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Spiritual Guidance: A first look at tier 13 set bonuses for holy and discipline priests {WoW}

Sep 26th 2011 6:51PM First and foremost I don't think these set bonuses are as bad as people think, and I certainly don't see these favoring Disc over Holy, in fact I see the opposite.

The 2-piece and 4-piece bonus seem to be synergistic with each other. Converting Lightwell into a 15-sec 25% mana reduction cooldown is way better than taking a spell like Power Infusion that is already useful for strategic purposes and sticking onto it a separate 10 second buff that expires before the PI buff expires that is already similar to what PI does anyway. It's just weird for Disc. For Holy, whether Lightwell is used or not it becomes usefull again.

Then there is the 4-piece. Wow, what an awesome bonus for Holy to get 2 bonuses whereas Disc only gets one. Holy priests get the PW:S bonus and the Holy Word bonus. But for both Disc and Holy the 4-piece bonus looks like it's a perfect match with the 2-piece bonus. After all, if you are told that you had only 15 (or 10) seconds to cast as many spells as you can with 25% mana reduction what is the most optimal spell to cast? Instants, of course. Spamming instants for 10 or 15 seconds. Here's the choices:

Power Word: Shield - Now here's where the 2-piece bonus kicks in. Not only will Holy and Disc priests be able to spam bubbles for 15/10 seconds during heavy damage phases, but there will be a 10% chance that they will absorb 100% additional damage. Yum. Holy priests get the added bonus of this also being a Body & Soul buff that can be dispensed more cheaply over the raid as well as being a very efficient heal. Holy gets to dispense more than Disc assuming they run with reduced shield cooldown (and I always do).

Renew - Again Holy Priests make out way better here than Disc, not only are Holy Renews much stronger then Disc Renews, they can be dispensed twice as fast with Rapid Renewal. Yum (for Holy)

Holy Nova - Can be spammed even faster with the glyph. In total stack situations this may be a viable raid heal.

I think people tend to look at these all wrong. The people who complain about casting Lightwell for a cooldown are missing the point. Lightwell is cheap. So what if you used to cast it before the pull, you only did that because it was a waste anyway and why waste mana on it. It's not expensive, and now you can cast it after the start and get something for it. I WISH there was a throw-away cooldown on the Disc side like Lightwell that they could have used, that way I could get the cooldown without WASTING my PI. This essentially takes a talent AWAY from Disc priests and gives one BACK to Holy priests.

But these bonuses are really quite good when you see that they turn both Holy and Disc bubbles into a raid cooldown (or Renew, or Holy Nova).

Raid Rx: Auditing the healing team {WoW}

Jun 17th 2011 10:50PM Post screenshots of your healers' recount/logs on a fight where it is obvious one of the healers were slacking on your guild forums. If its a fight where dispels are critical, post the dispel chart.

Provide "Most Valuable Healer" awards and "Most Valuable DPS" awards on progression fights when you down a boss. Base it on total contribution (smart use of cooldowns, dispels, and healing count). Even a key verbal communication in vent that warned of an issue and allowed for recovery versus wipe that lead to a win. Provide the player with recognition (forums, guild message of the day) and in some cases reward them with gold or a "you have priority for next Tier drop".

Believe me, when you tell someone they did so well that they get priority for their next Tier drop you will have the others take notice without having to DE their loot.

Spiritual Guidance: Further changes on Patch 4.2 PTR to consider {WoW}

May 17th 2011 6:57PM The change to crit does make crit more valuable as a secondary stat, plain and simple. How much more valuable depends on how you like to play and where you decide to take stats from to add more crit. You can obviously make good and bad choices with your stat balancing no matter what. I think Dawn missed some other dependencies that more crit will benefit other aspects of priest healing. For Holy, the more a direct heal heals for the bigger the HoT from our Mastery. Next, with crit being 100% that essentially means if you crit on a heal you get the same healing as if you cast that heal twice without crits. That is a big, very, very big deal. Why? Because that will directly affect how much mana regen we need. If more crit allows you to use more efficient heals, or perhaps not cast as many heals, then you are more mana efficient. So if you already are pretty good on mana regen it may not be unheard of to move some spirit to crit.

Sure, overheal from crit is bad, but it might just mean you have to learn which spells to cast better, or wait for damage to reach a certain point first. This "problem" really only affects people chasing meters anyway, constantly healing to grab any amount of damage and make their epeen bar bigger.

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priests react to patch 4.1, look forward to 4.2 {WoW}

May 4th 2011 5:47PM Need to "fix" Mind Control as follows:

- The Mind Controlled target stays enemy (don't worry, there's still an option that doesn't break the 25man Instructor Rezuvious fight)
- Once Mind Controlled a pet bar pops up with several standard spells/options that can be cast:
o Mindless - Releases control of the target but the target remains mindless, leaving them incapacitated for the remainder of the Mind Control duration
o Remorseful Scream - the caster causes the target to scream in remorse causing the target and up to 2 additional enemies within 8 yards of the target to cower in remorse for 8 seconds, releases control of the target
o Conversion - Converts the target temporarily into a friendly target for the remainder of the Mind Control duration

It's important to note that Remorseful Scream would work on any kind of enemy creature: humanoid, beast, elemental, dragonkind, etc. This means that if a humanoid is present you can CC the humanoid and up to 2 other humanoid or non-humanoid targets.

This would fix Mind Control to being a good CC and still have the option to use it the way it always has.

Spiritual Guidance: Macros for healing priests {WoW}

Apr 21st 2011 7:04PM This macro currently works in 4.0.6 due to a bug that allows you to cast Holy Word: Serenity or Holy Word: Sanctuary without speccing into Revelations if you access those spells directly via a macro. It's main benefit is while in Chakra: Serenity you can cast Holy Word: Chastise on an enemy target without having to cancelaura out of your Chakra: Serenity state (two, two, two holy words in one Chakra state). This is supremely powerful on Cho'gall where Holy Word: Chastise is useful as a ranged interrupt on Worshipping players. The disorient effect will break them out of Worshipping, and it has a 30 yard range. This will Chastise your enemy mouseover or your enemy target, it will Serenity a friendly target or mouseover if Serenity is off cooldown, otherwise it will cast the Sanctuary reticle. You save 1 talent point, but must use this macro to cast your Holy Words. I find this one macro for all Holy Words and saving 1 talent point to be the best macro currently in 4.0.6.

#showtooltip Holy Word: Chastise
/cast [@mouseover,harm] [exists,harm] Holy Word: Chastise; [@mouseover,exists,nodead,help] Holy Word: Serenity
/cast Holy Word: Sanctuary

Finally, the best healing spell in the game, Lightwell, can be made easier to use by focusing it after you cast it, but you have to press this macro 1 more time after casting Lightwell:

#showtooltip Lightwell
/cast Lightwell
/target Lightwell

Then you never need to "find" the Lightwell and "click" on it to get a charge. You simply hover your mouse over the focus frame and then use your "Interact with Mouseover" keybind. Even if you can't see the Lightwell on your screen it will still use a charge.

Spiritual Guidance: Priest PvP concerns in Cataclysm {WoW}

Nov 21st 2010 11:52PM Not sure how this will work at level 85, but lately I have been doing my pvp healing as Shadow spec. Not only does it work, it works remarkably well. Spec shadow as you would for pvp, then take Twin Disciplines and Empowered Healing. The beauty of this spec is that you can rely more on Flash Heal since you have no mana issues. OK, at 80 you have no mana issues (not sure about 85). And I'm not kidding you, I can heal away for ages with the most inefficient heal, and just throw in some SW:D, shadowfiend, and if necessary, dispersion. Best of all, you have stronger dps. SW:P and Mind Flay. Fade to escape snares. Silence. Horror. Stay out of Shadowform, it works fine. You want to be in heal mode with stronger dps. I'm serious, so long as you throw out a SW:D on cooldown and Mind Flay a bit you are a bottomless pvp healing battery.

Spiritual Guidance: Let's talk about mana, baby {WoW}

Aug 17th 2010 10:00AM This is a great exercise to look at mana usage before the expansion comes out. I wonder if Blizzard intends to tweak the mana cost for spells to fit the "mana management" theme as well, or introduce more mana-drain effects into more boss encounters (bleck, ugh, oh how I hate those).

One thing I found slightly odd though was the reference to keeping Holy Concentration up by "refreshing" it before it falls off. One of the reasons why I hate the HC mechanic for Holy regen is it is completely unpredictable. It depends on crits, and on crits of certain spells, spells which may not be the most appropriate at a given moment. So it is hard to just "refresh" it, you may end up casting 2 or 3 spells before it procs (or more, I never win the lottery). The other problem with the "refresh" concept is that you would spend any mana gained just to cast a few refresh spells to proc it, and your duration isn't the full 8 + 8 seconds, it gets clipped to something less which seems like less regen.

What I do is I time my "regen" phases to coincide with an HC proc and healing is under control. If I just got HC from a renew, I will stop casting for the full 8 sec duration. This drops me out of the five second rule and I still have a couple seconds of boosted regen. If I also got a SoL proc along with the HC proc I will refresh my Solace 10sec timer with a free FH that doesn't take me out of "not casting" and stretch the regen phase to 15 seconds or so. This usually restores 50% of my mana. Timing a Hymn of Hope to occur right when HC procs will regen much more than without it. Everyone talks about timing Hope with Shadowfiend, but also time it with HC and you are much better off.