MMO-Champion - Oct 18 Raid Testing, Loot Update, Raid Videos, Blue Posts
Beta Raid Testing Schedule for Oct. 18
Tonight is another session of raid testing! Things are definitely going fast and you can expect new items and a couple of streams on the front page.
Originally Posted by Daelo (Blue Tracker)
More raid testing!

There will be two sessions, an EU session starting at 11AM server time (PDT), and a US timed session at 4PM server time (PDT). We'll open the zones on all Beta realms (including KR!) for both sessions.

The following encounters will be tested:

Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent
Theralion and Valiona in The Bastion of Twilight
Conclave of Wind in Throne of the Four Winds

Blackwing Descent is a raid zone with an entrance located along the side of Blackrock Mountain.
The Bastion of Twilight's entrance is located within Twilight Highlands.
The Throne of the Four Winds entrance is in SW Uldum off the coast.

Since these are the beta realms, this schedule is subject to change at a moment's notice due to bugs and server issues. More raid tests will be occurring over the next few weeks.
Now that the raid testing has started you can expect regular loot updates, here is a list of the items discovered on test realms during yesterday's testing. Item models aren't really implemented yet, no screenshots for the moment!

ilvlTypeSpecSlotItem
359AxeMeleeTwo-HandShalug'doom, the Axe of Unmaking
359CrossbowPhysical DPSRangedFinely-Tuned Throat Needler
359StaffHealTwo-HandDark Mender's Staff
359StaffPhysical DPSTwo-HandMalevolence
359SwordMeleeOne-HandSoul Blade
359WandHealRangedFinkle's Mixer Upper
359WandSpell DPSRangedTheresa's Booklight
359Off-HandSpell DPSOff-handBook of Binding Will
359PlateHealLegsLegguards of the Emerald Brood
359PlateHealShoulderBurden of Mortality
359PlateHealWaistCorehammer's Riveted Girdle
359PlateMeleeFeetMassacre Treads
359PlateMeleeHandsPlated Fists of Provocation
359PlateMeleeShoulderPauldrons of the Great Ettin
359PlateMeleeWristBracers of Impossible Strength
359MailSpellHeadHelm of the Nether Scion
359MailSpellWristChaos Beast Bracers
359MailPhys.DPSHandsProto-Handler's Gauntlets
359MailPhys.DPSWristChimaron Armguards
359LeatherSpellFeetFading Violet Sandals
359LeatherSpellShoulderHide of Chromaggus
359LeatherPhys.DPSFeetStorm Rider's Boots
359LeatherPhys.DPSHandsDouble Attack Handguards
359ClothHealChestRobes of the Burning Acolyte
359ClothHealFeetSlippers of Moving Waters
359ClothHealHandsBrackish Gloves
359ClothSpell DPSFeetMelodious Slippers
359ClothSpell DPSFeetEinhorn's Galoshes
359ClothSpell DPSWristBracers of the Bronze Flight
359NeckSpell SpiritNeckWyrmbreaker's Amulet
359FingerMeleeFingerBile-O-Tron Nut
359TrinketMeleeTrinketFury of Angerforge
359TrinketMeleeTrinketHeart of Rage
359TrinketPhys.DPSTrinketEssence of the Cyclone
359TrinketPhys.DPSTrinketUnheeded Warning


Cataclysm Raid Testing Videos - Omnitron Defense System / Halfus Wyrmbreaker
Videos of yesterday testing are available on Youtube.

Omnitron Defense System





Halfus Wyrmbreaker





Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
AoE Balance
You're conflating two different problems, both related to AoE.

Problem 1: Mage uses Blizzard every pull. Starts to wonder what that Frostbolt button is for.

Problem 2: Warrior uses Thunder Clap every pull*. Starts to wonder what that Shield Slam button is for.

* - Yes, I know you need to TClap for the debuff, at least on dangerous pulls. But the debuff lasts a long time. There is a big difference between generating threat with Shield Slam / Devastate / Revenge and using Thunder Clap for the debuff and just using Thunder Clap to generate threat.

AoE balance for both dps and tanks (hell, for healers too for that matter) is very delicate. If the numbers are too low, then it's never effective to use them. BC felt like this for much of the duration. If the numbers are too high, then it's always effective to use them, particularly given how easy it is when you don't have to pick out individual targets.

In both cases, the problems come down to repetition. Most endgame players kill a lot monsters. When every fight feels similar, because you approach it the same way with the same tools, then it's easy for boredom to set in. Ideally, you'd go from say a 5 pull to a 2 pull to a swarm to a single target boss to a 5 pull to a 3 pull to a boss with adds, and so on. But even in that situation, if the pacing is too predictable then you fall back into a pattern and boredom can get in again. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Paladins (I suggest that you read the even longer original post)
I feel like we have done this several times and what many paladins are looking for is not an explanation, but buffs. Nevertheless, I'll take you at your word and try and boil down our design intent.

The Past

The BC and LK design of the Holy paladin was basically to use one or two spells and get a lot of use out of them. This is sort of like the mage dps design, where there aren't a lot of sources of damage, but there are a lot of other factors (cooldowns, procs etc.) that make how you use those spells more interesting. So rather than the paladin having 5 different heals, they pretty much used Flash of Light or Holy Light (depending a little on what gear stats and encounters looked like at the time) but with other spells to boost those heals, such as Beacon of Light and Divine Favor, and then all the paladin support abilities, like the Hands.

Paladins (all three specs really) were designed to be a really passive class, with Protection doing a lot of passive threat generation (e.g. Consecrate) and survivability (e.g. Ardent Defender), Ret doing a lot of passive damage (e.g. Seal damage, Vengeance) and Holy doing a lot of passive healing (e.g. Judgement of Light).

It made paladins play really differently for sure, but it was also kind of boring. Because so much of what the class did was passive, players weren't making a lot of choices. Because they weren't making a lot of choices, there wasn't a huge difference between good and bad paladins except gear. I don't really think any of the specs were as "faceroll" as they often get labeled. However, the deltas between the good and bad player weren't large enough -- great paladins were great and bad paladins were pretty good. Honestly, the group to whom that is the most unfair is the paladin -- you can work and work just for a marginal gain above the guy who just picked up the class.

We made some pretty radical changes to the paladin class for Cataclysm. There is another resource to master. There are opportunities to do the wrong thing. A great paladin will have earned his or her greatness.

The Holy paladin niche, especially in Lich King, was to be the single target healer. In a raid, this almost always meant the tank healer. We designed boss damage to tanks specifically around what Holy paladins could heal. It was okay for paladin healing to be overpowered, because they really weren't competing with anyone for tank healing privileges and we could just make the bosses hit harder. The paladin tree wasn't very sexy though. It came with a lot of passive, boring or downright useless talents. Paladins were at the forefront of our mind when we decided to change talent trees.

Being in the same role all the time also gets boring. Imagine only one melee class (say rogues) had a reliable interrupt, so rogues were always given interrupt duty. Imagine mages had the only form of crowd control -- every encounter that's what the mage would be doing. When the Holy paladin can only heal the tank, then every encounter starts to feel similar to the poor paladin healer. They never have a chance to offer to stick with the second group or to raid heal or to watch the melee. With our attempt to make 10-player raids feel more legit, we wanted to handle the possibility that you might end up with two paladin healers (or perhaps a Disc priest and a paladin healer). We'd prefer you to run with a diverse raid comp, but we understand that isn't always possible.

There are Holy paladins who are used to being overpowered, because frankly that's the way things were for a long time (again, metered by the fact that your niche was very narrow). For them, anything is going to feel like a nerf. Likewise, there were players who were attracted to the class because it was very simple. We heard for years from the paladins who wanted something more to do, so it doesn't surprise us that now that we're delivering on that, some of the paladins who were fine with the status quo are now voicing their displeasure. Overall, we're very happy with the new design. We think it's fun to heal as a paladin. The numbers might not be quite right yet, but that's the kind of thing we're still tweaking. Perhaps two years from now there will be a lot more going in with Holy Power, but we think we have a good framework from which to iterate.

The Future

We think Holy paladins are good at 85. Holy Radiance is a powerful AE heal. Light of Dawn is too, though it's more situational. It really shines in larger raids. (Maybe we should have switched which was the talent and which was the core ability, but we knew Light of Dawn could have a more dramatic graphic effect since it was instant, which we wanted to reserve for the healer.) Paladins have more choices now about how to heal single targets -- they have a similar arsenal as the other healers when choosing between efficiency, speed or throughput. They can choose to avoid healing the Beaconed target or go ahead and heal the Beaconed target, with different results for each. They still have a little bit of self healing with talents light Enlightened Judgements and Protector of the Innocent to try to keep that feel of them healing two targets at once, as well as being sturdy healers, as fits someone wearing plate and carrying a shield. Mana efficiency is something to keep an eye on, but we have a lot of knobs to turn with things like Seal of Insight and Beacon of Light. We recently made a change to make Judging Seal of Insight provide more mana to the paladin. Paladins can heal fine in 5-player dungeons and are doing great in raids so far, though we're about to get a whole lot more data on that.

The Present

Unfortunately, many of these strengths don't show up at 80. Missing Holy Radiance is huge. Mana isn't much of a problem on live today partially because health pools are still much smaller. There isn't much of a choice about whether to use Holy Light because the comparatively low expense of Flash of Light, coupled with the risk that someone may die at any second makes the decision about which heal to use not too challenging. We haven't seen too much evidence yet that paladins are much poorer tank healers than other classes, though I understand many of you feel that to be the case. (It also doens't help that the popular logging programs and websites aren't showing Holy mastery yet.) If we do decide Holy can't competitively tank heal any longer, then we will buff them. This is tricky though. Too much of a buff and paladins and raid leaders are just going to conclude "Oh, Holy paladin = main tank healer" again. Contrary to what you might suspect, our blue posts reach a very small fraction of even the raiding community. Mana may be a bigger problem at 80 just because we tended in the past to avoid putting regen stats on healing plate, and many paladins are sticking with the old models of stacking spellpower or haste, even when faced with mana problems.

Also contrary to how you might feel, we think we did pretty well with healer balance in Lich King. All 5 healing specs were represented. We think we can erode their niches a little, such that the two druid raid can heal fine, or such that you can put a Holy priest on the tank and a paladin on the raid, without having the healer that nobody will want. We haven't been in a situation where a healer gets sat for a long time. I don't think it will be that way in Cataclysm either.

As a footnote, it's always hard to talk about the "average healer," let alone the "average WoW player." There were paladins struggling for mana before this most recent patch and those who balanced their Flash of Light and Holy Light use. There were probably some who healed the raid and doing an awesome job. We have to look at lots of different players and often talk about you in more general terms than you actually possess. Just because any of the above doesn't apply to you personally doesn't make it an invalid conclusion. Just keep that in mind. (Source)

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This article was originally published in forum thread: Oct 18 Raid Testing, Loot Update, Raid Videos, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 92 Comments
  1. atimuscalamity's Avatar
    AoE tanking changes are a welcomed change, I AoE tank with my warrior pre-4.0.1 and it was just charge, tclap, demoralizaing shout, shockwave = done you have threat on everything no problem, maybe a few revenge / shield spams / devastate and spam cleaves to rage dump.

    now its just same thing but add a rend before you tclap and cleave, tab target devastate, revenge and shield slam the ones you have lowest on threat, its making it more fun, you have to watch each targets threat level to see how far up are you.

    AoE tanking isn't hard, people who are bitching and crying over these changes are obviously bad and need to learn to better themselves instead of asking for faceroll buffs.
  1. Gallahadd's Avatar
    Looks like a couple of really fun boss fights, Halfus looks to be the more interesting of the two, to me, just because I dont like the overly hectic 'council' style fights, I prefer to be confronted with some giant mofo of an enemy, and wail on him till he's dead :P but hey, that's just me.
  1. Holeyfield's Avatar
    Here's my problem, and forgive me if it was mentioned...

    There are no 'heal' spell weapons. Show me a single one, and I'd be happy to be wrong, but you guys need to quit labeling these things. I have yet to see a single weapon on a raid table or proposed raid table of 'test' weapon for spellpower that did not have Spirit. This is why Reforging was implemented, to made drops valuable to a broader range of classes.

    If you want to label the trinkets and armor as Heal or Spell DPS, well that's fine I guess, though it still doesn't hold too much water; but it works because we have seen plenty of gear that seems more DPS oriented with no Spirit on it, but again I have to point out that until we see some raid weapons comming out of the shute there from Blizzard all caster weapons are just plain 'caster weapons'.

    Adding these false labels of 'heal' and 'spell dps' just cloudy up the waters and give people one more thing to argue about when they loose the roll to somebody else on a peice of gear they wanted for whatever reason. Again, I must instist though that with Reforging now live even those old lines of DPS or Healer gear are becomming much more blurred; after all it's not truly spell DPS gear unless it has gobbs of hit rating on it, and at the same time it's not truly healer gear unless it has gobs of spirit on it; but even in those cases those lines aren't so clear with the sole exception of hit rating, since Elemental Shamans don't actualy mind having Spirit last I looked at thier talent tables.
  1. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gallahadd View Post
    Looks like a couple of really fun boss fights, Halfus looks to be the more interesting of the two, to me, just because I dont like the overly hectic 'council' style fights, I prefer to be confronted with some giant mofo of an enemy, and wail on him till he's dead :P but hey, that's just me.
    I believe you meant "whale". However, the mental image of crying a boss to death has definitely made my day.


    Just think of the boss' confusion and the drama going on amongst the raid! *giggle*
  1. Horben1's Avatar
    Let's play, guess the tanking loot!
  1. Snes's Avatar
    I don't mind if palis do better HPS with way more overhealing as long as my holy priest is more mana efficient with smarter heals
  1. greyghost's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathiest View Post
    So tired of GC saying Paladins where "boring", or broken. So many people cursing you out on a daily bases proves otherwise asshole! Who was complaining? Beside little bitches that got owned by Paladins and those who didn't have a clue how to play em properly.

    Paladins where the funnest class to play in this game for many of people.

    ugh whatever.
    Now they are a thousand times more interesting to play, more than ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senaelanna View Post
    Good to see Blizzard continue with their bi-daily book on what they want paladins to be! Now if only the rest of the classes could get even remotely close to that much attention. Oh wait, that would require all those apple top paladins who rerolled for super 2 button OPness reroll again. Honestly paladins are, have been, and will continue to be a joke class. lolololol.
    Hey kids, look! It's a warrior that wants to get as much attention as paladins do!

    Let's remake his class every single expansion!

    Let's make a warrior's worth in the last half of every expansion be on support on buffs but otherwise "Heal (or in a warrior's case, tank) or GTFO"!

    Congratulations Warriors, this guy has won you the love and affection of Blizzard, deigning you all its 'Favorite Class!'

    ---------- Post added 2010-10-19 at 03:46 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by rboa View Post
    No Halloween info up yet?

    Maybe you could put things that effect EVERYONE on the front page. The beta testing streams are not interesting.
    Halloween is identical to last year's, only difference being the obvious changes that the Horseman's rare drops now come from the loot bag, just like the change they did with Coren Direbrew.

    Happy?
  1. Eleveneleven's Avatar
    Here's to hoping some caster trinkets and weapons drop. I really hope they get creative with stuff like changing forms for casters.
  1. ganodorf's Avatar
    ok the paragon video made me want to take back my pally and make him holy!!!!!that healing was insane!!!
  1. cetarari's Avatar
    If Holy Radience is indeed op, then as a Holy Paladin I hope they do nerf it, as long as they stick to what they've said (read the long post on the blue tracker) and buff the single target heals. I haven't raided since 4.01 went live (we're still trying to get past the attendance boss!) but what I've read worries me. I actually quite like the new healing style and have had a ton of fun in 5 mans and pvp trying to figure out exactly what I should be doing, but 5 mans and pvp are not a raid environment and as fun as the new style is, if it doesn't hold up in raid content then Blizzard need to fix it so it does.

    I have faith that by 85 we'll be on a par with other healers, but the fact remains that if something isn't tweaked soon (even if they tweak it back for 85) Paladin healers are going to be permanantly tarred with the 'usless, give the raid spot to a real healer' brush. Not so much a problem for me, small guild, paladin Healer GM, but I'd hate to see my fellow healadins get kicked from raid groups because the class is not competative (afer all there are still 7 weekish until release).

    I also hate the fact that people assume all the Holy Paladins complaining must've relied on Holy Light spam and little else when raiding before 4.01. As it stands I probably have the same amount of spells on the go as pre 4.01 after removing the spells no longer with us (R.I.P. DI - you're scaring the life out of tanks in the twisting nether now *sob*) and adding in the new stuff. The only thing that's dramatically changed is my Power Auras, I have so many procs, cooldowns etc. to track if they all go off at once I may need sunglasses to cope
  1. valiorik's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by littlevamp78 View Post
    Hardly any of the ppl complaining want it changed back, the new system is rather nice once you get used to it. What we want is to be viable players at 80. The numbers are way too low and saying they get better at 85 doesn't help us now when we are trying to play as 80s now and not 85s.
    It's very convenient time to take a break until Dec 7. As two times before, Blizzard forces us to become free testers.
  1. Danicah's Avatar
    What I liked the most about hpalas was that we were the ones responsible for the tanks, always. It was challenging but fun. This is something I will miss greatly. And who said we lacked aoe healing before, The splash heal from holy light did plenty healing and so did the passive JoL.

    Really sad that they ruined the fun of being a holy paladin

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