Monday, August 10, 2009

Working as intended?

It's no new revelation that tossing on Seal of Wisdom and smacking a boss around between heals is a great way to get mana back during an intense fight. This was my preferred method of mana regeneration when we were first doing fights like XT and Razorscale - just take those few moments of down time to smack the boss once or twice. At 4% max mana returned per hit, it doesn't take long to fill that bar back up.

This has been mentioned a few times as a 'secret' way to get mana back, and there's this hope that maybe GC and the team haven't figured out this little gem yet and that's why it hasn't been nerfed. I suppose it's possible, but I have a different theory.

What if?

So every class has some form of tool at their disposal to regen mana outside of replenishment or pots. Shamans have water shield, druids have innervate and the mana return of Life Bloom (yes, I know it's only there to compensate for the high cost and to keep you from rolling LB), priests have something else (this isn't a priest blog - so forgive my ignorance). My point though is that everyone has something they can use to return mana back.

This may just be our tool.

Illumination and high replenishment made it too easy. There was no decision or choice made, you simply dropped bombs like you were Schwarzkoph in Bagdahd, without a care in the world. Even the 50% debuff caused by Divine Plea could be offset by wings, or simply eaten if you timed it right (phase changes on Mimiron?). Paladins were literally a 2 button class, with very little thought into our healing.

Now with 3.2, a whole new world is forced upon us. 30% return on crits and a reduced replenishment (plus less Int overall) has pushed us more towards a FoL spam with HL thrown in for those Oh Novos! moments. This of course leads to the problem that without Lights Grace up, you're still looking at a near 2 sec cast. Casting back to back 1 sec FoLs may be better still - especially if your Holy Shock is up. Plus with BoL using all overheals, you can pop FoL with reckless abandon.

There's still the nagging problem of mana though, especially if you get into a situation where you have to rock the Holy Lights. I did some healing in ToC 25 this weekend, and I noticed the same thing I've seen before. Most, if not all, bosses have time where you can get in some melee without a huge risk to the tank. Especially if you coordinate with your other healers.

This is the 'choice' tool we've been given though. Much like a warlock who can stop DPSing for a GCD to lifetap, we can stop healing for a moment to get a few swings off. As long as the tank is topped, there isn't a lot that will instagib him, and those few seconds of melee can return a lot of mana. It's a juggling act though - you have to time it between boss abilities, interrupts, and the risk of your tank getting folded while you wind up your casting again.


Like I thought before, this isn't the end of Paladin healing, and tanking right now is just plain awesome. Ret is in a good place as well, and overall I think that the paladin class is doing well - at least in PvE. PvP is a whole other can of worms.

Oh yeah, nothing swells your epeen like being called a 'God of tanking" by some guild you joined for a PuG Naxx run. When the MT died to something (I think chain Iceblocks), tank #2 tied to I don't know what, I gathered up KT and then his four adds and managed to hold on until we could finish the fight. Of course we all know that it was a combination of several things that made it possible. 1) the dumb people were already dead, 2) with no OTs I was getting all the heals available, and 3) I'm in mostly 226 gear with some 232 stuff thrown in.

But hey, who am I to deny it? It's old school tanking all over for me. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to run with the healers to back it up.

Get off the table Pepy!


  1. I don't think its intended tbh. When GC was pulling out those imaginary regen numbers I don't think he even mentioned it...

    The biggest problem with this mechanic is the same as the old problem with Spiritual Attunement for rets. On fights where there was a lot of damage going round you had much, much more mana than those where there was less raid damage.

    Same thing here, on fights like XT where you can sit in melee range for the whole fight you get more mana from Seal of Wisdom than from anything else. On fights like Kologarn you get almost none. I am just not sure fights are designed around this - its definitely worth using it while you can though :)

  2. Maybe it's because I only do 10s and not 25s, but I think people are way to scared to use Seal of Wisdom to its fullest.

    It seems to me that a big difference between a decent pally healer and a great pally healer is how much they can get in with the melee and stay alive. If you're a good play it's not hard to right-click some target and move around a little while healing (yay HS).

    A few examples follow:

    On Razorscale you can melee trash and razorscale (with DP while he's on the ground to boot!)

    On Ignis you can follow him around and melee.

    On XT you can simply stand in melee range the whole fight.

    On IC you can stand with melee.

    On Kologarn you can melee the arms.

    On Auriaya you're in melee anyway.

    On Hodir you can follow him around and melee.

    On Freya you can melee her the whole fight.

    On Mimiron I melee the whole fight except phase 1 because I'm on plasma blast duty and don't need to.

    On Thorim, Vezax or Yogg I either haven't healed or it doesn't work.

    The problem is then that those few fights where we can't melee you end up sort of screwed if we get balanced around it.

  3. i have to agree with silk. imo blizz is completely clueless about how amazing SoW is.

    1) lets be honest... blizz has said some incredibly stupid things about holy paladins in the last 6 months. crit be better than anticipated, mp5 being worse than expected, the change to make light's grace increase next HL crit by 20%, etc etc. some of the stuff they say makes me wonder if one of them apped ot my guild if i'd even give them a 2nd thought.

    2) like silk says, in GC's breakdown of pally mana regen he not once includes SoW. this may be b/c up until 3.2 most raiding pallies went with SoL b/c there was plenty of mana... but i think they seriously haven't considered how OP it is.

    3) the mechanic itself is not going to be useful on every encounter. while you can use it on most fights, you can't melee w/ SoW up on thorim (hard), yog p3, or alganon either b/c there is no target in range or b/c the tank dmg is too intense. to allow palains be so dependent on a mechanic that only work in certain situation (granted about 80% of the time) doesn't seem very wise. on fights were this isn't possible we're pretty screwed.

    personal opinion- blizz is just 1 step behind everyone else (as usual) and nerfs to SoW are coming soon. granted it took them almost 9 months before they tuned ret pallys JoL down so maybe we'll get lucky and it will be a while. till then i've pretty much decided to gear/gem as normal, spec 51/5/15 and melee for mana.

    side note- although i completely dispise the new mechanic of overhealing beacon, it is very OP on quite a few encounters. wtb post about that. like i said... hate it completely but i've found it can insanely useful.

  4. I don't know - I think that while Paladin's may not be 'tuned' around using SoW, it's not 'not' working as intended. With the glyph choices you have to pick between your bonus healing and mana reduction. You have to choose when to DP and when (if you can) melee the mobs for mana.

    I like having the choice - being able to dance in and out - sneak in a melee hit here and there. Of course I'm only healing in 25 PUGs right now - so who knows how it's really going. I may be going back to my healing soon though - I think we just picked up a new tank.

    Don't worry - a post on BoL is coming soon.


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