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Is Rapture a Sign of the End of the World

I am not sure what I am asking for in this post, but wanted to bring something to everyone’s attention— something that has been bothering me— bothering me from a mechanic perspective. Ultimately, I am asking for a nerf…. yes. I reluctantly state this, but that (I guess) is what I am asking for— well, maybe not a “nerf” but a change. As many of you know, I am not a fan of the Rapture mechanic. I have a number of reasons for it, not the least of which is the battle between multiple Discipline priests in a raid to fight over Weakened Soul debuffs, but perhaps the largest being the scalability and the disparity it creates between Holy and Discipline.

In early MoP Beta, Disc had a lower base regen than Holy did forcing Disc to rely on Rapture returns to get into parity with Holy in terms of regeneration. Then came changes, increasing our Meditation to 50% for both Holy and Discipline, making Rapture just added gravy. I had concerns, however, it really didn’t culminate until Rapture was buffed to 200% spirit.

Every time your Rapture procs, you gain 200% of your total spirit back as mana– on a 12 second CD. At the moment, this also includes Temporary Spirit Gains.  So this means any temporary spirit proc/boost, if active when Rapture procs, also contributes to your Rapture Regeneration. (eg. Mana Tide Totem, Tailoring enchants, DMC trinket, Tsulong trinket, low mana Jade Spirit proc). This is in addition to whatever baseline regen this spirit grants you through the normal regen calculation formula.

Combat Regen Per 5 = Total Mana *0.02 +(1.1287*SPI*Meditation%) 

As of now, you only need 9,150 spirit to make a single PW:S case per Rapture CD mana neutral. With the plethora of spirit procs  you are often seeing Rapture returns in excess of 30k– now yes, some of these trinkets have ICDs longer than a standard Rapture CD, but still restores substantially more mana during that proc’s uptime. Many priests, myself included, are tracking our Spirit Procs and timing Rapture’s during that proc’s uptime.

Some might argue you should subtract the cost of PW:S from the mana restored, since that costs mana to cast. However, you should NOT do this. Why? You need to assume that you would have cast that PW:S anyway, and the cost is sunk as the mitigation happened. If the mitigation didn’t happen, you would have had to heal it up anyway, thus the cost of the PW:S is not included.

 Now, what does this mean for Holy’s regen? Well in comparison, it becomes inherently less. Perhaps this is part of the reason you are seeing so few people playing holy, and so few WOLs with Holy priests included… just due to mana.  (Though, a good deal of it is the inherent strength of Spirit Shell, but mana is also part of the case as well). It doesn’t make sense for Disc to have such a substantial advantage over Holy when it comes to regen.
Lets take a look at really what this means and evaluate a 6 minute fight and compare Holy Regen to Discipline Regen under several Rapture PPMs (Procs Per Minute).
Now, lets take a look at the same situation, however this time let’s add the assumption that the trinket Spirits of the Sun, procs twice during this model, and 2 Raptures happen during its 20 second uptime. We also include the additional regen that the proc’s increase spirit provides baseline.
Of course, there are many other opportunities besides just this ONE spirit proc trinket. (Darkweave Embroidery, and the Darkmoon Card), which actually provides even further bonuses to Discipline when leveraged with Rapture.
Some priests are suggesting that to bring Holy’s regen back into parity we re-introduce crit based Holy Concentration. This makes me want to wretch a little bit– mostly because its quite similar to Shaman Resurgence. While, yes, bringing back that iteration of Holy Concentration would provide some more dynamic regeneration, as well as increased viability of Crit as a secondary stat, I am not sure it is the way to go. Another solution is to remove Rapture entirely. We cannot remove Rapture since part of why Rapture is in place is to insure balance against PW: S spam. Without Rapture (and its ICD) to throttle PW:S’s net cost, we would slowly start to see the return of PW:S spam… and that died with Arthas.
At the very least, temporary spirit boosts should NOT be a part of Rapture’s calculation— much like how it operates with Mana Tide Totem. Will we see this come down the road? If this continues, we’ll see more and more Disc priests and fewer and fewer Holy priests given the greater scaling that exists with Disc since you can ‘get away’ with less spirit, and more other secondary stats while maintaining the same Regen. (at only a 1 Rapture per minute comparison, you’re looking at ~3,000 spirit disparity; which could become 3,000 of any other secondary stat through reforging and regemming). Something will need to be done, otherwise we’ll only see this get worse before it gets better.
What are your thoughts? Is this disparity too much? Is it justified given the “active regen” role you can play as a Disc Priest timing and planning your Raptures?
Written By: on December 13, 2012
  1. Pushing Disc’s Concentration down to 40% is another option, but presents a bunch of other issues because of the scaling. At low Spirit levels Disc could be the best way to go for regen. At high Spirit levels Disc could be come the red-headed stepchild even for players able to maximize Rapture.

    That would be similar to the Paladin Glyph of Illumination, except instead of a glyph being good or terrible at either extreme, one entire spec becomes terrible at higher gear levels.

    1. Exactly… it is alarmingly tricky. I have a few off-the-wall ideas; but really arent fleshed out enough to espouse. Then again…. I’m not a dev, and they know how to balance their own game! :-D

  2. Why not just make Rapture return the cost of PW:S regardless of Spirit and balance around that?

  3. Hi Derevka,

    I’ve been out of the loop for a while, since I stopped raiding at the start of Mists and I have to say that the date you’re presenting here really worries me. As someone who preferred holy and was stronger at it (much to your chagrin, I know), I had really hoped that the spec would continue to perform as well as it did through most of Dragon Soul and I’m sad to see that might not be the case.

    I’m curious as to why more holy priests or more priest aren’t talking about these shortcomings. You have people like resto druids who have been extremely vocal (some would say a bit too much so) and yet I am not hearing anything from priests. Are they just quietly accepting their fate as being discipline now? I don’t understand.

    Otherwise, I really enjoyed the post and I look forward to seeing the devs institute some positive changes to make holy and holy regen more viable again.


    1. Holy isn’t THAT bad. Up until last week I was probably running holy 75% of the time. (I might still hold the Wind Lord #1 Parse I got a few weeks ago, if that means anything?) Its just that Spirit Shell is so strong, and Disc’s mana is much more forgiving– thats why you’re seeing so many Discs.

      You also had a bug with Inner Focus/Spirit Shell combos that overstated Disc’s output, which of course lasted more than a few days and as a byproduct had people running bugged parses that overstated Disc’s actual output potential.

      1. It’s note that Disc needs a nerf in mana regen; It’s the Holy requires a buff, I think. Priest mana in Pvp does not have near the efficiency of a Paladin, Druid or Shaman. Nerfing Rapture would break the class in Pvp.

    2. Everywhere i read says holy is terrible and disc is the only way to go, but ive played Holy the entire expansion until a week or two ago i started trying disc a bit, and i still like holy better. I top the heals in my guild as holy, and i have 43 WoL ranks (albiet some are disc in LFR i got today). While it may to be that an experienced Disc preist can beat an experienced holy priest, Holy is still viable if you know how to play it.

  4. Some people like Rapture, some don’t; I remember advocating for it on the Mists beta forums and was glad to see it kept. What I probably would like, though, is for it to be a regen choice on our tier of regen talents (perhaps making FD;CL baseline since it’s a fun talent).

    I think the mana situation with Disc isn’t that insane. I think the issue really is the overbuff to Divine Aegis (from 30% to 50% with basically no explanation). I think Blizzard buffed it because of the perception of the spec rather than actual problems, and now we have a case where the spec is simply too good.

    I don’t think the solution to disc being OP has anything to do with Rapture, though. Remove Rapture and you will simply have fewer PW:S casts. Instead we’ll cast more PoH (which is pretty cheap), maybe more Atonement, etc. It won’t be a huge reduction in HPS, it simply will reduce our best save-a-life spell. We’ll still be on top of most meters and make other healers annoyed (which is silly, but oh well, people love their meters, and love to complain about them).

    Personally I like the Rapture mechanic, but there does need to be a better tuning. It should reward good play but not excessively, nor should it harshly punish poor play.

    1. There are 2 things at work here, yes- one being overall balance, the other being mana. I think more importantly if a well played Disc priest was next to a well played Holy priest there shouldnt be quite as large of a disparity between mana and output. Its just hard to exactly quantify where those overlap. (mana/output)

      I agree we can’t simply remove Rapture in the current state of our outher tools. However rewarding Disc with temporary spirit boons isn’t quite balanced.

  5. I’ve always thought weakened soul was done as a way to limit the stacking of disc priests. Otherwise, regen doesn’t mean much unless you consider costs in there.

    I mean, if disc had 20x the mana regeneration of holy… it would mean very little if it also spent mana 20x faster.

    I realize they did it with mana tide also because it restores mana to more than the shaman. If the return is limited to the priest, personally, I think mechanics like that are nice nuances to the playstyle.

    I know a lot of people have shifted to Disc over the years mainly because its different from every other healing spec.

  6. I agree Rapture should be independent from Spirit Link Totem, and possibly a reduction from 200% to say 175% mana return from spirit.

    The real issue is that Holy seems so lack luster compared to disc. I feel rapture needs to be toned down a little bit, and a rework of holy to prevent Disc from completely overshadowing it.

    For instance, a removal of chakra (or at least bake the throughput bonuses into Holy’s passives and allow each chakra state to provide a different healing spell to be used at the appropriate situation-leads to decision making about what state to be in but doesn’t constrain you from having weaker spells) and to rework Holy’s regen to have something else providing mana besides fiend/hymn.

    1. Have it backwards; If they remove temp Spirit from Rapture, and I believe they should, you might have to increase rapture to 225%; It’s not the 200% breaking things; It’s Mana Tide and other Spirit buffs inflating the number.

    2. They’ve hinted strongly they will remove the bonuses from Chakra and just make it mechanical, but this will have to wait for the next expansion.

      As to Increasing Holy’s mana regen, absolutely agree; I’d like to see Holy Concentration make a re-appearance…

  7. I think just looking at mana return will not give the whole picture.

    As Holy, being in the correct Chakra state boosts our heals 25% now!!! If my healz hit for more, mana regen is less of a concern since I will be casting less. Effectivly diminishing casting 25% is 25% less mana needed!

    HOWEVER, as all Holy priests know, ya cast heals not bossted due to Chakra CD. So just using 25% would be VERY incorrect. However looking WoL and see how many boosted heals would give ya better idea.

    So just looking at mana regen will not fix holy at all. It would be a start for Holy. More mana would help to get output up. Holy Concentration or just a 10% regen boost would be a start.

    I would like to see base healing buffed for Holy by 10% (%15) would be nice since low in logs)and Chakra dropped to 15% first. Being in the wrong Chakra is too punishing when you need all the tools to maintain output. You currently loose 25% casting an unbuffed heal but you can not switch often enough with a 30 sec CD on Chakra. And decreasing CD and ‘stance dancing’ with macroing Chakra to each spell is not what we want. Well not all!

    As with Disc, I think the comment about the “(from 30% to 50% with basically no explanation)” may be soething to look at! making 40 – 45% and check from there is an easy way scale it a bit!

  8. Before I mention this I want to just start by agreeing with a few points: First of all, YES Rapture is OP right now, without any mathematical analysis and just judging off of Spec swapping, it’s notably easier to heal as Discipline because it feels like Mana is much less an issue as Discipline compared to Holy. The Math is a nice confirmation, however Blizzard has always claimed that they don’t base changes to Specs off of Math being a Primary factor (whether of not that true, who knows). “Average player gameplay experience” has always been the #1 reason for a change/Balance. Second, I very Much agree with Valen, that the Divine Aegis Buff was like “wow, and they are boosting the DA % to 50% …wha!?” To most well tuned Priests we knew right away that sounded too powerful. I mean personally I want more reasons to use PW:S than PoH.
    That being said the point I’d like to say, at the risk of being a huge critic of Derevka, forgive me. Is That for those of you who have played wow for many years now, (as priests, or perhaps very aware healers) Is that during the last 3 x-pac launches Discipline spec has had HUGE, UNDENIABLE issues for weeks or months after launch.(Discipline was rarely used in Vanilla and BC for raid healing) I’m a HUGE fan of Derevka, always have been. However for what ever reason, I fail to see objective Analysis out of him when there is clearly a UP (under powered) issue with the Discipline spec. I don’t’ mind hearing positive and/or optimistic analysis of spec balancing, however it’s real annoying when someone totally ignores the “elephant in the room”. In other words if Discipline is not being used by most healers/guilds/progression kills for a period of time, and there’s a lot of public outcry about Spec gameplay experience/Math. Perhaps there is an issue worth at least mentioning, and perhaps discussing. There has been a huge elephant in the room for the first weeks of MoP with Discipline priests, whether you want to use math or gameplay experience. I did not see any posts with charts, and graphs on it when there was a clear issue with throughput and Regen with Discipline. Instead it was “Keep Calm and Keep Healing”. “Objective Analysis” sparks a lot of respect, I’m not saying be pessimistic, so please don’t whip that card out. But please be somewhat vocal about possible Underpowered issues as well. (with both Specs btw)
    Finally, also after several years of playing, you come to realize that there are balancing hotfixes, and patch changes made to all of the healing specs constantly. Some tiers you suck tailpipe, and some you overwhelmingly dominate. For the first weeks of MoP Discipline had clear issues both mathematically and gameplay wise. But I guess what I’d like to say is: There’s always going be Ups and Downs, I’ll ride the downs, and to be perfectly blunt, I’ll also ride the Up’s.

  9. I would actually hate the change of “no short time spirit buffs count into rapture”. 2 reasons –
    1) Fun Factor – tracking procs nd timing raptures getting mana bonus – that is great
    2) itemization – like shammy we would value short term spirit very low, since our main mana ability ignores it. I raid 10mans with resto shammy

    How to solve it? Change Rapture to return 100% mana spent on PW:S + lets say 40% of SPI in mana.

    It would mean scaling with spirit managable in next tiers.
    It would preserve players choice between active management > passive approach. Passive player has possiblity to stack static SPIRIT and have good enough results, active may manage his short term buffs to better results (but not insanely better).
    It would not be too broken in PvP or PvE.

    Do you see any catches here?

  10. I went OS Disc and have been healing Disc for 3 weeks now. I started in vanilla as Holy and after karazan went DISC tell Mists.

    One I noticed we are missing as far as Disc mana issues is that when I can’t Smite heal as much (heavy tank damage and using grace and more PW:S or after using stacks) is that “DIRECT” healing burns mana faster than atonement healing! I.E. Evangelism stacks ALSO decreases mana costs! If I let my stacks fall, it gets expensive to throw in a few HF’s & damaging penances tell stacks are back.

    Or is this something we are keeping quiet? lol

    But this offers TWO mana saving things for Disc that Holy is left w/o. YES they get stacks on smites; however, it does not heal!

    This is TWO reasons that Holy needs looked into on thier mana reg issues!

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