I logged onto the PTR before checking out MMO-Champion and World of Raids.  I didn’t realize what they were going to do to priests in general.  And holy crap, it is somewhat glorious.  But enough small talk, let’s look at some of the major changes.

First, let’s look at glyphs:

  • Glyph of Penance *new* — Reduces the cooldown of Penance by 2 sec.

Seeing as I carry the glyphs for Flash Heal, Power Word: Shield, and Prayer of Healing… I may want to replace the PoH one with this.  The cooldown reduction, when talented, brings it down to 6 seconds.  That’s amazing.  Seeing how Penance can immediately stack Grace buffs, can crit, and can do everything all other heals can do in a priest’s repitoire, I’m excited.  Also, I won’t feel bad when I keep trying to spam my Penance button after going through a rotation.

  • Glyph of Hymn of Hope *new* — Your Hymn of hope provides 3 times the normal amount of mana per time, but its duration is 50% shorter.

I don’t know how I feel about this one.  I can see how this would be good for Holy, possibly.  I like the fact it’ll now be somewhat usable during a fight, and this can be helpful for other folks in your party… but I don’t know if I’d use it.  Still seems to be less effective, considering I want to keep Flash Heal and PW:S.  If I did have to replace… probably the Shield glyph.

Update: Hymn of Hope has been removed from the game, which means this glyph is useless.

  • Glyph of Pain Suppression *new* — Allows Pain Suppression to be cast while stunned.

That’s cute.  More for PvP, could have some usage in future raids if for some reason there’s a group stun moment that requires an emergency button.  But about time; almost all other classes can hit their emergency buttons when they’re stunned… priests just didn’t have one until this glyph.  I would argue having to glyph for it kind of sucks… but it’s something.

Now, let’s go onto the spells and talent tree changes.  Oh, my heart’s a-quiver for these changes.

Discipline Tree:

  • Divine Spirit is now a baseline spell.

About time.  No more needing to spec for it.  Now I can make other priests cast it and save myself candles… yes, I’m that lazy.

  • Unbreakable Will (Tier 1) now reduces the duration of Stun, Fear, and Silence effects done to you by an additional 6/12/18/24/30%. (Previously 3/6/9/12/15%)

PvP talent.  Small uses outside of that, though.

  • Improved Power Word: Fortitude (Tier 2) now also increases your personal stamina by 2/4%.

I like how they are making some talents benefit the person who goes for them.  Any priest who doesn’t grab this talent though probably has an issue of some sort that is definitely not fixable.

  • Meditation (Tier 3) now increases mana regeneration by 17/33/50%. (Previously 10/20/30%)

As stated in some blue posts, they are re-working mana regeneration.  OO5SCR regen is going down so people can’t abuse it, and healing while inside the 5 second window is not getting changed too much.  No worries!  Once again, if you’re a priest and you don’t grab this talent… issues~

  • *New Talent* Soul Warding, Tier 5, 1 point talent – Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 4 sec, and reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 30%.

This reduces PW:S cooldown even more.  Very exciting.  The mana cost reduction will stack with Mental Agility.  Very nice as we do lose some mana regeneration from Rapture.

  • Enlightenment (Tier 6) is now a 3 point talent and now increases your total Spirit by 2/4/6% and increases your spell haste by 2/4/6%. (Previously a 5 point talent)

We gain 1% more spell haste, lose 1% (if we subtract the 4% we gain from Imp. Fort from the 5% we used to get from this talent) stamina, and gain 1% more spirit.  The talent point reduction is a nice benefit, it means we can grab other talents without worrying too much…

  • Focused Will (Tier 7) now increases spell critical strike chance by 1/2/3% in addition to its previous effect.

… such as this talent.  3% more crit, viable talent for PvP… it’s pretty nice.  I’d definitely want to spend those two points that used to go into Enlightenment into here!

  • *New Talent* Improved Flash Heal, Tier 7, 3 point talent – Reduces the mana cost of your Flash Heal by 5/10/15%, and increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal by 4/7/10% on friendly targets at or below 50% health.

I feel very good about this talent overall.  Combined with the Flash Heal glyph, this is becoming more and more of an efficient, effective heal… especially when we compare it to Vanilla WoW, and even some of Burning Crusade.  This will definitely encourage more Flash Heal usage for Discipline priests, I hope… we get some serious utility out of being able to crit with this spell more often, stacking Divine Aegis.

  • Reflective Shield has been moved from Tier 7 to Tier 5. It is now a 2 point talent and causes 22/45% of the damage you absorb with Power Word: Shield to reflect back at the attacker.

No comment, really.  I don’t usually pick this spell up.

  • Rapture (Tier 8 ) revamped. Now a 3 point talent. When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled you are instantly energized with 1.5% of your total mana, and you have a 33% chance to energize your shielded target with 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy or 32 runic power. This effect cannot occur once every 12 seconds.

I’m curious to see how this will affect my current Rapture numbers.  It’s nice to see it help out tanks in general through generating rage or runic power.  It does mean the Shield needs to drop in order to gain some type of mana, as opposed to using it on multiple raiders and getting small increments of mana through raid AoE damage.

  • Grace (Tier 9) now lasts 15 sec. (Previously lasted 8 sec)

Thank goodness.  I hated when Grace would drop when I looked at other people who needed heals, especially Sartharion 3.

  • Penance (Tier 11) Damage increased slightly across all ranks.

Hooray!  Oh, by the way… we can now cast Penance on ourselves.  That’s pretty cool.

Holy Tree:

  • Prayer of Healing is now a targeted spell that heals the target’s party.
  • Holy Nova mana cost reduced from 27% base mana to 22% base mana.

Just going to comment on these two things.  It’s great to see PoH becoming a non-party required heal, so that means we don’t have to spread priests out for some fights, like Loatheb.  Holy Nova isn’t used frequently, but if you do like to use it… means you can use it more often!

Overall, Discipline priests should be overjoyed.  We didn’t get the group PW:S like they had stated before… but these changes are pretty nice.  At least we didn’t get nerfed.  That’s one thing we should all be thankful for.