Jov sez: Priests and Wrath

September 18, 2008

Okay, I’m reeeeeeeally getting tired of all the doom and gloom going on with regards to priesting in Wrath.  I know there’s QQ’ing from every class, but really…  IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THAT BAD.

What are the problems?

Time and again, I see the same things mentioned.

  1. Doing away with racials.
  2. No new spell “variety.”
  3. No longer the “utility” healer.
  4. Spellpower means warlocks and mages are stealing our gear omg.
  5. Base mana.

Doing away with racials.

Priests were the only class in the game that got special spells per race.  Per the min/maxers out there, I was an idiot for playing a night elf instead of a dwarf back when I was still alliance.  Fear Ward is necessary, fear ward is mandatory, dwarves or gtfo.

Guess what, Fear Ward is a base class ability and has been for a year.  Racials going the way of the dodo is nothing new. Instead of quashing diversity, this was done to enable us to play what we want, and still be viable because we have the “must have” talents.

Yes, racials are neat.  They’re fun.  But they really don’t encourage variety, simply because they’re either good, or you’re an idiot to play X race because of useless Y racial.

No new spell variety.

Oh look, most of our talents don’t give us anything new.  They just increase the effectiveness of our current spells.  That’s soooooooooooo boooooooorrrring.  /yawn

Give me a break.  When 2.0 launched, our new spells were essentially just some additions to the Disc tree which were pretty PVP specific, and CoH.  We got clear casting, but that’s not really a new spell, it’s just something to make us…  more effectiveThe grass wasn’t any greener then, either.

This time, we get Penance and Guardian Spirit.  One is a channeled (and therefore instant cast) spell that damages or heals depending on the target.  The other is almost a mini-BoP.  And even if they suck?  It’s beta. By definition, the process of balancing and rebalancing.  How they appear now is not necessarily how they’ll appear in November, or even in January.

As for spells, yes a lot of the spells we’re getting are refurbished racials, but do you know how awesome it will be to have access to Hymn of Hope and Desperate Prayer, without having to be a human or draenei?  This goes back to the point above, but this actually encourages diversity; we’re not being pidgeon-holed for the sake of min/max spells and racials.

We’re no longer the “utility” healer.

So, what you’re really saying is we no longer have a guaranteed spot because we can fill any role in raids.  We’re going to have to actually work for it. And you’re QQ’ing.  Okay.

I’m honestly glad that Blizzard seems to be moving away from the “this class is best at this, this is best at that” thing.  It used to be Priests were the “utility” healer because we could do everything, where most other classes had one strength, and struggled for the rest.  Tank healing?  Fine.  Raid healing?  Fine.  5-mans?  Fine.   We were Swiss Army Knives, and we were invited to raids because we could essentially caulk any hole in the healing roster.

Well, now…  everyone can do that.  I think that is awesome.  The fact that every healing class can now spec to do any healing role in a raid is great!  We’re not going to be banging our head into content, stuck for months because we can’t find the right type of healing for a boss.  We’re not going to be facing the articficially-inflated demand for certain healing classes over others, simply because raid healing is king.  Hopefully, we’re going to avoid most of the “this person sucks, they’re a loot whore, have a lousy attitude, but I really need someone who can face-roll CoH” that guilds face currently.

We’re going to have to learn our class, and if we can’t, a single spell is not going to be enough to keep dragging us along.  This is incredible.

Spellpower means that warlocks and mages will be stealing our gear.  zomg.

Yes, yes it does.  But we’ll be stealing their gear too, so it all balances out.

This is primarily a pugging issue.  Presumably in raid, there will be a system of loot distribution which will keep things relatively on an even keel.  However, this has always been a pugging issue. Everyone has horror stories of the hunter taking caster loot, or the mage taking healing pants, or the warrior taking pally plate.  This happens, has happened, will always happen.  Some people are dumb, some people are greedy.  Reducing the “variety” in gear types isn’t going to make this any more or less an issue.

Base Mana

If Circle of Healing now costs 21% of my base mana, I can only cast it 4 times before running OOM! Um, no actually.

Base mana is not your mana pool.  One way of thinking of it is mana naked (I hear the sighs of relief now) but in reality, it’s your mana without any int modifiers.  That means no racial or talent modifiers to int, either.  It is a per class, per level amount.

Currently, Circle of Healing R5 costs 450 mana, untalented.  As a lv 70, my base mana is 2620 and 21% of that is 550.  Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s also being changed to be a “smart heal,” meaning it will heal people in range most needing it regardless of if they’re in G2 or G4.   There’s a trade-off, but one I’m pretty content with.

So what’s the problem, really?

Really?  There isn’t one.  This is the exact same thing that was showing up when TBC opened and priests were being told all healing would be done by pally/shammy/druids, and to go shadow or gtfo.  Stuff is changing, but different doesn’t mean bad.

Stop being chicken little.  If you’re tired of priesting, that’s fine, be tired of priesting.  Roll something else, play your alts.  Make another healer because you think it will work better for you.

Don’t go running around screaming that Blizzard is breaking the class.  The class is fine, lrn2play.


  1. I remember going into TBC people thought it was the end of the world when downranking penalties were introduced. They failed to focus on other positive changes that made up for the fact (like how HoTs were going to stack instead of just overwriting each other), or they failed to see the big picture (you can’t be spamming Lesser Heal your whole life; you are going to have to use some actual mana to heal things! Oh noes!). People clearly fear change and the unknown. Personally, I’m just hoping healing classes become more balanced come WotLK release.

    Anyways, I just want to drop your a comment saying I love your blog already. I’m glad to see you continue blogging. 🙂

  2. Hmm… interesting that you’ve put all the points in a row. It’s nice to see what’s actually going on in an inverview – and interesting argumentation. Definitely things I’ll be keeping in mind. Thanks!

  3. If I have to hear one more person whining about new talents in the middle of raids, or asking if they can roll for offspec gear because it will be main spec once the spellpower change comes in, I’m going to smite some faces.

    Seriously… it hasn’t happened yet. Everyone needs to stop panicking.

  4. @ dwarfpriest — omg thank you. ❤ And yeah, I’d totally forgotten about the previous nerf to downranking, mainly because I wasn’t a lesser-heal spammer, it didn’t affect me directly. But ugh, one priest I raided with, I’m remembering now, whined constantly in vent, raid chat, and priest chat about no longer being able to spam flash R1. It was… yeah, pretty special.

    @ Avonar — Thank you 🙂

    @ Dae — Preach it! Seriously, it makes me want to smack some heads.

  5. =] Before I say anything: I love the blog. It’s so refreshing to get away from the official forums where everyone is calling out the end of the world for priests. I was wondering, since it didn’t seem like you really touched on it… What do you think about the new toys Disc is getting?

  6. @ Myssidia — In all honesty, not having a beta key, I don’t have a lot of strong opinions on the new Disc toys. I’m intrigued by the direction they seem to be going (and they seem, to me at least, to have gotten a lot of things which improve their general PVE viability) simply because the super-shield abilities they’re getting are so very new seeming. Not that shield is a new spell, but that it invites the possibility of an entirely new style of play.

    My current problem with the priest trees is that I literally have no idea how I’m going to spec myself in Wrath. Every time I sit down to play with the calculator, I have so many toys at my fingertips that I want to try, or I can’t do without or, or, or… I’m probably going to rack up quite the respec fee playing around and trying everything out.

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