- Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or "Life Grip") is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.
Oh yeah, baby! I can pull back those sassy tanks if they let a mob get loose. Or I can bribe the mages to pull them out of whatever it is they seem to stand and die in, in exchange for a permanent lock on their Focus Magic. Mwhahahaha.
- All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).
No more rethinking your rotation flow as your haste fluctuates. It wasn't a huge deal, but I suppose it's part of simplifying the play style that they are doing for all the classes.
- Preventing dot clipping is something we want to do in general. It obviously benefits Shadow priests just as much as warlocks.
For some reason, they didn't include in the priest changes this tidbit from the lock changes: When reapplying a DoT, you can no longer "clip" the final tick. Instead, this will just add duration to the spell, similar to how Everlasting Affliction currently works. Presumably this means they are doing this for DoTs in general, not just warlocks. Thus, again, they're trying to make the rotation easier, and less affected by how well you can time your re-up casts. Another nod towards making it easier to do well as a SP, regardless of your quickness or your lag.
- Mind Spike (level 81): Deals Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that improves subsequent Mind Spike damage. The intent of Mind Spike is to fill a niche missing in Shadow DPS, though it may be occasionally useful for healers as well. Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn't have time to set up the normal rotation, such as when adds are dying too fast or you have to swap targets a lot. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. The idea behind the debuff is that when you cast Mind Spike, we expect you to cast a lot of them; we don't intend you to fit it into an already full Shadow rotation. It also provides Shadow with a spell to cast when locked out of the Shadow school. (School lockouts will no longer affect both schools for multi-school spells.) 1.5-second cast. 30-yard range. No cooldown.
It will be interesting to see if this plays out as intended (as a nice boost for smacking around adds) or if Shadow Priests, like warlocks in BC who stood around spamming shadowbolt, are just going to nuke with this. Probably depends upon the mana cost.
- Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can't have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.
I suppose this will be nice for running away from things. Except my cast bar is already full. Even before adding Mind Spike to it. So I suppose I'll have to make a macro for swapping to it then swapping back to Inner Fire, and assign it a key. I'm just a little underwhelmed is all. It's a nice to have but not a ZOMG how awesome!
For the full round-up, check out MMO Champion's Priest Changes post.
I'm not excited about the addition of shadow orbs (Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like "Shadow priests" before they obtain Shadowform.). I have orbs on my shaman. I didn't need them on my shadow priest.
And by removing our misery hit debuff, they bring all of us casters closer together with less unique utility/abilities. So that, in their words, "In general we're going to push even harder in Cataclysm for bringing people you like to play with, not bringing people who have awesome buffs. The answer to almost every question of "But why would they bring me?" should be "Because you know what the hell you're doing." Which I thought was what they said when they made all the WotLK class changes... :) At least some things stay the same