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Sorc: Shades of Death

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Posts: 726

Sorc: Shades of Death

Post#1 » Sat Dec 02, 2023 5:01 am

Due to the stealth nerf to Word of Pain (and Boiling Blood on the same night by ninja nerfs over 2 years ago), Viable sorcerer casting rotations do not proc all 5 procs of Shades of Death (13 point ability).

I know sorcs do good damage so no one cares what broken abilities we might have or be dealing with, but it’s sad because our premier class-defining ability Word of Pain gets nerfed so you can’t trigger frozen touch, or your 13 point ability work only does 80% damage (4 out of 5 Shades of Death procs).
I tested out some rotations to try and get Shades of Death to work in a rotation I was happy about. I mainly play single target, so being able to use Shades of Death would be a nice option, or change of pace if I wanted to switch my spec around. It was great on live as a first debuff, it has no animation or sound. It was designed for it's job, to help deliver procs on burst packages.

The ability is pretty garbage to begin in it's current state. It cannot crit, and the damage is mitigated. The only problem is to get all 5 to go off by your own hand, (You wouldn’t use it on a target you are assisting or being assisted on, everything else is better if you’re looking for straight damage) to get all 5 procs you really have to give up most of the chillwind debuff duration, i.e. it’s expired before most of your abilities start going off.

The only way to really make Shades of Death go off 5x viably is to cut out word of pain completely since it cannot proc it, then you can easily get all 5 to go off. But you are trading your best spell for one that cannot crit and does 600 in total, compared to an ability that can crit over 2300

I guess if the Dev team is happy with word of pain and boiling blood being snipped in the middle of the night 2 years ago, we can just leave it like it is, I’m basically used to it not procing sov bonus, Devour Energy, Frozen Touch, Infernal Gift, Shades of Death, including basically any proc in the game like ‘Ere we go, Shining Blade (Order) etc, that’s fine, even though it did in live, and it did on RoR for a dozen years, it’s fine. But then Fix our 13 pt ability. At LEAST make Shades of Death 15 seconds long, the 10 second duration expires too fast if I want to keep Word of Pain in my rotation.

Also, as backpay for the zillion frozen touch and shades of death damage we’ve missed out on, how about a new toy for once for this class? Don’t think it’s ever received any love from what it was on live. Just a quality of life idea I’ve always personally wanted to see -- Frostbite becomes insta-cast. It would just be just..... nice. And kind of sexy to cast all of a sudden. Think the runepriest & zealot getting to cast dark medicine while moving kind of quality of life. A very rarely used ability but it became, nice.

Probably a popular un-popular opinion to try to shine light on the pure caster of this game, but its really been a long patient wait for this WoP/BBlood fix, and if no fix is coming, change up the big 13 pt ability that suffers now. Love you, thanks.

Dear mods: This is not a balance debate post. It contains a suggestion to work around a current bug and also a QoL suggestion.
Word of Pain and Boiling Blood are no longer able to proc anything. The Bright Wizard College has confirmed this is a big deal. (stealth nerf)

Posts: 653

Re: Sorc: Shades of Death

Post#2 » Sat Dec 02, 2023 7:01 am

Shades of Death lacks damage in its current form. After mitigation is taken into consideration I doubt it will do more than 200 damage.

I think the intended purpose of the spell is not in a DoT-focused burst. After all, DoT focus comes from Calamity, and direct damage comes from Agony.

Personally I would like to see Sorc direct damage rotations become more viable, because DoT-focused builds (while powerful and somewhat mobile) suffer from being super telegraphed and easily countered.

Keeping Shades of Death in its current form but either making it able to crit or making it cause pure damage might make it viable in direct damage rotations.

I've experimented with direct damage builds that don't involve WoP (or Vision of Domination tactic) and Shades of Death would fit in there neatly if it were fixed.

It was surprisingly effective, but lacked the edge to be viable in Ranked.

The basic rotation:

Chillwind > Arctic Blast > Gloomburst > Impending Doom

Arctic Blast and Doombolt can both be used, depending on the situation.

Though ideally you'd have a corp debuff on target when casitng Doombolt, with maximum points in Path of Agony Doombolt hits very hard, and due to Sorc's crit multiplier small increases in base damage can translate into large increases in maximum burst, putting the burst potential almost on par with cookie cutter Calamity builds.

The burst can be backloaded by adding Ice Spikes ahead of the rotation, and Vision of Torment after Chillwind. Hand of Ruin can be cast afterwards to sustain damage. This will still avoid telegraphing with Word of Pain.

My proposed fix for Shades of Death would be:

- 600 pure damage
- Proc only on Sorc's direct attacks
- Uncleansable
- Increase cooldown to 20 seconds

This would allow for a basic Path of Agony burst rotation like:

Chillwind > Shades of Death > Arctic Blast/Doombolt > Gloomburst > Impending Doom

(or Chillwind > Arctic Blast/Doombolt > Shades of Death > Gloomburst > Impending Doom?)

The main advantage over DoT-focused burst rotations would be a lower reliance on backload (and thus less telegraph) and that cleansing doesn't shut you down completely.
"I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream; that's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor... and surviving." - Colonel Walter E. Kurtz

Posts: 1290

Re: Sorc: Shades of Death

Post#3 » Sat Dec 02, 2023 10:53 am

Caduceus wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 7:01 am The basic rotation:

Chillwind > Arctic Blast > Gloomburst > Impending Doom

Arctic Blast and Doombolt can both be used, depending on the situation.
Chillwind already telegraphing things though, since it is very recognizable, and then you got 1.5 sec icd + 2 sec AB/3 sec Doombolt, for a total 3.5-4.5 sec time to react before the dmg comes. Would rather soften the targets with Ice Spikes+GoN, which don't give a clue who is going to be attacked and don't draw instant attention, then follow with Doombolt >Gloomburst > Impending Doom.
"Can we play with him, master? He seems so unhappy. Let us help him smile. Please? Or at least let us carve one on his face when he stops screaming."

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Posts: 614

Re: Sorc: Shades of Death

Post#4 » Sat Dec 02, 2023 4:52 pm

Yes it would be nice to have another single target playstyle with sorc.

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Re: Sorc: Shades of Death

Post#5 » Sat Dec 02, 2023 6:03 pm

If you are having telegraph issues, use my rotation. Vision of Torment, Word of Pain, Arctic Blast, CHILLWIND, (everything catches the sprit debuff, i tested it), then you also dont chillwind until your 4th cast, and lastly, you get the spirit debuff for longer which covers your next 3 abilities, finish with gloomburst, ipending doom, hand of ruin.

You'll enjoy a full rotation of spirit debuff damage and less telegraph. If you get a cool kid with a pocket healer or who runs at the first sign of word of pain, you use Obsessive Focus, morale 2 and doombolt spam.

Regardless, please take a look at this Shades of Death ability as its impossible to use with Word of Pain. Thanks!
Word of Pain and Boiling Blood are no longer able to proc anything. The Bright Wizard College has confirmed this is a big deal. (stealth nerf)

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