Thursday, March 19, 2009

On Recoil And Martyrdom

Seal of the Martyr and Seal of Blood cause damage to the user every time damage is dealt. It's a unique mechanic amongst player buffs - the closest thing to it is a warlock's Life Tap ability, which converts health into mana, which is then used for damage. As Judgement has emerged as the top damaging ability for a ret paladin and damage totals have grown larger in proportion to health pools, this recoil damage has become a pressing concern amongst some paladins in the greater WoW community. I have been a semi-vocal opponent of the recoil damage in recent months, viewing it as a harsh and unwieldy mechanic. However, Lore helped put things in perspective today. On Maintankadin, in response to a statement that warlocks lose less damage by holding off on Life Tap'ing when compared with ret paladins holding off on Judging, he wrote:

Warlocks can't really delay lifetap until a safe moment without losing DPS -- if they're lifetapping, it's because they need mana, which they probably intend to use to DPS. We can delay Judgement for a minor loss of DPS if needed, or even just instant FoL and delay our swing timer.

Raid damage in a lot of ways makes JoB less of a liability, because there's fewer surprises and healers are already watching the raid and topping everyone off. The only real liability it brings is that the Priest or Druid needs to keep a HoT on you.

I also think you guys are exaggerating the "zomg big self-hit" numbers. Even a 20k judge does less than 7k self-damage. There's a couple Naxx encounters where that's possible, and it might be possible with cooldowns in Ulduar gear, but as it stands currently the highest I've been able to hit without encounter buffs is around 14k, or 4620 self damage.

Also, let's be honest for a moment -- Ret DPS is really, really easy. No rage to watch, Mana is rarely a concern, no DoT's or debuffs to keep active... hell we don't even need to refresh seals anymore. All we need to do is press the prettiest button that lights up. Health management adds just a tiny bit more to pay attention to.

While I do not agree with all his premises, he makes a good point. In the situation that I'm most worried about - heavy raid damage encounters - the raid healers will be watching anyway, making that extra bit of healing I need just a matter of an extra HoT tick. If I make sure to Sacred Shield myself before raid damage happens, and Divinity is included in whatever raid spec I take, I think that the Sacred Shield absorb plus the extra oomph added to incoming heals by Divinity will make it so that I'm not too much harder to keep alive than the rogue next to me.

The concern is still with randomly timed raid damage, though. If I don't know when it's coming, I don't know when not to Judge, or when to have Sacred Shield up. That situation requires some additional thinking, and I'm having trouble coming up with a solution.


Peregrine said...

One thing I did learn: recoil damage hurts like hell on Razuvious adds. I overkilled myself for 2k. Lesson learned, Seal of Command on them from now on, but just an example of where that recoil damage can hurt like hell.

Mostly, Raid Damage isn't enough to kill you even if you Judge directly afterward. It may reduce you dangerously low, perhaps to the point that adds will kill you, but very rarely does raid damage make the Judgement lethal, even on such fights as Sartharian (with large amounts of adds running around) or Malygos (with Vortex).

Stoico said...

I do take the damage we get as a side down to our class. A disadvantage. But on the other hand I like it.
Love/hate relationship.

Take the sath3d 10 man fight. There when you have 2nd and 3rd drake up. You have to watch carefully, as the self damage + all the other damage really is a balance issue. But that is in my book, just one more challenge to overcome. Which is cool.

On fights like Loatheb and Gluth it can be a pain. But again, you can just meassure for it. All in all, if they remove it, it will be one more simplification on our class and the game in general.

Im not sure I would like that.