Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Other Shoe Falls on Lay On Hands

Well we knew something was coming with Lay on Hands and now we know how it will change.

Lay on Hands is now affected by Forbearance and can now be cast on self again - Heals a friendly target for an amount equal to the Paladin's maximum health and restores 1950 of their mana. Once healed, the target cannot be targeted by Divine Shield, Divine Protection, Hand of Protection, or Lay on Hands again for 2 min.

So the Developers solution was to add our old friend Forbearance.

So my question is, why doesn't it also apply to Shieldwall, Icebound Fortitude, and Barkskin?
Basically the tooltip should say :
Shield Wall, Icebound Fortitude, and Barkskin can not be used while under Forbearance.
I'm not asking for other Tank classes to be nerfed. This is a tank balance issue. I'm attempting to show how this change will impact Paladin tanks. The Paladins 'shield wall' is called Divine Protection. It's our one and only activated cooldown. Our other cooldown, the much discussed Ardent Defender, is completely passive.

When the need for a change to Lay on Hands was discussed, Lead Developer Ghostcrawler was specific in citing PVP reasons.
He said fighting a Paladin (in PVP) was like a 3 phase fight. I don't PVP enough to be able to give any kind of opinion on if Paladins needed another PVP nerf. Shoot, maybe they do.

Ghostcrawler didn't say anything about Paladin tank cooldowns. What happened was in nerfing Paladins for PVP, which who knows might have actually been needed, Tankadins have taken some collateral damage.

What really bothers me about this change is the lack of control. I can't control the Holy Paladin casting Lay on Hands on me, yet, this will prevent me from using my 'sheild wall' type ability for 2 minutes (or 1 minute 30 seconds with 4 piece Tier 9).

Imagine a cooldown check fight. For whatever reason the tank gets low before the big nuke and to save him, the Holy Paladin casts Lay on Hands. Now the big nuke comes, but our Tank is a spunky Paladin who, through no action of own, has lost his cooldown. For the safety of the raid, it would be foolish to have your Paladin tank that fight. Any other tank class would not have that drawback.

Another scenario: the Paladin tank has just used his activated cooldown to survive a big nuke cooldown check. A minute or so later, he gets low. The Paladin healer uses his 'oh no' button Lay on Hands. He gets an error message 'that can not be used right now' and has to scramble to try to get off a Holy Light. But in the time lost trying to cast a spell that he couldn't cast, the Paladin tank has died. Again, no other Tank class has that kind of drawback.
Paladin poster Zothor summed it up well: "Making 1/4 of the tanking classes a slave to the external cooldowns of their healers is never, ever, ever a solution. The class has inherent balance problems because it's got two of the strongest baseline abilities in the game.[Bubble and Lay on Hands] We get it. If you don't want to inflame the entire community by removing their existing functionality, cut it out in specific talents as a necessary choice for specs. Every healing spec has an "oh crap button," and holy paladin's is Lay on Hands. Tanks oh-crap button is shieldwall. Guess what? we're likely to want them AT THE SAME TIME." (emphasis added by me)

Perhaps a better implementation would be to have the Forebearance debuff go one who cast Lay on Hands rather than the one who received the heal.

Even better, if the issue was really for Battlegrounds, then why not just make Lay on Hands not usable in Battlegrounds, the same way they make spells unusable for Arena matches?
So what do you think? Am I over reacting to this? Nobody likes to get nerfed, I understand that, but I wonder if the Developers have thought about the side effects for Tankadins and if they will choose to take any action in that regard. I just don't want the fact that I chose to be a Paladin tank (as opposed to a Druid/Death Knight/Warrior) to be a hindrance to my raid.


Reason has prevailed in the land of the PTR. This is breaking news from GC!
The change we're thinking about now is that LoH only causes Forbearance if you cast it on yourself. A paladin healing a paladin tank wouldn't run into the Forbearance problem.

We don't think the paladin tank needs to be able to stack both tools at once. If you know big damage is coming you can use Divine Protection. If you managed to take the big damage, you can use Lay on Hands. (Post#23) (Post#65)

That sounds reasonable and addresses the issue as well as the Tankadin concern. I can live with that.
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