Shadow Priest Changes in 8.1

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Faction changed because I couldn't find a home on alliance I don't really mind either side. It's hard to shop for a mythic guild when you didn't do anything relevant this xpac yet.
Ah yes, I meant faction changed. Good luck finding a new home for progression on Horde!
The dumbest thing is I tried to think about what changes really made Shadow Priests feel really good to play, what were the milestone improvements that made Shadow epic, and they weren't class changes... They were mechanical changes for all classes.

3.0 The End of Burning Crusade when they removed most of hybrid penalities and normalised damage to 10% within the core dps classes... in Black Temple made you feel like a new hero.

3.3 Bought Haste scaling for DoT classes, that changed our status from a depressing mess that was benched at the Argent Tournament (3.2 sucked) and we got front row seats to Icecrown Citadel and melted Lich Kings face..

4.0 when they made DoTs Crit and allowed clip recasting... Icecrown was epic especially the first few weeks when Shadow Apparition army proccing off every crit they had to roll back the proc rate. :P

At the end of the day, the Shadow Priest is the same class but Blizzard panics in the 11th hour of the Beta class building and throws something weird into the mix like a new resource mechanic or another gimmick... (especially since Shadow Priest didn't get a second or balance pass in BfA beta)

They need to stop that sandbox style of class design and sit down and work the class and see the underlying problem for what it is. (especially with dot classes that have a huge build up and sluggish resource spends), cause when they see that problem under the game code, big changes happen!!!
11/07/2018 01:15 AMPosted by Dirtymind
The dumbest thing is I tried to think about what changes really made Shadow Priests feel really good to play, what were the milestone improvements that made Shadow epic, and they weren't class changes... They were mechanical changes for all classes.

3.0 The End of Burning Crusade when they removed most of hybrid penalities and normalised damage to 10% within the core dps classes... in Black Temple made you feel like a new hero.

3.3 Bought Haste scaling for DoT classes, that changed our status from a depressing mess that was benched at the Argent Tournament (3.2 sucked) and we got front row seats to Icecrown Citadel and melted Lich Kings face..

4.0 when they made DoTs Crit and allowed clip recasting... Icecrown was epic especially the first few weeks when Shadow Apparition army proccing off every crit they had to roll back the proc rate. :P

At the end of the day, the Shadow Priest is the same class but Blizzard panics in the 11th hour of the Beta class building and throws something weird into the mix like a new resource mechanic or another gimmick... (especially since Shadow Priest didn't get a second or balance pass in BfA beta)

They need to stop that sandbox style of class design and sit down and work the class and see the underlying problem for what it is. (especially with dot classes that have a huge build up and sluggish resource spends), cause when they see that problem under the game code, big changes happen!!!


Yeah and our buildup is kinda worthless to me.
11/07/2018 05:53 AMPosted by Maybeitsroxx

Yeah and our buildup is kinda worthless to me.


The only reason any ramp-up is ever worthwhile is when you can say,

"Sure, Shadowpriests do lower DPS on world mobs and small dungeon trash pulls because their ramp-up is longer than the combat duration. But when they have time to ramp-up on Tyrannical Mythic+ weeks and raid progression, Shadowpriests are the best!"

That should be how that trade-off plays out. Instead, we suck on short fights, and on long fights we ramp-up to below average DPS.

So yea, our ramp-up has no interesting trade-off, no redeeming quality. We just suck, and they point to ramp-up as being part of why that's justified - but it has no upside.
The other problem with ramp-up is world content. We get a nice aura nerf, meaning it now takes longer to kill mobs. The survivability "buff" was basically a wash, since you now have to be damaged before you get any bonus. So, now we are basically still face-tanking mobs with a weak shield and weak damage resitance as our only defense.
Ramp is a terrible mechanic where top end dps has to be balanced, because it offers absolutely no upside at the cost of significant downside.

What causes the ramp? 2 things.

1: Increasing drain. As we spend more resources per second, we have to deal more damage per second to justify the increased resource cost. Meaning dps goes up over time in Voidform. A static drain wouldn't have this inherent problem, but you'd also need to change the spells and nature of Voidform significantly (Make some of them into insanity spenders, add / change spells in Voidform) to prevent players from indefinitely staying in Voidform.

2: Gated entry. Voidform can only be accessed at 90 (Talented 60) insanity or more. This wouldn't be so much of a problem, if almost all of shadow's potential aoe burst wasn't gated behind the entry to Voidform. And ultimately "reverse gated" by having to leave and re enter Voidform again to burst something if you were already in Voidform when it spawned.

These two things massively hold back Voidform's current take on stance based resource spending, and have lead so many people to despise it.
11/08/2018 06:06 AMPosted by Hpellipsis
Ramp is a terrible mechanic where top end dps has to be balanced, because it offers absolutely no upside at the cost of significant downside.

What causes the ramp? 2 things.

1: Increasing drain. As we spend more resources per second, we have to deal more damage per second to justify the increased resource cost. Meaning dps goes up over time in Voidform. A static drain wouldn't have this inherent problem, but you'd also need to change the spells and nature of Voidform significantly (Make some of them into insanity spenders, add / change spells in Voidform) to prevent players from indefinitely staying in Voidform.

2: Gated entry. Voidform can only be accessed at 90 (Talented 60) insanity or more. This wouldn't be so much of a problem, if almost all of shadow's potential aoe burst wasn't gated behind the entry to Voidform. And ultimately "reverse gated" by having to leave and re enter Voidform again to burst something if you were already in Voidform when it spawned.

These two things massively hold back Voidform's current take on stance based resource spending, and have lead so many people to despise it.


My original thought had always been cap the max amount of stacks you can get into and lower the drain to something that you can consistently maintain. So instead of going in and out a lot the goal would be to just stay in voidform for all of the benefits of VF.

Obviously this would cause a few problems with some of our spells and they would have to be adjusted accordingly, same thing with talents. It would seem like that would make sense instead of fighting to get as many stacks as you can being forced to move and dropping immediately.

VF has many ways it can go as far as I can tell.
11/08/2018 06:26 AMPosted by Maybeitsroxx
My original thought had always been cap the max amount of stacks you can get into and lower the drain to something that you can consistently maintain. So instead of going in and out a lot the goal would be to just stay in voidform for all of the benefits of VF.


Really not a fan of this, from a conceptual point of view. I don't think Voidform's uptime should be more than say 70%

I'd rather focus on, if Voidform is to stay in some capacity in a reworked 9.0 shadow, removing the two aforementioned core issues which lead to the ramp / backloading, and making something legitimately compelling out of the mechanics you have left.
It seems like they want VF to be some sort of mini game inside the spec, I would be fine with an option to opt out of it. If it has to stay no matter what they need to fix the ramp and rotational problems. Ramp just hasn't worked out the way they planned and seems to be really bad for the M+ scene.
What if they removed the ramping drain from vf comepletely, and made it a flat % drain. Where the goal was just get into voidform and stay by constantly casting, only exiting when you can either no longer cast.

Now they'd have to remove the ramping haste and just give like a flat increase (if any increase at all). But that way voidform is impactful, the drain doesn't increase to the point that it's punishing enough to affect most heavy movement scenarios, and it's easier to balance around because you can assume for 90% of a fight the priest would be in voidform. Basically instead of being a resource gen/spender, you are just a pure generator and want to keep casting as much as possible to always stay in vf.

Now that would require a ton of talents to be redone some, like lingering insanity or surrender, but man would that be nice. Not to be punished by heavy movement, not have insane haste scaling to have to deal with for balancing issues, and to have a meaningful reason to keep casting while in voidform, adding some fun mechanics of how do I stay in during x movement period.

Or you could go another step further, completely eliminate voidform, and make it so insanity has a constant but low drain rate. Almost like a reverse energy. And your dots scale damage % wise off the % insanity you are at. So like every 10% of your insanity bar is a 3 % increase in dot damage. So the goal would be to get to 90% insanity or above and stay to keep your dot damage up. Ths drain stays at a constant rate so as long as you are casting, you keep the increased dot damage. Void bolt becomes castable at 90% or higher insanity, or with lotv 60% or higher insanity. Dark ascension becomea a quick ramp tool casgable every 30 seconds as long as you are at 50 or less insanity and instantly brings you to 60 insanity.

Just something I was thinking about the past few weeks which could help solve scaling issues with voidform and make balancing easier. That being said, I flat out unsubbed so far. Devs just seem so disconnected from the community.
Unfortunately that idea seems to cause more problems.
11/08/2018 07:02 AMPosted by Aimou
What if they removed the ramping drain from vf comepletely, and made it a flat % drain. Where the goal was just get into voidform and stay by constantly casting, only exiting when you can either no longer cast.


At that point the resource bar is essentially a glorified timer that you can't interact with. I think that's possibly actually worse than what we have now.

11/08/2018 07:02 AMPosted by Aimou
Or you could go another step further, completely eliminate voidform, and make it so insanity has a constant but low drain rate. Almost like a reverse energy. And your dots scale damage % wise off the % insanity you are at. So like every 10% of your insanity bar is a 3 % increase in dot damage. So the goal would be to get to 90% insanity or above and stay to keep your dot damage up. Ths drain stays at a constant rate so as long as you are casting, you keep the increased dot damage. Void bolt becomes castable at 90% or higher insanity, or with lotv 60% or higher insanity. Dark ascension becomea a quick ramp tool casgable every 30 seconds as long as you are at 50 or less insanity and instantly brings you to 60 insanity.


That's heat. We've had multiple discussions about that already.
11/08/2018 07:40 AMPosted by Hpellipsis
11/08/2018 07:02 AMPosted by Aimou
What if they removed the ramping drain from vf comepletely, and made it a flat % drain. Where the goal was just get into voidform and stay by constantly casting, only exiting when you can either no longer cast.


At that point the resource bar is essentially a glorified timer that you can't interact with. I think that's possibly actually worse than what we have now.

11/08/2018 07:02 AMPosted by Aimou
Or you could go another step further, completely eliminate voidform, and make it so insanity has a constant but low drain rate. Almost like a reverse energy. And your dots scale damage % wise off the % insanity you are at. So like every 10% of your insanity bar is a 3 % increase in dot damage. So the goal would be to get to 90% insanity or above and stay to keep your dot damage up. Ths drain stays at a constant rate so as long as you are casting, you keep the increased dot damage. Void bolt becomes castable at 90% or higher insanity, or with lotv 60% or higher insanity. Dark ascension becomea a quick ramp tool casgable every 30 seconds as long as you are at 50 or less insanity and instantly brings you to 60 insanity.


That's heat. We've had multiple discussions about that already.


I mean you can't really interact with it in the current form either so not much of a huge difference lol. My version was just to male it easier to balance and less punishing in heavy movement/mechanical scenarios.

And yea it's kinda heat, but it's heat without a set cooling down style of mechanic. Most heat build always try to force the player into spending something or stopping casting so that they won't "over heat". This is just pure try to keep it up like the longer voidform fun legion had, but without the punishing drops.
That was the basic idea I was saying earlier. The ramp is one of the main problems,
the idea doesn't really completely fix the ramp problem though. You will still have to worry about pack to pack moments when you are basically going to drop out of VF anyways. Honestly if our dots actually hit harder a lot of this wouldn't be a problem. Atleast on trash in the higher keys you would see some drastic improvements damage wise. Not a huge fan of when I join a group and some frost mage can do like 2-3x my damage with a combination of blizzard and frozen orb. Meanwhile im casting dots on everything maybe 2 void erupts and sear. Seems to be a huge disconnect for us versus other classes.
11/08/2018 07:48 AMPosted by Aimou
This is just pure try to keep it up like the longer voidform fun legion had, but without the punishing drops.


11/08/2018 10:25 AMPosted by Maybeitsroxx
That was the basic idea I was saying earlier. The ramp is one of the main problems,
the idea doesn't really completely fix the ramp problem though. You will still have to worry about pack to pack moments when you are basically going to drop out of VF anyways.


I'm just very much against a mechanic with no ebb and flow to it, you just build to X, get there and maintaining it is very easy. Making a compelling design out of that would be difficult, and ultimately it has the same issue Voidform does now where no decisions are made based on your resource, and then very likely not based off anything.

You could argue shadow's lack of spell interaction, and bone idle single target rotation, stem from the fact that Voidform looks a lot more complex than it is from a player's point of view. This would be same sort of thing, something complex that ultimately isn't even relevant to the player because it doesn't create decisions.
11/08/2018 10:32 AMPosted by Hpellipsis
11/08/2018 07:48 AMPosted by Aimou
This is just pure try to keep it up like the longer voidform fun legion had, but without the punishing drops.


11/08/2018 10:25 AMPosted by Maybeitsroxx
That was the basic idea I was saying earlier. The ramp is one of the main problems,
the idea doesn't really completely fix the ramp problem though. You will still have to worry about pack to pack moments when you are basically going to drop out of VF anyways.


I'm just very much against a mechanic with no ebb and flow to it, you just build to X, get there and maintaining it is very easy. Making a compelling design out of that would be difficult, and ultimately it has the same issue Voidform does now where no decisions are made based on your resource, and then very likely not based off anything.

You could argue shadow's lack of spell interaction, and bone idle single target rotation, stem from the fact that Voidform looks a lot more complex than it is from a player's point of view. This would be same sort of thing, something complex that ultimately isn't even relevant to the player because it doesn't create decisions.


Oh I agree completely, I was just trying to take what we already had and make it easier to balance/perform well under heavy movement/mechanics scenarios without a full rework.

If it was up to me for a true wishlist, I'd just flat out remove voidform, bring back devouring plague and orbs similar to cata playstyle. That or wotlk was probably the most fun as shadow for me mechanics wise. But I just didn't see that happening haha. So was trying to find ways to male the current trainwreck more playable with tuning rather then a full rework based off mechanics already shown in the game.

Plus traditionally shadow wasn't really that complicated of a spec to play. If I go even farther back to what I'd want, I'd love just super hard hitting dots but less overall dps and a ton of ve group healing and a group spell damage buff/mana battery days back. I loved being more utility vs topping the meters. But I don't see that happening. So I'm done with the game for a bit haha.
11/06/2018 01:48 PMPosted by Merise
Give shadow a utility worth taking to mythic +, but not make it an op choice.

Our damage is not great, but it’s not bad either. If we get a 4-6% increase in damage (hopefully the changes will result in this), then all we need to be an option for mythic + is some utility unique or overlapping.

Unique ability - change current VE to 40% and make it a baseline smart heal for up to 5 players always on. Give Us a new 3 minute cooldown that increases it to 120% for 15 seconds. This will give us a strong healing utility in mythic + (5 players) while also providing a nice, but not OP, raid utility (20 players, but only 5 effected by smart heal) this gives shadow a unique utility. Tweet % as needed.

Not unique, but overlap. If blizzard doesn’t want to give us a unique utility, then give us cloak of shadows. It goes with our lore and gives groups two options for cloak.

One of these two items, plus. 4-5% damage increase, would fix the issue of us not getting into mythic+ or raids. I prefer a rework, to fix our actual problems, (remove void form), but if we can’t have that, then give us a utility and put us on a competitive dps playing field.

PS give holy priests a BRES as well to give them a utility worth bringing. Disc already brings damage and healing, although, I think the nerd is to much for mythic+ disc, but about right for raiding disc.

Thoughts?


Do this please, or overhaul us, which would be preferred, but if not that, just freaking give other classes the utility that makes the current classes so important to take. Give holy priest and resto sham brez, give shadow the above utility or cloak of shadows, give other classes bonus to hast or crit or something, but please don’t just leave us with the crap you propose, it will get us nothing, and most of us refuse to play another tier in this state.
11/08/2018 01:15 PMPosted by Aimou
Plus traditionally shadow wasn't really that complicated of a spec to play. If I go even farther back to what I'd want, I'd love just super hard hitting dots but less overall dps and a ton of ve group healing and a group spell damage buff/mana battery days back. I loved being more utility vs topping the meters. But I don't see that happening. So I'm done with the game for a bit haha.


Shadow's complexity came from overall game mechanics (Snapshotting, no pandemic, flay clipping). So the core spec didn't need anything more to be compelling. That's the main problem with going back to wrath or cata design, (on top of the fact turret gameplay doesn't really work with modern boss design).

11/08/2018 01:15 PMPosted by Aimou
But I just didn't see that happening haha. So was trying to find ways to male the current trainwreck more playable with tuning rather then a full rework based off mechanics already shown in the game.


That isn't a tuning change. That is a rework. It's not a very flashy one, but it's definitely out of the "Doable in a single patch" territory.

11/08/2018 01:29 PMPosted by Merise
just freaking give other classes the utility that makes the current classes so important to take.


Shadow should probably just have mass stealth honestly, it makes enough thematic sense, and it would put the spec in a position where people might actually want to bring it for dungeons.
If I could propose another Shadow redesign, which would really emphasize making interesting choices, it might be something like the below. The key goal is to have many ways to generate resource, and crucially, many ways to spend it: many to many.

Resource: Willpower, caps at 100

Baseline spells:

* Vampiric Touch - each tick adds 2 Willpower
* Shadow Word: Pain - each tick adds 2 Willpower
* Mind Flay - each tick adds 2 Willpower
* Mind Blast - each cast adds 15 Willpower
* Mind Sear - each target hit per tick adds 1 Willpower
* Shadow Word: Death - each cast adds 15 Willpower

Willpower
* NEW ability - Empowers your next baseline spell to greater effect, but costs Willpower, off the GCD

Empowered baseline spells:

Vampiric Touch becomes Vampiric Caress - Vampiric Caress ticks twice as quickly as Vampiric Touch, but lasts the same duration - Costs 15 Willpower

Shadow Word: Pain becomes Shadow Word: Suffer - SW: Suffer spreads to new targets with each tick - Costs 30 Willpower

Mind Flay becomes Mind War (Void Torrent) - Deals empowered damage over a 5 second duration - Costs 30 Willpower

Mind Blast becomes Mind Warp - additionally deals AOE damage within 8 yards - Costs 15 Willpower

Mind Sear becomes Psychic Domination - Mind Sear becomes a debuff on the target that AOEs Mind Sear damage for 10 seconds (allowing us to cast other spells when we would be channelling) - Costs 30 Willpower

Shadow Word: Death becomes Shadow Word: Oblivion - instant cast DoT that ticks faster the less health the target has - Costs 15 Willpower

Shadow Priest Mastery:

* NEW - Will To Power - your Will-empowered spells gain (scaling) % bonus crit chance, and your Will-producing attacks gain (scaling) % bonus haste (these scalings can be adjusted independently to balance tweak the spec, like the hidden damage auras)

Talent Tier Design: Each talent tier has a very specific focus (ex. AOE), and many talents generate or expend Willpower to manifest our will into reality.

AOE Tier:

* Dark Halo - No Cooldown - Costs 30 Willpower
* Shadow Crash - No Cooldown - Each costs 15 Willpower
* Void Eruption - No Cooldown - Costs 45 Willpower

Willpower Tier:

* Fathomless Will - You can pool up to 300 Willpower (allows you to prepare long cycles for future burst phases)
* Keen Mind - You gain (and retain) up to 30 Willpower when not casting for 3 seconds (including out of combat)
* Ascending Tempo - For every 1 Willpower you have unspent you gain 0.3% haste (encourages you to spend from the top, pooling energy and only spending when about to cap)

Vampiric Touch Tier:

* Eternal Hunger - Vampiric Touch is instant cast & lasts 6 seconds longer
* Insatiable - When Vampiric Touch expires, it applies Vampiric Touch to another target within 10 yards (preferring fresh targets)
* Gluttonous Thirst - Vampiric Touch can have 2 stacks

Mind Blast Tier:

* Psychic Aggression - Mind Blast generates 5 more Willpower & has 2 charges
* Quick Wit - Mind Blast is now instant cast & the cooldown is reduced by 33%
* Doomsayer - Mind Blast strikes a second target within 8 yards

Mind Flay Tier:

* Mind Flayer - Mind Flay becomes Mind Flayer a 1.5s cast time spell which spawns a Mind Flayer Tendril to channel Mind Flay for you (multiple casts spawn multiple tendrils)
* The Quickening - Mind Flay increases your Channel haste by 5% per tick, up to 50%, lasts 10 seconds (applies to Mind Flay, Mind Sear & Mind War (Empowered Mind Flay)
* Unlimited Power - Mind Flay richochets through additional nearby targets for reduced damage (Chain Lightning).

Note: You can either throw the keybind for Will To Power on your mouse to tap before empowering your baseline spells, or you could just make macros, ex.

1 = Vampiric Touch
Shift + 1 = /cast Will To Power, /cast Vampiric Touch = Vampiric Caress in one keybind - and just use Shift as a modifier key

So ya. Yet another harebrained full Shadow redesign, but it's the sort of redesign that would make the spec incredibly fun :D

(And therefore, will never happen)

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