Priests, Awesome Class or the Awesomest Class?

Who knew?

Who knew?

Hey everyone!  Sorry about missing out ion my usual weekend posts, but as I said on Friday, I went upstate to Cooperstown for the weekend and it was pretty awesome.  You haven’t lived till you’ve seen a full blown tractor parade, btw.  When I got back, I, of course, had many many blog posts to read and updates to sift through to see how things had changed and what updates were coming.  This process involved swinging on over to MMO-Champion in order to check the latest relevant blue posts on priests and see what was coming out of the Argent Tournament next patch.

I was delighted to see that they had posted the full informal shadow priest Q & A since I hadn’t had a chance to read through it before I left for the weekend.  Though I’m usually healing in a raid or group environment, I do still have shadow as my off spec and, as such, like to keep abreast of changes involving them.  I thought it was a fantastic Q & A with some poignant questions and observations regarding shadow priests and their roles in PvE and PvP.  However, reading through the full post, I kept getting the same vibe from Ghostcrawler in his answers of “the devs think the class is fine for the most part and you just want to be OP again.”

I happen to disagree myself.  I feel like the class does need another nuke or to make Mind Flay a more PvE friendly spell instead of filler or that Devouring Plague needs to be made into a single target only spell with no cooldown.  As a shadow priest, the only way to truly shine in raids is through AoE damage or have gear out the yin yang.  But it appears as though the devs pretty much think the class is good where it’s at and though they might tweak it at some point in the future, there’s no plans to do so now.  The funny thing is that if you look back through the archives of priest changes since Wrath landed, that seems to be their philosophy regarding priests in general.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been any changes.  Just like everyone else in the game, we had sweeping changes in our talent trees in 3.1 and the tweaking of a couple of our spells to improve their raiding and PvE capabilities.  Since then, however, we’ve seen minor nerfs with almost no improvements overall to the class in subsequent patches, cutting back on the effectiveness of some of our bigger spells because of it.  So I decided to meander on over to the official patch notes for the upcoming 3.2 patch and peruse through it to see what buffs we could expect along with all the other classes.  I’ll list all of them for you now:

Inspiration: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target’s armor.

That’s it, and I’m not even sure how much of a buff that turns out to be in the end after all the math is done.  The only other two changes are nerfs, one lowering the cooldown on Penance from 10 to 12 seconds, which is a huge nerf for disc priests, and a nerf to the effectiveness of Prayer of Healing, a 28.1% reduction of the bonus it gets from your spell power.  Every other class seems to be getting either a buff or a major change to try and improve them while it appears as though priests have slowly been becoming OP in the dev’s opinions, or that we kicked their dog.  This, of course, is crap.

In raids, priests are the muscle of the healing team, constantly banging out big heals all over the place.  Both of these nerfs to the two trees deals a blow to the healing priests’ overall healing total and in the case of the discipline priest, puts further restriction on their prime healing spells.  I’m also befuddled as to why they would encourage us to cast Prayer of Healing with Serendipity in 3.1 and then stifle that same spell in 3.2.  It’s not as if the spell is cheap or anything, casting it over and over again will burn your mana bar so quickly that it’s only truly effective in predictable AoE damage situations.  But now, not so much.

Not to mention that the Replenishment nerf will hit Holy Priests especially hard.  In long fights with things set the way they are now, holy priests still have to tiptoe and dance a little here and there in order to last to the end.  We can’t just chain cast because we have bigger mana costs on the spells that Blizzard wants us to start weaving into our rotation.  So what they’re saying to priests is “Oh, hey, use these spells now, they cost a bunch, but they’ll be the best way to keep your raid alive in Ulduar.  Oh, and btw, one of them now sucks a little bit more in addition to costing an arm and a leg.  Oh, also, we feel like you’re not worried enough during boss fights, so now you have less mana regen.  We’ll be over here if you need us, but you won’t, cause you’re awesome.  Ta ta.”

Of course, I must put the caveat here that the patch has not gone live yet and changes could still be made.  But for the most part, the priest as a class has seen few benefits added to balance all these nerfs they’re laying on us since 3.1.  Plus, if they’re not close enough to implementing anything new that they feel comfortable adding it to the PTR, you’re probably not going to see anything major added in the next couple of weeks.  I will also say that I can’t judge with accuracy whether a lot of these changes to other classes are big buffs or anything, there is at least more than one beneficial change to other classes that involve more than one talent tree.  I agree with Blizzard that my class is the best one in the game, but c’mon, throw me a bone here, will ya?



8 Responses to “Priests, Awesome Class or the Awesomest Class?”

  1. 1 Jack
    07/06/2009 at 1:40 PM

    It’s not quite true that “Every other class seems to be getting either a buff or a major change to try and improve them”. Check out the change to feral druids:

    Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11% . . .
    Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7% . . .
    Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6% . . .
    Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.
    Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10% . . .

    Reduced, reduced, reduced, reduced and reduced.

    Granted there are other changes to the Druid class that are pretty nice perks, but the only ones that really affects Feral Druids are the travel form changes (which just kinda’ go along with the mount changes everyone gets) and the NEW SKIN CHANGES! OMG! Can’t wait!

    Hm . . . maybe the new skin changes are just so freakin’ cool that a damage nerf is totally in order. What with everyone missing a beat while they look on in total awe . . .

  2. 07/06/2009 at 2:20 PM

    @Jack –
    I play a kitteh druid for about 90% of my playtime (anything else I’m either healing or bear tanking), and believe me, not even pretty skins will make me feel about the nerfs. 😛
    …Although you’re absolutely right – everyone will oggle the new skins and forget that cat druids suck now. XD

  3. 07/06/2009 at 2:29 PM

    @Jack: I was meaning the skin changes when I was thinking of Druids. I’ve also heard that the DK changes aren’t exactly a buff per se, but I haven’t really looked into their changes. Regardless, the point is that they are getting a lot of changes and priests are getting a fat load of nothing.

    Also, keep in mind that though feral is getting a big swipe from the nerf hammer, resto and balance are both getting buffs to help counter their nerfs as well. Either way, at least they’re getting more than one buff to a single tree

  4. 4 Signu
    07/06/2009 at 3:36 PM

    The change to Inspiration and Ancestral Fortitude is more of a buff for Warrior and Paladin tanks and a nerf for Druids and DKs. Warriors and Paladins have way less armor than equally geared Bears and DKs. This change also gives a more solid reason to be sure to spend the talent points: spell damage mitigation.

  5. 5 Light
    07/06/2009 at 3:59 PM

    I don’t know why they don’t just remove replenishment from the game instead of trying to balance around it. Give healers what they need to be successful. 😐

    Blizzard is trying to make the rest of you inline with our (shaman) regen… but wouldn’t it be better if they just brought us up instead of the rest of you down?

  6. 07/06/2009 at 8:16 PM

    I raid as a shadow priest and consistently perform well in raids — top 3 in Ulduar 10, top 5-7 depending in Uld25, despite a few weak links gear wise. For a hybrid class, I think that is exceeding expectations, personally.

  7. 7 Juzaba
    07/07/2009 at 8:51 AM

    At the very least, I see the PoH nerf as necessary. The spell already answers so much raid damage that we see in Uld, and the amount of healing it would be able to output as gear levels increased in T9 and T10 would be stupifying.

  8. 07/15/2009 at 2:03 PM

    I actually feel the same way about the PoH nerf – Juzaba makes a pretty good point about how it might be OP with t9 and t10 gear, but i don’t think it would matter at all if not for serendipity. They give us serendipity, and encourage us to use PoH more, and then nerf PoH, because zomg priests are using it again – even holy priests.

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