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Encounter design is a huge factor in how well healer specs fare. It's a large part of the equation.
Stacked fights let Shaman shine this Tier masking many of the issues with their mechanics as an example. If Raid damage was totally random Disc Priests wouldn't have the ability to blanket a Raid as readily as they do now. That was my only point.
Druids have always been good with Damage Auras.
Shaman rule in stacked fights.
Disc are great at mitigating predictable Raid damage.
Yada, yada, yada.
Out of interest how would you "fix" Disc without breaking the flavor of the spec?
Edited by Indyana on 1/25/2014 6:10 PM PST
If it weren't for so many DA procs. Disc would not be nearly as dominate. That and possibly removing DA from atonement and disc would be on much more even ground. Still "sniping" but not doing so much with little effort required. I would argue the 90 talents are only really out of hand when it comes to 25 man. Which is where most people speaking up the most are coming from. Comparing it to things like efflo/healing rain. Which heal a specific number of targets smartly over the same amount of time as the cooldown of the 90 talents. It nearly balances out. Excluding DA procs from crit.
Still going with if disc were the same with more damage to heal. There would not be as much complaining about disc as a spec. Its an encounter problem more than it is a Disc problem. Yes crit scaling is out of hand and yes the atonement buff can be cheezy but the encounters atm cater to the disc toolkit.
I think its fair to say disc isnt balanced well but they aren't miles ahead of other healers. Its just how it shows due to the stat scaling and encounter damage patterns. Am I saying this is a good place for healers atm? No not at all. But to say disc needs a lot of nerfing is just not right imo. Either way it doesn't matter too much to me. I'm re rolling druid come WoD probably. I've come to dislike how big atonement has become. I enjoyed it when it came out in cata but now its an integral tool for healing as disc and you feel more like a dps half the fights than a healer.
Edited by Nametwenty on 1/25/2014 10:53 PM PST
For starters kick Spirit Shell to the curb. Nope, not kidding. It's been a huge wrench in balance since it's implementation. It's too easy to use, blankets too many people in shields per cast and hands a spec with already powerful cool-downs another powerful cool-down. PW:S can gain it's place back as the go to preemptive shielding tool.
Lower contributions from "DPS to heal", aka Atonement. Something like stripping DA from offensive healing abilities seems like a workable starting point. Buff the conversion of damage to healing to compensate if necessary. In addition, drop the Atonement heal range down to about 20 yards.
Remove the critical strike interaction for Divine Aegis entirely and make Disc crits simply 2x the normal heal. The concept may seem great from a uniqueness perspective but it's benefits are too variable depending on gear scaling. Again, 15% crit vs 40% crit is too big of a gap. To compensate bring back the DA guarantee, not only for PoH but for single-target direct heals, the level 90 talents and PoM too. Drop the base bonus down to the 10-15% area, this way it doesn't provide too great of a bonus resulting in ridiculous play and it doesn't scale too heavily with mastery.
Scrap Grace and give single-target direct heals a slight buff to compensate for it's removal.
Target cap the level 90 talents cause, well... yeah.
Change Barrier into a raid-wide DR CD. Change it's name to Spirit Shell if it will make people happy.
Change Hymn of Hope into a personal temporary mana CD (restores mana or provides a Spirit buff to the Priest) or something similar to Mana Tide.
Finally, adjust numbers around and such to fix the spec if it under-performs and/or ends up broken.
Edited by Viseo on 1/25/2014 11:07 PM PST
10 man? in 25 man spirit shell is not even in the top 3 heals. we need to cap divine star and halo again.
grace is the least of our problems. personally i don't think about grace at all, which... i mean actually maybe we could get rid of it.
they'd have to make sure all the hit boxes are normalized. 25 yards might be better. also don't mind the idea of stripping da from it.
so make us paladins? also i'm not clear on why you're saying it wouldn't scale too heavily with mastery. removing the scaling with crit but causing everything to proc divine aegis would only exacerbate the problem. DA would only scale with mastery then. we would be back to t14 when we were stacking mastery to the exclusion of all else even worse than we do now, where we stack crit and mastery. the changes you are proposing in this paragraph would actually make the problem WORSE than it is now.
priests are not being brought for hymn of hope. it's not even as good as most mana tides. we can keep this ability. it's fine. we don't need to change everything about priests.
Edited by Tsilyi on 1/25/2014 11:36 PM PST
Ever wonder why you don't even think about it?
Yeah, that's a problem.
Grace, in and of itself, is minor. What they did to "compensate" for that clunky piece of crap is, however, a much larger problem.
It's not that I don't agree with you, but it seems like the previous post was like "why don't we just change everything about disc" without thinking about much in the way of solid ideas. removing grace and buffing our single target heals would not result in a nerf, only a buff.
as you can see in the rest of my response, nowhere was i saying "this nerf you're proposing is unjustified." what i was pointing out was all the ways the proposed "nerfs" either weren't nerfs or wouldn't do anything worthwhile. you know i'm one of the last people to argue that disc doesn't need actual nerfs that make sense.
i look forward to more responses in the morning :)
Edited by Tsilyi on 1/26/2014 12:22 AM PST
Personally, what I'd like to see is Grace gone, with a buff to bring single-target healing in line with other classes. And I'd like to see Atonement have the crap nerfed out of it, until it truly is something you do in downtime - not main healing. It's ridiculous that it's main healing.
It's not really that it's a major healing contributor. It's moreso the effect it has on encounter balance.
Spirit Shell can really pull a number on big burst damage mechanics (which haven't been that common this tier, but nevertheless). Having a Disc priest is nearly required for those since we provide, in a sense, 3 extra raid CDs (as calculated by: all other raid CDs have a 3 minute CD, but SS is only 1 min) to survive them with.
I love how well SS fits into the Disc kit, but it's a real !@#$% to balance around.
That's what happens when blizzard decides they want disc to be more about absorbs than they were before and kept adding shield abilities. They're even doing it in WoD with that 100 talent. Pending any changes that could occur. They wanted disc to feel unique from holy and with that they created more problems.
Someone posted an idea a while back about moving Atonement to Holy to be used under Chastise Chakra. That sounded interesting and seems to fit in with the "stance" idea that Blizzard is bringing to Mistweavers in WoD.
Taking away Discs fast and smart spot heal may sound harsh but isn't the point to balance strength (superior pro active mitigation) against weakness (in the above case.... weak reactive healing)?
Skootaloo summed it up below.
It's an archaic mechanic and Discipline single-target direct heal abilities tend to get neglected. It's a bit ridiculous when even Smite tends to be given priority over them. Buffing those abilities can be problematic when Grace exists because... it's an additional variable. It would seem to be easier to put Grace on the chopping block and bake a bonus into those spells. Is it a huge problem or a major balance issue? Nope.
It's either way. 40 yards is just a bit much. Again, AA/A seems like it's strayed too far away from "less now for more later". It used to take thought to maximize the usage of the abilities. Now it's somewhat... rotational. The smart heal range, efficiency and output, including the damage, are responsible here. This has been addressed to some extent but arguably not enough.
We've been on the healer homogenization train for a while now so...
To clarify, the guaranteed DA coming as a small bonus on many abilities with basic 2x healing crits would result in average healing increasing and average DA contributions decreasing. The absorb vs healing ratio shifts closer to healing, which is probably what needs to happen. Granted, I might have to recheck that depending on how people would likely shift gearing priorities if such a change were to happen (pretty sure on it though).
Keep in mind, guaranteed DA was never an issue in itself. It only became a balance problem when the percentage bonus was increased to an absurd amount. A smaller guarantee wouldn't be a problem provided current mastery mechanics didn't create any conflicts. But then... there are plenty of easy fixes if that comes up.
The main reason I mentioned it was to compensate for the SS removal suggestion and place buffs in other areas, to provide incentives for direct healing over spamming Smite between higher priority abilities and to retain the "absorption healer" concept.
In terms of stacking mastery.... And? Why is it a big deal if mastery ends up being prioritized again? Game play and balance should trump whims to flip the stat priority table upside down because we want spec A to appreciate the existence of both stat A and B, instead of only stat A. And again, DA tied to critical strike just feels like it leads to too much variability.
"Fixing" a spec doesn't necessarily mean nerfing it into the ground. IMO the biggest contributor to perceived problems with Disc has a lot less to do with numbers and more to do with overall spec mechanics. So if you were expecting massive nerf suggestions....
Some of these changes that are being proposed are absurd. I'm really confused how any of these ideas would solve any actual problems. Grace gone and a buff to single target healing would accomplish very little, and since our single target healing isn't a problem or over powered than there really isn't any point in doing this really. Besides grace is cool way of giving our single target a ramp-up, which doesn't necessarily hurt us or benefit us to a large degree. Besides Grace is the only reason we ever cast penance on an friendly target right now.
I agree that atonement needs to be nerfed, and its already been said that its going to happen. Whether they get rid of the D.A aspect of it (something I hope they don't do) or just nerf the amount of healing atonement actually does (something I think is needed, which in turn lowers how much atonement D.A's will absorb) its obvious that atonement needs to be toned down and like I said, its going to happen so I wouldn't worry about it really at all, at this point.
Disc isn't as ridiculously strong as its being made out to be, and while this thread started as an "absorbs are op" it easily has turned into showing that the community feels only disc absorbs are op. (which is a view that I see quite often) The real problem is our disc's absorb mechanics work with most encounter damage patterns. Our 90 talent doesn't have a cap and atonement is too good. Spirit shell isn't op and is only favorable when you can predict the damage incoming.
If you want solutions for disc. Cut back atonement, (happening) cap the 90 talent, and change the damage patterns for future content. This content is too burst > lull > burst >lull >burst > lull. These types of damage patterns result in disc dominating fights because they throw so many absorbs out. Their only good aoe healing during burst is their 90 talent and PoM. So like I said, there is no need to nerf SS, or nerf grace (lol r u srs), or anything else besides atonement and the 90 talent's target cap.
AA is rotational now because of our 2pc bonus and thats it. That will be fixed next "content". If we didn't have a 2pc bonus it would only be used for burst or for spirit shell.
edit: however having AA rotational wasn't all that bad. not gonna lie. Though I still typically use it for SS or DS casts.
Edited by Zolvolt on 1/26/2014 7:05 AM PST
I'm all for nerfing the crap out if atonement (anyone who knows me knows I think it's mindless and a stupid model to heal with as it is now) but to everyone who is suggesting we nerf the crap out of discs toolkit, remember we then need something else to make the spec not even more brainless than it already is.
They are already planning on changing POH so I doubt we could fall back to POH spam, does anyone else really wanna fall back to bubble botting? Granted I prefer bubble botting to atonement at least I chose who I was shielding as opposed to the game choosing for me, but I just wanna remind ppl that blizzard has made the spec so boring disc doesn't really have a lot outside of atonement anymore.
So what can we do to balance the spec, DA, and not make it the most boring thing in the world at the same time?
How about losing Atonement (give it to Holy) and force Disc to use their direct heals for reactive healing?
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