The Cataclysmic Healadin

With the results of the latest Twitter #Blizzchat, Blizzard has been hyping the players up with more (new) released information on the changes that are coming to the game mechanics in Cataclysm. We were told in Blizzcon’09 that a lot of the current game mechanics were changing; they were doing away with spell power, attack power, Mp5, defense, hunter’s mana, etc. They knocked us in the floor with the amount of changes they signified were coming. But recently, they went more in depth with the list of these changes. They told us what we can expect to see in with the Cataclysm changes. WoW.com has a great article relaying all the information about the Stat & System Changes.

Given the severity of the changes, I figure a lot of holy paladins will be going through a sort of identity crisis. To help try and calm the waters, I thought I would take a look at the holy paladin now…and the holy paladin after the Cataclysm *cue the scary music*.

Spirit

Now: Holy paladins are bred to shy away from spirit. It is a nasty stat that does nothing for us; why? The mana regeneration conversion from spirit to MP5 for a healadin is dismal. You will not find this stat on plate gear as it is not designed for the plate-healing types to use. However, we have learned that if the stat comes on jewelery, while it isn’t great to have, when the other stats are an upgrade (Int, SP, crit, haste, etc.) Spirit doesn’t hurt us.

After: Spirit is going to be, aside from Intellect, the healer stat. It is ONLY going to be found on healing gear and we can safely assume that includes plate gear. Spirit will have an increased effect for paladins as it will be a primary stat for mana regeneration. It will also no longer be a stat that is boosted from raid buffs like Blessing of Kings and Gift/Mark of the Wild. We will be seeing a complete 180 in the importance of Spirit to a healadin come the expansion.

MP5

Now: Our bread and butter for mana regeneration. We even have a specialized buff (Blessing of Wisdom) to increase the rate by 110 (should you have it talented). We even share our love of MP5 with resto shammies and their Mana Tide Totems! You can find this stat on plate gear, rings, necklaces, backs, mail gear…everywhere! It is even on PVP pieces.

After: MP5? What is that? Gone! That is what it is! Spirit will be the central focus for mana regen after cataclysm strikes. Holy paladins (and resto shaman alike) will see a mechanic redesign to actually benefit from spirit (as mentioned above). I do not believe, at this time, there is any information out as to how this change will reflect buffs like Divine Plea, Replenishment, BoW/Mana Spring, etc.

Spell Power

Now: We love this! While we gem for Intellect, spell power is a gracious stats that boost all of our spells. It is found on every piece of healing gear including shields and weapons and is a defining for stat for anyone of the casting nature. To understand the potency of spell power a base Holy Light will heal for 4888 to 5444. With the bonus of almost 2400 SP, the heal is baseline around 11,000. Spell Power also effects the power of Sacred Shield. The amount absorbed by the shield is 500+ 75% SP meaning that my shield will absorb over 2000 damage.

After: Spell power will no longer exist on gear for anything except weapons. Blizzard wants to ensure that weapons are specified caster/healer by the addition of this stat. However, all other spell power will be gained through the use of Intellect. There is no information on the Intellect->SP conversion for Cataclysm, only that it will be higher than the current rate. So I cannot say at this time whether you will see a steady change or a drastic drop/gain in your amount of Bonus Healing; only that you will not see this on any gear you loot.

Conclusion

Other stats that are staying the same (at least relatively with different conversion rates) are Haste, Critical Strike, and Intellect. These are all pretty potent stats for the healadin giving the the long cast time of Holy Light, the amount of mana it requires and how hard we like to land a heal for tank healing. Intellect will still be the stat of choice for many paladins as it will give spell power and will also give mana (though it is a lower conversion statistic). These stats that directly affect our throughput rather than longevity, seem to remain in tact for the most part. Spell power, as mentioned, while not on gear will still exist and is still relative to our throughput.

The most significant change that will take removing-the-intellect-brain-washing is that Spirit is also a desirable stat now. Throughput is great and intellect is great for that, but intellect alone will not supply you with a desirable longevity. You are going to have to break the “no-spirit” trend and remember that it is something you want now.

It has also been rumored that paladins “can use more spells” but there is no direct link or information regarding the development of new spells. Sometime somewhere, a blue post once mentioned that they would like to see Paladins be utilized more other than the solid tank healers we have become. They want people to search for healers, not specifically the healadin they sometimes look for now.

Healing isn’t the only thing receiving an overhaul, but they are undergoing quite the change along side their caster DPS, hunters, and melee DPS brethren. Even the tanks can’t mitigate this “damage”. The Cataclysm is coming, “be prepared”.

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