Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paladin Changes for Beta Build [12539]

Changes, so delicious. Mmmmmmm

..

Yes, well. A new build is up, and the Paladin Changes are listed. And my, they are tasty. Holy Power has been implemented, Templar's Verdict is in, Holy gets a Sprint and Ret gets cake. No, not cake, what's it called.

Ah yes....

AN INTERRUPT.

I'm not going to outline all the changes, you can easily look at MMO-Champ for those. World of Raids also has a comprehensive listing here which differs slightly from MMO-Champions mined data. However I do want to pick out a few very specific changes in each spec and note a few changes still to come.

General

Holy Power has been implemented. One point of Holy Power is generated for every successfully landed Holy Shock and Crusader Strike. Talents improve the rate at which you generate Holy Power.

The passive mana regen effect of Judgements of the Wise is being rolled into both Prot and Ret Judgements passively as 40% base mana regenerated over 10 seconds. Replenishment will still be Ret-only secondary effect on Judgement. Spiritual Attunement and Guarded by the Light are being canned as mana regen abilities.

Divine Storm - This skill may or may not be baseline, we just don't know yet. It's now the early Holy Power dump, doing AoE damage based on the number of HP charges consumed, and has no cooldown. I could bear to see the mana cost reduced by 50%, but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this skill as long as it continues to proc Seals.

Seal of Light and Seal of Wisdom have been rolled into one Seal - Seal of the Pure. This will also have an impact of Glyphing, obviously, but having these two Seals always was a little clunky.

Holy Changes

Word of Glory is a brand new spell which consumes all Holy Power to instantly heal a target. Presumably the amount healed is proportional to your current Holy Power. MMO-Champ isn't logging this under Paladin spells but it is in the Database as Word of Glory. Instant heals are always nice, but needing to chain 3 successful Holy Shocks before being able to cast it adds a little spice.

Speed of Light - Casting Holy Shock grants 5/10/30% spell haste for your next Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine Light, and casting Healing Hands grants you 10/20/60% movement speed for 10 sec. Also lowers the cooldown on Healing Hands by 10/20/30 sec at all times. Speaking of more mobility, here's a situational sprint. The talent seems very powerful right now and may well be nerfed as instant heals and 30sec cooldown sprints are a little OTT.

Beacon of Light - Your Beacon is once again healed by all direct healing spells cast, but with only 50% effectiveness. To me, this seems like a sensible compromise, though we may even see this decrease a little as the Beta progresses simply because of Holy’s larger toolbox.

Pillar of Light - Healing your Beacon also has a chance to generate Holy Power. It's important from a raiding perspective to make sure that healing your Beaconed target isn't too inefficient a use of your time, i.e. that if you absolutely have to heal the Beaconed player you don’t feel penalised for doing so, and this talent seems to fit the mould.

Light of Dawn - Send a wave of healing energy before you, healing all friendly targets up to 30 yards away for X. Think of this as 'Cone of Healing', and it’s probably going to turn out to be a raid-only spell. Expect some smart-healing mechanic and upper boundary on total amount healed.

Three new Healing spells and much more mobility mean that this is a very interesting update for Paladins. On the other hand, there's very little interaction thus far with Holy Power, especially at low levels (still don't know what level Paladins gain Word of Glory).

Holy offense has been augmented with a baseline CS (potentially baseline DS, wew shall see), baseline 'hit all targets' Holy Wrath, Judgements and talented instant-cast Exorcism Proc.

Protection

Holy Shield will now increase your Block Rate by 30% for 10 seconds plus a further 10 seconds for every Holy Power consumed, and deals damage to the attacker. 1 minute cooldown. This implies an increased block rate 2/3rd of the time. Expect a Glyph to drop the cooldown by ~25secs.

Raidwall returns in the form of Divine Guardian, a straight-up raid-wide 20% damage reduction. Awesome.

Talents which grant additional Stamina are gone, replaced by a passive +% Stamina bonus for choosing Protection. Much of the rest of the tree is made up of proc-based +damage (i.e. +Threat) talents rather than mitigation, which feels pretty wonky for a Tanking tree. In trying to make the talent leaner they seem to have run out of ideas, leading to a fixation on threat and making interesting threat rotations. Whilst holding threat is rightly important, it feels disappointing that you can’t change-up your rotation in order to reduce damage at the cost of threat.

Retribution

Templar's Verdict it in, and it's awesome. However even though it has no cooldown it costs 20% base mana and requires Holy Power, making it a very expensive spell to utilise. It’s also mutually exclusive with Divine Storm because they both share Holy Power, a resource that is generated at a fixed rate when specced Ret. Without a more variable way to generate HP this spell may as well simply have a fixed cooldown shared with Divine Storm.

Zealotry is a tough talent to assess. On one hand it allows for huge damage on cooldown through generation of Holy Power and dumping that into Templar's Verdict, but on the other hand your mana pool would swiftly get eaten. Divine Storm has the same problem, it's still a very expensive spell mana-wise. Word of Glory has no mana cost as yet, but it a healing spell. This ones going to be a tough one to balance, and may not survive the Beta. Also, the 30minute cooldown should just be a placeholder, it’s more likely that it’ll be 10 minute so it may be used on a ‘once per encounter’ basis but not in Arenas.

Inquisition is just a rotation filler, similar to Rogue's Slice and Dice. You can't use it without Holy Power, but with a full 3/3 application it will last for 30 seconds. Mana cost seems utterly redundant as effective cost is one Templar's Verdict per 30 seconds (i.e. One of your 2 potential Templar's Verdicts).

Rebuke* is a melee-range interrupt with no effective cost on a 10sec cooldown. Pretty much a kick, though it costs much less relative to our rotation (Kick costs 20 energy IIRC, no trifling amount). It's probably too cheap, so may well have a cost added to it at some point. Should still be off the GCD though, otherwise it would be effectively useless. Why isn't this available to Protection too? And will the animation be a Slap in the Face?

Finally, Art of War no longer allows instant-cast heals. Word of Glory, an HP powered spell, is the effective replacement.

There’ll be more tomorrow when I’ve had a chance to analyse things more deeply, but I think there’s still a few things missing before we can stick a fork in these Talents and call them done.

UPDATE - World of Raids is reporting that melee attacks generating Holy Power is a specialisation bonus for Retribution. This makes the HP mechanic much more appealing.

*Side note - Rebuke was one of the names suggested by the community for Hand of Reckoning.

3 comments:

Ninjasuperspy 21/07/2010 19:39  

Off topic: I'm still not sure what they were thinking with Hand of Reckoning. It isn't a "Hand" style spell, and we already have Hammer of Righteousness. Why make another spell with the same abbreviation?

ToyChristopher 22/07/2010 01:56  

I've always hated the naming of Hand of Reckoning. It makes no sense- it isn't a hand spell in any way. And is what way Reckoning a taunt?

I am wondering if there is a cap on the amount of holy power you can have.

DDJim 29/07/2010 23:55  

Now, all I require is a priest as awesome as your Paladiness and I'm sorted for Cata, good read, ty.

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