24
Feb
09

Three point One brings the Apocalypse!

Well, perhaps not really. But we’ve got Patch notes for 3.1 on the PTR as well as a slew of undocumented changes – and even talent calculators following the link. It’s.. alot to absorb, and I’m still trying to compile where the changes to disc ultimately lead. First impressions are.. bad, actually – me and my fellow Yelnenu disc cohort had a talk over during the morning and I don’t see how exactly this improves the overall desirability and raid viability of Discipline.. it more seems like it weakens it.

I’ll list a few examples before long (though you can find the complete list in the above link), though some deserve to be just summarized. Divine Spirit is now available to everyone, but no word on where improved Divine Spirit went, whether it was absorbed into the baseline spell or was just abolished in favour of “Bring A Shaman”. Improved PW:Fortitude now adds 4% to your total stamina, counteracted by that they removed the +5% stamina bonus from Enlightenment and instead increased the Spirit and spell haste bonuses from 5% to 6% (and for only 3 points, rather than 5). Meditation, as advertised, gives 50% of your mana regeneration while casting now (offset by the out of casting regen being lowered) and semes to have swapped places with Improved Shield for the sake of leading down to the new shield-boosting Suol Warding talent located where Divine Spirit used to be – one point to reduce the shield cooldown by 4 seconds (effectively removing it) while also reducing the mana cost of shield by 30%. No word of Weakened Soul however, so it seems a little cynical a change at best. Especially with the major, most significant change: Rapture.

The old Rapture let you regain up to 2.5% of your maximum mana when healing with Greater Heal, Flash Heal or Penance, or damage was absorbed by shield or divine aegis. The whole up to business was – according to what I’m told the number crunchers discovered – based on a scale going up to around 11500, resulting that if (for example) penance healed for that or more and you had over 25k mana, you got more mana back than the spell cost to cast. Now while certainly a potentially broken mechanic, it was also one of the cornerstones of disc’s mana retention abilities and there was still an 8 second lapse where you have to cast other stuff. It’s been totally rewritten however and it is now “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.”.

Right.. uhm.. okay? I’ll admit I don’t really get it. I can agree that with gear scaling, the old Rapture could be considered quite broken, the new one seems.. gimicky at best? Especially with the cooldown it has going, which doesn’t really sync at all with the fact that Shield already has an enforced 15 seconds per-target cooldown on its own. It does raise questions for me though – I’d gotten the impression that one of the key things Disc had over Holy was mana retention – with that seemingly largely out the window.. as much as I love shielding and penance, I’m not sure where exactly they make up for Holy having a much higher output, with the shield still having its 15 second Weakened Soul debuff.

And while we’re being negative, I’m not sure how the change to Grace – “Grace: Duration increased to 15 seconds, but now is only limited to one target.” – is actually a boost. Will it stick on the tank if you heal them first, then? Nevermind the fact that people keep telling me it doesn’t really stack well with the Paladin Blessing? And what about Barrier, are we still getting that or was it forgotten in the mix somewhere to make us pout about Holy getting their Circle of Healing boosted by 40%?

Atleast they removed the Hymn of Hopeless.

There’s some things I like, of course – the boost to shield with Soul Warding is nice, and we get another 10% bonus to shield via Borrowed Time (40%, rather than 30%), which doesn’t change the fact that it seems – to me – to scale in a very point for point manner with spell power, rather than scaling with a healing spell coefficient. Divine Aegis also gets to stack now, though the total amount can’t exceed 125 times target level (10000 for level 80 targets) which should make multiple disc healers be less exclusive (Weakened Soul would still be an issue). Handing Disc an Improved Flash Heal is funky, though it doesn’t actually increase output, just reduce mana cost by 15% and give you 10% extra crit chance on targets under 50% health.

If there is one thing I was really happy to see, it was that they state they’ve increased the damage of penance by about 30%. As pointless as it might sound, I love the idea of it since it’s a step in the right direction – going away from the idea that healers are only healers and nothing more and actually letting you do more than that with the trees. They let tanks do damage now, so taking steps to bring healers up to speed with that is something I approve of.

I’m really hoping this is just the beginning, mind you – they’ve said they were going to introduce things to the PTR gradually, so perhaps things like Barrier will make their show yet, or some other things changed around with time. It’s fair to say that with the changes proposed thus far, my giddiness towards 3.1 have.. diminished.. somewhat.

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1 Response to “Three point One brings the Apocalypse!”


  1. 1 Moltrazahn
    February 24, 2009 at 23:35

    Ton of changes, on my behalf (Dk) I see nerfs and some buffs. Nothing that wont make me love it still.

    But what caught my eye the most is 1: new legendary, and 2: Holy smokes Yogg-sharon looks awesome. Thats just epic, cant wait to try another Ct’hun like battle. I hope they make it right.. all of it.


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