Updates for 7.1

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Hello!

Sorry it took me a little while to update the guide for 7.1. There were several things I wanted to change/update on the spreadsheet, so I made sure to get that squared away first. As a side note, there are a lot more people using the spreadsheet, which is great, but I want to write a post giving some context to what the spreadsheet is and is not good for. I also want to try to make at least some form of documentation for it, but I’ll try to do that when I get back from Blizzcon.

There weren’t too many changes from 7.1, but I’ll give a quick recap for people who don’t want to have to go back through the entire guide to find what changed.

The official changes from the patch notes:

  • Flash of Light now heals for 450% of spell power (was 425%) and costs 18% of base mana (was 16%)
  • The Rule of Law talent now increases the radius of Tyr’s Deliverance by 50% (up to 22.5 yards).
  • Light’s Hammer now costs 35% of base mana (was 40%).
  • Sanctified Wrath now extends Avenging Wrath by 5 seconds (was 10 seconds).
  • The Tier 19 2-piece bonus increases Holy Shock’s critical chance by 10% (was 15%).

The buff to Flash of Light won’t change our gameplay in any meaningful way, but it does further increase the value of critical strike due to even larger Infusion-of-Light-buffed Flash of Lights.

The Rule of Law and Light’s Hammer buffs aren’t really very noteworthy except to say that Light’s Hammer still has issues beyond mana cost that make it a little weaker than Bestow Faith and Crusader’s Might, but this does help some.

The nerf to Sanctified Wrath isn’t too bad. It will still be good to use in burst healing situations and still the best talent for Dungeons. Several Paladins had already started making the switch from Sanctified Wrath to Judgment of Light (especially with the legendary ring), so this change doesn’t have a huge effect on talent selection. Judgment of Light is chosen for most fights and Sanctified Wrath for fights where you need better cooldowns or burst healing.

The change to the T19 2-piece set bonus is understandable. We’re already fairly close to being crit capped for Holy Shock even without the bonus. This does change the crit softcap with Tier 19 to 45% instead of 42.5%. Again, the crit softcap is never something you need to reach, it’s just the point where crit loses a lot of value.

The last significant change from 7.1 is the re-introduction of the new Mythic Dungeon, Karazhan. The 2nd boss of the dungeon, the Maiden of Virtue, drops the Drape of Shame, a cloak that increases the healing of all crit heals by 10%. This is an absurdly powerful cloak and will be best-in-slot at any item level.

(Nov. 7, 2016 Edit: The cloak’s passive is half of what I previously thought. The key difference is that it increases the effect of crit healing, not the crit healing itself. Don’t worry, it’s still really good and better than anything we can currently get.)

Holy Paladin Guide for Legion

Illidan Legion

Alright, alright, it’s finally done! We’ve finished the Holy Paladin guide for the Legion launch. You can get started by clicking here or by going through the menu at the top of the page.

As a fair warning: it’s long. We wanted to be able to provide lots of information, but if that’s not your speed, you can check out the Wowhead guide that has similar information but with much fewer words.

Also, you should check out the Paladin Discord #Hammer of Wrath where Jeathebelle and I can answer any additional questions you might have.

Legion Pre-patch

Hello, everyone!

I’m sorry to say that we won’t have our Legion guide ready by the time the pre-patch hits the live servers; however, you should be excited that our guide is going to have considerably more information in it than normal. Maybe that scares some of you, but TOO BAD!

For now, you can check out the wowhead guide for Holy Paladins in Legion and check back later for our full guide.

Hpal Log Analysis 101

Who You Gonna Believe, Warcraft Logs or Your Own Lying Memory?

When you drove home today, how many times was the traffic light green? Last time you wrote an email, how often did you need to backspace due to a typing error? In your last raid, how many holy shocks did you miss?

Your memory is a manipulative, self-centered prima donna. It’ll color over mistakes, bury things that made you feel bad, disregard the routine as not worth dwelling on. You are the hero in the story you are constantly telling yourself about yourself, and your memory will unabashedly lie to you to support that story.

This is especially true in activities like driving, typing, and raiding in World of Warcraft. All of these bypass the conscious-thinking-observer in you. Your conscious thinker is simply too slow to effectively decide “and next I’ll type w, and then i, and then n, and bam now I WIN.” Instead, the vast majority of decisions you make in these activities are are reflexive, based on pre-programmed responses. You pre- and post-think, consciously deciding how to respond to a situation; then practice until your chosen response in that situation is ingrained by repetition (this is why you eventually stopped wiping on Mannoroth!)

This has many implications for thoughtful raiding, one of which (today’s topic!) is that you generally won’t remember small, mechanical mistakes you made during the raid. (You also won’t remember big mistakes, often blaming the effects on others, but that’s a topic for another time). Since you won’t remember them, you won’t think about them, you won’t fix them, and you’ll certainly repeat them. One of the best ways to improve your gameplay is to identify mistakes you’ve made. Then you can practice ways to avoid that mistake outside of a raid encounter, taking the time to program your reflexes to correctly respond to the scenario that previously caused you to err.

There is no better tool for identifying mistakes than Warcraft Logs. Bypass all of your cognitive biases and look at actual data.

And You Thought The First Part of This Post Was Long: What to Look For In Your Holy Paladin Logs

My favorite fight for looking at Holy Paladin fundamentals is High Council. Long enough for mistakes to develop, minimal movement, mostly a turret-and-heal fight. Of course there is value to looking at high-movement fights as well, to see how well you handle movement while maximizing casting, but for now I’ll focus on casting fundamentals.

1. Look at what you cast, not how much you healed.

So pull up your Council log and look at your healing.

What are you doing!? Not the healing tab. Who cares how much healing you did compared to the other healers? That’s completely irrelevant. We’re doing this to find mistakes, not to let our story-telling ego lie to us even more. Looking at your own healing-done breakdown is just as useless. Especially for a Holy Paladin, how much healing you have from Illuminated Healing, Beacon, and direct heals will vary wildly depending more on the encounter and your raid comp than on your own mistakes and successes.

Focus on Casts

By far the best, most useful information is in the casts tab. Almost every mechanical error in Holy Paladin play is best identified by this information.

First, you can run some basic numbers. Multiply the minutes the fight took by 60 and add the remaining seconds to get how many total seconds the encounter lasted. Then you can figure your average cooldown on Holy Shock, as well as how many times you could have cast Holy Prism and Avenging Wrath.

Basic Numbers

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An Update

Hello, everyone! I’m sorry it’s been so long since we’ve posted anything. Each new Alpha build comes along at a quick pace (usually once per week) and with it comes a lot of changes. I’ve been keeping my Legion version of the spreadsheet up to date, but because it’s changing so frequently, I haven’t really wanted to share it yet. I’ve also been working on making some additions to the overall functionality of the spreadsheet, but they’ve been mostly underwhelming so far.

Part of the problem with using Google Sheets is that most (if not all) of the calculations are done on the server, so they start to get really slow when you add more. I think I’m starting to get to the point where I might have to make an internal Excel Spreadsheet for some of the more nuanced calculations or just bite the bullet and make an actual program. For now, I like that most of what I do can be seen by everyone.

I have a few thoughts on some of the philosophies of healing in general and Holy Paladins in Legion that I may try to write soon, but I’ve been fairly busy with life stuff, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever actually get around to it while it’s still relevant. Either way, I wanted to let everyone know that we haven’t died or quit updating, there’s just been too many changes to give any updates to Legion that wouldn’t quickly become outdated and I’ve kept most of my thoughts on the official Alpha Forums’ feedback threads. For the time being, you can look at some of my Warcraft Logs from various dungeons and raid testing on the Legion Alpha.

Oh, and Jeath somehow still doesn’t have access to Alpha, so that sucks. #BequeathTheJeath

Legion Spreadsheet Math!

Everyone is super excited about spreadsheets, right? Right?! Well, if you aren’t, then maybe this post won’t be as interesting for you, but at least it will be exciting for the rest of you.

Holy Paladins were enabled on Alpha a few weeks ago, so there’s still a whole lot to discover and even more that could potentially change. I have a working spreadsheet that I’m fairly satisfied with, but I’m holding off on releasing it into the wild until we’ve had a chance to do some raid testing and I can see what realistic overhealing and casts-per-minute will look like for each ability.

These numbers are not necessarily indicative of which talents and abilities we’ll end up using in Legion, but they’re fun to look at in the meantime; just remember that this is all preliminary and more than likely will change before Legion.

Throughput versus Efficiency

One of the major changes in Legion is that there will no longer be spirit on items. We have a base regen that is four percent of our total mana every five seconds and we may be getting more mana regeneration through trinkets, but I think they’re still working on how trinkets are going to work for healers in Legion. This means that an ability’s healing-per-mana (HPM) is going to be more significant for longer than it has been in previous expansions.

In making the spreadsheet, I was surprised to see how incredibly efficient Judgment of Light is. At 28.14 HPM, it’s almost twice as efficient as the runner-up, Holy Prism, at 15.17.

Healing per mana

Nothing in this graph is too shocking. Holy Light is still our most efficient filler spell, but it is notable that Light of Dawn is more HPM than Holy Shock. This is also assuming we hit 5 people with Light of Dawn, something I haven’t been able to reliably test.

While our new ability, Light of the Martyr, is cheaper than even Holy Light (7.5% of base mana compared to Holy Light’s 10%), the effective healing of Light of the Martyr is very low due to the damage we inflict to ourselves in the process.

It’s interesting to note that when we take Stoicism as our Tier 75 talent, Light of the Martyr becomes more mana efficient than Holy Light, but we also lose our unbelievably economical Judgment of Light.

HPM Stoicism

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The Eternal Debate: Selfless Healer vs. Eternal Flame

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Now that Selfless Healer has gained more widespread popularity among Holy Paladins, I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion about whether or not Selfless Healer is actually good for progression or if Eternal Flame should really be the only talent we choose when we’re trying to kill a boss for the first time. Personally, I think that both Eternal Flame and Selfless Healer are usable on any encounter, but I want to try to clarify some of the key points in the discussion.

I have yet to see anyone argue against Eternal Flame’s viability, so the discussion is mostly about whether or not Selfless Healer is good for progression. Fair warning: this post is fairly dense, so I’ve added a summarized version at the bottom.

Before I get into everything, I want to point out that this discussion exists because there are some factors that are subjective. Some of the points of contention just don’t have a great answer and you’ll have to form your own opinion about them.

Here are what I think are the four major arguments in the debate against Selfless Healer

  1. Eternal Flame does more healing than Light of Dawn
  2. Selfless Healer is a difficult or clunky rotation and has lots of nuances that require perfect play to truly be effective
  3. The buff from Selfless Healer just leads to more overhealing
  4. Selfless Healer requires too much buildup and people might die in the process

 

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Hello Everyone!

I’m Jeathebelle, a healer in Promethean. Dreamguard has kindly invited me to join him on this site, and I’m very excited to come talk about all things Holy Paladin!

In the upcoming weeks I’ll be blogging about all the changes coming to Holy Paladins in Legion. It’s premature to do too much work now, when the spec is currently not live on Alpha and clearly still being iterated on (as indicated by recent blue posts discussing toning down the strength of Beacon of Light). But I have a lot to talk about based on what’s been released so far, and as soon as the spec is available for testing I’ll be finalizing up some posts to share my thoughts with everyone!

In the meantime, we’re still healing in WoD! I’ve moved my 6.2 Advanced Selfless Healer Tutorial to this site, where aspiring Holy Paladins can read it after digesting Dreamguard’s excellent overall guide for Paladin healing. I encourage fellow Holy Paladins to check it out, and get in touch with Dreamguard or me with any questions!

Happy New Year!

Stormwind Newyear

Happy New Year, everyone!

I’m very happy to announce a new author here on Sacred Shielding: Jeathebelle from <Promethean> on Stormreaver-US! Jeathebelle is a well-respected Holy Paladin with a lot of great insight and I’m excited to start the new year with more perspective.

In the coming months, we’ll both be working on theorycrafting for Holy Paladin in the Legion Alpha/Beta. There’s already been a lot of datamined information about Holy Paladins in Legion, but I’d chosen to wait until after the Holidays before fully getting into modeling for Legion and writing about the new changes.

There’s obviously a lot to discuss already and even more inevitable changes as new Alpha builds start coming in, so stay tuned!

Legion Paladin Preview

We’ve finally seen all of the previews of each class and specialization heading into Legion. I wanted to wait until all of the healers had been previewed before writing this in case there were any fundamental healing design changes that might have been apparent from the non-Paladin healer previews.

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General Changes

The single biggest change to healing is the removal of absorption (mostly). And there was much rejoicing. Discipline Priests will still have Power Word: Shield, but it will have a six second cooldown, and Paladins lose their absorption mastery, Illuminated Healing. Similarly, they are removing a lot of absorption mechanics from tank specializations as well. I think this is a great change for healing. Absorbs are an interesting mechanic, but they have been too powerful for quite some time and lead to an unhealthy imbalance between healers.

The second big change to healers is a higher emphasis on damage.  Discipline Priests have become a specialization that spends a significant portion of their time converting damage to healing; however, Mistweaver Monks have lost their ability to “fistweave” and, as a result, have lost their immunity to specific ranged-only mechanics. Each healer will now level as their healing specialization and accrue Artifact Power for their healing Artifact weapon rather than level as a damage-dealing spec and change back to healing later.  To me, this implies that our damage will be respectable.  My guess is that our damage will be relatively similar to a tank specialization’s damage-per-second.

In the same vein, healers will be spending more time doing damage when less healing is required.  I should clarify that it’s not absolutely confirmed that we will spend time doing damage on progression bosses, but it was implied during a Q&A on classes during Blizzcon, and the change to healers’ ability to deal damage only reinforces the idea. I’m a little skeptical about this. I know that there’s still a lot of information that isn’t available to us yet, so I’ll hold off on my Final Verdict (ba dum tss), but I will voice some concerns:

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