Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Preliminary 4.3 Holy Paladin Changes

The 4.3 Public Test Realm and patch notes came out today. There are pretty significant changes for Holy paladins.  I'm going to quote changes from Ghostcrawler's explanation post as they're the most high level:
We changed Seal of Insight to no longer return 15% base mana and then changed Judgment of the Pure to provide mana regeneration so that Holy paladins would not need to Judge every eight seconds. With these changes, they will want to Judge every 30 seconds, which seems more reasonable. Judging every eight seconds is hard to ask someone who is also targeting players a lot to heal them.
I like this change from the Judging standpoint. You now need to only judge once a minute or so, instead of having to judge on cooldown. On the other hand, tying Judgement mana regen to Spirit guts the Mastery/Crit build. I would suspect that Spirit/Haste will go back to being the one true build.
We made several changes to Holy Radiance to make it a cast time spell. We felt like Holy paladins couldn’t go into a group healing mode because Holy Radiance had a long cooldown and in the absence of a cast time, didn’t compete with any other spell. With this change (and the Light of Dawn change below), paladins can opt for an AE healing “rotation” (insofar as healers can ever have a rotation) of using Holy Radiance to Light of Dawn instead of Holy Light et al. to Word of Glory.

Several Holy talents changed to support the change to Holy Radiance, such as allowing it to benefit from Illuminated Healing, Clarity of Purpose, and Infusion of Light.
This is the big change to paladin AoE healing. Holy Radiance becomes a cast spell, with pretty much the same cast time as Holy Light and Divine Light. The current implementation targets another player and heals the people around her for a 3 second HoT.

There's also some Holy Power tossed in there, but the current notes are inconclusive. No word on how it interacts with Beacon of Light or our Mastery. This is the spell we'll have to keep an eye on. Not sure if the numbers will work out for us to spam it during high AoE, or do something like Holy Radiance, Holy Shock, Holy Radiance, etc.

I think it's way too early to evaluate this spell. It's definitely something we'll have to see on the PTR.
It didn’t make sense for Speed of Light to be triggered by a cast-time spell, so we caused the Paragon of Virtue talent to lower the cooldown on Divine Protection, so that Holy wouldn’t lose quite so much functionality of Speed of Light. Speed of Light has definitely been nerfed compared to 4.2, but we feel it’s an acceptable change given the entire package.
We do lose a little run speed boost, but we also get 30s Divine Protection, which can be pretty huge. There are a number of effects that trigger every 30 seconds, and we will be able to cooldown all of them.
We reversed the glyph for Light of Dawn. Instead of providing an additional target to Light of Dawn, the glyph now reduces the number of targets but increases the throughput. Light of Dawn was not a very useful spell in 10-player raids or similar small groups, like Arena teams. This glyph should allow paladins to tailor Light of Dawn for their group size.
An interesting change to Light of Dawn. There's also a change such that Divine Plea give a Holy Power when you use it. That's a bit odd, but it's a straight buff, so I guess we'll take it.

 All in all, 4.3 will be very interesting. We will see if this change makes us acceptable raid healers. I do lament the death of having two viable builds, but I think cleaning up Judgement was worth it.


  1. Interesting changes. I've always been bad at judging enough, so the change there should be a nice mana buff and quality-of-life improvement for me.

    The new Circle of Healing Rain is big. I like the idea of having something active to do during AoE damage phases, and effectively rolling it across a few targets could make for fun game-play.

    I really wish they'd decouple Holy Light from Infusion of Light. There's no real way to save the proc or use it intelligently now, and tying HR to it makes it even worse.

  2. Interesting? No these are game-changing changes. The judgment change is decent, but this has to be the 15th time the class mechanics have been this drastically altered.

    It seems content isn't tuned to player abilities. Player abilities are tuned to new content.

  3. I agree with Bronte. These seem like pretty big changes. Some of them make sense, others I don't get it yet. But Blizz does know what they are doing and change is usually good. Be that as it may, I hate feeling like a newb and worrying that I don't know how to play my class. My guild leader (and wife) loves to pour over the logs and comment on my healing. Her comments are usually constructive...

  4. I don't think they're that big a change. Or more accurately, the changes are large but narrow in scope.

    Our bread-and-butter is dual-target tank healing. That has not changed at all.

    It's mainly a change to how we raid heal. Which we never really did much before, save in specific stack up phases. Even then, it's pretty much just like casting a Divine Light with the old glyph attached. Target someone and cast a heal.

  5. Yeah, I guess you are right. Although it makes our life easier, not judging on an 8 second cooldown seems huge. Also, the new holy radiance change, while it will probably be more effective, takes a unique spell and makes it look a lot like what another healing class does. Your "Beacon of Glory" idea was actually pretty awesome in my book. It's a great way to make us better raid healers while not deviating too far from how our other healing spells already work. And for the record... bring back DI. It really was just a flavor ability which maybe made wiping a little more convinient.

  6. I like the changes however I don't think this will make us great raid healers, just better. I see us still used as tank healers. As a matter of fact I see myself throwing HR on my target(tank) as a HoT and small AoE heal while bombing my single target heals on them. This is similar to our Sacred Shield healing style in WotLK. looking forward to the new adventures we'll have in 4.3 :-)

  7. I still think it is shitty design to tune abilities to content and not the other way around.

    How much you want to bet there will be an encounter where a combination of these changes will (in)directly come into play?

  8. Holy Radiance is affected by mastery (on all targets) but does not interact with Beacon or PotI based on my PTR testing.

  9. What about the affect on Ret and Prot who also use Insight depending on the situation?

  10. You still get the healing and mana from attacking. You just don't get the extra mana from judging.

  11. i like the changes, the holy power on divine plea is a little weird, why not make divine plea give speed of light instead? that way we still have 2 sprints, OR make speed of light last longer than 4 seconds so we only need the one sprint?

  12. To Rodos, you said

    "I really wish they'd decouple Holy Light from Infusion of Light. There's no real way to save the proc or use it intelligently now, and tying HR to it makes it even worse."

    you know its very very easy to create a Weakaura or Poweraura, to Infusion of Light, matter of fact its almost needed to fully take advantage of the proc with the Mastery/crit build. as stands now Heavy Holy shock crits and .5 sec HL or DL(soon HR) or instant FL with that aura up, makes for a very mobile and huge shielding/throughput paladin.

  13. to quote a blue post on the forums about devine plea giving holy power
    Just a quick note, Divine Plea does not generate Holy Power (in the absence of the Protection talent, Shield of the Templar). This is either a bug or bad data-mining.

    Please consider this an attempt to set the record straight. We really don't want players to feel like they were nerfed when this change (which was never actually made) was apparently reverted (even though it never existed to begin with).


    can be found on this page http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3279038621?page=13

  14. I think the new change in AoE healing is HUGE and greatly beneficial. The fact that you can now spread out AoE clusters to people w/o having to literally run over to them is immense at the least. We needed a solid AoE option, no it's time to battle test it.

  15. As a Prot Pally, it removes a very "Paladin" feeling ability, to activate Holy Radiance during combat and heal those around you. Making it a cast time spell removes that. I think we've lost something that makes Paladins different.