That pretty welled summed up the Wrath Shadow Priest. A fairly decent DPS class, that could in a pinch toss out some heals to save the day, and go right back to melting a bosses face. We kept the healers mana capped off, and we were fun to play. Things change and we cannot keep absolutely the same or the class becomes boring and stagnant. I get it. In Cataclysm, some things were adjusted, mana became more of a one shot big burst return we could hit to top off healers and ourselves, we even had a decent 8 minute cool down health topper. In Mists things were adjusted a pinch, some healing was redirected into up front damage dealing spells in our level 90 talent choices. But many cried foul, that we were falling behind in DPS ranks. I are a DPS class, why should I fall behind the Mage or Warlock, I am getting benched for “Pure” classes, get rid of the hybrid tax.
I call bull shite. Maybe if you are playing at that extreme high level where a difference in 1k DPS means one person is chosen over another, but for the majority of those that play, we had a spot if we wanted, because while we may not have been the top 3, we certainly were competitive, and that little extra healing we brought to the table made the difference in choosing to 3 heal or 2. We are a Utility class, a jack of all trades, we have a high survivability rate, a class easy to play, but difficult to master.
Now looking ahead they have stripped more healing away, made it more DPS, because I guess they think we want to be that. Perhaps to the very vocal minority that plays to the top levels the desire is there. But for me it is becoming a tipping point, where the Core purpose of playing Shadow is being stripped away expansion after expansion, to where the phrase,
Warlocks? Drain life, Shadow priests? Re-roll Warlock, see previous.
If I wanted to play a full on DPS class I would play a Warlock. And if anything Blizzard should look at the data for how popular they are to play, because the numbers have been there in such a way that those people playing multiple characters have jumped ship and gone to them, because they can be higher on a meter. I am not one of them. I picked a class to play over 5 years ago, when I neared level 75 started playing Shadow, and have never looked back. 5 years of devoting myself to one primary character, because I loved the utility, loved the feel to the class. But now it feels different, something is missing. Yes I only spent a short time in the PTR, yes I realize that the way I am now will be different in a few months after getting gear appropriate to the class design goals.
But, what if the gear does not come. What if the new design feels clunky and not fluid like it has been all these years for me, and it takes me much longer than others to keep up. What then. Do I ask people every day would you mind carrying me along for your Heroic Dungeon run? Do I just focus on building my Garrison to allow my army of followers play the game for me? That is not me. I have always worked hard for every piece of gear, for every quest I have done, every achievement I have gotten, I have never asked to be carried through content. And that is it in a nutshell. If I am not able to be the person that can help, and instead is the one that needs help, then that is the tipping point for me.
The majority of my enjoyment in playing comes from being able to help people, not just give them things but to answer questions, to be able to jump in on a fight and help them past a hurdle. I know this may be misconstrued, but I want Marathal to be a hero, I want him to be the best he can be, to be able to charge into a fight on his shadowy horse to help save the day. And right now, I do not think he will be able to. And that has me concerned. Because for me there is no other level 90 to switch to, no other class I love as much as I do, and even my other Shadow Priests do not compare to him. He is who I am, and it feels like they are stripping away the core of who he is to make him something completely different.
The patch will give me a few weeks to decide. And I hope that the decision is easy to make. The people keep me here in game because I can help them at times, in my own way, but if that is gone, then I fear so may be I too.