Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Unifying Paladin Mana Mechanics

Each paladin spec has it's own mechanic to regenerate mana. Holy pops Divine Plea once a minute to get 25% of total mana back. Protection has Guarded by the Light to get 100% of total mana back per minute. Retribution has Judgements of the Wise which returns roughly 190% of base mana back per minute.

The interesting thing is that the amount of mana returned is not that far apart. If we say Holy has a total mana pool about 5 times base mana, then Holy gets 125% base mana back per minute. Ret is a bit of an outlier, but not that much higher.

Rather than having three separate mechanics, maybe it would be better to have one mechanic that all three specs use. I think the best mechanic out of these three is Retribution's JotW. Judgments are an iconic part of the paladin class. Plus, Judging is fun. A giant golden hammer drops out of the air and smacks your enemy in the head. Never gets old. Hitting Divine Plea once a minute is not particularly fun. As well, most tankadins seem less than enamored with the way Guarded by the Light works.

Suppose JotW's functionality was built into the base Judgement spell, so that each Judgement returned a net of 15% base mana. JotW could increase the mana returned by another 5% or 10%, to keep Ret the same.

That way, each spec would be encouraged to Judge a lot, and Judgement would be the primary method of regaining mana. We could then remove Divine Plea from the game.

29 comments:

Karatheya said...

Wouldn't the number you're suggesting flip the specs around in terms of mana return per minute?

Ret and Prot should both be running without any int on gear, so they would get back the same amount. Ret might actually get a bit more, given that they'll typically drop 2 points into Imp Judgements instead of the 1 point that prot uses for the 969 rotation.

Assuming that every spec judged on every cooldown, that would give Ret 112.5% of base per minute (about 5k mana), Prot 100% per minute (4400), and Holy 90% per minute (4k).

That's a large shift from the current mechanics, where Holy is getting back about 7500 mana per minute (30k mana pools seem to be average for the PUG groups I run with, with 34k and 36k popping up regularly), Prot getting back somewhere between 6k and 7500 depending on buffs, and Ret getting about 8200 from JotW.

I think the amount returned would need to be a bit higher, and Holy would get a bit extra from Enlightened Judgements.

I did some rough calculations, and a base return of 23.5% with holy getting an additional 5% brings the difference for each spec below 500.

Crashandburn said...

Remove Divine Plea from the game. Amen to that. As Ret I have no mana problems and generally pop divine plea between trash pulls to top off the mana bar.

When playing Prot I find most mana issues on trash pulls when Divine Plea is most likely to be on cool down and zero on bosses when I keep forgetting to use it.

I really miss the mana return from judgements when playing prot so would love to have that in both specs.

Karatheya said...

Following up, if Holy has an 8 second judgement, then the bonus isn't required, but then you're effectively forcing holy to take 5 points in Benediction. A quick browse of wowpopular.com suggests that about half the Holy paladin spec that they've seen go down into 2/2 imp judgements.

Rohan said...

@Karatheya, I think Holy could stand to have a bit less mana regen. Holy Light spamming is a little excessive.

But you're right that the numbers could be tweaked until they come out right. Additionally, talents could alter the base amount if a certain spec needed more regen than a different spec.

But the general idea is that all paladins, regardless of spec, would Judge to regain mana.

Kring said...

> Remove Divine Plea from the game. Amen to that.

This.

Everything when running heroics that would mean I don't have to decide between these two, would be an advantage:

- Pull as fast as you never hit nothing for 15 seconds. Which is not that easy because the mobs are slowed down by our stupid I-ll-eat-25%-of-your-mana shield.
- Wait 1 minute since the last pull.

Both options are crap and really reduce my fun when tanking with my paladin.

Sharlos said...

I think it's a good idea for Prot and Ret, but I think Holy and the other two specs should maintain different mana regen methods.

On my paladin when i tank (I only run heroics, not raids) I use the Seal of command glyph which returns mana when I judge and it is a lot more fun then checking to make sure DP doesn't expire between trash pulls.

Also in pvp as holy, having an on call ability to restore mana is very useful, if you changed this to include holy paladins then they'd be forced to waste GCDs just to maintain their mana pools.

TheReaper said...

While I wouldn't exactly mourn Divine Plea on my prot pally alt if it went away, it does make for a nice point of competition.
A guildmate and myself both have tank paladin alts and we keep trying to see who can keep Divine Plea up the longest during specific dungeon heroic runs.
Its amazing how long you can keep it going if you pull fast, hit critters and take the last mob of a pack with you to bridge larger gaps.
Combined with the ProtRet/SoComm trash AE spec it makes for the most entertaining tanking experience in heroics ever.

wilson said...

@Sharlos I'm not sure how it would be any different than it currently is. Holy already has to waste GCD to use Divine Plea. If anything this would reduce the number of GCD wasted; since most Holy paladins are using Judgement already to keep up Judgements of the Pure.

Though I don't PVP, so maybe in PVP Holy paladins aren't using JotP?

kurnmogh said...

As a primarily holy paladin, I'd be fine with removing Divine Plea, if they give us back the ability to chain mana potions. :P

I don't like the idea of judging frequently. I raid in a 25-man situation with 1-3 other paladins so I rarely *must* judge to keep my debuff up on mobs, but I do judge once a minute and I judge more if I'm low on mana, since I use Seal of Wisdom, so I can hopefully proc a bit of mana return.

I did grab my 2pc T10 ASAP, however, and find that using Divine Illumination to offset Divine Plea's downside really makes a huge difference. So now I have 3 ways of offsetting the effect of Divine Plea on my healing: Divine Illumination, Talisman of Resurgence's on-use and Avenging Wrath (which I never use often enough, to be honest).

When tanking (and I usually only tank my daily random heroic, although I've tanked TOC 10 and VOA 10 now and again) I hate that I am awful at timing DP use. I'm always using it and then it wears off between trash packs, then I forget to use it on a boss and I'm suddenly oom...

Judging to regen mana while tanking would be great, because you wouldn't have to go running from trash pack to trash pack like a warrior or bear who's got rage that's diminishing. I like the idea of Divine Plea's 100% uptime, mind you, and I like that there's a limit to our resource (I'd much rather mana than rage!) but it feels like DP is too inconsistent.

Algorython said...

I like the cleanness and consistency of the idea and the fact that the holy regen wouldn't require nerfing your healing. If they balance the regen amounts just right, probably piggybacking coefficients into existing deep talents, it could work.

Orvillius@Coilfang said...

I don't understand why you're saying Divine Plea gives Prot paladins 100% of mana back per minute with Guarded by the Light. All GbtL does is refresh divine plea when you strike an enemy so the countdown timer starts again, it is still only regenerating 25% of your mana per minute. As to crash and burn's comment that it's always on cooldown/forget to use it, I think the problem is more a "forget to use it" than "always on cooldown." If you pop it at the beginning of a fight there's only a 1 minute cooldown. If the fight takes less than 1 minute you should be moving right on to your next trash pull and with Guarded by the Light refreshing the timer on Divine Plea you should have them pulled before the timer ticks off. As to forgetting to use it on bosses I have changed my pull rotation (for bosses) to cast sacred shield on myself, cast exorcism for the first part of the pull, follow up with Avenger's Shield, then pop divine plea. The 6% spell damage reduction provided by DP is useful in a ton of boss fights so not making it part of your rotation makes as much sense as leaving Holy Shield out of your 969 rotation.
As to Kring's comment that divine plea's cooldown forces you to choose between chain pulling and waiting a minute... it should never be a full minute you have to wait since you should have cast divine plea before or right after you pulled and, as previously stated, if you're mowing through trash mobs that quickly that the cooldown timer isn't almost up before the fight is done you should already be chain pulling.

Orvillius@Coilfang said...

Correction to my previous Post: Clearly I can't do math as Divine Plea refreshing 4 times is 100% of your mana in a minute. Let's pretend I can add for a second and didn't say that first part.

Turiel said...

I agree Rohan, that Divine Plea could get removed from the game. I do not really enjoy the mechanic of it, and HL bombing (admittedly is the best route currently) isn't that fun. I actually look forward to times in fights where I get to focus with flash spam becuase it is something different.

I also enjoy heavy movement fights where I must be creative with HS/Flash combos followed by move move, HL HL, move move, HL HL. To balance running to where I must be and keep my tanks alive.


This being all said I reiterate that I know and understand I am most effictive when I can stand still and just bomb away with heals... But I do love a good challenge!

Great thoughts in a good article.

Kring said...

Sure, but try to chain pull in FoS. Not possible because the mobs are more than 15 seconds apart. You could drag one mob to the next group but that's really an ugly workaround for a design flaw. Same with every pat you have to wait for.

And even if you only have to wait 15 seconds before you can pull the next group, it's boring. Not fun.

Avenger's Shield already has a to big cooldown to be used on every trash pull, DP is even worse.

If we can have a 100% uptime of DP, why not make it a 30 minute buff for prot? Now, if it is a boring 30 minute buff, why not change the mechanic to something more fun? Like, getting the mana from judging? I like this idea.

Orvillius@Coilfang said...

@Kring
I agree in FoS it's a disaster, and I haven't had FoS come up in my randoms for a few weeks now so I'll have to try it again to see if I can come up with a decent timing strategy. As a tank it is a difficult challenge managing the "gogogo" impulses of your DPS (and the occasional over-geared healer) and making certain your cooldowns are all ready. With Avenger's shield I'm very careful with using it for a second time during trash fights because I don't want it to be on cooldown for the next pull. I do think if you cast DP before you pull that you're looking at being 5 seconds into the cooldown before the first time it refreshes, so at worst you only need the fight and the time to the next pull to last 55 seconds.
I agree it can be a pain in the ass to manage but I feel like I get better as a tank when a I'm forced to manage more things at once. Having to keep sacred shield up on myself if there isn't a holy pally in the fight has (oddly enough) helped me learn to better manage the cooldown on Divine Plea, and with the better cooldown management I am noticing a decrease in damage done to me with both of these up all the time. (Which is of course a dual-edged sword in its own right since less damage=less healing and healing is part of what regens our mana)

Kring said...

I never use Avenger's Shield twice per trash pack. Besides the cooldown there is also the huge mana cost. The exception is if I "need" to silence a mob.

But Avenger's Shield has a 30 second cooldown. In some heroics like UK with good dps you finish a pack in way less than 30 seconds. That's when you have to pull the second pack with hand of damage (the thing that taunts the mob) and hammer them. I'm fine with that. If you want to pull that fast it has to come at a price. I'm not fine with DP.

In TBC heroics were way faster if a paladin tanked. These days I get the impression that the paladin is the worst class for a heroic speed tank. It just feels wrong if a tank has to sit down to drink while 4 casters wait with 100% mana. :-)

Don't get me wrong, I've seen amazing paladin tanks who tank whole heroics without mana. They never have a blue bar. You just have to sacrifice the expensive spells like Avenger's Shield and Consecrate. But is that fun? Not to me. The same way a warrior tank is not fun to me because you never have the rage to "do cool stuff".

Bears have a lot of rage but no cool stuff to cast. :-)

I've leveled my DK to 80 to try tanking on that. It feels like how a paladin should play in my opinion. You go all out on trash and 10 seconds later all runes are back up. There's no "do I hammer them once more or save the mana for the next pack". There's no "do I heroic strike them again or save the rage for the next pack". As long as the thing lives, you hit it! After all, we're tanks. Mana management should be the healers job and something only the tank has to consider.

----------

There is a gigantic difference if you run a heroic with or without replenishment. If there would be an option in the LFG interface where I can select "tank, but only if the group supplies replenishment" I would play my paladin more. :-)

After all, Ghostcrawler mentioned that the whole trinity has now 4 roles for raids. Tank, Heal, DD and Replenishment. Why not create LFG groups with replenishment by default?

Orvillius said...

@Kring
I agree it's no fun tanking when you're OOM and can't use consecration or avenger's shield, but I'm generally not having these problems either a) Keeping DP up b)Having to wait for it's cooldown or c)going OOM. If it's a fight where my mana regen via healing and from Blessing of Sanctuary are low I may stop casting consecration once I have a solid hold on aggro, but even in fights where that's not viable like all of Halls of Reflection I'm still not having these OOM issues. I don't have any +int gear I'm only running with 5500 mana or so (before buffs). As an aside I have slightly modified my spec so that I have Seal of Command in the Ret portion of my talent point spending, so that helps me provide "cleave" AoE damage, but that has no real bearing on my mana expenditure aside from allowing me to ease off on consecration if I want. Admittedly this scales with the skill level of other players, with multiple 4k+ dps in the party I start to see some of what you're discussing where we blow through trash so fast that in instances like FoS where they are poorly spaced you can't keep DP up.
As an aside I'm not against making DP a 30 minute buff but I have a feeling if that happens it will be replacing a blessing, and I like the mitigation offered by BoS.

Orvillius said...

As an additional note some of your comments along the lines of "As long as the thing lives, you hit it" sound more like a DPS than tank philosophy for me. Maybe it's a matter of priorities but I'm more concerned about keeping aggro up, and keeping all the damage coming in at me, and subsequently avoiding or mitigating that damage instead of getting to hit "2" one more time to drop another attack on my target. I've said before it's more interesting to me when I'm running with more intense DPS because I have to be on top of my threat generation every second to keep them from pulling aggro from me, but when farming normal modes for the occasional needed drop (Black Heart from ToC, Eerie runeblade polisher from HoR) where I'm hardly taking ANY damage, and with my gear I'm doing more DPS than the DPS are I will ease up on what abilities I use. I ran normal Pit of Saron the other week where outside of boss fights I was surviving the fights using (after the initial pull) only judgment and refreshing holy shield. Obviously fights like that get BORING, but when you queue up as the tank I think you're accepting that what you're doing is less...exciting (at times) than what the DPS get to do.

TL;DR
If you want to attack and attack until it's dead queue up as DPS, if you want to focus on the (often less exciting) task of aggro management and managing your own survivability, queue up as tank.

Orvillius said...

As an additional note some of your comments along the lines of "As long as the thing lives, you hit it" sound more like a DPS than tank philosophy for me. Maybe it's a matter of priorities but I'm more concerned about keeping aggro up, and keeping all the damage coming in at me, and subsequently avoiding or mitigating that damage instead of getting to hit "2" one more time to drop another attack on my target. I've said before it's more interesting to me when I'm running with more intense DPS because I have to be on top of my threat generation every second to keep them from pulling aggro from me, but when farming normal modes for the occasional needed drop (Black Heart from ToC, Eerie runeblade polisher from HoR) where I'm hardly taking ANY damage, and with my gear I'm doing more DPS than the DPS are I will ease up on what abilities I use. I ran normal Pit of Saron the other week where outside of boss fights I was surviving the fights using (after the initial pull) only judgment and refreshing holy shield. Obviously fights like that get BORING, but when you queue up as the tank I think you're accepting that what you're doing is less...exciting (at times) than what the DPS get to do.

TL;DR
If you want to attack and attack until it's dead queue up as DPS, if you want to focus on the (often less exciting) task of aggro management and managing your own survivability, queue up as tank.

Joe said...

Unless you are running with crazy DPS who will pull aggro every time, it isn't a huge deal to hold off on Consecrate and Avenger's Shield to conserve some mana. "Tanking" means taking the damage and keeping the mobs off the other players. Just because you can top the DPS in some instances doesn't make it a good thing if you're OOM at a bad time.

If you run with DPS always pulling aggro then they're either bad players or you should look at Ret-tanking your heroics (4DPS & 1 healer). A ToC25/ICC25 guild group can kill mobs before they do any damage. Some friends earned the achievement on Telestra by killing her before she had a chance to split.

I'm not a fan of DP as a tank because I forget to refresh it, but it rarely presents a problem at the slow, methodic pace I set as a relatively new tank.

I don't mind the DP mechanic as Holy because the return is large and I have some ways to work around the output nerf. The best part is the control I have over when to use the ability.

Orvillius said...

I agree with Joe. My off spec is Holy and myself and another lvl 80 tank ran some of the mid-70's players in our guild through some regular dungeons the other week. As a healer with an over-geared tank you can spend up to half of the dungeon standing there admiring the scenery (or trying to DPS). I'll take having to scale back on my use of consecration over that option any day.

Anonymous said...

"A giant golden hammer drops out of the air and smacks your enemy in the head. Never gets old." Ha!

Sar

Hairymuppet said...

One of the few things that makes tanking Heroics as a Paladin interesting anymore is trying to conserve mana while maintaining aggro and pulling fast.

While Avenger's shield and Consecration are fairly easy to use, they are also mana suckers. HotR and SoR cost a lot less but require a bit more planning to get the mobs on you, especially if there are groups of more than 4.

Overall, it's better use of these 2 skills, and judgements, that allow you to keep pulling fast in Heroics, as you can still go through a number of pulls without having to stop and wait for DP. (It also helps a lot when you stop using special abilities once the mob is half dead, as by that stage you'll have enough aggro so that the mob will die before the dps catch up to you.)

DP is a nice way to getting over the big problem Pally Tanks had back in BC... having to drink nearly every pull. It doesn't completely fix the problem, but smart use of abilities can nearly if not fully fix the problem, depending on dps levels, pull setups, etc, etc.

NegativeZero said...

The other thing about Divine Plea (and Ret's Judgements of the Wise) is that it seems like all the current specs have been basically designed around the assumption you'll be getting mana back from these all the time, especially Prot.

You don't get Divine Plea until level 71.

With the new dungeon system in place, it's quite tempting to want to have a Prot spec so you can tank random instances, but Prot has been balanced completely around the assumption you will have 100% uptime on Divine Plea. The only other Prot mana regen ability is Blessing of Sanctuary at level 30. And Judgement of Wisdom I guess. Spritual attunement is gained from talents at level 40 now, so you basically are going to struggle with mana every pull as a paladin tank until level 30, when you will only struggle on single-target fights (eg bosses).

Really, Divine Plea was a nice idea that has turned into a completely broken ability now that Prot is built around keeping it up. It basically is making Prot into an energy-based class - you have it constantly ticking away, bringing you resources back so you can continue to attack forever. The fact that it comes in every tick rather than constantly building over time just means it's like playing a Rogue in vanilla / tBC before they fixed that annoyance.

I'm not convinced that putting mana regen on judgement for all specs is the best fix though. It sounds good on the surface and it would be an absolute boon for leveling paladins. I have a suspicion that the result would be a whole lot of whining and gnashing of teeth by arena players about how Holy PvP is 'overpowered' though.

The other thing is that if it's a generalisation of Judgements of the Wise, they will balance all the specs around the assumption you're judging whenever it's off cooldown, and that the mana you get is instantly given to you when the judgement hits. The issue there is that Holy is rarely hit capped - you can guarantee your mana regeneration from Divine Plea, you can't from something that requires you to judge enemies all the time.

Conversely, while Prot and Holy can generally get away with having mana ticking in, Ret really can't - it needs that mana to come in immediately because it's going to get used up very fast. Losing that would mean all Ret's abilities would need to be beefed up, otherwise it would be an effective DPS nerf. However that instant mana return would be overpowered for Holy and probably unnecessary for Prot.

I do think that Prot needs to have some kind of improved mana returns, and ideally something accessible before level 71! Divine Plea needs to be re-thought somehow. I dunno. Perhaps replace the benediction talent with a talent that gives you Divine Plea returning 20% base mana over 15 seconds every time you judge?

In addition, if Judgement becomes the main mana regeneration ability for Paladins, then they really should be made free. The fact that you have to have mana to cast the spell that gives you mana is annoying.

HP said...

I don't agree with judging for Holy pallies because judging costs another GCD that perhaps we can't spare. Prot and ret won't care as judgments are part of their rotations and necessary to them performing their role. That is not the case with holy. They would need to implement a new talent that allowed holy pallies to get back a greater % of mana and to balance that, make the judgment CD longer so people can't abuse the mechanics. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend Divine Plea to be removed.

PS I know holy pallies can melee wiht seal of wisdom up for more mana but that's just not going to be the case for every single fight.

Kring said...

You can easily tank a heroic without Consecration, Holy Shield is
an amazing tool. Skipping Consecration is no problem for your
threat in 5 mans. I never said I have problems tanking because of
mana problems. My issue is that I don't enjoy it. And if I don't
enjoy the game, I'll play another alt. Which is bad because I would
actually like to tank with my paladin. :)

With the paladin you're going to trade fun now (hitting stuff) for
fun later (not having to drink). I would like to have fun all over
the place, it's a game after all. :-)

> If you want to attack and attack until it's dead queue up as DPS,
> if you want to focus on the (often less exciting) task of aggro
> management and managing your own survivability, queue up as tank.

I'll have to disagree.

I'm not playing like a DD when tanking. I have no problem not using
my hammer because there will be multiple adds spawning and I would
like to grab aggro on them. I'll do what I have to tank the mobs.

But, after that, a tank, as I see the role, is not supposed to
stand around and do nothing. I don't want to be a Tirion Fordring
who just stands there and makes stupid speaches while people get
rip apart from beasts.

As a tank I'm the front line. And as long as it lives it's going to
get hit. Standing there and saying "yeah, I have enough aggro, lets
regenerate mana and let others do the work" is not my cup of tee. I
love the druid bear from this point of view. Can there be anything
cooler than a wild animal ripping your enemies apart?

Joe said...

Judgement is a core Paladin mechanic and even spamming the crap out of my Holy Light on Festergut last night, I could still judge once per minute or more. Judging Wisdom while sealing Wisdom will actually RETURN more mana than spent. The returns are not large, but they can be the difference between OOM and choosing Holy Light more often.

And in case nobody's mentioned it, Holy's tier 10 2 piece bonus is awesome whether used by itself or combined with Divine Plea.

From a Holy perspective Divine Plea, Divine Illumination, and Judgement are good abilities because they provide CONTROL. Maybe Plea mechanics should be changed for the other specs, but I love it for my healer.

What really needs love is Consecration. As another iconic spell, there should be tree-specific talents to modify the effects.

Anonymous said...

the math work, its 1/4 of your mana every 1/4 of a minute, so keeping it up constantly returns 100% of your mana per min

Hairymuppet said...

> What really needs love is Consecration.
> As another iconic spell, there should be
> tree-specific talents to modify the effects.

This would be awesome... something that reduces the mana required, and also reduces the duration/radius/damage? Just to make it more usable for heroics.