Thanks for visiting - Banana Shoulders has retired! If you'd like to catch up with what I'm playing and writing lately, check out Siha Games!, my general MMO and gaming blog.

Sep 27

Note: this post contains information on Wrath of the Lich King. And in addition, it’s a bit speculative because it’s discussing things that may still be tweaked, nerfed, buffed, folded, spindled, mutilated, digested, adjusted, rejected, abolished, emasculated, disembowelled, inflated or otherwise amended. This is a beta, after all.

There’s been a lot of talk around the blogosphere about the changes to existing Paladin spell mechanics: in particular, the way situational Blessings are becoming Hand spells, and others are disappearing altogether. Now it’s time to take a look at what’s new, not just what’s different. I’ve held off on this post, since so much has been in flux, but now that Holy is officially not likely to change too much more, let’s take a look at what’s in store.


First, a disclaimer: this is still a beta test; all of this could change tomorrow.

New Spells

Divine Plea.
Trained at: level 71.
Mana cost: none.
Cooldown: 1 minutes.
Tree: Holy.
Cast time: Instant.
Range: Self.
Effect: “You gain 25% of your total mana over 10 sec, but the amount healed by your spells is reduced by 50%.”

Many classes are getting new methods of mana regen in Wrath; this is the Paladin version.

Some points to note:

  • The mana return is based on total mana, so it will scale with gear, buffs and talents that increase intellect or mana. Spirit will remain an inferior, almost worthless, stat for a Paladin.
  • Although the spell description says 10 seconds, the actual duration of the effect is 14 seconds. This is intended, and the tooltip has yet to be updated.
  • Although the spell description says 50%, healing spells cast while Divine Plea is active actually do no healing at all. This is expected to be a bug and to be fixed accordingly.
  • The healing reduction mechanic is intentional. In Ghostcrawler’s words: “Divine Plea is what you use when you run out of mana. It’s not there to make mana go away — it’s supposed to have situational use. If there was never a decision to use Divine Plea, then we would have just doubled your mana pool. Losing healing effectiveness is supposed to be that decision.” A lot of paladins are unhappy with this because other healers don’t have to make any decisions about using their mana regen cooldowns – innervate, shadowfiend and mana tide totem, so it’s perceived as inequitable. There has been no Blizzard response to this yet.

Shield of Righteousness.
Trained at: level 75.
Mana cost: 6% of base mana.
Cooldown: 6 seconds.
Tree: Protection.
Cast time: Instant.
Range: Melee.
Effect: “Slam the target with your shield, causing Holy damage equal to your block value plus 300. This spell causes a high amount of threat.” Note: Requires Shields.

This is a huge boost to tankadin threat generation. Not being a tankadin blog, I’ll refer you to the Maintankadin forums for specific mechanical information and speculation, but what this boils down to is:

  • Tankadins will have an instant ability on a 6 second cooldown that hits for a significant amount of damage and causes high threat.
  • In the current Wrath build, a lot of tanking gear has been re-itemized. Tankadin gear has Strength in place of Intellect and spellpower; other gear has had some Strength added to it.
  • Strength now adds Shield Block Value at a ratio of 2 STR : 1 SBV.
  • This spell is still being tweaked a fair bit, but the end result is: paladin threat generation is now largely based on Strength, rather than pure Spellpower. This means tanking gear will largely overlap with Warrior gear.

Sacred Shield.
Trained at: level 80.
Mana cost: 12% of base mana.
Cooldown: none.
Tree: Holy.
Cast time: Instant.
Range: 40 yards.
Effect: “Each time the target takes damage they gain a Sacred Shield, absorbing 500 damage and increasing the paladin’s chance to critically hit with Flash of Light by 50% for up to 6 sec. They cannot gain this effect more than once every 6 sec. Lasts 30 sec.”

This is an interesting spell, intended to help mitigate – rather than heal – damage, while providing a boost to the originating healadin’s healing output at the same time.

Some points to note:

  • At present, Sacred Shield doesn’t scale – it absorbs 500 damage regardless of how well-geared the healadin is. This makes it much more valuable, relatively speaking, in low-end rather than high-end content.
  • According to Ghostcrawler, Blizzard have “plans to make Sacred Shield scale its damage absorption.” No word yet on how well it will scale.
  • Shielding a tank has traditionally been a bad thing; for warriors and druids it reduces rage generation (which is more of an issue for warriors than druids); for tankadins it reduces mana return via Spiritual Attunement. However, with new changes to Blessing of Sanctuary (a protection paladin buff), tanks in a raid with a protection paladin will have far better mana/rage/runic power regeneration, which may allow more proactive damage mitigation from healers.

Liked this article? Why not subscribe?

4 Comments

Comment by Aurik

Made Saturday, 27 of September , 2008 at 2:03 pm

“Losing healing effectiveness is supposed to be that decision.” A lot of paladins are unhappy with this because other healers don’t have to make any decisions about using their mana regen cooldowns – innervate, shadowfiend and mana tide totem, so it’s perceived as inequitable. There has been no Blizzard response to this yet.”

But… it’s on a one minute cooldown. Give me mana-tide once every minute and then there’s maybe a valid reason to call it unfair ;)

All of these new paladin abilities look pretty funky – Paladins seem to be getting a lot of changes and shuffling compared to other classes – it’ll be interesting to see where they end up in healing, tanking and dps in the new dynamic.

/hug
/vanish

Comment by Siha

Made Saturday, 27 of September , 2008 at 5:37 pm

“But… it’s on a one minute cooldown. Give me mana-tide once every minute and then there’s maybe a valid reason to call it unfair ;)”

But if we used it every cooldown, we’d spend nearly 1/4 of our time with the healing gimp ;)

Most healadins would happily see it on a 5+ minute cooldown, in exchange for losing the healing debuff. (Note also that it only restores 25% of mana, compared with, say, Innervate.)

Comment by eidlhe

Made Tuesday, 30 of September , 2008 at 6:33 am

“Most healadins would happily see it on a 5+ minute cooldown, in exchange for losing the healing debuff. (Note also that it only restores 25% of mana, compared with, say, Innervate.”

amen to that!!!!

I for one am not happy with the loss of blessing of salvation. Pulled directly from patch test notes.

“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.”

Btw, I just found your website about two weeks ago and I’m loving it!!! Tons of great info!

Eid

Comment by Cannberry

Made Thursday, 2 of October , 2008 at 3:09 am

I weep now for Divine Plea. It was such a cute ugly ducking. Thanks for the Sacred Shield info! I had yet to see. And those icons are pretty snazzy.

Leave a comment