Sunday, September 19, 2010

4.0 Paladin Healing (at 80)

I copied Coriel over to the PTR this weekend and tried some heroics. Some thoughts:

1. I don't think the mana requirements are in at 80.

Now maybe the mana requirements drastically increase from 81-85, but at level 80 they're negligible. The only way to run dry would be to spam Divine Light (the big heal) or Flash of Light (now an expensive, fast heal).

2. Holy Shock and Word of Glory are the go-to heals.

They're fast, cheap and heal for a decent amount. I was using Holy Shock on cooldown, tossing WoG when I hit 3 Holy Power, and filling in with Holy Light on non-tanks and Divine Light on the tanks.

3. Beacon of Light is now dirt-cheap.

It's so cheap that Beacon is a no-brainer now. Just put Beacon on the tank and heal as if Beacon did not exist. It only transfers 50%. If you heal a non-tank, the tank gets a little heal as a side-effect. If you heal the tank, you get a boost of Holy Power.

4. Flash of Light is obsolete.

Holy Shock is instant, costs 25% of the mana, and heals for something like 66% of FoL. WoG heals for 66% and is free. Plus, after a HS, HL or DL are sped up, so they can land very quickly. And you can proc Daybreak to get double HS and then chain into Word of Glory for very quick heals. I'm not really sure I see what situation FoL would fit in now.

5. One-click buffing is awesome.

One button press, and everyone gets Kings. Heaven.

6. Light of Dawn is ... interesting.

I don't really know about this spell. The thing is that in the two heroics I ran, the only time everyone took damage was when the DPS pulled aggro. More often than not, they were running around like monkeys so it was really hard to get all of the them in the cone.

As well, it's a good heal, but it won't keep a group up when mobs are beating on them. It seems fine for splash damage, but not when people pull aggro. Plus it's on a fairly long cooldown, long enough that it often falls out of mind.

7. The Healing Mastery is okay.

The healing mastery puts a temporary shield on your heal target for 8 seconds. The shield is for about 8% of heals. It's okay, but the only problem is that the shield doesn't increase with subsequent heals unless it expires. This is especially problematic as Holy Shock tends to hit quickly after the last heal, before the shield can expire. So you often end up losing some of your mastery if you heal the same target twice in a row.

This could be a bug, so we'll see if Blizzard fixes it.

Conclusions

So is the new healing model better?

Well, it's certainly better than spamming Holy Light all the time. But I'm not sure about the actual triage involved. The thing is that you want to use HS all the time, because it's cheap, fast, heals for a decent amount, and is the primary generator of Holy Power, which gives you your Word of Glories. So really, I found I was following a strict priority of WoG-3, HS, then Holy Light. The only exception was if the tank dropped to 50-60%, at which point I used Divine Light to bring them back.

The problem I see with making mana more important is that if Holy Shock gets more expensive, then a paladin will be less likely to use it. But that will mean less Word of Glories, so you're kind of just left with Holy Light.

It could work, but it does feel as if HS and WoG are too tightly bound to really allow one to truly triage and conserve mana. But I don't know. I'd really have to try first-hand the later levels when mana restrictions actually kick in.

16 comments:

Redbeard said...

5. One-click buffing is awesome.

One button press, and everyone gets Kings. Heaven.


One big reason for using Pally Power just went out the window. There's still the timers, but like you said...

Cure said...

Solid write-up. My experience on the PTR with Holy is similar to yours.

I also found myself pre-healing the tank to stack Holy Light x3 before he pulled. That's interesting, but it will get old fast.

Regarding Flash of Light; there are multiple aspects of Cataclysm encounters that could forge a niche for Flash of Light.

For starters, the latest beta patch nerfed Holy Light's base healing by 25% and increased the mana cost. Essentially, they just significantly nerfed it's efficiency (heal-per-mana HPM) as well as it's throughput.

Next, consider mechanics such as Mimiron's Plasma Blast (many ticks of large damage for a short period). This is the kind of situation where your WoGx3->HS may need to be backed up by FoL spam.

Other kinds of mechanics that may necessitate a fast heal are LK's Infestation (WoGx3 + HS the first guy, but then it's FoL spam + Holy Radiance (AoE heal @ 83).

So while I certainly agree that the PTR build has renderred FoL almost completely useless, I am encouraged by the signs from the Cataclysm beta.

Thanks for the write-up though, a very enjoyable read!

openid said...

I've actually been using LoD as a tank; Paladin tanking is pretty 'empty' in the rotation at the moment, and during times when there's a bunch of meaningful raid damage -- think Precious's decimate, Festergut's Pungent Blight, in Wrath terms -- it provides a significant help.

(One encounter I used it on was Grand Vizier Ertan, who currently has an unavoidable raidwide damage that does about 40k; poppin LoD isn't going to fill people up, but it will help a bit when shit gets rough.)

Anonymous said...

What about Sacred Shield? Is there an incentive to put it on the tank?

When I tank a PuG on my paladin, more often than not the paladin healers are not keeping Sacred Shield up and I have to keep it myself. From what I heard SS scales with spellpower, which healers are sure to have more than I.

Rohan said...

@openid, Light of Dawn is the new 31-point healing talent. Not sure how you access it as a tank. Do you mean the new AoE heal you get at level 81?

@anon, Sacred Shield doesn't exist anymore. You get shields from the Holy paladin Mastery. When you cast a heal on someone, they get a shield worth 8% of that heal (including any overheal).

Besta said...

Hey, nice post just note that in my pally on lv 80 gear after reforging mostly haste and crit into Mastery my heals shield for 18% of the amount healed, and it is a 5 sec duration not 8 sec and yes they do refresh but only if the heal is bigged for example if you do a 5k holy light it will shield for about 900 for me but if the next holy light i cast hits for 8k withing those 5 seconds the shield is up it will replace the old shield with the new shield just like the Scarab's brooch from AQ40 currently works now I also have Beta and I have an 85 paladin and my shields are up to 25% sheild from mastery rating that plus valanyr plus the trinket i just mentioned above can make quite a bubble thie only problem with the trinket is you will love alot of stats so it is not recomended IMO, as far as mana goes well I did not reforge any spirit on ptr and on my 80 paladin I have 1300 spirit I also did icc in PTR and as you may know the ICC instance buff is gone nevertheless we 2 healed it me and a disc priest and let me tell you it was awesome I was doing like 7 k hps on most fights in 10m normal also about WoG maybe i am just lucky but you know the protection talent that has a 30% chance to make it consume no holy power well turns out it procced 6 times in a row for me once and 2 times + many many other times I think it is surely amazing.

Ana said...

i dont know if you saw it, but ferarros write up on holy ( http://ferarro.blogspot.com/2010/09/holy-impressions-on-401.html ) was pretty good as well. she said that we'll basically be stacking spirit. how does that feel for you? like in ptr was mana an issue?

Rohan said...

At 80, mana was not an issue at all. I didn't drop below 95% mana in either heroic.

It actually feels hard to spend mana at 80. You would need to spam FoL or DL to see your mana drop.

Now, this could completely change in Cataclysm levels 81-85.

Cathak said...

Any indication of meleeing while healing during an encounter? I vaguely recall the developers wanting to implement something along those lines.

Rohan said...

Cathak, not really. The only thing is that your healing is instant-heavy so you'll get a fair number of weapon swings.

As well, imp judgement is only 30 yards, so you'll end up closer to the boss than normal, so that might encourage you to go closer into melee range.

Cathak said...

Sounds like a blast, thanks Coriel. Anything else you've noticed recently but havent mentioned before?

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is obvious, but does this mean the Frost libram will actually get some use, now? Or do you get better librams from quests at 80?

Rohan said...

Yes, higher ilvl librams are strictly better than lower ilvl librams. They're like wands now.

I don't know about librams from beta content.

Holy Moly said...

Yes, at level 80, it's not so bad. However, by the time we get to 85, our mana pool less than doubles (mine is 68,000), however the mana cost of our spells almost triples. To make matters worse, in iLvl 333 gear, my heals barely saw an increase over when I cast them at 80. For example, the tank has about 100k health. The maximum I can heal him for is about 25k with Divine Light, and that's about one seventh of my mana pool. The mobs in heroics also hit hard, so I'm having to spam FoL at times just to keep him up, especially if we have no CC. So yes, FoL is very useful when damage gets spiky.

Batz said...

I made a premade character on the beta and was working healing on my paladin, i was having mana issues still becuase of the lack of CC and the amount of damage that was being passed around from the cleaves and what not. I tried this for 2 different duegons and had the same issues. Im going to look over and try what you posted and see if that helps. my mana is like 60-70k atm and i ran out really really fast if i have to spam Divinie light. Flash of light uses like 8k mana and heals for about 8-10k while Holy light only heals for 5-8k this is what bugs me.

Rasmin said...

Ok i play a 80 holy pally and that is it i find that in heroics there is no mana problems however when you get to a raid it is a diffrent story due to the much higher damage taken your HS and WOG cant quite keep up therefor you have to use larger heals and mana becomes an issue. In regards to your were dose FOL fit in. Dream Walker being as it is a large fast heal it is ideal and given the mana regen buff it can be spammed no problem along with DL. I recommend in a raid keeping HS and WOG on cool down as well as HL as a filler and you should be fine. Finally the cool new heal keep it on cool down just take a few sec turn toward the raid it really can make a big difference this is assuming that you have enough critical strike making it hit for 10 - 11 k. it could be the difference between a wipe and success. i would like comments on this style of healing there is always room to learn.