When you think of the priest in the context of traditional MMOs you think of the token healer, usually part of the "holy trinity" along with the warrior and mage to get cheap rift gold. Many players who picked the priest as their character when they started the game had the expectation that they would be the premier healer, playing the role of support about rift gold. Certainly in the beginning of Rift the priest was the class you chose when you were looking for a healer, and the class was adept at filling that role to get cheap rift gold.
However, unlike in other RPGs we have tried to make healing a role that many classes can fill. This is why sometimes priests can feel that they are not balanced correctly, since they are not necessarily the best healer about rift gold. In Rift, the priest is not a stronger healer than the other classes, but does have unmatched versatility. At its core the priest has two unique talent trees for healing, while the others only have one. Furthermore, the priest has strong heal-over-time spells (HoTs), direct heals, and area-of-effect (AoE) heals.
So where the power of the priest comes in is how you use your entire repertoire of healing tools together to overcome a situation, rather than focusing on one aspect. Players sometimes call this the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none role, but we do not really view it that way. The priest has a big toolbox about rift gold. That makes you versatile, but at the cost (in player skill) of knowing how to match the rights spell for the right job. The trade-off of the healing priest is not in trading power for versatility, but in having narrow niches for spells but a lot of spells.
One other way we have tried to make the priest class more enjoyable is by fleshing out its damage-dealing talent specialization to get cheap rift gold (spec), the Shadow tree. In the beginning, the Shadow spec was more of a leveling tree and not really viable for high-end content late game to get cheap rift gold.
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