Archive for Shadowpriests

Expectations for Shadowpriest design in 5.0

Posted in Shadowpriest, Theory with tags , , , , on November 10, 2011 by Natarumah

The class Q&A which unfolded last night shone in the relative absence of any Shadowpriest information. This is to be expected, considering that we are the odd one out as a DPS spec for a primarily healing-oriented class. Still, they give a bit of insight in the direction that Blizzard wants to take the game (and us) as well as some glaring holes in our basic design if this comes to pass.

Shadow Orbs

Currently, Shadow Orbs are generated by SW:Pain ticks and Mind Flay. You can store up to 3, and when you cast Mind Spike or Mind Blast, the orbs are consumed for additional damage. It also triggers Empowered Shadows when Mind Blast is cast with at least one orb.

According to the Q&A, Shadow Orbs will become a resource (probably more akin to the Monk’s Dark Force) with no cap. Casting Mind Blast will cost one Shadow Orb, and it will have no cooldown of its own. This indicates that the damage boost to MB and MS will have to be baked into those spells to keep us competitive, and that something is likely to be changed in Empowered Shadows.

My initial guess would be that it is removed entirely – Blizzard originally wanted to give us original gameplay, but juggling both Evangelism and Empowered Shadows at the same time might have been too much for the average player, as well as cause too much ramp-up time. Battle-rezzing a Shadowpriest currently is a sub-optimal choice because it takes us half a minute to get up to speed again, versus a lot of other classes who can just put up one or two buffs and be at full efficiency.

If it isn’t removed, then it would need to be procced by something else – an interesting choice for that would be Mind Spike. If the dot-removal effect of Mind Spike was removed (since to be honest Mind Spike sees use today mostly on Ragnaros adds and PvP which is hardly a good basis for keeping the spell in the game) and casting it on a boss would cause Empowered Shadows, the gameplay would be a bit more manageable and less prone to randomness.

Replenishment

After the severe reduction in efficiency of Vampiric Embrace (putting us well below the Warlocks in terms of self-healing through damage – let alone Affliction) it was only a matter of time when Replenishment got the boot. Blizzard wants us all to manage our own resources, and not be shackled to outside help (for healers especially). Instead of a team of 25, a raid should be 25 individuals who just happen to work together. But, you know, if they don’t that’s also fine (queue LFRaid Finder jokes).

What isn’t fine is that this reduces our utility yet again – and we bring very little PvE utility to begin with. Our fear is mediocre as add control, and if the talents shown are anything to go by, the old vanilla Psychic Scream is a talent choice next to more interesting but niche-based fear spells. Of course, most people will take Psychic Scream since it’s the most generally useable one. As long as people don’t finger it as a reason to say that “our fear is fine” it’s acceptable I guess.

So what do we bring in 5.0 – without tremendous loss of DPS?

  • One (1) root or fear effect
  • Vampiric Embrace
  • Fortitude Buff
  • Possibly Vampiric Dominance at level 90
  • Offensive and self-dispel of Magic and Disease
  • Mass Dispel
  • Mind Control (also a self-CC)

I say ” possibly” at Vampiric Dominance because it’s not only a level 90 talent (meaning a choice), but also because I wouldn’t put it past Blizzard to remove Vampiric Embrace entirely and force us to buy Vampiric Dominance to get back a similar, but less useful ability. If it is in addition to/stacks with VE – then huzzah.

Compare this to Warlocks:

  • One single-target Fear
  • One AoE Fear, single-target Horror or Stun
  • Battle Rez through Soulstone
  • Healthstones
  • Self-healing or a healing received boost through self-buff as well as a tier-1 DPS talent
  • Self-dispel of Magic, Offensive Dispel or Fascinate through Pet
  • Mobility through Demonic Circle
  • Summoning raid members (depreciated in most cases through guild perks)
  • Dark Intent

Or Mages:

  • Arcane Brilliance
  • Polymorph
  • Spellsteal
  • Dispelling Curses
  • One (1) root
  • One (1) Stun
  • Counterspell
  • One (1) Slow/Knockback/Disorient
  • Focus Magic

It is quite likely that quite a few of these abilities are going to be changed, limited or removed. But still you will find that the Mage and the Warlock not only have more utility and encounter-interaction, but also more interesting ones. Sure we can heal by dropping Shadowform – at the cost of DPS, mana lost returning to Shadowform and building up our DPS again. And when we do heal, we go OoM very quickly.

Current Design Philosophy

It is obvious that Shadowpriests currently do not occupy the minds of the developers much. The talent trees revealed so far give our goodies to the healing priests but give nothing back. In fact, the very statement made during the Q&A revealed all:

“Leap of Faith will continue to have a facing requirement because healers should not just be staring at health bars but should also be paying attention to the raid environment.”

They don’t even consider us using this spell, since it drops Shadowform. Obviously only healers use it. Shadowpriests are generally more suited for using Leap of Faith because we are in the fight, but we lose tons of DPS while using it. So we don’t, on the whole, if another priest can do it instead. A prime example of a wasted opportunity.

What we need

It is not just that we’d need more utility – for one, without a hybrid tax we can only hope that the DPS can now be homogenized enough that it’s easier to divide the utility around the various classes and specs. What we need is something exciting, something new. We’ve been clamoring for it for ages, and got nothing.

  • We got an “exciting” Archangel/Evangelism + Empowered Shadows combo to replace the old – equally unexciting – Shadow Weaving
  • Shadow Orbs rangs from floor-scrapingly bad RNG faillure to practically overpowered – all within the same minute
  • Mind Spike’s introduction was a faillure – it’s a PvP spell and used in a limited fashion on adds (hint: 3+ adds means Mind Sear, which is the rule in Firelands today)
  • Raid utility was reduced as abilities were removed – other classes got more utility (and in a few cases, our utility was given to them instead)

I think the problem lies with our theme. We are shadowy punishers, who bring pain and misery on our enemies as we bring power to our allies. But if it’s anywhere near cool, it is given to Warlocks instead. And if it’s shadowy, the Rogues have first dibs. This leaves us in a lot of cases with nothing more than “not the healing priest”  as theme or using ” the mind”  as part of the theme, which just is not going to give us exciting visuals.

What I think we need is a redesign in philosophy – going back to the basics. Even just a few minutes of thought provides some ideas:

  • Shadowpriests don’t heal – in fact, you could permanently transform all our healing spells to damaging effects while Shadow-specced. Smite equals Mind Blast already, so no problems there. Holy Fire would make an interesting Direct-Damage spell that leaves a DoT. Leap of Faith could be reversed into a single-target knockback and Divine Hymn could become an Channeled AoE effect.
  • Our powers deal with the mind (Mind Vision, Mind Control, Fear) – since we seem to lack CC/control, one more effect along these lines in the talent spec abilities might do wonders. If the information at Blizzcon is any indication, we might get Psychic Horror and Silence as baseline Shadow abilities. That would solve all of this.
  • The very Shadows are part of our theme – and a lot of things can be hung on this theme, including a mobility effect allowing us to move closer to our allies through the shadows.
  • And finally, we bring pain and misery – creatures of vengeance. If Monks can balance Light and Dark, why can’t we balance Agony and Mercy, for instance? Increasing agony would increase our damage done, while mercy would increase our defenses or bolster our utility effects. This is not dissimilar to how a Demon Hunter works in Diablo III, for instance. I don’t think it’s a coincedence that the new Monk class’  abilities seem quite close to systems used in Blizzard’s new game either.
  • Since they are planning not to directly base mana off Intellect anymore, I can see us either needing even more mana regain abilities, cheaper spells or indeed more use of a secondary resource. It would be quite a stretch of technology, but I wouldn’t mind being a Shadowpriest meaning we’d lose Mana and instead gain the aforementioned Agony as resource (like a Monk who gains or loses Mana as a resource based on spec).

There are plenty of ideas to pick from, and the imagination hasn’t been stretched at all yet. Granted, the above is very unlikely, but it shows that there is plenty you can do without borrowing from the Rogue, Mage or Warlock toolkit directly. It pays to make abilities that are fun and useful, while still remaining unique. I hope we can look forward to positive changes in the beta for Mists of Pandaria, quality input by Shadowpriests and a listening ear on the part of the developers.

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Closed Beta announced, NDA lifted

Posted in News, Shadowpriest with tags , , on July 1, 2010 by Natarumah

It seems that Soon ™ came sooner than expected. Today the announcement was made that the NDA is lifted on the Alpha material, as the Closed Beta will begin. This means that for many of us, the tense time approaches to watch for a message on our battle.net accounts whether or not we will be entered into the Beta and see all the cool new stuff first-hand.

Things Shadowpriests have to look forward to

So far, a new nuke that gets more powerful as its stacks a debuff, shadowy copies that chase down opponents, and having a mastery that resembles the old Shadowguard racial. Who knows however, what Blizzard has been keeping secret and will surprise us yet once the Beta goes live?

I for one enjoy the new depth of lore, the return of more Old God meddling in Azeroth, and the chance to finally level myself a Troll Druid. I am also warming up to the idea of rolling a Goblin (most likely a hunter) for some roleplay on the Horde side. These guys get all the good lines!

New racials are announced as well, but what they will be is still unclear. What we can extrapolate from the currently released Worgen and Goblin racials is that we will receive:

  • A bonus on one Trade skill fitting to the race (like Jewelcrafting for Draenei, Engineering for Gnomes)
  • A passive 1% bonus on one trait (like Haste, Damage done, Crit, Miss chance, and so on)
  • A slight resistance to something (like Shadow, Nature)
  • One or two “utility” abilities (like a bonus on effects of potions, bank access, bonus to reputation)
  • One or two “combat” abilities (like a rocket pack, Shadowmeld, Gift of the Naaru, Will of the Forsaken and such)

With a listing roughly like this, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine what each race would get, but only the Beta will tell for sure. For myself, I will likely lose the Hit bonus as a Draenei (it was too clumsy for Blizzard and most Hit bonuses are removed to make the stat more valuable) so imagine for Draenei a list like below:

  • +10 bonus on Jewlcrafting skill
  • 1% additional Crit
  • Slight Shadow Resistance (10-20)
  • Gift of the Naaru, Vengeance of the Naaru (say a self-cast buff with retributive Holy damage)

Now, the real kicker would be the two abilities that should be utility, but have limited use in combat. Examples could be decreased time to do Jewelcrafting, not needing a kit for Jewelcrafting, some sort of flashy light display that heals for a slight bit but can only be used out of combat, or the ability to resurrect faster.

Note that some of these actually wouldn’t work, because these utility abilities should be useful and balanced across all classes. This is what makes it so tricky.

Conclusion

I will be keeping a close watch, hoping to receive a Beta key and test out the Shadowy goodness that creeps forth in Cataclysm. Because let’s face it, we all want to be cool right?

3.3.3 Profession ho-down

Posted in News, Professions, PvP, Raids and Instances, Shadowpriest with tags , , , on February 22, 2010 by Natarumah

Now that WordPress is up and running again, time to stop slacking and start posting! Blizzard’s got a lot of goodies hidden in the bag for the last part of Wrath (because they probably want to get some things out of the way to give everyone a solid start when Cataclysm hits) and the next patch promised has some really interesting changes awaiting.

Profession changes

  • The cooldown on the Ebonweave, Moonshroud and Spellweave tailoring will be removed – this means quicker and easier cloth farming to get those epic outfits required to get your alts geared up for raids and high-level heroics quicker and cheaper.
  • Smelt Titansteel will have no cooldown anymore either – so your plate-wearing companions (and alts) will not have to prepare months in advance to have nice kit waiting at 80. I know my baby paladin’s chomping at the bit for that!
  • Glacial Bag will now have a 7 day cooldown. They wanted to drop the prices on the cloths, but without a cooldown this also means that 22-slot bags would suddenly be the standard issue for everyone. Hell, most alts would be swimming in them from day 1! To counter this, they added a cooldown which is still less than if you’d have had to wait for your cloth cooldowns.
  • Frozo the Renowned, a Gnome in Dalaran, will be selling the stuff he joined from his guildbank…errm, Blizzard made available I mean, and you pay for it in Frozen Orbs. He will sell Eternals, Crusader Orbs, Runed Orbs, and Frost Lotus to crafters who need them and have spent excessive time in the LFG tool. Also, tailors will find that he sells a very nice Frosty Carpet tailoring recipe!
  • The “Monsterbelly Appetite” fishing daily was changed to “Disarmed!”. It will still require you to fish up an arm but can now be done not far from Dalaran. This is good, since no one bothered to go down south all the way just to fish up one quest item…

Changes to craftable epics

  • In a few words – after 3.3.3, all Ulduar crafting recipes seem to have their Eternals and “common” mats (saronite, heavy borean leather, etc.) mostly cut out. All you’d need are the orbs, half of the current cost in “expensive” mats (titansteel, tailoring cloth, arctic fur) and you’re good to go! This keeps these recipes relatively attractive to fresh 80s, since the difference between them and the ToC patterns is usually only in the Crusader Orbs, really.

For Gnomeregan!

It seems that this patch (or 3.3.4) might see the start of the Gnomes moving to reconquer Gnomeregan. Enlist Gnomes, clear a (probably updated) dungeon and voila! Cataclysm will see happy Gnome (priests).

Trolls are not forgotten, it seems that they might be moving to gather enough support to reform their own kingdom. New Gurubashi anyone?

Dungeon Tool

  • As stated before, you will be able to queue for a random Battleground as well, and the first each day gives bonus honor. All PvP items which required marks will now require only honor to acquire. Maybe this will liven up the BGs a bit, and reduce botting.
  • The Vote-to-Kick option will no longer have a cooldown, meaning that AFK’ers, botters, /follow losers and other vermin will now have to fear the wrath of the dungeon group even after the first kick.
  • Also, seasonal bosses will from now on only be available through the Dungeon Tool. I am not sure why this is, but it will make groups to these quest mobs much easier!

Miscellaneous useful stuff

  • If you have an authenticator and logged in with it, the next time you log in, a field to input your authenticator code will be displayed below. This should severely increase the speed of logging in after a lag-DC (which happens all too frequently these days in ICC).
  • On the AH, right-clicking an item in inventory will put it in the auction frame. You can now also input stacks and stack size (mimicking the useful feature from Auctioneer).

100th post!

Posted in News, Shadowpriest with tags , on July 28, 2009 by Natarumah

inv_qirajidol_lifeThis is the 100th post for Twisted Faith, meaning it’s time to look back upon Shadowpriesting and how it’s changed since vanilla WoW and the state of affairs today. Also, it is time to share some basic site statistics and for me to meander on what I want to do in the future.

darkness

Vanilla WoW

The “good old days” where Shadowpriests were the gods of PvP. Scary, fearsome and rated high in all BGs. Of course, they brought nothing to a raid save for a very modest bit of DPS and had trouble even getting instance groups – and we were always asked to heal. In those times, gear only needed one thing: shadow damage. Crit was useless to us and Haste was not even a factor, so you could still find level 60 Shadowpriests in the good old Shadoweave and pieces of Felweave. Our Tier sets, being Holy, were not much better.

The Burning Crusade

With the rise of our healing through DPS and Vampiric Touch,  we became the Mana Batteries of the raid. Our days in PvP were numbered what with the introduction of resilience, the limitation of Silence and Mind Control (our only real CC). Only Blackout, proccing stuns on our targets, was what gave us a bit of an edge. But things were not bad for us, because in the high-end raids you needed multiple Shadowpriests to survive, and the tier sets were getting better for us. Our DPS was only moderate still, because we were rated as Hybrids.

Wrath of the Lich King

Now we rank reasonable on the DPS scale, despite the fact that our Mana Battery role had been limited (and given to other classes as well). Replenishment is the new way of regaining mana, and despite it being done by more roles than our own, we wear the colors with pride. PvP has not improved for us, and we go Discipline if we need to go to the Arena. With the introduction of Dispersion as our 51-point talent, we gain nothing much in PvP, but we have a bit of a mana and survivability boost in our raids.

We are no longer in our prime in PvP (vanilla) or raids (TBC) but we have come out relatively unscathed. Shadowpriests have a reputation not unlike affliction locks, where it is difficult to master our way of DPS, but once you do the rewards can be quite high.

Shadowpriests, a salute!

Twisted Faith

When I rolled my Shadowpriest in the early days of TBC, all I remembered was how my poor warrior had been trounced in PvP by priests. Such goodness had to be mine! While I did not feel really invincible, I like the casting classes better than the melee classes. Back then, I was so new to the game my Shaman stacked stamina gear and no spellpower/intellect (while being Elemental because I liked Lightning Bolts) and I leveled my warrior as Protection. But with my priest, all things fell into place and Natarumah became my main character (switching me permanently to the Alliance side where my toons had been Horde before).

August 19th of 2008 I decided that I wanted to start a blog on Shadowpriests. Inspired by Phaelia’s Resto4life and Big Red Kitty, I wanted to help new Shadowpriests make the most out of the class, by taking the big scary numbers and making them into pint-sized paragraphs. Bolted on came news on new developments, roleplaying and some gawking over tier sets.

When I saw the counter slowly rise to 100, I realized I had to decide for myself how important Twisted Faith was, and how I was going to give it more P’zazz. I am still figuring things out myself, but I am not going anywhere soon, so Twisted Faith will remain. In the works are a guide for Shadowpriests who just switched from Holy, I am thinking on some art designs (sprucing up the sites and maybe following Phaelia’s lead with her Tree shirts) and incorporating more roleplay and story as a category.

I would like to thank you all for putting up with my occasional ranting and hope that I provided some useful info and mild entertainment. Twisted Faith will continue after these messages! *breep*

The state of the Faith, 28th July 2008

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Shadowpriest (unofficial) Q&A

Posted in News, PvP, Shadowpriest, Theory with tags , , on July 2, 2009 by Natarumah

inv_offhand_stratholme_a_02Purplecadet, a Shadow Priest, has been posting some of his concerns and questions on the forums here. While initially ridiculed for “fishing for blue posts”, GhostCrawler did deign to respond to his questions. Below is a transcript of the questions and answers, after which I will be giving my thoughts on this.

Question 1: What does blizzard see as shadow priest roll in pvp or pve situations?
PVE: I dont pve much but from my understanding there are aoe monsters is this the niche you intended them to fill in pve? I once saw a blue saying that they didn’t want anyone filling that niche!
You’re a dps class that focuses on dots and “stealing energy” from opponents. I’ll write a prettier version for the official Q&A. Shadow priests can do single target damage and now in LK can do AE damage as well.

PVP: As you all may know Priest are the only class with TWO healing trees. Did you want our dps tree to also have a strong healing component through Vampric Embrace? I often hear shadow priest refered to as the Pre-BC caster tank, are there any intentions of turning shadows priest back into this role anytime soon?
Yes on the VE part. “Caster tank” as a role is a little risky. It basically means that melee have to close the gap to finally do damage to you, yet once they do… they still have trouble hurting you. I know that makes you want to say “But melee are crushing us right now!” That might be a problem, but doesn’t mean the right answer is to have non-fragile casters. You are probably tougher than mages, and still have decent escape mechanisms with Dispersion and fears.

Question 2: Was mind flay always intended to be our “filler,” damage spell instead of a nuke or was it ment to be a mainly pvp spell? If it wasn’t are you intending to give us a nuke? I ask because to my understanding shadow priest scale very poorly with haste which brings me to my next question.
We don’t really design every caster around nukes. That’s kind of a mage deal where they emphasize one main spell. We want the other casters to feel differently, to have rotations. Mind Flay is part of that.

Question 3: Does blizzard intend to make haste effect dots? As you all may know this would help with some scaling issues and I don’t see why they couldn’t do this, they already did it with crits!
It’s something we’re talking about. Haste is a problematic stat for a number of reasons. It isn’t always good for example if you don’t have enough room in your rotation to fit another spell. It isn’t good if you’re GCD capped. Now, it’s okay — in fact preferable — that stats aren’t equal for everyone. We like that not all casters would look at say a ring with haste, crit and spirit the same way.

Question 4: Does blizzard think that dispel protection is a problem for dot heavy casters? If you do what are you planning to do to fix this? If you don’t why not? I understand that vampiric touch has a penalty for being removed but I just don’t feel like it is strong enough or even compares to it’s much stronger version unstable affliction.
We think the whole dispel protection game needs to be overhauled. Buffs should be valued for their buffs, not for whether or not they can protect other buffs. We need to change this whole system to something more sane. Whether or not you have a dispel, and whether or not your target is vulnerable to it has just become way too important. You are right that the VT penalty is so low as to be silly, and that’s something we would like to boost for 3.2.

Question 5: Alot of players feel as though replenishment should belong solely to shadow priest, we understand that you would like to “bring the player not the class,” but honestly could you say that having a unique class/spec ability is such a bad thing?
Yes, it’s a bad thing. It’s good if you’re a shadow priest wanting a raid slot. It’s bad if you’re the druid or warrior who can’t come because the raid leader feels like they must bring the shadow priest in order to raid. We want the challenge to be the encounters, not the logistics of building the group.

Question 6: It takes shadow priest significantly longer to set up our damage than other classes. Would it be in your intentions to add an initial damage component to vampiric touch and make it instant cast to help alleviate some of the wait-time for damage?
I think there is something to the set-up-your-damage issue, but at the same time, dots also have a lot of benefits over direct damage spells. We would not want any spell that Shadow priests felt like they could just cast instead of doing their rotation, and if the instant-damage spell was weaker than the rotation, it would likely see only situational use (though maybe that’s a fine niche).

Questions 7:Are you planning on implementing a snare/root for shadow priest? Shadow Priest is currently the only caster that has no snare/root abilities. These types of abilities are essential when we are not able to tank damage and wear cloth.
We don’t want to give every mechanic to every class if we can help it. Just above you asked if it was a bad thing to have some unique mechanics. Saying no isn’t the same as saying everyone can have some mechanics. We intend for the Shadow CC to be things like Psychic Horror and Silence, and to a much lesser extent, Mind Control.

Question 8: Shadow priest are always triggering our global cooldown but have no way to make it shorter. Are you planning to implement maybe a talent to reduce our global cooldown?
We wouldn’t do it through a talent, but we might let haste do it. Remember, the global is there for a reason. Having too many abilities short-circuit it will ultimately have consequences.

Question 9: : As you may know shadow priest have a fair amount of mobility issues, are you planning on adding a short immunity to snares after fade is used? ( Improved Fade ofcourse.)
No. We would be more likely to nerf snares. We don’t want to have an arms race of snares, then snare immunity, then the snare that can’t be made immune, and so on.

Question 10: Are you planning to add Body and Soul to the shadow tree?
No.

Question 11: The fear/blind DR has severely destroyed a lot of synergy shadowpriest and rogues shared, are you planning to revert this change next season?
No. The game needs more DR on crowd control, not less. Using your crowd control at the right time is awesome. Chaining different forms of CC together to keep an enemy from ever being able to move is a lot less fun.

Question 12: Dispersion a lot of people feel the abilities strength does not merit it as a 51 point talent, are there any plans to move this to a lower tier in the shadow tree? Will there be any plans to remove the silence effect it applies in the future?
We don’t want to remove the silence for the reason we’ve never wanted to remove it — we want Dispersion as an escape mechanism, not an offensive cooldown. We might lower Dispersion’s cooldown though. We want it to do it’s job, not get marginalized in the tree.

Question 13: Was the disarm on Psychic horror intended to occur after the “horror,” or during? Is there any intention of removing the travel time on Psychic Horror, If not will you add an animation?
What do you mean by animation? To the projectile or the target? The disarm was intended to occur during the horror.

Question 14: Psychic Scream is a very powerful spell for getting attackers off of you, but there are various ways to counter it. Would it be reasonable to add a penalty for removing this spell early, maybe a 2 second stun or a snare.
We do the dot / hot penalties because its a weakness of dots. We’re not crazy about going down the road of making all CC have a kiss / curse element with its removal.

Question 15: Most damage over time spells just tick with no special effect with an exception to a few. In order to help us damage better could we get more “effects” on our damage over time spells such as ticking hard initially and damage slowly wearing off.
This might be something we’d consider. I understand the concern.

Question 16: From my understanding there is a cooldown on Devouring Plague to keep us from putting it on multiple targets. Couldn’t you just make Devouring Plague only usable on 1 target at a time and remove the cooldown?
Yes. I’m not sure many players would consider that a buff though.

Question 17: Mind Control although this is a fun spell it isn’t very useful in pvp situations because it leaves your character immobile for however long and randomly breaks. Could mind control make the controlled target your pet but movable by using the same mechanic used to place a death and decay?
We might do something like that for pets in general. Mind Control however is a really powerful ability. Not only does it prevent the target from doing anything, it also lets you use their abilities against their allies. It’s going to be hard for us to remove too many downsides from the effect.

Question 18: Are you planning on giving spriest a new 51 point talent?
No. We want the 51-pointers to be very attractive, but not necessarily the most powerful talent in the tree. A great number, if not a majority, of Shadow priests have Dispersion so it’s hard to argue it isn’t attractive. I understand some players want the 51 to be a big damage spell for damage-dealing specs, but that just isn’t always what we think the tree needs. I’m not saying we are going to take the talent trees to 61 or 71 points soon, but if we did, just think of the expectation. Does the 71 pointer need to blow all of the previous talents out of the water? Do deeper talents need to become more powerful at the same time the character gets more of them? That leads to a lot of power inflation. We think talents probably account for too much of a character’s power already.

Natarumah’s thoughts

There are some interesting points made, but nothing really shocking. My pet irk is that GC claims we have a rotation, while we obviously have a priority. We have too many cooldowns and DoTs ticking to rotate them properly.

As for the Haste part; our scaling of Haste is indeed bad on our DoTs, since they will not tick faster. If there would be some talent akin to the Druid’s Gift of the Earthmother (which reduces their global cooldown on certain HoTs) it would certainly make me happy, but also devaluate Haste even further. We’d be gearing more and more like restoration Druids.

The part where we have to take some time to properly set up our damage also has an up side; because of this, we may lack initial output which limits our use on trash, the longer a fight lasts the more damage we will effectively deal. We have some serious mana regeneration, replenishment and Shadowfiend to keep us going for quite some time, so we slow start but are pretty heavy hitters overall.

I have to laugh at calling Silence, Mind Control and Fear our CCs. While they may have their value in PvP, they are limited in PvE content. Silence is a necessity on Hardmodes to be able to interrupt properly, yes, but it also requires us to dump 2 points into Improved Psychic Scream, which is not helping us. I know I’d probably get a stern talking-to if I decided to use Fear as a CC. And Mind Control…well…unless it severely makes the encounter easier (or is required, such as Instructor Razuvious) I’d avoid it. It is easy to break, and the aggro we get from it is quite impressive.

Mind Control in PvP is such a double-edged sword. You trade your damage potential for the gimped potential of the one you MC. It is extremely strong if opponents are alone, but most PvPers I know will geek your stationary, helpless ass if you try this to their friends.

Dispersion actually is quite a bit more useful than I had given it credit for before Wrath. Even though the silence means our damage stops for a short while, it has saved my bacon quite often, and it is easy to pop it when you can’t do anything anyway (such as in Ignis’ flag pot) and get some precious mana back. If they lower the cooldown, I think my mana would never run out again…

There is a suggestion to make out DoTs tick harder in the beginning and more weakly as the spell progresses, similar to how Wild Growth’s HoT mechanic works. One word:

No

For the love of god, no. Not only will this mean that we will be having tons of theorycrafting calculating the exact moment to refresh the DoT early for maximum damage uptime, followed by the discussion of “5 stacks of Shadoweaving then refresh Shadow Word: Pain early then Mind Flay to keep it up 2 times but no longer except when you have gain a Crit buff because then you have to refresh again…” and such drivel which will make our role a chore and about as much fun as having your tongue pulled through your intestines and used as a midnight snack at our rear end.

Also, if this was done, we’d be slapped with cooldowns on our DoTs to prevent this from happening (like Wild Growth) which means our rotation gets even more complex. If this were to happen, I’d go bonkers.

Conclusion

I will reserve my judgments primarily for the official Q&A session for priests, but it seems than we are actually in line with GC’s expectations of our class. We provide Replenishment as one of the few, we have good survivability and deal adequate damage. Sure, we´re no mages or warlocks, but we have our place and are appreciated.

While Purplecadet puts forth some interesting notions and valid concerns, I believe that if these suggestions would be implemented, we´d be a class that could only be played by people with chronic OCD.

Shadowpriests’ new threads: Raiments of Sanctification

Posted in News, Raids and Instances, Shadowpriest with tags , , , on March 19, 2009 by Natarumah

inv_shoulder_94Today, MMO-Champion released the looks and stats of the various Tier 8 sets. They’re not all there, but at least we can get a sneak peek at what our Tier 8 set will be like. Below a picture and the stats of the 10man version. I will post the 25man version when I can find it. Set bonuses will obviously be the same on both sets.

t8_10_priest_spelldpsValorous Raiments of Sanctification [Robe]

  • +81 Sta, +71 Int
  • Blue and Yellow sockets, socket bonus +6 Crit
  • +54 Haste, +68 Hit, +124 Spellpower

Valorous Pants of Sanctification [Legs]

  • +93 Sta, +76 Int, +52 Spi
  • Red and Yellow sockets, socket bonus +6 Hit
  • +70 Haste, +105 Spellpower

Valorous Circlet of Sanctification [Head]

  • +78 Sta, +7o Int
  • Meta and Red sockets, socket bonus +8 Int
  • +60 Haste, +65 Crit, +105 Spellpower

Valorous Mantle of Sanctification [Shoulder]

  • +48 Sta, +60 Int, +46 Spi
  • Red socket, socket bonus +5 Spellpower
  • +57 Crit, +83 Spellpower

Valorous Handwraps of Sanctification [Hands]

  • +57 Sta, +41 Int, +49 Spi
  • Yellow socket, socket bonus +4 Hit
  • +59 Crit, +92 Spellpower

Set bonuses

  • (2): Increases the damage of your Devouring Plague by 15%
  • (4): Your Mind Blast also gives you 15 Haste rating for until cancelled

Totals (Without gems and socket bonuses)

  • +357 Sta, +318 Int, +147 Spi
  • +68 Hit, +184 Haste, +181 Crit
  • +509 Spellpower
  • Meta socket, Blue socket, 3 Yellow sockets, 2 Red sockets

The 4-piece set bonus is worded very strangely. Taken literally, it would mean that the 15 Haste from casting Mind Blast will last for as long as you do not cancel it. Considering that 15 Haste is a rediculously small bonus, that would make this really not worth it. It’s just like having 15 extra Haste on your gear, except you have to cast Mind Blast to activate it.

Rather, I think that the bonus is applied to Mind Flay instead, making Mind Flay specifically faster without affecting other spells (as it will be cancelled again when you cancel Mind Flay). Even so, for a 4-piece set bonus, it is rather paltry. I’d imagine 30-120 rating, rather, making from 1% to 4% increase in channeling speed at level 80.

But, the set looks good. I like the designs for the tier 8 on average (except for Rogue), and I am glad to see the designs have been gotten some attention to detail.

Ninja Edit: As Nezoia pointed out in this post on MMO_Champion, the following buff is generated by the 4-piece set bonus:  Devious Mind.

Devious Mind increases Haste rating by 240 for 4 seconds.  Which would allow for some snazzy hyper-Mind Flay action. Just saying.

Return to Innocence

Posted in Shadowpriest with tags , , on March 10, 2009 by Natarumah

inv_offhand_stratholme_a_02With the completion of the Anathema questline last week, I have been pondering doing all of the other “classic priest” quests and getting the old sets. I am talking about transforming Dungeon Set 1 into Dungeon Set 2, and the like. Doing so would have a few advantages:

  • Clearing old world dungeons for rep / Dungeon Set 1
  • Doing some quests to turn that into Dungeon Set 2
    • Gaining rep with various factions in the process
    • Adding to the “Quests done” and “Loremaster” achievements
    • Getting rid of some old enchanting/leatherworking mats
  • Perhaps having some set items drop for my Druid and Warlock to do the same
  • Quests being at your level, I would still gain some gold from it

Anyway, this is the list as I have prepared it:

Priest Dungeon Set 1 (Vestments of the Devout)

  • Devout Belt (Trash Mobs in Blackrock Spire, BoE)
  • Devout Bracers (Trash Mobs in Stratholme, BoE)
  • Devout Crown (Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance, BoP)
  • Devout Gloves (Archivist Galford in Stratholme, BoE)
  • Devout Mantle (Solakar Flamewreathe in Upper Blackrock Spire, BoP)
  • Devout Robe (General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire, BoP)
  • Devout Sandals (Malekki the Pallid in Stratholme, BoP)
  • Devout Skirt (Baron Rivendare in Stratholme, BoP)

Most of this can be soloed, although I have done this on my Druid before and I think my Shade may be a tad more squishy. Either way the best way to find out is to go out and try it. I will update this list when I get an item. I am not going to hurry it though, this is not a week project in its entirety.

Dungeon Set 2 (Vestments of the Virtuous)

In addition to requiring pieces of Dungeon Set 1, these quest chains ask for a truckload of items. Each questline converts a “batch” of items at once, as follows:

Questline 1: Bracers
Questline 2: Belt and Gloves
Questline 3: Pants, Shoulders and Boots
Questline 4: Helm and Chest

My shopping list to get these quests done consists of the following (mileage may vary depending on drops, AH and profession alts):

  • 180 gold total
  • Delicate Arcanite Convertor [Engineering Alt]
  • Greater Eternal Essence x4 [Enchanting leftovers]
  • Stonescale Oil x10 [Alchemist Alt]
  • Goblin Rocket fuel as needed [Engineering Alt]
  • Dark Iron Bar x3 [AH]
  • Mooncloth x3 [Tailoring, AH]
  • Enchanted Leather x20 [Leatherworking Alt, AH]
  • Cured Rugged Hide x4 [Leatherworking Alt]
  • Large Brilliant Shard x8 [Enchanting leftovers]
  • Dark Rune x5 [Farming, BoP]
  • Flask of Supreme Power [Alchemist Alt]
  • Firebloom x5 [Alchemist Alt]
  • 4 Twilight Cultist’s Trappings (Cowl, Robe, Mantle) [Farming, AH]
  • Twilight Cultist’s Medallion of Station [Quest]
    • Large Brilliant Shard [Enchanting Leftovers]
    • Abyssal Crest x3 (Using 3 of the Twilight Sets) [Summoning Dukes]

Well, that is the list so far. A long road ahead of me, and I will take some off hours now and then when I have nothing to do to get some of this stuff done. I have a good idea on what to do and how to get there, and it will help me get quite some achievements. Also, it will give my production alts something to do, level on, and strive to achieve as well!