PTR Change

Blizzard put out the PTR for 8.1 and today’s build came with a change for Windwalker:

 Good Karma  – 100% of the damage redirected by Touch of Karma can now redirect an additional 50% of your maximum health. also heals you.

All other changes are leftover changes from patches in the past, or tooltip updates, not actual changes for Windwalker’s future.

This is what we have been asking for, a reduction in how reliant we are on Touch of Karma, and a return to the way Good Karma was in Legion, allowing us to have quite a large self heal.

For those that didn’t play in Legion, the way Good Karma worked was that as you took damage, you also got healing instantly. So if you took 25% of your health in one shot, you got a heal for 25% of your health at the same time, then that 25% was dished back out to the target over the duration of Touch of Karma.

This will reduce our maximum damage, but should be a welcome change for anyone who felt that Touch of Karma fostered an unhealthy gameplay. Currently, there is no listed buff to offset the damage loss, but this is step one in the process and actual class tuning comes later in the process.

This will mostly shift Touch of Karma back to being an ability that you use as a defensive first, and only offensively if you don’t need to use it defensively. It should feel less mandatory as the difference in using it 100% offensively and 100% defensively should be closer to 3-4% or less rather than 8-10% as it can be currently. Our maximum damage contributions from Touch of Karma will still be slightly higher than in Legion, but nowhere near as high as we’ve seen up to this point.

Although it doesn’t eliminate Touch of Karma as a way to truly maximize your damage, it should lessen the frustration if you can’t get 100% use out of it, or have to switch to another talent, and it should make it easier to get the maximum benefit out of it without having to hunt for damage and put yourself in extra danger as often.


Post Swift Roundhouse Nerf

After the Swift Roundhouse change the other day, I mathed it out that it was a 14% loss of damage overall. However, in my haze of exhaustion and frustration, incorrectly ignored checking how much we would be losing once you considered changing traits to stronger ones and changing talents. This was a shortsighted estimation of the affect that the nerf would have on us, so I need to set the record straight.

At the time, the Mythic Uldir profile simmed for 18,766 DPS in single target and I estimated that it would fall down to 16,484 DPS when still using Swift Roundhouse and Serenity. Once we got the profiles updated the reality isn’t quite that stark. According to Raidbots, using 3x Swift Roundhouse and Serenity, the way that used to be the best, the profile’s DPS is 17,561, compared to the new “best” profile’s DPS of 18,438. This shows that not only were my estimations extreme, but I never compared the old reality to the new reality, going from 18,766 down to 18,438 DPS, which is a loss of barely 2%. Even using the previous “best” profile, the damage loss was closer to 7.5-8%, not the 13.8% that I estimated.

Obviously this is using sims and not real world data, but the real world data from WarcraftLogs does seem to corroborate that reports of Windwalker’s demise were greatly exaggerated. I will, as always, put together a report about how Windwalker performed this week once its over, but the data thats currently available doesn’t show Windwalker falling to much, if at all, in some situations.

So, I do feel the need to apologize to the community for, apparently, creating a bigger stink than was necessary. I have been called a “Blizzard Apologist” for years, but it looks like this time, when I let the fervor and frustration take me, I actually need to apologize.

It appears, at least a few days later, that Blizzard managed to nerf Swift Roundhouse an appropriate amount without crippling the spec. However, the combination of the 55% nerf and us now switching to Whirling Dragon Punch for all content does make Swift Roundhouse drop down very near the bottom of the Azerite trait list. So it was an appropriate amount for using Swift Roundhouse and Serenity, but probably a bit of overkill when using Whirling Dragon Punch, but I guess you couldn’t have one without the other. In this situation I fell to the common mistake of not really seeing the big picture.

Based on the current data, there isn’t really any need for “compensation buffs” as Windwalker is still securely in the average range. Windwalker isn’t toward the top, but its also not toward the bottom. With the change to Good Karma, it should be more straightforward to determine whether or not Windwalker needs any “compensation buffs”.

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