Why are "Covenant Powers" in the talent trees?

I’ve been trying to get Beta working. Won’t even boot. Been wanting to post this for weeks.

But I’ve gone over the talent trees in detail. I thought we were moving away from borrowed powers? I.E. powers that aren’t part of our class designed. It seems we are now leasing covenant powers and other borrowed powers even longer.

Not sure if blizzard realizes we want our “core class design” to be strong, so it feels like we are powerful. Not pressing the “I win” covenant power button. Its not us, its a borrowed power that we are now apparently leasing for another expansion.

Why is this soo bad?

  1. It doesn’t fit the lore philosophy. And makes the game feel like were “cheating.” So many of these powers don’t fit besides mind games for priests. Shifting power for mages is a nature ability. Spear of bastion for warriors is an arcane ability.

  2. A lot of these abilities have been causing “flaming comments” from dps and tanks in m+ or raids. This is very important to realize. A hunter places “wild spirits” covenant ability down on the ground, but a tank doesn’t know its there, from a +5 to a +25 key or even a raid. Then the tank moves the mobs out of wild spirits. The hunters dps goes way down. After the run the tank flames the hunter but it was the tanks fault or lack of communication. The same could be said for a mage’s aoe, spear of bastion, or other mechanics where a tank has to position the mobs, and know the DPS cooldowns at all times in order to maximize a dungeon run. A tank shouldn’t have to have “god knowledge” of how all classes work in order to tank m+. Their job is hard enough. Covenant powers made this even worse.

This is not how DPS and tanking interactions should work. The core mechanic design is high movement, which we love. But if mobs can’t be moved that changes those interesting. So many don’t use voice anymore and end a raid or a dungeon just sad about their performance or a tank wonder why the dps was low. Abilities that empower players but then disempower them if an unrelated player in the group reduces their damage is the wrong way group interactions should be designed.

  1. Covenant powers broke PVP in shadow lands. I’ve never seen so few people PVP’ing in LFG. Some covenant powers break interactions and there are no counters for them. Thus the meta in arenas is very one-sided and not fun. This goes onto another topic I’ve been trying to get out, which is having two different class designs, one for PVP and one for PVE, which are different action bars that automatically load once you enter a PVP environment. But we’ll leave that be for now.

Bottom line, covenant powers must be removed. I want to play this game seriously. I was soo looking forward to DF. But all of shadow lands I haven’t been enjoying the game play. Yes I play, got 2.2k in arenas casually, pushed multiple characters passed 3k IO. But now so many friends now play wrath. Why? I realized its fun. Right now wrath has a better skill cap design for many classes, even frost mages compared to retail. Blizzard needs to take notes.

I’m really disappointed in talent trees in DF. This isn’t what we wanted. We wanted more so a wrath talent tree. We’ve been saying for years we don’t want borrowed power, but now we are bringing those powers into dragon flight, and doubling down on them, leasing them for how long now? We want our classes to be strong with just tier sets to change the game play. Or have those classes redesigned each expansion. Not require powers that aren’t part of our class design.

This is tragic. It could ruin dragon flight and long term subscriptions.

This is a problem where blizzard things this is what we want. But what we want is our classes to be strong, not dependent on something that is borrowed and not part of our class fundamentals.


Not all covenant powers are coming forward. The ones that are coming forward are no longer going to be borrowed power.

If you look closely, every class has abilities in their talent trees that were part of a borrowed power at some point. Whether you’re looking at Legion legendaries, Artifact weapon abilities, Azerite traits, anima powers, soulbind upgrades, there’s a lot there.

The reason I’m happy this is the case is that the “core” of each class was designed almost 20 years ago, and no spec (much less class) has survived to today without major redesigns. The one thing borrowed power DID do for the players was allow them to try out different playstyles, skills, builds, and synergies that we couldn’t have had otherwise.

I think it’s massively intelligent design to take the things that players responded well to, and the things that made each class feel more like itself, and use those to make powerful, diverse talent trees that give players more choice.


Uh… This isn’t “leasing” the powers. They are now part of the Classes Talent Tree. They very likely aren’t just going to “go away”. This exact same thing happened at the end of Legion where Artifact Weapon traits/talents were brought in to the base class.


I am sure it is because they brought forward only the favorites of the class. The players can choose talents the way they like. I am going to recreate my hunters legendaries using the talents.

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Its only borrowed power if they remove it kid. If it continues onward its no longer in the borrowed category. If you dont like certain spells continuing to exist in DF then go stick with Wrath.


Technically, borrowed powers are often incorrectly referred to only as rented powers from an expansion. Which is partly correct but tier sets are not borrowed bowers because they enhance our current core class ability and spells. More accurately, borrowed powers are any powers a third party bestows on us that aren’t part of core class fundamentals.

For example. Kyrians gave warriors spear of bastion to use while part of their covenant. This is an arcane spell and not part of warrior lore or class design. Thus its a borrowed power, and has hurt the game soo much from m+ to PVP. And this ability has kead to much toxicity. Healing mobs to full HP in sanguine, or people dealing with this annoying mechanic in PVP. Just like shifting power forces a mage to play in melee range in m+ and they can’t stand it. Both are borrowed powers. The fact these are staying in the game is tragic and very disappointing that blizzard doesn’t seem to get that this pattern of design in abilities hurt the game in shadow lands. We don’t want any borrowed powers, we want our classes to perform as intended with cool abilities that fit what we view our classes to be. Your a druid, so convoke doesn’t apply as you are a nature spell weaver.

It doesn’t fit the lore philosophy. And makes the game feel like were “cheating.” So many of these powers don’t fit besides mind games for priests. Shifting power for mages is a nature ability. Spear of bastion for warriors is an arcane ability.

Firstly, Spear of Bastion deals physical damage now. Secondly, it’s entirely possible that many covenant abilities will see reskins and/or similar damage type alterations to more closely match class thematics. An example of this is Effusive Anima Accelerator being renamed to Chi Surge on the Brewmaster tree. A non-implemented example of this is The Hunt both having a different icon and damage type (fire) when datamined. While the latter hasn’t been implemented yet, it’s entirely possible it could happen as I imagine this is relatively little work on the dev side of things. That being said, I agree that a lot don’t fit as-is and if they are not reskinned, Blizzard will be making a huge mistake. Being a DH and pressing The Hunt or ED only to see a big blue aura is pretty lame.

A lot of these abilities have been causing “flaming comments” from dps and tanks in m+ or raids.

I’ve literally never had this happen. Ever. A tank shouldn’t be moving enemies in M+ or really raid unless specific mechanics call for it, or in M+ if the tank needs to kite. If they’re moving enemies, it’s pretty safe to say the tank was still pulling packs and the Hunter placed their Wild Spirits prematurely, which ultimately is on the hunter. Either way, with the covenant abilities that are returning, I don’t think moving for any of them will so significantly impact performance that it will result in a massive drop in overall DPS, plus the same could be said for placed AoE as it stands. What about a Frost Mage’s Blizzard or Havoc DH’s Glaive Tempest or Monk’s new White Tiger Statue? AoE that needs to be placed will not only always exist, but always lose value if enemies are moved from it. It just requires consciousness when decided when and where to place them.


I think I get what you mean. But it can absolutely be argued that every warrior in the game has used magical weapons, just like every other character. Unless you’re running around with 100% white armor/weapons, you’re benefiting from magic, usually arcane, which is the form of magic that makes weapons, armor, and accessories, which is why they can be disenchanted. The Kyrian covenant ability is just a magic weapon - and now it deals physical damage, in any case.

There’s nothing wrong with any class picking up new abilities after an expansion. After all, your character learned new skills in those years, and it’d be laughable to pretend that a warrior is too dumb to remember how to use an enchanted spear that was a core part of their kit for 2 years of playtime.

Borrowed power, ultimately, is powers that are given temporarily and have a set threshold where we’ll lose them. Azerite powers stopped working when we left BFA, every legendary in the game loses its power when the xpac is over, artifact weapons lost their power at the end of Legion. Those are “borrowed power”, not because they were “loaned” to us by an in-game entity, but because they were temporary boosts that were always going to go “poof” one day.

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Blizz said shadowlands borrowed power abilities were going to find a way to exist in the next expansion. This is them doing it.

Part of these magics come from shadowlands. Where all the classes got access to death magics to learn new spells. It’s just part of the gameplay.

Spear of Bastion is awesome as a warrior. It is a shame they moved it to physical damage instead of arcane. A nerf to my nightborne warrior.

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Writes a DH who is getting hunt, a nature spell. Not even part of a DH’s training or lore.

Spear is from the arcane school. Look at the effects.

Did you even read their comment? They explicitly told you that Spear is going to be Physical in DF. This is how the spell reads on the beta:

"Throw a spear at the target location, dealing (165% of Attack power) Physical damage instantly and an additional (150% of Attack power) damage over 4 sec. Deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets.

Enemies hit are chained to the spear’s location for the duration."

They also said that they hope The Hunt gets updated to be fire damage, as that’s more thematic for DH.

And again: both of those abilities are part of the class lore, now. Just like the artifacts are part of their lore, and the Heart of Azeroth is part of every class’s lore, now.

Also, try to remember that we can only select one class to display. I’m not “just” a druid, and I am guessing that Athelnai plays classes other than DH as well. I have played every class in Shadowlands, and played since Vanilla. And there’s not a single borrowed power in DF. Just updates to many classes and their core kits. Because, again, I didn’t spend 2 years with Spear of Bastion, or Flagellation, just to “forget” how to do those things as soon as the next patch hits.

This is a win for players, because the devs are recognizing that their old habits of scrapping powers at the end of the expac are unsatisfying. They aren’t erasing Shadolwands powers, and they’re bringing back some of the most popular abilities in the game (from Artifacts and Azerite traits) so the players can enjoy them more in the future. It’s honoring the journey our characters have been on.

If you don’t want your character to grow, head back to Classic. The rest of us are playing a living game.

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changing the school of magic to physical does not negate the lore factor or how awkward of an ability this is and all the toxic interactions it has created in shadow lands. Its arcane in lore as Kyrians are arcane.

Ps. My comments about this is because I believe we are designing a game with unfriendly multi player interactions. If pressing spear is fun for a warrior, is it fun for the tank who is trying to pull another group right after spear goes down? If a mage has rune of power but the tank is running off to another pull is that fun for the mage?

Abilities need to be designed not just so its fun for the user in solo content but also fun as a group, or the community can become toxic in their interactions.

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Did you read what I said at all? Please, read my post before replying, as that is exactly what I addressed. :slight_smile:

In summary: it’s entirely possible and probable that Blizzard will reskin and alter the damage types of covenant abilities to make them more thematically appropriate for classes. Implemented examples of this are Spear of Bastion being changed to Physical damage in Dragonflight (look at the Beta, PTR when it comes back online or the tooltip on wowhead’s talent calc) and Effusive Anima Accelerator being renamed “Chi Surge” and now doing Nature damage on the Brewmaster tree. A non-implemented example of this is that when The Hunt was datamined, it had a new icon and did Fire damage.

Reskinning the abilities and altering the damage types most likely takes very little time on the dev side of things so is probably going to come last.

Again, if they are not reskinned/altered, Blizzard will be making a huge mistake. We will not be able to tell whether they do this or not until the xpac releases.

Its arcane in lore as Kyrians are arcane.

Things change? The ability is throwing a spear into the ground and it radiating damage. It’s not hard to say that, while the ability was originally borrowed from the Kyrians, warriors learned over the course of their time in the Shadowlands and have adapted their own version, now doing physical damage.

If pressing spear is fun for a warrior, is it fun for the tank who is trying to pull another group right after spear goes down? If a mage has rune of power but the tank is running off to another pull is that fun for the mage?

I mean, why would either of these examples be un-fun? You have to be conscious about when and where you’re using abilities. In both examples, the DPS used a cooldown at the end of the pull. That is not the tank’s problem and has no impact on their fun. From a DPS perspective, learn to be more conscious about when and where you’re using cooldowns. You shouldn’t be burning a 1.5m CD at the end of a trash pack; save it for the next so you get full value from it. Rune of Power is a 45s CD and you aren’t losing much from burning it, but the same point remains. There isn’t an inherent “unfriendly multiplayer interaction” here. It comes down to personal responsibility of the DPS and lack of conscientiousness.


What you are describing is players playing poorly, not class lore.

Warriors use weapons in ways nobody else can. That’s the underlying class idea for everything. The easiest example is Ravager, that throws a magic weapon that attacks on its own (magic, but does physical damage).

“Ravager: Throws a whirling weapon at the target location that chases nearby enemies, inflicting [6 * (42.4% of Attack power)] Physical damage and applying Deep Wounds to all enemies over 12 sec. Deals reduced damage beyond 8 targets.”

Back to my earlier point: Warriors use magical weapons. Spear of Bastion is just warriors learning to use more magical weapons. Classes grow and change. I’m thrilled I get to keep a bunch of Shadowlands powers, because it’s always been ridiculous that so many class-defining powers disappear with new expansions. My warrior should learn from their time in the Shadowlands, not move through the story and pretend they’re the same person they were before the Fourth War.

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I did read it, but my point is that reskinning, or changing the school of magic doesn’t negate where they came from lore-wise. Or the issues in how some of these abilities cause awkward interactions when the comp isn’t idea or the tank isn’t aware in a m+ run. We have a tank shortage for m+ and a lot of these abilities cause it. Spear of bastion, tanks can’t stand and can rip a pull on certain weeks. Thus warriors are seldom really brought to serious m+ keys.

If players have to understand the fundamentals of every class to play their character effectively in end game content than the skill cap is too high of an entry to play the game. A tank shouldn’t have to know how wild beasts work when running a dungeon. They can barely seen the wild beast buff and it looks more like a healing buff. Then other players wonder why that hunter damage was soo low when the tank moved the mobs out. As with flame patch.

All DPS should be able to move and DPS in the area where the tank positions the mobs. Or still be able to maintain their same damage output if the tank has to change their position mid combat to kite.

If a DPS’ damaging abilities are stuck in 1 spot than that isn’t consistent with the game combat design (which is all about positioning and movement) and thus caters to solo content and not group content. This is very important and a serious problem in class design. Covenants just exacerbated this problem. We saw massive loss of use in group finder for much end game content even compared to BFA. This are the numbers the developers need to look at.

In WoTLK we have classes that need each other, that work well together, thus we have an MMO. WoW in its combat design is lacking MMO synergy and now we have players asking for solo content because they don’t feel excited or empowered by doing group activities because their damage is dependent on team knowledge of how their abilities work and function. Thus, we are failing as an MMO, and thus we keep losing players who want to work as a team. Many of my friends have turned into collectors of items because team-style gaming isn’t as fun anymore. And of course it isn’t, if their abilities depend on the tank knowing there are there in a spot. Why would I have to tell a tank over coms that I’m using abilities so he has to stay positioned? When the whole design of the game in M+ is about a tank movement. It’s no wonder why DKs are the desired tank. They don’t move like other tanks need to and want to. I hope blizzard reads this. Because I’m not sure anyone really understands how certain specs are not working with each other. I was hoping DF would fix that, and it’s clear that keeping these covenant powers in the game is a decision to appease the community rather than do what is best for the players and the game’s longevity. But on top of that, we still haven’t removed rune of power for mages or eliminate flame patch, or spear of bastion. Maybe if spear of bastion didn’t pull and root the mobs and just did damage tanks wouldn’t get as upset. But again, this would mean designing abilities that have synergy with other classes rather than designing abilities for just the one player in mind. The community is a result of the odd directions we have chose in class design. That started in BFA, became more prevalent in Shadow lands and now seem to be dominating the game. Without adjusting these powers and class design, we might become game which caters to solo content and collecting rather than an MMO.

Covenant abilities were Blizzard actually taking a chance at making something new. They are the best part of SL and most are happy the abilities they are accustomed to are staying.

If you hated SL so much that you want every trace of it gone…too bad.

I don’t care if covenant abilities get baked into talent trees going forward, that doesn’t matter.


Because Faeline stomp and a bunch of blue swirls on the ground really screams Monk does it?


The problem with this mindset is that you are placing a responsibility on the tank that is not the tank’s responsibility. If a DPS uses their places AoE cooldown prematurely while the tank is still pulling and ends up getting no value out of it, that is entirely on the DPS. The only time the tank should be moving in a M+ environment after the pull is if they need to kite, in which case no one is at fault. These aren’t actual problems that exist unless you’re playing exclusively with nitpicky toxic people who don’t understand basic logistics of the game.

I am primarily a tank main. I have never had a DPS complain to me when things were moved out of their placed AoE prematurely because it was necessity when it happened. Likewise I have never complained about a tank moving things out of my placed AoE the times I do play DPS. Are you able to give specific examples of when this actually happened to you or in a group you were in?

Frankly, this feels like a problem that doesn’t actually exist. The problems that caused tanks to drop in SL are unrelated to placed AoE entirely and are due to the overall complexity of the dungeon routes + affixes like Necrotic and Inspiring.

Again, as long as the covenant abilities get reskinned, there’s no real problem with them that I can realistically see.

Except they have and they will, completely swap out talents during patches to force people into varying playstyles.

So a talent / ability you like is unlikely to be permanent.

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