See that icon? I’ve never seen it before. But I will as of 3.0! According to Koraa, priest racials are being retired. However, some of the racials are being reworked.
- Desperate Prayer – This is now the 11-point talent in Holy, Holy Nova is now a base ability. Cooldown also reduced to 30 seconds.
- Devouring Plague – Now a base ability. Cooldown reduced to 30 seconds, mana cost greatly reduced.
- Symbol of Hope – Now a base ability. Now restores 5% base mana every 2 seconds for 8 seconds to your party. Renamed “Hymn of Hope.”
Now, I’m a human shadow priest, so I didn’t really lose anything except for Feedback, so I’m sure that flavors my response.
I like the change! I had no idea about “priest racials” when I rolled my first toon, and when I got Desperate Prayer, I thought it was just another regular ol’ priest spell. None of the other classes have to consider class racials when rolling their toon – why should we?
What’s Going Away?
Since I didn’t really know about the other race’s special abilities, I had to see for myself what would be lost.
- Starshards (Night Elf) – Rains starshards down on the enemy target’s head, causing 785 Arcane damage over 15 sec.
- Elune’s Grace (Night Elf) – Reduces the chance you’ll be hit by melee and ranged attacks by 20% for 15 sec.
- Touch of Weakness (Undead/Blood Elf) – The next melee attack on the caster will cause 80 Shadow damage and reduce the damage caused by the attacker by 35 for 2 min.
- Consume Magic (Blood Elf) – Dispels one beneficial Magic effect from the caster and gives them 120 to 154 mana. The dispelled effect must be a priest spell.
- Hex of Weakness (Troll) – Weakens the target enemy, reducing damage caused by 35 and reducing the effectiveness of any healing by 20%. Lasts 2 min.
- Shadowguard (Troll) – The caster is surrounded by shadows. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, the attacker will be struck for 130 Shadow damage. Attackers can only be damaged once every few seconds. This damage causes no threat. 3 charges. Lasts 10 min.
- Chastise (Dwarf/Draenei) – Chastise the target, causing 370 to 430 Holy damage and Immobilizing them for up to 2 sec. Only works against Humanoids. This spell causes very low threat.
- Feedback (Human) – The priest becomes surrounded with anti-magic energy. Any successful spell cast against the priest will burn 165 of the attacker’s Mana, causing 1 Shadow damage for each point of Mana burned. Lasts 15 sec.
This seems all over the board – offensive and defensive, built for PvP or PvE. How was I supposed to know about all this when I built my priest? What if I found out later I made the wrong choice? Would I be compelled to reroll?
WoWWiki even says on their “Staring a Priest” page, “When choosing a race for your Priest, the most important gameplay concern is their racial spells. Each race of Priest gets two spells that other races may not have access to. In the Alliance, arguably the best choices are Draenei for PvE, with their occasional heals being a slight benefit, and Dwarves for PvP, as the Dwarves’ Stoneform is useful in escaping from Rogues and the like.”
Sure, there are calls that this is homogenizing the game, but it’s really just bringing the decision to roll a priest into line with the decision to roll any other class.
Check out the following for some responses from my fellow priesty types:
- A Dwarf Priest does a fantastic analysis of the spells to be removed, and is disappointed that racials are being removed
- Merlot at Misery feels the change is largely positive, and that shadow priests come off particularly well.
- Wyn at World of Matticus is greatly disappointed at the loss, and feels that priests in general have lost their “premier healer” role
- Natarumah at Twisted Faith mourns the loss of Shadowguard
- Matticus posted the Twitterati Reaction
- Vonya from The Egotistical Priest says the change is “overdue”
Several of the above have mentioned a suggestion on the forums where a priest could declare their Faith, and basically choose which of the racial spells the would like depending on their gaming style (PvP vs PvE, healing vs dps). It’s a really interesting suggestion. It removes the “oh noes, I picked the wrong race!” potential, and still leaves priests some flavor.