4.2 Balance Changes: Holy Paladins

Paladin
Here are developer thoughts on a few Holy paladin-related issues:

Mana – we still think the 4.2 changes are necessary. Many of you disagree. We're not sure we can resolve the disagreement without all of us (players and developers) sitting around a table going over a lot of raid parses, which obviously isn't very realistic. We don't want to shut down the conversation completely, but at the same time, this is a topic we have spent a lot of time on internally, and we still like the 4.2 changes. If you're right and we overcompensated, then we'll admit we were wrong and make changes. We don't think that will happen though. We think Holy paladins will remain awesome healers.

Beacon of Light – Ideally the way we want it to play out is that you are healing non-Beacon targets (i.e. using the transfer) most of the time. However, sometimes that 50% healing transfer isn't sufficient and you have to actually heal the Beacon target directly. Yes that is less efficient, but there is no point worrying about efficiency when your tank is dead. (If you can't sometimes heal your Beacon target directly without having severe mana problems, then you probably need to gear up more for the content you're attempting.) Tower of Radiance was designed as consolation for healing the Beacon target. It was a better talent when it affected Holy Light, but unfortunately it was so good that the default behavior became only healing the Beacon target. That's not what we want either.

Light of Dawn – like many AE spells, Light of Dawn doesn't scale well from 5-player dungeons (or even 3-player Arena teams) up to 25-player raids. Maybe the solution in the future is to somehow have the spells themselves scale with group size, but in the mean time we made 4.2 changes to get players in larger raids to use Word of Glory a little more often. Light of Dawn will still gets tons of use in big raids, and we're fine with that.

Holy Radiance – this spell hasn't played out as we'd hoped. The initial design was that the paladin would heal targets around him, perhaps relying on the Speed of Light sprint to get to clumped, wounded targets, or even try healing in melee on occasion. We solved initial usability problems by just buffing the heal over and over, especially the range, such that the position of the paladin in the group is almost irrelevant now. Yet because it maintains an instant cast, there isn't a lot of interesting gameplay around Holy Radiance. It would probably work better as a cast time heal with no cooldown, so that you had the choice of using it or a single-target heal in the same way a shaman chooses Chain Heal when appropriate. Ultimately this might allow paladins to feel like they could be assigned to AE healing. That's a big redesign, but something we're considering.
Wel, thanks I guess....for the old news?
tldr
we feel even tho lots of holy paladins are complaining we are in the right,
when sufficient amounts of holy paladins have ended their subs we will look at it again

why does this expansion seem intent on letting the dps "stand in the fire" and if everyone dies because the healers "mana efficient spells" don't cut the mustard ..its down to the healer

I like "challenging" encounters ..for one however I don't find it fun when the healer is always to blame for the dps's mistakes
21/06/2011 15:01Posted by Takralus
We think Holy paladins will remain awesome healers.


But they could be even better. PvP still remains problematic for example. As for AoE, all the AoE tools have some issues with them as well.

Theres little, IMO, thats class breaking. But a fair bit that needs improvement.

It was a better talent when it affected Holy Light, but unfortunately it was so good that the default behavior became only healing the Beacon target. That's not what we want either.


And without HL, ToR became a little lacklustre.

Holy Radiance – this spell hasn't played out as we'd hoped. The initial design was that the paladin would heal targets around him, perhaps relying on the Speed of Light sprint to get to clumped, wounded targets, or even try healing in melee on occasion.


Few healers would ever try this.

It would probably work better as a cast time heal with no cooldown, so that you had the choice of using it or a single-target heal in the same way a shaman chooses Chain Heal when appropriate. Ultimately this might allow paladins to feel like they could be assigned to AE healing. That's a big redesign, but something we're considering.


The Paladins AoE toolkit is somewhat lacking. I'm not sure removing one of the few instant cast spells the class has is a good idea.

EJL
Mana – we still think the 4.2 changes are necessary


It is not that i disagree with the fact that we got too much mana but i disagree with the solution. A lot of paladins are extremely annoyed by the fact that we have to cast judgement every 10 sec to get "ideal" regen, and this mechanic is by far our greatest contribution to our regeneration. Most of us would much rather have seen that the mana from judgement of insight was nerfed/removed, which would actually be a huge nerf to our mana but would still improved the quality of life for most holy paladins.


Judgement of insight is a relic from an era where the mana from seal of wisdom(as it was named back then) was taken hugely for granted and with divine plea we already had enough mana for 110% of the fights duration. It was only used if we messed up never as a main source of mana. The current version of it sucks.
So is this how 'intellect plate that we don't like' will be done away with? Nerf Holy Paladins until no one want to play them and then intellect plate can be removed forever!

Good plan bro.
im fairly new to the holy spec, only picked it up a couple of months ago, i think theres some awesome points that make pallys unique and fun to play but theres certain points that really let them down (up to the point of certain moves never being used)

my favourite points in the class are the judgements, essential for not going OOM and as far as im aware a completely unique aspect to healing (especially awesome when using 2 points in the retri talent to upgrade to 30 yd range).
I also like the whole acquiring charges of holy power, word of glory is an awesome move, especially as there no mana cast ( and beautiful when it doesnt consume the charges)
beacon of light is another nice aspect, works really well, especially for 5-man hc's.

points that really annoy me about this spec, or at least the main point is holy light, i know the fairly standard set up is to have an average cast time low heal and mana efficeient, a fast heal medium power and not mana efficient and a big heal longer cast etc etc, however i fail to see the point of a spell that heals the average tank by roughly 4% of his health? this spell almost never gets used by me. holy shock is another low power heal, however this i dont mind as is instant cast and gives a charge of holy power.
light of dawn...i mean wow...it just completely sucks *%%!**!, the only time i ever use this is if i have a charge or a few and am not in combat, and even then just purely cos it looks awesome :P
guardian of ancient kings is really cool ability for holy, although sometimes just means a lot of overhealing, i think maybe this move could do with a bit of tweaking, perhaps something to give palas a bit of an aoe boost?
i think lastly probably something needs doing with the seal of insight, cos apart from judgements it is unused really, doesnt nedd anything to overpower it, just a little something to make it useful through out rather than just when judging.

to be honest all in all i dont find holy paladins that bad to play, but as far as healers go they seem to be at the bottom of the pile at the minute, i think even people who dont play the class recognise this as when i do random dungeons there is abuse straight from the start, people often say "oh great a pally healer", or tell you to re-roll spec etc, or my persoanl favourite was as soon as we got into the dungeon tnak goes "oh, pala" and leaves.

i think its time to buff the plate wearing lightwielders :)
Simple: If I won't win, I won't play. If I won't play, I won't pay.
This new trend of providing reasoning behind changes is AWESOME! <3

21/06/2011 15:01Posted by Takralus
We're not sure we can resolve the disagreement without all of us (players and developers) sitting around a table going over a lot of raid parses, which obviously isn't very realistic.


What about just providing the relevant logs and any computed aggregated data?

Would be interesting to know your assessments about other healers too.
hmm i really do like the last idea with the holy radiance it will feel like a priest.
Light of dawn is a really tricky spell to use and it does not heal that much.
I dont understand beacon.
And mana, thats probably because many people have got way to much spirit and they just dont participate in raid.
Maybe blizzard what you want to do is take spirit away from being a base stat and put mastery aswell as the shield, you get mana slowly back
I can say that our holydins consider spirit/regen an afterthought at the moment, but really i could say the same of any class. The idea that, in Cata, "Healers really need to be picky with heals" was something big, and frankly a bit intimidating. However, for all classes this was really only applicable during the first week or two of raiding. After a certain general gear and experience level, I see everyone pumping haste/mastery reforges and fine tuning the manner in which they use class-cds to "shine" at different phases.

With regards to Nuts+Bolts, I have some questions/comments:
The change on Mastery-stacking comes about 7 months late. Even us Blood DKs had our shield-stacking addressed before this. Everyone's going for haste at this point anyway so really... good job I guess?
HR-buffing is also nice but baffling. You said you wanted holy pally's to "feel" like the give more raid-healing, yet... once HR is used, they have what... a really negligable HL-raidheal? I dont get why you couldnt make HR a generic splatter-heal, a la Wild Growth, CoH or similar. Surely nobody likes the current 'cone', especially in encounters where pallies derpily stand at the back of a pack, obliging anyone wanting to interrupt/face them to rotate 180 "because its a paladin".
Paladins are still in the same spot, and a minor buff on a CD-heal that is used in succession with other generic healing doesnt really address the fact that sustained aoe healing is basically 'not for pallies".

Our Holydin(s) are ahead of the pack on mana regen and tend to love the specificity of their AoE healing, with only minor positional gripes-- we find in encounters where we're obliged to be spread rather than grouped during some heavy raid-wide-damage senario (I've heard a few mutters during magmaw heroic's terminal phase, but satisfaction during Chimeron, Nefarion, Maloriak et al) to be the exception rather than the rule.

My concern regarding 4.2 is essentially that this will be a classic case of Blizzard Overcompesnation-- ie you've identified what you perceive to be a problem: Paladins are a bit too good with mana management, nobody should have it so easy. In the light of this problem you've chosen to really tear into the guts of their healing values; as opposed to small fixes that will have little impact on 10s, you've taken the problem to heart and really want to fix Holydin's long-haul healing for 25s-- with all its mana tides, crossperks, multiple cds and generally less stringent 'personal' contributions to the raid. This will probably be a MUCH rougher change on 10m raiding than it will on 25m, where many of the basic 'values' in terms of damage done to tanks or the raid are only slightly greater than 10, but with a healing crew of 5-7 as opposed to 3, the task is much more spread out.

I do hope this 'discussion' isn't some bone you've thrown the community to give the impression that the raw data or antecdotal experiences is taken seriously. The more I play this game (4 years or something absurd) the more sure I am that your experienced, knowledgeable players are the ones you need to listen to to develop a better game. Sweeping changes, big nerfs, or casual-catering has done more to tear down your subscriber numbers more than any lofty "its circling the drain" post by PvE/PvP addicts. Really-- Work with us.
Mana regen is fine in PvE and also in PvP - even if I haven't seen that much Holy Paladins in PvP environment.

Beacon of Light - make the beacon target to be healed 100% of the amount.
(it sounds OP to PvP, but was the original idea of Beacon so, nothing to QQ about)

Light of Dawn - instead of healing in a cone, make it to heal in 180º in front of Paladin.
(I don't see any problem in PvP and for PvE, a better healer is good to all /raid)

Holy Radiance - increase the range.
(same thing as Light of Dawn regarding PvP and PvE, however and to compensate in PvP, I have not sure if Holy Radiance is dispellable, if not, make it to be possible)
I still say that our Mastery should give a greater % to the Beacon effect. Then it would be worth taking.
21/06/2011 19:49Posted by Zittra
Simple: If I won't win, I won't play. If I won't play, I won't pay.


silly comment imo. Do you want that we never run oom, spam FoL, and get back our Wotlk playstyle (as far that was a playstyle). I mean y, it was handy sometimes that i could watch the news, while eating a pizza and solo heal first 7 bosses in ICC. Ofc.. but it's boring. So, they make it a bit harder. so what? Work harder, get more respect for it later.


Nerfs and buffs come and go. Learn how to work around them (thats called skill btw) instead of relying on a certain way of healing.
I have 85 holy pally and i agree everything. But i had to read 3 times cuz i forgot when i was reading text xD.
Beacon of Light – Ideally the way we want it to play out is that you are healing non-Beacon targets (i.e. using the transfer) most of the time. However, sometimes that 50% healing transfer isn't sufficient and you have to actually heal the Beacon target directly. Yes that is less efficient, but there is no point worrying about efficiency when your tank is dead. (If you can't sometimes heal your Beacon target directly without having severe mana problems, then you probably need to gear up more for the content you're attempting.) Tower of Radiance was designed as consolation for healing the Beacon target. It was a better talent when it affected Holy Light, but unfortunately it was so good that the default behavior became only healing the Beacon target. That's not what we want either.


Tower of Radiance is just not that great in its current form. Out of the 5 heroic modes i have done, i use Blessed Life for all 5 of them. Tower of Radiance doesn't provide enough, and at least for 25 mans, it was easily possible for me to do those fights never healing the target of my Beacon. The only reason i've picked it up is because the fight we are working on is V&T and once that boss goes down it'll be swapped back to Blessed light.

I think the best way to change Beacon of Light is to remove the Holy Power gains from Tower of Radiance (honestly, it really doesn't provide that much Holy Power anyway) and change it to "Transfers 5/10/15% of your healing on the Beacon of Light to the lowest injured target within 60 yards." That way, although it's still not as effective as healing a different target, there is alot more choice as to whether to direct heal the BoL target or not.


Light of Dawn – like many AE spells, Light of Dawn doesn't scale well from 5-player dungeons (or even 3-player Arena teams) up to 25-player raids. Maybe the solution in the future is to somehow have the spells themselves scale with group size, but in the mean time we made 4.2 changes to get players in larger raids to use Word of Glory a little more often. Light of Dawn will still gets tons of use in big raids, and we're fine with that.


I do like Light of Dawn, the only thing that annoys me about it is the cone effect. I think it would be far better to have Light of Dawn as a direct heal version of Wild Growth (kinda like chain heal). The spell should require a target and "Heals the 5/6 most injured players within 20 yards of the target".

The reason i say this is because with Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn in their current forms, there is just too much focus on positioning. Positioning should have an impact yes, but not control the effects of all possible raid healing we can do, to the degree that it does.


21/06/2011 15:01Posted by Takralus
Yet because it maintains an instant cast, there isn't a lot of interesting gameplay around Holy Radiance. It would probably work better as a cast time heal with no cooldown, so that you had the choice of using it or a single-target heal in the same way a shaman chooses Chain Heal when appropriate. Ultimately this might allow paladins to feel like they could be assigned to AE healing. That's a big redesign, but something we're considering.


This is an idea i like, and i hope the consideration does turn into a re-work of Holy Radiance. Holy Radiance is boring, and its just used with very little consideration as soon as an AoE comes. If the idea does pull through and it does have a cast time, around 2 seconds would be the ideal ammount and it cannot have such a strong penalty for those a few yards away from the Paladin.




Mana – we still think the 4.2 changes are necessary. Many of you disagree. We're not sure we can resolve the disagreement without all of us (players and developers) sitting around a table going over a lot of raid parses, which obviously isn't very realistic


I agree that a change to mana was needed, though i disagree with the changes to Holy Light. I think the increase in mana cost should have been limited to Divine Light only.

Whilst on the subject of mana, i think its about time to re-work Divine Plea. I feel like the 50% healing debuff on Divine Plea use has stayed on for the sake of keeping the power rather than because of Balance issues. A change i would like to see with Divine Plea is, make it have a cast time (2.5 seconds is fine), make it castable on anybody in the raid and change it to "You gain 15% of your total mana over 15 seconds, increases all healing done by 10% during the duration". I feel that'll be an awesome tool to use, and giving the spell that effects can make use for some clever Divine Plea stratagies. For example;

"I am running a little low on mana, but do i really need the mana now, or should i wait 20 seconds for the heavy damage phase?"
"Do i give the effect to somebody else for regen/healing increase or do i save it for myself?"

I do not like it should be like the druids innervate where it can be glyphed in order to return 50% back to the caster, it should be a spell you either cast on yourself for the full effect, or cast on somebody else to benefit the raid and you recieve none of the effect.

(Damn 5000 char limit)
22/06/2011 20:09Posted by Zyhar
Whilst on the subject of mana, i think its about time to re-work Divine Plea. I feel like the 50% healing debuff on Divine Plea use has stayed on for the sake of keeping the power rather than because of Balance issues. A change i would like to see with Divine Plea is, make it have a cast time (2.5 seconds is fine), make it castable on anybody in the raid and change it to "You gain 15% of your total mana over 15 seconds, increases all healing done by 10% during the duration". I feel that'll be an awesome tool to use, and giving the spell that effects can make use for some clever Divine Plea stratagies.


That doesn't strike me as a balanced tool. Furtehr, I woudl disagree with the idea of beign able to cast it on other players. The Paladin has enough issues with tools being balanced for both caster and target and it doesn't need another one.

"I am running a little low on mana, but do i really need the mana now, or should i wait 20 seconds for the heavy damage phase?"


If you need the mana now...then you use it now. Better less healing later than no healing now. If you don't, you save the CD for later. This isn't an interesting choice.

"Do i give the effect to somebody else for regen/healing increase or do i save it for myself?"


Yourself, unless you have enough mana to tide you over until the next time.

DP is fine as things are. I've yet to see any valid argument against it beyond "I don't tlike the way it works". Granted, that is a valid argument of a kind, but its not enough to warrant redesigning the spell.

DP is a spell meant to benefit the Paladin. There isn't any real need for extra utility of that sort.

EJL
22/06/2011 09:19Posted by Sighuman
Mana regen is fine in PvE and also in PvP

Season 74 – 86 (46%) 1127

Right, if your mana regen is fine, then you went afk 86 times ?

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