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Tale of Tatia

Tatia is my level 70 Draenei Paladin. She started life as Protection. I found that tanking was more stressful (particularlly because I wasn’t doing well at it) so I switched her to healing. At the time Retribution was still a joke.

Tatia was my sole 70 for a very long time.. until West Kingdom had a glut of healers. That was when I decided I wanted a DPS toon. I started playing Lilac and found Warlocking very fun. Lilac is now my main.

I think I firmly fall in the “burnt out from healing” group of healers. It’s not even the fact that every time I logged in I was expected to play Tatia and to heal whatever group was going where ever.. regardless of how little I needed the gear/badges or how much I hated the instance. After a while it really just became all the same thing. Every fight was little heal, little heal, big heal, little heal, little heal, cleanse. All the cool artwork or boss fights in all the instances were reduced to staring at GRID. Add to that, I started doing instances with Shadow Warlords.. and I was no longer topping the heal charts (I was below their gear level.. and had a different theory of healing). I’m not saying I -have- to be number one.. but it’s nice to be there occasionally.

DPS is easy to measure.. if I’m doing the most damage I can do, without pulling aggro, I win. If I want to improve, I need to do more damage.
Healing is hard to measure… it’s just not satisfying to say “if my healing target doesn’t die, I win”. That doesn’t address the right heal at the right time.. minimizing overheal while maximizing the value of every bit of my mana. There’s alot of difference between: “The tank didn’t die, but I was chewing nails since I ran out of mana at 40% and ran on fumes for the rest of the fight” and “The tank didn’t die and I maintained 40% mana through most of the fight”.

Someday I actually want to level Tatia. I’m bothered that Blizzard’s answer to “Holy is hard to level” is “well spec Retribution instead”. It doesn’t make me hopeful about Holy’s soloing/farming ability after leveling.

For a while because of the Ret nerf I’ve been feeling as if Tatia had the stuffing knocked out of her. Going back to Holy Paladin DPS from Warlock DPS just makes me frustrated. Well it’s not just that. None of the new Holy talents really thrilled me. Frankly, until you start running 10-25 mans I’m not sure I see the benefit of specing deep Holy. Also, specing Holy/Ret gives you access to a godly amount of crit chance.. and if you have the excess points to spend, a CC and possibly a mana return. I just don’t see anything as good as that in Holy.

It makes me sad and frustrated to say that it looks like Ret is a better healer than Holy. And I’m a little bit anxious about fully committing and leveling as Ret. I don’t -get- Ret. I guess I’m just in a full state of confusion.

Do I go hybrid Holy/Ret and gear Ret for leveling and Holy for instancing?
Do I go deep Ret and just thumb my nose at healing for a while?
Do I go deep holy and just pray that the incoming buff to Holy DPS will be enough?

Or do I skip it all and just play a nice easy class.. something like.. my hunter (though I have this tingly feeling telling me Hunters are headed for a hard nerf).

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7 comments to Tale of Tatia

  • I’m levelling my paladin whenever my wife doesn’t feel like playing (or falls asleep), and I have to say the ret “nerf” is completely insignificant. My pally was holy all throughout TBC as I created him to be my healer, so he had almost no ret gear besides 2 pieces of the undead slaying gear from the scourge invasion and 2 pieces of season 3 gear that I bought with my leftover arena points. His weapon was a <90 dps blue axe from some old quests.

    In Northrend, he kills everything with 3 button presses. If nothing crits (incredibly rare), just wait for 1 more auto-attack and the mobs will be in HoW range and that definitely kills them, or judgement will come off cooldown. With Art of War, GotN and Lifeblood, he never gets low and mana is completely not an issue. I didn’t even train Divine Plea when I got it and I never missed it.

    With regards to healing instances, though I haven’t done it myself I think you are right that Ret can heal perfectly fine. Not so much that Holy is gimped, I think there’s some good stuff in there that would become really useful in heroics or raids. But the regular 5-mans are so brain dead easy that if you have decent gear, which I think you do, there should be no difficulty whatsoever. My wife falls asleep healing my feral druid in instances as either her elemental shaman or balance druid.

    So don’t believe the wave of silly nay-sayers about paladins, try going ret to level. It’s pretty fun, and it’s really easy too (you could just put Judgement, Crusader Strike and Divine Storm on your bar and /faceroll and still kill all the elites and 2-3 man group quest mobs). If you still intend to heal, there’s plenty of opportunity to switch back to holy at higher levels since you won’t be getting any holy gear upgrades until after 75 at least, or the dual-spec feature might come in.

    pockies last blog post..WotLK so far… Borean > Howling

  • Lazz

    I’ve been holy my for most of my paladin’s career, and loved every minute of it. But with the soul-crushing nerfs to holy dps, I couldn’t bear to level him holy, so, minutes before taking ship for Northrend, I went Ret. As Pockie said, Ret turned my healy pally into a killing machine for quests. Whenever my group of friends wanted to try an instance, I slapped on my holy gear and healed it. Easily. Often 3 or 4 levels below the recommended level for the instance.

    At 78, I’ve stopped upgrading my Ret set as I’m respecing Holy the second I hit 80. But it’s been fun, and I’ll probably dust my Ret pieces off come the third Expansion.

    Truely, Ret’s the way to go for leveling.

  • On the grind to 80, which btw will happen tonight, I spec’d retribution…and have had the time of my life!! I went deep ret the whole time too. I didn’t have the gear, and probably still don’t, for ret, but I do fairly well. The best part is pulling multiple mobs and wiping them out together.

    Basically, I cast Seal of Wisdom and judge a mob. My mana pool sucks at under 6000 so I have to do this to be able to grind mobs or I’m sitting and drinking after every pull. I did the kill 60 game for Nesingwary in about 15 min and only because I had to search for game at times. As Holy that would have taken hours.

    I highly recommend going ret for leveling. Even with new green gear it was better than trying it with tier 5 holy. I never played ret before or even had gear to attempt it, so I don’t know how bad it was before and how good it got in the beta. As such, I’m pretty happy about it and had fun so I’m definitely going to get me a ret set someday.

    As for healing, I must be odd. I like pally healing. Everyone says it’s spam, spam, spam, but I beg to differ. Every toon is like that imo. It’s just a rotation. What makes it fun is reaction and split-second decision making. Stuff happens. Who do you heal? Who do you let die? Where do I run to? What’s the next healer going to do? Do I Cleanse or let it run its course? Can I afford to let the tank take more damage while I heal our most critical DPS? Who is our most critical DPS?

    It’s that stuff that makes it fun for me. It’s also that stuff that drives some people crazy and so they hate healing. To each their own.

    kyrileans last blog post..Royal Decree: Heroes With No Abilities Act

  • Dorgol (Boulderfist)

    My Paladin was Holy pretty much from creation until the day S4 started. At that point I blew 65k honor and bought a full set of S2 Retribution gear.

    I’m never going back to Holy as a primary spec.
    I don’t CARE that I leveled 1-70 as Prot / Holy.
    I don’t CARE that I spent the last two years as Holy.

    I’ll go Protection again, because it’s fun and actually involves me getting in my enemies faces. But if I ever feel the desire to heal an instance in the future, it will be with my newly minted (and shit geared) 70 druid. At least HE can spec Balance and use most of his healing gear for soloing.

  • Belck

    My Paladin isn’t a healer but is a prot tank (I leveled 1-70 as prot and am lvling 70-80 as prot as well).

    I did some testing post 3.0 with the three different specs. I found that my dps was very close in all three specs in the same gear. I think that’s the important part “in the same gear”.

    I run with a hybrid gear set (when I am not taking an instance) that is a mix of tank gear (+stam +str), Holy gear (+int +mp5) and ret gear (+stam +int +crit). At the moment, at lvl 77, my HP is around 12K and my mana is just under 10K. My AP is just over a 1K but my SP is around 600. I regularly have between 600 dps and 1K dps when running quests.

    When I respec’d around I noticed that in all specs I chewed through mobs. I did seem to have less buttons to press in holy but it was fun and enjoyable for the brief time I did dailies with it, but I missed my HoR and AS too much :) both are much more “fun ” than Divine Storm in my opinion. That big bell/clang noise is once of the best sound effects in the game. :)

  • gt

    Ret might be fastest but this is my personal experience:

    I leveled 51/0/20 holycritspec on my Healadin and it wasn’t bad really. 40ft judgements allowed me to snipe a lot of mobs and just pull them into consecrate. The dps doesn’t feel bad when you have 6 mobs trying to kill you. The key was always AoE killing things whenever I could to ramp up the dps with consecrate and aura of retribution. Undead areas are a bonus with Holy Wrath.

    Also I ran a lot of non-80 dungeons and some of the lvl 80 dungeons before I hit 80.

    If you want to level Holy, I think you should try building up some rest, logging on to heal when their are lowbie groups for your guild going, or try using zones you didn’t really clear out on your Warlock. A lot of the great quest lines (especially Storm Peaks) kept me motivated till the last ding. Also there are quite a few decent healadin plate pieces with a lot of crit.

    Do you like battleground healing? You can enjoy Wintergrasp!

  • Jellodyne

    Listen, as a Holy pally since level 10, I have NEVER, EVER had the solo grinding effectiveness I have now, as Holy, in healing gear in Northrend.

    The +heal=+dmg that Spellpower is has been aces from the start. Keep up Seal of Wisdom, judge Judgment of Wisdom, consecrate on cooldown, never run out of mana. Seriously, consecrate gives me mana with both of the Wisdoms in effect. So does pretty much everything else. Use your weak little shield bash when you’re waiting for a GCD (not much damage but its pretty much guaranteed somewhere from 50 to 550 mana positive.

    With the right spec our judgments now have 40 yard range. This alone is a is HUGE boon for Holy Paladins. I CAN HAS RANGE PULL?! And the revised pushback mechanics mean we can stand in the middle of a crowd of nasties and heal ourselves all day.

    Maybe Ret grinds a little better (and really, whats new?), but Holy groups better, and its definitely never been a better time to level holy.