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 – http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4796049763