So the prepatch arrived a few days ago and I have had some time to do raids and dungeons with the changed talents and spells. So far it has been rather excellent, which has been a slight surprise. So far the removal of Spirit has not been a bother, though admittedly the content has also been made easier so the true test will come with the Legion dungeons and raids. I actually think healing has been more enjoyable now, the flow with Holy Words and reducing their cooldown is quite satisfying though it can lead to moments of slight frustration when there has not been a sufficient need to use other healing spells and a burst of damage comes in. Managing that though, is probably the idea behind the whole thing.
As for the removed spells, I have not ended up missing them. Mana has been fine, so Mindbender being gone has not been a problem. I had gotten used to throwing down Lightwells, but never did feel like they did a whole lot and not having to think about them has been kind of nice; though I do catch myself going “Oh, remember to cast Lightwell! Oh, right…” at times, especially during pulls. The place where I actually notice the removed spells the most is when doing quick Heroic dungeons, as I had gotten into the habit of doing light DPS with Mindbender and Shadow Word: Pain, both of which are gone. Feels especially odd to be without a DoT during the rare times when I end up killing mobs though. Holy Nova is also something of a bother when compared to Mind Sear, though that is more rarely used.
Concerning raiding, we managed normal HFC quite quickly as is to be expected, we mostly went in there to explore the potential for improved Warforged (Titanforged?) loot. Heroic on the other hand, did not go quite as well, probably because people are still familiarizing themselves with their new spells. One of our Shadow priests seemed to have particular difficulties, admittedly the playstyle is quite different to the old Clarity of Power style. Raiding has continued to be highly enjoyable however and the reduced health and damage on the mobs and bosses oddly has not felt overly extreme. Perhaps the changes in player power really did warrant those changes as well.
The new transmogrification system is worth mentioning as well I suppose, though I have not had a real reason to use it yet. Though it did allow me to finally get rid of the glow from my weapon enchantment without bothering a enchanter, which was nice. The change with head, cloak and shoulders being hidden through transmogrification rather than interface options is something of a drawback however, though admittedly I rarely changed those options anyway. It might end up being more problematic for roleplayers, as I understand they used those options to indicate taking ones helmet on or off. The addition of being able to hide ones shoulder armor was nice though.
Speaking of small annoyances, there is a small bug that seems to have persisted from the PTR: sometimes flying mounts seem to “land” for a split second while flying around far from the ground. I am not sure if the movement speed is actually modified by this, or if the bug is merely affects the visuals/sound, but it is a small new annoyance that has been introduced. Hopefully something that will be adressed soon, one would hope regressions would be somewhat easier to fix.
Overall though, I have been enjoying the patch greatly so far and look forward to Legion with greater interest. I suppose one might call that a success on Blizzard’s part.