Monday, September 22, 2008

Streamlining Blessings

Over at Eye for an Eye, Josh notes that Blessings are still much more complicated to maintain than other buffs. To achieve maximum effectiveness, it requires a lot of planning, and even mods like Pally Power. He asks if there is a better way to handle blessings.

The problem with Blessings is that each class-spec has a different priority order for Blessings. Retribution paladins want Might, while Holy paladins want Wisdom. So class-based buffing only works if you have enough paladins to cast every Blessing. And if you have enough paladins to cast every Blessing, you could just as easily buff entire groups instead of classes.

Blessings would be easier to handle if the blessings were deliberately unbalanced. I.e. Blessing One is more powerful than Blessing Two which is more powerful than Blessing Three. Then assigning Blessings in an optimum fashion would be trivial. The first paladin casts Blessing One on the raid. The second paladin casts Blessing Two, etc. In all honesty, balancing the Blessings against each other--while appealing to our sense of symmetry--just makes life harder in raiding.

My suggestion for streamlining Blessings would be to combine Might and Wisdom into a single Blessing: Blessing of Faith. For the most part, Might and Wisdom are mutually exclusive. The priests being able to hit mobs harder with their staves doesn't really matter. The only classes that would benefit are Retribution and Protection paladins, Enhancement shamans, and Hunters. Even then, Wisdom is generally low priority for those classes.

Blessing of Faith would make it much easier to cover entire classes. You hit the Druids with Faith, and the Ferals rejoice over the Attack Power, while the Trees and Boomkins revel in MP5. No need to hand out individual Blessings. As well, Faith comes very close to being the best Blessing overall. The first paladin hands out Faith, the second hands out Kings, and the third hands out Sanctuary.

Next I would clean up the talent trees as follows:

1. Combine Improved Blessing of Might and Improved Blessing of Wisdom into Improved Blessing of Faith (improves Blessing of Faith by 10/20%) in the Holy tree in the same spot as current Imp Wisdom.

2. Make Blessing of Kings baseline at 6%. Add Improved Blessing of Kings (improves Kings by additional 2/4%) to the Retribution tree in the same spot as current Imp Might.

3. Add some other random Tier 1 Protection talent that Holy might like to dip into.

So essentially we have three blessings: Faith, Kings, and Sanctuary. Each tree specializes in one, so you can count on a Holy Paladin to have Imp Faith and a Ret Paladin to have Imp Kings.

Then streamline a bit further by having Greater Blessings buff the group instead of the class. That should make raid buffing on par with all the other classes.

There's still a little awkwardness around the fact that tanks probably have a different priority than the rest of the raid. But I think this system would be better than the current system, while not being too different.


  1. I still say Blessing of Power is a cooler name. Faith is girly. :)

  2. Power is a terrible name. Totally un-paladin-like. I'm not thrilled with the word Faith, but Faith is better than Power.

  3. Blessing of Pwn? :P Seriously, how about Blessing of the Crusader? We no longer have Seal of the Crusader once the patch hits, so there would be no confusion. Although, Blessing of Faith sounds just fine, and I don't really find it girly. If your worried about girly, our class color is pink.....

    I also like the idea of having BoK made baseline. I do think that resuffling the Improved Blessings would be a pain though.

    Maybe just leave everything where its at, but have the Holy tree increase mana regen, the Prot tree would have Improved BoK, and the Ret tree would increase AP.

    Just throwing it out there :P

  4. Psh, next thing you know you'll be trying to get Holy Power's name changed to Holy Faith. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

    Faith has nothing to do with attack power. I could see Faith working for the Mp5 portion (meditation-esque thing going on there) but it just flat out sucks for the offensive minded AP portion.

    Crusader isn't bad. Perseverance maybe.

  5. "Then streamline a bit further by having Greater Blessings buff the group instead of the class. That should make raid buffing on par with all the other classes."

    Actually, I believe that all of the group buffs are raid-wide now; Arcane Brilliance, Prayer of Fortitude, etc etc.

  6. Maybe just leave everything where its at, but have the Holy tree increase mana regen...and the Ret tree would increase AP.

    This is not a good idea. You'll end up wanting the Ret paladin to cast Faith on the melee dps, and the Holy paladin casting Faith on the mana users, and we're back to where we started.

    If there is to be an increase, there should only be one talent that deals with it. That way, one paladin is optimum person to cast the Blessing on the entire raid.

  7. While I like this idea, somehow, I think because I'm used to the strange way Blizzard thinks, we'll just end up with PallyPower in the base UI and blessings will remain as awkward as ever.

  8. @ Rohan, good point. Maybe no Improvement to the Blessing itself? How about add an AP buff to Ret aura on a percentage, and an MP5 buff to Conc aura on a percentage? Improved Blessing of Might becomes Strength of Retribution. Improved Blessing of Wisdom becomes Holy Wisdom? It would achieve the same effect to a group as the Blessing would, but just through a different means. Auras are going raid wide now right?

  9. I don't really agree. The biggest problem with maintaining blessings is actually radically different specs within the same class, and the most common problem is pallies themselves.

    The most common (give that if you are talking blessings, you have at least one pally already) is a group with a pally tank and healer, who want completely different blessings (say, Light and Sanctuary on the tank, Wisdom and Salv on the Healer). The only saving grace is no one really minds Kinds. The proposed Blessing of Faith wouldn't help much here at all.

  10. That's a really cool suggestion, can you post it to the Beta forums?

    Though I would argue that there IS a Hierarchy of Blesings. Blessing of Kings of the most powerful Blessing we have right now, followed by Salvation, then Wisdom/Might.

  11. As usual, Rohan, you put it much more eloquently than I ever could.

  12. Go go blessing of the crusader:

    Wisdom + Might = Faith = Holy
    King = Prot
    Crusader = Ret

    (Sanctuary becomes a self buff rolled into Righteous Fury please)

    Blessing of the crusader: decreases the global cooldown by 0.25s and increases haste by x

    Improved blessing of the crusader: decreases the global cooldown by a further 0.125, 0.25s and haste by y/2y.

    Go go blessings¬!

  13. has Blizz changed the duration of said Blessings? I am not one of the lucky ones who have a Beta key so i wasnt sure. 10 min is really too short a duration and with Symbol of Kings taking up valuable bag space. especially for those of us who carry 1-2 extra sets of gear for blessing of swiss army knife.

  14. Paladin buffing is a pain in the neck both because of the mechanics and also because the paladin isn't the one who chooses how to buff, he is expected to accommodate every individual player's demands. So I came up with a terrible idea that is still convoluted, is bad for inventory space, and may be difficult to implement. But it makes the game and the raid do the work instead of we paladins, while not actually changing any blessings.

    What I've thought about is the idea of having a paladin create an altar, similar to a mage table or warlock healthstone thingamajig, which dispenses tokens representing each blessing that paladin in question can cast. Every raid member can take one token from each paladin's altar. Then the paladins just cast "raid blessing" and the game automatically applies blessings based on what tokens are in everyone's inventory.

  15. Nifen, i like it. they could call it "knight's round table" or "table of chivalry" where the individual classes could have access to their own choice of buff. The paladin could then cast one raid wide buff that would effect all toons depending on their spec and play style. Then i wouldnt have to listen to the mages asking for "salvation" when we are in Alterac Valley"