Cataclysm Beta Build 13202 & Live Hotfix

Let’s chat a bit about the reported changes affecting holy paladins from Cataclysm Beta Build 13202. Thanks to MMO-Champion, as always, for detailing the changes so quickly.

Holy

* Seal of Insight – Unleashing this Seal’s energy now also restores 15% of the Paladin’s base mana.
* Mastery: Illuminated Healing now only affects your direct healing spells, instead of all healing spells.

Both a buff and a nerf, really.

The Seal of Insight buff is pretty huge. Every time we judge, we will regain 15% of base mana which, at 85, is in the realm of 3500 mana back. That’s instead of a CHANCE of 4% base mana (936ish mana) back when we judge. However, I believe we still maintain the chance to regain 4% of base mana back with this active, but we are guaranteed to get 15% of base mana back when we judge.

This means judgements — and not missing them — just became way more important. Judgement is an 8-second cooldown. Ideally, we are busy doing other things and are busy enough (though not overwhelmed) to not cast this on cooldown, but rather 2-3 times a minute, the way we did in most of Wrath. Remember that this seems like a lot of mana back right now, but with something like Flash of Light costing over 6000 mana at 85, this isn’t a ton of mana. It has the potential to be a lot of mana regen, however, when used wisely.

As to the mastery nerf, this is likely a direct result of the beta-realm raids where holy paladins apparently were using the hell out of Holy Radiance. It only makes sense. We’re not “the shielding spec”. We’re direct healers, primarily. There’s no way they want us to put tiny shields on 25 people with one GCD from Holy Radiance or Light of Dawn when it would take a disc priest a lot more time to do similar absorption (barring Power Word: Barrier).

I’m okay with these changes.

Let’s talk about the live server hotfix for paladins.

Source, Ghostcrawler, via MMO-Champion’s Blue Tracker:

Holy Paladin Hotfix
Yes, we buffed the 5 paladin direct heals (FoL, HL, DL, HS, WoG). This is a change for both level 80 and 85. We are going to tone down Holy Radiance as I described in the other thread. It can be powerful without being 75% of paladin healing.

I know it’s customary for players to classify everything as either overpowered or garbage, but we believe there are actual numbers in between say 1 and 100, so give the changes a chance before you dismiss them.

It is possible we will nerf Word of Glory for Prot and Ret at 85 to compensate for this buff since they probably don’t need stronger Words.

This went live late on Monday/early on Tuesday and pre-empted my rant about what a horrible time I had on Monday’s unofficial ICC 25 raid.

Just as an example, we had a resto druid, a resto shammy and Walks and myself go into portals on regular Dreamwalker, collecting orbs. We were also doing portal jockey. We wiped a few times. Obviously, the holy paladin method has changed here — Glyph of Holy Light is dead, so there’s no reason to beacon the dragon and heal a target near the dragon (be it yourself, a Tenacity pet for bigger splashes, etc). You just heal the dragon directly. (Oddly, Flash of Light worked better than Divine Light spam here, but that was pre-hotfix.)

I had 34 stacks of Emerald Vigor, more than anyone else. I came in fourth out of the four of us in the portals. And that includes a 600k+ crit Lay on Hands. Pathetic. Walks was just above me and then MILES ahead of us was the resto shammy and the resto druid at the top. Now I know that we’ve been supremely overpowered on this fight, but good Lord, that was embarassing. The entire night was an exercise in frustration. I couldn’t do what I was previously able to do, but not only the whole “handling two tanks alone” thing. I mean that I was unable to do my job with even half the effectiveness as before.

However, after the hotfix, I now feel better. NOW I feel as though I’m adjusting to the class changes. NOW I feel as though I’m fighting myself and my old habits to learn new tricks and tips, like #1 over at this bubblespec post, instead of fighting the new mechanics.

Is it a buff? Yes. Is it too much of a buff? Maybe. But it allows me to worry less about whether or not I CAN keep a target up, which lets me acclimate to the new ways of keeping my target up. Right now, that’s the priority for us — learn how to heal with expensive short heals and long heals, but a mana free heal and oh wow, need to generate holy power and all that jazz, too!

I feel that, since the hotfix, I’m playing smarter on the paladin. True, I haven’t raided on her, but I have recovered confidence in my spells and abilities just by virtue of playing with the heals alone and in heroic dungeons.

Is this the answer for all that ails holy paladins? No. But it’s about as good as it’s going to get at 80 before Cataclysm, probably. They’ve fixed us so that we can continue in our niche for the rest of 4.0.1 and still acclimate to working outside our niche with new mechanics.

Does this still terrify me for 85? Yes. But I do feel more hopeful and I think that while we’ll have to share single-target healing with others (and others will have to share some of the raid healing responsibilities with us!) it no longer feels as though an extra shadow priest can make up for our healing.

I do not think that paladins have gotten even remotely enough cool stuff. Still no Evangelism, Archangel, Atonement, Chakra, Holy Word: Chastise. We get Holy Radiance (at 83) and Light of Dawn and Word of Glory and then they screwed with each of our pre-patch heals, but nothing full of synergy, nothing really cool, although I definitely do like Holy Radiance. It has an unfortunately huge mana cost and 30 second cooldown, if you’re specced “properly”, so we can’t just slam on that button every time it’s up. I imagine it’s for those moments in Cataclysm that can be best related to XT-002. Quake? Holy Radiance. In other words, occasional heavy raid damage, but not an “on cooldown” ability, due to the prohibitive mana cost.

Still, there’s time yet and there will be patches in the future that will change talents and abilities. I hope to see more from Blizzard in terms of holy paladin attention, at least, if not new and exciting spells. This hotfix is a great step for us maintaining our raid spots and not screwing our raids over, at least until Cataclysm’s launch.

11 comments

  1. jeffo says:

    Something that I’m enjoying about the current Paladin healing is the new though process going on. While I didn’t necessarily see Holy Light as the answer to every healing question pre-patch, it had gotten to the point (for quite some time) where it *could* be the answer to every single healing question. It was just that strong, that fast with sufficient haste, and always available due to the bottomless mana pool.

    Now there’s a little more thought involved. Do I use the Daybreak double shock right now, or a casted heal? Do I use the free, triple Ho-Po Word of Glory when a smaller Holy Light would be sufficent? Big heal needed: Flash of Light or Divine Light? Am I in good position to use the Holy Flashlight?

    I’m sure there are number crunchers out there who could give me definitive answers to those questions based on hps and hpm calculations. They would likely tell me ‘you’re doing it wrong’ but at the moment I’m doing well, and I’m having some fun figuring things out based on what’s happening around me during a fight.

  2. Enlynn says:

    Thanks for the link! :)

    I’m glad to hear that holy paladin numbers are still getting tweaked. While I don’t feel like pallies are as “fun” as priests right now (I should stop ranting about great Holy Word: Chastise is, really!), but there is hope. It looks to me like Blizzard is really avidly making sure that no class suffers a stigma that keeps them out of raid groups. They have been great about hot-fixing things (now if only we could get corpse runs and enemy health bars working again…)

    I’m with Jeffo. The choices we have now verge on overwhelming (but not in a bad way). I’ve been spending my Daybreak procs as often as possible, as well as making sure I’m using WoG the moment it hits a 3-stack, and I fly into a bit of a panic when I suddenly have Speed of Light, Infusion of Light, Word of Glory, and Daybreak screaming “USE ME!”

  3. Joe Ego says:

    You brought up Dreamwalker and I face-palmed.

    Last week I healed Dreamwalker just like I always did. I managed to completely forget only 50% of my healing was going through my Beacon. ><

  4. Walks says:

    I’m still not sure how that fight worked out. You had more stacks than me and managed to hit Lay on Hands while I was struggling with the fact that I had forgotten to reinstall Clique (since I set things up in Vuhdo). I may have topped you (minorly) since I remembered to glyph Divine Favor, hit my cooldowns a bit more, and have better Latency. I’d also say that fight favored my Eternal Glory build since I also shocked on cooldown and used Word of Glory liberally.

    For readers: Flash of Light is your best bet in ICC, even more so on Dreamwalker. Divine Light may seem sexy, but the quickness of Flash is amazing combined with Tower of Radiance. Use it instead of Holy Light, but use Holy Light if Infusion procs (more so when they axe Speed of Light and make Infusion shorten Divine Light’s cast).

    “The Seal of Insight buff is pretty huge. Every time we judge, we will regain 15% of base mana which, at 85, is in the realm of 3500 mana back. That’s instead of a CHANCE of 4% base mana (936ish mana) back when we judge.”

    I may be mistaken, but I am 99% positive that judging with Seal of Insight (on live, before this patch) does not proc a mana return. It only happens, on proc, while meleeing. This is a welcome change, regardless despite the fact that it will not scale. WTB scaling mana returns that do not cost more mana than you receive back unless you stand there and pick your nose.

    “I do not think that paladins have gotten even remotely enough cool stuff. Still no Evangelism, Archangel, Atonement, Chakra, Holy Word: Chastise. We get Holy Radiance (at 83) and Light of Dawn and Word of Glory and then they screwed with each of our pre-patch heals, but nothing full of synergy, nothing really cool, although I definitely do like Holy Radiance.”

    While paladins are much more complex than they used to be, we could use some other sort of “wow” factor due to our healing spells all basically doing the same thing.

  5. Richard Gilbertson says:

    In ICC last night I noticed that my fixation on the healing bars is much worse then before 4.0 and I think it is all the crap we have to keep track of that we did not before. I stayed neck and neck with a better geared Shaman but the mechanics of different fights soon showed Holy Pally lacks any versitility at all compared to the other healers. Some fights we down right suck at, and we lack any real way to catch up.

    Now that we have a nerfed LoD for Sheilds we lose huge Absorbs. I have patched my Recount and this was a 20% nerf to my Shields. From Recount all my healing last night my Shields was about 15% and I came in totally dead last for overall healing. I have no doubt Holy Pally is being carried at level 80. I only beat the Druid on healing tank on 3 fights.

    I think we have to much to keep track of now as we have to change targets more then any other healer, and it shows in out healing output. No smart heals and only one AOE heal that is positional and now nerfed.

    The fun factor is on the edge of being way to complex for the average person, so we will lose many Holy Pally as a result. Adding to the problem is that all the other healers can Tank heal just as well a Holy Pally and they can raid heal when we can NOT.

    We need a better UI on Holy Power that does not require you to look at the top of screen to see it. All the addons so far are bad. I also would like the Mastery for Crit back as the Shields will NEVER really scale with Haste. More haste just means we overwrite the effects of a shield. Go to EJ and look at numbers.

  6. Rahmiel says:

    I gotta say, I only had done a ToC 10, and heroics up until Monday and I was pretty happy with everything. I was somewhat lost in ToC simply with not knowing what my mana pool was like (FoL costs more, but how long can I spam it?) and not knowing all my keybinds.

    On tuesday however, we got the old 10 man together with a few replacements, and we blew the place up. We made it to hLK in 2 hours (or just under) with only 1 wipe on blood princes. (el oh el @ DK reaming people out about not watching omen when he forgot to put up blood presence). Anyway, it was a very enjoyable run. I also stayed competitive with the priest I have been healing with all xpac. He etched me out on pretty much all the fights, but looking at the logs he resorted to his flash heal far more often than I did.

    I also had zero mana problems so I know I can definitely pick it up with more FoL casts. The best news of the night though, was that we made it further on hLK in that one night than we ever had. (to be fair, we never really got solid attempts on him and never once extended the lockout to get practice on him). We made it to p3 after 6 attempts and none of us have raided heroic 10 man since.. late May?

    Glyphed LoD is amazing. I was skeptical when I saw the glyph, but I absolutely love it. If you use it after the LK casts infest, it’ll always come off cooldown just as he’s about to use infest again. When you see it come off cooldown, just step back, get people in front of you, and BAM! It’s also a super powerful tank heal on those transition phases. All in all, I was very impressed with it on that fight. And that’s probably the biggest negative. LoD barely got used the whole night, but on hLK it was coming in at about 10% of my healing, and most of its healing was overheal (damn you CoH!!!). For 31 points, it’s depressing it doesn’t get used often. However I’m very ecstatic with using it as a tank heal “oh sugarsnapples” cooldown.

    So things I took away from my ICC heroic 10 raid is.. when in doubt or moments of fast dmg, go to FoL. If you get a daybreak proc, HS, HL on BoL, then HS again. This will let you WoG very fast as opposed to a HS, HS, HL which will basically waste your SoL and possible IoL proc from the first HS. Watch your positioning as well and do your best to get those damn pesky hunters to stand in front of you and not behind you as the last person in the raid! GRRRR!!!!

    @Richard
    Is recount actually tracking illuminated healing? I was not aware of any program being able to track our mastery yet. Re: holy power, do a search for Holy Trinity. I posted a link in the comment section for another one of kurn’s posts. It’s nothing amazingly special, but it makes all the difference for me. I also disabled its cooldown tracking ability since I use fortexorcist, but if you don’t maybe you’ll get more use out of the trinity than I am. Failing that, the newly updated power auras classic can track holy power and you can set it up to display anywhere, any size, any color.

  7. jeffo says:

    @Rahmiel — the latest version of recount now has absorbs built in. Unfortunately I could not test it out in ICC last night as I had a conflict, but it did record absorbs from IH on various quest mobs.

  8. Janyaa says:

    @Kurn I’m so happy to hear about the changes to judgement. I really feel that one of our biggest weaknesses was our lack of mana regen. The hotfix helps a bit, too. (Assuming your heal can land before someone else’s. lol)

    @Richard I’ve started using IceHud to track my holy powers. You can position it anywhere on the screen and it’s super simple to put up and use.

    @Rahmiel You can put a simple code into your recount folder that will track Illuminated Healing. I have the code on my “Preparing for Tonight’s Raid” post on my blog. Don’t want to copy/ paste the whole thing on this comment, but you’re welcome to come visit.

  9. Fannon says:

    “* Seal of Insight – Unleashing this Seal’s energy now also restores 15% of the Paladin’s base mana.”

    /cheer. This change cannot arrive fast enough, imo. Finally, something interactive to do to help keep me healing on the longer and more challenging encounters. This is a great addition that will help Paladins feel more like Paladins again. Yes please, Mr. Ghostcrawler, sir… can I have some more?

  10. Richard Gilbertson says:

    @Kurn
    Thanks I will check out IceHud for Holy Power. Sounds great.

    @Rahmiel
    I found a manual patch for it. But it is a little buggy for tracking Absorbs as the log that Blizzard provides sucks and does not include everything so you really are just only getting some of the stats. Did not amount to much, the shields are like less then 18% of our healing if you add it in.
    The Shields suck as only the tanks are really using it for what it does, the rest of the raid it just is wasted 90% of the time. We got robbed for a Mastery.

  11. Beruthiel says:

    Since healing your beacon target will help build Holy Power, it’s still worthwile to beacon Valithria, I think. I mean, where else are you going to put it? And at the minium, it builds Holy Power faster for Word of Glory on the dragon. I found that I usually only had to do 1-2 Holy Shocks to get 3 stacks of Holy Power this way.

    Also – I have some really great power auras strings that I could share for tracking Holy Power, if people were interested in them!

    While they did buff Holy’s throughput, I don’t feel that they fixed the key problems that Holy Paladins are experiencing right now in 4.0.1, which is the fact that all of their spells are so slow and/or require build up. By the time the cast is finished/you have enough Holy Power, everyone has already been healed to full. The sole exception to this is Valithria, which in my opinion, is the only place to truly get a feel for how Holy might feel come Cataclysm.

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