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Posts with tag light-and-how-to-heal-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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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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The Light and How to Swing It: The latest casualty in the mana war

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.

If you read my post last week, then you're familiar with the pretty serious nerfs to our mana regeneration that came with the previous build of the Cataclysm beta. Apparently Blizzard was only halfway done, and they released build 12942 on Thursday with even more cuts to our already-weak mana regeneration situation. Our last powerful tool to restore mana, Seal of Insight (the old Seal of Wisdom) was changed to only restore 4% of our base mana, instead of 4% of our maximum mana.

While I was already upset from reading that my vision of a melee-centric holy paladin was coming apart, I then saw that Holy Shock's base healing was also nerfed by 30%. While Holy Shock was definitely powerful, it wasn't a spammable heal and you still needed to use the other heals in your toolbox to keep everyone alive. We had already lost Sacred Shield and the Infusion of Light HoT, and our proactive healing is now purely based on our mastery bonus. We need strong reactive healing to counter our lack of HoTs, and so nerfing Holy Shock just didn't make sense.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Why is the mana gone?

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 the future of mana regeneration for holy paladins.

When you play WoW on a beta server, you accept that there's going to be a lot of bugs. There's the stacking modifier that doesn't actually stop stacking, and you're left with retribution and protection paladins swinging for 5-digits with every attack. I'll admit that I felt a bit guilty when I one-shot someone with a thirty-thousand damage Avenger's Shield. There's also the programmer who accidentally misplaced the decimal in another spell, letting Crusader Aura grant us 600% mounted movement speed. Even with some of these glaring issues present, it's our job to ignore the urge to exploit and to continue working on testing balance and content. Well, it's our job to only gank a few people at the teleport NPCs and to then get moving to test balancing. Well, maybe more than a few. Well, maybe all of them.

Anyway, Blizzard unveiled its most comprehensive patch to the beta last week. It contained a ton of changes to paladins, and specifically there were a lot of holy paladin talent changes. While some of these edits are positive, like the new Denounce and Exorcism changes which FINALLY give us a spammable ranged attack, others are fairly grim. I'm talking about the complete removal of Illumination and the ruination of Divine Plea. They're both toast.

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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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The Light and How to Swing It: Healing through Halion and friends

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 tackle Halion and his twilight cronies in Ruby Sanctum.

In order to bridge the gap between Icecrown Citadel's release late last year and Cataclysm's eventual launch in months, Blizzard released a short raid instance to give raiders something to do until Deathwing breaks through. Ruby Sanctum is a transitional raid, which ushers out our major conflict with the scourge and introduces us to our new threat-dragons. Specifically, our red dragon allies have been assaulted by the Twilight Dragonflight, and it's our job to go clear out their pad before Alexstrasza comes home and gets really mad.

With just a trio of mini-bosses and some scattered mobs to clear, the instance looks pretty sparse when we first enter. However, once we've cleared out the trash, Halion appears to stomp on us. He looks a bit like a melding of a catfish and a dragon, but mostly dragon. I'm fairly certain that Blizzard's art department hired a team of pre-school girls to choose the color palate, and so we're faced with a pink and purple dragon who's apparently supposed to be a pretty serious threat. Right. That's our color, and we've come to take it back.

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The Light and How to Swing It: The new holy paladin toolbox

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 the our revised healing toolbox in the upcoming expansion.

With the Cataclysm beta now underway, Blizzard's been kind enough to lift the NDA that had been shrouding any expansion information from our eyes. I have been using this opportunity to read up on what holy paladins can look forward to once we're level 85. We have some new information on Healing Hands, and it looks to be a fairly powerful AoE heal (more on that next week). I've also seen some recent changes to the holy tree to reflect the healing game in Cataclysm, as well as some cleanup of talents that were out of place.

The biggest upset for me is our new 21-point talent, Divine Light. It's the "big and expensive" heal that was needed to move paladins to the Three Heal System, and I really don't understand why we need to spend a talent slot to pick up what's supposed to be a core healing spell. I don't care about spending the extra point in the tree, I had just been hoping we would've seen something cool put in the vacancy that was created by the new baseline Holy Shock. The next question is: so what's Divine Light good for anyway?

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The Light and How to Swing It: How to keybind your holy paladin

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 the proper way to set up keybindings for your holy paladin.

I was in a raid a few nights ago with a newer holy paladin healing alongside me. We were fighting Blood Queen Lana'thel, and a friendly shadow priest blessed me with a Fear Ward. As soon as the AoE fear phase came, I was immediately pressing my Cleanse macro to save the healers. I managed to dispel 3 of the fears in 4 seconds, including the other paladin. After the fight, he asked me how I was able to click on his unit frame and click Cleanse before the fear was over. He had no idea that you could cast a spell on someone without them targeted.

I've talked about holy paladin addons before, and touched on the importance of using mouseovers to minimize your reaction times. It's true that addons can improve your performance and that they're important in squeezing every last drop of healing out of your paladin. However, there's something even more basic that needs to be in place first-- keybindings. No matter how fast a player is at clicking, it's simply impossible have the same reaction times as a player who is using their keyboard to activate their abilities. In addition, having your spells bound to the keyboard will make your addons and macros even more potent, as you'll be able to combine the two for the optimum healing setup.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Wearing metal dresses

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 what's in store for our precious plate dresses in a post-mastery world.

If you've been following along with Blizzard's release schedule for holy paladin information, it's clear that there are going to be some serious changes. Imagine if you rounded up the four healer classes of WoW side by side, in terms of playstyle and capability. I am certain that paladins would stand out in the lineup. Trying to normalize us into the universal healthcare -- I mean, universal healing system is going to be a difficult task. Because of this, it's not a surprise that the other three healer classes received their talent previews this week, while paladins are left wondering what's in store.

The previews for the other classes show us that Blizzard intends to make nearly all caster gear come with spirit, while adding talents for the DPS casters to convert spirit to hit. I remember the complaints when healing power and spell damage were merged into spellpower, but I can say now that I think it was a great change. Not having to shard a piece of cloth gear with hit on it because none of the healers needed it will be a welcome change as well. All casters will be able to share gear with their fellow cloth/leather/mail wearers. The question is: Where does this leave holy paladins? We're still stuck sporting plate armor, and there are no other casters around to use the same gear.

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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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The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new holy paladin at 80, part 2


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 the most efficient way to use your emblems of triumph to pick up great holy gear.

Do any of you remember raiding Naxxramas, back at the start of Wrath? What now seems so trivial today was actually pretty easy back then too, considering that guilds in level 70 gear cleared it on their first night in. Even considering how simple raiding was at that point, loot drama could still occur. A guild on my server, one of the larger and more successful guilds too, disbanded over a loot dispute. It wasn't about whether or not hunters should be allowed to roll on one-handed items (they shouldn't), but rather about whether an item with spellpower, mana per 5, and haste should be given to a healer. The item in question is the Torch of Holy Fire, which today, we would clearly state is a healer weapon: MP5 means that a healer should be using it.

However, one of the guild's elemental shamans contested that it was also best-in-slot for him, and that DPS classes deserved gear before healers did. His argument was that letting the DPS gear up was more important than giving items to healers, because more DPS meant quicker boss fights. Once an encounter was beaten, additional healing did nothing to push progression. While the idea of a guild focusing on gearing their tanks first and everyone else second is not that uncommon, the idea of DPS superiority over healing was divisive enough to rip this group apart. Healers were arguing for their fellow brethren, while DPS derided them for being selfish. Paladins were particularly focused on, since critical strike rating was far more desirable back then and we were rolling on sp/haste/crit gear along with every other caster DPS class. Luckily for us, things have changed a lot since those early Wrath months.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Triage in Cataclysm


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 the next expansion will change our method of healing, and might even be for the better.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few days, you're aware that Blizzard recently started their Friends and Family alpha testing phase for Cataclysm. While a select few lucky individuals are playing the rough version of the next expansion right now, I am left here in Dalaran with only my thoughts to keep me company. Recently, I've been thinking about how Cataclysm is going to change the healing landscape for holy paladins, and what I can do to prepare myself over the next few months.

We're obviously receiving at least one new healing spell, Healing Hands, and since Holy Shock is no longer our 31-point talent, it wouldn't surprise me to see another heal added in as well. How are those going to change our decision making process when choosing the right spell to cast? We'll actually have to think about mana costs and conservation now as well; will we flex between various heals or fall back to relying on Holy Light to solve every problem? We also have to consider that changes to the other classes affect our playstyle as well. Tank cooldowns may change drastically, and many DPS classes are picking up survivability talents and skills of their own. The real question is: what's not going to change for us in Cataclysm?

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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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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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The Light and How to Swing It: Beating the GCD


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 do deal with our biggest limiting factor: the GCD.

Playing a holy paladin is a lot like participating in illegal street racing. We drive as fast as possible, have no respect for law or our fellow man, and we live our lives a quarter mile at a time. Well, at least the last part is true. We play our class one second at a time, with only a moment's time to process our raid's status before making our next move. We play in a GCD-capped environment: limited by the game's own internal pacing instead of our mana.

It's because we're already capable of casting as fast as possible that our multi-target healing suffers. Most other healers can increase their number of spells cast per second to boost their healing output, whereas we're limited by the fact that we can really only heal one person per second. There are some tricks we can use to beating this GCD limit, and therefore raise our output over simply mashing Holy Light for five minutes a time. Knowing how to work efficiently in these short, one-second windows will ensure you're healing every last bit possible.

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