Patch 3.0.3 is set to go live tomorrow (Tuesday) morning (complete patch notes here). There are a number of changes slated for priests (many of which have already been announced):
Priest Class Changes:
- Divine Providence now also reduces the cooldown of your Prayer of Mending by 6/12/18/24/30%.
At max rank, Prayer of Mending’s cooldown is reduced from 10 seconds to 7. Entry raid healing at 80, I’m still going to grab Mental Agility over Divine Providence for the better healing-per-mana. After gearing up a bit in Naxx/Ob. Sanctum, I could then see myself dropping Mental Agility for this. I wasn’t feeling frequently limited by the cooldown to Prayer of Mending in raids anyways.
- Devouring Plague base damage has been slightly lowered. The bonus coefficient has been increased to be on par with other DoT spells. Base damage on ranks 7, 8, and 9 decreased to partially compensate for better scaling.
Scaling has been a major concern of shadow priests since, oh, T5 raiding in TBC. It’s nice to know Blizzard is still looking at this issue.
- Shadowform: Devouring Plague, Shadow Word:Pain, and Vampiric Touch cast in Shadowform deal increased damage percentage equal to the player’s chance to get a spell crit on their target.
This changes addresses a different type of scaling concern shadow priests have had: not getting the same benefits from certain stats that other casters did. It’s nice to get some milage out of more stats than just spellpower and haste. Being able to use crit to ramp up our damage gives us more gearing options, and allows for better scaling with gear as well. Good change!
- Vampiric Embrace now heals the priest by 15% and other party members by 3%. Improved Vampiric Embrace now increases the healing received from Vampiric Embrace by 33/66%.
With this change, shadow priests will no longer be #1 or #2 on the healing meters. The group health return from shadow priests in the beta was admittedly overpowered, and I fear many of the DPS nerfs we received in the beta were due to Blizzard attempting to limit the insane amount of healing shadow priests were putting out. Stacking enough shadow priests could potentially mean a raid without healers. Now, with max rank Imp. VE talent, shadow priests are returning 5% of their shadow damage as health to the group and 25% of that to themselves.
- Shadow Word:Death‘s self-damage component can no longer be reflected or redirected.
I don’t view this as a bug fix. I feel it removes some clever and creative means of avoiding damage. However, this change is far from game breaking, and not worth fretting over.
- Vampiric Touch‘s spellpower coefficient has been doubled.
It now gains 40% of your spellpower as damage per tick.
Priest Bug Fixes:
- Inner Focus now works properly with Mind Flay, Mind Sear, and Penance.
It will now properly increase the crit chance of our channeled spells.
- Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit can now be refreshed properly after logging in and out, or after zoning. Certain glitches were fixed that made these spells not benefit from their improved versions. They will no longer stack with other raid spell power buffs.
- Borrowed Time will no longer consume charges on spells with a base cast time that is instant.
The haste from the charges will no longer be wasted on instant cast spells.
- Healing Focus now works properly with Penance.
- Guardian Spirit: A target may now have only one Guardian Spirit active.
- Binding Heal now only consumes one charge of Holy Concentration per cast.
- Vampiric Touch no longer triggers Replenishment when other priests cast Mind Blast.
Your Vampiric Touch will only trigger replenishment when you cast Mind Blast.
- Replenishment: Players below level 50 can now benefit from this effect.
Priest Glyph Changes:
- Glyph of Spirit of Redemption now reads: All heals cast while Spirit of Redemption is active have a 20% chance to increase the remaining duration of Spirit of Redemption by 4 sec.
This is just a correction to the tooltip.
- Glyph of Mind Soothe has been removed.
- Glyph of Shadow (major glyph) has been added: While in Shadowform, your spell critical strikes increase your spell power by 10% of your Spirit for 10 sec.
Raiding shadow priests were short on glyph options. This glyph doesn’t look so great now, but after you amass some spirit gear and level past 70, the returns are much better.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain changed to: Increase the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain.
Mind Flay is about 1/4 to 1/3 of a shadow priest’s raid DPS. This glyph is now a must-have for raiding shadow.
- Glyph of Mind Flay now sets snare to 10% instead of removing it.
This may help remedy some of the problems we’ve been having with Mind Flay.
Other Notable Changes:
- Removed “A Mask for All Occasions” as criteria for the “Hallowed Be thy Name” achievement.
You can now get the title: “The Hallowed” without completing the mask quest.
- Resilience: The damage reduction component of resilience has been increased from 2 times the critical strike chance reduction to 2.2 times the critical strike chance reduction. In addition, the maximum damage reduction to a critical strike from resilience has been increased from 30% to 33%.
Summary: You now get 10% more benefit from certain aspects of resilience than you did before.
- Shadowmeld: The cooldown will now start on use instead of on break.