State of Shadow, 8.1 Edition

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It's bad when someone is passionate enough to sit here and just type a book about the current problems with their class / character. I have spent a good what 12-13 years playing wow and this is the first time that I have ever felt so lost about what to do. I don't want to level something else and feel as disappointed as I am about this.
10/17/2018 12:28 PMPosted by Hpellipsis
New build up. No direct mechanical or tuning changes to shadow, but we do have some updated Azerite traits. These are.

-Thought Harvester (New) Vampiric Touch damage is increased by 21, and each time Vampiric Touch deals damage you have a chance to increase the damage of your next Mind Sear within 20 sec by 300%.

-Searing Dialogue. Mind Sear deals an additional 80 damage to enemies suffering from your Shadow Word: Pain.and snares all enemies hit by 30%.

-Whispers of the Damned. Shadow Word: Void deals 96 additional damage and generates 10
additional Insanity on critical strikes.


Personally not minding them, though I do wish the sear slow was just baseline instead of being baked into the Azerite system.
Searing Dialogue is still garbage. A slow has to be reliable. The slow is only active when channeling Sear, which hardly happens. The trait is dead, and will stay dead.

Whispers of the Damned is boring and pointless. Insanity does not matter, therefore the trait will never matter, even less so if it's tied to some random crit proc. Even worse, crit is already one of the two good shadow stats, so adding more stuff to crit is further questionable.

Thought Harvester is strange? Single-target, you'll occasionally replace Channel button A with Channel Button B, more annoying then anything. In Dungeons, it will hardly change how you play (you might throw out a VT when specced DA, yay)

What shall we make out of these traits? Buff Insanity generation when it doesn't matter? Add a slow to a spell we hardly channel? Add a proc that is hovering between annoyance and not changing gameplay?

I mean, Legion Legendaries already have shown us how little imagination shadow had with gameplay changing procs. That trend seems to continue in BfA, and honestly, that's because the Shadow toolkit overall has extremely little room for gameplay changing effects (if you have to fall back to useing Mind Sear...)
10/17/2018 01:29 PMPosted by Aimou
Anyone actually play the new build? Mining is still on-going so might be changes unless you've already played and found none.


I tried but apparently hearthing to the main city just crashes your game atm.
Honestly I couldn't care less about Azerite traits when the spec is so absurdly broken. Putting rims, decals, and a spoiler on a turd is still a turd.
10/17/2018 03:59 PMPosted by Kaesebrezen
Thought Harvester is strange? Single-target, you'll occasionally replace Channel button A with Channel Button B, more annoying then anything.


I wouldn't say that. It's probably not got the highest proc rate, and the buff lasts a long time. It's a back pocket burst that you can game / play around a bit on fights like Fetid and Zek Voz. Something I'd say is very welcome for the spec.

The implementation is weird, but given the lack of design space in Azerite traits, it's probably the best way it could have been done.
Some pretty big (and much needed) QoL changes for MM in this build, and hope there's something similar on the way for Shadow.

Though confirmation (and even discussion) of any such changes would be very welcome for the SPriest community.
I was testing some stuff out on my warlock just dinged it a few weeks ago so its barely 318 or so and I was hitting up to 50k chaos bolts and sustaining a decent amount of damage but then my priest on the other hand at 359 struggles to hit over 25k on a mindblast when you are crit and mastery stacked because rng gods chose you to not get haste on any piece that drops. I am disappointed I guess.

Also if you compare my DH which with 3 buttons can pretty much do just about double my damage in every situation in a dungeon. What is our purpose what role do we fill right now.
With the recent blue thread on the much needed MM QoL changes, I (and I assume others) would love to see similar drops for other specs (including Shadow) on a regular basis.
10/17/2018 12:45 PMPosted by Hpellipsis
10/17/2018 12:30 PMPosted by Glastian
Here’s how I imagined Heat based Insanity. Toggle between Voidform and Shadowform.

Voidform hits harder, but generates Insanity. All cast times double at 100% Insanity. Only Void Eruption ignores this.

Shadowform has the classic Vampiric aura going on constantly. Insanity depletes in Shadowform. Vampiric aura ceases when at 0 Insanity.

10% Damage reduction is present in both forms. And additional 10% physical damage reduction is present while in Shadowform.

Void bolt can die in a hole.

BOOM. I gave you a free starting point for Shadow Priest.

IF we wanted, we could make the toggle from Void to Shadow at 100 Insanity trigger a Void Eruption. And the toggle from Shadow to Void at 0 Insanity trigger a massive AoE heal.


So, if I've got this right.

Keep 2 dots up on target.
Mind blast on cooldown.
Mind flay filler.

And all the resource does is lead you to press shadowform when your insanity gets to 95, and otherwise your rotation is literally just blast and flay?


Good catch. I forgot to mention I should like to see devouring plate brought back, and SW:Death baseline again. I haven’t played much Shadow during BfA, mostly just getting my news from the forum. We always did have most of our damage come from dots in the past though (face melt much) so maybe I’m underestimating the importance of void bolt. I’d rather just have our dots be be a prevalent source of damage though. With the periodic nuke of Mind Blast and mind flat as a filler, and SW:Death as an additional button during execution phases, that rounds up how it was in the past.

And if you wanted to try to get Insanity to constantly hug the top of the bar, you’re pretty much asking us to sacrifice half of our gcds for toggling Voidform off and on. Hardly exciting gameplay either.
10/17/2018 09:36 PMPosted by Glastian
<span class="truncated">...</span>

So, if I've got this right.

Keep 2 dots up on target.
Mind blast on cooldown.
Mind flay filler.

And all the resource does is lead you to press shadowform when your insanity gets to 95, and otherwise your rotation is literally just blast and flay?


Good catch. I forgot to mention I should like to see devouring plate brought back, and SW:Death baseline again. I haven’t played much Shadow during BfA, mostly just getting my news from the forum. We always did have most of our damage come from dots in the past though (face melt much) so maybe I’m underestimating the importance of void bolt. I’d rather just have our dots be be a prevalent source of damage though. With the periodic nuke of Mind Blast and mind flat as a filler, and SW:Death as an additional button during execution phases, that rounds up how it was in the past.

And if you wanted to try to get Insanity to constantly hug the top of the bar, you’re pretty much asking us to sacrifice half of our gcds for toggling Voidform off and on. Hardly exciting gameplay either.


I've addressed this before, but while there's no snapshot, and we have pandemic, there's no realistic way to make dot management feel engaging :/

Wrath / cata shadow holds a special place in many people's hearts, but a lot of what made it feel rewarding was systems not directly built into the class.

Agreed on your comment about hugging the top of the bar, but that's really more a floor of needing to invest gcds to toggle in / out.

Tldr is I like the sentiment of your design, and ultimately do miss a time when we had devouring plague as an ST dot etc, but bringing all that feeling back requires more than just leaving the core rotation at 'Maintain dots, blast on cd, flay filler'. It'd also take away our only good movement gcd, having every 3rd global in vf be instant is a god send for movement and entirely necessary in this new era of raid design.

EDIT: Of course in any long term shadow rework, I'd want SW:D baseline and an ST only DoT (May or may not be called Devouring Plague) as at least a talent, but these kind of "Scrap everything go back to wrath" style designs focused entirely on dot management just don't hold up with modern systems.
I look forward to significant changes for Spriest in 8.1.

I want to give blizz some ideas, but without any engagement with the community on issues that you acknowledge are looking to change it is hard to provide constructive feedback.

The first changes I would definitely look to implement is a stronger way to refresh our dots (like legion's void bolt) and a more interesting way to spread them (like mindflaying a target effected with dots, spreads to two others, could also refresh).

Mindsear is yawn (although I missed it when it was gone), maybe consider reworking void eruption to be on a CD, nerf it, and allow us to kind of 'pulse' AOE in the middle of our rotation.

The most important thing you should do is make SW:Death baseline and far more impactful. It is often the last 30% of a fight is where we 'caught up' to the other classes in raid encounters (single Target anyway) but we can't do that at the moment. Wet
.. noodle...

Blizz I don't know what you should do, but I have always played Spriest - it's current state is really demoralising. Give groups a reason to bring a Spriest, right now our best commodity is PW: Fortitude... Lol
A cool change would be if the spriest is at max health, have the heal from vampiric touch go to all members of the raid/party. Basically turn it into an ability like yseras gift. I miss the days of being able to help heal my group up or provide some form of utility.
I'm still confused as to why in the hell they removed SW:D from baseline?
My guess? They couldn't think of what to do for a talent in that row to match with twist of fates execution style damage increase so they tried to make it so you'd have to spec into single target execution damage vs consistent damage vs aoe burst damage. They were trying to make the talent row more signifigant but just ended up destroying what little unique things the class had going for it.
10/18/2018 07:17 AMPosted by Hushkawnek
I'm still confused as to why in the hell they removed SW:D from baseline?
What has been said at some point i think:

- Warrior's fantasy is execute, and noone else shall have it baseline
- Shadow has so much "going on" baseline, SW:D wasn't really necessary.

Pick your favourite!
Warriors class fantasy isnt execute its hitting that mofo with a big weapon.
Just randomly thinking why dont they just make death baseline and make the talent the legendary cloak proc that gives you a execute regardless of health at a higher damage that would compete with twist of fate for sure.
10/18/2018 09:30 AMPosted by Maybeitsroxx
Just randomly thinking why dont they just make death baseline and make the talent the legendary cloak proc that gives you a execute regardless of health at a higher damage that would compete with twist of fate for sure.

Well if they gave death back it would be in a different row than twist of fate. The open talent would be in the auspicious/shadow crash row. And then you'd still run into the issue that we have in the first talent row of who in their right mind would choose an rng death proc over the other two talents. The only way would be if it had a high ppm rate in which case it would nulify the other choices. I would rather see death baseline and then as devouring plague back in that talent spot. Then we would have a clear stacked multi-target, spread multi-target, amd single target choice that makes sense.
10/18/2018 07:54 AMPosted by Kaesebrezen
10/18/2018 07:17 AMPosted by Hushkawnek
I'm still confused as to why in the hell they removed SW:D from baseline?
What has been said at some point i think:

- Warrior's fantasy is execute, and noone else shall have it baseline
- Shadow has so much "going on" baseline, SW:D wasn't really necessary.

Pick your favourite!


Part of the alleged issue was SWD should be impactful enough to deserve a spot on the spec and anything providing negligible benefit, should be thought about and buffed/changed or maybe cut.

Of course we see SW:D was cut but nothing was implemented in its place. While I'm not a fan of SW:D, the way it was handled was very poor.
10/18/2018 10:40 AMPosted by Presance
<span class="truncated">...</span>What has been said at some point i think:

- Warrior's fantasy is execute, and noone else shall have it baseline
- Shadow has so much "going on" baseline, SW:D wasn't really necessary.

Pick your favourite!


Part of the alleged issue was SWD should be impactful enough to deserve a spot on the spec and anything providing negligible benefit, should be thought about and buffed/changed or maybe cut.

Of course we see SW:D was cut but nothing was implemented in its place. While I'm not a fan of SW:D, the way it was handled was very poor.


Blizz massively misjudged the value of insanity generation compared to the value of orb generation in WoD. Insanity as a resource is incredibly strange, and was even moreso in Legion, because the actual damage value of the resource skews drastically based on when in the Voidform cycle its generated.

Outside of Voidform it might have a static value.

That value plummets early on in Voidform when you're heavily saturated with insanity.

It then spikes again around the mid stages where insanity generation is helping to push back mindbender or just keep you in a while longer with medium drain.

In the later stages of Voidform, the value of that insanity plummets again, because the drain is so high that additional insanity generation doesn't buy you a noticeable amount of time in Voidform.


This overly complex system (From a developing / tuning end) lead to an ability that couldn't perform its role in WoD of providing a significant pacing change to the rotation. One extra Shadow Orb per death did a lot in WoD, it shook up priorities and provided a massive damage spike from the additional devouring plagues, that's the role SW:D was supposed to fill, and in Legion it fell drastically short of the mark.

What should have happened?
They should have looked at what could be done to a new, significantly neutered,
Voidform to provide a bit of "rotational shake-up" and rebuilt SW:D around that. Instead the ability's failure to provide what it had in the past was simply accepted, and moved to talents, where something of that type was less of a problem. At this point something should have really taken its place as an effective and interesting part of the baseline kit, this didn't happen.

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