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The Light and How to Swing It: Latest holy paladin preview for Mists of Pandaria

paladin talents
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

The official Mists of Pandaria talent calculators were released by Blizzard recently, including a list of each talent tree's abilities. By diving into the skill list and analyzing the talents, there is a lot of information available. Most of the information is old, as we learned about many of the changes at BlizzCon and in the developer question and answer sessions.

It's hard to draw any concrete conclusions from the talent preview because the Blizzard team has stated that everything is still up in the air. Since the information is still in a pre-alpha state, I can guarantee you that what we're seeing today will be changed dramatically by the time Mists of Pandaria is released. While we can't make any firm predictions, we can gain some insight into the direction that holy paladins are headed, and we can offer feedback to the developers on that direction.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Dissecting the melee healer myth

holy radiance
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Back in the day, the paladin and shaman classes were exclusive to the Alliance and the Horde, respectively. The two classes were designed to be polar opposites, highlighting the differences between the factions. Paladins were designed to be defensive melee hybrids with tanking as one of their talent trees and no true ranged build. Shaman, of course, were offensive ranged hybrids with a caster DPS option. Because of this original bifurcated design, paladins have inherited several traits and abilities that have caused us to be typecast as the melee healers.

While the truth is that holy paladins don't need to stay in melee range to get the job done, the ideal has always persisted that paladins should be getting down and dirty with their foes. The gap between that dream and reality hasn't been a serious issue for us, but Mists of Pandaria might change that. The new mistweaver healing spec for the upcoming monk class has been described as a unique healer that relies on melee attacks to do their job efficiently. With another healer moving into our melee territory, do we have any reason to be jealous?

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: The return of the shockadin


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like how Holy Shock can change your life..

I still remember my very first character. After logging in on the first day WoW was released, I chose a paladin at the character select screen, hoping to embody the role of "holy crusader." I started leveling up my character, and once I hit level 10, I had to decide on a talent specialization. I was waffling between retribution and protection, until I saw holy's 31-point talent. Holy Shock called out to me. It was the only ranged attack that a paladin could obtain, and I was certain it would lead me to victory. Consecration's place in the tree was just icing on the cake. Unfortunately, once I hit level 40 and obtained Holy Shock, I realized just how awful it was for DPS. I never played that paladin again.

We're getting two new AoE heals with Cataclysm's arrival, something we've desperately needed for years. Our holy talent tree is getting a revamp, and much of the clutter it previously contained is disappearing. We're seeing numerous quality of life improvements like the extension to Beacon of Light's duration and a newly revamped Lay on Hands. All of these changes are nice, but there's one that has me even more excited. Blizzard has granted us every single element necessary to facilitate a caster DPS holy build, featuring Holy Shock as the signature spell. While rumors and whispers of the shockadin spec have been circling around since WoW's release, it is now a reality.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin Protection glyphs


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at gregg@wow.com.

We've recently looked at builds for protection and retribution, so let's continue that trend and take a look at glyphs. I'm going to review all of them, as we're getting pretty close to Cataclysm, and I'm going to also review them in a more global context instead of talking about what is going to help you on hard-mode Lich King.

The way I've set it up is that everything that you're likely going to want without question has an asterisk next to it; those are pretty much things you'll want to take. If you look through the major and minor glyphs, you'll notice that there aren't very many marked as such. There's a reason for that. We just don't have that many spectacular glyphs that are useful in all situations for those types. That's not to say the other glyphs are bad (well, some are, but we'll get to that), but they're more situational and require some choice on your part.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: BlizzCon paladin info roundup


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at gregg@wow.com.

So this is pretty much going to be a collection of blurbs from the BlizzCon 2010 class Q&A panel. Some questions that were asked throughout the day were things that have come up in the past, but others had new information that hadn't even hit the beta servers yet. The panel members from left to right consisted of Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street (WoW lead systems designer), Kris Zierhut (WoW senior technical game designer), Owen Landgren (WoW game designer), Ion Hazzikostas (WoW game designer) and Chris Kaleiki (WoW associate game designer).

I went back and tried to do a much more thorough job at transcribing the information than we do in our live blogs (because none of us can type as fast as Ghostcrawler speaks). Also, I've added a "too long didn't read" (TLDR) version of each question at the beginning for those of you who don't read the whole post before commenting. For the rest of you, there is a full transcript as well as links I've found to videos of the panel on YouTube and linked directly to where the question is asked, if you want to actually see what was happening. This isn't official video, so it might get pulled for copyright issues, but until then, it's a great reference.

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Filed under: Paladin, BlizzCon, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret rotation and cooldowns in 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at gregg@wow.com.

A couple of weeks back, I covered the basics of things that changed for retribution paladins. At the time, I was putting off any information about rotations, because our class has drastically changed and I wasn't sure if there were any more changes coming down along the lines. Now, 4.0.1 is here and locked in.

I'll be honest. Some of you might not like the direction the class has taken. I do ask you all to at least give it a try for a week before getting upset. A lot of classes have been revamped and I expect a lot of class-swapping before the expansion. However, those of you who are looking at these changes and drooling should find much more depth to the class.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution in 4.0.1


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to gregg@wow.com.

A couple weeks back, I covered the changes to protection for the 4.0.1 pre-Cataclysm patch that usually goes out a month(ish) or so before release. The point of those patches is so that everyone can play with the new class features and get everything figured out before the chaos that is the actual expansion release. Now it's time to do the same sort of coverage for ret pallies. If you haven't been following the changes thus far, it's going to look odd. There are new class concepts and skill/buff consolidations.

First off, picking your spec now has a lot more meaning from the get-go. You receive most of the passive buffs that you'd have to spend 40 talent points getting in the past for free at level 10 that are responsible for making your chosen spec usable. As an example, you get Sheath of Light, Two-Handed Weapon Specialization and Judgements of the Bold. That provides your attack power-to-spellpower conversion, your weapon damage bonus and your mana regeneration. All of this just for picking the spec. In addition, you get a new attack called Templar's Verdict that we'll get into later.

First off, let's talk about the biggest change to our class in the expansion: holy power.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Protection in patch 4.0.1


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to gregg@wow.com.

My fellow tankadins, I know we haven't talked in a while. I've been talking to the ret pallies lately, but I haven't forgotten about you. The main reason is that I kind of swapped over to retribution during that time period where the devs were mucking with Holy Shield so much, and it was a little more consistent to swap over to something else during that time period. I even had my newish tanking gear back on while playing on the beta lately.

However, a lot has changed since we last spoke, and it would behoove us all to get down to business. Tanking as you know it, with our fairly static rotation of 96969, is gone. Divine Plea's refreshing with melee hits is also gone. Also, we now have another resource bar to watch, in addition to mana. Be not afraid. There are answers beyond.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: Holy power questions

Holy power is the big conversation topic for paladins right now (well, that and mobility in PvP -- but that's always a topic of conversation for paladins). For those of you who have been out of the loop, Blizzard announced during its last developer chat that for the betterment of the class, paladins would be receiving a new resource called holy power. This would be used in conjunction with mana for a variety of new and existing abilities.

So after having played with holy power on the beta realms, we decided to ask our Twitter followers if they had any questions or concerns about this new system for us to look into.
Soranomaru asks:

"How fast does it accrue? How do you spend it effectively? Is it a mechanic to empower spellcasts or another ressource like mana?"
Short answers: Currently, every 3 seconds for ret, 4 seconds for prot, and 6 seconds for holy due to the abilities and talents they'd be using to earn it. Usually, three points is the most efficient. It's a secondary resource, like runic power is to runes on a death knight, and there are certain abilities that use it and other abilities that have nothing to do with it.

Long answers: Holy power is a secondary resource that you'll have along with your current mana bar. As retribution and protection, you'll be using Crusader Strike to build up your holy power points (HPP). If you're holy, you'll still have access to Crusader Strike, but you will also be using Holy Shock to build up that HPP. The most HPP you can build up at a time is three, so you'll be earning and spending fairly quickly. Some abilities give a flat rate based on how much holy power you put into it (Word of Glory), while others get much more efficient with the more points used (Templar's Verdict).

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy Powah!


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to gregg@wow.com.

Well, Chase decided against using "Holy Powah!" as the title for his paladin article on the subject for healadins, so I am selfishly going to grab it.

For those of you who haven't been keeping up with paladins since the Twitter developer chat on Friday, we're getting overhauled yet again and more deeply than ever before. Not only are things being simplified and condensed again like we saw at the beginning of Wrath, but we're getting an additional resource system on top of mana. That's right, additional and on top of mana, which means we're going to be the second (or third?) mana-based class with an extra resource bar to watch.

This new system is called holy power, and no, it isn't referring to a talent in the holy tree that adds crit. It is a mixture of combo points and runic power. This whole conversation is going to take a while (and a couple of blue quotes), so let's continue after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Less AoE


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon an entire flight of black dragons.

Paladins have changed a lot over the course of the game. Originally, we were intended to just be healers with some additional specs for leveling. Then we were suddenly able to tank and everything was about reflective damage with a dozen or more things hitting you at once with a DPS spec that was usually relegated to the PvP scene instead of in raids. Finally, we've reached a point where all three specs are pretty viable in both PvE and PvP content. That isn't to say that they're the most phenomenal things to ever appear for those particular parts of the game but that we can still be competitive no matter which spec we choose.

The problem with our class is a lack of tools. While our melee components were slowly built out of what was intended to be a healing support class, we've still got a lot of vestiges of the old days tacked to us. Sure, we had a fairly large overhaul in how a lot of our mechanics worked at the start of Wrath of the Lich King, but that isn't to say we're perfect yet. In fact, we need a few more tools in order to make it in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Protection paladin analysis


While the above was the most-looked-forward-to possible change in Cataclysm, we still didn't get it. Hopefully, the developers will come to their senses and change this horrible oversight on their behalf, but until then we are perfectly happy with just adding the tauren to our list of Light-touched brethren.

Yesterday, the paladin class previews brought us a brief glimpse of things to come. Some of them were expected, while others were a little more out there. Overall, I think there will be a lot of tweaking to the class as a whole in the coming expansion. We're going to see more defenses removed from our brothers and sisters in the other specs as well as having some of their tools become available to us.

Let's take a look at some of these changes after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Cataclysm class preview wishlist


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon an entire flight of black dragons.

Well, here's the problem. I was going to do this whole long article on my predictions and wish-list for the paladin Cataclysm class previews that were coming out Friday. The problem is that they've moved them up to Wednesday which is the same day this column normally goes live. So, I can either write a nice long column with predictions that will end up going live after the real information comes out or we can do a short and sweet prediction article a day early with more time spent on analysis for tomorrow.

I'm going with short and sweet version.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Paladin Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

More than any other class, I think, Paladins underwent significant changes in Patch 3.2. There were changes across all three specs that palpably impact gameplay and challenge players to take a different approach to the way they play their class. I went through most of the changes in detail in an older post, and many of those initial thoughts still hold true, albeit tempered with some experience on the PTR and changes over the past weeks.

There are buffs and there are nerfs, but the main thing to keep in mind is that this is Blizzard's constant balancing act. As the game progresses, I feel that they're finally honing in to the proper vision for the class. We won't go through all the changes here, but we'll break them down according to what impacts the class in general and according to spec. Let's bathe in the Light after the break...

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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