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Posts with tag holy-radiance

Ghostcrawler on holy paladins in Mists of Pandaria

Holy paladins have some questions as to where their healing is going in Mists of Pandaria -- and Ghostcrawler, like the last son of Krypton, has burst onto the scene to answer them. Yes, that's what Superman does: He bursts through stone walls and answers questions about holy paladins.

Dr. Street (that's his secret identity -- shh, don't tell anyone) offers details on paladin healing and mana cost, why certain abilities like Holy Radiance were nerfed, and the critical chance of Holy Shock. It seems that paladin healing is intended to be balanced around its many mana-discounted or outright free effects. While if a paladin and another healer both just stood there and cast their cheapest heal, the paladin would indeed run out of mana sooner, the design of the class is intended so that they won't do that, so design has to be balanced around those free heals. I won't pretend to be an expert, but the premise seems logical enough.

Ghostcrawler also mentions specifically that the Holy Radiance and Holy Shock spells are being looked at and could be adjusted if they're underperforming. You'll find the entire post reproduced here after the break, so you paladin healers (or any healers who are interested) can take a look and see what you think.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Major AoE healing changes in the Mists beta

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.

Blizzard has been deploying beta patches at a record pace, which has a lot of stale info being bandied about as fact. The official Mists of Pandaria talent calculator is wildly out of date, and much of the commentary made over the past week is now superannuated. The developers haven't been shying away from making major class changes in these early days of the beta, and so everything is still up in the air.

What we do know for sure is that there's work being done to modify our holy AoE arsenals specifically. First, Holy Radiance still generates holy power points for us. The holy power generation mechanic was moved from Tower of Radiance and placed directly onto Holy Radiance itself. Other than that, every other piece of our holy toolkit has been updated, and for the better.

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

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

The Light and How to Swing It: The road to 3,500 haste

haste rating
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 love the stat break points in WoW. The idea is that at certain values of a stat like critical strike rating or haste, your character's power improves dramatically due to some complex interaction. Not ever spell scales linearly, and so as you reach certain thresholds, your potency can vary wildly. Holy Radiance's interaction with haste rating is a perfect example. The haste rating we acquire obviously lowers the spell's base cast time, which is how every spell works.

However, at certain values of haste, we can actually cause Holy Radiance's AoE HoT to proc for an additional tick of healing. The extra tick of healing tacks on an extra 10% to 15% healing to each Holy Radiance we cast, dramatically affecting the spell's potency. The problem is that while the first haste break point for HR is easily achievable at 777 haste rating, the next break point requires nearly 3,500 haste rating to achieve.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Remembering our first year of holy power

holy paladin
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.

As I looked forward to this year last December, I wasn't sure holy paladins were going to survive 2011 in one piece. We were just learning to adapt to the three-heal model and figuring out how to manage our holy power properly, and I had serious doubts about our AoE healing and mastery bonus. Luckily, I was wrong, and we have thrived in Cataclysm. We started by focusing on our specialty, powerful tank healing, and then expanded to take over the raid healing role as the year progressed.

While holy power and the new healing model were the big topics of early 2011, AoE healing has clearly been the topic that defined this era in holy paladin history. Holy Radiance's first beta version, Healing Hands, was loudly trumpeted when the Cataclysm NDA was lifted. Light of Dawn's struggle to find a place in our arsenal has caused more lines of paladin patch notes than any other ability. Learning to AoE heal has been our biggest challenge this year but also our greatest success.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Blinding Ultraxion with the Holy Light

ultraxion
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.

As the fifth boss of Dragon Soul, Ultraxion is the gateway boss to pursuing Deathwing and stopping the second cataclysm. While Thrall and the dragon aspects are busy with the Dragon Soul itself, we're tasked with defending Wyrmrest Temple from Ultraxion's assaults. Simple, right?

Ultraxion is an incredibly simple fight for tanks and damage dealers. In fact, it's already being called the Patchwerk-fight of this tier. Aside from a few extra button presses, non-healers are simply tasked with bringing Ultraxion down as quickly as possible. Healers, on the other hand, play a very special role in this fight. We're fighting against rapidly increasing AoE damage to the raid, and the aspects themselves step in to help us accomplish our task. Ultraxion is the healer-centric fight of this tier, like Baleroc and Chimaeron before him.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Adjust your healing in patch 4.3

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.

With patch 4.3 looming on the horizon, holy paladins need to be prepared for all of the changes that are headed our way. Both of our AoE healing options have been significantly altered, along with several of the talents and glyphs that support these abilities. Retribution paladins are also looking forward to a few buffs to their sustained DPS, but their ability to help with AoE healing is being greatly reduced.

Our core mana regeneration mechanic is about to be completely scrapped. In fact, if we continue using Judgement without making any adjustments, we'll actually have less mana in patch 4.3 than we do today. We've been healing with holy power for nearly a year now, but many of the habits we've picked up along the way will need to change.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: How to use holy cooldowns efficiently

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 are blessed with a robust selection of cooldown abilities, which improve our performance for a short period of time. Other classes like the restoration shaman have far fewer options for increasing their healing output on demand, which makes holy paladins one of the most flexible healing classes. In addition to boosting our single-target throughput, our cooldowns can also vitalize our AOE healing and reduce incoming damage.

When faced with such a large number of cooldown options, it can be difficult to pick the right ability for the job. Each of our cooldowns works in a unique way, with different strengths and weaknesses. By choosing the right opportunities to use each of our cooldowns, we can maximize our healing and minimize the chance of someone dying. Because of how powerful our cooldowns are, you should be using them on every boss encounter. They become especially important on heroic fights, as our healing capacities will be put to the test.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Dissecting the melee healer myth

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.

Back in the day, the paladin and shaman classes were exclusive to the Alliance and the Horde, respectively. The two classes were designed to be polar opposites, highlighting the differences between the factions. Paladins were designed to be defensive melee hybrids with tanking as one of their talent trees and no true ranged build. Shaman, of course, were offensive ranged hybrids with a caster DPS option. Because of this original bifurcated design, paladins have inherited several traits and abilities that have caused us to be typecast as the melee healers.

While the truth is that holy paladins don't need to stay in melee range to get the job done, the ideal has always persisted that paladins should be getting down and dirty with their foes. The gap between that dream and reality hasn't been a serious issue for us, but Mists of Pandaria might change that. The new mistweaver healing spec for the upcoming monk class has been described as a unique healer that relies on melee attacks to do their job efficiently. With another healer moving into our melee territory, do we have any reason to be jealous?

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Throttling holy paladins in PVP

pvp healer
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.

Last year, Nethaera, a Blizzard community manager, informed us that the interaction between Protector of the Innocent and Beacon of Light was completely intentional. Holy paladins were still feeling out the new spells and talents that we received in Cataclysm, so it was nice to know that at least one thing was working as intended. Now, some ten months later, we're seeing Beacon of Light and Protector of the Innocent disconnected from each other on the patch 4.3 PTR. Why break a mechanic that's worked right since its inception?

The developers aren't happy with healers in PVP situations. The massive Holy Radiance changes were a nerf to PVP holy paladins, and the PotI nerf affects them more than raid healers. The devs are also buffing Mortal Strike effects to allow them to cut our healing down by 25%, up from the 10% healing debuff that we've been working with for months. The Seal of Insight/Judgement changes also affect us negatively in PVP environments. Removing Holy Radiance from our Speed of Light talent reduces holy's mobility.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Radical changes to holy paladins on the 4.3 PTR

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.

When I first checked out the official PTR change list for the upcoming patch 4.3, I wasn't expecting many holy paladin changes. We've been performing admirably in Cataclysm, comfortably straddling the line between obsolescence and ubiquity. Upon the reading the changes, I was shocked to see such radical changes to our talents, spells, and playstyle. Patch notes like these are always scary, as we don't know if we're being gutted or reinforced. I immediately downloaded the latest PTR client and got to work.

Holy Radiance
was completely retooled into a cast spell that we use on a friendly group member, with talents changed to reflect the new design. We gained two new holy power sources, and Light of Dawn had its target count shifted. Our bread-and-butter mana regeneration mechanic, the Seal of Insight and Judgement system, was also scrapped in favor of a flat regeneration buff that scales with our spirit.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Illuminated Healing still no Val'anyr

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 Val'anyr was totally a hunter weapon.

When playing a healer, there's no single "right" way to play. Tanks can adjust their gear and strategy to boost their threat or avoidance, but both of those statistics are easy to track and monitor. Damage classes are obviously optimizing for one thing: DPS. Healers, on the other hand, can both get to the same point while taking completely different paths. Checking your healing per second on a healing meter won't show all of the times that you saved someone's life or made a great decision, and it never tells the whole story of an encounter. The best example is how your total healing done will plummet as your raid group gets better and better at avoiding damage on a particular encounter.

Healing meters do have a few useful purposes. They allow us to empirically test different strategies and gear choices, and we can monitor the effect of changes that we make. They also allow us to evaluate talents and individual abilities, which means we can make educated decisions about our talent and spell selection. When reviewing my healing done, I can figure out exactly what works and what doesn't. One thing has consistently stood out as negligible to my overall healing: Illuminated Healing. How did our mastery bonus end up so impotent?

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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: Tackling AoE paladin 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 or awesome screenshots you may have!

Superman's weakness is green kryptonite. When confronted with it, he has no option but to surrender. A Green Lantern's weakness is anything yellow, which I suppose means that they hate bananas. Aquaman's weakness is that he can't really do much on dry land, except possibly flop around some. Holy paladins, while not exactly superheroes, have been plagued by a longstanding weakness as well: We've never been able to heal a group with any sort of efficiency or potency.

In Cataclysm, the developers set out to break down the barriers that were preventing holy paladins from being effective group healers. The first order of business was expanding our toolbox to include a few AoE spells, and so we learned Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance. While they've both seen some serious rebalancing and complete redesigns (as well as a rename or two), the final versions of these two spells are now our core AoE healing options. Both abilities tackle different situations, and knowing when to use which is key in being successful as a holy paladin.

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

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