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3-04-2011 @ 6:15AM
Bit late to the party but just seen the additions to the 4.1 notes since this was written:- Holy Fire damage has been increased to be approximately 30% higher than Smite.- Atonement now works with Holy Fire in addition to Smite.- Glyph of Divine Accuracy now also affects Holy Fire in addition to Smite.So disc have always been mitigation healers but in late Ulduar there was a chance to move from tank-centric to the raid. And thus bubble-spam was born. Dull for many but also highly effective if used correctly (there's blanket spam with high waste or targeted spam to catch the damage spikes). I can understand the move to get shot of PW:S spam but I don't understand the seeming attempt to move away from mitigation, or pre-emptive healing.A more simple (crass?) fix for spam would be to simply allow PW:S onto a limited number of targets (ala Earth Shield). It might need some love to not kill it's value but I think this could be done with a big old grace bonus (if both grace and PW:S on target PW:S absorbs X more damage). That could, I feel, fix both the spamming of the spell as well as make disc priests much more solid tank healers. Something needs to be done about disc raid healing though. PoH and DA just seem to be too unfocussed and weak. Renew (besides not feeling very disc-y) too inefficient and weak. PW:B is simply a localised Divine Guardian (now with extra CD). That leaves Atonement, which seems to be the way disc are supposed to go. Is it just me or is Atonement a bad idea gone too far? Cluster healing is great. HW:S, Chain heal etc all great but none of them rely on people being next to a mob. Sure, there are situations where it can be very effective but do discs really want to be pushed towards a situational heal?
3-04-2011 @ 6:58AM
Why Mr. Hobbs, how dear of you to grace us with your presence.I actually disagree that Atonement goes away from disc, but I'm looking at it over a longer period of time. Depending on when a person started playing a priest their ideas might be different. I think you're right that Atonement goes away from the flavor of disc based on the trends set in Wrath. My perspective starts in early BC as a PvPer though, and thus I think Atonement is perfect for disc. Before Wrath disc had quite a few offensive talents and it was a tree that did a little bit of healing, a little bit of mitigation, and a little bit of damage. Atonement has brought us back to those roots.I think that Blizzard has still allowed Atonement to be a choice that some priests can use, and some priests can choose not to. I love having the option of both, and I know many priests who do not take the option. You could, can, and (with this change) will still be able to skip those talents and get some really nice holy talents. I personally love having surge of light and Desperate prayer (I only give 1 point to inspiration since my crit levels aren't that reliable for getting the buff up anyway, but 1 point is better than no points.) It doesn't seem like a force to take Atonement, just an option.I don't think it was terribly implemented either. Every heal in the priest toolbox is situational if you think about it. Holy priests are different, but disc, definitely only uses certain spells for certain types of damage. I guess with Atonement, I think a lot of people don't like it because they wanna put on their healing pants and just want to heal. Most people forget that disc was once a blend of offense and defense. That said, I think finding the right ways to use it takes a bit more thought than just using it as the mana return cooldown it was in beta. That extra throughput is great, and honestly there are a ton of situations where smiting is the best thing to do in a raid encounter because there just isn't enough damage. And every time you help dps, you're helping the raid mana by helping the fight go faster ever so slightly. I like being able to do damage instead of just standing around and recovering mana or casting superfluous heals on people who were already topped off save for those 2 points of HP that the padders want to get. There are so many more lulls in the current content than I think people realize, and everyone of of them is a Smite moment. I like being able to cast all the time. This might not happen as much in 10-man guilds though (i do 25 exclusively) since 2-3 healers have to multitask a bit more.All I hope right now is that this change to Holy Fire is balanced so it heals more than Greater Heal, so that it it will be balanced to account for less shield HPS (since you won't be getting the effect of Strength of Soul to increase your output.) As for shield usage, I think the direction they're going in is better than limiting the amount of shields that can go out. Adding a cap like that would have to take into account all the different sizes of groups, and figuring out the magic number is like saying "there is one way to use your shields, and we have decided it is this" it restricts creativity on play styles. There are some fights where I put 10 shields out, but not back to back, just over the span of 30 seconds because I'm saving people who are taking spots of damage and I want to keep them from getting to low, and then letting the raid healers fill them up. I couldn't do that with a cap, but that isn't spam since I'm doing plenty of casting inbetween. A cap is just too restrictive, and this expansion was supposed to be all about having different ways to get to the same goal, both in playstyles and raid strats. Plus, as you said, disc AoE is janky. I don't think a new spell is going to happen any time soon, if at all, so it's important that we be able to use our shields as much as we can, even if there is a price to pay through mana.Sorry these thoughts are a bit jumbled. I definitely understand people don't like Atonement so for those of you who just wanna heal, heal your hearts out. I just personally love getting back to my old PvP roots =)
3-07-2011 @ 3:28AM
Odd, I thought I would see an email if a reply landed on this post. Ah well, I came back to check just in case.:o)I Appreciate where you're coming from with the disc damage roots, and yeah, that was certainly the priest 'hybrid role' tree back then. However now it is classed specifically as a healing tree and needs to keep up with any healing role. My problems with Atonement are twofold:1) I find that damage and healing roles have different 'mindsets' (for want of a better word) with rotation/priorities as well as positioning etc. Adding a mob damage layer of thinking to a healer seems to be cruel and unusual punishment. Maybe that's because I have a RL layer as well and my poor brain can't handle another one.2) It's too situational. Yes, all spells can be situational but this is our cluster heal and it relies solely on a cluster being in close proximity to the mob. I too only raid 25s but find we have little down time or spare mana. Maybe you're more progressed than we are or have more healers in your group, but if I were to throw damage spells in down time then it would make very little difference. In fact, I'm probably better off just using Penance (lets have a hit glyph for that). Either way, that's Smite, not Atonement. Atonement is a cluster heal that comes from damage, not the damage itself. Throwing in some damage at times in a fight when nobody needs a heal can happen with or without Atonement. My problem is with the heal itself not being up to scratch for group or cluster healing.An 'off the top of my head' suggestion on the EU forum, for a disc-like cluster heal was:_Cool spell name here_Places a ward on the target player for 10 seconds absorbing x damage. When fully absorbed it bursts, healing everyone within 8 yards for x.Yes, you're right, it's unlikely we'll see a new spell, but that's only because of the logistical issues with implementing something new now. If it's good then it's worth making the suggestion, is it not? I don't mean my spell suggestion, but rather the need for something in that space.As I'm sure you know, I have never had any interest or involvement in PvP so the benefits of Smite/Atonement play in PvP are completely lost on me. However, disc is a PvE healer tree and needs to survive as such on it's own merits. We are weaker than our holy brothers and sisters in group healing (when you remove bubble spam from our toolbox) and it looks like the intent is to replace this with Atonement healing. I don't think that is a reasonable replacement (for the reasons above) and will leave disc lacking. Maybe I'm reading the patch notes wrong or too early. Maybe the HF/Atonement changes are just to buff PvP and a raid healing buff is on it's way. But I see no sign of it as yet.Woo, long reply...Shields.I do the same thing as you. Someone takes a whack, throw a bubble on them to prevent a death and let the incoming direct heals top them off. It may drop my effective healing but it saves lives. I don't think we should stop doing that and I don't think my change suggestion prevents it.If you can only have one shield up at one time, it doesn't stop you moving it around. Even a strong bubble on the tank is only going to last a few seconds which gives you the rest of the WS time to drop saviour-bubbles onto others. Similarly, if you have just saved someone you can go on to save someone else a couple seconds later without loss, as the direct heals should have landed by then (or indeed your own Penance etc). What the change would do, however, is stop you putting back to back, unused bubbles up on people and wait for the incoming damage. Personally, I like doing that but appreciate it's too OP for fights these days (or at least in ICC it was). I don't think that having a cast of PW:S on player 2 remove the remaining bubble from player 1 will stop discs from spot shielding. Indeed, in heavy raid damage phases such as at the end of an Ascendant Council fight, I can imagine back to back bubbles getting used, certainly with a FH between each bubble cast.
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