Paladin itemisation in Icecrown

November 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm (Paladin healing)

Its crap.

While I could (and maybe should!) end this post here I’ll keep going cause damned if I will say 2 words when I can say 200.

The basis for all the problems with paladin itemisation (which has been terrible since we left Naxx for Ulduar) has been the differing views on crit.  The developers, for reasons that I am not privy to, believe that crit is a throughput stat.  They treat it like a throughput stat, always have.  They were uncomfortable with Paladins in sp/crit/haste gear because, from their perspective, its all throughput.  The fact that it also provided all necessary regen (which even then was far from true – int is the paladin regen stat and has been all expansion) in their eyes meant paladin healing was too strong.

They may have been right, though I don’t think so.  Crit however is the worst throughput stat a healer can have.  The reason for this is that healing is not dps.

Healing ebbs and flows, its not like dps where you have to do X damage over the course of the fight and then you win.  Increasing the total healing done by a player is not the same as increasing the healing effectiveness of that player.  Requiring a certain amount of crits over the course of a fight to meet a dps target is easy – as sample size increases, the sample mean approaches the actual mean (so your recount chart crit% approaches the number on your character sheet).  Over the course of a boss fight you will cast hundreds of spells.  You can fall behind the dps required by going through an unlucky patch of crits amd (statistically speaking) you’ll catch back up.  Either you have the dps required or you don’t. 

Healing is different.  If you fall behind by more than the tanks health at any time, the fight is over.  Which is why you can’t rely on crits.  Sooner or later that unlucky patch means a dead tank.

Haste on the other hand is always useful, because it reduces the amount of time all your spells take to cast.  Meaning that it is predictable and therefore reliable.

I am not saying that crit doesn’t increase healing done (because it does), I am saying that, because its not predictable, because healers can’t rely on it – its not a throughput stat in the proper sense of the word.  Your throughput increases when you get more crit but you don’t stack crit for throughput.  Again, healing isn’t dps, the number at the end of the fight is not the key thing, its the numbers in the middle – you always have to keep the tanks health about the amount that a boss swing would take off at a bare minimum.  Its not a fucking average.

Yet paladin gear is choked with crit and mp5.  My feelings on mp5 ought to be well known.  Its not as useless as it was but its not far from it.  As mana pool sizes increase and increase mp5 (because its a non-scaling stat) becomes less and less useful compared with a scaling stat (like int).  Of course, paladins are not quite at the ulduar level of ignoring their mana pools but I see no reason to believe they won’t get there shortly into icecrown. 

Anyway, this is all moot, Blizzard will itemise the gear however they want.  I really wish that just once we’d get the right gear.  T7 was itemised reasonably well, T8 was garbage until 3.2 nerfed us into it, T9 was itemised perfectly (if you assume the nerf didn’t happen) and T10 seems the worst yet.  I don’t like taking shammy mail but I will if I have to.  Its not like I haven’t done it before


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