Having given myself time to take in and digest the Blizzard released and the data mined Holy Priest changes, I have to admit I’m feeling pretty positive about Holy Priests going forward into Draenor. Yes, everything is subject to change but there are some definitely well overdue positive notes in amongst the lists of information released so far.
Changes to Chakra
I think this change is long outstanding but if I’m being honest, I’d argue that it doesn’t go far enough. There is still a penalty for being in the “wrong” chakra, albeit a much reduced one. The addition of the new “perk” will help, after all that’s why I hate switching from my PvP gear to PvE because I miss the reduced cooldown on chakras but if Blizzard want us to be constantly and actively switching depending on the fight, then they need to make that as hassle free as possible. In my ideal world, chakras would lose both the glittery “I’m a Holy Priest, come spank me with your over sized sword” look and ditch the healing increases to single target/aoe at the same time. On that topic, I’d sell someone’s soul for the ability to glyph away from disco lights around my feet, if the Boomkins can do it… why can’t we. What about red, yellow or blue wings depending on your chakra or halos? Something delicate and subtle not smack you in the face and ruin your screenshots brash.
- Chakra: Serenity now increases healing of single-target spells by 10% (down from 25%).
- Holy Word: Serenity now heals for 40% more than before.
- Chakra: Sanctuary now increases healing of area-of-effect spells by 10% (down from 25%).
- Holy Word: Sanctuary now heals for 60% more than before.
- Rapid Renewal no longer reduces the global cooldown of Renew.
Quality of Life Changes
- Prayer of Mending from multiple Priests can now be on the same target, and can be on multiple targets from the same Priest.
- Angelic Feather, if cast on players, will always prefer the casting priest over others, then pick the player closest to the targeted location. If there are no players where it is targeted, it will still create a feather that can be picked up, as before. Additionally, when collecting multiple feathers, the duration will be extended, instead of replaced.
These two make me oh so happy. I can’t believe it’s taken so long for the former to be added to the game but will make a massive change to any raid with multiple priests.
Changes to capping
- Halo and Divine Star now follow standard AoE capping rules.
The thought of seeing Divine Star no longer hitting all 40 people awaiting the gates of AV opening makes me slightly sad but I know it’s a needed change.
No Longer Instant Cast
- Prayer of Mending
- The level 90 talents, Cascade, Divine Star and Halo.
I can’t say I’m particularly concerned about these particular spells gaining cast times. The first Prayer of Mending tends to go out before combat begins anyway and fitting subsequent ones into a routine shouldn’t prove hard.
Removed Altogether Spells
- Divine Fury has been removed. (Made obsolete by the removal of hit)
- Heal although just to confuse things Greater Heal is now going to be known as Heal.
- Holy Nova (Becoming Disc only)
- Hymn of Hope – I think we should throw a party for the removal of this one. If Blizzard wanted us standing still whilst we channeled to regain mana, they should have left the five second rule alone.
- Shadow word Death – becoming available only for Shadow Priests. There was a time when I would have been heartbroken from a PvP perspective but they’ve changed this spell around so much anyway…. plus we might be getting a “glyph” to do much the same thing.
- Void Shift – I’m a bit surprised at this one only last one expansion but then we already have Guardian Spirit as an “eek” cooldown.
- Inner Fire – Out of all of these spells, this is the one I’m saddest to see bite the dust. I suspect I know why it’s going but still I almost hope it’s baked into the class. I know there is something fundamentally wrong about cloth wearers having more armour than monks/druids in leather but priests don’t have the same level of mobility and with the cutting back on instant casts it’s all a trade off.
- Inner Will – Can’t say I used this much once the glow from the first few weeks of Cataclysm receded.
- Pys-fiend – This talent is being replaced by Fear which will no longer be baseline. There were some excellent uses for this, namely placing to fear people into the Alterac Valley boss room when they weren’t quite ready but then Spectral Guise and Fear works just as well. Everyone is going to lose some CC and out of that particular tier of talents, this would be my choice to go as it almost mirrors a spell we already have, especially compared to mind control and void tendrils.
Glyphs – These are the ones which right now claim to be available for Holy Priests. Again the labeling may change as the testing progresses.
- Glyph of the Inquisitor – Your Holy Fire deals 25 percent additional initial damage, but 20 percent of that damage is also dealt back to you – Will this break CC, don’t know yet but if it does it could be more than useful from a PvP perspective.
- Glyph of Guardian Spirit – Guardian Spirit increases healing on the target by an additional 200%, but no longer prevents the target’s death.
- Glyph of Restored Faith – Leap of Faith pulls you to your target instead of pulling your target to you. There are times when I think this could be exceedingly useful but that’s offset by all the disasters I could see occurring when you forget whether you have this glyphed or not.
- Glyph of Shadow Magic – For 5 sec after activating Fade, you are immune to Silence and Interrupt effects, but the cooldown of Fade is increased by 60 sec.
- Glyph of the Redeemer – All your healing is increased by 50 percent while Spirit of Redemption is active.
I can’t say I’m squealing with anticipation for any of these but then my love affair with glyphs died ages ago. I keep forgetting to switch them and then bemoaning the fact that I don’t have x or y for a specific activity. For PvP, I do rather like the idea of Shadow Magic assuming it A. makes it to the live game and B. is available for healers. Redeemer I will be refusing to learn on principle because glyphs to improve my performance once dead offend me by existing.
Level 100 Talents
The first thing I love about the 90 talents is that they’re different depending on your spec. These are the Holy versions.
I particularly find the idea of the last one interesting, given that it appears to be a trade off. Sure, you’ve got an instant “eek” spell but there are consequences for spamming it. Perhaps rather than reducing the number of instant cast spells, that’s how they should all work, cast too much and suffer for it.
The datamined lists from both WoWhead and MMO Champion for Holy Perks appear the same. Therefore I can only imagine that Penance is a place holder for Holy. These spells which we’re randomly going to gain on the road to 100 are purely there to boost our existing spells. Out of all these my favourite has to be Enhanced Chakras which personally I feel should be baseline anyway but given that it’s not, I’m glad the current 4 piece PvP bonus is staying on in a renamed fashion. The one aspect of these perks I really don’t like and I know it’s temporary is that we’ll gain them in a random fashion en route to 100.
Enhanced Power Word: Shield: Reduces the duration of Weakened Soul caused by your Power Word: Shield by 5 sec.
Improved Flash Heal: Increases the healing from your Flash Heal by 20%.
Enhanced Renew: Increases the duration of your Renew by 3 sec
Improved Smite: Increases the damage from your Smite by 20%.
Enhanced Holy Fire: Increases the duration of your Holy Fire by 2 sec.
Improved Heal: Increases the amount healed by your Heal by 20%.
Improved Penance: Increases the amount healed by your Penance by 20%.
Enhanced Focused Will: Each application of Focused Will also increases your damage dealt by 5%.
Enhanced Chakras: Reduces the cooldown on your Chakras by 20 sec.
- All players now have a 100% chance to hit, 0% chance to be dodged, 3% chance to be parried, and 0% chance to glance, when fighting creatures up to 3 levels higher (bosses included).
We might be able to glyph to break certain types of CC.
Holy will no longer have any way of stopping multiple enemies from capping flags as Holy Nova won’t be available to the spec and our level 90 talents won’t do damage. Yes, we’ll have fear if we talent for it but that’s got too much of a cooldown to much use.
- Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo no longer heal allies but are instant cast for Shadow Priests, or damage enemies for Discipline or Holy Priests.
Couple this lot with the changes to Healing in general and yes it’s going to be an interesting road ahead but I don’t see anything here which has me going “What are they thinking?” I know a lot of people are still scarred by those first months of Cataclysm but by the same token, the amount of healing certain abilities and spells were spitting out was ridiculous. Not to mention, even playing as a Healer, the amount of sheer health certain classes could put whilst running around in circles is frustrating when you’re trying to kill them.
After all, it should be hard to argue with statements like
We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face an interesting choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.
However, we still want healers to think about their mana when deciding which heal to cast, and so the mana costs and throughputs of many spells are being altered to give players a choice between spells with lower throughput and lower cost versus spells with higher throughput and higher costs.
Whether they’ll manage to balance this across all five healer classes still remains to be seen but mostly I’m pretty positive at this point. Sure it’s impossible to know until we actually start testing but we’ve always survived before.
All information pulled from MMO-Champion, Blizzard and WoWhead.