I got in some good play time last night after patching. Just enough to give my 'lock a test run in the Halls of Origination. My first thought? Ouch!
Is it just me or does everyone else feel about 3k lighter on short lived mobs? I was pretty panicky at first (where'd mah DPS go?!), but after getting a couple boss fights in (and dealing my usually respectable, though perhaps a bit subdued, amount of damage), I was less jittery. I guess I just didn't realize how much we'd miss the front loading of an instant SB and haste for helping get numbers on stuff that dies quickly. Apparently, it's back to the old days where we can afk through the trash and just show up for bosses.
Now Soul Swap still helps to relieve some of this. So if the groups are large enough, we can get up to speed and transfer appropriately. However, this does place even more emphasis on soul swapping properly. I wish they'd lower the CD a little bit, because a lot of times I struggle to case Corr, BoA, UA.... dead. SS only works if it lives for longer than 4.5s (variable with haste, of course).
So yeah, it hurt a little more than expected. I'm not preaching doom and gloom though. What I am doing is advocating a respec to put 3 points into the low hanging fruit on the demo tree, improving your Imp, and busting the little guy out. Trust me, there is no one that finds this idea of being shoehorned into becoming an Imp-lover more abhorrent than I. After all, he's Destro. And they're just that side of the grave from being . Not like us pure warlocky aff'locks. Furthermore, why have us all use the same pet? Ugh.
But let's look at the facts:
- Imp can DPS - With the talent, he's rumored to be better than the Succy, though I'll need to keep an eye out for updated numbers
- Imp can Dispel - Singe Magic is a pretty useful PvE ability to have at your disposal. Even better probably than Devour Magic or even Seduction (especially if you're fear glyphed).
- Imp can Phase Shift - I daresay he's a bit safer in PvE than any of the other pets. (Edit: Sadly, I believe this has been removed. Stupid Imp. Thanks Kinz.)
- Imp can Buff Health - Though I think mine will be getting overwritten (does anyone know for sure which classes/buffs overwrite the Blood Pact?), it's a pretty nice buff when you need it.
- Imp is ranged - This makes him less likely to get hit by random crap and die or need heals.
So yeah, I'm going to go with my Imp and I've already respecced to support that. I'll be updating the guides soon to reflect this, but I wanted to bring it up today. Any other 'locks out there feeling the same thing? I haven't gotten any replies to the question on Twitter yet, but I did see that @Nibuca thought something was off with hit rating and percent. Maybe something is a little bugged, I don't know. I didn't even look at that. With a round of hotfixes already coming through today, I didn't see anything that indicated we were broken. Certainly not to the tune of ~3k on trash like I felt.
I guess if nothing else, the pressure is on again. Aff'locks are going to have to know what they're about and play extremely well to even be competitive. I can wish they'd offer some more affliction-friendly talents lower in the other trees, but then I'd just have a handful of demon poop. To me, in an ideal world, the pets would all DPS the same basically, and the choice would be between the various buffs/extra abilities that they have. (Maybe that's what we're heading for?) Also, I think I have a fundamental dislike for feeling like I need to use the first, basic pet we got for end game raiding. Shouldn't the natural learning curve of a 'lock mean we figure out more powerful demons later in our leveling path? (I realize this contradicts the "ideal world" I just described).
I'm not sure there's a great solution and we'll likely see more changes, but for now... this patch sorta hurt. Locks have avoided the heavy hand of dev changes for a long time (getting mostly minor tweaks here and there), I'm not sure if I'm terrified or simply intrigued at seeing the Great and All Powerful Bloz turn my way.