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The QueueJan 18, 2019 12:30 pm CT

The Queue: TGIF

Does anyone even say TGIF? Am I dating myself by even bringing it up?

Well, instead of dwelling on that, let’s get to the questions.


Q4tQ: what is the under/over for the next expansion having a world quest that involves feeding baby sea gulls due to the mysterious mass disappearance of all their parents?

No way. We’re currently in the second expansion of seagulls are the enemy. Admittedly they’ve been downgraded from “mortal threat to the heroes of Azeroth” in Legion to “mortal threat to the baby turtles of Azeroth” in BfA, seagulls are still quite clearly not our friends.

It’s going to take more than one expansion for their PR people to turn that around.


So my guild leader, a multi-class experienced healing aficionado who is undergoing a “pacifist healer leveling challenge” with her first holy paladin, was telling me how she had been diligently, curiously and incredulously looking into what seems a glaring oversight in the design of the Holy Paladin: They just… don’t do AOE healing. Like they essentially have ZERO tools for sufficiently dealing with group wide splash damage, in comparison with other healers.

In my observation and across playing many characters and specs, most healers have a gimmick: Discipline heals by damaging the enemy, shamans really excel when groups stack and bunch up, druids heal mostly with heal over time, and holy priests just heal better than everyone else (that appears to be their gimmick: they have none, they just heal haha). The hilarious thing that we’ve discovered in looking into the paladin’s niche, their “strength,” their “gimmick” is that (and I’ve heard this elsewhere before), their niche is as a “triage healer.”

Let that sink in: Their gimmick… is to heal the people that are hurt. Because, you know, all the other healers are just throwing water and leaves around at whoever, but PALADINS, hooboy they will heal the HURT PEOPLE FIRST! GENIUS!

Suffice to say, many laughs were had. It’s now a running gag. We’ve even invented our own AOE healing skill for paladins called “thoughts and prayers!”

I have to jump in here to say that you have ignored an entire healing class, which is… ahem. Before I get started on that, let’s talk about your point: do Holydins have the necessary tools to be good group healers?

Uh, heck yeah.

My raid group runs with a Holy Priest, a Holy Paladin, and me (you know, that other healing class). Want to put money on which of us tops the healing meters? Okay, I guess I’m not really building drama here, am I? It’s frequently the Holydin.

Going beyond my personal experience, Warcraft Logs has a Holydin listed as one of the top 3 or top 4 healers in Uldir at every difficulty. They aren’t as well represented in Mythic+ rankings, but their healing is definitely more than thoughts and prayers.

I mained a Holydin in ye olden days of Burning Crusade and Wrath, and back then their niche was high survivability and great mana efficiency. But these days mana is less of an issue and healing aggro is less of an issue, so neither of these are selling points. Instead, Holydins have become melee healers, with a Mastery that encourages them to stay in the fray — and their AOE heal, Light of Dawn, is a frontal cone that works when they stick with the group. And while you don’t think of it as an AOE heal, Beacon of Light does a lot of healing over the course of a fight. There’s also Aura of Mercy (not always the best talent choice, but I’ve seen it used to good effect) and Judgement of Light, both of which quietly heal the group while you do other stuff. Holydins also have a couple of stealth AOE heals that you may not immediately recognize as AOE heals: there’s the Aura of Mercy/Aura Mastery combo (which turns Aura Mastery into a raid heal cooldown) and the Beacon of Virtue talent (which replaces Beacon of Light with a small group AOE heal).

I feel like Paladins get this reputation as lousy group healers because they don’t have any obvious group healing tools. They don’t have a “heal the whole raid” button, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have AOE capabilities.

These days I don’t play my Holydin full-time, so I’m very mediocre at putting all of the above into practice. But I’ve been crazy impressed watching others do it. Holydins can be very good, so give ’em a chance.


What are you opinions on the Shanghai Dragons’ chance this season?

That is where the hopes and prayers come in.

The Dragons have always had a talented roster. I know, I know, they managed to avoid winning a single match last season, but it wasn’t because their players were bad. There were lots of moments last season where they managed to pull off great plays and skin-of-the-teeth saves. But they were never consistent about it.

Their roster has changed a ton since last season — it’s basically a whole new team. And I’m hoping they’ve had a chance to become a team over the off-season, because I’d love to see what Geguri can do as part of a team. She’s a great player (to the point that Blizzard had to confirm she wasn’t cheating), but Overwatch isn’t a solo game and the Dragons will need teamwork to win.

I’m not going to put my life savings down on the Dragons to win or anything like that, but the team has had a lot of time to come together and I’m hoping to see them rack up some wins.


Is there gonna be any BW coverage of the PAX South this weekend?

Nothing planned. PAX is more likely to have game demo stations on the show floor than big news announcements, so we aren’t expecting anything to come of it. Of course, Blizzard has been known to surprise us, so we’ll see.


They just gave night elves the ability to have dark, soulless eyes cosmetically. What other races and small, physical accents do you think would be fun together?

Most of the game’s current customization options are tied to your character’s face model. Do you want blue eyes? You have to have this face. Do you want glowing golden eyes? That  face. Do you want dark red lipstick? Then you need that face. No lipstick at all? That other face.

WoW has a lot of facial customization options, but they’re all tied together. I’d like to be able to individually pick eye color and makeup options. I’d like to be able to pick colors for accessories (i.e. Blood Elves have jewelry with specific color gems, Gnomes can have ribbons in their hair which is tied to their hair color). I love that they’ve been expanding customization options, but I wish they could be decoupled from each other to give us more individuality instead of, say, my Blood Elf, who has had the same face model since 2007, having to get facial reconstruction surgery to go with those golden eyes.

That’s it for today, everyone. Anne will be here to answer your questions on Monday, and we could hardly stop Mitch from coming in on Tuesday. The rest of the week is on Adam and I, though, and, well, you know.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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