Well, with arena season only a few days away, I'd be interested in discussing views regarding the following:
- Gear. How do you prioritize various stats? Are there thresholds where those priorities change? What strong pre-season gear upgrades do you know about, and what are you planning to wear before you earn the arena rewards?
- Spec. The big one here is obviously Pain Suppression versus Blessed Resilience, but there are other nuances as well. Both highly specialized PvP specs and fully functional PvP/raid specs are interesting, since I assume most the readers of this board will continue to raid during arena season, and respec costs add up.
- Techniques, tricks. Do you use PoM for the immunity to school lockout? Binding Heals for raw output under fire? Flash Heals for precision and relative mana efficiency? When, if ever, would you Mass Dispel? Etc.
The PvP discussions used to be pretty good over at Nurfed's site, but that board has been a mess for a long time. Lets hope we can get some solid discussion here.
For PvP gear, I'm a survivability freak. I was an early adapter to Tivoli's old armor priest school, and spent far too much DKP on tank upgrades back in the day. I expect most strong teams to either kill or disable the healer rather than outdps your heal output, so raw output comes secondary to survival.
Through some calculations, I reached the following priorities for the main survival stats:
30 Stamina = 40 Resilience = 500 armor
Any such calculation has to take some pretty hefty assumptions, and as far as I can remember this is what I used:
- Effective HP 20000 - Starting from a base of ~10-11k, I expect to be able to heal myself/be healed for close to 10k against a decent team, between shields, PoM, Desperate Prayer and normal heals. Poor assist trains will allow me to have far higher effective hp, but I prefer to assume the opposition is competent, and place high priority on surviving the initial burst.
- Roughly 20% of hits taken are crits. This is a very hard number to estimate due to Blessed Resilience and depends heavily on opposing classes, but I feel it was a fair assumption, erring a bit on the safe side to avoid instagibs.
- Roughly 75% of damage taken is physical. Again a hard number to estimate, but we have to pick one to reach any results. With proper positioning this should be doable. The actual number here turns out to be relatively unimportant, since armor with the new mitigation formula turns out to be a far less efficient stat to focus on than stamina and resilience, even with such a high percentage of physical damage.
The other stats are harder to quantify, and I need some experience to see how I will adjust my gear to them. In general I rate intellect and +healing as the only casting stats worth looking at, but seem to get decent amounts of it even if I focus heavily on the survival aspect.
The gear choices are to some extent influenced by what gear I have, and it's focused on not spending a ton of cash on things that will be upgraded with arena gear. The most expensive piece to obtain by far is the Unyielding Girdle, but that will be the belt of choice for a long time. Enchants also take long term cost efficiency into consideration.
CTProfiles won't show gems, but the only notable ones are Powerful Earthstorm Diamond for the head piece, and lots of +9 sta gems in the available slots. Shoulders and bracers in particular have useless socket bonuses, so you can stick all blue gems in them to reach the 5 gem requirement. +12 sta gems are available if you feel rich, and bracers for instance will be worn for a long time, so you can probably afford it there.