Cataclysm Priest : OMG LIFE GRIP!
Posted April 8, 2010on:
Before I get into anything else, I do want to apologize for my silence in the blog, on Twitter, and in the SAN community, I took over a former co-worker’s position, and not only has it been stressful, but it has also thrown me out of my normal rhythm of writing during my lunch break as…well…I haven’t really had a proper one in the last two weeks. I’m now trying to get into a rhythm of writing at home, which, until this post, I’ve utterly failed at doing. So bear with me during this transition. <3
So it’s here! I didn’t see it until someone emailed it to me at 7:30 this morning, but when I did I just about let loose a raucous burst of giggles in my cubicle. I’m only going to highlight the discipline/holy portions of the preview because in my world, shadow priests don’t exist. Well, maybe they do. I’ve heard rumors. But really, they’re just warlocks that return my mana. This just in! Hardcore Holy Priest Edainne has gone to the darkside (sort of). After deciding to roll a newbie priest on a PvP server that has some of my long-time friends on it, I decided that I would level her shadow (with a healing offspec, of course!). I know. It goes against every fiber in my being. But I will not give up! That being said, I still know jack-squat about being an effective shadow priest, and as such I still suggest you go find a real one to fill you in on the shadow priesty changes announced for Cataclysm (though according to Cassandri in the comments, there’s not much).
Here’s the breakdown we’ve gotten so far from the WoW Devs. If you’re really interested in all three trees and spells, head over to MMO Champion for a complete transcript of what the blues had to say. As with anything regarding the new expansion, anything written here, including opinions, are subject to beta-testing and change.
Masteries and You
In Cataclysm, each talent tree will have three masteries associated it. Think of masteries as bonuses for the tree : the more points you place in a given three, the more benefit you will get from that particular tree’s masteries. As of right now, your main tree will be what you get your masteries from (edited as I had originally used old Blizzcon Information only to be corrected =) )
The discipline and holy trees both have two of the same masteries: Healing and Meditation. Healing is exactly what it sounds like – for every point spent in that particular tree, you will notice an increase to your healing done. Meditation is directly related to your mana regeneration (think of like the current discipline talent, only you get it with each point you spend!).
For me, this is exciting news! Instead of placing points in talents just to earn more spell power or more regen, we can put points into interesting new spells or buffs that will boost our individual playstyle. At BlizzCon, the presiding theme over talent trees was to turn them into something more exciting and less cookie-cutter, and getting rid of all the talents that passively boost your healing output (and thereby make them “mandatory” to take) seems like a way to allow players to be more creative with their spec choices.
Now, Discipline and Holy trees each have one more mastery that is unique to that particular tree. Holy priests will receive a mastery called Radiance which esssentially adds a heal-over-time component to your direct heals. Depending on how large the heal over time is, it could be nice to counter static raid wide damage (think of Queen Lana’thel’s aura or Garfrost’s stacking debuff) or it could be a huge source of overhealing. The Discipline tree will have the third mastery of Absorption which, omgawd nowai!, increases the amount absorbed by shields and aegis and barriers, oh my! It seems like a fairly straight forward concept, and while it might not be shiny exciting mastery of gloriousness, to me it’s still quite an appropriate and dare I say expected mastery for the bubblers. I’ll let a real discipline priest chew on that more though as I am most certainly a holy priest first and foremost and a discipline priest amateur.
New Spells (and Talents!) of Awesomeness!
Yoink! I mean…Leap of Faith
This might be my new favorite spell in the game, if it makes it through the beta-testing. As developers mentioned in their chat yesterday, Leap of Faith is a spell all priests would get at level 85 that on a 45 second cool-down would allow the priest to yank friends out of danger.. That’s right. You can force people to gtfo of the fires. It is the antithesis of Deathgrip!
I love this idea. I don’t know how it will play out, or if I’ll be able to really use it effectively if I’m in tunnel-vision healy mode, but the concept alone wins in my brain. I am going to LOVE yoinking stupid melee dps who purposefully stand in the gosh darn fire because they can’t BEAR to loose their precious dps for one millisecond and force me to heal them through avoidable damage. Ahem.
I also really appreciate it from a pvp standpoint (a flag carrier who’s getting focused on in Warsong Gultch mayhaps), though it makes me a little bit worried for my survivability. If you knew that I could life-grip a person on my team to me if they were in trouble, wouldn’t you just kill me first? I find we already are boosting a giant HAI KILL ME NAO PEESE sign for just being the squishy balls of lights we are. But let’s be honest here. I only pvp’d enough so that I would have to spend beau coup gold to gem all of my alts.
Power Word : Barrier
It doesn’t seem like they’ve fully fleshed out this idea, but I’m drooling over the idea of it. Then again, as only an honorary shield-spamming bubblematic, I may not have any ground to stand on when it comes to discussing awesome discipline spells. But placing a freaking barrier over my group of friends to protect them from harm is the first thing that has really made me think, oh! Maybe it’s time to switch Eda’s spec.
In Cataclysm, the idea for healers is to have one efficient spell that covers their basic healing needs while everything else has its own niche (Greater Heal being only for situations that really need massive healing and Flash Heal being only for situations where you need that heal quickly, mana be damned). We’ve had this spell before, it just needed some attention after being on the highest shelf in the broom closet of the storage facility for the last two expansions By itself, it’s kind of an uninteresting spell, but the implications that come with it should be very exciting once we get more details about how exactly healing will work come the expansion.
We get to choose armor types! Inner Fire will still exist in its current form, granting spell power and armor. Inner Will will increase movement speed and decrease the cost of instant cast spells. It gives us a choice to make each fight to decide which will be more helpful. Inner Will might be more helpful on future encounters like Saurfang where you’re constantly tossing instant casts (bubbles, renew) on the raid while running around from things like those icky blood beasts. I really enjoy having to assess situations and adapt for new strategies.
The developers described Chakra as a Holy Priest talent that would increase a certain type of healing after using a spell appropriate to that type of healing three times. So, imagine you’re healing a tank with Greater Heal. After the third cast, you would be granted a stacking buff that would increase your healing done to single targets. Or say if you did the same with Circle of Healing or Prayer of Healing – your area of effect healing would then be increased.
This was another theoretical talent that I really enjoyed the sound of. Sure, spamming the same spell from the same type may not be your typical raiding style, but being able to increase your specific healing niche for a fight seems like a very practical tool in a holy priest’s arsenal. One of the most enjoyable parts of playing my priest as holy is knowing that no matter the situation, I can handle it. I am the jill-of-all-trades healer, and Blizz seems to be supporting that style by allowing us to choose moment by moment what kind of healer we are.
Imagine if you will, a fight where a dedicated tank healer is needed. It’s you, a holy paladin (assuming they are still the undisputed kings of the single target heal), and a druid healing (assuming again that encounters need three healers). The holy paladin was just bludgeoned to death by a pack of marauding murlocs (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it happen). All of a sudden, the tank has no healer! Now, druids are perfectly able to heal tanks (I’ve done it. That’s the beauty of having so many healers I suppose), but you’re able to switch directly from healing the raid to healing the tank (with increased single target healing!) simply by casting a spell three times. It’s kind of like your very own ruby slippers. Only, instead of taking you home, they take you were you actually need to be.
I’m EXTREMELY excited for the priest changes in Cataclysm. They seem to have read my mind and taken everything I loved about priest healing and just amplified it; well maybe not Life Grip — I was never creative enough to imagine that. To be honest, I’m just excited about healing changes in general – I like having to THINK about my choices rather than just spamming any and all of my spells with no consequences at all to my mana.