- 2011/03/02 04:17:13 AM
Many people are confused by Blizzard's current stance on Word of Glory, and I'll admit I am as well, particularly because... they haven't said anything!
Well, perhaps it's time that we had something to say about Word of Glory then?
That said, it's more likely Blizzard meant WoG is a situational heal that you only occasionally use, but not a true "emergency heal" that we're supposed to have immediate access to at any given moment.
The assessment that Word of Glory is meant for more occasional use is rather close to the mark. That's also part of the reason that we're comfortable with employing a cooldown solution in this case. We think that it’s more interesting for Word of Glory to be a reasonably powerful heal that's used infrequently, than if it were a weaker heal used more often. We also like the way Word of Glory interacts with Vengeance because then the heal scales with the content. If you’re taking a lot of damage, the heal is more potent than it would be otherwise.
We also didn’t really think that healing was necessarily a problem for Protection paladins. We just weren't happy with the style of gameplay it was causing players to adopt. We had tanks telling us “I just miss using actual attacks, like Shield of the Righteous. Every time I use SotR it feels like I'm playing wrong.” While technically a tank had a choice between threat and survival, we felt it was an illusion of choice because tanks often (and rightfully) worry about survival first and foremost. You still have the choice between generating threat and healing, but since the healing will be lower overall, the trade off should matter less.
The self-healing ability of other tanks has been brought up in this context. When comparing tanks, we look at the whole package, not individual abilities or talents. Deathknights, for example, are designed with less innate damage mitigation than Protection paladins, but they have a lot of self-healing to compensate. It’s okay, of course, for paladins to have some self-healing (they are a class with healing spells after all), but that has to be balanced against their better built-in damage mitigation. We try to tune tanking classes close enough so that they can all tank effectively, but without making them all function identically.
We're not too concerned with keeping Protection viable in PvP. We know some players enjoy it, but the majority of Prot paladins are more concerned with their ability to tank, and that’s where we spend most of our Protection design effort. It’s a great goal to make all of a class's specs viable in PvP, but it's not always possible to do so and paladins have other options.
I realize that Word of Glory is also on Retribution's platter at the moment, and we have something to share about its role in that spec as well, despite this being the tanking forum.
We think the 4.06 changes overall gave Retribution too great a buff for PvP. We realize that there are those that disagree, but we're pretty firm on that point and we needed to make some adjustments. Given that Ret is primarily a dps spec, we thought it made more sense to reduce their off-healing capacity, which had become quite strong, rather than their damage.
That's not to say that we mind a hybrid dps spec occasionally helping out with healing – that feels cool, and it's appropriate. On the other hand, we want damage focused specs to be primarily focused on dps. It's true that there were other ways we could have reduced Retribution healing. We could have changed Selfless Healer or even Word of Glory itself. As I mentioned earlier, after looking things over, we arrived at the conclusion that having a powerful heal you can use infrequently is more compelling than having a weak heal that you can use more often.