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Iliyan

Discipline and Holy WotLK Talent Preview and discussion.

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Well, seeing as there seems to be no real discussion on the discipline changes in WotLK talents, I'm going to start one.

Here is a link to the talents and changes:

Priest - Wotlkwiki

Wrath of the Lich King - Priest - Discipline Skills

Talent Calculator:

Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472

Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

After my first short skim through the Discipline talents in WotLK I was amazed at one little thing, seems like Discipline will attempt to act as a Mana Battery, however one that heals and doesn't provide debuffs...( In my opinion at this time I consider this possibility inferior to Shadow Priests due to massive losses through Misery and Shadow Weaving, however it might just be that blizzard wanted Shadow Priests a choice to respec to Disc on Shadow Immune fights, while keeping mana regen up... Who knows, I guess we will yet see this)

Anyway here goes:

T0:

NEW Persecution: 3/3 Gives your Holy damage spells 4/7/10% chance to Incapacitate the target for 3 sec.

Seems like a PvP talent if I've ever seen one, helps ease the PvE grind in a very minor way.

CHANGED Wand Specialization: changed from 5/5 and 5/10/15/20/25% to 2/2 15/30%.

Seeing as I've played a mage in my old days, and I've always despised wand specialization I would suggest skip this, but its your call, flavor mostly.

T1:

CHANGED Silent Resolve: Changed from 5/5 4/8/12/16/20% to 3/3 7+10/14+20/20+30%.

Overall a nice little tweak here, the extra 10% Dispel resistance is nice.

T4:

CHANGED Mental Strength: Changed from 2/4/6/8/10% Maximum Mana to 3/6/9/12/15% Total Intellect.

WoW! Talk about a buff! Increased Spirit/Intellect synergy, mana regeneration and more mana! Sweet this is indeed, not to forget more critical % too! This talent was improved hugely!

CHANGED Improved Divine Spirit: Changed from 5/10% to 3/6%. Well I guess that the new Spell Power required this nerf or else things could have gotten a wee bit nasty. A nerf, but still no reason not to take it if you are going deep Discipline.

T5:

WORDING ISSUE Force of Will: Well, the thing is I am currently unsure how this talent will reflect into WotLK. It currently says "Increases spell damage by 5%" however, I do not know if spell damage will even exist in WotLK, due to Spell Power changes. Should it happen to increase overall Spell Power this will be worth taking even though it will not increase your healing critical by 5%( only offensive holy spells).

T6:

CHANGED Power Infusion: Cooldown Changed from 3min to 2min.

Nice Buff, however 16% of base mana seems a wee bit high to be used frequently in endgame PvE.

T7:

NEW Aspiration: 2/2 Reduces the cooldown of your Inner Focus, Power Infusion and Pain Suppression spells by 10/20%.

Overall a nice little talent, a Discipline version of the Mage talent Ice Floes. It might just be worth taking, depends on how mana issues go in WotLK.

CHANGED Enlightenment: Added 1/2/3/4/5% extra "spell damage and healing" which would translate as Spell Power. Nice boost.

T8:

NEW Divine Aegis: 3/3 Critical Heals create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 10/20/30% of the amount healed, lasts 12 sec.

AMAZING! This talent alone makes Discipline a raid viable healer! Now, don't get me wrong, we are still to see how critical % develops in WotLK, but judging by what I've seen so far in the Discipline Talents you might just benefit some more from Critical Rating and Intellect then normal. Also I would not be surprised if we see Force of Will changed to 5% critical for all holy spells.

CHANGED Pain Suppression: Changed cooldown from 2min to 3min.

Obviously a arena nerf.

NEW Grace: 3/3 Your Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance spells bless the target with Grace, reducing damage done to the target by 1/2/3% and increasing healing done to the target by 1/2/3%. This effect stacks up to 3 times.

AMAZING! This talent is so overpowering in TBC rules... However it seems as if blizzard intends for tanks to take crushing blows rather avoid them. Should this happen, 1 full Discipline priest would be a MUST for every 25man raid! Alas, all is not as great as it seems, we do not currently know the duration of the buff which may pose a serious threat to your OO5SR time, I predict using Inner Focus to keep the buff alive while also trying to regenerate as much mana while OO5SR as possible. Need more information on future tanking issues.

T9:

NEW Rapture: 5/5 Causes your party members to gain mana equal to 0.5/1/1.5/2/2.5% of the healing done by your Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance spells.

AMAZING! Rapture will regenerate much more mana per cast of a spell then Vampiric Touch, so much is obvious... However, the Unspammable nature of Priest Healing spells, and the mana cost of the same makes this generate less Mp5 then Vampiric Touch( Even though Vampiric Touch has been nerfed). Should we be able to downrank enough to keep spamming Flash Heals/Greater Heals/Penances and regenerating just enough mana to stay in the positive this would become insanely good!

I would require some information from High End priests on how much does each of their spell ranks heal for and how much does it cost, thus we can create a chart of "Mana Feasible spells to Spamm"

Information Needed:

( WWS could do the trick, just provide us with all the information on build and gear at the time of making it)

Spell Name, Rank

Mana Cost of the spell

Healing done by the spell hit( average)

Healing done by the spell crit( average)

Talent Build

+Healing

T10:

NEW Penance: 1/1 715 Mana, 30yard range( Assumed 30yard on enemies, 40yard on allies), 10sec cooldown 3sec Channeled Spell. Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing 593 holy damage to an enemy, or 670 healing to an ally every 1 sec for 3 sec.

Hmm, at first glimpse doesn't seem all that valuable, however upon closer inspection it seems that Penance might become something of a Mana Battery for Discipline Priests. The wording is more similar to Arcane Missiles then Mind Flay, which is why I suspect each tick of the spell to be able to crit, also this would indicate that EACH tick would return mana from Rapture... Also Unsure if we get more ranks of the spell, because if we downrank it we might just be seeing a positive mana feedback from casting one of these.( As in, return more mana then you spent while casting the spell, while also keeping Grace Buff up on your target.) Additionally, this is also a buff to Discipline Priests in Arena PvP where this could provide just that dps boost you sometimes need to make your target drop.

Well that's it from me, I will attempt to work more on this thread, also please note, I have never played a Priest in High End, so if I made some mistakes, please be so kind to inform me. Any additional remarks are free to be discussed in this topic. As for the "Mana feasible spells to spamm" part... I am quite illiterate at making graphs, and will need someone willing to make one to compile the data we need and provide us with a visual aid in determining weather the mana income from a spell would be positive or negative with rupture.

Also some explanations:

Positive mana feedback: You cast a spell and while casting that spell you gain more mana then you spent on casting it. It is important that you regenerate the mana instantly, or during the spell being cast. For instance:

Cast Flash Heal, spend x mana, regenerate x+ mana instantly after finishing the casting.

or

Cast Penance, spend x mana, regenerate y mana in the first sec, z mana in the second sec and e mana in the third sec, where y+z+e>=x

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this.

Also, it seems that we get a nice new spell in WotLK:

Mark of Divinity (level 70, instant, 65% of base mana, 30m duration--> Typo? Might have been 30min Cooldown) - "Marks the target with Divinity, causing 30% of all of your healing to also heal the target."

After you apply Mark of Divinity apply Rapture and watch your mana regeneration SOAR SKY HIGH! Also could be possible that that is why it has such a HIGH mana cost, or maybe it is supposed to cast as a Prebuff, need more information, possibilities are huge...

EDIT 1: Added Mark of Divinity. Changed name to reflect others.

EDIT! I won't update this first post, should there be anyone who has the will to compile this thread, you have my blessing. Changed name to Disc and Holy discussion.

Edit. On demand, I will add Sinndir's Holy talents recap from this post. http://elitistjerks.com/f31/t28358-priest_holy_wotlk_talent_preview_discussion/

Here it is: All this that follows is credited to Sinndir.

[Priest] Holy WotLK Talent Preview / Discussion

While at work I keep hoping to see a Holy Priest talent discussion for WotLK but it is never there. I have finished a lot of stuff this morning and have found myself with some free time so here it is. If you are interested in the other talent trees of a priests here are some quick links to A Preliminary Discussion of Shadow Priest Talents in WotLK, [Priest] Discipline WotLK Talent Preview and discussion, and lastly a link to the main priest thread [Priest] Holy Raiding Compendium v2 (WoW-2.4.0).

For this thread I do not want it to be a discussion about our current spells abilities or the mechanics they fall under, but a discussion of the up and coming talents and spells we will be getting from our holy tree. Be creative, come up with suggestions you think are good and hopefully a Blizzard employee browses over your ideas!

*Note: There has been some discussion in Constant's thread however, I would prefer if that thread was devoted to current game mechanics/abilities, hence starting this thread.

Changes to the current Holy Priest spells:

Circle of Healing: Now works on any targets in the caster's raid, and is now a "smart" heal and chooses the lowest health targets to heal first within it's range. Also now has a 6 second cooldown. Also no longer will heal summoned Snakes from Hunter's Snake Trap.

Holy Fire: Cast time reduced to to 2 seconds, down from 3.5. Damage increased roughly 60%. Duration for the damage over time effect reduced to 7 seconds, down from 10. Holy Fire now has a 10 second cooldown.

Inspiration: Can now proc from the Penance spell, in addition to all the old spells that could proc Inspiration.

Lightwell: Cast time reduced to .5 sec, down from 1.5 sec. Charges increased to 10, up from 5. Now breaks from any attack that hits you for 30% or more of your total health. Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5.

Searing Light: Now also increases the damage of Holy Nova and Penance.

Changes to the current Holy Priest talents:

Empowered Healing: Reduced from 20%/10% to 10%/5%.

Searing Light: Now also increases the damage of your Holy Nova and Penance spells.

New Holy Priest spells:

Divine Hymn: You recite a holy hymn, granting your party protection from attackers. Any attacks done to you or your party will cause the attacker to be afflicted by sleep for 20 sec. Divine Hymn will last 10 sec.

10 min cooldown.

Mark of Divinity: Marks the target with Divinity, causing 30% of all of your healing to also heal the target. Lasts for 30 min. (65% of Base Mana, Instant) (I cannot find this anywhere... was it removed?)

New Holy Priest talents:

Serendipity: If your Greater Heal or Flash Heal spells overheal the target for greater than 50%, you are instantly refunded 20/40/60% of the spell's mana cost. (Cooldown removed)

Improved Holy Concentration: Increases the chance you'll enter Holy Concentration by 4/7/10%, and also increases your spell haste by 20/40/60% for the next three Greater Heal, Flash Heal or Binding Heal spells after you gain Holy Concentration. Lasts 20 sec.

Test of Faith: Increases healing by 5/10/15% and spell critical effect chance by 4/7/10% on friendly targets at or below 50% health. (3 Ranks)

Divine Providence: Increases the amount healed by Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending by 2/4/6/8/10%. (5 Ranks)

Guardian Spirit: Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 10% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec. 6% of base mana, Instant cast, 40 yd range, 3 min cooldown.

Summary:

All in all I like the new talents and abilities and am patiently awaiting WotLK. Here is my current planned talent spec(with 1 free talent point) if the changes go through. Losing Mental Agility hurts, but the gains in the holy tree are awesome.

Source: MMO Champion and World of Raids.

Talent Calculator: Priest Talent Calculator from WoWhead

Modeled after Norfair's Resto Druid WotLK thread (I liked your format the best, simple and clean.)

Please keep in mind that the spells and talents are constantly subject to change. Also, read WotLK, Leaks, and You before posting any additional information.

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Penance's main benefit seems to be that (if it works like Arcane Missiles) it would apply 3/3 Grace in one spell, taking only 3 seconds to do so.

My main problem with the tree is that is still feels very much like a PvP healer tree overall, and is very, very gimmicky for PvE. It has a billion tricks, but just from looking at it all I can tell is that it is very crit-dependent. As such, it will probably be sharing much of it's gear choices with Destro or Demo warlocks and most Mages. It also makes it difficult to build a dedicated PvE setup overall. At the moment, I'm looking at 53/18/0 for PvE healing, most notable talents in Holy being Improved Healing and Inspiration (the latter being a giant DUH for a crit-focused tree). Link below:

Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472

Yes, I skipped Silent Resolve. This is from a more-or-less pure raider POV, though, and when is the last time you had problems with healing aggro in anything over a 5-man? I also wanted to take the other 2 points of Aegis, but could not do so while maintaining 3/3 Improved Healing. If mana turns out to not be a problem, then I'll drop it in half a heartbeat to finish out Aegis and the last point of Reflective Shield.

I'm no PvP buff, but if someone could go through and take a look at that, it would be appreciated. I see a LOT of potential there. I'll probably edit in my build later, but I'm willing to bet that even my first build shows my distinct lack of end-game Priest experience.

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Your build is kinda invalid but mainly cause of the holy part.

Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472

This is more like it for Full Discipline I think, there may be personal preferences, but the core is there, some people might completely sack Divine Aegis to be non crit reliant. Thus freeing some points for other talents.

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NEW Penance: 1/1 715 Mana, 30yard range, 10sec cooldown 3sec Channeled Spell. Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing 593 holy damage to an enemy, or 670 healing to an ally every 1 sec for 3 sec.

Hmm, at first glimpse doesn't seem all that valuable, however upon closer inspection it seems that Penance might become something of a Mana Battery for Discipline Priests..

First of all, I saw a screenshot (can't find it atm), and READ about this somewhere, but Penance is 30y range on enemies, 40y range on friendlies. Not 30.

Second of all, Penance seems to be THE tank healing spell! At first glimpse a channeled spell may not seem useful, but you have to remember: over 90% of tank deaths in high end content are because tank didn't get any heals during a certain window of time (example: some sunwell mobs can take tank down from 23k hp to 0 in less than 2 seconds). Biggest flaw with greater heal here is that it lasts way too long. Assuming Penance has DECENT amount of healing done, for tank healing the channelled effect is actually much better than "big punch" apporoach of greater heal.

Second, if the spell is indeed "arcane missiles" then it can crit (as inspiration tooltip suggests). This means that with 1 cast (around same time spent as 1 gheal) you get THREE chances to proc inspiration! In addition, 1 penance would refresh all 3 grace stacks.

With these I'd say Penance is THE tank healing spell.

*edit*

This: Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472 is the only right disc healing build ;) Anyway, who in their right mind would skip divine fury? :( The extra 0,5 seconds on greater heal makes it almost useless.

Oh, and an observation: with inspiration and divine aegis, 5/5 holy spec might be almost mandatory now.

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heh, Illyan, that's twice in a row on 2 different threads you got me, ad you're right, I do need to pause and read the talents I'm not that familiar with much more closely. My apologies on that. Points on the Disc side stand, though.

Vihermaali, assuming current coefficient conventions (87.5% or a 3-second channel with no other effects) and a shade over 2k +heal, Penance can register 3800 healing (non-crit) over its duration (1270 per strike). That's a level-60 minimum effect, so I don't know about higher ranks. That said, lower raks are usually more efficient overall, so paying 715 mana for that seems a bit awkward for a primary spam-heal. 238 MPS cost will wear you down fairly quick, though I may be wrong about how well priest I5SR regen and Penance will work. If those work out better than I think they will, though, Penance will effectively be a Discipline Mind Flay equivalent.

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You have to remember the 10-sec cooldown on penance. It won't be a primary spam-spell but I do find a place for it in between greater heals.

And in an "oh-shit" situation if you had a choise between gheal and penance, I guess penance would make a much better heal with potential of squeezing at least 2 ticks in before next boss hit lands (majority of them have 2 sec timer[unless I'm terribly wrong here], and penance is affected by spellhaste?). With 1270/tick you counted, it's ~2600 wich already is 600 more than PW:Shield and around what Flash Heal heals. With lvl 70 rank I guess that number would be even more.

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My initial thought on Penance is a Opener spell. Use it to prebuff the tank with 3/3 Grace and maybe Divine Aegis... nice pull there.

Other then that, we have to kinda hold on till we see some proper lvl 80 coefficients, so we know how much healing are we looking at in a 3sec window. Compared to Gheal I'd say Penance is designed to be better with all the shiny stuff attached to it.

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Well I would do a slightly different build. Even with the extra crit shield from Devine Aegis I see +15% on renew as better than 3% crit, mainly because of the well established fact that crit rapidly becomes less desirable for Inspiration uptime as you get more of it and the buffer effect of renew is massive if you are tank healing.

The real problem with disc as a raid/healing tree is that you can't get through the early and middle tiers without wasting a lot of points.

Basically from a raiding/healing point of view you are wasting about 10 talent points in the first 7 tiers and there are another 3-4 that are marginal. This is somewhere in the vicinity of 1/3 of the tree wasted for what you want to achieve, a very high % compared to other classes and specs. Compared to nearly every other tree in the game you have a lot of "stuff" to trudge through that doesn't help the main focus of the tree.

discussed as if building up from 0 points in disc.

T1 basically the entire tier is wasted, you have a choice between silence/stun/fear resist and some solo skills which I picked up just for the hell of it. Wasted point count 5.

T2 has only 2 points that really rock for raiding and every single healing priest will have them. Then you have threat reduction.. why? improved shield so that it does a slightly less subpar job of absorbing damage and a strict PvP talent. Wasted point count 8.

T3 has some key talents and we can reasonably say that you can justify 5 points here, especially if dispelling. Wasted points 8.

T4 Mental agility 5/5 is a must have for all those instants. Renew, pom, dispel etc. Wasted points 8.

T5 3 must haves (divine spirit) and 5 okish talents that are required for one of the signature spells. Sucks 3 points out of bad stuff higher up. Wasted talents 8.

T6 Yeah.. nothing good at all here from a raiding/healing point of view. nothing really compelling earlier we have not already picked up, fill in some marginal talents such as cheaper dispels to spend points. Wasted points 10.

T7 Wow this is bad again. Apart from power infusion which rocks we have nothing for raiding/healing again wasted points 14.

Your mileage may vary here but I think that the basic point stands

We can fill out nearly everything in the remaining part of the tree as it's useful and desirable for raiding/healing fortunately there isn't too much bloat here as we have to spend 18 points in holy without exception for cheaper/faster/more powerful heals.

Disc looks raid viable as a tank healer, but raid healing will be week and the spec gets there on the utility of grace over raw power which looks like it will be marginal at best compared to all other healer specs. This puts the whole spec at risk of being out scaled by the other 4 "power focussed" healing specs as gear gets better, sort of how afflocks have been made redundant by the increased power of destro and the ability of tanks to survive without the debuff they generate.

Short version I hope that they have some more rearranging of the tree to make it more viable for a healing/raiding role as currently you can see how the focus of the tree has changed every expansion as it switches between healing/buffing/utility every couple of tiers.

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Agree completely with Eleanor. Deep disc is amazing, but the tree requires way too much filler to get there. (Making force of will affect healing spells would help a lot in this regard.)

As it stands now it will not only be viable but almost essential if grace stacks with other damage reduction effects (see: shadow embrace). 9% reduced damage taken and 9% increased healing received is enormous. The rest of the disc talents make the spam-tank style of play somewhat more interesting - aegis combined with near-100% inspiration uptime will provide a lot of spike protection and rapture is kind of a neat little gimmick even if it ends up being equivalent to little more than a mana spring totem. It's the first attempt we've seen of a "utility-based healer" - a healer whose healing is weak but who supplies a raid-critical buff while doing so (the equivalent is much more common among DPS classes, with our shadowy brethren being the most blatant example).

And I have no idea what penance will work out to be... a lot depends on its mana efficiency, throughput, and coefficient (i.e., is it worth using every cooldown, worth using only as a panic button, worth using only before the pull to stack grace/inspiration...?).

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I wouldn't say that Full Discipline is not raid viable simply because it has no "good" AoE heals. Lets face it, before CoH arrived all holy priests did was single heal with the occasional PoH here and there which frankly you can still do.

Also please note Mark of Divinity, should it act out as it is now it will boost single target heals of priests by a lot! Healing MT+OT at the same time while wasting NOTHING on the OT seems kinda good!

Imagine:

Mark of Divinity on OT ( Also please note that you do not have to be MT healing to continue OT healing.... you could very well be set on raid/group heal duty and keep Mark on MT to aid MT healers while keeping Grace 3/3 up)

Main tank pulls, cast Penance --> Stack full Grace buff on both MT and OT while also keeping mana regeneration up very high due to 2.5% healing from 1.3% of your whole heal, since 30% is added on the OT. Lets stay some of those heal tick crit, we also benefit Divine Aegis. Thus you basically negate ANY initial spike damage through some careful combination of spells.

Also, -20% threat WILL help should Mark of Divinity work as it is now, you are doing 30% more healing, that has got to generate more aggro then normal.

Also more on Raid AoE healing, please remember that CoH has become RAID WIDE. Thus 3-4 AoE healers can keep a raid up fairly easy. Also with the addition of Raid Wide totems, I am seeing less shamans in raids then usually... I suspect that those spots will go to a Priest or two.

However, there are some quite valid points you mentioned. Mainly on the "filler" talents overtaking the lower tree which is absolutely true, just ask yourself why doesn't anyone level as Discipline...

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NEW Persecution: 3/3 Gives your Holy damage spells 4/7/10% chance to Incapacitate the target for 3 sec.

Seems like a PvP talent if I've ever seen one, helps ease the PvE grind in a very minor way.

This is obviously identical to a host of similar talents in other trees/classes. However, it's the only talent of this type that applies to:

1. A spell that can hit more than every 1.5s (Penance).

2. An AE (Holy Nova).

I suspect that's why it's an incapacitate rather than a stun.

CHANGED Improved Divine Spirit: Changed from 5/10% to 3/6%. Well I guess that the new Spell Power required this nerf or else things could have gotten a wee bit nasty. A nerf, but still no reason not to take it if you are going deep Discipline.

It appears they're also emphasizing Spirit for Warlocks/Mages in WotLK, so you can expect Divine Spirit to provide more than a trivial buff for non-Priests/Druids. Also, IDS seems much more viable for a Holy Priest to take in WotLK, since the top two talents in the the WotLK Holy tree are relatively weak.

WORDING ISSUE Force of Will: Well, the thing is I am currently unsure how this talent will reflect into WotLK. It currently says "Increases spell damage by 5%" however, I do not know if spell damage will even exist in WotLK, due to Spell Power changes. Should it happen to increase overall Spell Power this will be worth taking even though it will not increase your healing critical by 5%( only offensive holy spells).

I don't believe this is actually an issue. They're not talking about bonus spell damage - they're talking about raw spell damage. Spells will still deal damage in WotLK, so you'll still get 5% more total damage out of them.

NEW Aspiration: 2/2 Reduces the cooldown of your Inner Focus, Power Infusion and Pain Suppression spells by 10/20%.

Overall a nice little talent, a Discipline version of the Mage talent Ice Floes. It might just be worth taking, depends on how mana issues go in WotLK.

Assuming you use your Inner Focus on Greater Heal, you save 1290 mana every 3 minutes from Inner Focus (35.83 mp5). With 2/2 Aspiration, you gain another 7.16 mp5 in saved mana consumption. The only spell more expensive would be Prayer of Healing, and very few Priest spells actually cost the listed mana due to talents.

So if you're concerned primarily about PvE (where Power Infusion and Pain Suppression are fairly mediocre abilities), this talent isn't all that great.

NEW Divine Aegis: 3/3 Critical Heals create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 10/20/30% of the amount healed, lasts 12 sec.

AMAZING! This talent alone makes Discipline a raid viable healer! Now, don't get me wrong, we are still to see how critical % develops in WotLK, but judging by what I've seen so far in the Discipline Talents you might just benefit some more from Critical Rating and Intellect then normal. Also I would not be surprised if we see Force of Will changed to 5% critical for all holy spells.

1. So you've just healed someone for 9k. And put a 25% armor buff on them. It seems layering on a bonus PW:S is gilding the lily at this point.

2. Critical based healing has always been terrible for raiding because it's not about raw throughput - it's about precision. Healing for 9k when you're throwing a 6k heal tends to just mean 3k overheal. With this talent, it really just means 6k overheal - except that 3k of that overheal is a shield that is covering damage Lifeblooms would have healed anyway.

3. Both Shaman and Druids get a version of this talent - and their versions are a lot better. Druids get a 30% reactive heal - but they also have +50% critical with Regrowth, so their talent is fairly reliable. Shaman get a 60% chain heal-type jump, and have more critical from talents.

NEW Grace: 3/3 Your Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance spells bless the target with Grace, reducing damage done to the target by 1/2/3% and increasing healing done to the target by 1/2/3%. This effect stacks up to 3 times.

AMAZING! This talent is so overpowering in TBC rules... However it seems as if blizzard intends for tanks to take crushing blows rather avoid them. Should this happen, 1 full Discipline priest would be a MUST for every 25man raid! Alas, all is not as great as it seems, we do not currently know the duration of the buff which may pose a serious threat to your OO5SR time, I predict using Inner Focus to keep the buff alive while also trying to regenerate as much mana while OO5SR as possible. Need more information on future tanking issues.

This talent goes a long way towards bridging the solo-healing performance gap between Discipline and Holy Priests. However, I'm not so sure it's a vital raid buff. Consider that what you're getting is about equivalent to putting a Resto Druid and an Affliction Warlock in your main tank group - but that people don't really do this now.

So if such effects aren't worth a minor rearrangement of raid members you're already bringing, it probably doesn't justify bringing someone you ordinarily wouldn't.

NEW Rapture: 5/5 Causes your party members to gain mana equal to 0.5/1/1.5/2/2.5% of the healing done by your Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance spells.

AMAZING! Rapture will regenerate much more mana per cast of a spell then Vampiric Touch, so much is obvious... However, the Unspammable nature of Priest Healing spells, and the mana cost of the same makes this generate less Mp5 then Vampiric Touch( Even though Vampiric Touch has been nerfed). Should we be able to downrank enough to keep spamming Flash Heals/Greater Heals/Penances and regenerating just enough mana to stay in the positive this would become insanely good!

600 effective hps is about the maximum anyone can sustain with single target heals in BC raiding right now. At 600 hps, this translates into 75 mp5 - not bad, but more in line with BoW/Mana Spring Totem than Vampiric Touch. Even in WotLK raiding, the value of this talent is severely compromised by the nature of Priest healing. Not only do you have to wait for damage to be taken, but that damage has to be usefully healable with Flash/Greater Heal or Penance, and you have to worry about mana consumption with the Spirit Regen model Priests have.

Also bear in mind that WotLK is aiming for a much less mana-flush environment. They're nerfing downranking and doing away with chain-potting. Vampiric Touch has its percentage reduced, it's likely that current mana regen talents will not scale up at nearly the leevl of mana costs.

The wording is more similar to Arcane Missiles then Mind Flay, which is why I suspect each tick of the spell to be able to crit, also this would indicate that EACH tick would return mana from Rapture...

I see no reason why each tick wouldn't return mana. Each tick of Mind Flay returns mana after all. However, this isn't really all that impressive when you consider that the total healing of the spell is only about 1800 or so. Also, the spell would need to have over triple the mana efficiency of the best single target direct heals currently in game to provide more mana back than it consumes.

Unsure if we get more ranks of the spell, because if we downrank it we might just be seeing a positive mana feedback from casting one of these

If there aren't more ranks, Penance is almost unuseably bad compared to Greater/Flash Heal in throughput/efficiency:

Greater Heal (Rank 9): 3.31 hpm/1705 hps.

Flash Heal (Rank 11): 2.86 hpm/1480 hps.

Penance: 2.81 hpm/670 hps.

Additionally, this is also a buff to Discipline Priests in Arena PvP where this could provide just that dps boost you sometimes need to make your target drop.

It's the highest dps Holy spell (barring multi-target Holy Nova), and almost at the level of the Shadow spells. However, it probably scales a lot better than Mind Blast does (since it's a 3 second spell).

If there wasn't a cooldown, you could probably build a dps Priest based around Holy damage rather than Shadow damage.

Second of all, Penance seems to be THE tank healing spell! At first glimpse a channeled spell may not seem useful, but you have to remember: over 90% of tank deaths in high end content are because tank didn't get any heals during a certain window of time (example: some sunwell mobs can take tank down from 23k hp to 0 in less than 2 seconds). Biggest flaw with greater heal here is that it lasts way too long. Assuming Penance has DECENT amount of healing done, for tank healing the channelled effect is actually much better than "big punch" apporoach of greater heal.

1. It has a 10s cooldown.

2. It does the same job as Lifebloom, except slower, less efficiently, and while consuming more casting time. Oh, and it almost certainly scales worse.

It really looks like they're trying to make Discipline Priests into an effective 'secondary' healer. The major talents all work a lot better in solo-healing environments where criticals can make a difference and you're rapidly casting heals throughout short fights that generally land for near-full.

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Also please note Mark of Divinity, should it act out as it is now it will boost single target heals of priests by a lot! Healing MT+OT at the same time while wasting NOTHING on the OT seems kinda good!

Well all priests get that so I wouldn't factor it in as a Disc only buff. Personally the way I would use it is with a holy raid healer putting it on a tank and generating good tank healing at those high stress times when the raid has just eaten a burst of AoE.

Also, -20% threat WILL help should Mark of Divinity work as it is now, you are doing 30% more healing, that has got to generate more aggro then normal.

Given that the only time you have threat issues is when there is an aggro reset/adds a healer never even comes close to tank threat now and with the dps buffs other classes are getting tank threat will need a corresponding buff. 90% or more of fights threat reduction is a total waste of time. Finally lack of "power up" talents mean that you are putting out a LOT less healing than a deep holy priest so would have little more hate than a regular holy priest not using Divinity.

Also more on Raid AoE healing, please remember that CoH has become RAID WIDE. Thus 3-4 AoE healers can keep a raid up fairly easy. Also with the addition of Raid Wide totems, I am seeing less shamans in raids then usually... I suspect that those spots will go to a Priest or two.

Well from what I have seen so far Disc will definitely be inferior at raid healing to holy priests, resto shammies and possibly druids if they are getting an AoE hot spell (druid knowledge is poor). Why take a character that has awesome tank healing talents (Grace, inspiration, divine aegis) but who lacks raw HPS and get them to raid heal. Yes they can raid heal but so can pallies now and virtually no one uses pallies for raid healing as it doesn't play to their strengths.

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Again all valid points, and while I agree that Holy will always be better at raid healing, Discipline provides a buff which in my opinion will be thought on when blizzard designs new encounters... Why? Simple, if they didn't think of it, it could very well break some encounters to the level of child's play.

Also, the point on Mark of Divinity being a general spell, this is very true, however I think it benefits Discipline in the most.

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After thinking about it some more I started to get really concerned about the loss of healing power so lets run some numbers comparing a holy and Disc priest so we can see how bad a hit it is.

We have two priests holy and Disc with the following stats. I am assuming nearly identical gear but holy with more spirit and Disc with more Crit.

Discipline Dave has: 3000 healing, 800 spirit, 25% crit rate

Holy Harry had 3000 healing, 900 spirit and 20% crit rate

This is assuming that they have similar buffs and using the current +healing numbers as we haven't seen how spellpower coefficients work yet but the maths should be the same no matter what. Using round numbers for convenience and pulling some *plausible* sounding numbers out of thin air.

lets look at how the greater heals stack up as that will still be the bread and butter nuke heal for both specs, and while slightly different similar equations will hold for most other spells such as Flash/PoM/PoH

For discipline the output of a greater heal is:

Spell base + (((healing + (Spirit x 0.06 Imp DS)) x 1.05 for enlightenment) x 3/3.5 for the cast time coefficient

Holy is more complicated and is

(Spell base +(((Healing + ((spirit x1.05 from improved death) x.31 for spiritual guidance and Imp DS)) x 1.2 for empowered healing)) x 3/3.5 cast time coefficient then multiply the whole lot by 1.1 for the effect of spiritual healing.

So lets assume a greater heal that has a base value of 2500 before gear and talents.

NOTE I may have lost track of some brackets but have spelled out each step as I understand the maths. let me know if I made a mistake.

Discipline Dave gets 2500 + (((3000 + (800x.06)) x 1.05) x3/3.5

Discipline Dave gets 2500+ (3048 x.1.05) x 3/3.5

Discipline Dave gets 2500 + 2743.2

Discipline Dave just landed a heal for 5243

Now for Holy Harry

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +(((3000 + ((900 x1.05 ) x.31)) x 1.2 )) x 3/3.5) X 1.1

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +(((3000 + (945 x.31)) x 1.2 )) x 3/3.5) X 1.1

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +(((3000 + 293)x 1.2 )) x 3/3.5) X 1.1

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +((3293 x 1.2 )) x 3/3.5) X 1.1

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +(3951) x 3/3.5) X 1.1

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +3386) X 1.1

Holy Harry Gets 6474

Holy Harry Gets 6082 from the same rank of heal

So thats 5243 for disc and 6474 for Holy or a difference of ~ 1200 per heal. Disc only heals for 82% of Holy

Now things get worse as gear gets better

lets run the numbers for 4000 healing and give each priest another 100 spirit which seems very plausible for end game gear looking at how BC went.

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +(((3000 + ((900 x1.05 ) x.31)) x 1.2 )) x 3/3.5) X 1.1

Discipline Dave now gets

Discipline Dave gets 2500 + (((4000 + (900x.06)) x 1.05) x3/3.5)

Discipline dave gets 6149 as his heal.

Holy Harry gets

Holy Harry Gets (2500 +(((4000 + ((1000 x1.05 ) x.31)) x 1.2 )) x 3/3.5) X 1.1

Holy Harry gets 7644 as his heal

so at this new gear number Disc now has a heal value of 80% but the gap has from 1200 to 1500 healing per cast.

However all is not lost for Dave as we haven't factored in his Divine Aegis and as he is tank healing so none of the shield is wasted like it would be on a dpser.

For the 3000 healing case his heals crit for 7864 and give the tank a 2359 point shield. however he only crits 1 cast in 4 (25% crit rate specified earlier) but we can still add 590 to the average value of his heal. this basically halves the difference in power from a holy priest, but only when healing the tank. Raid healing the difference is far greater as most of the shield would be lost as it wears off early. Even on the tank he will not in fact get the full value as I think it is safe to assume that the shields would override each other.

Given the size of the shield reflective shield would give a significant threat boost to the tanks as in this example the tank gains ~1160 threat from the shield before tank threat modifiers, this would be very powerful for pally tanks as I believe reflective shield is holy damage.

So the conclusion is that Disc is viable as a tank healer in raids but will suffer about a 20% drop in power if raid healing.

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Given the size of the shield reflective shield would give a significant threat boost to the tanks as in this example the tank gains ~1160 threat from the shield before tank threat modifiers, this would be very powerful for pally tanks as I believe reflective shield is holy damage.

This is a very nice idea, but as far as I know reflective affects PW:Shield only and causes no threath. Unless this has been changed in alpha after last update, of course.

Normally I'd not worry too much about the drop in healed amounts in Greater Heal & Co, as 50%+ overhealing is quite normal when healing tank. In some extreme cases (M'uru sentinel tank) losing 1k heal / hit on gheal is quite dangerous. Grace's -9% dmg taken & +9% healing taken might offset that, but only if Blizz doesn't increase dmg taken by tanks by 18% or so just to keep things difficult.

But, when moving to raidhealing, you have to remember that Blizzard may be planning to change both Prayer of Healing & Circle of Healing into spells that can heal whole raid instead of party only, but limit targets to 5 and make them smart-targetting (lowest hp first or something?). With all the talents you get from holy tree to benefit PoH & CoH the raid-healing difference is quite a lot bigger than "just 20% drop".

On other hand looks like defining features of disc will be Grace & Penance, which in my opinion is a quite powerful combination, if you can complete a full Grace stack with 1 penance cast. First things that come into my mind are, depending on Grace duration of course, Naj'etus spine (one that you can pick up), bloodboil felrage, souls fixate, any random dmg taken in council, illidan dark barrage/agonizing flames, felmyst encapsulate, eredar twins <person with high sear stacks>. That's not counting every single tank of course.

Disc = single target healing spec and holy = aoe healing spec from looks of it (as it should be in my opinion). However, I don't like that almost every inch of glory for disc goes to Grace. One nerf to that and Disc seriously falls behind. On other hand, only thing holy has it's healing power and almost 0 (zero) raid utility. That depends on how Guardian Spirit works of course.

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So the conclusion is that Disc is viable as a tank healer in raids but will suffer about a 20% drop in power if raid healing.

That 20% decrease in personal healing ability is more than made up by the increase in raid healing from Grace. A 9% increase of MT healing and 9% decreased damage is huge.

Of course, strictly speaking, it's a nerf for 5mans, where you only have 1 healer. But 5mans aren't that difficult anyway.

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That 20% decrease in personal healing ability is more than made up by the increase in raid healing from Grace. A 9% increase of MT healing and 9% decreased damage is huge.

Of course, strictly speaking, it's a nerf for 5mans, where you only have 1 healer. But 5mans aren't that difficult anyway.

Hence the comment that it is viable as a MT healer but woeful as a raid healer. The chance of getting more that one stack of grace on any non-tank toon is very low so looking at the loss of power in this role is totally justified.

As you say it is bad for 5 mans but as you can heal any 5 man now with 660 healing power and a shadow spec I don't think that this is a big problem

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Few things for thought, I was curious as to your "base stats" used in your comparison Ellyh.

If I have understood Blizzard's intentions with gear in WotLK, most if not all gear will be identical. (when considering caster to caster etc) So, I don't understand your desire to give the Holy priest 100 more spirit? Unless your implying that they would gain that from gemming or enchanting choices alone. If your doing that though, you might say the Discipline priest would gem and enchant for more +spellpower. (perhaps narrow throughput of healing power provided by Holy talents)

Giving the Discipline priest more crit, does make more sense however due to talents. Most Holy priests only have 2 points into Holy Specialization vs 5/5 for this new Discipline spec. Thus you might increase the crit% difference further. Not certain, but I imagine that 20% more Intellect over a Holy Priest at 80 could be quite significant when factoring crit%.

Lastly, "Mark of Divinity" will be a tool that all priests have true. The way each uses it however could be quite different. Perhaps much of the lack in power a Discipline priest encounters will be made up by casting this on their primary target. Thus making their heals on the MT 30% stronger. It's been stated already that Holy priests will lean more towards raid healing, thus they would be much less inclined to benefit from this on a regular basis.

edit: spelling

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A while ago I read a very interesting post about Arcane/Fire mages and mana regeneration. The main point was that the 5 second count-down to get back OO5SR starts when a channeled spell is started, not when it finishes. In that post the idea was to cast Arcane Missiles followed by Fireball to get a few OO5SR ticks in as the full cycle is 8 seconds.

The same can be done with Penance and Greater Heal. If mana ticks every 2 seconds then a cycle would look like this:

0s cast Pennance, IS5SR

1s Pennance tick 1

2s Pennance tick 2, 1 tick IS5SR regen

3s Pennance tick 3

4s 1 tick IS5SR, cast Greater Heal

5s still casting Greater Heal

6s 1 tick OO5SR, Greater Heal lands, cast Greater Heal number 2, IS5SR

7s still casting Greater Heal number 2

8s 1 tick IS5SR, Greater Heal number 2 lands, cast Greater Heal number 3

9s still casting Greater Heal number 3

10s 1 tick IS5SR, Greater Heal number 3 lands, cast Pennance

That means over those 10 seconds a Priest gets 4 ticks IS5SR and 1 tick OO5SR. Assuming meditation that means a Priest using that cycle has a permanent (4 * 0.3 + 1 * 1) / 5 = 44% mana regernation, a 33% increase in regenerated mana.

Edit:

Oups, Pennance has a 10 second cooldown. Calculations adjusted for that.

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If I have understood Blizzard's intentions with gear in WotLK, most if not all gear will be identical. (when considering caster to caster etc) So, I don't understand your desire to give the Holy priest 100 more spirit? Unless your implying that they would gain that from gemming or enchanting choices alone. If your doing that though, you might say the Discipline priest would gem and enchant for more +spellpower. (perhaps narrow throughput of healing power provided by Holy talents)

Well, as I said I pulled numbers basically out of thin air. Also I am assuming that they are not in fact using identical pieces or gemming enchanting in exactly the same way. Is 5% crit = 100 spirit budget wise? Honestly I don't know, I just pulled some "Plausable sounding numbers" out of thin air to start giving a sense of how the talents multiply out. In reality I think that the spirit totals are low as I can hit 770 spirit in my current gear which is a mix of badge and BT/Hyjal items. so I would honestly expect a dedicated spirit holy priest to be well over 1000 fully raid buffed. This will simply exacerbate the power differential in favour of the holy priest as I think it is a justifiable assumption that disc will be more crit focussed than holy and given the existing power differential between the trees and the healing mana regen talent that they will ditch regen (spirit) for crit rather than sacrifice spellpower.

Lastly, "Mark of Divinity" will be a tool that all priests have true. The way each uses it however could be quite different. Perhaps much of the lack in power a Discipline priest encounters will be made up by casting this on their primary target. Thus making their heals on the MT 30% stronger. It's been stated already that Holy priests will lean more towards raid healing, thus they would be much less inclined to benefit from this on a regular basis.

I must admit that I had assumed that MoD would not allow it to function as a straight 30% intensity buff on a single target but would require the heals to be targeted on a different player for the talent to function. Even aside this I don't really buy the argument that it is more powerful for disc as the holy player can still abuse it in the same way to maintain his edge in raw power.

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If a raidhealer puts that mark on a tank, it's not as powerful as it is for a dedicated MT healer. It's simply due to fact that raid and MT damage are not remotely synchronized. According to wotlkwiki.info, Mark of Divinity costs 65% of base mana so I assume it's not really usable mid-fight unless you have serious mana reserves (just to compare, resurrection is 60% of base mana. That's over 1,5k mana at 70.). So it can't be changed dynamically to adapt into raid healing needs.

While the raw healing power from raid healing is a very nice thing for use of mark of divinity on a tank (2500/target prayer of healing: 3750heal on mt) I suspect majority of it will go to waste thanks to overhealing. My point is: disc can "guarantee" a 30% increase in his own healing while holy can't.

But from teamplaying point of view, having both disc / holy mark of divinitys on the mt is better than only one of them, since holy healing can hit those gaps when disc is still casting his spell.

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Discipline Dave has: 3000 healing, 800 spirit, 25% crit rate

Holy Harry had 3000 healing, 900 spirit and 20% crit rate

A few factors to consider:

1. They're changing healing/damage into spellpower. As part of this change, they're almost certainly changing the coefficients on healing spells to around 180% to 200% of their current total. They're also probably changing the coefficients added by 'empowerment' talents (they've already done so with the Druid Healing Touch empowerment talent) to be balanced against these new coefficients. This doesn't really change your basic argument, but it's probably worth noting.

2. We actually know the current alpha values for the spells, so don't need to guess. Greater Heal (Rank 9) costs 1290 mana and heals for 3950 to 4590 healing.

3. In actual play, our Holy Priest will almost certainly average a higher level of critical due to Test of Faith. Other than this, Holy and Discipline Priests have equal access to spell critical from talents.

However all is not lost for Dave as we haven't factored in his Divine Aegis and as he is tank healing so none of the shield is wasted like it would be on a dpser.

It depends on what you call 'wasted'. In the sense you mean, Power Word: Shield is an extremely mana efficient way to heal a single target since it routinely has 0% overheal (even on dps). However, we all should recognize that the 0% overheal from Power Word: Shield is really at the expense of some other heal - PW:S isn't more efficient than Greater Heal. It just gets there first.

The same is true of the shield you're describing - but even worse. Think of the worst possible time to lay on an additional shield for the tank. I'd say it's right after a massive critical heal in a timespan where the tank has 25% more armor than he usually does.

But, when moving to raidhealing, you have to remember that Blizzard may be planning to change both Prayer of Healing & Circle of Healing into spells that can heal whole raid instead of party only, but limit targets to 5 and make them smart-targetting (lowest hp first or something?).

They are changing Circle of Healing to be a raid-wide heal, presumably healing the 5 lowest health members within the radius. I have seen no indication they are changing Prayer of Healing - by all indications, it will remain a party heal.

On other hand looks like defining features of disc will be Grace & Penance, which in my opinion is a quite powerful combination, if you can complete a full Grace stack with 1 penance cast. First things that come into my mind are, depending on Grace duration of course, Naj'etus spine (one that you can pick up), bloodboil felrage, souls fixate, any random dmg taken in council, illidan dark barrage/agonizing flames, felmyst encapsulate, eredar twins <person with high sear stacks>. That's not counting every single tank of course.

In all of the cases you mention, losing one iteration of the damage reduction/healing buff for 1.5s doesn't come close to compensating for the significantly smaller amount of healing you're delivering via Penanace rather than Flash Heal.

Another way to understand Penance is to look at the difference between healing and damage it delivers. Its healing is 13% more than its damage. Normally healing effects are about 80% more than damage effects - meaning that either the damage on Penance is overpowered or the healing underpowered (or, as appears to be the case, both).

Is 5% crit = 100 spirit budget wise?

Approximately, yes. 10 Spirit = 10 Spell Critical. ~21 Spell Critical = 1%.

If a raidhealer puts that mark on a tank, it's not as powerful as it is for a dedicated MT healer.

This is a reasonable argument - if you associate raid healing with Holy Priests and single target healing with Discipline Priests. Which simply isn't the case.

Holy Priests already outperform Discipline Priests by a significant amount in single target healing. And their WotLK talents are almost exclusively oriented towards single target healing.

If Grace is absolutely critical to your raid's success, then you're also faced with a situation where having the Discipline Priest heal the tank is a horrible idea. You simply lose too much from Holy for single target healing. Rather, you'd assign your Holy Priest to heal the tank, and your Discipline Priest would merely refresh the buff from time-to-time while being engaged with other, less critical, chores.

You also have to consider that "half a healer" is not the same as "half a dps". DPS accumulates seamlessly into a collective value - total damage done. Healing does not. Healing has to be coordinated, and the loss of efficiency resulting from this coordination generally means that bringing 'gimp' healers isn't all that helpful - it just ends up creating more overheal.

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It depends on what you call 'wasted'. In the sense you mean, Power Word: Shield is an extremely mana efficient way to heal a single target since it routinely has 0% overheal (even on dps). However, we all should recognize that the 0% overheal from Power Word: Shield is really at the expense of some other heal - PW:S isn't more efficient than Greater Heal. It just gets there first.

The same is true of the shield you're describing - but even worse. Think of the worst possible time to lay on an additional shield for the tank. I'd say it's right after a massive critical heal in a timespan where the tank has 25% more armor than he usually does.

Moreover, because the actual critical heal is somewhat likely to have overhealed in the first place, what you're really doing is increasing the effective crit bonus from [insert small number here] to [small number] + 45%. I have a difficult time using that as an argument to stack crit, as people seem to be assuming. If anything, a discipline priest will have MORE need for spirit, because they won't have 16% clearcast chance and Serendipity to give them mana back.

Approximately, yes. 10 Spirit = 10 Spell Critical. ~21 Spell Critical = 1%.
That's at 70. At 80, 100 spirit is actually cheaper than 5% spell crit, as presumably the rating conversions are going to go up again, but 1 stat point is 1 stat point.

Holy Priests already outperform Discipline Priests by a significant amount in single target healing. And their WotLK talents are almost exclusively oriented towards single target healing.

If Grace is absolutely critical to your raid's success, then you're also faced with a situation where having the Discipline Priest heal the tank is a horrible idea. You simply lose too much from Holy for single target healing. Rather, you'd assign your Holy Priest to heal the tank, and your Discipline Priest would merely refresh the buff from time-to-time while being engaged with other, less critical, chores.

In a 25 man raid, Grace alone reduces the healing burden required by 17%, if you do nothing other than keep it up on tanks. (Well, assuming all the damage is on a small set of tanks, as opposed to the raid, so in practice that number is lower.) This alone would suggest that a discipline priest is worthwhile in nearly all 25 man raids (with, say, 7 healers or more), as his throughput + Grace's effect will nearly always work out to the same amount of healing done as a "pure" healer. That's if you do pretty much nothing else (which would be a good fallback if you have mana problems). I suppose you could spend the rest of your time raid healing (for mana return/occasional Grace stacks on DPS), but it seems like you'd certainly want the holy priests to be using CoH on cooldown before the discipline priests use their somewhat more limited tools to raid heal.

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People saying that divine aegis will be fairly weak because it is applied immediately after a crit heal (so the tank is assumed to be topped off) and during a time when the tank has 15% more armour have either not healed Brutallus or have forgotten how hard he hits. Unless the model changes, bosses that seriously threaten tanks can and will drop them in 2 seconds. The tank is assuredly not safe when topped off, and cutting some amount off the next hit s/he takes is assuredly not a trivial benefit. (The armor buff should be up almost all the time anyways.)

We already have an example of a class that serves as "half a healer" - shadow priests. In many encounters (or the ZA timed run) a shadow priest can provide enough of an AoE healing buff to allow the raid to run with one fewer healers.

Disc priests are intended to be weaker healers than holy priests (or any other healer) - given the enormous power of grace, they have to be.

Regards penance versus flash heal, unless someone knows the coefficients of the two spells we lack the information necessary to come to any conclusion.

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1. They're changing healing/damage into spellpower. As part of this change, they're almost certainly changing the coefficients on healing spells to around 180% to 200% of their current total. They're also probably changing the coefficients added by 'empowerment' talents (they've already done so with the Druid Healing Touch empowerment talent) to be balanced against these new coefficients. This doesn't really change your basic argument, but it's probably worth noting.

Already mentioned in my preamble. I know that things are changing but have not seen any more recent changes to the builds to see the very latest so used numbers based on the old system. I also assume that the coefficient multiplier talents were being added regardless just like they were in BC and are nothing to do with the change to a generic spellpower and giving a much greater coefficient to healing spells.

2. We actually know the current alpha values for the spells, so don't need to guess. Greater Heal (Rank 9) costs 1290 mana and heals for 3950 to 4590 healing.

I know it's been datamined but I doubt that every fight will be brutalus level smack downs so deliberately chose a number close to what we have now for top end Gheal as being a more plausible spam spell. Yes I know they are not "Real" numbers but simply nice clean numbers to simplify the maths and make life easier.

3. In actual play, our Holy Priest will almost certainly average a higher level of critical due to Test of Faith. Other than this, Holy and Discipline Priests have equal access to spell critical from talents.

I totally disagree. If test of faith has kicked in your target is in major major trouble as they have less than 50% health. Currently this means that they will either be a tank and have 3 heals about to land or if another raid member is "PROBABLY" not going to take much more damage immediately or will die before you can land any significant heals because they have pulled aggro or fail at not standing in bad stuff. If the tank is that low your holy priest may toss an extra quick heal their way and get some extra crit but Holy priests are almost guaranteed to be raid healing, it's what deep holy is build for along with endurance. If it is a raid member the fact stands that most damage that doesn't kill you outright allows a stabilisation period so getting grace stacked up is valueless and the extra crit from test of faith falls off after they hit 51% life. Personally I think test of faith is more of a 5 man/arena talent than a raid talent simply because it is so rare for people to be below 50% life for much time.

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