Affliction Warlock Feedback

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05/14/2018 02:12 PMPosted by Mallunoth
I'm not trolling, I just started reading the thread, and asked a genuine question. Maybe you are talking about the other guy?

The interesting part is I actually liked your suggestions.


I think they were telling you to ignore the guy that was spamming, not telling people to ignore you.

As for the whole DG/Infernal and GoSup thing...

It does feel like a loss, but there were things about those pets I did not like, I will admit. There were times I didn't like the size of them, and that in some ways they made the regular pets feel inferior.

The biggest thing that bothers me is that they took away Grimoire of Service from Affliction and Destruction. That talent might have been boring but it was a staple of Warlocks in PVP. Now Demo gets to enjoy that utility, while the other two specs suffer. It feels bad.

What I'm really hoping for is that we can get Nightfall baseline and some more interesting utility in that row. If they make Nightfall baseline that will mean 2 talents.
I don't really want my offensive power tied to a pet that is dumb and/or can be CCed.

Every class has a frigging baseline CD, why are we treated differently? Put baseline Dark Soul: Misery and we are good to go.
05/14/2018 05:32 PMPosted by Mallunoth
I don't really want my offensive power tied to a pet that is dumb and/or can be CCed.

Every class has a frigging baseline CD, why are we treated differently? Put baseline Dark Soul: Misery and we are good to go.


That's kind of what I'm saying, I think Affliction-related cooldowns and utility would be more interesting as long as they work and are useful.

Nightfall as a talent isn't really acceptable though.
Before going into some individual points of feedback, I wanted to state that there have been several version of Affliction over the years, and even in this thread people have different opinions on what version they like, and what parts they don’t. In general, almost everything has pros and cons, and it’s good to think and weigh those pros and cons when discussing which direction to take Affliction (or any spec) in the future.
04/24/2018 04:37 PMPosted by Xoja
Shadow Bolt/Drain Life vs. Drain Soul

This is one of the big debates about Affliction so far. Drain Soul was removed and replaced by both Shadow Bolt and Drain Life. Shadow Bolt functions as the primary damage filler, while Drain Life serves as a high healing, but low damage channel.

Drain Soul was one of the strongest fillers in the game in Legion. With all the artifact passives and damage modifiers it gave along with stackable Unstable Affliction, it did an insane amount of damage and healing. It does not particularly come as a surprise to me that Blizzard wanted to tone down the strength of Affliction, but I will say this:

Shadow Bolt feels very empty. I liked having it in the past and I was sad to see it go when it did, but without having Nightfall selected (I will discuss this more in the talents section) it is very uninspired and does not feel good when combined with having to stack UA, in my humble opinion.
04/27/2018 05:34 PMPosted by Xon
I'm not sure there really has been that much discussion on how the rotation as a whole "feels". Mostly people have been complaining that they dislike Shadow Bolt for a variety of reasons (though technically it doesn't really change much about the rotation), and discussing shard generation rates.

You've said that the Affliction rotation is "mechanically boring", but it's actually a step up from live (as Shadow Bolt—like it or not—requires more interaction and timing than Drain Soul), so I'm not sure I understand this complaint.

I don't mean to come across as snarky; just tossing in my own two cents' worth.
This has been one of the two biggest Affliction debates internally: Drain Soul vs. Shadow Bolt as the filler. For most of Legion development, I was in favor of Drain Soul, and argued for it over Shadow Bolt. I thought the thematics of draining on a DoT spec felt more appropriate than Shadow Bolt, which is also already Demonology’s filler. Over time, I enjoyed playing with Drain Soul less. When all your DoTs are up, filling in with a 6-sec (reduced by Haste) channeled spell and potentially not pushing a button for 4-5 sec felt a little boring at times. There isn’t much tension or drama to filling with an instant-startup, channeled spell with really no cost to finishing early, and no real concept of having to cancel a cast before it goes off, because you had to move. It’s easy, it’s powerful, and it works. In fact, any channeled version of a cast-time spell is inherently stronger if it does the same DPS in a stationary situation, because the damage isn’t completely backoaded at the time of cast complete.

That all said, I think it’s clear that enough people enjoy Drain Soul’s feel, thematics, mechanics, or visuals that it was worth keeping around. Drain Soul will return as a talent (in the currently empty lvl 90 slot), that replaces Shadow Bolt as your filler. It will deal bonus damage against targets below 20% health and generates a Soul Shard if the target dies while you’re draining it. It didn’t seem right to have all 3 of Shadow Bolt, Drain Life, and Drain Soul simultaneously, as Drain Soul overlaps with both of the other ones a bit, so that’s one of the reasons why it replaces Shadow Bolt.
04/24/2018 05:34 PMPosted by Xoja
I don't understand why we still have UA stacking as our primary Soul Shard spender
This has been the second of the two biggest Affliction debates internally: How should Affliction interact with the Soul Shard as a DPS resource mechanic (if at all), and how exactly should Unstable Afflictions be cast and work. I’ll again say that we went into 8.0 development thinking we were going to go back to Unstable Affliction having no cooldown, but being Limit 1 per target (as essentially all other DoTs are), and Soul Shards doing something entirely different from being a resource to spend Unstable Affliction/Seed of Corruption with.

When we started to go down that road, we got some difficult to ignore feedback that Unstable Affliction being able to stack up multiple times on the same target was good uniqueness and flexibility, and that flexibility provided power in a way that was special to Affliction. For much of the spec’s history, it wasn’t good at burst damage or single-target damage, and being able to stack up to 5 Unstable Afflictions on the same target was actually a decent way to fix that.

Additionally, with Unstable Affliction now having the Contagion effect baked in (You deal 10% increased damage to targets with Unstable Affliction), the natural and intended way to play is to maintain Unstable Affliction at 100% uptime on 1 target, but still giving you the flexibility of saving up multiple Soul Shards and putting out some focused burst damage into a single target, which Affliction for a long time couldn’t do as well.

Note: Agony’s Soul Shard generation rate has been increased by 15% in a single-target situation compared to Legion (not sure this has been mentioned anywhere), and that the spec is intended to be able to maintain Unstable Affliction in a single-target situation with 100% uptime.
04/24/2018 07:09 PMPosted by Rockford
The Drain Soul mechanic which incorporated self healing into base rotation really needed to go.
We agree here – this is pretty important to point out. Drain Soul is coming back as a talent without any healing component whatsoever. One of the big reasons Affliction self-healing got so out of hand in Legion, as I’m sure many have noticed, is that it replaced Drain Life as the spec’s self-healing button. However, Drain Life is allowed to have its strong healing because it’s a damage loss to use it over your filler – you’re actively giving up damage to get slightly overpowered healing, which was okay. Drain Soul being your only filler and also healing for Drain Life amounts or more, was too much and became a problem. In 8.0, you can talent into Drain Soul and have both it and Drain Life, but only Drain Life will heal.
04/25/2018 12:03 AMPosted by Fairyland
Grimoire of Sacrifice and Seduction combination is still putting us in a 30 sec channeling window in which we are doing absolutely zero dps, and we can't do anything or even move, or else the CC breaks. I don't see any situation where this can even be remotely useful.
This is fair. We’ll look at changing Command Demon: Succubus to be Whiplash (snare) instead. You, the Warlock with Grimoire of Sacrifice: Succubus channeling a long CC doesn’t make that much sense. We wanted to make all Grim Sac spells the same as your Command Demon spell, but this one seems like it should be changed.
Doomguard and Infernal - Gone. Seriously, damage cooldowns, give us something baseline.
We agree - sorry it took this long. I feel bad because Affliction was worked on early in 8.0 development and brought about 2/3 of the way to complete (based on our 8.0 plans), then left in that incomplete state for a while, which both didn't look great and probably terrified a lot of players because they thought the spec would ship in that state. Maybe a lesson in messaging, scheduling, or communication here.

Anyways, Summon Darkglare will be the spec’s new baseline ultimate:
  • 3 min cooldown, costs 1 Soul Shard
  • Summons a Darkglare from the Twisting Nether that extends the duration of your damage over time effects on all enemies [within 60 yds, not tooltipped] by 8 sec. The Darkglare will serve you for 20 sec, blasting its target for Shadow damage, increased by 10% for every damage over time effect you have active on any target.

Darkglare felt more appropriate as a different and better ultimate summon for Affliction, providing a unique DoT-extension mechanic for the spec, compared to an alternative like Infernal for Destruction, which feels more fitting as a fiery burning ultimate for that spec.
04/27/2018 05:43 AMPosted by Xoja
Having to cast several UAs feels like a waste of time when we have to start refreshing shortly after and throw in Shadow Bolts between all of that. Multi-dotting doesn’t feel terrible on beta because it obviously has rewarding damage, but single target feels weak and overly tedious.

I don’t know what else to say about it. It felt okay in Legion because it was highly rewarding to stack UA. Perhaps Azerite Armor will make it feel better but right now it feels like garbage.
We haven’t been focusing too much on damage tuning, especially tuning of spell vs. other spells on the same spec, since that usually comes later, after design changes have been more solidified. However, looking at our data, Unstable Affliction damage seems to have fallen off a bit on single-target, so I’ve given it a 25% bump up. In general, we don’t want to be spending too much time tuning things like this (unless something is way out of band) while it’s still early enough to be making design changes/improvements, but this is still great feedback to receive.
05/07/2018 08:43 AMPosted by Xoja
They clearly had Deathbolt working with UA stacks in mind, but... I want Agony fresh at full stacks, I want Corruption fresh, I want Siphon Life fresh, I want several UAs up, but no matter what I’m just not satisfied when I fire off that Deathbolt because it feels like there is too much to manage.

I’m sure when it’s time to theorycraft we will know exactly the best setup for a Deathbolt to get the most efficiency and damage, but it might still not be a fun rotation.
The idea with Deathbolt is that you could have your usual DoTs rolling/at high duration on the target, load up on a few UAs, then payoff with a high amount of burst damage with Deathbolt. We realize in practice this doesn’t work as well with targets that don’t live a long time. The more concerning feedback is that Deathbolt isn’t satisfying because it doesn’t feel like you fully maximized it, because by nature of having to refresh one DoT, you’re letting another DoT tick down its duration – unsure if this is psychology players will overcome or not. Another concern is that you don’t know how much damage Deathbolt will do because its tooltip doesn’t tell you. The thinking there was – after casting it a few times, you’d get a feel for its damage potential.

We’re going to try Deathbolt being Instant Cast with less % damage (as its damage was accounting for its 2-sec cast time), and keep an eye on this talent moving forward.

I wanted to point out that Deathbolt calculates its damage at time of cast, not time of its missile landing. This was to be nice to the player and not penalize for travel times of its missile equating to damage lost from DoTs ticking down, and necessitating standing at point blank range. Thinking about that more, we can probably make its damage calculate at time of missile cast and at time of missile land, and take the greater of the two, so if you go to refresh a DoT after casting Deathbolt, you don’t miss out either way. Also, Deathbolt synergizes with the new Summon Darkglare baseline ultimate quite a bit.

Some additional things to come along with some mentioned above:
  • Dark Soul: Misery is coming back as a talent (similar to Destruction’s Dark Soul talent), granting 30% haste for 20 sec n a 2 min cooldown
  • New 15-sec cooldown Soul Shard spender AOE damage talent that also snares, replacing Soul Harvest

Overall, thanks for all the feedback.
05/14/2018 06:45 PMPosted by Seph
Overall, thanks for all the feedback.


Thanks for dropping in and giving us a response. It sounds like you guys have been working on Affliction after all and it's good to hear some of the things you have planned.

05/14/2018 06:45 PMPosted by Seph
I wanted to point out that Deathbolt calculates its damage at time of cast, not time of its missile landing.


This is amazing to know, thank you! I've actually been wondering about this and was admittedly refreshing one of the instant DoTs every time I fired a Deathbolt thinking it might make a difference, but that makes sense. Glad you cleared that up.

That all said, I think it’s clear that enough people enjoy Drain Soul’s feel, thematics, mechanics, or visuals that it was worth keeping around. Drain Soul will return as a talent (in the currently empty lvl 90 slot), that replaces Shadow Bolt as your filler. It will deal bonus damage against targets below 20% health and generates a Soul Shard if the target dies while you’re draining it. It didn’t seem right to have all 3 of Shadow Bolt, Drain Life, and Drain Soul simultaneously, as Drain Soul overlap with both of the other ones a bit, so that’s one of the reasons why it replaces Shadow Bolt.


Was wondering if this would be the case. It also clears up some of the mystery behind Nightfall being a talent - clearly the 90 row is going to define playstyles.

I do like the idea of having an execute mechanic for Drain Soul again.

I will say, though, it does seem like having a talent row that was largely dedicated to utility in the past (Grimoires) be set for filler swapping now. One thing that concerns me is that PVP Affliction might suffer pretty hard from no longer having the option to take Grimoire of Service.

I am glad to hear about these options for our damage but I am wondering how the spec is going to fare in terms of crowd control compared to, say, Demonology which seems to be a little overkill in that respect. Edit: actually just saw the part about the AoE snare, that looks like a nice option.

I do think the honor talents could use a little work, though. Endless Affliction for one was a talent that was seldom used in Legion, and in some cases actually hurt to have.
Wow awesome changes for Afflocks! Now if only Hunters could get some love :{
Great changes coming down the pipeline, but there's only one thing that I really disagree with and it's one of theme.

Why exactly is Darkglare being considered as the 'ultimate' summon of the Affliction fantasy when it by all accounts has nothing to do with shadow magic, or DoT effects? During the Legion alpha/beta (I can't remember when, exactly) the team was playing around with the ability to summon an Inquisitor as a cool down, but they ultimately scrapped the idea for reasons that I don't believe were ever explained?

I'd guessed that maybe it was due to the fact that they were a new type of demon and they wanted to make sure we understood that thematically they were a powerful new enemy, beyond our ken. But now that they're an expansion behind and the Legion's power structure is essentially shattered, I don't see any reason we shouldn't be able to summon one. They fit the theme of an Affliction warlock absolutely perfectly.
Can you make it so that Rot and Decay affects both Shadow Bolt (2sec) and Drain Life (1 sec/tick) as also Drain Soul, if talented, to 1sec/tick as well? I feel like these changes didn’t translate super well to our honor talents in the slightest...
Omg im so happy!!

Thanks for listening to the feedback! (i was dreading going back to SB)

Edit: I must say im a little sad that i'll no longer be able to be a petless lock though now that you're making drain soul and sac mutually exclusive, i'm surprised you didnt put it up where Shadow Embrace is.
This has been the second of the two biggest Affliction debates internally: How should Affliction interact with the Soul Shard as a DPS resource mechanic (if at all), and how exactly should Unstable Afflictions be cast and work. I’ll again say that we went into 8.0 development thinking we were going to go back to Unstable Affliction having no cooldown, but being Limit 1 per target (as essentially all other DoTs are), and Soul Shards doing something entirely different from being a resource to spend Unstable Affliction/Seed of Corruption with.

When we started to go down that road, we got some difficult to ignore feedback that Unstable Affliction being able to stack up multiple times on the same target was good uniqueness and flexibility, and that flexibility provided power in a way that was special to Affliction. For much of the spec’s history, it wasn’t good at burst damage or single-target damage, and being able to stack up to 5 Unstable Afflictions on the same target was actually a decent way to fix that. You get more Soul Shards with more targets through Agony, but instead of covering all targets with a no-cooldown no-cost UA,

Additionally, with Unstable Affliction now having the Contagion effect baked in (You deal 10% increased damage to targets with Unstable Affliction), the natural and intended way to play is to maintain Unstable Affliction at 100% uptime on 1 target, but still giving you the flexibility of saving up multiple Soul Shards and putting out some focused burst damage into a single target, which Affliction for a long time couldn’t do as well.

Note: Agony’s Soul Shard generation rate has been increased by 15% in a single-target situation compared to Legion (not sure this has been mentioned anywhere), and that the spec is intended to be able to maintain Unstable Affliction in a single-target situation with 100% uptime.


Two things I'd like from this Affliction spec feedback.
1. Inquisitor Glyph for Darkglare 3m cd
2. Unsatble affliction stacks up each dot (1 per dot stack per cast) making UA casts make a huge dot you can deathbolt with.

to give you an example. corruption,agony, siphon life on target. Cast UA, takes 1 dot, cast again take 1 dot. each consuming a dot into a big UA. A literal unstable dot (fantasy). You're welcome devs.
Can we ****please**** get Soul Flame back? It made affliction 500x more fun questing and m+. Even as a talent? Really sad to see it go.
IM so excited for the feedback I'm kinda loosing it.
feels great to be heard and listened to

Have a couple of questions though

1. The new dark soul misery talent - where is that going on the tree

2. If drain soul is coming back as a talent at row 90 in the missing spot: how will it interact if any with the talent shadows embrace : as you indicated it replaces shadow bolt as a spell.

This one is more of an observation.
3. You indicated that shard gen was ramped up 15% to make sure that we could keep UA up 100% on single target - I think the math and data might want to be reviewed. Through testing this is possible if you start with 3 shards at the pull of every fight.

But with the way tanks have grown to pull in dungeons even in (beta)
I have found my self most of the time starting with 1 shard or even none. Due to the long time it takes to regen to 3 shards after a pull or pack of mobs. so either the regen after a pull needs to be adjusted or the 15% might need to go up just a little more I find my self roughly 1 to 2 secs off from always having a shard up for ua on most single target pulls.
05/14/2018 08:18 PMPosted by Dopameanji
Can we ****please**** get Soul Flame back? It made affliction 500x more fun questing and m+. Even as a talent? Really sad to see it go.


Yeah, i really hoped that soul flame would be baked in somehow when we lost our artifact.
05/14/2018 07:25 PMPosted by Vendell
Great changes coming down the pipeline, but there's only one thing that I really disagree with and it's one of theme.

Why exactly is Darkglare being considered as the 'ultimate' summon of the Affliction fantasy when it by all accounts has nothing to do with shadow magic, or DoT effects? During the Legion alpha/beta (I can't remember when, exactly) the team was playing around with the ability to summon an Inquisitor as a cool down, but they ultimately scrapped the idea for reasons that I don't believe were ever explained?

I'd guessed that maybe it was due to the fact that they were a new type of demon and they wanted to make sure we understood that thematically they were a powerful new enemy, beyond our ken. But now that they're an expansion behind and the Legion's power structure is essentially shattered, I don't see any reason we shouldn't be able to summon one. They fit the theme of an Affliction warlock absolutely perfectly.


My guess is just that it’s an upgraded observer and that’s the old supremacy, and current glyphed, affliction pet
Damn. That missing talent is exactly what I was asking for.
I enjoyed playing with Drain Soul less. When all your DoTs are up, filling in with a 6-sec (reduced by Haste) channeled spell and potentially not pushing a button for 4-5 sec felt a little boring times. There isn’t much tension or drama to filling with an instant-startup, channeled spell with really no cost to finishing early, and no real concept of having to cancel a cast before it goes off, because you had to move. It’s easy, it’s powerful, and it works. In fact, any channeled version of a cast-time spell is inherently stronger if it does the same DPS in a stationary situation, because the damage isn’t completely backoaded at the time of cast complete.

That all said, I think it’s clear that enough people enjoy Drain Soul’s feel, thematics, mechanics, or visuals that it was worth keeping around. Drain Soul will return as a talent (in the currently empty lvl 90 slot), that replaces Shadow Bolt as your filler. It will deal bonus damage against targets below 20% health and generates a Soul Shard if the target dies while you’re draining it. It didn’t seem right to have all 3 of Shadow Bolt, Drain Life, and Drain Soul simultaneously, as Drain Soul overlap with both of the other ones a bit, so that’s one of the reasons why it replaces Shadow Bolt.


I'd like to say that I also agree with how monotonous drain soul filler is, but I think you're essentially achieving that same feel with the talent. Of course, most players always want awesome talents baseline, but I think Drain Soul is such an iconic warlock spell that it feels weird not having it. I also think that Drain Soul in its best form would be a separate spell from Shadow Bolt so there isn't some sort of monotony just channeling Drain Soul all the time, so it would be better if at the very least it didn't replace shadow bolt. That whole tier is essentially passives anyway.

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