Thursday, February 5, 2009

3.1 Priest Changes

Because I'm a unique snowflake, and no one else is posting these kind of things on their blogs, rite?

I actually began this post as a huge response on Hatch's blog, but then decided it was worthy of its own post over here. I'm an 80 Destro Lock, and 73 Disc priest, so those are the changes I'll be focusing on. Hatch has good Rogue analysis, and Coriel is already complaining that "nerfs always come on Fridays, and that's when the paly changes will be announced QQ" or something?

As I said, my priest is 73, and currently Disc. This priest was leveled 100% on /follow. From level 8 or so until I set foot in Northrend, I was pure holy, and would only cast shields or heals on my warrior or the 78 paladin (through macros) that was dragging the two of us thru instance farming sessions until my eyes wanted to bleed. When I got to Northrend, I had to figure out how all my spells worked, and what 90% of them even did. I even went shadow for a day or two, but I have an 80 lock, so that wasn't horribly interesting to me. I was full holy up until a bit ago, but tried not to get too used to hitting CoH because I knew the nerf was coming. I wanted to get used to healing without it, so my playstyle would stay the same when the nerf landed. Then, about a week ago I tried going Disc for a leveling spec, just because Penance sounded fun. I actually am really liking disc, and may actually just stay with it at 80.

I only mention all of this, because I'm coming from the perspective of someone who is totally flexible with the class. I didn't live through the horrors of patch 452.6f, when that one spell's coefficient was totally nerfed into the ground from 1.03% to an Earth Shattering 1.01 (GAWD WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!). None of the past affects me in any way, and even though I played the game from closed beta until now, I never read the Priest forums or cared in the slightest about their patch notes. The same goes for my lock, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Priest Changes (as if you can't find them anywhere else!):

  1. Divine Spirit – this spell is now a core ability available to all priests.
  2. Discipline has access to a new talent, Power Word: Barrier. (Think of it as Power Word: Shield for your whole group).
  3. 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.
  4. Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadow Form now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
  5. Penance – this spell can now be targeted on the priest.
  6. Serendipity – this talent now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when
  7. Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast.
  8. We are also working to give Holy additional PvP utility.

Okay... let's go down the list. Divine Spirit is nice (especially Imp DS). I've always had it, because I heard it was good. Now I'll always have it anyway. Whatever!

Power Word: Barrier actually sounds kind of cool, and here's why: Priests cried and complained when CoH was being nerfed (from no cooldown to 6 sec). They suddenly couldn't spam a button 6 times and have the raid back up to full. QQ more, seriously. The probelm was though (and this is legitimate) is that in a pinch, flash heals on 5 different targets takes way too long to be effective, especially if damage is still incoming. Power Word Barrier basically gives you a window of time to get those flashes out before more damage comes in. Neat! That solves the problem perfectly.

Prayer of Healing, while staying constrained to a party (not a "smart raid heal" like CoH that picks 5 targets who needs heals the most and gives it to them regardless of raid grouping), can be cast on any party now. Wow, what an amazing compliment to Power Word Barrier. Who would have thought about that synergy? Buying time, coupled with a 5 person heal with a cast time. Bingo.

Shadow Form survivability... reduces magic damage now as well as physical. Lol? Was magic damage an issue? Did shadow form ACTUALLY reduce incoming melee? This is kind of silly. If shadow form ever reduced any kind of melee damage, then it really wasn't working. On my rogue I would rape shadow priests in world pvp any time I came across one. Like, it wasn't even a challenge. I'd come around the corner and they'd just fall over before I even realized there was an alliance priest somewhere on my screen. So yeah. Lol. Whatever.

Penance! This is a disc priests 51 point talent, and it's kinda weird. A channeled Greater Heal that ticks really quickly. Like, it can be kicked, but you still usually get one tick off or something. Plus you can "throw" it at enemies, and it hurts them. Really cool, and fully compliments talents like Grace. The one restriction was that you HAD to throw it on someone else... friend or foe, but not your self. I kinda thought that was a cool limitation. Apparently everyone cried and now it's usuable on yourself. Meh, okay I guess? Whatever. I'll TAKE it, but it seems like having your cake and eating it, too.

Serendipity. I had to look this one up to make sure it was the talent I was thinking it was, and it is. Now it's an overheal mana refund, but they're changing it to be some haste modifier? Uh, okay. Whatever. Is that exciting? I have no idea... as disc, I get hasted after casting a PW:S, so uhh.. okay, haste talent in deep holy. Sure? Do I need to overheal someone to activate it? This one is pretty vague.

And the final: increased PvP-ability for Holy. Uh, ok... but I kinda thought Disc was the PvP healing tree. I know Blizz is trying to get away from "this tree is PvP and that one is PvE" but... uhh... whatever? Seems to me like the whole class could use a bit, but Christ at least we aren't warlocks...

I'm actually out of time, so I'll throw this up for now and get to the warlock changes tomorrow or Sunday. I'm off to Okayama to renew my visa for my duration of the stay in Japan.



Dink said...

Yes, you missed the early 2005 shadow priest days.

Shadowform reduces all melee and spell incoming damage 30%. My priest is still at 60 with his Anethema.

Shadow priests were NEVER invited to a raid. It was unheard of, ungodly, foul, looked down upon.

Then there was the paladins heal better than priests days of TBC. Again, many priests quit.

I dont think blizzard is going to let priests shine as a true healer.... ever. I think we'll see WoW2 or a hero class healer first.

Sanns said...

There was a time when shadow priests actually raped rogues... It was back pre-BC. Well, really pre-1.12, because that's when they started hitting the handing out free HWL daggers to anyone that asked, which benefits melee way more than it ever did casters.

Anyways, back then, it was rare for a rogue to have much more than 3K HP or significant AP. They all went assassination/daggers and hoped that they could get enough BS crits in in time. All you had to do was survive the initial CS+KS burn, which wasn't hard in shadowform because you took 15% less damage and they weren't doing great damage to start. If you had a PW:S up beforehand, it was even easier. Then, you PS -> SW:P -> VE -> MB -> MF. Mind Flay's snare was actually consequentially--with no CloS and a longer sprint timer, they would be close to dead before they ever got back within melee range again. But even if they did, SW:P ate such a large percentage of their total HP that it didn't matter much. And if anything proc'ed a blackout, you officially won. Undead rogues could be a problem, but outside of that...

Aah, the good ole' days.