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Discipline and Holy WotLK Talent Preview and discussion.


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#21 Vihermaali

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 11:59 AM

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.

#22 Kortar

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:54 PM

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.

#23 Incoherence

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 05:59 PM

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.

#24 Anedris

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:49 PM

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.

#25 Ellyh

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 08:16 PM

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.

#26 Incoherence

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 12:50 AM

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.

#27 Kopalec

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:44 AM

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.

#28 Anedris

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:09 AM

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.

#29 Tunza

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:13 AM

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.

#30 Anedris

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:35 AM

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.

#31 PSGarak

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:46 AM

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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#32 Chul

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:28 AM

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

#33 Anedris

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:35 AM

Arcane missiles has a 5 second channel time. Penance has a 3 second channel time.

#34 Slyness

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 06:12 AM

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.

#35 Slyness

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 06:16 AM

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.

#36 Ellyh

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 07:29 AM

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.

#37 Tainter

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:38 AM

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?

#38 Tainter

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:42 AM

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.

#39 Chicken

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:14 AM

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.

#40 Havoc12

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 11:10 AM

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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