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Cataclysm Priest Changes


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#21 VRoscioli

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 03:53 PM

If I'm reading the priest and warlock changes correctly, it doesn't really require exceptional timing. Two consecutive casts should just give you a double length renew. If that's the case, you just need to make sure you spend some GCDs refreshing renew while making sure you're not extending it far past the end of the fight, or spending GCDs you can't afford.


I don't think this is accurate. The intent seems to be similar to the mechanic of refreshing SW: Pain with Mind Flay, in that it will reset the DoT's remaining duration to maximum, but will not affect the time-to-next-tick.

One of the advantages of not being a developer is that I have no knowledge of any "proper" way to do anything. That and C is liking coding in an illustrated version of assembler.


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#22 Ravenmyst

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 03:58 PM

Right now everything is speculation. Because priests already have a large number of healing tools I didn't expect to see the "WOW new healing spell" and I did expect PW:Barrier to finally maybe make a real appearance. Things could go very well for us.

The "Chakra" talent has lots of potential though I don't like it being a Holy only talent. I would like to see that be available from the tree's for both Disc/Holy. If Holy can "Chakra" to tank healing and be effective (effective being = competitve) with Paladin/Disc on tank healing then it could make Holy too strong and the capable of every situation spec.

Evertyhing will come down to how they tweak the numbers of the spells so not much to dig into yet. It is exciting to see what comes.


I agree to some level on the Chakra thing. It sounds like a potentially awesome and fun ability, but it also sounds like it could either go OP, or just plain make healing as a holy priest a pain in the arse. Having roles in a raid is a useful thing, Holy is for raid heals, I'm okay with that.. but if people suddenly expect holy to do everything at once that could get really annoying and make other healers upset too.

I like the ability and the idea, overall I hope it stays because it sounds interesting, but if its not strong enough then it will be pretty useless as far as role changing goes, and is if is strong enough then maybe it does and maybe it doesn't make holy too strong.. hard to say. With the awesome changes disc is getting it might just be enough to help holy keep up with disc in general and not outshine it at all. Holy has a pretty sketch Mastery currently where Discs seems to plug right in to the spec.

#23 KraxisSingular

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:25 PM

Holy has a pretty sketch Mastery currently where Discs seems to plug right in to the spec.


At the current time that would be true, though similar abilities exist already without being too weak for the investment. Like the Shaman T10-4. It all depends on the value of the HoT.
But you already have to remember that Blizzard want a return to situations where not everyone is at 100% all the time or are dead (or on the way to get a massive heal). In a situation where the one you just healed is at 80% and you can afford to not heal that one further right now, then it is going to be very valuable. And on a tank it is also going ot be interesting since it should stack with itself and not clicp ticks. Especially if the healers are not afraid to use their efficient heal after a tank take a hit at 70%. In that situation the HoT is free healing that isn't wasted. That's what they want to happen...

#24 TheDoctor

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:34 PM

At the current time that would be true, though similar abilities exist already without being too weak for the investment. Like the Shaman T10-4. It all depends on the value of the HoT.
But you already have to remember that Blizzard want a return to situations where not everyone is at 100% all the time or are dead (or on the way to get a massive heal). In a situation where the one you just healed is at 80% and you can afford to not heal that one further right now, then it is going to be very valuable. And on a tank it is also going ot be interesting since it should stack with itself and not clicp ticks. Especially if the healers are not afraid to use their efficient heal after a tank take a hit at 70%. In that situation the HoT is free healing that isn't wasted. That's what they want to happen...


I definitely agree that it can be valuable. The only problem I see is how long it will take to convince healers that are used to casting a heal on anyone <100%, to let the HoTs do the work of topping up. This will be incredibly important if mana is really made to be a concern so you can't possibly continuously heal and OH becomes a concern.

To the same note PW:Shield spam can be controlled with higher health pools and less of a <100% equals immediate death situation. Right now PW:Shield spam is so attractive because it is a 8k+ health pool bonus that drastically improves survivability in a lot of potential insta-gib situations.

#25 KraxisSingular

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 05:34 PM

I definitely agree that it can be valuable. The only problem I see is how long it will take to convince healers that are used to casting a heal on anyone <100%, to let the HoTs do the work of topping up. This will be incredibly important if mana is really made to be a concern so you can't possibly continuously heal and OH becomes a concern.

I'm sure it will look poor initially on the PTR servers due to everyone having awesome gear and being used to spamming like there is no tomorrow. That alone can actually be an issue if we look back at other abilities/DPS that were balanced to the new content and other gear situations (Paladins in 3.0 comes to mind). But that is another discussion.
If it is remains stable through the beta and leveling period, it shouldn't take all that long before healers in general will learn the new ropes of the game. Provided Blizzard stands firm in face of the inevitable whining (we all know some can't adapt well).

#26 Richelieu

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 06:18 PM

Heal (available at level 16): While priests already have a spell called Heal, the existing version becomes obsolete at higher levels, which is something we intend to change in Cataclysm. Introduced at a low level, the "new" Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use. Heal is intended to be the priest's go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal).


As a healer this is the part that excites me the most, combined with the removal of Divine Spirit, taking Kings etc. out of the Spirit equation, and the nerfing of Replenishment. While they've telegraphed this before, it's further confirmation that they really do mean to return healing more to the vanilla-WoW style -- where good healing required not just quick reflexes, but also constant mindfulness of mana efficiency, cooperation with other healers in not overlapping, and avoidance of overhealing. If they really can pull off making mana management crucial again it will change the game of healing far more than any of the particular new spells or talents they've announced.

All the other parts of the announcement related to healing should be interpreted/envisioned in the context of a game where mana matters, AOE heals are mana-hogs relative to Heal and GH, and stamina pools are much larger than today relative to boss hits. For example, in such a context, Radiance probably becomes very attractive. The concept of casting three straight PoHs to get a subsequent AOE boost also becomes thinkable. Today a triple PoH would just result in 90% overheal; in Cat the triple PoH may do massive effective healing if timed right to recover from a periodic AOE damage burst, but with a huge mana cost ensuring that it must be done selectively to avoid going OOM. Etc., etc. Once mana re-enters the picture, and boss insta-gibs are less common, the healing game will hopefully become much richer and more enjoyable than it has been in WotLK.

#27 spathos

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 07:12 PM

While they've telegraphed this before, it's further confirmation that they really do mean to return healing more to the vanilla-WoW style -- where good healing required not just quick reflexes, but also constant mindfulness of mana efficiency, cooperation with other healers in not overlapping, and avoidance of overhealing.


The current style of play is something that burned me out on healing for a good chunk of this expansion. The twitchy, 100% to 0% in 3s type of fights are exciting, but it gets to the point where there is almost no fun factor involved as you don't see anything but the healing grid until a fight is on farm.

It's to the point where you can't even use certain abilities (like greater heal or divine hymn) without giving people a heads up because if you stand still and channel or wait 2.5s to cast a heal then people start dying. I think a return to the mana regen mini-game is a small price to pay for being able to look at the ground without worrying about whether someone is going to die in the 2s you are looking away from the healing UI. So in a way, I'm looking forward to being able to use some of my current abilities as well in the expac.

As far as the new healing abilities go, I think if they set this up so that both holy and discipline can use the "chakra" buff, what should happen is that holy can be a decent tank healer in a stress situation, unlike now where flash is too weak and greater is too slow, and discipline will be a full time tank and able to help with the raid heals in a stress situation. I'm not that enthused about the "repeat three times" method of turning the ability on, but if holy nova is something that procs the AoE buff, then it shouldn't be that annoying.

Leap of Faith sounds fun, but it's hard to say whether it would be useful in a raid. They can't make it too useful or they get to where it is required to have X number of priests. I still wish they would fix lightwell or remove it, though it's kind of silly to be obsessed over one spell. Maybe have it be like a lightbomb where you just drop it into a zone and it does an AoE type heal repeatedly until it runs out of charges. Anything is more fun than this "bandage-well" ability.

One other thing I forgot to add is that the five extra talent points could open up soul warding as a hybrid holy spec. Which, while less effective than disc, could add "raid-bubbling" to Holy's toolkit. Something I'm looking forward to playing around with anyway.

#28 Ellyh

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:15 PM

Of all the new abilities mentioned here most are fairly self explanatory/blatantly obvious or were signaled back at the last blizz con. This is probably why so many priest comentators have been feeling a little let down by the changes as announced. However I do expect a lot of further small changes from tallents and they havn't forgotten Lolwell.

]A few points of clarification:


* We've seen some confusion about Mind Spike. The intention is that you can’t always get your full DoTs up on a target in time before it’s dead. Shadow priests sometimes aren’t sure what to do on, for example, a fight where a boss suddenly spawns an add that you’re supposed to quickly burn down and then go back to the main boss. Mind Spike is what you do to that add. As a rule of thumb, if it’s going to die in under 15 seconds, then go with Mind Spike. Otherwise get your DoTs up and go into your longer rotation.

* The movement speed from Inner Will stacks with the boot speed bonus. It won’t stack with some movement buffs like say Body and Soul.

* We know a lot of people are looking for answers about Lightwell. We're reviewing the talent and spell functionality, but do not have any details to share as of yet regarding its future.

Of all the new abilites Chakra and life grip are the most supprising but I expect them to find that balancing them is going to be exceedingly tricky and to be honest I think the chance of them going live without some significant tweaking is pretty much nill. Chakra as previously mentioned has the potential to be very very clunky and hard to manage at 3 consecutive casts to activate, especially for AoE healing when previously in tank healing or hotting modes.

As for lifegrip I think that despite how awesome it sounds it is simultaneously too powerful (especially for griefing) and to limiting to make a good lvel 85 talent as it currently stands. I fully expect it to have a party/raid targeting limit as a bare minimum. It also has potential to be just flat out game breaking for PvP. Imagine you are defending your flag in Warsong and someone grabs it and is almost instantly dragged up to an upper level by his priest ally, this basically makes the flag undefendable against a competant duo. I am sure there will be other instances of creatinve use of this ability which are not exploits of terrain/mapping that will require a slew of restrictions such as flag carrier drops the flag etc to prevent such effects. Also I expect that many many players will have major issues with thier party mates picking them up against thier will and disrupting thier play style be they fire standing noobs or top level pro's. In raiding I can see this ability again being badly abused to avoid boss megasmash abilities by simply life griping the tank away from the blow/breath attack/hyper-mega smash just before it lands and in the past blizzard has tended to look askance at such actions.

#29 Callin

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:55 PM

Inner Fire is for bringing up your spellpower. Inner Will is for reducing your mana use. Use Inner Will when you are having mana issues (which they keep warning us will be bad). Use Inner Fire when you are fine with mana. I suspect the mana cost will prohibit frequent swaps though.

Life Grip in pvp won't be too bad. Instead of killing the priest because he keeps healing the flag carrier, kill him because he keeps moving the flag carrier out of your reach. In the end its the same effect.

One thing my fellow priests are planning on doing with Life Grip is set up our Lightwell and Life Gripping people to the Lightwell to make them use it!

#30 Caliste

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:17 PM

I have to admit I'm a little afraid of the implications Leap of Faith might bring. I think it sounds like a neat (highly situational) ability. But one comment I had from a guildie today has me slightly worried. I was told "great...now you can be responsible for pulling *insert situational awareness-inept dps here* out of the fire and we don't have to worry about them anymore!" Of course it was a joke but I don't want my much-anticipated lvl 85 ability to brand me the "raid babysitter."

I'm going to put my faith in Blizz for now that they have considered this possibility. I do think Leap of Faith has a lot of potential in progression fights, however.

I'm looking forward to more information about Radiance. I'm wondering if the changes will be powerful enough to move us away from a renew-centric healing strategy. Definitely something promising, even though the possibility of haste plateaus does feel cumbersome.

#31 KraxisSingular

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:30 PM

I have to admit I'm a little afraid of the implications Leap of Faith might bring. I think it sounds like a neat (highly situational) ability. But one comment I had from a guildie today has me slightly worried. I was told "great...now you can be responsible for pulling *insert situational awareness-inept dps here* out of the fire and we don't have to worry about them anymore!" Of course it was a joke but I don't want my much-anticipated lvl 85 ability to brand me the "raid babysitter."

Your fear is not surprising, but really, nobody will want to get gripped out, it is a huge pointing finger that says "you failed and I managed to not only see it but also do something about it". Other lifesavers like HoP are far from as visible to others.
Never underesitmate the pride people have, even if there is nothing to have it in.

#32 Kashir

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:47 AM

In regards to Life Grip, since there seems to be quite a bit of crying about it, couldn't they just make it so that you can't be Life Gripped by someone if they are on your ignore list? I am not sure if that is possible with the coding, but it would be a good way to prevent griefing.

It's hard to imagine that they'd allow it to be usable on non-party members. There's plenty of precedence for spells of this type.

If you're in a party / battleground with someone, there's already plenty of ways to grief (surely everyone has experienced a fun "Oops, did I just DI the tank?" moment in their raids). LG is just a little more amusing than most.

#33 saphiramoon

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:09 AM

About the chakra system, altho seems interesting (generally the holy changes make me personally curious), I'm worried it will work somehow like grace for disc priests works now : so after "charging" your awesome form with 3 painful pohs, somebody is in danger of dying and u have to cast 1-2-3 single target spells before needing to cast another aoe spell.
The mechanic seems a bit clunky to me because I cant see situations in which u would cast 2xpoh+1 coh lets say, and the raid actually needs more aoe healing after. You just charged something thats no longer needed?
I only see it useful for single target healing - since priests have been complaining for a while about loosing their versatility and single target capability. This mechanic will push a holy priest in maybe a decent single target healer for a certain portion of the fight - either heavy tank dmg or random spiky dmg, but I dont see alot of benefits for the raid-healing abilities.
Holy priests are already good raidhealers, but they aren't raidhealers by aoe heals alot (coh has a cd, poh not very used), rather by hots atm. Adding hots to hots will not work, therefor the radiance seems again to try force-fix priest direct heals. Introducing Heal seems a way to fix the preference of holy priests for renew vs flash (which is kept as an emergency heal) and hopefully fix some things for disc heals (forced to use flash-emergency heal as a filler).

I'm quite excited about the replenishment toning down, atm it causes gear recklesness and whack-the-mole-with-your-biggest-hammer situations. In the light of some mana issues inc, I see inner will (mana-wise seems to come from the 5 point mental agility) as giving some flexibility with gear choices and the freedom to adapt to fights that req longevity or throughput.

The life grip seems like a fun skill, I'm not worried about "having to" save stoners from fires more than I am worried atm with putting GS on em. I dont think any sane RL will encourage standing in fire because of this skill. It gives the priest class some mobility skill together with inner will, which they lack (body and soul deep in holy tree, short duration, clashing with disc shields). All other classes have abilities to move faster/change position/root the enemy to gain distance for themselves or a friend.

#34 Frmercury

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:00 PM

Mind Spike aka MSK

My thoughts regarding Mind Spike are thus:

1) This really needs to be our core filler spell, not Mind Flay. Unless they do some serious recoding of how channeled spells function, and they separate the damage from the snare then Mind Flay will remain a burden for all Shadow Priests that play with higher and variable latency. It's not fun knowing that your class suffers significantly more than other similar classes purely because of a technical issue and not due to other balancing concerns.

2) If Mind Spike was to be made the main filler spell then it's quite probable that the specified 1.5 second cast time would be too short. Much like Wrath for a Moonkin it would seem probable that at some point our main filler spell would become haste capped. What's more the sheer number of actions per second would seem to be heading in the direction that Maul and Heroic Strike etc. are now. Maybe a 2.0 second cast time would be more appropriate if it was to become our filler.


I don't think I could more wholeheartedly agree with you on all those points. Mind Spike seems to be more of a PvP geared talent than does for PvE. They suggest we'll use it primarily for burning adds down, when it's really not needed. As far as we're concerned the single target add model is either: VT (maybe SW:P) then move on or VT / SW:P / MF and our DPS made little difference anyhow. Will it make our add burning DPS better? Yes. Will having it in its current design make any real difference in PvE? Probably not.

The much larger issue is as Althor outlined, this simply isn't satisfactory to truly bring us in line with other DPS.


Shadow Orbs

I am cautiously happy about this ability as well. Happy because I'm sure it will be aesthetically pleasing first off. Secondly it has the potential to give us an actual DPS cooldown. SO ~ MS for instance would be an amazing combo for something like H Anub or LK P3. As every other DPS class has some kind of cooldown its only right (and about damn time) they gave us one as well.

What I'm cautious about is how we gain them and with what frequency. Depending on how refresh mechanics will work for P&S and in general DPS philosophy I don't think we need this to be SW v2. The ramp up time should either be very brief or more significant so we don't feel like we have to wait for another ability to stack up before we can 'open up' our DPS cycle.

#35 Torgan

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:24 PM

It's hard to imagine that they'd allow it to be usable on non-party members. There's plenty of precedence for spells of this type.

If you're in a party / battleground with someone, there's already plenty of ways to grief (surely everyone has experienced a fun "Oops, did I just DI the tank?" moment in their raids). LG is just a little more amusing than most.


I don't think anyone else has pointed it out in this thread yet but the description of life grip in the blue post does say party or raid members, so that's one way it can't be abused. Even with that it does seem to have so many ways to abuse it I'm not sure it will go live. Pulling people through bonestorming Marrowgar, over the edge when your Lich King valkyr isn't killed in time (i'm not going alone!), random messing about in pugs just because you can...

Radiance seems a nice mastery though, not game breaking but a nice wee top up for raid healing.

#36 Nakari

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:04 PM

Even with that it does seem to have so many ways to abuse it I'm not sure it will go live. Pulling people through bonestorming Marrowgar, over the edge when your Lich King valkyr isn't killed in time (i'm not going alone!), random messing about in pugs just because you can...


The same was said about Misdirection and Tricks of the Trade, and they are in the game nonetheless. We have Hand of Protection and Divine Intervention since Vanilla, which both have considerable griefing potential. Hell, even Path of Frost can be (ab)used to kill people (the fall into the water before Anub'arak). The point is, players will somteimes use these abilities to have abit of fun on farm raids, but when it actually matters, they will use them in the best interest of the raid, so basing the usefulness of an ability on it's "griefing potential" seems like a strange way to look at it for me.

#37 tedv

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:21 PM

You can grief people much more than that. If your raid has free for all loot, you can ninja everything and hearth. Or you can roll need on things you don't need, then disenchant them.

Seriously, the griefing potential of Lifegrip is completely overrated. If you do things to be a jerk, people will stop grouping with you, and possibly kick you out of the guild. Just like any other potentially griefable ability. It's humans that stop humans from being jerks, not UI coding.

That said, I'm very much looking forward to lifegripping bad players who stand in fire.

#38 Belteshazzar

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 02:58 PM

The thing I find the most interesting is the players' response to Inner Will. Some have been declaring it beyond useless; that they'll be using it to run back and buff, then switch to the real Inner buff. I tentatively disagree, though it depends on how much instant casting we'll be doing.

Assuming that the average fight requires frequent or on-cooldown PoM and CoH and a fair amount of Renew use, I suspect IW will be the go-to Inner buff, since there will be so much more of an emphasis on mana management. We can make up the lost SP in gemming and enchanting for throughput, but I think it's most valuable for the run speed. It frees us up to use better feet enchants, or if the movement proves that vital, still use a movement speed foot enchant for the stacking.

As for Chakra, like other folks have said: it has a lot of potential, but we really just have to see how it plays in beta. I hadn't thought of the concern of suddenly needing 3 quick renews/heals amidst an aoe heavy fight, though if that does become a recurring concern, they could probably make it so you need 4 or 5 non-active-Chakra casts to break it and switch over.

I wonder if they'll put a -threat modifier on Leap of Faith to discourage overly creative use of game mechanics. I doubt they would design an encounter with the assumption that a priest is there to pull a tank away as a defensive cooldown to kite a major attack, but I could see people using it as such.

#39 Overhead

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:37 PM

We're complaining about lightwell - but I think we're missing the (potentially) huge buff it's getting. If we're going to be mana starved, we face the following situation: Heal up all the dps that just took damage for a lot of mana, or spend a little on a lightwell and remind them "click the thing or die, because I can't afford to heal you". While nobody likes making the dps stop dpsing to heal themselves, it might become necessary/worthwhile. The critical problem with lightwell nowadays is that enrage timers (soft or hard) are the primary difficulty of almost all fights. With mana mattering, they can move away from that (and GC said they intend to).

#40 Brotherbear

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:57 PM

My only concern with Chakra will be how it defines a "single target" versus "AoE" heal.

For instance is Prayer of Mending an AoE heal? We seem to assume "Renew" will be. I'm wondering if Blizzard wouldn't be best served by also having a third category of "neutral" spells that won't tilt the balance either way. That way you can use CoH, Holy Nova, and Prayer of Healing with Renew and PoM without messing up your AoE Chakra.




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