Now with Blizzard's official wording!
We’ve heard your feedback on Shadow Priests and spent some time performing more extensive changes to the spec – including changes to baseline skills and talents. Most importantly, we’ve taken a deeper look at Void Form.
Along with Insanity, Void Form was introduced in Legion as a central component of a Shadow Priest redesign that explored the fantasy of tapping into dark, mind-twisting void magic for temporary power. From a gameplay standpoint, this was expressed as building up Insanity, entering Void Form, then battling against decaying Insanity to prolong your time in this powerful state.
This design has not been a clear winner for several players as we often receive feedback that people do not enjoy fighting the resource decay in order to inflict reasonable damage. On the other hand, we also hear from people who enjoy Void Form but feel it is not transformative enough. Over time, the design has proved problematic and Void Form uptime has dominated the spec, going far beyond our original intention. Now, any talents, items, legendaries, etc. that do not feed into Void Form are considered undesirable.
We want time in Void Form to feel more impactful and as a result, we are limiting the time you can undergo the transformation by applying a cooldown. By default, the ability will no longer have the decaying resource mechanic, but that gameplay will be more appropriately placed in the redesigned talent, Legacy of the Void, so that players can have the option to choose the “legacy” feel of Void Form.
Feedback suggested the duration of Devouring Plague was too long. While we reduced the duration from its historic 21 second duration to 12 seconds, we agree this still feels too long so we’re reducing it further to 6 seconds. We’ve also fixed bugs that prevented Devouring Plague from scaling with Haste or Critical Strike and we’ve also increased its damage.
General gameplay changes
We’re introducing a new passive called Dark Thoughts that adds a baseline proc in the rotation which we feel spices up the general rotation. We want damage over time effects to matter to Shadow Priests, so we’ve made it so Dark Thoughts and other mechanics interact with that core theme.
We’ve gone through a number of talents and made adjustments in an effort to make choices a bit more competitive in a variety of situations. Unfurling Darkness and Psychic Link support Shadow Priests multi-dotting strength, while Damnation and Surrender to Madness provide tools for Shadow Priests to quickly burst targets down when the encounter demands it.
Lastly, we want to spotlight the new talent, Searing Nightmare. Searing Nightmare can assist Shadow Priests in situations like Mythic+ where higher sustained AOE could be useful.
Thanks everyone for your feedback and your unending passion.
Changes to base skills
- The cast time of Void Eruption has been reduced by 40%.
- Mind Blast reduces the cooldown of Mind Blast by 7.5 sec. (and not for 7 seconds, as before).
- Shadow Word: Death no longer increases Insanity.
- The Shadowy Apparitions effect has been reworked: when you use Mind Blast, Devouring Plague, or Void Bolt, you create your own ghostly copies that move towards all enemies affected by your Vampiric Touch and deal damage to them from dark magic. On a critical strike, two Apparitions appear.
Now has a 90 second cooldown and increases the damage done by 20%. Lasts 15 sec.
- Voidform no longer reduces the cooldown of Mind Blast, but instantly restores the spell upon cast, and grants you 2 charges while in Voidform.
- While in Voidform, you no longer gain a Haste bonus every 0.5 sec.
- Devouring Plague's duration has been reduced to 6 seconds and damage dealt is increased by 50%.
Developer comment: Reducing the duration of the damage over time effect in order to make the damage from the spell sharper will help to avoid reapplication of the effect (taking into account the possible excess damage).
can now critically hit. Devouring Plague
is now available at level 20.
- Dark Thoughts (Passive) (Level 16): For every damage over time you cast on the target, Mind Flay and Mind Sear have a 2% chance to gain a Mind Blast charge and make it instant cast. For the next 6 sec. Mind Blast can be cast while channeling Mind Flay or Mind Sear.
The effect of "Dark Thoughts" can stack up to 5 times if it procs several times in a row.
- Lingering Insanity (Talent) removed.
- Dark Void (Talent) removed.
- New Talent Searing Nightmare: Instantly inflicts Shadow damage to all enemies near the target and applies Shadow Word: Pain to them. If the enemy is already affected by your Shadow Word: Pain, Searing Nightmare deals double damage. Can only be cast while channeling Mind Sear.
- New Talent Damnation: Instantly and at no resource cost, hits the target with Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch, and Devouring Plague. 45 sec cooldown.
- Void Torrent: No longer pauses Insanity Drain on cast, but now refreshes the duration of your Shadow damage over time effects when channeling.
- (Talent) removed.
- The Legacy of the Void talent has been reworked: Voidform no longer has a duration, but while you assume Voidform, your madness will begin to decrease at an increasing rate. When it reaches 0, Voidform will expire. Spell damage in Voidform is increased by an additional 5%.
- Surrender to Madness: Cooldown reduced to 90 seconds.
- New Talent: Ancient Madness: When you cast Voidform, your critical strike chance is increased by 30% for 15 sec. This increase gradually decreases by 2% per second.
- New Talent: Lasting Plague: Increases the duration of Devouring Plague by 6 sec.