So on Friday night I managed to get into a pugged 25 man ICC rep run. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what this entails, it involves clearing all the trash up until Marrowgar, and then resetting the raid and doing it all over again. There is a lot of initial trash, so you can get quite a bit of rep this way. I managed to get myself to Revered with Ashen Verdict, which meant I could upgrade my ring, as well as spend some Frost Emblems on Primordial Saronite to buy a couple of Tailoring patterns.
This new ring is the first in its specific series to have a proc on it. The proc in question?
"Your helpful spells have a chance to increase your spell power by 285 for 10 sec."
For most healers, this is probably a perfectly satisfactory proc. Granted, I'm not a big fan of random spellpower increases for healing, since you can't really depend upon them, but it's still not bad. You can use it as a good opportunity to blow some cooldowns, like Tranquility or Divine Hymn.
Unfortunately, for Disc Priests, all this does is make me want to punch someone.
"A more powerful spell is already active." "A more powerful spell is already active." "A more powerful spell is already active." "A more powerful spell is already effing active, stop spamming your shield key in rage."
I know that the bubble on that mage only has an absorption value of probably 10-20 health left on it. I have a tool on XPerl that gives me a good indicator of how much shield someone has left. And I cannot put a new shield on that mage.
This isn't a bug. This is an annoying error message that people get all the time with spellpower procs. Thorns is a good example. There is a little thread over on the WoW forums that talks about it a bit. Why is it a particular problem for Disc Priests?
Because it's more than just annoying. The current combat log system does not seem to actually record the absorbtion value of the shield on people. You can't hover over the Power Word: Shield icon in your buffs and see how much shield you have left. All that matters to the combat log is that you have the buff. Period.
I get a spellpower proc, and I put a shield on you. You take enough hits to wear down 99% of that shield. In fact, you only have enough shield left to absorb about 20 hit points of damage. Weakened Soul drops off, and I go to bubble you again, only to find out that I can't put a nice fresh bubble over the one you currently have that only has about 20 hit points left to it... because the combat log still considers the old bubble "superior" to the new one, since the original shield I cast on your was larger than the one I'm trying to cast on you now, due to having more spellpower when it was cast. It doesn't matter how much shield value actually remains.
So instead of having a shield on you that will absorb 10,000 damage, you are stuck with that nasty old used up one that will only absorb 10 points, until the buff times out, you take another hit, or you have the presence of mind (and nothing better to do I guess) to right click off the old buff.
See the problem here?
Again, we find ourselves in a situation in which tank healing Disc Priests have much less of a problem with this than raid healing ones. The tank will almost always use up that original shield before Weakened Soul drops off anyway. For shield spammers... be prepared to get very frustrated with a proc that will mostly just screw up your shielding rotation.
Hopefully an updated combat log reporting system will accompany Cataclysm - shields are not recorded in a very good way with the current system.