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.