Spell Variance in Shadowlands

In an upcoming build, most non-periodic abilities on all classes will have a small amount of variance on the damage or healing of each individual use.

This was standard behavior in WoW for many years (and has its roots in familiar mechanics from many RPGs), but recently was lost as a side effect of some under-the-hood mechanical changes. We’re restoring this behavior now to bring back the small bit of texture, and avoid the result where using the same spell repeatedly results in exactly the same 3- or 4-digit number every time.

We’re keeping the amount of variance small (5% currently), so that the impact on total performance, over the course of a combat with many events, is negligible.



I don’t think this is good idea. And 5% is too much of variance…

There’s already enough variance due to different procs from items/talents etc…


More RNG in our damage/healing output that says it’s possible to do 5% better or worse than another player because of RPG elements is just bad design.

You can make a game more RPG like, without messing with player throughput.


this aint it chief


almost every number-based rpg has this mechanic in place though? i fail to see how this is bad design

this game ORIGINALLY had the mechanic in place too

basically every game ive ever played where numbers popped up when i press a button or chose an attack the numbers are almost always slightly varied

pokemon is one example where this generally isnt the case


Is there some under the hood system that makes sure it’s ending up as 0% variance over X time ?

IE with 100 AAs, the damage will always be the same ?


What in the world is so wrong about spells doing consistent damage? Just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.

Why is Blizzard so committed to increasing the possibility for worse play to result in better output, or vice versa?


Is this also going to be impacted by crits? So the window could be even wider than 5%?


Interesting, that’s how it works now? I swear it doesn’t haha.
I guess its because all the procs and stuff now?

I was sure it always worked this way.


Says it used to function that way but they lost it. Not entirely sure when that went away.

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I’m not sure I understand the point of this change.

If I want to do damage I press my button, but it hitting for an amount + crit chance + random procs on the spell + other systems is enough variance for myself.

Adding an extra 5% on top of this feels so unnecessary and makes my gameplay feel less in my control than ever. Maybe this can get changed but 5% is also a crazy amount for a BASE amount for a spell. That gives default a ceiling on 10% for a single hard hitting spell (say something like a Chaos Bolt) that won’t even out over time if you only cast a short amount of them on say a 30s encounter. Then tack on critical strike modifiers on top of this and you could easily hit for 20% harder than someone with the same stats as you if you swing high and they swing low.

over the course of a combat with many events, is negligible.

This is only as negligible as how long the fight is, what happens in short duration encounters, or where you need to burst an add on a fight? One pull you have enough damage, the next you dont get the modifier and you dont crit leading to a huge swing in damage.

I don’t want more RNG in my gameplay, the systems we get and the existing critical strike modifiers are enough…


I know, I read the post.
I am saying I am quite sure it still does work that way, but perhaps I only think it does because of all the different procs and stuff.

O yea, we have so many procs and changes now that I think it feels that way. I get what you are going for now.

This is how it works in just about every video game on the planet.
You’ll be surprised how little you notice it unless you are doing bleeding edge speedrunning or something.

Look up Damage Rolls in Speed Runs for a laugh!


If you don’t notice it then why add it at all? It just makes the game more complex and puts me less in control of my character.


This change adds unnecessary server pressure, as server will have to do additional roll on every single spell cast, decreasing already bad server performance…


Right, as explained, its just a standard RPG thing.
You wouldn’t have even noticed it if you didnt read about it, unless you are maximizing to the keypress like people do in speedruns.

As much anguish as it has caused in world record attempts in games, I must say its nice to have a little variance between crits and rolls.


This is not a standard RPG. WoW is a MMORPG with massive competitive elements and tight bosses with damage checks and 10000 ways to modify our character. Why does WoW have to conform to standard RPG when it just isn’t?


You are misunderstanding the situation here.
Its all good, I am not interested in discussing this much.

All I’ll say is test it for yourself right now in BFA and see the variance that already exists.
I just auto attacked a mob for a minute and never dealt the same damage once.
I dont know why that is, but if they are SURE its not already like that in the game, then it must be because of all the different procs and stuff we have now.