Reflections Since 3.0/Tanking/DPS

•March 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So this isn’t much about healing. But thats ok since most of my time I’ve spent on wow hasn’t been healing. To be fair, most have it has been spent living in a cardboard box next to the bank in org (Like the time I spent 3 days straight putting up a guild website and just afked in my spot).

I’m a tank. No mater how hard I spam Holy Light, no matter how indepth I get with healing strategies, I’m a big fucking meat shield.  Playing on my warrior was the best time I had on this game.

So why am I playing a paladin now? Good question.

Its a bit of a story. Alot of it comes down to how the game has changed and how moving to a new server with friends can royaly fuck how much raiding you do. When you’re sticking with your friends and building from scratch, you have to work with the bottom of the barrel. And unfortunatly, the bottom of the barrel isn’t pretty all the time.

It pretty much begins with 3.0. Now, 3.0 was a pretty awesome patch. Achievements. Stat conversions. The lolhp debuff to BC raidbosses for zerg hillarity moments. Talent reworks. You get the idea. The problem is tho, that it really hurt tanking.

Now, thats a double edged sword when I say that. The patch in reality made tanking better. For me tho, It almost ruined it.

Some background: I had warrior tanking on fucking lockdown. I’m not trying to say I was any kind of definative paragon of warrior perfection, as I know where my faults lie at all times and don’t really like to boast. But for the most part, those faults were non-existant on my warrior. One of my prime joys as a warrior was, I was a TPS MONSTER. Now, warrior tanking back then at its core was fucking braindead simple: Shield Slam, Revenge, Dev, Dev. Repeat until your fingers fell off. The game with warrior TPS tho, was boosting the shit out of your TPS via Intelligent Rage Management and Smart Gearing. Being able to keep a flawless rotation, keeping TC, Demo, and Commanding up, and utilizing any remaining time to pump out HS and Cleave ontop of any other kind of utility available, and NOT be raged starved when things like Shield Block came off cooldown, is what made the role fun for me.

Now granted, I never got to the point in BC where I was blowing my TPS load on Brutallus and the ungodly horror of haste scalled warlocks and warriors creeping up on me constantly. I took a break during BT and my guild went on to Sunwell without me, which is when I came back and transfered.  But even in BT, the scaling was starting to get out of hand, and pushing my TPS to the limit was still what made tanking what it was.

The moment I really worried tho, wasn’t long after the launch of 3.0. Since the new achievement system was out, I was going gung-ho on getting shit done. One of the first things I did was go back and clear all the old dungeons, easy points! Well, during that spree of dungeons I did deadmines, and looted Cookie’s Tenderizer off of Cookie at the end of the instance.

Now if you don’t know what Cookie’s Tenderizer is, its basicly the most awesome weapon in the game…. its a fucking rolling pin. It doesn’t get much better than that.

So later that night we decided that since BC bosses were a damn joke now, we’d go and hit ZG and see if we couldn’t get an easy 4 chest run in. So we start off, we’re chugging along at record speed. Everything is sticking to me like glue, which normaly is the case so I didn’t think much of it at the time. We Kill Akilzon, we Kill Nallorak. We’re heading down to Jan’alai’s trash, and I open up my character pane to check something, when i see….

Cookie’s Tenderizer.

Are you fucking serious? Did I just tank that with a level 15ish blue and have the grand sum of ZERO threat isseus? Despite me being completely dumbfounded, I had to tell everyone what just happened, and Cookie’s Tenderizer became even more epic in what it stood for.

But from that day onward, it just got worse, and worse and worse.

Shattered Halls? I used to revel in that shit. Taking in a group of puggers and mass pulling orcs, watching them freak out, then slowly realize that I knew what the fuck I was doing: Awesome. Now? lolthundercrate and spam cleave. Collect epic gem tokens. Go cry in a corner.

Magister’s Terrace? Best run I ever had in there was 2 days after it came out. Made a group for heroic for that fucking stamina trinket. Got a rogue, enhancement shaman, and a fury warrior as DPS with a shaman healer. Of course these guys were like “WTF no CC???”. I told them to just relax, it’s not as hard as everyone bullshits about, and we steamrolled it. I had to put a decent ammount of effort into how I tanked to accomplish something like that with no disasters. After 3.0? Might as well renamed the place Slave Pens.

Of course, alot of this was tributed to Blizzard’s change of heart on how punishing they were to their players, to keep people from ragequitting because they had to gear up 3 tiers of content to hit the good shit and no one ever ran the crap. But this continued into wotlk. Heroics were still easy. TPS was a joke. I was outdamaging 95% of the DPSers overall in my pugs. It was kinda a let down.

So now I had a paladin floating at level 70 that I head with a bit in BC. And now, we needed healers. And the healers we had? Well… I only could put faith in one on them, but I still didn’t trust him. He liked to randomly go afk or jump for no reason during spike damage spots and then laugh about it when i died.

Introduce Inversity to WotLK.

And since then, it stuck. I took it at full force and did what I could to never be one of those healers that was just god awful. So far, I’d have to say its gone well. I’m still learning, I have my minor flaws here and there, but it’s been fun, a new experience, and quite the challenge at times.

Part of me still pines to tank things tho. Luckily I’m at the point where I’m spending my frosts on prot gear because I’m done with the holy badge items availabe, and I have a couple of really nice tanking items from ICC set aside (Last Word! =D), so I rebuilding my set back up and gonna bust out some tanking soon, when I can. Nothing serious, just here and there.

Will it be the same? Nope. Paladin tanking is an absolute joke. And for me, tanking is the lowest resonsiblity role in the raid, so there goes that factor right out the window in comparison to healing. As I side note, I really have no clue why people view the role having so much responsibility. Healers and even DPS have more responsiblity in fights.

But, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do in Cataclysm. I enjoy all 3 factors of the holy trinity, Healing, Tanking, and DPSing. I often wonder if my love for TPS pushing would translate really well into pushing DPS. I know that the times I did get to DPS during wotlk, I put alot of people to shame with my offset, hodgepodge ret gear. And ret isn’t really that strong in DPS. Also, ret is the most mindfuckingly boring thing I have ever played. I really have the option of playing any DPS for Cataclysm if I so choose, but It’s a hard choice if I should or not.

And then I wonder if going back to tanking is the way to go. It’s what I know, It’s what I did best. But is it better to just leave it behind me, and leave the tanking I knew to rest?

Or is sticking with healing the way to go for me? It’s definatly been the most intellectual gameplay so far, but It’s one hell of a drag seeing just bars of health for 90% of the fight instead of being able to actually watch the encounter and see the things going on.

It’s a tough call. I want to make a decision before cataclysm comes, and stick with it. So until then, I think I’ll be dwelling on this and experiementing.

BQL – Round 2

•March 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So last night we went back into ICC, and at the end of the night we had time for one Blood Queen attempt. Sadly, one of our shamans DCed as we were going over our strat, and never came back, so we had to 9 man it (as well as 2 heal it).

However, things went wonderfully until right before the second airphase when our blood mirror tank dropped, and then a few seconds later people chaining BBWhirl during the second air phase while trying to get off bites. We ended up having her at about 20% at this point, and this was without our rogue or DK getting bit first.

We learned some interesting things during the attempt and not long after it tho, which will surely help tonight in kicking her ass:

#1 – Primary bite target: I think what’s going on here is the designated bite targets are going too crazy with threat and surpassing the blood mirror tank. As far as I can tell (and the general public agrees), she bites whoever is directly below her blood mirror target in threat, which would explain why our shadow priest got the first bite, as well as the previous attempts a week before with our resto druid getting bitten first. So things to work on tonight is – DPS throttling their threat to keep under the OT, and the OT pumping out enough threat to hug the primary tank in TPS output.

#2 – Second air phase & bites: This is pretty much the biggest concern I had, as I knew with a regular bite pattern that people would have to bite during the second airphase, leaving BBWhirl open to chain people that were together to get bites off. But, after a bit of rooting around (and this is really common sense, I should have realized this myself) delaying the first player to player bite as long as possible offsets the bite pattern time enough so that the resulting Air Phase 2 bite period occurs after she’s done Blood Bolting. So just another minor detail we have to make sure gets done.

#3 – Dampen Magic: I was going to tell our mage to dampen the raid (Minus the tanks) for that attempt, but we kinda got distracted by both me configuring the BloodQueen mod, as well as our shaman DCing. I’d imagine for this constant aura fight and other residual DoTesqe magic attacks that Dampen would be a huge boon for us, and make 2 healing it even more comfortable and curve out the “oh shit” moments.

#4 – 2 Healing: As I mentioned in a previous post, I thought we were hasty to switch to a 3 healing setup for this. Turns out I was right (to a possible extent). We found the damage on this fight easily healable by ourselves and residual raid band-aid effects. However, something to take note of is our SPriest was bitten first for this attempt, so the damage boost to buff VE may have made quite the difference in smoothing out the damage curve. We will have to see in application tonight when we get our melee back on the first bite plan.

Our druid did a respectable 9k HPS on this, and I did around 8Kish. Tho, tonight I’m going to try and work on keeping JoL uptime as close to 100% as possible, because it was barely up last night, and having that up could very easily negate the loss of an amplified VE in the event that our Spriest doesn’t take the first bite again.

#5 BloodQueen(mod) - This is fantastic. It was a bit of a hassle to set up because the priority interface is a bit clunky when doing a manual priority, but it worked flawlessly in assigning, warning, and alerting targets when it was time to be bitten, who to bite, who was biting them, and adjusting for deaths. This particular one even had a recount/skada module that bases priority off of the running DPS for the fight, but we decided to go with a fixed priority list to keep it simple and non confusing for learning. Overall fantastic mod tho, and our DPS were very happy with how easily it sorted out the bites for them.

That pretty much covers it. I have no doubt that killing her tonight shouldn’t take more than a few tries. Then it’s on to Dreamwalker (yay!) and then most likely Sindragosa. We’ll be left with her and Putricide at that point (and I’m not really sure why people are so hesitant on him, the fight mechanics seem rather clear cut and aren’t confusing, for me at least. Maybe it’s just alot of information for one fight at once.)

But so far, so good. Give it a few weeks and we’ll be wiping on Arthas =D

Cross-Healing, the good, the bad, the wipes.

•March 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So yesterday an aquaintance was in ICC10, on Festergut. He’s been having trouble in there with his guild lately, they can’t seem to get him down. I tried to pry as much information out of him to help him out the best I could but he was slow to respond, probably due to just the general chaos and frustration when a semi-unorganized guild receives when they are faced with back to back wipes.

They were running a 3 heal setup. 1 paladin, 2 holy priests. He linked me the meters and the output was quite honestly fine for the attempts, it looked to be enough overall HPS for the encounter. Granted that means jack shit to the success of the encounter, but they were meeting the (overall) HPS requirements.

From what I understand, tanks were dying too early. I did an armory on the tanks and they are appropriately geared, so pretty much it came down to the factor of healing vs. CD usage. After a bit more prying I pretty much determined they had some heavy cross healing going on and weren’t focusing on primary assignments much, most likely due to them not trusting eachother. I know the one priest was very hesitant of the paladin, thinking he basicly sucked.

I told him to try to clean up the raid damage cross healing and assign one person to cover puke targets and the tank, the paladin to beacon the tank and spam the raid, and the other to 50/50 the raid and tank. God knows if they took my advice, but I told him they need to focus primary on the tank on upcoming of the 2nd spore/5stacks and after, and stabilize both tanks when the first reaches 9. I also mentioned rotating GS and Bubble/Sac on the before and after for the transition, but he never responded.

After thinking about this, It just made me realize how glad I am that I run with a healer(s) that understand their roles in the fight and quickly adjust to the situation. Our ICC runs generally don’t result in wipes due to healing factors, it’s ususally wipes due to mechanics. And alot of times we can purely overpower mechanic failures with quick emergency healing (but sometimes you just can’t, like not running quick enough on Sindragosa :P Get tuskarrs!) Granted these are only 10s, but rarely do we have to say “Ok, you heal X and I’ll heal X” , we kinda just know who were all going to take care of by the basic mechanics that work the best.

This results in very little cross healing errors, and only for redundancy, as I mentioned in a previous post with Holy Shock snipes. I find it very odd tho, how when we’re 2 healing things, if 2 of the same debuffs go up at the same time, we pretty much have our ways of gravitating towards different targets to heal. I think it’s because I take a “bottom to top” approach to grid, while i’m certain he takes a “top to bottom” approach. Also we’re both very privy to the incoming heal alerts via our mods, so that’s more than likely a plus to this factor. It may not seem concrete, but for encounters where it’s not make or break on these things, it gets the job done.

Tho when we do encounter issues like that, we generally try to split these apart from another to cut back on cross healing. But even with assignments, we still layer the redundancies on each other, regardless of assignment. I know its not an issue of trust, its more an issue of “I want this damn boss dead, keep the deeps alive”

I’m sure there’s better ways to handle these kind of situations than what we do, and we’re always learning. Thats the great thing about this role. It’s not concrete at all. Every fight attempt is always different. The general flow may stay the same, but everything can flip flop at moment’s notice. Learning to adjust and being able to anticipate from where and when the damage is coming is truly what being a healer in application is about.

They never did get festergut down btw. I don’t even think they got close on him. I’m hoping they at least took my advice on how to cut back on their wasteful cross-healing, but this is really the kind of thing you have to work out for yourself and your own team I suppose.

Protribution

•March 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Protribution has made me love PVP again. It’s ret with survivability. Me likey.

For those who don’t know, Protribution is going in as an almost standard prot spec with minor modifications to talents/glyphs for PVP (Avenger’s Shield Single Target Burst = Sex) using all ret pvp/pve gear and a sword a board. Basicly, you stack resil to about 600ish, maintain your hitcap, stack str like a beast and get a high end damage onehander and watch people swear at you as you burst down 3 people AB’s stables.

I don’t really have much to say about this since I just started it up the other day, but I’m pretty happy that I find value in PVPing again, as I’ve wanted to do all the PVP achievements for quite some time, as well as do some arena here and there, but I just can’t stomach it doing it as Holy or Ret. I pretty much gave up on PVP once i stopped playing my warrior, but this is pretty fun again.

But I get muh Relentless shoulders tommorow, so that’s something to look forward to :)

Healing Dreamwalker(10) as a Paladin

•March 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Dreamwalker is Blizzard’s gift to healers. If you want to get specific tho, Dreamwalker is Blizzard’s gift to Paladins.

By far, this has been one of the more satisfying fights I’ve done. Mainly because the effort I’ve put into my gearing and playstyle optimization finaly get their chance to shine during this fight. I can spam heal all day, but overhealing means jack shit in the long run. I can also snipe heals like a mother fucker (Divine Favor and Holy Shock I lub you), but most of the time that’s not even friggin necessary, I’m just doing it to create redundancies to ensure people don’t die.

Anyways, this fight really allows paladins to show off, because properly healing this as a paladin in the current state of the fight requires a few crafty tricks that will blow up whatever meters you’re using.

For us, we used a 1 Tank, 3 Healer, 6 DPS setup. We found 2 tanks was not necessary at all and almost counter productive. In 10, most of the shit doesn’t need to be tanked, or just get’s kited/stunlocked/shutdown/burned asap.

For the healing setup, we had me taking the portals every time. A resto druid and shaman stayed out and healed the raid and casually tossed heals on Dreamwalker when mana would permit.

The key to healing this fight successfully is capitalizing on a few key mechanics of both the fight, and your own class:

#1: Emerald Vigor – Don’t let this fall off. Ever. Make sure you track it well. I personally use a custom aura in Power Auras that pops up a nice big Green Flame with a stack counter and time counter, so I can play chicken with my stacks if I need to play catch up on the raid when I’m out of the portals. Stack that shit to 30+ and try not to smile like an asshole when you see what your HL is hitting for. It’s hard.

#2: Beacon – BEACON THE DRAGON! Your other healers should be able to handle the raid overall, but your high output HLs will help if they get a little behind. A lot of paladins like to beacon a tank and spam Dreamwalker, but thats a total waste in efficiency, you’re limiting yourself to 2 targets, and if you have to peel off in an emergency, you just lost healing on Dreamwalker.

That said, beacon is tricky here for alot of people, because alot of paladins use focus macros for their beacon. And if you’ve ever done it using those, you know your focus is wiped when you come out of the portal, so you’re fumbling around like a fool trying to get her re-focused and re-beaconed. Best thing to do really is to make a custom macro that targets her, focuses her, and re-beacons her. Stick that somewhere easy to push or if you’re like me, just keybind the damn thing, and refresh it every time you fall out of the portals.

#3: SS + FoL Hot: There’s some crazy double dipping on our spells in this fight due to emerald vigor, and the FoL hot is one of them. I don’t have exact numbers for you, but I received similar results to some posters over at  EJ that were reporting their FoL hot healing for close to 200k. Yes. 200k. Remember that the FoL hot is only supposed to heal for 100% of the FoL over 12 seconds, and I can guarantee I had no 200k FoLs. So once your stacks get high, pop that on her before you hit the portals so you’ve got some running heals on her as you go play bumper cars with the clouds.

#4: Glyph of Holy Light: Another strange double dip mechanic. Glyph of Holy Light is healing for absurd amounts on this fight. I know a concrete number I saw was with a 30 stack, I had no modifier CDs up (were all on CD already), HL hit for 85k, the glyph hit Dreamwalker for almost 50k. Now, the glyph is only supposed to heal for 10% of the HL heal amount, so this is something you want to take advantage of if you’re able to. Stand near her hitbox, beacon her, and spam HL on yourself and watch the HPS fly.

#5 Bring SP gear and some extra Seal Glyphs: Glyph of Seal of Light on this fight is fucking hot. Also, if you have high spell power gear you don’t use that often, throw that on. Don’t be concerned with regen/int, stack SP and Haste like there’s no tomorrow. Also, use the 245 badge libram. Renewal is next to worthless on this fight. You’ll be god mode once the stacks hit 10 concerning mana anyways.

Take advantage of these mechanics and you can easily hit a good 25k+ HPS on the fight, finishing it off nice and quick.

4pc T10 is Kinda….Bad.

•March 8, 2010 • 1 Comment

There. I said it.

Now, when you look at this statement, keep in mind I’m probably never going to touch 25 Hard Mode ICC. Also keep in mind I’m not really gonna touch much of ICC25 normal for a bit, purely because pugging raids is really not on the top of my fun list.

Now, back to the point.

The people in charge of Paladin itemization are a bit wacky. Anyone who knows our librams should know this already. It’s T10 and im still using an ilvl200 libram outside of one gimmick encounter (Dreamwalker – 245Libram). The Frost Badge libram is also probably the most rancid piece of garbage I’ve ever seen as well, even for an FoL build, keeping HS on CD is not top priority, and having to bank on that to keep your spell power up is probably the biggest load of shit I’ve ever seen.

Anyways, on to the tier gear.

So, at first glance our set bonuses seem pretty hot. 2pc is absurdly good, doubling as both a burst heal CD and a very efficient counter to DP if needed.

4pc, I was a bit wary on when I first looked at it tho.

So, on paper, this is how it reads:

• (4) Set: Your Holy Shock spell causes the next Holy Light you cast within 10 sec to have 0.3 sec reduced cast time.

So, sounds great right? For a class thats all about throughput, hasting a HL should increase overall healing output and keep everyone alive better yar? Remember how we cried when IoL got it’s HL haste component nerfed to a crit modifier? (It really needed it tho honestly)

Not really. Here’s why!

Our tier set is pretty terribly itemized. Only 3 of the pieces are itemized well, that being: Head, Shoulder, and Chest. Note that I say itemized well, but they are all missing one gem slot versus their not tier set counterparts of similar ilvl. These 3 pieces are haste/crit.

The other 2 pieces are crit/mp5, and are also one gem short of their counterparts.

NOW WRU GOIN WIT DIS?

Simple, is the loss of pure stats for a (very) situational set bonus even worth it?

Now, to make up for my terrible napkin math from the last post that really didn’t prove much, I went ahead and set up 2 wowhead profiles. One for 2pc T10, one with 4pc. The gear sets include 10HC ICC as well as two pieces from ToC25HC.

4PC: http://www.wowhead.com/?profile=20938609

2PC: http://www.wowhead.com/?profile=20938606

The 2PC set has 938 haste. The 4pc has 772 haste.

MATH AHOY

With 2PC:
938 haste(28.61%)+Judgement haste proc(15%);
(1-0.2861)*(1-0.15)=0.606815 cast time coefficient; 1-0.606815=0.393185;
Result: 39.3185% haste
2.0 HL base cast time (with light’s grace).
2*(1-0.393185)=1.21363 hasted cast.

With 4PC:
772haste(23.554%)+Judgement haste proc(15%);
(1-0.23554)*(1-0.15)=0.649791 cast time coefficient; 1-0.649791=0.350209;
Result: 35.02% haste
1.7HL base cast time (with light’s grace and 4pc proc);
1.7*(1-0.3502)=1.10466 hasted /procced HL cast
2*(1-0.3502)=1.2996 hasted HL cast without tier proc.

So as we see, going with 4pc over 2pc sees a netloss of .08597 2 seconds on a HL cast. Really when you look at this on paper, it doesnt seem to be a big deal, but lets go over the course of a 5 minute fight.

We assume that you are chain casting HL, and have enough sources of mana regeneration to sustain this for 5 minutes.

1.21363 Speed: 5min = 300 Seconds / 1.21363  = 247 Casts

1.2996 Speed: 5min = 300 Seconds / 1.302 = 230 Casts

Thats a huge loss in sustained throughput. Assuming non crits for 18k average, you just lost 306,000 healing, or 1020 HPS.

But what about the situational haste of 4pc?

As you can see above, the actual gains of the 4pc tier bonus is NOT .3 seconds considering gear options. its actually only .10897 (give or take your gear). So that right there is almost enough to throw the damn setbonus out the window.

Modeling this is a bit trickier. Mainly because of Illumination of Light. Since on crit we get an instant FoL, this should be prioritized over a HL due to faster burst healing.

So lets model this (or attempt to):

Lets go out on a crazy limb and assume you use HS on CD without breaking a HL cast (lol). Were also going to keep it simple and assume no crits from any casts. This “rotation” would be HLx4 + HS. Combined rotation (God i hate saying that in regards to healing) cast-time including the GCD is 6.4124 seconds

So 300 / 6.4124 = 46 Holy Shocks

Number of Holy Lights = 46 * 4 = 184 Holy Lights

Assuming 10k average for HS and 18k average for HL =3,772,000 healing (give or take, its a bit rough)

Spam Healing with HL & 2pc = 4,446,000 healing.

Big. Fuckin. Difference.

To add the final cherry on top, roughly 45% (give or take with your raid buffed crit%) of those Holy Shocks should have their crit IoL procs burned with an instant FoL because it’s more efficient burst/safer healing, basicly keeping tank heals consistent to smooth spikes and provide better raid utility. So that right there cuts the effectiveness of the bonus basicly in half before considering anything else.

Conclusion

In the end, people out there will still argue up and down the the 4pc bonus is godly even after seeing this breakdown. But really, How many times do you HS on a fight? Guaranteed its not 45, not 40, not 35, not even 30 (lol keep going Ron Popeil)… you get where I’m going. Then factor in you’re burning your IoL on a FoL when it procs. Where are the gains? You’re actually gimping yourself in output.

Now of course note, that hasted HL could be what saves the day. COULD BE. But you ever find yourself in a situation where the stars align under a blue moon while a pig flies over the horizon shitting out a winning lottery ticket? .. Exactly. Don’t bank on it. If you’re gonna play the estimates game, estimate how much more controlled the damage would be if you weren’t sacrificing so much HPS.

Really tho, alot of it is subjective to the fight. But the 4pc really only seems to favor clusterfuck fights like Putricide. Most other fights woudn’t see much benefit from it, and the benefit gained from a fight like Putricide is questionable at best. Really it comes down to: Is losing sustained HPS worth a situational booster? In most cases, no. There’s 4-6 other healers with you (or 1 or 2 in 10s), they can patch holes just as good as you can. Don’t risk tank death.

So imo: Save your badges, and let the other PPWs get their tokens. They will lub you. Also, keep stealing shaman gear because blizzard sucks at itemization.

Don’t be so hasty (Or, do?)

•March 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have a rather large hardon for haste. It’s almost as big as my one for Intellect. Infact, both are kinda the same size, maybe one has more girth than the other…..

Before I start rambling, let me pre-cursor this. I consider myself a fairly competent healer. In no way, shape or form am I the best, but I take my role in a raid seriously and optimize what I bring to the table (Be it lightning quick BoPs/Freedom etc, rotating CDs, tank and personal, properly, predicting tank damage and weaving in heals to the raid). The exceptions to this are farm content that I generally slack off on because it’s a tier behind and the fights are usually overly boring if I’m going at full potential. Over the course of my time healing in this game, I’ve never really encountered damage I thought to be “unhealable”, minus things that really were (and in that case, something went wrong).

The one thing that always bothered me, from day one, was loading up a bomb to drop and having it cast the moment someone takes damage that would kill them, or even a split second off of the cast, and watching them drop. The heal was loaded and ready, it was going to save them, but the limiting factor was the time to cast versus time to damage.

If I had a little more haste, would that person have lived through the encounter? Most likely yes.

There is no other stat available to us that can make that kind of difference. There are only a few feasible arguments against this:

#1: Spell Power to Beef up the HL Glyph. This is a very reasonable and acceptable theory. The fact that 100 spell power directly increases Holy Light’s heal amount by roughly 220 before healing modifiers is nothing to sneeze at. It’s one of the reasons I don’t completely ignore Spell Power. However, its situational at best. This additional spell power doesn’t really add much to the actual splash of the glyph. The gains of it are only noticeable over a prolonged period of time, and thats only if there’s enough raid damage for the splash to not be overheal. HL glyph is a akin to JoL, its a raid band-aid. You can count on it smoothing the curve assuming positioning is in favor, but you can’t count on it saving someone’s life unless the stars align. It is, and never will be, nothing more than a utility damage smoother.

#2: You should have HS/FoLed! - This assumes that HS is on CD, as its a very, very powerful tool in 10 raiding and should be used frequently in high movement situations or medium to low tank damage situations. Also, this kind of thing happens with FoL anyways. I’ve had it happen and I’ve let loose a string of obscenities that would make a sailor blush. This isn’t about tactics anyways, It’s about raw stats.

#3: Ur other healz r n00bz lol its not ur job u hael tankz - Get out.

Credit to Something Awful

Now that that’s established, it’s no secret that if you root around current Paladin data, Haste is the #1 (pure) throughput stat for paladins up to the softcap. Now you may be thinking, but what about intellect? – Point taken. Intellect is just as an important throughput stat as haste in the long run. More mana – More sustained and burst heals – more HPS. But when you’re in a situation where you’re at roughly 40k mana raidbuffed (which is nothing compared to top ranked paladins hitting 50K+) what good did that intellect do to you when you’re struggling to even try to go out of mana?

A bit more crit, a bit more spell power, but you don’t see many gains from it besides longevity you can’t reasonably overpower for any gains.

Haste counters this issue, and makes the mana pool useful. Now you can deplete it for reasonable gain.

Ok, so the long lasting debate: Which is better – Haste or Crit?

Short Answer: Personal Preference and Dependent on your Raid Comp

Long Answer: I don’t like crit. I never have, I never will. It’s not a concrete stat, you can not depend on it.

Take tanks for example. I was one for the longest time, infact, most of my wow experience has been behind a meatshield. In a general purpose situation, tanks stack stamina and armor. They don’t deliberately stack  (and of course, don’t ignore) dodge, parry, block or defense unless the encounter specifically calls for that. This is because of Effective Health. It’s a constant, it’s proven to work. Avoidance is a variable, you can’t rely on it. Having 99% pure avoidance doesn’t mean much if you have 24k health against an Icecrown boss. You miss a dodge, you eat a magic based nuke with no DR CDs, game over.

Now in 3.0, i stacked crit. Illumination was disgusting back then. But I also stacked haste on top of it, because even then I knew that there’s no point in staying at full mana for the whole fight other than to gloat at the other healers. Infact, almost all my gear minus maybe one or two pieces were hate/crit itemized.

Now, after Illumination’s nerf, Crit isn’t that hot of a stat anymore. Regen wise, its extremely sub-par to MP5 point for point. The added benefit tho is that it can, and effectively will, increase your direct throughput. But it’s not reliable. You can’t demand your HL to crit 10% more often because you stacked 10% more. RNG is RNG. You will get strings of 4,5, hell, 10 non crits in a row. But you could cast for 1 minute straight and crit every time. It happens.

Haste is reliable. Haste ensures you’re putting out a sustained amount of HPS to keep the tank alive. Wings, 2pcT10, Trinkets, they are your burst. Use them as a counter for DP if burst isn’t required.

Lets do some napkin math.

Lets say your Holy Light hits (non crit) for 16k

Lets say it crits for roughly 25k

Example one shows an unlikely situation, but used for display of purpose:

Haste from gear = 0

Haste via raid buffs (JotP, SR, ToW) = 24-25% (im approximating, its napkin math)

25% Haste gives your FoL a rough 1.2 second cast time, and your HL a rough 1.6 second cast time.

Total Crit Raid Buffed: 30%

Spam Holy Light for One minute:

Not accounting for latency, this is 37 casts over the course of a minute.

Before crits: 592,000 Healing. Assuming 30% crit: 691,600 healing.

Now lets add on 675 haste to our gear (the current “soft cap”)

Total Haste = 50%

FoL now has a 1 second cast time and HL has a 1.33 second cast time.

Total Crit Raid Buffed: 30%

Spam Holy Light for One minute:

Not account for latency, this is 45 casts over the course of a minute.

Before crits: 720,000 healing. Assuming 30% crit; 837,000 healing.

Now, lets take that same amount of haste rating, and convert it point for point into critical %.

45.91 Crit rating is required to gain 1% crit.

with this, we gain 14.7% crit rating converting all of the haste on gear to crit.

Total Haste = 25%

25% Haste gives your FoL a rough 1.2 second cast time, and your HL a rough 1.6 second cast time.

Total Crit Raid Buffed: 44.7%

Spam Holy Light for One minute:

Not account for latency, this is 37 casts over the course of a minute.

Before crits: 592,000 healing. Assuming 44.7% crit; 736,000 healing.

NOW

This is not the end-all-be-all. There are limiting factors in terms of both crit and haste, and this is by NO MEANS a model to follow by, as there are many other factors that will curb these results in different ways. This just displays that in a perfectly controlled environment, haste outperforms crit in pure throughput. You can get lucky and crit your ass off and overcome it, but thats not reliable, and brings me to another point.

Haste is the only reliable way to directly increase your throughput (which is pretty much the whole point of this post). Spell Power almost always converts to overheal on a single target basis, so gearing for spell power in a HL build is more often than none a waste. Increasing the amount of casts you can do in any given time will yield better results in terms of pure throughput than any other stat.

Now that you’ve bored me to death, what should I stack?

A respectable mix of everything. Despite illumination’s nerf, 30% refund of HL’s base mana cost is no joke (or else we wouldn’t put points into it). On top of being a minor regen stat, it DOES double as throughput, even if it is a chance on how much.

In regards to haste: 675 is your “softcap”. It will reduce the cast time of FoL with full raid buffs (Not counting bloodlust) to 1 second. Note that the value of haste after this point directly drops because of this factor, as it no longer increases the throughput of your FoL.

That DOES NOT mean that haste after 675 is worthless. It just means you’ll see less returns if you weave in FoL.

The choice is ultimately yours, but its kinda hard to ignore this. In my opinion, There’s really no reason you should ever be below the soft cap baring you don’t have access to the gear. We have a plethora of mana regen capabilities, and if you’re going oom and you’re deliberately not using these (Mainly Divine Plea) to increase overall throughput, then you’re doing it wrong. Thats blunt, but it’s hard to dismiss this, especially when holding off casting can result in a tank death, when continuing to cast through DP + counter methods can prevent that.

In my opinion: Stack Int > Stack Haste > Stack MP5 >  Stack Crit > Stack Spell Power

But after all this nitpicking, all I can say is: Gear for what your raid needs, but never ignore the basic facts on how our stats operate.

OH, and as a side note to this, I did a random the other day, in which I engaged in conversation regarding paladin healing. This guy swore up and down that JotP wasn’t worth the GCD to refresh it.

It basicly went like this:

Me: Words, Words, Words JotP

Dude: JotP teh failz 420 Spam HL Everyday

Me: -_-

Now granted if you’re judging a mob during a heavy tank spike period your performance needs to be evaluated a bit, but to say never… /sigh. Judge when the spike isn’t high! Even if it clips the duration! It’s not like its a fucking DoT!

Till next time!

 
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