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ICC and PW:S – or Not?

March 5, 2010

A curious silence has fallen over the Official World of Warcraft Healing forums as befuddled discipline priests wonder where they stand with the developers. The optional zone buff released for Icecrown Citadel raids provides a current 5% increase to overall health, healing done, and damage done. It’s planned to progressively increase to a 30% buff. Except it doesn’t apply to the  spell Power Word: Shield. PW:S isn’t a healing spell, per say. It absorbs incoming damage. As the staple of the discipline priest toolbox, PW:S easily exceeds 50% of the priest’s healing contribution. But since the zone buff only applies to healing output, PW:S is neglected.

Clearly developers intend for PW:S to be a significant spell for discipline priests, given that they recently changed the T10 4-piece bonus to a 5% increase for PW:S and Renew. So is this oversight or is this how it’s going to be?

Theoretically, it’s only PW:S that is unaffected by the buff. All other Discipline priest abilities should receive the buff. Our direct healing spells do, after all, heal. I believe that Divine Aegis should be safe as well since the DA bubble that procs is based on the overall size of the critical heal. That base heal will benefit from the buff, and thus the DA will scale accordingly. It still can only go as high as the absorption cap allows, so this might not make much of a difference.

The silence on the boards is eerie. It’s possible that developers are wondering how they missed that not-so-minor detail and are figuring out how to hotfix it. Or perhaps they are looking sternly at Ghostcrawler and waiting for him to figure out how to let us all down gently. They could also just be asleep. Blues do that, you know.

Either way, we are waiting and holding our breath to find out what’s really happening here. Did you do this on purpose, Blizzard? Yes or no? Plenty of priests are offering their opinions on both possibilities, but it seems like the majority just want a response. Discipline priests are feeling insecure about their niche recently and this latest development has us all a bit anxious. Did we push too far?

See what people are saying on the Healing forums:

5% ICC Buff – Excludes PW Shield

ICC Disc – 5% Buff Feedback?

Icecrown Citadel is conquerable without the buff.

We can still do it and Discipline priests are still strong at what they do. Raids that choose not to use the buff won’t even notice a difference. Thankfully, the buff only applies within Icecrown Citadel and won’t affect Discipline performance elsewhere.

A few healers have suggested that shields empowered with a 30% buff would negate fight mechanics. Yet how is an empowered shield any different from an empowered heal? Both are amplified beyond the original heal necessary to handle the encounter.

There are valid concerns for Discipline priests. For groups that are utilizing the buff, particularly when it reaches its full 30% strength, will a Discipline priest who can’t perform at the same level still be preferred? Would it be better to seek out the holy paladin after all? And why pick up a raid healing Discipline priest whose primarily raid healing (mitigating) spell is PW:S? It’d be better to grab a holy priest who will benefit from the 30% buff and provide stronger heals.

The question still remains: is the exclusion of Power Word: Shield an oversight or intentional? All of this concern could be naught. Hopefully we’ll know soon.

Perhaps the silence is concerning us so much because we’ve gotten quite a bit of attention lately. I will give credit to the developers for being rather responsive to the QQ’ing of recent priests. The blues have repeatedly consoled us and told us that we’re fine and attempted to assure the community that we’re solid healers, even if we’re a little different. They even listened so intently to our wailing about set bonuses that they altered our T10 4-set bonus (twice) and delighted the masses – leaving the individuals who actually witnessed the bonus in action and had fallen in love with it feeling a bit bitter. You can’t blame the developers for trying. They gave us something shiny and different and we didn’t think it was good enough.

Maybe the silent treatment is a good response to all of our recent coddling.

But we’d still like to know the decision eventually. And by that, I mean as soon as possible.

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From → Raiding

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