NEEDS MOAR MATH!Originally Posted by Dascia
NEEDS MOAR MATH!Originally Posted by Dascia
Sorry for the length, I hope some people read it all
Well it's been the other way around since the beginning of set bonuses! LOL not really but pretty close...even the stats are more holy oriented. I had to actually take T7.5 shadow gloves on my disc priest. It's nice to see disc get some attention in this department. I'm happy we(disc) finally get something more geared towards us. Although I wouldn't say holy won't get ANY help from it, because it will definitely help to shield then Gheal since Gheal has such a huge coefficient especially with talents to make it bigger, same with prayer of healing. Now that I actually thought about it, it's almost even but just in different ways.Originally Posted by Selerious
Disc uses small heals often so the coefficients are small and doesn't benefit from 250sp as much as talented Gheal+PoH BUT we'll get the bonus more often. Holy will have the bonus less often but when it's up it has a bigger impact on their bread and butter spells. I'm not sure about CoH's coefficient...it's instant but I think it's big? Anyways, that's just my opinion on it. Trying to cheer you up!
More on topic now...Since mana has been such a non issue lately people don't really focus on gearing for regen as much. What's yours at? I think it will be much more prominent to take into account your regen come the patch. Especially with Meditation going up, you'll want more regen so more of it is going during your casting with OOFSR out of the way. MP5, since it goes while casting, seems like it might be more valuable than right now in 3.1, especially for disc since we don't need SPR at all, but holy still does for SP. I guess we'll see...
My next though is you should get as much INT as you can for 3.1. Maybe even gem for it. I think lots and lots of INT would help your mana problems. First thing, having a larger pool to start with will give you more time for regen mechanics to work for you like Meditation and Replenishment. The longer it takes you to get to the danger zone the more of a buffer you have until these regen talents can pick you up. INT will also increase the effectiveness of both of these mechanics. It will also increase your crit while it's there which is higher throughput and could mean casting a few less heals here and there. Blizzard did state they want you to think about heals instead of spamming so getting a big crit and not having to heal again for a few seconds falls into that idea. Blizzard also did say they tune everything with you having replenishment in mind and this INT idea supports that.
One last thing about disc...I can't WAIT for group target Prayer of Healing. Disc is amazingly fun and getting a few more buffs in 3.1 and this change makes us better at raid healing which is the one place we need help in! Oh they are also lowering the mana cost of Holy Nova, which should make it more efficient too. Did they mention the mana cost of PoH at all?
Yeah I think so...Renew just has the utility aspect to it. Like if you know that person isn't going to take any more damage besides that DoT on him or he is only missing 2-5% health AND another person IS taking multiple hits/incoming damage of some sort, then it's good to throw Renew on the first guy and start healing the other...if the incoming damage to that second guy happens to be quick and urgent I guess. Otherwise just flash heal them both? Haha...well holy talented renew is going to be pretty damn nice I think though, that's another story.Originally Posted by rikken
Just my thoughts, would love to hear any others on this stuff!
Meditation is not going up. It is just offsetting the 40% spirit nerf so that your FSR regen remains the same.Originally Posted by glowyrm
Spirit live gives you 1000 MP5, meditation gives 30% as FSR regen: 300
on the PTR, spirit regen is nerfed by 40%. You now get 600 MP5, but meditation gives 50% as FSR regen: 300
There is no change in the FSR regen. Apart from serendipity and holy concentration clearcasting being murdered, but that's just me being bitter.
You are correct in this, but it's already true now.My next though is you should get as much INT as you can for 3.1. Maybe even gem for it. I think lots and lots of INT would help your mana problems. First thing, having a larger pool to start with will give you more time for regen mechanics to work for you like Meditation and Replenishment. The longer it takes you to get to the danger zone the more of a buffer you have until these regen talents can pick you up. INT will also increase the effectiveness of both of these mechanics. It will also increase your crit while it's there which is higher throughput and could mean casting a few less heals here and there. Blizzard did state they want you to think about heals instead of spamming so getting a big crit and not having to heal again for a few seconds falls into that idea. Blizzard also did say they tune everything with you having replenishment in mind and this INT idea supports that.
On live servers, 1 int is worth about 0.4 MP5, half of which comes from replenishment, half of which comes from other sources (shadowfiend, manatide, hymn of hopelessness, etc etc). With the proper talents increasing intellect (hello discipline!) and vigorous use of cooldowns, you can probably get it up to 0.55 MP5. 1 int also gives 1/166th percentage of crit, which is not a lot but every small pebble helps.
On the flipside, assuming 1293 intellect, 1 spirit is worth exactly 0.3 MP5 thanks to meditation.
Thanks to FSR dancing, holy priests usually bring the value of spirit closer to 0.4 MP5.
Holy priests and humans can add an additional percentage to this value from their abilities, but even holy human priests will be hard pressed to get more than 0.43 MP5 from 1 spirit. On the upside, spirit is pretty great if you get regular casting breaks. For solo farming, intellect is almost worthless, but spirit rocks.
"1 MP5" is worth exactly 0.4 MP5 if you consider itemization costs. It's stable, but also boring.
Summary: On the live servers, intellect is the undisputed king for regen. MP5 beats spirit for regen, but spirit also gives holypriests additional spellpower.
On the PTR servers, shadowfiend is buffed by 20%, and FSR dancing is all but eliminated. This skews the balance in favor of int even further.
Why are we stacking spirit again? Clothie itemization tax?
I did some maths on this from a holy viewpoint, it's just barely catching up with flash heal. The additional heal is on renew almost negligible, but the fact that it can proc holy concentration is what makes it passable now. The two spells are pretty evenly balanced in efficiency with the new talent; it all really falls down to whether the target needs healing asap (flash heal) or soon (flash heal or renew, both do the job, but flash heal is cheaper and renew has slightly more potential if the target takes further damage). Renew is by all means a spell worth casting. But it's not exactly legendary material you will tell your kids about.Yeah I think so...Renew just has the utility aspect to it. Like if you know that person isn't going to take any more damage besides that DoT on him or he is only missing 2-5% health AND another person IS taking multiple hits/incoming damage of some sort, then it's good to throw Renew on the first guy and start healing the other...if the incoming damage to that second guy happens to be quick and urgent I guess. Otherwise just flash heal them both? Haha...well holy talented renew is going to be pretty damn nice I think though, that's another story.
Straight from the regen man himself people! ^
EDIT* This is in no way sarcastic lol, just putting that out there.
So they didn't want to make FSR regen better while making OOFSR worse, they just wanted to kill OOFSR?There is no change in the FSR regen.
Yes. They stated that clearly, and i think the main reason was that druids and to some extent priests never ran oom, because of spirit regen
One renew is cheaper then 3 flash heals.Originally Posted by rikken
I don't understand why everybody complain about 4-pieces set bonus. Sure it's useless for Holy (read - raid healer) but that just means we don't have to bust ourselves to get Tier. It means we can mix and match anything we wont to boost our stats.
As far as mana regen goes, I don't remember when i was OOM the last time. Also, I began to swich my spirit heavy gear with other pieces, loaded on mp5 and intellect. There is no reason to hang on to Spirit any longer but dang, there are so many other options!
Oh and by the way, have you noticed there only 2 blue sockets on entire Tier 8 set? And they are supported by truly laughable bonuses (LOL 4 crit rating LOL). I think it tells you straight up that we should not gem / enchant for spirit. Ditch your socket bonuses and go for mp5 and intellect. I mean, i really wouldn't care about mana regen if i have an ocean of mana, would i?
For Holy at least, Spirit is still a viable stat to stack. The over all bonuses make up for the possibly minor loss off MP5 overall (Spell power, mana regen, Holy Concentration). Though stacking it as much as some of us currently do I'm not sure about. I'm going to continue stacking Intel/Spirit over mp5 until I find out there is a substantial enough difference to warrant a change.
Wish they hadn't made so many large changes with the deep Holy talents at the same time as the OO5SR change. Changing 3 deep Holy talents and removing one all together. Then adding two new ones. One a decent buff to renew I guess, renew hasn't really been big on healing for priests since WotlK came out. The other a rather weak Pvp*?* Utility that is 2 points 35 deep in Holy. This talent would be better farther down the tree where Disc would be able to grab it. I mean honestly. Do the current changes to Holy make it any more pvp viable? We still can't take any hits and have no real form of CC. A minor boost to run speed unless it at the same time drops all movement impairing effects seems pointless.
But now I'm just ranting about stuff :P
As a last note. And on something I did add twice in this post and yet people keep seeming to miss when saying that mana regen isn't as bad as I think it is.. I am looking at 10 man content and hardmodes, not 25 man content. Sarth 3D 25 man is a joke to heal compared to 10 man. I just want to be able to after all these changes continue to heal hard modes that I have been. It doesn't give me any new info when people respond with a post about how they healed in some 25 man raid and as long as we act a little conservatively we are fine on mana. The 2nd point of this post was more a long the lines that I don't want to be forced to re-spec TWO healing specs just to be able to heal as I need to.
Science started out as a form of Magic.
When Science is advanced enough Magic is dispelled.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic.
This is a really poor move by Blizz. While Blizz may be trying to make Ulduar more difficult (for the easy mode complainers), they are crippling the class from levels 1-80 and any current priests not decked out in full 25man gear will never see another group again.
honestly, regen isn't nearly as bad as people are making out to be. If you're healing hardmodes now and spending virtually 0 time OFSR, then you will see a very negligible change in you're regen and longevity in the next patch (since it really depends on how much mana you gained from "free" spells vs the mana gained from 50% more regen for 8 sec). the only difference in 3.1 is, now you have to spend a little extra time OFSR to regen the same amount of mana as now. which honestly isn't that big of deal if you are an efficient healer.Originally Posted by Selerious
spirit and int are still the best regen stats for holy priests. I personally see no reason to stop stacking spirit, even if int may be a tad better because of replenishment and hymn. I've healed,as holy, all bosses in ulduar that have been open for testing (both normal/hardmodes in 10/25 mans) and to be honest, i still end most fights with a fair amount of mana. On the ptr with about 1200 int and 1300 spirit raid buffed i have over 1k mp5 OFSR. With the proper use of CDs and a decent raid comp, i easily went 10 minutes or whatever the berserk timer was on council hardmode (10 man) while healing the raid and an OT at the same time, only using my shadow fiend once.
To be honest, I think 3.1 is one of the best Holy priest patches in a long long time in terms of class enjoyment improvement. However people seem to be utterly obsessed with the general regen changes, which to be honest I think are inconsequential. That is, everything in an MMO is relative; as long as Holy priests are effective versus other healers in 3.1, not versus the 3.0 versions of healers, then they'll be fine. But 3.1 to me reads as a list of Holy priest improvements:
-Renew doesn't tie in enough with other healing mechanics. Fixed
-Hymns suck. Fixed
-Prayer of Healing overly situational in raids. Fixed
-Gheal starting to feel dated in many situations, too slow to be used reactively. Fixed
-Holy priest regen suffers from a higher level of unreliability than other healers. Fixed
-Holy priests have no real PvP benefits. Addressed, although jury is out on 'fixed'
There is also the more debatable situation with regards to the FSR changes. Some people loved the style, others felt constrained by it as it essentially promotes healing for as little as is necessary (this isn't as apparent in our mana-drenched environment). However Blizzard was spared the necessity of making a decision based on opinion as spirit-based regen was playing havoc with design and balance and so was 'cut'. This isn't identical to the general decision to reduce healer regen across the board, which was posing its own independent issues, but Blizzard was able to take care of two birds with one stone in the process.
Hymn of Hopelessness is still listed in websters dictionary as the very definition of suck.Originally Posted by Neichus
Find me a priest that looks forward to this spell as one of the best reason for 3.1, heck find me a priest who is even remotely excited about the Hymn of Hopelessness change, and I will label that person as a truly confused person. And yes, that's an indirect ad-hominem attack, but seriously - it's just bad, and the glyph just underlines it.
Divine Hymn has a tremendously large cooldown and manacost, but the healing is nice.
WoTLK gave holypriests Guardian Spirit and the hymns. GS is a good spell, but the hymns are still stuff you can - and given the cooldowns - will - live without. And that's the core of the complaints really. Nothing really new; you don't go casting mind sear as a healer. The holy tree didn't really add anything notable beyond allowing flash heal spam at high gear levels, and eliminating all other styles of healing.
Well, that depends on the definition of fixed here.Originally Posted by Neichus
The problem with holy priests in WoTLK is that you cannot really spam anything until you get excessively good gear. But if you did run OOM, you would be back in the fray in a few seconds thanks to excellent OOFSR regen. That led holypriests to be unreliable healers, because we needed breaks, but the damage never stop coming.
By the time a holypriest get full T7 gear, he can spam fheal forever thanks to serendipity, accidental fsr dancing (surge of light + clearcasting proc chains giving you OOFSR time without even trying) and clearcasting. The problem with stability is thus one he can outgear.
3.1 removes clearcasting, serendipity and half the point of OOFSR regen. And by taking that away, you also remove the only spell a holypriest can spam. The new Holy Concentration is nice, but the old one was better in yield, even if the new one has 100% uptime.
So if your point was that "holypriests get better reliability" by removing our ability to spam anything, then yes, we did get more reliable. You can now rely on the holypriest not being able to heal you for prolonged periods.
Of course, by the time everyone get to early T9 gear levels, all healers will likely have enough regen to cast cheap heals forever anyway (and I list glyphed Fheal amongst these). And then the regen is inconsequential. But that's not really the point. Priests starting out at lvl 80 today will have a worse time in 3.1 than they had in 3.0 thanks to this change. Until you outgear the instance, mana will be the major problem of the holypriest. I don't see the value of having that risk factor in your raid until then if you can avoid it; it's not like holypriest bring anything to the table to warrant it.
Yeah, I don't expect to see any holypriests in high end PVP anytime soon either-Holy priests have no real PvP benefits. Addressed, although jury is out on 'fixed'
I personally think that the FSR dance was what separated the interesting healers (priests/druids) from the uninteresting ones (paladin/shaman). A priest had control of his own manabar. If the priest ran OOM, it was usually because he chose to do so, because he was saving silly people who would otherwise die. A shaman just cast until OOM, then proceeded to wipe. Yes, OOFSR regen was too good, i'll give you that. Yes, it was a major problem that we the price of this mechanic was our reliability (though druids never had a problem there).There is also the more debatable situation with regards to the FSR changes. Some people loved the style, others felt constrained by it as it essentially promotes healing for as little as is necessary (this isn't as apparent in our mana-drenched environment). However Blizzard was spared the necessity of making a decision based on opinion as spirit-based regen was playing havoc with design and balance and so was 'cut'. This isn't identical to the general decision to reduce healer regen across the board, which was posing its own independent issues, but Blizzard was able to take care of two birds with one stone in the process.
But blizzard didn't nerf healer regen across the board. Paladins are virtually unchanged; sure - divine plea is not something you just pop mindlessly anymore given the 50% reverse-mortal strike, but I would still like a screenshot of a paladin running OOM in 3.1. They will still use DP virtually every cooldown if needed. Better gear just means less vigorous use of that ability.
Druids got hit even harder by the mana regen nerf than priests, but they will just have to use their own innervate. That should fix them up nicely, but this means less regen for other healers unfortunately.
Shamans were declared the "benchmark", but ironically lost about 100 MP5 thanks to the totem/blessing merge, which hit them very hard as that's about 1/6th of their regen. Shamans have my sympathies, your regen was the worst of the lot before, your reliability was second-worst, and you really had to outgear content to heal it well. It sure didn't get better for you in 3.1.
Disc priests are reporting that they can still spam, but they now have to hold back a little. I don't think that's the best deal for them, considering that they have to spam to catch up to the paladins.
Empowered Renew is a good change, brings it up to par with flash heal. You can still use fheal alone, but more choice to choose from is good.
PoH is still too expensive to use much, but it's very nice to have the option to dump mana on any problem.
GHeal speed is nice, but not remotely nescessary.
It all just adds to the flavor, and that's a good thing. It's steps in the right direction. But I'm not about to declare holypriests "done" just yet.
I didn't want to declare Holy priests 'done' because there's always things to dicker with.
I guess you and I have a differing view of what Holy priests are supposed to do that lies at the root here. I don't try or want to keep up with Paladins. That's not my job. I think it's more effective to view healers on a spectrum from "stabilizers" to "opportunistic". At one end are the paladins and druids who are utterly designed to keep things in basic equilibrium through a steady stream of heals. This tends to lend itself to being highest on the meters because they're good at just topping every little person off. In turn their playstyle emphasizes smaller heals only resorting to big heals when necessary (which is often enough, but that's not their preferred approach).
Holy priests aren't like that. Instead we have a diverse arsenal of healing spells* that are designed to be used in varying situations; the fact that you bring up Flash Heal spam as the basic mode of operation of Holy priests...well...astounds me. Flash Heal is a nice tool, but it's not Flash of Light. As opportunistic healers we tend to look for situations in which a particular heal is applicable, and sometimes that involves letting things get a little more "out of whack" before unleashing. Unlike stabilizers we tend to prefer our big heals over our small ones, and sometimes in order to use those the best you have to let people get hurt a little more.
Anyway, the point of the above paragraphs isn't "priests are perfectly okay." It's just that I think people have a different view of what Holy priests are supposed to do. Healing meters are stupid; they can go to hell and I wouldn't miss them. 100,000 healing done when people are at 90%< health isn't worth as much as 10,000 healing when they're at 20%>. Holy priests specialize in the latter category (although, again, all healers have the ability to do a bit of both). This is why I look forward to the new Serendipity so much. It doesn't promote Flash Heal spam at all; it just brings our Big Guns up to speed so that they can be used reactively rather than preemptively (which has been the case with stop-start Gheals and precast Prayer of Healings). As I said above, Flash Heal isn't Flash of Light; it's a stop-gap heal that covers the holes between other heals, a role that I think Serendipity is underlining even more.
*I know that druids are often pointed at as having as many healing spells as we do but I think that misses the bigger picture. Druids have more heals that are different in magnitude than in kind, a fact that becomes apparent when you see how many arguments they have concerning the usefulness/uselessness of many of their heals as overly filling the same role. But that's a topic for another thread.
Anyway, I'm trying to keep the length of this post under control so I'm going to give short shrift to the remaining topics.
-Hymn of Hope isn't an all-star ability in 3.1. But it's improved quite significantly, but I recognize Blizzard's problem with making priests bring too good of a group regen tool. Along with Divine Hymn they are auxiliary spells. This has caused many Holy priests to complain that they got nothing new in WotLK. I don't think that's entirely accurate; we didn't get something new, but we got something old back. In classic there was some balance between our heals. In BC Flash Heal was a total joke, Renew taken off many bars, and CoH's superiority banished Prayer of Healing to the deepest recesses of your spellbook (except for Naj'entus). In WotLK some of this was reversed; now Flash Heal was king and Gheal's cumbersome speed was a liability that felt dated. I think 3.1 is helping to rectify much of that and justify having these all on your bars.
-My better reliability argument was based on the luck factor in chaining clearcast procs, not the removal of the old Serendipity (which was pretty reliable). All healer regen has some randomness (OOC, Illumination, Imp Water Shield). But what set Holy priest regeneration apart was that the randomness in our regen was exponentially more powerful if it just happened to occur sequentially, an added layer of unreliability that even good playing and Inner Focus couldn't ameliorate.
-I'm not trusting reports of who-can-spam-what until we get a clearer cross-section of Ulduar, including hard modes. Statements like "Disc priests can still spam" are an open-ended comment. Spam on what? On 10-man Hodir in T7.5 gear with Shirt of Uberness? On 25-man Iron Council hard-mode?
Anyway, somebody's waiting for me so I have to get going.
Some really good reads in those last few posts. Always good to get other people's points of view. Specially those that have spent time in the PTR.
Science started out as a form of Magic.
When Science is advanced enough Magic is dispelled.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic.
Very good reply, Neichus!
Ideally, holy priests are indeed gap fillers. Our job is ideally to be the healing general. We stay back, observing the fight, getting a feel of where damage happens, who is countering what, tracking almost everything everywhere in the fight, locating and handling shortages and bad situations as they occur and preferrably just before they happen.
When the tank takes a burst, we'll be there putting a well-timed heal or life-saving ability on the tank. When the raid dips low, we pull out of raid healing spells. When a healer is cc'ed, the holypriest blows some mana, and heals for two for a short while until the CC wears off. When a healer dies, the holypriest can almost cover two healing assigns for a little while.
Our job is to be a reactive stabilizer. That way we play to our biggest strength; powerful but expensive burst healing. Most of the time, we can sit back and assess the fight, let the other healers do the job, and simply step in while needed.
Problem is... a holy priest healing by this style is simply not pulling his own weight!
Sure, you are indeed preventing wipes when bad situations happen. You won't be topping any meters, but the meters we agree are inconsequential. You will be saving the raid from mistakes that invariably will happen. You are indeed doing something valuable. But your raidspot is not doing that many valuable things, and that spot should be handed over to a DPSer. A healer not healing most of the time is just not worth the spot, added safety or not. You could be bringing an elemental shammy with some raidframes, capable of handling that additional heal from time to time, and still do top notch DPS. Or you could be bringing a boomkin enabling you enough raidwide DPS to avoid the situation from happening in the first place.
And when the number of healers are cut back (naxx/25 runs taking four healers these days, sartharion25 with 3 drakes no more than six, malygos/25 6 minute runs as low as three), there is no room for a healer that's mostly not healing. You need healers that can deal out reliable heals for 6-10 minutes straight to counter the incoming damage done. And you need every one of these to be on their maximum sustainable output all the time, as you really really need as much DPS as possible.
And the best way to get more DPS is to bring less healers. Which means that no matter what, the healers will always have to perform to their absolute utmost. Not in terms of skill, though that helps. I'm talking in terms of coldhearted mathematical output. If the raid takes X damage in per second, the healers must at least do X healing per second to counter that. If one class is significantly better at output than others, he will get all the spots. Currently, nothing beats a paladin in pure output, but the other classes usually outdo the paladin by having multi-target heals. This is the reason noone ever invites a holy paladin for 10 man malygos fights, he's simply not pulling his own weight on that fight due to the lack of aoe heals. Well, that and the vortex thing.
Simply put, a holy priest playing the healing general is not playing at his utmost output. A flash healing holypriest is playing at his utmost sustainable output. It's oh so wrong, stylewise, and it's a dreadfully boring role to play, but the holy priest healing like this can heal with the best of them. And given proper gear, the flash heal spam game can be played for as long as it's required.
I agree this is not the way we want it to be. But it's what's going on, and it's not the healers' fault. We get better, and the world reward us by taking our spots. So we adapt to fill the shoes that we made for ourselves. If you want to keep your spot when only three healers are brought, you need to be able to heal as good as the druid, heal as good as the paladin and heal as good as the shaman. Preferrably all in one package.
Ghostcrawler acknowledged that this was exactly the reason for the 3.1 healer nerf. He did not want healers to be limited by their GCDs only. Mostly, but not only. He did not want raids to bring less and less healers to the point where you were basically bringing more tanks than healers. Healers are only limited by cooldowns and mana. Currently, mana is a non-issue for druids, paladins, discpriests, well-geared shamans and holypriests sticking to flash heal. So we're all limited by GCDs.
After 3.0.8, paladins are still only limited by GCDs; they still have infinite mana. Druids have to use their own innervate, but if they do, they will still have virtually infinite mana. Shamans lost 1/6th of their regen, which is a serious blow. Discpriests lost rapture, which is also a serious blow. Both these healers can typically mostly counter this by gearing for regen (ie, intellect), although this will mean less throughput for both of them. Still, reliability is more important than throughput.
Leaving holy priests, which already gear 100% for regen, and thus can't counter this nerf. Our only option to avoid running OOM is to heal less, take our new and improved 40% longer OOFSR breaks, and hope our targets don't die in the process. As with shamans and disc priests, our output will be lowered, but ours will be lowered by casting less heals, not weaker heals. And that's a major difference!
TLDR; the patch basically only achieving in reducing the reliability of holypriests. All the other healers can mostly get around the issues of the new regime by regearing, and as such, nothing will prevent raids in the future from still bringing the absolute deadly minimum amount of healers required on hardmodes. These healers just won't be holypriests if we're not reliable. And we won't be unless we have a spammable heal of some sort; Flash heal + serendipity + sol + clearcasting did that job for us until now.
This is a rather fun discussion; I've had these thoughts bouncing around in my head and this provides such a lovely situation to display/test them.
I also want to apologize, I think that the order of this post could be a lot better however for some reason I'm feeling exhausted and don't really have the energy to re-write it from the ground up to be more logical. Just imagine half of point #2 being merged with this initial discussion of Holy in 3.1 and it'll make more sense.
The main thing I disagree with is your characterization of Holy, or rather Holy in 3.1. Your basic depiction is that we are selling our spot because we save people in danger situations, and that in turn that's the first healing spot to go by just improving everybody else's game. However I think much of that "sit and wait" is due to the FSR. Right now using any healing spell as a Holy priest bears a double cost - the direct mana cost and the fact that you took yourself out of regen mode. I think it is this double burden that makes Holy priests more reluctant to heal and it is this aspect of gameplay is being removed. Do we still regen more by not healing in 3.1? Yes, but the returns are much lessened and you're probably better off just going for a 3.1 Holy Concentration proc to bring your regen up to near OOFSR levels. I think when many Holy priests envision 3.1 regen they are thinking that they've just lost OOFSR regen with nothing to compensate; our regen will be lower (that's by design) but it's not as though we're having to just rely on the equivalent of our present while-casting regen.
Which brings me to how I see Holy functioning in 3.1. When I said we look for opportunities I didn't mean to imply that we do nothing waiting for just one particular situation; we just tend to be forced into waiting more because of our present regen style. The point of our wide variety of heals is that in most fights SOME situation is going to come up that they're useful in. The biggest problem is that either some niches were too narrow (Renew, Prayer of Healing), slow (Gheal, Prayer of Healing), or just didn't synergize with other talents or heals (Renew). This left us primarily with a 3-heal toolkit (Flash Heal, Prayer of Mending, Circle of Healing), and since two of them have cooldowns Flash Heal is a major go-to heal (and if time isn't of the essence 3.0 Serendipity made Flash Heal even trump Binding Heal's niche due to efficiency). I think the 3.1 changes have been a direct address to this issue by making heals that were previously ineffective come back into use. So if we are to fail to keep up in 3.1, I don't believe it will be for lack of a spammable heal.
Anyway, I want to hit a few more points then sleep:
1) The reasoning behind the healing nerf.
The healing nerf is as you said to keep heal-spamming from being the only mode. That proper choice of heal and coordination with other healers is more important than being able to hit your primary heal repeatedly. However I don't recall a discussion of not wanting to bring fewer healers. I think Blizzard views bringing less healers as a perfectly reasonable choice if you can make it fly, but that may be a tradeoff. For instance, on my main (Prot warrior, Holy priest is my alt) we've been doing Sarth10 + 3D with 3 tanks, 3 healers, and 4 dps. A lot of people say that the ONLY way to do it is 2 healers + 5 dps or at least a hybrid healer/dps (obviously my guild disagrees). Which way is better? Probably depends on your level of gear, the quality of the people you have available for the slots, and ultimately a bit of personal preference. We've found that 3 healers gives us more wiggle room, even over trying to burn the drakes with 5 dps.
I see them doing the same thing in the future. On hard modes that involve very strict times then cutting healers is an option; similarly hard modes that involve heavy survival promote bringing more healers (in which case you bring the "deadly minimum" number of dps). In between cases like Sarth can go either way. I don't think they're trying to change this. If anything I hope they do more inbetween cases where people are forced to gauge the importance of damage versus survival rather than having the answer set out before them.
2) "X damage in, X healing out or you lose"
While I think that such a model is useful on simplistic fights (Patchwerk) it's less useful on more variable ones. I'll take Sarth again because, well, I think he's really fun. The fight goes through cycles of healing, and trying to discount the ability to put out elevated amounts of healing when needed is like saying that 30% haste for 45 seconds is worth exactly the same as the passive 3% raid-wide haste over the course of a 7.5 minute fight. The reality of the fight is that it starts very low healing (Sarth alone), increases steadily (Tenebron lands, whelps and adds start to pile up on the OT), decreases (Tenebron dies, AoE cleans up the whelps), increases (Shadron lands), peaks (Shadron and Vesperon on the ground at the same time), and finally decreases through the rest of the fight (Shadron then Vesperon die). During all of this you are going to have periodic peaks of damage on the MT due to fire breaths, and there is always a rush to heal people up after a Flame Wall since moving negates a lot of potential healing power. In this case it just isn't useful to take a fight-wide average of incoming damage, nor even of phases, nor really anything longer than the average Flame Wave or Firebreath cooldown.
In such a fight it is totally viable for a healer to have lower-than-average output but as long as they're frequently able to a large amount of burst healing when it is needed. I'm not suggesting that Holy priests are lower-than-average though, as I think that it would handicap them in other fights (such as Patchwerk). I think a better way of viewing Holy priests is like some sort of weird healer equivalent of Death Knights (no, I'm not suggesting this is the guiding model the developers are using). As a DK you have abilities that hit really hard and you like using and you have ones that you mostly use just because you want to make more Death Runes to use more of your hard hitters; as such your dps rotation goes through cycles of preparation and payoff. I view Flash Heal as a "death rune creating" heal; it's something that in itself isn't exciting, but in 3.1 helps build up to other things. As Blizzard said, Gheal right now doesn't feel like a rewarding button to push; in 3.1 when you build up to it and you unload in excess of 10k healing with a 1.4 second cast it feels cool (and will function better to boot). So we will necessarily have periods of low output (Serendipity is charging, PoM and CoH are on cooldown) counterbalanced with periods of above-average output. This isn't a fundamental break from how Holy priests already function; we have periods of negligible output (OOFSR regen) followed by periods of slightly heightened HPS. The difference is that not healing isn't as fun as healing and the regen cycles are on a time scale much greater than PoM/CoH/Serendipity3.1 which leads to a fundamental lack of flexability.
3) Regen gearing
This is a last point that I disagree with you on, or at least its implications. You say that most healers are gemming/enchanting/gearing for output while Holy priests are stuck behind the pack having to focus on regen. I'd say to some extent that that is correct, however what I disagree with is that such is necessarily bad.
When WotLK first came out I had several good discussions with people over the viability of Discipline versus Holy, with the main point being that Holy's talents offered so much more power than Discipline's. Over time I think many people have realized their mistake. Discipline's strength is that its more efficient and so can afford to emphasize throughput in its gearing (this appears, at first glance, to continue to be the case in 3.1). The flipside of this however is that its talents aren't terribly strong when it comes to general healing power (even including absorptions). Discipline is "forced" to gem/enchant/gear for output as much as Holy is "forced" to gem/enchant/gear for regen.
With 3.1 I don't think people are getting around the nerfs just by some adjustments to their stats. I'm pretty sure if that if it required just a slight reshuffle of gems then nobody would be as vocal about the changes as they are. I think that this change may punish some Holy priests that have taken a more aggressive approach to their gearing (I'm actually in that camp; I'm waiting to test it out in 3.1 before I go and blow a bunch of money to change it). But even going fully for regen Holy priests continue to have high burst healing.
Ever since the Molten Core days (actually I started a priest 2 months before TBC came out) I envisioned a build for being able to sustain healing through no matter what.
I always used to play Rogue in the 2 years before that and I noticed a lot of wipes on boss progress fights were caused by healers running oom and not being able to sustain healing.
My talent build and gear are always focussed on getting as much regen out of the gear as possible, the only exception to this was at the end of TBC where you had such insane regen already that taking even more was just overkill.
I remember once healing on Reliquary of Souls where 1 shaman whispered me during phase 2; Gee.. it seems like you're healing the entire raid with CoH (back then not smart yet) then a few seconds later; Shit! You ARE healing the entire raid!
I actually could sustain the spam long enough for him to die in phase 2, despite our mana being killed there.
Now I'm still focussing my talent points on getting as much regen out of my build with passive talents while skipping the active ones. (I haven't taken Inner Focus for over a year now in my build). I'm also skipping Inspiration cause it's not adding anything directly to my heals or mana regen.
It's nice that it can lower damage, but that is mostly useful for the MT's that are getting the hits.
I'm actually not often out of the 5 second rule, the perl add on shows me a little meter that counts off the 5 seconds till I'm out of that rule and usually I have to heal again before it ran out. (Especially on 10m Sath 3D you can forget about oofsr, patchwork is just healing ifsr as well.)
Because of this I actually think that my regen will receive a big buff in 3.1 since I'm probably able to keep Holy Concentration up for 100% of the fight.
I'm only slightly worried about the lack of mana saving from the old HoL + imp HoL and the mana I saved out from serendipity, but this can probably easily be countered by refraining myself from topping everybody off all the time and just wait till they took some more damage to justify the heals.
I think the flash heal is also gonna be used a lot, but now in addition I can finally use my other tools more/ better. I think flash heal will still stay my most favorite spell though.
I think overal not much has changed in my idea of how priests work, despite the recent changes.
This thread is wonderful, because I really have to rationalize my underlying fear here. I haven't tried a "hardmode fight" on the PTR yet, and I doubt I'll ever find a group. So it's mostly based on educated guesses based on how I think it will be based on theorycrafting and what I'm seeing now. Thank you for really challenging me on this topic!
Side note: if anyone has tried f.ex Sartharion 3D on the PTR as holy; I would love to hear their input!
The regen issue is indeed at the heart of the discussion. Because 3.1 has definitively brought a significant buff to the holy priest on the throughput and versatility front. The 'windup mechanic' is definitively fun. The sheer power of Divine Hymn, (though riddled with silly downsides) looks like a great "ohshit"-button. Group-targettable prayer of healing will be excellent, though the cost is steep. And we have gotten more heals into a "usable" state where they are worth casting, with no heal on the undisputed top. Which is all great, it means someone thought this through is terms of healling per second and healing per mana. And it gives us healers more choice as a result. Gotta love that.
Assuming infinite mana, holy priests will indeed be healing throughput gods. In a race where all healers had infinite mana, the holy priest would be the undisputed king simply thanks to our GCDs having so much more potential than everyone elses. Chain-spamming prayer of healing is just over the top is throughput, and even disregarding that, our heals are usually excessively strong.
Of course, it stands to reason that we should not be able to spam our expensive heals, as that would indeed invalidate other healers. But as it stands on the PTR, we can not spam anything, including our cheap heals. Non-stop Gheal spam will make you oom in approximately 100 seconds. Non-stop fheal spam will make you oom in 90 seconds. Any other spell cast is even more expensive, shortening this duration further. Replenishment will increase the time-to-oom by about 25%, and the shadowfiend will add another 60%. But basically, the extent of our reliability is way below 3 minutes if we blow all our regen cooldowns. That's not even enough for patchwerk, let alone any other fight that requires hard spamming.
And this is really my only pet peeve. It's only fair that spamming powerhouse heals should have a backlash; that's more choice to the priest to balance that. But when even our cheapass spells, like renew or flash heal, will make us OOM by spamming then I don't have a lot to offer. My reliability is the problem here. Other healers can spam heals, I can not. My heals are stronger, and it evens out in terms of mathematical throughput over time, but the major difference is that the MT I heal will go for 5-6 seconds without a heal, while the MT healed by the druid will have a steady stream of heals incoming. That was the extreme example, but it shows the problem well, I think. Those seconds are deadly.
Some holding back is okay; if you really tax your healers to the maximum on all fights, you are probably bringing too few healers. But on the other hand, on all hard fights, you really really want to bring as few healers as you can get away with.
Our guild has a DPS problem i'm afraid. We don't have a lot of DPSers physically capable of breaking 2k DPS. Which makes the hard modes extremely hard. But, our healers are top notch, and through excellent coordination of life-saving cooldowns, we have survived Sartharion 3D with 2 drakes + 2 lieutenants alive for almost 30 seconds before Shadron went down. Of course, that was with 7 healers. By reducing that number to 6 healers, we only needed to survive for 10 seconds with that hell, making the healing job a lot easier to boot, but the downside is the excessively heavier tax to our manapool. On live, I can make my manapool last until all drakes are down on Sartharion 3D. If my manapool runs out in 25 seconds when the shit hits the fan, I may be healing very well for the 25 seconds in question, but that doesn't mean I'm not needed for the rest of the fight. On the contrary; when we have six healers, you cannot take a break until all drakes are down. And even then, most healers will be oom so you still have to heal a lot.
250Spellpower = almost +500healing on a greater heal +750 on greater heal critsOriginally Posted by Dascia