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Posts with tag circle-of-healing

Cooldown possibly coming to CoH, Wild Growth

As a player who recently fell in love with Circle of Healing, this news hits me pretty hard: Blizzard is considering adding a six-second cooldown to CoH and its Druid analogue, Wild Growth. Basically, they're not happy with the fact that CoH often provides upwards of 70% of the healing done by a Holy priest in a raid. The design, according to Ghostcrawler, is for Holy priests to be versatile healers: we have a fast heal, a slow one, a HoT, and several group heals, as well as a couple of unique tricks. But the new, smart CoH sort of blows this out of the water, making Circle the answer to almost every situation, and making AoE healing Holy's de facto speciality (GC's phrase is that it makes our other heals "look like poo").

I'm not sure what I think about adding a cooldown to CoH as a solution to this, though. Initially, I hated it; it looked like Blizzard brute-forcing us to play the way they want us to, instead of making it more attractive by buffing other spells or pushing less AoE damage on us. On the other hand, there is talk of reducing AoE damage necessary. And the more I think about it, the more I think a cooldown might actaully feel good. I do sort of miss my other spells; I don't think I used Greater Heal more than a dozen times the fist raid I did after getting Circle. With a cooldown I could save Circle for when I really needed it. I do like the skill involved in selecting the right spell from our arsenal to deal with the incoming damage - it helps keep me awake during those late raids, and it brings an element of strategy that is missing when I'm just spamming CoH three out of every four GCDs.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Divine Providence not worthless after all

I would like to take this opportunity to disagree with my own post the other day declaring Divine Providence worthless. I was so moved by all your comments that I specced 14/47/0 and took Circle of Healing for a spin through half of Tempest Keep and all of Zul'Aman, and have changed my mind entirely. Circle of Healing is amazing, and I never want to let it go. If Blizzard wants to give me a talent to buff it and other heals by 10%, and lower the cooldown on Prayer of Mending, they can go right ahead.

As you all had predicted out, my estimate of Greater Heal and Flash Heal covering 70% of my healing between them was woefully inaccurate. In fact, in both instances, CoH alone accounted for 70% or more of my healing. The new Divine Providence is +10% to all multi-target heals, and 3 seconds off Prayer of Mending's cooldown (with 5 points in the talent). Even if I ignore the other effects and just look at the boost to CoH, I get (70% * 2%) = 1.4% increase to my healing per talent point, well above the 1%-per-point benchmark.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion

PvE winners and losers in patch 3.0

I'm putting together a class-by-class prediction post on how the changes we'll see in patch 3.0 and beyond will wind up affecting PvE gameplay in Wrath, but it's probably a bit premature to make specific guesses while talents and skills are still being overhauled in the beta. Still, I think a few general trends (at least for 3.0) are pretty clear.

I'm calling it now; Paladins will fare best, but Shamans will be the hardest hit by the upcoming changes, especially with respect to raiding. I think this change is driven in no small part by Blizzard's realization that Sunwell-level raid guilds are hugely dependent on the party-specific buffs like totems and Heroism/Bloodlust that Shamans bring. The problem is that Shamans are still the least-played class, which has left raiding guilds desperate for a high-end population of Shamans that simply does not exist (especially Alliance-side). Making Shaman totems and Heroism/Bloodlust buff the entire raid (but heavily nerfing how often the raid can benefit from the latter) means the days of stacking Shamans (or trying to) are effectively over.

Paladin changes, especially for holy and retribution, are equally driven by Blizzard's experience with Sunwell. With absolutely breathtaking amounts of raid damage occurring, encounters were disproportionately weighted in favor of: a). healers with more raid-healing capacity, like resto Shamans and CoH Priests (something we heard from SK Gaming months ago) and b). DPS who brought raid-wide DPS buffs to kill the boss as fast as possible (e.g. Retribution Paladins on Brutallus and M'uru). Given the new skills I'm seeing on other healing specs, I'll make another prediction; prepare to see that same level of raid damage rear its ugly head in Naxxramas again.

I'll be launching a more extensive prediction post once talents and skills are finalized for Wrath, and then I'd like to do a follow-up post at some point after guilds start conquering level 80 raid content to see whether they were any good.

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, Classes

SK Gaming interview: Kil'jaeden, Sunwell, and why to stack +haste


Recently WoW Insider caught up with Neg, a restoration-specced Orc Shaman who raided with Nihilum before leaving recently for SK Gaming. An experienced player who has seen all of Blizzard's raid content, from Molten Core through Sunwell Plateau, Neg's talked to us previously about high-end raiding and what Sunwell was like on the PTR. As he's become one of a small group of raiders worldwide to finish the whole zone, we've asked him some follow-up questions about guild stability during the transition to Wrath, what Sunwell was like going live, why there are so many Shaman nowadays in high-end raiding, and the best and worst raid content on offer in WoW.

If you didn't catch our first interview with Neg, you can find that here, but read on for an inside look at the toughest raiding you'll find in the game:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Classes, Interviews

Spiritual Guidance: Holyform and lesser Holy talents

There are a few things that have been desired by the players ever since WoW began. Rideable pets for hunters, player housing, guild banks (now in the game! yay!), and additional classes (one coming in Wrath of the Lich King) are a few examples. Here's one more, close to my heart since I have a Holy priest main: Holyform. The dark side of the Priest talent tree has a form; why not the light side? It would supplement our legendarily bad 21/31/41-point talents with something that was truly compelling for the dedicated healer, and of course it would look awesome.

Well, Wowhead and WOWDB now have entries for a spell called, indeed, Holyform, as shown above right. It's hidden in the data files for the 2.4 patch; note that it is not currently trainable by priests on the PTRs. It could be there for any number of reasons: it could be an NPC spell, it could be an ability usable only during the Kil'Jaeden fight, like the Kael'Thas legendaries, or it could just be a cruel joke. The most compelling explanation I've seen is that Blizzard is distributing some of the Wrath patch files early, to lessen the initial download, and this is going to be the new 51-point Holy talent. Please let that be it. Update: comments are reporting that this is an NPC spell in Sunwell. Too bad.

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Filed under: Priest, Talents, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

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