Preparing for the 8 second Dispel

Preparing for the 8 second Dispel

If you haven’t been keeping up with the little beta changes and updates that have been going on, there’s something you should know.

Don’t worry, it isn’t as game breaking as Spirit Shell having it’s mechanics reworked or anything.

Our Purify (formerly known as Dispel) now has a a rather large 8 second cooldown attached to it. I get the need to cut down on Dispel’s usage. PvP needs to be made a little more exciting and what not.

The PvE ramifications are just as important.

In a party

Shado-pan Monastary is one of the new instances that opened up with a minimum requirement of level 87. Inside the instance, there was a fair number of mobs that had some sort of magic debuff that would afflict members of my party. On the boss encounters, I noticed any debuffs were applied one or two at a time. I dispelled one quickly and responded with steady, mana neutral Heal to maintain that player’s health. If the party started taking AoE damage, I targeted the debuff affected player and casted Prayer of Healing and would switch between single target and Prayer of Healing as necessary.

I could use Mass Dispel. Technically between Mass Dispel and Dispel, I can rely on them to remove debuffs if they’re applied one after the other. Doing that is going to be costly to your mana. Depending on the debuff duration, it might be better off to dispel one person and then heal the other until their debuffs expire.

Haven’t tried a raid environment yet. All I know is if current boss mechanics were coupled with Mists Dispel mechanics, we’re all in deep trouble. There’d be no way we could blanket  remove negative magic in time without resorting to Mass Dispel.

Blizzard developers would need to scale back and be a little more critical when it comes to any debuff inducing bosses. Ultimately, we just need to play smart with our dispels. The option of not dispelling a player in favor of healing them may well be a necessary strategy to adopt depending on what new raid bosses are like.

Solutions

Let’s classify magic debuffs into two major categories. When responding against debuffs, you need to get a little creative and look at ways to bail out your players. Ideal solution? Simple dispel. But assuming your dispel is now on cooldown, what’s your next choice?

Impairment

This refers to any ability to hinders your character from doing anything. This means any slow, any stun, a freeze, or control loss.

With your allies stuck, they need to get out of a bad situation pronto. Let’s say Jeremy is frozen in place after a Frost Nova. They can’t move and they have no way of breaking themselves out. You, being the smart player that you are, dispelled yourself first. There happens to be a giant shadow underneath Jeremy which indicates a large meteor is about to squish him in half. Mentally, you know that meteor is going to crush him before your Dispel is available for use.

You can use Leap of Faith to extract him. If that’s not available, drop a Pain Suppression and pray that’s enough to ward that meteor.

Find a way to move the player, if possible.

If you can’t give them a movement boost, look for a way to ensure that they survive through it.

Damage

Any debuff that inflicts damage. This could be any DoT, a delayed nuke, etc.

Your allies are about to experience some large dents in their health pool. You can’t get that debuff off of them. Your only option is to brute force heal the players through it until the debuff expires on it’s own. If you don’t think your rate of healing can level off or offset the rate of damage, then resort to a cooldown. Guardian Spirit is a perfect insurance spell.

Speaking of bugs, I’m not sure if this is intended or not. The 8 second cooldown on Purify only triggers if a negative debuff is removed. I can spam Purify on myself without any debuffs without tripping the 8 second cooldown.

Or is that intended? I can’t remember.

Reminder: Updated Dispel Mechanics

Just wanted to post a quick reminder of the dispel changes. Every healing class has the capability to remove harmful magic effects from friendly targets. You may have to talent into it somewhere, but it is possible.

In encounters going forward, any highly important buffs that need to be removed will come in the form of magic. Other negative debuffs will annoy the raid or make life a little more difficult, but they will not get to the point where the encounter becomes literally impossible to do.

For example, if Lich King were to become a Cataclysm encounter, Necrotic Plague would be a magical ability so that any healing class could remove it.

Druids

Remove Corruption – Removes a curse and a poison (Removing magic requires the Nature’s Cure talent).

Paladins

Cleanse – Removes a disease and a poison (Removing magic requires the Sacred Cleansing talent).

Note: Protection and retribution paladins cannot cleanse remove magic.

Priests

Dispel Magic – Removes 2 harmful spells from allies or 2 buff spells from enemies.
Cure Disease – Removes a disease.

Note: Shadow priests cannot remove diseases in Shadowform but can still dispel. No change to Body and Soul. It will still remove a poison if you Cure Disease yourself only (Won’t work on others).

Shamans

Purge – Removes 2 buff spells from enemies.
Cleanse Spirit – Removes a curse (Removing magic requires the Improved Cleanse Spirit talent)

Note: Disease and poison removal abilities have been removed. Yes, that includes the totems.

Mages, warriors, hunters and warlocks (Fel Hunter) have no changes to their dispel mechanics.

Actually, come to think of it, Necrotic Plague is still going to be a disease in post 4.0.1. That means the only way to remove it is by having a priest or a holy paladin in the raid.

Oh dear.

Hopefully, it’ll be hot fixed so that it becomes a magic effect or something. Unless they don’t expect anyone to raid past 4.0.1. Right?

Changing of Dispel Mechanics

These changes went up the other day and are altering the way us healers do things. I gotta admit, I am more the intrigued in how the system is being set up. Here’s the summary:

  • Druids will be able to dispel defensive magic, curses, and poison.
  • Paladins will be able to dispel defensive magic, diseases, and poison.
  • Priests will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and disease.
  • Shaman will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and curses.

This leads me to conclude that upcoming encounters in Cataclysm will revolve primarily around removing magic. Also, is anyone else a little confused about the way they’ve worded defensive magic and offensive magic? I’ve read it as all classes can remove magic debuffs on friendlies while Priests and Shamans can remove magic buffs on enemies. I did have to think about that one for a good minute to make sure I had it right.

How this affects raid utility and healing

* Protection and Retribution paladins will lose their current ability to dispel magic.
* All shaman will lose dispel disease and dispel poison in exchange for Restoration gaining dispel magic.
* Restoration shaman, Restoration druids, and Holy paladins will need to talent into their defensive magic dispels.
* Shadow priests won’t be able to remove disease in Shadowform.
* Mage, hunter, and warlock will retain their current dispel mechanics.
* Body and Soul remains the same, and basically any dispel mechanic not mentioned above is currently planned to remain as it is.
* When possible, we’d like to combine dispels into a single action. For example, the druid ability to dispel curses and poisons might be a single spell with a Restoration talent that also allows it to dispel magic. This part of the design isn’t finalized, however.

On encounters like Rotface, I’d usually ask a Prot Paladin to handle dispels since they’re the ones on the outside anyway (on 10 man at least). With this change, this means that I’ll need to assign a healer to take care of that. It shouldn’t be a significant problem at all. What it means is that the healing “bandwidth” is going to get a little clogged up more with extra dispels that need to be done.

To be honest though, I don’t foresee it being a serious issue. As a reflex healer, I’m already spending my GCDs on player dispelling anyway and on some fights, I like to have a fun competition on the dispel meters to see who can squeeze off the most and the fastest.

For example, you know that guy in Warsong Gulch who just sits around while the rest of the team is killing the opposing flag carrier but is just spamming the space around the carrier with right clicks and your jaw drops in amazement when they return the flag even though you could’ve sworn you got to it first?

Yeah, that’s me!

I’m also thinking that encounter mechanics will change so that poisons, diseases and curses won’t be as punishing to the raid unless you’re on hard modes. My expectation is that debuff mechanics will simply need to be healed through since if you don’t have the class composition to cleanse it, there isn’t much that can be done. With the pool of available dispellers narrowing, there is a greater emphasis on healing teams to contain at least 1 healing class of each type. Just having the classes alone aren’t enough since non-Priests will need to talent into the ability to dispel.

As for PvP, I’m not too sure what effect this change alone will have. It’s going to make things increasingly tougher, I would imagine. But let’s not forget the increased stamina change coming to all the classes. So for example, while that Rogue you’re engaging has all his poisons on you, I imagine it wouldn’t be as deadly at 85 as it would be right now in the game.

Don’t forget about the Cataclysm class information changes. They’re coming out with them tomorrow (at least for Shamans and Priests).

Discipline without Penance – Can It Work?

Discipline without Penance – Can It Work?

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This is a guest post from Wistoovern, a Discipline Priest who takes a closer look at Penance to see if it’s really all that

There are some instances in World of Warcraft where individuals who take a role proceed to redefine it into "non-traditional" role. For example, there is the player that decided to level without killing anything, or the hunter that decided not to level ranged weapons at all, but instead maxed out melee. These people are proof that your characters are flexible, unique, and can fill roles that others would not immediately think of.

Along these same lines are character builds that involve or ignore talents and spells that others find key. I’m speaking specifically of the new Penance spell that all of the Discipline priests that I have met so far are just ga-ga over. However, while it might be an efficient spell depending on how you use it, I beg to differ when it is said that a Discipline priest must have it in order to be a viable party/raid healer.

My initial thought to the spell was, "Why? Priest spells have a certain ‘flow’ to them; a spell like this is only going to throw everything out of whack." Well, imagine my surprise when so many Discipline priests started extolling its virtues. Personally, I am still unmoved. I do not believe that this spell is key to Disc healing – after all, we did without it for so long. But shall I go into specifics as to why it is not so as important as others might think?

  • Stop Assuming you need it - Yeah, it’s a 51-point spell. But do ALL Beast Mastery Hunters use Beast Mastery? It’s not too long ago that Lightwell was at the top of the Holy Priest’s tree, but did anyone actually use it? Taking a talent without making sure that you will use it efficiently is useless.
  • Dual Tasking? – Let’s be honest – priests are not hybrid classes. We’re not meant to do both healing and damage at the same time. We really get to pick one or the other. We do a good job at either one (nice shadow priests, GOOD shadow priests…), but both at the same time is impractical or inefficient. So a spell that can either do heals or DPS depending on who is targeted? This can be a big problem.
  • I Mean Really, Dual Tasking? – There are only two other spells that we have that works like this: Holy Nova and Dispel Magic. However, the priest that considers Holy Nova a crucial part of his healing spells needs a reality check, and Dispel Magic (and Mass Dispel, fine) is not going to be an issue if it’s cast on the wrong target (unless you REALLY had to dispel a DoT or effect off of a player and you miss).
  • Did I Do That? YES! - Let us not forget Mr. Urkel and his occasional mistakes with such horrible results. Imagine that you go to heal someone in your party, without realizing that you have a mob targeted that has not yet been pulled. Oops…not only are you making new friends FAST, but your tank probably won’t have time to pull it off of you. Any other heal, and this would not be a problem – in fact, the inability to use healing spells on enemies can help you.
  • The Hell Does That Mean? - Well, here’s a trick that I used to use in Hyjal and Kara. Target a mob that you have to Shackle, and after they’re Shackled, leave them targeted. When you click your keyboard buttons for heals, the system will TRY to heal your target. Oops, you have an enemy targeted, so it will instead give you the "grayed-out finger" pointer. Then, just click on your healing target. Sounds bulky? It’s not! It’s a click tap-click to healing someone. Advantages: no need to use a focus, and you can still pick up the shack quickly if it breaks. Disadvantages: slightly slower than normal, takes a little getting used to, will not work with Dispel Magic…or Penance.
  • What He Giveth With One Hand... – When the GMs build spells, they do it with careful consideration to effect intensity, cooldown, casting time, mana cost, and reagent cost. If they did not, you’d see Instant 50,000 damage spells that cost 100 mana with a .5 second cooldown. No, every spell that they give is balanced through the various aspects. High effect? It will have a high casting time or casting cost. Instant effect? High mana cost or cooldown. Low mana cost? Reagent cost. And when it comes to pure healing spells, cooldowns can be death (literally). Waiting for a heal to be available – or, rather, a heal that so many people think is just "so awesome" is a crapshoot. If a six-second cooldown can kill Circle of Healing, how is Penance so great with a TEN-second cooldown?

I can’t deny that a lot of the numbers for Penance look really good. But assuming that this spell is going to be a Discipline priest’s best friend is like assuming that all druids have feral sets (they don’t) or that all Warriors have Titan’s Grip. I’m not saying don’t use it – just don’t be so surprised if your Discipline priest starts laying down the heals without Penance. It can be done. Really.

AddOn: Dispel Announcer for Raiding and PvP

AddOn: Dispel Announcer for Raiding and PvP

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I finally found me a mod that I think will benefit all Priests regardless of their purpose or style of healing. Actually, it doesn’t have anything to do with healing at all. What it does is it announces Dispels in a chat channel of your preference. It’s fairly flexible in the the settings (see below screenshots). I do believe it works with Mass Dispel as it announced me taking off a Paladin’s bubble and it works on offensive and defensive dispels. The Ace 2 framework is required for you to modify any settings.

More importantly,This addon has been fully tested on a Hunter dispelling enemy buffs with Arcane Shot and with a Druid dispelling poisons but it should also work perfectly when dispelling with any other skill.

Get Dispel Announcer from Curse.

It also announces when debuffs on yourself fall off such as Shouts and such.

Works in:

  • Say chat
  • Party chat
  • Raid warning
  • UI error frame
  • Default frame

Locations:

  • Outside
  • 5-man
  • Raid
  • Battleground
  • Arena

Anyway,  have a gander at the shots below and you’ll get a rough idea.

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