Kat here. Hi, howzit going?
All right, after the initial giddiness has settled down (TEE HEE HEE!) I'm here to summarize the changes and help facilitate the absorption of said material.
By the way, 38 fricking pages of comments in the first few hours. Damn, there's a lot of WoW players. I'm afraid I didn't read all the comments. I didn't and you can't make me.
TL;DR Version - Change is good. Roll a priest. Oh wait. Then you're going to challenge me on lewt rolls. Ok, don't roll a priest. But revel in the awesome.
On with the nommy goodness!
New Spells & Spell Changes
Heal (level 16) is getting a revamp. Right now, and I've found myself a victim of this as well, people stop using Heal after a certain level because it's just not worth the time and effort. Currently when I can use the same amount of time casting a Heal or a Greater Heal, I'm going with Greater Heal. In Cataclysm, Heal is going to fall somewhere between Flash Heal and Greater Heal - if you want a faster heal, use Flash. If you want a bigger heal, use Greater. YAY for utility!
Mind Spike (level 81) is going to deal Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that makes further Mind Spikes do more damage. They want this spell to "fill a niche" in Shadow DPS - it's supposed to be a "quick nuke" to use in situations where you don't have time for a full rotation or have multiple targets. Mind Spike is supposed to do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target with Shadow Word: Pain. They expect you to cast a lot of these at a time.
Inner Will (level 83) is a buff you won't be able to use while using Inner Fire and v.v. It will provide a 12% movement increase and reduce the cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. I'm not sure I want to give up my Inner Fire bonus to Armor but... in theory I shouldn't get hit, right? And I can heal, right? We'll see.
Leap of Faith (level 85). This one, if it actually comes through (y'know how people talk), would be similiar to death grip. It's being called "Life Grip" as an aside. Supposedly you'll be able to "rescue" players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP or "just can't seem to get out of the fire in time". Personally, I think this isn't going to be all that when it gets released, or it'll be nerfed.
HOTs & DOTs! These are finally going to benefit from Haste and Crit! The ticks will have a shorter duration and the crit bonus is going to apply to them. Huzzah!
Shadow Word: Death. Anyone else stop using this? They're trying to revamp it so we bring it back. They want to bring it back as an "execute" - something you do when the target is at 25% health. We'll see how that goes.
Discipline FTW! They're kicking around having a second type of shield, bigger and badder than my best friend PW:S to use on you tanks and folks taking extra damage. Mmm, shield. Purr.
Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit are going away. Le sad. Plus, Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild aren't going to boost spirit either. With the changes to how spirit is going to work, they don't want those spells to vary it.
Mana... well, sounds like they're going to really look into how much mana spells are costing and how much you're making back. In an effort to make things more "challenging" and what not. Hey. It can't all be good news, right?
First - OMFGWTFBBQ POWER WORD: BARRIER. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! FEAR MY SHIELD, BITCHES! It's supposed to be a group Power Word: Shield. HELLLLLLLLL YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
They want to improve Disc's "single-target healing capacity" but don't want to make shield the more attractive option to actually healing. >.> Ask me how I feel about this later because I'm just used to shielding to "stop the bleeding" as I say.
Holy PVP, Batman! They're determined to make Holy a viable PvP spec! Stay tuned.
Shadow! They want to improve Shadow for short fights. Which, frankly, right now does kind of suck. It's like, throw DOTs, start cast... oh, it's dead. >.< So, goodness, yes? Yes!
Misery isn't going to add to Hit!? Ugh, and just when I was getting complacent with my hit cap!
Speaking of Shadow tree, it's going to see a LOT of changes, since the sweeping changes they're implementing with the expansion affects a lot of the Shadow Tree's damage-boosting abilities. They're introducing something else, Shadow Orbs. I'll type on that V. (down there)
Healing State! Holy is going to get some loving by putting the healer into a "healing state" when they cast a certain combination of spells. Sounds kinda cool, akshully!
Passive Tree Talent Bonuses
In a nutshell, you're going to get innate bonuses for putting talents into trees that will be automatically granted. Essentially, they don't want players to HAVE to choose a talent because it gives you X bonus to a skill or spell. Instead when you put a point into a talent, you're going get bonuses to things without having to choose those cookie-cutter talents for them.
Disc & Holy are going to get bonuses to healing and mediation (mana regeneration). Shadow is going to get bonuses in spell damage and spell crit.
Now, the new things are:
Disc will get bonuses to Absorption - this will improve the strength of PW:S, Divine Aegis and PW:Barrier.
Holy will get Radiance - direct heals add a small HOT to the target.
Shadow will get Shadow Orbs. This is what the post says: "Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage." Very cool. Oh, and "this will help lower-level characters feel more like Shadow priests before they obtain Shadowform". >.> Ok, well, as someone who thinks Troll Druids should have different forms from Cow Druids... I can't complain. But... rilly? Ok. Sure.
That's about it, boys and girls. Remember, don't make your priests because I hate fighting on phat lewts. =) J/K!