Class Changes in Visions of N’Zoth

In our next major content update, Visions of N’Zoth, we’re working on some tuning updates to a few specs that are under- and over-performing in various ways.

Developers’ notes: Specs which excel at DoTs on multiple targets have, over the course of many tiers of content, generally had very high performance on the average. Their DPS advantage in raid encounters that play into their multi-target strength (which are relatively common) is not balanced by a comparable disadvantage in other areas. A small reduction in damage on these specs will leave them noticeably strong in the situations in which they’re strong (albeit slightly less than before), and give other specs more opportunity to stand out at other times. At the same time, a few of the Essences added in Rise of Azshara are not performing as well as we would have liked, so we’re increasing the effectiveness of some parts of them to help keep them competitive with the other Essences available.

With the first build of the update on our Public Test Realm (PTR), you will see the following changes:


  • Druid
    • Balance
      • Moonfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%.
      • Sunfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%.
      • High Noon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%.
      • Power of the Moon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%.
    • Restoration
      • Mastery: Harmony healing bonus reduced by 9%.
      • High Noon (Azerite Trait) damage reduced by 34%.
        • Developers’ note: Restoration Druid has an overall package of healing, damage, and utility that is very hard to compete with in solo-healed content. Two things that stand out in particular are the efficiency of focused healing on a single target with high Mastery, and the ease of contributing DPS with very little GCD usage on Sunfire.
  • Mage
    • Frost
      • Ice Lance damage increased by 20%.
        • Developers’ note: Ice Lance damage hasn’t kept up with Icicles scaling, making builds that ignore Ice Lance possible. The intent of this change is to give Frost Mages a better incentive to use Ice Lance within their rotation, as a DPS net gain.
  • Monk
    • Brewmaster
      • Stamina bonus reduced to 30% (was 35%).
      • Stagger percentage reduced to 90% of Agility (was 105%).
      • High Tolerance now increases the effectiveness of Stagger by 5% (was 8%).
        • Developers’ notes: Brewmaster’s extremely high effective health against Physical damage meant that they are rarely in danger against spike damage that threatens other tanks. This should still be a strength of Brewmaster, but not by such a wide margin.
      • Fixed a bug causing Gift of the Ox orbs to spawn too often for players with high amounts of Stamina.
    • Mistweaver
      • Rising Mist healing increased 33%, and now extends Heal-over-time effects by 4 seconds (was 2 seconds).
        • Developers’ note: This talent is currently overshadowed on its row, and we want to make sure it’s competitive enough to make its unique playstyle a viable option.
      • Life Cocoon now absorbs for 60% of the caster’s maximum health (was 1100% of the caster’s spellpower).
        • Developers’ note: This ability had gotten weaker compared to player health pools since the start of the expansion, and this will help it better maintain its value.
      • Enveloping Mist healing increased by 10%.
      • Revival healing increased by 12%.
      • Renewing Mist healing increased by 15% and now costs 2.5% of mana (was 2.8%).
      • Vivify healing increased by 6%.
    • Windwalker
      • Rising Sun Kick damage increased by 25%.
      • Blackout Kick damage increased by 10%.
        • Developers’ note: These changes are intended to help Windwalkers perform better in single-target fights.
  • Paladin
    • Holy
      • Glimmer of Light (Azerite Trait) healing reduced 12%, and may now be applied to a maximum of 8 targets.
        • Developers’ notes: Over the past year, builds centered around this trait have steadily pulled ahead of all other Holy Paladin playstyles, and to some extent all other healers in high-end content. This change is meant to preserve the gameplay of the trait, but limit the ability to increase its value drastically by stacking every possible bonus that reduces Holy Shock cooldown.
  • Priest
    • Discipline
      • Atonement healing reduced to 50% (was 55%).
      • Penance healing increased by 15%.
      • Fixed a bug preventing Contrition healing from being correctly affected by Mastery.
      • Contrition base healing reduced by 25%.
        • Developers’ notes: In the aggregate, Contrition is gaining value, due to the increase to Penance healing, reduction to Atonement healing, and the Mastery bugfix.
      • Purge the Wicked damage reduced 10%.
      • Power Word:Solace damage reduced 10%.
      • Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced 9%.
      • Mastery: Grace effectiveness increased by 12%.
        • Developers’ notes: Discipline’s ability to contribute both damage and healing is slightly too high for what one character can bring to a group composition. At the same time, we’re making their Mastery stat slightly more attractive.
      • Schism now increases damage done from Priest spells and abilities only.
        • Developers’ notes: This is intended to be consistent with other class cooldowns.
    • Shadow
      • Auspicious Spirits damage bonus reduced to 25% (was 50%).
      • Fixed a bug causing Spiteful Apparitions (Azerite Trait) to be increased by 75% if you do not have Auspicious Spirits talented.
        • Developers’ notes: The multiplicative interaction between Auspicious Spirits, Spiteful Apparitions, and Chorus of Insanity has specifically been a big part of Shadow’s damage scaling somewhat out of control at high target counts.
      • Chorus of Insanity critical strike bonus reduced by 25%.
      • Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced by 8%.
      • Vampiric Touch damage reduced by 8%.
  • Warlock
    • Affliction
      • Deathbolt now deals 20% of the total remaining damage of the Warlock’s damage over time effects on the target (was 30%).
      • Drain Soul damage increased by 50%.
      • Nightfall now increases the damage of Shadow Bolt by 50% (was 25%), and now activates 33% more often.
        • Developers’ notes: One of the key concepts about Affliction Warlock is spreading damage over time spells on a number of different targets. While Deathbolt keys off these types of spells, it provides more-than-expected burst damage and outperforms the other two talents in every situation. In addition to reducing Deathbolt’s effectiveness, we’re improving the other two options to give more options to Affliction Warlocks.


  • Condensed Life-Force
    • The damage debuff applied by your Guardian’s Azerite Spikes has been reduced to 3% increased damage (was 5%).
    • Azerite Spike cast time increased to 2.5 seconds (was 2.0 seconds).
      • Developers’ notes: The cast time increase was primarily intended to resolve a bug where the Guardian would clip his own casts when you gained enough haste to bring the cast below a GCD. However, this particular essence, which is largely passive, was the premier choice for most specializations in both single and multi-target situations. So, in addition to the cast time increase, we felt it was necessary to reduce the damage increase the player receives from the essence.
  • Worldvein Resonance
    • Major rank 1, when used, now additionally causes you to gain +50% bonus to stats from Lifeblood Shards for 10 seconds.
    • Lifeblood Shard now gets +300% value for 18 seconds (was +50% for 10 seconds).
  • Vision of Perfection
    • Proc rate increased by 12%.
  • Unbound Force
    • Major rank 1 damage increased by 40%.
    • Minor rank 1 duration increased to 4 seconds (was 3 seconds).
    • Minor rank 3 increase of duration increased to 2 seconds (was 1 second).
  • Purification Protocol
    • Major rank 1 damage increased by 15%.
    • Major rank 2 now has the potential work on targets that are part of raid and dungeon encounters.
  • Vitality Conduit
    • We’ve rebuilt the way this Essences works, and it should be visually more impactful, as you will now see healing on your targets.

As always, changes like these are a work in progress. We are likely to make further adjustments for testing throughout the PTR.

Thank you very much for your testing and feedback!


So Windwalker is just going to run people over in pvp now… seems okay LUL


No single target DPS compensation for Shadow Priest AoE nerfs? You guys always seem to forget about that. Shadow goes from hero to zero just because you always buff/nerf dots and forget to adjust single target spells.


Shadow currently gets 13-15k dps from its 6 specific azerite trait setup in single target. Most other specs are barely getting more than 5-6k.

With these changes we’re gonna lose 10k dps over night, on single target, (Probably about 20k on aoe) with no compensation to the baseline spec, in fact yet more nerfs.

Before anyone calls me or any other shadow priest out as entitled or whining. I am glad blizzard are finally nerfing us, and I am glad they have finally spotted the true problem, the interaction between SA, COI, and Voidform length, which leads to a ridiculous over reliance on azerite traits to do anything at all.

Again, glad all that’s going away. Just please, please see that without all of that ridiculous scaling, shadow’s baseline damage is nonexistent because of the repeated baseline nerfs that came multiple patches before this, instead of fixing the actual problem.

EDIT: Also that “Bug” with the SA trait that you just nerfed by 75%. That’s a documented hotfix from over a year ago:

(Shadow) Spiteful Apparitions: damage bonus increased by 75% when the Auspicious Spirits talent is not selected.


Wow… You literally killed the shadow priest. Shadow priest SUCKS in pure solo target. I agree on AoE they excels tho. But LOL


Does someone up there really dislike priests?

Can we maybe also stop nerfing atonement healing?


Shadow is actually performing very well on single target right now. One of the top 5 for pure ST, and then top for spread cleave as well.

Top 5 on Sivara Mythic at 80%:


This is listed as “Essence Updates” in the Visions of N’zoth post, yet still no update on Essence Catch-Ups for Alts or Account-Wide Essences.

Do you guys not understand that once alt players do everything they need on their mains, they simply stop their game time rather than play their alts with this system in place?

I used to play about 100 hours a week (No, that’s not an exaggeration, and no, I don’t need you to judge me), and now I’m not playing at all.

You guys NEED to do something to help people with alts get essences quicker, if they have them on their mains, either make them account-wide or find a way to make them quicker to gain.


Good changes in general. I don’t play a spriest, but I hope you take their feedback above into play about addressing core problems that are only solved by specific traits.

What about tertiary azerite powers? Where overwhelming power is 800 dps better than Earthlink per trait? Or a trait like Seismic Wave for Arms Warrior is awful in like 95% of situations? Since you won’t give us the ability to target azerite worth a damn, you could at least make the powers better balanced in general. Especially on the overwhelming power tier that has essentially zero impact on gameplay and is only a power bonus.

You might something like “but it’s only a 2% difference with overwhelming power”. Ok, yes, but that is enough of a difference to make 420 ilvl pieces from Uldir be break even with 445 pieces and that sucks.


Sorry I don’t see this anywhere tbh

i dont want to cry over things that aren’t set yet but u guys are nerfing the DoTs of the classes that exceed at multi-targeting (nerfing the fight with a lot of enemies) but at the same time aren’t buffing the single target abilities of those classes. So let’s kill what keep those classes alive…


Please do something about essences on alts. It’s one of the most unfun things in the game because I just don’t want to do it on alts, and therefore just don’t want to play the alt at all because it’s missing this huge part of class power.


my name is blizzard and i’m going to nerf one of the least used talents to be completely useless

what a gamer move, RIP auspicious spirits, not like people took you anymore already anyways


So…by nerfing Deathbolt to make the other two talents more attractive…are you going to address why those two are unattractive or are you just going to leave us with a gimped Deathbolt until 9.0?


Hi, good seeing some changes.

Just want some clarification on the Rising Mist change, seems to be missing a word, is it increased BY 30% or TO 30% ? since it currently heals for 15% spell power

The devs were VERY selective on the WW buffs. There were two issues with WW right now, both of which are PvE related

  1. Azerite trait - Open Palm Strike is getting to the point where in PvE, the damage is pushing RSK off the rotation; outside of using it to trigger Whirling Dragon Punch.
  2. Windwalkers are currently the lowest single-target melee in Eternal Palace.

Because of those two, the devs wanted to buff their damage. however due to how powerful they are in PvP and M+, they didn’t want to flat-out buff them overall. So this is probably the best thing the devs could do without over-buff them. On top of that, the buff to RSK makes it so that the Drop-RSK rotation is dead.


Top 5 sivara mythic 80%, Top 5 boss damage ashvane mythic 80%

Shadow’s doing far better than it ever has on single target outside of S2M era, whilst still dominating every spread target encounter.


Unless Flash Freeze’s GS/Mastery interaction gets fixed, the Lance buff is a non-starter.


Can we please have contrition buff for disc priest so that talent can finally be usefull in castigation / contrition build? This talent has been complete garbage for the whole expansion it’s seriously annoying.