How would YOU gone about to Nerf Disc?

90 Pandaren Priest
7670
Grace is a really clunky mechanic that really only works well on the tank. It's unfeasible to roll on multiple targets, which results in a diminishment of our spot healing capabilities. To be fair, it does fulfill its role in allowing us to function as decent tank healers, whilst Atonement fills its niche in terms of spot healing.

You also certainly aren't going to rely on Atonement if the tank is taking a lot of damage. HPM is a moot point unless your heals have the HPS to sustain it, and this is where our direct heals come in. Ultimately, Atonement is meant to be our filler heal, and the very nature of such heals, coupled with the fact that there are not many fights with high tank damage, means that you are going to see much more usage of Atonement than our direct heals.

Even if you were to increase the mana cost of Atonement healing, it would still be our go-to spell for spot healing on most occasions. Smart, fast healing > 2.5s GHeal cast that is so easily sniped in this day and age of smart heals and instant casts. The only thing that would be accomplished by removing the mana reduction portion of Evangalism is to turn the Disc Priest into a Holy one - standing around doing nothing during lulls in damage.
Edited by Ceddya on 1/21/2013 11:48 PM PST
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90 Human Priest
11345
01/21/2013 09:39 PMPosted by Twistedmind
Maybe without a holy pally I'm assuming more responsibility with tank healing?


Absolutely.

For most of this tier I healed with a mistweaver or a resto druid as the second healer. Lately I've been healing with a holy paladin. It's a pretty big difference in how much I have to watch the tanks and in how much I have to focus on grace as opposed to evangelism / doing damage. On a lot of our early kills (such as Will, which was the example you used) I found myself having to babysit the tanks (including keeping grace up) for most of the encounter and fitting in aoe healing when I had the opportunity.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
9925
01/21/2013 02:23 PMPosted by Kaels
Being able to apply Grace with PWS wouldn't make a difference, because most of the time we might consider direct-healing a non-tank, we don't also need to shield them


Being able to apply Grace, no. Being able to maintain it indefinitely with a glyphed Weakened Soul, yes. Also, we don't currently have to shield a non-tank target that we intend to heal, but with PoH no longer applying absorbs and likely to lose its party status, we will probably be seeing that exact necessity a lot more in the future.

I like Grace as a mechanic. I think it needs help to be fully realized; right now it doesn't work with most of the things we cast on a regular basis. Face it, when do you ever currently apply Grace without Penance? The ramp-up is steep and it's tied to the spells we use least often. It's no wonder people don't like it. Taking a lot of the focus off PoH will help that as we will be casting more things that could potentially both use and apply Grace, but in order for Grace to be fully integrated into the spec it needs more synergy with things outside of tank healing.

Adding PW:S to Grace would help out a great deal, since it would basically make anyone you shield get at least 10% extra healing from you during the duration of Weakened Soul. That solves a whole lot of problems with the current Disc design; it puts PW:S into a more prominent role in the spec, it discourages shield spam since the bonus is tied to healing in between shield phases, it addresses (though does not solve on its own) the problem that our heals outside of Archangel are sub-par, it ties shielding and healing together nicely in the spec as it makes us focus on healing when we cannot shield, it makes one priest very powerful on a small group of people so bringing more than one priest to a large group is more beneficial than making one do everything for 25 or 40 people.

Same thing with my suggestion to add Binding Heal to Train of Thought. Think about it for a bit and you'll see how awesome it could be without being totally out of balance.
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100 Human Priest
17715
Some more data. Tonight i was able to maintain 110k dps on elegon, and 58k dps on sha of anger in the gear I logged out in. Even at this low spirit, it was sustainable. It's humorous for now on these encounters, but it will be a class stacking trap with more secondary stats (which we'll have access to next tier).
Edited by Twistedmind on 1/22/2013 11:48 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
01/22/2013 11:48 PMPosted by Twistedmind
Some more data. Tonight i was able to maintain 110k dps on elegon, and 58k dps on sha of anger in the gear I logged out in. Even at this low spirit, it was sustainable. It's humorous for now on these encounters, but it will be a class stacking trap with more secondary stats (which we'll have access to next tier).


Including stats from Elegon is really kind of silly, Twisted. There's very little damage that can't be healed with Atonement on that fight, and you know that it's a damage modifier fight (thus making your DPS and HPS far skewed). Fights like that cater to the Atonement style.

Also, Twisted, does your guild report your particular runs to a different WoL account? I never can find your logs.
Edited by Tiriél on 1/23/2013 12:15 AM PST
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100 Human Priest
17715
Our log monkey (jk if you're reading this) wasn't there for tonight, so nothing was logged. I picked Elegon and Sha as the fights to test the set/build because the requirement for non-atonement heals was low enough that I can chain cast at 5 stacks of evangelism for the entire fight. But as we know, Elegon has a 50% increased damage done modifier for ~3/4 of the fight duration.

You'll have to take my word on it for the reported numbers, but my goal next week is to beat one of our melee dps on elegon. The closest one to me was at 111k dps. But the thing I'm out to prove, not just theoretically but with practical encounters this tier (and the ptr) is that this chain dps spam at 5 stacks evangelism is going to scale differently than other healing rotations because it isn't tethered to spirit.

Our logs can be found at: http://www.worldoflogs.com/guilds/110189/
It should be noted that there are 2 different raids in those some of those logs, so I'm not in all of them. I'm in most of the tues-thurs, and some of the monday ones (we only raid 9 hours a week if we can).
The videos are still up from http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6794980143 if you want to see logs+captured footage, but the whole channel is on http://www.youtube.com/twistedmindwow
Edited by Twistedmind on 1/23/2013 1:15 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
My point, Twisted, is that you're taking fights with heavy damage modifiers and pointing at Atonement as the problem. The problem isn't Atonement. The problem is fights with heavy damage modifiers. In any other situation, you're not going to have a Priest come close to a competent DPS's numbers. Elegon is a skewed situation and you shouldn't be using it, plain and simple.
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100 Human Priest
17715
Naw, I don't mind the hps from atonement. What I'm getting at is the ability to exclusively do atonement healing for entire encounters, even with hilariously low spirit and haste/crit stacking. I'm just reporting the average increase in my numbers this week for a point of reference. My previous logged performance of "doing elegon the normal way" was 62,873 dps and 69501 hps. This wasn't meant as a "omg, the amount of dps and healing!!" post. It was a "omg, why cast any other spells?" post.

Just try it on some of these fights. Just exclusively cast atonement with the goal being maximize dps and see if it drastically affects the encounters for your raid. I still think we're going to be rolling too many atonement heals next patch after looking at the changes in ratios of our spellbook, hence the testing.
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100 Human Priest
17715
Also, I don't expect atonement rotations to be able to compete with a similarly geared/skill dps player. But it wasn't quite out of line when we were only able to do 30%-40% of what a normal dps/healer would be doing. If you're able to cross the line of 50% of what a dps/healer can do, you are being overpowered.

I understand how fights with damage done modifiers with no healing done modifiers will tilt these percentages in favor of atonement, but even on fights with no healing modifiers will be out of line with this playstyle.

And again, just so there is no misunderstanding, I don't think the damage or healing from atonement needs to be tweaked in any way. I think the sustainability of sitting at 5 stacks needs to be tweaked, because it's pushing disc into another spam playstyle. I'm saying that generally, we're going from press as many PoH's as you can per encounter to press as many atonements as your can at the current ratios of hps/hpm.

Edit: adjusting the mana cost reduction from evangelism isn't the only way to nip this problem. It's just the one I'm personally attached to. Either way, I'm just trying to acknowledge that this is a problem.
Edited by Twistedmind on 1/23/2013 1:38 AM PST
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100 Blood Elf Priest
12745
Also, I don't expect atonement rotations to be able to compete with a similarly geared/skill dps player. But it wasn't quite out of line when we were only able to do 30%-40% of what a normal dps/healer would be doing. If you're able to cross the line of 50% of what a dps/healer can do, you are being overpowered.

Don't need Atonement to do that. I can be roughly 70% of a DPS and 55-60% of a healer in Holy. (Not using Mind Sear, btw.) I can also hold my own at 80-90% of a DPS and 30% of a healer as Shadow, if that's the balance we need.

I suppose the sort of healing Atonement does is more likely to be a problem than Holy's CD-weaving or Shadow's hots-n-dots, if only because it's simpler to execute. But the whole priest class is able to run over 100% right now if you're willing to add DPS and healing. (And compare our DPS/HPS to the fight requirement, not to the performance of shield-spamming disc priests and pro afflocks.)
Edited by Kaels on 1/23/2013 2:33 AM PST
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100 Human Priest
17715
01/23/2013 02:30 AMPosted by Kaels
Also, I don't expect atonement rotations to be able to compete with a similarly geared/skill dps player. But it wasn't quite out of line when we were only able to do 30%-40% of what a normal dps/healer would be doing. If you're able to cross the line of 50% of what a dps/healer can do, you are being overpowered.

Don't need Atonement to do that. I can be roughly 70% of a DPS and 55-60% of a healer in Holy. (Not using Mind Sear, btw.) I can also hold my own at 80-90% of a DPS and 30% of a healer as Shadow, if that's the balance we need.

I suppose the sort of healing Atonement does is more likely to be a problem than Holy's CD-weaving or Shadow's hots-n-dots, if only because it's simpler to execute. But the whole priest class is able to run over 100% right now if you're willing to add DPS and healing. (And compare our DPS/HPS to the fight requirement, not to the performance of shield-spamming disc priests and pro afflocks.)

That's all true. They're tweaking the healing of shadow, but it isn't the glyph and choice talent you'd be using to do 30% of a healer. I thought holy was going to be addressed, because it's frankly silly to be doing so well. I thought after the early sinestra kill of stacking holy priests and paladins would call more attention to the insane utility that can be abused from beacon cleave and healers acting as extra dps, but then the red chakra change went through.

I guess I'm more personally invested in the complexity that disc brings to the table with varied gameplay and approaches, so I get up in arms when things like the 5.1 poh spam take over, or my theoretical 5.2 atonement spam takes the spotlight.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
12745
01/23/2013 03:00 AMPosted by Twistedmind
I guess I'm more personally invested in the complexity that disc brings to the table with varied gameplay and approaches, so I get up in arms when things like the 5.1 poh spam take over, or my theoretical 5.2 atonement spam takes the spotlight.

You're not the only one :)

My problem with your idea of nerfing Atonement isn't so much the idea of nerfing Atonement spam, but the lack of viable alternatives. It's not like Disc is exactly overflowing with ways to actually heal people.

So you nerf Atonement efficiency. Then what happens? Greater Heal, Flash Heal, and defensive Penance are the only spells that can match Atonement output. Penance has a CD, we all know that. So what else gets used?

Are you going to nerf Atonement down to the (appallingly low) efficiency of Greater Heal? Even if you do that, Greater Heal is still a worse option, because it's big and slow so you overheal more and hit fewer targets. And it does no damage. So you've now got Atonement that is unsustainable, but there's still no better option, so priests are still going to reach for Atonement as basically their only single-target heal - just less of it. Fill in, I guess, with PoH.

So you have to take Atonement down further. Down to Flash Heal levels, let's say (as if Flash Heal were noticeably less efficient than GHeal). Now it's miles away from being spammable. What happens? Does Disc suddenly fall in love with Greater Heal? Hardly. The spell sucks. Flash Heal? Atonement's still better. Heal? I guess you could...but if that ends up being your best option, the spec is completely !@#$ed.

No, the only possible endgame in that scenario that doesn't involve Disc becoming a raid pariah is "more PoH!" Hardly what I'd describe as an improvement.
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100 Human Priest
17715
Well, I'm also rolling around in my head that the outgoing mana cost of smite spam IS is the same outgoing mana cost as Prayer of Healing. For realzies, they are the exact same. From a mana standpoint, gheal is still more ineffient with my proposed nerf because it still costs more mana per second than poh. But the gap isn't as drastic when you compare the mana costs of PoH and Gheal. The gap gets bigger atonements because of a up to 30% reduction that's possible from evangelism, but all of these mana costs and tradeoffs are moot at higher levels of spirit (of course). So in the not to distant future, spamming gheal is going to be recognized (in a similar fashion to how it became a filler in firelands and we took heal off our bars).

By eyeballing heavy atonement play compared to gheals, you can still lay into gheals for about twice the hps. So atonements will still be for the intended light spotty heals periods of fights. I don't want that to change. And it still has an opportunity cost that pays itself off with archangel, and any subsequent spamming of poh, gheal, or pw:s. But sitting at 5 stacks is efficient and rewarding because if you're already at 5 stacks, you're already doing 20% more damage from those spells. If all that's required from you hps-wise is from those spells, why cast archangel? Just keep casting evangelism builders. Under that logic, what can I do to maximize the amount of numbers from evangelism builders? Apparently, I can shed off all my spirit and mastery and pull in more numbers.

That's the mentality I'm trying to get recognized. If some combination of spirit, mastery, haste, and crit can make prayer of heal spam sustainable (with close attention to rapture), then the next logical step to take after seeing the nerf to divine aegis rolling for me was to look at how I could maximize and abuse atonements. DA rolling was great because it did something unique that no other healer could do. Well doing atonement is kind of in the same school of volatile op-ness. Anything with a +damage modifier makes me think, "time for atonement abuse." Anything that demands really high dps makes me think, "what can I do to fit in more atonements?" So I've been investigating the potential to exclusively cast atonement spells in preparation for next patch. My findings are that you can roll these spells with a hilariously low amount of spirit, and by the ratios of combined secondary stats where small spirit+other secondaries=big sum of numbers vs. big spirit+other secondaries=small sum of numbers, I'm already seeing the potential for another playstyle that only uses 3 exclusive spells.

As for heal, spot healing with heal is bad for your hps, but good in the sense that you're still doing things, and at an early level of spirit you're gaining back more mana over top of the sunk cost of heal. For the record, using heal is still a spot heal of ~30,109 hps (39,142 with 3 stacks of grace). But it does a lot of good along with the minute hps, good things like stack/refresh grace or eating 2 additional seconds off weakened soul, while giving you more mana back from passive mp5. It's not a stellar spell, but not using it would be ignoring a perfectly functioning playstyle that you could potentially opt into (like you're supposed to be opting into atonement).

As for lack of other viable alternatives, I don't see atonement heals as my alternative or the go-to for actually bringing back lost hp on people. Depending on the immediacy of their needs, in most cases I will pw:s>borrowed time penance>additional healing from heal/gheal/fheal. For aoe recovery, my go-to is always try to really be smart with cascade or halo. In both cases, use inner focus or archangel if available. If these things aren't as straightforward in a situation, there are many scenarios where I might pw:s and move on to something else, or just flat out ignore the lower hp targets in favor of doing something like padding up a tank or dpsing down something if it will help. These are rough scenarios, but the point is I don't start laying into atonements for health recovery. I could see 25 mans doing this though.

And that's what I'm afraid of with the reduced mana costs on atonement. Prayer of healing was spammed because of its output, I'm predicting that atonements will be spammed because of their efficiency. If I can exclusively spam PoH this patch for 120k hps with the right choice in secondary stats by pairing it with smart raptures, the devs see this as too powerful. If I can do the exact same strategy by exclusively using only atonement spells, but output 60k dps and 60k hps, that too should be too powerful.

But tldr here is: my proposed nerf would put atonement down at the same efficiency as prayer of healing. And it to be clear, I'm mostly talking about smite here as it's the same mana per cast time as poh.
Edited by Twistedmind on 1/23/2013 4:24 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Priest
7670
Your Evangelism nerfs would highly reduce the efficiency of all 3 of our Atonement builders. As Kaels has mentioned, we do not have any appropriate tools outside of Atonement for spot healing. I don't think it's feasible or realistic to expect a 25 man Disc Priest to use our direct heals for spot healing - GHeal/Heal are too slow and FHeal is too inefficient to compete with the plethora of instants and smart raid heals brought by the other classes. The only thing that would be served by nerfing Evangelism is to force us into doing nothing once we hit 5 stacks.

Also, the numbers you posted are on gimmick fights. Wouldn't it be much better to target the actual source of these inflated numbers, rather than nerfing Atonement for all fights? The DPS on Sha of Anger and Elegon is great, but that's only if you're reforged for DPS, and those DPS numbers never directly translate to HPS. What actually happens if you need to heal or if fights have lulls in damage?

Atonement serves its role as a spot/filler heal exceedingly well, and you're never going to rely on it exclusively on fights with high tank damage, as it should be. Until they decide to give us a suitable replacement to fill such a role, all nerfing Evangelism will do is make us more mechanically clunky, and that's really not something we need right now.
Edited by Ceddya on 1/23/2013 4:29 AM PST
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100 Human Priest
17715
And my ultimate goal is balance, not nerf the disc spec into uselessness. The initial kit was balanced mathematically at the beginning of mop (I know that most players couldn't get results from it). But from a balancing standpoint, each spell has close to the same approximate opportunity cost and payoff. PoH was buffed, as was possible scaling mana. Obviously, those spells became the target of unintended play. Now those spells are being brought down to lower than their initial opportunity cost and payoff, but penance is exlusively getting buffed. Obviously, penance is going to be out of line compared to the rest of the spells, and I'm thinking most priests are going to figure out, whether mathematically based or just by lucky guesswork from practicing different things in these raid encounters, that they can drop off most of their spellbook if they really focus in on atonements.
Edited by Twistedmind on 1/23/2013 5:40 AM PST
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100 Human Priest
17715
I don't want the spell to be clunky. If there was no mana advantage to being at 5 stacks, you'd obviously use it for archangel. Even with 0 stacks, subsequent atonement spells with archangel active would be a hps gain from casting those same spells at 5 stacks evangelism with no archangel.

I knew I would be dismissed for linking numbers for elegon or a low demand fight like sha, but I just didn't feel comfortable trying this new thing on other fights. I can try it out on harder encounters.

I'm really just trying to illustrate a potential gameplay variance that might arise next patch. If they're not happy with players only using 1 or 2 choice spells at the exclusion of all others, they're probably not going to be happy with atonement spam. I don't want to kill atonement as a smart heal for 25s, I don't want to kill the playstyle of maximizing evangelism dps, I just want to kill the automatic defaulting to atonement in most situations. I also want the evangelism spells to be balanced mana costs compared to the rest of our spellbook.

I'd be QQ'ing up a storm if atonements were identified as overpowered, and the way that they get nerfed is by a percentage adjustment.
Edited by Twistedmind on 1/23/2013 4:39 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Priest
7670
01/23/2013 04:29 AMPosted by Twistedmind
Obviously, penance is going to be out of line compared to the rest of the spells, and I'm thinking most priests are going to figure out, whether mathematically based or just by lucky guesswork from practicing different things in these raid encounters, that they can drop off most of their spellbook if they really focus in on atonements.


You're either going to be reforged for DPS to pull 50k+ DPS on fights, which completely negates your ability to sustain your actual heals if needed, not barring the fact that your actual absorbs will be much weaker too if you're reforged out of Mastery. The alternative is to pull even less DPS and correspondingly lower HPS, which will never meet the HPS requirements of the fights this tier (barring a couple of gimmick bosses).

The buff to Penance will certainly make it an integral part of our toolkit come 5.2, but it has a 10 second cooldown as its limitation, and weaving in an offensive Penance into our rotation does add the complexity that you want from the Disc spec. Still, even with this buff, no Disc is going to ever rely on Atonement healing alone to push the HMs, especially not in a 25 man.
Edited by Ceddya on 1/23/2013 4:38 AM PST
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90 Pandaren Priest
7670
01/23/2013 04:36 AMPosted by Twistedmind
I just want to kill the automatic defaulting to atonement in most situations.


That's not going to be achieved by nerfing Atonement as we simply have no viable alternative to fill Atonement's niche of spot/filler healing. As mentioned earlier, Flash Heal is too inefficient and GHeal/Heal are too slow, resulting in massive overhealing.

On fights with high tank damage, no Disc is going to rely solely on Atonement for tank healing either. You weave in your Atonements during periods of lower damage, and start using your direct heals as damage ramp up. Isn't that how it should be?
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100 Human Priest
17715
Well, to be fair my proposal isn't nerfing atonement, it's nerfing evangelism ;P
01/23/2013 04:43 AMPosted by Ceddya
On fights with high tank damage, no Disc is going to rely solely on Atonement for tank healing either. You weave in your Atonements during periods of lower damage, and start using your direct heals as damage ramp up. Isn't that how it should be?

That's exactly how it should be. But that's still under the train of thought that you're first and foremost a healer. If you were being class stacked, you're first and foremost, a dps.

For example. Some hard hitting encounters require tank healing of 100k hps for a few seconds. You would definitely line up your burst healing cd's to do that required 100k hps, while all of the other dps'ers in your raid would be hitting the boss for 100k. If you replaced a healer and a dps with 2 disc priests, and told them do everything you can to maximize dps, they would be doing 50k dps and 50k hps during that burst window for tank healing. That would be balanced, but what I'm trying to say is that those disc priests can actually do more than 50k dps.

Take for another example. There is one particular aura fight that loves sustained hps. If you're able to pull 120k hps on that fight through the unintended playstyle of 5.1 poh spam, your atonement dps shouldn't exceed 60k from atonements. Well, next patch, that 120k hps you were once able to pull as a disc priest is actually more like 106k hps. And currently, your atonements can do 60k dps, and 60k hps. We would cease to function as a full-fledged healer, but will be overly functional as a hybrid dps-healer. This is kind of why I say forced into atonement spam. It's not because I missed seeing that this problem of reforging to dps since day one. It's because the ratio of max theoretical hps is falling below the 50/50 ratio of dps and healing that we can do. So to optimize the class, we'd have to maximize atonements. And I feel that being optimized that way is going to be dull. I'd rather have those theoretical rotations be balanced when accounting for healing, potential payoff buffs, potential synergy from existing buffs, and mana costs.
Edited by Twistedmind on 1/23/2013 5:10 AM PST
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100 Human Priest
17715
(sorry for the double posts. I'm trying to break up my winded explanations for us)

I'm not just concerned about the potential class stacking abuse. That can be highly opinionated scenario as different encounters require different strategies. I'm also concerned about our ability to just bring 50% of what a normal dpser would be doing without really giving much thought to our expenditure of mana during the down periods in a fight. To be able to line up all of our tricks and bursts and mana dumps for when the requirements for healing get high is fine, but then tuning out and spamming dps spells is out of line compared to not just our other spells and their costs, but to other healers as well. So atonements can not only be optimized for a net gain of hps/dps, but it's also our default mode in any light healing environment, with no penalties. I feel that we should opt into using atonement heals, not default to them.

Again, not trying to be super controversial, I'm just illustrating my findings with the theoretical. I could be way off base here.
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