Firstly, apologies for the week-long silence – I’ve had family staying with me, and computer time has been rather limited.
Note: This post contains spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King.
So, the WotLK beta is open, and there are a lot of changes coming to light. I need to spend some time thinking before I post anything substantial, but for now let’s look at a few points relevant to pallies, particularly holy pallies. I’ve boldfaced the really notable stuff of interest to endgame healadins. Observe the giant nerf to Blessing of Salvation. I’m trying not to knee-jerk QQ about it – it can only really be analysed in the context of WotLK gameplay and game mechanics – but man, that’s a complete evisceration.
- Hit Rating, Critical Strike Rating, and Haste Rating now modify both melee attacks and spells.
- All items and effects which grant bonuses to spell damage and spell healing are being consolidated into a single stat, Spellpower. This stat will appear with the same values found on items which grant increased spell damage and healing such as on typical Mage and Warlock itemization.
- For classes which do not heal, they should see no change in the character sheet other than new tooltip wording.
- Healing characters will see their bonus healing numbers on the character sheet decrease, however, all healing spells have been modified to receive more benefit from spellpower than they received from bonus healing, with a net effect of no change to the amount healed by their spells. Some talents have had to be rebalanced to accommodate this change, but the amount healed will remain roughly the same. In addition, some talents will provide only healing spell power.
- All Auras now affect all party and raid members within the area of effect.
- Anticipation (Protection) moved to tier 1, now increases chance to dodge by 1/2/3/4/5%.
- Avenger’s Shield (Protection) cast time reduced to .5 seconds, duration increased to 10 seconds.
- Avenging Wrath no longer causes Forebearance, damage increase reduced to 20%, now increases healing done by 20%.
- Blessing of Freedom renamed Hand of Freedom. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. Now costs 6% of base mana.
- Blessing of Light and Greater Blessing of Light removed. Their effects have been folded into all relevant abilities.
- Blessing of Protection renamed Hand of Protection. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. All ranks now cost 6% of base mana.
- Blessing of Sacrifice renamed Hand of Sacrifice, is now only 1 rank and transfers 20% of the damage taken to the caster, duration reduced to 12 seconds, cooldown increased to 2 minutes. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. Now costs 6% of base mana.
- Blessing of Salvation renamed Hand of Salvation, now reduces total threat on the target by 2% per second for 10 seconds while also reducing all damage and healing done by 10%. Only one Hand spell can be on the target per paladin at any one time. Now costs 6% of base mana.
- Conviction (Retribution) now increases critical chance with all spells and melee attacks.
- Divine Intellect (Holy) moved to tier 2, increases total Intellect by 3/6/9/12/15%.
- Divine Intervention cooldown reduced to 20 minutes.
- Divine Protection and Divine Shield now cost 3% of base mana.
- Divine Purpose (Retribution) now reduces chance to be hit by spells and ranged attacks by 1/2/3%.
- Divine Strength (Holy) moved to tier 1 in the Protection tree.
- Greater Blessing of Salvation removed.
- Hammer of Justice now costs 3% of base mana.
- Hammer of Wrath is now considered a Retribution spell, moved from Holy, mana cost reduced, missile speed increased, now usable on targets below 35% health.
- Healing Light (Holy) moved to tier 2.
- Holy Shield (Protection) cooldown reduced to 8 seconds.
- Holy Shock (Holy) range changed to 20/40 yards when used on enemies/friends respectively, cooldown reduced to 6 seconds.
- Holy Wrath is now instant cast, causes a 3 second stun, cooldown reduced to 30 seconds, radius reduced to 10 yards.
- Illumination (Holy) moved to tier 3.
- Improved Concentration Aura (Protection) moved to the Holy tree.
- Improved Concentration Aura moved from the Protection tree to tier 4 in the Holy tree.
- Improved Devotion Aura (Protection) moved to tier 4, reduced to 3 ranks, now increases armor of Devotion Aura by 17/34/50% and increases all healing done to units affected by Devotion Aura by 1/2/3%.
- Improved Hammer of Justice (Protection) now reduces cooldwon by 10/20/30 secs.
- Improved Righteous Fury (Protection) threat bonus folded into base spell, talent still reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%.
- Improved Sanctity Aura (Retribution) renamed Sanctified Retribution, now causes all units affected by Retribution Aura to cause 2% more damage.
- Improved Seal of Righteousness (Holy) moved to tier 1, renamed XXX, now affects Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption.
- Improved Seal of the Crusader (Retribution) renamed Heart of the Crusader and the effects now apply to all Judgement spells.
- Judgement of Justice will no longer prevent Fear effects, only prevent NPCs from fleeing (e.g. at low health).
- Lay on Hands no longer drains all mana, cooldown reduced to 20 minutes.
- Pure of Heart (Holy) reduced to 2 ranks, now reduces duration of Curse and Disease effects by 25/50%.
- Redoubt (Protection) moved to tier 2.
- Repentance (Retribution) mana cost changed to 9% of base, duration increased to 1 minute (10 second PvP duration), now usable against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead.
- Retribution Aura damage increased and now gains damage based on Holy spell power.
- Righteous Fury now increases threat caused by Holy damage by 90%.
- Sanctified Light (Holy) now also increases the critical chance of Holy Shock.
- Sanctity Aura (Retribution) removed.
- Seal of Justice/Judgement reduced to 1 rank with all the effects of the previous rank 2, the Judgement effect no longer prevents Fear.
- Seal of the Crusader has been removed. The effects of Judgement of the Crusader have been folded into all relevant abilities.
- Seal of Vengeance damage over time effect duration increased to 18 seconds.
- Spiritual Focus (Holy) moved to tier 1.
- Stoicism (Protection) moved to tier 2, now reduces duration of Stun effects by 10/20/30% and reduces chance your spells will be resisted by 10/20/30%.
- Toughness (Protection) moved to tier 3.
- Turn Undead (ranks 1 and 2) removed. Turn Evil now granted at level 24, mana cost changed to 9% of base.
- Unyielding Faith (Holy) moved to tier 2.
There’s a lot to say about all that, but I don’t want to devote too many words to something that could still change wildly. That said, it’s not like I’m going to be silent about it, but it needs more analysis than I have time for right now.