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Cynwise continues his thoughtful series on Warlocks
Battle.net comment thread for previous posts: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4253897941
Battle.net threads for later posts in the series:
Edited by Dejara on 4/17/2012 2:56 PM PDT
6 Worgen Rogue
Interesting post on the third third "Decline and Fall" by Emberdione.
But even from the very beginning of Cata, I have been confused and appalled by the performance of Locks. In t12, I was specifically told by a raid leader to hush, I was there for lock rocks and soul stones, not because I was a “raider”. Later I was told the only reason I had a raid spot was because I *always* showed up. I did research. I tweaked my spec. I got a new dot timer. I even check my computer settings to see if I could cut down lag. I did everything I could to increase my dps. And yet in every raid, every time loot dropped, it was mentioned or hinted that any loot I won would be better on any one of our 3 mages or 3 shadow priests.
Lock performance in T12 was AMAZING. Demo was, IMO, THE best spec of any spec that tier. And some of our BIS gear was incredibly simple to get (DMC:V + MWC). There were issues in the rotation (Destro and Demo, especially), and mechanic balance (Doomguard), but Warlock DPS was absolutely amazing and seemed almost designed for the challenges (AOE and short burn phases) of that tier.
I personally don't have a problem with Warlock complexity, nor do I have issues with a lack of reward per unit of effort (in PvE). But, if we have problems it's not in the numbers, it's in the mechanics and the flavor.
Hell, everytime it comes up I ask, "Why was Drain Mana removed? Would you even use it in the current meta?" And the response is almost always that it was useless and caused balancing issues. But, I think it was a good example of the flavor of the class. It gave others something to qq about (unjustly, most of the time) because it was something Warlocks actually had in their pockets. And, were it nerfed to un-qq-able levels, it would still be better than nixing the entire spell. Though, with MoP on the way, this seems like a useless argument, I think it's the sentiment that counts - as is true with the links in the OP.
Edited by Faustamort on 3/30/2012 1:46 PM PDT
If you expected rampant qq, you don't know Cynwise.
It's just qq based on fact and intellectual analysis.
Good reading. Although some of my guild-mates struggled to understand why a 0.9% shift in population was a big deal.
I personally don't have a problem with Warlock complexity, nor do I have issues with a lack of reward per unit of effort (in PvE).
A lot of the long-time locks are going to feel the same way. The problem is that there is going to be a gradual attrition of long-term locks. At some point you need to have new players, new locks ready to replace the ones leaving. The complexity and low cost to benefit ration of the current lock incarnation will scare most of these new players.
Heck. If it wasn't for my achievements, titles, and mounts my mage might be a lot more tempting.
Edited by Bruscha on 3/30/2012 3:35 PM PDT
They should let us be the most complicated and least efficient TANKS!
And then they took it back.
Does anyone besides me think it kinda odd that GC and co. would be surprised by the community reaction to the news that there was no tanking spec in the future?
We appreciate all the feedback and passion on this topic. We expected this glyph would serve a pretty niche community and were surprised at how many players were excited about it. We are still in beta and are still very much experimenting with what kind of gamplay we can deliver in glyphs.
I haven't posted but I've been looking at the warlock forums for a few years now…and rare was the day that there wasn't a post in the first page that had someone's "radical new idea" to make a warlock tank, usually from the demo spec, often with a lot of comments. Of course the comments were typically of 2 kinds: "This rocks, Blizzard should totally do this" and "yeah, it sounds cool but Blizz will never do anything this cool for 'locks."
It seemed like there was a lot of passion to me…I find myself wondering about the customer feedback process in Blizz.
I'm enjoying these articles quite a bit. Well, "enjoying" may be the wrong word. "Being comforted by the fact I'm not alone or hallucinating about no longer loving my 'lock" might be better.
I've had trouble finding excuses to play this guy ever since I discovered tanking in TBC- in a small guild, before LFD, anyone willing to tank or heal could pretty much expect their dps toons to sit on the bench for months at a time. Once LFD came around, it was still a hard sell, since it meant 15 to 30 minutes of wait time for a PuG that might collapse after the first pull. But it wasn't until Cata, with our "new soulshard system" (a.k.a., the built in trinket) that I really felt this guy was better off cooling his heels in an Inn until the next expansion.
After reading these, I think I'd say the biggest problems warlocks are having is what the author of those articles called Niche Dissonance.
Warlocks are supposed to be the loner evil caster - that's what draws people to them.
Bliz made them into a support character that is helpless without a healer backing them up.
That's some pretty freak'n huge dissonance there, that is driving away the player base Warlocks are supposed to be attracting. I think the first steps to fixing Warlocks is bringing them back to the evil loner profile in ways that make sense in Game Mechanics.
Make UA less of a protect everyone's effects from all dispells, and make it more targeted to helping protect the warlocks own effects for example - that right there would be a huge siezmic shift to moving warlocks back from the 'bard support' role they've found themselves in. We need more of our self-healing back, and less increased healing effects from others - MOP is moing in the right direction here, but not far enough I don't think - we are still getting 10% increased healing from others in MOP, and we are still sheding existing self healing mechanics needlessly - where is our Haunt heals or Siphon life? A nice selection of self healing choices in Tier 1 of the talent tree is nice, but we need more then 1 pick of spells to make us the self-sufficient class we need to be.
We also need a way to escape ourselves, and be less reliant on others to peel for us. Portal is just too akward and clumsy for this, with its pre-meditated requirements. Honestly, I think bliz would do well to scrap port and just give us a blink clone.
I have leveled 7 classes to 85 and indeed my Warlock gets the least playtime. I would say that the leveling was fun until level 60 but that's because I did that pre-bc and at the time questing was more personal and we had a story line which made it interesting. I remember doing the quest for my mount and it was a big deal back then and when I got my Soul Harvester which was from a warlock specific quest as well (I don't recall the name). That was fun, I had the feeling that I was playing a warlock - not just another toon.
Today, it's all about leveling as fast as possible. They tried to make a story line in cataclysm but it is about cataclysm, not about your journey. It doesn't explore Warlocks as a class anymore, it doesn't show you where you come from and what place does Warlocks have in the world.
If you want to level fast - truth of the matter is that you don't want to roll a warlock or a rogue. They're both horrible at it and it takes a long time (until mid level 60s mostly due to their lack of AOEs) to start making sense. That is a long time to endure for new players as they are pressured to level up fast, more than ever.
You know sometimes it's not about end game pvp or pve but just sheer fun. It took me a year to level my warlock to 60 - I was as casual as they come and I had a blast. Now it's so fast you don't even have time to understand what you're playing and it makes up for an horrible player base at 85. Yikes!
Edited by Vyxee on 3/30/2012 8:29 PM PDT
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Though, it's not just an issue of needing to attract new players to the Warlock class. If you make a class that is complex and only complex (I would actually argue that Affliction is pretty damn simple, even compared to Arcane, and very close to the simplicity of Fire), those that had picked it for some other reasons are given a reason to drop it. This is BAD. As the article points out, people that don't like their class anymore may be likely to quit the game altogether rather than deal with the hassle of rerolling.
I think another issue, as is mentioned in the article, is that our three specs are FAR too similar. MoP looks to be taking care of this, but since it's not removing, say, Destro's reliance on dots, I'm not sure if it's taking that idea far enough. In Wrath, each spec had a sense of identity, even if that identity was the "noob" spec. In Cata, the difference between Destro and Demo is far too small.
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