Bringing Back The Bubbles

Hi, folks. Arrens here from that other site that hasn’t been updated regularly in far too long. Blame work. And work filters. And whatever else pops into my Sudofed-addled brain this morning.
Anyways, I asked my arch-nemesis if I could provide a guest post here. See, I’ve been leveling a priest for the better part of this year. Theodious is my dwarven disc priest, the dispenser of bubbles and all-around cad. (Seriously. I play on an RP server. If you happen upon Feathermoon-Alliance and engage in an in-character discussion with Theo AND you’re playing a female toon, run. Fast.) 
Theo isn’t my first attempt at a priest. He’s actually my 6th. (Amber in: it’s a disease; Lyr was 5th or 6th) The previous 5 never made it to level 20 before finding the delete button. They were tedious and boring and GODDAMMIT WHY WASN’T THE LFD SYSTEM OUT A LOT EARLIER?!
Ahem. Sorry. But Theo sat at level 12 for months. Seriously. For nearly 6 months, he gathered dust as I couldn’t be arsed to go out and smite my way through gnolls and spiders and the odd troll/yeti hiding in caves. But something happened along the way. I got the itch to level him, something I never could have foreseen. And I did. With great gusto. Full use of heirlooms and the LFD system had me tossing bubbles out left and right. I learned about spamming Flash Heal and have been laughed at time and again for my overuse of Renew as a non-holy priest. But you know what? It worked and I kept my groups mostly alive. (Except mages, who I still let die because my inner warlock chortles.) (FYI: you are supposed to let ROGUES and WARLOCKS die, not mages.  Mages give you noms.  Arrens is doin’ it wrong.)


This picture isn't relevent to anything. I'm just breaking up Arren's wall of text. You're welcome.

Then along comes patch 4.0.1 and everything gets flip-turned upside down. New talents, new spells, and SWEET BABY ZOMBIE JESUS MY MANA POOL JUST TRIPLED! So I have that going for me, which is nice.
Yesterday, Theo hit level 70. He’s been through Utgarde Keep (So.  Tired.  Of that instance.)  about a dozen times now and I’m thankful to largely be away from the new DK tanks who don’t know what threat generation is. (Seriously, guys. Use Blood Presence now if you’re tanking. This is non-negotiable and will cause me to drop group if you pull the first group in anything else.)  (If only it was just the DK tanks.  Oh my god.  Something about UK brings out the fail in tanks.)
“But Arrens,” I can hear you say. “What’s the fucking point of this post aside from telling us that you’ve done what everyone and their goddamn brother has done in leveling another toon?” To which I respond, Relax, skippy. I’m getting to that.
See, Amber’s blog is titled “For The Bubbles.” Yet, when’s the last time she talked anything about bubbles? She hasn’t in a long, long time. No, she’s almost all hunter, all the time. (Do you know how many disc priests you can have in a raid?!  THE ANSWER IS NOT THREE.)  Which is great and all, but the snark’s gone. (Gone my ass.  Wit’s as sharp as ever, baby.) She’s lost her bluster. (LOL) The fight between my arch-nemesis and I isn’t so much a fight anymore as it is a roflstomp on my part. (LOLOLOLOL.  Delusions!  So cute!) So as a means to get back to our roots, I’m going to provide her with some snark on this here blog and give the leveling tips from a Disc Priest’s perspective in the post-4.0 universe. Some of these are obvious no-brainers. They’ve been around since the dawn of WoW. But others? Well…some folks need could use a smack to the back of the head when they queue in the LFD. This is for them.
1.) I need mana. No, really. I need mana. Tanks, if I sit down for a drink because I’ve only got 1/4 of my mana left after you opted to pull the entire bloody instance, please let me fill it up before going back for more. I know you’re sadistic sonsabitches taking whacks to the head for the greater good, but I can’t heal you unless you see blue under my green health bar. If you continue to run all willy-nilly and we wipe due to your impatience, I will leave. (Sidenote: Priests need Life Tap. Serious.)

2.) Power Word: Barrier is a pretty cool mechanic. It’s like a giant bubble for the whole group. You stand under it, you don’t get hurt and any heals I cast on you are increased by 3%. So melee? STOP RUNNING OUT FROM UNDER IT, YOU FUCKTARDS! I have two level 80 rogues. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many inappropriate uses of Sprint as when I cast PW: Barrier. You’re all giving my second favorite class a bad name. I hate you.  (I’d say that it’s because we’ve trained them SO WELL to not stand in things, but anyone who heals knows that no, they haven’t absorbed that lesson, either.   So really they have…no excuse.  Except not understanding the AWESOME that is PW: Barrier.)

3.) Prot Pallys, I don’t know what’s happened to you since 4.0. You used to be my favorite class to heal, what with your awesome AOE threat generation and your, what I can only guess was, fantastic dodging and parrying abilities. But that’s all changed. Every pally I’ve healed in the past week has been taking some pretty incredible damage. Stop that. Please. You make me go into an anaphylactic shock all the damn time now.
4.) Warrior tanks, you have replaced Prot Pallys as my favorite tanks to heal. Keep it up, guys and gals. 
5.) This one isn’t so much a tip or even an observation I’ve seen happening frequently as it is just (what I hope was) a singular event that occurred yesterday in UK. I’m in a group with one of those aforementioned prot pallys that couldn’t keep threat on more than two mobs at a time. We had a rogue, a fury warrior, a frost mage and myself filling out the group. All the DPS were pretty decently geared for upper-60’s, low-70’s toons and were constantly pulling threat. The frost mage, on several occasions, kept pulling entire groups off the pally and would proceed to run. Not to the tank. Not to me, the healer. No, he would start running backwards as fast as his gnomish feet would carry him. Well out of LOS of me and way to far for the pally to lay down a consecrate. When he died for the sixth time in that run, I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. Nothing makes me giddier with glee than seeing a mage die. Make it a gnome? Well hell. It’s like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one.  (Isn’t it DELIGHTFUL when they do that?  Their repair bills are like a stupidity tax.)
So there ya have it, folks. My tales of leveling as Disc in the post-4.0 apocalypse. Any tales to share of your own? Toss ’em in the comments.

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  1. #1 by Kestrel on October 21, 2010 - 10:20 am

    Protip: It’s a myth, perpetuated for I-don’t-know-what-purpose, that Disc Priests shouldn’t Renew. Not only did I Renew through a good part of ICC-25 as Disc, I had Improved Renew just for that purpose. And glyphed. (Of course, the proponents of said myth also believe a Disc Priest can’t be a tank-and-raid priest (at the same time).) (And yes, I had a pretty-much cookie-cutter Disc spec.)

    (Enough parentheses? I think so.)

  2. #2 by Nebet on October 21, 2010 - 11:11 am

    Every pally I’ve healed in the past week has been taking some pretty incredible damage. Stop that. Please. You make me go into an anaphylactic shock all the damn time now.

    If you’re disc and you end up panic-bubbling them constantly, would that make it prophylactic shock?

  3. #3 by Celendus on October 21, 2010 - 11:33 am

    Paladins used to block nearly 100% of the time, and geared ones had enough block value that nothing outside of ICC10/25 could hurt us.

    Block got nerfed to only reduce damage by 30%, and paladins lost a lot of block too.

    Warriors, meanwhile, gained a large amount of self-healing – most will do more self healing than an equivalent paladin would.

    Also, paladins are now a whole lot more complicated than they used to be, and anyone who only played one because it’s “the easy tank” is probably going to fail until they quit. It’s not rocket surgery, but it does require constant decision making.

  4. #4 by Escobar on October 21, 2010 - 1:35 pm

    That’s funny, I’ve tanked stuff on my prot pally and have been told more than once that I’m a pleasure to heal because I’m not taking much damage to begin with.

    I also find my pally a lot simpler to play now than I did before. I never liked the 969. It was far too regimented, and the current rotation is much looser and open to improvisation. The only thing I don’t like about it now is that AoE is going to require a little more work to get down.

    Though, to be fair, my main is a bear, and while holding things with AoE wasn’t hard pre-patch, GETTING them was. So I’m already used to the heavy position placement that pallies have to use now in order to gather things up. (Which, by extension, makes me happy that the new prot paladin makes it much easier to tank things on the move.)

    I guess it’s really all in approach. If you approach 4.0.1 prot like 3.3.5 prot, you’re probably going to be pissed. But even in 3.3.5, I approached pally like a 3.3.5 BEAR (it was kind of hurtful; they were very different), so 4.0.1 pally isn’t much of an adjustment at all.

  5. #5 by Achloryn on October 21, 2010 - 1:36 pm

    Arrens.. Try healing a druid sometime.. We kick ass…. no seriously.. druid tanks rock so hard right now.

    Otherwise.. The itch of levelling a priest.. i’ve felt it too.. Mine is sitting somewhere around 24 right now.. She’s such a little ball of bubbles and pwnage in BGs… it’s great. Seriously.. Penance at level 10? wtfisthis… SO overpowered.

  6. #6 by Eva on October 21, 2010 - 2:02 pm

    Eva was my first priest and also my first max level toon…. But now I’ve gone to the DARK SIDE!

  7. #7 by Jkol on October 21, 2010 - 2:10 pm

    Thoughts as an 80 disc priest and a levelling prot pally (72-75).

    1) Smite healing is an interesting, if distracting mechanic. Will anyone else own up to letting a dps die rather than interrupt a half done smite? Odds are the tank blamed the dps anyhow…

    2) Everyone is going to have to get used to the fact consecrate is no longer a magic tanking button. Pallys still have good aoe threat tools but what we lose without a spammable cons is threat smoothing when we use other tools. If I have to waste 1-2 gcds targeting the right mob it comes at the expense of my regular rotation and I may not have cons off cd to fill the gap.

    This leads to a problem that is mostly caused by expectations of the parties involved. Everyone is used to the pallys having this tool and are more aggressive in their actions. I expect/hope that as people adjust pally tanking results will be better.

    3) Anecdotally, It seems like people behave a bit better when they are busy/scared. People think they are being helpful when they pull things for me and I tank them. People stop being helpful when they think it encourages me to do things like pulling Hadronox and all the adds attacking it.

    From a squishiness angle, previous posters have noted that defense has changed a lot. Most of the pally tanking advice out on 4.0 steered pallys away from WoG as a threat loss and it is easy to forget that advice is for tanking bosses at 80 not for aoe tanking while leveling.
    I use WoG about 50% of pulls with 4 mobs. My survivability is just fine.

    4) I’ve noticed that most of my healers are disc priests or resto shammys these days. I don’t think I’ve seen a single Druid healer in my leveling since 4.0.

  8. #8 by Fawes on October 21, 2010 - 2:25 pm

    “I’d say that it’s because we’ve trained them SO WELL to not stand in things, but anyone who heals knows that no, they haven’t absorbed that lesson, either. So really they have…no excuse. Except not understanding the AWESOME that is PW: Barrier.”

    And the awesome that is Efflorescence for us former-tree-Droods. Seriously, every time I Rejuve+Swiftmend I see people scatter. What is so unfriendly about my pretty leaves?

  9. #9 by LabRat on October 21, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    Yeah, I have a prot warrior and a prot pally and they’ve kind of swapped positions when it comes to how much thought it takes to maximize survivability. The warcow does a lot of passive self-healing now without my having to change almost anything about the way I tanked pre-patch, whereas I had to completely relearn the pally- and it didn’t hurt that I hit the reforger and gorged on mastery like a toddler on birthday cake. At this point I’m nearly block-capped and about as indestructible as I ever was. It also doesn’t hurt that I was already in the habit of leaning on my other AoE threat abilities other than consecrate because it was too mana-expensive in heroics- didn’t need to change much there,

    So, yeah. Before 4.0 paladins were easy to be adequate tanks on and hard to be great tanks on, now they’re moderately challenging to be adequate on but once you’ve gotten there greatness isn’t as far away as it used to be. We got a LOT of quality of life improvements, you just have to know how to use them.

  10. #10 by LabRat on October 21, 2010 - 3:27 pm

    @Fawes: I am sorry but it looks entirely too much like Desecration. I keep running away from it too. :(

  11. #11 by Vestial on October 25, 2010 - 3:39 am

    I have absolutely let people die to finish a Smite, and also a Holy Fire (which is more visible and usually gets me yelled at… but the graphic is so pretty! And epic!). The day the tank died because I was busy Holy Firing my way to the killing blow on Putricide is a day I will never live down.

  12. #12 by Anafielle on October 27, 2010 - 11:34 am

    Re: Pallies

    You are talking about low-level pallies, but I might as well point something out that applies to high-level ones. Paladins block a lot less than they used to, but a 4.0 pally can now block cap with mastery. Rhidach and I are basically block capped, so we’re mitigating 30% of every single attack. Of course, we have pretty OP gear that can be reforged to a ton of Mastery… regardless, level 80 paladin tanks are loving them some mastery, which is a HUGE mitigation stat that lower level paladin tanks do not have any access to.

    Threat– Having the AE rotation be totally different from the single target rotation is awesome and a change tons of us have enjoyed. But a lot of people don’t have the hang of it yet. I had to practice it some. And yes, as others have said, if the tank is losing threat in a multi target pull… they might suck, but I would venture to pt out that it’s probably the DPS’s fault blowing their AE before the tank has time to GET threat. We don’t have magic Seal of Cleave anymore, and while New Style HOTR is cool, it and consecrate are nowhere near as hard-hitting as their previous incarnations. We can keep threat on everything with ease IF all the DPS are assisting the tank and IF they wait on their OP AE attacks for, oh, a full 6 GCDs or so. Which no one does.

    Survivability– Yeah, we have lost a bit of survivability…. Interesting to see that you think so at the lower levels, too, when I’ve been seeing it at 80 :)

    and re: Priest — I LOVE MY DISC PRIEST. OMG. I LOVE IT. I am also leveling a priest disc and holy shit, it’s a blast! What a fun leveling spec!! First of all, questing is EZ mode, because Penance and Smite w/ that Evangelism talent whoop ass. I am chain pulling with glee, keeping up my Evangelism stacks, when pre-4.0 I was terrified of pulling more than a single mob. Also: PVP on a disc priest is super fun. I haven’t even leveled in dungeons yet, and I plan to. Anyways: disc is totally, totally, without question, the leveling spec to go on a priest.


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