- 2009/01/20 03:23:31 PM
Hi everybody :-)
A fairly extensive Q&A full of Priest related questions have been answered by the developers. Some of you may have read this Q&A already somewhere else, but in case you have not, you can find it below:
Q. Power Word: Shield and Divine Aegis current do not work properly on Feral Druid, Shadow Priest and Shaman targets under certain conditions. This is a major bug that undermines the ability of a Discipline priest to heal these classes. Is there are fix in the works?
This bug is fixed in 3.0.8 to the best of our knowledge.
Q. There is a similar problem with Guardian Spirit not triggering for Feral Druids. Is this related?
Q. Both Hymn spells are woefully inadequate and underpowered. Are there plans to look at these spells? [i]
A. Yes, Hymns are near the top of our list of priest issues.
Q. [i]The Shadowfiend has significant usability issues both in PVE and PVP. It has very low health and dies quickly, often does not attack the intended target, and is just an overall clunky and difficult to use mechanic for mana regen. Are there plans to replace/alter this ability?
We are not going to replace the ability, but we do want it to do what it was designed to do, which is restore your mana.
Q. It has been stated that the party only mechanics of spells are not what Blizzard wants or intends to carry forward. Are there plans to alter the party only nature of PoH and Holy Nova?
That is our eventual goal. You can't just take a party spell and shift it up to raid level without making other changes. It would be too overpowered at its current numbers, and if we deflate the numbers, it wouldn't do it's job, particularly in 5-player groups. Therefore both will require tinkering to change them. We don't view these as critical issues so they are low on the list. Holy Nova is slightly higher.
Q. Renew and PoH and Holy Nova seem to have too high a mana cost for their effect. Are you planning on looking at the HPM values of spells post-CoH nerf as these will be used far more often now?
We don't think PoH is a bad spell, though it is interesting that priests tend to either use it often or never. Holy Nova and Renew likely could use some higher numbers. Renew is still a decent spell though. We don't think it is "take off your bar" level. The coefficient may be too low or perhaps not enough talents affect it.
Q. Lightwell, for all of it's paper effectiveness, is just not getting used. Can it be looked at? Change the mechanic? Remove it completely and replace it?
It's tough because it provides an amazing amount of healing but the damage-dealers are often too stubborn to use it. We're not sure if that means the spell needs to change, because it could easily be the kind of things that players figure out, particularly once the PvE content is more challenging than it is now. Changing your target is annoying and something we'd like to fix.
Q. With the change (or lack of fix) to Reflective Shield, it is now a PVP only ability. Was this the intent or are we still looking at a potential change in the future?
It is not the intent, but it's a technical limitation. As you suggest, the spell has not worked for some time on other players. We just changed the tooltip to reflect that. We do eventually want to change it to affect other players once we get new tech from the programmers.
Q. Maintaining Inner Fire due to charges is not fun. Are there plans to remove the charges or change the upkeep mechanics?
We totally understand the ongoing concerns about the spell. Players never want short-term buffs. Left up to them all buffs would go to a 30-minute duration or even just a passive benefit up all the time. We don't think buffs that require so little maintenance are really buffs at all though -- they just become passive bonuses. So when we talk about this spell, we quickly get into this issue. Very short term buffs like Battle Shout suffer the same problem -- players would make them long or passive in a heartbeat. But aren't we really just removing spells from the game when we do that?
Inner Fire is something we are still discussing. We would ultimately like to move buffs with charges to a longer duration but we need to work out a few other inconsistencies with the buff system before we make that call.
Q. Improved Divine Spirit seems lackluster compared to Flametongue totem. Can we look at this and balance it?
We would be surprised if this portion of the Discipline tree looked the same in 3.1.
Q. The utility of healing priests in raids is limited. Fort and SP can all be buffed by a shadow priest, Mass Dispel and Shackle has use only in specific situations and Spirit requires only a single Disc Priest. From my perspective, adding a stackable raid utility to the healing priest would go a long way to ensuring their inclusion in raids. Can you give us your thoughts on this?
We don't want any spec to feel so mandatory that they always earn a raid spot. That goes counter to our design. It is impossible to design a system where all 30 specs bring unique buffs such that you bring one of each to a 10 or 25-player raid. Therefore we went in the opposite direction where you can get the buffs you need without bringing specific specs. There are a few exceptions, but those are also things we are likely to iron out.
Q. Discipline does not have the same bonus healing talents that the holy tree has and therefore presents an issue with scaling. As gear increases, the effectiveness of Disc compared to Holy decreases. Is this the intent? Maybe move some of the holy bonuses lower on the holy tree so Disc can get them? Your thoughts?
I don't think Disc can fill it's role with shields alone. They are cool, but the spec also needs to be able to throw down some single-target healing that is close to paladin level. There are a few different ways we can accomplish this. Overall we are thrilled to see Disc getting so much attention in PvE (it has been good in PvP for a few seasons), but it's not quite there yet.
Q. A timeline would be really useful, even if it's a guesstimate. I want to know whether I should keep going on my priest, or leave her on a shelf and play an alt. I realize a lot of these issues aren't "class breaking" but when it comes down to it, if I am going to be of more use to my guild by playing a different class, I would rather just level an alt, rather than waste time playing my priest.
We are always very reluctant to provide timelines. No matter how often you add "if all goes according to plan," "at this time," or "assuming nothing changes," it has been Blizzard's experience that players only focus on the date and then feel disappointed, frustrated or even lied to if we miss that date for any of a number of reasons. Many of the things we mentioned are things we are looking at for 3.1. We can't tell you when we think 3.1 will ship and there is certainly a possibility that some of these changes might not make it for any of a number of reasons (including triage of more pressing matters, missing tech or bugs that are difficult to fix, making a bad situation worse and so on). All of this leads to the inevitable Soon(tm).