Of course the new mana Q is better than shield in pve, tanks are there to tank, no need to shield, and if your main caster (fire or frost) has mana all the time, the farm will always be faster. Damage boost, give mana, give mana, energy boost and so on... You'll always have knight boots on arcane to shield ppl also.
Anyway, i dont think its a nerf at all.
@Killj0y It isnt affected by armor type so far. Maybe retroman should change that somehow :=) (making cloth drain stronger and plate drain a bit weaker?)
Thus royal plate chest, great arcane staff, hellgate plate helmet, and knight boots is what I got so far. Pretty fun draining people of energy and silencing them for continued no casting, I'd say.
PS: this reminds me on when shields where introduced on arcane staff and it took a long time for them to be affected by armor types. Hopefully this will change a bit after hector release. Maybe before?
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Oh and on the topic of wich q slot too choose. I'd say it really depends on what u want to do. With shields drwaing aggro now, being the tank for a farming group that grinds and doesnt do heavy bossing (harvester/demonprince/earthmother) is really doable. Tried it with enigmatic and witchwork staff so far ina group of 5/10. It works and made the entire run faster.
On the other hand if u have a tank in ur group or do zvz, have mana heavy builds in ur party, giving them mana is such a huge benefit, it outweights the shield by far in my opinion.
It is definetly a buff in my eyes, plus a nice new way of playing inside of the game, that wasnt available before.