Beta Build 12539 Disc Talent Tree Changes
The talent trees have been updated again, and the Discipline tree has a few changes for us to discuss.
Let’s start with the good news: Power Infusion is back. Well it wasn’t really completely gone in the first Cata talent tree, as Aspiration still reduced its cooldown by 20%, but the actual talent was either missing or hidden. Apparently Blizz likes PI so much, that they decided to make it both a third and fourth tier talent in the most recent tree. (The fourth tier talent with three ranks that currently sports the PI description should probably be Borrowed Time. Nice typo Blizz.)
And now for the bad news:
Absent from the new tree is our old friend: Renewed Hope. You remember Renewed Hope, it was the talent that improved your crit rating by up to 4% when healing a target with the Weakened Soul debuff. (It also provided 3% raid-wide damage reduction, but that feature had been stripped from the talent in the first Cata build.)
The watered down version of Renewed Hope was a third tier talent in the first Cata talent tree, but has been removed from the tree in the most recent build.
For the majority of Disc Priests in WotLK (not me, but the majority nonetheless) Renewed Hope was an absolutely essential component of your healing spec. Disc Priests had major throughput issues, and the only thing that kept them close to being viable healers was their crit bubbles. Having an extra 4% chance to crit a heal on someone who had already been bubbled was a very very useful thing.
If this were still WotLK, the removal of Renewed Hope would be a pretty serious nerf to our already miserable throughput. But this is a change for Cata, not WotLK. Blizz has said that they are going to fix Disc’s throughput issues in Cata so we can actually, you know, heal, instead of just bubbling people.
Even if they do fix our throughput, though, I still can’t see how this change doesn’t hurt us in the long run. Disc Priests are all about bubbles. And the removal of Renewed Hope means less bubbles. Period.
Apparently Blizz no longer wants Disc Priests to be all about bubbles, but instead be all about Smite. Bubbles will henceforth be just for flavor, not the defining ability of the spec. That is the only way I can make sense of this change.
If that wasn’t enough to really piss you off this morning, chew on this: Inner Focus has also been removed from the talent tree. I heard plenty of Holy and Shadow Priests complain about how Inner Focus would be inaccessible to them, since it was in the third tier of the first Cata talent tree, and how it was going to have a major impact on the usage of high mana cost spells like Divine Hymn. Now it looks like Disc Priests won’t get it either.
I seriously hope that they have reduced, or better yet completely eliminated, the mana cost of Divine Hymn to counter the loss of Inner Focus from every Priests’ talent build. Even if they do, however, we lose the option to use Inner Focus with a spell other than Divine Hymn.
Lastly, as noted above, Borrowed Time is currently missing in action from the newest Cata talent tree. In the first Cata talent tree, BT was a three point talent in the fourth tier just to the right of Rapture, which gives you 15% spell haste after casting Powerword: Shield and improves the absorption of you shields by 40%. In the newest Cata tree, there is a three point duplicate of Power Infusion sitting in the exact same position.
I strongly suspect that Borrowed Time belongs there, and that Blizz inadvertently inserted the PI icon on the BT talent. The alternative, that Blizz is actually removing BT from our tree, is just too much for me to process at the moment.
Is anyone else contemplating not installing Cata? I am having serious doubts about the next expansion, and although WotLK is not utopia, it is looking like a far far better place to be right now.