I personally feel like our spec has been filed as a done job. I don't know if that's because we don't make as much noise as the other classes or because Blizzard genuinely feels like we're finished. Either way, I want to do my bit, small as that is, to try and raise our profile - and hopefully prompt one of those lovely blue posts I keep reading on mmo-champion :)
All the real developer-player dialogue seems to happen on the US forums, but I have to work with the tools I've got. So here is my post — and reproduced below in case the forums are blocked as you read this.
If you have access to the European forums, please can you pop along and bump the post? You don't even have to agree with me, just give the thread a little boost.
And if you are one of our US cousins and feel willing to either plug the post or reproduce it on your forums, please be my guest.
Wish me luck. I hope people are kind :)
A dialogue on the state of shadow?
Shadow's development as a raid dps spec seems to have plateaued. My impression is that developers are happy with where it's at. It's been a long time since I have seen any real dialogue between Blizzard and the player base over this and I think we'd all appreciate the opportunity to discuss general views about how the spec is performing and where it's headed.
I don't want this post to be a massive qq about the "issues" as I see them. Instead, these are a few possible topics of conversation with developers should the opportunity arise.
- Most players are aware of the strange way that pain and suffering works to refresh shadow word: pain - ignoring shadow weaving and many other buffs and debuffs. I'm not sure if this has ever officially been recognised as a bug or confirmed 'working as intended'. It instinctively feels like a bug, yet several patches have gone by without addressing it. Is there any chance this might change in the near future?
- I and many other shadow priests feel the lack of any effective way to ramp up our dps in situations that demand it. We feel (to me at least) like the oil tankers of WoW, unable to respond quickly to changing circumstances. I think we suffer from the lack of any cooldowns (beyond trinkets) or 'execute' mechanics (feel free to count the glyph of shadow word: death if you like, but is it enough?).
- The argument about mind flay's range is as old as the spell itself, and I won't rehash it here. Suffice to say it comes down to the power of its snare in pvp. We have a perfectly workable 'fix' should we choose it in the way of the glyph. My personally feeling is we are cheated out proper choice for a glyph slot with a ghetto fix to a more fundamental issue. What if mind flay's base range was increased - either inherently, or by an additional talent - at the expense of some or all of the snare? How would that affect people's perception of the spell, and would our remaining selection of glyphs feel well balanced for a dps spec?
- In Wrath, we lost a lot of the uniqueness of the spec in exchange for increased dps and scalaing. I think it was the right thing to do, but it has left shadow priests feeling somewhat 'generic' and lacking from a roleplaying/lore/flavour perspective (however you want to describe it). My perception, rightly or wrongly, is that all the effort to make the priest class feel 'priesty' goes into healing. Shadowform is wonderful, and I recognise a huge part of the class, but something like a 'dark prayer' or 'shadow hymn' would go a long way to adding more depth to the experience of playing a shadow priest.
These are the things I am most interested in as a raiding shadow priest. More experienced priests, or pvp priests, may have other top concerns. Whatever your perspective, I just think we would all benefit from the chance to discuss them.
Yours in hopeful anticipation!