Priest Talent Previews for Cataclysm

June 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm (Cataclysm, Cataclysm Expansion, Circle of Healing, Divine Hymn, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Heal, Healing Mechanics, Hymn of Hope, Mana, Patches, Penance, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Renew, Shadow Word: Death, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadowform, Spells, Talents)

So Blizzard have released some Previews for the Priest, Shaman, Druid and Rogue talent trees for Cataclysm. Of course they are rough – there are duplicate talents, place holder names and so forth. And obviously it’s Alpha. However it gives some really great insight into where the Priest talents are going. And with a little careful thought it gives us more information on things we have been left in the dark about up until now – Shadow Orbs, Casting while moving. Smite DPS specs! It’s all really good stuff. And more to the point Blizzard are actively looking for feedback on it, so it’s a great time to get out there and talk about it.

Rather than write a post this week I’ve made a presentation – mainly because I thought the software was pretty cool and I wanted to try it out. However, it’s a pain in the tush to get it working on WordPress, and the files take a long time to download. Moreover the fullscreen – which is really needed to see the text – doesn’t work on WordPress. Awesome… So my suggestion is to click here which links directly to it.

Anyway – if you can. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Prayer of Mending: Use it more!

November 10, 2009 at 9:27 pm (5 mans, Glyphs, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Mana, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, User Interface)

Nobody uses Prayer of Mending as much as they should do. I love it, I use it a lot, but never enough. It is, by far, the best heal in the entire game. I want to drive that home a little.

There are pretty much three ways a Healer can wipe a raid: a) Die themselves, b) Let the Tank die, c) Lose control of raid damage. Whilst Prayer of Mending won’t really help you with (a) and (b)  it will help you keep a tight lid on raid damage by offering you every other advantage you could want:

  • Cheap
  • Lots of Healing
  • Multiple Targets
  • Quick to Cast
  • Heals over time
  • Smart Healing

You’re probably saying: “Great, bullet points! That’s exactly what I need when I’m trying to keep a raid alive…”
Okay, I do get that. Numbers aren’t exciting, but what I want to get across though is just how amazing Prayer of Mending is because if you aren’t casting it every single time it’s off cooldown you better have a good reason not to. So there will be numbers. The point is, Prayer of Mending comes out top on a lot of scales.

Efficiency compared to other spells

Prayer of Mending is the most efficient healing spell you have. In fact, it’s pretty much the most efficient healing spell anybody has. It is more than twice as efficient as Penance (Disc’s next best HPM spell), and more than twice as efficient as a Glyphed Circle of Healing (Holy’s next best HPM spell). It’s better than Nourish, it’s better than Riptide and Chain Heal. It’s much better than Beaconed Holy Light.

For example, for Discipline:

DiscEff

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Holy FAQ

October 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm (5 mans, Binding Heal, Circle of Healing, Divine Hymn, Empowered Renew, Fade, FAQ, Flash Heal, Gearing, Glyphs, Greater Heal, Grouping, Guardian Spirit, Healing Mechanics, Holy FAQ, Holy Spec 14/57/0, Holy Spec 18/53/0, Mana, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Renew, Spells, Stats, Surge of Light, Talents)

What do I shine at?

Like Discipline Priests, Holy Priests make great healers in small 5 man groups because of their tremendous utility, their range of AoE and single target spells and their ability to dump aggro and self heal through Binding Heal and Desperate Prayer.

In raids Holy is primarily seen as a Raid Healing build. That is to say, you are in your element healing multiple targets simultaneously using spells like Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending and Circle of Healing.

You are less capable as a Tank Healer as you miss some of the mana efficiency of Discipline, or the mitigation talents like Grace. However, you still have some Tank healing ability if you spec for it, in particular through larger Flash Heals and utility spells like Guardian Spirit and talents like Inspiration. As a result Holy priests are tremendously valuable both in 25 man raids for their mass healing, and in 10 mans for their ability to fill a variety of roles as required.

Spirit of Redemption

What’s my spec?

There are essentially two specs for a Holy Priest. The first focuses on mana efficiency and is best for Priests starting out when mana is an issue. This spec picks up Mental Agility from the Discipline tree whilst still collecting as many of the powerful Holy talents as possible. That would look something like this: 18/53/0

Once you gear up you move even more towards improving your healing picking up things like Test of Faith. So more like this: 14/57/0. Your crit is higher so only one point in Surge of Light. And because you’re focusing more on raid healing Empowered Healing looks less attractive than some other raid heals. You might drop Lightwell if your raid gets no use out of it. You’re taking Spell Warding over Divine Fury because you’re not casting Greater Heal and the additional spell reduction means you take less damage in heavy AoE fights – which are exactly the fights you’re needed for the most.

Some personal choices:

Body and Soul can be a fun utility talent in certain situations. It helps people avoid fire and other dangerous boss abilities. However, Power Word: Shield is a very inefficient heal for a Holy Priest so you should not ordinarily be casting it. Furthermore, Body and Soul is only useful for a Priest who is very good at keeping track of the fight. If you don’t have a good sense of what it happening to all the players in your raid and who could really benefit from a speed boost you won’t make the most of this talent.

Another personal choice is Lightwell, more on this later. It will depend a lot on the willingness of the rest of your raid to make use of it.

Finally Inspiration is a fantastic talent if you are planning to do a lot of five mans or you want to be versatile enough to help with Tank healing in certain fights. However it is a very mediocre talent for a Priest who intends to only be the best Raid Healer that they can. This will depend a lot on your raid group and the other healers you play with.

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Discipline FAQ

October 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm (5 mans, Binding Heal, Borrowed Time, Discipline FAQ, Discipline Spec 57/14/0, Divine Hymn, Flash Heal, Gearing, Greater Heal, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Mana, Naxxramas, Pain Suppression, Pain Suppression, Penance, Power Infusion, Power Infusion, Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, Raiding, Renew, Spells, Stats, Talents, Trial of the Champion, Ulduar)

Starting a Discipline Priest and confused about something? Lets try and help out with some useful information.

What’s my spec?

See the article on Discipline spec here.

The standard spec is something like: 57/14/0 getting all the good heal talents in the Discipline tree, then going up the Holy Tree to pick up Inspiration.

Attribution: GENZOMAN

Attribution: GENZOMAN

What do I shine at?

As a Disc Priest your specialism is Tank Healing and Damage prevention. Because you are a priest however you have a great deal of flexibility because of your huge range of spells. This means you can ably heal 5 mans, 10 mans as a Tank or a Raid healer, in 25 mans you are a great Tank Healer, and you make a good PvP healer.

Because of your shields you really shine in fights where there are periodic spikes of damage which you can prepare for by casting shields on people before they take damage.

PvE Stat values –

Not perfect, but a rough guide is something like:

  • Intellect – 0.6

  • Spirit – 0.22

  • MP5 – 0.67

  • Haste Rating – 0.59

  • Crit Rating – 0.48

  • Spell Power – 1.0

So you should favour Spell Power, Intellect, Haste, Crit, MP5 and Spirit in pretty much that order. However, obviously if you need more mana stack Intellect, if you need to do more healing stack Spell Power. If you have enough mana there is NO benefit to getting more Intellect, Spirit or MP5. Mana is only useful if you are spending it. If you finish fights with lots of mana, you should stop getting more.

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Hymns

September 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm (5 mans, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Mana, Raiding, Shadow Fiend, Shadowform)

Hymns are recent style of Priest spell which originally came out with Wrath of the Lich King but, after being rather lacklustre, were reworked to their current form in 3.1.

I say they are a new style of spell because whilst they have different effects, they do have similar mechanics.

The core mechanics of a Hymn are that they are: a) Channelled, b) Smart, c) Give a short buff, d) Have a long cooldown.

WoWScrnShot_091509_175025

In the case of Divine Hymn it’s an 8 second channel which smart heals players in your raid, and in the process gives them a buff increasing healing received by 15%, 10 minute cooldown.

With Hymn of Hope it’s an 8 second cast which returns 3-12% mana to those in your raid with the lowest mana, and gives a buff increasing maximum mana by 20%, 6 minute cooldown.

Because they are channelled and smart, it is easy to tap a button and sit back for 8 seconds while they go to work. Divine Hymn in particular is fantastic for getting you through tricky abilities like Hodir’s Frozen Blows, XT’s Tantrum, Jaraxxus’ Incinerate Flesh eruption and so forth. It seems like the only decision you really have to make is when to press that button and use that cooldown.

That’s all there is to say isn’t it? Well I’m not so sure, because for me the most interesting part of these Hymns is the buff they add. If you really want to squeeze every advantage you can out of your spells, there are some very interesting things you can do with Hymns.

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What Stats Do

September 11, 2009 at 10:41 am (5 mans, Gearing, Grouping, Mana, Raiding, Stats)

Another back to basics post because everybody can always ue the recap. I’ll get into some proper deep healing super advanced theory next week if I have some inspiration.

If you’re new to WoW, new to playing a caster, or just new to playing a Priest it helps a lot to know about what the different stats do.

Formula

Unfortunately for my blog work-flow the whole system is already destined to be utterly overhauled when World of Warcraft: Cataclysm comes out. So much of this will one day be very outdated. However, until that time, lets nail down exactly what each of the different stats do, why you want them, and how much you need.

Common wisdom is to put all healer stats into one of two groups: Mana stats, or Throughput stats.

Mana Stats

Mana stats are stats which improve how long you are able to cast for. If you run out of mana you can’t heal. If you can’t heal you might as well not be there because, apart from your witty banter and knowledge of internet memes, that’s your sole reason for being in the group. No matter how much your spells heal for, it won’t help if you don’t have enough mana to cast them when you need to.

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Spirit: Worth less but not Worthless

September 1, 2009 at 9:21 pm (5 mans, Gearing, Glyphs, Grouping, Mana, Raiding, Stats)

Spirit and Mp5 (mana per five seconds) look like two sides of the same coin. You get mana over time. That’s pretty much it. Yet as always, for the people who care about this sort of thing there is maths and graphs about which is the best and under what circumstances. Rather than laying out the decimal places and coefficients I want to just pick a few salient points which I think are useful.

Spirit Image

If you’re a Holy Priest Spiritual Guidance turns 25% of your Spirit into spell power. This means that unless Spirit turns out to be completely awful (which it isn’t) it’s much better for you than pure MP5 because of all the extra spell power it gives.

As a Shadow Priest you also get spell power from Spirit but it’s a little less. Glyph of Shadow and Twisted Faith each give you a nice 10% of your Spirit as Spell Power. This means that, whilst as a Shadow priest you don’t really need much extra spirit for mana, it’s at least a little bit of a DPS boost for you if you do happen to pick some up. On the whole as a Shadow Priest most of your mana will come from Shadow Fiend, Dispersion and Replenishment, but at least any Spirit on your gear is not wasted.

As a Discipline Priest there is no big bonus to Spirit. You get 6% more of it from Enlightenment, but you get no benefit from Spirit except for more mana. So as a Discipline Priest all you really care about is: “Which gives you more mana, Spirit or MP5?”

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The Great(er) Heal Debate!

August 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm (Borrowed Time, Flash Heal, Glyphs, Greater Heal, Healing Mechanics, Mana, Serendipity, Spells)

The Challenge

Is there still a place for Greater Heal in a Priest’s healing arsenal? I still use it, but I’m beginning to wonder whether it really is something I should have on my action-bar. There are certainly times that people have died because I’ve used Greater instead of Flash, but I’m prepared to work on those mistakes if I feel Greater Heal is giving me tangible benefits. So here’s the question: Does Greater heal have a significant benefit over Flash Heal in any situations?

WoWScrnShot_082709_162621


The differences between Flash and Greater Heal are essentially three things: a) Mana Cost, b) Size of Heal, c) Cast Time.

So lets look and see whether Greater Heal has any major advantages in one of those three things. Quick and dirty summary at the bottom of the post.

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