EDIT: The nerf to the glyph of Penance, which was the spark that initiated the post below, has been repealed. Yay! I'm leaving this post up, however, because I remain amazed at how quickly so many priests started QQing in a way that seemed quite over the top. No doubt other nerfs are coming our way, sooner or later, so this is fundamentally a plea to remain calm :)
This is our moment, fellow discipline priests. The nerf bat has arrived, and will be sharing its sting with us soon. The devs giveth, and the devs taketh away. How will we deal with it? This will be a rite of passage for us all. It’s initiation time for discipline. Call it our bar mitzvah.
Disc Priest 3.0
All was fresh and new. The world alight with possibilities. Undiscovered treasures built into our very nature. Slowly we found the Way to Be. We had dynamism, creativity, fluidity. Like the blossoming of flowers in spring, the endless joy of the New washed over us. And yea we sang.
Our singing was multilayered, complex, spontaneous. Bouncing between the perfectly timed Penance, a shield now and again, Flashes, Mending, a touch of Renew…plus the joy of giving (Power Infusing our mages) and of saving (Pain Suppressing our tanks). So much to do! And what fun doing it!
Disc Priest 3.1
The changes were few but significant. Spammable shields. Targetable Prayer of Healing. A lower cooldown on Penance. Our rotations changed; how we responded to situations was altered more significantly that we might have thought. Rapture was nerfed, of course, but that was a passive change, and did not affect play style significantly. There were plenty of other changes, including the way Grace and Renewed Hope work, but these were the big ones.
Now our play, while even more powerful, lost some of its pizzazz. All shields and Penance. More shields. And Penance. Oh, and some uber AoE heals…Prayer of Healing getting its due, and Divine Hymn saving the day more than once. But for the most part, what had been a challenging and creative interweaving of multiple cooldowns became a spamfest.
Our PvP viability shot through the roof. Self-castable Penance, and of course the lower cooldown. Glyph of Pain Suppression let us survive the loving attention we got from rogues. Before anyone realized quite what had happened, discipline priests were on top of PvP healing once more. Interest in arenas surged.
Disc Priest 3.1.2
Our beloved Glyph of Penance…gone. Poof. Back to the original 8-second cooldown. A veritable eternity between casts! Plus the mana cost of shield is going up. Woe is us!
Like it or not – and I think I know which side we all fall on – this is the nerf bat. The touch that stings.
This is our initiation. Every other class & spec has been on the Blizzard rollercoaster, up and down, back up, back down. The discipline priest is a new creation, and this is our first significant nerf. (No, the nerf to Rapture does not count. Sorry.) And from the way I hear disc priests talking about it, you’d think the game was just about over.
The 2-second Glyph of Penance was, let’s all agree, a total win. How much did you pay for yours? 50g? 200g? 300g? We all wanted it desperately because we knew how over-the-top awesome it was. And guess what…Blizzard figured that out too.
Buck up, people. It’s not that bad. We healed just fine with the 8-second cooldown on Penance. No, more than fine. We did so damn well that people started blogging (!) and writing web sites all about the joy and strength of our spec. In fact, it was (in my opinion) a much more satisfying challenge, having to bob and weave through cooldowns, rather than spamming two spells with a few extras tossed in for good measure.
You could say that this is a nerf designed to bring PvP priests back down to earth, with PvE priests the innocent casualties. This is how [mages/warlocks/ret pallies, heck you name it] sound when they are given a cookie that then gets taken away. Yes, we had a bite out of a tasty cookie. Mmmm, good. Now it’s back to business, and we will thrive once more. Not barely, but magnanimously.
Let me remind you: discipline priests rock.