It has come to my attention that Discipline is no longer a viable PvE role for raids. Due to the mana cost increase to shields, we've lost our niche of being able to pre-shield the raid before raid damage, it's no longer doable and mana sustainable. What Blizzard forgot to do following this hotfix? Compensate us from not being able to pre-shield.
So fellow discipline priests? What are we left with?
I'll give you a rundown.
Soul Warding:The talent that gives us the ability to use shields freely without the restriction of a cooldown. In my opinion getting rid of Soul Warding wouldn't solve anything. In fact, removing it would just develop a very clunky playstyle for discipline if that was the so-called "fix". We need to be able to use our shields freely, but they need to change something so they aren't too powerful.
Prayer of Healing: The throughput of prayer of healing in itself is rather weak. But Memoryz! What about divine aegis that always procs from it?! Well, divine aegis in itself is wasted anyways. When you use prayer of healing, you generally use it after damage occurs, not preemptively. Divine Aegis duration is also rather short so by the time next damage comes out, it's already expired.
Rapture: This is one of our bread and butter mechanics of regaining mana back. However, what blizzard didn't consider before they increased the mana cost of our shields is how it'd affect our ways of gaining mana back. By rapture being tied to Power Word: Shield and Power Word: Shield's mana cost increased, we in fact gain less mana back now from rapture, completely ruining the mana regen discipline had to sustain through raids.
Train of Thought: Lets be honest here, this talent is useless.
Renewed Hope: Another talent tied to Power Word: Shield. However, having to use Power Word: Shield currently feels like a hinder, even when only using it on tanks. You'll feel your mana depleting and you'll feel confused at what to do because you're simply trying to make use of Renewed Hope as intended.
Strength of Soul: Once again, another talent dealing with Power Word: Shield. This talent ensures you can shield more often, but why would you want to do that now? To run yourself out of mana quicker? Seems like an odd decision of blizzard to do if they even want us to make use of these talents. Not to mention Rapture can only occur every 12 seconds.
Borrowed Time: ANOTHER talent baked in with Power Word: Shield. Gives you a haste buff at the cost of losing mana.
Grace: Ah grace, another talent that really needs looked at. It's cool that Blizzard made grace affect more than one target, however, the mechanic of grace in itself is clunky and frustrating. I get it, they don't want passive +healing talents, but it's talents like these that are hindering buffs to give us more throughput. Honestly Grace in my opinion is terrible. Its good for the purpose it served to begin with: A tank healing mechanic, but it does not serve the purpose of increasing our raid healing throughput. It's overall in my opinion, hindering any buffs coming our way to increase our raid healing potential.
All in all, with the inability to make use of Power Word: Shield due to its mana cost, it really makes you question the intention of making all these talents tied around Power Word: Shield. If Power Word: Shield hinders your mana, why is there Renewed Hope, Strength of Soul, Borrowed Time, and Rapture?
I urge Blizzard to take a look at the discipline tree and their actions to see for themselves why what they did to solve the "Power Word: Shield" spam was awful. You've basically broken the whole purpose of the discipline tree and people as we speak are already going back to Holy.
Nerf Absorption + Mastery Rebalance: Why didn't you just nerf the absorption a tad. Say in my gear, the shield absorbs 24-25k in mastery heavy gear. Absorbs 20k in PvP gear. To balance this, I'm sure it'd take a slight reduction in Power Word: Shield and Mastery balance all together.
Buff Prayer of Healing somehow to compensate this nerf: Since Power Word: Shield is no longer usable to pre-shield raid damage, were pretty much left with only one other spell to heal raid damage, Prayer of Healing. However, Prayer of Healing in itself currently isn't enough.
Grace Affecting Shield Absorption: Have grace stacks affect the shield to absorb more. This would make it so they could tone down Power Word: Shield, but also not harm PvP, where you should keep up grace stacks on your partner you're going to use Power Word: Shield on. This also ensures tanks have a more decently size shield as opposed to the raids.
More Problems With Shield Cost increase:
Mastery: Due to shields no longer being used as much, this lowers our need to use mastery on our gear. Mastery really only benefits two things. Divine Aegis( Which is usually wasted anyways) and Power Word: Shield. Because Power Word: Shield is just mana inefficient, we all just result in using prayer of healing more and favoring haste over mastery in this case. If you want us to use mastery, give us an incentive to use it.
Knee-jerk changes done by Blizzard:Rapture now returns 2/5/7% of maximum mana when Power Word: Shield is consumed, up from 2/4/6%.
This in actuality does nothing, it helps our mana abit, but it's hardly a noticeable difference.