Regional Flag[Discipline] The new Spirit ShellSource
Target Source
#1 - 2012/05/09 12:10:00 AM
For the next 15 sec, your Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing no longer heal but instead create absorption shields that last 15 sec. Instant. 60 sec cooldown.

I'll be trying this out soon, but my first thought: why does it need a cooldown? I'd rather see it as a toggle, like blade flurry, but with something like the following (possibly add a small cooldown, like 5 or 10 seconds):

While active, your Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing no longer heal but instead create absorption shields that last 15 sec, and cost X% more mana.

X can be toggled to be balanced as the devs see fit (start low, like 5% or 10%). Basically, this allows priests to go into "absorption" mode, which is an awesome idea (IMO). There are plenty of times where I'd want to toggle this on/off depending on what phase of the fight we're in, and I don't think it needs a cooldown.

Game Designer
Target Source
#66 - 2012/05/10 12:12:00 AM
Heals cast during Spirit Shell should benefit from Grace. Mastery affects the bubbles. We built Divine Aegis into the effect by making the bubbles scale with your crit chance.

It sounds like your PoH Spirit Shells are low, but you are often operating a few builds behind us.

Shields are generally smaller than equivalent heals, since there is much less risk of overhealing and the absorbs always go away first. That's just a general tuning philosophy and not a die-hard rule. Shields have disadvantages too (such as at some point you need to get targets back up to a safe health level).

Again, don't focus on the numbers. It's fine to bring up the numbers if they seem off, but don't let simple balance adjustments get in the way of evaluating whether or not you think the mechanic is fun. I know that is hard sometimes with healing, since efficiency and throughput dictate so many decisions.

The beginning of MoP Beta:
"We want Discipline to feel different, so we're removing several of the heals you have become accustomed to using over the years and replacing them with absorb mechanics."

Currently in the MoP Beta:
"We don't want Discipline feeling TOO different so here's all your old heals back. Oh, and Spirit Shell is now a semi-useful-in-certain-situations cooldown. Enjoy."

We usually start out more bold and refine things as we go along, which often means going to a known fallback position. That direction makes more sense than starting off cautiously and getting more reckless as we get closer to ship. :)

Game Designer
Target Source
#92 - 2012/05/10 02:17:00 AM
...what does "making the bubbles scale with your crit chance" mean?

If your chance to crit is 20%, your bubbles are 20% stronger. If your chance to crit is 100%, you get double bubbles.

For Divine Aegis, the heals are 30% times your crit chance, except for PoH which is just +30%.

Logically, I understand this, but in practice... it's a bit more difficult since sometimes the numbers DO define the fun, or at least what some people think of as fun.

Yep, we get that. When understanding the target numbers is key to understanding how you'd use the spell, we try to get things in the ballpark. On the other hand, it's not a good use of development time to balance a mechanic if we ultimately (and sometimes quickly) remove it. We could have spent many more hours balancing the previous version of Spirit Shell, which we ended up scrapping. Everyone in this business very quickly gets used to "wasted" design time like that, but it's better for the project as a whole if we spend our polish time once everything has stabilized a bit more.

If the numbers go up to something reasonable, then it becomes intensely fun again because it gives a choice. Is there about to be a ton of aoe coming in? Pre-shield. Is there only some aoe coming in? PoH. If I chcoose wrong.. if I pre-shield and it is a little damage.. I wasted absorbs. If I choose not to shield and it is a lot of damage, then I tax myself (and the other healer) trying to get everyone back up. Having options and needing to know when each particular option is the right thing to do is what is fun for me.

That's the intent. Also, because it's not a very long cooldown, you're not overly punished for making the wrong call. It will be back soon enough.

That said, GC, can we get more clarity to the dev team's vision of the mechanic-- specifically how it's meant to stack on itself and refresh?

We're not sure yet. :( Stacking sometimes leads to behavior where you feel like you have to spam something over and over to the max stack. We wouldn't want Spirit Shell to only be used on a tank for instance. That may not happen, but the mechanic is still in it's toddler stages, so we need to evaluate it some more.