Cataclysm Priest Changes Part 1: New Spells
Oh yeah. I'm weighing in on the Cataclysm Class Preview Changes as well. Because I have to, duh!

If you are what I would call a "purist", and do not want to be spoiled by any upcoming changes, look no further! I respect your choice, but I'm not always good at giving warnings, so don't hold it against me >.<

There's a lot of information coming, and so I'm going to split this up into multiple posts. I mean, let's face it - news is dry right now. We have to stretch out everything we can!

Heal. (The simplest, most basic name for the most basic and fundamental spell that any healer can have. Look at that, a spell named for exactly what it does. Can you imagine if you had two spells: Heal and Hurt? Anyway.)

You know what annoys me beyond all rational explanation? Waste. Wasted spells. Spells you learn at low levels that are replaced but never removed. Lesser Heal anyone? Heal? Especially when you have talents that affect those spells. I mean, why not just call them "Flash Heal" and "Greater Heal" at lower levels? The mechanics are the same.

So why do these two spells exist right now anyway? Pre-wrath, lots of healers used downranked spells to give their heals significant granularity. This was essentially removed from the game when Blizz increased the mana cost of lower ranked spells. Lesser Heal and Heal were occasionally used for added granularity back in the day - but since the mana cost changes, they were especially useless. Since mana is effectively a non-issue at high gear levels, and since we have significant gear inflation and saturation, most people just spam their quickest, most powerful spells, with little regard for mana cost.

The idea is to bring back that granularity to healing. Priests are arguably the most granular healers as it stands - we have a massive arsenal of healing spells. That's what makes playing a priest especially fun and interesting for me. Lots of decision making when it comes to spells. So, I'm very excited about having that extra level of granularity that was taken away from us with the changes to mana costs for downranked spells. I started raiding right before that change, for the record - I never used downranked spells. I hated it, and managed to heal well without using downranked spells, but I was also not participating in any real progression raiding.

If Blizz can pull this off effectively and bring back the granularity and decision making that has gone out the window in recent patches (and as a fangirl, I have faith that they can), then I think they are heading in the right direction.

Mind Spike. (im in ur hed hertin ur neuronz! STABSTABPOKE)

I actually have a hard time judging this spell without understanding exactly what the debuff it causes does. First and foremost though, "spell school lockout" has been a significant problem for shadow priests. I haven't forgotten you viscious Brittle Revenants - back when you guys were actually cool, dammit. Reducing the mana cost of Shadowform is great and all but... yeah. A frost spell is a great idea.

Now, back to that debuff. I think that in order for this to work effectively (meaning that this is a spammable spell used in situations where time needed for the buildup for your regular rotation is not available), that debuff needs to be short. Short enough that in order to get any real use out of it, you really will have to spam Mind Spike. And in that case, that's not really that fun anyway, is it?

But then again, in a battleground the other day I was confused about how I got even 1 killing blow... apparently I mistargeted and accidentally Penanced someone to death. As you can see, damage is not really my forte...

Inner Will (vs. Inner Fire)

This has been a long time coming. There won't be charges on the new version of Inner Fire. Why did we have a spell that was an armor boost with charges anyway? Because if it didn't have charges, it would require no decision making whatsoever. It would have just been a flat spellpower/armor boost (also, keep in mind that the spellpower buff was a Wrath addition, and Inner Fire doesn't give spellpower until your level 70s). Taking those charges out and implementing an alternative turns it into a self buff with a decision tagged on to it - much like Mages and Warlocks already have.

I love this idea. Need more throughput? Inner Fire. Need more mana? Inner Will. Lots of adds with physical damage? Inner Fire. Lots of movement? Inner Will. Making the gear switch between a damage spec and a healing spec? Use your buff to help you make the transition (for instance, my damage set may have more spellpower than mana regen - I would turn on my Inner Will to help fill the mana regen gaps until I pick up a few new pieces).

Leap of Faith. (HEROES! TO ME! /Jaina)

The description of this includes the following: "Intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time."

Now wait just one second... Players already have this amazing ability to get out of spot focused damage. It's called legs.

Yanking someone closer to you because they have aggro? Not a great idea. In most cases this will not make them lose aggro - it will just bring the mob closer to you, potentially pulling aggro on to yourself.

Yeah, I can see the PvP argument.

But I find this spell fascinating. So now I'm just randomly brainstorming on non-PvP specific uses for it.

A 30 yard range isn't enough to justify pulling the target in to put them in healing range, since 30 yard is generally within healing range. I can also see this as another indirect form of crowd control. Send one of the melee over to a spellcasting add, have them get aggro, and then yank that member over to you and the group. Seems kinda like a weird way to handle it though, especially if you could just silence the mob or something.

Maybe it's intended to just be situationally useful. Assuming you can use this on people who are rooted in some form, then yes, I likes it a lot. I'm thinking of our recent ventures on Putricide, with people getting rooted in slime puddles. They can't move out of the crap on the ground - for once people have an excuse! Instead of spam healing them, I can pull them to me. Now I'm going to start looking for scenarios in which I can use this spell!
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12 Responses
  1. Monsieur Says:

    With leap of faith I can't help thinking of one of those mothers that casually keep pulling their toddlers away from touching an oven or something. Except that the nosy toddler is a warrior tank running towards festergut without the rest of the raid.

  2. Fealen Says:

    I can see the issue now:

    DPS "Why didn't you LoF me priest?"
    Priest "You purposely stood in the fire....."
    DPS "Ummm....I was lagging, I didn't mean should have pulled me..."

    I know some places where LoF plus Self-levitate could cause major griefing. Trolls beware, edges of cliffs aren't for you.....

  3. Fuubaar Says:

    Well, from how they worded it, I'm wondering if it will have an Aggro drop/ reduction to it.

    My thought is that if you think about what a DK Death Grip does, it yanks the mob towards them and has a taunt along with it.

    If it were a priest thing, it would yank the ally to them and maybe reduce their threat. So if Mr. Rogue is being a little too bursty for the tank, GET OVER HERE BABY! I LURVS YOU!

    You've saved yourself from having to spam heal the rogue or him going splat (because that's what rogues do).

    I don't know, I'm interested in how this works.

    <3 Fuu

  4. Anonymous Says:

    The coolest use I see with LoF is a synergy between priests and warriors. The warrior charges in, does his thunderclap, fights until his charge timer is up and he's got a solid threat lead. Priest yanks him out of combat with LoF, warrior pushes the Heroic Leap button and jumps back onto the group of mobs, gaining another chance to stun.

    I hope that's an effective tactic, because just the thought of seeing it ingame has me highly amused.

  5. Grimmtooth Says:

    So far the most lucid analysis of the changes I've seen, my own included (ESPECIALLY my own).

    My feeling on Inner Fire? I think it was probably one of the first Priest spells they designed. It jumped right out at me when I first saw it - the armor boost seemed to be inadequate in all circumstances that it would apply to. It seemed to be a refugee from an AD&D ruleset. The SP boost seems like an afterthought, though more appropriate than the protection boost ever was.

    LoF will probably result in more /gkicks than anything in memory.

  6. Wikwocket: Says:

    Actually Grimmtooth, Inner Fire was a spell borrowed from the Priest unit in Warcraft 3. The War3 Inner Fire spell was a +damage and +armor buff. Inner Fire in early WoW was even weirder: a self-buff that increased armor and attack power. At some point they realized attack power is pointless for priests and dropped the AP, and later on they had the bright idea to add spell power. They've also played with the duration and charges. At long last, it will be nice to have a choice between two useful self-buffs, like mages and locks!

  7. Zelmaru Says:

    I was JUST thinking about that - leap of faith + putricide. However, I'm pretty sure that something like that won't be possible, or will have lousy results.... For example, our mage blinked away from the orange slime, and that caused the slime to bug out and explode... I hate putricide.

    If you can grab someone off a bone spike or something like that, it would be so so SO awesome. But otherwise it's WAH why didn't you grab my fail ass out of the fire?

  8. Liore Says:

    The only actual PvE use that I have come up with for Life Grip is for disconnected folks. Dude DC'ed? No problem, you can pull him out of the Frost Bomb / Endless Winter / goo puddle / whatever.

    I think this is Blizz's way of, in part, handling all the complaints about poor connections and tricky environmental damage.

    That's not to say I'm excited about this new job, but that's the only practical raid use that I can see.

  9. Grimmtooth Says:

    @Wikwocket - RE: Inner Fire - I did not know that! I wasn't much into RTSs so never even looked at WC3. I feel smarter, now. :)

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I must admit that I am very much looking forward to Cataclysm now both for the Holy side and the Shadow side.

    For healing I like that they seem to be moving towards making it more tactical with mana being a more finite resource.

    And Mind Spike as Shadow is pure win. Currently in ICC with so many fights requiring target swapping to adds it is very frustrating. Bone Spikes and things like that have too low a health pool for it to be worth a full rotation, but Mind Blast with the long CD and Mind Flay are not very good tools for that kind of thing. Or things like trash when the groups are too small for Mind Sear. It'll be great! :-)

  11. Reassurance Says:

    LoF in PvE sounds pretty rubbishy (although after reading the Paragon LK HM strats, I'm sure there'd be uses that didn't involve stupid people). On the other hand, pulling someone from a low platform to a high platform in an arena will be amazing.

    In fact, I could imagine a friendly DK jump down in an arena, death gripping an enemy to the ground, and then a priest yanking the DK back up.

    The mind boggles.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    With LoF, my tank is officially on a short leash. Finally!

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