[Feedback] Shadow Priest Rotation and Talents

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
Prev 1 14 15 16 39 Next
05/24/2018 10:06 AMPosted by Skootalloo
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.

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.


It's a little unfair to take the other classes out of the equation. Sure, it feels rewarding to consistently hit high stacks, but it's also expected to do comparable damage to other classes. If you don't get high stacks, you're not going to meet those expectations and feel punished. If you do get high stacks, you're not going to be rewarded compared to other dps and to the amount of perceived effort you put in. That's bad.

BfA may do a good job of minimizing the punishment from Legion but the spec feels slower and clunkier in comparison with several elements clashing as many have pointed out.

We've offered how we've felt about the spec in its current iteration. We still need to see the upcoming changes for our spec to confidently identify what direction we're heading and offer feedback based on that. Hopefully we'll find out soon because I'm getting restless waiting to hear about a talent that's been missing for over a month. Hopefully there are more changes to come along with it. We shall see.
05/24/2018 01:15 PMPosted by Presance
It's a little unfair to take the other classes out of the equation. Sure, it feels rewarding to consistently hit high stacks, but it's also expected to do comparable damage to other classes. If you don't get high stacks, you're not going to meet those expectations and feel punished. If you do get high stacks, you're not going to be rewarded compared to other dps and to the amount of perceived effort you put in. That's bad.


Yep. It might feel rewarding in a vacuum, on a dummy. But in reality, all that extra effort means very little because it doesn't yield greater performance.
05/24/2018 08:42 AMPosted by Zeigfeld
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.


This is honestly probably the only sane solution going forward.
Spec feels slow just like many have mentioned. The biggest Oddball situation that I feel right now is dot applications. Everything else seems fine on it's own but it's like they aren't quite sure where shadow needs to be... is it just a caster or a dot spec? Both sides seem to fit the primary goal but it's like playing two classes at once on the same GCD. Each voidform that finishes (Single target.. aoe is a different issue all together) I either have to reapply dots or do it prior to leaving VF as to not to lose up time and fall out early (not that it matters much in the current state). If void bolt actually increased the time of dots a bit more again we could focus on the caster part of the rotation more and it could smooth this out drastically to a point where it could be more playable. The other thing I would like to mention is cast time lengths. Spec still feels super punishing on heavy movement or having to stop casting to interrupt as each spell cast has some benefit getting back to your "damage increase window" (VF) or what seems to be your main AoE now as dots are frustrating to maintain and MS alone does very little damage or generation with the reduced haste. I guess my biggest "Promotion" here for shadow is less dot maintenance. Let me feel the caster part of the spec again and not feel like I'm juggling either dots or my other spells. Voidform is fine the way it is, just un eventful, specs slow but that may change with haste or some cast time adjustments, but trying to reapply dots and maintain them in single target or god forbid 3+ seems almost ludicrous even with misery. Thanks for the time and hope to hear some blue responses to this thread soon. :D
I thought what Seph said about fury warriors new raging blow was interesting.
05/24/2018 07:19 PMPosted by Seph
Raging Blow
Raging Blow now Generates 12 Rage, has 2 charges, 7.5 sec recharge (reduced by Haste), has a 20% chance to instantly reset its own cooldown, and no longer requires being Enraged to be usable. It’s more similar to the Inner Rage version than the live baseline version, where it has no cooldown but requires Enrage to be usable. Raging Blow is doing a lot of things for the spec here:
  • Raging Blow was changed to fit together into Rampage and Bloodthirst, both of which we thought were good and didn’t need any notable changes.
  • Being usable only while Enraged, meant you very frequently pushed it multiple times in a row for 5 Rage each time, which didn’t feel super engaging.
  • Having 2 charges baseline felt better, as a version with either a 6 or 7.5 sec cooldown but no charges meant it collided with Bloodthirst’s cooldown very frequently, which did not feel good. Additionally, charges on Raging Blow is sort of the only actual resource you manage on the spec, since Rage is technically a resource but only spent on Rampage and nothing else.
  • Having a 20% chance to reset itself is the random proc on the baseline spec that adds an amount of unpredictability to the rotation.

It may not be fair to compare from class to class, but that looks really similar to mind blast/void bolt. For shadow the ability to add a charge to mind blast or give it a chance to complete the cd are talents on the same row though.
05/24/2018 09:01 PMPosted by Cengreth
I thought what Seph said about fury warriors new raging blow was interesting.
05/24/2018 07:19 PMPosted by Seph
Raging Blow
Raging Blow now Generates 12 Rage, has 2 charges, 7.5 sec recharge (reduced by Haste), has a 20% chance to instantly reset its own cooldown, and no longer requires being Enraged to be usable. It’s more similar to the Inner Rage version than the live baseline version, where it has no cooldown but requires Enrage to be usable. Raging Blow is doing a lot of things for the spec here:
  • Raging Blow was changed to fit together into Rampage and Bloodthirst, both of which we thought were good and didn’t need any notable changes.
  • Being usable only while Enraged, meant you very frequently pushed it multiple times in a row for 5 Rage each time, which didn’t feel super engaging.
  • Having 2 charges baseline felt better, as a version with either a 6 or 7.5 sec cooldown but no charges meant it collided with Bloodthirst’s cooldown very frequently, which did not feel good. Additionally, charges on Raging Blow is sort of the only actual resource you manage on the spec, since Rage is technically a resource but only spent on Rampage and nothing else.
  • Having a 20% chance to reset itself is the random proc on the baseline spec that adds an amount of unpredictability to the rotation.

It may not be fair to compare from class to class, but that looks really similar to mind blast/void bolt. For shadow the ability to add a charge to mind blast or give it a chance to complete the cd are talents on the same row though.
Yeah, shame Shadow lacks a dev that Seph could mention this to...
Shadow thoughts:

SW: Void feels like it should be a baseline mechanic as the two talents it competes with just do not compete with the quality of life SW: Void provides.

Void Form no longer feels impactful or exciting due to the decreased damage and how short each phase lasts. The drain rate is excessively high imo. Either it needs to have a slower base drain rate, one of our stats needs to make the drain rate slower, or VF needs some extra hook to make it worth using. As it is now, Void Eruption is the only thing that feels good about VF. I think that's the problem. These "windows of power" such as VF are supposed to make you feel powerful. Yet Shadow now has no real damage cooldown, and the actual damage CD we do have (VF) is neutered in its scope.

Dark Void and Shadow Crash feel great for burst AoE.

Also compared to Demonology, Aff, and Destro, we just lack flavor and inspiration in our spec.
It may not be fair to compare from class to class, but that looks really similar to mind blast/void bolt. For shadow the ability to add a charge to mind blast or give it a chance to complete the cd are talents on the same row though.
"similar"?

It's practically the exact same situation between VB/MB. We had to deal with it for whole of Legion - and that's why practically everyone used Mangaza's. That's also why everyone will most likely only ever use SW:V as a talent.

But for fury "it does not feel good" is a good enough reason to give the spell two charges?

Heck, as a Shadow i find the fury post quite triggering...

- Enrage gives more than four times(!) the haste VF currently does, on a very similar uptime
- Their VB/MB problem "didn't feel good", so their spell gets two charges (something we had to deal with an entire expansion, and still need a talent for)
- Their MB gets a proc, because else it would be to predictable... (shadow presses the same button over and over again)
- Whirlwind can cleave as much as it want, without an SW:P requirement, and even buffing your single-target abilities to cleave - Shadow on the other hand is stuck with Mind Sear still being problematic against DoTs, VB/MB, and VF/VER.

Just rereard the fury post and replace the follow spells:

- Bloodthirst <-> Void Bolt
- Furious Slash <-> Mind Blast
- Whirlwind <-> Mind Flay
- Rampage <-> Void Eruption
- Execute <-> SW:D
Oh yeah, this is par for the course. Blizz has a loooooong history of acknowledging and fixing issues Shadow deals with.... but only for other classes.

Remember when they addressed Nightblade "multidotting" for sub rogues, admitting that they understand the disadvantages of manual multidotting?

Currently, Subtlety can AoE through multi-dotting Nightblade. Obviously, this has some major downsides compared to traditional AoEs (namely, it requires more effort targeting enemies, has significant rampup when there are significant target counts, and takes a long time to play out all of its damage).


Aaaand then it took them until late BfA alpha to finally give us a dot-spreader that's even remotely decent.

There are times when I feel like I'm being reductionist and whiny to think that Shadow is a redheaded stepchild spec. You know, the spec that the developers "have to" design for, rather than one they "get to" design for. The spec no one on the team really cares about, the one they're stuck with.

This is not one of those times. I definitely feel neglected.
Every version of shadow toolkit we've had for the last few expansions seems to me to be the cast off, failed ideas of other classes, or half baked pipe dreams.

Neglected, Annesh?

Try positively dumped on.

(And not 1 dev speaking with us for 2+ expansions just helps hammer it home.)
I’d be willing to wager none of the class devs actually plays shadow as a main, so we end up with someone that gets shadow as an assignment and works to make sure the numbers are tuned but not much beyond that because they don’t have a feel for how the class plays.
05/25/2018 06:29 AMPosted by Wyrna
(And not 1 dev speaking with us for 2+ expansions just helps hammer it home.)


We've had some discourse with some devs on the howtopriest Discord channel. And while I know it's frustrating not hearing anything for so long, I think it's important to note how much the shadow priest spec is tied together. It's a mess to balance and probably takes a lot of time to hammer out the details. The man who is working on our spec is also working on (at least) 3 other specs right now.

It sucks. We've got to be patient, but I agree more needs to be communicated to the community, especially when we've been missing a talent for well over a month. Hopefully we hear something actually soon and not Coming Soon!(tm)
I'm not sure what point there is to go out with blanket statements that the class is being neglected and/or dumped on and assuming that no dev plays shadow as a main.

I just don't see the relevance of those statements in a thread that's supposed to be a civilized feedback thread - if anything posts like these are antagonistic and reduce the likelihood of eliciting a reply from the blues.

Sephuz came into the priest discord (some time ago now - IIRC it was just before the Dark Void change) and talked to us - he didn't need to.

I doubt they're working on 1 class at a time, they're just posting responses as they get really close to a class feeling finished. All the problematic classes are probably being worked in parallel (if nothing else, at least the idea level) and I'm pretty sure (read: hope) that SP we see now is a "reset" of some sort that is being worked on.

I think we can all agree that due to insanity and the drain and all the problems that arose in legion SP is a bit of a harder thing to fix than most classes.

On a discussion level, I have to say I've looked through a lot of posts by Annesh and I fully agree with the reasoning.

SP ramp must be just killed, otherwise we will remain weak in certain content.
VF should not increase damage because of killing ramp.

I'm perfectly fine with an invisible wall at ~25ish stacks due to the new drain formula, but if VF is not a substantial damage increase - it needs to have substantial playstyle changes towards the "fun" spectrum to make us want to stay in it.

This is an easy problem to state, but a very difficult one to solve. It's extremely hard to get the conditions to align

1) DPS spec fun (usually this translate to do more damage by doing things right)
2) No damage increase through voidform (direct clash with 1)
3) Rotation "must" be different than in SF - VB alone is not enough IMO - otherwise why even have Voidform
4) Rotation must not have ramp or have damage tied to the length of VF - otherwise we're back to Legion state of things.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and getting everything to align is surely to cascade through a bunch of changes.

I'm sure there is an easy compromise solution (no ramp, keep voidform, bring back fun) somewhere inside all the variables, but the search space (I feel) in the case of SP is very difficult to navigate.

Honestly, I'm not expecting them to find the solution to SP quickly - I'm expecting SP to be dead last for finalizing changes (if any), with the possibility of some coming in after prepatch to before raid Uldir timeframe.

I honestly am not impressed by the BFA SP, but whenever I start thinking a bit about how to change it and start tracking through everything that would be affected and needed fixing - I kind of get a bit lost and can't come to a satisfactory conclusion. Without doing any real work or looking at the code which might make some ideas completely impossible in the alloted timeframe.

Things are not always simple.
05/25/2018 10:10 AMPosted by Sonus
1) DPS spec fun (usually this translate to do more damage by doing things right)
2) No damage increase through voidform (direct clash with 1)
3) Rotation "must" be different than in SF - VB alone is not enough IMO - otherwise why even have Voidform
4) Rotation must not have ramp or have damage tied to the length of VF - otherwise we're back to Legion state of things.


Not sure if I agree the parameters are quite this rigid, but I do think this is a very tough balancing act to pull off regardless. Some ramp, given enough frontloaded burst, and some damage difference between VF and SF is likely also fine.

Fury's changes, and the logic applied to them leaves me feeling hopeful. Really hope that's not naivety speaking.
05/25/2018 02:01 PMPosted by Hpellipsis

Not sure if I agree the parameters are quite this rigid, but I do think this is a very tough balancing act to pull off regardless. Some ramp, given enough frontloaded burst, and some damage difference between VF and SF is likely also fine.

Fury's changes, and the logic applied to them leaves me feeling hopeful. Really hope that's not naivety speaking.


Of course they're not that rigid - that was just an oversimplification to illustrate that Shadow is not an easy problem to solve.

Anyway, I don't know a lot about fury but people seem to be very satisfied, boomkin and aff changes seem well thought out and make the classes pretty fun to play - so I'm hopeful Seph and the rest of team have more things up their sleeves for SP.
1) DPS spec fun (usually this translate to do more damage by doing things right)
2) No damage increase through voidform (direct clash with 1)
3) Rotation "must" be different than in SF - VB alone is not enough IMO - otherwise why even have Voidform
4) Rotation must not have ramp or have damage tied to the length of VF - otherwise we're back to Legion state of things.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and getting everything to align is surely to cascade through a bunch of changes.

Things are not always simple.
It's really only complicated if you're not willing to replace Voidform with a talent choice (something like here: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20762117746?page=1 - skip down to the 6th post for the talent suggestion). The problem with Voidform is Voidform. Or, to say it another way, the problem with the ramp up, build-drain playstyle introduced by Voidform is the ramp up, build-drain playstyle introduced by Voidform.

There are at least two solutions to the problem of Voidform:
1) You can replace it with something that isn't ramp (whether that be baseline or via a talent choice)
2) You can completely redesign what Voidform is and how it works (so while you still might call it "Voidform," it would be nothing like the Voidform that we currently have)

Now, since Voidform is a core mechanic of the Shadow Priest, replacing it with something else baseline would be jarring and could be harmful to the Shadow Priest fantasy (though, let's not kid ourselves here, the introduction of Voidform in Legion was also a big change in its own right). But if you allow Shadow Priests to opt into a talent that replaces Voidform, that's not as jarring because you're giving the player a choice. They can stick with Voidform if they are not comfortable with that choice (or if they are just in love with Voidform), or they can try something new that doesn't force them into all the ramp up that Voidform offers.

Given the option, I suppose some Shadow Priests would stick with Voidform where it works (several raid boss in encounters), and abandon it where it doesn't (PvP, Mythic+, world questing, and so on). Though, the best part is that each player gets to individually decide for his or her self whether abandoning Voidform is the right move to make. And it's just a talent, so they can change their mind as easily as they can change their talent choices.

Now, you might think that what I'm proposing here is a lot of work and there is no way that the development team would have time to do it with the time that they have left. And you might be right.

But with the time that they have left, I don't know if there is anything they can do to fix the Shadow Priest before BfA goes Live. The Shadow Priest needs big, fundamental changes to fix its issues. And big, fundamental changes are going to be "hard" and "a lot of work" no matter what route you take to get them done.

That's why I agree with what Annesh said a few pages back, and I think using talents to replace the ramp up mechanics with non-ramp up mechanics is the best route to go - short of a total spec redesign, which I think it's fair to say they don't have time for at this point.
05/25/2018 10:10 AMPosted by Sonus
I'm not sure what point there is to go out with blanket statements that the class is being neglected and/or dumped on and assuming that no dev plays shadow as a main.

I just don't see the relevance of those statements in a thread that's supposed to be a civilized feedback thread - if anything posts like these are antagonistic and reduce the likelihood of eliciting a reply from the blues.


You're right of course. I always end up feeling bad whenever I post stuff like that. I know it's useless and counter-productive, but oftentimes I just need to vent my frustrations. I think there's a point to be made about a lack of communication, but it isn't like the designers OWE us anything. Ultimately, it's just a hard balance to strike: to be passionate enough to push for changes, but not so emotional as to make those kinds of unhelpful comments.

05/25/2018 10:10 AMPosted by Sonus
SP ramp must be just killed, otherwise we will remain weak in certain content.
VF should not increase damage because of killing ramp.

I'm perfectly fine with an invisible wall at ~25ish stacks due to the new drain formula, but if VF is not a substantial damage increase - it needs to have substantial playstyle changes towards the "fun" spectrum to make us want to stay in it.

This is an easy problem to state, but a very difficult one to solve. It's extremely hard to get the conditions to align

1) DPS spec fun (usually this translate to do more damage by doing things right)
2) No damage increase through voidform (direct clash with 1)
3) Rotation "must" be different than in SF - VB alone is not enough IMO - otherwise why even have Voidform
4) Rotation must not have ramp or have damage tied to the length of VF - otherwise we're back to Legion state of things.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and getting everything to align is surely to cascade through a bunch of changes.


Yeah it's a very hard problem. Maybe the hardest in the game currently. But since they haven't spoken up and told us they're still working on it, and hope to have at least some kind of bandaid solution, it's not unreasonable to fear that we might not actually receive enough work. That doesn't justify our whining, but it does justify our anxiety.

All we can do is wait and see. And spam the forums in the meantime because we don't have anything better to do.
05/25/2018 06:02 PMPosted by Neptune
Now, since Voidform is a core mechanic of the Shadow Priest, replacing it with something else baseline would be jarring and could be harmful to the Shadow Priest fantasy


You made a lot of great points in your post. Voidform is awesome - visually, gameplay-wise, it just feels cool - but outside of Voidform, Shadow feels like half a spec and having to commit for upwards of a minute in a fight to reach your "real" spec just does not play well for many types of content. It almost reminds you of 3 minute mages in Vanilla where you were awesome for a few brief seconds then you were borderline worthless.
I'm still going to post here to say that I LOVE voidform and liked how engaging the increasing speed/haste felt when playing it in legion. The BFA overhaul left voidform in shambles and this upsets me greatly.

I want to point out that those happy with legion shadow are not likely reading and posting on forums and likely not represented much here....if they're not on beta right now then they have nothing to prompt feedback or 'complain' about.

How a spec feels to play and it's numbers associated with high void forms do not need to be the same thing.... I want the spec I played in legion; period. The rest of the solutions should have been a numbers based solution not one that changed how it plays and feels.

I don't want a spec without voidform (that actually plays and feels how it's supposed to). Without voidform it's going to feel like any other caster in the game and that to me is a big loss.

Legion shadow is the absolute BEST gaming experience I've had in all the years of playing a mmo since Wrath. I loved it soooo much I completely ditched healing and other characters. I STILL run all difficulties of TOS each week for titanforge chance....but really I want an excuse to raid more in shadow. Because it's that fun to play.
You made a lot of great points in your post. Voidform is awesome - visually, gameplay-wise, it just feels cool - but outside of Voidform, Shadow feels like half a spec and having to commit for upwards of a minute in a fight to reach your "real" spec just does not play well for many types of content. I
Voidform is awesome visually, gameplay-wise it's very boring. You press the same three buttons over and over again.

What made it tolerable in Legion was the huge amount of haste resulting in very fast pacing. That's gone, and we're left with three boring and slow buttons.

Then there are additional problems during Voidform:
- VB and MB clash cooldown very frequently. Never felt good. (Fury immediately gets two baseline charges for the clashing abilities)
- AoE gameplay during Voidform is dreadful. VB/MB vs. Multi-dotting vs. Mind Sear is not fun ("luckily" Sear is so strong now, that you can drop DoTs and VB/MB fairly early)
- As a consequence VER as an AoE feels bad. AoE vs. VF is not a fun decision.

Voidform and Insanity as a "resouce" have very little actual gameplay value...

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum