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#1 Oct 04 2010 at 6:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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We've had very little talk of the Shadow tree recently, and with 4.0 right around the corner, we need to hop to it!

Damn healers taking up all the limelight...

I'm not bitter at all. Nope. Anywho.

I just discovered something very alarming the other day when browsing Shadowpriest.com.

One of the theorycrafters over there did some number crunching, and discovered a disturbing little fact: Shadow's Mastery is currently completely useless, and the shadow priests that know what they're doing will be avoiding this stat like the plague.

I'll spare you the numbers, but it works like this: Mind Blast just isn't cast enough that having a random proc to boost its damage is worth it as a mastery. When compared to haste, and even crit, it falls behind. In fact, compared to crit, mastery is only half as useful to a raiding shadow priest.

But then why doesn't Blizzard squiddle with the numbers and, say, increase the damage boost on the orbs? You know, if the Mind Blast can't hit more often, just make it hit for harder. Simple.

Well, they can't do that because of PvP reasons. Mind Blast is already hitting for fairly hard on Beta with 3 orbs and Evangelism up. Increasing the orbs damage will only make them hit much, much harder. So while Shadow will go form underwhelming to competitive in PvE, it'll go to completely overpowered in PvP. Something that Blizzard, obviously, doesn't want to do.

"But wait!" you say. "Mastery isn't supposed to even be on PvP gear!" This is true, but there's nothing stopping players from reforging or enchanting the stat onto the gear. And I don't even know about trinkets, consumables, etc.

The players have come up with a few solutions themselves to suggest, among them being a reduced cooldown on Mind Blast with mastery, making the target take x% more damage after a Mind Blast, or even just a flat DoT damage increase. These each have their problems, though. Some would be overpowered, some would run into the same PvP issue, and that last one would just be blurring the already barely-visible line between Affliction Warlocks and Shadow Priests.

Ghostcrawler hasn't been silent on the issue. But not much better. The only response I've seen of his went like so:

Ghostcrawler wrote:
It's easy to increase the bonus per mastery point for Shadow if crit ends up being a far better stat. It's a little trickier to get Shadow (or any dot class) to devalue haste.


...Which brings us right back to the PvP problem.

But that's what they did. As of build 13033, each point of Mastery increases MB damage by 4.3%, which is an improvement.

And that should bring things back into line, right? Wrong.

There's a program out there called SimulationCraft. It's an excellent tool, and it's the program to use for theorycrafters to calculate what stats to go for and why. Here's the results it spit out (higher number = worth more):

SimulationCraft wrote:
The new 13033 results:
DPS: 15715.7
Scale Factors:
Normalized Int=1.0000 Spi=0.4138 SP=0.7279 Hit=0.4128 Crit=0.3160 Haste=0.3479 Mastery=0.1221 DPS/Int=2.7011


Aw crap. Mastery is still almost three times as bad as Crit. And on top of that, they can't boost Mind Blast any further, as it's already hitting in the range of ~25k. Not good.

Hopefully Blizzard can think of something, and us Shadow priests don't have to pull another ICC. For those of you who didn't pay much attention, Shadow Priests were generally subpar up until 3.3 (when ICC came out), when Shadowform let our DoTs scale with Haste. And all was well.

Having to wait through 3 tiers of content just to be competitive? Ugh, please no.

So... opinions? Discussion? Staring at me like I'm a loon because everybody here heals (weirdos)?

Edited, Oct 4th 2010 8:28pm by IDrownFish
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#2 Oct 04 2010 at 8:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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What are you doing? Don't you know this is the priest forum? What's 'shadow' anyway?
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#3 Oct 04 2010 at 8:15 PM Rating: Good
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First off and most importantly, apart from mastery, I think we're in good shape going into 4.0/Cataclysm. While it's highly entertaining to read the-sky-is-falling posts, it looks as if just about every class except perhaps mages is indulging in it.

I don't think there's a whole lot to say right now about the SP mastery except that it's mathematically broken and really hard to see how they'll fix it unless they make it work one way in PVE and another in PVP. I don't even know if Blizz has the tech to do that.

People are proposing all sorts of ideas to fix it. I'm more than a little doubtful that they're going to completely change SP mastery at this late date.

As I've written over there, I'm really more interested in what the devs were thinking about when they designed it because clearly, once you run the numbers, it's anything but attractive. I think it's pretty hard to imagine this is what they wanted the end result to be. I'm not at all clear about what it was supposed to be conceptually.

The optimal Mastery percentage for SPriests is zero? For now, Yeah. Reforge all of your mastery stats into something else or as much as you can realistically.

So it's a wait-and-see and try to be hopeful situation. I'll let others do the game designing.

I'm still getting used to the idea of SW:Death in my normal rotation. And I might actually skip a bit of damage to get some extra CC. It's no end of amusement to get targets to drop their weapons with Psychic Horror and the Glyph of Psychic Scream (AOE freeze for mobs) is pretty hot. Mind Control is much improved as well.

Maybe after I'm done leveling I'll get serious. Maybe. Rambling again I am.

Edited, Oct 4th 2010 10:17pm by Moanique

Edited, Oct 4th 2010 10:18pm by Moanique
#4 Oct 04 2010 at 8:31 PM Rating: Good
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So how much does this MB spell heal for these days?

The mastery needs to be scrapped and something new done, most other classes have a mastery that are always active for the bulk of there damage. Having shadow's mastery effect only 1 spell is setting it up for fail as a mechanic. As to make it powerful enough to be valued in PvE it makes it OP for PvP.

You don't have to wear PvP gear to PvP and even today many classes only wear enough PvP gear then use PvE stuff. The mastery is all ready setting up to be a OP PvP stat for shadow in its current form. Massive burst always gets nerfed, usually to the detriment of PvE.

Having the mastery rating effect DD over DoTs is fine and nearly required so as to not make Shadow an Affliction clone. Just boosting one spell is setting the stat up to fail or become OP. Neither of which is acceptable. Having the mastery affect all DD (being MB, MF, SW:D, IDP and SA) would be much simpler and easier to balance.

The idea of spinning orbs is pretty cool though.
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#5 Oct 04 2010 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Blah blah shadow blah mastery blah whatever. Enough of this on-topic stuff. You should be working on your NaNo plot.

Okay but really, I'm sorry I don't have a lot to contribute to shadow threads, but I do agree there aren't enough of them. It's not like the healers are hogging all the cookies, shadow peeps. We will share if you post moar.

I've always enjoyed my forays into the dark side and I find the discussion interesting even if I don't know squat.
#6 Oct 04 2010 at 8:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mozared wrote:
What are you doing? Don't you know this is the priest forum? What's 'shadow' anyway?


Sorry. I tried posting this in the Warlock forum, but all two of them over in that ghost town decided to chain fear me away.

teacake wrote:
Blah blah shadow blah mastery blah whatever. Enough of this on-topic stuff. You should be working on your NaNo plot.


I think I've got a few ideas, but first I've got to finish college stuff. First semester of our senior year sucks.

I'll probably cram it all in come November. Go go sleepless nights!
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#7 Oct 04 2010 at 9:11 PM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish wrote:
Mozared wrote:
What are you doing? Don't you know this is the priest forum? What's 'shadow' anyway?


Sorry. I tried posting this in the Warlock forum, but all two of them over in that ghost town decided to chain fear me away.


Wow, they have two posters now. I'm impressed.
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#8 Oct 04 2010 at 9:29 PM Rating: Good
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My only complaint about the 4.0 Shadow is how the apparition look exactly like me. To the point where I'll get people asking "Why the HELL is this priest walking to the boss!"

That and yes, the orbs do seem kinda useless. "Let's add something ELSE that slowly builds up as the fight goes on to improve shadow DPS!" Just to clarify, we already have to wait for DoTs to tick for damage and build stacks of shadow weaving (Dark Evangelism in 4.0, which we can't get to at 80 anyways). I just wonder if Blizz has 3 trains of thought for DPS; Slow, Simple, or Insane.

Slow start-up (Us, Ret pallies at least used to be, don't know any more)
2 button rotation with cooldowns (arcane mages, I'm looking at you!)
High maintenance (I looked at Feral DPS once and decided NEVER to try it.)

Beyond that, shadow is shadow. It hasn't changed much for in this patch. Probably why there isn't much discussion beyond mastery being kinda craptastic. And, let's face it, we're not the O-boards, we have dignity!

(well, YOU people have dignity, I just have voices.)
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#9 Oct 04 2010 at 10:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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Horsemouth wrote:
IDrownFish wrote:

Mozared wrote:

What are you doing? Don't you know this is the priest forum? What's 'shadow' anyway?



Sorry. I tried posting this in the Warlock forum, but all two of them over in that ghost town decided to chain fear me away.



Wow, they have two posters now. I'm impressed.


Not really. I'm the second one; and I mostly just troll, spout nonsense, and chase people away. Smiley: oyvey
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#10 Oct 04 2010 at 10:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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BakaShinobi wrote:

And, let's face it, we're not the O-boards, we have dignity!

(well, YOU people have dignity, I just have voices.)


I can be plenty undignified if I'm provoked.

OnTopic: Ramp-up is apparently even slower than it was with Shadow Weaving. Dark Evangelism takes something like 20 seconds to get fully...engorged, as it were.

There's some undignity for ya...
#11 Oct 04 2010 at 11:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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teacake wrote:

It's not like the healers are hogging all the cookies, shadow peeps. We will share if you post moar.


Dark purple shadowy cookies...mmmmmm
#12 Oct 05 2010 at 2:43 AM Rating: Good
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BakaShinobi wrote:
High maintenance (I looked at Feral DPS once and decided NEVER to try it.)


The DPS is insane when you do it at a high level.

Like I will crush people with way higher gear scores if I don't make a mistake and be near them if I play it well.

Do it poorly and the results are terrible or mediocre. Do it decently and the DPS is decent.

Feral DPS scales with skill more than any other DPS spec I know of in WotLK.
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#13 Oct 05 2010 at 7:55 AM Rating: Good
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Horsemouth wrote:
BakaShinobi wrote:
High maintenance (I looked at Feral DPS once and decided NEVER to try it.)


The DPS is insane when you do it at a high level.

Like I will crush people with way higher gear scores if I don't make a mistake and be near them if I play it well.

Do it poorly and the results are terrible or mediocre. Do it decently and the DPS is decent.

Feral DPS scales with skill more than any other DPS spec I know of in WotLK.


I believe it. Sometimes we have a our bear druid DPS in tank spec and gear and he did amazing DPS.

I just have NO idea what your supposed to do to manage it.
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If a group is getting on to you for using PW:Shield as a Discipline priest (or jeez even a Holy priest), you have my permission to say "GC says you're doing it wrong."

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#14 Oct 05 2010 at 8:40 AM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish wrote:
Hopefully Blizzard can think of something, and us Shadow priests don't have to pull another ICC. For those of you who didn't pay much attention, Shadow Priests were generally subpar up until 3.3 (when ICC came out), when Shadowform let our DoTs scale with Haste. And all was well.


I don’t think it will come to that because, well, we don’t have to stack mastery. Choose gear, reforge, gem and enchant for spirit until the hit cap, then for haste. We’ll still end up with more mastery than we want, but on the other hand, it’s lagging behind the other stats because *they* scale *really* well for us. Our DoT ticks crit for 100% now, and haste adds ticks.

But I secretly hope they’ll boost shadow orbs more, to the point where we’re PVP burst terrors. I may even give up my RMP team for the next season, and go shadowpriest/affliction/shaman.

Now, let’s talk about the real issue.

Why shadow orbs? Why not shadow ravens, like the Scarlet Crusade’s shadowpriests have? That would have been freaking AWESOME.

And as long as we’re talking looks...Baka, Shadowy Apparition looks great to me, really ominous. I hope someone writes an addon that tells us at what instant we need to be moving to raise its chances of triggering. You could time casting SWD and Devouring Plague so that you’re in motion at that moment. That might be tricky with really fast ticks.

Incidentally, did they swap Borrowed Time back out of Tier 2? Darn, that looked like a pretty sweet pickup for PVP shadow.
#15 Oct 05 2010 at 12:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I haven't kept up with shadow changes much, been focusing more on my mage, but last nite one of my guildies mentioned something about shadow mastery being improved by like 700%. I can't find anything about it anywhere with a random googling, but maybe someone who's watching EJ will know what I'm talking about. The people who were talking about were saying that's how bad it really was. 700%? Anyone seen this anywhere?
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#16 Oct 05 2010 at 12:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Oh, and
Quote:

My only complaint about the 4.0 Shadow is how the apparition look exactly like me. To the point where I'll get people asking "Why the HELL is this priest walking to the boss!"


Last nite on LK the RL was yelling "CLUMP UP PEOPLE, COME ON, I SAID CLUMP UP!" then, "Oh, nevermind, I am yelling at mirror images." lol As a mage irl, remember this when it's your turn to be bitten on BQL. I have to make sure I don't pop my images right before I get bitten or else there is confusion. :)
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#17 Oct 05 2010 at 1:13 PM Rating: Good
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Trilliandent wrote:
I haven't kept up with shadow changes much, been focusing more on my mage, but last nite one of my guildies mentioned something about shadow mastery being improved by like 700%.


The base damage of shadowy apparition (not shadow mastery) was increased by 700%, which is less impressive when you realize its base damage was quite low. Its scaling from spellpower is unchanged.

#18 Oct 05 2010 at 4:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Ah okay, thanks.
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#19 Oct 05 2010 at 8:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Just to fill in the specific numbers: base damage from Shadowy Apparition went from 62.5 to 500 (+700%).

Build 13131.

So basically from nothing at all to something.


Edited, Oct 5th 2010 10:04pm by Moanique
#20 Oct 11 2010 at 2:14 PM Rating: Good
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For all you raiding spriests out there, be sure to check out the 4.0.1 Checklist over at Shadowpriest.com. We've got some important changes ahead of us, and we need to make sure we're ready.

I know I myself am raiding tomorrow night, so I get to experience all the shiny new mechanics as soon as possible.
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#21 Oct 15 2010 at 9:48 AM Rating: Good
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If you never had the experience in endgame vanilla of being one of the most feared opponents due to your facemelting powers, you should definitely try out some shadowpriest this weekend. Hasted, critting DoTs are just devestating.
#22 Oct 15 2010 at 10:02 AM Rating: Good
I've come to the same conclusion. Late Vanilla/Early TBC Shadowpriest feel is definitely back, with a couple of additions. SW:Death is now ridiculously dangerous to almost any foe, when you barrage them with it along with the ridiculous DoT ticks and Shadowy Apparitions (yes, I am currently PvPing with a PvE centric specc, since I used the other specc for healing purposes). When I specc for dual Shadow, I'm going to have a field day with the downright ridiculously all-rounder caster role in both PvP and PvE I think.

The Priest has taken my Rogue's place as the main due to this patch. Since I can't hybrid specc the Rogue anymore, it's lost all it's charm in PvP.
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#23 Oct 15 2010 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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I suspect it’s the removal of armor penetration that’s made such a huge difference. AP favored plate over cloth heavily; now that it’s gone, the balance between casters and melee is shifted heavily. And priests usually have the edge in a caster fight.

By the way, resilience no longer affects Mana Burn. Another good reason to stack haste instead of crit.
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