Destruction Warlocks in Legion

General Discussion
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NOTE: THIS IS AN OLD POST, SOME INFORMATION MAY BE OUTDATED

TL;DR = RNG resource generation is very bad, RNG Mastery is also bad. Resource generation is extremely limited in the new system, consistency + speed of the current system is much preferred, not to mention Burning Embers make more sense fantasy-wise than Soul Shards (I'm not draining souls after all, I'm burning them with fire). There are some good changes too, Havoc and Backdraft not being a charge system are great QoL improvements. Removing Dark Soul is a terrible decision, it's role cannot be replaced by a shorter cooldown Infernal/Doomguard.

So the blog post for Warlocks just went up, and I can't say I'm a fan of what I'm seeing. I realize Beta is still a while off, let alone launch, but I feel like this is an issue that needs to be discussed immediately, before we go too far down the road.

Immolate
6% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
Burns the enemy with fire, causing minor Fire damage and an additional strong Fire damage over 15 sec.
Immolate critical strikes have a 30% chance to generate a Soul Shard.


Conflagrate
2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 8 sec recharge, 2 charges
Triggers an explosion of fire on the target, dealing moderate Fire damage and generating a Soul Shard.
Also causes Backdraft, reducing the cast times of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30% for 5 sec.


Bolded and underlined the parts that I'm looking at.

For all of Warlords, Affliction Warlocks have been saying that Shard RNG is not fun. With low gear, keeping up Soulburn: Haunt was a struggle, and we've seen bandaid fixes in the form of set bonuses and generally higher gear levels. At 720 item level, I still have a rare period where I'm sitting on 1 Shard, unable to refresh Soulburn: Haunt. RNG is not a fun mechanic when it comes to primary resources.

Adding such RNG to Destruction is, in my opinion, a terrible move. Having our major burst spell tied to RNG and a spell that has an 8 second recharge does not sound like fun at all. As it stands, Chaos Bolt will require two Soul Shards. This means I will have a guaranteed Chaos Bolt every 2 Conflagrates, or every 16 seconds. The Soul Shard procs from Immolate will most likely be negligible at best. In my current gear (item level 720) I have 16.45% Critical Strike unbuffed, with the buff that would be 21%. I get a Soul Shard from 30% of my Immolate Critical Strikes, so some basic math tells us;

21.45% chance to crit, is, on average, one crit every ~5 ticks.
30% chance for a Shard is one, on average, every 3.333 Crits.

This means I would average one Shard every 15 Immolate ticks. In my current gear, Immolate ticks every 2.68 seconds. This works out to be one Shard every ~40 seconds. In that time I will have gotten 5 Shards from Conflagrate, assuming I'm using it on cooldown. I can now cast a total of 3 Chaos Bolts, every 40 seconds. This is all assuming the average amount of Crits and Shard procs, it could be better, it could be worse, depending on your luck. Remember, this is using my current 720 item level as a baseline. Imagine this scenario with questing greens as a fresh 110. It's going to be awful.

To me, that sounds like incredibly dull and frustrating gameplay. I'm not a fan of being a Chaos Bolt machine gun with Charred Remains, either, mind you, however it's like we're going from one extreme to the other. Destruction already relies heavily on burst windows during Trinket procs and Cooldowns, tying our major burst spell to RNG is going to make it much more difficult, and annoying, to have resources ready for when those windows open.

Please Blizzard, please reconsider what you are doing. Keep the Burning Ember system, it needs tweaking, but this way you've proposed is not the solution.

Edit: Adding a few more thoughts, these following changes are much more manageable, and I could probably live with them, but for the sake of discussion...

Our new Mastery seems like a weird change. If my understanding is correct, it has a chance to deal 0% to whatever our Mastery is, in extra damage per spellcast. So if I have 40% Mastery, my Chaos Bolt randomly deals between 0% and 40% extra damage each cast. As cool as it sounds, it's more RNG. The difference between a 95th percentile parse and a 50th percentile parse could be your luck. The difference between scoring a kill in arena and not, could be your luck. Enough with the RNG.

Backdraft lasts 5 seconds. What? I get that it now has essentially unlimited charges, but in 5 seconds I'm realistically only getting 2-3 Incinerates off, assuming no movement at all. It also means that when I Conflagrate, I have to be casting immediately afterwards. I also then have 3 seconds of downtime where I'm hardcasting Incinerates. Currently, Backdraft lasts long enough that I can weave in Chaos Bolts and Immolate refreshes between Incinerate casts, and I very rarely have to cast an Incinerate without Backdraft. I'm not sure if your intention was to change that or what, but I really do not understand this change at all. It's definitely a QoL improvement that we can now use Backdraft for Chaos Bolt and not waste charges/lose DPS.

Next up is Shadowburn. It's currently one of our reliable ways of quick Embers, and it also gives us a strong niche role on add cleave encounters. Removing this is further compounding the issue of RNG resources, leaving us with few ways to reliably generate Embers (can we just keep calling them Embers?). Removing the Mana return component at the end of MoP was questionable, and the only real answer we got was "it was too complicated". It wasn't complicated at all. The way Destruction works is, we spend our Mana to generate Embers. We spend our Embers on Chaos Bolt, which has a lengthy cast time to give us time to regenerate our Mana. Seeing as Shadowburn was instant, we didn't spend as much time on our spenders, leaving us with less Mana. The Mana return component fixed this problem, but it was removed. Now, apparently, we won't have Shadowburn at all, so where does that leave us on resource generation and mana regeneration? In a very poor position, that's where.

EDIT: Shadowburn and FnB are now TALENTS. Source = https://twitter.com/WarcraftDevs/status/664172285025103872

Havoc is actually a buff. It now only lasts 8 seconds, but you can crank out as many spells as you like in the duration. Source: https://twitter.com/WarcraftDevs/status/664170344647815168

"Mastery over chaos rather than being subject to it" -Xelnath
http://i.imgur.com/WMwyFm3.png

Going to link some other threads that have some good discussion going on on other subforums,

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/19866186424
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/19741364810
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/19865146416
http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1897069-PRE-BETA-Destruction-Warlock-Discussion

Disclaimer: Didn't really look at Demo or Affliction sections, this is a post about Destro. Feel free to voice your feelings on the other two specs, though.
I personally think all these secondary resource systems are stupid. Not every class needed a version of the rogue combat point system. There was nothing wrong with warlocks, Paladins, shadow priests, etc. when they simply had mana.
To be honest the whole mastery change has a lot of destro locks concerned it's focused a lot around RNG like most people have said but it's also a double edge sword.

Mastery: Chaotic Energies
Your Destruction spells deal up to 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) additional damage, randomly.

This needs to be looked at once more i hope better idea's will along with the help of the warlock community we can sort out the issues that have been bugging destro locks since wod
Please don't take away my embers Blizzard :(
as I posted on the Warlock forums too(specifically abut the mastery):
Mastery: Chaotic Energies
Your Destruction spells deal up to 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) additional damage, randomly

I'm not really liking this. It's never good to have the bulk of a spec's damage relegated to RNG, and even more so on such a scale.

It may not be as noticeable on our weak spells like incinerate or conflagrate, but on Chaos Bolts it can cause a massive DPS swing from one pull to another and it could mean the difference between killing your opponent or dying in PvP.

Right now with CR we are using a lot of Chaos Bolts and it would probably "average out", but looking at these changes it looks like we'll be casting a lot less CB (because only Conflag and immo will generate SS and CB will cost 2 of them), so it becomes even more of a problem when those few CBs we cast during a cooldown or trinket proc window get a low mastery damage.

Here are some things that could work:
-make Chaos Bolt ALWAYS get the biggest possible buff from mastery (the other weaker spells will be cast a lot and will average out during the course of a fight)
-keep our current mastery
-exchange the RNG component for something more dynamic, like "casting X spells increases the damage of your spells by x%"
Just going to throw in that while I'm willing to give the new systems a chance (in the Beta....), I'm also very nervous about the changes to Destro's embers. I felt that Destro had a clear and compelling visual theme and set of mechanics and I'm leery of removing the embers, the burning, the silence of rain of fire, and similar.
All we can do is wait and see in beta. Its too early to really know how it will play out.

Lets hope they listen to feedback.
11/10/2015 05:55 AMPosted by Blakebone
Lets hope they listen to feedback.

*looks at Arms Warriors*

*shudders*

This is not gonna end well...
Chaos bolt will cost two shards to boot. I want to see this spec looks like in play, nothing was wrong with embers but the changes might make a better lvl 100 talent since charred remains is what most destro locks have to take..
This kind of random is likely a nod to pen and paper dice rolling. Using chaos magic should be somewhat chaotic.
I'm a little nervous for the RNG factor. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try it out, but as that isn't likely, hopefully people who are far more skilled than myself at playing Warlocks can try it out and provide feedback. I don't want this to be another Arms fiasco.
11/10/2015 05:57 AMPosted by Exorrt
11/10/2015 05:55 AMPosted by Blakebone
Lets hope they listen to feedback.

*looks at Arms Warriors*

*shudders*

This is not gonna end well...

I'm pretty sure most feedback from Arms Warriors generally comes down to the phrase "Eat a chode" at this point.
I love rng when it comes to spells, dps at least, it fits destruction quite nicely.
Besides Destruction=Chaos and its a fast spec so I don't think you will have to worry about shards generating that much. Guess serious Lock beta testers hopefully help ease people's concerns and hopefully Blizzard listens to their insight if it is constructive.
At least affliction warlock looks decent.
Well congrats blizz, you went back to making destro cata clunky again.

•2 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast

yeah more fun than hard casting soulfire for a 15second buff.

Just buff rain of fire, and give us back fel flame, and call it a day.
oh , let's not forget.
they are REMOVING shadowburn.
11/10/2015 06:46 AMPosted by Vülgrïm
oh , let's not forget.
they are REMOVING shadowburn.


idiots
Definitely concerned about Ember generation in ratio to the number of Chaos Bolt casts and damage proportion. I know it's not for everyone, but I like the play style of charging up a bunch of Embers to spam Chaos Bolt while a proc is up. Having a talent to preserve that would be cool, as would having another option from time to time with some more buttons.

I like the idea that there should be some chaotic RNG effects while messing around with chaos magic--but does it really have to be a random damage increase (or decrease, depending on how you look at it)? If Chaos Bolts are going to take so long to cast, maybe have them spawn different effects randomly (tear a portal open for demons, place a DoT on the target hit, empower your spells for the next X seconds, make next chaos bolt free, etc)? Then make mastery increase the magnitude of those chaotic effects somehow?

Basically, why is our fantasy based on "Ooh, I did some more damage" and "Aww, that spell didn't do well" rather than "Exciting things are happening, let's make more exciting things happen!"?

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