Lock Aff PvP-Thread 5 MONTHS old GG Blizz

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
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Update: Apparently getting an armor and stamina buff according to PTR. However if the video at https://youtu.be/MhyXtAKvJhc?t=429 is correct the stam buff won't matter much.

Blizz, you need to explain the following:
  • Healthstone CD
  • UA Cleanse Non-Protection
  • Tankiness, mobility? Let's try it with neither
  • Disclaimer:

    I know this is beta, I know things change, feedback based on current state – that is aftercall the entire purpose of beta testing. <- lol since I wrote this things have only gotten worse, love it.

    I know affliction has historically done well in arena, possibly too well at times. This feedback is purely about class survivability and sensical gameplay, if you have issues with afflictions offensive potential that would be a different thread.

    I used the exact amount of words I thought were needed to convey the information I wanted to, that is their purpose. If you feel my post is too long you are in no way obligated to read it.

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    1 OF 3

    Cleanse Protection
    A snippet from Blizzard:
    “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.”

    This issue was already addressed, and in an unquestionably superior way – Haunt. Unstable Affliction was cleanse protection while Haunt allowed us to either frontload burst damage into a single target or cleave across the entire team, trading single target burst for more dot pressure via the haunt debuff.

    Also, we had to decide between using our shards offensively or defensively. Soulburn summoning circle could save your life, five haunts could end someone else’s. Why would we take a system that is richer and deeper, and best of all - makes logical sense, and trade it for the current model?

    Our cleanse protection is no longer cleanse protection, it is an incentive to cleanse! It was the same in Legion and BfA is making the exact same mistake. Why would a healer not want to cleanse all my UAs AND all my other debuffs, including a 10% increased damage debuff? Not cleansing UA means not cleansing the rest of my debuffs, not cleansing UA means empowering me to do MORE damage. If anyone at Blizzard feels healers are too scared of a 4 second silence and would rather their team take considerably more damage then I have some bad news, healers never got that message.

    So why is the conversation “How do we make UA dangerous to dispel but dangerous to leave up without it being unbalanced?” The conversation should be, and should have always been “Why would we take a soul shard spending burst tool, and a cleanse protection tool, and try to merge them together?” Haunt is so clearly the answer to this problem, and I can say that with confidence because haunt… used to be the answer to this problem! I mean just think about it:

    Option A: Haunt, does damage, has cast time, costs soul shard.
    Option B: Make cleanse protection cost a very finite resource, now our cleanse protection has far and away the lowest uptime out of all the debuffs its intended to protect, woops? Also make a target take more damage when they have your cleanse protection on them. Oh, and also make cleanse protection our highest most bursty spell. Great, now it does three things! Except well, it doesn’t do the first thing anymore, and since it doesn’t do the first thing anymore it can’t reliably do the other two things, so more often than not it does zero of the things.

    If only we had eggs we could have ham and eggs, if only we had ham.

    Also, Endless Affliction is a wasted talent slot, the last thing a Warlock would want in an arena is for UA to do the same amount of damage but take longer to do it. This talent would be great if the healer, for some baffling reason, wasn’t cleansing our dots on cooldown, or we got the old UA, the actual cleanse protection UA, back. As neither of those are the case presently, this is a useless talent. It makes our cleanse protection (I shake my head every time I have to type that) not only do less damage before it’s removed, but also makes UA even more enticing to cleanse, as a longer UA means a longer damage increase debuff. So, a talent that makes my UA do less damage and even further increases the reward to cleanse it? Thanks, but no thanks.
    2 OF 3

    Survivability
    In this regard we fall below even casters with greater mobility. How can we be expected to stand there and face tank melee with weaker/longer CDs than other casters? This is in addition to much higher incoming damage thanks to no passive reduction at all, even demo/destro get some form of passive DR. Our ability to self-heal, another trademark of the spec, is now below Spriest, Boomkin, and Ele; that was before corruption heals were removed and Siphon Life was castrated.

    Healthstone: Not allowing HS to reset until combat drops absolutely makes sense in a raid, but this limitation carrying over to PvP is obviously flawed. This is a 25% heal with a CD that can range from 2 minutes to NEVER. It is not at all far-fetched to imagine a class, repeatedly described as being intended to tank melee, to never manage to fall out of combat for the entire arena. Imagine a 12 minute drain game, my HS is now a 25% heal (before dampening) and has a 12 minute CD? And with Sweet Souls gone this ability is definitely looking a little sad. It’s counted among our CD's but in its current state shouldn’t be.

    Below are some examples, I didn’t include mage since their toolkit regarding how they survive is wholly unique. There really aren’t any tradeoffs to be found, we are, overall, just flat out bottom of the barrel.

    Warlock: Siphon Life – less than 2% total life generated over a period of 13 seconds.
    SPriest: Vamperic Touch – 6% health back over a period of 21 seconds.
    Ele Shaman: Spectral Recovery – 3% health back every 2 seconds
    Boomkin: 3% health every 5 seconds

    Warlock: Mortal Coil – Heal for 20% of total health, 45 second cooldown
    SPriest: Vamperic Embrace – For 15 seconds all your single target damage heals yourself as well as the rest of your party for 106% of the damage you do, 38 second CD.
    Ele Shaman: - Heal for 20% of total health, 45 second CD
    Boomkin: Swiftmend – Heal for ~25% total health, 25 second CD

    Warlock: Drain Life – 4200 HP over 4.3 second channel
    SPriest: 2707 HP in 1.3 second cast
    Ele Shaman: 3175 HP Plus 1587 HP 3 seconds later, 4762 HP in 1.3 second cast
    Boomkin: Regrowth – 2700 HP, additional 740 HP over 12 seconds, 3440 HP in 1.4 second cast

    Warlock: Unending Resolve – 40% damage reduction, 3 minute CD
    SPriest: Disperse – 95% damage reduction, 2 minute CD
    Ele Shaman: 40% damage reduction, 1.5 minute CD
    Boomkin: 20% damage reduction, 1 minute CD

    Warlock: No passive armor increase, health increase, or DR.
    This is huge.

    SPriest: 10% melee DR, 10% Increased Stamina
    Ele Shaman: Spirit Wolf – persistent 20% DR. Over 20% increased melee damage reduction vs Warlock
    Boomkin: Celestial Guardian – persistent 10% DR from spells, 20% increased healing. Over 20% increased melee DR vs Warlock

    We do have other tools, some of which are fairly unique and hard to put into a 1:1 comparison. Unfortunately, unique doesn’t always translate to useful.

    Soul Leech – A shield you build up over time, maxes out at 10% of your total life, built using 8% of your total damage. So basically 8% of your total damage is converted into damage reduction. Even at it’s theoretical best, with you pumping out so much damage you’re constantly absorbing 10% of your life, it still doesn’t compete with the passives the others have baked in by default.
    Phantom Singularity – Great for PvE but in a 3v3 or if you experience some of the world PvP that matters so much in BfA, basically does nothing at all.

    Essence Drain – If you can keep it up, as it is a debuff generated by a channeled spell, it can offer, at maximum, 25% damage reduction to a single enemy. Power Word Shield, at 13% HP absorbed every 5.1 seconds, Bear Form, and even Spirit Wolf are better as soon as you take damage from more than a single source, and that’s assuming 100% uptime on Essence Drain when you’re being attacked.

    We can also trade 20% of our life to absorb 50%, so really 30%, every minute. Nether Ward is an amazing ability but doesn’t do much against melee cleave which for the last decade Blizzard has been assuring us we are supposed to tank. Curse of weakness is fine, as long as nobody cleanses it; 25% less melee damage with 50% uptime on 50% of the damage in a melee cleave, so… ~6% damage reduction? As long as it isn’t cleansed?
    3 OF 3

    I don’t want homogenization (Funnily enough homogenization is the biggest issue, now everybody can heal…), I simply want affliction to be brought more inline with other casters, specifically spriest.

    I understand if Blizz feels that aff should have a lower representation in arena to change things up or whatever, that’s fine… I guess? My main issue is the way it is being done isn’t even sensical. Our survivability is arguably the worst of any caster, how were such design decisions justified? How does one stand up in front of a group of WoW experts, say “I think we should make cleansing Unstable Affliction reward the healer, not punish them”, and meet so little resistance that the current UA implementation is about to span two expansions?
    This post highlights some of the same problems I see coming with Affliction in BfA. I posted some thoughts in my feedback thread but I'm glad you posted this, so we have a place for focused PVP feedback.

    UA dispel protection is weak unless you actually manage to get 5 up, and even then unless you have those UAs on a healer that is under pressure it isn't very threatening for them to dispel. Fatal Echoes offered some solace for UA dispelling when it actually procced, but that's gone with the pruning of Artifact passives, unless they bring it back on Azerite Armor.

    Endless Affliction is a talent that doesn't fit very well, as you mentioned. The only time I could think of to use it is when you want to prolong DoT duration to prevent a reset/restealth, but the duration of the other DoTs somewhat covers this. The other talents are far more useful. I think this talent should be changed to something else or reworked to improve the quality of life and/or effectiveness of UA in PVP.

    I would also like to add that with the current setup of Affliction and spending shards on UA, it feels terrible having all these CC abilities that remove our DoTs in the game. Stacking up UAs and the other DoTs only to have them all removed just feels bad. It happens a lot. I think UA stacking is bad in PVP for all of the above reasons.

    Survivability is an issue that, to me, stems from the pruning of Affliction utility coupled with the lack of defensive capability and mobility. Demonology proves that Warlocks can have great defense and crowd control, but Affliction has neither. The only real strong points of Affliction are 1v1 potential (which doesn't matter in competitive PVP) and the ability to spread damage.

    Our efficiency has been nerfed going into BFA. No longer can we heal without sacrificing a big chunk of damage. While I think this is a good change for the health of the spec, we are really missing meaningful defense and I think it might be time to consider giving us Soul Link back if we are losing defensive strengths elsewhere.

    05/23/2018 10:06 AMPosted by Ganaanaa
    Also, we had to decide between using our shards offensively or defensively. Soulburn summoning circle could save your life, five haunts could end someone else’s. Why would we take a system that is richer and deeper, and best of all - makes logical sense, and trade it for the current model?


    Soulburn would be a great way to bring some of the utility that has lost back to Affliction. With Grimoire of Service effectively being replaced by a damage filler choice, we really need something. Warlock mobility has decreased while that of other classes has increased over the past expansions. I can understand that they want Warlocks to be less mobile and more tanky, but unless you are a Demo Warlock, you really aren't that tanky anymore.

    Overall, if Affliction continues on this trend I don't see it being useful in anything but casual/for fun PVP, and even then, the weaknesses of the spec are just going to make it feel inferior.

    All of this being said, I think there are a few positives. Having Nightfall back is going to offer a mobility choice over Drain Soul and that is pretty cool. Vile Taint is definitely going to have uses, especially when there are multiple melee/pets stacked up. The spec just really needs some love in other places.
    Appreciate your support, unfortunately it appears that all the aff locks that care about PvP may have long since rerolled or cancelled =(
    05/24/2018 10:42 AMPosted by Ganaanaa
    Appreciate your support, unfortunately it appears that all the aff locks that care about PvP may have long since rerolled or cancelled =(


    Sadly it does feel that there isn’t much support for improving Aff PvP. Legion and now BfA class design have not been kind to it.

    A few changes to Honor Talents at the very least could really make it a more functional and playable spec in competitive PVP.
    I get wanting more survivability but you're comparing a pure dps with hyrbid dps and saying that it's a problem that hybrids can heal? Legion had hybrids doing !@#$ all for healing and I'm glad it's being addressed. Locks just need soul link and portal baseline. That's all the survivability you need imo.
    05/24/2018 02:16 PMPosted by Isuckatsham
    I get wanting more survivability but you're comparing a pure dps with hyrbid dps and saying that it's a problem that hybrids can heal? Legion had hybrids doing !@#$ all for healing and I'm glad it's being addressed. Locks just need soul link and portal baseline. That's all the survivability you need imo.


    You got thunderstorm, a baseline snare, and the best healing of all the hybrids. Which is ridiculous because an ele shaman thats sturdier and burstier than a druid shouldn’t be healing so much more than a druid.
    This is a good thread to start up
    As allot of these issue do not translate into the main warlock thread correctly:

    The OP's post about UA is 100% the reality and the way that i plays out on live and in BFA. healers are always choosing to dispel and eat that silence and damage cause its way less punishment then what would occur if they left it ticking on the targets.
    I can't even count the amount of times I load up all my dots and then throw 2-3 ua's up and just watch the healer dispel them all and then just wait and cast 2 spells and boom full health like it was nothing when it took me forever to even get those shards to cast all of that, its a terrible feeling to have occur to you.

    I know in the limited pvp that I have done on alpha/beta that affliction has for sure took a hit to its defensive capability.

    But I think most of it can be fixed with buffs to essence drain
    and a few other changes
    I believe that it used to be a 50% damage reduction before it was nerfed to 25% -
    and when that happened it was cause you were doing so much damage through drain soul and healing and defensively living. in a 1v1 situation it was overtunned
    But going into BFA with DS not healing and Drain life doing reduced damage
    I think that a buff/revert to its damage reduction would be ok to occur.

    The Nerf to health stone to 25% - this just felt unneeded
    we lost sweet souls and have no base line mobility cd's
    and you nerf our big heal cd?..... what was the thought process behind that change

    Portal being baseline is something that the forums has been saying forever and I know that we really need that to occur for PVP specifically.
    loosing this ability was just to much of a blow for warlocks mobility all together.
    this is 100% true in arena's. and that's where it really shows its ugly head as an issue.
    05/24/2018 02:26 PMPosted by Tinieblas
    05/24/2018 02:16 PMPosted by Isuckatsham
    I get wanting more survivability but you're comparing a pure dps with hyrbid dps and saying that it's a problem that hybrids can heal? Legion had hybrids doing !@#$ all for healing and I'm glad it's being addressed. Locks just need soul link and portal baseline. That's all the survivability you need imo.


    You got thunderstorm, a baseline snare, and the best healing of all the hybrids. Which is ridiculous because an ele shaman thats sturdier and burstier than a druid shouldn’t be healing so much more than a druid.


    That shaman is resto not ele man. I play lock also a lot. Rls is my fav comp for both of the classes. I agree ele is absurdly op compared to BOOMY, I'm just saying addressing locks problems in pure healing output vs hybrids is wrong. We need soul link and portal baseline and I guarantee you locks will be super tanky. The ones who can keep track of their pets health and micro manage it. Ua being stackable was the most pointless change imo. They want to keep soul shards when they're basically a relic of the past that just used up bag space anyway. If you ask me they could just get rid of soul shards and have an easier time balancing aff.
    05/24/2018 02:16 PMPosted by Isuckatsham
    I get wanting more survivability but you're comparing a pure dps with hyrbid dps and saying that it's a problem that hybrids can heal? Legion had hybrids doing !@#$ all for healing and I'm glad it's being addressed. Locks just need soul link and portal baseline. That's all the survivability you need imo.


    I at no point stated that it's a problem hybrids can heal. Also as a warlock I can heal so I am unsure what you are using to define something as a "hybrid". If it is that the class can heal then warlocks are hybrids as well. What I DID do, I thought pretty clearly, was point out that our survivability is well below our fellow DPS casters, and that is a problem.

    Edit: Thinking about it, if anything I want my caster brethren to be as strong as possible, double caster and caster melee are much more enjoyable games than two button mashers mindlessly plowing into me until my healer runs oom.

    05/24/2018 03:49 PMPosted by Sefirosuwar
    I can't even count the amount of times I load up all my dots and then throw 2-3 ua's up and just watch the healer dispel them all and then just wait and cast 2 spells and boom full health like it was nothing when it took me forever to even get those shards to cast all of that, its a terrible feeling to have occur to you.


    Dude right? Makes it very hard to believe that anyone at Blizzard both does 3s as aff and has any kind of creative control as any warlock I've ever known would be bringing this !@#$ up at every dev meeting.
    So in a few posts I have made, I've mentioned how the removal of Grimoire of Service really hurt Affliction and Destruction but that Demonology still had it, causing a big disparity in crowd control across the Warlock specs.

    With today's build, they changed Grimoire of Service to be just Grimoire: Felguard for Demonology, effectively nerfing the potential of the talent. This brings Demo down just slightly, because it is no longer possible to have 2 interrupts without using a Felhunter instead of a Felguard, but...

    Affliction still has a severe lack of utility options. I feel like with the current talent setup that focuses heavily on choosing a style of damage that Affliction is really going to suffer from a lack of defensive mechanics. Our mobility is also still far behind that of other classes.

    I see there being little difference in melee uptime on Affliction Warlocks, and our defensive talents have only been nerfed going into BfA. There was also a nerf to Nether Ward today (5 sec to 3 sec).

    At this point I simply don't understand why we don't have Soul Link.
    Well a few talents were arbitrarily shifted around in our tree, so everything solved I guess!
    Afflock is losing all its healing which is good, but it needs compensation. That healing was overpowered in PVE, but even then, it never mattered in PVP. Afflock is currently and has been the squishiest warlock spec throughout Legion and it's because all its survivability is caked into something they can barely use and even then, they're losing what little they had.

    Similarly, destro was overpowered in PVP partially because of its strong mitigation from having a 1minute wall.

    Now in BFA, afflock is almost all the healing it had and destro is losing all the mitigation it had; both receiving zero compensation for their losses. They're going to be almost as squishy as mages, but without any way to kite either.

    Definitely squishier than shadow priests because we at least have a "decent" mitigation CD called Disperse (this needs a buff too btw) and a good healing CD called Vampiric Embrace.

    Soul Link is the right answer because not only does it grant much needed yet not over the top mitigation to destro and afflock, but it also rewards players for killing their pets again. It's already much easier to resummon a pet compared to other expansion with the cast time being greatly reduced, so it'd be a welcomed addition.

    It'll also bring back skill cap since good players will be able to take advantage of a warlock who is mismanaging their pet and of course, the lock will have to keep better watch of their pet too. It's frustrating how a lock can have their pet permanently attacking the healer with no repercussion.

    tl;dr
    Giving Soul Link to Destro and Afflock will compensate them both for the loss of their Legion healing/mitigation without being over the top like what its replacing. This also brings back the skill cap of learning good pet management for warlocks while allowing their enemies to punish them for their misplays.
    aff is the perfect example of what happens when changes made are only made for the sake of change

    if it aint broke dont fix it, more true today than ever
    After many many many hours on the beta dueling and comparing that to live really I think a lot of the problem is the mobility of melee classes and the fact that their up-time on us is so great.

    With the removal of DS healing (this is a good thing) when we finally juke all the kicks and eat all the stuns we can get a fear off.

    At this point i'm noticing that you have 2 choices

    1. You can choose to heal a little via DL at the cost of damage

    2. You can choose to damage and just pray to sweet baby rays that you might be able to do enough damage to tank them down the rest of the fight. (and tank is what you are going to do because we have no mobility)

    Both of these options have drawbacks that usually lead to a loss either way. The first being that DL does such pitiful damage that after their CC has expired or been broken, sure your in a better place HP wise, but what really has that done for you? He's just gonna close the gap in a single global and chop your health down anyways. You've essentially just prolonged the fight and made no ground. Then there is the later option of choosing to prioritize your UA spam and refresh dots instead of heal. But again, then you just break your fear they close the gap and chop you down straight away because you haven't healed any.

    A proposition that i've had if they are to keep our mobility trash and keep DL doing miserable damage is to allow for UA to consume more than just a single shard. This would allow you to spend considerably less time dumping your shards for UA and would free up some more time for DL.

    Nothing is more frustrating to me than spending the entire duration of breathing room that I have chain casting UA. This method of application just doesn't feel good, man. That would be not at all dissimilar to if a rogue or cat had to apply another rip/rupture for every single combo point. It's just an awful clunky way of playing. And imagine how many globals they would have to use, they'd then feel our pain of having to choose between using some self healing abilities or dishing damage, but not both at the same time.
    Affliction needs more survivability in PvP. In BfA the spec loses the following:
    1. Healthstone artifact trait that heals you to full
    2. Drain soul which is your DPS filler that heals you

    It was already fairly "squishy" in Legion (in PvP not PvE) vs any physical damage and borderline needed some help in that department, however in BfA it absolutely needs help.

    My proposed fix is to return it's iconic defensive ability Soul Link as a baseline spell. It should not compete as a talent as this will only get us back to square 1. It needs something in ADDITION to it's current defensive options.

    Also drain life should receive a significant healing buff. it's also important to remember you are giving up damage and just standing still to cast drain life, and it can be interrupted/silenced/stunned/reflected/immuned/etc. unlike other survivability tools.

    In summary I believe Affliction needs the following:
    Baseline Soul Link and increased healing from drain life. The spec should be "consistently durable", but weaker vs high burst damage. Having to manage your pets health and it being a viable target (with benefits for killing it) are good for the game. Soul Link and Drain Life have counters and are iconic Warlock spells that the spec needs to function properly.
    I've never really understood the concept of 'tanking' in PvP versus mobility. There's literally no way tanking as a concept has ever been an equal or comparable option to clutch escape tools and mobility, outside of the excesses of Druid bear tanks.

    With the near-zero mobility Warlocks have, melee get full uptime on every stun/disorient/interrupt, effectively leaving locks to be punching bags for the full burst cooldown windows and hobble away with whatever remains of their health.

    Mitigation is meaningless if you can't cast effectively to dodge interrupts and you can't effectively get away from burst damage. A long time ago we had baseline Deathcoil as an emergency button to get a few seconds of set up, but that went the way of utility to be regulated to talent choices.

    As an added bonus, the lack of a clutch escape tool makes locks just fodder for large scale pvp, since one slow and they're overtaken effortlessly, with none of the slipperyness of Paladin mounts, Monk rolls, Mage blinks and the like. If you're being chased, the strategy is just let yourself be killed because you're certainly not getting away and you only waste your time fighting back.

    That's my decade-old mobility rant, take that for what it's worth but I don't think straight mitigation is an effective answer in an expansion that encourages world PvP.
    Warlocks have always been lower mobility and higher "tankiness". It's kinda what separates them from Mages who are more slippery but less raw durability. I'm fine with that and actually prefer there to be separation between classes like that. However at this point Affliction is like a Mage without roots, blink, and ice block. Not good.
    05/25/2018 08:38 AMPosted by Hexxes
    However at this point Affliction is like a Mage without roots, blink, and ice block. Not good.


    Haha that's so true and so totally !@#$ed, god this is depressing.

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