The Current State of Disc on MoP Beta

Praise the gods that add-ons have been enabled for the MoP Beta. I tried without my Vuhdo and didn’t fail as hard as I thought I would but I just don’t have the speed to click on everyone and then the spell. But, now I have my glorious Vuhdo back and I am healing the new 5-man heroics. I’ve healed nearly all of them now so I am ready to really think about how Disc is right now.

Blizzard said it didn’t want healing to be as punishing as it was at the start of Cata. I think it is about the same right now. We can’t get to better gear and the dungeons don’t always have loot so that factors in. There are crafted epics and rep epics now. But, no rep tabards. You have to do the dailies to get the rep. I’m not sure if this is intended or not. The only faction I am exalted with is the Jinyu guys in the Jade Forest. They don’t do me much good even if I could get to them.

Anyway, lets talk about the new, important spells first.

Power Word: Solace

The biggest update for me was the inclusion of a new level 45 ability called Power Word: Solace (offensive spell that restores 2%, no mana cost and 1.5 sec cast time, no CD). Mana regen is balls right now. It is seriously weak. I’m at around 5K regen in combat but then you see that I have 300K mana to work with. Five thousand regen is a drop in the bucket. I shouldn’t have to sit after every trash pull or use my Shadowfiend on CD. Enter PW:Solace to save the day, almost. It certainly helps the regen and it adds a new way to play. Every second you aren’t casting is a wasted second you could be getting 2% of your mana back. Now we have to balance Smite Healing and Solace regen. A typical pull for me is POM and Shield the tank, PW: Solace to regain my mana back and then start active healing or Atonement/Smite healing. I don’t have a second where I am not casting something and I like it.

I’m not saying healing isn’t frustrating because it is but not because of the healing mechanics or regen. The Cataclysm mindset of crowd control and careful pulls has gone out the window. Now every tank pulls everything, all the time, regardless of anyone in the group willing to CC. They pull regardless of my mana. I’ve literally seen tanks from all over the world, all flavors of tanks; and none of them want to CC anymore. It’s very stressful because my regen is so low. I worry I won’t have enough mana to get through trash pulls.

Spirit Shell

Spirit Shell has gone through several incarnations. First it was a stackable, cheap absorb that would heal once it was fully used. I liked that idea but you had a 2 second cast time for each stack so it was prohibitive for mobility. I would like it to have been instant cast like a Druid’s Lifebloom.

But now Blizzard has come up a new version of it: “Your Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, and Prayer of Healing spells cause absorption shields instead of healing.”

Think of it as a Divine Aegis you can control. Spirit Shell doesn’t cost any mana but you still pay for whatever spell you use after it. I could see it macro’d to Inner Focus and Prayer of Healing but I have never used it over a straight up healing spell. Spells are so expensive that you don’t want to waste them on something that isn’t really worth it. Heals crit so much anyway it just seems useless.

I hope the devs take another look at the way it was before. Its so late in the beta that I don’t feel they will but a girl can hope.

Void Shift

Void Shift is amazing. You swap your health with another person in your party. It is really useful in conjunction with Desperate Prayer (if talented). I would put it up there with Pain Suppression in its usefulness. Tanks can be so squishy that I need to use everything in my toolbox to keep them up just like the early days of Cata. It feels like all or nothing, very similar to the old Paladin spell Divine Intervention (the Paladin sacrificed himself to save one party member).

I am sure we will talk about good times to Void Shift once it goes on live. I am also sure that raiding Shadow Priests will be required to use it as a raid CD since it is a base line spell. I also wonder about arena. It would be so easy to switch my health with a team member if I was being focused on. It has a six-minute CD for now so it should be usable in arena. Only time will tell for sure.

Level 90 Talents

Cascade: Launches a Holy bolt at the target that grows in power as it travels, which causes up to (10,108 + 97.5% of SP) damage to an enemy, or up to (10,108 + 97.5% of SP) healing to an ally. This effect can bounce from allies to other allies, or from enemies to other enemies. Each time it bounces it will split into 2 bolts, preferring farther away targets, and never hitting the same target twice. Cascade can bounce up to 3 times. Instant, 10% base mana, 25 sec CD.

Divine Star: Fires a Divine Star in front of you, traveling 24 yds, causing (3,370 + 32.5% of SP) Divine damage to all enemies and (3,370 + 32.5% of SP) healing to all allies within 6 yds of its path. After reaching its destination it will return to you, also dealing damage and healing to all targets in its path. Instant, 5% base mana, 15 sec CD.

Halo: Creates a ring of Holy energy around you that quickly expands and grows in power, up to 30 yds away. Deals up to (20,216 + 195.0% of SP) Holy damage to enemies, and up to 0 healing to allies, with the greatest effect at 25 yds. Instant, 15% of base mana, 40 sec CD.

 

I honestly prefer Cascade to the other two. The mana price is pretty steep but it heals for a massive amount. I think of it as POM’s younger, cooler brother. It seems to crit quite a bit and will proc DA shields. The animation is very beautiful. I love to watch it in action. It’s a beautiful rain of light from all directions. It will bounce off of pets, too.

Divine Star and Halo require you to think about where you are compared to others. I have too much going on to really think about it right now. The cost and CD on Halo seem too much for what it actually does. It sounds really cool but it doesn’t seem to work like it reads. I had Halo spec’d in Shadow and I got really leery of using it because it will pull an entire room causing wipes. This may explain why I don’t want to use it even in healing.

 

The State of Tanks

 

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the tanks. It is harder than hell to get a tank that isn’t a Monk in a random. Monks are everywhere. I understand people want to play the new class but Paladins, Druids, Warriors and, yes, even Death Knights need some testing, too.

 

The leather wearing tanks (Monks and Druids) are the worst in terms of shear squishiness. I know this may be a Captain Obvious statement but I don’t have any problems with feral Druids on live. My own Druid isn’t hard on healers so I am honestly confused.

 

I think part of the problem is the level 85 pre-made characters. Most people aren’t leveling a Monk from 1-85 the old-fashioned way and learning as they go. They are rolling the ready-made 85 with no clue what to do. They may not know how to manage their defensive CDs yet and it really shows. It is harder than hell to keep some of them alive. I look at their gear and they have the right idea but they don’t have years and years of experience to draw from like the other classes. I think once MoP goes live Monks will be more inline with the other tanks since people will have to level them from scratch.

 

On live servers I have the worst problems with Death Knights but on beta they are the easiest to heal next to Paladins. Warriors are still very spiky but nothing I’m not already used to.

 

All in all, healing is difficult but not as bad Cata but it is damn close. Heroics don’t take hours anymore so that is a step in the right direction. But, having to drink after every pull is annoying, especially if you have an impatient, Monk tank. The regen needs to be much higher to balance out our inflated mana pools. I do like balancing Smite Heals and PW: Solace. I also really like Cascade.

 

Disc is a lot of fun right now. It needs some tweaks but, overall, it is a nice mix of the familiar and new.