Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Intellect Plate

Ghostcrawler, in his post on Stats on Gear, talks a bit about holy paladins:
I mentioned two out of three paladin specs above. That third spec has been a thorn in our side for a long time. Paladins in general have a knack for that. I kid. (Mostly.)

Heh. I'm pretty sure we're all down with this. Ghostcrawler goes on to say:
I'm talking about Intellect plate. We don't like Intellect plate, but we haven’t come up with a good alternative for it. The pitches we hear most often have downsides we don't like. Yes, a Holy paladin could wear mail… at which point their silhouette would look a lot like a shaman instead of a paladin. Yes, Holy paladins could derive their spell power from Strength… at which point they also hit with their weapons nearly as hard as Ret paladins. Yes, we could convert all that Strength to spell power, and convert the Hit to Spirit and the Expertise to Mastery or whatever. The Spirit to Hit conversion does the job, but it's not super elegant or intuitive. I’m not sure we want to pile more onto that design.

I like Intellect plate. I'm really happy that the devs have refrained from expecting Holy paladins to wear mail. To me, it's one of the iconic elements of the class. Paladins wear plate. I played through the times where Holy Paladins would dress in cloth, and they were terrible.

As for wearing Strength plate, in my mind the real problem with that solution is the non-armor item slots like rings and weapons. Right now, holy paladins have their own armor and share the non-armor slots with the other healers. If we were expected to wear Strength plate, would we also wear Strength rings and use DPS weapons? Or would we wear Strength plate but Intellect rings? Or would we become the new hunters, and simply roll on everything.

It sounds a loot more complicated than the current system. The current system is simple. You're a paladin so you wear plate. You're a healer so you go for Intellect and Spirit. That's pretty much all you need to know to get a good start gearing your Holy paladin.

Intellect plate isn't ideal. But I think it's the most workable solution. Between the larger amounts of loot dropping from bosses, tier tokens, and vendor items, I think that having Intellect plate isn't too much of an inconvenience.

Now, if only Blizz would make a two-handed healing mace with Intellect and Spirit.


  1. I was always surprised that DKs weren't designed around int plate with int~str conversions (instead of the str~spellpower conversions they use). Unholy especially seemed like it would have been perfect for it. Probably would have run many of the issues you just mentioned, but at least more than a single spec in the game would be using the int plate.

    As it is, holy paladins and holy offspec paladins gear up so fast it's silly and it winds up being sharded. Even worse is when int plate drops, but it's so poorly itemized no holy paladin would ever want it.

    I like wearing plate, but it would clean up the loot tables SO much if they just made you wear mail to heal.

  2. What if all loot was without a initial armour? But when you equipped a piece you could transform it into the armour class you preferred. So there would only be:
    - caster dps gear
    - caster healing gear
    - tanking gear
    - agility dps gear
    - strength dps gear

  3. The problem is that there are 30 class/spec combinations out there and only 1 uses intellect plate. So the devs have 3 choices:
    1) 1/30 of the boss armor drops is intellect plate. Since about 1/3 of the boss drops are not armor but weapon or neck-cloak-finger-trinket, it means that only 2.22% of the drops are int plate. So out of a full 12/12 10-men clear you see half!!! int plate.
    2) the bosses give disproportionally high amount of int plate like 1 every 10 men full clear. This means that after 2 months the holy paladins have 2x more epics than anyone else.
    3) the bosses give more tokens/points and less drop. Like they could give 1 item and 250 valor points instead of 70 (and the weekly cap is also elevated to 3000 or such) Or they could give 70 valor, 1 item and one epic orb that can be used by crafters to create drop-level armor (and of course blacksmiths can make intellect plate to every slot except where tier token is needed).

    I don't ask which would you like (the second), but from a developer perspective which would you prefer?

  4. "As it is, holy paladins and holy offspec paladins gear up so fast it's silly and it winds up being sharded..."

    I wish this were true for us. Our guild has been raiding since Jan and has about a total of 60 boss kills across BoT/BWD/ToTFW with the guilding being 10/13 overall.

    Of those kills, there have been 3 Intellect Plate drops for 2 Holy Paladins. 3 drops total....

    RNG is RNG but from my prespective, please get rid of Intellect Plate drops, have us use Intellect Mail drops and give us a talent to uparmor it AND change the appearance. Have the design team still make their models and all but actually have the loot table consolidate to just Intellect mail.

  5. I would have preferred making Paladins 'strength casters'. Essentially, Holy Paladins would be the same as Retribution Paladins except that instead of channeling melee into more damage they'd channel melee into more healing.

    However, I think the Blizzard devs really want to avoid having radically different types of healing because while leading edge raiding only impacts a small number of players, the vast majority tend to key off of it to the point where the fact that some spec isn't very good in a specific endgame raid makes players who aren't even close to endgame raiding complain about it.

  6. Just for the record, Hunters don't rol on everything anymore, not even close. So much gear in Cata has STR on it and we don't roll on those items. Maces? Can't use 'em. If an AGI item has INT, we don't roll on that either. Just sayin :P

  7. All they have to do is allow reforging of intellect mail to plate and vice versa.

  8. I don't know why they didn't continue down the Sunwell route and let you trade in that int plate plus some type of token (maelstrom crystal? X valor points?) to exchange it for str plate (or vice-versa.) It reduces the depth of the loot tables without reducing the depth of gear available.

  9. Is stamina and spirit, and two expansions behind, close enough?

  10. I always thought a better (from players' point of view) solution would be that bosses can only drop int plate if there's a paladin in the group. This would probably be a pain to implement though, and it might set a dangerous precedent.

  11. As a Holy Pally I love Int Plate. I gear up while raiding reasonably quickly as a result.

    Rather than removing Int Plate, perhaps the developers should replace a consumer of Str Plate with an Int Plate user. The way to do that of course would be to fairly significantly reform the Retribution Tree (or perhaps one of the DK trees).