1 0 Tag Archives: shor
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4.3: Schrödinger’s block

Another update to the PTR and still no word of a nerf to block for Paladins. I’m not going to be stupid enough to hope out loud that they’ll just buff DKs and leave it at that, content to kick the can down the road to the next expansion’s beta, so we’ll leave my hopes and aspirations in the dark where they can’t be so easily crushed.

I really want to say more about this, but like Voldemort (or, I guess, Bettlejuice), I fear even saying the word “nerf” in any quantity will summon one. Mum’s the word!

In happier news, it looks like Judgement of Truth was buffed to 20% extra damage per Censure stack, which means another 50% damage with a full stack of the debuff on an enemy. Good stuff — thanks to Ret for needing that buff!

Likewise, this explains why the tier 13 two-piece was nerfed by 5%. Judgement doing more damage required the bonus to be tuned down a tad. In any case, I’m going to have to hop on the PTR soon and see what we’re looking at for damage numbers and try to extrapolate out what the two-piece bubbles will look like.

Lastly, a few PTRers noticed that Shield of the Righteous has a new sound effect (ok, a sound effect — does anyone really hear that “whoosh” it currently makes?). It’s kind of a metal clang noise, but without the echo that Hammer of the Righteous has. Here’s a YouTube video where you can hear it:

WoW 4.3 PTR: New SoTR SFX

I like it.

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October 5, 2011
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The best time to use Divine Plea

A quick tip based on something I saw on this thread at Maintankadin that’s definitely worth sharing: you shouldn’t be using Divine Plea in the middle of a fight to chain two Shields of the Righteous, because that’s generally a threat loss. There are two times when DP is most effectively used.

One is right off the pull to open with a ShoR. Pop DP to load the chamber with Holy Power, pull from a distance with Exorcism while counting down for the raid, then toss in an AS as you run in, and once in melee ran use ShoR. That’s a powerful, front-loaded pull that’ll give you some excellent breathing space to jump ahead of the pack on threat and maintain an easy lead for the rest of the fight.

(Don’t worry about popping DP at full mana, that doesn’t really factor into the equation for us since generally mana is infinite.)

The other choice is (at least until 4.1), use DP to chain two Words of Glory together in a particularly tight spot. At full Vengeance you can theoretically heal yourself for 60,000 health over the course of 4.5 seconds.

Now, the reason mid-fight double-ShoRing is a threat loss because of the GCDs required to make it happen. You’re spending at least 3.0 seconds to do a non-crit ShoR, which is weaker than the threat you’d gain from using those two GCDs to cast Judgement and Crusader Strike, or AS and Crusader Strike, or what have you. You can get some delicious Theckmath in that thread I linked I above for more.

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It’s over ni… I’m not making that joke.

Thanks to everyone out there that heeded the call to flaunt their best Shield of the Righteous crits from Festergut. I have below all the screenshots I received ordered from lowest to highest (for dramatic effect, natch). In two months don’t forget to look back and think of how great it was when ShoR didn’t have lowered AP scaling, and the sky was the limit of what we could achieve.

Gathorc of Eitrigg-US — 77,142

Palatinus — 79,991

Chuckf — 81,665

Cors of The Scryers-US — 83,578

Joachim of Moonguard-US — 89,474

Festenia — 95,600

Asur of Dark Iron-US — 96,754

Guisado — 100,337

Smashnheal of Grizzly Hills-US — 104,400

Siegfred — 106,222

Numee of Malygos-EU — 114,100 (!!!)

Thank you everyone who sent in their screenshots. Those are some incredible numbers!

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October 29, 2010
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Nerf pallies, or something

Like Voss said.

Here’s my entry for the ShoR crit contest (though I’m not really participating):

104,692 damage. The stuff dreams are made of my friends. And that was with normal tanking gear, no dps pieces! Just lined up all my ducks in a row (9 stacks of Gaseous Bloat, almost-max Vengeance, wings popped, Sacred Duty proc) and fired.

I even let Ana tank first too! (Hence the faux-gquit, and the horse head I woke up to in my bed this morning.)

For my victory lap I murdered Antigen’s mage’s eponymous Frost Elemental.

There can only be one.

MMO-Champ also has the latest beta changes from build 13221. They seem to be missing the ShoR nerf wowhead is showing. Hrmm.

Update: ShoR was definitely nerfed.

We changed Shield Slam and Shield of the Righteous to do more base damage and scale less with AP. This was to fix a problem where numbers became absurdly large with a lot of AP, especially under the effects of Vengeance, dwarfing the damage done by druid or DK tanks. With these changes, a tank in heroic dungeon blues should deal the same damage with no Vengeance, but Vengeance will have less of an impact.

The coefficient for Shield of the Righteous was lowered from 120% to 60% at 3 Holy Power. The coefficient for Shield Slam was lowered from 75% to 60%.

But apparently Word of Glory was not.

We buffed Word of Glory base points for Holy paladins. We nerfed the Ret and Prot talents to keep it about the same for them.

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October 27, 2010
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Finding our footing once more

Up until that first pull of Heroic Marrowgar I was terrified that last night was going to be a repeat of the debacle that was the raid on Wednesday last week. The first time we tried Heroic Marrowgar last week I think I was two shot, ingloriously. The offtank followed suit with much haste.

Last night–much better! We had no problems dropping Marrowgar. In fact it felt like pre-4.0.1, except for dps was much higher, so the fight didn’t last as long. Then on Heroic LDW we had a somewhat clean one shot. With everyone’s additional health I’m sure that there were survivors to some unnecessary ghost explosions. I’m sure we wouldn’t have pulled it off that attempt if not for 4.0.1, but at this point I’m beyond caring about these externalities. I just want the night to go well.

And so it did. We pretty much rolled over everything in our path, cleanly one-shotting Heroic Putricide and only stalling at Heroic Sindragosa at the end of the night. With Put in particular I was convinced there were some boss damage hotfixes, because I was reduced to a paste by his normal mode last week, and yet last night I wasn’t taking that much of a beating. Lo and behold, there were.

Per the crab,

We’ve made some Icecrown and Halion changes already and we may need to make more.

He didn’t go into details but I’m certain that they nerfed boss damage in ICC and RS. On just about everything except for Sindragosa (who is still very truck-like in her damage) I was sitting pretty with very few “oh crap” moments, if any.

Last night was also a great chance to get more comfortable with the rotation and all our new toys. I’m much happier with 939 than I’ve been since it was first devised. It’s still annoying to CS every other attack, but the 9′s are not as locked in as they used to be (there’s some fluidity) to make the rotation require some thought. Plus, I’m really liking the choice presented by Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory.

The former you use at the start to establish a threat lead, then once you’re comfortable with your position you can use Word of Glory to boost your survivability. A lot of times I found myself with a good 10% or so headstart on the dps and started popping the self-heal/absorb. I like any choice we get and any choice that rewards us for not choosing poorly. I think WoG is one of the those things.

Perhaps my favorite part of the night, though, was Heroic Festergut. Thanks to Vengeance and the the damage buff he slaps on the tank, I pulled off an 85,665 damage Shield of the Righteous crit. I’m sure I could have done much better with AW up, or some dps gear, though I was at least using my Bloodvenom Blade.

In any case, I close out my post with this demand: I want to see your crits. Email me screenshots of ShoR crits on your scrolling combat text or Recount, from Festergut. Your personal bests, the biggest number you can push. Next Friday I’ll do a post showing off the biggest ShoR crits I received. You can email your screenshots to rhidach [at] gmail [dot] com.

Housekeeping note! Tomorrow morning I’m flying out to California for Blizzcon. Blogging here will of course be light to non-existent, since Anafielle is also going to be there. However you can follow both of us and our Blizzcon-related ramblings on Twitter! Here’s my Twitter page, and here’s Anafielle’s.

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October 20, 2010
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Two interesting facts about ShoR in Cata

I was perusing this thread over at Maintankadin, attempting to contain my excitement that Theck is beginning to start up his theorycrafting apparatus for Cataclysm, and noticed two pretty interesting asides about Shield of the Righteous that are worth sharing.

The first is that when the Sacred Duty proc is active, ShoR will apparently not be missed, dodged, or parried. This may change in future builds, but something to keep in mind when making judgements about what buttons to press when. Do remember that if ShoR misses, you lose the three HoPo stacks that you patiently built up.

The second is that, to maximize threat, there are certain circumstances where hitting a 2HP ShoR is better than waiting for a third stack of Holy Power. Specifically, if you have a Sacred Duty buff that will expire before you can accumulate a third Holy Power, you should hit ShoR. The reasoning behind this is a 2HP ShoR+Sacred Duty does the same damage as a non-Sacred Duty 3HP ShoR. And, by waiting for Sacred Duty to fall off and for you collect that third stack of Holy Power, you’re pushing a future ShoR back by 4.5 seconds, thus a threat loss in the long-term.

Very interesting stuff. I can’t wait for the number crunching to begin over there so we can start to get a better picture of our rotation and threat talents, as we move closer to Cataclysm’s launch and patch 4.0.

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September 21, 2010
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Build 12984 ups the numbers a bit

The latest build in Beta fixed one of the big problems we had, that HotR was doing more single target damage Crusader Strike, but buffing through talents the damage of CS. It’s a pretty textbook change, but they just modified a talent to buff CS. Keeps it out of the hands of those greedy Rets, so that’s a plus.

Here are the changes to our spec this build:

  • Wrath of the Lightbringer slightly revamped – now increases the damage of your Crusader Strike and Judgement by 30/60% and increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Wrath and Hammer of Wrath by 15/30%.
  • Guardian’s Favor is now a Tier 2 Retribution talent.
  • Improved Hammer of Justice is now a Tier 2 talent, up from Tier 1.
  • Eternal Glory is now a Tier 1 Protection talent.
  • Reckoning is also now only 2 points (instead of 3) and maxes out at a 20% proc chance, instead of 30%.

The Eternal Glory <> Guardian’s Favor swap and knocking Imp HoJ up the tree a level changes how we spec a bit. Before Improved Hand of Justice was a no-brainer, because Protector of the Innocent sucks, but now Eternal Glory fills that roll. And, with Imp HoJ on the same tier as Toughness and Judgements of the Just, we basically skip it on our trip to the top. It might have a use in certain situations, but there is more ROI from later talents than spending points on knocking 20 seconds off of a stun/on-GCD interrupt.

Reckoning also got stealth nerfed for what it’s worth. I’m still holding a skeptical eye towards this talent until we see a Theck crunch on talent TPS, so I’ll hold off any concern for now.

I’m pretty happy with the Wrath of the Lightbringer buff, because it was a much-needed damage boost to CS. It also makes Holy Wrath and Hammer of Wrath possibly heavier hitters as well, which is a bonus.

Ultimately, I specced like this in Beta while screwing around yesterday. I pulled both of the Word of Glory talents because I wanted to give the spell a shot, at least while leveling. Color me underwhelmed.

Heals for 9076 with 3HP, which is… ok. It’d do 9621 with Divinity, but that hardly helps. At the moment I’m just not seeing the pay off for Word of Glory and 3 Holy Power. HoPo is too precious and rare a resource to blow on a non-scaling heal. I can see situations where it could be useful, but those are limited. I’m crossing my fingers that the nigh-mythical numbers pass might make Word of Glory more attractive, but who knows? At the very, very least we need some kind of additional Holy Power source. Be it a proc, or another ability… something.

Yesterday was also the first time I got on Beta since they fixed Sacred Duty. Hoo-boy, now that is a fun proc. It can be ill-timed, refusing to proc when you have a 3HP ShoR loaded in the chamber. On the bright side, a 15 second buff lasts a long time and more often than not you’ll have that delightful little red judgement icon waiting for you when you’re ready to shield slam something.

There is nothing more satisfying than a 15k ShoR. And this is at level 83 while soloing. I can only imagine in level 85, with raid gear, and fully buffed.

One last heartache: the Seal of Truth glyph is gone. Farewell, free Expertise. (Correction: It was switched from a Major glyph to a Prime. Sorry for any confusion, I regret the error!)

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September 20, 2010
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Lingering worries in beta are worrying

I’ve been generally upbeat about Protection Paladins in beta. Perhaps to a fault, but I truly, honestly believe the foundations of the class are solid heading into the final stretch of beta. It’s the numbers that need tweaking here and there, sure, but like I said–generally solid. Now, things aren’t all cupcakes and gumdrops, there are some big issues that could have a negative effect on our “solidity” going forward. These are things that I feel confident will be resolved by launch or in the future, but for purposes of awareness, Justice herself compels me to bitch about them.

1. Word of Glory will fall behind

The amount of healing WoG does is based on two things: how much HoPo (as Ana calls it) you have, and talents. Spellpower doesn’t modify it, so that free spellpower we get from Touched by the Light only goes towards holy damage/threat. And we can’t generate more than 3 Holy Power, so while initially WoG will be okay at first for the ratio of healing done vs. total hp we have, only the second number will go up. Eventually the disparity will make WoG not worth even feeling guilty about not hitting.

This is coupled with the fact that Blizzard wants us to use Word of Glory. Guarded by the Light cements it, but the talents has the most unwieldy mechanics of anything else in our tree. Never mind that they want us to expend precious HoPo on that button, they want us to time it to maximize self-overheals? It defies explanation.

There is a major rework needed on Prot and WoG, which hopefully will come in our next pass. We need some kind scaling, and we need some kind of incentive to use this spell. Why do only overheals put up that damage absorb effect? Why not any self-WoG heals? What’s the downside? It’d be an Interesting Choice, eh?

2. HotR > CS on single targets

This I cannot imagine not being resolved when they do their final numbers passes, but at the moment Hammer of the Righteous does more damage against a single target than Crusader Strike. The solution can’t be to nerf HotR (it seems pretty perilously balanced right now to interact properly with Inquisition), instead it must be to buff Crusader Strike.

If this doesn’t change, this will seriously damage the stated goal of separate aoe/single target rotations. As always my boundless optimism assumes this will change, however.

3. ShoR is a huge liability if and when avoided

On beta right now, when you hit the ShoR button, you expend three Holy Power and strike out with your shield. As on live, ShoR can be dodged/parried/missed, and if it does the Holy Power you expended disappears into the ether.

We’ve been playing tennis with concerns over ShoR, and Holy Shield, and Holy Power since the inception of the HoPo apparatus. Then we finally hit a plateau where the 15% block was the only degree of Holy Shield available, no matter how much Holy Power you expended. And that’s great. But, considering ShoR is designed to be a huge portion of our single target threat, the fact that it can miss and then you lose 13 seconds of HoPo accumulation… that’s a huge deal.

Conversely, if a Ret Paladin misses with Templar’s Verdict or Divine Storm they only lose one Holy Power. Much better design. Needs to apply to ShoR as well.

ShoR being avoided should carry some sort of penalty, if only to give a reason to carry hit or expertise, eh? ShoR first becoming avoidable in 3.3 was what began to make Paladins start favoring expertise. I suspect this will carry on into the future.

I’ll play the optimism card here as well: I think this will change, and the penalty will be one Holy Power like Ret currently “suffers”.

4. Quality of life things that will never be fixed

This is the point where I approach the closest thing I can muster to despair. I don’t think, especially at this juncture, we’ll ever get an off-GCD, short cooldown interrupt or any kind of gap closer. Cataclysm was the perfect chance for these niceties to be implemented for Prot, and I suspect that the opportunity will pass untaken. It’s not upsetting, but it is disappointing.

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September 13, 2010