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Posts with tag flash-of-light

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Keeping the tank alive


Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we examine how to handle situations where the tank is getting destroyed, and we're tasked with keeping them alive.

Tank death
. It's one of the worst ways for a raid encounter to end: abrupt and usually absolute. In a dungeon, you've typically only got one guy who can take a few blows, and so the enemy will start cleaving your soft DPS. Blizzard balances each raid encounter around the idea of having two tanks, so the other tank is often busy with their own duties, and can't survive the double duty. With this era of multiple enrage timers and tight DPS requirements, there's really no room for bringing a spare tank for the 'just in case' situation.

Holy paladins are uniquely designed to be the masters of tank healing. We've got multiple cooldowns we can use to reduce their incoming damage, and the most potent HPS toolkit available. A tank has to actually try to die when we've got the Holy Light firehose aimed at them. However, even with all these abilities at our disposal, a tank can still eat dirt halfway through an encounter if we're not playing our best. Read on for a discussion on how to keep your tank up during high damage situations.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: It's all intellect's fault


Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we examine the difference between throughput and longevity, and how intellect skews the scale.

Paladins have an incredible amount of what I call 'support' spells: things that aren't part of your rotation but provide us with quite a bit of flexibility. All of our 'Hand of X' spells would fall into this category, along with several other unique abilities that set us apart from other healers. Our healing toolbox has also expanded significantly, with Sacred Shield and Beacon of Light completely redefining how a holy paladin heals in WotLK. My actions bars are filled with macros and various support spells that I may need on a moment's notice.

Even with the sheer number of abilities that paladins have to deal with different situations, we are left with only two true healing spells to rely on. Holy Light and Flash of Light are our workhorses, with nearly all of our actual healing coming from one or the other. Holy Light provides us with an essentially infinite source of throughput (see the above graph from Valithria Dreamwalker), while Flash of Light's efficiency gives us a longevity that has other healers green with envy. Trying to reconcile the difference between these two paradigms, massive throughput vs persistent longevity, is one of the most intensely discussed topics in the holy paladin community. Read on for my thoughts on the topic.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 3.2 and the Paladin


Ok, we've got quite a bit of information on Patch 3.2 now, and even though this major content patch isn't introducing too many new things to the class, it does shake it up a bit. Nothing too big, but it should keep everyone on their toes. But first we'll talk about one thing that isn't related to class skills or nerfs or anything like that... first I'd like to encourage everyone to get chummy with the Argent dudes. Do their mind-numbing daily quests and all that, get the Crusader title if you want... and along the way collect 100 Champion's Seals.

According to the PTR, the new Paladin-exclusive Argent Charger is available on the Tournament Grounds for a mere one hundred seals. Of course, Blizzard is also giving away Tier 9 gear for free during the testing phase, so that cost could still change. Still, here's that pony that Ghostcrawler promised all of us. It's a fitting item for an entire faction run by Paladins, right? Anyway, enjoy that pony because not everything in Patch 3.2 is as nice a ride.

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

[UPDATED] Paladin changes in patch 3.0.3


Yeah, yeah, I know. You're sick of reading about Paladins. Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just here bearing some news and a couple of opinions. You can always skip down to the the next post, anyway. For those Paladin lovers (and even loathers), Patch 3.0.3 brings about some pretty interesting changes to the class. We got a lot more changes than other classes, but then again we've been getting a lot of attention lately, haven't we?

First, the bad news. We knew most of the nerfs since they showed up in the Beta a while back. Well, most of those nerfs made it live to Patch 3.0.3, so let's get this over with quickly so we can move on to the good news. Yes, there's actually good news for Paladins this patch. Seals all get nerfed to varying degrees, the general idea being that they no longer deal as much damage either as a Seal or as a Judgement. Don't ask me for the math, you can check out Boubouille's detailed notes on MMO Champion for the details. All Seals have been nerfed, period. Ouch.

[UPDATE: Thanks to Turkeyspit who reminded me about the change to Judgement of Light, which now awesomely affects spells and not just melee attacks. I told you this was a good Patch for us.]

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Retribution Paladins


Let's face it. Retribution blows.

Blows things up, that is. Out of all the trees -- and I mean all including the other classes -- no tree got more love than Retribution in the Echoes of Doom patch. For many of us, it's been a long time coming. No other class spec has been the butt of more jokes and the target of such derision as Retribution. Not anymore. Not in Patch 3.0.2 and the days leading up to Wrath of the Lich King. Retribution deals so much pain that we've sent the rest of player base running to Ghostcrawler crying for a nerf. And we're getting nerfed. To the ground.

Don't panic. The changes are really, mostly aimed at PvP Paladins -- okay, that's me -- but will largely leave Paladin PvE damage output the same. That's excellent news. Because I've grown accustomed to the idea that quite a lot of you guys prefer PvE to PvP, we'll take a look at a PvE Retribution build that will make you the darling of your Heroic runs and more than welcome in raids. Let's bring on the pain after the jump.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Holy and Protection buffs incoming for Paladins

Ghostcrawler just recently posted some good news for both Protection and Holy Paladins. Some of them are simply a matter of convenience, but all of the changes posted were nice little buffs.

First, Righteous Defense now has an 8 second cooldown. It's 15 seconds on live realms, and was 10 seconds previously in the beta. I'm very, very glad this change was made, though it's an example of the 'slippery slope' of homogenizing classes/tanks. Paladins were the only class with a ranged taunt, but now all of the tanks have one. Righteous Defense still taunts multiple mobs, but all of the other tanks had/have AOE taunts as well. Righteous Defense mostly lost what made it beautiful compared to the other taunts, so it really needed this buff to not look terrible. I'm glad they did it.

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

Skill Mastery: The Art of War


For today's Skill Mastery, we'll take a look at a passive talent instead of a fancy button you can press. This has been my favorite talent ever since it was introduced in the Beta even though it has seen numerous iterations -- so many, in fact, that it might be a little premature to write about it. On the other hand, this latest version feels like it's almost in its final form -- not overpowered and quite utilitarian.

The Art of War is a two point talent on Tier 7 of the Retribution tree that increases the Critical Strike damage of Judgements, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm. For PvE, that's a simple DPS increase that scales properly while in PvP, it helps to counter Resilience. Ideally, however, the number should be tweaked to completely negate it as Resilience damage reduction from crits is capped at 25%. The damage bonus is a good buff for the three main damage sources of a Retribution Paladin, but the better part of the spell is the reduction in the cast time of Flash of Light.

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

[UPDATED] Paladin changes in Beta build 8926 part I


This is one of the biggest patches to hit Paladins in a while, and it's a mixed bag. Let's get the bad news out of the way first -- all of Seals have been nerfed. All of them. Seal of the Martyr / Blood, Corruption / Vengeance, Wisdom, Light, Justice, Righteousness and even Command have all had their damage reduced. The formulas are tweaks of the values of attack power, spell power, and weapon speed -- a bit complicated to explain in detail -- that result in an overall damage reduction. Now, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, let me say one thing: don't panic.

We can probably consider this patch the nerf patch, which is an essential part of the tuning process. The developers traditionally start from a high power scale and fine tune it downwards -- I mean, look at the poor Death Knight. This is still the Wrath Beta, and while there is a chance these numbers might stick through to live, testing these lowered numbers are vital to getting everything right for release. If you're in Beta, log in, play with it for a while, and give feedback. If you're not in Beta, hold back a bit from making a ruckus and exercise a little patience until the testing is done. Let's take a deep breath. Now where'd I put my inhaler...

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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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