[Holy Paladin] Re-tuning after CS nerf?

#1 - Aug. 17, 2012, 4:10 p.m.
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Let me start by making an assumption that no holy paladin in his/her right mind will use Crusader Strike now (comparing to Holy Shock: large amount of healing, 25% extra crit, speeds up next direct heal, 6 sec CD, 16% base mana vs. ...no other benefits, 4.5 sec CD, 15% base mana, have to be in melee range? Come on, we'd be insane to use it now).

Now, it's probably safe to assume that CS has been used extensively in raid testing (and probably in 5-man instances too). This means that all current tuning -- and subsequent conclusions that holy paladins are "fine", "competitive", "properly tuned" or whatever label you choose here -- was based on a playstyle that's no longer viable.

Don't get me wrong: I am all for removing CS as a requirement. Melee range alone is a unpleasant (and probably a major balance headache as well), not to mention having to weave a very short cooldown into an already full rotation. So, good riddance.

Here's the thing, though. Are we going to have another holy paladin tuning pass before the end of beta? It makes sense because of how important CS was to our mana efficiency (and, by extension, to our throughput). I am afraid of the situation where we are declared "properly tuned" even if we aren't anymore -- with an inevitable hotfix after release when it turns out that, you know... we did need another tuning pass after all.

Any blues want to comment?
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#29 - Aug. 18, 2012, 12:25 a.m.
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Paladins were balanced around generating Holy Power through Holy Shock, Holy Radiance and Tower of Radiance. We like the "holy warrior" kit and thought using Crusader Strike situationally for Holy was interesting. We didn't want it to be the most effective way to play a healing paladin, which is how it was trending, especially in heroic 25-player raids.
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#48 - Aug. 18, 2012, 5:41 p.m.
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I agree, we were tuned with the idea in mind that CS was part of our rotation.

No, I'm saying you weren't. We calculated paladin healing to be at X. With using CS as a major part of the rotation, the actual level was potentially X + Y. We want you to be at X.

As I mentioned above, I'm not even convinced it was a serious problem. Yes, it's mana efficient to generate Holy Power for almost nothing, but you could have also generated that Holy Power with an actual heal. WoG / LoD don't heal for enough for that to be your entire arsenal. A paladin who casts HS, DL, DL -> LoD will handily outheal one who casts HS, CS, CS -> LoD, unless mana is a crushing issue, which we don't believe to be the case. Taken to extremes, a healer who never casts a heal has awesome mana longevity, am I right?

However, this is one of those cases where we didn't even want there to be a question. We didn't want there to be any confusion about our intent. You should generate 99% of your Holy Power with Holy Shock, Holy Radiance and Tower of Radiance.

Now we are left with ability's that are not on par with other healers. After the nerf our mana efficiency is now worse imo then a lot of other healers.

We haven't seen any evidence of this, but if it comes to pass, we'll fix it (and not by buffing CS).

I think they must have had us balanced around CS because the alternative is frightening: that there was a meta playstyle that was used extensively, talked about extensively on these very forums and others, and Blizzard did not attempt to balance around it. Does that sound like good design to you?

It wasn't extensive. Not many paladins were doing it in our raid tests. However some of the paladins who were doing it were very talented healers in top-end guilds, and those guys can sometimes be trendsetters. This was a precautionary change, not a crisis.