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  1. #1

    Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    I recently stacked some crit gear on my poor unsuspecting shadowpriest and turned him into an LOLSMITE machine. I enjoyed the change of pace in playstyle, but I was really just turned off of the whole idea because of all the limitations. Smite was a subpar nuke, holy nova was in most cases just a huge waste of mana, and holy fire was a laughable excuse for an immolate-function spell, despite it's cooooool animation.

    With the new changes to Holy fire, being:

    Consumes the enemy in Holy flames that cause 890 to 1130 Holy damage and an additional 350 Holy damage over 7 sec.
    290 Mana, 2 sec cast, 30 yd range, 10 sec cooldown

    knock that 2 sec cast down to 1.5 with 5/5 Divine Fury, I feel that this will do a lot of good for holy priests. Although I would to have loved to see a talent along the lines of "Holy Fire increases holy damage done to the target for the DoT duration." to give it a little more raid/group synergy (albiet, only with paladins), I think this is a step in a positive direction. Before, if you touched holy fire once during a fight, you were either making yourself a huge "HEY! I'm casting a huge long spell, and if your interrupts aren't off cooldown, they sure as hell will be by the time I'm done with this spell" beacon in pvp, or significantly reducing your DPS in pve. Now it seems like we will have a more positive spell rotation that, at any rate, will aleviate some of the boredom.

    As for talents that'll increase the viability of Holy DPS, there are a few changes that really look positive. Moving Enlightenment down to Tier 6, and the added +5% to spell damage, was a fantastic move. Also, twin faiths gives another +5% spell damage. Along with Imp DS, and Spiritual Guidance, you're looking a ton of damage from talents alone.

    Looking at the shadow tree as a dump for spare points (with 5/5 reflective shield, 1/1 PI, 2/2 Surge of Light, you're looking at 8 extra points), Spirit tap is going to be key, especially for leveling. The spirit bonus not only MORE THAN DOUBLES the extra spelldamage you get from spirit (including the +10% spell damage on top of the bonus), but allows your mana regen to tick away while you're still casting. The only grievance I have with Improved spirit tap is that it'll only proc on shadow crits, which won't benefit from the talent that increases the crit chance of your holy spells. Granted those two spells are on a cooldown, so it makes sense that you wouldn't be able to chaincrit holy nova on your group and get that +50% regen infinitely. However, including Holy Fire to the improved talent would keep it balanced, give it more synergy with a holy DPS spec, and make this holy dps build a heck of a ton better.

    All in all, I think that they improved the viability of this build a bit, but it's still not on par with the damage, utility, and CC shadow offers. The only way to make this a lucrative choice for priest specs is to accentuate the fact that you can pump out some healing along with respectable damage. Although, I feel like you really have to sacrifice one for the other, and a true hybrid holy dps/healer won't give a huge advantage over just speccing for one or the other.

    Edit: Also, I think it'll still be a joke in PVP, unless you consider a dreamstate-like healing hybrid build. That actually might not be bad to look into...

  2. #2

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Are you asking about levelling or a level 80 pvp/e spec?

    Personally Id like to level disc/holy with the build below (getting SoR at lvl 71) but I dont think holy dps is very useful at level 80 for anything other than a "fun factor"


    Level 70 spec-

    http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/...00000000000000
    (or something similar)

  3. #3

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by thepreacher
    Are you asking about levelling or a level 80 pvp/e spec?
    Well, I'm just focusing on the changes to the spells/talents that will make any holy dps spec viable. I included only the last points per tree in my synopsis because I feel like those are necessary no matter which you're trying to do.

    If I were to modify the build specifically for leveling... I would start with SoL and spirit tap, then fill out disc to get PI asap, then reflective shield last.

  4. #4

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Houndy
    Well, I'm just focusing on the changes to the spells/talents that will make any holy dps spec viable. I included only the last points per tree in my synopsis because I feel like those are necessary no matter which you're trying to do.

    If I were to modify the build specifically for leveling... I would start with SoL and spirit tap, then fill out disc to get PI asap, then reflective shield last.
    PvE: End game holy dps builds still arent going to bring any value to a raid setting, just as it is today.

    PvP: While it may be fun in BG's it certainly isnt optimal for Arenas.

    Opinionated Conclusion: Good alternate way to level if you dont want to go shadow (allowing you to solo and heal 5-mans decently). Not too good for anything else.

  5. #5

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Having a 1.5 sec cast with a dot after, and then wanting to buff the DoT dmg is worthless because the DoT gets overwritten, and reduces the dmg of it. Also, there arent enough pure holy dps talents out there. Disc is full of utility things, and holy is obviously flooded with healing. It's possible to skirt around these, but there just isnt enough. I actually went smite spec'd for a kara run once. I had ~1200 +holy dmg, and got a ret pally and resto shaman (still got WoA and heroism) in my group. This was before the PI change, so I was stacking trinkets + 20% more dmg. Yes i got really high crits, yes i actually pulled aggro on some trash mobs. But when it came down to long fights like prince, chaining pots just didnt do it. I held 1400 dps until he was at 30% then i was worthless and oom. Part of the issue is making holy dps crit based (surge of light) but not increasing the crit dmg. Also, its just too damn mana instensive. Personally, i love playing as smite spec, but it's just not viable atm, and i doubt it will be in wotlk =/

  6. #6

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    There are different strategies for using holy DPS, for example one is to alternate a holy nova heal on your group (with 20% crit chance and 5 targets including yourself for healing, statistically you'll get at least one crit every time) followed by a mana free smite, rinse repeat. But you're right. There aren't enough specific damage talents to warrant a full dps role. However, like you said there is a lot of utility in the disc tree, and that's where you're gonna make a holy smiter worthwhile.

    I really think this idea brings a lot more to 5-man groups than it does to pvp or raids. The only real success I had with a smite build was in 5-mans. I tried it around the time Ahune was spawning, and instant smites knocked out those little elemental buggers in one hit. vurry nice :3

    And you're right, damn it's fun xD

  7. #7

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Believe it or not, a good smite priest can be a welcome addition to specific raids. As much as anyone mightn't like to admit or see, a Disc/Holy hybrid build pushes the highest DPS that priest can offer. The issue is the lack of mana and health return that is found in the Shadow tree, which makes the Shadow build a useful and good raid member. However, in statistical testing done for four priest builds, Shadow showed the least amount of DPS, both in single combat and in sustained combat, but the lowest amount of variance. This inherently makes logical sense if you consider the mechanics of the Shadow spec at the moment.

    At Spell Damage of 650 (an easy number for any cloth wearing caster to get), hit rating of 75 (again easy), and for the smite builds at crit chance around 21%, the numbers came out this way: Shadow (47S/14D (avg. dmg = 424.9, std. dev. = 15.3), Discipline (47D/14H) (avg. dmg. = 463.9, std. dev. = 15.97), Hybrid (34D/27H) (avg. dmg. = 519.7, std. dev. = 14.33), Holy (16D/45H) (avg. dmg. = 495.5, std. dev. = 35.4). Comparing these through a two-tailed means test, you see that the Shadow build is significantly lower DPS than the other builds and that the Hybrid is significantly higher. Further analysis of variance will be needed to explain the source of any other variance.

    Having personally raided as smite DPS, I competed with two very well geared hunters for the top DPS slot at around 800. The point with the build is not to ask more than really is there with the smite Priest: you have, at most, four damage spells which should be considered when DPSing (Smite, HF, SW:P, SW). Note that I leave Mind Blast off this list, since as you are talented for Holy damage, you shouldn't worry about Mind Blast. The crit generated Surge of Light proc is your best friend in this build. For short fights, you really only need to use Smite and SW. For longer, more mana intensive fights, the use of SW:P and any other racial ability, then Holy Fire, before smiting is always a great rotation for maximizing sustained DPS.

    If you so desired, I will post the numbers gathered to generate these statistics.

  8. #8

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    I'd love it if you posted your numbers. I read through a 14 page thread on elitist jerks about holy dps not too long ago and didn't find any kind of raw data like this that supported holy dps as a more viable damage output build. And 800dps makes it seem like you were raiding around t5 level, pre-ZA, is that right?

    Also, if you could post those individual talent builds, I'd like to compare the results of your test with the combinating of talents used in each one. Would you make any significant changes to your highest dps build considering the changes to the talent tree in Wotlk? What do you make of penance?

    The change in holy fire for a smite build in wotlk will also make keeping that sustained dps chuggin away without losing soooo much time casting that behemoth. Despite the better mana efficiency, it was always hard for me to pump out a holy fire while I was in a nice smite groove, and you can forget it if PI was up.


  9. #9

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Shadow (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/...10240103051551)

    433.9, 386.5, 408.0, 428.5, 420.8, 424.5, 426.7, 436.0, 434.3, 440.2

    Mean = 424.9, Std. Dev. = 15.3, Confidence Interval at 95% alpha = p(418.7 <= mean <= 431.1)

    *note read (<=) as less than or equal to.

    Discipline (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/...00000000000000

    473.8, 497.3, 476.1, 455.5, 449.9, 459.6, 471.1, 448.6, 453.2, 448.1

    Mean = 463.3, Std. Dev. = 15.97, CI of Mean @ alpha= .95 = p(456.42 <= Mean <= 473.21)

    Holy (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/...00000000000000)

    575.8, 488.9, 545.2, 486.8, 463.9, 472.2, 476.9, 469.3, 509.3, 466.4

    Mean = 495.5, Std. Dev. = 35.4, CI of Mean @ alpha = .95 = p(473.5 <= Mean <= 517.5)

    Hybrid (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/...00000000000000)

    481.8, 520.4, 526.8, 527.6, 509.5, 525.5, 524.1, 533.0, 525.1, 523.6

    Mean = 519.74, Std. Dev. = 14.33, CI of Mean @ alpha = .95 = p(510.86 < Mean < 528.97)

    These are the basic numbers I was looking at. Again, this was a controlled test at an equal level of statistics. I will have to consider some of the additions, but the hybrid build from my first thought will gain a lot from getting some things that they weren't able to receive in TBC just due to the lack of talent points. (BTW, my job had several rainy days and I was bored when I did all this; working outside sucks when rain makes it too dangerous. So yes, in other words, I have no life. =D)

    Also, yes, I was raiding at that level for DPS. Healing is my primary aim.

  10. #10

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Like you mentioned, a great thing 10 extra talent points is doing for hybrid builds is giving them the opportunity, if a player isn't too enticed by the new end-tier abilities, to really fill out the stronger talents at the ends of a hybrid build's trees. I'm almost convinced that I'm going to be leveling my priest holy smite, especially since the PWS changes will make casting on mobs that are hitting me a lot easier on the mana and time.

    Edit: Thank you very much Moderators. :

  11. #11

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Astounding new evidence has come to my attention:

    Persecution: 3/3 Gives your Holy damage spells 4/7/10% chance to Incapacitate the target for 3 sec.

    Holy blackout? Hot damn, this spec is looking better and better!

  12. #12

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Houndy
    Astounding new evidence has come to my attention:

    Persecution: 3/3 Gives your Holy damage spells 4/7/10% chance to Incapacitate the target for 3 sec.

    Holy blackout? Hot damn, this spec is looking better and better!
    Incapacitate isn't a stun...

  13. #13

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by thepreacher
    Incapacitate isn't a stun...
    Aye, but given the timing of dot ticks, it may last anywhere from 1 second to 3 seconds. Also, if you happen to get this to proc off of holy fire, then the first tick of DoT doesn't come till 3 seconds anyway. In addition, even if it was a .0001 second incap, it's still a spell interrupt.

    I'm willing to take anything as far as talents to improve being offensive with Holy, so hey

  14. #14

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    I *think* they took that out, which may or mayn't be disappointing. That said, I've basically designed the 15D/46H as a PvE build. Really the only thing you can do a lot of the time is spam CoH in damage gear, proc a free smite and smack an enemy (in arenas). In BGs, you have a bit more strategy you can use, especially if you can get the jump on someone.

  15. #15

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cssmall
    However, in statistical testing done for four priest builds, Shadow showed the least amount of DPS, both in single combat and in sustained combat, but the lowest amount of variance.
    Aight... you did that with 650 +shadow dmg. Of course shadow is hard on your mana with almost no +dmg. However, shadow KILLS smite in sustained dmg. For shadow, it is easily obtainable to get ~1000 +dmg if you're a tailor with other decent blues. As my priest stands now, I can last the entire council fight with shadowfiend and 1 pot over the course of a 9-10 min fight. Smite dps is just too mana inefficient to last, and it cannot be sustained longer than shadow.


  16. #16

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Went for the lowest common denominator here. I figured that Shadow would be the highest sustained, but if the Smite priest pays attention and uses spells and potions right, they can sustain DPS too. Is it as efficient as a Shadow priest over a long fight, no, most definitely not. That's not the argument.

    WWS gives great stats; the biggest problem is that the majority of priests that are raid DPS are shadow. So, it hard to find *more* numbers. That said, our evidence is basically by your experience only, not through empiricism. If my statistics are correct, then even doubling the SD, smite priests should out DPS a Shadow priest. And that's on the mechanics themselves. As far as mana efficiency, that's not tested here. In the long run, it's really up to the player to be efficient for the build, not the build being efficient for the player.

    Edit: My last line is only my experience. I hear of smite priests on my server talking about this issue and the like, so I shouldn't be so quick to postulate something!

  17. #17

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    If they would change the Improved Spirit Tap to include Smite and Holy Fire I think a whole new world of potential could open up for Holy DPS. It might not change the end result to the "Are we worth a high end raid slot?" question but it would give both our dps and our regen a boost.

  18. #18

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Holy DPS is fine, just don't stop smiting and you'll push high numbers. Smite for trash, spell rotation for bosses.

  19. #19

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    all those holy fire-smite talents are there to allow you to lvl as holy.....
    "do 10 quests without a pause,kick the shit out of a prot warrior,then go heal in a 5man"
    can't make a viable dps spec without a whole talent section

  20. #20

    Re: Will Holy Fire make Holy DPS viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cssmall
    Holy DPS is fine, just don't stop smiting and you'll push high numbers. Smite for trash, spell rotation for bosses.
    I feel like a high DPS smite machine, even if it out damages shadow build by 1.5x, doesn't make it necessarily viable. You've got to bring along at least some utility, you know? The thing about a smite priest is that in a 5-man, you can bring all the priestly buffs and the priest-specific healing spells/shields to supplement a good instance group, however in a 10-man, 25-man raid, you're not bring anything special, and a caster DPS class will skunk you in terms of damage and utility.

    It's hard to convince a raid leader to bring you along as holy instead of shadow, imo, unless you have a really good mage that makes speccing PI more worthwhile than the mana return from VT.

    As far as the mana inefficiency, hopefully the holy fire change will give us a spell rotation with more longevity, especially since holy fire is a much lower mana cost than smite, and the shortened cast time will make it so that holy dps priests aren't forced to spam nothing but smite to keep up with other dps.

    Quote Originally Posted by globe
    all those holy fire-smite talents are there to allow you to lvl as holy.....
    "do 10 quests without a pause,kick the shit out of a prot warrior,then go heal in a 5man"
    can't make a viable dps spec without a whole talent section
    You can dump 22 points into the Holy Tree that directly (if not specificially) buff your offensive casting using holy spells. Not to mention all the filler talents in between that increase your survivability and healing effectiveness. If you focus on these talents, and then use the disc tree to really clean up your utility and boost your DPS effectiveness even more (with spells like Imp DS, enlightenment, and PI), you can end up with a build that is very centered around damage dealing.

    Although I agree that the devs built the shadow tree to be the DPS option for priests, instead of deep holy, with a talent like Surge of Light... that's the kind of mechanic you center a DPS build around, you know what I mean?


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