Celestial Spirits: 9.1 Night Fae Legendary Explained for Restoration Druid - Deck RNG Gone Bad
is a new Night Fae specific Druid legendary coming in patch 9.1. It cuts
cooldown, duration and number of spells in half, while increasing the number of “exceptional spells” you get. For Resto Druid the exceptional spell is
, and without the legendary you’ll get one in every 5 casts. In this article we will explore in depth what an “increased chance” means for us, and how it isn’t quite what we were hoping for.
About the Author
Voulk is the author of
, a healer-focused theorycrafting site. He is also the creator of the QE Dungeon Tips addon and healer gearing & theorycrafting app
Thanks to Vrocas, Broccoliz, Torty and Gastank for helping me test!
A Re-introduction to the “Deck of Cards” RNG system.
This would be a five card deck with one "proc" or "success" card.
's chance to cast
both with and without the legendary equipped uses a system of chance we refer to as “Deck RNG”. This was added in Legion to smooth out your luck and reduce both huge positive and negative swings that pure RNG can lead to. The way it works is that the proc has a deck of cards of a specific size with a specific number of “success” cards in it. Each time you cast the ability, you draw a card. If you pull a “success” card, then you get the good thing. So in a deck of 5 with 1 success card, you would be guaranteed exactly 1 success in every set of 5 casts. The deck also resets every time you pull the boss. It’s actually a very good system and can even be played around a little bit with Weakauras, as opposed to pure chance where you are at the mercy of RNG.
You can read more about the system in this blog post that was written when it was first introduced
Generally we can find most information in the game’s spell data itself (and Wowhead does a great job at making it human readable). Deck RNG is a little trickier since the information is usually stored server-side. This leaves us with manual testing. We suspected that the
proc used some edition of the deck system above, since we know that
uses one on live servers. Deck RNG is reasonably easy to test for since it ends up looking quite distinct from pure chance. You’ll never get three successes in a row in a 2 card deck for example. Knowing already that all deck systems reset on boss pull, we headed to the PTR to see what we could learn about
. The viability of the legendary depends heavily on two things: its overall
rate, and how reliable those procs are.
What Did We Find?
We ended up casting
hundreds of times, logging whether we got a
or not with every cast. We focused mainly on Shriekwing and LFR raids so that we could collect sequences of at least 10
casts. Deck RNG is typically easy to spot, and after a few trials we were confident this was using a deck system, but the results were still not as we would expect.
Sample Sequence 1
Using our Deck RNG system we would expect to have one
, and one non-
in every set of two
casts. In no scenario can you ever have two
procs in one set, and after 500 casts we never did. This confirms that the legendary is using a deck of two.
Sample Sequence 2
While the first sequence
looked correct, this one is much more problematic. We hit
only twice out of our 10 casts, and the rest of our two-card decks were duds. This kind of sequence was very common in our testing.
So, what is going on here?
The next paragraph is definitely speculation, and there is no way to confirm this in game but bear with me. While the legendary is definitely on the deck system, it appears to have a different definition of a “success” card than we do. I would class a success as my
, but I’m hypothesizing that it instead adds
to the list of possible spells
can cast instead of guaranteeing it. We don’t get a
on a success card, we just get a
of one. The odds appear to be around
or so from our tests. This is arguably not a bug, just a mechanic working differently than expected. It does have some balance implications though, and I’m also going to argue that it is antithetical to what makes Deck RNG such a good system.
The takeaway is that you get a
proc roughly every third
, and you will never do better than one
in every two casts.
So, what does it mean?
Deck RNG is good because it is somewhat reliable. If it were a 100% chance and I get no
on my first cast, I am guaranteed one on my second. This means that I can play around that by including it as part of a much larger ramp. With pure RNG (or even what we have currently) it is much harder to do that. You are much more at the mercy of luck. WoW will never be a fully deterministic game (nor should it be), but it is at its best when the player has more agency. By guaranteeing a
on a “success” card it becomes a much more interesting legendary to play with.
From a legendary balance perspective,
weak. It maintains some semblance of viability because of its synergy with soulbinds that proc off
casts (you get full duration despite the lower cooldown) and you'll still want it in your kit for specific damage patterns. It could just be so much
. Resto Druid is in an incredibly solid, but unexceptional state, and this legendary could become an absolute cornerstone of how the spec is played in raid.
But only if they fix the deck.
How does it work for other Druid specs?
It appears to work identically for the other druid specs, but we didn't test them quite as thoroughly. The system has even greater implications for those specs because
is the most powerful of the "exceptional spells".
What other solutions could work if they deem a 2 card guarantee too powerful?
A 3 card deck for Resto would still be better than the current system, even if similar on overall
count because it would reintroduce the reliability the deck system is known for (but if you're reading this blizzard, go with 2 card).
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