Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Warrior Priest Review - Thoughts on class.

Rank 27 Renown Rank 12
Grace before the changes and Salvation after

My observations so far, I respecced salvation after the changes went in since I was mostly doing group outdoor PvP and Sigmar's Shield isn't very useful there. I have played a Warrior Priest pretty much every beta phase (when available) since beta 1. Granted, we all agree the previous version was overpowered. So far as salvation spec, well I don't really seem that useful, and it’s not entirely because of the changes, there isn't much incentive in salvation spec to actually melee, but since you have to keep using Supplication to feed your RF to actually , you are much less efficient than any other healer when playing that way now that our pool was brought down and our cast time went up. Agreed that bringing the pool in line was needed, reducing the effectiveness of Supplication makes sense because since the RF pool was halved, the skill needs to follow it. What doesn't really make sense for me was putting a relatively long cooldown on supplication and bringing the single target heal back to 3 seconds, further discouraging healing oriented Warrior Priests from actually healing.

Now one thing that doesn't really make sense for me, and this goes for all healers not just WP, are the current values of the heals, whenever I get a new ability in any game, I always visualize how exactly it comes into play, in which situations it would be useful, and so on. Some people have already posted the numbers so I'm not gonna repeat them, but I believe that each healing spell should have a specific purpose, each for his own situation, and all should be useful, right now the single target heal is so much better than every other healing spell (by a humongous margin) Is it the only option we have to heal? No. But it’s the only viable option. We shouldn’t have different heal spells just for the sake of having different heal spells, each needs to have a use and be on the bar of every healer for a reason.

Lets look at the heals :

Hot..................Insta cast.................30 RF...................Healing for about 300ish over 15 seconds
Heal+Hot.........0.5 cast....................60 RF...................Healing for about 350 over 9 seconds
Single target...3 sec cast................50 RF....................Healing for 800ish unspecced, 1000+ specced INSTANTLY, crits up to 1900-2k.

Heals have 1 purpose and its to cancel DPS, now 2 situations can arise which I will call Emergency or Non-Emergency.

Now we have to ask ourselves in which situations we would use each spell, the Hot is obvious but when looking more closely at the numbers it drastically reduces the usage. It costs way too much for the poor amount healed and the long duration to react, I never use it except to top someone off while chasing or running from people, or as a pre cast hot before pulling a mob (and even then it doesn't make much difference if I do it or not). In my opinion hots should have a cost advantage over direct heals. Direct heals mean NOW which means EMERGENCY, hots should mean preparing in advance, as such I think the hot should cost a lot less than it does right now and/or possibly heal for more, we could increase the time to prevent them from being too strong, if we keep the cost at 30 maybe make it heal for like 800 over 20 seconds or something, the reason we keep it instant is because it can't be spammed (since the cooldown) and its slow to build and take the full effect, thus isn't suited for emergency situations.

Now the Heal+Hot, I certainly hope no one has ever used this spell and if you do, please take a good 5 minutes to examine the spell statistics closely.

Its a fast cast, almost instant, which to me rings EMERGENCY but the poor amount of health returned on the cast (170ish) doesn't make any difference and is actually less than 1 second of dps from the average player, the high cost is further prohibitive which ends up that no sane person would even bother keeping this on his bar. In an emergency situation you won't use it because it wouldn't make any difference anyway at 170-180 HP, and then in non emergency situations you won't use it either because the high cost and low amount of health just makes it better to use the direct heal, to further discourage you from using it you're not even in a hurry and can have the health right now or 9 seconds later, obviously no one will choose 9 seconds later.
Heal + Hot should be filling the Non-Emergency situation, highly efficient spell, longer in casting but again slower to react. I suggest basically changing it to about what the direct heal does now, 1k overall healing with mastery around my level, 50RF, 500 health now 500 after 9 seconds, 3 seconds cast.

Now the direct heal, this is your NOW and your EMERGENCY spell, as such its much too slow to cast at 3 seconds, but since it was overpowered at 1 second, something else has to go, being a direct heal is a large advantage over hots and has such it should not be used over them in every possible situation (like it is right now).
Suggest to downgrade the cast time to 1 second (for everyone not just WPs), decrease the amount healed by about 30-40ish%, which will make it less efficient and less interesting to use than the Heal+Hot in Non-Emergency situations, the cost could remain the same at 50 RF since the amount healed for will actually decrease.

Now each heal has a use, the key I think is to balance out the Heal+Hot VS the Direct heal so that the direct heal will do slightly more or the same healing at about an even cost than the first tick of the Heal+Hot, the fast cast with a decent amount of instant health will be the incentive to use it.

In a % value here is how I would ideally have it. We would take the highest Heal, in my proposed scenario the Heal+Hot as 100%

Spell....................Cast Time.........................Cost................ ....Amount healed
Hot.......................Instant, 5 sec CD.............30........................75%
Heal+Hot..............3 sec, no CD....................50........................1 00%
Direct Heal............1 Sec, 2 sec CD..............50........................60%

I didn't really talk about the group heal or other aoe hots such as can be found in healing mastery lines, mostly because I have nothing to say about them, they have their uses, and I feel they are about where they need to be, the aoe heals are highly efficient and that is the advantage to offset their slow buildup. Group heal is decently useful, its efficient as long as 3-4 people are getting it, which is ok in my book, otherwise it could end up being too good, I would probably increase the amount on it slightly, maybe 10%, but maybe that's just my impression that Aoes like pit of shades are overpowered since the spell seems currently bugged and people end up not being able to get out of it (120% reduced movement speed ;/)

Respecced Grace, the difference was pretty much night and day compared to salvation, Sigmar's Shield, while severely weakened by the reduction to our AP pool, is still the only viable way to actually fulfill our intended role of melee/healer hybrid. Without it I was basically getting stomped in a few seconds, happened a few times when I lost myself as target. With it, I can last quite a while against 1 player and decently long enough to put up a fight against 2, granted its unlikely I will win a 2v1 unless the other 2 players are pretty bad, which is ok in my book, a skilled player with good gear (I have 2 PQ epics and quite a few elite PQ rewards) should be able to tackle more than 1 player, although not to the extent that it was so easy with the WP before the changes.

It seems quite a few abilities do not trigger Sigmar's Shield any more, obviously dots shouldn't but other abilities that I'm not sure are dots don't seem to be triggering it either.

I did about 3 scenarios, all of them I felt I was contributing to the group, tossing a heal here and there, and sometimes popping sigmar's shield and spamming Diving Strike on ppl getting focus fired, it’s a lot more challenging than before but it feels a bit more balanced now, we aren't completely dominating everyone else, a skilled player can still do well but it’s really hard now.

Skirmish RvR, we defended a wall gate, ran around some objectives, failed to take a keep, and failed to defend another. Basically open world RvR is back at stage 1 where it’s a big standoff with each side having tons of ranged classes (I hate Sorcs and pit of shades, it definitely needs to be looked at) and some healers standing in the back and trying to keep them up. The melee classes either stand back and do nothing or charge in and go down faster than a Shadowbane server admin can say LAG! So the and I heal, and I heal and I heal is definitely the case in skirmish because any melee will not be able to do anything there, too many aoes, roots, stuns and CC with no counter and no diminishing returns they don't even get to hit someone before they eat dirt. We can't even heal them with our slow cast heal now.

Grace spec is still working and quite efficient in smaller group encounters. Salvation spec is pretty bad for any situation. I cannot comment on Wrath because I haven't tried it yet, but it doesn't look up to par either, and judging from the posts of Wrath specced WPs, it doesn't seem too good.

On top of the heals needing to be adjusted there seem to be a game wide problem with melee in large battles, I mean this is WARhammer, it should be about huge melee battles of armies crashing into another, the current Sorcs vs BW backed by a bunch of healers standoffs are pretty boring overall and need a solution sometime in the next few months before release. Aoe spells (pit of shades I h8 you) seem really way too good atm and aoe heals are nowhere up to par to keep up with them, pit of shades tick for what about 150-200dmg every 2 seconds or so, we can't even cast a grp heal every 2 seconds, and once they have it up, it doesn't cost them AP every tick.

Now another thing, about prayers, I like the change to prayer of absolution being an armor buff, and it seems a significant enough buff to actually want to use it now, the 5 toughness from before was a joke anyway. Now prayer of righteousness seemed pretty much unchanged, it was good before, its still good, so no problem there. Now prayer of salvation, I mean, 15 HP?, 20% chance, come on, ok it WAS, read WAS, overpowered a few months ago in the first EvC focus test, its been changed (read nerfed) a dozen times over since then, I use it sometimes for a single reason only, on the odd chance that the heal it procs will crit and regain me 75 AP from one Tactic I use. Even if it was 100% chance it still wouldn’t be very good, this needs a buff.

15 health is not going to help keep someone alive, it’s not going to make any difference in a pvp fight that can last less than 10 seconds at times. This is quite certainly the worst iteration of the ability we have seen so far, even taking beta1 into account.

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