Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Skim 'Locks

Now that we're on the cusp of the next content patch, I feel like I can go ahead and ponder my more immediate warlocky future.  I'm wading through somewhere around 400 blog posts that I missed in four days of vacation.  I'll be honest, even if you wrote a Pullitzer, I'm probably only going to skim your post.  Sorry.

In my skimming, I noticed some vague feedback from the devs.  I believe Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street wrote about it on the whole water-cooler thing.  Basically, Warlock changes were boiled down to a two things:
  • We nerfed the Glyph of Soul Swap to reduce the ease of applying multiple DoTs in PvP.
  • We nerfed Drain Life because Affliction was forsaking Shadowbolt in PvE, which wasn’t intended. We want Drain Life to be for utility, not primarily for damage, and we want all casters to have to hard cast at least some of the time. This was done via hotfix and players won’t see a change in 4.2.
I guess we should be thankful that we have only two things to begin with.  This serves to reinforce my belief that Warlocks, in general, are in a pretty good place right now.  In fact, I can't help but groan when I see our name on the list.  Last patch we saw buffs.  Of course we're going to see nerfs this time.

I'll reproduce the patch notes proper when it goes live, but we can assume we're simply going to see a version of the above.  I don't like that SS keeps being mucked with, as I really like the spell and am afraid they are determined to make it un-useful.  I'd almost rather take nerfs elsewhere and keep SS badass.

I'm not very surprised about the DL hotfix.  The explanation aligns with what I had thought about the spell's purpose.  Still, it was nice having it as a option to lose and not feel like your damage was suffering.  I was never fully on-board with any DL filler spec, so it's not going to be an issue for me.  I'm not sure if I like that it was a hotfix.  Hotfixes just scream "stealth nerf" to me.  I don't like it when rogues creep around and I don't like it when nerfs are slid beneath my robes.  It just gives me the heeby-jeebies, and I'm supposed to be the one doling those out.

I guess what I'm saying is just... why the rush?  It would seem to me like hotfixing is adding another variable to the change pot, and it's one that, by nature, isn't communicated very well.  Why not just wait until, like, the patch?

Anyway, Warlocks of the World... of Warcraft, what do you think?  Are you, like me, generally happy with our class?  What would you see changed?


  1. I think the Drain Life change was a hotfix for two reasons - the DL spec was threatening to become much more powerful than the SB spec, and PvP concerns. Drain Life isn't great in Arenas - if they can't lock you out from using a channeled spell, wtf - but it was situationally useful - and situationally powerful.

    I'll miss it, personally. I was able to sub in for a raid in my PvP spec without having to worry about my filler DPS. I liked it thematically, too, and thought it added some variety to Affliction.

    Alas, not in Blizzard's design, so they nixed it. That makes me a sad panda.

  2. Sure, but why not simply wait until they can communicate it via patch. Was a few more weeks really going to kill everyone? If so, isn't that sort of the point of a warlock anyway?

    I just hope they don't go too far down with it. I think it should be a trade off with some damage for gaining life back. To have it be the equal of bolts is sort of silly. Why bolt? I like having choices. In this case, do I need a bit of healing in a pinch?

    I'd just like to be able to do that without a complete plummet of DPS.

  3. I just wish they would change Shadowbolt to an affliction spell instead of a destruction spell. I think it is total BS that our main nuke isn't in our tree. I can understand why people were gravitating to the DL spec because it is an affliction spell and is buffed by the affliction tree.

    Just makes no sense to me. You don't see fire mages getting their main nuke from the frost tree.

  4. Also Blogger has FUBAR'd the comment system yet again >.<

  5. What's funny is that the DL spec is still top damage in BiS 372 gear even after the nerf according to Zakalwe, Simcraft specialist, at Elitist Jerks...
    Fail nerf?

  6. That is BiS 372 though. That just means that it scales MUCH better with the best gear you can get. Honestly though, how many people do _you_ know who will have that kind of gear? There won't be enough people to really make that big of a difference.

  7. Yeah, I would think that by the time those gear levels get prevalent, they'll work out another nerf. 'Twould be nice to have the bolt in our tree.

  8. Or to have SB be affected by Affliction's Mastery. That would make it a lot more attractive.

  9. Yeah, that would probably be the best solution, but that might be crazy talk.

  10. dl will definitly be nerfed more. i can see how it is much harder to balance than shadowbolt as a filler. it is one dot more after all, so it scales with mastery, gets buffed by dark intent proc's, buffs felhunters shadowbite and whatnot...

    sswap nerf takes some flow and ultimately a bit of fun out of affliction raiding. being a raider primarily, im sad abou this. dont know how op this made us in pvp though.

  11. edit:

    read somewhere on the forums the sswap nerf was just we were op in 3 man arena together with shamans. if this is true i find it a bit overboard to nerf all warlocks for being op in such a tiny fraction of the game....

  12. Yes, agreed. Although I'm not sure I have a better solution. It would seem directly opposed to the previous problem we had with PvE trash. How to fix one without hindering the other?