Written by | Posted June 3, 2016 – 11:21 am First, Finest, Last (Anryl)

She was barely fifty years old* when she took her first – a contract handed out in Everlook, though how she’d ended up in that godsforsaken ice-sheet she couldn’t be sure. It was a simple thing to kill the woman listed on the paper she had signed. Anryl had no idea what Telwae Lightsorrow had […]

State of the Raid: Paladin Healing
comment 18 Written by on April 21, 2009 – 4:46 am

We’ve largely left Naxxramas and the days of bottomless mana behind, tackling the harder challenges of Ulduar and the taint of an Old God.  In that light, I think it’s largely time that Blizzard took another look at Paladin healing.  While we’ve come so very far from Molten Core, and Paladin healing has some amazing tools and abilities, we’re still facing some serious obstacles that are made painfully clear in Ulduar, especially in 10 man raids.

This is particularly directed at the Holy Paladin’s lack of raid healing abilities.

Flash of Light is now useless in 10 mans, and only usable in 25 mans as a method of regaining mana, when there’s not much going around so your other healers can pick up your slack.  Mana efficient it may be, but it’s not effective as a raid healing tool, since it just doesn’t heal for enough – and, even with haste and Light’s Grace, Holy Light is just too slow.  Which leaves Holy Shock – which is still on a 6 second cooldown for me, since the Glyph of Holy Shock isn’t available on my server yet.

Mana is continually an issue, since the entirety of 10 man Paladin healing is literal Holy Light spam, with an occasional Beacon or Sacred Shield refresh.  In a 10 man, fighting XT-002 Deconstructor, every heart phase had me DPSing, with Divine Plea and Judgement of Wisdom, since every normal phase took me down to 10-20% mana.  Fortunately, Deconstructor is set up for that to be possible.  Kologarn… isn’t.

We’ll leave behind how entertaining it is to push one button for 4 hours, since I mind that less than most.

Obviously this is less bad in the 25 man setting, since a team of healers has a lot more support options between them, and since I can literally worry ONLY about the tank and myself, and ignore the raid, because I know my raid healers are that good.  In a 10 man, they’re still that good, but there aren’t that many of us and we’re required to overlap sometimes, especially with the levels of damage in Ulduar.

Now, I’m sure I’m going to get accused of overindulging in QQ, and of ignoring the awesome raid healing that is Beacon of Light, and in not realizing how awesome Paladins are at being MT healers.

First – Beacon of Light is not a raid healing ability.  A heal that heals only two people, and then only if the first person isn’t overhealed, is a heal with a splash component, just like Binding Heal isn’t a raid heal ability.  No other raid healing ability is dependent on the first heal not being overheal (see: Chain Heal) – and even then, Beacon of Light hits a maximum of 2 people, while Chain Heal can (glyphed) hit 4, and Circle of Healing, Prayer of Healing, and Wild Growth hit up to 5.  In addition, though this is touted as a mana saver, it’s extremely mana intensive to keep this spell activated all the time – as has been necessary in Ulduar – and Beacon healing does not count towards Illumination.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Beacon of Light is an awesome spell, and it saves my arse and my tank in 25 man situations frequently.  It just doesn’t cut the mustard in 10 man raids.

Second – Paladins ARE awesome at being MT healers.  /flex! When it comes to keeping a tank alive?  That’s my job, and I’m fine with that – it’s what I do, and I don’t want to change that!  I like being a tank healer, and I try pretty hard to be good at it!

However, *NO other healing class is so pigeonholed*.  Priests can choose whether to be holy – and be able to do BOTH kinds of healing, but raid healing better – or Discipline – and be able to do BOTH kinds of healing, but MT healing better.  Druids can, through their HoTness and choice of spec/focus/glyphs, be either raid healers or MT healers.  Shamans can, through their chain-healing and choice of spec/focus/glyphs, be either raid healers or MT healers – though their raid healing is still stronger.

Holy Paladins can not do sufficient raid healing to be acceptable raid healers in Ulduar, even in a pinch when things hit the fan.  This has been a problem for awhile (Heroic Loken as a Paladin is nearly impossible until a certain gear level – which for me was unobtainable outside of Naxxramas. Having healed it as a Resto Shaman in mostly blues, I find the dichotomy striking.  Not to mention Ahn’Kahet and Azjol-Nerub.  And remember Magister’s Terrace?), and I’m not the only one that’s noticed it.

Ok Anna, you say, that’s a lot of griping, and we get the point.  So what about a solution and not just whining?

Well, I’d come up with one, but there’s already one out there that I would love to see implemented.

The wonderful Coriel of Blessing of Kings (if you are a pally and don’t read BoK, you should!) has proposed a simple solution, used through a Glyph, that would really help alleviate this – especially in the current situation where FoL is largely unusable as a tank-healing spell.  The basic gist is a new glyph that would increase the cost of FoL by 100%, but make it hit two targets – or increase the cost by 50% and have it hit a second target for 50%.  Having this as a glyph would allow Paladins that only raid 25-man content to skip it, where it is much less needed, but would let other Paladins pick up a little extra oomph to be more versatile in their 5 and 10-man groups.

Or even (gasp!) build this type of functionality into a talent, to encourage Paladins to Dual Spec for each role, as Druids and Priests (and to a lesser extent Shamans) are able to do.

I’m not asking for Paladins to be the end-all, be-all of every kind of healing.

Being a specialist in tank healing is a strong and viable role, much like Shamans are specialists in raid healing, and it’s one that I’ve come to be quite fond of (as I’m fond of raid healing with my shaman).  I want to be able to survive in other roles if I have to – even if it’s not the best or most useful way to heal, because sometimes other healers die or have to be mobile.  As yet there is not a fight in Ulduar that’s not had an insta-gib mechanic that you HAVE to move out of or run away from (Kologarn’s Eyebeams anyone?) and if your healers can’t trade off roles, at least keeping everyone alive while the others execute a Monty Python-esque RUN AWAY strategy, there’s a problem.

Paladins are lacking the appropriate tools to be able to handle those kinds of 10-man situations.

I would never to go to a 10 man Ulduar, Malygos, or Sartherion+ raid with two Holy Paladins, even if they were the only healers I had available.

If Wrath of the Lich King is about “bringing the person, not the class” – there needs to be an adjustment.  Not an overhaul, not a total re-tooling of the class, not a negation of the strengths of Paladin MT healing.  An adjustment that would allow enough flexibility to not be isolated on the basis of class, from healing roles.  Being the best tank healers is great – but being the best tank healers at the expense of being able to back up your healing team isn’t so great.  In a 25 man that matters a lot less, but in 5 and 10 man content, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.

TLDR Version: Healing Paladins are largely unprepared for the AOE damage of Ulduar for raid healing, and back to one-button spam for tank healing.  This is particularly exacerbated in 10 mans, where healer over-specialization is detrimental to the survival of the raid.

Monday of Raids
comment 1 Written by on April 20, 2009 – 8:10 am
  • This week saw a lot of raiding action, with Annorah running OS10 and Naxx 10, and Aely running Malygos/OS25 and Ulduar 25 and then Ulduar 10 last night.  I’ll have thoughts about Paladin stuff later this week.
  • TRI saw the death of Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, XT-002 Deconstructor, and were VERY close to taking down Kologarn this week.  We ran out of raid time before we ran out of boss, unfortunately.  I expect to see him down this week.  (We skipped Ignis, since we would’ve been attempting him before his hotfixes went in that kept him from randomly oneshotting raid members)
  • My Ulduar 10 raid saw Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, and XT-002 Deconstructor down as well, but we DID attempt Ignis, since his bugs were supposedly fixed.  Though we didn’t see bugginess, we didn’t have time to really put in more than two attempts – both of which were solid.  If this 10 man runs again next Sunday (which I hope it does, I had TONS of fun), I expect him to go down as well.
  • Both raids got the Gravity Bomb achievement – pre-hotfix.
  • As much fun as I’m having with my *raids*, I’m not entirely sure yet about Ulduar.  I think this is largely a class/healing based issue, however, and I do like the boss encounters I’ve run up against so far.  I just… well, I’m not sure I like healing them.  More on that later when I talk about Paladin healing in there.
  • I’m running Auctioneer again, on a tentative, trial by fire sort of basis.  It’s a HUGE memory hog, even when it’s just running on my banker, but I’m told, with the right knowhow, I can make good supplemental gold doing it.  Having shelled out 2K for dual specs so far, plus an epic flight training approaching for Annylais, I need to both farm more herbs AND work on making the most out of the auction house.
  • The Feathermoon glyph market took a nose dive yesterday.  I’m hoping it boosts back up slightly, as I still have glyphs to sell.
  • Farming herbs for two healing classes worth of mana potions, elixirs, and flasks takes quite awhile – especially when you add in a Paladin tank (my husband) whose flasks and such I also make, as part of our trade-alliance.
Hat Tip to New Folks
comment Comments Off on Hat Tip to New Folks Written by on April 17, 2009 – 3:53 pm

To all the folks stopping by from WI today (and recently) Howdy, and make yourself at home!

Healer Layout for XT-002 Deconstructor
comment 3 Written by on April 16, 2009 – 11:03 pm

XT-002 Deconstructor is a little pain in the arse robot that does calisthenics before you pull him and sounds like Pinochio on Helium.  He’s the second “required” boss in Ulduar, after Flame Leviathan – though technically Ignis and Razorscale are both “before” him, they are optional.

Healing this particular fight is pretty intensive, because the combination of Light Bombs (5 yard range, consistent AOE damage), Gravity Bombs (10 yard range, ticking bomb AOE), and Tantrums (raid wide 10% damage every second for 12 seconds, for a total of 120% health on everyone in the zone) makes for a lot of unhappy consequences when someone screws up.

It’s also tough to heal as a Paladin, since AOE/Group healing *shines* in this fight. So – to maximize healing, this is how we set it up:

  • Divide up your ranged healers (Ideally 4 of them – Holy Priests, Druids, Shamans) – one for each “corner”.  Give each of them 2 ranged DPS.
  • Your Single Target/Tank healers should stand in between, and somewhat closer in (Paladins, Discipline Priests, Druids).

This way you deal effectively with the adds, your ranged healers always have someone to hit with their AOE healing during Tempest, and nobody is too far away to get another healer to help them out if they get Light Bombed.

As a tank healer, I put Beacon of Light on myself, and healed the tank through the Tempests, plus casting Holy Shocks on other healers to keep them topped off (since the tank is still getting smacked, he takes more damage than I do).

TRI is still struggling with managing the various Bombs during the add phase – mostly not blowing up the tank/each other while the healers are busy dealing with the explosive AOE damage, but we got him to around 30% tonight, and will be back tomorrow to kick him around some more, and steal his toys.  Judging by how much he whines about wanting toys, and not wanting to break them, I figure he’s got some nice things to share.

Everyone knows about sharing right?

First, Finest, Last (Anryl)

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She was barely fifty years old* when she took her first – a contract handed out in Everlook, though how she’d ended up in that godsforsaken ice-sheet she couldn’t be sure. It was a simple thing to kill the woman …

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