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Posts with tag paladin-healing

How should classes be balanced?

Ghostcrawler comments on raid stacking and balancing
If you've visited the official beta forums lately, there've been lots of complaints about how powerful monk (and paladin, to a lesser extent) healing currently is in the Mists of Pandaria beta. A good blog post from Beruthiel, an expert druid healer, indicated that she was never able to beat a monk or paladin healer, no matter how hard she tried.

On Sunday, one player went so far to began discussing what specs his raiding guild was planning to "bench" for Mists of Pandaria, which triggered a response from Ghostcrawler last night.

Ghostcrawler
Quote:

When I'm being outhealed by a factor of two by any Joe Schmoe paladin or monk who happens to wander into a raid...I'm sorry, but skill is simply not going to overcome that.

It's probably not possible to overcome that much of a difference. Fortunately, you don't have to, because paladins and monks both had some egregious bugs that inflated their healing. We actually hotfixed those bugs but then a new build broke them again. Until you get a new build or we hotfix the issues again, you are probably better off comparing druid, priest and shaman healing. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Overall, I would recommend not deciding who you're going to bench based on beta testing until we are very close to ship. It's not a great strategy to try to get your character buffed either. :)


This is an absolutely key thing to remember -- enough so that it's worth a reminder. For those who haven't been around for an expansion launch before, there will likely be heaps of balancing hotfixes that go out at the same time patch 5.0 is released. I distinctly remember my feral druid topping DPS meters in ICC, hitting rock bottom as soon as 4.0.6 was released, then coming back up to mid-pack after a slew of hotfixes a few days later. The developers are still prioritizing testing mechanics, not balancing numbers; if you're in the beta, you should be doing the same.

From there, the discussion took a turn from raid balancing to raid stacking, in reference to Paragon's bringing 11 druids to their world-first heroic Nefarian kill.

Ghostcrawler
Quote:

Also one thing to consider is that benching and stacking of classes in the top guilds has less to do with SimCraft numbers and more of certain mechanics being very powerful on certain fights.
Case in point: Paragon's 11 Druids on their first Heroic Nefarian kill.

Agreed. Remember guilds in those world first situations are doing content very undergeared compared to what we expect because they are skipping the weeks of farming. In those situations players have to resort to some unusual strategies to make up the difference. In general (though not always depending on what they feel like they have to do) those type of machinations are fun for the guilds in questions and very few players are affected overall.

When we see widespread stacking, that crosses the line. In retrospect, the dependence on quick burst for a fight like Spine might cross the line. Overall, we didn't see a ton of stacking or sitting for the Cataclysm raids and we'll try to do even better for the new content.


In situations like this, it's important to consider the game developers' perspective. They have to ensure content is balanced for all levels of skill, not just those on the top end, while still creating encounters that are varied and entertaining. For the most part, I think they do a pretty good job, and it's always refreshing to see when they admit mistakes in their design.

What's your take on the matter? Should Blizzard balance classes based around their theoretical maximum performance, or should they balance around what the average class member can typically accomplish?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Do you enjoy strategic healing?

I found this picture on Reddit's /r/wow subreddit the other day, and it reminded me of the original promise of Cataclysm. "No more spamming heals! Triage is king!" Blizzard said -- and it actually stayed that way ... for a while. Unfortunately, strategic healing took a left somewhere around Majordomo Staghelm and hasn't been heard from since.

As mana regen spiraled out of control (again), the encounter designers went to the usual place -- heavy AoE raid damage that required massive throughput, with thoughtful deliberation out the window. This has not made many people happy. A recent thread in the Healing forum showcases this, with many healers reporting general dissatisfaction following tier 11's raid content.

So what's your opinion? Do you prefer to act with a surgeon's efficiency, using the right-sized heals at the right times? Would you rather JUST HEAL ALL THE THINGS? Or do you think "monks will fix it?"

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Looking back on healing in Cataclysm

Now, this is a forum post that I think merits a little more attention. We all know that developers weren't happy with the spamfest that healing often was in Wrath of the Lich King and that they looked to make it a far more cerebral activity in Cataclysm. Now that we're approaching the end of the expansion, Practical, one of the Blizzard forum MVPs, recently started a thread examining how healing turned out and what can be improved. Most of the people in the thread generally agree that healing started out pretty fun in tier 11 but declined afterwards. Reasons given range from boring boss mechanics to fights with random elements that made healers feel useless when they couldn't control or prevent player deaths.

Practical observes that a lot of the later problems with healing in Cataclysm might actually be the result of a surfeit of raid fights that required constant stacking, and the inevitable effect they had on certain healing spells' being too powerful. Having recently looked at healer numbers in Dragon Soul, I'd also venture that AoE healing spells that aren't numbers-restricted (for example, Circle of Healing versus Holy Radiance) on top of that raid stacking are making healer balance look worse than it actually is.

So what are your thoughts, healers? How did healing work out for you this expansion, and are you looking forward to the Cataclysm changes? And are the problems we're seeing really the result of healer mechanics or raid design?

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

The Light and How to Swing It: The holy paladin checklist

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 mentally prepare for every encounter.

Way back in the day, before any of us had the opportunity to actually play the game, Blizzard was in the process of developing the classes of WoW. Rogues were designed to be sneaky stabbers and priests were based around doing heal-y things. Shamans and paladins were created to be in direct opposition to each other. The designated shaman archetype was the offensive hybrid, giving their friends extra damage potential and eventually Bloodlust.

Paladins were the antonym, created to help defend their raid and party from damage and to provide useful buffs. While much of the original intentions have been diluted via homogenization, paladins are still the ultimate defensive class. Unfortunately, in order to perform our role in the face of constantly changing opponents and venues, our toolbox of abilities has become fairly large. We've got a utility spell for nearly every situation, and there are a vast number of situations out there. The key to being an effective paladin is to do your homework and to come prepared.

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

Raid Rx: No pally? No problem

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host, Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus, is on vacation.

Hello readers! Your favorite Canadian priest is off on some sort of an adventure this week so I'm here to cover for him. (I don't know the specifics, but I heard something about a Princess Leia metal bikini and twenty boxes of tropical flavored Fruit Roll-Ups. Your guess is as good as mine.) Usually I just handle priest healing over at Spiritual Guidance (thus, don't be surprised by the heavy priest bias) but I figured I could take a stab at this. I should warn you though: I'm no phlebotomist. I might need to stab you multiple times. No big deal right? I've got Flash Heal.

Anyway, when I asked Matt what topic I should cover, he relayed a story to me on how his raid leader refused to start their 25-man ICC because the group had no holy paladin. The raid leader wanted someone who could "heal the tanks." This forced them to wait 90-minutes for a healadin while available healing priests, shamans, and druids were turned away. Sounds frustrating, yes? Matt suggested I tackle the topic in his place (probably so I can take all the flames), so here I am.

So here's the situation: you're putting together a raid and either your normal pally is absent, for some reason (read: debauchery), or you're in a pug and there are no paladins to be found in ye ol' trade chat. What do you do? Can your other healers handle the tanks or are you doomed to a wipe fest?

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

The Daily Blues


Each day WoW.com will take you through all the blue posts and other Blizzard news from around the internet. From Ghostcrawler's latest posts to the lowdown on StarCraft II and Diablo III, we'll keep you informed.

The Daily Blues, in which Ghostcrawler is chatty as hell about healing.

Table of Contents

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Filed under: News items, The Daily Blues

The Light and How to Swing It: The truth about Lightsworn Garb

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 holy paladin Tier 10 set and its bonuses.

As my guild and I have been conquering Icecrown Citadel, I find myself with a glut of Emblems of Frost. While my rogue is diligently saving up for some of the sweet rewards, my holy paladin can't even find a use for the new libram. While I did stop for a minute to consider picking up some off spec gear, I also couldn't bring myself to part with these hard-earned Emblems for a non-holy piece. What are we to do with all of the excess?

I decided to investigate our Tier 10 4-piece bonus, considering that I was already halfway there with my two current pieces. However, I was also skeptical about how valuable the 4-piece bonus could be, considering that cast time reductions and haste interact in interesting ways. Well, there's that, and the fact that our tier set was itemized by someone who clearly enjoyed watching us squirm. With a complete lack of a haste/MP5 piece and two crit/MP5 pieces, our 4-piece bonus had better be really amazing to convince me to drop my off set pieces. Read on to find out what I decided.

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Filed under: Paladin, (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

How to decide who's getting Val'anyr


With Ulduar due to hit in the near future, Tales of a Priest addressed a pretty timely subject for 25-man raiders yesterday with a blog post on Val'anyr and how you're going to assign it. As it's a constructed Legendary like Atiesh rather than being a dropped item like the Warglaives and Thori'dal (sudden thought: why do the caster Legendaries have to be assembled, whereas the melee/ranged Legendaries just drop?), you're going to have to put some time and thought into which one of your healers is going to get this baby first.

It's not exactly the world's most comfortable question for a guild leader, but I like how Derevka lays the issue out so matter-of-factly, and then goes on to address an interesting point concerning Val'anyr's proc. Your ideal candidate is a good healer with great attendance who plans on hanging around for a while, but then there's the question -- which class gets the most use out of the proc?

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

Breakfast Topic: Don't you mean the *healer* shortage?

I wrote a Breakfast Topic recently concerning the somewhat ambivalent effect that Death Knights were having on the usual tanking shortage, but wasn't too surprised to see a lot of people (perhaps most) write in to note that the healer shortage on their realms was even worse. Leveling as a healer -- even with all the changes to spellpower and shared gear -- is an unattractive proposition for most, and a lot of people who healed at 70 want the chance to do something different. Past a certain point you'd give anything to be doing something that doesn't involve staring at a series of dropping health bars, and that doesn't lend itself to a large and willing population of healers cheerfully offering their services for 5-man use in LFG.

My main's a Druid and I PuG a lot, so I have the luxury of being able to observe which spec is the most wanted for 5-mans (at least on my realm). As soon as dual specs become available, I'm going to have a PvE tanking and PvE healing spec set up and ready to go -- and after that, I'm going to keep a little notebook and tally how many times I get asked by a group to heal, and how many times I'm asked to tank ("But what if someone wants you to DPS?" you ask. What is this "dee pee ess" you speak of, strange one?). With an increasing number of Death Knights reaching 80, I'm willing to bet that the demand for healers is going to be even greater than it is right now, and that increasing pressure is going to be exerted on hybrid tanks (i.e. Druids and Paladins) to maintain a healing spec and gear in order to ensure that groups get off the ground faster than they do right now. I could be wrong, but I'd also be lying if that wasn't the dominant trend back on Wrath's beta with respec costs at 1c and a ton of Death Knights at 80.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Leveling, Classes

Addon Spotlight: PallyPower

Today I thought we'd look at an addon that many guilds require their paladins to use. To be honest, I'd never really understood why until I transitioned to 25-man content. Coordinating blessings with one other paladin (our Karazhan runs rarely had more than two paladins.) was never complicated, but when you've got three or more paladins, it can get messy and can waste valuable raid time.

As my guild continues its efforts in The Eye and Serpent Shrine Cavern, I've found myself somewhat frustrated by paladins who don't use this one. Granted, I was that guy until recently, thinking that because ZOMG Buffs played nice with buff assignments via PallyPower, that I was good to go. Now suddenly I'm taking a more active role in buff assignments and realize that like Omen, Healbot and logging for WWS, the more players using a utility, the better.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Add-Ons, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight, Buffs, Battlegrounds

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladin gear enchants, part 1


A few months back, I did a rogue column on how rogues can enhance their gear with enchantments, gems, armor kits and the like. Well, it's time for paladins to get a similar guide -- in three different forms! Yes, since paladins have three main specs for three different roles, they need some wildly different enchantments. Today, we'll look at above-the-belt enhancements for a regular ol' endgame healing paladin, soon to be followed by prot and ret recommendations. (Shockadins, just grab the caster junk like usual.)

Head

Glyph of Renewal: This item, available for 90g once you get revered with Honor Hold or Thrallmar, gives you a one-time boost to your head item's healing and mp/5. Revered with HH/Thrall isn't too hard, and you need all the mp/5 you can get, so pick this up if you're planning on any serious healing. 10/10 PVE, 7/10 PVP.

Glyph of the Gladiator: On the other hand, if you're the arena type and find yourself a bit lacking in the two key PVP stats, you might want to pick up this stam/resil item from revered with Shattered Sun Offensive. It's pretty useless for PVE, though, so save it for your _____ Gladiator's set piece. 3/10 PVE, 9/10 PVP.

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

Addon Spotlight: Healbot Continued part 2


Starryknight, GM of the iHorde guild on Executus, has written a comprehensive guide to configuring Healbot Continued. The developer of Healbot Continued actually pointed me in her direction, so you can bet this is a decent write-up.

It also prevents me from having to re-invent the wheel, so kudos to Starryknight! Instead, I thought I would share some highlights of the guide, and my own tips and tricks to using Healbot Continued.

Many of you who read part one of the Healbot Continued saga have asked if this addon is suitable for PvP healing. As it turns out, Healbot Continued has a skin pre-loaded with battlegrounds in mind. Called the Alterac Valley skin, it will build a frame that is well suited to healing your battleground group, but wait, there's more! Healbot Continued has a built-in range finder, which will fade out individual players' bars if they are out of your healing range. This is a great way to avoid wasting heals, although it can't save you from losing a heal because someone leaves your maximum range while you're midway through a healing spell.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Add-Ons, Features, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight, Guides, Buffs

Addon Spotlight: Healbot Continued part I


For many, the role of the Healer is something to be avoided all together. For the few, however, healing is a meaningful, rewarding and challenging job, albeit an often-thankless one. Being a healer also tends to make one a popular player. This popularity can wane at higher levels if you don't pick up on a crucial principle: your job is more than just healing. Depending on your class, you will have other duties that include keeping buffs on your companions, de-cursing them, stepping in front of the mage if he or she draws aggro and the list goes on. Addons are one way that the aspiring healer can shift some focus towards his or her other duties. By taking some of the busy work out of casting healing spells, buffs and keeping the party free of curses, poisons and/or diseases, programs like Healbot Continued can take you from being a good healer to being a stellar and indispensable member of any group.

Healbot Continued uses the embedded Lua scripting language to reconfigure information vital to healers. This retrofitting presents an easily manageable interface that helps you maintain a greater degree of situational awareness. For many of you wondering how this works, it's simply a matter of our program, Healbot Continued in this case, listening to the World of Warcraft client for events. In combat, information is literally flying back and forth between the player (client side) and the game server (server side). Healbot Continued simply listens in and picks out information it wants. This is true of almost all addons, which sift through event information for a variety of purposes. Healbot Continued is easily one of the more powerful addons around, as it goes above and beyond what is normally expected of healing addons.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, PvP, Add-Ons, Features, Raiding, AddOn Spotlight, Guides, Classes, Buffs, Battlegrounds, Arena

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