Shadow Priest - Dragonflight Feedback

Shadow Priest Design Feedback


  • Certain talents feel underwhelming and lackluster
    • Major cooldowns lack definitions
    • Spec tree is filled with passive choices that hardly change gameplay
  • DoT Management is more punishing than it is satisfying
  • Mobility and Movement feels punishing and restrictive

Core Gameplay

The core gameplay of Shadow is largely simplified from what it has been previously. This has made the playstyle feel somewhat lackluster and very standard compared to other specs, especially when playing Dark Ascension. The Void Eruption playstyle has a better flow with the added spell of Void Bolt, but even this is a shell of what it has been in the past. Both of these cooldowns feel underdeveloped from a gameplay loop and just make the spec feel “normal” to play without the flavor the spec had previously.

Part of this problem feels related to the Dragonflight talent trees and the mantra of “Build Your Own Shadow Priest”. This ambitious goal is a lofty one and has left us with several combinations of choosing your filler and your cooldown but ultimately these decisions have a quite minimal impact on gameplay feel. When the spec was centered around a single cooldown it felt like there were more opportunities to let the cooldown thrive and build on top of what would be a single baseline cooldown instead of trying to make things work for both. On top of this the choices in the talent tree that we do make hardly have any synergy with each other, making the tree feel disjointed.

Shadow Priest Design

Lack of Playstyle Choice

  • Lack of distinctive playstyle choice in the talent tree. Noteworthy Shadow Archetypes feel underdeveloped or missing entirely
    • DoT Spreading
    • Shadowy Apparitions
    • Funnel Damage while Cleaving
    • Void Summoner
    • DoTless Heavy Burst/Single Target
    • Ramping Damage

Unsatisfying DoT Management Options

The current design makes DoT Management feel more frustrating than it does satisfying compared to previous iterations. Your ability to deal AoE damage with Psychic Link is directly tied to how fast and efficient you can apply DoTs to targets quickly. Right now the only way we have to do that is with the Shadow Crash and Whispering Shadows talents paired with Misery as a required choice.

With the spec’s reliance on Shadow Crash, all the issues with this spell bleed into issues with our AoE as a whole since it is the catalyst for that Psychic Link damage. Relying on a projectile spell to hit targets means any issues with Z-Axis in the game or just targeting a ground spell in general make Shadow Crash extremely frustrating at times. Furthermore when fighting more than the 8-target DoT cap of Whispering Shadows it means you are at a significant disadvantage. If you pull several small/insignificant enemies your Shadow Crash might miss several of the elites meaning you are forced to manually DoT the remaining priority targets. This is particularly punishing based on the current dungeon pool which makes this problem heavily varied from season to season.

While a projectile instant DoT applicator does have some benefits, making Shadow Crash a choice node with a version that is targeted at an enemy that still applies Vampiric Touch with Whispering Shadows would go a long way to make things feel better. This alternative version would eliminate issues with Z-axis on a projectile spell. Giving the player the choice between a targeted ground spell or a spell that travels specifically to a target would go a long way to making the spec feel less punishing.

To address the issue of facing many targets and needing to DoT them I think the answer lies in specifically giving the player more options for DoT management. Several talents in our kit could be altered to make Shadow Crash less required to maintain DoTs while leaning on more classic parts of the kit for spreading DoTs. Here are some ways this could work:

  • Mental Decay working in AoE could mean you are less required to press Shadow Crash on cooldown, and only need it to apply DoTs to new targets.
  • Giving Shadow Crash multiple charges would allow you more flexibility with the spell. This not only would help cover up issues with the spell but it would also extend the specs ability to handle various scenarios, especially lower keys where things die faster.
  • Uncapping Shadow Crash but then limiting Psychic Link in some way to make sure things don’t get out of control.
  • Give Unfurling Darkness a better use case in PvE specifically. Instead of being a hybrid on-hit damage instant cast Vampiric Touch every 15 seconds change it to be purely a DoT management talent that interacts with Vampiric Touch to make it an instant cast spell for a short period of time, allowing you to spread the DoT more easily.

Alternatively, instead of making our DoTs easier to spread in Mass AoE (12+ targets) the spec could instead have other spells that are meant to fill the identity of higher target count damage. This was done in the past with an AoE spender like Mind Sear or alternative spells like Shadowy Apparitions fueling more of our AoE potential. The AoE section below goes over the flaws with some of those existing spells today.

Cooldown Identity Crisis

Shadow Priest currently gets to choose between two different cooldowns, Dark Ascension and Void Eruption. This was part of the build your own Shadow Priest experiment and has ultimately left both cooldowns feeling like they are lacking definition. Having both of these offer their own unique gameplay loop and core playstyle would be fun to play with, but currently that is not how things have worked out.

Dark Ascension is a simple damage mod to our kit that lacks synergy with the rest of the kit. Having a flexible 1 minute cooldown certainly can be convenient but when selecting a cooldown I wish it had more definition behind it. The gameplay loop is the same inside of cooldowns as it is outside of cooldowns, making it feel more like a maintenance buff compared to what we have with Void Eruption. On top of that the specific nature of only buffing direct damage skills is underdeveloped in the talent tree. Mind Spike as a choice should be the default pick with these sorts of builds, but it’s typically not even strong enough to always be default. In order for Dark Ascension to thrive it needs further iteration.

  • Instead of expanding on Dark Ascension, talenting into this could just change Void Eruption to a 1m cooldown instead with different visuals.
  • Cast time on the cooldown feels restrictive and too similar to Void Eruption
  • Further develop Dark Ascension by building in synergy to Mind Spike
    • Mind Spike and Mind Melt could be removed as talents and instead baked into Dark Ascension. During the cooldown Mind Flay is automatically transformed into Mind Spike with Mind Melt baseline
    • Give Mind Spike that similar proc-based instant cast gameplay we had from Surge of Darkness
  • Alternatively removing this spell to fully focus on Void Eruption would be helpful as well.

Void Eruption remains an iconic cooldown in the game but recently is lacking some of the magic that made many priests fall in love with the cooldown. In Dragonflight Void Eruption feels less like a cooldown and more like a stance activation spell that gives us access to Void Bolt. It needs something to make it have satisfying gameplay again. Voidform should have a clear reason why you would want to pick this over Dark Ascension (i.e. Sustain vs. Burst damage). The other big thing is bringing back a more interactive cooldown than we had previously. The removal of the Insanity drain mechanic makes this harder to harken back to, but some type of ramping haste or damage amplification would go a long way to making this feel fun again and reward the player from getting longer Voidforms.

  • From a numbers perspective alone it feels like it is being pulled back in power just so that Dark Ascension has room to breathe, making the choice between the two often unimportant both from a gameplay and a numbers perspective.
    • Specifically on single target fights the Mastery activation does not really come into play leaving the only effect gained getting access to Void Bolt.
    • Since it replaces Shadowform, the 10% damage gain is completely nullified making this one of the few cooldowns in the game that doesn’t directly buff your damage while active. Having the buff put back to 20% would help make the cooldown feel more satisfying as a 2 minute cooldown.
  • Would like to see pause interactions come back for spells like Void Torrent and especially Dispersion where when using these spells it pauses the Voidform buff duration.

The other big thing to bring up with our cooldowns is the one talent that interacts with them, Ancient Madness. Currently this talent works exactly the same, regardless of your choice of cooldown. This is inherently punishing for Void Eruption since it has twice the cooldown of Dark Ascension but still only the same benefit for Void Eruption. On top of this it was changed recently to not give character stat sheet critical strike which makes it confusing for players if it’s even working as expected.

AoE as a Shadow Priest

With the current design, our AoE damage lives and dies based on our Single Target being tuned well and our ability to spread DoTs. This has left us in a fairly tumultuous state with small tuning changes having a massive ripple effect impact on AoE.

The core of this problem is that Psychic Link is either too weak or too powerful, and feels like it is often left in poor states for too long. From season to season the strength of this talent is relative to the strength of the base spec, but the tuning of this spell has been a roller coaster to say the least. At 30% this feels like it has weight to it in the current design, but every time it gets knocked down the spec starts to suffer again. Spells like Void Torrent and Mindgames still don’t have the same AoE Burst potential that they had when the coefficient was higher, making these spells feel pretty lackluster still.

Other AoE spells in the kit and their flaws:

  • Shadowy Apparitions
    • Travel time can feel like a big detriment to playing around Apparitions without sitting in melee.
    • “AoE” damage is locked behind having every target DoTted which has its own challenges (see above)
    • Lack of interactive talents with this spell that make you feel more like a Shadowy Apparition build.
  • Shadow Crash
    • Tuned down enough to be irrelevant from a damage perspective and just there to apply DoTs with Whispering Shadows. Takes two talent points to get anything worth selecting.
    • The Season 3 set bonus attempted to fix this but to make that “balanced” the base spell was nerfed.
  • Spreading DoTs
    • See section above
  • Inescapable Torment
    • Overall playstyle is fine, although many players are a bit exhausted having run this for so many tiers consistently.
    • Even though this is target capped at 5 its damage output at 5 and below targets is extremely lackluster
  • Idol of N’Zoth
    • See section below on Old God Idol Capstones

If you package this kit together it currently feels like we have a bunch of small AoE spells to try and copy them all together to deal passable AoE. This makes the gameplay feel unfocused in AoE and mostly passive gameplay rather than feeling involved or satisfying.

Filler Spell: Insanity

Currently Shadow Priest gets to choose to use Mind Flay by default or talent into Mind Spike as our core filler spell. While the intent here is surely to let players choose the playstyle they want, the exact reasons for when you want Mind Spike or Mind Flay often come down to numbers rather than a gameplay choice. Both spells lack synergies with the rest of our kit, making it unclear when you want to play one versus another. This is particularly problematic for Mind Spike because the choice is not directly Mind Flay vs. Mind Spike, its Mind Spike and Mind Melt vs. whatever other two points on the talent tree you would take otherwise. This makes the choice somewhat confusing and chaotic knowing which one you want to play with.

Currently the community is split on how this feels. Overall Mind Flay baseline is a less punishing spell compared to Mind Spike, but Mind Flay: Insanity is more punishing to play with compared to Mind Spike: Insanity. The empowered fillers seem to have caused more problems than they have solved. On top of this from a feel perspective Mind Spike: Insanity feels exactly like Mind Spike, lacking any distinct flavor. In addition, this proc being attached to every other Devouring Plague makes these procs feel “easy” to play correctly, whereas when you got it every cast you had to think more about your rotation. With this talent you play normally and sometimes your fillers do more damage.

Button Bloat

Shadow Priest has too many abilities that do not have significant gameplay impact. This leads to confusion to new players and old trying to figure out when to use these buttons that are hardly impactful.

  • Mindgames
  • Halo / Divine Star
  • Holy Nova
  • Power Infusion
    • Currently just synced with Dark Ascension or Void Eruption.
    • Probably a stand alone button only for theme and Twins but from a gameplay perspective as Shadow would rather this just be baked into our cooldowns.
    • Balance seems to be taking this into account in our overall budget which makes it harder to gauge the overall power level of the spec
  • Shadow Word: Pain
    • T31 tier set aside, this is basically just a movement ability with Misery being a required talent. Having a DoT spell like this that we basically never press is a weird spot in our kit for such an iconic spell.
  • Shadowfiend/Mindbender
    • Without Inescapable Torment these feel extremely lackluster as a spell and feel like they contribute to button bloat.
  • Utility Spells are nice to have, but if they are not significant or useful they feel bloated. Would rather have a selection of utility that is best in class rather than having a bunch of options that are mediocre
    • Void Tendrils
    • Shackle Undead
      • Outside of Incorporeal this has such niche uses in PvE
    • Psychic Horror
      • Actually great spell but too big of a DPS loss to take currently

Specific Talent Feedback

  • Mastermind
    • Connection to Idol of N’Zoth has no synergy
  • Tormented Spirits
    • Tormented Spirits scales quadratically as both the chance for a proc and the number of targets that are dealt damage both depend directly on target count.
      • This makes these talents lackluster for Single Target Damage while incredibly powerful as targets scale up.
      • Suggestions:
        • Give it similar target scaling to Maddening Touch/Auspicious Spirits, or make it RPPM while buffing the base chance to increase the talents floor while lowering the ceiling.
        • Just replace it with the T30 4pc from Aberrus
    • Damage output of this talent is directly related to Auspicious Spirits, which makes it live in a relatively unhealthy spot.

Old God Idol Capstones

  • Anyone that plays Shadow instantly falls in love with the idea of Idol capstone spells. Would love to see potentially more of these in the future, or even future visual Glyphs added to really lean into the theme of these abilities.
    • Potentially more Idols? G’huun, Xal’atath, Bwonsamdi, etc
    • A Glyph that lets you put down pillars to the old gods you are talented into
  • Thematically interesting, but lacking in playstyle definition. All of them have some component of cleave damage, which hurts the overall identity of why you would want to take each one. Would rather each Idol spell have a clear niche or playstyle
  • Idol of Y’Shaarj
    • All of the effects are just kind of “nice to have” or passive. None of them really change what we do in PvE or are played around much.
    • While the other Idols have some sort of visual, this one feels lacking.
  • Idol of N’Zoth
    • Having an effective double cap its AoE (limited to 4 debuffs at a time and the damage is soft capped at 5) makes it less than ideal. Not being able to spread this to all targets AND that damage being capped feels too restrictive, would rather have one or the other.
      • In large AoE pulls you actually want to explode the stacks via the on-death trigger so you actually get the damage out before other targets die, which would reduce the overall damage dealt. This means we want it to be on the enemies that will die first since we have no controlled way to explode the stacks outside of that.
      • Removing the cap on debuffs would go a long way to making this feel better.
      • Giving the player an option to be able to detonate all active stacks would also help give more control back to the player when they want the damage to happen in addition to the passive detonation.
    • Idol of N’Zoth feels like the damage over time Idol, but in general there seems to be a lack of synergizing talents both leading into N’Zoth and elsewhere in the kit, which makes this talent underwhelming. Screams of the Void is almost single handedly giving this talent life
  • Idol of Yogg-Saron
    • Visually exciting when it procs.
    • Direct tuning of this talent is directly tied to the tuning of Shadowy Apparitions, Auspicious Spirits, and Tormented Spirits, even if these do not directly buff the damage of Yogg-Saron. These points being required to get to Yogg-Saron have a knock on effect any time the tuning of these spells are changed.
    • When it procs it is mostly out of our control, making it awkward to plan around. You can cancel stacks and somewhat game this, but that does not feel great.
  • Idol of C’Thun
    • Visually exciting when it procs.
    • Nothing clearly wrong with the talent in its current implementation but lacks any sort of defining playstyle.
    • Hard to find a clear reason why you want to specifically take this talent, aside from the raw numbers. You always want more Insanity generation so this is almost always relevant.

Top Section Utility Choice

  • There is at least one too many utility points in the top section
  • Without losing damage we can only select 2 out of the available 4 options without losing damage. Dispersion and Silence being the core 2 here means selecting anything else is almost impossible in most PvE content
  • Intangibility, Last Word, and Psychic Horror were seldom ever taken in PvE for these reasons
  • Last Word
    • Would rather this be a full reduction to a 24 second kick with the Silence component removed.
    • Interrupt requirement in keys can be strict enough to where even a 30 second kick is not good enough, and Silence as a core mechanic is rarely valuable in PvE if ever

Movement and Mobility

The mobility of the spec is very dependent on the tuning of our instant cast spells and many of the points already mentioned, such as cooldown identity with Dark Ascension vs. Void Eruption. This, paired with the fairly turret nature of Dark Ascension builds, significantly locks down the spec and makes it very proc reliant to handle movement events.


  • Change Surge of Insanity procs to have some baked in mobility. Making Mind Spike: Insanity instant cast would go a long way to making the spell not only feel better but also shore up movement concerns in PvE and PvP. The struggle here would be balancing this out with Mind Flay, a potential secondary change could be making Mind Flay: Insanity castable while moving. This would give the player some options on how to handle movement.
  • Give some kind of displacement talent into the class tree (i.e. something like Door of Shadows or a jump type effect). We have two movement talents but nothing that helps with displacement.

Good Things about the Current Design

While the focus of this post has been mostly on the negative aspects of the spec, I think it is equally important to highlight parts of the spec that the community likes in the current design.

  • Psychic Link style Priority Target damage AoE can be good if tuned well, but currently impacts raid performance too much when balancing happens.
  • Void Torrent feels great with auto-proccing Idol of C’Thun
  • Voidtouched leaves more room in the opener if you get procs. Also allows some sort of burst depending on the situation.
  • While Shadow Crash does have its issues, having any instant-DoT applicator is crucial to this build working in the current state.
  • Idol of C’Thun is visually a fun spell to see proc.
  • Yogg-Saron is visually awesome to see when it procs, especially if you get lucky with multiple out at once.
  • Mental Fortitude gives us much needed defensive value in our kit. Priests/Shadow Priests are one of the weakest specs in the game handling incoming damage and without this talent we would be devastated in higher end prog content.

Class Talents

  • Void Tendrils
    • Being a melee casted root that breaks almost immediately on damage has extremely limited use cases. If it was similar to Mass Entanglement it would see more play
  • Sheer Terror
    • No current use cases, does not reduce the breaking point enough to be noticeable in most scenarios.
  • Healing spells like Holy Nova, Renew, Prayer of Mending and even Flash Heal and all relevant talents are much less relevant to Shadow Priest
    • If these were added to Hallucinations it could open up more off-healing builds for Shadow Priest to go into without losing too much damage in the process.
      • Flash Heal specifically is cast more often as Shadow due to the interaction with the talent Protective Light where Flash Heal is a part of our defensive tool kit.
    • Rotational buttons like these are not meaningful off-healing in their current state to pickup or press
      • The off-healing would be more useful is if it was similar to Vampiric Embrace where it could handle specific windows where you want more healing
      • Ideally we could talent into some options that make sacrificing damage for a small window worth pressing the healing buttons to handle a high damage scenario.
  • Mindgames
    • Feels tacked onto the kit but doesn’t really contribute anything. It’s 4 points that you feel like you need to take for damage but they are so inconsequential it doesn’t really matter and makes the spell feel more like button bloat
    • If this was changed to a pure utility spell that would be more exciting than feeling obligated from a DPS perspective in PvE
  • Halo and Divine Star
    • Constant tuning changes to spec talents and spells have pushed these to the point where they’re either not worth pressing for damage or are barely worth pressing for damage and effectively button bloat in terms of DPS
    • They can be decent from a healing perspective but otherwise are just a different filler spell we press sometimes that can just feel like button bloat
  • Angelic Bulwark
    • Feels underwhelming and procs in an unreliable way that makes it much less useful.
    • Does not work like Undulating Sporecloak nor does it work on lethal hits (like a sort of Cheat Death mechanic) which makes this significantly less useful and kind of a trap talent for many players.
      • If this worked properly it would shore up the desperately needed passive mitigation problem the spec has, which directly contributes to the amount of deaths the spec sees inside of a raiding environment.

My 3 biggest issues with the spec by far are Misery, Distorted Reality and too high insanity generation.

Misery being a mandatory talent is stupid. It’s really that simple. Publik sort of touches on how it makes SW:P a useless button (outside of the current tier) and DoT, to the point where I stopped tracking it entirely.

If Misery has to exist, it needs to be a choice node against a talent that you pick on 1-3 targets. That way you actually have to manage both SW:P and VT, and you get back the movement GCDs that Misery removes. That’s one of the best parts of the current tier set, having SW:P as a movement GCD again. 1-3 targets should be manual VT and SW:P, 4-8 Misery and past that some silly spammable direct damage AoE that is entirely independent from mastery/DoTs, because that target count just doesn’t work well with WoW’s targeting system.

Distorted Reality needs to go away on singletarget. The Devouring Plague minigame (optimizing uptime around your strong spells) goes away entirely thanks to this talent, and that’s a shame, because our mastery should be something we play around. Gate the bonus damage to DP behind having it up on multiple targets or something along those lines. It’s a neat talent on Council-style fights, but it should never ever be even close to correct to pick on singletarget.

Insanity generation is a constant struggle. We gain more from haste, which increases our Devouring Plague uptime. So even if we start out having an actual DP/mastery minigame with ~70% DP uptime, eventually it gets out of control and Blizzard reduces insanity generation a bit. This has repeated every season so far, and yet (even without Distorted Reality) we keep creeping up to 90%+ uptime, which is too much. At that point you’re not deciding which abilities you want the 3rd mastery stack up for, you just… have it. Either have Devouring Plague uptime compress with haste, so it’s always a fixed number of GCDs covered by a DP cast, or find some other solution to this, because nerfing insanity generation every season is silly.


Shadow Priest has felt the most fun when we have enough instant cast options to move and deal damage. Legion-BfA Voidform, Shadowlands Season 3, Dragonflight Season 1 and 3.

Stop making us into a turret.


Ugh, the holy grail of fun specs. I miss it so much :sob:

I really wish halo, divine star, mind games, and all the fluff buttons could be removed. I hate pressing halo. It feels like a chore. I don’t want to press it, I jus have to for damage

If Blizz could trim down the fluff and hone the focus of shadow down to a real core gameplay I think it would help so much. The spec feels too loose in its direction imo.

We have so many different talents that are disconnected from one another, but we essentially patchwork them all together to make a somewhat functional dps spec.

Personally I’d love to see shadow as well developed and focused as say my demo lock. Strong core identity, smooth and enjoyable gameplay loop, strong utility toolkit and defensives etc.

Shadow always feels like it’s on the edge of being good but can’t quite reach the finish line


Hard disagree on removing Dark Ascension as it needlessly removes the choice of having a cool single target burst build vs a more aoe pad build in the case of PVP.

Though we need something else as an instant, making a spell that can crit for 25% of someones health instant cast isn’t the best idea. Nerfing the damage will further kill shadow priests kill pressure we’re already losing due to losing the t3 set because of poor decisions by FOTM PVE mains.

It’s not needless. Shadow needs to be more focused. Having this “build a bear workshop” talent design is precisely why shadow is fractured and not a fully realized spec.

How can it be? You can’t fully flesh out one side when you have to make sure it doesn’t step on the other, or outperform the other, or bring serious advantage over the other.

This “middle of the road, don’t pick a side” tactic Blizzard has gone with isn’t working, and eventually they’re going to have to pick a path forward and go with it.


No it doesn’t.

We just need clean defined paths to choose from with a sprinkling of miscellaneous talent interactions mixed in.

Just like Elemental Shaman have lightning based and lava based damage profile choices to pick from and index into, so too can you do a similar effect with Shadow in the form of Periodic and Non-Periodic damage profiles.

With Dark Ascension already giving the hint of Non-Periodic damage enhancing cooldown, it should be Voidform become the Periodic Damage cooldown.

You can look at Mass Hysteria from Legion Artifact that increases your Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch damage while Voidform is active. I say just embrace that identity and make it so it enhances all Periodic Damage across the board.

This would clearly make Mind Flay the go to filler for Periodic Damage builds and Mind Spike for Non-Periodic damage builds. Then also make Mind Flay and Mind Spike separate again so you can have both and grant a utility buff with Mind Spike that enhances your damage to an extent. I vote for adding a stacking critical strike buff for mind spells for a short duration so it would only really benefit a Non-Periodic damage profile since you need to cast Mind Spike often to keep the buff up.

We can look at Mind Spikes original inception with it granting a 30% critical strike chance increase on Mind Blast, stacking up to 3 times to see that this already aligns with the goal of what Mind Spike is supposed to be, a more Burst damage enabler and less of a Filler.

Only with Mind Spikes reintroduction in Dragon flight has it been considered a filler and that is because a lot of people misunderstood it’s original purpose and seems so did blizzard.

But fine, if they want to make Mind Spike a Filler, then it should be further embraced and go full throttle in granting 2 damage profiles to index into with Shadow Talents in Periodic and Non-Periodic damage profiles.

This would add clear identity into both damage profiles and the fillers that can also act as utility.

I detail out how easily this can be achieved with my feedback.

Link below…

I’ll repost my suggestions on this thread. Basically VT being a separate spell from SWP is a relic at this point.

-Misery should be changed to merge the properties of Vampiric Touch into Shadow Word Pain and make it AoE cast. This would make our dots instant cast and remove buttons bloat. There’s literally no reason for me to have SWP on my action bar at the moment. Keep the 8 target limit so Psychic Link doesn’t become OP.

-Shadow Crash should be changed to an AoE spender with a faster missile fired at a target instead of on the ground, give it full mastery bonus damage. Put it on a choice node with Psychic Link. Let players choose focus target cleave style vs stronger AoE.

-Mental Decay should increase the duration of dots on enemies near the target as well like Shadow bolt.

-Alter the numerical value of our Mastery so that half is provided by Shadow Word Pain and half from Devouring Plague.

-Change Catharsis(PvP) so that it deals a baseline damage but has a 20 second refresh and only let it deal the extra damage on main target, otherwise it would be OP if it remains as is. Removed Unfurling Darkness.

I’ve said repeatedly, numbers tunings won’t fix our flawed AoE mechanics in short fights, add spawns or with moving targets. We don’t cast our dots because they deal damage, we do it because our class mechanics can’t function without them… All of our procs, most of our talents and also our mastery depends on having dots applied to our enemies, we need to be able to cast them on large groups on demand.

1 Like

This would be nice.

All your really advocating for is to remove Vampiric Touch outright.

You want a classic version of Shadow to be in retail where we don’t have to Hard cast a dot.

All your suggestions really only focus on the AOE aspect which makes single targets situations feel bad because nothing interacts on a singe target level.

Shadow should have limitations when it comes to getting our dots out. For AOE, it has a cooldown spell. For single target, you need to hard cast it. This should remain in order to make our dots actually impactful. If they were just instant cast, it would remove any value they add because you can reapply them without any risk.

The issue is not how we apply dots, it’s more making it more punishing to remove our dots.

Should be high risk high reward. If it’s challenging to get your dots out because you have to Hard cast them, then it should be equally challenging in removing them or punishing for removing them.

This is why Misery was such a good talent when it first appeared, it removed 1 GCD but still kept intact the high risk of needing to hard cast Vampiric Touch. The issue is that removing VT is not very punishing. That aspect is what needs to be addressed.

And talents that interact with directly casting your Shadow Word: Pain spell are just poorly done. They should be when SW:P does damage or your Shadow Word spells interaction. So something like Catharsis is what creates friction with Misery. But the answer is not to remove Misery, it’s to remove Catharsis since Misery is so good in reducing GCD and is a forced talent to get.

It definitely shouldn’t. Our DoTs are already weak enough as they are, allowing them to be applied on AoE even more easily than they already are just forces our DoTs to get even weaker.

Which is a problem that needs to be solved by making Misery not a hard locked in talent that you can’t avoid. The idea that SW:P is what needs to be removed is insane to me. I agree that right now SW:P is a garbage spell that only gets pressed for tier/Catharsis, but the solution there is to make us actually manage SW:P’s DoT. People complain about Shadow mobility endlessly, and yet somehow love Misery which reduces mobility.

Changing our AoE to not rely on DoTs fixes that. DoTs being used as AoE tools is problematic anyway.

Yes, because DoTs can’t be strong when they can be mass-applied as easily as they can right now. DoTs already cheat all target caps because they’re technically singletarget effects. That’s why Crash has to be hard capped at 8 VT applications. If it was uncapped, we’d be monstrously broken (as if we aren’t already) because all the effects tied to DoTs including their actual damage simply do not get reduced at all on AoE.

That inevitably leads to our DoTs getting even weaker.

They absolutely shouldn’t. Being tied to actually casting SW:P gives you control over when the damage happens (especially in a world where Misery exists).

There is no friction at all. If anything, there would be some friction (which is a GOOD THING) without Misery, because you’d have to actually make a decision when refreshing SW:P. Do you want to spend your Catharsis on this target? Is the SW:P application worth a less valuable Catharsis expenditure?

The current tier set only works because Misery exists, otherwise it’d be a 0 gameplay effect, and it’s pretty messed up that we need a tier set to make us actually press SW:P at all.

Misery being strong is irrelevant, it’s awful design to have it as a locked in talent.

Actually, my suggestion would cap our DoTs at 8 targets total, no extra doting unless another target die. So in a way it’s less likely to to result in nerfing them. I would actually prefer it be capped at 6 targets, it would make Psychic Link easier to tune, make my altered Shadow Crash more appealing for large pulls and make DoTs less opened to getting nerfed. I get that people want DoTs to be really powerful again, but blizzard has been moving away from that design in favour of casting. I don’t want to go back to the days when you could DoT someone then hide behind a pillar and watch them die.

In any case, we might disagree on class design, but we do agree our class is in need of a serious overhaul.

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Misery was so good and was was nearly always taken in the old talent trees because it saved a GCD.
Meaning you can put out dots 2x as fast.

This is why it was built into the new current tree to be given to everyone without a choice because it was so widely used because it was so good.

SW:P dealing initial damage was only recently added in the games history as a way for Shadow to do instant damage because we were lacking ways to do it. But that doesn’t mean it should remain to be the case.

Having spells like Shadow Word: Death, Void Bolt and Instant cast Mind Spike should be the on the go spells to use for damage. It’s silly to have SW:P do instant initial damage.

If memory serves, I think it was added when they removed the wand slot or sometime around then to compensate Priests having a quick way to remove a shaman totem as Mind Flay wouldn’t work and everything else you needed to hard cast.

This is the core problems with Shadows design, it’s riddled with a bunch of knee jerk reactions that are not fully realized ideas. But instead of trying to make those knees jerk ideas work, we need to fix them by removing all these unnecessary things that cause this crossover of similar abilities used as the same solution as another.

Again, it being strong is not relevant. It’s bad design for Shadow to not cast SW:P. Misery needs to be a choice node against something that’s actually strong at low target counts, or ideally just delete Misery entirely.

Not sure how this is at all relevant?

Yes, exactly. Misery is a “solution” to problems that only exist at high target counts, but it being locked in (or competing against pathetic alternatives like SL ToF) means it negatively impacts Shadow gameplay and mobility at low target counts as well.

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The idea and goal for Misery is to reduce the time to get dots out.

So be it 1 target or many, with Misery, you save time by getting your dots out quicker.

This is done because you don’t need to spend a GCD to cast SW:P.

You seem to think we SHOULD manually cast SW:P. I simply don’t think we should. I think a great way to manage dots as a semi dot class is to use 1 spell to apply 2 dots which is what Misery accomplishes.

There should be no reason to manually cast SW:P. If you want on the move damage, it should come from a spell that is designed to do initial damage… not from a dot spell.

Shadow is a DoT spec. Casting your DoTs should be part of that. At 1-3 targets you can quite comfortably manage 2 DoTs manually. Past that, sure, Misery or something like it is fine if DoTs are supposed to be how you deal with that many targets in the first place.

That’s not managing DoTs, it’s managing DoT. The SW:P DoT on live right now isn’t real, it’s just VT having 2 icons in the debuff bar for some reason.

Why not? There’s no actual difference between using movement to refresh SW:P (assuming Misery doesn’t make SW:P uptime irrelevant) and pressing a direct damage spell. In both cases you’re covering movement with a good button. I still don’t see why you keep mentioning the initial damage of SW:P when it doesn’t have anything to do with the discussion.

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  • Catharsis
    15% of all damage you take is stored. The stored amount cannot exceed 12% of your maximum health. The initial damage of your next [Purge the Wicked / Shadow Word: Pain] deals this stored damage to your target.

Because again, having your dot spell also be your on the go damage spell puts 2 use cases on SW:P which means since we can have another source of instant initial damage, it detracts from other spells power budget.

The more a spell can do, the more everything else needs to be balanced around it.

If we were limited to fewer initial damage spells, the raw power will be more impactful.

I want our spells to have less cross over and more defined in when and why you use what you use.

This is why we have so many similar spells and how it’s problematic, because too many spells accomplish the same or similar result. Let’s trim that and shore up and define what a spell should do so it’s clear and unique enough as possible. Let’s move away from bluring the line so to speak.


That’s… not the point at all. SW:P shouldn’t be our “on the go damage spell” (there should be no such spell that you spam while moving). It should be 1 GCD every ~18 seconds that can be used for movement. The initial damage is completely irrelevant here. At no point have I said that you should want to spam SW:P while moving, that’d be stupid too. The problem is that Misery deletes movement GCDs because it makes SW:P an atrocious button to press.

You should want to use your instants while moving, prioritized based on which is the strongest. SW:P without tier/Catharsis is pathetic as a button because the DoT component is made up. It’s better to press PW:S than SW:P while moving even if you don’t need the defense/speed, and that’s messed up. It’s not about crossover, it’s about SW:P being an instant cast spell, and SW:P used for refreshing the DoT should be one of our best (if not the best) instant casts in our kit.

I was responding to your response about my view on talents like Catharsis and why tying initial damage to SW:P is not needed and should be removed.

I never mentioned spamming either.
I just don’t think SW:P should do initial damage… ever. Be it every time you cast it or wait 18 seconds or anything.

Remove instant damage from SW:P as it’s a dot spell and should be treated as such. Not a burst damage spell or on the go spell or anything other than a dot spell.

In that world, that makes Misery good in every way because there is no reason to cast SW:P manually… ever.

I don’t see how that refutes anything I said. There’s absolutely no friction unless you remove Misery, at which point there’s friction which is a good thing.

Siphon Life doesn’t do initial damage. It doesn’t matter. Siphon Life refreshes are still great movement GCDs. Initial damage is not relevant to it being a good movement GCD or not.

The 18 seconds have nothing to do with initial damage either, it’s the duration of SW:P. So once every 18 seconds or so (per target), you get to spend 1 GCD moving because you’re refreshing SW:P.

There’s also no downside to SW:P doing a tiny bit of initial damage to tag mobs with in the open world or to kill totems in PvP. It’s a really weird thing to want removed. It doesn’t blur our spells together, it gives SW:P additional uses which allow players to show their knowledge of their spec.

That’s… a bad thing. At that point yes, they should just delete both Misery and SW:P, but that’s not a world we should ever want.