A brief look at leaked talents

I really can’t evaluate other classes, but I can do so for priests.  And as you’ve probably seen in other places, the talent trees for WotLK have (allegedly) been leaked.  Let me hammer through the caveats first, then get to some comments.  Caveat — this may be real, or it may be yet another Hoax (of which there’ve already been several).  [fwiw, the one I stumbled upon is written in such fashion I think it's real.  YMMV].  Caveat — ALPHA.  Not even BETA.  None of this will remain the same, so don’t set ANY plans on it.  Caveat — second hand.  I’m not an alpha player, I don’t know any alpha players, I can’t see how these things are interacting.  I’m looking at stuff in isolation.  So much of caveats.

I decided not to look at number changes.  Instead I’m going to look at some of the new stuff for the three priestly types, with a handful of comments.  Actually, let’s get comment one out of the way because of how common it is to almost all.  Ahem.  Nerf priests.  Seriously, if it weren’t that every other class is getting stuff that looks as good up front, I’d call some of this SERIOUSLY overpowered.  Let’s get some detail, shall we?

Holy first.  The first new talent that caught my eye was serendipity.  Greater or Flash heal only does half (ie, massive overheal), and you have a percent chance of getting all the mana back.  Depending on the percent, that may be, well, wow.  This appears to be a three-point talent.

Second holy of note was test of faith.  Actually I’m not sure about this one.  If your target is below 50% health, your heals do 15% more AND the chance of crit goes up by 10%.  Also in the maybe – that is, good, but not glorious, is Divine Providence – +10% (5 point talent) to the two prayers plus binding and circle.

Then there’s the jaw-dropper (to me).  Guardian spirit. It’s a HOT (currently 624 every 2 seconds for … seconds) PLUS “if the target dies, the spirit sacrifices itself instead”.  I haven’t a clue as to how that’ll work, not really — a sudden influx of health?  A total block (well, diversion) of the strike that ran the target to zero?  Just dunno, but… wow.

All that said, I think Holy gets the least.  The bigger stuff is in the other two.  Let’s take what I think is second – discipline.  (Yes, I think Shadow gets OP out the wazoo, but bear with me here.)

Disc has Aspiration, which reduces the cooldown on IF, PI and PS by up to 20%.  Since those are some big Disc spells of which the main cry is the cooldown, that’s nice.

But then we add Divine Aegis.  A crit heal adds a shield that will absorb 30% of the amount healed.  Do a 10K Greater Heal (possible at this kind of level), and see it also absorb 30% more.  Tanks may or may not appreciate this – given the level we’re at, it may be as bad as it is for the under-60 crowd.

But wait, there’s more.  Grace, which comes off Penance, FH and GH.  The buff reduces damage AND increases healing by some percent, and can stack up to three times.

Rapture is the talent that’ll bring the Disc priest to the raid.  GH, FH and Penance generate a percentage of mana to the party.  A Disc variation on Vampiric Touch.  (only fair given… no, wait.)

Finally, Disc gets Penance.  A volley of holy light that does some damage or some healing (enemy or friend, respectively) PER bolt.  I get the impression of an aimed and more powerful holy nova.  This, by the way, is the Disc 50 talent.

Oh, wait, I forgot one – and it’s the biggie here.  Way back on first tier there’s a new talent – Persecution.  Three point talent that adds a chance that a holy spell will Incapacitate the target for some amount of time.  (I think each point increases the chance of proc, not duration.)  Yeah, suddenly every non-shadow has a new first choice in the Disc tree instead of Unbreakable Will or Wand Spec.

As I said, I think Shadow comes off the best at this glance.  Let’s start with what’s probably the least – Psychic Horror.  This compounds Psychic scream with 4 seconds of horror.  What’s the difference between fear and horror?  I suspect the ease (or possibility) of negating it.

Anyway, next we have Dark Spirit.  This the reason for the “only fair” comment in the Disc tree.  Add 30% of spirit to shadow damage.  Suddenly, the shadow priest want to hang out with the Improved DI priests again.

At 45, the five point talent Growing Pains is a deceptive title.  20% of bonus healing converts to shadow damage.  (Is this on top of the 1/3 rule?  dunno).  The BIGGIE about it, though, is that Mind Flay has some percent chance of renewing SW:P.  No mana cost, no GCD, just two for one – poof.

Then there’s the 50, and I want to scream “Why doesn’t holy have a holyform?”  Dispersion.  Disperse into pure shadow energy.  Damage mitigated by 90%.  Cannot cast spells or melee.  Regen health and mana at some percent every 1 or 2 seconds (one report is 6% per second.)

Again, there is no way these will stay as is.  But it gives us a good idea of the outlines of what Blizzard is thinking for priests.  My view?  Priests will want to be shadow because of all the goodness.  But with the advent of Rapture, Disc priests will be competitive for the mana battery slot — and they bring a few other nice toys to the party as well.  Holy will still rule priestly healing, but may not be the most common spec for raids when all is said and done.

And Persecution will be the most frequently chosen first tier talent, even exceeding spirit tap.

We’ll see, of course.  All is subject to a LOT of change.

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~ by Kirk on May 21, 2008.

2 Responses to “A brief look at leaked talents”

  1. Reads like you found a picture of the actual talent tree, Kirk. Curious to know where you found it; I’ve only seen a plain text list : http://wotlk.wikidot.com/. Was there much reordering of talents?

    Agree with you about Shadow Power goodies (the list I link also mentions an AOE shadow dot, and AoE seems a general theme, cos Druids also get one) Looks like Blizzard are working to strengthen SP’s notoriously difficult PvP play with Improved Shadowform. Horror is *uncounterable*, btw, although I don’t know if fear ward etc stop the effect. An AOE horror is likely to be fairly nasty in BGs if nowhere else.

    The Disc talents look like more utility, and the emphasis on holy spells in Disc makes it look like Blizzard still see Holy/Disc hybrids as viable, but not so much disc/shadow. What seems lacking to me (and I agree, it’s very early stages) is much support for non-shadow dps. Persecution, yes, & Aspiration with the increased emphasis on spell haste will help with the 15 sec Light Mage schtick, but it doesn’t look like there’s much else, either for solo or viable heal/dps roles. As you say, we’ll see.

    The only other point of interest is the crit talents which are scattered about. Better priest itemisation for crit? Smiters can only hope.

    Thanks for pulling it together; for me, I’m curious about WoTLK, and am considering resubbing to get my ducks in a row beforehand. While I think WoTLK may very well be the last hurrah for WoW (too much of the same old), I missed Vanilla WoW, was late to TBC & quite fancy being first wave (or at least, jogging along behind) for at least one major shift in the game.

    Nice to be writing here again. Have fun :)

  2. Not a picture of the tree, but a code dump list. I found it at http://urlshort.com/wotlk/site/talentlist.php . There is zero listed validation, but it’s congruent with what a lot of independent sources are showing for things like druids, so…

    It’s alpha, so it’s waaaay too early to get any twisted knickers.

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