Thursday, October 21, 2010

4.0.1 and initial Holy Pally reaction

So, I spent 2 hours patching then another 3 hours readjusting my UI and figuring out my spec (which I am still not happy with) and wondering what on earth is going on with glyphs.  Oh man, I wish I were an inscriptor, they were raking in the money!  RAKING IT IN.

But this is a holy pally post - a very bad, I haven't raided yet, wtfamIdoing post.

First of all, I would like to welcome my new Holy Rogue style of play to my keyboard.  I can't tell you how immeasurably happy I am to have my 2 favourite classes smooshed together in such a way.  I was leaping around my chair with excitement.  It seems blizzard are finally pushing paladins back into melee.  I never understood why Holy Paladins all stood at range to heal.  It doesn't fit the lore, or the class.  I was always in the thick of it, seal twisting depending on what I needed at the time, health or mana, and by doing that, allowing myself to use different stats to other paladins.  I could value crit higher.  Bring on the Combat Medic, I say.  I am looking forward to raiding encounters in Cata which will allow this to happen.

I am going to ignore anything about spec and glyphs for the moment.  I am not convinced mine are right and I need to play a little to figure out what I think is useful in terms of spells before I tweak in any way yet.  I expect to be spending some gold on respecs.

For reference, I have a spec something like this.

First of all what do we have to use as a holy pally now?
The very first thing I noticed was I have a lot less on my bars, but a lot more that I need to look at.  I have moved from 1 bar under my feet with OHSHIT buttons and a GCD timer from quartz, to 2 bars and a holy power meter and quartz to manage everything I feel I need to watch constantly.

It seems things are now grouped into 3 catagories for healing.

Holy Shock - This seems to be our bread and butter heal.  I keep it on CoolDown (CD) at all times.  It was reasonably cheap and generates Holy Power (HP).  If it is not on CD, why not?  As far as I seem to play, it is always on cooldown.
Word of Glory - This is a free heal. Again, if you have HP and it is not on CD, why is it not on CD?  Use it at every opportunity you have, generally on the tank, but really whatever needs it.  3 HPs mean the heal gets up to 5k.
Divine Light - This is our heavy hitting heal.  Seems to me to be a little underpowered for the mana cost at the moment. I am sure this will get balanced out at 85 as we scale up.  For the moment, use sparingly and only in emergencies.
Flash of Light - Ok, so this is our upside down heal.  What used to be a quick small cheap heal is now a quick EXPENSIVE middling heal.  Bigger than holy light. I seem to be using this a lot in heroics, its fast and fights dont last long enough for me to run out of mana.
Lay On Hands - This is unchanged from 3.x, but now the CD is 10mins base.  Which is pretty much one per fight.  Looks like every pally took the glyphs/talents to reduce the CD on this, so Blizz decided to just reduce the CD. Smart move.
Holy Light - What used to be the staple for healing is now probably going to gather dust till we hit 85.  It is REALLY cheap now, like ludicrously so, but it heals like you are drinking water as a placebo.  I suspect it is designed to be our average damage evener-outerer (the math design says that is the case).
Light of Dawn -  This has a great graphic! The conal area of effect will take some getting used to, but this will be a great melee healing device.  Wont work so well on ranged, they generally don't like standing in any position which will make this at all useful.
Beacon of Light -Despite the nerf, I found that bacon should be on the tank at all times regardless of anything else.  We have so many more instant and free heals to throw around, that requiring this to be 100% I feel certainly would have been over powered.  The HP talents that go with this make it even more attractive as it will generate a free heal for every 3 casts.
Seal of Insight -  Go forth and be a combat medic.  Hit shit the way Paladins were meant to!  FINALLY! So happy about this change.

Holy Power Generation
Crusader Strike - Combat Medic strikes again.  If you get a free cycle, throw up a crusader strike and generate HP.  Hitting stuff is fun.
Judgement - old faithful.  Use it when you can.
Holy Shock - Yep, should always be on CD and always generating HP for you.

Mana regeneration
Divine Plea - Seems this is pretty much unchanged from 3.x in terms of how and when you would use it (which is obviously, use early, use often)
Seal of Insight - Again with going in and being a combat medic, this seal regenerates not just health, but mana too.

UI changes?
We have a lot fewer spells to deal with now, but there are a lot more things to watch.  All our spells are on odd cooldowns, and we need to keep track of HP to be sure to use Word as often as we can.  I came up with a bit of an odd idea - I have a mostly opaque bar under my toon's feet with all my heals on it, behind that I used a mod (in this case, IceHud) to place the holy power bar behind that, so I could see at a glance which of my heals were ready to use, and how much HP I currently had.

However, I have now decided that is a terrible idea and simple have a counter next to that healing bar instead.

So, that's my initial reaction to what we now have to play with.  I have some idea of how to use it now, but really, I have a nasty feeling that our gimpedness now will not be an issue at 85.  We are in pre-cata patch testing... the talents and abilities we have now are not designed to be ready for 80.  They are designed for 85 raiding.  So, if you feel your incapable of being useful in heroic LK, have a break!  Don't cry and say that your class is broken and you are going to reroll, and blizzard doesn't love you and all that other QQ I am seeing at the moment.  I cant recommend more that you play an alt and go see what HEALING TALENTS classes have in their trees now.  Judgement of Light might be gone, but it has been absorbed as talents in just about every talent tree I have looked at.  Little things like that.  Go see what syngergies are out there now for you.  Yeah, so you will have less HPS on the healing meters, SO WHAT? As long as your targets stay alive and the boss dies, does it matter if you are at the top or the bottom of the meters?

Go play an alt.  Go play the auction house.  Have a break!  You have earned it.