Protection Paladin Feedback

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Here is some feedback on the Protection Paladin going into BFA based on my time tanking Mythic raids in Legion and playing the BFA Alpha/Beta. My post is focused on the problems of Paladin tanks. Feel free to post your thoughts too.

Light of the Protector and the GCD
Why are reactive healing abilities on the GCD? It kills any min/maxing of the rotation and heal. It forces a trade of SOTR CDR from Judgment or Consecration uptime to heal myself. With the changes to SOTR and the loss of the Consecration duration artifact trait, this is a much bigger loss in BFA. And with how little margin for error a Paladin tank has in general, the difference between being able to reactively heal and not is a matter of life and death.

Light of the Protector Scaling
It does really well on the pre-mades in 185 gear but in the 120 scaled Islands or the 120 scaled raid testing Light of the Protector doesn't scale as well. Based on raid testing, Light of the Protector heals for no more than 20% of my health for non-critical heals. I would look at how it scales relative to player health so it keeps up and stays as an important part of the Paladin tank kit.

Avenging Wrath on the GCD
Avenging Wrath can be used as a survival cooldown or it can be used as a DPS cooldown. With it being on the GCD, we lose a lot of flexibility to decide when we can use it. We have to trade SOTR CDR from Judgment or Consecration uptime for it. Just think about the actual pull of a boss or a trash pack. I Avenging Wrath and maybe Seraphim on the pull, then I can start drop Consecration, or Judge? That's 1-3 seconds of deadtime where we trade all of our survivability for cooldowns and frankly more vulnerable to death. I could SOTR then run in on the pull but using SOTR outside of Consecration is poor play. And I'll go back to some of the same reasoning as the Light of the Protector GCD issue. The difference between Paladins and another tank is that the moment to moment decisions matter on a Paladin because the margin for error is so much smaller.

Talent Tier Level 75
This is the number #1 problem tier headed into BFA. Hand of the Protector is generally seen as the “default” choice of this talent tier. The shorter cooldown our self heal is going to be a god send for any content. And frankly, the other two talents aren’t up to its level in any type of fashion. Final Stand is bad and should not exist. The situations in Legion where it was useful are countable on one hand. And Unbreakable Spirit is a nice add but it’s only going to be taken for the AD CDR, if at all. The value of the Lay on Hands or Divine Shield portions are non-existent. Finally, if you look at pick rates in logs, its picked by 85% of players on all Mythic Antorus Raid encounters, 89% of all Mythic Tomb of Sargeras encounters and 87% of all Mythic Nighthold encounters. This tier is basically a non-choice in current state.

Talent Tier Level 90
This is the number #2 problem talent tier headed into BFA. All three choices, if you can call them that, are sad and don’t feel meaningful. The only thing that feels meaningful is the snare on Consecrated Ground. Otherwise, Judgment of Light and Aegis of Light never really feel like meaningful choices. Judgment is usually default because it’s just free passive healing. But the healing is ultimately not significant when compared to similar mechanics. And Aegis of Light has a number of usability issues in group content. For example, it limits the use of abilities for 6 seconds and it places teammates directly behind the tank which is a poor place to group in many cases. This talent tier can be summarized as the following: ‘Do I need to kite/snare mobs? If not, take Judgment of Light.’ It’s not fun, meaningful or interesting.

Consecrated Hammer
This talent should not exist. With good play, you’ll get far more significant value from Holy Shield or Blessed Hammer. It’s not a valid talent option for any type of serious play.

Retribution Aura
This talent should not exist. Its <1% damage total and not worth losing the double horse or Spell Warding. And this is even truer in a world where Divine Steed and magic DR are both nerfed.
First Avenger
This talent is really weak in BFA. With the changes to the damage ratios of Judgment and Avenger’s Shield, Crusader’s Judgment performs better in almost every situation. It’s better to spend Grand Crusader charges on Judgment with Crusader’s Judgment than it is on Avenger’s Shield with First Avenger and that’s a problem. Judgement is a short cooldown that hits harder than the long cooldown Avenger's Shield. Crusader's Judgment gives you far more damage because you get access to more of them. CJ also gives a survivability bonus via additional SOTR CDR that First Avenger no longer gives because of the loss of the Bulwark of the Order trait on the artifact.

Seraphim
This talent needs to be changed in some way. The easy solution imo is to buff it because of the following reasons. First, it’s on the GCD now which it shouldn’t be btw. It was already a survivability loss before with the loss of two SOTR charges but now the loss of SOTR CDR or Consecration uptime make the survival loss much more than before. Second, the value of an SOTR charge has gone up. It no longer has the same cost and therefore it should provide more benefits in general.

The other solution is to redesign/replace the talent. As we’ve seen in Legion, the difference in DPS for a Paladin with and without Seraphim is quite significant. No other tank has to make this trade, period. We needed Seraphim to do as much damage as other tanks. Without it, we weren’t even in their ballpark. And the worst part is that Seraphim only pulls a Paladin even with the rest of the field. A well-played Seraphim Paladin should be the highest DPS tank in the game, without question because of the trade of survivability for damage combined with how the margin for error is much smaller on a Paladin. It doesn’t feel balanced correctly as it is. The concept of trading survival for damage is so incorrectly tuned and balanced that it should be replaced with something else.
Consecration Duration
The Consecration in Flame trait from Truthguard should be baseline in BFA. It gives Paladin tanks more flexibility to adjust their position without taking a huge DPS or defensive penalty. Its a massive quality of life trait. Also with the changes to the GCD for Avenging Wrath, Seraphim and HOTP, this might take the rotation more forgiving so I can give up a GCD for these abilities without getting chunked.
These are all thoughtful concerns, and worthy of bringing up. Thank you Sister Reese!

Light of the Protector on GCD also irks me, not only for the saving of my own skin, but its other use when I use it to heal others in my group. When I see a dps or healer in a pinch, having to make sure I set myself up so I don't die while spending the GCD to heal/save them, sort of takes away from the sudden save the day moment. I have to admit, healing others with this is one of my favorite little perks I enjoy as a protection paladin, and feels very .. paladiny. I wish it was base line that way.

Personally, I find Seraphim an irritating power. In Legion, it seemed like our dps has been balanced with the assumption we are using it for that purpose all the time. Dear Blizzard, please don't make the assumption that I like Seraphim talent just because I have it. I just always take it, for if I do not, my damage output makes me sad. I actually have never much cared for the damage cooldown stacking style of dps. Something on a long cooldown to use once in a raid fight, or on a dungeon boss at a crucial point, sure, that is alright with me.. things timed like Seraphim feel tedious, however. Of course, putting these powers on the global cooldown, and bringing that problem into Seraphim as Sister Reese outlined above makes me cringe even more.
Thank you Reese for outlining all of that. Here's hoping that some of those get addressed soon.

The LotP GCD one really is problematic.
It’s official, Paladin is the worst tank on Beta. FeelsBadMan
04/30/2018 04:11 PMPosted by Reese
It’s official, Paladin is the worst tank on Beta. FeelsBadMan


please dont say this they where worst tank legion...

dk and dh shine is m+
druid monk great in raids
warrior was op at first.
Agreed on the vast majority of the points you made, not much that's dispute worthy. Really want to underline the issues with LotP and the desire to have the talents that see little to no use replaced, with the exception of Aegis of Light.

There are a number of ways AoL could be altered to allow it to be taken more frequently. For starters, the ability to cast while it's active (in other words, make it a buff on the player with the shield animation still visible), and preferably the ability to move while it's active, but cast while active with a root for the duration is a decent compromise provided it can be cancelaura'd.

Another active option on the 90 row would be nice considering the two go-to talents are passive options with no affect on your decision making or gameplay whatsoever, because other classes have better slows than what Consecrated Ground brings to the table.

Also, I wanted to touch on Avenger's Shield because I think it's a pretty glaring flaw in the spec right now. Given that Bulwark of Order is gone, AS has no defensive component whatsoever. If a comparable passive is not being added for an absorb based on AS damage, I really feel that 1 second of SotR CDR per target hit with AS is a good way to go. Pretty sure we can all agree that pressing Judgment when you're able to spam AS with GC procs feels pretty bad, and this would alleviate that.
05/01/2018 10:55 AMPosted by Curoz
Agreed on the vast majority of the points you made, not much that's dispute worthy. Really want to underline the issues with LotP and the desire to have the talents that see little to no use replaced, with the exception of Aegis of Light.

There are a number of ways AoL could be altered to allow it to be taken more frequently. For starters, the ability to cast while it's active (in other words, make it a buff on the player with the shield animation still visible), and preferably the ability to move while it's active, but cast while active with a root for the duration is a decent compromise provided it can be cancelaura'd.

Another active option on the 90 row would be nice considering the two go-to talents are passive options with no affect on your decision making or gameplay whatsoever, because other classes have better slows than what Consecrated Ground brings to the table.

Also, I wanted to touch on Avenger's Shield because I think it's a pretty glaring flaw in the spec right now. Given that Bulwark of Order is gone, AS has no defensive component whatsoever. If a comparable passive is not being added for an absorb based on AS damage, I really feel that 1 second of SotR CDR per target hit with AS is a good way to go. Pretty sure we can all agree that pressing Judgment when you're able to spam AS with GC procs feels pretty bad, and this would alleviate that.


Agree on all points.
05/01/2018 10:55 AMPosted by Curoz

Also, I wanted to touch on Avenger's Shield because I think it's a pretty glaring flaw in the spec right now. Given that Bulwark of Order is gone, AS has no defensive component whatsoever. If a comparable passive is not being added for an absorb based on AS damage, I really feel that 1 second of SotR CDR per target hit with AS is a good way to go. Pretty sure we can all agree that pressing Judgment when you're able to spam AS with GC procs feels pretty bad, and this would alleviate that.

I really like this idea or something like it (maybe .5 seconds) as every other tank can keep their AM either 100% of the time or very close to it except for Prot Paladin.

Also we really need to have our LOTP/HOTP heal taken off the GCD as it causes a lot of issues with the spec in its current form.
04/30/2018 04:11 PMPosted by Reese
It’s official, Paladin is the worst tank on Beta. FeelsBadMan


Played both warrior and paladin on Beta. Paladin is much better in what I have experienced.
I'll agree with the following

GCD on light/hand of protector is a little too far, just based off of the many reaction circumstances its used for.

the tier 75 and 90 talents could use addressing however judgement of light is an amazing talent specifically for the raid as a whole and using Varimithras as an example. there is constant raid ticking damage that soaks up the 40 charges fairly quickly.
I agree with pretty much everything except

04/24/2018 07:38 PMPosted by Reese
Consecrated Hammer
This talent should not exist. With good play, you’ll get far more significant value from Holy Shield or Blessed Hammer. It’s not a valid talent option for any type of serious play.
This. Talents don't have to be good for skilled players in order to have some kind of value. New players will find this talent useful while they figure out how to place Consecration properly.

And

04/24/2018 07:38 PMPosted by Reese
Avenging Wrath on the GCD
This. I don't think is as big a deal as you're making it out to be. Cooldowns (which is essentially what Seraphim is) are not meant to be easily stackable, so the situation you describe where you have a deadzone when popping them together seems intended. In every other case you can just pop it before initiating the pull and nothing changes.
Hopefully the fantastic, even handed feedback in this thread will reopen some discussions within the WoW class team.
This. Talents don't have to be good for skilled players in order to have some kind of value. New players will find this talent useful while they figure out how to place Consecration properly.


I'm fine with this generally. Some talents should make a spec easier to play and not all talents appeal to all players. However, this talent might be too basic in its current form. It should be a different effect to help new players. What if it increased the duration of Consecration by X seconds instead of giving the bonus for free.

05/05/2018 12:44 AMPosted by Ariellè
This. I don't think is as big a deal as you're making it out to be. Cooldowns (which is essentially what Seraphim is) are not meant to be easily stackable, so the situation you describe where you have a deadzone when popping them together seems intended. In every other case you can just pop it before initiating the pull and nothing changes.


Avenging Wrath on the GCD at this point is meh. I'll accept it.

But Seraphim? I've already traded 2 SOTR charges for it. The opportunity cost is built into the ability. Its not free damage like other cooldowns. If i make a mistake, I pay for it. It should be off the GCD. Period. No questions asked.
So far i've had some fairly limited play time on the beta and i'm in no way a mythic raider by any stretch but some thoughts:

Blessed Hammer is the laziest, most boring talent/ability in the game, but it's too good, and it's the only thing we have to fill our rotation and make it feel even remotely concise.

That being said: I really want to love Consecrated Hammer: it has the potential to be extremely powerful and I think one of the ways it could be better is to give the cleave damage a chance to proc AS. (I admittedly may be way off base here, and maybe it already does that, but BH proccing AS is really the only thing that makes it feel worth. Otherwise it's just whooshwhooswhoosh....).

The removal of Eye of Tyr hurts much more than I thought it would. It was fun to manage, it synchronized well in our rotation, and the fantasy aspect of it was pretty cool. I feel like we need something to fill our rotation (that isn't BH).

I feel like we might be moving in a direction, either intentionally or not, to where Seraphim is going to moving away from a burst/surv CD to a rotational ability, which *could* be fun if it worked in a way that EoT did where it did damage and AM. With some tweaks to the CD and the buff time we could eventually get to a point where you want to keep 10-20% uptime on Seraphim (rough math). This came to me when I decided to move my Serf from my CD bar to my EoT hotkey and it was actually pretty fun to weave it into the holes in the rotation. The down-side to this is the charge of SotR but if you're only using one charge right before the second comes back up you're not leaving yourself *too* vulnerable. As I said this would give you ~10%+ uptime on serf. I know this could become incredibly OP and, again, i'm not min-maxing, just toying with ideas, fun being my main driver.

AW on the GCD is.... not ideal *BUT* only on the pull. I feel like maybe if it were only on the GCD in combat it would make your pull feel better. Once you're in combat I don't mind having to weave it into my rotation at controlled intervals.

Sorry this is all kind of ramblings off the top of my head, and in no particular order. I don't feel like ProtPal needs a complete rework by any stretch but the rotation feels pretty bad now; maybe haste will help, but I don't want to rely on that completely.
04/30/2018 04:11 PMPosted by Reese
It’s official, Paladin is the worst tank on Beta. FeelsBadMan


Hey now, that's our place. Them be fightin words.

In all honesty LoTP on GCD doesn't feel great. But man do I feel way more like an actual tank than on my warrior. Honestly if I had to judge I would say Paladin is top 3 on Beta. I don't have my monk or druid to 120 ( don't think Ill get my druid there cuz holy god its boring). I would say if they smoothed you guys out a little you'll be in a great spot.
05/07/2018 06:11 PMPosted by Reese
But Seraphim? I've already traded 2 SOTR charges for it. The opportunity cost is built into the ability. Its not free damage like other cooldowns. If i make a mistake, I pay for it. It should be off the GCD. Period. No questions asked.
This makes more sense to me.
In my opinion the worst change here is that LOTP/HOTP are on the GCD.

This spell is 100% reactive as it is based on having less HP it does more healing. When you are low on HP it is the only choice you will make to stay alive as all other options such a defensive's would still allow you to take dmg (however less dmg) but it could be enough to kill you.

With LOTP/HOTP on the CGD you now have to play your rotation extra slow when you start taking heavy incoming dmg so you do not get GCD'ed and die because you can't cast LOTP/HOTP.

Also this situation will get continually worse as the Xpac goes on as the dmg mobs/bosses do will increase and spike dmg will increase bringing you to times when you have less then a GCD to heal many times and you will not be able to and die.

Blizzard please take a look into this for Prot Pallys and take our self heal off the GCD.
If any ability needs to be taken off the GCD it's Light of the Protector. I can understand why Avenging Wrath is on GCD, but Light of the Protector is by all mean part of our defensive kit. Having part of your defensive kit on GCD is a very bad feeling.

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