Priest Q&A – Are we remembered?

inv_offhand_stratholme_a_02It actually took me quite some time to properly process the Priest Q&A reproduced here on MMO-Champion; the original version can be found here on the forums. It focuses quite heavily on us Shades, perhaps to make up for the fact that there are so few changes in store for us for patch 3.2.

Dispersion going down to 2 minutes cooldown is a very good thing; we can now sacrifice more mana regen while still not going OoM, and I find myself using Dispersion a lot to get out of Oh Sh*** situations, so I am not complaining.

As for the Mind Blast change, well, so what? We get a 20% mortal strike which is used most often in PvP (bar perhaps Yogg-Saron and Steelbreaker hardmode encounters), and when useful in PvE you can expect mortal strike to be at 50% coming from another class (warriors, I look at you!). It will give a slight edge against healing casters in PvP, but it is not too reliable since Mind Blast is on a cooldown (and I am not sure if PvP specs have Improved Mind Blast anyway, so there).

The change to Vampiric Touch is again for PvP, and has no functionality in PvE at all. None. Whatsoever. I am not even sure if it makes any real difference in PvP, since it is a low amount of damage still, mitigated by resilience, and healed over quicker then when mommy kissed your scrapemarks from that biking incident when you were 8.

Now, on to the Q&A!

The first comment that made me smile was this:

” One other way we’ve tried to make the priest class more enjoyable is by fleshing out its damage-dealing talent specialization (spec), the Shadow tree. In the beginning, the Shadow spec was more of a leveling tree and not really viable for high-end content late game. In The Burning Crusade, it didn’t really keep up in damage compared to other classes in raiding but it did bring strong utility. Finally, in Wrath of the Lich King we increased its damage-dealing potential to make it near that of a primary damage-per-second (dps) caster — such as a mage — while also retaining some of its unique utility which made it cool during The Burning Crusade.”

I don’t know about you, but while we have gained some serious DPS, I can’t imagine being “near a mage”  in damage – a good mage will trounce me, steal my shorts and run circles around me laughing. I am estimating that DKs, Warlocks and Rogues do much of the same, as do Hunters. We shine in very long-duration encounters where there are many adds or extreme amounts of movement – Yogg-Saron, Freya, Vezax, the like.

Despite that, playing a shadowpriest is indeed quite enjoyable and I am not really bothered by my lower damage.

For PvP, all can be summed up with “DoTs are fine, Dispel Protection is fine, and we give some new toys”. I am glad PvP is not my main hobby, or else I would be somewhat disappointed. Being locked out of your primary spells by a spell school lock is considered a feature. Good luck, thanks for playing.

The part where we supposedly should be smart about using our DoTs, even though they will be less useful on trash, is something I can agree on. Multi-dotting gives very reasonable DPS, Mind Searing is better. In this regard I think we are pretty fine, since when I unleash a Mind Sear on trash I see some pretty nice numbers fly.

The following parts I utterly did not care about myself:

  • Threat from using VE – I can’t imagine pulling aggro with that except in Thorim’s arena, and there you may have to be wiser in using it than elsewhere.
  • Increasing Mind Flay range or removing the snare – In PvE I want range and care less about the snare (it’s weak anyway); in PvP I want the snare but the range is not an issue – since I am rooted to the spot anyway if I would use Mind Flay.
  • Are we going to use Shadow Word: Death again? – I use it if I have space, else I don’t and I think most people are fine this way.
  • Shadowfiend’s duration – Shadowpriests are pretty good with mana and our spells are not really expensive after talents. Dispersion goes down in Cooldown, so this would matter little. It would add some minor DPS, though, which would be my only interest now.

Conclusion

Nothing that we did not already know; Ghostcrawler’s view on the Shadowpriest was well established, and this patch will not really change much. Damage increases by 1%, the amount of mana we have remaining after a boss encounter will increase from 10% to 20% and we die even less in random poo flung by bosses. In PvP you will have a mortal strike that is overwritten or ignored, and your retributive dispelling damage from VT goes from a little to a little more.

Well, at least we are not nerfed, so no news is good news I like to say. We are still fine, we are going to have fun, we just don’t get any cool tricks like some of the others. ^_^

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