Healing in Cataclysm

Have you stepped into a dungeon and felt the pain of your mana and thought, “What the HELL?”

I really did have that WTH moment as the first pack was aoe’d down and health started dropping. My mana tanked out and my inner GRRR went off. I really felt the difference the changes to mitigation have made. Xandi and I commiserated the life of disc priests in 5mans.

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Published in: on December 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Patch 4.0.1 Descends Upon Disc

Over the next bit posts will be dedicated to the different toons and their respective specs, starting with my lovely, lovely Disc priest Zhavi. You can view her current spec here. I looked at a lot of forums and guides prior to deciding on this spec and thus far I’m happy with it.  Overall, our shields got bigger and badder. Disc’s mastery feeds into the shield goodness.  

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Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Patch 3.3.3 Descends Upon the World of Disc

It is PATCH DAY!!!! *cheers are heard over the land*

There are two interesting changes for us Disc priests. Are they nummy morsels for us to love? Well…sorta

Renewed Hope is changing: 60 seconds instead of 20 but with a 20 sec cooldown.

Previously, this meant a disc priest could give their raid, constant 3% mitigation each and every fight. This is only a problem for fights like Sindrigosa where your disc priest can (and likely will) be frost tombed and the Renewed Hope falls off. Actually, looking directly at this fight I can see where the increased duration will come in handy. With so much raid damage flying around having the extra time on Renewed Hope will give more of a buffer if/when your priest gets frozen.

But the 20 second cooldown *shrug* I had written out this brilliant rant about it until my brain kicked in and I sat and thought about it instead of knee jerked it. 20sec out of the 60 sec the buff is active which means by the time it falls off the cooldown is over and you are casting it again. The only change I see is that instead of having the buff renewed with every shield I cast there will be a pause where for 20 seconds it doesn’t renew.

Overall, it is a gain. I don’t see this change affecting the way we cast PW:S or the amount of time the raid is receiving the buff, expect for specific situations such as Sindrigosa. For these situations it is a net gain for the raid as a whole. As the Disc Moto says: Less Damage Taken is Less Damage Healed.

Tier 10 4piece set changes!

10% increase to Circle of Healing and 5% to Power Word: Shield

I keep my eyes on the forums and heard the complaints that the bonus lacks the sexiness of hoped for after the lackluster bonus previously. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me. Looking purely from a disc point of view they increased the effectiveness of my core ability.

There have been some arguments that the division of the bonus is unfairly weighted to holy priest. First, their % is higher and in a single cast affects more members. Second, they can take advantage of the increased PW:S whereas a disc priest only benefits from the PW:S portion as they lack CoH.

To address the first complaint: Where they CoH% is higher, this spell is on a 6sec cooldown where PW:S is an instant cast on the Global cooldown. Also a holy priest has minimal control on who CoH will heal, what control they have is based on who they are centering the spell off of. IE choosing to cast it on melee vs. range clusters. Disc chooses who is going to get their shields with pinpoint accuracy. Ultimately, it doesn’t bother me that the coefficients aren’t the same. Do I wish they were the same? Sure! I want 10% more shields…what disc priest wouldn’t?

As for the second issue of fairness: This is typical of the problems endemic to gearing tier pieces for a class that has two viable healing specs. Do I think it is a problem? Yes. I would have preferred to see the bonus tied to a talent in Disc since CoH is a spell gained by Holy priests via a talent. I wouldn’t even ask that the spell be tied as deep into our tree as CoH is in Holy. Perhaps tie it to Improved Power Word: Shield, the spell isn’t deep in our tree which would allow it hybrid priests to benefit from it as well.

All this aside, it doesn’t bring a holy priest’s shields on par with a disc which would be my only concern. *Points up to the start of the post* Is it fair that holy gets 10% bonus to CoH and 5% Shields and disc only gets 5% shields out of the same gear? Nope. Short of tying the 5% to a talent (like the CoH is) I don’t see it changing however. I’m glad to see the bonus makes more sense and is a solid bonus to both holy and disc priests instead of a proc the way it was before.

Published in: on March 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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Does Discipline Still Sparkle?

There has been some chatter that Disc doesn’t sparkle like it once did. So lets take a closer look at what makes Discipline priests sexy still.

Shielding is sexier now than it was before. But honestly there is so much to shielding we are going to have go go over it in depth!With Soul Warding, Renewed Hope, Borrowed Time and Rapture there is a lot going on for you to toss some shields out during the group or raid.

  1. Improved Power Word: Shield– For 3 talent points you get an increased 15% effectiveness. I find that pretty substantial for our shields. More damage mitigated is less damaged needing to be healed. (and who doesn’t love that?)
  2. Soul Warding– IPWS is a gateway to this very nice talent. First it reduces the cooldown by 4 seconds and then it reduces the cost by 30% (though the mana cost is being nerfed soon *sigh*) But even still our shield is now easily spammed and cheaper to cast, making the spamming viable. So its all win to me. Coupled with the increase in effectiveness it makes shielding very sexy.
  3. Renewed Hope– This is to me a stroke of genius talent at 2 points. First, you get a 4% boost to crit. on Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Penance if your target has the weakened soul debuff (and if you are MT or OT healing they really should have it almost all the time). Second, when you cast shield you 100% to reduce damage to your raid by 3% for 20 sec. For 20 sec you reduce damage to your entire raid.
  4. Rapture- When your shield is completely absorbed (IE it all gets eaten by damage) you get mana back! (while I liked the old version, this is still a mana giver and really does feed into their image of Disc being the shield masters) If it does get completely taken you will give your target; rage, mana, energy, or runic power all based on their class. This is a great offset to the old warrior complaint that preshielding them, kept them from generating rage ergo generating threat.
  5. Borrowed Time– First is the spell haste component, an additional 25% haste to your next spell cast after Shield. Second, is the lovely additional absorption to shield, a full 40% of your spellpower. (Yum!)

Pain Suppression does reduce their threat by 5% but in with the changes that have been made to threat I haven’t had a problem throwing this on the tank yet. For the meager sacrifice of this 5% threat, your target gains 40% damage mitigation. As a side benefit they also get a 65% chance to resist dispel. (great for pvp not so much for pve) While it only lasts 8 secs I can confirm it has saved my tank many times (Sarth +3 and Razorscale)

Divine Aegis creates a little glowy bubble around the target. (Yay! for more bubbles.) This one is worth 30% of the crit. heal you land on your target. More damage reduction is all win to me.

Grace, stacking up to 3 times for 15 seconds increases all healing to the target by 3%. What triggers this tank loving spell you ask? Why our favorite heals of course;  Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Penance. This is great, not just for our own spells to be more effective, but makes the most of another healers spells as well.

Power Infusion, I think of this as the priest innervate. When cast on yourself or another it is a 20% spell haste and mana reduction! Lets think on this a moment. We make our spells cost us less and cast it faster? Yes pleass! I’ve used this with a holy priest and druid for a Kel’thuzad kill. It was yummy to them for sure.

Improved Flash Heal is a talent meant to prove to us more that we are all about fast spells. (you know in case the  hasting talents didn’t prove it to you already 😉 ) It reduces mana cost and increases the crit. if your target is on his way to dead (aka 50% or below)

Well, yes our heal numbers might not be where the holy priests are. A druid may beat me out on the heal meter every fight. But you know what? Looking back over the disc talents I really do think we still sparkle. Remember our bread and butter is shield. If you are on Main Tank or even off tank heals keep a shield on them. Its a beautiful buffer for splash damage, glyphed its a nice small heal as well. Embrace the changes to Disc. Embrace your inner bubble!

Summary? We sparkle like diamonds baby!

Published in: on May 2, 2009 at 8:18 pm  Comments (9)  
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Pre-Release Patch Notes-My take

Original Blizzard posting

Quote from: Eyonix (Source)

We are planning a lot of exciting content for patch 3.1.0, and we are doing a three-part preview series on upcoming class changes. This is the first in the series: Priests, Rogues, and Shaman. Please keep in mind, that this list is not at all comprehensive, and subject to change.

Priest (Skills List / Talent + Glyph Calc.)

  • Divine Spirit – this spell is now a core ability available to all priests.
  • Discipline has access to a new talent, Power Word: Barrier. (Think of it as Power Word: Shield for your whole group).
  • Several area of effect (AOE) heal spells have been improved: Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party. Holy Nova’s mana cost has been reduced. Circle of Healing now heals for more.
  • Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadow Form now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
  • Penance – this spell can now be targeted on the priest.
  • Serendipity – this talent now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast.
  • We are also working to give Holy additional PvP utility.

So *looks up at the post* Yeah! Hells yeah? Oh yeah!

Divine Spirit is out of my tree. WOOT! I wonder what will replace it? Matticus belives it will be PW: Barrage.  And what a lovely, lovely thing it would be. I’m not convinced yet that it will be a straight swap. I wonder if they will do some reshuffle with you having to take Improved DS to get PW Barrage. But its all speculation and really just the thought of Barrage makes me giddy. Make me like Disc more? Yes please!

I am very curious to see the numbers on the Circle of Healing increase (does it make up for the cooldown?) and cost reduction of Holy Nova. How well they do balancing these AOE spells is very important.

The change to Serendipity is nice for Holy I guess…I’m not holy anymore Its hard for me to want to get worked up. I see it as a good thing. Haste = good/yum. The changes aren’t sexy enough for me to go Holy again. Disc is too sexy, I like mitigating damage too much to change my ways now. (course I said the same about Shadow in BC and we all know how that turned out)

Overall I love the changes, but I’m skeptical about Bliz making changes, all classes have been ‘improved’ by Bliz only to have those same improvements yanked away at some point that I’m not going to jump up and down just yet. Also its just pre-release notes its not live and until then its all smoke up my robe. I know I’m such a downer!

And here is where the boot drops…

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)
As we have suggested, we have become concerned that mana regeneration is currently too powerful, especially for healers. We want players to have to keep an eye on mana. We don’t want you to go out of mana every fight, but running out of mana should be a very real risk for sloppy playing or attempting content that you aren’t yet ready for. When mana regeneration is trivial then certain parts of the game break down – classes that offer Replenishment are devalued, stats that offer mana regeneration are devalued, and spells that are efficient are neglected in preference to spells with high throughput.

Here are a list of changes you are likely to see in 3.1. They will be available to try out on the PTR. Mana regeneration is somewhat technical, so please bear with us.

  • Regeneration while not casting (outside of the “five second rule”) will be decreased. We think that (1) the ability to cast heal over time spells and then sit back and (2) benefitting from a clearcasting proc that also gets you out of the five second rule both provide too much mana regeneration, even over short time periods.
  • To make this change, we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board. However we are also boosting the effects of talents such as Meditation that increase regeneration while casting. The net result should be that your regeneration while casting will stay about the same, but your not-casting regeneration will be reduced. This change will have little impact on dps casters, since they are basically always casting.
  • The specific talents and abilities being boosted are: Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac and Spirit Tap. Yes this makes these “mandatory” talents even more mandatory, if such a thing is possible.
  • Since paladins rely less on Spirit as a mana-regeneration stat, we have to address them in other ways. We don’t want to change Illumination or Replenishment. However, we are going to increase the healing penalty on Divine Plea from 20% to 50%. Divine Plea was originally intended to help Protection and Retribution paladins stay full on mana. It should be a decision for Holy paladins, not something that is automatically used every cooldown.
  • In addition, we are also changing the way Spiritual Attunement works. In situations with a large amount of outgoing raid damage, as well as in PvP, this passive ability was responsible for more mana regeneration than we would like. We want to keep the necessary benefit it grants to tanking Protection paladins, while making it less powerful for Holy paladins in PvP or raid encounters with a lot of group damage.
  • We are also taking a close look at clearcasting procs themselves. One likely outcome is to change them to an Innervate-like surge of mana so that the net benefit is the same, but healers won’t shift to out-of-casting regeneration so often.
  • We balance around the assumption that even 10-player groups have someone offering Replenishment. To make this even easier on players we are likely to offer this ability to additional classes, as well as make sure that existing sources of Replenishment are more equitable.
  • These changes are ultimately being done to bring the different healing classes more in line with each other as well as to give the encounter team more leeway when designing encounters, who can balance with these new mana regeneration numbers in mind. In a world with infinite healer mana, the only way to challenge healers is with increasingly insane amount of raid damage, so that global cooldowns become the limiting factor since mana fails to be. An example is the Eredar Twins in late Sunwell. We weren’t necessarily happy with that model, and this change hopefully allows us to move towards giving healing a more deliberate and thoughtful pace rather than frenetic spam.
Notice it? No more oo5sr! Secretly I am pleased of course. How can I not be? I hate the damn in and out dance. Its part of what made me go disc in the first place.  I’m not convinced this won’t be like  before though when spirit was a freaking joke. Like I said before I’ll wait and see.
And I loled when I read that the Mandatory spells would be more mandatory. How does something become more mandatory? You just make the mandatory more rewarding for having.
I don’t like that they assume everyone is going to run someone with replenishment in it. Its simply moronic. Trust me my 10 man Nax didn’t, ever. And just giving it to other classes isn’t enough, it has to be worth going into that spec to be done. But enough ranting this is a pre-release it ‘s not live yet and in my WoW life yet so *shrug* lets wait and see. Coffee anyone?
Special thank you to MMO Champion for posting the Blue Bliz notes. Ya’ll rock!
Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 1:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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First Impressions of Discipline Spec

Yesterday, after checking first with my raids Heal Lead, Zhavi made the change over to Disc. Our raids run two priests deep for 10 mans and having 2 holy is a bit of overlap and Ty was happy to give me the ok. I’ll admit I took the cookie cutter build, why mess with success, especially when I’m new to the disc game. I can always respec to play around with the build later.

Speaking of respecing, I did it right before our Naxx 10 Day 2 run. Nothing like cutting it to the wire to get me jazzed. (Do we see a theme? Respec and run the same day!) I availed myself on Takton, a lovely pally tank I’m friends with, to give it a quick visual test. New procs and abilities means I need to know at a glace whats up and fading etc. (Kudos to Blizz for making the Grace buff a pretty and clean buff to see) I’m still learning to keep an eye out for Borrowed Time to make sure I don’t miss out on using it however.

Overall my foray into Disc has been sucessful I found the build to be pretty solid. Of course I admit like all things I researched the hell out of the change before making it. And this gets to the meat and potatoes of this post. DO NOT OVER THINK OR LIMIT YOURSELF BASED ON BUILD!!!

If you are familiar with Discipline since Lich King then you know Disc is an awesome Main Tank healer. With damage mitigation and a huge mana pool they have the tools to keep your tank alive. With the changes to Tank threat,Power Word: Shield no longer cause tanks to swear at priests under their breath while gritting their teeth to hold agro. But are they just for Tank healing?

NO! But they aren’t going to be your OMG the entire group has taken damage. Heal them all STAT! healer either.

I walked into Naxx last night with the mindset I am a MT healer, that is my job and I will do it damn it! Ty however challenged me (though he didn’t know I was walking in with that mindset to my credit at least) and in the end I think on Day 1 of Disc I may have just opened my view to what a priest (any priest) can do with their abilities.

Lets give you the set up shall we? 1 Holy, 1 Disc, and 1 pally for heals. Everything is pretty smooth and we are about to do Grobbulus after seething about the frogger and lag. (but that is rant in the making) Now after reading the above we know what I’m expecting…to be given MT duty. (All the forums, blogs, and sites I can find say Disc = MT heals, raiding healing = talk with your raid leader to fix.) Instead Ty comes over vent to let me know that I will be on raid healing duty and to remind the new pally not to dispell at all during this fight.

I didn’t bat an eye, said ok, and then pondered…wait how am I going to do this I’m all damage mitigation and longer heals? Had I been holy I’d have a plan but suddenly my thoughts are Wait how am I going to pull this off and not get us all killed? Good for me I think fast on my feet…well sometimes. My plan was simple, take advantage of disc to the best of my ability and keep people alive. To execute I slapped a shield on anyone with his debuff about the time it ticked down to 1 (<3 Grid!) and then followed up with a flash heal. And it worked great. I still need to work on my mobility with healing but I promise you I got LOTS of practice last night.

Where I think Disc really shone was when one of the MT healers got the debuff. Smack a shield on the tank while the healer runs to the wall, pop a hasted  Penance, shield the healer, hasted Flash heal. Continue as needed!

What this taught me:

  • Don’t think too rigidly about any class or spec. This is true of WoW, WAR, of for that matter life.
  • Disc can raid heal, just not instant group heals ala COH
  • Continue to trust Ty
Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 6:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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