Bring Insanity Drain Mechanic Back

As the title says, I would like to see a version of the insanity drain mechanic re-introduced to Shadow Priest (see Legion/BFA Shadow Priest for direct examples, or Frost DK “Breath Build” for a current one).

I’m not here to make a long and detailed list of how it would work or what would be incorporated, I just wanted to share the general feeling I have regarding one of the most fun specs I’ve played in WoW. I truly enjoyed the cadence that Insanity Drain brought to the class, and would love to see the dev team take a crack at resurrecting the play-style while iterating on and including the current tools that are unique to Shadow (Psychic Link, Shadowy Apparitions, Void Torrent, etc.).


I would trade away my option to play any other spec if they gave me back voidform.

That playstyle was so amazing. Butter smooth rotation that was just fun

Spending 90% of your time in voidform levitating around the room with tentacles was chefs kiss :weary::pinched_fingers:

This new 2min burst CD shadow feels like a mage. It’s nowhere near as good


Maybe in the minority, but +1 personally. I started Spriest in BFA and it was the funnest spec I have ever played. I loved the insanity drain + stacking haste buff. It felt amazing when you could keep it up for a while–frantically putting out whatever you could to build insanity on trash or bosses with an absurdly fast GCD. IIRC void torrent even paused the drain while channeling so you could wait for generators to come off cd? The fast paced and frenetic play style was insanely fun, and really fit my class fantasy for what a shadow priest/servant of the void/old gods ought to be.

Plus you just looked cool as hell floating around on your tentatcles!


Yes it did pause the drain. Dispersion also paused it.

I remember using dispersion on heroic N’Zoth as a way to keep up voidform rather than a defensive

I miss voidform so much. No other spec has even come close to grabbing my attention like legion/BFA shadow

Plus getting to use Void Eruption every pull was so visually pleasing. Those giant explosions of void bolts flying everywhere… now we get it once every 2 min and it’s so lame


Agreed. While I generally play whatever is better for what I am doing, I still prefer VE to Dark Ascension. It doesn’t have near the impact as the stacking haste depending on how long you could keep VF active though. The initial burst is cool, but then just always having your mastery + 10% feels completely underwhelming in comparison.

edit: personally this contributes to me missing mind sear, too. On aoe pulls (e.g. m+ trash) it made it a lot easier to sustain a longer VE.

As someone that was a huge fan of Legion Shadow, unfortunately I have to say no. People really forget just HOW UTTERLY TRASH that style of play was for most of the content and how dependent you were on things going just perfect or you fell off the face of the planet.

You were basically worthless in M+ because since your entire gameplay was situated around 100% uptime with only a single cooldown offering a 5 second break, You basically sat without using your primary function on trash. So you were a wet noodle outside boss fights. On top of that, the single strongest raid tool required you to die for it to work, and that got real old real fast.

The current situation for shadow is actually way better than before, while having less void form uptime sucks, you can do a lot wider range of content than before. And if they would LEAVE SHADOW DPS ALONE we would be in a really solid place.


The proposal should be to split out Void to a new spec. That way Shadow finally gets a proper identity while remaining similar to what it is now. The two concepts are suffocating its design at the moment.


Pre legion shadow was extremely fun and you had some complexity to it while feeling very smooth. The void form just feels backwards of what shadow used to be. The only real fix to this is separate shadow and void into two specs respectively. That way they’re not infusing the two completely different play styles trying to make two genres of shadow players happy.


Shadow now feels fine, pre overnerf anyway. I came back for Dragonflight after not really enjoying Shadowlands and the spec feels really solid and there’s not a ton of issues for me personally playing it. And this is someone that has played every version of shadow in wow’s entire history through every expansion, AND I am doing it a second time over in Classic.

Please Elaborate? Suffocating design? Not a proper shadow spec? Shadow and void have ALWAYS been the theme, we just didn’t have a name for it. Where do you think all those mind altering spells were coming from?

Shadow began life as a DoT based spellcaster dps with access to the utility of a priest. Shadow is currently a DoT based spellcaster dps with access to the utility of a priest. And while the specifics of how things function may have changed over time, there’s nothing different about the current form of shadow that makes it somehow different. And there’s nothing about “void form” stifling design. If anything the utility from priest is the problem stifling design and the reason we are having so many problems.

Seriously, what is void form? A 2 minute cooldown that offers us a damage boost and grants a new instant cast ability that extends the duration of our dots and allows for more mobility. Literally EVERYTHING SHADOW PRIESTS EVER WANTED.

Shadow priests are possibly one of the few classes in this game that has actually retained their primary core identity and functionality of their primary abilities throughout their lifetime.

Shadow’s identity was irrevocably changed in Legion and then everyone cried during Shadowlands beta #removevoidform so now we’re left with a spec with conflicting identities. Sorry if you don’t see it, but Shadow and Void need to be separated.


There are not conflicting identities and just making a claim and trying to shut down conversation about it because you’re unwilling to give examples doesn’t make you right.

The identity has been there the entire time, however the GAMEPLAY changed in legion. In legion, the class revolved around a build and purge system with insanity, where Insanity was a resource that would stack up from abilities, and then when entering Void Form begin draining. The longer you could maintain your void form, the larger your benefit. This wasn’t inherently different to Shadow’s core identity so much as it was a specific augmentation of one direction, aka the delayed dps gain. Shadow has always had a “build up” period to their dps since their inception, which is primarily found in the dot + shadow weaving aspect of the tree. You get your dull damage only after all three dots were applied AND you stacked your shadow weaving up to 5. It wasn’t a long wait, but it was there. Legion shadow took that idea and ran with a building juggernaut.

Today we have Void Form as a simple dps cooldown talent that can have the duration extended by using Devouring Plague, and Insanity rather than being a resource that drains during it is purely a building resource from using your abilities and then is used to cast devouring plague. And guess what, that is IDENTICAL to Shadow Orbs Shadow priests. Current insanity, while being gained from a wider range of abilities, functions in exactly the same way as Shadow Orbs did. You build it up and spend it to cast Devouring Plague. The primary difference being that Devo Plague is always full power rather than being a variant based on orb count.

There is literally nothing left of Legion Void Form in current design, and nothing about current design is restricting whatever nebulous “shadow” spec you are imagining but apparently refuse to tell us about. The main problem shadow currently faces is that the utility is too powerful and instead of balancing around that Blizzard just nerfed the crap out of our damage to make us less desired. Which is pretty par for the course with their design team.

Void form, void bolt, void torrent, void shift, void volley are all post WOD. Those are all void abilities, No? Pre legion shadow was a mobile glass cannon ? Post WOD shadow seems to be a tanky turret spec, No? A large percentage of the spriest community would like these two design split into a void spec and a shadow spec because we feel the spec has evolved into two separate specs that don’t seem to have a unified identity.

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Void Form and Void Bolt might as well be the same thing, as they are tied together as abilities. Void Torrent might as well be “Powered up Mind Flay” and Void Volley is a PVP talent enhancing Void Form. Are you just picking out abilities that have the word void in them? If they changed those abilities names to “Ultra Shadow Form” “Shadow Bolt” and “Shadow Volley” would that make it better to you?

At no point in Shadow Priests entire history has shadow EVER been mobile. You still aren’t explaining what you mean by a “void spec” and a “Shadow spec”. You’re just naming abilities with void in the title and saying “Bad.” They aren’t competing ideologies. GIVE EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU MEAN.

Shadow has ALWAYS been a low mobility hard casting spec since the vanilla. It doesn’t really matter what abilities came in at what point, it’s how the abilities work together in their entirety.

History lesson time. Shadow had never actually had a dps cooldown for a VERY long time. They were often just a simple dot based support class, even when wotlk came out and designed the “bring the player, not the class” mentality they were still primarily used for utility effects like dispersion and mass dispel, alongside some minor benefits like VE. The original shadow priest was a support based caster dps, which was around for vanilla and TBC before disappearing entirely.

Later iterations of the class were caster dps specs that leaned more on allowing the dots to enhance the way the class would play, rather than having dot damage be the primary focus as dot damage scaled off. Starting in Cata you began to see more focus on direct damage spells augmenting the damage more, and dot spells being supplemental and generating procs. They were still utterly non-mobile. When your filler spell is a channel, you aren’t moving much.

Legion was really the first time the spec had a major revamp that significantly changed the gameplay loop. All previous incarnations of shadow priests all focused on a core identity. Maintain SWP/VT uptime, use Mind Blast and procs on CD, Fill with Mind Flay. Along the way Shadow gained different tools, such as Dark Archangel, but the core root to the kit remained.

Legion brought with it void form and a new focus on insanity mechanics. while the core abilities of the class remained, the gameplay loop focused entirely on insanity as a mechanic. They pushed it hard. All of the abilities from void torrent to dispersion were designed around supporting the last as long as possible loop. Which was AWFUL. That was the part of Legion void form that mattered for Legion void form. Take away the insanity mechanics from Legion and NONE of the Void named abilities really mean anything anymore. They are just generic abilities. You don’t use Void Torrent to extend Void Form anymore, you use it because it’s a more powerful ability than all your other abilities. You don’t use Mind Games because of the utility, you use it because it does more damage. Which is exactly the old gameplay loop.

Old Shadow was a priority system focused around dot uptime and cooldowns. Mind Blasting on CD, because it did more damage. Flay between. Devouring Plague when it got changed was cast once you had 3 orbs. Because it did more damage. So Void Torrent is exactly the same now. It’s an ability that does a ton of damage and generate a lot of insanity to use Devouring Plague with. It fits perfectly into the priority based rotations of old shadow priests. Do we need another button for that kind of thing? No. But it’s not doing anything special either. It’s just a big damage ability on a CD. Like Mind Blast.

Don’t want to use Void Form? GUESS WHAT? There’s a talent for that. You don’t HAVE to use Void Form, and Void Form is not required to get the rest of this to function. You can easily use Dark Archangel if you wanted to. That’s the beauty of the new talents system. Don’t like Void Form and Void Blast? Take the Dark Archangel talent.

Shadow is currently exactly like it was before. I also really don’t understand the argumentation line here. Are you arguing FOR the return of the old insanity style gameplay, or arguing against it? Because it sounds like you just want the Legion spells gone, but the OP wanted Legion gameplay back. People are being really inconsistent in this thread about what they want.

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This is where you and Ryeshot are talking past each other. Dark Ascension is a painfully boring ability, as is befitting a cooldown that was yoinked right out of 2010, and that plainness necessitates that Voidform be equally plain, which means that it lost its scaling stats (haste, Mass Hysteria/Chorus of Insanity), lost its damage bonus, and lost its uptime so that an ability that gives +20% direct damage can compete.

Voidform doesn’t exist in the current talents. Void Bolt exists, but you don’t get the option to play something resembling voidform priest in any way - you only get pre-Legion shadow, but you can choose to play it with 12 casts of Void Bolt per cooldown cycle if you want as long as your tier bonus doesn’t heavily incentivize that you play with particles from 15+ years ago.

This is just objectively not true? First, that’s not uniquely a shadow thing. Those types of cooldowns exist for every single class. This isn’t a design situation unique to Shadow Priests. Second, Void Form isn’t bland and boring, nor is it being restricted because Dark Archangel exists. It’s being restricted because as a standard design philosophy the class should NOT revolve around a single dps cooldown. Not because there’s conflicting design in the class, but because that’s BAD DESIGN ON IT’S FACE. That experiment was tried in Legion, it was fun for one expansion, it sucked since then. Third, how is Void Form currently boring AT ALL. It’s a 2 minute cooldown that lines up with our Power Infusion, grants a new instant cast ability that increases our mobility, changes the dynamic of our rolling our dots, and has an extension based mechanic in the form of casting more Devouring Plagues to extend the duration. It is literally all the things you say that it isn’t, it just isn’t the entire lynchpin around which the class is built. And shouldn’t be.

  1. Lost it’s scaling stats = This is part of old Void Form design, this was removed for that reason
  2. Lost its damage bonus = It gives 10% increased damage during the form.
  3. Lost it’s uptime = Literally extended by devouring plague.

It was not reduced in effectiveness because Dark Archangel exists, it was reduced in effectiveness because Legion Voidform was doing so much work it was the entirety of the class, and they scaled that back to make sure that the class itself stands without Void Form being required. They just rolled more power into the rest of the kit. Which is a good thing. And not at all related to some kind of conflict between shadow and void.

Yes, voidform priest from Legion is dead because it was literally ruining the class and unabalanceable. I get it. I miss that style of play. The difference between you and me is that I recognize that it was terrible and bad for the class, and inherently unsustainable. The rotation was horrible after Legion removed the Artifact Weapons, and they tried for an entire expansion to make it work and they couldn’t. It was unironically the single most hated thing for shadow priests. I used to argue in favor of keeping it. The priest discord showed me that mathematically and objectively how terrible the situation was. And the inability to get groups for stuff like M+ became worse and worse as the attempts to fix the spec led to constant class balance changes. No we have a great design, that is being hampered by our access to utility spells. And since Blizzard is terrible at balance, they nerfed our damage instead, and NOW they are nerfing our utility without reverting the damage nerfs which will leave us screwed.

It’s boring compared to what it was even in Shadowlands. Voidform is one of the most interesting cooldowns in the game even if it’s a pathetic shadow (har har) of what it used to be. The problem there is that Dark Ascension exists, which is boring, contributes to shadow’s terrible particles problem (DP, MS, DA, SC, Yogg, IE all using particles dating back to 2009 or earlier), and presents opportunity for ability/talent/tier tuning to encourage you to play with a less interesting cooldown even if you don’t want to play that way.

Voidform is replaces Shadowform. Shadowform gives 10% increased damage. Voidform gives 10% increased damage. If you replace 10% with 10% you net 0% increased damage.

Yes, it was. Voidform in Shadowlands was nothing like Voidform in Legion/BFA, and it gave 20% increased damage, another 10% on your primary target, extended longer. It lost all that in part because DA was introduced and in part because Twins was baselined.

It wasn’t unbalanceable - Blizzard just tried to do something different one time and rather than make more classes that did wacky stuff like Legion shadow did they decided to roll Legion shadow back to a basic builder/spender spec with procs to stop people from falling asleep just like every other class.

Debatable. There isn’t near-universal negative reaction to almost everything Blizzard does to the spec because the design is great; there’s near-universal negative reaction to everything Blizzard does to the spec because of how much of it is terrible and isn’t being addressed while they do change the few things people actually like.

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Finally someone who actually remembers how it played. People asking for this back are asking for us to be utter garbage in m+

No thanks.


Ok so there is a lot to unpack here. First, visual effects and gameplay mechanics and values are separate situations. I don’t really understand your complaint here, but I also don’t have a concern over the visuals either so this is not a point I will address further. As for the talent trees, what you just said is an incoherent mess. I can’t understand a thing you are trying to say. The talent changes from Shadowlands to Dragonflight is MASSIVE. We went from having a selection of a few talents to having two entire trees of talents. You don’t think that such a massive revamp of the class might have had a significant impact there? Not to mention that as far as I can tell the only change from Shadowlands Void Form to Dragonflight Void Form is the loss of 10% damage, Mind Blast cooldown reset instead of the extra charge since it was made baseline, and the fact you can extend it by spending insanity. In fact, it seems like Void Form now is better for what you want than it was in shadowlands sans the extra 10% damage. Which, we got SO MUCH MORE DAMAGE spread across our entire kit. There isn’t some “void” spec and shadow spec, it is all one spec. You seem to not realize that.

But also grants us increased damage from mastery up at all times. Also, my damage increases by a significant margin despite the mastery change when using void form suggesting that the 10% damage is stacking. But I cannot confirm that right now.

It was objectively unable to be balanced. This isn’t an argument I am conceding, and I am not willing to rehash the last 3+ years of discussion on that with you. You are just wrong. Go read the priest discords and all the people WAY WAY WAY smarter than both of us that literally did the math to show you that it’s objectively terrible and needed to go away. We had the worst M+ performance we ever did, and our raid performance hinged entirely on proper usage of Surrender to Madness. It has absolutely nothing to do with other classes, it has everything to do with shadow BY ITSELF just not working.

The response to the 10.1.5 changes were overwhelmingly positive I have no idea what you are talking about. The rework they did was incredible and was a huge step in the right direction. The reason for the overwhelming negative response NOW is the serious OVERNERF from 10.1.7 that destroyed our damage and performance without addressing the real issue, our utility in the Season 2 M+ meta. And now we are about to lose both the Season 2 affixes that made us good, as well as the utility that made us desired. So instead of fixing the right issue which was clearly outlined by the majority of top shadow priests, they gutted the spec for anyone not pushing the highest level of keys and we’re about to receive a second nerf that will cripple the spec and leave us undesired in any content. That’s the problem. We’re all very sick and tired of receiving good changes only for us to then be nerfed into the ground because apparently Shadow Priests are only allowed to do top damage when they are in raids literally dying for that dps with Surrender to Madness.

I really would not like voidform returned, personally.

i already hate how thematically it highly overshadows Shadowform. like at this point, why even give us a form if we are just going into another one? Its the samething going on with mindspike. Why bring another filler for us to fight against for talents vs mindflay?? like cmon.

Secondly, this version sucked in pvp and will even more so suck now in this mele zerg fest. Like casting is the most toxic experience in pvp currently, especially with all the cheating going on.

This gameplay experience is just not fun for pvp. being a current with no proper defense to properly execute your gameplay style in pvp is just awfully unsatisfying for me.

I rather have them make something new altogether that properly gets inspired with the ORIGINAL shadowform design in mind – Vanilla, bc, wrath – as inspiration.

I gave an idea-- might be good or bad – but its an idea nevertheless adjusting all the things i didn’t like about Voidform theme.

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