Battle for Azeroth Demo Design

There are a lot of heated topics on here that are spewing out a lot of subjective perspectives, so I'm going to make this new topic in hopes to create a more objective thread related to the design of demonology warlocks in the next expansion, Battle for Azeroth. Keep in mind I am a mythic raider and do not engage in PvP content so this will be mainly centered around a PvE perspective. Plain and simple, Demonology warlock is not a very fun spec currently and some change would be very nice.

Going back to the Reddit AMA about 5 months ago, developers shared these opinions relating to the spec:

The developers clearly understand the problem with the spec not feeling fun when the "master summoner" spec is revolved around summoning dreadstalkers and imps, followed by a non offensive spell, demonic empowerment, to beef up our pets to make them stronger. Fantasy wise it was supposed to play out that we summon these hordes of demons and have the ability to empower them when in reality, we just summon 2 of the lowest quality demons and cast a maintenance buff to maintain optimal dps. Kanrethad was capable of summoning a pitlord in the green fire quest scenario, as well as the Council of the Black Harvest at the beginning of our expansion during our quest to unlock the class order hall, yet the most significant demon we are capable of summoning is a felguard, or observer if we spec into that talent.

Rotation wise, Demonology is extremely mana dependent, and loses a tremendous amount of dps when moving when compared to the other 2 specs. target swapping is also horrendous since demonology has to recast demons on a new target to restart the ramp up process. Fights like Krosus where the fire adds that spawned on the bridge were essentially ignored by demonology simply because we could not deliver enough damage to these adds in time to warrant our massive loss of dps on the boss. This is a very bad spot for any dps spec, as there should never be a situation where you tell your raid leader you simply cannot switch to the adds that need to die for sake of the dps race.

Currently with the new traits that were introduced in 7.2, demonology rotation and talent build shifted towards Power Trip and Soul Conduit. These talents tie in with our 4th golden in that every time we cast demonic empowerment, there is a 50% chance for each of our pets to explode with damage. This combination means we want to cast demonic empowerment even more to the extent that if enough demons are present, we temporarily replace shadow bolt as a builder and cast demonic empowerment over and over again to build shards while also deailng more damage than shadow bolt. This feels extremely awkward, takes more significance out of demonic empowerment than there already is, and most importantly is not fun at all.

Although I am sure there are more things to pick about the spec, these are the issues that stick out to me the most currently. Demonic empowerment is not fun in its current state and should not be a filler over shadowbolt over any situation. Dreadstalkers and imps are not fun for a class fantasy when members of our class in game have summoned Eredar Lords or Pitlords. The ability to target swap is crucial for any dps spec considering there are plenty of fights where priority adds will spawn far from the boss and need to die ASAP.

It is unfortunate Demonology lost Metamorphosis. Although I do not agree with the design intentions that being able to turn into a demonic type figure, a concept that Kanrethad and NPC Warlock followers were given, was not part of the demonology class fantasy, it was an extremely unique and cool concept when compared to any other spec in the game. Now demon hunters have this ability and warlocks do not, even though several other specs in the game do share similar abilities, like Priests and Paladins. But metamorphosis is in the past, and this is not a post asking to revert back to that. Rather, if are class fantasy is not about embracing a demonic form but instead summoning powerful demons, then give us unique and powerful demons that are not available to the class already, like imps and dreadstalkers.

I would hope that the developers will see this post. I would also hope that others who share my opinion will give their own opinions in a civilized, non-bashful way that allow for quality feedback on this thread. Demonology is doing fine number wise, nobody will dispute that. But it is not fun. It does not feel like a master summoner of demons.
Please! Demonology has been so bad all of the expansion to the point where I haven’t activated the spec in several patches. I was always a Destro/Demo player (mostly destro) and I find affliction extremely boring, even before the legion changes.

I hope they change Demo for the better in the coming patch/expansion...

As much as I do miss Meta, I think they can make a pet-oriented rendition of demonology somewhat successful (this applies to all classes/specs... plz halp destruction as well) if they just LISTENED TO THEIR PLAYERBASE who pays their freaking salaries...
I was very shocked and disappointed with Demonology this expansion considering we are delving into the entities of which we enslave. I was expecting us to be able to learn how to summon more of the Legion's more powerful demons to add to our ranks. I was also expecting to be able to enslave many of the random demons we find on Argus as comparable utility or options to our current five pet options. We received none of that, and the Legion will be vanquished, thus forever losing that opportunity.

Blizzard affirmed that they wanted the Demonology Class Fantasy to be able to summon hordes of demons to do our bidding. I hope that with the Legion's defeat, Blizzard uses that as an opportunity to allow us Warlocks to summon the Legion's more powerful demons, such as Pit Lords. Blizzard clearly does not have an issue with random number generators, so I hope we will be able to see these demons play out.
Bump both because I'm impressed with OPs dedication, and agree that changes are needed.
If they stick with having to summon AI to do damage for us I'll never touch demo again. Never have I thought while playing demo that it'd feel great to summon more AI units and have them work for me while I throw ticklebolts.

Just look at every single warlock npc in the game, they know what's up, I also just kinda miss chucking out a chaos wave or 2, like so many npcs get to do.
11/14/2017 08:58 PMPosted by Ebonymoon
If they stick with having to summon AI to do damage for us I'll never touch demo again. Never have I thought while playing demo that it'd feel great to summon more AI units and have them work for me while I throw ticklebolts.

Just look at every single warlock npc in the game, they know what's up, I also just kinda miss chucking out a chaos wave or 2, like so many npcs get to do.

This is the reason why I don't play it.

It's just a rip off version of BM hunter. I want to be doing the damage not a bunch of ai controlled demons.

With meta I felt strong, Not only strong it was fun.
It's especially disappointing because Demo has the most thematically BA artifact weapon in the game. I don't get to spend any time with Thal'kiel because the spec is so brokenly bad.
As much as the damage of Demo is lacking, I still find it a fun spec to play.

I am curious how they are going to handle the spec in the next expansion, specifically weapons. I enjoy having TK floating around and talking to me, so is this something that we are going to lose in BoA? I know that there is going to be some sort of Artifact "removal" in a grand way, but it would be interesting to be able to have off-hands similar to this still.
The damage is quite fine when played optimally, even better than the other 2 for single target, but it's not enjoyable to play it optimally.
I like the changes made to demonology in Legion. I was never a fan of the whole turn into a demon thing as part of the class fantasy, though I can understand how others enjoyed it. For me the summoning waves of minions is what Demonology should be about, it's the name of the spec kinda as you control demons. I will say I was sorely disappointed that we don't get to summon a more powerful demon, i.e. pit lord or nathrezim , even if only as an extra 5min or so burst cooldown. It would be nice to show that we as players, and the Netherlord in story, have progressed enough to keep up with some of the NPCs that already do this. Demonic empowerment does need some sort of rework too.
It's difficult to provide feedback on Demonology that hasn't already been mentioned throughout all of Legion (live and beta). I recall making the very same posts on beta, then live, then in Legion Q&A threads, before finally giving up.

To quote myself (this was posted before Legion went live).
General problems:
  • Warlocks are a pure DPS class without a baseline snare (e.g. Frost Nova).
  • Warlocks are a pure DPS class without a baseline stun (e.g. Chaos Nova).
  • Warlocks are the only pure DPS class without a baseline slow (e.g. Slow).
  • Warlocks are the only pure DPS class without a baseline escape (e.g. Blink).
  • Warlocks are the only pure DPS class without a baseline interrupt (e.g. Consume Magic).
  • Warlocks are the only pure DPS class without a baseline fight-reset (e.g. Ice Block).
  • Warlocks are, for all intents and purposes, immobile. Blizzard claims this is because we're supposed to be "tanky" casters, however, we lack the ability to tank anything (go try fighting a sub rogue or a WW monk).
  • Spending a Soul Shard is supposed to be "fun" (quoting devs back from MoP). It's not. Spending a shard to do a normal ability (e.g. Unstable Affliction) makes me feel limited, not empowered, by Soul Shards (which I am). Ideally, it should be something like this:
    • Normal Unstable Affliction: 1.5 second cast. Soulburn -> Unstable Affliction, Instant Cast.
    • Normal Call Dreadstalkers: 2 second cast. Soulburn -> Call Dreadstalkers, Dreadstalkers knock the target down when they land on the target (would be nice if we had some CC in PvP).
    Notice the world of difference between these options? When Soul Shards are required to cast the spell, they're just that, a requirement. I don't feel empowered. I feel limited. Because I am. But if I can always cast the spell, but burn a Soul Shard to empower it, then it's just that, empowering.
  • Mana is tuned such that I'm going OOM in duels, and duels don't even last very long. Why are we the only DPS caster that has to worry about mana now? I don't mind mana management, but when I'm the only caster life taping my health away when -30% healing attrition is in effect there's a problem.
  • The entire spec is predicated upon lengthy hardcasts. This simply doesn't work in PvP currently (see Regarding the disparity between melee and casters. posted above).
  • The inability to control non-primary summoned pets in PvP is devastating. When the target is feared, all my pets automatically cut damage, and they won't reengage until the Fear breaks. Do you not see why that's bad? My only CC simultaneously reduces my damage by 100%? What a joke. There needs to be some way I can control my pets. If not for the sake of Fear, then at least for the sake of making target switching possible.
  • Call Dreadstalkers does less damage than Curse of Agony, but requires a 2 second hardcast and secondary resources, whereas Curse of Agony doesn't.
    • Call Dreadstalkers should be instant cast, OR the duration of the Dreadstalkers should be greater than 12 seconds.
    • Dreadstalker AI is terrible. If the target is ever above you (Blade's Edge Arena) they'll fail to jump to the target, and because they run so slowly and because their duration is so short you can essentially deal ZERO damage to targets that fail to bisect the vertical plain where you initially summoned them.
  • Hand of Gul'dan's wild imps have garbage AI. If the target ever breaks LOS they just stand there like donkeys for several seconds. Again, if they lasted longer I wouldn't mind. But they don't. Imps also won't summon if Hand of Gul'dan strikes a hunter that has feigned death. Really annoying to lose 4 shards for nothing like that.
  • Doom needs to be reworked in PvP. Waiting 18 seconds for a shard is dumb. Also, if the enemy team has a Shaman Doom will never tick. In 3s against Shamans it's simply not worth every casting this garbage ability.
  • Pets need to offer utility. Besides our Felguard, every pet in Demonology is just another way to marginally increase damage. If Dreadstalkers applied a snare, this would help immensely.
  • Demonic Empowerment is the worst ability Demonology has ever had. Blizzard claims to hate maintenance buffs, but this is exactly what Demonic Empowerment is. After every new demon you summon, hardcast for a second to make your pets deal equal damage to that of a BM hunter. Just increase pet damage and remove this trash ability. It blows in PvE. It blows in PvP.
  • Demonbolt should honestly just be baseline. Shadowbolt does 5k damage to targets with 550k health. Every warlock thought that was a bug in beta... but I suppose it still went live.
  • The spec itself is littered with bugs that testers reported but QA team ignored.
    • DPS counters (such as BG or Arena score screens) report the damage done to kill imps during implosion in addition to the AoE damage done, making it appear Warlocks are doing far more damage than they really are.
    • The Expendables can fail to proc if imps expire with no active target, or if they expire while banished.
    • Firm Resolve may fail to reduce the cooldown of Unending Resolve.
    • If forced target resets (Vanish, Feign Death, etc.) occur while demons are spawning (e.g. while Hand of Gul'dan is falling) no pets will be summoned.
    • Grimoire of Service fails all the time. This is been a bug for years. I really want to sit by a Blizzard developer and watch them try to use this ability.
    • Thal'kiel's Discord breaks all on damage CC and I can't control it. I can't take this Artifact Trait ever, it actually hurts me if I do.
Some things have improved since this post. For example, Demonology received significant damage buffs across the board during Emerald Nightmare, and again later in the expansion as well. Nevertheless, the mechanics still haven't substantively changed, and that's what most people were upset about to begin with.

The spec itself is just garbage to play. It feels terrible. It handles like a 60's live axle muscle car on leaf springs (and by that I mean bad). You spend all this time casting Shadowbolts to get shards, spend shards to summon demons, cast Demonic Empowerment, and then feel great for two seconds before having to start your ramp up all over again. I've never seen a spec like it. You constantly feel like you're climbing and endless incline. Everything is hardcast. Pet AI is garbage. You're a master summoner but can't control imps for more than 12 seconds. You can't totem stomp. You can't peel melee for yourself.

Everything about Demonology in Legion is anti-fun.

Please read this Blizz class developers.

Make demonology fun and able to do at least some burst damage again.
We have the DOT dps spec, and the nuke dps spec.

From a theme point of view, demonology makes sense, but honestly, the whole pure dps thing is getting kind of stale.

I'd like to see demonology done away with entirely and replaced with some kind of dot based hybrid dps/healing type class. Similar to discipline priests except with dots and demons.

- P
Do you guys have any confidence that this current development team has the ability to do anything meaningful with Demo ?

We have an admission of failure on their part ( You have to read between the lines when they tell you that it was not entirely successful) and for two years now they have done nothing with it. The least they could have done is to change Demonic Empowerment. Either make it a permanent or do away with it completely. Yet nothing was done.

I hope they come with something fantastic for locks, I really do. I mean I loathe and despise demon hunters to the very fabric of my soul, but I must admit they are a well designed if not rather simple class to play. They are fun to play even if they are a two spec class. Why can't the people that created the Demon Hunter do something with Demonology ?
11/15/2017 05:27 AMPosted by Muyfeagrande
It's especially disappointing because Demo has the most thematically BA artifact weapon in the game. I don't get to spend any time with Thal'kiel because the spec is so brokenly bad.

Too bad we could not rename the skull Humbart Wessel :)
We need a tanking spec.
I agree with the author of the post and also say that I miss my green metamorphosis ...
Not quite sure why Demo can't be a caster who has a collection of all the awesome spells demons use. Like how great would it be to use shadow bolt volley , soul cleave or any number of demonic spells that would make the spec feel unique , impactful and fulfilling. Summoning demons is something all warlocks do, so the fantasy here is that a demonology warlock summon more?
the bfa talent and spec changes, !@#$ed us over hard. we no longer can summon a uber demon to fight for us.... T,.,T
Technically all warlocks are demonology warlocks. Demonology is just the study of demons and how to summon them which every single warlock does.

There is also a reason why they have done away with basically everything that make Legion Demonology what it is. Demonic Empowerment is basically Inquisition for your pets on a scale far worse than Inquisition. All the damage being on pets was also on BM at one point and I remember Blizzard saying that the power should be on the character/player. To achieve that you just cant have a mass pet spec and the pet summons have to be a dps cd like unholy and bm have now and what wild imps were before legion.

They removed a pretty iconic spell and im not talking about Meta. Soul Fire and Molten Core was a huge part of demonology, for since Wrath through WoD from what I can remember since I didnt play before Wrath.

Pet AI is just garbage. not being able to tell your mass summons to switch target is just horrible design but also adding complexity. It was either yesterday or the day before where my imps just wouldnt attack my target. They would get summoned and then run to me looking at my target. My other pets were attacking but not my imps. The pets have a duration of 12 seconds, the dogs have a cd of 15 seconds which just feels bad and I forget about them a lot.

Visually its very lacking. It creates melee clutter as well since your pets have to be in melee range for other abilities to work.

I seen a suggestion about demo being a hybrid damage/healing spec which just wouldnt fit. Warlocks dont even care about their own demons and they are selfish as can be in lore. I also dont understand peoples fascination with Pit Lords or Nathrezim. Pit Lords are generals who lead the armies of the Legion and the Nathrezim are commanders of legion troops. It wouldnt make sense to summon these demons. Even if Kanrethad summoned one... so what? Not to mention these pets would have to be pretty powerful to be on par of what they are to the point of possibly being overpowered, if they arent then you are just summoning for looks and it takes away from what they are.

With them not touching demo, and hearing that they said it was a failed experiment and in need of a rework, they are probably going to go back to what worked and then build from it. There are only a few people that like this mass summon thing which I just dont get. They are buggy and you dont see them, what is to like?

Its changing, hopefully for the better. We really dont have a say in what it becomes since we had pretty much no influence with Legion. The only thing we can do is hope they bring back something fun and possibly go with the core abilities that made demonology what it was. Even if it doesnt have meta im all for at this point if the spec is fun and enjoyable.

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