So its been a little bit since we’ve added written content to the site, as I’ve added two Podcasts in that time, so if you haven’t listened to them, then I encourage that.
Mythic Plus vs Raids
Frequently we get questions about how things fair in M+ compared to Raids, or how to maximize one, the other, or both. This is always a difficult question to answer as there are many variables. For example, M+ speed runs are largely based on how quickly you get through trash, whereas trash is almost an non-existent issue in raids. This means that if you want to maximize your time through M+, or get through the Nightbane timer faster, a group or character set up for trash will be more useful. This isn’t to say that bosses aren’t important, but being 10% faster at trash will shave off more time than 10% faster on bosses, in general. Lets look at some of the differences between Mythic+ and Raids.
- Speed – everything, from the loot you get, to the keystone improvement is based on speed and how quickly you can get through things, certain risks can be taken if the reward outweighs the punishment. A failed risk that kills you, or others, can have very little effect if the runback is short.
- AOE – the classes that shine in M+ are the ones that can burst down the largest groups faster, the tanks that can pull and keep the most targets, and the healers that can keep them up
- Control – When pulling those huge packs, being able to stun or CC targets to minimize damage is very useful.
- Burst – Trash packs last a few seconds, so being able to frequently line up cooldowns for maximum damage over a short period of time is important.
- Speed – Boss fights are rarely based on speed, they’re based primarily on execution. Taking risks isn’t always as rewarding, and killing yourself or others can quickly mean the end.
- AOE – Rarely is AOE the biggest concern in raids. The boss’s health is normally paramount, or at least important, so the focus is frequently on single target, with short bursts of AOE thrown in.
- Control – Bosses can almost never be controlled using stuns or CCs. There may be adds that require control, but its rare for control to play a large part in raid bosses.
- Burst – Raid fights are long, often lasting several minutes. This means that, barring certain mechanics, sustained damage is as important, or more important than burst. No one cares if someone can do 1,000,000 DPS over 10s, if for the next 3 minutes they do 50,000.
So these are just some of the differences between M+ and Raids philosophically. There may be more, and some may depend on what dungeon or boss fight, and your group’s composition.
So what does this mean for WW?
Windwalkers are known for being incredibly strong in Mythic Plus and other dungeons. WW brings physical speed with massive mobility, able to get back from deaths or get to targets faster than almost any class. WW also brings very intense AOE damage through Spinning Crane Kick, Fists of Fury, and Strike of the Windlord. If you’re able to stack up the Spinning Crane Kick stacks before hand, you can unleash almost unrivaled AOE damage. WW brings a variety of control through long CC like Paralysis and stuns like Leg Sweep, a 5 second stun can erase much of a trash pull in M+. Finally, burst. WW, through its plentiful AOE abilities, combined with Serenity, can do almost unparalleled burst, specially if given any ability to stack Spinning Crane Kick up before hand from a previous pull. This makes WW one of the specs that really shines in Mythic Plus and dungeons.
On the flip side, much of what WW does best, is not a priority in raid encounters. When it is a priority, such as Helya or Ilgynoth, WW is very strong, but in general WW’s toolkit is currently designed for dungeons more than raids. That isn’t to say that WW is useless in raids. WW is currently a decently strong spec in raid, just not as incredibly powerful as it is in dungeons.
Continuing off of the above point, if you’ve been paying attention to the WarcraftLogs Statistics, you’ve seen Windwalkers slowly sliding down from top third, to middle third, to bottom third, with a few strong encounters. This has caused some concern and consternation in the WW community as to the reason why. I believe there are multiple reasons.
To start, this has nothing to do with Windwalker’s lack of power. WW didn’t get weaker, just not as much stronger as other specs. In 7.1 and prior, the lesser performing classes were given buffs to increase their power. This resulted in a shift where those specs pushed a few others down.
Some specs have legendaries that increase their damage by +10%. Outside of Cenedril, Reflector of Hatred, which can be used for absolutely insane damage, +50k DPS in maximum usage for a whopping 15-20% more damage, but is difficult to maximize, the other WW legendaries, that do increase DPS, bring an average of around 7% more damage. This is consistent with most other specs, and the WW legendaries are incredibly well balanced against one another, WW just doesn’t have the outlier legendary that results in a huge boost in performance. As players get more and more legendaries, more of those OP legendaries go out, the players who get them see bigger improvements in DPS than those who play classes like WW.
WW also has an above average number of legendaries that don’t increase personal DPS. Hidden Master’s Forbidden Touch is useful in some, but not all, encounters; Drinking Horn Cover is useless beyond its stats if you’re using Serenity, which you still can use due to the bugs in SEF; March of the Legion doesn’t increase personal DPS as much as overall raid performance, which doesn’t show up as easily in rankings; and finally Sephuz’s Secret and Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus don’t function as DPS boosts in raids. This means that out of 8 legendaries, 4 to 5 of them don’t have benefits that will be reflected in the rankings.
Lastly, this is one that was most surprising to those of us who looked ahead toward WW’s scaling. Windwalker’s primary stat, Agility is noticeably more important to DPS than secondary stats like Vers, Crit, and Mastery. In theory, this meant that WW should scale better than specs that relied more heavily on secondary stats. This is because in Legion, secondary stats scale at a smaller rate than primary stats, as part of Blizzard’s attempt to make item level more important. (Why they then took it away from rings/necks, I’ll never understand)
Its very possible, likely even, that there simply hasn’t been enough time or item level jumps for this to come into effect.
On the same side, those specs, like Mages or Shadow Priests that rely heavily on secondary stats are seeing a huge boost in very small item level jumps as they reach breakpoints, caps, or ideal points for their stats. Their damage rocketed up, while other specs, like WW saw slower, smoother increases.
Although, at the time of this writing, we haven’t seen any WW specific changes posted for the PTR, other than the 5% base crit reduction that all agility classes received. There are many changes that WW can see to help correct some of these issues, and I can assure you that all of these issues have been passed through the necessary channels. We will just have to wait and see how or if Blizzard addresses these things as many of them are not specific to Windwalkers. Before you ask; I may or may not have an idea about how WW will be tweaked, but if I do or don’t, its not information I will share, so don’t bother asking.
Since there have been a few questions and concerns I thought I’d clear a few things up. I am not quitting the game. My previous post about the future was simply an attempt to be upfront with the readers about my current situation and the reality of things. I still intend to play as long as I am able, and maintain the site for as long as I am able after that, but obviously neither of those things can happen indefinitely.
There have been requests for video guides and my kill videos from Mythic EN and ToV. Recently, I’ve been getting many reports about my stream being choppy, and Twitch has seemingly blocked me from highlighting my streams, which is what I had done previously to then upload to Youtube. I will continue to try and do things the way I have, but it doesn’t seem like my computer or Twitch are cooperating right now. I will try some work arounds if I can.
Because of this, and at the behest of my wife; I have opened a GoFundMe to help raise the funds for new PC upgrades that will enable me to stream at a higher quality, and potentially add video content to the list of content that we provide on WalkingTheWind. If you’re willing and able, everything is appreciated, specially around the holidays when things are on sale. This may be shameless, but many of you want content that I’d like to provide but I don’t have the means to cover the upfront costs to do them, that’s just the real world. I have enjoyed the Podcasts so far and will continue to do those as well.
Hopefully, this answers more questions than it creates. As always you can find us on Discord to answer questions, and if you liked what you read don’t hesitate to scroll down or to the top and subscribe and support WtW.