Dazed and confused

Well, Today Blizzard has posted some changes in the new Beta build; mind you that these changes are still in review, but they represent a very confusing sight, to say the least. As I am not in the Beta, I can’t say for sure if these changes were necessary, but as Wryxian put it: “The class designers are not in control of Balance”.

  • Dispersion now reduces all damage taken by 60% (down from 90%) and doesn’t regenerate health anymore.
  • Twisted Faith now increases your spell power on all spells (Old – only shadow spells) by 2/4/6/8/10% (down from 6/12/18/24/30%)
  • Improved Shadowform doesn’t give a chance to remove all movement impairing effects when Fade is used anymore.
  • Misery doesn’t increase the damage of your Mind Blast / Mind Flay / Mind Sear spells anymore.
  • Shadow Resilience now Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by all spells by 2/4%. (Old – Reduces physical damage taken by 2/4%.) Shadow Resilience re-designed. Now called Mind Melt – Increases the critical strike chance of your Mind Flay, Mind Sear and Mind Blast spells by 2/4%.
  • Improved Fade renamed to Veiled Shadows. Now Decreases the cooldown of your Fade ability by 6 sec, and reduces the cooldown of your Shadowfiend ability by 2 minutes.
  • Improved Spirit Tap now let your mana regenerate at a 10/20% (down from 25/50%) rate while casting.
  • Psychic Horror – Redesigned. Now reduces all damage done by targets when Psychic Scream ends by 15/30%. Lasts 6 sec.

In addition, the rumor is that our Shadow Power talent will increase the critical strike bonus damage from our spells by 100% (up from 50%). This is a good thing. But this patch has taught us Blizzard can take as quick as they can give.

Of the other changes, I have no idea what the reasoning is. I gather these are PvP balancing issues, considering the fact that Dispersion, Improved Shadow Form, and Shadow Resilience have all been nerfed to PvE-useless variants or at least to their previous (worthless) incarnations. Even the pushback reduction on Improved Shadow Form does not really warrant taking the talent.

And the nerf to Twisted Faith, although we should have seen it coming, does give us quite the kick in the nads. Although the 10% bonus to damage now applies to all sources, any Shadow Priest who takes this talent will cast Shadow DPS, and only Shadow DPS. If the nerf was to balance this “addition” I would suggest the class designers to check the Shadowpriest community thread again.

Of course, if our base scaling issues are handled (Mind Flay coefficient and critting, +100% crit damage, proper scaling on haste) we deserve having Twisted Faith reduced in such a manner, to prevent us from dominating early level-80 play. Even then 10% of our Spirit will represent a gigantic increase in raw damage at level 80.

I hope the Misery change does not mean we are stuck with nothing but 3% spell hit, but at least it means I have spare talent points to play with. And I was not planning on getting Dispersion anyway, and now that it avoids less damage and regains no health, it is basically a poor man’s Evocate. Let’s face it, once we L2Shadowfiend, we should have less mana issues to begin with. Ah well, without a decent 51-point talent I can at least get Prayer of Spirit and compensate for my complete lack of e-peen.

I keep my eye on things to come, but I have the idea we are being toyed with a bit. I hope that the final incarnation of our tree will present more balance and a solid usefulness, rather than a grab-bag of PvE versus PvP talents.

Edit: Some of the changes have been reverted, other talents have been revised. Twin Disciplines, which was nerfed to only affect Instant cast spells, now also affects Mind Flay.

So the Nerf Bat ™ has been swung, but not nearly as hard and low as first anticipated. Still, this does make us Shadowpriests seriously sit down and reconsider our options, as well as trying to figure out the monumental spreadsheet that will be responsible for calculating our damage output.


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