Grace, Atonement, and the 12/21 Hotfixes

90 Goblin Priest
5350
In the patch notes from the 12/21 hot fixes, you can find this:

The healing effect from Atonement is now being effected by healing modifiers correctly.


What does this mean, exactly? More appropriately, what should this mean?

Folks testing on EJ and in my guild are reporting that the Atonement heal is now being effected by Archangel, but not by Grace.

Is this intended? The wording of the patch note suggests that Atonement should be effected by all healing modifiers.

Alone, Atonement being effected by Archangel is a very, very welcome change. I'm just curious about the thinking behind what does and does not modify the Atonement heal. Do the devs feel that the 5-stack damage increase from Evangelism (and the corresponding healing increase from Atonement) is the Atonement/AA sub-spec equivalent to the Grace healing buff on Heal?

If any blues reading this are feeling chatty, I'd love to hear more about the reasoning behind the "randomness" of the Atonement heal (which I actually like, since it makes splashing heals on DPS in melee range much easier).

Also: I love the Atonement sub-spec! I like the healing style it defines, and I definitely appreciate the steady stream of bug fixes (like the Atonement healing range increase) and buffs (like the Smite coefficient change) that are being made to keep it viable.
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85 Draenei Priest
3910
I have my doubts that the change is intended to exclude Grace. There's nothing in the way they worded the hotfix to make me think otherwise It may just be that the servers need to be restarted before everything's working as intended.
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90 Goblin Priest
5350
12/22/2010 7:52 AMPosted by Fatherfranz
I have my doubts that the change is intended to exclude Grace. There's nothing in the way they worded the hotfix to make me think otherwise It may just be that the servers need to be restarted before everything's working as intended.


Apparently the heal is now modified by negative modifiers as well, which means that it can no longer be abused to get around Mortal Strike, etc.

Given that, it seems like you're right and all positive healing modifiers should apply as well.
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85 Draenei Priest
3910
I think the change was warranted overall. You could really ignore fight mechanics on fights like Halfus Wrymbreaker and spam Smite for almost the entire fight, which I doubt was the design intent. Keep in mind that Smite still benefits from the bonus damage modifiers on that fight too. So it's still a pretty valuable spell for that particular encounter.
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90 Goblin Priest
5350
12/22/2010 8:05 AMPosted by Fatherfranz
I think the change was warranted overall. You could really ignore fight mechanics on fights like Halfus Wrymbreaker and spam Smite for almost the entire fight, which I doubt was the design intent. Keep in mind that Smite still benefits from the bonus damage modifiers on that fight too. So it's still a pretty valuable spell for that particular encounter.


I am a fan of any change that keeps the Atonement spec viable long-term!
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90 Undead Priest
14120
My server just came back up from the restart an hour or two ago and I got a chance to test out the changes. Atonement heals are definitely benefitting from the 15% bonus healing of Archangel, as well as 6% bonus healing from Twin Disciplines (Smites were hitting for around 8200 while the Atonement heals were healing for around 8700).

Other than that, no, Grace still isn't being taken into account for Atonement heals. "Increasing all healing received from the Priest" should really be working as advertised. Fingers crossed that they'll fix this.
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85 Tauren Priest
5875
Should put Smite firmly ahead of Heal for HPS.
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85 Goblin Priest
12060
I would imagine that this change was just tossed in more to stop guilds from cheesing Heroic Halfus and p2 Chimeron by using disc priests to ignore the MS effects. Perhaps they just forgot about grace O_o
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85 Worgen Priest
2160
Does Atonement now proc healing trinket effects?
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90 Undead Priest
11160
Come on Blizz, get Atonement working with Grace plx.
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85 Undead Priest
0
12/22/2010 12:41 PMPosted by Sebs
Does Atonement now proc healing trinket effects?


I seem to remember back when I was still 80, that atonement heals were proccing my Althor's Abacus. But I replaced that awhile ago, and I have a bad memory.
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Fellow Smite healer here. I was very happy to see the archangel and other effects start effecting my smite/atonement heals, makes healing this way much more viable. I'm also very curious as to whether or not it is supposed to include grace. A blue on this would be awsome. Grace coming into effect even better :D
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90 Blood Elf Priest
9945
Yeah it would be nice to solidify this as a viable and 'good' choice of talents to take. I enjoy smite healing, I'm just hoping that everyone else (raid leaders) know that it's good, so this change is welcome. It was iffy before if I should take it, but now I'm more confident that it was the right choice thanks to these changes. ^^
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85 Blood Elf Priest
5870
Jumping into the conversation late, but I've only recently been putting any real effort into running an atonement spec now that 4.06 is here, and was looking for some feedback.

So we all know by now that atonement priests reign supreme as tank healers on halfus, but I'm trying to figure out how to keep myself useful in encounters that don't favor atonement healing specifically (Halfus seems built for us in particular). I've found myself slipping into the role of bubble generator quite a bit outside of that encounter (I'm including aegis here).

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/thunderhorn/bluntrauma/talent/primary

I've been using this spec with glyph of smite to buff my atonement heals by another 20%. The problem is that in order to dig deep enough into shadow to get 2 points in Twisted Faith, I have to sacrifice empowered healing altogether. For the record the extra hit is to make sure that Holy Fire doesn't miss.

The problems:
Speccing into Twisted shadows means I have to sacrifice empowered healing or divine fury. I've played with both and found that divine fury gives me better throughput as a primary atonement healer, but I hate leaving a 15% buff to my straight healing spells on the floor (although fortunately my PoH isn't affected). With my current spirit, 1 point in twisted faith should be more than sufficient for raiding purposes, and I'll check that out next week.

Healing as atonement requires dps gear. I know it sounds crazy, but just for kicks I asked a spriest buddy to try out a similar spec to what I currently have since he's geared for shadow priesting in mostly 359 epics. Several things became instantly obvious.

His smites are faster, hit harder, and therefore his atonement heals are much bigger.

This isn't really a design problem so much as gearing problem. I'm having a hard time justifying bidding on dps gear in order to be a more effective atonement healer, admittedly a very niche spec at this point.

So I've been thinking, as a lot of us have, about the changes I would make to atonement healing, and priests in general, to make atonement healing more viable overall.

1. For starters like a lot of people are saying, allow grace to stack from atonement.

2. Redesign atonement to allow it to proc off of all of our holy/disc dps spells.
It'd be nice to see other healing procs off of other spells, specifically holy fire and penance. I know penance can be used either way, but I'd love to see it used similarly to smite.

3. Change the uptime of holy fire so that it actually matches the cooldown. Holy Fire ticks for seven seconds I think, but the cooldown is ten, which means at least one smite isn't healing for it's max value, it just seems a bit counterintuitive.


4. Bump Twisted shadows up into the first tier of the shadow tree. Should be self explanatory.

I want to say that I think blizzard has done a great job with discos in cata, and priests overall, but I still feel that disc isn't quite there. I find it odd that if I'm going for max absorption I'm better off avoiding evangelism and atonement altogether and speccing straight disc. This is due mainly to the unique gear demands of an atonement spec utilizing glyph of smite. I know that balance is always high on the priority list, and changing atonement healing in a manner I've suggested would make priests downright ridiculous in pvp, but it's just brainstorming. I'm also not saying atonement is broken, far from it. I think it's just a little bit ... sprained I guess.

Anyway, any feedback, theorycrafting on the subject of atonement, would be much appreciated. Cheers~!
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