Mists of Pandaria: All Specs
Please use this thread to discuss Priests in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Avoid excessive wish-listing and whining. Constructive criticism is fine. Make sure you are making a useful post. "I like X" is not useful. "I like X because it allows this or that" is useful. Common sense applies, if you're not sure feel free to PM a moderator or administrator. Thanks.
I'd like to start by posting some information which can be gleaned and/or stated, but not very circulated.
1.) No more Mind Blast for Holy Priests or Discipline Priests; since neither specs use Shadow Power we can assume Mind Blast will be a spec ability for Shadow. This does make me a little sad, but we still have Mind Spike, though this is a little depressing if Mind Spike keeps it's current iteration in which x3 Mind Spike creates a Mind Blast crit. (MS x3 -> MB, is a bit more interesting than just MS spamming.)
2.) All three specs will have access to Evangelism/Dark Evangelism. This will probably help soloing a good bit. Interesting to see if it still affects Penance as well (mana cost reduction).
I think the design for "optional" talents (like the first tier ones) is broadly right, where you pick talents that fit the same broad category but with different niches. However, I am worried by the DPS tiers such as level 75 (increased damage/healing under 25% vs Power Infusion vs Mind Melt). Such tiers that give "choices" between pure DPS talents will inevitably result in people simming for the best talent per fight and choosing that 100% of the time, which is what they are trying to avoid.
Instead, I would suggest looking at the 45 talents(From Darkness comes light vs Power Infusion vs Archangel). While these are all DPS/throughput talents, the Divine Star gives a healing aspect that the other talents do not. IMO, the way to give true "choice" is to provide 3 talents where the "best" choice cannot objectively be determine by theory/simming for each fight, but instead giving people a true choice between (e.g.) 5% DPS with no utility or 3% dps with burst healing when required.
I'm not sure if having non-objectively better talents that particularly suit individual fights is a good thing. For example, in a HC Saurfang-type fight it seems "obvious" to take the AoE root talent in tier 1, which again creates the illusion of choice where no real choice exists.
I think for now my main suggestion would be that for DPS increasing tiers, instead of having 3 pure DPS increasing talents, to have 1 clear "DPS only" talent, 1 "marginally less DPS plus significant utility" talent and 1 "slightly less DPS plus massive utility" talent. There is no need to make people choose between 3 pure DPS talents in the new paradigm.
The problem with a choice between DPS, DPS/Utility and Utility is that if you need the utility for a bossfight you lose dps. Of course I would change the talents if it makes the fight easier for the raid, but if I lose damage for it then feels wrong. I always try to maximize my dps (without wiping the raid or getting unnecessary damage because of it).
From the perspective of a shadow, some tiers are not good balanced.
Deperate prayer uses 2 gcds, since it will shift us out of shadowform.
Angelic Bulwark uses 1 gcd and maybe the WS effect is already on us.
Final prayer can be useful on AoE-heavy fights (Beth'tilac last phase)
Vow of Unity and Void Shift: have to be used (gcd, looking at tank health), danger of dying
Vampiric Dominance: passive heal (better than now)
Divine Star: Hopefully a better AI than the Fire Orb of mages. Will the damage decrease if there's much to heal?
Power Infusion: Since we don't need the mana component as shadows for raid-dps it may be best to give it to arcane mages. But personal dps decreases.
I imagine Divine Star will work more like a skill-shot from League of Legends. As in, it'll go directly in a straight line in front of you, then return back. Rather than meander around like Fire Orbs.
Also, I wouldn't make the assumption Desperate Prayer will drop you out of shadowform. It seems reasonable it will work like the Druid talent Renewal. However it is worth noting Angelic Bulwark might proc at an inopportune time and thus be useless. There's a good deal of Cataclysm fights where you take massive raid-wide damage but do not necessarily need a heal for it (think of Fire Traps on Ragnaros, Cho'Galls Shadow Orders or Nefarian Lightning Generator).
Just as a reminder, Gift of the Naaru STILL drops you out of shadowform. But maybe they will fix this along with desperate prayer?
With the changes of Vampiric Dominance I guess our surviability will drop a bit (no more 6% selfhealing) an we lose some hps (18% -> 15%), but since it's now smarthealing I guess the effective hps will rise (less overhealing). Hey, get 6 shadows in the raid, drop one healer :) .
I do hope that they give up on the idea of new talents. While the goal here was to give players more significant options in its current iteration the priest talents are mostly either insignificant or, from raid perspective, only one option is viable (outside of niche uses to counter specific boss encounters).
Tier 1: Mostly insignificant.
Tier 2: B&S will likely be the optimal choice
Tier 3: Possibly you get real options here, though for shadow the choice will have the same 'problem' they are trying to fix in the first place - one of the talents will be best DPS increase. For healing specs everything depends on number balancing, but I feel the choice here will be easy - Divine Star and maybe archangel if Atonement healing is good.
Tier 4: Mostly insignificant. Desperate prayer as all around choice with switching to Final Prayer for bosses that encourage its usage.
Tier 5: Another possibly significant choice. For shadow, if general philosophy doesn't change, you don't want Serendipity and it will be easy to calculate DPS from ToF vs PI (plus potentially this tier will have you choose between personal DPS or raid-wide DPS).
Tier 6: Hardly significant for shadow (and not really a choice, Vampiric Dominance seems like the only option). For healing specs maybe a choice between Void Shift and Vampiric Dominance, though VD will likely be the all-around choice.
So, all in all, from raiding perspective I have 2 and a half significant choices as a healing priest (possibly less if talents are not well balanced) and one or two choices as shadow. I do feel like choosing between Atonement or no, Darkness vs Veiled Shadows, renew talents or no, SoS, ToT, SoL and some other optional talents gives me more options to tune my character to my playstyle than the new suggestion.
Tier 2 could be a choice for some bosses, but yeah, most of the time the sprint will be best.
Tier 3 and Tier 5 won't be the same for every boss. But once tested there will be best choices for each single fight.
Tier 6 for shadow I agree. For healers I think it depends on the incoming damage. Vow of Unity could be great for an addtank. Just get a beacon from a pala and the tankdamage is cut in half. Just depends on how the damage stacks on you. Void Shift is a great way to save a tank, but overall VD will be better.
I think having interesting options is more important than ensuring that everyone has a different spec. Even if you only really have 2 tiers that are "optional", that's still 33% of your talents instead of the current 5-15% of your talents. This system means every talent choice is still between "really cool thing A, really cool thing B, really cool thing C", even if the simulator says you should pick C 99% of the time in PvE, and A is only for leveling, and B is only for PvP and a couple gimmick fights. And then using B for that gimmick fight can make that fight a little more interesting at least (until it's on farm, and then you can probably just not bother changing specs).
I think people are getting too hung up on the phrase "everyone in your right might have a different spec" (paraphrase). I think that's secondary in Blizzard's concern to making every choice one between a set of "cool" options, with no "bad" choices (only slightly less optimal choices). How many times in the current talent tree are you ever picking between two "cool" options? For shadow, the only "cool" choice you have is between silence and psychic horror and even that doesn't matter for raiding 99% of the time (because you have a billion other people who can interrupt and most mobs are immune to both effects anyway). I can't even think of any "cool" choices at all for disc/holy. At best it's "situationally slightly better AoE vs. single target healing" or "I have enough spirit/int that I can drop a tiny bit of regen for a tiny bit of throughput."
Especially for healing, even if someone picks a complete talent tree of "bad" choices, if they're a good player (and appropriately geared), it will likely have a minimal impact on whether you down the boss or not, at least not unless you're attempting the current hardest fight in the game, at which point you and your guild have long given up the illusion of choice this game presents (see past incidents of first kills having massive class stacking, using obscure/gimmick specs, etc. That's not something any talent system can truly fix without making those world first kills not challenging enough).
First and foremost, I laud the designer who created the new Priest Talent options. Many seem to be spec specific, but they all seem to be well balanced with one another and provide a large degree of utility to each spec (especially in contrast to some of the other class talent trees).
I am very concerned what talents we can anticipate to see built into our core spec. For example, will Evangelism find its way into every disc priest’s core talents? Without it, smite healing will no longer be the equivalent to a holy priest’s mana conservative Heal. Also, will our Improved PW:S be a core talent along with Grace and Borrowed Time? Many of these abilities, we have come to rely heavily on as a core part of our spec may not necessarily be there. Personally, I would rather not sacrifice losing any of these talents for new “utility” talents.
Just to recap, I like what I see with the new utility talents, but I am always a bit nervous to provide positive feedback when only given a piece of the puzzle.
I just hope that getting into the beta won't be too difficult without buying a year sub in advance. I would really like to get in on the first playable version of the new talent system.
It seems like it will be a good change from the current model. Allowing players to customize their talents on the fly. Along with the glyph system already in place this is much more appealing than hearthing and re-specing to pick up encounter specific talents in order to min/max each fight.
I am interested to see how many fights Path of the devout will be viable on. For a Heroic Domo 0/7 style encounter it would be pretty powerful. Maybe it will stack with boot enchant. Wouldn't that be nice?
Does anyone know if they have shown the actual specializations yet. I wonder if atonement will be baseline for disc and possibly even holy as AA is now more accessible to holy. Hopefully they will release this information soon so we can actually get some serious discussion going on and not be forced to speculate as much.
A couple interesting tidbits from the Class Design & Balance Q&A, including Discipline's new spell @ level 87:
• In 5.0, you will never "cap" on Shadow Orbs. Mind Blast will cost 1 Orb, and have no cooldown.
• Holy Nova may become Discipline only, and interact with Evangelism in some way.
• Spirit Shell is a new cast-time shield spell for Discipline priests coming in 5.0 that does not cause Weakened Soul.
Spirit Shell sounds like it might end up being too powerful unless it does significantly less "healing" than our spells that heal. Still, if that were the case, it'd probably be useful to cast it in the 4+ second windows of no tank damage where the tank has dodged or parried one or more blows consecutively (provided there's nothing else to heal).
Obviously, it will provide less hps than direct heals, since over-shielding is less frequent than over-healing, and than mitigating damage can avoid deaths better than reactive healing. The devs are smart enough to realize that.
However, it still is an interesting tool for disc to use, which reinforce its mitigation tank healing role. I don't like playing disc currently, but the choice between more mitigation and reactive healing could make it more appealing to my eyes.
According to some blueposts monks will deal damage while healing and they won't need to target a friendly unit to do that.
I think blizzard will change disc in a similar manner to have more classes being capable of satisfying that "hybrid" spot.
Best indicators for that are the disc-only Holy Nova, which would simply make no sense if they don't remove the damage part
and divine star which follows that do damage to heal theme.
But still just a hunch. I could be completely off base.
The new talent calculator ( Talent Calculator - Game - World of Warcraft! ) does not reveal much in terms of our future talents, but it also includes a list of baseline and spec-only spells. It is clear that they want to differentiate Holy from Disc, but sadly they do this by dividing some of our tools we are using for years now between two specs.
Points of notice:
Hymn of Hope - Discipline only
Evangelism - Discipline only (making archangel talent disc/shadow-only)
No sign of Atonement (actually making archangel undesirable for any healer...)
Renew - Holy only (pity, while it was not great for disc, I still used it occasionally on the move)
Binding heal - Holy only (noooo!!!!)
Divine Hymn - Holy only
Heal - Holy only (vat?)
No sign of Prayer of healing on either spec (Replaced by something new?)
No sign of Holy Nova (they stated they are still thinking what to do with it)
No sign of Divine Aegis (Replaced by new cast time shield? What with disc mastery now?)
No sign of Mind Soothe (minor)
No sign of Fear Ward (PvP QQ)
No sign of Mana Burn (PvP QQ)
No sign of Mass Dispel (PvP QQ)
This is likely an early stage of development but on the other hand they stated numerous time they want to clean up our skill bars. Well, too bad if they do this by removing some non-crucial but fun and niche spells from our books.
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