I’ve now done some raiding since the patch. Specifically TOC10 heroic and ICC25. Mostly normal modes for ICC but we did try a couple of hard modes. The up shot of this is that so far it looks like nothing has really changed much for disco priests. The concept of a smiter priest in raids isn’t really viable yet. Taken as a pure healing setup, the mechanic for getting mana back (via Archangel) is interesting and fun, but we don’t really need that mana at the moment and often can’t afford the healing loss. From a purely dps+healing meters perspective my best guess so far is that we’ll put out less than half the dps of a shadow priest whilst doing more than double their healing.
But being able to dps and heal at the same time isn’t what the design is really about. It is more about the added flexibility. It means that in the course of one fight we can provide some dps whilst keeping some healing going. In a fairly mana efficient way. Then when the big heals are needed we can ramp up fairly quickly. Then go back to the trickle feed of both. Sadly this trickle feed doesn’t have a role in ICC at 80. From everything that has been told to us by Blizzard regarding healing in Cataclysm it could be very promising though.
Anyway, here’s a quick run-down of the new talents in the disco tree and my experiences of them so far…
Hard to complain about a passive talent that boosts dps output. It would be nice if we’d got a UI improvement to track this like other classes have for some of their new features. Instead we’re reliant on watching our buffs to see how many stacks we’ve got and how long it is going to last. Both of which are obviously important for…
Simply don’t have enough data yet to say how good this is. Meters are no good because all the time you’re smiting in order to build up evangalism your healing is greatly reduced. Plenty more so than the buff will provide. So it’ll take some strong coffee and time to peruse a combat log and see how much difference it makes. The mana regen is nice but as it stands currently even on ICC25 heroic mana isn’t an issue.
This is obviously the biggie. It is a little buggy at the moment and doesn’t seem to fire all of the time. By which I mean it stopped working for me for 2 days and then suddenly was working again. Or maybe the investigation off the back of my GM ticket fixed it. Assuming glyphed for the Holy Fire bonus and specced for Train of Thought then I suspect we’ll be looking at Haste soft caps for a nice rotation of something like: Holy Fire, Smite [xN], Penance. Of course unless we start gearing for hit we’ll have a lot of misses from Holy Fire and Penance.
With mana really not being an issue this is pretty much pointless currently. You’d be better of smiting for the atonement than casting Heal. And if that isn’t enough healing then Heal surely won’t be. You’ll be spamming Flash Heal and Penance instead.
I’ve a horrible feeling this is going to be the new lolwell. I’ve only used it in anger the once, in a heroic 5-man when I used it on Loken’s lightning. Maybe it absorbed most of that but if it did so then I blinked at the time. I think the problem is that if made strong enough to be noticeable it’ll be too good. Toned down to properly balanced levels I don’t think it is ever going to feel like it is making the difference. Which a top tier talent really should.