Feedback: Priest Updates

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Community Manager
#1 - April 18, 2024, 5:53 p.m.
Blizzard Post

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Priests in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

  • There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
  • New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

  • Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.

Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.

We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
  • Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

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Community Manager
#4 - April 22, 2024, 9:33 p.m.
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Thanks for this well-written post on the state of Voidweaver for Shadow.

First, to clarify the functionality of the rift: There are not current plans for there to be a pull-in effect. We’re closely watching the power level of utility coming from hero talent trees. Given the frequency of the rift, a pull-in would surpass the power level aiming for.

We appreciate the feedback that the slow effect from the slow effect from No Escape may not be utilized as often as we’re hoping especially compared to Dark Energy. As far as gameplay goes, the Entropic Rift window feeling tough to manage is something we aim to improve on during our next pass of the tree. Beyond that, there’s a lot of great bugs and feedback points here that we’ll bring back to the team and discuss.

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Community Manager
#5 - April 22, 2024, 9:34 p.m.
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Some updates on the other Priest Hero Talent trees:

We’ve updated Oracle’s design to be focused on healing instead of support mechanics and are looking for feedback about how it plays. There are a couple of talents that are not currently ready, and we’ll update those in the coming weeks, including a revision to the capstone. We’re also very excited about the visual effects for this tree and hope you are, too!

The design for Archon is currently a work in progress. The core of the design revolves around Halo, and we’ll unveil its talents soon.

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Community Manager
#23 - May 14, 2024, 11:43 p.m.
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The Voidweaver changes in today’s Alpha build are experimental and were aimed at trying to resolve an issue where Void Torrent was required to make the hero talent tree work.

We hear you that the gameplay isn’t as smooth with spawning an Entropic Rift from Shadow Crash, and we will likely move it back to spawning from Void Torrent.

On Shadow Crash firing at your target instead of using a reticle: this was also an experimental change, and if we do end up moving forward with this change in place, we will provide an option to players to use a reticle through a choice node.