Posts Tagged ‘discipline’


Tea with Zusterke part 3: Conclusions

June 4, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions. Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes. This is the final part of his results.

Some Considerations for Holy Spirits


We’ve seen that the optimal ratio turns around 600 spirit for 1300 intellect. But we have also seen that we can easily take 200 spirit or intellect more and keep a fairly balanced score. This gives us some room to tailor our regen stats to our likings, without risking a severe penalty in our regen. So let us examine the factors that impact our balance:

  • Lowered FSR: Some fights have phases and breaks in the healing. This can increase the value of spirit notably (say, 800 spi v 1400 int).
  • Higher FSR: hard fights can be very demanding and rip away that chance on a regen break, decreasing the value of spirit and changing the ratio a few points in favor of intellect. But such fights also diminish your chance on a hymn of hope or it can make relying on Replenishment, shadowfiend etc more risky. In short: our balance favors more intellect but a healthy spirit basis becomes ever more important.
  • Higher Crit: if you like a lot of crit, then you may score higher uptimes for holy concentration. This can easily up your HC time by 20% and really give spirit a push.
  • Single target spam: if you spam a lot more single target heals, you will have more chance to proc holy concentration and up your spirit regen notably.
  • Raid synergy: some raiding guilds really try to min max their raid groups. This means you really rely on some of your manabar based regen effects!
  • Hymn of Hope + Shadowfiend: if you have the chance to use both together, do it! The 20% increase of your max mana effectively increases the performance of your shadowfiend by 20%. This tips the balance a bit in favor of intellect. But a fight that can allows such a break is likely to have a lowered FSR time.
  • Shadowfiend + Bloodlust/Heroism: Bloodlust increases the haste of your fiend, giving more hits and thus more mana. This is a superb way to make your intellect count!
  • Hymn of Hope + Replenishment: the increase of yout max mana increases the effect of your Replenishment. This favors stacking a bit more intellect.
  • Spirit as backbone: when problems come your way, spirit will be your savior. When your group is sub optimal, your cooldowns got burned too early (or messed up!), or the guy providing replenishment bubble hearthstone’s out of Patchwerk, your intellect based regen drops like a stone. Intellect gives great synergy with the group, but that makes the group its lifelink. Having a healthy base of spirit can back you up under those odd circumstances.

There are probably a dozen more considerations that could manipulate the balance between intellect and spirit but I think I summed most of them here. Feel free to comment on more ideas!


It’s been a long post but I think we’ve reached some interesting conclusions for both the holy and discipline priest.

Discipline priests still gain the most out of intellect. In fact, it is unlikely that spirit will ever catch up with intellect as regen stat. Still, spirit beats mp5 for discipline priests with more than 1.1K intellect, which is definitely an eye opener for some!

Holy priests can still stack spirit and intellect with to a 6:13 or 8:13 ratio in favor of intellect and do just fine. Having more spirit will provide a great backbone in your regen model (and SP bonus!), but having more intellect will do great in min maxed raids. In fact, the optimal ratio has a couple of hundred points of leeway. With the current itemization in 3.1, I recommend going for intellect+spirit gear and gemming for intellect whenever you need more regen! I’m still a big fan of a healthy spirit basis, but intellect is definitely our biggest regen stat for now.

Whew! Y’all still there?  Thank you all for your patience in this really awesome discussion.  And again, huge thanks to Zusterke for putting it together for us.  I hope this was helpful to all of you (I know I learned a lot!)  And remember: if you’d like to continue discussion on this, consider heading to PlusHeal and opening it up to the community at large!


Tea with Zusterke part 2: Versus

June 3, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions.  Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes.  This is part 2 of his results.

MP5 vs Intellect

Round 1: Disc priests
It is quite easy to prove that intellect is better than mp5 for disc priests. If we take into account the stat cost of mp5, then we need to compare 1 intellect with 0.4 mp5. We have seen that our manabar regeneration alone provides more mp5 per point of intellect, so intellect clearly wins.

Round 2: Holy priests.
For holy priests, we only got 0.3403 mp5 per point intellect from manabar based regen. So, Intellect is 0.0597 mp5 short to beat the stat mp5. This is where the contribution of intellect in our spirit regen kicks in:intvsmp5So, we need a minimum amount of spirit to support our intellect. This condition is very easy: for 1000 intellect, we only need 308 base spirit or 324 spirit unbuffed. It is fairly safe to assume a holy priest will have that amount of spirit and thus intellect beats mp5.

MP5 vs Spirit

When we inspected the value of spirit in our regen model, we found it evolves with intellect. When comparing spirit to mp5, the evident question we will bump in is not “if” spirit will beat mp5 but “how much intellect” is needed.

brainzRound 1: Disc priest
It has been debated many times whether Disc priests should take spirit or MP5. We know that the value of spirit scales with intellect, and so it is reasonable to assume that spirit may outscale mp5. Let’s check when that happens:spivsmp5disc

Round 2: holy priest
The value of spirit is not limited to its regen for holy priests, thanks to spiritual guidance. Still, it remains primarily a regen stat. We compare 1 spirit with 0.4 mp5:spivsmp5h2Given 1065 intellect unbuffed, spirit can beat mp5 when raidbuffed. Starting raiders without sufficient intellect on their gear may find mp5 slightly more performant at first, but spirit will gradually outscale mp5 by the time they leave naxx 10m and the spellpower bonus from spirit makes the stat preferable quite early in the content.


Intellect vs. Spirit

With the introduction of manabar based regen in WotLK, intellect climbed to one of the most potent regeneration stats. For disc priests it was considered the most favorable regen stat, while holies tried to balance it with a fair amount of spirit. With the changes in 3.1, spirit regen lost some ground and manabar regen gained some. Let’s see how the balance evolved.balance

Round 1: Disc Priest
For disc priests, we ‘guess’ that intellect still outscores spirit and we try to prove it. We compare their values:spivsintdDoes this make sense? Like… any sense? It does! Basically this comparison tells us that we can stack a boatload of intellect before spirit catches up. For example, with 0 spirit, the optimal value for intellect is 2025! Well, intellect clearly wins this one!

Round 2: Holy Priest
For holy priests, the balance between intellect and spirit was far more delicate in 3.0 than for Disc priests. Typically a 1:1 ratio was considered optimal. For 3.1 we relate the value of intellect by the value of spirit. If it is above 100%, intellect is more valuable than spirit and if it’s below 100% then spirit is more valuable than intellect:spivsinth

At this point, the formula doesn’t seem to make much sense.. at least it doesn’t to me. But we can put it in a spreadsheet and work out the ratio for various stat levels:holy-spiKeep in mind that these are basestats and thus spirit should be a tad higher. Still, it’s quite clear that spirit has lost some considerable ground to intellect! That is, for 20% HC Uptime, 90% FSR and no specific synergy with your manabar regen abilities. Do check that other ratio’s, with some more spirit or some intellect also score quite well as optimal (less than 10% difference).

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final part of this guide. Zusterke will wrap everything up and give those tl;dr math-haters out there the bottom line.


Tea with Zusterke part 1: The Groundwork

June 2, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions.  Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes.  This is part 1 of his results.

Stat Wars

There are two challenges about theorycrafting. The first part is the theorycrafting: how to examine and calculate what you need. The second part, is translating it into human language. I found that part 2 is often more challenging and requires more patience than part 1. When Joveta kindly asked me if I would give a shot at explaining our regen model in human language, I accepted the challenge. I leave it to the faithful readers of to judge whether I succeeded.

theorycraftThe regeneration model of WoW has seen a lot of changes with patch 3.1: spirit/intellect regeneration was nerfed outside the five second rule, the shadowfiend is buffed, Rapture and Holy Concentration have changed. The regeneration model is so complex it almost obscures the effectiveness of our regeneration stats and leaves us guessing how to gear. Unfortunately there is no straight answer as circumstances and gear level have a great impact on our regeneration model. So, I’ll try to tackle some of these problems and provide a more detailed answer.

Manabar Regen

WotLK introduced several abilities that grant us a fixed % of our maximum mana over a period of time. Some of these have changed in patch 3.1 so we’ll go over them one by one.

Replenishment is now available for frost mages and destro locks. This makes the availability of Replenishment more reliable and ever more important to take into account.

The regeneration offered by Replenishment remains the same. It offers 0.25% of your manabar every second, which is 1.25% of your manabar every 5 seconds. But it is optimistic to consider it fully effective the whole time. At plusheal, we observed that the effect of Replenishment does not work 100% because refreshing buffs or missed refreshes can diminish the amount of ticks you get. You can easily verify this in any WWS parse (see image).

replenishmentHaving checked dozens of WWS parses, it seems Replenishment ticks 75-95% of the time (see screenie). I consider 85% an average which yields me: 85%*1.25% = 1.0625% of my manabar as mana every five seconds.

The shadowfiend was buffed in patch 3.1. It now delivers 5% of your maximum mana per attack, rather than 4% per hit. It can total to 60% of your manabar over 5 minutes which is equivalent to 1% of your maximum mana per 5 secs.

Hymn of Hope
Hymn of Hope changed a lot in. While it is still a channeled spell, it choses 3 targets randomly every 2 seconds. The spell is quite situational and unreliable when used. Therefore, I will not use its regen in this theorycraft.

Mana Tide Totem
The mana tide totem yields 6% mana every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. With a 5 minute cooldown, this gives about 0.4% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds. In my guild we tend to give this totem to dps, rather than healers, and I’ve read from several players that I’m no exception. I will not include it in this theorycraft, but for those who are interested in it: it yields 0.06 mp5 per point of intellect.

Rapture is a fundamental regen talent for any Disc priest. It can yield 2.5% of your mana, every 12 seconds, when a shield is absorbed. However, timing this shield consumption is hard to control. Let’s add a few seconds as safety line and assume it procs every 15 seconds on average. This corresponds to shield spamming the main tank who will absorb his shields anyway. In this case, we get 2.5% every 15 seconds or 0.8333% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds.

Our maximum mana can be calculated as follows:maxmanaWe can calculate the percentage of maximum mana per 5 seconds we get for both Disc and Holy priest. We can use that percent to calculate how much mp5 per point of intellect we get from manabar based regen but here we must take into account the bonus on intellect accordingly: Mental Strength for Disc and Blessing of Kings for both Disc and Holy. We get:manabarregen

Spirit Regen

Our spirit/intellect regen changed a lot in patch 3.1. The base regen of spirit and intellect was nerfed by 40% but our regen while casting from meditation was increased to 50%. As a net result, we get the exact same amount of regen while casting but notice a considerable nerf in our mana regen while not casting.

To make matters more complex, Holy priests now get Holy Concentration: a regen buff that depends on crit. The uptime of Holy Concentration can vary wildly depending on playstyle and healing assignment so I won’t go into details about it for now. Perhaps this may interest some in another guest post, if fate, Seri and Jovi will be so kind. For now, I recommend to check your WWS parses to see what uptimes you obtain from Holy Concentration.regen2

SenseThese values probably like an odd mix of Thalassian and Chinese so let’s simplify them. We assume 90% time spent inside the five second rule and for holy priests we add 20% Holy Concentration uptime (see image). This is a bit pessimistic but it’s better to play safe. Holy priests tend to have a notably higher mana consumption when raidhealing and most raidhealing spells do not trigger holy concentration.holyconcentrationTaking into account buffs from talents and Blessing of Kings, we get:valueholy


These formula’s do not reveal immediately the value of intellect or spirit. But it does reveal an important property of both:

  • Spirit evolves with the amount of (/square root of) intellect you have.
  • Intellect evolves with the ratio it has with spirit.
  • Stay tuned tomorrow for a special Wednesday Snarkcraft. Zusterke will cover the Int vs Spirit debate. Thanks for reading and a special thanks to Zusterke for putting this thing together!


    Seri sez: Gearing for Disc vs Holy (or: Why My Secondary Spec is Shadow)

    April 23, 2009

    This one's for you, Dan.When I first heard about Dual Specialization, my first thought was: Yay, finally!

    Then I realized my main’s a Rogue now, and I don’t PVP. Nuts.

    Anyway, it should come as little surprise to you that my first character to purchase Dual Specialization was, in fact, Seri. I didn’t have to think too long or hard about what my offspec would be, because for the last few weeks I have been livin’ la vida Shadow and having a bit of fun with the pewpewlazors. Making Discipline my primary and Shadow my secondary was a bit of a no-brainer, but the more I thought about it the more sense it seemed to make. Discipline and Shadow actually have fairly similiar priorities when it comes to gear, and I played a Druid for way too long to cheerily embrace building multiple gear sets for a char I don’t play every day. (Or that I do, for that matter…)

    Dual Specialization is great in that it gives raiders the opportunity to have a solid raiding spec on raid night and something else in reserve for general tomfoolery during downtime. But for those for whom raiding and healing are their bread and butter, Dual Specialization presents a unique opportunity to stack two extremely viable healing specs. Need more AOE heals for a boss? Go Holy. Need mitigation for another boss? Go Discipline. Best of both worlds, right?

    It’s not that easy.

    Discipline and Holy are two very different beasts with their own set of priorities for gear. One of the biggest mistakes that I see Priests making right now is thinking they can respec and do either one just as well without swapping any gear around.

    There are a lot of gear guides out there for both Discipline and Holy, so I’m not going to re-create the wheel. What I will provide you with are some basic proirities without delving too deeply into the math because this isn’t that kind of blog. (Also, math is hard. Let’s go shopping!)


    Gearing for Holy

    Let’s talk about Holy first. Back in the day, Holy Priests stacked Spirit, and lots of it. It couldn’t have been more tasty if it was slathered in fudge frosting.

    Okay. Maybe if it had been slathered in fudge frosting.


    Where was I? Oh, right, Spirit. Spirit will always have a special place in our hearts, but we don’t get as much bang for the buck as we used to. Holy Priests still gain bonus Spellpower based on Spirit (courtesy of Spiritual Guidance), but the ratio of Int to Spirit that you want for maximum mana regeneration has changed. As of patch 3.1, you want this ratio to be approximately 1.4:1 (meaning 1.4 Intellect to every point of Spirit). That’s right.. Intellect has become more important than Spirit.

    Of course, Intellect and Spirit aren’t the only things you need to worry about. Spellpower is also important, as it directly affects how effective your healing spells are, and of course Crit and Haste are like the sprinkles on top of the Holy cupcake. I’m making myself hungry.

    Anyway, the generally accepted priorities for Holy Priests are:

    Spellpower > Int/Spirit (1.4:1) > Crit > Haste > Mp5

    I think this may be even better than dogs playing poker.Gearing for Discipline

    Moving away from food analogies, think of Discipline Priests as the chess club nerds. Intellect is king for Discipline, because while Holy Priests have to worry about their Int:Spirit ratio for regen purposes… stacking Intellect allows Discipline Priests to take full advantage of talents like Rapture and Mental Strength. The more Intellect they have, the more mana they have. The more mana they have, the greater the return from Rapture. Discipline Priests also get greater returns from Shadowfiend and Re

    plenishment, which are based on the size of your mana pool.

    Discipline Priest priorities look more like this:

    Int > Spellpower > Crit=Haste > Spirit > Mp5

    When it comes to Crit/Haste, you don’t necessarily want them to be the same. They’re just listed together because they’re roughly equally important. You want to shoot for a crit rating of around 30%; whatever Haste you pick up to go with that is gravy good.

    As you can see, the only thing that Discipline and Holy Priests have in common is that they don’t really give a fig about Mp5. We cautioned you back in TBC not to stack Mp5 and we will continue to do so now. Don’t stack Mp5!!

    Get your gear on!

    Now that you have a better idea of what swapping between Discipline and Holy entails for maximum effectiveness, it’s up to you to decide if having a Disc/Holy Dual Spec combo is for you. While you’re at it, make me some cupcakes.


    Jov sez: How2Priest (part 3)

    April 21, 2009

    Alrighty, to recap…  You’ve picked your race, you’ve picked your spec, and you’ve got a good idea of what spells are useful when.  This is probably going to be the last post of this series (unless y’all poke me in comments with something blindingly obvious that I’ve missed.  Cause, hey, contrary to popular belief, I’m not perfect) and I’m just going to take a few minutes to quickly go over Glyphs.

    First off, the ones that really don’t matter:

    Minor Glyphs

    There are currently 6 minor glyphs in the game, and 3 minor glyph slots.  Which glyphs you choose is almost entirely personal preference.  4 have debatably more “raid utility” than the other two (Fading, Fortitude, and Shadow Protection reducing the mana cost of raid buffs, and Shadow Fiend giving you mana back anyway if your puppy does something stupid), one is purely to cater to the lazy (Levitate, which you’ll pry out of my cold, dead spellbook), and one was useful once, but is kinda meh with current content (Shackle Undead).  Pick three that aren’t Shackle and have fun.

    And here’s where things start getting a wee bit more complicated, since Disc and Holy don’t really care about the same things, and don’t necessarily want the same glyphs.  But moving on to a shortlist:

    Major Glyphs: Discipline

    Penance : The reason every Disc priest should be humping the leg of your guild inscriptors.  This is the first choice for any bubblepriest worth their salt.

    Flash Heal : The number two choice, and should be in every healing priest’s arsenal.

    Shield : You do everything else to boost your shield, why not add a healing component as well.

    Major Glyphs: Holy

    Flash Heal : What I said above is true; there are no glyphs good enough to prevent this from being used regardless of (healing) spec.

    Circle of Healing : A strong glyph, one extra hit on a instant-cast smart group heal is nothing to sneeze at; roughly equal to…

    Prayer of Healing : This is an either/or.  Prayer of Healing is going to be a better choice now that it’s targetable in any situation you don’t need the instant.

    Glyph of Guardian Spirit : Personally, this is the one I’m most excited about; I just don’t know anyone yet who can make it.   Sadness.


    Holy Nova : My issue with this isn’t so much the lawlnova aspect as it is the fact that it’s STILL party-limited.  Useful for 5-mans, however, especially as Discipline (as they have no other instant aoe heal).

    Spirit of Redemption : After the (justifiably needed) nerf, this glyph lost most of it’s oomph.  Not bad, but there are better choices out there.

    Renew : I know I’m gonna attract a lot of disagreement here, but I don’t like it.  I don’t want to be forced to sacrifice a glyph slot and 8 talent points to Renew to make it a useful heal.
    So there ya have it.  Quick and dirty, certainly, but I only promised a quick overview for this one.  Renew argument opening in the comments in 3, 2…


    Seri sez: Discipline Priests Unite–er, Disperse!

    February 19, 2009

    urgent-clipartLet’s talk about Discipline. After all, everyone’s doing it these days. With the advent of WotLK, Discipline has risen in popularity and utility for PVE content. I don’t have to tell you how awesome it is, because you can’t sling a wet cat (not that I advocate aqueous feline bombardment) without hitting a dozen blog or forum posts about how awesome Discipline is. Some enterprising soul even registered and set up forums.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Discipline, but I’m starting to think about going back to Holy because the Discipline-mania that is rampant in the Priest community makes me a bit uncomfortable.

    It wasn’t always this way. These things don’t happen overnight. It’s a slippery slope; you start out just quietly enjoying your time with your new spec/role. Then you realize that you aren’t alone. Other people like it too, and you can all chat merrily about how nifty it is.

    So maybe you start a thread at the healing community of your choice, a haven for Discipline priests to chat about all things Discipline. Maybe you start your own blog to talk about it, and/or find yourself following dozens of other Discipline priests on Twitter. Maybe you become an advocate, singing the praises of Discipline and convincing Holy Priests to just give it a try. Maybe you become an activist, finding yourself urging your favorite Priest bloggers to cover more Discipline topics.

    Time passes. The next thing you know, you and thirty friends are sipping kool-aid in your uniform black tee shirt and Nikes while stockpiling a small arsenal in the basement of your compound.

    Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but the cult-like following Discipline has developed is a growing cause for concern here at the Snarkcraft HQ. When interest becomes obsession, it’s time for a gut check. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself, “Have I developed an unhealthy attachment to my spec?” Consider the following questions:

    1. Do you own a Discipline Priest tee-shirt, bumper sticker, mouse pad or coffee mug?
    2. Do you have any of the Discipline talent icons tattooed and/or shaved on your person?
    3. Have you decorated your home in “Penance colors”?
    4. Did you register (:P)
    5. Have you attended a Discipline march/rally/convention?
    6. Have you ever passed out pro-Discipline literature at your local gaming shop?

    If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, please seek help. Discipline is a spec, not a movement. You don’t need to rise up and throw off the shackles of oppression. You’re not the underdog anymore; you’re an accepted and cherished member of the raid team… if you’d just shut the hell up and heal already.


    Seri sez: I <3 Penance – A rebuttal.

    January 22, 2009

    meditationEveryone is entitled to their opinion. I’ve repeated that to myself a lot in the last few weeks… a mantra of sorts.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It is our differing opinions and points of view that make for interesting blogging.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Without challenging the status quo, there is no progress.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion… but if it’s asinine and it’s about Priests you can expect to hear from me.

    A few weeks ago, a bright-eyed Discipline priest named Wistoovern stepped through World of Matticus‘ revolving guest-poster door with what he felt was a revolutionary idea clutched tightly in his hands. Because I had already read his crackpot theory over on PlusHeal, tried to communicate to him the error of his ways and been shrugged off… I didn’t read the whole thing. I was surprised that Matticus gave him a guest post spot for the topic, but I know that it generated a lot of discussion even though Matticus did take some heat for putting it out there.

    Wistoovern proposes in his guest post that Penance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that it is possible to be a perfectly viable Discipline Priest without it.

    Ok, I’ll grant him that it would be possible to be a viable Discipline healer without Penance.

    My counter-argument: Why the hell would I want to do that?

    Penance is a great spell. Why?

    • It only costs one talent point. – Where else would you propose to put that talent point, if not in Penance? Is there something vital I’m overlooking that you just don’t have enough talent points for? Go ahead, look. I’ll wait. Better yet, just listen to me: There isn’t. You’re already sinking 50+ points into Discipline to be a viable Discipline healer, so why not invest in Penance? And don’t give me that ‘CoH was useless once upon a time’ crap, because this isn’t the same. Penance is far from useless. If you don’t believe me, keep reading.
    • It heals for about as much as a max rank Greater Heal for a fraction of the mana cost. – Rank 9 Greater Heal = 39% Base Mana for 3950-4950 healing. Rank 4 Penance = 16% Base Mana for 3 pulses of 1484-1676 healing over 2 seconds. Need I say more?
    • The first pulse is instant. – Even if you have to step out of the cast, your target still gets nearly 2k healing instantly. This is comparable to a max rank Flash Heal but cheaper. (16% vs 18% base mana)
    • Each pulse can crit. – Got Divine Aegis? Inspiration? Penance provides three chances to proc them per cast, rather than 1. I’m not a gambling woman, but I like those odds.
    • Re-stacks Grace quickly and efficiently. – If you’re tank healing, and as a Disc priest you should be, keeping Grace up is something you want to do. Penance is a great way to quickly stack Grace to 3 if it drops off.

    Now, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t also discuss the cons of Penance:

    • 10 second cooldown. – Yes, Penance has a 10 second cooldown. If it didn’t, it would probably be crazily overpowered. Is there a chance that it might be on cooldown when you need it most? Sure. Sounds like a good time for Pain Suppression IMO. We have a lot of tools at our disposal, this is just one of them. (Also, it’s worth noting that the Penance cooldown is reduced to 8 seconds with 2/2 Aspiration, which any smart Disc priest has.)
    • Facing.This ‘con’ is irrelevant as of patch 3.0.8, but it used to be that you had to be facing your target to use Penance. This no longer applies, but it did when Wistoovern wrote his guest post so I thought it only fair to mention it.
    • Overhealing. – Yes, Penance can overheal. All healing spells can. I don’t believe this one is any more prone to it than any other.
    • Channeled. – Penance is a 2 second cast channeled spell. If your casting is interrupted, your target won’t get the full benefit of the spell. However, they would have received at least the first if not second pulse whereas with Flash/Greater Heal they would not receive anything until you eventually finish casting.
    • CC breaking. – If you routinely keep your shackle target as your target and heal with mouseover macros or Healbot, you could break your own cc with Penance. Um… l2focustarget.
    • Accidental pulls. – Ok, seriously… how much personal stupidity do we have to put in the ‘con’ column? Anyone can accidentally pull a mob with an offensive ability; this isn’t unique to Penance. Hell, one of our mages Blinked into Sartharion the other night and we all got a good laugh out of it while we were bolting for the exit.umbrella

    To repeat: Penance is a great spell. It’s far from the only spell in your arsenal, but arguing that you don’t really need it is sort of like saying that you don’t need an umbrella in the rain. Is standing in the rain without an umbrella fatal? No, but you’ll end up pretty wet.

    Still, I think the most disappointing thing in this whole debacle is that for all the discussion and debate that Wistoovern’s post sparked in comments he didn’t seem to participate in any of it. If you’re going to put yourself out there, airing a poorly-reasoned opinion in a blog with hundreds of subscribers, you’d better be willing/able to defend it. I content myself with the knowledge that he may have seen the error of his ways; the last time I checked he actually had specced into Penance. Irony, thou art sweet.


    Seri sez: 0/2 IDS: It’s not just for noobs anymore.

    January 15, 2009

    spirit-weekThe popularity of Divine Spirit rises and falls, but most raid groups agree it is a Good Thing To Have™ even if Spirit isn’t quite the Holy Grail it used to be for certain healing classes/specs. I remember, with wry fondness, the days when a Priest had to fall on their (buddy’s) sword and spec Hybrid to provide the raid with Divine Spirit. 23/38 wasn’t a very fun spec to play for most of us, but we did it when we drew the short straw for the betterment of the group.

    Now that Discipline is a more viable PVE spec, this isn’t as much of an issue. Discipline Priests are welcome in raid groups far and wide as more and more raid leaders come to realize the potential benefits of damage prevention, particularly on boss fights that involve debuffs decreasing healing effectiveness.

    Improved Divine Spirit is an awesome talent that makes Divine Spirit useful for every spell casting class, not just the Spirit-friendly healing types. Back in the days of yore, when shaman employed hamster balls to raid heal (wait, bad example) and trees had to shapeshift to run at normal speed (there we go), you did not take Divine Spirit without Improved Divine Spirit unless you wanted to be mocked heavily by your peers. Trust me, I had a peer once (we’ll call him Felix) that purposefully did not have Improved Divine Spirit and I never hesitated to mock him openly. Sadly, I think Felix thought I was joking… it never really seemed to sink in.

    At any rate, that was then and this is now. With the changes to buff stacking in Wrath, we now find ourselves in a quandry because the spellpower bonus from Improved Divine Spirit doesn’t stack with any of the raid-wide spellpower buffs granted by other classes. Demonic Pact? Nope. Totem of Wrath? Nope. Flametongue Totem? Nope. So, unless your raid group doesn’t run with any Demonology Warlocks or Shaman you’re not getting the spellpower bonus from Improved Divine Spirit in raids.totems

    Divine Spirit itself remains on top as the best Spirit buff in the game (the trump-er rather than the trump-ee, if you will) so it’s definitely worth having in your Discipline build. But Improved Divine Spirit? Hrm. Maybe my days of mocking 0/2 IDS noobs are coming to a middle. It seems to me that if your raids consistently have a Shaman or Demonology Warlock you can probably reclaim the two points from Improved Divine Spirit and spend them elsewhere. I know there are a few spots in the southern end of the Disc tree where I might like to spend a couple more points, how about you?

    On the other hand… I like my spellpower buffs, and having a little extra oomph while soloing or when the shaman is taking (another) dirt nap has a certain je ne sais quoi. (Yeah, that’s right… I just spoke French. I have layers!)

    In the end, this is one of those rare situations where I will say: Where you choose to put your points is up to you. It’s not that I don’t like telling you what to do (especially when you do it), but… IDS is now more of a situational/personal preference sort of talent than it used to be.


    Snarkcraft Mailbag: 1/5/09

    January 5, 2009

    It’s that time again, kids. What time, you say? Time for another peek into the World of Snarkcraft Mailbag! I know you’re excited, but try to pace yourself… this is just the first of many Mailbag entries to come for 2009!

    Eva writes:

    I’m a fellow blood elf priest (deep disc specced and loving it), and I was wondering what advice you would give to a newly 80 priest looking to start heroics.  Right now I have about 1300 spell power, 14.5k hp, and 16k mana.  My crit is only at 15%, so it could be better.  And my mana regen is at 460 o5sr and 160 while casting (I had to sacrifice some while upgrading).  What sort of base stats should I strive for before heading into heroics?  Where do I need the most improvement?

    Seri sez:

    Heroics are intimidating. That’s okay, they should be. The fact that so many people seem to be skipping normal mode to jump straight into Heroics now is kind of unsettling for some of us. It hits tanks and healers especially hard, as they are (IMO) the cornerstone of any instance group. An under-geared tank is difficult to heal, and an under-geared healer has difficulty healing an adequately-geared tank–much less an under-geared one.

    Whether or not you’re “ready” for Heroics is part gear, part skill and part attitude. If you are a seasoned and experienced healer from TBC, decked out in T6 combined with a few upgrades you picked up toward the end of your trip from 70 to 80 you are probably ready as long as you can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. But make no mistake… Heroics are hard and, no matter what your gear/skill level is when you first hit 80, they are going to challenge you.

    Personally, I feel that Discipline priests have an easier time making it over the gear hurdle because so much of our healing is preventative and we have larger mana pools as well as Rapture to help us out on the regen front. With that said… I’m only 79 so I haven’t healed a heroic yet, this is based soley on theory and observation.

    The best I advice I can give you: Listen to Jov. She has some good tips and gear lists for you.

    The second best advice I can give you: Update your gems & enchants. Seriously, if you’re wearing some TBC gear that’s still socketed with TBC epic gems and enchanted with TBC enchants it behooves you to upgrade them (even green Wrath gems are better than TBC epic gems). Sure, you want to replace these pieces (and soon) but if you’re looking to step into heroics quickly you want to do as much as you can to be as ready as possible with the gear limitations you’re dealing with. Spell power and regen are going to make or break you even if you do everything right, so maximize your potential. As a Disc priest you also need to think about crit, but focus on spell power and regen first.

    Also, now that you’re 80 it’s also time to start thinking about factions so check out my World of Repgrind post if you haven’t already. That will help you out on the gearing front as well as the item enchantment front.

    Give ’em hell, tiger!

    Jov sez:

    Hrm, well it’s a bit difficult.  Much like in early TBC, heroics are difficult to work out a hard and fast “you must be this tall to ride” to give you.  A fresh-faced healer who just dinged so recently they’re still covered in glitter will do fine in a heroic that the rest of the group can handle.  Likewise, no amount of T7 will compensate if you’re in a pug full of tards.

    Some guidelines, based on my experience as a fresh-80 with an overgeared group:

    Aim for 1300-1500 spellpower, 150-200 IC Regen.  Which end of the spectrum you need to be on will depend on the rest of the group.

    Your crit is pretty average for a fresh-80.  You have both more health and mana than I did starting.  I had more spellpower and regen.  There is NEVER enough regen. Please keep in mind I’ve been holy so don’t have personal knowledge to how much Rapture makes up for, but throughout the blogs I’ve been reading as well as my own experience, it’s regen which is the major determining factor as to what runs go well and which explode messily.

    I don’t have an armory link for you, so I don’t really have a good idea of the gear you’re in where I can point you at specific upgrades, but with some quick wowhead filtering, I can point you at some things to look at:

    Blue armor drops from lv 77-80 regular instancesquest rewards, and faction rewardsPotential weapons.

    Those don’t have things like hit filtered out, mainly because the lists are fairly short to begin with.  Keep in mind what you need to gear for (things which can up your spellpower, regen, and crit) and give those a try.  Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of faction and quest rewards because I feel much more in control of them, plus finding high-level normal mode instances on my server is kind of difficult.

    All that being said, are you ready for heroics?  Maybe.  Get some guildies together and give Utgarde Keep a poke.  It’s roughly as obnoxious for a fresh 80 on heroic as it is for a fresh 70 on normal (not heinous, at least until the last boss) and let us know how it goes!

    Have a question or topic request for World of Snarkcraft? E-mail us!


    Jov sez: Priests: Regen and You

    December 2, 2008

    Stats: Joveta, lv 75 Holy Priest, currently specced 14/47/5 for questing, STILL getting shunted to DPSing instances (wtf healer shortage??  Where?!) and occasional heal-pwning.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday with the in-laws, almost no time was spent this week on leveling.  The only major accomplishment was finally finishing up Tars’ Netherwing Rep, enabling him to have a shiny dragon, too.  Go Tars!

    I’m not continuing my “everything” posts this week, as I’m fully aware that I’m now approaching the minority to have not at least crested the Cold-Weather Flying benchmark, and raiding is regularly happening.  I’m posting this now to try and get information together and out there.  None of this originated with me, and I am providing links to all of my sources.  It’s pretty safe to say that most of it comes from EJ, however.

    Please note: when I say Discipline Spec, I’m assuming a talent spec containing at least 51 points in Discipline; likewise for Holy.

    spiritIn Which Jov Eats Crow

    Regen ain’t what it used to be, and straight mp5 isn’t necessarily the devil.  There comes a time in a priest’s life where they may find themselves taking mp5 over spirit.  This is not a bad thing.  Especially since deep-Discipline is raid-viable, mp5 can seriously outweigh the benefits of Spirit.  Quoting from the WotLK Healing Compendium on EJ,

    For holy, 9 spirit = 4 Mp5, ignoring spellpower gains entirely. Given spellpower gains, a 2:1 ratio is acceptable.
    For disc, 5 spirit = 2 Mp5, with no spellpower gains. Convert cleanly, and make your decision.

    What does that mean to you, Mr. Non-Mathcrafting Healing Priest?  Essentially, Spirit is twice as important to a Holy-specced priest than it is to one who is specced Discipline, and most of that is due to the bonus Holy gets to spellpower. If you’re weighing the regen between an item with 20 spirit or 12 mp5, Discipline will do better with the straight mp5.  Use the weights above, and take the item that nets you more regen.

    I feel so dirty typing that.

    Also, spirit has been nerfed.  The old spirit based regen figures were

    5 * 0.0093271 * Spirit * Square_root ( Intellect )

    But now we’re looking at

    5 * 0.005575 * Spirit * Square_root ( Intellect )

    Which means that generally speaking, we’re getting less regen in general.  Ghostcrawler has earned the enmity of the spirit-based healers at large with the following response:

    As a few players have referenced, we thought mana regen got to a point at the end of BC where players could just generally ignore it and assumed that mana was just a system you eventually graduate out of (kind of like experience).

    We don’t want you to be out of mana constantly, but we do want the risk of that to exist. We balance some spells based on their mana cost for example and when you can always use your most expensive, least efficient spell without consequence, then your cheap and efficient spells don’t compete.

    Mana is a resource to be managed, much like health or cooldowns.

    Basically, we’re not supposed to be never-ending founts of infinite mana and never were.  The removal of downranking and the nerf to spirit-based regen was done to reflect that.  To Ghostcrawler (on this and other things) I say thbbbt.

    replenIntellect is a Regen Stat

    Um, it is now.  Thanks to Replenishment and our new reliance on crit, Priests want Int.  Yay Int!

    Thus: (ignoring gains in mana pool size)
    Discipline: 132 intellect = 1% crit, 31.3 Mp5
    Holy: 150 intellect = 1% crit, 30.9 Mp5

    Discipline: 132 spirit = 40 Mp5
    Holy: 150 spirit = 46 Mp5 + 43 spellpower

    Replenishment is a nifty tool.  Living in the days of “Base Mana” everywhere, it’s really nice to face something that’s based on maximum mana.  Essentially, if you’ve got a Ret Pally, a Survival Hunter, or a Shadow Priest, you’re getting the Replenishment buff.  It’s a 15 second buff which gives you 0.25% of your maximum mana back per second.  How much is that?  Well, it depends entirely on how much mana you can get for yourself.  You get more regen the more mana you have, so buff up!  (And yes, Discipline Priests have an advantage here with Mental Strength.)

    Crit is also interesting.  Current theory holds that 20-25% is the “magic number” to aim for when getting crit rating.  It’s not a direct regen stat, but it snags you time Oo5SR through Surge of Light and Holy Concentration procs.  Why 20-25%?  That’s 1 cast in 4-5. Put simply, with that much crit, you’re looking at potentially one Surge of Light proc per tap of CoH.  Needless to say, that’s pretty snacky.

    intIntellect vs Spirit

    So with the addition of Replenishment, and the fact that Spirit isn’t so OP, you may be thinking to start stacking Int for all your regen needs.  If you are, stop right there! Zusterke from PlusHeal (all my healing readers also read Plus Heal, right?  Right?!) made an awesome post outlining exactly why you should not be focusing on one stat and ignoring all the others.  For the healcraft-averse, the TL;DR can be summed up as:  Don’t stack!  You want a 1:1 ratio between Int and Spirit! That applies to any spirit-based healing class: Trees, Discipline, or Holy.

    EDIT 12/3 : Zusterke has published a tool to let you calculate exactly how much regen an upgrade/consumeable/anything else will net you.  Available at Zusterke’s Corner: where undead test their brains…

    So to sum up:

    • Spirit isn’t what it used to be.  Dependent on spec, you may find mp5 is better.
    • Smart Priests choose Int!
    • But not too much, you’re aiming at a 1:1 ratio between Intellect and Spirit for best regen.