July 28, 2010

Wow Cataclysm Beta: Holy power questions

Holy power is the big conversation topic for paladins right now (well, that and mobility in PvP -- but that's always a topic of conversation for paladins). For those of you who have been out of the loop, Blizzard announced during its last developer chat that for the betterment of the class, paladins would be receiving a new resource called holy power. This would be used in conjunction with mana for a variety of new and existing abilities.

So after having played with holy power on the beta realms, we decided to ask our Twitter followers if they had any questions or concerns about this new system for us to look into.
Soranomaru asks:

"How fast does it accrue? How do you spend it effectively? Is it a mechanic to empower spellcasts or another ressource like mana?"
Short answers: Currently, every 3 seconds for ret, 4 seconds for prot, and 6 seconds for holy due to the abilities and talents they'd be using to earn it. Usually, three points is the most efficient. It's a secondary resource, like runic power is to runes on a death knight, and there are certain abilities that use it and other abilities that have nothing to do with it.

Long answers: Holy power is a secondary resource that you'll have along with your current mana bar. As retribution and protection, you'll be using Crusader Strike to build up your holy power points (HPP). If you're holy, you'll still have access to Crusader Strike, but you will also be using Holy Shock to build up that HPP. The most HPP you can build up at a time is three, so you'll be earning and spending fairly quickly. Some abilities give a flat rate based on how much holy power you put into it (Word of Glory), while others get much more efficient with the more points used (Templar's Verdict).

Fuubaar18 asks:

"do you think holy power was built for rets and spilt over into holy & prot or does it feel like it was meant for all 3?"
Blizzard has actually said that the devs originally came up with this concept for retribution and liked it so much that they decided to build it into both holy and protection. Holy seems to be adjusting to this new system quite well, as one of the original spells designed to use this was a heal. The spec that seems to have had the most trouble adjusting thus far is protection, but with the latest beta build, it appears they've worked some of that out. It's still rough overall, but the developers are slowly starting to get some polish on it.

Velidra asks:

"If holy power are going to be persudo combo points, are blizzard worried that the concept might work for dps, but not healers?"
It looks like Blizzard was concerned that such things might happen, so the developers have built several ways for holy power to be helpful specifically for healers, both baseline and into the new holy tree. First off, Holy Shock will be your primary holy power generator (HPG), so that you aren't reliant on Crusader Strike like protection and retribution. There is also a talent called Tower of Radiance in the current build that gives you holy power whenever you cast a direct heal on your Beacon of Light target. Between the two of those, you should be able to build up holy power without too much effort.

That holy power can be used with the new Word of Glory ability that heals for a scaling amount depending on how much HPP you had stored up. This is an instant, no-mana, no-cooldown direct heal. So, if you're in the middle of a running fight (and you've picked the talents for this to work), you can hit Holy Shock on your Beacon target, which will earn you a combined two HPP, and use that on Word of Glory for another heal while Holy Shock is on cooldown.

CrimsonTemplar asks

"what kind of healing is that free heal (from Holy Power) going to do? Little heal (less that current FoL)?"
From the look of things on the beta, without talents a fully charged (three HPP), Word of Glory will do more healing than Holy Shock but less than Flash of Light. The numbers may change slightly or dramatically between now and release, though.

holyret asks

"Doesn't it feel like Holy (WoG) and Prot (HS) get very little use out of Holy Power compared to Ret (TV/DS/Inq)?"
I'd have to agree that there isn't any real choice for holy at the moment. Prot does have the option of using Word of Glory as an emergency self-heal instead of using Holy Shield. They can also both use Inquisition, but unless you're over-gearing the content or soloing, the 30% holy damage increase for our healadin brethren won't be that useful. I'd like to see another option for either just holy or something baseline for both prot and holy to take advantage of.

Alliancesjr requests

"Make it more flashy than just a buff. A holy version of Shadow Orbs/Lightning Shield/Water Shield/etc., maybe."
It's really a combo-point-type system that we're going to build up and burn through fairly quickly. However, a visual cue for when you earn some holy power might be helpful, much like watching for any type of proc. If they don't add it, you could always do something cool with Power Auras. I know that I will.

Ghodamus asks

"Only the obvious question; how will this effect my bubble-hearth?"
Heh, your bubble hearth should be unaffected by holy power itself ... for now. However, Divine Shield will have a shorter duration than the casting time for a hearthstone. The developers have joked that they may create a Glyph of Divine Shield that decreases your hearth stone cast time to sync up with the Divine Shield duration. For the moment, it's nothing more than a quick quip from the dev chat.

Enter to win a Blazing Hippogryph and other loot

Yes, you read that title correctly! Courtesy of the ever-generous WoWTCGLoot.com, WoW.com will be giving away an assortment of prizes for the next week, including a Blazing Hippogryph. The full assortment of prizes includes:

The contest begins immediately and ends Monday, Aug. 2 at 11:59 p.m ET. On Aug. 3, winners will be announced right here on WoW.com. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. You may enter once per day each day of the contest. That means if you enter every single day of the contest, you will have seven chances to win. Winners will be chosen at random.

Good luck to all who enter!