So let’s preface this by saying that I am not one of those crazy theorycrafting math priests, with the charts and the knowhow. I mean, good on those guys, because I rely on them to help me figure out what I’m doing. However, what I am is someone who has played a holy priest for five years. I like to think over that time I’ve developed a pretty good gut feel for holy spec and the class in general.
Anyway, Cataclysm notes! Let’s begin.
Introduced at a low level, the “new” Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use.
Amusingly enough, I was discussing potential class notes earlier this week with my friend Thae the Cranky Resto Shaman and he joked that they would just give us a whole bunch of “medium” spells. “Priests clearly need more spells to choose from at any given moment! If you roll a priest, Blizz will send you a keyboard attachment to hold your extra bindings!” From his mouth to Blizzard’s ears, apparently.
I actually really like the fact that priests have a ton of options. I have six different healing spells alone that are important enough to be bound on my N52 keypad, and I certainly would prefer to have a ton of options than, say, play a paladin. (Oh, burn. Yeah, you heard me, Sema.) However, with THREE different levels of straight up heals.. something is going to fall by the wayside. My prediction is that Greater Heal will become even less used than it is now.
Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can’t have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.
Increased movement speed… and reduced cost of instants. I see. I am reminded of a recent trip to Mexico, when I ordered onion rings and they were served with a side dish of mayo. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to go together.
I am currently specced into Body and Soul, so I can appreciate a judicious application of run speed, but in a self-buff? Coupled with cheap instant spells? Is this a PVP thing?
Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or “Life Grip”) is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can’t seem to get out of the fire in time.
Life. Grip. As god is my witness, I have no idea what to think about this. Well, okay, what I think is that I’ll be able to annoy the hell out of my guild. Oh, friends, the griefing possibilities. My eyes well up in joy just contemplating the chaos. That line about moving slow DPS around makes me nervous, though. I can hear the puggies now: “omg healer let me stand in goo until i slowly died!!!!!”
There are so many details I need to hear before I can decide on this. Will being gripped interrupt the party member’s cast? Does it reduce or remove aggro? Can it be used in Shadow Form? It would have to be a pretty unique circumstance during a raid boss for me to want to revoke a teammates control over their character for a couple of seconds.
I just don’t know. It sounds shiny. It will probably be useless.
All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).
This is the best part of the whole preview, for me.
Discipline will finally be getting Power Word: Barrier as a talented ability. Think of it like a group Power Word: Shield.
I think this is the Disc version of the HoTs update. This seems like a Big Deal. (And also the second priest version of a death knight ability in these notes.)
We want to make Holy a little bit more interesting to play. One new talent will push the Holy priest into an improved healing state when he or she casts Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The empowered state varies depending on the heals cast.
Oh, I like this one too! Mea Culpa to Ghostcrawler — Serendipity turned out to be a really fun and useful mechanic, and these sound similar in nature. I’m also intrigued by the flexibility of the buff, which would potentially suit an array of Holy Priest styles. Just give the “empowered state” a fancy graphic, and we’ve got something like the much vaunted Holy Form that healy priests have been making puppy dog eyes about for years.
We’re also going to cut back on the benefits of buffs such as Replenishment so priests (and all healers) don’t feel as penalized when those buffs aren’t available.
I just included this line because I was vastly amused by the phrasing. Blizzard is going to take away our own mana regen buff as FAVOR to us so we don’t get all overwhelmed. I am actually kind of looking forward to seeing what they do with mana management, but this bit still made me chuckle.
I try not to count my patchnote chickens before they hatch, but I’m pretty satisfied with this preview. Let’s see what actually makes retail!