In the middle of the night, a new build for the PTR and beta got pushed to the patch servers, but it hasn't been marked as ready for download at the time of this writing (it might be at the time of this reading, though). Several classes have received major changes (including six new talents scattered across druid specs), while others simply got a collection of damage tweaks. Paladins appear to be somewhere in between those.
Most of our changes are small tweaks and talent reorganizations, but a few are obvious balancing passes. While there is a new talent for holy, it's just another of the spirit-to-hit conversion talents that other classes have seen. This could, however, mean a possible comeback of the shockadin -- but I'll leave that for Chase to speculate on tomorrow when he covers the holy changes in more depth.
Some quick excerpts from the patch notes, with everything after the break:
- The holy tree gets a spirit-to-hit conversion talent.
- Holy Light's healing has decreased by 25% and mana cost has increased to 9%.
- Divine Purpose proc rate has lowered to 20%.
- Holy Light base healing has been reduced by 25%; mana costs changed to 9% of base mana, up from 6% of base mana. This looks like Blizzard's trying to hit a magic sweet spot in spell efficiencies to promote using different abilities for different situations, but doing so using a dartboard. I do have faith the developers will get it tuned to where they want it, but things keep changing around a lot.
- Light of Dawn base healing has been increased by 10%; can no longer consume holy power to increase healing. This comes down to a case where putting holy power on everything isn't always the best solution. Blizzard had removed the mana/holy-power hybrid abilities from the other trees, as they didn't work well there, either.
- Improved Concentration Aura is gone. This may be a case that Blizzard doesn't want that buff in the game anymore.
- Daybreak now has a 10/20% chance to make your next Holy Shock not trigger a cooldown if used within 12 sec. (formerly: 15/30% chance to reset Holy Shock's cooldown). This should be a little more usable, as Holy Shock only had a 6-second cooldown to begin with.
- Spiritual Focus (Tier 5) *New* Grants hit rating equal to 50/100% of any spirit gained from items or effects. Leveling, PvP or the possible comeback of the shockadin.
- Wrath of the Lightbringer is slightly revamped -- now increases the damage of your Crusader Strike and Judgement by 30/60% and increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Wrath and Hammer of Wrath by 15/30%. A bit of a threat adjustment to give Crusader Strike a little more oomph.
- Guardian's Favor is now a tier 2 retribution talent. This really wasn't something I was talenting as a tank with the new talent trees and fits better into a ret PvP or utility build.
- Improved Hammer of Justice is now a tier 2 talent, up from tier 1. Moved up to take the place of Guardian's Favor.
- Divine Purpose now has a 20% chance to generate holy power, down from 40%. There were complaints that it was proccing too much with the new mastery bonus for retribution. You felt like you were constantly needing to hit Templar's Verdict. There's also a slight issue with the extra holy power it grants taking too long to show up.
- Eternal Glory is now a tier 1 Protection talent. This has been moved over to take the place of Improved Hammer of Justice in the prot tree, from when they were playing musical talents. It's now within reach of all specs for anyone who wants to use Word of Glory on a regular basis, which should be of interest to those of you playing holy.
- Templar's Verdict no longer costs mana. There's really no reason for it to still cost mana.
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