Please use this thread to post feedback on the Priest class, once you’ve tested it in the Dragonflight Alpha.
Please use this thread to post feedback on the Priest class, once you’ve tested it in the Dragonflight Alpha.
I just wanted to take a moment and cast Power Word: Update to let all of you know that we’re gathering your feedback and deliberately taking some time to make sure our next steps are hitting the right notes with priest and that they address a lot of the feedback provided by the community. Please keep it coming and we’ll be back here with updates soon for Holy, Discipline, and Shadow.
Your feedback is incredibly helpful, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Thank you for your patience!
With the next alpha update, you will see that all trees within the Priest class, including the core talent tree, have received substantial changes in terms of pathing, arrangement, and choices. For the entirety of these changes, please look forward to this week’s patch notes. That said, let’s Leap of Faith in and take a peek at some of the changes we have in store for Priests in Dragonflight.
The original tree had limited choices as it was obvious which direction you were supposed to go based on specialization. Additionally, we wanted to reel back on how much throughput was available in the Core tree. While there will still be some throughput options available, we wanted to focus on utility options within the Core tree to let the Specialization trees focus more on throughput choices. Here are some abilities you will see in the Core tree:
(New) Angelic Bulwark – When an attack brings you below 30% health, you gain an absorption shield equal to 15% of your maximum health for 20 seconds. Cannot occur more than once every 90 seconds.
(New) Void Shift – You and the currently targeted party or raid member swap health percentages. Increases the lower health percentage of the two to 25% if below that amount.
Holy Word: Life – A word of holy power that heals the target. If the target is below 35% health, Holy Word: Life heals for 400% more and the cooldown of Holy Word: Life is reduced by 20 seconds.
Our goal with Holy was to allow for further specialization into your favorite spells. Whether it’s increasing the power of your single target heals, AoE interactions with Prayer of Healing and Holy Word: Sanctify, or you just want Renew on your entire group, we hope you are able to find a playstyle you enjoy.
(New) Revitalizing Prayers – Prayer of Healing as a 30% chance to apply a 6 secondsond Renew to allies it heals.
Harmonious Apparatus – Circle of Healing reduces the cooldown of Holy Word: Sanctify, Prayer of Mending reduces the cooldown of Holy Word: Serenity, and Holy Fire reduces the cooldown of Holy Word: Chastise by 2/4 seconds.
(New) Spirited Litany – After Prayer of Mending heals 80/40 times, gain Power Infusion for 10 seconds.
With Discipline, we aimed to address a lot of the dependency issues that existed and, like Holy, address the lack of connectedness in the tree. Along with this, we took a hard look at what choices were being offered to the player and revised those as well. Here are some examples of new spells in the Discipline tree along with some changes to core spells:
Power Word: Shield now has a cooldown and its absorb has been significantly increased. Weakened Soul has been removed. Renew and Flash Heal can now apply Atonement and are intended to be primary sources of Atonement application. Our aim is to allow for individual Power Word: Shield casts for each spec to be more valuable as well as reducing frustration surrounding the Weakened Soul debuff.
(New) Expiation – Increases the damage of Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death by 10/20%. Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death consume 3/6 seconds of Shadow Word: Pain or Purge the Wicked, instantly dealing that damage.
(New) Aegis of Wrath – Power Word: Shield absorbs 30% additional damage, but the absorb amount decays by 3% every 1 seconds.
(New) Divine Aegis – Critical heals create a protective shield on the target, absorbing 15% of the amount healed. Lasts 15 seconds. Critical heals with Power Word: Shield absorb 15% additional damage.
Shadow has received the largest batch of changes among the group. Our initial aim was to address dungeon gameplay surrounding Searing Nightmare. Here’s a few changes that we expect will improve Shadow’s dungeon gameplay:
Shadow Crash – Now applies Vampiric Touch to 4 targets.
(New) Dark Void – Deals damage to your target and nearby enemies, and applies Shadow Word: Pain to 8 targets.
(New) Pain of Death – Shadow Word: Death deals 20% of its damage to all targets affected by your Shadow Word: Pain within 40 yards.
Mind Blast’s damage can be increased through a few talents, allowing for Psychic Link to become more valuable in AoE.
Mind Sear now costs Insanity instead of generating Insanity. Its damage has been significantly increased.
Searing Nightmare has been removed.
We also discussed a design where Voidform is not central to the spec. Prior to Legion, the spec had its share of fun talents and abilities that we have modernized and brought into the talent tree, including Mind Spike and Dark Evangelism.
We appreciate the abundance of feedback given and your patience as we worked on bringing the Priest talent trees in line with our current design philosophy. We will continue to monitor feedback in the coming weeks as we bug fix and finish implementation on these last few talents. Thank you and we will see you in the Dragon Isles soon!
Today, we’re shining some light on decisions we’ve made for Priests over the past few weeks for Dragonflight. First, we want to share thoughts on how things are shaping up overall and then go into some specific spells that we’re reading feedback about.
Number of Active Spells
We agree. Priests have too many active spells. While we think there will be more to assess as the expansion plays out, the first spell that comes to mind is Shadow Mend feeling unnecessary with Flash Heal being available to all Priests. Instead of Shadow Mend as a talent that overrides Flash Heal, we are working towards removing the spell. We realize that losing a secondary healing school lockout may not sit well with Discipline Priests in PvP, but we’re happy with this direction overall. While no plans are in place right now, we’re also discussing Mindgames and Power Word: Life as contributing to the number of active spells for Priests.
Overall, we feel the class tree is in a good spot. As mentioned above, there are too many active spells and we’re looking to pull back on that. For Shadow, the Class tree has shaped out well. We’re less happy about how many nodes can feel mandatory for Holy and Discipline and this is something we’ll be looking to improve over time.
We will continue to monitor feedback surrounding the changes we’ve made to Renew and Power Word: Shield for Dragonflight. Currently, we do not have plans to change this and think it is playing well.
Historically Discipline has revolved heavily around Penance. We want to allow for builds that are centered around Penance, but also open opportunities for other spells in the Discipline toolkit to shine if invested into, such as Smite and Power Word: Shield. We look forward to your feedback on if this is felt with the tree, tuning aside.
For Shadow Covenant, we’re looking to take away the downsides so that it encourages Shadow spells but doesn’t discourage Holy spells. Shadow Covenant has gone through a lot of change, but we’re hoping this is a step in the right direction.
Lightweaver is our alternative design to Flash Concentration. Weaving between Flash Heal and Heal is fun, but wound up feeling like a maintenance buff. We believe having a back-and-forth between the spells with stacks to improve situational usability is a better direction for single-target focused builds.
When it comes to X’anshi (now known as Restitution), we are excited to keep the effect around for Holy Priests. We were uncertain of where this should belong in the tree, but after more deliberation decided it was best competing with the more powerful talents, so it has been moved to row 10 of the tree. We know adding this in was not desirable for PvP players. While we have no plans to disable the effect in PvP, we are discussing ways to tone down its effect in PvP so that the Priest is in more danger after resurrecting. This node also competes with two charges of Holy Word: Serenity, so they will be giving up valuable throughput for the effect.
Now that the tree has been in front of players for a couple weeks, we are reasonably happy with what we have, with room to grow in the future. Our initial thoughts on Voidform being optional is something we stand by. How to accomplish this while continuing to support Voidform and improve its gameplay is a challenge we want to continue to discuss and work on. Currently, we’re happy with where we’ve landed with Void Eruption competing with Dark Ascension so there’s not too many cooldown spells. With that said, Dark Ascension is visually exciting, but we feel it is currently lacking in identity. We’re discussing changes like Dark Ascension being more rotationally transformative while active or having a different cooldown than Void Eruption, so that its use cases over Void Eruption are more clear. We don’t have plans to make major changes to either spell for Dragonflight launch, but they will be on our radar for the future.
Mind Spike and Mind Flay coexisting is something we’re going to try but are wary of. Shadow has many spells to press rotationally, and this isn’t helping that. At the same time, being able to build your own Shadow Priest was a goal with this iteration and we believe the tree allows for that.
We understand that Holy and Discipline are the two specs without access to an interrupt, either baseline or in a talent tree. We also realize Shadow has Silence in their tree which adds to the number of non-throughput nodes in their tree. With that said, we are not adding Silence to the Priest class tree. Having access to an interrupt is not something we view as necessary for all specializations. In PvP, Holy and Discipline already provide valuable control to their team and additionally having Silence would provide more control than we’re comfortable with. This is especially true with how much control is becoming available across all classes in Dragonflight.
Vault of Heavens
This was discussed early on with this iteration with the intent to add it as a choice against Leap of Faith. Upon further consideration, Vault of Heavens is almost always more useful than Leap of Faith. But Leap of Faith is one of the more fun interactions in WoW. It changes your perspective on the battlefield. You’re always ready to react to save someone. And of course, it has some clever uses to get your friends killed. If we allow for the choice, the choice is clear, or we’d have to nerf Vault of Heavens down to something that won’t feel very powerful. The fantasy of the Priest leaping to their target doesn’t match our expectations for a Priest either, so we instead separated Body and Soul from Angelic Feather for a little extra movement support and kept Leap of Faith as a standalone.
This spell was deliberately removed in Dragonflight. Powerful spells being removed can cause frustration; however, the amount of control available across all classes in Dragonflight is causing concern. On top of this, the prevalence of knockbacks is already increasing in Dragonflight PvP and knockbacks can be the most influential control effect on arena or battleground maps with verticality.
We’ve read feedback about a desire for the return of Spectral Guise. We discussed the ability early on and decided against it, and our stance has not changed. We do not want Priests entering stealth especially in PvP, as it removes the Priest from the target and focus frame and occurs frequently. Hunters, Rogues, and Mages already do this often enough.
In its current form as a disorient we don’t think it is very compelling as a replacement to Psychic Scream besides preventing movement during the effect. What we anticipate is desired is the AoE stun version of the spell, but we are not planning to bring that forward. We pulled back on AoE stun duration and availability some time ago and decided against adding this one back so that we wouldn’t find ourselves in the same situation we were in the past. If everyone has an AoE stun, then it’s not going to feel special to have one in the first place.
For similar reasons as Silence, we will not be adding Dispersion to the Priest class tree. Healing Priests are understandably on the weaker side of the defensive spectrum, but our answer to that isn’t to bring Dispersion to the class tree. Between Desperate Prayer, Power Word: Shield, Angelic Bulwark, Translucent Image, and Spell Warding, we feel Priests are in an okay spot. We’ve also increased the damage reduction effect from Translucent Image to 10% and separated Phantasm from it.
Looking forward to your feedback!
Hello again Priests,
We appreciate the responses to last week’s post. We’ve made some additional changes to the Priest class this week that are aimed at addressing some of the shared concerns.
Power Word: Life and Mindgames
Both spells will remain in the talent tree. While we do want to reduce the number of active spells, Power Word: Life is an exciting new spell for the expansion and Mindgames is a unique and fun spell as well as the only Covenant spell we’re bringing forward, so we’re happy to keep both. In the long term, we will still look for areas to consolidate the number of active spells for Priests.
Mind Soothe is now a 12-yard radius AoE with a 5 second cooldown. Mind Soothe is quite niche, so we felt this improvement to its usability could bolster utility Priests bring into dungeons.
We’ve made a change to Light’s Inspiration targeted at improving Priest survivability when using Desperate Prayer both proactively and reactively. With both points in Light’s Inspiration, Desperate Prayer will now provide 40% increased maximum health during its effect.
We have decided to move forward with removing Shadow Mend and have adjusted talents related to it. Shadow Mend on the Class tree has been replaced with Improved Flash Heal, and the choice node branching from it now affects Flash Heal instead. We are aware that for Discipline single-target emergency healing Flash Heal is weaker than Shadow Mend. We will monitor how this affects Discipline healing and are okay with increasing the value of Flash Heal for Discipline if needed.
Halo, Divine Star, and Cascade
We made changes to Halo for Dragonflight, allowing it to deal increased damage and healing based on distance. We’re reverting this change due to negative interactions with Halo’s soft target cap and general usability issues. Also, we’re changing the targeting rules to Halo. It will no longer deal damage to enemy creatures not in combat. It will continue to damage players and pets regardless of combat state. While this can be considered a downgrade at times in solo content, we felt it was enough of an improvement in instances to go forward with the change. Thank you for your feedback regarding the spell.
For both Divine Star and Halo, we’ve also blacklisted pets from being counted towards its healing caps for improved usability.
Regarding Cascade, it’s a spell we’ve discussed and are still considering in the long term. We want to take the time to think through the spell in the modern talent system. It’s a spell that all 3 specs are excited about, but bringing it back in its original form while having Divine Star and Halo or replacing one of the two was not the way we thought best to approach it.
Lenience and Evangelism
Like Holy Word: Salvation and Apotheosis for Holy, these talents can feel mandatory in certain content types, so in a future build we’re moving the choice to row 8 instead of being capstones.
Expiation and Inescapable Torment
These talents are intended to function with Atonement. Inescapable Torment will follow standard AoE rules with Atonement, meaning it will Atone based off one damage event and not all 5 hits.
We’ve been concerned about the number of active auras players may need to keep track of in Dragonflight, so initially we hid the stack tracking for Harsh Discipline. In a future build, we plan to expose the aura as it’s a common request to know its status. Thanks for the feedback.
This talent is designed to synergize with Prayer of Mending builds while simultaneously being an option to boost Holy Word cooldown reduction. While we’re excited for this effect, there are two interactions we’re preventing to balance its power. The first is that triggering Apotheosis through Answered Prayers will not reset the cooldown of Holy Word: Sanctify and Holy Word: Serenity. The second is that Casting Holy Word: Sanctify and Holy Word: Serenity while Holy Word: Salvation is on cooldown will not reduce the cooldown of Holy Word Salvation by an increased amount. The talent has been met with a great deal of positivity and we are equally excited, and we hope you can understand our reasoning for preventing these interactions.
Mind Flay: Insanity
We’ve made a change to Mind Flay: Insanity targeted at shortening the amount of time spent channeling Mind Flay: Insanity while increasing the value of casting it. Devouring Plague now only transforms the next cast of Mind Flay into Mind Flay: Insanity; however, we’ve increased the damage of Mind Flay: Insanity, increased its Insanity generation, and increased its slowing effect.
Idols of the Old Gods
We’ve moved all the Idols back to being capstone nodes for the tree. We feel this is thematically appropriate and that each can be tuned appropriately to be exciting talents to chase.
Charges on Mind Blast
We’ve removed the extra charge of Mind Blast from Void Eruption and added it back to Shadowy Insight. We hesitated to do this originally because there are many spells that can proc and compete with one another, but in the end that’s an argument for having the extra charge so there’s less pressure to cast Mind Blast on cooldown. Thank you for your feedback.
Screams of the Void
We’ve made changes to Screams of the Void to improve its effectiveness, especially in AoE. We’ve added Void Torrent to the single target effect as a small way to increase synergy between Void Torrent and other talents. The more impactful change is that while channeling Mind Sear, all DoTs will tick faster.
Dark Ascension and Void Eruption
Between Void Eruption and Dark Ascension, we’re positioning Dark Ascension as the simpler option that is more frequently available. We felt a 1-minute cooldown would allow it to sync with other cooldowns.
For Void Eruption, we’re looking to carry forward a mechanic that has existed in various forms since Legion, extending the duration of Voidform through gameplay. This was an opportunity to tie the extension to something less demanding than casting Void Bolt as soon as it’s off cooldown, so moving forward spending Insanity while in Voidform will extend the duration of the effect. Casting Mind Sear and Devouring Plague with Mind Devourer active will also extend the duration of Voidform.
We’ve taken another look at Mind Sear recently and have made further adjustments to improve its gameplay feel. In a future build, Mind Sear will tick every 0.75 seconds for 3 seconds, consuming 25 Insanity per tick and will not be castable with less than 50 Insanity.
We’re adding Mind Flay to Psychic Link, so that talenting into Mind Spike is not required to have an AoE filler spell. In combination with Mind Flay: Insanity against a low number of targets we foresee this having potentially useful interactions.
Thank you again for your continued participation and feedback during the development of the Priest talent trees.
Thank you for your feedback on our recent changes to Evangelism. Discipline healing scales faster than other healing specializations, as target count increases, which makes it challenging for us to tune the spec to be competitive in both small-scale and large-scale content.
To address this, we’re changing Sins of the Many to a low-level passive and increasing its effectiveness. Discipline is currently overperforming our tuning targets in raids in Dragonflight, so we’re doing this alongside several changes to decrease the specialization’s overall power.
You’ll see the following changes as hotfixes to the Dragonflight Beta over the coming days.
Please note: these changes will not be applied all together to the Dragonflight Beta. We expect to deploy them for testing separately over the next few days.
Thanks again for all of your feedback.