Friday, January 21, 2011

did blizzard really get healadins right?

After looking over some logs this week, I realized something. Every encounter heals different.
The Past

The BC and LK design of the Holy paladin was basically to use one or two spells and get a lot of use out of them. This is sort of like the mage dps design, where there aren't a lot of sources of damage, but there are a lot of other factors (cooldowns, procs etc.) that make how you use those spells more interesting. So rather than the paladin having 5 different heals, they pretty much used Flash of Light or Holy Light (depending a little on what gear stats and encounters looked like at the time) but with other spells to boost those heals, such as Beacon of Light and Divine Favor, and then all the paladin support abilities, like the Hands.
Source: Ghostcrawler, post 40

For some fights, Beacon is awesome because it does so much healing.
For others, Beacon is awesome because it helps generate more holy power to use LoD over the raid.
For some, I'm mostly a tank healer with some powerful raid cooldowns.
For others, I'm a raid healer with a powerful hot on the tank.

In some fights, our mastery blows. Others, it ends up being a bit more healing.
In some fights, I'm afraid to use Divine Plea. In others, there's a 'safe' phase to use it on cooldown.
In some fights, I'm twitching for Radiance to go off cooldown so I can use it again. In others, I save it for specific abilities.

Sure, Divine Light is still my go-to single target heal, but Holy Light sees some use if I'm trying to conserve mana. I never cast FoL, but that doesn't mean I'm doing it right.

There's only a couple of things that never change. Judging a lot, Beacon on someone, Holy Shock on cooldown. Everything else depends on the encounter.

Maybe it looks different in 10 mans, but this has been my experience so far in 25's. How do you feel about your paladin? Are your encounters dynamic?


  1. Oh man - this may be the case in 25s, but it is certainly not the case in my 10s. We 2 heal pretty much every encounter (10/12 - Cho'gall), with the only exceptions being Halfus and the Double Dragons.

    I use all the tricks in my bag on fights like Cho'gall and Chimeron - Magmaw and Armatides not as much. FoL get sporadic use, but still finds its way into my rotation a dozen times a fight maybe (Chimaeron, how I hate you).

    Holy Light is definately my most common cast, as my spirit is up to the point where it is a mana nuetral (sometimes I can even regen when casting it) spell. I self capped my hasted off at around 9%, enough so I can knock my HL down to under 2.0 sec with JotP up. Mastery I'm still not sold on. I figure whatever bit I get is great, but I'm not going to dwell on it.

    Maybe it'll change when we get to Nef or the heroic modes, but for now - I think we're just about right. The nerf to PotI will hurt a little, but more so for the people just starting out than the end game pushers.

  2. I was blown away when I watched your videos, Adgamorix, because everything looks so under control. Then I saw Janyaa's videos and felt the same way.

    I'm sure there are other 25 man raids that are more in control than we are, but it just seems to me like 25s are far more chaotic. Even when things are executed well it's still a circus.

    I imagine a lot of it has to do with buffs. Mana is a lot tighter in a 10 man, and the damage is tuned accordingly. 25s are balanced against having all four healing specs present as well, which can't ever be assumed in 10 man.

    In a large group, I can get lazy and just aim LoD towards the boss. With 12-15 people in melee, it's gonna hit 6 targets, likely at least 4 who needed it. And Holy Radiance hitting 25 targets is obviously more powerful hitting 10, especially since more of those will be stacked near me and get the maximum heal.

    I have been itching lately to try making a video of some of my raids.

    I can't even begin to think about heroic modes, yet. Scary.

  3. I'm really liking how holy pallies are playing right now. I feel like I can rise to meet the challenges of healing as long as I respect the new mana/ HoPo mechanics.

    I still think of myself predominantly as a tank healer, but Holy Radiance provides raid support and gives a bit of breathing room for those times where there's a lot of damage on the tank and my cast times feel extra long.

    Overall, it's been a joy, and that's saying something considering how unhappy and dissatisfied I was after the 4.0 changes. I think the tweaks they did (buffing the direct heals, mana returns on judging) really helped to sand down the rough edges we were experiencing towards the very end of Wrath.

    PS. Thanks for watching my videos, Enlynn! I'm always wondering if I'm the only one who gets enjoyment out of them.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Janyaa! I pretty much agree with you on the "tank healer with aoe oomph", though that's more because I'm a tank healer regardless of what class I'm healing on. I think the other healers are stronger at raid heals (if only because theirs are on much shorter cooldowns) but we can hold our own on the raid so much better than we used to.

    I was extremely unhappy in 4.0, too, but I think a large part of my discontent was the raid encounters being designed for the old ways. Doing hardmodes like Festergut was just NOT FUN once we lost our single target throughput. But anyways. The long and short of it is, I have enjoyed raiding as a paladin, more so than I thought I could. I feel like I'm contributing my share now, and I think that's all that us healers really want. :D

    PS: I owe you an apology for not telling you directly how much I enjoyed your videos. You shouldn't have to find out in the comments section of someone else's blog!