EDIT: About the "stupid absorbing system" I completely disagree though. Keeping a tank topped off is important, and what better way is there to keep a tank topped of than to shield him? I personally think the whole idea of a "Preventer" (Grace, Divine Aegis, Shields, Pain Supression) instead of a real healer is a lot of fun and different from the other regular healing roles. It's just a pity that it has been so poorly designed.
A bit offtopic but maybe intersting for some readers, anyway. The priest class in Guild Wars (monk) also has two ways of healing: reactive healing (restoring lost hit points) and protective healing (shielding). In Guild Wars many instances cannot be done without a so called "protter" because the damage output of some mobs is so high that you need damage reducing/reversal tools. Typically you have one monk for pure healing (like holy) and one for shielding. In PvP it's basically the same. The job of a protter is to prevent spike damage and give the reactive healers a bit time to restore hit points.
When I first read about the new disciple talents in WotLK I thought: Oh, cool, WoW will have some kind of protter, too. Yet looking at the recent changes it seems Blizzard is a bit confused?
Yeah it sounded quite good for a moment, but this new build just changed the direction completely. The only change were we could be happy about is the additional healbonus on flashheal and greater heal for the Holy tree.
But after all, it semms like a class designer lost his mind overnight. The Discipline spec is still not viable as a PVE Healer, and not needed of course, neither heal nor shadow.
Discipline is too weak after all, you can just replace him and do it better with a druid or shaman or pala. Holy is also weakened. You could say that Holy priests are a bit "overpowered" atm with CoH in Healmeters which is true, but otherwise, we povide nit the slightest raid support compared to shamans druids (innervate, br, totems) or pally´s (you need more then 1 because of tehir buffs). So finally you need 1 priest for stamina buff, and just keep the rest out of the way, because they can´t do anything.
Now with CoH probably on CD, our healbonus on other classes is gone. But this wassn´t overpowered, it´s just the reason why a holy priest has a raidspot!
I doubt Blizzard considers the real world. Their blind ideology of making everyone "equal" in dmg / healmeters is leading to pure dumbness. Especially the "pure" classes like holypriests are suffering.
Then shadow is just a laugh at the moment. Crap coefficeints, crap talents, crap support, crap PVP possibilities. Playing a priest is a waist of time actually. After weeks of great feedback and some really good indications, it seems like we have to start all over it again, going through point to point, and hope to finally get some positive results.
I´m just wondering why we have to do this combat 2 times with blizzard, and why they could´t wait before releasing a new unstable build. Maybe they should consider class balance before releasing new content. Maybe ´some beta testers are ok with the new content of this build in (icecrown...) and also testing naxxramas, but in fact it´s just a waiste of time. Maybe some of you saw the thread where Blizz wants some WWS Data, but not a day after that, they just changed the class balance completely instead of first analyzing the results. This is not prooving any kind of a professional beta test, it´s more like you just make the things you feel right about and ignore the thoughts and FACTS your cleints report.
So, we have to go all over it again, but I´m sure it would be done faster by just reverting any class changes in this build, and wait for serious calculations about the actual balance. I can´t understand how Blizzard want´s to improve the balance between classes by changing them completely every 2 days...