Wednesday, April 04, 2012

[Pandaria Beta] Cleanse and Holy Radiance

I want to take a quick look at a couple of Holy spells that are slightly changing in Pandaria: Cleanse and Holy Radiance.

Cleanse is getting an 8 second cooldown, but will dispel all magic (for Holy), poison, and disease debuffs on a target.  So basically cleansing multiple targets becomes a lot harder, and there's a window between cleanses where a debuff can do damage. But at the same time, you only need to spend one GCD to wipe away all debuffs. It's an interesting trade-off and it will be intriguing to see how this plays out.

For example, in PvE, you might have a boss toss out exactly two debuffs at the same time. Then you have to triage and pick one to cleanse and one to heal. It should make debuff management more interesting.

One nice touch is that if you Cleanse someone without any debuffs, it does not invoke the cooldown. So you can quickly recover from a Cleanse error, the error only costs you mana and a GCD. Good work by the Blizz team to put this in.

Holy Radiance has changed too. Instead of putting a short HoT on people, it instead heals the target for a certain amount, and heals people around the target for half that. If the target is healed for 1000, everyone around her is healed for 500 each.

One thing about the old version is that if you cast it twice in a row on the same target, the HoT did not stack, so you lost a lot of the healing. But if you cast it on different targets, the HoT would stack. So the optimum way to use Holy Radiance was to rotate your target. If you did not know exactly how the HoTs stacked, you might have been far less effective with your Holy Radiance.

The new version also encourages you to switch targets, but it's a lot more forgiving if you cast it on the same person.  For example, if Anna and Beth have both lost 1500 health, and you cast HR for 1000 on Anna twice, Anna is healed for 1500 (500 overheal) and Beth is healed for 1000. But if you switch targets, both are healed for 1500.  Switching targets is better, but casting twice is not as bad, you only overhealed a little bit, and not as much as you would have with the old HR. In fact, if both targets had been at lower health, you wouldn't have any wasted healing at all.

I really like the new design of Holy Radiance. It accomplishes the same goal of rotating your target as the previous version, but in a far more obvious and elegant manner. Excellent work by the class design team.


  1. There's a couple of things about these two changes that I'm not completely sold on.

    1) Removal of the HoT from Holy Radiance. That makes haste less "interesting" (no break points). I guess in the current form HR scales too well with haste, but the new version feels a bit bland.

    2) The cooldown on cleanse is fine in new content that is designed around it, but I worry about what will happen to people trying to run old content - either for achievements & transmogs or, what's worse, trying it at the originally intended level as a challenge.

  2. There are not many encounters centered on dispelling debuffs.
    There is Chromaggus, where the new Cleanse will shine, getting rid of 3 debuffs at once.
    There is Noth but Cleanse doesn't affect curses, so it's irrelevant.
    There is Council of Iron with Steelbreaker debuff which needs to be dispelled straight away. It will become a problem if debuff is applied more often than every 6 seconds.
    Then there is LK's phase 1 plague. If people are not reacting well enough and plague jumps on another player instead of ghouls, there will be a problem. Even if plagued player runs to offtank in time, there is a possibility that plague jumps on offtank instead of ghoul. This will require second dispel righ away which must be provided by another raid memeber.

  3. Sounds like they basically want you to use Holy Radiance to cover for debuffs you can't Cleanse. I'm not sure how well that'll work in BGs given that Locks can overwhelm you with debuffs that you won't be able to Cleanse.

  4. I'm think when everything is all said and done the new HR will workout just fine. Especially since HS will put out splash heals with Daybreak and Boundless Conviction will give us an extra LoD.

  5. The nice thing about the HR change is that it thematically is a reverse beacon (Heal someone and everyone around will get half the healing). It's always good to see the spells nicely thematically connected.

  6. I wonder the impact of this 8 sec CD on old encounters. I know Blizzard doesn't care much about old content, but are there any fights which would turn out broken? Or is the above list complete? Infest doesn't seem to be a problem anymore due to players having higher health than end of WotLK.

    "In fact, if both targets had been at lower health, you wouldn't have any wasted healing at all."

    Part of being a world class top healer is only topping people off when required, not doing overhealing, let healers take responsibility together yet knowing who will take what, and knowing your priority to heal. These good healers have little difficulty with mana management, but some people may die due to taking unnecessary damage. These healers shined at start of Cataclysm, but don't go well together with fire dancers.

    The removal of HoT from Holy Radiance makes paladin once again worthless for Dark Intent.