What have the Disciples ever done for us?

Warrior Priests and Disciples of Khaine have been nemeses since launch, trading blows but never retreating. Mythic has made attempts at bringing the two careers closer together balance-wise, and has succeeded in some aspects. But with the current push in the melee healer community towards nerfing ranged healing and boosting melee healing, I can’t help but feel that one side is getting the short end of the stick. So I’ve set out to examine and compare both careers, especially in the melee department.

Originally, Order was supposed to be based around defense while Destruction around offense. In this aspect, DoKs should do more damage while WPs are supposed to excel at healing. Let’s see if this holds any water.

Please note that this is pure theorycrafting as my DoK is only in T2. If you think I got anything wrong, feel free to try to correct me.

Ranged Healing or “Thank you Mr. WP!”

First, let’s look at the ranged healing capabilities of both careers. If you claim that the healing output they can pump out, together with the survivability they can achieve while doing so, doesn’t put them on the FOTM end of the overpowered spectre, you must be fooling yourself. A nerf is in order. But that’s not the focus of this post, so forget about the OP-ness for a moment.

WPs had an upper hand over DoKs in ranged healing and survivability for a while after launch. Until DoKs put their armored fists down (probably smashing the table in the process), and said they want buffs. Dev’s responded (after three months, blaming the smashed planning table for their lack of patches) and delivered a patch that made ranged healing more viable for the career. Most of it was mirrored from the WPs, which is fine and dandy, since the Dev’s said they want to bring the careers closer to mirrors, as they don’t want the discrepancies to be too big.

So they got an AoE detaunt, their PBAoE now built mechanic points even when it didn’t hit any targets and they got a tactic that gave them Soul Essence (SE) when hit. Those are pretty major buffs right there.

Now the DoKs have some goodies for ranged healing, support and survivability of their own. A very good defensive morale 4 (WPs don’t have a viable one, so much for the Order being defensive theory), along with a nice tactic to make it easier to reach, a tactic for a shield proc on heal and a tactic that heals them on heal crit, both help survivability and an AoE stun morale 3. The only thing that was mirrored was morale 3, shortly after it got nerfed into a stagger. But that’s fine, we don’t want the careers to be complete mirrors, and WPs have their own pile of goodies (AP tactic, cleanse tactic, 20% more healing on avoided attack, PBAoE scaling Righteous Fury with the amount of targets hit).

Then there’s also the wounds party buff WPs can spec for, which is supposedly as strong as the DoK morale 4. The trick here is that the wounds buff is in the melee healing tree, which boosts none of the ranged healing abilities values. So in order for a WP to counter those rampant AoE wound debuffs destro has a monopoly on (going by the large amount of Chosen and dps BGs against the small amount of twohanded KotBS), they have to spec in a tree that decreases their healing output, while a DoK will boost his by speccing for the morale 4.

Nevertheless, WPs are still considered to be the better ranged healer of the two careers because of the synergy that their tactics provide. It has to be said though, DoKs aren’t trailing behind by much.

Melee Damage or “See you later sucker!”

I don’t think anyone can really try to argue the fact that DoKs are ahead in this department. Just examining their mechanic, tactics and abilities will reveal that if WPs are kings of healing, DoKs are kings of melee.

First of all DoKs unlike WPs wield two weapons, which means they’ll attack more often for less damage. Their crits will be smaller but will occur more often. Couple that with the fact that they have a few nice proc tactics, along with two auras that are damage procs, and you can see what I mean with synergy. Not to mention the fact that the frequency of the application of said procs and the amount of available dots will make it impossible for a healer to cleanse the important ones (heal debuff).

Second of all, DoKs get a baseline tactic that further increases their damage at the expense of casted heals. They basically get a free 10% crit and 10% parry, which has no drawback for melee healers really. Why hasn’t this been mirrored is mind-boggling. Do WPs get a tactic for 10% more healing crit and 10% disrupt/parry/dodge (well they do get a 10% disrupt tactic) at the expense of damage done, in lieu with their faction being more defensive? Would this be considered overpowered unless mirrored? Exactly.

Core:

  • Murderous Intent: Crit and parry at an expense you can most definitely afford.
  • Khaine’s Imbuement: A dot proc that synergises with the fast attack speed. Great for pure damage builds.
  • Potent Covenants: Again, fast attack speed will result in auras proccing more consistently and this tactic will increase the proc. Useful to increase the damage when bombing aswell.

A digression on auras: When designing and brain storming the devs figured they’ll put in an armor aura, a proc damage aura and a proc healing aura. But then they thought that wasn’t cool enough for a DoK, so they just merged the damage and healing one into one aura and added another proc damage and snare aura (!). Even if the movement speed reduction is only 20%, it’s completely beyond me why this hasn’t been mirrored yet, as it allows the DoK to deal with kiters so much easier and improve the area melee healers are weak on, keeping up with their targets. Please mirror Prayer of Righteousness with Covenant of Celerity, as Endless Guilt is not a substitute for a ranged snare.

Mastery:

  • Sanguinary Extension: I don’t know how useful this is, but it sounds as an improved Flail/Castigation and I see DoKs using it.
  • Fell Sacrifice: It can be compared to Soulfire and seems better in that regard. Its duration is insane and only has a 1 sec cast time. I don’t see the need to have this mirrored as Soulfire fits a similar role, even if it’s not as useful for a ranged healer.
  • Wracking Agony: Already a mirrored with Hammer of Sigmar.
  • Bloodthirst: Probably not as useful as it was before the nerf. As said above, Endless Guilt in this position can not substitute a ranged snare.
  • Bleed Out: Good synergy and possible viability for a dot build? WPs don’t have that many dots though. Fanaticism for WPs doesn’t have as much of a value as people seem to think. Because crit is easy enough to get most high RR melee WPs won’t even bother with this.
  • Curse of Khaine: I can not stress enough how big of a deal this 50% heal debuff is. It enables DoKs to wear down healers even if they can’t burst them down, and to absolutely demolish healers when at higher gear levels. WPs get Absence of Faith which is only a 25% heal debuff, takes AP, a gcd, deals no damage and can not have a 100% uptime. While Guilty Soul in this position is nice (would be much better for a DoK), WPs really need a viable heal debuff. Either mirror this, or change Absence of Faith into a 50% heal debuff that deals moderate damage (higher than Bludgeon).

Melee Healing or “Where did all these WPs come fro… *urgh*”

It’s well-known that melee healing isn’t nearly as viable as ranged healing. This stems from the fact that melee healers have no way of dealing with high armor values (weaponskill stacking is quite hard to achieve), the myriad of absorb shields, avoidance, damage debuffs or CC. The healing produced isn’t reliable and melee healers usually don’t have enough survivability to survive the frontlines. It might be semi-viable in smaller scale combat, but the career and mastery design will need a lot of work and changes before it can be used outside of solo and small-scale environment.

It seems that the playstyle these specs support differ slightly for both careers. Grace for WPs seem to be focused more on buffing allies and increasing their survivability, while Sacrifice for DoKs seems to be focused on hindering enemies and increasing the damage output of allies.

Core:

  • Transferred Focus: Defensive target receives more heals (including melee heals) after you crit. Quite awesome for melee  healing.
  • Life’s End (rank 1 morale): Heals everyone in 100 feet for 50% of the damage you deal for 10 sec, I’d say that immensely helps a melee healing DoK when his group is in trouble. Though when it comes to morales, I have to admit that Divine Replenishment (morale 2) is as good as melee healer morales get, even if WPs don’t get one that helps them keep their group up.

Mastery:

  • Warding Strike: Great ability, as it decreases your opponents chance to parry, thus increasing the likelihood of hitting with your melee heals. WPs get Sigmar’s Vision, which does the opposite, it increases your allies’ parry. While this may seem to fit the defensive Order/offensive Destro theory, what it really does is just compensate for the career’s shortcomings. Dual Wield grants an inherent 10% parry, while twohanded weapons grant 10% block strikethrough. One thing to note though, is that parry is much easier to get than parry strikethrough, thus parry isn’t as valuable as parry strikethrough.
  • Devour Essence: Here’s where the DoK gains an upper hand in melee healing. When comparing this ability with Sigmar’s Shield, WP mirror ability, you’ll notice that healing from the DoK version scales with damage done and doesn’t require the targets to do anything besides standing there, while WP version scales only with mastery points and requires attackers. Additionally, it doesn’t have an internal cooldown, which means that you’ll most likely get drained of all RF in a matter of seconds with very little healing to show for it. Please mirror it, or change Sigmar’s Shield to scale with strength.
  • Pillage Essence: This ability seems somewhat lackluster and in comparison with Sigmar’s Grace, although out-of-place, isn’t worth the mastery points. The only use for it I could think of is building an AP drain build, something DoKs have the means for. I don’t think the wounds buff needs to be mirrored, as wounds debuff aren’t as prevalent when fighting Order as they are when fighting Destro.
  • Horrifying Offering: Only useful for an AP drain build and as such too situational. Greave of Sigmar is much better in comparison. Possible mirror candidate.
  • Gift of Khaine: While somewhat situational it is useful when running with a career that is AP starved. Unfortunately, WPs and DoKs are usually AP starved themselves. The “won’t work on yourself” restriction should be removed and the tactic mirrored. While Leading the Prayer can add some survivability it’s too situational and doesn’t do anything for the career’s melee healing.
  • Empowered Transfer: Already mirrored with Grace of Sigmar.

Conclusion

Through careful examination (orly?) I have come to a conclusion. Let me explain it in graphical terms.

Ranged healing WP >> healing DoK

Melee healing DoK > melee healing WP

Melee dps DoK >>> melee dps WP

No seriously. While a WP might have more group utility over a DoK, the solo viability and the killing power of a melee DoK is much bigger than that of a melee WP. And thanks to The Shield (it can’t be Sigmar’s cause it’s too crappy) they can even melee heal better. Is not having to rely on your team mates a good or a bad thing?

If you are pushing for nerfs on ranged healing of WPs and DoKs and a buff to melee healing, please remember that WPs are getting screwed in the end. Take this into account: if WPs are better healers then a nerf to ranged healing will hit them harder than DoKs, therefore being a bigger nerf for them. If the DoKs are better melee healers/dps, then a buff to those areas will benefit them more, while leaving the WPs (who will receive less of a buff) behind.

Before you DoKs start thinking about making melee healing viable, please think of your neglected enemies. Think of everything we’ve done for you, and help us/wait for us get that melee buff we deserve. We’ll gladly join you in pushing for more viability on melee healing after. ;)

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “What have the Disciples ever done for us?

  1. Dual Wield grants an inherent 10% parry, while twohanded weapons grant 10% parry strikethrough. One thing to note though, is that parry is much easier to get than parry strikethrough, thus parry isn’t as valuable as parry strikethrough.

    This statement unfortunatly is wrong. The bonus of two handed weapons is not to break through parry, it only reduces your chance to be blocked by 10%. The difference is that it works only and exclusively against a shield bearing tank. Which should be the very last target on the attack list of any WP.

    • Thanks for correcting me there. I was actually looking for a confirmation on what I thought held true, but couldn’t find any info on this.

      I hope you don’t mind if I ask you for some confirmation on this (either a forum thread or a blog post with some test or dev’s confirmation). Don’t want to change the post for it to be wrong again. I’ll ask around aswell. :)

      • Sure, go ahead to crosscheck it. It was on one of the old number crunching pages, where i picked up that info a long time ago. Which one it was, hard to tell.

      • I actually found a transcription of an old Q&A where Mythic states that “Greatweapons (2HD) are harder to block”. The trouble is that they could have used the word block for referring to the specific avoidance mechanic block, or to all melee avoidance mechanics (block, parry). I’ve also seen some people claim it works on block aswell as parry. I guess I should test it myself, gonna be a bit hard though. :S

        I’ll correct the post for now, thanks. :)

      • I was under the impression it was -10% block only, too. But I checked my favourite war-stats topic on WHA (http://www.warhammeralliance.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282563), and that claims it affects both.

        Either way – I’d disagree parry strikethrough is harder to obtain than parry – simply because it’s much easier to stack strength as a DPS class than it is to stack WS as a defensive or healing class (or even as DPS class – slayers seem to be able to get above 700, but I’ve never heard of a WH or WL doing so).
        Last set of tests I saw (on Blurring Shock) from a SM indicated that whatever he got his tooltip values up to for any avoidance stat he could expect to loose about 12 percentage-points in the ‘real’ game (via combat log parses).

      • I was actually looking for that thread from Rok cause I’m not confident in my theorycrafting skills, but it was nowhere in the theorycrafting section. I didn’t bother looking in the guides section. /facepalm

        One thing we know for sure is that a tank loses 10% block to an attacker wielding a twohander. So I put that into the post.

        On the topic of parry strikethrough. The claim I made is supported by the fact that after you softcap your strenghts, there really isn’t a reliable way of getting parry/block strikethrough except for certain debuffs and a couple of items. Mara Pulverize and DoK Warding Strike are two. Btw, I don’t like mentioning unavoidable talismans and pocket items cause I think they are breaking the game and should be removed.

        But you can stack parry as much as you want really, it’s not that hard to get. My lowbie Slayer that’s stacking weaponskill has over 20% with dualwield and that’s without any parry items. And since attacking stat seems to ignore +% parry bonus, stacking that is very powerful.

        The main thing here is that for melee healing, where a hit connecting a lot of the time means life or death, a parry strikethrough buff will be better than a parry buff. If it’s true that twohanders only bypass block, not parry, I’d much rather dualwield and get a parry strikethrough buff than wielding a twohander and get a parry buff.

  2. Damn it, I was working on the same article. I shouldn’t have been putzing around.

    You hit the right points IMO. I would say focusing on the WP’s cleane tactic is definitely the main seperation in usefulness as a healer between the two. I can’t tell you how often I’m cleaning on my DoK only to forget it’s not a cleanse all. This is months after retiring my WP too.

    On the other hand, DoKs do get a moral 2 called Khaine’s Embrace(Off memory which might not be right) that cleansing everythign on your group. That’s a giant life saver against BW/AM premades.

    You add in the emphasis in, and then your article is basically mine, just better. ARGGGHHHHH!!!

    Good post.

    • Hah, I was hoping you’d read this and respond, as you definitely have more experience from both sides than me. Sorry to mess up your post (you can still do it!), wasn’t intentional. Btw, how is it that posts by others always seem better than those you’ve been trying to write yourself on the same subject? :)

      About the cleanse tactic, there was a thread on WHA a while ago about it. WP community seems split on the issue of it’s viability. I’m one of the people that don’t slot it cause I don’t think it’s worth a tactic slot. If it cleansed 2 effects on your target, then maybe. Cleansing my whole group though, is a waste. There just aren’t enough AoE debuff to make it useful enough. I can think of wounds, resistance debuffs and crippling strikes. Not enough. Then there’s the problem that it cleanses a random debuff. Slotting a tactic on the offchance that I might cleanse 2 WoPs or maybe crippling strikes on 3 groupmates is a waste imo.

      Then again, maybe if I ran in premades all the time I’d use it. Who knows.

      Anyway, don’t think more emphasis on the cleanse tactic is needed, since this wasn’t really a full comparison post. I was trying to show that DoKs and WPs are now pretty much even on ranged healing, thanks to the WP goodies they got. And that now is the time for them to return the favour, we need some of their melee goodies. :)

      Oh and thanks for the praise. If you say it’s good then I’m sure it is. :P

      • I am also a follower of the “group cleans does not help so much” faction. But as i also wrote in the WHA discussion, i get to the impression that the server the WP plays on seems to influence if he likes the tactic or not. (When the Devs first time played on European servers, they were totally surprised how differently WAR was played over here. And in my history of several server merges, i also noticed that the way of fighting was quite different, depending which server the people came from. )

        Thus i for myself say, on my server only a few classes
        apply significant debuffs which are worth removing on several players at once, while you regularily see debuffs of several classes suddenly all stacking up on one player. No group cleanse will ever help you save that one player and cleansing the rest of the group rarely matter.

        And on the topic of WP and DoK being equal in terms of healing, i find that my DoK (well behind my WP in terms or RR), has basically only one mayor healing disadvantage to my WP: smite vs. essence lash.
        The lower cooldown and additional RF from smite helps the spellbased healer a lot. This in my eyes is the one and only remaining significant advantage of the group healing WP.

      • It depends on the playstyle I guess. If you like to be more agressive and stand close to the frontlines then you will get more mileage out of Smite.

        However if you usually stay away from the fight the difference between Smite and Essence Lash won’t be that big.

        I actually never noticed that EL is on a 10 second cooldown. Prolly some remnant from the past where they changed the skill but forgot the cooldown (like AM vs Shaman AP drain). Should be fixed.

      • From what I hear from my guild’s WPs the group cleanse can be dramatically effective if you’re facing DoT spec sorcs, as nothing, especially WoP, is allowed to reach it’s full damage potential. Combined with a Whispering Winds speced SM the results produced much amused commentary on vent.

        Whilst I’m here, I do think Sigma’s Grace is severally over-rated, as well as having to reduce healing efficiency to spec it, it leads to dilemmas about liniments and renown-point/gear selections. Because unlike a liniment it needs to be refreshed after each res (which is not normally practical in a fight) the mileage you get from the buff can be quite limited. This leads you with the dilemma of acquiring wounds from a liniment and possibly having to go to waste, or being in a situation were everyone who dies becomes much easier to kill a second time (which happens anyway with res-sickness).

        I’d rather the complete removal of the DoK’s snare proc rather that it being mirrored to a the WP, it might be because I’ve spent so much of my time as a light-armoured RDPS, who finds getting caught by a MDPS a death-sentence, but giving everyone in the group a snare proc just seems to much of a balance shifter.

        And beacause I seem to of missed saying this up until now – an interesting article, with some great insight. A very good read.

      • I just can’t see how a group cleanse can help against DoT sorcs. I don’t know if it’s a common misconception that it will cleanse 2 debuffs instead of one with the tacitc (it explicitly says it doesnt), but against a DoT sorc the tactic is useless. A sorc who spreads his dots on several people will be doing very little in terms of killing people. A ST sorc will focus someone and bury him under a mountain of dots (I’m no expert, but for a DoT sorc I think that WoP, Chillwind and Visions of Torment will be on the target, probably Absorb Vitality aswell). Since the cleanse seems to clean a random debuff, the only way you’re going to reliable cleanse WoP is with several healers working together.

        The only benefit of slotting the tactic I see is not having to target the person with the debuff. I never had much of a problem with Sorcs who don’t mask their WoP because I’m almost allergic to the WoP animation (from the time when WoP crit for 5k).

        While I do use Sigmar’s Grace I understand it’s limitations. I mainly use it for buffing my group, not myself (and I run solo a lot, oh the irony) and I like to have a grace melee offspec without having to respec. I use a wounds potion myself since I do get focused by melee and tanks a lot, and the wounds debuff will usually be sheared in a matter of seconds in those situations.

        The only real benefit for the buff that I can see is that it gives slightly more wounds than a liniment making it easier to counter the wounds debuff. It works wonders in an organised bomb group where people can use other liniments, since most of the time the buff won’t get removed.

        But yeah, it’s not the be-all and end-all destro seem to think it is.

        About the snare proc, I was thinking of mirroring it exactly because it’s such a balance shifter. And because a WP is completely countered by kiting, the only way a melee WP will catch a shaman/SH is time the M2 correctly and pray for an Odjira proc. Maybe removing the snare is in order, since right now a melee DoK really doesn’t have a reliable counter.

        Thanks for the kind words and thanks for contributing. :)

      • I’m going to agree with you there. The cleanse tactic isn’t going to help against the DoT Magus, Shammie or Sorc. As you can only cleanse 1 thing every 5 seconds. And either of those classes probably dotted you up with 5 DoTs in a half a second. It’s not a life savor. It’s a sustainment process.

        The advantage to the cleanse group tactic is 2 fold.

        1- It cost 25 RF even if it cleanses 1 Hex or Curse off the entire group. 6 cleanses for the price of 1 (possibly 7 if you cleanse out of group). Not to mention that if you hit the ability and no one needs cleansing, no RF lost.

        2- (Most important) you can now cleanse without having to directly target your group member. You see indicators on your Squared and cleanse. It’s another spammable no think ability. It’s amazing.

        Granted, it’s not doing the life saving cleanse when someone is being DoT focused.

        I find the people that don’t think it is useful were always the healers that run naked. By that I mean they don’t use Mods that indicate to them, just how much Cursing and Hexing is taking place.

        I recently had a arguement with a Shammy that thought I was OP because I could seriously out heal her. In further investigation, I found she ran naked. Its like running a marathon barefooted, mad props. But some mods are too helpful to give up. I made her go get Sqaured with Squared Indicators (It shows on Sqaured who has Damage DoT and Hexs by colors) as well as the mod Overhead, which shows buff, debuffs, ailments/hexes/curses above you and your group’s head (also your target).

        It was like opening her eyes to the game for the first time. All I could hear in vent was “Geez, so and so, you are Dotted to hell.” Now I can’t keep up with her lately in SCs. As it should be.

        The issue I think is, some people just see direct damage (DoTs). It’s not just about that. It’s about clearing heal debuffs (the number one killer of groups), clearing AP drains (2nd most important), clearing stat reductions (Unless you don’t really need that 450 Willpower that BG just stole). It’s more than just DOTs. The big picture is that Curses, Hexes, and Ailments are all over and in large quantities. It’s not about just damage, its about CC and effects.

        As a former RR70 WP and a RR73 DOK, the 2 biggest things that make me miss the WP are the ‘Cleansing Power’ and ‘Charged Fury’ tactics. Those are the only 2 things keeping the WP the better Healer. But that’s my opinion from that stance that I have experienced. I wouldn’t even imagine playing my WP without the cleanse tactic. If I had to play the WP without it, I would only be jealous of the DOK moral 2.

  3. In order to not extend the page even more, I’ll reply to you like this.

    @Meh: It seems that you are a bit rusty and forgot some things, lemme remind you:

    – You can cleanse BG outgoing heal debuff, Choppa outgoing/incoming and the DoK proc heal debuff. That is if they don’t mask (cover them with other curable debuffs) the debuffs, either intentionally or unintentionally. You can’t cleanse the Shaman, Marauder, WE and SH heal debuffs. That’s quite a lot
    – You can only cleanse the sorc AP drain (which is only 30 AP per 5 sec if my info is correct) and BG’s Choking Fury, if you consider it an AP drain. All Shaman debuffs are ailments, as are Marauder ones. So that’s 2 of the most hurtful AP drains you can’t cleanse
    – As for BG debuffs, yes cleansing is imperative (as is against the damn outgoing/incoming heal debuff/cd increaser Choppas), especially if one that is built to harras starts working on you. But the problem is, again, that he will absolutely bury you with curable debuffs that he can reapply easier than you can remove them (Choking Fury, Mind Killer, armor debuff, snare, toughness debuff).

    A group cleanse will barely be of any help in those situations. Magus/Zealot resist debuff, Crippling strikes, Chosen wounds debuff maybe. Rest, not really.

    As for the importance of having addons that can display when someone is debuffed, I fully agree with you on that. Although some would claim it provides an unfair advantage over those that don’t use such addons, it is only their choice not to use them really.

    I use Squared buff/debuff indicators together with Buffhead2 (configured by Tarelther) and always try to cure Sorc DoTs, resist/wounds debuffs and Choppa/BG heal debuffs. I am sure that group cleanse wouldn’t help me with this enough to warrant a tactic slot. Especially seeing that I don’t even have room for more important ones. Additionally, by playing this long with graphic settings on high, I know exactly what the animations/effects for those debuffs are (yay for flashy Magus/Sorc dots!), so I’m really only using addons for melee dots.

    Btw: A shaman outhealing you as a DoK? I lost all my faith in your healing abilities. :P
    Btw: What’s going on with your gravatar? :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s