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Merkalto
09.15.2021 , 06:53 PM | #9
I'm primarily a Serenity Shadow player, and I was very surprised at the level of changes made to this spec!

I won't go over passives that I have no comments about. The passives I don't have a comment about are in my opinion perfectly fine as is.

The Death Field utilities are really interesting as one rewrites our whole base rotation as Serenity. One is pretty adequate, and one is overshadowed. Two charges on Force in Balance/Death Field is a good idea on paper, and might be an even better idea in practice, especially for mobbing and single-player content. Being able to reset its cooldown via a kill or using Potency/Recklessness is really fun, and allows a massive shake-up of our base rotation (DoT 1, 3 GCDs of filler, DoT2, 7 GCDs of filler, repeat) a lot. It also has potential to be used on main boss-encounters. Penetrating Death seems to be overshadowed a lot by the other two passives. Yes it's a pretty substantial damage increase, but so is two stacks of Death Field/Force in Balance. It's a good passive for aoe cleaving, but it lacks the massive burst that two Death Field/Force in Balance (especially sub 30%) has. I don't have any specific suggestions on how to make it a more-worth while choice, however it needs some adjustments to really stand on its own.

Before I get to Eradication Ray, I want to briefly mention Ruin. It's probably fine, but it seems a bit underwhelming in PvE. I'm sure it'll be more useful for cleaving in PvP... however.
Eradication Ray is kind of ridiculous.
This passive when I first read it made me think that it would be a proper trade-off to Squelch/Eradicate. Where it deals all off its damage in 2 ticks (1 initial hit, 1 DoT tick), and would only consume one Supression/Deathmark stack so it would be more burst damage, but less damage overall. However that isn't the case, and it is instead almost a direct upgrade passive that feels really out of place. The only time it directly hinders you is when A, you aren't generating bonus force over 6 seconds, and B you're always going to deal -5% less damage and healing with Serenity/Leeching Strike due to its passive. It's fun, don't get me wrong, it just feels out of place to me as someone who's spent a couple of years playing this spec. This passive should have a proper tradeoff in my opinion.

I don't have any issues with the level 35 passives, in fact I actually want to praise this decision. BR/Overcharged Saber was always more useful on Deception compared to Hatred, however the extra bonus hits that BR grants Hatred is pretty strong, and being able to offset that with either a recreated Death Knell set bonus or higher critical chance and removing our need to use Saber Strike every 12-14 GCDs is really nice. You're choosing now between big self heal burst, higher melee and Squelch/Eradicate damage, and stronger DoT crits and a smoother rotation. It's very well done.

The level 70 passive choices are fine. Cleaving Cut/Severing Slash was always the most useful on Serenity/Hatred, so it stings a bit for both PvP and PvE, however it's nothing to get upset about, and makes for some pretty interesting builds.

Overall yes, this still feels like the Serenity/Hatred I'm used to playing since 5.X. Yes this is a good direction for the spec in my opinion.

Unrelated, thank you for turning the spec-specific level 1 passives into the stance changes. It makes it easier for newer players to identify what the specs do, which is good!