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Any Shadow Priests here still?Follow

#27 Apr 28 2011 at 2:01 PM Rating: Good
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Mind Spike is... a weird spell. I would fully recommend using it after you get your DoTs up, if only it didn't remove the DoTs.

Sometimes, it seems like there's a "sweet spot" moment where all your dots are running out anyways, and you have two options. You can either let them expire and use a Mind Spike or two before refreshing DoTs to make the next MB a guaranteed crit, or you can refresh the DoTs and continue as usual with Mind Flay/Mind Blast.

They've done work on this subject, and it turns out that refreshing the DoTs and continuing as normal will actually do more damage every time.

I know it seems tempting to use MS, but I really caution against it. The only time I've really found that Mind Spike is preferable is when the mob is going to die before your DoTs can go their full duration. You have to think ahead: if you will have to refresh the DoTs before the creature dies, use DoTs. If it will die before the DoTs do, use Mind Spike. Short-lived trash is an excellent example of when to use it. Also, I used it almost exclusively using it while solo leveling, just because I found it to be more mana efficient.

My memory is vague about what I was doing at those levels, but to me it sounds like you're doing just fine. You didn't mention it, but I'm sure you're doing it, but use SW:D while the mob is under 25%. I found that Masochism + the Glyph of Spirit Tap + the Glyph of Shadow Word: Death = nearly infinite mana. The glyph of SW:D is also a huge dps boost. Think of it as our Execute.
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#28 Apr 28 2011 at 7:30 PM Rating: Good
I don't know what execute is, but yes I've been using SW:D. :-) Thanks for the tips though, I'll give that a try.
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#29 Apr 28 2011 at 7:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Execute is basically the "HIS HEALTH IS LOW BLOW HIM UP NAO!!!1" move.

Some similar abilities are Hammer of Wrath or Drain Soul. So yeah. It's a fun spell. :D
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#30 Apr 28 2011 at 10:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Here's my take on Mind Spike for what it's worth in PVE:

Mind Spike use is really about target remaining health. If a target is going to die inside of 15 seconds, Mind Spike is an option, sometimes a really good one. Good for a burn phase if short, good for right after Shadow Word-Death during an Execute phase. Good if you want to be bursty and are willing to forego dot damage to do so.

When Cataclysm dropped, everyone at first was in a mild panic about endgame mana usage. Dots are relatively expensive and even more so if the target dies before they run out. Perfect place for Mind Spike. Since our best damage is in our dots, it's not a spell that should be in your rotation if you're in an instance/raid. However, if you're one of those shadow priests that lamented the rampup time it took to get to full damage just to see the target die two seconds before you got everything going, Mind Spike is for you in that specific situation.

It's killer stuff for questing. Otherwise, very situational but really useful in just the right spot.

Execute phase is "FINISH HIM!!!!" in Mortal Combat basically. 25% target health or less: SW-D hits like a proverbial train (3X damage). Just mad numbers.
#31 Apr 29 2011 at 9:11 AM Rating: Good
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I always use Mind Spike on skull in trashpulls.
As soon as my DoTs are up on the other mobs(CC is already fading into the past) I Mind Spike/Mind Blast the focus-target.

Just had my first Zul Gurub run. Brave as I am I queued random and got together with 4 actually competent players. They were even kind enough to explain the endfight to me. All 3 DDs and the tank did more than 10k over the whole run and since there weren't many deaths I assume the healer also knew what he was doing.
So no Call to Arms windowlicker or anything.
Aaaand i got a nice 353 wand (Stam/Int/haste/crit) PLUS the epic 2hand staff from the endboss.
I <3 4.1!
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#32 Apr 29 2011 at 4:31 PM Rating: Decent
TherealLogros wrote:
I always use Mind Spike on skull in trashpulls.
As soon as my DoTs are up on the other mobs(CC is already fading into the past) I Mind Spike/Mind Blast the focus-target.


Isn't getting up DoTs and then casting Mind Sear on the tank a better option? I've been doing that in randoms since Tuesday, and last night I did 12k at level 83 in VP on one large group of trash. I was pretty stunned.
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#33 Apr 29 2011 at 7:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:

Isn't getting up DoTs and then casting Mind Sear on the tank a better option? I've been doing that in randoms since Tuesday, and last night I did 12k at level 83 in VP on one large group of trash. I was pretty stunned.


It very well may be now since Mind Sear damage was just doubled with the patch. It might not have been quite so viable before that.
#34 Apr 29 2011 at 10:38 PM Rating: Good
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Mind Sear is probably better to use in that situation, now. they doubled the damage in 4.1 meaning it actually does more damage than flailing a wet noodle at someone.
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#35 Apr 30 2011 at 6:07 AM Rating: Good
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
TherealLogros wrote:
I always use Mind Spike on skull in trashpulls.
As soon as my DoTs are up on the other mobs(CC is already fading into the past) I Mind Spike/Mind Blast the focus-target.


Isn't getting up DoTs and then casting Mind Sear on the tank a better option? I've been doing that in randoms since Tuesday, and last night I did 12k at level 83 in VP on one large group of trash. I was pretty stunned.



Yes noticed that too. Yesterday was the first day after 4.1 that saw me playing so my last post was a bit dated info-wise. :(
It also depends on the number of trashmobs and how high their HP are. If there are 4 or more mobs Mind Sear is king.
But if there are fewer mobs I still prefer Mind Spike. I'm not great with number crunching so maybe Mind Sear would be the better choice with 3 mobs too. But then the difference shouldn't be too big.


Edit: Forgot to mention that if there is a mob with high HP in the pull, high meaning 1M+, I tend to DoT up the other mobs with lesser HP and do my normal boss rotation on the big one.
Don't know if I get the most damage out of it this way but it prevents me from going oom which can happen very fast if I only use the Mind Spike / Mind Sear rotation on every pull.

Edited, Apr 30th 2011 8:10am by TherealLogros
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#36 May 02 2011 at 1:11 AM Rating: Decent
Okay, I have another rotation question. How often should I be casting Mind Blast? On CD or should I wait for Orb procs?

What I've been doing is putting up my DoTs, casting Mind Flay twice to get Archangel, activating that and my int tinker, and then refreshing DoTs and spamming Mind Flay until I get Orb procs and then casting Mind Blast. I've been doing pretty good damage with that, roughly 8 to 10k on most bosses, and having a much easier time figuring all this out then I did with my Boomkin. :-) That might have just been learning the dungeons too though, because I apparently only did 4k on Orsuk the other day, and that fight confuses me. I've only done Stonecore a few times on heroic though, so that's a large part of the problem.
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#37 May 02 2011 at 2:16 AM Rating: Good
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You need at least 1 orb to keep the Empowered Shadow buff rolling. You do want the +10% DoT damage right?
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#38 May 02 2011 at 3:26 AM Rating: Decent
Well, by orb procs I mean the full three when Mind Blast and Mind Spike start flashing. That's when I cast MB, once I get three orbs. So, should I cast MB whenever I have an orb, or is it better to wait until I have three so I can have 30% extra damage on MB?

Edited, May 2nd 2011 4:23am by PigtailsOfDoom
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#39 May 02 2011 at 10:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Well, by orb procs I mean the full three when Mind Blast and Mind Spike start flashing. That's when I cast MB, once I get three orbs. So, should I cast MB whenever I have an orb, or is it better to wait until I have three so I can have 30% extra damage on MB?


Don't wait for 3 orbs.

It gets complicated depending how much time is left on ES. But if ES>8 seconds, then MB on CD regardless of orbs is a DPS gain over MF.

In any case, always try to maximize ES since it's extra damage for your dots. If you get even 1 orb, MB will refresh ES. Hence, don't wait for 3 orbs.
#40 May 02 2011 at 3:21 PM Rating: Decent
Okay, thanks. If I cast DoTs before I get ES, do I need to recast them after to get the 10% damage buff, or will it apply to new ticks of the DoTs?
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#41 May 02 2011 at 8:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Okay, thanks. If I cast DoTs before I get ES, do I need to recast them after to get the 10% damage buff, or will it apply to new ticks of the DoTs?


I almost mentioned this in the MB post.

Once ES is up, MindFlay will update the damage on Shadow Word:Pain on its own (for that target). If you're multi-dotting like mad you'll need to tab around to refresh it on everything you've dotted up.

The other dots (VT/DP) will need to be recast to get the extra damage. There's a whole other debate about recasting immediately or waiting until they would normally be cast again anyway.

What I do usually:

VT isn't an instant and has a relatively short run time so generally I refresh this when it's about to run out like normal.

DP on the other hand runs for a lot longer and is instant so if you just cast it or it has >15 seconds to run, you might want to refresh it early. Then again since DP is a mana hog and only goes to one target, you might not.

Since dots no longer clip, recasting early can be a DPS gain but it's situational. Your mileage may vary on all of this since gear and especially haste play a big role. And there's a fair amount of RNG involved with mastery and orbs.

Lastly, target health matters. When target health gets under 25%, then Shadow Word: Death becomes a major player in your priority system and that can effect how you handle this. Some fights I go all bursty if the dots are about to run out anyway and use Mind Spike(X3) and MB with Shadow Word: Death if I think that will end it. Other fights I keep the dots up and just weave Shadow Word: Death in with everything else.

It all depends and is one of the things I personally like about shadow priesting now. You have to pay attention and be flexible to do best damage.

You probably don't need this advice but I've found training dummies to be a lot of help in sorting things out and keeping sharp.

Hope this information is what you were looking for.



Edited, May 2nd 2011 10:15pm by Moanique
#42 May 02 2011 at 8:13 PM Rating: Decent
Definitely, thanks Moanique.
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#43 May 03 2011 at 12:02 AM Rating: Good
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Um... Yeah. Pretty much everything Moanique said is spot on.
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#44 May 19 2011 at 5:22 AM Rating: Good
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http://wow.joystiq.com/2011/05/18/spiritual-guidance-will-patch-4-2-redefine-what-it-means-to-be/

Good to know they are balancing the game around people who don't play their class to the fullest.
Note: I don't consider myself the best-in-class player type who will get hit by this the hardest. So this has nothing to do with elitism.
But now my incentive to become better is somewhat diminished.
Shouldn't they balance every class around what is possible to do with it?


Edit: typo

Edited, May 19th 2011 7:22am by TherealLogros
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#45 May 19 2011 at 9:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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TherealLogros wrote:

Good to know they are balancing the game around people who don't play their class to the fullest.


I'm relatively neutral about the changes just so you know where I'm coming from.

As for balancing, it's quite true that on certain fights if you're very good at maintaining dots on multiple targets you can consistently do top-of-the-charts damage. So to that extent, I think the nerf to dots is exactly about balancing the class around players who play the class to the fullest. Those players are consistently #1 on those fights. Theoretically, in a 'balanced' game, 5 top flight players of different classes would trade the top spot around.

Players who don't play the class to the fullest will likely see an increase in damage. I'm very carefully defining those players as those who have difficulties multi-dotting (or simply don't like to do it) and lean toward using direct damage spells anyway. They're going to see a 12% increase in their favorite spells. None of this explains why they're reducing DP by 12% since it's a single-target dot but it is what it is.

As an aside, a lot of the article is informed speculation and has at least one outright error. Though Fox is one of my favorite writers on spriesting, his assertion that mastery has been nerfed (1.5% to 1.45%) is incorrect. Shadow mastery has been at 1.45% since 4.0.6. The 'nerf' is an update to the tooltip which was rounding up. This is why it's not in the PTR notes.




Edited, May 19th 2011 11:43am by Moanique
#46 May 19 2011 at 2:48 PM Rating: Decent
I'll admit, I'm still struggling to get the hand of Multi-dotting. It depends on the fight and how comfortable I am with it. Omnitron I have no issues, but V&T still feels really hectic to me, so I struggle with it quite a bit. And I feel a bit like a moron because of it too, because multi dotting with Boomkins is a lot easier than with shadow priests since Boomkin DoTs last for the same amount of time. >.>
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#47 May 20 2011 at 6:31 AM Rating: Good
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
I'm still struggling to get the hand of Multi-dotting.


Pretty much this. But now I have 12% less motivation to even bother. And that is IMO a step in the wrong direction.

@Moanique: Yes you are right. It is balancing the damage the top shadowpriest can deal. My choice of words was rather poor. ;)
But I think if a player has the skill and the patience to multiDOT and to do so effectively enough to top the charts then they deserve to be there. I don't play any other class/spec in the current endgame so I really can not comment on the difficulty of their rotations/priority systems but from what I gathered reading on ZAM, WoWInsider and similar sources, shadowpriests linger on the more complex end of the spectrum. So why not reward someone who squeezes every possible damagepoint out of this class?
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#48 May 20 2011 at 1:52 PM Rating: Decent
Really? On the more complex end? Well that definitely does something to boost my ego. Especially considering Boomkins are even more complex. Smiley: glare It's still worth learning how to effectively multi-dot for the current tier at the very least.
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#49 May 20 2011 at 2:07 PM Rating: Good
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Maybe I'm totally off with that statement. :)
Like I said that's just the impression I've got from a lot of lurking (and reading) online.
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#50 May 20 2011 at 2:48 PM Rating: Decent
Well, the eclipse mechanic is just a major pain, especially in movement or add phases. It's best to be in Solar eclipse so you can spam Sunfire and mushrooms, as well as keep Insect Swarm up. Trying to time things properly so that you are in Solar eclipse during those phases is tricky and annoying. That's one thing I love about Shadow Priest. It's really easy to keep Empowered Shadows up almost 100% of the time, there's no worry about timing anything. The only thing about Shadow Priest that is trickier is keeping up DoTs, since there's three of them instead of two, and they all have different time lengths.
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#51 May 21 2011 at 10:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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TherealLogros wrote:
Maybe I'm totally off with that statement. :)
Like I said that's just the impression I've got from a lot of lurking (and reading) online.


With regard to PVE, I don't think the impression that we're at the more difficult end of the scale is a false one necessarily. I can't speak to PVP since my efforts there have been anywhere from pathetic to catastrophic :)

Playing a shadow priest at an average level (whatever that means but work with me here) is not overly difficult. However, playing one really well and consistently squeezing out that last 10%-15% of your theoretical damage is a lot harder than it used to be.

The devs promised spriests burstiness at Blizzcon (and many scratched their heads and laughed a lot) and have largely delivered on that (and still are). When to be bursty and when to be more traditional with damage over time is now a factor. It's two pretty different play styles.

There are a bunch of situational abilities to think about:

As mentioned above, we're not just strictly about dots now; we have to watch for target low health burn phases because we do something different there; there's RNG associated with proccing of orbs and its relationship to Empowered Shadows; Archangel for those who have it; Shadowfiend; the list goes on. In a 10-person group, we may be called upon to drop a shield on someone or toss out a Hymn. CC abilities are not as strong as other classes but MC is always an option. Silence is sometimes useful. AOE is back.

That much flexibility has its perks but it has a downside of complicating things a bit. I'm running my main with two shadow builds, one for max DPS and the other with control abilities just so I can switch between fights if necessary.

During a long fight there's a lot of things to juggle on top of multi-dotting. Having to move during all of this is just another thing to deal with.

None of this is to complain, however. It's all part of what makes shadow priesting so damn interesting.

That said, it's fair to say that everything (damage, tanking, healing) has gotten harder in Cataclysm for everyone. Class rotations are pretty much a thing of the past; everyone has priority systems now and a variety of situational abilities. And many think the game is more difficult; some a lot more difficult (not to mention dramatic rewrites of class abilities every so often).

EDIT: For clarity and because I just can't seem to get it exactly right the first time.



Edited, May 21st 2011 1:16pm by Moanique
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