Blizzard (fairly) recently asked the player base for their opinions on their classes: what they feel makes their class more/less fun, how they feel their class performs and what they would like to see for their class in the future:
We’re looking for feedback on your class as we work on changes and adjustments for a future game update. While we may be making some specific class changes in 4.3, what we’re looking for in this thread is overall feeling on the class as a whole for more long term changes in the future.
As this is one of the few chances to voice your stance on the class(es) you love to play with a good likelihood it will be read, you should seize the opportunity. Now. Go on, spit spot!
Now, without further ado, here is my feedback (on the official forums, it can be found in these three posts):
What type of content do you focus on?
If PvE, what type of PvE?
Mostly normal mode raids
If PvP, what type of PvP
The occasional battleground here and there
What are your biggest quality-of-life issues?
Having two buttons for Dispel Magic / Cure Disease is odd — to say the least. I know Dispel Magic works differently from the other classes’ dispel abilities in that it can dispel both friendly and enemy targets, but the way it currently is, I first have to identify what type of ailment the player has and then choose the spell to dispel them accordingly, which leads me to let healers of other classes dispel most of the time (they are faster due to not having the first step of identifying). I’d therefore prefer the shaman model with Dispel Magic for enemies and “Cure Ailment” (or whatever name you could come up with) for friendly targets. Maybe even remove Dispel Magic (the enemy target spell) and just use Mass Dispel anytime you want to remove a helpful spell from a target for balance / anti-QQ-of-other-classes reasons; you’d then have one spell for curing diseases and harmful magic and one expensive AOE spell to cure harmful magic and remove helpful magic from enemies. Shadow priests could also get a enemy dispel effect to the new spell as a specialisation bonus (much like Holy and Discipline get a second magic effect dispel). Fair trade-off, I think.
Discipline — Either give us back our old Divine Aegis graphic or use it for something else. It is way too pretty for not being used at all!
What makes playing your class more fun?
The big selling point of the priest as a healer is that they have two immensely different specs for healing with very distinct foci. The plethora of healing spells the priest has by just being a priest is extended by their unique healing abilities and mechanics. Having the option to spec into Atonement and heal via damage is a neat concept (albeit not very viable at the moment), and Chakra is a blast to fiddle with. This variety of specs, abilities and mechanics makes the priest the (in my opinion) most adaptable healer in the game.
Also, the relative freedom when it comes to secondary stats as a priest is really good (although Spirit seems to prevail as Holy by quite a bit of a margin). Not having as many haste plateaus as other healers (see: druids) and not feeling the need to stack one specific secondary stat ’til Kingdom come (see: paladins) is really nice.
What makes playing your class less fun?
Holy – Although Holy priests have become better at tank healing, they are still lagging behind every other healing spec when it comes to keeping the tanks alive. Even in Chakra: Serenity the direct heals don’t heal nearly as much as when you cast them as Discipline. This prompts most raiding Holy priests to default to raid healing and staying in Chakra: Sanctuary at all times (with exceptions few and far between). Some spells unfortunately feel very lackluster (Sanctuary, Renew), which only makes the situation for Holy worse in either Chakra state. Also, both Chakra states should have an instant spell that can trigger them for adapting quicker (Renew for triggering Serenity would probably be easiest). I would love to see an active way for Holy to get back some mana (mana regain on changing your Chakra state, maybe?). On top of all that, the Holy Mastery, while looking nice on the meters, doesn’t really do much to prevent anyone’s deaths.
Discipline – Atonement is, as it stands, neither very effective nor desirable. That might be a bit extreme since there are some fights where Atonement healing is feasible, but you can just as well heal those fights without Atonement. That is not to say that I would want to have a fight where Atonement outperforms every other healer, but if there is no fight where it really shines but many fights where it is not really viable (especially in 10 mans where you are more restricted in your healing compositions) there is no real point in healing as Atonement. Also, some hitboxes make Atonement healing flat-out impossible.
While tank healing is very varied and fun to do, raid healing rotations as Discipline are rather spammy and boring (more on that below).
How do you feel about your “rotation”?
Holy – Both raid healing and tank healing “rotations” are fine as holy. The only thing missing is the bang for your buck when tank healing in Chakra: Serenity. The spells are there, the mechanics (renewing Renew, Serenity giving a buff to crit) are there, the only thing missing is the throughput. A big part of this (apart from the heals healing noticably less than Discipline’s heals, even in Chakra: Serenity) is Renew: despite having multiple talents, a Chakra state and a Prime glyph to support it, it still feels very lackluster and doesn’t do much. And except for the initial direct healing (which is laughable), mastery doesn’t affect Renew at all. Also, Body and Soul can be quite counter-productive if you Leap-of-Faith someone out of an effect and they can run back there all the faster. Haha.
The lack of a cooldown (or the lackluster quality of the cooldowns Holy has to offer) is another thing. Guardian Spirit, preventing as many tank deaths as it does, is only REALLY effective if the tank would die at the end of its duration or if other healers are pumping their mana into the tank at the same time. The added healing of the ability is nice, the healing the tank up if they would’ve died is nice, but they seem to work somewhat against each other. I’d like to see Guardian Spirit reward the priest by still healing the tank for some amount of their health at the end of its duration of the healers managed to keep the tank alive or giving them some mana back when it ends.
Lightwell is a really nice and really effective spell if your fellow players can be trusted to click it. Being able to click it from a farther distance has been one of the best quality-of-life changes to date, but it is still something you cannot control at all (if you don’t want to scream at your group to use it all the time).
Sanctuary is another spell that is quite lackluster. It doesn’t really heal much relative to its enormous mana cost. The only time it is worthwhile to cast Sanctuary is when all of your 25 raiders can stand in the puddle of glowy healing goodness (since it ignores the 6-person rule the other ground-effect heals follow). A change to Sanctuary (see below) would, therefore, be very much needed.
Discipline – Healing tanks as Discipline is really good at the moment. You have a great variety of spells to use, and get rewarded with appropriate numbers.
Healing the raid as Discipline, however effective it might be, is really spammy and boring. Prayer of Healing is the only spell in our toolbox that can be used to heal groups at all. Need more raid healing? PoH moar!
Both – Both hymns are currently rather lackluster. Many priests only wait for one tick of Hymn of Hope since the subsequent mana gain is not all that big; the only two reasons for casting Divine Hymn at the moment are 1. to catch your breath after all the PoH spamming, and 2. to increase the other healers’ healing by 10% for a short time.
What’s on your wish list for your class?
- a worthwhile Holy Nova (give it a cooldown, erase the damage and make it somewhat like Circle of Healing or maybe even a HoT like Wild Growth – this would be a good place for a major glyph)
- more AoE healing spells as Discipline (maybe through Holy Nova change above)
- change Atonement to make it more viable (maybe alter the talent Strength of Soul to also shorten Weakened Soul via Atonement Healing)
- increase the range of Atonement healing. It is still only one person that’s healed, for Ghostcrawler’s sake!
- Alternatively, make Atonement targetable (or let it hit its „primary“ healing target for a certain percentage, no matter who it heals)
- change Inspiration’s placement in the Holy talent tree. As Discipline, I shouldn’t feel the NEED to spec 7 points into Holy to be a good tank healer.
- Change spirit to be a more meaningful stat for Holy. If you want spirit to be a desirable stat for Holy, give it a small conversion rate to spell power. This would also help with the lacking throughput that Holy experiences.
- Change Holy’s mastery. Please.
- Cure Disease/Dispel Magic as one spell with Mass Dispel being the only offensive dispel ability for Holy/Discipline (if you can give Holy and Discipline an extra magic effect, you can retain Shadow’s ability to dispel enemy targets with the „new“ spell)
- use the Divine Aegis effect for SOMETHING
- make Renew stronger, at least for Holy priests
- make Sanctuary worthwhile (maybe make it so that in addition to the – small – healing players standing in Sactuary receive 10% less damage)
- instant spells to trigger both Chakra states for faster adapting
- increase Hymn of Hope’s and Divine Hymn’s effects
- maybe give Leap of Faith a small healing component to encourage more priests to use it more often
What spells do you use the least?
Holy Nova is probably the only spell in the healing arsenal I rarely use (and if I do, I do it for comedic effect). And even as a Holy priest, I rarely use Renew on someone else than the tank if I don’t have to (e.g. movement intensive periods of a fight).