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