I'm currently in a guild which is doing Kharazan and almost finishing up Gruul's Lair. In some fights it can be quite useful to keep VE up during a certain phase to keep the strain off the healers a bit. Aggro seems to be a huge problem here. Currently I'm specced to have improved vampiric embrace. I'm assuming improved vampiric embrace generates more threat than does regular vampiric embrace. I'd like to keep the highest DPS output as possible since our raid seems to lack some in that department at times, and still help out on group healing.
I think my question boils down to this: would losing improved vampiric embrace significantly reduce my threat generation, and, would the regular vampiric embrace be of any noticable effect on group healing?
Thank you in advance!
PS: I've tried searching both EJ and Shadowpriest.com but couldn't find any direct answer to my question. Maybe I haven't searched well enough - apologies in advance if it's been treated here numerous times.
I believe the general purpose of your class is an Assist role (as is mine). Therefore improved vampiric embrace would improve your overall contribution as an assist class. If your raid is lacking dps, a shadowpriest is not the way to make up for it, IMO. Rather, you should continue to dps within your threat limits and allow your tanks/dps classes to gear up to your level (assuming you're wearing spellstrike/shadowweave, which is far more superior for your current raids than the other classes, in most cases).
Now..I believe I may have strayed from the topic slighty, so I'll try to answer the question: "Is Imp. VE better than 0/2 Imp. VE if it's causing too much aggro?" assuming "causing too much aggro" means you're holding back, thus contributing less.
The tooltip implies that you're now healing 25% of the dmg you deal, rather than 15%...a substantial difference for only 2 talent points (~67% more). AND! For no mana cost difference in your spells. I believe this takes a large chunk of work away from the healers on certain fights, allowing them to keep your MT (or other group) alive for longer, and less healing time wasted casting on themselves.
If you're pulling aggro it means, I'm assuming, your group is taking splash/aoe dmg, and you should hold back on heavy dps until your group needs the heals (larger threat window), and then continue with any Blasts or chain MF's. This makes you more effecient, as well as your healers for any fight. If you're pulling aggro when your group isn't taking splash dmg it means VE has nothing to do with it.
Short answer: IMO Imp.VE is worth every talent point I have in it, despite any additional threat it causes me to gain.
There are a few things to think about when deciding to get imp VE or not.
You are going to get the threat from healing your group regardless of imp VE or not, assuming your healers don't rush to pick up the slack. Not getting imp VE will reduce the TPS spikiness that you see when your group takes AE damage. In the end you will have the same threat total.
Not getting imp VE will increase your damage potential by freeing up two points to throw in imp MB/Meditation or whatever talent you had sacrificed to get imp VE.
If you are pvping with the same spec that you pve with, then I would most definitely keep imp VE.
Personally, I'm still up in the air about it. It is a great talent that doesn't cost very many talent points and would be hard for me to justify passing up. If you are doing strictly raid encounters, where your goal is to maximize your spec for pure damage potential then you could easily get rid of imp VE. The overall utility of having imp VE in pvp and a non raid environment makes it a hard talent to pass up.
I specced out of imp VE a little while ago and haven't regretted it since. Instead I finished my 5/5 Shadow Power. Frankly there aren't any fights where a VE will make or break the fight and having an extra 6% crit for my mind blast seemed like a fair trade.
I dropped it for Shadow Power recently too, and in raiding its not a really large loss. Usually my VE doesn't get to top my group off, due to Chain Heal or an overanxious Paladin, so all I'm doing is topping my group off a bit slower. On fights with a lot of AoE I also notice my threat is a bit safer. The worst thing about it with raiding is it takes longer to top yourself off after a SW now, and usually a healer will waste a heal on you because you're topping yourself off slower and they don't realize you're doing it to yourself.
The place you miss it most is definately PVP and grinding, but its worth the 2 talent points in Shadow Power IMO if you're a pure raid spec.
Unless your group is eating constant incidental damage the largest threat contribution from VE will always be from yourself, from topping off after SWD's. If you cut your VE throughput you might in theory be putting yourself in a situation where the inability to safely cast your next SWD lowers your dps even if you're within safe threat limits. I.e. VE might not be healing you enough to keep rotating SWD every 12 seconds. It's less of a factor now than with the prenerf cooldown, and depends in large part on AoE or other damage you take (e.g. cave-ins), but it's something to consider.
If surviving through the combination of SWD lashbacks and incidental damage is a non-issue, there's no real need to keep Imp VE. While I respect the opinion a few posts up that shadow priests are primarily a support class, I'm more inclined to believe it's a function of VT, Misery, and very good single target DPS rather than VE with the way raid mob damage output has increased and VE relative output has decreased.
I've hung onto my 2/2 Imp VE through a number of respecs but that's really more out of habit than anything else.
Last edited by Endahl : 06/17/07 at 4:04 PM.
Shadow priests shouldn't have talent points problems when picking imp VE and 15% mana regen while casting and inner focus unless you start picking solo/pvp talents. Lower cooldown on fear may be nice but it's most of the time useless.