Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Glyph of Hammer of Wrath

Sometimes, I think of the theorycrafting community as soothsayers, seeking to divine reality or the future by observing the flight of birds or the entrails of animals.

Take the new Glyph of Hammer of Wrath. In patch 3.0.8, it will reduce the cost of Hammer of Wrath by 100%. What does this mean for Ret paladins?

A while back, I theorized that Blizzard was trying to limit Retribution's use of Consecration through mana constraints. The way the math worked was that we had a mana-neutral basic rotation which was used for the first 80% of the fight, and a mana-hungry burn rotation for the last 20%.

However, with the new Glyph of Hammer of Wrath, that theory goes out the window. There's no difference in mana consumption between the last 20% and first 80% anymore. That means that Consecration becomes an even more vital part of the Rotation, and is expected to be used much more often, as you no longer need to save mana for Hammer of Wrath.

I guess Blizzard has given up on the idea of keeping Retribution from using Consecration. I suppose it's for the best, though. Consecration is a good method of increasing our PvE DPS without spiking PvP damage damage. Still, it's slightly odd to be expected to use an AoE spell against a single target.


  1. This is an example of where the whole "Lets move away from +threat modifiers" ideology causes problems. I mean lets face it, consecration is a tanking ability. Maybe not originally designed to be, but it has developed into that. And by not using +threat modifiers on it, it's useful to the other spec because it causes a decent amount of damage. They need to just up the threat it causes by like 200%, but lower its damage by about the same amount -- or at least to the point where it is basically causing the same damage as a normal strike or white weapon hit over the entire length of the spell. That'd make it essentially useless for ret because you'd be trading a cooldown and using extra mana for the same overall damage...i.e. not worth it.

  2. I disagree that it's a tanking ability. It was originally in the Holy tree, if you recall.

    No matter how bad Consecrate gets, Ret will still use it because

    1. Ret has empty GCDs
    2. Ret doesn't have anything else to spend the mana on.

  3. Nerfing consecrate for ret would be a huge AoE DPS nerf.

  4. Anonymous, Consecrate does benefit from the +171% holy threat of Righteous Fury, so there's already a +threat modifier on it.

    I'd think of Consecrate as a fairly mana-hungry DoT that happens to affect an area rather than a single target. But, even if you want to think of it as an AoE effect, there are at least 3 other classes using similar AoE spells in their normal rotation now:

    Shamans: Chain Lightning replacing a regular lightning bolt for faster casting time at the same damage
    Warriors: Shockwave and Thunderclap are both AoE effects, as is Demoralizing Shout.
    Death Knights: Death & Decay
    Hunters: Multishot used to be a part of some rotations; is it still?

  5. True it was in the Holy tree...but as it stands now, which of the three trees could survive without it? Ret could, holy could, but Prot not so much -- so yeah, AOE tanking ability is what it has become.

  6. Nerfing Consecration for Ret would be a huge DPS nerf in general, never mind for AoE situations.

    I wonder if the new HoW Glyph by Blizz might indicate a desire on their part to make HoW a more common part of Ret DPS in the place of Consecration. I have in mind the warrior Sudden Death talent with allows Execute to be used regardless of target HP, but proc'd from Crusader Strike rather than all melee attacks. Once implemented, they could make HoW and Consecration share a cooldown such that they are mutually exclusive.

    Well okay, the idea needs some work. But it has to be understood that Consecration isn't just a tanking ability, it's a DPS ability too. Without it Ret DPS would be 400 DPS (~10%) lower than it is now. Limiting it through mana constraints won't work because Int starts becoming a DPS stat and we all take Hunter/Shaman Mail. The only reasonable way to eliminate its use is to provide additional tools for equivalent DPS which is incompatible with Consecration spam.

    But new, innovative tools for Ret DPS? Hah, I laugh at you!

  7. Consecration was once the 11pt Ret talent back in the day too. I'd say it's just gone full circle at this point.

  8. Why must everyone take a spell that that us being used by all three trees and muck with it? It works, leave it alone!

    And no, hunters don't use multishot as part of a rotation.. only on Gluth zombies... :-)

    But why must you mess with consecration? Is it broken?..

  9. No, it's not broken...but I'm getting tired of having it be part of my single target dps rotation when suddenly a new group of mobs show up and I get one shot because I'm behind the single mob dps-ing, so my consecrate is the first thing that hits them.

    I really really like the idea of making HoW a reactive ability like sudden death. Maybe it could take the place of righteous vengeance in the ret tree?

  10. Consecration, as an AoE tanking ability, is relatively poor in WotLK.

    It was the bee's knees in TBC, because it did a respectable amount of damage and gave Paladins great *relative* AoE tanking abilities.

    Now, compared to D&D, the new thunderclap, and shockwave... It's really the worst of the 4. The reasoning is that consecration ticks every two seconds or so, and DOESN'T tick immediately when cast, and it scales very poorly.

    There are plenty of situations where mobs can spawn, or run through a door or portal, and never be hit by a tick of consecration. And the fact that it doesn't tick on cast makes it a poor choice for proactive add gathering. Avenging Shield and Hammer of Cleave(Righteousness) are both better in this regard so long as there aren't too many mobs.

    From a tank's perspective, the fact that a mob can be under the effect of consecration, yet NEVER take any damage, makes it unreliable for exactly what many players think it's good for.

    As others have said above, it is an AoE Dot. Useful for both threat and dps. I'd rather it be an AoE that applied a DoT (as a prot tank), but it won't change now.

    But who's gonna complain about a buff to Hammer of Execute? ;)

  11. Is the new HoW glyph a major or minor?

  12. Major. It replaces the current HoW glyph (increase range by 5 yards).

  13. So it would seem that there is a major glyph decision to make:

    Judgement: +10% damage
    Consecration: +25% duration (and subsequently, damage)
    Hammer of Wrath: No mana cost
    Crusader Strike: -20% mana cost

    Which one do you skip?

  14. Why are you antsy about using AoE abilities on single-target fights? Do you not use Divine Storm when there's only one target?

    As a DK, I still use Howling Blast on single-target fights. The only problem comes when you are doing cc-dependant fights and are used to using AoE abilities.

  15. Consecrate is helpful when the target is stunned. And considering how many classes cant do anything besides trinket out of a stun its a fairly effective combo to either stun or use seal of justice on a consecrated target. Also, there are weapons that proc stun effects and slow effects to add to this chaos.

    There is a very real problem balancewise, giving paladins any love in the dps department. Considering they are so multi talanted (healing, buffing, tanking, and psuedo spike DPSing) when you give them a spammable and efficient damage ability it puts them way ahead of the curve. Similiar to the reasons that Resto Shamans have soo many nerfs, its because when someone builds out a hybrid char that effectively dps's AND/OR heals/tanks better than dps char or tank char or healer char you get never ending QQing.


  16. "I really really like the idea of making HoW a reactive ability like sudden death. Maybe it could take the place of righteous vengeance in the ret tree?"

    Righteous Vengance is a great talent, please don't suggest they remove it. It does more damage then my divine storm and crusader strike.

    They were going to allow Vengance to stack 5 times in the recent PTR build but decided against it. I personally think if they want to up Ret PVE damage they should add Crusader Strike to the list of abilities that proc Righteous Vengance.

  17. @Argent

    Umm, what kind of DK do you play with. The only time a DK uses death and decay in a rotation is at the very beginning to generate runic power. After that it goes the way of the dodo bird. Even when tanking I throw it down for initial threat and maybe one to get an extra handle on adds. But it's definitely not part of a dps rotation. It uses to many runes for that.

  18. By the way vengenance going back to 5 stacks is in 3.08. Also i have a bit of off topic question. The changes to judgement of the wise where it now returns a portion of base mana instead of max mana seems like a nerf no? Could someone clarify this for me

  19. Heh, they reverted the 5-stack change, last I heard.

    As for JotW, switching to base mana was a nerf for Holy, but it didn't really make a difference for Ret. Ret doesn't stack extra intellect beyond incidental raid buffs, so it didn't change anything.