Dear Blizzard,

I woke up today in a good mood – I finally got some good sleep that wasn’t plagued by dreams of Minecraft. My good mood was quickly vanquished when I saw this:

http://wow.joystiq.com/2011/02/16/upcoming-healer-changes/

Priests

The cost of Power Word: Shield is being increased by 33%. While we wanted Discipline priests to be able to utilize this spell more often and with better results, we also did not want it to be the main spell (and often the only spell) used while in groups. We don’t find this to be a particularly compelling playstyle and have found that it encourages players to avoid using other spells such as Penance. We believe that using a shield in a tight moment is totally appropriate, but we don’t want it to be incredibly efficient to do so with more frequency than that.

We realize that by making Power Word: Shield slightly more expensive for Discipline priests to cast that it might cause Holy priests to avoid using it. To that end, we are adding mana savings into the Body and Soul talent. The tooltip will not reflect this change until a future patch, however. Ideally, Holy priests should not notice much of a change to the Power Word: Shield costs.

I am a Disc Priest. The whole point of a Disc Priest is their bubbles. You take away my bubble and what do you have? You have a subpar, lame duck healer with no discernable reason to be included in a raid group or even in a PvP environment. Ask anyone what is the signature spell for Disc Priests. The answer will almost always be PW:S. Penance is pretty awesome but our main role is to mitigate incoming damage. Our 31st talent is a giant bubble, after all.  

Blizzard says they don’t want us to use PW:S as our main spell but they have designed our entire spec around it. We have talents out the ass that enhance it – we even have it as part of our mana return mechanic with Rapture. What other class in WoW has been told to not use their signature spell? None that I can tell.

Has Blizzard said, hey BM hunters – don’t use Kill Command. It’s your signature shot and your highest DPS ability but steer clear of it because we don’t want you to spam it.

Or how about Mages: Stop using Arcane Missiles. Spam is only good when it’s fried and served on toast!

Should Paladins stop using Judgment? Fuck and No. There would be such a revolt from Paladins.

How about Resto Druids, stop using Swiftmend! Green circles of healing are for spammers! You’re doing it wrong!

So why, have we been told to not use our signature spell as our signature spell?

Also, of course Holy Priests stay away from PW:S because that’s the Disc-enhanced spell. It’s not at all efficient for them and has subpar absorbs compared to us. It’s almost useless for them to cast. Speaking of Holy Priests, why do they have a PW:S proc included in the talent Body and Soul? (When you cast PW:S or Leap of Faith, you increase the target’s movement speed by 30% for 4 seconds…) That portion of Body and Soul should be in the Disc tree, make it a PvP talent and attach it to Reflective Shield.

Who are these shield spamming Disc Priests that Blizz is so worried about? It’s not me, for sure. There was a marked difference in my mana efficiency before and after 4.0.6 dropped. I really felt that 33% cost increase and I only shield the tanks and people who are actively taking damage in raids. My raid spec has actually dropped the Soul Warding (aka shield spam) talent so I can pick up Surge of Light in the Holy tree. I really love Surge of Light and it helps me out way more than having a PW:S available in one GCD after another. (I’m totally going to write a whole post on that talent because it’s so awesome with Smite/Atonement.)

Honestly, the only time I spam shields is in PvP when I know I won’t out live my mana pool. Bubbles for everyone because I might as well burn through my whole mana pool before dying. The awesome thing about PvP is that you can come back 30 seconds or less with your whole mana pool intact and not have to worry about mana conservation like you do in PvE.

The raw numbers:

As it sits right now, it costs me 3867 mana to cast PW:S – and that’s with Inner Will up. I get ~6K back from Rature procs. The amount varies with raid buffs and various enchant/trinket procs but around 6K is where it’s at. If you add 33% to 3867 it will cost 5145 mana for each bubble. I’ll still be making around ~1K mana back so it’s better than nothing.

Blizzard has a track record of over-nerfs and over-buffs to classes. A good example is BM Hunters who were doing crazy damage in the Cata Beta so Blizz nerfed them into the ground so that when Cata hit their damage was way too low. They recently got a bit of a buff but it’s not enough. The next patch may see them with another buff that will get nerfed again soon after.

I’m sure Priests will be the same way. We’ll have a week or two of the 33% increase and then they will decide it was too harsh and buff it a bit. They do this all the time. What I am concerned about is why they are telling us to move away from our signature spell. They haven’t told any other class/spec to do this. Why are we being singled out?

What do you want from us, Blizzard? You make our healing low because of our mitigation and then tell us if we want the mitigation our class is designed around; we have to pay dearly for it. We cannot have it both ways. Something will have to give. We’ve already suffered through the Great Penance nerf of 2010 and now we have the Great PW:S nerf of 2011. My only hope is that other like minded Priests will make their feelings know like I have and perhaps Blizzard will see how Schizophrenic they have made our supposed “play style”.

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