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Thread: Priest Healing and the Mana Changes in 3.1

  1. #1
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    Priest Healing and the Mana Changes in 3.1

    First - the quotes so you know what I am talking about

    • Regeneration while not casting (outside of the “five second rule”) will be decreased. We think that (1) the ability to cast heal over time spells and then sit back and (2) benefitting from a clearcasting proc that also gets you out of the five second rule both provide too much mana regeneration, even over short time periods.
    • To make this change, we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board. However we are also boosting the effects of talents such as Meditation that increase regeneration while casting. The net result should be that your regeneration while casting will stay about the same, but your not-casting regeneration will be reduced. This change will have little impact on dps casters, since they are basically always casting.
    • The specific talents and abilities being boosted are: Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac and Spirit Tap. Yes this makes these “mandatory” talents even more mandatory, if such a thing is possible.
    • Since paladins rely less on Spirit as a mana-regeneration stat, we have to address them in other ways. We don’t want to change Illumination or Replenishment. However, we are going to increase the healing penalty on Divine Plea from 20% to 50%. Divine Plea was originally intended to help Protection and Retribution paladins stay full on mana. It should be a decision for Holy paladins, not something that is automatically used every cooldown.
    • In addition, we are also changing the way Spiritual Attunement works. In situations with a large amount of outgoing raid damage, as well as in PvP, this passive ability was responsible for more mana regeneration than we would like. We want to keep the necessary benefit it grants to tanking Protection paladins, while making it less powerful for Holy paladins in PvP or raid encounters with a lot of group damage.
    • We are also taking a close look at clearcasting procs themselves. One likely outcome is to change them to an Innervate-like surge of mana so that the net benefit is the same, but healers won’t shift to out-of-casting regeneration so often.
    • We balance around the assumption that even 10-player groups have someone offering Replenishment. To make this even easier on players we are likely to offer this ability to additional classes, as well as make sure that existing sources of Replenishment are more equitable.
    • These changes are ultimately being done to bring the different healing classes more in line with each other as well as to give the encounter team more leeway when designing encounters, who can balance with these new mana regeneration numbers in mind. In a world with infinite healer mana, the only way to challenge healers is with increasingly insane amount of raid damage, so that global cooldowns become the limiting factor since mana fails to be. An example is the Eredar Twins in late Sunwell. We weren’t necessarily happy with that model, and this change hopefully allows us to move towards giving healing a more deliberate and thoughtful pace rather than frenetic spam.
    PRIEST
    Divine Spirit – this spell is now a core ability available to all priests.
    Discipline has access to a new talent, Power Word: Barrier. (Think of it as Power Word: Shield for your whole group).
    Several area of effect (AOE) heal spells have been improved: Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party. Holy Nova’s mana cost has been reduced. Circle of Healing now heals for more.
    Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadow Form now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
    Penance – this spell can now be targeted on the priest.
    Serendipity – this talent now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast.
    We are also working to give Holy additional PvP utility.
    Are there any priests out there who are a bit concerned about the changes these changes will make to our healing style?

    A priest has always managed their mana by flirting with the five second rule. Watch for a concentration proc (even better if a surge of light procs also), trinket, cast a free heal(SoL), pot, cast a free heal(HConc), fiend if necessary and wait as long as we dare via cancel cast to throw the next heal. Then back to our PoM, Renew and gheal spam - or whatever.

    They are taking serendipity away from us, which I feel is neither here nor there. Having been a priest since vanilla wow, I still try to fit my heal to the damage. However, the out of combat regen has always been integral to a priest's regen capability and this is what will be getting nerfed. Priests may be seen as ok - but I see this change as radical to our play style. If OOC regen is nerfed and spirit being priests supposed main stat, are we not goign to be far more affected than the paladins who have much less mana problems than we do at the moment?

    Is there anyone else wondering about this, or is the change not going to affect us in this way?
    I did not forget to heal you; I let you die.

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    I know what you're saying, and flirting with the five second rule is something I really enjoy on my priest, but for I'm adopting a wait and see attitude.

    Ultimately, as long as I can still heal the fights I need to heal, I'll be happy. I don't particularly mind if I end the fight with 80% mana or 10%.

    Also, I see this as kind of a response to the big buff our regen got before Lich King. I forget which patch, but there was one where they redid the way intellect affected the mana regen formula, and I saw a huge increase in both my OOC regen and my mp5, so in a way this a little bit of a return to the status quo.

  3. #3
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    To be honest, i'm not too worried about this. Maybe that's just me being too confident that these changes will not make any serious difference, but I don't think it will be. More or less, for all the Wrath encounters it has been very rare for me to ever have serious mana problems, which I would describe as being in a situation of having low mana and having used cooldowns or a potion to try to get more mana back. Even in very desperate situations, I very rarely find myself getting to that point, or even having to use those cooldowns to get some quick regen.

    I guess it will be something we will have to see when it arrives. For now though, i'm not too worried about this. If anything, it might make things more interesting.
    Yureina - Holy Priest <Eventide> Garrosh-US

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    I truly understand where some of these posts are coming from. This is a huge change for the class. For me personally, it's not such a big deal because I use such an oddball Disc Spec and playstyle. Essentially I spec, gear and play more like a Mage than how the forums tell us we should. Maybe it's the bad boy in me. Or maybe I'm just a contrary a$$hole. Or both.

    Regardless, these changes will have very little effect on my build or on me. I, in fact, welcome them. I can continue to focus on fast, situational combos of heals, rather than trying to get that "Perfect" regen. But I can see where it's a PITA to others.
    "If the Truth can be told, so as to be Understood, it Will be Believed." - Terrence McKenna

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    Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadow Form now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
    I'm not sure how either of these will improve spriest survivability. I mean the reduction in physical damage that shadow form offers is hardly noticeable, so boosting magic reduction to the same unnoticeable levels isn't going to help much.

    Dispersion is kind of worthless in pvp as well and I don't believe that being able to run away for those six seconds will make a significant difference.

    When you pile that on top of all the spirit and regen nerfs, you have to question where blizz is taking the class.

    It might not be too bad though. We'll just have to wait and see.

  6. #6
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    Clearly a nerf to man regen is needed.

    Some players think that nerf should be to Replenishment.

    A lot of players are QQing before Blizzard has released details.

    No need to worry yet.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suelyn View Post
    are we not goign to be far more affected than the paladins who have much less mana problems than we do at the moment?
    I'm sorry, but Holy paladins got nerfed too. Now, if we want to keep our mana up we need to spend 15 seconds with -50% healing and spiritual att will still get a nerf. And priests are not having less mana than paladins at all, both classes were having infinite mana (at least you should).
    Holy paladins nerf came yesterday and it wasn't that bad, I don't think you should worry.
    Raiss ~ Holy Paladin @ Gurubashi Horde.
    Chosen Man.

  8. #8
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    I guess I'm somewhat bummed. Not because of the Out-of-combat nerf to mana regen, but because I have a slew of macros that, essentially, let's me keep a Greater Healing in the casting pipeline. I wonder what this change will do to my play-style.

    Cheers,

  9. #9
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    I guess I'm somewhat bummed. Not because of the Out-of-combat nerf to mana regen, but because I have a slew of macros that, essentially, let's me keep a Greater Healing in the casting pipeline. I wonder what this change will do to my play-style.
    Not much, I should think. You'll still want to keep GHeal on stop-cast, as a change in mana regen isn't going to change the fact that your tank could get facepwned and need that big heal to land right away.

  10. #10
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    I'm personally not too worried on my priest. At the moment his regen out of 5SR is just too much. The only fight that I actually have to use my pet on in months is 3D. They are nerfing us because if we are able to pause or if we crit with HC and surge of light we gain massive amounts of mana, whereas shaman and paladins are stuck with their mp5. But if its any help HC will increase your mana regen by 50% and we still have surge of light, our mana should be fine.

    EDIT: Also our in combat regen will be roughly the same.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiata View Post
    I truly understand where some of these posts are coming from. This is a huge change for the class. For me personally, it's not such a big deal because I use such an oddball Disc Spec and playstyle. Essentially I spec, gear and play more like a Mage than how the forums tell us we should. Maybe it's the bad boy in me. Or maybe I'm just a contrary a$$hole. Or both. ...
    The OP is clearly talking about Holy priests, not discipline. Holy priests still rely on clearcasting and stopcasting slow spells to sneak out of FSR, while discipline priests rely more on spamming. In fact, as discipline you should be focusing on intellect rather than spirit. The mana changes obviously have a much greater impact on holy than discipline.

    You're not a rebel, you're just discipline instead of holy :P

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suelyn View Post
    Are there any priests out there who are a bit concerned about the changes these changes will make to our healing style?
    Yes, but not for the reasons you cite.

    A priest has always managed their mana by flirting with the five second rule.
    This is not really true for me. The last time I've worried much about the five second rule was WoW 1.0. Starting with TBC, I didn't really have to worry about mana regeneration much, in the worst case, a mana potion or two fixed the issue. I never raided at the higher levels in TBC, but from talking with friends, priest mana regeneration was pretty ludicrous in T6/T7 gear.

    Now, in WotLK, that really hasn't changed at all. More often than not, I have more mana than I know what to do with. I consciously specced out of Surge of Light, because Flash of Light unexpectedly becoming instant was more of an issue for me than the mana gains were worth.

    In short, I primarily heal when heals are necessary, and don't worry about whether I can get out of the five second rule. If I'm really running out of mana, that probably means a problem elsewhere (such as really, really horrible DPS or a tank who can't hold aggro to save my life).

    That said, there are reasons why I'm concerned about the change. For starters, Blizzard seems to have gotten some sort of endgame tunnel vision recently and I'm not sure they've fully thought through what those changes (mana regen and otherwise) mean for the solo/leveling part of the game. I'm also concerned about downtime in instances between trash pulls and about mana regeneration in the five second rule (primarily from Serendipity becoming a throughput rather than a mana efficiency talent).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roana View Post

    That said, there are reasons why I'm concerned about the change. For starters, Blizzard seems to have gotten some sort of endgame tunnel vision recently and I'm not sure they've fully thought through what those changes (mana regen and otherwise) mean for the solo/leveling part of the game. I'm also concerned about downtime in instances between trash pulls and about mana regeneration in the five second rule (primarily from Serendipity becoming a throughput rather than a mana efficiency talent).
    I tend to agree with this. With end game only in mind, the tank should be well geared, able to establish and hold aggro and the dps should not be standing in the fire.

    But has Blizz ever looked at most Heroics? My main has been a Holy priest for over 2 years but since WOTLK i leveled my dps alt first and only recently leveled my Holy Priest. There are numerous Heroics where I come dangerously close to running out of mana and find that I have to pop mana potions just to keep the group up becuase of dps taking way to much damage, not interrupting spell casts and the tank getting hit like he was in cloth.

    I do agree that blizz needs to reign in on the sloppy play style (stop standing in the fire) but wouldn't it be better to increase the damage on those aspects to make the punishment more severe for that rather than to punish 1 class so much for utalizing combos and cool downs to intelligently manage their mana?

    With this change does anyone else think that there will be an even stiffer gap between people gaining uppgrades through running Heroics and those who are raiding since the number of naxx runs will slow down significantly? (and since healer in blues or heroic epics will come near Uldar like they did in Naxx) Should there also be changes back to the original to allow mana potions to not be linked to 1 time per combat session?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duumma View Post
    But has Blizz ever looked at most Heroics? My main has been a Holy priest for over 2 years but since WOTLK i leveled my dps alt first and only recently leveled my Holy Priest. There are numerous Heroics where I come dangerously close to running out of mana and find that I have to pop mana potions just to keep the group up becuase of dps taking way to much damage, not interrupting spell casts and the tank getting hit like he was in cloth.
    Well, actually, my WotLk endgame experience has been primarily heroics, and I just haven't had any issues healing those as a holy priestess (who hasn't done a single raid). Admittedly, her current gear is at the high end for heroics, but even with her initial gear the situations where I was struggling with mana occurred generally because of DPS who belong to the under-1000 club and stretched fights out forever.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roana View Post
    I was struggling with mana occurred generally because of DPS who belong to the under-1000 club and stretched fights out forever.
    I hate those dps, if you are running a heroic with under 1k dps, then you need to /quitwow Point blank, sucky dps hurts everyone and makes the healers look bad, but I believe theres another post about people blamming healers for everything
    Last edited by Duumma; 03-20-2009 at 05:53 AM. Reason: spelling errors

  16. #16
    Personally I hate the change for a much simpler reason; It's yet another down skilling of priest healing.

    There is now less benefit from the 5SR juggling and trickery we all practice which makes it much less important.

    Blizz seem to believe (purely IMO based on 4 years of observing changes) that healers are in short supply because it is perceived as hard, ergo making it easier, or less skilled, will increase the supply of healers. My experience is that a significant number of priests choose to be a healer priest precisely bacause it is a tough, skill based role. When you remove the skill, you remove the interest. The real reason you have a healer lack is partly because it is hard but more importantly because it is seen as boring, something which I feel is less so than it used to be but still true.

    Responding to the person who suggested we get potions back to multiples per fight. I say no, because encounters are balanced for a certain mana level. The main effect of the one potion rule was to reduce my gold expenditure per raid. It also ups the skill level because you no longer start popping blue smarties as fast as you can on tough fights.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daryus-Randomeyes View Post
    Personally I hate the change for a much simpler reason; It's yet another down skilling of priest healing.

    There is now less benefit from the 5SR juggling and trickery we all practice which makes it much less important.
    As I said, except for the early days of TBC, five second rule juggling really hasn't been necessary for the past couple of years. It's probably caused more wipes than it has prevented by trying to finesse something that didn't need to be finessed.

    I'm also not agreeing that burying complexity in obscure mechanics is a good thing; to keep the game interesting, the gameplay itself -- i.e., the encounters -- should be the cause of most of the complexity. When the main complexity of the game derives from juggling resources or pressing keys in the right order, chances are that this is something that papers over a lack of complexity in encounter design.

    Blizz seem to believe (purely IMO based on 4 years of observing changes) that healers are in short supply because it is perceived as hard, ergo making it easier, or less skilled, will increase the supply of healers.
    I haven't seen any evidence of that. If anything, healing has become more complex with the introduction of new healing spells (e.g., druids and Swiftmend/Lifebloom), not easier. The current change has one simple reason: Mana regeneration is too strong and players can be wasteful with healing. I.e., you don't get appropriately penalized for standing in the fire, not decursing, etc. It has nothing to do with making healing easier, it has everything to do with the exact opposite, namely thinking more about how you use your mana (and for the rest of the raid, how they force you to use it).

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