I was wondering how long shadow priests would be able to do an unreasonablely high amount of healing through Vampiric Embrace. The way it would scale into WotLK would mean that three shadowpriests could keep a tank up pretty much by themselves. Why bring healers to raids when you could stack DPSers?
Well, Blizzard just “fixed” it.
Shadow priests won’t be able to do insane health regen any longer. The upside is that our DPS can now be increased.
Ghostcrawler (game developer) just owned up to the problem on the forums (emphasis mine):
We need to fix two problems with Shadow priests. One is that their damage is too low, especially at epic level. The second is that stacking Vampiric Embrace from too many priests probably represents a balance problem. These changes will go live before Nov 13.
Vampiric Embrace — we need to nerf it, but we don’t want it to be terrible for priests in small groups or solo. So we are going to make it 5% healing to your group (not raid) but 25% healing to yourself. Assume the talents that affect it get it up to this level.
Vampiric Touch — we’re adding some of the damage adjustment to this spell, by doubling the coefficient (from 0.2 to 0.4).
Shadowform — we’re adding the rest of the adjustment here. Your Shadow Word: Pain, Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch do an additional percentage damage equal to your critical strike chance. Basically if your crit is 25%, your SW:P does 25% more damage. This has the side effect of making crit a little more useful for Shadow priests.
In summary: VE will be 5% group (not raid) healing (but to yourself it will be 25%). Our damage from DoTs will now scale with crit. Vampiric Touch will get double its previous coefficient of spellpower.
My napkin math says that this will increase our damage by roughly 17%. This still has us much lower than other DPSers in WotLK (a number of them can almost double our DPS as things are now!).
EDIT: Battlemaid (who is awesome) on shadowpriest.com ran the changes through SimulationCraft. Here is what we look like (at level 80):
It’s more like a DPS increase of 18%-19%. Be sure to check out the thread on shadowpriest.com for more information about the changes!
It was suggested by Ghostcrawler yesterday that more shadow priest glyphs be introduced to help our DPS situation. Hopefully we’ll see those soon. We don’t have any decent options for increasing our raid DPS at the moment.
These changes are a step in the right direction. A few more steps and perhaps we’ll hit the middle of a DPS meter in Wrath (on a boss). We’re middle of the pack DPS now (compared to other casters). I’m not complaining! I can live with that.