Final answer to Pain and Haste?

Vampiric Touch iconThis is the latest stance Blizzard is taking on the issue of not getting Haste applied to Shadow Word:Pain. According to Blizzard, our DPS would be too high with all 3 dots hasted – mentioned in the same line with simulations not being accurate enough.

“Shadow Word: Pain and Haste in Patch 3.3
We removed Shadow Word: Pain from scaling with haste because we thought Shadow dps was too high with all 3 dots hasted.

There is a bug where you can get big SW:P dots and then keep them rolling at that magnitude forever since the spell gets constantly refreshed. It’s a nasty bug to fix. However, that isn’t why we removed SW:P from Shadowform.

It’s important for classes to want the stats that appear on their gear, but it’s not a goal that everyone requires all stats in the same 1:1 ratio. It’s a bit unfortunate in the best-in-slot-or-nothing mindset of some of our players that the second and third best stats sometimes get labeled as junk even if they still boost dps beyond a non-trivial degree.

Our stance on simulations remains that they can be good tools when used correctly. We will continue to not pay a lot of attention to posts that simply say “Sims say our dps is too low. Please buff.” You can’t just accept a simulation’s estimate of your dps as what you’ll actually see on an encounter. Sim output is fundamentally not empirical data — it is a model; an attempt to imitate what will really happen. Simulations can be really useful for predicting say an optimal talent or gear configuration for your character. Players have learned a lot of things about class mechanics from the better sims out there. “True dps” is not one of them.”

While they have a point here, I don’t hear a resounding cheer across the forums and PTR forums regarding us being overpowered – most reports say that we are doing more DPS, but not magnificently so. Numbers mentioned vary between 300 and 500 DPS, depending on how much that particular Shadowpriest favored Haste before patch 3.3.

Fact is, that if we wanted to meet Druids and Death Knights in DPS (who are pretty high in numbers generally), even 1000 DPS would be a fair gain until we catch up. Even then we will not be anywhere near Warlocks, Mages and Rogues (who routinely make 6K-8K DPS on their own).

The problem with the accuracy of these numbers is that they are situational; there is virtually no change in DPS where we need AoE (Mind Sear) because there our Haste was already factored in. My DPS in such fights (Onyxia whelps) is 5-6K in 10mans, and runs up to 8-9K in 25mans.

In multi-dotting situations (which means a few adds to a boss, such as Gormok or Anub’arak) our DPS increases slightly. VT will benefit from Haste, SW:P does not, so our DPS on adds will be a little bit buffed. DP is buffed, so our DPS on the boss increases a bit as well.

On single targets (where we are worst at DPS) both VT and DP are improved, so our boss DPS goes up. But without adds or multi-dotting, we will still not generate the single-target DPS that a Druid or Death Knight could generate.

In PvP, however, things change. Haste on all 3 dots means that they will quickly destroy anyone you cast them on – even dispelling them quickly will not prevent a lot of damage going through. We’d be multi-dotting enemies and watching them burn while the healers on the other side try and struggle to get them off. This in my opinion is the main increase in DPS – and the reason we can’t get SW:P affected by Haste as well.


So this leaves me to wonder – when would Haste on 3 dots be too powerful? Clearly only in multi-dotting situations. Now either Icecrown will feature a lot of fights being 1 boss + a few adds, or all their data is based on ToC and Ulduar, where this happens regularly. This means that we will either see our DPS go way up (yay for adds) or we will still lose ground (single-target bosses).

Time will tell, but something tells me that patch 3.3 will be a bit more disappointing than I first hoped for.


One Response to “Final answer to Pain and Haste?”

  1. As usual I am disappointed by Blizzard’s stance on Priest DPS. Until that attitude changes we’d better accept that our asses are going to be kicked by Mages and Druids without fail – in any encounter.

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