Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Prot using Seal of Command

Ghostcrawler has posted on the Official Forums again about Paladin AE threat.

I don't think it's Consecrate, actually. It was definitely Consecrate in Burning Crusade. I think it's HoR and possibly SoC.

Again the masses have locked into Consecreate as the issue. I think that's because its the most visible spell in our arsenal. It's what non-Paladins see. Ghostcrawler is right that Consecrate isn't the issue.

I disagree that Hammer of the Righteous (HotR) is part of the problem. HotR is basically Paladin's version of the Warrior's cleave. Warriors have the option to use Talent points to increase Cleaves damage, while Paladin's can Glyph Hammer of the Righteous to hit a fourth target.

No, I think the real culprit is Seal of Command. Seal of Command was intended as Retribution's DPS Seal for trash and quick fights, but when the change was made to turn Seal of Command into Seal of Cleave, Prot Paladins started to evaluate if it had a place in tanking. The change made Seal of Command proc a cleave on every white swing, and on every cast of Judgement (once every 8 to 10 seconds). The Paladin Tank community determined SoC wasn't going to touch Seal of Vengeance (Corruption if you are Horde like me) for single target (Boss) encounters. But once you were tanking more than 3 targets, or if you were tanking multiple targets that died quickly, Seal of Command would win out.

Multiple Targets that die quickly. Where do we see that? Heroics, and some Raid Trash.

Some Protection Paladins came up with a Heroics/Trash spec that included talents like Reckoning. Reck is a windfury like extra swing, and that extra swing was an extra proc of Seal of Command. We also discovered that the first application of our Judgements of the Just debuff also proced a cleave from Seal of Command.

Then the Devs moved Shield of Righteousness to the melee table. It would now be dodged, parried and blocked. But it also meant it too would proc a cleave from Seal of Command.

I wonder sometimes if the Devs themselves realize how many opportunities Protection Paladins have to proc Seal of Command. Every white swing, plus half of our 969 rotation procs the Cleave from Seal of Command.

Then you add Seal of Command to our other AE abilities like Consecrate, Retribution Aura, Holy Wrath (if Undead), Holy Shield and Hammer of the Righteous and you have a formidable arsenal of AE damage and threat.

A Seal of Command nerf wouldn't be unreasonable or unjustified at this point.

The solution seems fairly straight forward. The Devs could simply change Seal of Command to require a Two Handed Weapon just as Hammer of the Righteous requires a one hander. That alone would tone down Protection Paladin AE threat and damage quite a bit. We'd be left with Seal of Vengeance which doesn't do nearly the AE threat or damage of Seal of Command. At best, Seal of Vengeance is going to handle 4 mobs when synergistic with Hammer of the Righteous, and all but the main target will only have a small DoT on them to hold them off AE DPSers.

This issue again highlights the balancing problem from the Paladins lack of a Stance/Form/Presence system. If we had that, Seal of Command would only be usuable in our 'DPS' stance. While we could tank Heroics in a 'DPS' stance, it wouldn't be as much of a balance point, just as I don't think a Warrior tanking Heroics in Battle Stance should really be a balance point.

My concern is that rather than take the small measured step of taking SoC away from Prot, the Devs will also nerf Hammer of the Righteous' damage. Perhaps it would only do weapon damage x3 instead of weapon damagex4. That would be unnecessary and hurt Paladins ability to generate threat on single targets (Bosses) where it really matters.


Gathorc said...

I think you really hit the nail on the head with this post. I agree that Seal of Command is where our AOE threat OPness comes from now.

I have gone so far as to stop using SoComm in raids (I still use it in heroics) simply because our druid offtank was complaining about having nothing to do during trash clears in ICC.

Darraxus said...

I havent tried using Command yet for trash (though I picked it up last time i respecced my Prot). Warrior cleave only hits two targets unless glyphed. Not quite as good.

Tim said...

I agree with your post, but when I read GC's post I thought to myself "he gets it". He knows what makes Paladins AoE threat good.

Since he gets it, I doubt he would nerf HoTR as that would also nerf your single target TPS (as you pointed out).

Seal of Cleave is really OP, and does need to be nerfed. I am hopeful, and optimistic, that it will be done in an appropriate manner.

In my normal prot spec, no reckoning, etc, I was #3 in damage done on the initial trash of ICC10 last night. That's not right.

leivadith said...

No nerfing needed imo, just move it deeper in the ret tree, out of reach of prot paladins

Grimadin said...

I agree, either change command to require a 2 hander, since no ret paladin will ever be caught dead with a one hander, and no tank using a 2 hander, or move it deeper in the tree. I think the first option would be an easier fix, and remove it from the tanking arsenal completely.

Knowing how blizzard likes to deal with things by going far beyond what is needed, I would expect the warriors who have taken issue with Paladin tanking, in its current form, to get their wish.

Beware the nerf bat. Its swings are mighty and often!

What's my main Again? said...

I just think they should buff other classes aoe tanking capabilities.

Matheus said...

^ this...

Pippet said...

"HotR is basically Paladin's version of the Warrior's cleave. Warriors have the option to use Talent points to increase Cleaves damage, while Paladin's can Glyph Hammer of the Righteous to hit a fourth target."

WOAH! I would greatly disagree. For warriors to get the 120% cleave they have to put points in the fury tree which most don't (at least beyond Armed to the Teeth). Whereas HotR does 400% weapon damage on 3 targets and cleave hits 2 unglyphed. I don't believe these abilities are comparable (beyond the fact that they hit mutliple targets).

Even before SoComm was a thought for prot pallies, they had a much easier time AoE tanking. Everyone sees consecration and assumes it is awesome, but pally tanks know it takes more than that (at least the good ones do). It's just that pallies have a lot of AoE tanking tools compared to other tank classes, and all of them added together make it all seem so easy.

I'm not saying that HotR needs to be nerfed or anything, in fact I love it. But I don't think your argument about HotR=Cleave works.

It's not like tanking should be balanced around heroics and raid trash (imo).

What's my main Again? said...

I tried to avoid bringing up the cleave vs hotr arguement because I know that isn't where Honor's was going. In point of fact SoC is closer to cleave then HotR but that's besides the point.

leivadith said...

Neither SoComm or HotR is the issue of why paladin tanks put out so much threat, whether it be on a single target or in aoe situations.

It boils down to the fact that our damage as Holy and hits unmitigated.

Dargnash said...

First, we should not be balanced around threat in heroics because who brings 2 tanks to one anyways, unless you are gearing up a fresh 80.

Second, why balance based on trash AoE threat? If you only have need one tank to do trash then let the other heal/dps if they are getting bored. If dps are overtaking other tank classes on trash threat, which I don't think is the case, then those classes need to be buffed not nerf the paladins.

Third, a tanks threat should only be nerfed based on boss fights as a whole, not just one or two gimmick fights. If class A does 10% more threat on boss fights then the rest of the classes then yes they might need to be balanced so they can OT since most fights now need tanks to switch.

Those are my thoughts on threat and how it should be balanced.

Anonymous said...

Taking Seal of Command away from 1H wielders would nerf PVP Protadins since Seal of Command is a key to their DPS and Mana conservation (with the glyph). While the either moving SoC further down Ret or limiting SoC to 2H wielders would solve the PVE Tank problem, it would severely damage what little hope PVP Prot Pally's have of success.

Pratham of Eldre'Thalas said...

Now, I've been seeing this trend a lot on my server, and so far, I've yet to see a prot pally that has 70% of the aoe threat that I do, and I use Seal of Corruption. At face value, people see seal damage done from SoCom, and it appears to be more, but there's also the DoT from SoCorruption. Now, with very fast dying mobs, like heroics trash, SoCom may or may not win out, but even the fastest dying trash in ICC, you know, in a raid, where it matters, allows for 5 stacks on 4 targets.... and I do more damage than other paladins that out gear me and use SoCom. I don't think that a SoCom nerf is in order, nor even a change, IMO, it's garbage for prot in the first place.

Honors Code said...

What other Prot Paladins do in your raids is irrelevant. The math has been shown on Maintankadin and Seal of Command DOES beat Seal of Vengeance. There is no may or may not to it. It's been shown, with math to back it up. Until such time as that math is shown to be in error, no amount of anecdotal evidence will change the facts.