Thursday, July 17, 2008

Salvation's End

Beta patch notes are out, including a whole whack of changes for paladins.

The stand-out change:

Blessing of Salvation renamed Hand of Salvation, now reduces total threat on the target by 2% per second for 10 seconds while also reducing all damage and healing done by 10%. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. Now costs 6% of base mana.

At long last, Blessing of Salvation is gone. This one spell has warped our class so much, and I am *thrilled* to see it tossed out.

There's a bunch of other changes, and I'm especially pleased to see that Blizzard has decided to prune away a lot of the deadwood. Notable spells that have been removed are Blessing of Salvation, Blessing of Light, Seal of the Crusader, and Sanctity Aura. A lot of the worst excesses of the 1.9 change--pushing the good Holy talents deeper into the tree--have been reversed. Holy Wrath is on steroids now for some reason.

It's amusing to see how many changes from this old 2006 post of mine have been implemented.

It still appears that Blizzard is sticking with the specialist paladin, rather than the hybrid ideal. But other than that, the changes are actually quite good so far. There's still a lot of work to be done, but this is a great clean-up pass.

Just one note to Blizzard: Seal of Corruption is a terrible name for a paladin ability. Corruption is a warlock word. Please don't try to be "edgy" with the whole "Arthas falling from grace" thing. Just play it straight and give us an ability with a proper paladin name.


  1. I think SoCorruption is the renaming of Seal of Blood for both factions.

    After you kill KJ in Sunwell there is an event where the Blood Elves renounce their... ehrm, "bloody" ways and choose to walk in the light again. However the Blood Knights still know the secret of uber melee deeps and might be willing to share with us alliance pallys. As the effect is quite corrupting it would make perfect sense from a lore perspective.

    I'm also pretty happy with the notes. There is some errata in a few changes but all in all I think they really want to make paladins the buff class. I'll hold out on final judgment until we see the new talents/abilities but so far I'm actually excited about the class for the first time in god knows how long.

    Oh yeah, and Holy Wrath is the shit now.

  2. Oh and I wouldn't say hybrids are dead. Illumination back at 11 point holy smacks of the old school Illumination-Ret Paladin builds, not to mention all the great stuff spread in the low talent trees of all three specs. There might not be any deep hybrids, but shallow 51/x/x builds might become the norm (depending on the new Wrath talents).

  3. Changes to blessings are ugly... it seems a huge nerf. :(

  4. Holy Wrath can have my babies. I now have a route to Precision through Protection. I have to be a whole lot more on the ball in Raids and Instances with the new 'Hands'.

    It's worth noting that these patch notes are not complete for any class let alone Paladins. I think we'll have to wait for the overly-keen Beta 'testers' to datamine the talent trees and spells.

  5. "I now have a route to Precision through Protection."

    Looking at it, do I? According to MMO-Champion's Talent Calculator there is no Precision talent. That... would be troubling.

  6. Fire and Forget BoSalv gone and replaced with a spell you need to cast at the target that has/about to get aggro?

    Is that what you're saying?

    Sux, gonna main swap to my lock then :P

  7. Hand of Salvation in this form is dreadful. It basically shifts the responsibility of aggro management from DPS to the pallies.
    This isn't just bad in general because DPS have less reasons to pay attention to what they should be doing, it's also bad because if a wipe happens from over-aggroing DPS while the pallies were busy doing other stuff, the ensuing blame games will be epic in their stupidity.

  8. Yay! No more training wheel buff!

    Of course, as a Mage and Hunter as my two main DPS, I have ways of mitigating my threat levels, so maybe I shouldn't talk and we should hear from some DPS Warriors or Enh Shammies ;)

    But they'll be too dead on the floor to talk.

    I wonder if there'll be some better ways to mitigate threat for these other classes that depend so heavily on Salvation?

    WoWGrrl's player blog

  9. I love the change to salvation.

    Before: DPS creates less threat, has to watch their threat meter to make sure they don't get over the tank. If they screw it up, they get themselves and possibly the raid killed.

    After: DPS creates more threat, has to watch their threat meter to make sure they don't get over the tank. If they screw it up, I can save their asses and possibly the whole raid.

    I'm a damn paladin. I want to save my allies from harm. Give me more responsibilities, I'll shoulder them.

  10. Val, I gather than Blizzard are rolling in further -threat modifiers to each of the classes innate specs, and increasing the threat generation of each of the Tanks. The assumption being run is that this will make up for the loss of Tranquil Air and BoSalv, but it also wouldn't surprise me if Blizzard intend to make a feature of more aggro-sensitive encounters as a means of keeping difficulty high. This also neatly dovetails with thier old plan of including an Omen-style threat-meter with the default UI (though we haven't heard much on that for some while).

    Gwaendar, that's a very good point. I'm not sure how this will shake out, but that would most definitely be a worry for me.

  11. The nice thing about the "Hand of Salvation" is that the fight will be over about giving Might or Kings vs Salv.

    You'll apply Salv as needed.

    The bad thing is you'll need to apply it during the fight.

    Methinks there will be an extra pally in raids just to monitor this. Tank is gonna be too busy.

  12. I'm pretty sure that Hand of Salvation will only be used in an emergency situation. Threat Generation for tanks is looking to be greatly boosted, while the DPS classes get some more innate reductions. The end result is looking to be roughly the same as it is now, so that leaves HoSalv as an at-call aggro dump. Incredibly handy for those classes that don't have one inherently.

    One thing about HoSalv that I'm especially liking is that it can really help a Prot Pally grab threat back should someone pull the mob away. Righteous Defense the mob's attention back to the Paladin, then use HoSalv to dump the player's threat so that you keep it.

    Also, Seal of Corruption is going to be the Horde version of Seal of Vengeance. The Alliance version of Seal of Blood is going to be Seal of the Martyr.

  13. Heh I can see all the ret pallies casting it on other dps classes to lower their dps so the pally can be higher :D

  14. as I tank one of my primary duties is watching raid aggro. I already use my taunt and BOP to save allies... This hand version of salv is just another taunt for our repertoire.

  15. Not sure how it will all work out with the Salvation. DPS may have to die a few times to lean how to manage their aggro a bit especially for some that like to be pure glass cannons.

    It can get a bit busy sometimes tanking. How often would a Tank really have time to watch all their cooldowns, tank the mob and watch what the mob is doing, switch tactics tanking and have to watch dps to decide which one gets a 10 sec debuff while running out of mana needless trying to conserve any little mana at that to keep up Holy Shield.

    Could come down to do Tank refresh his cooldown spell to keep up threat or debuff dps. Might have to just let someone die who can't manage their dps with the new salvation.

  16. This is obviously to help Ret DPS. See someone catching up with you? Put HoSalv on him to stay ahead on the DPS meters.


  17. Hand of Salvation is useless and will never even go on my bars. It's the job of DPS to manage their aggro in an attempt to not pull. If they pull, regardless of role, I am going to be too busy to use this. If I'm tanking, I'm going to be busy casting Righteous Defense and trying to build aggro back - not throwing some spell that takes 10 seconds to reduce aggro when RD lasts three seconds. If I'm healing, I'm going to be spamming big heals trying to keep them alive. If I'm DPS, I'm going to be stunning the mob if it's stunnable.

  18. Actually Blood Elves aren't a part of the Silver Hand, so Seal of Corruption is fitting.

  19. As a shadow priest who constantly rides the coattails of the tanks on Omen, EVEN IF I only cast my 2 dots and nothing else, all I have to say is WAHHHHHHHHHHHH! NO! Most horrible nerf EVER.

    Inaara of Bronzebeard

  20. For you folks saying that Ret pallys are going to use Hand of Salv to boost their damage meter rankings, it looks like if the current skills/talents make it to final production, we'll be hearing cries of "NERF RET PALLYS" soon.

    Methinks the days of "lolret" will be reserved for those who still think paladins can't tank, either ;)

  21. As someone who mainly plays a DPS class (Mage), I'm viewing HoSalv as a slap in the face, a la "Hey you! Stop being such an aggro-whore!". Generally I think we'll try to avoid getting "handed".

    Perhaps they should rename it Middle Finger of Salvation.

    I also foresee many puns and wisecracks with respect to "hand", e.g. "Talk to the Hand", "Gotta Hand it to ya" and of course H.A.N.D. (= Have A Nice Day).

  22. It isn't going to be the paladin's roll to watch everyone in the group just so they can plop HoSalv on them. It will only be used in case of emergency. I don't sit there with my paladin all primed to throw down lay on hands? HoSalv is a great tool.

    Also the blessing of light removal is great. No more gimp heals.

  23. Heh, one of my friends (who plays a rogue) commented "I'm going to have to learn how to play my class again!"