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Iliyan

Discipline and Holy WotLK Talent Preview and discussion.

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Mental Strength going from +10% more mana to +15% intellect, while a great buff for spirit-based regeneration, is not as much of a buff to your maximum mana as you might first think. The reason is that total mana is composed of both base mana and mana derived from intellect. For example, my PvP disc priest without mental strength has 528 intellect and 10260 mana. TBC's mental strength brings that to 11286 (a bonus of +1026), but WoTLK's will provide +15% intellect instead (+79 intellect, or +1188 mana).

Penance does not seem that great as a PvP healing spell. The problem is that it is unusable while being trained, as it is channeled. Furthermore, unlike greater heal, where you don't pay the mana cost or even enter the five second rule if it doesn't go off, you pay the entire cost of penance up front whether you manage to get any ticks out of it or not.

It could be useful if you have already used all of your instants (so your alternatives are greater heal or flash heal if you wish to keep healing your target), you are not being attacked, and you are willing to accept being counterspelled (as you are left with cast time spells anyway). Unlike greater heal, you can't realistically juke a cast of penance unless you want to waste a lot of mana. The only upside to this spell seems to be getting a 3-stack of grace, and that is assuming penance can provide an instant 3-stack (one cast of mind flay does not generate a 3-stack of shadow weaving).

1 point in Divine Aegis will be good for dispel fodder, although PvP disc priests currently don't cast many spells that can crit. While penance can crit, it's unclear what happens if more than one tick crits.

Assuming today's max rank greater heal, including gear bonuses, will still heal for approximately what it does now (roughly 4000 for a PvP geared priest) after the spellpower changes, Rapture provides 100 mana back to the party, which is effectively a 14% reduction in mana cost for you, if you have the -15% greater heal cost talent. Once again, though, PvP disc priests currently don't focus on casting a lot of greater heals, due to mana inefficiency and mana burn/dispel being a much better optimization of your class's abilities comparatively, although this might change.

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What troubles me about disc raiding is that it's decent, but its strength almost entirely revolved around buffing the tank with grace. I had the impression that Blizzard wanted to get rid of 1 trick ponies in lich king, but they're introducing one here.

Unfortunately, grace is powerful enough that bosses will need to be balanced around it, so not having a disc priest may be highly detrimental. Any fight with high tank damage will rely on the grace buff. Moreover, a lot of fights don't have high tank damage, which means on those fights you have a gimped healer with little utility. I really dont see the mana regen as being terribly great; all it does is allow the raid to move a shadow priest to a dps group (or bring 1 instead of 2, which is probably what will likely happen). However, substituting a dps for a healer is not usually good raid practice unless again you are on a specific fight that is very healing intensive.

Penance is also remarkably bad. Just compare the numbers of penance to the new druid heal nourish. Nearly the same mana, nearly the same heal amount, and nourish can get upwards of 50+% to its healing with hots established and casts twice as fast. With full hots up nourish scales better as well. That's not even mentioning lifebloom stacks or the fact that penance has a 10 second cooldown (which is clearly there because of the damage aspect).

In order to fix disc, penance needs to be fixed to be a good staple heal (take away the damage component, it only drags the spell down, just like holy shock). Penance has the potential to define the spec instead of being some lackluster holy shock. Otherwise, disc will remain a spec that people will hearth and respec for certain bosses and then respec back after said boss is dead.

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Been thinking about DPS utility for priests and came up with a basic idea. Why not alter Mark of Divinity a touch or add a similar option that does a % of healing to a target for each point of damage you do?

The current proposed spell available to all priests is:

Mark of Divinity: "Marks the target with Divinity, causing 30% of all of your healing to also heal the target." (level 70, instant, 65% of base mana, 30m duration)

Not very valuable to Shadow Priests, although there could be some benefit from VT?

This could be adjusted to:

Mark of Divinity: "Marks the target with Divinity, causing 20% (or some balanced number) of all of your healing and 10% (or some balanced number) of all your Holy damage to also heal the target." (level 70, instant, 65% of base mana, 30m duration)

This might add utility value to priests and encourage a player to be a damage/healer in groups and raids. Note that I added "Holy damage" so as not to make Shadow Priests too amazingly OP or mess with VT/VE. It would be more attractive to then cast the odd Holy Nova, Smite or Penance rather than just an occasional SW:P.

Or there could be two priest "Marks" which are mutually exclusive (like a pally aura or hunter aspect):

Mark of <Clever Priestly Damage Name>: "Marks the target with Divinity, causing 10% (or some balanced number) of all of your Holy damage to also heal the target." (level 70, instant, 65% of base mana, 30m duration)

Implementing a spell like this would require careful balancing to not eliminate Shadow as a valuable spec but I'm sure some tweaking of the spell could create a balance that makes non-shadow damage or 0.5 damage/heals valuable. There could even be a removal of the Holy damage limitation but I'm not sure if they could do this and still balance Shadow Priests effectively.

Another option they could use to buff the Disc or Holy trees (if needed) could be to add a high level talent that would alter Mark of Divinity to allow damage to add to the healing of the target. Or perhaps there could be an inscription that would do this (sounds a little complex for an inscription that could be used by other classes on other spells).

Any thoughts?

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You can't put viable DPS and Viable healing in the same role for balance reasons. It's the main reason that hybrids suck just ask any druid at release how much fun is was having subpar healing and subpar tanking and subpar DPS was when they only had 75% of the efficiency of pure classes because they were hybrids. Trying to shoehorn a viable dps build into a healing tree is going to result in this same problem, alternatively they will be seen as overpowered if they can have raid worthy healing and raid worthy dps in the same build, this is worse than the feral druid case because of how badly it unbalances PvP.

It's been said it before but it's worth repeating that the disc tree while reasonably powerful is still awfully schizophrenic and doesn't know if it's a dps tree, buff tree, healing tree or PvP tree. Unlike other trees you cannot make a good spec for any of these roles without picking up a lot of filler along the way. What it needs is reassembling from the ground up to unify the focus and provide better flow for whatever aspect of the tree you are trying to build on. Whether this will actually happen is debatable.

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.

I totally agree with your second paragraph as it completely captures what I was thinking. However I don't see that your point about non healing fight features holds water as a justification for disc dps builds. This is because no matter what you give the disc spec the encounter has to be designed to be doable by whatever healing/tanking spec has the lowest damage output. For non demon/undead fights the current winner (or is that looser) in this regard is the holy pally as his weapon hits for nothing and he has no nukes to take advantage of all the spellpower his gear gives him. Now hopefully the delay in releasing the pally changes is caused by them trying to solve this problem but it currently provides a hard limit on how much dps you can expect from any given healer.

If they don't want you healing but doing something else there are plenty of existing mechanics that could be adapted for a ROS P1 type encounter you don't have to make a healer fall back on a gimp dps output to feel useful, chess type npc control, picking up a encounter specific weapon like in the Kael fight etc.

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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?

Healing is 50% per point heal, spread over all enemies in range. DPS generally produce more threat than any healer can on bosses, even factoring talents and threat wipe abilities. Silent resolve is only really useful in cases where you have adds that need to be kited or CCd.

PW:S is not just a PvP talent. It is one of our most powerful panic buttons and essential in all panic combos. Simply consider how much swiftment heals for. Its also the only healer spell capable of adding temporary HP. Though not essential I consider it a very worthwile talent in raids.

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.

Serendipity and improved holy concentration, coupled with increased spirit stacking means that holy priests will enjoy unparalleled mana regen, due to more spirit stacking, constant mana return and much decreased FSR time.

Contrary to what people think, I believe that disc priests in raids will take a small amount of crit gear, fill the rest with haste/spellpower and they will be healing tanks. The reason is that divine aegis results in a non trivial decrease in incoming tank damage, and it goes on top of the damage reduction from inspiration and grace. In my oppinion it will represent something between 100 and 300 less DPS on the tank.

Considering how many damage reduction talents there are in the wotlk alpha, it seems to me that blizzard is trying to get away from fights which focus on healing tremendous damage. Instead healers seem to be getting talents that deal with massive damage in a different way, by mitigating it in some way. I think these talents will be essential and a lot of fights will be based around the healers saving the tank with them.

I think that no healer will be essential in 10 man senarios. But in 25 mans most raids will bring a disc priest along for spirit buff, grace, mass dispelling and PI/PS. Remember that a disc priest can keep the grace buff up on multiple tanks using penance/FH.

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You can't put viable DPS and Viable healing in the same role for balance reasons. It's the main reason that hybrids suck just ask any druid at release how much fun is was having subpar healing and subpar tanking and subpar DPS was when they only had 75% of the efficiency of pure classes because they were hybrids. Trying to shoehorn a viable dps build into a healing tree is going to result in this same problem, alternatively they will be seen as overpowered if they can have raid worthy healing and raid worthy dps in the same build, this is worse than the feral druid case because of how badly it unbalances PvP.

It's hard to make that comparison to druids as itemization has gotten better and seems to be getting better in the next expansion. Hopefully being able to dps and heal doesn't have an impact on tank healing too much since crushing blows are gone, coupled with perhaps Grace, resulting in damage will be less spikey in comparison to now, but who knows.

I think we need to look at disc builds from a pure healing standpoint. With spellpower, one can argue that all healers have essentially become hybrids and can dps/heal to some extent. The dps talents here and there in disc doesn't exempt Disc builds from being evaluated from a pure healing standpoint.

All in all, I still think Disc is a viable raid option. The buffs it provides are potentially very nice for 25 mans. I think someone mentioned in this thread that it has about 20% less healing capacity than Holy. It's just kind of interesting that this seems to be the first healing class/spec analogous to what shadowpriests, ret paladins and so on, are for dps. It's not like a resto shammy because they have roles in which they shine. It's just a clear cut less healing for more buffs.

Healing is 50% per point heal, spread over all enemies in range. DPS generally produce more threat than any healer can on bosses, even factoring talents and threat wipe abilities. Silent resolve is only really useful in cases where you have adds that need to be kited or CCd.

PW:S is not just a PvP talent. It is one of our most powerful panic buttons and essential in all panic combos. Simply consider how much swiftment heals for. Its also the only healer spell capable of adding temporary HP. Though not essential I consider it a very worthwile talent in raids.

For the current max rank of PW:S, imp PW:S adds around 190 absorbtion. With raid bosses in mind, it seems that 3 talent points for something that seems pretty insignificant doesn't make it a worthwhile talent. Just my opinion though.

Serendipity and improved holy concentration, coupled with increased spirit stacking means that holy priests will enjoy unparalleled mana regen, due to more spirit stacking, constant mana return and much decreased FSR time. Also 20% more intellect, means that in addition to more mana they get 20% more crit from int. The increased intellect scaling and the increased crit value for disc priest with divine aegis means that disc priests will be stacking more int and less spi that holy priests.

Yeah, I misunderstood Serendipity so I agree that Holy will most likely be more mana efficient overall. Someone mentioned in this thread that Imp Holy concentration is still a typo/mistake and that all three points has a 20% haste benefit or something along those lines.

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Mental Strength going from +10% more mana to +15% intellect, while a great buff for spirit-based regeneration, is not as much of a buff to your maximum mana as you might first think. The reason is that total mana is composed of both base mana and mana derived from intellect. For example, my PvP disc priest without mental strength has 528 intellect and 10260 mana. TBC's mental strength brings that to 11286 (a bonus of +1026), but WoTLK's will provide +15% intellect instead (+79 intellect, or +1188 mana).

While true, what your leaving out, or forgetting, is that now Mental Strength will have synergy boosts. Mark of the Wild (buffed in x-pac), Blessing of Kings, Flask of Distilled Wisdom(or new Flask in x-pac), and Arcane Intellect will all be affected by this new form. Not to mention higher amounts of Intellect from gear at 80. So, I would say that it is a substantial buff.

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There will be no builds based around CoH if the current cooldown-driven CoH goes live.

...

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.

Indeed. With the cooldown on CoH, it is unlikely that priests will be assigned to raid healing much at all. This job will go to Druids and Shamans. Tree druids get Flourish, which affects an area similar to CoH, but with no cooldown, and seems to heal more than CoH per cast. No cooldown and a mass HoT means that unless the damage is very spikey, two tree druids can easily keep the raid up even in a fight with lots of raid wide splash damage. (Tree druids also get other stuff that will further make them more desirable for raid healing, such as the Replenish talent ). And Shamans will be as strong as ever, with Chain Heal buffed, in handling raid healing in general, and handling the spikes in particular.

Without too much QQ'ing, I have to say that whilst the buffs to priest tank healing are nice, it saddens me that priests are likely to be pushed into the "paladin role" (mainly tank healing and buffs and utility) rather than the raid healing role that I at least have enjoyed.

Although, in all fairness this impression could change if some additional AOE healing abilities shows up for priests in the beta.

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For the current max rank of PW:S, imp PW:S adds around 190 absorbtion. With raid bosses in mind, it seems that 3 talent points for something that seems pretty insignificant doesn't make it a worthwhile talent. Just my opinion though.

At my +healing PWS untalented absorbs about 2000damage. Talented it absorbs 2300. A flash heal heals for 2600. The talent makes the spell worth using, especially considering that last stand adds 2k temp HP.

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I wouldn't say that Pain Suppression is too situational.

The situation you want to use it in is: Someone is taking damage and we won't wipe because the 5% deaggro made the mob pwn dps.

If the mob is on a caster, you can use PS as a last-ditch attempt to get it off. If the tank has a more than 5% lead over the next guy you can use it on him if the boss uses some sort of damage increase/healing decrease ability. I'd say it's helpful for aoe packs, but Prot Paladins exist. You can also use it on someone who's taken a RST ability if they have lower than average HP (my guild has this problem a lot, since we fill in the 25th slot with someone who isn't quite geared enough frequently).

Power Infusion is also useful if there are mobs that have vulnerability phases. I can't think of too many offhand (Curator, Ilhoof, RoS) but there are a few. You can also cast it on the holy priest during boss spike phases like RoS's periodic enrage.

Finally I'll point out that when people first started doing HKM over a year ago, he sort of was like Brutallus in his ability to suddenly drop tanks (maybe we just sucked). It obviously stopped fairly rapidly as gear improved but those first kills were nerve-wracking to heal.

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Last stand adds 2k temporary hp? Try 30%, which is 6-7k on a Sunwell warrior. (However, PW:S is still a great spell - to be used sparingly, but a very powerful tool to have when needed.)

There is mention in the druid thread that flourish (their AoE heal) will have a 6-second cooldown just like CoH. Shamans will remain gods of raid damage, but expect priests to hold their own against the other classes (remember that PoM is amazing too). Also on that note, I will be disappointed if paladins do not get an AoE heal of some description - they badly need it.

The problem with pain suppression is that in most cases where it would be useful in countering an RTS ability PW:S or flash heal would also be just as effective without being on a 3-minute cooldown. Pain suppression will have its place in gimmick encounters with huge predictable burst however (see: Kael'thas pyroblasts, Gurtogg fel rage, Illidan p5). Power infusion will always be useful because more DPS is always useful, although coordinating it for maximum effect (casting it on your mage at the same time that he activates all his cooldowns, etc.) will be a pain.

Grace is amazing. Rapture is not enormously powerful but a nice touch. Divine aegis is a good tank healing bonus (not a game-breaking ability, but certainly worth the points).

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Unfortunately, grace is powerful enough that bosses will need to be balanced around it, so not having a disc priest may be highly detrimental.

I'm not quite sure there - it all depends on how Grace stacks.

Like CoW now has a Thunderclap component, there's nothing saying that Grave will spec with Shadow Embrace, or even with TC. Even being applied to different entities I wouldn't put it past Blizz to simply make it nonstacking in effect.

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It may very well not stack with SE (damage reduction) or with the druid tree aura (healing increase), which will reduce its necessity considerably (although it is more powerful than either of those). TC is a completely different effect however (attack speed slow versus damage reduction) so I am quite sure it will stack with TC (and with demo shout/roar, since that is again another effect - AP reduction not being precisely the same as flat damage reduction).

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Indeed. With the cooldown on CoH, it is unlikely that priests will be assigned to raid healing much at all. This job will go to Druids and Shamans. Tree druids get Flourish, which affects an area similar to CoH, but with no cooldown, and seems to heal more than CoH per cast. No cooldown and a mass HoT means that unless the damage is very spikey, two tree druids can easily keep the raid up even in a fight with lots of raid wide splash damage. (Tree druids also get other stuff that will further make them more desirable for raid healing, such as the Replenish talent ). And Shamans will be as strong as ever, with Chain Heal buffed, in handling raid healing in general, and handling the spikes in particular.

Without too much QQ'ing, I have to say that whilst the buffs to priest tank healing are nice, it saddens me that priests are likely to be pushed into the "paladin role" (mainly tank healing and buffs and utility) rather than the raid healing role that I at least have enjoyed.

Although, in all fairness this impression could change if some additional AOE healing abilities shows up for priests in the beta.

I think the "omg coh nerf!" posts are a little bit alarmist. We still have POM and POH, both of which do not get nearly enough credit, and both of which are getting a 10% boost from divine providence. IMHO, Prayer of Mending is one of the most overpowered healing spell in the game right now, probably only exceeded in that description by a well played chain heal. Prayer of healing is incredibly powerful aoe group heal. If my math is right it does more hp/s at a much higher heal/mana ratio.

Not to mention that COH is now "smart" and heals the 5 people with the lowest hp (that is how I take it's meaning anyway). Hit it every 6 seconds for ridiculous efficiency, combine that with Serendipity + improved holy concentration and you have a VERY NASTY and efficient raid healer.

As an aside, lightwell now reads "any direct damage," a massive buff. So yeah, aoe/raid healing will be different but I dont think we've been nerfed that badly/at all.

Discipline looks amazing as well, it just looks like there's alot of talent glut for both trees near the top.

I dont see how they would make it so Grace would not stack with Shadow Embrace / Tree aura, as they are very different affects, and shadow embrace is a boss debuff, not a player buff.

I have always liked PI/PS, and I think they're incredibly powerful abilities. I think now that there are things in deep discipline that are also viable (aegis/rapture/grace) it will be possible to forgo the big healing talents deeper in holy.

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Ya, CoH being changed to smart-targetting is enormous. I'd actually probably prefer the new CoH (6-second cooldown, smart targetting with no group limitation) to the current one on most encounters (exceptions being Illidan and Felmyst). Plus, it will make healing more interesting since it will force us to use more spells when doing it.

Good point on shadow embrace. SE reduces damage done while grace reduces damage taken, so they will almost certainly stack. Tree aura has been changed (in its latest incarnation) to a raid-wide buff granting 5% more healing received, so it may not stack, but unless there's another non-stacking effect that can make up some of the damage reduction any min-maxed raid will need grace for any encounter in which boss damage requires a non-trivial amount of healing resources.

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Ya, CoH being changed to smart-targetting is enormous. I'd actually probably prefer the new CoH (6-second cooldown, smart targetting with no group limitation) to the current one on most encounters (exceptions being Illidan and Felmyst). Plus, it will make healing more interesting since it will force us to use more spells when doing it.

That is a very good point. A lot of players were complaining for a while that maximum efficiency for them in raids comes from using a very small number of spells. Like Mages and Frostbolt for example, that's a pretty sad case. If it takes cooldowns on abilities to make people use more different abilities then I'm perfectly fine with that. Encounters will be balanced around the cooldowns anyway, so there isn't much reason for concern.

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The problem with pain suppression is that in most cases where it would be useful in countering an RTS ability PW:S or flash heal would also be just as effective without being on a 3-minute cooldown. Pain suppression will have its place in gimmick encounters with huge predictable burst however (see: Kael'thas pyroblasts, Gurtogg fel rage, Illidan p5). Power infusion will always be useful because more DPS is always useful, although coordinating it for maximum effect (casting it on your mage at the same time that he activates all his cooldowns, etc.) will be a pain.

This might not be a concern in your guild, but like I said above in my guild there are nights when we have to bring in people at "Friends and Family" rank to fill out the raid. These people frequently don't quite have the gear to survive an RST (I'm pretty sure it's RST not RTS, since IIRC it stands for Random Secondary Target) ability, but since they're only 1 or 2 in 24 the PS can give them a chance to last the fight.

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I assumed it was "Random Targeting System." I think it's actually supposed to be RSTS for "Random Secondary Targeting System" but whatever.

My point is this:

Rage's frostbolt hits for 5k + 10k DoT over 5 seconds. Assume your undergeared mage has 8k health. He'll be dead in 2 seconds without healing. Once per 2 minutes, PS can effectively "heal" 6k damage (15k x 0.4), preventing the mage from dying until the 5 second mark (by which time other healers will have landed heals so the mage lives) but only if you get it up before the frostbolt lands.

However, if your reactions are that good (and they should be, that's not hard to do) you could also hit him with flash + PW:S before he dies. That combo will heal him for about 4.5k and has a cooldown of 4 seconds. That 4.5k will mean he dies at the 4 second mark, which is also plenty of time for other healers to find the mage and help save him.

So in reacting to sudden spikes PS actually isn't very good, because those spikes are not actually that huge in terms of total damage dealt. Whereas 40% reduction against Gurtogg in fel rage mode is enormous and far more than any amount of healing you could possibly provide, 40% reduction against a 10k burst on Council is just a 4k "heal." Couple this with the fact that you can always flash + PW:S someone whereas you have to keep track of your PS cooldown to know if it's available and I simply don't see it as very useful.

To reiterate though, it's amazing for known incoming enormous burst - Kael's pyroblasts, Gurtogg's fel rage, Illidan's enrage in p5 or dark barrage in p2 (it would be great for stomp on Brut too, but you probably can't afford the threat loss there).

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To reiterate though, it's amazing for known incoming enormous burst - Kael's pyroblasts, Gurtogg's fel rage, Illidan's enrage in p5 or dark barrage in p2 (it would be great for stomp on Brut too, but you probably can't afford the threat loss there).

Also consider the fact that along with PWS, in WotLK the raid will have guardian angel, spirit link, divine aegis and grace.

If a boss has some RST ability on a long cast timer that does massive damage, you are going to find PS very handy indeed.

There is mention in the druid thread that flourish (their AoE heal) will have a 6-second cooldown just like CoH. Shamans will remain gods of raid damage, but expect priests to hold their own against the other classes (remember that PoM is amazing too). Also on that note, I will be disappointed if paladins do not get an AoE heal of some description - they badly need it.

A lot of people are talking about the new druid spell, but one needs to remember that its a HoT, and hence not spammable. It will probably heal about as much as a single CoH over 7 seconds, with front loaded ticks. A druid can cast it more than once every 7 seconds, to achieve slightly higher HPS, but still I expect it would overall achieve less HPS than a single CoH every 6 seconds. Also the smart targeting of this spell, means there is going to be a lot of overwriting if the druid tries to get it on as many ppl as possible. All in all this spell is also effectively on a timer.

I think people are understimating what it means to have 20% haste (which if things remain as they are now, will stack with haste from gear).

3sec cast --> 2.5sec

2.5 sec --> 2.08 sec cast

1.5 sec --> 1.25 sec cast

I expect holy priests to be running with 20% haste from gear so that would bring the cast times to extremely low values.

3sec --> 2.14 (This is a PoH)

2.5 sec --> 1.79 (This is a gheal)

1.5 sec --> 1.07 (This is a flash heal)

The new rank of gheal heals for about 4.2k base. This is an incredibly massive heal to have on a <2.0sec cast timer and that is saying nothing about 2.14 second PoHs.

All in all although we have less pure AoE healing, we are better raid healers than ever. Our remaining AoE healing receives a very hefty buff and the immense buff to our single target healing more than fills the gap.

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Also consider the fact that along with PWS, in WotLK the raid will have guardian angel, spirit link, divine aegis and grace.

If a boss has some RST ability on a long cast timer that does massive damage, you are going to find PS very handy indeed.

A lot of people are talking about the new druid spell, but one needs to remember that its a HoT, and hence not spammable. It will probably heal about as much as a single CoH over 7 seconds, with front loaded ticks. A druid can cast it more than once every 7 seconds, to achieve slightly higher HPS, but still I expect it would overall achieve less HPS than a single CoH every 6 seconds. Also the smart targeting of this spell, means there is going to be a lot of overwriting if the druid tries to get it on as many ppl as possible. All in all this spell is also effectively on a timer.

I think people are understimating what it means to have 20% haste (which if things remain as they are now, will stack with haste from gear).

3sec cast --> 2.5sec

2.5 sec --> 2.08 sec cast

1.5 sec --> 1.25 sec cast

I expect holy priests to be running with 20% haste from gear so that would bring the cast times to extremely low values.

3sec --> 2.14 (This is a PoH)

2.5 sec --> 1.79 (This is a gheal)

1.5 sec --> 1.07 (This is a flash heal)

The new rank of gheal heals for about 4.2k base. This is an incredibly massive heal to have on a <2.0sec cast timer and that is saying nothing about 2.14 second PoHs.

All in all although we have less pure AoE healing, we are better raid healers than ever. Our remaining AoE healing receives a very hefty buff and the immense buff to our single target healing more than fills the gap.

Well, Improved Holy Concentration can't be up 100% of the time. Assuming nonstop Gheal spam with the numbers above you'll get in 11 Gheals. The odds of it NOT proccing even once on those gheals is around 15%, so it will go down occasionally.

That said that is pretty dang immense that you can (nearly) keep it perma-up.

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Personally I think Disc is getting a pretty big buff, which is good because the tree's needed some attention for a long time now. It might not be buffed in the way some people would like, but it's definitely an improvement.

The nicest thing about the tree is that it has much more focus now, in that Disc will become the de-facto MT healing spec, due to Grace. Possible stacking issues aside, the simple fact of giving your tank 9% more healing taken and 9% damage reduction is massive. Rapture, Divine Aegis, and the buff to Enlightenment are all icing on the cake.

Yes, Disc is still a bit messy, the most noticeable thing being good places to put talent points to get past the tier with Power Infusion. But the tree has a much clearer focus now as a niche healing tree. It would seem Blizzard has pretty much given up on Holy DPS - yeah, there's Penance, but Smiters aren't really getting any raid utility, which is what keeps them sidelined now. If Rapture were changed to include Holy damage that might be a start, but that seems doubtful.

This is what's been most pleasing about the WotLK talents so far - better tree separation. Shadow is now self-sufficient on its own, in that it would seem that putting 14 points in Disc will be a thing of the past once WotLK hits. Therefore, 71-point Shadow builds will become common. And Disc is also more self-sufficient on its own, in that it's no longer the tree that healers go into simply for Meditation and Divine Spirit. It will be viable to go end-of-tree Disc for raid healing, something we haven't had in a long time. Sure, any Disc healing build will still have points in Holy (I would assume at least up through Imp Healing), but it's become a valid healing tree in its own right.

So that's what we're looking at for WotLK - one tree for all your DPS needs (shadow), one tree for all-around healing ability (holy), and one tree for tank healing (disc). I have no problem with having two healing trees - as a shadow priest (at least at the moment, maybe I'll go back to healing in WotLK) I'm glad that I will no longer have to spend points outside the Shadow tree. And it's also nice to be able to change up your healing style as the situation demands. Our versatility when it comes to healing will still be unmatched in WotLK - we got great buffs to our group/AoE healing in TBC through CoH and PoM, and now our tank healing ability will be hugely buffed. It's not like we're going to become Paladins and be relegated to spamming the tank all day - unlike Paladins, we will still have the option of changing specs and fulfilling a completely different healing role.

The one question for Disc is, how does Penance fit into the equation? Is it going to be a replacement for PW:S in that it will become an emergency spell, or will it become part of a rotation including Penance and GHeal? The idea of Penance for single-target healing is certainly interesting. The 10-second cooldown would seem to make it more of an "oh crap" type of spell. And for that it would seem to become the best tool we have - PW:S isn't really a heal per se, and has a 15-second cooldown; CoH with a 6-second CD would be useless for this, and a Disc priest won't have it anyway; PoM only heals after damage; and Renew takes too long between ticks. With Penance, we get a close-to-instant-cast spell since it's channeled, it ticks every second, and I'm assuming each tick will be able to crit (and hence proc Divine Aegis and Inspiration). That looks to me like the best spell we'll have for getting a low-hp tank back up.

So will it be saved for emergencies, or will it be used every CD? A heal ticking every second is great for evening out damage spikes, the problem is that with a 10-second CD, it won't solve the problem. I haven't really compared HPS/MPS to GHeal, but I guess that would be a main determinant to see how Penance would be used.

In the end, I'm happy. Holy got some nice all-around healing buffs, Disc is looking to be a very strong tank healing tree, and even shadow got some major improvements. About the only thing missing is Mind Flay getting fixed, but that's for another thread :P

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Penance is also remarkably bad. Just compare the numbers of penance to the new druid heal nourish. Nearly the same mana, nearly the same heal amount, and nourish can get upwards of 50+% to its healing with hots established and casts twice as fast. With full hots up nourish scales better as well. That's not even mentioning lifebloom stacks or the fact that penance has a 10 second cooldown (which is clearly there because of the damage aspect).

No one has seemed to refute your argument here so I'll go ahead.

Only 1 rank of Penance has been leaked and thats the first rank, the one that you have access to at level 60. Nourish is a level 80 spell. In addition Nourish is not a heal over time so like Healing Touch it cannot be used in tree form which means they would lose a lot of your raid utility and efficiency just to use it. Nourish appears to be either an OhShit Button in which they can drop tree and spam it on a tank while all 5 hots are up or it's used for pvp.

Penance doesn't seem like an ohShit button to me like some posters said. Sure it has a 10 sec cooldown but it's going to be up for 3 secs meaning it only has a 7 sec cooldown and unlike gheal you don't have to precast/cancelcast meaning you can have several seconds in which nothing really needs to be cast where you can work on keeping grace on all the tanks. Thats not to say you only really need to cast a heal once every 7 secs but holy priests will be in a very similar situation as disc priests since every 6 secs they will probably cast Circle of Healing.

Pros of Disc:

Cheap Dispels/mass dispels

Divine Spirit

PS, PI

Grace (large damage reduction and healing buff)

Divine Aegis (190% crits anyone?)

Rapture (Decent regen)

Penance

Access to Many of the things you don't need for raiding but want for solo/pvp

Pros of Holy

Angel Form! (even if trash goes wrong you probably won't wipe due to this)

Haste/Clearcasting

Larger heals

cheaper heals

CoH

Extra Hot/cheat death thing (emergency use PS replacement)

Lightwell (now that dots/aoes don't break it will help on many fights for raid healing; maybe)

There is no way Disc will keep up with holy for straight healing but won't fall too far behind in usefulness considering the extra utility.

If the double spec idea happens it won't really matter since a dedicated healer could switch between the 2 specs depending on what he is needed for

edit: They changed the discription of Tree of Life and they can now cast all healing spells so we are getting the shaft. Hopefully things will balance out towards the end of beta.

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There's not much point comparing holy and disc at the moment in my mind, because unless grace is changed, one disc priest will be mandatory (in 25s). You will never bring more than one, so all subsequent healing priests will be holy. In a raid that carries just one healing priest you can have a debate, but the debate just basically goes - if tank healing is crucial to this encounter be disc, and if tank healing is not crucial be holy.

Plus, several priest spells/talents are beyond overpowered at the moment (looking at you, imp. holy concentration and mark of divinity).

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Plus, several priest spells/talents are beyond overpowered at the moment (looking at you, imp. holy concentration and mark of divinity).

And you know that they are overpowered because you have carefully playtested them and compared them with all the other power increases of all the other classes, am I right? Did you play Alpha? My guess is that you didn't. So please, refrain from comments that have no factual basis whatsoever.

Sorry for the rant, it just irks me.

Here's what I like about the new Disc tree. For PvP healing I'll take Disc over Holy, by the current looks of it. Right now in top of the line PvP gear with a Disc build I'm a worse healer than a blue geared Holy Priest in any PvE setting. Yes, I've got a ton more HPs, but less healing output, less efficiency and less mana regeneration. It looks as if in WotLK I'll be able to do say heroic dungeons and 10-mans just fine in PvP gear with a Disc build, which is great. Sure the raw output will probably be less, but Grace appears to offset the loss of Spiritual and Empowered Healing, while Mental Strength and possibly Rapture will go some way to compensate for loss of clear casting.

So far I'm really quite happy with the outlook for Priests in WotLK, but one mustn't praise the day before the evening I guess.

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In addition Nourish is not a heal over time so like Healing Touch it cannot be used in tree form

I think that both Nourish and Flourish are intended to be usable in ToL form. Neither spell is in the current ToL description, but you need ToL to get Flourish. I believe I read that Nourish will be usable in ToL. I assume the theory is that since it relies on HoT's being present on the target, similar to swiftmend. Regardless your argument is sound.

Anyways back to disc...

Penance and persecution seem kind of counterintuitive since persecution can proc on the first hit, then gets broken by the next hit of penance.

I think they should move surge of light over to the disc tree, and make the smite not trigger the GCD (since it is mana free), or at least put it in the 1-4 tiers of holy. Then you could get a 51/20/0 or 54/17/0 build. It looks like they are trying to make disc priests supplemental healers, with the ability to add dps and buffs as well. This would make it so you could take all the +dmg talents between the two trees, except spiritual guidance. I'm basing this theory off force of will, the change to enlightenment, and the mechanics of penance all having damage aspects instead of just healing. Penance would also be great for procing surge of light with 3 chances to crit.

Based on what I've read and the talent leaks, I think disc priests would be ideal for offtank healing fights like High King etc. The -threat on PS doesn't matter when all the dps is on another target. I think they would also be nice as a third healer for a 10-man raid in the same sense that druids are nice offtanks for Kara/ZA. Some fights like Akil'zon, Prince, Curator, etc. it's nice to be able to shift roles. In the same sense it would be nice on less healing-intense fights, where you have to worry about an enrage timer, to have the healer be able to shift over to a dps role easily. Or on fights with a soft enrage, the disc priest can dsp until the extra healing is needed. I know at high end people just swap classes, but not everyone is willing to trade people out for the optimal class, and as other have said in fights with phase changes, you can't swap people mid fight.

Also, based on the info we've gotten about Blizzard wanting people to be able to switch roles more easily (Blizzard said they did not want DK's to get locked into one role), and the leak about the possibility of switching between two talent specs, I think that it's fair to make the assumption that Blizzard is trying to make Disc priests do both damage and supplemental healing. Similar to SP but with different mechanics. It seems like they want Holy to be the primary healing tree (as it should be or people will complain again), shadow is the primary damage tree, and disc is the middle ground with various buffs.

I think that based on the fact that everyone is getting an aoe damage spell, they are leaning to make more fights aoe oriented. So Disc priests would be great for healing the mage while they're aoeing, Divine aegis, reflective shield, grace, PoM, PS etc.

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