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Discipline Changes

February 11, 2011

The impact of the changes to Discipline Priest’s abilities will vary depending on where you’re at in the content. I can speak only for Heroics and entry-level raiding at this point in time. Healers further into progression may notice other effects and, ultimately, how they use the abilities will determine how Discipline is balanced in the future.

Levitateduration increased to 10 minutes.
Deepsea fishing has just become immensely less annoying.

Penancemana cost has been increased by 7%, but healing increased by 20%.
In general, Discipline priests seem to have more stable mana pools than other healers right now.  Chipping away at that stability is fine if my heals are stronger for it.

Graceno longer limited to one target at a time.
This is the change that I’ve been waiting for as a Discipline priest. I’m extremely happy to see it implemented and look forward to the freedom and utility it gives me in raiding and balancing multiple targets.

Strength of Soul: now occurs when the priest casts Inner Focus on oneself. In addition, causes the priest to become immune to silence, interrupt, and dispel effects for 2/4 seconds after using Inner Focus.
Huh. I still don’t know what I think of this talent. They’re going somewhere with it, but I’m not yet sure what the overall philosophy is behind it.


Prayer of Healing: effectiveness has been reduced by 15%.Divine Aegis: Critical effects from Prayer of Healing now award a bonus amount in addition to the default, always-proc Divine Aegis effect.

Taken together, these changes are acceptable. I’m not a fan of any reduction to PoH because, as a Discipline priest, it’s my only recourse for reliable AoE healing. But I’m also aware that it isn’t my Heroic/entry-level healing that caused the change. When I’m in later content, I should be strong enough to sustain heals regardless. More importantly, my fellow healers will be stronger by then as well and less of the burden will be placed on me to support them. The DA component of the change is very welcome. It’s also more important than ever to time your PoH carefully so that the DA is actually consumed.

Power Word: Shieldmana cost has been increased by approximately 31%, but its effect has been increased by 208%.

The boost to Power Word: Shield is significant and is immediately becoming a source of contention among healers. Our shields are now powerful and Mastery plays a stronger role in our stat weights. It’s a considerable upgrade from the wimpy state of shields when Cataclysm was released. The first question that comes to mind for many is the issue of bubble spamming. It’s difficult to tell if it’s viable or sustainable yet. Logs do not accurately record absorbs and so the surge of opinions is speculative at best.

What we do know is that Blizzard doesn’t like it. If it becomes an issue, there will be inevitable modifications to Power Word: Shield’s strength, cooldown, or to our mana resources that force us to curtail our use of it and only utilize a shield when it’s actually the right spell to use. The best practice is to not treat Power Word: Shield like an exploit. Use it when it is appropriate, rely on other abilities when a Shield isn’t the best option, and heal effectively and intelligently.

Summary
Overall, I’m pleased with the changes. I could feel the difference. Through gear and being careful with my healing, I’d already gotten past the frustration of feeling that I simply couldn’t keep up. Getting a boost helped me feel like I was on more even footing with my healing counterparts. I don’t mind working smart and paying attention in order to fulfill my role. But the amount of effort required should be equal among the players.

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From → Cataclysm

2 Comments
  1. Eurynine permalink

    Justputting this out there, but it seems like, post-patch, Disc has seen unexpected gains in straight-up effective healing on top of absorbs -my guild’s Disc priest was sick this week but her performance this week was great, even pushing past me (Holy Priest on raid healing) and our top healers to top the Effective healing charts -not even counting absorbs. While it might just have been a Recount bug, I’m thinking she’ll be kicking healing butt for a while.

    What? Oh, heh, don’t mind me, just re-speccing that no good DPS off-specc. Who needs ’em when you got big Bubbles, eh?

  2. I believe it. I haven’t had a chance to test out the changes in a raid other than Baradin’s Hold or examine logs, but Discipline feels stronger overall. The changes to Grace should strengthen direct heals.

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