Feedback: Priests

Let’s talk Shadow Tree

I have 3 general pieces of feedback on the shadow tree and a couple talents that I think need to be looked at.

The first is echoing what has already been said about voidform. It’s great to see Dark Ascension back, but it really leaves voidform feeling hollow. I wasn’t ever a huge fan of the voidform playstyle, but I’d like to see it iterated on a little more, it’s not even functional in this state and I would hate to see it removed for people that enjoy it, now that people who don’t have a different option.

In the same vein, DA and VF need to be exclusive, it feels absolutely awful casting 2 cooldowns back to back. Why does DA even need a cast time?

The second major point is around mind spike. Mind spike feels very awkward to use right now, even considering the bug. The dot consumption just feels very dated as a mechanic and it works directly against our mastery. It seems like a very simple change of making mind spike do increased damage to targets without dots, and just not have it consume them.

The third point is pretty simple. There’s way too many buttons here. Like an obscene amount of buttons. Something really needs to change to condense the amount of active abilities we can be juggling at the same time.

The Final thing I want to really bring up is a handful of talents that just don’t make sense to me. Namely Painbreaker Psalm and Mind FLay: Insanity.

Psalm, to me, just reeks of not so fun design. I don’t think it’s a very popular ability currently and I don’t see why it was brought back.

Mind Flay Insanity doesn’t feel like it’s accomplishing what it should. To me it’s supposed to be a talent that rewards you with a big payoff in a chunky mind flay, but the way we apply DP now means that almost every mind flay is empowered, it feels awkward. If the intention is to just constantly empower mind flay then I suppose that’s fine, I’m just not sure if that’s the direction the talent is supposed to go. Also it should interact with Mind Sear in some way.

Overall, the tree is solid, but these are a few things that stood out to me after messing around with it for a while.

2 Likes

I miss the version of Mind Spike that replaced Mind Flay and didn’t eat your dots in the pre-patch going from WoD to Legion. Sadly it didn’t last long in Legion and was replaced, but I really enjoyed it.

  • Mind Spike
  • Level 100 Shadow priest talent
  • 40 yd range
  • 1.5 sec cast
  • Assail the target with shadowy spikes, dealing (44.8% of spell power) Shadowfrost damage and leaving a spike embedded in their mind.

Mind Blast will detonate these spikes, each dealing 200% of their original damage to the main target, and 100% to all nearby targets.

Generates 4 Insanity.

Replaces [Mind Flay].

I was kind of hoping to see it return in Dragonflight in the above form, not the original dot eating version.

11 Likes

Voidform

I started playing Shadow Priest in Legion. While I am gladdened that those who enjoyed Shadow in the Cata to WoD era are getting their beloved playstyle back, I am deeply saddened that the Shadow Priest I fell in love with isn’t coming back in any form I recognize. There may be a talent called Voidform in the tree, but in no way does it evoke the same enjoyment I had from it years ago.

Voidform Changes

Each expansion since Legion Voidform has been changed, and in my opinion for the worse. Changed enough so that it is only recognizable to me in name alone. Throughout the years it has continued to lose its identity, and with that loss in identity, my enjoyment in Shadow has diminished. Let me give a brief rundown all of the changes to Voidform.

Legion

Voidform causes Insanity to drain increasingly over its duration. Gives access to Void Bolt, a 4.5sec instant cast. Haste increases by 1% per second while in Voidform.

Battle for Azeroth

Haste reduced to .5% per second while in Voidform. Drain rate slightly decreased with initial drain slightly increasing

Shadowlands

Haste removed from Voidform. Voidform now has a 15sec duration and 90sec cooldown. No longer drains Insanity.

Dragonflight

Voidform cooldown increased to 2min. Void Bolt now has a 9sec cooldown.

What is Voidform

With so many changes over the expansions, its hard to pinpoint a clear concept as to what Voidform is. Instead of trying to make an overarching definition that satisfies all of its iterations, I would like to define what Voidform means to me.

Stacking Haste

Above all else, Voidform has meant stacking haste. There is a reason why when we played Shadow at the beginning of the expansion in Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands beta the sentiment was that it was unfun. The haste per Voidform stack was changed from 1% in Legion to .5%, and that was not enough to offset the inherently boring three button rotation of Void Bolt, Mind Blast, and Mind Flay. The reason, at least for me, that this rotation never got boring in Legion and halfway through Battle for Azeroth was because the pace of doing the rotation was every changing with the haste stacking. Even if the rotation was static, the speed at which the rotation was performed was not.

I also think that this stacking haste aspect was best example of translating fantasy to game mechanics. Each additional second in Voidform feels like going more insane with more haste, which is why stacking haste is such an integral part of Voidform to me.

High Mobility

Voidform gave access to Void Bolt, an instant cast spell with a cooldown of three globals. Paired with the massive increase in haste, this meant that when in Voidform Shadow was the single most mobile caster in the game. This was an incredible feeling because it made it with proper movement you could react to every mechanic with zero throughput loss, even with the low mobility toolkit Priest has.

Rewarding Rotation

Up until Shadowlands, Voidform was a very rewarding playstyle. It was also excessively punishing, but that was mostly because of the borrowed power attached with it that I don’t want to go into. By executing the rotation properly you saw, and felt, the benefits first hand in gaining increasing haste, gaining more stacks, and seeing your fight in real time against the drain. There was something so incredibly satisfying in seeing your efforts rewarded in a manner more tangible than a DPS meter, in knowing you are doing well within the mechanics of the game.

Transformative Gameplay

I think this aspect may be a remnant of old Shadowform gameplay, but it is still worth mentioning. Voidform rotation was the same as Shadowform rotation but with one extra ability, Void Bolt. This created a stark contrast between the two modes, and I think a necessary one to increase the desirability of Voidform; with Shadowform being incredibly bland but you were only in it for a short duration. This is similar in Shadowlands except the Shadowform rotation is the base rotation, opposite of Legion and BfA, so adding that transformative gameplay instead creates a rotation feeling crammed. I think the largest part I enjoyed about Voidform in this regard was replacing Mind Flay in my rotation with Void Bolt, and that holds true even in Shadowlands.

Suggestions

Now that I have described what Voidform means to me, it is clear how the Dragonflight iteration of Voidform does not feel like Voidform. There is no stacking haste, no reward mechanic in place, and Void Bolt’s longer cooldown greatly diminshes the mobility and transformative gameplay aspects. Here are a few suggestions that I think would satisfy what I want from it.

  • Voidform stacking haste on spell cast
  • Voidform stacking haste on resource spent
  • Voidform stacking haste per second while inside, abiltiy to extend or increase stacks to create reward loop
    Voidform needs stacking haste, these are all different flavors of that idea
  • Void Bolt cooldown reduced to 6sec
    Access to Void Bolt increases mobility in Voidform, it should be a low cooldown spell to utilize that mobility and change in rotation
  • Void Bolt cooldown reduced to 4.5sec, Insanity increased by 50 while in Voidform
    One of the problems with Void Bolt is that Insanity generation is so high in Voidform you often result in either overcapping or delaying Void Bolt cooldown. Increasing Insanity pool would remove this pain point
  • Voidform drains Insanity over its duration, Devouring Plague and Mind Sear now generate Insanity on a cooldown
    Now that Voidform is an optional part of Shadow, the entirety of its historical form could come back without dominating the spec with some modifications

The Shadow Priest tree, based on what I can glean from it, is giving the player the option to build their Shadow Priest regardless which era they fell in love with. There is Dark Ascension and Mind Spike for Cata to WoD, Shadowflame Prism for Shadowlands, and Void Eruption (Voidform) for Legion and Battle for Azeroth. Unfortunately the Voidform option in the tree in no way resembles the Voidform that hooked me on this spec to begin with.

35 Likes

Hi! Back again with round 2 of feedback on the new trees. This is from a Holy Priest perspective with mostly a raid focus, maybe a little Mythic+.

Overall I think the tree overhauls were necessary and were done pretty well. There are definitely some small changes that could be made to make it much better, but you guys included some really good additions.

Class tree

Good:

  • I really enjoy the extra survivability nodes we can choose to take, we’re generally a pretty squishy class and you gave us quite a few options.
  • I think Void Shift will be great for very specific mechanics, probably not used often but will be amazing when dealing with healing debuffs.
  • Divine Star/Halo/Surge of Light moved to the class tree feels good, access to all 3 specs and doesn’t take up space in the Holy tree.
  • Holy Word: Life buff feels a bit better, it’s a step in the right direction.
  • Void tendrils is a nice addition, can see a use for that in all content.
  • Much better overall tree layout and connections.
  • Got rid of some pretty poor talents, Charitable Soul, Tithe Evasion, etc.
  • General Power Word: Shield change is good, with the increased absorb we can use it now as a defensive for us or others (probably us) Feel free to give Renew the same treatment at any time. :wink:

Bad:

  • No interrupt. Holy and Disc are the only specs that do not have one. Please put in an interrupt.
  • I really want to like Vampiric Embrace, I think the idea of all 3 specs having access is cool, though in practice we don’t have a lot of spells that can proc it.
  • Lost Shadowfiend mana and other fiend talents.
  • I think Void Shift’s cooldown could be lowered just a bit.
  • I don’t think I like the Translucent Image change, 5% is too low even with the extended time. I understand the uptime of the DR could be quite high with Improved Fade, but we usually don’t have any DR for hard-hitting moments, so 5% just feels poor.
  • Don’t think I am excited about having access to Body and Soul - while it’s great that we can now just have Feather without drawbacks, Body and Soul is tied to an ability we may want to use for the defensive capability now that it’s buffed. It also has quite the mana cost for a movement ability.
  • Leap of Faith should be a choice node with Vault of the Heavens. Especially if Leap of Faith is going to be the chosen ability that Evokers can buff.
  • Light’s Inspiration is still pretty poor - generally you don’t want a defensive ability to slowly heal you up.
  • Holy Word: Life still isn’t treated like a real Holy Word for Holy Priests. It could do a lesser amount of everything if you wanted, but there’s no refresh from Apotheosis, no Holy Word: Salvation interaction, Resonant Words, Pontifex, etc. I feel like at least the last two in that list make sense. Feels odd to have it as a Holy Word otherwise.
  • Focused Mending is still really poor given it only heals on the initial target.

Spec tree

Good:

  • Harmonious Apparatus is not 3 separate talents anymore. Thank you.
  • Holy Oration is gone, also good since we already have Light of the Naaru.
  • I’m pretty sure I like almost all of the new choice nodes. Buffing additional spells and causing more interactions really feels like the way to go as we already have a lot of button bloat.
  • I love everything about Archbishop Benedictus’ Restitution. I love that you included it, I love its placement, and I think the choice node works great. Very happy with this, it’s definitely a favorite for many Holy Priests.
  • Prayerful Litany was a good addition. Prayer of Healing can sometimes feel poor to use since it’s location-based, at least having some extra healing for low health targets makes it feel a bit better.
  • I love Orison. Simple power increase to a great spell.
  • Lightweaver as a lesser Flash Concentration is pretty good, though unsure how it will feel in practice. Will have to see how the weaving feels in Mythic+ but I feel pretty hopeful, especially with some of the other single-target heals we received.
  • There are now enough choices up top that we aren’t just filling out the entire top of the tree to move on to the next section, which felt very poor in the last iteration. This is much better.

Bad:

  • We lost Shining Force! Feel like that could have been placed in the class tree.
  • We also lost the Cosmic Ripple mana talent, Piety of Mana. I think I’d feel less bad about that if we didn’t also lose the mana talents in the class tree, too.
  • I do not like Everlasting Light, you generally try to stay topped off in between pulls in Mythic+, and you will only get some use of this out of raid (unsure how much we’ll be casting Heal with our current talent setup)
  • Don’t really like either of the crit talents, Pontifex and Crisis Management. I feel we could get more interesting talents in their place.
  • Lightwell is still pretty poor. Even if you do tune it to do well, it’s just a button you set and forget every 3 minutes. Though currently it does poor healing to a very small radius around it, and cannot be moved, which is a pain. There are definitely some rework options (Well of Existence has been a popular recommendation) but if you want to keep it as is, I think a buff to the radius and the ability to move it would help.
  • Holy Mending could probably go - it won’t do a lot of healing if you do not have Benediction to dish out the Renews, which it shares a choice node with.
  • Miracle Worker should not be a capstone. I would actually love it if we could get 2 charges of Serenity and Sanctify baseline. It does not increase our healing very much at all but it DOES increase the fluidity of the spec. Currently, overcapping on Holy Words is not something you aim to do as a good Holy Priest, and it can feel poor to dump Holy Words even if they will overheal. Giving 2 charges would allow us a bit of breathing room, which would be a huge quality of life increase.
  • I do not like Spirited Litany. Random PI isn’t too exciting for me. If you want to keep a similar feel, consider the Alabaster Lady proc instead.
  • Our wall of 2 pointers in the final tier feels really bad, some of them don’t feel like they should be 2 pointers at all and they are just point sinks instead of good power increases. I think Harmonious Apparatus and Light of the Naaru are my least favorite choices for 2-point nodes.

I think now that we have these Renew interactions and extra ways to dish them out with the Prayer of Healing talent, it would be nice to be able to do something with those Renews. A return of Enduring Renewal would feel very good, or you could give us a way to heal people that have Renew on them a la Uplift.

I also think Gales of Song should let us cast Hymn while moving. :slight_smile:

Final bit…I was having a really tough time putting this into words, but creating a build on the spec tree feels bad, I can’t quite put my finger on why. It’s probably a mixture of things, it doesn’t feel complete when I fill it out, feel like there are things I need that I do not have enough points to get. End up sacrificing capstones to fill out earlier choices of the tree, which at this point isn’t a huge deal as some capstones aren’t very attractive. It’s probably a mixture of the layout of talents, as there is not a clear theme/direction, the 2 pointer wall at the end, and a few poor talents. Maybe hearing what the design intent is as well would be helpful, but I’m not sure.

20 Likes

Class Tree Feedback

-This feedback is from the perspective of someone that focuses on healer Priest in raid environments-

Good Stuffs:

  • There’s a lot of neat utility in the tree and plenty of nodes that can further improve the usage of that utility.
  • Healing and damage throughput talents are sparse and generally pretty tame in power.
  • Pathing is pretty good with the new design, despite the design being challenged by class themes and symmetry. Power Infusion is a talent that can be taken for any situation in any content, and allows for connection to all edges of the bottom section.

Stuff that could use some work:

  • Improved Mind Blast is sometimes undesirable but always extremely hard to not take. While it’s an easy pick for Shadow, it isn’t always good for Disc and Holy. While on the opposite side, Unwavering Will is always good for Holy and Disc and situational for Shadow. This balance in the two sides of the tree is good, but it doesn’t consider the power of the talents that require Improved MB or Unwavering Will. The choice node of Angel’s Mercy/Binding Heals is strong for healing Priests but again, less impactful and situational for Shadow. Mindgames on the opposite side, however, is a must pick for Shadow and Disc, and still very good for Holy (the single point for Mindgames in the bottom section would realistically be spent between Lights Inspiration or Improved Fade).

All healer class trees force the player to sacrificing a slight bit of throughput to gain utility, and Priest is no different, but I would like to have better options for what I can realistically give up in the top sections. Improved Mind Blast is one of the first talents I would shift points out of, but it’s position makes it impossible.

I would like to see Improved Mind Blast swapped with Throes of Pain, for the sake of not redesigning too much of the current iteration. Although Throes is universally useful, I think it strikes a better balance for where Mindgames is located.

More stuff to look at:

  • Light’s Inspiration and Improved Fade are relatively weak considering their placement on the tree, but I think it’s okay that they’re less desirable. There are already quite a few good choices in the bottom section, and I feel that those nodes should be more preference based or situational rather than something you want all the time.
    I do think they should be tuned higher, as well as made into 1 point nodes. Crystalline Reflection is a decent talent but it also serves as a means to easily get both Void Shift and Angelic Bulwark, but the two talents beside it only lead into 1 capstone each.

Overall the class tree is sick, there’s a lot of choices to make and plenty to think about.

4 Likes

Divine Star and Halo

Wanted to take a moment and talk quickly about the Divine Star and Halo choice from a Shadow Priest perspective.

Both of these spells returning for Shadow is iconic and very cool to see these again, however usability wise I was hoping to see them modernized slightly.

Divine Star

Between the two Divine Star is the shorter range, only dealing damage between 0yards and 28 yards even though the tooltip claims it is a 30 yard range spell. Even at that 28 yard range you only get 1 hit from Divine Star’s damage and need to go down to 24 yards or less to get two hits from the spell. Bringing this up into Dragonflight it would be nice if this was adjusted slightly to be more accurate in comparison to the tooltip at least as this is confusing

Halo

Halo currently has a 25-30yard range to do maximum damage. This is a bit smaller than our typical range, but I think this is fine for most cases. The main concern I have is using an ability like this in certain Mythic+ dungeon scenarios. From previous experience there are often quite a lot of small hallways or corridors where using Halo is very dangerous and a big risk to potentially pull mobs. A nice quality of life improvement would be to add protection for Halo to only hit mobs that are already in combat with yourself in PvE instances similar to how our Living Shadow pet’s channel worked in Shadowlands. The idea of using this in something like Lower Karazhan is giving me nightmares already with the potential of pulling through walls, making it unusable for most of the dungeon.

What about Cascade?

Right now both Divine Star and Halo both add AoE buttons to our base kit which is nice to see, however both of these come with lower ranged requirements than the majority of our spells. While both of them having ranges below 40 yards makes sense, when it comes to a talent choice this feels a bit bad that we can only choose between two lower-range abilities. When these were talents in the past we also had Cascade as a choice which gave us a 3rd option that fit the long-range style. This would be particularly helpful for any encounters that force us to be further away than 30 yards for the majority of the encounter, such as:

  • Halondrus last phase where you can dodge the beams by being 40 yards
  • Sire Denathrius in the 2nd phase trying to hit the ranged adds
  • Sludgefist chain baiting/generic ranged positioning

If we could have a choice node between all three that would let us choose the best one for each scenario range wise: short range = Divine Star, mid-range = Halo, and long-range = Cascade that would be perfect. If only two were possible I think I would prefer Cascade + Halo over Divine Star + Halo.

P.S. love that both of them change to the Shadowy versions as a Shadow Priest :slight_smile:

19 Likes

One other thing I wanted to bring up that I forgot about until just now is the hallucination/tithe evasion node.

This should really just be hallucinations, tithe evasion should just be baseline baked in to the base class.

I am a staunch defender of backlash shadow word death damage, I think it’s unique and allows for interesting interactions with specific mechanics like maiden in Kara, and it’s a great skill cap for PVP.

But that doesn’t mean we should be chunking ourselves for half our HP bar during executes. Especially with the way that death and madness is currently working, 2 massive Deaths could easily mean our death without tithe evasion. Which may sound like a very compelling reason to take it, but it’s really not.

Hallucinations makes the spec feel a lot better, not losing the insanity generation of a GCD entirely makes using abilities like dispel and shield feel good. I’m not as concerned about dispelling my party or throwing out a shield to give somebody a speed boost because I know I’m still getting something out of it. I’m fine with having the ability to just skip it all together, though I wouldn’t, but if it’s against tithe evasion I don’t see myself ever taking it just to mitigate the damage I’ll end up doing to myself.

Backlash is good, flavorful, skill. The amount of backlash damage is a bit absurd right now, and should really just be looked at from a baseline standpoint and not locked behind a talent.

6 Likes

Disc Tree Feedback

good bit:

  • Spirit Shell + Evangelism is good for Spirit Shell. By design, Shell will do less healing than a Rapture + Evangelism ramp. Spirit Shell caps relative to around ~37% of the Priest’s max health. Capping your shields is very easy, especially with Evangelism, and ensures that pre-shielding your raid is balanced properly. But if you were to instead begin shielding just as the damage hit your raid, you could essentially keep from reaching the cap. However, Spirit Shell builds at 80% of regular atonement, so this is automatically worse than just healing the damage through atonement. In cases where you can’t heal your raid, either because of healing reductions or loss of control mechanics, pre-shielding your raid with Spirit Shell has a niche.

  • Fiending Dark: 1 point into this talent can realistically allow a Shadowfiend for every Evangelism. I’m not 100% sold that this is more powerful than other options in the bottom section, like Harsh Discipline or Divine Aegis, but I worry that both points in this node is what’s intended for 1:30 Shadowfiend. The current tuning with 1 point is still really tight to halve the CD, but it’s very engaging to try to fit in as many Smite and Penance casts as possible

  • Shadow Word: Death triggering atonement is really good for gameplay. It adds another spell for Shadow Covenant, another shadow spell to weave into Balance in all Things, and the challenge of not dying from 2 SWD’s when a boss is sub 20% health.

  • Balance in all Things is FUN. Now you have to think about your damage spells more critically depending on what you have off CD. It then changes more when your target is below 20% health with Death and Madness.

could be a problem:

  • Divine Aegis is a simple yet potentially powerful talent. My hope is that this talent is tuned first before other strong talents in the same row that do more to enhance gameplay.

Tree looks incredible, never been more excited to raid.

2 Likes

Intended to make a discipline tree post tonight but havent felt too well so a quick teaser:

Im a bit worried about the state of m+ with the current talents.

Im not sure what role shadow covenant is supposed to fill. A more limited schism? Pretty disastrous with twilight corruption being weak and shadow mend having a cooldown.

Id really really like to see Vitality Conduit on the tree, especially for disc. Seems to fit so well and is almost like a healing version of funnel. Im sure others would like to see it come back too

11 Likes

I hope that shadow priest doesn’t have button bloat issues and I actually hope that the feedback will think about any possibility of any button bloat when implementing feedback.

6 Likes

I am still in the process of ingesting and experimenting with priest trees in general, but two immediate things stand out:

  • Unlike every other healer in the game, we do not have an option to take an interrupt as a healer. I like following the Evoker’s route here of moving Silence to the class tree, but keep Last Word as a Shadow talent.

  • Angelic Bulwark is a nice improvement, but after seeing Hunters get a baseline DR for their class, priest remains the only class without good defensive options. It would be nice if Desperate Prayer was made better / replaced with something that was more impactful prior to receiving damage. If it is too good to have at a class level, giving it to Disc or Holy would be nice.

10 Likes

I’m torn on Mind Blast being in the holy priest spec at all, mainly in terms of button bloat/ redundancy. There are at least now some gameplay options, in theory, to make use of it if you were to go down the right side of the class tree or ignore Holy Fire in the spec tree, but it is still more often than not a useless spell for that spec when fully leveled. With that said, it might be one of those cases where it’s just perfectly acceptable to leave it in the spell book and ignore it when Holy Fire is talented, but it probably will confuse newer players learning the spec, something which shouldn’t be ignored.

In the past, Holy Fire replaced Mind Blast entirely to remove the redundancy, but I imagine for the reasons mentioned above involving the shadow side of the class tree, they must now be separate spells. An obvious suggestion would be to have Holy Fire gain the benefits of Mind Blast talents and remove Mind Blast if Holy Fire is taken. You could then go further and make holy dps talents work off Mind Blast (solving some other issues in the spec tree then), but I assume both points will not be liked because it would ruin the art/ thematic design of the trees, which I agree with. I also wouldn’t want to take away the possibility of being able to burst with shadow damage as holy to heal with Vampiric Embrace while still keeping Holy Fire, though that being worthwhile will somewhat come down to a game of numbers. Regardless, I thought I ought to voice my thoughts on this minor issue, maybe help inspire a solution.

3 Likes

Why?

Purge The Wicked replaces Shadow Word: Pain, so why can’t Holy Fire replace Mind Blast?

As for Vampiric Embrace, I honestly think it should be triggered by ALL damage, otherwise it’s really weak for Holy (even if you use Mind Blast), and still not great for Discipline either IMO.

3 Likes

Feedback from Shoy EU on Shadow Priest


Overall

Short class tree notes:

  • Shadowfiend 3 mins is silly
  • Vampiric Embrace deserves to be off the GCD
  • Mindgames offering a damage nuke in class tree is weird
  • Body and Soul + Feather seems excessively powerful (even though I like it). Door of shadows where?

Short spec tree notes:

  • Great changes with interesting ideas sprinkled all over the place
  • Taking ‘greatest hits’ from previous expansions and mashing them together, creates some contradictions that need to be ironed out
  • Capstones are weaker than mid-talents and they do not create ‘defining’ choices that hint pathing through the tree
  • Far too many 2pointers before capstones
  • Silence, Horror, Dispersion and Tithe Evasion do not belong to the spec tree
  • Hallucinations deserves to be baseline
  • Piercing Shadows? LOL
  • Shadow crash working with Misery is a welcome bug

Slightly longer ideas

Choice nodes

Often times instead of picking between two different goals, in my head it would feel better to choose between two different ways to achieve a similar goal.

A nice example is in the Single/Multi target goal choice of Shadow Crash vs. Void Torrent.

Consider the following choice draft:

  • Shadow Crash offers an immediate DoT multi application
  • vs. a continuous DoT spread (e.g. spend 15 insanity to spread Vampiric Touch to an extra target)

Mindgames

Being a ‘capstone’ ability in the class tree, it feels off for Mindgames to offer damage. This offers itself as a utility-only ability due to its position in the tree and 0 spec interactions.

Consider this draft:
Mindgames enhances Mind Blast and adds a ‘mini Mindgames’ effect to each cast, similar to what Condemn did for Execute. Yummy.

Mind Spike

Mind Spike DoT removal is a by-gone mechanic that seems to contradict what the rest of the tree is trying to empower.

Random thought:
Instead of the negativity of DoT removal, introduce a situational benefit. Make Mind Spike remove a few secs of DoTs and deal the damage instantly (similar to Painbreaker). Surge procs could ofc negate DoT removal.

This would flow nicely with day-to-day grinding and leveling routines.

Second random thought, so that it makes sense in cooldowns:
During Dark Ascension and Voidform, the dot consummation could be reversed and instead extend DoTs.

Cooldowns disparity

Dark Ascension

There are similar issues with Dark Ascension, which is a strict downgrade to current Voidform. I really do not get where all the hype on forums and discord is coming from :frowning_face: :

  • Does not build upon most of the other effects that are tied to our DoTs
    • DoTs on all targets are extinguished or in danger of falling off because of no extension (the only extension comes from Mind Flay, which we don’t want to cast and Shadow Crash)
  • Provides up to flat 20% dmg increase, which in reality is way less due to us having a good portion of our damage come from periodic effects
  • Requires a weird build up via Mind Flay
  • How exactly does all this help with AoE?

This cooldown is strictly contradictory and my mind just cannot comprehend its motivations. If you guys want this, then go play a gosh darned frost mage.

Voidform

Compared to Dark Ascension, Voidform creates a plethora of positive interactions:

  • Instants for improved movement
  • Prevents DoTs expiration on the targets, allowing for full benefit of all interactions with our DoTs
  • 10% flat dmg increase (+ extra from Mastery, Hungering Void and Ancient Madness)
  • Increased Insanity generation (Voidbolt + Mind Blast charge), further feeding into instant casts and spender interactions (extra ghosts, extra healing etc.)
  • Voidform duration extension
  • Feedback loop with increases to haste (PI) and crit

Voidform removal

The current notion is to remove Voidform. I scoured many forums and discord posts for reasons.

Why?

  1. Because people want a ramping effect, most often tied to Insanity drain and cannot get one?
  • Insanity drain is impossible to balance and has a plethora of problems. We’ve been there…
  1. Because it is too strong and we feel weak outside of it?
  • This is easy to fix and will be less of an issue with borrowed power uber stacking gone:
    • Mindbender + conduits
    • Shadowflame Prism
    • Unholy Nova or Fae Guardians + soulbind stats and Leggo
    • Tier 2pc
  1. Because of the transformative effect of the ability, which culminates with a claustrophobic feeling and Insanity overflow?
  • The frantic feeling is frankly what it’s always been and what makes it unique. There are of course alterations that could further improve this (I wrote a few below).
  • In my modest estimation, Insanity overflow will be a non-issue with borrowed power gone. More on this later.

Upon removal, what are the alternatives? Unless you come up with a worthy replacement of this core gameplay part, all I see are strict downgrades.

Voidform changes

All in all, Voidform is not without its quirks. My personal list of improvements:

  • Voidbolt 6 sec CD, increase in power and has some effect in AoE
  • Somehow remove the contradiction of Mind Spike removing DoTs during CDs
  • Increase power outside of Voidform
    • Remove Hungering Void flat damage buff (and merge Voidform extension effect into baseline Voidform)
    • Remove Ancient Madness (or make it into ramping-up buff)
    • Change Mastery, so that it does not need to be ‘enabled’ by Voidform
    • Remove Shadowfiend and Mindbender (Prism can easily work without these)
  • Mind Blast 2 charges by default and the same 2 charges during CDs
  • Increase max Insanity to 120 (might need alterations to Lunacy)

Insanity

Every time I see a Shadow player look at the new talents, they view anything that generates extra Insanity (or makes you spend less) as not worth even thinking about. There is a huge stigma associated with Insanity abundance and later overflow since mid Castle Nathria.

History

From what I remember:

  1. Until having started to use Fae Guardians + Prism, Voidform felt good with ~30% base haste
  2. Fae Guardians + Prism changed this to be an interesting brain teaser that could still be optimized, so that you rarely lost any Insanity
  3. Prism + Tier 2/4pc threw this out of the window, having had to do uneasy decisions about what to drop (even though I love 2pc interaction)

Insanity overflow

Fellow Shadow Priests, please note that leaving Shadowlands, we lose many effects, that I see as the culprit:

  • Fae Guardians + Dreamweaver haste
  • Mindbender with uber attack speed conduits (duration extension conditionally stays)
  • Tier 2pc
  • Voidbolt short CD

This barebones state will in my humble guesstimate result in Insanity drought (talking 30% haste) unless remedied by talents like Lunacy. (No beta access, cannot feel for myself)

Weak Insanity Spenders

Where I agree with the community is that spenders feel weak

  • Devouring Plague was repeatedly nerfed (for reasons like us having generated increasingly more Insanity)
  • Also as I previously expressed, I believe large part of this is due to ‘muddied’ damage sources due to added clutter that diminish the weight of the ‘core’ spells (like extra pets)
6 Likes

I would just like interject here and clarify / remind people that Desperate prayer, as memed as it is, is functionally a 20% DR. It doesn’t work like rally, you don’t lose the HP after it ends.

It’s not a massive amount, but it’s effectively barkskin in terms of what it mitigates. Just because it says it heals you doesn’t mean that’s actually what it does or how you use it.

5 Likes

Under the current design of the class tree, they must be separate spells because if otherwise, one talent (Holy Fire) would essentially destroy the functionality of several other talents, creating a problem. It is one thing to have a dead talent later in a tree because you didn’t select the active ability earlier on, but it is another if one talent cancels another out.

Before getting into any other points, let me take a step back and discuss Vampiric Embrace specifically. This spell, I believe, was moved from shadow to the class tree because the developers needed to make it not compete within an almost entirely dps oriented tree. Players were pointing out early on that with how the spec tree was, you would almost always find reasons to not take Vampiric Embrace, creating a problem. So the developers moved it to a space where it made a lot more sense.

Now, this is all very recent, so the problems we are bringing up are all very fresh and what I imagine the developers are working through as we speak. So think of it as if the devs had the immediate short term goal of moving the cooldown, and now they must figure out how to make all the other pieces work with it. This is where our conversation comes in. Holy clearly has poor interaction with the spell, and it would get even worse if Mind Blast was missing. Your suggestion to make Vampiric Embrace work off all of Holy’s damage I don’t think will ever happen because it doesn’t work thematically (something very important in design). It is a shadow spell that converts shadow damage, not holy, to healing. Plain and simple.

Now, I can see two possible directions with all this. One is to keep spells like Vampiric Embrace and Surge of Light to favor certain specs. It is very common in all classes, so it’s not a big deal. The other option is to go through such spells and try to make them more universally appealing. This is much harder and typically rarer, but can make a class’s design more interesting when successful. With the case of Vampiric Embrace, perhaps the node could be moved more towards the center and turned into a choice node where players get an option of that talent or a holy version that converts holy damage to healing. Or maybe the inverse, converting single target holy healing into damage? That is just one random example, but you get the point.

2 Likes

Appreciate you taking the time to listen to feedback and act on it together to make improvements for all.

1 Like

Effective Health is definitely nice, and Desperate Prayer does have it’s use. However, DR (or large absorb) is way more powerful than a burst heal and max hp increase.

Being a cloth class with no ability to DR without spending externals is very painful. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most this season with the swap back to NF over kyrian is that I get to use faeries as a defensive on difficult parts of the fight.

3 Likes

Utility on the Shadow tree

If there is going to be non-damage talents on Shadow tree, having literally all of them be fully optional feels really bad, in my opinion. Currently, you can hit the 8 points threshold without picking any of Silence, Psychic Horror, Dispersion and its upgrade, or Hallucinations. None of those talents is blocking power damage effects after them either. Picking every other talent above the 8 point line lets you path to all of the rest of the tree. In my opinion, the tree should be structured in a way where you either pick a number of those non-damage talents to advance past 8 points (say 2 or 3 out of 5), or they need to be used as gateways to strong damage talents further down. It would just feel really bad right now to pick up Psychic Horror, or have a 30s cooldown on Silence, giving up 2 damage talents to hit that.

Dark Ascension

There are 2 things making this talent feel bad to me right now.
Being a hard cast that does nothing but apply a straight % damage buff. Void Eruption is already a hard cast major cooldown, but at least it also does direct damage to targets at the same time. Dark Ascension should be instant and off the GCD as well for its current design.
Consuming the Dark Evangelism buff will lead to gameplay that seems wrong whichever way ends up being optimal numerically. If you consume the buff, your dots are still ticking away at the target, logically we would want to re-apply the stacks with Mind Flay, but then we’re wasting uptime of DA. If it turns out we don’t want to re-apply stacks, then we’re just making 0 use of the talent that leads here for the entire duration of the spell.

Void Eruption

I think this cooldown looks a bit out of place in the design of Shadow Priest. Similar to why Boon of the Ascended doesn’t feel good to play as Shadow, it looks like a button you press that just changes the color of your model and the shape of your filler, with not much else interacting with it on the talent tree.

5 Likes

More thoughts on Vampiric Embrace: If making it a raid utility is deemed too strong (i.e. a raid leech buff or similar), consider reworking it into a passive self heal based on a % of your damage done, and changing the upgrade node San’layn to add a party heal % as well. A perfect example is in Wrath Classic (Vampiric Embrace WotLK Classic) where you provide a decent self heal and party utility passive buff.

This does several things:

  • Gives Priest a decent self-healing option while keeping them weak to specific types of damage (strong vs steady damage, but weak against burst). This allows them to get away with less DR’s than other classes typically have;
  • An interesting and unique party mechanic that can be useful in certain kinds of content (dungeons, high ticking damage boss fights, world content);
  • Balanced around shadow damage done so it doesn’t scale too hard with Holy/Disc;
  • Avoids more button bloat and leans into the idea of the “support” class that priest would intuitively be known for (by passively healing party members as you do damage).

This version would be nerfed in overall healing done from live, but I think this is a fair trade off for a party buff that could be very useful in the right situation (putting squishy classes with the priests group could be the difference between them dieing from ticking damage vs not).

10 Likes