I've been playing this game for a while...only very casually. My priest is level 78 now...and I expect that he will be my first character with which I invest some arena time. I don't mind going discipline if that's what it takes, but I'm partial to shadow. But, in the few threads I've read, people are complaining an awful lot about their ability.
Now, during seasons 2 and 3 (possibly others), it seemed to me that a lot of people felt the exact same way about shadow as they do now--but shadow still had a place in arena. A well-played shadow priest could make an impact in a 2DPS team with a rogue, a few others found a place on 5's teams, and I saw them more than a few other specs in 3's. Will this still be the case in WotLK, or is the consensus that they're so weak that they'll find NO place in top teams?
Not every class is going to be equal. I've come to terms with that. I don't expect to have an advantage versus many classes in 1v1 situations. I accept that I'm going to get focus fired on any arena team I play on for lack of escape mechanisms. I even understand that shadow priests might end up being exceptionally weak against the mainstay comps in the coming season. My only question is will there be ANY place where shadow priests can find a home...not necessarily to be an exceptionally strong class...but to be formidable?
Shadow has made a significant move upwards in the PVE world. Im still in quest blues and some epics and i am pushing around 1700-1900 dps depending on the encounter i.e. heroic trash and heroic bosses always make my dps go up. However out in the PVP world a normal day any encounter with a mage or warrior was pretty much a HK for me. That is not true anymore. Yes its still possible for me to take down said classes but its more like every other class 1v1. Shadow is no longer a very viable pvp spec. With bg's we have gotten a wicked AOE which can produce a lot of damage in a short amount of time. But dont expect to many arena teams to beg a spriest to joiin up untill all the bugs are worked out with us
Shadow priests have an aoe fear and one of the best aoe dps in the game right now in mind sear. With their dispersion and a small amount of healing they can even survive the first 10 seconds of an arena match, which is a first for the class. Their spot in 5s is pretty safe I'd say.
In 2s they are probably still trapped with rogue partners. They have cc that compliments rogues and their overall damage has been buffed.
The class should do better this season than the previous ones imo. However, there is really no place for shadow priests in 3s. (Unless some dark horse comp shows up)