[Feedback] Shadow Priest Rotation and Talents

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05/27/2018 04:26 AMPosted by Caesa
A lack of interaction with Void Form leaves it way behind haste in value, repeating the problems of live Mastery.(Crit will still likely out value it, between actually increasing talented damage and the slight extra damage from Apparitions.) Most Mastery focuses on improving the main mechanic of the class, yet for us Haste acts as far more of a Mastery stat than actual Mastery.


The point about haste acting more like a mastery than actual mastery is an interesting one, and one I hadn't really given much thought. Though the value of secondary stats, and haste specifically for shadow has been significantly lowered in BFA.
05/27/2018 04:26 AMPosted by Caesa
- Talented Abilities are not included(with the exception of SW:V as it replaces MB), which as I stated previously will lead to the swift discarding of their use down the line as Mastery amounts grow higher and higher.
There's also a reverse side to this: The more talented spells you have, the less value mastery has.

Without any talents, you're looking at roughly 90% of our damage affected by mastery.
With the largest talented ability selection, that number can drop below 70% of our damage affected by mastery.

The variance on mastery value depending on talent selection is just too massive.

What makes that even worse is, that 4 out of five talent tiers have a talent that devalues mastery. T45 has Dark Void, T75 as a whole devalues Mastery (so technically mastery only negatively affects the value of all talents here), T90 has Mindbender (this one has a huge impact on mastery value), T100 has Void Torrent.

Is putting talents on mastery a good solution though? Do we need a three chapter long mastery tooltip for something that can essentially be shortened to "increases spell damage done"? I'd honestly say no. An "increase spell damage done"-effect on a class that deals 100% spell damage is essentially versatility minus the damage reduction. Why would someone want that?

If we go down the "increase spelldamage done route", i'd imagine something more along the line of destruction warlocks mastery, e.g.: "increases shadow damage done by x%, and up to an additional y% depending on the targets health (lower = more damage) or "increases damage done by x%, and an additional y% while in Voidform".
05/27/2018 04:35 AMPosted by Hpellipsis
The point about haste acting more like a mastery than actual mastery is an interesting one, and one I hadn't really given much thought. Though the value of secondary stats, and haste specifically for shadow has been significantly lowered in BFA.

Haste will still remain the sole stat to determine the length of Void Form(despite the lowered effectiveness at that due to steeper drain) and how many abilities can be fit into a single VF. All this while generally benefiting an immobile caster with 2 DoTs. Haste will remain our best secondary stat by miles, even if Blizzard lowers the Secondary Stats to be as their name suggests: secondary. Their relation to each other will still not change(except that Crit they made worse).
I'm not sure on haste, to be honest. With current design, do you even want to remain in Void Form? Seems to me, Void Form is largely irrelevant, except that entering VF gives off your Void Eruption. Seems to me, you want a really short VF, so you can build up to another Eruption, rather than try to stay in VF longer. That may vary depending on AoE vs ST, I suppose.
05/27/2018 06:37 AMPosted by Majyka
I'm not sure on haste, to be honest. With current design, do you even want to remain in Void Form? Seems to me, Void Form is largely irrelevant, except that entering VF gives off your Void Eruption. Seems to me, you want a really short VF, so you can build up to another Eruption, rather than try to stay in VF longer. That may vary depending on AoE vs ST, I suppose.

Given this is likely unintended design, and a lot of this discussion has been devoted to finding a comfortable middle ground between a voidform that feels different enough but isn't so powerful that it backload's the spec's damage enough to make burst none competitive, I'm not sure haste is particularly devalued long term by a desire to leave Voidform. It is right now, but you'd have to hope that's not a design problem moving forward.
While we are on things that may be a result of current tuning. I did some manual calcs and FotM outpaces SW:V in both insanity generation and damage.

This mainly occurs due to an often ignored fact that Mind Blast is a 7.5 sec CD now reduced to 6 in VF, while SW:V is the old 9 sec cooldown but only reduced to 7.5 in VF. Despite being still cast more often, it does not make up for the fact that Mind Flays are buffed by FotM too and FotM Mind Blast is stronger than SW:V(something which will get more pronounced with every point of Mastery and Int). BTW it's also not quicker to get into Void Form with SW:V because MB comes off CD before you reach 60 and you reach 60 with SW:V just as it's come off CD.

Now people seem to despise the Mind Blast comes off CD just as Void Bolt rotation, but personally I don't get that. It's a matter of perception that you are wasting a cooldown by not doing a MB there despite actually being the most ideal course of action you can take at the time. I mean I personally hate having to start with a Mind Blast when entering combat because I keep thinking what if my DoTs were already ticking while I was casting MB, yet I know that I'd lose DPS doing that. Personally I enjoyed the 1`stack MB rotation more because it always gave me reassurance I wasn't off with my timing whenever they came off CD in synch. Though since people seem to prefer 2 stacks, I reckoned I might as well alert the general population.
05/27/2018 11:44 AMPosted by Caesa
Despite being still cast more often, it does not make up for the fact that Mind Flays are buffed by FotM too
This fact makes FotM much less robust to multiple targets though.

MF is 20% of your damage, while MB is about 15%. That means more than half of FotMs value comes from Mind Flay.

If you go multi-target (2-4), the spell you drop is Mind Flay, not Mind Blast. Once you do that FotM rapidly looses in value, SW:V does not until you stop casting Mind Blast.
It's a matter of perception that you are wasting a cooldown by not doing a MB
Matter of perception?

Voidform has a one GCD CD reduction on Mind Blast. If you are delaying every second Mind Blast by one GCD due to VB, you are effectively removing half of the cooldown reduction offered by Voidform.

SW:V is casting roughly 15% more Mind Blasts(SW:Vs) compared FotM. That does matter.

In the Fury Warrior post the exact same cooldown clash situation (Bloodthirst is a 4.5 sec cooldown and a 6.0/7.5 sec Raging Blow) has been described with " which did not feel good".

Not only does Shadowpriest have the exact same situation, as i've written above, to make matters even worse compared to Fury Warriors, the clash for Shadowpriests negates part of the Voidform benefits. If it "did not feel good" for Fury, it should be even worse for Shadow due to just that.
05/27/2018 04:25 AMPosted by Hpellipsis
Me too, but it felt like a necessary conversation to have with so many interested parties all generally pushing for their own slightly different vision of shadow.

This really is something we should have talents do for us. Legion's fast shadow, BFA's slow shadow, some random other option, pick your favorite (or whatever's best if you're into that) and play with that. I don't think they need to be strictly balanced (if fast shadow consistently comes out ahead of the others due to the higher amount of skill required, I think that's acceptable), but there should definitely be options.

05/27/2018 11:44 AMPosted by Caesa
While we are on things that may be a result of current tuning. I did some manual calcs and FotM outpaces SW:V in both insanity generation and damage.

I'm not sure that's accurate. Mind Blast's CD is effectively 9 seconds already, as the CD won't start until you finish casting it. You do get your second MB 1.5 seconds before someone with SW:V gets their third.

EDIT: Actually, scratch the above, partly. The effective CD part is right, but yeah, you'll hit VF faster with FotM.
Apropos of nothing, some random thoughts before I head to bed:

Any thoughts on having Void Form go from increasing haste to damage directly? It has fewer quadratic scaling issues due to the way haste buffs stack together. I think it might be easier to balance, since the math behind insanity generation becomes less insane and it can be more precisely tuned against drain.

That would go against a lot of people's desire for the faster void forms we have on live, so it might work better as a talent (or vice versa).

Goofy idea of the day: what if void form stacks and insanity drain were both tied into void bolt usage instead of just time? Insanity drain would remain constant so long as you don't cast additional bolts, but so would your damage. There could be a kind of insanity neutral rotation where you stop casting void bolt. You maintain that until you need to or can afford to burst, then drop more void bolts and burn through what you've got.

Second goofy idea of the day: talent to replace void form with Mr Tentacle. Like that unholy Death Knight talent or whatever that summons a valkyr. Maybe he drains us slower than normal void form.
One alternative to flat haste on Voidform is flat duration of Voidform. The latter sounds much easier to balance and would allow for more interesting mastery options, imo. Could be as simple as: Voidform lasts 15 seconds, X% mastery increases VF duration by X%. (although, dunno about mastery procs?)

Would still require 100 Insanity to enter VF but, once activated, Insanity bar basically becomes a countdown timer and generation would disable. "Drains" at a rate equal to the set duration of VF, no hidden degen ramp.

Legacy of the Void could add +0.5s VF extension to Voidbolt casts (for people that miss that playstyle), S2M could set duration to 60s, etc.
05/27/2018 11:44 AMPosted by Caesa
Despite being still cast more often, it does not make up for the fact that Mind Flays are buffed by FotM too
This fact makes FotM much less robust to multiple targets though.

MF is 20% of your damage, while MB is about 15%. That means more than half of FotMs value comes from Mind Flay.

If you go multi-target (2-4), the spell you drop is Mind Flay, not Mind Blast. Once you do that FotM rapidly looses in value, SW:V does not until you stop casting Mind Blast.
It's a matter of perception that you are wasting a cooldown by not doing a MB
Matter of perception?

Voidform has a one GCD CD reduction on Mind Blast. If you are delaying every second Mind Blast by one GCD due to VB, you are effectively removing half of the cooldown reduction offered by Voidform.

SW:V is casting roughly 15% more Mind Blasts(SW:Vs) compared FotM. That does matter.

In the Fury Warrior post the exact same cooldown clash situation (Bloodthirst is a 4.5 sec cooldown and a 6.0/7.5 sec Raging Blow) has been described with " which did not feel good".

Not only does Shadowpriest have the exact same situation, as i've written above, to make matters even worse compared to Fury Warriors, the clash for Shadowpriests negates part of the Voidform benefits. If it "did not feel good" for Fury, it should be even worse for Shadow due to just that.

Multitarget is an entirely different beast, and just looking at Uldir for starters plenty of single target fights. This point is irrelevant anyways, I brought it up as I said to point it out to those who do mind being forced into 1 stack MB.

For the second point, yeah you just proved it is entirely due to perception of wasting CDs. It is without a doubt the most ideal rotation you could be doing with single charge Mind Blast PERIOD. Yes design wise this means that you don't benefit from the CD reduction of MB in void form every 6 GCDs, but it most definetly is not inherently bad, just feels bad to those who can't get over the fact that it is unavoidable for this to happen unless you put every single ability in existance on a charge system. It's a simple truth of math that as long as you have two abilities that don't have charges on a CD they will come off CD at the same time at repeating intervals as long as you use them on CD. At that point we might as well put Dark Void and Shadow Crash on charges too because they will overlap with each other and Void Bolt constantly. If you can't justify it beyond saying it feels bad then it only feels bad because one perceives it so despite not affecting DPS or Insanity generation negatively(the Belt was an intentional DPS boost, while SW:V was clear tuned to be just around the power level of FotM)
05/27/2018 10:17 PMPosted by Ttylol
One alternative to flat haste on Voidform is flat duration of Voidform. The latter sounds much easier to balance and would allow for more interesting mastery options, imo. Could be as simple as: Voidform lasts 15 seconds, X% mastery increases VF duration by X%. (although, dunno about mastery procs?)

Would still require 100 Insanity to enter VF but, once activated, Insanity bar basically becomes a countdown timer and generation would disable. "Drains" at a rate equal to the set duration of VF, no hidden degen ramp.

Legacy of the Void could add +0.5s VF extension to Voidbolt casts (for people that miss that playstyle), S2M could set duration to 60s, etc.

I think the problem here is that it would still be very tuning-dependent, since that basically turns it into a CD that's gated by resource gain rather than time. If VF is as weak as it is now, it will just be a crappy CD that you don't care about. If VF is tuned to be strong, your number one goal will be to have that CD available as frequently as possible, which probably means stacking stupid amounts of haste... again.
05/28/2018 05:38 AMPosted by Caesa
Yes design wise this means that you don't benefit from the CD reduction of MB in void form every 6 GCDs, but it most definetly is not inherently bad, just feels bad
Design wise this means the cooldown reduction is as close to obsolete as it can get (talking no SW:V): We are talking about numerical values that reach values far below of even a mere 1% dps gain.

The cooldown reduction on Voidform is essentially pointless both in gameplay and in numbers. (unless you are specced SW:V)

It's a simple truth of math that as long as you have two abilities that don't have charges on a CD they will come off CD at the same time at repeating intervals as long as you use them on CD
Yes, but wether you "loose" something strongly depends on their cooldown.

Delaying a 30 sec cooldown one GCD each time it's up will not make you loose any additional casts over the whole fight. Delaying a 6 second CD ability every time it's up costs several usages of that button over the course of a fight.

Multitarget is an entirely different beast, and just looking at Uldir for starters plenty of single target fights
Doesn't even need to be multi-target, talent selection also impacts FotMs value.

Any talent that adds a button to your rotation has the inherent property of replacing Mind Flay.

If Mind Flay is stronger, those talents are weaker.
If Mind Flay is casted less, FotM is weaker.

Buffing the damage of your filler spell is almost never a good idea - it impacts the value of too many other things. In our case this includes: Multi-dotting, Mind Sear, several talented spells.
05/28/2018 05:38 AMPosted by Caesa
For the second point, yeah you just proved it is entirely due to perception of wasting CDs. It is without a doubt the most ideal rotation you could be doing with single charge Mind Blast PERIOD. Yes design wise this means that you don't benefit from the CD reduction of MB in void form every 6 GCDs, but it most definetly is not inherently bad, just feels bad to those who can't get over the fact that it is unavoidable for this to happen unless you put every single ability in existance on a charge system. It's a simple truth of math that as long as you have two abilities that don't have charges on a CD they will come off CD at the same time at repeating intervals as long as you use them on CD.


Mind Blast having multiple charges isn't just a matter of overlaping CDs. It is also a matter of reducing the impact of movement. Not having the extra Mind Blast charge means that you will more often lose Mind Blast casts during the fight because of movement or conflicting CDs with VB. As long as Mind Blast play a key factor in Shadow's rotation we will have these issues.
Back in WoD we had a very similar issue. One of the biggest recurring problem with underperforming parses would always be the lack of Mind Blast casts because of bad priorization.
Another huge benefit we would have from having baseline stacks would be increased viability from Shadowy Insight, which, as stands, has the same issues it had since its conception, with the time of the proc hugely influencing its value.
Having extra charges on key abilities isn't something novel, with many classes that have a similar issue either already having it or receiving it in BFA.
05/28/2018 07:16 AMPosted by Pyri
I think the problem here is that it would still be very tuning-dependent, since that basically turns it into a CD that's gated by resource gain rather than time. If VF is as weak as it is now, it will just be a crappy CD that you don't care about. If VF is tuned to be strong, your number one goal will be to have that CD available as frequently as possible, which probably means stacking stupid amounts of haste... again.
Also removes the actual enjoyable part of shadow's rotation. If we literally have 20 seconds or so where resource generation is irrelevant then we're on a 3 button rotation with no interaction no feel and no consequence. If you wanted to make voidform into a cooldown like that then you'd really have to add a lot of spice to the shadow baseline rotation.

05/28/2018 05:38 AMPosted by Caesa
Multitarget is an entirely different beast, and just looking at Uldir for starters plenty of single target fights.
I know you said it's irrelevant, but I'm counting 1-2 single target fight and even that's a stretch.

05/28/2018 05:38 AMPosted by Caesa
but it most definetly is not inherently bad, just feels bad to those who can't get over the fact that it is unavoidable for this to happen unless you put every single ability in existance on a charge system.


There's a big difference between core rotational abilities clashing repeatedly, and delaying a 30+ second cooldown ability for 1 GCD.
Design wise this means the cooldown reduction is as close to obsolete as it can get (talking no SW:V): We are talking about numerical values that reach values far below of even a mere 1% dps gain.

The cooldown reduction on Voidform is essentially pointless both in gameplay and in numbers. (unless you are specced SW:V)

[/quote]
Yeah except that on single target that difference puts it above SW:V showing how much you are wrong about that half the time 1.5 CD reduction not mattering.

Also guess what decided to run the calcs with Shadow Crash too. SW:V reaches initial Void Form a GCD earlier, but past that it's behind in DPS and insanity generation still. I mean come on basic math you are increasing both sides with the close to same number, you won't change much except technically lower the percentage difference a bit. Let's not even discuss Dark Void as that occours even less often and has even less of a DPS impact with it not even being Instant.

For multitarget the results are the same, you don't have to refresh DoTs often enough even after duration nerfs to meningfully replace enough MF casts, or you have to DoT up multiple seperated adds in quick succession eating into your non filler rotation. As for the comment on Uldir bosses, nah there is no fight where a consistent multi target is present, in most cases the adds have to die extremely quickly, and in the cases where they live longer the boss is not really damagable. Sure not many 100% single target ones, but there ain't no Hounds or Coven with consistent upkeep.

FotM is better and with the current mastery it will continue to improve. Any problems mobility might cause can be played around by limiting personal movement, and if S2M's design actually works out, it might just be successfully picked for any fights where that is not possible.

Honestly I am not against 2 charges, I just hate the feels bad excuse given, when it even in arguments made here is generally a request to do more damage. Frankly they can change SW:V's effect to baseline, considering how I see FotM as always overpowering SW:V it'd be probably for the best and bring back SW:V as a seperate button talent for the rotation that does something meaningful rather than generate Insanity like in Legion.

Frankly both SW:V and Shadowy Insight are abilities that could and probably should be baseline, instead of being subpar choices on the talent tree that will likely end up not picked over a flat damage and insanity gen boost.
Honestly I am not against 2 charges, I just hate the feels bad excuse given, when it even in arguments made here is generally a request to do more damage


....but, wasnt the point of the "feels bad excuse" in the Fury example given the exact same request (as seen by the dev) to do more damage?

Aside from that, isn't the argument "doing more damage" kind of synonymous with "smooth rotation" in this situation?
As a separate thought (yes I know it's too late in this cycle, but something for the future) perhaps the massive divide between desired playstyles should/could be handled with a 4th spec.

No, stop and hear me out.

This actually could fit more than just to stop the infighting in the, currently, extremely contentious shadow community. This fits thematically.

Void priests can continue to follow the old gods, tentacles, insanity, etc.

Shadow priests can profess to believe that it's not the old gods who corrupted the 'dark' naaru. They can become the epitome of the dark archangel theme so many have asked for. The beautiful devils.

This makes much more sense in reality. Holy priests following the true path of the light. Discipline priests using the darkness judiciously to do what the truly holy can't. Dark void priests who work toward active destruction. And shadow priests who, in their vain delusions, doing the wrong things for the 'right' reasons.
05/28/2018 11:45 AMPosted by Wyrna
Honestly I am not against 2 charges, I just hate the feels bad excuse given, when it even in arguments made here is generally a request to do more damage


....but, wasnt the point of the "feels bad excuse" in the Fury example given the exact same request (as seen by the dev) to do more damage?

Aside from that, isn't the argument "doing more damage" kind of synonymous with "smooth rotation" in this situation?

I don't have to agree with dev choices, if that was a disqualification to having an opinion then the whole forum may as well be purged. Also they were on 2 charges live too, they reference it merely to an experimentation on taking it off charges.

If people cared so much about a smooth rotation over damage, then FotM being slightly better should be completely fine.

And most importantly, no smoothness does not equate to damage. Any class with procs that reset cooldowns or change rotation are DPS increases but lead to disruptions in rotations, yet are seen as desirable by some to make rotations less boring.(as long as a spec isn't entirely dependant on procs to perform at all).

To put it in the terms of Shadow, I want Void Form to feel like a meaningful damage increase from base, but I also want it to be more complex than hitting the same 3 buttons for a minute. Even without the belt Shadow was probably the smoothest spec in all legion due to the simplicity of the 3 button rotation, and the only reason it was difficult was the extreme difference between being forced out of an ideal length VF and the fact every single mess up had an effect on the next two Void Forms at least. Point is smoothness is not a damage increase, just as SW:V isn't because it's not a 100% upgrade over MB like the belt was.

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