Blue Posts and Disc Questions
Firstly, a little note about the Battered Hilt drop rate change.

First, Battered Hilt drop rate was very high. Then they changes it so it was very low. It has been changed again to be a little bit of a higher drop, but accordingto Zarhym:

In light of this change, we are also removing the chance for the Battered Hilt or any other epic item to drop from the Skeletal Slaves in the Pit of Saron. The need to “farm” these creatures for the Battered Hilt should be reduced by our first in-game fix and will no longer result in a chance for epic loot or Battered Hilts.


Now, on to Disc Priest stuff.

Ghostcrawler says:

If a group is getting on to you for using PW:Shield as a Discipline priest (or jeez even a Holy priest), you have my permission to say "GC says you're doing it wrong."


*points indignantly* SO THERE

I am trying to better understand the mechanics of Power Word: Shield for Disc priests. I intend to make a post on the PlusHeal forums about it I suppose, but I decided that first I would ask my readers, because I am lucky to have obscenely (and almost offensively) smart readers who correct me every time I screw things up, so I have no shame in asking them for answers. Gimme.

  • When a character is bubbled (be it through Power Word: Shield or Divine Aegis), what is the priority of damage mitigation? For example, say I bubble up my PallyTankMate Fuubaar. Will the bubble absorb damage BEFORE she blocks, dodges, resists, dances, etc, or will her mitigation go into effect first, and the bubble absorbs the remaining damage she would have taken? This may seem like a no brainer to most I guess, but I find myself wondering sometimes, and wanting confirmation.
  • Is there any record (aside from Recount Guessed Absorbs, which is truly an educated guess) of exactly how "big" my shields are each time I cast them? It's frustrating to not know exactly how much more damage my shield will prevent before it dissolves.
  • Assuming all my buffs are the same, will all my shields be the same size, unlike my heals?
  • Can shields crit (yes, I know the glyphed heal can, but I mean the size of the shield)? Since bubbles are related to spellpower for Disc priests, I am curious about all these things that normally affect heal size.
  • If a target has both Divine Aegis and Power Word:Shield on them, which will absorb the damage first? Does Divine Aegis absorb damage in exactly the same way as Power Word: Shield (see first question)?
  • Bonus question (Becky asked this in a comment, and it's a question I have as well that I forgot to ask) - On occasion, even once Weakened Soul has dropped off a target, I am restricted from rebubbling the target, and get an error message that says the target has a stronger spell currently in effect - this is not from another priest, because I get it even when there are no other priests around. It is possible that this is caused by me bubbling someone when a trinket or something else procs that boosts my spellpower, and therefore when I go to bubble the target again, my spellpower is lower, and it will not allow me to do put a smaller bubble on the target? Also, when I get this error message, does this mean that the ORIGINAL bubble was stronger, and still has enough absorbtion left that it is bigger than if I were to cast a new, or is it simply that the original bubble was stronger, regardless of whether or not most of it has been used up?

These are the questions I ponder as I slowly move from novice Disc Priest to a more experienced one... and I'd like to know better what all I'm doing before I move into ICC10 this Thursday!
15 Responses
  1. David Says:

    A small group of us have been working the Pit like an all you can eat buffet. We have been in there every day and have seen one Hilt drop and that was on patch day. :( We even went in later in the week, killed all the trash, then went in again for a full clear of trash and bosses. The changing drop rate is very frustrating.


  2. Fricassee Says:

    For determining shield size, combat log parsers can normally determine effective healing from bubbles. We use wowmeteronline and it does a pretty decent job.

    As for knowing how big your shield is, you take your heal from the glyph and multiply it by 5 (without crit). I am fairly sure the bubble itself cannot crit.


  3. "If a target has both Divine Aegis and Power Word:Shield on them, which will absorb the damage first?"

    The first applied is the first used, whichever it is.

    And sadly, that is the only question I an answer, as I am a Bubble Priest...not a Numbers Priest. This stuff hurts my head and I leave it alone. ;)


  4. Shamus Says:

    Far as I can tell, shield comes into effect when damage would be taken, so a dodge won't use up the shield. A block might as that is only a partial damage reduction.

    There's no way of knowing how big your shields are, or how much is remaining. If you've got the PW:S glyph you can have a guess as the amount it heals for is based on the strength of the shield. The combat log simply shows you applying it and then where damage is absorbed. But it doesn't show which shield did the absorbing. It may even be a combination of all the shields on the target!

    I'm pretty sure shields are always the same size and don't crit.

    General concensus seems to be that the oldest shield gets used first. Shields that refresh (like Divine Aegis) will be based, I think, on the most recent refresh.

    I really wish Blizz would update the combat log to track individual absorbs properly.


  5. @David

    Well it looks like there's no point in farming the trash anymore anyway. The changing drop rate is kinda annoying, but it doesn't surprise me that they would find the need to tweak it in the first week after implementation.

    @fricassee

    wow, that's actually a really good tip. So basically, if I bubble someone, and they get a heal for 2000, that means the bubble I put them will potentially absorb 10,000 damage? I'm totally pumped about knowing that now.

    And regarding combat log parsers, I am sort of embarassed to admit that I am completely lost when it comes to log parsers. I actually tried to set up and install one the other day, and I keep getting an error message everytime I try to use it now. I would really like to get one up and running by Thursday, so maybe someone will be super nice, and sometime in between now and thursday, make a giant post called "Combat Log Parsing For Idiots Like Miss Medicina"

    @ilikebubbles

    I'm normally not very much a numbers person either - which is exactly why I didn't know the answers to any of the questions I just asked, heh. I like to know where the mathy information IS in case I decide I want it for some reason, but truth be told, most of it goes over my head >.<

    @Shamus

    That is exactly why I was asking these questions, actually. I was going to start joining the campaign for zomg update combat logs they suck, but figured I better know what the hell I'm talking about first.

    I mean, how crappy is it that we use these abilities, and have no reliable way to theorycraft them? Not that I would be the one the theorycraft them or anything, but I want OTHER PEOPLE to do it, and then tell me what to do.


  6. Becky Says:

    What great questions. I have been leveling a Disc Priest for a few months now, mainly through BG. I've noticed that every once in a while after I bubble someone (WSG FC for example) and the weakened soul debuff has expired, it will not allow me to place on another bubble and gives me a red message stating that a stronger spell is currently in effect. Now, BG can get hectic, and sometimes it is because another priest (of a higher level) popped the shield. But I have seen it happen with my own shields as well. I always just assumed this was because the PW:S heal crit and that made the bubble crit as well. It also might be related to the bubble having more damage absorbtion that remains than what would be provided by my normal bubble cast? I've always been curious.

    Thanks for asking these questions! Great info!:)


  7. Pomona Says:

    Is there any record (aside from Recount Guessed Absorbs, which is truly an educated guess) of exactly how "big" my shields are each time I cast them? It's frustrating to not know exactly how much more damage my shield will prevent before it dissolves.

    http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/gsshield.aspx

    BAM! Gridstatusshield! It tells me (approximately) how much shield is left on a target in numbers (I use it with grid corner text etc). It also incorporates a guess of divine aegis so I can see how much total shield is on the target, and how fast it is being eaten.

    http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/gridstatuspwshield.aspx

    Gridstatuspwshield is also nice because you can time when your shields/ws expire. I have it show everyone's shields (Not just mine) cause really... you can only have 1 shield and 1 WS on the target at a time, who cares WHOSE shield it is.


  8. Mongrr Says:

    "When a character is bubbled (be it through Power Word: Shield or Divine Aegis), what is the priority of damage mitigation? "

    Shields are absorbed when damage would normally be taken, meaning they get used after resists, dodges, blocks, parries, and all that jazz has been factored in. Like Shamus said though, if something like a block only blocks *part* of the damage, the rest of the damage that gets through will still be absorbed by the shield. If they'd normally not take any damage due to an iceblock or pally bubble, that is taken into effect too, and the shield will not be used while under those effects if they wouldn't normally take any kind of damage.

    "Is there any record (aside from Recount Guessed Absorbs, which is truly an educated guess) of exactly how "big" my shields are each time I cast them? It's frustrating to not know exactly how much more damage my shield will prevent before it dissolves.Assuming all my buffs are the same, will all my shields be the same size, unlike my heals?Can shields crit (yes, I know the glyphed heal can, but I mean the size of the shield)? Since bubbles are related to spellpower for Disc priests, I am curious about all these things that normally affect heal size.

    The easiest way to check the shield size is to multiply the non-crit glyph heal, and it'll give you an approximate amount. Otherwise, what I have done in the past is just check the combat log when I notice that a boss (or something else) hit someone I had pw:s on hard enough to kill the shield in one hit. The log will give you the exact size of the amount absorbed, assuming nothing else that can absorb was on the target at the time. In my experience though, multiplying the heal tends to match up with the combat log absorbs I've checked this way, and is far easier to check.

    Even though the glyph heal can crit, the bubble itself can't. Your shields may fluctuate in size, due to procs and other things that change your spellpower, but the shield part of pw:s is not able to crit.

    "If a target has both Divine Aegis and Power Word:Shield on them, which will absorb the damage first? Does Divine Aegis absorb damage in exactly the same way as Power Word: Shield"

    First applied, first absorbed. Refreshes of DA from recent crits count as reapplying the shield.

    "Bonus question (Becky asked this in a comment, and it's a question I have as well that I forgot to ask) - On occasion, even once Weakened Soul has dropped off a target, I am restricted from rebubbling the target, and get an error message that says the target has a stronger spell currently in effect - this is not from another priest, because I get it even when there are no other priests around. It is possible that this is caused by me bubbling someone when a trinket or something else procs that boosts my spellpower, and therefore when I go to bubble the target again, my spellpower is lower, and it will not allow me to do put a smaller bubble on the target?"

    That's right. Increased spellpower from a trinket, totem, or any other buff will make that first shield "stronger" and won't let you reapply until that shield is gone from the target.

    "Also, when I get this error message, does this mean that the ORIGINAL bubble was stronger, and still has enough absorbtion left that it is bigger than if I were to cast a new, or is it simply that the original bubble was stronger, regardless of whether or not most of it has been used up?"

    It meant the original bubble was stronger, but it does not factor in absorbs that have happened since it was originally applied. Meaning... there could only technically be 1 hp worth of absorb left on that shield, but you'll still get the error message saying a stronger spell is already active. It's the only downside to those types of proc's.

    Hopefully this helps. :)


  9. I have no answers to your questions, but my priest just recently having reached 80, am loving everyone elses responses!

    I am happy about your news update regarding the Hilt!!! I am trying to get one for my priest, but haven't seen one drop yet :(


  10. @Pomona

    Those are great addon tips, thanks! I will use them if i should start using Grid.

    As handy as those are, however, they still have to get that information from somewhere, and I can only assume it must be the combat log. That's part of why I want to know where you get this information in the combat log, because I am just not seeing where the data is coming from.

    @Mongrr

    You, sir, are proof that I have ubersmart readers.

    This is awesome information. I still think there should be better ways to find the pure numbers and data on Power Word: Shield, but that is going to require combat log changes from the development team, methinks. Regardless, thanks for all your answers!

    @fallingleavesandtwigs

    I know, I was pumped too... I don't even really care about the weapon, tbh... I just want to see the quest!


  11. ithilyn Says:

    Awesome information, thank you Miss Medicina and Mongrr.


  12. Beth Says:

    For log parsing, I use World of Logs. (Basics: use the /combatlog command to save a raid/run. Upload log. Look at the numbers, which are still an estimate but better than nothing. Their counting system for shields can be a bit off if you have other Disc priests in the raid. For example, in a 3 hour raid, it said I was responsible for 1051 PW:S but only cast 785 PW:S, caused 783 Weakened Souls and had 791 instances of Borrowed Time.

    I also have Skada instead if Recount.)

    I also use the DrDamage addon (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/dr-damage.aspx). It gives an estimated strength of my Shield on the icon in my bar, based on spellpower and whatever other numerical hoodoo-voodoo those developers do so well.

    My only problem with these is that I don't know how accurate they are. If I took the estimated absorbs from WoL (3716202) and divide by # of shields (785), I get a shield of about 4.7k. But DrDamage has my shields at about 9.9k or so strength on the average of 'looking at the icon when I think about it in the middle of a fight'.


  13. moarhps Says:

    Did someone say numbers?!?! :D

    1) Mitigation first, absorb second.

    2) A record other than the add-ons or on WoL, no. You can calculate the size of your bubbles, though. PW:S is a 112.8% coefficient for Disc and a 80.7% coefficient for Holy.

    3) Yes, shields are constant.

    4) The shields themselves can't crit, just the heals from them.

    5) Whichever was there first. This is also true with a paladin's Sacred Shield.

    6) It does indeed mean you had bubbled that person with extra spellpower, so the remaining bubble was stronger than the one you're trying currently to cast. It does -not- mean that there's more left on the old bubble than the one you're trying to cast. Even if there's only 1hp worth of absorption left on the old one, it will -still- cause an error in trying to cast a new one. It's annoying, I know.


  14. reztheweak Says:

    @Beth: If you are looking at something like WMO then you will notice that some of your shielding will be listed as overheal as well. I think its because it actually checks the log to see how much damage your shield absorbed (which might not have been the full amount of the shield). Thus your 8k shield absorbed the 4k hit but the other 4k just wore off causing 4k 'overheal' and would lower the average amount absorbed.


  15. bhorg Says:

    Miss - Here is my mini-guide to log parsing usefulness.

    - I use a mod called loggerhead to record my combat log. It's a really little program and does not eat much memory. It allows to to automatically set up which zones / instances / raids / battlegrounds from which you will record your combat log.

    - At the end of the raid you can go to any of the websites that process these logs. I use World of Logs.

    - Click on the 'client' and then select the folder where your log is saved. The default folder for loggerhead for me (Vista) is:
    Public / Games / World of Warcraft / Logs - the file is WoWCombatLog.

    - Ideally, you will save and rename the log before you load it (I use names like "12/24 Ony"). Also, delete the original combat log BEFORE you log on to raid - otherwise the file will be bigger that 24 hours worth of data and will not work with the client.

    Basically:
    Loggerhead -> Turn on for the appropriate zone -> Raid -> Rename log file -> Delete old file -> Load file via 'client' to website -> drink coco and eat pie. :)


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