21 March, 2007

Nerf Spiritual Attunement

Now that I have your attention, let me first give some background so that I might qualify my title and explain the details. I was thinking about Mastgrr's comment about Priests being the best healers in the game thanks to their wide variety of tools. I'm not saying he's wrong, but I think the current state of things in-game could fuel a very persuasive argument to the contrary. At the risk of beating a dead horse here on PaladinSucks.com, I would like to bring up the subject of endgame healing again. Specifically, I'm addressing the trend that has arisen among the hardcore raiding guilds of raids running Shadow Priests and Holy Paladins.

Spiritual Attunement was a godsend to tankadins. Let me be naive for a moment and say that I believe Blizzard added this passive ability primarily to solve the problem of Paladin tanks running out of mana. This it has done, and beautifully. The problem is that Spiritual Attunement, being an "always on" ability, does not require the Paladin to actually be tanking in order to function.

Enter clever players. Acknowledging this phenomenon, coupled with the double benefit it brings when you add the mana from Vampiric Touch to the mana Paladins gain via Vampiric Embrace heals, raiders quickly learned that the best and easiest way to get the healing job done was to simply make the Holy Paladins (already stupidly mana-efficient with the talent Illumination and a fair amount of spell crit from talents and gear) do the bulk of the healing. Like it or not, Paladins are - in practice and save for situations with massive AOE damage - the most effective endgame healing class right now.

So, here we are. Thanks to a tanking ability, we're now even more pigeonholed as healers in endgame than we were before patch 2.0. Whether or not Blizzard improves tankadin gear or tweaks Protection talents, raids will still require only a handful of tanks. Since Blizzard appears to still be using the quick and dirty method of increasing endgame difficulty (boss hits harder and take longer to kill, so everybody that can heal needs to heal), there won't be guilds scrambling to gear up Protection Paladins anytime soon - especially if they have no shortage of Prot Warriors who enjoy their job, excel at it, and haven't near the gear and talent issues Paladins still have.

This brings me around to the title of the post. Things have got to change. Priests, considered by Blizzard to be a "pure" class that focuses on the healing aspect of the "trinity," need reasons to fill that role again in endgame. The deep end of the Holy tree for Priests needs some serious buffing, but the details of this are not my concern. We have to nip the problem in the bud here and now. Spiritual Attunement needs to be reworked so that it only functions under certain circumstances. Here is my suggestion:

  • Change Spiritual Attunement to function only when the Righteous Fury buff is active.
  • Increase the threat generated by all healing done substantially (like, 300%) when Righteous Fury is active.
  • Modify Righteous Fury to nullify all threat-reducing effects (preventing people from using Salvation to counteract the threat boost on healing).
Some of you may now be wondering, "But what about Retribution in endgame? If it's ever made viable for raiding, this would severely hinder a Ret Paladin's ability to contribute to the raid over long fights." You would be correct. I've thought of this as well. Personally, I have no problem with our being newly billed the "tanking/healing hybrid." Under this rubric, Retribution cannot bring DPS to the table in order to make it raid-viable. Neither can it bring tanking, as a Paladin specced and geared for Retribution and using a 2H weapon would be only slightly better than having a Hunter tank. Retribution needs nothing short of a minor overhaul. Here are my suggestions:
  • Add a deep Retribution talent in the same vein as Righteous Fury. It would reduce threat from damage and healing substantially, and allow Spiritual Attunement to function.
  • Modify Crusader Strike to return a percentage of damage dealt to members of the Paladin's party within 15 yards. The full amount would probably be overpowered, amounting to no less than an instant cast AoE heal on a 10 second cooldown. A more reasonable amount would be 30-40%.
  • Possibly add another deep Retribution talent requiring 5 points in Fanaticism that restores mana to party members equal to 10-15% of the Paladins damage from a critical hit.
These changes would solve a myriad of problems simultaneously. For one, it would allow Retribution Paladins to resume gearing up as before. You would want to stack Strength/AP/crit as your AoE healing and mana restoration utility would scale with damage. I dare say that most Ret Paladins unhappy with the current state of endgame aren't so disappointed about not dealing massive damage as they are about being unable to play like they did leveling up. Paladins are not Clerics. Paladins should be hitting things more often than not. These changes would still leave the Holy tree in a strong state (there's enough spell crit and what not to maintain a high level of efficiency and healing potency), but make Ret a truly viable endgame spec as well.

Sadly, it's a pipe dream. Blizzard is slow to move, and I don't foresee them implementing anything remotely as drastic for the Ret tree. All we know for now is that Paladin burst damage is next in line to feel the full brunt of the nerf bat. Without positive additions and changes to counteract the loss of damage, Retribution will finally be declared dead at level 70.

EDIT: After getting some feedback from the forums, where I also posted this, I decided to eliminate the threat boost for healing (hence the strikethrough). There's a reason our heals are so low-aggro and it goes back to beta, when Paladins could hold aggro simply via healing spam. This change would send our threat generation through the roof and lead to all kinds of complaints from Warriors.

EDIT 2: Yoojmo, a Priest from Manneroth came up with a much better idea on the forums in response to my post. If Spiritual Attunement were made a 30 minute buff like Righteous Fury (able to stack with it, of course), you could simply add a built-in healing nerf for Holy Light and Flash of Light. It could triple their mana cost, or halve the amount of healing they deal.

39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the sentiment... but & this is a huge but.

Nerfing Holy Paladin's will not make Paladin Tank's more viable in Raids.

Whilst you've tried to approach this logically your suggetions for nerfing spiritual attunement are not desirable.

Paladin Tanks need better base HP, better mitigation, better itemization & perhaps an additional interrupt/silence ability. Ret Paladin's require utility beyond damage. Holy Paladin's are worked as designed or perhaps slightly better.

It is a common theme amongst Paladin's which has possibly been reinforced by the populace that each buff requires a nerf. Not so....

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but I've got to agree with the other anonymous. In a typical raid, there's only one or two tanks needed for most given fights; only sometimes is juggling multiple tanks really necessary. That said, nerfing our healing ability isn't going to magically make people decide that we ought to be tanking instead- it's going to make them not want to bring us.

When the group's standard composition is a healer, a tank, and dps/utility, the thing that we need to give paladins a better shot at viability outside of healing is the ret tree. Why not a talent that specifically buffs an ally, since that's what we seem particularly good at, either the MT or MH, so that the healer's aggro is shunted onto us and our aggro is shifted to the MT? Or perhaps our strikes go to heal that one target 50% and the rest of the party 10%, etc. These sort of suggestions may be overpowered, but are the sort of things that would be ideal for getting us out of the healing spot. alternately, our strikes could provide a cleansing affect for the party with the buff; each hit that we do removes 1 poison, magic, disease, etc. Note that each of these suggestions are buffs, not auras, so they can keep from pvp abuse by being purgable.

Obviously these're just off the top of my head since these ideas are imbalanced, problematic to code, whatever, but my main thought was that if not holy, ret needs to be our tree for getting into raids. Only some paladins are lucky enough to get to tank.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im really disappointed that you posted about this..

remove spiritual Tenements,
nurf our healing..

awesome idea, lets give us less reason to be taken to pve raid..

also remove one of the only things we got in tbc.

bad idear
:(

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

Your argument is very narrow minded.
In order to fix your perceived problem of holy paladins being pigeonholed into healbots, because of excellent sinergies with shadowpriests et al., you're desperately trying to break one of the few working abilities of the paladin class, to remove a strength of the class, that also applies to the protection and retribution tree. Because both prot and ret will be broken beyond repair without SA, you try to clutter some complicated fixes around them.
What you fail to see is the other side of the picture. You want priests to be the main healing class in the game, yet there are thousands of priests who are complaining about being pigeonholed into the healing role. Their excellent sinergies between their dmg tree and all three paladin trees (not just holy, as you point out so narrowly) are indeed their only chance to participate in endgame WoW WITHOUT being pigeonholed into the healing role.

Fixing a rpoblem(a rather nonexistant problem in the first place) by nerfing 3 Paladin trees and one Priest tree, just to pigeonhole another Priest tree even further (and a druid and shaman tree too) is DEFINITELY not the way to design this game. In fact that is exactly what everybody, including the players, does NOT want to happen.

If you think Paladins are too strong in their healing role, there are thousands of possibilities to remove some emphasis on the healrole, without breaking 5 builds of 3 different classes.
It could start as easily as increasing mana costs for paladin heals, or even more sensibly, by boosting protection and retribution utility, making these builds more attractive to endgame raiding.

Nerfing is not the way to go. Never was and never will be.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priests are supposed to be the main healing class in the game. In a heavy min/max environment (like playing for DnT), a priest should always be more desirable in their healing role. Always.

When the main healing class in your game is better off speccing in their damage tree at the cutting edge of your content, you need to fix your game.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

Priests are more desireable. Their shield and HoTs alone make them more desireable than a holy paladin for everything but pvp maybe. Not even talking about PoM. Their weakness in pvp however has got nothing at all to do with VE or SA, it's merely about their lack of survivability.
Also if you need a Shadowpriest AND a holy pala to get the healingjob done, that won't make you leave the holy/disc priest at home. You'll still need him in every group that's >5.

And again, nerfing paladins is NOT the way to fix the priest class. Nor is it the way to fix paladin dps or tanking.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can any paladin say that this ability isn't broken? Sorry, but clearly spiritual attunement wasn't meant to make a paladin a never ending healbot.

Look at the intention of the spell- return mana when you are being healed. Brilliant. When do you need healed? When you are taking damage. When are you taking damage? When you're tanking. What do you need most when you're tanking? A way to make mana last like rage does. The perfect solution... you solve most of the tankadin's issues with one simple spell.

I'm convinced Blizzard, in their dense wisdom, didn't think about a paladin not taking damage still being healed. Paladin's should NOT be able to heal with no mana conservation in mind. It goes against everything Blizzard wants for the classes. That is: push one button endlessly without having to do any thinking. Paladins don't have to manage threat while they are healing, and now they don't have to manage mana? Sure taking this away hurts paladins. Taking an overpowered exploit (which this is- exploiting an ability that was never meant to help you) away from any class will hurt that class. But it is best for the game. And paladins STILL have the best healing talent tree in the game.

Two easy changes for this in my mind:
1) Make Spiritual Attunement a deep protection talent. Remove weapon expertise and replace with this talent. There. Now it is used for tanking and tanking only. This solution hurts early game paladin tanks.

2) Make Spiritual Attunement only return mana for actual health healed. This nerfs tanks and eliminates exploiting the ability with shadow priests. If this were implemented, they would need to up the ammount of mana that is returned to balance it out for the tanks; since the extra mana they were getting on overheals would no longer be coming in and the mana regen would be too low.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a really easy fix -- full heal = no more mana from Spiritual Attunement

Tanking Paladins and Retribution Paladins are going to be constantly taking damage, and would constantly get the benefit of Spiritual Attunement

The Clerics -- in the rear with the gear -- won't be taking constant damage, therefore they won't get the benefit of Spiritual Attunement constantly.

Problem solved -- assuming that one even agrees that there is a problem.

Personally, I think its fine as is.

If you spec Holy all the way, you really ought to be a great healer.

If you spec Protection all the way, you really ought to be a great tank.

If you spec Ret, you really ought to add something great to a group (since obviously actual damage is not going to happen).

4:01 PM  
Blogger Mastgrr said...

You don't get mana when you're at full health with Spiritual Attunement.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes you do, the only time you don't get mana from overhealing is when sitting, or from HOTs that that aren't healing you.

If I'm at full HP and get healed, and I am standing, I will get mana, so long as it isn't a heal from a HoT.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

"1) Make Spiritual Attunement a deep protection talent. Remove weapon expertise and replace with this talent. There. Now it is used for tanking and tanking only. This solution hurts early game paladin tanks."

..And retribution paladins and holy paladins, as well as all mixtures thereof. And shadow priests and thus hybrids in general too.

We have always had the most mana efficient heals. Even back in MC with blue/green equipment I didn't have to worry about mana going out, why should I now? Your argument fails here already.
If you think holy paladins should be nerfed, because they are the only healers that can heal almost indefinitely, then you are:
A: taking away the only strength the holy tree has compared to the other 3 healing classes.
B: turning certain long encounters into nightmares, unless you give the other healing classes similar mana efficiency.

Which leads to (surprise!):
A: instead of nerfing holies, how about buffing priests?
B: why nerf a paladin talent that affects and feeds all builds in a vital manner, instead of nerfing the core of your problem: VE? How easy would it be to simply have we not return mana via SA? A whole fucking lot easier than reinventing the whole paladin class, for sure.

Still, I find this whole idea of nerfing this wonderful sinergy complete and utter bullshit.
It's like taking the warrior's def stance away.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

btw: in my experience, vampiric TOUCH is by far returning more mana than vampiric EMBRACE. So likely nerfing SA would hurt the dmg taking ret and prot pallies a lot more than the last-row holies, yet they'd still get enough mana back to spamheal endlessly.

Effect: 2 builds broken, 0 problems fixed, even if one wants to see the whole thing as a problem.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Paltivar said...

I think the other thing that gets overlooked a lot in this discussion is the fact that if there is a lot of AOE damage going on, THE PRIEST IS HEALING, even though he's in shadowform. The paladin isn't the one bringing the whole group to full, its the shadow priest. If the advantage of priests is that they can AOE heal and cast HOTs and Bubbles, might as well leave them in shadowform so they can do that and DPS as well.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Snotbeard...

...This solution hurts early game paladin tanks.

"..And retribution paladins and holy paladins, as well as all mixtures thereof. And shadow priests and thus hybrids in general too."

This doesn't hurt Shadow priests near as much as the holy paladins would like to think. Vampiric touch is what is supposed to be returning mana to you, not embrace. Having both do it is, simply, broken. Really, the only people this is hurting is who it is intended to hurt... holy paladins abusing a tanking ability.

"We have always had the most mana efficient heals. Even back in MC with blue/green equipment I didn't have to worry about mana going out, why should I now? Your argument fails here already."

That is why I pointed out that even without the broken addition of spiritual attunement to the holy paladin they still have the best healing tree. They should have longevity, but they should never be able to mindlessly push one button over and over without ever having to put any effort into what they are doing.

"A: instead of nerfing holies, how about buffing priests?"

I agree this should be done. Priests need some tender loving care. That doesn't solve the issue of the spiritual attunement exploit.

"B: why nerf a paladin talent that affects and feeds all builds in a vital manner, instead of nerfing the core of your problem: VE?"

So you are saying nerf shadow priests core ability? Here I was under the impression you wanted them buffed. Spiritual Attunement isn't a core paladin healing ability. It is a (new) paladin tanking tool being abused by holy paladins and is a very recent addition to the class. VE has been at the core of shadow priests since the beginning. Paladin healers were very viable long before SA was added, but Paladin tanks weren't. Paladin healers will still be viable healers without this ability.

"It's like taking the warrior's def stance away."

Again, it's nothing like that. Really, your posts come off as if you absolutely have to have this ability to heal. Have you just started the paladin class, or already become acustomed to this crutch? If you were truely in MC then you know this ability isn't needed. There was a reason paladins were at the back healing the raid long before this ability was introduced. They were, are and will continue to be excellent healers, with or without SA.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Vaelin said...

A few things:

This wouldn't hurt Shadow Priests as much as you think. They're highly sought after now for many other reasons. They contribute a substantial amount of single target DPS, as well as increasing Warlock DPS. Also, Vampiric touch is currently giving raid casters in general a warm, fuzzy feeling.

This wouldn't nerf Protection in the least. Nothing would change for Paladins tanking. They'd still be getting mana back from heals. The only way to make Prot Paladins more desireable as tanks in endgame is to roll a guild and recruit few, if any, Warriors. Until Blizzard decides to actually get creative and design encounters that actually REQUIRE a Paladin tank or two and less intensive healing, Paladins will still be brought for healing first and foremost.

Did you folks even read my suggestions for Retribution? What I'm after is comparable raid desirability for all 27 talent trees in the game. The Holy Paladins are all up in arms about this suggestion because they're top dog right now out of necessity. Quit hogging the limelight.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Suicidal Zebra said...

Just a note to Anonymous above. I think it is a bit much to say that Holy Paladins are 'abusing', or 'exploiting' this particular effect of Spiritual Attunement. It implies willful cheating when it is not. SA is not something a player can actively choose to us or not use, it is something that as it is passive they have no control over it.

Now, that said, I can see this being a problem. Probably the best solution would be basing the SA calculation the HP recovered by a heal rather the current arrangement (which includes overhealing). Sure, tanking would take a hit, but this can be mitigated by increasing the SA coefficient by 5-10%.

Changing more fundamentally the mechanics of SA and/or VE sounds unnecessary to me, and serves to overcomplicate the Paladin self-buffing process. Trying to juggle such changes whilst improving Ret aswell (with threat-reduction talents) seems, erm, unwise given Blizz's track record.


And finally, Paladins are only the best healers end-game in conjunction with a Shadow Priest. No Shadowpriest and our effectiveness really goes down a notch because the health of other party members is not being topped up continually. So, you have a choice, commit to one party member (a Holy Priest) for an instance, or two (Holy Pally and Shadow Priest), thus cutting down on your options.

Sounds like a good trade-off to me.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

" but they should never be able to mindlessly push one button over and over without ever having to put any effort into what they are doing.
"

This has been the case without SA as much as it is the case with SA. Removing SA is NOT going to make paladin healing an extremely sophisticated task that only some hardcore players could possibly master. Paladin healing is, like most other monotonous WoW activities, simply repetitive pushing of a button, combined with selecting targets with the mouse. I've done it long enough, even for patchwerk before the BC patch, you had to suck pretty bad to go oom, even without holy spec.

"I agree this should be done. Priests need some tender loving care. That doesn't solve the issue of the spiritual attunement exploit."

I fail to see how this is an exploit. An exploit per definition is something that causes harm to those who don't or can't use that said exploit. I fail to see how not going oom in long pve battles is hurting anybody. It's a non-issue.

"So you are saying nerf shadow priests core ability? Here I was under the impression you wanted them buffed. Spiritual Attunement isn't a core paladin healing ability. It is a (new) paladin tanking tool being abused by holy paladins and is a very recent addition to the class. VE has been at the core of shadow priests since the beginning. Paladin healers were very viable long before SA was added, but Paladin tanks weren't. Paladin healers will still be viable healers without this ability."

Having VE not return mana via SA wouldn't be nerfing shadow priests really. it would still heal everyone, which is what it was designed to do in the first place. and VT would still return mana beyond a holy paladins consumption, leaving him at full mana for minutes on end.

"Again, it's nothing like that. Really, your posts come off as if you absolutely have to have this ability to heal."

No, I don't, in fact whenever I'm healing SA hardly helps as much as you're trying to point out.
However it is absolutely and completely vital to every prot and ret paladin. SA is not just "a recent tanking tool", it's a core ability for prot and ret raiding. And it happens to be a nice addition to holy paladins too, does that make it undesirable?
I still fail to see why you're all upset about this ability.

"Have you just started the paladin class, or already become acustomed to this crutch? If you were truely in MC then you know this ability isn't needed."

I've played a Paladin as my main since the original release. I've healed through MC, BWL, AQ40 and Naxx as a ret pally and I have dpsed and supported in the same instances too. SA was unnecessary in ancient MC times. But that was also before viable protection trees, before CS and before the heavy emphasis on judgements for retribution. Manaconsumption for a paladin in general was mostly limited to healing back then. You can't compare vanilla wow 1.1 to 2.0.10. By far not.

"There was a reason paladins were at the back healing the raid long before this ability was introduced."

Yeah, and that was that we couldn't tank or dps for more than maybe a minute, either because of lack of talents, dmg or mana to sustain the measly dps. That we were forced to heal had a lot of reasons. Efficient healing was just one factor out of many. (such as shaman/pala balance, for example)

"They were, are and will continue to be excellent healers, with or without SA."

Right. But since removing SA would imply serious design issues for prot and ret, while changing ZILCH, NIL, NADA for the holy tree, why do it?

I really think blizzard has more serious problems with WoW and the paladin class than "fixing" non-issues that nobody is complaining about, nobody but you, in fact.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Micah said...

WTB less Clerics in this thread.

There are solutions - these may not be it.

However, something needs to be done.

Question - why should the class touted as the BEST healer be preferred to spec for damage, while the class touted as a melee combatant and off-healer should be made to spec exclusively for healing?

There's something wrong there. People have said "If you didn't want to heal, why didn't you roll a "pure class" like a Rogue, Mage, or Warlock?

This is frequently applied to Paladins, Shamans, and Druids, but now it isn't being applied to Priests. If ANY class should be a primary end-game healer, it SHOULD be priests. Read the descriptions. Priests ARE the primary healers in this game.

If we have to pigeonhole either Paladins or Priests, surely it should be priests. They aren't "hybrids". They are the "pure healer" class. I'm sorry, but if you didn't want to heal, you shouldn't have rolled the "pure healer" class.

(See? Doesn't that sound silly?)
-Ghmou

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, you are correct that terminology is a little harsh, but I do think this ability is being exploited. Not necessarily by the paladins (as you have said we can't turn the ability off) but by guilds that stack paladins with shadow priests just for this ability. The fact that it is such a good synergy (too good) makes paladins too valuable in that one position to do anything else.

I can imagine the outcry if suddenly a dps class (say a mage) - due to an odd, unintentional side effect of a game mechanic- was suddenly able to keep his mana bar very full over long fights, never have to worry about aggro or mana, and just push buttons as fast as he could. One, it would be very boring after a while. Two, it wouldn't be fair to the other dps classes. Three, it would probably be hotfixed quickly. That is the issue I see with this. I would understand the mages being upset it was taken away from them, and I understand paladins not wanting to lose it as well.

I still think making spiritual attunement a protection talent would be the least intrusive on the game. Making it a buff would make it very difficult (impossible?) for a paladin to tank mobs like Garr or Epoch Hunter that constantly remove your buffs. Making it only affect the actual amount healed, discounting overhealing, is a decent option, but would need to be play tested and tuned quite a bit to keep from really being a detriment to our ability to tank.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

turning SA into a deep prot, or even low prot talent would seriously hamper the already broken retribution paladin even further. This is not an option.

Also your comparison between a holy paladin not going oom and a, say mage, not going oom doesn't work. being able to heal for a long time is not the same as dealing infinite dmg.
healing doesn't kill people.

Also what you all seem to forget. or rather to postulate is that a holy pala with a VE shadowpriest is the be all and end all of healing. Which is not the case. It's merely a little, long lasting healing battery. It does NOT replace, resto druids and it does not replace holy priests either.
You're making a huge elephant out of a tiny mosquito. And I'm saying this as a retribution pala, and not as a holy pala who's afraid of losing a little manaregen.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it wasn't important you wouldn't be clinging to it so tightly. Oh, and when you are in a PvE group, healing does kill people. Your group lives long enough to keep doing damage to kill your target. No healing and no dead boss. Infinite healing IS infinite damage.

Also, I fail to see how it is earthbreaking for a retribution paladin to not have Spiritual Attunement. I was Retribution until SA was introduced (when I specced to protection) and I never needed it from 1-60. Not sure why I'd *need* it now. Just curious, but if you are needing heals why are you getting hit as a retribution pally? Are you Off tanking? Then spec for it. DPSing? You should be self sufficient without taxing your healers. Are you somehow pulling aggro? Then pull back your damage like every other dps class. Or are you just keeping your mana pool topped off by the shadow priest in your group?

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

"If it wasn't important you wouldn't be clinging to it so tightly. Oh, and when you are in a PvE group, healing does kill people. Your group lives long enough to keep doing damage to kill your target. No healing and no dead boss. Infinite healing IS infinite damage."

But infinite paladin healing is not necessarily infinite and suitable healing. most bosses these days hit considerably harder than FoL can heal away, and spamming holy light is still going to deplete mana in reasonable time, with or without SA.

"Also, I fail to see how it is earthbreaking for a retribution paladin to not have Spiritual Attunement. I was Retribution until SA was introduced (when I specced to protection) and I never needed it from 1-60."

So you basically saw the paladin before the shift to CS and judgements as an extremely important (and mana consuming) source of dmg. autoattacking with SoC up is not using any mana, that is correct. But these times are over.

"Not sure why I'd *need* it now. Just curious, but if you are needing heals why are you getting hit as a retribution pally? Are you Off tanking? Then spec for it. DPSing? You should be self sufficient without taxing your healers. Are you somehow pulling aggro? Then pull back your damage like every other dps class. Or are you just keeping your mana pool topped off by the shadow priest in your group?"

I rarely have the opportunity to have a SP in the group. As a melee dps build you will always take some dmg, even without catching aggro. the heals that do come in are a great way to keep the mana from going out. and believe me, unlike holy paladins, ret paladins are oom VERY quickly.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to pretend that Retribution paladins don't need help. I've never once been tempted to spec back into that tree.

Coming from a player with a (former) raiding priest, I see your desire for SA to be counter to a groups needs. When playing my priest, Paladin's are at the bottom of my healing list, below rogues. Back up and bandage if you need heals. I sympathize with your mana issues, but ANY dps class should not rely on healing to function. Period.

If mana is that big of an issue then retribution is more broken than I remember. Retribution can be incredibly efficient if need be... put on SoC and let your mana regen for a while, especially with JoW and BoW. The problem always used to be that you couldn't convert mana to damage fast enough on demand. Sounds like now there are enough things to pump mana into, paladins haven't figured out how to conserve. Perhaps there are tweaks needed in that talent tree to help that.

However, with the amount of heals I got in my many months as retribution, SA should not be a big enough source of mana for you to even notice SA missing, let alone have that break your style of play. If you are draining mana from your healer just for a boost to your mana pool (especially when you are fully capable of healing yourself).. I consider that just selfish.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Leord said...

Wow! Did you ever get this many (detailed) replies to a blog entry? From a lot of what seems to be non-regulars too..

Still, it is very hard about these thing, perhaps Blizzard listens better for a request of self nerf than self buff? The BEST sollution would ofcourse just be to slitghly buff Prot/Ret to come up to par with Holy. For Ret, no need to buff the DPS or actual Paladin performance, just add utility, as you suggested.

SA is really over powered for a healer, even if I do love it when healing. Perhaps have a 2-parter: a natural 5% converted, and adding function to Holy Shield and Repentence/Fanaticism/Crusader Strike that adds another 5% passive (you need that mana added as damage/utiliser too). That would not shaft the Holy ones too much, and still give deep prot/ret palas the slight mana buff.

Still, Holy palas are even without SA the best longevitable healers in the game, and perhaps the SA makes a smaller difference than we think. The Mana given driectly from Shadow Priests is still a lote more than SA gives. Perhaps what really is needed is buffs for prot and (heavy buffs for) ret.

-Which we all know are not happening anytime soon..

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

SA isn't returning a huge amount of mana to a well played, non-selfish ret pala. but it's that bit that makes the difference between going oom halfway through the fight or just before the end of the fight. don't forget ret paladins will still buffs, cleanse etc in raids, even when doing full out dps. that also consumes mana, and there is no way to save mana on these spells, unlike judgements (which still isn't enough, especially not in smaller groups with less buffs/debuffs, ie jow, bow, kings, motw, AI etc.

SA _IS_ vital to the paladin class and the holy tree is definitely the one benefitting the least from it.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back when SA first came out, I asked for a buff to it because I assumed that it would only return mana on health actually healed, not because you happened to be in range of a heal. It took a few BGs for the true reality to set in.

But ask yourself this: If SA didn't exist tomorrow, would Holy Paladins be replaced by Holy Priests?

I say no. Because it has nothing to do with the Paladin class. SA aside, we're probably still the most efficient healers out there of any class that can heal.

The problem is Shadow Priests are more than just a slice of awesome. They sweat awesomesauce which you can't help but hug, hoping some of the awesomeness rubs off on you. They define raid-friendly. Everyone who looks to their talents and says "what do I do for the raid?" is actually saying, "what do I do for the raid that can compare to the awesomeness of a Shadow Priest?" Because, all QQing aside, Retribution Paladins bring quite a bit to the raid. They debuff the boss, increase healing done to the tank and/or dps group, they increase everyone's crit chance against the boss, and, assuming it's not bugged, can keep up the judgements for all the other Paladins in the raid.

I say the solution here is to buff the healing, efficiency, and sustainability of the Disc and Holy trees of priests somewhat which, sadly, should also include modifying existing abilities to add more offensive punch otherwise it'll be all for naught. Making Meditation and Divine Spirit class abilities wouldn't hurt either but then they would require, dare I say, awesome replacements.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Vaelin said...

Putting most Paladins back up front requires a three-faceted approach, in my opinion.

I think several people have missed a lot of the points I made in my original post. Essentially what I'm suggesting is not a "nerf" to Spiritual Attunement outright, but rather a restriction on the conditions under which it could be used - namely tanking and providing melee utility. This is the first step.

This alone would not work in a positive way toward putting Paladins back on the front lines, either as a tank or melee-support player. As I said in my post, it must also coincide with buffs to the deep end of the Priest Holy tree. I didn't enumerate any suggestions, because the focus of my post was on the situation for Paladins. As far as Priests go, I think a good starting point would be to buff Circle of Healing heavily. Either substantially boost the amount it heals (i.e. 2x) for the current mana cost, or dramatically reduce the current mana cost and give it a beefy coefficient. Buffing Priest healing (including efficiency) is the second step.

Even with the above two conditions met, it's still highly likely Paladins will be brought along mostly for their Holy-oriented healing benefits. Thus, a third step is needed. Protection and Retribution need more attention - read: buffs (especially Retribution) - if they are to become as desireable for raiding as Holy specced Paladins. Externally, raid encounters need to be designed and that heavily favor Paladin tanks, mixed in with more traditional encounters where a Warrior would be "just as good." Internally, Paladin tanking talents and gear need to provide more stamina and pure mitigation. Retribution needs to bring more health/mana restoration and/or debuff/party-damage increasing utility to the table. It is unrealistic at this point to expect Ret to be buffed to provide substantially more damage. Like it or not, we're now the "healing/tanking hybrid." I just think they can go about implementing the healing aspect in more creative and fun-to-play ways.

So to recap, fixing Paladin spec imbalance in endgame requires 3 steps:

1) Restricting conditions for Spiritual Attunement to active melee roles.

2) Buffing Priest healing and efficiency.

3) Buffing Protection for better tanking, better encounter design requiring Paladin tanks, and buffing Retribution to provide even more and more potent utility (but not more damage).

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Snotbeard said...

I agree with your three points, but we differ in their chronology. If you ask me, the correct order would be 3-2-1, not 1-2-3, because really, SA is the smallest problem out of these 3. By far.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No mass rez

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=86639557&sid=1&pageNo=2

-Vir

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough with the nerfing! Snotbeard is spot on, especially in his original first few comments.

It seems like every time I come here there is some yell to nerf to paladins (especially Holy) to help someone get a bigger Retn00b epeen or justify some change to better fit the "vision" of the game that Vaelin has for every class. So what if priests are doing damage and paladins are healing?

CK

7:20 PM  
Blogger Micah said...

-------------
So what if priests are doing damage and paladins are healing?
-----------

Some of us would like to tank. We can't tank if we're more valuable as a healer.

Tanks have to work against both the healing stigma AND against Warriors that demand the spotlight.

Blizzard is buffing Paladin tanking itemization, and is working to enhance other aspects of Paladin tanking. Sure, maybe Paladins will be able to spec Prot to tank Heroics, but what's the point if, in order to raid, they have to spec deep holy?

In other news - Holy rocks. Just not for grinding. I swear, my mana efficiency while healing is ungodly, but while dealing damage or grinding, it's in the shitter. =C

GIVE ALL PALADINS HOLY SHIELD, OR AT LEAST DROP IT TO A 21 POINT TALENT IF NOT LOWER!

7:27 PM  
Blogger Vaelin said...

CK

Let me guess. You're probably a Blood Elf Paladin, a Shadow Priest who likes the current state of things, or a Priest that rerolled because he liked to heal and wanted to play the best healing class in the game right now. If you were a Paladin player from launch, then you must have had some incredible foresight. Most of us started playing one thing (a melee class) and ended up playing another when all the dust settled (a caster).

Rarely, if ever, have either of us here at PaladinSucks advocated a nerf. I don't know where you're getting that "every time you come here," unless this is your first time. Welcome.

Truthfully, I would prefer it if Blizzard fixed things with buffs to the weak points rather than nerfs to the strong points. Unfortunately, nerfing the strong points seems to be the usual path they take because it takes less effort and maintains the "challenge" (read: now you get to spend even more time grinding for pots to clear our dungeon cockblocks).

If you like the status quo, then I'm happy for you. You'll have plenty of raid slots to stretch out in when Warhammer comes out.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Mastgrr said...

I actually disagree. I don't want Spiritual Attunement to be restricted to melee only. So far it's a unique passive ability that I think is pretty damn cool and adds flavor to the class. I don't see it as the problem.

I also don't think Priest needs buffed heals and efficiency. Prayer of Mending doesn't count towards their own healing (just like JoL for us), so Priests are always more powerful than they seem.

What needs nerfing is Shadow Priest utility and efficiency - or damage. Or just straight-up buffing of Paladin tanking. Nerfing/changing Spiritual Attunement is an overtly complicated solution that will just inherit problems of its own. It's too much of a change to the class to begin with, so Blizzard won't do it either. The only thing Blizzard will do now until next class review (before next expansion) is tweak numbers. They will not do anything more.

To buff Retribution utility end-game, I'd probably consider like making Improved Sanctity worth maybe 10% instead of the current 6% bonus healing. Also change the cooldown of Crusader Strike back down to 6 seconds. (This is of course after they nerf the burst DPS).

This situation isn't as complicated at it seems in my opinion. Also I really don't fancy the scapegoating that's going on versus Holy spec. It really doesn't contribute to anything.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not change it so that that when a paladin has aggro they recieve the full benefit, when they are in melee range they get some percent, and doing neither gets a tiny percent?

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually you would be guessing wrong on all accounts there Vaelin. Human Paladin from Beta and Launch. So gone from the strikes, affecting undead players, to what we have now and rode the wave the entire time. I like paladins, and never thought them to be a warrior class who heals themselves that so many think they are. Do I like them 100%, hell no, but they are better now then they have ever been since launch.

And if you go back and read a lot of the other blog posts you've made in the past, and follow ups in the threads, it's advocated nerfing a paladin's ability in one area to buff Ret/Damage on more then one occasion.

Nerfing will never get us anywhere, and advocating nerfing one area to buff your preferred area only makes paladin players become more divided. It's why I agree with snotbeard, it only furthers to pigeon hole people, and other classes as well. The game changed with expansion, and so did the instances and raids and the old labels no longer really apply due to the way encounters have changed and gear adjustments. Paladins have gotten more given to them then ever before and the hell I want to give that up because some players are dumbasses who don't realize there's a place for all specs. I don't advocate busting my abilities or others over various raid/dungeon leaders short sightedness.

I get to experience that 10% mana boost I get from the SA ability, barely keeping me going while tanking due to the fact the abilities to tank are so mana intensive, to healing through Gruul and Kaz to burn out of mana before Nightbane is even 50% because Flash of Light is a joke now even on a crit so you have to use max Holy Light. It's not like when doing Nef and you can just Flash of Light, judge wisdom, smack him a couple of times and keep going, or chaining flash on Patchwerk, pop a potion and keep going. Sometimes that little 10% trickle is what gets you through the encounter.

Enjoy Warhammer. I'll still have the raid spot I've always had.

CK

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If overhealing would not give you mana, the problem would be solved.


easy.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Dude said...

Your an idiot, while I agree that Paladin tanking needs a bit of tweaking and paladin dps needs a whole lot, the answer is not too nerf your class in one way, in order to get it stronger in another. Your logic is flawed.

Right now we're getting in raids as healers and the odd times a tank, and if you have history with your guild, maybe even a dps spot.

You nerf holy spec, you wont get in as a healer, you wont get in as a tank and you wont get in as dps....wow...thanks.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think that blizz signed the paladin death sentence when they gave us ranged healing and cleansing abilities. Quite a shocking thing to say really. Why design some of the class's most outstanding skills to function effectively and efficiently from a position we were never meant to be, the back?
As confirmed by blizz we are a support class, not hybrid, and so therefore our job is to support the other classes in doing their jobs better. That is what we should excel at; not being a more mana efficient healer, a replacement tank or a dps machine. The focus should be on skills and talents that support the other classes, groups and raid, administered and maintained from a distance that fits our core design, the front.
Blizz was heading in the right direction with the Seal/Judge system. A system where utility support was delivered to each class from a striking position. But, at the end of the day the utility benefit on average and risk is not enough to keep that paladin up with the melee. So, once again we fall to the back where our abilities are more effective and therefore required.
Reading some of the other posts, I really agree on moving toward some form of strike support system; either CS or Seal/judge. But, there has to be some incentive/reason to have us up front to deliver those strikes and stay there to maintain the effect. A radical answer to the question could be to reduce the range of our healing and cleansing ability and in exchange increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our strikes to deliver a supporting effect. And make this system worth having the paladin in melee range. For example delivering a healing package or blessing support through strikes. We are a support class and therefore support skills should be the major focus of our spells, talents and function.

Regardless of what future changes take place I really think that the current perspective and direction of the paladin class needs to change. Even though blizz is proud to state it all over the palce, unfortunately the support role is not clearly defined or designed and so solutions to the paladin class seem to always result in fitting us into one of the already existing roles of healer, tank or damage with few real support options to each.
I think unless a serious change in perspective takes place the average paladin's role will forever be a huge suit of armor healing from the back.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't have a full set of DPS gear on par with the drops in BWL and AQ 40 then plan on healing or tanking. If you don't want to heal or tank, then you might want to re-roll. If you want to continue to play your pally don't cry nerf to anything that helps the pally, why would any pally do that, anyway?

I've healed in every instance and raid Pre-BC and instances up to level 65 after BC. It's really been pretty much the same thing in every instance and for me it’s gotten old. I haven’t collected any tanking gear up to that point and retribution pallys aren’t really on anyone’s instance invite list. So finally I was done with the paladin. I re-rolled and I’ve never looked back.

I just leveled my Shaman to level 69 and I have to say the leveling process was really fun, kill XX number of XX quests are fun now. I'm normally in the top 2 spots for damage in instances. I still have to carry more than one set of gear, a melee set and a spell damage/healing set, because of cleaves and some AoE damage, but either is more fun for me. Hopefully I can still keep the DPSing roll in the future, if not; I’m re-rolling a warlock next!

2:26 AM  

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