Friday, October 24, 2008

To The Ground!

So when Ghostcrawler said Ret paladins were being nerfed "TO THE GROUND", apparently he wasn't joking:

- 20% damage cut to Seals and Judgements across the board. (Honestly, this is the second time, what is wrong with the Blizzard paladin spreadsheets?)
- Judgements of the Wise has been cut by 55% (33% of base mana returned to 15% of base mana)
- Seal of Light's healing has been cut by 45% (Not really sure why this happened.)
- Judgement of Wisdom has been dropped from 2% mana return to 1%
- Judgement of Light's healing has been cut by 45%
- Divine Storm doesn't deal holy damage anymore

We did get some buffs:

- Righteous Vengeance gives 40% extra damage as a dot on a Crit Judgement or Divine Storm instead of increasing the Crit damage bonus
- Art of War increases CS/DS/Judge damage by 5/10% (up from 4/8)
- Blessing of Might (Rank 8 ) and Greater Blessing of Might (Rank 3) now increase AP by 306. (Up from 305. This sounds funny, but is actually useful to prevent Battleshout from overriding the Might buff.)

Kind of honestly, you have to wonder what went wrong with the initial Ret design that they overshot the mark so badly. Heh, I think the original model probably assumed that Seals only procced on auto-attacks. (Note to Blizzard: Seals proccing on specials is still a bad idea. Look at how badly you've had to neuter our abilities to keep it in check.) I feel bad for Holy or new paladins who have to solo.

Still, it's a tradition that Blizzard screws up Retribution 2 weeks before launch, and WotLK appears to be adhering to that policy.


  1. I wonder how much damage people would trade for an intercept.

    But hey, perfect timing for Blizzard. All the paladins are busy kicking the crap out of zombies. Or using our bubbles to instantly become zombies. Either way, we're distracted.

    The JotW nerf isn't entirely unexpected. I was waiting for something to happen to make us choose more between damage and healing rather than getting both with mana to spare. Could tell there was something wrong when I ran into a ret-ret team and said to my partner: they will never run out of mana and they can take a ton of damage, and deal just as much back.

    If only we weren't based on no interrupt, no real snare or distance closer, no long CC, but instead a ton of "either you die in the next 5 seconds or I die over the next 15"-style burst damage.

  2. The Judgment of the Wise nerf may be very unfortunate. Playing Ret was actually fun, because you could actually use your abilities without drastically increased downtime. I've always hated the ret spec because I felt it was about SoC and go AFK, and it was actually fun for the first time. Sure, you could judge, reseal, and spam crusader strike as often as the cooldown came back up, but good luck with your mana pool.

    I do understand why the Paladin is hard to balance - so many durability tools - but I don't understand what they were thinking in pushing the changes to the live servers if they were so far off.

  3. I'm hoping this is due to thing being balanced around the idea of a level 80 paladin, and that come Wrath they'll buff the spec back up again.

    The half holy/half ret spec seemed like a great thing for paladins that didn't want to play deep holy in order to be a healer, and I still can't understand why Blizzard seems so hellbent on getting holy paladins out of the ret tree.

    Either way, nerfing the effects from judgments is depressing. The new scaling system actually made them worth keeping up when I could spare the GCD and was in range (I'm not that deep into Holy yet). Now, I'm not so sure it's worth it anymore, unless the judgments come back in Wrath when the fights aren't ridiculously easy.

  4. WHY WHY WHY put the build as it was on the live server? Really, is this actually to tease the paladin class? I understand they were rushing a bit due to WAR, but if they knew the class was "broken" the should never have put it on the servers.

    I am probably going back to prot now. These two weeks were the most fun I've had in game since the wonder of the first several levels.

    I just wish I hadn't had the opportunity to see how fun it was.

  5. Sadly, this looks like it will also nerf holy "TO THE GROUND" as far as being able to damage for levelling/grinding/questing.

  6. Not only a nerf to ret, but to holy (solo play) and prot (solo/pve) as well. Damn, and I was so getting used doing nice damage as prot...

  7. it's sad to see PvP rule the game's design. I mean, in PvE I wasn't killing things any faster than my arms/bladestorm spec'd warrior...and my pally has far better gear. I've been gearing up as ret so that I could level up in wrath faster...looks like I'll be going back to my original idea of prot aoe grinding.

  8. I think the basic paladin mechanics are to blame, which includes the seals. Blizz has had a hard time giving us decent moves, in part due to the fact that against most classes we have invincibility for 10 seconds, while being able to attack or being able to heal. Invincibility, plate, healing...why should they get dps?
    There was a post on the wow forums that asked for a revamp of the paladin, creating sort of a hybrid between a paladin, a warrior of sigmar and a bit like a death knight.
    Imagine for a second, that not all paladin abilities relied on mana, however mana was still an integral part of the paladin. There would also be a holy energy bar that sotres holy energy much like the vial of the sunwell. Healing and crits (maybe other things, like blocks....test it obviously) could fill up this energy bar. Some paladin moves could only be used with a x amount of energy, just like a warrior. The energy could also affect the strength of moves. Say, for example, nerf the baseline divine shield so it's protection for just a few seconds...and dispellable. However, provide bonuses such as extended time and undispellability if you have 100% holy energy when you use it.
    It would help holy paladins exactly as the vial of the sunwell works...adds +healing to spells when you activate the use of the energy for it. This means a holy paladin could build up +healing to use in burst situations, even while mobile...activate the energy bar to use up all built up energy on the next cast, and cast shock.
    Could this energy be burnable? I'd like to avoid that, so I'd advocate for this energy only to be able to be used if you have the mana to cast the spell in the first place.
    If you must burn this energy, then i suggest a rage burn, energy burn, and runic power burn...just to be fair. (and to piss off the rogues)
    The suggestion is unpolished, however, when I look at it, it screams paladin. (I do not take credit for the idea, its bits and pieces from warhammer and warcraft characters put together by Aeito of Bloodscalp)
    Think about it. Please...I'd like feedback.

  9. This just shows how they wnt to take WoW from being a very PVE highlighted game with pvp mode accessible, to a pvp highlight game with pve mode accessible.

    Its terrible that they are using the wack a mole approach to balancing the classes. I think most of these nerfs are because lvl 80's kill things soo much better than lvl 70's did, and the classes with ANY survivability moves stood out tremendously (ret pallys with speckled holy or prot to back it up).

    The big hurdle they cant seem to overcome here is that the way chars lvl up statwise, and gearwise has better return on classes that previously had no real reason to press the buttons on their skill bars because damage was with randomly proccing from autoattacks. This left ALOT of time for paladins to press things besides auto attack, that enhance survivability and made taking out a paladin on the opposing side a real pain in the ass.

    So, what I would propose to blizzard WoW devs is they remove paladins ability to heal others completely and to remove the paladins hybrid aspect to make it more of a core class that can either DPS or tank, basically a holy knight or warrior essentially.

    Wotlk is something Ill definately pass on, because there are much better mmorpg experiences available now.


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  11. Not sure what's going on with their testing, but they really did get it very wrong which means we're getting these horrible last minute changes to our class.

    I did a kara run yesterday with the same guildies I always run with. Before the patch I was either 3rd or 4th in the dps behind a couple of hunters and a mage. Yesterday I was so far ahead of everyone it was insane! I was doing over 1400dps and ended up doing 21% of the damage. The only one close was a hunter doing 1100dps. These guys have roughly the same level of gear as me. Pure dps needs to be top, otherwise what is the point in having them in the game?

    Whilest the experience was fun, it didn't really feel right to me. The other people in my guild that have been working very hard to be top dps all of the sudden have been overtaken by me, and my gear has not been upgraded since the patch.

    I don't pvp, and I run my pally as ret/prot in pve depending on what our guild needs at the time. I really enjoy running as ret and I'd like to be able to contribute good dps to the raid, but I don't want to be top dps.

    If we are able to be great at healing, tanking and dps then everyone will role a paladin which which means their won't be much point playing the game anymore. I just hope they get it right over the next couple of months.

    I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. But as a software developer myself, I'm pretty surprised at how utterly wrong they're getting it at the moment.


  12. Art of war increases crit by 20% on live... they're nerfing it down to 10%... NOT A BUFF