So the priest talent changes have been unveiled through the interactive calculator and I thought it would be a good idea to discuss what was revealed. My goal is only to outline a most of the changes, so it’s likely that I might have left out something small here or there. I encourage players to take an extensive pass using the calculator which has been linked in the news post I created on the front page of our website. After reading my comments, please feel free to use this thread to discuss of any aspect of the priest talents.
Going from left to right, I’ll start the discussion off with the Discipline tree. You’ll immediately notice that Wand Specialization has been made a first tier talent. I feel that this is great for two reasons. First, previously neither available tier 1 Discipline talents felt very exciting or rewarding when investing your points into them at early levels. I feel this is no longer the case. Second, you won’t have to compete with Improved Power Word: Shield or Fortitude to receive this talent. Moving on to tier 2 talents, Silent Resolve will now reduce the threat caused by all spells, rather than simply damage spells. You’re probably also noticing that Improved Power Word: Shield no longer reduces the duration of the weakened soul effect and I’m sure you’re freaking out.
Worry not, this is because the core ability, Power Word: Shield has been improved to only cause a weakened soul effect of 15 seconds, which previously required three talent points, hence the change detailed below.
The Improved Power Word: Shield talent will now increase the damage absorbed by 15%. The new focused casting effect of Martyrdom increases resistance to Interrupt effects by 20%, in addition to preventing the caster from losing casting time when taking damage. Inner Focus as you can see is no longer a 21-point talent, and now available by investing only a mere ten points into the tree. Also, the cooldown has been reduced to three minutes. Competing with the ability is Meditation, also previously a 21-point talent. This still offers an increase to mana regeneration while casting by 15%, however, now only costs three points.
Moving onto the 15-point talents, you can see that Improved Inner Fire remains the same. What we changed is the core ability. Next patch Inner Fire will provide 50% more armor than before. The duration will also be increased to ten minutes but now the effect will be removed when the caster endures twenty successful damaging melee or ranged hits. We’ve also increased the mana cost and removed the melee attack power boost from the ability as such offers the priest very little benefit.
The new 21-point talents are Divine Spirit and Mental Strength.
Finally, the new 31-point talent for the Discipline tree is called Power Infusion. This ability infuses the target with power, increasing spell damage and healing by 20% for 15 seconds, and can be used every three minutes. This spell is very similar to Arcane Power, however it can be cast on other players, enhances healing as well as damage, and doesn’t increase the mana cost of spells cast while under its effect.
This is a long thread, so bear with me… 😉
I have a feeling most priests have been really curious to see what we’ve done with the Holy Tree. Well, fortunately the wait is over. You’ll notice two things right off the bat. Improved Renew offers the same level of improvement for only three points, and a brand new talent is immediately available – Healing Focus. This talent, for only two points will gives players a 70% chance of avoiding interruption caused by damage when casting any healing spell.
Next at the five-point mark you’ll notice another brand new talent – Spell Warding, which reduces all damage taken by 10%. That which was previously a 21-point talent now stands next to it, Divine Fury. In addition to being available much sooner, this talent now reduces the casting time of Smite, Holy Fire, Heal and Greater Heal spells by 0.1 sec.
Remember, with this talent (available very early in the tree) Greater Heal will cast in 2.5 seconds!
I’m actually pretty excited about what’s next. Holy Nova is now an eleven-point talent and has no cooldown whatsoever (of course universal global cooldown is still in-effect). This means that much like Improved Arcane Explosion, priests can spam small bursts of threatless holy goodness which both damages foes and heals friends. The mana cost has been increased, so it’s not as efficient as before. We actually had alot of fun testing this spell in both PvE and PvP, and I’m excited to read through player feedback when this is live on the PTRs.
Moving on to the competing eleven-point talents, another new ability is revealed, Blessed Recovery. This passive ability will heal 25% of the damage received over 6 seconds after being struck by a melee or critical ranged hit. Lastly, take a look at Inspiration. This talent now only costs three points.
Holy Reach is another new talent available to the priests. For two points, players can increases the range of their Smite and Holy Fire spells and the radius of their Prayer of Healing and Holy Nova spells by 20%. Improved Healing has the same effect and is found in the same place, however, only three points need to be invested in order to gain the 15% mana cost reduction to those healing spells. The last talent on this tier is called Searing Light which increases the damage of Holy Fire and Smite by 10%.
Don’t forget, Holy Fire is now a core ability and the casting time reduced to 3.5 seconds. Which of course becomes 3 seconds with the appropriate talent (the same talent which also benefits the casting time of Heal and Greater Heal.
Another great new passive ability talent – Spiritual Guidance, is located at the 21-point mark. This talent will permanently improve the priests spell damage and healing by up to 25% of their total spirit. Pretty nice boost, if I do say so myself.
I must admit, the next improvement has me awfully excited. Spirit of Redemption, (you know that angel that lets everyone know you’ve died and that their probably about to die as well:), will now allow the priest to become the angel, upon death. For ten seconds, the priest can cast any healing spell completely free! This allows the strategic player much better control in preventing a wipe.
As you can see the new 26-point talent is Spiritual Healing, which as before offers the priest a 10% increase to all healing spells. Placing points this far into the tree, assuming you’ve picked up Improved Renew and Spiritual Guidance will most definitely make the Holy Priest’s heals stand out.
It should be no surprise that the final rank Holy talent is brand new, seeing that Holy Nova is now an 11-point talent. This new spell, called Lightwell will create a holy lightwell near the priest. At final rank, friendly targets can click the lightwell to restore 1600 health over a period of ten seconds. The lightwell has five charges, meaning, up to five players can use the lightwell before it expires. Our testing has shown that this ability works great in both smaller dungeons and raids, often times allowing the lower maintenance party members to take advantage of the healing properties of this well, while the priest and other healing classes focused on the main tank or whomever was taking heavy damage.
One other thing I’d like to mention before moving on to the Shadow tree is the fact that Focus Casting has been removed completely. Essentially, with the improvements to Martyrdom and the new talent Healing Focus, it wasn’t as valuable a talent as before.
So, what improvements have we made to Shadow you ask? You’ll actually notice that very little changes were made, so fortunately, you’re almost done reading my post. 🙂
Shadow Affinity only costs three points now, instead of five. Improved Fade will no longer increase the duration of the spell, but rather decrease the cooldown by a total of six seconds. Shadow Weaving is available for 16-points. While Vampiric Embrace remains the same, a new talent is available called Improved Vampiric Embrace. For two points, the amount healed by Vampiric Embrace will be increased by 10%.
Well, this pretty much sums up the changes. It’s likely we’ll make some more adjustments and tweaks based upon what’s revealed through testing on the PTRs. As a priest, I’m excited. How about you guys? Post your thoughts….