Oh, Blizzard. Why? Why must you torment me so? I stood by Shadow Priests for so long, so very long. I debated their numbers, mechanics and playstyle until my fingers stopped functioning. I picked apart combat logs and damage/healing charts for hours and hours, trying to get the absolute most out of my talent spec. Then I just grew tired. I'm not ashamed to admit that it broke me. I'm not ashamed that I decided to switch to raiding on my Retribution Paladin last month. I'm a man, I can own up to what I've done. But your torment continues! You were waiting for just this moment to buff the unholy crap out of Shadow Priests, weren't you? You were waiting for my patience to run out.
And that's enough melodrama for now. Let's actually break down the new changes on the PTR, shall we?
Shadowform: This talent also now causes Devouring Plague, Shadow Word: Pain, and Vampiric Touch to benefit from haste. Both the period length and the duration of these spells will be reduced by haste. In addition, the mana cost has been reduced from 32% to 13% of base mana.
There's always mana concerns, since Shadow Priests will be applying their DoTs quite a bit more often. Those concerns are almost immediately dashed by this next change, however.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain has been changed. The effect now reads, "The periodic damage ticks of your Shadow Word: Pain spell restore 1% of your base mana."
- Glyph of Shadow now increase your spell power by 30% (Old: 10%) of your spirit for 10 sec.
- Improved Devouring Plague now deals 10/20/30% of its total periodic effect instantly, up from 5/10/15%.
Overall, patch 3.3 is looking to be a great patch for Shadow Priests, now that they've finally recognized they're underperforming. I'm not among the ranks of the Shadow Priests anymore, but I'm rooting for you guys. Hopefully by the time patch 3.3 launches, we won't need to feel bad about playing what we do in the end-game.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.