Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brief First Impressions of the Mists of Pandaria Beta

Note: WoWhead linking isn't really playing all that nicely with the beta data. The tooltips appear to be the live version of abilities, but clicking them will take you to the Mists of Pandaria equivalents, so be sure to click through to see the beta tooltips.

I finally managed to set aside some time to check out the Mists of Pandaria beta last night and answer some questions on PlusHeal, and here were some of my first impressions from running around Stormwind and messing around with target dummies:

  • Holy Radiance no longer has a HoT portion. Additionally, it's splash healing has been reduced to 50% of the healing done to the primary target, but the splashes can crit independently (thus healing for the same amount as the primary target), and it all triggers our Illuminated Healing mastery. Yes, the Illuminated Healing shield is triggered on the splashed targets, too.
  • Light of Dawn no longer has a facing requirement: it now heals the most injured targets in a full 360° circle (sphere?) around the Paladin rather than a frontal cone. This seems to make the Glyph of Light of Dawn a little less valuable, even in 10-man raids, though it may become more useful for Scenarios or Arenas. It still only extends 30 yards, though, which seems a bit inconvenient considering all of our other heals are 40 yards. Also, the animation looks a bit stupid, since the healing cone now erupts straight upwards from the top of our heads.
  • Mana is normalized to 102,000 mana for a level 85 Holy Paladin, regardless of gear.
  • Haste is less potent. The rating now converts to a smaller haste percentage than before, plus we no longer have the 9% haste from Judgments of the Pure or the potential haste rating from our relic slot, so heals feel somewhat sluggish. My normally 1.94 sec Holy Light was suddenly taking 2.19 sec to cast, which is enough to be noticeable.
  • Crit rating is also converting into a smaller percentage, but as I didn't gear crit for PvE, I'm not sure how noticeable it is.
  • Spirit converts very nicely at level 85, with 1 Spirit equaling 1 mana regenerated every 5 seconds while in combat (at least, according to the tooltips). I wonder if this is consistent throughout all levels, or if the ratios change like the various stats that use ratings.
  • Crusader Strike is dirt cheap at 600 mana, and might be a decent way to build up Holy Power when in melee range. In comparison, Holy Shock costs 2800 mana. It does almost no damage, though, since Crusader Strike is based on weapon damage and Holy weapons sacrifice weapon damage for spell power. Also, Sanctity of Battle seems to apply to Holy, too, (though this might be the result of a character copy error) which means Crusader Strike is available fairly frequently - roughly one in every 3 GCDs with my gear.
  • Denounce (formerly Holy Wrath, though closer in current implementation to Exorcism since it seems to no longer have an AoE component) is also really cheap at 1880 mana, and does about as much damage as Holy Shock. Also, it has a new graphic.
  • I miss Daybreak. Not having any mechanic that allows back-to-back Holy Shock casts makes me sad.
  • My action bars feel very empty. Very empty, indeed.

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