Redesign the Discipline Mastery

80 Troll Rogue
9245
On beta right now, the way to go if you even attempt healing as discipline is all out mastery + shield spam. On almost all the logs, disc is doing 65%+ healing with shields, not because they are that strong (they absorb 9k as a fresh 85 or so)

But with all the mastery rating, disc is having the same problem shadow had. The mastery is only benefiting one active ability and divine aegis, which is just a proc.

So like how mass mastery for shadow was making mind blast do ridiculous damage and was still a bad stat because it only buffed 10% of your damage rotation, disc faces the same problem in the opposite direction. Mastery on gear is making bubble the only thing to cast again.

So I propose the mastery be changed to " Increases the amount absorbed by your absorption effects by 10% and increases all healing done to targets affected by weakened soul by 10%, +1.25% per point mastery".

It wont fix the major issues disc has right now (no smart aoe heal, atonement being quite broken in most boss fights) but it will be a start in the right direction.
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100 Troll Priest
12740
The whole mastery stat should be removed across the board for all classes.
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85 Human Priest
6610
Personally, until the higher gear levels when a disc priest can balance their stats more to benefit heals better, I don't know if that 65% number is that bad. I don't ever want to see the return of shield spamming, but PW:S is one of two spells (Divine Aegis being the other) that benefits from Disc's mastery and it takes a lot of mastery to even get PW:S to equal Heal/Atonement. Casting an absorb is what the spec is designed to do.

I don't think Blizzard ever stated they don't want disc priests to EVER cast shields, they just don't want it to be the ONLY option or response to damage. Let's wait and see what the most recent Beta changes does for PoH and PW: Barrier as a method to deal with incoming raid damage. :)
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80 Night Elf Hunter
1770
First off, I agree 100% with Manjula, but since Blizzard absolutely despises being told they've done something other than genius and are more likely to remove the stat if we say nothing and dont use it than they are to remove it because of the countless threads with parses telling them how lame it is, I'll refrain from further comment as to the general and complete suckiness of mastery.

On beta right now, the way to go if you even attempt healing as discipline is all out mastery + shield spam. On almost all the logs, disc is doing 65%+ healing with shields, not because they are that strong (they absorb 9k as a fresh 85 or so)

But with all the mastery rating, disc is having the same problem shadow had. The mastery is only benefiting one active ability and divine aegis, which is just a proc.

So like how mass mastery for shadow was making mind blast do ridiculous damage and was still a bad stat because it only buffed 10% of your damage rotation, disc faces the same problem in the opposite direction. Mastery on gear is making bubble the only thing to cast again.

So I propose the mastery be changed to " Increases the amount absorbed by your absorption effects by 10% and increases all healing done to targets affected by weakened soul by 10%, +1.25% per point mastery".

It wont fix the major issues disc has right now (no smart aoe heal, atonement being quite broken in most boss fights) but it will be a start in the right direction.


You wont get any complaints from me about buffing Disc healing throughput. I was actually sortof hoping that Disc mastery would be so useless that I would be able to focus on spell power and haste to buff my direct heals, but I'd be just as happy getting a heal buff from mastery.

I get that shields are useful, and buffed shields are a big part of the Disc identity but its mind numbing and tedious enough to use them without increasing our dependence on them IMO.
Edited by Servo on 11/11/2010 12:27 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12135
I actually think I prefer the design of the disc mastery over the other healing masteries- rather than a blanket (if only situationally good) boost to all spells giving it a fairly clear place in the hierarchy among secondary stats, it's the biggest bang for your buck for buffing one ability but does absolutely nothing for other spells. So you either get mastery for better shields or go for crit/haste, which buff pretty much everything but not to the extent that mastery buffs PW:S/DA.

I wouldn't say it's comparable to the old shadow mastery, because allowing extremely large shields isn't nearly as game-breaking as allowing extremely large mind blasts. And more generally speaking healing isn't a math problem like DPS is so the value of mastery is based on "how much will I be using PW:S/how important is DA going to be on this fight," not "how much of an hps boost is mastery vs. haste/crit at this level of spellpower?"
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80 Troll Rogue
9245
I wouldn't say it's comparable to the old shadow mastery, because allowing extremely large shields isn't nearly as game-breaking as allowing extremely large mind blasts


It actually is. It goes by the same mindset. Either use all your spells, or stack only mastery and use one spell to the exclusion of others.

Disc hps needs buffs. Any healer doing more than 50% of their healing from one spell is seeing that spell nerfed. Power word shield is in that position for discipline, but not because the spell is powerful : like I said, its much, much weaker than a hot or direct heal like atonement. It just snipes healing to prop it up as if it was good.

I actually think I prefer the design of the disc mastery over the other healing masteries- rather than a blanket (if only situationally good) boost to all spells giving it a fairly clear place in the hierarchy among secondary stats, it's the biggest bang for your buck for buffing one ability but does absolutely nothing for other spells


This is exactly why the mastery cant work the way it does. When a mastery directly benefits only ONE spell over all others, there is a threshold of mastery where a spell flips from being underpowered due to too little mastery (or no mastery at all, which is how PWS is for holy right now) to being the only spell you want to use because it scales so ridiculously with mastery.

If a mastery doesnt make you better at what you do, and only makes one spell better, that mastery is going to be bloated to make the spell scale too well, so that the mastery is even worth taking. If the mastery benefits you in multiple facets of your playstyle, its a much more general benefit, easy to tune, and doesnt make one spell uniquely better than all the rest.

And on the topic of removing mastery rating, I agree but it is way too late in this expansions development cycle for an entire stat to be removed and have classes rebalanced around its absence. Its going to make some classes overpowered and others gimped, and will never be balanced all of Cataclysm, but hopefully blizzard removes it in time for 5.0 and the next expansion. Hopefully thats when they make melee dots scale with haste too :|
Edited by Korvox on 11/11/2010 1:45 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12135
The flaw in your logic is that you assume that how frequently you cast PW:S has anything to do with how much it absorbs for relative to other single-target heals.

When tank healing, you're pretty much going to press it as soon as weakened soul falls off, no matter what. It could absorb 1 damage and you'd still use it for the seventeen billion effects attached to it.

When raid healing, unless you're in a situation where PoH or possibly nova is useful PW:S is still going to be the best button to push from a pure hps standpoint- other spells may do better 'on paper' but PW:S has zero overheal risk as long as the target is going to take damage in the next 30 seconds. What's going to keep you from smashing your face against the button for an entire fight at 85 is that you won't have the mana to pull it off, not that its throughput is going to be inferior to Greater Heal or Renew.
Edited by Suzushiiro on 11/11/2010 4:29 PM PST
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80 Night Elf Hunter
1770

I actually think I prefer the design of the disc mastery over the other healing masteries- rather than a blanket (if only situationally good) boost to all spells giving it a fairly clear place in the hierarchy among secondary stats, it's the biggest bang for your buck for buffing one ability but does absolutely nothing for other spells


This is exactly why the mastery cant work the way it does. When a mastery directly benefits only ONE spell over all others, there is a threshold of mastery where a spell flips from being underpowered due to too little mastery (or no mastery at all, which is how PWS is for holy right now) to being the only spell you want to use because it scales so ridiculously with mastery.


I agree with your point in general, and I dont like to see a stat devoted to a single spell either. But, as another poster pointed out you use shields regardless of their heal value, and I'll add that you're going to have a very hard time shielding people to full health.

Personally I dont want to have to stack mastery as Disc. Shields are very useful in that they immediately stop damage on your target, and otherwise they're just used in disc healing rotation for the procs.

Having a stronger shield does nothing for me. It doesnt make me better at what I need to do or make things easier. -if- shields were strong enough to impact the way I play it would make healing really boring.
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80 Troll Rogue
9245
The problem is that shields are your only viable heal outside penance. On beta, its prayer of mending, shields, and penance. Have the other, stronger, more efficient healers actually top people back off : they do it better than you do in any situation. You should just turn and start bubbling someone else taking damage.

My suggestion is to fix the problem of mastery scaling and make your other spells worth using after you use those shields, instead of just leaving the work to the other healers.
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90 Draenei Priest
0
They have stated they want disc to use spells other than shield.

They have stated that mastery is partially intended to be used as a single tuning knob for balancing classes. Especially with regards to classes like a priest (and most dps classes) where tuning the spells separately may cause issues with the other spec. (This was months ago, that may have changed).

The problem when you put those two together:

If disc is OP (lol), then the knob gets dialed down, it only affects 1 spell (and a proc), and disc's signature spell gets nerfed into uselessness.

If disc is UP, then the knob gets dialed down, and every spell but shield starts sucking (again). So we're right back where we started.

So tying it to (essentially) one spell is not going to make it easy to balance.

Then you have the whole give with one hand and take away with the other aspect of it. It's kinda like the glyph of penance.
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85 Night Elf Priest
0
The whole mastery stat should be removed across the board for all classes.
1. Why? What's so bad about it in general?

2. Not bloody likely. Mastery is the tuning knob for balancing classes and specs. They won't do away with it.
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16 Gnome Warlock
50
The disc mastery is 2.5% increase per point, but that only applies to PW:S and DA. Since DA is 30% of a crit, it's barely noticeable when you actually have to heal. Also keep in mind that disc has very few talents that improve healing throughput. As mastery improves, the discrepancies between PW:S and disc's other heals will widen even more and disc priests will be pigeonholed into a little niche one-button healing role while all other healers become more robust.

One simple solution is to allow DA to work with all of disc's heals. That way the mastery improves PW:S by 2.5% per point and all other heals are improved by 2.5 * (0.3) = .75% per point. Not a huge upgrade, but at least it will be noticeable.

Another is to change the mastery to increase healing to players with weakened soul. Seems kinda like the druid mastery (which a lot of people don't like), but it will help in raids with more than one disc priest. Plus it might actually encourage disc priests to heal.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
9110
Please pardon what will probably be a stupid question, but I'm not on beta so I really don't know the answer.

My 80 Disc Priest gets shield absorbs of 12-14k right now both in PVE and PVP. How are shields only absorbing 9k at fresh 85?
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80 Troll Rogue
9245
My 80 Disc Priest gets shield absorbs of 12-14k right now both in PVE and PVP. How are shields only absorbing 9k at fresh 85?


Youre in ICC, and have like ~6k spellpower.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
9110
My 80 Disc Priest gets shield absorbs of 12-14k right now both in PVE and PVP. How are shields only absorbing 9k at fresh 85?


Youre in ICC, and have like ~6k spellpower.


Actually I was in the Dalaran sewers the last time I checked it. But that still doesn't answer the question. If we are presumably getting more stats on lvl 85 gear, then why would the absorbed amount go down?

Oh and btw, here is how I tested because I know recount isn't always accurate.

I was on my disc priest. My friend was on his holy pally. both of us unbuffed. We dueled. I shielded myself. he hit me with excorcism until the shield broke. The low was 12,323 and the high was 14860 absorbed and we did ten tests back to back. Obviously not scientific proof of anything, but at least a representative sample.
Edited by Hmrhead on 11/16/2010 7:47 PM PST
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16 Gnome Warlock
50
My 80 Disc Priest gets shield absorbs of 12-14k right now both in PVE and PVP. How are shields only absorbing 9k at fresh 85?


Youre in ICC, and have like ~6k spellpower.


Actually I was in the Dalaran sewers the last time I checked it. But that still doesn't answer the question. If we are presumably getting more stats on lvl 85 gear, then why would the absorbed amount go down?

Oh and btw, here is how I tested because I know recount isn't always accurate.

I was on my disc priest. My friend was on his holy pally. both of us unbuffed. We dueled. I shielded myself. he hit me with excorcism until the shield broke. The low was 12,323 and the high was 14860 absorbed and we did ten tests back to back. Obviously not scientific proof of anything, but at least a representative sample.


Why not just mouse over the icon?

EDIT: And what are your priest's stats? The formula for PW:S is 3498 + (SP * 0.418). If we were to assume you had 15 mastery, that would be a 57.5% increase to shields. If your shields are absorbing 14k, that means they must absorb 8.8k before mastery, meaning your spell power would have to be around 13k. With 10 mastery, you would need 14.7k.
Edited by Coggy on 11/16/2010 8:43 PM PST
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63 Orc Shaman
0
I wish they'd put the cooldown back on PW:S.

I believe they wanted to decrease shield spam by weakening the amount PW:S absorbed? Meh, just remove the talent that reduces the cooldown, put the cooldown to 5-6 seconds, make it a bit more powerful to makeup for the fact it can't be spammed.

I'd prefer a powerful shield every so often, over being able to spam it.

And I wish they'd implement Mass Power Word: Shield (instantly casts PW:S on 5 targets, with a MUCH lower cooldown than PW:B's 2-3 mins... more like 15-30 seconds so Disc can handle AoE damage in a similar way to every single other healer now.

Short:
PW:S powerful with a 5-6 second cooldown.
Mass PW:S to casts those powerful PW:Ss on 5 targets so Disc has tools similar to other healers when dealing with AoE damage (no weakened soul effect cos of the cooldown and weakened soul is annoying because multiple Priests can't shield the same target).
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85 Troll Priest
3040
Another is to change the mastery to increase healing to players with weakened soul.


You mean somewhat like the fact that you have +10% crit on targets with weakened soul? I understand your point, but there's already some there. I think your suggestion falls short, however - how many players can you reasonably keep weakened soul up on? A mastery that increases healing on WS targets is effectively only a single-target healing buff. (Edit: I apologize, I ignored PvP, here, where a WS healing buff would be useful - though I'm not sure Disc is the spec that needs it).


I think a good summary of this situation is:

Power Word: Shield becomes too powerful with mastery.
(and possibly) Divine Aegis is too weak for mastery's effect on it to be notable.


The disparity here comes from the fact that PWS is 100% absorb (and can be up to 109% absorb with a Glyph of PWS crit, though that in itself is Divine Aegis) while Divine Aegis ranges from 0% (at 0% crit) to roughly 18% (at 40% crit) absorb. This makes Disc mastery an even more subjective topic, because the value of Mastery outside of PWS is heavily dependent upon crit, and even at very high levels of crit DA is only receiving at best around a 20% return compared to PWS. PoH is the notable exception with the recent changes, since it will always proc at least a 30% absorb (though due to it always proccing a shield, crit then has a much lower value for PoH compared to other spells).

I find it hard to believe that with differences this extreme that Disc can retain any kind of stat scaling balance throughout Cataclysm. My hope would be that Mastery will half scaling with PWS and double scaling with DA compared to how it stands.
Edited by Schubaal on 11/17/2010 4:20 AM PST
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85 Troll Priest
3040
Power word shield is in that position for discipline, but not because the spell is powerful : like I said, its much, much weaker than a hot or direct heal like atonement. It just snipes healing to prop it up as if it was good.


Remembered I wanted to comment on this. This is exactly the reason that PWS is so powerful, regardless of its mana cost or throughput - it is an effective health buff that can only "overheal" by not being completely absorbed, and good Disc priests know how to make the most use of it without wasting it. The fact that it "snipes" healing is the exact reason that it is powerful.

65% is also hardly "to the exclusion" of other spells - it may be skirting the border, but that's not to say you could be as effective without that other 35%.
Edited by Schubaal on 11/17/2010 6:09 AM PST
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80 Blood Elf Priest
2875
Just an oddity to consider: Discipline is "punished" for having shields that are too tough currently. If your shields are too powerful and go unpopped, you receive no mana from rapture.

An example from live; during LK's first phase many discipline priests remove their main hand item to ensure that their PW:S is not so powerful that infest doesn't pop it. Granted, they do this to allow multiple bubbles to pop simultaneously and gain a much larger rapture tick at once, but down the road this could be an issue.
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