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The Way of the Light: Holy in Cataclysm


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#1 malthrin

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:29 PM

This thread is the home for Cataclysm discussion about the Holy tree and healing specs in general. I'll keep this post updated with relevant links to blue posts and other previews as they become available. Constructive criticism is fine; whining will be infracted.

Here's what we know so far:
4/14/10 - World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Cataclysm Class Preview: Paladin

New Paladin Spells

Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin’s shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure's ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield.

Healing Hands (level 83): Healing Hands is a new healing spell. The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a Healing Stream Totem. It has a short range, but a long enough duration that the paladin can cast other heals while Healing Hands remains active. 15-second cooldown. 6-second duration.

Guardian of Ancient Kings (level 85): Summons a temporary guardian that looks like a winged creature of light armed with a sword. The visual is similar to that of the Resurrection spell used by the paladin in Warcraft III. The guardian has a different effect depending on the talent spec of the paladin. For Holy paladins, the guardian heals the most wounded ally in the area. For Protection paladins, the guardian absorbs some incoming damage. For Retribution paladins, it damages an enemy, similar to the death knight Gargoyle or the Nibelung staff. 3-minute cooldown. 30-second duration (this might vary depending on which guardian appears).


  • Cleanse is being rebalanced to work with the new dispel system. It will dispel defensive magic (debuffs on friendly targets), diseases, and poisons.
  • Holy Shock will be a core healing spell available to all paladins.
  • We want to increase the duration of Sacred Shield to 30 minutes and keep the limit to one target. The intention is that the paladin can use it on their main healing target. That said, we would like to improve the Holy paladin toolbox and niche so that they don’t feel quite like the obvious choice for tank healing while perceived as a weak group healer.
  • We want to add to the Holy tree a nice big heal to correspond with Greater Heal. Flash of Light remains a fast heal, but will be more expensive to justify the cast speed. Holy Light will be the go-to heal that has average efficiency and throughput. Beacon of Light needs to be changed so that its benefit is letting the paladin heal two targets at once, not letting the paladin get two heals for the mana cost of one. It’s intended to save GCDs and targeting time, not mana.
  • Holy paladins will use spirit as their mana regeneration stat.

In addition we’re changing the paladin heal design to match that of the other healers. Holy Light is the middle heal. It’s very efficient, but not particularly fast and doesn’t have a lot of throughput. Flash of Light will be the faster heal that costs more mana. (Currently paladins sort of flip the model around by having a fast, efficient heal.) Holy paladins can talent into an additional heal that is like a giant Holy Light. It might take three of these big heals (or two crits) to get a tank from death’s door back to 100% health.

Currently on live, Beacon of Light is a tool that allows paladins to target more than just the main tank. In Cataclysm if it just doubles their healing, it is going to be overpowered. We have two ways we might handle this and we’ll experiment to see which feels better. The first is that Beacon only works on some heals, such as Flash of Light or Holy Light (but not the big one). An alternative idea is that Beacon increases the mana cost of a heal cast on a beaconed target, since you’re essentially getting a double heal. Under this model, Beacon itself would cost no mana.


World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> #BlizzChat Developer Chat on Twitter -- 7.16
7/16/2010 - Dual Resource System Works like combo points.

Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:
An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power

We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest's Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.


7/7/10 - World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Cataclysm Class & Mastery Systems Update
7/21/2010 - NEW TALENT TREES! WoW Talent Calculator - Sigrie
Looks like Seal of Wisdom and meleeing for mana are still fair game:

Seal of Insight: Fills the Paladin with divine power, giving each single-target melee attack a chance to heal the Paladin and restore 4% of the paladin's maximum mana. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time. Unleashing this Seal's energy will deal Holy damage to an enemy.

Holy signature abilities:

Paladin - Holy
Invokes the power of the Light to protect and to heal.
Holy Shock
Meditation
Healing Bonus


There is no Divine Illumination. Divine Favor is 100% chance to crit on your next heal with a 1 min cooldown.


World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Paladin Build 12644 Feedback.
7/30/2010 - New Mastery

The current Holy paladin mastery:

Your healing spells also place an absorb shield on your target for X% of the amount healed lasting 6 sec. Absorb increased further by mastery rating.


Other links on Cataclysm healing philosophy:
World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Healing in cata .. [blizz post]
World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> What a HORRIBLE philosophy!
Lampkin in EJBSG 28 | Anders in EJBSG 24 | Cavil in EJBSG 20
Boomer in EJBSG 19 | Roslin in EJBSG 17 | Roslin in EJBSG 13 | Roslin in EJBSG 8
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#2 frmorrison

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 01:39 PM

World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Changes in Cata and Tank Damage for Pally

I'm exaggerating slightly here, but our LK model for Holy paladins was that they could only do one thing well so they might as well be overpowered at it. We could essentially just balance incoming tank damage around outgoing paladin healing. The paladin niche was very small, so if they weren't good at single target and mostly tank healing, they'd be replaced. Yet because it was small, there wasn't much risk of overstacking them as healers.

That model worked okay but it ultimately wasn't what we wanted, so we're going to change it in Cataclysm as much as we can without all of the healers playing identically. You should feel more comfortable having a paladin heal the raid and a druid heal the tank than most groups typically do now.


Not any of this is a surprise, but it is nice to see further clarification.

#3 Nnr

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 06:12 AM

Since new talent trees are up, it looks like Blizzard actually managed to pull off the "only important talents in the trees" 31-point trick. Base talent build in the current beta build seems to be exactly 31/0/0 and seems to cover everything (except a proper raidwall, read on) you might need as Holy. I suppose that Divine Light talent, required to take Aura Mastery, will become The More Powerful than Holy Light Heal. Downside right now is that you can't possibly (you can spend 41 points) go deep enough in Prot to get Divine Sacrifice or Improved Devotion Aura (now widely used in endgame builds), as it's down the third tier.

So far best I came up with is 31/10/0 with 30% increased absorb from Sacred Shield and shorter HoP cooldown, but since we haven't really seen any fights except bunch of 5-mans, it's pure theory.

EDIT: Fixing obvious errors.

#4 Blutelf

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 06:41 AM

Looking at the unfinished 31pt talent trees it seems that a couple of changes have been introduced to make holy leveling easier - free judgements on enemy target when cleansing or being hit and Illumination working on all spells and abilities. GC mentioned that Divine Favour was supposedly the 31pt talent instead of the current Divine Illumination. Also, Beacon of Light is supposedly working with Holy Shock as well as HL and Judgement heal the BoL target for damage inflicted.

Lots of changes still to be coming so this is nothing to get too excited about. Things which will probably change after the paladin revamp are the 2pt spell pushback resistance which every other healing spec gets for free and possibly having to spend a talent point on Divine Light, as well as some of the talents which were copied from the old trees such as Aura Mastery, Imp Conc Aura, Blessed Life.

EDIT: ^ The primary skills are skills gained at L. 10 when choosing a spec, I believe. Divine Storm e.g. was already confirmed to go back into the talent tree for Retribution so this is just an old beta build.

EDIT 2: I am not sure why you would not want to pick up magic dispelling through Sacred Cleansing for PVE, also I would suggest maxing out Inspired Judgement and, consequently, Seals of the Pure, and possibly get Eye for an Eye in the Ret tree. Those free Judgements when damaged might end up in some serious BoL target healing as far as we know!

#5 Nnr

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 06:51 AM

Seals of the Pure, and possibly get Eye for an Eye in the Ret tree. Those free Judgements when damaged might end up in some serious BoL target healing as far as we know!


That is actually pretty good idea, but 30% more absorb from Sacred Shield seems very tempting. Would still need to see the numbers to see if Holy Shock (especially with Specialization) will be a viable heal at last, cause then it seems good to take Crusade for 15% more Holy Shock healing. Also, to take dispel magic, you need to lose one point somewhere, ending up with something more like 31/3/7, right?

#6 Durinix

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:06 AM

The trees are horribly broken. If this was to go live as is i'd consider these specs:

http://talent.mmo-ch...5YZqPSuN,,12479 to heal as I could spam my highest cost heal as Divine Purpose is 2% of max mana per second (completely ignoring the design goal of cata)

http://talent.mmo-ch...hv2XENG9,,12479 for damage dealing as I get a 230% weapon damage Crusader Strike with no cooldown

#7 Nnr

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:17 AM

http://talent.mmo-ch...5YZqPSuN,,12479 to heal as I could spam my highest cost heal as Divine Purpose is 2% of max mana per second (completely ignoring the design goal of cata)


Wouldn't be that sure, as it all depends on how much mana you'll gain from Spirit and Meditation that you'll only have in 31+ Holy builds.

EDIT: MMO-Champion has official skill previews.

EDIT 2: Given that Divine Illumination seems to be redesigned to increase crit, becoming less reliable cooldown than it is now (especially with 2pT10), I'm thinking about dropping it out and putting more points in useful things like Improved Lay on Hands, unless Holy Paladins will get something awesome out of crit. Thoughts?

#8 iatnuolas

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 03:58 PM

I'm thinking about dropping it out and putting more points in useful things like Improved Lay on Hands, unless Holy Paladins will get something awesome out of crit. Thoughts?


From what I saw on WoWTal, I really feel like crit is going to be a more useful stat in 4.0 as opposed to now, since most of the modifiers in the Holy Tree are crit (Divine Illum, Selfless Healer, Sanctified Light, and Infusion), and Beacon is only going to be transferring Shocks/HL. I don't think that the SotP/EfaE combo will turn out being very strong, unless our Judgements end up doing major damage (not the ~2k it does now, considering the health pool size in 4.0). Plus, if you were going to run with that setup, I don't see why you couldn't run Purifying Power too, for the extra Judgement procs from Cleanses.

I'm thinking something like WoW Talent Calculator - Sigrie for now, and switching two points from Guardian's Favor / one point from Sacred Oath to Crusade, if Holy Shock turns out to be an impressive heal.

#9 frmorrison

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 04:10 PM

One preview I saw said Holy Shock was changing to 8% mana (from 18% current). Shock may still heal less than Flash, but if you get all the Shock talents (including Ret), it may make it very useful and decent hps. In addition, 15% run speed is nice to have.

The new Divine Illumination may be weaker than the live version, but it is still a good ability. With all the base crit from talents, adding another 30% gives you pretty good odds of getting a crit. It would be better for it to give slightly higher crit, so it can be used as a decent oh crap, I need big heals ability.

#10 flyingtoastr

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 05:01 PM

The new Divine Illumination may be weaker than the live version, but it is still a good ability. With all the base crit from talents, adding another 30% gives you pretty good odds of getting a crit. It would be better for it to give slightly higher crit, so it can be used as a decent oh crap, I need big heals ability.


Per GC:

There is no Divine Illumination. Divine Favor is 100% chance to crit on your next heal with a 1 min cooldown.


DI in the tree is replaced by DF.

#11 ballador

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:15 PM

I will say that I am a little excited about all the improvements they are doing to judgments for the Holy Tree.

Such as dispel and the caster of the debuff gets smacked with a judgment, which will also heal your beacon? (if I am reading everything correctly) ... that's a pretty damn cool effect for just dispelling a player. Sounds like if a boss puts out a debuff that it would be a really good idea to have Pally Healer's prioritize that dispell, as it will heal your beacon target, and produce a minor amount of damage on the boss. Very interesting, and I look forward to seeing exactly how it works in game.

#12 iatnuolas

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:04 PM

Sounds like if a boss puts out a debuff that it would be a really good idea to have Pally Healer's prioritize that dispell, as it will heal your beacon target, and produce a minor amount of damage on the boss.



I like what you're saying here, it's exactly what I thought of when I read the talents in Holy. If there's a fight like BPC in Cata (with multiple magic debuffs thrown out at once) it may be useful to prioritize a Holy Paladin for cleansing.

But personally, I'm betting that it's going to be more of a PvP oriented talent. For one, it might roll the cooldown on Judgement when you dispel or trigger an additional GCD, and two, I'm not sure that the 2-5k damage/transferred heal will be worth it, as opposed to just using a FoL or Holy Shock, for 10-15k and letting a Priest or Shaman worry about dispeling.

#13 Malleus

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:03 PM

Sounds like if a boss puts out a debuff that it would be a really good idea to have Pally Healer's prioritize that dispell, as it will heal your beacon target, and produce a minor amount of damage on the boss.


Talented, one Cleanse will get rid of a poison or disease effect and a magic effect on the same target. Assuming "Judgement ability" and "Judgement spell" are the same thing - which seems to be implied by the wording of Illumination, where "ability" and "spell" are used interchangeably - then using Seal of Wisdom you will get the following for your successful Cleanse:

* 1-2 Judgements,
* healing on your Beacon for the total damage,
* 4-8% of your maximum mana,
* an additional 1.5% of base mana for each Judgement that crits,
* a refresh on JotP without using a GCD.

However, I'm not entirely sure that this is how it will work. I wouldn't be surprised if what Purifying Power ends up doing is proccing our Seal when a debuff is Cleansed. This would be consistent with the MMOC skill previews showing that we're reverting to the TBC model of Seal of X proccing the ability Judgement of X when the Judgement spell is cast. It'd still be worth around 1.5-2k mana per Cleansed debuff, though, and with the twin stated aims of healers not spamming up to full all the time and having to care about mana we should be able to spare a GCD.

#14 Groglox

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 01:55 AM

We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest's Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.


Welp, we are going from two heals to 6.

It probably shouldn't surprise me that the first applications of one of the coolest creature designers ever made is going to be cockmonsters and titwalkers.


I mean christ, cunnilingus is much like being a resto shaman, you spam the button and let it do the work. So long as you change targets as appropriate you don't need to put any thought into it.


#15 Nätion

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 05:30 AM

Welp, we are going from two heals to 6.


3 to 7, no?

#16 Groglox

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 06:01 AM

3 to 7, no?

No one actually uses flash of light. :kirby102:

It probably shouldn't surprise me that the first applications of one of the coolest creature designers ever made is going to be cockmonsters and titwalkers.


I mean christ, cunnilingus is much like being a resto shaman, you spam the button and let it do the work. So long as you change targets as appropriate you don't need to put any thought into it.


#17 Blutelf

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:

* An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
* A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
* A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
* Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
* Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power


We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest's Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.

Q: Are Protection paladins still going to refresh Divine Plea on melee hit (via a talent or trained ability)?
A. Yes.

Q: Can you give us a sneak peek at one or two of the new abilities or talents?

Word of Glory: Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for a specific amount per application of Holy Power (0 mana cost, 0 cooldown, instant cast).


OK, these are quite drastic changes and we haven't seen all the new stuff yet.

So to summarize, we are going to collect Holy Power procs by using certain abilities on CD such as Holy Shock and CS and release them for damage buffs/abilities or an instant free heal. Also, Holy is getting what is basically Holy Breath, probably a cone-targetted direct AOE heal.

I am not sure about Healing Hands and Holy Breath. How are those abilites going to be different enough to justify using both of them? If Holy Breath is a ranged direct AE heal and Healing Hands a PBAOE HOT then Healing Hands is going to be way more situational. The only PBAOE heal I remember to have more than situational use was the old party wide Prayer of Healing, and that was a relatively powerful direct heal, not a HOT.

Is there some situation in the current raiding environment when Healing Hands as we know it now would be a useful spell? Surely more in 10 man raids than 25 man raids, maybe as a replacement for Wild Growth/CoH? Also, I imagine Holy Breath will have some sort of cooldown to try and force AE healing Paladins to run up to the groups that need healing. I hope that the Paladin rework will shed some more light onto this relatively new idea of Paladin AE healing.

Word of Glory, the instant 0-mana/CD-less heal, somehow sounds like an ability Retribution or maybe Protection would like to use. I am not sure whether Holy paladins are going to find use for a fifth single target direct heal (Flash, HL, GHL, HS, now WoG?). Although WoG is instant, and it remains to be seen how Holy Shock is going to be changed in the expansion, so having two instant heals might not be particularly bad for movement fights. We'll have to see how they want to implement this ability.

EDIT: Just noticed I was evaluating Word of Glory a bit unfairly. If mana is going to be a real issue in Cataclysm, then I imagine that replacing a HL/GHL with WoG might be a valid mana-saving strategy.

EDIT 2: GC just confirmed that Holy Power will be tracked via a new UI element - apparently a bar below the mana bar.

#18 holorob

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 11:04 AM

Holy Power seems like an interesting mechanic depending on how it is used. Will it depreciate over time, like rage/rune etc? Does it have a maximum, and how high? On that note, will different abilities increase or consume it at different rates? So many variables which could vastly change how the mechanic will work.

I'd really like us to become a melee centric healer. To some degree we already are with judging and meleeing for mana, but I think they could progress that to the next level. Staying in melee an PBAoE healing the MDPS and tanks, taking a step back to Light of Dawn them. Possibly we could become the melee raid healer, which could be an interesting niche for us (and something we already do to some extent with Glyph of Holy Light)

#19 [ Duracell-]

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:23 PM

These changes do prove to be very interesting. More heals will open up rotations over just pure HL spam.

A PBAOE spell won't necessarily be a bad thing if we are intended to be melee-centric healers. Like holorob said, it would put us in an interesting position, but on the other hand, doesn't that go against their Cataclysm policy of doing away with niches as much as possible?

One thing I'm curious about is if the heal amount will vary depending on range. If it's a straight up direct heal for everyone in the cone's range that doesn't diminish, then it will be probably a bit overpowered.

#20 Lunkhedd

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 05:39 PM

;1703939']
A PBAOE spell won't necessarily be a bad thing if we are intended to be melee-centric healers. Like holorob said, it would put us in an interesting position, but on the other hand, doesn't that go against their Cataclysm policy of doing away with niches as much as possible?


Paladins being melee-oriented healers may well fit with their plan, mentioned in one of the other responses, for giving healers the ability to recover mana by doing damage. Paladins already have a mechanism for that, Seal of Wisdom, which already requires being in melee. The Holy Power system makes that stronger by letting them throw in Crusader Strike to build up power faster, and Healing Hands fits in perfectly. For fights where the raid groups up in a few spots, paladins can likely use Healing Hands to cover one group and Light of Dawn to hit another (since, as a cone, it'll be wider at range), giving the two AoE heals complementary uses.




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