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[MoP Beta] Priest Mana Regen Revisited

Posted by Malevica on June - 24 - 2012

This is a follow-up to my previous post on the subject, to look in a bit more detail at actual, not just potential, returns from From Darkness, Comes Light.

As of 1st July 2012 I’ve merged the corrections and the discussion on the various options from here into the previous post to keep it all in one place. The big change is that the recent buff to Mindbender with Build 15799 (1.0% per swing -> 1.3%) it’s a stronger choice now and competitive with the others, although still probably not an automatic go-to since PW:Solace and FD,CL have greater potential.

FD,CL Procs and Regen

In my initial comparison of FD,CL procs I chose to simply treat them as occurring on 15% of casts, and thus attributing 15% of the mana saving (19,500 mana) to each eligible heal.

That’s fine in spreadsheets and for simplifying the analysis, but how can we quantify the randomness? One way is to simulate a lot of encounters and see what sort of range we might expect.

Considering a 5-minute fight, and two usage scenarios, here’s what I get from an arbitrary run of the sim (10,000 iterations):

  1. Bare minimum – 2 casts per minute – Mean saving per fight: 29,253 mana – StdDev: 22,456 mana.
  2. Tank-healing heavy – 20 casts per minute – Mean saving per fight: 295,563 mana – StdDev: 70,406 mana.

The standard deviation (StdDev) is a measure of the size of the variation from the average, and that’s the important figure here. The more statistically-minded will already have drawn their own conclusions, but for the rest of us the short version is this:
If you’re casting FD,CL-eligible heals infrequently you might get lucky and nearly double your returns but you’re just as likely to end up with practically nothing. If you cast frequently you’re better off, but you could still end up losing out on a quarter of the returns you were expecting.

Obviously over a longer fight the numbers will even out a little better, but the majority of the fights do fall into the ~5-6 minute range, at least in Cataclysm.

The point of all this is that because of the huge variations of FD,CL’s procs you really need to be casting a lot of eligible heals to be sure of getting the benefit. When comparing PW:Solace and FD,CL, you should underestimate the value of FD,CL, particularly if running out of mana is likely to be a killer rather than an inconvenience. PW:Solace gives you flexibility that FD,CL does not.

Again, this doesn’t change the conclusion that PW:Solace is better for raid healing and FD,CL only if you’re tank- or single-target-healing a lot, but it does shine light on the massive unreliability you can expect to see in FD,CL returns.

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11 Responses so far.

  1. Vaugn says:

    FYI, I wrote a critique of your findings in a discussion on the beta forums here:


    I thought you might be interested in taking a look.

    • Malevica says:

      Thanks for letting me know. I wish the WoW forums supported pingbacks.

      Anyway, I’ve replied over there, but I’ll summarise here too for completeness.

      The main thrust of the comment was that Disc Priests usually use a reasonable number of FD,CL-eligible heals, even while not specifically tank-healing, so FD,CL isn’t just for tank healing.

      That was the TL;DR version intended as a first approximation. A few lines earlier I’d said “But the key to maximising [mana regen] is actually reflecting on your healing style and the number of PW:Solace opportunities in a given encounter and making an informed decision” and given the rule of thumb that 1 PW:Solace was roughly equivalent to 2 FD,CL-eligible casts.

      I disagree with the assumption that Disc will necessarily cast enough FD,CL-eligible heals to make PW:Solace unattractive while raid healing. We do now because we need Smite to stack up Evangelism, but that’s not true in MoP because we can do it with Penance alone. We might, but we don’t have to.

      The bottom line (on which we agree) is that they’re both good choices and which is better depends on spell usage and fight dynamics. It’ll depend on the encounter and the raid you’re in. Keep the rule of thumb in mind, reflect on your spell selection and pick the most appropriate talent accordingly.

  2. Grav says:

    I like that comma in ‘From Darkness, Comes Light’. Adds that extra degree of legitimacy and suspense that the Priest class is lacking.

  3. Vaugn says:

    FYI, MMO-Champion is reporting that the next beta patch will increase the mana return from Mindbender by 30%. Not unexpected considering how lackluster it was.

    • Malevica says:

      I saw that.

      Looking at some quick calculations it makes a decent difference. It actually brings the MB advantage over SF up to the level of roughly 2 PW:Solace casts per minute instead of 1 (varies between 1.15 and 2.5 casts, centre is around 1.8). It’s better than before (i.e. it’s actually an option now), and certainly a lot easier than the other two options.

      I still don’t reckon it’s enough of an advantage to make it a routine choice over the others, but this was definitely a change in the right direction.

      • Derevka says:

        Well done…. the over time analysis is quite important to outline. I just redid mine with the 1.33% swing and agree with you on this. (I linked to this post, so you’re aware)

        It is EASIER to use Mindbender since its just Fire and Forget, and depending on the fight length, you need a good deal of ‘extras’ to catch up… but the long and short of it, Mindbender has a FINITE return, while Solace does not.

        • Malevica says:

          I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. They’re now all relatively viable options, but PW:Solace has more potential so I’d probably try and make that one work before falling back on Mindbender.

    • Browncoat says:

      That may be, but any fight with downtime (like so many throughout T11-T13), will have PW:Solace outshining everything else. On most of those fights it’s easy to find long stretches where we can get 4-5 casts of PW:Solace off (regen ~10% of our mana).

      Additionally when damage output is moderate to low, priests can coordinate with other healers so that we can chain PW:Solace to regenerate mana for the next burst damage phase much like Shaman with Telluric Currents do now (only we have the added bonus of not needing to hit to regenerate).

  4. […] (3 casts at 2 seconds per cast) with no raw cast-healing output. Inspired by some numbers that Malevica did, I want to present the information similarly so you can easily see how the fight duration […]

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