Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Patch 4.0.6 Priest Notes

The most recent patch notes provide some interesting reading for us healing priests. Most notably I notice that Blizzard seem to have taken to heart the subtle (ahem) whining from us who are trying to love disc healing. You know, when we flap our eyelashes and say "well disc is fun and all, but couldn't you make it... better?". A couple of the changes are things they've already implemented already, like the regen buff to Holy Concentration, but there are some new things here too. As always you can find the whole lot of changes over at mmo-champion.com

Levitate now lasts 10 min, up from 2 min.
I don't think the duration of Levitate ever bothered me. I wonder if this indicates some sort of fight where we will have to keep levitate up? Nah don't think so. I think this is more to avoid all those times when we want to be friendly by casting levitate on another player and they jump off somewhere and the buff drops off mid fall. Suddenly our gesture wasn't so friendly anylonger.

Power Word: Fortitude now costs 22% of base mana, down from 69%.
I do recast Fortitude mid combat when people die. Well at least when important people die, like the tank. Reducing the mana cost to one third makes me happy, and might also make me rebuff dpsers ;)

The mana cost of Power Word: Shield has been increased by approximately 31%, but its effect has been increased by 208%.
This is basically just a straight doubling in effectiviness of our shields. I do think that this was needed since our signature spell was a tad too weak. Renew isn't all that either, but holy has plenty of other things to play around with. I understand that they want to increase the mana cost of it to prevent us from spamming it like the old days and to scale with the buff to Rapture that would make the shield too powerful otherwise. Honestly, this is just what we need. And deserve.

Focused Will now reduces all damage taken by 5/10%, up from 4/6%.  Focused Will now procs when the priest is critically hit, in addition to its current effect.
I've already been glancing over at this. With all the damage going around in raids, this could convert to a nice amount of healing. With this buff even more so.

Grace can now be active on multiple targets at a time.
This. Is. Insane. Early in 4.0 I used to say that Grace wasn't worth speccing unless you were a clear cut tank healer. It buffed healing for too little, and worst of all, you could only keep it on one target. As soon as you healed someone else the buff would drop from your first target. Then they buffed it. And buffed it. And now the final step. I wonder if they dare to keep the 24% extra healing too or if they will nerf it back to it's original numbers (9% or so right?). Imagine the potential in this talent. Unfortunately it comes with a big but. It doesn't proc from Prayer of Healing. Maybe that would've been too good, but it also what disc would've needed to bring it on par with holy aoe healing. I agree that disc shouldn't necessarily be as good as holy on aoe healing, but the differences right now are too big. At least this will make helaing multiple tank targets alot easier.

Strength of Soul now also rpocs from Greater Heal and Flash Heal.
I don't like this talent, and it wasn't making things better that it only worked with Heal, the only healing spell we barely touch when healing. Now at least it is a little less bad. With the buff to shields this might actually even become a good talent.

Pain Suppression no longer increases resistance to Dispel mechanics.
Pvp-change is pvp. Unless of course this meant it also increased resistance to friendly dispels ^^

Rapture now energizes you with 2/4/6% of your total mana, up from 1.5/2/2.5%.
This is one of them changes I think they've implemented already.

Atonement now affects a friendly party or raid target within 15 yards, up from 8 yards.
Same with this one. Atonement is working fairly good now.

Improved Power Word: Shield now also increase the damage absorbed by an additional 15/30% when Power Word: Shield is cast on yourself.
Huh, interesting. Sounds pvp to me, but is welcome in raids too of course. I wonder if this is some sort of disc version of Desperate Prayer. Something with which we can save our own asses.

Holy Word: Chastise now has a 30 sec cooldown, up from 25 sec.
I wonder if holy priests pvp? If they do they might be a little sad over this. There are situations where Chastise could be used in raids too (like an interrupt on Cho'gall for example), but overall the loss from not being in a stance isn't worth it.

Chakra's state now last 1 min, up from 30 sec.
I am happy for this change but I wonder if this doesn't seriously render State of Mind useless. It all depends on how long the cooldown is of course. If the cooldown is 1 minute too I'm not entirely sure if this even should be considered a buff since it makes stance dancing (hah, never thought I'd say that about priests) more troublesome. Now we really have to plan ahead with our stances.

The mana cost of Renew has been reduced by 24%.
Great! If they make it cheaper I'll consider using it more and talents like Divine Touch and Rapid Renewal become a little less worthless. I still need a little more incentive to take those two talents though. But a buff is a buff.

Blessed Resilience now increases all healing received by 15/30%, up from 5/10%. Blessed Resilience will now proc when the priest is critically hit, in addition to its current effect.
To all ye nay sayers out there, this is getting too good to ignore. I am currently using this, mostly because I don't want to use RR and DT, but 30% extra healing received? That's plain awesome.

Holy Concentration now increases mana regeneration by 15/30%, up from 10/20%.
This one is already in effect afaik. Apparently we had a 40% regen (with a total of 90% regen) and they nerfed it down to 30%. Quite understandable. When I told my fellow healers that I had 90% combat regen they all started capsing "woot?!". I mean if we even need that much of a buff there is something very wrong. 30% extra is still loads.

Lightwell's health has been increased by 50% (for PvP purposes).
I've never thought about the fact that you can kill the Lightwell before ^^ Nothing that matters to us pve-priests, but I bet all the holy pvp priests are happy (all two of them).

Desperate Prayer now heals the priest for 30% of their total health, up from a very subpar value.
Great change seeing as this talent was way too weak as it was. Like I have mentioned before it was a little too small to make much of a difference, but there weren't many alternatives to this talent anyway. We can now see this as a proper life saver.

Surge of Light now also procs from Flash Heal and Greater Heal.
Goodie, now we might want to get this as disc. Nah. What they should've changed was the proc chance! And they should've given this buff to the tier 11 2 set bonus instead...

Serendipity now has Spell Alert and Floating Combat Text feedback support.
Finally. I was actually wondering why it didn't. Having to glance at my buffs to see if my stack was still there was getting annoying.

That's it folks, a whole lot of buffs coming our way it seems. I am particularly glad for the love that disc, deservingly, is getting. We're seriously lacking in the aoe department right now, and if you ask any druid you'll know that that is what matters when raid healing anyway.


  1. Nice changes for my Holy Priestess though, but because she's still L83 she'll probably benefit from the PW:shield improvements mostly.
    Soloing with her in Cata is harder compared to soloing in Wrath. She relies on PW:S to stay alive during solo fights but it worn of much faster now so self heals are needed to stay alive now. It makes questing more challenging (found that quite easy on my prot warrior) but the increased downtime slows questing down which can be an annoyance sometimes.

  2. @Asverze
    Leveling as holy priest must be the worst thing to do ^^ There is probably no slower spec. That's dedication (or insanity ;))

  3. I agree with you that Disc is lacking when it comes to AoE, but then I had always pictures them as more of a single healing type class. I remeber many times having them teamed with a Pally for Tank healing as the PW shield + Aegis + grace made for formidable single target mitigation inc obination with pally single target healing. As a side question, does grace only affect the priests healing or all healing to the target?

  4. @Zinn
    Than I'm quite dedicated (or insane maybe) with her. I leveled her in Holy from level 10. Took me almost 2 years. In my favor I've to say that I leveled a lot inside instances and not all the time with her ':)

  5. I completely missed that Grace could be active on multiple targets when I last read the patch notes. That is an amazing change. I was having difficutly keeping it up on the tank.

  6. @Anon
    It used to buff all healers heals! Those were good times. But they changed it :( It now only affects the heals from the disc priest.

    Yeah questing as holy must be the horror ^^ But they're quite fun in instances!

    Yeah, this is a great change. If they want us to be decent tank healers this the kind of buffs we need. It was way too punishing to stray from our one target as Grace worked now.