Holy Paladin Mastery

90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
It took me a long time to bring this toon out of retirement after Dragon Soul, because of mastery. I was never a fan of the absorb--if I wanted to shield people, I would have played a disc priest--but at first it was just an insignificant part of the kit. Early Cataclysm, mastery was nearly useless; it didn't stack, and a lot of the triage healing style meant those shields fell off without being used. With Firelands (or maybe 4.1, I forget now), it started stacking, but was still largely ignored because we had no way to apply it/refresh it on the raid. But with Dragon Soul and the Holy Radiance change, suddenly paladins could blanket the whole raid, and could stop actually thinking about their healing.

I know, Blizzard always makes the same comment that you shouldn't take one ability out of the context of a class' whole kit, but when you compare healer masteries, it seems like they fall in 3 categories.

1: Requires some management to gain value
Mistweaver
Holy Priest
(borderline druid)

2: Flat healing increase; only useful if not overhealing
(Druid)
Shaman
Disc Priest

3: Extra healing is useful, even on overheals
Paladin

(Druid's Harmony is a buff that's not difficult to maintain, but you do have to pay some attention.)

Paladin mastery is in a group of its own, as one that is almost always useful healing. Illuminated healing mitigates the consequences of overhealing, which reduces the depth and challenge of the class. I don't heal heroics right now, but most fights in Flex I can spam the same 4 button rotation (J, HR, HS, LoD) for the entire fight, without even watching who I'm casting on, and match every other healer. Paladin mastery feels overpowered right now, but more than a nerf, I really think it needs to be replaced with something that doesn't simplify the class.

So, the less important part of this post, what I'd like mastery to be. Beacon of Light is a core part of Paladin gameplay, so I would like to see a mastery that improves the healing transferred to Beacon. At end tier levels and stacking mastery, Beacon would heal for ~100% of direct heals and 33% of AoE. Direct heals on the Beacon would either have ~25% increased effect, or "splash" to another target or several targets.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13825
1) My beacon overheals enough as it is, now. There is zero reason to increase the healing done to the beacon target even more.

2) Paladin mastery is not even close to OP right now. Holy Paladins are, by far, the worst 25 man healer at the moment. In 10 man, we're competitive solely due to EF, not our absorbs.
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So, you're asking one of our niches (hope I spelt that right) to be nerfed because you feel OP in flex? Umm, how about no. If you want to run a crit/haste build, then more power to you. But nerfing mastery and effectively changing how most hpallies heal just because you don't like absorbs is silly. And as Hainiryuun said, we're not doing too great in 25 man (normal or heroic) right now after the hit we took to mastery. We sure as heck don't need another nerf to our mastery.
Edited by Alliannah on 11/25/2013 10:00 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
11/25/2013 09:33 PMPosted by Hainiryuun
1) My beacon overheals enough as it is, now. There is zero reason to increase the healing done to the beacon target even more.


That's fair enough, and that was just my idea of something I thought could be interesting. The answer would be to better control how you use your beacon. Right now, it's mostly something you apply once and ignore the rest of the fight, which is also something I don't like. But again, this was just a suggestion for something that could be better than our current mastery.

2) Paladin mastery is not even close to OP right now. Holy Paladins are, by far, the worst 25 man healer at the moment. In 10 man, we're competitive solely due to EF, not our absorbs.


That's not what I've seen, but I don't do 25 man Heroics, and I haven't studied the logs, so that's mostly secondhand or a limited sample. I can say I know more than one holy paladin who is competitive and does not use EF.

But all of that is besides the actual point I was trying to make, that our mastery simplifies our job, provides easy healing with no waste, and reduces the risk/reward in prioritizing targets.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
Right now, absorbs are not a niche. They're ~30% of our healing. I do run a crit/haste build, because I can be competitive at the level I can get a group in right now using that, and it's a lot more fun that aoe bubbles. And I'm not asking for a nerf, I'm asking for a new mastery that allows us to heal in a way that's interesting and possibly adds complexity to our gameplay, rather than removing it.
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11/25/2013 10:09 PMPosted by Drometh
Right now, absorbs are not a niche. They're ~30% of our healing.


Yes, and they help either cushion some of the incoming damage on the entire raid or help fortify the tanks right before a massive hit. That's a niche that hpallies fill, along with all the other tools we have readily available to help live through mechanics. Hpally numbers aren't as competitive as other healers especially shamans and druids right now. Taking away our mastery would just make us less attractive to bring.

I do run a crit/haste build, because I can be competitive at the level I can get a group in right now using that, and it's a lot more fun that aoe bubbles.


Happy that you found a way that works for you, the last part however is subjective. I for one love bubbles and enjoy them as part of my healing style.

And I'm not asking for a nerf, I'm asking for a new mastery that allows us to heal in a way that's interesting and possibly adds complexity to our gameplay, rather than removing it.


How does taking away a useful tool of ours "add complexity to our game play" ? That just pushes us under the rug in favor of other healing classes.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
Absorbs have always been a disc priest's specialty, not a paladins. Until Dragon Soul, Hpallies' niche was fast, powerful single target heals, which could save low health raid members and sustain tanks.

Hpally numbers aren't as competitive as other healers especially shamans and druids right now. Taking away our mastery would just make us less attractive to bring.


Given that I'm suggesting a major change to a class, which is something they would only do during an expansion, current class balance numbers are an especially poor argument against changing the play philosophy.

How does taking away a useful tool of ours "add complexity to our game play" ? That just pushes us under the rug in favor of other healing classes.


And here I think is where we disagree. I don't see mastery as a "useful tool," to me it's a crutch that allows for poor healing. If a shaman casts Greater Healing Wave on someone at full or nearly full health, that's a wasted GCD, and wasted mana. Their useful healing will go down because of a poor choice. If a paladin casts Divine Light on the same target, 30% of their healing is still there, as a shield. Only 70% of that GCD and mana were wasted. It's much more difficult for a paladin to fail, by casting the wrong spells on the wrong targets, compared to another class.

As for absorbs being a useful tool, for giving tanks (or the entire raid) extra effective health before a hit, that's true. But what do you do differently because of mastery? You cast the same healing spells, in the same order, you just start 5 seconds before the hit, instead of with the hit. There is some gameplay there, but our mastery is largely passive, and not something we control much.

And as for taking it away, I'm suggesting that Blizzard replace our mastery, not just remove it.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
9760
11/25/2013 09:13 PMPosted by Drometh
Blizzard always makes the same comment that you shouldn't take one ability out of the context of a class' whole kit

There is a reason that they say that.

The I think the problem is you're trying to compare Mastery across classes, while not take full account of the entire toolkit of each class. Saying one classes Mastery is somehow broken when compared to others, while ignoring all other abilities/effects is just dishonest, at best.

Do Shamans not have Ancestral Vigor? Do Druids not spawn Mushrooms?

There are a multitude of different abilities/effects that play into one another-- and they're not all labeled neatly as "Mastery".

I don't see mastery as a "useful tool," to me it's a crutch that allows for poor healing. If a shaman casts Greater Healing Wave on someone at full or nearly full health, that's a wasted GCD, and wasted mana. Their useful healing will go down because of a poor choice. [...]

That is *one* way to look at it. Conversely, the Shaman doesn't have to cast that heal to be effective. The Paladin does. Beyond that, consider when the target is at lower Health. The shaman has much more freedom in spell choice -- because of their Mastery. It works both ways.

As for absorbs being a useful tool, for giving tanks (or the entire raid) extra effective health before a hit, that's true. But what do you do differently because of mastery? You cast the same healing spells, in the same order, you just start 5 seconds before the hit, instead of with the hit. There is some gameplay there, but our mastery is largely passive, and not something we control much.

Now, you can make the argument that passive healing mechanics are boring. I'd buy into that. However, I'd also state that mastery for every class(?) is passive. Mastery doesn't change my ability usage on my Paladin anymore than it does on my Rogue. So, I feel that argument has to be levied at ALL Mastery... not just focused on a Paladins.
Edited by Goobadin on 11/26/2013 12:05 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
Yeah, I know it's not perfect to compare masteries outside the context of the whole healer kit, but I think it makes a valid argument, because it's not an ability but a passive mechanic affected by a stat and gearing choices, and because I'm not trying to compare relative strength, just how mastery affects the choices a healer makes. And even if you do look at the classes as a whole, I can only think of one other ability that allows a healer to throw out heals and not worry about overhealing and wasting heals: a Druid's Mushroom. And even that isn't quite the same; it's the nature of hots that they regularly overheal.

11/26/2013 12:04 AMPosted by Goobadin
Conversely, the Shaman doesn't have to cast that heal to be effective. The Paladin does.


I'm not sure what you mean here. Healers need to cast heals in order to do their jobs. Which heals they choose to cast, and on which target, are what make a healer good or bad. In this scenario, the shaman and paladin both chose similarly (and badly), but the paladin was rewarded for his poor choice.

11/26/2013 12:04 AMPosted by Goobadin
The shaman has much more freedom in spell choice -- because of their Mastery.


This is kind of my point. The shaman does have a choice how to heal a low target player. But when he's making this choice, they should take into account their mastery--they know they don't need to cast Greater Healing Wave, because their mastery will make it overheal, maybe. Or, they can choose to leave that player and heal someone else, because they know their mastery will allow them to heal him to full in one cast, even if he takes more damage. BUT. The paladin also has a choice which spell to use to heal this low health player. However, he doesn't have to worry too much about using too large of a spell, because he knows 30% of the heal will be useful.

When the target is low, both classes' mastery will help them heal the target. But that's not my point. My point is that the shaman's mastery complicates his choice, the mistweaver's mastery doesn't affect it; neither of those is a problem, because the mistweaver's does something different. The paladin's mastery doesn't simplify his choice; there is still a better and worse choice. What it does is reduce the penalty for choosing poorly.

11/26/2013 12:04 AMPosted by Goobadin
Mastery doesn't change my ability usage on my Paladin anymore than it does on my Rogue.


While I would like an interesting mastery that makes you adjust your spell choice based on the circumstances, it's not necessary. Most classes don't work that way, and they don't need to. What I want is to get rid of this mastery, which lets you ignore those choices without much consequence.
Edited by Drometh on 11/26/2013 1:46 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13825
It sounds like your issues are more with smart heals than anything. Healers, period, don't really need to make much of a choice to heal. A majority of AoE heals will automatically heal up the most injured person. Also, giving someone at full health a shield doesn't make it a poor choice. You're basically saying Disc, as a class, might as well be gotten rid of.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
Paladin mastery feels overpowered right now, but more than a nerf, I really think it needs to be replaced with something that doesn't simplify the class.


That's just silly talk. If you think mastery simplifies the class then you are doing it wrong. Also, bottom ranks right now disagrees with your OP statement.

Most classes don't work that way, and they don't need to. What I want is to get rid of this mastery, which lets you ignore those choices without much consequence.


There is a consequence. Its deciding when to over heal and on what target and deciding how big a heal you want to use based on how much its going to heal and how much damage is coming in and how long you before you need to refresh the shield.

If I already have a max shield on someone and that shield expires in 3 secs but the dmg isn't coming in for another 5 secs, guess what I'm going to do? I'm going to refresh that shield with a little heal, not a big heal. Because then I'd just be wasting mana with big over heal. Or if they won't be taking any dmg I know I can let that shield fall off. And yes, I do track my shields.

Its the same way a Shaman judges whether or not to use a GHW or a HW because they know their mastery is going to buff either heal.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
9760
I'm not sure what you mean here. Healers need to cast heals in order to do their jobs. Which heals they choose to cast, and on which target, are what make a healer good or bad. In this scenario, the shaman and paladin both chose similarly (and badly), but the paladin was rewarded for his poor choice.


What I was referring to was in the context of the current Healing Landscape, a large % of Paladin 'thru-put' comes from IH. In order to be effective as a Paladin you need to play the 'over-pre-heal' game. Shamans on the other hand don't.

The pre-damage shield is a big part of Paladin Healing. I personally think it's rather fitting.. Our Mastery fits will with how *I* think a Paladin should actually heal. I don't think it's a mistake that IH is essentially a mini Devo Aura. Nor, that HTT and DH for Shaman work so well together -- in fact a Shamans Mastery is most effective exactly when they need to use their iconic Totem.

When the target is low, both classes' mastery will help them heal the target. But that's not my point. My point is that the shaman's mastery complicates his choice, the mistweaver's mastery doesn't affect it; neither of those is a problem, because the mistweaver's does something different. The paladin's mastery doesn't simplify his choice; there is still a better and worse choice. What it does is reduce the penalty for choosing poorly.


I was challenging the notion that Paladin Mastery overly reduces penalty from poor spell choice... by showing that Shaman Mastery also removes any penalty from poor spell choice. For Shamans, it's just dependent on that targets HP%. A Low HP Target, with Shaman Mastery = Pick any Spell.

So where there is less effect from overhealing for a Paladin, there is less required thought from a Shaman. So lets not pretend shamans are actually running a "to heal, or not to heal" mentality -- in current levels, at worst they're just gonna default to "Healing Surge = Mana Neutral = SPAM IT!. Which, incidentally, brings up another point that at current Shaman Gear levels, their Crit mana return mechanic essentially negates all spell choice reqs.

So while you could say the Shamans choice is more complicated... but I'd just point to other aspects of each ones toolkit. Healing Rain vs Holy Radiance... Where the Shaman might have reduced choices with their spells via Mastery, a Paladin does with AoE placement. etc. etc.

Again, you have to go into every spell and try comparisons on the play-style based on all of them, not just one aspect.

All that said:

If you want more thoughtful choice on your Paladin, EF.
Edited by Goobadin on 11/26/2013 6:35 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
Also, giving someone at full health a shield doesn't make it a poor choice. You're basically saying Disc, as a class, might as well be gotten rid of.


Disc has its own problems. But that's exactly what I'm saying, giving someone at full health a shield in anticipation of damage is a good choice. But a bad paladin does the same thing as you, and gets the same results--not because he's anticipating damage, but because he can spam heals on the raid and not have to worry about it being wasted. If there's no difference between what a bad player does, because it's easy, and what a good player does, because it's the best way to heal, that is a lack of complexity in gameplay. (I'm exaggerating a little bit how similar good and bad players would be, but not much).

There is a consequence. Its deciding when to over heal and on what target and deciding how big a heal you want to use based on how much its going to heal and how much damage is coming in and how long you before you need to refresh the shield.

If I already have a max shield on someone and that shield expires in 3 secs but the dmg isn't coming in for another 5 secs, guess what I'm going to do? I'm going to refresh that shield with a little heal, not a big heal. Because then I'd just be wasting mana with big over heal. Or if they won't be taking any dmg I know I can let that shield fall off. And yes, I do track my shields.


I think you mean there is a choice. Which I don't disagree with, I just don't think its a particularly difficult choice, and its not one that separates good players from bad--a bad player sprays around heals and gets credit for shielding, nearly as much as someone who is managing the shields. And as for refreshing them, with most fights in SoO being stacked up, you can refresh everyone's shields with Holy Radiance/Daybreak. There is a choice, but there is not much of a consequence for choosing poorly.

I was challenging the notion that Paladin Mastery overly reduces penalty from poor spell choice... by showing that Shaman Mastery also removes any penalty from poor spell choice. For Shamans, it's just dependent on that targets HP%. A Low HP Target, with Shaman Mastery = Pick any Spell.

So where there is less effect from overhealing for a Paladin, there is less required thought from a Shaman. So lets not pretend shamans are actually running a "to heal, or not to heal" mentality -- in current levels, at worst they're just gonna default to "Healing Surge = Mana Neutral = SPAM IT!. Which, incidentally, brings up another point that at current Shaman Gear levels, their Crit mana return mechanic essentially negates all spell choice reqs.


If shamans are free to spam whatever they want, and not have to make choices in their healing, then I think that's a problem too. I know my raid's shaman healer drops Healing Rain, Healing Stream, and then jumps around in circles most of the time; but I don't think it's their mastery that's the part of their toolkit that's allowing them to do so. And I mostly mentioned shamans as a generic counterexample to paladins in one situation, they're not really my point.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11870
There is a choice, but there is not much of a consequence for choosing poorly.


No I did mean consequence. If you heal someone with a max shield than you just wasted mana and effort. The consequence of choosing poorly is that you again wasted mana. If you choose poorly and that person takes no dmg then guess what? all your mastery was just wasted.

Knowing what target is going to take dmg, how much dmg they are going to take, how big your shield is, whether or not that shield is at max or needs refreshing is exactly what separates a good paladin from a bad paladin. Complaining that we aren't being punished if we choose badly is just as ignorant as complaining that shamans aren't being punished for choosing GHW on a low target when HW would have worked, or put CH on the wrong intital target. Either way, the bad paladin will be punished by wasting mana and the bad shaman will be punished by wasting mana.

Your argument that our mastery is OP has no merit because every class has a play style and every class has their strengths and weaknesses. You simply cannot compare class mastery because each mastery takes into account the entire class toolkit.

Also:
It sounds like your issues are more with smart heals than anything. Healers, period, don't really need to make much of a choice to heal. A majority of AoE heals will automatically heal up the most injured person. Also, giving someone at full health a shield doesn't make it a poor choice. You're basically saying Disc, as a class, might as well be gotten rid of.
Edited by Ceresc on 11/26/2013 8:24 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
16150
11/26/2013 07:28 AMPosted by Drometh
Also, giving someone at full health a shield doesn't make it a poor choice. You're basically saying Disc, as a class, might as well be gotten rid of.


Disc has its own problems. But that's exactly what I'm saying, giving someone at full health a shield in anticipation of damage is a good choice. But a bad paladin does the same thing as you, and gets the same results--not because he's anticipating damage, but because he can spam heals on the raid and not have to worry about it being wasted. If there's no difference between what a bad player does, because it's easy, and what a good player does, because it's the best way to heal, that is a lack of complexity in gameplay. (I'm exaggerating a little bit how similar good and bad players would be, but not much).


A good paladin gives a full health target a shield with an efficient spell. A bad pally does it with an inefficient spell.

That's the complexity of gameplay.

Our heals our too slow and too expensive to spam. A bad pally will not get into gear nor content that allows them to be crazily inefficient with mana.

Mastery is a resource management tool. It extends the life of our mana by allowing us to extend the hp of our allies, so that they can make it to our next heal.

Our class is balanced around a combination of expensive heals and free heals. Mastery is part of those free heals.
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90 Undead Monk
9435
Monk mastery requires zero management and is entirely random and pointless. It requires other people to allow you to utilize the entire stat.
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1 Gnome Warlock
0
If IH is only 30% of your healing as a Paladin right now you are doing something horribly wrong.
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90 Pandaren Monk
9410
Im not sure disc is in the right spot by your definition, but it fits in the point you are trying to make I guess.

Paladin mastery allows a handicap for thoughtless healing, but its more mana inefficient than you could be, I am not sure that matters though. But it allows some versatility by letting you be inefficient in down time for higher effective healing during high damage phases.

So yes it could benefit a thoughtless healer more than some other play styles, but that's just a side effect of the style they designed.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
11/26/2013 08:16 AMPosted by Ceresc
No I did mean consequence. If you heal someone with a max shield than you just wasted mana and effort. The consequence of choosing poorly is that you again wasted mana. If you choose poorly and that person takes no dmg then guess what? all your mastery was just wasted.


I'm genuinely curious, because I didn't realize this was a thing. How often do you max shields during a progression fight? Quickly doing math, it looks like you need to do ~500k healing to a target, without them taking any damage. So to me that looks like the situations where that occur are 1) you're solo healing the raid, or at least that target 2) you're significantly overhealing a target. So, in a progression fight, how often do you actually max a shield when you weren't deliberately trying to?

A good paladin gives a full health target a shield with an efficient spell. A bad pally does it with an inefficient spell.

That's the complexity of gameplay.

Our heals our too slow and too expensive to spam. A bad pally will not get into gear nor content that allows them to be crazily inefficient with mana.


1) I would argue the good paladin heals someone else, unless he knows that that full health target will need a shield. If he gives the shield with an efficient spell, while the bad paladin uses a bigger heal, that bad paladin then looks better for shielding that target for more.

2) You would apparently be surprised what bad paladins can do right now. Heroic Juggernaut is the first fight a paladin can't spam holy radiance--our backup healer went from within 10% of our two main healers (a disc priest and a shaman) on all the fights leading up to that, to doing half of their healing. We had a spread out strategy, and the shaman still DOUBLED his healing. And it's not gear, he had similar gear to them, and it's not that paladins are bad on that fight--our main paladin healer came back, and was between the shaman and priest.

Mastery is a resource management tool. It extends the life of our mana by allowing us to extend the hp of our allies, so that they can make it to our next heal.

Our class is balanced around a combination of expensive heals and free heals. Mastery is part of those free heals.


There are very few fights where a properly geared raid needs extra effective health in order to survive a hit. And mastery is definitely not a free heal. It is a part of all of our other heals, so 30% of the cost of DL is the cost of that IH.

Assuming a single heal isn't 90% of your targets health, there is no effective difference between healing a target for 200k, and healing them for 150k and shielding them for 50k. EXCEPT, that that 50k cannot be an overheal (assuming there will be more incoming damage).
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
3195
Monk mastery requires zero management and is entirely random and pointless. It requires other people to allow you to utilize the entire stat.


I meant to write something similar to that, that mistweaver mastery has to be managed by the raid, not the healer, but I didn't want to write on something I don't understand very well.

If IH is only 30% of your healing as a Paladin right now you are doing something horribly wrong.


I have significantly less, because I choose to avoid mastery in favor of something interesting. The 30% came from looking at a random ranked paladin on World of Logs. Also, I should mention that with 40% mastery, IH is 28% of your total output before overhealing (0.4 / 1.4).

So yes it could benefit a thoughtless healer more than some other play styles, but that's just a side effect of the style they designed.


This is the point I've been trying to make, but I don't think it's just an unfortunate side effect. In a good game design, at the end of the fight you should see a big difference between the healer who made all the right choices, cast the right spells on the right targets at the right time, and the guy who hit two buttons over and over. Right now, the difference is pretty negligible for paladins. And I think mastery is the problem.
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