Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let The Blessing Crusade Begin

Step 1 - Post blessing idea to the Suggestion forum, with cross-posts to the Raid & Dungeon forum and Paladin forum.
Step 2 - ????
Step 3 - Profit!

Cross-post, linked above, follows -

In the past, Ghostcrawler and other Blizzard posters on the forums have openly stated that one of their goals is to make the game more fun and remove/change things that are viewed as monotonous or tedious. I'm here to posit that the paladin blessing system is tedious.

Since the blessing system is class-based, a single paladin will have to cast at least 10 times each time he wants to buff in a well-balanced and diversified raid. If the raid has differently specced hybrids of the same class (for example, an elemental shaman and an enhancement shaman), the paladin may need to cast a 10-minute blessing over the greater blessing to provide one or the other with the proper buff (for example, Greater Blessing of Might on shamans and then Blessing of Wisdom on the elemental shaman). Consider this in conjunction with blessing duration (30 minutes for greaters, 10 minutes for regulars), and over a 4 hour raid with all classes represented, a paladin will have to buff 80 times, and that's only if no one dies and there are no deviant hybrids. This is and of itself is a measure of tedium. When you consider it in the context of other raid buffs, however, it appears even more tedious. Priests, druids, mages, and other buffing classes can cast their buffs (Prayer of Fortitude, Gift of the Wild, Arcane Brilliance, etc.) with one cast on all raid members, and benefit from an hour duration. So, a mage over a 4 hour raid will only need to cast Arcane Brilliance four times, when compared with the paladin's minimum of 80 casts and 15-20 seconds every half hour spent simply re-casting his greater blessings.

In my view, what keeps paladins from being able to move toward a raid-wide buff system instead of the current class-based buff system is the dichotomy of Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom, especially when considered in relation to hybrids. Let's say there are 3 paladins in the raid - a ret, a holy, and a prot. Normal blessing conventions will have the prot doing Sanctuary on tanking classes (feral druids, death knights, warriors, himself), the ret doing Kings on the tanking classes, and the holy doing Might on them.

But what about the boomkins and restoration druids? They certainly don't want Blessing of Might, they'll want Blessing of Wisdom! And Blessing of Sanctuary isn't a huge buff for them, since they aren't primary damage targets. So now you're faced with the decision of giving the caster druids Greater Blessing of Wisdom and having the holy paladin cast Blessing of Might every 10 minutes on the feral druid, or the prot paladin cast his unimproved Greater Blessing of Wisdom on the caster druids and then cast Blessing of Sanctuary on the feral druid every 10 minutes.

Melee DPS hybrids want very different blessings from caster hybrids, but they both use the same resource pool. A ret paladin wants Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom, he just wants the Blessing of Might a whole lot more. What can we do? Roll Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom into one, catch-all buff. This way, you have 3 blessings - Kings, Sanctuary, and the Might/Wisdom conglomeration. In a 3-paladin 25-man raid with all classes represented, you could then have one paladin on Kings, one paladin on Sanctuary, and one paladin on the Might/Wisdom conglomerate, with no need to babysit 10-minute buffs on deviantly-specced hybrids. This would also free any barriers preventing greater blessings from being a one-cast raid wide buff with an hour duration to match the buffs of priests, druids, mages, etc. The mana cost and monetary cost of Symbols of Kings would be increased to match, of course. This, coupled with increasing blessing duration to 30 minutes, would bring paladin buffing in line with other classes and remove the tedium surrounding blessings.

If rolling Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom into one buff would be overpowered in PvP for the mana-using physical DPS classes (hunters, enhancement shamans, ret paladins), then simply making greater blessings a raid-wide, one hour duration buff and increasing blessing duration to 30 minutes would be a decent "meet us halfway" point. For the example of the holy paladin in the 25-man 3-paladin raid, he could cast Greater Blessing of Wisdom on the entire raid, and then Blessing of Might on 2-3 warriors, 2-3 death knights, a retribution paladin, a feral druid, and an enhancement shaman. If nothing else, that just reduced the number of casts per raid by half by increasing the duration, and reduced the number of blessings per buff round by one. Repeated wiping would still be a bear for a paladin, but if all goes well, this would be less time spent and less casts required. At the very least, the situation remains the same for one paladin, but the other two paladins will likely see a reduction in their blessing casts required. The Kings paladin especially will simply buff once and drink.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think this is a FANTASTIC idea. Even in 5 mans, I get a little miffed when I have same class different specs in a group. I will sign the petition just point me in the right direction.