In my previous post MK noted that VE is somewhat situational. While in the context of basic evaluation I disagree, in the overall scheme of things he’s right, and I’d like to dig a little deeper in something I suspect most spriests don’t pay attention to.
To start, let’s revisit aggro and threat. While we don’t have The Word from Blizzard, we’ve studied this enough almost everyone has a good handle on the deal. So we can take this as the way things work for now. What we think that is, is for every point of damage you do to a mob, you generate one point of threat. Additionally, every time you heal you do half the healing as threat, which is FURTHER spread about all the mobs in the fight. (That is kind of important. It means that when things are really, really busy, as long as everything is getting a love tap your healing won’t get much attention at all.) One more really important point that’s going to be applicable here – mana restoration is treated as healing.
OK, you’re a shadow priest. You’ve got Improved Vampiric Embrace (2/2) and Vampiric Touch DoTs running. You hit the mob the tank is on for 1000 points. How much threat did you just generate? Well, there’s the thousand. The 250 healing you did to every member of your party – all five of you if you all were damaged – is another 625. And the 50 mana for each of your casters – we’ll assume three of you for 150 – is another 75. You did 1700 threat for that thousand points of damage. 700 of it will be divided among all the other mobs engaged, if they are present.
Can you say “ouch?”
A shadowpriest who is bouncing against the top of the threatmeter may forgo VE for a couple of cycles. This actually improves the DPS rate (Instant cast/GCD of something that doesn’t do damage is time you can do damage instead) but puts a little more burden on the healers. Given time, warning them might be good. Thing is, the shadowpriest should never forgo VT – which is going to be another 2.5% threat across all mobs.
As an SP you need to be aware of what you’re doing besides the damage that’s affecting threat, and when you should choose to stop healing for better benefit to the whole party. There are a number of SPs who respec to remove Improved VE so as to reduce the healing aggro by, well, by that 10% healing. It’s a tradeoff.
Just do it knowingly, aware of all the reasons good and bad, when you do it. ok?