Sunday, June 21, 2009

3.2.0 Patch Notes: More Qs than Star Trek

Hahaha, I hope you enjoyed my poorly-thought-out title pun. I'm pretty proud of it myself.

So, I normally don't get so huffy about patch notes and game changes, and I know I'm opening myself up here to being called names and flamed at, but oh wells.

First off, the priest changes, har har:

Prayer of Healing: The percentage this spell gains in healing per target has been reduced from 80.7% to 52.6%.

Penance: Cooldown increased to 12 seconds, up from 10 seconds.

Inspiration: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target's armor.

Oooooooook. *ahem*

I will be the first to admit that I am bad at the math behind theorycrafting and spell scaling and all that. But regardless of my ineptitude in that department.... regardless of any differences between spell scaling and actual spell power output.... that's about a 30% nerf to Prayer of Healing.

30% of anything is a lot.

And in the world of WoW, adding 2 seconds onto a spell cooldown is a pretty big deal. I'd add a good chunk of e-rage to the Inspiration buff, but it's always been a mandatory priest talent that added armor, and so I need to do more research into the math of the change before I throw anything yet.

But seriously. I'm not as angry about the pure number changes of the spells as I am about the "WTF??"-ness of these changes. They weren't needed.

They seriously weren't.

Don't try to convince me they were unless you have an actual argument, which leads me to my next point.

I've been ballsy the past few days and ventured to the scary land of the Priest Forums on, and I was in shock. As expected, page after page about the Penance nerf, because, you know, the disc priests are pretty mad, but next to nothing from the holy priests about the PoH change.

The few people who have mentioned their annoyance at the whole situation have been told that the change was needed, for these reasons:

  • Priests were topping meters with an OP glyph and PoH
  • Raids were stacking holy priests
  • PoH is used for only about 2% of Ulduar, and mostly hard modes
  • Higher-end gearing + PoH + the glyph makes encounters candy

Oh ho ho. Really, guys? Let me share my opinion on these point-by-point.

Priests were topping meters with an OP glyph and PoH.

Huh? Sure, there are certain encounters in Ulduar where a holy priest using PoH really shines, but for the most part, at least in my guild's raids, I always come in under our resto druid, and either barely on par or slightly under our resto shaman. Maybe the reason is I am a bad priest. I'd always considered myself a pretty decent holy priest, and our priest CL and I are always right next to each other on WWS, etc., excepting times we die to our own stupidity. So, who are these priests that are consistently topping meters and who are the other healers? That sounds like a very fishy reason to me...

Raids were stacking holy priests.

Yes, because that's totally a new thing. Guilds that are stacking a specific spec and class now were doing the same with other classes before. Class/spec stacking has always occured within some guilds, but that doesn't mean everyone does it. Again, another stupid reason. And let's see what class those guilds start stacking if these changes go live. I bet I could tell you. Mhm.

PoH is only used for about 2% of Ulduar, and mostly hard modes.

Uh.... what? PoH is my #2 spell under Circle of Healing. I use it constantly. A holy priest that is using it for only 2% of Ulduar, and mostly only for hard modes, is either being carried by the other healers or is running in a guild that has cleared enough of Ulduar that everyone is super geared.

Higher-end gearing + PoH + the glyph makes encounters candy.

Now you know the point of gearing up. Congratulations. You've won the game.

I'm so incredibly amused about the utter chaos that ensued with the Circle of Healing nerf, which was needed. This nerf, however, was not. And there seems to be a complete uncare-y-ness about it. ARG.

I dunno... I felt like holy priests were perfect. I know people will disagree with me, and that's fine. Most holy priests who are running with various other healers who know what they are doing are not topping the meters every single time. But at the same time, we aren't at the bottom, either.

They nerfed our MT healing ability and ushered us into a primary raid-healer role, with support in other roles, and now they have nerfed Prayer of Healing. It won't break us by any means, and don't take my rage post as saying such, but until I hear an actual legitimate reason for the random change, I'm going to stay pissed.

And let's not forget the other changes. They've lowered mount levels and answered the prayers of people who hate twinks in BGs. Meh.... fine. Whatever.

HOWEVER, they have killed 2s. I love 2s. My teams have always been in the 2v2 bracket. I did 3v3 once, and have never done a 5v5. Now, I am being told, if I wish to advance myself in Arenaland I need to do "real" arena, because apparently 2v2 ratings will not get me new gear.


Let's see.... what else. Oh yeah!!!!

  • Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead.
  • The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal dungeon daily will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.

Ok, I understand the points that have been made about how this is easier for alts and newer players. I understand that this makes content and gear more accessible to casual players. I understand the argument that this will not cheapen the work done by raiders in Ulduar.

I have always been a proponent of making content that is accessible to the entire player base. I'm a casual player myself. I'm sad I never got to see Sunwell. I really am. And going back and doing it now won't be as awesome. But, at the same time, you don't need to make it stupidly easy, either.

A hardcore raiding guild is going to plow through things much faster than a casual raiding guild or a small guild that has to PUG everything. There is a delicate balance between not making content impossible and making content too accessible too quickly.

People keep saying that it doesn't matter because the badge gear is inferior. Whatever. Naxx is a joke. Naxx was a joke when guilds were first starting it in WotLK, and it is even more of a joke now. I really think that these are changes that should have been held off for much longer than this.

I guess it's just the crazy, random complete overhaul of the game that these notes imply that I'm not pleased with. I'm not trying to say that priests are dead or that stupid drunk people can down Yogg-Saron. I'm just saying that these changes seem sudden, very random, and way too drastic too soon. But it's only PTR, so things can change. Nothing is for sure yet.

Those are my 2 cents. Flame on.


fobok said...

As for the emblems, I think it's only partly about having the casual players catch up. I think it has more to do with the fact that they've been talking about wanting to provide a new incentive for people to keep doing heroic dungeons who already had higher gear.

Averna said...

I just wrote a gigantic post about how I was pissed about the emblem change. Then I realized that it wasn't really the emblem change I was pissed about (because in all actuality, it doesn't affect my main toon - with the exception of invalidating my raiding experience), but I was more pissed about the actual WotLK philosophy of "everyone must see our content in its entirety". Then I proceeded to ramble quite a bit. I dunno.

Anyway, Ima link your post under my 3.2 wrap up post, in case people wanna see what's going on with priests post patch =D

Dan said...

I could be wrong, but I believe the inspiration change is actually a buff to the ability rather than a nerf.

Armor is subject heavily to diminishing returns. As a result, 10% added armor amounts to far less protection than a straight 10% reduction in physical damage. For example, a 10% increase on a 25,000 armor tank would take their armor total to 27,5000, increasing damage absorbed by maybe 2-3%.

In addition, as most tanks hover somewhere in the high 60%-ish range on physical damage prevented by armor (druids used to be able to armor-cap at 75%). Thus 10% raw absorption actually puts many tanks at or a few % OVER what would otherwise be armor-cap.

Dan said...

Heh, 27,500. Not 275,000 :D

Fuyuko said...

@ Dan: 275,000 sounds like an uber buff to me!! =P

Yeah, Inspiration has always been a talent that was mandatory for a holy priest. You didn't think about it, or weigh it against other talents. You took it. End of story. So I guess I never really bothered to look at the math of how it works. That's why I didn't want to comment on it just yet.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. =) It helps a lot.

@Averna: Yeah, I read your post. I think the arguments from both sides are valid. I think the big shocker for everyone is just how fast it happened. =/

@fobok: Hmm, I'd never thought of that. Good point! Now if they'd only make them less boring. =(

Jessabelle said...

Regarding the Inspiration buff, I thought it was more of a PvP thing... i.e. in response to recent armor penetration buffs from the last couple of patches. But, uh, I am utter fail at PvP, so maybe I was wrong.

Prayer of Healing makes me a sad panda. What irritates me is that with the changes to serendipity they were basically like "HEY GAIZ USE UR LONG CASTS MOAR LOL" by encouraging us by speeding up greater heal and prayer of healing. before that, i rarely ever used prayer of healing - it just took too long to cast, and ate up too much mana. Now I'm using it quite a bit. In mini-raids I can focus on healing the tank, and throw out some powerful raid heals with this.

There's no need to nerf it, because even though you can haste it with serendipity to make it a quicker cast, if you do this too much, you will be screwing yourself over - faster cast does NOT mean less mana. If you're overusing PoH, then you'll know pretty quick, because you'll be OOM.

Math is hard, so I'd need to see the numbers, but how much of a difference now is there between the healing power of PoH vs CoH after this nerf? I mean, why even bother with an unsmart PoH when I can use cheaper, faster, smarter CoH?

My assumption is that they are nerfing it because they feel it is now OP with the changes in serendipity making it targetable instead of group only. Doesn't mean I'm okay with it though.

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