Blizzard has released details about the Tier 12 bonuses for priests and they go a little something like this:
- Holy/Discipline 2 Pieces – Your Flash Heal, Heal, and Greater Heal spells cause you to regenerate 2% of your base mana every 5 sec for 15 sec.
- Holy/Discipline 4 Pieces – You have a chance when you cast a helpful spell to summon a Cauterizing Flame. Friendly raid and party members can use the Cauterizing Flame to be instantly healed for 4625 to 5375. Lasts for 45 sec sec or 10 charges. After using the Cauterizing Flame, players cannot benefit from it again for 10 sec.
There have been a lot of good arguments brought up in various places about why these bonuses are considered to be something we would want or something we would want to avoid. I have my own thoughts about this and some may echo what others have already said.
At first glance, I would be inclined to think that the 2 piece bonus would be more beneficial for holy priests in a 10 man setting. In my experience, holy priests that raid in that format tend to take on more of a “jack of all trades” mentality. They tend to not fall into one set role for too long and are expected to do a little bit of everything. You’re more likely to find the spells that are included in the 2 piece bonus on logs from a 10 man holy priest, versus one that tends to focus on 25 mans. 25 man holy priests tend to fall into that niche of being strictly raid healers and are usually not asked to do much else. Our rotation usually consists of little more than Circle of Healing or Prayer of Healing, perhaps with some Holy Word: Sanctuary or Renew thrown in for good measure.
The 4 piece bonus seems to be generating the most amount of of controversy and for a number of reasons. Anytime you cast a heal, you would have a chance to summon a Cauterizing Flame. This would work similar to Lightwell, in that your allies can click on it for heals and that it comes with a set amount of charges. The big difference between Cauterizing Flame and Lightwell is that you can essentially click on a Lightwell the moment the healing effect it gives you wears off and immediately use up another charge. Anyone who clicks on Cauterizing Flame would immediately receive a debuff on them that would prevent them from using it again for 10 seconds. Another difference is Lightwell comes with 15 charges (20 if you glyph for it) and lasts for up to 3 minutes, while the Cauterizing Flame comes with only 10 charges and lasts for 45 seconds. I would assume that Cauterizing Flame would function similar to Lightwell, in that either can disappear when all of the charges are used up or when other circumstances take place (i.e. the priest dies or moves too far away).
Two questions immediately come to mind with how this feature would work. First, would you be able to choose where the Cauterizing Flame is summoned or would it appear near the person that received the heal which triggered it? Secondly, what is the internal cooldown on the bonus and is there a chance that we could have more than one Cauterizing Flame out at a time?
I can see why priests would be cautious or hesitant about investing too much in the 4 piece bonus. The sad reality is that regardless of how much we try and sell Lightwell as an extremely mana efficient heal (if not the most mana efficient heal in the game), it’s still not something that sees as much use as it probably should. Some priests proudly boast that they have their guildies trained to use the Lightwell and never have to worry about it going to waste or being ignored. Others have resigned themselves to the fact that their Lightwell will never see that much use and they may even go so far as to glyph for something else in its place. Most 10 man priests that I talk to don’t glyph for it at all and are very open about the fact that Lightwell gets used very little in their raids. There just aren’t enough people in the raid to use it, much less all be within range of it to do so.
On the other hand, I like the thought of giving a group that may not otherwise have experience with Lightwell the chance to use it. Some guilds may not have a regular raiding holy priest and this set would also presumably be the armor of choice for discipline priests, too. Holy and discipline priests would be included in this set, while shadow priests would have theirs with its own unique bonuses. I like the idea of guilds and raids being rewarded for using Lightwell regularly by giving them more of that resource to use and enjoy. Unfortunately, I don’t like that unpredictability being a factor in deciding whether or not you should collect your tier pieces or not. You may ignore your tier because your current guild ignores your Lightwell, then you join a different guild where they can’t use up the charges fast enough. What do you do? It’s one thing to have your own choices, be it spell usage or how you manage your mana be a factor in this decision. Having everyone but you play a part in it is a different story.
Some have mentioned that a charge from Cauterizing Flame doesn’t provide as much output as a charge of Lightwell. Currently, my Lightwell Renew heals for about 6300 per tick. That’s not too far off from the 4625 to 5375 from Cauterizing Flame. We also don’t know how much of our spell power will go towards increasing the output from Cauterizing Flame, if it will at all.
Speaking of shadow priests and having their own separate bonuses, the idea has been tossed around of holy priests possibly getting more out of the 2 piece bonus from that set over the 4 piece bonus from their own.
- Shadow 2 Pieces – Your Shadowfiend deals 20% additional damage as Fire damage and its cooldown is reduced by 75 sec.
On its own, or combined with Hymn of Hope, that’s still mighty impressive. Shadowfiend has always been something we have begrudgingly used and that we know better than to rely on. Could the 2 piece bonus from the healing set and the 2 piece bonus from the shadow set both have more value than the 4 piece healing set bonus? Would having all that mana regen be worth sacrificing all that potential throughput? Would the lack of desirable stats on the healing pieces serve to steer us in that direction? Would the shadow set even have stats we would want and enough of them to start collecting them? I feel these are all very good questions.
The bottom line with all of this is that there are still a lot of things that we don’t know, because this news was just released. Things could change a lot in the next few months, as the PTR attracts more players and more feedback is given. We don’t know how these effects will actually work and how different they will be in actuality, compared to how they currently appear on paper. Right now, everyone is kind of assuming and filling in the blanks however they can. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I feel we can’t get too emotional over these potential changes until we have some more of the facts. Some people seem to be really crusading hard against these and other bonuses and I’m not really sure why. I don’t feel we have enough to go on to really warrant that kind of response. But again, that could change.
We’ll just have to wait and see.