Some interesting information has come to light over the past few hours. The one that caught my eye? Some new talents have been added and others have been removed. Chakra, one of the new talents that was mentioned during the priest preview has been included. I did manage to figure out what the talent was designed to do. When I read the talent, I began to really understand the ramifications of the talent. There are going to be some upcoming Cataclysm spoilers in the post. If you do not wish to be spoiled, then you'll want to stop reading.
This is your last chance to back out. No? Well, let's keep reading then. The talents aren't quite finished yet for all of the classes. It looks like they're still in the process of removing "junk" talents (or talents that increased some spell or stat by some percentage). For one thing, Meditation is still in there for priests. Other talents have been moved around. Another example, Searing Light for priests has moved into the first level for holy spells and takes the place of Improved Renew.
So what fun talents have been added?
A quick check under the discipline tree shows that Power Word: Barrier has been implemented. It looks like it'll be learned at around level 31.
Obviously that's the the low rank version of the spell. Having a three minute cooldown might seem a bit long for some players and I thought that myself. But the trade off is that our spells cast within the barrier will not be interrupted. I think that's a fair trade off to make. I'd happily give an extra minute on the cooldown for the ability to cast spells unimpeded. I'm awfully tempted to stack 3 priests together for one barrier per minute.Power Word: Barrier
65% of base mana
0.5 sec cast
3 minute cooldown
Summons a holy barrier on the target location absorbing 293.25 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.
What about the holy tree?
The way I read it, I get an extra 1% crit healing chance for every DoT on my target (with a limit of 3 damage over time spells). This one seems like a PvP talent as well. The usefulness of the talent in a PvE or raiding environment is going to largely be determined by what the encounters will be like.Spiritual Healing
Increases your critical healing effect chance by 1% for each harmful damage-over-time effect on your target for up to 3 effects or 3% increased critical healing effect chance.
Forget the other 3 healing Chakras for a moment. Did you see that last one? It means I can level as holy and not completely suck. The soloing game for healing priests just got better.Chakra
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 AoE healing by 20/4/6/8/10% and reduces the cooldown of Circle of Healing by .5/1/1.5/2/2.5.
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 Renew on the target.
Smite - Increases your total damage done by Shadow and Holy spells by 4/8/12%.
I applaud the effort to improve the holy tree on the PvP side of things. This talent seems a bit too deep within the tree for my liking, however.Thriving Light
Reduces the duration of Wound effects on you by 15% and reduces the damage taken by Bleed effects by 10%.
Yup, you can see a definite trend where talents are slowly being consolidated to make room for other talents.This talent took the place of Improved Mark of the Wild.Blessing of the Grove
Increases healing done by Rejuvenation by 2%, direct damage of Moonfire by 3%, and damage done by Claw and Mangle by 2%.
This talent currently has a chance to restore energy, rage, mana or runic power per tick. Now it simply restores mana back to the druid.
When you critically heal with your Regrowth spell, you also sprout a bed of healing flora underneath the target, healing all nearby friendly targets within 15 yards who stand on them for 10/20/30% of the amount healed by your Regrowth every 1 second for 7 seconds.
This mechanic was mentioned in the druid preview. It certainly seems like a fun mechanic for healers to play with. Normally, players have been taught to stand out of fires and void zones. This time, druids get to create green zones for players nearby to stand on. I suppose I'll be asking some druids to unload these on melee players.
Many druid talents have been shuffled around as well. Living Seed has been bumped up. Talents like Gift of Nature have been removed.
Any shock spells for shamans will need to be worked into the cast sequence. Restoration shamans are getting a little offensive upside here.Focused Insight
After casting any Shock spell, your next heal's mana cost is reduced by 15% of the cost of the Shock spell and its healing effectiveness is increased by 5%.
I'm not sure if this is a talent that'll be invested in by raiding resto shamans. That's going to largely depend on the rest of the tree when it has been finalized. My guess is probably not. Wind Shear isn't a shock spell. Perhaps Flame Shock would be the one added?Ancestral Resolve
Reduces damage taken while casting spells by 5/10%.
Again, these talents and spells are extremely early in the development stage and could change at any time. Sorry paladins! I don't believe there were any changes to the holy tree at this point. I'm sure yours will come soon enough. Anyway, don't get too happy or too depressed just yet. We are still a long ways away.
Want some more advice for working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered with all there is to know! Need raid or guild healing advice? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see a future post addressing your question. Looking for less healer-centric raiding advice? Take a look at our raiding column, Ready Check.