WTF Happened To My Class?
The count down to Legion has begun. The pre patch is live, and what now? Talents have been removed, glyphs gone, specs recreated, abilities added, and all of that we get without the anticipated artifact weapon, because we'll have to wait until the actual expansion.
Your class has now completely changed. Some of the remaining talents look familiar, but the specs feels different, and your bars are completely empty. If they feel imcomplete, it is because they are without your weapon.
After leveling a priest on beta and being able to test out the different specs with artifact weapons you get a certain feel for them. Now that it's on a live character with live content, knowing where your class is going to go, I feel I can enjoy the specs as they are now, for what they are during Warlords content. Obviously you feel a bit more clueless if you didn't play beta.
My focus has been on completing achievements since the pre patch went live, and during that time I've been playing with the different spec combinations on all three specs. Shadow when dpsing, holy in dungeons and raids, and disc for soloing and testing viability/fun in other kinds of content.
Before and during beta I thought I was on the fence between disc and holy, but when raiding I think I would prefer Holy, as Discipline now takes a backseat, unless and until a boss requires it, or it compliments the raid comp.
My choice for Holy was not that hard once I got to see it in action during a raid, what it looks in a group bigger than 5 man dungeon, as I healed on beta. The Shakras are gone, but the holy words are there, playing around with the talents for it has been a hoot. My divine hymn is back, and I can even use Symbol of hope, it's different, but it reminds me of what it did during the Vezax encounter.
Shadow to me feels like how I have been wanting the spec to be like, spells which to me make the most sense, and something a vanilla priest could have drooled over 10 years ago. Stupid shadow halo is gone, shadowfiend is there. Twist of Fate and my precious Body & Soul.
Discipline, we go way back, the only thing that would get me into a battleground during Burning Crusade, was being able to play Discipline. It was so different. During the grind in Karazhan, my lolsmiteroflkekspec was the best on those late nights. Now it feels the little amount of heal spells, and the great amount of damage spells, the spec has come full circle and it where it should have gone.
Don't get me wrong, I was so excited when the WotLK pre patch came live, the spec had really changed, seemed viable for raid healing and was exciting in Sunwell, Black Temple and battlegrounds. I played it all the way from Naxx and Sarth 3D. Then during Ulduar when Divine Aegis was added, and the boom of Discipline priests was born. And it was there for me in TotGC and Ice Crown, all the way up to Lich King 25 heroic.
Yet, where it is now, feels like the most logical evolution, and something the spec, and the class, needed, to bring the balance back. Priest has been my favorite class from the early leveling on the character, all three specs combined make it so friendly yet interesting to play. They were brought back to their origine with hints of the past, I hope the test phase is finally over now Blizzard...
The Timewalking events are nicely scheduled during this month with both Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. Certain play styles, and spell combinations trigger a sense of nostalgia I love. If you're experiencing the pre patch a bit sad and confused, my best advise would be to not be sad and instead test out different things, whilst there is time to do so. And if something sucks, test it anyway, see it as a crash course, practise run and final testing before the real deal.
Me personally, I am very happy and excited. It feels the test phase is finally over, and classes and specs feel brought back to an origionality they once had, I cannot wait to feel it with the full power of artifact weapons. After a format and redo of my addons, I will be ready for Legion!