Affliction MG Changes - Some Transparency?

Class Development
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04/20/2017 09:14 AMPosted by Mydnyte
The current changes aside, Blizz really needs to change the two gold traits that only work after killing an opponent. They are total and complete garbage for boss fights . . . Wrath of Consumption and Soul Flame need to be changed to work in some other way.


This was mentioned back in Beta, and ignored. Now, suddenly, on boss fights with adds where we actually get to use these traits to our benefit we are "overtuned" with MG. (Don't even get me started on the carpet-bombing approach and annihilation of MG as it is in the ptr today.)

It seems like there is an issue to see beyond the current or next patch where there could be a chance to avoid issues down the road. even when clearly pointed out.
All the devs are going to make out of the feedback supplied by everyone in this thread is "We get that you don't want to take soul effigy so we are buffing its damage by 15% to 50% to make it more appealing"
This doesn't feel like a nerf, it feels like you're making the spec that I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours worth of playing time dumping AP into and farming for legendaries unplayable. I don't have a problem with nerfs or buffs... it happens, it's part of the game and I accept it. But this is just insanely over the top in my opinion and it's pretty infuriating to me that I feel like I'm in a position now where I need to change specs entirely to actually be able to compete in a raid setting.

Blizzard's logic is that MG was "taken on virtually every situation in Nighthold, from single-target to sustained multi-target boss fights." and they're not okay with that. So, their answer seems to be to nerf MG into the ground so bad that it will be taken on virtually NO situations after 7.2.5. This just seems reckless. No moderation or critical thinking on the situation what-so-ever. It's almost like they don't even know why affliction is so powerful so their solution to the problem was a substantial nerf that would definitely put the nail in the coffin for this particular build.

That 15% baseline damage buff is a pretty fancy band-aid for the bullet wound though. Thanks for that.
Just thinking, even with the nerf to agony and MG, with the set bonuses we'll be able to multidot stronger than before and then grab our 10% haste from the 4pc. we're already strong in cleave and Blizzard has stated that they want destro to maintain their cleave niche. It seems like a strange move considering their Havoc continues to be tweaked downward and their ST keeps moving up.
Please re-design Soul Effigy. Its clunky, counter-intuitive and extremely painful to use.

It can still be there, it just needs a re-design. Something different like the current single target model, maybe an Effigy that hits targets affected by Agony and has its dots duration increased or something like that to help with gcds.
04/20/2017 03:40 PMPosted by Feldaryn
Just thinking, even with the nerf to agony and MG, with the set bonuses we'll be able to multidot stronger than before and then grab our 10% haste from the 4pc. we're already strong in cleave and Blizzard has stated that they want destro to maintain their cleave niche. It seems like a strange move considering their Havoc continues to be tweaked downward and their ST keeps moving up.


just pushes the view Devs have no actual clear vision of what to do for the class :|

TBH I like effigy.

Sure it can be clunky and annoying where bosses phase (like tich) and make u have re-apply it and re stack agony...but soem fights with "untargetable" phases ( 2nd boss in nelf's lair for example) you can focus ur spells on effigy and actually keep damaging boss where as other classes cant.

I find that to be something unique to aff and would like to see it kept.
04/20/2017 11:34 AMPosted by Alzrian
Haunt suffers because of it. Both Writhe and MG are passive effects tied to core spells that are boosted by Ulthalesh. Haunt is the odd man out here; it costs a resource, isn't boosted by our artifact and does not scale with our most valuable secondary stat.


Maybe have the traits that affect UA also affect Haunt?
04/19/2017 06:25 PMPosted by Seph
Based on our numbers, 1) this 15% damage buff negates the 70%->25% reduction to Malefic Grasp, coming out as neutral change DPS-wise for Affliction Warlocks using Malefic Grasp going from 7.2->7.2.5 and 2) brings the relative balance of the Level 15 talent tier much closer to each other. As usual, the numbers may change during PTR according to further playtesting and feedback.


Wait, what? How is a 15% damage buff outweighing that much of a nerf to MG?

At 70%, MG is 1.7 / 1.25 = 36% more DPS than it is at 25%, while being channeled. In order for a 15% overall buff to balance that out, less than 42% of your total damage would have to be being buffed by MG.

Pulling a random Aff log from the top 100 on Krosus mythic, the lock in question (linked below) did a total of 311.61 million damage. Of that, 216.33m came from UA, Agony, and Corruption while Drain Soul was active on the target (I'm not sure if DS itself counts as a "dot" for the purposes of MG, so I didn't include it, but it would further support this point). So 69.4% of his damage benefited from MG.

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/cwVrAgk38TvdYFp4#fight=24&type=damage-done

If we reduce the MG benefit to 25%, he'd lose 1 - 1.25 / 1.70 = 26.47% of the MG-benefitting damage he did, which is 0.2647 * 216.33 = 57.26m damage. The 15% buff to all damage, assuming it also includes Touch of the Grave, Rend Soul, and his Doomguard (which may or may not be the case, if it isn't, this is even more of an issue), would be a gain of 311.61 * 0.15 = 46.74m. So the change cut over 10 million damage (3.4%) off his total. That's a HUGE disparity for your supposedly DPS-neutral change.
04/20/2017 04:38 PMPosted by Daenex
Maybe have the traits that affect UA also affect Haunt?


At that point you might as well redesign it to be one of those "replace a rotational spell with an altered/upgraded ability" talents that other classes get. That'd solve the twin problems of artifact traits and Mastery in one go. But I'm not sure what a UA replacing Haunt would actually look like.
I am a drain-tank enthusiast who has consistently argued that all 3 playstyles that Blizzard has created for Aff should have an equal seat at the table.

I feel like these changes are lurching in the right general direction, but, as Yipz has pointed out, you are overnerfing the wrong ability in the process. And as someone who strongly prefers the drain-tank playstyle it feels like you are using a meat-cleaver where a scalpel is required. Testing on the PTR will show if that is the case or not - but right now it feels pretty harsh.

Fairyland has a long and pretty solid post on page three that I largely agree with. This stood out in particular to me:

Agreed, but shouldn't that be addressed by having similar role talents that provides near adequate competition? Why balance a Single Target talent against a AoE/Cleave talent?

Because right now, if your intention is to balance Malefic Grasp against Writhe in Agony - the end result is either Writhe in Agony is extremely overpowered when there's <1 target, or Malefic Grasp just becomes useless for any condition other than pure single target fight with zero adds, something which we have not seen so far in any raids.

Not to mention there's also another talent tier that's off balance - the last talent tier, Soul Effigy, Soul Conduit and Phantom Singularity. What about 'balancing' them, which clearly needs some major work as well, which would also end up affecting the first tiers due to talent synergy?

Here's a suggestion which many others have brought up, and hope you are reading this: swap Writhe of Agony with Soul Effigy, and then tune Haunt/ Soul Effigy/ Malefic Grasp to be competitive with one another.

By doing this - You have a clearly defined First talent tier that augments Single Target damage but offers different playstyle preference, and a Final talent tier that augments how we would prefer to amplify our ST and AoE.


Our talent tree is, and has been since beta, a mess. Her suggestion would take us some part of the way toward making it more sensible.

That being said, and if nothing is slated for the talent tree....then there is something I feel the PTR changes, and the reaction to them is glossing over:

For Haunt to be truly competitive it must have a baseline corollary.

Writhe corresponds to Agony, as MG corresponds to Drain Soul, and both baseline abilities (DS and Agony) are buffed by the artifact, tier pieces etc. Haunt has no baseline corollary and therefore is odd-person out in not being buffed by the rest of the kit. To be put on an equal footing, (unless you went with Fairyland's suggestion of talent swaps) Haunt must receive the same kinds of benefits from the rest of the kit in order to even begin to justify a shard cost.

Whether that's altering some traits on the artifact and gear to also effect Haunt, or making Haunt an improved form of UA (so that you have ready made synergies and a more elegant parity of all three abilities, though it would need to have a DoT component added to its debuff to make up for the loss of UA)...it very clearly needs to benefit from the artifact etc in order to bring it up to parity and to justify it's shard cost (without absurd and almost certainly unbalancing buffs).

Otherwise - as has been pointed out exhaustively - with limited shards, why take another shard-spender? Because in reality - none of us wants another shard spender when we lack any meaningful control over our shard production (see also Fairyland's excellent suggestion on page 3 for returning the original utility of Drain Soul).
Seems like Effigy would be better off if it functioned more like the Curse of Shadows PvP talent instead. Matter of fact, many of the Warlock PvP talents look better than some of our PvE talents.

I can also see Phantom Singularity ticks benefiting from Haste, on a 30 sec cd, increasing Affliction dot durations by at least 1 sec when it deals damage instead of the current healing it does. That way it'd synergize better in aoe/multidot situations.
15% to compensate for a 45% drop in mg? Works out to be about a 64% nerf to mg. No thanks. Not happy. If we are talking about taking mg to 25% then we need a much bigger number than 15% plus get rid of effigy ffs. Like I said early, we do not want to be aoe dotlords, masters of the tab target. We want the same chance at being single target champs like most other classes and many of them have their aoe built in already. It is irrelevant if mg as a first target provides such benefit, at max level we all have access to all of our talents. If the issue is merely a desire to keep that first level at a certain level of benefit, move mg to the last tier. Honestly id rather have 70% mg last tier than the lackluster or annoying ones we have currently. The problem isn't mg honestly, the inflated numbers are mostly due to soul flame and wrath of consumption stacks from all the meaningless hordes of adds that are present for nh boss fights and id like to mention many warlocks have been asking for wrath and soul flame to be replaced since launch because we do not like relying on something dying to gain any benefit from 2 out of 3 of our initial golden dragons and now that they are becoming a problem, they are ignored and the problem is being blamed on something that we actually do like...
That 15% baseline damage buff is a pretty fancy band-aid for the bullet wound though. Thanks for that.[/quote]

They say "their dps number" show that a 15% buff to I'm assuming all dmg sources (not just dots) and 25% MG will be equal to current dps. I hope they are right but I just can't see it.

Add in the 2 and 4pc set bonuses that must have been agreed to at lunch, or at a bar after work (last call perhaps), and i dont see how we wont go backwards in dps for ToS unless we extremely out-ilvl our current gear.
We hear you all on Soul Effigy. We’re going to remove it in the next PTR patch. It’s concerning when the community sentiment towards a talent isn’t that it’s overpowered or underpowered, but that everyone is terrified they’re going to have to play that way if it becomes strong.

It should be understandable how the original concept of Soul Effigy would seem fun in theory, despite it clearly not working out in practice. As an Affliction Warlock, I'm very happy to walk into a 2-target boss fight. At a basic level, you know you're going to get double value out of your DoTs. Walking into a 1-target fight with Soul Effigy just doesn't feel nearly the same. Mechanically, the gameplay of the two situations is very similar, but in the end Soul Effigy doesn't play out well. Could be any of a number of actors - the reduced damage transfer, feeling like the effigy is just there for increased soul shard generation, the usability issues, or the unnaturalness of it as a concept.

Anyways, it’s gone. Replacement talent to come.
04/19/2017 09:16 PMPosted by Pyrelinia
Thanks for the comment Seph, can you clarify whether Affliction will be receiving the nerf to Soul Conduit or not? The notes said only demo was excluded from the SC nerf however on PTR the talent remains 20% for Aff (the tooltip at least, I have not tested the actual %).

Soul Conduit should be unchanged for Affliction. Latest patch notes should reflect that.
04/18/2017 05:43 PMPosted by Cloontang
This is also further compounded by our current T20 set bonus, which puts a lot of emphasis on drain damage and complete drains - both of which are part of the MG play style, which was just effectively neutered.

The Tier 20 set bonus for Affliction is changing soon. It won’t be so focused on Drain Soul.
If Soul Effigy is gone, will shard generation be buffed to compensate? The only reason I took it was for consistency over Conduit, and avoiding droughts of shards.
Thanks for the info Seph and thanks to Blizz for responding to our feedback.
Seph, seriously, thank you for hearing out concerns and actually making things happen. Im extremely happy with this change.

Lets brainstorm some ideas for a replacement talent as a community.

My two would be a talent that increases dot durations slightly or a talent that either increases agony shard gen or gives corruption a small chance to gen a shard.

But really, thanks again for making this happen. I realize a brand new talent is probably a lot of work but was sorely needed.
Damn I missed my chance to say "soul effigy just need usability fixes." If it moved a bit, and added itself to boss frames, and maybe came down with dots on it, I think it would be a perfectly acceptable talent. Oh well, looking forward to some of that new-new.

But while you're reading, Seph:

The more granular shard model for destro -- why not port it to all warlock specs? Having a soul shard just poof into existence for affliction is totally unecessary. Shadowbolt makes the purple combo point model work for demo -- but that would work fine with bits too.

Affliction still won't have an effective way to deal with an add that will die in a short window( 6-10 seconds). And we will be disadvantaged compared to live on a 20-25 second add. This has always been the most important piece of the damage toolkit for raiding, and we don't have it. It is fine if that weakness is a structural choice, but we will need an incredibly compelling reason to play affliction on progression when thats exactly destro's thing.

Thanks for the communication.
thank you blizz!! I love u
What about a talent that causes agony to spread periodically? Or cleave?

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