News You Can Use: Cataclysm Discipline Priest Changes

Out With The Old, On With The Plate Mail!

Priest Changes From Blizzard

IT WOULD BE remiss of me to leave off discussing the upcoming changes, even though there has been a lot really excellent analysis around the internet already, notably here, here, and here, oh yes, here. But I’d like to focus exclusively on what all these changes will mean to a Discipline Priest (Mind Spike? I vom on you).

Let’s start with the drama queen:

Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or “Life Grip”) is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can’t seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

No one sums up like Tamarind, so I’ll let him take the con:

What the hell, Blizzard?!

They might as well have called this “I don’t trust my arcane mage.” Or “Stupidity Grip.” Or “I Just Fancy Pissing Someone Off Today, Maybe Myself.”

Can you imagine the crap we’re going to get? It’s going to be why u no heal me but 1000 times worse: “lifegrip plz.”

So everybody makes mistakes now and again, and I’m the first to look sheepish when I stand in the bad shit, but if you can’t get out the fucking fire, you don’t deserve to be in a fucking raid group. It’s that simple.

My job is to heal other players. It is not to compensate for them.

There’s already an infuriating culture in which individuals are unwilling or unable to accept responsibility for their own actions: “just heal through it, lol.” I could really really do without this being hardcoded into the game.

So maybe Stupidity Grip has some PvP utility but MOVING OTHER PLAYERS AROUND NON CONSENSUALLY reduces in-game agency. Nothing says “I know what you need better than you do, baby” than yoiking somebody 45 yards across a map.

A QQ-less con point comes from Orcish Army Knife, and such a good point it is, too:

But let’s assume a different, perfect-case scenario. Let’s say you’re stunned or something, and Marrowgar’s coldflame is about to wash over you as a swarm of death and destruction. A timely Life Grip could pluck you out of harm’s way, sure. But do you know how disorientingthat would be? How much it would disrupt your rhythm and concentration? Anyone who’s gone up against a DK in PVP should know exactly what I mean. It throws you off, and costs you precious seconds re-orienting yourself and figuring out exactly where you are and what direction you’re facing. I think this ability may cause more harm than help.

And the pro comes from a number of commenters on wow.com, namely Cyanea, Hivetyrant, and Dameblanche, in that order:

Complaining about something that’s not really broken, especially before we really know how it works as is the case here is how we lose cool abilities like this one and get crappy generics.

I personally can’t understand all the hate for Leap of Faith.

Moron players are still going to be moron players, and have always been moron players so if they bitch about you not LoF’ing them in Cata, they probably bitched about you not shielding them in ICC.

I can’t wait to see some of the cool strategies and fights we could get into with tools like this.

My thoughts exactly. The obvious candidates for a life grip moment are players who already are getting on my nerves big time because they have the situational awareness of a doormat, and I’d only be happy not having to press multiple keys to type “Oi, Lolzipwnu, get yer damn ass out of the bloody fire”; just having to press one single life grip key to hammer the message home, is much much more convenient.

The only thing I was wondering is if Leap of Faith could also have a handy threat reset ability, because yanking a trigger happy dps out of harms way is less fun when the mobs that are pounding on him come towards you as well.

And of course, what I look forward to the most: when you are bored waiting for the rest of your raid group to show up, you only need two priests and one dwarf to entertain yourselves with the ancient sports called Dwarf Hurling.

Generic is bad. Weird is good. Weird might be bad, but let’s see how we can have fun with it in beta. Dwarf Hurling is very, very good. Besides, it’s not like our DPS don’t bother us already.

Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can’t have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.

Now this I like, and I like it because I’m so tired of watching polymorphed droolcats snatch up my Easter eggs, dammit. I’m going to throw this sucker on myself pretty much endlessly while leveling from 83 and up just to zip around. Even if you don’t use it in raid all that much, it easily comes in handy for the bosses who toss you in the air at random- more than a few tanks have bitten the dust while I’m sprinting. Generally thumbs up for giving a nod to the pew-pew/spastic runaround style of healing which comes so naturally to us discos.

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). We will be following a similar philosophy with all the healing classes.

El yawn. Moving on.

  • All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).
  • While we want to keep the priest’s role as a well-rounded healer, we also want to make sure the class is a viable tank healer, which is something priests moved away from a little in Wrath of the Lich King. Greater Heal will probably be the tank-healing spell of choice, though we’ve also discussed giving Discipline a second shield so that they have a small shield to cast on lots of different targets, and a big, more expensive shield to cast on a tank or anyone else taking a ton of damage.
  • Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit will be removed from the game. As Spirit will be the primary mana-regeneration stat, we don’t want it to vary as much between solo, small group, and raid play. Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild will not boost Spirit either.
  • Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren’t trying to make healing more painful; we’re trying to make it more fun. When the cost of a spell isn’t an issue, then casting the right spell for the job is less of an issue because you might as well just use your most powerful spell all of the time. We are, however, getting rid of the five-second rule, because we don’t want to encourage standing around doing nothing. We’re also going to cut back on the benefits of buffs such as Replenishment so priests (and all healers) don’t feel as penalized when those buffs aren’t available.

Now, as we all know, Spirit, Spellpower, and MP5 are getting the Big Nerf. Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit will bid us a fond farewell as there’s no need for them, and along with their removal is a 33% reduction in wear and tear on devout candle inventory. Nice. You can take candle.

Haste will clearly be a much bigger thing for healing priests, though it really leads me to wonder: what’ll the difference be between Shadow and healing gear if there’s no Spirit and Haste is needed for everything? I’m predicting a deluge of Shadow priests who assume healing can’t be that tough picking it up to get into raids and PUGs faster without having to invest even minimally in new gear. In other news, water is wet.

I love the idea of graded shields. I could use one right now, in fact. And I appreciate that Blizz sees how we’ve fallen by the tank-heals wayside in Lich. Discipline priests are arguably the best of the priestly tank healers, and even we are pretty much balls at it when compared to our non-priest brethren (yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, pally).

Mana management is going to be huge. You can see it all over the blue posts and feel it in your water. There’s no cure other than learning how to (1) prioritize your spells and really maximize your rotation and (2) gird your brain-loins for a 127% uptick in why u no heal me’s.

  • We want to improve Discipline’s single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn’t always a more attractive option than healing.

>_<

Shieldpriest is shielding.

  • Discipline will finally be getting Power Word: Barrier as a talented ability. Think of it like a group Power Word: Shield.

Wait, so we’re going to put more emphasis on shielding, but don’t go getting all emotionally dependent on shields? Mommy loves daddy. Mommy loves daddy! *rocks back and forth*

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Discipline
Healing
Meditation
Absorption
Absorption: Improves the strength of shields such as Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Power Word: Barrier.

But don’t go getting all emotionally dependent on your shields!!

In conclusion, I really, really, really wish I’d named this blog whyunohealme.com.

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