Just a little rant about holy paladining.

I think that when the WoW game designers are creating challenges for healing in new 5 man content, the thought process almost always goes towards “Yeah, let’s put in some AoE damage, that’ll do it!” Yeah, well as a holy paladin all I can say is SCREW YOU, Blizzard. I am disappointed in you, go sit in your corner. >(

This has been our weak point since the expansion started (and before then too, of course), though they have improved it a little bit over time, with letting overheals transfer through Beacon (yay, hax). But the fact that my freshly 80 resto druid with only a couple of T9 ilvl 232 pieces and a whole bunch of blues can keep a group up through heroic Pit of Saron just as easily (and maybe a little better) than my ICC geared holy paladin is just a big old slap in the face.

I joke about making Sophie’s choice when it comes to which of the dps will stay alive, but in all honesty it’s not fun. I don’t like having to make that call when I don’t feel that I should have to, because other healers don’t. I don’t like that I have to be able to throw heals at lightening speed to keep everyone alive, or the fact that you have to be geared to the teeth to even make that possible. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it is to be a newly 80 paladin trying to keep up! Actually, I kind of can because there was a point when heroics were HARD and I used to lose people to silly standing in things gimmicks much more frequently than I do now. One of my first healing experiences was wiping repeatedly in Gundrak because people stood in the poison. “But my holy priest can keep everyone up through that!” Well I am not a priest, so just do what you’re supposed to, ffs.

I realize that the game designers want to keep us in our nice little tank healing OMG BIG BALLS OF HOLY LIGHT niche, but it makes me angry that they don’t take that into consideration when designing encounters that aren’t raids, in content that is meant to be accessible by everyone. All three of the newest heroics are basically difficult because there are pulls where everyone is taking damage. Not such a big issue when you have chain heal, HoTs, CoH, or even shields, but when all you have is some Bacon, an instant cast on a cooldown, and a little heal with a cast time, it can be a big fat pain.

Just having people die is annoying. It’s even worse when people don’t understand that, so you get a lot of cries of “wtf, why didn’t you heal me through that?” and “you suck at healing!”. Yeah, well you suck at killing the boss fast enough to not get hit by the AoE, or at just plain getting out of the AoE. SO THERE.

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  1. #1 by Kotakh on February 15, 2010 - 1:15 pm

    You’re doing it wrong, go do some lolret for a change ;)

  2. #2 by Anna on February 15, 2010 - 1:17 pm

    I… this.

    It’s gotten to be so annoying that I queue for randoms as ret and then do another random on my 2pc T9, noobshat undergeared disc priest.

    Because it’s usually easier to heal with the priest.

    When we have a raid, and I’ve got to sit out because of RL stuff, we can bring in any number of other healers to replace me. If one of my other healers has to sit, we often can’t bring our holy pally sub, because three holy paladins in a heal team of 6 will result in healer-related wipes.

    It’s an issue, and not a new one. :(

  3. #3 by Anna on February 15, 2010 - 1:21 pm

    And Kotakh?

    I like being a ret paladin as a secondary spec, but not all healers do. I don’t have a DPS spec on my priest, and for a long time I didn’t have a ret spec either.

    I don’t like someone telling me “so holy sucks, go ret.” That doesn’t solve the problem, and it doesn’t do anything other than make the person in question feel like what they’re experiencing is either invalid or not important. If someone is upset about a class mechanic, the answer isn’t “QQ moar, STFU”, especially if it’s expressed with some logic.

    (… sorry for my pet peeve attacking your comments)

  4. #4 by Avalonna on February 15, 2010 - 1:30 pm

    I struggle with AoE damage fights on my holy pally. Some tricks I’ve learned is to keep a few holy light glyphs in my bag for 5 mans like that – it’s not huge, but it can help if people group up, or you’ve gotten that lucky 3 melee dps makeup.

    Probably the biggest trick I’ve learned on Aoe fights (take p3 of the Black Knight in H ToC, for example) is to beacon the tank, and heal the group. This FoL style bombing works well, especially if you pick up last season’s arena libram ( http://www.wowhead.com/?item=42614 ) for 12K honor (cash in your stone keeper shards!)

    And dont forget to judge light! It’s easy to forget! Set up a Power Aura reminder!

  5. #5 by Adlib on February 15, 2010 - 2:56 pm

    I just want to say that usually dps is fail-tacular in moving out of shit of any type. My main was a dps, and healing scared me, but the level of people not being able to move out of stuff due to laziness or stupid still just flabbergasts me. (This is slightly OT, but I have no reference for being a healer!)

  6. #6 by puggingpally on February 15, 2010 - 3:04 pm

    I don’t mind admitting that this scares the crap out of me. Right now, healers generally (round level 40 where I am as a pally) are pretty much on an even playing field. Limited toolbox, some stuff we can do, but mostly it’s just “here, have a heal.” Glyph of Holy Light helps me with this quite a bit.

    But I’m actually kind of afraid of being level 80, because I know how tough it can be to heal at lower gear levels, and I expect that people are going to be huge “gogogo” jerks in any case. The other day we did Halls of Lightning and I thought to myself (“Remember when the holy pally you knew wiped interminably in here because it was well-nigh impossible for him to heal? That’s going to be you.”)

    And it’s wrong that content should be so ridiculously easy for almost every class yet so brick-wall tough for another.

  7. #7 by Firespirit on February 15, 2010 - 3:27 pm

    My main toon is ret first, holy second, and I hear you. To be honest, the first time I completed the new heroics… I honestly have no idea how I did it. Seriously. I was watching a movie, and our group just sailed right through even HoR. The next day I go back and I was like… OMG WTF BBQ WHYAREYOUTAKINGSOMUCHDAMAGEDAMMIT!!!!

    I also fill in for raids, and I do a pretty decent job. But I think you hit the nail on the head. We have a instant cast, somewhat hard hitting spell, then we have a small heal that has a 1.something cast time, then a larger heal that has a 2.somethingbigger casting time. There is no “OMG Emergency HOT” (or bubble). In the time between HS and FoL cast time (you have to include the GCD in that too) the tank, or whoever needed those heals usually dies. This is the biggest weakspot imho right now. Its the emergency OMG contingency. for AOE heals.

    I honestly think if we had a bubble that didnt NEED to be triggered by, I don’t know, the damage that we are trying to PREVENT, we would be better off. MOAR BUBBLE LUV NAO

  8. #8 by Joe Ego on February 15, 2010 - 3:59 pm

    I must say, even geared, people still have issues standing in crap. Even recently I’ve lost 2 dps to just standing in The Bad during the last boss in H FoS. Those two took so much damage they looked like 1-shots.

    Ever since Magister’s Terrace, I’m perfectly happy being the one to make the call. When my HL drops in less than 1.5secs it starts to become their problem and not mine.

    I must note that the latest heroics, while being difficult for a paladin to heal, are nowhere near impossible. Most of the AoE damage is either avoidable or timed to let us heal. If the warlock in PoS wants to take a boulder in the face then that is not my problem.

  9. #9 by Ambrosine on February 15, 2010 - 4:15 pm

    Welcome to why I quit holy paladining.

    Some days, disc priesting isn’t a TON better, but thank god for bubbles.

  10. #10 by Forreststump on February 15, 2010 - 4:27 pm

    ^ This. I prefer bark over plate by a LONG way.

  11. #11 by krizzlybear on February 15, 2010 - 4:46 pm

    Holy shit. How about this. A talent that lets your consecrate heal party members if they’re standing in it?

  12. #12 by Vailladin on February 15, 2010 - 4:49 pm


    So i started with macros for it.
    /party hey %T this is the last heal im casting on you till you get out of the shit
    /cast holy light

    If i could only find a way to make it play a sound on their computer! Now thats an add on we need!

  13. #13 by Vailladin on February 15, 2010 - 4:51 pm

    @Krizzlybear, OMG yes like holy shock, dual purpose !!!!

  14. #14 by Rake on February 15, 2010 - 4:55 pm

    Halls of Retards does it for me. There’s always one monkey who fails at LOS and decides to get pumped in the rear by the Mage or priest. Usually some cretin clothie who just can’t wait to land their first mind flay/shadow bolt/arcane blast. Not having an AoE heal hurts on the first boss too – I find myself frantically getting HLs to people after the first fear before the next one comes along. It’s just nuts.

    Little wonder that any healing gear I’ve collected in there is by going in as ret and just rolling on holy plate.

    Pit of Saron though? Not so bad, and I have zippo in the way of ICC gear. Nada. Not a thing. Needs moar guild /sigh

  15. #15 by toychristopher on February 15, 2010 - 5:10 pm

    Yes it is pretty annoying. Go back and try to heal hirrak the Dead Watcher ine Auchenai Crypts. Even at level 80 it might be difficult for a holy paladin if the fight isn’t over soon enough.

    It’s not even the lack of an aoe heal– it’s about just having holy shock and single target sacred shield + hot. There is no way to deal with movement or things that stun you or slow your cast time.

    Beacon of Light is pretty silly as an answer to holy paladins having no aoe heals and only one single-target hot. It basically means that instead of finishing the fight with 2 dead dps, only 1 has to die.

  16. #16 by Dristanel on February 15, 2010 - 5:22 pm

    I think the problem is, more than any other healer, we are forced to change our healing style almost completely between 5 man, 10 man, and 25 man content. To the point where 5 man content can be just as frustrating and challenging as raiding, just in a different way. There’s not much difference between ‘Fuck I can’t stop casting Holy Light on the tank or he DIES’ during Festergut versus ‘Fuck I can’t stop playing whack-a-mole with Grid+Holy Shock+Flash of Light or everyoneDIES’ during 5 mans. You’d better hope you can spare the GCD for Beacon refreshes or you’re screwed.

    …Not to stir the pot, but I noticed something in an above comment that I’m rather curious about. I see… a lot of holy paladins beaconing themselves in 5 mans. May I ask why? We have so many ways to save -ourselves- that unless you have a bad habit of not watching your own health (which admittedly I’ve done before), I’m not sure I see a reason for bacon to be on anyone other than the tank.

  17. #17 by Avalonna on February 15, 2010 - 5:39 pm

    I forgot to mention another powerful tool holy paladins have: Divine Sacrifice. http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=64205 Saving your bubble and popping that is also a great way to handle AoE damage. If you’re specced into Divine Guardian ( http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=53530 ), it gets even easier.

    Pallys have some amazing strengths – one of their weaknesses are lack of AoE healing. Giving pallys an AoE heal and further homogenizing the classes isn’t needed. Between Div Sacs, Holy shocks, Beacon placement, Auras & Aura Mastery, and even Divine Protection you have an arsenal at your disposal. The key to being a good healer is learning how to deal with it. Assess the situation, decide what tool to use and execute. You can even get fancy with your SS/FoL combo – the HoT from IoL ( http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=53576) remains on people even if the shield doesn’t.

    That being said, you can be the best healer in the world, and if you’re grouped with a bunch of window licking, helmet wearing morons, no amount of skill in the world can help you heal through stupid. I actually haven’t pugged as holy on my pally for these very reasons here – you would think people in t9/10 gear would know not to stand in shit, not to run away from the healer or LoS of the healer, not stand in cleave range ect…..nope.

  18. #18 by Joe Ego on February 15, 2010 - 8:07 pm

    “Holy shit. How about this. A talent that lets your consecrate heal party members if they’re standing in it?”


    I would love a new set of paladin talents to modify Consecration. 1) I would have an actual reason to consecrate. 2) It would provide real healing utility to a paladin. 3) Other healers would whine about OP Consecration spam while paladins would simultaneously whine about the range restriction making it useless against any spread or movement mechanics.

    I do, seriously, like the idea.
    Holy: Consecration tweak talent to do healing instead of or in addition to damage.
    Protection: Consecration tweak to ‘throw’ the effect like D&D, or perhaps something else.
    Retribution: Consecration tweak to focus more damage to enemies as fewer exist within the radius of the effect, with least damage done to 5+ (or 3+) mobs and most damage done to just 1.

  19. #19 by Nzete on February 15, 2010 - 11:39 pm

    When you are feeling bad about healing 5 mans on your holy pally, remember that a disc priest is as good as a tank healer in a raid as a holy pally that didn’t put a point in beacon….

    My holy/prot pally is the third in line (behind a bear/tree), and it really feels like cheating to heal two tanks as the same time for the whole heal… and not to have to worry about losing grace on the MT if I decide that someone else might die if I don’t heal them.

  20. #20 by Jen on February 16, 2010 - 3:27 am

    This post and comments make me scared and happy at the same time… My main is a resto druid. My “main” alt is a prot paladin with a holy offspec. I specced holy around 77, because I really wanted another healer (since my druid is locked to guild runs and I want to PuG too). Let me just say that switching from “Rejuv the tank, WG the group, afk” to “OMG how do I heal everyone” has been… intense, especially since my pally’s gear is not amazing.

    I’m glad though that other paladins think this is a problem, I was afraid I was missing something major about the spec. Time to tank dungeons and gear her solely for raids, I guess…

  21. #21 by Blandest on February 16, 2010 - 4:51 am

    While i agree that holy pallys have little in the way of aoe heals it is a small consolation to the fact that my disc priest has become nothing more than a sheild spamming raid healer in our ten man runs. Why bring a disc priest when a holy pally can just beacon hax the tank and heal away?

  22. #22 by Kel on February 16, 2010 - 5:27 am

    “I see… a lot of holy paladins beaconing themselves in 5 mans. May I ask why?”

    I admit, I am one of the fail-pallies that can’t watch my own health, because I’m too busy making sure everyone else is topped. This is one reason OCD/ADD is bad.

    “How about this. A talent that lets your consecrate heal party members if they’re standing in it?”

    ^ Pure genius, I vote for that. Or perhaps a glyph, instead of a talent. I think Joe Ego’s ideas are awesome, but I doubt Blizzard would ever be that nice to us. :P

  23. #23 by Dristanel on February 16, 2010 - 6:26 am

    “This is one reason OCD/ADD is bad.”

    Hah! Fair enough. <.<

  24. #24 by Kotakh on February 16, 2010 - 9:14 am


    My first comment was an old inside joke between guildmates, sorry if it offended anyone.

    @Everyone else

    Holypaly are tank healers…wait no…Holypaly are THE BEST tank healer by so long a shot its not even funny. People cant expect to be good at everything.
    Most of the problems in 5 man isnt that holypaly dont have a good AoE heal, the problem is that most dps think that a healer should be able to heal them through their stupidity. I’ve seen holypaly heal HHoR with no problem whatsoever. Are they better than the OP? No!! But they had intelligent dps instaed of dickhead in the group.
    Blizzard cant go about boosting classes and screwing the “balance” just because other ppl are stupid.

    The only thing i agree with is Anna’s comment that bringing 3 holypaly to a raid isnt a very good idea while bringing 3 healers of any other class (while far from perfect) can be ok. OTOH, the other healers are all pretty much replacable while you NEED 1-2 holypaly in the raid (Disc can do it too, But holypaly makes it so much easier).

  25. #25 by Cel on February 16, 2010 - 9:26 am


    Those are some good points to make your life easier in 5 mans. I always judge light out of habit, because it’s what I do in our raids, and Beacon the tank. I actually got yelled at by a dps player once to Beacon the tank and heal everyone else, to which I was like, “What the hell do you think I’ve been doing THIS ENTIRE RUN.”

    As for disc priests, I played mine as a main for a few months, and I feel that they’re very capable of tank healing. I don’t like that there are disc priests who feel useless because of what holy paladins can do. :/

  26. #26 by Ambrosine on February 16, 2010 - 9:28 am

    Worse than 3 holy pallys ia 3 disc priests.

    Let’s just say that TANK HEALERS GET SCREWED and leave it at that.

  27. #27 by Arkaneena on February 16, 2010 - 9:54 am

    Ok tank healers get screwed. I have been Holy Pally almost since I started WoW. It was my second toon and my guild at the time needed a healer. I looked over my choices and thought a healer in plate would be a good idea. Ugh how wrong I was.

    I never got into raids because my then guild broke up at the time. We reformed, and they wanted me to dual spec tank. I actually cried. I had fallen in love with healing. Now I have a shaman. I healed Toravon this weekend, having dinged 80 Thursday in dungeon and crafted blues and a few 200 purples. I healed the tank and off healed the raid. WTF seriously.

    Admittedly the tank was very well geared and VoA is a loot pinata, but still, I could never have done this on my paladin. This is clearly broken. They might as well just tell us not to heal until we are raid geared, if that is all they want us to do. Or they could just put a note in the character screen that says can heal, but it will get nerfed so badly it will make you cry.

  28. #28 by Avalonna on February 16, 2010 - 10:43 am

    I’m not sure how tank healers get screwed – a good one is worth their weight in gold, & people are always screaming for them – my servers trade channel is full of PuG raids looking for them.

    In a raid, your lack of raid healing is not a liability – your worth is your fantastic single target abilities. Let the healers assigned to raid healing worry about that. In fights like Toravon, Jarraxus, Twin Valks etc where the tank is not taking heavy damage and you’re feeling kinda useless, beacon the tank and flash spam the raid. Again – judge judge judge! Just don’t do that in heroic raid progression!

    I get sad when I see people say Disc priests are subpar to paladin healers. I think alot of that stems from those damn meters. The key to a good disc priest is prevention, not reaction. You are maximizing your Divine aegis uptime as well as your shields. If you look at fights in WoL, which will combine damage absorbed with damage healed, you begin to realize what a god send disc priests can be… Especially in heroic fights. When you see the tank taking 50k hits, and half of that is being absorbed instantly by your shields, that’s pretty hot. Let’s see a pally do that! :D

  29. #29 by Joe Ego on February 16, 2010 - 11:53 am

    But I can do that! For about 10 seconds.

    As for valuable, we have a progression 10man PuG currently up to LK. They think enough of me and my skills that I have an open invite just about any time I’m available. The other healers are a Shaman and a Holy/Disc Priest with a Tree or a Ret who has a similarly-geared off spec as the usual third healer.

  30. #30 by Sarlalian on February 16, 2010 - 2:13 pm

    My main is a resto druid, but one of my close friends has a Holy pally, its interesting how different healing the same encounter can be for each of us. While phase 3 of the black knight was never an issue for me, it really was for him at the start. Any 5 man content with tons of group damage is almost painful for him, but he’s damn good, and the rest of our group that usually does 5 man’s together have learned to work hard to try and minimize the amount of group damage going around. So while he doesn’t have problems with us much anymore, pugs are still painful for him.

    I know this is a rant about holy pallies in 5 mans, but as a Resto druid who has been called on to tank heal on occasion in my weekly 10 man ICC, can I say, in the most loving of terms, I hate you guys and your beacon hax :) … Or more to the point, I never want to raid without a holy pally at my side.

  31. #31 by Aderynn on February 16, 2010 - 5:11 pm

    I think that this is exactly why I’ve gotten frustrated with my Healadin to the point of having almost abandoned her. I got her to 80, healed Naxx with only 1 death on a boss fight and even got her 2/3 of the way into Ulduar…but then came H-HoR which was so painful that even though I managed to get through it a few times…it was so painful that I don’t want to do it again. I wasn’t that stressed out trying to heal Kel’Thuzud for the Undying achievement.

    Yes, Beacon and SS are teh awesome, but if I’ve gotta heal a 5 man, I’d rather doing it as I level my disc priest.

  32. #32 by Mely on February 17, 2010 - 4:16 pm

    And THAT is why our holy paladins do guild heroics with us. Our dps aren’t fire-standers and our tanks are skilled (even if not experienced) (<–me).

    Some of our new 80 healadins run randoms with us and we have a shaman/priest/druid toss out a heal here and there (especially shamans with chain heal).

    My suggestion is stick to guild / friend runs and non-noob dps if possible, and if it's not possible, let the dps die, I'm pretty sure most fights in 5 mans can be done with just a tank and a healer. And if they leave, take solace in the fact that it takes a whole 0.5 seconds to find a new dps. Explain to the children that "fire is bad, kay?"

    I don't know much about holy paladining (my pally is prot/ret), but I can tell you this much: MT healing 10ToC as a DRUID is /not/ fun. WTB more healadins PST.

  33. #33 by Psynister on February 17, 2010 - 4:27 pm

    @Vailladin I believe Chatter is the addon I use that has a feature where any time someone says my full name it scrolls the text in very large letters across my whole screen. It’s really good for drawing your attention to the fact that someone just said something to you. Not that you can force other people to use the addon, but your macro would at least work for someone like me.

    As for the OP here, I definitely understand the situation. Not from a healer perspective, but from the tank. I know when I see a Paladin chosen as the healer that we’ve got potential for failure not because of any lack of skill, but purely by design. My wife has leveled two paladins to 80 as Holy so I’ve heard her complaints as well.

    To some extent I can understand why things are the way they are as it’s a similar situation with tanks. Paladins have the best AoE tanking, all the other tanks want that. Warriors and DKs have the best snap agro, and all the Paladins and Bears want that. To some extent I’m glad that some classes have trouble in certain areas because it keeps the game interesting via diversity. On the flip side of that though, if you don’t have the one type of healing that people are looking for then it just sucks to be you.

    But what kind of solution do we come up with that’s not just going to make the pally feel like one of the other classes, or make the other classes feel that the pally is now OP as both raid and main tank heals?

    Maybe a talent that turns your Consecrate into a HoT instead of a DoT? That’s sort of Healing Totemish. Have BoL heal more targets? Sort of Chain Healish. More bubbles makes you a priest. HoTs make you a druid. Maybe you can risk Hand of Sacrifice on yourself to absorb damage from everyone, then bubble or LoH yourself before you die, but that’s about as risky as you can get.

    So what’s the solution then?

  34. #34 by Joe Ego on February 18, 2010 - 12:25 pm

    DSac is practically mandatory for a paladin healer in a gear-appropriate 5man. Aura Mastery is a great help too. The Hands spells are definitely useful.

    Maybe Paladins are in a bad position because they really have to use their non-healing spells or talent into a couple abilities. Maybe there’s a problem because they can’t HoT/Shield & AFK. Maybe I’m the wrong person to speak on this because I have no other toon over level 20. Because I’ve been Holy since 2005. Because I heal in raids most of the time.

    Personally, I love the flavor. I love what I CAN do. I love the depth of possibilities from a class that comes with just 3 healing spells. I love healing as a paladin.

  1. What part of Holy Paladin did you not understand?

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