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The 1.10 Shadow priest, discussionFollow

#1 Apr 02 2006 at 5:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Yes Holly & Discipline got the major changes but...

Have some of the changes in all 3 trees offered Shadow fans some new options:

Can we access some of the new talents in the other trees and make better & or different types of priests? I am framing all of this as questions since I just reached 40 with my first real priest and still have much to learn.

1- There is that brand new very powerful talent in the first tier of Holy (Healing Focus). Will 70% reduction in interruptions during healing help us? Seems to me that in the role of a back up healer, who also fights & may even regen mana, this would be a great talent to have. When we have to heal the smelly stuff has hit the fan and getting anything cast has become much more difficult.

2- How about access to: Martyrdom & Meditation? How does maxing both Martyrdom & Meditation compare to Mental Agility? Can we still get to Mental Agility anyway?

3-What does 30% Vamp regen do? Can a Shadow priest now function as the party mana regenerator & cause damage in the process, is that a viable end game/party role. I know at lv 40 with just 20% vamp regen I have other casters complaining of too much mana ( I don't think it's really a complaint). When I ask Hunters & Paladins, they seem to think it is a big help.

I was following the old WOW guide on how to lv a priest. I was 38 3/4 when 1.10 hit, tough decision. I was eager to try all the Shadow talents so I just went ahead & did the (all shadow) spec at close to 39. Yea I was short on mana for over a lv & it was sort of a pain. Now that I am 40 with mana regen, shadow form and a mount things are much better. So far I am finding that party people adapt to to me as a "mana pool" quite easily.

Since I can usually handle most party healing in the process everyone seems quite happy. It turns out that back up healers who are getting a big mana boost notice me more & jump in with that extra mana when it is needed, especially paladins.

The party seems to like the extra damage I offer at the start & end of fights. I use to play a feral Druid and there are some marked similarities. Jumping from form to form, healing fighting. I like the priests ranged attacks better though, I find it much easier to respond when & where needed. I also find it much easier to protect myself while filling those other rolls.The shadow priest may be less versatile than the Druid, but the Druid can not increase the party mana pool either. It is increasingly hard for me to go back to the Druid.

So I am thinking about 18/2/31 or something of that nature. Do you older hands think there is a place for such a priest in end game? It is great fun & quite popular in parties at lv 40.
#2 Apr 02 2006 at 6:42 PM Rating: Decent
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785 posts
i don't really like the idea of a hybrid shadow priest/healer in the end game. levelling up to 60 you have to do it cos you will do both roles (pre 1.10 i had imp PW: Fort and imp PW: shield because of the effect on the group). once you hit 60 you should probably decide if you want to be a healer or DPSer (whether PvE or PvP). you can still heal as a shadow priest, but i wouldn't suggest main healing. that's just me though. it is more difficult now because with strath and scholo being 5 mans, you really want the best healer possible in there.

the shadow tree offers a LOT. in fact, probably every talent in the tree is worth getting. i would say post patch, one of the things i liked was that the shadow affinity talent now requires only 3 points for the same return :) that and improved vampiric.
#3 Apr 02 2006 at 8:30 PM Rating: Decent
16 posts
Thanks for the reply.

I was thinking more in terms of: main mana regenerator, ranged offense role filling in wherever needed, backup healer. My reason for straying from the Shadow Tree would be to pick up more ability to cast under pressure and regenerate mana.

Honestly at this point I am 40 with all 31 points in Shadow, hard to be any truer than that. I am also very happy with my character. It is good to hear someone say they feel that everything in the Shadow tree is valuable though, I had my doubts. My two main concerns down the road are having enough mana and having the ability to resist interruption or special attacks. It may be that the Shadow tree provides for these eventualities, I may not recognize them.
#4 Apr 02 2006 at 9:24 PM Rating: Decent
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464 posts
I'm not that familiar yet with the trees, as I just started a priest, but I do know there is a talent that increases the mana pool and one that gives chance of non-interupt.. (Holy Focus?) I think that's it.

So just swing a few pts into which ever tree has those and you should be fine.. even having a 31 Shadow build. Only my thoughts tho as again I just started one and haven't experimented yet.
#5 Apr 02 2006 at 11:38 PM Rating: Decent
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785 posts
for non-interruption as a shadow priest you have to look at exactly what you are doing.

pretty much your number one is the shield. nothing compares to that. if you are soloing, then by the time the shield runs out, you should be wanding anyway, which doesn't get interrupted.

if you are PvE grouping, add to that the reducing threat talents so they don't come towards you in the first place. so that is shadow affinity, silent resolve (both of this give 44% damage threat reduction) and improved fade. unbreakable will would likely be handy as well. martyrdom is also of some limited use, but they have removed the focused casting spell so it's certainly not as useful as it once was. (it is 8s of uninterruptability if you get critted... i don't really rate it because if i get critted, i'm half dead, and the last thing i'm thinking is "how can i continue healing?" - can be useful for a shadow priest, but i noticed that it mostly procced when shield was up anyway)

it is important to note that healing focus is only for healing spells. as a shadow priest, you will not be using these when soloing. you will only be using them if you are healing in a group. is it worth taking? sure. if you're happy to spend a couple of points there rather than in something that will increase your dps ability. if you are looking for an all-round instance build, it may be worthwhile, but as a shadow priest i was mostly thinking about the damage above all else. realistically in a group setting, the tank should have aggro off you before shield runs out, and if they don't you're probably screwed either way.

as to your mana pool comments, i don't quite understand what you're saying. vampiric embrace restores health, not mana. the mana pool-increasing talent is mental strength and you have to have 20 points in disc to start investing in it. so it would mean you can't have both that and shadowform. a shadow priest will not have mana pool problems until mid 50s. possibly at sunken temple you may run into problems, but you're right until then. a shadow priest can heal just fine.

quickly, as a shadow priest, i'd only do dps if
a) i'm not the main healer. that means shadowforming and topping the damage charts.
b) the party is quite high level and can handle the mobs easily. i will stay in healing form, but use shadow spells until about half mana is gone, then hold that in reserve for healing.

watch out for how you use vampiric embrace. if there is any question of the tank holding aggro, you shouldn't use it. i often found that i would only use it when there was only a single target - like in boss fights. otherwise all the adds come to you.
#6 Apr 03 2006 at 3:34 PM Rating: Default
I like to think of myself as an uber priest even though I may be only 49 1/2. After the new patch came out i went 0-11-29 and while i enjoy the new AoE i am missing my shadow form, but to answer ur ? yes there is cause there r to many friggin holy/holy and holy/dis out there now.

I was in a group for SM: Libreary with a pally and some others. I wanted to get through it fast so i told the pally to help keep an eye out for heals cause i was going shadow from(And if ur a true healer and r handling a few low lvl mobs u know the faster u kill the less u have to heal) And my plan worked we got out of ther in 30min. Unfortunatly the pally was still complaning that he had to pull his wieght in the group.

Note: with vamp on and in shadow form i still healed morethen that bubble head

So if anyone trys to talk u out of a heavy shadow spec and u like the shadow spec stick with it cause we can heal just as well as the others.





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Firerain-49 Shadow Priest
#7 Apr 03 2006 at 3:51 PM Rating: Decent
OK question and sorry if this was postd somewhere else. Does Healing Gear that adds plus to healing affect the back end of Vampiric embrace IE i Deal 1000 damage and i heal back 30% with bonus does PLus Healing gear increase it more?
#8 Apr 03 2006 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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785 posts
@Anubis: you would expect to heal more than other people with vampiric. the only thing is that most of it is overheal for people who don't need it. before you start about how vamp heals better, take a look at the overhealing stats. even still, a heal to a tank is going to do more in the end than vamp. vamp is good for keeping people up who would otherwise have to back out and bandage etc - that results in a better team.

@Xen: i honestly don't know, but even if +healing did effect that, it would be nowhere near as effective as +shadow damage with all the other +damage modifiers that a shadow priest gets.

Edited, Mon Apr 3 19:37:48 2006 by bobgote
#9 Apr 04 2006 at 11:03 AM Rating: Decent
16 posts
bobgote, you are right & I am a dumb..., my only excuse is I just got Vampiric & was reading the screen wrong. I have the UI that throws all the combat stats on the screen & I was just misinterpreting the stats. Thanks for straightening me out. I jumped to cause on that one, sheees.

At present (40-41) I would like to have more mana as I have to rest after most fights and I am trying to figure out the best way to do that without straying to far from the Shadow Tree. This situation is getting better as I have replaced some Int/stamina gear with int/spirit. I am also looking for + mana gear & + shadow damage gear though. I guess a dedicated Shadow specialist goes for all the + shadow damage possible. I don't want to build a glass cannon though. Fun is important too, sitting & waiting on mana to regen is not fun, either is spending large amounts of cash on mana potions, or chasing mages begging for water.

I do not know how I will feel at 60, but for the moment; I like shadow. I like healing a great deal, but there are so many out there that have no idea what a healer does. Such turkeys complain and call healers names, when the problem is mostly them. As a Shadow Priest I should be able to pvp, solo & fight in group. Currently I think I would like to maintain that job flexability even after 60. Otherwise I might go crazy & turn on some wise acre Rogue who is way in front of the group, drawing aggro and ******** a blue streak if his health gets down 5%. Such inconsiderate players are fond of calling the healer a noob. I dream of inquiring if some nuckle head calling me a noob wants to find out if he is as tough as he thinks he is.

In reading some early reviews of the 1.10 talents someone labeled Healing Focus the most powerful first tier talent in the game. As a Shadow Priest with a secondary healing role I may not get as much use from that talent as a Holly priest. I have noticed that when I get killed it is often because I am getting hit too much to heal or shield myself. I am not at all sure it is worth taking Holly Focus. I was looking at it as a kinda backup to Desperate Prayer in addition to to its being a help in healing the group.

I am giving serious consideration to a respec to get rid of Blackout & return to Spirit Tap. I miss that mana in solo bad & I have been disappointed in Blackout. The unpredictable short stuns have not proven of significant value. In groups the fighters keep a good many things stunned for much longer and in solo the stun just does not seem to last long enough to do me much good. I think the short stun can even hurt in groups because other players think it is going to last longer & get surprised.

I just have to bring up an old sore topic, Wand Talent. Yea, yea, I know that many people think points here are wasted. Now it is in the first tier though & up against a single talent that may not be as valuable as its old competition. Since I am a Shadow Priest, who can get a Shadow damage wand, that want get interrupted, will help with my mana pool, and can be used to Vamp regen health without spending mana (I can see mine doing it). I am thinking about it. I may have the mana to cast till the cows come home at 60. I still like the idea of a fast casting wand that I know will make hits. I find that a a fast wand interrupts my opponent enough to reduce some damage I take & also reduce the amount of time I spend interrupted (not totally unlike its competing talent). Mind Flay may be better but it uses mana and gets interrupted pretty often.

I like Cookie Cutters, I just think they are a place to start not to finish.

Edited, Tue Apr 4 13:49:52 2006 by MacMitch
#10 Apr 05 2006 at 12:59 AM Rating: Decent
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785 posts
Quote:
I am giving serious consideration to a respec to get rid of Blackout & return to Spirit Tap. I miss that mana in solo bad & I have been disappointed in Blackout. The unpredictable short stuns have not proven of significant value. In groups the fighters keep a good many things stunned for much longer and in solo the stun just does not seem to last long enough to do me much good. I think the short stun can even hurt in groups because other players think it is going to last longer & get surprised.

i missed blackout when i respecced my shadow priest to a group-instance build and used the points for -threat instead. the stun for me was always handy and i loved when it went off. stuns are always handy.

Quote:
I just have to bring up an old sore topic, Wand Talent. Yea, yea, I know that many people think points here are wasted. Now it is in the first tier though & up against a single talent that may not be as valuable as its old competition. Since I am a Shadow Priest, who can get a Shadow damage wand, that want get interrupted, will help with my mana pool, and can be used to Vamp regen health without spending mana (I can see mine doing it). I am thinking about it. I may have the mana to cast till the cows come home at 60. I still like the idea of a fast casting wand that I know will make hits. I find that a a fast wand interrupts my opponent enough to reduce some damage I take & also reduce the amount of time I spend interrupted (not totally unlike its competing talent). Mind Flay may be better but it uses mana and gets interrupted pretty often.

wands you will generally not use in a group situation. when soloing mana conservation is key, but in a group, you can pretty much be a mage and drink after every fight.

wand spec. is up against unbreakable will - 15% chance to resist stun, fear and silence. i would take the latter every time - whether i'm shadow or holy. and a shadow damage wand does not work with vampiric embrace, unless they've changed that. it's only shadow SPELL damage. mind flay will only get interrupted if it's you being attacked, and your shield has been beat through. which will hopefully only occur when you're soloing and not in a group.

Edited, Wed Apr 5 02:00:27 2006 by bobgote
#11 Apr 11 2006 at 4:21 PM Rating: Decent
16 posts
Well I got Spirit tap but then got convinced by a friend to max Blackout too. He claims it constantly gets him out of hot water, giving him the time he needs to fade, shield, heal or even run. With Pain up he claims the stun hits regularly enough to be a pretty reliable safety net.

Have you seen Thoughtblight Wand? 90-168 Shadow Damage & restores 5 mana in 5 sec. 45.47% chance to drop in Zul Gurb. Now there is a reason for a Shadow Priest to take Wand talent IMHO.

I am now looking at 36 in the Shadow tree.

Edited, Tue Apr 11 17:44:51 2006 by MacMitch
#12 Apr 12 2006 at 9:14 PM Rating: Decent
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2,029 posts
I'm a bit late on the conversation, but thought I'd try and add.
Right now I'm 18/2/31, the build you mentioned earlier. I'm missing Spirit Tap while farming (although I only ever had 3/5 in that anywho), but I would suggest keeping it in until you approach 60.
Inner Focus is good for any role (PvP or PvE, healing or damage) and I've come to love it for getting off free heals on bosses and *especially* with Prayer of Healing (each hit on each person gets the 25% bonus crit, so it'll usually crit at least once). I've got Meditation for when I am healing (I've a set of spirit gear, which I would suggest for healing over Int or +healing any day) and because, in endgame, the shadow priest's three main stats are +damage, mana pool, and mana regen. I do have Healing Focus, but as far as I can tell the only times it's really come in handy is delaying a wipe for a few seconds or in PvP.

As someone else said, Vamperic Embrace healing is 90% overhealing. And that's why healing charts suck and give very little insight to how people did (alhtough when combined with overhealing meters, they are slightly better).
Wand Spec isn't worth the 5 points, especially endgame. You'll get more use out of Unbreakable Will in both PvP and PvE. As a shadow priest, you're rarely too concerned about blowing through mana in 5 and 10-mans (since you're going to have to wait on the mages and locks after every pull anywho) and you should have a fair amount of mana regen, so the slight mana save isn't worth the sacrifice in your DPS. While shadow wands do gain bonuses from Shadow Weaving, that's the only bonus they gain from talents. No Darkness, no Shadowform (afaik, I've heard a few mixed reports on this), and definitely no Vamperic Embrace.
Oh, and BTW, Thoughtblight requires a few dozen gold in materials for the potion that summons the boss... and the boss is randomly one of 4 different bosses.
#13 Apr 17 2006 at 1:38 PM Rating: Decent
16 posts
Ok I am bummed about Thoughtblight wand but I'm not giving up yet.

I am getting close to lv 47 (36 in Shadow & the rest in Dis). My mana issues are not as great. In better groups its almost never a problem now, in the lets see how fast we can run groups nothing wil save them when they draw too much aggro & all need major healing.

Had a great run in Maraudon at just lv 45. We had another Priest who was a little higher so I got to DPS & Vamp Regen. Warrior stopped Mid battle early on & says "where are those big DPS hits coming from?" That was a weird feeling.

Seems to me that conversation and pace are veeeeery important. Those groups that take time to make strategy & work as a group do great. The groups that yell at each other when they talk & rush through everything, never giving me time to get my mana caught up, spend a great deal of time as ghost & nothing I do will fix that.
#14 Apr 18 2006 at 8:21 AM Rating: Decent
Short sighted reply. Take into consideration a shadow priest grouped with 4 locks in a raid. You are correct that the overhealing does not help anybody with the exception of a lock. Alock can life tap and over the course of your fight regen all that overhealing into mana. A shadow priest with a 6k mana pool and pushing 20-30k damage will heal every lock for 7-10k over the fight and thus generate for the locks around 8500-12000 mana if they have improved life tap. On top of that the shadow weaving also boosts lock dps by 15%. it just has to be set up right. So one shadow priest could generate for the locks up to 48000 mana.


Edited, Tue Apr 18 09:23:33 2006 by rotorooter
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