Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Light of Dawn

First, to quote the inimitable Jong:
Also, holy pallies are shooting lazers out of their hands.

On the first night of raiding post-patch we went to Icecrown Citadel. I tried using Light of Dawn, but I just wasn't impressed by it. It didn't seem to do anything, and was always on cooldown.

But then last night, we went to Ulduar. And I fell in love with the spell.

The thing is that raid damage is fundamentally different in ICC than it was in Ulduar. In ICC, raid damage is constant and heavy. Aura damage fights and many random sources of damage abound. In this environment, Light of Dawn seems exceedingly feeble, and the long cooldown just makes it pointless.

But in Ulduar, raid damage generally follows a pattern. The boss does a special move and the entire raid takes damage. The raid damage is not constant. In this environment, Light of Dawn shines. XT has a tantrum; all the paladins bust out Light of Dawn in response.

And that interaction is just incredibly fun to me. Perhaps it was because those points used to be the worst part of healing for a paladin. Sure, once in a while you could use Aura Mastery or Divine Sacrifice, but most of the time you were frantically single-targeting the people with the lowest health, cursing your lack of tools.

The best analogy I could come with was back when I played Magic: the Gathering.
Opponent: I Fireball you for 7,000,000 damage.
Me: Counterspell.

Light of Dawn feels like our counterspell:
Raid Boss: Ha, ha. Eat my super-move of mega raid damage.
Holy Paladin: Light of Dawn.

Obviously, it's not a complete panacea, you still have to heal everyone up. But it feels fun when I use Light of Dawn in Ulduar.

It even makes the choice of glyphing Light of Dawn more obvious. Does the move you want to counter occur every 20-30 seconds? If yes, glyph Light of Dawn. If it occurs every 30+ seconds, glyph something else.

Now, we don't really know what raid damage in Cataclysm will be like. Hopefully it will be more like Ulduar than ICC.


  1. I found also in doing Ulduar with my guild with the 4.0.1 spells, that LoD was more effective because like you said in ICC, its constant heavy damage. I used it quite a bit for the weekly Razorscale, and I had fun. To me, heals for Holy Pallies from my observation of experimenting with every new spell in all kinds of situations out side of raiding, are so weak now, I don't even trust myself to heal an ICC raid anymore. I use to be so sure of being good enough (not the best but good enough), now I have to pass on healing guild events because I am uncomfortable healing on a toon I have always been comfortable with in spec. I hope that it will be at 85 more like Ulduar than ICC.

  2. Light of Dawn is like Aura Mastery or the old Divine Sacrifice in that, when you get it *just right*, it's incredibly satisfying, but when you miss, or use it in the wrong situation, you feel kind of silly. I like it, I just feel silly when everyone moves out of the way, or I'm just a bit out of range of most of the people, etc.

    @Vordan -- the only way you will get more comfortable with your new self is by getting out there and healing. It takes some time to get used to, but the only way to figure out the new tools (or the revamped old tools) is to get out there and use them.

  3. Wow, yes, you're right - obviously I know a massive feck all about holy paladins, and not all that much about being a priest but this applies across the board. Power word: barrier, for example, is next to useless in ICC - you put it down, people are running around like headless chickens anyway, it explodes before you even have time to say hello, simply because the incoming damage is so vast. But then I think about applying PW:B to Ulduar encounters and it suddenly seems massively useful and exciting - I mean, think how awesome it would be to plop it down over the ranged group and healers during XT's tantrum phase.

    I guess I need to drag my guild to Ulduar again so we can practice :)

  4. This is possibly the first out-and-out positive thing I've read about holy paladins post-4.0.1.

    Good read - it's made me think about prodding my holy paladin at some point soon, whereas before everything I'd read had sent him to the bottom of my character priorities list. Thanks :)

  5. Very well written post!

    My confidence in healing has certainly been shaken so reading positive reviews is certainly helpful! To be clear, I'm not for lack of confidence due to Paladins no longer being good healers, rather in my own ability at this moment to use the toolset properly and keep people from wiping.

    Also a point to mention, I played a WSG match last night as Holy spec and Light of Dawn is an excellent spell in that battle ground, it was truly amazing how useful it was inside the bases as well as during those inevitable mid-field battles.

  6. The difficulty with Light of Dawn is that even when it's useful - such as in Ulduar - you're really not doing anything that all the other healers couldn't do with trivial ease using their basic spell complement.

    So as a raiding tool, it's actually pretty pointless. It does the same thing as any number of other tactics, with no significant advantage, but only functions intermittently.

  7. At this time Light of dawn is still proccing beacon for every hit that it makes. It's a good oh shi- button if you are heavy on melee and standing just a tad back and you need to get off a quick heal. I nailed 7 melee for 2-3k apiece, that's a 14k heal on the tank (more than a holy shock!)

    It also procs Protector of the Innocent aaand this is going to mastery shield everyone you hit and every little bit counts. I've also found out that this is an amazing ability to top off the caster group when Infest hits.