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Posts with tag shadowfiend

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow as a secondary spec in 3.1

Every week, Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host today is Alex Ziebart who doesn't have as many cool links to plug up here as Matticus does but will try anyway. This week we get our Shadowform on..

Dual specs are coming, probably only a week away, and I suspect that many Holy and/or Discipline Priests out there will be picking up a Shadow build as their second spec. Priests, like most classes, can have many little build variations to fit your playstyle: Raiding, soloing, doing Battlegrounds, doing arenas, all of that. I'm going to look at a couple of good PvE specs to use in patch 3.1, but unfortunately avoiding the PvP specs for you arena junkies in our audience. Trust me, you don't want to take my advice there. Discipline PvP maybe, but not Shadow.

PvE Shadow - Raiding
MMO-Champion has a great tool for setting up talent specs, because you can include your glyphs as well, so we're going to be using that. This spec (14/0/57) will be a fairly cookie-cutter raiding build in patch 3.1, with only very minor variations from person to person. The Shadow tree isn't a very complicated one. Either a talent boosts your DPS, or it does something else. For a raiding spec, you want all of the DPS talents and you can skip all of the 'something else' talents unless they're mandatory for a DPS talent. It's pretty straightforward. Even in the Discipline tree the ultimate goal is to pick up the DPS talents, Twin Disciplines and Improved Inner Fire. Meditation isn't a direct DPS talent, but having no mana is certainly a DPS hit.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Shadowfiend nerf explained by GC

Ghostcrawler makes a quick run by the forums to break down that Shadowfiend nerf we heard about yesterday. The patch notes in the new build say that a Priest's creepy little best friend has lost their "reduced chance to be hit by spells and melee attacks." Apparently, Shadowfiends had a (completely?) random chance to sometimes cause a miss on various attacks aimed at them. Lots of people saw that as a nerf (and it is), but there are two buffs on the way, according to GC: Not only are the little fiends getting an HP buff "for PvP, " but they're also getting the standard pet AoE avoidance in PvE so they'll be able to stay alive longer on bosses that shell out damage to everything around them.

There was also a bit of confusion on the datamined suggestion that Body and Soul is getting a nerf -- GC clarifies that the talent has two ranks, one at 30% and one at 60% movement bonus. That's been the way since we first heard about it -- no change to Body and Soul right now.

That said, remember that all class changes are still not carved in stone until they go on to the live realms. The planned Shadowfiend changes may not ever go through, but clearly GC and Blizzard are trying to make Shadowfiend surivivability much less random than just a chance to not get hit. Until we see just what the HP bonus is, it may still be a nerf, but at least it'll be based on specific rules rather than RNG.

Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Talents, Buffs

Breakfast Topic: Your wish

When I was first exploring the Wrath of the Lich King beta, I thought that the Dalaran Wishing Fountain was one of the coolest things ever. I'm an avid angler in WoW, and I'm a huge lore geek. Combining the two is a recipe for success, I think! I really enjoyed the ability to get a little glimpse into the mind of various lore characters, and it was offered up in a pretty interactive way. It's not only the fun quotes, but a sense of discovery accompanies each new coin.

The contents of the fountain has inspired a question that's been making the rounds through the WoW community: If you had a coin in that fountain, what would it say? What wish or musing would be left on it? I posed the question to the WoW Insider team to see what they would come up with, ranging from the silly to the serious, from speaking in-character to speaking as a player. Here's what they (we) had to say...

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Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Shadow Priest changes

The PTR patch notes have hit, and while we don't have the entire spread of changes yet (they'll be coming in waves), we do have a lot of pretty good material to look at. Personally, I think the Shadow Priest changes are pretty great this time around. PvP Shadow Priests might feel a little disappointed, but PvE Priests should be fairly happy with how things are going so far.

Even PvP received a few good buffs, but while it's a step in the right direction, it simply isn't enough. It feels as if they're trying to approach some of the big issues carefully, when they really do need to go in there and start making pretty sweeping changes to the PvP-centric talents of the Shadow Priest. A lot needs to change to make the Shadow Priest relevant in PvP again without strapping a Warlock to their hip at all times.

Enough of that, though. Let's look into the changes, shall we?
  • Shadowfiend: Health scaling increased. Now receives 30% of the master's spell power. Mana return increased to 5%, up from 4%. The Shadowfiend now receives mana when its melee attacks land, rather than when it deals damage. Movement speed normalized to player movement speed. Tooltip revised.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Shadow Priest changes in patch 3.0.3

Patch 3.0.3 is going up on live realms today, and with it comes changes. Shadow Priests manage to get by without a massive list of changes and balancing acts, but the changes we do get are pretty good ones, I think. If you're interested in what you'll be seeing this afternoon, read on!
  • Devouring Plague: The bonus coefficient has been increased to be on par with other DoT spells. Base damage on ranks 7,8,and 9 decreased to partially compensate for better scaling.
This is very, very nice. Devouring Plague's damage was pretty pitiful for awhile there, right after they spread it to all Priests. It was sometimes even questionable whether it was actually worth using in raid situations because of the GCD and debuff slot. It needed this buff, and I'm glad to see it. The healing from it will be nice now as well, because every little bit helps with Shadow Word: Death around.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Shadow Priests beaten to death in the Wrath beta

It has taken me a few tries to talk about Shadow Priests today, because I've had a difficult time even wrapping my mind around last night's Wrath Beta patch. It was one of those dreaded "balancing" patches, in which everything and everyone is brutally beaten with nerfs to bring their damage in line. The only problem with that is Shadow Priests were beaten just as hard, if not harder than many other classes, long before we ever had anything resembling competitive damage.

Edit: It looks like this is mostly being reverted, so the changes in this content patch were ultimately completely arbtirary and baseless. If you're still curious as to what those changes were, keep reading.

Let's look at what this patch had in store for us, shall we?
  • Fade now only has one rank, and it temporarily drops all of your threat.
Well, this is good. You can make as many arguments for the old Fade as you want, but it was just dumb. A tiny temporary threat drop that didn't scale was a pain to use, even if it was possible to use. Just because you can use something doesn't mean it's especially effective. I like this change. However...

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Priests' Shadowfiend gets a nice boost in 2.3

For those who don't play Priests, Shadowfiend is a level 66 spell for Priests that summons a short duration pet to attack a mob. The damage the pet does comes back to the Priest in the form of mana. It's Blizzard's way of giving Priests some form of mana regen in a dps form.

Player Xanthin of the Gnomeregan server noticed something odd about his Shadowfiend pet after the latest patch. In a fight, the Shadowfiend returns about 350-450 mana from the pet's crits. But after the patch, his pet returned much more mana to him. In the neighborhood of 800 mana and as high as 1260. What had changed?

CM Nethaera stepped in to enlighten confused priests: Shadowfiend scales on +damage gear. Since all +healing gear got an extra boost of +dmg, the Priests' pet is returning much bigger numbers than before. This Burning Crusade spell that was only used by some Priests may have just been upgraded considerably in popularity.

Filed under: Priest, News items, The Burning Crusade

Guardian pets need a mind of their own

This forums thread points out something interesting about player "guardians." Not pets-- guardians like Shadowfiend (which a priest I know called his shadowfriend), the druids' treants, and my shaman's totem elementals. After players wonder why shadowfiends keep breaking shackles, Neth says something that made me do a double-take: shadowfiends, as guardians, have an actual AI that is supposed to go after non crowd-controlled targets first.

That's news to me. I haven't spent a ton of time around shadowfiends, but in my experience, shaman and mage elementals and other "uncontrollable" pets (that's why they're called guardians) tend to go after anything that happens to be close to them. That's why they don't get popped when there's sheep or shackles around-- my guild could have used that fire elemental DPS on Moroes, but because it was so important to keep those shackles up, I've been saving the elemental for later. If there really is an AI (and if it works-- even Neth agrees that may not be the case at this point, though she says the shadowfiends on the PTR are supposed to be doing things right), then maybe we can start trusting summoned guardians not to touch CC'd targets until it's OK to do so.

Of course, there's other ways around it-- normally, I just don't pop my pets out until I'm sure there's no more CC left to break, but my pets are leashed to my totem, so with careful positioning, I can still avoid CC. And I believe both mage and druid guardians are targeted-- they open fire on whatever you've got targeted at the time, right? But I'd love a little AI, or at least a little control, in something like my Searing Totem. If there's a CC'd target out there, it's not worth the trouble to drop it even for the extra DPS.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, NPCs, Buffs

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