Second look at 2.3

These are the current notes for priests (plus a few others) for the 2.3 patch (according to the PTR). Followed, of course, by my comments. The quotes, first.


  • Chastise (NEW) is now available to Dwarf and Draenei priests at level 20. Chastise causes Holy damage and incapacitates the target for 2 seconds.
  • Circle of Healing: The base amount of healing from this spell has been reduced along with increasing the bonus it receives from bonus healing effects. Characters with more than 1338 healing will see their Circle of Healing heal for more than previous patches. Characters with less than 1338 healing will see their Circle of Healing heal for less.
  • Cure Disease and Abolish Disease range increased to 40 yards.
  • Divine Spirit: It is no longer possible for a target to simultaneously have Divine Spirit rank 5 and Prayer of Spirit Rank 1 icons showing at the same time.
  • Elune’s Grace (Night Elf) effect changed to reduce chance to be hit by melee and ranged attacks by 20% for 15 seconds. There is now only 1 rank of the spell.
  • Fear Ward is now available to all priests at level 20. Duration reduced to 3 minutes, cooldown increased to 3 minutes.
  • Fixed a bug where the global cooldown was triggered when shifting out of Shadowform.
  • Holy Fire: The tooltip on rank 4 has been adjusted.
  • Inner Focus: Rank 4 will now properly affect Lightwell.
  • Inner Focus: This effect is now properly consumed by casting Mind Soothe.
  • Meditation (Discipline) increased to 10/20/30% mana regeneration.
  • Pain Suppression (Discipline Talent) is now usable on friendly targets, instantly reduces the target’s threat by 5%, reduces damage taken by 40% and its cooldown has been reduced to 2 minutes.
  • Prayer of Healing, Circle of Healing and Holy Nova (healing effect) now gain additional benefit from spell damage and healing bonuses.
  • Power Word: Fortitude, Divine Spirit, Prayer of Fortitude and Prayer of Spirit mana costs reduced.
  • Power Word: Shield now gains additional benefit from spell damage and healing bonuses. Base absorb values of ranks 10, 11 and 12 have been reduced.
  • Shackle Undead: This spell will now always be removed correctly if multiple Priests overwrite each other’s Shackle Undead.
  • Shadow Word: Death: Resilience no longer reduces the backlash damage from this spell.
  • Starshards (Night Elf) is no longer channeled, costs 0 mana, is now a Magic effect, lasts 15 seconds, causes damage every 3 seconds and has a 30 second cooldown.


Healing: Almost all items and enchantments that provide bonus healing now also provide a smaller number (approximately 1/3) of bonus spell damage. There are a few items and enchantments where this was not possible, such as random-stat items and Zul’Gurub enchantments, but this is now the case on virtually all other items.

There are a LOT of really nice things here.  Let me start by saying the other classes are getting equally nice things – it’s going to throw off a LOT of expectations. That said, I want to take particular note of a few things.

I noted before the healing=>damage bonus issue.  That’s going to have a lot of players reviewing gear.

The circle of healing changes may be interesting.  I say “may” because I’m not yet sure of the coefficient.  1338 is a high level healbonus, though, so even though players COULD see CoH at level 50, you won’t see it till they respec later where the bonus makes it worthwhile.

Night Elf Priests just became nasty.  Yes, the chastise will make the Dwarf/Draenai priest extremely dangerous, the NElf changes give full credence to complaints from the Horde.  Both the racials become, well…  I mentioned the positive changes of Elune’s grace before.  But the Big Deal is Starshards.  No longer channeling, and zero mana.  Zero mana for what looks like a DoT to me.  I am hoping for – expecting – some brakes (like cooldowns or somethign), because as it stands it just made NElves The Race for damage-priests.   You know, I’d better be more explicit.

Zingiber, my main, is holy/disc spec.  In her healing gear she has a whopping 145 bonus damage.  Her SW:P – not improved – will do just under 1400 damage over 18 seconds.  Her StarShards – also with no extras – is doing about 1375 over 15 seconds.  Which means my DoTs alone are doing in the vicinity of 170 DPS.  If I spam MB-Smite-Smite-Smite — and remember I’ve got almost NO spec under these – I — HEALER SPEC PRIEST — am doing over 500 dps.  Looking at it one more way:  A Night Elf Shadowpriest at level 70 adding StarShards to the cycle increases her damage by a little less than 100 DPS.

Oh, yeah, I can hear the complaints now.  FWIW, the only race I think deserves to be buffed in balance is Trolls, and maybe Orcs and Humans (maybe).  But when the horde complains (soon) about the OP Nelf Priests, I’m not going to say they are exaggerating.

OK, that was the serious “Holy Crap” moment.  Let me point out a few more that are probably going to surprise and delight.

Meditation’s mana regeneration just doubled.  Now, everybody’s regen talent doubled, so we’re not alone.  (Though some got away from spirit – mages, for example, now ennervate based on their base mana.)  But as I noted before, this changes the relative value of MP5 to Spirit — and with healing’s damage bonus means ALL gear balance will need severe re-evaluation.

Huge OMG benefit is the fact that shield now gains from healing AND damage bonus. Both?  instead of Neither? Oh, boy.  Which means taking a look, again, at the Reflective shield talent in Disc is on the table.  Remember, boys and girls, that damage from the Reflective shield CAUSES NO THREAT.  hmmm.

Speaking of the Disc Tree, I see more temptation there balancing the CoH in the Holy tree – and this for the PVE players.  (Disc has always tended to tempt PVP players.  Now…)  Pain Suppression can now be cast on other players.  To reduce the temptation to throw it on the tank, it reduces threat by 5%.  (hmmm, I’m already considering tactics for that.)  And for 15 seconds of duration it reduces damage taken by 40%.  So, my tank with 40% mitigation is getting HURT.  suffer 5% threat reduction in return for the mitigation going to 80%.  decisions, decisions…  And with a 2 minute cooldown, this is a multiple cast per bossfight option.   (Biggest deal?  Can you say mage AoE on nasty trash?  I knew you could…)

there is a lot more – the CoH, PoH and Holy Nova get healbonus benefits.  Some mana costs are reduced.  EVERYBODY gets fear ward.

I’m going to stop for now, but want to point out there is a lot more fun in the other classes – and professions, and other places, and know that this is going to make the game different.

And probably fun, again, for those who were getting bored.

I’m looking forward to this.

~ by Kirk on October 11, 2007.

7 Responses to “Second look at 2.3”

  1. I read that they are putting a 30 second cooldown on Starshards 🙂

    I am so excited for 2.3!

  2. I like the incomming changes, although I’ll have to put a bit more weight on spirit, I am sill of the opinion that healers need to have a good balance of stats.
    I’m interested in actually seeing a holy priest be able to DPS in healing gear. So…a 70 NE holy priest capable of 600 DPS in healing gear sounds fun 🙂 although, a NE disc priest sounds like a tremendous addition to a 5v5 team that plays 2.5 healer a war of attrition style.

    I’m all for any buff that Blizz throws at Power Word: Shield (or should it be Power Word: Pillow), maybe, just maybe, it will recieve enough of a buff to be worth a GCD.

    About PVP and horde racials
    I Wish I could have an Orc priest, more stun resist and 5% more shadowfiend damage?!?…sadly Horde priests are limited to Undead, Troll, and Blood Elf.
    The Undead racials (Will of the Forsaken and Devouring Plague) are still likely the best PVP racials on a priest.
    The extra silence and small mana drain Blood Elves have is awesome when fighting casters, but otherwise useless.
    Troll’s Hex of Weakness is only useful to put on Warriors and Feral Druids, as every other class can get out of it relatively easily, counting it as wasted mana and a wasted GCD. Shadowguard (see Shaman’s Lightning Shield) is very underrated (for Shadow Priests only), it does shadow damage (thus a free small heal with VE), puts up a stack Shadoweaving, and can proc Blackout. (if you didn’t guess by now, I play a Troll Priest)

    So, finally a class evaluation without a nerf?? That makes me quite happy 😀

  3. sigh, bang head on desk, declare “oops”. No orc priests. sigh.

    As I’ve stated elsewhere, I find the Blood Elves’ extra silence to be more dangerous than Will of the Forsaken. Neither, however, are priestly racials.

    We’ll have to wait for the final tweak to see how overpowered the Night Elf change really is. But zero mana, 30 second cooldown (thanks Ayashi, found confirmation after you mentioned it) for a 15 second DoT? Unless the damage it does gets severely reduced, that’s … pretty strong. (Either increase the cooldown, make it use mana, or reduce the damage to balance.)

    Still… no real nerfs so far. grin.

  4. This patch has good improvements all around – there are only a couple nerfs that I can really see:

    Small nerf:
    – Raiding Ret Paly: Their “raid-buff” (Imp Seal Crusader) is now low enough where some Prots and all Shockadins are going to have it. No threat reduction given either (compare: Enhancement Shaman).

    HUGE HUGE nerf:
    – Human and orc melee classes. Their racial (in raiding PvE) is going from (+3% hit and 0.5% crit) to (1% crit). Ouch.

    The priest changes all look really nice. The StarShards thing wouldn’t worry me so much except for the “zero mana cost” part. My priest is Undead, and while Plague is a nice spell (extra DoT, etc), the only time I really ever use it is if I can Inner Focus it – the mana cost is just extremely high. Is the new Starshards instant-cast?
    (Good for Raid DPS as well, actually, where the important thing is really Damage-per-cast-time and not DPS – it has to be worth a GCD every 30 seconds to add the extra damage AT ZERO MANA, if you can afford the debuff slot).

    @Kirk: One small thing: For your “Holy DPS” routine, stop casting MB. Just HF/DoTs/SmiteSmiteSmite – your DPS will go up. (Better coefficient, 5% extra Crit, and Searing Light if you can spare 2 points for it, which I’ve always managed to do)

  5. Yes, Starshards is an instant cast DoT. 🙂

    Lots of nice stuff for Priests in the patch. More Spirit regen for the win, and I’m a Shadow Priest to boot.

  6. […] finished looking at 2.3 (twice) for Priests. Ego’s busy being busy. Phaelia’s finished the math for Spirit following […]

  7. […] Priest from Priestly Endeavors […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: