A copy/paste of my post in the US forum :
Here is my comprehensive review of the DH changes. I’ll try to be very thorough, keeping in mind that this is my opinion and I mainly play PvP at a mid-to-high level.
Sorry in advance for the long post.
- Firstly, thank you for adding Demonic Appetite and Fel Eruption as baseline abilities. It’s truly a massive improvement to quality of life and was quite unexpected. The GCD change on Fel Blade is also fantastic.
I’m now going to try to get into the developers’ mindset to understand what they’re trying to steer us towards :
- We’re losing the tier bonus related to Eye Beam. Serrated Glaive no longer works with Eye Beam, Blind Fury is now a damage multiplier of x1.21 instead of x1.44 and generates less Fury. The duration of Demonic goes from 6 to 5 seconds.
- We’re gaining a tier bonus related to Throw Glaive and The Hunt. The base damage of Throw Glaive has been increased, and Serretade Glaive now boosts the damage of Throw Glaive.
- We’re losing damage on almost all of our basic spells (all except Throw Glaive), but in return, we have two buffs (Inertia and Fodder) that can be used at our discretion to increase our damage.
With Eye Beam reverting to a “demon form activation” button, and the nerf to Demonic, and the usage of Throw Glaive that cost GCD and Fury, the usefulness of Cycle of Hatred and Shattered Destiny diminishes significantly. On the other hand, SoulRend becomes almost “mandatory”.
Keeping all of this in mind, here is my talent tree review. I’m going to divide my comments into three paragraphs: one for the area before spending 8 points, one for the area between 9 and 20 points, and one for the area between 21 and 30 points.
-------------------- 1rst Row
Regarding the first zone, we’re missing 2 unknown talent points, so my perspective might change later on. However, for now…
- It seems odd to me that Demon Blade/Insatiable Hunger is still present. I believe I’m not mistaken in saying that 100% of players choose Demon Blade. Given that we’re no longer the “2-button class” as some ignorantly put it, we simply don’t have the time to play Demon’s Bite. Just the thought of pressing that key again is vexing. Insatiable Hunger (and Demon’s Bite) are outdated mechanics that should be removed to make Demon Blade a baseline ability.
- Critical Chaos is really peculiar. It increases the chances of getting a cost refund on Chaos Strike, but it completely contradicts Chaos Blades, which refunds at 100%. Moreover, in the new talent tree, it blocks access to Improved Chaos Strike, which should ideally be available in all builds. In my opinion, these two talents should switch positions, with a generic talent blocking access to a situational talent (because you dont want to pick Critical Chaos when you have Chaos Blades) being a better arrangement.
- It’s truly a good thing to have placed Netherwalk on a “mandatory” tier. However, Desperate Instincts doesn’t work at all. The percentage at which it triggers is really too low because we want to use it at a high percentage to avoid damage, not to delay after already taking it. I propose a rework for this talent: instead of triggering automatically, it simply allows the use of Blur when stunned/feared, with a reduced duration and cooldown.
- Regarding the new choice between Deflecting Dance and Mortal Dance, first of all, the addition of Deflecting Dance is REALLY significant and will hopefully solve many survival issues in the arena. However, it’s really strange to make it a choice with Mortal Dance, since on one hand, we’re the only class that has to spend a talent point to have an MS effect, and also because it seems like we’re the only class where the uptime isn’t 100% (we’re closer to around 60% in PvP). With all the damage nerfs we’ve received (Eye Beam, Chaos Strike, Blade Dance), I’m not sure if it’s worth depriving us of an MS on top of that… It would be a really great addition to have Mortal Dance as a baseline ability.
-------------------- 2nd Row
The second row is really peculiar. I won’t dwell on each talent individually, but rather on the overall structure of the tree… We need to spend 12 talent points, and there are 15 available slots. So, the goal here isn’t really to choose which 12 points to spend, but rather to identify the three least interesting ones. And the choice is quickly made: Improved Fel Rush doesn’t seem very powerful; Relentless Onslaught is too random, it can be extremely good (if it procs twice in a row during Essence Break) or completely useless, depending too heavily on RNG. We’ll naturally focus on more consistent talents. The final choice will be between Looks Can Kill and Furious Gaze, considering all the nerfs on Eye Beam, or potentially Blind Fury, but the ability to generate resources right at the moment of burst seems too good to pass up. To sum up, 11 talent points are “mandatory”, and the player has 1 point of choice between 4 on this row…
And if the player chooses not to use a talent with Throw Glaive, the talent tree becomes completely rigid with no customization options available. This choice inevitably leads to the left and middle paths in the third row.
This may change when we will have 1rst row missing talents because we might spend 1-3 more points into this row. Wait and see.
-------------------- 3nd Row
For the third row, I’ll try to detail the possible synergies and why the current distribution poses an issue.
- Firstly, we have a maximum of 10 talent points to spend and 19 are available. As we’ve seen earlier, our base damage has been reduced, and Throw Glaive is at the core of the new gameplay. Considering this, it would be unwise to forgo Momentum/Inertia, which are now easy to pick and increase our damage at the most opportune moment. In my opinion, this talent should have a pick rate of 100%. Similarly, Accelerated Blade and Soulrend are just too good to pass up. Unless there are contrary simulations, I would be surprised if these talents don’t have a 100% pick rate.
So, we have 6 talent points left to spend. That leaves us with 6 talent points to allocate, and we still have 15 possibilities. So, we’ll need to carefully consider and prioritize the most beneficial options. I want to emphasize that up until this point, the basic build is fixed. These remaining 6 talent points are our only customization options, as the other 24 are too rigid/powerful to be moved.
- The first thing that seems the most powerful is Know Your Enemy, which will passively increase our damage by 10 to 30% and enhance our burst since Initiative is on the standard path, which would also be unwise to skip. Since it costs two talent points, we now have only 4 remaining.
- Similarly, now that we have Know Your Enemy, it seems foolish not to take Essence Break, which is currently the cornerstone of our burst. However, this might need to be reevaluated in light of the nerfs to Blade Dance and Chaos Strike to see if it still holds true. So, we truly have 3 talent points left to use (and this does block Shattered Destiny).
Finally, I could drive the point home by saying that since the tier set revolves around The Hunt, and considering the intended playstyle revolving around Immolation Aura, Any Means Necessary also becomes a logical choice. However, I don’t want to jump to conclusions considering the currently low damage of The Hunt. However, a crucial point is that in my opinion, A Fire Inside doesn’t work without Any Means Necessary, which “locks” us into using 2 points if we choose this talent.
For this last row, I will detail my impressions on each talent one by one.
- Inertia: This talent seems excellent on paper, but in gameplay, it’s more complicated. The 5-second window is difficult to set up since it’s linked to Fel Rush. This means you either need to be far from the target to land on it and make the most of the 5 seconds, or you have to “save” Fel Blade to chain the two abilities and quickly return to melee range. In both cases, you lose uptime on the target, either before or just after. A duration of 7 seconds seems more manageable in real-world conditions, which wouldn’t necessarily allow for more spells to be cast in that window.
The fact that we want to use everything at the same time, and that both Initiative and Inertia have a 5-second duration, seems difficult to coordinate. This is because we will inevitably lose a GCD (Global Cooldown) on one or the other, in addition to the GCD we already lose to proc Inertia. The basic combo would be Vengeful Retreat into Fel Rush to trigger both at the same time, but this seems a bit rigid and ultimately only amounts to using a buff with 3 or even 4 buttons (Immolation Aura, Vengeful Retreat, Fel Rush, and optionally Fel Blade).
And this is also contradictory with Growing Inferno and potentially Ragefire, where we want the maximum uptime on Immolation Aura, especially towards the end of its duration. Here, it works at the beginning and we lose uptime, either due to the described functioning or because the last ticks of Immolation Aura won’t benefit from Initiative/Inertia, even though it’s the last ticks that deal the most damage. Setting Initiative and Inertia to 7 seconds would provide more freedom of movement and allow Immolation Aura to benefit from it throughout its entire duration, especially at the most crucial moment.
- Fel Barrage: The rework of this talent might seem interesting on paper, but in practice, it’s far from it and remains a lackluster choice.
It deals really negligible damage and consumes too much fury, especially for a 1.5-minute cooldown, which is supposed to correspond to a rather powerful one (considering, for example, The Hunt which deals 688% of attack power for 1.5 minutes, we should expect to be in that range, but it’s not the case). It might be interesting to combine Fel Barrage with the burst sequence to deal even more damage, but even starting at 120 fury, using Immolation Aura (with burning hatred) and Vengeful Retreat, followed by Fel Barrage, and Eye Beam (with Blind Fury), the fury is consumed too quickly and doesn’t allow for a follow-up with our Essence Break window. Additionally, it’s completely contradictory with Cycle of Hatred, and the talent is completely useless if the player wants to take Shattered Destiny.
You need to better position yourself on this talent:
- Either you want it to be a very powerful cooldown to be used on his own, and you need to drastically increase its damage (please note I’m talking about a x4 or x5 increase). Because it consume +/- 150 fury it needs to do more damage than Death Sweep + 3-4 Annihilations, otherwise it’s useless.
- Or it’s an extra to use during the burst, and you need to both reduce the cooldown and the fury consumption, perhaps by halving both.
- Glaive Tempest : I fell in love with this talent since the release of the Legion expansion. It’s perfect, visually appealing, deals good damage, and synergizes well with the entire kit. Unfortunately, the arrangement of talent points from 21 to 30, as explained earlier, makes it seem impossible for me to choose this talent without giving up even more powerful options. I understand that a talent tree is designed for making choices, but it saddens me deeply not to be able to play this talent optimally. I also fell sad that you can’t do a Glaive build with Throw Glaive + Glaive Tempest and make it work, would be huge if Soulrend could work on Glaive Tempest. Also, considering the few talents we have and Glaive Tempest being locked behind Chaos Blades, it is actually harder to take than any other talents in the 3rd row and I think it sould be way easier to pick (Fel Barrage is way easier to pick for example, because you want to take Know Your Ennemy).
- Fodder to the Flame: The new functionality of the talent is generally good. The only issue in my opinion is linking its use to Spectral Sight rather than making it a standalone usable talent. Spectral Sight is used to unstealth rogues, mages, and hunters, and this forces us to abandon this functionality, partly because of the huge cooldown that follows, and also to avoid losing a burst window of 20% damage. It would have been better to make it an activatable ability with the same mechanics, rather than forcing us to change the use of Spectral Sight (which would guarantees the Rogue the free ability to sap + open, when it is already one of our anti-class…).
- A Fire Inside : We cannot test this talent yet, but I can already see potential problems arising due to the chance percentage of resetting the cooldown. What are the consequences for Fel Barrage if we can have 3 or 4 Burning Hatred active at the same time? Is this intentional and is it the correct way to play Fel Barrage? What about the burst heal from Leech if 4 or 5 Ragefire triggers in succession? Imagining an arena scenario with 2 melee opponents, the RNG factor that could lead to having 4 active Immolation Auras at the same time completely changes the situation. The RNG factor of this talent seems extremely problematic, but it’s impossible to test its power currently. What about Inertia? Is it possible to stack two buffs with it or extend its duration using this mechanic as well?.
Chaotic Imprint has 100% pickrate in any form of PvP content, it would be nice to have it baseline or other spells tuned accordingly to have a real 3rd slot available.
Glimpse is supposed to work “until you land” but in fact it has a 7-8 max seconds duration, so it doesn’t fully work with Rain from Above for example.
Talking about Rain From Above, it have really weird behavior with some spells, for example with Static Field Totem it sometimes cause you to hit a non-existent ceiling that’s about 1 or 2 meters high, completely negating the effects of the talent. Additionally, when we get cycloned or feared, it sometimes cancels the animation, causing our character to fall about forty meters, resulting in instant death. This isn’t enjoyable, especially when it happens during a round of solo shuffle.
There seems to be an issue with the balance of Chaos damage in the current lore. While Chaos is supposed to represent the most powerful form of magic, it is currently considered the weakest. Chaos damage can be stopped by various magical protections, as well as by physical protections if the spell has a physical component. This contradicts the idea that Chaos should be invincible. It might be wise to reconsider how Chaos damage works so that it is at least immune to physical protections. While making Chaos unstoppable could pose balance issues, it seems that adjustments are necessary to truly reflect its power in the lore.
- Overall good and welcomed changes
- Make Mortal Dance baseline.
- Make Demon Blades baseline.
- Increase Initiative and Inertia to 7sec.
- Rework Fel Barrage, either reduce cost and cooldown OR increase significantly it’s damage.
- Maybe make Know Your Enemy ; Soulrend ; and Cycle of Hatred 1 point to allow more options about the 3rd row of talents or anything else to allow for more combinaisons, and since you would only take 2 of them, it just allows you to take 2 more talents, nothing too powerful but for example allows you to pick ragefire+a fire inside, or Chaos Theory + Glaive Tempest, or A fire inside + Fel barrage, etc…