Cataclysm Priest Changes Part 3: Talents
Aaaaand.... the talented stuff.

  • We want to improve Discipline's single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn't always a more attractive option than healing.
We may be seeing the end of Discipline as a viable raid healing spec, folks. Looks like they want to emphasize Discipline as the tank healer and holy as the raid healer. I don't really have any problem with this, as this is currently how I utilize the healing specs. Goodbye shield spamming!
  • We want to improve Holy for PvP healing. One way to do this is to make sure that Heal's throughput is similar between both specs.
Yay for improving Holy for PvP. I have no idea what to make of the comment about Heal yet.
  • We want to improve Shadow for short fights and reduce its susceptibility to school lockouts.
Seems like this is going to be done mostly through Mind Spike. Also, I suspect large amounts of haste will help with this, since both Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch will be affected by haste, and ticking more.
  • Discipline will finally be getting Power Word: Barrier as a talented ability. Think of it like a group Power Word: Shield.
YES PLZ OMGTHX. Shield spamming is dead, long live Power Word: Barrier! Maybe I was wrong about Discipline no longer being viable for raid healing? Hmmmm...
  • We want to make Holy a little bit more interesting to play. One new talent will push the Holy priest into an improved healing state when he or she casts Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The empowered state varies depending on the heals cast.
I love love LOVE this idea. They've already been playing around with this a bit with Serendipity, but I suspect this will be a lot more fun. Yay, holyform! I've always thought it would be cool for Holy to have their own version of Shadowform.
  • Since the Shadow tree has a lot of passive damage-boosting abilities -- something we're trying to avoid in Cataclysm -- we will need to replace several of the tree's talents. One idea is to play off of the new Shadow Orbs mechanic (see Mastery section below), possibly allowing you to consume an orb to increase damage from Mind Blast or reduce Mind Spike's cast time.
I'm trying really hard to imagine something other than a Shammy's Water Shield. BUT PURPLE.
  • Misery will no longer affect spell Hit chance. We want players to be able to gear themselves around a Hit cap that isn't variable depending on group composition.
That's probably pretty smart. It's one thing to have a group composition that will make the most of everyone's abilities, but Hit Cap is just that - a cap. You have a minimum number you really need to reach. I don't think it's a good idea to need a certain group makeup in order to reach a minimum number.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses


Most of this is actually old news, since Blizz used Priests as an example earlier when trying to explain how mastery would work.

For Discipline:
  1. Healing (this will increase your healing power)
  2. Meditation (this will increase your mana regen)
  3. Absorption: Improves the strength of shields such as Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Power Word: Barrier.
"Strength" is somewhat ambiguous for the record, but I'm pretty positive it means it will increase the amount of damage the shields will absorb.

For Holy:
  1. Healing (this will increase your healing power)
  2. Meditation (this will increase your mana regen)
  3. Radiance: Your direct heals add a small heal-over-time component to the target.
I love the fact that they chose the word "Radiance". I'm a bit of a word-nerd, I know, but I love the image this gives. Like... SPARKLES!!!

Blizz is really pushing the HoT mechanic for Holy Priests. I've noticed this more and more throughout Wrath. Druids are no longer the sole provider for good strong HoTs, but they are still the best. To be honest, as someone who enjoys running around with lots of Druids, I'm not very keen on it. There's such a thing as too many HoTs, as far as I'm concerned.

For Shadow:
  1. Spell Damage (This will increase your spell damage... duh)
  2. Spell Crit (This will increase your spell crit... duh - but... why crit instead of haste? hmm)
  3. Shadow Orbs: Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like "Shadow priests" before they obtain Shadowform.
Sorry. Water Shield. What?
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6 Responses
  1. Klepsacovic Says:

    Bring back shadow orb thingy that the old troll priests had, with their talented 10% chance to stun. Not Blizzard, I mean you, Miss. Bring them back.


  2. Juzaba Says:

    I think Purple Water Shield is exactly the visual we'll see. Pre-WotLK, Troll priests had the Shadowguard spell, which used the purple water shield mechanic. It was basically like Lightning Shield - it did damage to attackers. Turned out to be pretty decent damage in aoe fights when bosses would constantly hit you with stuff. Of course, this was back when Shadowpriests would take any DPS boost they could get.

    Long story short, I'm looking forward to the return of that image. I always enjoyed the somewhat more primal look it gave my troll priest.


  3. "We want to improve Discipline's single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn't always a more attractive option than healing."

    I thought that Blizzard said they wanted to encourage all healers to be viable to heal anything. No "specific" tank healers or no "only" raid healers?

    Did I misinterpret that or was it classed base or am I making it all up?


  4. Ceralyn Says:

    I don't think they're trying to take out raid viability for any role. I think they're actually leaning toward homogenization of "Healers" who can keep up a tank or cover the raid while focusing on diversifying the methods of doing so.

    To me it seems that they're expanding our healing so we have more healing options rather than reducing our bubble-ability, and if this is the case I'm very happy about it.


  5. Shintar Says:

    I'm disppointed that the shadow orb thing just makes you think of shamans instead of the old priest spell shadow guard, as mentioned by commenters before me. :p

    Picture of my troll lady modelling the spell for WoWhead!
    http://static.wowhead.com/uploads/screenshots/thumb/70357.jpg

    Too bad it got removed...


  6. Mongrr Says:

    I'll believe we'll be getting Power Word: Barrier, when I see it in-game upon release.

    If you remember... Blizz said we were getting PW:B with Wrath, and look how that turned out.

    Personally, I think the plans for Cataclysm sound cool... but keep in mind quite a bit of this may not even make it through the Beta.


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