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Posts with tag light-of-dawn

The most reassuring title to see on a player

The most reassuring title to see on a player
Whether we like to admit it or not, we tend to give other players the once-over whenever we zone into a Raid Finder or dungeon PUG, particularly if you've had a run of bad experiences while getting valor-capped for the week. A recent thread on the Tanking forums about the best title for a tank to sport is both a sideways acknowledgment of this and a question as to which title best suits your role in the game. For healers, one could argue that Undying or Immortal means you probably had job security for the length of Wrath, but that kind of ignores everyone else's responsibility to not screw up in Naxx. Possibly Herald of the Titans/Conqueror of Ulduar would have been the equivalent for DPS players, although a raid had to fire on all cylinders for those achievements too.

Before achievements were account-wide, and leaving aside obvious ringers like Light of Dawn/Bane of the Fallen King before Mists, I would have nominated Loremaster or Seeker as the most reassuring titles to see on a player regardless of gear quality. I can't say exactly what link exists between the persistence needed to get these titles and overall competence, but I have yet to see a Loremaster or Seeker player do something screw-the-pooch crazy in a PUG. These days, it's tougher to guarantee that a player sporting a title is doing so on the character that originally got it, so maybe The Undaunted is probably the single best outward indicator of competence.

Having written all this, I've also had the pleasure of knowing a world-class hunter who never bothered using titles, and we have to acknowledge that a generic, funny (e.g., "Chef Boyardee"), or absent title means nothing at all. But if you had to pick one that said, "I will not get you killed in this PUG," which would it be?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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: 5 clever tricks for maximizing your Dragon Soul healing

seal of insight
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.

If you're a holy paladin with a pulse, there's no reason not to be raiding Dragon Soul. The Raid Finder allows us healers to find groups in minutes, with no strings attached if you have to leave early. The normal versions of the bosses are all accessible for guilds across the spectrum of dedication levels. Healing a raid in Dragon Soul gives you access to the best gear available and provides us with the greatest challenge we can face today.

I was looking at my World of Logs parses from the old days, and I was surprised to see how bad my HPS looked then when compared to more recent parses. The first step in preparing yourself to heal in Dragon Soul is to realize that the instance isn't built like Bastion of Twilight or Firelands. While the Ascendant Council repeatedly punished the raid for clumping and Baleroc crushed our tanks, many fights in Dragon Soul involve tight stacking and tons of AoE healing. Optimizing our AoE healing has become a key to succeeding in Dragon Soul.

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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: The AOE heal we deserve

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.

From launch until Cataclysm, holy paladins survived on just a handful of heals. We traded healing complexity for unique utility, gaining Aura Mastery instead of Wild Growth or using Hand of Freedom instead of Prayer of Mending. Holy paladin healing was so simple for so many years, as we tended to gravitate toward a single spell like Flash of Light or Holy Light in each expansion. While any other healing class could have complained that their class had become stagnant, holy paladins had literally been playing the same game of whack-a-mole for years.

Cataclysm's massive retooling of paladins and introduction of the three-heal model helped breathe new life into playing holy. Holy power gave us a unique mechanic to manage and gave us additional choices to make when healing. The three-heal model ensures that we're forced to choose between throughput and efficiency, and now we're challenged with managing our mana as well as our healing. Even though these changes drastically shifted the way we play our paladins, we were still relying on the same single-target heals we had always been. Healing Hands, now known as Holy Radiance, was the spell designed to upset the status quo.

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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: Holy paladins and holy power

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 discussing the major changes that paladins saw in Cataclysm, holy power is always at the top of the list. While hunters received their pseudo-energy resource called focus and death knights had their rune system revamped, holy power was easily the most interesting mechanic that was introduced. There's no way to play a holy paladin efficiently without completely adopting holy power. The two holy power releases are both free and flexible. They only cost holy power to use, and they give us a strong instant heal and the only instant AoE heal in our toolbox.

We receive a relatively fixed amount of holy power every minute, with the biggest contributor being Holy Shock. We can only use Holy Shock about 10 times a minute, although a few of our talents help augment that number. The key concept is that holy power is a fixed resource, which means that deciding between Light of Dawn and Word of Glory becomes an important choice.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: An interview with the all-business Diamondtear

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 the pillars that support every raid's healing roster. As long as there are tanks to heal, there will be paladins dropping Light bombs on their unit frames. Unparalleled single-target throughput and powerful defensive cooldowns have solidified our position as the foundation of any healing paradigm. While our shockadin DPS may be laughable, our healing capability speaks for itself.

For the last few tiers of raiding, holy paladins have been ever-present guardians. We ensure that our group makes it through the shadow and flame unscathed. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the most successful holy paladins, Diamondtear of Paragon. He's survived the toughest encounters that WoW has to offer, helping his guild push towards world first after world first.

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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: 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

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladins make a trade

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 about how Blizzard finally fixed the Light of Dawn animation.

I'm not going to sugar-coat it: Holy paladins saw a massive stealth nerf delivered recently. Tower of Radiance, once the pinnacle of a holy paladin's healing strategy, was reduced to rubble. ToR previously granted us an extra holy power point any time we used a core heal on our Beaconed target. The new version only works with Divine Light and Flash of Light, our two most expensive heals. Our holy power generation mechanics basically limit us to one holy power point every 6 seconds. Daybreak can help by letting us snag extra Holy Shocks, but not in a predictable manner. Tower of Radiance allowed us to control our holy power generation by using Holy Light to pick up a few extra points whenever we wanted.

The key to Tower of Radiance's potency was the cheap price of Holy Light. If we needed extra AoE healing, we could generate holy power points and then spend them on Light of Dawn. When low on mana, we could use our cheap Holy Lights to build points towards a zero-mana Word of Glory. ToR gave us the flexibility to do something productive with our Holy Lights during downtime and allowed us to exploit our free holy power-based heals. To make matters worse, the developers nerfed us from the other direction, by lowering Light of Dawn's potency by 40%.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Light of Dawn's latest rebirth

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 to pull off an awesome dive heal, as pictured above.

Gregg, my fellow paladin columnist, and I like to make jokes about Blizzard's strategy for naming paladin abilities. Holy This, Something Retribution, and Divine That. Their creativity can only stretch so far, as paladins have a very defined set of lore, and there are only so many words that relate to their holy upbringing. Paladins have the additional downside of being a hybrid class, and so this means that the number of available ability names depletes faster than ever.

Blizzard changed Healing Hands' name to Holy Radiance, which is probably a great move, considering that we already had a heal named Lay on Hands. Duplicate names didn't stop Blizzard's team from christening our second AoE heal with the same name as one of the game's most prestigious achievements and a title, Light of Dawn. Light of Dawn itself isn't safe from the instability, either. Its function went from a simple heal that was boosted by holy power, to a regular AoE heal that had no target cap, and it has even been changed again. The new version of Light of Dawn is a smart heal that consumes only holy power, which completely changes its functionality and usefulness.

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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 all about throughput

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 to pull off an awesome dive heal, as pictured above.

Blizzard has tried to give holy paladins so many interesting tools. We saw our first absorption effect in our level 80 ability, Sacred Shield. Its potency was limited due to the proc mechanics involved, and once it was limited to a single target, it became just another buff we kept active. The dev team tried giving us not one but two different HoTs. The first was via the old Glyph of Flash of Light, which took our weakest heal and cut its up-front healing in half in exchange for a weak HoT. It simply didn't make sense.

The second HoT we received came from the interaction between Infusion of Light and Sacred Shield, which would put a HoT on our SS target when we used FoL on him. While more powerful than the last iteration, it was still far too weak to make any difference, and its limitation of a single target really made it untenable. Our ability to prevent damage via absorption effects or proactively heal damage via HoTs was basically nil, and holy paladins relied on massive throughput to solve every healing dilemma. It looks like that model hasn't changed today.

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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: Hot talents and glyphs 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.

The holy paladin talent tree has historically had issues with its filler talents. While many of the talents and abilities were spec-defining, there were other talents that literally had no purpose and were never taken. I'm talking about Sacred Cleansing, which actually didn't work at all throughout most of Wrath. How could we forget Purifying Power, whose usefulness was completely negated by the Glyph of Holy Wrath, which itself was only used to exploit a difficult encounter? Even with all of these junk talents in the tree, we also had a distinct lack of DPS talents, leaving holy paladins nearly helpless when left to fend for themselves.

Cataclysm's new truncated talent trees resolve many of the issues our previous talent tree had, as well as providing several DPS talents to give us some flexibility when we need to up our damage output. Exorcism has finally become the spammable attack we can use from range to nuke our targets, and Crusader Strike gives us some DPS presence while we're in melee range as well. The core focus of the holy paladin will always be healing, but it's nice to see that Blizzard created talents and glyphs to support both the healing paladin and the pseudo-shockadin that's emerging in Cataclysm.

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

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