Priest Changes Announced! Your Thoughts?


Some of the announcements were those I had expected. But there were a few surprising ones too! Check out the official blue post!


Heal: Yep, I figured they’d bring this back. Flash Heal is a 1.5 second cast, Greater Heal is a 2.5 second cast (untalented) which means that Heal will lie somewhere in between. I remember using this spell quite a bit during my downranking days in Burning Crusade and Vanilla. But yes, that’s another direct heal for us to use. Flash Heal will be on the side in favor of Heal.

Prayer of Spirit is gone: I expected this would go too. Last month, I asked in a post whether or not Spirit would be removed. My logic was that since Spirit would become a mandatory stat for all the healing classes, there wouldn’t be much of a point in having a buff around that did that. They removed it from raid buffs like Kings and Gift of the Wild. It didn’t make sense for Divine Spirit to stick around either. Guess that answers that question.

Radiance: Wow, that seems a little overpowered. It’s like converting Glyph of Prayer of Healing into Glyph of Everything Healing. Every direct heal now has an additional heal-over-time at the end of it. I think several weapons in the game had an effect like this as well.

Power Word: Barrier: Totally called it. Although knowing my luck, it might not make it past the beta phase :(. Almost two years ago, Kestrel interviewed me and served me a helping of my own 20 questions (I haven’t done them in a long time actually and I kinda feel like bringing it back. Any ideas on who I should interview?). One of the questions he asked was what the Wrath of the Lich King 51 point talent would be like. I said:

Matt’s version – 12 seconds, channeling, 2650 mana: Draws on the spirits and ancestors of all party members of the Priest to create a large bubble, capable of absorbing 22945 total damage to players within a 5 yard radius. While the barrier is in place, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. Players in the party within the Barrier can not be affected by fear or silence effects. 5 minute cooldown.

Blizzard version – Who knows?

Ridiculous and overpowered? Yes. Thank goodness I’m not a game designer. But I’ve always secretly wanted some sort of group shield. Later on during the development cycle for Wrath, I remember reading a post saying that the devs wanted to introduce it, but ran out of time or something. Now it’s being pushed back to Cataclysm.

Anyway, so it looks like it’s just going to be a big shield that hits an entire group. I don’t think it’s going to be a smart spell in the way Circle of Healing was. I suspect it’ll hit every player within a single group which offers a fair degree of predictability like Prayer of Healing does. Nope, GC just clarified it. It’s going to be similar to the Death Knight Anti-Magic Zone. So it’s going to create a bubble somewhere on the ground and players that stand in it will have any incoming damage absorbed (and not just spell damage like AMZ since it’ll absorb all). Already in my mind, I can picture of myself casting Barrier on one group and then casting Prayer of Healing on a different group. Think of how many lives you’d be able to save even further on something as simple as Stinky! As for shield strength? Possibly on par with or stronger than an individual shield.

Internet? Can I get an internet fist bump?

Deep down inside, there’s a little me that’s screaming “Yay! Blizzard liked my idea!” but I know better. It’s probably a spell that someone deep in the dev team already coined and it just happened to be a coincidence. I’m glad to at least see that there are plans to introduce it.


Leap of Faith (I’m calling it Life Grip though): Oh my goodness, a defensive Death Grip that Priests can use to pull compromised players out of fires! I can see a ton of intriguing abuse for this especially in PvP. Need to get the flag to safety? Have them run below the graveyard and Life Grip them up. But yes, I can certainly see the application in raid environments. It’s got a 45 second cooldown so it can’t be too abused. Note how it says that it’s expected to help rescue players who have pulled threat. I wonder if it functions as a minor threat lowering ability. The problem now is that I foresee other players complaining and saying “Well why didn’t you life grip me out?!” and opening yet another can of raid worms.

Inner Will: It’s various Mage armors for Priests. Sort of. This one increases movement speed and reduces the cast of instant-cast spells. It’s either Inner Will or Inner Fire. I suspect in most cases, we will use Inner Fire. During phases where we need to hustle, we’ll switch over to Inner Will. I wonder if it’ll stack with Body and Soul or the 85 equivalent of Tuskarr’s Vitality.

Holy Form (sort of): There’s a new talent that tips Holy Priests into a super-saiyan form when they chain cast Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The effect will vary based on which spells have been cast. Perhaps a stronger AoE heal, a stronger single target heal, or harder hitting ticks from the Renew? Nice to see them add some more interesting effects for the Holy Priests. [Edit]: GC also stepped in and elaborated further saying that the talent (called Chakra) allows the Priest to temporarily specialize in something like tank healing, group healing or even Smiting.

Lesser Power Word: Shield: It hasn’t been confirmed as being in the plans for Cataclysm yet, but it’s something that has been discussed. A second (and slightly less potent) Power Word: Shield that’s exclusive to Discipline only. The aim is for it to be used on multiple targets. I suspect it’s been inspired by the massive shield casting style of raid healing Discipline Priests and this does make sense. At the moment, Discipline has limited tools in handling AoE or raid wide damage. We had to rely on establishing massive shields before the attack hit and follow it up with a Prayer of Healing or something. Since Mana management is going to play a more important role, shield spamming wouldn’t be a viable option anymore unless a smaller Shield was introduced. Interesting idea!

Actually, if you look at the Mastery Passive bonuses, you’ll see Absorption is listed under Discipline. Conclusion? Increased emphasis on Power Word: Shield (and the lesser one if it’s in the game), Power Word: Barrier, and the various Divine Aegis bubbles.

Our Shadowy brothers got an interesting mechanic change with the introduction of Shadow Orbs. Reminds me of the little floating things that Troll Priests used to have back in the day. Anyone remember those?

Okay, time for bed. Tomorrow’s Raid Rx on will have a full analysis of the dispel changes, and what the Shaman and Priest proposed changes will look like in future Cataclysm raids (at least, in theory).

20 thoughts on “Priest Changes Announced! Your Thoughts?”

  1. Nice summary and thanks for putting my comment I replied to you with via Twitter in for the abuse of DG by others (yes I am garethmcc).

    Otherwise can’t wait to see some of this stuff. HoT on each direct heal for Holy? AWESOME!

  2. Thanks for the additional info on the Chacra (holy form). I think this is something to look at with great interest. I wonder how it will blend with serendipity. My guess is one might replace the other, though synergy might prove interesting as well.

  3. As informative as ever! Chakra and Radiance interest me the most out of the preview though, and it will be interesting to see how these will be balanced. The potential variations of how Chakra will work are going to be exciting no matter what your funtion in a raid or style of healing. Radiance clearly requires some work to ensure it is well balanced, but again will provided a nice healing boost.
    .-= cavalla´s last blog ..Cataclysm Changes Announced!! =-.

  4. I think you misread the info about the second shield for disc priests. The small shield which is spammable throughout the raid is the currently existing PW:Shield. The new shield would be the larger one (it’s in the single-target tank healing paragraph after all 🙂 ). Personally I would like to see a shield which regenerates over time (a cross between a HoT and a shield if you like). But I’m dreaming…

    I’m not sold on ‘Leap of Faith’. It gives us a CHANCE to prevent SOME damage on a target EVERY 45 SECONDS at maximum. That’s weak. And I don’t know if I like to draw someone with aggro on mobs to me since I’m also just a clothie…

  5. Re: Chakra — am I the only person who’s flashing back to NBA Jam and the calls of “He’s heating up… He’s on FIRE!”?

    OK, yeah, I’m an old fart. 🙂

    I won’t be surprised if Life Grip doesn’t make the final release; there’s a lot of potential for both positive (flag caps) and negative (griefing) abuse. Still, it’s a great concept.

    And any DPS clueless enough to complain for not getting Life Gripped out of the goo is a prime candidate for getting kicked: group kicked, raid kicked, guild kicked, or just knock-on-the-door kicked.

  6. *ahem*

    It was called Shadow Guard, and it was TOTALLY AWESOME.

    I’m glad they’re bringing it back. Now, WTB Hex of Weakness. 🙁

  7. The “Chakra” system looks very interesting. It seems to take Serendipity and make it better, assuming it replaces Serendipity that is.

    Overall, my first impression is that Priests are still going to be the king of Utility.

    I am somewhat concerned about the sheer volume of spells that Priests are going to have access to. Already we have more than other healers, and that’s only going up.

  8. /cast Leap of Faith
    /yell “GET OVER HERE!”

    I am excited for the priest changes – more tools that make us more powerful and diverse.

  9. The answer to, “Why didn’t you Life Grip me out?” is

    “Because I hate you.”
    “I have more important things to do.”

    At least, that’s the one I’m going to give.


    Life Grip

    “What was that now?”
    .-= taufmonster´s last blog ..Shaman Changes Thoughts =-.

  10. So glad I made the decision to go back to my priest for next expansion. Now I just hope they will let us race-change to gnomes. I don’t want to have to re-level and get another 7k achievement points D:

  11. Hi Matticus
    As you, I have been playing healing classes which seems like forever. I love healing and love raiding. I remember downscaling too and felt cheated when that was taken out. (My first class was a female dwarf priest – lol)
    I stopped raiding when I fell pregnant and started playing again now that ICC has come out.
    I actually have a few concerns about the new changes and would be interested to see what you reckon.
    I have a disc priest. Normally I put two pallys on the MT and OT and then I am on the 3rd tank, but healing on the other tanks too.
    I see disc priests role (in our raid) more as a buffer against spike damage, topping up tanks whilst pallies do their big heals. As you know there are a lot of cross healing anyways at the moment depending on the situation and I am a firm believer that heals should be using their instinct when healing.
    In my mind disc priests are topping up absorbing the damage on Tanks, almost like druid heals are for raid, helping with spike damage until the big chain heals (shammy) and POH (holy priest) lands.
    My concern?
    I wonder if getting Disc priests to focus on MT will make it boring. I like how classes compliments each other and the unity that forms when everyone gets to know each other’s play stile and can on the fly make the right decision and heal where it is needed. It feels like the synergy will be lost between classes.
    I like the flexibility of putting a shield on a specific target in raid too when needed. Having a mass spell again simplifies healing strategically.
    With the holy priest changes a priest will be able to heal a little bit more like a druid does with all the hot changes. Again how will the synergy between classes work? How would druids feels about this?
    How boring will it be if everyone can do what every other healer class can do? Holy can main tank heal, can do big raid heals and will now be able to do really good HOT’s. Even Shammies will now have a HOT. So I wonder if Druids will get big long casting spells like POH, Chain heal?
    To me it looks like they are giving each healer class similar capabilities to make them more like all round healers. Will this take away from each class the niche they have?
    Yes the email sound negative, but I am curious and excited to work out how things will work in future 🙂
    Looking forward to see if you answer. English is not my home language so sorry if I sound a bit pedantic. I hope you get the drift of what I mean. :).
    .-= Kivassha´s last blog ..With Reckless Abandon – 09/02/2010 =-.

  12. @Ellyndia … I like the idea of ….

    “OMG, That big AoE is coming .. will I make it away in …”


    “Oh!.. Nevermind”


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