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Thread: Discipline Priest PvE Guide

  1. #1
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    Discipline Priest PvE Guide

    (Last updated 2/17/11.)

    EDIT (2/9): A new video will be posted soon, please check back over the next week.

    Hey folks, Zevia here.

    As of the time of this post, there is no thorough discipline guide on the forums. This is a comprehensive and in-depth discussion of the discipline priest abilities, talents, and playstyle, with a video supplement to give you an idea of how it looks in practice.

    If you find this information useful, do feel free to go ahead and let others know that you liked it by rating it up so that others may also reference it at a future point in time.

    Table of Contents
    I. Talents
    II. Stats/Gemming/Enchanting
    III. Glyphs
    IV. Spells and cooldowns (includes a list of spells by efficiency)
    IVa. Should I use smite?
    V. "Rotation"
    VI. How to tell if it's you making mistakes or your group


    I. Talents

    I'll be moving through the talent tree on a point-by-point basis, as if you were putting them in while leveling, so that you can see at which point each decision becomes available to you.

    Points 1-5: Mana is the new challenge for healing in Cataclysm so far, so typically any time you can find something that will make your spells more efficient, you should go after it. With that in mind, 3/3 mental agility is a good route to go. It will reduce the mana cost on prayer of mending, renew, power word: shield, pain suppression, power infusion - anything that's instant cast. Channeled spells are not considered instant for the purposes of this talent.

    Next is 2/2 in improved power word: shield. Power word: shield used to be a very weak spell for discipline, but is now significantly more efficient in terms of mana spent to amount healed.

    Points 6-10: Probably the most controversial and often-talked about part of the new style to heal as discipline is the various talents that make it so you can use smite as part of your healing rotation. I will include a short discussion about it later on in this guide, so for these talent points, the important question is simply to ask yourself if you want to use smite or not.

    If you do, then points 6-8 will go into evangelism and archangel. Evangelism is a stacking buff that makes your smite hit harder and cost less, as well as making penance cheaper to cast. Archangel is a cooldown you can use to consume evangelism and get a nice healing buff.

    Prayer of healing is a better group heal when all 5 targets will be hit, but with the recent buff to power word: shield, semi-bubble-spam is actually viable again. As a result, soul warding is an attractive talent to pick up instead of twin disciplines. Therefore, points 9 and 10 will go here.

    If you decide not to use smite, then points 6-8 would instead go into twin disciplines for the increased healing on your spells. Points 9 and 10 will go into soul warding.

    Points 11-15: Because power word: shield is a primary spell in our rotation, we want to buff it up as much as possible. Renewed hope will cause your weakened soul debuff to provide extra crit chance on your target, so 2/2 is very useful. Power infusion is also one of the spec-defining cooldowns, so that should be picked up.

    If you are going to use smite as part of your spec, then 2/2 atonement is where points 14 and 15 will go. Atonement will make it so that any time you smite a target, the lowest-health Ally within 15 yards of the center of the target's hitbox will receive a heal for 100% of the damage done. As of Dec. 21, atonement now properly receives healing modifiers, such as grace and archangel, as well as things like mortal strike.

    If you are not going to use smite, then 1 point will go into inner focus, and one point will have to go into inner sanctum.

    Points 16-20: Rapture and borrowed time are both talents that buff up power word: shield, and are, really, mandatory for the tree. Mana is going to be a serious issue if you don't pick it up. Borrowed time gives you a massive haste buff following every power word: shield that is a key component of our main rotation.

    Points 21-25: Divine aegis is another key component of our healing rotation. It causes all your critical heals to provide another bubble on the target for 30% of the amount healed, and it continues to stack each time you crit if the target still has divine aegis up. Therefore, 3 points should go into divine aegis.

    Point 24 should go in pain suppression, as it is one of our primary healing cooldowns. It will reduce the incoming damage on the target by 40%.

    Point 25 should go into train of thought, as when combined with inner focus, it will actually cause greater heal to become a more efficient spell to cast than heal, since you will get a free greater heal roughly every 7 or 8 casts with increased crit chance (which subsequently increases divine aegis procs).

    Points 26-30: Grace provides a 24% healing bonus on any target you are continually healing, and as such is essentially the talent that makes discipline priests an effective tank healer. As a result, 2 points will need to go here.

    Point 28 should go back to train of thought to finish it out. If you are using the smite talents, then point 29 should go into inner focus. Inner focus is primarily used for greater heal or prayer of healing - it makes the next cast of either completely free with an increased 25% chance to crit. It's also on a 45 second cooldown, so it should basically be used whenever up and one of those two spells is being used.

    If you are not using the smite talents, then points 28 and 29 will go into train of thought so that subsequent greater heals following the first one can reduce the cooldown on inner focus, and strength of soul.

    Point 30 for both specs will go into filling out strength of soul - 1/2 for smite specs, 2/2 for non.

    Point 31 will of course go into power word: barrier, which is a targetable dome that reduces damage by 30% to all targets standing in it.

    Points 32-34: Whether or not you're using smite, the talent divine fury in the holy tree will reduce the cast time on your heal and greater heal spells by 0.5 seconds, and is basically mandatory.

    Points 35-36: These should both go into empowered healing to give some extra oomph to your heal and greater heal spells. Renew simply doesn't do enough healing for discipline to be a main part of the rotation, and you'll get more mileage out of empowered healing as a result.

    Points 37-38: 2/2 inspiration is the way to go. Discipline priests will be critting often, and each time you do, the target receives a buff that reduces incoming physical damage.

    Points 39-41: These 3 points have a lot of different places they could go, and at this point, it's really up to the player. For smite specs, point 39 is highly recommended to go into strength of soul to finish it out. The last 2 points could then either go into veiled shadows for reduced cooldown on shadowfiend, empowered healing to buff heal and greater heal further, or twin disciplines to give a general buff to your heals and smite.

    For the non-smite specs, point 39 is very highly recommended to go into empowered healing. Otherwise, darkness or veiled shadows are attractive for reduced shadowfiend cooldown or some extra haste.

    I wouldn't really recommend surge of light for either specs, but that's honestly a personal choice. Over the course of a very long fight, it will increase your mana efficiency by giving you the occasional free flash heal. However, with a proc chance of only 6%, I find that getting the free flash heal when I actually need it seems to be very rare indeed.

    For those who like talent calculators, here is a smite spec with 39 points and a non-smite spec with 39 points.

    Smite: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bbGorRsbfRMoMhM:mVqqodzV0

    Non-smite: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bfhzrosbfRMochM:qmVqozzV0
    Last edited by Zevia; 02-17-2011 at 05:06 PM.

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    II. Stats/Gemming/Enchanting
    Intellect - Intellect is incredibly useful to discipline priests more than other healers because in addition to providing spellpower, our primary mana regeneration mechanic, rapture, is also tied to our maximum mana pool, which is affected by intellect. Other abilities that restore mana based on maximum pool size are shadowfiend, hymn of hope, archangel, and replenish.

    As a result, gemming should always aim to include intellect where possible. If a slot can take a red gem, get intellect. If it takes a yellow gem, get an orange gem that includes intellect. If it's blue, get a purple gem that includes intellect. The most effective meta gem for discipline priests is also the ember shadowspirit diamond. In addition to providing more intellect, it increases our mana pool size by another 2%.

    Spirit - Spirit will provide a significant amount of mana regen, and as such, every item you pick up (except for trinkets) should have spirit on it, all other things being equal. This is to say, you should never have to reforge another stat to spirit. Obvious exceptions include large jumps in iLevel that provide enough of a boost to other stats (such as intellect).

    Crit, mastery, haste: There is no right answer for all discipline priests to take as far as these stats are concerned. It will largely depend on your playstyle and raid composition.

    If you are casting a lot of power word: shield, then mastery is going to be your most valuable stat.

    If you are casting most of your spells on a regular basis, then crit will be your most valuable stat.

    If mana is not a concern, and people are dying because you aren't healing them fast enough, then haste is your most valuable stat.

    Effectively, haste increases your throughput at the sacrifice of efficiency. The longer a fight takes, the less attractive haste becomes since it will run your mana dry. The shorter a fight is, the better haste becomes. Typically, haste will be the least-valued stat at early gear levels and becomes more attractive as you gear yourself up.

    Mastery will only affect divine aegis and power word: shield, so for all other spells, mastery is not-quite-but-very-close to worthless. Now that prayer of healing's divine aegis can also benefit from crit, it also means that mastery is only more valuable than crit as far as power word: shield is concerned. However, power word: shield, as of patch 4.0.6, is now our primary go-to heal.

    Again, whether or not you want to stack crit or mastery is based largely on just how much you're using power word: shield. There are priests completing top-end content such as heroic raids who will stack either one, so it's dependent on how you use your spells.

    As far as socket bonuses are concerned, anything that provides more intellect should always be gemmed for when possible. Anything that provides spirit as a socket bonus is typically also very beneficial to gem for. Blizzard has, in general, tried to make socket bonuses much more attractive to use, and they should be since all 5 stats are now important to discipline priests.

    There don't seem to be a large number of enchants for any given item slot that healers can use as of yet. As a general rule of thumb, however, grab intellect where possible. Otherwise, grab spirit where possible. Otherwise, grab whichever stat you are currently low on.

    III. Glyphs

    Prime:
    Penance is mandatory, as it is our most efficient heal, and will heal for a great deal, as well as stacking up grace to its full capacity. Power word: shield is also a spell that make frequent appearances in our rotation, so power word: shield is a must.

    Following that, the choices are between power word: barrier and prayer of healing. I feel the prayer of healing glyph will get the most mileage of the three unless you are solely dedicated to single-target healing; power word: barrier is limited to 10 seconds every 2 minutes in terms of usefulness, and you will generally see a greater performance when prayer of healing is made more useful.

    Use whichever you feel comfortable with.

    Major:
    Divine accuracy is mandatory for smite specs, as it will give you a guaranteed chance to land the spell whenever it's cast. Prayer of mending is also an attractive option. All other major glyphs are up to playstyle. I wouldn't recommend the glyph of smite because holy fire will often miss, and the DoT from it simply doesn't last long enough to take advantage of.

    Mass dispel comes highly recommended, as the times you'll need it, you'll want it to go off as fast as possible.

    Minor:
    Shadowfiend and levitate come recommended, but these are all also up to personal playstyle.
    Last edited by Zevia; 02-09-2011 at 05:39 AM.

  3. #3
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    IV. Spells and cooldowns

    Heal-per-mana numbers obtained with the following stats:
    5041 int/6760 spellpower
    2180 spirit
    1004 mastery rating

    Power word: shield - Discipline priests have a number of talents tied to power word: shield, and our primary regeneration mechanic, rapture, is tied to it. Rapture has a 12-second cooldown, and so it is important to try and have a shield breaking every 12 seconds to get maximum mana returns.
    Inner fire up: 3.94 healing per mana.
    Inner will up: 4.48 healing per mana.

    Renew - The only HoT discipline priests will have access to. With enough haste and inner will up, renew is actually a very efficient heal. If you have enough haste to give renew a 5th tick, then you may care to slip it into your regular rotation. Renew will benefit from grace, but will not apply it. It will also not proc inspiration. As a result, it's generally more useful for raid healing or to support tank healing.
    Inner fire up, less than 12.5% haste: 2.77 healing per mana (over full duration).
    Inner fire up, more than 12.5% haste: 3.46 healing per mana (over full duration).
    Inner will up, less than 12.5% haste: 3.21 healing per mana (over full duration).
    Inner will up, more than 12.5% haste: 4.02 healing per mana (over full duration).

    Inner Fire and Inner Will - Effectively, inner fire gives you 532 more spellpower and inner will gives you 15% cheaper instant cast spells. These spells follow the same rule as haste: when going for efficiency, use inner will. When going for throughput, use inner fire.

    Heal - Greater heal actually slightly outclasses heal in terms of efficiency as long as inner focus is used on cooldown and combined with train of thought. It has a higher heal-per-second and heal-per-mana component when the free heal is factored in. As a result, heal should pretty much never be cast with very few exceptions.
    Inner fire up: 3.74 healing per mana.
    Inner will up: 3.62 healing per mana.

    Flash heal - Our least efficient heal, this serves only one purpose: if your target will die in less than 2 seconds. Try to never cast this.
    Inner fire up: 2.4 healing per mana.
    Inner will up: 2.33 healing per mana.

    Greater heal - Only slightly less efficient than heal at base values, when combined with inner focus and train of thought, this is very useful for periods of large incoming damage that heal simply cannot keep up with. If inner focus is available, always pop it before casting this spell so that subsequent casts will reduce the cooldown on inner focus.
    Inner fire up: 3.33 healing per mana.
    Inner will up: 3.22 healing per mana.
    Inner fire up, spamming greater heal, inner focus used on cooldown: 3.88 healing per mana.
    Inner will up, spamming greater heal, inner focus used on cooldown: 3.76 healing per mana.
    For every 5 seconds that you don't cast greater heal, greater heal's efficiency improves even further because of inner focus.

    Holy nova - A weak AoE DPS that requires you to be in melee range, as well as a weak heal that is spread amongst all the targets it hits. This spell has so few uses that it's generally safe to remove it from your healing bars.

    Shackle undead - Don't forget, we have a CC against undead! Priests are typically the only class that can completely CC undead monsters, so keep it somewhere on your bars for those situations.

    Prayer of healing - Prayer of healing will do a decent amount of healing to a target and all group members within 40 yards. It also procs divine aegis regardless of whether or not it crits. This is our go-to AoE heal - if it hits 5 targets, it's a more efficient heal than bubble-spam as long as the divine aegis proc also gets absorbed. The divine aegis proc is 30% * (1+mastery%).
    Inner fire up: 1.06 healing per mana PER TARGET (5.3 healing per mana on a full group), plus 2273 absorb PER TARGET (if absorb is fully used: 1.48 healing per mana PER TARGET [7.4 healing per mana on a full group]).
    Inner will up: 1.02 healing per mana PER TARGET (5.1 healing per mana on a full group), plus 2200 absorb PER TARGET (if absorb is fully used: 1.43 healing per mana PER TARGET [7.17 healing per mana on a full group]).

    Dispel magic - Only 4 classes are capable of removing magic debuffs from enemies. Protection warriors using shield slam, shamans using purge, mages using spellsteal, and priests using dispel. Dispel also works defensively, and will remove 2 stacks of a debuff or 2 debuffs. There will be a number of times where you will be the only member of the party capable of dispelling certain very dangerous magic buffs off NPCs, so this needs to be in quick reach. Magic debuffs are typically easier to simply remove, if not mandatory for many mechanics, than they are to heal through. Do not forget about this spell, it is incredibly vital to a priest's healing.

    Remove disease
    - Again, almost every disease is easier to remove than to heal, and often can be fatal if not removed ASAP. Keep this in easy reach on your hotbars.

    Binding heal - Effectively a heal cast on your target and yourself for the cost of a flash heal. This will not stack up or move stacks of grace. This has identical efficiency to heal across two targets, but has a higher throughput and mana cost.
    Inner fire up: 1.87 healing per mana PER TARGET (3.74 healing per mana for 2)
    Inner will up: 1.82 healing per mana PER TARGET (3.64 healing per mana for 2)

    Prayer of mending - Prayer of mending actually outclasses prayer of healing for AoE healing as long as 4 or 5 charges are fully used. On a per-mana-cost basis, it also outclasses all single-target heals as long as at least 3 charges are used.
    Inner fire up with glyph: 2.54 healing per mana for 1 target
    .................................4.12 healing per mana for 2 targets
    .................................5.71 healing per mana for 3 targets
    .................................7.3 healing per mana for 4 targets
    .................................8.88 healing per mana for 5 targets
    Inner will up with glyph: 2.95 healing per mana for 1 target
    .................................4.79 healing per mana for 2 targets
    .................................6.64 healing per mana for 3 targets
    .................................8.48 healing per mana for 4 targets
    .................................10.32 healing per mana for 5 targets

    Mass dispel - Just like dispel, except it will only remove 1 buff or debuff on up to 5 players and 5 enemies, and is targetable in a 40 yard area. This can remove many abilities not removable by regular dispel.

    Divine hymn - This is our major emergency AoE heal. It will heal 3 nearby targets every tick, as well as increase their healing received by 10% for 8 seconds.
    Inner fire up: 3.85 healing per mana PER TARGET (11.56 healing per mana over full duration)
    Inner will up: 3.73 healing per mana PER TARGET (11.19 healing per mana over full duration)

    Hymn of hope - A channeled mana restoration ability that will also restore mana to nearby party or raid members. Not as efficient as shadowfiend, but beneficial to the whole raid.

    Penance - Penance is the most efficient heal in the discipline priest's arsenal, and will also put up 3 stacks of grace on any targets it's used on. This should be used on cooldown whenever anyone needs a large heal.
    Inner fire up: 5.57 healing per mana.
    Inner will up: 5.39 healing per mana.

    Pain suppression - A targetable buff that will reduce incoming damage by 40% for 8 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown.

    Power infusion - Typically reserved to buff up DPS in the past, this is now a major healing cooldown. Not only will it make you cast faster, which makes it good to use with any kind of healing spam, but it will increase your efficiency.

    Inner focus - Will cause your next flash heal, binding heal, greater heal, or prayer of healing to be free and have an extra 25% chance to crit. Only use this with greater heal or prayer of healing, but use it for either whenever you're about to cast them.

    Archangel - If you have stacks of evangelism up, you can consume them for an extra 3% healing per stack. The mana return from archangel is not meant to be a major regen mechanic, it's simply to make smite about as efficient as heal. Basically, you want 5 stacks of evangelism whenever possible, but if you suddenly find yourself needing some extra healing power, then use them up and start being 15% more effective.

    SPELLS BY EFFICIENCY:
    Inner fire, single-target:
    1) Penance (5.57)
    2) Power word shield (3.94)
    3) Greater heal with Inner Focus/Train of Thought (3.88 if spammed, higher if not)
    4) Smite with full evangelism (3.85)
    5) Heal (3.74)
    6) Binding heal on 2 targets (3.74)
    7) Renew with >=12.5% haste (3.46)
    8) Renew <12.5% haste (2.77)
    9) Prayer of Mending (2.54)
    10) Flash heal (2.4)

    Inner will, single-target:
    1) Penance (5.39)
    2) Power word: shield (4.48)
    3) Renew with >=12.5% haste (4.02)
    4) Greater heal with Inner Focus/Train of Thought (3.76 if spammed, higher if not)
    5) Binding heal (3.64)
    6) Heal (3.62)
    7) Smite with full evangelism (3.6)
    8) Renew with <12.5% haste (3.21)
    9) Prayer of Mending (2.95)
    10) Flash heal (2.33)

    Inner fire, AoE:
    1) Prayer of mending, all 5 charges used (8.88)
    2) Prayer of healing, all absorbs used (7.4)
    3) Prayer of mending, at least 3 charges used (5.71)
    4) Prayer of healing, no absorbs used (5.3)
    5) Prayer of mending, 2 charges used (4.12)
    6) Bubble spam, all absorbs used (3.94)

    Inner will, AoE:
    1) Prayer of mending, all 5 charges used (10.32)
    2) Prayer of healing, all absorbs used (7.17)
    3) Prayer of mending, at least 3 charges used (6.64)
    4) Prayer of healing, no absorbs used (5.1)
    5) Prayer of mending, 2 charges used (4.79)
    6) Bubble spam, all absorbs used (4.48)

    IVa. Should I use smite?

    Smite's healing per mana efficiency:
    No evangelism, inner fire: 2.25 healing per mana
    No evangelism, inner will: 2.1 healing per mana
    Evangelism x5, inner fire: 3.85 healing per mana
    Evangelism x5, inner will: 3.6 healing per mana

    Smite, when not stacked with any evangelism buffs, is our least efficient heal. At 5 stacks of evangelism, however, it is approximately equal to greater heal spam when coupled with inner focus and train of thought in terms of mana efficiency.

    Evangelism will also reduce the mana cost of penance, increasing its efficiency even further:
    Inner fire, 5 stacks of evangelism: 7.95 healing per mana.
    Inner will, 5 stacks of evangelism: 7.7 healing per mana.

    Similarly, keeping evangelism stacked up will also provide you with a +15% healing cooldown, which, when coupled with a triple stack of grace, gives you +39% healing. That's a huge boost to your healing output.

    What smite WON'T do is proc inspiration, refresh stacks of grace, or reduce the cooldown on weakened soul.

    This effectively means that smite is best used to maintain stacks of evangelism to buff up penance and provide yourself with a healing cooldown. It does not truly replace any of your healing spells, it is just another tool for you to have available.

    Overall, it is better to have smite available as a tool to use than not, but you can get by just fine without it. In terms of just the healing done, greater heal is superior, so for just raw healing power, there's no real reason to pick up smite. However, it will make your penance more efficient and provide you with an extra healing cooldown, and this does make it worthwhile to have around.
    Last edited by Zevia; 02-17-2011 at 04:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    V. "Rotation"

    If you expect a shield will be fully absorbed in the next 30 seconds after casting it, use power word: shield. If the target is missing more than about 20k health, penance should be the next spell cast if it's available, otherwise inner focus and greater heal. Try to break one power word: shield every 12 seconds for maximum up-time on rapture.

    If the target is missing between about 10k and 18k health, then use smite to begin building stacks of evangelism. Try to cast smite at least once every 15 seconds or so to maintain these stacks.

    If you already have 5 stacks of evangelism, then simply wait for your target to be missing enough health to warrant a greater heal or penance.

    If prayer of mending will get at least 3 uses, cast it.

    If prayer of mending is already up, switch to inner will and use power word: shield to prepare for incoming damage on any less than 4 targets. If 4 or 5 targets in the same group are taking damage, switch to inner fire and use prayer of healing.

    For periods of expected incoming heavy damage, use pain suppression or power word: barrier.

    For emergency AoE heals, use divine hymn.

    This section will be expanded upon with a video - please check back for a link when it is complete.

    VI. How to tell if it's you making mistakes or your group.

    Gone are the days where a good healer can carry a terrible group, and so too are the days when even a good tank and healer combo can carry a terrible group. Now, all 5, 10, or 25 members of the group need to be on the ball or else the chance of a wipe are significantly higher.

    There is one golden rule to figure out if you're being a bad healer or someone in your group is being a bad player:

    IF THE DAMAGE IS AVOIDABLE, it's the player's fault for getting hit by it. This typically includes standing in fire or void zones, but also includes not interrupting spellcasts, using crowd control, using survival cooldowns, or removing buffs where possible.

    IF THE DAMAGE IS UNAVOIDABLE, it's your job to deal with it. This means mobs that are attacking the tank with regular or uninterruptable abilities, or general AoE that cannot be avoided.

    If your group is getting hit by lots of avoidable damage, there's simply nothing you can do to save them. They will run your mana dry and you will probably wipe. The best thing to do in those situations is to point out (politely!) what killed them, or to warn new people what to watch out for ahead of time ("This dragon breathes bad things - don't stand in front of him"). Oftentimes people are more willing to listen than you might think, and as long as you simply mention that they are being hit by damage they could avoid, they'll do what they can to help out.

    -----------------------------

    That's it for the Disc PvE Guide. I will be adding video links containing this information soon, so keep posted to this thread! ALL feedback and constructive criticism is welcome, and if you see something you would like included in the guide, please feel free to post and let me know, and if the community agrees, I will update it.
    Last edited by Zevia; 02-17-2011 at 04:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    Reserved (or, rather, guide consolidated into fewer posts than I needed, so now this one is leftover...)
    Last edited by Zevia; 02-09-2011 at 05:43 AM.

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    Very kool, Zevia. Thank you. This thread challenges some of my old habits and assumptions. And I need that in order to remain current.

    Although you have a few minor typos you might want to edit. Here's my favorite:
    Quote Originally Posted by Zevia
    Now, all 5, 10, or 25 members of the group need to be on the ball or else the chance of a wipe are significantly healer.
    I think you meant "higher". Although, chances being "healer" is much funnier. ;-)

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Tiata; 12-19-2010 at 10:20 AM. Reason: typo
    "If the Truth can be told, so as to be Understood, it Will be Believed." - Terrence McKenna

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiata View Post
    Although you have a few minor typos you might want to edit. Here's my favorite:I think you meant "higher". Although, chances being "healer" is much funnier. ;-)
    Whoops. >.>

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    This guide has had a few changes made to it following some discussion over on the WoW forums concerning rapture, power word: shield, and heal/greater heal.

    Video with rotation and general tips still to come, stay posted. Feedback is always welcome!

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    Video supplement to the rotation section of the guide has now been posted - let me know what you all think.

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    Read it thoroughly. Very well written and very informative. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Lovez it.

    I'm still a little bewildered on the paragraph where you talk about haste, crit and mastery. To my understanding, to sum it up, you're saying that crit >> mastery > haste. However, from a lot of sources around the net people talk about keeping a balance between all 3 stats. Could you clarify this please?

  11. #11
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    Initially, I actually quoted a thread from Elitistjerks called the Discipline Priest Compendium that was written on December 4, just shortly before Cataclysm came out, that also said to keep a balance between the three stats - when I posted that information, however, was when a discussion cropped up on the thread on the priest forums over on the WoW website.

    The same thread I quoted from Elitistjerks also had people slowly changing their minds as time wore on.

    Essentially, holy priests want enough haste to get extra ticks on renew, but discipline priests already get that haste if they need it from using borrowed time following a shield cast - remember that you get 14% haste from doing so. Since renew isn't a regular part of our rotation, either, that means borrowed time is all the haste that spell needs.

    Similarly, spamming power word: shield around is no longer a viable way to heal because of the nerf to multiple rapture procs, so there's no reason to try and reduce the GCD on spamming some spell over and over.

    As a result, the only spells that are a regular part of our rotation that haste is going to affect is heal, greater heal, and prayer of healing - and they don't really increase our efficiency at all, just some of our throughput. We also have power infusion available if, for some reason, we need on-demand quick heals. In short, discipline already has a few tools to increase heal speed without picking up a ton of haste.

    Mastery only affects power word: shield and divine aegis - shield doesn't get enough of a boost from mastery to make it a super-badass heal, and divine aegis still only receives 30% of the critical heal, so apparently someone over at Elitistjerks did some math and found out that what ends up happening is that while mastery and crit work well together, you get a bigger benefit out of crit than you do out of mastery.

    For reference, this was the thread I originally linked that said balance all 3 stats, then slowly worked its way over to favoring crit: http://elitistjerks.com/f77/t110244-...st_compendium/
    Last edited by Zevia; 12-20-2010 at 05:05 PM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the clarification.

  13. #13
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    Aye, thanks, Zevia.


    One point that I'd like to drive home is that stat balance needs to also be driven by personal play style. For example, I tend to rank haste > mastery > crit because:
    1. I'm an older player who doesn't have the reaction time that my kids do, so fractions of a second matter a lot to me
    2. I tend to use Renew more than most Disc priests, so those ticks improve my performance
    3. Crit is nice, but if you avoid the damage in the first place then you don't need to rely on "big healz"
    I find that, while these guides are useful (this one in particular), we must look in the mirror and know ourselves as players.
    Last edited by Tiata; 12-21-2010 at 09:40 AM.
    "If the Truth can be told, so as to be Understood, it Will be Believed." - Terrence McKenna

  14. #14
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    Discipline Priest PvE Guide (Updated 12/19/10)

    Just a note: Atonement does in fact gain benefit from healing buffs. If it didn't before it does as of the recent hot-fixes. When I heal a tank with +healing talents Atonement heals for more than smite hit for. When archangel is active, atonement heals for 20% more than before.

    As an aside, this makes smite spam + the glyph of smite better throughput than heal spam when you have evangelism fully stacked.

    Edit: From the recent hot fix notes...

    Priests:
    - The healing effect from Atonement is now being effected by healing modifiers correctly.
    Last edited by Ollin; 12-22-2010 at 07:38 PM.

  15. #15
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    Makes me realize I'm a really crappily set up healer lol. Bring up the servers so I can respec dangnabit!!! lol Thoughtt ehre was a tie in between the weakened soul debuff and better heals, now i'll fix it to have only 1 instead of 2 pts there lol.

    Oh and can anyone point me in the direction of personal priest buff mods to watch out for so I can keep track of my procs easier till I get a feel for them?

    Btw.. very very informative post, thanks very much, condenses what I've found in several places all in 1 nice easy to read thread 2 thumbs up *cheer*

  16. #16
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    This is an awesome guide. Thank you!

    I do want to say that I highly recommend taking Veiled Shadows unless you're in extremely good gear (which is unlikely this early in the xpac). As Holy it has served me very well, oftentimes my Shadowfiend comes off of cooldown just as I'm going OOM. I have yet to raid as Disc (first time tonight, wish me luck!) but I imagine that it will have a similar value.

    This is the spec I'm testing out, largely copied... I mean, informed by this thread. I will eventually get around to testing an Atonement build, but I don't think that a raid setting is the best place for it initially.

  17. #17
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    I'm very glad to hear that everyone's finding this guide useful.

    I also very much agree that a guide is really just a base to start from when working on your character - if there's something you find that doesn't work well with your playstyle, or you just think, "You know, every time I try this one thing, it doesn't work for me - but this, this, and this does," then it's always in your best interests to adapt your playstyle.

    I think the importance of haste really comes down to asking yourself: "Would my target have not died if I had just cast that spell .3 seconds faster?" If the answer is yes, then it's probably a good idea to swap over to some haste. However, with tanks no longer in danger from dying in 4 or 5 seconds from full health, the throughput haste provided isn't quite as valuable to a lot of healers as it used to be. Of course, if you're relegated to an AoE healing role most of the time, then you might get a lot more mileage out of haste for prayer of healing spam.

    By all means, if you ever feel like there's something you want to add, change, or just flat out disagree with, I'm open to constructive criticism. I actually altered this guide a bit following a discussion on my other thread because I initially disagreed with someone, but after giving it a day to think about it, decided I didn't really find any fault in their logic.

    Again, thank you very much for the feedback, it's always appreciated. Would love to hear more how people are doing after reading this!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollin View Post
    Just a note: Atonement does in fact gain benefit from healing buffs. If it didn't before it does as of the recent hot-fixes. When I heal a tank with +healing talents Atonement heals for more than smite hit for. When archangel is active, atonement heals for 20% more than before.

    As an aside, this makes smite spam + the glyph of smite better throughput than heal spam when you have evangelism fully stacked.

    Edit: From the recent hot fix notes...
    I also noticed that in the hotfix - thank you for pointing it out to others who are reading the thread. I'll update it sometime tonight.

  19. #19
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    To the administrators of the forum - it appears I can't actually edit the title of my post to reflect the latest date of updates. Would it be possible to simply remove the date from the title and I'll just update that at the beginning of the first post as necessary?

    Thank you!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Zevia View Post
    To the administrators of the forum - it appears I can't actually edit the title of my post to reflect the latest date of updates. Would it be possible to simply remove the date from the title and I'll just update that at the beginning of the first post as necessary?

    Thank you!
    done!

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