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.