Shadow Priest Needs Another Rework

This is just a one-sided examination of Void Form. Yes, the never ending haste scaling was the source of the damage (but also lots of other things tied to that from Legion artifact weapon, and BFA azerite gear) but it wasn’t the only problem. Because that didn’t exist in a vacuum. Because there was never ending scaling, Voidform needed to have a “soft cap” which came in the form of the insanity generation. And because of the mechanics involving soft cap, insanity generation, and haste alongside stuff like Surrender to Madness the drain rate and duration was different across different gear levels and raid comps. It was like a Jenga game, any wrong move could drastically change the situation.

This means that anyone undergeared felt utterly useless, anyone overgeared felt like a God, and it required constant tweaking to the class. Damage nerfs, insanity nerfs, etc. Because even a tiny update would create a massive change. Current Void Form however has a lot of levers, is far less dependent on the entirety of the class to work, and won’t require them to balance everything around.

AKA it was also a massive development headache.

That’s basically what Cata Spriest played like in Dragon Soul.

There are a few questions the devs really need to ask themselves about the spec that would help immensely in designing it correctly.

  • What gameplay defining difference do they want from Dark Ascension vs Void Eruption? Spell it out, as plainly as they can, how do they want those cds to change how abilities are used? Then refine each to actually make the difference they want. This may include changes to other abilities to help support these gameplay defining cds. (DA = increase direct damage, reintroduce original mechanic of Mind Spike that removes DoTs from target, make MS do more damage but cost Insanity?/ VE = increase DoT damage, reintroduce stacking DoT damage buff while inside Voidform)

  • What are the uses for Halo or Divine Star in the Shadow Priest rotation? Are they purely for support when the group can use a bit of extra healing? Then buff the healing, remove Insanity generation, and add more Insanity generation to other spells if needed to balance. Is Divine Star an instant to use on the move? That defeats the purpose of using it for the actual benefits of the spell. Add more instants into the actual Shadow kit if that’s the case.

  • What does Mind Games actually add to the spec? The cast time is similar to Mind Blast, it does large damage similar to Mind Blast, Shadow Priests in PvE treat it like a Mind Blast. If the benefit of using it is the reversing of damage/ healing, change it to a purely utility spell and make that all that it does. Perhaps buff the reversal amount, lower the cast time, remove the initial damage. Then Priests can choose when to use it without affecting dps. Increase instant Mind Blast procs to make up for loss of Mind Games damage (which consequently, increasing instants helps the previous point). If having it as a utility is not wanted for Shadow, maybe Mind Games stays as is but moves to Disc tree as its doing damage to heal mechanic fits right in.

  • What direction do they really want AoE to take? As it is, Shadow is very limited when encountering high count low health enemies, especially in waves. Is this the direction they want all classes to take? If not, Shadow needs an answer to this type of encounter. If not the reintroduction of Mind Sear, perhaps change Shadow Crash to be more spammable (and hopefully also remove the slow moving projectile part of it), and make Psychic Link deal reduced damage over a certain number of targets.

  • And the elephant in the room, what do they really want for Mind Spike vs Mind Flay? As with DA vs VE, these should not just be a “this or that” that has no affect to gameplay other than the balancing of numbers, there should be a defining difference. Does Mind Spike change as previously stated to remove DoTs and support a direct damage style of gameplay? Does DA change Mind Flay to Mind Spike so they don’t compete as fillers? These two spells should not coexist simply as a flavor choice.

There are so many more issues that could be pointed out, but I’ll leave it at these points here as how the devs have addressed them has been particularly confusing or uninspired.

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Firstly, you made it clear you didn’t want to engage with me anymore and figured that was that.

That being said… you sure you want to reopen engagements? Don’t complain again and walk off like a snobbish brat simply because we disagree.

Secondly, your comment is not taking into consideration the context that started the comparison to legions shadow. Primarily that we were talking about legion specifically as that was the debut of Voidform and how it functioned around the artifact as the ability that started the conversation that is the main focus here was Mass Hysteria when brought the scaling SW:P and VT scaling damage into the baseline Voidform and with that it’s endless scaling on haste which gave it a positive feedback loop where they feed on one another which granted those massive swings that caused the 1st bit of massive changes going into BFA which lead shadow to be absolutely horrendous in the beginning until they restored it to some stable-ish state with all the correct borrowed powers and tweaks throughout the patches.

But all of that doesn’t matter because we were simply focusing on my version of Voidform and what he previewed as the primary issue which I didn’t agree with because of the various nobs and levers built into it to adjust to keep it in a balanced state which Legion and BFA simply could not do because the entire spec still focused on this draining and never ending cap tug of war which was a whole mess in of itself.

Where as my version is not limited or rather it has many features to tweak in order to introduce hard limits that would not affect the rest of the spec.

  • Voidform (Redesign)
    Increases your periodic Shadow damage by 15%, increasing by 2% every second. Lasting 15 seconds. Devouring Plague costs 50% less insanity and extends Voidform duration by 2 seconds. 1 min cooldown.
    • Regarding scaling concerns. Multiple ways to achieve this in a single or multiple paths of adjustment.
      • Cap scaling with a hard number like 60 sec for example where it stops scaling.
      • Adjust the amount of baseline duration value.
      • Adjust the amount of duration extension value.
      • Adjust the amount of baseline Devouring Plague insanity cost.
      • Adjust the amount of Devouring Plague cost reduction.
      • Adjust the amount of insanity generation.
      • Adjust the baseline stat values.
      • Adjust the scaling stat values.
      • Adjust the cooldown value.

Nah if this is how you want to continue treating people I think it’s best to just report you and move on. I forgot that you’re going to continue to be rude and violate the code of conduct here to just about everyone that disagrees with you.

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People can have disagreements all they like. That’s what an opinion is.

But I bring receipts to my claims that is rooted in history and fact, not opinion.

I would challenge that basis to be proven wrong.

As for you, I merely wanted to make sure you were serious about opening up communications again or you were going to find the first excuse to play the I don’t have anything else to say so I am just going to divert and excuse myself in order to not be held to my conviction as weak as it were as it appears to be the case once again.

I simply am not going to waste my time discussing something with someone that has already proven they get upset and make insults or accusations and then storm off like they are in desperate need of a nap or time out.

Don’t act like a child and I won’t treat you like one.

For your review if you have short term memory issues.

You’re the one that can’t have your points challenged as you run away when you can’t back up your claim and attempt to pass it off like you’re the adult in the room.

i will just say this. i think shadow in the first tier of dragonflight was the most fun it has ever been. multiple playstyles co-existed. mind sear was a nice, fast accelerated channel. getting a proc meant you could get a full duration one for free. that felt amazing. you could talent for exactly how many extra active buttons you personally could keep up with.

i think the team basically nailed it on the first try. there were some improvements that could have been made, like making the capstone talents actually interesting, but overall, the dragonflight launch shadow priest was not a spec that needed the many dramatic overhauls it has received.

there are too many people who fancy themselves elite players, who ran the “meta” spec layout like the sheep they are, and they could not handle it. and they were too prideful and blind to admit it, so instead they complained the spec was bad. it didn’t matter what words they used, they found any excuse, to say it was bad, literally whatever the spec did = bad, and “it really needs to be changed.”

the devs have been listening to the wrong people, i’m almost certain they are listening to these elitist or theorycraft type players, very opinionated players who don’t understand fun whatsoever, and these same people who claim to really care about shadow, have destroyed it, and we probably won’t ever see again, a shadow spec as fun as it was the start of this expansion. so all i want to say is i got to play it when it was good, when it was fast pace and finally felt like a spec caught up to me for the first time ever in this game, and i feel bad for all the rest of you who will never get to experience that, although honestly maybe its for the best, since that fast, flexible, full of options shadow, just turned most of you into whiners

4 Likes

Agreed. I think the adjustments they made up to 10.0.7 were good, but moving into 10.1 and removing Mind Sear is what made me quit for months. Got my KSM in a few weeks and stopped.

This is a major pet peeve of mine, when people just look online to see what the “meta” talent loadout is and try to work with it. I will always play the spec myself, see what feels right to me, what flows well, and then if there’s a question of what I could do to do more dps if that feels lacking, I may look something up and consider it.

Agreed. Though Publik mostly voices the same concerns and opinions of the larger Shadow community. And the fact that Blizz has done nothing but ignore the feedback he gives along with the rest of us shows that he’s not one they’re listening to (but probably should).

lol @ you for thinking the devs are listening to anyone, much less “elitist or theorycraft type players”

You must not be very familiar with the Shadow Priest community if you think the Shadow Theorcrafters don’t care about fun or the way the spec plays more than it performs.

In fact, Publik and the rest of our specs number crunches specifically go out of their way to not recommend spec design and instead just state “This doesn’t feel fun, this does feel fun. The numbers for this talent are too low and so it will never be picked” The only people out here trying to give design suggestions to the devs are people who haven’t played the spec in any serious content in over 7 years.

So I know I fit this description, but at the same time deeper questions should be asked as to if this is indeed the case… WHY would they listen to someone who hasn’t played the spec seriously in a long time. Why even entertain such a voice with opinions of that nature in The first place?

I can only theorize only a number of reasons.

  • They have no idea what to do and what direction to take the spec and so they looked towards the community and piece meal together some Frankenstein aberration style of shadow and called it a day.

  • They had an idea of what did and did not work and with that, took a direction while dragging their heels in an attempt to please everyone.

  • They are confused by what people want and have not enough in game reporting knowledge to give them a clear idea of what the majority of people will respond to best.

  • Other reasons entirely.

All I know for sure is that when the initial talent tree came out for shadow, it was all kinds of messed up and there was really no kind of unique and fun ideas while we later saw all the talent trees come out for other classes that were worlds apart in difference that actually has new stuff and looks really fun.

Then while they updated and tweaked the other class/spec trees, Priest were left waiting and waiting. Then finally we got the new tree and it was in a very rough state with all these talents haphazardly thrown in with no particular rhyme or reason and we had a couple weeks of solid changes until pencils down as it was time to prepare for DF launch and ever since they seem to just make changes based on an experiment and not really knowing the full depth to go and take the spec in.

While also back in beta, our initial class talent tree was an absolutely boring and straightforward mess.

It didn’t really have anything interesting compared to other classes and was severally lacking anything to compete with what other classes bring.

Even though the new class talent tree still has issues, I think it’s set up way better over the previous tree.

Conclusion:

I think blizzard devs have a severe lack of a clear direction to take shadow in for “reasons” that are not clear to the community alongside of time crunch has lead to the current state we are in now.

I think things have gotten better since the first initial talent tree role out for priest and will continue to do so but it seems it’s more like 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

I don’t think it’s reasonable to be in this state, so all I can do is offer up my ideas to improve it. But at least for me, I try to get at the root problems for shadow instead of focus on surface level adjustments as I think our problems are much deeper than a few little tweaks can fix.

If blizzard need assistance from the community in order to fix shadow and simple nebulas ideas or don’t and do like this or that might not be enough for blizzard to work with. Perhaps that is enough for other classes when they have a clear direction, but clearly with priests, we should not assume that’s the case when we have seen time after time the priest class dev leave right after each incarnation of a new shadow priest revision to at least back right after the Voidform conception occurred during legion beta.

All we can do is provide to the best of our ability the best way we think shadow should be handled / taken in and leave it to the devs to take what they think
works best and hope for the best because we really don’t have any other options.

But we as a community, if we provide nothing beyond nebulas woo woo ethereal mumbo jumbo then that shows that we don’t know what direction to take it in either so how would that help the devs?

As for me, that is why I try my best to craft ideas rooted in some solid state that is tangible and aligns with the priest motif that I have known since the beginning.

I suggest everyone do the same or similar work if you have any hope blizzard will craft the spec into the style you think it should be.

The reasons are clear. They don’t care.

We have the passion for Shadow and they don’t. No amount of feedback will change that.

Here’s to hoping we get a better dev for 11.0 then.

3 Likes

If you truly want to separate Flay/Spike toward Periodic/Direct damage builds, that lends itself even more towards making them a choice node, you just choose whichever fits your build better.

I’’ve already gone into this in depth.

I would refer you to my other posts and specifically my first post that had a link to my feedback post.

Seeing my feedback and having any grasp on how Shadow played with Mind Spike in the Cata-mop-WoD era would instantly show how Mind Spike can work for multiple types of builds leaning towards Periodic and Non-Periodic damage builds.

But for a tl:dr, Mind Spike grants both the Non-Periodic damage filler as well at additional utility that benefits multiple situations with multiple build types.

I can’t agree fully with this.

Blizzard does need to stop making the game too complicated and only for the elite players. Games are more fun when they are simple and easy to pick up. This doesn’t mean they can’t have some dynamic to them.

Shadow spec was a mess from alpha to launch. The Dev quit leaving us without changes for the end of the testing phase.

The spec is riddled with just last-second changes to have something going.

I found more fun things going on during alpha stage before dev left then after the launch.

The class tree doesn’t fit well with all 3 specs, mainly shadow.

Shadow has a lot of redundant filler talents – like Shadow Crash and Shadow Word Death.
Two Fillers, idk why.
Voidform and the other forms are still being forced into the spec. I am not a balance druid, I don’t want to be in another form that is not SHADOW. Ethier Make shadow the Form or don’t do anything else at all.

Capstones are just bad, boring, bland.

the whole spec is Yawn. lacks creativity, lacks time investment, lacks risk, and screams rush. Totally not worth the money i paid for expansion… At least it wasn’t Diablo 4 Bad, now that was just a rip off.

One example of what I mean is just make something new. Is it good? Yes, or no. But it gets the point across.

Summary
1 Like

So you want shadowform to be similar to ascendence from shaman.

If we talking about my idea.

Not really
Ascendance proc Is low chance with high cd and down time. Mine is more moderate proc chance, low down time, no cd.

The sf version I made will constantly be Triggered by you via procs and mainly resource spending. you will also be most.of the timer in it.

Let’s not forget the form is where most of the Fun occurs. you are casting away the light to gain power from the shadow. essentially, this is how I want it to feel. Hence the Going in and out of SF and gaining Tons of effectss etc

No way Jose

Sounds suspiciously like Legion/BFA Voidform where you don’t have a cooldown on your primary damage form thus relegating anything you do outside the amped up form subpar and feels bad because you have a chance to be in your amped up form.

Sounds like in a world with CC coming from all over the place in PvP, this would be terrible to play with.

I’m really sorry but any gameplay style that revolves around randomness and / or resource drain while you are in combat on a priest in this game is just setting yourself up for a bad time.

Priests have always been susceptible to crowd control effects. We don’t have ice block or divine shield or self dispel with a pet or anything we can do once crowd controlled.

This is why having things like Shadow Fiend was good to bust out when you know your going to get crowd controlled in order to keep your opponent in combat and prevent a hard reset while it was also regenerating your mana. Or with Shadow Word: Death, the damage backlash is so good because we can time it to break hard CC effects when we know they are coming where as prior we had no way to avoid it. Yet having these forms of CC breaks are predictive and not reactive and don’t really register in the PvE only world which is why so many people question the existence of Shadowfiend for Shadow since it’s isn’t really useful now compared to when we were mana thirsty or for SW:D backlash, so many people in PvE want the backlash removed so they are not scared to use in in PvE while ignoring the fact in PvP it’s extremely useful. So useful that the extra backlash triggers with the new set bonus makes it even more of a CC break which I’m sure many are not factoring in yet.

Point is, love it or hate it, PvP exists in the game as well as non group content where it needs to be taken into consideration the experience of those players when planning how the entire specialization will play out. This is why Voidform, when it was a draining mechanic was such a colossal failure as a simple stun/interrupt can crater anything meaningful for you to do as it actively ruined every chance you had at doing anything far greater then just pausing your general DPS cooldown.

So when it comes to anything that drains your resources for the priest class regardless of the spec, it’s going to be a hard no for me.

Edit:

Just to add a bit more context here.

The entire idea of Shadowform as a concept being introduced in Vanilla/Classic is (IMO) an elegant solution to Priest for several reasons.

  • Shadowform
    • Granted a static Shadow Damage buff that actively enhanced all your shadow damage compared to Disc/Holy as there was so spec change. So no different spell coefficient value was in place pending what your spec was.
    • As the best healer with an answer for every situation aside from curse/poison effects, having Shadowform active forced a restriction in not being able to cast Holy/healing spells.
    • Shadowform granted additional defense in damage reduction to counteract being a cloth DPS without on demand CC spells like chain fear, Polymorph, Frost Nova, Death Coil, Seduction, slows that don’t root you at same time.

So the actual purpose of Shadowform was in my opinion, practical.

Although Shadowform went through various changes throughout its main run up until Legion changes, it always stayed this consistent buff that required no management.

No management was a GOOD thing. As a class that is very susceptible to slows and CC, we didn’t and don’t have time to juggle a form that goes in and out because we are never in control of what we can and can’t do. We are at the mercy of what others do to us as we simply have very limited tools to avoid or break all kinds of cc effects.

That is why for so long shadow played the dot and LOS away from ranged or behind a pillar while we let our dots chew through the opponents health.

Only when going into Cata-mop-WoD did priests get more hard hitting bursty abilities that allowed us to circumvent the dot and wait playstyle.

But the core of shadow imo should stay true to its roots and not go in the direction of managing a form that requires you to always be able to press the correct buttons at the correct time or get severely punished for it if you fail to do so as most of the control is not is your hands due to our overall class limitations.

3 Likes

The purpose is just to show a unique direction that only took me a few mins to come up. Good or bad is irrelevant as I am not fully designing a class here I am more so stating that they can make something new. They have the money, time and resources to do so.

Going on too my quick idea.
It seems similar because I took what voidform was removed thing I didn’t like about it.

Soo no cd, no ramping or resource dump like old voidform. You only need to meet a minimum amount to activate, not including the random procs in between. High uptime. Instant. Cast activation.

Moving while casting too fit the current gameplay style required by Casters now.

Etc etc.
Again it’s not fully designed Cuze I am not paid to do this, it’s just. An unfleshed out idea. We are not making old voidform here, That I can reassure you. To me rvamp is complete overhaul of how the class works and play over all. And that’s what shadow. Needs. A clean canvas to repaaint.

Everyone so infatuated with the past that we leave no room nor opportunity for then future

Well I still have my misgivings about the idea of managing something like a form change while we have so much utility that separates us from other classes.

Priest utility typically requires a specific situation for it to shine, but it shines brightly when those situations arise.

For me, I always enjoyed a more laid back playstyle with shadow and I occupy my time by setting up my utility be it to get into position for clutch Mind Control moments, or to Leap of Faith someone in a key moment to prevent being knocked off platform or to get myself within range to fear at key moments etc. a lot of our utility requires some pre planning and repositioning in order to best capitalize on our niche utility areas.

So I prefer to not have to juggle a form in and sort of way as it conflicts with my other priestly moments to pay attention to.

Also, what you are wanting is essentially what they did with Legion. They absolutely turned shadow upside down going into legion. A whole new way for it to play.

As per my previous point, that left little room to still do priestly things alongside its long list of points of failure.

This idea of creating something new just seems like treading a path of failure as was done before where as instead going back to shadows roots assures retaining the identity and motif that shadow players should be familiar with while also proving its capability for over a decade in all types of content.

Just add in modern tweaks to bring shadow up to current arms race of abilities and utility that other classes have received over the years is all that is needed.

Of course that’s my opinion. But I see no practical reason to explore something new when the old works just fine and has many elements to build from to create a recognizable and modern version of shadow.