Wednesday, April 1, 2009


My Priest has a Torch of Holy Fire now.

All I can say is: "About damn time."

Killing totems just got alot easier than swinging an excruciatingly slow staff.

(No, this is not an April Fool's joke)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Discipline Priest: 3.1 Rapture Thoughts

Raise your hand if you've ever played a Disc Priest.

Keep those hands raised if you've ever played a Disc Priest in a WotLK raid.


Now, keep those hands up if you've ever run oom as a Disc Priest in a WotLK raid.

What? None of you?

Frankly, I'm not surprised.

As Disc, as long as I'm throwing around shields and landing some big crits without much overheal, I'm hard pressed to drop below half mana, even if I'm using every GCD for Penance, Flash Heal, PW:S, and Prayer of Mending. It sounds crazy to say this, but I really have to play incredibly poorly to run out of mana: Not watching incoming heals, using PW:S on targets unlikely to take damage, not using casted heals... the list goes on and on. But since I do pay reasonable attention to what I'm doing, mana isn't ever an issue.

All thanks to Rapture.

Current Rapture (5/5): Causes you to gain up to 0.5/1.0/1.5/2/0/2.5% of your maximum mana each time you heal with Greater Heal, Flash Heal or Penance, or damage is absorbed by your Power Word: Shield or Divine Aegis. Increasing the amount healed or Absorbed increases the Mana gained.

Don't get too used to this version of Rapture, because it's about to be completely overhauled.

Future Rapture (3/3): When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled, you are instantly energized with 1.5/2.0/2.5% of your total mana and you have a 33/66/100% chance to energize your shielded target with 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy, or 32 runic power. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.

Yeah, that's a pretty phenomenally huge nerf.

So why is it a nerf? Let's list the reasons

  • No more mana regen on casted heals
  • No more mana regen on Divine Aegis procs
  • Mana regen limited to 2.5% every 12 seconds
So, how does a Priest gain mana from the new Rapture? Two ways: 1) Refreshing a PW:S on yourself will 'dispel' the first PW:S, thus giving you mana back, and 2) Absorb incoming damage with a PW:S. Of course, since it's pretty hard to anticipate random damage, this would naturally lead to alot of self targeted shielding for no reason but to hope for some mana return.

Essentially, to be able to gain mana with the new Rapture, one must have a mana pool large enough so that 2.5% of the mana pool's value is greater than the cost of the PW:S. According to Elitist Jerks, one needs to have a mana pool > 21000 to have free self PW:S with all of the cost reduction talents. 21000 mana is pretty easy to get to while raid buffed, but even if one has 25k+ mana, are the mana gains from PW:S worth it? Honestly? Not really. Without Rapture working on Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Penance or Divine Aegis, the mana return is reasonably negligible and this talent may not even be worth the 3 talent points.

But what about its ability to give resources to others? Rage users who are rage starved, aren't getting hit, and as such, wouldn't have their PW:S fully absorbed. The rest of the resource users could feasibly benefit from this boost, but 2% mana, 16 energy, and 32 runic power isn't going to make or break a fight, even if that player gets multiple PW:S throughout the encounter. It's really a nice side effect to not dying.

So, what do I think about the new Rapture? I think it will be a great mechanism for PvP, due to the amount of active dispelling that occurs, but I think that for the purposes of PvE, the 3.1 version is absolute rubbish. It doesn't synergize with the Discipline tree and it encourages bad play: constant self application of PW:S for marginal mana gains. It's obvious that Disc needs some mana regen tweakage since they currently never run out of mana, but a complete gutting of this talent isn't the answer.

Of course, this means that Disc and Holy will soon have the same mana efficiency... which could prove to be interesting as some Deep Holy PvP specs could begin to shine.

Learning Curves

First of all, apologies for the lack of updates. We're not going away a la Resto4Life. We're just a little lacking with post topics that don't cause our readers to retch from the QQ that oozes from my written words after I continuously fight DK/Lock/Pally teams in 3's as a Resto Druid. Since the game and the players seem to be holding their collective breaths for 3.1, there is this almost palpable pseudo-apathy among the seasoned raiders and arena junkies alike that 'things will be better soon'. Even if it might be remotely similar to joining a cult, I'd like to put myself into that perpetually hopeful state with everyone else and pray for some beneficial changes to the classes I enjoy playing. I hear the juice is quite good, too.

I've been playing with my Priest more and becoming reasonably proficient, or so I thought. A previous Gladiator friend of a friend and I have been talking, theorycrafting, and generally shooting the proverbial shit, when I managed to convince him to try 2's with me on his Ret Paladin. He's a 2400+ player on his Priest that he doesn't play anymore, so I figured I could learn something from him. If anything, the random misogynistic comments that come out of him when something crazy happens always lighten things up.

Even if we didn't do so great, (about even in the 18-1900's) I definitely learned alot from that outing because nothing makes you play better than someone screaming at you, "Why are you standing there?" or "Fear! Fear now!" or "Holy cow, you're so bad!" At least I know now what I'm doing wrong. While I consider myself a reasonably good player, he's definitely a few steps up and one thing that struck me is his explanation of the difference between Gladiators and non-Glad's:

The difference is that there is no thinking at the higher levels. If you don't Freedom the Kidney or Mass Dispel the bubble, as an automatic reaction, you lose. If you have to think about it, you lose.

You know, in retrospect, it's really not that far fetched. How many raiders can do Sarth3D in their sleep now? Probably a ton. What about the Heigan Dance? Probably completable with your eyes closed. Regardless of the activity at hand, it's really a matter of conditioning and strategery.

So, back to 3.1. Let's hope it comes soon and brings a more balanced Season 6. Otherwise, I'm going to pop my Asian racial and finish up leveling the Mage so I can graduate myself from a broken class to a Kalgan approved class. (Kalgan plays a Mage)