Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some Questions for Ghostcrawler

This was originally posted on the paladin forums. It was deleted. Ghostcrawler's original post can be found here.
1) Judgements of the Wise: Mana gained reduced from 33% to 15% of base mana. We spent many hours arriving at this number. For example, we did a lot of Patchwerk fights, watching the mana bar to see when and if it ever went down. In BGs, we were seeing paladins able to go from target to target without pausing even when unleashing all of their attacks. While we don't want you to go OOM in a few seconds, we don't want you to ignore the mana bar either. Mana is not rage -- warriors can't typically start a battle with a full bar.

Unlike seemingly everyone else, I'm fine with this. The numbers work out very nicely for PvE DPS. The basic rotation is sustainable indefinitely, there's room for a few minor utility spells, and the Burn mode with Hammer of Wrath lasts for about 1 minute, which is solid.
2) Judgement of Wisdom: mana gained reduced to 1% of maximum mana and proc frequency cut by 50%. This ability was flat out better than Vampiric Touch when the mana provided between the two really needs to be close in order for the decision between Shadow priest and Retribution paladin to be a real one.

Could you tell us what the actual mechanics of Judgement of Wisdom are meant to be? So far on Beta we've seen:

- 2% gain, 100% proc, 4s cooldown per person
- 2% gain, 100% proc, 4s cooldown per raid
- 2% gain, 100% proc, no cooldown (I think Wis/Light are like this on Live)
- 1% gain, 50% proc, no cooldown?
3) Judgement and Seals: Damage reduced by 20%. This is the major damage adjustment -- a lot of damage was coming from these. We do realize this hurts Holy and Protection as well, and that is something for which we are prepared to offer compensation (particularly if it hurts Protection's threat generation).

Why are you so insistent on having Seals proc off special attacks?

Almost every nerf you've made to Ret has had this change at the heart. We were perfectly happy in TBC with Crusader Strike and Judgement not proccing Seals. So far, this change has led to:

- significant nerfs to Seals/Judgments
- hurt Holy soloing and levelling, as Holy doesn't get extra Seal procs
- an increase in the magnitude of burst damage
- random chance of complete silliness with Seal of Command
- lackluster Retribution abilities, because they have to pay an invisible "Seal Tax"
-- Crusader Strike is now worse than Mortal Strike, and MS is easier to get
-- Divine Storm is now Whirlwind with a small heal, only Whirlwind is baseline, and DS is 51-points

Seriously, if you removed Seal procs off specials, that would give you some room to tune Ret without affecting Holy/Prot, and maybe even make our special abilities more exciting and paladin-like, rather than being poor copies of Warrior abilities.
Nerfing a spec or class is never fun. It means that our initial estimates of numbers were off and we know that the community is going to react negatively (to put it mildly). But we have to try and keep the game in a relatively balanced state and that is going to mean making decisions that are unpopular sometimes. If you need to blame someone for the nerfs, blame me.

Here's the thing. Why do you have so much trouble with Retribution paladins? We went through this exact same thing in TBC, when you nuked Crusader Strike, and we didn't recover until that change was reverted (and we got threat reduction in 2.3). That's where all the forum angst is coming from. We've been through this scenario before, and it didn't end happily for us. Why do you think it will be different this time around?

We're a relatively simple class. Almost all of our talents are straight damage increasing talents (which is another issue entirely). Vengeance has full uptime very quickly. We don't have feedback loops like Rage, or complex mechanics to model like Combo-point generation. The most complicated part of our class is the internal cooldown on Seal of Command. Other-wise it's pretty much wait for the cooldown to finish, hit ability, and wait for the next ability to come off cooldown.

I'm rather worried that you can't seem to model our damage properly. Of all the classes in the game, I would imagine you would be able to predict Retribution damage with extreme precision. Yet it seems to be the class who's damage you have the most trouble predicting.


  1. Maybe your thread was embarassing. Maybe Blizzard just did not realize exactly how paladin DPS is straightforward. But that suggests that they have no experience with the class, at least at any significant gear level. Maybe they aren't listening to Eyonix talk about his paladin.

    At first glance it's not obvious that vengeance is permanent. One could mistake it for something like flurry. Or thinking too much would lead to the true conclusion that it is possible, though not probable, that vengeance could fall off.

    Nerfing judgement damage almost makes sense, if you have a microscope on ret and forgot about the other specs. Even if we take a leap and assume that holy isn't intended to do any damage at all, this still leaves prot with a huge aggro loss. Maybe they don't care since tank aggro, at least in my experience, is much higher than is really needed.

    I'm tempted to make a "nerf ret" thread just to point out that they aren't nerfing ret, they're nerfing the entire class.

  2. Nice post dude. RNG procs on Seals is just STUPID.

    I'm seriously disillusioned right now. Occassionally i'm walking up to a mob, hitting crusader strike, and it's dying in the single GCD leaving me wondering "WHAT JUST HAPPENED" - So I check the combat log, and sure enough, a crit SoComm proc off of CS, and a crit SoComm proc off of auto attack, is just, fucking, stupid.

    Pretty sure now that no one inside blizzard is actually playing Ret (Or holy for that matter)

  3. I am really starting to agree with the idea of removing Seal damage from specials. As long as SoV could still be applied off of specials, I really don't see a problem with this. If SoV was not applied on specials, Pally tanks might start to have a pretty hard time keeping up threat on several targets at once. SoR is less of an issue since a fast weapon should be able to apply plenty of Seal damage for threat purposes.

    We are a stupid simple class as far as damage goes, and I completely agree with that things should not be this difficult to work out. It seems that the good people at Elitist Jerks have gotten a handle on things rather quickly as far as numbers and such go. Why can't the devs? For that matter, why can't they just look at what is on Elitist Jerks, test it for accuracy and go with that?

    The only thing that I can think of is that the devs are actually the elitist jerks who feel that there is no one that knows the game better then them, and they don't want to admit that they were wrong. Or worse, they don't want to admit that someone else was right. Can you imagine your boss finding out that the only reason that your project was a success was because someone else outside of your company figured out how to fix the problem you created, and then you stole the idea and made it your own? Hmmm.......

  4. I added my own list of questions.

  5. Why are you so insistent on having Seals proc off special attacks?

    Wouldn't this be a significant nerf for prot, where HotR keeps SoV stacks on 3+ mobs at a time?

  6. SoV would have to be excluded from a Seal Tax removal. That is the only Seal I can think that would need to proc on specials. I don't image that would be hard to impliment. There is probably some little line of code on each of the Seals that reads:


    Just change the last line to N and voila!

    (All above code is strictly imaginary. The author has no programming knowledge and reserves the right to oversimplify complex issues)

  7. Always very weird when players think they know they game better then the creators. Very weird indeed.

  8. I don't see how you think its weird. There are about 10 million people playing WoW. I doubt that there are over 500 people at Blizzard developing and testing WoW. Essentially what this leads to is something you akin to what you have with Linux.

    A bunch of people testing things, working numbers, dissecting mechanics, cataloging everything into various databases, and disseminating that knowledge to like minded individuals who also use the program.

    The big difference here is that this is not open source, and rightly so. It just wouldn't work in an MMO.

    Besides all that, this is not exactly rocket surgery. Blizzard has stated the direction they want the game to go, and they are going to make it much much more difficult for Ret Paladins to go in that stated direction if they continue pulling the crap they just did with this set of nerfs. If you can't see that then maybe you should look at who we are competing against for spots and see how well we fair.

    Essentially it comes down to this. We are a melee DPS spec. We have a basic damage rotation. Our means of replenishing our energy should meet the needs of the basic damage rotation plus or minus a SLIGHT amount. DPS should be capable of being self sustaining using the basic damage rotation. The basic damage rotation should be about 5% under the DPS of a pure melee DPS class. Use of extra abilities should hurt our DPS and drain down our energy source. Find another melee DPS class that does not fit that profile.

    Then take a look at that statement you made. Ask yourself, is this hard to figure out? No, its really not. Also, there is an understanding of the player base that is in this game that is outside of the grasp of the Blizzard devs. The players in this game will take those who provide the most group benefit, be it better heals, highest threat, most DPS, or buffs.

    Of course, the devs don't seem to know what they want out of Paladins themselves. So in that regard, yes you may be right. The players cannot know more then the devs, when the devs don't know anything themselves.

  9. There may be 10 million players, but how many do you think actually have the skills required to be a developer? And of those people, how many have the kind of data available to them that the developers at Blizzard do?

    The fellows at EJ are a smart and very switched on group of players, but you have to admit that a lot of their theories are based on either very limited parses or -no- actual data at all (IE, just math on ability numbers). When you have such a small subset of info, it's easy to see things differently.

    I would actually be willing to argue that game balance in something like WoW is in fact rocket surgery. When you look at a certain end result, the causes for it are in multitude, which makes changing the end result monumentally difficult. As stated by GC before, while they knew that Ret damage was way too high for a while, they had a bunch of stat bugs that were interfering with them being able to determine what the problem is (if there actually was one). But after that was sorted out, and after they collected even more parses, they had to admit that what they were seeing was just ridiculous. When you have a Ret who's #3 in damage and #4 in healing in Hyjal, you have to see that there's a problem.

    Dradis, you say that they can't continue in their vision by doing this to Ret, but I have to argue the opposite. With the way things were, there was no way for them to be able to continue with the way they wanted.

    Just because what you want to see out of Paladins is different from what the Devs see, doesn't mean that they don't know what they're doing.

  10. @ RJ. I understand what you are saying, but at the same time, their approach is fundamentally wrong. I don't know how else to put it. As you pointed out, there were bugs that were skewing our number initially. However, after sorting that out, GC stated that he felt the numbers were where they were supposed to be.

    Then what? The numbers suddenly weren't what they were supposed to be? Now its different? How did the parses change from last week to now? I did see that bit on a post by GC saying that Ret was 3 on damage and 4 on heals. I will agree that this is not an isolated incident, as I managed a similar feat on a Gruuls run. But what does that really say to you? Was the damage too high or the healing? Obviously, it was the healing. Logically, that is the area that should be addressed. Unless you are trying to make the point that its fundamentally wrong for DPS specced Paladin to be anywhere near the top of a damage chart.

    Also, Blizz had stated that Paladins were supposed to be bursty, presumably because we don't have a lot of options outside of our initial burst damage. You can HoF and Cleanse until your blue in the face, and yet we still remain one of the most kitable classes in the game. So we need burst, otherwise we may not get another chance if our target survives the initial burst. We are essentially dead in the water for 4 seconds after the initial burst.

    So we were supposed to be bursty. And now we are supposed to be sustained DPS instead of burst. Honestly, I really don't care that much how I get my DPS since I am more PvE focused. However, this combined with a blatant nerf to our ability to sustain DPS like every other melee class is a pretty good indicator that they (the devs) don't know what they want or what they are doing.

    It would be like buying a Prius because its fuel efficient and clean, then turning around and swapping engines with a Hummer. Who would say that person knew what they wanted? I wouldn't and I don't think you would either.

    You stated that most of us don't have the ability to be developers, based on a lack of appropriate skills. My question is, how much skill does it take to run a WWS parse and analyze it? For that matter, how hard is it realize that despite your best efforts, you are going OOM in the middle of most fights? Or that your overall damage done of the course of a Heroic or Raid is significantly higher and lower then the rest of the group? These things require but a few addons and the time to read the information they present. No special skills are required for that.

    Sure, we as players may not understand how they actually code the game, or how some of the new mechanics work. But, to look at the big picture and say this is on par, or this is not on par does not require that. Going back to the car analogy, do you have to be a mechanic to know that your engine is making strange noises? Do you need to be a tire specialist to know they need to be replaced? No, you don't. The same applies here.

    Do I think everything was peaches and cream? No, and I voiced that to my guildies as well as on my blog. Our damage was high and so was our healing. And really, knocking us down a peg on the DPS makes sense. Removing our sustainability, however, is not the way to address this issue. I can only think that they were hoping to counter act the excessive healing back making excess mana unavailable to throw out instant FoLs. However, they could have done with much less of a cut back and had the same effect. Right now, we quickly heading back to 2.4. That is what I don't want to see. That is not my vision for our beloved class, and I doubt its yours. And even if that is not what Blizz wants, that is where they are heading. Maybe they could start figuring out exactly where we should be, what we should do, and how we should do it. As of now, it doesn't seem like we could get those answers in any specific terms.

    And I apologize if a seem a little pissy, its not directed at you. I am just frustrated with the situation.

  11. Well I often wonder how much Ret OP is from some low level developer who loves them a little to much and his change get approved without much thinking since it's his job to do the math and he does it and likes how it was :)

    Prot and Holy just need to be given special attacks that proc seals (holy shock and HotR) and ret specials need to do healing instead of procing seals + more damage. SoC is an Evil for PvP tuning ability. RNG has always = 1 total automatic win for a ret paladin every so often. Everything lines up and stuff explodes it's bad design. Probably the real change needs to be redesign SoC to something that isn't automatically bursty (melee crit + SoC crit is always to much damage)

  12. /agreed on the SoC comment. I think I mentioned that problem somewhere, I don't think I stated it quite as well.

  13. Dradis -

    It's a statistical thing. In order to be able to use data to explain an event, you actually need a hell of a lot of data.

    It's not saying that the data from last week was wrong, but it is now viewed in a different light because of data found today. As more and more data comes in, they're starting to see that the trends they originally thought were the case was actually the opposite. At first they saw some of the data on the extreme end, but thought they were just that the player was exceptionally lucky, or the data was faulty entirely (even a WWS parse is not perfect). But as more and more similar results came in, the statistical result is that they're no longer the outlier, but now the median. That is why the data suddenly "changed", as you put it.

    So, with this in mind, should also answer your question about analyzing WWS parses. Just looking at one parse, 10 parses, or even 100 parses may not be enough to determine a statistically usable result. It may take thousands or millions of parses before you get enough data to be able to tell the real trends.

    And that aside, it's more then just seeing trends to be able to suggest a fix. Using your car analogy, yes. I don't need to be a mechanic to know that my car is making a funny noise, but I do need to be one to tell what the course of action is. If my wheels seem to grind, is it the wheel bearings? The breaks? The alignment? Maybe it's nothing at all, which is what happens with a lot of cars.

    In a similar sense, players may see that their DPS seems to be too high or too low, but that doesn't mean that they know -why- that is the case. Do the abilities themselves scale too well/poorly? Do they stack too well/poorly with buffs/debuffs? Are the talents giving too much/little benefit (either by design or by bugs)? Is the mob's stats too low/high? Is the RNG on a vendetta? Who knows?

    I don't want to see Ret become another joke, however I can't help but agree with the logic being presented by GC. I know that he doesn't enjoy doing this, but it's better then having something that's just outragously beyond what is intended. Balancing burst is always hard, because while they want players to like it when the stars align and deliver them the huge hits, they don't want it to happen too often or not often enough, and they don't want when it happens for it to be an absolutely devistating blow that cannot possibly be survived. And that's an incredibly fine line to walk.

  14. It's not about data. It's about models.

    Blizzard should have a model of paladin damage. One of those infamous spreadsheets they keep talking about. That spreadsheet should predict paladin damage.

    Now, when the data coming in from the servers deviates significantly from the model, it means something went wrong somewhere. Either your model is not accurate, or there is a bug in the game.

    My point is that paladin DPS is terribly easy to model. We only have 3 or 4 abilities which are on cooldowns. We should not be seeing such wild swings like this. Kind of honestly, they should have nailed PvE DPS on the first try.

  15. It's a statistical thing. In order to be able to use data to explain an event, you actually need a hell of a lot of data.
    That's not really true. Most people tend to vastly overestimate the number of samples necessary to determine a result at a given confidence level.

    And as others have already pointed out, Retribution should be the easiest spec to model, so Blizzard should barely have to look at any real parses at all. How long as WotLK been in development? A year? 6 months? In all that time, they should have been able to run a raid with each spec at least 10 times or so, which would provide plenty of data for them to at least know what kind of damage Ret is doing. If they're just now figuring out that Ret is doing too much damage, their testing methods failed miserably.'s more then just seeing trends to be able to suggest a fix.
    Given that Blizzard has total control over every aspect of the game, it's hard to believe they could know there's a problem and not know how to fix it. If that really is the case, Blizzard's developers are flat-out incompetent.

    It seems obvious to me that they're just giving in to the QQ. I guess they've decided that fewer paladins will quit after the nerfs than other players would have without them. Personally, my subscription ran out today, and I won't be renewing it.

  16. Also, I don't get this:
    Judgement of Wisdom... was flat out better than Vampiric Touch when the mana provided between the two really needs to be close in order for the decision between Shadow priest and Retribution paladin to be a real one.
    Shouldn't they be comparing Vampiric Touch with Judgements of the Wise, not Judgement of Wisdom? In a 25 person raid it's probably safe to assume you'll have at least 2 paladins, and since all paladins are supposed to judge now, you'll always have Light and Wisdom up on the boss. Even in 10-mans you'll probably have at least Wisdom. The mana gained through Replenishment should be roughly balanced between the classes so that one isn't automatically preferred over the other.

    Is it possible that GC doesn't know the difference between Judgment of Wisdom and Judgments of the Wise?

  17. It's not about data. It's about models.

    Blizzard should have a model of paladin damage. One of those infamous spreadsheets they keep talking about. That spreadsheet should predict paladin damage.

    That is exactly my point. I don't think the devs know what they want. And if you don't have a specific goal in mind, how can you achieve it? No one has came out and said "this is what we expect Ret Paladins to do." And I don't mean something as broad as "be a mana battery DPSer." That is a little loose. Do you expect us to be able to heal? If yes, why nerf our mana pool? If no, why have a 3 point talent that has a component that adds a HoT to crit FoLs? Are we supposed to burst? If yes, why remove all our burst talents? If no, why not get to core of the matter and do something about SoComm or Seal procs? Are we supposed to be Holy DPS or Physical? Pick one or the other and balance it that way instead of a hodge podge that doesn't seem to work for us.

    I could go on, but there is no point. These are questions that most likely don't have answers. If there is an answer it will be vague or have some caveat that allows later retraction or reinterpretation. Just tell us what we are supposed to do and make us do it. Its not a hard concept, and it doesn't even require a WWS parse. Determine the design, stick to it, the rest will follow and be a matter of balance.

    Hell, just throw the whole Paladin model out the window and start fresh. At this point, it might be the only thing that can be done. No amount of duct tape can save a sinking ship. And right now, I feel as though we are heading toward an iceberg. Plenty of tape on board though......

  18. Didnt follow all the arguments but I agree with the gist of ppl who think that professional Blizzard employees know more about class design than unprofessional gamers.

    Game balance is REALLY REALLY hard, and most players have a painfully partial view of their class. Just look how few players will honestly own up to being overpowered in a beta test... even though being overpowered breaks the game for everyone. Then compare how many players jump on the whinging bandwagon. That's what I mean by partial: its unobjective, biased, and based upon some pretty transparent emotional-macho responses.

    Theory only takes you so far. The EJ folks act cool, and pretend to not take themselves too seriously... but in the end, a lot of them do. All the theories and modelling - cool and fun though they may be - only go so far once you start playing the game. I've seen people recently make all kinds of declarations about how to play the game, post 3.0, based PURELY upon numerial analysis. No gameplay whatsoever. And then later admit their theories were irrelevant because they didnt actually play. Dont forget it's possible to be very very smart, and yet come to conclusions that are very very wrong.

    If you would prefer to model theories on paper rather than play a game, maybe you should get a job as a developer for a games company. But you would have to loose your partiality pretty damn quickly.

    Blizzard have recieved so much grief from pallies, and have expressed nothing but graciousness and care in return. I dont expect arrogant 16 year old boys to understand concepts like graciousnesss.... so go abuse GC as much as you like. He can take it, and his responses only prove to me over and over who much they do care.

    (btw, I'm sorry but I dont have any mathematical proof of my comments above, so feel free to flame)

  19. And still, there is no model for the Paladin as a class, or Ret as a spec. Balance be damned. Numbers be damned. Give me a direction. The devs need to tell us what they expect Ret Paladins to do in no uncertain terms. Once again, you cannot reach a goal if there is no goal to be reached.

    If GC would at least do that much, I think there would be a lot less anger among us and a lot less QQ. Outlining what your intentions are for a class or spec should not be so difficult.

  20. ... I agree with the gist of ppl who think that professional Blizzard employees know more about class design than unprofessional gamers.
    I agree that they should, but time and time again they've proven that they don't. If they did, they would have fixed any problems before the patch went live. Why did it take weeks of complaining by the protection community before they added 3% additional damage reduction (with GC saying all along prot was fine)? Where are all of Blizzard's famous spreadsheets, and why didn't they predict Ret would be overpowered before hand? Why does it take a blogger like Rohan to point out a fundamental, game-breaking flaw like seals proccing on specials?

    Game balance is REALLY REALLY hard...
    I'll admit it's probably pretty hard to balance the various classes for PVP, but as far as Ret's sustained damage in PVE, it should be trivially easy. They just need to set a target number for a given level of gear, and then make sure the abilities match it. There are a ton of tweaks they could make deep in the Ret tree without screwing things up for Holy and Prot too.

    Blizzard have recieved so much grief from pallies, and have expressed nothing but graciousness and care in return.
    Where have you been for the past four years? Blizzard has consistently ignored its players. Their level of communication has been completely unacceptable for a company paid for by the subscriptions of its customers. Even the number of posts by GC since the WotLK beta is barely what I would have expected all along. As far as graciousness is concerned, I would rather pay Blizzard to make a great game, not to be gracious. But even still, how can you consider like "TO THE GROUND BABY" gracious? Or the flat-out lie that they're not going to react to other classes QQing?

    Give me a direction. The devs need to tell us what they expect Ret Paladins to do in no uncertain terms. Once again, you cannot reach a goal if there is no goal to be reached.
    I agree with dradis 100% on this. In fact, they should for every spec. If they would just explain their reasoning behind the decisions they make, there'd be a lot less complaining.

  21. Rohan -

    This just begs the obvious questions.

    1) What makes you think that they don't have a model? I mean, it's pretty obvious that they have SOMETHING that they base things on. GC makes references to it fairly often.

    2) What makes you think that if they didn't have one, it would have any effect? A model is just the same as theorycrafting. There's only so far you can get with guesses and assumptions, because that's all a model or a theory is. "I think, based on these assumptions, that this is what should happen."

    After a certain point, you have to take your model and test it in a live environment and see what happens. As smart as they, you, and everyone may be, there's going to be some cases that aren't accounted for. And sometimes it blows up in their face.

    And that's exactly what we're seeing here. The data that's coming back is not matching the models they originally created. At first they thought it was just outliers because of bugs or excessive randomness (since Ret is pretty based on chance, too), but as time went on they had to admit that things were further off then they had originally planned.

    Give me a direction. The devs need to tell us what they expect Ret Paladins to do in no uncertain terms.

    I was under the impression that GC already did. He clearly said that Ret is built around burst ( ), for example. Was there anything in particular you wanted?

  22. In the end, you're on one side or the other. Argument is useless in here. So I'm cancelling this pally blog on my reader right away, the whole drama has just left too bad a taste. I'll forever think of pallies as the whining class. Hunters are the huntards, pallies are the whiners. Stereotypes sure, but a lot of truth to it.

    Hope those of you who hate the game move on and find better ways to spend your free time.

  23. I'm trying to decide if that last comment was serious or satire.

  24. I think it was serious. Pissy, and completely misdirected imho, but serious. "In the end", there is no end. The game grows and develops, and that growth and development is and should be influenced by discussion. The question is not "how can a player pretend to know more than the game developers?", but "how can you pretend that whatever the devs might know, there is no useful input that can come from players?".

  25. There's some very simple reasons why I do not believe Blizzard has any real DPS model...

    1. How can they have months and months of Retribution Paladin DPS data and not know that we used concecrate in a regular rotation for PvE? How is it possible that they reviewed parses of raid after raid and this never came up?

    2. How is it possible that they do not understand that Spiritual Attunement requires others to heal us and that the healing from Judgement of Light and Divine Storm counter the benefit of dropping your own health?

    How is it possible that they look at a parse of one of the best Retribution paladins in the world, who hands them a WWS report and they do not notice that the DPS reflects the damage the paladin did to himself with Martyr? I mean, seriously, they HAVE to know this mechanic is there.

    Further, that Paladin ended up doing just 2750 DPS, against an Undead boss, and used every possible means to generate mana during that fight. Divine Plea, Mana potion, Dark Rune for crying out loud... even wasted a Lay Hands just for the mana return. All to do 19% less DPS than a mage who never used a single ability to manage his mana. Not a single mana gem, potion, evocate, wanding... nothing. 19% less and that player had to do nothing to manage mana... while a paladin goes all out and uses every trick in the book!

    I am sorry, but these changes are just plain wrong. If Blizzard cannot have seen it from their models, then I have lost all faith in their ability.

    Additionally, here was my post from the beta forums...

    ou acknowledge that with the change to classes for WotLK that everyone needs to be within the same area if they are equally skilled and geared. The changes you are making right now for raids, making Blood/Martyr the answer to Paladin mana issues has a few major flaws, I am hoping you are able to address them.

    1. By design, you do not want us able to use the abilities that make us unique in a raid. No heals, cleanse, Hand spells. Stick to the rotation and conserve mana so you can do the basic rotation. Why bring a paladin if they are unable to use these abilities?

    2. By requiring a paladin to take more damage in order to have the mana to sustain themselves, are you not placing an extra healing load on the raid? Why take a paladin who's doing whatever less DPS you have deemed necessary (you have still yet to answer this question) when you can take any other DPS who will not require extra healing from the raid? If the raid is expected to heal X damage in a boss fight, but they bring a Retribution Paladin and now have to heal X+Martyr, you have penalized the raid because they brought a particular class.

    3. Lets compare the Warlocks damage-to-mana mechanic with a Paladin. When a Warlock taps, they control when that happens. Paladins have no such control. You are making it such that a Paladin must use Blood/Martyr in order to have the basic mana necessary for their rotation, then we must take damage. How often that damage comes, we have no control. Additonally, a Warlock can heal themselves to recover the lost health, they do not require an outside source. They can do it when they know they have a Healthstone ready, or a health pot, or can drain life. Paladins will be healing themselves too, only their heals will PREVENT the mana return as they do not count for Spiritual Attunement. Paladins cannot control the heals from Judgement of Light procs, nor can we stop the heals from Divine Storm. If either of these heals us before a raid healer, we lose the benefit are supposed to gleen from this mechanic change.

    We cannot control when the damage comes in, we cannot control the self heals that will allow us to have mana added as part of this equation, will require additional raid healing resources that no other class requires... AND... we'll still be less DPS than others? How can this be a good mechanic? Even if everything works the way you are intending, you have STILL made the Retribution Paladin less desirable in a raid. The raid is penalized with less DPS, more needed healing, all in return for abilities you do not want us to use?

    Please, sit down and read this a couple times. There is a major major flaw in your logic that MUST be apparent to you as a developer after reading this through...

  26. Yup, again the developers have no idea what they want at this point. You can say that there is information that we as players will never have or understand all you want. But really, Ray Charles can see that the devs don't have a clue at this point with regards to Paladins.

    If things stay as is, you will need to push two buttons in a raid.

    Button A: /castrandom Judgement of Wisdom, Crusader Strike, Divine Storm

    Button B: Seal of Blood (every 1min45sec)

    That is all. Anything else will make us run the risk of going OOM before a boss fight is over.

    As an example, I was able to dps a target dummy in SW for 12 minutes using the main dps cycle on test 1.

    Test 2 came out quite differently. I added two consecrates to my rotation. I was OOM in 1 min 13 seconds.

    So we can keep up a damage cycle for the duration of a fight. Hope no one needs a spot heal, spell interupt, Righteous Defense, Hand, or Cleanse. We just don't have enough mana to provide utility and DPS effectively. Also, our damage spells against undead and demons will be a wash since DS or CS would have to be dropped out of rotation in order to allow enough mana for Exorcism.

    It was fun while it lasted, back to boring and less then useful I suppose.

    On a more positive note, we will once again be a readily available source of HKs. Glad to be of service.


  27. Hunters are the huntards, pallies are the whiners.

    How dare you call Paladins whiners? Us Mages are the whiners, you insensitive clod!


  28. "Occassionally i'm walking up to a mob, hitting crusader strike, and it's dying in the single GCD leaving me wondering "WHAT JUST HAPPENED" - So I check the combat log, and sure enough, a crit SoComm proc off of CS, and a crit SoComm proc off of auto attack, is just, fucking, stupid."

    That's nothing. A few days ago, I was questing in Netherstorm, walked up to some random mob there, and judged as I was running up. My judgement crit, and also procced an SoC crit, and the mob was dead before I even got my first autoattack swing.