Saturday, June 20, 2009

3.2: Protection Paladins

Changes

  • Block Value: The amount of bonus block value on all items has been doubled. This does not affect the base block value on shields or block value derived from strength.
  • On-Use Block Value Items: All items and set bonuses that trigger temporary increases to block value have been modified. Instead of increasing their block value amount by 100% like other items, they have all had their effect durations doubled. This applies to Glyph of Deflection, Gnomeregan Autoblocker, Coren's Lucky Coin, Lavanthor's Talisman, Libram of Obstruction, Tome of the Lightbringer, Libram of the Sacred Shield, the tier-8 paladin Shield of Righteousness bonus, the tier-5 paladin Holy Shield bonus, and the tier-5 warrior Shield Block bonus.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now also increases stamina by 10%. This effect is not cumulative with Blessing of Kings.
  • Righteous Fury: No longer has a duration or mana cost, remaining until cancelled or death. Also cancelled when a Paladin activates a different talent specialization.
  • Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
  • Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%.
  • Ardent Defender: Redesigned. Currently, any damage taken by the paladin while at 35% health or below is reduced. Instead, any attack that would reduce the paladin to 35% health or below has its damage reduced. In addition, once every 2 minutes an attack that would have killed the paladin will fail to kill, and instead set the paladin's health to 10/20/30% of maximum.
  • Vindication: Redesigned. Now lowers target attack power, is consistent and does not stack with Demoralizing Shout.

Blocking

Blocking becomes a bit better, though Shield of Righteousness is nerfed slightly. The real problem with Block though, is that it just isn't as attractive as Avoidance.

Blessing of Sanctuary

I guess Blizzard is trying to set up a system where the first paladin does Kings+Sanctuary, while the second paladin does Might+Wisdom. This change does solidify Sanctuary the priority blessing for tanks. To be honest, the real issue is that Greater Blessings are done on a per-class basis, but the desired order depends on the specific spec. The real problem with Sanctuary is that it makes handing out Blessings more of a hassle.

Actually, you know what might be cool--but possibly overpowered--is if Sanctuary wasn't a separate Blessing, but rather an Improved Blessing of Kings. If you had the Sanctuary talent, your Blessing of Kings gives the 3% damage reduction. It's potentially too good, but this would make handing out Blessings so much easier.

Ardent Defender

This is a major change. I think the "unleapfrogable" nature of the new Ardent Defender is possibly too good. It's the equivalent of just getting 10% more health. I'd be somewhat surprised if this went Live as is.

The automatic Avoid Death is cool. The only issue I can see is not knowing whether the effect is available or on cooldown. This could be important for coordinating external cooldowns. If the effect is on cooldown, you might need to call for a Hand of Sacrifice to survive a burst of damage.

Other Changes

Righteous Fury becomes more stance-like. Seal of Vengeance becomes stronger, but this is balanced by the Shield of Righteousness nerf. The Vindication change allows a Prot paladin debuff the mob, freeing up a warrior or warlock to do more DPS.

Conclusions

Overall, Protection doesn't change that much. Blocking becomes a bit stronger, a Protection Paladin effectively gets more health, and she obtains a new cooldown and debuff. Coupled with the Death Knight nerfs, this should leave paladins in a decent position.

8 comments:

RJ said...

I'd just like to say that I don't think it's quite accurate to say that Shield of Righteousness is really "nerfed". Since it's damage is based on your Block Value, and your gear will now give you more Block Value, I would have to say that the reduction in the percentage is to even out the increase, giving a close to effective no-change in damage.

Of course, that's based on certain gear levels. Someone without a lot of +Block Value will see a loss, but a decently geared tank would probably see either no real change or maybe even an improvement still.

Anonymous said...

The Blessing of Sanctuary change is nice for 5-mans, but in raids you might as well just cast Kings since the 3% damage reduction doesn't stack with Discipline Priest damage reduction.

Kris said...

The Ardent Defender buff is quite interesting...and I honestly think it will remain as is. Consider for a moment the purpose of this change. Blizzard felt that Paladin's needed another tanking "cooldown" but often commented on how they didn't want to just hand over a warmed over Last Stand. In that same vein, they likely didn't want to throw in another Shield Wall clone with a flashy name.

Interestingly, this cooldown does far less for the fights like Steelbreaker hard mode, or Thorim hard mode. What a Last Stand or Shield Wall does is allow you to activate it when YOU wish for when YOU anticipate a spike in damage. In the end it directly enhances your survivability when you know it's needed, but dodging death once every 2 minutes doesn't really. The fights that give us trouble aren't magically disappearing, instead Ardent Defender reduces the times where we would need a traditional cooldown.

forthebubbles said...

My intrepid tankadin GM mentioned something-wasn't the original Exorcism change, allowing it to be used on non-undead mobs, to help keep pally threat at roughly the same level as in Naxx?

if that was the case, why the HELL give it a cast time?

/baby tankadin ponders

Dorgol said...

@ ForTheBubbles: The Exorcism was to keep Retribution damage constant even when fighting non-undead mobs. Retribution will still be using Exorcism every cooldown thanks to Art of War changes.

Here's a thought - we're already seeing Paladins spec DEEP Protection for Arena healing. Now imagine what will happen when those Paladins have Cheat Death...

BRB Respecing OP class. :)

Kris said...

@forthebubbles

Exorcism was never really part of a tanking rotation. Its job was for single target pulling and quick pick ups when another add wanders too close to a healer.

However, they buffed the damage on Hand of Reckoning so that we could technically use it in exactly the same situations we did Exo. Although Exo worked wonders when used on a separate mob than your taunt effectively giving you more utility for pulling in some baddies, but a lot of the fights where I was taunting to pick up targets usually required an Exo to maintain a lead until it reached me. In the end, we won't see much of a change from the Paladin perspective on this. We can still use it to pull and we still have a high damage ranged instant cast we can use when needed.

@Dorgol

One of the most interesting things that could occur in this patch would be if Art of War magically appeared earlier in the tree, like as early as the fourth tier. Some Tanking Paladins are already speccing this far down for Crusade, and it'd definitely add to the interactivity of tanking if we could use that same type of mechanic. Choose to spend that GCD on additional healing (for oh crap moments) or additional damage (which could be subbed in for another spell, like Consecration when targeting a single mob).

Highly unlikely to occur, but it still sounds neat =D

How Do i Totem? said...

I don't understand why you say the change to BoS is going to make buffing harder, wouldn't it just mean that kings wouldn't be necessary in a raid with a prot paladin as it is basically saying BoS is kings but also does the 3% damage reduction?

Rohan said...

3.2 doesn't make it harder. It's annoying now, and it will still be annoying then. I'm just saying that it would be nicer if it was simpler to organize Blessings with Sanctuary.