Posts Tagged ‘Holy


Bring the Player, not the Discipline Priest

Yesterday I was surfing the interwebs like a good little WoW addict and went on over mmo-champion to check the latest on the blue tracker.  After scrolling down to the priest info (as if there was any other kind), I came across this juicy little tidbit here:

Will raids want Disc priests? We are honestly not too worried about that. We’d estimate about half of the healing priests we’ve watched in Ulduar are Disc, at least for the guilds that are making boss kills. Consider, that when you have a tank with 45,000 health and a boss is hitting for 25,000 health (which is not the kind of thing we did in Naxx, but is in Ulduar), none of the healing you can do will let that tank survive two hits in a row. But Power Word: Shield will.

Bit I don't WANNA go Disc!

But I don't WANNA go Disc!

Blizzard… what the hell?  You’ve been touting this “bring the player, not the class” attitude for a few months now, slowly homogenizing the holy priest to the point where we’re pretty much interchangeable with druids, and shamans are even slightly better than us at AoE heals.  I love my class and my spec, but I don’t hold any illusions about the idea that we’re indispensable in raids or better than any other class in certain aspects.  I’m fine with all of that.

However, on the flip side of the coin, Blizzard has been going to great lengths to make disc priests a viable and attractive component for any raid and 3.1 will see that increase even further.  Disc priests will now be able to cast crazy huge shields left and right and at the same time will be able to give not just one person, but the entire raid a 3% damage mitigation boost.  Blizzard says they don’t want any one type of healer to be more attractive than another, and certainly a disc priest is not mandatory, but with these changes, guilds are going to be actively seeking at least one regular disc priest for raids.  Holy?  Not so much.

Now don’t get me wrong, as a priest I like the idea that this statement is pretty much saying that Power Word: Shield is going to become an almost mandatory spell in raids, but it is a sort of hypocrisy on Blizzard’s part.  Here they’ve been stating that they don’t want you to have to look at what type of healers you have, but then one of the devs is pretty much saying that they’re designing content with a priest only spell specifically in mind.  But it goes even further when you look at the fact that PW:S really is more of a disc priest’s specialty.  Holy priests don’t have or want talents boosting this spell.  Hell’s bells, the only time I even cast this spell as a holy priest is when I’m on MT healing which happens maybe once a month.

So basically what this tells me is that priests will be mandatory as raiders in 3.1 for at least one fight.  Win.  However, it also says that disc priests will be the optimal version of priests as they are specifically planning encounters based wholly on damage mitigation or else your raid will wipe.  Lose.  They’ve also stated in the past that they will not be planning encounters with the idea that players can freely switch specs in between boss fights.  I guess that idea only applies to disc priests.  Fact is, almost no holy priest is going to want MT duties over raid duties.  It’s a job we can do, but not one we’re going to excel at over a disc priest thanks to our lack of mitigation talents.  If a priest wants to heal the MT, he’s most likely to go disc for that job.

So here’s my problem with this statement:  It’s assuming that healing priests don’t care what kind of healer they are.  I care, buddy, I care big time.  As I’ve stated before, disc spec is fun, it’s interesting and Penance is, hands down, one of the coolest spells I’ve ever cast before, but I don’t want to be a discipline priest for raiding.  I’ll take it as my second spec because I don’t really care much for dpsing, but I’m hoping to use it as little as possible, really.  I like CoH and seeing 6 little blobs of numbers pop up from a group of people.  I enjoy seeing little wings pop up from someone when I cast Guardian Spirit on them.  I enjoy being holy while raiding.

Now perhaps this was just a throw-away statement by a dev that he wasn’t really thinking about when he made, but it serves to highlight what I feel is an alarming trend concerning priest heals.  In BC, disc priests were considered the PvP healing version of the class, which was kind of lame, but whatever.  However, with WotLK, Blizzard has gone such great lengths to make disc priests a raiding class that they have made them more of a necessity in certain situation than holy priests.  If Blizzard wants the idea to be that people are bringing the player, then why would they make a situation where I’m pretty much forced to switch specs in order to effectively heal for my raid?  That statement tells me that in 3.1, disc priests will actually be better than holy priests in some situations, thus relegating holy as a lesser tree since it isn’t any more or less attractive than other healers.

Look, maybe I’m overreacting and reading too much into this one statement and I will say that it’s not like I’m going to have disc as my main spec from now on to make sure I get into raids.  But my point is that if disc and holy priests are separate classes (and believe me when I say that I truly think they are), then creating these types of encounters will force one of two things:  Guilds actively passing up a holy priest in favor of a disc priest or forcing a holy or even shadow priest to switch to disc for those particular encounters.  Blizzard has stated that they’re actively trying to avoid these situations when it comes to other classes, but that seems to be forgotten when it comes to the priest class as if we don’t care what spec we are.  Blizzrd, I’m a Holy Priest and I want my Circle of Healing, is that so wrong?



Parity Problems, A Priest’s Lament

Pictured: A run of the mill healing priest

Pictured: A run of the mill healing priest

So lately there’s been some mumbling and grumbling going on concerning the new tier 8 healing priest set.  The problem is not the look of it (though some people aren’t too happy about the rogue look), but more to do with the new bonuses we get from having multiple pieces.  I’ll review them real quick:

  • 2P Bonus — Increases the critical heal chance of your Prayer of Healing by 10%.
  • 4P Bonus — Casting Power Word: Shield also grants you 250 spell power for 5 sec.
  • Both of these are somewhat “meh” to begin with, but when viewed through the eyes of holy spec, even more so.  The PoH bonus is weak because as a holy priest, you’re more likely to use CoH with PoH being a back up.  Even with the changes to Serendipity, this will only give an extra incentive to cast PoH if you have it glyphed and even then I’d choose my spots to cast it carefully.  This is more of a “shrug” sort of bonus for both specs, something that’s nice to have, but you wouldn’t exactly miss it if it was gone.

    However, it’s the 4 piece bonus that really highlights one of the issues a lot of priests are beginning to have concerning Blizzard’s recent major changes to the priest class.  The problem here is that this tier bonus is obviously aimed at Discipline spec priests.  Even though it’s kind of lame (I mean, c’mon, 5 seconds, Blizzard?  That’s like kissing your cousin), it’s something a disc priest wouldn’t mind having in their arsenal for the occasional boost.  However, as almost every holy spec priest I’ve read over the last few days has pointed out, if you’re running with a disc priest in your raid, you’re probably not casting power word: shield because you don’t want to cut part of what makes a disc priest so damn discy.

    But here’s the problem: The stats on the gear are very very nice for holy spec.  Not BiS (tier armor almost never is) but damn close in all cases and something that anyone wearing only Naxx gear will jump at the chance to pick up.  However, the stats are only mildly interesting for disc priests, who are not looking to stack the spirit heavy pieces that are part of the tier 8 armor set.  This essentially means that both specs have a reason to find these attractive and a reason to turn their nose up at them.

    Look, Blizz… can I call you Blizz?  Blizz, you’ve done a fantastic job turning the discipline priest into a true PvE healing class.  You did such a good job, in fact, that you’ve actually made it into a wholly different type of healer, pretty much a completely different class.  The style, mindset, major spells, important stats, hell, even the importance of secondary stats are completely different than that of a holy healer.  They cast different heals at different times, basing their job performance on what buffs are up when and how much damage they help the tank avoid.  They chortle condescendingly when we suggest spirit is fantastic and reach for that extra helping of int instead, and that’s actually pretty awesome.  It’s also your fault, Blizz.

    You created a system that rewards the disc priest by how much mana they have and how fast they can cast their spells, turning them into haste hungry int mutants terrorizing the countryside.  Though you’re set to change their major form of mana regen with the rapture nerf, it’s still based on a percentage of total mana, meaning any smart disc priest will forgo spirit in favor of extra int and straight mp5 where they can get it.

    Holy priests on the other hand love them some spirit.  When you’re pushing 1,000 spirit (and top geared priests will), you don’t really give a crap about mp5 because you don’t need to.  You have enough mana regen that your i5sr amount should be equivalent to someone stacking mp5 instead of spirit.  The only difference is that your spirit also adds a straight sp bonus, making it one hella sexy stats for us.  I’m talking stilettos here, people.

    So we come to the crux of my argument: Why are you trying to please both sides, Blizz?  Why do you have to make a single healing set for the priest class?  I understand that we’re the only class that has two specific healing specs, but you’ve changed them to the point where they might as well be a dps and healing spec because they’re so wildly different.  Classes with three distinct specs such as shamans and paladins get three distinct tier sets, but we’re forced to put up with tier bonuses optimal for disc and disc is forced to put up with stats optimal for holy.

    Back in BC this argument would not have been really necessary because it could be argued that the PvP set was the disc set.  But with a switch in priorities for the spec and the rise of Blizz’s “bring the player, not the class” philosophy, that idea’s gone right out the window.  There are also changes in the mix to make disc into an even more attractive raiding class which will ensure more than a few holy priests picking it up as a secondary spec instead of dps.  Because of this, you’re going to see a lot of priests passing up tier gear in favor of items that don’t have spirit slathered all over them.  Holy priests will still take them, but the idea of losing the tier bonus won’t really give them pause.  This idea of forcing the needs of two fundamentally different specs into a single set devalues the gear for both specs.

    Let me close with this.  Blizzard, you have turned the priest into three different classes, two of which are healing classes.  However, they’re not the same type of healing classes.  They’re like Resto Shamans and Druids when it comes to what they want in stats.  They do a lot of the same things and have the same end result, but what they value when they’re looking for gear is wildly different.  You wouldn’t expect them to seek out the same type of gear stats-wise, yet you seem to think that priests will quietly do just that because we’re united under a common class name.  You divided us, and we’re happy for it, but the time has come to finish the job.  Acknowledge that we’re just too different to be happy with the same gear for both specs.  Otherwise, you probably won’t get much healing in the next Naxx run.


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