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Discipline Healing Compendium v3.1


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#41 Ceralyn

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:40 PM

Thank you for that information. As far as using PS on a Tank, would the 5% reduction in threat be an issue? I am not sure how the mechanics works with that.

Also I went Disp for the first time ever yesterday and I loved it. At level 71, with a 71 DK tank, and a few other under leveled member, we were able to complete a AN run with no wipes. None of us were even high enough to get the quests yet... I was VERY impressed with the spec.

I will continue to try and soak up as much information from you guys as possible :)!

Clukdoc, 72 Troll Disp. Priest
Windrunner


With most tanks the 5% threat isn't an issue. It's commonly referred to as a second shield wall by our warrior tanks. If there is ever a question of the tank taking too much damage or the tank possibly losing threat, it's easier to recover stray mobs than dead tanks, and usually this isn't a decision that has to be made anyway. By the point they will need the extra protection, typically the tank will have all the threat they need on the boss.

#42 Ellyh

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:06 PM

How much are people actually using flash heal in disc specs now? For Ulduar PvE healing I find that now that shields do not have an internal cooldown and coupled with the Pennance Glyph I have enough other buttons that I want to press that Flash Heal isn't particularly attractive for raid or tank healing.

When healing the raid I find that Shield on the critically low people followed up by the hasted ~1.7 second GH is far superior and results in less deaths than a small flash heal. For tank healing there are now only 2 GCD's between pennances and with renew, shields, hasted greater heals, PoM I can fill most of these GCD's. For those moments when there is nothing better availalbe and the tank need heals now I find the Binding Heal seems to be a better choice than flash for it's sightly higher average hit, Yes flash has a higher crit % at slighly over 50% raid buffed but I don't feel that 3 points in improved FH can be justified and the extra cost of binding isn't stressing my mana pool at this stage. I suspect that these days Improved Flash Heal may be more of a PvP talent than a PvE one. As a result I am leaning towards speccing like this with a point to buff renew which is still sometimes nice on the tank and desperate prayer for those oh shit personal moments like the slag pot.

#43 Xaphania

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:22 PM

How much are people actually using flash heal in disc specs now? For Ulduar PvE healing I find that now that shields do not have an internal cooldown and coupled with the Pennance Glyph I have enough other buttons that I want to press that Flash Heal isn't particularly attractive for raid or tank healing.

When healing the raid I find that Shield on the critically low people followed up by the hasted ~1.7 second GH is far superior and results in less deaths than a small flash heal. For tank healing there are now only 2 GCD's between pennances and with renew, shields, hasted greater heals, PoM I can fill most of these GCD's. For those moments when there is nothing better availalbe and the tank need heals now I find the Binding Heal seems to be a better choice than flash for it's sightly higher average hit, Yes flash has a higher crit % at slighly over 50% raid buffed but I don't feel that 3 points in improved FH can be justified and the extra cost of binding isn't stressing my mana pool at this stage. I suspect that these days Improved Flash Heal may be more of a PvP talent than a PvE one. As a result I am leaning towards speccing like this with a point to buff renew which is still sometimes nice on the tank and desperate prayer for those oh shit personal moments like the slag pot.


It seems to me that replacing FH with GH on random raid members is very likely to result in high overheal. Same thing for tank healing, except in scenarios where you know the throughput from GH is going to be necessary. As for using renew instead of Flash Heal...it can't crit and proc Divine Aegis, so why bother? I use renew in some situations (recent example: Mimiron phase 1, before plasma blast starts), but not as a staple tank healing tool.

As for using Binding instead of Flash... I just find it hard to believe that that could be sustainable. Binding costs double what Flash does, with the talent and glyph.

#44 Ellyh

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:31 PM

Maybe it's how we heal as a guild but when raid healing my job is to smooth out the big hits from the RSTS with shield and then bring someone low on health back to full with the resulting fast 1.7 sec GH before the another random burst of big damage. My overheal on GH is less than 50% in the parses I have seen and mana isn't an issue with appropriate gearing/fiend/consumables. Having people die is however an issue. Shield + GH is the most and fastest protection against follow up gibbing that any class can put out. A guarenteed 14k heals + buffer in 2.7 seconds and 1/2 of that arrives front loaded in case of rapid follow-up damage.

Also on the tank healing side I normally have a better button to push so only ~ 1/7 casts would be FH or BH at most. Again my mana lasts fine with appropriate protections. Maybe on longer fights I will have to re-evaluate but as of 4 bosses down it has not been a problem for me and my gear is a mishmash of Nax 10 and 25 man gear in no way close to full best in slot from T 7.5 content.

I find that if the tank is at full health and I have less than a second of cooldown on shield/pennance I can afford to wait for the cooldown rather than queue up a heal on the tank because of how fast the mitigation/heals arive after pressing the button when healing as disc. This is one of the big attractions of the spec, you don't have to wait 1.5 -2.5 seconds for a big gob of healing to arrive, it's there almost as soon as you press the button alowing a more reactive healing style when compared to holy.

If you are talking pre-empting damage a single tick of renew is going to nearly as strong as the aegis from a crit heal on flash and you potentially can get 5 of them from a single button press. Remember we are talking a situation where the tank is at good health here as on low health you would hit Binding Heal.

Edit Added further thoughts.

#45 moowalk

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:40 PM

I suspect that these days Improved Flash Heal may be more of a PvP talent than a PvE one


I came to the opposite conclusion. Priests aren't a healing class, as such, in arenas. We're a utility class that heals every 6.4 seconds and spends the rest of the time doing something more important. If you're standing still casting flash heals, you're doing something wrong, and you're going to go oom very quickly.

I'm not so sure about the PvE side of things though. I often find myself keeping penance in reserve for heavy hitting bosses and spam overhealing a tank with flash heal to proc DA and smooth out big hits. Of course mana isn't a big issue for PvE disc, and the secondary +crit effect doesn't come into play here, so I'm not sure if improved flash heal is warranted for this situation either.

#46 Hungtar

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:45 AM

With most tanks the 5% threat isn't an issue. It's commonly referred to as a second shield wall by our warrior tanks. If there is ever a question of the tank taking too much damage or the tank possibly losing threat, it's easier to recover stray mobs than dead tanks, and usually this isn't a decision that has to be made anyway. By the point they will need the extra protection, typically the tank will have all the threat they need on the boss.


Threat can be an issue, especially on fight where DPS get large throughput buffs (e.g. runes in the Iron Council encounter or npc buffs in the Hodir fight). And DPS don't really appreciate it, if they get killed because they pull agro because of PS (neither will your tank). Take a quick look at your threat meter before putting PS on your tank.

#47 Promethia

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:01 AM

Thank you for that information. As far as using PS on a Tank, would the 5% reduction in threat be an issue? I am not sure how the mechanics works with that.


I have actually never, ever seen the tank lose aggro from PS. Of course, that may be because I never do it early (before the tank has established aggro). I used to worry about that and check omen before casting it, but I don't even check any more. The threat reduction seems to be more of a theoretical concern, and while there may be cases where that threat drop could matter, there definitely aren't many in practice.

The thing about the threat reduction is that it's only 5%, which is almost never enough to switch aggro. That has a bad side since if a DPS pulls aggro, PS will not likely reverse that. Without an iceblock, feign death, or something, that DPS is often going to die with or without PS, so it can be a waste to use it there.

The bigger risk with PS is that you won't use it as often as you probably should. In addition to the "OMG, the tank is going to die" moments, it is good to consider with:
  • some stacking debuffs
  • healing debuffs (reducing damage is a great answer to an inability to heal)
  • healers picking up add spawns
Obviously if you can dispell a debuff, that's better, but you have to get into the habit of thinking about using pain suppression or you won't use it.

How much are people actually using flash heal in disc specs now? For Ulduar PvE healing I find that now that shields do not have an internal cooldown and coupled with the Pennance Glyph I have enough other buttons that I want to press that Flash Heal isn't particularly attractive for raid or tank healing.


That's a great question. It's still early, and I think flash heal will continue to be useful, but I already find that shield is filling a bit of the niche that flash heal used to fill in addition to increasing the availability of a borrowed time hastened greater heal. So I do think there will be more shields and less flash heals compared to before. There may also be a side effect of more greater heal usage in some cases, although with penance glyphed, I suspect greater heal will only be needed when we really need to crank out some HPS. In other cases, penance on CD will suffice.

Nevertheless, you're sort of suggesting a flash heal for renew trade, and I don't really like that tradeoff. Flash heal is still a very quick and cheap heal, and you need the right kind of healing environment for renew to be very useful. I almost always run with a druid (even on 10 mans), so my bringing renew doesn't add a whole lot to what we already have in raid, while flash heal does help. But others might be in different circumstances where renew might make more sense.

#48 dfscott

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:14 AM

Threat can be an issue, especially on fight where DPS get large throughput buffs (e.g. runes in the Iron Council encounter or npc buffs in the Hodir fight). And DPS don't really appreciate it, if they get killed because they pull agro because of PS (neither will your tank). Take a quick look at your threat meter before putting PS on your tank.


Frankly if it's a choice between dps dying and the tank dying, I'll sacrifice the dps without a second thought. Most of them have their own aggro dumps anyway. If not, well, a dead tank can wipe a raid, a dead dps rarely will.

That's a great question. It's still early, and I think flash heal will continue to be useful, but I already find that shield is filling a bit of the niche that flash heal used to fill in addition to increasing the availability of a borrowed time hastened greater heal. So I do think there will be more shields and less flash heals compared to before. There may also be a side effect of more greater heal usage in some cases, although with penance glyphed, I suspect greater heal will only be needed when we really need to crank out some HPS. In other cases, penance on CD will suffice.


I tend to agree. In last night's heroic Naxx, I combat cast about 2500 times (boss and trash fights). Almost half of those (1184) were PW:S. For comparison, Penance was a distant second (535), followed by PoM (266) and finally FH (74).

#49 Draetor24

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:47 AM

Can someone explain to me why MP5 is better than Spirit for Disc now? With Meditation at 50%, Enlightenment adding 6% to total Spirit, and BoK scaling with Spirit, wouldn't Spirit add more to MP5 directly, and still help with OOC regen (even though it's been nerfed)?

#50 Hungtar

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 02:19 AM

I tend to agree. In last night's heroic Naxx, I combat cast about 2500 times (boss and trash fights). Almost half of those (1184) were PW:S. For comparison, Penance was a distant second (535), followed by PoM (266) and finally FH (74).


What makes Power Word: Shield so absurdly good is the combination of if having no cooldown and predictable AoE damage (or even raid-wide damage). Plus you can use it while moving. But i'm a little suspicious about the distribution of spells you used. Almost half of the time you were casting PW:S? I would think a good amount of those shields were wasted.

p.s.: A (not so) recent blue post (MMO-Champion BlueTracker - Spammable PW:S (the new COH?)) hints that it might deserve a nerf (although the reason in the blue post is really backwards, of well ..).

#51 Ellyh

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 06:59 AM

To further look at the whole "Is Flash Heal a major spell" question I have dug up my numbers from some kills in Ulduar. According to WoW meter online which attempts to track the effectiveness of shields I got the following numbers.

On Razorscale I spent most of the fight chasing the massive RNG damage trying to prevent the back to back gibbs that can occur. Overall overhealing is off the chart ~75% for all my abilities because of the spiky nature of the damage but importantly no-one died.

  • Pennance, 26% of effective healing, 34 casts
  • Greater heal, 25% of effective healing 55 casts
  • PoM, 16% of effective healing, 22 bounces
  • Glyph of PWS, 14% of effective healing, 62 casts
  • PWS, 12% of effective healing, 62 casts
  • Divine Aegis, 4.7% of effective healing, 49 hits

Given the massive amount of overheal my GH had (80%) I could might have used flash to save mana, but mana wasn't tight despite 3 harpoon series before grounding him permanently and 3-4 times the extra healing the GH delivered saved a mage or priest from back to back frostfirebolts or similar. I didn't cast FH once during the whole fight (or renew for that matter)


On Ignis I was tank healing and got the following breakdown.

  • PoM, 42% of effective healing, 114 bounces
  • Binding heal, 20% of effective healing, 27 casts
  • PWS, 10% of effective healing, 30 casts
  • Divine Aegis, 6.5% of effective healing, 86 hits
  • Renew, 5.5% of effective healing, 37 ticks.
  • Greater heal, 2.7% of effective healing, 20 casts
  • Glyph of PWS, 1% of effective healing, 27 casts
  • Flash heal, 0.5% of effective healing, 3 casts.

Again GH overhealed like a monster but got in some key bomb heals when the tank got spiked. Interestingly renew is nearly as much effective healing as Divine Aegis despite being on a bad keybind and probably only up for 1/2 the time it should have been. PoM rules supreme here because of all the ongoing raid damage from flame spikes, likewise Binding Heal rocks for the same reason. As you can see, pressing the FH button was right at the bottom of my priority list and mana was fine.


Finally on XT-002 I was on bomb chasing and tantrum shielding duty which seems to be tailor made for Disc priests. overhealing was about 45% overall.
  • PWS, 35%, 92 casts
  • PoM, 20%, 35 bounces
  • Penance, 17%, 14 casts
  • Glyph of PwS, 16%, 92 casts
  • Greater Healing, 7%, 7 casts
  • Divine Aegis, 2%, 28 hits
  • Desperate prayer, 2% 2 casts.

Again we see that at no time did I feel it was appropriate to cast flash heal and as others have suggested PWS rules on this fight. Again the extra power of GH over flash heal managed some low health saves.

Overall what I am seeing is that for raid healing the real value is in fast reacting abilities such as penance and PWS and flash and renew are left to fall by the wayside. When tank healing (at least on Ignis) renew was competitive with Aegis and would have been higher if I had kept it up better. In fact for all of these fights I am surprised how little effective healing Divine Aegis is contributing, especially only being 6.5% while tank healing though this may be bigger on a less PoM friendly fight.

Overall It seems that putting talents and glyphs into Flash or Renew will be a personal thing as I just didn't have that many opportunities to cast either of them. Maybe things are different on trash but honestly trash is not worth specing for. In a generic disc spec I would definately favour renew over FH as at least I hit my renew button. If mana becomes an issue I think that points in improved healing would clearly be the way to go, over improved flash heal at least for me.

P.S if anyone can point me in the direction of how to format the tabular data better I would be very appreciative

#52 twinight

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:42 AM

Our guild has a very solid set of raid healers, the shaman are fast and the druids are typically quite on the ball. I'm parked on the tank almost exclusively, with the only notable exception I can think of being Razorscale.

Ideally I want us to get a holy paladin that actually shows up for FoL spam so I can deal with spikes, but in the interim I make due with flash heal and use it a _ton_ for that purpose. I used greater heal more initially, as more raid members were still unfamiliar with the fights and weren't reacting in time fast enough, so I was pitching BT'd greater heals to spot heal while attempting my other jobs.

Now that it has settled down, I "raid heal" exclusively with PWS. I typically remain focused on the tank, waiting for burst damage (penance), touching with flash, and shielding anybody in range that takes a mean hit. I can always rely on the shamans and druids to have heals in the air in moments, typically before my GCD is up they already have heals in the air.

I'd say it depends greatly on how your other healers work -- I've been discipline for so long I think it is just expected for shields to pop up on wounded targets and nobody really thinks about it any more. Our other priests very very rarely even cast shields themselves any more, except in situations of intense personal danger.

#53 Elimbras

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:36 PM

When I'm tank healing, I often find it safer to spamm FH, use PW:S on Weakened Soul debuff, and use Penance to react to spike damage. If my FH spamm is enough hps, that's fine for me to use it and have a lower hps, but being able to react when I need a lot more hps.

#54 Guest_adso1_*

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:22 PM

Something seems to be missing in the discussion on this thread...

My breakdown for a recent XT-002 run:

  • Prayer of Healing: 40% effective healing
  • Penance: 23%
  • Prayer of Mending: 9%
  • Divine Hymn: 8%
  • Flash Heal 7%
  • Glyph of PW:S 6%
  • Glyph of PoH 4%

In heavy raid damage situations, my "rotation" has been PW:S -> Penance -> Hasted PoH. The ability to do this every 6.4 seconds means that Disc has a strong raid healing capability. PoH is not just a tool for Holy. In fights with less raid damage, PoH has a smaller share, but usually larger than Flash Heal. I've cut Divine Fury from my build. In Uld25 through Mimiron, the only time I've cast any GH were when healing the Steelbreaker tank. I find 2/2 Holy Focus and 3/5 Spell Warding to be of more value. So far, even with very heavy PoH usage, mana has not been problem. In Naxx25 gear, I've needed pots+sf+Divine Hymn a few times, but have never yet hard OOM'd in Uld25.

#55 Bottles

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 10:31 PM

Tried Ulduar on 25-man with my guild and this week, we have 11 bosses down so far. I still stick to my earlier thoughts about disc being a great MT healer. Before 3.1, disc was as good as a holy paladin but the only thing holding them back was the rage/mana starvation from shields. Now that DA stacks and shields can actually refund rage and mana, disc is significantly superior than a holy paladin. Up to 10k extra hp pool, the highest hps spell in game atm, +another 6-8k hp pool = win. Also, I have no problems throwing out shields and POH on the raid in between healing my tank. On fights where there's predictible aoe damage, with absorbs factored in, I'm actually topping the healing meters :P at times, I'm even miles ahead of the guy below me.

But I've found that a disc+druid or paladin+druid combo on the tank is much better than disc+paladin. Since both have high burst, one of them just makes the other one overheal, and a druid's hots covers up what both those classes are missing, which is over time heals.

#56 Freethinker0

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:13 PM

But I've found that a disc+druid or paladin+druid combo on the tank is much better than disc+paladin. Since both have high burst, one of them just makes the other one overheal, and a druid's hots covers up what both those classes are missing, which is over time heals.


I gotta say I agree with this. I expected to go into Ulduar as a tank healer, but I think my real value is spamming PW:shield. Sometimes I can get 4 whole groups bubbled in anticipation of AOE damage. I chase that with a PoH or two and AOE suddenly doesn't seem so bad. I thought that mana issues would be overwhelming in 3.1, so I gemmed entirely for int, and I now find that I don't even have to shadowfiend for a lot of encounters, even when chain casting the entire fight.

We typically have a druid and a paladin on the MT, and add a third (usually disc) if it is really needed. It feels like the best fit for us so far.

#57 Bottles

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:53 AM

The Legendary for healers was uploaded to the armory today: Legendary Mace - Val'anyr and Algalon rewards stats discovered!

Am I the only one who thinks that aside from the static stats, it's lackluster for disc priests? Right now, the majority of my heals is from some form of shield. According to recount, about 40-70% of my heals on fights is either through DA or PWS, which means the proc is almost useless to us, since it only procs from healing :(

#58 Observer

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 06:11 AM

Does Power Word: Shield feel too strong now? I was under the impression that Soul Warding was basically a stand-in for Power Word: Barrier, but now it seems like it's become a monster in its own right. It seems like discipline's PW:S is almost the new CoH: you COULD cast other spells... but why?

I think it's great that the discipline tree finally has a very distinct and worthwhile reason to exist, I just feel like PW:S is too much of a one-button wonder based on what I'm reading here, and it's going to be painful if our newly-found identity gets ripped away.

#59 Ellyh

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 06:28 AM

PWS cannot be abused the way CoH was. There are still significant limitations to the spell. Most notably you cannot cast it on any one person more than once every 15 seconds this is a BIG difference. It's not infinitely spammable. In a 10 man you Cannot spend more than 2/3 of your time casting this spell no matter how much you want to. 10 x 1 sec GCD and then then wait 5 secs for the Weakened Soul to wear off.

Also it is not a heal per say so unless they take damage in the next 30 secs it is wasted. Currently a lot of the Ulduar mechanics of predictable spike favour it but true random damage makes it less desirable. Also you can only have one disc priest in a raid realistically as they don't play nice together. They may decide to make it more expensive probably by messing with the mana return on popping again but as a concept not having a cooldown doesn't seem to be broken per say.

#60 Promethia

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:20 AM

p.s.: A (not so) recent blue post (MMO-Champion BlueTracker - Spammable PW:S (the new COH?)) hints that it might deserve a nerf (although the reason in the blue post is really backwards, of well ..).


Yeah, that blue post got a "what??" from me as well. Thinking that mana limits the over-use of PW:Shield is very backwards given the new rapture mechanic. One of the reasons I do not like the new rapture mechanic is that it pushes you to use PW:Shield precisely because it is cheap. I prefer the old rapture mechanic much more and wish they had just nerfed it down rather than entirely throwing it out.

Does Power Word: Shield feel too strong now? I was under the impression that Soul Warding was basically a stand-in for Power Word: Barrier, but now it seems like it's become a monster in its own right. It seems like discipline's PW:S is almost the new CoH: you COULD cast other spells... but why?


I don't think it is too strong. Shields are not that big and the weakened sould cooldown assures you get at most one of them per target every 15 seconds. If shield is all you did, that wouldn't be very much.




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