Merge Disc and Holy.

90 Blood Elf Priest
10090
Excepted that the holy priest spec is always at the bottom of all healing specs, while disc often on top and the moronic justification of holy being under is “just play disc if you feel underwhelmed playing holy”.
This has been the Status quo since way before the Firelands 2 years ago.
Hell developers even forgot to put holy priest spirit cloth in the Firelands raiding instance, which should be enough to tell you how much they care about it.


Holy certainly isn't always at the bottom of the healing specs. In fact, historically, Holy has been middle to top of the pack fairly consistently. The issue is that Disc has been incredibly powerful since Cata, which marginalizes Holy.

I'm also pretty sure the developers didn't "forget" to put spirit cloth in.


A little reality check of 10 man normal over 1 year on the top 100: http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10N/100/7/365/default/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

I congratulate our bottom buddies the shamans on their bump up, but as far as I am concerned my holy spec has been forgotten.

I do occasionally play disc for the good of my guild but I really don’t enjoy it. How can one enjoy a proactive style that always requires ganking timers to max his/her preshielding?I don’t. So you will understand that I reject the argument “if you don’t like holy play disc”.
I don’t mind too much the sensory overload from holy (aka always looking for the barycenter of groups for POH) but I’d expect it to pay up if I put in a lot more work than other healing classes that relying first on smartheals.
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
Funny thing about raidbots.

http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10N/all/7/365/p99/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10N/all/14/365/p95/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/25H/all/14/60/default/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/25H/all/14/60/p99/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/25H/100/14/60/p99/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

You can make it show just about anything you want, given some tinkering with the controls. Plus, if you actually follow the lines, Holy is in fact middle of the pack until 5.2.

You may also be interested to know that historically doesn't mean "this expansion". If you're going to make a claim using the term "always," be ready to back it up with more than the current content.

For instance, unless you were the buffbot, Holy was the only viable healing spec for Priests in Classic—and considered the best healer in Classic. It also dominated Disc in BC and early Wrath by a considerable amount, and was an all-around strong healer. Disc only really grew into itself as a spec in ICC; however, Holy was certainly no slouch then either—particularly when having any more than one Disc Priest in a raid was an absolute waste.

Holy was stable throughout Cata, with the exception of Firelands—but we were hardly the only class with issues (Shaman were in a truly sad state), and the problems were greater at the 25 man level than the 10. The main issue, which has continued as the main issue, is finding a balance between Disc and Holy. Apparently, it's really difficult.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
10/16/2013 07:52 PMPosted by Vernia
Almost every other class already has multiple DPS specs. We're fine with being the only one with two healing ones.


Excepted that the holy priest spec is always at the bottom of all healing specs, while disc often on top and the moronic justification of holy being under is “just play disc if you feel underwhelmed playing holy”.
This has been the Status quo since way before the Firelands 2 years ago.
Hell developers even forgot to put holy priest spirit cloth in the Firelands raiding instance, which should be enough to tell you how much they care about it.


Holy really isn't at the bottom.

And the developers didn't "forget" Spirit Cloth. They just plain didn't care.
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100 Tauren Druid
9880
Just read the OP

Just wanted to say; LOL
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90 Troll Priest
7090
is finding a balance between Disc and Holy. Apparently, it's really difficult.


This.

The issue, aside from some class rework issues that need to be addressed for quality of life, Holy is fine (YES EVEN IN 10m). However, disc outshines them because Disc VS Holy balance has been very difficult this xpac.

Here is a little something, about class represenation with respect to rankings.... It's like having a weighted average but calculating it as a standard average. It doesn't APPLY because the initial conditions are not correct.

We can infer that the under-representation is the cause for the low percentage of rankings, namely in 10N

The link below indicates the percentages of disc/holy combined in rankings throughout all formats. I'll be doing a Holy vs Disc similar to this one, when I get time:

http://i.imgur.com/MoB5DQB.png

However, those that ranked as Holy, did well. So we must conclude that there are other factors at work for why Holy is "worse" . Presumably the bias present from Disc bringing damage to the raid, arguably most valuable in 10m in combination with residual bias from when Disc was far too overpowered earlier in the expansion with 100% DA generation from PoH (iirc).

Not to mention raid leaders here over and over "bring a disc" even though in SoO, we're not seeing abilities on a 1minute CD (or close to it) like we have before. Disc is stronger in some respects, but that does not devalue Holy's viability.
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97 Pandaren Shaman
14765
It is actually very difficult to balance Disc vs. Holy. Holy generally scales very linearly through an expansion with gear, so it is easier to predict their performance curve. The only thing to deal with while developing Holy is how much mana to give them the ability to dump into pure healing output.

Disc is the difficult one, it's been a problem child for two expansions. Disc's performance with gear is more hyperbolic because of the mechanics they've given it (you'd think they would have learned from Fire mages) and absorb mechanics have a tendency to be required if too powerful, and worthless if not powerful enough.

They've really cut down on the on-demand absorbs available during the progression of MoP, the only reason Disc is still doing strong absorbs is because of high crit values and spirit levels supporting PW:S spamming ability again. Imagine if the mechanics were the same going into a new expansion, the performance of Disc would be totally abysmal. Holy, I imagine, would perform similarly to what it is today, which would be fine for the content level.

Merging Disc and Holy is closer than a lot of people imagine, without the end-of-tier absurd gear inflation they would play a lot more similarly under the current live mechanics. I dislike this direction and really hope that the devs have something better in mind for the next expansion design for Disc than a weaker Holy with only some absorbs. Although I'm sure the absorb-haters in the healing community would be fine with that, the reason I like Disc has historically been the proactive style, but I feel like the developers are slowly backing away from it precisely because it is too hard to balance.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
13305
The problems with balancing Disc are mainly:

1. Spot healing.

I spent the entire beta and the first month or so of live yelling about Disc spot healing because it was genuinely broken. Disc had no acceptable way to deal with scattered damage. The only proactive way to handle that kind of damage is constant blanket shielding (Cata PoH spam, Wrath PWS spam), which the devs had been trying to kill for years. Disc is hopelessly bad at dealing with it reactively because all of its single-target heals are pathetic without Grace.

They eventually 'fixed' it by buffing the snot out of Atonement. It worked too well. Atonement is ridiculous - it's solid spot healing, plus damage, plus braindead target boss and spam. However, there's no good way to fix it - it has to be smart, it has to do damage, and if you nerf the healing component Disc goes back to basically being broken because Grace is stupid.

2. Spirit Shell.

It sounded like a good idea. It wasn't. It's a major balance problem.

The major problem is that SS works with PoH - but PoH has a high overhealing tolerance by design. In Cata, disc priests were perfectly happy to spam PoH at 100% overheal just for DA - and the DA was about 40-50% of the heal of a Disc-strength PoH, which was in turn only roughly 60-70% of a Holy-strength PoH. In other words, for shielding purposes where you're guaranteed 100% effectiveness, PoH is a viable cast at about 30% of Holy strength.

But now with Spirit Shell, disc priests get to cast PoH for shielding at over 100% of Holy strength (since AA got buffed and is up every time because Atonement-mashing). They only get 4 casts of it per minute - but those 4 casts do as much as at least 10 DA-stacking PoHs would do (even factoring in some accidental healing). They do it all in a short time interval, which allows them to have a much larger impact on encounter mechanics. And with the time they save, they can do other things, like mash Atonement harder.

Disc tends to be more balanced when its shields are smaller relative to damage and require more time investment. That approach has also historically tended to make it boring, but it's not like current Disc is a scintillating gem of intellectual stimulation. And it would be entirely possible to give it a wider selection of shields to make the playstyle more interesting and less spammy.

3. Mana.

All through Cata, Disc was a major outlier with an absurdly powerful Int-scaling mana regen ability. From MoP beta to 5.3, the devs persisted in leaving Disc as the one and only spec with a scaling mana regen ability other than base Spirit regen. I shouldn't have to explain why this was bad.

Rapture was finally fixed. Its current state is balanceable. Of course, now the overall current state of healing is not balanceable because of crazy stat inflation, smart heals everywhere, and bad shaman design. And there's no telling what they'll do in the next expansion.

------------------

But there is hope.

Shields can be fine if they're handled well. Illuminated Healing is fine. Divine Aegis is fine until stats get out of control (at which point there are bigger problems). Other ways of applying small, blankety shields would be perfectly acceptable. Shields only become a problem when they're too big and focused.

As for the spot healing/Atonement issue, spreading the shielding out would solve a lot of it. Force disc priests to choose whether they want to commit precious GCDs to proactive shielding or reactive smart DPS-healing. Then you don't have to nerf Atonement and you don't even really have to deal with the fustercluck that is Disc's single-target-direct-healing mechanics.

And Rapture could potentially already be fixed (possibly even over-fixed). We'll find out next expansion beta, I suppose.
Edited by Kaels on 10/17/2013 9:32 AM PDT
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97 Pandaren Shaman
14765
Both 1 and 2 will be 'fixed' when they remove the party restriction from PoH, which I can guarantee will happen before 6.0 beta. PoH will likely be 'smart', which will break the reliance on Spirit Shell and make raid-wide absorb blanketing totally impossible. I'm unsure how worthwhile Spirit Shell will even be at that point.

I would also suggest having DA doing what it does with crit right now is very bad. It's always going to be a problem having crit mechanics contribute so hugely to a spec's performance because of how it scales with gear at both ends of the spectrum- terrible at low gear levels, too good at high gear levels. I'm not really going to suggest anything at this point other than how it is now is not a good idea.

What I fear most is going into the next expansion with everything the way it is now except PoH being 'fixed', which may make it easier to balance Discipline in raids but really just make it into an under-powered copy of Holy with PW:B and Atonement.
Edited by Xiaobanlu on 10/17/2013 9:36 PM PDT
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90 Gnome Priest
11895
Funny thing about raidbots.

/snip

Really, I just like to link samples:

http://www.raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/10N/all/7/365/samples/#0000000000000000000000000000111111

The number of parses doesn't tell us much, but it does tell us what's getting played. Disc absolutely dwarfs Holy, with about 4 Disc Priests to every 1 Holy Priest.

There's also a pretty strong correlation between number of samples and 'stack rank' on raidbots, especially in the top 100. The more samples a particular spec has, the higher it'll appear in a list of the top 100, as there's a larger number of 'extraordinary' parses to pull from. As an example, there's a Holy Priest in my guild who ranked something like 50th while 3-healing 10-man Paragons and doing about the same healing as me and the Resto Druid. It's not that Holy's bad, there's just no one playing it.
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90 Human Priest
13720
Both 1 and 2 will be 'fixed' when they remove the party restriction from PoH, which I can guarantee will happen before 6.0 beta. PoH will likely be 'smart', which will break the reliance on Spirit Shell and make raid-wide absorb blanketing totally impossible. I'm unsure how worthwhile Spirit Shell will even be at that point.


if PoH is unhooked from partywide restriction they will have to conpletely or at least partially rework the whole concept of spirit shell, period. I'm not saying they wont do it, but it would pretty much take away the only unique thing priests even have left.

Also, raidwide absorb blanketing is already impossible in 25mans and has been since the nerf to SS. Unless you count incidental DA, PW:S and SS all combined if the stars align at the same moment to be raidwide absorb blanketing (i'm not being antagonistic, i'm being serious).
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90 Gnome Priest
16600
It's not that Holy's bad, there's just no one playing it.


Or you can flip that around:
"There's no one playing holy, because it's bad."

I mean in a 10m, if you're playing with a druid/shaman/pally etcetc., you might as well go disc cause there's no damage to heal and you're just gonna get sniped.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
16150
Mages are too OP, hence their healing would be broken.


Have you seen how much healing they have now? Especially with steal spell.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
13305
10/18/2013 08:28 AMPosted by Jilliene
It's not that Holy's bad, there's just no one playing it.


Or you can flip that around:
"There's no one playing holy, because it's bad."

I mean in a 10m, if you're playing with a druid/shaman/pally etcetc., you might as well go disc cause there's no damage to heal and you're just gonna get sniped.

I guess if you want to redefine 'bad' as 'vulnerable to sniping'...

The two major problems Holy has right now that prevent it from attracting/keeping people are that you can't just close your eyes and mash smart heals and that Chakra feels horrible. I wouldn't say the first is really a problem with Holy so much as it is a problem with everything else, especially Disc.
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90 Human Priest
17730
No support. I run both heal specs. If anything, i'd support tri-spec to get a shadow spec.

But as a person who loves disc in 10m and holy in 25m, i'd hate them to be one spec.
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90 Human Priest
16220
10/18/2013 08:28 AMPosted by Jilliene
I mean in a 10m, if you're playing with a druid/shaman/pally etcetc., you might as well go disc cause there's no damage to heal and you're just gonna get sniped.

If you're using more healers than you should be, perhaps. I very recently switched to disc, but I did nearly every fight in SoO (and ToT) normal as Holy with a rdruid partner and I did fine. I'm actually desperately missing Holy's amazing burst healing in heroics.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
11805
I was mainly Holy for Cata but switched to Disc for MoP (mainly because Spirt Shell was amazingly OP before they limited how much it could scale with Mastery).

In progression content I noticed that I could easily top the meters as Disc though atonement healing but in order to do that effectively you need dependable healers with you who will be able to throw out the single target heals when needed.

Unfortunately the group I raid with just isn't fast enough to respond to someone about to drop quickly and I feel that as Disc I really don't have the ability to bring people back up from near death as fast as I can with Holy (in fact even with PW:S and spamming Flash Heal I wasn't able to keep up with the tank damage on some fights).

So I changed to Holy (mostly because we ended up having a 2nd Disc priest) and actually find myself having to use the Single Target Chakra on some fights to avoid tanks dying. Unfortunately my heals get sniped (Monk and Shaman) and I don't top the meters as Holy so it feels like I'm healing less. Still I feel like I'm healing more effectively when there IS damage and it's made the difference between wiping and downing bosses. It's just that I don't get credit for it :*(

That's the tragedy of Holy (in 10-man) I feel. It's more valuable than Disc but does worse on meters I guess.

Side-story: The 2nd Disc that was subbing for us is the healer I replaced in our group. They pulled me in because when I was with them they could 2-heal fights and the other Disc priest was never able to. Playing with the 2nd Disc I quickly understood why ... He was so obsessed with meters and atonement healing that he refused to pop a single target heal on anyone. With me doing that (so we wouldn't wipe) I would end up lower on the meters than the other Disc priest and I actually got told I should try Holy because I wasn't playing "playing Disc right, anyway".

Sigh.
Edited by Smitebrite on 10/18/2013 3:35 PM PDT
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82 Tauren Priest
7250
Discipline is a really cool and unique spec compared to holy. I enjoy it a lot and I think Blizz, despite little missteps here and there, has done a very good job of keeping the two specs unique with minimal cross over and blurring. I see what you mean about the holy dps thing and all that...but as people have mentioned, theres an oversupply of dps as it is, theres no advantage to it.

Other people might disagree with me, but the only thing I dislike about holy is the way chakras forces us to gimp our direct serenity healing in pvp situations when we go into chakra chastise to get our cc and I just don't understand why that was done. There is no obvious reason for it. Chastise, fear ward, desperate prayer were all racials that had interesting roots. They have all become near on useless peripheral spells because of the way they occupy niche areas. Even as a talent that people think is awesome...I have had nothing but negative experiences with desperate prayer as a talent...whereas at least in cata I could use it and felt reasonably good about it as a niche oh crap button.

It used to be with the old talent system that you could get by with being in chakra: serenity but not taking revelations which converted chastise...then you could roll with the passive buff to direct healing and renew, but forgo serenity in place of chastise and enjoy half and half.

But with the new talent system, everything got lumped together so that you had to choose.

So for me at least, my only gripe with holy is that if they could structure it so we always had chastise available that would work better.

But yunno its hard, because chakra is one of those ideological objects that blizz clings to, its not really the key to holy imo. The glaring failure of it is basically that the tradeoff they force you to deal with doesn't carry with it any real world utility. There is no advantage for the average joe like me to ever go into sanctuary...it is a big group raid thing. There is incentive to take chastise, but its inconvenient and annoying so that leaves me at home and happy in serenity 90% of the time...its merely ideology.

For me holy is angels, prayers, cherubs, chimes, bright and beautiful light...in the end, lets admit it...its jesus.

Chakra just sounds like an indian pleasure system.
Edited by Oonkiss on 10/19/2013 3:51 AM PDT
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100 Night Elf Mage
13840
An idea I've had for ages is that healing specs should all be reworked to be dps specs with healing as a side effect (much like how shadow priests were in the Burning Crusade days). The whole idea of standing in the back of the raid throwing healing spells around is dumb. I even have a couple healers, but I find the healing aspect of these characters boring. We should have more stuff like atonement and fistweaving. If this worked, we would have more emphasis on personal accountability for surviving encounters and less expectation to have a healer bring you back from the brink.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
An idea I've had for ages is that healing specs should all be reworked to be dps specs with healing as a side effect (much like how shadow priests were in the Burning Crusade days). The whole idea of standing in the back of the raid throwing healing spells around is dumb. I even have a couple healers, but I find the healing aspect of these characters boring. We should have more stuff like atonement and fistweaving. If this worked, we would have more emphasis on personal accountability for surviving encounters and less expectation to have a healer bring you back from the brink.


I would absolutely detest this and probably quit the game if it ever ended up being implemented.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13665
10/19/2013 01:24 PMPosted by Tiriel
An idea I've had for ages is that healing specs should all be reworked to be dps specs with healing as a side effect (much like how shadow priests were in the Burning Crusade days). The whole idea of standing in the back of the raid throwing healing spells around is dumb. I even have a couple healers, but I find the healing aspect of these characters boring. We should have more stuff like atonement and fistweaving. If this worked, we would have more emphasis on personal accountability for surviving encounters and less expectation to have a healer bring you back from the brink.


I would absolutely detest this and probably quit the game if it ever ended up being implemented.


Agreed.

The only time I find healing boring is when we 3 heal things we shouldn't or when we outgear certain content and there is nothing to heal.
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