Friday, March 13, 2009

[UPDATED] Spiritual Attunement Goes M.I.A. on the PTR


From MMO-Champion, the latest PTR notes:

# Spiritual Attunement: Removed from trainers. It is now available deep in the Protection tree for 2 ranks at 5/10%.

Good. I'm not convinced by talents specifically required for a role to be viable (imagine if Prot Warriors couldn't regen Rage from damage without a deep Prot talent) but as compromises go this is reasonable. Holy and Ret is out of luck for off-tanking roles ('Dual-specs won't affect how we design classes'? yeah, right) due to a lack of sufficient mana regen in Prot gear.

Thanks to Will in comments.


There is a curious change on the PTR. It seems that Spiritual Attunement no longer exists for a lot of Paladins. Keen to get the run-down on any undocumented changes I logged into the PTR and this is what I discovered.

Paladin #1: Janae

Janae was the first Paladin I copied across, and as you can see she has SA Rank 2 (but not Rank 1) in her Spellbook and regens mana correctly from a heal cast on her.

Paladin #2: Muggins

Muggins was the second Paladin I copied across. She has neither Rank 1 nor Rank 2 in her Spellbook and they aren't trainable. When healed she does not regen any mana (and no, it wasn't a self-heal or overheal). Both these two characters are Jana, copied from Live to the PTR about a week apart, so they both have the same baseline skills learnt.

Finally, I thought to check whether the trainer has the skill available anywhere in the list of skills to train. I created a lvl1 Paladin (Sztest) and ran her over to the Paladin trainer in Stormwind. This is what I saw:

My gut instinct is that Spiritual Attunement is in the process of going the way of the dodo, and the changes to Guarded by the Light are designed to allow Protection to function without the mana regen on heals mechanic. The aim of all this is of course to reduce the mana regen'd by Holy on fights with heavy AoE, but this seem like a very roundabout way of doing it. I'm also not convinced that Protection can sustain a decent threat rotation without the sort of Mana regened from SA, and Ret is certainly gimped by this. Paladin tanking Pre-71 will also become extremely troublesome.

The patch notes, which are due to be updated soon, may shed some light on things. I'll update this post as and when I know more.


Burntpepperoni 13/03/2009, 12:44  

I totally agree with you about protection having trouble without SA.
When I'm tanking heroics I get most of my mana by a large percentage from SA and a much smaller percentage from BoS. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but it is VERY significant.
This was something that I had never considered before and a friend linked me his WWS report and there it was.
This would be near disastrous for tanking paladins in my opinion.


Anonymous 13/03/2009, 13:54  


Being ret since I rolled my pally nearly a year and a half ago, I was around when ret had to drink after EVERY fight.

GC has said that Consecration is the most highly in-efficent spell in ret's rotation. I honestly think that this is his way of trying to force it out of our rotation, because with no mana regen and exorsism becoming usable on everyone, ret is going to have the same old problem we always had - OOM within 1-1.5 minutes.

Wanna see how fast ret falls off of the raid list because we cant keep mana long enough to dps anything?

I really really really really really hope that this is a glitch/bug.

Alex - aka Firelight 13/03/2009, 14:58  

Or it could just be a mistake - or Blizzard trying things out..

Remember this is still a PTR.

Karl 13/03/2009, 15:02  

It's likely part of the great mana-regen nerf of 3.1

The question is, are they going to hit the other classes just as hard, or will pallys be hosed?

As it is, when tanking, unless I'm getting hit really hard, I need to keep SoW up for the mana regen, I can only go to SoV when I'm getting hit enough to get the mana regen from heals.

If they take that mechanism away, Long fights like Kel are going to be a major problem.

Dorgol 13/03/2009, 16:08  

Something had to change. With the change to Guarded by the Light a Protection Paladin is going to be generating lightly more than 1.5% of their mana EVERY second. Add that to the mana regeneration from Sanctuary AND Spiritual Attunement and you have to wonder if a Prot Paladin will EVER run out of mana.

SA was important, still IS important (on Live), but I have to believe Blizzard will do what they can to keep us viable regardless of the length of the fight.

Karl 13/03/2009, 17:06  

But the signs are BoS is going away too... so Guarded/Divine-Plea will be our only mana regen?

Karl 13/03/2009, 17:41  

and the more I read about it, the more depressed I get.. I'm often running with no other pallys in raid, so I'll have to BoSanc myself, and I loose the benefit of Kings. So this in effect a stat nerf to pallys.

but if they remove BoS as well.. yikes.

I am really fearing fights where we don't get hit that hard, so we won't have that regen factor, but we still need to have massive threat...

RL: "Why did the boss run through the raid and wipe us?"
Me: "Sorry, went OOM"
RL: "Warrior, you are MT now, pally go log on your hunter instead, wait, we'll bring the shaman instead, pally go take the lowbies through nexus kkthxby"

Will Armstrong... 13/03/2009, 17:54  

I've been saying since Blizzard decided to remove the Rage/Runic aspect of Blessing of Sanctuary that they should roll BoS's mana regen and mitigation into Improved Righteous Fury.

In this way, no Holy or Ret paladin would use it when in a group or raid, but it can still be used to sustain mana when soloing. Protection is able to use the Blessing that's most suitable; might for added threat/dps, wissdom for mana regen, and kings for overall strength or when Improved Wisdom and Might are available from the raid.

Anonymous 13/03/2009, 22:14  

This had sure as hell better be a bug, or a change that will be unchanged pretty damn soon. This is a semibad nerf for holy, who can regen their mana a bit through it, seriously bad nerf for ret, who will be oom in a minute without it, and end of the world for prot, who will be oom in about 30 secs.

GG Blizzard.

Will Armstrong... 13/03/2009, 23:48  

Heads up: this nerf to Spiritual Attunement is NOT a bug; SA is now becoming a deep Prot talent according to the newest patch notes at MMOChampion.

Klepsacovic 14/03/2009, 06:12  

I might get more regen from BoS than SA, but that's as prot. Are other paladins intended to not tank at all? I suppose SoW and JoW would be good enough for regen, but then there goes a lot of aggro. This is just plain clumsy development.

How about disabling SA for a few seconds after casting a heal? I suppose that ends up being a PvP nerf, but that seems to fit with the usual course of paladins in PvP.

Will Armstrong... 14/03/2009, 15:43  

I think, in the end, this is more of a Mana Regen nerf than a direct Paladin nerf, although because Paladins have so many ways to regain mana (Illumination, Spiritual Attunment, Blessing of Sanctuary, Judgments of the Wise, Blessing of Wisdom, Seal of Wisdom, Judgment of Wisdom), we are feeling the effects the hardest.

Out of all the classes in the game, I feel Paladins are designed the poorest. You have a class that uses Mana, but two of three specs are essentially mimicking the Warrior (who uses rage) and the other mimics a priest (who have built-in weaknesses that balance their regeneration).

I would have approached Paladin healing much differently (anyone who played Vanguard, two words: Blood Mage), and tried my damnest to make Paladins a strong Melee-centric class.

Oh well. Patch appears to be downloading now, so it looks like it's time to learn to play my class while carefully stepping over the broken parts again.

Also, Zebra, where's my 3000g for finding Spiritual Attunement?! You didn't say dead or alive =)

Suicidal Zebra 15/03/2009, 18:06  

Would that you were on the EU servers Will ;).

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