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Filed under: Priest

Patch 6.0.3 hotfixes for November 5th

Once again into the breach, dear friends, and instead of using dead bodies as material for a wall, we're going to look at the hotfixes that Blizzard made for November 5th. Shall we? Let's do.
  • Hunter's tenacity pets saw a couple of fixes.
    • Tenacity Pet Specialization: Blood of the Rhino now reduces the pet's physical damage taken by 15% instead of increasing armor by 20%.
    • Tenacity Pet Specialization: Great Stamina now increases the pet's health by 60% (up from 12%).
  • Priests saw a 15% nerf to Holy Nova's healing, while Divine Star's healing or damage (based on spec) was buffed by 15%
  • Fixed an issue where Zidormi may send players to an incorrect phase in the Blasted Lands.
  • Once a Challenge Mode has started, characters can no longer change specializations, talents, or glyphs.
For a full list of the hotfixes, follow us beyond the curtain.

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Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Death Knight, Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

Class tuning hotfixes

Yes, turns out they're still at work adjusting class tuning before we go into Warlords of Draenor. Some classes saw buffs, other classes saw another round of savage nerfs. Death knights and balance druids saw some buffs, as did elemental shamans, while mages saw a 20% nerf to frostbolt's damage (rolling back a buff from October 17th) and warriors got pummeled.

A complete list of the class changes will be posted after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Updated patch notes for June 13th

Well, it's another update to the Warlords of Draenor Alpha and its patch notes. What's new, what's changed, what's going on with the Alpha? Here's a few highlights:
  • There's a new section called Secondary Stat Attunement that basically comes right out and tells you what stat you're expected to want for each specialization. Fury warriors, you'll notice it's still crit. Fire mages? Same thing. We're still angry and hot. We both still love crit. We should totally form a band.
  • Other new sections include the Self-Sustainability section (which explains how your ability to not die has been changed) and the Tooltip Clarity section, which explains why they've made changes to various tooltips. Of extra import is the mention that, just because the tooltip has changed, that doesn't mean the ability has, unless the patch notes say it has. So keep that in mind.
  • There have been several changes to the Ability Pruning section - Death Knights lose Blood Strike and Necrotic Strike, druids see a mountain of changes (seriously, if you're a druid, go check that out, it's crazy) - paladins, priests, rogues and especially shamans have gotten some significant pruning as well (I'd put shamans just behind druids).
Head on over to the official patch notes and take a look for yourselves. If you're playing a class like a shaman or druid that just saw a lot of change it's especially a good idea to read up on the current state of affairs.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Watcher on health and healing changes in Warlords of Draenor

If you remember after the last Dev Watercooler, there was a flurry of activity on Twitter as Celestalon and Holinka answered questions. This time Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has taken to social media to answer questions and explain what's up. We're collecting his tweets here, to give folks a chance to see what he's got to say about the big changes coming to health and healing mechanics in Warlords. There's more after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, News items, Monk, Warlords of Draenor

Healer representation in Mists of Pandaria


Dedralie at Healiocentric has started a series examining how the 6 healer specs fared in Mists of Pandaria, and the first installment starts with a look at representation in raids. It's a fascinating article on the rise, fall, and sometimes stagnation of class fortunes, and toward the end there's a pretty cogent prediction on what mythic raids in Warlords of Draenor are probably going to look like if current trends continue.

This is a quick summary, but I'll provide more details past the cut. As Dedralie writes, while we're not really talking about healer balance or throughput here, there are a few obvious trends you can track from the Mists launch in September 2012 all the way to heroic Garrosh kills in January 2014:
  • Discipline priests and holy paladins ruled the expansion.
  • The absorption effects brought by these two healers is a huge advantage in heroic content (even more so in 10-man), and it may be too valuable as a mechanic.
  • Tier 15 (Throne of Thunder) was the most balanced with respect to representation. Tier 14 saw significant gulfs between class popularity that unfortunately returned with a vengeance in Tier 16 (Siege of Orgrimmar).
  • While monks and holy priests are still struggling for representation, it's instructive to look at the fights where they were significantly more popular.
  • Mythics will probably look like the "under-healed" heroics of MoP, which will prejudice heal teams toward synergies between absorption healers and those with strong throughput-based cooldowns.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Monk

Should you play a priest in WoW?


If you're just getting started with WoW -- or even if you aren't -- picking the perfect class to play can be a challenge. But the number of class options doesn't mean you need to close your eyes and see where your cursor lands in order to pick the class you're going to play. With a bit of research, you can make an informed decision on which class best fits how you like to game -- and we're here to help. Today, we're talking about priests, spiritual devotees who unleash the powers of light and shadow to heal or harm.

Priests are unique in their talent specializations: while specializations for most classes mean multiple ways to do damage or fill different class roles, priests are the only class with two healing-focused specializations: holy and discipline. These two specs offer very different ways to heal, which can make priests very versatile healers... if you're into that kind of thing. But even if you aren't, don't count priests out as on offensive class: their shadow specialization gives them access to a powerful arsenal of damage spells, which could make priest the class for you even if you never want to cast a healing spell.

But does that mean you should be playing a priest? Read on and we'll discuss just what priests can do.

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Filed under: Priest, WoW Rookie

My favorite imaginary class mounts

Well, even more imaginary, I guess. Technically all of World of Warcraft is imaginary. But this post on the EU forums got me thinking: what kind of cool class mounts do I wish existed in the game? What with the Armored Bloodwing up for grabs in the Blizzard Store, I guess I have mounts on the brain.

For warriors, I want a mix of the fanciful and the gritty. I want an armored rhino mount. Something like the Wooly White Rhino, but with armor plates all over it, so heavily armored that it looks like a mound of metal coming to gore you. Like a rhino wearing Onslaught. A rhino wearing Onslaught with Christopher Lee's album playing in the background.

Some classes also come to mind - hunters should get to tame a mount, shaman should get a huge elemental ascendant version of a racial mount (so orc shamans would get a stone worg, while draenei would get a fire elekk and so on) and priests should get angel wings (or in the case of shadow priests, dark angel wings) like Imperius from Diablo III.

So what are your suggestions? What class mounts would you like to see?

Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Mists of Pandaria

Spiritual Guidance: Discipline and holy priest stat weights and gear in tier 15

Spiritual Guidance Discipline and holy priest stat weights and gear in tier 15
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

A while back Spiritual Guidance looked at the various upgrade options for priests in patch 5.2. Today we'll be discussing which of those upgrades you want to take, depending on whether you're a discipline or holy (the weighty topic of shadow will be covered next week). Discipline priests in particular saw some big changes with the release of patch 5.2 and will want to adjust their strategy for selecting new gear from here on. Since we're already talking about disc, let's start there.

Most of you probably know the basics. When gearing, don't take intellect downgrades and be sure to mostly select gear with spirit on it for mana regeneration. How much spirit do you want? There's no hard, set number to aim for; the goal is to find an amount that allows you to get through most encounters without running out of mana too early. This will be different for everyone so just go with what feels comfortable, remembering that you can always supplement a shortage of spirit with consumables (food and flasks) for fights that are more stressful on your mana pool than most others. (Rememeber that it's not necessary to gear for that one tough fight, and then be running surplus mana the rest of the time.)

With that said, let's look at what has really changed: secondary stats.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri talk classes in patch 5.2

mage talents screenshot
With the advent of patch 5.2, World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street "Ghostcrawler" and Community Manager Daxxarri have been posting a series of class overviews and changes. Part one went up on Tuesday, covering death knights, druids, and hunters. Part two was posted Wednesday evening and covers mages, paladins, and priests. Part three, on rogues, shaman, and warlocks, went up yesterday evening, and part four, covering warriors and monks, was posted earlier today. For many classes, most of the changes involve PvP balancing as well as trying to improve a number of talents in some way to make them more useful and thus more attractive to players, at least situationally. If you're curious about either the philosophy of class balance design or just want to know what happened to your class this patch, make sure to check it out.

What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Spiritual Guidance: Priest gear in patch 5.2 and Throne of Thunder

Spiritual Guidance Priest gear in patch 52 and Throne of Thunder
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

Priests have a tremendous amount of gear choices available to them in patch 5.2. There are several valor point options tied to the Shado-Pan Assault faction. Epics can also be obtained in a new, single player scenario, Troves of the Thunder King. And, well, obviously upgrades can be found in the latest raid instance, Throne of Thunder. To get started, let's take a look at the new tailoring gear priests can pick up.

In patch 5.2, tailors have a chance to learn ilvl 522 cloth armor patterns from their daily cloth cooldown. The new crafted gear is BoE, so if you're not a tailor you may be able to purchase it from the auction house or commission it from a guildmate. These items require Imperial Silk and Haunting Spirits, though, so expect them to be costly.

Head Feet

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Ongoing changes to priests on the patch 5.2 PTR

Image
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

There's been no shortage of priest changes in the development of patch 5.2. Since our last discussion, numerous adjustments and alterations have been made to our talents, spells, and glyphs. The most notable of changes is the continued redesign of Shadow Word: Insanity.
When the talent was first reworked for build 16467, it was designed to increase the damage of Mind Flay on targets afflicted with all three shadow priest DoTs (Devouring Plague, Vampiric Touch, and Shadow Word: Pain). The latest design being tested on the PTR simplifies that effect to this.
  • Your Devouring Plague increases the damage of Mind Flay by 33% per orb consumed.
Developers explained that the previous incarnation undermined the existing shadow rotation, since it eliminated the need to build up Shadow Orbs (after all, a single Shadow Orb is all you need to cast Devouring Plague on a target). The latest version also gives our rotation/spell priority better flexibility, since we wouldn't need to refresh any DoTs that might be falling off at the time we used Devouring Plague.

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Filed under: Priest

Examining the tier 15 priest set bonuses

Spiritual Guidance Examining the tier 15 priest set bonuses
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

Last week, priests (and other less amazing classes) got a first look at the tier 15 set bonuses in the works for patch 5.2. The reactions so far have been mixed. Most discipline and holy priests seem to have had their interests piqued, while many shadow priests were seen grumbling discontentedly during the first few days. Have a look for yourself.
  • Healer two-piece Your Prayer of Mending heals for 10% more each time it jumps to a new target.
  • Healer four-piece Your Penance and Circle of Healing have a 40% chance to summon a Golden Apparition, which moves to a nearby ally and heals for an additional 92500 to 107500.
  • Shadow two-piece When your Shadowy Apparitions damage their target, they have a 65% chance to extend the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch, causing each to deal damage one additional time.
  • Shadow four-piece Periodic damage from your Vampiric Touch has a 10% chance to trigger your Shadowy Apparition.
Blizzard has been fairly responsive to many complaints and inquiries made about these bonuses. For example, when shadow priests pointed out that Shadowy Apparitions were slow, buggy, and only a small portion of shadow DPS, Blizzard responded by letting us know that the cap was going to be raised for priests with the two-piece bonus, if not removed entirely. The developers also mentioned that work had been done to improve the AI on Shadowy Apparitions and get rid of bugs. Sound good?

Update: This article has been updated for build 16467, with changes notated in bold.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Priests and the 5.2 patch note preview

SG
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

Looks like there are some big changes in store for priests on the patch 5.2 PTR. Blizzard released a PTR patch note preview late last week and I'm honestly a bit baffled by some of the changes. Keep in mind, I am not often baffled.

The biggest change is that Power Word: Solace is being redesigned. The talent will now replace Holy Fire in the player's spellbook, but interact with other priest spells and abilities just as Holy Fire does. The new version of Power Word: Solace will be instant cast, cost no mana, and restore 1% of your maximum mana on cast. Surprisingly, the patch note preview makes no mention of redesigning Shadow Word: Insanity, the shadow portion of the talent.

Now it's no shock that Blizzard decided to redesign this talent. A quick glance at WoW Popular will tell you that almost no priests are taking it (in fact, it looks like more of us are taking Dominate Mind than Power Word: Solace). Shadow priests certainly aren't taking the talent, and most healers will tell you it returns too little mana per cast to be worth it.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Choosing the best priest talents for you, pt. 2

Choosing the best priest talents for you, pt 2
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

Last time on Spiritual Guidance we began a thorough look at level 15 and level 30 priest talents and considered when and why you would take one talent over the other. This week we're continuing that discussion with level 45 and level 60 talents.

From Darkness, Comes Light For healers, this talent serves as a regen talent by saving players mana instead of returning it. The performance of it is very dependent on your spell usage, which means the regen cannot be easily quantified down to a simple number.

From Darkness, Comes Light can only be triggered by a handful of spells (Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, and Smite) making the talent practically useless to some players. For example, a holy priest who spends most of her time raid healing her 25-man raid (that always stands in fire) could go a whole fight without seeing a single proc from this talent. On the other hand, a 10-man disc priest who spends most of his time swapping between healing the paladin tank and spamming Smite heals could expect several procs during a fight.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Choosing the best priest talents for you, pt. 1

Spiritual Guidance Choosing the best priest talents for you, pt 1
WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore is a discipline priest by reputation, but still enjoys melting faces as shadow and bugging her raid to click the Lightwell as holy.

One of the most interesting things about the new talent system added in Mists of Pandaria is that it encourages priests (and all classes) to choose which talent is best for them at almost every turn. No longer is one talent clearly better than another when examining them in a bell jar. Now instead you have to look at how and where the talent will be used; one talent might shine brightly in certain scenarios but be so utterly awful in others that it's practically unusable. The result of all this? We're now adjusting our talent builds more than ever.

Of course, this isn't a new thing for DPS, who frequently swapped to alternative talent builds on each encounter to get the best possible damage (got to beat those 'locks!) but for healers it's more of a change. In the past, a healing priest might have considered switching between disc or holy, but rarely did that involve altering individual talents in our trees. Usually healers had an all-purpose build that was good for everything; changing around talents was only done on the rare occasion. That makes this new talent system a bit of a shake up for us, since the majority of priests are healers (two healing specs and all). So today I thought we'd look at the new priest talents as thoroughly as we could so it's easier to decide which one you want.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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