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Spiritual Guidance: Shield spam and Divine Aegis, a theorycrafting story {WoW}

Sep 8th 2010 7:37AM The form ate my links.. booh! :-)


spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AndYOGtXAJobdDNKMmJxRDhzdDZFOTZLTXVFdV8zaEE&hl=en
(add HTTPS yadi yadi)

img186.imageshack.us/img186/3333/calcs.png
(add HTTP yadi yadi)

It worked!

Spiritual Guidance: Shield spam and Divine Aegis, a theorycrafting story {WoW}

Sep 8th 2010 7:30AM
Some very good questions there. While I'm replying to your questions, I think this might answer other people's comments and questions as well.

1) Yup, I did not include Penance since, well.. I admitt that's my bad. I always had problems with pinpointing the exact measures of Penance. It just doesn't seem to follow any rules. In the end I cheated and ninja'd DrDamage's coefficient. I hope the author(s) forgive me and I hope this somewhat shameless plug to their addon compensates :)
http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/dr-damage.aspx
I included Penance in the spreadsheet now and provided a link at the bottom of this comment. There are some other goodies added to answer your other questions.

2) I admitt I have somewhat trouble understanding your question. Let me rephrase some things more in detail. This is for the spells "entirely" (not just DA procs):
1 SP < 1 crit rating < 7/6 SP.
1 spellpower is weaker than 1 crit rating, but you get more spellpower per point of crit rating (7/6 in fact). This is a result of the lower stat cost of spellpower.
Exceptions to this are:
- PoM where 1 SP > 1 crit rating
- PWS where 1 SP > 1 crit rating
- PoH where 1 crit rating > 1 SP (a remnant of the coefficient nerf a while back)

For DA procs only, we see that all spells benefit more from crit rating than SP, including even PWS and PoM which are the big shots of SP.

Keep in mind this is valid for 45% crit and 3700 SP, with said overhealing. For other stats it might yield a different result, though it will be fairly reasonable to assume that for most circumstances:
- DA will still rely mostly on crit,
- PoH will mostly support crit,
- PWS and PoM wil mostly support SP.

The spreadsheet at the bottom can be downloaded and played with to heart's content. Feel free to experiment with some numbers and post any oddities you may find :)

3) The math was based foremost on 'just mathematical balance'. However, in order to obtain more concrete answers (read: understandable) we had to add concrete situations to it. For this we went as far as examining 1 SP, 1 crit rating, 7/6 SP (stat cost), 23 SP vs 20 crit rating. I take it your question is how hybrid gems weigh up against pure gemming?
Although the spreadsheet holds the basic information you need to answer that question, it does not answer this directly. A negligence I owe you my appologies for. I rephrased your question in 2 additional columns (K & L):
K - How much crit rating must a socket bonus yield before a 12SP+10crit gem outscores a 23 SP gem?
L - How much SP must a socket bonus yield before a 12SP+10crit gem outscores a 23 SP gem?

This yields low requirements for almost all spells except PoM and PWS. For some spells it even yielded a negative number. This would suggest that crit is more valuable but this isn't necessarily the case. What it means is that, while 23SP may beat 20 crit rating, the hybrid SP+Crit gem beats the pure SP gem for this spell. How can that happen? Because the 23 SP gem is slightly under budget (it should be 23.3 SP) and the hybrid gem is slightly over budget (it should be 11.7 SP). The difference is very small, but apparently enough for some spells to tip the balance.

Keep in mind however that these observations are only valid under the rigid situation we have examined:
- 3700 SP total
- 45% crit total (including raid buffs, target buffs, procs, talents etc)
- 40% overheal on average on normal heals.
- 50% overheal on average on crit heals.
For different situations, we can expect slightly different outcomes so it is well worth playing with the settings a bit.

The spreadsheet is available here:

Spiritual Guidance: Back to the beta {WoW}

Aug 25th 2010 6:10AM I haven't seen the change has been discussed before or perhaps it was released later, but holy concentration now works with a flat 20% regen while casting.
In terms of percentage to the base regen, that is a buff. I calculated the uptime we would require on the old holy concentration to yield the same % of regen, for various FSR levels
100% FSR - HC Uptime 80%
095% FSR - HC Uptime 72%
090% FSR - HC Uptime 65%
085% FSR - HC Uptime 59%
Of course, as the regen numbers in WotLK are still being tweaked, it might very well be that this buff is insignificant.

What is interesting however, is that this removes the aspect of crit to Holy Concentration. With Surge of Light leaving the scene as well, I dare say crit loses its regen aspect for the holy priest entirely. Derevka mentioned to me on Twitter that crit still makes its entry with Inspiration and Chastise... but at the moment it doesn't look like this will be an issue at all. Considering a crit-able spell is casted on a tank every 2 seconds (25% haste will bring 2.5s Heal to 2s cast time), then these are the crit levels required, relative to the uptime
95% Inspiration - Crit required 33%
90% Inspiration - Crit required 26%
85% Inspiration - Crit required 22%
80% Inspiration - Crit required 19%
75% Inspiration - Crit required 17%
70% Inspiration - Crit required 15%

So, even for low numbers of Crit we score a pretty high uptime. Chastise might make this even easier when it matters.

Without HC procs, without SoL procs, with a 2 stack serendipity and the chakra cooldowns, it looks like the flavour of this class has heavily changed from proc-oriented to cooldown and timer oriented. It brings more control to the player which I think is quite nice. It is easier to learn, but probably more powerfull in the hands of an experienced player.

Spiritual Guidance: So you wanna play a priest, part 4, levels 41-70 {WoW}

Jul 28th 2010 6:24AM As holy healing build I would shoot for this:
http://www.wowhead.com/talent#bVcbuZfbxcf0qih0fuM:mf
- I seemed to manage without Silent Resolve even with several beginner tanks.
- Inner Focus can be a life saver and certainly is a mana saver.
- Body and Soul felt less important than having some points in Empowered Healing. At those levels it's mostly about direct heals anyhow. It is a great talent to speed up the dungeon run however so it certainly is a favorable one. I didn't pick it untill Northrend though.
- No CoH glyph. 5 targets, 5 players. Maybe the pet will eat one heal but the player with the highest health might not need it anyhow. Besides, Holy Nova is a great backup.

One golden hint I didn't find in the article was "Alterac Valley". It's basically a free boost from level 51 to 58. I also fell back on AV from 65+ to 68 with great success. The biggest downside of AV being the lack of gear upgrades.

I did not know I could name my shadowfiend. Thanks for that tip :D

Spiritual Guidance: Levels 1-40, page 2 {WoW}

Jul 28th 2010 6:01AM There's a bunch of great info here but I do have a different preference here and there that I'd like to add. Important note: I had BoA gear and min maxed the other slots right from level 1 when I could ;)
While I did not use the AH to find upgrades, my gear was topped most of the time. I cringe whenver I have to drink and as such my style is adapted to reduce downtime to the absolute minimum.

Questing:
I recommend using Renew over Heal or Lesser Heal when questing. It is more efficient, the incoming damage is controllable and it is instant, allowing you to move to the next mob, go loot or avoid pushback. It simply makes you faster when questing.

I rarely used DoT's simply because the mobs didn't live long enough for them to be worth it. If you have decent gear -and- you have divine fury, the following burst cycle should kill almost any mob within the level range of this article:
Smite, Holy Fire, Mind Blast, Smite
The mob doesn't aggro before the first smite lands and the two fast DD spells tend to land before it reaches you. If this method works for you as it worked for me, it should not even require the glyph of smite, freeing up the slot for a healing one.
DoT's were a preferred tool when handling tougher mobs, like a boss or rare.

Healing:
No regen while casting should promote one thing clearly: Regen While Not Casting. The Five Second Rule dance can be perfected to a point you won't need to drink. I finished healing SM before I required meditation in order to void the occasional drink.

As such, it sometimes proved more important to work with the mechanic of the spell rather than the efficiency. I used to work something along these lines:

Pre pull:
- Cast Power Word: Shield before the pull, preferably near the end of the last pull if possible.
- Immediately add Renew if the tank is not on full health.
During:
- Wait for the shield to be absorbed and the tank to take some damage and estimate how fast his healthbar will go down. Use this time to not cast anything (wand if possible) and regen mana.
- Time your "Heal" to land at a good timing. Immediately add Renew.
- Repeat
Near the end:
- Cast PW:S on the tank, add renew if needed
- Run halfway to the next pull and drink if needed.

PW:S is perhaps a weak spell in terms of efficiency but it offers terrific FSR-dancing utility.

Important note: Rage regeneration through absorbs seems -extremely- strong at low levels. My own tank generated more rage than I could handle in SFK when PW:S was up. Definitely recommended!


Dungeons vs Quests:
I find it strange people promote only one path. I found a combination to work best. Dungeons offered the gear to burst through mobs when questing. Quests gave a tad more XP, provided I had the gear. Dungeon quests typically have the biggest XP reward and gear reward of that level.

Gear:
For low levels, it's simple.
- Spirit and Intellect, preferably in 1:1 ratio for both questing and healing.
- Spellpower for throughput

At these levels, there is no fiend, HoH, Replenishment, MP5 and so on. The strongest form of regen is the normal spirit/int regen. This regen is optimized using a 2:1 (spi:int) ratio. However, in come two factors that influence this ratio:
- Spirit Tap. When questing you'll have a high uptime on this, making your spirit nearly double in value and as such be optimized with a 1:1 ratio.
- Bossfights when healing require a bit more starting mana. I found a 1:1 ratio easy to aim for -and- give me enough starting mana to manage a bossfight.

I checked your list of recommended gear, Dawn and I would like to 'unrecommend':
- The Bloody Apron. since it offers only stamina on a gearslot where intellect, spirit and spellpower come quite easily. The level 10 class quest reward beats it IMO. I know stamina is a good survival stat but keeping the tank alive tends to have that effect as well ;)
- Robes of the Lich. Intellect is nice, but the crit and stamina on it are a waste at these levels. It is unlikely it is an upgrade unless you're in trouble.


Talents:
My personal recommendation would be to shoot for
- Spirit Tap
- Divine Fury
- Meditation
In this order for questing.

I never felt there was much use for silent resolve at low levels. First of all I believe the other talents are too valuable to spare the points. Secondly I found that either:
- Fade was enough
- I had enough survivability to live through aggro at those levels
- It wouldn't have made a difference.

I'm not a big fan of the holy specialization in those builds either. There isn't much to gain from crit yet, especially without inspiration whichs is somewhat the only advantage you have.

Spiritual Guidance: Gear guide for fresh 80 healing priests {WoW}

May 3rd 2010 8:08AM Good list. Seeing the trinkets listed like this, I recall trying out the "Ephemeral Snowflake" and "Talisman of Resurgence" as combo once upon a time and I liked it a lot. While the trinkets have stronger alternatives, and I would recommend upgrades in time, they do work quite well for beginning priests:
- they boost regen
- combining their "use" in a macro allows a pretty strong "I need some crack" button when things get rough.
Looking at what I needed the most as a starting healer, it was "on demand" bursthealing and overall regen, which is exactly what these trinkets do. The fact that both have only a 2m cooldown allows frequent and aggressive use of their burst ability. Combined with a glyphed guardian spirit, a lowly geared holy priest should have some weapons against the pulling madness that is the norm in today's heroics.

Spiritual Guidance: Priest gems for raid roles {WoW}

Apr 19th 2010 7:28AM Well written and elegant article. It doesn't leave a lot for discussion but that never stopped me! :)

So.. A question: why the magic number of 25% haste for tankhealing Disc priests? Where does it come from?
BT isn't always up when tankhealing, but if you pop Renew and PoM when BT is up, you should be looking at 20% of your time on the hastecap with as little as 4.6% haste. If you follow that with penance and then a FHeal, then you're looking at 26.6% with Penance benefiting notable less from any additional haste you invested in it.

Looking at these numbers, one could reason that if you pop the shield on the tank and you pop a shield on the offtank, you could do with notably less haste. Or.. in other words, you won't benefit from haste so often.
The downside of neglecting haste is that you build a weakness. Without BT you lose a lot speed and thus your ability to pull a tank out of trouble once you run out of BT. IMO this is where PI and PS come into play but I'll admitt my experience as Disc priest is too little to claim this is "the right way to do it".

Anyways, it looks like this reveals a pattern. If we take a 15s timeline, starting with PW:S being cast, we'll see that haste lags before it kicks in. After a few seconds, haste starts to kick in but.. does that mean it's immediately effective? If we look at the timeframe and see at what points haste is more effective than any other stat, then we'll get small fragments of time where haste made that heal land quicker. That small timeframe between the "extra hasted" heal landing and the "non extra hasted" heal landing can be measured depending on the scenario but is generally quite small. It only starts showing a notable difference in the latter half of the 15s timeframe.
This is where I would think that crit or spellpower would be able to build up more healing in that timeframe and further delay the point where haste catches up.

Of course, this is just reasoning, not exact theorycrafting. But it is enough to keep me sceptical towards such an investment in haste.
However, I must admitt my experience is too limited and I have not been active in raiding lately so my views can be outdated.

Still.. this is largely based on the assumption strong throughput is the best measurement. Having checked some logs of high end disc healers, I notice that typically, their Divine Aegis and PW:S make up the largest part of their healing. In fact, penance, haste and other spells barely show on the meters. If they can proc DA to such frequency that the actual healing is barely needed... is Haste really a good investment then? Wouldn't crit be better or even spellpower?

I think the fact that, in either scenario, Spellpower comes out as a decent stat might just make spellpower the most preferable stat to go for. Not because it is "always the best" but because "it rarely loses effectiveness". For disc priests who may not enjoy a fixed raiding assignment and have to be flexible, wouldn't spellpower be the gem of preference?

Spiritual Guidance: Priest PvP 101, Page 2 {WoW}

Apr 7th 2010 6:47AM Reported for Sticky... Er... wait... bookmark it is then. Nice read. Will be using this article in a short while.

Spiritual Guidance: Macros for priests {WoW}

Feb 26th 2010 9:37AM It might be nice to let beginning macro users to let them "rewrite the default ui" method, just because they are familiar with how it works. For a healing spell, this is typically:
/cast [@target, help] [@player] Spell
If your target can be helped, you will heal it. If not (it's an enemy), it will heal you.

For people who want mouseovers with the default UI's behavior to heal themselves whenever they don't have a target, one can simply use:
/cast [@mouseover, help] [@player] Spell

However, there should be an exception for spells that can work on both friendly and enemy targets:
- Dispell
- Penance
- Circle of Healing.
It seems this one is often forgotten, but CoH can also use an enemy target. Keep this in mind as the macro will never target yourself for having an invalid target (except when having no target, at all).

Spiritual Guidance: Holy 101, Page 3 {WoW}

Feb 9th 2010 5:54AM It could be noted that a lot changed since vanilla wow and the course of time. This should be considered when 'looking back at past experiences'. A lot of patches impacted the way both Shadow and Holy work. Some examples:
- the change to spellpower made a tremendous difference for holy priests trying to dps with their healing gear and shadow priests healing with their dps gear. Both are more flexible now.
- inherent to the spellpower change, spiritual guidance is now a much stronger healing talent, helping holy even more at low levels.
- Mind Flay does more damage, and can crit
- Our regen model changed, making both int and spirit contribute, making it easier to increase our regen power while leveling
- Spirit Tap offers more regen power than it did before, requiring fewer talent points and stacking less efficiently with meditation, making 'both talents' less required to have neverending mana. You can last longer with just spirit tap, and have more talents available for your build.
- glyphs have been introduced, increasing the damage potential of specs at low levels
- Holy Nova has been substantially buffed, is a base spell and is now both a decent AoE dmg spell as well as an AoE healing spell. This cuts the need of CoH (go go hybrids!) and its healing prowess can sumarized to 'awesome' for low level priests.
- Downranking has been killed... though this will only really impact the healing in the 50-70 bracket imo and can be overcome. But to overcome this, some glyphs/talents may be required around healing which could come at the cost of dps

I think holy should focus on regen gear, but SP is also vital. Keep in mind that Smite and Holy Fire have spell power coefficients calibrated without divine fury and will thus scale somewhat better than usual. Furthermore, SP will yield in faster kills, requiring fewer spells. For holy priests who prefer a single target approach over Holy Nova this will also increase the uptime of Spirit Tap and thus regen. So... SP is just as important as Spirit and Intellect. Spirit shouldn't be neglected for holy priests. It scales very nicely with Spirit Tap and Spiritual Guidance. A 50/50 ratio between Spirit and Intellect seems best to me:
- it will give a sufficiently large manabar when healing
- it will maximize regen when spirit tap is up (spirit will double, giving a 100/50 ratio and this is the optimal regen ratio when you do not have Replenishment, shadowfiends etc... in other words: when you're low level grinding)