Category Archives: Guides

On Mana and the Glyph of Illumination at Level 85

My original post on mana regeneration for Mists of Pandaria was focused on level 90. I try to post content that is useful beyond today, but the apparent interest in the new mechanics told me many people want something useful for the time remaining before they run off to punch monkeys and bunnies. So let’s look at mana regeneration again and play with the math for the Glyph of Illumination as it applies to level 85.

Level 85 casters and healers have 100,000 mana with very few exceptions. If you find yourself running out of mana then you’re either spending too much or you lack sufficient regeneration, which now means you lack sufficient Spirit.

Spirit Economics

Just like your finances, always look at your spending first. Are your teammates taking unnecessary damage? Are you casting efficient spells or setting new records for overhealing? Are you using your cooldowns, which let you save mana when you do not need them for output? Are you using your regeneration spells frequently and appropriately? Are you selecting appropriate talents and glyphs to fit your play style and the expected encounter? Have you reevaluated your stat priorities? Haste break pionts have changed and more Crit or Mastery could increase the efficiency of your healing.

For Paladins, spells are now more expensive when compared to other healers. Paying this cost ahead of time means Holy Power spells are not really free. Paladins must choose to pay more or less for each point, magnifying the effects of good and bad decisions throughout a fight. The way you spend your mana will be greatly affected by your familiarity with the changes to your class. Simple things, like broken addons not alerting you to Divine Plea coming off cooldown, can also have a big effect.

When considering your income, reevaluate the following aspects of your character.

  • Reforging: Make sure you’re not sacrificing any Spirit. Discipline Priests were noted for their low Spirit requirements.
  • Enchants: Heartsong provides a great deal of Spirit while Power Torrent is purely a buff to output.
  • Gear: Change to regen trinkets and consider replacing other pieces which did not come with Spirit already. The two-piece bonus from Tier 12 is a strong option for healers, though Blizzard may ‘fix’ this later.
  • Buffs: It’s easy to forget, but there is food and a flask which increases your Spirit.

The Glyph of Illumination

The math for level 90 directly applies to level 85. The major differences are the details of maximum mana and available gear. In my last post I described a situation where lower gear levels (with lower Spirit) could make the glyph a good choice but eventually it would be outgrown. For the next few weeks we get to experience how the glyph could perform at Tier 16 gear levels.

Let’s start with the spreadsheet and tweak it. Please make yourself a copy or download it to enter your own values. The first change is “Total mana” now reads 100,000. The second change is the addition of a “Shocks per Minute Calculator”. Choose a fight you’ve completed (longer is better) and enter the following numbers:

  • Crit rate of your Holy Shock, as a percentage (40% enters 40)
  • Number of Holy Shocks cast during the fight
  • The length, in seconds, of that fight.

Recount or World of Logs provide easy ways to find this information. The table and graph will update and give you a verdict. For example, here is what the graph looks like based on a fight lasting 3:36 where I cast 25 Shocks at 44% crit rate.

Level 85 Example of Glyph of Illumination

Not looking so hot.

Based on this fight performance the crossover point is at 2,200. The glyph is a good choice if I have don’t have that much Spirit. Remember to include procs and raid buffs! The conclusions I can reach for myself are:

  • I need to cast Holy Shock more frequently.
  • Glyph of Illumination is a horrible, horrible, horrible choice for me because I have nearly 5,000 Spirit during a raid.
  • You might say I have too much Spirit but I’d call you a big meanie who hates Spirit. And freedom.

After you do the same analysis for your own character, the simple thing to do is to wash our hands and be done with it. If you’re within a few hundred Spirit of where the crossover occurs then his would be wrong. Though Spirit is the strongest regen stat, it is worth your time to fully investigate the potential for Crit as well. That’s why you’re here, right?

Head over to chardev, load up your Paladin and maximize your Spirit followed by Crit. Find the difference in Crit percentage from the WoW Armory and your changes at chardev. Increase the crit rate found from your combat logs by this difference. The first graphing process told you if the glyph was a good choice right now. This second graphing process tells you if increasing your Crit will make the glyph a good choice. Based on my first example, if the crit rate were 10% higher it would push the crossover point to 2,700 Spirit.

Conclusion

I don’t want to sound enthusiastic about a glyph which looks downright horrible, but I am intrigued by the potential of Crit doing double duty as a regen and throughput stat. Hopefully this will prove useful if only to warn people away from a bad choice. Or maybe this will help convince Blizzard of the need to change or remove this glyph.

Random, possibly helpful, raid tip #4 – Achievement Edition

The Holding Hands achievement during Hagara in Dragon Soul can be one of the most frustrating things for a 25-man raid to complete. Originally, we tried several times with a long snake-like path. We found the lightning would occasionally refuse to jump between some players, which seemed to fail the achievement when we maneuvered players closer to force a jump. Even if it works, the setup is time consuming and the raid has to survive extremely high damage.

Then we found videos of the achievement with a simple line of elbow-to-elbow players. Ridiculously simple, stupidly easy, and still not 100% reliable. It took 3 tries for us to complete the achievement twice.

It’s issues like this that remind me why I’ve never been much for the Meta mounts and achievements.

The 4.3 Holy Paladin and My Gear Priority List

I have a confession to make. I lead a secret life in Firelands you weren’t aware of unless you stalked my armory profile or hung out in Standard Deviation’s healer channel. In 4.2 was a Mastery stacker. More than that, I ran with a relatively high amount of Spirit. I was awesome on Baleroc. My other results were generally good, though the build performed horribly on Rhyolith and Beth’tilac. I should have ran less Spirit but the final straw was Heroic Ragnaros. We have not yet killed him at this time, but the amount of raid healing combined with a four-healer composition meant I had to cast faster. My mostly full collection of 391 gear allowed me to reforge and meet the second Haste break point for Holy Radiance by replacing only 3 pieces of gear.

Secondary stats in 4.3 come in a decent variety, though Spirit/Haste is the most common. Changes to Judgements of the Pure will allow us to scale better with Spirit, perhaps allowing us to regularly reforge to additional throughput stats. Both Mastery and Haste stacking appear to be viable in 4.3 and the theorycrafters at EJ (from page 45-ish) are busy in the mathetorium. Keep yourself informed and keep an open mind.

Courtesy of MMO Champion

If tier 12 was an homage to tier 2...

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Random, possibly helpful, raid tip #3

We all know Paladins are hybrids. Yeah, yeah. We may have even encountered that rare breed of blockhead who asks if you can heal yourself while tanking. Tell him, “Of course, but only OS3D 25man.” (Seriously)

But the best part about being a hybrid in Warcraft are those little-used spells from the Prot and Ret trees. This time I am talking specifically about our two taunts: Hand of Reckoning and Righteous Defense. Do you have them keybound in your Holy spec? “Why,” you ask?

How about wipe prevention. Bubble then taunt a boss to buy your raid a few extra seconds. Even kiting the boss can buy more time than you ever could if you just stood there and healed. Keybinding lets you do this quickly, before the boss can eat even more of your raid.

But you came here for a real raid tip and not some last ditch desperation tactic. So, here are two great uses to match your two taunts:

1) Kiting the Animated Bone Warriors in Nefarian 10man. Your raid needs 3 healers anyway, so get out of your comfort zone, turn on Righteous Fury, and practice your taunt and kiting skills. This works for both modes, but be aware that Heroic adds hit very, very hard.

2) Lowering Cinderweb Spinners from the web in any version of Beth’tilac. Spinners do large spike damage with their Burning Acid attack, which can lead to overworked healers. On Heroic modes they will also cast Fiery Web Spin, which stuns a player for 25 seconds and can play havoc with your raid’s performance and/or drain healer mana cleansing a preventable debuff.

Spinners do laughable damage on the ground, so do your part and taunt them down as often as you can. You should always focus on your healing, but be aware that taunting them down can prevent a lot of damage and disruption to your raid for much less mana than the heals you would otherwise have to cast. On 10man, especially, you may be one of the few players with a taunt who doesn’t need to swap or re-imbue their weapon or change forms.

Notes For Any Other Class Learning to Paladin Heal

Complements of Zel, this is for all those hippies trying to figure out how to heal with a Paladin. Warning, the Cataclysm changes mean you’re going to need to use at least three buttons!

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A (Somewhat) Different Approach to Baleroc Healing

Healer fights are an interesting, and relatively new, concept. Following Valithria Dreamwalker (Icecrown Citadel) and Chimaeron (Blackwing Descent) is Baleroc, the newest example of a healer fight and, in my opinion, the best so far. Rather than running a HPS race or spot healing everyone in a small window of time, Baleroc is a healing fight wearing a dress. A familiar, fleshy dress.

Baleroc in a dress

I heard Blizzard likes spikey tank damage...

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My own 4.2 gear priority list

Maybe it is because tier 11 was the fastest pace of progress I’ve experienced or perhaps it is the outstanding look of tier 12 Paladin gear, but I took the time to make my own gear list for 4.2. I made this for myself and, thus, it prioritizes certain pieces so I’m not spending DKP unecessarily on minor upgrades.

Stat priorities
  1. Spirit / Haste
  2. Spirit / Crit
  3. Spirit / Mastery
  4. Haste / Crit
  5. Haste / Mastery
  6. Crit / Mastery
Tier 12

Completing a four piece tier set is a priority due to the excellent bonus. Happily, all 5 pieces of the Regalia of Immolation are decently itemized (no Mastery) but the chest looks like the best slot for off-set gear. UPDATE: Kurn does a great breakdown on the various four piece options here. She delves into the stat details and has some slightly different preferences for these and other pieces.

Tier 12 Normal

Who wouldn't want to look like this?

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