Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WotLK Beta - Holy Nerfs

Some significant nerfs to Holy paladins in this round of patches. Much angst on the forums.

Judgement of the Wise has been changed to grant you 33% of your base mana instead of 20% of your maximum mana.

As expected, JotW got changed to base mana to prevent healing paladins from using it.

Divine Plea changed to : You gain 25% of your total mana over 15 sec (Old - 10 sec), but the amount healed by your spells is reduced by 100%. (Old - 50%)

This spell is very odd. It's like being being given the ability to drink in combat. Except we can run around and hit things at the same time. I guess it might be good for off-tanking Prot paladins, or maybe Ret paladins during Hammer of Wrath, or maybe as an absolutely last-ditch gambit for Holy (though seriously, 15s of no heals equals a dead tank). I dunno, it just seems like Blizzard is scared of this breaking, so they make it unusable.

Infusion of the Light now reduces the cast time of your next Holy Light spell by 0.5/1sec. (Down from 1.25/2.5 sec)

Blah. Infusion of the Light was the one interesting talent in Holy. Now it's pretty much a Light's Grace clone, only with a trigger that is random.

The thing about IoL is that it was the one talent that changed how Holy played. Given that the current playstyle of Holy is extremely boring, a talent that mixed things up was very welcome. IoL gave a very strong incentive to weave Holy Shock into our healing rotation. It provided mobility, allowing you to heal on the run. You could do things like nurse a instant-HL while getting back mana with Seal of Wisdom, or heal someone else in the raid, confident that you can react quickly to a damage spike on your main target.

With the IoL change, Holy returns to being an immobile single-target-spam platform. Sometimes the spells have a short cast time, sometimes they have a long cast time, but it's still just spam.

Honestly, Holy now looks very unappetizing. It's quite possible that it is still powerful, but it is uninteresting. Pretty much every talent in the tree reduces cast time or increases crit. Very boring, and not very active.

Unconfirmed: Judgement of Wisdom now procs once every 4 seconds on the raid-level.

Previously, each individual would see a JoW proc every 4 seconds. Now it is being reported that one person will see a JoW proc at time 0, a different person at time 4, etc. This is a massive nerf to JoW.

On the plus side, Sacred Shield apparently scales at 0.75 damage prevented per SP per shield.

This looks like a pretty nice change for Sacred Shield, making it a very useful ability.

22 comments:

Klepsacovic said...

I've never heard of JoW having any sort of timer, I thought it was a % chance on damage. Do you have any source for that? Making a raid wide cooldown would be a gigantic nerf and would wreck a huge source of paladin utility. Do you have even a remotely reliable source for this? It sounds like the kind of retarded rumor that someone makes up to troll us.

Frankly divine plea makes no sense. Does a druid lose his ability to heal when he uses innervate? Does a warrior popping bloodrage lose all DPS?

Nerfing infusion of light just seems plain stupid. Mobility and interrupts are a huge problem for holy and this was a way to get around that.

Rohan said...

Oh, JoW changed happened a few patches ago in Beta. It essentially got an internal cooldown of 4 seconds per person, which was pretty reasonable, especially as it is a percentage of your total mana now. That cooldown is now said to be 4s per raid.

The source is an EJ poster who described a test he did involving multiple people and a target dummy. It seemed pretty reasonable, especially as he first thought the cooldown had been drastically increased, before coming to a different conclusion.

Klepsacovic said...

Oh it's a percent now? Never mind. That makes perfect sense to have it on a cooldown, otherwise it would make haste completely overpowered. But a raid-wide cooldown is pretty stupid.

This is what happens when people not in beta try to form opinions.

Anonymous said...

I generally do not nag when it comes to the developers decision as I appreciate that often there are things - more programing related- that users might not see. I am a VirtualReality/Shared Virtual Environemnts programmer myself and kinda know how this works.

I am also a paladin for the last 3+ years, mostly specced in Holy to assist my two guilds. I have been adapting to Blizzard's quirks when it comes to the paladin class and trying to cope with it for all this time. And I coped well.

However I think of the latest changes I can not understand why they are taking place. Ok, lets say things scale badly when the developers try things with 80lvl stats and gear. Why on earth change the abilities themselves to useless `ghosts' and not reduce the right numbers. This does not come in line with the notion of `budget' for each chars resources.

The latest nerfs are indicative of bad design. On a healing spec. Thats suicidal for what blizzard claims. More fun, less class/spec sidelining. Right. No Holy palas is the result...

Divine plea. Better scrap it and put something else. Its almost useless now. Ok, it might be the last resort but...hey, I'd rather not run out of mana and not even use it.

No downranking. Where is the middle-class spell which now is Holy Light 7/8? The holy shock? Possibly...

The judgement nerf. Ok, I am a Holy pala. My role is to heal in PvE and PvP. I am not supposed to be at least bearable when I solo? Dailies, events etc. How am I supposed to have fun if I am playing a blunt char?

IoL. The only thing that made a Holy paladin interesting - and could implicitly cope with silences and interupts - is now a clone of Grace. I was looking forward in a supportive playstyle as per Grienvous (sp?) old style. An instant heal would be the candy of a supportive char. Now its almost useless. Or at least a redundant talent (that or grace)

All these inspite of the formidable changes in Prot and Retry. Does blizzard want the paladins to stop healing? Do they want us to go retry and prot? Wha..after 3 years of playing their game?

Honestly, pissing off on their clients that for years were cornered to a task they did not sign up for - but willingly put up with it for the raid content to evolve is stupid. Particularly in the most anticipated expansion. In the most paladin-related expansion.

I would think they would have the insight to see that this part of the content would be extra apealing to paladins, priests and dks. Purely for the lore and looking up to your virtual heroes. But no.. they keep nerfing and giving scraps back.

Blizzard will see this backfire. Big time. Because people want to have fun. They could care less if they fill up the niche Blizz chose for them anymore.

Holy paladin is extremely badly designed for the time being...

/Lance of Silvermoon EU

Khassad said...

@Lance : I agree with your analysis, no more paladin healer in WotLK. Almost every holy pala I talked with, is going to reroll.

Simon said...

I think that anyone who stays holy in Wrath is a masochist. Is this deliberate? On my server, there's too many healers now and not enough tanks so perhaps Blizzard is trying to push people into tanking and accepting that that with every class there are always going to be people who want OMG CRITZ! so Ret is being sorted out to provide that.

It's a shame that if you want to invest in a character it's 50/50 each xpac as to whether you will be flavour of the month re. healing i.e. at the beginning of Wrath holy palas were more desired than Priest, now priests seem to be back in favour... What will happen in a few months... Who knows...?

Suicidal Zebra said...

My first title for the 9014 build before I saw any changes was: Build [9014], the Facepalm. I think I should have stayed with that.

*speculated on the value of JoW in Wrath*

*flushes*

Jarviz said...

Gosh. Well no Holy for me in Wotlk.

Anonymous said...

I'm really pissed off about this. For the last week, I was hoping for some great change, like a major buff to JotP, or them changing all the pvp-only abilities in top holy. What do we get? Nerfs. My GF and I play prot+holy paladins, but now we're so sick of pointless nerfs, we rolled warrior/priest last night.

-Strasbourg Area 52

Thommas said...

Awesome Beta Forum post over here:

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=10532600037&sid=2000

Lancebit said...

The recent nerfs and my recent trip to palading blogs made me dig up an old try in blogging I had in store. I'll give my best to keep it updated

As I said above, blizz has completely lost the plot this time...

Matt said...

With all the recent nerfs to holy and huge buffs to prot and ret, would I be completely out of line to go "lolholy" to all the snooty holydins who looked down their noses at us, boasting about their extensive pedigrees healing in vanilla WoW, Black Temple, etc, while they went on and on about how inferior the 'lesser specs' were to their preferred tree?

(Note: I would only say this to the smurftards who acted like that, nothing against pally healers in general, as they need some lovin'. You have to admit, though, there is some delicious irony in this)

in other words: is "lolholy" the new "lolret"?

Ninjasuperspy said...

I'd like think that this would be related somehow to concern over Illumination's instant regen mechanic. Something like Crit-shock + instant (probably crit) HL for big numbers and some regen might make people nervous.

Would replacing Illumination with something that reads like "Your offensive and healing spell crits fill you with Holy Power equal to their mana cost," then Holy Power would refund mana at a rate over time make sense? Keeping in mind that I've spent all of my time in 5mans, so ten minute boss battles are something I've never seen. Over a long period of time I would imagine that there is a possibility that mana usage could outstrip any amount of regen.

This could be where Plea would come in or some kind of "Desperation" move that would consume all Holy Power and immediately grant mana at a loss (Half of your bucket as mana immediately).

This would solve the problem which would result if Illumination just refunded mana over time where one regen buff would overwrite another and we'd lose a good fraction of our mana regen.

Or it could just be the result of the "Nobody on the dev team plays a paladin" complaint. We were up in arms when 6 seconds of channeling stopped Ret and Holy paladins from doing their jobs, so they give us 15 seconds of no healing? No big deal for Prot and Ret, but it is over twice as bad as the original Plea for Holy. What the heck? And the talent designed to allow for mobility doesn't anymore? What?

Beta people, can Divine Plea be clicked off? Can I regen a few ticks of mana then kill it and get back to healing (like the old Divine Shield toggle macro).

Suicidal Zebra said...

"Beta people, can Divine Plea be clicked off? Can I regen a few ticks of mana then kill it and get back to healing (like the old Divine Shield toggle macro)."

Yep, it can. The ticks occur once every 3 seconds (modified by haste) though, so you're spending a lot of time waiting for ticks.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that blizzard is losing site of the forest for the trees. While I haven't done the math that they have, I can tell you I do know what I consider fun. IoL was the one thing that I thought would be fun, and would make me actually want to consider healing again (2.3 I went prot, 2.4 I added a ret set).

If the devs think, which they seem to, that Paladins are premiere healers (single target) which do not need a hot or an AOE to be competitive with the other healers, they may be right.

But spamming 2 (2.5-3 in wrath) heals is simply not fun. I don't really care if I'm still competitive for a raid spot as a Holy pally if I'm not going to have any fun doing it.

Please, keep (or add to) our interesting talents, even if you need to nerf HL and FoL standbys for balance. I don't want a double light's grace. I want an insta-cast HL. Make it unable to crit for balance. I don't know. I just can't ever see speccing Holy in its current form.

These are not new problems with Holy. Flash spamming wasn't fun in vanilla, wasn't fun in BC and won't be fun in wrath.

Sarahn said...

Build 9014 brings death to multiple healing specs and renders PvP Paladin Holy healing impotent once again. As always we must adpat, part of what makes this game so much fun and frustrating at the same time.

I still would like to heal to support my guild, but from what I have seen on the PTR the most mana efficient and powerful single cast heals comes from a Ret. By keeping my spell power gear and getting Sheath of Light and at least 7 points in Holy for improved Flash of Light I can dish out the same HPS as I can on live (thanks to better Spell Power scaling, SoL HoT and BoL buff to all heals).

This is a Retmedic spec (as the forms have dubbed it) and is quite fun, reminds me of what Rohan has said about Warrior Priests in WAR. Retmedic would stay within judgment range if at all possible and ever 8 seconds get 974 mana back casting JoL or JoW. Keeping SoL up for the 5% from inscription and spaming FoL with a HL mixed in as needed. With the crits from the 8 second judgments giving an instant cast FoL to help offset not having Holy Shock.

Here is the kicker, if you go 51 in ret, you can have Divine Storm, with another weak heal but added DPS and improved Ret Aura for a minor haste buff. This makes for some interesting DPS in holy gear, and even better if you can swap out for full Ret/DPS Warrior gear. It gets better when you look at it as a holy gear'd grinding build, and you get all of this without having to respec each time you want to go solo quest.

Mathias said...

I was shocked today.
This was the least thing i suspected. I acutually expected to see some BUFFS to Holy and Prot in the coming builds. I can't believe what just happened here.

I play my Holy Paladin since Molten Core, and today is the first time i honestly think about quitting.

Blizzard has just proven to the community, that they don't have a f'ing clue about this class and the problems we face since the Black Temple.

They kinda threw us a bone with the "mandatory Prot Pally" in some Sunwell Encounters and i really enjoyed playing it - but they have taken that away again and didn't give us anything in return.

Sure, if i could just go Ret everything would be quite fine. But i don't like Ret, so i will probably just have to quit and switch over to my Mage or a new Deathknight.
A really sad day.

aaron said...

Bah, what are Blizzard trying to do? Whatever they are trying to do it's only going to have one result with changes like this: more prot & ret specs. I'll be rolling prot if these changes go live.

If you're looking for me, I'll be the one leveling up a holy priest and resto druid...

RJ said...

You guys could at least wait until the game is actually finished to just give up. That's the point of iterative design, they try out stuff and see how it works before deciding to keep anything.

For example, Divine Plea's already been changed to only reduce healing by 20%.

And comments I've seen so far regarding JoW/JoL make it sound like a bug.

David Cake said...

Divine Plea sounds like it becomes a mild convenience for soloing prot/ret

I agree with you that the basic problem with Holy Pallies is simply that they are boring as hell to play, and the basic playstyle needs change. I'm OK with my healing ability as holy, the reason I don't play as holy much is because it is simply less fun to just sit and spam.

Ryukyu said...

I agree, I healed for a while in low level TBC instances. I always did well, but it was really boring. I specced Shockadin for a long time too. I would always heal in BGs, very seldom would I DPS. I enjoy the feeling of knowing that with you, your team probably would not win the game. But at the same time, I was mostly doing FoL spam with some HL thrown in for spike damage and the very occaisional HS out of boredom. Of course keeping up on Cleanse, BoF, and BoSacri (to help with fears on me) gave me a little extra to do, but not much. Now with the changes to Ret, I will be able to provide support through heals, hands, and auras, but I will get to smash face. I love smashing face. And I love being able to support my team.

Now I just need to make a macro so I can keep HoSalv on the other DPSers in the group..... o_0

Taraske said...

The problem with sacred shield is that it needs damage to activate. Say you put it on some group members in a situation where aoe dmg is in bigger intervals than 6 sec, say 10. It will absorb 0 dmg. Great investment...
And when you put it on a tank in a raid situation even in the buffed state it will be gone in one hit, so you should be lucky if you get one +50% crit fol in...