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Posts with tag holy-shock

The Light and How to Swing It: Cataclysm heroics from a holy paladin's perspective

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 it feels to heal a heroic in the new expansion

I've been spending my evenings churning through heroics on the Cataclysm beta. It's a bit unsettling to heal as a holy paladin in the dungeon environment, because it feels like you're playing bizzaro-WoW. Holy Shock is your main heal, Holy Light isn't the button you go to when your tank is dipping dangerously low, and you're actually watching for procs instead of settling into a steady state of heal spamming.

Not only that, but we've now got options when it comes to healing more than one target. Our precious Glyph of Holy Light is gone, but it's been replaced by far more powerful options. Holy Radiance allows us to heal either melee or ranged players, based on our location. Light of Dawn gives us our AoE toolbox a ranged option, with a sweet graphic effect to boot. The core fundamentals of paladin healers are still around, and our Hand spells are still as potent as ever, but now we've got a more robust set of tools to handle every situation. Needless to say, your number of keybindings will expand significantly.

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

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

Cataclysm Beta: Holy power questions

Holy power is the big conversation topic for paladins right now (well, that and mobility in PvP -- but that's always a topic of conversation for paladins). For those of you who have been out of the loop, Blizzard announced during its last developer chat that for the betterment of the class, paladins would be receiving a new resource called holy power. This would be used in conjunction with mana for a variety of new and existing abilities.

So after having played with holy power on the beta realms, we decided to ask our Twitter followers if they had any questions or concerns about this new system for us to look into.
Soranomaru asks:

"How fast does it accrue? How do you spend it effectively? Is it a mechanic to empower spellcasts or another ressource like mana?"
Short answers: Currently, every 3 seconds for ret, 4 seconds for prot, and 6 seconds for holy due to the abilities and talents they'd be using to earn it. Usually, three points is the most efficient. It's a secondary resource, like runic power is to runes on a death knight, and there are certain abilities that use it and other abilities that have nothing to do with it.

Long answers: Holy power is a secondary resource that you'll have along with your current mana bar. As retribution and protection, you'll be using Crusader Strike to build up your holy power points (HPP). If you're holy, you'll still have access to Crusader Strike, but you will also be using Holy Shock to build up that HPP. The most HPP you can build up at a time is three, so you'll be earning and spending fairly quickly. Some abilities give a flat rate based on how much holy power you put into it (Word of Glory), while others get much more efficient with the more points used (Templar's Verdict).

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy Powah!


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. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to gregg@wow.com.

Well, Chase decided against using "Holy Powah!" as the title for his paladin article on the subject for healadins, so I am selfishly going to grab it.

For those of you who haven't been keeping up with paladins since the Twitter developer chat on Friday, we're getting overhauled yet again and more deeply than ever before. Not only are things being simplified and condensed again like we saw at the beginning of Wrath, but we're getting an additional resource system on top of mana. That's right, additional and on top of mana, which means we're going to be the second (or third?) mana-based class with an extra resource bar to watch.

This new system is called holy power, and no, it isn't referring to a talent in the holy tree that adds crit. It is a mixture of combo points and runic power. This whole conversation is going to take a while (and a couple of blue quotes), so let's continue after the break.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution and protection paladins in the Cataclysm beta


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.

It's here! Cataclysm has moved from the alpha stage into the closed beta stage. The non-disclosure agreement is no longer in effect and all of the news sites are going crazy with information overload. At first glance, not much has changed, but a lot of little things have been tweaked and I have a feeling a lot more changes are in store for the paladin class throughout the course of the beta. Some things, like the Guardian of Ancient Kings that I used a reader screenshot to fake above, just don't appear to be coded yet (and with its complexity, it will probably be a while).

Speaking of which, if anyone wants to show up in the column, just send screenshots to gregg@wow.com and I just might be able to make that dream come true.

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

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: Less AoE


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.

Paladins have changed a lot over the course of the game. Originally, we were intended to just be healers with some additional specs for leveling. Then we were suddenly able to tank and everything was about reflective damage with a dozen or more things hitting you at once with a DPS spec that was usually relegated to the PvP scene instead of in raids. Finally, we've reached a point where all three specs are pretty viable in both PvE and PvP content. That isn't to say that they're the most phenomenal things to ever appear for those particular parts of the game but that we can still be competitive no matter which spec we choose.

The problem with our class is a lack of tools. While our melee components were slowly built out of what was intended to be a healing support class, we've still got a lot of vestiges of the old days tacked to us. Sure, we had a fairly large overhaul in how a lot of our mechanics worked at the start of Wrath of the Lich King, but that isn't to say we're perfect yet. In fact, we need a few more tools in order to make it in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Protection paladin analysis


While the above was the most-looked-forward-to possible change in Cataclysm, we still didn't get it. Hopefully, the developers will come to their senses and change this horrible oversight on their behalf, but until then we are perfectly happy with just adding the tauren to our list of Light-touched brethren.

Yesterday, the paladin class previews brought us a brief glimpse of things to come. Some of them were expected, while others were a little more out there. Overall, I think there will be a lot of tweaking to the class as a whole in the coming expansion. We're going to see more defenses removed from our brothers and sisters in the other specs as well as having some of their tools become available to us.

Let's take a look at some of these changes after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

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

[UPDATED] Paladin changes in patch 3.0.3


Yeah, yeah, I know. You're sick of reading about Paladins. Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just here bearing some news and a couple of opinions. You can always skip down to the the next post, anyway. For those Paladin lovers (and even loathers), Patch 3.0.3 brings about some pretty interesting changes to the class. We got a lot more changes than other classes, but then again we've been getting a lot of attention lately, haven't we?

First, the bad news. We knew most of the nerfs since they showed up in the Beta a while back. Well, most of those nerfs made it live to Patch 3.0.3, so let's get this over with quickly so we can move on to the good news. Yes, there's actually good news for Paladins this patch. Seals all get nerfed to varying degrees, the general idea being that they no longer deal as much damage either as a Seal or as a Judgement. Don't ask me for the math, you can check out Boubouille's detailed notes on MMO Champion for the details. All Seals have been nerfed, period. Ouch.

[UPDATE: Thanks to Turkeyspit who reminded me about the change to Judgement of Light, which now awesomely affects spells and not just melee attacks. I told you this was a good Patch for us.]

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Holy Paladins


This was supposed to go up before the servers did, but as you probably already know, Patch 3.0.2 wasn't quite what we all expected. Now that servers are starting to go back up online, I can better write up this handy guide for the brave new world. Let's try to get as much of this right as possible. If you were as excited as I am -- and you should be -- you probably logged on as soon as your Realm went up, picked out all those cool talents you've been drooling over these past months, and went off reveling in your newfound power.

Good for you. Even though Patch 3.0.2 had a few hiccups, most of the important class changes made it through. I had to delete a lot of my macros and change a few. For one thing, Judgement and a Seal can no longer be cast within the same macro. This is because Seals aren't consumed by Judgements anymore, so they now share the same GCD. If you have macros for your Blessings of Freedom, Protection, and Sacrifice, you should edit them to cast Hands instead of Blessings. Lots of little things. I'll probably talk about that in The Light and How to Swing It. For now, we'll take a look at the talent trees and how we'll settle into the 3.0.2 world.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: For the love of all that's Holy


With all the love that Protection and Retribution has gotten, a lot of people might feel that Holy has fallen behind. To a degree this is true. It's important to understand, before anything else, that for the longest time Holy was the only truly viable tree for the class. Protection has come into its own in The Burning Crusade, while Retribution needed a lot more work. Now that Blizzard has done its homework and tweaked the trees to scrumptious, tempting playability, it's time for us to revisit the Holy tree. Exactly how good will Holy be in Wrath of the Lich King?

The answer isn't a simple one. For one thing, Holy is still an incredibly powerful tree and Holy Paladins are still the best single target healers in the game, with Holy Lights critting for ludicrous amounts in the Wrath Beta. It is also now more capable offensively, with ranged Judgements, better coefficients, and a lowered cooldown on Holy Shock. Even then, there are many indications that Holy has fallen behind on many respects, and many Paladins are considering speccing Retribution or Protection because of it. That's not a good thing at all.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

[UPDATED] Paladin changes in Beta build 8926 part I


This is one of the biggest patches to hit Paladins in a while, and it's a mixed bag. Let's get the bad news out of the way first -- all of Seals have been nerfed. All of them. Seal of the Martyr / Blood, Corruption / Vengeance, Wisdom, Light, Justice, Righteousness and even Command have all had their damage reduced. The formulas are tweaks of the values of attack power, spell power, and weapon speed -- a bit complicated to explain in detail -- that result in an overall damage reduction. Now, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, let me say one thing: don't panic.

We can probably consider this patch the nerf patch, which is an essential part of the tuning process. The developers traditionally start from a high power scale and fine tune it downwards -- I mean, look at the poor Death Knight. This is still the Wrath Beta, and while there is a chance these numbers might stick through to live, testing these lowered numbers are vital to getting everything right for release. If you're in Beta, log in, play with it for a while, and give feedback. If you're not in Beta, hold back a bit from making a ruckus and exercise a little patience until the testing is done. Let's take a deep breath. Now where'd I put my inhaler...

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin 3.0


It's pretty exciting, isn't it? Patch 3.0 is coming, well, "soon™" according to Blizzard. Considering that our favorite class hasn't gotten a second pass, it might be a bit premature to talk about Paladin changes when the pre-Wrath patch finally hits. That said, it looks like more than a few new talents will make it at least into the PTRs more or less intact. Hopefully and changes we'll see during our second pass will be tweaks to numbers and some mechanics refinements but hopefully no major changes.

Assuming that most of the changes push through, we should expect a completely different Paladin in the coming months. Even without taking the new talents into account, there are baseline changes that should make gameplay technically different. The most significant change, of course, is in the way Judgements work. This is the one change that will take some getting used to. First of all, there are now three Judgements and they activate the GCD. This means no more macros for Seals and Judgements, which is actually fine because of two things: first, Judgements no longer consume Seals; second, Seals now last for a micromanagement-light two minutes.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

The Light and How to Swing It: The shocking truth in Beta


Ok. So Paladins rock in Beta. There are a whole slew of abilities and talents that make life a whole lot easier and a lot more fun. One popular request on the comments has been to test drive the new Wrath Shockadin, with improvements like a 6 second Holy Shock and ranged judgements from Enlightened Judgements, it really does seem like the spec has finally come into its own.

Of course, what looks good on paper doesn't necessarily translate into actual gameplay. With the reshuffle of talents and the consolidation of spell and melee crit, what used to be a fringe off-spec with a loyal following might actually turn into the spec of choice... for healing Paladins. Before anything, though, let's make one thing clear -- this is Beta, so everything we'll be taking a look at today might (and is likely to) change by the time Wrath of the Lich King is live.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

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