Regional FlagCongrats Blizzard, you got this one rightSource
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#0 - 2007/11/15 08:50:29 PM
Aside a few talents that are a bit weak for the points, and a lot of 5 point wonders, the Discipline tree, in tandem with the increased damage on healing gear and meditation changes, has had a profound and positive effect on Priest survivability and sustainability, while giving Priests the tools (in the form of cooldowns), needed to counter enemy cooldown-centric classes such as Rogues, and most importantly, it has greatly improved the quality of play as far as fun goes.

While I'd like to see a little bit more heal-centric play in arenas, I can say that I am once again enjoying queuing up for battlegrounds and running around in the world actually having fair fights against many of the other classes again.

What exactly did they get right?

- The tree is flexible. If you want to smite, you can easily pick up 5/5 force of will and searing light. If you don't, there are other talents you can invest the points in. Discipline boosts the weak aspects of the Priest, while still allowing individuality in builds.

- Meditation. This alone has had a very noticable effect on the amount of time I can stay engaged in combat, and it is a real improvement for fights that drag on.

- Spell damage on healing gear. I roll with about 640 damage on my 1500 healing gear (I still have some damage itemization, thus why its a bit lopsided). This boosts our bottom line by a lot. We don't have to gimp our survivability by having to degrade our heals into a terrible 900 dmg/heal state by wearing damage gear. In my spec, I smite for 1200, SW:P for 325, and renew for 600. I can work with this.

- We can survive for more than 5 seconds. One of the things that Blessed Resilience simply didn't provide was protection against flat damage. It was becoming apparent that Rogues and Warriors simply didn't need crit to down a Priest. Blessed Resilience did provide an escape from damage, however, many Warriors and Rogues are trying to spec and gear themselves to be less oriented around crit, and it shows. Focused Will provides us the effect that I have been asking for for awhile - consistent damage reduction via the 15% reduction, and an alleviation of Mortal Strike/Wound Poison by 30% boost to the healing effects. The experience of a Rogue/Warrior on my Priest as Holy has gone from "GEEZ get this OFF ME NOW" to "I can definitely withstand this for awhile" as Disc.

- Cooldowns give US the power to say "enough is enough" when other classes are piling on us with their cooldowns, instead of us having to be 100% reliant on teammates to save us because we have no hand in our own fates. Targettable Pain Suppression is useful for stopping coordinated burst damage. In your own self preservation, it seems to be overlapping with Focused Will (not verified, so don't hold me to this as it's a speculation!), so if you activate it on yourself during the worst of a focus fire, it appears to be giving 55% damage reduction. Power Infusion is also quite good. My most common use of it is to throw it on a teammate who is cross healing me during a focus. With them having 20% more healing, and me taking 30% more healing, this is essentially a temporary reprieve from Mortal Strike - a window of opportunity to derail the assist train and get your hitpoints back to full. However, I tend to take every opportunity to do a berserking, power infused, trinket smite for 2k non crit. We all gotta see big numbers now and again.

- Reflective Shield, while a bit of a point hog, gives us, effectively, another damage spell, that is instant cast. This was vitally important to us when fighting things like Warriors and Rogues, because of the problems that are being presented for "facing target" with the latency engine (I lose a lot of legitimate Smites due to "not facing target" when on my client I am). With Rogues particularly, it is a near impossibility to get a Smite or Mind Blast off when they are doing their song and dance on you. This allows us to work them down with our DOT, SW:D, and Shield damage. I would say previously, that only the upper 2% of good Holy Priests could Smite down a well geared Warrior with the degree of difficulty presented in casting a 2.0s cast time spell at melee range against a circle strafer, and this helps a lot more Priests get a more even fight with these classes.

- Reduced cost for buffs, free casts at the beginning of a BG/respawn. More hair remains in my head, and not torn out on my desk as I now don't have to spend almost half a minute drinking everytime I die or get purge spammed by some dippy Shaman. I'm also quite happy that Mages got ritual of refreshment. The old underspore pod is collecting lots of dust, as Mages seem quite happy to put these things out at the beginning of a BG, even despite the 20 silver cost (hopefully they won't come out of the honeymoon phase).

Good work on this one. It's the first patch with substance I've seen for a long time, and in terms of usefulness, has absolutely obliterated any talent review we've gotten up to this point for usefulness.

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#7 - 2007/11/15 09:15:50 PM
I love getting to hear the positive experiences people are having. It's just as important to hear what we've done that you feel is working as it is to hear about the concerns you all have.