Monday, October 6, 2008

3.0 Priest Talents

I'm not one of those people who spends all of their waking hours on the Player Test Realm, tinkering with specs, working out mechanics, reporting bugs, owning Sunwell. I do, however, enjoy going to WoWhead and messing around with the talent trees they've posted. Some of my more recent discoveries have been cause for extended thought.

When the Wrath talent trees were initially released, there were some talents in the priest tree that were easily overlooked in favor of more beneficial talents. "Serendipity", for example. If your spell healed the target for less than half of it's intended effect, you were refunded 25% of the mana spent. The situational factor of this spell made it basically null and void unless you were doing a fight like Anetheron. Even then, in my opinion, it's not worth the talent points. So, I skipped over it and happily spent my valuable points elsewhere.

A few days ago, I decided to check up on things with regards to the talent trees. 2/2 Healing Focus, 3/3 Improved Renew, okay, things are looking good. Then I skip down to where Serendipity had been, only to find it had been changed. If you spell heals the target past their maximum health, you are refunded 25% of the mana it cost. Hold on. Wait a second.

Really? That's amazing! Everytime I overheal, I get mana back?


However excited I was about this, I was initially a little torn between the new and improved Serendipity, and the talent called Test of Faith. Test of Faith increases healing and spell critical chance by 6% on targets at or below 50% health.

When 3.0 comes out, and I'm still at level 70, I'm well aware that I won't be able to spec into Guardian Spirit immediately. The 30% of mana regeneration while casting that comes from the discipline talent Meditation is too valuable to lose. I will be able to go down far enough into the holy tree to get either Serendipity or Test of Faith.

With the newfound importance of crit chance, Test of Faith seems like something interesting to toy around with. However, I think that Serendipity will be altogether more beneficial for mana conservation.

It's a tough decision though. As it's looking now, priests don't seem capable of quickly running out of mana. With improved Holy concentration, after ANY critical heal, your next spell cast has a 45% to be mana free. If your next spell is cast outside the five second rule, AND overheals your target, not only do you gain the mana back from 'While Not Casting' regeneration, but you GAIN 25% of your spell's cost BACK. Also, if you spec into the Surge of Light talent, your spell criticals also have a 50% chance to proc your next flash heal into costing 0 mana, and INSTANT CAST, but incapable of a crit.

What does this mean? It seems to me that Blizzard is wanting priests to maybe start gemming or enchanting for crit chance. Here's a sum up of why:

-A spell crit has a 50% chance of giving you an instant, mana free flash heal.
-A spell crit has a 45% chance to have your next heal be mana free, and give you 30% spell haste for your next two heals, or 20 seconds.
-Spell crits also give your target inspiration, increases armor by 25% for 15 seconds.
-If your spell crits, there is a good chance that it will overheal your target, giving you mana back.

I don't think that critical chance will replace say, spirit or bulk healing with regards to what priests will stack in the expansion, but it's certainly something to think about.

Here's a link to the spec I will be most likely using at 70:

And the one I'm planning on using, at this point, at level 80:

Let me know if you have any thoughts about it, I'm really interested in the new stats.

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