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EgaL

Blessings>Totems in Raids

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In all fairness though, when I played my paladin back before 1.3, if there was a fight that required tight agro control (vael was still a very long way off) I would have my raid leader move me around from group to group blessing salvation, much like priests and druids used to do with 60 minute buffs before they allows you to target a member of a different group, cast; boom, buffed group.

The mechanic was simply changed from party only to raidwide because it was merely impeding convinience. Blessing of protection and sacrifice were probably changed for pvp purposes (although BoP has various pve implications) as large scale pvp became more popular. Not being able to bless sacrifice on the warrior next to you when you stumbled across 2 mages in southshore because he was in group 2 was pretty annoying.

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Shaman are absolutely the lynchpin Horde raid groups are based around. I don't even know if most Shaman really know how much damage that little Windfury Totem adds to a group of Warriors and Rogues. GoA is a very nice boost for Hunters but not nearly as ridiculous as Windfury. Screw the casters (coming from a Priest).

DPS buffs have awesome synergy, hence why I'm surprised you don't see more MM spec Hunters. Then again I guess 1-2 Trueshot Hunters is optimal for a raid.

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Anglakel: Right, I'm not suggesting that they put much (if any) thought to the change way back when. The shift from shorter party-based blessings to semi-permanent raid-wide blessings was seen as nothing more than a matter of convenience and developed as such in conjunction with the other "permanent" buffs, Fortitude and Wild.

I'm just painting the picture that way back when, blessings perhaps had some potential to tip in the other direction, more towards the limited, party-specific shaman totems, rather than moving towards the boring, semi-permanent blessings we have today. The consequence of course is that in order to maintain faction balance the shaman totems will eventually need to move in the same direction in order to keep up. Broken fights like the Twin Emperors make this particularly obvious.

...

Oh wow, I just checked out what Seal of Salvation looked like in Beta:

10 Mana, Instant cast, 15 second cooldown, 30 yard range

Places a Seal on the party member, reducing the amount of all threat generated by 50% for 30 seconds. Players may only have one Seal on them per Paladin at any one time.

This sort of thing is EXACTLY what I was thinking of. With this, paladins would become integral to the ACTIVE threat reduction of a raid, and not just some passive Alliance advantage. It might need some tuning, but the basic premise requires some interesting strategies in order to make best use of the blessings across the raid's top aggro-generators. What was so terrible about that more interactive blessing system in practice that made them systematically dismantle it into the passive buff system we have today, I wonder?

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Edit: 9 shamans in a raid is grossly inefficient. 6 is my optimal number, personally. 5 for melee groups, one with 4 hunters, and then two shamanless caster groups.

Speaking as a token Hunter group Shaman, I have to bring up a slight thread derail. For a Shaman that is almost always in the 4 hunter group, and not knowing enough of the math in this game, which would provide these hunters the greatest dps gain: Imp Grace of Air totem talent and rank 3 GOA totem from aq20 (88-89 agi as opposed to rank 2 67 agi goa totem), or Mana Tide totem.

I was going to make a thread asking this in our guild forum but this seems a better place to bring this up.

It's pretty funny being the only shaman in this guild that actually likes Stormstrike and a 0/36/15 spec. But would a 0/11/40 Mana Tide spec benefit hunters more ?

960 mana every 5 minutes ends up being 16/5 mana regen by my caluclations.

10-21agi, vs roughly 16 mana per 5. For four hunters.

One of the problems is timing. With Mana Tide the hunters may not receive the bonus every 5 minutes, but they would definetly get it when they needed it the most, so depending on the circumstances the mana regen could be much lower than 16/5.

Another issue is I don't know how to factor in the Enamored Water Spirit trinket which I believe also receives benefits from the crap talents leading to mana tide, Eventide and Improved Mana Spring Totem. That's almost a guaranteed trinket for me to have on while in the hunter group.

Also, Mana Tide is a water totem which means no Fire Resistance totem while it's down. FR totem is only what, 33 FR over imp Mark of the Wild ? I wouldn't think that would be much of a problem for 12 seconds especially for a ranged group, but you never know if that's the difference between having to spam heals on someone or they're being instagibbed.

Last but not least, if Mana Tide does edge out Imp Grace of Air, is a shaman with that wasted on a hunter group, or would they be best put in another group. Such as a Tranquil Air group, or mostly healer, as mana regen really doesn't seem to be a problem anymore.

Obviously this only really applies for horde hunters, as any alliance hunter could just beg a paladin for JOW on a boss.

In short, What would be the optimal Hunter group Shaman dps spec be.

Also ha Gurgthock, this is what you get for sticking me with those god forsaken hunters all this time!

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Enamored spirit without eventide and improved mana spring.

27 x 12 = 324 mana restored over 24 seconds every 3 minutes.

With 5 mana users in the party, that's 1620 mana every 3 minutes.

With eventide and improved mana spring totem, it improves significantly.

33.75 x 17 = 573.75 mana restored over 34 seconds every 3 minutes.

With 5 mana users in the party, it will restore a total mana of 2868.75.

956.75 mana every minute. That's almost as good as a mana tide totem.

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Thats still less than 15% of a priest mana bar. One big problem with MTT is that it was good when we all had greens and blues and had shit for mana, now everyone has better regen and deeper mana pools and MTT isnt scaling at all. The chances that MTT will make a difference in a fight go down everytime a healer loots a purple item.

Edit: the problem isnt just with MTT it's with all of our mana regaining totems.

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Thats still less than 15% of a priest mana bar. One big problem with MTT is that it was good when we all had greens and blues and had shit for mana, now everyone has better regen and deeper mana pools and MTT isnt scaling at all. The chances that MTT will make a difference in a fight go down everytime a healer loots a purple item.

Edit: the problem isnt just with MTT it's with all of our mana regaining totems.

Yes, that's true. MTT does not scale at all while innervate does. But even in its present state I think MTT comes quite close to innervate. (Correct me if I'm wrong) I'm assuming innervate restores a total 6000-7000 mana over its duration every 6 minutes.

With the right group setup, mana tide totem can give you the same results (~1000 mana every minute). The biggest drawback being one melee/hunter group receiving no shaman buffs in a balanced raid. Eventide and improved mana spring totem are sub-par talents but they help in bringing enamored spirit totem on par with MTT.

A shaman does have to sacrifice flurry/parry or elemental focus to get mana tide but from a pure PvE perspective 1-2 shamans speccing in MTT can help quite a bit. Anymore than that and you won't be able to utilize mana tide completely because of group constraints.

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For some reason I can't edit my post on top. I just wanted to add that with enamored water spirit trinket (which is basically equivalent to MTT with eventide and improved mana spring talents) the numbers look really good.

Also, I meant elemental fury instead of elemental focus in the previous post.

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Anglakel: Right, I'm not suggesting that they put much (if any) thought to the change way back when. The shift from shorter party-based blessings to semi-permanent raid-wide blessings was seen as nothing more than a matter of convenience and developed as such in conjunction with the other "permanent" buffs, Fortitude and Wild.

I'm just painting the picture that way back when, blessings perhaps had some potential to tip in the other direction, more towards the limited, party-specific shaman totems, rather than moving towards the boring, semi-permanent blessings we have today. The consequence of course is that in order to maintain faction balance the shaman totems will eventually need to move in the same direction in order to keep up. Broken fights like the Twin Emperors make this particularly obvious.

...

Oh wow, I just checked out what Seal of Salvation looked like in Beta:

10 Mana, Instant cast, 15 second cooldown, 30 yard range

Places a Seal on the party member, reducing the amount of all threat generated by 50% for 30 seconds. Players may only have one Seal on them per Paladin at any one time.

This sort of thing is EXACTLY what I was thinking of. With this, paladins would become integral to the ACTIVE threat reduction of a raid, and not just some passive Alliance advantage. It might need some tuning, but the basic premise requires some interesting strategies in order to make best use of the blessings across the raid's top aggro-generators. What was so terrible about that more interactive blessing system in practice that made them systematically dismantle it into the passive buff system we have today, I wonder?

If Salvation still looked like that, I can tell you exactly what the first paladin's job would be.

"Pick highest DPS mage/warrior/warlock. Seal of Salv them. Pick 2nd highest. Hit them when cooldown is up. Repeat."

2nd paladin?

"Pick 3rd highest DPS mage/warrior/warlock. Seal of Salv them. Pick 4th highest. Hit them when cooldown is up."

And so forth. Other Seals would just be worked into the rotation of cooldowns, replacing Salv slots according to benefit/necessity, but it'd be the rare blessing/seal whose effect would be more valuable than keeping BWL bosses on the raid.

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Yes, that's true. MTT does not scale at all while innervate does. But even in its present state I think MTT comes quite close to innervate. (Correct me if I'm wrong) I'm assuming innervate restores a total 6000-7000 mana over its duration every 6 minutes.

Another problem with MTT is that you have to subtract the effects of mana stream, and also assume that many fights require a different water totem to be out. MTT would be comparable to innervate if innervate made that person's group lose a decent part of the effect of mark of the wild for about a minute per innervate.

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Hmm, these group set ups are interesting.

We usually split up the tanks into identical war/war/war/sha/lock or war/war/rogue/sha/lock groups, then all the rogues/sha in a group, all the hunters/sha in a group, and then shaman spread out intermittently as attendance allows.

Hmmmmmmmmmm, certainly gives me something to think about.

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Hmm, these group set ups are interesting.

We usually split up the tanks into identical war/war/war/sha/lock or war/war/rogue/sha/lock groups, then all the rogues/sha in a group, all the hunters/sha in a group, and then shaman spread out intermittently as attendance allows.

Hmmmmmmmmmm, certainly gives me something to think about.

If you love your rogues.

If you really love them.

And you don't need a warrior to tank.

Give the rogues a warrior and make sure the warrior battleshouts.

When we're forming our groups, the very first thing I try to do is make sure our rogues get warriors to go with them.

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Oh wow, I just checked out what Seal of Salvation looked like in Beta:

10 Mana, Instant cast, 15 second cooldown, 30 yard range

Places a Seal on the party member, reducing the amount of all threat generated by 50% for 30 seconds. Players may only have one Seal on them per Paladin at any one time.

This sort of thing is EXACTLY what I was thinking of. With this, paladins would become integral to the ACTIVE threat reduction of a raid, and not just some passive Alliance advantage. It might need some tuning, but the basic premise requires some interesting strategies in order to make best use of the blessings across the raid's top aggro-generators. What was so terrible about that more interactive blessing system in practice that made them systematically dismantle it into the passive buff system we have today, I wonder?

I played a paladin first in closed beta, moved to warrior, but one thing that I think you may also want to look up is "seal of fury", that would sure be fun nowadays to put on a main tank :-P

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Thats still less than 15% of a priest mana bar.

Of course that's not much of a priests mana bar, but how much is that of a hunters ? Will that mana gained for their shots out dps the passive bonus of 10-21 agi ?

Thank you Bullbrain for running the numbers on that trinket, that gets Really good with those talents!

Paging all hunters to this thread, I'm really curious which one is better for the 1 shaman 4 hunter group, so I can figure out my next respec.

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You worry about your spec too much. As long as you have Nature's Swiftness you can do anything you want with the other 30 points and you'll be just fine.

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Just remember that an untalented mana spring totem gives a group 300 mana over 12 seconds, which is incidentally the length of time you would need to have MTT out. It also costs 60 mana and stops your regen for 5 seconds. All told you and group mates are probably losing over 500 mana to use MTT or the enamored spirit.

edit: add 300 more mana lost for the enamored spirit

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If Salvation still looked like that, I can tell you exactly what the first paladin's job would be.

"Pick highest DPS mage/warrior/warlock. Seal of Salv them. Pick 2nd highest. Hit them when cooldown is up. Repeat."

2nd paladin?

"Pick 3rd highest DPS mage/warrior/warlock. Seal of Salv them. Pick 4th highest. Hit them when cooldown is up."

And so forth. Other Seals would just be worked into the rotation of cooldowns, replacing Salv slots according to benefit/necessity, but it'd be the rare blessing/seal whose effect would be more valuable than keeping BWL bosses on the raid.

If balanced appropriately such a system could be effective. Imagine paladins switching back and forth between throwing down salvation and some sort of windfury-ish blessing. Carefully managing hate reduction against DPS boosts by throwing around a limited number of spot buffs. (a global blessing cooldown of 15 seconds would help with this.) And you can't just assume that the threat-reduction buff would automatically dominate 99% of the time, since if that was the case its effectiveness would simply be reduced relative to the strength of other blessingss.

Ok, time for another of my half-baked blessing ideas:

Blessing of Sacrifice

500 mana, 20 yd range, Instant cast, 2 min cooldown

Places a Blessing on the Party member, transferring 50% damage taken, up to 500 per hit, to the caster. Lasts 15 sec or until the caster drops below 20% health.

This is the kind of powerful, situational Sacrifice I imagine that would actually be appropriately scaled and worth using in the endgame for something other than breaking Polymorph in group PvP.

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If balanced appropriately such a system could be effective. Imagine paladins switching back and forth between throwing down salvation and some sort of windfury-ish blessing. Carefully managing hate reduction against DPS boosts by throwing around a limited number of spot buffs. (a global blessing cooldown of 15 seconds would help with this.) And you can't just assume that the threat-reduction buff would automatically dominate 99% of the time, since if that was the case its effectiveness would simply be reduced relative to the strength of other blessingss.

Ok, time for another of my half-baked blessing ideas:

Blessing of Sacrifice

500 mana, 20 yd range, Instant cast, 2 min cooldown

Places a Blessing on the Party member, transferring 50% damage taken, up to 500 per hit, to the caster. Lasts 15 sec or until the caster drops below 20% health.

This is the kind of powerful, situational Sacrifice I imagine that would actually be appropriately scaled and worth using in the endgame for something other than breaking Polymorph in group PvP.

You'd wind up with rotating paladins on the MT in order to reduce spike damage as much as possible. If this meant dedicating one raid member (or, more likely, writing a mod) to switching paladins into and out of the MT group, it'd probably be worth it.

I understand your point, I just don't feel Blizzard to be capable of implementing it into the game in a suitable fashion. Get too situational and paladins will complain most of their arsenal is unused. Stay too general and you'll wind up with the exact opposite of what you're looking for - the situation I described, where one blessing/seal is clearly dominant and keeping it up is the primary job of the paladins. I don't trust Blizzard to walk the wire between the two extremes, and I see no reason anyone else would.

Simply put, at this point the paladin role is that of a strong buff support class with excellent healing capability. I don't foresee that changing, no matter how much more fun it might make your gameplay.

Ater 1.9 made it clear there was no chance in hell of a change in raid functionality, our paladins basically either adapted to being buffers/healers/cleansers (and I'll note: most of them chose this route), or rerolled.

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