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9-13-2011 @ 3:08AM
You make Attonement Priests sound like they're nothing but Smite spammers. :( I for one freaking love the Attonement talent, because it feels so... diverse and interactive. It's like taking the basic 3-heal model that Blizzard introduced with Cataclysm and kicking it down. Then spitting on it, because aside from healing through doing damage, you still get a LOAD of use out of other spells that aren't part of the healing trinity (PW:S and Penance). I took both Grace and Inspiration for my Attonement built Disc Priest and get plenty of use out of it. Just because I use Smite and Holy Fire (which is quite potent) to heal the Tank through steady damage doesn't mean I don't keep my PW:S up on him, or that I don't pretty much use Penance on cooldown or throw out a Greater Heal (not Flash Heal, I wouldn't reccomend anyone using THAT spell without the proverbial shit hitting the fan) when things get a bit tougher. The cherry on top, for me, is the added 15% healing boost you get when you pop Archangel, it's lovely. You'll get plenty of use out of your Mastery as well, and I'd put it ahead of Crit and about equal to Haste because of that. Attonement procs Divine Aegis too, and as I said earlier, you'll be using your other spells more than often enough to increase the value of Mastery, unless you're blindly tunnel-visioning with the Smite healing. I can see why Attonement isn't for everyone, and I realize it's not very useful on fights with fat bosses (like Raggy) where your Attonement won't reach anyone, but I don't feel like it should be treated as the redheaded stepchild of Discipline healing. If you're tank healing, it's a perfect spec for healing steadier damage before turning it up a notch (AA) and going to town.
9-13-2011 @ 7:33AM
I think you're overreacting a bit to what I said in the post. I specifically said that I don't recommend because of it's low throughput, but that it does have a place on certain fights. You even echo this general sentiment in the third paragraph of your own comment.Sigh, I'll admit I sometimes feel like no matter what I say, anything other than the highest praise and admiration is met with scrutiny. It's very frustrating for me because my job is to give you guys what I feel is the best advice, and despite the fact that I incorporate when to use Atonement in all of my boss guides, or even in this stat guide, I'm still denounced as a hater of holy priests, atonement healing, and then some. The simple fact is, I try my hardest to look at the big picture and see both the strengths and weaknesses of all the facets of our class. I don't want to be blind to this, and I honestly think I'd be doing a terrible job if I made you guys blind to it to. So I tell you guys "this isn't really that great." I then usually immediately turn around and say "but you can probably still make it work, and here's how." I don't mean for you guys to think I hate this stuff, I just want to be as honest about some of it as I can. Sometimes honesty isn't always positive.So, to reply to some of your fine points… yes, I do know that Atonement priests cast more than just Smite. I've used Atonement healing plenty in raiding (which you'll see in my boss guides) and all the time in 5-mans. I'd describe it as a sort of on and off again type of utility. You don't use it all the time, you find spare moments in fights to use it. Sometimes those moments are only enough to get off 1 or 2 casts, sometimes it's a minute long phase of downtime. The reason I even suggested not picking up Grace or Inspiration is because raid healing disc priests switch targets so frequently that neither would be useful. Don't forget I said that it really depends on what you're doing -- obviously if you're a tank healing atonement priest, you'll want both. I'm not sure why you think mastery in particularly is valued by Atonement in particular. It might benefit your particular playstyle of always keeping shields out (which sounds more like a general style with Atonement worked in) but if you have a theory let me know. I'd actually really recommend examining your individual rotation on the spreadsheet to see how it performs in the mathematical vacuum. You might find you can make little tweaks here or there to optimize it.Anyway, if you want to know why I don't recommend smite, please allow me to explain. First it's a utility that cannot be used all the time but to use it at all you have to dedicate 5 talent points to it. Think about other utilities like Spirit of Redemption, Lightwell -- They're great when a fight calls for them, but are only used occasionally. As a result, they only cost 1 talent point. Okay, so let's say Smite has more usage than those two abilities… does it really have 5 points worth? I don't think so. You compare it to something like a Shaman's Telluric Currents, which allows shaman to restore mana by casting Lightning Bolt. TC costs 2 talents and does two things… extra damage and mana restoration. Atonement healing only offers extra damage and extra healing, but you have to consider what the actual value of extra healing is. The healing you do with Atonement healing is no where close in HPS or HPM to the healing you can do with normal spells (unless there is a damage gimmick like what we saw on Halfus.) So if you need healing, it's actually better to just heal with a normal heal. You could justify that Smite is a good way to fill the downtime, but you can also argue that the extra healing you're doing isn't even necessary and it might be better to just do nothing and restore your mana so you can go all out when things get hairy again.Moving on to the damage perspective and Atonement looks even worse, since a disc priest can't even do half of what a normal DPS does. Atonement damage is what, 5-8k dps without a damage gimmick? Compare that to the average DPS doing 20k-25k, if not more, and you can't begin to justify a priest's contribution over an additional DPS. It's great in a 5-man to help speed stuff up, I'll agree to that, but in a raid if you're really hurting for DPS, it's usually better to just drop that healer in exchange for another DPS. After all, if you're spending time using atonement, how hard could the healing situation actually be?Going back to the 5 talent point issue, there are a lot of better talents you can get if you don't pick up Atonement healing. Surge of Light, for example, is one of the most underrated disc tank healing talents available. Desperate Prayer is another underrated self heal that costs no mana and can be cast on the move. Darkness, to increase your casting. Veiled Shadows to reduce Shadowfiend's cd. The list goes on. Why give that up for less throughput than a normal heal, and mediocre damage? The only answer is personal preference, and that's fine, but that's really the only reason to take it. It's definitely not better than anything we have from an objective standpoint, and I'd struggle to say it was on truly on par with our other healing and talent choices as well.And you want to know what? This isn't the way I want it to be. I wanted Smite to be something worth using and I have repeatedly lamented that Blizzard has not given us a good reason to use it other than novelty and some gimmick fights. I was devastated when they changed it in the beta to stop being a mana restoration mechanic and just made it this weird little alternative to casting Heal. Like you said, it makes things feel more interactive and that IS fun, but the fun comes at a price and it's not one I can say is worth pay for any objective reason. If you think Atonement healing is the red head stepchild, blame Blizzard. =/ I'd embrace it if I could.
9-13-2011 @ 7:43AM
Lots of typos in there x-x sorry. I can't see them after a while sometimes.
9-13-2011 @ 7:55AM
At least you replied to the proper post, something I completely failed to do. >.>
9-13-2011 @ 1:00PM
@ Dawn - I definitely wasn't criticizing your remarks. I was asking for clarification. You mention other talents we can take instead of AA/atonement, but I already use these in my build, with atonement in it, save for veiled shadows. Where else are these talents going? I say that I skip veiled shadows because using atonement plus managing my own CDs lets me get my mana back as I need it. I've been slowly playing with minimizing spirit and buffing other stats, pushing my gear to see what I can handle with my raid group. I'm down to about 1038 spirit as of last night, and I healed the Beth tank up top fine, entering phase 2 with about 80k mana. If we ever get a resto shaman or someone with replenishment, my mana would be even better. I'm not a top raider, but it works for our group, and when it stops working, I'll change up what I do...My smites translate into a min heal of over 15k, with them usually doing something more like high 20s to 30k. The cast is quicker than heal, so maybe I am missing some talents or something, as I don't understand why heal would have more throughput. As far as the 15 yard range, I told my tanks once about it, and they have had no problem looking up the bosses' skirts for it to work ever since. Sure, some fights it won't work on (Al'Akir, for example), but for a lot of fights it does. This might be partially a raid comp thing - we run 10 mans, and almost never have a healer devoted just to tank healing, save for certain fights (Nef, Baelroc, Shannox), so being able to switch between background smiting to keep the tank stable, and direct healing as needed, is useful. I also run with a social guild, so we're not top end progression; I am definitely not saying that I know disc healing better than anyone, but I've found that by using smite, I can do 35-40% of the healing (over 50% in fights like Maloriak) while being able to sit on autopilot for part of it. I'm the raid leader, so being able to just hit my smite button while I look at health levels, upcoming boss skills, call out movement and switches and CD use for the other healers, etc, works for me. That said, I hope you didn't think I was attacking you, Dawn - I very much enjoy your articles. I'll try running with a non-smite spec at some point and see how it compares. :)
9-13-2011 @ 2:07PM
Hey Jhealy, don't worry that part of the comment wasn't directed at you, but the bulk of the comment was stuff I wanted to address to your original comment on page 1. Basically just explaining my gripe with smite healing and so forth. Now you know =)As for the rest of your comment - I should probably stress where I'm coming from a bit because I think you're absolutely right. Without question, Smite healing works. It works in all raid comps, it works in 25 and 10. The thing is, I write from a very worst case scenario perspective. On most days I don't actually expect people to really -need- my articles... On most days I expect you guys to read this and say "I know that already, I know that already, I know that already, I do it like this and what she just suggested seems like overkill, I know that already."The simple fact is, you guys know a ton of stuff about the game and about playing your own class that you don't give yourselves credit for. You don't need me to tell you what to do because what you're doing probably already works. You only need me when you hit a wall, and I'll be here when you do. When you hit a wall that's when most of this advice actually applies... when non-optimized talents need to get cut, when you need to adjust your stat weights to the best possible setup.But I can't judge at what point an individual reader is going to need help versus another so I write stuff for the worst case scenario. I write from the perspective of little Annie the disc priest is in a raid that can't clear the first boss and she needs helping making her contribution the best it can possibly be so she can provide the best chances to kill that boss. In Annie's situation, she doesn't need Smite heals draining her mana during downtime because she's already starving for it healing Hotshot the hunter who stands in pools of poison sludge because he plays at 2 FPS and can't see them until he's been in them for 8 seconds.So if you're not hitting a wall, feel free to ignore me most of the time. Sounds terrible, I know, but if something works for your needs then it does and you don't need me to tell you that for you to know it works. You have the empirical evidence already. =DOh and I agree with you on Maloriak. Atonement was an integral part of my personal healing strategy for the heroic version prior to patch 4.0.6, and 100% of my healing strategy on the normal mode. It really shines there, during and after progression.
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