Planned priest changes for Cataclysm: miscellany

So I already made a post detailing my thoughts on the new spells priests are supposed to get in Cataclysm, but there were a few more things in the preview that I wanted to comment on.

Dispel mechanics

Okay, I cheated, that wasn't actually in the priest preview, but it does concern priests as well. We're going to lose abolish disease and I'm honestly not that bothered. It was a useful spell, but more so in PvP than in PvE, and whenever I did have to dispel diseases in PvE I mostly just ended up spamming the spell anyway because I was too impatient to wait for the three second tick to attempt another dispel on its own.

I've heard rumours that mass dispel is going too, but couldn't find anything official about that. Does anyone know? It's hardly a core tool for a raid healer so I'm not that worried either way, but I would find it a bit odd if that one was removed, because aside from the obvious dispelling en masse it also allows you to dispel things that aren't affected by normal dispels (like pally bubbles and mage's ice blocks), so that would be a more considerable nerf than losing abolish disease.

More than anything I feel sorry for the other healing classes who'll have their dispels changed/nerfed, especially the shamans. I don't mind the idea of all classes having an equal number of dispels overall, but it bugs me that Blizzard is including offensive dispels in that count, because they are so PvP-only it's not funny. I can't think of a single PvE encounter where healers dispelling offensively would be considered essential (I dispelled Jaraxxus' nether power a few times, just to get yelled at by the mages who now didn't have an awesome damage buff to spellsteal anymore), and even counting those where it could be marginally useful I don't even have to use all the fingers on one hand. I bet a lot of PvE resto shamans would have happily given up their ability to purge to keep their disease and poison cleansing, but PvP balance rules all I guess.

Less mana regen and no more spirit buffs

Okay, so Blizzard wants to make mana regen a concern for healers again. I welcome that change, because I always prided myself in my ability to heal efficiently, time my cooldowns properly and so on. It's a fun aspect of gameplay in my eyes.

Nonetheless the removal of all spirit buffs has me baffled to say the least. "As Spirit will be the primary mana-regeneration stat, we don't want it to vary as much between solo, small group, and raid play." Excuse me, but why? I'll definitely need a lot more mana regen during a ten-minute raid boss fight than when I'm solo questing and can sit down to drink whenever I feel like it, so why shouldn't my mana regeneration be different in those two situations? Somehow that smacks me as illogical. I can only guess that Blizzard's main reasoning behind this change is to make it easier for them to balance mana regen, seeing how they now won't have to worry about healers being buffed in a group setting, ever, but it strikes me as a very unelegant sledgehammer solution. Surely they can do better than that? Tanks will still get to see their health double in raids, damage dealers get to watch their dps skyrocket with the right buffs, but healers will always be the same. Joy. I'm surprised most priest blogs I read just shrugged this change off as "eh, one less candle I have to buy for buffing".


This is currently supposed to be the name for an ability to allow priests to become better at a certain type of healing after casting a few specialised spells in a row. I think that sounds like a solid plan, though the cited example of getting better at group healing after casting three prayers of healing in a row raised more than a few eyesbrows... because who casts three prayers of healing in a row, ever? Even more so when we're supposed to watch our mana pools more carefully in cataclysm...

What I'm curious about is what this will look like in practice. People have made comparisons to serendipity, which is simply a stacking buff, but since there was also mention of UI changes to make people feel more like they are "in the zone" I wonder if it won't feel more like stances and forms do currently.

Oh, and I agree that Chakra is an awkward name. I wouldn't mind if they settled on something else in the end.


This is supposed to be the top tier of the holy priest "mastery tree", and the thing that struck me about this one is that it doesn't seem as obvious as the disc tree's absorption bonus, because holy isn't exactly "the HoT tree" right now. Yes, our renew is quite good and I'm a big fan of it myself, but still, that's one spell. Otherwise we're really more of a direct AoE healer, so shouldn't we have a mastery bonus that goes with that? Like, I don't know, a small splash effect to some of our heals, along the lines of the effect from Althor's Abacus or a paladin's Glyph of Holy Light? Or simply a flat-out bonus to all of our multi-target heals? Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely against the tacked-on HoT idea, it just strikes me as something that could really change the overall feel of the spec. We'll see how it pans out I guess.

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