RIP: Rapture

When they began talking about nerf’s to mana regen I wasn’t at all feeling threatened.  Rapture gave me what I needed to stay in the game.  I chose to stack INT so I had retarded mana regen but I could have easily sacrificed that to pickup more spellpower or crit or haste or whatever I was wanting.  3.1  Patch Notes came out today and I read this…

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 (2.5% w/3 pts), 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.

There is plenty of stuff I wanted to comment on about 3.1, but this seems the most significant, important part of the patch notes to me.  What does this mean for our mana regen?  Let’s see a few of the other talents that MIGHT help to mitigate this…

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.

First, some math…

Priest Base Mana Pool: 3863
Flash Heal: 18% of Base Mana (696)
Flash Heal (glyph): 627
Flash Heal (imp flash): 592
Flash Heal (additive): 522
Flash Heal (multiplicitive): 533

Flash Heal is so efficient due to our current Rapture.  A recent post I did about Flash Heal gave me an average of 180 mana returned while completely unbuffed (22k mana pool), the bare minimum that I would see in return.  I have the Glyph of Flash Heal, which would put the cost of my average Flash Heal at 447 (as of 3.0).  Raid buffed I sit around 28,000 mana though which would yield an average return of 225, making Flash Heal cost 402.  I realize this is a lot of number crunching that people aren’t interested in but we are looking at a substantial nerf to our mana regen in my opinion.  The new Rapture also fails to return mana from Greater Heal, Penance, or Divine Aegis which are all spells we rely heavily on.

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%.

More Math….  EDIT:  Rapture is 2.5% when 3 points are put into it, not 1.5%.

PWS: 23% of Base Mana (889)
PWS (mental agility): 801
PWS (soul warding): 623
PWS (mental / soul): 534
PWS (mental / soul / rapture w/28k mana): -166 (You would gain 166 mana)
PWS (mental / soul / rapture w/22k mana): -16
Every 1000 mana = 25 mana return from PWS

An interesting talent that allows us to spam PWS a bit more.  While we can’t spam it on the same person due to weakened soul we can toss it more freely around to the raid.  The change in Rapture benefits PWS significantly, as it would be possible (in theory) to gear your intellect to make PWS actually return mana (about 36,000 mana pool)As per above you would only need 22k mana to start recieving benefits from PWS. This means we can expect a nerf to Rapture in the future.  This assumes the shield is fully used and that the 12 second CD mentioned in Rapture ONLY applies to the energizing your shield target.  If  the 12 second CD for energize doesn’t apply to JUST the portion on the target then Rapture will be… useless?

There is a few more changes to the Discipline tree…

  • Penance (Tier 11) Damage increased slightly across all ranks.
  • Grace (Tier 9) now lasts 15 sec. (Previously lasted 8 sec)
  • Focused Will (Tier 7) now increases spell critical strike chance by 1/2/3% in addition to its previous effect.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Meditation (Tier 3) now increases mana regeneration by 17/33/50%. (Previously 10/20/30%)
  • Improved Power Word: Fortitude (Tier 2) now also increases your personal stamina by 2/4%.
  • 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%)

I don’t need to comment on all of these, at best I would say ‘meh’ on most of the changes.  Reflective Shield is still pretty much useless.  My BIG concern… no mention of Power Word: Barrier.

I’m waiting on my patch for the PTR to get done DL’ing and I already have my character copied over.  I’ll do an update as soon as I found out more specifics on things.  So far though I’m very saddened by the changes to Discipline.

The changes to Rapture were best expressed by one of my best healy friends…

Every decision I’ve made about my priest for the last 3 months… what spells to use, what stats to stack, what talents to take…. undone.”    -Kraylessa

EDIT (2.26.09):  World of Matticus: Thoughts on Rapture and Mana Regen – A positive outlook on the changes.


8 thoughts on “RIP: Rapture

  1. 28,000 mana raid buffed? Is that correct? I mean, my gear’s pretty good and I usually only reach like 21 or 22k during raids. As for your actual post, it seems like Blizzard’s really trying to push Disc priests the way of burst heals / mitigation. With this change to rapture, it’s going to slow your mana regen alot, but seriously, disc priests were already to crazy mana effecient that I don’t think this will break the spec.

  2. Ethan James says:

    Aye, I sit 23k unbuffed… I’m shadow atm so my armory won’t show it correctly. I also run with the 65int flask. I usually raid heal so the regen was great. I agree Rapture was OP but this nerf seems a bit extreme. I noticed that the holy priests lose serendipity as well. I’ve also got an 80 shaman whose roughly the same highend geared. I don’t really have mana regen problems on her either but there’s no nerf (yet) to shaman regen (or pally or druid that I saw).

  3. Ah, I usually go with a frostwyrm flask (straight SP) so that makes sense. Yeah, they’re cutting our serendipity but making up for it with the new Holy Concentration effect of giving us an additional 50% when we crit heals. It’s weird that they wouldn’t give something to counteract the rapture nerf since you’re going to be getting less returns and in a more situational sort of way. Hopefully it won’t hit the final live without some minor tweaks…

  4. Mana pools 23k raid buffed and im mainly in Naxx-10 type gear.

    Interesting post.

    Priest healing playstyle is goign to change significantly, especially Disc.

  5. Ethan James says:

    @ Matticus: You are very right sir and after our talk I went back and tried to look at the whole thing from a different light. I do agree that in a world of no regen, any bonus regen is extremely beneficial.

    @ BobTurkey: Yea, with the Glyph of Penance and PWS not having a cooldown it will be a bit weird. It will feel very preventative instead of like actual healing now. I’m looking forward to the new play-style.

  6. @Ethan James – I’ve had a good look at the changes currently on the PTR and assuming the 12s restriction on Rapture is the ‘energise’ part only Disc is going to be basically spamming PW:S and Penance with very little time (GCDs) for anything else.

    Wierdly our other talent mechanics like Divine Aegis and Grace only work off healing, but we’re being encouraged to spam PW:S. Disc looks a bit unfocused ATM. I suppose there is flexability in playstyle though.

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