Friday, April 20, 2012

Beta Warlockery Thoughts

Real thoughts this time. I actually got the beta to download and run! O, frabjous day, callooh callay! Which is what I exclaimed right after my mouse went snicker-snack through the character creation screen. I created a Panderen Monk first, of course. Spawned in to about a million other pandas. And that's not even exaggerating (much). One wonders how anybody was left on the live servers...

I only hung around the starting area for about five minutes. It was fun. Jumping was cool. Animations were smooth. I just didn't want to level with the throng. Might save it for a month after release or something.

Instead, I immediately logged out and worked on transferring my warlock over. It was simple, and I was able to log into him within ten minutes, easily. I noticed one problem right off-the-bat. While I was snicker-snacking above, I used my name for my panda. Thus, the real Fulguralis was flagged for a name change. I found this hilarious, so I changed it to Fulgularious.

Poneria, here's where you want to pay attention. I rolled both toons on Lost Isles. I searched for you, even stalked twitter a bit, but I don't think you were beta'ing. However, I am on that server now, should all and sundry wish to find me. I would have hollered more last night into the void, but it was swiftly approaching bed time. I didn't want to coerce anyone on, only to peace out when they showed up.

Anyhoo, I imagine I'll be on randomly in the next several weeks or so. Probably mostly this weekend. We'll see. I don't have any majestic plans, just wanted to poke around a bit. If I get to say "hi" to folks in addition, well that's just bonus.

Apart from just getting everything running, I did spend some time speccing my 'lock and playing with spells. I even got in some quality time with a dummy, though I was surrounded by those same million people that were in the panda zone. I swear they were following me around. Adoring, probably.

The good news is that I think the changes make the Affliction rotation more elegant. That is, there seemed to be less clunk than the current iteration. I like most of the changes, though I hardly delved deep. An AoE drain life is pretty awesome. Malefic Grasp feels burstier since damage starts right away. From a flavor perspective, I suppose I like it more than Shadow Bolt. Spells seemed to mesh together well, and I felt like I had fewer buttons to press (which is a good thing... fewer chunks as Cynwise might say).

I still think there were areas that could be polished. For instance, I choose Doom to replace Corruption (just to see) and I don't think Soul Swap flung it around appropriately. That is, I think it dropped off one of the targets, which Corruption never did... so that would seem like a flaw if it's meant to be used in place of Corr.

I had to check out the different pets. I'm not sure how I feel about Observer vs. Felpup. I like that each demon seems to have a signature ability that you're suppose to activate. Makes them seem more integrated.

I have no idea what they're trying to do with soul shards. It seemed like haunt cost a shard (though I didn't see that in the tooltip). In addition, nightfall gains shards back (since we have no more s-bolt). I seemed to be regaining shards far faster than I could use them. Probably should have used more Soulfires or something. I don't know. Again, see aforementioned delving depth. The skinny here is that I hope they aren't done with the system. I think it needs more options or something. Just doesn't feel quite finished.

All in all, though, it was a pretty positive little test session. I'm not going to hang my hat on any one thing in particular, since I assume it's all in a state of flux. The good news is that the underlying ideas seem sound. Affliction hasn't take a right turn off into the Arcane Mage weeds or anything.

I was all right with the pandas too. The one I made had orange-ish patches around his eyes. I kept calling him ULTIMATE WARRIOR PANDA. It made me cackle. Now, if they only add feathered 80's hair options...


  1. I'm glad to hear that. I copied over my warlock to that server too (horde side though) but I haven't logged into her yet.

    I need to get my TOR character to 50 before the weekend ends so Beta is going to have to wait.

  2. Want a free month, eh?

    I did end up installing the beta in a different directory. I wonder how much that helped, or just the Light was shining on me.

  3. I realize I'm a bit late to the party, just going back in time reading some of your stuff. I actually think Affliction feels all wrong in beta atm. Life tap is punitive, and there's almost no passive health regen; this can be a huge problem with healers.

    I think it's strange, how for so long Affliction wasn't intended to have a channeled filler (like SP's Mind Flay), that's why Shadow Bolt was kept in our rotation in Cata, but we move on to MoP and what do we get in place of SB? That's right, a channeled filler. Not that I don't like it, it just smells of devs not knowing what they actually want to do with the spec.

    I am of the opinion that there are quite a few things that need improvement with Affliction, namely Haunt, which I don't understand where we're going with that spell. Experiences differ on beta tests, no doubt, but either i'm running short shards or mana or health, too many punitive things working against each other and not enough flow. But that's me I guess.

    Still, nice to go back and read your stuff. :)

  4. Yeah, I only spent a limited amount of time on a dummy. Hardly a raid environment or exhaustive test. Certainly not long enough to worry about health regen. I didn't have a shard problem, though. I felt like I had too many... but maybe things have been tweaked since I played last.

    My basic impression was the at least things seemed to flow together better. It wasn't as "clunky." That, to me, is step one. The next step is tweaking coefficients and such to get the actual performance correct.