LF Tips on Tackling the Disc Nerfs

90 Goblin Priest
7310
Hi all! I'm not here to QQ about the nerfs but I'd much rather get some info or tips from fellow Disc Priests on tackling these nerfs.

With the overall reduction in atonement healing, which I worked into my overall healing rotation, I am finding that my heals have not significantly dropped but are much lower than even I and my co-healers expected. I want to find out what you guys are doing to combat this reduction in...what appears to be overall healing.

Currently I have switched from Crit prioritizing to Mastery prioritizing as it seems Disc priests are being herded back into mainly direct healing. On average, the transfer to mastery from crit has generally reduced the strength of the heals however my bubbles are only....slightly stronger and by that, I mean by about a factor of 4k increase to the bubbles i was making.

The main issue I have with the mastery build is that my cast times (aside from utilizing borrowed time) are long....long enough at least in my opinion for another healer to snipe heal while casting. (although I've seen alot of talk about PW:S spamming) Does anyone think there is a viable haste build to help reduce this? Is this even a possibility, and if so will I see and increase or decrease in healing output? Just curious.

General tips on healing strategy and examples would be greatly appreciated, as I have not experienced issues this large with my priest in quite a while.

Thanks for your help!
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
Hi all! I'm not here to QQ about the nerfs but I'd much rather get some info or tips from fellow Disc Priests on tackling these nerfs.

With the overall reduction in atonement healing, which I worked into my overall healing rotation, I am finding that my heals have not significantly dropped but are much lower than even I and my co-healers expected. I want to find out what you guys are doing to combat this reduction in...what appears to be overall healing.


It's a 10% nerf to Atonement overall, and a change to Penance making it more beneficial to directly heal with it than to use it for pure damage all the time. This should not be impacting your overall healing very much at all.

Currently I have switched from Crit prioritizing to Mastery prioritizing as it seems Disc priests are being herded back into mainly direct healing. On average, the transfer to mastery from crit has generally reduced the strength of the heals however my bubbles are only....slightly stronger and by that, I mean by about a factor of 4k increase to the bubbles i was making.


You actually have more Mastery than I do. xD Your non-Crit healing should actually be stronger, because Mastery doesn't just affect absorbs, it also affects the direct heals you cast (although by a much smaller degree). There are a couple of upgrades you could pick up that would help both with raw primary stats and secondary stats. The 522 bracers and Ring from the SPA are available at Friendly. You're Honored, so you also have access to the Chest, Gloves, Belt, and Pants. They don't have the best stat allocations, but between the gem slots and reforging (plus the raw stat upgrade), it should help with the strength of your heals, and your ability to maintain your desired Mastery build.

The main issue I have with the mastery build is that my cast times (aside from utilizing borrowed time) are long....long enough at least in my opinion for another healer to snipe heal while casting. (although I've seen alot of talk about PW:S spamming) Does anyone think there is a viable haste build to help reduce this? Is this even a possibility, and if so will I see and increase or decrease in healing output? Just curious.


Haste always increases throughput where cast times are concerned. One of the reasons Smite is more valuable than Heal is that, although it heals for slightly less and costs slightly more (without Evangelism), it's so much faster than Heal that it ends up doing more overall healing. The only "Haste Breaks" that Disc is concerned with are the ones for Spirit Shell. The first you will get automatically as long as you have the 5% haste buff. The second is 6350 Haste, which is probably beyond your reach.

However, I see that you have a Holy spec. There is a Renew breakpoint at 3039 Haste, which you should be able to hit. My advice would be to advise you to reforge to 3039 Haste in case you play Holy, and see how the extra Haste feels. If you want more, try to hop up to 4717 (lightwell breakpoint) and see if that feels better, as well. The rest of your secondaries you should dump back into Mastery. Try that out for a week or so and see if you like the playstyle more.

If you don't, feel free to go back to heavy Crit. Honestly, there isn't enough difference between the various ways of balancing secondaries (High Crit, High mastery, low Haste; High Haste, High Mastery, low Crit; High Haste, High Crit, low Mastery; etc) to really say, "This is the only one and TRUE way to reforge." The top question you should have is, "Which playstyle do I enjoy the most." Because what you -enjoy- will normally yield you the best results.

General tips on healing strategy and examples would be greatly appreciated, as I have not experienced issues this large with my priest in quite a while.


Exploit damage modifier bosses. Don't be afraid to use Flash Heal or Defensive Penance if someone is dropping quickly. Keep PoM on CD. Make sure you have a shield on the tank at all times. If you don't have a CD for incoming raid damage, don't be afraid to bubble people who are low health. Watch boss mod timers and plan ahead for Spirit Shell use. If you don't think you will be using Atonement 100% of the time in a fight, Mindbender may work better for you than Solace would. I usually macro Archangel, Inner Focus, and Power Infusion to Spirit Shell, and use them all together.

I apologize if I'm rambling or if anything makes no sense. It's 3am here and I just realized I'm falling asleep at the keyboard. :) I've probably left something out. lol
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90 Pandaren Priest
10765
05/28/2013 12:16 AMPosted by Jaesus
Currently I have switched from Crit prioritizing to Mastery prioritizing as it seems Disc priests are being herded back into mainly direct healing. On average, the transfer to mastery from crit has generally reduced the strength of the heals however my bubbles are only....slightly stronger and by that, I mean by about a factor of 4k increase to the bubbles i was making.


I can assure you crit is still the best stat. Besides the dps increase. there is nothing quite like seeing a 300k bubble on a tank or player. Halo crits can leave over 100k bubbles on players. When you get in to more progressed content and there is always ticking damage those crit bubbles will be appreciated.

The main issue I have with the mastery build is that my cast times (aside from utilizing borrowed time) are long....long enough at least in my opinion for another healer to snipe heal while casting. (although I've seen alot of talk about PW:S spamming) Does anyone think there is a viable haste build to help reduce this? Is this even a possibility


Generally its our atonement heals that snipe more than bubbles.

05/28/2013 12:16 AMPosted by Jaesus
General tips on healing strategy and examples would be greatly appreciated, as I have not experienced issues this large with my priest in quite a while.


Focus macros on the boss for atonemnt will do wonders for QoL.

/cast [@focus,exists][@target]holy fire
/cast [@focus,exists][@target]smite
/cast [@focus,exists][@target]penance
/cast [@focus,exists][@target]shadowfiend

I would keep a friendly penance on your bar as well. These macros will allow you to dps the boss you have focused without swaping targets. Allowing you to keep players targeted rather than targeting the boss. * edit * these macos will dps mobs when you don't have a focus as well.

Getting a rapture tracker will be your next best option i use weak auras for that but there are other options
Edited by Loratabb on 5/28/2013 4:50 AM PDT
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90 Goblin Priest
16480
I can assure you crit is still the best stat. Besides the dps increase. there is nothing quite like seeing a 300k bubble on a tank or player. Halo crits can leave over 100k bubbles on players. When you get in to more progressed content and there is always ticking damage those crit bubbles will be appreciated.

this may be the case for 10's but for heroic 25 raiding mastery outweighs crit for disc.
comes down to garunteed heals over rng bigger heals which......crit happens...until it doesnt, when you need consistant reliable heals mastery all the way crit 2nd haste in a bin somewhere.
Edited by Squïshy on 5/28/2013 5:09 AM PDT
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90 Worgen Druid
11925
Focus macros on the boss for atonemnt will do wonders for QoL.

/cast [@focus,exists][@target]holy fire
/cast [@focus,exists][@target]smite
/cast [@focus,exists][@target]penance
/cast [@focus,exists][@target]shadowfiend

I would keep a friendly penance on your bar as well. These macros will allow you to dps the boss you have focused without swaping targets. Allowing you to keep players targeted rather than targeting the boss. * edit * these macos will dps mobs when you don't have a focus as well.


I always just used mouseover macros for my heals/shields and kept the boss targetted at all times.

Focus the tank and shoot PoM at him on cd.
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90 Human Priest
13720
88907499935:
Focus the tank and shoot PoM at him on cd.


This, while often a good strategy, is not always the case. On certain encounters or at certain times in encounters, you may find that the tank (or at least one of the tanks) is not in range of other players, in which case your pom will be wasted. It is important to be highly judicious in your PoM placement (unlike me on megaera WHICH TANK IS TANKING THE ONE WE ARENT HITTING? OH OK LET ME POM THAT ONE... GOD DAMN IT. DID IT AGAIN!!)
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90 Night Elf Priest
5045
Agreed with the sheep on this one.

On spread encounters, I make sure at least a few Melee players are within range before going PoM happy.

Additionally, I don't feel atonement really suffered that much. It still serves it's purpose.
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
88907499935:
I always just used mouseover macros for my heals/shields and kept the boss targetted at all times.


I do this, too. *lazy highpaw!*

I use focus macros for Mindbender on Horridon to keep from being eaten by pink dinosaurs.
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90 Night Elf Priest
5045
89194692041:
I use focus macros for Mindbender on Horridon to keep from being eaten by pink dinosaurs.


Some of us do this and still get eaten.

Darn it... I can't heal and think! they ask too much T_T
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8340
89191892101:
Agreed with the sheep on this one.

On spread encounters, I make sure at least a few Melee players are within range before going PoM happy.

Additionally, I don't feel atonement really suffered that much. It still serves it's purpose.


It's a panda!!!
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8340
89191091981:
It is important to be highly judicious in your PoM placement (unlike me on megaera WHICH TANK IS TANKING THE ONE WE ARENT HITTING? OH OK LET ME POM THAT ONE... GOD DAMN IT. DID IT AGAIN!!)


Or you could be like me..."which person doesn't have weakened soul at any particular time....bubble for you!"
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90 Goblin Priest
7310
Very interesting ideas indeed! Tiriel thanks for the breakdown! I will definitely try out reforging for the first haste breakpoint for Holy and see how that works out with my Disc spec.

I've been hearing quite a bit of inconsistencies as far as Mastery vs. Crit. Some people are die hard crit fans and some are saying mastery is better. As Squishy stated, this is a mere difference between 10 and 25 then? My team focuses on 10 mans, so should I then be focusing on more weight on crit?

Thanks so much for the input guys!
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90 Night Elf Priest
5045
89192892163:
Very interesting ideas indeed! Tiriel thanks for the breakdown! I will definitely try out reforging for the first haste breakpoint for Holy and see how that works out with my Disc spec.

I've been hearing quite a bit of inconsistencies as far as Mastery vs. Crit. Some people are die hard crit fans and some are saying mastery is better. As Squishy stated, this is a mere difference between 10 and 25 then? My team focuses on 10 mans, so should I then be focusing on more weight on crit?

Thanks so much for the input guys!


I've read and in my not so educated opinion:

Crit does much better with 10 man
Mastery does much better with 25 man (though dependent on healing comp)
Mastery is delicious once you get your meta regardless of 10vs25

It also depends on your play-style. I stack crit because I'd rather not make extreme use out of PW shield, but instead use atonement and direct heals since I have my t15 2pc. I use a lot of PoM, a lot of PoH, and when it comes to level 90 talents, I use all 3 depending. I find that in 10 man, I can really get a big benefit out of DA because of the other healers I heal with.

In the end, it really depends on your playstyle. Right now, at least for 10 man, the differences between stacking crit and stacking mastery are not that big of a deal. A safe route can be to stack one a bit ahead of the other, an reforge as needed, at least for normal modes.

Mastery provides more benefit for Holy OS as well, because crit tends to favor the holy priests who use smaller heals (renewaholics)

I generally stack crit for 10 man, though I've been known to pick up some mastery at time (when I was severely under-geared for H Iron Qon, I went full mastery to get the most bang for my buck and guaranteed healing increase. I was also healing with a resto druid/shaman which helped me be more bubbly)

Here 's some great theory on the matter:

http://www.healadinne.com/HealNotes/
http://howtopriest.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3690
Edited by Naérdriel on 5/28/2013 10:56 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8340
89192892163:
I've been hearing quite a bit of inconsistencies as far as Mastery vs. Crit. Some people are die hard crit fans and some are saying mastery is better. As Squishy stated, this is a mere difference between 10 and 25 then? My team focuses on 10 mans, so should I then be focusing on more weight on crit?


I'll try to actually post something constructive this time :p. You will be hard pressed to find a definitive answer as to stat weights. More likely you will get something along the lines of "well I reforge X and it works great". Honestly the biggest factor in secondary stat weights is spell selection. Specifically, how much do you use pw:s as opposed to the rest of your toolkit? Pw:s scales very well with mastery.

Be aware though, it's not just a crit vs mastery argument, because heavy pw:s usage also requires more regen then other healing styles, which tends to mean that if you run heavy mastery you will also tend to run higher spirit to sustain higher pw:s usuage.

For general purpose (read: varied spell selection) keeping crit and mastery within a couple % of each other raidbuffed is a solid strategy. The best answer though, is to look at what spells you use, and adjust your stat weights accordingly.
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90 Goblin Priest
7310
Thanks for the insight! I'll check out the websites for sure! Yeah, I was originally going crit for 10 mans, and my numbers were absolutely HUGE, but I suspect I was becoming too complacent with using Atonement (lazy) combined with my direct healing which resulted in a decrease in healing - although you guys are saying it shouldnt be significant.

Regarding the healing comp - I heal with a Pally (DARN YOU ILLUMINATED HEALING) and ever since the changes, he is now whooping my butt instead of me whooping his. Our off-healer is a Fistweaver but I really would prefer a shammy or druid.

Curious question, do you guys switch between Holy and Disc for the fights in ToT? I've been having an issue building an off-set for Holy that is itemized for Haste and I know that many of the fights are more beneficial while playing Holy and vice versa. I assume the best option to play both specs would be to create a balance between Stats like Tiriel has suggested, but I am curious what you guys do (if anything).

Thanks!
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90 Night Elf Priest
5045
Here's some formal thoughts on it, including logs:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8518012861

I personally did not switch in any of normal. I anticipate going Holy for Tortos at a bare minimum in heroic simply due to mechanics (disc is still doable, but maybe not as user friendly)

I'd switch more if I wasn't so incredibly new to the game. I've got enough on my plate trying to master disc, throwing Holy into the mix while trying to be a heroic mode raider would be a lot.

Ideally, when I go holy, I switch out (expensive, so, up to you) all my crit/ gems to hastery/spi gems and I have hit the first holy haste break point innately on my gear. That Echo of Light is pretty nice in high damage (therefor low overhealing) encounters.
Edited by Naérdriel on 5/28/2013 11:08 AM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest
14930
89191292225:
89192892163:
I've been hearing quite a bit of inconsistencies as far as Mastery vs. Crit. Some people are die hard crit fans and some are saying mastery is better. As Squishy stated, this is a mere difference between 10 and 25 then? My team focuses on 10 mans, so should I then be focusing on more weight on crit?


I'll try to actually post something constructive this time :p. You will be hard pressed to find a definitive answer as to stat weights. More likely you will get something along the lines of "well I reforge X and it works great". Honestly the biggest factor in secondary stat weights is spell selection. Specifically, how much do you use pw:s as opposed to the rest of your toolkit? Pw:s scales very well with mastery.

Be aware though, it's not just a crit vs mastery argument, because heavy pw:s usage also requires more regen then other healing styles, which tends to mean that if you run heavy mastery you will also tend to run higher spirit to sustain higher pw:s usuage.

For general purpose (read: varied spell selection) keeping crit and mastery within a couple % of each other raidbuffed is a solid strategy. The best answer though, is to look at what spells you use, and adjust your stat weights accordingly.


^^ This is a great answer. It really does come down to spell selection and playstyle. My suggestion for you, OP, with Haste, was that since you aren't enjoying Crit, and you find your casts so slow when you dump into Mastery, Haste might make things a bit less "blah" while improving your throughput a bit. Haste also does nice things like help the legendary meta and RPPM trinkets proc more often.

As expensive as it may end up being to do so, I really encourage people to play with several stat weights and find what works best for them. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for me.

Also, addon recommendation: ReforgeLite. It lets you set specific amounts of Haste, Mastery, Crit, Spirit, etc, and reforge accordingly. Takes a lot of the "guesswork" out of reforging when you are trying to hit a specific amount of a stat.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12200
I pretty much stay disc the entire time, I just prefer to heal as a disc and it seems to work well with our current healing comp. But if you're wanting to go holy for some fights, try it out :) I keep meaning to make my o/s on this toon holy to play around with it more and learn it (my other 90 priest has a holy o/s for me to learn it). For some fights I swap out certain spells (like halo for tortos!) and maybe pick up solace instead of mindbender if I find myself going oom, otherwise I stay disc. I actually found my healing was higher last week after the nerf, but I was also able to upgrade some gear so that may have helped :D

- Veroicone
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90 Human Priest
12555
There are a number of good points already in this thread.

Basically, there exists a theoretically perfect distribution of your stats based on what spells you cast and how much they overheal. However, in pretty much any case the difference between a "perfect" reforging and randomly distributing secondary stats between mastery & crit isn't going to be more than a couple percent of total healing (so your actual spell choices are much more important). Haste is worse than mastery & crit (even in the presence of rppm effects), but a lot of people feel more comfortable with faster cast times even if haste + spirit (to support the additional haste) is less overall healing than a bit more crit or mastery.

I like crit for general use as it's the stat with the lowest contribution to overheals (instead you get useful aegis). If you're using a ton of PW:S and inner focus on CD though, mastery can be better.
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90 Pandaren Priest
12820
89192892163:
I've been hearing quite a bit of inconsistencies as far as Mastery vs. Crit. Some people are die hard crit fans and some are saying mastery is better. As Squishy stated, this is a mere difference between 10 and 25 then? My team focuses on 10 mans, so should I then be focusing on more weight on crit?


It's because most people pick stat X, get good results, or what they believe to be "better" results, and declare stat X better. The reality is it really depends. The "best" way to look at it is to say this... The optimal spell usage depends on the encounter mechanics and your situation. Your spell usage should, to some degree, dictate your stat priority. So, ultimately, the encounter mechanics and situation should dictate your stat priority.

You should take blanket statements made about gearing a healer with a grain of salt for the most part. For instance, I can say gearing critical strike makes Prayer of Healing output more healing on average than gearing mastery for a Discipline Priest, before any other variables are considered. However, there are quite a few variables not being accounted for in that statement. If you want an example, Inner Focus being active at the time of your PoH cast guarantees it will land as a critical strike. So while the statement is true without Inner Focus, your critical strike gearing does absolutely zero for you if that PoH spell is cast when Inner Focus is active.

89192192245:
Curious question, do you guys switch between Holy and Disc for the fights in ToT? I've been having an issue building an off-set for Holy that is itemized for Haste and I know that many of the fights are more beneficial while playing Holy and vice versa. I assume the best option to play both specs would be to create a balance between Stats like Tiriel has suggested, but I am curious what you guys do (if anything).


I just carry a stack or so of every gem I'd conceivably consider putting into my gear, enchants to swap in/out, plenty of tomes and cry like a little girl for the reforge mount all the time. Perhaps it's considerably more expensive than balancing your stats for both specs but... meh :).
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