An Analysis of Future Warlock Changes

85 Orc Warlock
7820
First off, I must say that I cannot agree with all of the proposed warlock changes. Normally I frequent AJ, as the post quality is much higher, but I felt obligated to make a post here and analyze the reasoning behind these changes as well as their implications.

In addition, I understand these proposed changes are only on the PTR, which is not live yet, which is why I am not overreacting.

Altogether, I have seen countless posts of raging, flaming, and crying, but posts of that quality are not going to convince anybody of anything.

Particularly, these changes need to be looked at from the standpoint of other classes, and evaluated in their relation to multiple classes.

Drain Mana Removal: Altogether, I don't consider this a huge nerf in and of itself. Good warlocks were always capable of creating pressure without Drain Mana, and it can be a problematic mechanic.

Soul Swap 15 sec from 10 sec with Glyph: I can legitimize this change, as Warlocks could spread their dots quite quickly, and 15 seconds still leaves SS as a very strong spell in and of itself. Given the UA nerf, I give this change much less legitimacy, but that is discussed below.

CoEX reduction to 30%: In its current form, CoEX is a spammable 30(35 glyphed)yd range snare that was as strong as many melee snares such as hamstring and infected wounds. It felt a little bit strong, but given the large number of melee gap closers it was hardly noticeable. The problem is, it feels really strong against rogues and ret paladins, yet warriors have so many gap closers and ferals can shapeshift infinitely out of it, so those classes barely felt its effects. In addition, unlike hamstring or infected wounds, it can also be decursed.

That being said, CoEX is one of the best ways to relieve heavy double melee pressure, but feels a little too strong given its range. Given the warrior charge / intercept change, a change to CoEX makes sense, but I think there are more constructive ways to change CoEX without making it 30%. A change of its range to 20 yds (25 glyphed) would be a decent change, as warlocks do not have a root effect, and so a strong snare (50%) is not inappropriate. If Blizzard believes CoEX to be too strong in its current form, I'm not sure why there was no mention of frost nova / shattered barrier / improved cone of cold / Water Elemental nova in the notes.

Unstable Affliction Silence Duration 3 seconds instead of 5: I would have to say this has me the most puzzled. In WotLK, damage came so fast that a 5 second silence could often lead to a kill, especially a hard swap to the silenced healer. Dispelling UA was a calculated risk, as its damage was also quite severe. In Cata, with much larger healthpools, a 5sec silence and almost negligible damage make the advantage of dispelling UA (and consequently all other warlock DoTs) vastly outweigh the detriments. In addition, the difficulty of getting casts off now that all melee have interrupts (another mechanic neglected in the patch notes) make UA even harder to get up, yet easily dispelled. Most warlocks who play arena at a high level currently will tell you that most healers are simply ignoring UA as it is, dispelling it without thought. Resto Shamans are particularly guilty of this, the combination of Cleansing Waters and dispel already leaves affliction warlocks doing next to no damage. Combine this with the removal of drain mana and the fact that UA dispel silence is only 3 seconds yet Cleansing Waters remains untouched, and I find very few legitimate ways for an affliction warlock to cause pressure against a resto shaman, whether it be 2s, 3s, or 5s. Most healers I know were expecting UA to receive a buff because as is, it is barely doing its job of protecting Warlock DoTs. Altogether I guess I find this change, in lieu of the fact that other relative mechanics remain unchanged, completely unacceptable.


Feel free to discuss and post relative comments, but please refrain from trolling, flaming, or degradation.
Edited by Silphir on 1/6/2011 4:23 PM PST
90 Human Warlock
10380
Unstable Affliction Silence Duration 3 seconds instead of 5: I would have to say this has me the most puzzled. In WotLK, damage came so fast that a 5 second silence could often lead to a kill, especially a hard swap to the silenced healer. Dispelling UA was a calculated risk, as its damage was also quite severe. In Cata, with much larger healthpools, a 5sec silence and almost negligible damage make the advantage of dispelling UA (and consequently all other warlock DoTs) vastly outweigh the detriments. Most warlocks who play arena at a high level currently will tell you that most healers are simply ignoring UA as it is, dispelling it without thought. Resto Shamans are particularly guilty of this, the combination of Cleansing Waters and dispel already leaves affliction warlocks doing next to no damage. Combine this with the removal of drain mana and the fact that UA dispel silence is only 3 seconds yet Cleansing Waters remains untouched, and I find very few legitimate ways for an affliction warlock to cause pressure against a resto shaman, whether it be 2s, 3s, or 5s. Most healers I know were expecting UA to receive a buff because as is, it is barely doing its job of protecting Warlock DoTs. Altogether I guess I find this change, in lieu of the fact that other relative mechanics remain unchanged, completely unacceptable.



x11000001001010101010101010001
85 Orc Warlock
10890
UA really needed a buff, not a nerf. As you pointed out, cata healthpools are very large and you take a spec like aff thats about slowly draining a target rather than bursting it... you need something to protect your damage. With UA being barely a threat its really going to make affliction much more difficult to keep the pressure out.

If they consider 5 seconds too long of a silence and feel it should be reduced, then they should have scaled the damage hit higher to compensate for the shorter silence.

Im not really ready to nitpick at the changes yet, since most of them are PVP oriented and I barely ever focus on PVP at the begining of an xpac, but the UA change really seems uncalled for.
85 Orc Warlock
7820
01/06/2011 4:09 PMPosted by Caramelgedon
If they consider 5 seconds too long of a silence and feel it should be reduced, then they should have scaled the damage hit higher to compensate for the shorter silence.


This is also another legitimate point. DoT damage in and of itself is quite low. Warlocks have been relying on spreading DoTs quickly with SS to cause comparable damage. I would gladly give up Glyph of Soul Swap for harder hitting DoTs or some form of reliable dispel protection.
85 Undead Warlock
3510
a 30% snare is all but useless, considering you're going to spend your entire life counter-snared. i agree a range change would be better. it's not like we have instant-cast roots, or 55 different frost novas *cough*


First off, if should be left alone. But, if you must nerf something then duration would have been best. 20 seconds vs 30 seconds as it currently is. Hamstring by comparison is, I think, 10 or 15 seconds.

If you are waiting for them to get within 20 yards you could just as well use glyphed shadow flame.

The range of the curse, 35 yard glyphed(one of the few valuable minor glyphs btw) is one of it's best attributes.
85 Undead Warlock
2160
10/10 this post. You can look me up and see that I am no Arena god, but I think I'm not a horrible Pvper. It seems my main snare now does just about nothing. Every melee snare is 50% or higher (as far as I'm aware), so now our only hope of staying in a warriors dead zone (out of melee range, too close for intercept) is gone when shadowflame is on CD. UA nerf? Well, just read what the OP wrote. Back to the DK it is, I guess.
85 Orc Warlock
7820
First off, if should be left alone. But, if you must nerf something then duration would have been best. 20 seconds vs 30 seconds as it currently is. Hamstring by comparison is, I think, 10 or 15 seconds.

If you are waiting for them to get within 20 yards you could just as well use glyphed shadow flame.

The range of the curse, 35 yard glyphed(one of the few valuable minor glyphs btw) is one of it's best attributes.


Curse of Exhaustion currently lasts 15 seconds against PvP targets.
85 Orc Shaman
4105
Without drain mana or 5 second silences, us shamans are gonna walk. Fear = canceled by totem/trinketed. I can pretty much tell you ya'll won't be able to kill a resto unless you have a CC'er by your side or you go Demo at the very least. Otherwise I'll dispel everything you throw on me, and be healed to full because of it.

Sorry but as a 2s shaman with my warlock team mate, our team just went bye bye. No more drain mana on holy pallies/priests or resto druids/shamans, 30 % Coex that basically means if I pop insta ghost wolf I can still catch you. (40%) On top of it about every class has some sort of snare that is better, I'm not seeing the logic here. Great they are still good for raiding, but when you have a class in which can out CC all classes (frost mages) and all you do is nerf their ring of frost.. come on.. I play one, and I know how OP I am.

My lock bud just switched to his hunter with the new changes. We'll wait till they equalize locks again.
85 Orc Warlock
7820
01/06/2011 4:37 PMPosted by Chishuu
Without drain mana or 5 second silences, us shamans are gonna walk. Fear = canceled by totem/trinketed. I can pretty much tell you ya'll won't be able to kill a resto unless you have a CC'er by your side or you go Demo at the very least. Otherwise I'll dispel everything you throw on me, and be healed to full because of it.


Going demo wouldn't really help, as demo suffers from long cast times, as well as no dispel protection whatsoever. The only hope there would be zerging a healer down with an enhance shaman or mage or BM hunter ally, ala WotLK beast cleave style. That's hardly the kind of way I want to play.
90 Tauren Shaman
13405
I have both a Resto Shammy and a Warlock, and by and far I am very, very confused by the majority of these warlock nerf. As it is now I don't think twice about dispelling a target with UA. I can dispel anything a warlock can put on a target. I can interrupt/grounding totem/tremor totem their fears, not to mention trinket on top of that. Drain mana is pretty weak as it is, and that can be interrupted too.

As it is I already have no problem when faced with an affliction lock. When I go into an arena and see an affliction lock I tell my team they can completely ignore them, laugh, and my warlock dies inside a little.

Affliction was already hurt enough when all healers gained the ability to dispel magic, and now this? If anything I would honestly say that UA needs to be buffed.

85 Orc Warlock
0
I applaud you on this great post.

I completely agree with every statement you've made on here.

One idea, by Lucidvein, which I saw here on the forums was to combine drain mana and UA.

Perhaps dispelling UA would cause the dispeller to lose X% mana, as well as be silenced for 3 or 5 seconds, whatever would be an appropriate length. As health pools increase, and resilience increases, ALL DPS specs are having more and more trouble in PVP, especially affliction warlocks. There simply isn't enough damage, and without any form of crowd control, the target can live and extremely long time, hence the 20 minute arena matches.
85 Undead Warlock
7470
I really believe that UA will probably become just another dot in the near future. Blues have stated that they really want to see more of a commitment from healers in dispelling magic, either through mana conservation issues or other avenues, and less "proofing" of dots with landmines for dispellers or dispel-resistance talents. The nerf to UA falls in line with both this and the stated desire to lessen the severity of interrupts and silences.

The scary part of all this though is that they say something like that, but introduce a similar proofing effect (spriest's horror-on-dispel) that directly contradicts this plan. Given the problems spriests are experiencing (horror-on-dispel sharing DR with Psychic Horror, a large panic-button in their arsenal) I'm starting to wonder which direction dev really wants to take and how much they've really considered the meta-game with these sorts of abilities.

If they truly want dispels to be heavy-handed tactical moves for healers without further talented landmine-esque punishments from DPS classes, there's a really good chance that dispels will only be limited by the amount of int/spirit on pvp healer gear and regen abilities/talents in healer trees. Tweaking the damage/mechanics of a dispel landmine seem much simpler and easier to manage for balance's sake than theorizing the collective regen meta-game of every healer every season and patch.

In the interest of warlocks and spriests, the prospects of the heavy-handed dispel approach are pretty grim. For healers, I could see a lot of problems season to season and patch to patch being a struggle of "well, do I have the mana for direct healing and mitigation, or do i have the mana to dispel?" every time they look at their unit frame. In the course of an actual match/fight, I feel that time should be an important factor as well. Healers are intrinsically pressured to use their judgment when deciding what to do with their GCD's, but probably not enough to fit in line with the dispel model blizz seems to want.

A good example of this is the way mage/lock fights used to play out (and would still play out if mages weren't capable of training imps so quickly); warlocks had devour magic on a short cooldown that was extremely useful, but required solid judgement. That felt right; it became a worthwhile strategic move for mages to kill felhunters, and more importantly, very tweakable for developers by extending or decreasing the cooldown (or any other number of pet mechanics) if they wanted to. I know the same sort of tweakability doesn't exist for healers for PvE reasons, but I think if they really did want to pursue this sort of model, they should keep these sorts of decisions in mind.

TL;DR: blizz, read up on Sirlin's explanations of how to balance gameplay around double-blind judgment between players and design accordingly.

Edited by Sibilant on 1/7/2011 12:14 AM PST
Community Manager
Good thread. While you're compiling feedback about the 4.0.6 warlock changes posted thus far, I want to make mention that the Glyph of Soul Swap change is being reverted for now. We don't feel that particular change is necessary as of yet, but will continue to evaluate Soul Swap's performance.
85 Goblin Warlock
2750
01/10/2011 3:15 PMPosted by Zarhym
Good thread. While you're compiling feedback about the 4.0.6 warlock changes posted thus far, I want to make mention that the Glyph of Soul Swap change is being reverted for now. We don't feel that particular change is necessary as of yet, but will continue to evaluate Soul Swap's performance.


Thanks for the update. I'm glad to hear it. :)
85 Undead Warlock
10575
Good post OP. I support your assessments 100%. Nice to hear from a blue. Ty.
85 Human Warlock
3125
It's cool that a blue responded and all, but i never felt the soul swap change was even a big deal. I'd like to see a blue explain the UA nerf.
I feel that some of the nerfs Blizz has stated were justified, but are being carried out the wrong way. Along with the 12% damage nerf to almost all of our spells, which will probably once again put locks below par in PvE DPS, I'm probably shelving my lock until things are balanced out, both in the game and in the Devs' heads.
This topic has reached its post limit. You may no longer post or reply to posts for this topic.

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)
Submit Cancel

Reported!

[Close]