New Priest talents, Glyph of Dark Binding, and Tier 14 healing bonuses

New Priest talents, Glyph of Dark Binding, and Tier 14 healing bonuses

Mindbender is the third level 45 talent. It was a giant question mark before, but it looks like it’s another pseudo-Shadowfiend. On a 4 minute cooldown, the Priest creates a Mindbender to attack the target and the Priest receives 6% mana back when Mindbender attacks. It’s only up for 15 seconds.

Glyph of Dark Binding: You can now cast Binding Heal, Flash Heal, and Renew without cancelling Shadowform. Nice! I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a super, OP utility glyph. I wouldn’t call it a requirement or anything yet. But if it were up to me, I’d ensure every Shadow Priest in my guild had it on progression as a just in case measure.

Glyph of Penance: Increases the mana cost of Penance by 20% but allows Penance to be cast while moving. I can accept this tradeoff.

Glyph of Fade: Your Fade ability now also reduces all damage taken by 10%. Fade just became much more attractive.

Spectral Guise does not appear to be our level 87 spell (Watch it in action here). You can now find it as a level 60 talent (Check WoWhead’s talent calculator). Wonder what replaced it. Edit: According to Derevka, Void Shift is now learned at level 87.

Divine Insight has changed. It’s no longer just an improved Serendipity.

Original

Divine Insight
Serendipity
When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 20% and mana cost reduced by 10%. Stacks up to 2 times. Lasts 20 sec.

Shadow of Death
When your Mind Blast deals damage, there is a 40% chance your next Shadow Word: Death will treat the target as if it were below 20% health.

New

Divine Insight
Discipline:
When you cast Spirit Shell, there is a 40% chance your next Power Word: Shield will both ignore and not cause the Weakened Soul effect.

Holy:
When you cast Greater Heal, there is a 40% chance your next Prayer of Mending will not trigger its cooldown, and will jump to each target instantly

Shadow:
When your Mind Blast deals damage, there is a 40% chance your next Shadow Word: Death will treat the target as if it were below 20% health.

Can’t wait for beta servers to come back online. I want to check out Mindbender. I’m sure it’ll be mind blowing.

Have to admit, I’m a little sad panda at the loss of Serendipity. Maybe they made it a base line or something but I haven’t seen anything that indicates that yet.

Tier 14 bonuses

Priest

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Flash Heal by 10%
  • 4 piece: Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 4 seconds and reduces the cooldown of Circle of Healing by 4 seconds.

Shaman

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Greater Healing wave by 10%
  • 4 piece: Your Tidal Waves ability now grants 1 additional charge each time it is triggered.

Paladin

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of your Holy Radiance spell by 10% (Overpowered).
  • 4 piece: Reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second.

Druid

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Rejuvenation by 10%
  • 4 piece: Reduces the cooldown of Swiftmend by 3 seconds.

Monk

  • 2 piece: Reduces the mana cost of Surging Mist by 10%
  • 4 piece: Your Chi Wave spell will now heal 1 additional target
Atonement Priests in Mists

Atonement Priests in Mists

Edit: As of build 15640, Atonement is no longer a glyph or a talent. It appears to be a baseline ability built into Discipline and will not be accessible to Holy. Discipline Priests will learn it at level 60.

Plan on going Atonement? The process has changed.

For starters, Atonement isn’t something you talent into anymore. Instead, all the relevant abilities are located in your glyphs (See the above screenshot).

Atonement presently takes up a Major glyph slot. For it to continue being a strong style of healing for Priests, you’ll need to grab Glyph of Smite. You could grab Glyph of Holy Fire but it doesn’t seem to be as important. In order to be an Atonement priest, you must have the Atonement glyph and the Smite glyph. The Holy Fire glyph makes the spell instant but might not be a necessity depending on the encounters.

Not quite sure how I feel about moving Atonement from talents to glyphs. I understand what the move was made: So that Priests could really pick out their talents without feeling they had to force themselves down one route. At the same time though, limiting it to a glyph means that Atonement Priests don’t have as much flexibility either when it comes to glyph selection. I’d wager that you’d still have to grab Archangel in order to remain competitive.

The bright side is that you can go Atonement as Holy.  Chakra: Chastise increases the potency even further.

That third glyph slot?

You could go with the Glyph of Circle of Healing or Glyph of Penance as your two spec stapes.

There hasn’t been much change to the style of healing. If you’re comfortable playing Atonement right now, you should have no difficulties heading into the expansion. At least you can set up a specific glyph page just for Atonement.

Leveling as Smite spec? Still good to go (I’ve been doing it from 85 – 87).

Will you be giving Atonement a shot in Mists?

More Like This: Vodka vs Method Speedrun

More Like This: Vodka vs Method Speedrun

Forget arenas.

Forget rated BGs.

Give me competitive PvE raiding!

Vodka and Method, 2 of the world’s best guilds, going heads up in the Dragon Soul challenge hosted by Athene for charity. Last time we saw something like this was back during BlizzCon 2011 when Vodka and Blood Legion went at it live with some of their members on a stage in front of thousands of people.  When I watched those two guilds go at it during BlizzCon, the announcers and the overall event was really exciting to watch. Blizzard had some cool camera tools at their disposal and the plays were called by Ghostcrawler and Daelo. Blood Legion took that one after Vodka succumbed to heroic Ragnaros at the end.

If one wanted to devise story lines, there are a few things. The question on everyone’s minds is can Vodka avenge their loss and come back in the latest raid tier? A more subtle angle is the battle between regions: One of North America’s finest guilds vs Europe’s best. No faction questions here since both raid teams are Alliance (although I did find it interesting that Method was planning the switch to Horde).

Vodka

Between Method and Vodka, my money was on Vodka for winning out this one. They have the experience in an environment like this coming out of BlizzCon when they took on Blood Legion. Their strategies for time trials involve a high risk/high reward approach. They deliberately underheal (bring in less healers) in favour of additional DPS. In long run, this strategy pays off with faster kills as long as their raid doesn’t get overwhelmed.

Method

I honestly had no idea what to expect from Method. They’re one of the top guilds in Europe, but without much of an idea of their raid comps or seeing how they plan, I’m not sure what impressions to had. I figured they’d had their own set system and would stick to playing their style of raiding that’s gotten them this far. Nothing super complicated or anything.

Thoughts

Spoilers below. But if you don’t care, go ahead and read on:

  • Nice approach on Mor’chuk with the tanking positions. Most guilds usually tackle the two bosses side by side but with the advent of the timer, both guilds changed the position so that one boss was at the top of the ramp and the other was on the bottom.
  • The wipe on Zon’ozz slowed Vodka down significantly. I cringed but they’ll go on to recover quite well.
  • Both guilds kicking the lore aspects of the instance since it slows them both down (Vodka, especially).
  • Madness of Deathwing: Ouch to Vodka for losing a healer in a weird fashion with the platform jumps. That darn bug.
  • Athene and Kina: Would have loved more commentary throughout the stream on more aspects of the raid encounters as well as additional insight in what’s going on in the different mentalities of the guild as they go from boss to boss.

PvE power rankings

Guild Region Record
Blood Legion NA 1-0*
Method EU 1-0
Vodka NA 0-2

* I ranked Blood Legion as higher on the tie break since they defeated Vodka at BlizzCon live in front of thousands of screaming people.

Here we have the first ever PvE power rankings.

I personally believe that Vodka’s the better guild in the last engagement. The calculated risks they have taken have a potentially higher payoff and there were times where they came really close to clutching out and winning. But all those tiny mistakes and the assorted wipe does add up thwarting Vodka from getting their first win.

Another way to spice it up is adding an Iron man challenge of sorts. Finishing out an instance with the least amount of overall deaths. Wouldn’t just be enough to race the other team, but have to add that extra element of perfection.

To add a little diversity to future events, I wonder how feasible it is to revive some of the “older” raids. On a special server, adjust and inflate the stats of the older raid bosses so that they can remain challenging for the maximum player level.

The concept of a PvE raiding league has some merit. If it were up to me to start it, I’d set up an invitational 16 guild league (8 NA and 8 EU). it would take place over 8 weeks and then lead to playoffs. Each week would have it’s own instance/bosses of the week. Maybe week 1 would be tier 11. Week 2 would then be Firelands. Week 3 would be back to Black Temple. Week 4 could be Ulduar. Great way to recycle the older instances if it their stats could be made. Or the alternative is to lower the stats of the raiders so that they’re at level with the content.

But overall, I’m really impressed. Props to Athene, Kina, Vodka, Method and everyone else involved for an excellent event.

Priest 87 Ability: Spectral Guise

Priest 87 Ability: Spectral Guise

Spectral Guise is the current spell all Priests gain at level 87. as a talent at level 60.

Spectral Guise
30 sec cooldown

Your shadow blurs into the darkness, leaving your true form behind. As a shadow you are invisible, but remain in combat. Lasts 6 sec or until your true form is hit by 3 direct attacks.0

It seems much more suited towards PvP action than anything else. I can see it coming in handy for PvE stuff while you’re questing or if you’re one of the few people left alive in engagement.

What would help improve this illusion is if my clone taunted or if it casted a placebo spell dependant on my spec (Flash Healfor 0 or Mind Flay for 0).

Here’s a direct link to check out the video.

What do you think of Spectral Guise? Something you’d use?

The Return of the World Boss

The Return of the World Boss

Reason #78 why Mists of Pandaria is going to be awesome?

World bosses.

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. He’s got some massive cannons on his back. His actual name is Galleon but I prefer to think of him as Blastoise.

And no, he doesn’t shoot water.

Here’s a better screenshot below so you can actually see the scale of it.

WoWScrnShot_041412_161503

And it’s a dude on top of a… I forgot what the animal’s name is called. I’m not sure what the story line is, but he’s just chillin’ there in the Valley of Four Winds. Once he spawned, both factions sent raiding units to engage him. Must’ve been around 60+ players total that were chipping in DPS. We barely made a dent though.

Now you see, he’s got an ability called Stomp. In addition to dealing 100k damage to players around him and knocking players down for 3 seconds, it also has the ability to boot players off the server. However, after Mists goes live, I expect it to crash computers, restart modems, and cause neighbourhood power outages.

Did you ever have a chance to tackle world bosses during Vanilla or Burning Crusade?

Symbiosis and Monks

Symbiosis and Monks

I’m so flippin’ mad.

Times like this I wish I was a fan of golf instead.

But enough about that. Let’s get on to the highlights for this week. The beta cap in Mists has been raised. The big spotlight’s on Druids since they get Symbiosis to play with which impacts the rest of us.

WoWScrnShot_041412_200317

The great wall of Pandaria.

::

Overview of the Mistweaver Monk

In the weekly WoW Insider Raid Rx column, you can get an introductory look at the Mistweaver Monk (The healing one) and gain insight on how the class is supposed to heal. They’re going with a hybrid DPS/healing mentality with high mobility.

::

State of the Brewmaster

Sunnier has gone self hosting and has gotten a new look, new domain, and new everything. Wear sunglasses. It’s really bright. Other than that, you can check out her recent post on the recent state of Brewmaster tanks. A part of me thinks this might be a good expansion to give tanking a shot.

Then there’s the other part of me who isn’t going to trust the healer to keep my sorry ass alive.

::

Symbiosis: Practical Assignments

This is Lissanna’s part 2 of Symbiosis analysis. Found this way more interesting since she has a raid composition with 5 (five) druids. You think deciding things like Focus Magic was hard? Raid leaders will have another level of headaches with Symbiosis to deal with now and here’s a theoretical case study on how it would go.

Druid Symbiosis Abilities and Spells Other Classes Get

Druid Symbiosis Abilities and Spells Other Classes Get

Note: Last updated April 15, 2012.

Shadow Priests get Tranquility.

Healing Priests get… Entangling Roots?!

Since the level cap has been raised to level 87 on the beta, Druids now have access to their level 87 spell, Symbiosis. This is one of the more popular abilities in the game because it’s one of those things where every class has a vested interest in it.

What Druids get from Symbiosis

Guardian Feral Restoration Balance
Death Knight Bone Shield Death Coil Icebound Fortitude Anti-Magic Shell
Hunter Ice Trap Play Dead Deterrence Misdirection
Mage Mage Ward Frost Nova Ice Block Mirror Image
Paladin Consecration Divine Shield Cleanse Hammer of Justice
Priest Fear Ward Dispersion Leap of Faith Mass Dispel
Rogue Feint Redirect Evasion Cloak of Shadows
Shaman Lightning Shield Feral Spirit Spirit Walker’s Grace Purge
Warlock Life Tap Soul Swap Demonic Circle: Teleport Unending Resolve
Warrior Spell Reflection Shattering Blow Intimidating Roar Intervene
Monk TBD TBD TBD TBD

Sources and notes

1: WoWHead Mists of Pandaria Symbiosis Comments
2: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4427534745
3: Owlkin | Symbiosis Results
4: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1103278-MoP-Symbiosis
5: http://www.wowheadnews.com/blog=202586/symbiosis-breakdown-what-abilities-it-brings-to-each-class 

I did my best to cross reference spells and abilities in the WoWHead Mists database. Certain spells that had key words like “Energy” instead of a different form of energy used naturally by the class and spec, “Druid” or included certain Druid abilities like Rip are almost guaranteed to be the Druid form. Another dead giveaway is the level when the ability is gained (it should say 87). However, Not every ability lists that. In the event of inconsistencies, I deferred to the MMO Champion list as it’s the most recently updated.

What you get from Symbiosis

Death Knight Blood Frost Unholy
Might of Ursoc Wild Mushroom: Plague Wild Mushroom: Plague
Hunter Marksman Beast Mastery Survival
Dash Dash Dash
Mage Frost Arcane Fire
Healing Touch Healing Touch Healing Touch
Paladin Protection Retribution Holy
Barkskin TBD Rebirth
Priest Shadow Holy Discipline
Tranquility Entangling Roots Entangling Roots
Rogue Assassination Subtlety Combat
Growl Growl Growl
Shaman Elemental Enhancement Restoration
Solar Beam Solar Beam Prowl
Warlock Demonology Destruction Affliction
Rejuvenation Rejuvenation Rejuvenation
Warrior Arms Fury Protection
Stampeding Shout Stampeding Shout Frenzied Regeneration
Monk Brewmaster Windwalker Mistweaver
Growl Savage Defense* TBD*

* Speculation based on tooltips. Savage Defense costs 3 Chi. Chi is Monk only energy.
Wrath is listed as a Symbiosis spell but is not attached to a class.

Reactions

I don’t even want to think about how they plan to balance this ability for arena usage. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just disable it entirely, but I’m sure they’ll give it a spirited attempt anyway. The main purpose of Symbiosis is to give classes and specs certain abilities that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Mages get a Heal, for example.

Shadow Priests with Tranquility is pretty darn nice. Part of me wishes Holy Priests had it, but the other (sane) part of me knows that if that were to happen, Priests would instantly jump to the top. Divine Hymn/Power Word: Barrier and a Tranquility would be blatantly overpowered.

Wasn’t expecting DPS Shaman to receive Solar Beam, but since they’re all with the elements and stuff, I can see why.

Restoration Druids receiving Leap of Faith? I guess it’s payback time Sad smile.

Curious with the Balance Druids receiving Mass Dispel. Though it could be used as a more offensive ability since you don’t really see Balance Druids whipping out debuff removals as much.

Feral Druids receiving Divine Shield from Paladins. Ho boy.

If you notice a spell that’s in the wrong spot or if an ability’s missed, let me know but make sure you toss in a source (Screenshow, WoWhead link, or something).

Let’s assume you’re a Druid in a raid group with every conceivable class and spec compositions (Let’s say science is thrown out the window and the raid limits are higher than 25). Who do you give Symbiosis to and why?

 

Mists: Further Priest Changes on the Horizon

Mists: Further Priest Changes on the Horizon

Ghostcrawler commented on a Discipline feedback post earlier today.

To summarize the key points:

  • Confirmation that Spirit Shell is a spammable absorb that won’t be as powerful as Power Word: Shield. On beta, it fills the Heal role which is not very satisfactory. They are exploring the option of having it fill the Greater Heal position instead.
  • They’re exploring ways to bring Rapture back in.  However, they want it to scale with Spirit so that Discipline Priests don’t neglect Spirit on their gear.
  • Power Word: Barrier mana costs are comparable to Divine Hymn.
  • They’re exploring ways to reduce the mana cost of Mass Dispel but the spells is quite powerful and they’re considering the inclusion of a cooldown aspect.
  • Players running through dungeons and raids are saying they have problems casting big heals and they are looking into this problem.
  • The priest talents are still not finalized and will be undergoing further refinement.
  • Glyph of Penance sucks. Glyphs as a whole are incomplete and continue to be developed.

Personally, I find it refreshing to see GC back in action again offering glimpses into the world of game balance and the various developer thought processes. Rapture’s a way cool mechanic and all, but with the other changes and such, I’m not sure if finding a way to restore it back in Mists is a real priority.  Do you agree with the problems and solutions that are in the process of being implemented?

Mists: Spirit Shell, Chakra, and Party Healing

Mists: Spirit Shell, Chakra, and Party Healing

Blizzard issued another 100,000 invites today and I was lucky enough to get in. Derevka from Tales of the Priest also has the Mists beta enabled. I’m sure between the two of us we can help answer any Priest questions you might have (Save all the math and theorycrafting for him).

Biggest grin inducing experience though?

I SMITE FOR OVER 40,000 DAMAGE

On Spirit Shell

On the tanks

Spirit Shell is the new Discipline Priest “heal” (the 2.5 second cast that’s supposed to be mana neutral).

Something feels really off about it. it feels ineffective. I get that it’s used to maintain health of players. It’s the filler spell. But it’s a delayed heal. In a sense, I should feel the same using Heal and using Spirit Shell. But I find that the mobs and bosses just punch through Spirit Shell fairly quick. Since the shield gets broken, the heal aspect never applies (Since 80% of a broken shield is still going to be 0). Tanks aren’t gaining any real health with Spirit Shell.

When using Heal, I can see the physical health bar bounce up and down between heal received and damage taken. Spirit Shell causes the tank health bar to stay around the same or to gradually decrease. I rely heavily on visual bar movement to gauge how much time left before the tank or my party gets smashed. It’s really hard to gauge the buffer I have when using Spirit Shell.

Video of me wiping once on the first boss before taking him out on attempt 2.

 

I’m not sure if that’s a UI thing or just a priest thing (or a Matt thing). 8 seconds seems like an eternity before a heal gets applied. In a way, I feel as if though I get penalized in a heavy damage environment. Holy sees immediate dividends in when those healing spells are used because you can actually seeplayer health bars move. Discipline doesn’t (with the shields) and we’re left wondering if our shields are still active or if they’ve been punched through or not.

Yeah, there’s a spell graphic thats applied on players. But aren’t your eyes glued to your frames?

On the party

I could throw a Renew on players and they’d get enough healing on them or I could also throw a Spirit Shell and wait the 8 seconds for that to expire for the heal component to apply. Renew, I can use on the run. Spirit Shell leaves me vulnerable. I understand that they’re meant for different purposes, but in this sense, Spirit Shell can be used as a fire-and-forget kind of ability on that Mage who took damage but isn’t expected to take damage again for the next 30 seconds or something.

I’m not sure what it is. The spell’s a great idea and all. But in practice, something doesn’t feel right when healing in instances. I think there should be a minimum floor that the heal of Spirit Shell does (Heals for 80% after absorb expires, otherwise it heals for 20% of the initial absorb amount).

Chakra

chakra

Have to free up some more binds somewhere. Chakra: Serenity and Chakra: Sanctuary are separate abilities and need to be key bound separately. No more having to activate Chakra and cast Prayer of Mending to auto switch to Sanctuary.

Party healing

Admirable job with the balancing of regen and throughput. Temple of the Jade Serpent was fairly brisk the first way through after queuing with a group of random players. I’m queuing in with a mix of normal and heroic Dragon Soul gear (395 Item level, give or take). Raid geared players won’t have much of a problem with it all. Just don’t stand in the water and watch out for fires.

For reference, quest rewards in the opening zone are 372 greens.

Explaining Intellect, Mana Pools, and Spell Costs in Mists

Explaining Intellect, Mana Pools, and Spell Costs in Mists

Edit: Fixed comments to allow guests to comment without registering again. Let me know if you run into other bugs.

There’s been some discussion and confusion about mana pools, spell costs, and intellect. I was thrown off when I checked out some of the spell costs. Turns out, I had forgotten about the changes coming up for healers. Here’s a summary of the direction we’re going (all of us healers, not just Priests, mind you).

Even wrote about it in a Raid Rx column a while ago.

  • Every healer gets a static mana pool amount (100k mana).
  • Intellect affects the strength of your spells only. No longer increases mana pool.
  • Spirit still remains a mana regeneration stat. More Spirit, faster regeneration.
  • Many spell costs are being adjusted to account for the change to mana pools.
  • Mana regeneration based on mana pool size is gone.

Here’s a truncated version of the blue post.

With the change we are proposing, Intellect provides bigger heals and Spirit improves longevity. For healers, there should not always be a clear cut answer. Intellect may still be the superior stat, but not by as much as it is today. […] Mana pools can still be large (we are thinking 100,000 mana at level 85) so that it doesn’t feel too bizarre to existing casters and doesn’t feel too much like rage or energy.

What happened to our mana pools?

This is an idea of what the base mana pool of healers will look like. Assume none of these classes have chosen a spec yet.

  • Druid: 20,000 mana
  • Paladin: 20,000 mana
  • Priest: 100,000 mana
  • Monk: 100 Chi (Just a figure I’m using)
  • Shaman: 20,000 mana

Remember, pretend that these are base mana figures.

But there’s more

With the exception of Priests and Monks, each class gains an ability which modifies their mana pool when they select a spec.

Druids, Paladins, and Shaman have their mana pools dramatically increased by 400%. That should then bring everyone’s mana pool up to 100,000. When a Monk switches to Mistweaver, their energy bar will be replaced with mana. As they’re the only monk spec that uses mana, it’s assumed that 100,000 is the base value.

In addition, we think fixed mana pools will help healers scale better with content. Some players seem to be interpreting the 5.0 design as healing 5-player dungeons should be easy but healing raids should be very hard. That is certainly a better situation than dungeons being very hard and raids being easy, but neither is really the goal.

What about the costs?

Let’s use a few of the different healing spells as examples.

Greater Heal ends up costing about 6,000 mana (6% of 100,000). Greater Healing Wave and Divine Light end up being around 8,500 mana (35% of 25,000 mana). Remember that the percentages are centered around base mana which hasn’t been modified by mana boosting talents just yet. This means that their absolute values should be about the same range. Shouldn’t be off by more than a few hundred or a couple thousand. The variance is most likely due to the difference in class mechanics and spells.

So we’re going back to entry-level Cataclysm healing

In a word, yes.

As we were working our way throughout Tier 11, we had to really work on using our mana neutral healing spells (Heal, Healing Wave, etc) as much as possible. As our gear progressively improved, we found ourselves dropping Heal altogether from Firelands and above. Now we’re hitting the big heals and AoE heals more often. You can expect this long term model to stay the same for Mists.

A fight like Phase 2 Beth’tilac on heroic is about as mana-intensive as things get, and that phase doesn’t last very long, so your mana-regen mechanics and cooldowns should be sufficient to keep you going. That won’t change in 5.0.

I still don’t understand

TLDR: Think of mana as energy. It doesn’t scale or increase with gear. Mana regeneration will go up with gear allowing you to cast more spells before running out of mana.