Picking my talents 1 of 2 – somewhat stream of consciousness

In case you didn’t guess up front, this one’s going to be long even for me. I’m switching back to heal-priest, and plotting the change in talents. Lots and lots and lots of words, so click “continue reading” to read more…

Aaaand, we’re off.

The first thing I do is open a talent calculator – one that shows the talent trees and lets me fiddle with points. I use the original – http://worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/priest/talents.html .

I know, from experience, the talent I’ll lock in first. Improved Divine Spirit (2). This means a minimum of 23 points in discipline, leaving me 38 to put elsewhere. Bye bye Circle of Healing and maxed Empowered Healing. Oh – why am I doing this?

Remember that I’m going to be the ONLY priest in our little group. If I don’t get it, nobody will. So… how important is it?

Tooltip first: “Your Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit spells also increase the target’s spell damage and healing by an amount equal to 10% of their total Spirit.”

So right off the bat, everyone who does spell damage and healing gets a plus. That’s everyone BUT rogues and warriors. (errr, you say, hunters?) Yep. Healing the pet is a spell. MisDirect, Arcane… spells. You just boosted almost EVERY CLASS’s damage by 10% of their spirit. That’s spirit after gearing and buffs. Which includes – thanks to your prerequisite buff (divine spirit/prayer of spirit) – an additional 40 spirit. At level 70 the hunters are the among the worst with a base in the mid-80s. You just gave them +12 to damage and healing. Mages are near 160 unbuffed/ungeared – before gear you just added +20. Begin to see the picture? I’ll be helping the mage, the tankadin and myself with this buff. booyah. The only problem is that I have to give up maxing empowered healing — 8% of bonus healing to Greater Heal and 4% to Flash and Binding. Umm, that’s bonus heal, not total. Still significant when I’m going to be pretty close to +1000 healing. With coefficients, that means I’m giving up +80 and about +40 to get… about +30 spellpower for myself, +15 or so spellpower for the tankadin, and about +20 or so spellpower does for the mage. Sacrificing personal capability for an increase of teampower. That’s more than acceptable.

[digression – if you have this talent and a hunter with a flying snake or firehawk, remember to specifically target the snake. The prayer won’t get the pet. [edit – Thanks to Galadria, who doublechecked this and discovered I’m mistaken. If the pet, other than an imp, is out, it catches the prayer.] But the lightning breath and flame breath allegedly count as a spell. Do the math…]

Since I know the top of my Disc tree, I work backwards. And fret about some choices. What do I want from the next tier down? For me, it’s mental agility, period. +10% to my maximum mana.[-10% to instant spells — renew and Prayer of Mending for me, but for all priests the instants are big fractions of our spellcasting.  Thanks, Ego, for catching this goof.] Yes, Improved Inner Fire is nice in adding 30% to my effectively-leather armor. But if the tank’s doing the job I’m usually not being hit. It’s a gamble, of course, making me more of a “glass cannon”, and if in later instances I realize I”m dying before I run out of mana it’s a potential switch. On the other side of this tier is mana burn. Not for a primary healer in instances. It’s a great choice for number two who is adding tools to the raid’s chest. And it’s extremely useful in PVP. Neither apply to me. So… 5 points there.

Next tier backward, and there are three points that have no choice. 3/3 meditation is a prerequisite for the Divine Spirit. The fact it’s another “always get” (for shadow as well as heal) is icing on the cake — 15% of your regen continues even while casting. Your effective mana pool increased. A fourth point is almost as important — Inner Focus. One mana-free spell. This will get tied with a macro to a Big Heal spell and placed on an OH CRAP hotbutton. For me that’s almost always Prayer of Healing — mana expensive as it is, it means I don’t have to worry about where I’m targeting because EVERYBODY will get a good strong heal. And the additional 25% chance it’ll crit… yep, this is my Oh Crap combo. (if only it didn’t take 3 seconds to cast…)

The last one on this tier is Absolution. Like Imp Mana Burn it’s a great second-healer choice. And if I was raiding regularly with a second or third priest we’d probably split these “second healer” choices between us so all of us were viable when in 5-mans. But in my specific case – no points. Which means I’m dropping down a level with one extra point.

Second tier, and because of what I’m doing the first temptation is to drop five points in Silent Resolve. But… this tier is the Disc Tree’s heartbreaker. I’ve got Improved Fortitude – two points means that my Fort will give 30% more stamina to every member of the party. My max fort will do 79, with this it goes to 102. 220 additional health on everybody is really, really tempting. But there is more on this tier.

I can increase my power-world shield’s defensive value by another 15% with three points. This is… nice. I’m not going to do it, though. First, repeat the reasoning given for not taking Improved Inner Fire. Add in – the additional 15% won’t add that much more delay in damage — one, maybe two good hits at the level of things I’m facing, which means shield is enough to get my “Oh Crap” spell off. (btw – I’ll add PW:S to the hotbutton macro, but there’s a trick and caveat. I’ll get there…) There’s one other reason for taking this – or not taking it in my case. Higher in the Disc tree is another talent. It causes up to 50% of the damage the shield absorbs to be reflected on the attacker. THAT is useful — if we were grabbing that high in the tree. A Disc priest would be strongly considering the option. I’m going to be heavy in Holy, though, to maximize heals. But there’s still one more heartbreaker in this tier.

Martyrdom. Oh, what a wonderful spell for when things are going bad. It seems that every time you’re hit the attacker crits. Not really, but it’s frequent enough to be noticeable. Two points into martyrdom and if you’re hit with a crit you have six seconds during which you CANNOT lose casting time while being hit, and you have a decent chance of ignoring interruptions (like kick and shield bash and that sort of thing). I’m going to pass it up, with longing looks backward. Basically, I expect to be working with a tank most of the time. So the only time I should really need this is in “oh crap” situations. Which means I need a bit of luck for it to proc when I need it, which is somewhat contrary to the purpose of an “Oh Crap” plan. With regret, no.

I need seven points, I have six. I sacrifice some fort for the party or a bit of aggro reduction for myself. Roughly 120 points of health for the entire party is ~600 health which is nominally 300 threat. A 4% reduction matches this only if I do, ummm, 300 is 4% of 7500 threat which is 15,000 healing. 15000 beats 600. 5 points of aggro reduction, one of improved fort.

I have to put five in tier one to allow everything upwind. I’ll choose all five in unbreakable will, but have to be aware of the risk. Specifically, most bosses with an AoE fear or stun will attack the highest threat that’s unaffected. Which means my 15% increased resist is a 15% increased chance that I become George.

[I realize I haven’t explained the joke, and I’ve got readers who may not get it due to age or nationality. Here’s a video of the Bugs Bunny segment, itself a humorous play on a less humorous situation regarding Lenny in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Told you – stream of consciousness.]

One last pause before I leave Disc. Right now I’m looking at heal-heavy, so I topped myself at Imp Divine Spirit. However, I need to keep in mind the fact that a disc-heavy priest, while not getting as much heals per spell, is a LOT more mana-efficient. I’m giving up enlightenment (up to 5% more Int, Sta and Spi), Power Infusion (+20% spelldamage – yes, PERCENT – turbocharge for 15 seconds), and Mental Strength (10% more mana). sigh. Maybe – I’ll see what I really get out of the healing tree.

So for now, that’s the Disc tree. Whew, it’s time for a breather. Part 2 shortly…

~ by Kirk on August 22, 2007.

12 Responses to “Picking my talents 1 of 2 – somewhat stream of consciousness”

  1. FYI, I’m 90% sure that my Prayer of Spirit gets pets too. I know Prayer of Fort does.

  2. Hmm…some things to think about here. I’m currently 38 Holy/23 Disc, but I think my distribution is a little different on the Disc side. But you make some good points. Like you, I’m generally going to be the only healer when I play my Priest. (Our guild has DPS out the wazoo, but only 2 dedicated healers at 70, and only one true tank.)

  3. @Galadria
    Odd. Last night, when I cast prayer of fort, I had to follow with a buff for the pet. Which is why my memory went that way. OK, I’ll be checking. Thanks.

  4. Hunters do NOT get any benefit from +spell damage. Mend pet does not benefit from +healing etc.
    It was altered in 2.1, so basically all hunter spells have a coefficient from dmg of 0

  5. OOOh, that said, Pets use +spell damage

  6. @Mera
    Rats. Teach me to talk about other classes. again. (but it’s good to know of pets…)

  7. just finished some instancing and confirmed pets and minions (imp excluded)do get prayer type buffs

  8. @Galadria,

    Thank you.

  9. First note :

    Divine Spirit. You mention that you’re the only priest in the group, so if you don’t get the buff, nobody will.

    This is true, but the amount of +heal and +damage that is given from this buff is based on THAT TOON’S spirit.

    And let’s face it, you probably came close to doubling the spirit of most non-healers when you cast the spell.

    We actually did a calculation and found that impDS would give our kara-geared mages about 35 extra +damage.

    That’s not awful, sure, but if I’m sacrificing other talents for this, I’d better have a darn good reason.

    Not worrying about OTHER players for a moment, DS is a good spell for priests. We tend to collect a smattering of spirit, and we can talent into a few other things to make spirit manageable.

    I’ve mentioned it once on my blog, but as soon as I get the Bangle of Endless Blessings, I’ll be swapping over to a spirit-heavy build.

    However, in my opinion, if you’re going for the spirit buff here, your other talent choices should reflect the fact that you’re trying to maximize your benefit from spirit. We’ll see how that goes….onward!

    I don’t go for talents that increase my survivability. Those are PVP talents, and I would never choose to improve inner fire over improving my healing.

    Do you have mental agility and mental strength confused here?

    Strength is the max increase, agility decreases the cost of instant cast spells.

    I got very lost in your explanation of the talents at the top of the tree. What did you take, what didn’t you take? IT sounded like you were not taking a lot of them, yet you didn’t have enough to max out the fort buff? I’m confused.

    You’ll definitely want the aggro reduction that you took – it’s imperative.

    However, the improved fort is something of a must-have spell, for pretty much everyone I’ve talked to. Where did the other points go?

  10. @Ego, wow, lots of remarks. Let me try to catch each in turn.

    First – yes, I think I’ll avoid stream-of-consciousness dumps in the future. They’re long, and they tend to confuse. I’ll be following this whole thing up with bits and pieces both clarifying points and discussing thoughts from comments.

    re amount of points spirit buff gives other toons – I think I mentioned that. My group will get +15 for the tankadin and +20 for the mage assuming neither has any other spirit buffs. That’s nominally +10 dps for the group and (even more nominally) +4 threat per second for the tankadin. Which at pre-heroic is useful. I also agree that the main benefit is mine. Though it really shows up in gear selection — with this, spirit is not only mana regeneration but also (more) +heals.

    Yes, I did confuse agility and strength. I’m making an edit above to note the correction. But I’m still strongly considering agility. 10% reduction of mana for renew and PoM is nice, especially since together those tend to account for half my spellcasts. (On the other hand, careful thought – and another post I just finished – give certain talent choices in the other thread a somewhat different weight.)

    OK, top of the tree (for this post – not necessarily final). 5/5 Silent Resolve, 1/2 Improved Fort, and 5/5 Unbreakable will. There’s enough dissension above about the improved fort/silent resolve that it deserves post with a deeper look – which may change my mind, or may convince others. Or, like the Holy Concentration v Healing Prayers post, will show that it depends on situation but at least helps clarify what situations are better for each.

  11. @Kirk
    Stream of consciousness should be fine, just add some bold headers or something. =] The gray on black text is somewhat hard to read – that’s why I beefed up the font size and the line height on my blog. Makes my rambles a little easier to swallow. *winks*

    Yup, you mentioned the spirit buff numbers — I’d actually written my comment before I read that. *blush* Notepad comments ftl

    I didn’t pick up Mental Strength, but I did get Mental Agility. I cast a LOT Of instant-cast spells. Frisbee and the HoT, for example, get a lot of use. Anything to make that cheaper makes me a happy panda.

    Silent Resolve is huge if you raid. Less so if you don’t, even if you just group. Dunno what it was, but the instant I stepped foot in Kara, my threat went through the roof.

    If you’ve got another priest with improved fort, then don’t worry about it, I’d say, but if you’re the only one with the spirit buff, you’ll probably be expected to max out the fort buff too. Again, that’s raiding talk.

    I’ll look on the other post for more to comment on!

  12. […] like this discussion of how another holy priest picks his talents. Thus far his choices line up with a lot of mine on Flint, though I didn’t do the math. I […]

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