Holy Champion (this is it)

This post is part of a series of posts titled Healing Inspection, which discusses healing abilities and styles.

For the stretch of two weeks, I’ve been rambling about Holy Priests. Truly, I don’t think I have spent as much time on any other class, say the least any other spec. But every ramble (especially royal ones), must come to an end. And the end of this one must be grand.

For the grand finale, I am going to supply you with not one, but two tooltips for this new skill.

You got two eyes (unless you’re a pirate), so pay good attention.

Holy Champion (Solo)

Holy Champion (Solo)

And this is rather interesting, for I am writing between two images. Can’t say this has been done before, or has it?

Nevermind, it’s really not that important.

Holy Champion (Group)

Holy Champion (Group)

If this is all very new to you, I’d advise checking my previous posts on each concept – the group skill and the solo one.

For those who just returned, or my ardent readers, I advise reading along.

I am going to review those two skills, but before I do that, there are a few minor details I’d like to address.

Mine or D-Tails

Takes Two to Tango

It takes two to dance, but also two to tread on each other’s toes.

Holy Champion, Solo and Group, are two skills, but they are actually just one. The idea is for the Priest to use the proper one, depending on the situation he is in. The design concept is not to have a party member mitigate damage during an instance run, then have the Priest call his NPC personal guardian once there is some extra trouble, for extra mitigation.

I don’t want the two to be usable at the same time. And I am not going to allow it either.

The prevention plan is rather simple. It is achieved through a shared cooldown system. Once Holy Champion (Solo) is used, both the skills are on cooldown (even if the Group version doesn’t even have one). While Holy Champion (Group) is active, the Solo version is on cooldown, and time starts counting down only once the buff is canceled.

As simple as that, now the skills cannot be chain used.

Good Grief

Another potential issue I see with this skill, is it being used for griefing in battlegrounds. Since the Priest can use it to buff a party/raid member, he can effectively cast it on any other player in PvP, and that’s without their consent.

Now, if it was a simple buff, there would be no problem. However, since Holy Champion transfers damage to the target, that’s not something anyone would like to have. I can predict situations where the Priest, clutching to his dear life, would cast this on someone random in his team, solely for the extra mitigation. That chosen one might be quite unhappy because of this additional damage he is suddenly taking.

To prevent that, Holy Champion (Group) requires a reagent. But that’s obviously not enough, for the griefer might accept to pay a small tribute only for his sick pleasure. On top of that, I am adding the following mechanism – whenever a player cancels the Holy Champion aura, he is debuffed with Masterless, which prevents him from being affected by Holy Champion for the next 15 minutes.

That’s the best I can do. I am aware that some griefers will discover tricks for their trade, but maybe that’s something only GMs can stop.

The Champ (or the Good)

Holy Champion is made for Holy Priests, by (someone who attempts to understand) Holy Priests. Some will probably think that the least thing a Priest needs is mitigation, as in a good group, the healer shouldn’t take a single hit, but I had the impression that others would still welcome a more resilient form.

More mitigation. This is exactly what Holy Champion provides.

In group, it basically raises the Priest’s armor to the value of a Shaman’s. Actually, it does a little more than that, since it also mitigates non physical damage. The downside – having the damage shared – is almost completely negated by having the Priest also share the heals. If the encounter is very tricky, where the tiniest amount of extra damage on the tank can be fatal, the Holy Priest can pick another champion for the cause (a Hunter for example, which doesn’t have a very small health pool, and usually doesn’t take much damage during fights).

Solo, the summoned guardian offers quite a bit of extra mitigation. Between his taunt, intervene and hand of sacrifice, he can offer much more than 30% extra damage reduction, even if that’s for a little while. While questing, it might prove useful on a bad pull; in battleground, it could grant the Priest a few more seconds for reinforcement to arrive.

Score: 8.5/10

If not fancily, it still does what it proclaims, and that’s providing more mitigation. Admittedly not very exciting, but that’s because Holy Priests already have tons of gadgets.

The Chimp (or the Bad)

When I say bad, I actually mean bad from another player’s perspective. In a simpler form, does this skill has the potential to becoming overpowered?

I’ll start with PvE. In this case, I am pretty certain this skill is nowhere close to being considered overpowered one day. A Priest that is able to take a little more damage, because this damage is being transferred to a party member, isn’t something very dreadful. A healer with a Shaman’s armor is not something unheard of, and that’s my case.

If, somehow, someday, someone will manage to Priest tank something major using this, I’d salute that person, but currently, it seems tank classes still do it better.

In PvP, namely arena, I won’t deny that Holy Priests will be harder to kill. Their brethren, the Discipline Priests, are already hard to kill, and thus very popular in PvP. I don’t see a reason why Holy cannot attain a similar status. And since the damage doesn’t just disappear, but must be dealt with after being applied to a team member, I think it is pretty balanced.

As for the healing being shared with an ally, this is easily countered by having the heal over time dispellable by the opposing team. The extra damage through enrage could also be removed (by Tranquilizing Shot for example).

Score: 5/10

Nothing new or unheard off, and I can’t spot any exploits on the horizon.

The Championship (or PvP)

For once, since I have presented a skill with two faces, it serves for both PvE and PvP at once. Previous skills I introduced were mainly for one aspect of the game, and I had to analyze how they might affect the other.

Holy Champion is meant for both. Depending on one’s game style, it could prove useful for one aspect more than for the other. In both cases, it provides what it states, and nothing more.

Mitigation. Be it against AI controlled creatures, or humans over bandwidth.

Score: Same-Same.

The Champignons (or What Might Sprout)

If there is one thing I have learned about MMOs by now, it is that nothing is stable for long. Things change, repeatedly, and people have to adapt to it.

Knowing that in advance, gives some comfort. Knowing what nerfs might strike, and we can expect the unexpected. Then the worse doesn’t look so bad.

What can a future day bring us?

  • Holy Champion (Group) can no longer proc more than once every XX seconds. This will prevent players from benefiting from this ability too often, in arena for example, when the Priest is taking continuous damage.
    My Opinion: Bad idea, will probably render this skill very undesirable.
  • The cooldown of Holy Champion (Solo) has been increased by XX.
    My Opinion: Increasing the cooldown too much, to the point it approaches the 5 minute mark, will encourage people to compare it to Shield Wall-like skills, and it will make Holy Champion appear lame in comparison.
  • The duration of Holy Champion (Solo) has been decreased by XX.
    My Opinion: If people really insist, but the duration can’t be too short either, or the cooldown will have to go down as well to compensate.
  • Holy Champion (Group) had its damage and healing sharing percentage reduced to XX.
    My Opinion: If Priests in mail armor become a too scary phenomenon, we can always reduce the mitigation slightly, to put them in par with Druids. Only testing can tell though.

The Champagne (or a Cause for Celebration)

The skill has two aspects. The Solo one is reactive, while the Group one is a simple buff.

I can’t say a buff is something very fun to use. You buff, and you’re done with it for a while. Moreover, the buff is pretty passive; damage is shared with the target, and so are heals. Nothing really exciting, but buffs don’t attempt to be that way.

A reactive skill on the other hand, can be more entertaining to use. It can render a hopeless encounter into a successful one, which is pretty rewarding.

As for looks, Holy Champion might give the target a holy feel. Astral wings, a divine aura or maybe even a righteous glow. With this skill, Priests could make their friends look a bit more impressive, which is kind of fun.

And I don’t have to explain why a summoned companion is fun, do I?

The Odd One Out

There were no more words with a matching prefix, so I really had no choice here.

This section is about how the skill fits within the lore of the game, and is also a section I am starting to be tired with.

As a rule of thumb, every skill I am coming up with is tailored to the class and spec it is designed for. I will never suggest a skill that does not fit the role, and in consequence, one that would not fit the lore either. I think there are about 10 new skills now, and they were always relevant lorewise.

It is quite clear what a Holy Champion has to do with a Holy Priest, but I will explain it nonetheless. Priests lead the thought behind the religion. They are usually man/woman of great mental strength, but sometimes less strong physically. In order to preserve such leaders of faith, the system provides them with guardians. Such guardians are the Holy Champions.

They will do all it takes to protect the ones who preserve the faith.

An End to a Serie

With Holy Priests behind me, this is the closing to the Healing Inspection series.

I will shortly publish a page to summarize and consolidate the various articles of the series, with links and the works.

I am aware it was long, with many change of plans and indecisions, but it only made me realize what a complicated work the guys from Blizzard are facing, and I have to salute them for their effort.

As for what is coming up next, this is something will have to wait for, and I will have to decide about (*wink*).

In the ancient Baori civilization, there was a different meaning to championing. Such men and women, assigned to a great sage, were not by his side to protect him from death, but to keep his knowledge in this world.
When the day came, and the time was set for the sage to depart, those champions would acquire champions of their own, and the cycle would go on.


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