Shadow Priest Needs Another Rework

My only gripe with Shadow Crash is the punishment for whiffing the hit and the cooldown.
Some easy fixes would be

  1. When Shadow Crash lands, it persists and the ground for 3 seconds and moves toward the nearest enemy.

  2. The cooldown for Shadow Crash is lowered per enemy death.

Other luxury things would be some
-minor passive movement speed increase, I am the slowest party member and selfishly use all my feathers for myself.
-more HP, I have the smallest hp pool of the group so I’m punished more for taking damage .

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i wish they just do a full revamp of the spec.

Meaning starts all over again from scratch. Stop trying to put every shadow iteration ever created into one talent tree. Just make a new one that works well alongside its holy counterpart.

like i find it silly that we have talent space wasted on choosing between wanting your main filler to be mind flay or mind spike.

Same thing we had going on with Voidform, dark Ascentension, and Shadow Orbs before it was removed.

Like every rework keeps trying to do the same thing thinking that the same outcome won’t occur, but it does everytime.

summary: I just wish they just rethink what shadow should be and stick to it. Use the past as inspiration and make something completely new that still makes you feel like this is Shadow spec.

My definition of new – Remember how warlock Demonology spec was before the rework that made it a minion summoner? That kind of new. Demonology is literally something completely different of how it was before, but it still feels like what Demonology should be like. it literally fits the fantasy really well.

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I feel like shadow needs to be split into shadow/void specs respectively. This is really the only thing that’s going to satisfy all the folks who want the void form spec versus old school shadow. I personally don’t care for the VF spec or the current “rework” so I have shelved my priest in hopes that one day they will be fun again.

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Good recap. Personally I would highly advocate for getting rid of all the post-Legion void stuff and sticking with classic priest going forward, or breaking the void stuff out into its own spec. I would hate to see the Legion style void priest go back to being the default/only option.

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Thoughts of ramping damage excites me! I also really want mind flay back, the channel while moving sounds great, though it would have to do enough damage to justify not being able to cancel it. I like how da looks and is honestly my preference in terms of da/vf atm but if they did a one minute vf and gave a glyph for the wings that would also be amazing. I also saw some videos of shadow priest from legion and that looked super fun to play so wonder if it would be a thing to go back to something similar.

Shadow has been S-tier this entire season, and a priest has been a required class for any M+ comp as well. The main issue is that you have mechanics (and an affix) that require Mass Dispel, and Mind Soothe lets you cheese Brackenhide cages, do skips in Neltharion’s Lair, and formerly the gauntlet skip in HoI.

What also made Shadow S-tier was because their AOE damage was very much ahead of most DPS classes (pre-nerf) and when you combo’d it with a Fire Mage who you can use PI on w/ Aug Evoker support and Blessing of Summer: it created the wombo combo God comp as we know.

All the nerfs Shadow got to its AOE damage were a kneejerk reaction to the god comp fiasco. That immediately put Shadow up in the spotlight because 85%+ of the specs doing anything +24 or higher are just the 5 god comp specs. Basically every other spec ingame except Priest healers only have like a 0.5-1% representation.

Blizzard made no major class tweaks come 10.1.7 because we’re at a point that if they nerf the god comp classes any further they’d have to nerf the dungeon scaling even more. Come 10.2 the board is reset and Blizzard is probably going to come down hard on the god comp specs.

Shadow is also in a weird spot where if you buff its single target damage it also buffs its AOE damage through Psychic Link. Yet: if they nerf Psychic Link anymore it’s almost a joke talent.

I’m expecting come 10.2 there’s going to be some major Shadow Priest changes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Priest utility is pruned back so Mind Soothe/Mass Dispel isn’t REQUIRED to do keys.

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Honestly I am frustrated even just doing simple content like rifts. There is next to no AOE. All we have is shadow crash and even that is such a long CD, I get annoyed because I have to mouseover and cast Sw:Pain on everything. Quit nerfing spriests unless you are going to make Disc or Holy into a dps spec, because this leaves DPS priests with few other options if we are not the type to be straight healers.

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Just throwing this out there, all of these things for all classes is pretty bad. They took all classes baseline spells and made them into a tree that everyone is frusterated with. This is also the same issues basically we have dealt with for Years. Just dont bother. Its quiet clear they dont care, or dont have the teams to fix their game. Season after season the only thing to do is what you already did, but on a new character. They break classes on purpose, so you will reroll and buy another month , then nerf into dirt and move on to the next class. Just stop caring.

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Idk man. I dont think you will get much atention or understanding on forums, because ppl are spiteful and shortsighted…“muh dur shadow was OP in s2 tf you wannt?”
I dont think its that bad, but i honestly dont like how the spec work with heavy movement and constant swirlies and dodging stuff as presented in s1.

I dont think we need another rework. The issues are here, thats for sure, but the constant reworks are getting tiresome. Ive started maining shadow in mid wod and since then it is unbeliveable how many times they fundamentaly changed the spec.

If anyone asked me…im all about splitting shadow into two specs. Gimme legion/bfa shadow…nerf dots every season by 20% and i will be happy.

And then do whatever you wannt with the orbs/ravens/dp/shadowfiend/cascade/ mindspike nonsence youre trying so hard to shoehorn on top of voidform shadow.

2 Likes

this shouldnt stop anyone from posting actual feedback in forums tho, this entire post op made was well thought out, easily digestible, with points, brings his own solid reasoning, ect ect. people should strive to post more like this instead of “buff x cause y is stronger”

Jesus Christ is anyone reading all of that. I don’t play a shadow priest but I will say it seems like they were huge at the beginning of the season but now you don’t see them near as often. I don’t know if it’s a rougher rotation, lower DPS numbers, or lack of utility but the ones I have been playing with are still pumping. I know all of this min maxing bs got y’all staring at warcraft logs all day but if you look at the dps difference between the top and the very bottom it isn’t all that different. Your essentially asking for a rework over a 2% diff between the very top and bottom. I don’t think it really makes that much difference if a (insert top DPS) does 2% more damage then (insert lowest DPS).

Yep, and if you PLAY the class, it is very interesting… given that you have an attention span greater than a goldfish :smiley:
I suggest everyone playing SP to read it.
Thanks @Publik for continuing to be a beacon in the void :smiley:

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A lot of people quit playing them when shadow got nerfed. A lot of spriest mains don’t care for the play style. The spec was over tuned.

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I still believe that Time Spiral giving us Leap of Faith is a joke.
Another joke is the existence of Ice Cold for mages, which is essentially a dispersion but better (both recover HP on the duration of it, both have a decent amount of damage reduction, but somehow, you can’t cast during dispersion as opposed to Ice Cold)
I do agree that Shadow needs to be divided in two different specs (void for those who loved the Legion/BfA insanity minigame, and shadow for the whole devouring plague - mind spike - shadow orbs)
And as mentioned for some people above, knockback or pushback mechanics are completely annoying to deal with as a spriest (oh you don’t have an evoker assigned to you for Magmorax? enjoy walking all the way back, oh you are not void elf for Raszageth? enjoy eating a bunch of damage on p2/p3 waves on top of dealing with huge pushbacks in p1), would love to see either “your ranged DPS class doesn’t have a way to deal with that, but at least we’ll compensate it numerically, so it doesn’t feel like you would do better playing mage/lock because of instant teleports” or “we give you a way to deal with it like almost all of the classes (making Mental Fortitude baseline and replacing it’s node with “during dispersion, you are inmune to any type of knockback/pushback” at least)”. That’s the only thing that I would love to see come back from Shadowlands, 3 out of 4 covenants gave you a way to deal with these mechanics (Marileth’s Fleshcraft (even tho we never got to use it that way since it was bond to a mastery buff), Door of Shadows, and Shapeshift from Nightfae)

You do need to acknowledge the problem though:
https://www.warcraftlogs.com/zone/statistics/34#bracket=25

Shadow is still highly represented in high keys because Priests are mandatory still. Disc/Holy have picked up in popularity over the last 2 weeks because groups are starting to shift towards other dps classes because they still have not fixed the Priest is mandatory problem.

They also need to fix the Aug Evoker is mandatory problem as well.

The season for the majority of non-meta fotm rerollers was basically ruined because you spent most of your time getting declined to keys or had to push your own. I could have just swapped Shadow if I wanted to save myself the hassles.

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Combine the shadow crash DoT application again, no need for those 2 talents to be split, make mind flay: insanity cast-able while moving, and Mind Spike: Insanity instant cast. Make Shadowy insight and Void Eruption baseline Spriest abilities, Get rid of mind melt, this will help clear up more talent points, or just to replace them with new talents that benefit the spec more. Have some more focus on Mind bender and Shadowy Apparitions (more uptime on Mind bender, This will give us more options for AoE through our mind bender, instead of JUST psychic link, and our DoT’s being able to be more of the primary source of Apparitions for both AoE and ST). Our DoT spread is still lacking, maybe trying to have another shorter CD on shadow crash since, it’s just primarily a DoT application anyhow, so it doesn’t need to do crazy damage. Shadowy Apparitions are such a classic Shadow theme and ability, why not put more focus on them for our damage too.

I personally don’t care for the idols too much, they are cool and thematic but outside of that you are only taking them because they are necessary for your spec.

I truly think the shadow priest talents are SOO CLOSE to being great.

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From a pvp perspective.

Idc about voidform and the other choice. I hate being forced into it for max output. Even moreso, I hate that it’s no longer instant cast. I literally decided to just take it out of my build altogether

I am fine with thee OG mind flay, fav spell. I think insanity version should be castle while moving at least.

Mind Blast and swd, wish it hit Harder like before.

Wish devour plague hit Harder over all, it is the spender spell :<.

Wish Shadow crash was just one talent, not two.

Wish we had some kind of spell lock protection. Too much kicks and spell locks in this game, I can’t cast… Jesus

Mind flay and mind spike should be. A choice talent and the rest Changes depending on which you choose. I don’t like how we keep wasting talent Space for unnecessary choices.

Dispersion being two talent Choices is dumb to me and wasteful.

I wish there was less talents points being wasted on utility that we had, and need and more on spec creativity.
Like the apparition talents, this could become much more

Class tree needs more shadow pressence. Shadow is just there to be there.

2 Likes

Thanks, Publik, for yet another comprehensive and thoughtful feedback post.

Want to take the time to add my thoughts.

First, I don’t want shadow to get another complete rework. I do think our talent trees and balance need changes, but I am terrified of ending up with 10.0 shadow or searing nightmare again, or worse. I’d much rather work with the existing design and tweak/tune/adjust talents where needed (essentially, finish what’s already been started). Happening over time so we can give feedback would be great, vs another complete overhaul.

I am really enjoying playing shadow as a funnel spec. Before the latest rounds of nerfs, which forced us to play DA/bender again in most pve content, it was honestly the best shadow has felt to me since the end of BFA (when we were shadowy apparition machine guns). I don’t mean in terms of dps, though that was obviously good, but how the spec actually feels to play. Even though I hate DA/bender, it still feels significantly better to play than the 10.0 version.

I actually like where halo and divine star are at right now. They’re primarily offhealing spells, without being completely useless or detrimental to our dps rotation. I like them that way and wouldn’t want to see them go, especially since they’re also useful as holy/disc.

Mind Games as a dps spell on the other hand can definitely go. It’s also pretty terrible for disc/holy so no big loss. For pvp can keep the reversal mechanic and even make it stronger since it won’t do base dps.

This is a giant problem with our spec tree. I would love to see either dispersion or silence moved to the class tree (which would also give holy/disc a much needed defensive or kick)–silence could even be a regular kick. Psychic horror should also be moved to our spec tree; our cc abilities already suck, so it would be a really beneficial move.

Agree, I’d rather this be shifted so it could be used primarily for burst again (likely meaning it would only work with some spells, like torrent and mind blast), with apparitions making up more of our “steady” aoe damage.

On the positive side, I think the voidform extension mechanic being based on insanity spent is a great design–and without all the balancing issues inherent in endless ramping or void bolt extension. I agree it needs something more than void bolt though; I don’t want it to live or die on the power of our apparitions/yogg. It should be an exciting cooldown in its own right.

Delete it. Nostalgia is not a compelling enough reason for a talent to exist. DA is incredibly dull, feels awful to press with its cast time, and just doesn’t feel like it does anything much. I’d much rather focus on voidform as a CD since I think it’s far more engaging and fun.

I’m really of the opinion to delete this along with DA, but I think there could be a way to keep it if it was a compelling reason why you would choose one or the other, beyond “it sims better.” I like the idea of adding mobility to one of them; it’s something I’ve been suggesting since beta. Perhaps mind flay:insanity can be channelled while moving, and mind spike insanity can spawn apparitions?

My biggest problems with the idols is that they’re all just passive dps buffs of one flavour or another. I agree that it would be great if they felt more playstyle defining and leaned into parts of spriest or at least different damage profiles.

C’Thun and Yogg’Saron are generally fine. I agree that I wish we had some way to control when Yogg spawns.

Y’Shaarj is probably my least favourite. I don’t hate the idea of it giving different buffs depends on circumstances, but the buffs it provides are dull and half of them are pretty much impossible to use in any pve setting. If it stayed similar I’d much rather the buffs change on something the player does instead of the state of our target. It would be great if it had a more impactful interaction with mindbender/inescapable torment and changed how we played in some way.

N’Zoth just makes no sense to me–either how it works or where it sits in the tree. Since it’s N’Zoth it would be cool if it leaned into those themes: distorting minds, corruption, visions, insanity, seeing the future, etc. Maybe this could be a way to give a taste of older legion/bfa-style play back (assuming there is a way to do that while keeping it balanced)?

I wouldn’t call it unsatisfying, but there are a couple frustrations primarily around shadow crash that should be addressed. If shadow crash is going to be our only way to mass apply dots, then we need some sort of bad luck protection for when it randomly goes on the ceiling, or the tank pulls the mobs away or hits typhoon before it can land. I’d much rather it cast onto our target, but 2 charges would be acceptable. Removing aoe dot extension from Mental Decay was also a massive error that should have been fixed during 10.1 PTR.

I’m fine with being target capped, but then we need a way to consistently apply dots and keep our dots on those targets, since most of our kit relies on having VT up on mobs.

As far as unfurling darkness, perhaps it could work similar to twin moons, where it makes VT apply to a secondary mob nearby? Could even make it a choice node, if current version is preferable in pvp.

Would love some added mobility. We don’t need two speed increases with feather and body and soul. Feather is superior, so keep that. Body and soul is in a perfect position in the tree to be converted into vault of the heavens, sitting immediately under the leap of faith talents. Could also make feather and body and soul a choice node where feather is. Conversely, I’d be happy with something like door of shadows, or a “cast while moving” spell or buff.

Most of the rest I agree with or don’t have a strong opinion on.

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Honestly, the changes that you suggest would make me drop shadow again. I started playing shadow BECAUSE I hate mindflay, and mindspike feels much more natural and smooth. I by far prefer Dark Ascension to void form. I HATE changing my rotation during burst windows, and you’d force us back to the kind of things that made me /not/ play shadow before.

Now, I know that most of the people who actually comment on forums or the shadow priest discord like what you’re selling, but the people whom I know that HAVE priests already think that it’s far too busy.

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To add on to what you say here, with as much as our AOE has been nerfed, I have to wonder how much of that is due to the big bonus were were getting from our 4pc to our shadowy apparitions. Now we’re losing that, we’re getting extra AOE nerfs, MS:I is being nerfed, and a good portion of it is because of bloody PI, which is also getting nerfed, but as a priest who relies on it, I am the one being nerfed to pay for firemages melting faces with it. It’s a slap in the face.