Everyone 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.
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.