There is a bit of discussion at the moment regarding the priest Tier 8 gear on the public test realm. Personally I don’t feel strongly about the gear. Tier gear is nice to have, but not must-have, and tier set bonuses (at least since Wrath) have been nice to have without really adding a lot. I mainly pick it up as it is usually great gear, but not best-in-slot, and is highly accessible via emblems.
However a couple of fellow bloggers have posted on the Tier 8 gear, starting when the information first became widely known, with grumbles about the T8 set bonuses and then moving into broader discussion. Check out Holy Dueg’s post for more information. Blood Elf Priestess has picked the discussion up and has some excellent general observations regarding priests, of both flavours, and their gearing. Her stat priority (Spell Crit = Spell Power > Intellect = MP5/Spirit > Spell Haste > *) is pretty much the same as mine. And I was particularly happy to see this comment,
“Also: because we’re losing our effectiveness of haste, it becomes a lesser needed stat. Holy, from what I do understand, benefits stronger from haste than we do!”
I’ve long held the opinion that haste would be more useful to Holy than Disc, but been afraid to say so. I’m usually the kind of person to swim against the flow if I think i’m right. However I’ve not posted on the subject because I have no experience with Holy, and talents like Surge of Light might, like Disc’s Borrowed Time, reduce the the relative effectiveness of haste. *shrugs*
I’m not sure however I agree with Blood Elf Priestess, that the T8 2 piece bonus is “bunk”. Like most most tier bonuses its a nice extra without being worth going out of your way to get. Personally I cast a lot of Prayer of Healing (PoH). Being Disc its my main AoE heal and most raid combats, both bosses and trash, have some form of AoE damage. Making PoH targetable outside your group will probably mean i’ll be using it more, so 10% extra crit is very nice.
The T8 set bonuses do look pretty useless to Holy to me. The 2 piece, 10% extra PoH critical chance, has some value to Holy, but less so than for Disc. The 4 piece, 250 spell power after casting Power Word: Shield, is pretty much completely useless for Holy as they don’t use PW:S much.
As both Holy Dueg and Blood Elf Priestess appear to be alluding to Discipline has been doing very well since 3.0.2 went live. We seem to be getting a lot of loving, which was needed, and are now at least as valuable as holy priests. There is even a small voice in the back of my head saying, discipline are becoming too valuable.
Both specs are useful and are becoming increasingly distinctive in their styles. Does this mean we need separate gear aimed at each spec? I don’t think so, but then again i’m a bit of a slacker, and near enough is good enough. I’m working on being a good player in good gear rather than an average player in excellent gear. Only time will tell.