During the last 40% of Ra-den this week - which is when he starts AoEing the raid heavily - I did ~220k effective hps (over 350k hps including overhealing) for just over two minutes. How much throughput does a spec that is also bringing powerful damage reduction cds and added dps need?
Yes, other healers will be able to exceed disc's maximum sustained throughput when the situation is good for them (see: healing rain on a stacked raid) but that's fine - every spec should be the best at something. There are very rarely situations where the incoming damage is so high that disc throughput gets left behind (a few fights on 25man heroic), and even then if the raid is able to stack up under barrier, it's providing a ton of damage reduction - comparable to the amount healed by hymn or tranq - that isn't showing up on the meters.
Fair point I suppose. Yes, there aren't a wealth of situations where it becomes problematic. And yes, Barrier is worth a mention. It's not necessarily about Disc being weak enough to be at a severe disadvantage here. It has more to do with how absorb significance varies across different types of content.
I'd agree Disc more than makes up for it's weaknesses by being valuable or strong in other areas (damage, DR CD's, stabilization, etc). What I question is whether it could be weaker where it's currently strong now, and stronger where it's weak, but still remain the best at it's niche while giving the "healing game" more consistency across different levels of content and encounter design.
Admittedly this creates a bit of an internal conflict as well. I recall a time period in this game where healing was more tightly specialized, and as a result it certainly felt more interesting. So on one hand it I'd prefer if Disc were as specialized if not more specialized for absorbs. The problem is as new expansions have come about, and the game has evolved, it seems like there has been a shift more and more toward homogenizing the healing specs. In that type of concept I question whether Discipline should be as specialized toward absorption, despite the fact I don't necessarily prefer the concept to begin with.