A bigger update has arrived for Priests on the DF Beta today, with all three specs and the class tree getting improvements, with Shadow getting the most changes.
Priest September 21 (Source)
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.