Discipline Priests; A PvP perspective

85 Goblin Priest
5500
I apologise for adding yet another thread, to the already formidable dossier this forum has on Discipline Priests. However, what I hope to accomplish with this post, is to outline my concerns with Discipline at 85 and then, provide some suggestions on how to improve the spec in PvP.

Power Word: Shield, was a major reason why Discipline was viable in the Mortal Strike rampant, PvP environment of wotlk. While other healers had to cope with the 50% healing debuff on all healing spells, Discipline could fall back on mitigation (which ignores ms), to supplement their weak healing. With the removal of 50% Mortal Strike and the corresponding damage/health pool increase, Discipline lags behind other healers. The removal of Dispel resistance, while a good change, also hurt Discipline survivability in PvP and further serves to weaken Power Word: Shield. While I am supportive of these play style changes, they need to be backed up by buffs to the other areas in the Discipline Priest’s healing repertoire.

The 20% buff to Heal, Flash Heal, Binding Heal and Greater Heal is definitely a step in the right direction and a clear indication that the developers understand the issue. However, these buffs will not fully relieve Discipline PvP problems. Discipline is a ‘tanking healer’. While Druids have travel form, Holy Paladins have Hand of Freedom and Shamans have Travel Form, to remain manoeuvrable, Priests rely on team members to peel melee opponents. With the new abundance of interrupts, this old style of Discipline healing is perhaps no longer viable. With a melee training you, heals like flash heal and greater heal become unwise to cast without first, ‘juking’ the enemies interrupt. Unfortunately, Priests cannot keep themselves alive using their instant cast cooldowns as they once could and spamming casts will not work now that every dps class has an interrupt. Thus, the only solution I can see is to give priests an escape mechanic.

Possible Solutions:

Make Fade remove movement impairing effects, increase the cooldown to 2 minutes—give shadow a way of reducing this cooldown back to 30 seconds. This would give Discipline an escape cooldown yet, perhaps allow them to maintain their persona as 'tanking healer' while still allowing them to get a way and heal when it is really necessary.

Put Body and Soul into the Disc tree (minus the poison removal). This change again, looks to give Discipline a way to get distance on melee. It is also flavourful with Disciplines emphasis on Power Word: Shield enhancements.

Add a 5 second aura mastery effect to borrowed time for the next 2 casts. Again a Power Word: Shield change, this would let Priests spam some heals without risk of being interrupted.

Give Discipline a Dispel protection talent—i.e. whenever Power Word: Shield is dispelled; the priest gains a buff that reduces all damage by 10% for 10 seconds. I didn’t put a huge amount of thought into the numbers on this, but the rough idea would help solve the issue of dispel training on priests.

I hope some of these ideas prove useful and that this post helped to shed some light on why Discipline PvP is struggling currently. If you have any comments criticism or suggestions, feel free to post.
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77 Blood Elf Priest
1620
Possible Solutions:

Make Fade remove movement impairing effects, increase the cooldown to 2 minutes—give shadow a way of reducing this cooldown back to 30 seconds. This would give Discipline an escape cooldown yet, perhaps allow them to maintain their persona as 'tanking healer' while still allowing them to get a way and heal when it is really necessary.

Give Discipline a Dispel protection talent—i.e. whenever Power Word: Shield is dispelled; the priest gains a buff that reduces all damage by 10% for 10 seconds. I didn’t put a huge amount of thought into the numbers on this, but the rough idea would help solve the issue of dispel training on priests.



I like some of these suggestions because I've been thinking along the same lines.

I would make Fade 1 min CD though and also add a 4 sec sprint when used. Would have to change Body and Soul to something nice for holy priests and Phantasm from shadow because they would be redundent talents then.

Disc doesn't need more talents but rather build a dispel protection mechanic into an existing talent like Soul Warding and I really like your idea of 10% damage reduction for 10 sec which would synergise well with Focused Will or make it reduce the weakend sould debuff by 50%.

Pain Supression needs to be 1.5 min CD. It's to long of a CD for something so easily dispelled.

Penance is on a longer CD because of Train of Thought/evan/aa synergy, but no one is going to pick up ToT for pvp so remove the penance CD from it and change it to something like reduces your inner focus CD like it does, and have a 6% chance to proc an instant Gheal that costs no manner.

Let holy fire also stack Evangelism.

Reduce the CD on my favourite spell in the game (Penance) to 7 secs and change the glyph to make it heal an extra 5%.

Give us a glyph that reduces Heal by .5 secs.
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68 Night Elf Priest
970
Solution to Shield dispells....once sheild is dispelled it heals for the amount of the sheild absorbtion. Just a thought.
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85 Goblin Priest
5500
Thanks for reading my large wall of text and replying with your suggestions.

Solution to Shield dispells....once sheild is dispelled it heals for the amount of the sheild absorbtion. Just a thought.

The problem with allowing Power Word: Shield to heal the priest when dispelled, is that it would become disadvantageous to offensively dispel a Priest in most situations. I think that versus any class, offensive dispelling should always be an option. A 10% reduction to damage is just a consolation instead of a UA-type punishment to the dispeller.

Pain Supression needs to be 1.5 min CD. It's to long of a CD for something so easily dispelled.

Perhaps having the pain suppression buff come in the form of a 4 stack spell (much like the Shaman Elemental Shields), where each stack=10% reduced damage. This would mean the buff can be slowly whittled away, but 1 dispel doesn’t instantly remove the 40% reduction.

Let holy fire also stack Evangelism

Holy fire is usually a precursor to smite in PvP anyway, so this idea would make some sense. I like the idea behind the Archangel/Atonement/Evangelism talent set. The only problem is; the cooldown on Archangel makes people want to spam smite, in order to gain the mana/healing benifits. Spamming one cast over and over again is hardly fun and the low healing output and range restriction on atonement makes this disadvantageous outside of 5 man dungeons and leveling anyway.

Archangel: Consumes Evangelism stacks and instantly restores 2% of the your total mana and increases the effect of your healing spells by 3% per stack. Lasts 30 Seconds. 1 Minute Cooldown.

A change like this, would allow priests more time with the increased healing from Archangel and would no longer encourage Priests to spam smite, in order to maintain their Evangelism stacks. Other potential changes could include; reducing the stack requirements of Archangel to 3 Evangelism stacks, allowing Atonement to heal targets within 8 yards of the Priest in addition to targets within 8 yards of the smite target, making a talent to proc an instant smite off of helpful spellcasts.

shields need to last more then 1 hit
heals need to be on par with other healers, throughput and efficiency
mobility: its a hard subject to deal with but i think having fade remove movement impairing effects should be good because its been 8 seasons now and priests have never gotten the mobility of other healers....

Yes, buffing the overall throughput of Priest healing spells would certainly help put them on par with other healers and may very well be the only way to fix them. The reason why I haven’t yet suggested a buff to say, Penance, is because; 1). This is a solution blizzard will certainly already be looking at 2). It is the hardest kind of change to balance from both a PvE and PvP perspective.
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85 Goblin Priest
0
Do not add dispel protection back into the game, no matter what it ='s more rng sounds good for your class but it wont help the game. What needs to be addressed is offensive (SPAM) dispel, every class has some magic effect that you can just spam offensive dispel and strip them of their bonus's. As increasing mana was a good idea increasing it to much hurts the entire state of pvp because then why play a support/healer class.

My thought on fixing offensive dispel and this is offensive dispel only is to change the way it works entirely. Change them all to dispel 1 effect and change them to instead of remove the buff now it reduces the duration of the remaining buff by 5secs. This basically means it would take 3 dispels to remove a power word shield if at full duration.

This would help with enh. shaman who dont need to worry about mana work to dispel something by using up 3 globals to remove a buff from the target. This can stay as dispelling 2 abilities but I think the coding of it would be messy.

anyways my 2 cents on the whole dispel idea just make it reduce duration of a buff on the target by 5secs, and make any buff with a duration over 1 minute undispellable.
Edited by Hoggel on 11/19/2010 9:03 PM PST
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90 Pandaren Priest
14100
My thought on fixing offensive dispel and this is offensive dispel only is to change the way it works entirely. Change them all to dispel 1 effect and change them to instead of remove the buff now it reduces the duration of the remaining buff by 5secs. This basically means it would take 3 dispels to remove a power word shield if at full duration.


That's a terrible idea. Dispel mechanics were fine pre 4.01 with the 30% resist talents.

The system now is worse. Sure, you can spam dispel even though there are no buffs on the target to purge, but anyone with half a brain will be watching their target's unit frame and know when they are stripped of all their buffs. But since there is no dispel resist mechanic now any critical buffs will be purged instantly (innervate, divine plea, PW: Shield, Renew, Rejuv, etc.) with no penalty to the dispeller.

To address the OP's concerns; I believe we are still getting Inner Will in Cata which will give us some more mobility at the cost of SP and armour, but I suppose its better than nothing. As for your other concerns.. I'm not in beta so I have no idea what Disc is like at 85. I'm trying not to read to much into the QQ.
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85 Blood Elf Priest
2620
penance is healing for less then recuperate(rogues self heal)
i hardly find that "balanced" :(
you're comparing a 12s CD targetable, 40 yard heal with no ramp up time to a 'heal' that requires the sacrifice of damage plus a ramp up time and if spammed is worthless? really?


My suggestion, divine aegis works of all heals not just crits. this would give some dispel 'protection' via the sheer spammyness and would help fix disc's lackluster throughput.

As for dispel protection for pw:s ...

make it refund 100% of the mana cost and cut the weakend soul debuff by half. there has to be consequences to offensive dispel. it shouldn't be something you spam ad nauseum it should be something done when it might seal a kill. playing as a priest i dont like spamming dispel either but it works so i do it.

borrowed time should work like tidal waves for resto shaman, the next two heal spells are hasted. if need be adjust strength of soul to be 1/2 seconds instead of 2/4.

with disc's weak throughput and its weakness to offensive dispels on top of poor mana regen disc is going to struggle casting ~2s heals (2.02s for my priest right now with 14.43% haste).

there was another suggestion i really liked, can't remember where i read it but someone suggested making the heal from atonement 'follow' the grace buff meaning whoever had grace was the preferred target for the attonment heal. i thought that was a cool idea. i also liked the whole heal through damage thing i thought that was a really kick arse idea but it appears that has been scrapped as well as the mana regen from archangel which is really sad it was extremely fun in BGs.

if disc goes live like this i dont see them doing well in arenas or BGs. in arena they'll be chained to a holypaladin and warrior or DK in double healer teams playing as a quasi dps/healer/drainer. possibly RMP still has the control required to give disc some breathing room.

in BGs i would rather have a shadow priest than a disc or holy priest. holy paladins and shaman can tank a lot more damage, have better throughput, and much better regen. not to mention that shaman have possibly the most accessible efficient heal by way of tidal waves. my shaman self buffed has a 1.5s cast on healing wave after a riptide. IDK if palys can match that with their efficient heal with only 9.64% haste from gear.
Edited by Dirtyhorde on 11/20/2010 12:42 AM PST
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85 Gnome Priest
4615
So you might wanna toss this over to the healing forums as its been said a few times that those forums (dps, tanking, healing) are the ones the blues read (at least most often). Some good ideas here hate to see them go unnoticed.
Edited by Balticataz on 11/20/2010 12:57 AM PST
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85 Goblin Priest
5500
I see a few suggestions which might prove to be useful.

When looking at what to buff, I think the major concerns for disc in PvP are throughput and mobility. While many people complain about mana and it is a problem, it is meant to be the problem. Perhaps this is a case of other classes being too strong in this department and not priests being too weak—unfortunately, rarely does one complain about being overpowered.

Do not add dispel protection back into the game, no matter what it ='s more rng sounds good for your class but it wont help the game.

I am certainly not advocating the return of dispel resistance, the rng of this mechanic was not healthy for PvP. Some form of consolation for having our important buffs purged may be required though; not a UA-type punishment, but something similar to a Druid’s Lifebloom.

To address the OP's concerns; I believe we are still getting Inner Will in Cata which will give us some more mobility at the cost of SP and armour, but I suppose its better than nothing.

The problem with Inner Will is; any snare-type effect renders it obsolete and you’re losing a sizeable chunk of armour and spell power. This ability rarely has any practical application in a PvP setting—if the spell also had a, ‘your movement speed can no longer drop below 100% from snaring effects’ similar to Shaman Travel Form, it would be much better as a kiting tool in PvP.

i also liked the whole heal through damage thing i thought that was a really kick arse idea but it appears that has been scrapped as well as the mana regen from archangel which is really sad it was extremely fun in BGs.

Reducing the mana return on Archangel was perhaps a necessary nerf. Regaining a possible 15% mana every 30 seconds (albeit at the high cost of spamming smite over and over instead of healing) in Cataclysm where the adage is; ‘mana matters’, is not a good idea. The spell, in its current incarnation is not really that useful anyway, as the cost of spamming smite over and over, far outweighs the benefits. A buff to the duration of Archangel, coupled with a reduction in the casting time of smite, the stack requirements of Evangelism, or adding another spell to stack the buff, could help make it a more viable option for disc. Buffing this talent so that it is viable, could also go a long way to fixing Disciplines throughput and mana issues.

if disc goes live like this i dont see them doing well in arenas or BGs. in arena they'll be chained to a holypaladin and warrior or DK in double healer teams playing as a quasi dps/healer/drainer. possibly RMP still has the control required to give disc some breathing room.

Warlocks are far better drainers and damage dealers (and healers... I am joking of course...).
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