Friday, July 17, 2009

PVE Projections for Holy Paladins in 3.2

Blizzard seems to have made it their policy in WotLK to design fights around stressing healers to the limits of their abilities. As such, mana regeneration is a vital standard to tweak. Mana regen for healers was deemed too high by Blizzard and spirit based regen was famously nerfed.

Now in 3.2, Replenishment will be nerfed. On top of that, holy paladins in specific will be targeted as Illumination and Divine Intellect is nerfed. Holy paladins are therefore facing a 3 pronged attack to their mana regen mechanics.

Currently, holy paladins favor stats like intellect, crit, haste and spell power. Mp5 is a stat that is mostly ignored for reasons I have detailed in previous posts explaining how mana regen works for a holy paladin.

So with the nerfs to Replenishment and our talent buffing our own intellect along with "buffs" to itemization allocation of mp5 on gear, will things change much for holy paladins?

This is my own opinion formed through my experience on the PTR, my current healing experience and my knowledge of my class. So feel free to disagree with me (respectfully if you so please).

  1. Some mp5 on gear will be acceptable. Not that this means itemization for a holy paladin is much different than it is now. We will still love crit/haste/SP itemized gear just that if some of our gear has crit/SP/mp5 or haste/SP/mp5, it won't be /eyeroll like it was pre-nerf. Holy paladins will therefore have more mp5 in our actual stats. I'm guessing ~3-400 mp5 will be optimal.
  2. Haste will be more desirable than crit - that is until you hit the soft haste cap at 676 haste rating. With the nerf to crit regen mechanics, having our heals land when we want will be more important than critting often. This is because having a very high crit rating won't be as important as trying to ensure a steady throttle of heals on the Beacon target. We will need to spot heal a lot more often and a high haste rating is vital to fulfill this role.
  3. Intellect stacking becomes more important than ever. Unless you are a holy paladin that plans on solely healing with FoL, all your gems and trinkets will be intellect based. With crit being heavily nerfed as our mana refund mechanic, stacking intellect to benefit from Divine Plea and Replenishment will be more important.
  4. New healing mechanics will encourage more spamming. Beacon counts overheal and that means some paladin healers may prefer to just target 1 person and spam all day long. Either that or they spend the entire raid playing whack-a-mole and heal sniping while refreshing SS and BoL.
  5. No raiding guild progressing through new content will ever need to recruit holy paladins. As holy paladins lose our niche as powerful tank healers, only 1 holy paladin is necessary. Usually guilds already have their 1-2 veteran holy paladin healer in place. Unless something drastic happens to their current token holy paladin, most guilds will probably be recruiting other healing classes. It is TBC SWP part deux. Who needs a 2nd (or even just 1) holy paladin when a priest or druid or shaman will be able to do the job better. For buffs, ret/prot pallies are perfectly capable of providing them. After 3.2, holy paladins are only buffers for other tank healers while not doing any real raid healing. The heavy lifting will fall on the other classes.
  6. Two schools of holy paladins will appear. There are already 2 types of paladins - those that favor stacking high SP and those that favor stacking high int via their trinkets, enchants and gems. Just that currently in end game raiding, most paladins are int stackers to support heavy HL usage. Both types should now be equally viable though I believe SP stacking paladins will be pigeon holed into FoL spammers while int stackers will be a little more versatile as they can support both FoL and HL usage.
Though there is a general consensus that holy paladins will now be more "balanced" in terms of stats, I still believe having a large mana pool is the best way for paladins to go. High haste is crucial for effective healing as we are single target healers on a cast time. In terms of throughput, haste>crit and ironically enough, there seems to be more crit to be found on gear in 3.2 rather than haste.

Things remain to be seen how the state of matters really stand for holy paladins in 3.2 raids. Though I am not very happy with how things have turned out so far for holy paladins, I will stick with the class and try to show success as a holy paladin.

Best of luck to all my fellow holy paladins! I'll see you all in 3.2 hopefully.


  1. Random comment not realted to the post above: I get only snippits of your posts in my feed reader and this makes me a sad panda. If work every decides to blog your blog I'd have no way of reading it! I know many, many people don't like that. Could I make cute eyes at you and get you to allow full posts in the feed?


  2. Already in the process of leveling my druid (currently at lvl 36).

    ~been playing a pally as a healer since release in Dec '04

    : (

  3. @forthebubbles: I hope I fixed the problem with the feed. Let me know how it works out.

    @Anonymous: Noo, it makes me sad knowing I've lost more of my holy paladin brethren. =( To be honest, I think that Blizzard is nerfing holy paladins because there are so many of us while there don't appear to be that many druids or shamans. Just my own little conspiracy theory.

  4. As a Holy Paladin, I'm not happy with these changes at all. Have we gotten anything except for nerfs since WotLK came out?

    Were Paladin issues from WotLK actually addressed? I still feel powerless in the face of massive amounts of AOE damage.

    I'm dualbox leveling my priest and my druid, one of which will probably become my main if they keep nerfing my class.

    History is repeating its self, and at the rate we're going, it's going to be lolwell all over again. Oh, and this is the second time they're nerfing Illumination.

  5. Thank God I am the raid leader =)

    Our other holy pally just quit the game so looks like I'm going solo from here on out...

    Quick question since you are on the PTR...Did you find that your current mana pool balanced out between the Divine Int nerf and the inclusion of Epic Gems?

  6. @Zan: Sadly, none of the outstanding paladin issues from WotLK were really addressed (mobility, aoe damage, etc). In fact, our aoe mitigation ability (bubble/DS) is getting nerfed/fixed in 25 man raids. I'm sad that you are rerolling but I can understand why you would. Good luck!

    @Karney: I was on the PTR 2x but I haven't been back there recently. I didn't get to regem with Epic gems but I think with the newer gear, the right combination of professions (BS/JC) and Epic gems, our mana pools will be back to what they were pre-nerf. Though 5% is a lot of int to lose...

  7. man it so sad that they are doing this 2 us... i only know one class and that a holy pally and i dont wanna change it... i love my pally and if i cant play that i just ahve 2 move and play ome other games.. fuck blitz

  8. Update 3.2 from Blizzard is the most miserable. The Paladin class was nerfed so much that paladin is no longer needed in raid (terrible damage, terrible heal, downgrade tank) and i decided leave the World of Warcraft because i don't have time and power cultivate another char with uncertain future from unpredictable Blizzard.
    Good luck to players with other classes.

  9. I don't even know if blizzard will actually do anything about the issues holy paladins are having. Heroics (which are essentially warm-up mini-raids set up to prepare people with minimal level cap gear), should be easily completed by all classes and players who know how to press their 2 or 3 button rotations. Essentially, a half brain dead monkey, can finish heroics.

    So why is it that only very few holy paladins can take on H: HoL (with most healadins actually refusing to heal the fight).

    As the vanilla WoW manual said, paladins aren't really meant to be healers. In TBC, i remember FoL spamming healadins worked great. Are we moving back towards a vanilla era in which blizzard no longer wishes to have paladins be healers?

    not only is healing an issue, ret is also receiving quite the downgrade. I don't wanna waste my time leveling another toon when i've invested my time into my healadin. Blizzard wants healadins to give up? or maybe they just don't know how to make raids difficult/interesting without making raids all about straining healers to the death (or oom).

  10. I can see that everyone here that is upset is a raider not an arena player and you will find that the reason you are being nerf'd is because of arena. All the problems that people were having with Paladins all stems from arena and our apparent "OP" status which is complete crap. We lost our burst damage because it was to hard for arena healers, we lost our healing because we could heal people back to full in 1 spell. Just going to put this out there but since arena is the game function that saved PVP and a large majority of people prefer it to raiding you may have to face the facts that we will always be nerfed because it was never our raid ability that was in question. We have been nerfed to put smiles on the questing and pvp classes. I am a ret spec and I lost true sustainable damage to be replaced with slow dps gain and its more then likely never coming back.

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