So. Beta.

Over the last several hours, I did not complete a single instance. I did advance significantly in terms of quests and subzones in Vashj’ir, mind you, and I also dinged Kurn 81. It took me less time to ding Kurn 81 than it did for me to get a third of the way to 81 on Madrana.

I also spent a crapton of time uploading and organizing 200+ screenshots from Beta, which are available here:

http://kurn.apotheosis-now.com/cataclysm/

And I even made a couple little videos, which I’ve uploaded to YouTube. Spoilers below!

General observations:

- You cannot actually talk to your trainer to train things if you have two professions. No, I don’t know why. Yes, I (along with 395702 people) have reported it as a bug. I said farewell to Alchemy and Skinning and will probably drop herbalism on my shaman.
- People don’t know anything about these instances. This includes me.
- People don’t listen to instructions. This does not include me.
- People still don’t like to use crowd control. This would not include me, if I’d managed to get a single instance done on Kurn.
- Mark of the Wild and Blessing of Kings are now the same buff. 5% to your Strength, Agility, Stamina and Intellect, and 76 to all resistances. They DO stack in terms of 5% to your stats, I believe. I’m not sure if this is intended or not. The resistances do not stack.
- Mark of the Wild, Kings, Might (which also has wisdom in it), Arcane Intellect and Power Word: Fortitude are all party/raid-wide. Blessings no longer require reagents, although I’m unsure about the other classes. (I suspect most reagents are a thing of the past.)
- Paladin auras have all been combined into one — Resistance Aura. It looks like Fire Resistance Aura. At 80, it’s still 130 resistance against Shadow, Frost and Fire.
- Finding the instance entrance is not always easy. After dying in Blackrock Caverns, I was absolutely delighted to find myself back at Thorium Point! However, I spent long enough looking for the entrance to Blackrock Caverns that the paladin tank rezzed me.

For your benefit, ladies and gentlemen:

Okay, now let’s talk about holy paladin stuff.

The first thing I noticed is that things like Beacon of Light, Holy Light and Holy Shock were extremely cheap in terms of mana cost. I mean, stupidly cheap.

How cheap?

Holy Light: 150 mana (with Libram of Renewal, 263 without).
Beacon of Light: 263 mana.
Holy Shock: 351 mana.

Then I nearly fell over when I saw the cost for Divine Light.

Divine Light: 1318 mana.

And yeah, Flash of Light is expensive, too, coming in at 1186 mana.

So’s Redemption: 2812 mana.

Cleanse is mid-range at 615.

I was also pleased to see we still have Divine Sacrifice. However, I don’t see it on the trainer and it’s not in Holy/Protection/Retribution. It’s just in my basic spellbook, along with things like Mace and Sword Specialization, Perception, The Human Spirit, Diplomacy, Every Man for Himself, Cold Weather Flying, Auto Attack, Armor Skills and Weapon Skills. One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong.

It’s not Divine Guardian, though — it’s Divine Sacrifice, only party-wide. Protection gets a Tier 4 talent called Divine Guardian that lasts 6 seconds and reduces the whole raid’s damage by 20% if they’re within 30y of the paladin. Alas!

Divine Shield has been reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds.

Sacred Shield is missing, presumed dead. As is Divine Intervention. :(

Actually, Sacred Shield is basically going to become our holy Mastery thingy. According to Ghostcrawler:

“Your healing spells also place an absorb shield on your target for X% of the amount healed lasting 6 sec. Absorb increased further by mastery rating.”

I have yet to see any of that, but I’m guessing that’s because none of my gear has mastery on it.

Something that’s interesting is that Holy Light‘s base cast time is 3 seconds. Divine Light, our big heal, has a cast time of 2.5 seconds. Flash of Light remains 1.5 seconds.

If you’re curious about some of the numbers, here’s another little video for you.

That’s:

Light of Dawn, Holy Light, Divine Light, Flash of Light, Holy Shock, Beacon of Light (which now only copies 50% of the heal, not 100%), Holy Shock, Word of Glory and Light of Dawn again. ’cause it’s all pretty-like.

Holy Power is easy to generate. Holy Shock on anyone, direct heals on your beacon target and before you know it, you’re at three charges of Holy Power and can let loose a Word of Glory.

So let’s talk about healing in an instance, shall we?

It’s HARD.

Not that that’s a bad thing, but it’s HARD.

Not only do I not have my precious, precious addons, but I have all these freaking new spells and such and months of muscle memory to unlearn.

And then, there are the players. Who insist on trying to steamroll through things. Which causes us to die.

These tanks are crit-immune, due to their talents, and they’re STILL taking craploads of damage in a 5-man 80-82 level instance. I lost my tanks more than once in both Blackrock Caverns and Throne of the Tides. There was just too much damage for me to heal through, particularly with Beacon only taking 50% of the heal now and with Light of Dawn on a 30 second cooldown.

I was using Holy Shock and Word of Glory like a champ and STILL my tanks and groups were nearly dying. You know what it felt like? Heroic Magister’s Terrace all over again. I just didn’t have the GCDs. I’m sure that part of it is poor management of Speed of Light, but dang.

Also, I’m not sure Infusion of Light is working properly. I mean, it procs after a Holy Shock crits, but it reduces Flash of Light’s cast time by 1.5s, making it instant, the way it is on live.

Let’s see, what else…

- Prior to a pull, I put up Beacon on the tank and then hit them with Holy Shock so I already have a stack of 2 Holy Power, ready to drop Word of Glory on someone who pulls aggro fast or something.

- There’s a boss in Throne of the Tides that has Defile as a mechanic. :P

- I haven’t beat the second boss in Blackrock Caverns yet and only a couple in Throne of the Tides. None of my five or six instance groups actually finished an instance.

- Worst trash so far: dudes in Throne of the Tides who look like General Vezax who do this throw-you-up-in-the-air thing and then pound you while you’re up there. Very weird, hard to heal up from.

- Archeology is not yet implemented, but the trainer in Stormwind is our good buddy Harrison Jones. He actually quotes Indiana Jones in… whichever movie it was. You know, the scene in the classroom where the girl bats her lashes at him.

- Professions are all weird at the moment, I guess.

- Water is 45,000 and 72,000 mana restored over 30 seconds. ABOUT TIME.

And on that note, I’ll go nap for a little while. If you have beta questions about holy paladins, post ‘em!