Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sacred Shield Changes Partially Reverted, more Forbearance

The 3.3 Patch Notes have just been updated in preparation for another build this evening. The big news is undoubtedly that Sacred Shield has been un-nerfed a little - the Flash of Light HoT now only exists as a part of the Infusion of Light Talent but the Shield proc will have a 6 second cooldown once again. Did anyone care about this HoT anyway given how it didn't roll and was overwritten by any new FoL? Probably not.

Well, they may care now as the text of the patch note implies that the HoT isn't tied to Sacred Shield. This is unlikely to go live, but is well worth testing and would represent a big buff for Holy Paladins from 3.2.2 state.

On the other hand, Lay On Hands has been tied to Forbearance. It's hard not to face-palm at this change given that it's still not usable in the Arena and has a base cooldown of 20 mins. Frankly, it's a nerf targeted at Battlegrounds and open-world PvP which has the side-effect of making the Skill significantly less useful for Protection PvE. Yet again Forbearance is being used as a catch-all rather than a genuine solution and yet again we're wondering at the lack of imagination in design; perhaps if all you have is a club everything looks like a knee-cap. Still, it's better than the alternative floated last week, but are these changes just 'solutions' in search of a problem?

Oh, Holy Paladin's casting LoH on your Paladin Tank? Congratulations, your Paladin Raid tank can no longer cast Divine Protection for 2 mins. Great Work.

I sense a few more iterations are necessary.

Otherwise, there's not much to see in these changes. We'll be able to avoid repair bills twice as often with a new 10min cooldown on Divine Intervention (hilariously, it still cannot be used in Arena's), and the Aura Mastery change from 10 to 6 seconds has been officially included.

From a more general perspective lifting the level restriction on Meeting Stones is a GOOD CHANGE, though having it included for Hallow's End would have been nice. On the PvP side of things 25 Arena Points for completing the Battleground Daily is interesting for those on low ratings seeking to push on for better gear. You're still talking a maximum of 175 more Arena Points a week to make a dent in the points required for decent gear and it doesn't change rating, but some will complain anyway. I couldn't care less how gear is dished out so long as players in competitive areas of gameplay can compete on a level playing field.

The full text of the patch note changes can be found here. Full PTR Patch Notes here.

EDIT - Got the wrong end of Battleground change. Corrected.

EDIT2 - In hilarious coincidence, exactly one year ago today I posted this:

A Lack of Patience With Forbearance


Anonymous 04/11/2009, 01:23  

Let me begin with the first QQ.

Noooooooo, I LOVE my HoT! It makes the Art of War/insta-Flash heal actually useful! //end QQ

And I'm a little iffy on the forbearance restriction on LoH...yet one more thing to watch for. I like LoH in PvE...being the low priority DPS it's a nice thing to have, and gives a little extra support to the healers. But with Forbearance being spread around, there's judging time to use wings, LoH and bubble. There's certainly been situations where I've used LoH in conjunction with either. This solution just makes things feel more awkward. (shrug) But I suppose I'll take it over not being able to use LoH on myself at all.

Will Armstrong 04/11/2009, 01:24  

The Patch notes no longer 'imply' anything; fresh from MMO-Champ:

Flash of Light no longer heals for an additional 100% over 12 sec if the target has the Sacred Shield effect.

... /sigh

Will Armstrong 04/11/2009, 01:26  

Bah, sorry for the double comment; does this now mean that the HoT will never occur when SS is active?

If so, SS just got gimped a little bit more; a Holy Paladin with Infusion of Light could be wasting his time casting FoL on a SS target.

Green Armadillo 04/11/2009, 01:35  

Err, stupid Pally tanking question, but why would the tank be bubbling in the first place? Don't you lose aggro, or did they change that sometime in the last few years?

Suicidal Zebra 04/11/2009, 01:43  

Paladins have 2 Bubbles. The first, Divine Shield, reduces all incoming damage by 100% enemies no longer attack you unless you are the only person on their aggro list. Divine Protection on the other hand reduces all incoming damage by 50% and is the Paladin Equivalent of Shield Wall. It is essential for tanking.

Both spells cause Forbearance and neither can be used whilst under the effects of Forbearance.

Green Armadillo 04/11/2009, 02:06  

Oh right, things I forgot about on account of not having seriously played my Pally in several years.

Yeah, that sounds irritating, though I'm not sure it's reason enough to throw the design out the window. Your healadin can already screw the raid over by accidentally hitting DI on the tank instead of healing, so I guess the moral of the story is that Healadins have to pay attention to what buttons they're pushing?

ToyChristopher 04/11/2009, 02:25  

As a holy paladin I save my lay on hands for myself to give me mana back. A holy light crit heals for the same amount, so there is really no reason to cast in on the tank.

Suicidal Zebra 04/11/2009, 02:29  

LoH should be seen as a raid cooldown that can be cast on a Tank in an emergency, similar to Natures Swiftness'd heals. Casting it doesn't currently lock the target out of any abilities. In 3.3's PTR it can be cast on any tank so long as it isn't a Paladin tank. This differs from DI in that DI should never be cast on any tank.

Perhaps we can think about removing DP from the list of abilities which interact with Forbearance, I'd support that compromise.

Suicidal Zebra 04/11/2009, 02:31  

@Toy Christopher

It's instant cast. That's the one major reason you may use it on the tank, or anyone other than yourself, rather than Holy Light.

Sawyerjen 04/11/2009, 14:03  

Why not just make i an instanct cast, no cost, definite crit Holy Light on like a 3 min CD (2 with imp LoH)? It would be like a nature swiftness to holy, a reliable tanking button with the prot talent that increases heal crits, and work well with rets Sheath of Light. yeah i know pvp blah blah

Rhidach 04/11/2009, 19:11  

Just the other day I was saying to myself, "I wish more of my abilities activated Forbearance." Thankfully, I got my wish!

I'm hoping this is just an experiment on the ptr, because this is so transparently a pvp nerf without *any* look at the possible pve consequences.

Anonymous 05/11/2009, 15:46  

It's annoying too because retpallies aren't even that powerful in pvp anymore. You don't have to 'kill them 3 times'. You own them once, then they bubble and nearly go OOM healing themselves or they run away. Sure they can LoH every once and awhile, but if a pally needs to LoH in order to beat you, I count that as a win.

I could see LoH being a problem in arenas, but... you can't use it already... so why the nerf?

Does anyone think ret pallies are still OP in pvp? Maybe a year ago they were, but a lot has changed. If they got a MS effect, then they might be more of a threat, but most healers can heal through their 'non-winged' damage. And if a retpally has wings, just try and control him til it wears off, then you have an easy kill waiting for you due to forbearance.

this patch is not looking good for pallies and I don't understand where blizz is coming from or what they are thinking

Will Armstrong 06/11/2009, 19:52  

The latest patch includes the following...

"Sanctified Light: This talent now also has a 33/66/100% chance to prevent Lay on Hands from causing Forbearance when Lay on Hands is used on others."

.... /Colbertfacedesk

So ham-fisted and unimaginative I actually have to pour myself a drink.

Suicidal Zebra 07/11/2009, 00:55  

Pour me one too whilst you're at it. Right now I'm struggling to see how, for non-Holy Paladins, this new LoH is any better than the 'Cannot be used on yourself' version of last week.

A Prot Paladin's Divine Protection cooldown is short enough that there'll never be an occasion where you could pop LoH and not use DP, preemptively where necessary, instead. Even if you did it would always clip a DP cooldown which is usually far more important.

Ret PvP would rather pop Divine Shield or Divine Protection in most cases, perhaps if AW doesn't trigger a 30sec cooldown for LoH too it would see a bit of action. Whichever way you slice it you start to get the feeling that LoH is a less powerful skill on a longer cooldown than more powerful ones, but prevents you from using those more powerful cooldowns. At least with last weeks version a Ret casting LoH on another Paladin didn't screw them over for 2 minutes.

Holy get the best end of the stick as the only change is that they can't cast this and DS on themselves more than once every 2 minutes. This is still (broadly) a slight nerf, but not really enough to worry about. Though it is enough to be frustrated about.

But perhaps most galling is that with all this fiddling LoH still won't be useable in Arena's. So what we have is a hamfisted mechanic bootstrapped onto a long cooldown skill only potentially overpowered in Battlegrounds. Hell, if you feel this way about it, why not just ban it from rated BG's?

Ugh, there are few things I hate more than bad design decisions, and Forbearance has always been that.

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