Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

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Tank healers, skip to the next QQ! This one is not applicable. This is for bubble-spamming raiding discipline priests.

Let’s look at the stats on our gear.

Stamina, intellect, spell power: More is always better. These stats are on every piece of gear you’ll equip, and they scale with iLevel. As you gear up, you really don’t have any choice – you’ll get higher and higher values of spell power and intellect.

Haste: The hard cap for bubble-spam is 150 haste rating. Since we’re almost always affected by the haste bonus from Borrowed Time, we need only a tiny amount of haste from gear before our GCD hits the 1 second hard cap. After that, haste will only affect the casting time of your long-cast spells (GH, PoH, Penance, DH). Realistically, you get capped at 150 the moment you hit 80. Because of the GCD cap, the value of haste is nearly zero. It’s not actually zero, but the value drops precipitously at 150. To paraphrase my old probability professor (discussing asymptotes), the value of additional haste on our gear is so close to zero that we might as well just call it zero.

Spirit: This is a mana-regen stat. Holy priests get a spell-power conversion talent, but we get only regen. Spirit holds zero value if you don’t need any additional regen; having more regen is just wasted mana. So there is a regen “cap” of sorts. In ToC25 or ICC gear, you should not have significant mana problems (perhaps none at all), so spirit has nearly no value for us. You can’t (and shouldn’t) get rid of it from your gear entirely. But it’s highly unlikely that adding spirit to your gear will change anything about your capacities, even marginally. Another wasted stat. (FYI: I will lump mp5 in the same category here…it’s present on some gear, especially shared gear like rings and cloaks, and it also provides zero value if you do not need mana.)

Crit: Our direct heals can crit: Penance, Flash, Greater, Divine Hymn, and PoH. Shields cannot crit. The heal from the Glyph can crit, but the heal is only 20% of the size of your shield anyway. So crit benefits your shield only 20% as much as it benefits your healing spells. Of the stats listed here, crit is by far the best, although it is gimped by nearly 80% for shield spammers. The more you cast direct heals (like PoM), the more benefit you’ll get from crit.

Ok, so all our gear will have stamina, intellect, and spell power. Then we’ll get two of the three other stats as well – either crit+spirit, or crit+haste, or haste+spirit. Two of these stats have zero value, and one has about 20% of its nominal value.

Contrast this with gear for a shadow priest, for example, who will receive less value from spirit on gear than from crit. But all three stats offer some real dps benefit. None of them are wasted, none are as gimped as crit rating is for discipline priests. And the only capped stat for shadow priests is hit rating.

Ergo: gearing for discipline is currently broken. On gear that’s supposedly designed for our spec, we receive less value per point of iLevel upgrade than any other spec in the game. If there were a piece of gear that had stam+int+double spell power, that would suit our needs just fine. But since that won’t happen, we’re stuck with getting approximately half the benefit from upgrades that another caster gets.

On to QQ #3 »

(4) Comments

  1. 2/09/2010 1:30 PM the901

    I am finding myself gearing for sp\int\crit\haste. I used to try and gear towards the haste cap that you talk about but not so much anymore. I like being able to cast FH faster when someone needs it and I don't have BT up. Yeah, shielding the raid is what is needed at times, but most of the other times I am a life saver tool. Haste, past shield spam cap, comes in handy for the longer spells for sure. There are many times where I cast two ticks of a penance and have to move on to the next target due to incoming damage. Even a BT PoH is boosted by the extra haste. Fights where we can’t shield spam and we have to dispel a lot will benefit from the extra haste. There are way too many situations where the extra haste will save a life, even if it is a waste for shield spam. Although my BT uptime is usually around 75%, I tend to like the extra haste the other 25%. Just my opinion and play style though…

    Vizsaan - Icecrown

    2/10/2010 4:12 PM Nymarie

    And..../agree again.

    2/11/2010 9:14 AM Anonymous

    Shadows have a soft-cap for haste (~800). It's easy to achieve with ToC25 and ICC gear.

    2/15/2010 6:39 AM Anonymous

    Yep, shieldbotting through the ICC25 progression is all about maxing Spellpower, and ignoring everything else.

    I don't think the scaling is an issue, as Imp PW:S and Borrowed Time give us a meaty spellpower coefficient on our shields (but I'd certainly be interested if anyone has theorycrafted about a shield/sp scaling problem).

    In a sense this makes gearing easier for us, as we just upgrade with iLevel, irrespective of other stats.

    Where I think you're incorrect is in making the assumption that there IS any gear "designed" for Disc. My second character is a Feral Druid, so I'm very used to spotting a spec that isn't itemised for, and right now Disc is not being itemised for.

    That doesn't mean we're broken, any more than Ferals are. We're just not being all coddled by the designers, but tough enough to make our own way, picking up whatever we want. That's been the case for some specs for a long time, but I can understand it being a shock if you're not used to it.

    It would be nice to see PW:S scale with a second stat though, otherwise I'll carry on arguing for the right to roll on dps gear because I get more value from +hit stopping my shackles missing than I do from any other stat (a slightly tongue in cheek rant I'm having with my guild at the moment).


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