Wow insider has exploded with news and commentary from the Blizzard Entertainment 2008 Worldwide Invitational, which took place this weekend in Paris. This is Blizzard's annual convention, where they talk about ideas and development for WoW (among other things...)
The big news for face melters is confirmation of shadow's new 51-point talent, dispersion, which reduces incoming damage by 90% and regenerates 6% health and mana per second over a period of time.
The intention of this spell is clearly to give shadow priests a little more survivability in pvp. If that's your bag, you're probably very excited. It may yet prove handy in pve too, but I need more information first. Can I cast while dispersed? Can I cast it while incapacitated? Does it remove debuffs? In short, is this our ice block?
Alex Ziebart's analysis of the three new talents is very astute. While the end talents for holy and discipline promise to strengthen priests in their chosen roles (healing or pvp), dispersion doesn't really fit with the shadow's primary purpose: damage. If I have to choose between this or divine spirit, which is going to boost my dps more?
Is Blizzard creating a second pvp tree for priests in shadow? Ziebart reports a question to the priest panel regarding end-game scaling of shadow priests in which the developers said shadow priests are just fine; they are to receive arena tools instead. When the forums were inviting class feedback, pvp viability was a big issue so I have no doubt this is good news for many shadow priests. But where does it leave end game raiders? With an incoming nerf to vampiric touch, will shadow priests be worth a raid slot in Northrend?
We're not going to get an answer to that question until well into beta, and even then things might change. So I'm not going to waste any more time on speculation. Plus, I really ought to be doing some work about now...
13 hours ago