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Posts with tag healer-paladin

The Light and How to Swing It: Evaluating Holy Radiance's fifth tick

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.

I made a lot of sacrifices to hit the 3,500 haste break point, which grants our Holy Radiance spell a free fifth tick. The truth is that the extra tick wasn't free, and it came at a great cost. The question in my mind was whether or not the cost was worth the benefit, whether or not the fifth tick made up for the losses in other areas. Holy Radiance is a pretty important spell in our arsenal right now, and haste is good generally, and so I figured there was at least a chance that the fifth tick could prove valuable.

I knew I was making sacrifices to get to that haste plateau, but I had no a priori way to quantify exactly how that would affect my overall healing. I just went for it. After last week's full clear of Dragon Soul with my 3,500 haste build, I now have data to parse. I started matching encounters and parts of encounters in apples-to-apples comparisons using CompareBot to evaluate my performance. The results of my experimentation with a 3,500 haste build had me quite intrigued.

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The Light and How to Swing It: New tools for evaluating holy paladins

wol parse
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.

DPS classes have it easy. Their only goal is to deal more damage than the other guys. Their existence revolves around a single, immutable metric: DPS. There's no ambiguity when comparing two damage classes, as their DPS speaks for itself. As a DPS player's gear and skill improve, it directly increases their damage done, allowing them to evaluate their performance clearly and instantly.

Evaluating a healer is much more difficult. As their group's damage and skill improve, their healing numbers will actually go down. Healers are relied on the most when a raid is attempting a new encounter and gradually become marginalized as the fight moves toward farm status. As a healer, your best HPS performance might be the very first time you down an encounter. If you're killing heroic Ultraxion in four minutes, your raid simply isn't taking enough damage for you to parse highly. In order to properly evaluate a holy paladin's play, you have to dig deeper.

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The Light and How to Swing It: 5 clever tricks for maximizing your Dragon Soul healing

seal of insight
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.

If you're a holy paladin with a pulse, there's no reason not to be raiding Dragon Soul. The Raid Finder allows us healers to find groups in minutes, with no strings attached if you have to leave early. The normal versions of the bosses are all accessible for guilds across the spectrum of dedication levels. Healing a raid in Dragon Soul gives you access to the best gear available and provides us with the greatest challenge we can face today.

I was looking at my World of Logs parses from the old days, and I was surprised to see how bad my HPS looked then when compared to more recent parses. The first step in preparing yourself to heal in Dragon Soul is to realize that the instance isn't built like Bastion of Twilight or Firelands. While the Ascendant Council repeatedly punished the raid for clumping and Baleroc crushed our tanks, many fights in Dragon Soul involve tight stacking and tons of AoE healing. Optimizing our AoE healing has become a key to succeeding in Dragon Soul.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Putting our Hands to work

paladin bubble
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.

If healers were defined by their heals, then holy paladins would be the strong, silent type. Our roster of healing spells has always been meek. The three-heal model of Cataclysm and the introduction of our holy power heals definitely increased our selection, but we have nowhere near the healing spell diversity of a priest or druid. We're only now receiving a true AOE heal in patch 4.3 with Holy Radiance's redesign.

Rather than leaning on a variety of healing options, holy paladins like to keep it simple. We're able to compensate for our undiversified healing tool box by drawing on our numerous other abilities. We might not have as many healing spells as the other guys, but we certainly have more utility spells than they could ever dream of. Our "Hand of" spells allow us to go further than any other healer can.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Synergizing with priests

priest and paladin waving
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.

Holy paladins can't do it all. While we might be the best-dressed spec in the game, we occasionally need for other healers to give us a hand. The developers have done a great job giving each healer a niche for them to fill. A holy paladin must know the strengths and weaknesses of the other healing classes in order to be able to work alongside them.

While all healers are somewhat normalized by Cataclysm's introduction of the three heal model, it's each class's unique spells that give them flavor. We all start with the same base, and then our signature heals and cooldowns allow us to differentiate ourselves. Holy paladins can adjust their healing style and strategy to complement their partner healers instead of competing with them.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladin gear in patch 4.2

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.

I'm not a big fan of patch days. I hate needing to update all of my addons, I hate the endless spam of "hay were's the new vender?" in trade chat, and I hate how overcrowded the new zones are.

While I think there's plenty to dislike, patch days aren't all bad. With patch 4.2's release date closing, we can look forward to Firelands and the new quest hub in Hyjal. The introduction of new reputations and raid bosses mean that there are both new challenges to be overcome and new rewards to be obtained.

The good news is that the gear we'll be seeing in patch 4.2 is much better itemized for holy paladin than what we saw in the first tier of Cataclysm raiding. Holy paladins are the only spec that uses plate gear with intellect on it, and so it's always a bit interesting to see gear that's not that good for us. Our potency should improve significantly from both the pure ilvl boost from the new gear, but also due to the better selection of secondary stats.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Dealing with healing caps

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, or catch me weekly on the Matticast.

If you've ever played a DPS class, you're familiar with working with stats with caps. You have to worry about hit and expertise caps, and there have even been haste and crit caps, too. While playing the min-max game with these stats can be entertaining, healers rarely have to worry about stat caps. Our primary stats, intellect and spirit, don't have any caps to speak of. We do have a few haste breakpoints where we get bonus Holy Radiance ticks, but haste and mastery don't have any hard caps that we can reach. We can pick up any healing stat without worrying about having too much of any given stat.

Instead of dealing with stat caps, healers deal with spell caps. DPS classes have an optimal system or rotation that they follow, but healers have several spell options they can choose from. Each spell has its own limitations, and knowing when to use what spell is a key part of playing a healer successfully. Holy paladins are especially familiar with these issues, as our spells tend to be in flux nearly even patch. Learning how to work around each spell's strengths and weaknesses will ensure that you always use the right tool for the job.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Straight talk about holy paladin healing

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 come I had to use Lay on Hands to save that tank.

You've heard me talk about Cataclysm's revolutionary triage paradigm of healing, and you've read all about the new Three Heal style for heal design. Every healing class starts with three nearly-identical healing spells as a baseline. The devs then sprinkle in a few extra heals to make each class somewhat unique. Add in a variety of AoE and specialty heals, and you've got a recipe for any one of the healing classes in Cataclysm. We were subject to a lot of retooling to get our holy tree to fit into this model, but it was definitely a success.

While it's fun to discuss the paradigm from a bird's-eye view, it's also not representative of actually healing encounters. WoW isn't played with a pen and paper, but with a keyboard and mouse. Every boss encounter requires different techniques, and their varying mechanics are key in determining the best course of action. How can we take what we know about the new healing paradigm and actually apply it to real encounters? What heals are holy paladins really using today?

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The Light and How to Swing It: Fresh patch 4.0.6 PTR notes for holy paladins

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, or with any screenshots of huge LoH crits.

When Wrath was released, there were just over a dozen bosses available to fight immediately. Most of them were found in Naxxramas, which fell to the superguilds so quickly that not all of them were even level 80 yet. A few achievements like A Poke in the Eye and the first "hard mode" of Sartharion with three drakes were all that the talented raiders had to keep them company during the first few months of Northrend. By the time that Ulduar was released, nearly everyone was clamoring for new content.

Cataclysm's launch hasn't shared the same fate. With heroic raids now the de facto form of progression and miles of new non-raiding content to explore, the content available at release has definitely lasted far longer. Even the most difficult bosses are still not on farm for the big guilds. Blizzard's developers have used this opportunity to start working on the first major patch after Cataclysm's release, which is of course includes plenty of holy paladin changes to keep us on our toes.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladins make a trade

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 about how Blizzard finally fixed the Light of Dawn animation.

I'm not going to sugar-coat it: Holy paladins saw a massive stealth nerf delivered recently. Tower of Radiance, once the pinnacle of a holy paladin's healing strategy, was reduced to rubble. ToR previously granted us an extra holy power point any time we used a core heal on our Beaconed target. The new version only works with Divine Light and Flash of Light, our two most expensive heals. Our holy power generation mechanics basically limit us to one holy power point every 6 seconds. Daybreak can help by letting us snag extra Holy Shocks, but not in a predictable manner. Tower of Radiance allowed us to control our holy power generation by using Holy Light to pick up a few extra points whenever we wanted.

The key to Tower of Radiance's potency was the cheap price of Holy Light. If we needed extra AoE healing, we could generate holy power points and then spend them on Light of Dawn. When low on mana, we could use our cheap Holy Lights to build points towards a zero-mana Word of Glory. ToR gave us the flexibility to do something productive with our Holy Lights during downtime and allowed us to exploit our free holy power-based heals. To make matters worse, the developers nerfed us from the other direction, by lowering Light of Dawn's potency by 40%.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Leveling your new Sunwalker


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 awesome tauren paladins are.

After The Shattering hit Azeroth, it was clear that the world was never going to be the same. Entire zones were torn asunder, and everyone who can take up arms to combat Deathwing has stood up to fight. The Horde recently inducted the Sunwalkers into the fold, and they're eagerly training in the way of the Light. Now players won't be stuck with blood elves when they want to play the paladin class.

If you've been on the general forums in the past few days, you've seen some of the clever names that people have come up with for their tauren paladins. Retbull (gives you wings), Skim (Light milk), and Bovinity (divine cows) were among my personal favorites. I decided to start a new tauren paladin myself, figuring I could heal my way through the low-level dungeons and try out the new starting quests and zones at the same time. It's been years since I've played a new paladin, and it was time for a refresher course.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Hot talents and glyphs for holy paladins

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.

The holy paladin talent tree has historically had issues with its filler talents. While many of the talents and abilities were spec-defining, there were other talents that literally had no purpose and were never taken. I'm talking about Sacred Cleansing, which actually didn't work at all throughout most of Wrath. How could we forget Purifying Power, whose usefulness was completely negated by the Glyph of Holy Wrath, which itself was only used to exploit a difficult encounter? Even with all of these junk talents in the tree, we also had a distinct lack of DPS talents, leaving holy paladins nearly helpless when left to fend for themselves.

Cataclysm's new truncated talent trees resolve many of the issues our previous talent tree had, as well as providing several DPS talents to give us some flexibility when we need to up our damage output. Exorcism has finally become the spammable attack we can use from range to nuke our targets, and Crusader Strike gives us some DPS presence while we're in melee range as well. The core focus of the holy paladin will always be healing, but it's nice to see that Blizzard created talents and glyphs to support both the healing paladin and the pseudo-shockadin that's emerging in Cataclysm.

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

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