Talents and abillities were changed across the board for all classes. It appears that we have reached the final balancing phases. The changes look bad for us priests, but part of the beta game development is to lessen abilities to see how much we lose from them, and then to later adjust them to some mid-point between where they were previously and where they are now.
Divine Hymn (the level 80 priest spell) will now affect the closest 10 enemies and will heal the closest friendly talent for 4.5k health (this spell is in the holy school, and cannot eb cast in shadowform).
- Improved Holy Concentration now increases the chance you’ll enter Holy Concentration by 1/2/3% (down from 4/7/10%) and also increases your spell haste by 10/20/30% (down from 20/40/60%) on your next (down from “three next”) Greater Heal, Flash Heal or Binding Heal spells after you gain Holy Concentration. Lasts 20 sec.
- Test of Faith now increases healing by 2/4/6% (down from 5/10/15%) and spell critical effect chance by 2/4/6 (down from 4/7/10%) on friendly targets at or below 50% health.
- Empowered healing changed to – Your Greater Heal spell gains an additional 8/16/24/32% (up from 2/4/6/8%) and your Flash Heal and Binding Heal gain an additional 4/8/12/16% (up from 1/2/3/4%) of your bonus healing effects.
- Serendipity now refunds 8/17/25% (down from 20/40/60%) of mana cost on overheal. It doesn’t require you to overheal the target for more than 50% anymore.
- Borrowed Time now reduces the base global cooldown of your Power Word: Shield spell by 3/6/9/12/15% (Old – Reduces global cooldown by 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 sec, this is a nerf).
- Renewed Hope now Increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance spells by 2/4% (down from 3/6%) on targets afflicted by the Weakened Soul effect.
- Rapture now causes you to gain up to 0.5/1/1.5/2/2.5% of your maximum mana each time you heal with Greater Heal, Flash Heal or Penance, or damage is absorbed by your Power Word: Shield or Divine Aegis. Increasing the amount healed or absorbed increases the mana gained. (This was changed to scale up with the amount of healing done).
- Enlightenment doesn’t increase your intellect anymore. It increases your stamina, spirit and spell haste by 1/2/3/4/5%.
- Improved Inner Fire now increases the effect of your Inner Fire spell by 15/30/45%, and increases the total number of charges by 4/8/12 (an increase in overall effect).
- Martyrdom now decreases the duration of Interrupt effects by 10/20% instead of giving a chance to resist them.
- Twin Disciplines now only affects instant spells. This is a nerf to all priest builds.
- Absolution: This talent has swapped positions in the talent tree with Improved Inner Fire (Imp. Inner Fire is now lower in the tree than Absolution).
- Focused Power: Increases your total spell damage and healing done by 2/4%, but no longer increases your chance to hit with Mind Blast, and Mass Dispel.
- Dispersion now reduces all damage taken by 60% (down from 90%) and doesn’t regenerate health anymore.
- Twisted Faith now increases your spell power on all spells (Old – only shadow spells) by 2/4/6/8/10% (down from 6/12/18/24/30%)
- Improved Shadowform doesn’t give a chance to remove all movement impairing effects when Fade is used anymore.
- Misery doesn’t increase the damage of your Mind Blast / Mind Flay / Mind Sear spells anymore (was fun while it lasted).
- Shadow Resilience now Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by all spells by 2/4%. (Old – Reduces physical damage taken by 2/4%.)
- Improved Fade renamed to Veiled Shadows. Now decreases the cooldown of your Fade ability by 6 sec, and reduces the cooldown of your Shadowfiend ability by 2 minutes.
- Improved Spirit Tap now let your mana regenerate at a 10/20% (down from 25/50%) rate while casting.
It looks bad. Not all other classes were being nerfed with us, either. Some were being buffed. I’m really hoping that many of the things nerfed will be balanced back in a later patch. Then again, I am a twisted sort of optimist.
Many things reworked. Still sucks. The nerf to Twin Faiths hurts all priests, but the lower location of Inner Fire helps.
Imp Holy Concentration was one of the few things that kept holy priest builds as contenders for raid slots. It’ll be interesting to see how the changes really affect our healing compared to other healing classes. The change to Serendipity makes it favor smart, accurate healing over the willy-nilly spamming of buttons.
Ugh. What is going on with Blizzard? I almost feel that there are two competing teams of devs: one that wants to oppress shadow priests, and the other that wants them to function as well as other DPS classes. Also, the changes to Improved Shadowform and Dispersion are going to kill us in PvP. The changes to Twisting Faith, Misery, and Imp. Spirit Tap are really going to hurt us in PvE. We don’t scale well with gear! Let’s fix that!
What Can You Do?
If you are in the beta, give feedback on everything: every spell, every talent, every change. Feedback doesn’t mean just negative, either. Be sure to be constructive and give examples when you do.