>Life on the Beta and PTR

>While I don’t have a beta key, I did get a chance to play on the PTR yesterday to test out the new talents and spells.  I was able to copy Lunarsoul over (with no trouble, go figure) to test out the new Holy and Discipline talent trees.

I have to say, I was a bit overwhelmed, with the Holy tree in paticular.

Blizzard’s definition of a Holy priest:

A versatile healer who can reverse damage on individuals or groups and even heal from beyond the grave.”

I have to say we fullfill this definition extremely well now.

Chakra is awesome.  Combined with Revelations and State of Mind, it completely defines the Holy tree and fixes any previous deficiencies we had (tank healing in paticular).  I believe priests are truly unique again, and I forsee quite a few priests moving to Holy for its uniqueness, practicality, and extreme versatility.

Build 12984 has just hit the Beta realms, and while I can’t test them for myself, there are a few interesting new talents for Holy priests.

-Leap of Faith now costs 13% of base mana, down from 32%. Now has a 40 yards range, up from 30 yards.

All I have to say is thank God.  The previous mana cost made this ability extremely unattractive, especially in an environment where Blizzard has been putting stress on mana.

-Holy Nova now affects friendly targets (Old – all party and raid members). Base healing increased by 33% but the healing is now divided among the number of targets healed.

This was bound to happen.  Holy Nova was due for a nerf (a small one) to put it more in line with other AoE spells.

-Heal base healing value reduced by 25%.

I noticed this change for all healers across the board.  Currently on the PTR, it takes about 3 Heal/2 Crit Heal spells to heal a player from death.  My cast time for Heal is currently a little over 2 sec.  With the increased health pools, I don’t see why this was necessary.  Clearly Blizzard thought Heal/Nourish/Healing Wave/Holy Light were healing for too much.  I still don’t know how bad the damage spikes will be for tanks, but if it’s anything like H Festergut, it is going to get ugly.

-Holy Focus (Passive) *New* – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting any Holy or Discipline spell by 70%.

An expected update.  All casting classes are seeing some type of passive pushback ability.

-Revelations (Holy Word: Aspire (Renew)) base healing value reduced by 5%.

Our Renew spam ability with Revelations has already taken a hit.  It’s not much, but it still stings.

-Blessed Resilience revamped – Whenever you are victim of an attack equal to damage greater than 10% of your total health, you gain Blessed Resilience increasing all healing received by 5/10% lasting for 10 sec.

Holy priests have never been very popular in pvp.  Blizzard is doing it’s best to rectify this and make them more valuable.  I definitely like it more than the old talent.  Question is, does this ability stack?  If it does, sign me up!

Twirling Light is now a Rank 3 talent, down from Rank 4 and is now named Surge of Light and revamped – You have a 3/6% chance when you Smite or Heal to cause your next Flash Heal to be instant cast and cost no mana but incapable of a critical hit.

Surge of Light is back in a different form.  Oh how I’ve missed Surge of Light!  I’m excited its back in our talent tree.  It has an interesting mechanic that works with the whole “Smite spam/Evangelism” ability that Blizzard is trying to get us to do.  I’m also extremely pleased that Blizzard decided to attach Heal to the ability as well.  We will be able to weave in the occastional free, instant cast Flash Heal with our Chakra Revelations (Heal) abilities, plus this adds another HoT with our Echo of Light mastery.  The 6% chance means it won’t be available nearly as much as the old talent, but a nice, free Flash Heal will always be welcome in my book.

-Lightwell now restores {((2878.1+(SpellPower*.308))*3)*1.25} health over 6 sec.

A buff or a nerf?  I’m not really sure, the talent is still underwhelming.

-Improved Healing is gone.

I’ll be honest.  I was expecting this.  When I was on the PTR last night, I could literally spam Heal forever, even in Chakra-Revelations (Heal).  It was super cheap (a little over 200 mana at level 80).  Blizzard wants healing to be fun, and wants us to think about what spells to cast.

-Trinity (Tier 2) *New* – When you Smite three times in a row, your spell haste will be increased by 5/10% for 12 sec.

Blizzard is doing everything to make us Smite.  Literally EVERYTHING.  Between Evangelism/Archangel, Trinity, and Surge of Light, you reap quite a few rewards from smiting when no healing is required.  The spell haste is absolutely tasty and can quickly save a tank with a nice quick Heal or Flash Heal.

This is the current build I would utilize with Build 12984.

Holy Build 12984

You have a choice to put a talent point in Spirit of Redemption, Lightwell, or Desperate Prayer.  I personally never use Desperate Prayer, and Lightwell…. well I think we all know how we feel about Lightwell.  So Spirit of Redemption is my personal choice.

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