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Iliyan

Discipline and Holy WotLK Talent Preview and discussion.

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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.)
But not every fight is Brutallus, or even close. Brutallus is part of a class of fights where you really can't hit a tank at the intended gear level much harder without making the fight impossible (or requiring things like heal rotations). Patchwerk would be another example of this, or enraged Illidan (well, he hits hard anyway, but there's not much else going on, and there are long regen breaks during phases 3-5), or doing Twin Emps with a tank in full Wrath. Even Malchezaar couldn't drop a tank of the appropriate gear level (read: March 2005) in 2 seconds (maybe if he triple-crushed?).

If Divine Aegis is only useful for the Patchwerk/Brutallus of WotLK, then it's going to be 3 unused points for most priests for most of the expansion. Compare Inspiration, which even if it only becomes critical later is something people will take earlier in the expansion cycle.

My argument against it is that people are using Divine Aegis as a justification for stacking crit to 20-25% on hypothetical WotLK priest scenarios, using the argument that we'll all be using mage/destruction warlock gear anyway (my personal feeling is that we won't, and that the itemization unification is an excuse to make healer items that are 80% optimal for casters instead of 50% optimal, and vice versa). If Divine Aegis is the only reason you're stacking crit (and some small gains in Inspiration uptime, although if we believe the "discipline priests will be raid healing" argument then you're not getting much personal Inspiration uptime anyway), then it makes sense to compare the crit that it would take to get that return from Divine Aegis to other uses of the same item points: say, haste. And if you don't have the crit to use Divine Aegis, then there's really no point in it.

Also, I use a lot of parentheses.

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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.

I obviously can't say for certain, but I see nothing in the description preventing using MoD on any target of your choice. I'm not quite sure how Blizzard would prevent you from using it on your primary target anyway. (How would they know who you were going to be assigned to heal?) Also, as I said, Holy priest certainly can use it in the same manner, but wouldn't be as likely to do so. I mean If the Discipline priest is there why not make best use of their ability vs the Holy priest's?

Some have implied that a Discipline priest would gem/enchant for crit%. I would disagree because I don't think they would need to. As I stated in my previous post, a Disc spec will have 20% more Intellect than their peers even before gem/enchants. On top of that, I believe a greater propensity to have 5/5 Holy Specialization vs the typical 2/5. I wouldn't hold my breath, but there have been rumors of Force of Will being changed to effect heals as well. All added up, a higher crit% will happen by default with no extra effort.

As to a Disc priest's regen, aside from what level of mana return they end up generating from Rapture, the higher amount of Intellect will make what spirit they do have work better.

Another thought on Rapture to think on. The talent states that it returns up to 2.5% of healing done in the form of mana. What if for this purpose it doesn't matter if the heal was all "effective" vs "overheal"? On that same note, what if Divine Aegis's shield proc value is added into the equation? Rapture doesn't state DA by name, but all the spells that do effect Rapture proc DA.

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My point with Brut is that divine aegis will almost always be useful - either the boss hits hard enough that the tank is not safe even at full health, or the boss hits weakly enough that you can use the shield to spend a little more time oo5sr before letting your next heal land.

I agree with Robble though in that I don't see crit-stacking to be a good way to go. I suspect there'll be enough of it just through int, talents, and the odd bit that shows up on otherwise regen-oriented gear. Haste will be better for throughput and spellpower will be better for mana efficiency (and spirit will be necessary for sustainability). I think divine aegis is worth the talent points the same way inspiration is - you take it and it provides a nice benefit, but you don't gear around it.

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One thing we need to keep in mind is that we will be operating in varied environments on a more regular basis in WotLK. At present, most raiders are focused on 25 man content with 10 man content supplementary. Those that focus on 10 mans appear to be in the minority. With WotLK allowing more 10 man content I think we'll see a lot more raiders focusing on 10 man content for some or all of their end game experience.

In a typical 25 man BC raid you're looking at 7-9 healers. This allows for a variety of roles and experiences for healers and makes use of various skills and differences between healers. 10 man raids are more than likely to have 2 or 3 healers reducing the variety of roles and skills in the raid. 5 mans even less.

Most of the discussion in this thread seems to be based on 25 man raids and the allowance for priests to focus on raid healing or tank healing. Is Disc going to be more or less valuable in 10 mans? I'm guessing that a talent such as Grace is a luxury that might not be warranted in 10 mans.

Also, has anyone considered the viability of a Lolysmite type build in WotLK beyond a levelling spec? The growth and changed to our talent tress do not seem to add any viability to holy dps specs as I (and probably not many others) had hoped. Penance seems nice but the CD is a little long for sustained DPS improvement.

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Holy DPS needs 200% crits and some kind of utility to be viable. Until it gets at least the latter it's never going to be more than a levelling/grinding build/5-person instance build.

I would guess that a disc priest will, like today's retadins, be a fixture in 25-person raids and almost nonexistent in min-maxed 10-person raids. Grace is one of those "the more healers pointed at this target, the more powerful it gets" abilities and IDS is similarly more useful the more people you have who benefit. Plus there is much less room for a "utility" healer with gimped output when you only have 2-3 healers instead of 7-8.

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On the other hand, if the 10-man instances are balanced around a healing requirement resembling 2.5 more than a solid 2 or 3, Discipline priests are probably your best bet for getting the most raid usefulness out of that third "healer" slot, probably even more so than a half-breed spec like dreamstate resto or a 40/31 holy-tankadin.

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If Penance works like Arcane Missiles, would it get similar scaling of 142% of "spell power" ?

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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 can see Silent Resolve being situationally important in 25-man scenarios especially if you're holy spec and you have Mark of Divinity placed on the MT. If encounters have raid wide damage occuring early on in the fight and you have a decent amount of people grouped within 15 yrds of each other, that's a ton of healing and threat right there. There's just no point in taking anything else. I consider Imp PW:S a pvp talent. 15% increase for 3 talent points is really weak and just insignificant in my opinion in a raiding scenario. I also don't use PW:S except for maybe some pulls in 5 mans but then I generally only pvp with my priest so perhaps other priests could share their opinion on this?

Disc priests could shine as spot healers in raids with an occasional penance on the tank. I assume you don't need as much healing on the raid as you would for MT healing, sothe difference in healing power between a holy priest and disc priest in that scenario would be nil. That coupled with Disc priest's superior mana regen compared to Holy priests with Enlightenment/Mental Strength could make them more suited for that role when it comes up.

As for a viable healer in .5 healer in 10 mans, a smite priest fills that role nicely. On demand dps or healing without having to switch gear anymore(with the introduction of spellpower) will make them able to do either role depending on the fight or switch to a healing role in the case a healer goes down during an encounter. Who knows what encounters will be like within an instance in WOTLK but at the moment, a raid instance has fights that seem to be easier to accomplish with varying numbers of healers. Instead of switching people in and out, which some guilds such as my own aren't able to coordinate due to circumstances, having a regular smite priest could be a viable option.

It's looking like all casters will generally value spirit and with the homogenization of gear coupled with Enlightenment/Mental Agility changes, it doesn't look like Smite priests will be struggling for mana as much as they used to.

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On another note, penance is lookiing to be really nice for arenas. A decent heal when your partner gets LOS while chasing someone or trying to get a kill on someone going around a pillar/a druid running away is going to be very valuable. It seems that there's just going to be no end to pillars with the new arenas coming out. Our only viable instant "heal" when our partner is low on health is PW:S and Vial of the Sunwell. Penance could help with that issue as well.

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While it would be nice to think that Discipline will have better regen than holy I have a nasty suspiscion that holy may in fact have just as good a regen as Disc.

Disc gets Divine spirit, Enlightenment and Rapture.

Holy gets Improved death, Improved holy concentration and serendipity.

Improved death and Enlightenment basically cancel each other out with a slight advantage to Disc because of the extra Int boosting regen a bit.

Divine spirit is only a boost to Discipline priests when no holy priests are present in the group otherwise it is of equal value to both specs.

This leaves the bulk of the difference in Rapture vs Improved holy concentration and serendipity.

Personally I suspect that 100% refund of mana if you overheal by more than 50% and 16% clearcasting proc are going to be better for endurance.

lets look at Rapture vs Holy Concentration and assume we are spamming the new top rank of greater heal.

Mana cost is 1290 X .85 for the cost reduction talent and base is 3950 which assuming the equivalent of 3000 healing power under the current system will land for 6693 for a discipline priest. This is 167.3 mana regen per cast or 334 mana/5

For the same spell for the holy priest we get 1290 x .85 x .16 for the average mana reduction from Imp Holy concentration gives us 175.4 mana/5 + if 1 in 5 overheals for more than 50% we get a full refund of 1290 x .85 every 15 seconds or so.

so for max rank spam healing your get better regen equivalency from Holy but for lower ranks you will probably see the discipline priest making greater gains as generally for lower ranks the heals/mana are better so it favours a refund based on output rather than a refund based on base cost model.

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You also get 10s of OO5SR regen every time holy concentration procs. But since I have no idea how much regen a level 80 raid buffed Priest is going to have I can't tell you how much mana that would be. Does anyone have a numbers to pluck in?

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If Penance works like Arcane Missiles, would it get similar scaling of 142% of "spell power" ?

It's probably going to be 85.7% over the full time, or 28.6% per tick. At least I see no reason why it should work any different.

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It's probably going to be 85.7% over the full time, or 28.6% per tick. At least I see no reason why it should work any different.
It might end up getting somewhat more due to it's cooldown. The 51-point talent for Arcane Mages Arcane Barrage has the coefficient of a 3 second cast time spell despite being instant for example.

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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.

Depending on the exact workings of the spell its possible that divine aegis might absorb more damage ON TOP of inspiration.

The shaman talent directs the healing to the lowest health target. It could be the tank, but then again it might not. The druid buff is heal after you take damage, very nice but then again half or regrowth is a HoT and lets face it how often do druids use healing touch.

The shield from divine aegis takes off a certain amount of damage from the next hit. Everytime you get a crit a shield goes on which will reduce the next hit. This means less spiky damage on the tank.

If you have encounters with extremely spiky damage (e.g. something like windfury or thrash) divine aegis may reduce your wipe chance quite significantly.

People are very distrustful of "critical healing" as they should be, but divine aegis is not critical healing. The real problem with critical healing is that you are not sure it will be there when you need it, so its often wasted. Divine aegis stays on the target until used.

The idea that the damage from divine aegis "would be healed by lifeblooms anyway" is completely invalid. Divine aegis STACKS with inspiration, grace, druid hots, with PWS, with PoM and with the new druid crit buff. All these things combine together to reduce the damage the tank takes.

People need to dispense with the idea that critical based = bad. Damage absorption is *always* valueable even if its crit based. The real question people should be asking is how much damage absorption.

This yet another CoH thing. People were crying about how CoH is useless because its group limited and its range is too small. They never bother to determine just how much it can heal for.

600 effective hps is about the maximum anyone can sustain with single target heals in BC raiding right now.

800 effective HPS is the maximum.

AI 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

Test of Faith makes flash heal worth using in emergencies. IHC haste and the boost from test of faith make it an extremely fast and actually fairly large heal.

Think of this encounter: You have a boss that selects a random target every 5 seconds and hits them for a very large amount of damage. Something like claw charge on zul'jin or the ice bolt on rage winterchill. A priest healing that will have test of faith active on most heals.

Think of a boss that damages the entire raid for 70% of their HP every 20 seconds or so. Test of faith will return a massive amount of healing.

In fact its more than common for many targets to be below 50% heals in todays raids. A lot of the raid healing that needs to be done involves saving DPS from a high DPS ability. In spiky fights the tank also spends a good deal of time below 50% HP. Test of faith will probably not require that you begin your heal when the target is at 50% HP, only that the heal lands when the target is at 50% HP. Even with the encounters we know right now, this is quite a massive boost to effective healing and +crit.

As for the regeneration of disc priests vs holy priests, I should remind everyone that rapture returns mana to the entire party. So its quite conceivable that holy priests will enjoy the immense power of 16% clearcasting (which with the haste buff from IHC) and rapture.

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800 effective HPS is the maximum.

From WWSscoreboard: Sk-gaming fastest kill. 4:27

Top healer Mackelina, paladin 2957hps, 52% overhealing. So 1420hps.

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You also get 10s of OO5SR regen every time holy concentration procs. But since I have no idea how much regen a level 80 raid buffed Priest is going to have I can't tell you how much mana that would be. Does anyone have a numbers to pluck in?

Wrong, Improved Holy Concentration has been changed to 20% haste after you gain Holy Concentration for 20sec.

There is a malfunction on the Talent Calculator here

Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472

and ranks 2/3 and 3/3 of Imp holy concentration show the "old" version of the talent.

Btw, I've thought up a Holy CoH spam build, don't know if it is any good, but I would like your opinion. Maybe I should sack mental agility, but it is very powerful for CoH raid healing.

Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472

Also, there is this little possibility that should CoH target a target with above 50% HP, serendipity could proc, however this is unlikely due to the "smart targeting" system I hear they are implementing in CoH which targets people with lowest Hp in raid in range. However, this could make "top up the raid" healing easier should serendipity proc.

Any thoughts?

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From WWSscoreboard: Sk-gaming fastest kill. 4:27

Top healer Mackelina, paladin 2957hps, 52% overhealing. So 1420hps.

Maintain is the key word. 4' fights are anyone's guess.

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Disc gets Divine spirit, Enlightenment and Rapture.

Holy gets Improved death, Improved holy concentration and serendipity.

Imp death vs Enlightenment is a difference of 5% intellect in Enlightenment's favor. Not counting Rapture or Divine spirit, the difference in mana regen for disc vs holy is:

15% int (mental strength)

5% int (enlightenment)

vs

Holy concentration

Serendipity

On a side note, I have a question about Serendipity that maybe you guys can help me out with. There wasn't a holy WOTLK discussion thread so I thought I would just ask it here. Is there any mortal strike affect in the game currently that reduces healing by more than 50%? Unless there's new reduced healing factors in the next expansion it doesn't look like this talent does anything at all. Maybe the wording is wrong in the talent tree...

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On a side note, I have a question about Serendipity that maybe you guys can help me out with. There wasn't a holy WOTLK discussion thread so I thought I would just ask it here. Is there any mortal strike affect in the game currently that reduces healing by more than 50%? Unless there's new reduced healing factors in the next expansion it doesn't look like this talent does anything at all. Maybe the wording is wrong in the talent tree...
I think the general consensus is that it's Blizzard's roundabout way of saying "if the heal is more than 50% overheal" without actually using the word "overheal", which makes it just another version of the 2 piece T5 bonus.

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Btw, I've thought up a Holy CoH spam build, don't know if it is any good, but I would like your opinion. Maybe I should sack mental agility, but it is very powerful for CoH raid healing.

Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472

Also, there is this little possibility that should CoH target a target with above 50% HP, serendipity could proc, however this is unlikely due to the "smart targeting" system I hear they are implementing in CoH which targets people with lowest Hp in raid in range. However, this could make "top up the raid" healing easier should serendipity proc.

Any thoughts?

Why would you have 2 points in improved crit instead of 2 points in test of faith? It really makes no sense to me. 2% crit is 0.6% more healing. If one in 10 targets you hit with CoH is below 50% you get 0.7% more crit on top of 1% more effective healing. This is more than 2 times the return. Also unlike universal crit test of faith crit has a lot less overheal potential. Taking divine spec instead of test of faith to raid heal is just insane to me.

Serendipity only procs for Gheal/Flash. The talent says nothing about other spells.

Also mental agi no longer makes sense for CoH build. You can only spam it once every 6 seconds. You have to suplement with PoH, pom, binding heal and FH/GH. Empowered healing 5/5 is mandatory. You are going to be using PoH and PoM quite a lot as well, so healing prayers is also very necessary IMO

This is the holy build I would choose:

Basic Holy build. This has all the key talents in it.

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Btw, I've thought up a Holy CoH spam build, don't know if it is any good, but I would like your opinion. Maybe I should sack mental agility, but it is very powerful for CoH raid healing.

Yarr! Tools :: Priest 8472

Also, there is this little possibility that should CoH target a target with above 50% HP, serendipity could proc, however this is unlikely due to the "smart targeting" system I hear they are implementing in CoH which targets people with lowest Hp in raid in range. However, this could make "top up the raid" healing easier should serendipity proc.

Any thoughts?

There will be no builds based around CoH if the current cooldown-driven CoH goes live. Any sort of cooldown on the spell basically removes it from spammability, which means you're filling the middle of the cooldown with other spells, probably PoM (every 10 seconds) and GHeal. In that situation, you need 5/5 Emp Healing, and should always (imo) take 3/3 Test of Faith.

Maybe there will be some kind of CoH -> Holy Nova x3 -> CoH rotation people will mess around with, but we're not going to be pure AoE healers in WotLK, unless things change dramatically from Alpha -> Beta.

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I wonder how Penance and the spellpower changes are able to shift the paradigm for healer hybrids from the current healer/DPS split to more of a 0.5 healer/DPS type that hybrids would, at least conceptually, be suited for.

One of the reasons that healers cannot also DPS in normal settings is cast time. Most all heals that would save a tank require time to cast, and in the time a healer takes to stop a DPS cast, start up a heal cast, and land the heal, the tank would be dangerously close to death, if not already dead. An alternative would be instant heals, but they are often not viable because they do not heal immediately (Renew and other HOTs), are underpowered (Holy Shock), are not always available (Nature's Swiftness), or have conditions that may make them situational (Swiftmend and HOTs, but I don't know enough about druids to know if this is true). For this reason, healers concentrate on healing, and time their casts in such a way that heals will land when damage is taken. In my experience as a healer (up to SSC/TK) cast timing and cast-cancelling is what healers do.

The downside to this, though, is that this type of healing (cast-cancelling, or simply overhealing a target just to finish the cast) results in zero output. While the healer is casting and cancelling (or topping off a 99%-100% target), an effective 0 HPS is being done. The healer is obviously working very hard at his job (making sure the tank doesn't die), but at that instant there really are no results to his work. In the meantime that his heals aren't immediately needed, he's not contributing to the bottom line.

The solution to this would be DPS. If you aren't healing, you're doing DPS. However, it goes back to the first problem that I mentioned above, and this would be where Penance comes in. My thoughts on this spell is that it's the opposite of a heal with a cast time. The effects are felt immediately, and then two more times after that, for 3 seconds. It solves the problem of not healing the tank in time, or at the very least, it boosts the tank's health until other heals or shields to maximize his suvival are able to land.

Obviously Penance is not a cure-all; not every healer will be a discipline priest, and the spell's average output and 10 second cooldown limit its overall usefulness. However, it does provide an avenue where 0.5 healer/DPS types don't necessarily feel marginalized, as they can truly contribute to the group they way that they are most effective.

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Personally I don't think that a .5 healer such as the one you describe is viable given game mechanics. Bosses either hit hard or the don't. If you need to be healing you need to be healing 90% of the time in case of a tank gib. I think what most people are looking at when referring to a .5 healer is a person who on fight A, where the boss hits like a little girl, nukes thier little heart out and then on fight B, where the boss hits like a runaway train, flicks back to being a full time healer. Personally even this concept strikes me as doubtful as it is well established that if the content is in any way difficult that people would rather swap people in and out and have a 100% player in a slot rather than an 80% hybrid.

Yes there may be some of this in small friendly 10 man raids but if the content gets hard people will reach for the guaranteed thing, be that healing or dps. The problem a disc priest has for dps is that the build that optimises dps will NOT be optimised for healing or vice versa. So while a disc priest may be able to do competitive dps (which I doubt) they couldn't heal worth a damn. Or if they can heal well (by disc standards) their gear choices and talents will leave them sucking ass at just above tank level dps.

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Personally I don't think that a .5 healer such as the one you describe is viable given game mechanics. Bosses either hit hard or the don't. If you need to be healing you need to be healing 90% of the time in case of a tank gib. I think what most people are looking at when referring to a .5 healer is a person who on fight A, where the boss hits like a little girl, nukes thier little heart out and then on fight B, where the boss hits like a runaway train, flicks back to being a full time healer. Personally even this concept strikes me as doubtful as it is well established that if the content is in any way difficult that people would rather swap people in and out and have a 100% player in a slot rather than an 80% hybrid.
Just to argue a devil's advocate position, this argument only works if fight A and fight B are different encounters, as opposed to different phases of the same encounter (RoS, although I always end up on shield/dispel duty for RoS phase 1). With the 33% healing to damage change, and again with this change, I expect we'll see a lot more fights that want the healers to DPS in some capacity (imagine if Leotheras was actually tuned around the healers wearing their full healing gear).

You still can't DPS and heal at the same time (unless the only "healing" you're doing is stacking Grace, which I suppose is a possibility); when a boss can squish a tank in 2-3 seconds you really don't want to be in a situation where you need to cancel a damage spell, assist, THEN start a heal and hope it lands before the tank dies.

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