Feedback: Evokers

I noticed when beginning to channel/charge Fire Breath spell, the UI begins to indicate that the spell is already entering on a cooldown, however upon moving your character mid-cast (before you release/letting it finish at max charge) will reset it.

Since there are levels of how charged/powerful the spell can be, as possible feedback for consideration of the spell, if it exceeds one of the spell strength/charge thresholds, moving or casting another spell would cast the spell as if they held/release or tap-tap (depending on accessibility option/setting) to cast the spell as-is and properly place it on cooldown & deal damage/cast the attack and placing it on cooldown (kind of mentioned above as well from a few other posters). This would at least give control to the player with having to make the important decision on when they start channeling/casting/empowering the spell. Only difficult conflict would be how it should/would react if stunned, knocked back, or complications with PVP spells

(edit: removed the bit about internal cooldown, was just lag on my end)

2 Likes

Devastation - On surface the spec looked like it had some depth and difficulty but upon further inspection this isn’t necessarily the case, which may or not be a problem depending on what Blizzard is aiming for. Things like Fire Breath stage empower only extending the duration of the dot and increasing the damage linearly with duration, Eternity Surge empower stages strictly just increasing targets hits made the empower mechanic seem a little lame. I initially went in thinking that fully empowering your charge abilities would give huge payoff but it doesn’t feel that it does outside of AoE. Perhaps this is what is intended but that’s how it felt for me personally. Otherwise the spec seems to divide into two “builds” the red spell build and blue spell build. With the red build being more AoE oriented, and the blue spell build being more ST/Cleave. One thing to note though is that the blue spell build feels a little way too good at Cleave, since essentially every spell passively cleaves by default, aside from Disintegration, which can also be made to “cleave” by giving it an RNG proc chance to shoot out a 1 stage Eternity Surge. The Dragonrage 2 minute cooldown seems fine to me. It accelerates the rotation and causes you to deal more damage without being a super boring generic damage amp or stat amp. The Ruin talent is a bit weird in that its essentially worthless in the first cast, but becomes very powerful once you cast Dragonrage at the end of a fight.

Preservation - The healer spec I actually thought was a lot cooler than the dps spec. Two distinct builds still with a Emerald Blossom amplifying build on the left, and then an Echo centric build on the right. Some of the mechanics in the talents I thought were really sick. Emerald Blossom duplication that can infinitely spread. Basically a Cloudburst on the rightmost capstone. Dream Flight which is essentially a healer version of the dps dragons Deep Breath. The Stasis spell sounds extremely cool and unique. I think its really cool that you can essentially be a generic throughput healer by specing into Emerald Blossom talents, or a planning burst healer like Disc priest/Resto druid by specing into things like Echo and Stasis. Very cool spec in my opinion.

The utility that the class itself brings I think is pretty cool. The raid buff that it provides I think is something that is a lot more appropriate in the game than what other classes currently bring. I’d much rather classes bring things that just feel like a nice little bonus to have i.e mobility spell cooldown reduction, rather than mandatory damage boosters, that are only brought by 1 class. The party defensive cooldown they bring in Zephyr which is essentially a 25 yard slightly reduced Feint + 30% move speed boost for you and 4 other raid mates is also I think a good example of a defensive cooldown that is not egregiously powerful like say Castle Nathria AMZ but is quite powerful in certain situations. One right off the top of my head where Zephyr would be quite powerful is Torments on Jailer. There is also the mana feeding version of Focus Magic that they have access to, which seems like another little bonus that Evoker brings that is just nice to have. The last notable thing is the raid cooldown that allows for every raid member to use their major mobility spell regardless of its cooldown status, yet again another nice little bonus that can be potentially quite powerful in the right situations. The prevailing theme for the raid utility that Evoker brings is nice little bonuses that aren’t necessarily mandatory in a raid. I really hope that Blizzard adopts this philosophy that was used when designing Evoker. Raid utility as small nice bonuses instead of overbearing mandatory DPS increases.

The last thing I wanted to mention which isn’t really a surprise to me at this stage of the release cycle, and probably is already known by Blizzard. Both specs seem to be numerically sickening. There’s screenshots of Preservation dragons dealing 150,000 damage Living Flames due to some crazy multiplier stacking of some talents. Devastation with the blue build just consistently spewing damage that seems to totally eclipse what other specs are currently capable of on Alpha (which could be in part due to a lot of other specs having many NYI talents). Obviously this isn’t really a big worry at this stage of testing. Point is that I think it is important that special attention is paid to Evoker so that it is neither overwhelmingly overpowered on launch, nor horrifyingly useless.

5 Likes

Others have provided feedback on some of my thoughts, but here are additional things not yet mentioned:

Deep breath feels clunky, an better option may be changing it to function like the WW flying serpent kick, where the spell immediately fires, and goes maximum range, but is able to be stopped early.

Empower abilities also feel clunky at times with moving and follow up casts being somewhat punishing. I think I’d prefer for the cast to complete if moving/casting another spell at the current charge level. At 0 charge, it should function as it currently does.

Maybe a bug: Azure Strike seems to behave like a chain lightning, which is not immediately evident. Casting it on the three Raider’s training dummies in Org, with the 6 target talents chosen, the spell hits all 3 targets if either left or right dummy is the initial target. If the center target is chosen, only two are hit (center and left, presuming it’s left as it appears to be slightly closer to center). Like I said, I suspect the spell will not chain from left to right as the distance for the chain is now too large. My assumption was that it would hit up to 6 targets within a certain range of the initial target, and the center most target should be chosen. Both approaches have pros and cons, but the description should be modified to match.

25 range is a big change from traditional casters. In combination with the long cast powerup spells, I felt that Hover would be able to offset the 25 yard range a lot better if it was castable while channeling.

12 Likes

I have spent most of my time so far on Alpha playing Devastation Evoker questing, hitting dummys, and theorycrafting/testing builds. These are my thoughts so far as a player who primarily raids.

Mastery
I really like the idea of the mastery. It should in theory make Evokers very strong at target swapping, as well as frontload their damage a bit at the beginning of the encounter which can both be great niches in raid.

The ability to stack different amounts of Mastery based on what a raid encounter needs from an Evoker should make the spec pretty flexible in adhering to different damage profiles which I really like.

Survivability
In Mythic raiding and high Mythic+ content, this class is going to be paper. A baseline 2.5 minute cooldown on Obsidian scales is way too long for the strength of it as a defensive, and needing to commit an extra talent points to bring it down to 90 seconds feels even worse; especially when classes have stronger defensives on a 1m CD baseline (Barkskin). Renewing Blaze is interesting and should help mitigate sustained incoming damage, but won’t help much against burst damage. Zephyr could also be used as a personal defensive, but it would feel bad to have to use something that provides group utility as a personal to stay alive.

In open world/solo content and pvp, the huge amount of mobility should help Evokers stay alive, but in Raids and Mythic+ mobility doesn’t help much when a lot of the scary damage is unavoidable.

There are some passive survivability options in the general evoker tree, like the Stamina increase and Magic Damage taken reduction, but it feels like obsidian scales could use pretty significant buffs for Evoker to have a good defensive toolkit.

Deep Breath
I think this ability is awesome thematically and feels great to press on AOE, but on Single Target it ends up feeling like a filler while you are low on resources and not something you want to press as soon as its up. With the damage it currently does to 1 target, there is a chance that on a tough encounter it might end up being better not dealing with the forced movement of it and just forego casting it all together.

Dragonrage
One of my main problems with the spec is the clunky feeling I get using Dragonrage. First of all, it is on the GCD. As red spec in AOE, this feels fine because it is launching Pyres that synergize with red talents and do pretty strong AOE burst. Launching out 3 pyres on AoE feels like a good global.

In single target however, especially for a blue focused spec, this feels terrible. This only launches 1 Pyre on single target, which does nothing but a small amount of damage for blue, and the price for that being that the CD is on GCD feels bad.

Another issue I have with Dragonrage is feeling overflooded with resources while using it. Getting a free Essence Burst on every builder is strong, but to me feels very awkward. Channeling Fire Breath and Eternity Surge inside of Dragonrage feels bad because of how long the channels take. I feel like I am wasting time in my cooldowns using them, but the synergy these abilities have with Tyranny makes me want to use them on cooldown as soon as I press Dragonrage for maximum CDR. I don’t know what will end up being optimal mathematically for DPS, but it should feel good to use my 30 second cooldown damage abilities during my major offensive cooldown.

The interesting thing about Dragonrage is that the damage modifier changes based on the targets health, with it giving full effect of mastery on any target through a talent. As a positive, this will give Evokers stronger cooldown windows relative to their consistent damage as the target gets lower, which can have value. As a negative, this makes the CD feel very underwhelming when used on a high HP target, and in raid encounters where things like Bloodlust are used on pull, this is going to feel very bad for Evoker.

10 Likes

I’d like to suggest a possible rework for Eternity Surge.

Part of the reason this spell feels clunky is because empowering it only adds more targets, it doesn’t add damage so there are very rarely going to be cases (in a raid environment or M+ boss fight) that fully charging it is good. I know part of the idea was to not always need to charge it, but I digress.

What I would suggest is this
Eternity surge currently hits 2/4/6/8 targets if you have both the level 4 empower and double targets talents.
Now, At low charge The ability would hit multiple targets for low damage, but as you charge it up, the tendrils of magic combine to hit fewer targets for more damage.
The damage per target is the key, low charge many targets might still hit 8 things for 5k each, but full charge 1 target probably shouldn’t hit for 40k, maybe 20k but that can be matched out however you want.

Think things like the triple take in apex legends, the Wookiee bowcasters in the old Star Wars Battlefront games. This can work the same way.

I think it would feel a lot better to use in all scenarios and gives a more diverse gameplay option.

9 Likes

Hi all! I wanted to Soar over and touch on some of the great feedback that’s been posted thus far.

Talents & Talent Builds
There has been so much wonderful discussion about the talent trees, and we’re still digging through all of it. No firm plans to share just yet, but please continue sharing your feedback as we iterate on the trees. We’ll let you know specifics as soon as we have them!

Visage
In the next build, Dracthyr will no longer switch to Visage when getting on a mount, flight path, etc. Additionally, they will have a new racial ability called Chosen Identity that you can “Activate to automatically assume your Visage when you leave combat or after Soaring.” Chosen Identity will stay toggled on until manually deactivated. As a note, existing Alpha characters may not have Chosen Identity learned.

Azure Strike
In a future build, Azure Strike’s targeting will behave more consistently. Currently it is built similarly to Chain Lightning, but it will be updated to be more of a circular AoE, and pick N targets within 6 yards of your selected target.

Empower Spells
It is intended that casting a different spell while Empowering (eg, casting Disintegrate while empowering a Fire Breath) cancels the Empower spell, refunds the resource cost(s) and cooldown, and begins casting the other spell. Empowers have a global cooldown when they finish casting, meaning Fire Breath and Disintegrate can’t be cast at the same moment. Therefore, we have to interpret what a user is trying to do when they cast a different spell while empowering - Some may be trying to use the second spell as a shortcut for finishing their Fire Breath, while others may be trying to react to a situation and change what spell they’re casting as soon as possible. The current version is opting to treat the new spell input as a change in intention.

Thanks for the ongoing feedback and discussion!

32 Likes

This is a good change, but one of the things that really turns me off of playing an Evoker is the fact that their natural dragon form cannot use any type of transmogrification for armor. Collecting and creating appearances has become a “game within a game” for me and if I decide to play an Evoker, I’m giving that up, because I won’t use the visage form. If I’m playing an Evoker, I’m playing one to be a dragon, not an elf with scales.

Since Evokers can only be Drac’thyr, it would be nice if the class sets for Evokers were designed in such a way that the armor pieces could be added as customization options in the dressing room for their natural form once the player collects them. This would at least give players who prefer the natural dragon form something more variety in appearances and something to collect/show off.

30 Likes

So, I think the way Empowered spells currently work is pretty clunky. Incurring an additional GCD after a 3 second+ cast feels super bad and the effect needs to pay big dividends for that to be worth it.

The functionality I’d like to see is as follows:

• You can ‘tap’ an empowered spell for a rank 1 version of the spell. This works like an instant cast spell and incurs a GCD.
• If you move into rank 2 - 4, you have to charge up to that point like you normally would, but no GCD is incurred.
• If you ‘half charge’ a rank 1 spell to rank 2 and it still terminates inside rank 1, a GCD is incurred.

The base cost a rank 4 empowered spell is 5.5 seconds right now, which seems pretty crazy high. There are some good ways to reduce that, but you are really marrying yourself to that cast. I’d sooner have the numbers adjusted to be reasonable for the scenario as described above then having to pay a GCD on top of the channel cost of an empowered spell.

9 Likes

Empower Spells
It is intended that casting a different spell while Empowering (eg, casting Disintegrate while empowering a Fire Breath) cancels the Empower spell, refunds the resource cost(s) and cooldown, and begins casting the other spell. Empowers have a global cooldown when they finish casting, meaning Fire Breath and Disintegrate can’t be cast at the same moment. Therefore, we have to interpret what a user is trying to do when they cast a different spell while empowering - Some may be trying to use the second spell as a shortcut for finishing their Fire Breath, while others may be trying to react to a situation and change what spell they’re casting as soon as possible. The current version is opting to treat the new spell input as a change in intention.

Currently on Alpha you are able to bypass this GCD by spell queueing a spell as you detonate the empower spell which makes the class flow a lot better. I worry that by players “being forced” (those who feel like they want to play to optimal output levels) into this gameplay promotes a very clunky overall gameplay loop. Basically to play “optimally” you have to release your empower cast (the cast succeeds) and mash another spell at the same time to bypass the GCD that is incurred with the release of the successful empower cast. I hope this discussion is still going on as to whether or not this GCD is necessary.

5 Likes

I understand what you’re saying here, and that extra global - in addition to the large cast time is what really makes the empowered spells feel clunky. There are times when you can’t hard cast a full Chaos Bolt or Aimed Shot at ~2seconds cast time, the ~5 second cast of the Empower level 4 spells will be really hard to find sometimes.

In every other spec that has spell casts (and evoker with things like Living Flame) you can easily cancel your spell casts with movement or the Esc key. Its a movement that I feel players are already used to.
So I guess I’m just wondering why it’s being treated this way, making the spec have much worse flow. Having tried to move around during the evoker rotation it feels pretty bad with the way empowered spells are interacting with the rest of the spec right now.

10 Likes

On the Empowered Spells piece, would it be possible to add a macro command that would finish the current empower, and essentially release the spell? We could then add this as a macro to our other spells, allowing us to end empowers by tapping the next spell. I’m worried that 18 years of habit to move on to the next spell immediately will be near impossible to break. I don’t even know how I’m going to stop mashing my spell cast key,

6 Likes

Love the change with Visage, but I know several people would love it if something similar were put in place for Worgen.

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Could this also be added for Worgen players?

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I agree. I put in a separate thread that if they want to keep the restrictions on soar because it’s useable everywhere then feel free, but can’t we then instead get a dragonriding version of our soar in like a running wild version only useable on dragon isles?

I know there could be concerns about dracthyr not using all the amazing customizations they are adding to the mounts, but the dracthyr themselves have pretty amazing customizations and the ability to fly as one is insanely cool.

I know their intention was clear to make soar a non-talented dragonriding with a cd, but it feels bad to get a small taste of what could be and then be denied it due to the long cd and it essentially “punishing” you for not using your dragonriding mount.

24 Likes

Thoughts on Preservation based on play to date:

  1. A very fun and surprisingly polished spec to play - thank you!
  2. Relative to other healers they will be a lot more positionally dependent - potentially a mandatory bench for highly spread fights like halondrus or heavy direct heal encounters like sun king.
  3. Whilst bronze has a few very nice tools, it does not seem like a viable path to focus at this stage relative to the strength and diversity that green’s tree (backed further by the green options in the class tree) has to offer - especially seeing you can pick up the key bronze CDs in a green build anyway. Potentially could look at giving it a couple more tools to help build its own niche (single target?) to encourage greater diversity - as things stand the bottom right of the spec tree will largely be ignored.
  4. Would be nice to have the filler being green or bronze instead of red, but understand why the decision has been made to adopt living flame in that role.
  5. Would be worth considering giving spiritbloom a function/benefit for use whilst questing/solo
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I know it’s been mentioned already, but please consider adding this to Worgen as well, people would love it.

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Impressions after fiddling with Devastation for a while:

Gameplay is excellent and the Blue/Red talent choices do give distinct feels to the spec. Overall pretty fun to play, with Blue being more proc-based and engaging in my experience. Red feels very methodical and repetitive in contrast, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Dragonrage: This cooldown, while powerful, lacks synergy in gameplay. You want to use Fire Breath (and Eternity Surge) during Dragonrage to maximize damage output, but the extra essence regen from casting max Empower spells go entirely to waste since you’re swimming in free cast procs already. There’s also the issue of outright having to ignore the 100% proc rate for the duration of casting your Empower spells. Having Tip the Scales alleviates this problem, but if Tip the Scales and Dragonrage are only ever used together, why even have them as two separate buttons?

Identity crisis as a mid-range caster: So far, the only difference between the Evoker and any other caster is 15 yards. There’s no reason to play at any range closer than max range. I feel like the spec would benefit from some additional close-range mechanics, with a small selection of melee-only abilities or abilities that have an extra effect when in melee, such as Azure Strike granting CDR if striking foes in melee range, as a parallel to a survival hunter’s Carve.

Fire Breath doesn’t feel great to use at anything other than max empower. The spell having its max range on a level 1 empower doesn’t feel right either. It feels like the cone should start at a much shorter range (~8 yards) and get longer with each additional empower level, with less emphasis on the DoT scaling. Such an implementation would reward using it while positioned closer to your target (shorter channel time), at the expense of not having as wide of an arc or quite as much DoT damage.

Eternity Surge is a very boring spell. There’s no reason to ever charge it up beyond level 1 on single target, not even for the extra Essence regen.

The spec feels like it’s missing an ability in its kit that gets more powerful the closer you are to your target, like a shotgun Empower spell.

8 Likes

I have to agree with the Azure Strike/Charged Blast synergy. Its current implementation feels very clunky having to have to use Azure Strike twice to make Charged Blast even worth using for single target.

I feel like it would be better if Charged Blast got its damage boost from consuming a Essence Burst instead of just the 2x Azure Strike.

1 Like

Please!! Chosen Identity would be an incredible way to give worgen players a way to focus their characters, and also be a tacit way of introducing harvest witches/human druids into the game.

16 Likes

I would go out on a limb and say that there is virtually no reason to have Soar on a 5 minute CD. I’d go further and say that Soar does not need to be on a CD in general.

If the CONCERN is that people will feel like they do not have a reason to do Dragon Riding if they can do Soar, the simple solution is already built in - it’s a racial ability on a class that is not tied to the Dragon Riding system. Those engaging with Dragon Riding will get enhanced customization, I assume enhanced flight functionality, and all sorts of things over the course of the expansion. Soar does not have to have all of the bonus goods.

There is, I feel, no harm in allowing Soar to not have a cooldown - it can’t be used in dungeons or PvP as far as I’m aware meaning that the potential for abuse is low. It cannot do anything in world PvP that flying mounts already can’t do. It is inherently limited by not being one of the dragons built for dragon riding.

Removing the CD pretty much improves Fun without detracting from what you’ve built with Dragon Riding.

37 Likes