YAY! Not being able to sleep sometimes has a purpose! I now present to you the long awaited Priest Class Changes complete with Tart comments! (DISCLAIMER: I am sleep deprived, holy priests please do not take offense. I love Fail Angels, I just am not one.) As one would expect, Tart!Comments are in pink. Because really, what else would they be?
New Priest Spells
Heal (available at level 16): While priests already have a spell called Heal, the existing version becomes obsolete at higher levels, which is something we intend to change in Cataclysm. Introduced at a low level, the “new” Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use. Heal is intended to be the priest’s go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal). We will be following a similar philosophy with all the healing classes. Yay for using Heal again? This is one of those where it’s like ok Blizz… you gave us stuff to make Flash Heal our main spell and now it’s like HAHA JUST KIDDING GUYS. But I’m ok with this though gah MOAR BUTTONZ for mah bars!
Mind Spike (level 81): Deals Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that improves subsequent Mind Spike damage. The intent of Mind Spike is to fill a niche missing in Shadow DPS, though it may be occasionally useful for healers as well. Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn’t have time to set up the normal rotation, such as when adds are dying too fast or you have to swap targets a lot. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. The idea behind the debuff is that when you cast Mind Spike, we expect you to cast a lot of them; we don’t intend you to fit it into an already full Shadow rotation. It also provides Shadow with a spell to cast when locked out of the Shadow school. (School lockouts will no longer affect both schools for multi-school spells.) 1.5-second cast. 30-yard range. No cooldown. Wheee for Shadow Priests! Something for when everyone starts to out gear everything and trash dies in 3 seconds! Plus the anti-lockout is nice both for the occasional PvE lockouts (though with all this talk, maybe Cata will see more PvE lockouts?) but very handy for PvP where interruptions and lockouts are more prevalent.
Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can’t have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis. I’m a little hmmm on this one. Good for getting out of the bad while shielding/renewing? Seems like another of those well maybe if the Cata bosses have more mobile fights (and reminds me of the shaman getting the YAY Being Able To Move and Hael! Spell that’s name is escaping me at the moment because I’m sleep deprived and too lazy to go look it up) and a good for PvP type things. Either way if it will save my 2fps ass from standing in the bad longer than I have to, I’m all for it!
Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or “Life Grip”) is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can’t seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown. This.Is.So.Very.WIN. SOOOO WIN. SOOOOOOO WIN. This is going to be so much fun, both as a haha let me randomly yank the tank (tee-hee!) back over to me for lawls, or haha sorry rogues no more FoK spamming for you!, and as a YAY SAVE TART the player with the low fps! Also good for WSGs when the nubcake flag carrier runs somewhere they shouldn’t ;)
Changes to Abilities and Mechanics
- All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate). Yay! MOAR DPS and MOAR HAELS!
- We want to bring back Shadow Word: Death as an “execute” — something you do when the target is at 25% health. YAY? I mean I know some Spriests don’t use SW:D at all anymore, but is it still viable? I’ve not Spriested in… ok well, ever.
- While we want to keep the priest’s role as a well-rounded healer, we also want to make sure the class is a viable tank healer, which is something priests moved away from a little in Wrath of the Lich King. Greater Heal will probably be the tank-healing spell of choice, though we’ve also discussed giving Discipline a second shield so that they have a small shield to cast on lots of different targets, and a big, more expensive shield to cast on a tank or anyone else taking a ton of damage. First? MOAR BUBBLES. FUCK.YES. BUBBLESSSSSS. ok, sorry. I really like this. From a personal point of view, I would MUCH rather be a tank healer than a raid healer. Though I’m not too sure on their focus on GHeal unless they really do something about that cast time, but even hasted, it’s just too long. And srsly? The big heal taking so long it makes a 50k hp tank seem squishy? No Bueno in my book.
- Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit will be removed from the game. As Spirit will be the primary mana-regeneration stat, we don’t want it to vary as much between solo, small group, and raid play. Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild will not boost Spirit either. This doesn’t surprise me, I figured that they would be taken out with all the talk of wanting to make mana a resource that has to be much more carefully monitored. And with the whole “Bring the Player Not the Class” motto they’ve got going on now.
- Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren’t trying to make healing more painful; we’re trying to make it more fun. When the cost of a spell isn’t an issue, then casting the right spell for the job is less of an issue because you might as well just use your most powerful spell all of the time. We are, however, getting rid of the five-second rule, because we don’t want to encourage standing around doing nothing. We’re also going to cut back on the benefits of buffs such as Replenishment so priests (and all healers) don’t feel as penalized when those buffs aren’t available. Ok, first off I have to say WTF. I’m sorry Blizz, even with mana being a non-issue, it’s usually not the mana cost of the spell that concerns healers, it’s the time sink. Doesn’t matter if I’ve got 75,000 mana if my Gheal is still casting when the tank dies. Secondly WHEEE for the replenishment thing. Not having replen in raids is just freaking painful.
New Talents and Talent Changes
- We want to improve Discipline’s single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn’t always a more attractive option than healing. But.. But.. BUBBLES. Again, yay for Disc Single target healing!
- We want to improve Holy for PvP healing. One way to do this is to make sure that Heal’s throughput is similar between both specs. This makes me happy from a balancing point of view. After there being so many problems in Wrath with Disc being nerfed in PvE because they were too powerful in PvP, I’ll be glad if they can get an even balance of priest healers in Arenas so they’ll leave my spec the fuck alone. Though, I really think that with the Rated BG system, Holy can become a much more viable PvP spec because of the multi-target aspect vs. the more focused healing of Arenas.
- We want to improve Shadow for short fights and reduce its susceptibility to school lockouts. And all the shadow priests rejoice.
- Discipline will finally be getting Power Word: Barrier as a talented ability. Think of it like a group Power Word: Shield. FUCK. TO. THE. YES. MY PONY AT LONG LAST. <3 <3 <3 MOAR BUBBLES!
- We want to make Holy a little bit more interesting to play. One new talent will push the Holy priest into an improved healing state when he or she casts Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The empowered state varies depending on the heals cast. Holy will never be as fun as Disc :P (again, ilu fail angels <3 i keeeed) This seems kind of cool actually. Making the spell you are currently using the most a little more effective? Wooo shiny! (just please Blizzard, make it sparkly. Holy priests need some shiny too.)
- Since the Shadow tree has a lot of passive damage-boosting abilities — something we’re trying to avoid in Cataclysm — we will need to replace several of the tree’s talents. One idea is to play off of the new Shadow Orbs mechanic (see Mastery section below), possibly allowing you to consume an orb to increase damage from Mind Blast or reduce Mind Spike’s cast time. This has cool potential, even though right now it seems a little like “yeah… we know Spriests are kind of broken, and their talents are meh… but how do we fix them without overhauling EVERYTHING” Though I do kind of like the idea of the orbs being a little like Shaman Shields. WOO FLOATY BALLS.
- Misery will no longer affect spell Hit chance. We want players to be able to gear themselves around a Hit cap that isn’t variable depending on group composition. Again, no big surprise here with the gear itemization changes.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
Absorption: Improves the strength of shields such as Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Power Word: Barrier. \o/ BETTER BUBBLES! \o/
Radiance: Your direct heals add a small heal-over-time component to the target. woo HoT?
Shadow Orbs: Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like “Shadow priests” before they obtain Shadowform. OMG Spriests get Shaman Shields! Or, for those of you that remember OMG THE TROLL SPRIEST FLOATY BALLS ARE BACK <3 <3 <3 YAAAAAY! I seriously made a troll priest and got it to 20 back in the day JUST for the Floaty Balls.
And that my dears wraps it up. Good night/morning/afternoon, whatever it is when you read this. I’m going to attempt to sleep finally.I hope my incoherent ramblings didn’t frighten anyone too much.