Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Patch 3.1 Warlock Thoughts

First, here is a list of the important (IMO) changes I've been able to round up from blogs at work. Most of this is from Yet Another Warlock Nerf, who is sadly closing his doors along with Phaelia over at Resto4Life. Check out my links on the right to see their latest posts and wish them well. The blogosphere will miss them both.

Patch 3.1 Warlock changes:

  • Curse of the Elements (Rank 5) - Increased to 13% spell damage, up from 10%.
  • Curse of Recklessness has been removed.
  • Curse of Weakness - Now also reduces the armor of the target by 5%.
  • Ritual of Summoning: The summoning of the initial portal is now instant cast, down from 5 seconds.

Affliction Specific Changes

  • Eradication re-designed: Eradication: When you deal damage with Corruption, you have a 2/4/6% chance to gain the Eradication effect. The Eradication effect increases the critical strike chance of your Shadow Bolt spell by 30%. Each critical strike reduces the critical strike bonus by 10%. Lasts 30 sec.
  • Haunt: Now only increases your shadow damage-over-time on the target. (No longer includes non-Shadow damage over time spells.)
  • Malediction: No longer increases the effect of Curse of the Elements.
  • Pandemic: This talent has been reduced to a 1-point talent, now grants your Corruption and Unstable Affliction the capability to critically hit.
  • Shadow Embrace: Now only increases the damage done by your shadow damage periodic spells.
  • Siphon Life: The Siphon Life spell has been removed. Siphon Life now causes your Corruption spell to instantly heal you for 40% of the damage done.
  • Suppression: Now increases spell hit for all of your spells.

Destruction Specific Change

  • Improved Shadow Bolt: Now increases the damage done by your Shadow Bolt spell by 1/2/3/4/5%, and causes your target to be vulnerable to spell damage, increasing spell critical strike chance against that target by 1/2/3/4/5%. Effect lasts 30 sec.

Okay, so looking at this, I'm kind of pissed. I must remind myself, this is only PTR, most likely this will not all go live as-is.

The generic changes are all fine, nothing earth shattering there, just nice to know. Not having a cast time for summoning the flasher stone is good.

The affliction changes, however, look more like a nerf to me. To be honest, I sort of like the haste bonus of Eradication. Probably not for the points, but its nice in boss fights to let you "catch up" sometimes if you've gotten behind on your DoT upkeep. Switching Haunt and Shadow Embrace to only affecting Shadow spells probably makes sense but it looks like a nerf to me. Basically, I'm going to be removing Immolate from my rotation yet again, since it will now not benefit from anything and be just a waste of cast time.

I feel I must interject here that if you look at the destro tree, immolate is getting some love there. I'm not sure if this is going to give us a choice to spec a bunch of points into destro to preserve the DoT's damage as opposed to just taking it out. Don't expect me to waste too much time trying to puzzle that one out though. I'm an angry warlock, remember? It seems to me like the point they're trying to make is Affliction can NOT haz fire. Point taken.

From the look of the new Eradicate, the Improved Shadow Bolt I included which is still low in the destro tree, and the change in suppression to cover all spells, it almost seems as is Blizz is pushing us to use MORE shadowbolts. With the expansion, we saw our s-bolt dependence cut in half, and now its almost as if they're saying "we wanted to do that, just not THAT much." Expect to spam more s-bolts in the very near future. Yet another reason to lose Immolate, in order to squeeze in that extra s-bolt.

The Pandemic change is probably a buff, so okay, that's cool. The siphon life change however is another straight nerf. I know their goal was to simplify the rotation by tacking that onto Corruption, however, we've lost yet another DoT due to these changes. Notice they are not preserving the damage component of the spell, only tacking on the healing to another spell. What happens to the glyph too?

Overall, what I'm seeing here is we're effectively getting two DoTs removed from our standard rotation, losing their damage without a buff elsewhere (I guess we'll have to see how the extra crit of UA and Corr helps that out), and having our dependence on shadow bolt spam increased.

Will the simpler rotation outweigh the overall DPS loss? Will the s-bolts pick up the slack along with some extra critting? I can't say I know. I have to admit it is possible that our damage stays the same across the board or even increases, it just looks like a nerf to me. I don't know why, when we all felt like crap, these are the changes we get. Perhaps my numbers on Patchwerk the other day were just a little *too* good. Who knows?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what goes live, and hope it balances out overall.

Oh, and if you're looking for the DK changes, head on over to Dk.info. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the warlocky ones, so I didn't feel the urge to write about them.


  1. Well, it looks like to me that you got your wish with a lot of things here:

    1) You hate fire spells so Vola! They suck for you.

    2) Easier rotation that you can keep up

    3) You get flashed faster from the Stone (Best part IMO ;)

    I know that you talked about the whole shadowbolt thing dropping so much from your TBC days. Since it was 50% of your damage maybe they wanted to show you how life was with out it for a while.

    Or maybe Blizz is just a bunch of A-holes...


  2. You're right but at what cost? If I wanted to not use these spells and lose their DPS, I could, you know, just not used them.

    It seems like they're making them unappealing by nerfing them, but how are they going to make up for the lost damage? By crits and more shadow bolts? Lets hope so, because if not, we just got hit hard.

  3. The improve shadow bolt change is interesting and the same time inline (imo) with all the changes they made to Affliction (shadow lock), basically we're getting the oomkin's aura but it will come from our shadow bolts and technically could stack on top of the oomkin's aura (probably not). 5% crit to everyone in raid since it debuff the mob.

    I will have to read the other changes to see how I feel but so far it's the class changing mod they kind of hinted at when they first announced 3.1.

  4. Hrm. I hope they don't turn out to be too nerfish. And I hope the new glyphs comin' our way actually are.. you know, useful, as compared to the other crap available right now.

  5. They'll probably be all majors and our minors will continue to suck.

    I'm excited about the rotation change... I was mastering the complex 6 dot rotation and this will probably find me in a much more manageable 4 dot rotation. As long as the DPS isn't nerfed, this is good on the whole.