Saturday, March 14, 2009

And My Paladin Brethren Get the Hose

Spiritual Attunement is no longer a baseline talent on the PTR. It has been turned into a deep Protection talent that has two levels, just as it is trained now. This isn't too big a deal for my fellow tanks, because Blizzard was kind enough to free up a few talent points by converting former 5 point talents into 3 point talents. However, where this hurts, are Holy and Ret paladins.

Holy paladins used SA as a mana boost in fights where there was a alot of raid wide damage going on, like Sapphiron. This allowed their mana supply to scale directly with the amount of damage being put on the raid. Combined with Divine Plea, this gave Holy Paladins for all intents and purposes unlimited mana on many boss fights. That needed to change, but nerfing both SA and Divine Plea might have been a bit excessive.

Retribution paladins used Seal of the Martyr to damage themselves. This freed up effective healing that would refil their mana, allowing them to continue DPSing at max efficiency. This nerf effectively kills Seal of the Martyr. Tanks are still loath to use it because of the risk it presents, and now all it really does is cause both a Ret pally's health and mana to go down. Not worth it in my opinion. What this is going to cause is ret paladins to switch to seal of command, which will make their damage more spikey, or possibly even seal of wisdom if they can't get enough mana back from judgements of the wise. This actually puts blizzard in an interesting hole. They've already gone on record as saying that they think that PvE ret damage is too low. However, because of the mechanics of judgements of the wise, they can't buff JotW because it would buff raid wide mana regen, which they've already stated is too high. They would also have a tough time buffing Seal of Command's damage to compensate, because that would make ret paladins even more bursty in PvP, which would drive people crazy.

Here's one possible solution. This post by Rohan, at Blessing of Kings, suggested folding SA into righteous fury so that any paladin could benefit from it if they found themselves off tanking. Personally, I think the nerf is at odds with Blizzard's previously stated goals of buffing ret PvE damage. Folding it into Righteous Fury would be good for protection paladins, but due to the increased threat generation, it would only be usable for off tanking for a ret paladin. I think the solution that best allows for maintaining the mana regen on the tank, nerfing the mana regen on holy paladins, and not nerfing the damage of retribution paladins would be to fold it into both improved righteous fury, and fanaticism, then move improved righteous fury down a teir or two in the prot tree. This would keep seal of the martyr viable, but having it as deep talents in the two non healing trees would ensure that it couldn't be used to buff the healer's mana regen.

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