In Praise of Holy Nova

My heart sank a little when I read this part of the Q & A.

Q: Is the priest spell Holy Nova going to be changed to make it useful in mop, as there is no need to even have it on you action bars as it is atm.

A: We’ve talked about it. Its possible we may make Holy Nova Discipline only and interact with Evangelism in some way.

Yes, in a pure PvE environment, the uses for Holy Nova might be few and far between, but the game is more than that. Across the board, Holy Nova does have useful applications.

  • Destroying pesky snake traps in one spell rotation.
  • Unearthing stealths before they get the jump on you, saving yourself from having to do large quantities of healing.
  • Preventing people tagging nodes in AB, AV, Isle of Conquest and Gilneas.

Part of the reason why I keep coming back to my various Priests, is the fact that our toolbox is overflowing with spells for every occasion. Holy Nova is unique within that, as an albeit weak instant AoE heal which also deals damage. Technically Mind Sear can replicate that list, however it comes with more conditionals. You need ideally a friendly target to cast it on, although an enemy will do in a pinch but quite often if you’re the one trying to stop them tagging, it’s because you’re alone. Not to mention with Holy Nova, whilst you’re spamming it you are basically keeping an extra hot on yourself, one that can “tick” every 1.5 seconds and can’t be dispelled, stolen or purged.

Then of course there is Holy Nova’s rich and varied history to be considered. The spell which carried so many Priests through their Benediction chain deserves better than to be dumped or forgotten. From it’s days as our 31 point talent (when barely anyone took it) to becoming an 11 point talent (it replaced Holy Fire when that became baseline) to finally becoming a Priest ability, I’d hate to see it sidelined even more.

So I’m dedicating this weekend to Holy Nova. Join me, fellow Priests in throwing sparkly confetti in the faces of everything from critters to kobolds, goblins to Garrosh, Arthas to Z’kral and everything in between. If you don’t happen to have a Priest, feel free to suggest things you’d like to see being nova’d in the comments and I’ll try and oblige (need more action shots for IntPiPoMo).

Other thoughts on the Q & A

The Monk healer will also involve a lot of non-targeted healing. Anything can change, but I’d like to say you could heal as a Monk competitively without ever having to target a friendly player.

Mixed thoughts on this one. Part of what I like about healing is the decisions you have to make quickly, who to heal, what spell to use and so on. The idea of basically being a healing stream totem with more oomph that doesn’t have to pick targets seems as if Blizzard are taking the idea of smart heals a bit too far.

Our current plan for Mists is for Intellect to no longer directly increase the size of player mana pools. We intend for our mana-based DPS and Tank classes to be entirely self-reliant regardless of mana pool, so the gameplay impact for those players will be nil. For healers, Spirit will remain as the pure regen stat, and healers after multiple tiers of raid progression will clearly have far more mana at their disposal, but there will be more of an inherent tradeoff between regen and throughput stats. A healer with amazing regen will have amazing regen because of a choice to focus their stats in that direction.

Sounds good on paper. Having some healers chasing spirit whilst others could just stack intellect was never going to work. However my main concern as a Priest is that will we have access to the same quantities of spirit as the other healing classes. Sharing gear with 2 other classes who don’t have any use for spirit will potentially cause the same problems it has through Cataclysm for Priests.

In 5.0 we want dispels to have a cooldown and duration more like Spellsteal but get all buffs or debuffs at once to make them more tactical.

I’m in favour of this too, as a Priest and a Druid, certain classes, shamans in particular are a bit too annoying in mass PvP. Keep your mitts off my hots and shields please. I’m curious whether the same “rules” will apply to defensive dispelling and if so what will happen to spells like Unstable Affliction, after all there is no need for dispel protection if people can only remove your dots every X number of seconds anyway.

So its possible we may get a new model for Lightwell that is “taller” and make it less of an issue to see it and click it.

Not sure turning it into a gigantic fountain of golden light will fix Lightwell’s issues. People either make the effort to click it or they don’t. Sometimes, bigger is not better.

You shouldn’t be killing healers just because you burst them down and keep them interrupted, but because you cause them to have to use mana inefficiently.


So far, I’m fairly happy with their prospective changes.

4 Responses

  1. Yeah, that question boggled me a little too. I miss Holy Nova so much on my lowbie priests now that you don’t train it until somewhere in the 60s. From a PvE standpoint, it’s great for burning down low health mobs who decide to beat on you. Why trouble the tank with them, and why even bother running them to the tank at all when you can just get rid of them yourself in a few GCDs? Back when heroic Culling of Stratholme was challenging, I *loved* healing it on my priest because I could get the zombies off of me so easily.

    The Ghostcrawler answer about druids not going outside of their primary form made me sad, too. I use my other forms all the time! Firelands has been great for me because every fight aside from Ragnaros is in an “outside” environment, so I can use travel form to get out of any hairy situations. I spend half of heroic Shannox running around in travel form so that I can go back and forth to help out with healing on one tank, and then the other.

    This is why I’m always on a crusade for players to learn their class’ toolbox. You never know how a spell you never expected to use might surprise you and be exactly what you need.

    • This is why part of me wishes that PvP was compulsory. That way people learn to see outside the box and get a feel for using all their abilities.

      Ah well, I’d rather lose Holy Nova than Mind Control so it could be worse I guess.

  2. NOOO! Not the Holy Nova! 😦

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