“Burst Cooldowns” Being Removed from GCD in Shadowlands

In a blue post today, Blizzard announced that they are removing 24 different abilities from the Global Cooldown. The abilities being removed are what Blizzard has decided to term “burst cooldowns” — spells whose primary purpose is to increase your damage or healing output every two to three minutes.

The removal of these abilities from the global cooldown means you’ll be able to press them and not have to wait to start pressing other attack or healing spells. It’ll feel great on a Fury Warrior for instance to smash that Recklessness button and immediately cast a Rampage without waiting for the cooldown.

These changes will go live with prepatch along with other class changes. A prepatch release date has not yet been announced.

Hello everyone.

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.

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