Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sacred Shield, Now 80% Less Effective. - Updated


A couple of other changes have been datamined from the latest PTR build by MMO-Champ :-

1) Lay of Hands can no longer be cast on yourself.
2) Aura Mastery now lasts 6 seconds, down from 10.

Additionally, the Sacred Shield change is in the tooltip for this build. AM is a PvP nerf, LoH is no longer a Paladin Tank cooldown. But really, why was this necessary, LoH has been like that since Vanilla.

Oh wait, I know why, it's the 7800 mana it grants in PvE combined with the Glyph of Divinity. Why not just change the Glyph to 'has no effect when LoH is cast on yourself'?


Here's another possibility: is this a nerf targeted specifically out our performance in Battlegrounds? After all, rated BG's are coming soon and there may be a fear that Paladins will dominate this new 'PvP bracket'.


Patch 3.3's latest build includes the following change:

  • Sacred Shield: The damage absorption effect from this ability now triggers only once every 30 seconds. [As opposed to once every 6 seconds]

  • Holy
  • Infusion of Light: This talent now also reduces the cooldown on the effect of Sacred Shield by 12/24 seconds.
  • (Source)

    Sacred Shield's baseline effect just got hit to be 20% of it's current effectiveness, which represents a huge nerf to the value of the skill for any Paladin not deep in Holy. To put it into context, a baseline Sacred Shield in 3.2 will proc up to five damage shields over 30 seconds with one cast, a Patch 3.3 SS will proc one.

    Why? What's the motivation? Well, the bugbear of many a Paladin over the last few years has struck again: skill nerfs because of PvP. Prot-Holy build is still very popular as a spec and deep-Holy often gets a lot of criticism for being non-interesting for a PvPing Paladin compared to the control and offensive potential of Prot-Holy. Prot's big issue was one of mobility without Holy Shock, and so a strong Sacred Shield remains powerful against teams without an offensive dispel. By making Infusion of Light required for a PvP-viable Sacred Shield any skills deeper than 24pts in Prot - including Ardent Defender, Avenger's Shield, Touched by the Light and Judgments of the Just - are immediately taken off the table. I'm not qualified enough to judge if a crippled Sacred Shield will in fact cripple Prot-Holy but if I had to guess I'd say it's not good for that gameplay niche, to put it mildly.

    As a side-effect Ret will obviously take a huge durability and utility hit in PvP as even without Divine Guardian the ability absorbed a non-trivial amount of incoming damage, the Shield will absorb less damage than an instant FoL will heal. Finally, Sacred Shield becomes a very weak ability for Prot damage mitigation in any Raid with no Holy Pally.

    Is Sacred Shield now a worthy lvl80 baseline ability for all specs? For any specs? God no.


    Micah 28/10/2009, 00:39  


    its really all i can say...

    if they go through with this I think they should up the duration to 2 min.

    Suicidal Zebra 28/10/2009, 00:48  

    With a damage shield proc only once every 30 seconds we're getting into the realms of the skill generating only negligible amounts of damage absorption. Even 2 minutes duration represents just 4 shield procs in that time, so HPS is very, very low.

    Ugh, this is an ugly change to a problem which wasn't really an issue since Prot-holy was nerfed last.

    Klepsacovic 28/10/2009, 02:48  

    This is starting to push into the area of "not worth the time+mana to cast." As a baseline spell that's just terrible. Maybe it needed some nerfing, but I'd have nerfed the amount, not the cooldown.

    Jacob 28/10/2009, 05:58  

    This is very likely also a nerf for PVE reasons, not "just" PVP.

    Paladins can solo PVE content very well.
    Too well.
    That's not good design.

    You should read GC's explanatory post:


    Merlot 28/10/2009, 13:09  

    These changes just look stupid, even to a noobadin like me.

    The baseline sacred shield is now basically just a really lame power word: shield. Is the minimal absorb even worth the mana and global cooldown to cast? If they really didn't want prot and ret to use it, they should have just have moved the entire spell a holy talent.

    Lay on hands makes no sense to me. Are paladins going to be first class to get a beneficial spell that they can't cast on themselves???

    Firespirit 28/10/2009, 13:36  

    I just don't understand why the dev's dont understand - because of all of the paladin PvP nerfs as of late, PvP for a paladin is just not... fun anymore. I'm not saying we have to be op, but good lord. I hardly ever play in BG's anymore because I just get eviscerated. Hell, I cant even win a duel without using divine shield anymore.

    Blizz really needs to take a look at paladin pvp and make it FUN again. And, as always, I am going to keep complaining until I get heard - STOP NERFING PVE FOR PVP. Its just absurd. I'm sick of it, and I am sure that every other paladin in the world is sick of it. KNOCK IT OFF. If it is that freaking hard to balance a paladin in PvP and PvE, then just separate the dammed talents and skills out. That is what dual spec is for.

    Rhidach 29/10/2009, 17:00  

    It is ridiculous that our level 80 spell will only be useful for one spec. How many other classes is that true for?

    Suicidal Zebra 29/10/2009, 17:45  

    In fairness, there are a number of skills which aren't really useful for specific class roles that were introduced at lvl80. Heroic Throw immediately comes to mind, and even Army of the Dead and Nourish aren't fantastic for Tank DK's or Feral Druids.

    Even so, I feel obligated to say that a 30sec cooldown Sacred Shield would IMO be the weakest of the lvl80 Skills by some margin, and even weaker than the pre-3.1 SS which didn't scale at all with Spellpower.

    Tom 29/10/2009, 22:12  

    I was wondering about the duration as well.

    If you're playing prot it's basically saying a 30 second sacred shield will proc only once. I'm not going to keep applying sacred shield every 30 seconds to save 500 dmage.

    If it's a PvP nerf then they've made it useless - waste a global CD in arena for 500 dmg mitigation, instead of a quick heal for 4-8k? No thank you.

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