[Feedback] Shadow Priest Rotation and Talents

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I would submit that there now exists a "typo" with one of our Passives. . .

Voidform? It should now be labeled: "Devoidform."

Its benefit is devoid of any real significance.
So it's clear that the Shadow community is divided, seemingly right down the middle.

On one hand are those who only raid on their spriests. These are the ones whose primary feedback is that Voidform feels lackluster/underwhelming/boring. They want to take steps back toward the excitement of Legion, unconcerned that the further we go toward Legion in excitement, the further we go toward being bad at dungeons.

On the other hand are those who do everything else, regardless of whether they also raid or not. These are the ones who accept the underwhelmingness of BfA's Voidform, knowing that it's necessary for Voidform to not feel that much stronger than Shadowform, especially not high stacks.

It seems to be playing with fire/useless to try to achieve both with one design. You can't be both bursty and rampy at the same time.

If you want the ramp to feel rewarding/significant, that means you're doing a ton of damage on the tail end of your cycle, and you CAN NOT do much damage early on in a fight.

If you want to hit hard early on to compete with the "real" specs on dungeon trash, you CAN NOT ramp up into higher damage.

There just is no compromise. They feel completely mutually exclusive.

For the record, I'm in the bursty camp. All these people saying they want Voidform to be rewarding again, all I'm reading is that they want the spec to suck in dungeons, and I strongly disagree. To me, if evening out the damage delta (between pull and max stacks) has made Voidform feel boring, then that doesn't mean we should go back to Legion. It just means we've exposed the glaring flaws of the Voidform design, and it should be done away with. We shouldn't take steps back where we came, we should continue forward and find something else.

However, for now, the real solution seems to be for both of us to have our respective cakes.

Shadowpriest talents should serve a different function than talents for other specs. They should provide playstyle options, allowing us to specialize in either raid build or dungeon build. Either you play the long ramp into fast-paced fun, or you play a bursty, AoE-heavy style that doesn't have to ramp up. We're very close to that already; we just need significant buffs to LI/AS etc, plus 1-2 more talents that favor/support the ramp style. After that, it's just a matter of tuning all our damage sources such that either can succeed at its own content.

05/22/2018 10:38 PMPosted by Chauss
If you want to break down what was wrong with Legion Spriest in a general sense, ramp-up time inside VF was maybe 20% of the problem. Lack of any aoe dot applicators or spells was 30%, and the actual ramp-up to get into VF was the remaining 50%.


Gotta disagree with your baseless, arbitrary numbers here. Go check the Varimathras logs for any 95%+ spriest. Just looking at my own best parse, my DPS fluctuates from around 1-1.5 million at the lowest to almost 4 million at the highest, during execute phase on the tail end of my last Void phase. That is a TON of ramp up inside Voidform. It's definitely more than "20%" of the problem. Though, yes, I'll agree for sure that the ramp to even get to Form in the first place is a pretty big deal. Personally I'd put all three of those at roughly the same impact, each a third of the problem.
The tail end of the ramp has no impact on dungeon performance, therefore its existence should not be denied just to make Shadow viable against trash packs.

Currently Dark Void into Shadow Crash into VEr provides a nice burst(tuning pending), and if they were changed to only generate insanity when hitting two targets at least they'd have no impact on single target encounters and therefore wouldn't affect how much damage can be given to the tail end.

In multi boss cleave fights with Mass Hysteria gone Shadow is already gonna perform worse than most classes with basic cleave, so even there the current AoE wouldn't affect the tail end especially if increased haste has a small impact on their dps.

AoE burst can easily coexist with single target ramp if there is no exponential multiplier(Haste Scaling * Mass Hysteria) that would cause multi target cleave bosses to skyrocket in damage, or as long as the AoE is not beneficial to cast in a single target scenario.

Again, Void Form's current benefits are:
- Void Bolt replacing a few casts of Mind Flay(both being on mastery makes the difference far smaller unless they greatly overtune Void Bolt)
- Mind Blast CD reduced to 6(SW:V only reduced to 7.5, making it worse than live 2 charges)
- 11.1% extra damage taken
- on average ~7% extra haste over it's duration

This is laughable for the main mechanic of a class whose mastery is a flat damage increase. We have no damage cooldown where the main benefit isn't a barely increased Void Form duration. We have no procs that'd affect our rotation besides a talentable one completely overshadowed by SW:V(and they'd be hardpressed to make it proc enough to be considered). All we have is a completely rigid cast order with limited spells that do nothing but flat damage.

Even the new AoE is boring when you inherently want to end VF as soon as possible just to VEr again. And I LOATHE the thought that the answer to that will just be to enforce a cooldown on VEr.

VEr should have some of it's AoE budget transfered to an aoe mechanic available only while in VF(Mind Sear, Shadow Crash and Dark Void easily cover the time spent outside of it already, with Mind Blast/Void filling in the ramp where needed).Likely increase VErs damage a bit when used in a single target only scenario.(and obviously make whatever the AoE mechanic is, have no benefit to single target)

Void Form needs not to ramp over a minute, and can easily be a shorter but repeatedly entered window that leads to increased damage, even if not scaling, but it needs to be doing SOMETHING!
05/23/2018 01:23 AMPosted by Annesh
On one hand are those who only raid on their spriests. These are the ones whose primary feedback is that Voidform feels lackluster/underwhelming/boring. They want to take steps back toward the excitement of Legion, unconcerned that the further we go toward Legion in excitement, the further we go toward being bad at dungeons.

On the other hand are those who do everything else, regardless of whether they also raid or not. These are the ones who accept the underwhelmingness of BfA's Voidform, knowing that it's necessary for Voidform to not feel that much stronger than Shadowform, especially not high stacks.


I still think there's ways to make voidform feel better to be in, which don't increase its overall damage contribution or promote the ramp up playstyle any further. I might primarily be a raider / theorycrafter, but I do certainly see the danger of adding more damage to voidform's ramp up mechanics.

My bottom line is that VFs damage contribution to the rotation in BFA, and the way that damage is delivered (Outside of void eruption's numerous inherent problems) is absolutely fine how it is in BFA, VF doesn't need more damage added to it. What it does need is something added (With tuning to make it damage neutral to what we currently have in BFS) which makes VF feel distinctly different to cast in.
I wonder if one solution is to make Void Form give a damage boost, not a haste boost. Except that would require massive balancing and changing of other abilities and talents, especially if you want to avoid the spec feeling slow and boring.

Also, I still don't understand why Void Form loses the damage reduction provided by Shadow Form. This makes no sense to me, especially with how little of a damage boost it gives now.
05/23/2018 04:14 AMPosted by Majyka
I wonder if one solution is to make Void Form give a damage boost, not a haste boost.


Not really sure what that solves, aside from adding more damage to VF / potentially backloading it further. It also doesn't change how the form itself feels. I cannot stress this enough, this isn't about numbers. Voidform feels dull, that isn't a numbers or damage allocation issue.
Void Form's damage contribution is in no way fine in BFA. It offers no AoE benefits, with the damage reduction gone it's worse to be in VF in M+ even, and the intentional cutting it short to VEr again proves how useless it ends up being.

Single target is better, but the benefits are still so meager that if complexity is added to the VF rotation to still maintain the same miniscule benefit then that just makes the benefit more difficult to maintain especially when faced with mechanics. The current iteration of Void Form on the beta is No Risk, Minimal Reward, any proposed increases to risk in maintaining the same reward will just push people to stick to Mind Flay/Blast +Void Bolt when it is available even if it costs them most of the reward.

I agree wholeheartedly on how bland VF has become and that it needs complexity with it's lost speed, but you can't introduce complexity to a spec without rewarding it.

If VFs are more numerous and shorter any damage spike they provide can be aimed far better and any form of base increase(be it added via complexity or a flat bonus) along with the meager scaling it has can be a benefit in any form of combat not just lengthy raid bosses.
One of the reasons why we don't want VF getting stronger is because it makes the spec weaker for dungeons and pvp. When was the last time you got to more than 15 stacks of Voidform in pvp? How frequent is that? Annesh brings up good points but I think we could have more impactful Voidforms if we also had tools to pause it and move for an extended period.

Honestly if we turned Lingering Insanity into a temporary Voidform pause button (pauses Insanity gain + drain for up to 60 seconds, 10 second cd) and moved it to the 100 talent row, I think we'd be in a better position to have stronger Voidforms. It would also make the 100 Talent row more thematic into being a row that affects Voidform utilization and if VoiT is on the 90 row, it would be a supplementary damage/Insanity row.

Unless something is given to us to control our Voidforms better, we can't afford to have more power budgeted to Voidform. It's too brittle and we'll just end up returning to the Legion high-risk, minimal reward (compared to other classes) model.
05/23/2018 06:00 AMPosted by Presance
One of the reasons why we don't want VF getting stronger is because it makes the spec weaker for dungeons and pvp. When was the last time you got to more than 15 stacks of Voidform in pvp? How frequent is that? Annesh brings up good points but I think we could have more impactful Voidforms if we also had tools to pause it and move for an extended period.


Firstly in PvP the damage increase above certain insanity while not in Void Form talent is leagues above VF in performance on the Beta. As long as you'd rather have that than Void Form in all forms of content Void Form needs more damage.

Secondly I already proved that performance on dungeon trash and a powerful Void Form can coexist. As long as AoE abilities like Shadow Crash and Dark Void don't generate insanity in a single target scenario, they don't have to eat into the budget of the single target damage. In Cleave situations they are balanced enough in boss fights with Mass Hysteria gone. Dungeon performance does not have to suffer to retain aspects of live Void Form.

Note I support curbing the scaling in duration and intensity, and especially the removal of any exponential scaling like Mass Hysteria, but let's not kill the feel of current shadow by overcompensating for the past mistakes.
This needs to stay on page one

..ok going back to my depressing hole where I mourn the loss of legion shadow and try to not read forums and ruin my day.
05/23/2018 02:30 AMPosted by Caesa
The tail end of the ramp has no impact on dungeon performance, therefore its existence should not be denied just to make Shadow viable against trash packs.


Sweetie, in Mythic+, trash packs ARE the game. Runs are timed and you spend most of your time on trash, so if you're not a complete badass at blowing up trash, no one wants you. Your bias is showing.

05/23/2018 02:30 AMPosted by Caesa
Currently Dark Void into Shadow Crash into VEr provides a nice burst(tuning pending), and if they were changed to only generate insanity when hitting two targets at least they'd have no impact on single target encounters and therefore wouldn't affect how much damage can be given to the tail end.


Yes I'm down with our burst AoE talents not being the best at ST too, and insanity generation seems a good knob to turn for that.

05/23/2018 02:30 AMPosted by Caesa
AoE burst can easily coexist with single target ramp


I like your idea in theory, but in practice, dungeons also need burst ST. The amount of burst AoE you need to compete with others will always have a place in ST. AFAIK, demon hunters use Eye Beam in ST rotations. I don't think you can have both things at the same time.

05/23/2018 02:30 AMPosted by Caesa
This is laughable for the main mechanic of a class whose mastery is a flat damage increase.


Agreed, Voidform is trivial and lame now. But like I said before, this doesn't mean we should crawl back into our Legion cave, where we sucked at dungeons. It means we should keep going (away from Voidform) and see what else is out there.

05/23/2018 02:30 AMPosted by Caesa
VEr should have some of it's AoE budget transfered to an aoe mechanic available only while in VF(Mind Sear, Shadow Crash and Dark Void easily cover the time spent outside of it already, with Mind Blast/Void filling in the ramp where needed).Likely increase VErs damage a bit when used in a single target only scenario.(and obviously make whatever the AoE mechanic is, have no benefit to single target)


Those sound like good ideas. I also seriously dislike VEru carrying so much of our burst; it's completely out of place.

05/23/2018 02:30 AMPosted by Caesa
Void Form needs not to ramp over a minute, and can easily be a shorter but repeatedly entered window that leads to increased damage, even if not scaling, but it needs to be doing SOMETHING!


Oh yes, I wanna make it clear that I'm more than okay if we find some way to make Voidform feel exciting and/or distinct from Shadowform, as long as either A) there's no/minimal ramp, or B) there are viable talent options to reduce/eliminate the ramp.

05/23/2018 03:58 AMPosted by Hpellipsis
What it does need is something added (With tuning to make it damage neutral to what we currently have in BFS) which makes VF feel distinctly different to cast in.


My question is, and no I'm not defending anything, but why isn't Voidbolt doing that for you already? Just trying to understand you better.

05/23/2018 05:07 AMPosted by Caesa
Void Form's damage contribution is in no way fine in BFA. It offers no AoE benefits, with the damage reduction gone it's worse to be in VF in M+ even, and the intentional cutting it short to VEr again proves how useless it ends up being.


The AoE comes from talents, VEru is a big problem, and the 10% DR definitely should stick through Voidform and the design that it goes away is honestly one of the most boneheaded choices they've made in a while. It shows them to be completely out of touch with the actual Spriest experience.

05/23/2018 06:23 AMPosted by Caesa
Secondly I already proved that performance on dungeon trash and a powerful Void Form can coexist.


You didn't prove anything. You stated your opinions. They're valid opinions and they're welcome to the discussion, but they're not truth.

05/23/2018 06:23 AMPosted by Caesa
Note I support curbing the scaling in duration and intensity, and especially the removal of any exponential scaling like Mass Hysteria, but let's not kill the feel of current shadow by overcompensating for the past mistakes.


Yeah let me refer you to one of my previous posts where I say ANY ramp is bad. If Legion's ramp is 8, and BfA takes us down to 4, what I want is 0. You're saying you want it back up to a 6 because it's messed up your precious "feel," I'm saying I don't want that. The feeling of getting faster and more powerful - that's legit fun and exciting, when it works. But there are SO, SO many places where it breaks down and becomes a horrible pain in the !@#. I'd much rather be able to perform well in dungeons than to have fun getting faster on raid bosses, considering how often the design works against actual performance.
My question is, and no I'm not defending anything, but why isn't Voidbolt doing that for you already? Just trying to understand you better.


Funny, I hadn't really thought in detail about the 'Why?' until this. I still stand by my feelings that adding a single instant spell into the rotation every few globals doesn't actually change the feel of the rotation. You still have multiple seconds of mind flay channeling at a time, you still have an incredibly rigid rotation that doesn't seemingly have any impact on your performance, what you gained is a slightly shorter blast CD and an instant cast that hits hard.

These things don't make it feel different, but certainly they make the damage pattern look different which for some might be enough. But honestly if my spec has a core mechanic which is supposed to represent on ongoing battle with insanity then I should be able to feel that in more places than the meters.

I've reduced the size of my insanity bar addon, and could honestly see myself removing it from the UI at this point. It's just no longer useful information because I can't do anything with it.

One final note on void bolt also. It might be an instant cast we add to our rotation, but because of its place as something which replaces a dead gcd of mind flay, and its role in facilitating stutter stepping. The "tune" of the single target rotation with light movement doesn't even change between Shadowform and Voidform. Those globals I use void bolt, outside of voidform are often replaced with shadow word pain to keep that same stutter step movement style going. Giving me the exact same feel of, "Keep blast on cd, instant when you need to move and won't delay blast, flay otherwise". I hadn't really given much thought to this, but running some dungeons earlier today I realised how often pain was being used rotationally purely for insanity when moving, and how this was essentially substituted for void bolt in voidform.

Ellipsis...
05/23/2018 02:30 AMPosted by Caesa
Currently Dark Void into Shadow Crash into VEr provides a nice burst(tuning pending), and if they were changed to only generate insanity when hitting two targets at least they'd have no impact on single target encounters and therefore wouldn't affect how much damage can be given to the tail end.


Yes I'm down with our burst AoE talents not being the best at ST too, and insanity generation seems a good knob to turn for that.
I can't agree on this, and that's primarily because of talent placement.

You have ToF vs. Misery vs. DV: ToF always works, and gets better with add spawns. Misery only works on multi-target, and Dark Void currently works in all scenarios.

The outlier here is Misery, not Dark Void.

You have AS vs. SW:D vs. SC. All of these talents get better with some sort of multi-target. AS on spread cleave, SW:D on singular add spawns, and SC on large AoE packs.

In theory at least, all these talents (T45+T75) do stuff on single-target, and do something better in some sort of of multi-target

So what is reducing DV's Insanity gain on single-target trying to achieve?
05/24/2018 04:14 AMPosted by Kaesebrezen
So what is reducing DV's Insanity gain on single-target trying to achieve?


Getting you to take ToF, the only talent whos "Does what it says on the tin" description should yield a single target dps increase. Dark void's first iteration was purely a method of applying dots, the insanity generation component is only there to justify the cast time. It really doesn't make sense to me why I'd want to be casting an aoe spell which applies dots to multiple targets when there's only one target in front of me.
05/24/2018 04:29 AMPosted by Hpellipsis
05/24/2018 04:14 AMPosted by Kaesebrezen
So what is reducing DV's Insanity gain on single-target trying to achieve?


Getting you to take ToF, the only talent whos "Does what it says on the tin" description should yield a single target dps increase.
ToF has been tuned around a multi-target uptime.

On single-target, ToF and DV currently perform about the same. One just focuses on execute damage, the other on sustained damage. In theory, their current state allows you to choose these talent based on multi-target and single-target needs.

It's a rather subjective issue of wether a clearly AoE talent should ever be useful on single-target. For me at least, as the whole tier offers multi-target benefits and ToFs/DVs single-target value is comparable, i don't see a problem with DV being good on single-target.
Reminder: Dark Void is bugged and provides 21 seconds of Shadow Word: Pain uptime on the primary target instead of 16.

Unrelated: It would be super cool if we could get a few glyphs of shadowy friends. One for the super dark colors of our mounts at high Insanity, one for void form mounts, and one for old school shadow form mounts.
Shadowpriest talents should serve a different function than talents for other specs. They should provide playstyle options, allowing us to specialize in either raid build or dungeon build.

This is something I'd push for and I suggested a kind of version of this a couple pages back.

There's value in the high risk, high reward playstyle of Legion. There's also value in a more consistent, less rampy playstyle like what we're seeing in BfA.
05/24/2018 04:14 AMPosted by Kaesebrezen
I can't agree on this, and that's primarily because of talent placement.

You have ToF vs. Misery vs. DV: ToF always works, and gets better with add spawns. Misery only works on multi-target, and Dark Void currently works in all scenarios.

The outlier here is Misery, not Dark Void.


Interesting take on it, can't say I disagree. I don't have a horse in the race to nerf DV; in fact, I want the opposite. It's my beautiful precious, I love everything about it. I don't want it nerfed for the things I care about (AoE), so if I see a standout aspect of it I don't care about (that it's the best for ST), I'm okay with that part being nerfed.

05/24/2018 06:45 AMPosted by Skootalloo
There's value in the high risk, high reward playstyle of Legion. There's also value in a more consistent, less rampy playstyle like what we're seeing in BfA.


Fair enough, but don't delude yourself thinking Legion's shadow is "High Risk, High Reward." There's nothing rewarding about it. You jump through the hoops to do the same DPS as everyone else.

If the best spriest in the world could consistently do 5% better DPS than the best [insert other class here], then that would be high reward. But that's not the case.

It's high risk, low reward.
Hate to say it guys, but at this stage I think the best thing that can happen for overall balance and minimal changes (given that it's mid/late beta) is just get rid of VF stacks entirely, give Shadow Form like 10-15% additional static haste and then double that in Void Form. That way VF feels a little more meaningful but without the ramp.
05/24/2018 08:14 AMPosted by Annesh
Fair enough, but don't delude yourself thinking Legion's shadow is "High Risk, High Reward." There's nothing rewarding about it. You jump through the hoops to do the same DPS as everyone else.

If the best spriest in the world could consistently do 5% better DPS than the best [insert other class here], then that would be high reward. But that's not the case.

It's high risk, low reward.

I won't make any statements on where we stand in relation to other classes, but I'd still classify the current playstyle as high risk/high reward. Not because it puts us higher than other classes, just that there's a big difference between a great shadow priest, an average one and a bad one.

That's mostly beside the point though. I agree with the basic idea. It's just a matter of tuning it correctly and making it feel right.

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