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Bubbles, my bubbles! (Cata Paladin Changes)

August 4, 2010

Well, my goodness. There have been such a glut of Paladin changes whilst I’ve been away, I’m not even going to attempt to keep up with Protection and Retribution. Protection is being overhauled every hotfix, and Retri confuses the hell out of me, so I’m shelving that for now. I’m going to talk to you all about new developments on the front of Holy. The future is bubbly, ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, Masteries are back. They were interesting talent tree bonuses that were increased depending on how much of the Mastery stat you had on your gear; it was a concept that was removed and is now being re-implemented. Last time I spoke properly about Holy Paladin Masteries, the bonus was along the lines of ‘Your crit heals heal for more than you’re expecting.’ Big woop. Dull as Duskwood. Except they’ve brought it back now, and it’s different. My word, it’s different.

Holy – Your healing spells also place an absorb shield on your target for 8% of the amount healed lasting 6 sec. Absorb increased further by mastery rating.

Now, there’s still a lot up in the air about this, but… I’m seriously going down on my freakishly long Draenei legs in front of Stormwind Cathedral and praying this mastery makes the cut. It’s fun, it’s interesting, it has tonnes of practical and tactical uses, and what’s more, it adds the one thing we’re missing – Preventative Healing. The same thing that makes Discipline Priests so valuable today – the ability to raise the effective HP of what you’re healing, by giving the attacking creatures more health to chew through. We can only pray it builds up properly, alá the currently implemented Discipline Priest talent ‘Divine Aegis’ which makes an absorb bubble on a crit heal that can be topped up if you keep critting on the Aegis’d target.

So currently, we’re looking at a healing set up that goes like this:

  • We have the single target pew pew. I’m waiting till the maths is settled to find which is the most appropriate to use when, but we’ll have Flash of Light, Holy Light, and Divine Light, and Holy Shock.
  • The important thing about Holy Shock is that it’s been totally redesigned to be basically used every time it’s off cooldown. It builds our wonderful resource, Holy Power, and is very cheap to cast.
  • Our Holy power can be unleashed into the free heal, Word of Glory. This will be a nice saver in tight spots and on the run. Imagine casting Holy Shock, the free Flash of Light from the crit, and then Word of Glory. That, combined with the next spell, should carry you over till you’ve arrived at the next safe place to stand…
  • Healing Hands. A pulse AoE from the casters. Not currently implemented, but nevertheless a firm Blizzard promise and one of our new AoE heals. There is a talent connected to this that gives us a run-speed boost when we use it, to best facilitate the use of the heal. I can’t give a guaranteed duration for it, as it’s getting tweaked every other patch, but it currently stands at 4 seconds.
  • Light of Dawn. Our new 31pt talent. Light bursts out in a wave from us, healing everything in the direction we point ourselves. This, combined with Healing Hands, will give us some group healing potential, and massive power on fights where the raid grouping up on one area is needed.

So basically, we’re going to be healing with Lazers, jetting around the place pulsing heals, and all our healing slapping life saving bubbles of frickin Holy goodness?

Blizzard, I take my hat off to you.


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