1. #1

    My Pet Peeve with Atonement playing

    It's pretty cool when you have everything under control and potentially mildly to highly overgeared (see 5mans if you're 359-ish and up) but when the encounter is 'just' for my gear, e.g. Firelands on my 359-ish level I feel like it is very unreliable and I resort to Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending for mild raid healing and a 'proper' rotation of Penance, Shielding, Greater Heal/Heal etc. [on tanking]

    i.e. When my gear or other external setup makes me feel 'just' able to do an encounter, I resort to not using Atonement healing almost at all. And I do not think I'm useless in understanding the class. But, I make this message in case I do miss something since after all, it's only an alt.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by fateswarm View Post
    i.e. When my gear or other external setup makes me feel 'just' able to do an encounter, I resort to not using Atonement healing almost at all. And I do not think I'm useless in understanding the class. But, I make this message in case I do miss something since after all, it's only an alt.
    I'm not sure Atonement was ever meant to be the main ingredient in tank or raid healing. If you feel it's something you never use, or aren't sure of when to use, you may want to consider running a SoS/ToT spec instead. I prefer SoS spec for some fights and A/AA for others. For example, A/AA is great for Majordomo Staghelm. You can smite a lot in Cat phase and use up you Archangel in Scorpion phase. I've done all the normal FL fights as SoS Disc and everything but Baleroc as A/AA (I prefer SoS or Holy for Ragnaros but forgot to respec after MDS ). They're all doable in all three specs, so really it'a a matter of personal style and preference.

    If you feel you need to cast PoH a lot as A/AA, that's not necessarily wrong at all. PoH is very strong as atonement spec, stronger than in almost any other priest healing spec, especially if you consume Evangelism before casting it. There's no need to feel you're locking into Holy fire/smite just because you have the possibility to cast them, it depends on the fight mechanics.

  3. #3
    I have not tried any spec, besides the A/AA, and I've managed to find a use for Smite/Holy Fire in every encounter...currently a few dozen attempts into Rag normal. I'll admit, it's been rather tricky, using it in Ragnaros. There's a lot going on, in this fight, for sure, so I can't even address it, quite yet.

    As I look at the alternate spec, I really don't see much of an advantage, on the face of it. That doesn't mean I won't try it, at some point, however.

    I guess my point here is, I think the atonement spec is just fine, as long as one is aware that the offensive aspect is trivial, in at-level raiding, but the mana conservation is very valuable. Plus, what could be wrong about doing damage, while healing, and healing the one taking more damage, within range--all at once?

    Of course, it must be said---if the raid is taking AOE damage, or I'm having to move out of stuff, that's not the time to be casting Smite...(shocking, but true!)

    I do see the OPs point of view, about not using Smite, when faced with encounters that are new, or at the edge of progression. It's just not quite as frustrating, for me. I'm more bothered by fight mechanics and needless randomness...Atonement comes out, when it can be weaved in, just as bubbles, and any other spell.
    Last edited by Bluepoet; 2011-10-27 at 07:06 PM.

  4. #4
    What mainly bothers me about it is that the spec in whole appears designed to use Atonement. If you noticed if you do not use Atonement a couple of 'illogical' choices have to be made to cater for it [to workaround reaching the later tiers of the tree]. It's not my main so I don't remember exactly what but it didn't look so 'smooth'.

    Hence a spec that has invested so many points there 'by default' appears ugly to leave them unused when the encounter is 'just' for your gear. What is the point of giving 'strong' points at something when it is mainly used for 'easier' encounters.

    I bet the 'cookie cutters' of Pandaria will include it so it will be proven then (I haven't looked at the preliminary Priest choices so I'm risking it).

  5. #5
    Theres always time to cast Holy Fire its a fast cast and every 8 sec u can build ur stacks or maintain them. So u have Archangel ready when u need it for bigger PoH's. How i use AA/A in FL and did so from the start in 359 gear too.

    Beth: AA/A is good. Build up stacks on beth when ur top or on the drone when ur heal bottom, use AA when the AoE damage going on.
    Ryo: DPS the Spark while keeping an eye on the raid, this helps killing the spark and keep healing the tank, Holy fire on a leg to keep ur stacks.
    Shannox: Holy Fire / smite healing to keep the tank up, till the dogs die than Holy Fire to keep ur stacks.
    Alysrazor: Help out dps on the Bird that also keeps the tank alive when the bird isnt in a tantrum, the Burn phase is extra DPS and it tops people fast also good crits = good bubbles saves healing on a few when she gets back up.
    Baleroc: Not the biggest use for AA/A here, it doesnt give u a stack and he hits to hard to keep smiting. SO here just Holy Fire when the tank is topped or near topped just to keep ur stacks alive, when ur on the crystal targets Holy Fire when u can pop AA if u need to heal the tank.
    Majordomo: Holyfire/Smite in cat phase.
    Ragnaros: Not much raid healing going on, no heal from smite/holy fire here (boss size issue). Holy Fire when u can to get stacks so u can pop AA on Seeds, Holyfire/Smite on the Adds on the transition phases.

    These are normal fights, on HM i still have time to get me stacks with Holy Fire.

    Perhaps this might help u utilizing the AA/A spec in FL.
    Just remember, Holy Fire is superb to keep ur stacks up.
    Its a very fast cast and heals more than enough when the tank isnt in need of big heal.
    Last edited by DerrHans; 2011-10-28 at 09:06 AM.

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  6. #6
    I used the AA spec for Shannox HC whilst being assigned to healing the Shannox tank.With the amount of movement combined with the amount of healing, i only did about 500k damage, but that 500k might have been the reason we got the kill.

    On our Baleroc heroic attempts, i respecced disc back to SoS & ToT as i really didn't have the time to dps at all. Rhyolith heroic attempts i went back to holy, but have been considering disc for that fight - i see can advantages of both the AA and SoS/ToT specs for that fight.

    EDIT: On normal modes, i use the SoS/ToT build as the extra (albeit tiny) dps is not needed - although (self reflection here) i should try the AA to see if it suits the encounter.
    Last edited by Triage; 2011-10-28 at 10:39 AM.

  7. #7
    All I see with AA/A specs is Priests tying themselves in knots to get dubious bonuses.

    People like it because it is different, but I don't think it really makes much difference. Having another throughput CD in the form of AA is pretty nice, but Disc already has PI. The damage is negligible, and can easily be made up for by PI'ing a DPS, or simply not having to use a battle rez because you didn't heal someone while you were worrying about your Evangelism stacks. Pretty sure it works out to be mana neutral, or only a slight improvement. If the mana regen was that amazing, you'd see everyone flocking to it and only using AA/A specs. The Holy Fire addition seems pretty nice too, but leaving your single target heals partially up to chance seems like a bad idea for any kind of serious progression.

    The biggest reason I might take an AA/A spec would be for the added throughput from AA, especially on AE phases, or on fights like Halfus that strongly favor the mechanic. Otherwise, the whole thing is like a giant Rube Goldberg device. If you are able to do encounters with AA/A specs, and you don't feel like you are gimping yourself or your raid, then more power to you. But as far as I'm concerned, drop all that extra crap and just heal people!

    Interesting point: with the new MoP Priest talents, at least as they stand now, both AA and PI are available to all three specs (even Shadow). That means they won't be able to keep the Evangelism mechanic Disc-only anymore, and you will pretty much get access to it for free. You do have to give up Divine Star and Surge of Light though.

    Also: the guy who used up our Priest karma at Blizzcon to ask why he couldn't solo as Holy will now be able to use AA on solo content.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by fateswarm View Post
    Firelands on my 359-ish level I feel like it is very unreliable and I resort to Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending for mild raid healing and a 'proper' rotation of Penance, Shielding, Greater Heal/Heal etc. [on tanking]

    i.e. When my gear or other external setup makes me feel 'just' able to do an encounter, I resort to not using Atonement healing almost at all. And I do not think I'm useless in understanding the class. But, I make this message in case I do miss something since after all, it's only an alt.
    you dont use atonement to heal, you use it for archangel buff (there are certain fights on which some priests use atonement to heal, like alys or shannox, but its just one of options, never a must have)
    using your other tools to actually heal is a way to go, while atonement (smites/hf) are in most occasions just a filler to keep stacks up so you can pop wings when you need +healing buff.
    so from what you wrote i think youre doing fine

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felade View Post
    All I see with AA/A specs is Priests tying themselves in knots to get dubious bonuses.
    The biggest reason I might take an AA/A spec would be for the added throughput from AA, especially on AE phases, or on fights like Halfus that strongly favor the mechanic. Otherwise, the whole thing is like a giant Rube Goldberg device. If you are able to do encounters with AA/A specs, and you don't feel like you are gimping yourself or your raid, then more power to you. But as far as I'm concerned, drop all that extra crap and just heal people!

    Well, yes, A/AA is most useful for added throughput, but has the added benefit of some filler DPS. I'm not sure why you think there is added value in directly healing someone with Heal instead of using Atonement?

    Sure, I prefer SoS Disc for some fights, but it's hardly the end all and be all. On AoE fights I feel downright gimped as SoS Disc (Beth, Majordomo, Roylith).

  10. #10
    Disc is one of the few specs in cataclysm that actually had a decent bit of parity. The problem is that the "SoS/ToT" aspect became polished fairly early in the expansion, where as the "AA/A" aspect never really felt elegant, nor clean.

    If you can spare the 5GCDs between "raid hit" events for Atonement, the 15% boost during strong PoH use is more than worth it. If it isn't feasible, then you have SoS/ToT. If you just don't like the added responsibility of managing AA/A, that's also fine, but it isn't a good reason to pan it as "bad." With a little practice, you can make AA/A maintenance as natural as ProM on CD, Rapture every 12.

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