Priests: Inner Fire vs Inner Will

We’re gaining a new self buff in the expansion. In addition to Inner Fire, we’re gaining a new one called Inner Will.

So the question is, which self buff should be used?

More power?

You can’t ever go wrong with having increased spellpower from Inner Fire. That’s an extra 1080 spellpower that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. I consider if the de facto self buff to use in most cases. The extra armor buff isn’t going to hurt either. Probably the default buff to use once our regeneration hits a point where we’re not struggling for mana as much. If I’m leveling, then I’ll definitely be using this for extra fire power.

More speed?

Inner Will reduces the mana cost of your instant spells by 15% and it increases your run speed. I’ve noticed myself resorting to using Inner Will more often in some of the dungeons I do and leaning towards a heavier spell usage involving Renew, Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending. This sounds like its going to be the armor buff of choice for Renew Priests if the viability is still there. Anything involving lots of running? Yeah, I’m going to toggle this on as well.

Don’t forget about Inner Sanctum. I wouldn’t spec into it normally. But if you find yourself using Inner Will more than Inner Fire just to run around faster, then it might be a worthwhile investment. I don’t know if I find the 6% spelldamage reduction side of it useful. I guess it will come down to hard mode specific fights where it would be needed to help with survivability. 6% feels a bit low to me. I mean if they were going to combine it with Spell Warding, shouldn’t it be upped to 10% instead? Of course, I’m probably forgetting the fact that we have a massive health pool.

Yes, I’m positive there are going to be encounters where that 6% is going to make or break you. Anyway, when you’re leveling, go with Inner Fire. When you’re doing dungeons or raids, use the one that’s going to benefit you the most.

Can Your Raid do More With Less?

Can Your Raid do More With Less?

Its a dark and stormy Monday night. Rain drops are slowly streaming down my face as I wearily walk through the door. I kick off my shoes and my feet are practically screaming in glee after escaping the cold, damp prisons of my New Balance sneakers. I hustle straight to my computer and flip the switch on. As the machine slowly spins to life, I change into something drier and comfortable.

“Gentlemen.” I spoke after joining our guild voice server, “How are we looking tonight?”

I received a chorus of acknowledgements ranging from “Good, what are we doing?” to “Your mom”. Just another day in Matt’s guild.

Once I logged into a game, I noticed of activity in officer chat. During the minutes that lead up to the first pull, we’re constantly assessing our roster and determining what bosses to aim for. One of the initial steps is to see what our attendance is like. There are times where there are some last minute player signouts or late notices. I got my raid invite and took a mental stock of our roster.

23 raiders with no other players in sight. It was about time for first pull. Some were starting to wonder if we would go since we didn’t have a full raid. The only boss remaining was Lich King. We wanted more weapons.

“We have the tanks to do this.” My tanking officer reported.

“More than enough stuns and slows for valks. Good to go.” Confirmed the raid leader. “Matt, healing?”

I quickly assessed my healers. There were five of us. We normally took six. I felt we could operate with less but I’ve always preferred the extra safety net when we were short bodies. It was time to get out of the comfort zone and see what the healing unit was capable of.

“It might be choppy. Being down two isn’t going to help. I think we can pull it off.” I responded with confidence.

Pushing the limit

I’ve always wondered what the minimum number of players for taking down Lich King would be. Could he be taken down with 24? With 22? How about at 80% capacity with 20? There was only one way to find out. You’re not going to know what your raid capacity is going to be unless you actually try it. Its good to stress test the raiders in shorthanded situations because you never know when it’ll happen during future raids. Someone might disconnect early on an attempt or die halfway through it.

Can your raid adjust to that sort of temporary setback?

Raid potential

raid-potential

While it is somewhat simple to quantify exactly how much DPS or healing is needed to successfully get through an encounter, there are other factors which you can’t really put a number on. Things like raid intelligence, awareness, and skills are all variables that determine whether your raid has the that mentality to gut through an encounter.

I’ve been surprised before in the past. When I think the raid group is lacking in certain roles or DPS and we go out and take down a boss, a little part of me inside cheers. The inverse also holds true. On moments where we wipe when I felt certain that we had the kill in the bag, I experience that sinking feeling in my stomach wondering what went wrong.

You’re never going to know what your raid can do unless you go out and try it. Obviously if raid potential is far below whatever the raid requirements might be, then the unpopular decision of calling it an early night might be the better course of action. When raiding short handed, the performance of everyone else needs to go up in order to compensate for the lack of players.

Unfortunately, we found out after a while what our limit was. Turns out if a player is lagging out, they’ll always get targeted with a Defile. On a side note, it seems that healers seem to respond to the instinctive need to keep healing. What else is a healer supposed to do with player who has lagged out in the middle of a Defile?

(Hint: The answer isn’t to keep healing him)

Alas, with multiple disconnected players the executive decision was made to call it an early night. Better luck next week.

Have you ever been in a raid where you were astonished at what the group could do because of class composition or lack of numbers? Was there any creative strategy used to get around the problems?

More Surge of Light Cues

More Surge of Light Cues

After speaking with Joe about the supposed DPS spells we need to use to help sustain our mana, I couldn’t help but notice the Surge of Light UI additions. If your Smite casts happen to activate a Surge of Light, this is what appears on your screen:

sol

In the middle of my screen, you can see the two wings appear on either side of my Priest. This indicates Surge of Light is up. Not only that, if you look on the bottom left, my Flash Heal is now glowing. Its these little UI enhancements and improvements which should help make it a little easier on everyone especially for players who are just getting started as Priests. You get a visual cue that you have the option of a free heal and where it is on your bars. Traditionally, most Priests relied on addons such as Power Auras or some other addon which gave them visual cues when Surge of Light was up. Other stubborn Priests (like me) simply kept a close eye on buff bars to see when it was up.

Personally, I think this is a nice touch for the Priests.

A Fresh and New Blog Design

Welcome to the new World of Matticus! As you can see, the blog has undertaken an entirely new look. Special thanks to Brian Hough from Raid Warning and The Creep for his design work and Brandon for his development work. Those two know how to work miracles. I know that No Stock UI has seemed largely abandoned for a while right now but it will also be undergoing a design reboot and that will also be happening some time soon.

So what exactly is new?

Updated featured posts list – See the featured articles scroller at the top? Its been updated and modernized. Dare I say it looks much more slick.

Comment threading – It’s finally been enabled. You can now directly respond to other comments that have been left on posts. It’ll show up right below it.

Updated footer – There’s a new interact section with a few blogging guidelines and a brand new Plus Heal section. If you’re out of things to read, there might be a topic in the footer that you’ll find interesting.

The hotness – Oh yeah, it looks hot. Real hot. Ragnaros hot.

If you happen to spot any major bugs or errors, feel free to leave a comment below along with the page you saw it on (and what browser or platform you were using to view it with).

Reserved Loot in PuG Raids

After our 10-man raid Tuesday night, I had some extra time before I needed to head off and gain some real-life rested xp.  Since my server is a low-population server–let me correct that, SUPER-low-population–,  PuG raids are hard to come by.  I generally don’t enjoy these raids on my server, because most of the people in those groups don’t know how to work as a team. They also tend to be ignorant to fight mechanics or are too lazy to learn them.  Every now and then, though, I have an “inkling” for a 25-man.

I had Trade Chat open in a separate window, looking for something to do. A Prot Pally from another guild was looking for a healer and a ranged DPS for ICC25. Since I don’t get a chance to heal on my Shaman a lot, I opted in. I knew I’d have a limited amount of time, but PuGs on Nazjatar don’t last long.  I rarely see an ICC PuG get a good shot at Plague Quarter (let alone Putricide) before people start getting “raid A.D.D”.

Ooh! An ICC 25! I run through a check of the gear lists, and I know that my Shaman is still using Protector of Frigid Souls, so the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel from Marrowgar would do nicely! What’s a hard-working Resto Shaman gotta do to get a decent shield in this place?! ToC runs are non-existent, obviously, and I don’t have the 1800 rating (yet) for the Wrathful Gladiator’s Barrier.  There isn’t a 10man shield in ICC until Sindragosa, and I always seem to be working on the nights that we kill her.  So this PuG is a perfect opportunity, right? Wrong.

The Bomb Drops

I step into this fresh ICC 25-man raid. I’ve got my Well Fed buff and my flask going; I’m ready to rock. Right before the first pull, and after all the buffs have been put out, the Raid Leader says in chat that the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel is “reserved”. I check his spec, and he’s a full-blown Prot Pally. I ask him if he’s trying to get it for off-spec. He says no, it’s for their Resto Shaman that just hit 80 not too long ago. I send him a whisper: “That’s really the only reason I’m here is to roll on that Shield. I’d like to roll on it, if you don’t mind.” I’m essentially (and politely) told no, and if I didn’t want to continue, then he’d understand. Well, in a flash of frustration, I bowed out and left the raid. Other spouts of disapproval of something being “reserved” echoed through Raid Chat as I clicked my “Leave Party” option.

My Reaction

Although there is one exception, I’m totally against this kind of loot distribution or raid leading, especially in a PuG. I find that it’s disrespectful to the other people that are brought in to help. You’re essentially saying to me, “I want your help in downing these bosses, but you’re not going to get a fair crack at what drops.” I’ve found a trend also in these types of situations. Either they’re entirely in the mindset of thinking that they can’t possible perform well enough without said gear, or they’re just plain inconsiderate, selfish, and rude. In most of these circumstances, I’ve even had a lower GearScore (means little to me, but means THE WORLD to PuGs), and have been able to incredibly out-heal (with little overhealing) the raider in question. I’m not saying that since I have higher numbers that I should get the Shield, but saying that I’m putting good work in but not allowed to roll on the Shield is a straight smack in the face.

The only exception I’ve been able to see (and from reactions I’ve gotten on Twitter), is a Legendary (and I agree). Things like the Fragments of Val’anyr or Shadowfrost Shard‘s (or any of the Shadowmourne pieces) are entirely fair, just so long as it’s laid out beforehand. Those are long treks to get that one item finished. Other loot, though, should be fair game using whatever loot system you dole out. Straight up reserving them is just selfish, in my mind.

Except for the loot system we use in my ICC 10-man, Team Sport always uses an open roll system. If you’re putting the work into the raid, you deserve a chance to get main-spec loot.  Some people would think that means that we get people rolling on stuff they don’t necessarily need, but it works out great. Since people know that’s how we run our raids, we have a wealth of people that love to run with us. Hence, we can be picky about bringing honest and friendly raiders.

After an experience like this, I’ll never take part in a “reserved loot” raid. Whether it’s my gear or not, it’s just principle.

What do you think? Would you continue to run with a “reserved loot” raid? Or would you bow out?

POLL: Will you raid 10 man or 25 man in Cataclysm?

POLL: Will you raid 10 man or 25 man in Cataclysm?

One of the best — or worst things depending on your view — to happen to raiding in a long time was the inclusion of smaller group sized content. I talked a little bit about this over on BDTU with my pieces on the Evolution of WoW part 1 and part 2.

The trend started with the addition of Zul’Gurub, a troll instance of now infamous reputation, when it broke from the 40-man raid standard and offered 20-man content. It hailed back to the days of Blackrock Spire being a multiple group raid, and people loved it.

Karazhan further stoked the fires of the smaller group raid desire, and did so while offering epic and story filled content. Players loved it so much that the forums were filled countless replies asking for more smaller group . With Wrath came the revelation that all raid content would be be available in 25-man flavor as set forth by Burning Crusade, but also  in new raid 10-man flavor (all of the raid, less than half the calories). Different levels of gear purchasable by badges came out (as well as loot tables that varied between 10 and 25 man), and both 10 and 25 man raids dropped the same badges. The trick, and the problem, was that people felt compelled to run both 10 and 25 man versions to maximize badges. Some people felt that you absolutely had to run both to “beat the game”.

This is also a result of how loot was distributed. Badges gave you the entry level gear for the items at the end of this expansion cycle. Badges gave you the “entry level” piece for the tier set, this was considered the 10 man version of the tier. Tokens in 25 man raids would drop that allowed you to upgrade the 10 man piece to the next level up. Heroic 25 man dropped yet another token that allowed you to upgrade it to it’s maximum potential. You can see how it would be assumed the more badges you had the better gear you had and the quicker you could climb the gear ladder right?

Well, the devs didn’t like that, nor did less hardcore players (or those of us who don’t have the time to devote to constantly running raids all week long) and a new system was proposed for Cataclysm. The system says that the same content will be provided for 10 and 25 man versions, and the reward levels will be the same. That is to say that the Ilvl of gear will be on par between versions, and they will share the same loot tables. The major difference will be that 25 man will have more damage and more health to worry about in boss fights and such, and you will get MORE loot drops than the 10 man content does. Also, a raid regardless of being 10 or 25 man, all share the same raid ID and lockout. Do a  25 man version and kill a boss? Cool. Split into two 10 mans of the same thing and that boss is still dead for both groups. You can’t up-convert from 10 to 25, but you can down-size if attendance becomes an issue or some such.

So this brings up an interesting question for a lot of guilds and raid groups right now. Is it worth it to run 25 man content if the rewards for 10 are the same? Is the extra loot enough of a benefit to keep you raiding in 25 man content or do you give up and just say screw it? I know a lot of guilds are going through this debate right now. I know some of them personally. This happened in a smaller capacity when Wrath was announced to have 10 man content. Some guilds decided the smaller size was for them and paired down into tight-knit, more tactical 10 man groups. So now that the gear is equal level between 10 and 25, aside from quantity, I know many guilds that have weighed the pros and cons of both formats and decided to go for the smaller size.

My guild Unpossible recently had this discussion. We pulled all of the officers into a private vent chat and hashed it out. it was about even split on the case of 10 vs 25, and there were a lot of good points made. After a good half hour discussion, we decided that we would stay a 25 man raiding guild. Our structure was already in place and had been since the release of Burning Crusade, and it has been stable and working since. We have a dedicated group of raiders who love the group we are in and the dynamic we have going. We also decided that we just felt more comfortable in the 25 man environment.

For me personally, I voted in favor of keeping the 25 man raid group. I love the logistical challenge of tracking so many players — and yes I know it’s not the 40 man content or raids from vanilla but I served my time in those — and the dynamic we have set up between all the various parts of the raiding group works well together, and I’d hate to break that up. I also didn’t like the idea of balancing multiple 10 man groups. Something I’ve seen over the last few years, people have an easier time being benched for a raid than they do taking part in a raid that is behind another group. I didn’t want to breed an environment of Group A vs Group B and cause any unnecessary drama.

So with Cataclysm on the horizon, has your guild discussed this at all? Has your raid group decided whether it will raid 10 man or 25 man content? Were you already raiding as a 10 or 25 man group? What do you think the benefits of both are? What about the drawbacks? I’d love to hear your opinions on this and see how the community as a whole has decided.

Will your guild raid 10 man or 25 man content in Cataclysm?

  • 10 Man / 10 Man Hard Mode (69%, 346 Votes)
  • 25 Man / 25 Man Hard Mode (21%, 103 Votes)
  • Banana (12%, 61 Votes)

Total Voters: 498

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Until next time, happy healing!

That new Druid mastery is hot

I don’t think its quite in the game yet, but it looks good. According to others, it looks real good.

New Resto druid mastery: Increases the potency of your heals on targets upon which you have a hot.

It benefits both hots and direct heals equally while still supporting Resto being a healer that cares a lot about hots. It encourages layering different spells while disincentivizing Rejuv blanketing.

Source

That right there just shot resto druids up to a level that should be close to (if not on par with) the other 3 healing classes.

Is this the part where I cry now and say no one’s going to want to bring a priest to raids? ;)

In the mean time, other than fighting off a nasty cold. Working on some posts for healers and guilds during the transition to Cataclysm.

  • Importance of Spirit
  • Stopcasting
  • Changing guild policies for Cataclysm

At the moment, I’m in brain storm mode trying to figure out what questions GMs out there are going to ask themselves or their guilds.

My experience with the Queue Q preforms

I had a bit of time over the AV weekend and I wanted to spend some of it acquiring some honor. What’s the best way to do it? Queue for AV of course. What’s the better way? Queue for it in a preform.

But how do you queue for AV in such large numbers when its technically not allowed?

Enter QueueQ.

These guys are a no nonsense PvP organization that comes from a variety of servers within the Bloodlust Battlegroup. There’s a large vent that everyone connects to. Whether you are from Proudmoore, Kil’Jaden, Aman’thul or Ner’Zhul, everyone’s allowed to get in on the action. Each group is under the command of a preform leader who controls the play.

There isn’t a special technique to get in. When the leader calls for it, everyone queues at the same time. As soon as a number pops, everyone calls out which AV they get and they hold off until they see if enough in that preform get in. If yes, they take it and roll with it.

The level of precision and control in these raid groups is inspiring. Every group has assigned towers or objectives they need to go for. An auxiliary force is on standby in case Horde forces push past the bridge and start capturing bunkers.

Typically, there are two main ways to win:

The blitz

Full PvE gear is equipped, and its a straight charge to the end zone. Multiple tanks are needed to keep the battlemasters in check as Drek gets taken down fast. This yields something like 2000-3000 honor in under 6 minutes. This play is called when we’re lacking a number of preform players in the BG and we want to get it over with quick to start the next one and get more players involved.

I personally don’t like this method because of the lack of honor gain.

The finesse

This will vary from preform leader to preform leader, but it involves a combination of taking down Galv, capturing towers, and back capturing bunkers to maximize honor gains.

Not only is it more engaging, but I’m almost certain there is more honor gain to be had here. I’ve earned as much as 7000-8000 with every victory, but the wins range from 9-10 minutes after the gates open. With queue times factored in, I think this is the better of the two.

All in all, not a bad way to prepare for the upcoming rated BGs. I’m tempted to establish a Conquest weekend PvP division when Cataclysm opens.

Raiding discipline specs for priests in the Cataclysm 4.0.1 patch

Raiding discipline specs for priests in the Cataclysm 4.0.1 patch

disc-401-header

If your guild still has intentions on raiding when the Cataclysm pre-patch occurs (patch 4.0.1), then you might be at a loss as to what to grab when you’re Discipline. I’ve got 2 specs for you to keep in mind today: 1 for straight support and 1 for farm content

 disc-401

31/3/2

Link to talent tree here

This is the one I would select if I was working on newer/progression oriented content still (any hard modes or getting Arthas down, for example).

Notes

I did not get Archangel and Evangelism.

1 point in Inner Sanctum was needed to put me over the top in order to get Power Word: Barrier, although that point can be used anywhere in that tree.

I opted for Empowered Healing instead of Divine Fury. At level 80, you’re not really expected to use the updated Cataclysm healing model anyway. That changes when you hit 85, of course. Although the health of players may jump up slightly (and the pools aren’t even finalized yet), I think the harder hitting heals are still better. I’m not using Heal much myself even though I grabbed Strength of Soul.

Darkness in the Shadow tree makes up the last 2 points. It was simply a filler for 2 talent points. Seems like it speeds up the times of all priest spells instead of just the shadow ones.

If you’re having mana issues, you might want to consider switching to Veiled Shadows. I honestly haven’t played much with it, but it could be the difference between having 1 shadowfiend in an encounter or 2. Again, its just an option.

The base talents are fairly self explanatory, but you have 5 points or so points you can shuffle around between Empowered Healing, Divine Fury, Darkness and Veiled Shadows

Playing it

Power Word: Barrier has a 3 minute cooldown. Use it where it can do the greatest good. Expect to see the bubble burst within a second or two of some type of AoE damage (which is the point).

If no one is in immediate threat of dying (anything less than 80%), and if you’re looking for a filler, use Heal on your recently shielded tank. Don’t rely on Heal too much as the method to spring someone from the brink of death. It would be used as a way to speed up the Weakened Soul Process.

You’re still using the Power Word: Shield, Flash Heal, and Penance spells the most.

Above all else, keep a close eye on your mana bars and adjust your spell usage accordingly. I think Discipline priests will have the easiest transition (alongside resto shamans) when it comes to healing in the next patch.

What about spec number 2?!

disc-401-a

33/3/0

Link to talent tree

This is the spec you’re using if you want to heal but help accelerate the DPS process a little bit. You have other strong healers in your raid and you will only pinch in when necessary to help. Don’t expect to crack top 10 DPS here or anything.

Notes

You’ve got the full Archangel and Evangelism combination going.

Completely skipped out on Inner Sanctum.

No access to Inner Focus.

Divine Fury is used for faster Smites.

Playing it

When you’re in DPS mode, simply build up Evangelism stacks to maximum and let it hold. When you reach a stage in the encounter where you need to do some healing (say after a Festergut explosion or after a bunch of ghosts from Lady Deathwhisper obliterated your raid), trigger Archangel. This gives you back some mana and more importantly it increases your healing by 15% (assuming full stacks). Use that time to get your tanks back up, your healers to full, and anyone else that’s low.

Its a fairly straightforward spec. It might take an encounter or 2 to fully adjust and appreciate the DPS side of things.

Feel free to post any alternative specs or suggestions in the comments. How are you liking the look of the Discipline tree so far?

Your beta and healing questions answered

Last friday, I asked if you had any questions about the beta. Here’s what I received (rehashed somewhat).

On reforging

I have a piece of gear that had 60 haste rating, 60 spirit and 60 critical strike rating. Can I knock of 20 haste and 20 spirit for the combined equivalent to hit rating?

Nope. You can only convert one kind of stat into a different stat that the current gear does not have. In the case above, you can convert some of the haste rating into something like hit or spirit. Only one stat reforging can actually take place. You can’t split 20 haste into 20 mastery and 20 spirit into 20 hit rating. Once you’ve reforged an item, you can revert it back to its original form and then reforge it again.

On leveling

Where should I level first?

I’d suggest Vash’jir just to ensure you gain access to underwater breathing and underwater mounts. It really won’t matter though. The introductory zone you select should take you through 81 and you should be finished them around 82.

When a healer hits 85, about how much mana should they have?

I have almost 60000 right now with gear all over the place. I’d say at least 70000, but I wouldn’t be surprised to have 80000 with quest blues.

On raiding

How fast do you expect people to down first raid in Cataclysm after release?

I’m thinking the world first guilds will take down all the normal content.

On healing overall

From a healing command perspective, are we heading back to the days of organizational healing during vanilla?

Personally, I don’t think it will get to that point. During Blackwing Lair, I had to assign priests to stop healing for 2 minutes while someone went in and covered for them. I don’t foresee that quite happening in this expansion. Simply because waiting to regenerate mana for a minute or two just isn’t fun at all. One way to approach it is to compartmentalize your healers. Have 1 healer responsible for either each group or each area that happens to have players. I think healing assignments will need to be laid out and micromanaged.

Do we really have to DPS to heal?

No, not exactly. Those DPS talents in the healing trees are only there for times when you outgear content. I do not believe they are necessary for us to do our job as healers. As in, its not required for us to toss a few Lightning Bolts or Smites to get mana back to heal more. I can’t remember who calculated it, but something like 109000 mana was needed for priests before they broke even on Smites This figure is off actually. Disregard, but the point still remains.

Should we be concerned that present beta healing has been pushed into the current PTR patch?

No. A least, not yet. There is still plenty of time. My guess is that they haven’t finished doing the numbers yet. There’s no point in having one set of numbers for 80s on the beta and another set of numbers for 80s on the PTR. May as well keep them about the same but get some extra information from the PTR and larger sample sizes.

Just how badly does mana management affect healing assignment sensibilities?

That’s a tough question for me to answer. The line between tank healing and raid healing is getting quite blurry. Even those paladins might be able to sustain a large numbers of players. You’ll want the players who have no difficult issues when it comes to mana management to stay on tanks. That is, they’re aware of their cooldowns and are willing to ask for the cooldowns of others. If the tanks can be kept alive long enough, enough DPS players should be able to take it down.

Are mana cooldown nerfs really bad?

Assuming the stats of mana when we hit 85 are true, we should see a negligible different when it comes to mana return. 3% Hymn of Hope at 85 with 80000 ish mana vs a 5% Hymn of Hope at 80 with 30000 mana.

On druids

Is our current mana inefficiency a result of poor gear? How do we compare in terms of mana efficiency to other healers that fill a similar healing niche?

It could be a gear problem, but it might not be.

Are there not enough resto druids in beta or are the developers simply not reacting?

Remember that Blizzard doesn’t always respond or address everything. If it were my class under fire, I’d be happy if they were ignoring the forums in favour of figuring out a solution.

Why bring a druid healer?

Innervate and Mark of the Wild of course! After seeing first hand how soft druid healing was getting to, I was inclined to agree with the sentiment that something isn’t quite right with yet.

Whats up with the Druid mastery?

For more information about that, you may wish to refer to Lissanna’s post.

[Thanks Lissanna]

On shamans

Is the day of chain heal spamming over?

Yes. Days of chain casting chain heal are over, at least in 5 mans. It is at best a situational heal. This is largely due to the mana consumption. In a raid, it could change. But for now, not so much.

Does healing rain stack?

Yes.

[Thanks Lodur]

On paladins

What is going to happen to the idea of a flash of light paladin vs a holy light bombing paladin?

In my opinion, gone. We have to use a lot more skills. If anything, Flash of Light will be the one we don’t see a lot of. It’s very much an emergency heal.

Does the Holy paladin mastery apply to over healing?

Yes.

Is Holy Power something that should be saved up to a max charge then used or just used when there are points active? Or is it purely a case by case.

The primary holy use for Holy Power is our mana-free heal, Word of Glory, which is instant.

Is light of dawn frustrating to use when players aren’t standing in the same areas?

Its fun to use but there are two issues with it:

  1. Seems to hit for nothing especially with the current health pools.
  2. It doesn’t heal the paladin caster at all.

What’s the new Divine Plea like?

Its a fairly big hit. Heals get halved for 50% for 15 seconds. The ability can only be used every 2 minutes. Its as if there’s no reason to even use Divine Plea unless you’re absolutely, 100% desperate. Divine Plea is okay now when we’re talking 20k Holy Light bombs and crits. But since its dropping in potency and is our go to heal, its been a bit of a struggle. Hopefully itemization would fix that.

[Thanks Kurn]

On priests

Does Life Grip work on targets at different altitudes? Can you grip people while moving or jumping?

Yes, so long as you have line of sight on a target. I was able to snag Lissanna around from the air. Even managed to pull the druid from underwater onto a boat! I know a number of priests appear to be a unfazed by it, but I know I’ll personally use it on players who are capping graveyards in Alterac Valley when we don’t want them to. I tried falling off a cliff so I could drag Lissanna with me but it didn’t work.

How effective is Power Word: Barrier?

Its okay. The strength of it seems to buckle fairly quick. I’ll put up a barrier just before an AoE phase of some fight with all players under the dome. Then it disappears a few seconds later. At level 85, it eats up something like 13000 mana. I wish there was some type of scaling effect where the damage prevented was proportional to the players standing within up to a certain point. I suppose that wouldn’t really work as well.