General NotesLoss of Twinblades of the Deceiver and Legendaries
Due to their Legion release, Demon Hunters were essentially designed with the artifact mechanics in mind, however very few traits have been rolled baseline in beta to date. Although this is something that has affected all other classes to some degree, this is strongly felt for Havoc players.
The loss of Zorn der Illidari
feels like a major loss of a baseline skill for Havoc, as it has been a large part of the rotation and Havoc’s overall AoE package. It is unfortunate this ability could not have stayed as part of the Havoc toolkit going forward. AoE damage, in general, was further reduced by the loss of Inner Demons and Balanced Blades.
Feast on the Souls was a major part of solo and small group play for Havoc and made Augenstrahl
reliable in dungeons and solo play. Raddons Kaskadenblick
was also considered one of the more fun legendaries for dungeon play and having it return to the talent tree in some fashion would be welcomed by many players.
Contained Fury was also a fairly large part of the rotational balance of Havoc and the current max of 100 Fury feels unnatural and awkward with Chaosstoß
’s 40 Fury cost. It was somewhat expected among the Havoc community for the baseline max Fury to end up at least at 120, but this is not currently the case on beta. This makes Fury-capping even from normal sources far more likely and sometimes makes it not possible to even pool 2 Chaosstoß
s without capping Fury depending on the situation.Class and Ability ChangesChaosstoß
was changed to be a flat 40% refund rate instead of being tied to Critical Strikes. Mechanically, this is probably a healthy change for balancing purposes considering the scaling issues with Critical Rating during Legion, however a 40% refund rate is lower than almost any point in Legion. Many Havoc players were already approaching 50% Critical Chance in Emerald Nightmare, so this 40% value is likely a bit more conservative than it needs to be and leads to a bias towards generators which feels sluggish.Augenstrahl
has been changed to deal double damage to the primary target--similar to Klingentanz
with the Erstes Blutvergießen
talent. Additionally, the Wide Eyes trait has been rolled baseline to lower the cost to 30 Fury and the base cooldown is now 30 seconds as well. These are great changes as it allows Augenstrahl
to be used as a core rotational ability regardless of the number of targets. The 100% Critical Hit chance still serves no real mechanical purpose and lessens the value of what will likely be a fairly weak secondary rating after the Chaosstoß
has been left in a very strange spot in Battle for Azeroth as its base damage has been considerably lowered and all damage support (such as Bloodlet and Bionische Stabilisatoren der Mo'arg
) has been removed. Gleve werfen
is currently damage neutral on 2 targets compared to Dämonenbiss
and may even be questionable on the max of 3 targets given the low damage and lack of Fury generation. Considering that the Havoc rotation is already fairly light on buttons, it is hard to figure out what the purpose of Gleve werfen
is and why it has been “designed out” of the rotation in Battle for Azeroth.
Chaos Blades has been removed from Havoc despite its overwhelmingly large role in Havoc gameplay since day-one of Legion. While this is understandable from a talent balance perspective, it is somewhat unfortunate to see this completely disappear, especially on a spec lacking a medium duration cooldown.Einkerkern
has been increased from a 15 second to 45 second cooldown, but otherwise functions the same. This is consistent with Paralysis, but creates a conflict between abilities such as Polymorph, Sap, and Hibernate that still have no cooldown at all. Additionally, Hex and Freezing Trap have more moderate 30 second cooldowns. It would be nice to see more consistency here. As they all technically have 100% uptime on a single target, a longer cooldown only makes CC more difficult to apply when people accidentally break them.Metamorphose
remains largely unchanged, but continues to be a fairly strange cooldown. Its lack of interaction with most abilities makes it very one-dimensional and it would be ideal to see it provide increased damage to abilities such as Augenstrahl
and Gleve werfen
naturally biases the gameplay towards Chaosstoß
-oriented builds due to its design.
Demon Reborn is the third and last talent removed from the Havoc tree (along with Bloodlet and Chaos Blades, as mentioned earlier) but is likely not to be missed too much.
Demon Hunters were also given one of the five new raid buffs, Chaos Brand, which will likely mean at least once Demon Hunter will be “required” in most raid compositions. Talents99 Tier
- This tier is focused on bonus Fury gains.Blinder Jähzorn
- Basically the same, however the 100% damage increase for Augenstrahl
on primary targets makes this a more effective DPS increase. Unfortunately, due to the lower Fury cap mentioned above, it is impossible to not waste Fury from this effect.Dämonischer Appetit
- Without Feast on the Souls, this talent feels a bit lost. Teufelsklinge
and Blinder Jähzorn
are more interesting talents and Dämonischer Appetit
’s benefit is pure survivability without that trait. Changing to RPPM is a good idea for balance, as it removes the Chaosstoß
feedback loop. Souls are still awkward to see and pick up at times and it would be welcome to have a Vengeance-style aura for tracking available souls instead of having to guess.Teufelsklinge
- Essentially the same but the cooldown reset rate was reduced from 4.5 to 2 RPPM, which is a big hit to the pace and power-level of the talent. Given the increased damage of Augenstrahl
, competing with Blinder Jähzorn
will be difficult even if Teufelsklinge
is fun to use. The 50 Fury gain can also be awkward in terms of capping with only 100 max Fury.100 Tier
- This tier is focused on primary Fury gainsUnstillbarer Hunger
- This is basically part of the Anger of the Half-Giants effect turned into a talent. Increases Fury generation marginally but is currently quite undertuned. The overall Fury gain here is low and it is the only talent on the tier that doesn’t have a damage component.Dämonenklingen
- With the lower refund rate on Chaosstoß
, this doesn’t feel great on beta. Dämonenklingen
was adjusted multiple times based on higher Chaosstoß
refund rates and the Anger of the Half-Giants legendary. Needs to be reevaluated within the context of the current mechanics. Many Havoc players have enjoyed the Dämonenklingen
playstyle, but there are many question marks about the viability of it right now.Feuerbrandaura
- Probably the consensus best addition to the Havoc toolkit in Battle for Azeroth. This ability is fun to use and is an effective secondary Fury generator. Many Havoc players seem pretty excited to use this ability, so the relative weakness elsewhere on this tier is poor for talent diversity but not too negative in terms of player impact as Feuerbrandaura
is a great ability to take.102 Tier
- This tier is focused on increasing AoE capabilitiesSpur des Ruins
- Somewhat boring but a fairly typical passive. This does not currently scale with Eifer des Gefechts
or Mastery, which is assumed to be an oversight at this point.Teufelsmeisterschaft
- Is now a pure damage increased compared to the hybrid damage + Fury generation design in Legion. However, it is now a much larger damage effect and likely will be extremely strong for Eifer des Gefechts
builds or any encounter with consistent AoE. Has large design space crossover with Spur des Ruins
, however, since they essentially do the same thing in in the same way for sustained AoE scenarios.Teufelsbeschuss
- Retaining the damage effect, this no longer has the complex cooldown reduction mechanic. Now simply a 1 minute burst AoE cooldown, Teufelsbeschuss
is likely to be quite useful in dungeons and on fights with timed add waves. Currently pretty overtuned on beta, but will likely be useful regardless of tuning in many situations. Teufelsbeschuss
was always a good talent that was simply competing with better talents. On an AoE-specific tier, this is a much better fit.104 Tier
- This tier is focused on survivability increasesSeelenreißer
- The only talent on this tier with any notable change. Now grants 10% passive Leech while having less burst Leech while in Meta. Overall a positive change for both solo play and raids as most of the additional Leech resulted in overhealing.Notinstinkte
- Still essentially the same as in Legion. Situationally interesting, although the auto-trigger can be awkward in many situations. Overall, this is a pretty underwhelming talent outside of some situational uses where Blur going up to 50% is useful for some specific purpose.Netherwandeln
- Unchanged from Legion. Still a poor man’s Cloak of Shadows, but likely will still be used for certain soaking applications. Netherwandeln
still has the negative of serving no purpose on encounters where immunities are ignored. Cloak of Shadows can often still be used to remove deadly debuffs even if damage is not prevented, but Netherwandeln
- This tier is focused primarily on increasing direct damageTeufelskreis
- This is our second Legendary item talent translation, as it pretty closely mimics the effect of Delusions of Grandeur. However, this version is far less reliable. With this effect only being triggered by 40% chance Chaosstoß
refunds alone (instead of all Fury spent,) the effect will be quite a bit less consistent.
Unfortunately, due to fight timings and cooldown breakpoints, this is not the type of effect that should be inconsistent. Delusions was very popular, but only because it could be used to yield additional uses of Metamorphose
on encounters at specific intervals. This also seems to be a poor “left column” passive as it is complex to evaluate and has limited solo play use. Erstes Blutvergießen
- Basically unchanged other than moving tiers. This always has the potential to be quite strong as it turns Klingentanz
into a very high damage per cost ability and increases single-target priority damage even in AoE scenarios. This seems like a more natural left-tier passive than Teufelskreis
, as Klingentanz
is used heavily while questing/leveling.
Note: An unfortunate aspect of Erstes Blutvergießen
is that it does not increase the damage of Spur des Ruins
on the primary target. Additionally, it is the only talent on the 106 Tier that does not benefit from Mastery in any way. As Mastery is likely to be Havoc’s strongest stat in Legion, this may lead to scaling issues as the expansion goes forward.Essenzbruch
- The Havoc community seems very excited about this in general. It is a fun ability with huge payoff. However, as a talent, this seems problematic to balance against other options in the tier. This is an extremely powerful effect, even if it were to be toned down, it works together with so many mechanics that it may prove difficult for Erstes Blutvergießen
to end up as attractive options. Essenzbruch
has the potential to be rotation-warping and could become difficult to disentangle from core balance issues.108 Tier
- This tier is focused on utility benefitsEntfesselte Macht
- Talent itself is unchanged, however the effective power has been rather substantially reduced by Chaosnova
no longer being a stun. Still not a bad option for dungeons.Glevenmeister
- Maintains the Snare effect from Legion, but no longer increases the number of charges of Gleve werfen
to 2. This was a surprising change, as the additional charges were a fairly major part of this talent’s value. Without it, the snare becomes far less reliable, even with Gleve werfen
having a slightly reduced cooldown.Teufelseruption
- No longer includes the large damage component against stun immune enemies in Legion. This allows the talent to be moved to the utility row instead of the cooldown row like before. 30 seconds is a fairly long cooldown for a short stun effect. Abilities like Kidney Shot offer far more reliable stuns for dungeons and raids. It would be nice to either see the stun duration increased or the cooldown reduced.110 Tier
- This tier is focused on damage increasing cooldownsDämonisch
- The effect is unchanged from Legion, but there are some related changes due to surrounding mechanics. On one hand, this is more generally attractive as Augenstrahl
will be used in the single-target rotation due to the 100% primary damage increase mechanic.
Overall, it is positive that Dämonisch
can now be taken without a super-specific talent setup. Something to watch closely here is the large potential synergy with Essenzbruch
.Eifer des Gefechts
- This talent is an interesting change from Legion, as it combines the effects of Eifer des Gefechts
and Prepared into a single talent, but removes the Eifer des Gefechts
effect from Vengeful Retreat. This makes Fel Rush the damage-increaser and Vengeful Retreat the Fury generator.
At the start of Legion when Eifer des Gefechts
was being played heavily, Vengeful Retreat and Fel Rush were not chained as you wanted to stagger them for higher uptime on the damage buff itself. With the changes, using them together is now beneficial.
However, with Vengeful Retreat being on the GCD now, this “combo” feels far more awkward than it needs to. These two abilities already had a shared 1 second cooldown, so the GCD change to Vengeful Retreat feels unnecessary. If you could smoothly combo Vengeful Retreat into Fel Rush to return to melee range, this talent could be a lot more fun.Nemesis
- This is unchanged from Legion and a pretty no-brainer talent for single-target boss encounters. Fairly boring but syncs well with Metamorphose
and is very consistent.
Overall, the Nemesis
secondary mechanic has shown itself to be quite weak in Legion and generally ignored outside of a small number of dungeons. Not enough dungeons or encounters share enemy types for this to be strategically viable and Eifer des Gefechts
has always been a stronger talent for in AoE scenarios anyway. Most boss encounters feature types that do not match and “proper” usage of this talent has rarely been practical. Additionally, Nemesis
suffers from being non-functional with un-typed enemies (Gul’dan eyes, Xavius adds) and the fact that many encounter enemies do not actually trigger “death” abilities.Overall Conclusion
In many ways, Havoc remains the same at its core compared to Legion. There are definitely some nice improvements here but also some minor missteps that could be corrected to make the rotation more fun and engaging.
The loss Zorn der Illidari
and certain artifact traits has been somewhat painful and it would be nice to see further iteration in these areas.
One of the biggest issues with Havoc currently is that the core rotation is still extremely sparse and quite boring. While there are a number of talent builds that play in a fun and engaging fashion in beta, those builds usually involve additional abilities such as Feuerbrandaura
, and Essenzbruch
Without taking the optional abilities, the core rotation of Havoc is essentially just Dämonenbiss
off cooldown. The baseline spec has very little in the way of reactive procs or emergent interactions and without key talents the spec is not particularly interesting to play. This is risky as it leaves the fun-factor of the spec at the mercy of talent balancing and also may lead to poor talent build diversity.
Havoc feels like it needs another baseline ability or mechanic in order to really stand on its own without relying on specific talents to fill in the gameplay gap.
It is also questionable as to if Havoc truly has a strong enough toolkit to be a valuable spec for progression raiding. It seems likely it will often be one step behind “pure” DPS classes with multiple spec options and it will be heavily leaning on Chaos Brand in order to secure raid spots.