November 30, 2010

Impressions of Cataclysm holy paladin healing

I'd like to reflect on the holy paladin healing I managed to do in beta. I didn't do raids there, but I did do a decent amount of dungeons and I've seen most of the raid boss videos.  At first I pugged a couple of normal modes in full blue heroic gear and the damage/health ratios feel... scary at first.  That's the only word I can use to explain it.  You will struggle with normal modes, especially if you haven't seen them yet.  Our heals at 85 literally do the same amount of healing that they do at 80.  The only thing really boosting their effectiveness is spellpower itself, not new ranks or anything like that.  Everyone has a lot of health, floating around 60-90k I believe.  Damage has scaled up, especially AOE damage. Most of the time during a fight people are at deficit health.  In starter gear this will be even more true.  Holy radiance is a key spell in our new arsenal.  It will save your group.  A lot.  Don't be afraid to use it.

Later on I did some heroics in the fully epic premades for the heck of it to see how gear scales.  Heroics are still decently challenging in full epic raid gear which is refreshing.  With full heroic blue gear heroics are challenging.  With starter 85 gear they will be quite brutal.  With full epics I was able to compensate for mistakes my group made and recover after situations that I wouldn't be able to handle in early blues.  I simply would have run out of mana in that other gear.  This is as it should be.

Mana is back.  Even at 80 with 4.0.3 mana isn't an issue.  We can use spells like Flash of Light over and over again, albeit we do see mana dip if we use Flash a lot at 80.  At 85 you'll have to change.  You will switch from using Flash of Light because even using 3-5 of them in a fight will sap your mana pool.  HS+HL+WoG/LoD and Holy Radiance will be your best friends and FoL/DL will be second class in your toolbox.  Divine Sacrifice will be your best friend for saving damage on the tank and transferring it to the free healing on yourself.  Cooldowns will be your best friend again (AW+Divine Favor are incredible at getting a group back on its feet with Holy Radiance).  Divine Light will be a strict backup spell, and now that Infusion of Light works to speed it up it's a great spell to heal someone from a very bad deficit.  It still costs an arm and a leg though.

You'll have to take my word for it that 80 healing, even with 4.0.3, is nothing like Cataclysm.  It's just a totally different environment due to health pools, spell cost, spell potency, and encounters in general.

November 24, 2010

Best In Slot Holy Paladin 4.0.3 updates, major glyphs

Last night I switched the main site over to show Cataclysm items by default.  If you don't want to see Cata items on this list you can filter out the "Not Available" items and see WOTLK items.

I also updated the glyphs page to reflect the 4.0.3 glyph updates.  Major glyphs are much harder to select now.  The swing glyphs (to me) seem to be Cleanse, Light of Dawn, and Beacon.  The two standby glyphs I'd use for raiding in Cata are Beacon and Divine Plea.  Cleanse depends on the fight for how useful it is and Light of Dawn depends on what size group you're healing.  If you're healing a large group (10 or 25) that requires Light of Dawn, need lots of cleansing, but you don't need to change your beacon target at all, then Divine Plea + LoD + Cleanse seem to be the best.  So there are a few major glyph combos that I think I'll probably use depending on the encounter/raid size:

10/25 man standby: Divine Plea + Beacon + LoD
10/25 man single beacon, cleanse heavy, aoe damage: Divine Plea + Cleanse + LoD
10/25 man tank/beacon swapping, cleanse heavy, little aoe damage: Divine Plea + Beacon + Cleanse
5 man: Divine Plea + Divinity + Cleanse

Why choose beacon as a standby?  Well, swapping beacons is an easy way to put a "hot"-like effect on someone and I can see it being useful in Cata to swap it for free, especially for any fight with over 1 tank (most likely a lot).  If you're doing primarily 5 mans then the beacon glyph probably isn't something you want to use.  I'd go with the Divine Plea + Divinity + Cleanse route if you're pounding 5 mans (LoD is also useless there).

As for Lay on Hands glyphs... using up two majors to buff one 8 minute cooldown spell seems silly.  Divnity is free mana though and is good for 5 mans.

I think there is too much situational glyph swapping in major glyphs.  I guess that's what Blizzard is going for, but in some encounters glyphs are going to be clearly useless.

November 6, 2010

Cataclysm Raid Loot

I would say almost all of the Cataclysm raid loot is in the main site now.  If you filter by 4.0.3 you can view all of it on the different gear pages.

One thing to note is the new random enchantment gear is not listed.  There's not an easy way to list this out since they're... random and don't have any stats on the stat websites.