A Guide to the Upcoming Changes

I found an interesting thread by Duljan posted in the WoW’s forum. Duljan has provided a comprehensive guide on the upcoming changes to the Paladin class.

I do agree with a lot of his research but being a protection spec paladin I am questioning a few of his comments on protection.

Avengers Shield Change – Don’t let the Avenger’s Shield change fool you. It may seem like a buff, but they missed the point entirely on this one. With the nerf to spiritual attunement, retaining enough mana to tank will be harder than ever for longer fights. We can now cast this for additional threat while tanking, which is nice. However, the mana cost is simply too high and you won’t be able to use it anyway.

I do agree that Avenger Shield mana cost is high but you will not use this talent as often as you think.

Buffs to Avoidance – Now they’ve “buffed” our tanking ability by buffing our avoidance. For example, they’ve re-itemized our T4 tanking gear by removing mp5 entirely and adding more avoidance to it. That’s just great. So now we don’t get mana back from overheals, we don’t take as much damage so I’m effectively gaining mana back slower than before, and we’re left spamming mana pots to tank….think about that for a second… a tank… spamming super mana pots… instead of healing pots at crucial moments.

It never hurts to bring mana pots or cast seal of wisdom

———————-

Here is the post.

I’ve spent the better part of the last two days evaluating the nerf from all angles and running tests on PTR vs Live to get a good understanding of what this patch is going to do for us, both positively and negatively. I hope this gives the WoW community — not just Paladins, but other classes and devs as well — a better understanding of where this patch places the paladin class. Along the way, I will offer suggestions that either I or other paladins have come up with.

*note* Most of my comments are PvE related. It seems many of these changes were centered around PvP, particularly arenas, which is a step in the wrong direction in my opinion.

HOLY

Spiritual Attunement Changes: This nerf was necessary to counter the overwhelming synergy between the shadow priest and the holy paladin. Unfortunately, by nerfing this talent, you also nerfed paladin tanking and, indirectly, shadow priest raid viability.

* Paladin Tanks – I will cover this later in the post

* Shadow Priests – The strength of the Shadow Priest + Paladin combo was unmatched, admittedly overpowered, and needed tweaks. However, by nerfing spiritual attunement, shadow priest raid viability has been compromised. I honestly can’t conjure up any way to counter this nerf to shadow priests, other than perhaps buffing the mana gained from Vampiric Touch from 5% to perhaps 7 or 8%.

Illumination

I finally was able to join the PTR and do some testing with the illumination changes. I took two different sets of gear (MP5 focused set and a crit focused set) and ran some simple tests. Basically, I spammed different types of heals — using divine favor and divine illumination when they were up — until I was out of mana. Several tests were done for each category, and an average was calculated. Here were my results:

My MP5 set consists of ~180 mp5 (while casting) and ~16% crit (22% holy light)

My spell crit set consists of ~26% spell crit (32% holy light) and 90 mp5 (while casting)

*notes* Several tests were run to account for lucky or unlucky strings of crits which may have led to more or less healing, respectively. I also left out the actual amount healed since that number is largely dependant upon a third party stat that has nothing to do with illumination: +healing.

Live Servers (Pre-Nerf)

MP5 set

Flash of Light – 128 casts on average until 00m

Holy Light Rank 4 – 155 casts on average until 00m

Crit set

Flash of Light – 118 casts on average until 00m

Holy Light Rank 4 – 122 casts on average until 00m

PTR (Post-Nerf)

MP5 set

Flash of Light – 102 casts on average until 00m

Holy Light Rank 4 – 121 casts on average until 00m

Crit set

Flash of Light – 80 casts on average until 00m

Holy Light Rank 4 – 88 casts on average until 00m

From Live to PTR

Average nerf for Paladins that stack mp5 – 21%

Average nerf for Paladins that stack crit – 30%

*Afterthought*

As you can see, telling paladins to “stack mp5 instead of crit, noobs” does not solve the problem, because even those people that stack mp5 are getting nerfed…. granted, not as much as those that have been stacking spell crit gear.

Take notice of the fact that stacking crit gear actually made me go 00m faster than I did when I utilized mp5 gear. In each case, I was able to cast more heals using my mp5 set than with my crit set, indicating that spell crit stacking + illumination was never the problem. Those times where you saw a paladin heal forever without running out of mana were nothing more than extremely lucky strings of crits, which is proven by this testing to occur very rarely.

Re-Itemization

Testing aside for a moment, all of this means that paladin gear needs to be completely re-itemized, as most end-game gear has little —> no mp5 on it, and extreme amounts of spell crit, since spell crit was the heart of our holy tree.

Spell crit is now considerably less useful in PvE. Let me show you the math.

THE WAY IT USED TO BE

MP5 vs Spell Crit

1% spell crit = 21 spell crit rating

When deciding between an item with spell crit and an item with mp5, use this equation:

It takes 100 casts to see one crit if you have 1% to crit. With FoL being 1.5 seconds

100 casts x 1.5 second cast = 150 seconds to see that crit (assuming non-stop FoL spam)

The crit refunds 180 mana (assuming top rank of FoL is cast)

So, 1% spell crit = 180 mana / 150 seconds

Equation which solves just how much mp5 = 1% to crit

x mana/5 seconds = 180 mana / 150 seconds

x = 6

1% spell crit = 6 mana / 5

What that means is, you spammed for 2.5 minutes to get that 1% crit. It takes 2.5 minutes for 6 mp5 to also regen 180 mana.

This, of course, means that you’d have to spam without stopping for 2.5 minutes to reap the benefits of that 1% crit. If you take a break in casting, or cast other spells, x becomes even less.

THE WAY IT IS NOW

MP5 vs Spell Crit

1% spell crit = 21 spell crit rating

When deciding between an item with spell crit and an item with mp5, use this equation:

It takes 100 casts to see one crit if you have 1% to crit. With FoL being 1.5 seconds

100 casts x 1.5 second cast = 150 seconds to see that crit (assuming non-stop FoL spam)

The crit refunds 90 mana (assuming top rank of FoL is cast)

So, 1% spell crit = 90 mana / 150 seconds

Equation which solves just how much mp5 = 1% to crit

x mana/5 seconds = 90 mana / 150 seconds

x = 3

1% spell crit = 3 mana / 5

**Disclaimer: This comparison can only be made when doing the only thing a paladin is really good at: spamming heals non-stop on a single target. As I said above, if you take a break in casting at all, or cast any other spell, then the mp5 equivalent becomes even LESS.

That’s right. 21 spell crit rating now is equal to 3 mp5 in long fights (PvE). Crit is now nothing more than a PvP luxury. So now all of those shiny epics with spell crit are god awful in comparison to mp5. PvP gear is fine, but PvE gear is now crap. Can we please get our gear re-itemized to be on par with where it needs to be? That means less spell crit, more +healing, and more mp5.

Re-working of the Holy Tree

By nerfing illumination, several other talents have also indirectly been nerfed.

Divine Intellect – The potency of this talent has been reduced. While it still increases our mana pool and, via other talents, our damage and healing; additionally, the crit chance earned for speccing into this talent is reduced in effectiveness.

Illumination – the heart of the tree. The talent much of the tree was centered around.

Divine Favor – while a guaranteed crit is nice, it’s effectiveness has been reduced tremendously — particularly since divine favor has a casting cost.

Sanctified Light – 6% to crit with holy light.

Holy Power – 5% to crit with holy spells

Light’s Grace – the source of our 2 second cast holy lights. While this talent will still have its uses, since holy light spam will almost never occur post-nerf, the effectiveness of this talent has been compromised. In practice, the only time people will ever spam holy lights is extreme emergencies, and when the last talent I will mention is used….

Divine Illumination – admittedly, being able to actually GAIN mana if you got crits while this was active was slightly overpowered. But then again, it’s a 41 point talent…. it’s supposed to be very strong, right? At least that’s how warlocks and devs explain the absurdity of unstable affliction.

PROTECTION

Spiritual Attunement – This was indeed a crux for paladin tanks. It’s the reason this skill was introduced in the first place. As it was, having enough mana to tank on long fights and keep my TPS at a respectable level was a chore. With the buff to avoidance (more on that later), paladins will be taking less damage, and thus have less of an opportunity to gain back mana through heals. How about moving this talent into the protection tree and restoring it’s previous ability?

Avengers Shield Change – Don’t let the Avenger’s Shield change fool you. It may seem like a buff, but they missed the point entirely on this one. With the nerf to spiritual attunement, retaining enough mana to tank will be harder than ever for longer fights. We can now cast this for additional threat while tanking, which is nice. However, the mana cost is simply too high and you won’t be able to use it anyway.

Buffs to Avoidance – Now they’ve “buffed” our tanking ability by buffing our avoidance. For example, they’ve re-itemized our T4 tanking gear by removing mp5 entirely and adding more avoidance to it. That’s just great. So now we don’t get mana back from overheals, we don’t take as much damage so I’m effectively gaining mana back slower than before, and we’re left spamming mana pots to tank….think about that for a second… a tank… spamming super mana pots… instead of healing pots at crucial moments.

One-Handed Weapon Specialization: – This is a nice change, and will help paladin tanks with their TPS.

Ardent Defender – since our HP is notably lower than other tanks, this was also a nice change, though it skates around the real issue, which is our relatively low HP for a tank.

RETRIBUTION

Sanctity Aura – this is a step in the right direction, but still not where it needs to be for a raid viable spec. 2% / 4% would be much better.

Vengeance – While this change nerfs a paladin’s burst dps, it increases a paladin’s overall sustained DPS. This is a nice change; however, how about making the stackable increase like judgements, where a crit during the duration would refresh the stackable effects? (By the way, judgement refreshing is still buggy)

Edit: Tested on the PTR. Getting a crit does in fact refresh vengeance. Excellent
[ Post edited by Duljan ]

FINAL THOUGHTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Holy – Restore spiritual attunement to its original state and move it into the protection tree. Restore illumination to what it previously was to avoid nerfing 6 of our other talents as well. Also, change divine illumination so that you only regain mana equal to the current casting cost of the spell, to avoid actually gaining mana by criting during it’s duration. Those were the real problems; not illumination, as was proven by my testing. If you feel this change is needed, then please re-itemize our endgame gear accordingly.

Protection – Again, restore SA (possibly even buff it) and move it into the protection tree. Prot paladins need this skill to tank effectively. A tank being forced to pop mana potions is absurd. As far as itemization goes: if you must, reduce dmg/healing on tanking gear and add avoidance stats in exchange. We’d rather have spell damage reduced rather than a mp5 reduction.

Retribution – nice changes overall, but still not where it needs to be for raid viability.

Source: Paladin WoW Forum

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3 Responses to “A Guide to the Upcoming Changes”


  1. 1 Tetja April 18, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Perhaps “forgetting” to refresh Holy Shield so we take more damage and hence get healed more – for a reckless way to get our mana back 😉 Healers have too much mana anyway.

  2. 2 HighLordSkie May 20, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    one thing ive learned about the “longer” fights as a tank pally, after you’ve unleashed your consercation, gained agg click on seal of wisdom and keep that mana up, to deal more damage and heal yourself incase for some reason somethign goes wrong.

  3. 3 Leykis May 21, 2008 at 10:18 am

    As we can all see, the “nerfs” totally screwed pallies. In fact, Pallies are still MT healers. Pallies are now MORE prominent as MTs and OTs and not just as AOE tanks. Ret pallies (properly played, of course) aren’t in demand by ANYONE.

    I get the whole gloom and doom, and the changes were accurate, but overall, Pallies kept being pallies and in fact, with future changes, we got even stronger.


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