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Rawr ProtPaladin update

Posted Sunday, November 14th, 2010 1:38:00 am
Today I finished most of the threat section of Rawr's ProtPaladin module. Most of the work had to do with modeling the abilities accurately since virtually all of the abilities changed in some significant way.

I spent much of the last week on WoW's Cataclysm beta figuring out exactly what each spell does, and got everything finished today.

The rotation for protection paladins has changed into what's being called the 9-3-9 rotation. That is, abilities with a 3 second cooldown are alternated with abilities with a 9 second or longer cooldown to form the paladin rotation.

What's interesting about the new rotation is that there's wiggle room to try different rotations. What do I mean by this? The rotation kind of looks like this:

A - B - A - C - A - D

Where each letter represents an ability you do.

A represents either Crusader Strike or Hammer of the Righteous. This is to generate Holy Power. You'll use Crusader Strike for single targets and Hammer of the Righteous when you need to AoE a bit. This will be an option in Rawr 4.

B always represents Judgement. Protection Paladins regenerate mana by using Judgements. You can use either Seal of Righteousness or Seal of Truth (this replaces Seal of Vengeance in WoW 4.0.1), which will remain an option in Rawr 4.

D always represents Shield of Righteousness. You spend your 3 points of Holy Power to cause massive damage to your target. I'm debating to include an option that would alternate Inquisition with Shield of Righteousness, but that probably won't make initial launch.

C is the interesting part. There are 4 abilities that a Protection Paladin could mix into their rotation: Avenger's Shield, Holy Wrath, Consecration, and Hammer of Wrath. The idea in Rawr 4 is to allow the user to pick what priority they will be casting these four spells when it comes time to use the "C" ability, and will have a rotation optimizer to determine what the best rotation to use is.

There are two challenges with implementing such a system. First of all, Avenger's Shield can be augmented by the Grand Crusader talent, which gives Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous a chance to refresh the cooldown on Avenger's Shield. Lots of math is involved to figure out the probability of when Avenger's Shield will be cooled down by the time the "C" ability is up. The most problematic parts of this is when the rotation contains "Avenger's Shield > Consecration > Holy Wrath". The reason is because Avenger's Shield and Holy Wrath are available once every 2 rotations (with Avenger's Shield being available more often depending on how often Grand Crusader procs), but Consecration is only available once every 4 rotations. Modeling how often Consecration will be used in such a rotation is a nightmare, and is something I am probably going to have to seek help with.

The other challenge which I think I got covered is with Hammer of Wrath. This ability is available every cooldown, but only when the target is under 20% health. The other 80% of the time you can't even use Hammer of Wrath.

So with the threat portion of ProtPaladin done, tomorrow I will likely begin work on the defensive portions. This should be fairly trivial, but there's a lot of overhaul that needs to be done, especially when it comes to block modeling. But still, progress is pretty good, and I'm pretty confident that ProtPaladin will be ready when Rawr 4 is released.

Healadin is another story, and I'll provide more information on what I'll be doing with that after ProtPaladin is done.

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