Thanks for this. Some great feedback here.
Overall, our goal in 7.1.5 is not to nerf Shadow's damage across-the-board, just the extreme cases that can occur with 疯入膏肓
. Some of the mechanical changes will likely mean you're weaker or stronger in certain situations, but our intent is not to make Shadow "worse."
To speak more directly to your points:
Since Legion launched, most of the changes we’ve seen to Shadow have revolved around the balance of 疯入膏肓
(S2M). The main issue with 疯入膏肓
is the amount of damage happening at high stacks of 虚空形态
(VF). This gives Shadow a significant damage lead over other classes when played in the top 10 or so percentiles. This is illustrated in the WarcraftLogs analysis I made the week after the Mythic Emerald Nightmare opened: http://imgur.com/a/B84cl
The top percentile players are able to extend their 疯入膏肓
the most, allowing them to spend a significant period of the fight at 100 stacks of 虚空形态
, which wasn’t the intention when designing the spell. 疯入膏肓
DPS definitely needs to be addressed. However, the methods being utilized right now are not only affecting top end players but also those at the lower ends of the spectrum. The drain formula change in the 7.1 hotfix (8+0.55 per stack) and the proposed change on the 7.1.5 PTR (6+2/3 per stack) "fix" the issue of the top end damage of 疯入膏肓
but also make 疯入膏肓
more difficult to play. This means that players who were struggling before may now find it impossible to reach decent 疯入膏肓
uptimes and as a result the gap between top performers and the rest will widen.
A different approach, to address the exponential growth of damage between the two groups without negatively affecting gameplay, would be to limit the stacks from 群体狂乱
(MH). Consider Mythic Emerald Nightmare gearing over a 300s fight, using the 7.0 drain formula (9 + 0.5 per stack). A change to 群体狂乱
’s cap from 100 to 50 stacks would reduce overall 疯入膏肓
single target damage by around 5% while reducing the peak DPS (100 stacks of 虚空形态
and PI) by around 16%. The PTR proposed drain, and leaving 群体狂乱
capped at 100 stacks, reduces the overall damage by around 16% but only reduces the peak DPS by around 4%. This happens because, while they won’t be able to maintain 100 stacks of 虚空形态
for very long, high percentile players will still be able to reach that point and, combined with 能量灌注
, they'll reach a similar peak DPS.
Bottom line, increasing the drain rate has a larger negative impact on 虚空形态
as a whole than it helps to curb the extraordinarily high DPS achieved at high stacks of 虚空形态