I feel like Blizz is killing off the priest. Why you ask? read on...
A bit about me:
I've been a priest since almost the dawn of Warcraft. While I'm more of a casual raider I've got a lot of raid experience (everywhere except Sunwell) and a fair amount of experience raid leading. I've got 2.3k heals unbuffed and about 1300 spell damage unbuffed. While I've leveled a pally tank to help out when needed, 90 percent of my time is spent on my priest (and I love my priest). I'm not an expert and I know there are a lot of people with more experience then me out there but I think I can safely say that I know my class. I’m hoping someone can tell me that I’m dead wrong and that contrary to my current belief Blizz doesn’t have an absolute hatred for priests.
(I love healing and I love being a shadow priest).
Yesterday, I read that Blizz stated:
We're still in talks about how to consolidate buffs/debuffs between classes. Making VT raidwide is a possibility, but yes it would mean the value of multiple Shadow Priests in a raid is somewhat diminished. In a lot of ways we're okay with that (you shouldn't *have* to have multiple specs of one class in a raid), but there are a lot of other side effects we're not sure about right now. (Source)
Hearing that and all the other changes to priests and other classes I now have a huge problem:
What instance can you do in WOW with only one of a certain class? There are certain class that you generally need more than one mage, hunter and lock for 25 mans. Druids and Shammies bring a lot of extra “goodies” to a raid –sure you don’t absolutely need them but they bring a lot of positives.
Even in 5 man instances:
-Mages have the mighty sheep, do a lot of dps and aoe
-Locks can seduce, banish, their pet can tank a tiny bit (lol), curse of elements increases all caster damage, they have a lot of dps and aoe
-Pallys can tank, heal and output a lot of damage with the right gear and with crusader increase the raid crit by 3 percent
-Druids can heal, tank, dps - and they do all three very nicely - not to forget their inervate and battle rez
-Hunters can trap, dps, misdirect, kite
and the list goes on...
I know the above is generic, but I don’t want to go on about it all day long.
Now lets take the humble priest:
-Holy priest: These have been the backbone of the healing world - we neither excel nor do we have any big weaknesses. Pally have better flash heals and less mana issues, druids have the best heals over time, shammies can be incredible raid healers. Come the new patch though, pallies have group heals and (while I’m not sure about this) their greater heal seems to pack more of a punch than the priest greater heal. Depending on how Coh and a few other changes that may result from the Beta - the utility of a holy priest seems to come into question as all healing groups will continue to excel at a particular aspect of healing (except for priest) but now also have the full range of healing options (ie: group heals from pallies – arg ).
-Shadow priest: In BC Shadow priest haven’t scaled very well in tier 6 content. While Blizz seems to be buffing up their damage in the new expansion, they are also reducing the usefulness of shadow priests. Why do Shadow priests get invited to raids? I’m pretty sure that its not for their damage. It’s because of the 5% extra spell damage to casters, the extra 10% to locks, the limited healing they do for party members and the mana regen.
A fair number of classes will now have mana regen abilities –thus eliminating a big reason for having a shadow priest (this will of course depend on how the mana burn rates in instances but I’d be surprised if everyone started to run out of mana a lot faster than they do now). Blizz talks about shadow priest giving mana regen for the whole raid. Hmmm…. If they decide to allow that I guarantee that the mana regen rate will be even lower –which have a negative carry over affect for 5 and 10 man instances for shadow priests.
In fact, for 5 man instances shadow priests have always had a bit of a hard time getting into groups. Why bring a shadow priest to a 5 man when you can get another mage for an extra CC and Aoe? Add to that the SP do more damage on targets that take time to kill (ie: generally not trash mobs) and the utility of SPs in 5 mans takes a big dive.
For the spell damage that Shadow priests do… Sure Blizz has buffed this up a bit – but will it scale? I can’t really see us doing more damage that a lock in similar gear (assuming both know how to play) (or if we do I think Blizz will happily nerf us).
So Shadow priests will in WotLK will basically be able to output a bit more damage (youpee), mana regen won’t be as big a factor because either we won’t be able to regen that much mana or because of other classes that will that will be able to regen and give 5% more damage to spell casters.
Hmmm….when putting a raid together do I really want more than one shadow priest? Do I even need a shadow priest? Why not fill out the spot with another mage, shammy, lock, hunter? Hopefully I’m completely wrong but it almost seems like asking if I want to bring a knife to a gun fight.
I love playing my priest as both holy and shadow. But would someone explain to me how Blizz is satisfied with the way priests work? Ok, I don’t know anything about instances or their mechanics in WotLK but it does seem a bit like Blizz hates priests.
I guess the only positive thing I see for priests in that the discipline spec seems to be a lot more useful for PVE and PVP.