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Posts with tag healer-pally

The Light and How to Swing It: 4 Dragon Soul tips to make your DPSers love you

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.

With the 15% nerf to Dragon Soul slated for Tuesday and Mists of Pandaria's beta test here already, Cataclysm is winding down. Many guilds are on autopilot in Dragon Soul, simply clearing the place each week for another shot at an elusive trinket or item. You can buy the heroic Dragon Soul title or mount on most realms without too much trouble. With a few months of the same eight bosses ahead of us, it's easy to understand why everyone is focused on what's coming next.

I am always looking for ways to optimize my guild's raids. If there's a way that I can shave a few seconds off a boss encounter, I'll take it. There are plenty of areas in Dragon Soul where a clever holy paladin can help move things along. I currently run with a secondary holy talent build that includes Denounce specifically for the purpose of speeding up our runs. If you're still learning Dragon Soul or working on a new heroic encounter, these tips probably won't apply to you.

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

In defense of intellect plate

intellect plate
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.

There was some talk on the official forums recently about the logistical issues presented by plate gear with intellect on it. The best part of the preceding sentence is that it was true last year, it's true this week, and will probably continue to be true next year.

While the gear itself was originally called spell plate due to its spellpower stat, it's now usually referred to as intellect plate. The issue isn't with intellect plate or holy paladins, because they've both been serving their purposes perfectly. The problem is how intellect plate interacts with boss loot tables, affecting everyone else in the raid.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Nerfing Holy Radiance to the ground

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.

Paladins haven't always had the most amicable relationship with the community team and developers at Blizzard. Retribution paladins have fought for years with the blues over their perception of being constantly nerfed, which is a nice way to say that ret paladins enjoy playing the victim. Their claims do have some merit, though, as the paladin class has undergone major transformations in nearly every expansion, and not always for the better.

In patch 4.3.2, the developers are handling a few balance issues. Fire mages are being tweaked downward, while hunters should be doing slightly better overall. Oh, and the mana cost of Holy Radiance is going up by 14%. Holy paladins are already complaining on the forums about this nerf, but the truth is that it's irrelevant. Even as Holy Radiance has seen two nerfs in as many patches, it's still an amazing spell. It takes a lot more than a 14% mana cost bump to erase Holy Radiance's dominance.

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The Light and How to Swing It: 3 essential addons for holy paladins

addons, addons everywhere
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 have come a long way from the days of five-minute Blessings and WhisperCast. There's a good kind of complexity that comes from being given choices, and there's the bad kind of complexity that comes from busy work. The developers are constantly streamlining the game and removing outdated mechanics, and I can't complain. Even though addons like PallyPower made our lives easier, the new Blessing system is so simple that we don't need any external help to handle it.

Today's holy paladin has different addon needs from the healer of yesteryear. Three of the most important holy paladin addon concerns are unit frames, holy power management, and raid-specific alerts. In Dragon Soul, there are plenty of important things that we need to keep track of. Raid encounters are only going to get more and more complex and chaotic, and we need to be able to quickly get the information we need.

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The Light and How to Swing It: How to compare intellect and spirit in Mists of Pandaria

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.

With Mists of Pandaria coming up on the horizon, many holy paladins are looking ahead to the changes that the expansion will bring. Most of the talent and ability info is still very malleable at this point, and as such, I haven't begun to worry or get excited just yet. One thing that we do know is that in Mists, intellect will finish the transformation that it started in Cataclysm. Intellect is going to become a throughput-only stat, as it will stop increasing our maximum mana.

Today, intellect and longevity are nearly synonymous. Replenishment and Divine Plea are two of our largest mana sources, and they both scale off of our intellect. Most paladins are sporting intellect gems and trinkets, and intellect flasks and food fill up our bags. Holy paladins have been leaning on intellect for a long time due to its versatility, and it seemed like the decision to roll spell power into intellect would permanently ensure intellect's role as our best stat. By decoupling intellect and mana, the developers are changing everything we know about gearing a healer.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Examining secondary stats for holy paladins

haste
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.

Despite any arguments to the contrary, I don't feel that spirit is a true secondary stat. I know you can reforge in and out of it and that it's not as ubiquitous as intellect, but it's actually closer to being our fifth primary stat. In Mists of Pandaria, intellect will no longer grant additional mana, making spirit the only game in town for improving longevity. Because of the way holy paladins function with the new Judgements of the Pure regeneration mechanic, spirit has gone from a good choice to a must-have stat.

When we start talking about the true secondary stats, we realize that there's a lot of baggage here. Haste rating was the de facto champion due to its ability to affect all of our heals, critical strike rating was avoided after the removal of Illumination, and our master rating has gone through more iterations than any other spell in Cataclysm.

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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: The Val'anyr effect

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 discuss how our new mastery bonus will affect the class.

Every class was designed with a specific flavor in mind. If you read Blizzard's official descriptions of the classes, you'll see that skills and abilities were not assigned at random. These paradigms of thinking for each class pulled from fantasy archetypes and characters from Warcraft's rich lore. Each class had a purpose, and those purposes were what made the game diverse. With 40 people in a raid, you could easily assume that every one of these crucial roles was filled. Unfortunately, that doesn't carry over to today's raiding scene. With the seemingly constant shrinkage of the de facto raid size from 40, to 25, to 10, it's become more and more difficult for the developers to ensure that we'll have all of the tools and abilities available in the game.

Blizzard's faced with the tough challenge of trying to ensure that each class stays unique, but also allowing for enough overlap that you're not forced to raid with a perfect mix. Bloodlust has always been the posterchild for this war between uniqueness and homogenization. Shamans have claimed that Bloodlust is their right alone, but the developers decided to give the ability to mages as well. Discipline priests, the sleeper healers of Wrath that went from useless bubblers to raid-shielding gods, were next in Blizzard's sights. Luckily for us, the devs chose paladins to be the recipients of this socialist disbursement.

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

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