Feedback: Priests

Please use this thread to post feedback on the Priest class, once you’ve tested it in the Dragonflight Alpha.

Thank you!

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Shadow-related stuff; I’ll let the folks who actually know how to heal speak about those affairs.

BUGS:

  • Idol of Y’shaarj isn’t working beyond the 5-second extension on Shadowfiend. It doesn’t give any sort of damage increase to targets above 80% and if I cast it on a target affected by Psychic Scream it doesn’t trigger the effect that lets me damage without breaking Fears.

  • Idol of Yogg-Saron is not granting a stack based on each Shadowy Apparition summoned, but rather based on each time I summon any number of Shadowy Apparitions. If I cast Mind Blast or Devouring Plague and spawn a Shadowy Apparition as a result, I gain a single stack towards my Thing From Beyond. If I spawn 10 Shadowy Apparitions or 1 Shadowy Apparition, it only gives me one stack. I’m assuming it’s a bug because it doesn’t reflect the talent’s tooltip, but as a result it makes it incredibly hard to test other interactions this talent may have (if you get 50 stacks while a Thing From Beyond is already active, does it extend your current one or spawn a second one?).

  • Mind Devourer is not consumed when I use Devouring Plague, so I can essentially spam Devouring Plague for free for ~15 seconds.

  • Twist of Fate isn’t working. At all. Neither the damage component nor the healing component seems to work for Shadow currently.

  • Similarly, Void-Touched is currently not working whatsoever. The procs happen, but I cannot use them outside of Voidform so I effectively can’t use the talent.

  • Cannot test Dominant Mind+Puppet Master or any PI interactions with MC’d mobs as Mind Control outright doesn’t work at the moment, either.

ADDENDUM: Mind Control actually does work, but there’s a weird interaction where the ability gets unlearned if I learn it and Dominant Mind in quick succession. I MC’d a shark in Pandaria and PI’d it as part of a joke once I got it working.

  • There are two ranks of Mental Fortitude on the Shadow tree; the second rank does literally nothing apart from allowing me to take the oh-so enjoyable Sanguine Teachings (more on this a little later). It does not increase the absorb, it doesn’t offer a DPS component, nothing.

  • Vampiric Insight procs that are generated while in the middle of a Mind Blast cast are automatically consumed, and thus wasted.

  • Living Shadow does not cast any spells during Void Torrent and does not cast anything when Mindgames is cast. It just sits there and looks pretty (and it does that rather nicely, at least).

The Good Stuff:

  • Personally, I really love the ideas behind Idol of N’zoth and Idol of Yogg-Saron and really hope the current interaction Yogg has with SApps (one stack, no matter what, when casting a spell that spawns a Shadowy Apparition) is unintended and especially love Living Shadow thematically, though there are problems with this ability that I’ll get into.

  • To go against the grain from many other Shadow Priest mains, I actually like how Twins of the Sun Priestess plays out as I believe that, assuming tuning for the base Shadow Priest is more like 9.2 Enhancement Shaman and less like 9.0 Enhancement Shaman, it’s a genuinely interesting way to justify Shadow’s place in a typical raid comp. Shadow’s biggest problem right now is that it just doesn’t offer anything; buffing a Fire Mage or Demonology Warlock (based on current design only) at little to zero cost to ourselves is very strong and will justify a spot, especially considering the sheer value of our own PI on ourselves thanks to the strength of Voidform.

The Not-So-Good Stuff (Excluding Bugs):

After playtesting Shadow for a couple hours and testing out a few different talents at the request of a bunch of kind folks from the WarcraftPriests Discord (shoutouts to them), I felt that there were quite a few talent choices that felt more annoying to take than anything else, and this sentiment of mine comes from a few different areas of frustration:

  • Mental Fortitude and Sanguine Teachings feel awful to spend Talent points on in context. Mental Fortitude does not need to be a 2-point node and it falling into that category makes a tree that already has too few points to toss around feel more bloated with needless filler, and Sanguine Teachings may encourage degenerate gameplay (i.e. having a Disc buddy to constantly keep you shielded on fights with rot damage) while also being underwhelming numerically. Neither of these talents feels like it has the “oomph” of a talent in the 20+ point segment of the tree, and they don’t really seem to have much in common with the cleave/AoE focus of the rest of the bottom-left side of the tree.

  • Being able to PI pets/guardians doesn’t feel right, and while I doubt it’ll result in truly stellar results or anything I fear that it may encourage a level of degeneracy where we might PI a Thing From Beyond or our own Mindbender over any player.

  • Damnation and Void Torrent contribute a tremendous amount of rotational/button bloat to a spec that already happens to be mostly GCD-capped. A lot of power is, in theory, jammed into Mind Flay through Void-Touched, Rot and Wither, and Monomania+Abyssal Knowledge; time spent channeling Void Torrent is time not spent channeling Mind Flay, and the huge Insanity gain doesn’t feel worthwhile due to the sheer amount of Insanity the spec generates even with hilariously low Haste values from template gear.

  • On the topic of rotational/button bloat, Mind Devourer currently fits this bill too, albeit to an even more extreme degree than it does on live servers right now due to its much higher proc rate. These free Devouring Plagues feel like nothing more than a reason why I’m just constantly and consistently swamped with Insanity.

  • Idol of C’thun (Echoing Call of the Void, aka. our good friend the Tentabro) feels quite boring compared to the other Idols (with the assumption of how they’re actually supposed to function, rather than the Idols in their bugged state). Tentabro wasn’t particularly interesting even for the brief period of time where everyone thought it was better than Talbadar’s Stratagem since we care so much less about Insanity now that it’s a typical resource to build and spend; by comparison, it had a huge impact with Legion’s Voidform design due to how long it could keep us in Voidform.

  • As was the case with Survival Hunters, 3-point Talent nodes often feel awful to pick up and we have to pick one up no matter which Idol we would like to play. Abyssal Knowledge doesn’t feel like it needs to be a 3-rank Talent node and Sanguine Teachings is already a node I hold a lot of resentment towards from a gameplay/theory perspective, now made even worse by the fact that it’s a 3-point talent node. I want to be able to play with Living Shadow, Eidolic Intuition, and Idol of Yogg-Saron at the same time, but these frustrating low-impact 3-point talent nodes are stopping me from playing with a build that I’d be really excited to play around with. Even having two or three more Talent points to play around with would drastically improve things for Shadow, I’d argue.

  • The left side of the Priest class tree is an absolute dud for Shadow. Shadow Word: Death and Holy Word: Life sharing a cooldown theoretically offers a meaningful choice between pressing the button for additional damage and pressing the button for powerful triage healing, but in practice there’s zero reason for any Shadow Priest to ever take it or anything on that row. Prayer of Mending and Holy Nova knock us out of Shadowform so casting these abilities is even more ludicrously taxing than wasting a GCD or two on a healing spell.

  • Dispersion not being a movement speed increase (Dispersion Rank 2) makes the button feel much more situational, and not necessarily in a favorable way. Angelic Feather becoming usable as Shadow is very welcome, but it doesn’t quite make up for us losing some “burst” mobility through this.

  • Please consider giving us a more intuitive “big” movement ability than Leap of Faith. There is a real chance that we might not use a Talent point on it, so Evokers’ cool new raid buff is completely wasted on us in some cases since it reducing Angelic Feather wouldn’t make sense for Priests that run Body and Soul and Power Word: Shield has no actual cooldown to be reduced.

  • Vampiric Embrace on its own is not worth spending a Talent point to acquire; it just isn’t powerful enough utility on its own to warrant being so out-of-place on the Talent tree, and Hallucinations costing us an extra Talent point is even worse.

  • Searing Nightmare is back. Yay? This ability just feels cumbersome to use; Living Shadow doing obscene amounts of damage by virtue of its own Mind Sear damage and proccing two additional abilities through both Searing Nightmare and the SW:P application certainly makes Searing Nightmare do a lot of damage each time it’s used. That said, Searing Nightmare’s damage is not the problem; it’s that it feels terrible to press because of its strict Mind Sear channel requirements. No amount of damage would make Searing Nightmare feel like a satisfying button to press currently as it just completely cannibalizes Shadow’s rotation after certain target counts.

  • There’s a Shadow build that can unironically get away with not speccing into Vampiric Touch right now since Damnation applies it normally and we can extend it with Void Bolt and Rot and Wither. We don’t actually lose much thanks to this, but the sheer principle of creating a talent build that doesn’t press arguably the most iconic Shadow Priest button of all time just doesn’t sit right with me.

  • You can still create builds that don’t take Devouring Plague whatsoever. Now, they aren’t good, but there needs to be a point where the line between “mediocre/bad builds” and “builds that make me incapable of playing my spec” is clearly established. This isn’t isolated to Shadow, per se, but it’s still an issue.

  • Surrender to Madness is still an extremely dead talent by its current design. The Choice node occupied by it and Hungering Void is in fact nothing more than an illusion, because this talent is atrocious compared to the excellent Hungering Void. It doesn’t contribute anything positive to this version of Shadow and is, frankly, just an extremely archaic talent that needs to remain in Emerald Nightmare where it belongs. I just don’t see any world in which this talent would genuinely be better than Hungering Void.

  • Many of the traits that buff our Shadowy Apparitions directly exist on the left side of the tree but the Idol that would be enabled by such a build, Yogg-Saron, is the furthest to the bottom-right on the tree, leading to an odd conflict that further contributes to the whole “we don’t have enough points to take some really cool options since we’re spending them on Sanguine Teachings or Abyssal Knowledge” issue.

While I understand that we’re less than twelve hours into Alpha right now, the current version of Shadow feels exceedingly bloated in areas it doesn’t need to feel and feels extremely rough to play right now, though large amount of that stems from a long list of bugs that make the spec borderline-unplayable and the low amounts of Haste we’re currently getting from our template gear, which is a much more understandable issue since that gear’s slightly better than Normal Sepulcher gear. There are many talents that feel like they exist to simply pad out the tree, making us lose some potentially cool combinations as a result while also giving us abilities that feel awkward to use like Damnation and especially Void Torrent.

That said, the skeleton for a fleshed-out version of this iteration of Shadow is very much there, but the Talent tree in its current state feels like it’s experiencing a massive identity crisis and any path to one of the Idols just doesn’t make much sense in the context of whatever Talent points were spent to get to one of said Idols. Shadow’s rework during the Shadowlands Beta is showing its problems in 9.2 with increased stats and a conflicting, proc-infested rotation leading to massive overcapping issues, and this Talent tree doesn’t do a strong job at fixing it in its current (albeit VERY prototypical) state.

70 Likes

Didn’t spend too much time on Priest, but the one thing that I was looking forward to is very underwhelming… Twilight Corruption does less damage than Penance and can’t benefit from Harsh Discipline.
That is quite a bummer because it was supposed to be the game changer for Shadow Covenant.

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A series of addenda to my above post that I think should also be addressed:

On top of the lower end of the Shadow tree being bloated with two unfortunate three-point nodes that both feel horrible to take (Abyssal Knowledge, while cool in theory, is currently simming at less than .5% of our damage at Rank 3, Shadow’s entire tree is infested with utility options to a degree we haven’t seen from any of the other specs. It makes a large portion of Shadow’s tree feel awful to invest into, and it’s often getting to the point to where I’m often going out of my way to not grab iconic abilities like Dispersion and Vampiric Embrace because they’re getting cannibalized by Talents that actually make me do more damage.

We have ten nodes (Silence and Last Word, a gutted Dispersion and Intangibility, the Mind Bomb/Psychic Voice Choice Node, Vampiric Embrace and San’layn, Hallucinations, Psychic Horror, and two ranks of Mental Fortitude) that are dedicated to utility options for Shadow, which is (at most) a whopping 33% of our total spendable Talent points at max level. Some fellow SPriests in the Priest Discord (who are all much better theorycrafters than I am) have suggested things along the lines of “switch all the utility in the Shadow tree and all the Shadowfiend-related power in the Priest tree,” but I’m not sure if I entirely agree with this sentiment for two reasons:

  • Reason I: Disc/Holy with Shadow defensives sounds absurd in most contexts, even outside of PvP where separate tuning knobs exist

This sounds like a tuning nightmare; Holy or Disc with Dispersion would be crazy and would make Shadow struggle to stand out that much more, and Shadow already has a hard time standing out utility-wise.

  • Reason II: Holy and Disc can afford to make decisions that improve their own damage, but Shadow cannot afford to make decisions that don’t improve its own damage.

I actually like the dynamic of the healer specs having the option to forego some overall healing to do more damage, although I admit that this is quite against-the-grain compared to some folks’ opinions regarding healers’ ability to do more damage; I don’t particularly like the healing side of the Class tree, albeit from a DPS’s perspective, but I think the ability to give the healing specs that sort of a choice is inherently a positive one.

I feel as though a lot of Shadow’s Talents need to be consolidated to some degree. If Dispersion is going to lose the rank that suppresses slows/increases our movement speed drastically, I don’t feel like baking Intangibility into the base Dispersion is inherently a bad thing if the base Dispersion is going to lack current Rank 2.

Similarly, if the full Vampiric Embrace is going to be as hard-to-access as it is, Hallucinations sans VE could at least be a part of Shadow as a baseline a-la Shadowform and Vampiric Embrace could generate 6 Insanity as well. I don’t think Hallucinations is powerful enough to warrant spending three whole Talent points to acquire, considering you can’t access it without Vampiric Embrace and one of Mind Bomb or Psychic Voice. On top of this, perhaps Vampiric Embrace could take Mind Bomb/Psychic Voice’s place on the Talent Tree and San’layn could be bumped a node earlier. Maybe San’layn can be baked into VE since VE on its own is quite underwhelming?

Most of what I mentioned earlier still very much applies.

38 Likes

I have very little at this point in time to add on to Dreadsurge’s excellent commentary, but I wanted to also add that having to spend talents points in the shadow tree on spells such as silence, dispersion, and vampiric embrace feels bad. Especially Silence and it’s 45 second cooldown when the alternative is getting a little bit more DPS.

It’s entirely possible, and in the interest of higher DPS, to avoid these utility spells completely. This will probably matter more in dungeons than raids.

Other than that, the only other feedback I have is with the talent panel itself: It would be nice to have a “save” button for the profiles rather than auto saving. As I was testing various talents I noticed the profile I had set up was changing as soon as I clicked “Apply Changes”.

Also, I rather miss Spectral Guise, no idea if others do or not, but I was rather fond of that talent. Just saying :).

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General Comments (Up front I should say I don’t main a priest, but I do enjoy playing all the specs – if I’m off on something apologies).

• Overall all three specs don’t feel much different than they do right now on live.
• From a healer perspective, I think holy will still win-out over discipline in most cases. Personally, I love, love playing discipline and I truly hope it can be viable once the XPAC is released. From what I’m seeing right now on test, this just isn’t the case.

Base Priest Talent Tree Comments
• The LEFT side of this talent tree seems to favor healing, where the RIGHT side of this talent tree favors damage. Overall, I think this is a good way to present base talents. Of the classes I’ve tested this type of layout seemed to be one of the better ones.
• Unlike other classes, Shadow isn’t ‘forced’ to take some talents necessarily which would normally be useless to that spec (e.g. healing talents). This is a good thing.
• Twins of the Sun Priestess is ‘baked’ into this talent tree, so Shadow can now share their PI with other players in the raid/group. I guess you can now call this a raid/group utility for shadow (I think it will be good for all 3 priest specs to take this ability).
• The new Row 10 ability Holy Word: Lift doesn’t seem very good testing. It actually will damage the priest if the healed target isn’t below 20% HP. This is an emergency heal, but I don’t think it’s worth it (there’s a new Holy spell ‘Lightwell’ I’ll touch on later too which is an emergency heal as well)

Shadow Spec and Talent Comments:

• Not a whole lot of changes for shadow in terms of playstyle that I can tell really (I am no expert on this spec – just saying this upfront).
• The talents at Row 10 seemed bugged: “Idol of Yogg-Saron” and “Idol of C’Thun”. Both spawn a pet – Yogg-Saron one is Thing from Beyond, C’Thun is a tentacle. Both seem kinda cool. I think it’s currently bugged as it’s not generating stacks from Shadowy Apparitions as it should.
• The talent “Void Touched” let you occasionally cast a free Void Bolt, but this is currently bugged in game, and you can’t actually cast the Void Bolt.
• Void Eruption is largely the same and has the same buggy interaction if you try to tie this into a macro. Spells that ‘transform’ to a different spell (Void Eruption → Void Bolt) tend to not function as they should and they bug out, and this is this case for this spell on test. The same type of bug exists on live as well as with Boon of the Ascended. Hopefully something they will fix before live. I was able to get around this ‘bug’ on live with a macro which would help to ‘un-bug’ this interaction (not ideal- but it works).
• Row 10 has 7 options – this may be too many options really; they probably should limit this to be in line with other classes/specs.
• Searing Nightmare is somewhat bugged on test, as it’s not always applying Shad Word: Pain on mobs appropriately. Depending on which mob you are channeling in the group (left, middle or right side of mob pack), Mind Sear sometimes incorrectly determines/applies which mobs get the DOT debuff and sometimes no DOT at all.
• Players have to spend 2 talents to get Dispersion (main defensive) AND the heal that comes with Dispersion. Not a fan of this one. Why not must make this 1 talent point?
• Shadow now has an incentive perhaps to cast a dispel – a talent will give it insanity on successful casts. Jury’s out on this one still. Need to test it in group content later.

Discipline Spec and Talent Comments:

• No real chances to do group healing yet, I’ll test healing out soon as I can. Most of my testing has been on the damage side of things.
• General gameplay will be being a discipline healer seems to be of light or of darkness (more below).
• The talent tree seems to lead down two different healing paths: 1) Holy-type (LIGHT) healing using shields and holy/mitigation abilities and 2) Shadow focused reactive healing (DARK) with abilities using more shadow type spells (there is crossover between the two for certain). Shadow-type heals always have had a drawback to them generally and have a side-effect, so we’ll see how this shakes out. Shadow sides seems to be more of a ‘reactive’ build; where atonement/holy tends to be more ‘proactive’ healing and absorbs. [Incidentally, the beginning of the shadow side of the talents is called “Power of the Dark Side”…I thought this was funny and a clever way to separate the two different ways to discipline heal.]
• I’ve never been a big fan of Shadow Covenant – BUT with this new type dark side healing it could be interesting. Seems though right now the CD is too long on this ability – would like the CD to be reduces a little to make it more worthwhile. 11 seconds of uptime / 19 seconds of downtime. Need to test this set up more. What if Schism had an interaction also with all shadow spells and not just damage? You could line up Schism with Shadow Covenant and get some pretty decent reactive healing.
• I think damage is about on par with what I would expect at this point, with one exception: AOE offensive abilities. Not much in terms of AOE, unless you want to try out Holy Nova as a talent for disc. My hope is discipline does higher damage than holy does overall, as on live holy clearly out damages discipline. In theory I think this is backwards – discipline heals through doing damage, so why wouldn’t this healing spec have higher damage than holy?
• Mind Sear appears to be gone for Disc as an AOE ability. I’ll have to investigate this one more, but it appears it’s shadow spec only. I would expect this to still be part of the tool kit, but apparently, it’s not.
• Discipline still suffers from not having any real raid healing reactive cooldowns. The key will still be well timed predictive reactive abilities. This just requires really good timing to get everything set up to maximize this type of healing.
• New Row 10 spell Lights Wrath – 5.5k heal on a 2.3 sec cast that increases by 10% per person with atonement. Not sure why the 2.3 sec cast for a 90 sec CD ability. Would like this see this instant or even on par with shadow mend cast time (1.4 sec). Even if you had 10 x atonements (100% increase → 11k heal when most players will have likely 100kish HP), not sure the HPS is worth it with a 2.3 sec cast.
• Row 10 Wickedness – Divine Star and Halo heals will now add a shadow damage component in addition to the holy component. Could make this decent to use with atonements. Need to test this one more though in a group later. Disc will want this talent if they go shadow-heal route for discipline. (I’m still quite dubious for this type of healing). What happened to the silence effect with this talent? I’m guessing a multi-target silence on 15 sec CD is too powerful?

Holy Spec and Talent Comments:

• I think Holy will continue to shine as a healer in both M+ group play and raids.
• Largely Holy has the same abilities, with a few more in the toolbox (more on that later).
• The left-half of the talent tree generally focuses only on healing; the right-half toward the bottom is heavy with talents which increase damage. (Perhaps more damage later after gearing up in dungeons would be useful for holy priests; as you gear up perhaps this will favor a dungeon build type scenario for holy). Raid healing = LEFT side of talents; Solo/M+ healing = RIGHT side of talents (this is a general observation).
• The way this talent tree is built, a holy priest can almost take every single talent from rows 1 to 5. And they all are decent from these rows.
• Lightwell making a comeback is interesting. The lightwell will last up to 3 min or until 15 heals are done. This potentially will be a really good raid ability/cooldown. If the boss or group has to make movements, then this ability won’t be as useful. Would be cool if the priest somehow could move the lightwell around until charges are used.
• Holy also gets a new ability called ‘Divine Word’ while allows the healers different options. You can turn your Sanctify AOE heal into a heal-over-time ability and place it where you want (and can move it). It’s somewhat bugged on test (I’m wasn’t getting the buff from using Chastise and Holy Fire would never proc on the target), so more to follow on this. Could be a good ability. Looks like a holy priest can have 2 of the 3 row 10 abilities.
• On live currently, there’s a nice legendary (flash concentration) which reduces the cast time of heal up to 5 stacks, which basically makes it a very efficient fast casting heal, with same cast time as flash heal but greater efficiency. This apparently doesn’t exist any longer on test, I think flash concentration on live now was a really, really good ability and all holy priests used this legendary in both raid & group content. Otherwise, holy could be in trouble for mana.

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I have no additional feedback to provide in this new build unless more hotfixes come along prior to our next build, so apologies for how circular this post will be:

Level 60 templates don’t get enough talent points to take Idol of Yogg-Saron so I cannot identify whether or not that talent is still extremely bugged, but both Mind Devourer and Void-Touched are still extremely bugged in the exact same way as detailed above. Living Shadow continues to not use any abilities when you cast Void Torrent and Damnation. The aforementioned issues of Sanguine Teachings+Mental Fortitude and Abyssal Knowledge being pretty rough Talents to take are made even more apparent by the fact that level 60s can’t take some of these cool new talents, at all, in part because of these awkward 3-point nodes. Survival proved how restrictive 3-point Talents are, and Enhancement and Elemental have very quickly proved how liberating a Talent tree can be when you aren’t forced into 3-point nodes very often.

Unfortunate, but we’ll see what’s up later.

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Shadow Priest Gameplay Feedback

Over the next week or so I will be providing detailed feedback on all things Shadow in Dragonflight, but I wanted to start out with a topic that I feel is the most important aspect of a spec and class, and that is gameplay. For this post, I will be laying out my impression on all aspects of PvE gameplay regarding Shadow Priest.

Single Target

It is my impression, based off of the design of the talent trees, that the foundation for specs are completed by the first 4 rows, and the remainder of the talents are for adding onto that foundation. As such, I opted take only the talents in the first 4 rows, along with the necessary class talents, to get a feeling for the core single target rotation.

2 charges of Mind Blast feels good. The less time I am channeling Mind Flay the better.

Misery not conflicting with Twist of Fate feels good, way less time reapplying DoTs.

Vampiric Insight feels disconnected and also doesn’t seem to proc enough, at least compared to the frequency of Dark Thoughts which we are used to in Shadowlands.

I feel like the rotation is missing a feedback element. Devouring Plague and Shadow Word: Pain have have zero interaction except for Mastery, which is flat damage. Mind Flay and Mind Blast exist only to generate resource for Devouring Plague. Spending Insanity on Devouring Plague doesn’t feel satisfying like I would expect (maybe that’s just spell animation?). There doesn’t seem to be a gameplay reason behind me casting my spells, I am casting them for the sake of casting them.

AoE & Misery

Casting Devouring Plague is now incredibly satisfying now that I am spawning an army of Shadowy Apparitions.

The lack of a feedback element, as I mentioned above, is less of an issue when running Misery build since Vampiric Insight procs more frequently and Shadowy Apparitions are generating more Insanity to not be channeling a filler as much.

That being said, since I am taking Rot and Wither to extend the duration of my DoTs, any time I am not channeling Mind Sear feels bad since I know I am (potentially) losing uptime to do so. I am spending roughly 40% of the time applying Vampiric Touch, another 40% casting Mind Blast and Devouring Plague, because of Vampiric Insight procs as well as Insanity generation from spirits, which only gives me a few globals to cast Mind Sear between reapplying my DoTs.

Shadowy Apparitions are the coolest part of this build and reapplying DoTs so often is disheartening since you spend far less time generating Insanity to spawn them. I wish there was a more deterministic way to extend/refresh dots in AoE as well as it not being tied to our AoE filler.

AoE & Searing Nightmare

There is a lot more to be said on Searing Nightmare as a whole, but for now I intend to keep this section brief to not overpower this entire post.

Tying a resource spending ability to a filler does not feel good. This is mostly a visceral feeling, but if I had to give a reason, it would be because fillers are underwhelming spells in terms of impact and animation, and needing to cast that filler to access the spell makes the overall gameplay more underwhelming.

I will admit, taking Rot and Wither feels a lot better with Searing Nightmare build since I am channeling Mind Sear a lot more often. What confuses me however is whether or not I should be even applying Vampiric Touch to the targets to benefit from it since Searing Nightmare does not spawn Shadowy Apparitions, and any time I am not channeling Mind Sear feels wrong. Shadowflame Prism and Voidform windows also feel incredibly awkward since Shadowflame Prism wants to cast Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death and Voidform wants to cast Void Bolt, whereas Searing Nightmare only wants to cast Mind Sear.

This gameplay feels like it conflicts with what Shadow is trying to do, instead of being more connected like the Misery build.

Cooldowns

Voidform and Power Infusion
Voidform and Power Infusion together feels insanely fun. Probably something to do with evoking four years of legacy Voidform haste nostalgia.

Voidform without Power Infusion is much less fun. Casting Void Bolt feels great, but the extra Insanity gained does little to enhance the gameplay when Devouring Plague is unsatisfying to press.

Three charges of Mind Blast in Voidform feel excessive. It’s really strange going from 0 => 3 charges upon entering.

Mindbender and Shadowflame Prism
Mindbender with Shadowflame Prism is fine. I will say I would rather have it than not, but it might end up feeling worse as we play it for another entire expansion. Would really have liked to not be forced into this playstyle if there were other options. Would prefer something that had more altering gameplay instead of just adding Shadow Word: Death to the rotation for a few seconds.

Void Torrent
The amount of Insanity this spell gives means I cannot cast it in Voidform unless I cancel it early or overcap on resources, neither of which is a satisfying answer. This button also doesn’t seem to do much besides break up the monotony of the rotation. Normally generating a hefty amount of resource would feel satisfying, but as I said in the first gameplay section, spending Insanity with Devouring Plague is generally underwhelming.

Damnation
Damnation is another button, like Void Torrent, I could do without. At least on a single target scenario it doesn’t do much besides bloat my action bars. I press it because I have it, not because it is filling a gap in the rotation.

Vampiric Insight

Initially I thought I would enjoy Vampiric Insight over Dark Thoughts, if only because Dark Thoughts encouraged cast-while-channeling. But after playing with it for some time, I definitely prefer Dark Thoughts. I believe there is merit to the proc chance being a direct result of your actions, instead of being a random chance at any moment, which Dark Thoughts had and Vampiric Insight does not. I also believe that there is some merit into not having Mind Flay (or channels in general) be so important in the rotation, but that is not a requirement for having a proc be a direct result of the player’s actions.

I can’t help but compare this to the 2piece tier set bonus for Dark Thoughts in Shadowlands, which adds active engagement to the spell. It proccing off of only Vampiric Touch makes it feel unconnected and unsatisfying to the rotational gameplay.

Vampiric Insight appears to proc more often with multiple targets, but even in AoE scenarios its proc rate seems to be too low. I would expect almost being flooded with procs if I had it on a sufficiently large amount of targets, like 6. This could probably be because the base proc rate seems low, which the aoe rate scales off of.

Conclusion

My thought process for this feedback was to understand what the current gameplay loop is in each gameplay scenario and how they feel, and I would surmise the feelings as follows.

  • Single target gameplay is underwhelming
  • Vampiric Insight feels disconnected
  • Misery build is incredibly fun and engaging, but is greatly worsened by the amount of time reapplying DoTs
  • Searing Nightmare build is completely disconnected and often times conflicts with what Shadow is trying to do
  • Voidform and Power Infusion feel amazing and enhance the rotation greatly
  • Mindbender/Shadowflame Prism and Damnation seem to exist without any real connection to Shadow’s kit
  • Void Torrent doesn’t feel so great to use since spending Insanity is not satisfying and becomes awkward to cast during Voidform

At the end of it all, I’m confused as to what Shadow’s intended gameplay identity should be since it does not appear focused at all. From what I can tell we have Vampiric Insight and Shadowy Apparitions, but neither seem to be fleshed out enough to be part of foundational gameplay.

If I compare this to other specs like Balance Druids with their Eclipse mechanic; Fire Mages with their Hot Streak mechanic; Frost Mages with their Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze mechanic; Elemental Shamans with their Mastery, the only thing I can say is that Shadow is sorely left wanting.

41 Likes

Added this post in the Community Council forums, sharing here as well because it’s a possible adjusment that could be applied for Dragonflight, relating to PI.

2 Likes

I have a lot to say but just to start… Why is Prayer of Mending not instant cast for ANY of the three specs?

We begged for this to come back for years and we finally got it for one expansion only for it to be removed.

42 Likes

Additionally, it interrupts Mind Flay/Mind Sear channels, and isn’t very fun to play around.

3 Likes

I too have noticed this. If you have 5 targets with Vampiric Touch on them, you should be able to proc this within 10 casts of Mind Blast/Devouring Plague, as you would have created 50 Shadowy Apparitions. However, this is not how this functions, and instead requires 50 casts of the Shadowy Apparition generating spells, Mind Blast and Devouring Plague.

4 Likes

Vampiric Insight is different from Dark Thoughts in that it does not allow Mind Blast to be casted while channeling. Are you saying you enjoy cast-while-channeling gameplay?

I feel like it flowed better than having to stop what I was doing, whether that be channeling Mind Flay/Mind Sear. Now, if the Dissonant Echoes/Void Touched related Void Bolts also were castable while channeling, I think the spec would play more smoothly?

3 Likes

I don’t know where or why the perception of this changed, but Shadow’s fillers have always been fillers and not spells to access your other spells. Clipping Mind Flay and Mind Sear has been a thing since forever and I have not once heard someone say it felt bad, because you were canceling a boring spell for a more compelling one.

Cast-while-channeling should never have been introduced to Shadow, and the residual parts of it should be removed.

4 Likes

Maybe this would be the case if there weren’t so many talents that seemed to prioritize Mind Flay over using something more compelling like Mind Blast/Void Bolt procs, like Monomania, Abyssal Knowledge, Rot and Wither, and Idol of C’Thun; not all of these are necessarily required, but it feels like they are forced to be taken in order to get talents such as Living Shadow.

5 Likes

They aren’t necessarily forced, but yes the entire right tree is focused on empowering the value of our fillers which completely conflicts with the reason they replaced Dark Thoughts for Vampiric Insight.

Speaking of specialization, we wanted to make an important callout for Shadow Priests: Dark Thoughts has been removed from the Shadow Priest toolkit. The reasoning is Dark Thoughts placed a large emphasis on Mind Flay and made it feel mandatory to keep it always channeled to roll for a proc. That said, we’d like to make sure that Shadow retains some variety and surprise in their rotation so we’re trying a new approach: Vampiric Insight

I honestly don’t understand what the fixation is on adding so much interaction to our fillers, but it needs to stop. There are far more engaging spells to add interaction to instead which are currently lacking (Devouring Plague, Void Bolt, etc).

3 Likes

Personally, I liked how Shadow played in BfA when Voidform wasn’t just a DPS cooldown and was an elevated Shadowform that rewarded proper Insanity management to get large returns on Legacy of the Void/Lingering Insanity and the Critical Strike that came from Chorus of Insanity.

I heard Shadow was also considered at its peak in Legion, but I didn’t have the pleasure of playing it then.

7 Likes

If I could choose I would have Legion shadow for raiding and WoD shadow for literally everything else. I was really hoping that one day the two could just be separated into two separate specs but alas.

8 Likes

Consider adding back the WoD glyph “Restored Faith: Leap of Faith pulls you to your target instead of pulling your target to you.”

This would be on the same talent slot as Leap of Faith as a choice node. This would also help fix the issue of Priest being the only class that does not gain mobility from Evoker’s Time Spiral and Blessing of the Bronze raid utility spells.

19 Likes