Friday, March 27, 2009

Blizzard delivers!

Quote from Blizzard staff
Loot from clams now stacks correctly!

Finally! Solid patch 3.1 change.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spell suggestions for holy paladins

There has been some talk about holy paladins and their lack of fun the last few days. A result from Infusion of Light and Sacred Shield getting changed no doubt. With these changes holy paladins are almost back in the Burning Crusade when it comes gameplay. They are still spamming one healing spell over and over. The change is that they are forced to judge, and I'm calling it "forced" since the rate in which you have to do it is annoying, and that Beacon of Light can be used once in a while. The lowered cooldown on Holy Shock also made holy paladins better at mobility and PvP.

So, what needs to be done? At the very least holy paladins must have a good incentive to use all of their healing spells, since they have so few. Right now there's Holy Light that is the bread and butter healing spell. Flash of Light can be weaved in to the rotation (when the tank is near full health) to save mana and it can be used together with a IoL proc to increase mobility. That isn't enough to be honest. Mainly because it's really boring. As for Holy Shock, I'm not sure it's potent enough to save the day in PvE, but it's boost to mobility alone make people use it. So making people use FoL, without abandoning HL, would be a good start.

Other than that...what can be done to make holy paladin healing more fun? How about a proc with a duration that change the way the paladin heal for a few seconds? How about a judgement that actually help the holy paladin with healing (so that you can gain something from judging often)? How about a new healing spell?

I'll try to create some suggestions:

Nurturing Light (18% of base mana, instant cast, 40 yd range)
Infuses the target with a healing light for 5 sec. When Nurturing Light completes its duration or is dispelled, the target and 4 nearby party or raid members are healed for x to y. Your Flash of Light spells landing on the target will increase the duration for 4 sec up to a maximum of 15 sec and the healing effect will increase over time up to a maximum of 400% after 15 sec uptime. You can only have one Nurturing Light active at a time.

It's mana efficiency is great if the FoLs doesn't overheal, and decent if they only overheal. By juggling FoL you can make Nurturing Light go off when it really matters, with decent precision.

This suggestion would give holy paladins a new spell, which is a unique AoE empowered by direct heals. This would give an incentive to use FoL, both to empower the AoE and to trigger it's effect at the right moment inbetween using HL.

Improved Judgement of Light
Your Judgement of Light effect scale 50%/100%/150% better from spell power, but scale 33%/66%/100% worse from attack power. In addition your Judgement of Light spell will heal 3 nearby targets for x - y / x*2 - y*2 / x*3 - y*3.

This suggestion will give holy paladins a unique AoE, restricted by proximity to the hostile target that get judged, and thus get another tool. It will give holy paladins the choice of judging often, as opposed to now that you want to judge as seldom as possible. It should give the paladin more to do while allowing her to babysit JotP a little less. The spell should also scale in favor of the holy paladin now, so that ret paladins can judge wisdom as it should be. Glyph of Holy Light can be scrapped and redone.

Might edit the post if I can think of a fun proc. But for now, ta-ta.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Replenisher Role(?)

Ghostcrawler got his own words turned against him the other day, in an attempt to get replenishment nerfed and get mana regen in general un-nerfed. "As long as players are expecting raid slots because of their amazing utility then utility is probably too amazing" was what he had written previously, and this is what he replied to the nitpicking (part of the post):

Nerf healing, because healers get spots in raids because they can heal.

As you well know, assuming you read the thread, this was a case of a class or spec wanting a unique buff to guarantee them a raid spot. It wasn't enough to bring *a* buff. They wanted a unique buff such that their guild would say, for example, "We have to take a Retribution paladin or we'll be really behind."

I admit, I'm no fan of replenishment as the ability works right now. However I can see the potential that Blizzard do in all of this (I think). I don't get why GC compared replenishment to healing. One is a role while the other is a passive (more or less) ability. Apples and Oranges. Or do they really view replenishment as a role? I beg to differ. For it to qualify as a role it would have to take skill. Right now it's a watered down version of the dps skillset. You just dps, good or bad doesn't matter, and you get replenishment as a freebe. You can't really be a bad replenisher, only a bad dps'er while doing it. If it did take skill, and a different kind of skill, then replenisher could be considered a role.

It could turn out ok if they made a new role out of replenishment, a real role, and it could end up as a general support role (dps/support) eventually. Problem would be that it's a big change, and one that the affected specs never signed up for. On the other hand there are certainly people that would like this gaming style. Maximizing their (active) support while bringing as much dps as possible, a fine line.

There might be something to replenishment. I just think Blizzard are doing it all wrong. Either it's a unique buff (and susceptible to nerfs) or it's a role, not some form of bastard child between the two. Personally I'd treat it as a buff amogst others, and stop removing other aspects of mana regen to make it fit. Blizzard, you want groups to grow in power as the group grows right? You are moving away from that at the moment with the merger of BoW and MST. When I'm ready to implement a sweeping change as a support role, then I'd go for it. Not before that.

Friday, March 13, 2009

BoW & MST stack no more

In an attempt to reduce the amount of unique buffs brought by paladins and shamans, Mana Spring Totem and Blessing of Wisdom will no longer stack. It's as of now unknown how Blizzard will go about this change, so it's too early to call nerf. This is what I wrote in a comment to a blog post at World of Matticus, and I'll leave it at that for now.

This change could make sense depending on how they will go about this. If they buff BoW and Mana Spring Totem so that they have the power of both combined, then it might be a nice change for 10-man instances and below. A slight buff for 25-man instances as well as that you won’t have to stack shamans for maximum mana regen. Downside is less totem options for shamans in a raid setting. If they don’t buff these spells then replenish will be even more mandatory, which doesn’t make sense. It would be nice if the shaman totem was stronger than BoW after talents, but without removing BoW. Then shamans would have a reason to use their totem in raids, and BoW still makes a nice buffer.

Edit: Blizzard have now mentioned that this change is intended as a nerf as well as a homogenisation, although they will buff the spells if they see that mana regen is too low.

(Source) / (Source)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Emerald Dream

Information about the next expansion has been released to me through my power of fortune-telling! You read about it here first!

The Emerald Dream (working name)


* Gain access to the Emerald Dream and explore the supercontinent Kalimdor! This is the largest continent in a WoW expansion so far, filled with new content.

* Grow in power as you make your way to level 90, gaining new abilities and talents along the way.

* Hold your guild meetings in a Guild Hall! The Guild Hall is bound to the guild, not to any person in particular, so anyone can contribute to the look and atmosphere of the building. While much of the furniture and decorations can be acquired by the means of gold (or simply by being an old guild), much must be earned by achieving things as a guild!

* Guild Achievements has been added to the game! A few of these achievements can be earned by single guild members, but most require you to accomplish things as a group or a raid. Lead your guild to glory!

* Learn more about the Emerald Nightmare and help in the fight against it. See whole zones change as the corruption regresses.

* Two new professions: Carving and Woodcutting! Carving let you fashion solid materials like horn, stone or wood into useful items. Woodcutting allow you to cut wood to be used in carving, but also in other crafting professions.

* Play and master the new hero class. Spirit Walker, a champion of the spirit world.

* And much, much more!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Paladins and the PTR

A lot of stuff has happened since my last post. PTR participants are venturing further into Ulduar, loot are being added to the bosses in there, the PTR has been updated with a few new builds etc. As an old holy paladin I'll focus on changes relevant to this spec in this post.

* Auras will now persist through death and affect a 40 yard radius.
I didn't mind reactivating auras after getting resurrected, but the range change...about time...
* Blessing of Kings is now trainable at level 20. Removed from talent trees.
A change long overdue. The buff is too important to be limited to one (or perhaps two) specs. In fact some other class should recieve an eqvivalent version.
* Hand of Sacrifice: The damage transferred by this ability is now capped by the Paladin’s health.
I'm not sure why it would have to be limited in two ways, it already has a time restraint.
* Forbearance reduced to 2 min duration.
Won't really make a differance.
* Sacred Shield: This effect cannot be cast on more than one friendly target at a time.
I can see why it would be nerfed. Well, I can't see how it could be nerfed due to heavy raid damage mitigation as they claim. There are worse culprits in that area, like Judgement of Light, that require less effort to boot. I would have liked to do something more fun than to keep a spell up and running on all raid members with my spare GCDs. Bad thing is that it devalues FoL even further and that Blizzard doesn't throw holy paladins a bone to make up for the loss.
* Aura Mastery: Now makes anyone affected by Concentration Aura to be immune to Interrupt and Silence mechanics and increases the effectiveness of all other auras by 100%. Lasts 10 sec. 2 min cooldown.
Seem very unpolished. It also doesn't have the wow factor other classes specs have when they get their 11p talent at level 20. It could potentially be a fun talent.
* Blessed Hands: No longer reduces cooldowns of Hand spells. Instead, it improves the effectiveness of Hand of Salvation by 50/100% and Hand of Sacrifice by an additional 5/10%.
From worthless to great to worthless again.
* Enlightened Judgements: No longer increases the range of Judgement of Justice. Moved to Tier 10.
* Infusion of Light: Now increases the critical chance of your next Holy Light by 10/20% instead of reducing cast time. Moved to Tier 10.
* Judgements of the Pure moved to Tier 9.
* Sacred Cleansing moved to Tier 8.

This redesign doesn't change much for PvE, other than tree look less estetic. PvP'ers might be even more tempted to go for a retribution hybrid, which is bad. The Enlightened Judgements change...why? Isn't it more fun for the spec if it can stop a runner and save the day? Did druids cry their eyes out that they have one counter class? The Infusion of Light change makes no sense at all. Bottom line is that playing a holy paladin just got a whole lot less fun.
* Improved Concentration Aura: The resistance to silence and interrupt granted by this talent now becomes active when any Aura is used, not just Concentration Aura.
Good change, from a PvP perspective. Now the paladin have a choice to change aura depending on the setup they face.

* Improved Devotion Aura: The additional healing granted by this talent now becomes active when any Aura is used, not just Devotion Aura.
Good change. Devotion Aura usually isn't prio one amongst auras.
* Divine Guardian re-designed: Now increases the effectiveness of Divine Sacrifice by an additional 5/10% and increases the duration of Sacred Shield by 50/100% and the amount absorbed by 10/20%.
This talent was nerfed, and I could see why. How exactly is Divine Sacrifice improved? More health transfered or a higher potential? The Sacred Shield part is nice.
* Divine Protection: Cooldown reduced to 3 min.
Seem natural after the spell effect was changed.
* New Talent: Divine Sacrifice: Causes all party/raid members affected by one of the paladin’s auras to transfer 30% of all damage taken to the paladin (maximum of 150% of the paladin’s max health). Lasts 10 sec. 2 min cooldown.
Wierd and somewhat unimaginative talent. What happens if you use it during a raidwide AoE? Instant death?
* New Talent: Divinity: Tier-1 protection talent, increases healing done by and to you by 1/2/3/4/5%.
Decent entry talent for holy into the protection tree.

* Sanctified Seals: Renamed Sanctity of Battle. Now also increases damage done by Exorcism and Crusader Strike by 5/10/15%
Even more of a reason for holy paladins to get this talent. For PvP and damage dealing potential in general.

The long story short is: Blizzard is dumbing down the spec and are making it less fun to play. Come on! Don't nerf the stuff that makes healing as a paladin remotely fun and start nerfing stuff that doesn't have an impact on the fun factor. Honestly.

On a different note, I've been feeling like designing a hero class. A healing hero class. Will have to see if I can think of something.