Repeated Note: Please note that this article is written during a Beta stage, so many numbers and mechanics are subject to change.
Hello, today I will be doing a 2-part post adding to my mini-series on stats. First, I’ll going to continue the discussion from last time, on Critical Strike specifically. Then I’ll go into a discussion on some of the glyphs coming up for Warlords. First though, a few things to get out of the way:
- I have started a Paladin consolidated feedback thread, here. Please contribute!
- Related to my previous article, as announced here, Haste scaling is reduced to 100 points per 1%, down from 80 points. This reduces the weight of Haste compared to my previous post.
- There is a list of changes to Paladins on this blog. While it isn’t up to date just yet (as of this post), I will get to it soon, and it should have all changes, including the ones I’m not mentioning here since they aren’t relevant to my mini-topic on stat weights.
And now, without further ado…
One thing I neglected to remark last time, is the idea behind soft and hard caps. Generally a “soft cap” is a value after which the weight on a stat decreases dramatically. A “hard cap,” sometimes used only for hit and expertise, is a value after which the value of a stat becomes zero.
One example of a hard cap today is on critical strike. After you reach 100% critical strike, further points in crit give zero benefit. Other actual “hard caps” are rare; however, the term can also be used to refer to a cap after which the weight decreases a lot. For instance, 50% haste is seen as a hard cap, since beyond the breakpoint the only throughput gain is through 2.5 second casts (non-infusion, non-SH Holy Light and Holy Radiance), HoTs (for us, just EF), and very, very marginal mobility (but not throughput) gains. That’s close enough to zero.
With the change to Holy Shock that I mentioned last time – the fact that it has a double crit chance instead of just a 25% bonus, there is a new soft cap to consider. This is the cap where Holy Shock reaches a 100% critical strike chance, and thus, always triggers Infusion of Light. After this soft cap is reached, there is no benefit to Critical Strike beyond simply extra healing on non-Holy Shock spells.
- With full raid buffs, you need 4,191 crit rating to reach 100% HS crit.
But wait, there’s more! The new Avenging Wrath cooldown gives 20% bonus crit when up, since it after all incorporates our old Divine Favor in. This, in turn, is also doubled by Holy Shock – so Holy Shock gets an effective 40% crit when your wings are up. This means that it’s not long before you will always get Infusion proc during Avenging Wrath.
- With full raid buffs, you need 2,096 crit rating to reach 100% HS crit during Avenging Wrath.
And, of course, there’s still more! If you talent into Sanctified Wrath, you get another 20% crit on Holy Shock. A round of preliminary testing seems to show that this crit is added before taking Holy Shock’s double crit into account – in other words, it is an effective 40% crit on Holy Shock. This means if you take Sanctified Wrath, you truly have a lot of base crit on Holy Shock, due to how the 100% bonus crit is taken after everything else…
- With full raid buffs, Holy Shock will always crit during Sanctified Wrath, even if you have 0 crit rating.
The last thing to take into account is if we take the Glyph of Merciful Wrath. This reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath, but also its effect – however, perhaps the some of the effect reduction isn’t really that bad. Let’s look at our crit caps if we take the talent:
- With full raid buffs and Merciful Wrath, your crit cap is 3,143.
- With full raid buffs, Merciful Wrath, and Sanctified Wrath, your crit cap is 1,048, if Merciful Wrath does not reduce the effect of Sanctified Wrath. If it does, your crit cap is 2,096.
All of the aforementioned caps do NOT include the 5% bonus. So you will need 4,191 critical strike pre-5% bonus to get 100% holy shock crit all of the time.
Don’t forget that with food and flasks alone you can get 650 crit rating. That can quickly help you get as high as the 2,096 cap in entry raid gear, assuming you can get well-itemized gear.
Finally, this also ties into my previous post: Once you have gone even as far as the Avenging Wrath crit cap, your value on critical strike has sharply decreased, and you may be better off putting stats elsewhere, given our current setup.
In Warlords, we have a lot to look at when it comes to glyphs. Beacon of Light glyph feels as mandatory as ever, and same with Hand of Sacrifice glyph. Flash of Light glyph has improved. We have also a host of new ones, including a couple more that modify Avenging Wrath, a few more that modify Hand of Freedom, and the Glyph of Judgment.
I might do a future post on the other glyphs, but today, I’ll look at our mana glyphs. Depending on how big an issue mana will be this first tier, using a mana glyph may range from 100% mandatory to 100% irrelevant. If we need a mana glyph, we have to pick between a choice of 3!
Let’s take a look at the MP5 given from each glyph:
- Divine Wrath: First I’ll remark you can’t use this with Merciful Wrath glyph. So you are limited to a 3 minute Avenging Wrath cooldown. For starters, I’ll do my analysis assuming you do not have Sanctified Wrath. I’ll also assume you are at a crit cap above, which means you have 100% Holy Shock crit during AW. To maximize mana savings, we actually have to maximize mana spending – and the way to do this is assuming we are using our AW for AoE healing. While I won’t go full-tilt mana dumping, since I want to figure to be realistic, I’ll use a relatively heavy-spending rotation: HS, HR, HR, LoD/EF. I’ll also assume the rotation is 5 seconds long (in reality, it will be shorter), which partially compensates for the fact I’m using one of the heaviest-spending rotations possible.
- Then, you will save 4*(2272+14080*2)*0.25 = 30,432 mana over an AW. Multiply by 5/180 to get an average of 845.3 MP5 at a downside of a reduced effect on AW, and inability to use other AW glyphs.
- Divinity: With UBS, you get a Lay on Hands, which is 10% of your maximum mana (16,000 at level 100) every 6 minutes. On cooldown, this averages to:
- 16,000 mana per 6 minutes = 222.2 MP5. It’s worth noting this figure is lower in a fight shorter than 6 minutes. Of course then one has to ask: If the fight is that short, why are you using a mana glyph? The downside is that your Lay on Hands is less accessible, as it is on a longer CD.
- Illumination: Here, I’ll assume a 60% average critical strike rate (double 30% crit) and 1 holy shock per 6 seconds. Note that good avenging wrath usage can raise this, since it boosts both your crit and haste. You will also lose 5% of your base regen, which is 0.05*3200 MP5.
- You gain 1,600 mana * 0.6 / 60 seconds = 800 MP5, and lose 0.05*3200 = 160 MP5. This works out to an effective 640 MP5 with no downside at all.
Conclusion: Illumination glyph is now extremely strong for mana, compared to the old model (it’s worth noting some have observed the old glyph, on Live, is potentially bugged to be stronger than its tooltip). Divine Wrath has the highest mana potential, but it requires extreme mana spending and weakens your strongest CD considerably. If you had a stronger CD, perhaps you wouldn’t need to spend the mana in the first place! Divinity glyph, as is, is junk.
I have suggested, along with several others, that the Glyph of Illumination become baseline, without the penalty. This has the positive effect of giving crit additional benefits as I mentioned in the previous post. Since crit has the potential to cap out on HS early, this is a good thing as it will keep us (mostly) going for our attunement stat. If the baseline Illumination gives too much mana, mana costs on abilities could always be raised to compensate. This also gives us mana regeneration that scales with our base stats, similar to what Shaman, Priests, Druids, and Monks have, to varying extents, that is less likely to cap than Infusion of Light.
Ironically, Sanctified Wrath could probably stand to lose the 20% bonus crit on Holy Shock or have it reduced. The bonus was from an era where SW was not strong, and when HS only had a 25% flat increased crit chance. Since HS now has base doubled crit, AW gives 40% crit to Holy Shock already. Another 40% seems like overkill. If the nerf would make the talent too weak, another benefit could be added in its place.
Finally, I question the need for mana glyphs at all. If anything, such glyphs have either been considered mandatory or useless, as we have seen in MOP. I don’t feel they have been a terribly interesting option, and I feel they pale in comparison to the situation-based glyphs we are receiving and/or have. Merciful Wrath, Hand of Sacrifice, Beacon of Light, even glyphs such as Judgment and Divine Protection are all more interesting compared to Divinity. Our mana glyphs could either go baseline or simply be pruned, and we would still have a good, if less cluttered, list of choices.