Shadow Priest Changes in 8.1

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The next PTR build includes some changes to Shadow Priest with the following goals

some changes

some


That's it?!?? No more changes for the rest of time??
Looking through all the changes and running some quick numbers I see it as highly likely that the buffs to Shadow Priest dots that happened a while back are likely going to be reverted. Probably not till a week or two after it goes live though, that way it can affect the most number of people.

On the other hand, I would like to say THANK YOU to Blizzard. They posted the goal of why they were making the changes that they did and the changes (mostly) lined up with their stated goal. It means that these changes had more thought put into them than the typical shot in the dark hotfixes that not even Blizzard knew why they were making the change. Either way, whether I agree with the changes or not is mostly irrelevant, at least Blizzard had the decency to post a reasoning for them. Now if only they'd post a reasoning for ALL class changes in the future...
10/23/2018 07:50 AMPosted by Kaloran
toasting from another bread:

I am super unimpressed. Maybe the biggest buff there is focused will. Will it stack two times like it does on other specs? Or are we getting the nerfed disc version, where it only stacks once? Is this going to stack with edge of insanity? Because if it stacks twice, with edge of insanity, uh, that's going to be a whole hell of a lot of baseline DR. Combine that with the dispersion heal and movement speed and we could all of a sudden become super hard to kill. Edge of Insanity is a bad talent to even exist, though. Should stack twice and just get rid of edge of insanity.

The buff to dispersion DR, and the movement speed increase, and the new talent that gives it a heal is cool, but I'm worried that the movement speed isn't going to do much other than make melee burn a root or snare, in which case dispersion goes right back to being nearly as useless as it was before. I would have much rather seen the heal be baseline, and the movement speed be part of that talent row. Edit: I've used dispersion so little this expansion I totally forgot it makes you immune to movement impairment lol

This is a series of fairly large defensive and offensive buffs, which we needed as we were pretty seriously undertuned. But they didn't address the *basic mechanical problems* with the class. Rather than just buffing voidform, they needed to make mechanical changes. At the very, absolute least, void eruption needed to be decoupled from triggering voidform. They didn't do that.

This is going to make the class feel better, but I don't know if it's going to make the class feel any less clunky, and it's not going to change the fact that we're always going to be fluctuating wildly when it comes to balance.

Oh well. This is a definitive answer that we're not getting any mechanical changes for BFA. I'll stick around for 8.1 to see how it feels at least.

Let me add: I'm afraid this might actually OVERBUFF Shadow numbers-wise, *definitely* pvp-wise if they're going to keep edge of insanity and focused will stacks twice. But maybe this is their strategy. Cover up the mechanical clunkiness of the class by giving them good numbers.


With how long melee have dominated PvP, it seems only fair to have at least one clothie come out of the woodworks to take on the world of melee craft. Last expansion it was Affliction thanks to the Warcraft movie setting a class fantasy, and this expansion it might be shadow priests.

In the past, Shadow had a PvP identity of mixing pressure style damage with a ferocious blend of cc and tankiness. I for one welcome that identity back home where it belongs.
So, while the changes are welcome, they really do seem half-hearted. I like the survivability buff, I think - I'll have to try it and see. I would have preferred a snare, so mobs aren't beating on me all the time. The rest are just another way of giving us a dps buff. Nice to have, but don't address the mechanics of the spec.

Tier 15 - Shadow Word: Void still required due to not addressing the issue of Void Bolt and Mind Blast coming off CD at the same time. I like Shadowy Insight, but it remains far behind the other options. SW:V really should be baseline.

Tier 30 - now, we're forced to choose between mobility and healing. Shadow has no effective movement abilities, so B&S is required if we need to move. Maybe Mania should just be made baseline here? Shadow needs some sort of baseline mobility.

Tier 45 - Twist of Fate just doesn't belong here. An execute talent competing against two AoE talents makes no sense.

Tier 60 - no major issues here, though Mind Bomb is weak and should have remained a stun.

Tier 75 - Same as every other shadow priest - Shadow Word: Death should be baseline. At the very least, it's in the wrong place. Why is a ST execute sharing a row with two AoE talents? This is totally contrary to Blizzard's own stated design goals.

Tier 90 - We'll see how this sims out, so not sure yet. However, Mindbender seems required to make shadowfiend be useful at all. Shadowfiend has to be the most useless CD in the game. If it's this weak, it should have a much shorter CD.

Tier 100 - Why is S2M even a thing? Let it go, already.

Ultimately, for me, the big misses by Blizzard are the failure to fix the MB/VB issue and SW:D, along with a failure to give any sort of useful utility that would make shadow wanted in M+ or raids. Even if SW:D isn't baseline, it shouldn't be competing with two AoE talents. This seems like a minimalist approach to the spec that shouldn't have had to wait months to implement.
Honestly you guys were heading in the right direction with the short void forms and very slight dmg buff being inside of it, i felt like the problem was just spell damage outside of voidform needed to be buffed and maybe cooldowns slightly adjusted because the rotation kind of could get abit wierd at times. In legion i was useless in dungeons because i was useless unless i was in voidform and had quite a few stacks, these changes are heading us back in that direction... that playstyle was great for raiding but overall not great for other content. I was really hoping for just an outrageous buff to all abilities especially our dots and having voidform as a burst aoe ability and not needing to keep it up just to do relevant damage. I mean no doubt its a buff, just really surprised u guys decided to head back in the direction you were trying to get away from.
I expected voidform and insanity removed! I was wrong! :(
10/22/2018 07:58 PMPosted by Olluul
Was hoping theyd just admit Voidform is not really fun and redesign or shelve it.


Please speak only for yourself. In my opinion raid fights in Legion were a ton of fun as shadow because of voidform. Pumping every second out of it while your dots' damage was increased by huge amounts thanks to mass hysteria, owning multi target fights, triggering sepphuz / mindbender / PI at the right time to maximize VF duration all took focus, skill, knowledge of fights and sitations. Also loved the high apm requirement to dot everything and cast spells with high haste levels.
It had huge flaws like sucking everywhere else (maybe xcept super high m+, but even there weaker than most other classes), but the concept itself provided me immense fun through raids.
It was the reason I started playing shadow in Legion and BfA was the reason I stopped.

Now I understand that many people were used to shadow's playstyle from before and they didn't like voidform and felt like their class has been redesigned despite their wishes, but don't for a second think that voidform isn't fun if is executed well. Different people, different playstyles, and there would definitely be great fixes to make voidform great again. I don't claim to know them (I obviously have ideas) but I'm pretty sure there are. Would they satisfy old school shadow players who hate VF? I doubt it, but at the end of the day you can always play another class that suits your playstyle better, like I'm doing right now, but I agree this is a very sad, irritating solution and feels awful.

I just wanted to share how VF had it's great moments, and it is not a completely flawed concept
I appreciate the changes being made for Shadow Priests in 8.1, but there are still 2 things I'd like to see changed for Shadow Priests in addition to what has already been proposed:

1) Out-of-combat & not in Voidform, Insanity should regenerate to 100 at a rate of 30 Insanity per second (in combat and/or while in Voidform, Insanity generation/drain rate would be unchanged from how it currently works). Overall, this allows Shadow Priests to begin almost every combat encounter by immediately entering Voidform - solving a major ramping issue for a class that has two ramps to reach full damage (those ramps being DoT application and Voidform entry).

2) I'd still like to see an alternative talent that allows Shadow Priests to opt out of the Voidform playstyle altogether. Something that gives access to Void Eruption and Void Bolt at all times, but makes them cost/drain Insanity when used (so that Shadow Priests still have something to spend their Insanity resource on). This change would allow Shadow Priests to be more in control of their resources (like other classes are), should a Shadow Priest opt in to this playstyle-changing talent.
10/22/2018 07:14 PMPosted by Seph
Void Torrent generates 30 Insanity over its duration and deals 20% increased damage. Additionally, no longer requires Voidform to cast, so you can choose to use it on a priority damage target at any time.

Void Torrent generating insanity is pointless and a waste of budgeting the talent in normal cases. Normally you want to Torrent as soon as possible to start the drain stacks at a lower level to your Voidform stacks. Scenarios when Void Torrent's insanity gen is useful is mentioned in this post: and that is when you are outside Voidform.

This provides incentive to use it out of Voidform while having the user being punished by not using it outside, since they aren't gaining any stacks and therefore Void Bolts or extending the Voidform to reach a longer cycle.

Void Torrent, even with the buff, does less DPET (with Mastery) than Void Bolt and Mind Blast, and only competes with the spells due to the insanity drain and gen and lengthening Voidform. This was also somewhat true in Legion, however Mass Hysteria existed, so lengthening Voidform mattered for damage instead of just maintaining length to sync cooldowns.

As such, Void Torrent should be budgeted with damage and not insanity, since that part is wasted under optimal use. And if Blizzard wishes for it to be used outside of Voidform (which is wrong in all cases besides an error on the player's part), then there should be insanity gen under that circumstance competing with comparable damage gain in Voidform.

TL;DR The insanity generation on Void Torrent is wasted when used in Voidform, which is part of the budget of this talent. Insanity gen should exist outside of Voidform, with sufficient damage increase in Voidform to incentivize proper usage and provide a nuke ability.
These aren't changes! They're just numbers tuning. Why exactly did we have to wait six months for basically nothing, that will no doubt get nerfed in a hotfix a week later?
I just wanted to share how VF had it's great moments, and it is not a completely flawed concept


yes, but you admitted yourself that outside of raiding (and i would add) unranked instanced PVP, Void Form was kind of useless.

i don't think the majority of Shadow Priests hate the Void Form concept - i think the majority hates the feast or famine that it creates because of the mechanical way it was implemented, and then a lot of us dislike the adjustments to the design in BFA. we all know how the BFA design played out, but the fact that they're moving back towards making Void Form MORE impactful is something i don't recall hearing that many SPs clamoring for, outside of a handful of raiders who miss the Legion ramp for 30 minutes and then do good damage.

i actually think Void Form is a fantastic concept, tho the addition of Void Elves cheapened it, and Shadow as a whole for me, personally. the mechanics just don't make a lot of sense, and the abilities don't synergize particularly well, if at all, and in sometimes are COUNTER intuitive, and that hasn't been addressed.

we have seen a LOT of good suggestions on how to make Void Form "FUN" - which is supposedly the ultimate driving force in development. even buffing a class to be the best DPS in the game (which isnt what i think any of this does, anyway) doesnt make a class FUN, unless your ONLY concern and enjoyment comes from meters.
What are other people rerolling to? Having trouble deciding, because so many classes in BFA feel like crap.
I’m a bit disappointed in these changes, as someone who only plays Shadow I very well might be quitting until it’s fixed. Why is SW:D still a talent? Why is STM still a talent? Why not implement procs to make our spec more fun? I agree that void form should be impactful if it has to stay, but why not just make it a cool down like combustion and have certain abilities reduce the CD? That would be far more interesting, it’s super contradictory to make us stay in VF longer now, because now it’ll definitely make us useless in mythic +. And most importantly, where are the tentacles?? If it’s an old god themed spec then give us some of them Old God looking spell animations. It’s honestly so much more boring looking now, I don’t even get to see my mind blast, voidbolt just looks like a slightly cooler shadowbolt... this spec could by far be the coolest and most fun to play spec in the game but we’ll never get there if we wait a whole patch to get a number fix and that’s it... cmon guys, I wanna give you my money and play shadow again but as it is now I’ve lost faith.
10/23/2018 11:58 AMPosted by Varatrix
I’m a bit disappointed in these changes, as someone who only plays Shadow I very well might be quitting until it’s fixed. Why is SW:D still a talent? Why is STM still a talent? Why not implement procs to make our spec more fun? I agree that void form should be impactful if it has to stay, but why not just make it a cool down like combustion and have certain abilities reduce the CD? That would be far more interesting, it’s super contradictory to make us stay in VF longer now, because now it’ll definitely make us useless in mythic +. And most importantly, where are the tentacles?? If it’s an old god themed spec then give us some of them Old God looking spell animations. It’s honestly so much more boring looking now, I don’t even get to see my mind blast, voidbolt just looks like a slightly cooler shadowbolt... this spec could by far be the coolest and most fun to play spec in the game but we’ll never get there if we wait a whole patch to get a number fix and that’s it... cmon guys, I wanna give you my money and play shadow again but as it is now I’ve lost faith.


Procs...I’ve wanted surge of darkness back for so long. :,(
10/23/2018 11:09 AMPosted by Moonshayde
So, while the changes are welcome, they really do seem half-hearted. I like the survivability buff, I think - I'll have to try it and see. I would have preferred a snare, so mobs aren't beating on me all the time. The rest are just another way of giving us a dps buff. Nice to have, but don't address the mechanics of the spec.

Tier 15 - Shadow Word: Void still required due to not addressing the issue of Void Bolt and Mind Blast coming off CD at the same time. I like Shadowy Insight, but it remains far behind the other options. SW:V really should be baseline.

Tier 30 - now, we're forced to choose between mobility and healing. Shadow has no effective movement abilities, so B&S is required if we need to move. Maybe Mania should just be made baseline here? Shadow needs some sort of baseline mobility.

Tier 45 - Twist of Fate just doesn't belong here. An execute talent competing against two AoE talents makes no sense.

Tier 60 - no major issues here, though Mind Bomb is weak and should have remained a stun.

Tier 75 - Same as every other shadow priest - Shadow Word: Death should be baseline. At the very least, it's in the wrong place. Why is a ST execute sharing a row with two AoE talents? This is totally contrary to Blizzard's own stated design goals.

Tier 90 - We'll see how this sims out, so not sure yet. However, Mindbender seems required to make shadowfiend be useful at all. Shadowfiend has to be the most useless CD in the game. If it's this weak, it should have a much shorter CD.

Tier 100 - Why is S2M even a thing? Let it go, already.

Ultimately, for me, the big misses by Blizzard are the failure to fix the MB/VB issue and SW:D, along with a failure to give any sort of useful utility that would make shadow wanted in M+ or raids. Even if SW:D isn't baseline, it shouldn't be competing with two AoE talents. This seems like a minimalist approach to the spec that shouldn't have had to wait months to implement.

Very well said!

The changes are nice, but they won't fix how bad Shadow "feels" to play in it's current iteration. You put my thoughts down in a way I never would be able to.
I don't think I've ever posted on the wow forums but had to log in just to vent frustration.

These only change the numbers, not the playstyle.

Not the frustration of void bolt and mind blast coming off CD at the same time, and the fact you basically just become a turret spamming those two DD abilities in VF instead of the face-melting dot caster we were for a decade.

Not the hole in our core spec left where SW:D used to be before we needed shadow crash to be viable in much content.

Still no utility in M+. Why isn't Mind Bomb a stun? How does PW:S + VE compare with, for example, ret WOG, BOP and LOH? The former takes some pressure off a healer, the latter has 3 buttons that save a wipe.

Did you not read the feedback? Voidform in its current iteration is fundamentally broken. It doesn't need a numbers pass. It needs changes to the class' core rotation and how it interacts with talents. Core talents, notably SW:D and the lack of 2-charge MB, need to be baseline.

I've been waiting for weeks holding out hope 8.1 could save the class, and with it my interest in this expansion after raiding as a spriest on and off since Kara. This doesn't even scratch the surface.

The simplest way to explain my frustration is this: none of the changes above will change which buttons a spriest presses and when (other than maybe void torrent). Currently pressing those buttons SUCKS, feels incredibly frustrating and hollow. Changing the numbers we see on the target without changing the buttons we're pressing doesn't change how the spec feels.
10/23/2018 11:58 AMPosted by Varatrix
I’m a bit disappointed in these changes, as someone who only plays Shadow I very well might be quitting until it’s fixed. Why is SW:D still a talent? Why is STM still a talent? Why not implement procs to make our spec more fun? I agree that void form should be impactful if it has to stay, but why not just make it a cool down like combustion and have certain abilities reduce the CD? That would be far more interesting, it’s super contradictory to make us stay in VF longer now, because now it’ll definitely make us useless in mythic +. And most importantly, where are the tentacles?? If it’s an old god themed spec then give us some of them Old God looking spell animations. It’s honestly so much more boring looking now, I don’t even get to see my mind blast, voidbolt just looks like a slightly cooler shadowbolt... this spec could by far be the coolest and most fun to play spec in the game but we’ll never get there if we wait a whole patch to get a number fix and that’s it... cmon guys, I wanna give you my money and play shadow again but as it is now I’ve lost faith.


If we're going for aesthetics, I really wish they'd give us a void-themed shield. With, preferably, more damage absorption, a longer cooldown, and some sort of effect if someone dispels it from us or if someone hits us while in it.

Or, another possibility, buff our vampiric talents and then just get rid of our ability to shield. Let disc be the shield spammer.
10/23/2018 11:52 AMPosted by Waywithwords
What are other people rerolling to? Having trouble deciding, because so many classes in BFA feel like crap.
I'm playing Death Knight at level 120 for now. All 3 DK specs are quite useful for various activities in the game, but you do have to be willing to play a melee class.
10/23/2018 11:52 AMPosted by Waywithwords
What are other people rerolling to? Having trouble deciding, because so many classes in BFA feel like crap.


Playing fire/frost mage does quite good
Not happy with losing Mania. It seems like intangibility should be replacing pure shadow as a pvp talent.

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