Home > Mechanics, Other MMOs > Somewhere Out There, a Dragon Bites the Dust

Somewhere Out There, a Dragon Bites the Dust

December 4, 2011

I returned to WoW for a few reasonably intense days to check things out. Patch 4.3 is, of course, a retread of the old formula wherein the big boys kill the expansion’s villain (which they have managed, on normal mode at least, within hours of release; so much for longevity of the new content?) and we humble casuals get to play some small logistical part in it. In Wrath of the Lich King, we travelled with Sylvanas or Jaina to try to catch Anakin… sorry, Arthas unawares in his inner sanctum, only to end up communing with his sword and obtaining vital information. This time around, the five-man short bus time-travels into the past to recover an old dragonbuster artifact to use against Deathwing.

In practice, as a player returning to a long-unused character, one ends up humping those three five-man dungeons over and over (and over) again to top up on ilvl378 gear.

My priest’s PvP gear wasn’t brilliant at PvE, and being a fairly experienced Discipline priest I tried to spice up the grind for new gear by learning the Holy spec. It got a small brush-up in the patch, in the form of a boost to its raid cooldown and its single-target arse-saver move, bringing it more in line with its absorption-oriented sister spec.

As an aside, I still believe that if one is going to be a healing priest, Discipline is a better-designed tree. Given the value of intellect beyond mere throughput (mana pool, indirect regen), Disc’s +15% intellect is better than Holy’s +15% healing. Disc’s better damage prevention is mechanically superior to Holy’s better damage repair. I would also argue that there are certain psychological advantages to absorption effects which minimise heal sniping from other healers in the raid and give one better value for one’s mana. As a minor final thing, the latest 4-piece tier set seems, on paper, to support the Discipline spec considerably better (double the mana return on its primary mana return mechanic) than it does Holy (extended duration on an important but situational/fight layout restricted move). I’m sure Holy can shine in well-organised healing teams, especially in 25-mans. There, I don’t have enough personal experience to opine with authority that one might be better off bringing a resto druid instead, especially with the wild growth nerf, but I’m certainly leaning toward that view. Anyway, the technical debate is a little beyond the scope of this entry.

Holy is a passive-regen-heavy spec. Where one of the ways to be a good Discipline priest is to manage well the internal cooldown on Rapture procs, Holy just kind of does the job on its own with the Holy Concentration talent. As a result, you spend mana quickly, and you get it back quickly. Watching my mana yoyo thus (without drinking or detrimental effect to the speed of the dungeon run, I hasten to add) a nervous LFD tank in one of my early iterations of the 5-man humpfest inquired, in lowercase shorthand which I won’t try to replicate,

“Are you disc or holy?”

I told him the truth.

“You know, disc can heal a raid three times before running oom!”

“I see,” I replied, thinking I wish that were so.

“Spec disc, gem for int in all sockets and you’ll never be oom,” my dwarven comrade emphasised, perhaps puzzled at some of the resilience hybrids in my arena-oriented swag.

I assured him I’ll keep it in mind. Here at soresu we are humble and non-confrontational, especially since we’re unlikely to log into WoW past the 15th of December, and still need to find time to mess around with Crucible. Where’s Nozdormu when you really need him?

Categories: Mechanics, Other MMOs