BETA: Spectral Guise

I want to like this ability, I really do but I’m struggling to find anything positive at all to say about it. Regardless of whether you consider it in the light of PvP or PvE it has several obvious flaws.

White hits count towards the three hits. Thus fast hitting classes like rogues break you out far too fast.

You can’t cast anything whilst invisible nor can you interact with anything, including your lightwell.

You might as well announce your disappearing act with a fanfare of trumpets, some fireworks and a troop of cheerleaders. Subtle it isn’t. Not only is there an audible “whoosh”, you also fade to black before vanishing then there is a slight delay in which the enemy de-targets you before the “clone” appears. Which brings me to my next point.

This is my Gnome in all her awesome lv 87 glory:

This is my Spectral Guise:

Feel free to play spot the differences. I would imagine that by the time we’re one month into the expansion, everyone who isn’t a bot will recognise exactly what you’re doing and how to counter it. Also regardless of the health you’re at when you cast Spectral Guise, the clone spawns with a 100 percent which is another give away.

At the moment, any damage you (the real you, not the pale imitation) takes breaks the illusion. So you need to be careful about when you use it. Any dots on you before hand and it’s a no no even if said dots are absorbed by your shield. If you get caught by any AoE effects whilst trying to sneak off, same deal.

As Spectral Guise does break on damage to you and doesn’t clear snares, my biggest headache whilst duelling was the preparation I needed to get the most out of it.

cc -> dispel -> racial (if the snares weren’t magic) -> Spectral Guise

As the most I gained was 30 yards and since everyone else has at least one way of getting back to you, it barely bought me any time at all. I would have been arguably better just using fear and then spam healing myself.

In mass PvP, I can imagine myself using it pro-actively, for example sneaking into an enemy group using it and then fearing to break them up. Other than that, the best use I can think of is using it to cancel spells enemy casters/bosses are using on you.

So what about PvE, if I’m in a dungeon with a bad tank, I already have fade (which I can talent to remove snares) as well as either void tendrils or glyphable fear.

One other possible use (besides using it to cancel one spell cast on you every 30 seconds), would be on encounters like the new Huntsman in the Scarlet Monastery. The kind of fights where you get an arrow over your head and a pack of animals which can’t be taunted set on you for a set duration. If the arrow copies to your “clone” that is. I still need to test this as when I tried the Scarlet Monastery earlier, the boss insisted on targeting my party member rather than me. Of course if Mists brings us another Faction Champions type encounter, then yes, this spell will have a niche but until then, it’s rather lacklustre.

As an lv 87 Priest who has quested through both new zones as well as run the new dungeon as Holy, I can’t think of a single occasion where I “needed” Spectral Guise or even one where it would have been my go to solution. Given that it’s our only new non-talented ability this expansion, I feel that’s rather sad.

I would like to see a couple of quick fixes implemented to make it more desirable.

  1. Make it require only yellow hits to break or make it last for a percentage of your health pool.
  2.  Have it work a bit like vanish in that any damage the real you incurs whilst it’s active doesn’t break the effect. That way AoE and dots wouldn’t be so much of an issue. Either that or fix it to work with absorbs so that any absorbed damage doesn’t make you reappear.
  3. I’d also like it to copy my character, exact same health/mana and health percentage please.
Edit: On top of all this, Darkener left a great comment about his/her idea for a Spectral Guise glyph.
Glyph of Spectral Guise:Your Spectral Guise spell can be cast while stunned, immobilized, polymorphed, feared, charmed, disoriented, Sapped or mind controlled (under the effect of any CC).”

I have to say I love this idea. Of course it would rely on Blizzard fixing Spectral Guise so that the “sneaky” you doesn’t take damage whilst invisible but it would make a big difference in PvP. Since most of the glyphs these days are trade offs, perhaps a small increase to the cooldown would be required but I could live with that if I got a decent “Save me!” spell out of it.

Finally I have one last issue with it. As it’s not true stealth, mini-pets stick by your side and give the game away. In an expansion based around mini-pet battles, this is bad. I want to have my new companions out in PvP.

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4 Responses

  1. Great post! Yeah that has a lot of potential to be great, but a greater potential to just suck.

  2. Things to fix Spectral Guise:

    – Lasts 8 seconds or until your true form takes 30% damage.
    – While in Spectral Guise form you are immune to damage.

    Glyph of Spectral Guise:

    Your Spectral Guise spell can be cast while stunned, immobilized, polymorphed, feared, charmed, disoriented, Sapped or mind controlled (under the effect of any CC).

    • I love your idea for a glyph and if your second point was implemented then it work wonderfully.

      As much as I’d like the idea of having 8 eight seconds out of every 30 where I don’t take damage (until I’d taken 30 percent of my health), I do think that’s perhaps a bit too over the top given the current cooldown, if I’m understanding your intent with “immune” correctly.

      At current numbers (lv 87), that would be like getting a free 56k health boost every 30 seconds. Obviously it would depend on the class but I think that when you factor in reaction time (having to retarget the “clone”), casting time for ranged classes etc that by the time we hit 90, people would be complaining like mad as most of the time it would last the full eight seconds.

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