Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Paladin PTR Speculation.

It's that time again... PTR info will rule the WoW-tubes for the next few weeks. As the first test build is now downloadable MMO-Champ has yet again done sterling work to extract all the relevant bits, which means that we can put some numbers to rather pressing matters.

But before that, Super Double-important news:

"Please clarify: will DS and CS crits proc AoW?"


Yes. Any melee attack, not just white swings. Ranged attacks or spells will not proc it.

Thank goodness for that - melee in, Judgements out as they are classes as Ranged attacks. On to more general matters.


Seal of Command has been redesigned - All melee attacks deal [ 36% of mw ] to [ 36% of MW ] additional Holy damage. Lasts 30 min. Unleashing this Seal's energy will judge an enemy, instantly causing [ 8% of AP + 13% of Spell Power + 19% of mw ] to [ 8% of AP + 13% of Spell Power + 19% of MW ] Holy damage.

Seal of Vengeance now deals [ 13% of AP + 6.5% of Spell Power ] Holy damage (down from [ 15% of AP + 7.8% of Spell Power ]) and has a new effect - Once stacked to 5 times, each of the Paladin's attacks also deals 33% weapon damage as additional Holy damage.

From the looks of things the internal cooldown on SoC has finally been removed (it would be extremely silly if it hadn't). However, the damage the proc deals is significantly less than the current incarnation of SoB (~48% MWD) and Judgement damage blows chunks. Also, the guaranteed Crit-On-Stun effect appears to have been removed. The implication is that SoC is designed to be a PvP/Trash Seal in situations where high up-front damage is required, but even with instant Exorcism the implication is that burst damage will be significantly reduced. Great in theory, but in practice makes you wonder if Ret has the tools to keep up in PvP.

The strength of SoV largely depends how, if at all, it interacts with Seals of the Pure. A flat 15% increase would make it a very strong PvE boss fight Seal, but right now we can't bank on it. Needless to say however that SotP would be a heavy blow to Hybrid utility in PvE compounded with the loss of 1 GCD every 12 secs. From a tanking perspective it will also hopefully remain a competitive Tanking Seal, but the jury is still out given the reduction in threat (and SotR's similar threat reduction). As far as PvP goes, SoV would be mutilated by a Priest on any sort of dispelling duty as the bonus weapon damage only kicks in at 5 stacks, just dispelling one would make a Paladin hit 25% weaker.

In terms of stat weights in 3.2, Hit will still be the daddy. Expertise and Strength will however regain some ground lost to Hit in relative weights, and Haste will lose significant traction against Crit. Essentially, capping Hit and Expertise, and then gemming a remainder for Str will be the order of the day.


Sets -

Okay, I won't talk at any real length about the Set bonii. It's fairly obvious that placeholders are abound throughout the released Tier 9 and the Paladin sets are no exception. Suffice to say that sticking 5% crit on Judgement or Holy Light as 4 Piece bonus's given the nerfs these abilities are faced with in 3.1 would be madness, and it's unlikely that they'll reduce Forbearance's duration by another 30secs just to fit in a set bonus (though I can't but hope that they've got rid of it completely... fat chance).

Oh, there is one thing... the 2 pieces Ret bonus allows RV to Crit. Okay, that has the chance to be a significant DPS increase, much more than you might think at first blush. RV's rolling nature could also cause some pretty monster crits to occur on timers not linked to weapon swings which may cause some balance issues. Resilience is obviously the premium stat of 3.2 PvP, but one or two Rets may sneakily seek to push this bonus into their PvP gearset for greater pressure and RNG burst.

Relics -

Paladin T9 Retribution Relic (Seal of Vengeance) (Class: Paladin) -- Each time your Seal of Vengeance ability deals periodic damage, you have a chance to gain 200 strength for 16 sec.

Finally, a PvE relic actually useful for PvE? The internal cooldown is the real killer for this new Libram, but of course that sort of information isn't held on the tooltip. 200 Str is 506 AP, and with the standard 45 sec trinket internal cooldown + 100% chance to proc it would corresponds to ~180 AP on average. This is far, far better than the Furious Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude (144AP) and likely to be better even than the S7 Libram (whilst specifically being tailored to PvE). Anything close to a 35% up-time will make this Libram absolutely rock in PvE.


So, those are my preliminary thoughts on the figures so far. It's broadly a coin-toss whether the class as a whole comes out ahead in these changes but nothing in Paladin gameplay gets inherently more interesting. It is very early days however so nothing should be taken for granted.


Will Armstrong 24/06/2009, 13:22  

Am I the only one mildly irritated that, as far as effects go, Seal of Command and Seal of the Righteous are identical?

Blizzard couldn't come up with some new effect?

stephanie 26/06/2009, 16:04  

Yeah, Seal of Command and Seal of Righteousness are a strange pair considering one is our baseline, first-available seal and the other is the only "talented" seal.

About the Libram,
On the PTR last night I ran a lot of tests and there doesn't appear to be an internal cooldown. Divine Storm was putting the DoT on all the mobs and with it ticking on four separate mobs I was getting the Strength buff refreshed on every single tick.

This may be an oversight but as of right now this is hands down the best Libram ever IMO.

stephanie 30/06/2009, 13:48  

from the new PTR:
Judgements: Some of these attacks were considered ranged and some melee. They are all now considered melee attacks that can't be dodged, parried or blocked.

Does anybody else think this will be huge? Two things:
1) It is now melee so should proc Art of War again.
2) If you are hit-capped, t will always land unless absorbed.

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