Archive for patch 4.0.3a

Tower of Radiance Nerf is Intentional

Nethaera just confirmed that a change to Tower of Radiance‘s functionality is intentional. There’s also been a change to lower the overall healing done by Light of Dawn (although it now seems to not have a target cap. Whether that’s intentional remains unclear, but is likely a bug.).

The change to Tower of Radiance means that healing your Beacon of Light target with Holy Light no longer results in any Holy Power being gained.

Here’s the text of the forum post by Nethaera.

These hotfixes were intentional and we wanted to share more information about the “why” for you all here:

Mana is supposed to matter for healers, and in the case of Holy paladins, that just wasn’t happening. We were seeing raid groups attempting to learn new bosses where the other healers were out of mana while the paladins were still at 90% of mana. We also thought the experience of paladins healing harder heroic dungeons was inconsistent with that of other healers, or our design intent. We thought it was only a matter of time before groups started going out of their way to stack paladins for raids or recruit them for dungeon runs, which of course is not our intent. For this reason, we thought it was important to address this point now rather than sitting on it until a future patch.

The main culprit for the increased paladin efficiency this was Holy Power from Tower of Radiance. We were seeing a strategy develop where paladins would cast Holy Light on a Beaconed tank, and then cast Light of Dawn on the raid (and use very few other spells). This strategy was remarkably successful considering how simple it is. The Holy Power-based heals are supposed to be an important component of the paladin kit, but because Holy Light is designed to be super efficient, the overall strategy was too efficient. The intent of Tower of Radiance was to make directly healing a Beacon of Light target less punitive, but instead it was becoming the only smart way to play. You can still generate Holy Power by using Flash of Light or Divine Light on a Beaconed target, or through a variety of other ways. Remember, overall it isn’t balanced if paladins are just as mana efficient as other healers and have several mana-free spells.

Light of Dawn was adjusted because it was completely eclipsing Word of Glory. We lowered the healing of Word of Glory late in development, but also redesigned Light of Dawn. They had fallen out of sync, and Light of Dawn was just too good.

So now, we have 3 points in Tower of Radiance and four of our six direct-healing spells do not give us holy power when we directly heal the beacon target. Holy Shock won’t give us holy power through Tower of Radiance (because it already gives us one charge for using it), Word of Glory doesn’t give us holy power through ToR, nor does Lay on Hands and now nor does Holy Light. Only Flash of Light (our fast, very expensive spell) and Divine Light (our long, very expensive spell) will give us charges of holy power through Tower of Radiance.

What does this mean?

For one, it means that, unless we want to resort to standing in melee range and attacking with Crusader Strike, we will rarely be generating more than 3 holy power in the span of 12 seconds. (00:00 – Holy Shock, 06:00 – Holy Shock, 12:00 – Holy Shock)

For another, it means  Blizzard hates us that Holy Light, our most efficient direct heal and the one that heals for the absolute least, won’t be cast as much because it really does very little in terms of healing someone up at all. With 125k tank health pools, is 7k actually going to make a difference? Not so much. We’d use it a bit as a filler, to get some healing out while Holy Shock was on cooldown, and also to generate holy power. Now? Well, I suppose it’s better than standing around doing absolutely nothing between Holy Shock casts.

The more important thing to realize here is that we’re now being punished for casting Holy Light on the tank instead of Flash of Light (which is stupidly expensive) and Divine Light (which is stupidly expensive and also stupidly slow). We’re actually being punished for keeping our tanks (or our beacon targets) at a relatively high level of health and are being encouraged by Blizzard’s mechanics to let them drop to a significantly low amount to justify casting things like Flash of Light and Divine Light. After all, no reason to cast a quick Flash of Light on the tank when they’re not in danger of dying really quickly, right? And there’s no reason to cast a long, big Divine Light when the tank’s over 75%, right?

So why bother casting Holy Light on the tank? Why bother keeping the tank at 75%+?

For that matter, why bother getting Tower of Radiance?

In thinking about it, the best reason I can think of to get Tower of Radiance is because we have nothing better to get. This is ridiculous. That’s five talent points (3 from Tower of Radiance, 2 from Protector of the Innocent) that I don’t feel benefit me particularly much, but we NEED them to get down the tree.

What else would we put the three points in? Fill out 3/3 Protector of the Innocent, 2/2 Enlightened Judgements and then… 1/2 in Blessed Life?

So take it. Besides, we’ll almost certainly have to use Flash of Light and Divine Light to save the tank’s ass now and again, so we can be pleasantly surprised to get a charge of holy power. :P

Does this mean we shouldn’t beacon the tank? Or shouldn’t take Beacon of Light?

Beacon of Light should always be part of a holy paladin PVE build and should be placed on a target who is tanking a lot of damage, which is typically a tank. Beacon is what allows us to heal the party plus keep the tank alive in a five-man setting, and allows us to attend to other wounded allies in a raid setting without leaving the tank without a heal for several seconds on end. Keep beaconing the tank. Keep taking Beacon of Light.

Besides, what else would you take? You’d end up with a build like this one.

So what does this change?

A lot less use of Light of Dawn. A lot less use of Word of Glory. Thought you were starved for mana before? Think again. I didn’t even use WoG and LoD all that much and I was still going through my mana like mad in regular instances. I assume at least some of it is because I’m still in a bunch of 264/277 gear, but if I still have these issues at 85 in heroics and in raids, it’ll be time to stack a ton of spirit.

In conclusion…

Clearly, a bunch of paladins who were stacking holy power through Holy Light have wrecked things for the rest of us who weren’t healing like cheap-ass chumps. Thanks a bunch. :P

Honestly, we should be using a variety of heals, and those who are will now find the overall healing choices they make to be very similar to what they were using before, only using less of the “free” heals. It SHOULD be only those who were exploiting this strategy who find themselves in trouble.

It doesn’t mean that the fix Blizzard has implemented doesn’t hurt us all, because it does, but it means that if you weren’t overly reliant on Light of Dawn and Word of Glory, you should be okay.

You can still be angry that a few morons who aren’t as talented and skilled as you are got Tower of Radiance nerfed and therefore really changed how holy power is earned and used drastically, though. I know I’m pretty livid at them and I’m ticked off by how Blizzard elected to “fix” the problem.

What Holy Paladins Need to Know for 4.0.3a

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

4.0.3a is about to be dropped, according to Boubouille at MMO-Champion, who has done a great job of compiling the changes. With the release of 4.0.3a, among other things, paladins are getting their talents reset due to changes to the class talents. What follows is a fairly complete compilation of the various changes holy paladins can expect when 4.0.3a launches and will be updated over the first few days of 4.0.3a if anything was missed. Special thanks to my buddy Walks for proofreading and adding some suggestions, including reminding me about Infusion of Light’s change!

Edits to the post after testing on live are marked with an asterix (*).

As with my 4.0.1 post, I’ll be breaking this down into different sections: TALENTS/SPELLS, GEAR/STATS and GLYPHS. Bear in mind that there are fewer changes for 4.0.3a than there were for 4.0.1 and I’ll only be talking about ones that have changed between 4.0.1 and 4.0.3a. That means that my 4.0.1 post is still useful! All changes have been compiled at MMO-Champion.com or Wowhead.com.

TALENTS/SPELLS

1) Beacon of Light now lasts 5 minutes. I remember when I first glyphed for Beacon of Light. I did so in order to get the extra 30 second duration on it so I could stagger refreshing Sacred Shield and Beacon of Light and also save 1500 mana or so. A five-minute duration on Beacon of Light means a lot of mana savings and a lot of GCDs saved. What this tells us, though, is that our beacons are  meant to be used on one person and not meant to be switched up mid-combat. This is a “quality of life” change that basically just makes it that much easier to “set it and forget it”. Good stuff.

2) Blessed Life: the effects of this talent cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds, up from every 2 seconds. This is a clear nerf to the utility of this talent. However, it is largely a PVP talent and this change really negates any use in PVE content, particularly if it still doesn’t proc from AOE-wide raid damage. Incidentally, this no longer stacks with Pursuit of Justice, according to my buddy Walks.

3) Illuminated Healing absorb shield now absorbs 10% of the total amount healed, up from 8%. Each point of Mastery increases the effect by an additional 1.25%, up from 1%. *Additionally, the shield now lasts 8 seconds, up from 6. It’s a buff! Oh sweet Lord, it’s a buff to our mastery! The jury is still out over the usefulness of our mastery because World of Logs, for example, does not properly attribute our absorbs from our mastery. Either it’s being attributed to Power Word: Shield/Divine Aegis or it’s not being counted at all. (As an aside, please take a second to politely lobby the WoL people to get that fixed!) I reforged a lot of my crit to mastery to see if I could notice a difference and the Recount I ran last night showed Illuminated Healing to be 26.4% of my healing done in Ruby Sanctum. While Recount (and probably Skada?) are up to date, World of Logs is almost certainly attributing Illuminated Healing to priest absorbs.

So just because you don’t see your mastery in action through the parse doesn’t mean it’s not doing something. As such, this is a good thing for us.

*Note that the increase in duration was not listed in the most recent compilation of patch notes, but I’ve confirmed this on live servers. The duration is 8s, up from 6s.

4) Light of Dawn has been redesigned. It no longer has an enforced cooldown, now costs Holy Power instead of mana, and scale in direct proportion to the amount of Holy Power used. In addition it now heals the 5 most injured group targets (including self) in a 30-yard frontal cone. Goodbye, Infest healing. Hello, Circle of Wild Dawn. ;) This works very similarly to a priest’s Circle of Healing or a druid’s Wild Growth, except you don’t have to select a target. You aim yourself at them and let ‘er rip. I kind of like this. It’s a way for us to use our 31-point talent without it being completely overpowered and it’s a way for us to have a smart heal, at long last. But since it’s not something you cast on a person, it’s distinguishing itself from Circle of Healing or Wild Growth. I haven’t had much chance to use it on the Beta (and Beta testing is now done!) since this change went in, so I’m anxious to see how it works.

It should also be noted that, as of right now, Light of Dawn’s healing (and overhealing) does get transferred to the beacon, with its 50% healing reduction, of course. But that can still be a lot of healing all at once on your beacon.

*After testing this on live, you MUST be in a party in order to use Light of Dawn! If you aren’t in a party and have 1, 2 or 3 stacks of Holy Power, you get an Invalid Target error if you try to use it. I tried targetting myself and using it, no dice. Then I thought “oh, don’t tell me it IS a targetted heal now!” but I tested this out with a guildie (thanks Num!) and it remains unaffected by any target. It’s definitely still a directional, conal heal. But you need to be in a party to use it.

5) Protector of the Innocent no longer triggers from self-heals. Well, this just makes sense. If we just healed ourselves, we generally don’t need to immediately heal ourselves again, do we? At least not in PVE content. This heal also transfers to the Beacon, with the 50% reduction.

6) Crusade now also has a proc on kill to increase the healing done by the paladin’s next Holy Light by 100/200/300% for 15 seconds, in addition to its current effects. This is mostly a PVE change, but it’s more for World PVE, like questing. This addition to a key talent will be great for all specs of paladin while questing so we can save our Holy Power for something like Inquisition instead of using Word of Glory on ourselves after killing a mob or two.

7) Lay on Hands no longer gives anyone any mana at all. However, go check out the Glyphs section for an exception to this.

8) Seal of Insight still does what it normally did, but will now also return 15% of the paladin’s base mana when judging. This is fantastic. Judging to get mana back again! With an 8 second cooldown, I’m pretty sure this will get nerfed at some point, but enjoy it while it lasts! I should also mention that Seal of Insight’s 4% base health/mana gain never procced at all on judgements, unlike Seal of Wisdom which procced from judgements. That could explain why they’re making sure we get mana returns from judging.

9) Holy Radiance will suffer diminishing returns further than 8 yards from the target or when healing more than 6 players. We haven’t had the chance to enjoy Holy Radiance yet, since we get it at 83, so this is just something of which to be aware when we do get it.

10) Clarity of Purpose, rank 2, now reduces Holy Light and Divine Light cast time by .3 seconds instead of .35 seconds. This is obviously a move to ensure that people get all three ranks of Clarity of Purpose instead of just dropping two points in here. Probably a PVP-based decision, or one to help balance rets/prots since any decent holy was probably going to drop all three points in here anyways.

11) Paragon of Virtue: Reduces the cooldown of Divine Protection by 10/20 sec, Hand of Sacrifice by 15/30 sec and Avenging Wrath by 30/60 sec. The big change here is that Hand of Sacrifice has been added to this talent. I do believe I’m going to go for 1/2 Enlightened Judgements and pick up that second point in Paragon of Virtue.

12) Infusion of Light now applies to Divine Light’s cast time as well as Holy Light’s. So 1/2 points in this talent will grant you .75/1.5s off the cast time of both Divine Light and Holy Light after critting on Holy Shock. While this means we can’t do a Holy Shock (IoL proc) -> Divine Light -> Holy Light combo for 2 hasted spells, we wouldn’t have been able to do that anyways with the change to Speed of Light. And speaking of Speed of Light…

13) Speed of Light: Grants 1/2/3% spell haste and reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 10/20/30 sec. Casting Holy Radiance increases your movement speed by 20/40/60% for 4 sec. This is the big holy change. Instead of gaining 30% spell haste to Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light after a Holy Shock, you just now get 3% more spell haste. The other stuff stays the same. Yay for more spell haste! As mentioned in my 4.0.1 post, we still want to hold on to a 1s GCD and 3% passive spell haste just made that easier. See the Gear/Stats section to see what this means for all the haste we require.

*14) As previously noted, Holy Shock has been nerfed by about 30%. I’ve just confirmed this on live. Holy Shock was hitting for about the same as Holy Light. It’s now down from about 7k unbuffed to 5k unbuffed when I cast it.

Recommended Talent Spec: I still recommend 31/3/2 for current Wrath content, although you’ll note I recommend 1/2 Enlightened Judgements and 2/2 Paragon of Virtue, now. Also, 31/5/0 and 31/2/3 are viable, although the 31/3/2 build I first linked will probably give you the most amount of healing due to Divinity and the buff to Holy Shock from Crusade.

GEAR/STATS

1) With the addition of 3% spell haste from 3/3 Speed of Light, our haste softcap just changed again. Given 3/3 Speed of Light, plus 3/3 Judgements of the Pure and a Wrath of Air totem (or equivalent), you now only need 894 haste to reach the 1s GCD. You can check out this awesome spell haste calculator and see for yourself. It doesn’t have Speed of Light listed, but select Darkness/Netherwind Presence to add that 3% for Speed of Light and you’ll get the same result. Of course, this will change as we level once Cataclysm launches.

GLYPHS

1) Glyph of Beacon of Light (Major) now makes Beacon of Light free, instead of increasing the duration by 30 seconds. This is no longer a very useful Glyph, considering we’re really only expending 1500ish mana every five minutes. I suppose it might have its uses in PVP, but barring any kind of gimmicky fight in PVE, this is pretty sad.

2) Glyph of Lay on Hands (was Minor, now Major) now reduces the cooldown of Lay on Hands by 3 minutes, up from 2 minutes. *** This wasn’t in the patch notes, but was how the Glyph was changed on Beta. This may not be included in the 4.0.3a patch.

3) Glyph of Divinity (Major) has been redesigned. It now grants the paladin 10% of maximum mana upon use. FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. A 7 (or 8) minute cooldown on 10% of your mana, regardless upon whom you use it, is just awesome. Rather than waste this raid-saving cooldown on yourself for extra mana, you just use it at ALL and you get mana back. This is a fantastic change. I was never a fan of glyphing this and using LoH on myself, preferring to use it on the tanks or whoever was about to die.

4) Glyph of Light of Dawn (Major) now increases the total number of most injured targets healed by 1. Yep, our version of Circle of Healing and Wild Growth. This glyph makes six targets healed by LoD.

My go-to Major Glyphs would be LoH, Divinity and LoD, although Divine Plea and even Cleansing may snag the LoH spot in the event that I find I need to Plea a lot or there’s a lot of cleansing to do. There’s also the Glyph of Divine Protection that could you may want to swap in as it may come in very handy on any fight where you take a lot of magical damage. Remember, Divine Protection no longer causes Forbearance and is only on a 1 minute cooldown, or 40 seconds if you’re specced for 2/2 Paragon of Virtue. That could be a lot of damage mitigated.


Hopefully that helps demystify the 4.0.3a changes we’re about to see. See you on the flip side of the Shattering!

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

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