In the next update to the Shadowlands Beta and PTR, we’ve taken a number of spells categorized as “burst cooldowns” off the global cooldown (GCD). Here are some more details on how we’ve come to this decision, as well as our intentions about this category of abilities.
By “burst cooldowns,” we mean spells like Avenging Wrath or Arcane Power whose primary purpose is to increase your damage or healing output every two to three minutes. The proper use of these major abilities can turn the tide of battle in your favor, and while they’re all mechanically powerful, our goal is that choosing to use them should also feel satisfying and epic. We look to abilities like Metamorphosis, Stormkeeper, and Void Eruption as successful examples of this, where animations, visual effects, and numerical payoff align to create a satisfying keypress that amply justifies incurring a global cooldown and creates a high point in the flow of combat.
Many of our burst cooldowns currently fall short of this standard. The solution for some of these has been to add an additional effect to activation (for example: Blade Flurry for rogues or Ascendance for restoration shamans), while for others it has been to combine the functionality into another active ability (for example: the recent handling of Unholy Frenzy for death knights), but there are still many abilities today that do nothing other than increase stats or resource generation.
We’ve heard clear feedback that incurring a global cooldown to do nothing but enhance subsequent button presses is unsatisfying, and we agree. While our goal remains making it so that when abilities are on the global cooldown, they feel compelling as standalone actions, in the meantime we want to avoid hindering smooth combat rotations. As such, we’re removing several abilities from the GCD and, in some cases, rolling back changes we’ve made in an attempt to make the GCD feel worthwhile. Below is a tentative list of relevant abilities that are being removed from the GCD:
Class – Abilities coming off the GCD
- Death Knight – Pillar of Frost, Empower Rune Weapon
- Druid – Berserk, Celestial Alignment, Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, Incarnation: King of the Jungle, Ravenous Frenzy
- Hunter – Aspect of the Wild
- Mage – Arcane Power, Icy Veins
- Monk – Serenity
- Paladin – Avenging Crusader, Avenging Wrath, Crusade, Holy Avenger
- Priest – Spirit Shell
- Rogue – Adrenaline Rush, Shadow Blades, Vendetta
- Shaman – Ancestral Guidance
- Warlock – Dark Soul: Instability, Dark Soul: Misery
- Warrior – Avatar, Recklessness
We appreciate your feedback on this issue, and we appreciate your patience as we work to improve these abilities in the future.