Now its time for some opinions…
So for anyone who’s spent any time talking with me on forums or discord or in game, you know that I’m pretty damn positive about the spec going into Legion. I have spent a decent amount of time playing on the PTR and beta, through quests and dungeons. Alas no raid testing because Blizzard chooses to test at times that make it seem like they specifically don’t want me to test. I’ve also spent numerous hours theorycrafting for the spec, all of which I’ll start to post in July since my guild is taking the month off.
I like most of the spell changes. My absolute favorite change has been the loss of Rising Sun Kick‘s debuff and Tiger Palm‘s buff. These were merely arbitrary things that really didn’t change gameplay at all other than “keep these up all the time”; which really makes them have no real point. Removing these makes it easier for everyone, both new and experienced, having just one less thing to worry about.
Another huge change that I’m a fan of is combining Tigereye Brew and Storm, Earth, and Fire. Both were traps for inexperienced players, as they didn’t work quite as one would figure out on their own. Lots of people aren’t fans of the current path, but I think its the best iteration we’ve seen yet.
Fists of Fury doing 100% to all targets it hits is great, just makes me a little concerned that it is too strong, but I’m more than happy to let Blizzard design it that way. This goes along with my feelings about most of the toolkit, and what Pandanaconda talked about in his 4th Part, having the majority of our damaging abilities also do AOE damage is both a blessing and a potential curse. On one hand it makes switching to AOE from single target very easy, almost literally automatic. However, it brings up the fear that being too strong in AOE will mean we’re too weak in single target. Thankfully, I believe that the spec is significantly easier to balance than it was in WoD when the main issue was how Storm, Earth, and Fire and Chi Explosion worked together to be way too strong.
Most of the talent changes were relatively minor. Changing the lv15 and lv30 talents around actually makes a lot of sense for leveling by adding that extra damage talent early on into the process. Energizing Elixir started off feeling like a very odd talent, but it should just be an easy WeakAura to make to tell when to use it. It still feels odd for it to give full Energy AND Chi when you’d then have to spend some of the Chi before spending energy, so you’ll just be wasting some resource no matter what. Once you get past that, it works really well and simply. The lv60 and 75 changes are almost none existent; although the loss of some of the survivability is a bummer. Hit Combo is a great idea, but I’d prefer if it was the Mastery or worked with it just for some slightly added depth. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger and Rushing Jade Wind remain about the same, although Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger is certainly the weaker of the three. Finally, I think the last tier of talents are all interesting, Whirling Dragon Punch is very nice to look at, Serenity is a nice idea, but in practice I hate it (may just be me), and Chi Orbit does decent damage and WW has plenty of buttons to press, so sometimes a passive is nice.
The legendaries are all pretty damn interesting. They add some nice flavor without seeming totally gamebreaking. I much prefer the ones without direct DPS increases like Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus, March of the Legion and above all else, Cenedril, Reflector of Hatred. My biggest problem with them is the seemingly uncontrolled nature of how we get them and how difficult it will be to compare people and performance when they could have differing legendaries. I’d much prefer if they were more predictably acquired them. I also think they add a level of complexity to balance that will make things slightly more difficult on top of abilities and artifacts. In the long run I think they will act as an interesting way for people to gain power over time, I just hope they don’t create more issues than they solve.
I love this idea, I also love that Windwalker’s artifacts are fist weapons; Ai’burq and Alra’ed, because I can transmog them invisible (hopefully) or (at worst) very minimalist brass knuckles. The traits are all pretty straight forward, and its good that the best path to take is pretty solidly clockwise, no confusing math needed. Its also nice that it will continue to get stronger as time goes on and people can work on them at their own pace.
I’m pretty open about how good I feel about Windwalker as it stands in Legion. It feels fun when I test it, rotations are smooth and paced, and will continue to feel good as gear gets better. I enjoy that haste and mastery seem valuable, and I hope that stat weights eventually reflect that. I wish that Windwalker didn’t lose the survivability abilities, but Cenedril, Reflector of Hatred makes up for it to me. I’m a big fan of many of the new talents and they kept all the abilities that I felt were important to the spec. I am excited to see how the changes will effect the overall population and whether my hypothesis that there will be more Windwalkers in Legion than before because these changes should make it much easier for people to pick up the spec. I think Legion can be a very strong expansion for Windwalkers, and should be fun at all levels and content.