Coming strictly from the perspective of a Shadow Priest…. no! Let me elaborate…
As it is right now, the spells I use often are Vampiric Touch, Shadow Word: Pain, Mind Blast, and Mind Flay, with Shadow Word: Death thrown in below 20%, Halo only used once every 40 seconds, and Shadowfiend every 3 minutes (plus Power Infusion, which is tied into a macro).
That’s essentially 7 abilities in my main rotation during a boss fight. Sometimes I will throw in Mind Sear for some AoE if there are a lot of adds.
All The Other Spells
Now, what about everything else? Let me break it down, as I see the abilities best categorized…
CC and/or PVP: Shackle Undead, Void Tendrils, Psychic Horror, Silence, Psychic Scream (5 abilities)
Healing/Support: Mass Dispel, Dispel Magic, Hymn of Hope, Vampiric Embrace, Binding Heal, Power Word: Shield, Renew, Flash Heal, Prayer of Mending, Void Shift, Life Grip (it can have no other name!) and Symbiosis (Tranquility) if I have it. (11 – 12 abilities)
Other: Power Word: Fortitude, Inner Will, Inner Fire, Mind Vision, Resurrection, Fear Ward, Levitate, Dispersion, Fade, Spectral Guise (10 abilities)
Now, that might seem like a lot of abilities that I don’t count as part of my main rotation, but does that make them abilities I’d want to see disappear? NO! In a raid situation, I find myself using almost every single one of those abilities, and if they aren’t used during a raid I can almost guarantee they’re used when I’m soloing.
I have saved the tank multiple times with Void Swap; made dispelling raid members a no-brainer with Mass Dispel; pulled someone out of a deadly beam at the last second with Life Grip; and overall made many, many saves with the support abilities I have in my arsenal. Do I use every single one of these abilities in every single fight? Absolutely not. But I use them plenty often, and when I do use them, they are almost always life-savers. That’s what I love about being a hybrid class; I have all sorts of abilities at my disposal. I don’t care how situational they are; in fact, that’s sort of the point! They’re useful very situationally, but in those situations that they are useful, they’re irreplaceable.
If you’re familiar with Shadow at all, you may have noticed I left out Mind Spike. To me, if I had to pick something to be removed, this would be it. As it stands, it does medium damage and wipes all my DOTs. Without a glyph or talent, Mind Spike becomes almost entirely useless in raids (for me, anyways). Sure, it has a few upsides – if you need to wipe your DOTs, it does that, and it also is cast-able if you’re shadow locked… if you don’t mind losing whatever DOTs you had up for the sake of getting a cast off – but other than the rarest of situations, it’s not very useful. Again, this is specifically speaking for the build and glyph set I choose to use, but it’s still the first I’d choose to go.
Other than Mind Spike, Inner Will and Renew are the other two spells I find myself using very rarely. That’s it. The rest of my spells, I would never actively choose to get rid of.
A Small Digression
I must take a minute to point out one thing: I don’t think it would be nearly as easy to organize my spells and know what I’m doing without an action bar addon. Sure, I could make the best of it, but I think that the amount of abilities we have requires a degree of flexibility with placement that the default UI doesn’t offer. I organized the abilities very specifically in my post, and I do so in game. I think a move-able UI and more bars are long overdue as part of the default package.
Sure, I have a lot of spells. And sure, a large portion of those are situational. But that’s part of the reason I chose a hybrid spec; I love having all these different support abilities at my disposal. There are a very small number of abilities I’d get rid of if I had to, but other than maybe 3 I wouldn’t give away any of the spells I have right now in favor of less clutter. I don’t need things simplified. I like knowing when to use what, and how to get the most out of that usage.
I have probably leveled 3 or 4 paladins to 60 or beyond since they first became available to the Horde. It started back in BC when Retribution was extremely overpowered and I could just tear through whatever I wanted with ease. For one reason or another though – on this paladin and every one that followed it – I always made it somewhere around 60-70ish before deleting the character to make more room on my selection screen.
It’s not that I dislike paladins; I actually like leveling them quite a bit (which may explain why I’ve done it so many times…) But what has struck me about leveling multiple paladins is just how different they are every time I level them.
In my most recent attempt to level a paladin, something dawned on me: my priest has been my main since Vanilla and I can’t remember the last time I actually leveled another priest. I have no idea what priest leveling is like nowadays. If someone asks me what priests are like, I speak end-game, and really end-game only. It never even dawned on me that recommending a class to a new player should involve a comment on the leveling experience itself, and not just what the class is like at the level cap. I have no idea when key abilities come, or how well a low-level priest survives, or really much about the leveling experience for priests at all nowadays. It’s not a game-changing revelation but it’s something that dawned on me and made me realize an entirely new aspect of my class with which I need to acclimate myself.
So if/when someone out there reads this, here’s a question for you: do you have any clue what the leveling experience is like for your main class?