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Spiritual Guidance: What the future holds for Priests


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW. What will Cataclysm hold for Priests?

I'm back from Blizzcon! There's been a ton of big announcements which will mean future impacts for Priests whether you heal or dish out damage. Let's take a quick look at what we know.

Reforging

The ability to reforge items (in other words, reallocate stats) is going to further break open the door on gear selection. Deciding what is "best in slot" does not appear like it's going to matter as much anymore as the line becomes blurred even more.

It sounds like every cloth item that drops can be reforged in such a way so that it can be useful to the class that manages to pick it up. There's still a lot of details out there that have yet to be addressed. I suspect we'll learn more about that over the next year or so.

For now, the stats you want to gain have to not already be on the item. You cannot add additional Spirit to an item that already has Spirit. But that's okay! Many cloth items in the game either have Spirit or they don't.

Let's use these Felspark Bracers on the side here as an example:

These bracers drop from Lord Jaraxxus in Trial of the Crusader. The left shot is of the bracers in their original form. It's got a decent amount of haste and spell power. For healing Priests, the hit rating is useless. We don't care about hitting targets. We're in the business to heal! If Reforging was in effect now, a tailor would reforge the item to look like something on the right. We'd knock out the hit rating entirely and replace it with Spirit.

I suppose that amount of Spirit is unbelievable (and excessive). I don't think 36 hit rating would equal 60 Spirit. Would it be nice? Oh yes it would.

Alas, that is just an example of how reforging would work (albeit unrealistic).

Path of the Titans

Path of the Titans is the new non-grindy system of progression for all classes. This will allow Priests to progress our level 85 characters over some period of time that isn't strictly due to gear. Keep in mind that the system is meant to be gated. There will be a limit in place which gets raised after a period of time. Not a lot of information on this is available, but here's what we know.

  • You choose a specific Titan cult to align yourself with
  • The new Archeology profession ties in heavily and contributes to progression among the path.
  • Ancient Glyphs are the primary rewards (these Glyphs aren't the same as ones earned from Inscription).

What are some possible examples for Priests?

  • Increase mana regeneration after landing a crit
  • Reduced damage from curses

Take a guess! It's always fun to openly speculate about what might benefit Priests.

Simplified stats

Speaking of stats, the big change for Priests is that our mana regeneration stat is being changed. They're doing away with mp5. Holy Priests leaned towards Spirit as it also increased their spell power while Discipline Priests were indifferent. Now our regeneration is completely controlled by Spirit.

I know sometimes I would have a bit of difficulty weighing some items. Did I want to shoot for these pants because they have X mp5 or these pants because they have Y Spirit?

Removing mp5 from the game greatly simplifies that question.

Not only that, the spell power stat itself is also being removed. It's now going to be tied into Intellect. I suppose players that are organizing pickup raids won't be listing spell power requirements anymore. Hopefully there will be a label in the character window that displays what your Intellect translates to in spell power.

Bottom line? Looks like we're stacking Intellect until there is no tomorrow.

Talent changes

I was able to attend the Game Systems panel (and get a seat). Blizzard stated they wanted to streamline talents for every class. Body and Soul is an example of the type of fun talents they want to introduce. Passive bonuses would be included in the tree that a player invests their talents into the most. This way, they can remove those talents from the trees and replace them with other beneficial ones.

This is the example used for Rogues.

Melee damage for all trees are increased by a variable amount. That's where their similarities end.

How would Priests look?

Discipline

Spell haste +11%
Intellect +8%
Mana pool +15%

Holy

Spell crit +3%
Mana regeneration +5%
Mana cost of spells reduced by 15%

Shadow

Hit chance +5%
Shadow damage +41%
Crit +2%

I suppose that is a bit too obscene. It's a good thing I'm not a game designer! Anyway, my guess is that Discipline Priests will see passive changes to haste and mana pool. Holy Priests will gain increases to their crit and mana regeneration. Shadow Priests will have the hit they need along with some extra strength shadow damage.

No doubt I'll miss on all accounts, but I can see the idea that Blizzard is trying to introduce for talents. I can't wait to see all the Priest announcements when they're ready!

Gameplay Priest changes

Nothing really mentioned in the class panel. The Warlocks and Hunters were the two classes with sweeping changes. All healing classes are getting Meditation type changes. Doesn't concern us since we already have it.

One thing I did distinctly remember being mentioned is to not expect our area of effect healing spells to increase in any way (at least, significantly). It was during one of the class panels, if I remember right. Chain Heal might see even more buffs.

Lastly, let's not forget Tauren and Gnome Priests along with the recently announced Worgen and Goblin Priests. I just might consider rerolling a Gnome myself!

Anyway, it's far too soon to mention this stuff right now. It's going to be quite the eventful year!


Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know! And don't forget to check out our other Leveling Guides as well as our Wrath Guides and Galleries!

Filed under: Gnomes, Tauren, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm, BlizzCon

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