When I first sat down to write, I had decided my column this week was going to be all about patch 4.1.0 and the PTR. Once I started looking through all the priest class changes, though ... well, there's not much there. That's not to say there aren't any changes. There are some tweaks to Power Word: Shield (which I do use all the time), and Inner Fire no longer has a duration (which is great). It's just that there are no changes to our damage-dealing spells in the mix.
Perhaps that's a good thing. Our boomkin friends are getting a pretty ugly-looking nerf to Starsurge in patch 4.1.0, which surprised me a little bit. Admittedly, I'm no expert on balance druids, but from what I've seen on the DPS meters, their damage didn't seem stratospheric. In fact, I usually see boomkins trailing shadow priests across the board.
The whole thing got me thinking. Why are boomkins being nerfed if they're not topping the meters? Is it a "hybrid tax" thing? Does the hybrid tax even still exist in Cataclysm? And what does it all mean for shadow priests in a post-4.1.0 world?