#1 - April 7, 2017, 9:19 p.m.
First, for Destruction Warlocks, Soul Shards are being split into parts of 10, which we’re currently calling Soul Shard Fragments. Mechanically, this will be similar to the Mists of Pandaria resource system of Burning Embers, except we want to go with a consistent Soul Shard visual, updated Soul Shard UI (work in progress), and name for the resource across all 3 Warlock specs. Some relevant spell changes:
- Incinerate generates 1 Soul Shard Fragment. Doubled on critical strikes. Fire and Brimstone (talent) will cause Incinerate to generate 1 Soul Shard Fragment per target hit, also doubled on critical strikes.
- Immolate periodic damage has a 50% chance to generate 1 Soul Shard Fragment. 100% chance on critical strikes.
- Conflagrate generates 6 Soul Shard Fragments.
- Dimensional Rift (artifact active) generates 3 Soul Shard Fragments.
The net result of these changes is that every baseline rotational damage spell will contribute to Soul Shard generation, pushing your resource forward at a steady pace.
Second, Soul Shard generation/refund rate is being reduced overall, mainly for the single-target rotation. However, this is coupled with major damage increases to both Soul Shard spenders - Chaos Bolt and Rain of Fire. Combined, this means that Chaos Bolts will be cast less frequently, but they will hit much harder:
- Soul Shard refund chance of Soul Conduit (talent) reduced to 12%. Soulsnatcher (artifact bronze trait) reduced to 3% per point.
- Chaos Bolt damage increased by 40%. Rain of Fire damage increased by 25%.
For the AOE rotation, Fire and Brimstone (talent) will cause Incinerate to generate Soul Shard Fragments per target hit, which would largely push Immolate out of the AOE rotation with enough targets. Alternately, if you want to go down the route of maintaining Immolate on all targets in a clumped AOE situation, Cataclysm (talent) will have reduced cooldown (30 sec) and slightly reduced cast time, making it easier for you to do so.
As usual, everything discussed here will continue to be iterated on during 7.2.5 PTR and may change based on further playtesting and feedback.