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Priest talents - present and future
Hey gang, I was just playing with the talent preview and figuring out what I would or wouldn't use if it went live as is.

Here's a raiding healer spec I came up with, thinking that neither of the Disc/Holy 41pt talents are to me worth giving up some of the treats available in the other.

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I will say though that I do like Pain Suppression and Circle of Renewal, but the trees suffer slightly in the way some class trees used to in the past - you have to take talents that don't dovetail into the main thrust of your intention with the build in order to get to them. Disc is a bit of a hodgepodge - if I'm building to raid heal I don't want to have to take talents boosting Inner Fire, that work when I get critically hit, upping my offensive spells, etc. (Edit: Pain Suppression is self only so I'm not really into it anymore, nice for surviving aggro but meh.)

My most likely build will be more like:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/bc-priest/talents.html?50520001300000000000000000000000000000000503252010051121051551">http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/cla ... 1121051551</a><!-- m -->

With Improved Vampiric Embrace, Power Word: Shield which being Disc is castable in Shadowform, and the new Shadow Heal I expect to be an even more solid backup healer in small group content /while in Shadowform the whole time/. I still of course will be more than competent as a primary healer outside of Shadowform. Improved Shadow Weaving just makes having at least one Shadowpriest on a raid that much more useful and justifiable, too.

My current spec, for comparison, is very similar to the above just sans new talents of course:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/bc-priest/talents.html?50520001300000000000020000000000000000000053252010051120051000">http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/cla ... 1120051000</a><!-- m -->

I switched from Blackout to Spirit Tap in the "future" spec because I'll be levelling again and adventuring in the outside world, so the mana regeneration will be desirable. Right now I don't farm much and just grab a mage and squeeze it beforehand if I do.

Anyone else want to share observations, current or future specs, or comment?

Witch Doctor of the Ironsong Tribe
"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
<grumbles> I spose I'll have to settle for this silly little shadow mend ability...

Almost 50 talent points just in shadow <snickers> I'm a shadowpriest so that's what I do. Wand spec because I use it a ton while leveling. I had to give up two points in meditation to feed into some of the new shadow talents, though I might take two off of my improved mind blast and finish meditation off.

Too many comprimises to take advantage of the new while keeping the old...

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In the end my hope is that I will enjoy playing a pallie or a shaman. Its so much nicer to only have to roll against 3-5 other people for class items instead of fifteen other casters too...
After my initial spastic reaction to the shinies, I took some time to really look at the tree makeup, and weigh the options against my playstyle. While the 41st talents are all impressive, I can't reconcile the cost to get them. I'd be giving up too much that I feel I can't live without, so to speak. I admit being sorely tempted, by outside sources (*eyes the mageling*) as well as a part of myself, by something like this. The possibility of increasing all spell damage to a given target by 10% (( Edited for clarification: the 10% I mention here comes from Misery + Improved Shadow Weaving, and assumes you keep a SWTongue and five ranks of Shadow Weaving up at all times)) plus the various casters' spirit modifier from DS is very yum - seems almost too powerful, unless I'm misunderstanding.

But, being the masochistic type of person that tries to mold every character she plays, regardless of class, into a healbot, I think I've settled on this, or some similar variation. I've been angsting between Spiritual Healing, Spiritual Guidance, Mental Strength, and Mental Agility for nearly as long as I've been playing a priest, never being satisfied with any combination I can come up with. Now, having the ability to max all of them without skimping in other areas has me all fluttery. Their relative usefulness as compared to the deeper talents might be debatable, but I think this will work very well for me.

And I don't think I'm fooling anyone. I'm still giddy.
Vil, that seems like an incredible healing/support spec.

I don't think Improved Divine Spirit gives people an extra 10% dmg/healing.. it sounds like it increases dmg/healing based on the person's spirit. So, if someone has 300 spirit, and you put IDS on them, they then go up to 340 spirit, PLUS they now have +34 to dmg/healing. If someone only had 100 spirit, they'd have 140 spirit and +14 dmg/healing. So the initial spirit of the person you're buffing matters, but still, it's free extra damage to everyone with a mana bar because even if you don't go out of your way to get spirit items, everyone has some spirit.

That looks like a very strong spec though, I'd definitely want you healing me in an instance. Wink

I've been looking at this priest stuff lately too. I just the other day brought my priest Stalfos out of retirement and got him invited into the guild. I made him a long time ago and was shadow, but when the first priest revamp when live, I respecced him to mainly holy to play with the new holy toys. However, I found the BGs to be very frustrating with him, and I'd always wanted him to be shadow anyway for RP reasons. So I switched him back to shadow. I knew damn well though that most of the time in groups I would be expected to heal and wouldn't get to take advantage of some of the shadow tree... so that new Shadow Mend talent is actually quite appealing to me. Still not main healer material, obviously, but it'll help to solve the one weak of being in shadowform. Plus, if you get counterspelled while trying to cast it, you can just drop shadowform and cast holy heals. Wink

Oh, btw, I went into ZF last night before the server went down with a couple of Ironsong folks, a rogue, and another shadow priest.. the other priest stayed out of shadowform so she could use renews, but her and I both were using Vampiric Embrace the whole time, and that was doing a hell of a good job keeping everyone's health topped off. Granted, Kretol was there and was dropping things much faster than a regular group of that range would have, but still... I was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, Stalfos hit 50 last night and currently has this spec:
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and will theoretically be this spec at 60:
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or something like it. I'm still not totally sure if Shadow Afinity or Silent Resolve would be better for me. I'm pretty sure I would drop Spirit Tap and Wand Spec for Unbreakable Will and Shadow Focus, since I wouldn't be needing to gather exp. (Until BC that is.) Also, any thoughts on Improved Fade? Is that worth having, or should I stick with putting those last couple points into overall threat reduction?

For BC, I'd probably do something like this:
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I'm not sold on Shadow Power or Focused Mind, since they only help 2 and 3 spells each, respectively. They'd also both benefit the most someone who had Improved Mind Blast, a talent that I'm not really inclined to get since that's 5 points to help only one spell. Granted, a 15% extra chance to crit is pretty damn nice, but on the other hand, shadow priests don't have any way to increase the ciritcal strike dmg of their spells, like just about every other class can. Sad

Blah blah blah.. I'm still a newbie at this whole priest thing, but I dig it so far. Any general advice as far as being a shadow priest goes? Do you shadowy folks find it frustrating, or are there enough situations that let you take full advantage of your shadow that it's OK?

I play a Shadow Priest because it appealed to me from an RP perspective as a trollish priest and because I enjoy "shadow" based powers and abilities for RPG characters when presented well. I felt these were. In actual play I levelled to 60th and acted as a healer (sometimes primary sometimes secondary) in every instance up to and including MC and Onyxia as well as ZG and the last two bosses in AQ20 as a Shadow Priest.

My attitude is that since I play a character that can perform the healing duties I have listed above /and/ pump out substantial single target DPS (which simultaneously heals my group and increases the damage output of other shadow casters and, in the expansion, casters of all stripes) I don't get frustrated by healing. Three of the eight classes can heal, all can do damage. My damage is justified by the healing it /also/ brings as well as the damage boost to other players in a group or raid. I also get tools like stun, silence, and slow in the form of Blackout, Mind Flay and well Silence.

If you are well acquainted with all the tools in your toolkit as a Shadow Priest and willing to bring out the right tool for the right job, and enjoy figuring out what that is on the fly moment to moment, Shadow Priest is an awesome build. Those who prefer to focus purely on the DPS aspect tend to run into bouts of frustration and burnout. I know that Efluvia can attest to this.

The above said, I have spent time as a Holy/Disc and as a Disc/Holy priest as well (as Tae, at top level, raiding and instancing/soloing but not PVPing). They were perfectly functional. My personal preference is to have what healing ability I have (supplemented for staying power by my Discipline points) and use most of my talents to buy the extra tools that Shadow provides, only expanded by the Expansion. Appropriately enough.

The age old arguments that Shadow Priests can't heal or that that's all they should do in groups or raids are both bunkum as far as I'm concerned. Efluvia is more deeply Shadow specced than I and has received (to her chagrin) myriad compliments on her healing prowess when people have needed her help outside the Tribe. I say this because I know no one inside the Tribe would impugn either of us - we are an especially loving bunch to our healing classes most of the time. Many are not so charitable and level blame on healers first when things go wrong.

Now that I see that I will be able to be in Shadowform providing Vampiric Embrace to a 5-man party and with Shadow Mend still throw the equivalent of a Flash Heal, more or less, I'm all the more set on sticking with Shadow. If I had that ability currently I could do most of the 5-man content in the game save a handful of bosses without ever stepping out of SF save for emergencies.

Naruth points out something key to my analysis - while there are many mid level Disc and Holy talents that are a great value the top tier talents, though good, don't grab hold of us for the most part. The new top end Shadow talents make me that much better at doing exactly what I want to be doing - dealing mana efficient damage that also heals the group and buffs others' dps. Or healing. The option is open. For pure healing priests like Naruth and some others, the new points are gravy - 10 more points to spend on great useful stuff that one couldn't afford before all at once. I felt that way when I was out of Shadow too.

Hope some of this helps. It's all my personal opinion though grounded firmly in experience. I have no high level alts and have spent almost all my time since soon after launch playing a Priest, grouping since low level. I don't claim to be an authority; I only state my observations and personal analysis.

"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
Thanks Tae.

I'm definitely not looking at the priest as a nothing-but-DPS option. (Cage fills that role just fine. Wink ) I've played the other healing classes to a lesser extent. I had a shaman up to 29, I've got a paladin on a RPPVP server up to 35, and I have my druid, Stome.

With Stome, I really enjoy the versatility and staying power of being feral. He's great at soloing and can switch to fill whatever role a group needs. But I found it frustrating to haul 2 sets of gear around, and as a healer, I didn't feel like I had a robust enough set of tools to deal with things starting to go downhill. (Namely, no shield, fade, or flash heal.) I was either in my feral gear and tough as nails, or I was in my healer gear and felt like my HPs stunk and I had no way of shaking aggro once I had gotten it. Oh, and the few times I tried to PvP with him, I wanted to bang my head against a wall.

I actually main-healed VC and Gnomer with my paladin, and received tells that I was better than a lot of priests the people had grouped with in the past. Paladins have the staying power I like as a druid (in bear form, that is) along with nice quick efficient heals and a shield. The blessings are really nice too. I like the class a lot, and if any other race than BEs could be them on the horde side, I'd be planning on rolling one up for sure.

I didn't really get a chance to main-heal with a shaman.

Anyway, I've done a bit of healing in the past, I have no problem focusing on that when the situation calls for it. Shadowform can drop at a moment's notice if I need to and those holy spells will start flying. But yeah, as you said, Tae, the shadow tools can actually be extremely helpful as well given the right group makeup. In fact, I was actually very pleased to see you be allowed to use Shadowform in a ZG raid one of the few times I was able to attend with Cage. That kinda threw a switch in my head, "Hey, these guys are cool, they didn't just tolerate a Shadow-spec priest, they encouraged her!". Stalfos had been basically my tailoring/enchanting slave for a while, but seeing that inspired me to bring him out of "retirement" and start leveling him again. Hopefully my WoW-ADD will allow me to get him to 60 so I can experience some of the higher-end dungeons from a different perspective.

I'm just babbling now... :roll:
The Tribe exists so we can play the way we want. We aren't going to do that while telling you how to play your character. So yeah, we try to use people's preferrered talents best we can within the limits of what content Blizzard provides. Sometimes all of us of healing classes need to be healing for stiff fights, other times we can just do our own things. Winger reminds me to put her in a group for Leader of the Pack and if Flu is around I will heal to give her room to DPS. If we are a little short on healing we'll try to give some of the non-Resto shamans turns on DPS mode.

Whatever works in the situation given the tools at hand. Of course I find that our healing folks are so good that if we were all purely healing specced our jobs would get boring. In the early days of MC I would be furiously throwing shields and heals and drinking between pulls. Now I can hold some back in case of an add or emergency, or do DPS for a while if everything is really solidly in hand. ZG is the same way. Even on some of the boss fights now I have to work to spend my mana. Hurling some shadows around is a good way to end the fight sooner in those situations.

I'm looking forward to trying a Paladin in the expansion. If they'd always been Horde I might be one now but I don't have an interest in the Alliance as such. Should be fun.

"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
What is this, the Pick on Flu Hour? :evil:

WoW has been my first MMO experience. I played all the classes available to the Horde and was frustrated by all of them until I found the priest. Here was a class that could hold its own in practically any situation. Its damage dealing capacity was frightening, the ability to hide behind your shield made you invulnerable and shadowform was so cool looking. Flu hit 29 and lurked in the PvP circuit for ages, maul and fearing warriors and warlocks alike.

I enjoyed playing her so much I decided to actually level her up all the way. I roleplayed her as the epitomy of evil and naughtiness, a paragon of the Shadow.

Then I hit my first instance as Flu, thanks to a "Want 2 come 2 Ulda" tell, and thencame an earthshaking realization - priests were expected to heal and only to heal. I was horrified. Here I was, able to easily out dps rogues and last longer than any other class in a firefight and they wanted me to heal *them*.

I begrudgingly took up the mantle of healer since I immediately discovered that no one else wanted to or would heal. I mulled through the game now, completely miserable at having discovered that this awesome class was boxed up in a little package called "main healer." I could do more than any of these helpless peons and yet I couldn't because without me they would die.

Eventually I met a marvelous hunter named Jeriaz who actually had some foresight and understanding. He would invite an additional priest or druid to heal and demanded that I go shadowform and dps. Many times I proved a shadowpriest to be more valuable than any other class - dps like crazy, dump aggro, drop shadow and heal if it became necessary, fear, silence, stun, group heal, off tank, mind control, dispell, shackle, buff. It was a sad day when the pair of us hit 60 - I got boxed up again and he found end game raiding a drudge, eventually leaving much.

Fortunately I had joined Ironsong. Tae and the other healers went out of their way to appease my desires to remain shadow and I was, and am, very appreciative. Unfortunately, Blizzard has done nothing to support this subclass they have created with itemization, making it next to impossible to get geared out because our class sets are rubbish for damage.

Unless we start doing AQ40... :twisted:

So that's my rant on why I like shadow dps and why I loathe healing. Its not addressed to any of the previous posted, but moreso a confession of a shadow priest and how I got this way.
From my perspective there was no going out of my way involved, Flu. It was never "encourage the beleaguered Shadowpriest" or any such thing. I never grouped with people who told me how to play my character so I didn't plan on doing so myself in raids save that situationally everyone should be ready to use any ability that they have.

Again, especially once we have certain encounters down pat, if the Shadow priests were healing all the time some healer would be bored and the mobs wouldn't be dying as fast. : )

"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
I actually prefer to heal (I've no intentions of being a shadow priest, though I respect your power!) and my spec will be very similar to Vil's healbot spec.

I agree that the 41 talents in heal and disc arent that great, but it'll be nice to beef up some of the other areas in those two trees that I previously had to pick and choose over!
"...if the Shadow priests were healing all the time some healer would be bored"

some healer = me


They've updated the BC talents page. Here's the priest part:


* Shades of Darkness ability replaced with Shadowfiend.
* Focused Mind replaces Improved Shadow Weaving and has been reduced to three ranks reducing mana cost of affected spells by 5/10/15%.
* Shadow Power has been moved to Focused Mind’s previous position.
* Misery has been moved to the Shadow tree, replacing Shadow Power.
* New talent Enlightenment replaces Misery in the Discipline tree.
* Improved Shadow Weaving has been removed.
* New talent Vampiric Touch replaces Shadow Mend.
* Misery now affects Vampiric Touch instead of Holy Fire.
* Focused Power now affects Feared targets instead of Dazed targets.
* Improved Renew tooltip updated.
* Inspiration tooltip updated.
* Holy Reach tooltip updated.
* Spirit of Redemption now provides a Spirit increase and the duration has been increased.
* Surge of Light has swapped positions with Blessed Resilience and has been reduced to two ranks providing 25/50%.
* Lightwell has been reduced to a 6 minute cooldown and the effect duration has been decreased to 6 seconds.
* New talent Holy Concentration in the Holy tree.
* New talent Circle of Healing replaces Circle of Renewal.

Personally, I'm kinda disappointed to see Shadow Mend is off the table. I know I'm in the minority on that, as it seems most shadow priests wanted some kinda uber shadow spell as the 41 point talent... but personally, I woulda liked access to a flash heal-type thing without having to drop out of Shadow Form.

But oh well, it seems to be gone now. How do folks feel about Vampiric Touch? There's no cooldown on it, so that's nice, and it returns mana to everyone in the party, which is cool...

I guess Shadowfiend is better than the 3 shades thing that they were going to put in before, if only because it returns mana. I think that spell's usefulness will ultimately depend on how much health that fiend has for the 15 seconds it's alive, how much dmg it does, and whether or not its damage scales +dmg/heal and shadow increasing talents. (i.e., whether it's considered a pet and stays static or a shadow spell and scales.) Hopefully it will increase with our shadow talents and gear and become a very useful spell, and not just a little 5 minute novelty spell.

I'm still "meh" about Shadow Power. A 15% increase to crit chance is fantastic, but the fact that it's only going to help two spells makes me not really want to blow 5 talent points on it. That's my feeling on Focused Mind too, it just doesn't affect enough stuff for me to think that it's a very efficient use of all those talent points.

Here's a side question... How do you guys feel about Improved Fade? Is that worth putting into any build (BC or current), or are those points better just put into Shadow Affinity or Silent Resolve?
Nos called me in the middle of class with the good news - Shadow mend is dead! Huzzah!

Everyone knows my feelings on Shadow Mend. In my opinion it was Blizzard finally telling priests flat out "you are healers, deal with it." Shadow tree was only ever about dealing damage while providing group benefits which is another reason a healing spell in the middle of it irked me.

This new spell looks interesting though it leaves out some wording. Is it a debuff? How long does the debuff last? Over all I like it - its damage but also provides another reason for the mages and warlocks to love me :p

I like the fiend buff. All of these new mana conservation and reclaimation talents are making me quite happy.

Shadow power will almost be a necessity to make Shadow Word Death effective - if your target does not die from that spell you are going to be smarting for it. Plus it will make mind blast that much more effective - as it is it draws away a large chunk of your dps unless it crits.

As for improved fade I would say don't waste the talents. If you are shadow and doing 300+ dps you'll need the aggro reduction talents more because you will draw aggro alot with mind blast alone. I have all the talents and still get in trouble when I nail a critical mind blast with critical vampiric embrace heals :p Its only then that I need fade.

My turn: is misery a debuff on the target or a numerical buff to your damage stats?
I may have to start Nos back up again.
Yeah, I was wondering that about Misery too. I assume it's a debuff because I believe it's intended to help everyone, not just you. (i.e., more raid viability and such.) At least with Improved Shadow Weaving it was using the same debuff slot... with Misery it would seem that every shadow spell we cast on a target will actually be adding two debuffs: VE and Misery. That seems kinda unnecessary, I wonder why they can't just put Improved Shadow Weaving back.

I'm liking the concept of Vampiric Touch the more I think about it. It's more damage, which means more VE healing, which is good. Everything will stack nicely.

There's an interesting thread on the WoW Priest forums discussing the math behind having a party of nothing but shadow priests, and how they could basically be putting out huge DPS non-stop and not losing any mana or health. It's a cool concept, and one that just might work with all of these stacking, synergistic abilities. (You might want a warlock around for Curse of Shadows and Improved Shadowbolt too... everyone helping everyone else. Wheee!)

btw, just saw this on the priest forum too:

At level 70 (and unbuffed in any way), the shadowfiend currently generates around 2800 mana over its duration. The shadowfiend deals shadow damage though, so it gains the benefit of effects such as Shadow Weaving.


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