Cataclysm Beta Build 12984

MMO-Champion is reporting new beta build changes, indicating that a new build is around the corner.

Holy changes are being reported as follows:

* Holy Light base healing has been reduced by 25%. Mana costs changed to 9% of base mana, up from 6% of base mana.

Wait, so you’re taking the one heal that’s got a cast time that we can use a lot, even though we don’t usually, because it’s so weak, and you’re making it weaker? AND more expensive?

* Light of Dawn base healing has been increased by 10%. Can no longer consume Holy Power to increase healing.

I’ll have to see what these numbers are like without charges of Holy Power. I’m thinking instead of around 4-4.5k for 3 charges, we’ll be lucky to see 3.5-4k.

* Improved Concentration Aura is gone.

That’s okay. They’re making all spell pushback base 70% resist. Regular Concentration Aura is fine.

* Daybreak now has a 10/20% chance to make your next Holy Shock not trigger a cooldown if used within 12 sec. (Old – 15/30% chance to reset Holy Shock’s cooldown)

I liked the first iteration of Daybreak, but this allows for two Holy Shocks in a row. We’ll be even more dependant on Holy Shock with a weaker Holy Light.

* Spiritual Focus (Tier 5) *New* – Grants hit rating equal to 50/100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects.

Well, that’s good. Yay for our judgements hitting.

Then in prot tree news, this:

* Guardian’s Favor is now a Tier 2 Retribution talent.

That makes it easily accessible to holy paladins for a reduced CD on Hand of Protection. I’ve always loved my shorter BOP cooldown, so this may fight for points.

However, it should be noted that Eternal Glory will be gone from ret and dropped into Tier 1 of the prot tree.

This means we’re looking at 31/2/8 as our ideal build for PVE healing, where we make a choice between Rule of Law (extra 5/10/15% crit to Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, Word of Glory) and Guardian’s Favor.

Note that this hasn’t been released on the beta yet and this is just what I’ve gleaned from reading MMO-Champion, but… Well, I’ll keep you posted on how healing is once this has launched.

This is probably a kneejerk reaction, but basically, I just want to say “So really, what do you want me to heal with going forward?” because that’s kind of how I feel right now. They have just augmented our absolute dependency on Holy Shock by weakening Holy Light and by changing Daybreak, which will allow two Holy Shocks in a row.

It feels very much like I have two spells:

1) Holy Shock: Instant-cast heal with a cooldown. Creates charges of Holy Power.

2) Word of Glory: Instant-cast heal with no cooldown, but dependent on charges of Holy Power.

And that’s it. That’s how it *feels*. I haven’t played much yet in instances and not at all with this build. But I’ll keep you posted.

Please feel free to ask me questions and I’ll do my best to respond.

25 comments

  1. Matticus says:

    Priests Heal got nerfed the same way as well.

    We must be getting some REALLY kick ass gear in Uldum and Twilight Highlands. Only thing I can think of that would warrant such a drastic decrease. I haven’t gotten much gear from quest rewards there or anything like that, but its the only thing I can think of that would make any logical sense.

  2. Wasselin says:

    That is definitely what it feels like. I can’t imagine Holy Light hitting for less and costing more mana.

    I also don’t understand other classes got things like: Holy Focus (Passive) *New* – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting any Holy or Discipline spell by 70%.

    So is concentration aura our pushback resistance? Meaning we don’t have any if we switch auras and we also don’t get 100% pushback resistance?

  3. Alfimi says:

    *headscratches* So, in an effort to make us less of a holy light or flash of light spammer… they’re moving us to holy shock/word of glory instead?

    Two buttons, go go go!

    As for archeology, one of my guildies has already gotten the fossilized hatchling. /It is adorable/. I really should try leveling it on beta at some point.

  4. jeffo says:

    *Trying not to kneejerk; trying not to kneejerk*

    Paladin healing on live is often like dumping a garbage can full of water on someone’s head. In Cataclysm it’s looking like we’re going to be using an eyedropper.

    Numbers are tweakable, and maybe this is just some kind of test on Blizzard’s part that they have no real intention of implementing in the end. It just seems like they’re trying to push us into Holy Shock — not by making Holy Shock really good, but by making everything else really bad.

    Dang, I said I wasn’t going to kneejerk.

  5. xmolder says:

    Y’know, the more I hear about Holy Light being nerfed, the less I care. I know, I know, it’s an amazing heal right now, and to have it nerfed TO THE GROUND is devastating. I understand.

    But I just can’t help but think that this is just Blizzard’s way of saying “look, instead of just using the hammer, you can use the screwdriver, pliers, AND awl!” Given time, if it looks like pallies are still trying to rely on Holy Light, or if it’s being left out of healing entirely, they’ll fix it. I mean, look how long it took them to convince people to actually click the damn Lightwell. My money is on them just taking a more aggressive stance, and as the expansion progresses, the heals will change.

  6. Wasselin says:

    xmolder we have to rely on holy light. It already does incredibly low healing but it also the only spell that doesn’t cost anything. The real work horses are holy shock and word of glory but both of those are limited by cooldown/holy power. If I could afford to cast divine light or flash of light I would cast those more often, but those make the mana bar plummet to 0.

  7. Kurn says:

    Matticus – At least yours didn’t get bumped up in mana cost…

    I know that there’s a serious gear discrepency between ICC heroic stuff (277) and entry-level 85 regular dungeons, but the fact remains that we don’t have that gear yet, so it’s very difficult for us to accurately judge anything. Er, no pun intended. It’s one reason why I’m not yet yelling that the sky is falling. But I’m afraid it IS falling and I just can’t tell yet.

    Wasselin – I’m fairly sure that Ghostcrawler’s still several builds ahead of us and that we’re still seeing them tinker with spell pushback. He said they didn’t want to give everyone the same passive and so spell pushback has a baseline 70% resist.

    We did. We just changed the base pushback resistance so that we didn’t have to duplicate the same passive bonus in every tree.

    Remember also that paladins aren’t the only ones with Concentration Aura, now — the shammies have a totem (Tranquil Mind, I think) that now provides the same effect. In a raid setting, we should always be able to have 100% pushback protection, given one or the other.

    As to Holy Light… I’m just still sad.

    Alfimi – I don’t pretend to understand what’s going on. I still can’t see the big picture. I could see our big picture in Wrath — we were excellent single-target healers. Cataclysm seems to be trying to bring all healers in line with each other and we basically all suck. So… yeah. Instead of balancing our insanely large heals, they’ve just removed the large heals entirely (12k hits/18k crits from Divine Light when it costs 7k mana just doesn’t count), they’ve removed our mana regeneration and we still suck at group healing. So… yeah. I don’t get it.

    jeffo – I could not agree with you more. Everything else is really bad right now. Long cast times, insane mana costs, horrible throughput. Given the enormous health pools, the best way to get someone’s health up there is Holy Shock, Divine Light (taking advantage of Speed of Light’s proc) and Word of Glory, to be honest, except that’s not sustainable at ALL. Everything else we have hits for too little as it is. Now they’re taking our “go to heal” and making it heal for even less.

    Sad panda time.

    xmolder – There are two major issues here: 1) Holy Light is a completely different spell. Only the animation and the name bear any resemblance at all to the current iteration of it on live. 2) We have no choice but to use it a lot on beta.

    I don’t care that Holy Light is no longer the same spell on beta as it is on live. I mean, sure, it’s sad to see the spell that has ALWAYS been our big heal drop to be our single-target heal that heals for the least amount of them all. But that’s not my issue. The ability to crit someone for 30k on live is nice and all, but it’s like jeffo said above:

    “Paladin healing on live is often like dumping a garbage can full of water on someone’s head.”

    It’s our heal that we can use whether someone is down by 3k or 30k.

    I don’t have much of a problem with this changing, even though I’m a sentimental kind of girl and I’ll miss the old two-heal system for paladins.

    I DO have a problem with this:

    – Holy Light losing 25% base healing while going from 1405 mana to 2107 mana (est.)
    – Flash of Light costing 6323 mana
    – Divine Light costing 7026 mana

    At level 85, I have about 60k mana in my current gear which is 1 green “of the whale” weapon, a quest cloak, quest boots and the rest from ICC25 or heroic ICC25.

    I can cast Divine Light maybe 10 times given regen and my Solace of the Defeated (heroic) trinket. Ten times. If I’m really lucky, I can squeeze in 11-12 Flashes of Light.

    We MUST use Holy Light and Holy Shock (1873 mana) as well as abuse the crap out of Word of Glory in order to heal for more than 25-30 seconds.

    While on live I am undoubtedly a Holy Light spammer (and a darn good one, too) I am not a HL spammer on beta. I try to use my other tools. I HAVE to use my other tools because, as it is, Holy Light heals for a pittance. You don’t take a glass of water and throw it on a forest fire and yet, that’s kind of what we’re doing on beta when healing with Holy Light.

    I actually had to try to consciously use Holy Light more often so that I wasn’t constantly OOM. It wasn’t always the best tool for the job, but sometimes it was all I could use. (Holy Shock on CD, just used Word of Glory, so I have 0 Holy Power, etc.)

    And now they’re making the base healing of Holy Light 25% weaker. It makes me sit back in my chair and go “well what do you want me to USE, then?!”

    I feel completely helpless about these changes. I need to give formal feedback on the forums, which I’ll be doing when this build launches and I’ve had the opportunity to parse something.

    For the first time since I’ve been in beta, I’m seriously considering my mage. I don’t want to play my hunter in a raiding situation and even though I have a paladin, priest, shaman and druid, I don’t want to play ANY of them right now.

    A mage.

    A MAGE.

    Seriously. There’s something wrong when I’m looking at all the different specs and I’m considering playing a MAGE.

    Wasselin – it’s terrifying how quickly it happens, too. :(

  8. Apple says:

    …the mage thing really IS terrifying. O_O

    I’m… really worried about all this. I’m looking at it going “so, will I be of ANY USE WHATSOEVER in a raid setting? ’cause… DAMN.”

    I still want to try. I will try until I want to weep and then I’ll probably try some more. But it’s really scary to see stuff like this, and see people on the beta, who I think are good healers, confused as to how the hell they’re supposed actually keep people alive.

    Blizzard, pls to not be breaking my class. :(

  9. Kurn says:

    Apple – Of all of us, you are probably the person best-suited to continue paladin healing because you’ve dealt with it for the least amount of time. You’re much more adaptable than us old fogeys. ;)

  10. Richard Gilbertson says:

    When I look at the forums for Blue posts on fixes or problems I see that Blizzard could not release Cataclysm before next March. It is so bugged and has so many balancing issues that vast numbers of players would quit in sheer fustration. If this is the intended level of healing they want to implement then my prediction of “Healers dropping like leaves on a tree in fall.” will come true.
    It is plain to see that “Is healing fun in Cataclysm?” is not being considered.

  11. Alfimi says:

    Well, to tangent off the confusion of being procadins still focused on green bards, here’s a question on something vaguely related:

    With Cataclysm removing mp5, how much spirit do you think Paladins should start looking into getting now? We’ll actually be wanting it as a regen stat – but having never played a class that needed it, I’m personally a bit unsure how much I’m going to be needing/wanting to get!

    Having long been after intellect for so many things, I’m wondering if some of the mana regen issues on beta could also be related to the switch to spirit – we’re simply not conditioned to use it as pallies, and perhaps should start looking into gemming/enchanting for it..?

    (I still can’t quite wrap my head around it, honestly. It’s always been a running gag that I turn my nose up at spirit while my resident heal-trees lol at me!)

  12. Alfimi says:

    *bards=bars, blah. My typing, so terrible today!

  13. Name Withheld says:

    You may want to read what Ghostcrawler, lead systems designer, has been saying on the forums about healing to understand the nerf to Holy Light. On the PTR, I’ve been trying to use the following mechanism:

    * Flash of Light on the beaconed tank to charge Holy Power
    * Holy Shock once per cooldown on whoever needs it
    * Word of Glory whenever it’s needed most

    Then if things really get tough, I spam Flash of Light. You’d think that this would burn through your mana, but it seems to work okay in Northrend ICC heroics. In ICC, all the numbers are too unbalanced to be able to tell on the PTR at the moment.

    My mana regen was, however, over 750 *in combat*. It’s way over 1000 out of combat. This was a premade, so I had Solace and some nice Spirit stuff, but don’t forget too that Spirit is going to be a *secondary* stat for the purpose of reforging, so you’ll be able to convert, say, the mitigation mastery to Spirit and get epic mana regen.

    Anyway, I think they nerfed Holy Light so much that, yes, we can’t really use it now. It’s okay out of combat, but to be honest you might as well use a Holy Shock in that context because it costs about as much as you’re going to get a charge of Holy Power that way. Also because it’s an instant you can cast it when moving, which you’re going to be doing a lot when you’re out of combat.

    Flash and the two instants is I think a good mechanism given that we now have the Shock GCD avoidance talent and the Holy Power reuse talent. You may find that when aggro is spilling all over the place though, you’re going to have to pop cooldowns straight away.

    Another really big thing that you’re missing is that this new mechanism for healing feels really bad because it’s like we’re missing abilities to stop people dying from spike damage; but in Cataclysm, they’re going to be removing spike damage. Here’s what Ghostcrawler said about this:

    “Making decisions takes actual time (fractions of seconds perhaps, but still time). In the LK healing environment even if you had a variety of effective healing spells, by the time you looked at someone’s bar, decided what heal would be most appropriate, and started to cast it, the dude could very well be dead.

    “In Cataclysm, large health pools will keep most players up for a few hits. That gives you the opportunity to decide if someone needs a little heal or a big heal, or a slow heal or a fast heal, or if they are likely to live long enough for a powerful spell to finish its cooldown. If you use the wrong spell, the target is unlikely to die immediately, but over time you’ll realize that your mana has really started to dwindle and the boss has a large health bar still left.”

    What I don’t like about the Holy build at the moment is that some of our abilities such as Daybreak are now random. So if you’re relying on these instants, you’re relying on the procs that might not come. I don’t want healing to be random. I want it to be based on skill, not on the RNG. But maybe that’s something that Blizz will fix; I’m not sure.

    Again, Ghostcrawler:

    “We introduced spiky damage because otherwise tanks would never in fact die. In Cataclysm you actually can run out of mana, so overhealing will actually be a bad thing instead of a thing of no consequence. In this way we can challenge healers in ways other than spike damage.”

    So again, you might have to be spending a lot of your secondary stats being reforged to Spirit to be an excellent healer in a raid context. I’m really missing the passive HoT from Judgement of Light, and the HoT from Flash of Light though. It would be nice if we had another passive HoT, even just a small one. The tiny AoE one that we’ll get doesn’t really count.

    What it comes down to, then, is that the mechanism that we’ve been used to is going to change utterly. There are bad things about the new mechanism, such as the lack of the HoTs and the random proc reliance, but overall it’s probably at least going to be more exciting. It’s going to be a bit of a nuisance monitoring Holy Shock and Word of Glory, but at least there shouldn’t be too much spike damage to contend with.

    As Ghostcrawler said somewhere, “If you just really think it’s fun to just cast one heal over and over with no real repercussions for doing so while stacking a single stat on all your gear, then I guess I’ll just have to accept that. It’s hard for us to understand why you find that satisfying though.”

  14. Richard Gilbertson says:

    Well in a nut shell you have GC and others at Blizzard that like the Warcraft strategy style of healing. I on the other hand absolutly hate strategy games and strategy healing is boring. For me the faster the action is the better. So healing spam of 3 buttons is great, or forced to 1 in emergency is fine. Getting a few seconds to think is so boring as to be painful to me I will quit the game.
    Still we have the question of fun, boring is not fun. Very few healers on Beta or PTR claim healing is fun, that is a MAJOR issue.

  15. Terlig says:

    Daybreak change is a good change. Previous Daybreak was just bad, because very often CD was reset MILISECONDS before it would naturally fall off. What i still don’t like is that Daybreak is actually a talent best suited for spam style healing. Not for new style of healing introduced in Cata.

    Richard Gilbertson – Honestly i am a little bored with current paladin playstyle. While fast actions are somehow cool they in fact lack few elements:
    1) They do not require too much thinking – we spam HL to the end of day with some small breaks for CD and Holy Shocks if needed. We do not have to think too much, we just react.
    2) They work against team work. Fast actions requires us to react without thinking about other healers – there is hp gap? Just heal it with 1.2 sec HL!
    3) They motivate for competing with other healers in HPS/Healing races, which is bad, because many healers instead of keeping raid alive think about getting higher numbers.
    I think that those three elements work against fun. I liked somehow oldschool healing. I liked healing in TBC though it required a spam as well, but it required also much more teamwork and mana management.
    AND i really look after new Cata healing mechanics.

  16. Richard Gilbertson says:

    Terlig – I have no problem with the Holy Pally Cata mechanics except I really hate strategy games, Warcraft or Starcraft agravate me to no end to play.
    I like it fast paced as like FPS you have to stay on your toes all the time. With Cata there is no way healers are going to feel epic.
    To tune this for my likes and your likes is going to be impossible to do.
    I am going to be terribly bored and DPS just for something to do. I can still keep people alive, and I do not care what GC likes or not.
    Making the right choice sounds like speed chess another strategy game. Also adding RNG to healing just negates skill totally, another can of worms.

  17. Terlig says:

    Warcraft and Starcraft are very bad examples, because they are rather tactics games, and do require a lot of very fast decisions.
    But, i got your point. Tbh. You should wait and test by yourself. It’s hard to judge now how much fun you will get. For me it seems promising. You know, i also like current style, but it became very boring. F.e. in heroics i must always ask a tank for chain pulling everything to have some fun, whole rooms and corridors, and still at the end i don’t feel any epicness. It’s gone with current mechanics imo.
    On Hard-Modes it’s the same. Keeping tanks alive is just spamming HLs all the time. Healing isn’t challenging any more. It’s gone. Ppl use to die mostly to their own mistakes. Some challenge in fact starts at the end of some fights when some healers are nearly oom. But this brings Cata as an argument ;]

  18. Risotto says:

    I find it odd that you pass on picking up protector of the innocent for guardian’s favor. If mana and throughput are going to be an issue in Cataclysm, it seems odd to choose a reduction in time for a couple of utility spells over a decrease in healing by 2% especially since over healing should be reduced drastically with the new triage style of healing.

  19. Kurn says:

    Richard – bear in mind three things:

    1) The devs are several builds ahead of what is on beta servers right now.

    2) They’re working on things that we’ll have access to right at 4.0.1 — talents, graphics, sound, etc. They’ve itemized quests in the newly re-worked Plaguelands and such over Uldum. With good reason. They can launch 4.0.1 and still have unfinished things like Uldum and Twilight Highlands and new instances because once that launches, they still have a month to fix stuff we’ll see in new zones and new dungeons. We can always patch once we install Cataclysm and I’m sure we will.

    3) I think their idea of “fun” is different from mine. Mine isn’t necessarily this expansion’s healing model, but their idea is DEFINITELY different from what people find fun in WotLK. They don’t think druids coating the raid in hots is “fun”. They don’t think holy paladins spamming Holy Light is “fun”. I don’t think it’s “fun” either, but it’s what works to get the encounter down.

    I’m sure Cataclysm comes out in November and we’ll see balancing patches well into January/February.

    My two cents. ;)

    Alfimi – I hate spirit… but it’s on all of my beta gear. No joke. Even my ICC gear that I’ve carried over has spirit on it. On beta, with 4 new pieces of gear (cloak, gloves, boots and mace), I have 1583 mp5 out of combat as regen and 1377 in combat.

    In comparison, a pre-made 85 specced the same, has:

    2489 mp5 out of combat
    1830 mp5 in combat

    This is a huge difference.

    HOWEVER, the pre-made also has:

    3015 spellpower vs. 3836 spellpower
    4.65% haste (595) vs. 8.79% (1125)
    11.82% crit (685) vs. 10.05% crit (456)
    10.20 mastery (394) vs. 10.49 mastery (447)

    I reforged a lot of spirit and crit to give me mastery and haste, though. Maybe I should reforge back to spirit from mastery? I also do want to try out the pre-made. I think I will fail hilariously, mind you, but I do want to try it out, as-is.

    Name Withheld – I’ve read what GC has to say and I’m still not sure he’s explaining their viewpoints properly. I’ll write more about this, perhaps tomorrow.

    By Northrend ICC heroics, do you mean Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection? What level are you at, a level 80 or 85 premade?

    Take a look at the stats I have that I posted above. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything in the sense that I’m trying out all kinds of different ways to use our spells at various levels. I’ve tried all +spellpower (when that was possible — spellpower gems are now intellect) and all +intellect. I’ve tried mostly Holy Light and I’ve tried mostly Holy Shock. I’ve tried mostly Divine Light. I’ve tried mostly Flash of Light. I’ve tried very balanced methods of healing. I’ve tried with more spirit and less mastery and more mastery and less spirit. I’ve tried with and without Illumination. I’ve tried out a substantial number of methods of healing, so I don’t think I’m “missing” anything, really.

    You quote GC as saying:

    “In Cataclysm, large health pools will keep most players up for a few hits. That gives you the opportunity to decide if someone needs a little heal or a big heal, or a slow heal or a fast heal, or if they are likely to live long enough for a powerful spell to finish its cooldown. If you use the wrong spell, the target is unlikely to die immediately, but over time you’ll realize that your mana has really started to dwindle and the boss has a large health bar still left.”

    Yes. This. This is what I’m experiencing *for the most part*. Certainly, it was my experience in Halls of Origination. I was down to about 15% of my mana and the boss was, oh, 60%. I meleed for mana, using Crusader Strike when I could to generate Holy Power so I could get Word of Glory off. I even used Divine Plea and a Runic Mana Potion. That’s not fun for me. Managing mana is, mind you, and I feel I’ve done a very good job at this in vanilla and Burning Crusade, as well as Wrath, but making the decisions as best I can in unknown content and going oom while everyone is STILL dangerously low on health is not “fun”. I have long-since stopped wanting to “top everyone off” and I don’t bomb any one particular heal. I use appropriate heals when they’re appropriate, for the most part. There are definitely some times when I screw up and realize that a Divine Light would be a better choice than a Holy Shock, hasted Holy Light and Word of Glory, but they’re more rare as I become more familiar with the content.

    They have removed a lot of the damage spikes, but that doesn’t mean that a mage still isn’t going to die if I don’t get a heal on him in the next, say, 7 seconds. It doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally have to bubble to save my own self first, then cast Hand of Sacrifice on the tank, so I can deal with healing up the DPS, while not endangering my own life and while the tank gets 50% of each heal I cast.

    What *I* don’t like about the current holy paladin healing model is that we are ALL about Holy Shock. Everything boils down to Holy Shock.

    Holy Shock is an instant, cheap heal that is about as effective as Holy Light and is still cheaper than Holy Light. If it’s up, you should cast this. Even if it weren’t hitting as hard as Holy Light, it’s still instant and cheaper AND it generates Holy Power. Not only that, but it hastes FoL, HL and DL casts. It needs to be used on cooldown. Period. Further, it procs Infusion of Light, which lasts 12 seconds, further hasting Holy Light, our only “cheap” spell with a cast time.

    Word of Glory is dependent on Holy Power, the prime generator of it is Holy Shock, so that’s obvious. This is also instant and doesn’t cost any mana, so this is a no-brainer. If Holy Shock is down and you have 3 charges of Holy Power, you pop WoG. Period.

    FoL, HL and DL are all hasted by Speed of Light. So a HS, followed by a WoG (if 3 charges of HP), followed by a casted heal seems to be our “rotation”.

    And now the new Daybreak allows you to use two Holy Shocks in a row, which procs after a casted heal. So:

    HS -> WoG (if 3HP) -> If HS was a crit and procced IoL -> HL -> If Daybreak procced, back to HS (x2), then WoG (if 3HP) and back through the “was it a crit” or not.

    Do you see the issue here? Everything is reliant on Holy Shock. The decision we’re making is no longer “what heal is best for the situation” but “what just got hasted or what will proc something or– wait, HS is up!”

    Assume no procs:

    HS -> WoG (if 3HP) -> Hasted HL (if not a lot of damage) or hasted FoL (quick heal) or hasted DL (big heal) -> HL (if not a lot of damage) or FoL (quick heal) or DL (big heal) -> HS -> WoG… etc.

    We always come back to Holy Shock. ALWAYS.

    You quote GC:

    “If you just really think it’s fun to just cast one heal over and over with no real repercussions for doing so while stacking a single stat on all your gear, then I guess I’ll just have to accept that.”

    They want us to stop using one spell? Then they need to fix this ASAP. Holy Shock is THE spell. And it shouldn’t be. IMHO. That’s my major issue right now. I have serious issues with Holy Light with regards to how they’ve talked about it being our “go-to” spell, too. But the major issue is we’re moving from spamming HL or FoL and spamming HS on cooldown, using its haste for one casted spell to proc Daybreak and casting WoG when we have three Holy Power. Period. That’s not “fun” to me, right now. It’s mechanical. It’s not taking into consideration what is best for my group or my tank or myself in a live combat situation.

    To me, healing has never been about dealing more health out than damage taken in. It’s not about numbers and rotations. It’s about doing my job to keep people up. And doing my job efficiently does not feel natural in this beta so far. I’ve been able to do it efficiently in pre-BC, BC and Wrath, all using different healing styles and models. So my question is this:

    Am I really that slow at picking up on how to do this in Cataclysm’s beta or is there, perchance, something wrong with the system they’re pushing on all healers?

    Every long-time healer I’ve talked to has had at least SOME issues healing on the beta. So I’m inclined to believe that I’m not alone in this boat.

    Richard – I like thinking, myself, but having enough time to second-guess myself is not fun. I will occasionally freeze up and try to work through my next 3-5 heals in my head before making a decision and tend to just go for the easy answer right away — Holy Shock. It’s always Holy Shock. When in doubt, hit Holy Shock, THEN hit something else. Blah.

    I do agree, it’s not fun and a lot of others have expressed the same sentiment.

    Terlig – We’re still always going to be casting, at least that’s what I read GC say.

    “For the most part, you’ll still be constantly casting.”

    So the new Daybreak still makes sense. But the new healing model has some problems with it. IMHO.

    Further, I would argue against us reacting in current content. We don’t. We proactively heal and let the heal finish because there’s no repercussion. On beta, in Cataclysm’s model, we DO react. We can’t be proactive at all. We HAVE to react to everything. Which is fine, IMHO.

    I like what you say about competition and HPS. I don’t care about these metrics myself because they don’t matter from fight to fight and class to class.

    TBC healing to me was a lot of fun. Bring back 2m mana potions usable in combat! ;D

    Richard (again!) – I would argue you won’t have the time or the mana. It’s not as slow-paced as Terlig makes it out to be. It’s slower than Wrath, but still fast. Just because you have a couple of seconds to get the tank up doesn’t mean you’re not still constantly casting or healing.

    They’re trying to make a middle-ground between chess and mindless spam. I don’t like how they’re doing it, but I have to admit it’s a lot better than it sounds. It’s not like chess at all, or, if it is, it’s speed chess. ;)

    Risotto – There are two reasons I don’t recommend Protector of the Innocent just on its out (out of context, that is) and neither actually has to do with Guardian’s Favor:

    1) I am sure that there is going to be some other buff that provides extra healing. Improved Devotion Aura on live doesn’t stack with Tree of Life aura. I know that right now, PotI seems class-specific and directed specifically towards holy paladins, but I’m sure a hunter pet or another class will be able to provide this. If not, I’ll examine it further.

    2) Ideally, a holy paladin needs Concentration Aura up over Devo. With no baseline pushback resistance right now (but soon, hopefully — should be 70%), we need Concentration up to prevent spell pushback. We just cannot afford Devo right now. Eventually, we will be able to risk 30% pushback on most fights, but we’re already allowing 65% pushback right now and that’s just not good. If they allowed the effects of PotI to be under any aura we have, it would be a must-have talent.

    In context, however, the choice would really come down to:

    Rule of Law vs. Protector of the Innocent.

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#scIbzrzuufz0bZcbh vs. http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#scIbzrzuufzhbZcb

    Given that Rule of Law gives us a whopping 15% extra crit to Holy Shock and Word of Glory, this should probably always win out. I cannot recommend PotI over Rule of Law under any circumstances, not even if PotI was for all auras. 15% extra crit on our two major heals (see above in the comments for my concerns regarding emphasis on Holy Shock)? That’s too valuable to give up for anything.

    Perhaps if there are TWO holy paladins, one could be the “aura bitch”, meaning getting PotI over Rule of Law, IF there’s no one else who provides that buff as a raid-wide healing improvement. But it would be very iffy and the pally who picks it up had better have a stupid amount of crit to help make up for the loss.

  20. Terlig says:

    Hm, honestly i don’t like all those proactive – reactive comparisions. I don’t think that spamming heals is being proactive. The point of being proactive is rather preventing. Idea behind proactive is to act in a smart way to prevent something. It’s like using Divine Shield before we got damage, or like using IBF before Plasma Blast. Spamming heals is rather reactive model. Most proactive class is a priest, because of spammable shields.

  21. Kurn says:

    Terlig – Okay, let me clarify proactive/reactive as it applies to a WoW healing setting.

    Back in the day, pre-BC, many healers would “wind up” their big casts. We’re talking about Healing Touch, Greater Heal, Holy Light. (No idea about shammies, since I’ve always been Alliance.)

    If, with a very short time left in the cast (say half a second or less), the target had not taken damage, they would “step off” the cast, by moving to interrupt the cast. This meant that the mana would not be spent (and would also contribute to outside of the five-second rule mana regen).

    If the target HAD taken damage, they would simply let the spell finish casting and land.

    This was what it meant to be a proactive healer in pre-BC and, to an extent, in BC as well.

    What we see today with the heal spamming is exactly the same as proactive healing — except because mana is not a resource that holy paladins, for instance, run out of very easily, we just let the casts continue and land.

    Proactive: Casting a heal (or a shield or whatever) before the damage becomes apparent.

    Reactive: Casting a heal (or a shield or whatever) AFTER the damage becomes apparent.

    Whether the heal finishes casting or not doesn’t change the fact that the cast was actually on its way BEFORE the damage was taken.

    I literally cast Holy Light after Holy Light after Holy Light in current heroic mode content. I refresh my Sacred Shield, toss up a Flash of Light here or there.

    But if I were to stand there, doing nothing, waiting for the tank to take damage, even my 1.2 second Holy Lights will NOT land in time to save the tank from the second hit.

    Whereas constantly casting Holy Lights means that there’s about a 1.2 second window in which the damage that exists will be healed, regardless of when that damage was cast.

    On heroic Sindragosa, since she parry-hastes, you can EASILY lose the tank because she’s often hitting within .9 or 1.1 seconds of the last hit. If you’re unlucky in the timing, you’re going to end up with a dead tank.

    0.0s – Holy Light overheals for 29k
    0.1s – Sindragosa hits for 35k (5k absorbed)
    0.2s – Sindragosa is parried
    1.0s – Sindragosa parry hastes her next attack for 40k
    1.1s – Tank dies
    1.2s – Holy Light WOULD have hit, healing the first 35k, or most of it.

    What they’re proposing is that you are much more reactive in Cataclysm because mana DOES matter. They want to go back to a time where we cannot just blanket the raid in hots and shields and spam Holy Light type heals on the tanks or the raid members or whatever.

    Anyways. That’s my clarification. :) I would call what you described preventative, not proactive.

  22. Terlig says:

    Because proactive is a bit like preventive ;-)
    You know, i don’t like such comparisions, becuase to me, and i believe to everyone proactive as a word means something much more – it is smarter it is better, and so on. But in fact, we use that word to describe mindless healing spam, and despite all that theory behind (that wotlk bosses can down your tank in 2 hits) it is still mindless heal spam, nothing more. We know it as paladins much better than any other classes. For tank heavy damage income – we spam HLs without thinking a bit about any smart act. All we think about is just to keep spam (because unfortunate hit could kill your tank) and avoid some other boss difficulties (like shocks on council or defile on LK).
    I don’t like this, because if you compare it to Cata healing model, it seems that Cata requires much more planning and thinking about what you are doing, how you are using your spells. That’s for me much more interesting and it could really be so (while we need to wait for first raids – like blue said – real healing experience starts and is balanced in raids, not in 5-mans).
    But if you compare only those 2 words – it’s like – erm, in WOTLK i need to be PROACTIVE. And Cata is reactive, bleh.
    You know what i mean ? ;-P

  23. Risotto says:

    I realize the importance of crit in the upcoming healing model and how it plays into several of our talents. With infusion of Light reducing cast time of Holy Light and Conviction stacking up to 9% increase in healing you can make a pretty good case for crit. But is 15% increase to 2 spells really game breaking? “Aura bitch”? Really? I think you may be giving more credit to Rule of Law than it deserves.

    1) Crit is RNG even at a 15% increase.
    2) 3% healing is static and for every spell in the toolkit which currently is not offered by any other class, not even hunters.
    3) Armor buff is 3% mitigation for all physical attacks. Sure a Shaman could drop a totem but they have other options too.
    4) 70% pushback resistance will be baked in from everything that I’ve read so far.

    From the testing I’ve done on the ptr I found that Conviction was up 90% of the time and that was at 30% crit rating. So really it is just gonna come down to getting those faster Holy Lights.

    I will admit I have a special place in my heart for Devo since my other build is a tank so I might be skewed with my love for armor, but I also think you aren’t giving a fair shake. I think they will both be viable specs which is the goal Blizzard had in mind. I realize Beta is Beta and once all the numbers have been set we will have the opportunity to crunch them and see what the best “cookie cutter spec to play into is, but I think you will find it won’t be as significant a difference as you are predicting.

    Just for the record I LOL when reading the Aura bitch part. That was awesome, from this day on I going to tell my raid I’m specced “Aura bitch” when I explain to them why I will be running Devo.

    I really enjoy your blog, thanks for the response and the open discussion on our exciting/frustrating newly remodeled Paladins.

  24. Kurn says:

    Terlig – I agree that Cataclysm *could* be much more interesting. I don’t think it *will* be, but I could be wrong. I don’t know how it’s going to work out. I haven’t even been able to heal in this build yet. Twice, I’ve waited in queue for an hour and now the LFG isn’t working, so…

    And I also understand what you’re saying about proactive and preventative – they both have POSITIVE connotations or implications and here we are going “BAD BAD PROACTIVE HEAL SPAM!!!” haha.

    Risotto – Heh, “aura bitch” comes from my old guild where we nicknamed anyone who had to do an undesirable job “the _____ bitch”. Like, a hunter who specced imp hunter’s mark was “the mark bitch”, or someone in Wrath who specs for replenishment to provide it is “the replenishment bitch”, etc. :) I honestly use it as a term of endearment… I’m glad it made you laugh, though. :)

    1) Crit is still all random with 15% increase yes, but you’re right — Infusion of Light and Conviction are great reasons for crit. What you didn’t mention is that it also helps with our mastery of Illuminated Healing. The more healing we do, the bigger the shield is. It’s supposed to roll, as I understand it, but I don’t believe it’s currently doing so on beta.

    2) I remain convinced that someone else will be providing this. Even heroism/bloodlust, which was the sole domain of shaman, is being given to mages and to a hunter pet. They don’t just give out these nice buffs to one single class. If things launch like this, I’ll re-examine PotI for sure.

    3) At 85, Devo is just over 10,000 armor. Is that 3% mitigation at 80 or 85 or another level?

    4) Yes, but it’s not implemented yet. ;)

    You’ve got 30% crit on beta? My guess is you’re still level 80 or 81 or so. My crit is abysmal at 85, which is why I think Rule of Law trumps PotI, at least early in Cataclysm content. Once we get to a point where we have a lot of crit, to maintain a good uptime on Conviction and such, then PotI becomes more viable, IMHO, but beforehand, it’s a small boost, especially when you consider that we already have Divinity, which is 6%.

    I think in a 10-man situation where you don’t have a shaman able to drop Stoneskin (which means no Death Knight for Horn of Winter, so they drop SoE) AND you only have one single paladin, then that would be viable. But Holy Shock critting is just… it’s like the pinnacle of awesome. It’s a biggish heal, it speeds up HL a LOT and honestly, it’s going to be our most-used spell if things don’t change up too much. WoG is our second priority in healing, IMHO, so an extra 15% there plus the extra 30% crit from Last Word means that it is our go-to heal on a target who has less than 35% health. Again, the bigger the heal, the bigger the shield from our mastery and the more crit, the better chance of keeping Conviction up. That is a pain to get back up if it falls off from 3 stacks.

    I agree that Blizzard probably intends for both specs to be viable. Putting Eternal Glory into T1 of prot is a nice way to get us to even SEE PotI, because ret is just SO good for us.

    Glad you enjoy the blog and as long as everyone plays nicely in the sandbox, all opinions are welcome. :) Remind me to revisit this if they don’t mess with other talents to provide healing!

  25. Name Withheld says:

    Though we always come back to Holy Shock and Word of Glory, when those are on cooldown or recharge then meanwhile we can decide between the three cast spells. This may be formulaic, but it’s not as formulaic as spamming one heal as we’re doing in Wrath at the moment.

    I don’t think they’re talking about Holy Light being a “go to” spell anymore, it seems more like a “top up” spell now. If I remember Ghostcrawler correctly, it’s something we’re supposed to be using when damage is low, to make sure we don’t go into a period of high damage with everybody at 80% having already burned our instants.

    Having said that, I don’t like Holy Light as a top up mechanic, mainly because it’s too slow. With such a slow cast it’s hard to react properly in those stages where light damage is turning into moderate damage. I’ve at least macroed my Flash, Shock, and Word spells to do a /stopcasting first, which of course only works if the GCD from Holy Light has ended.

    I don’t find the new method of healing particularly natural either. I miss the lack of the HoT from Flash on Sacred Shield, and the effective HoT effect from Judgement of Light a lot. I don’t like being so *heavily* dependent on two instants that require me to monitor them for coming off cooldown or being charged up when I’d rather be watching bars and player positions. As if we didn’t have enough to monitor already!

    But I dunno, I don’t feel too much like healing has been completely destroyed. I do need more experience with the new model though, and I’m sure my opinion on the heals and when to use them will change dramatically with six months more experience.

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