Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Extended Outage.

As you may have noted blogging round here has dried up over the past month or so, and that won't be changing any time soon. Rather than put up filler posts (which I've never been a great fan of) The Suicidal Zebra won't be updated for at least 6 weeks, during which time I will hopefully once again be bitten by the Blogging Bug. Or have something interesting to say.

See you in the new year.

~ Tim

Monday, November 09, 2009

New to 3.3: More Sensible Nerfs, Slightly Better Mechanics.

Updated 17.11.09:

MMO-Champ are reporting that Divine Intervention has changed in the latest build. It may have, but in a logical (non-nerf) manner:

Divine Intervention: This ability now also removes Exhaustion or Sated from a target if the recipient is out of combat when the effect ends. In addition, the cooldown on this ability has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.

(Source: Official PTR Notes 17.11.09)

MMO-Champ datamines tooltips but has no way to extract spell functionality directly. The tooltip has probably just been cleaned up to reflect this tweaked version, which is understandable, when you think about it.


The official patch notes have just changed again to reflect a few additions to the patch including a new iteration of LoH+Forbearance. Here are the latest:

Divine Intervention: This ability now also removes Exhaustion and Sated from the target. In addition, the cooldown on this ability has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.

Lay on Hands: This ability will place Forbearance on the paladin if used on his or herself. It will not place Forbearance on others.


* Repentance: This crowd control effect will no longer break early from the damage done by Righteous Vengeance. (Source)

The LoH change is by far the most sensible iteration thus far, though Protection Paladins won't be able to use it as a tanking cooldown. It's a compromise, though whether it's 'fair' or not depends on which side of the class line you stand ;). This is probably as close as were going to get to a fair non-trivial BG-PvP nerf without redesigning the ability from the ground up, but it's a shame that PvE-ing Paladins are affected. For the record I still hate Forbearance, and if there was one thing I'd like to remove in Cataclysm this would be it.

As an aside, it would be interesting to see LoH and AW continue to be usable back-to-back rather than including the 30-sec lock-out currently in operation for all other Forbearance-causing abilities.

The change to Divine Intervention (the Paladin Wipe Recovery, a.k.a save me a repair bill, tool) is really a quality of life change. As noted by Morrigan in her latest post Divine Intervention not removing the Bloodlust/Sated debuff can cause issues for the attempt after which you have recovered. You almost wonder if someone at Blizzard was reading her blog. Good change, if a little long in coming, and still doesn't really address the underling weakness of the ability

Finally, we come to Repentance. The change was originally floated back in the great nerf of 3.0.3, though at that time the value of Righteous Vengeance was far lower than it currently is. The reason why this is important is that RV is a passive ability over which a Ret Paladin has very little control (excepting the obvious), and this can leave Repentance as slightly redundant in PvP. Again, it simply makes Ret PvP mechanics a little less silly, and I doubt that it'll have wide-ranging impications for the next Arena Season. However, don't quote me on that if Modders start writing macro's to 'count up' the remaining RV damage and then using Repentance, allowing RV to tick unto the opponents death.

So, we've finally got to a stage where the Patch as advertised isn't totally bonkers from this Paladin's perspective. Surely it's can't be long before it's deployed to the live servers, perhaps even before the end of November?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Good News Everyone... The Real Paladin Tier 10


The page was ninja-updated. The set below is in fact Season 8 PvP, and MMO-Champs version was Tier-10. Damn. Oh well, at least the Season 8 Set looks good.

*goes off to cry*


The Official Tier-10 Sneak Peak has been updated to include previews of the Paladin and Priest Tier-10, and I'm pleased to say that the former differs significantly from that datamined by MMO-Champion. Here's the image,

I'm tempted to say that it looks a hell of a lot like the next Paladin PvP tier rather than Tier-10, but we'll get no better advance warning on the looks of the official tier than the horses mouth. Personally, I like the look a whole lot more than the datamined graphics and it feels a heck of a lot more 'Paladiny', if that's a word I'm allowed to invent.

I'm not sure what the datamined version actually is, perhaps an NPC model or Shaman T-10. Or it may be that Blizzard have got their wires crossed somewhere. We shall see.

The link to the page of all set previews is always on the right of this blog.

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

Prot-Ret, the New Prot-Holy?

Prot-Holy was nerfed significantly with the justification that Paladins healing in PvP should be taking Holy talents, not Prot talents. This has been reinforced with the recent change to Sacred Shields' baseline effect and placement of 'Imp. SS' deep in Holy, though it strikes me as being ass-backwards as far as development decisions go. The knock-on effects are inevitable and have been brushed off by Ghostcrawler under the excuse that Ret is 'too tanky'.

*cue laughter*

I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone, even in 3.0, say that Ret was too durable. Too bursty, definitely, but never too durable. The last time I can remember anyone bring out that old chestnut was in Vanilla, levelled against the whole class even as it underperformed in PvP and players needed an atlas to find their interrupt (as well as their asses). Indeed, the 'Three Lives' comment has yet again returned at a time when Bubble-breakers have never been more prevelent, and by GC no less. You might be under the misapprehension that a class which needs three lives to down an equally geared adversary has greater issues than these cooldown, I know I am. But I digress.

With Ret's durability being nerfed and burst no longer being the be-all and end-all in Arena PvP Prot+Ret has started making an appearance. The idea seems to be that burst damage is still 'okay' but control is generally better, to the extent that it's more competitive in group PvP. Also, the spec is obviously a hell of a lot more durable than Ret in 3.2 and even more so in 3.3 as SS and hence its' synergy with AoW+FoL is being nerfed.

Mana could be something of an issue even with talented Divine Plea, but look at what you could get.

  • Avengers Shield - A Ranged Snare or Silence on a 30sec cooldown that deals plenty of damage.
  • Ardent Defender - loads of damage reduction, passive self-rez and expertise
  • 30 Second Hammer of Justice to make up for a lack of Repentence.
  • Damage Reduction up the wazooli, including magical damage reduction and party damage reduction/redirection
  • A significantly larger Hit Point pool.

  • In 3v3 Arena team Ret's light is declining, as evidenced by the latest SK-100 leaderboard which has Zero (0) Rets. If you still want to play your Paladin in an even slightly offensive role Prot-Ret could be a strong alternative to Ret. Heck, if you want to give it a try all you need is 50g for a respec and a good Sword+Board, though eventually Block Value gear is going to start ot look tempting.

    Tentative 53/18 Build, Inc. Glyphs.


    N.B. I'm not to blame if Prot is nerfed following this post. Really.

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