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Posts with tag blessing-of-wisdom

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: Where did they go?

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 my email at gregg@wow.com.

Before we get on to business, I need another batch of screenshots for headers if anyone feels like tossing a couple my way.

A lot of abilities have been either renamed, revamped or removed in the Cataclysm beta. This is part of a consolidation process to remove a lot of buttons off of our bars. Other abilities were changed to remove durability and healing from retribution.

However, in the interest of explaining where things went, I decided it might be best to make a list of our lost and renamed abilities, for those of you who haven't been able to keep up with all of the changes.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution and protection paladins in the Cataclysm beta


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.

It's here! Cataclysm has moved from the alpha stage into the closed beta stage. The non-disclosure agreement is no longer in effect and all of the news sites are going crazy with information overload. At first glance, not much has changed, but a lot of little things have been tweaked and I have a feeling a lot more changes are in store for the paladin class throughout the course of the beta. Some things, like the Guardian of Ancient Kings that I used a reader screenshot to fake above, just don't appear to be coded yet (and with its complexity, it will probably be a while).

Speaking of which, if anyone wants to show up in the column, just send screenshots to gregg@wow.com and I just might be able to make that dream come true.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Cataclysm blessing overhauls

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, we've had a small deluge of Cataclysm information about paladins in the past week. Some of it was fairly straightforward answers about design goals while other information was more hinted at with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge sort of feel. One of the items that has been fairly glossed over is all of the changes they're wanting to do to blessings.

At the beginning of Wrath, we had some blessings and auras removed by moving them to talents, built into the base coefficients or changed into the hand abilities. It made life easier on trying to figure out who is casting what and which people in the raid were which spec so you know which spell to cast and then managing all of the exceptions. This is why there are multiple addons that people have designed to handle them for you and remind you to recast them.

It looks like the coming expansion will be bringing more of these simplifications and reorganizations, but all of the details are still in flux. While some of the changes have been decided upon, others are more in the idea phase and will likely change greatly throughout the course of the possibly impending beta.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Holy paladin analysis

Apparently Christmas comes early in Irvine. Blizzard decided to share their notes for the paladin class a full two days ahead of time, which I have to say is a nice switch in tradition from their normal habit of pushing content back until "it's ready." While prot paladins are wondering what exactly Blizzard's plans are for their spec, ret paladins are worrying about losing their defensive capabilities that have been their go-to cooldowns in PvP play. The developers did however shine a light onto their plans for holy paladins in Cataclysm, revealing a bit of their design strategy.

Nethaera
Healing Hands (level 83): Healing Hands is a new healing spell. The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a Healing Stream Totem. It has a short range, but a long enough duration that the paladin can cast other heals while Healing Hands remains active. 15-second cooldown. 6-second duration.

The big reveal came in the form of Healing Hands, the future addition to our healing toolbox. While it satisfies a few of my requirements, such as having an AoE effect and being on a relatively short cooldown, there are still a lot of questions about exactly how powerful HH will be and how tiny the radius actually is. Either way, we've finally got something we can cast when our group is taking AoE damage, and that has me hopeful that we may finally escape the bonds of full-time tank healers. The power of this ability remains to be seen, but I'm glad that Blizzard knows what we lack and they're working to fix that.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

GC: If you're OOM, tell your guildies to get out of the fire

Ghostcrawler did battle with the forumites this weekend, and the topic of discussion was the recent mana changes. Players are saying that the changes (including the BoW and Mana Spring change last week) are basically forcing them to bring more healers along to larger raids, and GC in return expounds on the raid balance that Blizzard is aiming for lately. Interestingly, it's not the 5 healers / 5 tanks / 15 DPS that you might think it would be -- Ghostcrawler says that if they aimed for that makeup, bringing more healers would often make the fights inconsequential.

He goes on to say that the way the fights are designed, you aren't supposed to run out of mana, as long as you're dodging the AoE and are geared up correctly. Making mistakes in gameplay digs into your mana reserves, and so when Blizzard nerfs mana regen, they aren't just trying to make things harder, they're trying to take away that extra breathing room that you get around errors. They don't want healers just healing through damage -- they want people trying to avoid it in the first place.

And, if guildies won't get out of the fire, and your healers keep running out of mana because of it, it's time to weed out the ranks a bit. Finally, GC adds what we've heard before: those looking for a tough battle in Ulduar likely won't find it right away -- the instance is designed to be only a little harder than Naxx. But the hard modes are where the difficulty will really ramp up. If short, says GC, if you don't have enough mana on the easy modes, it's not Blizzard's design: it's the way you and your guildies are geared and playing.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Classes

Blessing of Wisdom and Mana Stream totem go exclusive

Eyonix has posted some bad news for Pallies and/or Shamans on the forums: the Shaman's Mana Spring totem, while still providing a raid-wide buff, won't play nice with the Paladin's Blessing of Wisdom spell. The two mana regen buffs will essentially be equivalent, but won't stack in the upcoming content patch.

The reasoning? Eyonix says that Blizzard feels that Pallies and Shamans brought too many unique buffs to a group, and that this change was designed to pull in an either/or choice: either Pallies can hit up Blessing of Wisdom, and Shaman can go with Healing Stream (which isn't, apparently, being combined with the Mana Spring totem as we first heard) or do some cleansing with their Water totem slot, or Shaman can use the raid-wide Mana Spring, leaving Paladins open to use Blessing of Kings.

Which makes a strange kind of sense, even though lots of Pallies and Shammies will likely be disappointed to hear of one less unique buff they can bring to a raid. There is one hidden benefit here, however: since raids were previously recieving both benefits together (and now can only get one or the other), we can probably look forward to a buff for at least one (since the Totem suffers the weakness of not being portable, you'd expect it to have some extra ability) or both.

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Classes, Buffs, Forums

Paladin glyphs in Beta build 8885


A few new glyphs have popped up in the latest Beta build, and basing it on MMO Champion's list, it looks like some old ones have changed. A quick glance at the glyphs show them to be rather underwhelming, however, and I'm not so sure Blizzard is taking the right direction with them. Let's take a closer look.

Glyph of Blessing of Kings

Reduce the mana cost of your Blessing of Kings and Greater Blessing of Kings spells by 50%.
This seems to be either a changed Glyph or another one for the same spell, I'm not too sure. The other one, which I discussed in a previous post, also increases attack power by 3%. Not very useful for casters, sure, but certainly better than this one. This Glyph downright blows. Why? Because Blessing of Kings and specially Greater Blessing of Kings are preparatory spells! The mana cost reduction is irrelevant because Paladins cast this spell during downtime, the buffing up stage. Paladins will have the opportunity to drink before the encounter so mana saved from this spell is utterly worthless. In PvP, where Blessings are routinely dispelled, this Glyph is slightly more useful. However, it's probably best to save that Glyph slot -- even a minor one -- for something better.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

The Light and How to Swing It: Seals, Blessings and Auras part II


Last week we took a look at one of the Paladin's core class mechanics, the Seal, which is a short-duration buff that is both preparatory (for Judgement) and integral to a Paladin's attack cycle. Last week, I also mentioned how Seals fail to play a part in a healers spell cycle because of how they operate. Because seals require a Paladin to make a melee attack in order for a seal to work or proc, they are similar to Rogue poisons or Shaman weapon buffs. But seals are not weapon buffs, allowing them to proc off unarmed melee attacks (although why anyone would want to is anyone's guess) but also making them susceptible to dispel mechanics.

I personally think there was a wasted opportunity in this design because it locks out one key aspect of the class from an entire spec. Because of the short seal duration, healers must get into melee range and whack at opponents constantly. Even if a Retribution Paladin is in the raid keeping up a Holy Paladin's judged seal, the Holy Paladin himself won't reap the benefits of his own judgement -- most likely Wisdom or Light -- because he won't be hitting the enemy. A healing Paladin's two-button spell cycle consists of Holy Light and Flash of Light which both have cast times, necessitating periods of no movement and often precluding melee combat. If EA Mythic's Warhammer Online follows through with the hype, there won't be any, as animated designer Paul Barnett would call it, "namby pamby healer classes."

While Retribution is fun and can dish out some hurt, and while Protection are kings of tanking entire armies, when a Paladin specs Holy, she becomes exactly that -- a namby pamby healer class. The Holy spec is somewhat ironic and goes against the grain of the core class design. Paladins are a heavily-armored melee class. When they spec Holy, that armor often goes to waste and the melee aspect is shelved away. If the spec was built to take advantage of the seal system rather than be hindered by it (putting up seals activate the GCD, pushing back healing or cleansing), we'd have a very different story. We would have Holy Paladins rushing into combat -- I don't care if they deal piddly damage -- in order to be effective, rather than standing in the back of the raid. I attribute that playstyle dichotomy to the failure of seals.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: A class full of irony


I have once again managed to steal the Light for another week, as regular columnists Chris and Elizabeth are off on their own epic quests while I am left to tend to the shop, so to speak. For today, we'll take a closer look at how the class is designed and its inherent ironies.

When I first rolled a Paladin, I didn't know what I was getting into. I rolled it mainly as a companion toon for my playing partner, my wife, who was elated at the Horde finally getting a 'pretty' race and promptly rolled a Warlock. As I leveled with her demon-enslaving new main, the experience challenged and frustrated me and it soon became apparent that Blizzard had designed the Paladin under a completely different design perspective. I was hooked. If there are any perceived failures about the class, it is largely because Blizzard had a vision for the Paladin class that was different from traditional class designs.

Blizzard worked hard at defining each class with a clear directive to make each one feel different from the others. Rogues had Energy, combo points and finishing moves; Warriors had Rage, a sort of reverse Mana bar; and Shamans had the totem system. Paladins are designed largely around the interesting Seal system. Everything that a Paladin does revolves around Seals, Blessings, and Auras, with Seals being the primary mechanic for dealing any sort of damage. For the most part, class design has worked for many classes while others, like the Shaman, have had more than its fair share of issues.

Personally, I love the Paladin class. My main is now a Blood Elf Paladin, with my Troll Shaman getting a little less love than it used to. I also used to play a Troll Hunter and an Undead Rogue. While I enjoyed all of them as I played them, it was the Paladin that appealed to me the most. To be honest, I still have no idea why. Maybe it was the challenge. Maybe it was hybrid aspect. Maybe, for all I know, it was the coolness of it all. When you get right down to it, though, Paladins have -- if you examine it very carefully -- what is probably the most inherently flawed ironic class design in the game. Let me explain.

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

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