Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Direction of Holy Paladin Mana

I'm not really happy with the direction Holy Paladin mana seems to be going.

In the run up to Cataclysm, Blizzard said that they were aiming to make mana matter. That a good healer would conserve mana by healing efficiently. By using the right heal at the right time. By reducing overheal.

I liked that idea. It seemed good, a way to get back to the basics of healing.

But paladins seem to be going in a different direction. Rather than worrying about healing efficiently, paladin mana management seems to be boiling down to:
  1. How good are you at Judging on cooldown?

  2. How good are you at hitting Divine Plea on cooldown?

  3. How good are you at abusing Holy Power generation via Tower of Radiance or Blessed Life or 1-pt WoG/Protector of the Innocent/Beacon Transfer or even Crusader Strike?

Gimmick. Gimmick. Gimmick.

All I want to do is heal. I don't see what was so wrong with letting us heal without having to worry about all this other stuff.

If I had my way, I wouldn't raise the cost of paladin heals by 10%. I'd be axing Divine Plea, mana return on Seal of Insight, Tower of Radiance, and Blessed Life.

If you want costs to matter, you can't keep putting in mechanics that evade costs.


  1. Can't agree more with your input on the current 4.0.6 holy pal modifications.

    Generating holy power charges is fun but relying the whole healing process on it is a bit too gimmicky. I'd prefer to see my GCD used for actual heals...

  2. I have to agree. I would rather be managing cooldowns than procs. The current healing method makes it feel more like I'm playing a twitch game than a game that requires a healing strategy and method of execution.

  3. The main thing i was looking forward to with this new healing model was not having people globaled. This along with more consistent lower damage was meant to mean i could leave people at sub 100% health but at the moment i find on my holy priest that im still spamming as many spells as i can and leaving my Regen up to my CDs. Sure i have to be a bit more intelligent but it still boils down to spamming.

  4. I heal with my paladin and I heal with my shaman. In WotLK, the shammie was fun, the paladin went Prot out of boredom.

    Now I love healing with my paladin and find the shammie dull in comparision. It just feels more synergic, and more active. There are more little tricks I like to use, healing dpsers does not feel so much as 'wasting' mana... I could go on and on.

    I am not arguing one is better than the other, or that shamans don't have tricks. It is all about percepcion, certainly, but I like this gimmicky style quite a bit.

    I miss the judging for mana thing a lot in my shaman. It gives me something to do in a lull and also makes me able to keep going when oom: judge, then go super-efficient healing someone else so you get that, plus half on the beacon plus your own self-heal proc.

    Or the position awareness. At first I did not like the light cone or the self-centered HoT. Now I still think they are slightly inferior to other classes' equivalents because they have the extra hurdle of positional awareness of you AND everybody around to work... but I like the hassle, it makes it feel more proactive.

    The whole experience is more entertaining... it boils down to taste I guess.

  5. What annoys me about all this is that I primarily druid heal. The two raid encounters I've worked on right now - Magmaw and Halfus - both seem to favor a heal style that can convert mana into massive heals, and then regain that mana - ie paladins. Druids don't have the same mana regen abilities. I've had to get a resto shaman in with me just to make sure I can get through the second dragon on Halfus.

    If they are serious about wanting us to worry about mana, they need to make it similar for all classes. Right now druids are about maximizing the tiny mana income they have and nursing their pool by using Clearcasting procs, while paladins are looking for opportunities to stand next to a boss and hit him. It just doesn't feel balanced.

  6. I think the model you mentioned is there and viable ( only been to heroics, so dunno about raids) its just that we've found mechanics that help us so we feel obligated to use them.

    Judging on cool down, I don't mind. Its a bit annoying if you forget and are suddenly oom, but really its there to give you an active way to prolong your mana.

    Same thing with divine plea. Its not giving you back crazy amounts, but its helping extend your bar. Its up to you when you think the healing penalty is worth the regen. If you are hitting it on CD, then having to spam heals to compensate for less healing, then are you really netting more mana?

    As for the 1-WG/Tower,etc. I use that and I like it, but you dont have to. Maybe try avoiding it and seeing I'd there are other viable ways to heal that fit into the style you want.


  7. I'm with Peke. I love the new pally healing mechanics. I'm back to primarily healing, after spending Wrath as Ret, because healing is more fun now. It finally makes sense for a healer to wear plate, carry a shield, and have seal procs.

  8. I believe the idea is to make mana management more proactive and less a function of passive regeneration. Half the equation is, as you mention, using the right spells for the job and hoping DPS doesn't sit in the fire. The other half is knowing when to use cooldowns and abilities. Divine Plea, Judgement, glyphed Lay on Hands, meleeing, mana pots. By making our spells eat more mana, but increasing the potency of mana return mechanics like Plea, it pushes us to be more cognizant of all our abilities, rather than only 3 or 4 of our healing spells. And I, for one, am enjoying the synergy

  9. My problem is that I think the model Blizzard was looking for to deliver their stated goal of healing in which "efficiency" is rewarded and that the "right spell for the right situation" is used predicates that our mana efficient healing roation be able to keep up with damamge.

    For Holy Paladins, that means that using HS on CD, HL by default, DL when needed (no more than 1 cast out of 4 or 5 GCD), WoG/LoD at 3x combo points and intelligence use of Holy Radiance should be enough to heal through "standard" damage for both trash and bosses.

    Then, you use your CDs (AW, DF, HoS, GanK, LoH) along with your high mana use spam (FOL, DL) to heal through the encounter "specials."

    Unfortantly, I have to use my CDs and spam DL just to make it through a whole bunch of trash pulls and during "normal" damage from bosses. Every pull feels frantic and that does not lend to a playstyle that is non-spammy, allowing for spell selection (mash DL for the WIN...for a while until OOM...), or mana management.

    I just think that Blizzard has missed on some of its numbers; I like the overall playstyle (especially with the DP changes in 4.0.6) but I just never feel like I am doing more than p!ssing in the wind unless I am blowing my CDs.


  10. I practically never use Holy Light, actually. HS, DL, the positional HoT and the HP-based heals. The FoL in a panic.

    Right now, at my gear level (all epics crafted and rep, rest heroic blues) Holy Light does not heal enough for my taste on the tank/carrier of the Holy Bacon, and gives me no HP (meh). On random dpsers, either Holy Shocks/Word/Holy Cone only, or Divine Light if under half health and the tank can use the 1/2 DL worth of healing.

    In practical terms I do just the same in raids.

    Conversely, on my shammie I use Healing Wave as my main heal... but that is only because if I use GHW my mana would last nothing. Gear is much worse, mix of 333/346 blues, but still.

  11. @Blandest: Currently the holy tree for priests is based around casting Heal. Which is great for HPM, but to get good throughput, you need to spam it. A lot.

    With the chakra being changed to work with GHeal also, at higher gear levels, GHeal becomes the spell of choice (already the case for Disc, for other reasons), which requires far less spamming.

  12. I don't really see the point in judging now that it doesn't put a debuff on the mob that helps the group. On the other hand, I really like the holy power generation model, and what I'd like to see is for it to completely replace the mana bar. Give it something like 10 charges, and make bigger heals cost more...I mean really all the need to do is make healers heal the way dps do dps. How about an arcane blast-like spell that heals instead? It builds up, heals for alot more, but costs alot more LOTS OF FUN!

  13. Get used to Holy Power, Paladins. It is the Blizzard Paradigm for this expansion, and it's not going away.

  14. @ analogue about druid mana...


    Stack int and spa whatever you want. if your 5 / 10 man raiding realize that mastery is your friend.

    25 man raiding if your raid healing your either way low on Int or way low on haste.

    I love it when druids stack tons of spirit and then complain about going oom. Reading talents is the best thing you could ever do.

    2% of a little is a little, 2% of a lot is more....


    Maybe pally healing isn't for you it wasn't for me. I switched over to my druid and regained a fun aspect to WoW.

    The idea that you have to do a ton as a pally to make sure everything rolls out correctly is a new layer to the fun for pally's, I remember the days of spamming FoL in BC and only touching HL when the tank was in dire need, it was boring.

    Changing the way pally's heal in cata has been mind boggling to me but very fun for all of the long time pallys I know.

    GL with it regardless.