Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CC: Absorption in WWS

Special thanks to Thrornir who played my secretary and typed out this post. Somehow I have done something to my shoulder, and it hurts like hell. I've watched several TV shows this evening (been a looong time), and dictated my post to him. Lets just hope the chiropractor knows how to undo what I did to it.

And oh, no correct answers to my Where am I? from yesterday yet...

For this week's Constructive Criticism I'm going to talk about one of the changes in today's patch. The change I' m talking about is the following:
"Soul Warding: Mana cost reduction is now 15% down from 30%."
There's a couple of reasons I can think of for why Blizz is making this change, they might have found out that disc Priests were pretty powerful in PvP. Or maybe they thought that they were too good in PvE situations. However, today I'm not going to write about how my class is getting nerfed. Because knowing Blizzard, they're probably correct and Discipline Priests needed it.

But you know what really irks me? There are just no numbers to back this up.

So instead of being sad about the nerf, what I am going to talk about today, is the fact that there still is no way of seeing in the combat log how much damage is absorbed by any type of absorption abilities. Because,let's face it, Discipline Priests are about the worst healers you can think of... if you go by the meters.

I used to pride myself in being in the top three of the healing meters. However, once I decided to become discipline, I had to accept that I would always be at the bottom, at least against any healer who knows what they're doing.

Discipline Priests simply don't shine through their healing, they shine through their mitigation talents, their absorption, and their abilities to prevent damage from happening. One of the biggest tools in the disciple priest's toolbox is Power Word: Shield.

Even though it is very clear that a discipline Priest can bring a lot to a raid, the top guilds in the world simply aren't bringing discipline Priests. Poptisse from Ensida for example, says to bring a priest who isn't Holy is a waste of a good raid spot. In my view, this is due largely to the fact that there are just no numbers to back up what a discipline Priest can do.

There are ways to calculate how much PW:S has absorbed through estimation. One of them is looking at the glyph PW:S, because the healing done by this glyph is actually recorded in the combat logs. The other way is to look at the damage the talent Reflective Shields does. Both ways allow you to deduce how much damage is mitigated. In the end, it's just annoying that they haven't incorporated absorption in the combat logs.

Not only should this be in the combat logs to make raid leaders understand what a discipline Priest can do, and how important their mitigation skills are, but it can also help the discipline Priest hone their skills.

If I would know for how much damage my shield has absorbed during the fight, I would also know how much it had healed per mana. I would be able to tell if I should have been healing more rather then preventing. Because maybe, instead of throwing five shields around, my Prayer of Healing would have been a lot more effective. The only thing I know for sure now, at least, is that if my shield was absorbed fully, then no mana was wasted. However, I can not even see if my shield was fully absorbed or not.

This does make me wonder if Blizzard has maybe intentionally kept absorption out of the logs. Maybe it is more effective then thought it would be? Maybe they don't want to share with the entire world how good this spell really is?

Then again, as far as I've always understood, Blizzard has access to the same logging as we do, so to know how powerful (or not) the absorption of PW:S really is, they too would have to go through silly calculations. What I can hope for is that they are basing these sort of nerfs on actual numbers, rather then the whining on the forums.

Blizz may have decided that discipline Priests had too much mana, but I too struggle with mana. I can tell you that in our last 3v3, I ran out of mana before the healing paladin did. And yes, I am definitely having fun with my class, but I really wish I could see how effective I actually am, and if I should work on certain points or not.


  1. I totally agree. I think absorption needs to be available because there are still so many people out there who look at the meters and think that the healing as discipline isn't doing anything. I really enjoy playing my priest as discipline and feel that it is a great healing spec with cool variety and a ton of options for any situation

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  2. Chris Anthony | Duct Tape and a PrayerMay 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    The obnoxious part of this is, absorption is available via the combat log. Blizzard just hasn't seen fit to tell us what did the absorbing. So we still have to guess. <_>

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  3. world of logs, the new wws, accounts for mitigated heals like pw:s.

  4. Yeah, I have discovered it by now. We've been using that one, and found another one as well, but that one kept giving us errors.

    Shame WWS stopped updating though =/