Bring Insanity Drain Mechanic Back

I thought it was a fun and unique mechanic, but it really wasn’t that great for dungeons as I recall. Part of that was having a CD that would kill you and also Lingering Insanity (I think that’s what it was called) though so maybe the base mechanic could be worked to be a bit better than it was. Though I am enjoying Shadow now, so also let’s not.

1 Like

Some points have already been said, so I apologizing for rehashing them again.

Regarding the “draining” mechanic with Legions inception, that is the core crux of the failure of Legions Voidform. It is because of the draining mechanic that made Shadow so limited in content be it in M+ or PvP or world. Add on to the fact that it was uncontrollable in that you were at the mercy of luck to do good or bad DPS pending if you got forced into the Voidform state at the wrong time.

  • In Raids and other PvE content, it could be intermissions on fights or all the sudden need to have to dodge mechanics that nose dived the spec.

  • In M+ you just finished a group of targets and your Voidform triggered during your movement to the next group of targets while wasting it.

  • In PvP you get crowd controlled every time you enter Voidform.

  • In world content, you could not group up adds by dotting them all up and coming to you or riding around on your mount and aggroing them all and then AOE down because your damage took far too long to ramp up because it was pending both on the ramping up resources to get into Voidform and then it had to ramp up again in damage/haste scaling while the whole time your getting beaten down by simple quest mobs.

You were literally fighting for your life to do simple basic crap that every other class can do.

So needless to say, the draining mechanic severally limited your gameplay in many aspects of the game. It should NEVER come back.

The only reason it works as well as it does for a Breath of Sindragosa is because the DK has instant abilities that doesn’t force him to cast or stay in place AND he has a lot of utility when it comes to self preservation while also able to keep pushing damage buttons and keep going. He can avoid/reduce magics damage and CC effects, he can break CC effects or be immune to them and he can self heal with a multiple amount of ways and probably even more that I don’t fully know/list out.

This is not the case with Shadow, as with Shadow we are limited to having many turret moments where we have to cast and we are very susceptible to CC effects aside from clever use/timing on SW:D to break Polymorphs / blinds etc.

Also, with Frost DK BoS, it doesn’t negatively impact the rest of your spec power by not adding additional power to your other abilities, it only does its thing while you are free to do anything else. So if you fail your BoS window, you only loose out on BoS and not the rest of your toolkit/abilities where as with Shadow, we loose access to an instant case spell in Void Bolt while the rest of your overall damage looses its powered up state with the + damage enhancing and + Haste scaling and + resource generation due to increased Haste + access to Void Bolt thus capitalizing on all 3 because more Haste granted faster cooldown on Void Bolt and it did increased amount of damage and it allowed both an extra button to generate resources to keep it going longer while also granting the freedom to hit another button on the move.

So in conclusion, the “draining” mechanic was simply awful and made worse with the way Shadow plays as a “caster” and not a “melee” spec while also getting its issues exponentially negatively affected when things go wrong which highlights the exponentially positives effects when things go right. This caused the spec to swing massively to one side or the other and then for the cherry on top, you toss in a lag spike and your entire spec comes crashing down because of latency issues.

Hopefully that helps clear the absolute misery that the Legion Voidform draining mechanic brought forth and its good to finally move away and it only be seen as s distant memory.

Now that the doom and gloom part is over, I would not leave without adding my bit on how I see a path to success for future shadow developments.

First lets break down what “Voidform” really means from multiple factors at play.

Voidform used to or currently consists of the following…

  • Uncontrollable cooldown - It activated at inconsistent times thus making it less reliable.
  • Draining Mechanic - Forced to play a mini Whac-A-Mole game to maintain and play the spec to its upmost performance.
  • Ramping Damage - Either raw damage then or Dot damage now, scaling damage is a factor in Voidform.
  • Ramping Haste - Ramping Haste then or combined with Power Infusion now, scaling or raw haste is a major contributor to its power.
  • Extended Duration - Through the spamming of all spells and them being tied to all generate Insanity thus propping up Voidforms activation and maintenance time.
  • Access to Void Bolt - Adds another button to the rotation while granting some “stutter-step” moments in addition to extending dot duration.

So my suggestion as I have mentioned some time ago before is as follows…

  1. Change Voidform to be the “Dot” cooldown to coexist alongside Dark Ascension “Non-Dot” cooldown. Introduce “some” aspects of Voidform from previous iterations back.
  2. Change Dark Ascension to be more “gameplay changing” and less “boring” or “simple”.

Example below:

  • Voidform: Increases your periodic Shadow damage by 15%, increasing by 2% every second. Lasting 15 seconds. Devouring Plague costs 50% less insanity and extends Voidform duration by 2 seconds. 1 min cooldown.
  • Dark Ascension: Increases your non-periodic Shadow damage by 25% for 20 sec. The cooldown of Shadow Word: Death is reduced by 50% and deals damage as if the target is below 20% health. 1 min cooldown.

So why do this?

  • Voidform

    • Shadow already has plenty of button to press now. So having ANOTHER button to press in the form of Void Bolt is just nonsensical to me. Why Bloat up our rotation for a “limited” time that really only does 1 thing that the others CANT do… having another button to press on the move… that is simply all it brings to the table that CANT just be pushed into another button.
    • Have its damage pushed into Dot damage which then allows the base damage of Direct damage to be less spikey and more consistent (Since DA will be the Direct Damage cooldown).
    • With Devouring Plague being a “core” aspect of Shadow, then just allow Voidform have access to it more often which both changes the gameplay to be a bit faster during the moments you WANT things to be fast pace while also serving as a button to replace Void Bolt in more uptime using it on the move.
    • With Psychic Link now being the conduit that acts as a Fulcrum between Dot and direct damage, picking Voidform will lean Shadow into more Dot focused damage which makes Psychic link only a small gain which will allow Dots to have more power budget funneled into Voidform.
  • Dark Ascension

    • Since its already built as a “Non-Periodic” damage cooldown, just lean more into that side of things and make Shadow Word: Death the primary ability that gets modified during its window.
    • Combined with Psychic Link, SW:P and VT will act really only to activate Psychic Link to force more damage via direct damage abilities.
  • Psychic Link

    • Make ONLY Non-Periodic damage spread and amp up the damage % to be more in line with making Direct damage sources more impactful.

Conclusion:
Break Shadow down to one of 2 major gameplay choices bein Periodic Damage based or Non-Periodic Damage pending your major Cooldown choice and the following talent choices that lean to one side or another.

With this, we can then explore new and interesting gameplay choices in talents that really explore and lean into their respective damage profiles.

Some examples:

Void Torrent

Sometimes having a cooldown that is really strong makes it feel like its required to take even if you don’t want that playstyle. It would be nice to have an alternative to burst damage with increased filler damage. Also, reduces button bloat.

Void Ray (Choice with Void Torrent)
Mind Flay deals 10% increased damage for each of your damage over time spells on the target.

Malediction (Reworked to work with both Void Torrent and Void Ray)
Your Mind Flay and Void Torrent deals damage 33% faster.

  • This is a call back to previous set bonuses/perks where Mind Flay channels faster. This is a great addition of choice in the talent tree and great spot to be located at.
  • With this change, Void Torrent cooldown can be adjusted to a set duration without any talent reducing it. It should remain a hard hitting nuke spell which I think should be a 60 sec cooldown.

Idol of Y’Sharrj

(Redesign to be a bit more engaging)

Summoning Mindbender causes your Mind Spells to become empowered, granting an additional effect while Mindbender is active.
(Flavor Text)
(The fractured Mind of Y’Sharrj takes form, empowering your powers of the Mind)

  • Mind Flay: Castable while moving.
  • Mind Blast: Increase the critical strike chance of your Mind spells by 20% for 6 seconds.
  • Mind Spike: Becomes instant cast. (Or reduce cast time by 20-50% if instant cast for filler is a bit too much)
  • Mindbender: Mindbender attacks 20% faster and applies a stack of Shadow Vulnerability stacking up to 10 times, lasts 15 seconds.
    • Shadow Vulnerability causes the target to take an additional 1% damage from your shadow spells. Upon reaching 10 stacks, your [non-boss] target becomes Mind Controlled for 5 sec forcing them to attack your enemy.
  • Mindgames: Mindgames duration is refreshed each time the target takes damage from your Mind spells.

Yogg-Saron

(Redesign to have a bit more control and not feel like you have to hold back the stacks to activate the summon as well as a callback to the “God of Death” that has been insinuated with Yogg-Saron in the past)

(Choice node)

All Shadowy Apparitions / Spirit talents lead into Yogg-Saron. So it stands to reason that the effect of Yogg-Saron should revolve around Shadows/Spirits.

  • (Choice #1) Your Shadow Word: Death spawn Shadow Apparitions for every target afflicted with Vampiric Touch and explode on contact dealing 300% increased damage spread evenly up to 5 targets.
    • These Spirits can be visually different. Maybe a spirit/shadow version of the faceless ones you fight in phase 1 of Yogg-Saron fight.
  • (Choice #2) After you cast Shadow Word: Death, you spawn a shadowy specter for 6 seconds. Shadowy specter is invulnerable and casts Void Spike.
    • They can also act like the Wardens Spirit of Vengeance from Warcraft 3 where they are invulnerable and cast [Void Spike] for a short while at the target having Vampiric Touch that they spawns for. Something like a Demonology Warlocks mass of imps or Destruction Warlocks Dimensional Rift.

Bonus:

Regarding the mobility aspect that Shadow has for most of its history been at the mercy of, I propose another fix that should calm down our massive Power Infusion issues while also granting Shadow more mobility options.

Mobility/buff

Specifically addressing the concerns of Power Infusion. Change Power Infusion and Twins suns of the Priestess talent to be altered to a different talent for each specialization. Holy = Mobility, Discipline = stronger absorbs, Shadow = increased defense and absorption mechanics.

Power Infusion talent replacement

  • Holy specialization
    • Ascension: Gain the ability to fly for 15 seconds. 3 minute cooldown
    • PvP modifier: You become immune to movement effects and duration is increased by 5 seconds.
  • Discipline specialization
    • Power Infusion: Target gains 20% haste for 20 seconds and increase all absorption effects by 100%. 2 minute cooldown.
    • PvP modifier: Direct healing and healing through dealing damage is increased by 100%.
  • Shadow specialization
    • Spectral Guise: You slip into the shadows for 3 seconds, leaving behind your shadow. This effect is cancelled if you perform any action or take damage. 2 minute cooldown.
    • PvP modifier: Using fade reduces the cooldown by 5 seconds and 0.5 second each time your Shadowy Apparitions deal damage.

Twins of the sun priestess talent replacement

  • Holy specialization
    • Angelic Embrace: Your group (5) all gain the ability to fly for 15 seconds upon your use of Ascension and cooldown is reduced by 60 seconds.
  • Discipline specialization
    • Twins of the Sun Priestess: When your Power Infusion is used on an ally, you gain 100% of the effect as well.
  • Shadow specialization
    • Voids Embrace: You now become immune to all damage while under the effects of Spectral Guise and reduces the cooldown by 50%.

Why go this route?

This gives Priest specs more “unique” utility for all 3 specs that can all have a place in multiple forms of content and will also break the limiting damage balance factor for Shadow with Power Infusion as was explained it would happen since Beta.

In case someone didn’t catch it, each of these spec specific Power Infusion talent replacements can grant various methods to progress in multiple forms of content.

Example:

Holy Priest can help group bypass dangerous areas or simply traverse in a verticality direction to create short cuts in content or clever use of avoiding ground limiting mechanics in a fight encounter.

Discipline Priests can really amp up their absorbs for the Target(s) of Power Infusion as well as retain the amplified haste component.

Shadow Priests can actually become that soak/avoid mechanic person again alongside Dispersion which allows the use of avoiding dangerous damaging mechanics.

2 Likes

I can only speak for myself but I don’t know how many people are seriously advocating for Blizzard to bring back these mechanics–I recognize there were problems with it. They could probably tweak the drain rate, base duration, and cd to make it somewhat more viable for m+ and raids, but it is always going to be a non-starter in ranked pvp (anyone with a brain will cc you as soon asyou pop it). It was just a really fun way to play spriest.

Unfortunately I don’t think blizzard really cares about balancing pvp at all–the “shifting meta” is meant to keep people subbed and leveling alts or something while we all bide our time in the SS queues.

one gripe i have in this game over all.

Out of all the mmos i’ve played with casting mechanics, this one feels so punishing to play a class that cast a lot. Especially in pvp.

Wish they would design everything better overall. SP is just one great example of how poorly they are designing their classes.

And i say poorly because they can do way better than this, for sure.

You had a long post, and there’s a lot there already said to that I heavily agree with, so just going to pull this out as my focus. I would like to see some level of innovation in the Dark Ascension cooldown in some way since it’s basically never used. However I think a lot of times what gets lost in these conversations is the fact that Shadow is not one cooldown. It is a series of several abilities all being used together alongside each other to create a fully functioning DPS. And the combination of those needs to be both enjoyable to play mechanically, and also work alongside the other abilities to make them function. It would be interesting to have a direct damage focused and a dot focused half and half to the class, but simply adding that onto a cooldown isn’t enough I don’t think. It would take a LOT more work to get them working. I also think Dark Ascension being reworked to be the dot focus makes more sense imo, since voidform gives you an instant cast direct damage spell that adds duration to the dots, it feels way more at home in a spec designed around mind blast and shadow spike.

That is the real hazard of the spec and has existed since inception. Shadow began life as a low mobility caster class, and has retained that pretty heavily for a while. It didn’t feel as bad in vanilla where movement was limited, so flay slowing people mattered more, but these days melee uptime is 100% and there is no breathing room really. You are forced to play around your cc cooldowns, which really hurts your ability to generate kill openings against healers.

When Dark Archangel was first introduced in Cataclysm (What we call Dark Ascension now) it increased the damage done by a list of spells. Of that list, only Mind Flay was a Periodic damage spell. The rest were hard casting/direct damage spells.

So if we are going on the premise of what came first, it was Dark Archangel (Dark Ascension) years and years before Voidform was even an idea.

Dark Archangel
Instant

Consumes your Evangelism effects, causing an effect depending what type of Evangelism effect is consumed:

Archangel (Evangelism) - Instantly restores 1% of your total mana and increases your healing done by 3% for each stack. Lasts for 18sec. 30 sec cooldown.

Dark Archangel (Dark Evangelism) - Instantly restores 5% of your total mana and increases the damage done by your Mind Flay, Mind Spike, Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death by 4% for each stack. Lasts for 18sec. 90 sec cooldown.

Since Shadows first implementation back in Classic/Vanilla WoW, it had always had a pretty balanced state of dealing Direct Damage and Periodic damage. Mind Flay and Shadow Word: Pain were the only aspects of Periodic damage while Mind Blast was a very hard hitting chunky damage ability.

Come TBC and we get Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word Death. Which keeps the score the same with 3 Periodic and 2 direct.

Come Wrath and we get Mind Sear and Devouring Plague baseline for all specs. So leaning more into Periodic damage.

Come Cata and we get Mind Spike with Dark Archangel benefiting more so with Non-Periodic damage spells.

The point is that its been a pretty balance between Periodic and Non-Periodic damage spells for the 1st iterations of Shadow and this only changed in Legion as even WoD had 2 primary talent choices that granted Shadow the ability to lean into Periodic or Non-Periodic damage builds with Auspicious Spirits granting a Shadow Orb per hit which opened up the flood gates to use Devouring Plague a lot more or Clarity of Power that allowed an Instant Cast Mind Blast while reducing its cooldown and increasing the Damage of Mind Spike, Mind Sear, and Shadow Word: Death 40%. With other talent options, you can get more uptimes and stronger dot damage with Devouring Plague and Mind Flay: Insanity or you can go the proc route and get more Instant cast Mind Spike procs with +50% more damage that stacks with Clarity of Power.

So the building blocks were already in place to give a more direct damage burst type damage profile before Voidform.

Then with Legion and Voidform, you got Artifact traits like Mass Hysteria that ramp stacks damage on your Periodic damage while Voidform had the build in stacking haste mechanic which passively increases your periodic damage while only slightly benefiting direct damage spells in casting time only IF you actually have to cast them and they are not instant cast which with my suggestion would open up more usage to Mind Spike, Shadow Word: Death and Mind Blast all having increased uptime at being instant cast.

Mass Hysteria
Every 1 sec, Voidform increases damage dealt by Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch by 2%, stacking until Voidform ends.

So just because Voidform “Currently” is attached at the hip with Void Bolt, doesn’t mean it needs to continue to be the case. As I stated, Void Bolt is just stupid because it adds another button into an already busy rotation. The “effect” Void Bolt grants can just be transferred to Devouring Plague as I already stated.

The complete removal of Void Bolt is what I am suggesting with instead Voidform being reworked to synergize with Devouring Plague more while also granting its scaling haste/damage on all periodic damage abilities.

So you can still have your opinion, but from a fact history standpoint and a logic standpoint in that Dark Ascension (Dark Archangel) has mostly revolved around Direct Damage and Voidform being mostly revolved around periodic damage. I don’t think there is any debate here. I just don’t see Void Bolt standing up against so much other history that the other spells and abilities have in place.

I’m aware of the origin of Dark Ascension (I’ve been calling it Dark Archangel in this thread because I forgot it was called differently LOL) and I am not really married to what was, I am more married to what makes sense. Yes, DA used to buff all non-dot damage (Mind Flay is not technically a DOT, it does not function off all periodic effects in all versions of the game) but there’s been a lot of changes to Shadow over time. Does it make sense for it to keep being the dot based CD assuming they even DID a dot based CD, as they seem allergic to the idea of having dots actually be good by themselves.

Important to remember that quantity is not the only factor here. Value and damage between direct damage effects and pure dots has changed over time. Dots used to be weighted a lot higher for scaling and damage than direct damage effects in vanilla and TBC, and after Cata the ratio of damage dots dealt compared to direct damage began to flip in the other direction. Wrath was a downward trend, SWP damage was very low, but Cata really started the heavy push for dots to be less effective.

I doubt highly they would ever undo it, and personally I do not want them to. I like Void Form and Void Bolt as is and really enjoy the form. I’d rather see more of the priest kit being revamped a little to bring up the weaker talents rather than trying to redo the primary meta. Even if there will always be a meta.

This is not an argument I can make against something you personally like, but I would state the question…

  • WHY do you like it?
  • WHAT is it about it that you like?
  • HOW would it be any different if the mechanic outcome was applied to Devouring Plague instead? With Devouring Plague, it both functions as another Periodic damage ability alongside SW:P and VT and you have as much or more uptime than Void Bolt does.

Void Bolts issues…

  • Muscle Memory - The idea that a button must be used as much as possible but only for a limited time is imo very frustrating as I have to both dedicate a button on my keyboard to a specific keybind that I don’t want to accidently press at the wrong time and go into my Voidform too early while also being easily accessible to hit as often as I can when I am in Voidform.
  • Rational Bloat - If it didn’t extend dots, its only purpose would be to use on the move as other spells can be used for resource generation.
  • Its a relic of a bygone era of Shadow where its purpose was just the same as the rest of Shadows talents, to prop up Voidform. But Now I only see it as an obstacle you must deal with for vestigial reasons.

It simply does not “define” Voidform imo. Voidform was implemented as a going insane form with a massive payoff. The only Reason Void Bolt was relevant is because we had nothing else to use because they took things away or changed them into only propping up Voidform. Void Bolt only accesiable in Voidform reaffirms that reasoning in its only purpose is to help Voidform. But it did not define Voidform. It was the stacking of Periodic damage and haste that made Voidform a name for itself. Case in point, we had a talent that simply changed Mind Blast to Shadow Word: Void that simply added another charge to Mind Blast and made it generate insanity. IMO Void Bolt existence served a similar purpose is ramping up the the insanity generation to keep Voidform going. But now that we no longer battle the draining mechanic (nor should we) I just dont think the initial purpose of Void Bolt is required and as you say “what makes sense?” I just don’t see it as sensical to continue having it around for what I see as pretty poor arguments.

But again, that is my opinion and I know it ruffles others on the forums but from purely a step away and look at things objectively, I just cant see Void Bolt as something so integral to being apart of Shadows toolkit.

Where as the similar Spell Mind Spike that so many people hate only hate it because of the recent change that puts Mind Spike against Mind Flay where they worked in tandem for 3 expansions just fine and even found a solid place in the 1st bit of Dragonflight before they decided to merge them into being a choice. That change in addition to the focal point around Psychic Link is what inspired me to bring up this entire conversation point of splitting the spec into 2 types of damage profiles where through both normal talents and your primary cooldown talent, you can pick to lean a bit or heavily into one side or the other.

The building blocks existed in the past to give this style of gameplay choice primarily in WoD which although the content was lacking, the gameplay choices for a lot of classes was very much enjoyed, including Shadow Priest. I think this was achieved for Shadow because of the gameplay style choices we had as it was simple yet satisfying at the same time it was different and unique from each other and they both had areas in the game where they shined.

Edit:

I will add this…

If Void Bolt did something like it pulsed damage in a radius around the target you hit for % of the combined dot damage on each target.

Then it would be interesting and not something that could be easily just moved to another spell because of its unique mechanic that would be too powerful in any other spell to have access to it anytime outside of Voidform.

But then I would argue that it should just be another talent altogether that can be taken outside of specifically Voidform and can be used for DA as well.

But at least it would be a unique ability that would have a meaningful purpose to requiring it being restricted to use on during your DPS cooldown spell.

I don’t mind answering the questions, just know that I go into this more as a discussion than an argument, so my view on the situation is not necessarily to lean one way or the other.

  1. I like a lot of different things about the form, so functional and relevant and some not. For instance I like the thematic and visual aspects and their proximity to the Old Gods. I also like the fact I get access to Void Bolt during my dps cooldown window. Void Bolt removes the need for recasting my dots during my damage window and gives me access to a very mobile state for that duration, allowing me to maximize uptime and eliminate RNG that could otherwise ruin a dps cooldown when used at the wrong moment. I don’t feel punished for being targeted with raid mechanics and needing to dodge them. I also like the feeling of being a shadow blasting machine gun during that window. It retains that same feel that Void Form had from legion without the entire spec suffering for it.

  2. I think WHY and WHAT really was covered in the above.

  3. Are you asking how I would feel if Devouring Plague was doing the dot extension instead of void bolt? For one thing, Void Bolt replaces Shadow spike as my filler ability in the rotation, which is a really big deal. It being a second ability is important because Devouring Plague is our primary spender, and therefor is not consistently available all the time. I can Void Bolt every 2-3 seconds regardless of RNG procs or uptime on the boss. I can’t do the same (nor is it a good idea to) with Devouring Plague, especially with the position that plague takes up in the rotation and how it affects my damage from mastery. Void Bolt smooths the rotation out during the dps cooldown window by not only extending the dots but also by being a new filler instant cast. Devouring Plague can not do that, and it would require significantly changing more than just Void Bolt and Devouring Plague to make it work the same way. And it could still feel worse. This is the part of what I mentioned before about Void Form not existing in a vacuum. The entire priest rotation matters, and any individual change to one ability often necessitates the same to the rest, creating a ripple. It’s about how Void Bolt fits into the rotation entirely and how all the priest spells work together with it that feels good.

This is a subjective issue to me. I literally have never had a problem with Void Form and Void Bolt being on the same button. Also Macros exist for a reason. I am fairly confident that you can create a macro that casts Void Bolt when in Void Form, and when not in Void Form does something else in a way that supports your gameplay and issue with your muscle memory. And that’s not to discount your personal issue there, it’s to say that it’s not a universal issue and therefor other parts of the game’s accessibility that can resolve that should be used first imo.

I mean, technically anything can be considered bloat in this instance. You don’t need all the Idols, and all the abilities on the Shadow Priest. Misery makes SWP work on VT, but we still have SWP as a button. Why not just make misery baseline and remove SWP as a spell? There’s a lot more to Void Bolt than simply offering an instant cast dot extension. Maybe if we had Mind Spike only and not Mind Flay there could be an argument that it turns Mind Spike into Void Bolt instead, but there’s the issue with shadow abilities not being in a vacuum again.

This is a pretty poor reading of what Void Bolt does. Void Bolt was not purely for extending Void Form. Think about WHY Void Bolt was good for extending Void Form. Prevented the need to recast dots during the form, increased mobility, and offered more options for damage in the rotation. All of those things are ALSO good during a dps cooldown. They are literally exactly what you want during a dps cooldown. You want the ability to move while dealing damage during your dps cooldown window so raid mechanics don’t lower your damage and ruin your cooldown, you want to not spend dead time recasting dots during your big dps cooldown, and you want smoother rotation options during your big damage window. All things that are equally good with or without Void Form. The main thing that Void Form had was that it was tied to a large percentage damage bonus, and it had stacking haste and crit bonuses attached to it. Because Void Form was so front loaded before, they had to take away damage from the rest of our kit to compensate. THAT was always the issue with old Void Form, having all our potential damage completely tied to Void Form all of the time. Current Void Form is just another DPS cooldown, meaning that the rest of the spec is allowed to shine on its own. Void Form itself was never the problem nor was Void Bolt, it was always the draining insanity mechanic tied to the stacking haste and crit (from the Legion weapon). It was the fact that all the rest of our damage and kit had to be balance off the MASSIVE surge of dps we did in void form.

People need to really understand something here. Void Form was NOT THIS. Void Form is simply a secondary form that grants access to Void Bolt for the duration. That is it. What you are talking about here, this extended duration damage window with massive payoff that becomes unsustainable was not “Void Form” it was the Legion Insanity resource mechanic tied with Lingering Insanity. Once you take away Insanity as a draining resource and Lingering Insanity, you completely change Void Form’s purpose.

It’s really weird to say that one of the busiest abilities in the game needs to be more interesting, since Void Form is plenty interesting as it is. But again this is only really looking at JUST one ability in shadow and fantasizing about how it works in a bubble. How does that ability change, in relation to the rest of Shadow’s kit affect optimal dps rotations, how does that further impact the gameplay of Shadow in raids and M+? What functionality do you lose and how do you end up feeling overall in that change.

Because right now, during Void Form feels a bit different than outside Void Form, and that is a fun aspect of the class for me currently. I really like that I get to play around with WHEN I use my big dps cooldown that enhances my mobility and grants me a big damage increase. Do I save if for the burn window when the boss takes more damage? Do I use it during the phase where I will regularly be moving to keep better uptime? It gives me a lot more choice and dynamic in how I approach the class. Did the tank pull more than he should have during the M+ group? Boom Void Form, VE, dodge and weave those insant death mechanics while providing massive damage and solid support healing. The entire ESSENCE of what shadow is. That’s how it feels having current Void Form for me as an option. And I really like that. If it was anything else, I wouldn’t be nearly as effective in the situations where I shine.

I just wish they would stop DESTROYING OUR DAMAGE because of the fact the top 1% of M+ groups were using Shadow for Mass Dispel in current Season…

I’m not disputing what people have said about it, and you don’t get points for parroting them and saying they’re smarter than you are. I’m disputing Blizzard’s effort, because there was none. They could have changed encounter design to make the cooldowns and lust on pull then 2/3 minute cooldown cycle less ubiquitous. They could have added more specs to the game that didn’t behave like every single spec does today.

A spec isn’t objectively unbalanceable because they tried nothing and ran out of options. The first opportunity they had to change course was Shadowlands if their development timeline is to be believed, and they readded DP, removed insanity drain, and put Voidform on a two minute cooldown.

Those same people that are way smarter than us confirm that it doesn’t stack. If you’re going to neg yourself to parrot them, you could at least do them the service of listening to the more mundane parts of what they have to say as well.

It’s indicative of the effort Blizzard puts into designing shadow. The effort is so low that proper particles don’t even exist for the abilities they’re implementing because it’s done so last-minute that the artists can’t even update 15-18 year old particles.

You’re entitled to your feelings on shadow and speaking about them, but statements like this just show that you don’t know the spec’s recent history well enough to speak to what has changed. You don’t know what Voidform was to understand why people draw a line between what shadow was, what it is, and why they consider that line very real when you don’t. I’m glad that current shadow exists for people that loved it back in 2012. I loved it then, too. But paying lip services to allowing multiple playstyles while completely gutting the Voidform playstyle rubs me the wrong way, especially when every patch is just Blizzard trying to push Dark Ascension and Mindbender.

1 Like

I think we are missing each other here. Most of what I am reading from you seems to be coming from how things currently “are”.

But my talking point are explaining how things “were” and gleam the positives to put forth suggestions to change how things currently “are” into what they could someday “be”

But before we get into that portion, I want to clarify the 1st bit where I asked you the Why, What and How questions. Those were intended to specifically target the Void Bolt spell. Not the rest of Voidform. It seems you think Voidform is what it is “because” of Void Bolt instead of despite it.

Moving on to my points of failure when it comes to Voidform. My Muscle Memory argument is a subjective issues for sure, but is a big issue when it comes to fast pace gameplay where every single other class/spec doesn’t have this issue, the issue being this constant reprioritization of a button that swaps back and forth of not being pressed for a long time vs being pressing as often as possible. Say what you like about it, but it is just a unnecessary nuisance during gameplay. I suspect a similar reason was given to remove Legions version of hunters Marked Shot because that gave me the same feeling but just not as bad as Void Bolt.

But aside from my subjective point that I know has been brought up multiple times before, the part about Macros serving as a way to bypass that annoying nuisance both should not even be something people should think about let alone do and I highly doubt and side with extreme caution that a macro is even possible to do such a thing because macros that react based on buffs you have because yet Shadowform in the past granted an additional action bar and a “form” you can use in macros similar to Stealth for Rogue/Druid, Voidform does not nor has ever done this. It is a spell buff, not a form change. Aside from blatant cheating, I am sure this cannot be done nor should it even be a topic of conversation to fix something that is inherently a poor gameplay experience implementation as other similar spells/ abilities in the past have since been removed or changed to no longer function that way. I’m sure there are parallels that can be drawn to indicate this.

With my Rotational Bloat failure, I am of the belief that making extra buttons for extra stuff at this point in the game with so much history to draw from and a full saturated gameplay loop, that we should limit any additional buttons where we can.

The other bit about the other spells is not equivalent because you don’t have any restrictions on them. You can choose to use or not to use at any time. You are not gated behind an additional form/mode to do something. Honestly, the Misery bit is just another reason why is such a good spell in that it reduces the amount of buttons you have to factor into your rotational gameplay loop. Where as Void Bolt adds to this and only a partial part of the time.

Then the idea of Turning Mind Spike into Void Bolt is tricky because Mind Spike is normally a spell with a cast time while Void Bolt is instant cast and Mind Spike has no Cooldown where as Void Bolt does. So they are opposite on both levels so it will feel nerfed one way or another because Mind Spike grants you the freedom of use where as Void Bolt is restrictive in both Cooldown and a buff state. They are just completely different spells from a mechanical perspective.

You are too focused on what effects Void Bolt did instead of looking at the spell from a mechanical perspective.

Prevented the need to recast dots during the form? Now we have Shadow Crash as sloppily that spell is with its own mechanical issues. But I also suggested that Devouring Plague can do the same thing. Also, the idea that Devouring Plague is a Dot itself, it would stand to reason that when you refresh your “dots” you would want Devouring Plague on the target as well in order to maximize your mastery damage which means even if you Void Bolt to extend dots… you still need to make sure Devouring Plague is applied before/after in order to not loose out of max potential DPS.

Increased Mobility? Again, another instant cast spell can do the same. Again, Devouring Plague can fit this just fine.

Offering more options for damage in the rotation? The best part of the early days of Wow was that spells felt impactful, but why? Because compared to modern wow, we had a low fewer spells to work with and therefore the spells you had were very meaty and chunky.

Its a pretty simple conclusion to reach when if you say for example you have a class that has 5 spells to do damage with and a class that has 50 spells, the one with 5 spells will overwhelming be doing bigger chunks of damage while the class with 50 spells will have to hit a lot of spells that deal very little damage in order to make things balanced. Obviously that was an extreme simple comparison but the result remains that the more spells you have to use that are similar in nature, the less damage percentage each one makes up as if one is so low compared to the others, it will quickly be sidelined and forgotten like many spells in the past.

But if you reduce similar spells and nix one from the rotation, that now opens you up to more windows to use other spells and for priest, that means more utility options can be used alongside a less bloated rotational spell use that is also limited by a buff and cooldown.

I disagree with this statement.

Voidform stacking of haste/crit/damage whatever in of itself was not a problem. It was the fact that it had no set duration. It was the fact that you can get into a situation where you can go an entire fight and never hit the top and just keep getting better and better.

Since then, Voidform has a set duration and Devouring Plague already acts as the trigger to extend the duration. But it cannot be extended indefinitely.

So the safeguards are already in place to prevent the endless scaling. It just has to be tweaked as needed to keep it in line if it ever reaches beyond its intended gameplay duration parameters.

This is what I was referring to in my opening statement in this post.

You are explaining what Voidform has become, its husk of its former self. Everyone that praises Voidform from the Legion days and wants to return to that never bring up how much they just Love Void Bolt. It was always about the trill of the chase to becoming more and more powerful with faster and faster cast times because of the consistently increasing haste you received the longer you stayed in the form. Meaning the better you were at mashing your buttons, the better you became. This is why it became a Whac-O-Mole gameplay where you had so many buttons lighting up so fast and often became of the scaling hate reducing them all down to nearly instant cast. That is what made the gameplay loop feel insane. NOT simply because Void Bolt was a button. Void Bolt was only made good by that stacking haste to become so incredibly high that it got off cooldown almost insanely when you got to those crazy near 100 stacks.

The Lingering Insanity was just a Band-Aid poorly implemented mechanic that gave you a participation reward for a successful Voidform. But as soon as you enter a new Voidform, it would be reset and back then with no cooldown on Voidform, you didn’t get to enjoy the Lingering Insanity effect for long because your goal was to go back into Voidform quickly. If Lingering Insanity was present now and gave you a haste buff for leaving Voidform and you had to wait a while to get back in it then that would be something to desire. But once again, everything around Voidform was both restrictive and centered around itself back then. So I’m not really sure why your are bringing up Lingering Insanity.

I think if you cant take Void Bolt out and dissect it and critically analyze its purpose and function of a spell in Shadows rotation like you can do with every other spell, then that speaks volumes for its justification of why it should even be apart of Shadow at all.

From a mechanical standpoint, it does nothing that another spell cant do in its place.

Just so you can see where I am going with this, lets begin with the other spells.

Core Rotational Spells

  • Mind Flay = Filler / Damage over time synergy
  • Mind Blast = Primary Resource builder / Hard Casting cooldown spell (should hit hard but that’s an argument for another day)
  • Vampiric Touch = Primary Castable Damage over Time / Mastery activation
  • Shadow Word: Pain = Secondary instant castable Damage of Time / Mastery activation
  • Shadow Word: Death = Execute / Crowd Control removal with backlash damage

Talent Rotational Spells

  • Mind Spike = Filler / Castable Direct Damage with Direct damage synergy
  • Devouring Plague = Resource Consumer Damage over time / Mastery activation

Each Spell is very unique that actually adds to the ebb and flow of the spec from a mechanical standpoint.

Where as Void Bolt is just another combination of what is already accessible and therefore is only used because of the gameplay effect of extending dots and usable while moving at the sacrifice of having to weave in another button into the rotation making it an awkward button outside of Voidform.

I just don’t see its value as a core rotational ability that only exists sometimes. If its such a valuable rotational ability, it should be accessible all the time, not only when your in Voidform.

1 Like

You don’t seem to get it. Nothing you just suggested fixes the issues with old spriest design, and the reason I mentioned the others was because it wasn’t on a lack of trying from Blizzard’s part. They did a LOT of changes to keep that gameplay around over two expansions. The fact that neither Blizzard NOR anyone else could find a solution forward is the point. And you not being willing to accept that doesn’t mean anything. Don’t get mad at me just because this is an argument that was waged for 2 years and you’re still on the wrong side of it. I’m not parroting anything, you’re just being upset.

I really don’t get your anger and jealousy over other people here. What did the Priest discord do to you?

What are you talking about? What particles don’t exist/have been here for 15 years? Give VERY clear examples because I really just think you’re making things up now. Because as far as I can see, there’s nothing wrong with the visuals, and since they don’t matter for the discussion it’s a strawman argument you’re using as a distraction at this point.

I am almost positive I have played Shadow longer than you and for more than you ever have considering I have played this specific priest since vanilla in every single expansion as my main, and REMADE him in Classic and played through vanilla, TBC, and WOTLK over again with the same class and spec. So don’t try this high roading BS because you’re mad I don’t agree with you. EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN. Because you’re just making incoherent rambling at this point.

I gave details. I explained the EXACT changes made to the ability. It’s so easy to look it up to confirm. Here is the patch 9.0.1 patch notes just because I wanted to be very specific about the numbers:

(2020-10-13): Now has a fixed duration and no longer drains Insanity, no longer grants additional Haste or reduces cooldown of Mind Blast, instead gives Mind Blast additional charge.

Shadowlands was the first expansion they removed the insanity Maintenace in. Legion and BFA were the only two expansions with the drain mechanic. So do YOU even know what you’re talking about? Because at this point Shadow is two expansions removed from that gameplay but you’re acting like it was just yesterday that it was changed. I think you have no idea what you’re talking about. Especially because:

neither of those are used as primary talents, and nothing that was changed in the patches is an enforcement of that. You truly haven’t a clue. You can’t properly articulate your issues and you’re just naming random things and making up reasons to be angry. The recent nerfs to shadow damage were focused ENTIRELY on aoe damage, because they were targeted at the top performing Mythic+ comp, the “God Comp” and the goal was to reduce the pack clearing of shadow and buff the single target. Literally had nothing to do with void form or dark ascension or anything else and entirely about the fact that shadow was doing so well in M+ in the top tier of comps that Aug/Mage/Shadow was dominating there. Which personally I hate being overnerfed at the 99% level just to rein in the top 1%. That’s objectively bad design and sucks. But the gameplay now, is top notch. My only complaint is that Feather is annoying to use in the middle of a fight, and Shadow Crash could use a charge system like Mind Blast to help smooth out the trash clearing.

Please explain to me, without writing an essay, exactly what a lot of these changes were and give evidence that nobody could find a solution.

This is because in Legion they redesigned Shadow to give it a clear identity, and rolled back on the design in Shadowlands because of community outcry without rolling back on the identity. You might be surprised by this, but there are some players that got married to that new gameplay and identity of Shadow.

I was going to make a big long post responding to every point you’ve made and the deeper I went the more I realized you have no idea what you’re talking about, and that you’ve carved around every single thing I said and even contradicted yourself in multiple points. You’re argument from some made up fantasized point and there’s no reason to even continue my discussion with you.

No, insanity drain shadow is dead. It should not come back. There is no reason for it to come back. If you don’t like Current Shadow, don’t play it. Have a good day.

I’m not going to bother with this. I already told you I am not rehashing 2 years of conversations again to satisfy your ego. A lack of your preparedness and research does not constitute an emergency on my part to fix that. It’s one thing if there’s an easy piece of evidence to show you. But there isn’t. You need to go actually read up on it.

I’m not surprised. I said at the beginning that I really liked the gameplay in Legion. I also recognize that it was a terrible mess and unsustainable. I really don’t care that you liked it or not. That’s not my concern. Lots of people really liked the Honor system in Classic. That’s not going to come back either. You should move on.

It’s your choice to disengage in the conversation.

But this point here has nothing to do with anything I said.

I never said the draining mechanic should return, quite the opposite.

If you think I contradicted myself yet refuse to point out exactly where I did it and why it would be relevant then your just making a baseless accusation that can be dismissed just as simply.

But the fact is what I wrote has a lot more factual backing than your claim over how Void Bolt is somehow the core identity of Voidform in the minds that the people that wish to return to the Legion way of Voidform would think of it as.

Also, just to be clear. I couldn’t care less about Voidform in its entirety, however I recognize that others do like it and therefore I strive to find the core element that makes people enjoy it so much. But the issue is that Voidform has so many aspects to it that its difficult to corner the true identity as everyone says something different about it it seems, even yourself as you just recently did.

I would challenge you to point out anything factually wrong with what I said when you make the claim that I don’t know what I am talking about. Opinions are one thing to hold, but facts have a recorded history that are objective and not subjective.

I asked because you made an unfounded claim. I have been playing Shadow since Legion and I know exactly what transpired. There was no effort on Blizzard’s part to iterate on the design of Shadow just as there was no effort on their part for the past few reworks of the spec.

I guess you haven’t played shadow longer than me, then. I guarantee you that most of my perceived incoherence is due to the level of your familiarity with the spec.

You asked me what the priest discord did to me, and I’ll tell you: I learned that a lot of very high level priests are in that discord. If you’re so good at deferring to high level priest players, then why are you talking to Ryeshot like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

Blizzard couldn’t make significant changes to shadow before Shadowlands based on their professed development timeline. The first thing they did was gut Voidform and roll shadow mostly back to 2014. They literally tried nothing and ran out of ideas to balance the spec. We’ll never know if Voidform was unbalanceable, but we do know that Blizzard didn’t try to balance it.

There’s plenty of evidence of it and plenty of patch notes. Your refusal to accept that is not my problem.

I have played shadow in every expansion since 2004. Not that it matters. Because you’re still wrong.

We do know. We absolutely know. It was not able to work properly for the content. It was great for single target raid bosses. And it failed at every other level of content. And every change they made caused another problem with the system. Any system designed around the way insanity worked it going to be inherently problematic. You’re going to be shoehorned in both design and impact. Because that type of system is only viable in a structure raid boss environment. Any tier of content that requires you do have any amount of downtime is going to punish you severely. Which is why Shadow priests were one of the LEAST wanted classes for M+.

You can winge and cry and LIE about their attempts to balance the system all you want, and none of it will be any more true and none of it will be coming back. So perhaps it’s time to move on.