5.0.x and Mists of Pandaria: Holy and Discipline Priest Info

5.0.x and Mists of Pandaria: Holy and Discipline Priest Info

Welcome to patch 5.0.x! You’ll have a few weeks to get yourself acclimated for the great levelling push in under a month. Whether you plan to dungeon grind or quest your way to 85, it doesn’t hurt to refresh your skills.

Priest changes and additions

  • Fixed mana pools! We’re now down to 100k mana at level 85. For reference, Circle of Healing costs 3200 mana, Flash Heal costs 5900 mana, and Renew costs 2600 mana. Some reforging may be needed for regen purposes. We’ll have 300000 at level 90.
  • Our ranged slot is gone! But, we can now use Wands in our main hand. So if you happen to have a heroic Wand but haven’t been able to get a heroic main hand or staff, congratulations! Wand stats have been buffed to account for this.
  • Divine  Hymn is no longer available to Shadow Priests or Discipline Priests.
  • Dispel has an 8 second cooldown. Mass Dispel has a 15 second cooldown. Fights like Spine of Deathwing have been compensated accordingly.
  • Chakra spells can be used directly. You don’t have to follow it up with a trigger. Remember to bind both Chakra: Sanctuary and Chakra: Serenity.
  • New Discipline spell: Spirit Shell
  • Inner Fire increases spell power by 10% instead of a static value.
  • Power Word: Fortitude increases Stamina by 10% instead of a static value.
  • Evangelism built in to both Discipline and Holy. However, only Discipline can activate Archangel.

Playing styles

Holy

Holy users, you’ll just need to get accustomed to Chakra and stance switching. Nothing else has really changed dramatically. If you’ve been a Holy player before, congratulations! There isn’t much to learn. Lightwell now has the option to be made more “user friendly” via Glyph of Lightspring.

I do have one request though.

Blizzard, is it possible to add a visual distinction between Lightwells that can be clicked versus Lightwells that can’t? Maybe make Lightspring blueish instead.

lightwell-spring

Discipline

With Archangel and Evangelism available all the time (as in, not needing a talent), those of you who are familiar with keeping Archangel stacks active during heated moments will be in good shape. Sadly, Glyph of Power Word: Barrier is gone. Spirit Shell is a new ability which turns Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing into absorption shield generators.

About Spirit Shell

  • Will scale with your crit chance
  • Scales with Mastery: Shield Discipline
  • Scales with Grace
  • Unaffected by Archangel
  • Unaffected by Inner Focus
  • Maximum ceiling of ~60% of target health (Tried with different gear combinations, but needs additional verification)

General changes

  • AoE looting. By far the best change of the patch.
  • Battletags. No more having to hand out email addresses anymore. Why couldn’t they have just started with this in the first place?

But wait, there’s more!

Recommended glyphs

For raiding

Prime glyphs have been taken out. But there’s lots of glyph selections now. Take your pick!

Talent notes

Tier 1: Level 15 (Crowd control)

Tier 2: Level 30 (Movement)

  • Body and Soul: If you’re one of the few Priests in raid, great! Suggest using this for pickup raids like the raid finder.
  • Angelic Feather: Anyone who runs over this will gain the speed benefit. If you need additional precision when it comes to targeting, opt for Body and Soul instead. In practice, I’ve seen cases where the wrong person makes up a feather or someone just strolls near it without realizing it.
  • Phantasm: Probably best for PvP. Though there are a few raid encounters which have slowing effects.

Tier 3: Level 45 (Mana)

Tier 4: Level 60 (Defensive)

  • Desperate Prayer: This spell has served me perfectly in previous expansions and it’ll continue to do the same. When you get access to Void Shift at level 87, what I like to do is Void Shift a tank who has low health and then immediately use Desperate Prayer to restore health from the inherited pool I took from the tank.
  • Spectral Guise: Best for PvP.
  • Angelic Bulwark: Neat for not having to worry about your own survivability as much. Think of it as a safety net.

Tier 5: Level 75 (Extra power)

  • Twist of Fate: Don’t underestimate this. An additional 15% healing for 10 seconds if you heal someone below 20%? In a raid environment, it’s possible to keep this buff up for long stretches at a time. Heck, Circle of Healing alone should help maintain it on most bosses.
  • Power Infusion: Available only to the casting Priest.
  • Divine Insight

Tier 6: Level 90 (AoE)

  • Cascade: Loving Cascade for raid play.
  • Divine Star: Best used if the majority of the raid group is stacked together.
  • Halo: Do not use this in dungeons. The potential to unintentionally pull mobs is high (personal experience).

Less than a month to go before panda-monium hits! You’ll be ready and supporting your guild in no time!

[VIDEO] Mists Beta: Videos from the Vault of Mysteries

[VIDEO] Mists Beta: Videos from the Vault of Mysteries

Managed to queue into the second half of Mogu’shan Vaults on beta this week really late at night. I figured while these attempts were still fresh on my mine, I could at least get some pointers and notes down along with the recorded video. Apologies for the 720p. I found out that my bottleneck’s my video card (GTX 460, looking to get a 670 later on).

Didn’t actually take down Will of the Emperor. Got to within 2% left before the raid buckled. It’s fairly repetitive and you get the idea of what’s going on. I’ll keep making notes and additions with any changes or insights I get later on as we get into the expansion itself.

My favourite encounter by far is the Spirit Kings. Just so much going on with both covering the raid and making sure you don’t get screwed by specific player abilities. Elegon’s a visual beauty, too.

I’ll get the first half of Mogu’shan Vaults up in a few days. If you can’t wait, you can see them on my Youtube channel.

CS:GO Server is Live!

CS:GO Server is Live!

I know there’s a large number of you that don’t play Counterstrike. But the game is now live and the guild server is ready to go.

Name: .Conquest | cqgaming.com | Classic Competitive | Seattle
IP: 69.46.46.43:27015
Slots: 32 player
Location: Seattle, WA
Type: Classic competitive, FF on
Map rotation: Dust 2, Inferno, Train, Nuke

Add it to your favourites list! I’m hoping to get a stress test in later on tonight after a quick 10 man raid.

PS, 1000 gold if you can successfully get a knife off on me.

In other news, I want to thank everyone again one more time for writing in. All of the keys for MoP have been distributed and I’m sorry I didn’t have anymore to give out Sad smile.

However, the responses have yielded some useful nuggets of information with regards to what you’re interested in reading about:

  • Priests in 5.0.4
  • How to play a Monk
  • Siege of Orgrimmar (Inaccessible until later)
  • Buffs and nerfs for Warriors (I might need someone to help me on that)
  • New talent system
5 Year Blogiversary (And beta keys for you)

5 Year Blogiversary (And beta keys for you)

EDIT: Sorry folks, keys have been distributed out. Thanks for your feedback and thoughts!

Technically, the 5th year anniversary of the blog is tomorrow. In previous years, I’ve always wanted to offer something back to the community as a way of saying thanks for sticking around and your support. This year, I actually do have something I can hand out.

10 Mists of Pandaria beta keys

I know it’s late, but that’s why I wanted to get this post out a little early to maximize time. If you’re interested in a key, drop me a comment here or email me (Contact form at the top).

Tell me what part of the expansion you’re looking forward to and what topics you’re interested in reading about from Joe or myself.

Do me a favour, and double check your email. If you’re on Twitter, put your username there so I can reach you that way as well. I’ll pick get in touch with winners sometime tomorrow morning.

After you’re done with your response, I highly recommend you visit TwizzCast and give my buddy Twizz’s podcast a listen. A public thank you from me to him is in order as without him, I wouldn’t have any keys to give away.

Five years. That’s a long time. That’s 5 years of me keeping you occupied during your coffee breaks at work (or just your work in general). I feel bad for slowing down your productivity :(. But really, thank you to everyone for reading the posts here, sharing your perspectives, and being awesome in general.

I deem you all honorary bros.

P.S., If you haven’t stopped by my Youtube channel recently, I’ve uploaded 3 MoP raiding videos from Mogu’shan Vaults in LFR if you’re interested in seeing what you’ll be up against. You’ll be able to see examples of me standing in bad stuff while wrestling with text messages from one of my Resto Druids Disappointed smile. Not intentional, I promise.

How about a training dummy/event for healers?

OK, so there is this awesome new set of training dummies in the Mists beta that gives someone facing, raid buffs, food buffs and flask buffs, can be killed and has about 50 million health. It’s a pretty damn cool new tool for players to try to more accurately judge their DPS in a raid environment without having to actually go in to a raid. It’s a wonderful idea, a great idea and a necessary idea.

But how about one for healers?

So, lets lay it out there, healing is a stressful job, accompanied by a certain sense of anxiety and dread that accompanies healing a group for the first time. I hear horror stories of people getting booted out of instance all the time when they first start healing because they are new and not perfect. It’s a huge fear. One of the things I always suggest to new healers is to pop into a battle ground. As folks on twitter have pointed out, and I’ve agreed with for years, it helps you sort your UI, and it helps you learn some of the aspects of healing like triage. But it doesn’t teach you everything. Healing a PvP group isn’t quite the same as an instance, especially when you have to manage cooldowns and mana usage for boss mechanics, tanks, DPS and yourself.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t heal in PvP, by all means you should as it’s a great way to test out your UI, spells and what they do as well as key binds, but I still find fighting against another group of people is much different than fighting against a raid or boss design. I just want to make it clear I’m not discrediting PvP healing as a learning tool, but there’s no elegant solution to it. I mean, even Rift has healing dummies to help you gauge yourself.

Now here’s a thought that’s been on my mind for a couple months now. In The Secret World there’s a test you have to take for your preferred role to access nightmare content, and it’s called the gatekeeper. What the gatekeeper does is it forces you to respond to mechanics and use your toolkit. When I stumbled upon this I was immediately reminded of a very old class quest in Vanilla World of Warcraft , and I’m sure some of you will already know where I’m going with this.

Remember when you went for your Benediction priests? Do you remember the difficulty of that class quest and how it made you use everything you had to smartly complete the quest? It was an awesome class quest that worked within the confines of the character class at the time.

So here’s my proposal, lets have something, an event,  that you can go into that gives you NPC party members to heal and a faux boss fight. Through this, players could individually test their mettle, get logs and see if they were having issues without having to risk embarrassment or ridicule. Yes I know it’s an MMO and yes I know there are social requirements to be had, but DPS can go to a dummy and test out their numbers, why shouldn’t other classes get something similar? Why not a faux encounter like the Gatekeeper in TSW that lets you test out our abilities in relative safety. Think of how something like this could benefit healers.

Lets take that a step further, how much would something like this benefit tanks as well, or DPS. It would be an amazing boon. It would relieve so much pressure by eliminating at least partially the notion that you have to be perfect on your first time out. You could test to some extent and get an idea before ever having to walk into an instance. I would wager that if something like this was implemented there would be a lot more willing healers, and a lot more willing tanks. I can’t count how many times people in my own guild have said that they would want to try healing or tanking, but don’t want to do so in a manner that would waste someone’s time while they were learning. It’s nice to have friends to call on to learn this stuff, but sometimes they just aren’t around to help at the times you need them.

Yes you could make the argument that you can learn this while you level up and learn your abilities, but at the end of the day I’d be willing to be the amount of people that level through instances isn’t nearly as great as those that level through questing. Even though questing as a healer or tank has gotten better, it’s more often than not more effective to level as a DPS spec anyways. I’ve had healers message me for advice, and then when they get ridiculed in a 5-man or an LFR, or a new raid they just stop because while they were learning, not everyone understood that and made it twice as difficult.

The Gatekeeper system is one of the best things I’ve seen implemented into an MMO in years, it is something I would love to see re-purposed in other MMOs, if only tooled a bit differently. In our case a repeatable event or quest that lets you test yourself, your new gem setup, your new talent choices, your new reforging or just learning how spells work without the opportunity cost of failing publicly before you’re ready. Lets just make it more of an event and less of a test, make it something healers and tanks could use to get a feel for their respective roles.

Is it  a perfect solution, I can’t really say, but healers and tanks need some love too. Having a new tool for DPS to check their numbers with full raid buffs is really nice, but don’t leave out the healers and tanks, the two most stressful jobs you can choose to undertake in just about any game. I just think adding something like this would be amazing, useful, and combined with everything else at our finger tips would just further strengthen our healers and tanks, and their confidence in their roles.

I’ll write more on this later I’m sure, something more in-depth and detailed, but for now I’m curious to see what you think. Would this be something you’d like to see implemented for healers and tanks?

Matticus: Healing at the 0.33 percentile

Matticus: Healing at the 0.33 percentile

Guys, I have an announcement to make. This is a special day.

For the first time, I am not in the 75th+ healing percentile. I actually fell quite low. Ended up being 4th, in fact.

I’m sorry for letting you all down Sad smile (and I got beat by a Druid, ugh)!

Here’s a snapshot from World of Logs in Mists of Pandaria. As was the case during the tail-end of Cataclysm, I’m getting spanked by holy Paladins. I’m not upset though. There’s a few reasons for this and it’s largely on me. This is against Gara’jal, the third and final boss in the first half of LFR.

The thinking for overhealing, mana management, and efficiency goes out the window at this stage.

It’s about survival.

The first pull or two on an encounter is going to result in low mana reserves because you have no idea how much you have to pace yourself. If you were told to run a marathon without any idea of the terrain, the length, or the conditions, I’d say you’d tired out too because you don’t know when to jog and when to sprint. Not only that, with the Mists class changes, it’s like getting new shoes, outfit, and weights attached to your body.

logs-garajal

Link to spell usages

Thoughts

  • My top spell was Circle of Healing right at the top followed by my holy mastery along with Prayer of Mending behind that.
  • You can also see that I used Heal way more often comprising 10% of my healing done. I did run low a few times and there were periods where only light healing was needed.
  • Not only that, I was unfamiliar with the fight. Didn’t know when the big damage phases were. Didn’t realize there’d be players being spiked. Way to do my homework.
  • Kept forgetting to use my 1 minute Shadowfiend. I should just macro that to something.
  • Suffered from mana problems towards the end when we hit the last phase of Frenzy.
  • Used predominantly PvP gear.
  • Lightwell and Lightspring usage is something I have to deploy earlier. Have to start working that cooldown early instead of waiting for health to get low. In the 3 minute span that Lightwell is active, the probably is high that Lightspring ticks will automatically trigger.
  • Cascade is awesome in a 25 man environment.

I know I can do better next time.

Montgomery Manifesto: Blogging Interview

Montgomery Manifesto: Blogging Interview

I was dropped in for a podcast interview with Mick Montgomery (Known for his work with the Warcraft-related Starting Zone podcast). Our main focus on WoW though. For a nice change of pace, we sat down for a solid hour just talking about blogging and online content creation. Most of you won’t really care, but if you’re interested in the blogging side of things, you’ll learn a little more about me from a different angle. Though we did end up talking a little more about Mists of Pandaria at the end.

Listen here

Obviously, when you do a website that focuses on written articles, you have a great deal of writing to do. Has doing the site forced you to change your writing style in any way?

I’ve learned to compress my writing. I try to be more succinct. I want to get straight to the point. Forget the foreplay. It’s a busy world out there. People have stuff to do. Every time I finish a post, I scan it and I ask myself if I really need that word there. Every word, every sentence must have a purpose. If there’s no reason for it to be there, it’s gone. It’s not as ramble-y as it used to be.

What do you think about the recent reductions over the last two years in subscribers and how does it impact your site or any wow oriented content creators site?

I think we’re going to see a spike in subscriptions again with the expansion. You can’t look at WoW as having a constant or growing number of subscribers all the time. Content is produced in waves and subscriptions counts are going to fluctuate to reflect that. In terms of impact, I think we’ve seen a decrease in the number of viewers and content consumers across the board. People lose interest, they’re not going to read those blogs for that kind of information. At the same time, it also affects bloggers themselves. If they get bored with the game, they’re not going to maintain their blog.

13 Punishing Raid Mechanics Which Made You Go “PICK ME PLEASE!”

13 Punishing Raid Mechanics Which Made You Go “PICK ME PLEASE!”

Blizzard’s been crazy inventive with their raid mechanics over the year. Whenever I think they’re running fresh out of ideas, they manage to come up with something new and different. Malygos was one of the first raid bosses where we were not using our own class abilities to bring down a boss — We sat in a vehicle (red dragonflight).

But, encounters aren’t all about the tanking, the DPS, and the healing. There’s these little gimmicks and tricks that need to be executed with perfection or else it’s back to square one. Most guilds have those few players that were liabilities. For whatever reason, they couldn’t get it quick enough.

Learning curves? No, more like a learning line which was parallel to the X axis. The quality of a player’s skill isn’t measured by their HPS, DPS, or SPS (Survival per second). It’s an immeasurable quality of their ability to pick up mechanics quickly enough and master it. Mastery just isn’t a character stat. It’s also a player stat.

Atramedes – Gongs

Ah, the gongs. All you had to do was click a gong which interrupted Atramedes’ casting, reset every player’s sound, and gave Atramedes a case of Vertigo. This was one responsibility that you trusted to a small, select group of people. Too early, and you waste a gong that’s not going to catch an interrupt. Too late, someone in the raid dies and you need to burn a fast combat res or go through the raid short handed. Most raid leaders assumed this duty themselves.

Honorable mention: Players that ran the Sonic Breath right into the raid or into the tank.

Ultraxion – Fading Light and Hour of Twilight

One of the easiest mechanics in the game yet has claimed so many lives. Raid wipes hinged on people both hitting “the button” at the right time and not hitting “the button”. Getting the occasional death? Sure. Getting consistent deaths? What the hell, man. And there was a 5 second grace period which is like an eternity.

Actually, the times I died was either because my macro wasn’t on the bar, or I hit it too early. When you’re used to fighting Ultraxion on hard mode and then downshifting to normal mode, old habits die hard.

Nefarian – Missing an interrupt

Prior to the nerfs, you needed (at minimum) 6 solid, reliable interrupters (or 3 on 10 man). Shaman classes dominated here because Wind Shear was awesome. If even one person blew an interrupt on phase 2, the entire raid wiped after the platform exploded.

I was tempted to switch to my Resto Shaman alt for this one.

Teron Gorefiend – Ghost

Beating Gorefiend was like spinning Roulette. We all prayed that the ball didn’t land on that one player who struggled night after night. They couldn’t reliably kill their ghosts without the instance of the others. I kid you not. One night, there was a conversation that went something like this:

“It’s hard to turn the ghost, target the enemies, and click on the different abilities to kill them!”

Vent turned silent.

Supremus – Running

People that couldn’t run. Goddamnit. How can you not outrun the slowest, largest thing in the instance? Yes, Supremus had a quick dash if you were too far. BUT STILL. You didn’t have to outrun him forever. You had to outrun him long enough so that he switched phases!

Professor Putricide hard mode – Unbound Plague

Putricide on hard mode was one of my favourite fights during Wrath. It was one of the ultimate exercises in teamwork. Players had to coordinate who had the debuff, who didn’t, and who could take the debuff. You had situations where a dirty person mistakenly ran into a clean person too early. Did it too late and you run the risk of dying. Eventually you’d run out of people to use if the Unbound Plague debuff didn’t wear off. Thankfully, the debuff only last for about 60 seconds — But it was 60 seconds of steadily increasing damage.

Archimonde – Air Burst

I observed that people with really bad depth perception struggled like crazy on this fight. Air Burst would knock players up really high and Tyrande gave you feathers to slow your descent. They had a hard time gauging where the ground was and how long it took before they pancaked. I can understand the Fires being a problem because they were often unpredictable. I remember I was kept way out in the back with no way to get within range of my groups because the fire had cut me off. But at least with tears, you have some semblance of control when to hit the button.

Lurker Below – Spout

World’s easiest mechanic which also claimed many lives. Yes jumping into the water meant you’d take some damage, but it was hardly even fatal. I’m quite ashamed to say that I was the worse at this largely because I was healing with 5 FPS. I stood directly behind Lurker (opposite the tank). I compensated for this by facing away from Lurker and looking at the water instead. Backwards healing so that I could smash my forward button and prayed it was enough time to push me into the water. With single digit FPS, you did everything possible to get as much of a lead off as you could.

Shade of Aran – Flame Wreath

Oddly enough, the biggest wiper of this tier was to people moving when they didn’t have to. Flame Wreath incinerated those with itchy fingers. They’d see a huge ring of fire around them and instinctively try to move after being constantly drilled to stand out of the fire.

The Lich King – Defile

The more you stand in it, the bigger it gets. This took us way longer then it should’ve to master. I view Lich King as 1 of my biggest failures for the group I had at the time. If I had been more ruthless, would I have been able to gather players that were capable of getting us through that phase faster? I don’t know.

Thaddius – Plus and Minus

“Is positive side his right or our left?”

Buried my face in my hands.

Magtheridon – Cube clicking

Ol’ Maggy had a channeling ability that would go off and nuke the entire raid. However, there was only one way to stop this — Synchronized cubing. If 5 people clicked the cube at the right time, his channel would be interrupted and he’d get pissed off at the raid and rage out. However, if even one person missed a cube click, the rest of the raid would rage out.

Raid’s sounded something like this:

“HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD OKAYCLICKRIGHTTHEHELLNOW

*wipe*

“… Okay, who missed it this time?”

“Sorry, boss.”

“Damnit Joey.”

Sindragosa – Ice Tombs

We had this one Mage back in the day. We entered the air phase with the Sindragosa Ice Tombs. Targeted players had to array themselves in a specific pattern so as to not nuke their partners. The rest of the raid ran to the top of the stairs and waited until the Tombs hit, then they had to run back within melee range and DPS the players out of the ice block (Hagara’s intermission phase was inspired by this).

Anyway, this one Mage would run to the top of the stairs with the rest of us despite the fact that he had the mark above his head from Frost BaconAnd he kept forgetting to move down to get the frost bombs away from us. It felt like every third raid he’d forget to do this. After about 6 raids of him consistently doing this, we were too tired to yell at him anymore. We pretty much just stopped saying anything and vent was super quiet when it happened. While we were still recruiting a replacement, I’m positive every person in the raid kept praying “Please target me with the Tomb. Please, please, please target me.”

Geeze, I just about aged a few years from this encounter alone.

Just thinking about all that stuff makes my blood boil.

… Actually, don’t even get me started about Blood Boil.

 

Things You Learn About Blizzard by Reading Forums, Comments, and Blogs

Every class is overpowered and needs a nerf.

Every class is underpowered and needs a buff.

Blizzard caters to the casuals.

Blizzard listens only to the elitists.

They never listen to what anyone says despite the fact that everyone is clearly smarter.

They listen to the 1% and make changes that are only bad for the game.

The game is too hard.

It’s also too easy.

Ghostcrawler’s main is a class that you don’t play. In fact, he always buffs the one that he plays and just happens to nerf the class that you play.

He has a yacht with a specific button labeled “NERF” which he uses on classes depending on his mood.

They’re biased towards the Horde.

Actually, they’re biased towards the Alliance.

They’re leaning towards PvP and battlegrounds.

They’re favouring PvE and raiders.

Everything was better years ago. Quality of life changes suck.

WoW is going to die. Like it was when AoC came out. When City of Heroes came out. When LoTRO came out. When Planetside came out. When SWTOR came out. When TERA came out. And when TSW came out. The next MMO’s going to do it and seal the deal. This time. For sure.

And Han shot first.

Staggered Raiding with Swagger

Cool, it looks like not every raid is going to be available immediately after the game release. I’m cool with that and I know others are, too. It took me less than half a week to level to from 80 to 85 and I predict it’s going to take me around the same time to go from 85 to 90. That should be enough time to hit cap and hit up scenarios along with dungeons for whatever points and gear needed. There’s still that minimum item level needed to queue for LFR.

My personal goal is to at least hit that mark before raids open.

How Blizzard used to slow content consumption down in the past

  • Really hard raid encounters that were near-mathematically or skillfully impossible without exploits (Vanilla)
  • Attunements (early Burning Crusade)
  • Gradually releasing bosses (Wrath, ICC)
  • Limited attempts (Wrath, ToC)

Now there’s no gimmicks or tricks. It’s just a straight-up “We’re not releasing this completed instance to you yet”.

There’s still a remarkable amount of players that are rather “upset” about the whole staggered and delayed raiding thing (if recent blog feedback’s an accurate indicator).

I’m going to use an analogy.

Let’s use swimming.

What if the race started before swimmers even reached the pool? Phelps and Lochte would have to race each other to change into their speedos, get their goggles attached, and put on their caps before sprinting and diving in the pool and racing their medley.

But now all the swimmers start at the line at the exact same time. Their speed and performance can actually be gauged by their abilities in the pool as opposed to how fast they can get ready.

If you think about it though, there’s going to be two races going on: First to hit level cap and the first to raid kills/clears. One shouldn’t impact the other.