Protection L100 Talents

I want to talk a bit about our level 100 talents, but not in the way you might expect. This post isn’t going to be full of numbers, nor is it going to be a comparison of how the talents perform in a raid setting. In fact, there’s very little quantitative analysis of the talents in it at all. What I want to talk about is how the talents feel on a purely qualitative level.

Obviously that makes much of this post opinion, rather than fact. So keep that in mind – none of this is based on numbers, it’s all based on how I feel about the talents, and most of these opinions were formed well before I started running simulations to figure out how well they perform. You’ll get the performance posts soon enough, once I have time to write those up.

Holy Shield

Image courtesy of wowhead.

Holy Shield is my favorite of the talents, but I’ll admit that I may be unreasonably biased just because of the name. During MoP beta, I campaigned for Shield of the Righteous to be renamed Holy Shield, because Holy Shield is just more iconic. In fact, I’d still love to see the names swapped. I’d love Holy Shield to be our active mitigation and Shield of the Righteous be the talent.

Regardless though, there’s a lot to like about this talent. It plays into the “block tank” theme that our kit was ostensibly based around before we lost that niche to warriors and Shield Block. It seems like Warlords is trying to bring a little bit of that back. We have the Improved Block Draenor perk that brings our block value up to 40%, and both of our tier set bonuses center around blocking as well. The two-piece gives us Faith Barricade, increasing our block chance by 50% after casting Avenger’s Shield, and the four-piece gives us a chance to proc Defender of the Light every time we block, boosting our block value by 50%.

Not only do we block more often with the talent, but we get the unique ability to block spell damage, which is pretty cool. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, consider that with a little mastery-stacking we can reach block cap while Faith Barricade is active, because the buff’s effect isn’t subject to diminishing returns. So if we save Avenger’s Shield for that large incoming magical attack, we can guarantee 40% mitigation of that attack through blocking. And if we’re lucky and Defender of the Light is active, we’ll mitigate 90% of it.

The damage return is just fun for nostalgic reasons. It brings back a bit of the BC- and Wrath-era “round up all the things” strategy that some of us miss. The damage isn’t shabby either, at 50% of your attack power. In an AoE situation, this talent should really shine. The downside is that it obviously doesn’t provide any damage output when you’re not tanking, but if the coefficient is tuned properly that can still be tweaked to balance it with the other two talents.

So if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty positive on Holy Shield. Unfortunately, I’m not as positive on our other options.


Image courtesy of wowhead.

Seraphim is an interesting idea. 50% of the time (15 second duration, 30 second cooldown) you become a giant ball of bad-ass with inflated stats. Seems fun, especially since it comes with a pretty animation. Seems like a great choice for fights with tank swaps, since you can pool up holy power to prepare for the taunt and get higher effective uptime out of the talent.

What really bothers me about this talent, though, is the holy power cost. Five holy power is steep. One of the things that Blizzard finally learned after Cataclysm was that a resource system is sort of meaningless if all you do is build up to the cap and then dump. That’s why we got Boundless Conviction in Mists – to turn holy power into a real resource that we could pool and spend, and make meaningful decisions about how and when we do either.

And yet… despite learning that 3-HP ability costs in a 3-HP world were limiting and frustrating, here we have a 5-HP ability in a 5-HP world. Apparently the lesson wasn’t taken to heart. I’d much, much rather have a 3-HP version of Seraphim that gave us 800 of each stat for 15 seconds or 1000 of each stat for 12 seconds than the current version. That 5-HP cost is just going to feel awkward when we’re used to spending only 3 at a time.

With a 5-HP cost, we’re almost guaranteeing that we won’t be using Shield of the Righteous in the ~5-6 seconds before Seraphim comes off of cooldown. Otherwise we’ll be delaying Seraphim and getting less bang for the buck out of our talent choice. Divine Purpose procs might help with that, and we could perhaps assume that our last SotR will cover the first part of that period. And of course, maybe that period is while we’re off-tanking if we’re talking about a tank swap scenario. But for regular old steady-state “take it in the face all day erry day” tanking, this is opening us up to a potentially-dangerous spike window. And turning into an invincible angel isn’t very effective if you’re dead before you get to cast it.

That said, when we get to cast it, it will be nice. We get about 4% reduced damage intake from the versatility rating, about 6% dodge from the critical strike rating, 10% haste, 9% crit, 9% mastery, 15% multistrike, and a fair bit of mitigation and attack power from the bonus armor. And we’ll still get one or two SotRs off during that 15 seconds. It really does live up to its billing as a miniature (or not-so-miniature) cooldown. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s significantly stronger than Divine Protection, though probably not as good as Guardian of Ancient Kings.

However, it’s going to be very, very strange in the first tier of content while holy power income is still limited. You won’t, for example, want to take Eternal Flame and Seraphim together because they’ll be competing for resources, so Seraphim and Eternal Flame are almost mutually exclusive – they may as well be on the same tier of talents.

There’s also the question of “how many cooldowns is too many?” As part of the tank squish, Blizzard toned down cooldowns across the board. Yet we still have three baseline cooldowns (Divine Protection, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and Ardent Defender) and now two talented options (Holy Avenger and Seraphim). I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up chaining all of those to be nigh-invincible for minutes on end.

Last but not least, it also adds a button to an already busy spec. Many classes lots a lot of buttons this expansion, but not us. We’ve lost relatively few. I guess Seraphim can go where Avenging Wrath used to be on my key binds. But I’m a little disappointed that we’ve gained very little ground in the massive key bind disarmament process, and gaining a new tier of activated abilities isn’t helping with that.

So, overall Seraphim is interesting, and could be fun, but I’m a little worried about it feeling awkward and giving us a little too much cooldown coverage. I guess you could say I’m sort of neutral on this talent. Don’t hate it, don’t really love it either.

Empowered Seals

Image courtesy of wowhead.

Empowered Seals is my least favorite talent from a design standpoint. In principle, I’m behind the idea of making seals more interesting. Right now, seals are set-it-and-forget-it buffs for protection. It’s not even worth swapping to Righteousness in AoE situations, because in most cases you need the self-healing from Insight to stay alive. And it’s not even worth the GCD to swap to Seal of Truth for single-target damage. But while I’d like to see seals be interesting, I’m not a fan of this implementation.

First of all, I really don’t like seal twisting. And this talent is advertised as the talent for people who like seal twisting. I’m sure there must be a few people out there who do like seal twisting, but I’m not one of them. Let me explain why.

Empowered Seals may as well be called “Holy Maintenance Buffs.” Having one maintenance buff in a spec is fine, in my opinion. As an example, I had no problem with Inquisition, even though many Retribution paladins complained. Maybe it was a bit annoying when the duration was only 30 seconds, but especially in 5.4 with a 1-minute duration, it was really hard to complain about Inquisition. Not that it stopped people from doing so, of course, which eventually led to it being pruned in Warlords.

When I discussed this with Meloree, he was quick to chide me for jumping on the “maintenance buffs suck” bandwagon. And he has a point. Buff maintenance has its strong points. In particular, it tends to be very good at differentiating players by skill. Even if you invoke a macro to take most of the thought out of it, you’re still choosing which GCDs to use to refresh those buffs, and that decision making process takes skill. And there are players who really like that play style – likely the same people who love seal twisting.

So I want to make it clear that my distaste for the talent isn’t because I hate all maintenance buffs. Having one or two maintenance buffs is perfectly reasonable, and in fact is even desirable. In Mists of Pandaria, we have two buffs that qualify as “maintenance,” or at least “actively managed” buffs: Shield of the Righteous and either Sacred Shield or Eternal Flame. And I feel like that game play has worked out rather well for us. It certainly hasn’t felt cumbersome to manage those two buffs.

However, juggling multiple maintenance buffs can quickly sap the fun out of a spec. Cataclysm-era subtlety rogue felt a lot like that, when I was fooling around on an alt in sub-par gear. While it was interesting to learn how to effectively keep Slice and Dice, Rupture, Hemorrhage, and Recuperate all up at the same time, it ended up feeling like I never really got to spend those combo points showing the boss the pointy end of my Eviscerate.

The entire seal twisting concept is all about swapping seals every 8-10 seconds. By definition, it’s adding up to 3 more maintenance buffs we have to watch and maintain. And those are added to the two maintenance buffs we already have. If you consider that we might be spending up to 3 GCDs every ~20 seconds to cycle seals, and another one on Sacred Shield (I’m cheating here a bit, because I know it’s simming ahead of EF) every 30 seconds, you’re looking at spending 18%-30% of your GCDs on maintaining buffs.

That just seems excessive to me. Compare that to MoP Retribution, which lost Inquisition in part because it felt like too much of an annoyance to maintain. It only spent 1 GCD every 60 seconds, which is a paltry 2.5% of your GCDs at most, and that was considered too much. How do you think Rets will respond to using even 10% of their GCDs to keep two of those buffs up? How much worse will it feel for a starter prot in low haste gear using almost one third of their GCDs to maintain buffs?

Even if seals were off-GCD (and thus didn’t interfere with the rotation), I think I would dislike it, because you’d still be juggling five different maintenance buffs, which is a little more than I think is fun. Ultimately, I think that sort of gameplay ends up in one of two places. It either turns into a game of watching buffs rather than playing your character, or you get an addon or macro to remove the thought from the process. Neither of which are ideal for making a spec feel fun to play.

To add to that, we now have one of the more complex rotations in the game. Many specs lost spells and saw their rotation simplified. We lost only periphery spells; none of our core rotation spells were removed. And our rotation (including off-GCD AM) already involved more buttons than many DPS specs do:

Crusader Strike
Hammer of the Righteous
Avenger’s Shield
Holy Wrath
Hammer of Wrath
Execution Sentence or Lights Hammer or Holy Prism
Sacred Shield (possibly)
Shield of the Righteous
Word of Glory or Eternal Flame

Empowered Seals adds three more spells to that list. Even if you already had keybinds for them, we’re approaching “John F@#!ing Madden” territory. And that’s all assuming you’re not doing anything to contribute to raid utility. The developers have said they like leaving a few empty GCDs so players can make use of those utility spells. With Empowered Seals, you can kiss those empty GCDs good-bye.

To me, the whole idea just sort of feels awkward and not very fun, which is the same opinion I had of seal twisting in Wrath. Several people have pointed out that you can use a castsequence macro to do the seal cycling with one button, though that’s a gripe unto itself. When the best thing you can say about a talent is, “well, it’s not so bad when you create a macro to do most of the thinking for you,” I think you need to critically re-evaluate whether that talent is a good design.

There’s another problem with Empowered Seals: maintaining balance between the talents. Even without numbers, we can make a philosophical argument for why this will inevitably be a problem. Empowered Seals is situated in a tier with a passive option (Holy Shield). Let’s ignore Seraphim for now. By default, Empowered Seals has to be tuned to be noticeably better than Holy Shield. Why?

If the difference in steady-state performance between Empowered Seals and Holy Shield s tiny, why would you bother taking the active option? It would be both more reliable and easier to just take the equivalent passive option in that case. At least with Seraphim, you’re comparing an always-on Holy Shield to something that has an on/off cycle, and there can be pros and cons for each. But the buffs from Empowered Seals are essentially “always-on” buffs that cost 3 GCDs every 20 seconds, so you’re comparing two static effects, one of which takes more effort.

Likewise, if it takes an enormous amount of concentration to pull off Empowered Seals for a small gain, then why would you bother? At that point, it’s just shelved as a bad talent because it’s ineffective and few will bother to take it. We have historical precedence for this sort of thing – if you have a few hours (days?), go read Cynwise’s excellent set of articles on The Decline and Fall of Warlocks, particularly the third post in the series, which examines the same topic through a different lens. A class, spec, or talent that requires a a large amount more effort or involves a lot more complexity to achieve similar results tends to get marginalized and ignored.

So by design, for it to not be a “bad” talent, it has to provide some noticeable advantage over Holy Shield. And that’s really the issue, because that effort/performance breakpoint is different for each player. For a player going into Mythic progression as soon as it opens, that sort of complexity is something we generally just deal with, because we have the skill to perform the rotation even if we don’t like it. It really only becomes a choice for players that aren’t concerned about min/maxing their performance or don’t have the skill to pull it off.

From one perspective, that makes it perfect for a talent. Since the skill threshold varies from  player to player, making it a talent allows players to choose it based on whether they actually can pull it off or not. In practice though, it doesn’t work that way. We’ve seen it happen over and over again in WoW, and every time the “passive but weaker under ideal conditions” option was the one that everyone avoided. Even by players who really should have been taking it, because they couldn’t handle the complexity of the stronger option. The weaker option was perceived as only for “bad” players, and nobody wants to be bad! Furthermore, I really don’t want to see Holy Shield become the “bad players” option. It’s too iconic for that sort of fate.

They might be able to tune it so that the margin is “close enough” to make it a valid choice, but it’s unlikely for quite a few reasons. One, it’s a razor-thin margin they need to hit; two, the target will vary wildly with player skill; three, the target will drift with gear and content. It’s somewhat naive to believe that any set of three talents can be balanced perfectly just based on numbers. It’s far better if the tier gives three solid but slightly different options that shine in different situations.

For example, the choice between Divine Purpose, Holy Avenger, and Sanctified Wrath is pretty solid. Divine Purpose gave the highest average uptime on SotR and scaled best with gear, but wasn’t controllable. Holy Avenger gave lower uptime, but gave it to you in the form of an extra cooldown that you could control. Sanctified Wrath’s MoP incarnation was somewhat lacking – it would have been good if it was the high-DPS but middle-of-the-road option, but it ended up being an afterthought instead. It’s Warlords implementation looks pretty solid so far though – higher average Holy Power income and lots of extra damage through Holy Wrath. Each has a niche it can fill, and you may pick different ones for different encounters because each favors different encounter mechanics.

I think they *can* make the level-100 tier interesting in a similar fashion. But it will be interesting only if the three talents provide different strengths. For example, if they turned out something like this:

  • Holy Shield – Passive, always-on, best average survivability, average damage
  • Seraphim – Highest short-term survivability and burst damage (during buff), but slightly lower average survivability and damage (due to the fallow periods).
  • Empowered Seals – Most flexible. Lets you swap from high single-target damage mode (SoT) to high AoE damage mode (SoR) to high-survival mode (SoI), but you can’t have all at once. Average performance (i.e. cycling SoI while tanking and SoT while off-tanking) should be close to the baseline set by Holy Shield.

You can see the idea here.  Rather than picking the “winner” in that tier, you pick the talent that suits your purpose. Empowered Seals might be a 5% DPS increase with SoT up, but a ~5-10% sacrifice in survivability compared to Holy Shield. And vice versa if you’re running with SoI. Empowered Seals would give you the flexibility to adapt to the encounter rather than be stuck with the 30-second Seraphim cycle or the passive Holy Shield benefit.

But none of that works if Empowered Seals is effectively a passive effect that costs you 3 GCDs. If you have two passive choices, you pick the one that works best. If sims tell us that it’s worth spending those GCDs and losing Seal of Insight procs to keep up the buffs we get from Empowered Seals, then we take that over Holy Shield.

The way to make the talent interesting is to make our seals interesting, but I don’t think that seal twisting is the way to do it. Making seal twisting extremely powerful by making each seal grant a very powerful buff is putting lipstick on a pig – it’s covering what I feel is bad gameplay by just making the numbers big. I’d rather see Empowered Seals make seals in a substantial way that gives us interesting choices.

So rather than making Empowered Seals a rotational gimmick tied to Judgment, I’d rather see it actually empower our seals. Make SoT do more significant single-target damage. Make SoR do more significant AoE damage. Make Seal of Insight do more significant self-healing.

Better yet, make each of them into a mini cooldown. Maybe the talent gives you an “Empower Seals” spell that actually empowers whatever seal you have active to make it stronger. Using it doubles the effect of your seals for 20 seconds, with a 1 minute cooldown. Now, every minute you get to make an interesting decision.

Do I want single-target damage? Switch to Truth and pop Empower Seals for a burn phase. Do I want AoE damage for picking up and burning down some adds? Switch to Righteousness and pop Empower Seals for 20-seconds of AoE burst. Do I want more survivability? Use ES with SoI active and you have another mini cooldown. This fills a different niche than Seraphim in that you get to choose your benefit every minute, and to be balanced it would give you a bigger boost to that area than Seraphim does.

That’s interesting seal game play that actually involves making choices, rather than just mindlessly cycling through maintenance buffs.

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58 Responses to Protection L100 Talents

  1. saruya says:

    The sad thing is without tier in Beta, we feel really squishy and not in control of our own survival like we had in MoP.

    Agreed on the talents though. HS looks like it’ll be the average choice.

    EmpS looks like being the exclusive choice of severe ADHD sufferers who would like a 0.3 sec GCD. Dunno how many gcds Blizzard think we’ll have, but it’ll not be anywhere nearly as many as seal twisting that often requires.

    Seraphim…. I don’t know what Blizzard’s thought process is for Prot with it. Yes it’s op while it’s up, but man that HP cost and voluntarily opening yourself to those spike Windows though…eurgh

  2. Ben Shuck says:

    I see Seraphim being used for tank swapping fights. Ordinarily, you have ~45 seconds of not tanking a boss. Enough time to use it as soon as you taunt back. HS for general use, EmpS seems good for tanking and not tanking.

  3. blizzhoof says:

    I’m glad a person with a much bigger soapbox has said exactly what I’ve been thinking since I got into Beta. Seraphim’s cost is just too high (what’s the point of Boundless conviction?) and Empowered Seals is just god awful from a gameplay perspective.

    I honestly am still confused on why we didn’t lose at least Holy Wrath as a button. Our rotation is complex enough. We already have 8 buttons compared to a Guardian’s 3 or a Warrior’s 5 (all of this not including finishers). We really don’t need another and especially not THREE more.

    Thanks for posting this, I just worry that it’s too late considering Blizzard’s love affair with seal twisting.

    P.S. – I’ll likely be maining a Warrior. :(

    • blizzhoof says:

      To be more clear: If Paladins are balanced with the other tanks (or very slightly better), but Empowered Seals is the must-have talent, then I’m going to choose to play a different tank, simply due to the gameplay not being fun. Using Empowered Seals is the least fun thing (gameplay wise) I’ve experienced in WoW for a long long time.

  4. Peter says:

    So, it’s pretty concerning to me that, despite moving overseas and having to quit WoW for a year, all but ensuring that I’ll miss the entire relevant portion of Warlords, I haven’t really seen one thing that says “damn, I’m gonna miss out” except the 10th Anniversary celebration. And not a SINGLE thing about my beloved paladin tank; frankly, what I see are a ton of “well, they’ll get around to fixing the obvious balance problems by 6.3 when I’m back” issues. The lackluster “fix” to Holy Wrath (hey Blizz, you realize that if you tie all of our snap AOE to avenger’s shield, I have to switch back from focused shield before and after pulling trash AND boss to boss?), the mediocre at best T100 talents, the apparent complete lack of interest in balancing tank DPS. Ok, we’re going back to being the “block tank” (although we can’t force actual blocks like Warriors can, so, there’s that), but to overcome the monumental shortcoming that has always had (magic damage) there’s a mandatory talent? In the era of every-tank-has-a-shave-some-off-the-top-mechanic (blood shield/stagger/whatever that druid savage shield is called), block mitigating fireballs should simply be baseline these days—particularly since they’re toning down the physical damage bosses put out.

    We’re losing tons of our fun paladin tricks and gaining a level of nonsensical complexity that is going to make it pretty hard to focus on actual tanking. It’s sad, man. It’s sad.

    • blizzhoof says:

      They really should buff HotR and SoR significantly and then also remove the Focused Shield glyph from the game. They’d likely have to buff CS, J, or AS a bit to compensate, but it would be a great QoL change.

  5. saruya says:

    There’s also that. Ret showing way more survivability with a 1h + Shield than Prot at low/zero resolve.

    Seriously, wtf.

    Are Blizzard seriously outright telling us that prot is now for raids only and that day to day, out in the world questing and generally, we need to roll OS Ret JUST to survive?

    What about those Prot players that os as Holy, or dislike playing DPS classes? Reroll or quit?

  6. Schroom says:

    as always Theck, you speak right out of my soul. where can i sign this? :) I REALLY Hope someone at blizzard reads this and agress with you.

  7. Keres says:

    I used to be one of the ones that looked forward to Empowered Seals (liked the seal twisting game play personally, from TBC and Wrath)…until got into beta and tried it out. This incarnation is, combined with our current rotation, is just too busy. It either leaves you with no chance to dish out a bit of rain support, or you end up watching buff timers more than playing the class. It’s not enjoyable.

    I however prefer Seraphim, though it does set up an interesting CD rotation, which you touched on. Best use I’ve found for it is using rotating between Seraphim and Divine Protection, to keep you covered and reduce spikes, because you don’t have as much holy power to work with. This however leads to one mandatory talent and glyph and one highly suggested talent; Unbreakable spirit (mandatory), Glyph of Divine Protection (mandatory) and Sacred Shield (highly suggested).

    (I’ve wanted to try to sim this defensive rotation, but I’ve been too busy with work, and I’ve not had much time to play with the new SimC options.)

    Doing this though means we lose out on using Divine Prot for any heavy magic fights, and we also run into the issue with Emp Seals, adding two spells to our rotation (though I don’t think either on GCD, so there is that).

    Funny though, I don’t care for holy shield because of the passiveness of it, and there seems to be alot of reports, either bugs or intentional, of the spell mitigation not working on many boss abilities. DoTs are the only consistent spells it seems to mitigate, with direct damage, or AoE not being reduced. Maybe it’s just a bug, or it is intended to only block direct damage spells or DoT ticks.

  8. Wulfstan says:

    Another comment supporting your opinion that we have way too many key bindings required as a Prot Pally. I’m amazed that several things hadn’t been done to allow button pruning: merge Crusader Strike and HotR, drop Holy Wrath, make Hammer of Wrath Ret only, and add a passive option to the Execution Sentence / Lights Hammer / Holy Prism row. I’m also surprised they didn’t cut another defensive CD.

    I’m seriously considering switching tanks in WoD. I played MoP using clcprot to get around the rotation, and I don’t see it getting any better in WoD :(

  9. Wonton says:

    Thank you. I was practically shouting “Yes! That’s what I’ve been saying all along!” at my monitor when I got the part about Empowered Seals. 30% of GCDs spent on keeping up maintenance buffs is pushing into the realm of absurdity. How would Mages have reacted if Invocation lasted 6 seconds instead of 60? That’s basically what Empowered Seals is doing to Prot Paladins.

  10. Razeoflight says:

    Have to say Theck it was a wonderful read and u hit the nail right on the head.
    The fact that ctc cap in a way is back with the new tier bonuses blocking spells and in a way turning avengers shield into a magic damage SoTR my mind is blown i’m going to be such a undying beast in warlords 😀

    Your take on the empowered seals talent just yes plz blizz listen to this guy.

    As it stands now i wont be taking empowered seals i feel my time and attention need to be spent elsewhere keeping myself and my raid alive along with making sure everything is proceeding in the right way and moving the right direction.

    Thanks for everything you have done and still are doing for the prot paladin players u deserve more then a crappy itemized ring we did not even get to wear for very long.
    If we every get a legendary shield *dreaming the dream* it should have your name on it 😛

    Gtz Raze/Niels

  11. I have to say, I agree with everything you said and I would wish that they rewamped EmpS completely. I just don’t see that happening anymore especially so close to release, and also considering their comments they made on the Shirvallah talent.

    Sort of rewamping EmpS completely I think the EmpS rotation could be quite nice with a minor QoL change. If both AS and HW were reduced to 13,5s cooldown or less instead we could use a rotation like:

    CS – J – AS – CS – Seal – J – CS – HW – Seal

    As a bonus sanctified wrath would also work with EmpS.

  12. blizzhoof says:

    Did the 2-pc tier bonus nerf just turn tier into garbage? If we can’t guarantee blocks with Avenger’s shield, then we can’t plan around that buff. We have to assume that we won’t block at all. I guess it does help our TDR, but who really cares?

    The 4-pc needed a nerf, but I think the 2-pc was fine (or the duration could have come down a little).

    • Theck says:

      I don’t know that I’d call it garbage just yet, but yeah, it’s a fairly significant nerf. It’s entirely possible they didn’t intend for the 2-piece to give us a guaranteed block, but it would have been some very interesting gameplay.

      One part of me would like to see them swap places, with the block value part being the 2p (and maybe nerfed more) and the block chance being the 4p, which is then buffed back up to give us a guaranteed block.

      • blizzhoof says:

        Yea, I’d be good with that as well, but as it stands, the 2pc might as well not exist right? The problem is that it seems like a bonus that we’d just keep throughout the expansion or it would need to be nerfed when the next tier comes out. It’s hard to beat an on demand 40% damage reduction for a set bonus. Basically, I think that it’s a mistake conceptually, so they just nerfed it into the ground.

        • Theck says:

          I mean, “might as well not exist” is a bit hyperbolic. It’ll obviously give us some extra mitigation and reduce DTPS, and probably TMI (albeit slightly). It just won’t be the huge effect that the earlier version was. If stats are reasonably balanced (big “if,” I realize) then there should be little incentive to take an off-set piece over a tier piece, especially if the 4P is still attractive.

          • blizzhoof says:

            Sorry for the late reply, just read this. IDK man, it’s hard to see the benefit of the tier bonuses for me. I’m thinking of them from a Mythic progression standpoint and I think “might as well not exist” is a pretty accurate description.

            The thing is, neither of them guarantee to reduce my biggest spike (they can’t reduce a spike when they aren’t active) and neither of the bonuses guarantee my survival when they proc. They both give me a chance to take less damage (albeit a decent chance), but if it isn’t a 100% chance then I have to plan as if it’s a 0% chance as far as externals and personals go during progression. All they do currently is save mana for tank healers, which doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a real concern.

            Unless stat weights between Mastery, Crit, Haste, and Multistrike are really really really close I don’t see taking the set over properly itemized gear especially since we can’t reforge out of the bad stats (for some stupid reason). If the stat weights do end up being really close, then I can see taking the tier since it will have perks with no drawbacks, but I doubt I’ll be taking it over a class that actually has a good set bonus (like everybody else on the Conq token for example).

  13. eXhausted says:

    Theck, you should send your cv to blizzard with title “awesome prot pal designer”. Thanks for article.

  14. Ascend says:

    As an actual fan of ES i’m slightly confused, i am yet to understand why we need to spend 3 globals every 20 secs and not 2 (for 3 buff maintenance) –> At any point we will be starting our 20sec cycle with a buff, so for the next 20 secs we will only need to flip seals twice to get all 3 buff coverage (assuming you want 3 buffs up)

    Additionally there’s a point of returns, yes, you can keep all 3 buffs up (let’s ignore the MS one for now) , but the real question is if you really want to, looking at our heavily nerfed resolve i can easily see my-self only using AP + Haste one unless I really need the extra survival (all at the cost of 1 global in 20 sec period)

    Thus depending on haste levels we will spend between 2/15.333 globals and 2/20 globals on buff maintance (which is between 10 and 13%)

    Finally the notion of 3 keybinds : first of all by default all seals are already keybound, but i will agree that you can generally rebind them for other uses, or you want to use familiar binds, however, even here you can make a simpler solution in 2 keybinds

    /cast seal1
    /cast seal2

    /cast seal3
    /cast seal2

    Thus even in the worst case scenario you would be able to get away with 2 extra keybinds (+1 compared to seraph)

    • Theck says:

      As for 3 GCDs vs 2 to keep all three up: you’re using “convenient accounting” – in other words, bad math. If you are planning on keeping 3 seals up, then you’ll need 3 GCDs over some fixed time period (namely, the time period it takes to complete a full cycle). Conveniently ignoring that third seal swap because it lies outside of an arbitrary 20-second interval is playing loose and fast (and incorrectly) with numbers.

      I’m not sure where you get “heavily nerfed” resolve from. It was buffed, actually. And in any event, it doesn’t affect percent heals, so it’s completely irrelevant to Uther’s Insight.

      Regarding 3 vs 2 buffs, it will turn out that the optimum survival rotation always includes Seal of Insight. in fact, max survival uses *only* SoI with Empowered Seals. It’s actually a pretty significant survival loss to exclude Insight (to the tune of ~30% larger spike damage, and an even larger increase in net DTPS). The optimum DPS rotation would obviously drop Insight entirely. So there are at least two situations where you could get away with dropping one or more seals. But the best trade-off result tends to be keeping all three active. I realize I’m working from a point of extra information here though, since I’ve run the sims already. I just haven’t had time to publish them all yet.

      In any event, I think that spending “only 10% to 13%” of our GCDs on maintenance buffs is misleading, since you’re ignoring Sacred Shield there. And many of us feel that even 10% is too high, though obviously that will vary from person to person.

      • Ascend says:

        Well with 2 buffs, the only thing i need to do is once every 20 sec flip my seals –> 1 gcd.

        So looking at a 59.99 sec window we need to refresh SS twice and spend 9 (6) globals on ES thus costing us 11 (8) globals.

        At 50% haste this would be 18(13)% of our globals, with no haste on gear, it would be : 24(17)% of our globals.

        Plus I might be in a minority, but I would actually enjoy a possibility of a more engaging rotation, which is currently offered by ES.

        • Theck says:

          That’s not how it works. With 2 buffs, you would need 2 GCDs every 20 seconds to keep them up. Flipping seals once every 20 seconds would keep each of them up only half of the time.

          • Ascend says:

            Errr ?
            The buff lasts for 20 seconds after last judgement (i actually thing it refreshes to 25 sec)

            I believe, the difference in your approach and mine, is that i would still sit in w/e seal i’m currently in, until i switch to the next one in the cycle.

          • Theck says:

            Seal of Insight refreshes to 26 seconds because of HoT mechanics, the other two should only refresh to 20 seconds.

            However… that’s the point. Your math is wrong.

            Assume both buffs are up and SoR is active. At time t=0.0 you cast Judgment, refreshing Liadrin’s Righteousness to 20 second (expires at t=20.0). You then use the next GCD to switch seals to SoT, so that the next Judgment at t=6.0s applies Maraad’s Truth (expires at t=26.0). You now need to switch BACK to Seal of Righteousness before t=20.0 if you intend to refresh the buff before it expires, costing a second GCD. This is a periodic cycle you’ll need to maintain, so it will always cost 2 GCDs in 20 seconds to keep both buffs up.

            In fact, your next Judgments will come at either 12.0 or 13.5 (due to CS clash) and then 19.5. So you actually have a little less than 20 seconds to cast two seals.

            The difference in your “approach” is that you’re ignoring the first seal swap, or assuming it lies outside the 20s period (and thus ignoring the second seal swap). It’s pretty easy to show (or test) that if you only swap seals once every 20 seconds, you’ll only ever have 50% uptime on either buff.

        • blizzhoof says:

          What would constitute “more engaging” to you? We already have more rotational buttons than any other class/spec (might be one that has more). I can’t imagine you mean anything else, since our AM requires better timing than anybody else’s and Empowered Seals doesn’t give us any procs.

          If you just mean that you like maintenance buffs, then ok. However, if that is the case, then I’d suggest playing a Feral Druid or Sub Rogue. They have less buttons, but more buffs/debuffs to keep up.

          Your desire to make Protection Paladins the hardest class to play in the game by a large margin isn’t fun to many of us. Keeping up 4 (or 5) buffs, having a 10 button rotation (or whatever it is), and an AM that lasts 1/2 as long as the next shortest AM just seems like a bit much.

          • Ascend says:

            Funnily enough i do play sub rogue :)

            A simple matter of fact is that most of wow player base (even the ones in top end guilds) mess up their rotation as +- any tank, people mess up prot paladin, people mess up prot warrior, people mess up guardian.

            While I will admit that i also make enough mistakes, most of em are made simply due to lack of care or focus. Even if ES was tunned to be slightly better most people would still be fine playing with HS or Seraph (look at sub rogue’s sim’s during t14/t15 and compare raiding pop to combat/assas), however it would also raise the skill cap, which isn’t that high right now (outside of ~creative use of game mechanics and their interactions with sotr and vengeance)

            At the same time ES seems to be fairly powerful in a number of different situations.

          • blizzhoof says:

            “it would also raise the skill cap, which isn’t that high right now (outside of ~creative use of game mechanics and their interactions with sotr and vengeance)”

            Compared to what other class/spec? You can’t just say the skill cap isn’t high and give no reasoning for it. People on this site actually use their brain. I’ve seen that assertion made in other places, but it just isn’t true.

            The skill cap, is the amount of skill it takes to play perfectly. I can’t think of anything that comes close with the removal of snapshotting from ferals and warlocks. Who else has anything comparable to 8 rotational buttons, two buffs to keep up, and a 3 second AM? That doesn’t even take into account our cooldowns or raid utility spells.

          • Theck says:

            I think it’s a mistake to say that the skill cap for our class “isn’t very high right now.”

            It’s larger than it has been at any time in the past due to active mitigation. Tanking in Wrath or BC was a snooze-fest in comparison, just because most of your survival depended on things you did outside of raid (optimizing gear).

            Further, compared to the other tank classes, we have far more buttons to keep track of and work with. We have a more complicated and fuller rotation than the other classes, and a shorter and more time-sensitive AM than anyone but DKs (and Death Strikes mechanics are changing to eliminate that in WoD).

            So it’s very easy to say that the skill cap isn’t very high, but that’s a relative term. Compared to what? Certainly not other tanks, nor other DPS classes. Even the Cataclysm Sub rogue I mentioned in the article was easier, because their sole focus was keeping that set of buffs up with their rotation. They didn’t have active mitigation or tank cooldowns to worry about.

            Compared to what you’d like to see? That’s fairly arbitrary, and frankly, most of us at the top end vastly overestimate what most players can handle, even ourselves. Players like you and I may be able to execute an Empowered Seals rotation fairly well, whether we enjoy it or not. But the majority of players don’t raid Mythic and aren’t of comparable skill.

            My main worry in all of this is that Empowered Seals becomes a blowout winner, such that players of insufficient skill are taking the talent because a guide says it is numerically superior, and then get frustrated because they find it frustrating to play.

    • Theck says:

      And of course, now that I’ve posted that, I find a bug with Resolve in SimC. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem to change the results, just the magnitude of the difference (narrows gap somewhat).

  15. Gupsy says:

    I’m playing with tankadin on beta. I agree 100% with you.

    Our rotation is way too filled with abilities, it is pretty rare you have a “free” gcd. Compared to actual ret rotation is quite silly. I’m on the side of those who believe tank rotation have to be lighter then dps, as the tanks have other things to watch and do then just dpsing.

    The only things I feel you didn’t notice enough is the feeling of how low is our self healing and general survivability in normal content. I level up half prot/half ret with the standard gear (iLev 500@90). No prob on questing of course, but quite often I have to be careful on pulling more then 2-3 mobs at a time. As a fresh 100, doing daily quest before upgrading my gear, I barely win against 2 hard hitting normal mob without using some cd. I never feel so a squishy tank as this time.
    The ret spec is pretty solid instead, nice healing too. The sad thing is I felt the tank spec is not so far, in terms of survavibility, with a defensive played ret, and the latter has a much more forgivable rotation too.

  16. Schroom says:

    also, there is much more to a tank than playing “your rotation perfectly” we are no DPS specc. we have to act and react to situations in the raid. let’s say you would play your roation flawlessly with empS, and add those GCDs where you in fact “do nothing” (no DPS, no TPS, as is the case withe every maintainance buff and a reason why they are a bad thing). well you have adds spawning, you can’t use taunt as you’ll need it in about 4 seconds to taunt oof of your other tank. well you have tos witch your seal now in order to maintain this perfect rotation. this means, you can’t get aggro on the adds. you have nothing in order tog ain any thread, as you are in the middle of 2 GCDs one from your last ability, AND the on from switching seals. w/o lot’s of hast your GCD is 1.5s this means 3 seconds where the newly spawned adds hit a Healer or a DPS and they will die. you palyed perfectly. it can’t be your fault, can it?

    this is infact the reason why I eprsionally don’t like this many maintainence buffs / spending that much GCDs for them. it takes away your flexibility.

    of course you can say “yeah well in that case I don’t switch seals” of course you wouldn’t but then, you probably lose one f your buffs, thus losing survivability and so on. NOW see how many situations you have on a boss where stuff like this could happen where you would HAVE to delay a sealswap for the sake of the try and do your job (being a tank) and empS isn’t THAT attractive anymore. (or in my case even NOT at all).

    and this is stuff you’ll never see in simC. simC is an amazing tool, but you always have to take a look at the reality, which often isn’t exactly liek the theory. simc hellps you understands how something works and when it should or could be used.

  17. Schroom says:

    this was meant in reply to “Ascend”

    no idea why it didn’t work correctly

  18. Ascend says:

    “My main worry in all of this is that Empowered Seals becomes a blowout winner, such that players of insufficient skill are taking the talent because a guide says it is numerically superior, and then get frustrated because they find it frustrating to play.”

    If I remember correctly during ToT simcraft dps meter looked ~ like however, I don’t remember anyone ever playing Sub and at the end of the patch there were < 15(?) ranks on WoL for a number of bosses (10&25) as Sub (on H).

    Furthermore, I fail to see the logic behind balancing things at "Not Mythic" skill level. If you balance a class to be in line with others at a lower skill level, a number of then can outscale when played fairly well, and yet if you balance things at mythic skill level, if you're not doing mythic, you can easily get away with either using a simpler, yet slightly inferior rotation/talent choices or simply not playing as optimally as possible.

    The issue is that while there's a fair number of buttons to press, it does not make spec hard. While playing with HS I was able to make 1 timed macro that did +- perfect rotation with my only required input being to time SotR. And this is slightly concerning.
    The Issue is that in reality only 3 buttons out of 8 matter (4 if you spec into SW).
    Come WoD Cons+HoW+AS would make up ~15% of total dmg.
    If we only drop Cons+HoW we will only lose ~5.7% of total dmg.
    I would not say that CDs (especially now that EF blanketing is a lot less viable) are skillful, and our raid utility is also fairly low outside of a few %Hands% call outs.

    • blizzhoof says:

      By that rationale, no spec is hard (which many people argue to be the case). However, we’re talking about rotational difficulty in relation to other classes and specs. We really should just have to compare to the other tanks, but there is just no comparison there.

      You should post the macro for testing. That would lend weight to your argument. As it stands, I doubt your macro did anywhere near a perfect rotation. How was it handling GC procs for example?

      “only 3 buttons out of 8 matter”
      How can you think that losing 15% damage or 5.7% damage doesn’t matter? Losing 5.7% damage is a HUGE deal. You act like it isn’t. I guess it depends on how quickly your guild progresses, but from a Mythic raiding guild standpoint, losing any damage due to a slack rotation matters.

      What’s funny is that you’re the one that brought up the “skill cap,” but now you have started to backpedal and talk about the rotation in terms of the skill floor (losing damage, macroing, etc.). Have you changed your thoughts on the skill cap?

      You don’t think that using CDs properly is skillful? So, chaining CDs and ShoR in such a way that you never take a full hit (like is doable in SoO), takes no skill at all? Accurately gauging what personal CD and what externals to use take no skill either? I’m starting to feel like you’re being deliberately obtuse.

      While I agree that our utility is fairly low compared to say a healer, it is much much better than any other tank’s utility (which is what a sensible person would be comparing it to).

      I get that you want to have to manage 4 buffs while tanking and that you find that playstyle fun. However, your assertions that Protadins are simple, just doesn’t have any evidence to back it up. You really should have stopped at giving your opinion, rather than trying to make up “facts” to support it. Opinions can stand fine on their own. Objectively, Protection Paladins already take more keybinds to play effectively than the other tanks and have more to think about/keep track of (outside of maybe DKs).

      • Ascend says:

        It’s fairly simple tbh, the only thing i did to make it handle GC procs was an area pixel scan. (Due to being able to put a WA in that region), w/o it everything else can be +- fully automated even w/o advanced scanning.

        >only 3 buttons out of 8
        Because even top progression players make constant mistakes that cost them > 5.7% dmg, if I look at sloot’s || absalom || xyz’s logs I can notice mistakes that add up to more than that.
        I was one of the top paladins in the world for dmg (without pushing my vengeance to the extreme or doing the super-cheese strats) and yet i know i’ve made numerous mistakes on my rotation (again, mostly due to watching netflix on 2nd monitor, or being distracted).

        I’m not backpedaling, if prot was able to opt in for a higher skill cap, it would make the entire rotation more interesting/engaging and actually worth to care about.

        No, i don’t think that using CDs properly is skillful. I’ve never used CDs to never take a full hit (unless i’m > 40 stacks on H Malk) since on almost all of the fights, there’s better moments with higher spike dmg, however it’s not a difficult and very through provoking process, and it’s closer in line with “after 4 stacks on thok, it hurts, i need to start using CDs”

        While it might be matter of opinion, but I simply don’t see how it can be difficult to keep track of your personals and a few externals that you may have.

        I don’t really see what facts i’m making up to support anything.

        • Theck says:

          I’m not sure “I made a keyboard macro that violates the Terms of Use, and thus trivializes play” is a good argument for our rotation being too easy. Once you’re willing to violate the Terms of Use (especially with pixel scanning), it’s trivial to automate any class’s rotation.

          • Ascend says:

            Point being that even w/o scan for GC it would be fairly easy to make a timed macro that would have an almost perfect rotation.

            If it’s not for a timed macro, i can make a drinking bird style of toy with different levels (later keys would get pressed just slightly later) that would still do rotation almost perfectly.

    • Theck says:

      “Furthermore, I fail to see the logic behind balancing things at “Not Mythic” skill level. If you balance a class to be in line with others at a lower skill level, a number of then can outscale when played fairly well, and yet if you balance things at mythic skill level, if you’re not doing mythic, you can easily get away with either using a simpler, yet slightly inferior rotation/talent choices or simply not playing as optimally as possible.”

      And yet… that’s exactly the problem with high skill caps. If they *are* balanced at Mythic levels (and to be truly “balanced” in this case, Empowered Seals needs to be slightly better than the passive option to account for the extra effort), then the more complicated option will be significantly weaker at lower levels. Yet, those players at lower levels will still take it, because it’s the “best.”

      This is exactly the reason that DoT snapshotting was removed for most spells, and several classes that had very skill-dependent rotations got re-worked. Empowered Seals really falls into the same boat.

      • Ascend says:

        A) Why does it matter that some people decide to blindly follow simulations ?
        B) I doubt that they will, as can be seen with the number of sub rogues running around in ToT (or even SoO)

      • Gupsy says:

        Waiting for your numbers, hoping I’m not wrong. 😀

        I’m expecting Empowered Seals, will outcome in a less then optimal, or at max in pair, with HS, even without accounting the added complexity. Sacrificing the “right” seal just for buff maintenance will have an impact on calculation too, the alternative being switching in and out each time.

        But I feel your fear about not over skilled players using such a foolish talent are too strong. That talent is bloating so much everything that none will ever care about it, but for personal reason, like Ascend is doing. Using the “wrong” seals just to keep buffs up-time? I’m expecting it will be just a “1 less option” the vast majority of paladins have.

        I feel seraphim is much more of concern instead, it has a really big impact for burst, accounting PVP balance I fear they will have to make it completely usless, or our base damage so low it doesn’t matter. But probably here is not the place for PVP related concern.

  19. Ascend says:

    Even without any haste on gear, the ES buff will bring you to 1.3s GCD.

    And errr…. why is there 2 globals ? even if you’re switching seals it’ll be 1 global after which you can use w/e ability you need.
    Or if the adds need to be picked up immediately, why isn’t my co-tank taunting it, knowing that I will taunt the boss in < 4 sec.

    Plus i don't think your notion of perfect rotation is applicable anywhere. Even w/o ES, if i need to agro an add from range (without taunt) I will almost 100% mess up my "perfect" rotation.

    At any point, rotation is always about value of action, not arbitrary perfect play. (Which i would say, outside of ~5 ppl in the world, no one is capable of performing)

    • Theck says:

      The amount of haste is irrelevant in this case. It will still cost you 2 GCDs every 20 seconds. Those GCDs will just be shorter and account for a smaller percentage of your overall GCDs (because you can fit more total GCDs into 20 seconds).

      I think you’re misunderstanding the concept here. It obviously does not take 2 globals to switch seals, which seems to be what you’re trying to say? But that’s not the argument I was making in the first place.

      It will cost 2 globals every 20 seconds to maintain both buffs, because you need to judge once every 20 seconds *per buff* with the appropriate seal active. That means you’ll need to be switching to the respective seal once every 20 seconds as well. Since you’re using 2 different seals, that’s 2 globals every 20 seconds. I’m not sure how much clearer I can make it.

      I’m not sure where you’re coming up with “arbitrary perfect play” or “perfect rotation.” I don’t believe I ever talked about either of those things, so those two seem like strawmen. Even if you’re not playing perfectly (and nobody does), the heavily-skill-dependent nature of ES will mean that poor players execute it moor poorly than strong players.

      • Ascend says:

        This was suppose to be a reply to Schroom, but the website bugged out.
        And using your own numbers i’d rather call it 1 global every 17 sec, then 2 globals every 20 sec.

        • Theck says:

          Call it whatever you like, you’re still wrong. If you spend only 1 global every 17 seconds on seal swapping, you will not have 100% uptime on both buffs. You’ll have roughly 3 seconds where they’re both up, then 14 seconds when only one buff is up, then 3 seconds when they’re both up, then 14 seconds when only one buff is up, etc. Considering two cycles, each buff will be up for 20 seconds out of 34 seconds, or only 58.8% uptime.

          • Ascend says:

            >Assume both buffs are up and SoR is active. At time t=0.0 you cast Judgment, refreshing Liadrin’s Righteousness to 20 second (expires at t=20.0). You then use the next GCD to switch seals to SoT, so that the next Judgment at t=6.0s applies Maraad’s Truth (expires at t=26.0). You now need to switch BACK to Seal of Righteousness before t=20.0 if you intend to refresh the buff before it expires, costing a second GCD. This is a periodic cycle you’ll need to maintain, so it will always cost 2 GCDs in 20 seconds to keep both buffs up.

            >In fact, your next Judgments will come at either 12.0 or 13.5 (due to CS clash) and then 19.5. So you actually have a little less than 20 seconds to cast two seals.

            Errrr…. do you only use judgement once ?
            in your model you use J at t=6.0 to get Maraad’s truth that initially expires at 26.0

            Do you not use any judgement at all until 19.5 ?
            Because if you use it at any point, the buff is refreshed.

          • Theck says:

            Argh, you’re right. I was ignoring the refreshes that are occurring in the interim. That does significantly relax the constraints on GCD usage. Sorry.

          • This is all well and good IF we only use 2 buffs. However, lets assume we are at the 35% haste breakpoint i.e. judgment every 5 sec. Now, if we use the 2 buff goal we can judge each seal a total of 4 times before having to switch seal. This would give each buff an effective duration of 35 sec, or 2 GCDs/35s.

            However, chances are we are gonna want to use all 3 seals. This is ever so sligtly more complicated. We can plot the seals we need to judge to keep all buffs active, each with a 5 sec interval:

            I J T T I J J T I I J T T…

            as you can see a pattern emerges, one where every other buff lasts 20 seconds and 25 seconds respectively. This will cost us 6 gcds / 45 sec compared to the trivial approach which costs 3 gcds / 20 sec.

            Note: In both cases the most gain is to be had when we reach or get close to the 35% haste break point which allows an additional judgment in a 20 sec interval. Secondly the effective cooldown on the judgments are not 5 seconds but alternates between 4,444 and 5,555 due to clashes. However, this has no impact on the 3 buff rotation. For the 2 buff rotation this lead to the one of the buffs dropping for 0,55 seconds in every 35s interval.

    • Schroom says:

      You have the gcd of whatever skill you just used + the gcd of the seal = 2gcds. “why isn’t my co-tank taunting it, knowing that I will taunt the boss in < 4 sec." That's no Argument, you. Won't know what's up with him or maybe it's like Nazgrim heroic, the warrior add spawns a mile away, and a taunt isn't enought, you actually have to produce tps on the mob of else it'll turn around.

      Or it are several spread out adds.

      I find miself often, that even at hastecap an 1s gcd, is far to long for my taste as I could put in 3 or 4 avilities into 1s. And had adds ignoring me, run through me and kill a dps while I was waiting for a gcd to become awailable to generate AoE threat. Now another one for switching seals is just *urgh*

      Fact is you can't waste your time on maintainance buffs, espacially not that much as a tank. There is also nothing skillfull about pressing button x to rerfresh y.
      And nothing fun. Fun is, making decisions, not applying a blueprint (that's why I enjoyed snapshotting compared to this, but well)

      Btw I'm talking about maintaining all 3 EmpS buffs , which leads to 1 gcd every 6s for sealswap, 1 judgement per seal.

      • Ascend says:

        Honestly, never had that happen to me, so don’t know what to tell you.
        Even when i messed around with 30% haste 40% crit build.

        P.S. What decisions are being made currently w/o talenting into ES ? Because i can see myself making decisions mid fight depending on situation for buffs uptime and # of them, don’t really see that happening with Holy Shield.

  20. Ascend says:

    Errr, 35% haste will give us 4.44..4 sec J (unless you mean before 15% from ES which in turn will give us 4 sec J)

    Honestly, that might actually sound closer to the real number (i think it might still be slightly too high, but too tired/busy to calculate)

    I believe last time i calculated it, it was ~7 Globals in a min, but i might be missing one. (Albeit here, i was not accounting for Uther’s lasting for 25 sec, so technically could be somewhat less)

    • Ascend says:

      This was a responce to :

      emruseliavery says:
      September 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    • I ment it to say average effective cooldown of 5 sec for J. It’s true as I wrote in the note that 35% haste will indeed give us 4.44 sec cooldown on J however due to clash in our rotation we cannot always use J on cooldown. Indeed it we will use it after 4.44 sec and 5.55 sec every other time. This means we can time the 4th judgment with the exact moment a buff drops. The important part here is that we have time time to squeeze in 3 judgments for other seals. Having 3 intermediary judgments free would allow us to keep active 4 seals or 3 seals active with 1 J lengthening every other buff by either 4.44 or 5.55s, or 2 seals with 2 J lengthening every buff by 10s (4.44+5.55).

      This would give us at 35% haste:
      4 seals: I R T J … repeat
      Buff duration: 20 sec. 4 gcd/20s (4/18 or 22.2% of gcds)

      3 seals: I R T T I R R T I I R T T … repeat last 9
      Buff durations in the pattern 20, 24.44, 20, 25.55. 12 gcd / 90s (12/81 or 14.8% of gcds)

      2 seals: R T T T R R R T T T … repeat last 6
      Buff duration: 30 (20+4.44+5.55) sec. 2 gcd/30s (2/27 or 7.4% of gcds)**

      1 seal: inf duration. 1 gcd / inf (0%)

      As the math shows you, at 35% haste, it will cost you 7.4% of all your gcds to get 1 additional buff regardless of how many buffs you have.

      ** This contradicts my initial post of 35 sec buff duration for 2 seals. My initial post was entirely incorrect on this point.

      We can repeat the above table when below 35% haste. Here we need to realize that any percentage of haste will lead us to refreshing the buffs prior to them expiring. As we get closer to 35% haste we may consider switching to the above rotation which is more gcd efficient but comes with reduced uptime.

      It doesn’t make sense to do a time vs gcd comparison at a variable haste point. Instead we will only consider gcds. It takes 9 gcds to do 2 judgments alternating between 4 and 5 each.

      At below 35% haste.
      3 seals: I R T … repeat. 6/27 gcds (22,2%)
      2 seals: R T T R R T T… 3/27 gcds (11,1%)
      1 seal: I… 1/inf (0%)

      If you are curious, our next haste breakpoint for EmpS would have a softcap at 57.5% and a hardcap at 65% if we didn’t have a gcd hardcap at 50%. Should we ever reach 50% haste and decided to go for the next rotation it would cost us 1/18 or 5.5% of gcds to keep up a 2 seal rotation or 2/18 or 11,1% of gcds to keep up a 3 seal rotation. The drawback would be that we would only have a 93% uptime.

  21. Lakh says:

    I find myself with mixed feelings about Empowered Seals.

    On the one hand, I agree that the tankadin rotation is seriously overblown. I argued as much in the MoP beta. However this beta I took a look around early and – largely after seeing what they did to hunters – shut the hell up.

    I don’t think they’ve done good job of ability pruning this time around. It’s easier to remove primary rotation than it is to remove situation abilities. You could justify & balance for stripping/merging a lot of rotational abilities reasonably readily (e.g. merge HotR & AS, merge or dump Holy Wrath / Cons, merge Hammer of Wrath & Judgment, etc).

    It’s harder to get rid of abilities that’re already situational. You can always make a good case for “it’s not hurting anyone” / “but a bunch of people like it” when you’re looking at a situational ability. And I think this is what’s happened this expac – Bliz has ended up wimping out & cut a lot of primary rotations down, while leaving a bunch of situational buttons that could (should?) be cut.

    So frankly I’m happy that paladins have missed this round of trimming, even though I’ve felt our rotation is overblown for quite a while. Although there are some neat ideas in the mix, I don’t think we’ve seen Bliz at their finest in this round of class redesign.

    Regarding Empowered Seals…

    Yes, you can macro it. And if you’re after a simple optimal use, the macro’ll work ok provided you use it like clockwork.

    But what makes me not hate it, is the moment you delay your macro too much then you end up stuffing yourself up.

    If you need to skip the macro for 5-6 seconds while you’re gathering up a new pack of adds, your macro’ll drop out of sync & you’ll end up dropping one of your seals randomly. And if you keep using the macro, it could easily be the highest prio seal that you drop.

    So I kinda like the fact that there is a simple way to get close-to-correct use out of it… but that simple way has distinct drawbacks that lessen the value of the ability if used sloppily. That’s actually a pretty good thing in an active ability IMO.

    PS. The one I really dislike is Seraphim… 5 holy power is just all wrong, the difference in spender cost just throws you out of your rhythm in a way our prio really does not need.

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  24. Jason says:

    How would Glyph of the Battle Healer be affected? While your Seal of Insight is Empowered and healing you if you had the glyph would that then be healing the party? Would this be worth doing or would the fact that you’re bouncing around so much with your seals it would not be up enough to matter.

    • Theck says:

      Empowered Seals doesn’t make any of your seals effects inherently more powerful, it just adds buffs to you whenever you cast Judgment.

      GoBH would still only affect the base seal of insight procs. Uther’s insight would still heal you. So the only difference to the effect of GoBH would be the indirect effects of the Righteousness and Truth self-buffs (e.g. your SoI procs would be larger thanks to the extra AP from Maraad’s Truth and would happen more frequently due to the extra haste from Liadrin’s Righteousness), and the fact that you’re only running Seal of Insight about half of the time.

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