Wednesday, August 24, 2011

my beef with infusion

Mmmm infused beef. Delicious, eh?

I'm going to rant about Infusion of Light, but first I'm going to ramble about Serendipity.

Different talents are different. Different trees are different. Different classes are different. But... I didn't realize how much I disliked IoL until I played my priest enough to fall in love with Serendipity.

What I love about Serendipity

Procs by casting Binding Heal or Flash Heal. Combined with Surge of Light (great talent synergy!), I generally find opportunity to use Serendipity procs at least a few times a fight. And I have choices: I can either use it on a Greater Heal or a Prayer of Healing. And if that wasn't choice enough, I can either spend 1 stack or wait and cast at 2 stacks!

But it gets better. Priest healing spells are so diverse that I can hold my Serendipity charges, casting a ton of other heals: Prayer of Mending, Circle of Healing, Renew, Heal, Sanctuary, PW: Shield, etc. I can save my Serendipity stacks if I know a big thing is coming up: a pulse AoE where I'll need to heal the raid, or a big tank heal for a tank swap or timed ability.

Why Infusion Sucks, In Comparison

Infusion procs by Holy Shock crit so it's a chance instead of a guaranteed proc. I'm cool with that. An Infusion procced with a non crit, every 6 seconds would be ridiculously overpowered. So how it procs isn't a problem IMHO.

The problem is how we spend it. See that list of stuff up there, stuff I can do as a priest while saving my Serendipity stack for something I know is coming up? Here's the list for what paladins can do that heals that won't eat my IoL buff: Holy Radiance. Oh, I might be able to spend Holy Power, if I have three stacks.

So, we have one--maybe two--spell choice(s) we may or may not even want to use before our IoL proc gets eaten up by our next cast. There's no choice here. I cast Holy Shock (and half the time I'm already casting my next heal before my UI even registers I've gotten IoL), my next heal is short. Whether or not I need it that fast. Whether or not I want to use it right away, it gets spent. The only way I can save it is to stop casting, which I think we can all agree is a terrible idea.

Did I mention that a holy priest, after choosing to hold her Serendipity proc a few seconds, can also choose to use it on either a group heal or a single-target heal? Paladins get... a single target heal.

I don't think I have the answers. I'm not suggesting that IoL should be more limited in how we can spend the proc because that would just make the spell clunky. And Serendipity is arguably a minor part of priest healing, while Infusion of Light is a major component of paladin healing (though I could argue that it's only major because paladin spells are so limited).

Managing daybreak procs and Infusion is also a bit clunky. Using Daybreak to Holy Shock back-to-back can waste an Infusion proc if you double-crit. But critting Shock > hasted Divine Heal (.7-.8 seconds at our gear level) > Holy Shock is awkward to time. I can't chain cast it near as fast as I should. It breaks my casting rhythm (though I realize how personal and small of a complaint this is. My big beef is the no-choice-to-spend-or-hold argument above).

But that's why I don't like Infusion of Light. There's no choice in using it. It happens, then it gets spent almost immediately. It's a passive RNG-based HPS boost. I can't hold it to save a tank, I can't rely on it to proc when I really really want it to. And even if it does proc at a good time there was no Enlynn-saving-the-tank. It was a lucky proc, is all. Unlike Serendipity where a well-placed hasted GH could actually be smart play.


  1. I can't hold it to save a tank, I can't rely on it to proc when I really really want it to.

    Interesting point and one of the things I disliked about healing Heroic Maloriak -- it never procced when I wanted it to and then it would proc as I healed someone else in Dark Phase while my tank was literally unhealable... but would fade before Dark Phase ended.

    That said, it's GODLY on Alysrazor when sometimes you HAVE to hold off on the heals because you want Gushing Wound to fall off. I'll just stand there and WAIT for the debuff to fall and BAM, .7-.8s Divine Light on my tank! It's a little bit of finesse, which I enjoy. :)

    Serendipity sounds OP by comparison, though. I agree.

  2. I wonder if IoL would work better if it didn't affect Holy Light. So just Divine Light or Flash of Light.

    That way you can still heal with Holy Light, and save up a faster large Divine Light.

  3. Adding it to Flash of Light was just the right change. Otherwise there was no reason to use FoL if you had an Infusion proc ready for Divine Light.

    I'd like to see Holy Light removed from the proc. This would allow us to hold a proc during those times when we don't need lots of output RIGHT NOW. Which is also, coincidentally, the perfect time to be using Holy Light.

    Heals you can cast while saving Infusion? Holy Shock (with Daybreak or just waiting), Holy Radiance, Light of Dawn, Word of Glory. You can also take care of your upkeep: Judge, Beacon, change position, maybe Crusader Strike, and cast Divine Plea.

    The Infusion buff lasts long enough (15 seconds) that it is easy to save for expected damage spikes, which is why my Power Aura includes a timer. I've been saddened to find there are vanishingly few times when it's better for me to sit on my hands to save the proc and make use of the timer.

  4. I'm happy with where Holy Paladins are right now, probably for the first time since we got totally turned upside down at the end or Wrath. I actually cried the first time I tried the new healing spec! Now I wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Of course other classes have different and maybe better spells than us, but three cheers for classes having differences. I dread the day when the only difference between me and a priest or druid is the name of our spells.

  5. Alipally, it's true that for all the homogenizing that the healers went through, there are still some strong distinctions between the specs. They really do play different and I love that.

    Joe, you're right, there may be some heals a pally can use while holding Infusion but too many of those are proc dependent. I counted daybreak procs the other day for fun and daybreak proc to infusion ratio was about 1:3. As for Lod or WoG, we're gauranteed one HP for casting the shock that procced the Infusion, but if I only have one holy power I'd rather blow the infusion and save the 1 HP. I might use 2, and I definitely would use 3, but I'm more likely to use 2 for WoG while hold if what I want to cast is a LoD. (that might be strange enlynn logic that bears no resemblance to actual math).

    And yes, we can upkeep (and I often do) while holding Infusion. But upkeep isn't healing, which is the crux of the problem. I just think we need a non-cooldown, non-proc-relying, non-HP-using direct healing ability that doesn't use up Infusion.

    Changing Holy Light to not use up Infusion wouldn't be such a bad idea, Rohan. Though I don't know how I feel about that for the under-geared healadin... Without Holy Light, there's no way to cheaply take advantage of IoL. And sometimes a fast holy light isn't such a bad idea. But I'd take that over losing insta-FoL, since that is very handy when it comes in handy.

    Kurn, I think the only reason that no one cries to nerf priests is that they have so many other great things that for a h. priest, serendipity (and SoL) are minor, minor aspects of priest healing. I mean, color me jealous because I've always been a priest at heart, but their spec with all its versatility and awesome talents are just... well... I'm biased and I won't pretend otherwise. :)