Monday, April 27, 2009

It Burns, it burns: Paladins and the changes to Mana Regen

I was a little fearful when I first heard that Blizzard was reworking mana regeneration to make boss fights more challenging. I agree that most guilds effectively had unlimited mana with all the improved talents in Wrath of the Lich King. Still I couldn't help but feel that this was a perfect opportunity for an unintended consequence to sneak into the game. My fears weren't exactly put to rest when I first logged in after the patch and saw that I had lost around 150 mana regen on my paladin. This was especially troubling since my retribution gear isn't exactly loaded down with intelligence or mana regeneration. Luckily, I'm used to hitting divine plea whenever it pops and it seems to keep my mana bar going along with occasional replenishment.

Still one thing I've noticed is that this seems to have made paladins even more vulnerable to mana drain and mana burn. Paladins have always been particularly powerless against these two spells, but now it seems you only need to be hit by it once or twice to be rendered useless in a fight. Shamans and Hunters also have to go through the same issue, but generally have larger mana pools. Blizzard's constant experimentation with paladin itemization has created a class with a very small mana pool and a large dependency on it's mana regeneration abilities. As a result I'm seriously thinking of changing out a couple gem sockets to get a slightly bigger mana pool for my retribution paladin.

I'm not quite sure if Blizzard wanted to improve the importance of mana management in PvP situations also. The recent changes to replenishment in PvP makes me suspect that it might have been done on purpose. I know feral druids in particular were famous for switching forms and using healing spells before jumping back into high dps mode. I'm guessing now with mana drains/burns being so effective that this is no longer a good idea. In general, the changes to mana regeneration are going to greatly shorten the times for arena matches. Since they were already pretty short I'm not sure if this was the best decision for Blizzard to make.


pockie said...

I had the impression that the nerf to mana regen was in the contribution from spirit. Thus, since pallies (and shamans) should not be wearing any gear with spirit in the first place, the impact of the actual nerf should be fairly insignificant. Of course, there was an additional "nerf" in that BoW and Mana Spring totem don't stack anymore, so that's 91 mp5 gone but that's only an issue in groups.

Also remember that Judgements of the Wise was buffed back up. That should alleviate a lot of problems with mana drains in that opening with a Judgement basically gives you enough mana to do your whole burst rotation.

My overall impression is that the mana regen "nerf" has had little to no effect since they buffed all spirit-using classes to compensate.

Anonymous said...

with mana burn/drains changed to % they are a lot less punishing on ret paladins. with jotw and divine plea its almost laughable.

Relmstein said...

Divine Plea does help out a lot in both PvE and PvP.

JotW seems a little less useful in PvP situations since the classes that mana burn/drain usually don't let you melee them and have a nice collection of fear spells to interupt that opening rotation.