Monday, November 06, 2006

Swing Timers and Seal of the Crusader

It's been drilled into paladins for a long time that "slow weapons that do a lot of damage per hit are better". But this is not always true. In my view, faster weapons are better for raiding.

Slow weapons ARE better for doing damage with Seal of Command. There's no question about that. However, damage is not the main purpose of a paladin in raids, and so perhaps looking at different weapons is a better idea.

It all comes down to swing timers. Casting a non-instant spell resets your swing timer. So to get into a rhythm, a melee-healing paladin with a 3.8 speed weapon goes something like this for every 10s or so:

1.5s - Flash of Light
3.8s - Swing
1.5s - Flash of Light
3.8s - Swing

The problem with this is that it's not very flexible. You have to wait a long time between swings to get off heals. If you don't wait long enough before healing, your swing doesn't go off. If you miss once, there's a good chance that you will fail to refresh your Judgment.

In contrast, let's look at the same paladin wielding a 2.2 speed weapon:

1.5s - Flash of Light
2.2s - Swing
1.5s - Flash of Light
2.2s - Swing
1.5s - Flash of Light
2.2s - Swing

With a faster weapon, it's easier to weave Flashs in between your swings. Less swings are "lost" due to casting a Flash early, and the paladin has more opportunities to connect with the opponent, increasing the chances of renewing a Judgement.

This can be even further improved by using Seal of the Crusader. SotC will reduce the swing timer even further. The 3.8 spd drops to 2.7 spd, the 2.2 spd to 1.6s. This makes it even easier to weave healing and melee together.

Additionally, SotC does add a little more damage, and increases the amount of procs you get by 40%. In a raid setting, you can pretty much guarantee that Judgement of Light and Wisdom will always be up, so you get additional procs from both.

It's for these reasons that I feel that Seal of the Crusader is actually the best Seal for a raiding paladin. It's not as spectacular as Seal of Command, but it is far more consistent, and allows a paladin to use her other abilities to larger effect.

To sum up, for Seal of the Crusader:

- more damage than Seal of Light/Wisdom
- 40% more Light/Wisdom procs
- easier to refresh judgments
- easier to weave healing and melee swings

- less damage than Seal of Righteousness/Command
- no extra damage from Judgement of Righteousness/Command


Anonymous said...

With a fast weapon and weaving flash of light more often, you're also triggering the global cooldown more, which limits your ability to do other things. With a slow weapon, you can weave a downranked Holy Light occaisonally for more mana and time efficiency. And you'll time to switch auras, judge, cleanse, etc. as needed.

Not to mention, a series of small hits will suffer more from the target's mitigation, than a single large hit (more damage gets through the target's armor).

Choose your playstyle, just don't pretend it doesn't have it's own downsides. ;)

GSH said...

1. The global cooldown starts from the beginning of your cast, not the end. So unless you are dealing with instant spells, or spells with a cast time of less than 1.5s, the global cooldown is not an issue.

And in the case of instance spells, the swing timer is not interrupted, so it does not really matter in that case. Cleanse-heavy fights are a good time to break out the slow weapon and go Seal of Command. (Well, it depends on how long the fight is. You might need the added mana regeneration to fuel the Cleanses.)

2. Armor is percentage-based, not a fixed number. If someone has 40% damage reduction, 10 hits with base 100 damage each will do 600 damage, exactly the same as 1 hit with base 1000 damage (600 damage after 40% reduction).

The tradeoff is the extra damage from SoC and JoC against the added flexibility and regeneration of SotC. I believe that the trade-off is worth it for a raiding paladin.

Thoma said...

If a cleanse cast happens during a swing, it will skip the swing. And given the tiny damage increase from SoCr, you should be looking at SoW for the mana regen.

And there is a differance in mitigation between SoC and SoCr. One is holy damage, and one is physical damage. SoC procs are unaffected by armor.

Andy said...

When I am in a raid, I would say that the vast majority of the time my purpose is not to do DPS - it is either ot heal, or to heal and keep a judgement up.

In that position, I think that SotC would help out a lot, since it makes it much easier to keep those judgements up on the mobs. While it might do less dps than SoC, that's ok - your purpose is probably not to do a lot of dps, but to keep the rest of the raid up so that they can dps.

I think I'll try using SotC tonight in our MC run, and see how it goes. I generally use an Aurastone Hammer (2.7s) for healing, so it could definitley use the speed boost.

Excaliber1 said...

cool..i set up a blog around the same time you did bad i just started wow like a month ago xD. Good blog, i was thinking about making a pally once i make my hunter level 60 =]

GSH said...

Thoma, you are wrong about Cleanse.

Next time you are on Chrommaggus, or another Cleanse fight, melee at the same time. Even though you are *always* spamming Cleanse, you will see that your weapon swings still go through.

You are right about the mitigation not mattering to SoC, but the statement the previous commenter made that "a series of small hits will suffer more from the target's mitigation, than a single large hit (more damage gets through the target's armor)" is what I was addressing.

I don't deny that you give up significant damage using SotC compared to SoC. But the added versatility and regeneration are worth the trade-off.

Remember that doing damage is last on the list of priorities for a raiding paladin, imo. It's still a priority, but sacrificing some damage to improve other priorities is worthwhile.