Are Holy Priests under powered?

90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
So I have experience raiding in LFR and I usually end up 3rd place in total healing. There is usually a Restoration Shaman in 1st and a Holy Paladin in 2nd. For the Shaman Healing Rain is avg 25-30% of their total healing and Illuminated Healing for Paladins is usually around 25% of their total healing. The Shaman at the end of the instance is has done about 1/3 more healing than me and the Paladin about a 1/4 more than me. I wondered whether they were just better geared than me but they usually are about the same level of gear that I am. So I hop on WoWhead and look up these skills, Healing Rain is a Resto Shamans equivalent to our Holy Word: Sanctuary but does not receive diminishing returns for the amount of players standing inside its effect, and Illuminated Healing is a mastery effect like a Disc Priest's Divine Aegis but always take effect instead of just criticals though its only at 15% instead of the 30% from Divine Aegis. I also have taken notice that they typically are not having as severe mana issues as me and other priests are having. I try to use Mindbender on cooldown and Hymn of Hope when it is need and I still see priests struggling to keep up with mana. I also took a look at the Restoration Shamans mastery effect, Deep Healing. Which gives them a constant 1%-24% increase to all healing effects depending on the targets current health.

Im going to borrow a post I saw on wowhead about the shamans mastery effect.

Considering in raids, a lot of healing is done on targets at the 60% level or lower, (a lot of the time, near death healing is common) and virtually all is done at lower than 80%, mastery is truly a good stat to have. In addition to this, it increases HPM, while haste does not.

On the other side, crit brings added hps for ELW, ES and Riptide hot, while Mastery effects none of these. So while the breakpoints are rather high, the healing from non mastery sources means crit can hold a higher value point for point. This means that for overall healing, the targets you heal need to be lower than the breakpoints. In addition, crit gives increased mana regen and further intangible benefit from the 10% damage reduction buff.

So where does this all lead? Which should I stack? Both seem good. Well the answer is both are good. But there are generalizations where one might hold more value over the other. As a general rule, if you're finding you're constantly healing people below 50%-60% hp, then mastery will be better for you. If you're constantly just keeping people topped up, then crit will be better for you. From anecdotal information from other shaman and from my own personal results, the best breakdowns are:

For 5man heroics: Stack crit over mastery
For 25man/10man tank healing and farm/easy pug content: Stack crit over mastery
For 25man/10man progression raid healing: Stack mastery over crit

The reasoning is that for 5mans, you're rarely dealing with a lot of people who are low life. Since you're mostly just topping people up with HW and Riptide because of easily maintainable damage, people rarely get low enough hp for mastery to really shine. For tank healing it's obvious that the 10% damage buff is just too good to pass on so crit needs to be a priority. Not to mention you're single target focusing with raid assist. The increased mana gain in the long run from all your single target spells will allow you to bomb big heals longer than mastery will give you.

But for progression raid healing, things change. For starters, a LOT of the encounters follow along a path of completely destroying the raid to near death over and over. Even with crit effecting your hots, the overall benefit from mastery on your HR and CH powers through this and gives your heals a completely hax level of healing done. For these types of encounters where you're constantly healing people at or below that 50-60% threshold, mastery is easily your best stat. So stack it to the moon over crit."


My personal opinion as of right now is that Holy Priests are under powered when compared to these two classes and since Resto Druids are already out classed by Priests I won't be including them even though they are getting buffed soon. I have also seen Disc Priests getting big numbers in total heals through Atonement, Divine Aegis, Spirit Shell, and Prayer of Healing.
Edited by Herbicide on 1/29/2013 1:16 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
Disc is getting nerfed "TO THE GROUND" soon (according to PTR notes, which i'm sure will change when blizz realizes we need weaker shields on PoHs, not no shields on PoHs.)

The main reason Holy looks so bad right now by comparison is because every progression guild's holy priest went disc for the advantage of having an overtuned, overpowered healer.

If you had a choice between being an above average healer with average regen or a meterwhoring sniping machine with ungodly numbers and mana dripping from every orifice, which would you choose.

Holy is not in a bad place right now. They could use a little bit of a regen buff, and chakra is an unnecessarily punitive mechanic that should be redesigned or scrapped, but other than that, they are fully capable, playable, and for some, quite enjoyable.

Illuminated healing is something i've always said that disc should have gotten, although I do enjoy the mechanic on my paladin.

You can't really compare the 2 ground aoe effects as if they're exactly the same. Healing rain is meant to hit a fair bit harder in a smaller amount of time while sanctuary lasts quite a while and is meant to be more of an aoe buffer (I agree it's still weak even as what it's supposed to be, but just saying.) You trade power for opportunity cost with it, or at least you would if it were well tuned.

Also... I think the post you linked is old. Do shamans even still have the 10% damage reduction ability? I know the priest version is completely gone.
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90 Human Priest
12445
Yes, Holy is very very under-whelming when compared to other specs save druid. Holy paladins have the right combination of regular heals and mastery shields to keep them high in the numbers, and their regen is balanced enough to usually carry them through fights. Shamans have 3 raid CDs at their disposal, as well as healing rain, which as you pointed out, is a major part of their heals.

Enter Holy: Holy has been a spec that get more and more viable as gear goes up. It is so heavily regen dependent that what you are describing is again the main problem. You are spending too much and not putting out enough. My assumption is you are leaning on Flash -> Serenity -> Gheal/PoH, which is fine, but it does require more regen than is available right now.

Looking at disc, it is really the best healing spec right now. There isn't a fight where Spirit Shell doesn't have an impact, and essentially, when I am disc, all I am doing is my smite rotation (Holy Fire/Penance on CD, Smite filler) and building Spirit Shell when applicable through either Gheal or PoH. You can blanket a 250k shield barring positioning with Spirit Shell that kills most specs outright, and with Power Infusion specced it costs so little mana you just go back to smite with no real loss.

tl:dr - Yes, holy is weak. Disc is VERY strong. Consider switching.
Edited by Nemockulous on 1/29/2013 1:38 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
01/29/2013 01:35 AMPosted by Keirisonis
Also... I think the post you linked is old. Do shamans even still have the 10% damage reduction ability? I know the priest version is completely gone.


I think they do.

01/29/2013 01:35 AMPosted by Keirisonis
You can't really compare the 2 ground aoe effects as if they're exactly the same. Healing rain is meant to hit a fair bit harder in a smaller amount of time while sanctuary lasts quite a while and is meant to be more of an aoe buffer (I agree it's still weak even as what it's supposed to be, but just saying.) You trade power for opportunity cost with it, or at least you would if it were well tuned.


Maybe but you have to remember how under powered HW:S is in a raid situation. Healing for around 500-700 when you put it where a large group of people are taking damage and require aoe healing compared to HR's 7000-9000 heals with a large area of effect.

And don't forget a holy priest's mastery, echo of light, which is complete crap for aoe healing and isnt great for single target. Though my mastery rating is low because reforged out of it i can get maybe 3k healing with it if im bombing someone with flash heal.
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90 Human Priest
10190
Shaman mastery rocks. In Cata, with my trinkets, I was popping huge heals - heals in 400 gear that my Priest here is pulling now if I have to hard cast greater heals. It literally was not uncommon for me to see 130k+ heals on targets with her and I got some at 150k with my trinkets procc'ed on a tank with low health.

HR spam can get you to the top of the healing charts but it can also oom you fast if you don't know what you're doing. On my Shammy I used to top LFR healing constantly but it wasn't from HR spam but more from popping huge heals with my mastery.

That being said, I ran LFR MSV twice this week (don't ask) and the first time all the way through vaults I was first or second healer. I went with a tank friend and cheesed the ilevel that time so my equipped was 455. I was running on fumes on some fights but was still doing twice as much as some other healers and that includes having a Resto Shammy in the group (yay mana tide - how I love thee).

Second time, for the first part of MSV I had a Holy Priest kicking my !@# and putting out an astonishing amount of heals leaving me second.

I will say mana is a struggle for me to control right now - I've only been back a week - and I don't remember having this amount of difficulty with my Shammy. Even though I'm Disc, we both have the same mana cd's with my big benefit being absorbs. Raiding in normal - yes it was much harder to keep my mana up then it ever was on my Shammy while I raid healed. That is one thing I miss with her - her mastery and she tempts me to level her up.

I do use my fiend (or mindbender or whatever it's called talented) at 80% the first time and then always off of CD after that (unless for some strange reason I don't need it like having the mana buff on 3rd boss). I do Hymm when I need to and there's no other mana restoration things going on (another Hymm, mana tide totem etc.). The big thing I have over you right now is DA proc'ing with PoH along with PoH being cheap to cast which allows me big heals through absorbs.

At the end of the day though - if the groups succeeds that's what's important. I look at the healing chart in LFR for fun or in actual raids to see if there's a problem when we're wiping. I find it more beneficial in the latter to look at the healing spells used then actual healing total as that is far more telling then the numbers being pulled.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
01/29/2013 01:38 AMPosted by Nemockulous
My assumption is you are leaning on Flash -> Serenity -> Gheal/PoH, which is fine, but it does require more regen than is available right now.


Actually I try to avoid using those just because of the shear amount of mana they use, excluding PoH which I use as needed. I also actively try to switch between chakras depending on whats needed at that moment but I spend most of my time in C:Sanct. But yeah CoH/PoH along with every other spell I use really drag down my mana and right now I have 11,500 in combat regen unbuffed.

01/29/2013 01:38 AMPosted by Nemockulous
Yes, holy is weak. Disc is VERY strong. Consider switching.


Our major disc glyphs are the same so give me a idea of your "rotation" if you can call it that since healing doesn't really have a set rotation. Do you purely use Atonement and heal/spirit shell/bubble only when its direly needed. Or are you a traditional healer like holy priest would be?
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90 Human Priest
10190
01/29/2013 01:38 AMPosted by Nemockulous
tl:dr - Yes, holy is weak. Disc is VERY strong. Consider switching.


Yes, because you should always switch to whatever is the most powerful in your eyes because that always ends well...

/sarcasm

Give it up. While Disc right now is king on many fights, we're going down in the next patch. This is my first time in a long time playing a class of any kind that is on top and I have to say I really don't like it - I'd rather be considered in the middle so things don't radically change from patch to patch for balance.

At the end of the day, unless a class is truly gimped, it's in the hands of the player how well things go. The best tank healer I ever had was a Shammy and that was during a time they were supposed to suck. He ran circles around people and kept me alive during things I had no right to live through. He also had a Druid on another server which he healed on, and during that time they were considered OP. He mentioned it was a lot easier to get things done on the Druid but it wasn't impossible on his Shammy.

Unless Blizz has truly gimped the class beyond recognition (which is rare) it's in the hands of the player how things turn out.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
01/29/2013 01:47 AMPosted by Herbicide
And don't forget a holy priest's mastery, echo of light, which is complete crap for aoe healing and isnt great for single target. Though my mastery rating is low because reforged out of it i can get maybe 3k healing with it if im bombing someone with flash heal.


Really? I run high mastery because of my disc spec and all those little heals add up over time on the fights that I swap to holy for. I run 10 mans and serenity chakra+ renews on the raid is just... Yum. Also, cascade refreshes the duration on every target it hits. It ends up supercharging your healing when you need it.

01/29/2013 01:47 AMPosted by Herbicide
Maybe but you have to remember how under powered HW:S is in a raid situation. Healing for around 500-700 when you put it where a large group of people are taking damage and require aoe healing compared to HR's 7000-9000 heals with a large area of effect.


I completely agree. I want it to get the HR treatment, or even just become what the old holy radiance was for Holy paladins. That would make me happy. As of right now though, the duration and relative power of the spell make it seem like more of a set and forget mechanic. Which if it ticked for a good 1k more per tick, it would be quite good at.

Holy is by no means unviable right now. It's even with the rest of the pack, if a little ahead by a percentage point or two. Disc is just far and away the most powerful healing spec right now such that only diehard fans of holy and scrubs still play it. (Though there are exceptions to this. Elethia and Tiriel, don't kill me.) Well, also for Tsulong to cheese the healing phase a little bit.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
I'm not a recount !@#$% I just use it to give myself an idea of where I am. I also never try to be at the very top, if it happens it happens. I just noticed holy priests lagging behind other classes, excluding resto druids. I'm just hoping this reaches the ears of blizzard that holy priests spend so much mana and get so little through-put compared to other healing classes. I don't want to down play priests that much but I call them like I see them granted priests have HUGE utility when it comes to saving people from pushing up daisies at the feet of a boss.
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1 Blood Elf Priest
0
Are Holy Priests underpowered? No.


Holy is not in a bad place right now. They could use a little bit of a regen buff, and chakra is an unnecessarily punitive mechanic that should be redesigned or scrapped, but other than that, they are fully capable, playable, and for some, quite enjoyable.
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90 Human Priest
12445
01/29/2013 02:07 AMPosted by Calamai
Yes, because you should always switch to whatever is the most powerful in your eyes because that always ends well...

Come on I didn't remotely say this. But if you are going to ignore a more powerful spec just because it's mainstream you are intentionally gimping your raid. I'd love to be holy, but I know it puts my raid at a disadvantage.

01/29/2013 02:01 AMPosted by Herbicide
Actually I try to avoid using those just because of the shear amount of mana they use, excluding PoH which I use as needed. I also actively try to switch between chakras depending on whats needed at that moment but I spend most of my time in C:Sanct. But yeah CoH/PoH along with every other spell I use really drag down my mana and right now I have 11,500 in combat regen unbuffed.

I agree with the Flash argument, and I was simply stating my assumption as to why the mana was going out the window so fast relating to how Holy healed majorly in end DS.

01/29/2013 02:01 AMPosted by Herbicide
Our major disc glyphs are the same so give me a idea of your "rotation" if you can call it that since healing doesn't really have a set rotation. Do you purely use Atonement and heal/spirit shell/bubble only when its direly needed. Or are you a traditional healer like holy priest would be?

Depends on the fight. If I can afford Atonement, I'll only cast shield, SS, etc. when needed. On fights like Amber-Shaper where Atonement can't be afforded, it's a rotation of Shields, Gheal, Penance, Binding, PoH, etc. Penance is used almost on CD for amber with Divine Insight talented for extra shields to throw at the parasitic person.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
01/29/2013 02:09 AMPosted by Keirisonis
Really? I run high mastery because of my disc spec and all those little heals add up over time on the fights that I swap to holy for. I run 10 mans and serenity chakra+ renews on the raid is just... Yum. Also, cascade refreshes the duration on every target it hits. It ends up supercharging your healing when you need it.


I just have a off putting feeling about disc priests in raids maybe because I have raided since vanilla.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
13110
Shaman do not have the 10% damage reduction in their heals.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
01/29/2013 02:24 AMPosted by Nemockulous
Depends on the fight. If I can afford Atonement, I'll only cast shield, SS, etc. when needed. On fights like Amber-Shaper where Atonement can't be afforded, it's a rotation of Shields, Gheal, Penance, Binding, PoH, etc. Penance is used almost on CD for amber with Divine Insight talented for extra shields to throw at the parasitic person.


I've been wanting to roll Disc in a raid just to try it. I have been disc at the start of a raid and after the first few fights I sit there with nothing to show for it then just switch back to holy. I'm guessing its just because I don't know what i'm doing when it comes to disc in a raid.
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100 Draenei Shaman
12565
No, Shamans do not have the 10% physical damage reduction ability. That was removed (along with the priest version, Inspiration) in 5.0. We do still retain the max +10% stamina buff, though.

There are a couple of misconceptions in your opening post, Herbicide, originating from trying to learn about the abilities simply from their Wowhead descriptions instead of playing the class ;) For example, Healing Rain most definitely does suffer from diminishing returns beyond 6 players, just like most other non-target-capped AoE heals. And the Mastery numbers you are looking at are simply the base Mastery effect each class gets without any Mastery on gear; there is still a difference in how much Mastery Rating translates into 1% additional Mastery effect. Granted, Shamans can have a LOT of mastery (I'm running just over 70% right now for a specific encounter).

Echo of Light isn't *that* bad, either. Each time you cast a heal on a player it refreshes and recalculates to include the new/incoming heal, so it isn't just overwritten every time you cast; it "stacks up". (It's kind of complicated, but I'll leave it at that since I don't really know exactly how it works!) Everything you do except Holy Word: Sanctuary will leave it behind on players (including your level 90 talents), it is just a straight up extra amount of healing that, yes, often goes to overheal, but so does the Shaman mastery :)

Primarily, though, it is not really relevant to compare healing done in LFR. There are very few fight mechanics to contend with (and in some fights, like Feng, you can completely nullify the entire mechanics of the fight if your Nullification Barrier tank can press his button), there is little danger that players will die, and there is little need for healers to use their mitigation cooldowns or provide utility. Players can top meters in LFR by sniping what little damage does occur. Those with absorbs (Disc Priests, Holy Paladins) get the first shot at grabbing HPS, then anyone who is using smart heals (Mistweaver Monks, Atonement from Disc Priests), then anyone who is blanketing the raid with AoE effects (Shamans), then anyone who is blanketing the raid with HoTs (Druids, Holy Priests).

Healer performance will vary greatly in actual raid scenarios based upon the composition of the raid group, the strategies used, the raid format (10 vs 25), and the encounter mechanics. For example, a Resto Shaman raiding in 10s can't just drop Healing Rain to victory, they have to pull out their entire arsenal.

The game is not balanced around LFR anymore than it is balanced around 1v1, LFD, or random battlegrounds.

Now, that all said, in my opinion Holy Priests are not weak. It is just that Disc Priests are so strong that most players are gravitating - or are pushed - toward that spec.

Holy certainly does have some mechanistic issues that it would be lovely to address. Their mana regen compared to their mana expenditure profile is very lacking, the long CD on Chakra stance swapping seems to encourage just camping out in one Chakra rather than being a truly flexible and reactive healer, and while Divine Hymn and Lightwell/spring are truly excellent raid cooldowns, throughput CDs are less valued than damage-mitigation CDs by the majority of raiding players. However, if Disc weren't so very very strong, I think Holy would have more of a chance to shine.
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90 Human Priest
12445
01/29/2013 02:30 AMPosted by Herbicide
Depends on the fight. If I can afford Atonement, I'll only cast shield, SS, etc. when needed. On fights like Amber-Shaper where Atonement can't be afforded, it's a rotation of Shields, Gheal, Penance, Binding, PoH, etc. Penance is used almost on CD for amber with Divine Insight talented for extra shields to throw at the parasitic person.


I've been wanting to roll Disc in a raid just to try it. I have been disc at the start of a raid and after the first few fights I sit there with nothing to show for it then just switch back to holy. I'm guessing its just because I don't know what i'm doing when it comes to disc in a raid.


It took me 2 weeks to become accustomed to new buttons and CDs, 3 to become fluent with Atonement and when to shift to regular heals. It's not instant, but if you give it a good effort you'll see dividends.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
I'm not trying to base these of specific encounters or a singular instance, I am completely basing what i'm saying off of my experiences over many raids and many years of playing wow off and on.
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90 Human Priest
10190
01/29/2013 02:24 AMPosted by Nemockulous
Come on I didn't remotely say this. But if you are going to ignore a more powerful spec just because it's mainstream you are intentionally gimping your raid. I'd love to be holy, but I know it puts my raid at a disadvantage.


Wait? What? Didn't you say this:

01/29/2013 01:38 AMPosted by Nemockulous
tl:dr - Yes, holy is weak. Disc is VERY strong. Consider switching.


I'm not trying to put words in your mouth but was just commenting on what you said.

Look, Holy isn't as strong as Disc right now. The major reason why I'm Disc isn't because we're OP it's because I'm used to it. I started this toon a long time ago (as in years) and have been Disc since level 20. I messed around with Holy during Cata but it felt clunky so back to Disc just out of habit. I finally finished her this past week.

I will continue in Disc through the nerfs unless I become so gimpy I am putting everyone at risk. Which is how anyone should consider their healing class. Unless you're pushing for bleeding edge content in a top guild, being able to play your healing class well is what will get your raid through things. Not being king of heals - which was my point. Feeling forced to switch to a spec you don't enjoy seems more on your raid then the class itself.

01/29/2013 02:15 AMPosted by Herbicide
I'm not a recount !@#$% I just use it to give myself an idea of where I am. I also never try to be at the very top, if it happens it happens. I just noticed holy priests lagging behind other classes, excluding resto druids. I'm just hoping this reaches the ears of blizzard that holy priests spend so much mana and get so little through-put compared to other healing classes. I don't want to down play priests that much but I call them like I see them granted priests have HUGE utility when it comes to saving people from pushing up daisies at the feet of a boss.


I'm the same way. A lot of times I'm looking at the healing after a wipe not to see how great I am but to see what's going on, including what I'm doing in case something needs to be fixed. My main goal is to keep the group up - doesn't matter what content we're doing, as long as we get through it.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
3315
I am also not trying to call shamans and paladins out they have just been on avg better than me at the end of an instance.

@Dayani, I can honestly say I've never had a shaman past level 10.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
I am also not trying to call shamans and paladins out they have just been on avg better than me at the end of an instance.

@Dayani, I can honestly say I've never had a shaman past level 10.


In a raid with threatening damage or LFR? Cus LFR, that depends on your sniping skills and healing type more than actual class balance.
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