Independence? More like restricted.
Seasons Greetings and happy belated Canada Day to my Canadian readers. While today is about the USofA celebrating their 236th anniversary of liberation from oppression, my post will have nothing to do with anything related to politics (OH SWEET JESUS NOT POLITICS ON THE INTERWEBS, THANK YOU.). Enjoy your cookouts, barbeques, fireworks and general togetherness today!
As some people know, despite having a beta invite, I have neglected to play at all on the beta with the new talents and changes. A few days ago I found myself talking to Walks about the changes to shadow priests on the beta in comparison to the first post I made shortly after Blizzcon, highlighting the initial proposed changes to shadow priests. While some things have remained the same, a lot of the abilities and glyphs have changed. The list of shadow specific talents looks like this:
(10) – Mind Flay: The same old mind flay we have come to know and love. Now with improved spell coefficients!
(20) – Spiritual Precision: Replaces Twisted Faith. 1-to-1 Spirit to hit conversion, but the 2% bonus spell damage doesn’t carry over.
(21) – Devouring Plague *new*: Now consumes shadow orbs to deal damage instantly and over time. The duration of the debuff has been reduced from 24 seconds to 6 seconds. Healing granted to the caster reduced from 15% to 1%.
(21) – Mind Blast *new*: No longer empowered by shadow orbs. Cooldown increased from 6.5 to 8 seconds. Now grants a shadow orb for Devouring Plague or Psychic Horror.
(21) – Shadow Orbs *new*: Now function as a resource to empower Devouring Plague or Psychic Horror. No longer increase the periodic damage of your spells.
(24) – Shadowform: Increased the damage bonus to 20% from 15%. Everything else is unchanged.
(28) – Vampiric Touch: Now grants 2% mana to the caster each time it deals damage.
(42) – Shadowy Apparitions: Now are baseline talents and no longer need to be talented. Maximum number allowed dropped to 3 from 4.
(44) – Mind Spike: The same mind spike we love to hate. May be useful with certain talents, otherwise still junk!
(52) – Silence: The same silence as always. Now no longer needs to be talented. (Hooray!)
(60) – Dispersion: Same dispersion as in live.
(74) – Psychic Horror: The same psychic horror, except the horror duration will vary between 1-4 seconds based on the number of shadow orbs consumed when cast. Disarm is still 10 seconds, and no longer is talented!
(78) – Vampiric Embrace *New*: Grants the caster 50% of the damage dealt as healing, split evenly among party members. Lasts 15 seconds, 3 minute cooldown. Man did they take a staple feature of shadow priests and turn it into utter rubbish.
(80) - Shadowy Recall (mastery) *new*: Your damage over time spells have an 8% chance to deal twice the damage when they deal damage. Each post of mastery increases the chance by 1.0%. Interesting, its almost like a built-in dragonwrath to go with your dragonwrath already. TARAGOCEPTION!
(87) – Void Shift: Void Shift used to be the level 90 tier talent, but is now baseline. The effect is still the same, you swap health pools with the current target, and if the current target is below 25% health, they are brought up to 25% health.
(90) – Symbiosis (Druid) *new*: Grants the caster a version of the casting druid’s spells for a version of your own. Persists through death, cannot be cast in combat. For shadow priests, we will always get Tranquility no matter what spec of druid may link with us. This form of tranquility DOES NOT drop shadowform.
By a quick look of the shadow-centric talents, there aren’t a lot of really striking changes that are favorable to the PvE environment for shadow priests. Psychic Horror and Silence are nice to have, except they are both useless in raids. Shadowy Recall has some promise to it, although I wish the amount gained through mastery was much higher than 1% per point. Shadow Tranquility is nice in not having to drop shadowfrom, but it takes away from our role as a damage dealer for that time period. The empowered mind blasts were very nice combined with the increase in cooldown, and even then only taking a tier talent can grant a quicker proc, I have a feeling Mind Blast is going to be going down in far of damage output, hopefully empowering Devouring Plague makes up for it. Speaking of which, reducing that damage returned from that to 1% is extremely abysmal, they should just remove that mechanic entirely because the amount of healing it will do in 6 seconds will not help any raid encounter in a matter of life or death. I am not enthused at all by the radical changes to priests, nor am I by the fact that since BC, all the devs were able to thing up for us were Dispersion and Mind Spike. With Void Shift being a baseline talent it looks like shadow priests may have a few raid/tank cooldowns in their arsenal still.
Prime Glyphs have also been removed, with both the major and minor glyphs functioning either aesthetically or providing a damage reduction, instead of enhancing some of our damage dealing spells. Mind Flay now increases our movement speed (which is amazing when you have to stand still to cast the spell, by the way), and no longer slows the target down. Shadow Word: Death now allows you to cast it anytime, but for 25% of the damage, and you get full recoil, which can hurt in the execute range. Glyph of Disperion got it cooldown reduction cut from 45 seconds to 15 seconds and the same for Psychic Horror, which went from 30 to 10 seconds. A lot of the glyphs that are in the system right now, almost make me feel like I can raid (to my fullest potential) without having to run any glyphs (from a DPS perspective). Glyphs, such as Inner Sanctum, which reduces all spell damage by 6%, will ostensibly help your raid, but I like to think that since my role is dealing damage, that you know, they have something that facilitate the dealing of damage by one or some of our spells. I will get into talking about the tier talents soon(tm), but at the rate that they have changed so many times for priests since they first came out in October, I don’t feel giving them an assessment now, when they might change again, is worth it. Whereas, w know the baseline spells are going to be there when Mists is released.
I am hopeful that priests will be a polished class by the time Mists comes out, I just hope we do not have to do a lot of relearning how to play our classes, no matter what class it might be. Have a safe and Happy Midsummer Holiday!