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.

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