Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Dispersing the Pain
Dispersion is a funny kind of talent which is almost unique in the game, I say almost because there are a few others which have some similar uses; the mage ice block springs to mind, however, for me the ice block isn't anywhere near as versatile. Ice block is a pure 'oh shit' spell; you're about to die, or take some serious damage, and you hit it. Dispersion has this ability, and whilst it doesn't quite absorb all damage (only 90%) and doesn't remove DoTs, I'm struggling to think of a time when using it as a last resort hasn't worked. You might still take damage or have DoTs active but by the time its finished you should have been able to move to relative safety, something a frozen mage can't do, and got ready to heal or shield yourself if the party healer is otherwise engaged (assuming you're not healing).
The main drawback to dispersion is that you are almost entirely inactive for its duration, I say almost because you can do some useful things; as mentioned you can move to safety, or into position to continue DPSing or healing once the effect ends, you can also click a lightwell, or drink potions which may be the thing that keeps you alive.
One of the secondary benefits, after staying alive is the mana regen. Now as you can't heal or DPS, it's not your primary mana regen tool, but if you're in a fight where you know you're going to be scraping the bottom of the mana barrel and there's a phase where you'll need to move or you can't DPS, then it's the perfect opportunity to utilise it. If you think you might need it as a life saver then it's probably best to forget the mana regen and save it just in case; a dead priest is less use than an OOM priest.
The cooldown is pretty forgiving, so on longer fights you may get the chance to use it twice, in which case you're into the Dark Evangelism type dilemma of whether to use it early; I really doubt there's any place in the 5 man content where you should need to do this.
The final use, which I have to say is my most used, is mana regen between trash. It's a great way of minimalising downtime between trash, IF you're not within the cooldown timer of the next boss, and IF you're not struggling on the trash (if you need a full mana bar, or have been slapped by trash in previous pulls I'd keep it I'm reserve), and IF the other mana drinkers aren't sitting down to drink (no point using the cooldown if you're then stood waiting for others). If you chose to glyph dispersion you'll reduce the cooldown yet further and increase its potential use – as a shadow priest you definitely don't want to glyph this as it'll remove one of your dps increasing glyphs, as a healer you may want to consider it depending on your playing style.
As with almost every other spell in the priests armoury, it's all down to judgement, get it right and you'll improve your total DPS or healing, get it wrong and you'll lose DPS, or worse if you're healing let others die. On that note it might me an idea to announce via a macro that people won't be getting healed for 6 seconds if you are the designated healer so they can start thinking about keeping themselves up for the duration you're dispersed.
And there you have it, dispersion; from a ferry in the middle of the Channel, written on a HTC Desire (although edited at my desk before work), with a hangover.