They have come out with some of the 3.1 previews and other random info on priests. Its quite a bit so this post is gonna be a bit longer then probably adequate for a blog but w/e.
– Divine Spirit – This spell is now a core ability available to all priests.
Divine Spirit as a base spell is nice. The fact we were spending 3 pts to on a talent to get less of an effect then shamans got as a base ability was kind of annoying. This is my guess where PW:Barrier will go. It’s deep enough so you can’t have the best of Holy and this spell but I would like to see it moved deeper into disc. I don’t really want to see people sporting COH and PW:B.
– Discipline has access to a new talent, Power Word: Barrier. (Think of it as a Power Word: Shield for your whole group).
Power Word: Barrier = /jizz Thats how fucking awesome it sounds to me. I’d imagine it will take the slot that divine spirit takes and let’s also hope that all of the talents that effect PWS also effect it. It just flat out sounds amazing. I remember reading somewhere about someone suggesting this as a talent to Blizzard, its uber hawt. Use it right before Vortex or spam it on Sapphiron… omg so many uses for a group PWS. I’m expecting Rapture to not effect this though, unless the spell has some insane mana cost. Having all of those shields absorb all that damage would be a mini-joygasm.
– Several area of effect (AOE) heal spells have been improved: Prayer of Healing can be cast on any groups in your raid party. Holy Nova’s mana cost has been reduced. Circle of Healing now heals for more.
Changes to the AOE heals. POH targetability is kind of neat but with a buff to COH you will find those priests plus ur druids WG easily covering the raid healing before ur targeted POH goes off. Personally I don’t really use holy nova but I have a few friends who have been trying to use it in place of COH / POH. It’s supposed to be an okay / decent heal when glyph’d. The big part of this lil’ bit is the COH buff. I’m curious if they will alter the mana cost at all or how significant the change is going to be. Most likely just a base change rather then a coefficient to prevent it from getting out of hand in later content.
– Shadow priest PvP survivability has been improved: Shadowform now reduces magic as well as physical damage. Dispersion now removes snares.
Wootles? No idea, I pvp as disc so I hope this is good for y’all.
– Penance – this spell can now be targeted on the priest.
Penance being able to be used on myself is quite nice. Doesn’t seem major but if your a disc priest then you know how often you’ve wanted to burn this ability on yourself. A nice, simple change with a big effect.
– Serendipity – This Talent now reduces the cast time of Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing when Binding Heal or Flash Heal are cast.
The change to Serendipity is quite interesting. It is nice to see a bit more interaction within the holy tree but I don’t forsee it having much effect. If you are deep holy then flash heal isn’t an efficient spell that you should be using. I can see spamming flash to try and catchup on a tank and use the reduced greater heal once you have the cast time reduced to pump the tank back up, but thats about it. I’m assuming this talent isn’t loosing the mana regeneration component, that would be a very heavy hit to the mana regen of Holy priests.
– We are also working to give Holy additional PvP utility.
I PvP lightly but I do remember doing it as a holy priest was extremely difficult. You were usually dead long before you do anything. The change to Serendipity should help a bit, allowing a big greater heal to go off after spamming binding / flash. I’m guessing some kind of damage reduction within the tree.
Some more interesting things about priests…..
Discipline — this is a healing tree that emphasizes survival and single-target healing. Discipline specializes in damage absorption and prevention rather than restoring health, although they are very capable in that department too.
Holy — this is a healing tree that has a spell suited for every situation. Holy priests can heal groups, heal individuals, heal tanks, or do all three in a single encounter. They are better at group healing than Discipline priests, but don’t have as many damage prevention capabilities.
Shadow — this tree sacrifices healing for damage. Shadow priests can restore health and mana to their group while casting their spells. Like the Shadow damage of warlocks, Shadow priest damage tends towards drains and damage over time spells.
That comes from Blizzard as a rough definition of what priests do. I don’t understand why people have been nit picking or freaking out but whatever. I’ve tried to understand the big complaints about priests and somethings have upset me. The bug with Rapture for example that lasted almost until 3.1 (when it was found in Beta). While I’m sure there will be a large post somewhere bitching about these changes I must say they are very exciting to me. I’m interested to see what else is going to be altered with us. I plan on embracing it!