PTR 7.1.5 (Nov 30) Part 3: Serenity Changes

In Legion by Babylonius21 Comments

So, like I spoke about in Part 2, there was a change to Serenity on the PTR where it was no longer snapshotting the cooldown reduction. So after Serenity’s buff was over, any abilities on CD were doubled the current time they had on them. I used the example of if Fists of Fury has 5s left on its cooldown when you leave Serenity, it jumps up to 10s. The cooldown reduction going in is still there, so if Fists of Fury has 10s on its cooldown when you press Serenity, it is cut to 5s.

I’ve learned now, through some channels, that this is an intended change. So before you grab your pitchforks and storm the castle (not that you shouldn’t, just remember the “castle to storm” isn’t Discord or MMOChampion where I moderate, its the official forums), let me explain what this means.


It seems to be a philosophical change in an attempt to make it so that WW can use Serenity at any time. Unfortunately, preliminary theorycrafting shows that it doesn’t do that at all. Obviously their intention was to make Serenity easier to use. Currently you have to carefully track the cooldown of several abilities and use them, ideally, when those abilities have some amount of cooldown left, which is counter-intuitive to most damage increasing buffs. Its understandable, therefore, that they would try to change that behavior to make it easier to use, it just seems that they’ve missed the mark.

However, new testing has surfaced that this is how all haste cooldown reduction works on live, and has for a long time. Once the haste proc is over, the cooldown returns to normal. This is a change that seemingly no one noticed because in generally you’d never see it unless you were looking for it. But this does mean that Blizzard may also have been attempting to bring Serenity in line with other cooldown reduction mechanics.

What does this mean?

Functionally all it does is make it so that we want/need to channel a full Fists of Fury during Serenity, and it nerfs the overall cooldown reduction, if you’re following Pandanaconda’s recommendation for maximizing Serenity’s cooldown reduction. Mathematically, if you were maximizing the cooldown reduction, in addition to gaining half the cooldown of each ability, namely Strike of the Windlord and Fists of Fury, you gained half the cooldown that was remaining when you pressed Serenity. For Strike of the Windlord if you were using Serenity at the recommended 12s left on its cooldown, you gained a total cooldown reduction of 26 seconds. For Fists of Fury, you gained a maximum of 7.5 + half its cooldown, or 19.5s with 0 haste. For Rising Sun Kick, which you ideally use at 2s left in the cooldown then twice during Serenity, you gain 1 + one full cooldown, or 11s maximum.

The problem is that previous, cooldowns lined up so nicely that you barely had to delay anything and could use a WeakAura to know when to use Serenity optimally. Now the cooldowns aren’t likely to line up as cleanly, which will make it harder to use optimally. This will be theorycrafted at some point in the future.

As Max pointed out, my math was wrong, so its been updated.

With this change to Serenity, you will gain a flat 8s maximum cooldown reduction to all abilities due to each second of Serenity counting as 2s of non-Serenity time, so the net gain over 8s of Serenity is 8s of cooldown reduction.. If you delay any abilities during Serenity, you’ll gain less than the 8s maximum (8 minus time delayed). Strike of the WindlordFists of Fury, and Rising Sun Kickwill have a net gain of 8s off their cooldowns per Serenity.

We’ll be working out how much of a change it is in terms of the overall DPS but you can guesstimate. If Serenity used to give 26s of a Strike of the Windlord, that’s 65% of another cast, in 7.1.5 you get 20% of a Strike of the Windlord for every Serenity. For Fists of Fury, rather than gaining 19.5s of 24s or 81.25%, you’ll gain 16s, or 33.3%. Obviously the effect this has on your DPS depends on your other stats. Based on my math and private spreadsheet, its roughly a 4% nerf to single target damage.

It is a decent nerf, but not a game breaking one, and not one designed to specifically damage Windwalker DPS, just to unify similar mechanics. There will be other changes to Windwalker in the PTR eventually, and Blizzard does know the effect that this will have on Windwalkers. So if, after all these changes including the stat changes and all that, Windwalker is still under performing, we can comfortably expect some changes to bring us back in line. Because of the nature of the stat change, its hard to say how specs will stack up quite yet, and Windwalker will have been one of the least effected classes by that change, so its possible that WW is going to be strong simple by being least effected by the stat nerfs. Only time will tell.

If you still feel the desire to riot, then make sure you do it in the appropriate places  (Official and PTR forums) and with the appropriate information.

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 then please scroll down or to the top and subscribe and support WtW.


  1. Salivas

    I really hope they fix SEF’s bugs. I truly enjoy they playstyle so much and continue to use WDP even though I know I could do more with Serenity. I cant see them not fixing them… known bugs… ramp up time, lost tick of FoF, jump to non agro’d targets? what else? these are things I’ve noticed.

  2. WW_Sam

    Why are you trying to gloss over all the nerfs they hit us with? Just because some other classes are getting it worse… They were all out performing us anyway… by far! Nerfing our single target makes absolutely 0 sense especially because blizz is saying they are going to boost the amount of stats on items to make up for their lost secondary stat power…. We need more outrage from you in your tweets.

    **I’ve also edited the parts of your comment that are considerably racist. -Babs**

    1. Author

      I had a longer reply typed out, but decided against it. I certainly didn’t gloss over the changes as I wrote two full articles about them. The short of it is, if you don’t like what I do or how I do it, then you don’t have to pay any attention to what I do or how I do it.

      I am simply not an outrage kind of person, not my personality. If you want outrage from Twitter, its easily found, and you can grab your pitchfork and join them. But thats just not my style. I provide the information to the community and they can react however they interpret that information.

      1. WW_Sam

        It should be clarified since you publicly called me a racists, that my statements were not at all racist. If you have not read Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the title character Uncle Tom follows a path of non-resistance against his cruel and oppressive masters and even at points admires them. Critics of the work say that the title character sells out to his oppressive master by not offering resistance or attempting to change his status with all of the means at his disposal. So when I said you were behaving as the Uncle Tom of windwalkers that had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the concept that you were taking a path of passive take what the masters give me and don’t rage for more.

        On a related note I’m glad you and panda have begun the campaign for communication. I do appreciate the work you are doing.

        1. Author

          I have read the novel, and I know what its about. That doesn’t change the fact that it is most commonly used racially to denote someone who has sold out their race. Obviously you weren’t implying I sold out Pandaren.

          1. WW_Sam

            Not your race, but possibly your class. There aren’t communities based on WoW race, but there are based on class. If we just say thank you sir may I have another every time they nerf us we will get nowhere was the point, but your point is not lost that perhaps the term is racially charged even though the connotations were obviously not race related. I appreciate the discourse. Best wishes!

  3. Slaqua

    This feels like instead of fixing the SEF bugs they’re nerfing Serenity to make WDP the baseline. I don’t mind playing with SEF I just think they’re going the wrong route to make it more attractive.

    1. Author

      I can almost promise that they’re not doing this to Serenity to intentionally lower it to SEF’s level. However, that is technically what is happening.

  4. Maow

    “There will be other changes to Windwalker in the PTR eventually”

    As a spec that has been ever falling to the bottom of the raiding performance ladder (not at the bottom, but you cannot deny we have continued to move in that direction, and arguably more so than any other spec) , all of these “adjustments” are leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

    Like the crit and secondary stat changes, once again our performance has been downgraded due to indirect causes (bringing our CD reduction inline with other classes CD reduction abilities).

    Please tell me that “eventually” translates to the 7.1.5 PTR?

  5. Max

    In addition, it seems to me your math is off, at least regarding Fists of Fury – the hit is much harder than you describe.

    It is true that if we cast Serenity on live with 14 sec remaining on FoF’s CD, we gained 7 seconds +12 seconds to a total of 19, just as you described.

    However, on PTR version, you claim that we gain 16, which indeed looks like a small nerf. However, this is wrong – it is indeed true that during serenity the cooldown of FoF goes down by 16 seconds, but we would have gained 8 of these seconds regardless. In total, every second in Serenity counts for two – which means we get 16 seconds of CD rather than 8, for a total of 8 seconds cooldown reduction.

    That is a difference of 19 on live to 8 seconds on PTR, which is a more drastic nerf than you described.

    1. Author

      You may be correct. I’ve been trying to TC these things while doing other stuff but I’ll take another look at it.

  6. Max

    I got to admit, I admire you for always being so positive and optimistic.

    This is a straight-up nerf and an unwarranted one. Windwalkers were truly enjoying lining up Serenity – it was challenging, fun and rewarding. There was no reason to make this change, which robs Serenity of some of these aspects.

    Do you think this will push WDP (especially with Drinking Horn Cover) above Serenity, despite the bugs?

    1. Razios

      Why just dont wait for more builds?
      Theorycrafting on every build they push seems meaningless.

    2. Kasper

      I agree, this is just another nerf. Liked the “old”/currently way a lot, i was even good at it :p
      I do however have a question, related to PTR but not to this topic, do you see Mark of Death/Death Art (arti:trait) working as intended? Currently doesnt work as intended on live servers, so i was kinda hoping that changed on PTR.

    3. Author

      You can’t look at PTR changes in a vacuum. WW was effected less by the stat changes, than almost any other spec, so we would have gone up quite a bit relative to the other classes. There will also be more PTR builds before its reelased.

    1. Author

      I doubt it will close the gap that much without any improvement to SEF, but we’ll see.

      1. Shoeboots

        I really hope we do see some improvements to SEF then. I prefer it to the point that I rarely touch Serenity, regardless of damage output. But I’m also raiding at a heroic level, and I’m thinking I might want to step into some mythic content in the new year so I won’t necessarily have the luxury of playing SEF. I’m really hoping that’s not the case.

        1. Author

          Well these changes may push Serenity below SEF for most people, only time and testing will tell.

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