Spirit-to-Hit talents: A Gearing Imbalance

I’ll say it right away: I hate Spirit-to-Hit talents. I despise them, even when I play as a Shadow Priest or Balance Druid. It feels wrong. I feel dirty when I have to adjust my healing gear to get as close to that 1748 Spirit rating as possible. It’s just not natural.

Being a healer at heart, Spirit for me has always been a regen talent. You need more mana? Stack more Spirit. This has always the philosophy for most healers. It’s a healing stat. It always has been.

But with Cataclysm, Blizzard brought in the idea of Spirit converting to Hit rating for our DPS Druids, Priests, and Shaman. While the main idea was to make gearing more flexible and less tedious for these classes, I think it also might have made it OVERLY flexible.

Hybrid DPS have more gear options

These hybrid DPS specs have more gear options than pure DPS classes and healers. They have the ability to roll on gear that has Hit rating, Spirit rating, or neither. That’s 3 options. In fact, they are only limited by armor-type and trinkets. Rings and necklaces? They can roll on ANY of them as long as they provide Intellect.

Mages and Warlocks have 2 choices for gear that prioritize Intellect: Gear with Hit rating and gear without Hit rating. They are also limited by Cloth. In comparison, Shadow Priests can also role on the same gear, but they also can roll on healing gear as well.

Healers also have 2 choices for gear: Gear with Spirit and gear without Spirit. Hit rating is out of the question, but we still compete with our DPS counterparts for gear since they can roll on Spirit gear.

Reforging eliminates the need for Spirit-to-Hit talents

With reforging, there is no need for these talents anymore. Hybrid DPS classes can easily reforge gear that lacks Hit rating. We’ve seen quite a bit of gear that lacks Spirit or Hit rating in Firelands and it keeps it quite neutral for both healers and DPS.

Convenience

I know many raiders will read this and think “WTF are you high?” The current Spirit-to-Hit talents are very CONVENIENT for raids. It allows healers to switch to DPS roles and vice-versa seamlessly depending on raid needs and doesn’t require fiddling with gear as much.

But while it’s convenient, it’s also imbalanced for gearing. Hybrid DPS have greater opportunity for gear and that is an issue that I believe Blizzard should address.

Buffs and Nerfs: I’m on a rollercoaster

The topic has been hot for the past week, especially among the Twitter community. There are quite a few opinions and a lot of good ideas that have been thrown around. I just want to briefly touch base on why the Druid community is concerned with these changes and what my opinion is on the matter. Continue reading

History of the Holy Priest

I’m a Wrath baby. I admit it. I played very casually in BC, but I didn’t start raiding until Wrath of the Lich King. My knowledge of Holy tree history only extends back to the last expansion, so it’s not nearly as vast as some other players, but I think it would still be interesting to take a look back at Holy viability and desirability between the two expansions. Continue reading

Ragnaros Down- A Bitter-Sweet Kill

My guild killed Ragnaros 10-man on Sunday on the second pull. We have been working on him for about 2 weeks prior to the recent 4.3 nerfs. We weren’t that far off, but we had only seen phase 3 once prior to our kill.

It was bitter-sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy we downed him, but it just didn’t seem as great as the time we downed Nefarian. We had only seen P3 once prior to our kill and believe me our P3 was extremely sloppy. 2 people died from lava waves. I died from a meteor. Another DpS died from a meteor. Then a tank died.

Over half the raid was dead and we still killed him. We all just kinda sat there until someone said “so that’s it huh?” over Vent. No one was as nearly excited as the time we downed Nefarian pre-nerf. There were no “FUCK YEAH!’s” in guild chat. The feeling of accomplishment just wasn’t there.

Overall, I’m happy that Ragnaros is dead (hopefully permanently this time), but I’m unhappy that Blizz had to hold my hand to do it.

Class Feedback- Priests

What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]

Both

If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]

Normal-mode Raids

If PvP, what type of PvP? [Arenas, BGs, Rated BGs]

BGs

What are your biggest quality-of-life issues? For instance, no longer requiring ammo could be considered a quality-of-life improvement for hunters.

I’d like to see Dispel Magic and Cure Disease be merged into one spell. All other classes have had this done. It helps free up button space on our bars and makes it easier when binding spells to our mouse or keys.

I’d also like to see Priests (Shadow more-so than any other spec) receive a LEGIT CC-type ability so they may contribute more to raids. Psychic Scream is too risky unless it’s glyphed and doesn’t last nearly long enough. Shackle Undead is situational and had much more use in the last expansion. Mind Control is also risky. I like the idea of Mind Control, but it doesn’t last long enough in PvE. It also takes the casting Priest out of combat because of it having to be channeled. I think I’d like the ability just to “incapacitate” humanoids for a greater amount of time rather than control their movements. A humanoid CC could also help leveling Priests as well.

What makes playing your class more fun?

I really like how Priests have a tool for just about everything. I’m happy that we have 2 types of healing trees that are very different from each other. I also like how both trees center around 2 different types of abilities (Power Word: Shield and Chakra).

What makes playing your class less fun?

We have a ton of spells in our arsenal, but we tend to spam ones that have the most efficiency. This causes many of our spells to take a seat on the back burner when they should be utilized just as much as our most efficient ones. Priests have a few spells that are very powerful (Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending) while the rest are merely mediocre (Renew, Heal, and Holy Word: Sanctuary).

How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)

Discipline:

  • Disc tank healing is very fun, especially with the Strength of Soul talent.
  • I would like to see Atonement healing become more viable with future bosses. Currently some boss hit boxes are so large that the heal can’t reach the tank (Al Akir, Ragnaros, etc.)
  • Raid healing as Disc is very spammy right now. Disc Priests spam Prayer of Healing with the occasional Power Word: Shield. I’d like to see more options for raid healing, such as a new AoE ability or make current spells like Renew more worthwhile to cast for Discipline.

Holy:

  • While Holy Priests have the ability to tank heal (much better than in Wrath) they still are extremely lacking. They don’t have the longevity and single target throughput required for many boss fights (Baleroc comes to mind). At a certain gear point, Disc Priests have the ability to spam Greater Heal without the fear of going oom. Holy does not have this luxury.
  • Raid healing as Holy is also very spammy, much like Disc. We have a ton of spells that can contribute to raid healing yet Prayer of Healing, Circle of Healing, and Prayer of Mending are the 3 that see the most use. Spells like Renew and our Holy Word spells have taken a backseat due to them not having the “oomph” required for the situation. It’s a real shame about Renew in particular because we have 5 talent points, a Chakra state, and a Prime Glyph dedicated to the spell and it is still lackluster.
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary can be so much more useful. It hardly gets used because of it’s outrageous mana cost compared with the minor amount of healing it does. It does ignore the “6-player or more” rule which has helped it gain more favor, but whether this was intended or whether it’s a bug is still yet to be determined (I’m leaning more towards intended).

What’s on your wish list for your class?

Priests:

  • Dispel Magic and Cure Disease be merged into one spell.
  • A viable CC (for Shadow if nothing else).
  • A reduction in mana cost for Priest DoTs. Holy and Disc can’t be offensive with DoTs in PvP because of the outrageous cost of Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague. Restoration Druids don’t have this issue.

Discipline:

  • A change with the Atonement heal range. Make that type of healing viable for bosses with larger hit boxes.
  • Implement another spell for Disc raid healing such as Renew or a brand new spell.
  • A change to the Shield Discipline mastery. Currently Shield Discipline only affects absorbs, which makes it a very weak stat for raid healing. It currently only affects Divine Aegis and Power Word: Shield. I’d like to see a Disc mastery that boosts both Healing and Shields to make the stat more attractive for raid healing. That, or bump the scaling that Prayer of Healing has with Divine Aegis.

Holy:

  • An increase in single target throughput. Make it more competitive with other healing classes like Druids and Shamans.
  • A talent that increases Spellpower. If the Devs want Spirit to be the primary source of regen for Holy then that’s fine, but give Holy a Spirit-to-Spellpower talent to help keep up with classes whose primary regen source is Intellect.
  • A buff to Renew. The Holy tree dedicates a lot to the spell and it’s current output is not making the cut.
  • A buff/change to Holy Word: Sanctuary. If you’re not gonna cut the cost of the spell, then buff it so it makes it worthwhile to spend the mana. The spell would be so much better if it scaled with Haste rather than Mastery.
  • A buff to Circle of Healing. It’s one of our staple abilities and it just doesn’t compare to it’s Druid equivalent Wild Growth. Part of this reason is because Wild Growth scales with Haste as well as Mastery and Crit whereas Circle of Healing only scales from Mastery and Crit. A buff to compensate would be great.
  • A change to the Holy Mastery: Echo of Light. Echo of Light is a unique Mastery and it is pure throughput for Holy Priests, but because it’s made into a HoT it tends to over-heal for most of it’s effect reducing it’s value in comparison to Haste. It also hardly scales with Renew, one of Holy’s defining abilities. I’d like to see it’s value increase to become more competitive with Haste.
  • A unique raid CD. This is another one of the main reasons why Holy Priests aren’t very desirable right now. Holy doesn’t offer any worthwhile CDs for raids right now, just a few mediocre ones. Power Word: Barrier is extremely strong for raids and is one of the reasons why players choose Disc over Holy. Holy has Divine Hymn (which is nothing, but an extremely weak Tranquility that temporarily boosts healing received for those affected) and Lightwell (which requires players to click it to even be effective.) Guardian Spirit is a very powerful tank CD, but it’s just that, a TANK CD. I would love it if Blizzard scrapped Divine Hymn entirely and had Chakra affect how Guardian Spirit works. In Chakra: Serenity have Guardian Spirit work like it currently does. In Chakra: Sanctuary have Guardian Spirit turn into a 3 min raid CD that prevents deaths and increases healing received for a certain number of players. Have it be place-able, and maybe even use a Spirit Healer graphic.
  • Example: Guardian Spirit- Summons a Guardian Spirit to watch over raid and party members. The Guardian Spirit will prevent up to 5 deaths and increase healing received by 10% to all party and raid members within 20 yards. Lasts 10 seconds.

How awesome would it be to summon a Spirit Healer in the middle of your raid knowing it would prevent raider deaths?

What spells do you use the least?

  • Renew- Just doesn’t pack the punch needed.
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary- Expensive and doesn’t heal for a lot.
  • Heal- Slow and doesn’t heal for much. Really only used to refresh Renew for Holy.
  • Flash Heal- Fast but expensive. Only good when Surge of Light procs.
  • Mind Soothe- I’ve only used it when soloing low level instances and want to avoid mobs.
  • Shackle Undead- Extremely situational.
  • Mind Control- Really only effective sometimes in PvP, like at the Lumber Mill or in Eye of the Storm.