Monday, February 22, 2010

Rant Incoming -

Here's the buzz: The Noisy Rogue, Cranky Healer, and Kurn all have some opinions on the recent choice for the new Holy Pally writer on After reading their complaints, I took a look at the article and was disappointed myself.
We can also use Divine Plea during medium damage phases by tying it with a healing boost cooldown like Avenging Wrath or Divine Illumination (with 2pc Tier 10, of course).
Incoming Rant #1. Linking abilities with different cooldowns limits how many times you can use them throughout the fight. You will get less uses of each of them when they must be paired together than when they are used individually as appropriate.

Rant #2. Divine Illumination was awesome before 2t10. This is not the first time I've heard a paladin suggest they would only use this ability this way, but the paladins who take this attitude fail. Divine Illumination is good - ridiculously good - and to see it suggested that this ability is useful only with certain gear AND when linked to another ability is limiting and shows a lack of understanding both encounters and paladin healing.

A paladin who is afraid to Plea without cooldowns is a paladin I'm afraid to raid with.

Please bear with me a moment. Divine Plea's MS effect isn't nearly as terrifying as some paladins make it out to be. There are definitely times it shouldn't be used, but there are more times that Divine Plea can be used safely than many paladins give credit for. If a paladin starts thinking of mana regen as a micro-game within the encounter, the best use of DP is early and often. If you're concerned with regaining the most mana in a fight, you should not ever link cooldowns because that is less mana overall than using them seperately.
I like to wait until a phase where I'm casting quite a bit and my mana is lower (less than 50%), and I'll use Divine Illumination and Divine Plea together. I end up with the 25% mana from Divine Plea, and since I was casting pretty often, Divine Illumination saved me 50% on each cast.
Divine Plea. The best use, in my humble opinion, is early and often. Don't wait to Plea until you realize you're at half. You've missed out on a lot of mana. When I Plea, I cast as few Holy Lights as I can get away with and still keep my tank comfortably alive. When used properly, you'll still have the throughput needed (in fact, you might just have no overheal instead of the 50% overheal you had before you Plead). Why would you use Plea when you know you need to spam? If you need to spam, you need the throughput! Use Plea when you don't need the throughput.

Divine Illumination. I'm annoyed that the author cares more about the healing boost from this ability than the mana savings of casts during Illumination. Forget the healing boost - for 15 seconds you get really cheap Holy Lights. The best use of Divine Illumination is when you expect to spam as hard and as fast as possible - when you need throughput. 2T10, if you have it, is icing on your spam flavored cake. Heroism is an awesome time to use this ability, but also spam-intense parts of an encounter (Festergut Ph3, Anub Ph3, Marrowgar Ph1, Deathwhisper Ph2, just a few examples). With my level of haste, I can get in 11 Holy Lights each time I'm Illuminated. Without knowing the exact numbers of savings, that's at least 5,500 mana saved every three minutes. If you do like the author says and wait to use this ability till 50% mana, you're only going to get in one Illumination in a given fight. Again, the key is to use it early so you can at least twice a fight.

Avenging Wrath
. While on the surface this might seem like it's not a bad idea to pair Plea with Wrath (I've seen it often enough), the idea I presented above is that you don't need to. And if you don't need to use them together, there's a another use for Wrath as well. Spamming Flash of Light. Flash of Light with a 20% oomph (especially when you can spam a tank taking damage with Sacred Shield up for lots of crits) is often just enough a bonus to make Flash worthwhile for twenty seconds. And if there's a moment where you're afraid it won't be enough, it's okay to throw in a Holy Light every few casts (it will be a hefty Light, as well). With the gobs of mp5 available from raid buffs and trinkets, each Flash cast as a HL-specced paladin actually nets you mana (once you have a 30k+ mana pool).
Abuse your cooldowns as often as possible, and leave no stone unturned when it comes to optimizing your mana and healing management.
While I agree with the premise of the statement I would like to nitpick at his use of "abuse" (which means to use wrongly or improperly
). There are very few ways to abuse an ability in game. Abilities that are powerful often have cooldowns on them to limit their use, and we are not abusing by using them on cooldown, we are using them properly. I present to you my raiding philosophy: if an ability has a cooldown of 2 minutes, Blizzard is balancing the encounter assuming you are using that ability every 2 minutes. While for tanking saving cooldowns for emergencies might be nice, as healers, our mana regen abilities should be used as close to on cooldown as possible. That isn't abuse, that's 'working as intendedTM'.
However, on fights like Festergut, Saurfang, or General Vezax, you can safely stand on top of either tank, safe from all the explosions and acid splashes that threaten the ranged groups.
I would not ever recommend standing next to Saurfang for any healer. I've seen groups try it and it doesn't work because the Blood Beasts will invariably beeline towards the healer in range and cause more marks and damage than it's worth. This fight is not at all intense on mana; it's not a throughput fight, it's a focused-target healing fight. This is a fight that showcases the speed of Flash of Light and power of absorbs from Sacred Shield - mana squeezes are not necessary. Also, being further at range can help you support your DPS getting down those beasts - your ability to stun out in the field is valuable.

I also disagree with standing on top of the tank for any encounter. If you're concerned about SoW procs, the best place to be is behind the boss. We lack hit rating and expertise to not be dodged and parried, but standing behind the boss will alleviate more of those misses.

I agree that positioning is vital as a holy paladin. We always want to make sure we are moving as little as possible and able to stand and chain-cast as much as can be squeezed out of the encounter. However, in my experiences, there are no encounters that require mass-spamming and movement at the same time. If I have to move from the Slime Spray on Rotface, I don't stress, because Rotface isn't actually hitting the main tank while he's casting the spray. Understanding these encounters and being in the right place before the spam is necessary and using those moment-phases to our advantage is the best way to downplay the weakness of Holy Paladins (limited mobility).
You could open with HoSac for 12 seconds, followed by DiSac for 10 seconds, ending with improved LoH for an additional 15 seconds, and you've just created a ~40 second window of tank survivability.
What encounter demands 40 seconds of this kind of tank survivability? I know the author is talking about Festergut, but I submit to you, dear reader, that there are better uses these abilities individually than chaining them. (see above, Rant #1, where linking abilities with different cooldowns limits how many times you can use them). For Festergut Ph3, it takes more than one person throwing out cooldowns to keep the tank alive. Chaining your abilities during the first Ph3 will make none available to you during the second. Instead, it would be far better to use one or two abilities during the first inhale (alternating them as you see tanks using their own), keeping a third handy for the next (I would save improved LoH because of the amount it can heal for in a pinch, and because you'll only get to use it once a fight anyways). For a fight like Festergut, it's important to remember that Ph3 is a team effort. It takes proper cooldown management from the tank and ALL the healers to make it work.

Also there's one cooldown that never gets any mention that's important. Divine Favor. Guaranteed crit Holy Light with mana back? Yes, please! Divine Favor is off the GCD meaning you can macro it to a Holy Light and you will never see any delay. How does this escape the discussion for cooldowns to help keep a tank alive?

I will give this guy credit for one idea. He suggested that when the boss fight is almost done, you start popping any mitigation cooldowns you have left just to make sure the last 10% is smooth. There's merit to that idea... although if you follow his logic, they will still be on cooldown because he blew them all at once! ;D


  1. ... I think I love you!

    I basically agree with just about everything you have to say. And I want you to know that you made me feel appropriately ashamed for generally NOT making use of Divine Illumination unless it's paired with Divine Plea.

    I actually think that the devs look at the data before making decisions on set bonuses and then put in useful but UNUSED spells in there. Resto druids didn't use Rejuvenation half as much as they do today before their 4pc T8 gave them an instant heal when they would cast Rejuv on someone. And until I had DivIll as a DP offset, I didn't use it nearly as much as I should have, despite all of its goodness! Huge mana savings AND +healing now? Totally OP. And I'm sure the devs knew we'd use DivIll and DP together, too. I do have DP separate on my bars, DivIll separate and then a macro for them both that's keybound, but I'll be looking for places to use DivIll without DP. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    Also, what the hell, stand on SAURFANG? Pardon me?! What is that guy thinking?

    And yes -- stand with MELEE, not the tank. Parry thrashes are bad, I say, bad!

    Nice overall analysis, really. I'm an instant fan. And thank you for the link!

  2. A fine vetting for sure. Also a new follower. I agree with you, I'm not afraid of Divine Plea, use whenever you can, good grief our HLs are normally more than enough, 1/2 a HL is fine to gimp through for a while. Also just set up a Divine Please macro: left click casts it, right click cancels it if ever necessary. After reading your latest two posts I realize I should probably take the time to distill what I do down to specific actions, it would probably make me a better player--I usually rely on instinct, which normally works fine but leaves me sometimes unable to clearly argue for why I do what I do. Also I would add to the Divine Plea discussion use your +sp trinket with Divine Plea, don't pop wings--in fact, avoid popping wings period since wings lock you out of your bubble and divsac. If your HL bombs can't keep your target up it's understandable (i.e. something else is wrong), but if you die because you couldn't bubble, it's not.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys :D
    I didn't have my blog set up to let me know I had them till I was just browsing around.
    PS Kurn I did try to comment and link back to you but your site doesn't like my Mac. I did try though!