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Val'anyr proc explained (blue)
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They say it's a 8 second shield. A very short time I think, but the 8 seconds will be renewed with additional heals. I would think some of the shields can last for 15+8 seconds or something in that ballpark. They also say that a single tick form a healing over time effect can trigger the effect.
I think 8 seconds is perfectly fine. If it were longer I think it would be a little too much (not that I wouldn't mind having a longer shield proc).
For a tank healer, 8 seconds is more than enough time for that shield to get munched by a hit or to get built up into a huge shield that mitigates an enormous amount of damage.
For a Raid healer, 8 seconds is enough to buy you some insurance but since most raid damage is predictable damage anyway, you figure you can even "pre-shield" targets with a CoH 5 or 6 seconds earlier (if you're strong enough with The Force).
Even a raid healer can throw a renew on the tank for a bunch of little bubbles. Renew ticking away at 1.5k each, so 225 absorbs every few seconds without even thinking about it... that's Boss right there.
On the issue of the proc being RNG, yes you are correct. RNG is part of the game. You sometimes get a big crit on a heal when you most need it and sometimes you waste those crits. We are not terribly sympathetic to the argument that healing has to be 100% predictable and dependable to be useful. We understand some players would prefer a game with even less emphasis on random elements, but we think random chance (within reason) adds excitement and interest to WoW.
Non-heals, such as Power Word: Shield, don't contribute to either proc. That is just the way the item is set up. If you are a Disc priest who ends up with Val'anyr, I would suggest trying to maximize your actual heals when the bubble is up. We are going to make the heal provided by the glyph of PW:S able to cause the procs, though typically items that heal will not cause the procs.
As a few players have pointed out, Thunderfury looked like a pretty mild tanking weapon if you didn't see the proc in action. Like that weapon, you should want Val'anyr for the proc, not the stats. We aren't at all worried that healers capable of acquiring this legendary are going to find it lackluster.
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