The mirror of things to come

Most of you have probably already seen all the things that have been gathered by Boubouille on MMO-Champion, and if so the Friends&Family Alpha is in full swing and ready to roll. Among the awesome snippets of news are new tradeskill recipes, a foresight of Elekk mounts that are almost nice enough to ride on, and some achievements and titles.

There’s also a minor preview of the talent trees, and a few things stand out:

Empowered Shadow Orbs (3 point talent, requires 15 points in Shadow)

Increases the damage done by your Shadow Orbs by 2%-6% and gives you a chance to receive a Shadowy Orb when critically hit in melee.

At first sight a nice damage boost, but it also seems to hint that the Orbs themselves can deal damage to others, not just enhance the damage of our spells. If so, the chances for the return of a certain well-loved Racial spell might just improve! This talent takes up the spot of Shadow Weaving, which has been moved up the tree to take the spot of the now-defunct Shadow Focus.

As an extra, the Mortal Strike effect of Improved Mind Blast has been increased to 25%, from 20%.

Shadowy Apparition (3 point talent, requires 35 points in Shadow)

When moving or dealing damage with your Shadow Word: Pain, you will sometimes summon a Shadowy version of yourself, which slowly moves towards a target afflicted with your Shadow Word: Pain. Once it reaches the target it will instantly deal damage equal to 15%-45% of your Mind Blast damage.

This spell has potential, both to deal damage, confuse people in PvP and generally add a bit of mystery and powerplay to the Shadowpriest. I only see one big problem in raids, and that is that I will probably be yelled at for standing in fires or defiles, until the raid is as used to it as they are to Mirror Images. I can only imagine the horror if I multi-dot several targets and a whole host of my copies fills the zone. This talent replaces the now-defunct Misery talent.


This is only a datamined preview, so anything could still change. Let’s face it, we will take a hit in losing Misery and the loss in Hit from Shadow Focus (as well as the mana cost reduction) but these two talents seem well within the awesome range. The calculator shows no other changes – it seems that this data was restricted to show the talents that will replace current talents, rather than a full tree.

At the time of writing this, Spirit Tap and Improved Spirit Tap still work the way they did, so it is possible we still are going to have a benefit from Spirit in some other way. Like the boomkin, we might see a talent that turns Spirit into Hit, so those of us who DPS while normally being healers can get a break. See Twisted Faith, below.

Mind Melt (Redesign, 2 point talent)

Mind Melt has been redesigned to increase the damage dealt by Shadow Word: Death by 5/10% when you target is at or below 25% health. And, when you deal damage with Mind Spike, the casting time of your next Mind Blast is reduced by 11/22%, lasting 6 seconds. Mind Melt can stack up to 3 times.

This seems a lot more interesting than a passive increase in crit chance, although this will result in a generally lesser crit chance for us, made up again by our second Mastery bonus. The inclusion of Mind Spike to enhance the casting time of Mind Blast seems like an interesting mechanic, but I’d have to see it live to gauge whether it wouldn’t be too complicated. If it works (3x Mind Spike, Mind Blast, Mind Flay, etc.)

Twisted Faith (Redesign, 5 point talent)

Twisted Faith has been redesigned so it no longer grants Spellpower from Spirit, but instead gives Hit Rating equal to 4/20% of our Spirit. This is in addition to the effect of increasing the damage of Mind Blast and Mind Flay when the target has SW:P on it.

Time will tell how much this will actually be, but it looks good!

Ethical Considerations

Note that this information being released is ALPHA information, and restricted to Blizzard employees, friends and family. Like during the Alpha of Wrath of the Lich King, someone took a risk and released this information to the outside world. Now that this information is out there, available to the public, it does seem right to comment on it. But be aware that this information was never intended for us, reflects only a marginal part of what is going to be changed, and is not set in stone.

Whether you love or hate what you see, remember that. This is only a mirror showing things to come.


7 Responses to “The mirror of things to come”

  1. I may have misunderstood you, but shadow weaving already does what you describe here – it’s got nothing to do with hit.

  2. I’m a bit confused about the Twisted Faith change. Blizzard said they were removing all hit talents and dps would not want spirit and it wouldn’t feature on dps cloth. Are they backtracking on that, or are we going to be fighting holy priests for gear instead of locks and mages? Because if we don’t stack spirit, this seems like a pretty meaningless talent. It might give us a small advantage over locks and mages in early tiers, but it will be a waste of the talent budget when we get capped. I don’t like the idea of us being the only dps caster that needs spirit, because it puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to finding optimal raid gear and maximising our key dps stats. More info needed methinks :)

  3. Well, first off we will not be the only one. Moonkins are reputed to have a similar talent (Balance of Power). And Hit will always be an advantage because Blizzard is planning to up the Hit requirements per raiding tier.

    For instance, the Tier 11 raid will require 17% hit, the Tier 12 will require 18%, and so on (Numbers made up). They wanted Hit to remain a valuable stat for players even after certain levels of gear, so they did this to make us want Hit gear even later on.

    The fact that Boomkins and Priests get these Spirit -> Hit conversions is because they envision healers and DPS in both classes to have roughly the same gear. Sure, the Tier will be different, but one style of gear should make the transition easier when you want to off-heal, or a healer is asked to go Shadow.

    I am not sure how great and advantage it is, but assume that our average Spirit will rise to 1000. 20% of this is 200 Hit Rating. While we currently need 32 rating/hit % you can bet this will be 50 or 60 Hit Rating per Hit%.

    This means we could gain 3-4% of Hit through this talent, and healers who go DPS will need to get less off-spec gear to be hitcapped. For us as dedicated DPS, it means we can add or drop points in this talent depending on our Hit requirements and levels of Spirit.

    I am expecting some advanced theorycrafters to make complicated models of Spirit-Hit conversions, hit% required per tier, and thus come up with a conversion factor of how much value Spirit has in each raiding tier.

    • Hmm, that sounds interesting – but if hit is really that valuable, we’ll be rolling on healing gear, which doesn’t seem right for healers, while we won’t be able to drop the talent when hit capped because of its other effect. Oh well, just one to watch I guess.

      • I imagine that Hit on gear is actually better than relying on Spirit to get it – especially since Spirit does not add to Spellpower anymore.

        It means healer gear is an option if we are unlucky with loot, or a healer has an easier time being a part-time DPS, but I think we will find the Mage and Lock loot more to our liking.

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