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Posts with tag holy-light

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy Shock mechanics


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 my least favorite healing spell, Holy Shock; though I might be changing my mind about that.

I have been going over my guild's World of Logs parses for heroic Sindragosa recently, trying to find any holes in our strategy or areas that we can improve upon. While browsing the statistics, I examined the balance of healing spells I had employed. Our wipes were fairly typical fights by any account, with a 50/50 mix of healing from Holy Lights and Flash of Lights, and the rest of my healing coming from Beacon of Light and Judgement of Light. I noticed that Holy Shock was all the way at the bottom of my healing done chart, below even the Infusion of Light FoL HoT and the Glyph of Holy Light splashes.

I'll admit it now, I have never really been a fan of Holy Shock. My very first character was a paladin that I tried leveling as holy, to take advantage of that seemingly awesome ranged attack, since that was the core weakness of paladins at the time. The concept of healers and tanks had never occurred to me, since I had never played a collaborative RPG before. Once I picked up HS from the talent tree, I found out that it was just a terrible spell that happened to cost 31 talent points. Disappointed, I put my paladin on the bench for several months. After realizing how little I was utilizing it in Icecrown Citadel, I decided to give Holy Shock one last chance to redeem itself in my mind.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Healing through heroic Deathbringer Saurfang


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 to handle healing as holy paladin on the heroic Deathbringer Saurfang encounter in Icecrown Citadel.

When we first meet him in Nagrand, his name is Saurfang the Younger. When he is found in an image projected by the brain of the old god Yogg-Saron, he is called a Turned Champion. When we see prophecy fulfilled in Icecrown Citadel, we learn that his father named him Dranosh, which means "heart of Draenor." When we finally confront him face to face, his name is only Deathbringer; he is no longer our ally or even his father's son, but the Lich King's most powerful death knight.

The Deathbringer Saurfang encounter is one of the easier fights in the normal version of ICC, due to Saurfang's position in the first wing of the citadel. The heroic version, however, proves to be much more difficult than the three preceding bosses. Due to his item table containing our first shot at ilvl 264 or 277 tier tokens, he has been tuned with the strength necessary to guard such valuable loot. While a fight like Valithria may showcase how powerful holy paladin healing has become, Saurfang on heroic difficulty is an example of an encounter that is nearly impossible without an appropriate number of holy paladins to keep everyone alive.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Handily healing heroics


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 to quickly and efficiently heal your way through any heroic.

When Wrath of the Lich King was released, Blizzard shared a few things with us. First, Ghostcrawler campaigned with his promise of One (Star) Pony Per Child, ensuring that there would be No Alt Left Behind. We also heard that the developers were crafting a new hero class, the death knight. Not to worry, it totally won't be overpowered at launch. That, we could suffer under the death knights' oppressive rule for several months. Finally, we were also told that there was a clear progression plan for Wrath, and that there would be no more regular farming of Karazhan- and Mechanar-esque instances for badges.

I guess the last statement was actually true; we're now farming Patchwerk and The Nexus for Emblems, not badges. All joking and semantics aside, the fact is that whether you're a freshly 80 holy paladin ready to get your feet wet, or a veteran battle healer who's seen all of Icecrown's overlords toppled, there's value to be found in running heroics on a daily basis. While most of the 5-man dungeons are nearly trivial now, there are steps that we can take to put the run on fast-forward. By minimizing the amount of time we have to spend killing Loken and Cyanigosa, we can get back in to the action in record time. Let me note that this is not a guide for newer holy paladins who aren't completely comfortable in heroics, or if you or your tank are still working on gearing up your character. I will be covering how newly 80 holy paladins should be handling heroics soon, this guide is meant for those who have run these dungeons many times before and have the gear necessary to tackle any healing situation.

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

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: We wait with bated breath


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 our upcoming pre-Cataclysm class preview.

Today's date is Dec. 24, the night before Christmas. The children have been put to bed, with stories of fantastic Smoke Bombs and amazing Flame Orbs dancing in their heads. We're sitting quietly by the unlit fireplace, waiting for our friend St. Ghostcrawler to arrive during the night. His yacht is led by flying ponies, and he arrives each year to bring us presents. These gifts are morsels of information, crafted by the elven developers in their Irvine workshop.

Blizzard has a tendency of saving the best for last. My friends, I am here to tell you, paladins are clearly the best class in World of Warcraft. I am eager to see what the developers have planned for us, but I am also worried about the level of change that we are going to see. Several of the other classes saw significant redesign, like warlocks, and if we're a week behind everyone else, I get the feeling the changes are going to go quite deep. I'm not saying that this type of invasive surgery isn't necessary, I just hope that I like what I see when I wake up on the other side of the knife.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Healing Valithria Dreamwalker


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 tackle the Valithria Dreamwalker encounter in Icecrown Citadel.

If you've been raiding much in WotLK, you've seen quite the spectrum of 'new' mechanics. While Naxxramas was just a refresh of the old level 60 dungeon, the other raid instances have provided some truly unique fights. The vehicle fight, which started with Malygos and was followed up by Flame Leviathan, gave us the opportunity to step outside our abilities for a few moments, and work with an entirely new (or even nonexistent) healing toolbox. We've also seen fights where healing was the wrong thing to do, with the case-in-point being Anub'arak (specifically on heroic). Healing the wrong target on that fight was literally anti-DPS, as it healed the boss.

Icecrown Citadel brings with it several new mechanics, with one specifically that I am sure will be remembered for many expansions to come. That encounter, as you may have guessed, is the escape of Valithria Dreamwalker. Blizzard decided to try some role reversal on this fight, and put healers in charge of 'taking care' of the boss. Instead of killing the boss, however, we must heal her to full, allowing her to escape the dark, cold halls of Icecrown. The DPS are relegated to handling adds, which is their least favorite job, while we get to focus our efforts on a single, stable target, to whom we can do no overhealing. How can it get any better than that?

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Your group is on fire

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 your entire party is taking serious damage and there's nothing you can do about it (or is there?).

I don't know about you, but I've woken up in the middle of the night, on more than one occasion, from a terrible nightmare. I'm not talking about the Emerald Nightmare, you'll have to read Stormrage or talk to some tree-hugging druid if you want to hear about that. I'm referring to something similar to Argent Confessor Paletress' Confess attack; nightmares with a far more sinister source: memories of failed encounters from the past.

My guild's first attempt on the Twin Val'kyr has caused me more sleepless nights than any other so far. It was early in the week of their release, and so nobody in the raid had ever seen the Twins before. With no prior knowledge, we pulled the bosses blindly. My co-healer, a resto shaman, disconnected immediately due to an unknown problem. Suddenly I was faced with 10 targets all taking damage from a passive AoE aura, two tanks that were being hit pretty decently themselves, and random DPS in the group losing large chunks of their life at what seemed to be random times as balls of energy bounced around the room. This is my nightmare: the entire raid is on fire at once, and I'm all alone.

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

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: A little less hybrid


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 helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown.

Ghostcrawler has been doing a lot of talking pertaining to paladins and Blizzard's vision of them for the future. A lot of this has been spawned by some of the changes the developers have been toying around with on the public test realms. In the current build of the PTR, Lay on Hands causes Forbearance on its target which has prompted quite an uproar from the playerbase. This cuts a leg out from our two major defensive cooldowns making us choose either health or invulnerability during a fight. Holy paladins are getting some text tacked onto Sanctified Light which will allow them to reduce the chance it will cause Forbearance on others by 33/66/100% to allow it to still be useful when healing in groups. As this is the PTR, we don't really know how much of this will end up on the live realms. The developers have been toying around with several different ideas and at the moment we're not sure which one or ones they'll end up going with.

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

Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Priest changes

As I'm sure many of you have heard already, another build has hit the PTR this afternoon. Information on what's contained within is still slowly filtering in, but many of the class changes are already known thanks to Boubouille. Most of the Priest changes are just number tweaks, but there's some good stuff in there for potential Holy Priest PvP viability. Yes, Holy PvP! Let's dig into what we've got.

Shadow

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

Glyph of Holy Light nerfed

Yesterday, the healing forums were flooded with complaints largely by Priests alleging that the new 3.0.8 version of the Paladin Glyph of Holy Light was completely overpowered and made Paladins into group healers, shoe-horning them into a niche recently left half-vacant by our Circle of Healing nerf. Such complainants will presumably be happy to hear that the glyph is being hotfixed, reducing the range from 20 yards to 8.

Ghostcrawler calls the glyph "vastly overpowered," and goes on in a later post to give a bit more information. Like most changes, this was not done in response to QQ; as it turns out, the glyph was just overpowered. He also states that [major] glyphs are meant to be "about on par with passive talents" in terms of their power, which is in line with what I've been observing (maybe a few percent increase in damage/healing/mitigation per glyph, for the good ones).

At any rate, sorry to my Holy Paladin friends; I guess this one was just too good to last. I'm still jealous of your everlasting mana.

Filed under: Paladin, Inscription

All the World's a Stage: So you still want to be a Shaman

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-first in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

There's something about shamans that gets us thinking and talking. Whether it's something as simple as the proper pronunciation of "shamanism," or something as profound as a shaman's humility in relation to the source of his or her power, the lore and ideology of the shaman class often resonates with players more than many others in the World of Warcraft.

One reason for this is that shamans have been such a pivotal force in the lore, possibly more than any other class in the game (depending on your point of view). Other classes, such as warriors, or paladins, come as a sort of pre-defined archetype in fantasy games that don't seem all that different from their original forms in other fantasy settings. The actual beliefs of a priest, for instance, don't seem to matter so much to many players, so long as the class can heal like we expect them to. Even the druids, with their central place in night elf society, sometimes seem more like nature-based magic users rather than true philosophers in their own right.

Shamans, however, have a major burden to bear in one of the central plot shifts of the Warcraft storyline -- namely that the orcs, who entered the Warcraft stage in the Warcraft 1: Orcs and Humans computer game as rampaging demonic evildoers bent on destruction, and actually turned out to be a peaceful race that just got tricked into being evil. Shamanism had to be much much more than just an archetype with some special powers -- it had to be a way of thinking, a system of belief that could be taken over by demonic corruption and yet at the same time act as a beacon of truth and goodness once that the demonic taint had been defeated. Shamanism has got to be complex and profound, or else the story wouldn't make sense.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Shaman, Draenei, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Paladin


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the fourteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

You might say that paladins are the guardians at the gates of hell -- they fight evil wherever it penetrates into their world and they take the fight to the evil's source in the hope of quenching it forever. Although they focus on guarding their people from undead and demonic forces on the rise, paladins actually stand against evil everywhere, including the evil in their own hearts.

Being a paladin means that you have a relationship of some sort with the Holy Light, that mysterious force of goodness and faith that flows to some degree within all living beings with positive intentions. Most paladins (and many priests) believe that when you do something that you believe to be good, the power of the Light increases in you and your connection to the rest of creation is strengthened, whereas doing something evil (such as acts of greed, despair, or vengeance) will darken the universe and weaken your connection to it. Whether this belief system is a religion or a philosophy is open to interpretation, and seems to depend in some part upon which race you are.

There are three sorts of paladins in World of Warcraft, aligned with the humans, the draenei, and the blood elves. All of these share certain similarities, but each has its own differences as well.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Dwarves, Paladin, Draenei, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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