The Wrath of the Lich King beta has gone live and the non-disclosure agreement from the alpha has been lifted.
Here are the patch notes as they pertain to the priest class (my comments are in italics):
- Circle of Healing (Holy): Now works on any targets in the caster’s raid, and is now a “smart” heal and chooses the lowest health targets to heal first within it’s range. Also now has a 6 second cooldown. Also no longer will heal summoned Snakes from Hunter’s Snake Trap.
It feels like Blizzard is taking away the spammability of another great group heal from us.
- Enlightenment (Discipline): Now also gives 1% spell damage and 1% heal per point.
Not bad for deep disc arena priests.
- Focused Will (Discipline): Now increases healing effects on you by 3/4/5%, down from 4/7/10%.
A small nerf to discipline priests. I guess this was put into place with the introduction of the new disc talent Grace, which will reduce damage taken on a target after receiving a heal from you.
- Force of Will (Discipline): This talent now increases your spell damage by a flat amount, rather than increasing your spells by a %. (Now increases school %, rather than selected spells damage %). In other words, your spell damage gained from this talent is now reflected on your character sheet, rather than the skill tool-tips.
We may see more changes with this talent. It has undergone quite a lot in the alpha.
- Holy Fire: Cast time reduced to to 2 seconds, down from 3.5. Damage increased roughly 60%. Duration for the damage over time effect reduced to 7 seconds, down from 10. Holy Fire now has a 10 second cooldown.
Holy fire could actually be useful? No frickin’ way!
- Improved Inner Fire (Discipline) – Now also increases the bonus healing on your Inner Fire spell by 10/20/30%.
At max rank, Inner Fire will increase healing by 120 (level 77).
- Improved Shadow Word: Pain (Shadow) – Now increases damage done by your Shadow Word: Pain by 5/10%, but no longer increases the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain.
- Levitate now costs 3% of base mana.
- Lightwell (Holy): Cast time reduced to .5 sec, down from 1.5 sec. Charges increased to 10, up from 5. Now breaks from any attack that hits you for 30% or more of your total health. Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5.
They are still trying to get us to use this! Perhaps it will become more easily used in WotLK dungeons/raids when if movement isn’t troublesome?
- Mind Control now has only one rank and costs 12% of base mana.
- Mind Soothe now has only one rank, costs 6% of base mana and has no max target level.
- Mind Vision now costs 3% of base mana.
- New Talent: Improved Spirit Tap (Shadow) – Gives you a 50/100% chance to gain a 50% bonus to your Spirit after gaining a critical effect chance from your Mind Blast or Shadow Word: Death spells. For the duration, your mana will regenreate at a 25% rate while casting. Lasts 8 sec.
This is a great change. Spirit Tap was made 3 talent points and this was added in tier 1 of the talent tree.
- New Talent: Twin Faiths (Discipline) – Increases your damage and healing by 1/2/3/4/5%.
This is replacing Wand Spec. in tier 1 of the discipline tree. I like this a lot better! It can benefit everyone!
- Pain Suppression (Discipline): Cooldown increased to 3 minutes, up from 2.
D’oh! This thing just keeps getting nerfed.
- Power Infusion (Discipline): Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3.
Mmmmm… haste-y goodness. Too bad we still won’t see many disc priests in raids, as it looks now.
- Psychic Scream now costs 15% of base mana.
No use in downranking this spell now.
- Searing Light (Holy): Now also increases the damage of your Holy Nova and Penance spells.
- Shackle Undead now costs 9% of base mana.
This makes this spell a little more expensive. Perhaps priests will finally learn to stop spamming it?
- Shadow Focus (Shadow): Now a 3 point talent, down from 5. Now also reduces the mana cost of your Shadow spells by 2/4/6%.
I like the direction Blizzard is going in making shaodw priests more mana efficient and giving them more regen options.
- Shadow Resilience (Shadow): Now reduces physical damage taken by 2/4%, but no longer reduces the chance to be critically hit by spells.
Will this be useful for PvP now? Possibly.
- Shadowform (Shadow): Now has an innate 30% threat reduction. Now has a shapeshift UI.
This is a huge buff to shadow priests in PvE!
- Silent Resolve (Discipline): Now a 3 point talent, down from 5 points.
Same effect, less cost.
- Spirit Tap (Shadow) – Talent reduced to 3 points, down from 5. Now also leads into “Improved Spirit Tap”
Same effect, less cost!
- Wand Specialization (Discipline) has been removed.
This was replaced by Twin Faiths (above).
The complete patch notes can be found here.
A (not yet updated) talent calculator for priests can be found here (still has alpha info, will be updated to beta info shortly).
Wowhead had a Wrath of the Lich King site, complete with new items, too!
Finally, the Wrath of the Lich King message boards are up on Blizzard’s site. Go check them out!