Tag Archives: Divine Hymn

Druids (post-nerf!) in Dragon Soul

Yesterday Wild Growth, the heal that generally makes up the biggest portion of our healing in raids got hit with the ole nerfbat. A flat 20% decrease to it’s output, plus a glyph change that forces us to make a choice between it only hitting 5 targets (rather than the 6 we’re used to) or having a 10 second cooldown (rather than 8).

Has the world ended? Are we now unable to keep up with raid damage? Will we be left out of progression raids because we’re just not good enough anymore?

In a word, no. In two words, hell no. Those who were excellent druid healers in 4.2 will continue to be in 4.3.

Last night I got to see how the changes affected me on the first 4 bosses of Dragon Soul.

Morchok

This is a pretty boring fight to heal. Everyone is all nicely grouped up and damge is predictable. It felt like most healers just got to lay down their Efflorescences, Healing Rains, HW: Sanctuaries and let them do all the work. The mechanics of this fight can cater really well to any healer class.

Morchok healing done

To be honest, I was a tiny bit shocked to see myself 3rd on the meters, but the difference between 1st and 3rd is very small. My healing breakdown looked like this:

Morchok spell breakdownThis spell breakdown for this type of fight looks very similar to what I was seeing in Firelands. Wild Growth is still 30% of my healing. I didn’t even use Tranquility here, sort of seemed like overkill.

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • I did use the Glyph of Wild Growth for this fight. The 10-second cooldown on WG threw off my timing a little and was a bit awkward to get used to. I will try this fight without it next week.
  • The odd timing also threw me off on other things. I was only at 84% uptime on Harmony on this fight. That needs to be better.
  • Blood DKs…gtfo. Seriously. Stop sniping all the heals.

Warlord Zon’ozz

Zon’ozz is a little more fun to heal. There are periods of heavy raid damage, along with a magic effect that needs to be dispelled, and a little more single target healing required to top off those who have just been dispelled.

Warlord Zon'ozz healing
Our holy priest kicked some ass on this one with all her great group/area healing spells. Also, the lightwell – we clicked it (good raid!).

My healing breakdown:

Warlord Zon'ozz - druid spell breakdownAgain, nothing terribly surprising about the breakdown here. There are periods of very heavy raid damage where everyone is grouped up, so WG and Efflo are the obvious winners. There’s also a fair amount of healing from Regrowth from topping up those who needed to be dispelled or had just been dispelled.

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • Your cooldown can beat up my cooldown. Divine Hymn kicks the shit out of Tranquility now.

Divine Hymn vs. Tranquility
A normal DH tick from a Holy Priest is hitting for almost 10k more than a tick of Tranquility. A crit is hitting for almost 20k more. Plus, the number of Divine Hymn ticks is affected by haste, meaning a priest can eek out 25 ticks normally, and likely 30 under the right conditions. Druids will always have only 20 of the big ticks, though we can gain extra ticks on the smaller HoT left behind.

  • I removed the Glyph of WG on this fight.  It felt much better to be able to cast WG every 8 seconds and I was able to get into a better rhythm. I did try the fight with the glyph on a couple wipes, but it didn’t feel right.
  • Nature’s Cure is most definitely worth it here. There’s a lot of dispelling to be done, and the quicker it can be done, the better.

 Yor’sajh the Unsleeping

This fight was a bit of a whirlwind. There are a lot of different add colours to keep track of and abilities to know…but he died so quick that I never really got a chance to learn what was going on. Good job from the dps killing all the bad things before we had to worry about their effects.

Yorsajh healing breakdown

This fight was very friendly towards the druid style of healing. Sometimes we were grouped up, sometimes spread out. There was a fair amount of movement going on and I felt my mobility gave me an edge here.

My healing breakdown:

Yor'sajh druid spell breakdownPretty standard breakdown. I’m actually happy to see that Wild Growth made up less than 25% of my healing here. It’s always nice to see a diverse selection of spells doing the healing.

 

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • The description of this fight lists some very interesting mechanics, but unfortunately, we never had to deal with the really nasty ones, so the fight felt a bit too easy.
  • Again, I did not use glyph of WG. Still felt good about that choice.
  • It was almost a 7 minute fight, so I should be able to fit in a second Tranquility next time.

Hagara the Stormbinder

Hagara, kind of like Yor’sahj, sounds complicated on paper, but we managed to kill her quickly (even though I highly suspect many people didn’t have a clue what they were doing).

Hagara healing breakdown

Again, I feel this fight was tailored to druids. People were much more spread out than in the previous 3 fights making Wild Growth much stronger than some of the more range-limited group heals (whether we were supposed to be spread out or we were just flailing is another matter entirely). Our range of instant spells was also very handy when running around during Ice Wave.

My healing breakdown:

Hagara druid healing spell breakdownOnly 21% of healing from WG makes me happy.

Regrowth is higher in healing done again because I did a fair bit of direct healing.

 

 

 

Things I learned from this fight:

  • Blizzard needs to make up their mind about how many healers a typical fight needs. We had 6 and it was way too many for this. Two healers even died. As a group the healers were at over 60% overheal. Just not enough damage going out on this fight.
  • I didn’t use glyph of WG, still happy without it.
  • Ice Tombs cause line of sight issues. Having all the tomb targets stack up in the middle – on top of the tank – is a bad idea.

Despite the nerfs, resto druids are still in a great place and fully capable of thriving in Dragon Soul. Wild Growth will generally make up a few less percent of our overall healing, but that’s not a bad thing. Our biggest output cooldown has been slightly dwarfed by the Divine Hymn buffs, but we’ll live. Just keep up Lifebloom, keep Harmony active and never stop casting. You’ll be tearing up the healing charts in no time (while not standing in the bad and keeping your assignments alive, of course).

Evaluating Discipline Priests with World of Logs

This is part of a series about using World of Logs to evaluate raiders.

First, thank you to all the people who reviewed or helped contribute to this post. Nyahm and Baerd of Arm of Hades, Kaleri of Apotheosis and Power Word: What?, Viktory of The Leetsauced Podcast and Gina of Healbot.net. You should go pay them a visit when you’re done reading this.

Now, on to the post.

Here are specific things to look for when analyzing discipline priest logs. It’s best to look at specific kills or attempts in order to get meaningful numbers.

Healing Done

Discipline priests are the masters of mitigation. They are great tank healers but are also well suited to raid healing, especially when damage is constant and/or predictable to make the most of Power Word: Shield. Priests have a wide variety of spells and cooldowns to manage. Disc priests have two viable healing styles: one that uses Atonement/Archangel and one that doesn’t.

Player Details

Healing by Spell

Is the priest using the appropriate spells?Discipline Priest healing breakdown by spell

Priests have a very diverse tool set and how they play will depend not only on their assignment, but also their raid size, composition, gear level and personal preference. Top spells used can change from fight to fight and priest to priest. If in doubt, ask the priest in question why they’re using the spells they are.

Tank healing
The main tank healing spells are: Power Word: Shield, Penance and Greater Heal. These are often supplemented by Prayer of Mending, Binding Heal, Atonement (if available) and possibly Flash Heal or Heal.

Raid Healing
The main raid healing spells are: Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Mending. Penance, Greater Heal and Binding Heal are also used for spot healing. Divine Hymn is a good raid healing cooldown.

Divine Aegis will usually near the top  of healing done in terms of damage mitigated, though it’s not a spell that is actually cast.

Spells that may show not show up in the logs much – or at all – include:

  • Flash Heal: For lesser geared healers, Flash Heal should be used in emergencies only since it is extremely inefficient. For healers who are overgeared and/or have access to a lot of mana cooldowns, it may show up more frequently.
  • Renew: This spell is very weak for Disc Priests. It may be rolled on a tank or cast on the move, but overall it should not make up a significant portion of healing done.
  • Heal: Though Heal is very efficient, it does relatively little healing. Geared priests may not use it in favour bigger, more expensive heals. Atonement-specced priests should be using Smite instead of Heal.

Notes on specific spells:

Power Word: Shield

Power Word: Shield will generally be one of the top spells for healing done whether the priest is tank healing or raid healing. PW:S provides all kinds of goodness, from awesome mitigation, haste for the next spell through Borrowed Time, mana return through Rapture and extra crit chance for direct heals through Weakened Soul and Renewed Hope. PW:S will usually account for around 25-40% of heals and glyph of PW:S will provide an extra 5-10%. Overheal on PW:S should be low, ideally under 20% or so. If the overheal is much higher than that, absorbs are being wasted and the priest is likely casting PW:S more than they should.

Penance

Penance is a fairly cheap heal that hits 3 times in rapid succession. It is an excellent way to get a 3-stack of Grace up on a target. It has a 10 second cooldown and should be used often, especially when tank healing. With the Tier 11 bonus, it also provides extra spirit whenever it’s used.

Flash Heal vs. Binding Heal

Since most raid fights involve significant raid damage, Binding Heal should be used more than Flash Heal in most situations. Use of Binding Heal shows the priest is taking care of themselves in addition to the rest of the raid.

Divine Hymn

Divine Hymn healing on World of Logs

Divine Hymn has an 8 minute cooldown, so can only be used once a fight. Besides the healing it provides it also increases healing done to those it heals by 10%. It should be used on every fight, especially when raid healing.

Divine Hymn is affected by haste. The base amount of ticks is 12, but with 12.5% haste (which most raid-buffed priests will have) it will heal 15 times. If cast while under the effects of Power Infusion, Borrowed Time or Bloodlust,  it could tick up to 18 times. You should see at least 15 direct heals from Divine Hymn. If it’s less, the priest is probably using it at a bad time and had to interrupt the cast before it was finished.

Atonement

If a priest is Atonement specced, they should be using Smite/Holy Fire to heal on every fight to some extent. Otherwise, they’re wasting 5 talent points that could be spent elsewhere. How much healing Atonement accounts for really depends on the fight. On a fight like Halfus, where the mechanic is very powerful, it could make up the majority of the priests healing. On most other fights, Atonement is mainly used during times of light damage to stack Evangelism up to 5, then use Archangel when damage ramps up for the 15% extra healing.

Buffs Cast

This screen will tell you how often a priest is using their cooldowns, along with the uptime on key abilities.

Discipline Priest - Buffs cast on World of Logs

Prayer of Mending – PoM should be cast on cooldown and be up as much as possible. 75-90% uptime is a good, attainable target.

Grace – Uptime on Grace will depend heavily on healing assignment and fight. For tank healers: If the tank is taking damage throughout the encounter Grace uptime close to 100%. The nature of the fight will affect this number. For example, on Atramedes the tank isn’t taking any damage during air phase, so it’s likely Grace will fall off and have a lower uptime over the duration of the fight compared to a fight like Maloriak, where the main tank is taking damage all the time.  Raid healers and Atonement-specced priests will have a lower uptime  since Grace it isn’t triggered from Atonement, Power Word Shield or Prayer of Healing.

Inner Focus – Inner Focus makes your next spell free and more likely to crit. It has a 1 minute cooldown (less for those with Train of Thought) and should be used whenever it’s available.

Hymn of Hope – Hymn of Hope restores mana to the raid and should be used on every fight. Like Divine Hymn it has 12 base ticks but is affected by haste. You should see at least 15 ticks.

Pain Suppression – Pain Suppression has a three minute cooldown. Its use will often be prescribed by the raid leader. You should see PS used 1-3 times on most fights, depending on length.

Power Infusion on World of LogsPower Infusion – Power Infusion reduces casting time and the cost of spells. It has a 2 minute cooldown. It should be used often.  Click on Power Infusion in the Buffs Cast table to find out who it was used on (whether the priest was using it on themselves or someone else).

Fade – Fade is something to look for if the priest has pulled aggro on something. If they’re pulling aggro and getting killed without using Fade, there’s a problem.

Trinkets – If the priest has any on-use trinkets, or racials like Arcane Torrent they should be used as much as possible. Compare the cooldown to the amount of times used.

Other things to look for

There are a few important things that won’t show up under Healing Done or Buffs Cast.

Power Word: Barrier –  To find out how PW:B often it is used, you need to use the Expression Editor. Go to Dashboard > Expression Editor and add in the following (replace the sourceName with the name of the priest):

sourceName = “Pasiphae”
and (Spell = “Power Word: Barrier”)

This will show you how many times PW:B was used. If you want more details, such as how many people were effected by the Barrier, just use (Spell = “Power Word: Barrier”) as the query.

Power Word: Barrier in the World of Logs expression editor

Archangel/Evangelism – Archangel increases healing and restores mana and should generally be used whenever the priest reaches 5 stacks of Evangelism. It has a duration of 18 seconds and a cooldown of 30 seconds, so the maximum uptime is 60%, but it will generally not be up anywhere near this often. How much Atonement is used for healing really depends on the priest and the fight, so there’s no target uptime for this. However, you can use the Expression Editor to find out how well it is used. Use this expression (replace the sourceName with the name of the priest):

sourceName = “Pasiphae”
and (Spell = “Evangelism” or Spell=”Archangel”)

Evangelism in the World of Logs expression editor

In this screenshot you can see that I got to a 5-stack of Evangelism, continued to cast Smite or Holy Fire for 11 seconds then used Archangel to consume the stacks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things to look for:

  • Ensure that Evangelism is always at a 5 stack before Archangel is used.
  • Check how long after getting a 5 stack of Evangelism it takes for the priest to use Archangel. It’s fine to save it for a short time but if the priest is reaching 5 stacks then waiting more than 30 seconds to use it, it’s a waste.
  • Check to see if Evangelism ever falls off without Archangel being triggered.

Discipline Priest mana returns on World of LogsShadowfiend – Shadowfiend restores mana to the priest and does some damage too. It should be used on every fight. To make sure it’s used, go to the player details and check the Buffs Gained screen. You should see Mana Leech in the Power Gains table.