FEEDBACK: Priest Class Changes

Shadow Priest: A lot of great suggestions have been mentioned. But I think coming from 8.3 there are a lot of good void spell animations that could be given to Shadow to update the visual presentation of some of the spells.

Lash of the void: looks great and would be a shame to just let it disappear…and frankly Shadow has some poor looking spell animations.

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Just throwing in a minor point here - I agree with some of the above posters who suggest making feather a core class ability. Its too dominant on the talent row making it the default pick for 99% of the priest player base (and its absence for Shadow is… weird).

Biting the bullet and giving all priests this (even with just 2 charges) would free up the row to provide a lot more flexibility to builds.

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I have some concerns about the tuning of Smite.

The nerfs to the cost of Smite in combination with the removal of the absorb is going to have negative effects on gameplay if it is not properly compensated. Disc has no free dps spell to spam in downtime and the class has compensated this lack of a free dps spell by spamming smite.

The low cost of smite was just low enough to justify spending time/mana on the spell in during downtime. With the nerf to smite combined with the increased mana cost on other atonement spells, the optimal gameplay for disc priest at the highest level will be to completely cut casts of smite in downtime. This is something the class did in 7.0 when Power Word: Radiance was spammable. With the introduction of powerful burst spells from the covenant, combined with the increased mana costs overall, it looks like disc will again cut smite casts outside of ramp windows.

It is worth mentioning that Mind Sear is currently filling that void quite well. But spamming an aoe dps spell for ST downtime seems wrong? Would be interesting to hear some feedback on mind sear for disc.

I will also mention again I really hope disc priest talents get looked at. It would be nice to change talents in the t30, t90 and t100 rows.

one more thing, could we get a word on the covenant spells for Disc? Disc double dipping from boon of the ascended and unholy nova are hot topics right now. Is this okay? How will you be tuning these spells for disc in the future? Is it okay for these covenant spells to be such important parts of your overall hps?

Additionally, how does blizzard feel about Fay Blessings for Holy/Disc. Are you fine this gameplay of healing priest sacrificing their output for the good of the raid? Is this something you want to support in the future?

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I won’t lie, another build with a complete lack of spriest (or really priest in general) changes is pretty depressing. I want to keep testing SL but I’ve already played SL spriest enough to know that it feels no different than BfA alpha where it just feels bad.
I pray this just doesn’t turn out to be a BfA2.0. Please I’ll take any changes to test, even if they end up being worse, just literally anything.

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I’ll be honest, I don’t even know what the other two talents on Angelic Feather’s row do because there’s no scenario in which I don’t need feather as a required movement talent, being that we have nothing else.

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Updated June 24

In this next build of the Shadowlands Alpha, we have updates to Shadow Priests that are intended to address some common concerns about the spec.

Returning Ability: Devouring Plague

We’ve seen a lot of feedback that Void Form can be challenging to utilize to its full potential in some combat situations, such as in Mythic Keystone dungeons on non-boss encounters, or for leveling and doing outdoor content. We tend to agree that Void Form can feel unrewarding in situations where it becomes difficult to maintain efficient insanity generation. Rather than heavily re-designing Void Form, we’re introducing a new tool for these combat situations with the return of Devouring Plague.

Along with Void Eruption, Devouring Plague will be the only other spell that costs Insanity. Our intent with Devouring Plague is for it to be used on enemies who die quickly, such as common creatures while leveling, or on simple trash pulls, while Void Form is more powerful on longer combat encounters.

Shadow Word: Death

Although we’ve seen a lot of excitement around this iconic spell making a return, we have concerns that it wasn’t very clear what its role will be in the modern Shadow Priest kit. Shadow Word: Death has always been intended to be an “execute” ability, so it must be something that is mostly used in the outdoor/leveling content. In the past, Shadow Word: Death found itself in Priest’s core rotations, even being used repeatedly against targets that weren’t about to die.

For Shadowlands, we don’t intend to add another core button to the Priest’s normal rotation. We want Shadow Word: Death to be situational. However, we feel that it could be a little more relevant in longer encounters such as boss fights. We’ve changed Shadow Word: Death to now deal 100% additional damage to targets at or below 20% health. Priests may now find that they wish to weave Shadow Word: Death into their rotations in some situations.

We feel that these changes will have a very meaningful impact on how the Shadow Priest now plays.

After you’ve tested this out in the Alpha, please let us know what you think. Thank you!

18 Likes

Awesome. This will help a lot in outdoor content for sure. I can’t wait to try it out. I miss having DP as a baseline DoT on my Shadow priests.

Though I have to ask, have you given any thought to providing a voidformless option for long combat encounters as well? Maybe a high level talent that replaces Void Eruption with a passive that buffs DoT damage or something similar.

I personally miss when Shadow didn’t have a complicated resource to manage during boss fights, and having an option to just not use Voidform at all on boss fights would be very welcome.

60 Likes

This seems like a really quick bandaid fix that doesn’t solve anything.

The problem with Voidform is the long ramp to do good damage and low damage before the long ramp … this fixes nothing …

So you admit that Voidform doesn’t work in pretty much all WoW content except boss fights (which is 90% of WoW content), yet you won’t take the time to fix it and instead give us a bandaid ability that won’t fix anything especially if its multi target … also out of Voidform all our abilities do low damage ( try saving Voidform before a boss and see how low we are ) yet were suppose to stay there and use this bandaid ability?

Why not just remove Voidform and fix the class? Why make the class gimped for 90% of WoW content so you can keep 1 ability for 10% of WoW content … (Many bosses Voidform doesn’t work, Wrathion for example.)

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You know, I really gave blizzard the benefit of the doubt that they would listen to us. This time. This fix is stupid and in no way addresses any of the myriad issues with Priest. This is so utterly disappointing.

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Will there be a way to glyph into older versions of Shadowform? I miss the aesthetic of previous versions.

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So instead of fixing the issues, we’re shoehorning Devouring Plague in the wrong way. Depending on the insanity cost of DP it just makes our rotation clunky, if you’re going to keep voidform (gross, voidform isn’t fun) then actually fix the playability of Spriest please. I don’t want to hit like a wet noodle until I get “borrowed power” again.

Also Spriest has been focused around ramping dot damage forever, but now it’s just ramp up then slam into the ground. Ramp and slam back to the ground. It’s not fun in raid, mythic or pvp. First time i’ve considered not maining my Priest.

Rather than heavily re-designing Void Form, we’re introducing a new tool for these combat situations with the return of Devouring Plague.

Literally a band-aid when come Shadowlands, Spriest will be hemorrhaging.

101 Likes

On the bright side if you guys decide to add SW:D procs atonement legendary eventually, the increased cd fixes the issues with the ability for disc.

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Nice. I’m glad I don’t even have to think about touching my priest this expac!

Ok, that was toxic.
The problem is that void form, while challenging to use in ideal circumstances, no longer has the payout. In less than ideal circumstances for less than mythic skilled players, it’s downright abysmal. The only dps spec on the class does not function in mythic plus or open world content. It’s literally better to play Disc for leveling and Torghast.

And instead of resolving that issue, instead of focusing on making it a great gameplay experience, instead of even rolling back to an older idea that worked… Just patch on an ability that will let you ‘do stuff, I guess’ outside of voidform.

I absolutely feel for the shadow priests that were looking forward to a class rework so they could play the game again, given how many issues the initial pass looks have uncovered. I sincerely hope that the class doesn’t just get propped up with bigger numbers to be over-powered so people will play it, because void form is not fun.

133 Likes

After no changes for BFA, and Blizzard even admitting they didn’t have time at the end of beta to make the necessary changes that they feel would be needed. Now almost 2 years later, with all they learned in BFA, SL Alpha releases with barely any changes. Months later there’s finally an update and it just further proves you don’t pay attention to what the issues are.

These are both so flippantly unhelpful to the entirely of what Shadow (Void) Priest is and how it plays, it’s just depressing. I was expecting so much more, and am continuously let down.

103 Likes

I’m a bit concerned about the lack of redesign to VoidForm. Particularly because the problems with maintaining decent stacks of VoidForm don’t just apply to low duration encounters. Without Essences and Azerite gear, VoidForm will again feel short and unrewarding.

I’m also worried about DvP because it sounds like when y’all brought Mind Spike back. The stated intention in previous expacs for Mind Spike was to kill low health adds when DoT’s wouldn’t feel impactful. And this feels like the same sort of bandaid that won’t really improve the experience of Shadow that much. Don’t get me wrong, I love Devouring Plague and prefer the Vampiric Rot theme for Shadow over the void aesthetic. We’ll see how it works, but I have concerns.

54 Likes

I’m so confused by this as well. They take the time to rework Arms warriors which was already working fine, but specs with notorious bugs like Windwalkers that are extremely low scaling dps, or SPriest with the horrible gameplay that is Voidform gets a bandaid?

Please stop playing favorites with specs.

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This is quite a disappointing change. Although I am happy to at least see the “nostalgia bait” of Devouring Plague I’m sad that this is the only change we are seeing. When priest players asked for DP to come back we didn’t mean just throw it in there as a spender and call it good. We wanted the core problems of the spec and talents to be addressed as well. I don’t feel I need to go in depth on any of what was expected as the shadow priest discord and the wowhead post have said more than enough to give solid feedback and even advice to how to help this bleeding spec. We have been patient for several years. We give the benefit of the doubt. And I still will give the benefit of the doubt. But I shouldn’t also feel like I need to remind developers that can play the game for free that their players pay $15 a month to feel ignored.

Here is my feedback - I am so happy to see devouring plague at the very least make it’s way back in the game, even though there is never going to be a reason to press the button because it’s damage so abysmal. (Check the pins in Shadow-lands of the spriest discord if you need to see why there is no reason to ever hit this button). But I am heartbreakingly disappointed.

I’m glad warlocks are being heard; as mine has always been a close second to my priest. But quite frankly if I can’t manage to find enjoyment in my warlock I am just going to unsubscribe because at this point I feel like I’m simply giving my money away for absolutely nothing.

Please just listen to the feedback and fix the problems. Whether you can make void form work or not you need to fix what is actually wrong with void form (by either removing it or figuring out a different version of it) AND the talent tree. “Rather than re-working void form” reads as ‘rather than listening to what you guys have been saying for four years.’

Sorry this is a little unprofessional. But I feel shadow priest players have been more than devoted and patient.

121 Likes

It does not appear that Devouring Plague was added in this build.

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Trying out Devouring Plague in Torghast, this is what I found:

  1. It feels like a fun spell to press and I like the insanity cost.
  2. That insanity cost of 50 is FINE but I found I was enjoying using Devouring Plague more than I enjoyed going into Void Form for several reasons:
  • The playstyle of “OG” Shadow is kind of back with 3 DoT’s on a target
  • Void Form ends up feeling less impactful the more and more tools we get that don’t interact with it
  • I found myself casting DvP immediately after entering Void Form, followed by a Void Bolt and a Mind Blast in order to drop Void Form ASAP and get back in for another combo of Void Eruption, Devouring Plague, Void Bolt, Mind Blast.
  1. Due to the above, the introduction of DvP feels degenerate in combination with Void Form working as it has in expansions past.
  2. It makes me want to have Void Form/Void Eruption/Void Bolt changed into a cooldown much more now. I felt very content just casting my 3 DoT’s, Mind Blast, and Mind Flay and avoiding the Void Form mechanic altogether.
  3. I do not know the solution here because it feels like you’ve got two competing classes rolled into one; the first wants to be a DoT damage dealer with some occasional spike damage and the other wants to be a frenetic void themed caster with big spike damage. I think there is little incentive baseline to keep Void Form up and this is doubled down on with the addition of Devouring Plague.
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Alrighty, now that Devouring Plague is finally in the game I have some more to say about it. Still super happy to at the very least see it make its way back into the game, despite how much I feel like it’s useless and out of place.

The first thing I noticed was that DP’s tooltip says initial damage of (example numbers) 600 and then 400 over 12 seconds, but it’s doing 400 per tick and not over 12 seconds. Not sure if this is a bug with the spell doing too much or an error in the tooltip saying it will do less than it actually does.

Second I will never in a million years use DP over Void Erupt in any situation, including single target, because the Void Erupt AND THE IMMEDIATE void bolt following does more damage than an entire 12 second DP. Why would I use DP? Ever. In any scenario. Ever? VErupt-> VB is basically instant (and aoe) and DP does less damage than this over 12 seconds. I’d say DP needs a significant damage buff but then we’d likely run into the problem of just always using DP instead of Void Form. The two are competing and it just doesn’t work.

Third DP is usable IN VOID FORM so the gameplay that we are looking at is: Get 60 insanity thanks to Legacy of the Void (because like we all have said a million times we aren’t going to use dark ascension or StM), Void Erupt -> Void Bolt -> DP -> Get 100 sanity by any means necessary to “reset” void form. Then use DP again at the end of the Void Form. Which is also bad because now we are pressured to hit DP at the PERFECT TIME in our void form we are about to be forced out of. This will create unnecessary stress to players as well as being a mechanic that we are participating in simply because we have to in order to maximize damage and not because we think it’s cool or fun to do it. This is just some kind of weird degenerate spriest gameplay that does nothing to fix any of the problems with the spec and it certainly isn’t what we were hoping for when those of us asking for DP to come back had asked for it.

DP doesn’t scale with mastery.
DP is currently not getting buffed by Void Form’s damage increase (probably a bug but if not a bug, why no synergy with VF?)
DP is also not healing for the damage dealt. It’s not healing for anything. (I assume this is a bug but I’m gonna throw it in there so it’s seen faster)

If you guys want to keep DP the way it is, then okay, maybe allow it to have its duration increased by void bolt? I don’t see why it would matter because with or without that specific mechanic the gameplay would stay the same with current DP.

I agree with Dunes here. Playing with Devouring Plague (despite it being bad) just makes me miss the pre-legion shadow. Any version of it. I’d be happy with vanilla shadow at this point.

I also have feedback that I left out of my last post in regards to Shadow Word: Death. You say that it’s an “execute” ability and therefore should primarily be used in outdoor/leveling content, but what about the actual ability “Execute” or “Kill Shot.” Are these executes not actually executes? Or should they also only be used in outdoor/leveling content? Have you told the other two classes that use these that they shouldn’t use them in their normal rotations and that they should only use them in outdoor/leveling content?

Moving on from the frustration and sarcasm of the previous paragraph, the damage reflect on Shadow Word: Death below 20% health is simply too high. We get that it was a threatening mechanic 11-13 years ago and it added some flavor but wow isn’t the same game it was back then, either. If you think that it should be more relevant in boss encounters then you need to make sure it’s not going to kill us for using it. I think the best way to do this would be to not give the reflect damage the 100% damage bonus.

Thank you so much for removing Void Bolt rank 2. The Spriest community IS thankful for that.

EDIT: The new Mind Blast Rank 2 for Shadow reduces its cooldown to a time not divisible by the GCD. It needs to be a 7.5s reduction rather than 7s or it will negatively impact Shadow’s rotation and create unnecessary downtime. On Alpha, this plays out to .5s (1/3 GCD) of downtime when you cast 5 GCDs worth of spells (each GCD is 1.5s).

^^^^ I added the mind blast post in here because this is also quite a big issue that still has not been addressed. This is a copy paste from the wowhead feedback thread for shadow but it hasn’t been discussed/addressed here since Anshlun mentioned it in the first post some months ago. It is still an issue.

Again I’m sorry for being not so professional, but I think sometimes frustration is necessary and every time I think about priest as a class (not just shadow) I get more frustrated by the week. A vanilla class that is the least played class right next to monk, which came out 8 years later. How is that not a problem?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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