Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gone Disco

Do you refer to it as a disco ball or as bubble wrap? So, as you might guess from the title, I've gone Disco. Which means I don't even have Guardian Spirit anymore. I'm not going to be changing the blog though, I'm going to be giving a quick rundown of how Disco works for any priests out there considering making the switch.

Pro: I can't go OOM. Ever.
Between Rapture (which can and does trigger 10+ times at once if bubbles are popped simultaneously) and Mental Strength, I have in-casting MP5 coming out of my ears, and my most common heals are much cheaper than in Holy. I think the last time I had to pop Shadowfiend was... uh... just before I respecced, I think?

Con: I really miss Circle of Healing.
Back when I was Holy, I used to be able to snap 5 6 people instantly out of the red zone, and I didn't even need to target it properly.

Pro: ...but Power Word: Shield is IMBA.
It pulls someone way out of the red zone with ~10-11k shielding and another 2-3k from the glyph. Not to mention that I then get +25% Haste for my next spell three spells from Borrowed Time. It's supposed to be only one spell, but Penance doesn't consume it, neither does Renew, and Power Word: Shield just refreshes it again. So in most cases, Borrowed Time is affecting about 70% of my spell casts.

Con: ...which puts me past the Haste cap.
The global cooldown won't go below 1.00 seconds from Haste, so my .9 second Flash Heals aren't quite going to full use. But then, 1.5 second Greater Heals are nice. I'm pretty sure a fully-Serendipitied one took longer than that as Holy.

Pro: Crits don't overheal.
Okay, they do, like anything else, but with Divine Aegis, it doesn't feel like as much of a waste. And since the shields from it stack up to 10k total and are used before Power Word: Shield, all those times you find yourself spamhealing a tank because of big spike damage, well, about 13.5% of it's going into shields that otherwise would have been overheal. Plus, that puts our effective Crit heal multiplier at 1.95, which is the highest of any healing spec as far as I know. Since I'm over Haste cap, I know what stat to trade all my Haste for!

Con: I really miss Guardian Spirit.
It was the ultimate Oh &$@*# move, no matter how many stupid things were happening, I knew that my target would live to see another few seconds at least. And with it instant cast and off the global cooldown and usually only a 1 minute cooldown, I used to use it often and to great effect.

Pro: Pain Suppression.
It's even stronger than Guardian Spirit when not being used to absorb a rediculous amount of damage. 140% healing dealt means 71% healing required. 60% damage taken means 60% healing required. It's too bad the cooldown is 3 2.4 times as long, but man can this save raids more effectively.

Pro: Power Infusion.
Your DPS will worship the ground you walk on. Well, one of your DPS. On an average 8 minute raid fight, this will be up for 75 seconds, making it significantly more valuable than Bloodlust... for that one person. Alternately it can be used for buffing another healer during an intense healing phase, but it's rarely useful to self-cast since I'm already past the Haste cap. I recommend Destro 'locks or Fire mages in general, but really it should go to the highest caster DPS.

Con: You show up low on the healing meters.
Not really low, mind you, just a little below the other competent healers. And a surprisingly large number of idiots will blame your low HPS for any and all wipes. You can tell you're doing fine if your Healing plus Absorbs total to around that of the highest on the meters (most absorb meters can be a little wildly inaccurate if you frequently do things like have multiple people's absorb shields on a target at the same time, however they tend to be good to within a few percent under typical situations.) Clearly healing meters aren't everything, and certain assignments may require you to do less in order to keep important raid members alive, but the above figure is a fair way to get meter hounds off your case.

Pro: It's not much of a stretch to pronounce "Penance" as "penis".
...and we can all use a good laugh about how much the tank likes your "Penance".

Pro: Disco lolsmite actually does fair damage.
I deal ~1.5k DPS with the Penance -> Holy Fire -> Mind Blast -> Smite priority queue. That's actually a somewhat meaningful contribution to pure burn phases like that final Massive Crash when Heroic Icehowl is in his Hard Enrage and everyone but the Pally Tank all died and you Soulstoned to finish the last 100k before he un-stuns. (That's how we got our first Heroic Northrend Beasts kill last weekend. =D )

So there you have it, a collection of my impressions of the Discipline spec. Basically, Disco is for you if:
  • You almost never run with another Disco priest.
  • You want to prevent rather than heal up after hits.
  • You want stronger tank heals.

I find that my raid healing ability is undiminished compared to Holy; I just need to mass bubble beforehand, rather than spamming AoE heals afterwards. And if needed I can still do that; a Borrowed-Timed Prayer of Healing is a wonderful thing.