and still hitting 85 on the Beta and testing all of that out.

    Overall, I found the patch to be… limiting, because I can still fall back on my holy priest ways of Renew/CoH spam and I’m not really learning how to be a Cata style holy priest just yet. I have all the mana in the world and it’s still old hat to me. Take away that, jack up my mana costs and force me to rely on Chakra + Heal and we’ll talk – lol

    • Ophelie Says:

      You know, there are 3 elements that facilitate learning: association, repetition and emotion. We’re just making use of the emotion part :).

      From what I’m hearing from other healers, the patch wasn’t major for other classes. Some new stuff, but nothing drastic. And disc priest PW:S is so incredibly overpowered right now, make sure you enjoy it a bit before it gets nerfed!

      • Oestrus Says:

        I’m definitely not a discipline priest – that’s what Lilitharien is for – lol

        I’m main spec holy and plan on being that way for quite some time, if not permanently. I still bubble when needed, but I still observe the rule that disc priests get first dibs on bubbling and they get touchy, otherwise.

        So hey, I let them have it! šŸ™‚

  6. Kimberly Says:

    You are a brave, brave paladin for raiding right away. I’ll be honest, I’ve been QQing since 4.0.1 hit. Nothing is what it was for me. My biggest crit is 12k. 12K! I’m terrified that I’m going to run a heroic and everyone’s going to die because I don’t know how things are supposed to work anymore. My fave tank asked me to heal him last night in a 5 and I declined.

    I know I have to pull it together and re-gem and re-glyph. But I’m tired of having to relearn everything every few years for the same game. And I even had half-a-clue it was coming. I can’t imagine how jarring this is for WoW players who don’t read blogs or mmo-champion.

    Oh, and my Light of Dawn looks crooked. It looks like I fizzled. Feh. Bah.

    • Ophelie Says:

      My Light of Dawn is crooked too. It looks I’m spraying something with a hose. Whenever I cast it, I get mental images of someone washing a car.

      I wouldn’t regem right away, int is still by far our best stat (mana, spell power and crit). And thankfully they made the new glyph system much more convenient.

      Yeah, I wonder how the paladins who don’t read up on the news are doing. The change was massive, getting the most out of our procs is really challenging and even at our best, we’re currently pretty weak healers. I get sad when I hear stories of LFD pugs immediately booting a pally healer lately, but at the same time, I kind of understand.

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