I get where you are coming from! To recap the changes for wandering readers: you can’t spec into double charges of SLT anymore (so no more using SLT twice in the first three minutes), you have to place the totem on the ground somewhere (in a 40-yard radius), you can place SLT via projection which is built into the totem, you can’t adjust the position of the totem anymore (like we can now with totemic projection).
Losing the double charges is something I think most of us can get over rather quickly. It would be boring to have the same thing/style/kit every single expansion. Out with the old, bring in something new. The projection system however is where stuff gets interesting. There’s one great thing: the new projection style looks / feels great. It is smooth. However: as you mentioned as well, you have to position it now. This involves anticipating the placement, hovering in the position, pressing your key bind for the SLT and clicking to place it.
Additionally, after we have placed it, we can’t move it anymore. Now I was also concerned about having to ‘place’ the SLT at first, like you expressed as well. But the fact of the matter is, we are used to those kind of task executions. I cast riptide by scrolling down on a person in a raid frame. In order to do that I have to preposition my mouse on that target – not much different from positioning the SLT in the new situation.
The thing I’m most upset by is the inability to adjust the SLT. It does not have to be baseline. But having the ability was like a cherry on top. If I felt like I could achieve that little bit extra by readjusting, then I had the freedom to do so. With the pruning on (shaman) abilities and the disappearance of a bunch of totems – I’m a little bit sad. I love abilities that give me the option to go the extra mile.
TLDR: I think Blizzard designed something functional and smooth with the new projection system. However, I will be sad to let go the option of fine tuning your SLT.