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Posts with tag holy-light

Know Your Lore: The color of magic

Know Your Lore The color of magic
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
Earlier this week, Blizzard Historian Sean Copeland was answering questions on Twitter when the above answer came up. People were upset about it because the answer, while seemingly pretty simplistic, seemed to devalue the importance of Elune and the unique nature of night elf philosophy and religion. Magic, in all its forms and function in Warcraft, is one of those tricky subjects to understand -- almost as tricky as trying to wrap one's brain around the cosmos of the Warcraft universe.

These types of questions get asked a lot, however. And while not everything regarding magic in Warcraft has been fully defined, we can definitely take a look at these different schools of magic and how they relate to one another on Azeroth.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The naaru are a menace that must be destroyed

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
A soothing light fills you as you approach the naaru. Slow musical chimes echo within your mind and though a word is not uttered, you feel an assurance of safety.

They glimmer with the purity of the Light, and their very presence fills one with a warm, calm feeling of inner peace. They also teach the ways of the Light -- the draenei would not be paladins were it not for these mysterious creature's intervention. In fact, the benevolent naaru came to Velen in a vision when his world was at its darkest hour, offering him hope, salvation, escape ... and the knowledge that there was a far larger battle out there, one that had yet to come to pass.

Kil'jaeden and Archimonde eagerly agreed to follow and serve Sargeras, becoming the highest-ranked members of the Burning Legion. As for Velen, he took the worried, the lost, the concerned draenei with him and fled, pledging his servitude to the naaru and their righteous cause. Two causes, one outwardly and easily identifiable as evil -- and the other, far more sinister and wicked than anything the Burning Legion could ever hope to achieve.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come. These speculations are merely theories and should not be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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: Healing by the numbers

divine light chart
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.

Every raid encounter is designed to challenge the players attempting it. Tanks can be faced with controlling several mobs at once, while DPSers often have enrage timers to race against. Blizzard's developers have a few different tricks for putting healers to the test. The first and most obvious danger that healers face is the rate of incoming damage, which we have to counter with spells that are appropriately powerful. We are also often tasked with reacting quickly to stimuli, like instantly dispelling or bringing a raid group's life back to full before another incoming attack lands.

With the release of Cataclysm, the developers specifically focused on a mechanic that had been sidelined for quite some time -- mana management. Our spells' mana costs have been tweaked and mana regeneration capabilities have been altered to ensure that we focus on choosing the right spells. We used to be able to spam Holy Light carelessly in Wrath, but now we can't sustain nonstop Divine Lights for more than a minute or two without emptying our mana bar completely. Learning to live with a limited mana supply is paramount to being a successful holy paladin in Cataclysm.

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

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

Know Your Lore: The sources of magic, part 2

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

What are the kinds of magic we see in the Warcraft setting?

Well, for starters, there's the magic performed by practitioners of the Holy Light, most priests and paladins. This magic comes from the same source as the power the naaru draw from and seems inherent in all living things. Then there's the somehow related shadow magics of shadow priests, which the naaru also tap into during their life cycle. Warlocks also seem capable of touching upon this shadowy magical energy, as do necromancers to varying degrees. This magic seems to derive from a clash of cosmic forces of light and darkness.

However, these are hardly the only forces of magic in the cosmos of the Warcraft setting. Mages tap into the magic that suffuses the material plane, which is generally known as arcane magic and which is the power the original Well of Eternity drew from the Great Dark Beyond. Arcane magic is the closest we get to morally neutral in the setting, but it does pretty much whatever the person using it can figure out a spell to make it do. This makes it incredibly seductive, and those who learn it often become obsessed with it. Its lure is so strong, in fact, that it even draws the attention of the demons of the Burning Legion. And the Legion is hardly without magic of its own.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 4.2 shakes up our heals

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 wasn't very happy with the first round of notes for patch 4.2, as they contained several holy paladin nerfs. I had originally thought that Blizzard's developers were just trying to keep holy paladin mana in line, but it looks like they actually had a few other changes up their collective sleeves. We've learned about several new mechanics that shift the balance of power between our healing spells and even offset much of the expected loss of power.

Our new set bonuses help us recover some of that lost mana and also boost the effectiveness of our expensive heals. While Blizzard states that class power is not designed around set bonuses, our potency is still affected by them. In addition, some key talent adjustments have the potential to completely change the roles of our heals, including letting Flash of Light be instant-cast (with a proc) and significantly bolstering the effectiveness of Holy Light when used in a Beacon of Light environment (which is always). These are the type of exciting patch notes that I can get behind, as they are aimed at adding diversity to our relatively stale lineup of direct heals.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 4.2 looms heavy for holy

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, and catch me weekly on the Matticast!

Patch 4.2 is hot on the heels of patch 4.1 -- it's already on the PTR. We can look forward to the upcoming Firelands quest hub and raid coming out soon. As with any patch, there are plenty of class changes and balance adjustments. If there's one thing that I've learned over the years, it's that no news is good news when it comes to holy paladins and patch notes.

Unfortunately, there is news.

Rebuke, Divine Protection, and Divine Shield all scored new icons in the patch, which you can check out in this article's title image. Divine Protection also received a new spell effect, which is also featured above (I call it the Divine Beach Ball). Our Speed of Light talent was also modified to reduce Holy Radiance's cooldown by an extra 10 seconds (giving it an effective cooldown of 20 seconds), and the speed boost was tied to Divine Protection. Neither of these changes is actually live on the PTR, so you'll have to hold your breath for now. Also, holy paladins are slated to receive the biggest nerf any spec in this expansion.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Best practices 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, like what to look for in your World of Logs parses.

Holy paladins are doing all right. While patch 4.1's notes may have retribution and protection up in arms about the new cooldown on Word of Glory, holy paladins are exempt via Walk in the Light. We're actually not seeing any changes in the upcoming patch -- at least, none that have been announced yet. The lack of updates shouldn't come as a surprise to a healing class that's been performing relatively well. Minor balances to our mana and effectiveness have been used to keep us in line with the other healers, but we're otherwise stable. Patch 4.1 will buff our recently discussed set bonus, but that doesn't help improve the gear today.

Just because Blizzard doesn't have any buffs planned doesn't mean that we can't work on improving our performance naturally. There is truly no WoW player who can perform perfectly at every moment, but the closer we get to that ideal, the stronger healers we become. As healers, we should constantly be developing our skills and refining our gameplay. There's nothing worse than feeling like the weak link on the chain, and so keeping ourselves at top healing efficiency is crucial to being successful in whatever environment you're healing in.

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

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

The Light and How to Swing It: How to heal before Cataclysm


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.

Blizzard's development team really has its hands full. They're working on implementing some of the largest class changes ever introduced, while also trying to maintain some semblance of balance at both level 80 and 85. While a few things have fallen through the cracks (like the DPS of every plate class after the patch initially launched), most players are able to adapt to the changing environment. We've all been busy regemming our gear, reforging to the stats that are the best for us, and ensuring that we've gotten rid of all of the mail healing gear we stole from shaman before patch 4.0.1.

I've covered several of the upcoming holy paladin changes in detail and also talked quite a bit about some of the future healing strategies that we'll be implementing. Unfortunately for us, holy paladins are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. We're without Holy Light's old potency to carry us, and with Holy Radiance eluding us until level 83, we're in a pretty weak place. We used to have Judgement of Light and a full 100 percent Beacon of Light to carry us on the healing meters. Now, we've got resto druids dropping Efflorescence patches all over the raid while we're praying to hit even a handful of targets with Light of Dawn. What can we do in the meantime to keep us effective while waiting for Cataclysm?

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladins are impossible to kill

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.

While the title of this article may be a bit sensationalized, our strength on live servers after the release of patch 4.0.1 has me very excited for Cataclysm and the rest of the holy paladin changes. I'm incredibly happy with my choice to use mouseover macros instead of a mod like Clique, and I was at nearly at full capacity without any addons. After spending a few hours getting my addons configured to bring myself to maximum potency, I was finally ready to do some serious healing.

I managed to make my way through a few heroics without any issues and then joined a pickup group for Naxxramas, just to make sure my raid frames were working completely. It's always good to do a few stretches with a new addon setup before you bring it to the big leagues, so I used an easy raid as a farm club before I tried it out in Icecrown Citadel.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladin changes in beta build 12984


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 changes in the latest beta patch.

Recently, I read a great thread on the official healing forums. Ghostcrawler, the lead systems designer for WoW, posted several times with interesting information and a few explanations regarding the new healing model in Cataclysm. I've talked about the idea of triage healing before, but there were a few specific points that Ghostcrawler made that really resonated with me.

One of the commenters referred to the idea of "auto attack" heals, relating spells like our cheap Holy Light to the automatic attacks of the physical classes. It's a very succinct way to think about it, since we're used to raiding in environments where we never stop casting. It's true, most paladins on the beta have just been spamming Holy Light. I'm guilty of it as well. It almost feels like the old Flash of Light days back in TBC, where FoL was the only spell we used because we'd never run out of mana. Blizzard saw this as a problem, and so the latest Cataclysm beta build contains a major nerf to Holy Light. Ghostcrawler's statement that healers shouldn't be spamming one heal seems almost prescient now.

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

Cataclysm beta: Paladins in build 12984

In the middle of the night, a new build for the PTR and beta got pushed to the patch servers, but it hasn't been marked as ready for download at the time of this writing (it might be at the time of this reading, though). Several classes have received major changes (including six new talents scattered across druid specs), while others simply got a collection of damage tweaks. Paladins appear to be somewhere in between those.

Most of our changes are small tweaks and talent reorganizations, but a few are obvious balancing passes. While there is a new talent for holy, it's just another of the spirit-to-hit conversion talents that other classes have seen. This could, however, mean a possible comeback of the shockadin -- but I'll leave that for Chase to speculate on tomorrow when he covers the holy changes in more depth.

Some quick excerpts from the patch notes, with everything after the break:
  • The holy tree gets a spirit-to-hit conversion talent.
  • Holy Light's healing has decreased by 25% and mana cost has increased to 9%.
  • Divine Purpose proc rate has lowered to 20%.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy Power hands-on

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 holy power works and what we'll be using it for.

If we look at the resource systems of WoW over its lifetime, it's clear that Blizzard has been trying to diversify the mechanics. We've seen warriors' rage system constantly tweaked, rogue energy regeneration altered in every expansion, and hunters returning to their old focus resource from back in the original beta. The inception of death knights also introduced not one, but two resource systems to the game. Warlocks are even getting a new soul shard system in Cataclysm that will give them a brand new resource bar.

Paladins of all specs have been having problems with their ability usage. Retribution paladins could use a castrandom macro and do nearly full DPS, protection paladins have an incredibly static "969" rotation, and holy paladins have been stuck using nothing but Holy Light since Naxxramas. We needed something to help us break the cycle of repetitive ability usage. The dev team looked at ways to give our class a little more flavor, and came up with the concept of holy power.

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

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