Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3.1 Crib Notes - My Take on the Changes.

General:

Paladin Aura's now persist through death, meaning that you don't have to re-activate them when resurrected. A fairly minor change to be sure, but it none-the-less eases annoyances.

In addition Imp. Aura bonuses, i.e. Imp. Crusader Aura's Interrupt/Silence Reduction, Imp. Devo's 6% healing and Sanctified Retributions 3% damage extend to all Aura's. This is not yet the case for Swift Retribution, but it makes sense for that to be changed too.

Lay on Hands may possibly to usable in PvP (with the new -5min cooldown Minor Glyph).

The 10% BoKings has gone baseline. Phew.

Holy

Exorcism and its associated talents have been buffed greatly, in line with improving offensive capabilities of all (esp. Holy) Paladins:

Exorcism - Target Restriction Lifted,
Purifying Power - Reduces cooldown on Exorcism by 17/33% (to 10 seconds)

Holy gets it's own version of Guardians Favour utility which reduces the cooldown of HoF, HoSalv and HaSac spells by up to 20%. HoF's which last for 14 seconds once every 20 seconds... not bad even with dispel's floating around. Pure of Heart will give Holy a greater measure of strength against Warlocks, DK's and Rogues but it remains a weak talent in the buffet that is Holy/Ret PvP specs.

There is no news yet of a change to Spiritual Attunement for Holy or Retribution.

Protection

Divinity is the name of the new Protection Tier 1 talent, and it increases all healing done and healing received by 5%. Whilst not particularly tempting for Prot in of itself (it's being ironically referred to as the 'increases overhealing done to you by 5%' talent) it may be of interest to Holy as a useful means of getting deeper into the Prot tree.

Blessing of Sanctuary now only regen's Mana for Blocked/Parried/Dodged attacks, not Rage and Runic Power. Because this Blessing was seen as mandatory for DK's to tank certain encounters it seems likely that the effect will be moved to baseline for that class. It is a shame that BoSanc couldn't be renamed to Imp. BoK and had the effect rolled into that spell (and the mana regen made baseline/talented) and keep the Paladin class as a whole down to 3 Blessings.

A lot of talent point consolidation has taken place, reducing a huge amount of the bloat in the tree. PvP abilities galore are now littered all over the place, and I'd imagine that Prot Paladins will be able to make as much a nuisance of themselves as Prot Warriors. Deep Prot Paladins will have a 20 second cooldown stun (when talented) which is roughly the equivalent of Shockwave. If Blizzard want to remove Random Stun Procs it's unlikely that Seal of Justice will survive the process to live.

Finally, Divine Guardian has been nerfed. There's now an upper limit to the amount of damage absorbed by this ability: 300% of the casters maximum health pool. Whilst this is still a lot (~70k for most Holy Paladins, more for Prot) it's no longer quite the raid-wide 'oh-****' button it once was. It also greatly decreases the talents attractiveness in 5v5 PvP, but may not have a huge impact in the smaller forms of the Arena.

Still no 11pt talent :(.

Retribution

Retribution changes were far more subtle than Prots, but indicate more to come. The most obvious change is for PvP, where Paladins will now have to spec 27pts in Ret for HoF's stun-breaking ability. The ease with which Holy Paladins could get this talent has been a huge source of complaint for many PvPers, but with deep Holy being so unattractive for PvP and early-Ret being so good more Paladins will probably just go for 44/0/27. Even deeper Ret builds for JotW are also likely.

Fanaticism and Righteous Vengeance are now 3pt talent (down from 5) and now have more bang for their buck. However in terms of damage dealing talents Retribution was hardly chock-a-block full so these changes won't serve in any way to increase Ret Damage. In fact, Ret's damage will decrease, quite considerably given lack of Holy Wrath, Sense Undead glyph and the fact that Crusade is partially target restricted. From a 3.0.9 baseline, 3.1 is a nerf for Ret.

However, all is not lost. At the very least we should be getting a 2pt talent next to RV to make tier 10 up to 5 points, probably a Mana Regen talent of some description.

For PvP, Retribution looses 10seconds of the -30 seconds cooldown to HoJ. However this spare point can be placed in another talent for additional damage. It's no faster HoJ, but nothing to be sniffed at.

This is still very early days. More changes are due and will happen. What they will be is anyones guess however.

2 comments:

Vndead 24/02/2009, 17:34  

oh man, LoH in arena? that's the first thing i thought about when i saw the new effect on the glyph. Then... i'm thinking, is it based on the base spell CD of more than 10min, to prevent it from being used in arena?

I don't think it will be allowed in arena personally.

To be honest, so many good changes since the new WOTLK came out.. giving me an uneasy feeling. We came a long way from classic and TBC, especially for Ret (i've always been one since start of WoW)

Thanks for the posts, very awesome news on the PTR and your take on it.

Green Armadillo 24/02/2009, 19:33  

In other amusing news, they appear to have forgotten that the 4 piece set bonus for the old Naxx 60 T3 armor was -12 minutes off the LOH cooldown (which was 60 min at the time). Anyone who has the old stuff in their bank should, on paper, be able to reduce their LOH cooldown to 0 (actually -1 minute). Good times.

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