The Artifact Power Grind

There’s been a lot of talk lately on twitter and on the WoW forums about Mythic raiders being burned out by having to endlessly grind Mythic+ dungeons for Artifact Power (AP). There are other factors that have led to the feeling of burnout for several veteran raiders, but the specific problem of feeling like you have to spend your available time getting more AP for more Artifact Traits is what is complained about the most, so I’m going to talk about that.

I should preface by saying that my perspective is of a semi-hardcore Mythic raider, and that I’m absolutely in favor of an uncapped system for acquiring AP. I think that if a cap was added to AP there would still be people who feel like the cap is either too high or too low, and the cap would just be moving the problem to a different set of people. I also think the expectation for how quickly you acquire AP should be set by you or your raiding group and not by Blizzard.

Setting a Cap on Artifact Power

I’ve been playing WoW since 2005 and have seen multiple different systems for capped and uncapped resources. From uncapped Honor grinding in Vanilla to seemingly uncapped Badges of Justice in Burning Crusade to the weekly Valor cap in Mists of Pandaria. The Badge system in Burning Crusade was capped in the sense that there were only a set number of dungeons and raids you could do per day/week, but that cap was so high that it was almost never achieved every day; very few people did all 16 Heroic dungeons in a single day.

Regardless of my opinions on the systems themselves, I was always in favor of an uncapped system because a cap was either too high for me to care about or too low and made me not care about the content. Obviously this is specific to my own determination, but that’s also my point: it’s virtually impossible for the arbitrary cap to be exactly how much content you want to participate in.

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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 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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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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Talent Changes in Legion

For the future of this blog I eventually want to go more in-depth into theorycrafting aspects of playing a Holy Paladin, but seeing as this is the inaugural post I’ve decided to cover a simpler topic: Talents.

Full Talents

Blizzcon is still a few months away and that means that we probably won’t be seeing much more specific information about class changes for the new expansion until then.  But before we get more details, I’d like to talk about which talents I think could be improved upon heading into Legion.

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