There are no dependency issues in the class tree
Dead Talents (for any spec)
These are talents that never have a realistic place
Vampiric Embrace (and San’layn)
This is arguably more problematic for disc than for holy, but Vampiric Embrace only working on single target shadow damaging spells means its healing for holy/disc is extremely low. For holy these spells are:
Shadow Word: Pain
Shadow Word: Death
Mindgames (if chosen)
A large portion of Holy Priest damage comes from Divine Star and Holy Fire, neither of which work with Vampiric Embrace. Regardless of that however, vampiric embrace will never do enough healing to do anything even if it was all damage, as healers simply do not do enough damage to make it worth the global. Notably, if healing is actually needed, Vampiric Embrace would do even less, as healing spells will not contribute. San’layn does not fix this issue either.
An idea that has popped around is to make Vampiric Embrace give leech instead, which makes sense with the spell’s name already. This allows it to be potent for holy, disc and shadow, without making it reliant on specific timers to work. (i.e: it was only ever impactful with Voidform for shadow, and even then weaker than many other cooldowns like Rallying Cry for instance)
Even more problematic as the refill is very slow, especially for healers. Not to mention Power Word: Shield itself doesn’t last very long and most instances of damage break through it fairly quickly.
This one has problems for Shadow mainly. Shadow Priests, namely don’t have much inspiration (pun intended) to cast flash heal, as the heal itself isn’t very impactful and they have better tools for such emergency healing, considering the case doesn’t happen very often. (Holy Word: Life, Void Shift, Shadow Mend) In pvp, Blessed Recovery is simply going to be much more reliable. For instance at base 10% crit (with some minor rng based on what crits) 7.5% of incoming damage gets healed.
Once again problematic mostly due to Shadow (and possibly altering how discipline priests play unintentionally). This is a bit better than inspiration due to it just working but its main use case is still pvp, as there are better options for emergency off-healing than Flash Heal. This notably excludes holy-schooled spells that holy priests do not have, like Power Word: Radiance and Penance. Perhaps intended. In pve shadow priests– when they do heal– heal themselves, mainly because they aren’t really rewarded for healing others. Incentivizing shadow priests to heal (or just making it less punishing) would go a long way to making healing-related talents better for them.
Similar story as the previous flash-heal based talents. I probably should have combined all 3 of these. This is useless for shadow, and pretty weak for holy and disc, as flash heal simply will not encompass a lot of their healing. This would need substantially buffed for shadow, so maybe it wasn’t the most fair to put here.
Surge of Light (with an asterisk)
If this doesn’t work with Mind Flay as well, then its value for shadow is pretty bad, and often not very beneficial at all-simply existing in the way of Holy Word: Life. It’s pretty neat for the healer specs, though a common wish is for it to work with all damaging spells as well.
Improved Fade (asterisk: see reasoning)
Currently there is a connection between Mindgames and Improved Fade that allows you to get this talent without having a reason to use fade this often. Fade’s actual purpose of dropping aggro temporarily/reduce aggro range is nice, but getting it 10s faster isn’t doing anything. 30s cd is already short enough for anytime you’d want it. This talent goes from dead to ‘meh’ (certainly feels bad to put 2 points into it) if you take Translucent Image- and nichely good with Phantasm- primarily in pvp.
What are the goals of these talents?
Honestly, the place for shadow mend seems very muddied. It’s a 15s cd without the power of one, and fills a role that is occupied for any of the 3 specs (Holy Word: Life, Serenity, Heal, Flash Heal) Is this simply for its follow-up node? Why not have it simply replace Flash Heal in this case.
Tools of the Cloth
Usually if a healing spell is being casted, it is not going to be followed up with a bunch of damage spells. If the point of this talent is to simply increase damage, it doesn’t do that very well either. It’s more impactful if you go the other way around- damaging spells increase the impact of Shield’s healing. This keeps the spirit of the talent while making it actually fulfill some purpose. This arguably should’ve gone in the “dead” talents category as is, but theoretically it could be tuned up to a damage increase to cast shield.
The only thing I can come up with for this is in solo-content– which isn’t inherently a problem as it is a choice node but, it is problematic in keys as feared mobs can often pulls other packs, and minorly useful in pvp as you’re often not attacking feared players anyways. (though it does reward fearing multiple players, including kill targets– though its niche seems a bit– unlikely to be what secures the kill.
Twist of Fate
This currently doesn’t work at all on beta so apologies if this isn’t accurate. Holy Priests and Disc Priests seem to be picking up a boss execute niche, with full uptime on twist of fate for the last 35% of boss fights? This is unexplored for healers so I wouldn’t mind– just curious if that’s desired or not.
Consider the following…
Mind Control vs Dominant Mind
Dominant Mind is not inherently an improvement over Mind Control in its current iteration. Due to this, it feels quite bad to spend 2 points to get it. Ways to remedy this (and there may be more):
– buff dominant mind. Whether that is reducing its cd or increasing its impact doesn’t matter
– make it a choice node with Mind Control instead of costing 2 points
This allows you to still pick to have dominant mind instead of mind control if you wanted
– make Dominant Mind a separate ability from Mind Control.
This isn’t exactly preferred, but it would make it much better and serve a purpose without losing Mind Control to do so.
Target Caps of our few and only cc abilities
Psychic Scream and Void Tendrils both having a target cap of 5 makes it pretty unreliable in many of its theoretical use cases. This leaves Discipline priests with no reliable way to help the dungeon group in regards to cc- and holy left to just chastise.
A well-liked, useful ability that I and many others are surprised to see go away. It also served as one of the better knocks in the game. One such idea I had personally was to have a talent that allowed you to select the origin of its knock on the floor, a lot like hunter traps, barrier, spirit link, mass dispel to name a few. Blizzard would enjoy more things that are situationally very nice to have like Death Grip right?
At the time of this writing, holy and disc priests are the only specs in the game without a kick. This would hurt a lot less with other reliable ways to cc, but it doesn’t really make sense with what is currently there. Priest healers are needlessly losing out here with no upside.
Mind Blast… and Holy Fire?
In BFA’s beta cycle, holy priests had access to both of these spells, and with that came complaints of spell bloat. The fix? Baking Mind Blast into Holy Fire. This was largely successful and was well-praised by holy priests. Why is it returning?
Rhapsody seems incredibly weak at the moment, a buff may fix this, not problematic design wise necessarily (though its ramp-up is very slow!)
Body and Soul seems a bit outdated, giving random players speed boosts can occasionally be harmful, idk what the fix is but, it’s a bit less problematic now that shield has a cooldown. Rapture for disc however…
Shackle Undead: It’s pretty good when it is useful, it just doesn’t come up as much as id like, wonder if a talent improving how much it comes up would be worth exploring
Mindgames: I suppose one covenant ability needed to return– and this one is well liked. (in pvp) It seems a bit redundant for disc and shadow, and is just a button for damage in many cases for Holy. I wonder if it should just become a pvp talent? Spending 4 points for this is a bit of a bummer for those “must have max damage” shadows out in the world.
Empyreal Blaze and Searing Light can be selected without learning Holy Fire
All the dps-increasing (though unfortunately with no healing benefit) talents are on the right side, but oddly it’s intermingled with random healing talents. Most strangely however, is that Prayer of the Virtuous- a talent that increases how many times prayer of mending jumps– is the precursor to Empyreal Blaze. While its fine for pvp, prayer of mending is significantly less casted in dungeons, where its healing just isn’t as useful. Empyreal blaze is very much desired in dungeons so they will have to pick up Prayers of the Virtuous anyways. Something single target healing or damage based would make more sense on the right side of the tree.
This talent is just simply, not good for various reasons:
1. 10 yard range is very small, and will very often lead to wasted charges
2. Lightwell being a hot effect is problematic, as it often overwrites itself due to not healing its target above the 50% threshold
3. When it does heal it is very unimpactful with current tuning. So it is not even worth its mana cost.
4. Only healing 1 person each second means it does not even have a place for mechanics that encourage stacking up in preparation for high damage intake. Whats the purpose of this spell?
5. Its on a choice node with Lightweaver– a very different talent. This is an interesting choice.
Some other Thoughts…
Everlasting Light is a bit weak. You probably don’t want to be casting Heal much, as its prone to sniping due to its long cast, thus overhealing– unless you run Lightweaver which is not a given. But even in this case, its not really changing what you cast, and often won’t change the result either.
One idea for replacing Lightwell is to reflavor the Azerite Essence ‘Well of Existence.’ This solves many of its problems while keeping the health requirement.
Afterlife is neat, sure– but it simply will not compete with Archbishop Benedictus’ Restitution. Afterlife is just too niche whereas the Xan’shi effect just simply works. A cheat death is very good after all. What could be explored instead is the pvp talent Spirit of the Redeemer, which would put up a much better fight- not to mention decrease the vitriol of some pvp’ers who are worried about stacking the 2 talents.
Miracle Worker is also extremely weak. The main benefit of having charges on a spell is to ease the tension caused by needing to push said button on cooldown. It is pretty easy already to keep serenity on cd, so in reality this isn’t doing much for you, unfortunate as it shares a capstone with the much better and more flexible Divine Word.
Due to heavy competition in the bottom section of the tree, Searing Light and Desperate Times doesn’t seem to have a place. The relative strength of the other talents just superseded its value. Searing Lights’ biggest asset is being cheaper to path through to get to Divine Word (2 points instead of 3) though this is limited if you wanted Say Your Prayers anyways as it no longer even does that. Light of the Naaru, Harmonious Apparatus and Salvation/Apotheosis on the other hand almost feel mandatory to grab.
The talents in general are a bit boring, something feels… missing, I’m not sure how to explain. It is mostly pretty solid but it doesn’t really feel that way just looking at them.