Shadow Priest Buffs Coming
Unless I’m mistaken this is the first time we’ve really seen confirmation that the idea of the “utility” class is going away. Personally I say good riddance. Utility class for always just seemed like a subtle word for “bad”. More from a design perspective than actually being a waste of space during a raid.
Assuming you are a Shadow priest, the answer is you are a dps class. We’re trying to back off the whole utility class thing, which is absolutely what you were in BC. While the mana battery functionality is still something every group is going to want, there are more ways to provide it now. The tradeoff for losing that unique niche is your dps going up.
Why are shadow priests being out performed by other classes who, in terms of functionality at this point in time, fit into the same niche as shadow priests do?
Because we’re not done.
A few weeks ago Blizzard announced vampiric touch is being reduced from 5% to 2.5%. A change which at the time left me wondering just what Blizz was thinking. Though, based upon this recent post it looks like there are still some major buffs imminent for the shadow priest.
The general feeling I get from all these changes is a complete shift in what a DPS class is. More and more these changes seem to lean towards a “leveling of the playing field“, so to speak, in the way that each PvE DPS spec seems like they are all going to do around the same damage. Prior to the Burning Crusade there was this notion that rogues always had to be the highest DPS class no matter what, since they brought zero utility to the raid. This type of thought process was still present in BC, note Sunwell geared rogues doing close to 2700 DPS while equally geared shadow priests were lucky to break the 1500 mark.
Overall I think these changes are going to make for a very interesting raiding dynamic in the Wrath of the Lich King. Each class will bring a certain degree of utility, but more than that each archtype (tank, healer, DPS) should be very similar in overall effectiveness.