Blizzard killing Disc Priest

90 Pandaren Priest
12925
Do you know how many people threatened to quit the game? Do you remember how many raging priest threads were made at the beginning about the state of disc at that time? The number of subscribers has plummeted, you really think they wanted to risk losing more when you consider that a large majority of players felt they were so replaceable-- that they couldn't even play the spec? Which therein itself made people either a) want to re-roll-- which could lead to no longer playing because of dissatisfaction-- or b) just quitting in general.

When you consider the people who made such threads and goaded on the others to join in, it's not so surprising that Blizzard would try to act on it fast because 90% of the posters were the knee-jerk-reaction-type of player who said the sky is falling before fully understanding what's going on. Or even attempting to try something new.


You would think if your players were complaining you would more aggressively try to fix the problem. Slapping a band-aid on it isn't a great solution. Furthermore, you would think you wouldn't have needed to slap such obscene band-aids on it because you would have done a better job designing the spec during that long wait we had... between expansions.

Oh, and I sure hope they aren't putting too much weight into, "Fix me now Blizz or I quit." posts let alone the WoW forums in general. Most of those posts are just people blowing smoke out their !@# and the WoW forums really aren't the best place to get game balance advice. In fact, they really shouldn't need to be given much in the way of numbers to balance the game. It's their job.
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90 Draenei Priest
6645
New disc mechanics just announced on PTR. Basically:
- Mastery redesigned, now less shielding but also buffs healing.
- PWS can crit.
- DA now at 100%.

Made a thread about it with a full list on the healing forums. Interesting reading.

Looks like this thread did it's job :). Now do one for Resto Druids!
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100 Goblin Shaman
8740
I don't think it's so much that absorbs are hard to balance, it's just that they look hard to balance. If an absorb is placed on a player and it prevents 45k damage, it is exactly equivalent to a heal that replenishes that much health except in special circumstances (the player would have died, for example). The absorb is not actually more effective in and of itself; it just looks better because it is applied before any other heal has a chance to hit, and that screws with heal reporting.


^ this. I love the way disc works, but at the same time, I don't think absorbs should totally negate reactive healers abilities.

An example from about a week ago on this one (it's an LFR example but it's still semi valid because this is where you hear the most complaining about under healing):

This one got stuck in a group with 3 disc priests and 2 holy pallies- absorbs galore. With all the absorbs, my healing was about worthless- there was 0 damage being taken. Next thing I know, I have some disc priest lecturing me about having low heals (I won on dispels- his 0 to my 12 or 13).

When I tried to explain to him about the absorb mechanic and how reactive healing works, I got called a noob and that I was stupid. Then the guy claimed he could beat out this kind of healing set up on his shaman- yeah, okay.

Now I can understand absorbs blocking out some damage, but not all of it- even with the combination of the group I was in.

You don't realize how OP absorbs can be unless you're playing a healing class that works differently. There's a big difference between preventive damage and no damage being taken.
Edited by Jujubiju on 2/14/2013 7:29 PM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
17105
While the Crit/Divine Aegis change will fix the valuation of Crit and Mastery, I foresee it creating more balance problems not less. This change effectively is increasing the percentage of Disc output that comes from absorbs.

Current - 50k heal crits, heals for 100k, adds a 30k absorb
5.2 - 50k heal crits, heal stays at 50k, adds a 50k absorb (plus mastery bonus)

Effectively, the portion of crit heals that become absorbs (as opposed to heals) is going to be nearly doubled.

I think this will become a balance issue, because it essentially guarantees Disc priests close to 100% effective healing on every crit that they get. In comparison, every other healer typically loses a significant percentage of his crit heals to overheal. Typical overhealing in a 25 man heroic progression encounter (for non absorb healers) runs in the 35-50% range, with normal mode and farm content overheal easily going over 60%. On top of that, crit heals have a much higher overheal than the total overhealing percentage.

It's only going to be balanced if the maximum throughput Disc is able to put out is properly balanced around the overheal of other healers. Putting more throughput from effective healing into absorbs only makes that balance gap bigger. The problem with that gap is how do you balance around overheal percentages when they can vary so significantly across raid sizes and content difficulty? To get Disc throughput to where it needs to be viable on heroic cutting edge progression, it will be completely overpowered on normal modes and farm content. To get Disc throughput nerfed to the point it isn't making other healers useless on easier content, it needs to be at a level where it's probably worthless for hard content.

The answer to proper balance is moving away from more absorbs, not increasing the percentage of output allocated to absorbs.
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90 Human Priest
5860
Current - 50k heal crits, heals for 100k, adds a 30k absorb
5.2 - 50k heal crits, heal stays at 50k, adds a 50k absorb (plus mastery bonus)

Current: 50k heal crits, heals for 100k, adds a 50k absorb (* 1+M)
definitely increase the % from absorbs, but makes crit a worse stat for all heals save PW:S
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90 Draenei Shaman
17105
I don't think it's so much that absorbs are hard to balance, it's just that they look hard to balance. If an absorb is placed on a player and it prevents 45k damage, it is exactly equivalent to a heal that replenishes that much health except in special circumstances (the player would have died, for example). The absorb is not actually more effective in and of itself; it just looks better because it is applied before any other heal has a chance to hit, and that screws with heal reporting.


The issue is, if the expected overhealing percentage from a HoT/direct healing based healer is 50%, a 45k heal is only expected to give 22.5k healing, whereas a 45k absorb on any target that is taking even moderate damage can be expected to provide the full 45k. In that simplistic example, the direct heal would need to hit for 90k to be expected to be worth the same as that 45k absorb.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
15230
Current - 50k heal crits, heals for 100k, adds a 30k absorb
5.2 - 50k heal crits, heal stays at 50k, adds a 50k absorb (plus mastery bonus)

Effectively, the portion of crit heals that become absorbs (as opposed to heals) is going to be nearly doubled.


Mrrrr?

Current DA is 50% base, modified by mastery. You'd get 50k hit, or 100k + (50k*mastery) crit.

New DA would be 50k*0.5mastery hit, or (50k*0.5mastery) + (50k*0.5mastery)*mastery crit.

EDIT: 'cause mastery scaling for heals is half that of mastery scaling for absorbs.
Edited by Nerfheals on 2/14/2013 7:44 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Priest
5600
Saying that Blizz doesn't care about a spec because it wants more money is not the way to look in any way intelligent, or the way to get things fixed.

I agree that disc is getting hit pretty damn hard, but I think it would be easier to get that point across if people saw rational facts and real-world examples rather than blanket hatred for Blizzard and the claim that they don't care about subscribers.

For those who want actual explanations of what OP's mad about, hit up the priest forums.
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100 Blood Elf Mage
18255
Jesus Tiberria, I cannot believe how much you loathe disc.
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90 Pandaren Priest
12925
While the Crit/Divine Aegis change will fix the valuation of Crit and Mastery, I foresee it creating more balance problems not less. This change effectively is increasing the percentage of Disc output that comes from absorbs.

Current - 50k heal crits, heals for 100k, adds a 30k absorb
5.2 - 50k heal crits, heal stays at 50k, adds a 50k absorb (plus mastery bonus)

Effectively, the portion of crit heals that become absorbs (as opposed to heals) is going to be nearly doubled.


Nope. It makes critical heals provide about the same amount of absorbs as they do now. The difference is the healing portion of critical heals gets considerably smaller, but non-crit healing spells gets a bit larger. This is assuming the Discipline base mastery remains consistent with what it is now (20%, which would be equal to 8 mastery, which ends up as +12.8% to absorbs and +6.4% to healing instead of +20% to absorbs).

I guess it could be a good concept provided they can implement it such that it works properly. I'm curious how this plays into Spirit Shell, if it does at all.
Edited by Volios on 2/14/2013 7:57 PM PST
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90 Worgen Death Knight
6045
...

....
.......

I suddenly want to punt small creatures.
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63 Dwarf Priest
0
I don't think it's so much that absorbs are hard to balance, it's just that they look hard to balance. If an absorb is placed on a player and it prevents 45k damage, it is exactly equivalent to a heal that replenishes that much health except in special circumstances (the player would have died, for example). The absorb is not actually more effective in and of itself; it just looks better because it is applied before any other heal has a chance to hit, and that screws with heal reporting.


Absorbs ARE a tricky mechanic to balance, and with healing meters/pure throughput being such a focus for raiders, they are always going to cause problems within the community. Even outside of that, they basically give those classes the fastest "healing" for incoming damage, as well as the strongest proactive healing available. Add in the benefit of being the only type of "heal" that can be effective on a full-health target (which reduces the need for thoughtfully choosing where to place your heal), and you can begin to see the issue and why they're always being chastised for being a problem. Mana-wise, absorbs are simply less likely to result in "wasted" throughput.

Due to all of this, it's not completely foreign to argue that they either need to be less widely available, more costly, or less powerful than comparably powered heals (by how much is up to debate).

TLDR; Absorbs will always cause problems.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
12825
OMG GUYS THEY ACTUALLY FIXED DISC!***
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7811342046?page=90#1791

***Numbers may still need adjusting. (Particular concern: Mastery-stacking Disc tank healers)

How exactly? Looks like it just devalues crit in favor of mastery. And makes rapture returns less predictable

It:

- Balances out crit across all spells, so we don't have this issue where crit is amazing for some spells and completely useless for others
- Keeps crit as a desirable stat for Disc by improving its mechanics even while it's nerfed by a significant amount numerically
- Gives Disc a partial solution to the priest class issue of PoH crits fighting with the mechanics of the spell
- Distributes Mastery across the toolkit; it's still better for absorbs, but nonetheless still useful for other spells
- Provides a very significant increase in Disc's actual healing, allowing reactive healing to be effective when it's appropriate

As far as Rapture, tank damage is high enough compared to PWS absorb values that it shouldn't be an issue at all. We don't have a problem now even with the huge amounts of absorbs going around (my shield-meter routinely registers 300-400k total shielding on tanks mid-fight in a pally/disc comp, and it gets eaten more than fast enough.)

Also, with the way absorb mechanics work, the PWS absorb should be eaten before the DA crit proc from it (it will be smaller, assuming the DA from crit PWS scales with Mastery again, and it will have a shorter remaining duration because there's a small lag between crit effects and DA application.)

My only major concern is that even at 0.8% scaling, single-target heals from a Mastery-stacking disc priest might be a little bit nuts on a Grace target. We're looking at about a 15% buff multiplicative with a 30% buff, so heals about 50% stronger than baseline, with crits at about 345%. Might not be gamebreaking, though, we'll see.
Edited by Kaels on 2/14/2013 8:07 PM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
17105
02/14/2013 08:01 PMPosted by Urteil
I don't think it's so much that absorbs are hard to balance, it's just that they look hard to balance. If an absorb is placed on a player and it prevents 45k damage, it is exactly equivalent to a heal that replenishes that much health except in special circumstances (the player would have died, for example). The absorb is not actually more effective in and of itself; it just looks better because it is applied before any other heal has a chance to hit, and that screws with heal reporting.


Absorbs ARE a tricky mechanic to balance, and with healing meters/pure throughput being such a focus for raiders, they are always going to cause problems within the community. Even outside of that, they basically give those classes the fastest "healing" for incoming damage, as well as the strongest proactive healing available. Add in the benefit of being the only type of "heal" that can be effective on a full-health target (which reduces the need for thoughtfully choosing where to place your heal), and you can begin to see the issue and why they're always being chastised for being a problem. Mana-wise, absorbs are simply less likely to result in "wasted" throughput.

Due to all of this, it's not completely foreign to argue that they either need to be less widely available, more costly, or less powerful than comparably powered heals (by how much is up to debate).

TLDR; Absorbs will always cause problems.


Let's say they decide that the overhealing percentage they decide to balance the throughput of absorbs vs heals around is 40% as an overall base line average. If that percentage goes up to 60% on farm content, suddenly Disc is perceived to be around 30% stronger than every other healer. The flip side of that is, let's say a really healing intensive, difficult boss drops that average overhealing percentage for non-Disc healers down to 10%. Suddenly, Disc will end up being like 30% behind.

I don't know how there can ever be a proper balance across difficulties and raid sizes (god forbid PvE vs PvP). Long term, it feels like they need to consider doing one of the following things.
1. Significantly reduce the amount of absorbs present in raids and move more of Disc (and possibly Holy Pally) output to standard heals.
2. Balance the overhealing/absorb issue by giving healing specs without absorb mechanics some way of gaining resources from healing that goes to overheal
3. Consider moving Disc back to being more of a single target tank healing model. Pure tank healing specialization was a problem for Paladins, but I think the existence of 2 healing specs could make it work for Priests. Possibly make Disc the tank healing/utility spec and Holy the raid healing/max throughput spec?
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90 Blood Elf Priest
15835

3. Consider moving Disc back to being more of a single target tank healing model. Pure tank healing specialization was a problem for Paladins, but I think the existence of 2 healing specs could make it work for Priests. Possibly make Disc the tank healing/utility spec and Holy the raid healing/max throughput spec?


dude what? Do you even play this game? Tank damage is only high on like one fight in the entire game right now... for half the fight. also, nerfing a spec's ability to deal with every kind of damage pattern will kill a spec. Not to mention how unfun it is to sit there and have no way to deal with the damage going out.

boy am I glad you're not balancing my class.
Edited by Noxnzee on 2/14/2013 8:31 PM PST
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63 Dwarf Priest
0

3. Consider moving Disc back to being more of a single target tank healing model. Pure tank healing specialization was a problem for Paladins, but I think the existence of 2 healing specs could make it work for Priests. Possibly make Disc the tank healing/utility spec and Holy the raid healing/max throughput spec?


This will never fly. You're stuck with either:
- Disc/Holy being worse at Raid/Tank healing respectively than every other class, while being comparable at the other type of healing. "Why are we less flexible than other healers? Why are we punished for having two healing specs?"
- Disc/Holy being better at Tank/Raid healing respectively than every other class while being comparable at the other type of healing. "What's the point of bringing a non-priest healer when priests do our job better and one priest can respec to either role?"

I'd say ideally, as Priests are the "Healer's class", you'd want them to be rewarded the same way a pure DPS class is. (No this is not being BETTER at your job, Blizzard will never be able to balance DPS to an acceptable delta between hybrids and pure classes)

Namely, the reward would have to be the option to have two distinct playstyles/rotations/kits to perform the healing role. Intended for people that REALLY love healing and like to be able to mix up their spec to suit their mood or prefered playstyle on an encounter-by-encounter basis. Arguably this is what Disc attempts to be, but again, absorbs being the main weapon in their toolbox makes it a nightmare to balance.

However, since people are so in love with absorbs (and who can blame them, they're fundamentally the strongest type of heal) I doubt we'll see them toned down to not being a mainstay for Disc priests/holy pallies.
Edited by Urteil on 2/14/2013 8:34 PM PST
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100 Night Elf Priest
9140
02/14/2013 05:31 PMPosted by Tiriél
I don't care if I'm !@#$ty compared to other healers competitively, I'd rather just have my offensive force back.


I'm guessing you are referring to PvP. Looks like there's no real chance of that happening.
Ya, the development team has stated that they feel that Disc PVP is weak at the moment. Unfortunately, the changes they're making aren't addressing what I'm still missing most from Cataclysm. Mana Burn, ya I understand why it had to go, but with penance and smite hitting for only 30% more than they did last expansion I'm in a tough spot, considering health pools exploded... not to mention the singular lockout without our DPS coming from the shadow tree.

Sad priest misses feeling different from other healers, different from DPS, and just different than any other class/spec combination out there.
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90 Pandaren Priest
7670
MMM, PW:S crit is going to be so much fun.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
7430
02/14/2013 08:41 PMPosted by Ceddya
MMM, PW:S crit is going to be so much fun.


Indeed!
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90 Human Priest
11345
Crossposting from the ptr thread:

Going to have to double check this tomorrow to make sure I didn't do anything phenomenally stupid (or if GC provides new information I didn't account for), but it looks like the following is true:

1. It's a 0-6% nerf to things that aren't PW:S and a 5-12% buff to PW:S, although PW:S will be more random as it will now crit and the average value includes those cases - it will be weaker than current PW:S when it does not crit (exact values depend on how much crit / mastery you have). However, because non-PW:S crits won't actually create double-sized heals and instead give a shield (but the base heal is bigger), we should see a decrease in overheal. All those times you cast PoH on a group where everyone was missing 50k hp? Guess what, you will just heal them all to full and if some crit then great, you left a shield and did no overheal!

2. Our secondary stats are much closer together than they were going to be if this change was not made. If you just sat there and spammed PoH, haste would be the most theoretical throughput, but crit, haste, mastery, and (half the amount of) int are all very close; and of course haste costs you additional mana and doesn't buff your "cooldown" heals. We don't have to avoid mastery like the plague; it will continue to be a good stat in 5.2.

3. Assuming spirit shell still follows the "absorbs the same as the regular sized heal" rule, it will have the same scaling as our regular heals - there won't be any one "stack this and break mechanics" stat.

I would also like to know how this interacts with atonement; especially on crits. Is it:

(Damage/2)*healmastery as a heal and

(Damage/2)*healmastery*absorbmastery as an absorb

(which would make it the same as for other heals)?

I assumed that we were double dipping mastery on crits somewhat, as we have the original heal increased by the "heal" portion of mastery, and then the absorb portion of the crit increased by the "absorb" portion of mastery, which is based on the heal size. This seems fine as the coefficient for heal mastery is lower, and is probably even required to keep mastery's scaling in line with crit / haste / int.

It looks like an excellent change.
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