Tuesday, November 4, 2008

He's On Fire!

I found a couple interesting "Blue" posts last night that I wanted to pass on. I found both of these on the forums over at Warlock's Den, but you can also find them on MMO Champion as well.

First, in regards to the buffing of Warlocks everywhere:

The coefficients of these spells were hotfixed last Thursday I believe.

Corruption's coefficient went from 0.156 to 0.20.
Immolate's coefficient went from 0.13 to 0.20.

This ends up being a reasonably significant dps buff to all 3 specs. In our preliminary testing, Demonology may have benefited the most.

Well this just throws my whole "don't use Immolate" rationale out the window. The good news if you've read about my cast rotation is that I have more time in those "windows" to throw this spell in. It doesn't mean a major change. Because of the cast time, I don't think I'd use this on trash, unless in that section I replaced the UA cast with an Immolate cast. My trash rotation would then look something like: Corr, Haunt, Immo, (optional UA/SL), S-bolts, D. Soul. For those of you counting on your screen, this means 6 spell timers to watch on boss fights with the rotation shaping up as (using CoA): CoA, Haunt, UA, Corr, Immo, SL, filler. Yikes!

I can't say I'm completely sold yet, and part of why is in my next blue clip:

When we set out to work on the classes in Lich King, we had some specific goals for each one. Our mission was not to overhaul every class. We had specific things we want to accomplish.

For locks, the list looked something like this:
  • Give Destro a rotation that involved more than just Shadowbolt.
  • Make sure Affliction had dps comparable with the difficulty in pulling off the rotation.
  • Get locks to care more about pets without it just being Imps in PvE and Felhunters in PvP (and sac'ing pets as often as possible).
  • Get the Felguard back out and make the Infernal and Doomguard not a joke.
  • Make the dps stones something someone might actually use.
  • Make Affliction care more about Shadow and Destro fire.
  • Get Demo back into the PvE game again.
  • Get rid of the hassles with demon training.
Now that Lich King is virtually done, we've moved on to some different topics. This is a partial list, but includes things like:
  • Make sure locks do rogue / hunter / mage level dps at 80.
  • Make sure locks have enough survivability in PvP (since we nerfed a lot of it).
  • Fix some of those deep Demo talents that really aren't worth the investment.
  • Make shards more interesting and less of a hassle.
  • Get the Voidwalker (and possibly Succubus?) back out.
  • Look at the dps spells that cost shards.
  • Try and make more of the dots a consistent length, so that Affliction's rotation doesn't require such a big brain.
  • Get dots to either scale with crit or just crit.
I know that's vague, and I'm reconstructing the list off the top of my head. Of course I imagine we'll add to that list once we see what the 3 specs actually look like at 80 with thousands of people playing them.

This is definitely a very interesting list. It's good to know they had a plan and want to keep us top tier for DPS. If you look at line 6 of the first list, it says "to make affliction care more about Shadow..." This is why I'm not completely sold on Immolate yet. I mean "one of these things is not like the other..." We cast all shadow spells except for one fire spell? It just seems odd to me. However, one cannot ignore the buffed damage output of the spell. I'm just thinking they may tweak something in talents or whatever to make Immolate more of a Destro/Demo rotation must, but not as much for Afflocks.

I plan on throwing it in there sometimes when I feel "on fire". (aside: if you ever played NBA Jam back in the day, insert the crazy announcer saying "He's on Fire!" I want that sound byte in an addon for when my Shadow Trance procs too). It would probably help in an optimal rotation, but 6 DoTs does get hard to manage. Are we really going to be able to keep all these up in a boss fight that requires more than just standing still and being a DPS cannon?

All in all, I think Blizz has done a good job according to that list. The spell stone has definitely become a regular for me, and a nice replaced me to the old hassle of Wizard's Oil. I would love to see something cooler with shards, and anything that brings all three of our trees viability in all aspects of the game is a plus. The second to last point, however, can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

I know the current rotation is rough to manage, but I think a lot of that is just not being used to it and expecting everything to line up nicely. Who said we were never going to have to make trade offs between spells and deal with some downtime? If this is taken into account in our end-game DPS, I think its good overall. I mean having to make choices will get us away from one "set in stone" rotation that everyone uses and allow individualization. That is never bad, IMO. Plus, it gives me things to write about and play with.

Additionally, I want to see changes made, and then mostly settled on. Its hard to get used to a class if it is constantly in a state of change (see any Paladin for some valid QQ about this). This can be frustrating and drive people away. We don't want that.

On the other hand, it shouldn't take a math degree to figure this stuff out, so a little simplification would probably go a long way in this case. I just don't want to see it eased into idiocity. Warlocks have always been the smart, evil, scheming type. Lets not lose our identity :-).

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