Raiders cried out that the Replenishment effect is a necessary, required raid buff. The crab responded that the devs balance raids with Replenishment in mind, assuming that all raids will have it. To date, only 3 specific talent specs can provide this "necessary" raid buff: shadow priests, survival hunters, and ret paladins.
If the whelpling's preview becomes reality, we can add another one to that list: demonology warlocks.
Improved Soul Leech – this talent now provides Replenishment (similar to shadowI'm not comfortable with this.
Granted, this is just a preview, not a "we're patching this in tomorrow" sort of thing. I wonder why the devs targeted warlocks with this change, though. To me, warlocks have always been a "me me me" sort of class, with most of their spells and abilities focused on themselves and even garnering additional outside attention to them (Life Tap -> Heal me!). The Replenishment effect is a very outwardly-focused effect. It doesn't fit, in my eyes. I'd think it an elemental/restoration shaman ability much quicker than a warlock ability.
With that said, if Blizzard considers Replenishment an integral part of raiding, why not just fold the increased mana regen into all classes and not even bother with the ability? Buff in-combat mana regeneration by 0.25% of max mana per second for all mana-users, take Replenishment out of the hands of players, wipe your hands, and walk away. It seems silly to start handing the effect out to everyone and then having to "balance" the replenishers' damage down slightly to account for the increased utility.
I don't know if Replenishment is Blizzard's way of encouraging people to bring "underutilized" or "underpowered" specs to raids, but this seems like a round-about way to go about that.
Unless Replenishment gets given to everyone, raiders are still going to bemoan the fact that there is a special seat at the raiding table that needs to be accounted for. There's the tank seats, the healer seats, the DPS seats, and some of those DPS seats have a "reserved" sign on them for V.I.P. Replenishment-providers.
Giving Replenishment to additional specs does not change the fact that a raid is required to bring one or more of those specs to a progression raid.
I'm not trying to create a value judgment here, so don't take the above the wrong way. I don't care if 3 more classes can bring Replenishment. What I do care about is band-aids over problems. If Replenishment's presence (or absence) in the raid is presenting a problem, fold it into baseline combat regen and stop dicking around!
And to add to the fun, Bornakk chimed in on mana regen! Here's the paladin highlights:
- Divine Plea healing penalty increased from 20% to 50%
- Spiritual Attunement changing "somehow"
- More classes getting access to Replenishment (aside from warlocks, I assume - waiting on part 3 of the class preview)