Paladins are better disc priests. Incoming damage avoidance? Sacred shield, hand of sacrifice. Also it's not rocket science to realize that, damage avoidance is nice but only important if you can't 300k NS someone, or 120k x 2 heal bomb someone with instants.
I think you're trying to make too many direct comparisons between paladins and priests. Paladins aren't just better disc priests. You're underestimating the value of absorbs (ability to prepare for future incoming damage) and priests' ability to avoid CC (i.e. phantasm/guise/glyphed death maybe now that some glyphs are baseline/glyphed penance to channel out of LOS or range once the cast starts). Priest CC is also on different diminishing return groups, which makes a big difference for a lot of comps.
Cc? Double sacrifice / bubble
Having an invis is nice, the only problem is, most cc is instant, the ones that are not : druids got nerfed heavily, cyclone dr is huge, it's very likely that mages become borderline bad, so no worries about sheep either.
You can't bop yourself out of physical cc as priest.
No offense but who cares about priest cc? Psyfiend is macro fearable/schockable, tab one shottable, if not 2 second fear cast is losable. If you run in the middle to fear someone, you get swaped and die in charge stun.
On top of all that, paladin triple cc that doesn't dr and denounce raping the enemy are incomparable to any priest ability.
It's not like it's a gift from God to have a healing output on par with other healers. It's what it is supposed to be and it has never been the case for 6 years. Even then, 0 utility, horrible cc and being soloable makes priest the worst healer.
The most recent 5.2 changes are big and I could see them making disc completely viable again, depending on what the exact numbers end up being. Keep in mind that:
* Penance will heal for more
* Shields will be cheaper
* Flash heal spam will be more sustainable w/ the new 4pc bonus (-50% flash heal cost during sshell), although you will lose some burst throughput from the old 4pc (penance buff should offset this, depending on numbers)
* More flash heal sustainability allows you to shield more often due to the Strength of Soul passive
* Divine insight might actually be a strong talent without just OOMing you twice as fast
If atonement is one of your biggest problems, I think you play another game or don't participate arena.
One of my biggest problems with disc's overall design is how weak atonement is in pvp. This means that archangel also isn't very useable; disc does need a healing throughput cooldown, which archangel was supposed to provide. Archangel/Evangelism is pretty well designed, so it's a shame that it gets sidelined in pvp. I'd like to see the -50% self-healing penalty go away (seems like an outdated design; monk eminence healing doesn't do this, for example), and the amount healed ignore the enemy target's resilience (i.e. if you nuke for 1000, resil reduces that to 500 dmg, the atonement heal is still 1000).
Edited by Djandawg, 15 January 2013 - 03:50 PM.