5.4 Holy Paladin Concerns

90 Blood Elf Paladin
12930
Hello! I am making this post to openly discuss a few of the concerns I have for Holy Paladins in 5.4. Generally I am rather inactive on the wow forums, but i figure hey why not give it a shot! Make a post maybe something will come of it. More likely people will act like they do on the internet and troll/complain.

I will start off by saying as a PvE Holy Paladin in a Relatively Hardcore raiding guild, I am concerned. Holy Paladins will always be good healers, Beacon is excellent for tank stability and our absorbs are usually rather beneficial. (Blizzard has stated they plan to "emphasize HoTs more" so before seeing any SoO content that could change.) Im not worried about paladins sucking, nor being overpowered i just want to point out things i don't like.

First and foremost I would like to talk about Sacred Shield, for me Sacred Shield was my favorite part of WoTLK, when it was taken away I was disappointed. As time went on I missed Sacred Shield more and more, and was overjoyed to have it back in MoP. Now it appears blizzard wishes to take it away from Holy? Sacred Shield was a fine talent choice throughout most of MoP, although always overshadowed by Eternal Flame, it was never far behind.

With the nerf to Eternal Flame as of the latest 5.4 build, I think a healthy competition would exist between old Sacred Shield and Eternal Flame.

The second thing that concerns me, although it has been mentioned by a blue that the numbers are not set in stone. Are the set bonuses.

For thoose that missed it, our set bonuses are as follows.

2pc While Infusion of Light is active, your next Holy Light, Divine Light or Holy Radiance heals for an additional 10%.
4pc: Reduces the cooldown of Divine Favor by 45 seconds, and increases your mastery by 1500 while Divine Favor is Active.

Both of these set bonuses have the potential to be great, but as they are now are lackluster.

Our 2pc is by far the weakest 2pc we have had thus far. Assuming 1 in 3 Holy Shocks were to crit (usually a bit more) we would not benefit much by this. Our 2pc from T14 was a flat 10% mana cost reduction which is far better than this 2pc, even our T15 2pc which increases our daybreak healing is better and more reliable.

Why would we want a 2pc bonus that is rarely active and gives us such a small healing bonus? Every single set bonus has been better than this 2pc, 50% daybreak though is weak would be better. 10% less HR cost miles better. Linking a 2pc with a proc, is a bad choice to begin with so the benefit will have to be a large one.

*** In my personal opinion I would love to see some kind of Spirit Shell like mechanic for this 2pc, something that while IoL is active your HL/DL/HR becomes an absorb, but that is my personal opinion of something i think would be cool.

The 4pc In past blizzard has said for the last tier they go "all out" im not seeing it with this 4pc, this is one of the most boring set bonuses in a while. the 45 sec cd reduction is lame, having 45 seconds less means that as far as cooldown usage, it would be ideal to hold off from using Holy Avenger and using it with DF, if this is your "design goal" why not go the whole mile and make Divine Favor a 2 min cd to work with Holy Avenger. It also means that Avenging Wrath and Divine Favor are on different cooldowns, so if you are not using Holy Avenger, or you use HA as it comes up you are using all 3 of your cooldowns at different times, which to me feels just wrong.

The extra mastery is a nice bonus, but 1500 is such a small amount it would be negligible. In comparison to every other healers set bonuses ours is by far in the poorest shape. I hope that there are changes in the future for the T16 set bonuses.

Finally in my opinion the biggest "problem" is our mastery. People like to talk about how overpowered paladin mastery is, and you know what I agree. Our Mastery makes up too much of our healing, but here is the problem. IF you were to nerf our mastery anymore paladins would be far behind in general healing throughput. Im not a big numbers guy, so i won’t comment on how to balance it. But Mastery making up 30-40% of our healing (in some fights higher) is a problem, but if a nerf does come to our mastery, we will need buffs to our raw healing in some way shape or form I think buffs in the Holy Radiance/ beacon area would be ideal.

TL;DR Removing Sacred Shield from Holy was a mistake, our set bonuses need tuning, mastery is too strong, but nerfing it would cripple paladins and we would need buffs to our raw healing.

More below, hit post count =P
Edited by Pelinal on 7/1/2013 12:05 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
12930
In addition to the change to Eternal Flame, Paladin Tank healing is in a poor place now, previously paladins were THE tank healers, but now beacon is our only tool for healing tanks, outside of directly casting Divine Light/Holy Light. Previously Daybreak provided a buffer because it would proc on individual targets IE Holy Radiance the raid, tank spikes you can still HS them and not waste the proc. But now it requires a 2nd target so you in some situations must waste that daybreak proc. In addition Daybreak is currently not transferring to beacon. Meaning it isn't just a 50% waste instead its 100%.

Tower of Radiance is such a small benefit right now, the one extra holy power if you directly heal the tank is a waste, considering Divine Light/FoL's high cost and low healing. When the tank spikes, or is getting all around slammed, paladins have only one choice, AoE heal and pray beacon is enough, or cast a divine light/Holy Shock, by doing either of thoose you miss out on alot of overall healing, that daybreak should have been used on the raid and that divine light should have been a Holy Radiance. If the design goal is for tank healing to be a necessary thing, but be something you don't want to do so be it, but I think that is poor design.

*** My personal thoughts on potential solutions, as I said earlier I am not a huge numbers guy, but I know some things that I think would be engaging/entertaining, if balanced accordingly.

Mastery, is a big problem for paladin healing. With the change(s) to sacred shield there is an excellent opening to a solution. Flat out giving paladins a mastery nerf (a relatively big sized one) and then giving the old Sacred Shield (being given to prot) to holy as well. Sacred Shield would also help alleviate some of the tank healing burden. Another solution would be to allow Beacon of Light to stack Illuminated Healing, at an overall reduction. Both of which I would personally be content with.

As for the Sacred Shield/Eternal Flame talent tree, I agree Eternal Flame could use a nerf, it was far superior in the talent tree. But scrapping the old sacred shield is a bigger nerf, because the idea of talents is to be a choice, yet now you nerfed the ONLY choice. In addition nerfing its initial healing presents a problem, Eternal Flame is removing Word of Glory from the paladins toolkit, and instead replacing it with something that has a reduced initial healing. That right there is a problem, talents shouldn’t nerf you in any way shape or form. If you want to nerf Eternal Flame, I would nerf it through its HoT, its stacking of illuminated healing, or if you do nerf its initial make it in addition to word of glory instead of replacing the spell. So paladins have the choice between upfront healing, or a HoT.

Set Bonuses, I mentioned my thoughts above a bit more, but adding a spirit shell like mechanic to Infusion Of Light would be great, deciding whether to Divine Light the tank, or holy radiance the raid with a 100% absorb would be far more interesting.
As for the 4pc, I would like a complete redesign but if the intent is to make divine favor more engaging, I would reduce the cooldown by a full 1 min, then increase the mastery gain by a significant margin. With set bonuses being a lower ilevel than thunderforge pieces (assuming this trend continues) and often having inferior itemization, set bonuses should be good/engaging otherwise people will just end up with 5pc thunderforge.

Personally I love the value haste has to ret and prot, adding a mechanic that made our Holy Shock gain a reduced cooldown with haste would be awesome. But that doesn't really fix any of the above problems =P
Edited by Pelinal on 7/1/2013 12:06 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11610
Can you do the math nerf? MMO says its 30 percent plus a 14.7 SP scaling nerf to initial heal.

EF that is.
Edited by Marathel on 6/19/2013 11:51 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11610
I don't know if you realized this but the Sanctified Wrath change with Divine Favor will allow some holy paladins to have 100 percent crit chance on HS for 30 seconds. Not sure wtf that will end up meaning.

SS change is terrible so I agree with you there.

Selfless Healer is better now but this playstyle is not for everyone and it also still wouldn't compare to EF...

I wish they would just make it baseline.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
12930
Its an overall 30% nerf to the initial heal.

The Sanctified wrath change will still leave it behind Holy Avenger so its not worth metnioning, the extra healing on HR/Daybreak/HS in addition the holy power is great, but that plus our 4pc as it stands, means you could use HA and Divine Favor together every time.
Edited by Pelinal on 6/20/2013 12:02 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11610
So it does include the scaling changes too?

Ok...

For some rough numbers with the 30 percent...

My EF and WOG initial heal is 85k unbuffed everything....

With the nerf EF is going to hit for 60k.
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90 Human Paladin
15480
Also and indirect nerf to mastery as it is reducing the shield size from the initial hit by 30% as well. Not sure what they are after. Think it would be better to make the other talents not suck as opposed to making them all suck.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
17230
I just 100% don't understand the way the nerfed EF. I was definitely expecting it don't get me wrong, but nerfing that initial heal by 30%? It makes NO sense.

And yeah I agree, had they left sacred shield as it is on live, sacred would be a much more appealing talent to take and I think EF would still be competitive with it (since they didn't nerf the HoT component). As it stands now, all 3 talents are pretty garbage (2 minute sacred shield proc? lol what !@#$. Judging on CD when I could be using those GCDs for healing? no thanks) but holy pallies will still be forced to take EF because it's still technically the best choice.

The problem with EF was never it's initial heal, it was how well it worked with proccing our mastery shields on people. Now we're left with no big triage heal, something I used EF for most of the time since flash heal is almost absolute garbage.

If you're going to nerf EF that's fine and quite honestly I wouldn't mind, I'd rather do more LoD's. But we need some compensation. If EF was all Holy Pallies were using doesn't that mean that our other spells are !@#$? And we're not even overpowered since 5.3 - Look at WoL, pretty much dominate by disc priests and mistweavers. I just don't understand why such a huge nerf to our only good spell with NO compensation when we're not even dominating HPS charts by a smidge.
Edited by Lumineux on 6/20/2013 10:16 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
13100
I feel the best solution is to not nerf our Mastery directly but nerf the tools that allow it to be abused as much as it is. This involves nerfing Eternal Flame in particular, but the way they went about nerfing Eternal Flame is baffling to me.

The upfront portion of healing from Eternal Flame is not, and never was, the problem regarding Mastery's effectiveness. What was the issue was placing down a blanket of small 1 Holy Power Eternal Flames on the raid in order to triple the duration that Illuminated Healing absorptions lasted on affected targets. Since each tick of Eternal Flame provided/refreshed our Mastery on the target, Illuminated Healing ends up lasting an additional 30 seconds in conjunction with the typical 15 seconds that Illuminated Healing usually lasts. This extensive up-time of absorption bubbles on the raid meant they were bound to be consumed by raid damage before expiring, which made the play style both highly efficient and highly effective.

What they need to do is attack the source of the problem, which is the 1 Holy Power Eternal Flames. Some would suggest making Eternal Flame's periodic healing not provide Illuminated Healing, but I strongly disagree with such a suggestion. Instead, I feel Eternal Flame's duration should be tied with how many Holy Power is consumed in using the ability; for each charge of Holy Power consumed, the duration of Eternal Flame on the target will last an additional 10 seconds. For example, a 3 Holy Power Eternal Flame will last the expected 30 seconds it normally does, but a 1 Holy Power Eternal Flame would only last 10 seconds. This way, 1 Holy Power Eternal Flames will no longer act as a viable means of expanding the duration of your Mastery bubbles on the raid.

As for the Sacred Shield change, it's far too weak to be effective to Eternal Flame, even after Eternal Flame's nerf. The Selfless Healer buff isn't going to fix the major issue with its design in that I'm going out of my way to deal damage in order to gain the healing buff it provides.
Edited by Areos on 6/20/2013 10:37 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
15020
I can only hope they'll do something to Holly Paladins that will bring them back up to par prior to 5.4 launching (but I'm not holding my breath (ex: resto shaman)).

I do like that they're 'trying' to give us something else to use in that tier, though they're all severely lacking.

I'd like to see Selfless healer build stacks from something that's already in our rotation, or not require 3 stacks. It just reminds me of the "clunky-ness" of druid mushrooms (using multiple GCDs just to get a single heal).

Sacred Shield could be improved upon if it would actually be useful outside of the 2 minute ICD. Maybe make Sacred Shield transfer IH with the beacon? Beacon swapping will also become significantly more susceptible to RNG.

(Note: My ideas and opinions are solely from a 10man perspective)
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
9855
I am glad to see more of these threads popping up....

I think that people alluding to eternal flame masking the true problems with holy paladins are spot on. Our healing toolkit really needs to be reworked for next expansion.....our toolkit fits VERY few of the damage profiles seen in raiding right now. Most of the time tank damage is not so extreme that it requires a dedicated healer, and when that is the case our role in healing is severely blurred.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11610
The Selfless Healer buff isn't going to fix the major issue with its design in that I'm going out of my way to deal damage in order to gain the healing buff it provides.


If nothing changes it will be taken for some testing.

Having a mega powerful DL that is almost as fast as FOL to cast will draw some people to it.
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90 Human Paladin
13100
06/20/2013 11:23 AMPosted by Marathel
The Selfless Healer buff isn't going to fix the major issue with its design in that I'm going out of my way to deal damage in order to gain the healing buff it provides.


If nothing changes it will be taken for some testing.

Having a mega powerful DL that is almost as fast as FOL to cast will draw some people to it.


I highly doubt it will be competitive alongside even a nerfed Eternal Flame.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
14475
Still not many Holy pally's use judgement so it will throw off the rotation. EF is still the better choice, even if it is crap with its nerf
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11610
I highly doubt it will be competitive alongside even a nerfed Eternal Flame.


Well early in the PTR. I hope the reworking continues.
Edited by Marathel on 6/20/2013 11:37 AM PDT
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90 Draenei Shaman
11550
I am glad to see more of these threads popping up....

I think that people alluding to eternal flame masking the true problems with holy paladins are spot on. Our healing toolkit really needs to be reworked for next expansion.....our toolkit fits VERY few of the damage profiles seen in raiding right now. Most of the time tank damage is not so extreme that it requires a dedicated healer, and when that is the case our role in healing is severely blurred.


I don't play a Holy Paladin so I don't want to be rude but I find it humorous that most classes seem to think this on the board. Shaman's believe we need a total rework, Pallys, Druids.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
16340
It's quite apparent the folks behind designing the holy paladin have zero idea of what they want the spec to be.

Our tier bonuses are flat out disgusting in comparison to shamans & monks, the nerf to the initial heal from EF is shocking and the redesign of SS is jaw droppingly awful and the redesign of talets for holy made me giggle like a little girl.

Please let me play my paladin in the coming tier, I'm begging you Blizzard.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11610
SS is the worst culprit in my opinion. If I get a crit from EF right now I get over a 150k initial heal which is BIGGER than the shield SS would provide already with a 2 min cd.

That is just..wow.

I have no idea why anyone would think its a comparison.
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90 Human Paladin
15480
Well to be fair this is all datamined info which is not fact yet. It could be a ret/prot change.

If it is holy it does seem kind of bad but i do understand it for Prot. Have to see what happens when the next build comes out. But pitchforks and torchs can safetly be stowed for now.
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90 Pandaren Monk
LA
17075
Do holy paladins even need any pve nerfs? Their effectiveness has been put more in line because of the mastery nerf and they also had a relative reduction in power from the other classes getting buffs to throughput cooldowns in 25m settings.
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