Friday, July 30, 2010

First Hints of the Powers of the Ancient Kings

Beta Build 12664 hit last night, and there's not a whole lot that needs to be said about it. As always MMO-Champion has the full listings for all classes, aswell as a few very cool screenshots, so check it out. There's not a whole lot to say about the build, like the last couple they've tinkered around the edges but not changed the fundamentals much. Here are my highlights for Paladins:

  • Vindication talent now causes Holy Wrath to have a chance ('chance' has to be one of the worst words in Talents, it's so woolly) for an AoE 10% Physical Damage debuff (i.e. Demo Shout). Overall a good change, but as always you have to question exactly what is meant by 'a chance'.

  • Avenging Shield is cemented as part of the Protection Paladins' rotation as the cooldown is reduced to 20 secs via talents and it has have a chance to be reset on successful Crusader Strikes.

  • Holy Shield's duration is increased from 15 to 20 seconds. Looks like they were listening to what I said last week about the problematic way that HS interacts with CS, but even at 20sec the problem remains. Crusader Strike remains an unreliable means of generating Holy Power for Protection, especially at lower tiers of content, and so virtually all HP would remain spent on HS. Prot could do with a higher rate of HP generation or more reliable means of generation less susceptible to the whims of RNG. However even that sticks in the craw somewhat when Warriors get 10% additional block passively (scaled by Mastery) and critical blocking effects.

  • Art of War is no longer as likely to be 'always up' with a nerf to 15% chance to proc, but the tighter rotation makes this feel less of an issue and just allows other spells to get a look-in.

  • Imp. Crusader Strike is back and reduces the cooldown of CS from 4 to 3 seconds (with two points invested). Spam, spam, spammy spam spam. Not a great fan of this, but it does tend to close down the available GCD-space, hence making decisions of other spells to use more meaningful.

  • Seal of Justice see's a change in the tooltip - no longer stuns the target, instead limits its' maximum run speed. So far this isn't reflected in the MMO-Champ or WoWHead Cataclysm spell databases so we really don't know what it means. It may be that the 100% run speed limitation is being removed from the Judgement and instead is a Seal proc debuff (bleh change IMO), or it may be that it's a more meaningful Snare. This is one that needs to be tested (and me with a broken Beta account, Oy!)

  • There's not really an awful lot to talk about then - they're tinkering around the edges but not changing too much from previous builds. I still think Protection doesn't have a really distinct flavour in Cataclysm so far, though chucking out Avengers Shield regularly may help. To a certain extent leveraging in Holy Power more should tend to help, but I'm of the opinion that more reactive defensive abilities would be a boon to making the spec more fun. We shall see what the future hols in this regard.

    Anyway, that's boring stuff. So in an effort to be less boring, lets have a look at Guardian of Ancient Kings.

    The Guardian is our level 85 spell and as you can see has different effects depending on the specialisation you have chosen. Note that duration of the Guardian's manifestation is as yet unknown, but we can at least make the educated guess that for Protection it'll last approx. 12 seconds to match up with Shield Wall.

    Protection: Summons the Ancient Protector, reducing the damage you take by 60%. However it's possible that during this time the Guardian is killable, making the duration potentially quite short. Currently, the duration is unknown.

    Holy: Summons the Ancient Healer, who can cast Light of the Ancient Kings:

    This heal should scale with your Spell Power, and it'd be pretty cool if it also scaled with your haste at the same time.

    Retribution: Summons the Ancient Crusader, who fights by your side and strengthens your attacks.

    So, something akin to the Shadowmourne weapon proc. It's unknown if the 20 Str buff starts to stack as it attacks, or starts at a full stack which reduces as it attacks. In addition, the damage done by the Ancient Crusader itself is as yet unknown.

    Something of a mixed bag really. The Guardians may turn out to look awesome and be very powerful, but they probably won't change playstyle very much. Protection Paladins especially may feel short-changed as the Guardian is merely a slightly more powerful version of a spell they already got at baseline (Divine Protection). All three are very much 'fire and forget', though only in the case of one spec does it synergise with other cooldowns.

    If the offensive potential of the Guardian + Avenging Wrath + Zealotry is deemed to be overly strong expect them to become mutually exclusive later on in the Beta (as with Divine Sheild, Divine Protection, Lay on Hands and AW currently).

    with thanks to Lebeau on the MMO-Champion forums for drawing the threads together.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Holy Power - The Story So Far.

    This article is an effort to consolidate information for the new Holy Power resource for quick access. This information is current of Cataclysm Beta Build 12759, 15.08.10. Edited 16.08.10 to correct a few things

    Background and UI Element

    In patch 12759 a new UI 'meter' element for Holy Power was added, which in time will replace the stacking buff seen on earlier screenshots.

    Click here for the non-animated version

    Holy Power is a brand new auxiliary resource for all three Paladin specs designed to add complexity and versatility to the class. Some think of it as an analogue to Runic Power or Combo Points as it shares features of both these more established mechanics.

    As the Class is split between ranged caster and melee combatant models generating Holy Power differs a little between the specs. At baseline a successful Crusader Strike allows you to generate 1 Holy Power, up to a maximum of three. Once you reach level 10 the Class starts to diverge in functionality, and more options for generating Holy Power become available.


    Holy Shock is Holy's specialisation bonus spell. It has a 6 sec cooldown which obviously is a guaranteed hit when used as a Heal, but will generate 1 Holy Power so long as its successfully cast. Unlike the sources of Holy Power for other specs this is probably the most fail-safe method, befitting of a healing spec.

    Tower of Radiance is a Tier 6 Holy Talent, hence it is available much later in the game. It gives you a chance, dependant on the number of points you allocate to the talent and up to 100% for 3 points, to generate Holy Power when you directly heal your Beacon of Light target.

    Crusader Strike is also still available, but isn't usually effective as a healer due to melee range. As there are no talents to improve it, it retains its' 4.5 sec cooldown.

    Blessed Life has been changed as of build 12759. It will now cause attacks against you to generate 1 Holy Power (occurs once every 2 seconds). Feels mainly like a PvP talent unless it can also proc from encounter AoE.


    In a change from the Wrath of the Lich King Paladin, Crusader Strike is available when tanking too. It tends to have a 4.5 sec effective cooldown due to a busy rotation.

    Hammer of the Righteous has been retooled to generate Holy Power on successful cast as of build 12759, but not on a per-target basis. It shares a cooldown with Crusader Strike, but should be a guaranteed HP rather than based on the vagaries of Hit and Expertise.


    Retribution probably has it easiest in terms of generating Holy Power in the current build. Crusader Strike is the specs bread-and-butter strike, generally used on an effective 4.5secs due to once again a busy rotation or 3 second cooldown with sufficient Haste, and still generates 1 Holy Power. Sanctity of Battle will cause Haste to reduce the cooldown of Crusader Strike (though GCD's remain a limiting factor to this effect), 3 seconds will likely be the lowest effective cooldown you can reach, though YMMV with latency).

    In addition, Retribution gains the passive talent Divine Purpose in Tier 4. This allows successful casts of Judgement, Exorcism, Templar's Verdict, Divine Storm, Inquisition, Holy Wrath a 40% chance to generate 1 Holy Power, leading to a higher Holy Power generation rate than tends to be the case with Protection and Holy.

    Zealotry is Retribution's Tier 7 talent. When activated, successful Crusader Strikes hits generate a full 3 applications of Holy Power. In the current build this buff lasts for 15 seconds, allowing up to 4 of these augmented Strikes, and has a 2 min cooldown.

    Finally there is Hand of Light, Retributions lvl80 Mastery Effect. It imbues your Auto-attacks with an 8% chance to cause your next cast skill that consumes Holy Power be as effective as if you spent 3 Holy Power on it. If that weren't enough, said spell would also cost no Holy Power. Mastery Rating, present on gear above level 80, increases the chance of your Auto-Attacks triggering this effect.

    Generating Holy Power would matter not at all unless there was something to spend it on. Thankfully, there are right now a few means of spending Holy Power, but it should be noted that every spell that uses Holy Power consumes all applications of it.

    All specialisations can take advantage of a brand new spell for Cataclysm, Word of Glory. This is an instant cast direct heal which scales with Spell Power and the amount of Holy Power consumed.

    If damage or threat is your thing, Inquisition if for you. This self-buff consumes Holy Power to grant you 30% increased Holy Damage, but also costs 20% base mana as well as your Holy Power. The buff lasts for 4 seconds per application of Holy Power used, 10 seconds with Retribution's Inquiry of Faith talent. Depending on gear levels, Inquisition may prove to be a sub-par use of Holy Power compared to Shield of the Righteous due to its' 12sec max duration.


    None Specific to Holy, yet. Unsurprisingly however Word of Glory should be a much more effective spell for this spec.


    Shield of the Righteous replaces Holy Shield as your active threat gen talent which scales according to Holy Power. Instant Cast, no cooldown, 6% base mana cost.

    1 Holy Power: 20% Attack Power
    2 Holy Power: 60% Attack Power
    3 Holy Power: 120% Attack Power

    If you take the talent Holy Shield (now a passive talent) you gain 5% block per Holy Power consumed when Shield of the Righteous or Inquisition is cast. You therefore have the option of a quick burst of threat via SotR, or the more gradual threat boost of Inquisition. Holy Shield lasts 20 seconds, regardless of the spell you choose. Reliability is once again the watch-word though, so Hit and Expertise Capping to ensure predictable Holy Power generation is a big deal.


    This is where we see the rough stuff. First, there's Templar's Verdict, a new heavy hitting melee strike. The spell is currently a specialisation bonus for Retribution, and so should become available at level 10. Divine Storm by contrast is still an AoE attack scaling from weapon damage, and makes an appearance at Tier 3. It too consumes Holy Power, but isn't as effective in single-target encounters and so should only be used when there are three or more targets in range.

    The damage breakdown per application of Holy Power consumed is as follows:
    Holy Power ConsumedDivine StormTemplar's Verdict

    TV and DS are effectively mutually exclusive - use of either ability is determined by the number of enemies in range of DS.

    Last but not least, there's Zealotry. Somewhat frustratingly it requires 3 applications of Holy Power to Cast, making correct timing to get the most out of this skill critical. Beta build 13189 changed Zealotry so that those 3 Holy Power aren't consumed by Zealotry itself, but this change hasn't been pushed to Live servers.

    Impact on Playstyle

    Holy will naturally tend to have more flexibility and mobility thanks mainly to the new talents and spells, but the Holy Power requirement requires more active resource management than is required by current design. Holy Power has also nicely added compensation in for healing the usually sub-optimal Beacon of Light target. The concept of a healing rotation starts to develop in conjunction with talents, raising the specs skill cap.

    Protection gets the short end of the stick relatively speaking. Capping Hit and Expertise (i.e. eliminating dodge) is imperative to ensure constant Holy Shield up-time. It's not hard to see how this could tie a Paladin's tanking rotation into knots. Holy Power generation in single-target situations simply isn't reliable enough to warrant spending it on anything other than Holy Shield unless the amount healed by Word of Glory is significantly more than we're expecting in Tier 11 content.

    It's tempting to say that Holy Power has probably had the most impact on Retribution, and I think it's quite true. However management of cooldowns remains the back-bone of the spec, and mana concerns may once again rear their head with the removal of Judgement of Wisdom. Good Ret Paladins will probably be those who can effectively weave together Crusader Strike and Templar's Verdict to maximise the damage caused when TV is cast, however the best Paladins will manage TV independent of CS and solely based on Holy Power meter. Eternal Glory (20/40% that WoG doesn't consume Holy Power) may tempt more players into using Word of Glory, but that's still an average cost of two thirds of a Templar's Verdict. The amount healed by WoG is probably critical when assessing the value of that talent, but one 'free' WoG per minute may be a better talent.


    Thus far, Holy Power adds a lot of potential to the class which isn't fully exploited as yet. Zealotry also needs a review as Ret may find itself unable to use a large proportion of the extra Holy Power generated because Hand of Light and Divine Purpose procs. Another Wings-style damage cooldown seems like a shame compared to a more interesting 31pt talent.

    So, a good start. Hopefully more to come as the Beta progresses.

    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....


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Holy Power: A New Paladin Complimentary Resource? (Via #BlizzChat)

    [Update]: Okay, this appears to be how it will work:

    Certain skills with very common usage in a spec, such as Crusader Strike for Ret and Holy Shock for Holy, will have a secondary effect. This effect will buff you with one application of Holy Power, up to a maximum of 3.

    The Holy Power buff will probably then give you a spec-specific boost, for example it might increase your Holy Damage by 1/2/3%. This in itself isn't too fun, it would just be providing a Vengeance for all three specs, but that's not the entirety of the mechanic.

    Holy Power stacks can be consumed (entirely) in order to cast specific new abilities, or boost existing spells. The effectiveness of these abilities would be proportional to how big the stack was, making sensible timing imperative.

    Significantly, in the same way that Seal of Vengeance has a ramp-up time for PvP balancing purposes so would all the Holy Power spells. This adds scope for new abilities and talents with dynamic durations that would require you to engage first, for example adding an interrupt talent to Ret that needs Holy Power, making fine tuning balance a far easier proposition.

    Done well, this new mechanic would add another layer of complexity to a class notorious for its' faceroll approach. No bad thing.


    Just outlined on the Blizz developer chat:

    Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
    A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:

    * An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
    * A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
    * A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict [Templar's Verdict? Ace name!]
    * Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
    * Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power

    We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest's Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.


    This sounds suspiciously like 'our' Runic Power, essentially an auxiliary resource for additional effects. Potentially it would be a huge shake-up to the class, but it may well be a bit more than can be balanced during a Beta phase. Remember though that this is Beta. Early Beta. Everything is subject to change.

    Oh, and they need to call it something else. I'm tempted to say "Awesome", but whatever the name I'll henceforth refer to it as just "the Jong Meter".


    More on Templar's Verdict and Word of Glory:

    Q: Can you give us a sneak peek at one or two of the new Retribution abilities or talents?
    A. Templar’s Verdict: An instant weapon attack that causes a percentage of weapon damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to increase damage dealt:

    1 Holy Power: 55% Weapon Damage
    2 Holy Power: 125% Weapon Damage
    3 Holy Power: 225% Weapon Damage

    Word of Glory: Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for a specific amount per application of Holy Power (0 mana cost, 0 cooldown, instant cast).

    So the resource won't be a continuous 1-100 'meter', rather a self-buff in the style of Vengeance which will be consumed when a particular spell is used. Call it a cross between Runic Power and Soulshards I suppose.

    The final word on Judgements is Wisdom is dead, Light and Justice are being baked into the same spell:

    Q: If Judgement of Wisdom is being removed from the game, are paladins getting a new Judgement so we don't all have to use Judgement of Light?
    A. There will only be one Judgement spell. This spell places a single debuff on the target with the effects currently associated with Judgement of Light and Judgement of Justice. The Judgement of Wisdom effect has been retired completely.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    These Aren't the Beta Talent Trees You're Looking For.

    By now, you should have been able to have a look at the new talent trees on or similar. If you haven't, look now.

    Here is a look at the current Paladin talent trees.

    You might have expected a long and detailed analysis of Holy, Prot and Ret from me about now, or at least a brief snark over how awful they are. Well, panic not. From the mouth of Ghostcrawler:

    "These are old talents. This is not the paladin revamp that we said was coming. Sorry, you'll just have to wait a little bit longer."(Source)

    "Reactive Judgements [are] dead.


    I'm going to regret saying this, but the paladin trees are the most changed in the game. There are only a few of the current beta talents that survived the, um, cleansing."(Source)

    Sound familiar? Well, with that in mind it seems totally pointless to jump off the deep end, tempted though we may be. In fact this is almost a shame. For all their faults there were a few gems in this build, such as a Sanctified Wrath which allowed Hammer of Wrath to be used whenever you're under the effects of Avenging Wrath, or a PvE-effective Eye for an Eye. Also the loss of Divine Purpose will hurt a lot if it goes ahead (no, the Mastery isn't a Stun break, it's passive mana regen). But oh well.

    If we do one thing for class design in Cataclysm, it will be changing the paladin (all 3 specs) rotation up a bit!

    In the Ret case, we started with a basic question: what is it they should be managing? There are a lot of things they *could* be managing. Today it's cooldowns. It could be mana or procs or a lot of things. There was one Ret talent in particular we really liked, and we started building a rotation around it. Then we decided the mechanic was good enough to flesh out for Holy and Prot too.

    We're not ready to share the design just yet, and like all changes of this sort, it will be controversial. Some players crave a more interactive rotation. Some like their paladins the way they are. Some are only attracted to the class because it can be overpowered and they like to feel like a superhero.(Source)

    Reflections on overpowered-ness aside, we should all be pretty happy with this mission statement. Shaking up rotations to differentiate the great Paladins from the merely 'good' is something that all specs should allow so long as it doesn't feel clunky or out of place with the class. It should be quite interesting to see just which talent or rotation they plan to implement, the only frequently used spell each spec has in common is Judgement so... okay, I got nothing, but it should be entertaining.

    There's one final thing worth mentioning, and that's the change to Holy Shield design.

    We are going to turn both Holy Shield and Shield Block into short cooldowns. A short cooldown is an ability that you don't save for an absolute emergency (like Shield Wall) but we also don't want it to be on such a short cooldown that it feels maintenance-y. It's a tricky number to get right, but something in the 30 sec to 1 min zone feels about right. Then you might use Holy Shield one GCD instead of SoR or you can choose to save it until the next big boss attack.


    This somewhat files in the face of previous announcements. Supposedly Tankadins were being designed to effectively block more often than Warriors, but for less mitigation per block. The effective removal of block value probably necessitated a convergence of Paladin and Warrior blocking mechanics, but this could potentially homogenise the classes too much. Should be interesting to see how it shakes out.

    Friday, July 09, 2010

    RealID Gone, for Now: Wherein I Show My Cynical Nature

    So, the battle is won. Posting with your RealID is gone.

    For now.

    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

    It's important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

    I want to make sure it's clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you'll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

    In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard's success from the beginning.

    Mike Morhaime
    CEO & Cofounder
    Blizzard Entertainment

    In my first post on the subject I warned about a bait and switch by Activision-Blizzard over RealID, that they'd cancel it but institute something else in it's place slightly less abhorrent. Then significant numbers would come out and say 'hey, at least it's not RealID' and we'd all go along with it.

    This would not be acceptable.

    In the original RealID forum announcement it was stated that pre-upgrade posts simply can't be retroactively updated to show RealID, i.e. that the data wasn't captured. This will not be the case in the new forums, it's just that your RealID won't be shown.

    Remember the new T&C's? They still stipulate that you accept that your Real Name can be noted alongside your post. With the new forums they can flip a switch and start doing that at any time.

    Worse still, the creeping brief of Facebook integration and RealID is still open policy, nothing has changed in this regard except that opposition was perhaps more outspoken than they had anticipated.

    The more pompous amongst us may say that the price of privacy is eternal vigilance. The general point to make is still that you should be responsible for your own privacy on the internet, and every corporation that deals with your data has a responsibility to either keep everything locked up tight or allow you fine control over what you make public. The plan for the forums didn't allow that, it was their way or the highway, and that's the major reason why it was terrible.

    So, good work people! But don't make the mistake of thinking that this is the end of the matter.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2010

    In Other News: WoW Goes Back to 31pt Talent Trees.


    Looks like they had a change of heart about Divine Storm being the lvl10 'core' skill for Ret:

    After further reflection, we don't think Divine Storm makes a good level 10 Ret ability. It really wants to be an AE attack, and it's just hard to make an AE attack a signature ability usable in as many situations as a signature attack deserves to be.

    Divine Storm will probably go back into the talent tree. It won't be the 31-point though. Both the 31-point and the 10 ability need to have more single-target use. That means something like 3 new abilities for Retribution and several new or modified talents on top of that. Crazy.

    As you can see, we're still iterating a lot on paladins. Our lack of communication is because things are changing quickly, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to share it all until things feel a little more stable.


    It'll be interesting to see what they do with Repentance. If CC is to be a major part of Cataclysm, as it was in TBC, Ret may well need it to be useful in more challenging 5-mans. I'm not sure that we'll see 3 new abilities, DS and Repentance still make sense in there. For levelling purposes at least it seems reasonable to place SoCommand or SoVengeance accessible at a lowish level (<30 preferably) which could mean SoC as the level 10 Ret Ability, leading to only one new skill being required for during development.

    We play in interesting times, that's for sure.


    When Cataclysm was initially announced to include no new Tier of Talents, elimination of more generic passive talents, yet 5 more Talent Points I was sceptical that they could pull it off. So, apparently, were Blizzard. Now the talent trees are being compressed back down to 31pts (7 Tiers).

    Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update

    When we first announced our design goals for class talent trees back at BlizzCon 2009, one of our major stated focuses was to remove some of the boring and "mandatory" passive talents. We mentioned that we wanted talent choices to feel more flavorful and fun, yet more meaningful at the same time. Recently, we had our fansites release information on work-in-progress talent tree previews for druids, priests, shaman, and rogues. From those previews and via alpha test feedback, a primary response we heard was that these trees didn’t incorporate the original design goals discussed at BlizzCon. This response echoes something we have been feeling internally for some time, namely that the talent tree system has not aged well since we first increased the level cap beyond level 60. In an upcoming beta build, we will unveil bold overhauls of all 30 talent trees.


    The Rise of Specialization

    We want to focus the talent trees towards your chosen style of gameplay right away. That first point you spend in a tree should be very meaningful. If you choose Enhancement, we want you to feel like an Enhancement shaman right away, not thirty talent points later. When talent trees are unlocked at level 10, you will be asked to choose your specialization (e.g. whether you want to be an Arms, Fury or Protection warrior) before spending that first point. Making this choice comes with certain benefits, including whatever passive bonuses you need to be effective in that role, and a signature ability that used to be buried deeper in the talent trees. These abilities and bonuses are only available by specializing in a specific tree. Each tree awards its own unique active ability and passives when chosen. The passive bonuses range from flat percentage increases, like a 20% increase to Fire damage for Fire mages or spell range increases for casters, to more interesting passives such as the passive rage regeneration of the former Anger Management talent for Arms warriors, Dual-Wield Specialization for Fury warriors and Combat rogues, or the ability to dual-wield itself for Enhancement shaman.

    The initial talent tree selection unlocks active abilities that are core to the chosen role. Our goal is to choose abilities that let the specializations come into their own much earlier than was possible when a specialization-defining talent had to be buried deep enough that other talent trees couldn’t access them. For example, having Lava Lash and Dual-Wield right away lets an Enhancement shaman feel like an Enhancement shaman. Other role-defining examples of abilities players can now get for free at level 10 include Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, Mutilate, Shadow Step, Thunderstorm, Earth Shield, Water Elemental, and Penance.


    In Summary

    When players reach level 10, they are presented with basic information on the three specializations within their class and are asked to choose one. Then they spend their talent point. The other trees darken and are unavailable until 31 points are spent in the chosen tree. The character is awarded an active ability, and one or more passive bonuses unique to the tree they've chosen. As they gain levels, they'll alternate between receiving a talent point and gaining new skills. They'll have a 31-point tree to work down, with each talent being more integral and exciting than they have been in the past. Once they spend their 31'st point in the final talent (at level 70), the other trees open up and become available to allocate points into from then on. As characters move into the level 78+ areas in Cataclysm, they'll begin seeing items with a new stat, Mastery. Once they learn the Mastery skill from their class trainer they'll receive bonuses from the stat based on the tree they've specialized in.

    We understand that these are significant changes and we still have details to solidify. We feel, however, that these changes better fulfill our original class design goals for Cataclysm, and we're confident that they will make for a better gameplay experience. Your constructive feedback is welcomed and appreciated.


    Simply by removing talents which provide generic bonuses to hit, crit and the like Blizzard left a lot of empty space in a lot of talent trees which would have to be filled. It appears that in most cases this space could never be filled in time, hence the tree compression.

    This explains why the new Holy Tree, listed last week, felt so sparse and lacking in genuine interest: it's the Vanilla tree, with all the tedium associated with it. No interesting proc mechanics, no reactionary abilities, just 7 tiers of abilities you're expected to throw most of your weight into. The worry must now be that in culling talents for Cataclysm they'll cull the most interesting (by hardest to balance) talents in favour of the boring 5% Crit to X+Y Spells passive talents.

    They've thrown in the towel when it comes to hybridisation of specs for hybrid classes (31/10 being the most you can reach from the looks of things) so off-the-wall builds will be impossible.

    Classes which rely on major talents for more interesting leveling experience may feel hard done by, even if they get core talents (Mortal Strike, Dual Wield etc.) at level 10 when they choose their specialisation. For me Vengeance really keeps the momentum up when questing simply because you want to keep that buff up. With Crusader Strike being a lvl1 talent I struggle to see which ability will be classed as Core for any Paladin Spec; Holy Shield, Holy Shock (yuck) and Seal of Command perhaps. Eliminating ranks make the process of gaining Experience much less interesting, yet we know that Questing itself will be more fun.

    It may all work out fine and dandy. It may be horrific and be a genuine dumbing-down of classes. I wait on the changes with baited breath. I hope to god we don't see a redux of the Vanilla Paladin talents.


    In fact, when we invest our 31st point (at lvl70) we're then given 10 and only 10 more points to place where we like. So no 11pt talents from other trees, and only Tier 1 needs to broadly appeal to any spec (Tier just should but doesn't need to)

    Divine Storm will be the Ret lvl10 Skill, and there will be a new bottom-of-the-tree ability at 31pts. (Source)

    My Take on RealID [Updated]

    Update 3: The current rumour making the rounds is that Blizzard Staff will no longer be required to post with their real name following the harassment of CM Bashiok.

    Bashiok, in an unwise attempt to alleviate the worries of posters, posted his real name on the forum thread. Within hours personal details were dug up, including Facebook profile, home address, telephone and more. Apparently other harassing activities also then took place. He then took his name down, but the damage had been done.

    I hope Blizzard takes note of this.

    [This has since been denied by EU CM Wryxian here]

    Update 2: Serious Mode On.

    Here is the archive for the EU feedback thread for this RealID Debacle:

    MMO-Champion Blue Tracker: Update: Upcoming Forum Changes

    It's worth a read because damage control is running wild, but they're still firmly toeing the current company line. However here is some of the most glaring oblivios responses you will ever read from a CM:

    During this time, we have thought ahead about the scope and impact of this change and predicted that many people would no longer wish to post in the forums after this change goes live. We are fine with that, because we want to change these forums dramatically in a positive and more constructive direction.


    There's a lot of scare-mongering going on about the change, but there seems a need to make something very clear. The forums have always been an optional extra -- something you can choose to participate in if you wish to. With our Real ID changes for the forums, this is still the case. The only difference will be, if you do choose to participate in the forums, then you will do so by using your real name. But only after you've been warned and accepted this in advance.

    There's a couple of things wrong with this stance. The first and probably most abhorrent aspect is the subtle accusation that those stating they'll quit the forums are all the negative elements in the forums. In fact they're anything but: MVPs, long-time members and those doing upkeep on class stickies are amongst those who will not continue to post come July 27th (when the change is implemented). Other long-time bloggers are quitting WoW altogether in protest and perhaps out of worry over the next step in RealID. It's a flagrant attempt to marginalise dissent, all the more galling in that it's coming from Community Managers, not the forum trolls they are supposedly attempting to eliminate.

    The second point is one of forums being 'optional'. Theoretically this may be true, but in actuality it's not the case. From a bug-fixing POV you actively want to encourage users with tech-support woes to post. Just take a quick look at the moderators of the Tech Support forums who routinely ask for the crash dump and dxdiag reports, it's only by analysing these in batches that getting a handle on the root-cause of a bug is possible. RealID represents a genuine disincentivisation of posting and for obvious reasons phone support is not a practical replacement. Those who have been hacked, where authenticators have been applied to their account because of the totally inadequate security of since day one, routinely have to post on the official forums to get these removed because of the abysmal phone support.

    There are so many things wrong with RealID that the work of all the other bloggers out there has made me putting them down on (virtual) paper entirely rundant. However there's one final thing I'd mention to address the core rationale behind RealID on forums - to reduce trolling and increase quality posting.

    People don't troll because of anonymity, they troll because they are wankers. All this new policy does is drive away quality posters (rightly) concerned about their privacy, reducing the quality of forums as a result.

    I now eagerly await the bait-and-switch, where this 'feature' is dropped but another slightly less offensive one is put in its place.


    A deep thinker I am not. But wouldn't it be cool to see 30,000 of these at BlizzCon?


    Oh and this. 100% this. Does anyone not trolling for page hits actually agree with this dumb RealID idea?

    Monday, July 05, 2010

    Early Talent Commentary: With More Talent Points Comes Fewer Choices?

    Hopefully by now you've had a chance to glance at the changes to the Holy Talent Trees in the latest Beta Build. If you haven't, the kind folks over at MMO-Champion have put them into an easily manipulated form for your perusal on

    Click for the latests Talent Build.

    Right now there's not a huge amount of point in analysing the Trees to death. This is very, very early Beta (some might even say that the build standard is late Alpha rather than early Beta) and the changes perhaps reflect that. However, as with the Wrath Beta all those many moons ago we can perhaps glean something of the Dev's thinking from the changes presented.

    1. This isn't the Utility You're Looking For

    The most glaring and obvious change is that Aura Mastery and Imp. Concentration Aura are deep, deep into Holy. Tier 7 and 10 deep. There's really only one reason for this sort of a change: they feel that the Utility represented by these talents is simply too good to allow a Retribution or Protection Paladin to have it. Full stop, end of story.

    Obviously that's going to set a whole raft of players off into the realms of crazy talk: "Blizzard Hates Paladins", "Blizzard Hates Ret", etc etc, but at this stage we simply have no real way of telling how strong these talents will turn out to be in the Cataclysm era and they want to pre-emptively prevent the temptation of class-stacking right now. This is a good thing, if you hadn't guessed.

    The down-side is that spec'ing into Holy for utility won't be nearly so desirable. Prot and Ret will always be tempted by Seals of the Pure, however traversing down the tree is much less interesting, and it's not exactly riveting currently. Ret can target the new Sanctified Light for Holy Shock and Judgement Crits, picking up Divine Favour along the way (mana back from HS, as it is EXPENSIVE), but most talents are of only marginal DPS or utility value for Ret and Prot. Personally, I eagerly await a new 11pt talent for Holy, though I hope were not waiting as long as we have done in the past.

    2. More Basic Spells as Talented Abilities

    Divine Favour is GONE! But what's this in it's place?

    (Okay, more interesting name for the talent would be nice.
    Don't worry about the 'healed for' value yet.)

    You may recall that all classes will be 'given' (in some fashion) a quick (1.5s), medium (2s) and slow heal (3s). Okay, this perhaps is a little bit redundant in the current game; we'll run with it though.

    In our case, we're actually getting two 3-second cast heals: Holy Light (baseline) and Divine Light (talented, Tier 5), and Holy Light talented will have a 2 second cast time. This may seem a little redundant, hell it's a lot redundant, but stay with me here. It means that Holy Light will scale as if it were a 3 second cast spell whilst remaining 2 second cast. Combine it with the new Beacon of Light, which only interacts with Holy Light and Holy Shock, and HL remains our go-to healing spell. And a pretty powerful one at that.

    A cynic might say that this talent arrangement is a pretty cheap way of designing a 5 pt talent, and I'd agree on the face of it, but it still has potential. Even if Divine Light is a boring-ass Tier 5 talent.

    3. Things To Do... So Many Things to Do

    This is only a first pass at the tree, never mind the whole class, and there's still a lot to do. There's also going to be a very long Beta process if we really are going to see 4.0 in October. Thank goodness for those, because there's still a lot to look out for:

  • So many dross talents. Sacred Cleansing and Pure of Heart - they're pretty bad unless you expect the class to be Cleansing 24/7*. Purifying Power just doesn't seem at all useful for Holy, the whole 'Healing Classes need to Level Too' argument notwithstanding.

  • Pure of Heart can be too detrimental. Plenty of diseases and curses will trigger something nasty on completion (e.g. Cuse of Doom) which make taking this talent highly unwise. Needs to eb fixed

  • Supposedly Magic Cleansing was to be removed from the baseline spell and rolled into a Holy Talent. Expect to see that soon, though as 11pt talent would somewhat make removing it from baseline redundant.

  • Early Holy. Please make Tier 2 and 3 interesting and valuable to Ret and Prot. I know that you may be keen on the whole off-healing angle but it's just not possible for those specs (self-healing has some potential) but even so these talents need work. Hopefully Fears and Disorientates will be part of 5-man and raid encounters in Cataclysm, making this talent interesting for all Specs.

  • The Ret and Prot Changes ;).

  • With any luck we'll see a new build tomorrow, or Friday if there are a lot of nerfs. Till then, keep the faith.


    *Please don't design encounters where we're cleansing 24/7, the removal of Cleansing Totem makes me scared.

    Thursday, July 01, 2010

    Cataclysm - First Impressions [Gentle Spoilers].

    So, as with a few (okay, not a few, actually a lot) of others in the WoW Blog/Twittersphere I was lucky enough to dip my toe into the Cataclysm Alpha these past few fortnights. Seeing all these changes first-hand was a blast, and it was hard not to spell out how much fun it was when everyone was ragging on Blizzard last month. That's not to say it's perfect, it was after all the Alpha and Alpha's are there to be tested, fixed and feedback given. Even so I'm really enthused by the thought that has gone into improving a number of aspects of play and the obvious intended direction.


    When I say that questing has been streamlined it's probably hard to grasp what I mean. Cast your mind back to the original levelling process from 1-60, when every quest seemingly had you running out to all parts, then back again, then back out to the very same place. Levelling became an art of knowing which point in multiple quests chains minimised travel time and allowed efficient questing. Certain key zones were crucial to quicker levelling, such as the Mirage Raceway and Jintha'Alor, whereas others were to be avoided unless you liked the walk.

    Well, to a certain extent this has been changed in Cataclysm. Most zones still run with questing hubs (e.g. Goldshire) but quest chains have be significantly adjusted so that in many cases returning back to the quest hub is unnecessary. Instead you can hand in the completed quest and start the next one in the chain remotely, allowing you to have to rarely break the flow of questing. The mechanic makes levelling a much more immersive process.

    You should be able to quest fully to 60 in one of the two Continents, so pushing two alts to 60 and not burning out on repeating content shouldn't be any sort of problem. The only point to consider is that questing is pretty linear thus far meaning that side-quests are relatively few and far between (one imagines due to the constraints of Phasing), however this is early Beta and can always be added later.

    Post-80 there's plenty of content to get stuck into, including some quests which are effectively homages to games past. There's a continued evolution in quest design started in Wrath, just don't expect it to be challenging from the get-go. It's designed for new lvl78-80's, not your epic-laden backside.

    Geography and Travel

    Blizzard weren't kidding when they said that Azeroth was in for a lot of upheaval. Previously bland terrain such as that seen in the Barrens suddenly seems so much more lively, and that makes questing feel so much more fun. But the world hasn't been shrunk - it's still just as big as it was before and takes just as long to travel from north-east to south-west as the crow flies. However you can take advantage of many more flight paths added in all areas, especially low-level zones before you get your mounts, meaning that time you spend playing is time well spent. For example Elwynn Forest has a FP in Goldshire and Eastvale Logging Camp, as well as there being a FP in northern Westfall and Lakeshire. Returning to base for new Skills or Professions is significantly less time consuming than currently.

    Adrenaline junkies may be disappointed to know that in the process of re-ordering the monster levels in Zones some of the danger in reaching new zones has been eliminated. Running to Booty Bay from Goldshire isn't quite as dangerous as it was, and Southshore is easy to get to at lvl25. Not that you'd want to go to Southshore.

    Not a nice place any more.

    Graphically, we see that the improvements added to Wrath are followed through. Forsaken zones have been adapted to Forsaken architecture and all the Orcish structures have a much more imposing feel to them. However this again isn't a huge departure from what has gone before, you're still playing fundamentally the same game you may have picked up in late 2004. The new water detail is nice, but it's unobtrusive and doesn't kill your FPS as much as it could. Players with meatier machines will see the benefit but those still playing on machine bought a few years ago should still be able to cope. More graphical tweaks, including self-reflection in water, are due to come at some point.

    For a compiled list of Cataclysm Flight Paths check out this forum thread by Callystah.


    Quest NPCs and Zones themselves feel much more fleshed out. More often they are given a back story or have a backstory in the Pre-Cataclysm world. A good example of this is Private Keeshan, a minor Vanilla NPC who makes a strong return in Cataclysm.

    The Cataclysm world works even if you haven't been through what Vanilla has to offer, but if you do have a firm grasp of the Pre-Cataclysm world and it's lore you're rewarded with a very coherent quested storyline for each zone with its' foundations in the player's Pre-Cataclysm actions. Of the content seen so far Westfall is a tour-de-force in this regard.

    Slightly on the down-side some of the new post-80 Mt Hyjal quests are confusing unless you know the plot to Stormrage. This to me is disappointing, just as I was disappointed with Varian's introduction in Wrath of the Lich King ("Hey, the Kings Back!"), hopefully we'll see a little more in-game explanation this time around.

    Finishing Up - Overall Impressions

    Okay, how to bring it all together. For one I'd say that at lesat the 1-30, probably the 1-60 levelling experience is new enough that playing through an alt really doesn't feel like the same old grind. It feels fresh and new just like an expansion should. If you're still interesting in the game beyond Raiding and PvP Cataclysm looks set to slake your thirst for content, for a while at least.

    As for me, I'm hoping some current issues with my Cata account are ironed out and I get to see a whole lot more in the Beta. We've yet to see most of the Class and Profession changes and I find eeking out the new skill and talent mechanics quite an enjoyable part of the process, and I hope to be able to report back some of the things I've discovered.

    Though perhaps not too much ;)

    Compiled List of Paladin Cataclysm Changes Thus Far. [Build 12319]

    Paladin Beta Talent/Skill Changelog

    Remember that all talents are in a huge state of flux and are subject to massive change. Updated: Build 12319, 01.07.2010



  • Divine Intellect (Talent T2) Increases your total Intellect and Spirit by 1%/2%/3%/4%/5%
  • Sanctified Light (Talent T4) Increases the critical effect chance of your Judgements and Holy Shock by 5%/10%/15%
  • Improved Holy Light (Talent T4) Decreases the cast time of your Holy Light by 0.2s/0.4s/0.6s/0.8s/1.0s
  • Divine Light (Talent T5) Heals a friendly target for X [- This is the announced 3 sec big heal.]
  • Aura Mastery (Talent T7) Moved from Tier 3 Causes your Concentration Aura to make all affected targets immune to Silence and Interrupt effects and improve the effect of all other auras by 100%. Lasts 6 sec.
  • Improved Holy Shock (Talent T7) Reduces the mana cost of your Holy Shock Spell by 35%/70%
  • Beacon of Light (Talent T11) The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all members of your party or raid within a 60 yard radius. Each Holy Light or Holy Shock you cast on party or raid members will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed. Only one target can be the Beacon of Light at one time. Lasts 1 minute.

  • Protection

  • Sanctuary (Talent T5) Reduces damage taken from all sources by 3% and when you block, parry, or dodge a melee attack you will gain 2% of maximum mana.
  • Holy Shield (Talent T7) Reduces the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%, increases chance to block by 5%, and deals 294 Holy damage for each attack blocked while active.

  • Retribution

    None So Far


    As stated previously, there haven't been many Paladin changes thus far in the Cataclysm testing process. However here is a brief run-down of the changes which have come to light so far (compiled by Alpha Tester Valoriel)

    The Paladin talent trees have not yet been updated (not counting today's patch, hopefully this is it!)

  • -Blessing of King and Mark of the wild are now the same, granting 5% to all stats except spirit and some magical resistance.
  • The 3 resistance Aura have been merged into a single aura
  • Flash of Light heal significantly more but also cost significantly more
  • Beacon of Light no longer affect any spell other than Holy Light.
  • A new heal is available: Divine Light. It heal for a large amount of hitpoint and has a casting time of 3.5s. Think of it as a paladin greater heal. The spell isnt trainable yet.
  • Blessing of Wisdom has been folded into Blessing of Might.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary has been replaced by a placeholder talend named Sanctuary, granting the effects of the now defunct Blessing of Sanctuary to the paladin as a passive permanent effect.
  • Crusader Strike is now available at level 1 and it really make a world of difference.
  • Crusader Strike is currently replaced by Improved Crusader Strike (Increase the damage done by Crusader Strike by 10%) in the Retribution tree but it is a PLACEHOLDER.
  • Shield of the Righteous now scale of attack power as block value has been removed.
  • Protection paladin now get more chance to block through their mastery stat instead of the announced Block Value.
  • Consecration now deal significantly less damage per tick but last 15 seconds. The cooldown is still of 8 seconds but please note that you can only have one consecration effect up at any time.
  • I will post a description of Healing Hands when i can log back in. The spell exist but we cannot reach the proper level yet. From memory it is an instant spell, has a 10s cooldown and heal everything in a 10 yard radius around the paladin (but i may remember it wrong).
  • Blinding shield is not yet available.

  • (Source)

    A new patch is download as I write this, which will hopefully see more Paladin changes. I'll formalise this list of changes as and when we see something new.

    NDA-Busting (Hah!) Cataclysm Closed Beta Post

    Hunter Weapon

    Yeah, seriously. I would post something about Paladins, but there were no Paladin updates of significant note to test in the Alpha to date. In the latest test build the talent updates and new skills hadn't been implemented yet, nonetheless I'll set up a Build Changelog in anticipation of new content later on.

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