Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The value of Honor/Arena gear for a PvE Paladin and "Goodbye, Seal of Vengeance"

About a month ago I mentioned I've taken up doing PvP on my Mage to help a friend. Since then it's caused an increased interest by certain members of the guild in PvP and arena. We even started a 3v3 and a 5v5 team. But we really lack one key thing: A dedicated healer. Both teams have a Paladin, a Shaman, and a Druid but all of them are offensive specs. No Holy or Resto specced players. So I rolled another Paladin and began leveling him up (35 currently). Still going to play my Mage, but also working on a Holy Paladin (leveling as Ret to get some experience in that tree since I've never been above 16 points in it).

But I digress, my point is that since I've got a Paladin-in-planning for Arena I've been looking at the Arena sets. The Gladiator's Vindication and Redemption sets are pretty obvious to which spec they "belong". But then there's the Gladiator's Aegis set. This set's name would imply that it's built for Protection, but the problem with that is that not many protection talents beyond the 4th tier are really made for PvP. The best PvP Protection build I could go for was this, and without enemy collision mapping protection does little good in PvP.

While I still don't think the Aegis set has a lot of value in PvP (anymore at least with the change that added spell damage to +healing), for a Protection Paladin that doesn't need to tank the boss in a PvE encounter (Maiden, Aran and Nightbane come to mind), the Aegis set has around the same amount of spell damage as the equivilent quality tanking set, along with a fair amount of +crit which would allow for respectable damage output in a raid scenario.

One thing that's lacking from PvE itemization is a straight spell damage plate set. Now I understand why there isn't one: There has yet to be implemented a purely magical DPS tree for a plate wearer. The closest you get is a Protection Paladin, but he needs more defensive stats, so they aren't going to waste good itemization on a very small portion of the playerbase.

It's my opinion that when a Protection Paladin doesn't need to heal or tank, having the Aegis set is their best option for DPS, since it plays to their strong points (1H, access to +spell damage gear). If I wasn't already working on 2 PvP characters at the moment I'd probably throw Alix into BGs full strength to start getting this gear. Maybe even do Arenas for S2 or S3 pieces.

========

Now, onto Seal of Vengeance. I love Seal of Vengeance. In terms of damage output (and thus threat output) from the Seal itself and the Judgement, it's second to none. In addition, since it's a DoT and not direct damage, if you're fighting a mob that moves away occasionally (such as a Charge, or Moroes's Vanish) it will continue to tick. Problem is that despite it's strengths which are very powerful, it has some very bad weaknesses. For the sake of any comparisons, I will use Seal of Righteousness, since that's the other "Main" spelldamage seal.
  1. Ramp-up time: While SoV does put out more damage than SoR, it takes time to get there. With my current 2.7 speed weapon, average time for Holy Vengeance to stack up to five is 13.5 seconds, assuming each hit procs SoV. This ramp-up time is really bad since it means that your DPS need to wait even longer for you to generate enough threat for them to start to kill.
  2. Holy Vengeance falling off the mob: Despite increasing the duration of Holy Vengeance by three seconds in 2.3, Holy Vengeance still has a chance to run it's duration without being refreshed. Which means in addition to losing damage just because you have to start over, it will be another 13.5 seconds before your running at full speed again. The fact that Holy Vengeance can fall off ties to my next point...
  3. Weapon speed and Procs Per Minute (PPM): Seal of Vengeance is on a 20 PPM system. This means that you will average no more than 20 procs of SoV per minute no matter how often you swing. This also means that in order to effectively get Holy Vengeance to a stack of five quickly and to keep it up you need a weapon of 2.5 speed or slower. Unfortunately with the exception of the Gavel of Unearthed Secrets, every spell damage weapon has a speed of 1.6 or 1.8. Without another high spell damage slow one-hander, eventually SoR will surpass SoV in damage output.
  4. Judgement of Vengeance isn't able to be used as a lead-in: Since JoV relies on at least one Holy Vengeance effect up on the mob, you can't use it to generate a quick amount of threat at the start of the fight. This means that your spell rotation needs to look like this: SoR > Judgement > SoV (for 7-9 seconds) > SotC > Judgement > SoV > Judgement > SoV, etc. While it's not too hard to do, it's thinking needed to be done in addition to the about dozen other things that need to be tracked as well. I just don't need all that, not to mention that in an emergency situation ("ZOMGZ! got too close to the mobs and pulled and now I need to pick them all up and save !") I'm probably not thinking about how JoV won't generate any threat for me without Holy Vengance on the mob. I'm just trying to get threat quickly and I waste a Judgement and then I'm in an even worse situation.

Considering all the problems with SoV, despite the benefits it gives me right now, in the long run the best option for me is SoR. This also means that once I reach 107.7% avoidance, I can upgrade to the new BoJ libram (not that I think I'll reach that level any time soon...). With this perspective, I'm (sadly) going to retire SoV for most situations, and do a bit of shopping around for weapons again (now Exalted with Honor Hold). If I find a weapon that suits me better than the Gavel, I'll upgrade to it, at least until I can get my hands on the Amani Punisher or one of the 25-man weapons.

1 comment:

Galoheart said...

That Amani Punisher seem to be a nice 1H to get if you can get your hands on one.

I've never done much PVP except once in the BG's, that gave me a headache and never been back. I don't see my self doing much Arena, but may decide to try the BG's again to get that season one mace i think it is you can get. Not sure just how long that will take.