Atonement healing nerf

90 Pandaren Priest
0
^
Pretty much all of that above. The only difference I've noticed post-nerf, outside of my rage over BT being changed, is PoH/PW:S are falling in a bit more where Smite used to end up seeing use. To some extent this was already happening, there is just a more reasonable balance to it now. There is nothing broken about this at all, as the degree of Smite viability in these situations was a bit over the top pre-Atonement nerf.
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
I've found myself trying to slip in instants still, Volios. I hate the BT change. :(
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90 Human Priest
5860
05/24/2013 12:42 PMPosted by Volios
my rage over BT

Is still going strong >:[

Is offensive penance still worth casting with PoH spam? I haven't run the numbers on it yet.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
9725
As our atonement has taken a slight nerf, I would encourage you to preemptively use pw:s much, much more aggressively if you have not. What that should do is enable your partner to deal with the incoming damage better due to the fact that it is simply being slowed down. Trust your partner.


All well and good. My logs will show this, but I never have been a heavy atonement user. Even pre-5.3, shield was usually my top 1 or 2 heals. I understand how to play to the strengths of the spec, and I will continue to do so. I just find it a little disingenuous to see so many people around here brush off nerfs as if nothing happened, because the fact is there really is no substitute for the kind of healing atonement does in the disc toolkit. The nerfs impact our toolkit, and further force us towards shield spam "triage", and shifts more responsibility to our co-healers to supplement our weaknesses.
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
People are "brushing it off" because the nerfs really aren't making as big an impact as people are claiming. In fact, we're arguably better at triage now that Atonement places a higher priority on players. We're not suddenly incapable, or even particularly weak when it comes to triage/spot healing.

Do other healers have a bit of a leg up with AoE smart heals? Sure, but most other healers also can't preemptively heal. Responsibility between healers is shared. Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone has strengths. That's part of teamwork. Frankly, at your level of progression, you should know that Mythrose.
Edited by Elethia on 5/24/2013 3:04 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Priest
9725
Even if our triage suffered, you should probably read or reread Tsilyi's post on page 3. Responsibility between healers is shared. Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone has strengths.

Tsilyi's post was in direct response to me, and I responded back. I am quite aware that we all have strengths and weaknesses. My core issue is this change does nothing to balance our toolkit. In fact it pushes us even more into absorb spam. Proper disc play already prioritized PoM, lvl 90 talents, proper SS usage, and proper shield usage, over atonement. This nerf changes none of that. It just means that we will use more PoH in less optimal situations to cover what atonement would have done, or more bubble spam. How is that an improvement for the spec? Raise the mana cost of atonement, give it a stacking mana debuff cost, lower damage, idk, but I think balance issues certainly could have been handled much better then they were.
Edited by Mythrose on 5/24/2013 3:25 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Priest
9725
Frankly, at your level of progression, you should know that Mythrose.

No need to talk down to me because I don't share all your views.
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
That's really not me talking down. It is something anyone at your level of progression (or mine, for that matter) should know. What's so wrong about responsibility being shifted? It's not creating an overwhelming burden for other healers; nor is it indicative of any crippling weakness on our part.

You also seem to be contradicting yourself by saying that you understand players have strengths and weaknesses while also saying you don't share my views. Do you think we shouldn't have strengths and weaknesses? Do you think we oughtn't have gaps filled by other healers, and vice versa?

The change doesn't honestly change much. Many priests are finding their healing from Atonement comparable to what it was previously. It's still decent for triage healing, perhaps moreso now because it actually prioritizes players. That means we have less per individual hit, but a higher overall percentage going to players. What's changed is that maybe we prioritize defensive Penance more on tanks, or on someone who's taken a serious hit; maybe we drop a shield on them (non-tanks) [even] more readily than we would pre-patch.

Other spells were prioritized above Atonement only when damage hit a level that required true aoe healing, when you needed to shield the tank or get a hit of Rapture, or when we wanted to preempt burst of some sort.

The problem wasn't our ability to deal damage, but that it wasn't any sort of real sacrifice to do so heavily in most encounters. We were capable of doing significant healing on non-gimmick fights with Atonement in the top slot (especially when you consider just how much DA came from that Atonement use). In that respect, Blizzard's changes probably weren't enough. It's still possible to use Atonement heavily.

I don't think an Arcane Blast mechanic would be a good way to go about changing that, especially since that would almost certainly impact Evangelism stacking—and it, along with any damage reduction, would seriously impact questing and leveling.

The only true balance issue we have with our toolkit at this point isn't the overemphasis on absorption. We're not bubble bots like we were in ICC or early Cata; Spirit Shell and DA are no longer our bread and butter like they were in HoF. The issue is that our single-target raw healing isn't where it needs to be. Atonement replaces it too readily.

Blizzard did well with the change to Penance; we should see most players swapping to its defensive use more often than before. However, Atonement still plays too big a role in tank healing—especially on fights where tank damage is reliable and you can nearly guarantee that your Atonement healing will funnel heavily to the tank(s).

I think Blizzard should have dropped the amount to 75-80% of damage dealt and increased the effectiveness/efficiency of our single-target healing.
Edited by Elethia on 5/24/2013 5:26 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Priest
9725
You also seem to be contradicting yourself by saying that you understand players have strengths and weaknesses while also saying you don't share my views. Do you think we shouldn't have strengths and weaknesses? Do you think we oughtn't have gaps filled by other healers, and vice versa?


It's a matter of degrees. Healer specialization is a fundamental part of the game, but it's very possible to become too specialized, especially when that specialization is absorbs. I think we can both agree that that a less powerful atonement will lead disc to even more preventative shielding as triage. This by definition means that shield will be used more. Couple that with ever increasing regen from gear, and an even more pronounced lack of better options outside of our cd spells, and it is not unreasonable to say that pws will be the best filler in many situations with non-negligible damage.

There are two problems with this, though. First absorbs are inherently difficult to balance, and excellent at sniping other healers. Moving more of our gcd's into shielding will simply lead to more meter padding in overhealed content, which is exactly what has been the problem with disc for the majority of this expansion.

The second problem is tied into the first, but is simply that we have been pushed farther into our preventative absorb niche. We became more specialized, not less. Ask a shaman if they enjoy being the king of specialization. Just because all healers are supposed to have strengths and weaknesses, doesn't mean that it's impossible for those specializations to become too dominant. I think that disc is heading in that direction, and the recent changes just sped it up.

I understand that many people here just don't view these changes as big enough to get excited over, but the way it was handled in my opinion did nothing positive for the health of the spec.
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90 Human Priest
13720
Now I understand the core of your argument, Mythrose. I think we are just at a fundamental disagreement about the steps being taken to balance the spec. I too feel that playing a spec that is forced too heavily one way or another is boring and that it is frustrating to feel forced into heavily spamming one ability or another.

That being said, pre-5.3 changes would you agree that we were basically forced into heavy atonement prioritization over anything else? I don't believe that the atonement change in 5.3 did anything other than make an attempt to shift more of our healing away from atonement's rather mindless over-effective sniping. That's purely what I believe and you may disagree freely. I, like you, believe that absorbs are very, very difficult to balance properly and we may never fully see a great balance due to the very nature of the absorb mechanic itself. However, I would certainly rather be forced into thinking pre-emptively and using pw:s more than spamming atonement spells and using smart heals to easily snipe even in non-trivial situations.

I think blizzard could to better to more fully balance disc's toolkit, but I honestly can't say what the best way to accomplish that is... it deserves a LOT of careful thought. Ultimately though, I don't think that atonement was nerfed enough to preclude its use, in fact I would use it almost the same amount as before. Naturally in 10 man that would be less than I do in 25, but that's neither here nor there, really.
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
05/24/2013 05:54 PMPosted by Mythrose
I think we can both agree that that a less powerful atonement will lead disc to even more preventative shielding as triage.


Well, no, because there's no such thing as preventative triage. By definition, it doesn't exist because triage operates by healing the person with the most grievous injuries first. You can shield someone during heavier damage, but the goal there ends up being the same as any other instant single target heal—keep the target from dying in the next second or two.

To back track a bit to correct an earlier post I made: at this point, triage healing is a bit of a lingering memory—at least at the 25M level. When the raid is taking heavy damage, it's usually not a good idea to stop and shield or hard target anyone. You have to trust that smart heals take care of them; in that respect, smart heals are triage spells. The problem then is that AE smart heals take out the element of choice—which is fairly important to the concept of triage healing.

The closest we get to true triage healing is during middling raid damage where someone takes an unexpected burst. That circles back to our choice of PW:Shield and/or Penance, or Holy Paladins' choice of Holy Shock, or a Shaman using Riptide, etc. We're fairly even with other classes (heck; Monks and HPriests in Sanc are behind because they don't have similar options, unless the HPriest wants to and can use PW:Shield).

```

To address specialization:

I do agree that absorption is difficult to balance, but I don't feel we've been forced too far into absorption. As Tsilyi said, you can feel free to disagree. I think our single target healing abilities are being outpaced by Atonement, even now, and I think that's a big issue. I also think people lump DA in with SS and PW:Shield when they oughtn't. DA is a byproduct of raw healing. It doesn't operate in the same manner as our other two absorbs.

Now, obviously, we know that can present a problem; we have only to look at Paladins for evidence. But Blizzard already did their trimming there. We're a lot less absorption reliant than we were in 5.1. We're also seeing a more even spread between PW:Shield and Spirit Shell.

I think if our single-target heals were bumped up a bit, we'd see an even more varied representation. We're also lacking, of course, AE heals that aren't PoH or our level 90 abilities. That's okay, especially when you put Spirit Shell under scrutiny. How much of our Spirit Shell is legitimately preemptive? Sometimes it's just a substitute for PoH during heavy, consistent damage. When used that way, is it effectively different from raw healing? I don't think so.
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90 Human Priest
13720
05/24/2013 09:16 PMPosted by Elethia
When the raid is taking heavy damage, it's usually not a good idea to stop and shield or hard target anyone.


Not to undermine your argument, but I do this quite frequently... >.>
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
05/24/2013 09:29 PMPosted by Tsilyi
When the raid is taking heavy damage, it's usually not a good idea to stop and shield or hard target anyone.


Not to undermine your argument, but I do this quite frequently... >.>


I don't often see shields going out during something like Rampage. I do see it during, say, the final few Ji-Kun Quills or during Jin'Rohk's Lightning Storm. However, those are fairly unique situations on top of our own unique situation as a guild. On those final Quills, we've frequently had a good chunk of our raid dead. On Lightning Storm, we're sort of pushed into mobile healing, which for us is PoM, PW:Shield and Halo/Cascade. Those situations aside, we often have 2-3 Disc Priests. That means we can have some really serious PW:Shield coverage.
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90 Human Priest
13720
I don't often see shields going out during something like Rampage.


I would have but you guys told me to go holy! :D I did it the first night! It worked and stuff! I find pw:s to be better outside of spirit shell than poh... usually.

Those situations aside, we often have 2-3 Disc Priests. That means we can have some really serious PW:Shield coverage.


Or in the case of Twin Consorts: ME.

I also bubble spam after ss on quills. I put SS first on a couple of groups fully and spam bubbles during the actual quills... but I can only usually reach two groups at once.
Edited by Tsilyi on 5/24/2013 9:56 PM PDT
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
I wonder if you'd be able to do that if we didn't overheal things.
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90 Human Priest
13720
DO NOT BETRAY MY SECRETS.

I wonder as well... but I think it would be viable on megaera and jikun... lightning storms eat our faces tbh.
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90 Human Priest
11345
Alternating PW:S & PoH is more hps than straight PoH spamming under most circumstances (they're roughly equal with zero overheal). It's less mana efficient, but PW:S is still one of the best ways (along with penance) to repair differences in raid HP.

Edit: This is assuming you have PoM out as well - if not it's the best thing for raid hp stabilization during aoe damage but I didn't count it as it's not something you can control other than selecting the initial target. Solace also helps although it is less hps than PoM, Penance or PW:S which means you sometimes push it back a few seconds during heavy burst aoe (but is still good in sustained situations because of mana regen + evangelism stack).
Edited by Amabella on 5/25/2013 1:09 AM PDT
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100 Night Elf Priest
13955
Alternating PW:S & PoH is more hps than straight PoH spamming under most circumstances (they're roughly equal with zero overheal).


More HPS isn't always the best thing, though, which sounds counterintuitive but is something I've found to be true. In a 25 man raid, there are so many AE smart heals (barring a strange healing team comp) going that I've found my role to be one of overall stabilization (keeping everyone up, and letting the smart heals catch others)—either through SS or PoH + the level 90 talent (usually DS or Halo for me at this point).

I put PoM out as well, but higher HPS isn't a convincing enough argument for me to start pumping out PW:Shield every other PoH.

Now, I'll definitely admit that I don't raid 10M and can absolutely see where shielding might play more of a role during heavy stationary damage, but my experience at the 25M level hasn't lead me to the same conclusion.
Edited by Elethia on 5/25/2013 1:35 AM PDT
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90 Human Priest
11345
There are a lot of smart heals flying around in 25 man. None of them are as effective as PW:S at stopping low health people from dying. I'm not saying that you should be alternating PW:S and PoH constantly, but that you should toss out the occasional PW:S on people who drop really low. Raid stabilization is an argument in favor of additional shielding, not against it as shielding isn't going to stop the smart heals from working (and automatically targeting other players instead of the shielded player as soon as they aren't one of the lowest hp targets).

Your argument basically boils down to saying that evenly distributed healing is somehow better than the same amount (or even more) healing focused on the players most in danger of dying. If you're just shielding random players (or full health players over low health ones) then that's pretty bad, but if you are finishing a PoH cast and there's a raid member at very low hp and you choose to cast another PoH instead of shielding them, you made a significant error regardless of raid size.
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90 Pandaren Priest
0
Is offensive penance still worth casting with PoH spam? I haven't run the numbers on it yet.


I don't find myself spamming PoH on Disc outside of SS to be honest. It feels like a huge waste to even cast PoH unless it's expected to output useful healing on 4+ targets, or it's being used with SS or IF. So yeah, if you find yourself in a situation where you're casting PoH all over the place I'd continue to throw in Penance. But... those situations seem rare.

The issue is that our single-target raw healing isn't where it needs to be. Atonement replaces it too readily.


Yeah, wouldn't that be nice....

05/24/2013 09:16 PMPosted by Elethia
Now, obviously, we know that can present a problem; we have only to look at Paladins for evidence. But Blizzard already did their trimming there. We're a lot less absorption reliant than we were in 5.1. We're also seeing a more even spread between PW:Shield and Spirit Shell.


I mean, that discussion has come up before but I still disagree that the absorbs don't need a bit more trimming, with a little bit of compensation on the healing side of the coin. The primary reason is absorbs end up dictating where the healing/peak output of the spec has to be for it to be relatively balanced. And the healing/peak output of the spec seems like it's lacking.

When you over-heal content, or have a wealth of throughput healers around it's not such a big deal. But when you field fewer healers, or you don't have many throughput specs available, Disc feels like it has a difficult time carrying it's share of the load during extended periods of very high damage. Obviously you cannot address this problem, provided it is viewed as a problem, by simply buffing the healing of the spec. But if you drop the absorbs down further you open up the option of exploring buffs to it's healing/peak output.
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