More Quests Like This Will Help Healers

More Quests Like This Will Help Healers

*Warning: Some quest spoilers here for players working their way through Twilight Highlands*

There’s these two Alliance quests that I want to point out. I think every player should do them at least once. Well, maybe every player that’s new to the game or isn’t as knowledgeable about healing classes. For the longest time, healers have tried to educate and teach players about healing circles. Turns out there are a couple of quests in the game that help players familiarize themselves with select healing mechanics.

Look at the Wild, Wild, Wildhammer Wedding quest. In it, you’re busy fending off Twilight Hammer cultists as they try to crash this wedding. Russell Brower, that hip lute (I think) playing dwarf, sets up a wedding hymn! And there’s in game prompts telling you to stand in it so that you regenerate.

The graphic looks exactly like Holy Word: Sanctuary.

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In an expansion where players have been conditioned to stand out of fires and void zones, they’re standing out of friendly stuff as well. I wish this quest would’ve been offered earlier on during the zone. More players would have been exposed to it. Hopefully, that exposure could then help recondition them to recognize the graphic and actually use it.

Actually, let’s take it a step further.

Why not have every healing circle as part of a quest? Standing in glowing circles should be reinforced at every level or zone. Maybe an Earthen Ring Shaman is dropping Healing Rain in Vashj’ir in some multi-NPC quest. Design another quest where a Druid representing the Guardians of Hyjal are using Efflorescence. Or set up another boss killing quest where that boss has an ability that nukes a blast radius. Have an NPC discipline priest who conjures up a barrier that a priest should stand under. I don’t know. I think it would help and reduce healer headaches in the dungeon finder.

Speaking of cool quests, there’s another one that’s priest related. Doing it Like a Dunwald involves players killing Darunga in a phased out part of the zone. You’re working with the Dunwald brothers and taking down an Ettin. One of the Dunwalds, I can’t remember which one, sets up a regenerative keg where players can click on it and they gain a HoT.

Now gee, what spell exists in the game where players can click on it to gain a HoT?

Yeah. That’s right. Lightwell. I wouldn’t mind seeing additional introductory quests in future content patches where players need to click something to gain a positive buff. Have that object look like a Lightwell.

My other idea to encourage players to click Lightwell is to create a glyph which turns a Lightwell into a Keg. Would players be more inclined to click Kegwell?

Side note: In case you were wondering, Russell Brower is a composer who composed music for World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2. More importantly, he did sounds for Animaniacs (Man I loved that show when I was kid. “United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru…”. No other song helped me destroy my friends when we tried to name as many countries as possible [We were young. Starcraft didn’t exist then and we were tired of playing with pogs]).

P.S. Curious about the new UI I’m testing out? It’s called Real UI. You can check out my evaluation of this addon compilation on No Stock UI.

More on the Power Word: Barrier Glyph

Disc priests, how has your experience with Power Word: Barrier been so far? If you have been engaging i raids, you might discover that the Barrier seems to simply fall over and crash upon absorbing a large hit spread out over multiple people. At least it is doing the job of prevention and absorption. If there is no damage flying around, it lasts for 25 seconds tops.

But did you see the glyph for Power Word: Barrier?

Increases the healing received while under the barrier by 10%.

Assuming you utilize the prime glyph, this begs the question.

If the barrier only lasts a couple of seconds, then the glyph will be of little to no use. This begs the question. Is it better to deploy the massive shield in anticipation of a big hit? Or is it better to top everyone off, allow the big raid ability connect, and then put up the shield to help accelerate the healing process somewhat.

On the other hand, the barrier is meant to absorb damage. Doesn’t that go against the spec? If we simply let the big damage attacks go through and then healing right afterwards, we’re not using our full skills.

I guess this means there are two variables to figure out:

The maximum amount of damage people will take under the bubble versus the actual healing that would be delivered with the 10% increase.

I’m not quite sure if this would affect anything in my healing plays. I can see myself calling for a barrier after a big hit. That is largely to help accelerate the healing and to get everyone back in the green. It seems to me though that barrier already has a “cap” in place in the amount of damage it absorbs. But with the glyph, anyone under the barrier gets extra healing done on them. The only way that will wear off is if the barrier disappears due to time elapsed or if it breaks from absorbing too much damage. In fact, it is very possible that a doctor can take pictures that fast.

More stuff to get used to, sadly.

Priest Changes Announced! Your Thoughts?

Priest Changes Announced! Your Thoughts?

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Some of the announcements were those I had expected. But there were a few surprising ones too! Check out the official blue post!

Expected

Heal: Yep, I figured they’d bring this back. Flash Heal is a 1.5 second cast, Greater Heal is a 2.5 second cast (untalented) which means that Heal will lie somewhere in between. I remember using this spell quite a bit during my downranking days in Burning Crusade and Vanilla. But yes, that’s another direct heal for us to use. Flash Heal will be on the side in favor of Heal.

Prayer of Spirit is gone: I expected this would go too. Last month, I asked in a post whether or not Spirit would be removed. My logic was that since Spirit would become a mandatory stat for all the healing classes, there wouldn’t be much of a point in having a buff around that did that. They removed it from raid buffs like Kings and Gift of the Wild. It didn’t make sense for Divine Spirit to stick around either. Guess that answers that question.

Radiance: Wow, that seems a little overpowered. It’s like converting Glyph of Prayer of Healing into Glyph of Everything Healing. Every direct heal now has an additional heal-over-time at the end of it. I think several weapons in the game had an effect like this as well.

Power Word: Barrier: Totally called it. Although knowing my luck, it might not make it past the beta phase :(. Almost two years ago, Kestrel interviewed me and served me a helping of my own 20 questions (I haven’t done them in a long time actually and I kinda feel like bringing it back. Any ideas on who I should interview?). One of the questions he asked was what the Wrath of the Lich King 51 point talent would be like. I said:

Matt’s version – 12 seconds, channeling, 2650 mana: Draws on the spirits and ancestors of all party members of the Priest to create a large bubble, capable of absorbing 22945 total damage to players within a 5 yard radius. While the barrier is in place, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. Players in the party within the Barrier can not be affected by fear or silence effects. 5 minute cooldown.

Blizzard version – Who knows?

Ridiculous and overpowered? Yes. Thank goodness I’m not a game designer. But I’ve always secretly wanted some sort of group shield. Later on during the development cycle for Wrath, I remember reading a post saying that the devs wanted to introduce it, but ran out of time or something. Now it’s being pushed back to Cataclysm.

Anyway, so it looks like it’s just going to be a big shield that hits an entire group. I don’t think it’s going to be a smart spell in the way Circle of Healing was. I suspect it’ll hit every player within a single group which offers a fair degree of predictability like Prayer of Healing does. Nope, GC just clarified it. It’s going to be similar to the Death Knight Anti-Magic Zone. So it’s going to create a bubble somewhere on the ground and players that stand in it will have any incoming damage absorbed (and not just spell damage like AMZ since it’ll absorb all). Already in my mind, I can picture of myself casting Barrier on one group and then casting Prayer of Healing on a different group. Think of how many lives you’d be able to save even further on something as simple as Stinky! As for shield strength? Possibly on par with or stronger than an individual shield.

Internet? Can I get an internet fist bump?

Deep down inside, there’s a little me that’s screaming “Yay! Blizzard liked my idea!” but I know better. It’s probably a spell that someone deep in the dev team already coined and it just happened to be a coincidence. I’m glad to at least see that there are plans to introduce it.

Unexpected

Leap of Faith (I’m calling it Life Grip though): Oh my goodness, a defensive Death Grip that Priests can use to pull compromised players out of fires! I can see a ton of intriguing abuse for this especially in PvP. Need to get the flag to safety? Have them run below the graveyard and Life Grip them up. But yes, I can certainly see the application in raid environments. It’s got a 45 second cooldown so it can’t be too abused. Note how it says that it’s expected to help rescue players who have pulled threat. I wonder if it functions as a minor threat lowering ability. The problem now is that I foresee other players complaining and saying “Well why didn’t you life grip me out?!” and opening yet another can of raid worms.

Inner Will: It’s various Mage armors for Priests. Sort of. This one increases movement speed and reduces the cast of instant-cast spells. It’s either Inner Will or Inner Fire. I suspect in most cases, we will use Inner Fire. During phases where we need to hustle, we’ll switch over to Inner Will. I wonder if it’ll stack with Body and Soul or the 85 equivalent of Tuskarr’s Vitality.

Holy Form (sort of): There’s a new talent that tips Holy Priests into a super-saiyan form when they chain cast Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The effect will vary based on which spells have been cast. Perhaps a stronger AoE heal, a stronger single target heal, or harder hitting ticks from the Renew? Nice to see them add some more interesting effects for the Holy Priests. [Edit]: GC also stepped in and elaborated further saying that the talent (called Chakra) allows the Priest to temporarily specialize in something like tank healing, group healing or even Smiting.

Lesser Power Word: Shield: It hasn’t been confirmed as being in the plans for Cataclysm yet, but it’s something that has been discussed. A second (and slightly less potent) Power Word: Shield that’s exclusive to Discipline only. The aim is for it to be used on multiple targets. I suspect it’s been inspired by the massive shield casting style of raid healing Discipline Priests and this does make sense. At the moment, Discipline has limited tools in handling AoE or raid wide damage. We had to rely on establishing massive shields before the attack hit and follow it up with a Prayer of Healing or something. Since Mana management is going to play a more important role, shield spamming wouldn’t be a viable option anymore unless a smaller Shield was introduced. Interesting idea!

Actually, if you look at the Mastery Passive bonuses, you’ll see Absorption is listed under Discipline. Conclusion? Increased emphasis on Power Word: Shield (and the lesser one if it’s in the game), Power Word: Barrier, and the various Divine Aegis bubbles.

Our Shadowy brothers got an interesting mechanic change with the introduction of Shadow Orbs. Reminds me of the little floating things that Troll Priests used to have back in the day. Anyone remember those?

Okay, time for bed. Tomorrow’s Raid Rx on WoW.com will have a full analysis of the dispel changes, and what the Shaman and Priest proposed changes will look like in future Cataclysm raids (at least, in theory).