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  1. #1
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
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    Shadow Re-design Ideas

    Shadow needs a proper re-design, the devs have clearly been thinking about it for the last two expansions, but I suspect they don't know where to go from here. If the next beta should shine on us a little, I want to give them some ideas they are welcome to steal and take all the credit for

    The Role of Hybrid Supports

    Hybrids have gone through some bizarre times during the last few expansions. In TBC our role was entirely support, with trivial DPS but an incredible amount of soft power through various combinations of buffs, debuffs, dispels and heals. In WotLK our damage was brought close to par with the pure DPS specs, while our utility was decreased dramatically - but still a strong niche in the game. Cataclysm lead to even greater parity in damage, and further reduced support. In Pandaria the trend ends. The damage delta between specs has increased and our utility diminishes - but emphasis on support healing has expanded for all hybrids.

    While homogenization is important for balance, differentiation is important for success and enjoyment in a competitive environment - it adds valuable flavour to classes and makes them feel unique and relatable. Support healing is just one model for what hybrids could offer. I propose Shadow move into a different niche (likely accompanied by Shamans) as a way to differentiate ourselves once more. We should offer less support healing, but retain or gain support dispels and defensive buffs:

    The following specs should continue to be support Healers:
    - Ret Paladins - they possess a natural affinity toward the light, and should possess powerful instant heal procs
    - Balance Druids - they are masters of the 'balance' of nature, yet they are heavily lop-sided toward damage dealing, healing should be improved
    - Windwalker Monks - improve their healing output, but reduce or remove their access to defensive peels through 2x disarms and tiger's lust

    The following specs should offer an alternate support model based on dispels and defensive utility, but not (really) heals:
    - Shadow Priests - should regain a Purify effect (defensive Dispel Magic), lose access to Holy spells on speccing Shadow, but gain a powerful Black Shield effect
    - Elemental Shamans - gain Cleanse Spirit (defensive dispel) but lose access to Healing Surge, gain Earth Shield
    - Enhancement Shamans - gain Cleanse Spirit (defensive dispel) but lose access to Healing Surge, gain Earth Shield
    - all three specs should receive a stronger version of offensive dispel than anyone else (particularly healers), dispelling 2 magic effects without a cooldown



    Shadow Orbs as a Real Secondary Resource
    The devs want this to be an important secondary resource mechanic for Shadow. As it stands it is a cheap imitation of Holy Power. Without radically changing the nature of the resource (ie. energy, fury), we can learn a lot by comparing to Holy Power and avoiding and correcting for the mistakes that Holy Power has encountered as a much older and more robust resource.

    - Abilities should consume a maximum of 3 Shadow Orbs, but we should be able to pool up to 5 orbs at a time
    - Shadow needs at least four tools it can spend Shadow Orbs on
    - Needs a frequent-use generator that scales with haste and is an instant ability so we can build our resource consistently

    Retribution builds Holy Power via Crusader Strike and Divine Purpose. Crusader Strike is only a 4.5 second cooldown and is reduced by haste - our Mind Blast is an 8 second cooldown and not reduced by haste. One solution here would be to reduce the cooldown of Mind Blast, but that would make it seem too similar - a better solution would be to create an alternate generation method (such as Divine Purpose) that is stronger than Divine Purpose - but keep our normal Orb building mechanic as Mind Blast with an 8 second cooldown.

    I'd propose the following as Shadow Orb generators:

    Mind Blast *redesigned* - instant cast, 10 second cooldown (up from 8), cooldown reduced by haste

    Coagulate *new* - passive - regenerates 1 Shadow Orb every 30 seconds

    Glyph of Dispersion *redesigned* - while Dispersion is active you regenerate 1 Shadow Orb every 2 seconds.

    Shadow Word: Death *unchanged*


    And the following finishers to spend Shadow Orbs on:
    - Devouring Plague removed

    Mind War *new* - channeled - Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to deal 110% of spellpower each second for 5 seconds. Mind War heals the Priest for 5% of max health each time it deals damage.

    Black Shield *new* - instant cast. Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to create an absorption shield on the target for 400% of Spellpower. While Black Shield is active the target is immune to spell pushback, interrupts and silence. Undispellable.

    Shadow Word: Despair *new* - instant cast. Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to deal progressively more damage each second over 8 seconds. Despair snares the target by 20% initially, and an additional 10% each second for the duration, up to 99%. If Despair is dispelled, the dispeller suffers Despair instead, and the priest regains 2 Shadow Orbs.


    Additionally, lesser but still powerful abilities should consume a single Shadow Orb - this is a method of reducing burst power by floating a mix of offensive and defensive cooldowns and then rapidly blowing through a list of powerful cooldowns (of different sorts) in a matter of seconds. It creates alternate paths to success and would make the system feel very robust, let me draw up some example abilities and then explain why it becomes interesting:


    Desperate Prayer *moved* - Desperate Prayer is now the level 87 ability for all Priests.

    Void Shift *redesigned* - Shadow Only. Costs 1 Shadow Orb. The shadowpriest instantly exchanges places with the targetted ally or enemy, 20 second cooldown.

    Psychic Horror *redesigned* - Costs 1 Shadow Orb. Disarms the opponent of their weapon for 8 seconds. 60 second cooldown.

    Fade *redesigned*(for Shadow) - Costs 1 Shadow Orb. Greatly reduces threat for 10 seconds, for the first 3 seconds the priest is untargetable. 30 second cooldown.


    What does this mean for Shadow PvP?

    First it should be noted I'm assuming we would lose access to the 15% damage reduction that Shadowform provides, as well as all Holy spells including Flash Heal, Renew and Prayer of Mending: while specced Shadow. With the loss of so much of our current survivability, we would need new tools to make us more competitive with Mages and Warlocks in terms of survivability through mobility and good use of cooldowns (but notably not via tanking and healing through damage as we have always done).


    What makes this system interesting is that gives us a lot of options - but limits our ability to use those options in rapid succession. The ability to save up 5 minutes worth of cooldowns and then use all of them inside 30 seconds is part of what is wrong with PvP currently, everyone has so many cooldowns that - should they use them all at once - it's in some cases impossible to counter. For Shadow at least, we can address this growing problem (for all classes) by tying our best abilities to our secondary resource (Shadow Orbs).

    If I'm being tunneled I could use Void Shift on a melee teammate to simultaneously drop them into the action and remove myself from harms way. Alternately, if a teammate is getting tunneled I can use Void Shift in reverse - to remove them from harms way and drop myself in their place - and then presumably Psychic Scream Alternately, a good use of Void Shift would also be to displace fleeing opponents, or I could Void Shift one enemy to get sight on a second enemy who thought they were safe.

    This makes Void Shift alone an incredibly powerful mobility tool for both offense and defense - the kind of mobility we would need in a world where we are no longer expected to tank our opponents, but instead kite to survive (much like mages and locks in MoP). However, by tying it to the Shadow Orb we diminish our damage dealing potential if we want to make use of this utility - I can Void Shift to get eyes on a line of sight enemy healer, but doing so will lose me an orb I'd need to follow up with Despair or Mind War: making it worthwhile, but only if I think I can finish them without my finisher (ie. Shadow Word: Death alone, without Mind War or SW: Despair). The 20 second cooldown of course makes sure we can't build up many orbs and Void Shift repeatedly.

    Psychic Horror costing 3 Shadow Orbs has been borderline unused all expansion - we use it when we only have 1 Shadow Orb available, but it's just not a competitive value to Devouring Plague when we have 2 or 3 orbs active. By making Psychic Horror only consume 1 Orb, but removing the horror effect and increasing the cooldown - we make a disarm ability which is the highest cost Disarm in the game (no other disarm costs secondary resource) - but which will continue to be a useful peel if the circumstances are right. You wouldn't want to use it on cooldown (as most disarms are used) for fear of the orb cost, but it would always be "available" when you need it since it will only consume 1 Orb rather than 0 (can't cast it) or 3 (Waayyy too expensive).

    Fade returns to the pre 5.2 (5.1?) state of being a target drop which we can use for avoiding crowd control, but now has a cost appropriate for the ability - it's still definitely worth Fading if your team is being pressured and you are about to be dropped into a long CC chain where you won't be able to help - but like Psychic Horror it's not something you want to do on cooldown just because you can because it costs you significant damage.

    The 3 Shadow Orb maximum cost of abilities works as it does now, but the 5 Shadow Orb capacity means if Coagulate or Divine Insight procs we are no longer losing valuable Orbs to a poorly designed system. It also means that a Spriest who hasn't been pressured enough to need to use their abilities for a minute can build up 5 Shadow Orbs at once, and then time their next Coagulate tick with their burst - such that they can go:
    Shadow Word: Despair -> Halo -> Mind War -> Shadow Word: Death. That makes for a pretty impressive burst cycle (comparable to the 1-2 minute burst cycles of other classes) - but it has a Lot of ways it can be shut down (unlike other classes):
    1. if the fight is close the spriest needs their Orbs for utility and peels, preventing them from accumulating many orbs.
    2. a healer can defensively dispel VT+Pain+Despair to negate an enormous amount of this stars-align damage cycle.
    3. anyone with a kick or CC can interrupt the Mind War->Death to alternately disrupt much of such a damage cycle.
    4. should the enemy survive that, the spriest just put themselves at a massive detriment accumulating orbs for the last minute, and now has no utility and gain for doing so (meaning that major defensive cooldowns are particularly effective against it - the spriest should choose their kill targets very carefully)

    This means Spriests need to have a hefty knowledge of their opponents cooldowns and capabilities, they need to have excellent situational awareness of what has already been used and which un-CC'd enemies could disrupt them, and they need to coordinate significantly with their team to pull it all off. It also means they need to sacrifice their utility and control for the minute building up to it, and if something disrupts their teams preparation (CC'd teammates for example) - they lose a Lot for sitting at the 5 orb cap for too long.

    Some people will likely criticize this model for making Shadow harder than it needs to be, but I think the Spriest community can handle the difficulty - and will enjoy returning to being a very high skill cap and coordination-based class, rather than the simplistic model of Mists of Pandaria. It gives us a clear and defined class vision - we no longer have any support heals - but we do have a very powerful Black Shield and the return of an instant defensive dispel to support our healers once more, we return to having powerful battlefield control as we had using Death to break poly's and strong defensive and offensive dispels - and we also have to juggle a now much more complex DPS system during that.

    What I like most about this model is that it allows Spriests to choose how to play their class on an Arena team. A spriest playing in a Shatterplay or Shatreeplay (Shadow/Frost Mage/Restoration Healer) can leverage their teammates strong control to accumulate more orbs for their burst cycles. Alternately, a spriest in a currently-less-competitive comp can leverage their 1 Shadow Orb ability spells to exert greater support at the cost of losing much of their burst cycles.

    The best shadowpriests will do both depending on how they predict the next minute or two of the game will play out. If the enemy blows through their offensive cooldowns but fails to score a kill, a good spriest will see that and spend their orbs on DPS or pool orbs for damage (Mind War and Despair) - knowing that their utility won't be needed for a moment: if the Spriest mis-judges and the enemy team is still dangerous, they won't have access to their peels and utility (and somebody will probably die). This means most spriests will always want at least 1 Orb in their back-pocket, but will never want to have 5 orbs for fear of a 6th orb being lost - we will try to float between 1 and 4 as best we can, and only spend our last orb or build a 5th orb if we are desperate or very confident in our predictions. That, to me, sounds like a Lot of fun.



    What does this mean for Shadow PvE?

    While many of these changes have obvious PvP implications, I want to point out that I'm not solely thinking of how to improve Shadow PvP here. Shadow PvE has felt out of place all through Mists of Pandaria, and I hope to remedy it. I'll repost the particularly relevant changes to PvE as a brief overview:

    *Shadow Orb Finishers consume a maximum of 3 Shadow Orbs, but we have a capacity for 5 Shadow Orbs at a time*

    Shadow Orb Generators:
    Mind Blast *redesigned* - instant cast, 10 second cooldown (up from 8), cooldown reduced by haste

    Coagulate *new* - passive - regenerates 1 Shadow Orb every 30 seconds

    Glyph of Dispersion *redesigned* - while Dispersion is active you regenerate 1 Shadow Orb every 2 seconds.

    Shadow Word: Death *unchanged*

    Shadow Orb Finishing Moves:
    *Devouring Plague removed

    Mind War *new* - channeled - Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to deal 110% of spellpower each second for 5 seconds. Mind War heals the Priest for 5% of max health each time it deals damage.

    Black Shield *new* - instant cast. Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to create an absorption shield on the target for 400% of Spellpower. While Black Shield is active the target is immune to spell pushback, interrupts and silence. Undispellable.

    Shadow Word: Despair *new* - instant cast. Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to deal progressively more damage each second over 8 seconds. Despair snares the target by 20% initially, and an additional 10% each second for the duration, up to 99%. If Despair is dispelled, the dispeller suffers Despair instead, and the priest regains 2 Shadow Orbs.

    1. This means we begin each fight with 5 Shadow Orbs (either by 150 seconds since our last used Shadow Orb for Coagulate to generate 5, or by using Dispersion on the run back), allowing us to make use of the common practice of Bloodlusting on the pull of most bosses so that everyone can blow their cooldowns as effectively as possible (currently we get very little benefit of Bloodlust on the pull since we don't have Orbs yet): problem solved.

    2. It means that while we can't float a lot of burst all at once, Devouring Plague no longer dictates we need to use our finisher - before our next orb generates (DI proc, MB cooldown, or SW: Death cooldown). We can use it on 3 Orbs to always be safe, or if we're monitoring our Coagulate internal cooldown we can build up to 4 or 5 with careful attention. Generally it is safest and most prudent to use a Finisher whenever you have 3 Orbs, but good PvE spriests can micro-manage the 5-orb pool to get greater effect out of cooldowns like Power Infusion, damage buff boss mechanics, or for burning important upcoming adds down a little faster.

    3. Giving us two ways to deal damage with Orbs (Mind War and Despair) means building up 5 orbs at once isn't useless, it also means that during high movement phases we can use Despair to get some good damage out while moving - conversely Mind War rewards us for being able to stand still for 5 seconds and channel without interruption.

    4. Making Mind Blasts instant means we aren't crippled by heavy movement fights - because we can continue to generate our resources at a normal rate regardless of movement - it's still far from optimal to be moving however - since much of our time is spent channelling (Mind Flay and Mind War).

    Overall, I think this address much of what I dislike about Shadow's PvE DPS priorities - it removes a lot of the quality of life issues and fight mechanic grievances, and makes our Shadow Orb "resource" give us more than one thing to use it on. It doesn't make the class overly complex to the level that some of us took it to in WotLK and Cataclysm - it's still pretty straight-forward for beginners - but it also gives the more advanced among us something to obsess over again.



    I'd like to do a little more with the PvE DPS systems still. Obviously this is just a work in progress, a collection of ideas for how Shadow could be improved.

    Thank you all for reading, and I'd love to hear your thoughts, critiques and support for these ideas
    Last edited by Yvaelle; 2013-06-14 at 12:04 AM.
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  2. #2
    Stood in the Fire Bombino's Avatar
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    I like the idea of orbs/combo points being used for more things. Gaining combo pts to do the same thing 5 million times is rly not fun.

    Some kind of way to scale better in 5.4 would also be wonderful since i guess obtaining 18k haste wont be as hard. I agree they definitely ought to do something with mindblast and/or orb generation in general.

    Mind War reminds me of that helmet where u engage in mind battle with x player, sounds very shadowpriesty and fun and i bet they could come up with some non-boring graphics for it :P

    Coagulate kindve reminds me of soulburn-ish which i think would be very nice.

    As a pve'er, i'm not crazy about generating orbs while in dispersion, i feel its on par with deterrence basically, i do see how it sounds badass for pvp but sounds a tad bit op maybe.

    Got some good ideas bud, i hope they redesign us also

  3. #3
    there should definitely be more than one way of spending orbs in pve. one of the biggest issues i've had with the shadow spec has been the fact that we only gain and spend orbs in single target, which really gimps us on many raid fights which require both aoe and single target damage.

    one thing that could really make it more interesting would be something where you can convert your shadow orbs into a self buff and then regenerate orbs via aoe spells. for example you could have some_spell which consumes up to 3 shadow orbs to increase your mindsear/lvl90 damage by 10% per orb, and causes mind sear and lvl90 to generate orbs if they deal damage to more than three targets. giving it, say, a 5 second duration and a 15 second cooldown would keep it from becoming necessarily rotational, but at the same time allow shadowpriests to generate some aoe resources in the same way fulmination or RoF/HoG/empowered SOC can. or another idea could be you spend 3 orbs and it makes your next level 90 cast SWP on everything it hits (which could be used as an aoe generator if you choose DI).

  4. #4
    Dreadlord veiledy0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yvaelle View Post
    Mind Blast *redesigned* - instant cast, 10 second cooldown (up from 8), cooldown reduced by haste
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yvaelle View Post
    Coagulate *new* - passive - regenerates 1 Shadow Orb every 30 seconds
    Yes, please!
    When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
    When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
    And I held your hand through all of these years

  5. #5
    The Patient elmachino's Avatar
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    You had me on Coagulate

  6. #6
    The idea for the role re-design is interesting, but maybe it could go a little further than what you showed there, seemed a little bit... out of flavor, idk, might be only me.

    For re-design, I really liked the idea of having multiple ways to generate/use shadow orbs, making it feel like an actual resource.

    You have my support

  7. #7
    If I were to redesign shadow, what I would probably do is have some core abilities change while in shadow form, meaning most holy spells. Flash heal might become a slighty weaker heal in shadow form but castable in shadow form called dark mend. Renew might be replaced by a dot that can be cast on enemies that leeches life. I think ideas like this might give the spec more flavor as it seems to losing its core identity right now.

    If mind blast is going to stay as our core orb generating ability, I would probably lower its damage, lower its cooldown to something like 4-5 seconds and maybe make it instant cast. Add a heal of some sort that we could use with our orbs. If we lose our passive 15% mitigation, these changes could help in offsetting that survivability hit.

  8. #8
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombino View Post
    As a pve'er, i'm not crazy about generating orbs while in dispersion, i feel its on par with deterrence basically, i do see how it sounds badass for pvp but sounds a tad bit op maybe.
    Ya, when this orb system was first introduced I wanted us to be able to generate them during Dispersion but a lot of people brought up the complaint about feeling like they have to Dispersion for damage. Legitimate complaint, one way to get around it might be lowering the return so it would always be a damage loss - ie. regenerate 1 orb after dispersing for 6 seconds - losing six seconds of DPS time for one orb isn't worth it obviously (even 2 orbs might not be worth it) - but people might still feel the need to use it on the move and then not have it when they need it.

    We could probably scrap the Glyph of Dispersion idea - current glyph is just so boring though!

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-14 at 08:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by snaxattax View Post
    one thing that could really make it more interesting would be something where you can convert your shadow orbs into a self buff and then regenerate orbs via aoe spells. for example you could have some_spell which consumes up to 3 shadow orbs to increase your mindsear/lvl90 damage by 10% per orb, and causes mind sear and lvl90 to generate orbs if they deal damage to more than three targets. giving it, say, a 5 second duration and a 15 second cooldown would keep it from becoming necessarily rotational, but at the same time allow shadowpriests to generate some aoe resources in the same way fulmination or RoF/HoG/empowered SOC can. or another idea could be you spend 3 orbs and it makes your next level 90 cast SWP on everything it hits (which could be used as an aoe generator if you choose DI).
    I like that idea a lot I'll try to think of an eloquent way to design it, but something like that would be great - though it does remind me a little of tier 11 using Shadow Empowerment for Mind Sear fights and feeling sucky if we didn't have it active during the crazy AoE phase of X fight: better orb generation tools probably fix this though.

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-14 at 08:41 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Anshlun View Post
    The idea for the role re-design is interesting, but maybe it could go a little further than what you showed there, seemed a little bit... out of flavor, idk, might be only me.
    I hope that it will This is by no means a finished model I'm putting forward ^^
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  9. #9
    Would be cool if you could place the Black Shield on enemies as well and then it interacts differently. Instead of a bubble for an ally, it becomes a heal absorb on an enemy (like Necrotic Strike in a way, I guess?). This would obviously be purely for PvP, but I think it would be a pretty cool ability if it had multiple uses. Much like someone said above with renew being a life leech, instead of the typical Shadow heal.

    This would give us a wider sense of utility while still allowing us to be a dps class, instead of an off-healing machine like we became in PvP for a while.

    Another thing I would desperately like to see is critical strikes generating a second Shadow Orb, maybe with a 3 second cd before it can happen again. There's a lot of good ideas here, but we need a better way of generating orbs if we can hold a maximum of 5 and have a few spells take up to 3.

    I like your void shift change idea as well, but would be more interested if they maybe changed things up. Like you suggested, make Desperate Prayer (or even Angelic Bulwark) baseline, and make void shift the talent that replaces it. Instead of swapping spots, you could even have it so that Leap of Faith becomes Void Shift, and instead of pulling an ally to yourself, you can teleport to any ally or enemy within 30 yards. You could even add a glyph that reduces the CD by 33% or something and maybe make it usable in roots, but not stuns.

    Finally, one last thing I think we seriously lack is a DPS cooldown. It doesn't have to be flat haste or something like other caster cds, but there's a lot of room to make it really cool. Maybe use 3 orbs to spread all dots to any target within 15 yards of a target afflicted with Mind Sear. Maybe for the next 15 seconds, your Mind Spike increases in damage by 15% with every use and does not remove your dots. Either way, I think the cooldown should be tied to orb usage making it a better challenge to manage things instead of just pressing a keybind and having shadowfiend as your 'cooldown' every 3 minutes. The only challenge with that right now is knowing when the best times to use it in a fight are - pretty easy to figure out and execute.



    I'm just spitballing here, we have plenty of time for discussion, and I've seen some creative people on the priest forums before, so let's talk this out and then throw it the dev's way

  10. #10
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simian View Post
    If I were to redesign shadow, what I would probably do is have some core abilities change while in shadow form, meaning most holy spells. Flash heal might become a slighty weaker heal in shadow form but castable in shadow form called dark mend. Renew might be replaced by a dot that can be cast on enemies that leeches life. I think ideas like this might give the spec more flavor as it seems to losing its core identity right now.
    That would also be an interesting way to take it, but I think so long as we have access to holy spells at all - we will never be free to be our own spec given Blizzard's current vision. They started comparing us to pures, and then they look at all our holy-school heals and go "why does a Mage-thing have those?". I actually had a Dark Mending for 3 Orb cost originally but scrapped it because I thought it overlapped too much with the Ret model of support-through-heals.

    I don't want to see the argument "Well, you have renew!" ever again - my idea to fix that is just to remove Renew (and by extension all holy spells) from our spellbook. Shadowform should just be an aura that is always on once you spec Shadow


    If mind blast is going to stay as our core orb generating ability, I would probably lower its damage, lower its cooldown to something like 4-5 seconds and maybe make it instant cast. Add a heal of some sort that we could use with our orbs. If we lose our passive 15% mitigation, these changes could help in offsetting that survivability hit.
    Mind Blasts damage is kind of low already so I don't think we really need to nerf it - it does need to be instant though, it's far too easy to interrupt and thereby deny us not only our damage, but also our resource: we need to be able to consistently generate our unique resource even while pressured - otherwise it won't work as a system.

    I actually left the cooldown at 8 seconds originally and then made it scale with haste, but I thought better of it - and upped the cooldown to 10 seconds. Here is the problem, with haste stacking, procs, cooldowns and bloodlust right now - trolls can get up to like 310% haste (I'm not a troll, but even non-trolls could theoretically proc up to like 280%).

    For most of us though, an LMG proc during Bloodlust is going to put us in the ~150% haste range - on an 8 second base cast reduced by haste, that means 8 / 2.5 = 3.2 seconds (for the 310% troll though, it would be 8 / 3.1 = 2.58 seconds.

    With a 10 second cooldown, during an LMG proc on a Bloodlust, we're looking at 10 / 2.5 = 4 seconds - that's a crazy fast cooldown - anything lower than that would make for a lot of Mind Flay clipping, and would greatly disrupt our Mind War finishing move.

    Combined with Divine Insight potentially sticking around, that's just too fast. Note that most of the time, with 50% haste (18200 haste soft cap), our cast time would be 5.3 seconds - even that is pretty fast!

    At the start of an expansion, it would be around 10 seconds though (longer than currently) - so over the course of an expansion this means haste would scale Really well for us.

    This proposal might actually be too strong, so a good compromise I've prepared is - if haste reduced the cooldown still, but at half effectiveness, we'd still see sub-8 second cast times during procs, but most of the time even haste stacking the cooldown would be around 7 or 8 seconds. That's probably more reasonable, and actually when I move this to the official forums - I should change it to this I think. Feeling like we "have to" press Mind Blast that often wouldn't be fun anyways.

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-14 at 09:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaO View Post
    Would be cool if you could place the Black Shield on enemies as well and then it interacts differently. Instead of a bubble for an ally, it becomes a heal absorb on an enemy (like Necrotic Strike in a way, I guess?). This would obviously be purely for PvP, but I think it would be a pretty cool ability if it had multiple uses. Much like someone said above with renew being a life leech, instead of the typical Shadow heal.

    This would give us a wider sense of utility while still allowing us to be a dps class, instead of an off-healing machine like we became in PvP for a while.
    I can tell that this thread is full of spriests, because you are all mind visioning the things I wrote and then deleted! So, originally when I was thinking it up, Black Shield was exactly that - a finishing move that broke the uniqueness of Necrotic Strike - of all the specs of all the classes - if anyone else apart from DKs should get an offensive anti-shield, it's Shadow IMO. So ya, originally I had it in there - but then I thought "but what about Unholyplay? That's why necrotic strike is DK-only - so it can't be combined with similar effects easily - and DK/DK/Healer has already been a rank 1 comp many times since season 5: they'd never go for it". I do still really like the idea though, and would love to see us get something along those lines - I just didn't mention it until I had a solution to this problem.

    This does give me an idea though - just make them mutually exclusive - if a target has a Necrotic Stack, you can't apply Black Shield, if a target has Black Shield, you can't cast Necrotic Strike. Or if you really hated the potential synergy - allow us to both cast Necrotic Strike / Black Shield, but not get the benefit of the second one applied if one was already active - you could still play Unholyplay if you really wanted to, but you'd have to be super careful not to both think the same thing at the same time.

    Another thing I would desperately like to see is critical strikes generating a second Shadow Orb, maybe with a 3 second cd before it can happen again. There's a lot of good ideas here, but we need a better way of generating orbs if we can hold a maximum of 5 and have a few spells take up to 3.
    I suggested that in a thread a number of months back but then we ran into the problem of a 3 Shadow Orb cap making critical strike double Orb generation really frustrating - the 5 orb system should fix that, but then I'd be worried about our potential orb generation scaling far too well with gear. Maybe a solution would be to make Mind Blast instant, 8 second cooldown, not scale with haste, but critical Mind Blasts generate 2 orbs - that would up our crit scaling and solve the somewhat messy problem of mega-haste procs giving us silly-fast orb generation at once. Hmm, I kind of like that!

    I like your void shift change idea as well, but would be more interested if they maybe changed things up. Like you suggested, make Desperate Prayer (or even Angelic Bulwark) baseline, and make void shift the talent that replaces it. Instead of swapping spots, you could even have it so that Leap of Faith becomes Void Shift, and instead of pulling an ally to yourself, you can teleport to any ally or enemy within 30 yards. You could even add a glyph that reduces the CD by 33% or something and maybe make it usable in roots, but not stuns.
    It really bothers me that "Void Shift" isn't useable by Shadowpriests. Swapping either Desperate Prayer or Angelic Bulwark into our 87 ability would solve this problem tidily. The problem with putting Void Shift in the talent spot of the one removed, is that it would give a Lot of new mobility and control to Disc PvP - who really doesn't need it since they are still built around 30% 'passive' damage reduction via Focused Will.

    I kind of wanted to keep Leap of Faith, and have Void Shift - maybe I'm just being greedy though

    I really like both your glyph ideas!


    Finally, one last thing I think we seriously lack is a DPS cooldown. It doesn't have to be flat haste or something like other caster cds, but there's a lot of room to make it really cool. Maybe use 3 orbs to spread all dots to any target within 15 yards of a target afflicted with Mind Sear. Maybe for the next 15 seconds, your Mind Spike increases in damage by 15% with every use and does not remove your dots. Either way, I think the cooldown should be tied to orb usage making it a better challenge to manage things instead of just pressing a keybind and having shadowfiend as your 'cooldown' every 3 minutes. The only challenge with that right now is knowing when the best times to use it in a fight are - pretty easy to figure out and execute.
    I used to want a good cooldown but at some point Drye convinced me Shadowfiend was good enough, and I realized that what I really wanted was a way to have Shadowy Angel wings for 15 seconds every now and then

    In all seriousness though, the problem with pet-summoning cooldowns is that it doesn't make the player feel like we are doing more than before. A shadowfiend joins the fray, but our damage - our numbers - do exactly what they did beforehand. The power gain in Shadowfiend is real-enough, it's not a great cooldown but it's not terrible by any means in terms of damage done - but the problem is that it is not the avatar who is empowered.

    It's part of what I didn't like about the death of Deathwing - sure, we spend 15 minutes playing his tentacle game - and then Thrall shows up and kill steals us and takes all the credit. Since Thrall isn't part of our guild, it feels like our contribution didn't really kill Deathwing - we just happened to be a distraction while Thrall was off chargin' his lazers. On the one hand, I usually like storytelling where the protagonist isn't the most powerful entity in the world that does all the things themselves, but on the other hand - it cheapens our victory. Shadowfiend is the same, on the one hand I adore my cuddly little Mindbender - but on other hand "I" have no damage cooldown because of it.

    So, a cooldown would be very welcome
    Last edited by Yvaelle; 2013-06-14 at 09:10 PM.
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  11. #11
    Ya, that's my big thing with Shadowfiend. We pop it and then it does nothing to change or enhance how the priest plays their game. I have not run into mana issues on any fight since early T14, so it's not like I'm relying on it for mana regen - I literally time it so it's lined up with procs, or use it at specific times in a fight (making sure it's lined up to be used on horridon at 200% during lust for example).

    With the new talent system, there are so many ways the spells could be changed by being a shadow priest vs either of the healing specs. We're one of the few classes where every level 90 talent is actually a dmg/heal increase in many situations. Glyphs could be used for each spell to make them interact differently.

    Some examples:

    Divine Star - it could interact differently with each spec, instead of just heal/dmg (and I realize this isn't shadow-specific, but there's seriously tons of ways to go)
    Discipline Divine Star could add a mini-bubble of 30k to everyone in it's path instead of a heal (not ideal, because they're pissed with absorbs as it is, but still) that doesn't cause Weakened Soul (is that the right debuff?)
    Holy Divine Star could be left as is, or spruced up to maybe cause 2 stars to go out in a V or in front of you and behind you or something.
    Shadow Divine Star could be left as purely damage.

    You could even add a Divine Star glyph that trades its spec-specific ability for a straight up frontal cone 70% snare. This would give us some more utility in PvE as well as PvP.

    Cascade I actually like how it is, but you could still add a glyph for PvP utility. The glyph could cause all targets hit by cascade to gain 50% movement speed for 4 seconds (friendly), or cause a 1.5 second stun (enemy).

    Halo I actually think could use some adjustments or glyphs or something, but all my ideas are starting to blur together in my head.

    In PvE, we are one of the worst movement casters. There could be a glyph of Angelic Feather that causes your feather to have one charge on a 30 second cooldown instead of 3 on 10 seconds, and the ability causes the user to have 4 seconds of casting while moving.

    The point I think I've made here is that there's so much room for diverse improvements and changes - I don't want my class to be OP, but I don't want to become a pushover again. In PvE in T14 we were ok. We weren't bottom of the barrel, but we weren't competing with any good locks or mages. In T15 we're in a better place, but still not OP imo. I'm not sure about T16 yet - haven't been able to play in a couple weeks now, and won't be able to for another yet - but all I've read on theorycrafting posts is that we're going to scale poorly. I have no idea if this is true. In terms of PvP, in T14 we were far and away incredibly OP. In T15, we got nerfed hard, and still are kind of OP. In T16 we will probably be middle of the pack (the best we can hope for right now). I realize I used PvE tiers in relation to PvP, but it's just easier to visualize timeframes in my mind that way.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaO View Post
    Ya, that's my big thing with Shadowfiend. We pop it and then it does nothing to change or enhance how the priest plays their game. I have not run into mana issues on any fight since early T14
    do you just let yourself do zero dps while moving and never target swap, or what? shadow mana is horrible on all the high mobility fights in ToT (especially the dreaded get away type mechanics on jikun and lei shen), where allw e can do is SWP ourselves to death and pray that VT stays up from app extensions. they need to either put the mana regen onto SWP or make VT mana regen much higher. either that or give us some sort of stacking moonkin buff for SWP... it's just awful as-is.

  13. #13
    Lei Shen is crap, no doubt about it. But no, I seem to do fine with my mana. Maybe it is getting low, but not low enough, and Shadowfiend does bring it back up and I'm just not noticing? Ji-Kun I don't have any mana problems with, though I'm usually on nest team A, so I don't ever have problems with the get away mechanic.

    I do pretty solid damage most of the time, and don't hold my raid back in any way - usually in the top 2 or 3 in DPS on most non-gimmick fights (ie tortos where we use a 'tank bats' strat). Megaera H was interesting on the attempts I got ice beam like three times in a row twice in a fight.

    I had big mana problems on H Zorlok back in T14, but I figured out some ways to help manage that a little better, and it helped. Not sure what to say here. Do other Spriests have big mana issues in T15 and I'm just alone here?

  14. #14
    I think your idea would work very well in WoW's current state but overall it would just further deteriorate the state of pvp since it would bring more instant casts to the game.

  15. #15
    Honestly, I didn't take that into consideration, and you are right. I'm just trying to get some ideas out there. It's easy enough to solve - instant snares are nothing new, and they aren't a hard cc. The Divine Star glyph I mentioned above could also increase the cooldown by 100% or something and make it a 30 second cooldown with a 70% snare for 3 seconds (PvP) and 10 seconds (PvE) or something.

    Either way, the more ideas we come up with (and ideally sooner rather than later, since Beta is honestly probably going to start around the time 5.4 does if they stick to their plan of not letting content become stale), the better. If we can present a list of solid ideas that will help develop our class without causing any manageability problems on Blizzard's end, it will help. They may take 0 ideas, they may take only 1 of 800, but it will give them ideas to keep the game fresh in other ways as well.

  16. #16
    Moderator Yvaelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alewyn View Post
    I think your idea would work very well in WoW's current state but overall it would just further deteriorate the state of pvp since it would bring more instant casts to the game.
    Hmm, well I intentionally made one of our strongest finishers a 5 second channel (Mind War) for the reason that it would be a very easy spell to interrupt or pushback or CC. Instants themselves are not fundamentally bad, uncounterable burst is part of what makes PvP frustrating right (the other problem is too much instant CC) - which is often uncounterable because it is instant - such as TfB procs in 5.0, or Blink Strike 5.0->5.3, or even Halo + Divine Insight Mind Blast procs + Devouring Plague.

    All of those together only hit for barely more than what TfB or Blink Strike did by themselves during their height - but it was still an entirely instant-based burst cycle offering little or no warning. Frost Mage burst is also a similar problem - via Brain Freeze procs for FFB's, and Ice Lance vs Frozen targets - rather than being solely a matter of instant burst - they deny their opponent the opportunity to react by initiating all their burst with an instant and off-the-global stun (Deep Freeze).

    My proposed Shadow burst cycle is intentionally none of those things. Moving combo point generator-type moves to becoming instants, and moving finishers to become casts would be a good thing for PvP for every class - it means you can't shut down our utility or survivability by interrupting our Mind Blasts - but everybody has multiple ways to interrupt our burst if we aren't careful with it: if anything that puts shadow at a big detriment in the current PvP world where most other burst is uncounterable - but I would hope that the devs would recognize that as being the better model and apply similar systems to other classes in the future - burst should be counterable, build-up and utility should be uncounterable.

    This bit is the relevant part from the original post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Yvaelle
    The 3 Shadow Orb maximum cost of abilities works as it does now, but the 5 Shadow Orb capacity means if Coagulate or Divine Insight procs we are no longer losing valuable Orbs to a poorly designed system. It also means that a Spriest who hasn't been pressured enough to need to use their abilities for a minute can build up 5 Shadow Orbs at once, and then time their next Coagulate tick with their burst - such that they can go:
    Shadow Word: Despair -> Halo -> Mind War -> Shadow Word: Death. That makes for a pretty impressive burst cycle (comparable to the 1-2 minute burst cycles of other classes) - but it has a Lot of ways it can be shut down (unlike other classes):
    1. if the fight is close the spriest needs their Orbs for utility and peels, preventing them from accumulating many orbs.
    2. a healer can defensively dispel VT+Pain+Despair to negate an enormous amount of this stars-align damage cycle.
    3. anyone with a kick or CC can interrupt the Mind War->Death to alternately disrupt much of such a damage cycle.
    4. should the enemy survive that, the spriest just put themselves at a massive detriment accumulating orbs for the last minute, and now has no utility and gain for doing so (meaning that major defensive cooldowns are particularly effective against it - the spriest should choose their kill targets very carefully)
    Last edited by Yvaelle; 2013-06-15 at 09:34 PM.
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  17. #17
    Brewmaster Alanar's Avatar
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    Mind War
    Black Shield
    Shadow Word: Despair

    Are awesome!

    tbh, W would like to have atleast 1 spell be like frikking ravens flying and stuff! gief it to Mind War!(http://www.wowhead.com/spell=50750)

    That animation!


  18. #18
    A lot of good suggestions in this thread. One thing I would like to see in 6.0 is a new spell school being added. Interrupts have come to be a dime a dozen, and being (one of?) the only single school casters left in the game has left us in the past I feel. I was thinking that, if the next expansion is indeed Burning Legion themed, it might make sense to add a 'chaos magic' school, and divide some of our abilities between the shadow and chaos schools. There would obviously be justification for warlocks and possibly a new class getting access to this as well, but the main thing I'd like to see is an interrupt not being nearly as strong as a silence against us. There might be some other spell type that would make more sense than Chaos, it was just a thought.

    On the subject of Silences, I'd like to see Silence be adjusted to match Counterspell and be castable off the global cooldown.

    I also love the idea of changing us so that we can't directly heal partners anymore. I'd like to see our role in pvp move away from doing healing support and more towards doing shadowy things. Black Shield and Mind War are both really cool ideas, although I'd like to still have VE around as a raid cooldown.

    Would be cool if you could place the Black Shield on enemies as well and then it interacts differently. Instead of a bubble for an ally, it becomes a heal absorb on an enemy (like Necrotic Strike in a way, I guess?)
    This is also a really good suggestion.
    Last edited by Shamypriest; 2013-06-16 at 02:27 AM.

  19. #19
    I just want shadow words named after all the sha .

  20. #20
    I like that idea a lot I'll try to think of an eloquent way to design it, but something like that would be great - though it does remind me a little of tier 11 using Shadow Empowerment for Mind Sear fights and feeling sucky if we didn't have it active during the crazy AoE phase of X fight: better orb generation tools probably fix this though.
    having non RNG shadow orb generation plus caching up to 5 orbs would make this pretty much a non issue slash reward for understanding and planning based around fight mechanics (which is a good thing). even if you were unable to anticipate the aoe phase, your mindblast would be useful for multitarget dps (in the sense that you'd be building the buff), whereas now it's a significant dps loss to use/generate orbs when mindsearing.

    the 5 orb cap would in itself be an amazing buff for pve dps, as we could do more stacking of cooldowns with our insanity - which is my guess as to why we didn't get this treatment in the first place in mop. they need to just make separate PVE/PVP functionalities for spells because the role and status of shadow's dps is so wholly different in pve vs pvp.

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