Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Holy priests nerfed in patch 3.0.8

You probably already knew this, but I decided to make an extra post about the subject: In patch 3.0.8 Circle of Healing acquires a 6-second cooldown, which nerfs that spell "to the ground", turning it from a staple healing spell in raids to something barely useful. Druids suffer the same fate to their Wild Growth. There are several aspects to that, all negative:

Raid healing overall will go down. Bosses which damage the whole raid will become a lot harder. A typical healing analysis of my guild's Naxxramas raids showed between a quarter and a third of all healing from holy priests and druids coming from Circle of Healing or Wild Growth. That will be reduced dramatically, and there is no replacement. Priests don't even *have* any other raid healing ability, their other multi-target heals are group only. So overall raids will become harder, because there is less healing.

The holy spec for priests loses much of its reason for being. Up to now you had the choice between being discipline and single-target healer, or being holy and raid healer. Now by choosing holy over discipline you just nerf your overall healing, and only get the Spiritual Guardian panic button to show for it. I expect many holy priests to respec to discipline, as this is now definitely the better healing spec.

The patch is otherwise completely void of goodies for holy priests. Unless you count the ability to cast Levitate on other players, which is more of a gimmick. The handful of other priest changes are for shadow priests. The "best" feature for priests in patch 3.0.8 is being able to pull with Shadow Word Pain without getting killstealed, but that isn't even a change particularly done to help priests.

Before Wrath of the Lich King we had a healer shortage and a tank shortage. Blizzard addressed the tank shortage by adding the death knight tank. But there has been nothing done to address the healer shortage. Healing priests still suffer from the same problems they had in the Burning Crusade, being the worst build for soloing and PvP, and being reduced to eternally blamed healbot in group PvE. Where is the love, Blizzard? Why would you want to nerf a class you said yourself there aren't enough of? 10 druids can raid Naxxramas together, 10 priests wouldn't even get past the trash mobs. At least as far as you can measure it by healing meters, druids heal better than priests, with more overall healing done, more heals per second, and less overhealing. Plus druids can do great dps or be a great tank. Do you really want everyone to roll druid alts because those are just plain better in everything than a priest is?

At the very least the other healing spells for priests should be boosted. Spells like Prayer of Healing should be turned into a "smart" healing spell, working on X of the closest raid members, not just the priests party in the raid. Priests should also receive some other goodies making them more useful in solo PvE and PvP when in holy / discipline spec. So many other classes got boosted by so much in Wrath of the Lich King, why did priests got left behind?

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