The problem with Disc (with math!)

100 Blood Elf Priest
I'm going to take a different tactic here than I did in the monk thread, because the Disc problem is more subtle and requires a more in-depth analysis than just the coarse comparison of overall raw healing I did there. What I'm going to do is analyze the actual spell selection of top healers of a couple of classes - the mana cost and efficiency of their overall repertoire as actually used.

Here's the top paladin on 25m Will of the Emperor:

His healing breakdown is as follows:
Illuminated Healing 25.3% : 0 mana
Eternal Flame 24.8% : 0 mana
Beacon of Light 15.9% : 0 mana
Holy Shock 10.6% : 103 * 9600 = 988,800 mana
Arcing Light 9.0% : 0 mana
Holy Light 8.4% : 112 * 7560 = 846,720 mana
Lay on Hands 1.6% : 0 mana
Holy Radiance 1.4% : 4 * 21600 = 86,400 mana
Glyph of PoTI 1.4% : 0 mana
Daybreak 0.7% : 0 mana
Divine Light 0.6% : 2 * 21600 = 43,200 mana
Glyph of Avenging Wrath 0.3% : 0 mana
Divine Plea = -146880 mana
Glyph of Divinity = -61200 mana

Total: 33,070,795 healing/1,747,040 mana = 18.93 HPM

Here's the top disc priest on the same fight:

His healing breakdown is as follows (assuming Inner Will to be generous):
Power Word: Shield 24.2% : 54 * 15555 - 508,155 (Rapture) = 839,970 mana
Greater Heal 16.0% : 33 * 17700 = 584,100 mana
Divine Aegis 15.9% : 0 mana
Penance 9.7% : 23 * 11160 = 256,680 mana
Prayer of Healing 9.0% : 16 * 13500 = 216,000 mana
Prayer of Mending 8.5% : 34 * 8925 = 303,450 mana
Heal 6.6% : 56 * 5700 = 319,200 mana
Flash Heal 5.7% : 13 * 17700 = 230,100 mana
Desperate Prayer 2.0% : 0 mana
Divine Star 1.3% : 2 * 11475 = 22,950 mana
Atonement 0.6% : 17 * 8100 + 7 * 5400 + 3 * 11160 = 208,980
(Healthstone 0.4%) : 0 mana
Renew 0.0% : 1 * 6630 = 6630 mana
Rapture = -508155 mana
Shadowfiend = -504024 mana
Hymn of Hope = -12900 mana

Total: 18,002,967 healing/1,962,981 mana = 9.17 HPM

Just to verify that it's not paladins in particular who are weirdly efficient, let's look at the top shaman on the same fight.

His healing breakdown is as follows:
Healing Rain 18.1% : 19 * 25860 = 491,340 mana
Healing Stream Totem 16.1% : 21 * 14100 = 296,100 mana
Riptide 14.3% - 70 * 9600 = 672,000 mana
Healing Wave 11.4% : 87 * 5940 = 516,780 mana
Restorative Mists 8.0% : 0 mana
Greater Healing Wave 6.9% : 20 * 16140 = 322,800 mana
Healing Tide 6.9% : 0 mana
Earthliving 4.3% : 0 mana
Healing Surge 3.8% : 10 * 20580 = 205,800 mana
Ancestral Awakening 3.5% : 0 mana
Chain Heal 3.0% : 7 * 13500 = 94,500 mana
Earth Shield 2.6% : 8 * 11400 = 91,200 mana
Unleash Life 1.0% : 0 mana
(Healthstone 0.3% : 0 mana)
Totemic Recall = -327,360 mana
Resurgence = -313,289 mana
Water Shield = -93,696 mana

Total: 30,045,931 healing/1,956,175 mana = 15.36 HPM

**note: I'm only including class-specific mana regen mechanisms that each healer brings with them reliably. The shaman numbers would be a little better if I could include Mana Tide, but it would be difficult to do so; I'm not including Price of Progress or the Hymn of Hope received by the paladin.

Now, the shaman is about midway between the priest and paladin on efficiency (probably a little closer to the paladin if I were able to include Mana Tide). it's possible, assuming shamans are balanced, that paladins are running high, at least in this early content where we can lean on our free/cheap heals for the vast majority of our healing. I suspect that as content gets harder, the gap between shamans and paladins will close naturally, as the shaman simply has to cast more, while the paladin has to move to heals that actually cost (a lot of) mana.

The disc priest, however, is in a sad place. He's already leaning on quite expensive spells to deal with the current damage - he doesn't really have anything cheaper that could respond to it. He's casting about as efficiently as it's possible to do (Spirit Shell might help a bit, but this guy is outdoing the two priests below him who are using it extensively).

Disc just doesn't have cheap, efficient heals other than Penance. It has expensive, fairly efficient heals (PoH) and expensive, inefficient heals (GH) and cheap, inefficient heals (Heal).

There's a toolkit problem here. There has been since Cata, but in Cata, Rapture being so much stronger and scalable kind of Band-Aided it over. That's no longer the case.

Holy has a slightly-lesser version of the same problem. It's really a priest-wide issue - it's just that Holy has a couple of expensive, extremely efficient heals (Lightspring, Divine Hymn, Sanc on a stacked raid) that help compensate.
Edited by Kaels on 10/5/2012 4:38 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest

Thanks for this Kaels, will read when I'm done cooking dinner :)
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90 Blood Elf Priest
This is really well done, Kaels. Thank you!
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100 Blood Elf Priest
Explain this to me. Please.

Where am I getting my free holy power????

Your holy power is accounted for in the cost of the 103 Holy Shocks and 4 Holy Radiances.

I accounted for every spell cast. EF costs no mana directly, so including its effective mana cost via HP would be counting that mana twice.
Edited by Kaels on 10/5/2012 4:01 PM PDT
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90 Gnome Priest
Wow. TBH, it almost feels like priests are where blizz wants all of the healers to be at. IMO paladin mastery is on the high side... His mastery did as much as the priest's PW:S. Take that out of the picture, and paladins are close to in line with Shaman. If PW:Solace had healing attonement qualities like Smite, HF, Penance, we would certainly be closer.

HS has a mana cost, but the you have to take into account the 24% mana free EF + IH
Edited by Outbox on 10/5/2012 4:01 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest
It would be great if everyone could up vote this post, heck request a sticky. This is exactly what the devs are asking for... although I'm inclined to believe they already know about this sort of data and just don't care.
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The mana costs for the holy power are "sunk" costs, and create a lower healing per mana spent if you don't include the heals done by holy power sure, but... what pali sits on all 5 holy power for the whole fight and doesn't use them?

Also, what pali doesn't do their best to fully utlize beacon instead of massively overhealing?
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100 Blood Elf Priest
10/05/2012 03:55 PMPosted by Marathel
How is the healing of such spells. Can you share?

PoH does pretty decent healing for a baseline spammable spell: the disc priest's 16 casts of it did 1,624,610 healing plus approximately 1,008,080 DA for a total of 2,632,690, or 165k healing/cast, or 12.2 HPM. If you cast nothing but PoH, and factored in the regen from Shadowfiend, it's conceivable that you might come close to shaman efficiency.

The problem is that's really the best Disc's got. That and Penance at a similar value. Since Penance has a CD and you can't use PoH for everything (notably, it's pretty useless for single-target or scattered raid damage) Disc is stuck using much less efficient tools like Heal/GHeal/PWS.

10/05/2012 03:55 PMPosted by Marathel
I'm fairly certain all of priest's spells single target spells are cheaper than most if not all other healers.

Cheap? Yes. Efficient? No. Disc has expensive and moderately efficient (PoH); expensive and inefficient (GHeal); cheap and inefficient (Heal); and exactly one cheap and efficient spell (Penance) which has a CD, and, when you factor in the extra effects of its counterparts in other specs' repertoires, is among the least efficient of its kind.
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100 Pandaren Priest
Thank you so much for giving the math, Kaels.
I am really bad at math and I know both priests are terrible right now but I can't give any evidence.
Healing priests, especially holy priests, has never been OP since WotLK.
I don't know why Blizz has to be so mean to us.
I have quit playing in patch 4.2 when holy priests were really weak and Blizz didn't even desgin the spirit cloth.
I don't want to quit again. /cry
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100 Blood Elf Priest
Nice work. It sets up a lot of context for what people've just been talking about until now.

10/05/2012 03:37 PMPosted by Kaels
Holy Light 8.4% - 112 * 7560 = 846,720 mana

The extra minus sign in there kind of threw me off. Any chance you could use colons as dividers instead, next time?

Holy Light 8.4% : 112 * 7560 = 846,720 mana
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100 Blood Elf Priest
10/05/2012 04:20 PMPosted by Marathel
Is there a lot of damage in that fight?

It's not a high damage fight, going by the healing numbers, but it's an extremely long fight (around 10-12 minutes - all 3 logs I used were between 11:51 and 11:58). At this gear level, where your initial mana pool is a big contributor to your available mana, that's a fairly important factor.

Subtracting off the initial 300k mana pool, the paladin would have needed about 10k mp5 from Spirit to sustain what he was casting; the disc priest would have needed about 11.6k; the shaman would have needed about 11.4k. So they all probably ended the fight with some mana, assuming they were geared about like you are, but they weren't totally just dicking around.
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90 Human Priest
10/05/2012 04:28 PMPosted by Marathel
How are the level 90 spells healing(priest)? It just seems terrible compared to the others

Tiriel answered this in another post, and there you said our heals were strong and cheap o.O

Edit: Whoops, misunderstood :)
Edited by Autumn on 10/5/2012 4:49 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Priest
Sigh. I said I didn't want to take a shadow spec, and I really don't but this thread in particular (thanks btw <3) is making me change my mind. I was hoping better gear would fix how weird my healing has felt, and I guess not.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
The extra minus sign in there kind of threw me off. Any chance you could use colons as dividers instead, next time?

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90 Blood Elf Priest
10/05/2012 04:35 PMPosted by Autumn
How are the level 90 spells healing(priest)? It just seems terrible compared to the others

Tiriel answered this in another post, and there you said our heals were strong and cheap o.O

I think she means the talent heals.

To address the question specifically, the Talent heals are all instant, and quite expensive (with the exception of Divine Star). They are all on CDs, and two of the three require positioning to fully function, while the third requires at least 16 unique targets to fully function (and thus is less useful in 10 man content).
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90 Draenei Shaman
I compared the amount of spellpower the three of them currently have:
Paladin: 20k
Priest: 17k
Shaman: 21k

Since spellpower is the main coefficient in calculating the size of our heals (with the manacost being a constant), the gap between the priest and the other classes is too big to overlook. Definitely too big to draw a conclusion from this. As much as I would like to agree with paladins' mastery being too powerful, this evidence isn't convincing...

On a sidenote: I don't expect this will change the outcome by much, but Healing Tide Totem costs 8% of base mana.
Edited by Vuelta on 10/5/2012 4:46 PM PDT
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