September 30, 2010

Cataclysm Site Update Dated

Since the 4.0.1 patch will be going live on October 5th or 12th I will be launching the updated version of the BIS holy paladin website this weekend at some point. This will give an early look at the current gear's new stats and I also have all of the Cataclysm gear inputted that is known.

Some of the new features:
1. The front page shows the top two items for each slot instead of only one. This gives more flexibility to the list and doesn't make people go "dude what the....!" when they don't agree with me.
2. Weights are temporarily defaulted to 1 (no stat is weighted) because of the massive shift in stats and abilities. These will gradually correct themselves, but you can still set your own (if you think, for instance, one stat is better and you want to see how the item scores).
3. Cataclysm items with the 4.0.3 filter including dungeon blues, heroic blues, and the current epics
4. Pointscore for librams since they have stats now.
5. Updated information pages to note they are not optimized for Cataclysm.

September 26, 2010

Cataclysm Site Updates

In an effort to keep the site relevant when the pre-Cataclysm patch hits I will be making a push to update when the 4.0.1 patch hits. I will be cutting down the number of entries I have in each slot since gear is becoming much less relevant and maintaining many more entries is more work.

Other changes include the addition of the spirit weight box, removal of mp5, and the addition of a mastery box (which won't really be used in the pre-Cata patch). I am also going to make all stat weights default to 1 and socket weight to 20 (the amount of stat point possible in a gem slot pre-Cata) since everything is changing so much and I'm honestly not sure what to weight stats yet. What this means is the pointscore will reflect the raw number of total healing stats available on the item rather than a score based on which stats are actually better. You can still enter your own weights as you see fit and compare the remaining items.

Behind the scenes after the Cata patch I will be entering the Cataclysm items as more and more are revealed. Hopefully there will be a solid picture of normal, heroic dungeon, and raid items by the time Cataclysm hits and the site will be a very helpful resource for the beginning of level 85 and on. Once I have a decent starter list for Cataclysm items I will open up the patch filter for Cata.

Listing Plate
Another major change you'll notice is the absence of mail/leather/cloth from the listings when the patch hits. I will be dropping these items from the list since we gain 5% additional intellect when we wear all plate. I understand during the start of Cata we may end up using exceptional mail/cloth/leather to start gearing up, but the main goal of this site is to list the best items as a set and that will never include a non-plate item with the bonus in place. I may end up listing extremely exceptional non-plate pieces if they are significant in Cata but I can't see it happening. The list would be too big and pointless since it's very very good to maintain full plate in Cata.

Purpose of the Site
I think BIS lists will still be necessary in Cataclysm as a helpful resource but I think they need to be more open. The idea of this site is to show several alternatives on the item slot pages. I'd like to expand on this and possibly show the top two items per slot on the front index page. This will give me room to list items that have different itemization since it will be much less cut and dry in Cata.

September 18, 2010

Cataclysm Holy Paladin Updates 9/18/10

The cataclysm changes page for holy paladins has been updated on the main website. There are some very interesting changes and it seems like Blizzard is really starting to streamline the trees for us.

Holy Light base healing has been reduced by 25%. Mana costs changed to 9% of base mana, up from 6% of base mana.
After healing on the PTR I can tell why this change was made. Healing with HL meant infinite mana at such a low base cost. It also healed for a little bit too much... using HS and then HL with speed of light up was extremely effective. Blizzard wants us to dip into Flash of Light more and feel the mana burn... and they can't well do that with HL + HS + Word of Glory (no mana) taking up a large part of the rotation.

Light of Dawn base healing has been increased by 10%. Can no longer consume Holy Power to increase healing.
Light of Dawn was a little bit too much of a sacrifice as it was it seemed to me. Being situational in nature by default due to it being a positional spell, it also ate all of your holy power, has a long cooldown, and doesn't heal for that much. Even so, it's still fun to use and does provide a little "oomph" when everyone takes damage. The problem is the "oomph" is what you get and then your holy power is sapped so you can't WOG someone else (you essentially have to start over, which means people hang at their lower health far too long). Is 10% enough? Probably not since it won't increase anymore.

Improved Concentration Aura is gone.
I see this more as Blizzard trying to weed out old mechanics than a nerf really. It was a PVP talent as it was anyway, and a very unexciting one at that.

Daybreak now has a 10/20% chance to make your next Holy Shock not trigger a cooldown if used within 12 sec. (Old - 15/30% chance to reset Holy Shock's cooldown)
Really good streamlining change in my opinion. This will probably save GCD's and make our play experience more smooth. I noticed on PTR that Daybreak was more annoying than useful since I'd be casting some heals, Daybreak would proc, and I'd already be casting something else. This makes it so you can finish that cast... but also be ready to use HS twice in a row. It was too broken up before where it would be HS > cast (DAYBREAK PROC) > cast (woops, my DB procced, I should've used HS) > HS. Sometimes the Daybreak would be wasted it seemed like since HS would've come off cooldown by itself anyway.

Spiritual Focus (Tier 5) *New* - Grants hit rating equal to 50/100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects.
I'm really happy that this talent is here. I hate missing judgements on live and I love the current hit talent.

However, this talent makes us choose between Blessed Life (the new one, not the old junk) and it to maintain a 31 point holy build. Spiritual Focus is a must-have for PVP I think, but maybe not in PVE. I can see Blessed Life being a godsend on fights where we take... any kind of damage that procs it at all. Spiritual Focus is a more passive bonus... but a good one. I think Spritual Focus needs something else to make it not so clear which one to take in PVE. I'd certainly trade hit for chances to gain holy power. Blizzard should give it something like a 10% chance to get holy power on judgement. Then it would compete with Blessed Life I think (Blessed Life is 100% when you take direct damage).

Alternatively, we can break our 31 point build and use something like this to obtain Blessed Life and SF (32/2/7). You end up losing 5% WOG/HS passive crit from ret and the situational 30% WOG crit when your target is below 35% life (you still get +30%, heh), but crit is massively nerfed I don't see any problem with this. If things stay like this I'll probably go with a build like this.

Eternal Glory is now a Tier 1 Protection talent.
Good. Super important talents shouldn't be limited to getting only right at 85.

September 9, 2010

Latest Holy Paladin Nerfs

Keep 'em coming Blizzard. I'll keep tracking those changes since the WOTLK paladin so I can weigh in when the dust settles.

September 5, 2010

Level 85 Holy Paladin Spells & Abilities

Eloderung has a post on the WoW forums about level 85 holy paladin spells and abilities. It also reflects on the difficulty of the beta zones, but no 85 instances yet since they're untestable. The level 85 guardian looks fantastic as well and I hope they revamp the other spell graphics to this level.

The main thing I notice from this post is that even though the quest gear isn't in the new zones yet... everything seems pretty difficult. Eloderung is a top-geared holy paladin now so it's not like he's going in there wearing low-level 80 epics. This should mean when new gear does show up things will be pretty well tuned and not really a walk in the park. I personally hope Blizzard leans towards more difficult, even while leveling. Their players have been with this game for up to 6 years now... it's time to stop hand-holding through the entire game.