Demology Changes

If you were a developer, and forced to change things, but not allowed to go back to Meta design, how would you approach the design of Demonology?

For myself, I would make each different demon empower a different spell that is in my rotation first, and having more varied kinds of demons up empowers more of my spells. Then keeping all of them up becomes the key, which would be done through demonic empowerment, increasing the duration of short term summons (and thus empowering my spells). It would feel like maintaining buffs and dots at the same time, empowered spells would summon more demons, and for when the summons were getting low or running out of uptime: a reset button that detonates all current non permanent summons doing damage, making the next summon spell instant, and providing us a lot of haste (to repeat the process).

The details of the individual spells would vary greatly, but basically the idea is to keep what we have but massively change demonic empowerment and our summon spells slightly, while empowering our personal damage more. Still about maintaining buffs and pet uptimes, in addition to those I think more varied demons and unique permanent demons would be best for Demonology. Maybe a way to step into the demon world and directly control a Demon for a while as a very long cooldown that replaces Infernal or Doomguard (which Demo could have up as a permanent guardian along with their pet). Thinking like a Vehicle kind of control mode, personal Warframe style.
I would like to see something like the Mastermind from City of Villains or Bone Dancer from DAoC, basically a multi pet class that has direct control of a large number of powerful permanent minions and then acts as a support for those minions dealing some extra damage and healing/crowd controlling the enemies.

in this setup id imagine

1 felguard(upgraded to pit lord with a talent)
2 succubus pets with separate abilities
one with curse of tongues and seduce ability along with a ranged attack
second one with damage over time shadow attack and a curse of elements debuff
1-2 felhunter pets
need at least 1 for the interrupt not sure what do do for the other one perhaps split the abilities for purge to the other one
3 imps
give them back phase shift
change their heal ability to target injured demons in your army, cost fury
spammed ranged attack with cast time no casting cost

as for the warlock itself give it back the old soul link ability where the warlocks health is halved but all damage and healing is shared across all demons in their control. keep their overall health total for the army roughly the same as we currently have to prevent them from becoming too OP then give them a large % for life leech for their own abilities.

abilities- quite a few changes id make here, first of all, spells cost life. the cost of which split with your minions and cost enough to prevent you from just spamming shadow bolt and hand of guldan endlessly. second they build demonic fury resource

shadow bolt volley hitting all targets near the main target generating fury


doom a dot that spreads to nearby targets(with a larger duration 60s tick every 15s for damage and restores fury to all minions on tick) which is auto applied by pit lord

hand of guldan changed back to a resource spender using demonic fury to deal damage and spread a dot

demonic empowerment- demonic fury spender which channels your power into fury to restore the health and resource of all your demons, 30s cd

there is a lot to add to it but that is the bare bones vision of what id like to see. a true pet class which sadly warlocks are currently lacking.
11/14/2017 09:32 AMPosted by Twistedshade

there is a lot to add to it but that is the bare bones vision of what id like to see. a true pet class which sadly warlocks are currently lacking.

That is certainly an interesting vision, and I could definitely see it as a fun spec. Hopefully more people will add their ideas that don't involve meta as well so we can give the developer some choices.

There are other threads talking about double pet Demo, which would be interesting. Lots of ideas on this forum outside of just going back in time, which is good, because it means there is actually a lot of design space for Demo locks.

A key point in anything, in my opinion, would be trying to make abilities that are telegraphed, so maybe turning Hand of Gul'dan into an instant cast, but ground targetted ability, so we could actually miss aim that, and with a slight delay before the ability hits the ground. Being telegraphed helps the PvP balance while allowing us to have it be instant cast in PvE and thus freeing up some of the GCDs for other spells that feel like more than just a summon spell.
I'd trade in the Imp waves for a single larger demon, on top of the temporary demons lasting for a longer time. Demo's mastery would affect their summoned demons all the time, and Demonic Empowerment would be a short cooldown (1-2minute CD) that would massively increase the haste of your current demons, while preventing them from despawning until the effect ends.
I would like to see a spec with no pet at all. Not just a talent but a full on spec with curses and debuffs. A real dot class not the pale imitation that affliction is with just a handful of dots to apply.

Sadly I think it will never happen, but it is readily apparent they do not know what the hell to do with Demonology. For some reason they do not want to give locks a strong pet, instead trying to mimic the play of the necromancer from Diablo with weak pets that amount to little more than dots. However, It seems to me that not a lot of design time went into Demo, and it was intentionally gutted so as not to detract from the Demon Hunter. If they want to resurrect Demo now DH's are mainstay and in fact there are too many in the game right now, is anyone's guess. Certainly they could not make it any worst if they tried, which is about the only positive thing anyone can take away from it.
  • Shadowbolt instant cast or , doomhounds/hand of guldan and other soul shard demons as instant cast. heavily prefer shadowbolt here
  • Shadowbolt mana cost halved, or demonic empowerment halved, or bake in a talent to return mana on ~insert relevant interval here (lets say 1-2% by the soulshard, but leave it open to balancing)
  • grimoire of supremacy changes your felguard to a pitlord that has the ability to interrupt and do a stronger felstorm that deals ??% or ???% more damage to the initial target giving demo much needed burst.
  • Grimoire of service stays more or less the same
  • Grimoire of synergy no longer activates randomly, instead it gives the demon side buff when you cast demonic empowerment(and stacks), or we could go with hand of gul'dan without the stacking. Gives warlocks side buff every Xth ability used with different pets having different values for X. The intent behind this talent change is to allow demo warlocks to pick pets based on utility rather then being locked to one with synergy values meant to keep them relatively balanced on single target.
  • Doom reworked back into a cooldown that deals large damage after a significant timer, but now summons the doomguard. reworked doom will effectively be the doomguard cooldown. Infernal remains the same. (might be a good idea to have dispell protection for pvp, like the doomguard being summoned when doom is removed regardless of how its removed)
  • Improved doom will cause the new doom to tick like agony dropping an imp on every tick creating 4-8 (placeholder) imps and doing ???% more damage over all from the doom itself. Also infernal will now call two infernals.
  • Kazzaks doom belt will retain the 5% extra doom damage per demon out, and will cause doom to grant 5 soulshards when it expires.
  • Hand of doom talent will be renamed and allow you to use 5 soulshards on hand of gul'dan to deal %% more damage and summon 5 imps.
  • Demonic calling just makes call dreadstalkers free.
  • Shadowflame renamed to shadowflame bolt, your shadowbolts leave a shadowflame dot on the target and do shadowflame damage, creates ability to multidot. Shadowflame dot functions exactly the same as current iteration with shadowflame botl having no cd.
  • Shadowy inspiration changed to: demonic empowerment empowers your next shadowbolt to cost 10% of your life deal 100% more damage and restore 30% mana. (values are placeholder)
  • demonbolt becomes instant cast, and if it is used wiith shadowflame bolt talent becomes demonflame bolt with the shadowflame dot and some form of the modifiers from demonbolt. Demonbolt scales off of mastery
  • Summon darkglare: 30 second cd 8 second duration will fire a aoe beam that will hit all targets between the darkglare and target for damage. Beam will do splash damage around the initial target, but there will be no double dipping on this damage if a target is hit by beam and splash.
  • Powertrip: changed to shadowbolt(and variations) deals ???% more damage for 300% more mana.
  • I tried to base my focus on demos main issues.
    -huge ramp up time
    -unfun mana management
    -the current implementation of doom
    -minimal talent choice to choose between sustained aoe and sustained single target damage types.
    -being the spec most crippled by movement in pve due to a disasterous combination of cast time spells, ramp up time, and maintenance mechanics
    I would just rebuild it as a dark apotheosis tanking spec, even if it had nothing to do with a demon form.

    If we can't actually control additional pets (IE: more pet bars), I have no interest in pet swarm specs like current demo or beast mastery. Pets as just DoTs is boring and clunky.
    I don't know. I think the meta design was nice and unique. I don't care if I turn into a demon; I could turn into a bunny and the mechanic would still be just as enjoyable (although I may mess up my rotation as I laugh).

    When they designed Warlocks at the onset the specs were never meant to be fully stand alone. You might level as Enhancement (for Shaman) and raid as Restoration. That's the mentality they went into with class design at the beginning.

    They might even need to just redo Demonology entirely; maybe not even focus on the summoning of demons aspec. By which I mean commanding Demons doesn't need to mean you have to summon them all first. When the Necromancer in Diablo uses Army of the Dead I don't question that I am witnessing a master summoner and it doesn't take half a minute to build that army.
    11/14/2017 08:23 AMPosted by Delofasht
    If you were a developer, and forced to change things, but not allowed to go back to Meta design, how would you approach the design of Demonology?

    I would make demo play more like Diablo 2's necromancer.
    Great feedback, seeing a lot of varied options here, from tuning and slight changes to complete overhauls. Some very specific, others more general (like my own), which leads to some interesting ideas.

    So in list form we have:

    Doom making Doomguards
    Necromancer style gameplay (D2 style)
    Dark Apotheosis without Demon Form
    Demonic Empowerment made into a medium CD Steroid (extended summons uptime)
    Numbers tuning/resource management changes
    Focus on high pet uptime without spamming summons

    Seems like most of this is revolving around having much longer uptime on summons, and more interactivity with our pets in general.

    As an idea if they decide they like the summoning style of gameplay:

    Introduce a target switching effect, applied by one of our instant cast spell, causes all nearby pets summoned by the Lock to switch to targets hit by it (prioritized by proximity to the pet, goes for the ones closest to the pet). I prefer the idea of a telegraphed ability that is just slightly delayed (half second animation before the effect hits) and ground targeted, this would allow us to predict positioning and cast it prior to a target getting into a position and be already casting a follow up spell. Provides a burst opportunity and an easy target swap, causing all our pets to just change over to that (Imps just turn and fire at that, Dreadstalkers leap to target, Felhunter Pursuits to it, etc).

    There is potential for them to do all of these things in one masterstroke if they wanted really. It is a very large design space for being a "Minionmancer".
    My suggestion is only for the current Demonology build. I'd like to see Shadowflame taken off the talent tree and make it a standard spell for Demo. This would increase mobility significantly.
    I'd still bring it back to MoP Demo, and they'd thank me.
    I would like to see something similar to the soul beast in gw2.

    Where you take on the form of your pet. Each pet would have differing abilities and you swap out and in to pets.

    So you bind to the succubus for dots and such then swap out to fel hunter to chomp for extra damage

    I don't think it would be possible then again probably just as jankball as demo now or worse but I can dream
    Honestly if they want the $ they need to bring back meta demo. I know in the OP you said anything but meta but if they did bring back meta not only would they make more money from oldschool Warlocks returning to play but it would be much more enjoyable mechanically.
    Demonic empowerment changes to be an aura that boosts all demons controlled by demonologist. However, it will drain Mana slowly as long as it is turned...and I mean slowly. Sort of like how BM's Volley very slowly drains focus...not huge but enough to require a little more use of lifetap.

    Enslave demon permanently enslaved the demon. If it dies the demonologist can resummon it without needing to go out and find a new demon to enslave. However there shouldn't be a stable of enslaved demons. Just one at a time. We're not beast masters here. Increase the number of demons we can enslave and make sure they keep their uniqueness (scaled in power as needed).

    Drop felguard. If you want one then go enslave one.

    Increase Mana pool. We lifetap way too often.
    I've been toying with the idea of de being an aura you toggle to buff one of several demons you have at once.

    (Think vanilla pally aura swapping based on situation)

    Demo locks should have a small entourage of demons at all times. (Think one of every baseline demon we have now) and your de aura beefs one of them up and you swap which empower you use based on situation.

    This would give demo it's self tank, dispel, interrupt as well as an aoe pet and a single target pet, that the lock then chooses to prioritise with their empowerment.
    UNdone everything that have been done since WoD and re establish MoP demonology version into the game.

    easy fix.
    Xelnaz, we have to accept that Blizz will not ever give us that back, thus the point of finding something that we can like as a community and hoping the developer takes it into consideration.

    Cyrai, that could be extremely interesting, I know I would enjoy such a build of Demonology.

    Whiskeyclone, those are ideas I believe they could make into a reality. Demonic empowerment being made into a toggle could be fantastic way to make the spell much less spammy, but then should it even be empowering the summons with extra damage at all? The problem with having a steroid for summons and pets is that the base damage they do has to be lower to compensate. It may be better to remove that and instead have the empowerment make their attacks AoE or something like that. This way the base damage can be higher, and the AoE effect can be just a % if the damage they do each attack. Then it being a toggle would work quite well I think.

    The other suggestion of enslave demon being permanent but only having one enslaved at a time is quite good. Or what if we could have our summoned pet AND an enslaved demon. This combines the ideas of having two permanent pets at the same time, while also using the permanent enslave demon. Thematically, maybe we are utilizing the power of our summoned demon to help us hold the other in permanent enslavement.

    Lastly, we do lifetap too much as Demo, or really as Warlocks in general. Empowered Lifetap was a trial at making Lifetap more worthwhile a cast and thus not as annoying to use. Problem is, it was a talent competing with actual damage buffs as well, resulting in a purely less good maintenance buff than its alternatives. Lifetap as a maintenance buff could work, if the duration of the buff were much longer and perhaps a bit more interactive with our kit, maybe baseline instead of in a tree. Maybe the buff could make our damaging attacks restore 1% of our mana (0.1% for dots) when they Critically hit.

    Ultimately, a lot can be solved just through numbers changes and shifting of power from one thing to another. Consolidating effects of two or more buttons into one button would very much help with the feeling of impactful button presses. Focusing on HOW our spells land rather than whether we have a target or not would greatly help. Demonology has the greatest opportunity for multitudes of interesting spell effects, because they should be interacting with friendly AI constantly.

    Interaction is an exchange of actions between more than one side, currently we do not interact with our demons outside of giving them orders, but what if we actually had to position or move to use their spells even more effectively? For example, what if our pet imps’ felbolts could be empowered by us standing between the target and the imps. . . Causing them to explode when hitting the target afflicting nearby target with a short duration burning effect. This is all based around a rework of the way we summon short duration pets, but could be an excellent way of changing how we interact with our pets based on a given situation.
    If I had to make 1 suggestion for demo it would be for the type of damage it deals,

    Shift it away from ramp up damage and back to burst damage. Over the years the developers have mentioned the pace of the game has greatly increased creating problems for ramp up classes.

    We already have 1 ramp up spec another one just doesn't feel good.

    Nobody enjoys ramp outside of a raiding environment, It feels very unsatisfying to play especially when it feels like you're never able to deal proper damage before things are dead.

    Even if meta is gone there's no reason they can't bring back some of our old spells we can use.

    Ie access to more powerful spells the more we build up a resource or more access to those spells the more summons we have out.

    I want our chaos waves, imp swarms and soulfires back.

    Maybe even instead of imp swarms observer swarms?

    Demonology should have access to some fire magic too I feel. Take the following video down below as an example.

    I'd love to see something similar to that for demonology. Fire engulfing everywhere around you and demons potentially being summoned from the flames.

    Give our demons the ability to use attacks that we haven't seen before.

    Putting a permanent summon focus on demonology will have it feeling like a rip off iteration of BM for Warlock.

    A focus around AI controlled demons dealing damage for you doesn't seem like my idea of fun, People currently dislike the current iteration of demonology because of the pet summons.

    Do we really want to redesign demo to be focused around pet damage?

    The warlock himself is the one who should be summoning powerful spells and the demons should be the side attraction or a passive effect similar to how demo functioned prior to legion.

    Ie doom crits spawn wild imps.

    As for resource changes what about something like a pseudo meta form?

    For example the demonic powers begin to take control of us allowing us to gain access to even more powerful spells?

    Similar to shadowpriest voidform but not quite.

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