Jan 25th 2009 8:59PM For raiding (Holy) priests, these are dark times, and I haven't logged onto mine since raiding twice after the patch.
With the cool-down, Circle of Healing (CoH) is now a very different spell. Generally, it is cast on rotation and it heals for such a small amount, it is almost irrelevant in saving anyone's life. While making the healing meter look ok, it really doesn't create as much "value" as it appears. Despite being a 41-point talent, it is now a very second-rate spell, even if it contributes 30 - 40% of a Priest's healing.
If we want to accomplish the main task of a healing (saving a player's life), we really have to rely on Flash Heals. In most cases, (even with haste) Greater Heal takes way too long to land. As a result, we are now pretty much a Flash Heal spamming class, embedded within a ritualistic rotation Prayer of Mending and CoH. Renew, binding heal, Prayer of Healing can be useful at times, but are fairly marginal in a raiding environment except for very specific circumstances.
Note -- I'm not arguing to reincarnate CoH as before, but just to say that (holy) priest healing, while not "broken", is lackluster and uninteresting.) I know that there has been mention of new exciting things for priests, but quite honestly, my past experience with Blizzard's understanding of priest issues leaves me somewhat skeptical. Priests have heard this before.
Dec 15th 2008 10:02AM CoH was overpowered, but the cool-down is an inelegant solution that badly hurts the holy spec. It doesn't operate in a vacuum -- other priest talents coordinate with it to generate crits and mana regen. If you decrease one, you reduce the effectiveness of the tree. Blizzard does not recognize this in the impending patch (and indeed insults priests by giving them one buff: the ability to cast Levitate on other players.)
Holy priest AoE healing is now pretty gimped. CoH can no longer be used to counter burst damage and the 6-second cool-down is really in opposition to the priest's usual method of working to stay outside of the 5 second rule. In isolation, one cast of CoH will rarely be useful. Prayer of Healing is based exclusively on party (in contrast to Blizzard's stated goal of moving away from party based spells), has a fairly lengthy cast time, and is mana intensive. Renew has become the least effective HoT healing spell in the game. Prayer of Mending is an awesome and creative spell, but it is not particularly predictable in most situations.
I certainly agree that CoH as it was modified for WoLK is unbalanced, and needed to be changed. However, this change appears to be lazy and poorly thought through, and once again shows Blizzard's lack of attention to and lack of vision for the priest class. Given Blizzard's "wait and see" history, which caused priests to wait a long time in Burning Crusade to really become viable, it could be a painful and unpleasant 2009.
As for "Bring the player, not the class," that principle works in some contexts, but for those guilds that have many fine players, priests will be sitting on the sidelines. For the most part, it is a zero sum game for class balance: when one class is better than another, that class will be favored in raiding.
Nov 13th 2008 11:13AM I like Frost Wyrms!
Nov 12th 2008 10:15AM I like bears. I don't think I ever killed a single one.
Nov 11th 2008 11:13PM I will forgive all for a 66% discount on mammoth mount.
Nov 6th 2008 3:23PM Here's hopin!
Oct 16th 2008 12:04PM Many classes are experimenting with all the new dps tools they have. Holy priests still have to put 14 points in the discipline tree and can't get to the top of the Holy tree; mana is now harder to come by than before the patch; downranking, which added to healing spell toolkit, is gone; desperate prayer, which used to be free for a dwarf, now costs a talent point and costs mana; Hymn of Hope is a joke.
I can't help but wonder if WoLk will see a drop in priest numbers.
Sep 23rd 2008 11:27AM Having seen priest and human racials "balanced", undead lobbyists head for Blizzard headquarters to make sure Will of the Forsaken remains intact.
Sep 23rd 2008 10:24AM The rumor of possible employment as Death Knight ghouls has virtually emptied Eastern Plaguelands.
Sep 11th 2008 5:22PM I am sure that my wife would approve of a special trip like this. :-)