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Spiritual Guidance: More 3.1 thoughts

Matt Low

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. After playing around some more on the PTR, Matt's got some more extended thoughts.

That's a picture of the upgraded Penance! It looks really weird when you cast it on yourself. I imagined that the bolts would fly forward before arcing skyward and back down towards the original caster. Too much to hope for sadly. Maybe in a future patch!

Hymn of Hope makes its triumphant return back to the Priest arsenal! For the past week, I've been receiving emails and DMs on Twitter asking me the same question:

Why put in a Hymn of Hope glyph if Hymn of Hope is going to be removed?

My personal theory is that it was just a general brain fart. Upon closer inspection and reflection, the motive's a bit different. We know Resto Shaman mana regeneration is the new standard that all healing classes are going to reach. Perhaps the theory is to nuke certain Priestly mana regenerative capabilities and then start from there.

Last week, Alex wrote up a nice summary of Priest glyphs. One glyph he did not mention (because we both thought it was pointless since the spell was removed) is the Hymn of Hope glyph.

Your Hymn of Hope provides 2 times the normal amount of mana per time, but the duration is 50% shorter.

Twice the mana per tick, but half the channeling time, right? Looks like this might be another mandatory glyph for Discipline and Holy Priests. So here's what my updated glyphs will look like (I think):

Disc PvE

  • Glyph of Hymn of Hope
  • Glyph of Penance
  • Glyph of Power Word: Shield
Holy PvE
  • Glyph of Renew (I may swap this with Glyph of Guardian Spirit depending on encounters)
  • Glyph of Circle of Healing
  • Glyph of Hymn of Hope

What about the Flash Heal glyph? I do want to fit that in somewhere. I haven't quite figured it out yet. I still use the spell a lot. On the other hand, maybe Hymn of Hope with the glyph isn't really that good after all compared to the other glyphs around it. Decisions, decisions! I supposed I could set aside my dual specs for now. I could set one for single target healing and the other for pure mana efficiency and regen.

Speaking of mana efficiency, I did spend some time on the PTR last week. I was able to get in on some of the Hodir testing before my live raids took over. This was normal Hodir not heroic Hodir, mind you. I didn't run into significant problems with mana. On the flip side, I didn't last longer than 2 and a half minutes so saying that I didn't have significant mana problems isn't saying much.

Speaking of mana, some of you might be curious as to how severe the 3.1 nerf actually is. Here's a quick before and after screenshot of my mana regeneration from the PTR and from live servers.

So the above shot is two screenshots mashed together. The top screenshot is my current regeneration on live. The second half below is a shot on the PTR. These values are all before raid buffs. Remember that I'm also a Disc Priest here so my out of combat regen is going to be much lower than a Holy Priest. My mana regeneration while casting remains largely unchanged. Note that it also doesn't take into account abilities like Rapture.So as a Disc Priest, I don't feel like I'm going to be too affected by the changes.

Now as a Holy Priest, some things are going to be slightly different. I've read some of the stuff out there in terms of blog posts and forum posts. Everything points out that haste is superior than crit. But the new Holy Concentration says that your mana regen from Spirit increases by 16/32/50% for 8 seconds. I think this might change things a little bit. I've been predominantly Discipline on the PTR. I haven't had a chance to go Holy yet (and ugh, my gear's not suited for it since I don't have Spirit gems loaded).

More wait and seeing will have to be done. More PTR time is going to be needed.

Priest grouping

This is another topic that I'll address another time on Raid Rx. It has to do with where you group your healers. Right now, some of the healers and raid leaders I've surveyed stagger their healers across different groups. This is to maximize spells like Prayer of Healing and Tranquility. Resto Shaman's Mana Tide totem and any Priest's Hymn of Hope are reasons to combine healers together. But since we currently don't have mana problems, there's no mana-riffic reason to stack together. Sure we can group together for totems and stuff. But other than that, there's not much else. Even then, totem changes are upcoming where that isn't as necessary anymore.

With the mana regen nerf, this presents some interesting opportunities. It might be time to gather up the healers again into a single group.

Remember that Prayer of Healing is raid wide targetable spell now. It's no longer exclusive to the group of the Priest that casts it. This means Holy Nova is now the only party wide heal remaining among Priests.

Now if only the PTR can just remain stable for longer periods of time. My guildie wasn't kidding when he called it the Patience Test Realm.

Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know! And don't forget to check out our other Leveling Guides as well as our Wrath Guides and Galleries!

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