Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cataclysm Priest Changes - Holy Talents

Continuing from yesterday, let's look at the holy talents changes and maybe also draw some conclusions about the general direction that priest healing seems to be taking. Oh and I took this info from

The Changed Talents

Searing Light: Increases the damage of your Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova and Penance spells by 4/8/12%.
(Very) Slight buff that increases damage by 2% overall, but over three talent points instead of two. But that is so boring a change that we move right on to the next one.

Empowered Healing: Your Greater Heal spell gains an additional 6/12/18/24/30% and your Flash Heal, Heal, and Binding Heal gain an additional 3/6/9/12/15% of your bonus healing effects.
Overall quite the nerf, as it lowers the percentual gain by 10% and 5% respectively. This is in line with the other "spell power gain"-talent changes we have seen though, and as I said yesterday this probably simply has to do with balancing stats.

Blessed Resilience: Critical hits made against you have a 20/40/60% chance to prevent you from being critically hit again for 6 seconds
A simple removal of the 3% extra healing. I must say I actually like that they're streamlining the talents again instead of these mini-extras they throw in to talents sometimes. Like "oh this talent isn't as good as it should be, oh well we'll just throw in a 3% extra healing there and it'll be just fine". Kinda random when you think about it.

Body and Soul: When you cast Power Word: Shield or Leap of Faith, you increase the targets's movement speed by 30/60% for 4 seconds, and you have a 50/100% chance when you cast Cure Disease on yourself to also cleanse 1 poison effect in addition to diseases.
I love this talent, although I haven't actually specced it myself. Let's say I respect the pve-priests who dare spec this talent, because with it comes the micro managing of knowing the exact time to use a shield properly. Giving someone 60% extra run speed without them being ready for it in a pve-setting can be disastrous (I imagine people running off the ledge on LK for instance). If we look closely we see one important change here. Instead of Abolish Disease, you now have to cast Cure Disease. This feels like a lame excuse to force every priest that talents this to place Cure Disease somewhere on the action bar. Ok, there are some other reasons to have Cure Disease ready, but honestly you -rarely- use that skill. The only occasion would be when you don't want abolish laying around on people so that you have more control over disease handling, like on LK phase 1. Oh and yeah, they added the new skill Leap of Faith to count for this as well.

Circle of Healing: Cooldown increased to 10 seconds.
Noes! A huge increase on the Circle of Healing cooldown. Was it really that good? Really? Yes it was good, but I mean I often feel that PoM is way better. Oh, maybe I shouldn't say that or they will nerf that too. I rarely spam CoH as it is, and maybe that is my bad. I usually feel that people are too spread out to benefit properly from it but ok... I admit it has its brilliant moments. I'll say now that I don't think the extra cooldown will make much difference in my healing, but I am quite sure I'll regret those words later on.

The New Talents

Holy Focus: Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting any Holy spell by 35/70%.
Although treated as a new talent, it's really a remake of Healing Focus. They've simply made it count for damaging holy spells as well, which is totally in line with healing priests becoming pewpewsmite-priests.

Divine Accuracy: Increases the chance to hit with your Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova and Penance spells by 10/20%.
To assure we poor priests don't have to worry about hit now that we're supposed to pewpew, we get 20% hit (!!) in two talents. That does sound kind of absurd but also shows how serious Blizzard are about this pewpew-business. And of course, this is totally awesome for any leveling priest, as the whole pewpew-thing will be. Smite-dps won't be a choice for the freaks anylonger!

Deliverance: When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 3/6/9%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 20 seconds.
This does sound alot like Serendipity, doesn't it? It doesn't say what has happened to Serendipity, but by the looks of it it has been removed. Or rather, replaced by this copycat. There are some minor differences, but overall they do the same thing. Use your fast spells to lower the cast time of your slow spells.

Choir Leader: Your Divine Hymn also heals you for 10/20% of your total health during its duration, and the channel time of your Hymn of Hope is reduced by 10/20%.
Although extra healing to Divine Hymn is nice, reducing the channel time of it doesn't have to be. Blizzard doesn't seem to understand that healing stuff too fast can sometimes be a bad thing, because it will only lead to wasted overheals. Especially with a spell like Divine Hymn which has a rather massive healing output. I know alot of druids who complain about them having "too much" haste so that their Tranquillity is over too fast. I don't want to see this happen to Divine Hymn. Apparently they're changing the way haste works which means it won't actually lower the spell channeling but increase the amounts of ticks instead. This means haste can really be seen as a straight of increase of a spells damage/healing (instead of a hastened cast), and that's good of course.

Improved Holy Nova: Reduces the global cooldown of your Holy Nova spell by 0.25/0.5 sec., and increases its critical effect chance by 25/50%.
I realize this will probably be way too expensive to spam, but at least we'll be able to jump in on the "aoe-the-trash-to-bits"-fun! How I have longed. No but seriously, I am glad they're trying to make something decent out of this talent. How many priests out there uses Holy Nova seriously? Well I did Uldaman today and had a priest in the group who did rather good damage by just spamming Holy Nova. But that's about as useful as it is right now.

Chakra: When you use Prayer of Healing, Renew or Heal 3 times in a row you will enter a Chakra state empowering you for 20 seconds. You can only be in one Chakra state at a time.
  • Prayer of Healing - Increases your area-of-effect healing by 2/4/6/8/10%, and reduces the cooldown of your Circle of Healing by .5/1/1.5/2/2.5 seconds.
  • Renew - Increases the periodic haste effect of your Renew spell by 3/6/9/12/15% and reduces the global cooldown of your Renew spell by .1/.2/.3/.4/.5 seconds.
  • Heal - Increases the critical effect chance of your Heal spell by 1/2/3/4/5%, and your Heal has a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Renew on the target.
  • Smite - Increase your total damage done by Shadow and Holy spells by 4/8/12%.
Starting at Rank 2 - Increases spell power by 10% of your total spirit. Rank 3 changes the talent to Spiritual Guidance - Increases spell power by 15/20/25% of your total spirit.
Here we have it, the huge change to holy healing. The TLDR version of this is that whatever you do will buff whatever you're doing. So if you're spamming hots your hots will become better, if you're spamming smites your dps will be increased and so on. I think Blizzard wants us to become more aware of what we're doing and do less of the mindless spamming. I encourage that, although I am not completely sure this will make us more mindful about our healing in the end. It still feels like we'll spam and chakra will be a bonus to our spamming. Making us more mindful about our casts would be synergies between spells, like using spell A buffs spell B instead of using spell A will buff spell A. But oh well, I won't be too pessimistic here, it'll probably be awesome. And also I see they're trying to get "Heal" back into the game. Boy I haven't used Heal since level... 20? This doesn't mean I don't like the idea of bringing it back. I like priest healing because of all the different heals, and I think I've complained about Heal and Lesser Heals uselessness before (I say so much I hardly remember what I've said and what I've only thought about). So bring it back, make it useful, I'll love it!

Thriving Light: Reduces the duration of Wound effects on you by 15/30%, and reduces the damage taken by bleed effects by 10/20%.
Pvp-talent, and that's all I'll say about that :P

Like I said yesterday, the changes to disc look more interesting than the changes to holy. Maybe it's a matter of personal taste so let me put it this way - the changes to disc actually look like changes while the changes to holy look like more about the same thing. It seems as if disc will be something rather different than it is today, while holy will continue its business.
I must say one thing though; why the heck haven't they changed Lightwell? I love that spell, but no one else does. I think I read somewhere that Blizzard intend to change healing and design fights in a way that will actually force dpsers to mind their health more than they have to today. Yes! Please please do! I don't want to hear another dpser say "where is my healing?" when a frigging Lightwell is standing right next to them. I realize that people don't like it today, it's not practical, so please change it so that it is extremely, and I mean -extremely-, easy to use. Ok I already nerdraged about this once, so I'll spare you this time.

It does seem like they want us to be more active in our healing. Chakra and throwing in dps skills in our healing rotation to max our healing output seems like they want the passive spamming of the same skills to be gone (I'm not looking in the holydins direction at all). And I welcome it, I really do. This will really separate the wheat from the chaff, as we say in sweden, when the best healing will be done by those that have the best presence of mind and environmental awareness (and maybe less about über gear that lets you spam no matter what). Holy does seem to take the same path however and disc seems alot more interesting as it is now, especially with all the pewpew that seems to become a part of their healing style. Chakra looks good, but not especially exciting. Like I said yesterday though, everything might still change over night for the better or worse. So keep your eyes pealed.

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