(NOTE: not asking for every single one of these changes, please be aware im not looking for disc priests to be made OP. I’m simply suggesting various ideas i’ve had/heard of)
(not including mastery change)
normal: 100k heal
crit: 200k heal + 100k absorb (+mastery)
normal 100k heal
crit: 100k heal + 100k absorb (+mastery)
(including mastery change for overall balance perspective)
normal: 65k heal
crit: 130k heal + 88k absorb (including +36% absorb from mastery)
normal 71k heal
crit 71k heal + 87k absorb (including +23% absorb from mastery)
Just mastery change
normal: 65k heal
crit: 130k heal + 88k absorb (incl mastery)
normal 71k heal
crit 142k heal + 87k absorb (incl mastery)
(TESTING DONE ON PTR PRE 5.2)
Greater heal Crit – Full mastery reforged:
On Live, 180k heal – 130k shield = 310k overall
On PTR, 102k heal – 133k shield = 235k overall
Greater heal Crit – Full Crit reforged:
On Live, 180k heal – 120k shield = 300k overall
On PTR, 98k heal – 118k shield = 216k overall
Prayer of healing Crit – Full mastery reforged:
On Live, 69k heal – 50k shield = 119k overall
On PTR, 40k heal – 50k shield = 90k overall
Prayer of healing Crit – Full Crit reforged:
On Live, 69k heal – 45k shield = 114k overall
On PTR, 38k heal – 45k shield = 83k overall
That is something like a 25% nerf when you crit?
The latest patch 5.3 PTR changes have just been released and the PvP changes are very interesting:
There was a tweet earlier today from Blizzard hinting at a plan to fix the disparity between PvE and PvP gear:
We have a plan. It should also help with the fact that you can upgrade 5.3 PvE gear but not PvP gear.
This must be that plan. This looks somewhat interesting. People who solely do PvE will be able to enter PvP in their raid gear, but it’ll be scaled down to have similar power to the relevant PvP gear. It’s possible they plan for the presence of PvP Power on PvP gear to make said gear more powerful than PvE gear overall. The fact resilience won’t be removed from gear entirely will also aid in this department, especially if set bonuses remain. It might be present on a few offset items or perhaps simply trinkets to make sure PvP trinkets are stronger than their PvE counterparts. This is pure speculation at this point.
Blizzard has stated a blog post with additional information and an explanation for the reasoning behind these changes will be available very soon.
New Arena: Shado-Pan
- Gladiator hopefuls have a new location to test their mettle amidst the Kun-Lai mountain tops, in the training grounds of the powerful Shado-Pan. Players must make use of the looming tiger statues and fenced platforms to gain an advantage that will bring victory and glory!
New Battleground: Gold Rush
- In the new Battleground situated in the Valley of the Four Winds, the Alliance and Horde continue their war for Pandaria’s precious resources. While the two factions battle for control over mines, they must also protect their own resources from being stolen and turned against them!
Blizzard look to have a solid idea in terms of gear and are working on new content especially for PvP. Simply put: Great stuff!
There were a number of changes to Discipline in patch 5.2.0. The most notable been two essential glyphs becoming baseline, Focused Will stacking to 30% damage reduction and healing buffs in the form of Penance and the revamped mastery. However, there was one particular change that has inadvertently created issues and injected a number of weaknesses for Discipline Priests in PvP. This was of course the change to Divine Aegis—a passive effect that previously placed a shield on the target of a critical strike, absorbing 30% of the amount healed plus mastery.
Divine Aegis was changed in patch 5.2.0 to:
Divine Aegis now causes critical heals to apply an absorb shield on the target for 100% of the amount healed instead of healing for twice as much. In addition, it grants Power Word: Shield a chance equal to the Priest’s critical chance for the shield to absorb twice as much damage.
This means Disc Priests no longer provide double the amount of healing when they crit unlike the other healers. Instead, a critical heal remains the same as if it hadn’t crit and a shield is placed on the target equal to the amount healed plus mastery. We’ll come on to why this is a weakness in a moment, but let’s look at why this change was implemented first.
The reasoning for this change was highlighted in the Patch 5.2 Class Review:
In raiding particularly, Discipline priests were using an effective but boring “rotation” of casting almost nothing but Prayer of Healing (with a guaranteed Divine Aegis) while using Spirit Shell on cooldown… [We] redesigned Divine Aegis so that Prayer of Heal spamming would no longer be the right answer for every situation.
They went on to say the decision to change the Discipline Mastery to also provide plus healing was to keep mastery competitive with critical strike chance.
This suggests Blizzard believed Discipline Priests, prior to the Divine Aegis change, to be viable PvE healers—though perhaps somewhat overpowered with Prayer of Healing—and PvP wasn’t a factor when the decision to implement this change was made. They did at least consider the implications of Purge by making it so Divine Aegis can no longer be dispelled, but there are other problems with this change in PvP. Indeed, while absorbs provide effective healing in the constant damage environment of a raid fight, the nature of health pools in PvP is vastly different.
Of course this Divine Aegis can be effective in PvP. For example, where a team mate is taking constant damage or where a critical strike provides a team mate with more effective health, especially immediately prior to the Priest been crowd controlled.
However, topping people off in 3v3 arena is very important and is normally a solo effort unlike in raids. Furthermore, there are a number of regular occurrences in PvP where this proves to be a burden. Rather than explain them in a dull fashion, let’s assume a Priest is playing RMP and take an actual look at some of these occurrences:
Essentially there are three major problems and hopefully these, somewhat poor, scenarios highlighted them sufficiently. Firstly, the Divine Aegis component can be partly utilised or completely unutilised as opposed to the consistency of topping off a health pool, effectively wasting resources. Secondly, the lack of 200% critical strikes makes topping off a team mate more difficult. Thirdly, this requires the Priest to cast more heals and, therefore, spend more mana in order to top off a team mate. This third reason is particularly troublesome in conjunction with Disciplines regular poor mana longevity in PvP.
The reasons set out above aren’t the only implications of this change. The interaction of the new mechanic with other abilities, particularly Necrotic Strike proves to be very burdensome for Priests.
The inability of Power Word Shield and Divine Aegis, two mechanics Discipline Priests are balanced around, to count towards the Necrotic Strike saw the ability become very powerful against Discipline Priests specifically. With Renew been lacklustre, Discipline Priests essentially have Prayer of Mending and the glyph of Power Word Shield as their only instant heals and this glyph is no longer taken in Mists of Pandaria. This means Penance and Flash Heal are a necessity to clear Necrotic Strike.
With the 25% casting slow and the addition of Mind Freeze, Strangulate (or Asphyxiate), Ghoul Stun and Death Grip, Necrotic Strike proves especially challenging when casting heals. Furthermore, with the plethora of get out of jail free cards in the form of Desecrated Grounds, Lichborne and Icebound Fortitude, it’s difficult to peel a DK stacking Necrotic Strike. This is without even considering the utility of the DKs team mates. Finally, while it doesn’t clear the Necrotic Strike debuff, the extra survivability Power Word Shield provides has been weakened by the possible presence of a dispel provided by the Glyph of Icy Touch.
However, the Divine Aegis change has intensified this issue and has made a challenging situation a complete nightmare to survive. The lack of double criticals makes clearing the Necrotic Strike debuff much more difficult and requires even more casting. A possible solution to this issue is to make mechanics that absorb damage count towards clearing Necrotic Strike. For example, if a 60k Necrotic Strike was present and a Power Word Shield worth an 80k absorb was cast, the shield would clear the debuff and place a 20k shield on the target.
The initial suggestion would be the reversion of the change in its entirety and reducing the amount of healing done by Prayer of Healing if it’s too strong in PvE. Indeed, a reversion wouldn’t negatively impact the spec in PvE. However, with Blizzard also redesigning the Disc Priest mastery as a result of this change, it’s hard to imagine them simply reverting it. Therefore, let’s look at some other suggestions of how this change could be maintained, but these new resulting weaknesses extinguished.
In my opinion, the best way to combat these weaknesses would be to add a new ability along the lines of this:
There are two separate versions of this listed and both have their strengths and weaknesses. The version to the left would form part of you’re the normal rotation similar to Prayer of Mending. It wouldn’t increase the effective healing of Disc Priests, but simply provide the class with the ability to somewhat switch back to the old double critical mechanic where required. In fact, an ability like this shouldn’t benefit from Mastery and Grace to prevent it from double dipping nor be capable of a critical strike.
The ability on the right would be a cooldown more akin to Desperate Prayer. The addition of Power Word Shield and the fact it wouldn’t consume either Power Word Shield or Divine Aegis on the target, would provide Discipline Priests with a form of burst healing when required. This could be cast immediately after a critical strike or right after placing Power Word Shield on a target. This should benefit from Mastery and Grace and be capable of been a critical strike.
The version on the right would affect PvE balance by slightly increasing the healing potential of Discipline Priests. However, Discipline does seem to lack effective emergency cooldowns. Indeed, Barrier is still practically useless in PvP and utilising Void Shift (a six minute cooldown) still means you or the target needs healing. In fact, if the Divine Aegis change is reverted, it would still be beneficial to see the ability on the right implemented. Furthermore, to go slightly off on a tangent, Blizzard should consider making Divine Hymn baseline for Disc Priests, but offset this change for PvE by making it share a cooldown with Power Word Barrier.
While in no way intended to tone down Discipline Priests in PvP, the change to Divine Aegis and critical heals has unfortunately had this undesired effect. The difference between health pools and damage in raid environments and rated PvP is vastly different. The constant threat of switches and the necessity to top off team mates makes the Divine Aegis change a burden in PvP. This has also increased the effectiveness of Necrotic Strike, an ability that was already particularly strong against Discipline Priests. While it’s unlikely this change will be reverted, there are ways to maintain this change and this post has attempted to make suggestions.
Do you have a different opinion on this matter or your own suggestion on how to fix this issue? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
raw clips of my attempt to get rank1 so far with the abomination of a spec that is disc priest