Saturday, September 19, 2009

[Paladin] Would you want two holy pallies in the same 10-man raid?

As I mentioned, I'm in a 10-man guild now and we're still recruiting for a couple roles. ToC is on farm, but we want to go back and do Ulduar hard modes. Our attendance for ToC is spot-on, but we're trying for Ulduar tonight and it's looking a bit weak. Part of it is that even though this night works for most people, it doesn't work for our favorite resto druid and one of the shaman who usually runs with us has a prior commitment for this particular Saturday.

We had a very good disc priest who signed up, but he had to cancel as of last night, leaving us with our new holy paladin recruit as the only guaranteed healer for the night, and a holy paladin is actually the last of the healer classes I wanted to recruit because I already have a holy paladin that I'm happy to swap to if the raid needs it. But the thing is, I can't be on my pally and my moonkin at the same time and all else being equal the raid needs my dps more than my heals, so having a good paladin healer should still be desirable.

So tonight... We have the tanks, we have the dps, but we need a second healer. I'm the only one with a healer alt geared to perform in Ulduar, but even allowing for the loss of my dps, that would mean two holy paladins in a 10-man raid, and that just strikes me as a horribly uncomfortable way to duo-heal a hard mode.

And it occurred to me that this is probably the only double healing class setup that I would balk at. Two shamans? Sure. Two priests? Not a problem. Two druids? Sure, as long as one of them is set up for tank healing.

But paladins don't have that option. They can heal two targets at a time, max, and they can keep a HoT on one target max, and that target is probably going to be a tank since Sacred Shield has to be on the target in order to get a HoT.

Okay, in a raid of ten people two paladins could in theory be healing four targets at the same time, but in practice it's probably not going to work that way. In a two-tank fight there would probably be a beacon and SS on each tank and then the pallies would be playing whack-a-mole with the rest of the raid, but in a one-tank fight the beacon's going to see limited usage. Either both beacons will be on the tank or one beacon will be under utilized because whoever it's sitting on won't need the heals as much.

If the two paladins are very good, this could still be doable, but desirable?

I know Blizzard likes to talk about bringing the player rather than the class, but holy paladins are still the most limited healer class. We make great tank healers, but there's not really any such niche in a 10-man, especially when you only want two healers in a the raid period. The paladin has to help raid heal, and with the 3.1 version of beacon it's not going to risk the tank the way it did previously, but the thing is a paladin's ability to raid heal is still limited to one person beyond the beacon.

We have no Chain Heal, no Circle of Healing, no Wild Growth. Not even an emergency one like the druid's Tranquility.

I don't miss not having one when I'm healing a 5-man, or even when I've been healing a 10- or 25-man, but for the raids I've usually been paired with a different class of healer, or multiple different healers. Duo-healing with another paladin? I did it a couple times before, but it felt very odd, and it wasn't for progression content.

And it bugs me that I only feel about paladins this way.

The simpliest solution is to give paladins an AoE heal, but that does't sound like a Blizzard solution. It doesn't fit the paladin "kit." So what would work?

I think maybe if holy pallies could have an improved version of Judgement of Light, maybe one that stacks with other holy pallies' JoLs and is boosted by spellpower, that would help a lot. That would give the raid a lot more passive healing (since everybody except for the other healers will regularly be whacking the boss) without resorting to giving paladins an AoE heal. It would be like a HoT except that paladins won't have to cast it on each individual since the raid will keep it up on itself.

Blizzard wants us to keep pressing buttons to keep things interesting, and keeping up a judgement every 10 seconds can be trying for the healing-focused paladin, but the pay-off would be so worth it for more raid healing.


Dorgol said...

I 100% agree. Holy Paladins suffer from the most narrow focus in the game.

I raid in a 25 man group. I'm the only Holy Paladin. But if we have a fight that needs less healing and more DPS, I'm always the one they ask to switch. Not one of the priests. Not the Shaman or Druids. This DESPITE the fact that those classes have a DPS tree that utilizes (mostly) the same stats as their healing gear.

Why? Because losing my healing is the least disruptive. With all the healing going around I spend 99% of the fight spamming Flash of Light anyway, so basically I'm a very, very, strong HoT on the tank + 1 other.

How should Blizzard fix it? I dunno.

For now, though, I get to wonder how the guild will react when I'm asked to go DPS this weekend - and I tell them my 2nd spec is Prot for heroic farming. :)

Josh said...

While I can see your skepticism in wanting to bring 2 holy paladins for a 10 man. I'd have to disagree that it would be very hard for what you're wanting to accomplish.

Most(if not all?) of the Ulduar hard modes have been nerfed. That being said, with the beacon changes and the raw HPS a paladin can dish out, I can say you shouldn't have too many problems with the majority of the hard modes in ulduar.

Depending on the skill of the 2 paladins, I would say that XT, IC, Hodir, and General would be pretty simple. Thorim might be challenging on the arena floor because of the casting time debuff, but with JoL, it shouldn't pose too much of a threat. Freya's ground tremor might give you a problem, but again JoL and HL splash(if glyphed which they should be) should be more than adequate to handle the raid damage. Yogg+1 is a pretty trivial fight on 10 man, so as long as there is a decurse present (boomkin/mage) you shouldn't have a problem with that either.

The hardest, will of course be firefighter, but progressing up to that point should allow you some time to find another healer.

If you do end up trying it, let me know, I'd be more than happy to throw out some tips for you guys if needed/wanted.

Good luck =)

Hana said...

@Dorgol - Hehe... well, if your guild is swapping your healing out, I can see how swapping to dps would be desirable. It would be nice if paladins could dps in healing spec as well as shamans can since it's so difficult for us to help with burning down a boss.

@Josh - I know the hard modes have largerly been nerfed, and the new and improved beacon is fantastic, paladin heals are better than ever, but I'd still be leery about the lack of group heals. The glyphed HoL is nice, but everyone needs to be grouped up for it, which works better for melee than the ranged/healers.

It turns out our new paladin is quite good though. We ended up getting a different resto shaman friend to come along and even though he (the paladin) was a little undergeared he healed XT-002 just fine.

I'm hoping that he'll be as good for the remaining hard modes.