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The Daily Blues


Each day, WoW Insider takes you through all the blue posts and other Blizzard news from around the internet. From the latest posts from Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) to the lowdown on StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3, we'll keep you informed.

In today's Daily Blues, Nethaera comments more on the great holy paladin nerf of December 2010 (followed, no doubt, by the great cooking nerf of 2011).

Nehaera -- Holy paladin nerf
I apologize for the delay in answers. I was not attempting to avoid questions here. I have a bit more information for you:

It is intended that Protector of the Innocent and Light of Dawn transfer healing through Beacon of Light. Furthermore, we didn't feel that changing either of those would have fixed the problem. When we looked at the numbers, paladins were getting far more Holy Power from Holy Light using Tower of Radiance than we had predicted they would. This wasn't a problem of paladins topping healing meters or anything like that. The problem was that paladins could heal much more efficiently than other healers. Healers of equal skill should run out of mana at about the same time. In this situation, we didn't want to buff everyone else to the paladin level, because we think the experience of priest, druid and shaman healers is playing out as we intended. (But we will keep monitoring things.) We understand some healers still don't feel that they have enough mana to be able to do their jobs and we understand the design has changed somewhat from the Wrath of the Lich King healing model. However, the heroic dungeons are intended to be challenging. Moreover, the Cataclysm expansion has only been live for a week. Players are still improving their gear, learning the boss fights and getting familiar with the new healing philosophy.

Nethaera -- On Ghostcrawler

I guess GC shirked his forum responsibilities =(

He's not shirking anything. Who do you think we talk to in order to get more information? He's keeping an eye on things and we're making sure we get it to you.

Nethaera -- Priests not versus paladins
Just so we don't turn this into a priest vs. paladin discussion, we have already applied some adjustments to priests in some hotfixes and will be updating our hotfix listing shortly. We already acknowledged (Bashiok did) that we were aware of priests perhaps needing a slight boost. That boost has already occurred, and again, we will continue watching to see how all of these changes are working out.

Bashiok -- Working as a Team
Archaeology is a requirement for the Guild Achievement Working as a Team. It's incorrectly not shown on the criteria list, which is a bug, and will be fixed in a future patch.

Zarhym -- Holy paladin nerfs

With all due respect, while this does an excellent job of describing the problem you were trying to fix, it does nothing to address the concerns raised that your quick "solution" didn't break Holy Paladins. Why are you so sure they are still comparable to other healers?

We made those specific changes because we estimated that they would lower paladin efficiency by the right amount. We've also been looking at the numbers since the change, and so far we're pretty happy with the results. Paladins seem much more in line with other healers (with the exception of priests, who we have since buffed -- hotfix updates on that coming this afternoon:


And to actually announce it. Not to sound bitter, but having to drop a dungeon in the middle of it because I think my character is bugging out isn't something enjoyable. (And I've gotta ask, what the hell went on there?)

Applying a hotfix is a complicated process that involves many different developers, including in this case designers, QA and server programmers. These changes are applied live, which is a very different scenario than when things are changed for an upcoming build. We still make our best efforts to coordinate our list of hotfixes with the actual hotfixed data. In this case they were made within a few hours of each other. It takes time to track the progress of all of the hotfixes being developed, as we cannot announce them until we receive confirmation that the hotfixes have been tested by QA and pushed live by our programmers. While this whole process is taking place, we're compiling a large list of all of the changes made each day so we can update players in as timely a fashion as possible. :)


Putting aside the issue of how unfun healing is in general, you STILL haven't answered the question posed by dozens of pallies in this thread: why have you made the entire holy power mechanic useless now? You could have nerfed the hell out of pallies, thereby bringing them "more in line with other healers" without essentially eliminating holy power generation. What about the wasted talent points in ToR? Can you speak to this at all?

Holy paladins can generate Holy Power through a number of mechanics: using Holy Shock is intended to be the main one. They can also take damage through Blessed Life or heal a Beaconed target with Flash of Light or Divine Light.

The problem we were seeing is that Holy Light was made very inexpensive so that paladins always had a cheap go-to heal. Paladins had figured out to use this as a Holy Power generator for Light of Dawn. They didn't even care about healing the tank per se – they were just casting 3 Holy Lights to earn the Light of Dawn. It seemed to us an effortless way to play that was super effective. With these changes, we expect to see paladins making more decisions – sometimes they might want to Holy Light a Beaconed target just because that's the right spell at the moment. They may also Holy Light non-Beaconed targets. They will still Holy Shock on cooldown, which will generate plenty of Holy Power.

Those of you saying Holy paladins will no longer generate Holy Power might be taking the change a little too much to heart. That's not the design intent behind Holy paladins, nor a desired outcome of the Tower of Radiance change. In fact, we haven't seen this to be the outcome since the change was applied. Often times when we bring an overpowered ability back into line, the reaction we see on the forums is that the ability itself, or the core mechanics of the spec, has been gutted. That's a natural reaction in most cases, this one being no exception, as paladins will have to adjust to a change that came rather suddenly in the middle of gameplay (i.e. in a hotfix rather than a patch).

We understand there is also a mixture of concerns regarding this change which really revolve more around general healer mana regeneration in Cataclysm. Some paladins may claim Holy Light is now the only affordable heal. This is inaccurate and we're confident we'll see talented paladins shine using all of the appropriate tools in their kit. Perhaps, if anything, it means paladins can't afford to spam many different heals. That doesn't mean they're not useful given the appropriate situation.

(For instance, when the tank is very injured or you have to move, use a Flash of Light. If the damage is coming in faster than you can heal, use a Divine Light. You aren't playing badly by using these spells – you are playing badly if you only use these spells and neglect the efficient ones.)

When we see players who claim they don't have enough mana to heal, one of the following is usually true: 1) they are undergeared for the instance, 2) the tanks are trying to tank everything without CC, 3) they are avoiding Spirit on their gear, 4) they are trying to keep everyone topped off as fast as they can by resorting to fast spells (like Flash of Light) or relatively expensive area heals when they aren't warranted. If someone is about to die – absolutely save them. Using Holy Radiance (40% mana) to get two folks who are at 95% back to 100% is not efficient. Throw a Holy Light (9% mana each) at each of them instead.

Bashiok -- Fiat power
Moon is sheep. Let it be written.

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