i play a disc priest, mostly in 5mans. that leads me directly into my first question:
1) the reason i switched to disc, rather than play holy like i died during leveling, was because even though i played holy, i noticed i was having a rather unholy playstyle, with not using renew because i dislike HoT effects (they are too slow for me and i feel like i need extra addons to monitor them) and using a rather large amount of PW:S, especially on the tank. i also had some mana issues when the fight got too long. what are your thoughts on this?
after i played disc for a few dungeons, i decided to switch to Atonement spec. the reason for this was mainly because i read the merits on the "new raiders" sticky. i ended up enjoying it due to the substantially higher throughput with a marginally higher mana usage (especially at 5 stacks evangelism) combined with feeling like i actually contribute in more than one way (4K DPS is actually pretty much in PuG groups, since that can often make up for 1 mediocre DPS). it also meant i could use my rather limited button space more easily.
2) atonement basically seems pretty viable during most of the content, including ZA and ZG. however, i'm having issues with Jin'Do in ZG. the biggest problem seems to be that there's nothing i can reliably use smite on to heal the other players. there is also a lot of raid damage going out, especially if you have people that fail to move away from ghosts or meteors (which both hit for 25-50K). and since without exceptional players, you need everyone alive to really make it. if the tank dies before the shields are broken, you're boned. if a DPS dies, you might not be able to handle all the ghosts. in these cases, i start to make errors and people die. Jin'do actually is the only boss i've done so far that i cannot heal. can anyone give me hints on this?
finally, i want to share a few things about my playstyle for critical analysis, along with some questions.
3) preshielding for damage spikes: with 5 shields being cast pretty fast (but really costly), is this something that should be done frequently? how about preshielding in general? and in a similar vein, are there any opportune times to using PW:B?
4) my general prepull preparation: shield and mending on the tank, boss targeted for smite spam, mouseover heals for GH, penance, PW:S, PoH, PoM, dispel, heal. bar setup: 1-4: PoM, shield, GH, penance; F1-F4: heal, dispel, PW:B, PoH. A is smite, E is pain S., mass dispell is bound to one of my thumb buttons, LoF to the other. any other heals i should be thinking about binding?
5) i'm thinking about respeccing due to a lack of usage for some talents, most notably IF (yeah, i don't use IF). is this more of a L2P issue, or could i benefit from moving a point from IF to another place? i'm healing perfectly without using IF, and maybe i should just be macroing IF to PoH and GH. thoughts on this?
6) finally, about stat weights. i'm using PW:S a reasonable amount, but only the ones on the tank are absorbed fully. the rest is basically wasted mastery. i'm also a bit indecisive concerning the other stat weights. mastery as atonement requires a reasonable amount of crit to make sure Smite procs DA enough. currently, i'm simply more or less stacking Haste. however, i've been wondering if i could benefit more from a more balanced setup.