Disclaimer: This post is a bit of a rant
Good Karma is a new talent introduced in Battle for Azeroth that increases the amount of damage that your Touch of Karma can absorb and redirect by 50% for a total of 100% your max health. Now that we have established what Good Karma is. I’m going to try to explain why it is a problem.
Location, Location, Location.
First off, the talent is located in probably the worst spot it could be put in. It is located in the 60 talent row also known as the utility row. Good Karma is a throughput talent in a utility row which makes it the default talent pick in almost every conceivable situation. Now many people in the Discord have suggested they change the talent so that the extra damage absorbed doesn’t do damage. This would be an okay compromise in theory but it would still result in becoming the default pick in most situations where you can’t utilize Ring of Peace where the design direction for that row is supposed to be preference like it has been in the past.
Stand In The Fire for DPS
The biggest problem with that talent that pretty much everyone has noticed and groaned about. This talent is a HUGE part of our damage currently in the BfA prepatch. Touch of Karma averages out to be 16-20% of your damage on ST fights in prepatch Antorus. This is mostly because of Cenedril, Reflector of Hatred. Now while this is more of an issue in the prepatch the problem doesn’t magically go away in BfA. Touch of Karma still remains 6-14% of your damage on single target encounters in Uldir from the raid testing I have done. The reason for the wild variance is because of Good Karma and how it requires you to stand in a mechanic that will normally kill you or do most your health in damage. You can’t always do that on fights.
Now normally this doesn’t result in super degenerate behavior on most fights because usually there is a mechanic you can stand in. Where this does cause problems are the few fights where this option doesn’t exist. Fetid Devourer in Uldir is a perfect example, Fetid’s AoE mechanics don’t do enough damage to get the full value of Touch of Karma but he does have a mechanic called Terrible Thrash, where every 4 auto attacks he does he will attack the target closest to his current target for 300% of his normal auto attack damage. This is the only mechanic I found on this fight that would do enough consistent damage to pop it. Now in Heroic Uldir testing, I would have to run next to the tank on pull pop Karma and Dampen Harm and I would survive with about 25% of my HP left. Now if I don’t do this I miss out on potentially 14% damage.
Now you may be thinking, “Kuya you don’t need to do this if you aren’t going for good parses”. I would disagree having this extra damage will allow you to kill the boss faster which means that everyone involved will need to do less because the kill time will be shorter. There is also the off chance you are soaking a mechanic that was going to deal damage to someone else.
At its worst this talent is encouraging purposefully poor play in exchange for damage, at its best it gives Windwalker Monks a strength they’ve never really had which is soaking important mechanics, think Seeker Swarm from Tichondrius in the Nighthold.
Tuning around Good Karma
The long term problem that Good Karma will cause is that because it is such a significant portion of your damage, it may cause us to be tuned around getting decent value from Touch of Karma every fight. Otherwise Windwalker could potentially do way more damage than intended because they are using a defensive cooldown as an offensive one. This would be an incredibly frustrating outcome if it did come to pass and a big part of why it should be changed/removed.
Fixing the Problem
The easiest solution would be just to remove the talent and bring good ol’ Dave back. A more complex solution is trying to somehow balance/rework how the talent works so that it doesn’t give us damage. Other solutions would be to give us a new talent that somehow increases utility. Suggestions that i have thought of would be having a talent that made Fists of Fury apply Disable to all targets hit. A talent that increases the effect of our Windwalking aura. Anything that would give us utility that would want people to bring us over other classes while also not increasing our DPS or Survivability. Allowing us to pick what we want and not have to worry about it which is not the case right now.
Good Karma is bad for the future of Windwalker because it causes us to play around it to maximize damage and may eventually cause us to be tuned with the damage it does in mind. Which further enforces the degenerate playstyle that it promotes.
This is the main problem with Windwalker going into BfA for me. While the spec has many other problems this one stands out because they can’t just fix it with tuning. They rushed a talent out with not a lot of testing and didn’t really see how it would impact gameplay in the long run.
I hope to see it removed or changed in the near future, but until then you’ll see me standing in the bad. I’d like to hear what you all think and what you propose should happen to the spell.