Before we start

I highly recommend people give Talby’s post a read as its very relevant to these changes. Also understand that his is just the very first step of a PTR cycle that will last several weeks and likely see many more changes and that these changes need to be viewed in relation to what will eventually become Tomb of Sargeras class balance, not Nighthold balance. If you’re upset about these changes, then direct your opinions to the Official PTR Forums and remember that, despite what you’ve heard, just bitching won’t get things done, you need to back things up with numbers and facts, not “OMGWTFBBQ WW sucks now, fuck you blizzard”.

I have created a feedback thread for this: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20754095985#1

Here we go…

Changes

So Blizzard is getting started with the PTR cycle for 7.2.5 with some changes to where damage comes from for Windwalkers.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=262448/7-2-5-ptr-for-april-13-patch-notes-new-wisp-model-class-changes?webhook/7-2-5-ptr-patch-notes

Windwalker

  • Damage of most abilities increased by 5.5%.
  • Rushing Jade Wind now applies Mark of the Crane to up to 2 (was 4) nearby targets.
  • Spinning Crane Kick‘s Mark of the Crane’s damage bonus per target reduced to 40% (was 50%) per target.
  • Fists of Fury‘s range increased to 8 yards (was 5) and damage reduced by 20%.

 

Numbers

Looking at these changes, we have to make some assumptions to them until we have more information

  • We’re assuming that the “most abilities” means that all the damage effected by this aura. That includes Fists of Fury, so its not quite a 20% nerf.
  • This brings the damage bonus for those abilities to around 14%
  • Blackout KickRising Sun Kick, and Tiger Palm still getting an extra 17% damage on top of that (apparently their 8% buff a few weeks ago was actually 17%, which has been almost impossible for me to actually figure out in my brain, so I’m probably not even explaining it right this time)

So here are the facts:

  • It amounts to just about a break-even (less than 1%, but more than 0) for single target damage, with more damage being shifted away from Fists of Fury and into other abilities
  • For AOE damage its around a 10% nerf
  • In theory, Fists of Fury having longer range means it will be easier to hit more targets. In practice, that’s not always true.

 

Opinions

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that the goal of these changes is that Blizzard wants Windwalkers to have less emphasis on AOE abilities (Fists of Fury) being SO important in single target. To that end, it makes sense… kinda. Windwalkers are looking very weak in single target in Tomb and one of the strongest classes in sustained AOE. This **should** be a step toward the direction of WW being less beholden to their AOE abilities when trying to do single target DPS. As Talby touched on in his article, the fact that a large portion of Windwalker’s single target damage comes from AOE spells makes it incredibly difficult to tune one without effecting the other.

The change to Rushing Jade Wind makes little to no sense since it was pretty much never used at 4 targets, so… your guess is as good as mine. Maybe we’re back to a Siege of Orgrimmar situation where we’re not playing Windwalker the way that Blizzard intends.

Anyone who’s been around since Beta can say that they saw the Mark of the Crane nerf coming, and should be surprised its not larger. As soon as it was put in we knew that the potential nightmare with how much it would totally dominate our AOE and how much we’d dominate sustained AOE meters with it. Its amazing it hasn’t been nerfed earlier, just look at Tichondrius’s Bats phase.

Overall, while its easy to speculate what I think they may be trying to do… we have nothing to do but to hope that Blizzard knows that they’re doing and have a bigger plan. Right now, as it stands, they just nerfed a spec that was already going to be reeeally struggling in Tomb of Sargeras. If Windwalkers have been forced into a niche of sustained AOE by Blizzard’s choices in the past, at the expense of our ability to perform in other situations like single target, this was a pretty noticeable nerf to that niche.

The idea is there, just need the execution, which Blizzard has a mixed track record with Windwalkers.

 


 

I hope this answers more questions than it creates. If you like the content that I, and the others at PeakofSerenity provide then please support us through Patreon and PayPal. If you have any questions you can ask in Discord.

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