[Priest] Holy WotLK Talent Preview / Discussion
While at work I keep hoping to see a Holy Priest talent discussion for WotLK but it is never there. I have finished a lot of stuff this morning and have found myself with some free time so here it is. If you are interested in the other talent trees of a priests here are some quick links to A Preliminary Discussion of Shadow Priest Talents in WotLK, [Priest] Discipline WotLK Talent Preview and discussion, and lastly a link to the main priest thread [Priest] Holy Raiding Compendium v2 (WoW-2.4.0).
For this thread I do not want it to be a discussion about our current spells abilities or the mechanics they fall under, but a discussion of the up and coming talents and spells we will be getting from our holy tree. Be creative, come up with suggestions you think are good and hopefully a Blizzard employee browses over your ideas!
*Note: There has been some discussion in Constant's thread however, I would prefer if that thread was devoted to current game mechanics/abilities, hence starting this thread.
Changes to the current Holy Priest spells:
Circle of Healing: Now works on any targets in the caster's raid, and is now a "smart" heal and chooses the lowest health targets to heal first within it's range. Also now has a 6 second cooldown. Also no longer will heal summoned Snakes from Hunter's Snake Trap.
Holy Fire: Cast time reduced to to 2 seconds, down from 3.5. Damage increased roughly 60%. Duration for the damage over time effect reduced to 7 seconds, down from 10. Holy Fire now has a 10 second cooldown.
Inspiration: Can now proc from the Penance spell, in addition to all the old spells that could proc Inspiration.
Lightwell: Cast time reduced to .5 sec, down from 1.5 sec. Charges increased to 10, up from 5. Now breaks from any attack that hits you for 30% or more of your total health. Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5.
Searing Light: Now also increases the damage of Holy Nova and Penance.
Changes to the current Holy Priest talents:
Empowered Healing: Reduced from 20%/10% to 10%/5%.
Searing Light: Now also increases the damage of your Holy Nova and Penance spells.
New Holy Priest spells:
Divine Hymn: You recite a holy hymn, granting your party protection from attackers. Any attacks done to you or your party will cause the attacker to be afflicted by sleep for 20 sec. Divine Hymn will last 10 sec.
10 min cooldown.
Mark of Divinity: Marks the target with Divinity, causing 30% of all of your healing to also heal the target. Lasts for 30 min. (65% of Base Mana, Instant) (I cannot find this anywhere... was it removed?)
New Holy Priest talents:
Serendipity: If your Greater Heal or Flash Heal spells overheal the target for greater than 50%, you are instantly refunded 20/40/60% of the spell's mana cost. (Cooldown removed)
Improved Holy Concentration: Increases the chance you'll enter Holy Concentration by 4/7/10%, and also increases your spell haste by 20/40/60% for the next three Greater Heal, Flash Heal or Binding Heal spells after you gain Holy Concentration. Lasts 20 sec.
Test of Faith: Increases healing by 5/10/15% and spell critical effect chance by 4/7/10% on friendly targets at or below 50% health. (3 Ranks)
Divine Providence: Increases the amount healed by Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending by 2/4/6/8/10%. (5 Ranks)
Guardian Spirit: Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 10% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec. 6% of base mana, Instant cast, 40 yd range, 3 min cooldown.
All in all I like the new talents and abilities and am patiently awaiting WotLK. Here is my current planned talent spec(with 1 free talent point) if the changes go through. Losing Mental Agility hurts, but the gains in the holy tree are awesome.
Source: MMO Champion and World of Raids.
Talent Calculator: Priest Talent Calculator from WoWhead
Modeled after Norfair's Resto Druid WotLK thread (I liked your format the best, simple and clean.)
Please keep in mind that the spells and talents are constantly subject to change. Also, read WotLK, Leaks, and You before posting any additional information.
Updated Friday July 18th, 2008. Removed my own comments since this is a thread to discuss the talents/spells of the holy tree.
1. Circle of Healing also appears to have its base healing reduced. However, even with this reduction you're still looking at a heal that's likely to be far more efficient than other multi-target heals since it will hit for nearly 100% every time. Also, the cooldown tends to make Mental Agility less worthwhile for Holy Priests since it will only affect spells with a cooldown and Renew.
2. Holy Fire appears to have also received a 10s cooldown and a reduction in casting time to 2.0s (1.5s w/Divine Fury). This would make it a normal part of a Smite Priest's rotation. It would also remove virtually any value from Surge of Light for anyone except a pure Smite Pirest since its value for throwing an occaisional nuke would be replaced by Holy Fire.
3. Lightwell. Unfortunately, certain ideas are conceptually flawed and are almost impossible to make worthwhile no matter how much you pump their numerical efficiency. Lightwell is already by far the most efficient 'heal' in a Priest's arsenal in terms of both heal-per-cast and heal-per-mana. It still sucks.
The problem with Lightwell has always been the fact that self-heals for non-healers are almost worthless due to coordination difficulties with the actual healers. While a Rogue is dashing over to the Lightwell, someone is tossing a Lifebloom on them - and either a charge or a Lifebloom ends up getting wasted. About the only time such heals are useful is when they're instantaneous and can potentially save your life in a time frame where your healers are unable to react.
Also, if you spec out what is likely to be the 'cookie cutter' 14/57/0, you have to ask what you're going to sacrifice. 57 points in Holy gets you all of the healing talents but not Lightwell.
4. Mark of Divinity. There's got to be more of a story on this one. As it stands right now, it puts Priests so far ahead of other healers as to render other healers pointless. In terms of solo-healing 5-man content, it basically means that either it is trivially easy for a Priest to heal or impossible for anyone else to heal. Look at it this way: Greater Heal is already the highest hpm/hps single target direct heal in WotLK by a fairly large margin (excepting Paladin heals, which we have yet to see). Now add 30% on top of it.
5. Divine Hymn. Frankly, I loathe this ability. Long cooldowns should do something very, very significant - not do something that maybe somewhat useful in a limited fashion only in certain forms of content. It seems like the Priest version of Tranquiity - a spell that someone evidentally some designer thinks is just peachy, but is in reality almost worthless. At least we don't have an Improved Divine Hymn talent.
6. Improved Holy Concentration. Add this to the "will be nerfed" list. As it stands, this constitutes a 16% reduction in cost to Greater/Flash Heal and nearly a 30% reduction in cost of Binding Heal. Bear in mind that these are already the most mana efficient heals in their class (excepting possibly the unseen Paladin heals). Unless mana is a complete non-issue in WotLK, it's tough to see how Druids and Shaman can possibly keep up in long raid fights.
The haste component is also a bit suspect. Assuming you're casting at the listed cast times, chain-cast Greater Heal has a 75% uptime, Flash Heal a 90% uptime and Binding Heal a 99%+ uptime on the haste. To compare this in level 70 terms, Spiritual Guidance on 600 Spirit provides the equivalent of 6.8 epic gems worth of +healing. With 20% haste and Greater Heals, you're looking at 23.5 epic gems worth of spell haste. With 60% haste and Binding Heals, you're looking at a talent that is 14 times as powerful as Spiritual Guidance in itemization points terms (ignoring the mana benefits) or about 23 times as powerful on a per-point basis. I understand not all talent points are created equal, but that's a trifle much.
There's also the possibility that this talent simply allows full mana regeneration for 10 seconds after a proc - which I find more likely. However, such a talent almost completely negates the value of Meditation (assuming you don't get 130% mana regeneration) since the up-time figures are 50%/70%/90% for a 10s 0% FSR proc.
Personally, I'm expecting something along the lines of "while clearcasting, you gain X% haste" since this would end the haste the next time you cast a HC-able heal.
7. Serendipity. I dislike this talent, since it rewards bad play more than anything else (either from the standpoint of the healer or from the standpoint of the healing coordination). If it refunds the base mana cost of the spell, it will be incredibly overpowered (due to Holy Concentration). It doesn't appear to do so, though.
8. Guardian Spirit. The easiest way to understand this ability is to go back and read all the discussion of Pain Suppression as a PvE ability. This is Pain Suppression redux. Great for PvP, but probably worthless in PvE where the tank you just saved (but left at 217 health) dies to the 5k hit that immediately follows.
About the only PvE use I can really see for this is for opening up a fight since it would buy the tank a bit more time to grab threat or for very specialized fights with an instagib ability. However, I don't believe we'll see all that many of the latter because Blizzard doesn't generally design "must have ability X" fights - especially when talking about a class/spec people are likely to bring multiples of anyway.
9. Empowered Healing. Currently, wowhead has this listed as 10%/5% (a reduction). I suspect it'll end up at 40%/20% to compensate for higher coefficients on heals.
10. Spiritual Guidance. With the spellpower changes, this becomes a lot better of a talent. Currently it's somewhat mediocre because having the same amount of +damage and +healing means an ability is underpowered on +healing. Note that the same effect will improve the other stat->+healing talents as well as Wrath of Air.
11. Prayer of Healing. I've seen a lot of people saying that Prayer of Healing will be raid-wide, or get a cooldown. I have seen no evidence that this is the case - everything I've read indicates that Prayer of Healing will remain a group heal that hits all members of the group with neither cooldown nor cap.
12. Fortitude/Shadow Protection. The power of these spells roughly triple, while the power of Spirit roughly doubles. This is a huge shift (albeit not a Holy-specific one).
What I foresee as a build would be the 14/57/0 I mentioned above (all the healing talents except Lightwell, plus a standard 14 points in Discipline).
However, depending on how IHC works, Meditation might be almost worthless for a Holy Priest - in which Discipline as a tree is nearly worthless. Yes, your Shadow Priests will be annoyed they have to buff everyone's Fortitude, but it's hardly a great burden (and it's not like they're going throw their extra points into Holy). In contrast, it might be worthwhile to go with a 0/63/8 build for Improved Spirit Tap/Shadow Focus. This allows you some spare points to fill out various secondary talents in Holy (such as more damage and PvP talents), making for a much stronger solo/PvP build than one based around the low end of Discipline. It's impossible to say whether interleaving Mind Blast/Shadow Word: Death in a raid fight is actually a practical means of replacing Meditation, but it's a lot closer than you might initially think if you're already at a very high 0% FSR time due to IHC.
Overall, Holy feels somewhat 'unfinished' to me. If they released WotLK like this, it would be the equivalent of reverting back to the early days of the game where Priests were really the only 'healers' and three other classes had some nifty tricks as well as some gimpy healing spells.
I missed the Empowered healing change. Going to make that adjustment now.
Lightwell is sadly a concept that is flawed in the most fundamental way. If you can't reliably get your dps to pot/healthstone/bandage what makes you think that there is any chance in hell of getting them to take 6-10 seconds to:
Realise that they are badly hurt
Look about for a lightwell that has at least a 50% chance of not being there.
Move to said lightwell
Click on it (once)
Go back to dpsing
AND Not have some helpful raid healer heal them back to full before hand if there is more than one healer.
As someone on the general forums said, "If you DPS is smart enough to use a lightwell correctly they are smart enough not to need to use it" Fundamentally a talented heal that is outside of the healers direct control in all aspects of it's healing is a failure.
What I'm currently seeing in the holy tree is similar to what we saw in the TBC beta/alpha with lots of neat ideas and PvP toys but a lack of polish. As has been said Imp holy concentration and Mark of Divinity (if true) are so powerful as to be insane. Now they may be wanting to give holy priests some more raw power and endurance compared to some other healing specs that bring more synergy (think rogues of healing) but a 30+% throughput boost coupled with a 16% endurance boost seems like it's a bit much.
Divine Hymn could actually be a good 'Oh Crap" stabilisation spell especially for 5mans. Bad pull or adds overwhelming you, put the lot to sleep and focus 1-2 targets down while the priest gets to heal everyone back to full. I suspect that this will need to be nurfed for Arena's though as imagine putting an entire enemy team to sleep with one spell, it would be damn close to an I win button if you had forced trinket use already with fear or other CC. Even if it lasts 5 secs that would be AT LEAST one enemy of your choice dead.
Currently guardian spirit is horribly tricky to time and the odds are very good that if you would have died to that swing that you would still die on the next one. Only real use I can see is for gimmick fights like Kaels pyroblast where you categorically know that someone is about to take catastrophic, unhealable damage. everything else is just to damned hard to time. To make this a more useful spell it needs to also increase the health of the saved person to something approaching survivability maybe 1/4 or 1/3 max hp. This would hopefully not overpower it in PvP but would make it far more viable for random PvE situations where it currently looks damn near worthless given it's very low uptime/long cooldown/likely hood of target dying within 1 second anyway. Marginally viable for big raids with multiple healers, almost worthless for 10 mans and useless in 5s as you burned a GCD to cast is and can't power up your saving move before the target eats another shot and snuffs it.
The Viability of CoH changes really depends on encounter design, if we get lots of Illidan P2 encounters it sucks but if the damage is more pulsed, such as Kalecgos it's ok. Blizzards current tendency to put the AoE heals on cool downs suggests that there will be some changes to how raid damage will be delivered to make constant AoE heal spamming less necessary.
3) Great in theory, terrible in practice, due to the chaotic nature of raids. :/
5) It's an extra tool for 5-mans at the very least. With a bit of coordination, it could save your group from a bad pull. Don't knock a low cost, instant trick that could save a bit on repair bills. It's probably not usable for arenas, what with the 10 minute cooldown, so I will admit it's something of a 1-trick pony in that regard.
6) Do you think an additional .6% proc chance with the 100% regen effect could be what Blizzard is aiming for?
7) Yet again, due to the chaotic nature of raid healing in a fight where the MT must constantly be kept topped off (or the raid), this talent could be a bandage for occasional mistakes, as well as a way to get additional mana when health bars have to be full. Note the 10 second cooldown in WoWhead's calculator.
Talent Builds: I'm confused about your 0/63/8 build. Where would the other 3 points in Shadow be spent?
Lightwell: I too think that buffing Lightwell is pointless because of the conceptual limitations - basically the only fights where it is useful are those where raid members are teleported out of healing/dps range, and only then when you can preemptively drop a lightwell at where they will be teleported to (think Morogrim graves) -- and even then it's hardly the best or only solution.
Empowered healing coefficient reduction: This is presumably because of the damage/healing -> spellpower change (so not an actual nerf/buff).
Guardian Spirit: I remember reading somewhere that it would behave rather differently to what the tooltip currently states (which I agree is underpowered and very gimmicky). Let me see if I can find the quote... WWI transcribed comments (as such not 100% reliable)
Spell costs and regen: I think it's likely that Meditation will still be a required talent. Consider
1) The mana cost of all spells increases a lot between 70 and 80,
2) Depending on how gear conflation works it may be harder to stack spirit than it is currently,
3) The holy concentration changes are just too ambiguously worded (and seem to still be in flux) to draw reliable conclusions on their sustainability impact, and
4) The rumored possibility of mana potting being nerfed (the Mana Sickness debuff)
On the previous Wotlk wiki site someone mentioned that Imp. Holy Concentration was always 20% haste at any x/3, they basically didn't make the changes to the talent calculators properly (when the 8471 alpha patch came out I'm guessing). So ranks 2/3 and 3/3 have the values from the previous alpha build.
Sounds more reasonable to me.
Also Iapetes' Various Rants 'n Ramblings has been fairly accurate, check out his June 17, 2008 post. Old but this alpha build has been out for a while now, and he's been right about blizzard considering raid-wide PoH (which I personally disagree with) and raidwide totems/ect.
Just as an incentive for further discussion (because it has been mentioned a few times already): These are (even partly unconfirmed) Alpha-talents. They are not meant to be perfect and the tree is not meant to be perfect or even nearly perfect (as far as live talents can be considered 'perfect', at least). Otherwise it could be labeled 'live' and patched into the game. What I want to say is simply, that you can not expect a completely balanced tree when it is released in a dedicated testing environment.
To add something constructive and non-off-topic:
Serendipity: Although it might sound nice on a first glimpse, I highly doubt its real usefulness. Refunding the cost a spell means putting you into FSR (since you already spent mana to cast it). Considering a talented GH Rank9 that equates to a theoretical maximum of:
GH9: 1290 (base mana cost) - 15% = 1096,5 / 10 seconds = 109,65 / 2 = 54,8 mp5 (meaning 18,3 mp5 per talent point).
Note that this equation assumes the consumption every 10 seconds and consuming it with GH9, a perfect condition you will hardly be able to match. Given as it is, Serendipity is a nice gimmick, but nothing more. And @Kortar: Show me a WWS of a raid where you do less than 40 - 50 % (conservative estimation) overheal. It has nothing to do with stupid playing, the game simply allows (due to incredible possibilities of regenerating mana) and requires (due to spiky damage) massive amounts of overhealing at the current point.
As for most of the other new talents: The tendency seems strongly be heading to the direction of making priests single-target-throughput- as well as enduring-healers (again), with added gimmicks for group heal, nontheless (in a raid environment, at least), strongly dedicated to main tank healing (Test of Faith and the Guardian Spirit also point strongly into that direction). Considering that Shamans will probably stay kings in raid healing (Chain Heal wasn´t nerfed as far as I know) this makes at least some sense. The Paladin talents are yet to be revealed but assuming less raw throughput with HL than we get with GH sounds quite stupid to me.
One last remark towards Mark of Divinity: If this goes live I will cheer oh-so-much. This is nearly exactly what I have been wishing for since Binding Heal was introduced - roughly a binding heal for which I can assign an other target than myself. But don´t overestimate it. Yes, our throughput would make a huge jump, but please, don´t straightly equate this talent with a 30 % surplus. I would conservatively judge the effective throughput in a boss fight (if the Mark is set on the MT and I heal OT and Raid e.g.) to about 10 - 15 %. You have to assume at least 50 % overheal with the Mark-healing, possibly more. Assuming any other would mean you need to time your heals to land perfectly on your main-heal-target as well as the Mark-target which - in a raid - is in 90 % of all cases simply impossible due to the amount of heals you cast and the speed in which you do it.
And concerning the point of over-powerdness in 5-mans: The game is balanced around raids and arena. The game isn´t balanced around 5-mans. The fact that a priest would be able to heal them easier (which is yet to be proven!) does not mean other classes can´t heal it. And besides, this was - at least in my personal experience - also true for BC 5-mans. Due to the flexibility of priest´s heals we had a lot of advantages to other healers. The combination of strong throughput on a single target, a Heal over Time, an incredibly strong group-heal (PoH) and gimmicks like shield and PoM (although it can hardly be considered a gimmick, strong as it is) made any other healer cry when going 5-mans (anyone ever ran Black Morass heroic in its unnerfed status and with adequate gear with a paladin as healer and see him whining for group heals?). Though, the flexibility vanishes quickly in many raid situations since specialistst for certain specific tasks are required.
First of all your calculation is completely wrong. 1000 mana every 10 seconds = 100 mana per second or 500mp5. 1k mana every 15 seconds is feasible and that is 8k mana every 2 minutes or 2.5 mana pots if you have alche stone. Its not just good its insane.
1) The 2t5 talent is a good indication of how powerfull serendipity is. Its 3 points for 2-3x the effect of 2t5.
2) Although you might not think it will proc very often it will. Basically every 10 seconds you are going to fire a full max rank gheal on the target, even if its full health. If you have clearcasting or inner focus, you will use a max rank anyhow and aim to overheal so you also get 1k mana from serendipity. And no you wont trigger FSR with this.
Serendipity is probably the 2nd biggest of the huge buffs that holy priest appear to have received.
Also I dont aggree that we are made single target healers. Binding Heal CoH, PoM and PoH will still be powerfull multi-target healing tools, especially if PoH also gets changed to target raid. In addition there was something said about divine hymn also having an AoE heal component. Far from turning priests into single target healers, blizzard is simply encouraging priests to use their entire complement of tools rather than spam a single button.
In any case the IHC buff means that you will want to have a decent amount of GH/FH/BH spam in any case to keep IHC up and proc serendipity. So we would not be CoH spamming anyway. That does not make us weaker raid healers. It makes us stronger. What you lose from the spammability of CoH, you gain back from test of faith, divine providence and IHC. Chain heal on the other hand has received no buff other than earthliving weapon. Even today any priest who knows how to use gheal/renew/pom/BH effectively can give chain a run for their money. Given the absence of a significant buff to CH, but the huge buffs priests have received in WotLK, I am inclined to say that priests will beat chain heal any given day.
My guess is blizzard is trying to put an end to overspecialisation. All the changes to shamans and druids give them stronger buffs where they are weakest. Druids got an AoE heal and a fairly powerfull single target direct heal, which was the areas they were hurting the most. Sure 1 sec GCD on lifebloom and rejuve is great, but it does not make these spells actually heal more, just gives the druid more free casting time. Shamans got mostly a very powerfull buff to single target healing.
Priests on the other hand received a huge buff to single target healing and decent buff to multi target healing.
As for the 51 talent, I think rather than being purely an oh shit button, its going to be a counter for mobs with one-shot abilities.
Lightwell. I see a lot of people complaining about the "flawed concept" of lightwell. The only flaw is their way of thinking. There is absoludely nothing wrong with lighwell conceptually. Self Heal is a staple of every raid. You have healthstones, bandages, health pots and various self healing abilities, which are constantly used and make a up a decent chunk of total healing.
The main issue why lightwell is a bad talent is because it simply does not heal enough, even under very good conditions, due to the long cast timer, small number of charges and break on damage mechanics. A 12k heal not usable on targets with active every 6 minutes is extremely underpowered.
The new lightwell has removed a good portion of the break on damage mechanics, shortened the cooldown and doubled the charges. What remains to be seen is what "direct damage" means. If it means that a direct attack (i.e. cast a targeted spell or physical attack) is requird then this new lightwell is very powerfull.
With good tactics it is very easy to take advantage of a lightwell like that. For example you could outheal a full bloodboil with a single lightwell. You set up the lightwell right at spot where the BB group will be standing before the fight so the CD is ticking down. When BB starts everyone in the group clicks on the lightwell, then does so again after 6 seconds, then they use their healthstone and bandage afterwards. No heals necessary. You will probably be able to put another lightwell down during the next BB phase. What other ability do you know that can allow you to outheal a full bloodboil without casting a single spell.
Or think of healing caribdis. It will be a complete joke. The ranged interupt can be healed exclusively with lightwell. All to need to do is keep renew active on melee interupt and binding heal 2x on tank after each waterbolt.
What limits the use of lightwell for most priests is lack of imagination, unskilled teamates and poor organisation. These things do not make the spell bad in any way. Those who dont suffer these limitations can put lightwell to very good use.
I think a CD reduction to 3 minutes with 10 charges and this improved break on damage mechanic would make lightwell an extremely powerfull 31 pointer.
Ah, I´m sorry, I completely failed to do even basic maths, of course it is 500 mp5, which definitely makes Serendipity very valuable. Although you can not equate it with the highest possible amount, since this is theoretical and timing your heals around Serendipity procs instead of tank health will prove to be a mistake.
With Inner Focus or Clearcast GHs, however, I am not sure whether they will procc it. "refunded the mana cost of the spell" is not a clear formulation. It could either mean the base mana or the actual mana cost (which is zero in the mentioned case) and we will probably not know which is the case until the beta goes live. Besides, by my latter post I meant that Serendipity proccs itself would still trigger the FSR since the spell costs mana in the first place.
As for the case of the priests role: I clearly did not say we are made single-target healers. I even emphasized the flexibility and incredible amount of possibilities we have due to our broad variety of spells. What I said with single-target-healing was in terms of raids where the broad variety of instruments normally doesn´t get used (at least no to such an extent and not in a single boss fight). Yes, we basically could do the same group-healing as shamans (note, without or least with CoH on CD!) but show me a raid where a non-CoH priest heals the raid and a shaman does something else. It´s simply pointless. Without CoH Shamans are better group-healers and that won´t change from what we know up to know.
I also agree that we basically could use everything we have in raids (and we do, from time to time) but where is the point in throwing renews on various raid members who get topped off before it even ticks once? You can do all that in a 5-man group where you are the only healer and it will work perfectly fine with your efficiency going through the roof but it is not practicable when there are 7 or 8 fellow healers. Thus, specialisation will still exist.
Even if every healer class could do every type of healing they wouldn´t do so in a raid. You have a specific role and you adjust the spells you use to that role and to other factors (e.g. how many other healers do the same? How predictable is the damage? etc...) and this will always support specialisation (and therefore mostly minimization of used spells) in a raid environment. I also do not see, how and why that should change with WotLK.
It's of almost no use for strict DPS checks as DPS can't take the time to run over and use it. It's of limited use for execution checks as such fights normally entail a fair amount of movement (run out of fire, stay a certain distance away from X effect or X mob) and often feature medium - large amounts of direct splash damage. Encounters that aren't either are trivial and hence not really worth considering.
Moreover you can really only rely on Lightwell when you can predict who is going to take (periodic) damage (Bloodboil), or precisely where the damage will be taken (Morogrim graves). Predictable damage is already the easiest to heal; it's the random spike damage that is dangerous and in such cases healing them up RIGHT NOW (not after 5 - 10 seconds when they've run to the lightwell, clicked on it, and the HoT has ticked out) is what's important.
Finally, while I'm sure that it is possible to modify boss strategies to incorporate Lightwell, I would argue that a lot of the time you will end up making things harder than they need to be. If a fight is already challenging with regard to its execution then adding an additional concern (keeping track of and remaining within a reasonable distance of the Lightwell) is just going to complicate matters (e.g. Archimonde).
To "fix" Lightwell Blizzard could do worse than modify it to work similarly to healthstones. You click on the well and receive a "globe of light" that shares a cooldown with healthstones, and produces the HoT interrupted-by-direct-damage effect when used.
In terms of the 'tendency', I couldn't disagree more. Every talent Holy Priests receive in WotLK with the possible exception of Guardian Spirit is oriented towards raid healing:
Improved Holy Concentration - Unpredictable haste isn't all that useful when team-healing a tank. It's fantastic when you're trying to rapidly Flash Heal multiple people.
Test of Faith - If your raid tank is below 50%, it's a huge emergency. Your dps classes drop below 50% in a standard
fashion - and this allows you to Flash Heal them rather than Greater Heal them.
Divine Providence - Obviously.
Serendipidity - Overhealing tanks with Greater Heal is much less of a concern than overhealing dps with Flash Heal due to the available health to play with, the ease of cancelling longer cast spells and the more predictable set of healers firing heals on tanks.
Coupled with the huge buff to CoH, it really seems like they're trying to make Priests raid healers.
Or go look at Druids. Druids get Nourish, which is a fantastic spell if you're tossing it on someone with a pile of HoT (such as the tank). It's a terrible spell if you're trying to randomly heal raid damage with it. And while Flourish is nice, it's far less efficient in every way except casting time than simply spreading out Lifeblooms not to mention harder to coordinate than direct instaheals like CoH.
A few side notes:
1. The 0/63/8 build I was talking about would put the extra 3 points in Shadow Focus (you are trying to land nukes on raid bosses in your +0 spell hit healing gear). However, I doubt such a build would be remotely practical once we have the full figures - it was just a result of observing that spending 90%+ of your time at full regeneration makes Meditation superfluous.
2. My speculative 14/57/0 build. It's really just a 20/41/0 with points shifted away from Mental Agility (almost all instacasts have cooldowns or are the completely-ignored-in-WotLK Renew) towards the top end of Holy.
3. Empowered Healing. It seems what they're doing is adjusting the base coefficients of healing spells. So Greater Heal will go from 85.7% to around 154%. If this occurs, the current values on empowerment talents become underpowered and they need to be raised to compensate. They've done this with one talent - the Druid Healing Touch empowerment talent - and my anticipation is that they'll eventually do it with all of them. What the wowhead calculator shows is a nerf to 10%/5%, which I think is someone's error not an actual reflection of what is in alpha - this would constitute an almost fourfold nerf in a talent that's already 3rd-4th on the list of effective healing talents.
1) "People must go to the lightwell to get healed". You position it strategically and *only* those who are near use it. The rest dont use it.
2) "DPS need to lower their DPS to use lightwell". Nonsense, Clicking the lightwell takes no GCD, there is no need to channel and does not use up any CD.
3) "Its useless in fights that require movement". Mostly untrue. Most movement fights revolve around moving in the same area. Although people might have to move away from lightwell, in the same way they might be able to move TO the lightwell or cross it on their path to somewhere else
4) "Lightwell only heals damage which is easy to heal". This is by far the silliest argument people make. Check the talent description. Where does it say that lightwell is there to heal in your place, so you can go and watch TV? Letting ppl use the lightwell to heal some easy to heal and predictable damage, saves you mana and casting time, which you can use to focus on the hard to heal active damage for which you cannot heal lightwell. That makes the spell more usefull not less.
5) "lightwell takes ages to heal ppl". The first tick takes 2 seconds. 5k healing over 6 seconds is not slow by any stretch of the imagination.
6) "Lightwell makes things more complicated". Its actually really really simple. You position the lightwell in an appropriate spot, which gives it the best chance of getting the most use. For some fights you cant use it really well. In most fights you can. There is nothing complicated about it. The only complication is that people are needlessly hostile to the whole idea, because they are too blinkered to stop for a second and have a good look at the situation.
I have used lightwell in every instance from the sunken temple to the first couple of bosses in karazhan and I know from practice just how nonsensical people's objection to lighwell are. There is *one* and only *one* way to look at lightwell: How much mana it saves you. Currently due to the break on damage mechanic and 5 charges over 6 minutes it saves you about 1-1.5k mana every 6 minutes, which is pathetic. It is only usefull in 5 mans due to the short fight timer and because you are the only healer.
With the new mechanic however and with the 10 charges/5 minute. You can easily expect to save between 2.5-5k mana per 5 minutes. I call that one talent well spent.
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