as presented in "The Light and how to swing it" by Uther

"40 men instance raids" article
some corrections in "the mana pool and healing" article (thanks to your feedback)
editing and grammar check on "the mana pool and healing" article (thanks to Aoikaze of Proudmoore server)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

40 men instance raids

In this article I will cover use and configuration of addons for an improved efficiency of your play in 40 men instances. I won't cover tactics about bosses because they can differ from guild to guild. For tactics just listen to your paladin class leader (if you have one in your guild) or at experienced players, they know what to do.
Basically paladins duties are these: (not in order of importance)
  • buff
  • regen raid health and mana (judgement of light and judgement of wisdom)
  • deal damage
  • heal
  • cleanse
Now we will cover all these points. Remember that paladin is a hybrid class, capable of covering multiple roles. Don't limit yourself playing as gimped priest or warrior. Be flexible and play smart.
About damage meters
People loves damage meters. Usually raid members compete to rank best in damage, dps or healing. Competition is a good thing, it leads to improvements. But don't trust totally in damage meters. They don't tell the truth, especially for paladins. First of all remember that you're playing with other 39 persons in order to achieve common objective. Kill the bosses is the goal not rank first in meters. Your work is to benefit your mates not to show off.
Some examples of what the "damage meters frenzy" leads to:
  1. People with cloth/leather/mail armour steal aggro from MT, forcing healers to put massive amount of healing on them and under risk of aggro from mobs. Well damage meters won't report if you play like an idiot only your damage.
  2. People healing as much as they can in order to rank best in healing meters, with
    over 50% of overhealing, wasting their mana and then shouting /oom after 1 min of combat when healing is needed most. Note that if you use recap addon as damage meters you can see overhealing % too. Just check in the options to show it. You will be surprised the amount of mana wasted. On methods to avoid overhealing just keep reading this article.
  3. People that prefer to cast an healing spell than cleanse. "Yeah I will heal a couple mates for 4k hitpoints in 5 sec cool!". Or you should cast 5 instant cleanse in the same time and avoid them 10k damage, but that will not show on stats... Too bad!

Buff for the masses
With the introducion of greater blessing in 1.9 patch the paladin life in 40 men instance has really improved. Just coordinate with your fellows and you can cover easily the raid. Usually 5 buffs are requested: BoK, BoM, BoW, BoS, BoL so five paladins can cover a raid with buffs efficiently. If only 4 paladins are in raid assign one to BoM/BoW and let him cast bow on paladin. Then the one casting BoS on raid will do bom on paladins. If you have doubts on the buffs needed by every class check the Blessings section in the guide. You can automate the blessing duty with addons, buffahoy for example support greater blessings and let you bless your raid efficiently.

Judgements
Two paladins should be assigned to keep judgement of light and judgement of wisdom on mobs. This is heavily underevaluated (hey, it don't show on damage meters you know ^_-) but can grant raid members large benefits. Having two paladins keep judgements active means that they can't heal but let's look at the advantages:

  1. They deal damage. Obviously not the same damage of a rogue/warrior but a good amount, moreover...
  2. They allow raid to regen health and mana. But how much? (math incoming!! warning ! warning!). For example we have the following members: 6 rogues, 5 warriors, 5 hunters, 6 mages, 3 warlocks, 6 paladins, 5 priests and 4 druids. This means that 6 rogues + 5 warriors + 2 paladins = 14 will go melee, and that all but priests and druids will damage the mob. Let's say that anyone in melee will hit on average every 1,8 secs (sure a few will wield a slow 2hander but there are also a lot of dual wielders). For judgement of light we have 61*13 members /1,8 secs = 440,55 hps. That means more than spamming flash of light with zero risk of overhealing. Now lets consider judgement of wisdom we have 59 * 18 (6 mages + 3 warlocks + 2 paladins + 5 hunters) /2 secs (estimated average, spellcasting is usually slower than melee) = 531 mana every second. Consider also that on need priest can use wand to replenish their mana bar.

As you can see having 2 paladins in melee is definitely worth it.

If you are on thrash mobs and want to speed things all paladins can go melee with one that keeps JotC in order to raise holy damage. Just remember that the debuff slots on a mob are limited. Pay attention to keep the warrior's sunder armor debuff in the list or the MT could loose aggro suddendly.

Configuring the addons
I will take into consideration CTRaid assist and decursive. I will show how to configure these addons in order to optimize your duties in MC and BWL. It's also desiderable to customize your UI in order to have easily readable on screen all the information needed. Here's a screenshot of my UI (quite old, now it's even simplier, but the important elements are still in the same place).




On the middle left you can see the emergency monitor from CTRaid in action, while on the right there are the MTs list and the decursive addon list.

CTRaid Assist
The CTRaid assist addon (widely referred as CTRaid) is one of the most used in World of Warcraft. It supports a wide range of options useful in raids like Main Tanks list, messages on screen, bosses special ability alert and so on. Now we fine tune it for paladins. ^_^

First of all uncheck all groups on CTRaid tab in social options (O key). You don't need them because you can heal way better with the emergency monitor (keep reading). Press the option button. In the general options just check if the "display main tanks" option is active and set "show number of main tanks" to 10. Don't be surprised of that, with some bosses with multiple adds like Garr or Majordomo this can happen (btw some of the "tanks" are usually warlock or mages that keep the add banished/polymorphed).

Now lets go in misc options:


Uncheck "Disable mana conserve" and then set the "check time" slider to 0,5sec. If you do this, every time you cast a holy light or flash of light spell, half second before spellcasting ends, CTRaid will check your target health. If the target is injuried for less than the amount specified by the holy light and flash of light sliders spellcasting is interrupted and you will have a message like on chat Aborted spell 'Flash of Light'. With this option activated you can lower your overhealing rate and avoid wasting your mana when not necessary. Obviously the values of holy light's and flash of light's slider changes depending where you're. The settings displayed are for a standard UBRS run, but if you're in a MC run with all the raid members with BoL I suggest you to raise them to 1300-1400 for Holy light and 400 for Flash of Light. At begin you will get a lot of "aborted spell" messages but don't worry it's normal. It's because before your holy light lands on target a priest has already casted a flash light on him and your spell was destined to go waste. With the mana conserve option and with the emergency monitor you will learn how to spam efficiently FoL cutting your overheal percentage from about 60% (the normal average) to 20%. This means also that your mana bar will lasts more and you will be able heal when it's really needed especially when facing a long boss fight.

Also check the "notify on aggro gain" option to know when it's time to bubble. :P This is only partially a joke. When you gain aggro, the fastest way to have MT regain it, is divine shield for sure ^_^ take advantage of it. Very important: check the "show MT's target's target".

Your MT list will change like this, adding a column next to MT targets. In it you can see who's the mob target. If you see that is not the MT, well... it's time to use blessing of protection ok? ^_^. It's also useful for raid leaders to see who are the geniuses that steal aggro from MT.

Now go in additional options. As final step we have to activate emergency monitor. Just check the "show emergency monitor options". This will show (when in raid) a window with the health bar of the 5 raid members with less HP. You can use it like the normal party frame, if you want to select just click the bar, if you want to heal just select the spell and then click on the health bar. With this you don't have to check 40 bars continuosly but have an automatic ranked list of ppl who needs and heal.

The emergency monitor is especially useful for paladins that usually support healing on whole raid. Priest should usually focused on one assigned tank and then heal the others only when the tank is not in need. By the way for an optimal cover of raid healing needs coordinate with druids and priests. It is also possible to have some more interesting options with emergency monitor. Just right click on it. It will appear a menu that will allow to filter who's showed in the emergency monitor, only certain groups or only certain classes. If you coordinate with your fellows paladins and healers a really efficient coverage of the raid can be obtained. Now you have the tools, how to apply it is in your hands ^_^.

Decursive
The decursive addon is used for cleansing. It's extremely simple. You have to bind one key to it (with the key binding window in the WoW main menù) and then simply spam it. The addon will do all the work, check the raid if someone is debuffed, if your class can remove it, passive targeting (you won't loose your current target), and casting. If no one has a debuff a "nothing cleaned" message will appear in chat. All these function are also avaiable in CTRaid if configured properly, but decursive has some advantage over it. A priority and a skip list. The decursive standard behaviour will give priority cleansing yourself, then people your group, and then people in your raid. If you type the /dcrshow command a bar with the decursive options will appear (look at the first image in this article, bottom right). It's possible to define a priority list and indicate at the addon who has priority in cleansing. There's also a quick populate option that will allow you to add all the people of certain classes or groups. The skip list work in the same way and will teach decursive to skip people in the list. It's also desiderable to keep the decursive bar visible during raids. If debuffs are afflicting the raids a flashing yellow list with the debuffed member names will appear. The list is ranked according to priority list and will not contain people in skip list. So it's easy to know when you have to spam the decursive key. It is also possible to click on a fellow in the list and cleansing it directly overriding the priority list. Using the priority and skip lists will allow an efficient cover over the whole raid if you coordinate your effort with your fellow paladins (and mages). Just think at some boss fights like Lucifron or Baron Geddon (with multiple aoe debuffs) and you will realize immediately how this addon is powerful.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The mana pool and healing

"How many lives does a paladin have?"
"The mana pool" (anonymous paladin)

A Paladin has the highest survivablity in game amongst all nine classes. His mana pool can be converted through healing spells into life with a good mana spent/hitpoints healed ratio keeping him away from death like no other class.

Paladin healing spells/abilities are:

  • Holy light (2,5 sec long cast spell, good amount of damage healed)
  • Flash of Light (1,5 sec short cast spell, small amount of damage healed)
  • Lay on Hands (instant, heals up to paladin full health, 1 hour cooldown)
  • Holy Shock (talent, instant 30 sec cooldown small amount of damage healed, bad mana spent /hitpoints healed ratio.
  • Seal of light and Judgement of Light (see regenerating in combat section for more details)

Other spells/abilities/talents that affects paladin healing:

  • Illumination (talent, with 5 points invested all critical heals costs no mana)
  • Divine favor (talent, cooldown 2 minutes grants a critical effect on your next holy light or flash of light spell
  • Spiritual focus (talent, up to 70% to not lose casting time when you take damage.
  • Concentration aura
  • Blessing of light (blessing, increase effect of holy light up to 400 and flash of light up to 115 on blessed target
  • Healing light (talent holy tree, increases the amount healed by Flash of Light and Holy Light up to 12%)
  • Holy power (talent, up to 5% crit on holy spells)

A premise

Our spells have a good heal per second (hps from now on) score and a good healing/mana ratio but aren't built with a primary healer in mind. Casting time is high compared to other healing classes (druids and priests) moreover we don't have group heals or heal over time spells (like renew). Nevertheless we can do our part on large raids supporting healing and it is not a rare episode to see a paladin in the top 10 healers. In pvp things change a lot, our talents and abilities make us the best healer on battlefield. Our healing spells are still the same but our ability to heal without interruption (spiritual focus, divine shield, blessing of protection etc) give us the advantage in battle.

Heal effectiveness

The first step for an effective healing is to know the tools our class has at its disposal. For comparison purposes in order to understand global game mechanics I will show priest healing spells also:

Paladin
Flash of light
Holy light
Holy Shock (talent, instant)

Priest
Flash heal
Greater heal
Renew (heal over time)
Prayer of healing (group heal)
Holy Nova (group heal, talent, no threat generation, costs zero mana)

All spells in this article are represented at max rank.

* Prayer of healing and holy nova are group spells so the average is calculated on 5 characters healed. For Holy nova hps and heal/mana score I've considered a mana cost of 1 (instead of zero) for calculation / comparison purposes.

Hps = average hp healed / casting time
is the same as dps but applied on healing

Heal/mana = average hp healed / mana cost
Shows how many hitpoints (hp) are healed with 1 mana point

A spell with high hps is generally good for critical situation when is necessary to raise drastically a health bar to avoid death and the target is suffering a high dps on him. A spell with a good heal/mana ratio is generally good for long fights like boss encounters in MC or BWL because it is mana conservative.

As you can see from this table a priest's effectiveness in healing seems greater than ours. Priests have group heals and also a heal over time spell (renew) that let warriors have time to build aggro. But stats don't tell the whole story. Effectiveness in a real situation is different.

If you observe a priest behaviour in group he uses usually only 2 spells: renew and flash heal. Greater heal despite is high hps has a slow casting time for a dangerous combat situation and it's casted only at the end of combat to refill the health bars of group members. Holy nova is mana free but has only a limited range (10 yds) and usually priests avoid being in melee range for a lot of good reasons (mob with silence abilities, aoe damage, casting interruption etc). Prayer of healing seems an exceptional spell if you look at raw numbers, but in reality is different. Usually not all party members need healing at the same time, casting time is pretty high, and not all the injured party members can be in range. So hps and ratio score are generally lower than the optimal showed in table.

But let's get back to paladins...

As you can see holy shock doesn't seem effective at all. Its mana cost is too high to justify use as healing spell moreover the amount healed is really low in pve but in pvp situation.

Lay on hands is fantastic but unfortunately is on 1h cooldown (40 min with talents) so it's not for common use.

This leaves us with only to Holy Light and Flash of Light to work with. Both have a good heal/mana ratio.

  • Flash of Light has a short casting time but a low amount of healing (and low hps).
  • Holy Light has a good amount of healing (good hps) but an high casting time

Till now we spoken about Flash of light and Holy Light in their base form, but there are a lot of elements in game that can improve them like talents, % to crit heal and so on. Let's see these 2 spells in detail:

Flash of light


In the first row we have the base flash of light spell.
The second row has the same spell when casted on a target with blessing of light increasing this spell effect up to 115 (this means from zero to 115). So now a single Flash of light can heal from 343 to 498.
In the third row we consider the healing light talent influence (holy tree) that grants +12% on holy light and flash of light spells. (min and max limit of spell are increased)
The fourth row has both healing light talent and blessing of light applied.
The fifth row has all previous effects plus we consider +100 healing effects from items. This means a +43 on every FoL (see stat section for details)
The last row takes into consideration all previous effects (row 5) plus a standard holy specced paladin with illumination, divine favor and holy power talents. I have estimated a lower than average 15% global spell crit chance on holy spells.
Considering that every 100 FoL, 15 are critical and heal for 1,5 the normal amount so we have:

507 + (507 x 0,5 x 0,15) = 545,1

The average mana cost is also lower with illumination talent because critical heals costs zero mana so we have:

140 x 0,85 + 0 x 0,15 = 119

Note that I haven't taken into consideration the divine favor talent (1 critical heal assured every 2 min) so the real average mana cost is lower than this.
As you can see the base spell can be greatly improved becoming optimal for large raids. Hps score is still low (but improved) but healing/mana ratio is awesome and concur to heal over 18000 hitpoints with a 4k mana pool. This is optimal for long boss encounters where conserving mana is a key factor. This spell heals a lower amount of hitpoints than others but in the long distance this can also be an advantage avoiding large overheal.

Nevertheless in pvp spell's effectiveness is lower. Pvp is all about burst damage and FoL heals are normally too low for the medium amount of damage dealt in a pvp fight. An high hps is requested to be effective and FoL lacks in it.

Holy light


Now let see holy light in detail:
In the first row we have the base holy light spell.
The second row has the same spell when casted on a target with blessing of light increasing this spell effect up to 400 (this means from zero to 400). So now a single holy light can heal from 1246 to 1788.
In the third row we consider the healing light talent influence (holy tree) that grants +12% on holy light and flash of light spells. (min and max limit of spell are increased).
The fourth row has both healing light talent and blessing of light applied.
The fifth row has all previous effects plus we consider a +100 healing effects from items. This means a +71 on every holy light (see stat section for details).
Last row takes into consideration all previous effects (row 5) plus a standard holy specced paladin as in the flash of light example. A paladin with a 4k mana pool can heal over 15k hp with this spell. As you can see in the table heal/mana ratio is good but not as high as FoL. However hps is very good and so this spell is the ideal one when you have to restore a lot of hp in few seconds. If you chaincast holy light it is possible for your target to bear (until your mana runs out) a frontload damage up to 750 dps. Not bad ^_^

Conclusions
Our primary healing tools (FoL and HL) compare with those of a primary healer class (priest) and this is a good thing indeed. Obviously we don't have all the flexibility of a primary healer (no group heal, no heal over time etc) but we have a strong advantage: reliability. A priest (or a druid) can heal a greater amount than a paladin in the same time span, but WoW isn't exactly a perfect world for healers you know. Healing spells can be delayed or even interrupted by your enemy with various abilities (damage, fear, silence, stun, sap, gouge, charge, etc.) and healing can become a pain while some mobs / players are bashing you. When this happens, paladins have multiple advantages over other healers:

  • spiritual focus grants up to 70% to avoid spellcast delay on HL and FoL from damage
  • concentration aura grants 35% to avoid spellcast delay (up to 50% with talents +15% to resist silence and interrupt effects)
  • Divine shield lets you cast spells without fear of any kind of interruption/delay
  • Blessing of protection lets you cast spells without delaying from physical damage
  • Unyelding faith gives you up to 10% to resist interruption by fear and disorienting effects
  • Hammer of justice stuns an enemy for 6s, meanwhile for example you can cast 2 holy light
  • Repentance incapacitates an enemy (humanoid mob or players) for 6s

So when you're going to heal in a dangerous situation, switch to concentration aura. With spiritual focus you don't suffer delaying from damage at all. Only spell interruption abilities (kick, fear, blind, silence, counterspell etc.) can stop you from healing. But even so you have some options like divine shield, hammer of justice or pvp insignia trinket for example.

Considering that we wear plate and have usually a lot of hitpoints more than other healers you can understand how our abilities are lower than other healers but our reliability in healing is simply awesome. Add to this the fact our spells have a 1/3 threat value of the healed amount (see aggro section) and you get the full picture.

An important note on counterspell
All paladin spells are from a single school: holy. I know that, for example, blessings are divided amongst holy, protection and retribution on your spellbook but all our spells are based on holy damage / holy resistance and belong to the holy school. The only exception is turn undead which is nature school, don't ask me why. That means also that when a caster counterspells you ALL your spells are on cooldown. Divine shield too. This is the only case in the game when divine shield is not usable. You can use it when you're silenced or polymorphed too and immediately those effects will be dispelled when invulnerability starts.

Editing and grammar check thanks to Aoikaze of Proudmoore server.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Aggro mechanics and tanking

This section is esclusive to PvE enviroment. It will explain the criteria how the mobs choose their target, how to draw their attention if you want to be that target and how to avoid to be that target.

What is "aggro"?
Aggro stands for mob aggressivity. In other words a player "has aggro" when a mob is focused on attacking the player.
The mobs never attack players randomly but base their target choice on a so called "aggro table". The aggro table is a ranked list based on the threat level every party player have on that specific mob. Mobs (with few exceptions) attack the player ranked 1st on the aggro table if they can. In other words they attack the player percieved as the biggest threat to their life. Normally threat vs mobs is increased dealing damage to them or healing a mate. However there are a lot of abilities in game that can raise or lower your threat greatly.
Managing these abilities correctly is the core of every encounter.
Understand how aggro works and mastering it, is the key concept every tank, but also every other class in wow, should know.
Some basic things:
  • 1 point of damage = 1 threat point (this can be modified by class abilities, for example a warrior in defensive stance with defiance 1 point of damage = 4,1 threat point)
  • 1 point healed = 1 threat point (this can vary depending on class, talents etc, for example for priests 1 point healed = 1,2 threat points)
  • dealing damage raise your threat vs the mob you're facing, healing raises your threat vs all the mob near the healed target.
  • be the first the mob is aware of (aka pulling) ~ 50 threat point
  • some abilities can influence threat points (even without dealing damage/healing)

Some example of abilities that influences threat (all abilities are considered at their max rank):

  • Rogue feint = -600 threat points
  • Priest fade = -820 threat points for 10 seconds only
  • Warrior taunt - target go first on aggro list for 3 seconds
  • Hunter feign death - If not resisted (is considered a spell) aggro points vs the hunter are reset to zero

Aggro range & pulling
When you get too close to an hostile mob you get aggro. The distance when the mob is aware of you and attacks is called aggro range. The aggro range may vary depending on the difference of levels between mob and player. If the mob has an higher level than player the aggro range is wider, while if the player is higher level than the mob the aggro range is smaller. Now you know why you can't have your lvl 10 friend in your group when you enter stratholme instance for example. As soon as he enters a lot of mobs are aggroed from kilometers because vs a lvl 60 mob his aggro range is incredibly wide.

Remember also that often mob are in groups and usually entering in the aggro range of one o them results all the group attack the players.

With "pulling" we intend when a mob is aware of players presence and attack them. Who attracts mob attention first is called "the puller". Pulling can be done in 3 ways.

  1. Raw method. Enter in the mob aggro range. Use it if you're alone only
  2. Ranged pull. With a ranged weapon or ranged damage spell. Only paladin tools for ranged pull is Holy Shock (from talents) or exorcism (for undead and demons only). For a great number of reasons that don't concern this guide hunters are the best pullers.
  3. Ranged pull with crowd-control ability. If you're going to attack a group of mobs pull can start immobilizing one of the mobs. The others will start to attack the players group. Examples of this abilities are shackle undead and mind control (priests), improved sap (rogues) , polymorph (mages). Paladins can obtain repentance with talents but its duration is considered too short for this purpouse.

In synthesis paladins are not meant to be pullers.

What is tanking?

Tanking is the art of keep mob attention.

Tanking is not equal to dealing damage!

It's all about the threat the mob percieve. It requires you know all the tools your class have to raise your threat vs mobs. And also requires your fellows knows how aggro works and try to deal maximum damage/healing without attracting mob attention.

Paladin tanking
In this chapter we examine how paladin tanking works. I will show how tanking was the old manner (up to 1.8 patch) and then how it works on current live servers (from 1.9 patch).
1.8
In 1.8 patch paladins have seal of fury and judgement of fury. These 2 abilities work (like every other seal and judgement) on single target. They don't have any physical damage effect but simply influence aggro.
  • Seal of fury + 90 threat points added every time you hit a mob with weapon.
  • Judgement of fury + 337 (!!) threat point added every time you deal holy damage to the mob with the judgement on it.

If you used seal of fury with a fast one hand weapon, every time you hit you get 90 extra threat point in addition to your damage indipendently how much the damage was. Your threat points could easily double your real damage. But judgement was incredibly better. Every time you dealt holy damage you get 337 extra threat points indipendently how much the damage was. Let's make a pratical example: start with retribution aura on and seal of fury and then when entering in combat immediately judge it (30 sec judgement of fury starting) and cast seal of righteousness. Then spam consecration. Now let's do some math.

In the first 30 seconds of combat you get as threat points:

  • your weapon damage
  • your seal of righteousness damage plus 337 every time it procs (in 1.8 SoR don't proc every time but very often).
  • 337 damage every tick of consecration. In 30 sec you can easily spam it 3 times so 24 ticks * 337 = 8088 threat points.
  • 20+337 threat points every time the mob hits you from retribution aura
  • paladin with shield equipped and holy shield talent get damage plus 337 every holy shield charge proc.

As you can see was easy get huge amount of threat in a short time interval. Paladin tanking was effective. However it had a weak point. Worked only on single target. Paladin had no tools for multiple target tanking except the damage from consecration.

1.9
From this patch the paladin tools for tanking are changed. Seal and Judgement of fury was removed and a new buff with a 30 min duration was introduced: Righteous fury. It increases the threat generated by the Paladin's Holy attacks by 60%. This means that every point of holy damage you deal 1,6 threat point are generated. So now threat is dipendent on the holy damage we deal. Sure we have more abilities that deal holy damage now (new Judgements for example) but compared with a warrior that can generate up to 1900 threat points with a single sunder armor simply we can't compete. We can now generate holy damage when requested (JoC, JoR, HS or Consecration for example) and so have a sort of "snap aggro" tool, but all these abilities require a large amount of mana (larger than 1.8) and for encounters that lasts more than a couple minutes simply our mana pool isn't enough to tank effectively. By the way here follows some routines for paladin single target tanking:
first of all cast Righteous Fury buff
  1. Paladin specialized in holy tree. Judge crusader asap for extra holy damage for your abilities. Then keep SoR. Every time when SoR is going to fade use JoR and then recast SoR. Use also Holy Shock for extra threat or if on cooldown, Consecration. The mana cost of consecration is higher and is usually worth only for multiple targets. When mob is below 20% use hammer of wrath (switch to concentration aura before trying to cast it). Using retribution aura could give a little hand for extra holy damage.
  2. Paladin specialized in protection tree. Start like the example above with JotC and SoR and judge every 30 sec. If you're protection I assume you equip a shield. Use retribution aura. Your extra holy damage comes Blessing of sanctuary and Holy shield holy damage every time you block with your shield. Every block you deal the following holy damage: 20 from retribution aura + 35 from Blessing of sanctuary + 130 from holy shield if active. Moreover a full reckoning bomb with SoR should stick the mob on you definitely.
  3. Paladin specialized in retribution tree. Activate Sanctity aura. JotC asap like other trees, but then go with Seal of Command. Judge it at least every 30 sec and possibly with mob stunned or incapacitated (HoJ or Repentance). Also remember that JoC with Vengeance active grants an extra 15% damage.

Obviously paladin has talents in more than one tree. I can't certainly cover all the possible templates but the above examples should give you a path to follow. While warrior tanking is based on rage that is virtually everlasting till in combat, our tanking sistem is based mainly on mana that is limited. So searching for the right tanking tactic for your template, your main concern is mana cost . For partial solution to this problem pls read "regeneration in combat chapter" article.

If the mob is undead / demon type, exorcism is a great option for tanking. Its mana/damage ratio is far better than other abilities like hammer of wrath, holy shock and consecration.

For what regards multi target tanking you need absolutely Consecration (talent in holy tree). Also Holy Wrath could be used for multiple undead / demons tanking but its long cooldown (1 min) don't allow this tool to be reliable in keeping aggro.


Considerations
Paladins gained the ability to tank multiple target but their effectiveness in tanking is lowered at minimum levels. Paladins can now play tank role in 5-10 man instances at max if no warrior is avaiable but even a druid in bear form can perform better than us. Why developers have done this is actually a mystery. I can understand the introduction of Righteous Fury as an easier to use aggro tool. A lot of paladins never understood how Seal and Judgement of fury works and never use it, and complained on the forums how they couldn't keep aggro with their low damage (shame on them!) but the threat we can generate now is pretty ridicolous, even with Improved righeous fury talent (protection tree). I hope that in next patches this problem is addressed with a higher coefficient of threat generation.

What about our healing abilities?
As we have seen healing increase threat points. Paladin have healing spells and abilities (HL, FoL, HS, Seal and judgement of light,LoH). Why not use these abilities to grab aggro from mob if we want to tank? Why not cast a simple holy light spell (2,5 sec), healing ~ 1500 damage and generating corresponding threat? Wrong. All paladin healing spells have a threat generation equal to 1/3 of the healed points. This is why paladin healing in large raids is so often used. The risk of grabbing aggro from main tank is minimal and far lower than druids and priests.Even if that happens we have a plate armor to absorb damage instead of cloth (priests) or leather (druids) so we can bear some damage while the main tank works to regain aggro. We can also simply use divine shield and the mob noticing we're immune will switch to 2nd in aggro table (probably the main tank). This will give him extra 12 seconds to generate enough threat to be ranked again first in aggro table. Guild have reported to defeat Nefarian (final BlackWing Lair encounter) with paladins healing main tank spamming FoL (enhanced with BoL effect) continuosly with no problem of aggro management.

Other aggro tools
We have some other abilities that can help our class in aggro management. These abilities don't affect threat points directly.
  • Divine Shield (and divine protection) - If you got aggro and don't want it like in the example few lines above.
  • Hammer of Justice - If you lose aggro, stunning mob for 6 seconds give some nice extra time to regain it avoiding your healer to roleplay a punching ball.
  • Blessing of Protection - If you lose aggro (and the mob isn't caster type), you can regain it immediately casting BoP on your attacked mate. You have then 10 sec to generate extra aggro and be ranked again 1st in aggro table.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Index (work in progress)

PREMISE


OVERVIEW (95%)


  • Paladin role

  • Races

STATS


  • Strength
  • Agility
  • Stamina
  • Intellect
  • Spirit
  • Armor
  • Defense
  • +% to Hit
  • + x% Spell Hit
  • Magic resistances
  • + x%Crit and +x%Spell Crit
  • + healing and + spell damage

PALADIN COMBAT SYSTEM


AURAS


  • Devotion aura
  • Retribution aura
  • Concentration aura
  • Fire resistance aura
  • Shadow resistance aura
  • Frost resistance aura
  • Sanctity aura

BLESSINGS


  • Blessing of might (BoM)
  • Blessing of wisdom (BoW)
  • Blessing of kings (BoK)
  • Blessing of salvation (BoS)
  • Blessing of sanctuary (BoSct)
  • Blessing of protection (BoP)
  • Blessing of Freedom (BoF)
  • Blessing of Light (BoL)
  • Blessing of Sacrifice (BoScf)
  • Greater blessings

SEALS


  • Seal of the Crusader (SoCr)
  • Seal of Righteousness (SoR)
  • Seal of Justice (SoJ)
  • Seal of Command (SoC)
  • Seal of Light (SoL)
  • Seal of Wisdom (SoW)

JUDGEMENTS


Direct Damage judgements

  • Judgement of Righteousness (JoR)
  • Judgement of Command (JoC)

Debuffing Judgements

  • Judgement of the crusader (JoCr)
  • Judgement of Justice (JoJ)
  • Judgement of Light (JoL)
  • Judgement of Wisdom (JoW)

Seals and judgements combos


OTHER ABILITIES (90%)


  • Cleanse and Purify
  • Consecration
  • Divine Favor (DF)
  • Divine Intervention (DI)
  • Divine Shield (DS) and Divine Protection
  • Exorcism
  • Eye for an Eye
  • Flash of Light
  • Hammer of Justice (HoJ)
  • Hammer of Wrath (HoW)
  • Holy Light
  • Holy Shield
  • Holy Shock (HS)
  • Holy Wrath
  • Reckoning
  • Redemption
  • Repentance
  • Righeous Fury (RF)
  • Sense Undead
  • Turn Undead

Friday, December 23, 2005

Premise


This guide is pretty technical and contains a lot of formulas about game mechanics. Nevertheless it can be useful even if you are new to the class because explain some pratical tactics and routine good to know for every paladin. As the infamous slide at blizzcon stated we’re meant to be the “easy class”, this is due to our high survivablity. Thanks to this peculiarity the paladin class forgive a lot of mistakes in game, but be aware that at high level is one of the hardest class to play well, due to its versatility in a lot of roles, requiring highest flexibility in your in game behaviour. The paladin’s toolbar is probably the most crowded of abilities amongs all classes. Most of these are situational and require you to know exactly when to use them for their full effect. In synthesis there are a lot of paladins but good paladins are still very rare.
This guide will present paladin class in general and above all how game mechanics affect the class. There isn’t a chapter about talents and talents template but is explained how talents affects a lot of common game situations. I think that explaining how things happens instead of giving some cookie cutter templates will help people comprehension of the class, leading to everyone tailor a template for himself, finding new playstyles and improving the class general knowledge. In addition to the guide you will find the "Paladin for dummies" section: a collection of articles on paladin game mechanics in the most common situation. This section is actually on draft state, I will post every article as soon is avaiable. Thank you for your patience. ^_^
As you can probably notice english is not my mother language so any correction is appreciated. ^_^
If you have any updates, correction, additional info pls mail me at pacioworld@google.com or post a comment. Thank you

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Overview

Paladin role
The Paladin is a hybrid character. It’s a mixup of a melee fighter, a healer and a caster with short range holy spells (aka judgements) it also get to use some other magical abilities. In addition to their respectable tanking skills, Paladins are welcomed in groups also for their ability to heal, remove debuffing effects and resurrect people. If your main healer gets in trouble, it's really handy to have a Paladin on hand to provide extra healing. Paladins also have some abilities (such as Exorcism) which make them a powerful force when fighting Undead and Demon NPCs.
The Paladin is a jack of all trades type character. It can cover a wide range of roles: tanking, healing, melee damage, buffing etc. The tradeoff for our versatility is that for every role we can cover, it exists a class that can do it better.

The class strenghts/peculiarities are:

  • wide range of buffing abilities: auras, blessing

  • immunity shields (Divine Protection, Divine Shield and Blessing of Protection)

  • healing capabilities suited for extreme dangerous situations.

Paladins have the best survivablity of any of the classes in World of Warcraft. The only situation where the paladins abilities really shines is when the group / raid wipe is incoming. A cold blood paladin can save his fellows in a lot of extreme situations. More details further in this guide.
On the other side paladins have the lowest dps (damage per second) output in game.
This means also that for actual honor ranking mechanics, based on kills and not on survival paladins have the hardest time of all classes to ladder the ranks. Be aware of this.
On the other hand the horde player will hate you like no other class because you’re the hardest kill to get. ^_^

Due to their peculiarities paladins actually are considered a support class.

From 1.9 patch paladin class has changed greatly. Now paladins output damage is mainly based (about 2/3) on holy damage from seals, judgements and other spells rather than normal auto-attack swings. This changes our class in a melee / healer / short range holy caster hybrid.
Now it’s possible to deal massive amount of damage in a short time span but to achieve this huge mana cost are required (see dealing damage section for details).
Our range of effectiveness is now slightly wider because direct damage judgements works in a 10 yards range instead of 5 (melee range).
Paladins can wear cloth, leather, or mail armor, and can train to wear plate armor at level 40. They may use a shield.

They can use the following melee weapons (either innately or through training):
swords, one- and two-handed
maces, one- and two-handed
axes, one- and two-handed
polearms (at level 20)
Paladins may not dual wield (use a weapon in the off hand). Paladins cannot use any ranged weapons.

Races
The Paladin is unique to the Alliance.
Actually only humans and dwarves are allowed to join this class.
These are the starting stats.



Racial Traits: Human

Perception - active
Activate to increase stealth detection radius by 10 yards - lasts 20 sec - 3 min cooldown

The Human Spirit - passive
Increase Spirit by 5% (see stat section)

Diplomacy - passive
10% bonus to faction point gain

Sword Specialization - passive
+5 to Sword skill (see stat section)

Mace Specialization - passive
+5 to Mace skill (see stat section)

Racial Traits: Dwarves

Stoneform - active
Activate to gain immunity to poison, disease, and bleed + 5% AC bonus - lasts 20 sec - 3 min cooldown (need info for new version)

Gun Specialization - passive
+5 to Gun Skill (no use for paladins, guns are not admitted for the class)

Frost Resistance - passive
+10 Cold Resistance (see Aura section)

Treasure Finding - passive
Activate to see treasure chests on mini map - lasts until canceled - no cooldown

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stats

As you advance through levels your stats will increase automatically. But you can also raise stats with equipment. Unfortunately unlike most classes we need to raise all the stats. Obviously some choices have to be made according to your playstyle. Let’s see how the stats influences your character.(note that all the formulas reported are intended for paladin class and do not works on other classes).

Attributes

Strenght

Increases your attack power with melee weapons. (+2 atk power every point of strenght)
Increases the amount of damage you can block with a shield.
Strength does not affect critical hit chances at all. Strength does not improve your chance to block, but rather the amount of damage blocked when you succeed. This amount is determined in part by Strength (and the other part by your shield).

This is the attack power formula for paladin class:

(Character Level*3)+(Strength*2)-20

Considering that 14 attack power = 1 dps (damage per second) we see that every 7 point of strenght 1 dps is added to our damage output.

Agility

Increases your armor. (+2 every point of agility)
Increases your chance to score a critical hit with a weapon. (+1% every 20 pts)
Increases your chance to dodge attacks. (~+1% every 20 pts)

Stamina

Increases health points. Each point of Stamina gives you an additional 10 HP.

Intellect

Increases the rate at which you learn weapon skills.
Increases your Mana points. Each point of intellect gives you 15 Mana points.
Increases your chance to score a critical hit with spells. A number between 27,5 and 29, 5 points of Intellect equal 1% chance to crit with spells. See this post for details.

Spirit

Increases health regeneration. No regeneration in combat. There is 1 tick of regeneration every 2 seconds equal to Spirit * 0.25
Increases mana regeneration. Your mana regenerates all of the time, except for a period of five seconds after you cast a spell. In this five seconds, you have no regeneration. This is commonly called the five second rule. A spell here is defined as anything that costs mana to cast. So spells from items or aura doesn’t start the timer. Mana regenerates according to how much spirit you have. You do not mana regen faster if you are sitting down or standing up. You do not mana regen faster in battle or out of battle. There is 1 tick of regeneration every 2 seconds equal to (Spirit/4) + 8

Other stats

Armor

Armor reduces physical damage done against you. Thus isn’t protecting you from magic damage, that is what resistance are for.

Paladin Armor = 2 * Agility + objects armor + shield armor + devotion aura

Armor can be increased also with toughness and improved devotion aura talents.
When you are hit by physical damage armor grants a percentage reduction calculated as follows:

%Reduction = (Armor / (Armor + 400 + 85 * Enemy_Level)) * 100

Damage mitigation by armor is capped at 75%. This means 16500 armor vs a lvl 60 enemy. You can see your damage mitigation % from character sheet in game. Just go with mouse pointer over armor value.


Defense

Each point of +Defense skill adds:
+ 0.04% to be missed
+ 0.04% to Parry
+ 0.04% to Dodge
+ 0.04% to Block
- 0.04 to be affected by a critical hit
Thus +25 Defense = +1% to Parry, Dodge and Block, -1% to be affected by a crit and +1% to be missed.
Remember that miss and dodge chances works against physical and magic attacks while dodge and block only on physical ones.
Moreover decreases the chance of being affected by a "crushing blow". Creatures (not players) that are higher 3 or more levels than your character can land crushing blows that deal increased (150%) melee damage. Now you understand why that damned 63 elite Molten Destroyer in Molten Core hit a lot harder than that 62 elite Molten Giant >_^
Each point of defense will decrease the chance of being affected by a Crushing Blow by 2%. However this percentage will be added only if your actual defense is under your level cap (level * 5 so 300 max at 60). The minimum percentage of crushing blow is 15% so… stay away from level 63 mobs :P

So calculating our defenses we have:

Dodge chance [%] = Agility / 20 + (Defense * 0,04)

Block chance [%] = 5 - (Level * 5 - base defense)*0.04 + (global defense – character defense)*0.04

Parry chance [%] = 5 - (Level * 5 - base defense)*0.04 + (global defense – character defense)*0.04

The base defense is your level based unbuffed value.Is the one you see increase every level by five points and its capped at 300 at level 60. Global defense is your base defense + defense from items and is the one you see in your character sheet in game.
Block and parry chance can be raised from talents (redoubt and holy shield for block and deflection for parry) and items.
Defence can be raised from anticipation talent (up to ten) and items.

+% to Hit

Your +X% to hit is directly subtracted from your miss rate, as stated from blizzard developers.

+ x% Spell Hit

Increases chances that a spell will affect successfully your target. When a spell is casted the game performs 2 checks.
The first is based on level difference from you and your target. So if your target is
Same level 96%
1 lvl higher 95%
2 lvls higher 94%
3 lvls higher 83% on mobs 87% on players
4 lvls higher 72% on mobs 80% on players
and so on…
your +x% spell hit affects directly these chances. The second check done by the game is based on resistences. If you want to know more about this give a sight at the following magic resistances section.

Magic resistances

After the first check based on opponents level there’s a roll based on your resistance against that kind of spell damage. Magic branch in wow are: fire, frost, arcane, shadow, nature and holy. You can raise resistance with items and auras. Dwarven paladins benefits from racial abilities +10 frost resistance also.
Your resistances to magic damage (except holy) can be seen in your character sheet in game. Holy is not represented because every player has zero resistance to holy damage and there isn’t any item in game that can raise it. Only defence in game against holy damage is an alchemist potion that absorbs a fixed amount of it. Notice that some mobs have holy resistance (especially bosses).
The paladin class spells deals holy damage so they are not influenced by resistences. However resistences counts when the enemy spell hits us so here’s the explanation:

%Resistance = (Target's Resistance / (Caster's Level * 5)) * 0.75

The cap to spell resistance is 75%. To reach the cap versus a level 60 caster spell requires 300 resist in that school. A paladin resistance aura (60 resist) grants 15% to avoid the spell vs a lvl 60 caster.

For spells that don't cause immediate damage, you'll either totally take the hit or totally avoid the hit. The % resistance is the chance you'll totally avoid the hit. Against direct-damage spells (spells that deliver their full damage upon impact, such as Fireball, Mind Blast, and Earth Shock), this resistance is the percentage of damage you will resist on average.

When you are hit by a direct-damage spell, you have a chance to resist 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, or 0% of the spell's damage, depending on your resistance score in relation to the level of the attacking caster. Your average percentage of damage resisted is the weighted average of your resistance percentages for each level of damage resistance (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0%).







+ x%Crit and +x%Spell Crit


Base chances of a crit are as follows:

Spells = [5 + INT/X*]%

Melee = [5 + AGI/18]%

X* should be a number in the 27,5 - 29,5 range

So crit chances are directly related to intellect and agility stats. They can also be increased with items with +X% crit o +X% spell crit or also with talents (holy power for spells and conviction for melee).
Melee crits are 200% normal damage while spells crits are 150% normal damage.
Important: your weapon skill affect crit chances. If your weapon skill is under your level cap (5 * level, 300 at level 60) subtracts 0.04% every point under the cap. Also if your weaponskill is higher than your level cap (from items or racial abilities) your crit chance is raised 0.04% every point. So i.e. if you are a human paladin you’re guaranteed +5 weaponskill in swords and maces that means a +0.2% to crit (if you have your weaponskill capped).
You can see your melee %crit in game calling your spellbook (p key) and going with mouse over the attack icon.
Critical hits can't be blocked, dodged or parried.

+ healing and + spell damage


These items add a bonus to heals or damage spells. However the number advertised on the item doesn’t represent reality. Only a fraction of the total bonus is added on the spell depending on factor like casting time, etc.
From patch 1.10 we have this coefficients :

10% Seal of Righteousness with 1 handed weapon
12,5% Seal of Righteousness with 2 handed weapon
50% Judgement of Righteousness
20% Seal of Command
29% Seal of Command (only with +holy damage bonuses)
43% Judgement of Command
33% Consecration
43% Holy Shock
43% Hammer of Wrath
43% Exorcism
19% Holy Wrath
00% Blessing of Sanctuary ;_;
20% Holy Shield
00% Retribution Aura ;_;
71% Holy Light
43% Flash of Light
100% Eye for an Eye

This means for example that if you have +100 healing from items your holy light spell will get an increase of 71 hitpoints healed.

Paladin combat system


Our class combat system is based mainly on four elements: aura, blessings, seals and judgements. Combining efficiently these elements a paladin can face efficiently quite every situation.

Auras affect all the group member within 30 yds from the paladin, costs no mana and the effect is permanent (till the paladin dies). Multiple paladins can use different Auras within a group. If multiple paladins in a group have the same aura, effects don’t stack.

Blessings are spell buff that paladins can cast on themselves or any friendly target. Some blessing are limited to party/raid members. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any time. When more than one paladin is present, talk with your others fellow, in order to plan a better buff coverage for every group / raid member. Blessing are considered magic effects so can be dispelled.

Seals are short-term self-buffs with a wide range of effects. This means obviously that every paladin can have only one seal active at every time. They can buff paladin power, enhance regeneration and a lot more. All seals lasts 30 seconds. Seals are considered magic effects so can be dispelled.

When a seal is active you can judge it via the judgement ability. The seal effect will stop immediately and a judgement effect is unleashed on the enemy target. You need to be in a 10 yards range from target to judge a seal. The judgement ability has a 10 seconds cooldown (8 with a talent in retribution tree). In other words if you have a seal active on you, with judgement you stop its effect and activate a judgement with the same name as the seal on your target (i.e. Seal of Light, judged, become Judgement of Light).
The judgement ability mana cost is 90 (79 if you have benediction talent in retribution tree).

Judgements are short range spells that affects your target. There are 2 kind of judgements from 1.9 patch:
  • judgements that do direct holy damage on target. Effect is istant and can’t be obviously dispelled. These are judgement of command and judgement of Righteousness.

  • judgement that places a magical debuff on your enemy target (visible as icon) with various effects. The debuff duration is 10 seconds, however every time you hit judged enemy target with a melee swing, timer is reset so, if you keep fighting, it’s possible to have an everlasting judgement effect. These judgement are: judgement of the crusader, judgement of justice, judgement of wisdom, judgement of light. Judgement of this kind are considered magical debuff and can be dispelled. Judgements, if activated on the same target from different paladins, don’t stack.
Notice that it’s possible to keep a judgement of the second kind running on your target keeping your swinging (at least 1 hit every 10 seconds), and on top of that use judgement of the first kind without limitation but judgement ability cooldown (10 seconds). For more details on this read dealing damage section.

So at any given time a paladin can have up to:
1 aura every paladin in group
1 blessing every paladin in group
1 seal active
1 judgement active (magical debuff type) on enemy target
Moreover can hit target with instant judgements that deals direct damage, whenever judgement ability is not on cooldown.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Auras


Devotion aura
Gives additional armor to party members (735 at rank 7; 20% more with 5 points in improved devotion aura talent). The % of mitigation generated from devotion aura (see armor stat) is very small on a plate wearer like our class, may vary from ~4% if you wield a 2 hand weapon to a mere ~2% if you are equipped with a shield. This aura can be pretty useful for caster equipped with cloth adding them a better mitigation percentage than ours. However caster classes normally find Concentration aura more useful. Unfortunately it’s the aura used from 90% of the paladin class 99% of the time. A smart paladin should learn to switch aura properly, adapting to current situation especially considering the zero mana cost.

Retribution aura
Causes holy damage to any creature that strikes a party member. (20 at rank 5; 30 with 2 point in improved retribution aura talent). This is the aura to use when facing a dual wielder character. the amount of damage it can reflect on the attacker is far greater than the mitigation you could have from devotion aura. It’s the aura you have to use versus rogues or warriors (especially fury specced ones). It doesn’t work on ranged strikes like in the past.(damn hunters =_= )

Concentration aura
Gives 35% chance of ignoring spell casting delays caused by damage to nearby party members. With 3 points in improved concentration aura talent change of ignoring spell casting delays raise to 50% plus an additional 15% chance to resist Silence and Interrupt effects.
Probably the more underused aura paladins have, and probably the most useful. This aura, working toghether with the spiritual focus talent is the basement of paladin healing.
The spiritual focus talent grants up to 70% chance to not lose casting time with holy light and flash of light spells when you take damage. Add concentration aura to this and you have over 100% chance to not lose casting time with these 2 spells and a 35% on every other spell you can cast. As you can see this is the reason that makes the paladin a good healer in close combat situation. For more details to this see healing section.

Fire resistance aura
Increases the group's fire resistance (60 at rank 3). Stack with resistance on items but not with other resistance spells. When you’re in a place with lava, flaming mobs and so on could be a good choice :P. Also when you see a enemy mage casting a spell with flaming hands pointing towards you or your group members this aura could be an option. Getting fireball in your face hurts! Seriously! ^_^
I know you all love to see great numbers in your armor stat with devotion aura but deflecting fireballs with the shield is still not a in-game feature so…

Shadow resistance aura
Increases the group's shadow resistance (60 at rank 3). Stack with resistance on items but not with other resistance spells. When you face an enemy priest or warlock this is your aura. Period.

Frost resistance aura
Increases the group's frost resistance (60 at rank 3). Stack with resistance on items but not with other resistance spells. Effective versus frost mages. What are you saying? You can’t see the difference between fire and frost mages? Well here some hints, when your feet are iced and blocked on the ground may be it’s a frost specced mage. Anyway after the first fireball of the first frostbolt directly on your teeth you should be able to pick the correct aura. Incredibly a lot of paladin in pvp still feel the challenge to prove their teeth hardness. >_>

Sanctity aura
Increases Holy damage done by party members by 10%. Holy damage can be delivered only by paladin and some minor priest spells. If a priest want to do damage stay sure it will cast shadow spells so this aura is basically only for paladins benefit. Use only in solo situation it can increase your damage by a good amount. Also if in Arathi Bashin your group loves to spread all over the map (hate this! =_=) and are far away from the 30 yards limit, this aura could be an option. Not all paladins have Sanctity aura. It can only be gained through a specific talent in retribution tree.


Which aura should I use if more than one paladin is present?
If 2 paladins are in group start with Devotion + Concentration aura. Talk with the other paladin in order to know who got improved devotion aura or improved concentration aura talents and assign aura accordingly. While one paladin keeps concentration aura all the time, the other switch to resistance auras if needed in the encounter or even retribution aura if the paladin is tanking (see tanking section for details). If more than 2 paladins are present go for devotion, concentration and a resistance aura, as needed by the situation.


What about other classes resistance buffs?
Your resistance auras stack only with item bonuses and don't stack with other classes buffs involving resistances like priest's shadow protection or druid's mark of the wild. If this situation occurs only higher buff to a given resistance is taken into consideration. So for example:
- if the priest buffs you with shadow protection (+60 resistance to shadow) activating your shadow protection aura is totally useless.
- if the druid buffs you with mark of the wild rank 7 (+285 to armour, all attributes +12 and all resistance +20) and you activate shadow protection aura, your resistance to shadow will be 60 (+item bonuses), while fire, frost, arcane and nature resistance will be 20 (+ item bonuses).

Blessings


Blessing of might (BoM)
Places a Blessing on a friendly target, increasing attack power for 5 min increasing the dps output. With improved blessing of might talent (retribution tree) the effectiveness is raised. It affects only melee attack power. Ranged damage is unaffected so pls stop casting it on hunters =_=
It’s effect can be raised with improved blessing of might talent (retribution tree)


This buff is useful for all the classes that deals damage with melee combat, so warrior, rogues, paladins, druid in bear or cat form, and hunter pets.
* rank 7 not avaiable at trainer. Ahn'Qiraj scroll drop needed

Blessing of wisdom (BoW)
Places a Blessing on a friendly target, increasing mana regeneration for 5 minutes. In addition to normal mana regeneration (see spirit section) grants a second tick with a 5 second timer. It can be raised with improved blessing of wisdom talent in holy tree.



In this table you can also see (for easily comparison) the spirit stat needed to have same amount of mana regeneration as the blessing.
This buff is useful for every class that has a mana pool, so paladin, hunter, warlock (and pets), priest, mage and druid.
* rank 6 not avaiable at trainer. Ahn'Qiraj scroll drop needed

Blessing of kings (BoK)
Places a Blessing on a friendly target, increasing total stats by 10% for 5 minutes(mana cost 120). It affects strenght, agility, stamina, intellect and spirit taking into consideration bonus stats from equipment. Is obviously useful for every class and probably the best overall game buff togheter with druid’s mark of the wild. This blessing is gained through a talent in protection tree.

Blessing of salvation (BoS)
Places a Blessing on a group / raid member, granting a 30% reduction in threat generation for 5 min (mana cost is 120). For a detailed explanation how threat generation works in game pls read aggro mechanic section. This blessing isn’t usable in pvp situation because players base their attack priorities on awesome sofisticated tactics: FTFA (first targeted first attacked), aesthetics, and so on. >_^
In PVE this bless is the first choice for mages, warlocks priests and druids. It’s also good for rogues, hunters and in general for every player in your group that is not designed as the main tank. If you cast this blessing (or blessing of protection) on your raid main tank is a good way to have some entertaining situation if you don’t mind having 40 people verbally cursing you with every insult known to mankind.

Blessing of sanctuary (BoSct)
Places a Blessing on the friendly target, reducing damage dealt from all sources by a fixed amount for 5 min. In addition, when the target blocks (with a shield) a melee attack the attacker will take Holy damage. This blessing is gained through a talent in protection tree.


Holy damage dealt from this bless isn’t influenced by +spell damage bonus on items. This blessing is good for all classes, however is usually a second choice because effects doesn’t scale with your equipment like BoK for example.

Blessing of protection (BoP)
Places a Blessing on a group / raid member granting immunity to all physical damage (melee and ranged) for x seconds (rank 1 - 6 sec, rank 2 - 8 sec, rank 3 – 10 sec). 5 minutes cooldown (3 with guardian favor talent in protection tree). Note that some special physical abilities can go through this shield (rogue kick for example) although the damage component of such abilities is still negated. When under the effect of this blessing you can’t attack with weapons or use any physical abilities. You can still heal yourself or others, use bandages or cast magic like Consecration or Holy Shock (see further in this guide). Divine Protection, Divine Shield and Blessing of Protection targets will receive the "forberance" debuff, preventing another of these three spells from being applied to that target for one minute. Here’s some examples when this blessing shines at his best.
- PVE. Cast it on your healer when it get’s mobs attention preventing him from physical harm and consenting MT to regain aggro.
- PVP. Cast it on your fellow mage consenting him to deal massive AoE damage in a crowded situation avoiding damage from warriors, hunters and rogues.
- PVP. Cast it on your group healer (priest, druid or you) when under direct threat from warriors, hunters and rogues consenting him to cast a couple of heal spells freely.

Blessing of Freedom (BoF)
Places a Blessing on a friendly target granting immunity to movement imparing effects for 10 seconds and freeing target from said effects(Mana cost 151, cooldown 20 sec). The duration can be increased via guardian favor talent in protection tree (up to 16 sec total). Dazed effect makes exception and isn’t eliminated by this blessing. Remember that when you’re slowed from magical effects you can also use cleanse ability (lesser mana cost and no cooldown) and remove it. This blessing is especially used in PvP. Here’s some examples
- Self cast it and go in melee range with that hunter that continuosly kite you.
- Cast it on your fellow warrior with iced feet (preventing him to get a cold also :P) and let him reach melee range and deal with that frost mage without problems.
- Cast it on flag carrier in Warsong Gulch Battleground
- Use it when you’re facing a druid that spams entangling roots

Blessing of Light (BoL)
Places a Blessing on a friendly target granting increased effect from paladin Holy Light (HL) and Flash of Light (FOL) healing spells for 5 minutes.


This blessing is especially useful in high end instances raising the paladins healing peculiarities (see healing section for detailed explanation). Can also be used effectively in PVP although some other blessing can have a major impact.

Blessing of Sacrifice (BoScf)
Places a Blessing on a party / raid member creating a link with the paladin. Every hit the blessed player endures, a fixed amout of damage is transferred on paladin. Blessing lasts 30 seconds.



Damage reduction from this blessing are taken in consideration before armor mitigation or resistences calculation on target. This means for example if you cast hit on a warrior, with 50% melee damage mitigation, and a rogue hits with a Sinister Strike for 605 damage, 55 damage are instantly transferred on you and then the warrior takes (605-55)*50% = 275 damage. The damage transferred on you causes the usual spellcasting interruption effect as you was hit directly. The amount of damage mitigation from this blessing is fixed so at high levels is hard to see it in use. However here’s some examples when cast this blessing is appropriate:
- When your fellow mage/warlock is going to AoE a lot of smaller level mobs
- When your fellow caster is facing an enemy that hits a lot but with a limitate amount of damage: dagger equipped rogues, dual wields mobs etc.
- If you’re are in battleground and face groups that love a lot to put crowd control effects on you, cast blessing of sacrifice on your group fellows. Every hit they take will hit you too breaking istantly polymorph or sap effects and giving a chance to break fear.


Greater blessings
Paladins can now learn Greater Blessings version for the following spells:
Blessing of Might
Blessing of Wisdom
Blessing of Kings
Blessing of Sanctuary
Blessing of Salvation
Greater Blessings will cast the associated blessing on all raid members that share the same class as the target. For example, if you cast Greater Blessing of Might on a warrior in your raid, all warriors in the raid party will receive Blessing of Might from you. Additionally, Greater Blessings have an increased duration of 15 minutes. These blessings require twice as much mana as the single target version, as well as a reagent. Paladins can purchase these new Greater Blessing spells from their class trainers.
Which blessing should I cast?
Here you have some basic lines on how to manage blessing. Variation are always possible, remember that a smart paladin should evaluate the situation and act in a flexible manner.
If you are the only paladin in group cast as follows:
  • bom on main tank (usually a warrior but can be a druid in bear form or the paladin himself).
  • bos on mage, warlock, priest and druid.
  • bow on hunter if it knows well how to manage aggro, otherwise bos.
  • bom on rogue if it knows well how to manage aggro, otherwise bos.
  • bow / bom / bok on yourself. It depends the role you're covering at the moment: support, tank/offtank, mix).
How to manage blessing when multiple paladins are present?
If more than one paladin is present then multiple blessing can be casted on every player. Here you have a class by class list, in order of importance, of main beneficial blessing.
  • Warrior - Bom, Bok, BoL (bow is useless because warrior have no mana pool, bos is a terrible choice since warrior has to generate threat, and Bosct will prevent partially rage generation)
  • Hunter - Bow, Bos, Bok (bom is pratically useless because it affects only melee damage and hunters never go melee if not costrained and often it will faint dead to escape from mob attention)
  • Mage - Bos, Bow, Bok (main concern is to avoid aggro, same for all the others caster /healer classes)
  • Priest - Bos, Bow, Bok
  • Warlock - Bos, Bow, Bok
  • Rogue - Bom, Bos, Bok (objective is raise damage output without attract mob attention.
  • Druid - Bos, Bow, Bok
  • Paladin - Bow, Bom, Bok (no order of importance, depending on the current role covered in group

What about pvp blessing?
The above list is still valid with the exception of bos that is useless in pvp. Remember also to use the short duration blessing (bop, boscf, bof) when the situation require it. Their duration is limited because their effectiveness is greater than long blessings. Use them wisely. And remember to rebless your fellow after using them.

For a more exaustive coverage of blessing in large raids pls give a sight at the appropriate section.