FEEDBACK: Demon Hunter Class Changes

Would love to test out Unbound Chaos but with me having 90 ping, the demon spawns in the middle of my fel rush path, not at the end. If you guys make this talent work properly it could actually be really cool though.

I also don’t understand what the point of the cycle of hatred change is, unless it’s not meant to be the best option in that row. If it is ever going to be the best option for general use, I’m not going to ever want to play this class, because the Antorus playstyle of not ever pressing blade dance is so mind numbing and anti-fun.

Burning Hatred is too good as a talent. Demon Blades could use buffs to be competitive (remember when it was a 100% chance to gain fury? that was really fun/good).

Demonic still being 6 seconds still makes the class way worse and lowers the skill cap. Can you guys just let this be a good talent? It’s one of the few fun things about Havoc.

Demon hunter without Furious Gaze remains terrible.

Can you guys just make First blood or Essence break baseline already?

Also please revert the weird changes you made with double jump movement at the start of alpha.

28 Likes

I’m just an Illidan main in Heroes of the Storm. Also, I sometimes play my DH.

If I may ask, The Hunt description: “… increasing your Fury from Demon’s Bites against them by 50%.”

When Demon Blades is selected, it replaces Demon’s Bite. Does this make that part of The Hunt useless, or does it take into account Demon Blades? As it is now, the description doesn’t change when Demon Blades is selected.
Additionally, is The Hunt supposed to pull everything between you and your target? That makes this ability feel like more of a punishment if you don’t have Shadowmeld up.

Also, when using The Hunt, I’d like for my character to scream, “FEEEEL THE HATRED OF TEN THOUUSAND YEAARRRS” and make a satisfying PLUNK! noise when I collide with the enemy. Thanks!

2 Likes

By taking away the Eyebeam CD reduction from consuming souls, you have effectively taken away one of my favorite interactions this spec has. I’m sorry, but this is not a good change. Instead of trying to force people to “have more meaningful choices” in certain talent rows by flat out taking away features from OTHER talent rows, why don’t you just design the talents to be…oh, I don’t know, interesting and powerful in the first place?

Also, there will ALWAYS be one or two talent choices in every tier that will be everyone’s go to for almost all situations, with only a couple outliers here and there. It’s NOT a bad thing that people take Demonic or Demonic Appetite by default currently. If you haven’t guessed by now, people ENJOY the demonic and souls aspect of DH. Stop trying to “fix” what was never broken.

And I’m just gonna come right out and say it: Barely anyone likes momentum. Even in Legion, the SECOND Demonic became viable, people switched so fast off momentum and never looked back. It’s just not fun to play. Turning our biggest mobility CD into a damage CD is crap and you know it. I don’t want to have to choose whether to do more damage with the talent I picked or lose that damage in the chance I may need the mobility in the next 10 seconds. Just scrap momentum and scrap nemesis. Nemesis has been a waste of a talent space since day 1.

Demonic, turning into a demon, eating the souls of your enemies ala pac-man style…honestly these are huge parts of what make DH fun.

And for god’s sake, bring back Fury of the Illidari. Why do specs like Ret and Frost get to keep their artifact abilities from Legion but we can’t ours? And Ebonbolt is SOOO specific to the frost legion artifact. How can they still cast that spell without the weapon, and yet me, as a demon hunter, can’t just twirl my glaives around without mine?

58 Likes

Vengeance

While I love the animation of consuming Soul Shards as Vengeance. Is there anyway you can make the actual healing portion instant while the animation is delayed? Delayed healing feels bad. Below are my thoughts on the class as a whole, some of these ideas are really out there, not all of them need to be taken, I’m just throwing out a bunch of things, I’m no professional, so they might be bad. Be Gentle. I will have cliff notes at the end.

Honestly though, why does Vengeance even have pain(now fury) anymore? It’s not restrictive. And the spec wouldn’t be fun if it became restrictive because our abilities don’t do enough. I feel like Vengeance really needs to go all in on Soul Fragments being our resource. Keep Shear(Though I would much rather Fracture become Baseline, I want to be Fracturing the enemy, not my wrist) and give us a burst way to create Soul Fragments like our Old Artifact ability.

With that, Soul Fragments need to be looked at and consuming Large amount of Soul Fragments needs to be tempered so we still use Soul Cleave. Every Soul Fragment after the 2nd when consumed by an ability is reduced to 80% Flat. As an example Soul Cleave would heal for 200% when consuming 2 Soul Frags, while Spirit Bomb would heal for 440% when consuming 5. I also believe that all Soul Fragments consumed by over capping should be reduced to 70% effectiveness or so to punish for over capping our resource. Finally give us a “oh crap” minor CD that sets us to max Soul Fragments(10 in this case) and instantly consumes them for 840% healing.

Finally I want to look at Mastery. Vengeance has one of the most boring mastery in the game but it is effective. It’s just that it’s a scaling on the functionally of an ability that already has that functionally, it’s just another slider. Comparable to Arms mastery that is getting reworked in Shadowlands. I’ve always thought that Vengeance is that offensive tank and I feel like they should have an offensive Mastery something that’s unique. So how about a mastery that when you consume a Soul Fragment, it explodes dealing AoE damage around you. This damage is doubled while Immo Aura is up. This will probably push Vengeance to best M+ tank though and not help them out in raid which is whats needed, so probably a bad change right now.

Cliff Notes!

  • Pain(Fury) removed, More emphasis on Soul Fragments as a resource.

Soul Fragments

  • No more Delay on healing from Soul Fragments(Animation stays the same).
  • Soul Frag Cap moved to 10
  • Every Soul Fragment after the 2nd when consumed by an ability is reduced to 80% flat.
  • Soul Fragments consumed passively are reduced to 70% effectiveness.

Generators

  • Shear/Fracture will be our main generator.
  • CD Generator that will create a bunch(Soul Carver pls)
  • Now that Pain is gone and we no longer gain resource on damage taken, Create Soul Fragments on damage taken(A lot like Gift of the Ox)

Spenders

  • Soul Cleave 2 Fragments for 200% Healing
  • Spirit Bomb 5 Fragments for 440% Healing and Frailty
  • Oh-No Button sets Fragments to 10 and consume for 840% Healing

Mastery

  • Old Mastery gets removed, buff Demon Spikes to compensate
  • New Mastery - Defensive - Soulmonger: Consuming Soul Fragments Shields you for [Scales with mastery]. (Too much like BDK imo, but I really like this azerite trait.)
  • New Mastery - Offensive - Immolation: Consuming Soul Fragments damage nearby enemies for [Scales with mastery], this damage is doubled during Immolation Aura.

And that’s it for now!

7 Likes

I am all for making our kit and mastery more Offensive. VDH should genuinely be the offensive tank of WoW, think about it:

  • We don’t use Plate Armor, we don’t Sword & Board, we aren’t a Meat Shield.

DPS should be our niche in the pantheon of tanks, even if that tilts us more in the direction of M+dungeons over raids (which we have been for a while now).

9 Likes

In the next Alpha build, we’ve made this change to Unbound Chaos:

  • Activating Immolation Aura will cause your inner demon to slam into nearby enemies at the end of your next Fel Rush, dealing Chaos damage.
    • Developers’ notes: We like the feeling of Immolation Aura empowering your Fel Rush, but requiring Fel Rush to be cast while Immolation Aura was active placed too much pressure on that particular window. We want this talent to be for occasionally weaving Fel Rush into your rotation for a big payoff, so we’ve changed the talent to Immolation Aura buffing your next Fel Rush, which means you can find the right time to fit it in.
4 Likes

Havoc is a dead spec unless you revert eye beam CD reduction changes. That is what makes it fun, people like demonic/eye beam, not trash momentum. Unbound chaos change means little if no one wants to play that style.

52 Likes

After playing around with some of the new Vengeance changes, here are my thoughts:

  • I like the collective changes to Immolation Aura through Agonizing Flames, and Charred Flesh. Combined with Burning Alive, I feel like this opens up a new talent build, one that will likely be popular for M+, by allowing us to drop Fiery Brand on a group, and keep it maintained for a decent period of time through Immolation Aura extending the duration. Will also pair well with Infernal Armor in raid settings, giving a decent amount of uptime on the 20% armor bonus. Overall, I appreciate these talent changes opening up alternate builds/playstyles.

  • Thank you for buffing Soul Cleave. I appreciate having a smaller delta between it and Spirit Bomb, so I feel less compelled to play it.

However, there are plenty of issues that remain:

  • Felblade is still totally useless. It’s simply too difficult to fit into the rotation. It consumes a GCD on its own, and then at least 1 more for the extra soul cleave it provides the Fury for. Instead, consider making this a passive talent, that every 12 seconds (or whatever) gives the player the Felblade buff, causing their next Shear/Fracture to leap up to 15 yards, deal 20% increased damage, and increase the Fury generated by 25.

  • The change to Feast of Souls is really just not good enough. It’s such a weak talent. What might actually make this a genuinely good talent is allowing the heal from the talent to stack like Ignite, combining and rolling over into a new heal each time you Soul Cleave, then weakening when the previous one falls off. That would mean you actually get the full heal from the hot all the time, as currently most of the heal is wasted due to spamming multiple Soul Cleaves back to back. In it’s current form, this talent will still never be chosen over Fallout, which provides superior healing by providing actual soul fragments, or Burning Alive, which provides better mitigation against groups.

  • Fracture still feels like a must-pick. It’s so vital to the spec, and making the rotation feel good. I have played the last two years without ever swapping out this talent, and that won’t change now. Fracture, much like the old Rockbiter scenario with Enhancement shamans, needs to be made baseline.

  • Demonic will dominate its row, I am willing to place money on this now. It feels so good to the playstyle, gives control over Meta uptime, and just feels great to play. Void Reaver, on the other hand, is about the most boring talent ever conceived, and Soul Barrier simply doesn’t scale well into high levels of damage, making it inferior to Demonic in almost all scenarios, except perhaps magic damage. Maybe lay into that role. Let Soul Barrier be a pick when magic damage is a major concern, increase its absorption by a decent amount, but have it only absorb magic damage. As for Soul Reaver, just toss it and replace it with something more interesting.

  • Last Resort still feels like a must-pick for anyone doing any serious progression. Having the fallback of a guaranteed life save is generally too good not to have for any VDH doing actually difficult content. Ruinous Bulwark feels too weak, and provides a very small amount of extra healing every 45 seconds (the overheal portion is rarely relevant, as you’re often below 100% hp when you use it). Bulk Extraction feels like it has too long a CD for what it does, and is only really relevant for M+, as it requires 5 targets to actually provide meaningful healing. I’d suggest having Ruinous Bulwark drop the overshield thing, and just reduce the CD of Fel Devastation by 5-10 seconds, to synergize with Demonic. Bulk Extraction should always pull 5 fragments, and be off the GCD, so it can be used as an emergency snap-heal, and maybe drop the CD to 1 minute.

  • And finally, there has still been no change, or even talk of change, to our Mastery. It has to go. Please. It is a win-more stat that only provides mitigation when we least need it, and is big contributor to the high-high’s and low-low’s feeling in our survivability. We desperately need a Mastery that applies at all times, not just when our mitigation is active, to help smooth out our damage curve.

  • Oh, one last pet peeve, but I am still annoyed about the loss of 10 yards on Infernal Strike. Either put it back into Abyssal Strike, or make it a baseline part of the ability. We’ve had a 40 yard range on the ability for four years, there’s no reason to nerf it now.

21 Likes

The DH Necrolord covenant ability really needs some changing - Having the demon spawn and needing to kill it is somewhat awkward already, but honestly it’s fine if it has to be like that.

My main issue is the puddle it creates is extremely tiny. It’s very reminiscent of rune of power in early mists when it was a super tiny circle, it really should just provide the buff to you of increased dmg and reduced dmg taken vs. having to stand in the puddle. If you don’t want to do that, another option is making the puddle bigger, but you risk it obfuscating other mechanics on the ground, so making it a buff really is the best solution.

I really want to pick maldraxxus, I really like the shield (granted it could use some work, however I posted that in another thread), and I like the buff the demon gives and it’s somewhat cool the fantasy behind summoning a demon from the theatre of pain that you duel to the death with - But the pool just kind of ruins it. Please consider changing it.

12 Likes

Speak for yourself. I’m tired of the degenerate demonic/eye beam gameplay. Raddon’s Cascading Eyes in Legion or Furious Gaze/Eye of Rage stacking is stale and the class needs a breath of fresh air.

Unbound Chaos nerf should be reverted, otherwise Trail of Ruin will most likely be the go-to once again. Havoc DH has plenty of bad talents that need to be redone in a way that gives us more meaningful choices.

For example: Insatiable Hunger’s recent change was lazy and fundamentally inferior to an out-of-combat Fury generator such as Burning Hatred or the free generation of Demon Blades once you have a good amount of haste (some niche usage in PvP when paired with Felblade.)

8 Likes

Havoc feels like a dumpster fire to play, obviously excluding tuning as that’s just literal number crunching. It’s so easy to fix this spec mechanically and it’s disgusting the state that it’s in.

  1. Revert Chaos Strike to refund chance scaling with crit chance. I don’t know why this was even gutted in the first place. Not scaling with any stats outside of borrowed power garbage is 70 IQ at best.

  2. Make First Blood baseline. This talent is too strong. IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE MOVED OR NERFED. No one wants to ever go back to not being able to use Blade Dance/Death Sweep on single target.

  3. Delete Nemesis and turn it into Chaos Blades. Nemesis is absolute PEAK pepega and the solution is just get rid of that hot garbage. Nemesis doesn’t feel good to press, meanwhile Chaos Blades depending on tuning could at least make mastery not COMPLETELY dog.

  4. Make Cycle of Hatred reduce cooldown based on fury spent. I know you’re going to rip the Legiondary shoulders and give it to us AGAIN as borrowed power. That is a mistake. Make this talent actually not garbage so that the Demonic build doesn’t die as soon as pre-patch comes.

  5. If you don’t want to do number 1 or 4, then just flat out revert the change to Cycle of Hatred. Put the eyebeam cooldown reduction back on Demonic Appetite. This change was absolutely mindless.

  6. Bring back Fury of the Illidari in some capacity. Even with the 1 minute CD, give us SOMETHING to press.

What is our class fantasy even supposed to be? Is it being a flashy demon? If so then make Demonic baseline, as Demonic is a GREAT talent (spoiler alert: bake Furious Gaze into Demonic, though once again you’re going to take the lazy way out and add it as a legendary effect I’m sure). Speaking of, why was Demonic nerfed? You don’t need to remove what minute amount of skill expression is left in the class. Fitting three Death Sweeps into our Demonic window with haste corruption feels sick, now you want us to only Death Sweep once unless we stack haste KEKW. Is our class fantasy to dash around like a maniac? Make First Blood baseline then, and rework Momentum so it’s not terrible to play at difficult content. Make it Felblade us into the target or SOMETHING that isn’t what Momentum currently is. No one wants to play Momentum for a full tier and get a boss like Fetid or Mythrax where you’re 100% out of your best talent. If you want to make us choose between mobility and burst windows, fine that’s cool, but at least make Momentum not FEEL exponentially bad based on fight design.

Also let’s talk about Felblade/Demon Blades for a moment. Personally I LOVE these two talents. Let’s all just imagine a world where Felblade/Demon Blades/First Blood/Demonic exist with Bloodlet-empowered Throw Glaive and Essence Break in the rotation.

Also, it’s 2020, why is our ONLY DPS CD on a FOUR minute cooldown. Hello?

60 Likes

LMAO xddddddddddddddd

Try again with the Havoc legendaries buddies, these are all completely degenerate.

Chaos Theory is cool tho, just make it higher than 10% lul.

Why is Inner Demons a Legendary, when you could just make it a talent if you Baselined First Blood? HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

The Throw Glaive Legendary is actually you trolling us, just make it bloodlet lmao.

What the Christ is Darkest Hour, what DH is dumb enough to EVER use that? Literal bait Legendary btw. Is this expansion our Darkest Hour?

Darkglare Medallion sucks in Torghast and it sucks as a Legendary.

Sigil of the Illidari is thematically cool, but why would you ever pick it since Eyebeam doesn’t exist anymore in a single target rotation and it hits like an emaciated PoW.

I’m going to try to predict the future: Our conduits give a stacking damage increase to Fel Rush, Eyebeam (worthless now), or Annihilation crit chance just to troll us. There’s also going to be a utility conduit that turns blur into an offensive CD when running Momentum. Believe me, this is deeeeeeeefinitely what every DH wants. Good news is, it doesn’t matter that we won’t be having fun in Mythic Raids, we’ll be dc’d half the time anyways.

xdddddddddddddddddd

31 Likes

So here’s why the spec sucks.

Chaos Theory requires First Blood to use it. First Blood is on the same row as Cycle of Hatred, which would massively benefit from Chaos Theory. You can’t have both and have a synergy between them with the Legendary.

Swap First Blood and Trail. Please. I beg of you. Better yet, make First Blood baseline, let that be something you gain as a passive for Dance at 60. Then we can start actually enjoying Havoc. The current spec design isn’t coherent and makes no sense at all. None.

EDIT: It all comes down to First Blood. Havoc as a spec is entirely limited because First Blood is a talent and not something passively added in. The entire spec is pigeonholed because of that one talent and you will never justify Blade Dance without it, nor will Demon Hunters want that talent nerfed. I promise you Havoc would be better off from every perspective if we just had it built in.

54 Likes

Double Jump is still bugged in beta as it was in alpha. You can no longer change direction mid jump like on live.

15 Likes

Realllllly hoping that the Azerite Power “Furious Gaze” comes back as a Shadowlands Legendary! Currently on the beta, the Havoc spec feels a little slow/sluggish to how it has felt for the entirety of BfA. I’ve really enjoyed the how the Havoc spec was able to synergy well with the “borrowed power systems” in BfA (i.e. Azerite armor/Essences), and in Shadowlands, the borrowed power from every covenant’s different soulbinds and abilities are super fun, but Havoc legendaries seem a little lack luster. Really hoping a trait at least similar to “Furious Gaze” will come back as a legendary in order to speed up the havoc rotation!

3 Likes

Truthfully that’s not something most Havoc players want. Imagine if the same effect appeared 3 expansions in a row that was required to make the spec work, and that effect was tied to something you lose at the end of the expansion. If Furious Gaze comes back, it better be as a core spec effect, and not as an outside power, because that’d be just plain insulting at that point.

EDIT: That said, FG is actually super unhealthy when coupled with Hasted PPM effects like Infinite Stars. Not fun gameplay. Makes Hasted PPM effects way too valuable.

15 Likes

I main a DH and been testing the class on shadowlands.

It is not fun. The class is slow. I get holes in the rotation with only Demon bite to cast to try and do… something else. Immolation aura need be go back to how it was. I feel fury starved and the only fun ability is “sinful brand” a covenant ability, not even my own class.

Basically, as is, the class is literrally unfun and feel clunky with talents that make no sense and a lack of better “synergy” between rows. It feels like an unfinished class that is still leveling and require new things, but at 60. I dont like momentum and feels it needs to be either removed or given as default to all demon hunters. using it in most raids bosses is not worth the bother. using it in mythic+ is not going to be fun.

What are the current choices? Go BFA cookie cutter demonic: it feels slow, with major holes in the rotation, a very low GCD and Chaos Strike feels weak.

Essence break feels like a trap: 8 seconds with current GCD to fit what exactely?
Unbound chaos seems like a last minute test and is really not interesting. So we immolation aura to gain a super charge next Fel rush, with the demon often missing the target.

All in all, Havoc need a really hard looking into, I am expecting some more knowledgable demon hunter to put into more “theocrafty” word what I feel like is an imcomplete spec with uninspired spells and talent tree.

The designers can surely do something better.

ps: why have you gutted the healing of havoc and the blade dance use to avoid damage from non bosses? If its pvp, just make havoc heals -50% in pvp…

The legendary are just uninspiring.

33 Likes

I held off on posting much because I held out the hope that the small changes Havoc needed to make it a full spec would be put in, and that whatever gaps it had would be corrected with Legendary effects, Soulbinds, and Conduits. I held off after seeing the initial Covenant abilities because you, Blizzard, assured repeatedly that those abilities would not be the full picture of what each Covenant represented, even in spite of my best judgment telling me Venthyr would be the go-to. Given the direction Havoc’s design has taken, I feel it appropriate now to explain just why the entire Havoc community is dreading Shadowlands Havoc.

The TL;DR is that there isn’t a foundation from which Havoc can be built, and as a consequence, our talents, the Legendary effects, and whatever Conduits that can probably be thought up, will not, and cannot fix that. Havoc needs a redesign from the ground up, one that doesn’t rely on borrowed power from Legion’s Artifact, Battle for Azeroth’s Azerite and Essences, and Shadowlands’ system overload, to complete the spec.

Havoc does not have a core kit with consistent moments of glory as a foundation. When you think of Havoc, the very first thing most people will say is some variation of “Demon”. Our kit has exactly one ability that makes use of the core of what a Demon Hunter is; Metamorphosis. Outside of Metamorphosis, there is no core identity. There is not a core mechanic that makes the player feel empowered. All of that empowerment comes from talent choices, and most of those feel so obviously correct that they might as well be built in (see; my post above).

Battle for Azeroth’s balancing of the talents allowed for moments of glory to come during Demonic windows, with the requirement of a talent point being spent. Getting a triple Death Sweep in a single Demonic window feels great. You’re accomplishing something that requires a lot of gear optimization and planning to pull off, and being in Meta is just plain awesome and thematic, which is why it’s such a shame that it is Havoc’s only cooldown, and a 4 minute cooldown at that. And even then, Demonic is nerfed, and without Furious Gaze, accomplishing even two Death Sweeps will be a large challenge.

Obviously, BfA Havoc has its problems. One of them is not so obvious. A lot of current Havoc players greatly enjoy Furious Gaze. I want to stress I am not saying Havoc needs to play fast, but play complete. Furious Gaze is what allows for Havoc to do a high amount of damage, but that also has some rather unfortunate side effects with regard to hasted PPM effects. Take a look at this, for example. In what world would I be happy with my damage breakdown there, in spite of it being an insanely good log? Most of the damage was related to Infinite Stars, not my own play. I didn’t feel rewarded for good play, I felt lucky, and knowing I might not be able to repeat that is a disheartening feeling. So no, adding a Conduit or another Legendary that gives us that effect again will not put a bandaid on the issue, it’ll only lead to this one again.

What Havoc truly needs is a kit that allows for real, player-driven moments of glory. Imagine this, for example; instead of Metamorphosis, we have Demonic as a core mechanic to our gameplay. Our cooldown is now Fury of the Illidari, a two minute cooldown that functions similar to our Artifact ability, but instead of it just being a fire-and-forget damage spell, it floods targets with Chaotic energy, debuffing everything hit to take an additional reflection of all damage during a debuff window as Chaos Damage, sort of like Diver’s Folly or Soul Capacitor. Imagine for a second that our core loop was Battle for Azeroth; Eye Beam every 30 seconds, Blade Dance whenever it’s off cooldown, but instead of talents giving us the ability to play a kit at all, our talents instead change up how that kit can be played. You’d drop Fury of the Illidari, use Eye Beam, and blast as much damage as you could into that debuff window as your GCD allows, giving the player potential for a massive “this needs to die now” burst window. How you execute that window could be modified by the talents you’ve taken.

The ultimate, final row, of course, could be something that modifies how Metamorphosis plays through the idea of selecting what “Demon Soul” the Havoc Demon Hunter consumed in their process of becoming as such. One talent could amp all your haste (reasonably, not to 150%) and cause all your abilities to cleave for additional damage during the window, call it Essence of the Shivarra, a second could increase your mastery and cause all damage you do to be chaos damage at the cost of increasing Eye Beam’s cooldown, Essence of the Eredar, and a third could increase all damage you do to the primary target of your Eye Beam for the duration of Metamorphosis, Essence of the Pit Lord. The trade off for this system would be that, in exchange for a Meta that lasts for 15 seconds every 30 seconds, there would be no talents or ways to reduce Eye Beam’s cooldown, as Metamorphosis would then be balanced around 50% maximum uptime, and with the new Fury of the Illidari in mind.

Food for thought as to a potential rework for Havoc, one that would give it a foundation from which the rest of the class could be made. The point remains, however, that current, BfA/Shadowlands Havoc is half of a spec, and until it is redesigned from the ground up, no amount of borrowed power will make the spec feel good. See my post about First Blood being so detrimental as a talent. I know you said that reworks are unlikely for this expansion, but if something doesn’t change over the course of Shadowlands, you’ll end right back here this time next Expansion development cycle, scratching your heads as to what to do with Havoc to actually make it work.

As it is, our talents feel… silly. Like there are obvious choices and obvious dead talents. Momentum seems fun, sure, but in most fights it’s not reasonable to take. Nemesis seems fine but locking yourself to one target for a whole minute feels so bad, and Assassination Rogue already has Vendetta. Before you say, “yes, but you can use it on an add…”, and then do what? Best case, the add is the same type of creature as every other thing you fight. Worst case, the adds are one type, the boss is another, which did happen in Antorus, mind you. You also want to use it with Metamorphosis, but that’s a 4 minute cooldown (which is another problem in of itself). 20% extra damage to one type of creature for half the fight at best versus Demonic’s 30% extra damage to all creature types for half the fight seems like a no brainer, and at least Demonic looks cool. Essence Break and Cycle of Hatred are dead so long as First Blood exists, and nerfing or removing First Blood would cause a riot. Trail versus Fel Barrage is silly. Havoc at its core is a boring, generic builder/spender without any moment of glory at all. That’s not a spec. That’s a class foundation from which a spec should be built.

67 Likes

Inspired by and following up on the excellent post above, I wrote up some detailed thoughts on how the covenant signature & class abilities stack up right now for Havoc DH, in Raid, M+, and Arena:

Covenants

Covenant Signature Abilities

Kyrian

Summon Steward: Call your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore some of your health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed Effects. Your Steward additionally offers access to a selection of useful amenities, each once per day.

Instant Cast, 5 min cooldown. Lasts 3 min.

By default, Phial of Serenity only heals for 15% of your health. The heal feels pretty non-impactful, but the phial also does remove all curse, disease, poison, and bleeds, which makes it sort of a super-Stoneform that could be incredibly useful in certain situations, especially on a class, like DH, that doesn’t have a way to self-dispel. This utility will be contingent on fight and raid design that emphasizes the need to remove curses.

The Phial itself is on a 1 minute cooldown of its own, independent from potions and healthstones.

The Steward itself also offers a set of useful amenities, such as repairing your gear, changing your talents, vendoring, telling your friends how awesome they are, and with Kyrian Sanctum research, accessing the Kyrian teleportation network. Each of these useful amenities is on a once per day cooldown, though, which feels a bit meh in terms of actual utility, and, apart from the travel network and telling your friend how awesome they are, none of them are something you can’t do by other means.

Slight rework: This Covenant ability needs some extra “oomph” to make it more attractive. Numbers tuning needed on the healing percentage as well; 15% is barely noticeable.

Raid

D Tier

Situational. This will be completely dependent on the specifics of given encounters. It may be incredible in certain fights, and may be completely worthless in many others. The heal component is not worth writing home about and perhaps should be strengthened to make this more compelling as a choice, especially for situations where there’s nothing to dispel.

It’s going to be tricky to craft encounters around this – make self-dispels too important for a specific fight and Kyrians may have a significant advantage. Don’t have any fights with self-dispels and Kyrians may wonder why their phial self-dispels anything at all.

Rating this as D tier since, as far as we know, most fights aren’t going to need self-dispels and the self-heal is insignificant.

M+

C Tier

I haven’t seen all the dungeon encounters yet, but it doesn’t appear that dispels are going to be particularly necessary. May have some situational utility.

Arena

F Tier

From my testing, it doesn’t appear the phial is usable in the arena at all. (Perhaps because it is a conjured item?) I summoned a Steward in the skirmish pre-game and he didn’t give me a phial. I haven’t been able to try to zone in with a phial to see if it doesn’t go away.

If phial is enabled in arena, the heal is not enough to matter. You can’t use phial while CC’d. This looks like it’ll be mostly useful against Assasination Rogues, as it gives you a way to clear their bleeds and poisons. Would probably upgrade this to C Tier if it were actually usable in the Arena, just because rogues are often encountered in arena. DHs aren’t usually kill targets, though.

Necrolord

Fleshcraft:
Form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 sec that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health for 2 min.
Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health. This is most effective against powerful enemies.
100 yd range, Instant cast

This is a pretty long channel – 4 seconds – and 20% extra health (or 50% if over the corpse of a “powerful enemy.”) 50% extra health is a very significant absorb, especially on a 2 minute timer. Once again, this could be incredibly useful in certain situations – not dying when you would otherwise die, for example. It does last 2 minutes as well, which means, unless there’s pulsing damage, it can be pre-cast before a particularly deadly ability goes out.

Slight rework: This Covenant ability needs a damage component to make it more attractive to non-tanks. For example, imagine if the shield also gave 20% to 50% Haste – suddenly this is much more compelling.

Raid

D Tier

Situational. Once again, this will come down to fight mechanics, which we haven’t seen yet, since Castle Nathria isn’t open for testing. There are not that many corpses around in raid, but that can be mitigated by the Necrolord class ability which enables you to kill a demon to obtain what is, in effect, a “corpse on demand.” It might be incredibly valuable on some fights, or, then again, it might not.

Rating this as D Tier because most fights won’t need this shield, but it might come in handy in some specific circumstances.

M+

B Tier

Situational. This ability looks like it might single-handedly enable pushing higher keys, particularly on Tyrannical weeks (assuming we’ll once again see one-shot mechanics emerge at very high key levels). Since it’s an absorb and thus preventative damage, this can be pre-planned. Mythic+ also has lots of corpses around, which makes it easier to use.

Apart from high Tyrannical keys, however, this is going to be somewhat useless given how M+ dungeons tend to be designed. Probably much stronger on Vengeance (with its very large health pools, particularly during meta) than on Havoc.

Arena

F Tier

I haven’t been able to test this in Arena, but first, there are no corpses at the start of games, apart from the Necrolord class ability – but I doubt the shield will persist after the pre-game, which means a Necrolord DH would need to start the game, summon the demon, kill the demon, channel a 4 second cast to get a shield. That… is a lot of pre-work and enemy teams are not going to let Necrolords DH do that undisturbed. That means this’ll likely, at best, be a 20% shield if you channel right at the start of the match. It’s not hard to get rid of 20% of your health in arena, and once that’s done, the shield is gone. DH also doesn’t tend to play in double dps comps in 2s, which means this is also pretty limited in utility.

There is one very powerful soulbind (Plague Deviser Marileth’s Ultimate Form) that makes you completely immune to crowd control while the shield is up, but the counterplay is “deal damage and the shield goes away.”

Hard to see this being useful in arena.

Night Fae

Soulshape: Turn into a Vulpin, increasing movement speed by 30%. You may reactivate Soulshape to teleport 10 yds forward. Lasts 12 sec, or indefinitely while in a rest area.
Instant cast, 1.5 min cooldown.

The mini-blinks while in the Soulshape go about 10-15 yards. You immediately exit Soulshape if you use class ability. Soulshape is handy as extra mobility in a wide variety of situations, particularly if we’re playing Momentum and use our actual mobility skills for damage before some sort of random call that requires us to move unexpectedly.

Slight rework: This ability feels pretty lackluster, especially when compared head-to-head to Door of Shadows. It needs some sort of “oomph” – perhaps some sort of damage buff after exiting the Soulshape (“empowered by your Soulshape, you gain X% to your damage and healing for 12 seconds”).

Raid

D Tier

Situational. This will come down, once again, to fight design. That said, Havoc DH already has a lot of mobility, so this is piling onto an existing strength of the spec. It’s hard to imagine a fight where we’d need two fel rushes, vengeful retreat, double jump, and Soulshape – other classes would be long dead by then.

M+

A Tier

Situational, where skips are needed. With a soulbind Trait (Niya’s Sylvari Mantle), this works as a shadowmeld when Soulshape ends (or you click it off). This makes skips quite viable in M+, even more so than Door of Shadows, since you can get further in 12 seconds. Unfortunately it is tied to an otherwise pretty bad Soulbind tree for DH, with the end trait buffing our worst stat: Mastery.

Remains to be seen whether skips and how skips are needed depending on mob counts and routing.

Arena

D Tier

Since you can’t use abilities while in Soulshape, it’s only really useful for running away or chasing once you’ve used up your existing movement abilities. Perhaps handy in situations where you’re getting kited by a druid or monk healer around a pillar, but that seems to be about it…

Venthyr

Door of Shadows: Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location.
35 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 1 min cooldown

A 35 yard blink with a cast-time. A soulbind (Theotar the Mad Duke) can make this instant. Unlike Soulshape, this is a targeted blink which means you can blink across gaps as long as there’s a path available. Likely enables many creative uses.

Raid

C Tier

Situational. Probably not needed on most fights, but likely incredibly useful on fights where it is handy. Since it’s a 35 yard blink, this is a bit faster movement than anything in the DH kit, especially when made instant via soulbind.

M+

B Tier

Situational, where skips are needed. Unlikely this will be important in M+ boss fights, but could be valuable for enabling skips though the 35 yard range might not enough for some skips, and it doesn’t have a combat drop Soulbind options like Soulshape does. Remains to be seen whether skips and how skips are needed depending on mob counts and routing.

Arena

C Tier

Situational, map-dependent. This lets you get from the bottom to the top of Blade’s Edge Arena after you’ve been knocked off the bridge. Apart from that, and other similar use cases, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be particularly game changing.

Covenant Class Abilities

Kyrian

Elysian Decree: Place a Kyrian Sigil at the target location that activates after 2 sec. Detonates to deal (120% of Attack power) Arcane damage and shatter up to 3 Lesser Soul Fragments from enemies affected by the sigil.
30 yd range, Instant Cast, 1 min cooldown.

This ability reminds me most of the Umbral Moonglaives trinket from Legion, except that this ability has an activation time and does much less damage. With the changes to Demonic Appetite, the Lesser Soul Fragments are only useful as a heal, not as an Eye Beam cooldown reduction. This is an uncapped AoE, but the damage on this ability feels undertuned, especially if it’s to be useful outside of mass AoE situations (which will likely be less common with AoE target capping…)

Numbers tuning needed: This just doesn’t hit hard enough. Slight rework: It’d feel more impactful without the 2 second activation time, which is just enough time for a tank to move a pack out of the Decree circle.

Raid

C Tier

Situational. Only useful on AoE boss fights, a la Hivemind.

M+

B Tier

Lots of AoE in M+, and this finds good use when you’ve pulled a large pack. Needs more damage though to be particularly impactful.

Arena

D Tier

The two second activation makes this hard to use. Maybe useful when you’re landing a mana burn on a healer? But it isn’t very much damage, and the AoE doesn’t really matter in arena, so…

Necrolord

Fodder to the Flame: Commission a duel to the death against a Condemned Demon from the Theater of Pain. Vanquishing your foe releases its demon soul and creates a pool of demon blood that lasts for 30 sec. Fighting within the pool increases your attack speed by 20% and reduces the damage that enemies deal to you by 10%. Fleshcraft treats the Condemned Demon as a powerful enemy.
Instant Cast, 3 min cooldown.

On the premade level 60 I tested on, this demon had about 7k health (to my 20k health). Not a particularly challenging fight, but not a one-shot either. Did not hit particularly hard either. The pool is relatively large (I think this got adjusted recently, as it used to be much smaller in beta) – think slightly larger than Sigil of Flame’s radius. This, along with the Necrolord covenant in general, feels like it’s geared much more toward Vengeance, since as a tank, they care about the 10% damage decrease and also choose where the fight takes place, making them more likely to get full value of out of the pool of blood.

Importantly, our passive class ability Shattered Souls interacts with this ability. After the demon is killed and we walk over its soul to consume it, we gain 20% damage done for 15 seconds. If you can line this up with cooldowns and make sure the pool of blood is in the right spot, this can be pretty powerful. For fights where we lust off the bat, this will be a bit of a scramble to get in position, summon the demon, kill the demon, absorb the soul and stand in the pool – but might be worth the payoff.

The 3 minute cooldown also doesn’t line up well with Meta, which is 4 minutes (since we don’t have Vision of Perfection).

Slight rework: The ability would probably “flow” better if the demon died as you summoned it, perhaps thanks to the power of your Necrolord friends (the Primus himself strikes the demon down as a demonstration of his power). It’s a bit awkward to have to fight it and then stand in a pool of its blood in one spot for 30 seconds. Making it so that your character is splattered by and thus empowered by demon blood, without having to stand still, would help. Reducing this to a 2 minute cooldown would also make it line up with every other Meta.

Raid

B Tier

Situational. 20% attack speed for 30 seconds every 3 minutes isn’t bad, but it isn’t that great either, and apart from Patchwerk fights where you don’t move, it may be hard to find 30 second where you can stand relatively in the same spot. Also, it’s a bit awkward to summon and kill a demon first, but it does proc our Shattered Souls class trait for 20% damage for 15 seconds, which is pretty powerful if lined up with cooldowns.

M+

B Tier

Useful on M+ boss fights if you can stand still for 30 seconds. Again, fighting the demon is a bit awkward, but it can get cleaved down. Useful if you can line it up with cooldowns for the 20% damage buff for 15 seconds.

Arena

F Tier

No one is going to just stand there for 30 seconds. Oh, and you need to kill the demon first. The 20% damage for 15 seconds is much less impactul for PvP, especially since you telegraph it by having to kill the demon first, so opponents can kite to negate it entirely.

Night Fae

The Hunt: Charge to an enemy, inflicting (250% of Attack power) Nature damage and rooting them in place for 3 sec. The target is marked for 1 min, increasing your Fury from Demon’s Bites (Vengeance) or Shears (Havoc) against them by 50%. You may reactivate The Hunt every 30 sec to teleport behind the marked target, ignoring line of sight.
50 yd range, 1 sec cast, 3 min cooldown.

Purely a single target ability, this doesn’t feel impactful – there are no flashy visuals apart from the initial charge and the damage is “hidden” in the extra fury income. The teleport is handy for staying on a target and provides yet another way for a DH to reconnect in melee. Ignoring LoS seems largely confined to arena unless there are some raid or M+ encounters that make significant use of LoS.

I don’t have a good feel for where numbers tuning is for this ability – it’s hard to evaluate fury income right now with limited addon / logging analysis and how much of a difference 50% more makes.

Once again, just like the Necrolord class ability, the 3 minute cooldown doesn’t line up well with Meta, which is 4 minutes (since we don’t have Vision of Perfection).

Slight rework: Reduce this to a 2 minute cooldown and perhaps even make this instant cast. Numbers tuning needed on the Fury income to ensure it is competitive with other covenant abilities.

Raid

B Tier

This looks like it’ll provide solid single, unflashy target throughput, assuming the numbers are appropriately tuned.

M+

B Tier

Same as raid; solid single target throughput, assuming the tuning’s done right. A bit lackluster in AoE situations, so this is likely something that’ll be saved for boss fights or particularly tough trash.

Arena

A Tier

This ability is going to make many players complain even more about DHs in arena. DHs are already incredibly difficult to peel off a target; this ability is going to make it even worse, and ignoring LoS is just icing on the cake. Healer hiding behind a pillar? Doesn’t matter, every 30 seconds the DH can blink behind them, even if they’re not in LoS. The initial cast time does make this a bit awkward to use, and potentially counterable, though the 50 yard range makes that hard to do.

Venthyr

Sinful Brand: Brand an enemy with the mark of the Venthyr, reducing their melee and casting speeds by 30% and inflicting (400% of Attack power) Shadow damage over 8 sec. Activating Metamorphosis applies Sinful Brand to all nearby enemies.
30 yd range, Instant Cast, 1 min cooldown.

What’s not to like about this ability? It does a lot of damage, is instant cast on a minute cooldown, slows melee and casting speeds, and isn’t just a single target ability if used via Meta. It doesn’t stack with itself (so you can’t meta and sinful brand to get 2x sinful brand stacks), but on the whole feels very satisfying to use, particularly if you can meta in a large pack of mobs and watch them all take damage over time.

Raid

A Tier

Impactful single target damage

M+

A Tier

Impactful single target damage and incredibly powerful AoE when used with Meta.

Arena

A Tier

Impactful single target damage and a debuff to enemy casting/melee speeds. Unsure if this is dispellable or not (I don’t believe it is, but have not checked). Unsure if, not dispellable, it is removable via BoP.

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I had some more discussions with other Havoc players after they saw my post, and one thing they mentioned that I neglected to add in my original post was the idea of synergies. Havoc doesn’t have much in the way of synergies. You aren’t using one ability to prepare another, and our talents don’t share synergies with each other, you’re just pressing buttons as they come and taking the talent that does the most damage. While I could expand on that in my proposed rework above, I do think that the conversation would need to be one that is willing before I just throw more ideas out there. First Blood and Trail don’t count, as you don’t technically need First Blood to use Trail, it just makes the button that Trail functions from worth pressing at all.

While synergies definitely are a part of that “moment of glory” thing I was talking about, the lack of synergies is certainly the most noticeable thing about Havoc even in Battle for Azeroth where it has a pseudo moment of glory. Like I said, getting a triple Death Sweep is great, but that alone isn’t feeling like it was set up, it’s just something you gear for, and if you have the gear, it just happens.

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