Thursday, October 14, 2010

End of Wotlk

Patch 4.0 went live yesterday. To me, this marks the conclusion of Wrath of the Lich King. Talents and class mechanics will be tuned for 85, so the game experience in the next few month will shift constantly until a few month after the launch of Cataclysm. As a result of this, I think I'm done with WoW for now.

My highlights for Wotlk are the following:

  • Full clear Naxx 10 in a pug for the first time
  • Full clear ICC 10 in a pug for the first time
  • Completing Benediction quest line
  • Wiping on Sindy 10 for 4 hours in a pug and witnessing the raid leader raging and kicking 1 warrior and 3 more warrior replacements
  • Healing Heroic Hall of Reflection
  • Holy Nova farming in Icecrown
  • Winning a Battered Hilt in Pit of Saron on the first day returning from hiatus. (I sold it)
  • Doing 2s arena with my DK partner and getting Hot Streak with him having 500 resilience and moving with a touch pad. I suppose we got lucky. We finished off with 1100 rating 5 days later on the night before he quit WoW, had a blast, best partner ever. Vent helps, but I think I made his ears bleed on one of our match days.
  • Getting Twilight Vanquisher title in a pug and had mount ninjaed by a DK. You may ask why it's on Master Loot, the answer is the DK kicked everyone but 3 guildies from the raid when Sarth was at 1%. So it wasn't on ML, but we weren't getting anything. I didn't really care about the drake, but trade chat was crazy afterward, admittingly I had fun watching the drama unfold itself.
  • Pug finish Ruby Sanctum 10 and 25
  • Took a resto druid for my pug and watch him rocking ToC 10 and later ToCG 10 with 4300gs. He two healed with another resto druid. He was good, gearscore fails.
  • Finally got enchanting to skill cap after 2 years.
  • Finally managed to pick an alt class/spec that I enjoy and can commit to level - feral bear tank.
  • Writing this blog
I know my "Highlights" are not Val'anyr or Light of Dawn but they are personally perspectives. I don't play all that much, usually a few weeks of hardcore gaming then a good half a year of hiatus. Regardless, Wotlk was fun. Dual spec was a nice addition. Smite was relatively broken compare with what it was in TBC and sadly, only more broken in Cata but we'll see.

Peace out.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beta 12694 Talent Builds

The talent trees had gone through a lot of changes since my last post. I have been holding off on commenting on them until now because they look very unfinished, especially the holy tree. However, the latest beta build gave me some ideas, so here is a post on what I think so far.

Before I start, let's refresh our memory on the principle changes of the talent tree design in Cataclysm.

Available talent points have been reduced to 41 points, averaging 1 point per 2 levels. You must put at least 31 points in a single tree before the other trees are unlocked and available to you. This means any previously viable hybrid spec xx/28/0 or alike will no longer be allowed in the game.

So what does this mean to Smite priest? I think devastation was my first thought. But really, it only means one thing - Power Infusion is no longer available to the standard Smite spec, a major dps loss.

PI had been in the Smite spec since TBC. They removed Searing Light, they removed Enlightenment, they removed all the hit and pushback talents last build, but none of that concerned me as much as this change. What sadden me is that this change is pretty much irreversible due to tree balancing. Shadow priest must not have access to PI because it will make them overpowered. Therefore, PI will most likely remain where it is in tier 3 or even deeper tier until launch.

Aside from the bad news, what is new? Well, as of today it seems Veiled Shadow will now be available to Smite priests, so I predict we can kiss our mana issue goodbye.

Build I: Standard Smite 8/31/2

Holy Tree

The top part of the tree is pretty much free territory. I'm not a fan of renew myself so I placed all the points into talents that improves direct healing. Improved Holy Nova, Body and Soul, and the new Surge of Light will make this an affective AoE farming build. 31 points will also ensure solid healing should you wish to take on that role.

Shadow Tree

Two points in Veiled Shadow will reduce the cooldown of Shadowfiend by 2 minutes. Three minutes Shadowfiend will make life a LOT easier on our mana so rejoice.

Discipline Tree

Not much to be said here except that there is simply not enough points to fill every talent we need. Archangel will give us solid mana back when we are really in trouble. It's great for farming but for serious dps, I don't see us using it often because it removes our dps buff.

On the side note, I think a discipline pvp build with 3 minutes Shadowfiend will be one sick experience in arena or battleground. Shadow priest with Archangel will also be very fun to play. I think Blizzard did promise %Spirit to %Hit conversion talent so there is still hope for a solid Smite build, but for now, I hope they don't butcher anything else next patch.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Smite: Priest Cataclysm Talent Preview

Blizzard has released another preview of the priest talent tree in Cataclysm. Here is everything copy/pasted from mmo-champion. There are a lot of new Holy DPS support talents in both the discipline and the holy tree, excellent, excellent, time to get smiting!

Anyway, here's the new cata talent calculator courtesy of mmo-champion.

Discipline Talent Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)

  • Unbreakable Will (5 ranks available) - Reduces the duration of stun, fear, and silence effects done to you by an additional 6/12/18/24/30%.
  • Twin Disciplines (5 ranks available) - Increases the damage and healing done by your instant spells and the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by 1/2/3/4/5%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)

  • Penitence (3 ranks) - Increases the critical effect chance of your Smite and Penance spells by 5/10/15%.
  • Improved Inner Fire (3 ranks available) - Increases the effect of your Inner Fire spell by 15/30/45%.
  • Focused Power (2 ranks available) - Reduces the cast time of your Mind Control spell by 0.3/0.5 seconds, and your Mass Dispel cast time is reduced by 0.5/1 second.
  • Martyrdom (2 ranks available) - Gives you a 50/100% chance to gain the Focused Casting effect that lasts for 6 seconds after being the victim of a melee or ranged critical strike. The Focused Casting effect reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting priest spells and decreases the duration of interrupt effects by 10/20%.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)

  • Atonement (3 ranks) - When you deal damage with Smite, you instantly heal a nearby low-health friendly target within 40 yards equal to 15/30/45% of the damage dealt.
  • Inner Focus (1 rank available) - Instant - 1.5 min cooldown - When activated, reduces the mana cost of your next spell by 100% and increases its critical effect chance by 25% if it is capable of a critical effect.
  • Improved Power Word: Shield (3 ranks available) - Increase the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by 5/10/15%.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)

  • Evangelism (2 ranks available) - When you cast Smite you gain Evangelism, increasing the damage done by your Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova and Penance spells by 2/4% and reducing the mana cost of those spells by 3/6% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Mental Agility (3 ranks available) - Reduces the mana cost of your instant cast spells by 4/7/10%.
  • Improved Mana Burn (2 ranks available) - Reduces the cast time of your Mana Burn spell by 0.5/1 seconds.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)

  • Archangel (1 rank available) - Consumes your Evangelism effects, instantly restoring 3% of your total mana and increasing your healing done by 3% for each stack. Also allows you to channel Penance while moving. Lasts 18 seconds.
  • Enlightenment (3 ranks available) - Increases your total mana and total health by 2/4/6%.
  • Power Word: Barrier (1 rank available) - Requires 2 points in Improved Power Word: Shield - 13383 Mana - 40 yd range - 0.5 sec cast - 3 min cooldown - Summons a holy barrier on the target location that absorbs 293 damage done to party or raid members within it each time they take damage. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. The barrier lasts for 15 seconds or until it absorbs 1955 damage.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)

  • Reflective Shield (2 ranks available) - Causes 22/45%% of the damage you absorb with Power Word: Shield to reflect back at the attacker. This damage causes no threat.
  • Soul Warding (3 ranks available) - Requires 1 point in Power Word: Barrier - Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 1/2/3 seconds, and reduces the mana cost or your Power Word: Shield by 5/10/15%.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)

  • Divine Aegis (3 ranks available) - Critical heals create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 10/20/30% of the amount healed. Lasts 12 seconds.
  • Power Infusion (1 rank available) - Requires 2 points in Enlightenment - 3294 Mana - 30 yd range - Instant cast - 2 min cooldown - Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds.
  • Improved Flash Heal (3 ranks available) - 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.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)

  • Renewed Hope (2 ranks available) - Increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal, Greater Heal and Penance (Heal) spells by 2/4% on targets afflicted by the Weakened Soul effect, and you have a 50/100% chance to reduce all damage taken by 3% for 1 minute to all friendly party and raid targets when you cast Power Word: Shield. This effect has a 15-second cooldown.
  • Rapture (3 ranks available) - When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled, you are instantly energized with 1.5/2/2.5% of your total mana, and you have a 33/66/100% chance to energize your shielded target with 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy or 32 runic power. This effect can only occur once every 12 seconds.
  • Aspiration (2 ranks available) - Reduces the cooldown of your Inner Focus, Power Infusion, Pain Suppression and Penance spells by 10/20%.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)

  • Focused Will (3 ranks available) - After taking a critical hit you gain the Focused Will effect, reducing all damage taken by 2/3/4% and increasing healing effects on you by 3/4/5%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 8 seconds.
  • Pain Suppression (1 rank available) - 1647 Mana - 40 yd range - Instant cast - 3 min cooldown -Instantly reduces a friendly target's threat by 5%, reduces all damage taken by 40% and increases resistance to Dispel mechanics by 65% for 8 seconds.
  • Grace (2 ranks available) - Your Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Penance spells bless the target with Grace, increasing all healing received from the Priest by 2/4%. This effect will stack up to 3 times. Effect lasts 15 seconds. Grace can only be active on one target at a time.

Tier 10

  • Borrowed Time (5 ranks available) - Grants 5/10/15/20/25% spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield, and increases the amount absorbed by your Power Word: Shield equal to 4/8/12/16/20% of your spell power.

Tier 11

  • Penance (1 rank available) - Enemy: 30 yd range - Friendly: 40 yd range - 3294 Mana - Channeled - 12 sec cooldown - Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing 394 to 439 Holy damage to an enemy, or 1201 to 1354 healing to an ally instantly and every 1 second for 2 seconds.

Holy Talent Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)

  • Holy Focus (2 ranks available) - Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting any Holy spell by 35/70%.
  • Searing Light (3 tanks available) - Increases the damage of your Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova and Penance spells by 4/8/12%.
  • Divine Fury (5 ranks available) - Reduces the cast time of your Smite, Holy Fire, Heal and Greater Heal spells by 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 seconds.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)

  • Divine Accuracy (2 ranks available) - Increases the chance to hit with your Smite, Holy Fire, Holy Nova and Penance spells by 10/20%.
  • Empowered Healing (5 ranks available) - Your Greater Heal spell gains an additional 6/12/18/24/30% and your Flash Heal, Heal, and Binding Heal gain an additional 3/6/9/12/15% of your bonus healing effects.
  • Spell Warding (5 ranks available) - Reduces all spell damage taken by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)

  • Desperate Prayer (1 rank available) - 3706 Mana - Instant cast - 2 min cooldown - Instantly heals the caster for 4995 to 5876.
  • Improved Renew (3 ranks available) - Increases the amount healed by your Renew spell by 5/10/15%.
  • Inspiration (3 ranks available) - Reduces your target's physical damage taken by 3/7/10% for 15 seconds after getting a critical effect from your Flash Heal, Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, Prayer of Healing, or Circle of Healing spell.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)

  • Healing Prayers (2 ranks available) - Reduces the mana cost of your Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending by 10/20%.
  • Improved Healing (3 ranks available) - Reduces the mana cost of your Lesser Heal, Heal, Greater Heal, Divine Hymn and Penance spells by 5/10/15%.
  • Blessed Recovery (3 ranks available) - Requires 1 point in Spell Warding - After being struck by a melee or ranged critical hit, Blessed Recovery heals you for 5% of the damage taken over 6 seconds. Additional critical hits taken during the effect increase the healing received.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)

  • Holy Reach (2 ranks available) - Increase the range or your Smite and Holy Fire spells and the radius of your Prayer of Healing, Holy Nova, Divine Hymn and Circle of Healing by 10/20%.
  • Spirit of Redemption (1 rank available) - Increases total Spirit by 5% and upon death, the priest becomes the Spirit of Redemption for 15 seconds. The Spirit of Redemption cannot move, attack, be attacked or targeted by any spells or effects. While in the form the priest can cast any healing spell free of cost. When the effect ends, the priest dies.
  • Deliverance [PH] (3 ranks available) - When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 3/6/9%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 20 seconds. **PH. Will likely need to be replaced or updated**

Tier 6 (Left to Right)

  • Surge of Light (2 ranks available) - Your spell critical strikes have a 25% chance to cause your next Smite or Flash Heal spell to be instant cast, cost no mana but be incapable of a critical hit. This effect lasts 10 seconds.
  • Holy Concentration (3 ranks available) - Your mana regeneration from spirit is increased by 16/32/50% for 8 seconds after your critically heal with Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal or Empowered Renew.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)

  • Choir Leader [PH] (2 ranks available) - Your Divine Hymn also heals you for 10/20% of your total health during its duration, and the channel time of your Hymn of Hope is reduced by 10/20%. **PH Name. Will likely need to be replaced or updated.**
  • Lightwell (1 rank available) - 6177 Mana - 40 yd range - 0.5 sec cast - 3 min cooldown - Creates a Holy Lightwell. Friendly players can click the Lightwell to restore 8634 health over 6 seconds. Attacks done to you equal to 30% of your total health will cancel the effect. Lightwell lasts for 3 min or 10 charges.
  • Blessed Resilience (3 ranks available) - Critical hits made against you have a 20/40/60% chance to prevent you from being critically hit again for 6 seconds.
  • Improved Holy Nova (2 ranks available) - Reduces the global cooldown of your Holy Nova spell by 0.25/0.5 sec., and increases its critical effect chance by 25/50%.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)

  • Body and Soul (2 ranks available) - When you cast Power Word: Shield or Leap of Faith, you increase the targets's movement speed by 30% for 4 seconds, and you have a 50% chance when you cast Cure Disease on yourself to also cleanse 1 poison effect in addition to diseases.
  • Chakra [NYI] (5 ranks available) - When you use Prayer of Healing, Renew or Heal 3 times in a row you will enter a Chakra state empowering you for 20 seconds. You can only be in one Chakra state at a time. Prayer of Healing - Increases your area-of-effect healing by 2/4/6/8/10%, and reduces the cooldown of your Circle of Healing by .5/1/1.5/2/2.5 seconds. Renew - Increases the periodic haste effect of your Renew spell by 3/6/9/12/15% and reduces the global cooldown of your Renew spell by .1/.2/.3/.4/.5 seconds. Heal - Increases the critical effect chance of your Heal spell by 1/2/3/4/5%, and your Heal has a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Renew on the target. Smite - Increase your total damage done by Shadow and Holy spells by 4/8/12%. Starting at Rank 2 - Increases spell power by 10% of your total spirit. Rank 3 changes the talent to Spiritual Guidance - Increases spell power by 15/20/25% of your total spirit. * NYI. See the descriptions above.**
  • Thriving Light [NYI] (2 ranks available) - Reduces the duration of Wound effects on you by 15/30%, and reduces the damage taken by bleed effects by 10/20%.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)

  • Empowered Renew (3 ranks available) - Your Renew spell gains an additional 5/10/15% of your bonus healing effects, and your Renew will instantly heal the target for 5/10/15% of the total periodic effect.
  • Circle of Healing (1 rank available) - 10706 Mana - 40 yd range - Instant cast - 10 sec cooldown - Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 16 yards of the target for 1813 to 2000.
  • Test of Faith (3 ranks available) - Increase healing by 4/8/12% on friendly targets at or below 50% health.

Tier 10

  • Divine Providence (5 ranks available) - Increases the amount healed by Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Holy Nova, Prayer of Healing, Divine Hymn and Prayer of Mending by 2/4/6/8/10%, and reduces the cooldown of your Prayer of Mending by 6/12/18/24/30%.

Tier 11

  • Guardian Spirit (1 rank available) - 1235 Mana - 40 yd range - Instant cast - 3 min cooldown - Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of for 50% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 seconds.

Shadow Talent Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)

  • Dark Thoughts (2 ranks available) - Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting any Shadow spell by 35/70%.
  • Improved Spirit Tap (2 ranks available) - Requires 3 points in Spirit Tap - Your Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death critical strikes have a 100% chance, and your Mind Flay critical strikes have a 50/100% chance to increase your total spirit by 5/10%. For the duration, your mana will regenerate at a 17/33% rate while casting. Lasts 8 seconds.
  • Darkness (5 ranks available) - Increases your Shadow spell damage by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)

  • Shadow Affinity (3 ranks available) - Reduces the threat generated by your Shadow spells by 8/16/25%, and you receive 5/10/15% of your base mana when your Shadow Word: Pain or Vampiric Touch spells are dispelled.
  • Improved Shadow Word: Pain (2 ranks available) - Increased the damage of your Shadow Word: Pain spell by 3/6%.
  • Shadow Weaving (3 ranks available) - Your Shadow damage spells have a 33/66/100% chance to increase the Shadow damage you deal by 2% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)

  • Improved Psychic Scream (2 ranks available) - Reduces the cooldown of your Psychic Scream spell by 2/4 seconds.
  • Improved Mind Blast (5 ranks available) - Reduces the cooldown of your Mind Blast spell by 0.5/1/1.5/2/2.5 seconds, and while in Shadowform your Mind Blast also has a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to reduce all healing done to the target by 25% for 10 seconds.
  • Mind Flay (1 rank available) - 1853 Mana - 30 yd range - Channeled - Assault the target's mind with Shadow energy, causing 501 Shadow damage over 3 seconds and slowing their movement speed by 50%.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)

  • Veiled Shadows (2 ranks available) - Decreases the cooldown of your Fade ability by 3/6 seconds and reduces the cooldown of your Shadowfiend ability by 1/2 minutes.
  • Shadow Reach (2 ranks available) - Increase the range of your offensive Shadow spells by 10/20%.
  • Empowered Shadow Orbs [PH] [NYI] (3 ranks available) - Increases the damage done by your Shadow Orbs by 2/4/6%, and you have a h/h/h% chance to gain a Shadow Orb when critically hit by any attack. **PH & NYI. Will likely need to be replaced or updated**

Tier 5 (Left to Right)

  • Silence (1 rank available) - Requires 2 points in Improved Psychic Scream - 225 Mana - 33 yd range - Instant cast - 45 sec cooldown - Silences the target, preventing them from casting spells for 5 seconds. Non-player victim spellcasting is also interrupted for 3 seconds.
  • Vampiric Embrace (1 rank available) - Instant - Fills you with the embrace of Shadow energy, causing you to be healed for 15% and other party members to be healed for 3% for any single-target Shadow spell damage you deal for 30 minutes.
  • Improved Vampiric Embrace (2 ranks available) - Requires 1 point in Vampiric Embrace - Increase the healing received from Vampiric Embrace by 33/67%.
  • Focused Mind (3 ranks available) - Reduces the mana cost of your Mind Blast, Mind Control, Mind Flay and Mind Sear spells by 5/10/15%.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)

  • Mind Melt [NYI] (2 ranks available) - Increases the additional damage done with your Shadow Word: Death by 5/10% on targets at or below 25% health, and and when you deal damage with Mind Spike, the cast time of your next Mind Blast is reduced by 11/33% lasting 6 seconds. Mind Melt can stack up to 3 times. **NYI. Will likely need to be replaced or updated. Also removed duplicate word**
  • Improved Devouring Plague (3 ranks available) - Increase the periodic damage done by your Devouring Plague by 5/10/15%, and when you cast Devouring Plague you instantly deal damage equal to 10/20/30% of its total periodic effect.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)

  • Shadowform (1 rank available) - 2676 Mana - Instant cast - 1.5 sec cooldown -Assume a Shadowform, increasing your Shadow damage by 15%, reducing all damage done to you by 15%. However, you may not cast Holy spells while in this form.
  • Shadow Power (5 ranks available) - Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Mind Blast, Mind Flay, and Shadow Word: Death spells by 20/40/60/80/100%.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)

  • Improved Shadowform (2 ranks available) - Requires 1 point in Shadowform - Your Fade ability now has a 50/100% chance to remove all movement impairing effects when used while in Shadowform, and reduces casting or channeling time lost when damaged by 35/70% when casting any Shadow spell while in Shadowform. In addition, spell haste for all nearby party and raid members is increased by 5%.
  • Shadowy Apparition [PH] [NYI] (3 ranks available) - While moving or dealing damage with your Shadow Word: Pain, you will sometimes summon a Shadow version of yourself which will slowly move towards a target which is afflicted by your Shadow Word: Pain. Once reaching that target, it will instantly deal damage equal to 15/30/45% of your Mind Blast’s damage. **PH & NYI. Will likely need to be replaced or updated**

Tier 9 (Left to Right)

  • Psychic Horror (1 rank available) - 3294 Mana - 33 yd range - Instant cast - 2 min cooldown - You terrify the target, causing them to tremble in horror for 3 seconds and drop their main hand and ranged weapons for 10 seconds.
  • Vampiric Touch (1 rank available) - Requires 1 point in Shadowform - 3294 Mana - 33 yd range - 1.5 sec cast - Causes 1000 Shadow damage over 15 seconds to your target and causes up to 10 party or raid members to gain 1% of their maximum mana per 5 seconds when you deal damage from Mind Blast. In addition, if the Vampiric Touch is dispelled it will cause 1600 damage to the afflicted target.
  • Pain and Suffering (3 ranks available) - Your Mind Flay has a 33/66/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain on the target, and reduces the damage you take from your own Shadow Word: Death by 10/20/30%.

Tier 10

  • Twisted Faith (5 ranks available) - Your damage done by your Mind Flay and Mind Blast is increased by 2/4/6/8/10% if your target is afflicted by your Shadow Word: Pain, and increases your spell hit rating by an additional amount equal to 4/8/12/16/20% of your spirit.

Tier 11

  • Dispersion (1 rank available) - Requires 1 point in Vampiric Touch - Instant - 2 min cooldown - You disperse into pure Shadow energy, reducing all damage taken by 90%. You are unable to attack or cast spells, but you regenerate 6% mana every 1 second for 6 seconds. Dispersion can be cast while stunned, feared or silenced and clears all snare and movement impairing effects when cast, and makes you immune to them while dispersed.
The first build I came up with after seeing the talent trees is this: 35/41/0

The idea here is that you are a primary damage dealer but has the ability to immediately switch to healing when entering a particular damage heavy boss phase or some unfortunate nuke phase where healers suddenly drop dead, I call it the First-Aid spec.

The tools you have are:

PW: Barrier, No-cooldown PW: Shield, Circle of Healing, Power Infusion, Light Well, Chakra, and Archangel.

You need 3/3 in Divine Aegis because your smite will crit a lot when you deal damage. If 45% of your damage is converted to healing, that healing will similarly be critical hits, you will have tons of DA stacking on multiple targets when you deal damage, further enhancing your "healing on damage" utility.

Archangel from a smite perspective is very interesting. It's similar to a spirit tap button when you dps. You do not use it when you dps, only after everything's dead, then you "tap" it and get some mana back, as re-stacking the mana reduction buff is inefficient. It is also the first button you press when you go into first aid mode. You lose your dps buff, but gains a healing buff and some mana back, very useful.

I could just imagine this spec go insane in a raid situation. Oh shit moment? No worries, just drop PW: Barrier, activate power infusion, CoH + PoH spam, after PI finish, you use your no-cooldown PW: Shield and bubble everyone up. If there's AOE opportunity, you start spamming holy nova, not only does it do damage with 50% more crit, but it also heals AND proc divine aegis. O__O

Monday, May 17, 2010

Random Post

Cataclysm Alpha talent trees were leaked, but much of it are still not confirmed so I will wait to do my "deep analysis on smite viability" post until more information are present. Also, there is a NDA put in place regarding Alpha information, so respecting Blizzard's decision, I will not discuss Alpha information here until the agreement is lifted. But for now, I just want to say that I like the changes I see so far, very complementary to holy dps, thank you Blizzard.

As for what I'm up to, it's a long story. Circumstances dictate that I continue my break from WoW. But just when I thought that summer might be alright without it, someone decides to hack my account and put a lovely one month subscription on it, with a bonus authenticator that I cannot remove. I spend a week contacting the account/billing unit but they are quite busy so my form was processed very very slowly. In the end, they only recovered linen ( comment) and some herbs for my level 31 mage, the authenticator was not removed, I was slightly annoyed by the event. Why? The problem with the authenticator is that it blocks your access to, where I store other Blizzard games too, such as Diablo 2. I don't have a habit of copying down registration keys, so if my is blocked, I lose a lot more than just my WoW stuff.

The solution? Pay a visit to the Technical Support forum, make a post named "Unauthorized Authenticator, Please Remove" and bump away. With that, the authenticator was removed and my problem solved in less than a day, talk about variation in speed based on method of communication.

Anyway, as some folks might know, I do chicken scratches once in a while. Here's my latest work, completed over the weekend after two weeks of drag. My goal is to draw every priest tier armor in the game. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. ^^"

Human Priest by ~overwritten on deviantART

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blue Cata Post: Smite got a cookie!

04/08/2010 12:30:48 AM PDT
The idea behind the Holy "cast three in a row" talent (it's called "Chakra") is that we've always positioned Holy as a versatile healer. This talent lets you shift into different modes. If you need to be a tank healer, cast three single target heals and your single-target healing is now better. Cast three area heals, and you can be a temporarily specialized group healer. We're going to try to play this mechanic up with a cool UI to try to get that "I'm almost in the zone" feel. We'll let it apply to as many types of spells as we can, perhaps even Smite for those times when nobody's taking damage
Lead Systems Designer

Source: WoW US Forum

Of course, nothing is confirmed yet, but I'm just thankful that at least they are thinking about it. It's probably done to ease up leveling as well as those i'm-bored-while-healing moments, but regardless, it's a cookie.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Q & A: Gearing for Haste and the 1 Sec GCD

I received a comment recently from an anonymous reader. In the process of answering his/her question, I realize my reply was a little too long to fit into the comment section. Thus, I have decided to post it as my first Q & A entry.
Anonymous said...

In BC content I did a lot of raiding with my smite priest, I was in full t6 minus belt, gemmed haste, and crit. I was on average back in BC pulling about 1.1-1.3k dps on single target,... and with mobbs,... well holy nova ftw!

With LK out, I leveled my priest smite, and did a similar build as was stated here in the blog. Though right now, Smite doesn't seem to be a viable raiding spec at all anymore. It is great for dailies, and other things, but unfortunately in the content I am in now, being able to only push 4k dps in a 25 man ICC isn't good enough to keep me in there as dps over say a hunter, lock, mage or other dps specific classes.

What gems are you using to overcome this, if you are. I have thought of using my shadow gear, and gemming haste/crit, and SP, but again I can only get my smite down to 1.5 seconds, and my holy fire/MB down to about 1.22. I think in order to get my smite to a 1.3 sec and my holy fire to a 1 sec or 1.1 I need to be capped at 750 haste, which is unfortunately impossible, or pretty damn near close.

Enlighten me on how to do this so I can resurrect my beloved smite spec, and show people that smite is in fact a kick ass spec again.

Yes, you should use your shadow gear for Smite dps. As much as I'd like to see Smite viable in raids, it's current damage numbers are simply not on par with all the other dps specs to even be remotely considered competitive. It is a fun spec for enjoyment when conditions are favourable such that you will not burden your raid members with lower than usual dps numbers. Thus, if situation requires, your gear should allow you to switch to Shadow at anytime for more serious/tougher encounters.

Aside from that, I have browsed through the current Tier 10 Shadow gear. Ignoring the set bonuses, the Haste/Crit/Hit stats on those tier pieces are quite nice for Smite priests. The lack of Spirit on those pieces is most unfortunate. But overall, they are definitely worth the badges.

As for Haste, here are the numbers:

32.79 Haste Rating = 1% Haste

You are required to have 50.00% Haste to get your GCD to 1 sec. (1 sec Holy Fire) That's 1638.84 Haste Rating...which is a lot, BUT -

Priest Talent:

Enlightenment - 6% Haste


Wrath of Air (Shaman) - 5% Haste
Improved Moonkin Aura (Druid) / Swift Retribution (Paladin) - 3% Haste

Druid and Paladin buff do not stack with each other, so in total, including talents, you should have 14.64% Haste by default in a 25 man raid environment.
(1.06 x 1.05 x 1.03 = 1.1464)

The remaining 30.84% must be obtained from gear, that's 1011 Haste Ratings.

Chardev gives a pretty good idea about gear stats. At 10-man top tier non-heroic level, if you gem for pure Haste, you can reach approximately 800 Haste Ratings. But this will gimp your crit and spellpower, not to mention massive regen. Using 25-man gear, you can reach 1011 Haste Ratings, but again, at the cost of other stats (most specifically, spellpower), so it doesn't really translate into better dps output.

So what Haste Rating should we aim for? To be perfectly honest, the more the better, but there really isn't a solid cap to reach besides 214 Haste Rating + 3/3 Enlightnment for Holy Fire -> Smite x 4 Rotation. Holy Fire cooldown really messes up the Smite rotation. You are quite right about reaching the 1 sec GCD been impossible at this point. Sadly, the Haste Rating required is a little higher than 750. 946 Haste Rating will get your Smite casting time to 1.3 sec and Holy Fire to 1.04 sec. It's just about enough to fit SW: Pain, Devouring Plague, and Mind Blast into the 3 sec during in between Holy Fire cooldowns. If you raid 25-man as shadow, 946 might be obtainable. Play around with Chardev to set up your gear wishlist and see which setup is right for you.

Gem Choice Overview:

Meta Socket:

Chaotic Skyflare Diamond
+21 Critical Strike Rating and 3% Increased Critical Damage

Insightful Earthsiege Diamond*
+21 Intellect and Chance to Restore Mana on Spellcast

Red Socket:

Runed Cardinal Ruby [Red]
+23 Spell Power

Blue Socket:

Purified Dreadstone [Purple]*
+12 Spell Power and +10 Spirit

Seer's Eye of Zul [Green]*
+10 Intellect and +10 Spirit

Intricate Eye of Zul [Green]
+10 Haste Rating and +10 Spirit

Misty Eye of Zul [Green]
+10 Critical Strike Rating and +10 Spirit

Yellow Socket:

Reckless Ametrine [Orange]
+12 Spell Power and +10 Haste Rating

Luminous Ametrine [Orange]*
+12 Spell Power and +10 Intellect

Potent Ametrine [Orange]
+12 Spell Power and +10 Critical Strike Rating

Veiled Ametrine [Orange]
+12 Spell Power and +10 Hit Rating

Quick King's Amber [Yellow]
+20 Haste Rating

Bold gems are my personal preference. Non-essential gems are not listed. Gems marked with [*] are alternatives if you have mana sustainability issues.

Of all the stats, spellpower will give you the most increase in DPS. Therefore, you should always socket spellpower wherever possible. This means gemming for raw stats such as + 20 crit/haste/intel/spirit are not recommended. Do not gem for spell hit rating, that should be obtained from gear.

Crit stats are usually coupled with hit on most dps gear, therefore they are quite easy to obtain at this point in the game. Armor enchants involving spellpower also comes with crit. Therefore, you shouldn't need to gem specifically for crit if you surpass 30% Holy Crit unbuffed.

12sp/10 spirit gem will give you the highest spellpower boost besides 23sp runed ruby. You need at least two of these in your gear to fulfill meta requirement. 10 spirit might seem trivial, but 25% of your spirit are converted into spellpower via talent. The status is also buffed by Mark of the Wild and Blessing of Kings, not to mention giving you more mana regen.

12sp/10 intel is your prime regen gem. Intel is the king stats for Wotlk regen. It works insanely well with Replenishment. Furthermore, Intel gives you a little bit of crit, a bigger mana pool (more pew pew time), and is boosted by Priest's talent and raid buffs.

Going back to the topic of Haste, 12sp/10 haste is the gem to use for all your yellow sockets if you crave Haste. Besides that, it should be obtained from gear once you reach the hit cap and has a healthy amount of crit.

To conclude, there are always other ways to boost your dps. I use the trinket trick.

Priests are equipped with their own heroism cooldown ie Power Infusion. Smite rotation also contains a nuke period. When Holy Fire DoT is running, our dps is at its peak. When the DoT drops our damage is reduced for a short 3 seconds. Therefore, if you were to use trinkets that are of the type "You have a chance to increase your spellpower by xx for xx sec" on a 45 sec RNG cooldown, it might not be used efficiently.

The trinkets that are ideal for Smite priests are of the kind that says "Use: Increase your spellpower by xx for xx sec". We can control how we use these trinkets. Power Infusion has a very short cooldown, so by using PI, Holy Fire DoT and the trinket at the same time, we can increase our damage output by a mile. No other class has this flexibility, so try this out.