Priest Tier 10 Changes: Right Idea, Wrong Timing

Thespius covered his thoughts on the proposed tier 10 changes yesterday so I won’t rehash his words. In this post, I’m going to try see if I can logic out why the changes were made.

You know, there was a PTR patch not too long ago where Priests received similar tier changes. I can’t remember if it was tier 8 or tier 9, but the details were some percentage increase based on some spells. Actually, it might have been tier 10.

Whatever. The point was, it was the PTR, and the change wasn’t final. In fact, the finished product ended up being radically different to what it was initially (I have a strong hunch it was tier 9).

Right now, I’m really super skeptical that this change will make it live as it is. The entire internet blinked at the changes. Personally, I think its a placeholder change. Numbers can always be adjusted later. I’ve done a lot of PTR bosses and they’ve always worked on fleshing out the encounter details before tweaking the numbers (Faction Champs on the PTR was AoE’d down instead of CC’d and single targeted). Maybe set designs are the same process.

Now, let’s discuss the bonus itself. I’m in a fairly unique position where I can say I am neither a Holy Priest or a Discipline Priest. I am a healing Priest and I’ll switch to whatever spec is deemed necessary. Naturally, I shot straight for the 4 piece right away because I wanted to give them a shot. I’m also going to compare this with the Ret Paladin 2 piece (On melee swing, resets the cooldown timer on Divine Storm).

  • How often does it really get used? I know there are clutch moments when you’ve chained 2 back to back Penances or got that extra Circle of Healing when it counted. But that’s not exactly the norm. I get those too. But more often than not, I get the cooldown reset and I end up not using it because no one needs a heal at that particular moment in time. What ends up happening is that by the time I use it, the amount of time that passed would have been the same when the spell was on cooldown without the reset anyway.
  • Overhealing and not enough health: To build upon the previous point, the heals are held when the cooldown resets to preserve mana and preserve the cooldown. No point in using it when no one needs that heal. Looking my Ret Paladin for a second, I watch that Divine Storm cooldown like a hawk. The moment it’s up, I slam that ‘3’ key like no other. Sometimes I’ll get 3 in a row and I’ll not use my Judgment or Exorcism or whatever spells simply to work that Divine Storm cooldown again. What’s the difference between this and the healing? When you’re DPSing, the mobs you fight end up having a lot of health. This makes the spell much more useful because there is a chance you can end up using it more times then you normally would. In fact, as a DPS, you end up using those abilities everytime the cooldown is 0. Anything that resets the cooldown is a plus.

    But as a healer, you’re not healing players with 80000 health. You’re not getting a maximum gain back every chance the cooldown is up because it isn’t always used. The health ceiling is too low. The only encounter where you would use up the Penance cooldown every time would be on the Dreamwalker fight. A Disc Priest just alternates between Penance and Flash Heal and lights up Penance everytime it resets on Valithria herself. In that sense, they are no different than a DPS player. The difference is that the bar increases instead of decreases.

    With the current raid health, we just don’t get those kinds of opportunities enough.

  • Constant versus proc: You can tell where I’m going with this one. The proposed changes are a constant. They will always be in effect. One of my Priests in the guild likes to refer to proc chance items as “The Vala’nyr Effect”. Its absolutely awesome when the proc lights up, but its just like any other item later. Having a constant is (usually) better since it’s always there. I love my Vala’nyr to death, but sometimes it just fires off at non-opportune or non beneficial times (“Crap, I got the buff when I’m stuck inside a giant frozen ice block or am busy running out of this really long trail of purple fire”). Straight buffs are straight buffs.

All in all, if our current tier bonus does end up changing, I do hope they file this set bonus in the “future tier 11/12/13 set bonuses”. It was a great idea and I know many of you were pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. Maybe when the increased health pool changes go up (during Cataclysm), we can make it really shine.

Anyway, I still maintain that the PTR is the PTR. This is the direction they’re leaning toward and it’s either a placeholder or the numbers will be changed later. What we do definitively know is that there will be a change to it.

Now if you really want to make it interesting, here’s my proposed T10 change:

4 piece: Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to remove the Weakened Soul debuff on that target.

How is that for complicated? Probably overpowered. But that’d be kinda fun to play with.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Interesting post sir.

    My issue is that Blizzard is talking out of both side of their mouth on this. They said just the other day that they wanted to give healers ‘more interesting procs’. And they did with Priest 4pc… it wasn’t just a passive improvement. Then, they come out and REMOVE our ‘interesting’ proc.

    My issue is: A % increase in throughput on certain spells and abilities is not immediately indicative of awesome. % increases are perfect for dps classes, but healers… ehhh it depends. While yes, 5% improvement on renew (for holy) is kind of nice.. however it does not rival a Rejuv of a druid. If you need more hots… bring more druids. (not to mention the high Overheal on renew anyway). holy priests are the KINGS of burst healing… weaving flash heal to get serendipity stacks, and followed by a POH then COH = win. The old set bonus provided even more (albeit on RNG) AWESOME procs (see my post about my thoughts on the HOly 4pc in end game raiding here : ) The penance 4pc CD reset was great… especially for Tank healing Discs. My guild (currently 7/12 Heroic ICC25) ALWAYS rolls with a Disc on the tank… why? Because the mitigation is amazing. Bubble spamming Disc’s of course, like the new 4pc for raid healing, but it is a net loss for Tank discs. I have major concerns wit this change.

    I sincerely believe this change was brought about by people complaining at Blizzard about how it sucked! and we needed a new one… but most of those people didnt even bother to try it out… with PowerAuras tracking the ‘flash heal!’ buff was simple… and provided incredible increases to COH’s throughput. (I increased COH’s effective heal by 30% with the bonus up, thats huge)

    I really hope this doesn’t go through to the live servers. (Bubble spammers everywhere, I’m sorry… I disagree with you on this one)

    BTW- your proposed 4pc is interesting, however what would it do for Holy? When does Holy want to reset WS?

    • @Derevka: Quick reply – To refresh Body and Soul 😀

      Actually, I have no idea. I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. I was in a rush toward the tial end of the post :\.

  2. I’m hoping they’re just placeholder numbers and that we will actually see something more like 12-15% when the change goes live. In that case, I would probably end up speccing into Renew for the first time since I switched from Holy to Discipline!

    I mean, it’s the final tier of the expansion. The 4-piece SHOULD be amazing!

  3. In future tiers I hope healers will not play more, but rather less like DPS. Dreamwalker encounters are nice as long is it is the exception. If I wanted to play DPS again I would just need to go back and dust off my 70 Mage ;).

  4. I disagree on many levels, unfortunately. The current 4 pc is flat out amazing for disc & holy. Yes, it’s unpredictable, but the logs reflect how powerful is is, and I sure as hell appreciate it healing ICC 25 Heroics. I’m certainly hoping its a placeholder value, as it doesn’t hold a candle to healing gained from the current set up. I won’t crap up your forums with spam, but you can read my reasoning, as well as Derevkas here:

    .-= Avalonna´s last blog ..Why I think the T10 4 pc set Bonus Change Blows Goats =-.

  5. I’ve been talking to a few of the priests in my guild about the T10 4pc, and they all agree that while the 4 piece is powerful, it is by no means overpowered or underpowered. It’s unpredictable, but that’s what makes MMO’s interesting. It gives you the ability to make snap decisions of “Should I use the proc and hope for another? Or save it a few more seconds for when I might need it?” The 4 piece they’re proposing looks like utter garbage. If you look at the 4 pieces of every other class and spec, they all involve some form of RNG or something really interesting. I’m calling to mind right now the Balance Druid Tier 10 4 piece. “Your critical strikes from Starfire and Wrath cause the target languish for an additional 7% of your spell’s damage over 4 sec.” THIS is interesting! It adds the equivilent of Ignite for Fire Mages! That’s something tangible that I notice when it procs! But this new one is just making me /sadface, along with pretty much every priest who knows what they’re doing with the current four piece.

  6. Hmmm. I do agree with most of what you said, matt, but I don’t think that proposed change will be any good for Holy specs. Maybe make some long cd reset? Or have a chance at an instant cast? (Which would be lovely for Greater Heal or some others.)

    I’m still on the fence about the change. I’ll just have to try it out and see… If I ever get the chance. 😛
    .-= Ari´s last blog ..Pugging Pally =-.

  7. Why the heck do I care about removing weakened soul on my target if I’m holy?

    • Felade: Heh, I haven’t thought of an equivalent holy version yet.

      (So you can make them run faster with Body and Soul)

  8. thinks i enjo this post

    (4 piece: Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to remove the Weakened Soul debuff on that target.)

    its cool ,, but we still need the Weakened Soul debuff for the 4% crit from talents.
    also its wont be good for holy ( I m Disc )

  9. Who cares about the 4 set bonus until they do something about the 2 set bonus? :

    About that idea for a new set bonus, how about for disc it removes the weakened sould and for holy it refreshes the renew on the target?

  10. Not sure why people are saying a 5% disc shield buff is underpowered — at 4000 SP it’s equivalent to almost 300 spellpower on PW:S. That’s 20% more spellpower than the 4pT8 bonus gave, and every disc priest I know was deeply in love with that one.

    Though, to be fair, the 4pT8 bonus gave it to all spells and not just shields. But, with shields making up a massive portion of the healing of certain styles of disc play (raid mitigation via shield spam), bumping the bonus to 10% would be like giving that particular style almost a straight 600 spellpower buff.

    But I do agree the new bonus is definitely boring.

  11. the prior COH bump was actually good. but you had to play the class the way it should be played and not as a wanna be tree fail renew bot.

    the disc one sucked, pennance is channeled. = fail.

    new disc one is decent, boring but decent.


  1. […] On the same day Thespius of World of Matticus made a similar post.  He’s got some useful math’s from other people as well as an… interesting point […]

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