Thursday, June 25, 2009

PTR 3.2 - Initial Impression for Holy Paladins

I've never been on the PTR before but with the severe mana regen nerfs incoming to holy paladins, I knew that I wanted to experience for myself how bad the nerfs really were before passing judgement.
PTR - Coliseum
I wasn't able to copy over my main in time but a premade paladin character was successfully copied over. The paladin got a lot of sweet gear for all 3 specs for PVE with full sets of T8.5 and complete Deadly gear for PVP, pretty nice hook ups.
I wasn't completely happy with how the holy set for the premade paladin turned out but I got to see the Mimiron 25 trinket, score! With that said, the enchants for all the gear was pretty funny such as PVP res enchants for shoulders/head for PVE gear and really weird enchants for the tank set.

It seems Blizzard wants Holy paladins to focus on smaller mana pools and lower crit/haste for more SP/mp5, which is a change I don't really agree with and it feels awkward. To test out some of these raid settings, I managed to get into a raiding guild within the first few minutes of logging into PTR. I healed the new boss for 10 man Vault with no meta gem and completely bad enchants! The new 10 man boss in Vault seemed too easy IMO.

Grid kept messing up for me so I had to heal using the default UI, which is horrendous since it won't show Beacon or Sacred Shield and I have to manually target to check the timer on it. It was weird having to Beacon the MT and never heal him, I habitually kept targetting him and casting a heal, then having to stop myself. I also had to remember who I SSed so I wouldn't overwrite my own FoL hot. Healing was very awkward but at that high gear level that they start you out with (I had about 2200+ SP, ~300 mp5, 27k mana, 24% crit, 500 haste), it was doable.

I gotta say that I did notice a very distinct lack of mana regen as I would nearly oom just doing a few HLs casts. The changes/nerfs were very disappointing. If anything, DP should have the MS effect removed to compensate for our severely nerfed regen. I also really felt that my overheal was skyhigh from watching my combat text mod (I didn't have recount) but I had to overheal in order to guarantee a steady stream of constant healing on the Beacon target, the MT.

Eventually after the raid, I found my way to the T9 vendor but I could only purchase the lowest T9 available to us. The DK/pally T9 sets were buggy as I could actually purchase some DK pieces for tanking and both T9 class sets didn't have their T9 set bonuses available. I'm hoping this means that they are being reworked as the T9 set bonus for healing paladins are horrible! I felt the T9 was a bit better than T8.5 but I didn't get a chance to compare as the PTR server got reset.

Overall, I think I can get used to the nerfs but I feel really gimped and really much less useful. These changes punish raids that have more than 1 holy pally IMO as druids/priests/shamans will be much better at healing. Paladins seem to have lost their synergy with the rest of the heal team and are like the odd man out.

So that is my initial impression of the PTR. I've given feedback in the hopes that Blizzard will realize they went too far with their nerfs but honestly, I doubt it as Blizzard tends to be neglectful of paladins and their concerns.

PTR also had a lot of bugs such as this one:

PTR - cube (2)
I'm guessing, these 3 NPCs have new skins incoming for the next patch. I wonder if Thrall will too!

As you can see, I didn't censor my paladin name so if you see me on the PTR, say hi! I am on the PVE server, Broxigar.

Till next time!


  1. Hi, I am interested to know why you have much less synergy with the rest of the heal team?

    Was there a second holy pally in your raid, as more than 1 beacon should stack on the same target as blizz promised, was that the case? if so, multiple holy pallies should be viable.

  2. Synergy is achieved by being part of a team and working together harmoniously.

    Spamming oveheals because the raid healers are topping off your targets before your heals hit, but HAVING to do this or risk the tank dying is effectively being a null value to the raid healing team. You may get off a heal that helps, but, really, you did not assist them in any effective manner. They might as well not count you as raid healing because you aren't actually doing that.

    Additionally using FoL with SS on a target requires you to hit the tank with this and then switch back to a raid memebr for more healing while that is ticking. With the default UI, that is a horrible proposition. So your new HoT is not being used on a raid target.

    Essentially instead of giving Holy an actual raid heal, with a longish CD that cost a ton of mana and was an emergency or moderate raid heal for balance sake, they gutted the single target heals with a lame attempt at raid healing that now allows them no tank healing, nor raid healing.

    Shaman have been stuck with MP/5 forever. Had they realized just how bad that stat is, they would have just quit a long time ago. Holydins might just show the problem with the stat.

  3. My impression was nearly identical to yours re: holy paladin experience. You're right, the default UI is beyond awful for our healing, this definitely threw me, but more so on my pally than priest.

    I have tried two different raids on the PTR on my paladin and definitely feel like dead weight despite the "great" gear. In fact, after one I got asked kindly "have you ever played a paladin before? because your healing was the lowest in the raid." I was... I should point out, the ONLY paladin in the raid, of any spec. Someone has to be on bottom, I guess, and while 100% overheal transfer through beacon is nice, we're at maximum getting off two weak heals in one GCD, which just isnt' going to compete well with all the instants flying around.

    Like you, I found casting holy light led to oom very fast. To put this in perspective for the non-ptr crowd, gemmed and enchanted in the PTR default gear a holy paladin can push upwards of 360 mp5. It's not enough. It is nowhere near enough; simply refreshing sacred shield and beacon of light our mana eeks downward healing with a flash of light-heavy style, and using more than a few holy lights in an encounter leaves you hitting divine plea and hand of sacrifice and wings and praying a dangerous amount.

  4. I doubt it as Blizzard tends to be neglectful of paladins and their concerns.

    I don't recall Blizz ever neglecting Paladins since patch 3.0.

  5. I can't believe Blizzard is nerfing our intellect talents and crit mana regen. I already have trouble managing mana on raid, and now they are doing this. From your experience in PTR, I think I'll remain sad and disapointed with the changes with Holy pallies. And Sacred Shield Hots?! I don't think I'll get used to that.

  6. Using the default UI would be horrible for paladin healing... absolutely horrible.

    The other healers should never be able to top off your Holy Shock and even FoL heals before they hit (unless you're using the default UI). They also should be helping more to heal the tank.

    Holy Paladins can have great synergy with the raid healing team in 3.2, if you take advantage of the synergy. The priests and druids use their AoE heals for the bulk of the healing, while the Paladins heals are used to spot heal the people who are most likely to die and to top people off who don't need another big AoE heal. Its really great synergy. Holy Paladins are the best healers at responding near-instantaneously to emergency damage. We're the ones who keep the people in the critical zone alive while the other raid healers take care of the relatively unimportant, non-lethal damage coming in.

  7. @Celton, I don't even know why you bother to post comments when you seem to play a completely different style of paladin and are so sure it's the only correct way of playing. With that said, I disagree with you but as you're too busy trying to poke holes in any of my posts...

    BTW, addons are very buggy on PTR so I was forced to use default UI. Honestly, find some better things to pick on if you want so bad to "prove me wrong."

    There's no synergy when all you're doing is heal sniping.

  8. The Intelligence debuffs are what primarily concern me.

    However, from what I've read it seems like the complaints are generating mostly from playing with the same strategy that's been employed in Ulduar, and I got the impression from the blue posts that I read that the intent was to change the way paladins heal so that we're not simply just focusing on HL.

    What I've been wondering is how are the HoT's working with using Flash Heal while Sacred Shield is up. Does the HoT stay on the target after SS drops (since it lasts only 6 seconds), or do you have to keep SS up to keep the HoT up? Also; if you place Beacon on one player and you SS'ed that person, then Flash Healed someone else, would the HoT still land on the person with the SS?

  9. @Tommy, Sorry I haven't gotten the chance to be in raids with a 2nd holy pally. I've only managed to get into 2 10 man raids and I see more shaman/druid healers. I believe Beacon would stack if on the same target and technically multiple holy paladins are viable BUT we are still unable to deal with raid wide aoe damage so 2 holy paladins will not be as desirable as 1 holy paladin & 1 disc priest IMO. Though that may change because of the large regen nerf to our burst heal capabilities.

    @Uninspired, I don't know if Blizzard cares to fix the Mp5 issue as their goal is to make mana regen for healers hard and not to make mp5 more attractive or scaling better.

    @Tiraslin, I'm really hoping that these changes get tweaked or reverted but I'm not counting on it.

    @Anonymous, I guess they're technically not neglectful as they're always drastically changing the classes but they ARE neglectful of our existing class issues: mobility and aoe healing/mitigation.

    @Anonymous, it's a slight tweak in heal style and it's not that hard to get used to but yes, it is VERY awkward.

    @Anonymous, No the HoT would not land on the person you SS via Beacon. So basically what I have been doing is SS myself or some other dps so I can reliably heal MT/OT without worrying about the HoT being overwritten and Beacon the MT/OT. You can also SS the Beacon target and just ignore the HoT effect or keep it up but it still remains that the whole system is just plain awkward. The Hot is a 12 sec HoT and it does remain on the target after SS drops off. I believe the FoL will be a HoT as long as SS is active on the target when it casts. Hope this helps.

  10. I tend to agree with Celton.
    I think I'm going to enjoy the new healing style here.

  11. @Celton

    Responding to burst damage? What do we have? A 1.5 second weak heal, a 3 second giant heal that now effectively destroys our mana pool, and a mana-inefficient instant heal that sort of does the job. Now, if we need to be more mana-efficient, then we sure as heck won't be burst-healing. Holy Light is a proactive heal, Holy Shock is reactive... but again, they are both now mana hogs.

  12. Thanks for the feedback from the PTR. Do you think it's going to get to the point where we're replacing our crit/int trinkets with mp5 to make up the regen difference?

  13. It seems interesting to me that bliz refuses to give us another healing spell when our talent tree is just an example of why we desperately need one. Just comparing the number of absolutely worthless talents we have compared to the moderately worthless ones other healers have is like a punch in the mouth. If we had 1 other heal regardless of what it was we would at least gain a talent that wasn't totally worthless and a possible chance at the judgment talents being merged.

    I for one don't like the FoL "buff" being touted as a solution for Holy when its a baseline change to help every paladin. If they nerf Holy the need to buff holy straight up not expand our already packed baseline healing kit.

  14. I agree with all that's been said. I find druids priests and shaman are much better healers than palis. When i first started raiding upon hitting 80, i found ppl insulting to the point where they kicked me from their groups saying i hadn't got the right gear, I explained that i was doing the raid to gain gear and they told me that they would leave the group if i was healing so i had to leave to keep the peace! Now, our healing is being nerfed?? Why? and does Blizzard realise just how hard it is for holy pali's already?

  15. Hey! What addons do you use / how do you keep track of who your sacred shield / beacon is on? o_O

  16. I like the healing as it stands now. Paladin are the MT healers - Patch 3.2 will make me go retri or whatever other class (disc priest...)- Holy paladin are becomming scarce in Raid enviroments as they will suck BIG TIME - GG

  17. @JK Wood: I agree HS and HL are mana hogs but it doesn't stop me from using it. It just sucks that unless you have a very high gear level, you will be unable to use some of the more potent spells in our healing repertoire.

    @Adgamorix: No, I believe that mana regen trinkets will be even more important unless you plan on only healing with FoL. Time will tell with more certainty.

    @Matt: There are already tons of complaints about paladins healing as Prot in Arena. If they buff FoL, these complaints will go through the roof and it will also make Ret healing in Arena more viable. That's why I don't think they will buff FoL though of course, I could be wrong.

    @Anonymous: the problem with Holy paladins is that it's quite easy to pick up how to heal (there aren't that many spells) but it is much harder to learn how to heal effectively. We are a simple, yet deep class. I am sorry to hear you had such bad experiences and I hope that Blizzard addresses our concerns as a class.

    @Ketto: I use Grid and more addons that I use are in the addons link underneath my banner. You can add Beacon of Light and Sacred Shield as buffs in Grid and select how you want it to be shown - as a corner indicator or as a center icon. I go with corner indicator and also tweak the color to differentiate between the two spells.

    @Anonymous: Paladins are still MT healers but it will be more difficult for us to keep our spots. Paladins became very popular in WotLK so perhaps it is Blizzard's goal to decrease our population. Who knows?

  18. @Everyone I raid as a holy paladin and am almost through the 25 man Ulduar progression. First of it stands right now Holy Paladins are pretty decent healers. They really shine in big fights where everyone takes alot of damage like Hodir. The moonbeams are in there to help holy paladins spam the holy lights. The changes will even out since some of the overhealing will become healing due to the good changes and you will need to watch your mana more to make up for the bad changes. But what everyone is really forgetting is the VERY VERY best part about being a Holy Paladin Healer. YOU GET ALL THE PLATE CASTER GEAR THAT DROPS. This really helps your raid group more than you realize. If you don't have a pali healer your group misses out on gear progression.

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