Monday, October 22, 2007

2.3: A Different Approach

So it's been roughly a week since 2.3 and I've been thinking hard about new possibilities. Retribution has been buffed very VERY significantly in PVE, no joke about it. Grant from Blood Legion already tops DPS on select encounters, and fairs very well in general, but of course his gear is ridiculous. However, you require Seal of Blood to get that kind of DPS... in other words if you're not a blood elf you should remain a healbot or you could be an Avelynn. Some on the pally forums have suggested adding a quest-line that rewards SoV and SoB, but what kind of retard will want SoV lol

Oh I just want to off-rant about how priests/druids are getting a 40-50mp5 buff in 2.3. If you do not already know, super mana potions equate to 100mp5 (2400/120*5). On the other hand paladins get a significant nerf punch on blessing of light scaling, which is pretty disgusting. Either ways, I'm actually beginning to appreciate the new T5 2p bonus:

(2) Set: Each time you cast a Judgement, your party members gain 50 mana.
(note: The old bonus which gives 350 additional armor to devo is far from shit)

imp. SOTC 2.3:
The new imp SOTC increases melee and spell critical strike on the target by 1%/2%3%. I'm actually serious about getting it - alongside with imp BOM. You could simply use rank1 sotc since holy dmg is virtually useless and the new 2p T5 bonus actually makes casting judgements beneficial to the entire group.

imp. BOW:
I remember Milynn dissing me off for not getting imp bow when Ascendancy was still around. I have included it in my new concept build. 20% on bow means 41mp5 to 49mp5 - 8mp5 gain. It's very significant. In my previous thread I debated that 1mp5:9healing, in other words, imp bow essentially increases healing power of the healers by 72!

Precision 2.3:
I actually got Precision for Season 1. It wasn't shit but definitely not as useful as 8% more armor. But now with Precision having 3% spell hit as well, it's indispensible for PVP. HOJ resists are seriously fucked up. I just don't get why Blizzard made stun resist mechanics so prevalent, HOJ is almost not even worth casting against priests, warriors, rogues and especially orcs (hence you dont see any decent paladin with imp hoj). Also, lvl 70 PVP allows for at most 3% hit mitigation, which makes Precision almost too perfect!

imp. LOH:
Is it good? Yes, it's hella good but unfortunately 40mins on LOH is still too severe. I don't know why 1 hour cooldowns are still in the game. It doesn't really makes sense. It's probably more convenient to wipe a raid and redo the fight than letting a paladin cast LoH and lose 8k mana just to save an unlucky tank. If anything, imp LOH should reduce the mana lost. Right now, imp LOH only seems remotely useful when you cast it before a fight starts just to keep the AC buff up. I still included it in my upcoming concept PVE build.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Art of Min-maxing

Unfortunately, I don't have enough time just yet to complete a full post on it. Expect me to complete a list of emperical equations so that you can itemize the best possible set for you (aka don't steal items that don't belong to you!).

Fundamentally, there are loop-holes in Blizzard's itemization process; for example Royal Shadowsong Amethyst is 11healing 2mp5, while Lustrous Empyrean Sapphire is 4mp5. Which would you choose? A smart player would easily take 4mp5. Reason being, 2mp5 is emperically more useful than 11healing. Blizzard's internal values peg 1mp5 at 9healing. So you effectively gain 7 more healing by taking Lustrous Empyrean Sapphire.


One of the hardest decisions a healer has to make when it comes to high-end raiding is to choose between 81heal or Spellsurge for their main hand. I don't blame them because the difference between both enchants is noticeable, and therefore some players 'choose' by personal preference. One of the major reasons why Spellsurge is rarely seen is because most use their PVP weapon for PVE. I have tried both Spellsurge and 81heal for arena and have to agree that 81heal is more useful in PVP for various reasons, although it's not always true (2v2 vs warlocks). But what is the emperical value for Spellsurge? Spellsurge is 4.44 times /better/ than +81heal in PVE if your entire group enchants it. This is how I have derived the factorization:

1: Express Spellsurge in terms of mp5: 100 / 60 * 5 = 8.33~ 8mp5. (Note: Spellsurge has a 50second hidden cooldown but has a 15% chance of proccing. Hence, its maximum mana yield is pegged at 10mp5)
1.1: Total mp5 yield for party: 8mp5 * 5 = 40mp5. (Note: 5 caster group)
1.2: Convert mp5 to +heal: 40 * 9 = 360healing
1.3: Factorize difference: 360 / 81 = 4.44

Fun fact: Spellsurge had a 30 second hidden cd until Blizzard stealth nerfed it; only a handful of players exploited it in its full glory.

Paladin enigma: Spellcrit or mp5?

The saga continues. Paladins have been struggling to choose between spell crit and mp5 ever since Molten Core. The emperical ratio as far as I can tell is 8mp5:21 spellcrit. The most obvious place to obtain this ratio is by comparing the DPS caster and healer hyjal rings:

dps caster:

(Note: The ratio of dmg:heal is 0.5357:1. So indeed, the dmg and +heal ratios of the rings are consistent.)

In other words, Shard of the Scale for example is essentially 42spell crit.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Paladin Itemization

Blizzard has done a great job in itemizing ZA. The new loots are diverse and allow a huge myriad of possibilities, effectively softening the pigeonhole issue. If you haven't seen the new paladin itemization you can view them all at Basically there are 2 things that have taken a slightly different course:

1. More spell-haste itemization.

I received a couple of e-mails asking me whether spell haste was really that good. If you have ping it's absolutely essential imo. If you do have the chance, you should try to get on a local private server and see the difference latency makes (I'm not condoning such activity though). Effectively, you should try to get enough haste to make up for ping, that's probably all you need. In other words, I do need around 523 haste. Is this possible? Not yet.

This is how I do a quick calculation for haste effectiveness - I suck at math so there should be a better way.

I did a table (on paper) on how much spell haste a paladin can get, I might scan it and put it here another day. You could get 280~ spell haste with the 2 dawnsteel pieces atm. You would notice that the itemization around the BT/ZA loot has around 30-35 haste average per piece. Assuming all slots in the near future allow for spell haste, you could get 16 * 30 = 480 spell haste at least. So I'm not far away from my target.

2. Streamlining itemization.

Basically streamlining means that all perceived useful stats for the class are being integrated into their respective itemization per item. In other words, key stats are made more accessible and less concentrated. If you look at the T6 healing set (Lightbringer) for example, you would notice that the helm has heal and crit, but no mp5. On the other hand the gloves has heal and mp5 but no crit. At the same time the shoulders, chest and legs have heal, crit and mp5. Very unusual isnt it. The latest PTR gear has essentially integrated heal, mp5 and crit into each item. Also if you may have noticed, the gem slots are of very variant colors, to which I believe Blizzard wants to normalize favored stats. This can be a good thing for min-maxing, but bad for those who want to play differently, e.g:

Response to 2.3

I really don't know what to say. Focus was obviously imbalanced and inconsistent in terms of proc design, so putting the normal hCD on it is fine I guess. But a complete removal of the Crystalforge bonus is simply retarded. I don't get it. Yes I know .25s is reflectively permanent 224 spell haste on HL, but retroactively changing a bonus that players actually spend weeks if not months of consideration and DKP-earning on...? In case you do not know what I'm talking about:

2.3 ptr patch oct 10:
(2) Set: Each time you cast a Judgement, your party members gain 50 mana.
(4) Set: Your critical heals from Flash of Light and Holy Light reduces the cast time of your next Holy Light spell by 0.50 sec for 10 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once per minute.

I really don't know how to deal with it just yet. I might just cut myself or something. But anyway this means I have to re-plan my gear which will take a insurmountable amount of time. Anyhow let me introduce WoWEquip - it's quite useful and very functional but still some items are missing. Also not completed yet (0.8beta). Essentially you can track all your stats from profiles gear, except you have to do some manual calculations atm (talent unsupported)

Oh also I read Nessaj's article on Healing Tips on Nihilum's new site. It's quite informal but nevertheless sums up the main issues a healer has to deal with in raids. He didn't really talk about specialist healers - spell haste build, high crit, combined healing technique etc. Basically no one has done extensive research into topics like that (or at least no one has published relating articles), either way this was why I wanted to try the max spell haste build but it's pretty fkin dead now -.-

Sunday, October 7, 2007

NCsoft's Dream Team

Carbine Studios, a team in Orange County comprised of a number of World of Warcraft veterans, is officially a part of the NCsoft family. The studio is looking to expand and is currently working on an unannounced MMO project for NCsoft.

Korean online games giant NCsoft today officially took the wraps off its latest studio acquisition, Carbine Studios. The Aliso Viejo, California-based studio was originally formed back in 2005 by ten former members of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft core development team. According to NCsoft, the team is now up to 17 former Blizzard employees. And some members have ties to hit games such as Starcraft and Fallout.

Carbine co-founder Kevin Beardslee, who serves as the vice president of design, was a lead developer on World of Warcraft. Tim Cain, Carbine's programming director, was the producer, lead programmer and designer on Fallout; he was also co-founder of Troika Games. In addition, Carbine's Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney previously worked as executive producer on City of Heroes, and established the product development group at NCsoft's Austin headquarters as VP of development. Previously Gaffney was the co-founder of Turbine, Inc., where he spearheaded development on the popular MMO Asheron's Call.

"This is a dev team made in heaven," said Robert Garriott, CEO for NCsoft's North American business. "This group is as experienced as they come in the area of computer role playing and multiplayer game design. Making successful games is second nature to them. They are a very welcome addition to the NCsoft family. The gaming community should be excited to see what great things come out of Carbine Studios in the coming years."

"NCsoft's established global infrastructure, commitment to their development studios and passion for online gaming makes them an ideal partner," says Carbine co-founder Kevin Beardslee. "In the coming months Carbine Studios will continue to grow and we look forward to bringing many more talented industry professionals into our fold."

Details are scarce, but NCsoft said that Carbine is currently working on an unannounced project that "promises to break new ground in massively multiplayer gaming."

As Carbine is looking to expand, the studio is currently hiring. According to the jobs page, Carbine is searching for a lead level designer, a senior programmer, a senior tools engineer, and several others.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Laurelle gave me a tip-off on 2.2's release that Pendant of the Violet Eye apparently has a bug. I went nuts trying to confirm it because apparently Blizzard changed the way how mp5 works. According to Xinhuan, Blizzard immediately returns you mana on a mp5 change, which could possibly lead to the occurrence of this bug.

Basically, right now each heal you pull off grants the Enlightenment buff twice. As far as Paladin goes, HL/FOL/HS will apply 2 Enlightenment Buffs per cast, whereas non-heal spells such as Blessings, Dispel, Seals etc will apply 1 buff. Weird? I guess... My record number of Enlightenment buffs so far is 22, but this was with multiple focus procs along with 1 scarab. Let's do the math:

(22 x 21) / 120 * 5= 17.5mp5

However, you're only very likely to get 14-16 procs, which means you may end up receiving 12mp5 from it. Still rather good with the 40int tagged with it.

Anyhow I just wanted to share how I solved the mp5 problem. I noted down my in-combat mp5 tick (per 2s) which is displayed by SCT. Then I used the trinket and began casting. I noted down every mana tick till the 20 seconds ended. So on my notepad I ended up:

mana per tick while in-combat: 48-49
mana ticks during trinket use: 92, 96, 112, 137, 182, 207

So I solved it using algebra whereby: a=21, b=48-49,

92 = 2a + b
96 = 2b
112 = 3a + b
137 = 2a + 2b
182 = 4a + 2b
207 = 3a + 3b

Total: 14a + 11b

Therefore 14 Enlightenment procs, 294mana! Oh also, Illumination has been effectively detagged from the mp5 display on Character screen, which solves past issues!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007