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Jul 20

Blizzard have been unhappy about the state of holy paladins for a while now – apparently crit is “too strong” a stat for us, and they don’t like our distaste for mp5 – and as has been widely reported, 3.2 brings some pretty solid regen nerfs to the table for us. In return, they’re buffing the mp5 on most items, in an attempt to make it more appealing for us.


The Changes

Most of the changes were announced or foreshadowed in this post:

So, we loseWeight Exercise 5% of our intellect, plus Replenishment’s been cut by 20%, plus crit-based mana regen has been halved. In exchange, we get a more powerful Beacon of Light (which is a subject for another post), and 25% more mp5.

Crunching Numbers

If you want to know just how this is going to affect you, you need to take a look at overall data from a raid, rather than just relying on your perceptions. I’ll use WoWWebStats (WWS) parses here to demonstrate, but you can also use other sites like WoWMeterOnline (WMO) or World of Logs (WOL).

Before a raid, take note of how much holy crit rating you have – personally, I’m usually around the 41-42% mark when buffed (since I don’t usually get Focus Magic, and we don’t have a regular raiding boomkin).

Step 1: Recalculate your Intellect

Because we’re losing 1/3 of the boost of Divine Intellect, it’s important to note how that affects our other stats.

To calculate this, make note of your stats when raid-buffed, then divide your current Intellect by 1.15 and multiply the result by 1.10, to see your raid-buffed Intellect after patch 3.2.

In my case, I’ll be going from 1657 Intellect to 1584 Intellect, a drop of 73 Int. Losing 73 Int costs me 1095 Mana and about 0.438% Spell Crit, which will further reduce the effects of Replenishment and Illumination.

Reducing mana pool will also affect the mana return from Divine Plea, but that’s a factor that’s under your control, as you can adjust how frequently you use Plea to compensate for a reduced return.

Step 2: Illumination

After the raid, take a look at the WWS parse. (If your raid group doesn’t use WWS or an equivalent service, you can save your own combat logs and upload them for your own use.) Select yourself, and pick a boss fight you think was typical, or pick “all bosses” or “defeated bosses” from the split menu if you want an average for the whole night.

Now, look at the top section of stats, and look for your “HPS time” stat. That’s the amount of time WWS identifies you as healing.

WWS Parse - Part 1
(Click to enlarge.)

This sample just shows one fight, so the HPS time is 6:17. If it’s a full night, the HPS time will be far higher, of course (but lower than you’d expect, since every raid wastes a surprising amount of time on getting ready, recovering from wipes, clearing trash, strategising, and so on).

So, now you’ve got the time you spent healing, the next step is to find out how much mana you got back from critical heals during this time. For this, click on the “Energies & Dispells” tab below the first block of stats, and look for Illumination (which is the talent that restores mana after crit heals).

WWS Parse - Part 2
(Click to enlarge.)

From these two screenshots, you can see that I spent six minutes and seventeen seconds healing (or 377 seconds), and got 27,718 mana back from crit heals. This equates to approximately 73.5 mana per second, or 367.6 mp5. Obviously, these numbers are going to vary based on factors like the rest of your healing team, whether it’s a progression fight or farm content, your latency, and so on.

So, my 41% spell crit gave me back mana equivalent to 367.6 mp5 on that fight. Halve that. That’s how much mana regen you’ll loseWeight Exercise from crits when patch 3.2 hits.

Also note that your reduced Intellect (as calculated in Step 1 above) will also reduce your spell crit, reducing Illumination-based mana returns further.

Step 3: Replenishment

On WWS Replenishment will show up in the “Energies and Dispells” display, just like Illumination. It doesn’t show on the screenshot above, because that fight had no-one with Replenishment, so here’s a sample screenshot (from a fight with 5:46 HPS time).

WWS Parse - Part 3
(Click to enlarge.)

On this fight, Replenishment restored 8190 mana over 346 seconds, an equivalent of about 118.3 mp5.

To calculate the effect of the 3.2 changes on how much mana you get from Replenishment, you’ll need to do two things:

Take the Replenishment value, and multiply it by 0.8. This new value accounts for the nerf to Replenishment itself. Now take this new value, and multiply it by 0.956, which accounts for the nerf to Divine Intellect (since 0.956 is 1.15/1.10). That’s the new amount of mana you’d have regained from Replenishment in an otherwise identical situation, post-3.2.

Using the screenshot as an example, we get 8190 * 0.8 * 0.956 = 6263 mana over 346 seconds, or about 90.5 mp5. That’s a loss of nearly 28 mp5, on this particular fight.

Obviously, that’s a very small sample; for accuracy, you’re best off looking at a number of raids and totalling all the Replenishment mana returns and HPS times before you do any calculations.

Step 4: mp5

This one’s the most straightforward calculation. On your character sheet, take a look at your current mana regeneration while casting (without Blessing of Wisdom), and multiply that by 1.25. That’s your new gear-based mp5 total.

The Impact

Using the above calculations, you can work out how much mp5 you’ll loseWeight Exercise from the nerfs to Intellect, Illumination and Replenishment, and how much you’ll gain from the buff to mp5 on gear and enchants. If you’re still primarily in Naxx gear, you’ll likely loseWeight Exercise a fair bit of mana regen overall, because there was plenty of Naxx gear with Haste & Crit, and no mp5. If you’ve moved into Ulduar gear, the impact will be lower as pretty much every single piece of Ulduar spellpower plate has mp5 on it.

However, there’s one important factor to bear in mind: mana regen from mp5 is not the same as mana regen from crit. Quantitatively, they might still give you back the same amount of mana; qualitatively; they’re different.

Mana regen from spell crits lends itself to spike-based healing; crit-focused healers are good at throwing out a lot of healing very fast to compensate for damage spikes, and Illumination restores mana dynamically; the more you use, the more you regen.

Mp5-based mana regen, on the other hand, is a steady trickle of mana; if you engage in over-enthusiastic spike healing, you may run yourself excessively mana-dry until you wait for the pool to slowly top itself back up again. mp5-based mana regen lends itself to more measured, steady healing to keep a target topped up, and is particularly aided by mitigation from shields and damage diversion abilities (like HoSac and Divine Sac).

Whether we like it or not, Blizz has decreed that we need to focus more on mp5 and less on crit. Numbercrunching will help us mitigate the impact of the changes – by being ready to use more mp5-based gear, for instance – but it’s also going to be important to keep playstyle changes in mind, too.

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13 Comments

Comment by Orcstar

Made Monday, 20 of July , 2009 at 7:16 pm

And now for the million dollar question: when was the last time you saw a paladin who was oom?

(no general Vezax does not count.)

Comment by velladin

Made Monday, 20 of July , 2009 at 7:20 pm

I know these changes are coming, but like the proverbial turkey I’ve been keeping my head stuck in the sand trying to ignore it. A new healing phase is coming and we may very well feel a tighter pinch than we think.

Comment by Boot

Made Monday, 20 of July , 2009 at 11:52 pm

Remember when Illumination was 100%? Yea, it sucked when they changed it to 60%. This nerf is going to hurt, not only are we going to be less effective but the way we have gem/chanted/ and even chose gear has changed.

Pingback by Mondays are for OOM

Made Tuesday, 21 of July , 2009 at 12:42 am

[...] Siha has a fantastic post today And I’m quite thankful for it, I think.  She outlines exactly how to calculate the extent of the Paladin healing nerfs in relation to the buffs involved.  I’ve done the math for my last Ulduar 10 and Ulduar 25 runs.  This week I’ll be running with a different spec (54/17/0) just to see what happens, as that’s the spec I want to eventually use in 3.2 (I think).  I’ll re-crunch the numbers after this week’s raids, in an effort to postpone weeping all over my desk. [...]

Pingback by More Paladins Rerolling in 3…2…1… « I Like Bubbles

Made Tuesday, 21 of July , 2009 at 12:47 am

[...] reason you haven’t picked up Siha’s post via your feedreader already, then get thee here, my paladin [...]

Comment by Det

Made Tuesday, 21 of July , 2009 at 4:31 am

You hit the nail on the hammer which I do not think most people realize which is the difference between the mana regen mechanics of illumination and mp5. Illumination scales with more healing output, making it fluid and dynamic in relation to the amount of healing required while Mp5 is static and receives more benefit from a fight with steady incoming damage. Although, like I commented in your more recent post about the “new” holy paladin spec, these changes sync well with the new build and allow for mp5 to be more useful in our style of healing.

Comment by Silk

Made Tuesday, 21 of July , 2009 at 10:35 am

Orcstar, I am given to understand that Pallies doing hard mode encounters do go OOM. On normal modes NO healers are going OOM (shammies may be an exception to this but they are getting buffed hard in 3.2).

Certainly, my limited experience of 10 man hard modes (2 healing) shows that mana management becomes a significant issue in those fights.

What I don’t understand is the motivation behind these changes. Gutting HL and pushing FoL doesn’t suddenly make FoL viable. It STILL doesn’t heal anything like enough to even cover raid damage.

We’re being pushed out of the tank healing niche (or our ability to perform in that niche is being strongly nerfed while other classes – druids and shammies – are having their single target healing buffed) yet we still don’t have the tools to raid heal / heal on the move.

I’ll probably post on something similar to this – I did a breakdown of my regen on my guild forums not long ago. One thing that I do notice immediately about the above parses is that Siha isn’t meleeing for mana that often (this could be because of the particularly fights of course). Its incredible the amount of mana that this regens (hint situationally its more than replenishment!).

Comment by Glint

Made Tuesday, 21 of July , 2009 at 10:50 am

i’m really glad you’re posting again! i missed you so much that i’ve come out of constant lurking to say so. This post in particular sums up what is helpful and necessary to me about your insights. You have a way of explaining things that doesn’t oversimplify or overcomplicate matters. You don’t treat your readers like morons or post in a way that is impossibly mathy. i was so pleased to see your post that i forgot to weep about the changes. Thanks!

Comment by Brangwen

Made Tuesday, 21 of July , 2009 at 5:30 pm

Siha, I can number crunch against my gear if you are interested (4 piece T8 int stacked, I keep passing on the head for everyone else, and the maces…. but I know you understand me there :P). I will try to stick with the crit/int stacking, as the maths in the back of my head is whispering that it will still be effective even in 3.2. I shall be up for comparing talent trees :)

I will get up my WWS on wed, and pop up some stats about bubbles, crit and MP5 sometime after that.

And silk – you are spot on there, I often meleed for mana in TBC (was a big advocate of holy pallies getting down and dirty), but in 3.1 I really haven’t needed to, which is perhaps why it wasn’t factored into Siha’s numbers. Ranged judgements FTW!

But hard modes, not so much oom as using all the tricks to NOT go oom. We will be tackling Thorim hard mode this week, I will see how we go there with mana. I am ret in hodir hardmode as Pallies really are the last healing class you want to take in there, so that will be no help!

I predict more bubble for pallies in future, BTW to deal with “healing” on the move.

Comment by kenau

Made Thursday, 23 of July , 2009 at 1:31 am

although my healadin has a way to go in gearing up, I’m really quite worried about the impact on pally healing: the mana regen dynamic will not match the way we spend mana on heals: and if we do not spend mana on HL heals, then the tank dies – the HL spam is sometimes a waste, but you can’t not cast it, in case the tank doesn’t dodge/mitigate.

The end result? fewer paladins in raids: we can’t AOE heal, we can’t heal on the run, we have no automated heals. Now we will be OOM, and thus effectively useless. Why not take a drood instead? Or a priest? Much more value for money.

Comment by Upia

Made Thursday, 23 of July , 2009 at 3:41 am

What really concerns me, is that most of my gear, if not all, has crit, haste, and spellpower. I literally have 47mp5. I’m afraid I’m going to be so stripped come 3.2 I won’t be able to raid with my guild competitively. I don’t want to be the healer they carry because I’m oom and can’t sustain. But I think it’s unfair of blizzard to allow us to be ok without mp5 and then decide we need to focus on it, after two tiers of raiding. Do we honestly need to have an intellect nerf, an illumination nerf, AND the replenishment nerf?? The spirit regen nerf doesn’t even compare.

I feel as if they equate not running oom as making fights easier, and if they think the only way they can make encounters hard enough is to continuously place restrictions on healers, then maybe they should take another look at their fights. We’ve been allowed to be this way for so long, and suddenly we’re the problem? It’s infuriating.

Comment by Vort

Made Sunday, 26 of July , 2009 at 1:15 pm

If you want focus magic I can make it happen… sif Warnie needs it

Pingback by Breaking the WoW slump: Setting short term goals | World of Warcraft Wanderings

Made Thursday, 30 of July , 2009 at 7:03 am

[...] change the way I play her, with the changes in mana return and the 5% nerf to intellect. Siha goes into the changes in fantastic detail at Banana Shoulders, complete with the crying holy paladin picture. Which means it’s bad. So at the moment, [...]

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