Sunday, December 25, 2011

Yet another SWTOR post. Or is it?

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Incoming Christmas ramble!

It's that time of year again. I know what you're thinking - the time of year when you decide to leave your comfy computer chair, meet real bodied people and eat something other than ramen - also known as Christmas and/or New Years Eve, but that's not it. I am thinking of the time of year when another big MMO is released and everyone is all antsy-pantsy about whether this one will prove to be the one that kills WoW. We all know that won't happen though, no swift blow will or even can kill WoW, I picture it as a slow but steady decline where one day you wake up and realize you haven't logged on for a couple of months and eventually you read somewhere that the servers have closed down. But that's beside the point, the point is that yet again my Reader has been infested with posts about another MMO than WoW. This time around, the invader is called SWTOR.

I say infested, although in reality it doesn't bother me. Admittedly I never read those posts, mainly because I am completely uninterested in SWTOR, but I really don't mind them being there. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm not interested in any other MMO than WoW. I've mentioned before the very real possibility of me actually switching to playing Warhammer full time, if only I had someone around me who was interested in joining me. WoW has me hooked for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is that it allows me to play with friends, it is something all the other MMOs have to fight against and it is an unfair battle. And on my wishlist on things I'd want if I could wish for anything, the Fallout MMO comes in on a second (only surpassed by "being rich enough to by an island with internet access"). But not so with SWTOR, there is nothing about it that interests me. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan to begin with, and although I love the idea of a space set MMO, my disgust with George Lucas (Episode 1 in 3D, really?!) has put me off SWTOR as well. Unjust perhaps, and probably my loss in the end, but there you have it.

So the SWTOR posts don't bother me, I just don't care about them. Quite different to my reaction to all the RIFT posts that spawned when RIFT was released. But that was different. The SWTOR posts I have glanced at seem straightforward and on the subject, while I recall the RIFT posts verging on fanatical and preaching. Lo and behold, the game that KICKS WOWS ASS! I didn't feel threatened, I was annoyed. It was as if people were actively trying to find features of RIFT that would make it the WoW-killer. Do you remember the shit-storm that crossed through the bloggosphere after I had done a post on RIFT that inspired Reala of Click The Lightwell to create the "RIFT-free zone" button to put on your blog? A post controversial enough to be featured on MMORPG.com and PCgamer.com. This was serious business people, for some reason.



Back then I wrote;
"I'll be honest. Although my first attitude towards Rift was exactly the same as it has been towards any new mmorpg the last years, which is modest curiousity, this was quickly turned to annoyance when people didn't seem to be able to talk about anything other than Rift. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who thinks stuff are uncool just because everyone else thinks it cool. You'll never hear me say "I liked that when it was still underground". But I couldn't help like feeling like there could only be two reasons for the overwhelming reaction to Rift. Either it really is an awesome game, or people just grasp for it because it is not WoW."

Reala wrote;
"WoW may be the lumbering behemoth of the MMORPG sphere but we bloggers are not, damnit. Many of us are experiencing tough times in WoW, we have lost friends, guildies, entire guilds have crumbed and fallen. I don't begrudge Rift the shelf-space, but when there are more Rift posts on a WoW blog than WoW posts... well... I don't like it."

And there was something to it. I had seen mmos come and go, remember Conan? Aion? Warhammer? None of them bothered me, because WoW was still king of the hill. But then suddenly we heard about diminishing subscription numbers, people around me starting to get tired and you could feel the itch. The itch in the back of your head thinking "do I really enjoy this anymore or am I just sticking around because I am too lazy to move?". It does feel like an old marriage, and you will wake up one day and wonder whether there just might be something better out there. Why is this a problem? Why would it bother me that people around me move on and stop playing WoW? Maybe because realizing that something is coming to an end, something that I've spent years enjoying and have had so much fun with, just isn't a pleasant thought. It means change, and we all know how scary that can be. RIFT entered the scene like the new cool guy, and when the masses seemed to move that way I had trouble letting go of WoW, but didn't want to feel left out of all the fun. But I did have fun. I still loved and enjoyed WoW, which only made it hurt more when everyone around me didn't think so anymore. Like when all my friends one day decided they were too old to play with Pokemon Cards, and I still take mine out now and then, look at it, sigh and long for the day when I find someone else childish enough to have a match with me (the main reason I want to have kids tbh).

Although SWTOR quite frankly seems like a lot better contender to dethrone WoW than RIFT ever was (but like I said, I don't think that will happen just yet), this time around I just do /shrug. It might be the style of the posts, how they're actually about SWTOR and not about how SWTOR is like a better WoW. I realize it's impossible to write posts about another MMO than WoW and not end up comparing with the game that has been controlling the market for better and worse the last six years. But there is a right and a wrong way to do it. I felt like the RIFT posts were the wrong way, focusing on everything that people felt were wrong with WoW rather than everything they felt was right with RIFT. You might think it boils down to the same thing, but it doesn't.

Maybe I have just come to terms with the fact that WoW will end some day, or that there are loads of people that don't enjoy it anymore - and that is ok. Maybe I was worried about my own feelings towards WoW, and felt like all the whining really was voicing my own inner thoughts. Maybe I feared exactly that, that I wasn't having fun anymore but just hadn't accepted it yet. And that isn't the case now, I am having loads of fun in WoW. Or maybe I was having loads of fun in WoW back then too, and was worried that everyone leaving me would take away that fun, as mentioned. I don't know. Or maybe I am ready for WoW actually sharing the throne with some other MMO now, eventhough I don't feel like moving on just yet I do feel like there is a need for something new to not just enter the arena, but bloody well stay there too.

Because really, does anyone still play RIFT?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yor'sahj 10 Man Heroic Holy Priest healing Video Guide

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Here is my guide to healing Yor'sahj 10 Man Heroic as a holy priest. You have a few aces up your sleeve as a holy that are quite handy, as opposed to discipline, but I am sure this fight isn't too much trouble as discipline either. First of all you have the Lightwell for people to use during the mana void, also there is the stronger aoe healing during the aoe-damage phases, which can get quite intense. Overall I didn't much enjoy this fight as a healer, there are gaps of not much to do which I spent "helping" with the dps, and even the tougher parts of the fight weren't much of a challenge. Since I had just come from lots of wiping on Zon'ozz, a really challenging and fun fight to heal, I was somewhat disappointed by this. I think Hagara will prove to be more fun though.




Monday, December 19, 2011

Warlord Zon'ozz 10 Man Heroic Disc Priest Healing Guide

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Here is my texted video guide to healing Warlord Zon'ozz as a Discipline Priest. I really enjoyed healing this fight, it is very intense without being too unforgiving. I tried a whole lot of tries as holy, and it does work if you get into the Black Phases with a good start, otherwise the point healing does get very difficult, which usually means a whole lot of Flash Heals and going very oom. Discipline worked a lot better for me.






Saturday, December 17, 2011

Morchok 10 Man Heroic Disc Priest Video Guide

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Here is my texted video guide to healing Morchok 10 Man Heroic as a Discipline Priest. If you intend to heal it as a holy priest instead, the big difference will be having to use a lot of Flash Heals instead of Penance/Shields. The fight is fairly simple overall though, and a good opener to the heroic modes and the nasty healing that is to come in figths later on.







And here is another good video guide from a Resto Druid PoV (25 man), made by Beruthiel of Falling Leaves and Wings.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The issue of choice (or lack thereof)

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Ionomonkey of Screaming Monkeys had an interesting tidbit on the subject of choice in video games, and WoW specifically - as a reply to a post by Gordon of We Fly Spitfires. The discussion basically boils down to whether there ever is such a thing as a real choice in games like Wow or if there always ever will be "the best choice" which everyone end up taking. And what would a good choice look like? Ionomonkey means that as soon as choices that affect our playstyle are given to us, there will be a bunch of people who end finding out whichever is the best one and go for that regardless. And since this is going to happen either way, we might as well have big talent trees instead of small ones. And lets face it, even though in WoW most classes, if not all, at least have a handful of talents that really are up to choice - most people play with a cookie cutter spec whether they're endgame raiding or not. And the talents that are up to choice usually don't matter enough overall to make much difference anyway, which is another problem and exactly what Ionomonkey is getting at. It is the easy way to give players a choice - by handing out talents that don't matter enough. I wouldn't want that either.

I totally agree with the general idea
that whenever choice is given to a bunch of people, there will be some (maybe even a majority) that will all use the best one, but would like to add some thoughts to the matter.

Most importantly, even if there will be a best spec, what one really has to look at is to what extent that spec dominates over your choices. If you have 30 points to put out and 10 of those are things you just have to get in order to do your job properly, that still means the majority of the spec really is up to real choice. How much of the spec has to be "must haves" for it to stop counting as real choice? And even if there is a best-besterest choice, to what extent are people forced to actually go for it? In WoW it has tended to be "very much" at least if you're into progress raiding. Even outside of the really serious business raiding, people will laugh at you for trying dual wield arms or twohanded enhancement. It's a discussion I've been into before. But maybe that is another issue? The fact that people care too much about things that don't actually matter. I know that it has actually put people off the game entirely, knowing that if they wanted to play they would have to do it "properly" and that there isn't much room for fooling around and just do it your way. It's a difficult balance because I am all for letting people try weird things, but on the other hand I don't want that to go out over my instancing/raiding experience. If I wipe because someone thought it would be fun to do 3k dps as a melee hunter, I will be annoyed - obviously. But as long as we get the job done I really don't care much. And I think that might be the key that people are missing - what is good enough? And is good enough really good enough or do we need people to be as good as they possibly could be?

I'd like to think that the different roles in WoW that we currently have
- dps, tank, heal - face this problem to a varying degree. If you'd bare with me here shortly, I will try to explain. I'd like to think that as a healer there usually is a lot of choice presented to us, maybe as much as there can be, whereas dpsers are more locked. I've tried to figure out why this is, and it hasn't been all easy. In essence we all strive to succeed with the same thing - get the bad guy down and get the loots. The dpser makes sure the guy dies, the tank and healers make sure the rest of the raid lives long enough to make that happen. Maybe the solution lies in the target. The tank and the dpsers both have the mob as the target, although in different ways (giving vs receiving damage) whereas healers have the other players as targets. Why does this matter?

Regardless of role, we all have certain limits to reach up to. As a dps you're supposed to deal enough damage fast enough to make sure the bad guy dies before your healers and tanks expire. As a tank you need to be able to take enough damage under any time limit set up by your dps output to make sure you don't die before the bad guy does. As a healer you need to be able to dish out enough health during any time limit set up by your dps to make sure you don't die before the bad guy does. These might seem similar, but they're quite different.

The upper limit that you have to hit before you're overpowering the target enough for your choices to matter less is very high as a dps. Usually this only happens when you switch from one expansion back to an older one. The barr is slightly lower as a tank, but still high enough to not be easily reached within current content. Except for some freak exceptions, there has yet to be a tank that has been able to go through a raid fight of current content without being geared and specced in pretty much the exact way they have the last 6 years (the avoidance rogue tanks of BC come to mind). Basically, a dps should be able to dish out as much damage as possible, a tank should be able to take as little damage as possible, while a healer only really has to heal enough.

This doesn't mean I don't think healers should be able to have as high throughput as possible, just that being "good enough"  or maybe rather "gets the job done" is a limit that is far more easily obtained as a healer than it is for a dps or a tank. And also something that is way more accepted than for dps and tanks. Although at the start of new content you usually have to be as tweaked as any other role, already halfway through FL could I start experimenting with stats and specs to see what I preferred, throwing out spirit as I went and try mastery, crit or haste if I liked. You can always deal a little more damage or take a little less damage, but keeping people topped on health is a limit we healers usually reach within current content. This allows us healers to play around a lot more with specs and stats than I think other roles can.

Let me take discipline priests as an example. Whether you want to use Atonement or not is really the perfect example of a good choice if you ask me. Setting aside the fact that I'm personally no fan of Atonement, and that I think there are things about it that could work better, I still can't think of a better example of a talent that radically changes your healing style all the while it doesn't actually matter if you choose to use it or not. If you're a great healer, you'll be it with or without Atonement. There are only one or two fights where Atonement is considered a deal breaker (like Halfus), and of course a couple of fights where it doesn't work at all due to some mechanics (something I think they're going to change, hopefully), but overall it's one of those talents that really makes you choose - you'll end up being a Smite-healing priest or not. This is not to be mistaken with the abovementioned example of choices that don't matter. It is true that it doesn't really matter whether you use Atonement healing or not, but it will have a huge impact on your healing style. That is exactly the way choices should work, if you ask me.

And as mentioned, the debate on which stats to use as a discipline still rages on - if you go with haste or mastery really doesn't matter, it depends on your heal style. I even know of disc priests who advocate a crit heavy spec. I'm not saying that either of these isn't the better choice if you really sat down with some sims, just that you can actually really get the job done with either and that "getting the job done" is good enough when you're a healer. I wish it was for any role. What other role can say that it depends? Dpsers have the choice of focusing on aoe vs point dps at best (not counting weird specs to accommodate some certain fight mechanic) and tanks between avoidance (physical damage) and mitigation/stamina (magic damage).

But what would the solution be? I really don't think it would be a good idea to make content easy enough for tweaking to matter less, some of the very challenge of dpsing and tanking usually is to do as much as possible of it. Some might even say this isn't even really an issue at all - people who go for dpsing aim to tweak, not to have choices. Maybe the very reason people like to play a dps class is because they want to find that cookie cutter spec, not because they want to fool around with stats and specs. The thing is though, right now people barely even have a choice within a class. If you play a warrior you do have a choice between dual wielding or two handed in theory, but in practice one of them will be considered superior and if you're in serious raiding that will be the only choice. So not only is the spec already cut out for you, the very choice of which spec to go for in the first place is already made for you. It gets even worse for tanks. There usually isn't any choice between whether you want to be a mitigation tank or an avoidance tank, usually the current content dictates the rules. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could have two people playing the very same thing, just differently, and still be equally good? Think along the lines of how dks were originally designed - being able to tank about as good in any of the three specs. This is possible for discipline priests at the moment, but unfortunately that seems to be the only class and spec where Blizzard have succeeded with a real choice - please correct me if I am wrong!

You could add fight mechanics that require you to have players spec differently, but that is usually too fight specific to last very long and only ends up with people having to spec back and forth, something they usually don't enjoy. This is usually what happens when people have to choose between an aoe or point focused spec.

Would it really be so difficult to design a type of mechanic that, similar to Atonement, will do the same thing but in a different way? Or to really succeed in making all three specs of pures be equally viable? And as mentioned, are we really interested in that? Maybe we want choice because we want to be able to do things a little better than someone else, but how do we then prevent people from always making that choice? Maybe the only choices we can be handed are "same same but different" and not really "good or bad", and if that is the case - will people be bothered? I think so, I am really happy about the choice to be able to use Atonement if I feel like it, and equally happy that I don't have to if I don't feel like it. Because right now I don't think that Blizzard has even succeeded with letting us choose properly between specs, even less between talents within a spec.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

First impressions on Dragon Soul and Priest Healing

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My guild hurled itself headfirst into the new Dragon Soul instance the other day, and I was lucky enough to be among the ten people picked to do the first clearing (thank you guys!). So how was it? Awesome! So how about a short run through on my initial thoughts?

I know I said I would read up on tactics like never before. I lied. Well it wasn't a lie really, I definitely had the intention of doing so. I even started watching a couple of videos and reading some tactics, so I can't say I went in blindfolded - but not far from. Fortunately, it worked anyway. We did of course have the usual bunch of people who had read up on everything and who gave us the tactics (bless you guys), but in most other cases the healing part of the fights were pretty self explanatory. I usually only fail with this way of approaching new raid content when I miss out on knowing about some crucial healing tactic, like not to dispel the disease on Grobbulus *ahem*. For Dragon Soul it went just well, and I only did major mistakes a couple of times - mistakes I am sure I would've done either way. some things just take a try to get the hang of. We managed to clear the place in one night, although we stretched it for 30-40 minutes in the end when we felt we really had the hang of Madness of Deathwing and just needed to get it right. Last pull of the night was a server first kill! I won't attempt to write actual guides this time around, this is just an initial observation of how the fights felt, overall and healing wise.


Morchok
This fight reminded me of Slabhide in Stonecore. Overall the Morchok fight was extremely easy, and I seriously mean extremely. We went in with three healers just to be prepared for anything and I don't think I'm exaggerating it if I say that a decent healer with some Firelands gear probably could've solo healed it. He has a raid wide aoe-stomp and an ability where you have to hide behind some pillars. As long as people hide properly there is basically nothing to heal but the stomp, and on normal that did very low damage. There isn't much to say about this fight other than that it went by really fast.

Warlord Zon'ozz
The funny thing about a progression guild like ours is that we usually have people that study up on the boss fights really carefully, but don't bother with reading up on how the trash works. Because of that we usually have a fairly easy time with the bosses (at least the first ones) but can wipe horribly on trash that we just can't figure out fast enough. That is what happened on the trash before Warlord Zon'ozz. Fortunately I lagged behind for the first pull and when I got there the raid had wiped allowing me to do a mass res. we had loads of people die on the next pull as well, but we slowly but surely figured out how to deal with those tentacles.

Warlord Zon'ozz himself was also very straight forward as a healer. As it would turn out to be on most fights in Dragon Soul (and this might be something that will annoy me later on) it is a whole lot about aoe healing. As a disc priest that unfortunately means spamming Prayer of Healing basically, which also was a huge contributing factor to why I want my holy spec back. There is this huge ball going back and forth between the melee group and the ranged group and there is some aoe damage. That was about what I gathered from the fight. Sometimes someone would shout out "move a little more to the left" and I would take a couple of steps to the left, all while keep on spamming Prayer of Healing.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
Yor'sahj is where things started getting a little more interesting. I really enjoyed the concept of getting to choose your own debuffs through the blobs, and it was also one of the few fights I had actually studied up on in advance. And it will be really interesting to see how it changes for the heroic mode. It still wasn't particularly challenging on normal with even more - you guessed it - Prayer of Healing spam.


Hagara the Stormbinder
What I liked about this fight is that eventhough you don't have a clue about the skills (like me) all of them were pretty self explanatory (although, in lfr people seem to manage to fail even with the simplest and most obvious things). Don't stand in shit basically. This is the one of the few fights where I've so far tested holy too, and yes, it is even more aoe healing - which holy is doing really well at the moment.

Ultraxion
Healers are supposed to get a buff here, it's simple enough as it is called out and a huge crystal spawns which you have to run to and click. I didn't quite get what that buff actually did, I know it boosted my healing somehow (differently depending on crystal) but I didn't notice a major difference. Something that will matter a lot more in heroic mode no doubt. This fight was, yet again, basically only about spamming aoe healing. Fortunately it had one other aspect which I really enjoyed - having to save yourself from certain death by clicking the dream button. It's basically a skill you get that shifts you into the "dream", saving you from Ultraxions big killer. He also puts a debuff on two (in 10 man) random players which kills them unless they shift. I liked it because it wasn't just mindlessly spamming the button, you actually had to time it properly and this too is something I hope they have taken to the next level for the heroic mode. Perhaps even preciser timing or more skills where the shifting has to be used? It puts more responsibility in the hands of the player, where they themselves are the only ones responsible for whether they live or die due to those skills - something I was wishing for in my previous post (albeit in a slightly different way).

Blackthorn
GUNSHIP! Basically. Some people loved that fight, some hated it. I was among the ones who really liked it the first couple of times, especially the general concept, although it did turn into "lootship" fairly quickly. Because of this I enjoyed the idea of Blackthorns ship as well, and something I particularly liked was having to take the bombs with your face - everyone gathering for the big bomb and anyone close enough for the small ones. It gave a sense of teamwork that I really enjoyed and also a sense of success when you managed to detect and properly move to a small bomb to make sure it didn't land on the ship. It was also (finally!) one of the few fights where it wasn't all about aoe healing, except just after the big bomb had landed. Properly moving from charge and Shockwave was fun too.

Spine of Deathwing
A messy fight. One of the few where I did a major mistake, twice (!) moving out of the tendrils too soon and being swept off for the Barrel Roll. It was insanely fun to heal though, us healers had to roll mana management cooldowns, raid cooldowns and overall micro manage our healing teamwork on the go. We had nothing set up in advance and it was a blast to have to communicate our way through it. That is what healing is supposed to be all about! We shouldn't have to set up the entire rotation in advance, and play it through like some kind of ballet, we should be able to just deal with it off the top of our hat and with proper skill be able to deal with the situation. We did wipe on this a couple of times, but I haven't had that much fun healing as a proper team in a very, very long time.

Madness of Deathwing
It was a fun fight, I'll say that at once. Real fun. But it wasn't an epic end-of-the-expansion-finally-killing-that-bastard-Deathwing kind of fight. In that sense it was actually a disappointment. Not Spine of Deathwing nor Madness of Deathwing actually made it feel like you were fighting Deathwing. It should be said though that I don't think this fight is the end of it. It is clear something is around the corner and SPOILER BE HERE that we'll probably (hopefully!) get to fight an Old God in whatever raid comes next. There will be another raid right? The Old God fights are always some among my favorites, and I totally love that aspect of the Wow lore (being somewhat of a Lovecraft nerd). But back to the fight in itself - yet more aoe healing, as a healer in fact not that interesting of a fight except when you had to save some cooldowns for the bigger damage. The final phase turned up the heat somewhat, especially since it took back the "save yourself by clicking this button"-mechanic that I enjoyed from the Ultraxion fight.

Healing on our Madness of DW kill.

Overall
So far I am quite pleased with the Dragon Soul raid, although I have only done it once. I will probably have completely different attitude towards the fights once I've done them a couple of times and once we get started on the heroic modes (next reset) which should prove to be hard nuts to crack. On the downside normals turned out to be a lot about aoe healing. Fortunately that doesn't have to be a huge problem since aoe healing as a holy priest is quite interesting and fun (more about priest healing soon). On the upside I am quite pleased with the general concept of the fights, the way they managed to (at least for normal modes) make teamwork really fun and rewarding for the healing group. I want more of that!

Priest healing
So what about priests in Dragon Soul? I am pleasantly surprised actually. I topped meters (and we all know that is what matters *cough*) against the other two healers (druid and paladin) throughout the raid, without being more oom than they were. This never happened during Firelands where I was a happy third (or second, since we usually duo-healed) for pretty much any fight. Enter Dragon Soul and boom, my healing just rocks ass. I don't have a good explanation for it. Either they really buffed Prayer of Healing, or they've nerfed paladin/druid throughput/mana regen. I know they have made some buffs to holy healing, like changing Divine Hymn to be similar to Tranquility (finally, thank you) and my initial feeling for holy is very positive. The big issue with holy versus discipline right now doesn't actually seem to be the healing throughput bit, but the mana management bit, since the loss of Rapture usually is noticeable. I have sacrificed quite a lot of spirit for other stats, since my mana wasn't an issue at all towards the end of Firelands. It always is for new content however, and on Spine of Deathwing and Madness of Deathwing I had to struggle with mana towards the end. A talent like Veil of Shadows is worth its weight in gold (hmm... that can't be right) for those situations, and knowing how to properly time your cooldowns will matter - like combining a Hymn of Hope with Borrowed Time and a Shadowfiend. Calling out before you use a Hymn of Hope to allow your fellow healers to prepare for it is another good idea.

I have been able to give holy a try, nothing too fancy really - some of the new dungeons and two LFR-fights - but my initial impression is definitely positive. Divine Hymn is actually a cooldown now! No longer is it a button we push and pretend it actually makes a difference (or in my case, a button to press whenever I want a couple of seconds without having to think too much). I used it twice (omg twice in one fight?!) on an lfr-Yor'Sahj, and it was second on my healing done. Sanctuary my friends, was first. And it wasn't too heavy on my mana, although the fight really dragged on way longer than it should. To me that is plenty of proof that Holy at least has picked itself up from lying down and is ready to give the other healers a fight. I requested a clear niche for holy healing, and we've got it - aoe healing. I did notice neglecting tank healing in a way I rarely do as disc, and I could get whiny about how holy healing now seems to be all about aoe healing while we're still weak on the point healing area - but I won't. I don't mind being really strong in one area alone, especially not since it seems that will turn out to be an important thing to get right in this content. Now this is only my initial impression, and holy could still turn out to be the weaker when compared to discipline. What worries me is the mentioned mana management and the point healing, but for now I am just so happy that there at least seems to be hope, not to mention how much fun holy still is! I am so looking forward to being able to give it a proper go for our raids next week.

We will start doing heroics next reset, and for the first fights I'll probably go discipline. It is the spec I am the most comfortable with at the moment, since I haven't really played holy at all since pre-4.2. But I will try to sneak some holy healing in there as well, both so that I and the rest of the healing team can get the hang of it.

Transmo-what? Tier 13!
No I haven't transmogrified anything yet. Quite honestly, I think the tier 13 for priests looks completely smashing, and although all I have so far is one piece through the LFR (meaning it's actually a downgrade from my heroic t12, since I break 4-set), I can't be arsed to go throught he hassle of getting my perfect gear for transmogrification when all I really want is to be able to run around in t13 already. I have been looking at the set bonuses some and they look decent enough. They're not entirely fair of course, since I can use Power Infusion every 2 minutes but Divine Hymn only every 3 minutes. That's quite a big difference, also considering Power Infusion already lowers the mana cost of spells, disc yet again seems to come out a lot stronger on the mana manegement area. The 4 set bonus doesn't seem fair either. There is a lot to be said about it, but lets start with the discipline bonus. Getting 100% extra absorbtion on your shields doesn't automatically have to be a good thing - it also means it will be trickier to get that Rapture proc. Fortunately, this will probably turn out to be a small issue considering the general damage that goes around in a raid instance is enough to blow even a double-shield. Looking at the holy one I have other questions however. Increasing the duration of Holy Words, in what way would that be good for Holy Word: Serenity? I assume that would simply increase the duration of the crit heal bonus buff you get on your target, but is that really worth much? Increasing the duration on Holy Word: Sanctuary will be awesome however, but it makes me wonder how often we'll end up wanting to use Serenity - forcing holy priests even more into the aoe corner. But like I said, I don't mind standing in that corner if I do it damn well, and so far I definitely think holy priests are getting there.