1. How do you think your Sorcerer spec is perceived by other classes?
When I first hit 50 on my sorcerer, and was deciding if I want to dps or heal on my sorcerer, since end game starts at 50 really. Most of my guild mates told me that both the sorcerer dps specs are some of the weakest in the game, right there with operative dps. However the healing spec was fairly solid for pve healing.
2. How do you perceive your own spec?
Against my guild's wisdom I decided to prove that sorcerer dps was still viable, and that others were doing it wrong. I've tried various specs, lightning, madness, 4 or 5 different hybrid specs, altering crit / power and surge / alacrity to mini max what I can. Honestly though it's peaking out right where they told me it would, and I can't hold a candle to snipers, powertech, juggernauts, assassins or marauders.
Having answered those questions I'd like to go a bit more in depth than a few sentences for what it's worth. I'll only talk about pve, as I don't feel qualified enough to talk about pvp.
My honest opinion is that having lower damage on a target dummy compared to other classes isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know that because a lot of our damage can be cast on the fly, especially with some hybrid specs, that it gives us a lot of mobility, and where as some classes have to stop dpsing in order to move, we can continue attacking on the run to make up for the lost damage. Depending on our spec, we have the option of casting some of following on the fly, shock, lightning strike, crushing darkness, affliction, chain lightning, creeping terror, and death field. Our AoE is also incredibly strong, compared to other classes.
That having been said, there are things to consider. First a lot of abilities that can be cast on the fly, are spec dependent. I'm not casting creeping terror, or crushing darkness on the fly as a lightning spec sorcerer, nor am I casting chain lightning, on the fly as a madness sorcerer. Lightning strike is generally a bad investment to cast on the fly, especially if the cool down of crushing darkness is about to come up. Also it's not a good idea to recast a dot while it's still ticking which generally rules that out as well, unless it happened to run out as you were moving.
Our utility doesn't offset the damage loss that we get. Sure it can be nice to throw a bubble on the tank before a fight starts if you don't have a sorcerer healing, but really it's negligible in the grand scheme of things. We don't normally throw out heals as a dps sorcerers. I suppose I could, but generally the healers have it covered, and my heals aren't as quick or effective as a healers anyways. If I'm on the move, I might use unnatural preservation to top myself off, or pop static barrier to reduce damage down the line, but generally I opt to use shock or another damage dealing ability if possible. About the only thing that is worth having around is the in combat res. But you can only use one for the whole raid group, and generally speaking someone else (namely the healers) have it anyways. The rest of our utility, like force sprint , force slow, mind cloud, extraction are completely pointless, and when you compare us to snipers or marauders who out dps us severely and can also reduce damage to the raid group or increase damage to the raid group as well, our utility becomes a joke.
My honest proposal is for one a few things to happen, maybe even most to a certain degree.
1) Vastly increase the damage of lightning strike. The obvious is that it would increase the damage of lightning sorcerers to a more reasonable level to potentially keep up with other dps classes. However this could also help madness sorcerers as well. If lightning strike becomes powerful enough to where casting it with wrath is actually worth it, madness sorcerers would actually use this more often. As it stands right now though, you're better off waiting on crushing darkness to come off cool down and continuing spamming force lightning, or throw a shock in there as well if you like.
2) Have our dots and hots be effected by alacrity. Truth be told the only reason anyone stacks alacrity is because surge has diminishing returns, and your only options really are either surge, or alacrity since we don't use accuracy. If alacrity increased the speed in which our damage over time abilities dealt damage it might improve our dps by a bit. If you combined this with the first suggestion, that in itself may solve a lot of our issues on the pve side of things.
3) Removing creeping terror as the 31 point madness tree skill, and make it baseline. A number of madness sorcerers don't even go all the way to the top of the madness tree, unlike lightning sorcerers who all have thundering blast. Most usually stop at creeping death so that they can pick up lightning barrage in the lightning tree. Making creeping terror a baseline ability, would increase damage across the board, and possibly give us a much better madness tree that we can proudly put all 31 points into.