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Why Rapture Needs to Retire

I have to admit, when I saw Rapture be re-introduced in the latest Mists of Pandaria beta build, my heart sank a little. Rapture, at its core, is fundamentally flawed…. and for whatever reason, the devs at Blizzard fail to see that; Ghostcrawler included in that statement. In his reply to a thread back in early April, he said the following:

“We agree that Rapture was a cool mechanic for Discipline, and we’d like to add it back, but have it scale with Spirit, so that Disc priests don’t neglect Spirit on their gear (or worse, get mad at us when priest gear that they share with Holy has Spirit on it).”

What? No… just because something is “cool” does not mean it is a fun or even good mechanic.

For those of you who might have missed it, in the latest Beta Build, Rapture has been added back and when your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled you are instantly energized with mana equal to 150% of your Spirit. This effect can only occur once every 12 sec. With a cursory look, it sounds decent, however you will see that our version of Meditation now only grants 25% of your mana regeneration from Spirit to continue while in combat, while Holy Priests enjoy 50% of mana regen from spirit while in combat. (Druids, Shaman, Pallies, and Monks enjoy 50%). Previous beta builds had Disc’s spirit based regen also at 50%, and Rapture was removed from the spec.

This is an issue for a number of reasons, but really two large issues. Firstly, it is immediately imbalanced as far as maintenance. This will require Disc Priests, to maintain equal footing in the mana department to constantly maintain their Rapture cooldown. This requires Disc Priests to track rapture via any number of AddOns that exists to do so, as well as be proactive about casting their shields to keep that 12 second cooldown as short as possible. Keep in mind, this does not just mean CAST a PW:Shield every 12 seconds, this means have one fully break every 12 seconds. (Don’t forget the new 6 second cooldown on PWS, which creates more timing issues) With dodge streaks, and damage patterns often not fully predictable in 12 second intervals it puts Disc Priests at a disadvantage. On a fight with damage really only hitting the tank predictably (eg. first half of every platform on Madness of Deathwing) and cast PW:S too early? Well, sorry… you now have Weakend Soul on your tank, and you can’t reliably get a PW:S to break until WS drops off. (Yes, other players are randomly targeted for Smash, but random targets are random). Moreover, as Tanks gear up, their avoidance will increase, as well as the size of our PW:S… which can delay the time it takes for PW;S to break and then in turn keep us out of step with the regen of the other classes and specs.

Look at top log parses, very few priests actually are able to keep (nor actually really try) Rapture at 12 sec CD. In current content, I’m pleased if I hover around 18-20 seconds! And I feel like I babysit it! Do I NEED to baby sit it that much in my current gear? No, I probably don’t. In low level, low regen gear at 85 or 90, will I need to? You’re darn right, we’ll need to if we’re 25% behind in spirit regen. A great player MIGHT sit around 14 or 15 second Raptures… which fundamentally flaws the system. No one is perfect, and with damage patterns— no one can be.

Secondly, this now makes multiple Discipline Priests in a given raid often fighting for Rapture procs. Using Madness as an example again, the 2nd tank is only a viable target when Impale taunts occur or when adds spawn… this forces multiple Disc Priests to have to coordinate and sometimes take turns on Rapture—-all thanks to Weakend Soul.

The question is: Why does Rapture have to exists? Does Disc really need an overly complex mana restoration ability while the other classes enjoy a passive regeneration ability. Having to Maintain the CD just for the sake of maintaining it is not a “cool” mechanic. It is overly complex and frankly, punitive. Holy Paladins were in a similar situation before 4.3. They had to keep their Judgement pretty much on CD otherwise they would have major mana issues… Blue felt this was too much maintenance, and instead gave them  Judgements of the Pure, which lasts for 60 seconds after every Judgement. Notice that this is after a Judgement, not after a PW:S FULLY pops.

“But Derevka! The new Rapture is 150% of spirit! That’s a lot!”  /facepalm… you’re missing the point, and more importantly doesn’t fully math out when contrasted with Holy and the other classes regen models when using preliminary numbers. (Stuff is way off to the point where it needs to be corrected)

How do we fix this? There are a number of answers to this.

1. Remove Rapture, and just give us a 50% spirit based regen model. There is no need to complicate it, and make multiple Priests fight over Rapture targets.

2. If we insist on having it, have Rapture be a 60 second buff that applies similarly to Judgements of the Pure.

3. Have Rapture proc on PW:S CAST not full mitigation.

The TLDR on why Rapture needs to go away is that there is no reason Disc Priests need to maintain it, and have an overly complex regen model  (with no substantive superiority over the other models) while other classes enjoy mana regen baseline. Oh, and don’t forget PW:S has a cooldown in MOP… Kill it. Burn it with fire.


Post Publication Edit:  Official beta forum thread -

Written By: on April 28, 2012
  1. Interesting, I never thought of it that way. But at the same time I didn’t know in the latest beta build they nerfed disc mana regen. I always thought Rapture was a bonus, but in MoP it looks like it’s supposed to make up a good portion of regen if Meditation is only giving 25% regen as opposed to 50%.

    1. Its 50% on live, while Holy has HC vs Rapture. However Rapture is total mana pool based, so it just helps you stacking int and you outpace Holy Concentration easily on live. Spirit focused, less so. But the 2 driving points still are regardless to any spirit/int based regen imbalances.

      “cool” != “fun” or needed.

  2. Yeah, you beat me to it. That 6 second PW:S cooldown change just about buried it for me. It’s too damn long. I get that they want to cut down on shield spamming stuff but yeesh.

    Rapture should just be cut altogether. The “skill curve” with optimizing usage is going to be a little too high for Priests new to the game (and I wager even some veteran Priests).

    Here’s a thought for you though. Think there’s a way to turn Rapture mechanics/idea into a possible talent?

    1. Sure, have it be 12 sec CD on Cast of PWS, not on break. Or make it a 60 sec regen buff like Judgements, or as someone suggested on the forums… tie it to SShell.

  3. Rapture is a great mechanic. It needs balanced, particularly with the PW:S change, but it is a very solid regen mechanic. It is a big part of the difference between Disc and Holy. It is one of those areas a player can strive to improve on and measure an improvement, too.

    Comparing it to Judgments of the Pure is unfair; JotP was a very obnoxious ability, made worse because of targeting issues (because it was considered a melee ability). It wasn’t natural to use and basically wasted a GCD. Absolutely none of those are true of PW:S.

    Looking at recent logs to measure Rapture returns is, of course, a little inaccurate because of gearing, too.

    Basically Rapture is a mechanic that, if you ignore, but play basically right, you will do okay. If you master it, you will do more than okay. You can find ways to maximize it and really shine, or disregard it and focus on something else if your mana is fine.

    I hope they make *all* regen based on Spirit (either passive or active) and move away from “percent of maximum mana” as a model; that will help ensure the stat remains relevant.

    It’s just one of those skill differentiators, and a mechanic that only requires a small amount of awareness to make good use of. Not only that, but using it fits our job! Prevent damage, get a mana return. It’s a great positive reinforcement loop :)

    1. I agree, that being able to manage it is a marker of a good player. However, even ignoring the maintenance aspect aside there are fundamental issues at the core of the ability in MOP the 6 sec CD being one, multi disc priests being another.

      Log comparison, while potentially fuzzy, is the only way to 3rd party evaluate it.

      I agree that JotP isnt a complete proxy for Rapture, but illustrates the point of the dangers of maintenance.

      That said, I concur with the need to align spirit based regen (I’m looking at you Hymn of Hope). The current MOP Rapture model, however, is still fundamentally flawed and needs revamping if its going to make up the other half of our ‘baseline’ regen. 150% spirit is a step towards that, however linking it to the current model for PWS popping and its 6sec CD, it will be tricky.

  4. Reading your thoughts about this elaborated, I am inclined to stick with my initial opinion that Rapture is a good thing to keep in the game. A lot of your complaints with how Rapture behaves is part of why I think it is a good mechanic: It is easy to understand on the surface but difficult to master. And there is, of course, still some elements of RNG. All these things mixed in are the precise ingredients for a fun game mechanic. A high level of mastery makes it more effective, some reasonable amount of randomness to keep it interesting and is a tool to separate good priests from bad ones. I was a little annoyed at them changing holy paladin’s judgment, but Rapture is way more intricate than judging was.

    All this is to say that my being amazing with managing Rapture is part of why I can wreck shit when playing disc. And I like having little nuanced techniques to utilize to help push things to the next level. Even paladin judging was like this, it just had a few other issues that I never cared for.

    I agree that maintenance for its own sake is dumb, Rapture is generally one of the few I don’t mind. My most loathed is Lifebloom for resto druid, by far. With Rapture, I always feel like I’m winning when I can maximize its functionality. With things like Judging and Lifebloom, I feel like I simply fail if I can’t keep it up, and is a constant nag.

    The one thing I do agree with is that the nerf to meditation is a bit extreme. Perhaps some kind of nerf to it is needed but 25% vs 50% is a bit heavy handed. Once I get around to priest testing, I should have a better feel for that, I suppose.

  5. To provide additional comments, I do at its core like the CONCEPT active mana management however, between HOH/Fiend/Mindbender we have other methods to actively manage our mana…

    I do think that it is an INTERESTING mechanic, and can be a marker of the difference between a good priest and a great one. I just do not think its necessary anymore, especially in light of how PWS works now (6 second CDs), full bubble absorption needed, issues with multiple discs in a raid, and the imbalance between the other classes and their regen mechanics.

  6. To be honest I like the rapture mechanic because of how it became more powerful as we obtained more gear and got larger and larger mana pools. It was skill based and made me feel like I was in control of my regen. But since mana has be shot down to 400% base mana, bubbles take 6 seconds to come off cd or take 3 seconds to cast, and in general everything attractive about disc healing got shit on and gutted anyway. I agree that its time for rapture to go as well.

  7. while I don’t disagree on many of your points, I’m kinda getting over this need to make classes all the same. I want a unique class and rapture is part of that sure fix the numbers but don’t just remove a different mechanic and make us like everyone else.

    don’t start killing everything that makes disc engaging and challenging to play well.

    1. While I agree, and feel that Rapture timing is a marker of a great vs good priest… its not about the numbers; its about the mechanic and it the mechanic puts Disc priests at a fundamental disadvantage in MOP.

      People keep comparing it to Live, which is a different beast all together. We need to consider it in a Beta/MoP perspetive: (Total Mana, PWS Cost, PWS Cooldown, PWS’s “role” in MOP, etc)

    2. But then I even take it to the point that if you don’t like casting lots of PWS or ChainHeal, then perhaps the solution is just for you to heal with another class rather than Blizzard randomizing each class each expansion.

      As to active management, I find TC on the shaman to feel very interactive. Meleeing them with my weapon feels active on my pally but melee range can be a pain. Rapture is dynamic and you can be proactive but doing something now for a 12-second payoff doesn’t quite have as active of a feeling for me.

  8. The feeling I had in very early Cata (that as a disc, my theoretical throughput is nowhere near the other classes – a feeling I harbored until PW:S started giving me 25k+ bubbles in 4.0.8 or thereabouts) is coming back with all these beta changes.

    Though, in this case, the theoretical throughput really does seem lower than a mere “adjust your game and you’ll be fine” – an unreliable source of mana is supposed to cover the 25% passive regen and then some (as the other classes have more stable tools to augment their 50% passive regen)…? Something about this doesn’t sound right.

    And with the weak AoE healing, I’m already predicting the “sorry disc, you need to respec holy to heal here. /votekick” that I experienced back in SFK right after cata launch will come back in some form or another if Bliz doesn’t do something…

  9. Agree with you, it is cool but it is heck annoying to raid and need to fight for it

    rather make it work on shield I would rather have it work on penance that proc rapture if weakend soul is on target or something like ” Everytime you hit with penance on a WS target you restore 50% of your spirit ) consider the penance CD and is a spell you shulde cast very often for it’s cheap cost and effecient, yet keep a uniqe way of regen

    I am on other hand hate the passive % spirit only regen that Hpriest have as it feels less rewarding to play and daunting, it is simpler but rather boring way.

  10. I can only agree on your point of view Derevka. The 6 sec on PW:S, makes it almost impossible to have a good uptime on rupture. We will loose a ton of mana in the long term vs holy. If rupture should begin to work proberly, remove the 6 sec CD on PW:S. Or make the shield CD to 2-3 maybe 4 sec. Thats makes it more reliable and flexible for a disc to keep the uptime on rupture stable. It’s the 6 sec CD that’s actually the problem.

    1. Or maybe make the duration on the shield longer*

  11. First of all: I am an EU Player so I can’t post on the US Forums.

    I completely agree with your post. I don’t understand how people would argue an active Mechanic would require “Skill” to use. Well – it doesn’t.

    It just requires you to track PW:S Cooldown, Weakened Soul Debuff, Rapture Cooldown (which can only be tracked with addons) AND DI Procs in order to get Mana Reg (at the costs of Mana expense – which can make a HUGE difference in low incoming DPS phases)

    So we’re talking of tracking FOUR types of Cooldowns/Procs just for the sake of getting back what used to be passive Base regen.

    I can’t see any form of “Skill” in that. Not even remotely. It’s just adding more and more UI Elements to keep track of while maintaining something that comes close to a “FCFS-Rotation”.

    Plus it requires you to use what used to be an “emergency Heal” and therefore now is even on a cooldown at an extremely high frequence just for the sake of getting Mana back – thus not only negating it’s primary function in the first place but seriously limiting it’s additional useage.

  12. Apparently Rapture is “not Telluric Currents” or to be giving us an actual mana return, being less than Power Word: Shield’s actual cost. But because it gives “some” mana back, it can be counted as “regen”…

    I’m still just not seeing the connect here as to why Discipline has to be put through this.

  13. With all the comments praising how “cool” Rapture is by GC and the like, it’s not very likely that we’ll see it removed any time soon, as they tend to not like to go back on their own self-praise at Blizzard.

    I am not a fan of Beta Rapture ( or even live Rapture, much ) for the same reason I am not a fan of a lot of weapon enchants and trinkets, and I prefer Haste over Crit any time I can get it. I do not like leaving my DPS/Regen/Avoidance up to luck. Obviously, as we get better geared tanks, there is an increasing chance of a lucky streak for evasion and blocks, which increases that chance we won’t see Rapture return any mana at all.

    Bearing that in mind, and that it seems likely that without a change we will be stuck at 25% Meditation regen, I wonder about slightly different ways to leave the mechanic in game, and still allow us to be competitive for regen?

    Since PW:S is now on 6 second CD, we can’t shield spam like we used to. Why not have Rapture function as it currently does, but also allow that 10% (or 15? maybe 20?) of the damage absorbed is returned to the Priest as mana? This could even allow for Rapture to return less than the 150% of Spirit when PW:S breaks, but still not cripple the Priest when and if it doesn’t. And since we can’t shield spam, we shouldn’t be drowning in extra mana over other classes by putting this on the group and having them stand in the fire, for example.

  14. Rapture in Wrath was a godsend because once you stacked enough Int, you could free-cast Flash Heals. Last time I paid attention to Rapture in Cata was during Maloriak progression attempts, because I needed to make sure I could time my PW:S to still give rapture and be up during the unhealable phase.

    I think there are valid arguments in favor of active mana regen mechanics vs flat 50% spirit regen. I could see us getting a smarter version of this that works very much like how Enlightenment works/worked for Shadow priests. Cause rapture to proc when some combo of other abilities was used (not on expiration, on use), such as proc’ing a DA on a target with Weakened Soul or Grace. Then it wouldn’t have to be tied to a single healer either. Could even have it scale a percentage of Spirit regen based on size of DA, to make up for anything lost via overheal.

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