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Posts with tag paladin-healer

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

4 major updates for holy paladins in Mists of Pandaria

Execution Sentence
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 recently promised to release a flurry of Mists of Pandaria information in March, but apparently it's opened the gates early. The Mists of Pandaria talent calculator and ability list received a massive update this week, giving us new info on the talents and spells that holy paladins can look forward to in Mists. In addition, the Blizzard community managers have been answering questions about the new data at a rapid-fire rate.

Holy paladins have a lot to look forward to in Mists. It's clear that the developers have been looking at our weaknesses as healers, as several of our long-standing issues have been addressed. While we've always had a wide variety of utility abilities, until recently, holy paladins really only had single-target heals at their disposal. With the introduction of the revamped Holy Radiance in late Cataclysm and now the new talent options we'll in Mists, our base healing toolbox is looking more and more complete.

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

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

The Light and How to Swing It: 3 essential addons for holy paladins

addons, addons everywhere
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 have come a long way from the days of five-minute Blessings and WhisperCast. There's a good kind of complexity that comes from being given choices, and there's the bad kind of complexity that comes from busy work. The developers are constantly streamlining the game and removing outdated mechanics, and I can't complain. Even though addons like PallyPower made our lives easier, the new Blessing system is so simple that we don't need any external help to handle it.

Today's holy paladin has different addon needs from the healer of yesteryear. Three of the most important holy paladin addon concerns are unit frames, holy power management, and raid-specific alerts. In Dragon Soul, there are plenty of important things that we need to keep track of. Raid encounters are only going to get more and more complex and chaotic, and we need to be able to quickly get the information we need.

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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: 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: The relationship between intellect and spirit

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.

"Stack intellect." All you had to do was ask any question about holy paladins in Wrath, and you'd receive that infamous answer. Intellect was the solution to all of our problems, and it was through intellect that we conquered our corner of the healing game. Intellect allowed us to cast indefinitely without ever running our mana wells dry, and intellect allowed us to cast our most powerful heal without even a moment's pause. It was a matter of fact. Holy paladins would simply overheal in massive amounts, and nobody cared.

I suppose intellect was only half of the problem. Holy Light clearly scaled too well as our gear improved. It was meant to be expensive but powerful, a necessary evil for dire situations. Once the scare of running out of mana was debunked, there was no reason not to use the most potent tool in our arsenal. While the developers may still blame the imbalances in Icecrown Citadel on the extra tiers of gear they had to add to accommodate heroic raid encounters, when an errant DPS class' performance scaled out of control, they were quickly reined in. Holy paladins' power was left unchecked because we were merely healers. The hammer would drop on us in Cataclysm, anyway.

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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: 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: 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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Filed under: Paladin, (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

Healing's evolution in Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler, when not directly occupied with the pack of idiots harassing him on the Damage Dealing forums, stopped by the Healing forums this past month to share some information on how healing is likely to change in Cataclysm. Of particular interest is Blizzard's changing design philosophy with respect to what makes healing challenging. Right now tank avoidance is so high that, as GC's previously observed, bosses have to hit like a freight train in order to pose any threat to tank survivability at all. Between that and what's universally acknowledged as the "never running OOM" ethos of Wrath, the unfortunate effect has been healers spamming their largest heals on anyone within range.

The model that Blizzard's looking to move towards is getting a test run of sorts in Icecrown Citadel -- lower tank avoidance, bosses hitting for more reasonable amounts, and -- in Cataclysm -- higher health overall. In other words, we'll be healing for roughly the same amount we're healing now through less damage that nonetheless occurs more frequently. This will lead to a greater risk of running OOM as the encounter progresses if you dump a ton of mana on damage that should have been healed more efficiently. Even now, there are encounters like hard-mode Vezax where you do have to do this, which I thought made for a pretty interesting fight.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Forums

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