Feedback: Paladins

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Paladins in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

The War Within Beta

All classes’ Hero Talent trees are available for testing. Please keep in mind that this is a Beta environment:

  • There may be UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI).
  • Some new spell visuals and audio may still be a work in progress.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus at this time:

  • Finish work on changes to talents, especially wherever Hero Talents still need adjustments.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

Working from Feedback

Alpha feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Now that we are entering Beta, our focus on Hero Talent trees is shifting away from reworks and design changes and towards tuning and refining. We want to thank you so much for all the forum posts, videos, and discussions all over the internet. Your feedback and impressions have been invaluable for bringing their identities to life and making them fit into what you love about the classes you play.

We are looking forward to hearing from more of you as you get a chance to try Hero Talents for yourself. We are specifically interested in feedback or impressions on these topics:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree. This could be due to damage profile, utility, defensives, or something else.
  • Hero Talent trees that you feel are either too strong or too weak in power level compared to other options.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.
  • Hero Talent choice nodes that you feel could offer more meaningful choices.

Again, Thank You

Feedback throughout the Alpha test was highly impactful on our design of the game, and we look forward to refining every class with you in the Beta. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

4 Likes

Im afraid that the mini rework Protection paladin received in 10.0.7 and its current popularity (second to VDH) is the reason why there has been little to no changes done to the spec. “If it aint broke dont fix it”. The silence regarding Prot Pally is deafening.

There are many issues within both spec and class trees and i wrote a detailed doc

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IY0b3EfQ3gAjod-lBw4YFvjB5EH-EDS31fxARNdXk6M

on what I personally would like to see in The War Within.

The change to Sanctuary talent is a welcome change but it feels like duct tape more than anything.

7 Likes

Happy to be in the beta! I’m going to start off this thread with a plea to Blizzard - it’s not too late to fix Holy Paladin! There are so many things that we have gained and lost over the years to the point that now the fun-factor is nearly gone. With that in mind, I’m going to talk about my experience with Holy from a fun factor perspective. Numbers can be fixed, of course, but if it’s not fun, then what’s the point?

Here are the problems that I see completely unaddressed:

  • Damage: Holy Paladin damage is far too low. I get the need to cut down on “passive” damage, to a certain extent… but nerfing our active abilities into the ground is not the way to do so. If I want to cast an offensive Holy Shock (wasting the healing output in the process), I should be rewarded with a respectable amount of damage. Furthermore, I should be able to enjoy solo / world content as Holy, without feeling as if I have to repsect to Retribution.
  • Two Handed Weapons: Blizzard, do you want Holy Paladins to be able to use two handed weapons? If so, you need to give us an AoE damage spender that works with a two-hander, because SOTR does not. This is now the third expansion that we’ve had this problem…
  • Caster vs Melee: There’s a disunity between the caster plastyle and the melee playstyle. Please work on refining the talent tree to make both builds distinct and viable. Additionally, the caster build NEEDS some sort of ranged damage dealer. Why not bring back Denounce in its original form?
  • Shield of the Righteous: This ability was much more fun when it was off the GCD. Please consider restoring it to its previous form, even if that means a nerf to its damage. Again, this is in the name of FUN FACTOR.
  • Overcapping Holy Power: Having Crusader Strike being a 2HP generating ability - when talented - has always felt clunky. It makes it far too easy to cap on Holy Power + keep track of your resource generation. I much preferred the “feel” of CS back when it was a 1HP-generator with 2 charges.
  • Infusion of Light: The current iteration… is terrible. The problem is that’s it’s completely non-interactive for melee builds; buffing a judgement, which we’re going to be casting anyway… well, it’s boring. What I would suggest is bring back fast-cast Infusions of Lights; where it reduces the cast time of your next Flash of Light or Holy Light. Yes, we’re still not going to use it often… but you better believe we’re going to use it in “oh crap” moments, where we need to help up an ally, and fast.
  • Light of the Martyr: I never liked the Maraad’s builds, but I always liked Light of the Martyr as a nice ability in my toolkit. It was neat, thematic, and very useful when needing to spot-heal quickly, on the move. I’d say, make this ability baseline, but remove the talents that pressure people to build around it. What you’re planning to, with all the healing absorbs or w/e… that is a bad choice. You might consider adding a cooldown to it (since it’s not fun to spam cast) but also give it an “execute” mechanic, where it does double healing on folks below 30% health or something. You’re literally sacrificing your health to heal someone else, why not make it feel more impactful?
  • Blessing of the Seasons: Why is this still a thing? It has never been fun to use. Just remove it already.
  • Beacon of Light: This is an iconic spell to our spec, and I cannot fathom why it has been nerfed to the level it has. A 25% healing duplication is tolerable, but 15%? That’s insanity. What is the problem you’re trying to solve here? Talk to us, please.

On the topic of the hero talents… I need time to mess around with these, but my first impression is that - across the board - you are OVER-COMPLICATING specs. The dragonflight talent trees have an amazing balance of fun, complexity, and choice (in most cases)… and I believe in TWW this will be lost.

22 Likes

The following is feedback concerning Holy Paladin. This is a very long post already, so I’ll avoid wasting time on lengthy introductions and get right into it.

Holy Paladin received a substantial rework in Dragonflight, during a .5 patch, and was significantly overpowered on release. Unfortunately, this had the effect of disguising intrinsic flaws in its new design, flaws that week after week and month after month of subsequent nerfs have since laid bare.

Holy Power

Holy Power has ended up in a weird spot in the latter half of Dragonflight, with certain builds de-emphasizing it almost entirely. This comes down to the delicate balance Holy Power exists in with HPal’s other resources, such as holy shock, infusion of light, and, notably, the global cooldown.

The initial buffs to holy power spenders (HoPo, affectionately,) that we have seen on the alpha, as well as further buffs in the Hero Trees, especially Herald of the Sun, certainly seem sufficient to eliminate the “NoPo” or “LowPo” builds for the moment. We will almost certainly want to spend holy power in The War Within. But the issue may return again, subject to further tuning, talent changes, and tier set design.

More lasting solutions to this could be found in the spec’s history, but also in the design of other paladin specialisations. In mists of pandaria, holy power worked more like combo points, with your spenders consuming anywhere between 1 and 5 holy power. Retribution paladin in Dragonflight also has a talent that makes its spenders stronger, but now cost 4 holy power instead of 3.

Notably, the increase in cost is not commensurate with the increase in power. However, this talent has still seen play because while it represents a reduction in damage per holy power, you benefit from that damage in less gcds. Because the ratio of power between ret’s builders and its spenders is relatively close, and because it is also gcd locked in (parts of) its rotation, the trade-off can be worth it. Both of those things are also true for Holy, and so I believe a talent like this would be a great fit for paladin’s healer specialisation. It would exist as a simple switch that players could toggle any time holy’s resource economy leans one way or another, reducing the need for constant iterative buffs and nerfs to keep up with minor fluctuations in the spec’s priorities.

Infusion of Light, Inflorescence of the Sunwell, and Imbued Infusions

Now we must talk about the other side of that resource economy. I feel that the two stacks of Infusion of Light granted by Inflo currently has the effect of smothering the rotation. I acknowledge this might feel different at lower crit ratings at the start of a new expansion, though. Inflo is an incredibly powerful talent for our mana economy too, one that we currently can scarcely play without. I think that Inflo needs to be adjusted in a number of ways, if not removed, but if it is, it’s important that our mana economy is adjusted to compensate for these changes, too.

Imbued Infusions is a primary contributor to this problem, as it incentivises spending infusions constantly even when flash of light itself will mostly overheal. Flash of Light has received nerfs going into The War Within, which might appear like a move away from a casting-heavy playstyle, but with holy shock being buffed in turn this simply shifts the value of flash of light even more in favor of what it does for the rotation, rather than its actual healing.

In general I think that casting should make up a smaller % of paladin’s rotation, but should also feel more impactful when we choose to do so. Having less infusions, and shifting the focus of infusions back to buffing the cast itself, rather than driving some other aspect of the rotation, would provide better feedback on the additional “work” of having to hard cast the spell. I am quite happy to cast a flash of light every now and then if it will do life-saving healing. I would rather not cast it 8 times a minute simply so that I can press more holy shocks.

To clarify, I do not think Holy Paladin should ever be split into a casting and a not-casting playstyle. All paladins should cast some of the time, infusions should always be something you want to spend. How often you cast, how many infusions you gain, and the strength of both of those things should be something smoothly adjustable on a sliding scale within the talent tree, but even the extreme casting-end of that scale should probably cast less often than we do now. Too many casts and you hit a point where it becomes incompatible with the needs of playing in melee.

I think its worth considering an alternative design for Imbued Infusions if the talent is to remain, potentially something where consuming infusions maintains a buff that causes Holy Shock to cooldown quicker. This would allow infusions to retain their rotational importance, without the requirement of spamming flash of light to consume all of them, regardless of current healing requirement. It would also ease some of the negative impact of Inflorescence of the Sunwell on the rotation, and reduce the synergy between the two talents to a spot where other alternatives might more meaningfully compete. As a bonus, the risk of ‘overcapping’ holy shock charges would be largely removed.

Addendum: while the 05/29 changes to the way Holy Light interacts with infusion are, I feel, a positive for the spec, especially with regards to making infusions feel impactful, they risk exacerbating much of the above by replacing Flash of Light in the rotation with an even longer cast time spell. I believe that changes to Imbued Infusions are even more necessary in light of this new direction. With Holy Light being such a powerful heal, I strongly believe that the best place for it in the rotation is as just that and only that: an ability we use when we are in need of a large amount of healing.

Beacon of Virtue / Beacon of Faith

I’ll be upfront and say that I don’t enjoy Beacon of Virtue. I’m not a fan of abilities being on the gcd which do no damage or healing directly. These ‘set up gcds’ more often than not choke up a roation and lead to it feeling slow and unresponsive. Holy Paladin has far too many of these gcds, others of which I’ll get into later.

That aside, Beacon of Virtue has become far too strong relative to the alternative and has negatively impacted the tuning of the rest of paladin’s kit. I’m happy to see this being partially addressed in the nerfs to Beacon healing in the war within, but also think more could be done. I think the 30% reduction in effectiveness on Beacon of Faith has outlived its necessity, especially with this node being functionally mandatory to reach Daybreak, and “single beacon” no longer being a playstyle that really exists.

In my mind, Virtue and Faith should offer a choice between burst healing and a more sustained healing profile. The node fails to live up to this ideal when Virtue is tuned so strongly as to be the correct choice in Virtue-ally (hah!) all situations.

I’d also like to see the positioning of this node rethought, as it has little intuitively to do with the Daybreak node which it leads into.

Light of the Martyr

I’m tentatively positive about the “rework” of Light of the Martyr, but I think its worth pointing out that a 20% buff to holy shock in exchange for a heal absorb for 30% of its healing is a net nerf. That doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, stronger spot healing can be worth that kind of trade-off, but even with this talent I would never be tempted to call Holy Shock a “strong spot heal.” Consider as well how much worse this gets in any scenario with significant overhealing. The heal absorb from this talent is calculated off the raw healing, same as the old Light of the Martyr’s recoil. This becomes even more significant with the new design, as Holy Shock is an ability we are incentivized to cast regardless of current healing requirements in order to apply glimmers and set up for Daybreak combos. This will lead to a lot of situations where the additional healing from this talent is contributing nothing, while we are still paying the price for taking it.

At the very least I think this needs to work off effective healing, rather than raw throughput, if it doesn’t already. There should probably also be a cap on the size of the heal absorb, as talents like Blessing of An’she and Power of the Silver Hand open up the possibility of proccing a very large heal absorb on yourself at unexpected moments.

I would have liked it if some version of Maraad’s Dying Breath could have been made to work with this redesign, as its a talent I personally love and am sad to see gone. There are now two talents that proc a large buff to Holy Shock, mentioned just above, but both are completely rng. Something more deterministic would be appreciated.

For lack of anywhere else to mention this, if no Maraad’s node is planned, I think pathing should exist between Bestow Light and Reclamation. The talents are thematically linked, and if you’re playing one you’re likely to want to play the other. There’s no need to enforce taking Tyr’s Deliverance the way the current pathing does.

I do anticipate there being some issues with how this set of talents interacts with Beacon of Virtue specifically, especially in an m+ environment where the paladin will always be the target of one of the beacons, to the point the two talents feel almost mutually exclusive. Maybe that’s intended?

Mana management and Daybreak

I like the idea behind Daybreak, but feel it fails to live up to the gameplay it seems to promise. It reads like a trade off, you sacrifice your active glimmers, potential future healing, for an immediate return of upfront healing and mana. That design suggests that some level of decision making should be involved, but this is not how it plays out in practice. In reality, you press the spell nearly on cooldown, and because Divine Toll shares the same cooldown you immediately replenish the glimmers you sacrificed. If you don’t press the spell on cooldown, you fall behind the mana curve the spec is being balanced around. There’s no decision making, no trade-off, no real mana management. Holy Paladin’s mana economy remains as linear as ever, with almost no agency over it beyond “just stop casting.”

A (much) more minor gripe I have is with Rising Sunlight, which contributes a lot of the burst in this combo, but sometimes you just get unlucky with holy shock resets and don’t actually have the charges to send all 3 shocks in the window you actually want them in. I worry that rising sunlight in particular may also be negatively effecting the baseline tuning of holy shock.

I think there’s room to iterate on the Daybreak / Divine Toll / Glimmer loop. I really like the idea of a version of Daybreak without a cooldown, that just becomes castable any time you have 5+ Glimmers out. Could take it even further and remove Divine Toll’s cooldown when you’re specced into Daybreak too, and just have it be something you charge up by consuming a certain number of Glimmer of Lights. Idk, you know? Not a game designer, just think there are cooler possibilities here than are currently being explored.

Tyr’s Deliverance

I’d like to see Tyr’s Deliverance reimagined or removed. I think that Tyr’s gameplay, which encourages casting on specific people to extend the buff, is unfun and feels in conflict with the natural desire to prioritize low health targets, and a real low point of the rotation at the moment is having to cast Tyr’s Deliverance and Hand of Deliverance back to back. My feeling is that if two cooldowns are always used together they could probably stand to be reworked into one cooldown. Tyr’s as a shorter window which enhances casting for the duration in some other way is something I could get behind. Something strong, but also situational, requiring more plant-and-cast than standard gameplay. If it’s to remain otherwise unchanged, I’d rather it was just passive, without the extension gameplay.

On a more general tuning note, despite feeling unimpactful in the type of healing it does, Tyr’s still does a lot of healing, which makes it virtually impossible to pass up, even for builds that aren’t looking to cast all that much.

Blessing of Summer

Pros:

Autumn is interesting. Cooldowns being more flexible is fun. Self-casting Autumn is nice as a default, but its not so powerful that you feel bad about giving it away when it enables some important aspect of raid strategy. Maybe the gold-standard for support effects, honestly.

It’s difficult to know what to write about Blessing of Summer given that it is being redesigned for the War Within. It will effectively be an external nature’s vigil. No longer tying our personal damage to a DPS’s performance is a big positive for this change. Though the optimal target will ultimately come down to class tuning and personal performance, the fact that the possibility at least exists that if you are the strongest healer in your raid then you are also the best target for Summer is another positive. The additional option of using the spell for more healing in a tough spot is a nice bit of flexibility. A cap on this effect is mentioned in the blue post, I hope this is considerate not just of converting aoe damage to healing, but also of healing-to-dps scenarios like casting this ability on an Evoker during a full-raid Lifebind / Emerald Communion ramp, as it would be a shame to see the ability tuned around this kind of outlier. I’m cautiously optimistic, but can say with certainty that I like this better than the old design, which I guess puts this in the ‘pro’ column.

Cons:

Unfortunately, I think Blessing of Winter just ends up being an empty global our mana gets tuned around. I would feel more favorably about it if our sustain proved good enough in the war within that we can seriously consider giving it to other healers, but it’s still not interesting.

I don’t have much to say about Spring. It’s a bit boring as a flat healing increase, but its strong, at least when it actually lines up at a desirable time. I might like it more if passing it off to another healer, often the correct strategic choice, didn’t reflect on me as personal throughput loss. You’ve got that aug evoker loghook tech, would be good to see it put to use in other areas of the game.

The greater problems with Seasons come down not to the individual effects, but how the spell as a whole fits into and impacts the rest of the rotation. Seasons being on gcd is very uncomfortable on such a global-heavy spec. 4 gcds per 3 minutes is a large commitment of inputs with no direct, immediate feedback, for effects that, much of the time, are not even benefitting our gameplay directly. Blessing of Seasons most often feels like a chore, something which intrudes upon what I actually want to be doing. Between Seasons, Blessing of Virtue, and, potentially, Lightsmith, Holy Paladin has a lot of on-gcd set up we have to do, buttons which do no, or very little, healing at the time we press them, but which we still have to get out of the way to do our healing. I would greatly like to see this number reduced.

Where support gameplay is made a part of healer specs, the aim should be to make it as unintrusive as possible. Power Infusion is off the gcd, blessing of seasons should be as well, if it continues to exist. With regards to Power Infusion, I think Blessing of Seasons would also benefit greatly in terms of enjoyment if it had a Twins of the Sun Priestess style effect at no additional talent point cost. The spell’s positioning in the tree is problematic, too. If Power Infusion or Twins were included in the capstone tier of specialisation trees, priests would riot. For this reason I think if the spell is to remain it could be located higher in the tree, or even in the class tree (you have already proven willing to put spec-locked abilities there), where it feels less burdensome to take it, and where it competes with less personal throughput.

Ultimately, whatever fun the ability provides just does not feel commensurate with the effort required to play with it, and resolving the jank may not be a hill worth dying on. I think few would be upset by its total removal. If it’s to remain in the game it should be substantially streamlined. Fewer abilities, off gcd, effects mirrored on the caster, and a faster rotation which better harmonizes with the underlying frequencies of the game would all be good places to start. The ability is only 2 expansions old, we need not be married to its current design. There is plenty of room to iterate.

Devotion Aura, Ret Aura, Holy Paladin tuning and optimal raid comps

With the addition of retribution aura, paladin is now the only class in the game that brings two ‘ mandatory’ raid buffs, requiring two paladins in every raid to form an optimal raid composition. This is silly, obviously.

There is also a common community perception that holy paladin is being tuned around Devotion aura, a raid buff that any paladin spec can bring. This is a tax that no other raid buff bringing spec seems to have to pay.

Neither of these situations are desirable, and removing devotion aura is the simplest method to resolving both of them. Retribution aura is sufficient to guarantee at least one paladin a spot in the raid. Without devotion aura and the requirement to fit two paladins into every raid comp, we might finally see a shift away from holy paladin as a permanent fixture of cutting edge content, and the balance team can get back to tuning holy paladin as they would any other healer, without the anchor around its neck that is devo aura and its decades-spanning reserved spot in world first kills.

A few notes on hero talents

I am posting this feedback relatively early, so the following are mostly just preliminary reactions.

Herald of the Sun

Phenomenal tree. Some notes. I think Dawnlight would feel better if it did not trigger from Light of Dawn. This would give more control over its application, and also, the possibility of actually playing around talents like Morning Star or Gleaming Rays. Currently it would be impossible to maximise uptime on Gleaming Rays without just not spending holy power, which defeats the entire point. Morning Star will just be a medium buff to your first Dawnlight and then a much smaller or non-existent buff to your second.

The design of Eternal Flame, while historic, seems poorly considered for the current needs of the game. Twenty seconds is a very long duration, for a not so substantial heal. I don’t totally get the thinking here.

Currently, consuming Awakening to gain 12 seconds of Avenging Wrath is not triggering the effects of Sun’s Avatar if an instance of Avenging Wrath is already active. This should obviously be fixed, but while you’re at it, it has been the case for years that triggering Awakening during Avenging Wrath extends AW, but pressing Avenging Wrath during Awakening simply overwrites the current AW duration and resets it to 20s. I would love to see this finally addressed and the behaviour made consistent & symmetrical.

Lightsmith

Holy Armaments has all the same gameplay problems as Blessing of Seasons, and I’m disappointed to see this kind of design being doubled down on in the war within. It’s just more gcds with poor direct feedback. Lightsmith is so similar to what has come before, in fact, that Blessing of Summer had to be redesigned because Sacred Weapon was doing basically the same thing. Holy Bulwark reads like a copy paste of Barrier of Faith, minus the things that make barrier of faith interact with the rest of our kit.

There’s just nothing in this tree that interests or excites me. It adds more chore gcds to the spec I’ll never feel excited about pressing. If you want some implementable feedback: make holy armaments feel good when you press the button.

It’s so over

Thanks for reading this far. This isn’t comprehensive, despite how long it is, but I’ve tried to focus on points I haven’t seen brought up as much in discords and youtube comment sections and so on.

o7

15 Likes

The removal of Crusader’s Reprieve is understandable with the desire to rein in the range of abilities. However, we also lost the self-heal from it. In pure ST we have no self-sustain out of using a global for a weak heal, or talenting into Golden Path. If the heal was too much for Prot and Holy consider baking it into one of the talents in the ret tree.

12 Likes

Some quick thoughts.

Holy in General: For the first time in months it actually feels good to play. Don’t know how it’ll actually perform though, but it at the very least it didn’t feel like spec was actively fighting against me.

Ret: Templar is mechanically very boring. Not much gameplay changes with it. But I feel that’s the intention because by the Light, does Hammer of Light feel sooo satisfying to press.

When I have time tomorrow I’ll try and look into the specs in as much depth as a casual bum like me can, but so far at the very least I actually enjoy how both my primary trees feel to play, which I haven’t been able to say in months.

3 Likes

Let’s talk holy prism for a second - does anyone actually find this ability fun? I’m frustrated to see that the “Herald of the Sun” tree is designed around it.

6 Likes

A couple of Retribution notes real fast:

  1. Currently playing Radiant Glory (the wings on wake of ashes) feels terrible when you play Crusade. You end up spending most of the time within your burst cd stacking.
  2. In conjunction with #1, divine purpose procs don’t count toward Crusade stacks. This causes a problem, especially since Herald of the Sun gives a divine purpose proc after wake of ashes, effectively creating a dead GCD. It will feel really bad having to cancelaura divine purpose to ensure we get more Crusade stacks.
  3. The Eternal Flame heal over time effect is extremely underwhelming for Retribution. 10k healing every 2 seconds on a 7 million health pool. Eternal Flame may as well not exist for Ret.
  4. On the Templar tree, getting a Shield of Vengeance for 200k on a 7 mil health pool when you use wake of ashes may as eell not exist.

On a positive note, Dawnlight makes Herald of the Sun feel great to play. The added haste makes Ret feel very quick and fluid during cds.

EDIT: Dawnlight no longer feels great for Herald of the Sun, particularly with Radiant Glory and Crusade. Before the changes, the high degree of haste made stacking Crusade easy. Now, without the added haste due to the Dawnlight changes and less Solar Grace stacks, most of the time under Crusade with RG is spent stacking the buff. Easiest fix is to revert the number of dawnlights change or ensure divine purpose gives Crusade credit.

6 Likes

Fundamentally, I just don’t enjoy the way holy plays and is designed right now. It just has too many cooldowns/buttons and weird tuning decisions. Cut some cooldowns and buttons (like hand of divinity, daybreak, tyr’s deliverance, holy prism/barrier of faith) and buff holy shock, spenders and avenging wrath to be the stars of the show.

tldr: too many buttons, too much power in too many cooldowns, not enough base power

13 Likes

hello, i just want to say as per usual. thank you for allowing us to share feedback regarding paladin in general in this upcoming expansion. i hope the feedback posted in this beta cycle will be applied into the class as a whole like how alot of feedback was applied to the class in dragonflight beta and the paladin reworks. however a concern for future expansions, i hope you dont include beta access if you preorder the expansion again, its been a rather hectic day within the community. i hope this thread will remain on topic as this beta cycle unfolds, i pray that feedback doesnt get eclipsed.

there will be a multiple replies each detailing

paladin in general
ret in general
templar and herald

paladin as a whole
this segment will be relatively short since im quite happy with how the class tree is laid out, and im not very well versed in prot and holy. so for prot and holy ill just echo common feedback and points of interest that ive heard in the community

the class tree

  1. hammer of wrath needs to be buffed and blessing of anshe nerfed to make it net neutral. OR blade of justice needs to get nerfed( more on this on spec tree feedbackpost) hammer of wrath for templar is to weak and its fighting for priority with boj during our wing window.

  2. greater judgement flood, we shouldnt have so many ways to apply greater judgement, it would be nice to once again limit it to direct judgement casts to give meaning to the debuff for spenders

  3. nerf generators and buff spenders, this will give holy power meaning as a resource and introduce a skill c eiling to safely tune to spec. not making it op for lower end if you buff it for high end underperformance

  4. improved blessing of protection should be baseline, alot of other class trees are getting these types of talents pruned out, i see no reason for this to stay. i suggest putting unbound freedom in its place instead

  5. i still find it very strange design wise, that we’re able to grab divine purpose and all 3 capstones. we shouldnt be allowed to do this.

  6. buff divine purpose, personally i dont care about it, but its very liked within the community and they would like to see it buffed back to 15%

  7. change seal of order, its a very strange ability that only serves to desync alot of abilities for ret holy and prot as a whole. perhaps make it effect our blessings instead of our generators so the choice node can be defensive vs utility. instead of defensive vs throughput

  8. or remove blessing of dusk and dawn and replace it with seraphim to give ret a burst niche again

again alot of these are nitpicks since im very happy with the overal layout of the class tree. ill add more things as time goes on but overal its a very solid tree

prot

  1. give avenging shield its hopo generation back but reduce all hopo generation across the board to make sotr have a lower uptime 50%, buff defensives where needed
  1. give less power to consecration DR and retune defensives where needed to compensate
  2. give seraphim back as a way for prot to spend more hopo
  3. make wog cost no mana (again im fine with the change but people want wog to cost no mana) but make it only useable on the prot paladin to prevent 4dps 1 tank m+ comps

holy

  1. make spenders actually worth press
  2. relocate damage from blessing of summer back to the holy kit
  3. make holy shock heal more than just be a dot applier

again ill post larger feedback posts for ret and its hero trees when i actually get a chance to play with the spec in beta longer

3 Likes

real talk I’m all about that 2h holy too. hot take I think pala should’ve focused on 2h since vanilla. The icon is a giant hammer. And Warcraft 3 pallys and heroes all run around with 2h hammers. 2/3 shield specs? Nah son…. Nah

6 Likes

Jumping back in for some more feedback, this time for holy and it’s an old one.

Playing glimmers to try and get mana back feels very bad. Trying to keep 5+ up when you can only cast 2 at a time shouldn’t be this annoying but it is. I’m not sure how this is fun gameplay, if anyone else has any opinion please let me know.

Daybreak being a cooldown to trigger glimmers for some a needed burst of healing is fine, but the mana return should be attached to something else that is more consistent.

Why not attack it to say, Judgement (i’m trying really hard not to suggest adding another button).

4 Likes

I’d implore you to make an exception for Lightsmith, because this concept just feels really, really bad to play with. There’s been a lot of feedback already given on the topic, so I’m not particularly inclined to put up a blog post that’d rehash what’s already been said, but outside of being absolutely overpowered, it may as well not exist. And if it IS ridiculously overpowered, that might even be worse.

11 Likes

This feedback is tailored primarily to Retribution. Overall, there have been some major positive changes heading into the War Within.

Mastery Change

  • Overall a positive shift towards parity and scaling with stats
  • Three talents in the spec tree seem to be a band-aid to further empower mastery.
    Boundless Judgment, Highlord’s Wrath, and Adjudication
    They read as required to get the most benefit from your mastery
  • Without external resources, it isn’t clear about the net power levels granted by these talents.

Class Tree

  • It is difficult to balance having a tank/healer/dps in a class tree, the end result of this is having Retribution play cookie cutter build the majority of the time.
  • Some of this limited choice is driven by double point nodes (ex. Holy Aegis, Sanctified Plates, Seal of Might, Seal of Alacrity, Seal of the Crusader). That is a whopping 10 points on required talents.
    Changing some or all of these nodes to 1 points nodes, would go a long way.
  • The removal of the range of Crusader’s Reprieve aligns with your overall goal for the expansion, but it also removed some passive healing through Crusader Strike (or equivalent). It wasn’t a major amount of healing, but it is missed.
  • Capstone talent choices don’t provide much choice.
    Seal of Order is the de facto choice.
    Divine Resonance is always taken since Quickened Invocation desyncs Divine Toll.

Spec Tree (Retribution)
Positives

  • Judge, Jury, & Executioner offers a much needed cleave talent choice
  • Radiant Glory offers a great deal of flexibility in dungeons and raids. Encounter design and class tuning will be the primary factor on how frequently this is taken.
  • Burn to Ash offers a clear benefit for a more DoT focused gameplay (Herald of the Sun)
  • Divine Hammer consumes the Judgment Debuff

Needs Review
Divine Hammer

  • It would be beneficial to have a buff while this ability is active to allow for better tracking. Right now, it is hard to see when it has dropped off in the middle of all of your other spell effects.
  • While this is an exciting idea, however after playtesting, it has some major anti-synergy with Ret’s kit.
  • By functionally replacing Divine Storm in the AoE rotation for a small window of time (~15 seconds) it lessens the value from talents like Vanguard of Justice, Tempest of the Lightbringer, and Judge, Jury, & Executioner since Divine storm wouldn’t be used for that duration.
  • It feels dreadful to balance the holy power drain in your Avenging Wrath Window. When you initially cast Divine Hammer, the HP drains is low, but you want to be using your high HP generators (Wake of Ashes/Divine Toll) in the beginning of your burst window. If you delay those generators until the later part of Divine Hammer, you can extend it dramatically (up to ~20 seconds). That can lead to desyncing problems and less casts overall through a raid or dungeon encounter(s).
  • This feels especially bad when using Radiant Glory since Wake of Ashes is both a major HP generator and the activation for Avenging Wrath.
  • This also feels bad when using the Templar Hero Talent Tree since Hammer of Light consumes 5 Holy Power.
  • You would want to run Sanctify with this as well, but it costs a divine storm to get sanctify up (which costs holy power). It is counter intuitive.

Consider adjusting Divine Hammer to not consume holy power, but instead ramp per holy power spent from any sources up to a threshold (ex. Hammer of Light, Templar’s Verdict, Divine Storm)

Vanguard of Justice

  • Conceptually great! Gameplay is also great!
  • This is a 2 point node, it needs reduced to a 1 point node.
  • This node wants to work in unison with Judge, Jury, & Executioner (Weaving between Divine Storm and Templar’s Verdict on 3-4 targets.
  • Taking this comes at a major cost of losing other critical talent selections (see ST vs. AoE dichotomy below)

Greater Judgement Stacks

  • The change to having Greater Judgment stacks overlap is wonderful since you won’t ever munch stacks. However we get so many stacks from talenting Highlord’s Judgment it makes the debuff meaningless since it is always up. This is further amplified from Divine Resonance, and Undisputed Ruling (from Templar Hero Talent Tree).
  • Consider having spenders consume all stacks of Judgment for an additional damage multiplier (ex. 20%, 40%, 60%, etc…) up to a cap consumed.

Negative

  • Divine Auxiliary - Not worth the capstone point when so many other talents bring a major benefit. We have so many sources of Holy Power generation now, this just doesn’t cut it.
  • Consecrated Ground doesn’t offer enough to make this a compelling choice for AoE or Cleave

ST vs AoE Dichotomy

There are a TON of impactful talents to choose from, but the problem is there are too many ‘required’ talents for particular situations. In both Raids and Dungeons, often times the most important thing is Single Target boss damage. The ability to cleave or AOE is something additional and should not come with a massive Single Target tradeoff. This was partially addressed by the Execution Sentence/Final Reckoning change, but the problem goes well beyond that.

Anything with Single Target or Priority damage wants to pick up the following nodes (in addition to the regular must picks):

  • Vanguards Momentum
  • Blades of Light
  • Divine Arbiter
  • Executioner’s Will
  • Seething Flames

If you take all of those, it leaves 3 points play with. You’ll likely pick up Penitence, Burn to Ash, and whatever maths out best for the last choice or what the encounter needs.

The problem comes when selecting AoE Talents. You’ll want the following:

  • Tempest of the Lightbringer
  • Blessed Champion (2 Points)
  • Burning Crusade
  • Searing Light

If you add on some 3-4 target cleave, you’ll need

  • Judge, Jury, & Executioner
  • Vanguard of Justice (2 Points)

That means you would want between 5-8 extra points to be able to AoE at full potential. There just aren’t enough points to go around to be able to maintain a reasonable level of Single Target. It comes at a heavy cost.

A fix for this would be:

  • Make all 2 point nodes equal to 1 point
  • Make one or two of the Single Target nodes baseline with the class (ex. Divine Wrath, Jurisdiction, Consecrated Blade, Zealot’s Fervor, even Blessed Champion would work).

It would free up points that just allow for better choice. You still wouldn’t be able to pick everything you want, but it would allow for a better selection of options.

Hero Talents
Templar

  • Absolute blast to play. Hammer of Light feels incredible.
  • This is a holy power consuming ability, but doesn’t have any interaction with Judgment. That seems strange when we have such a surplus of Judgment stacks now.
  • Sacrosanct Crusade should be tuned. 10% of the normal Shield of Vengeance value is equal to roughly 4.5% of our total health. That is negligible at best.

Herald of the Sun

  • Also quite fun to play. It isn’t as visceral as Templar, but the light beams from the Dawnlight link are cool.
  • To get full benefit from this tree, I feel forced to head down the Penitence → Burning Crusade - > Searing Light path and picking Burning Ash. Since so much of your damage is radiant and you apply even more DoT’s, that path makes the most sense.
  • This potentially leads to a problem where Herald of the Sun is the primary AoE or Dungeon choice because you just get more benefit from taking the AoE Pathing. It will come down to tuning.
  • I also feel somewhat forced into playing Radiant Glory. Being able to trigger Sun’s Avatar every 30 seconds with Wake of Ashes is a sizeable benefit. Also being able to trigger additional Avenging Wrath procs makes this talent practically mandatory.
8 Likes

These are some brief thoughts I have on the spec so far from the beta:

  • Divine Hammer attempts to consume 1 Holy Power every 2 seconds. I think this is too frequent. After a handful of ticks you are spamming generators just to keep Divine Hammer active. It is unclear whether or not this is better than simply spending your Holy Power on spenders, but in its current state you will not be able to keep Divine Hammer active for long enough to have it do anything meaningful. I would make it attempt to consume 1 Holy Power every 5ish seconds as a base, then have it take 1 less second each time it triggers. The ability needs some sort of visual cue to know when it is about to tick.
  • Radiant Glory is really cool! Wake granting Avenging Wrath is fantastic and works about as well as it sounds. However, I think the proc itself needs to be adjusted. Receiving a proc after a spender (where you might be left with 2, 1, or 0 Holy Power) leaves you needing to press a generator. This works fine for Avenging Wrath: Might, but Crusade’s design relies on gaining 10 stacks of Crusade as quickly as possible. For that reason, your first global in a Crusade proc is ideally a spender. But, the nature of the talent is counterintuitive to Crusade’s design. I think this could be mitigated by the proc being tied to Generators instead of Spenders, with the proc rate being adjusted accordingly.
  • The Templar’s Verdict cleaving nodes – Judge, Jury, and Executioner + Vanguard of Justice – feel too niche to take. Divine Storm’s existence makes these nodes kind of redundant! In situations where this kind of cleave would be desirable, simply casting Divine Storm vs. spending 3 points in your tree to be able to deal [presumably] decent passive cleave feels like an easy choice. The idea is cool, but these nodes just do not seem strong enough to take on their own.
  • Final Reckoning and Execution Sentence feel like they could be merged into one ability, in the same vein as Touch of the Magi for Arcane mages. There are already clear AoE and Single Target nodes spread throughout our tree. Retribution suffers from losing a tremendous amount of AoE damage from running Single Target nodes, and vice versa. The choice node of Final Reckoning and Execution Sentence is one of the more egregious contributors to this polarizing choice.
  • Crusading Strikes feels much better with 3 Holy Power spenders rather than 4, thanks to the removal of the previous (Dragonflight’s) iteration of Vanguard of Justice. I do still wish there was a visual indicator for when Crusading Strikes was about to grant you a charge of Holy Power. As it is right now, Retribution Paladins who are looking to play the class optimally are reliant on add-ons to track when our auto attacks are going to hit. I do not think this should be the case for something that shifts gameplay in such a consequential way.

That is all the feedback I have for now. I really like both Herald of the Sun and Templar so far. Both feel enjoyable with their own strengths and weaknesses.

3 Likes

Holy Paladin / Herald of the Sun Issue:

Eternal Flame (replaces Word of Glory) does not interact with the Shining Righteousness Talent (5 Shield of Righteousness cause your next Word of Glory or Light of Dawn to cost no Holy Power). Yes, it replaces Word of Glory, but other talents like Faith’s Armor (Word of Glory grants 20% bonus Armor for 4.5 sec) do interact with it. . . So is this intended, or not?

A lot of what’s already been said about Holy Paladin is solid, particularly about the confused playstyle that is melee healer mishmashed with some hard casting. but I wanted to add some concerns I’ve had since swapping back over to spec at the end of Shadowlands. My concerns are about Holy Paladin at its core, I haven’t had the time to really dive deeply into Hero talents just yet. Many of these have only been exacerbated since then:

1) Holy Power Generation and Spenders.

As mentioned earlier in this thread, we generate Holy Power really quick with some talent chances. With Daybreak, it’s 9 Holy Power in 3 globals. But Word of Glory and Light of Dawn feel pitiful to use. Holy Infusion is also now a more competitive choice to build up Awakening stacks more often, and that’s an additional Holy Power every Crusader Strike use.

As a result, we find ourselves either overcapping, or forced to use an otherwise weak spender to dump the Holy Power.

Let’s break down our spenders a bit:

On beta, at max level, item level 610:
I have 5.2mil HP, and about 23% Mastery

  • Word of Glory hits for ~455k average (8.7% of my max HP)
  • Light of Dawn hits for ~104k average (2% of my max HP)

For comparison, on Retail.
527.5 ilvl, 1.39mil HP, 70% mastery:

  • Word of Glory: 174.5k average hit (12.5% of my max HP)
  • Light of Dawn: 43,000 average hit (3.09% of my max HP)

Even with an additional 50% mastery, these heal for a pittance. A spender should feel rewarding to use, but at present, using them feels almost embarrassing.

The solution in mind would be to slow down Holy Power generation, but increase the power of our spenders so that they’re a button we actually want to press. There’s more than one avenue we can go down to slow down Holy Power generation, but one of my first ideas was addressing Daybreak.

With this, we’re casting 3 Holy Shocks, and thus generating 3 holy power with each cast. Being able to nearly cap our Holy Power twice over in 3 back-to-back globals feels excessive. Could we instead have it increase the power of Holy Shock, and maybe have it grant just 1 additional Holy Power, or none at all?

Holy Paladin, as it stands, has a real bloat problem. We have a lot of little things and modifiers that accumulate and snowball into a good amount of total healing done, but if you pick them apart individually, they’re very weak on their own.

So where do we go from here?

2) Reduce reliance on CDs
We currently have Divine Toll, Daybreak, Tyr’s Deliverance, Aura Mastery, and of course, Avenging Wrath/Crusader. Using these CDs makes us feel good, increases what we’re able put out, but it makes it so that we feel less capable when we don’t have one of these to lean on.

For comparison, I played Mistweaver last tier. Using a cooldown like Yu-lon allows you to do some incredible amounts of healing, but I never really felt like I was unprepared to handle a curveball outside of it. I still did plenty of healing without a cooldown active or ready. The difference here is that the cooldown enhanced what Monk can do, but it didn’t feel bare or incapable without it. Which leads me to my next point:

3) Reliance on Modifiers
Off the top of my head we have:

  • Avenging Wrath: 15% healing increase, 15% crit increase through talents
  • Tyr’s Deliverance: 15% healing increase to Holy Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Shock
  • Divine Favor: Increased HL/FoL healing by 60%, in addition to reduced cast time and mana cost
  • (or) Hand of Divnity: next 2 HL’s are instant cast, heal for 40% more, and cost 50% less mana
  • Blessing of the Dawn: 30% increased Holy Power spender effectiveness, stacking twice.
  • Light of the Martyr: 30% increased Holy Shock effectiveness when we’re above 70% health.

We’ll have 5 of these at our disposal at any given time. I would be happy to see them cut in half, and instead have some of that extra healing power just baked into our spells instead. This way we reduce the reliance, but maintain some of that power. Having absolutely nothing up feels awful as a Holy Paladin, and our spells pack the punch of a pool noodle when no modifiers or increases are active.

4) Devotion Aura & Aura Mastery
Possibly a divisive topic? I’m not a huge fan of flat percentage damage reductions as a healer. They’re obviously very good, and usually too strong to ignore, which warrants bringing a Paladin in and of itself. Devotion Aura mitigates a large amount of damage over the course of a fight, and even more so with Aura Mastery.

But that said, it’s just there. We have it active, it does a lot for the raid, but outside of Aura Mastery, its not something we ever need to think about. Interpret my next point as you will, but whether its seeing your healing numbers shoot up, or having the added dopamine rush of seeing your button press do a considerable amount of healing across your raid frames, other healing cooldowns feel good to use. Aura Mastery is just boring on its own to press. You use it, it does it’s job, but you don’t really see or feel it (most of the time).

I would argue that Devotion Aura can be done away with entirely, and instead, perhaps have Tyr’s Deliverance repurposed as a raid cooldown. Possibly the most far reaching suggestion of my post, but Aura Mastery hasn’t felt rewarding or fun to press since Aura of Sacrifice was a thing back in Legion.

6 Likes

First impressions of Retribution from the beta

  • Echoing other poster’s thoughts on Radiant Glory with Crusade, it seems like Crusade just doesn’t really fit into the spec any more. Perhaps replace Crusade with Light’s Decree (deal holy damage around you when spending Holy Power), so players have a choice of reducing AW to 1 min or a 2min AW with Light’s Decree, which has interesting build options with Radiant Glory.
  • Feels very restrictive to make builds when you need to spend 2 points in Blessed Champion and/or Vanguard of Justice. Following the trend of other class reworks, maybe it’s time to reduce these talents down to 1 point?
  • Feels very bad to spend 3 talent points just to make our generators (Crusader Strike, Blade of Justice, Judgment) cleave, especially since these talents offer zero single target value. This is the worst part of the Ret talent tree by far!
  • Rush of Light is boring
  • Heart of the Crusader is boring
  • Penitence is boring for a talent in the bottom section
  • Has anyone ever taken Sanctify?
  • Inquisitor’s Ire feels outdated, conceptually it does the same thing as Empyrean Legacy
  • Divine Auxiliary feels bad, 3 Holy Power every 30/60sec doesn’t feel worthy of a capstone talent
  • Execution Sentence as a pure single-target capstone feels strange. It would be great if there was a talent like Arcane Echo from Arcane Mages that causes Touch of the Magi to pulse damage to all enemies when attacked
  • Is Hammer of Wrath relegated to a single target ability? The Aberrus set bonus that made it cleave was quite interesting

Thanks for reading!

1 Like

Feedback on the Protection Paladin

Short version: Feels smooth and okayish. Despite new talents (Templar), the game doesn’t really feel new and refreshing. And we still have too much cooldown micromanagement. Therefore, more safety nets should be built into the class via passive skills so that you can focus on enemies and damage optimization (PVE and PVP).

Templar

  • Since almost everything is aimed at damage, it lacks a bit of control. A slowing effect in movement / attack or armor reduction of the enemies would have been nice.

  • Lights Deliverance with 60 stacks is too high - either reduce the amount or Hammerfall should also work with Avengers Shield or Judgement.


New ideas for developers if they want to tinker:

Reflexive Shield
If your health drops below 30%, you can block 360 degrees and your block value doubles for 7 seconds.

Seasoned Warhorse → Nimble Warhorse
Increases the duration of Divine Steed by 2 sec and gains the benefit of Blessing of Freedom for 4 sec.

Holy Protection
When you successfully block a critical hit or critical spelldamage, you reduce the cooldown of Forberance, Divine Shield and Lay of Hands by 1 sec.

Objection
Word of Glory only heals up to a maximum of 80% of your total health, but you gain an additional 50% of the healing as a shield for 15 seconds.

Divine Will
You are immune to spell removal or cleansing effects.

Explanation of the ideas

  • The talents are somewhat aimed at PVE AND PVP, now that solo rated BGs are being introduced.

  • As a flag bearer in particular, you are often attacked from behind and Reflex Shield could help with a 360-degree blocking ability.

  • Nimble Warhorse is a light buff and a reference to the original Horsie, where you were immune to slows / break those.

  • Objection is a small counter to the self-heal reduction in pvp, so you can breathe a little over shields - Regardless, I would prefer healing to be the focus for holy classes and Prot Paladin like Discipline Priest would be more about shields.

  • I think an immunity against spellsteal with our 1-2 min cooldowns is simply necessary in pvp, we already have 60-70% less healing + damage and receive over 50% more damage than other classes.

Don’t take things too seriously - perhaps you will find one idea quite attractive.

Hail to the light

Just some feedback for Ret.

Radiant Glory: needs adjustment, overall it’s interactions with other CDs, tier set, and Crusade in particular have numerous problems.

Crusade needs to start fully stacked with this talent, an extra 2 seconds is not enough and it in particular gets worse with the tier set when Wake of Ashes increases your damage for 8 seconds, you are spending that time stacking and not doing full damage. It makes it really hard for Crusade to be competitive or even a choice.

8/10 is not enough, Final Reckoning lasts 12 up to 16 and Execution Sentence is 8 up to 12, without luck/RNG extensions you run out of your Crusade/Avenging Wrath before your other CDs end.

I really don’t like the RNG portion of this talent in any way, it reminds me of Vision of Perfection and forces Ret into a feast or famine type of playstyle while using this talent that is not healthy for gameplay.

Vanguard of Justice: This talent is abysmal, 2 points and it has a niche use with Judge, Jury, and Executioner, which is located on the exact opposite end of the talent tree. I think this needs to head back to the design table.

Light’s Celerity or Guided Prayer: Both of these talents feel incredibly weak and are gatekeeper to some of the most important talents Ret has. Flash of Light and Word of Glory heal for around 5% of your HP, when forced to use a GCD and possibly Holy Power to heal yourself this feels incredibly bad and almost meaningless, both of these need MASSIVE buffs to the self healing portion.

Aegis of Protection or Shield of Vengeance: Shield of Vengeance has been Ret’s staple defensive for 4 expansions, yet now we have to choose and that choice is two mediocre defensives or one GOOD one.

Those are the biggest problems I see so far with the Ret tree.

Let’s talk about Hero talents.

Templar: This currently has a decent mobility in Unrelenting Charger and Sacrosanct Crusade exists as the only defensive in either tree. However it’s horrible, 120k shield every 30s is useless, 120k isn’t even 3% of your HP in greens on PTR. We need better than this on both trees.

Herald of the Sun: This tree offers NOTHING in terms of defensive options, and it’s mobility choices are laughable, Will of the Dawn is plain bad, 5% and a horrible cheat death type whopping 40%. We need a defensive option on this tree and this mobility has to be better. If you take a look at our low mobility counter parts, Death Knights, and try to compare their movement option Death Charge, it’s not even close, our talent does virtually NOTHING while theirs empowers movement in many ways.

In terms of damage, they both seem great, I think the Dawnlights could use a better animation, seems pretty lackluster.

Now lets take a look at some problems we still have after an entire expansion.

Divine Steed, Cavalier, and Seasoned Warhorse: We still are using 3 talent points to make one decent mobility skill.

Turn Evil: This needs to be instant, makes it very hard to use as both Ret and Prot when it has a cast time.

Divine Purpose: This talent has sat nerfed and unused for too long, either make it passive or just buff it so it’s an actual viable choice outside of M+.

Golden Path and Seal of Mercy: These talents provides very little healing while being anchored to a very small ground effect, these talents are pretty much dead.

Touch of Light and Incandescence: The damage or healing provided by either of these talents is downright awful.

With the loss of Crusader’s Reprieve, Ret now has no sustain healing, either MASSIVELY buff Fading Light to its prenerf values or bake the sustain from CR into a different talent, we can’t be one of the only classes that has no way to leech.

4 Likes