Hello fellow priests, I just want so share my current opinion on shadow priest, bear in mind, English is not my mother tongue.
I have played as a priest since tbc, mostly as a healer (discipline). The class has changed beyond recognition. At least shadow and discipline, holy still got the same aura over it.
However, I switched to shadow in the end of Firelands, since I was in need of a change. After all been the last couple of years. I did my fair share of research on shadow, and currently consider myself an “over” average shadow priest. I don’t like to whine, because most the issues people whine about eventually get fixed anyway, so I don’t need to do so. But the current state of shadowpriest is boring in my opinion.
We lost our main cd, archangel, and by that we also lost evangelism. We also lost our mastery, empowered shadow, which was a 15 sec buff that increased our shadow damage. Our mastery was replaced by a simple mechanic that is passive. We currently got our old dot system, with a slightly new mind blast/devouring plague system. New shadow orb generation, I won’t complain there, it was fine as it was, and its fine as it is. I like both of the mechanics.
I am generally complaining about how easy shadow priests currently are to play. And I don’t have a damn cool down except shadowfiend/mindbender, which is just a tap on a button and that’s it. Power infusion isn’t on pair with the other tier talents. I feel like they took away everything from shadow priests that required skill to accomplish properly, and gave them nothing in return. I have to admit that halo can be tricky if you try to get max damage at multiple targets.
How can I say that our old mastery required skill? In dragon soul I have to be fair, the mastery didn’t require squat. But let’s look back to bwd/fl, let say you had something that procced mastery, most likely a trinket (from valiona for those who remember the amazing trinket). If you had a mastery procc, your empowered shadow would give you more shadow damage. Let say the procc lasted 20 sec, if you refreshed your empowered shadow at the end of the procc you got 15 more sec with mastery procc. If you dotted up the target right before the end of empowered shadow you got another 15 seconds with the buff. Overall a 50 sec uptime, but an average player would NEVER to something like this, and that was something that made a gap between the “good” players and the “average” players (hopefully you managed to follow my train of thoughts).
20sec procc (refresh es at the start)
Refresh ES at the end + 15sec
Refresh dots and the end of es +15sec
20+15+15 = 50sec uptime, because YOU made it have that amount of uptime by timing and knowledge.
It sounds kind of simple in theory, but was damn impossible to execute perfect ingame most of the time, due to boss encounters, and you had to take into consideration when your weapon enchant / tailor / engi / other trinket procced. When and where to re-apply dots, etc. Don’t get me wrong, that was op, but it was a mechanic that made the class more enjoyable because with skill you would/could accomplish more.
Now we only re-apply dots trough proccs, which is the current state of “the next level”. That can’t be compared with the old system, and the new mastery is completely passive. Even dark evangelism is removed (10% dot dmg), that was ofc simple to manage, due to the fact that mind flay applied it, but nevertheless something to pay attention to.
If you consider pvp (2,2k player myself in 3s), is it A LOT easier now. The difference between a good and bad shadow priest was huger, but due to the fact of spectral guise an phantasm, is the skill cap still there. But main difference before was mainly the mana control (which I am glad is easier) and the possibility to put out max dps a lot harder. Empowered shadow and dark evangelism was sometimes HARD to manage and maintain uptime on in arena :P
If you read this far, then thanks for your time, and I hope my English was understandable. Just as a note, I am not complaining about our dmg at all, it’s fine as it is. But shadow priest is just straight forward and boring. Dots, mb of cd, devouring when 3 orbs (basicbasic).. repeat
Best of regards