BFA - Affliction [PvP] Feedback & Thoughts.

Warlock
Hey all,

I’ve recently come back to WoW after quitting around early mythic Blackrock Foundry. Some friends wanted to PvP again and WoW brings people together – for better or for worse. I’ll preface this in saying I have never formally given feedback, usually it’s just incessant complaining about the state of things. However, WoW does PvP better than any MMO even at its worst. Being taciturn about the glaring issues guarantees nothing will change. I’ve been out of the loop for most of WoD and Legion with very little knowledge except for people loathed Demo (mostly). “You don’t know what you don’t know.” This is mainly from what I’ve experienced anecdotally in arenas and battlegrounds. I tend to focus more on arena for this feedback. Disclaimer, this is all my subjective sense of what is fun and what works.

Ion consistently talks in this very purposed vernacular where he highlights certain player acknowledgments and perceptions. Let’s take myself, I recently returned to the game to see very few buttons on my bars. Yep, this is the obligatory pruning comment. It’s not fun to see there are no level 110 or 120 talents; it’s lethargic and uninspired. On the same note, takings abilities that were once baseline and moving them into talents is borderline a meme. It’s not a fun ‘choice’ and it’s not enjoyable by any margin. By choosing my talents *and* PvP talents, I barely feel like I have a complete spec. This isn’t okay design.

I don’t understand Deathbolt in terms of execution. Affliction is the spec that kills via attrition, drains, and curses. How does a huge nuke fit this thematically? How is this good for ‘class fantasy’? The idea of consuming DoTs is neat, this is not, though. Maybe if Deathbolt added a DoT onto the target that was based off of the other DoT’s remaining damage over time; similar to how old Combustion worked, I think.,

Vile Taint seems like it should be baseline and buffed to a 50% slow at that. This could be a good replacement for old Shadowflame. The cast time is a fine trade-off for a DoT and slow.

Life Tap being removed doesn’t bother me much. The issue is that Mana IS a problem. Mana hasn’t been relevant for many classes since Wrath. In PvP, you’d see Mages getting Evocations off, or other classes drinking. That was a unique paradigm, but it’s different now. Life Tap was archaic. Drain Life ticks for 600 mana, not sure what 120 numbers are like. This is an issue because Shadowbolt is a terrible filler in PvP. If Drain Life is viable, you can drop Drain Soul and take Nightfall or Deathbolt. Use Drain Life to proc Rot & Decay. But you can’t do that all the time, because you go OOM. Apparently Rot & Decay is procced by Drain Soul now, but that’s a band-aid.

Defensives and survivability in PvP is in a precarious state. The historically ‘tanky caster’ is rendered to a squishy clothie. Taking away baseline Soul Link because why again? Maybe Dark Regeneration should return and take the place of Dark Pact, making the latter baseline. I also thinking no baseline Port is borderline a meme, too. Especially when you consider that, thematically, the 75 tier doesn’t even make sense for that. In MoP you could have Soul Link and glyphed Unending Resolve. I never liked the more active defensives for Warlock playstyle.

- Allow the choice of 4-6 PvP talents, 3 isn’t enough.
- Make Soul Link for all Warlock specs.
- Remedy Mana issues, seriously.
- Why not return self-heal to Haunt?
- Curse of Exhaustion returns as a PvP talent with 50% slow.

Random Destro comment, damage feels really bad.
07/28/2018 12:36 PMPosted by Schirmlock
Apparently Rot & Decay is procced by Drain Soul now, but that’s a band-aid.
They took this away recently.
Agreed, for Blizzard to be such a huge advocate for "spec theme and identity'', deathbolt actually makes 0 sense for affliction.

Would love to see Soul Link back baseline for all lock specs, we are more squishy now than in legion with the removal of traits.

Curse of exhaustion would be a welcome addition as well.
For warlocks of an era gone by, we were no strangers to nukes.

In vanilla, it was immolate + 3 dots + Machine gun imp with shadowbolt Casts as filler during lvl 60 BGs. Shadowburn as finisher... Ahh... Cross spec of course.

Thereafter, there were multiple variations...

Immolate + UA + 3 insta dots + nightfall proceed shadow bolts

UA + Haunt + 3 insta dots + nightfall proceed shadow bolts

SL/SL, when cross spec was still a thing... Even that spec was improved significantly by nightfall proceed shadow bolts... Till then, it was a sustain and drain gameplay.

So, having nukes is not the problem... It's how it's implemented

Now that life tap is gone and drains are back to their former status as utility, maybe drain mana can be re-introduced? Also if nightfall is reworked to it's old system, picking that talent might actually make sense.
I'm landing a huge deathbolt crit about once a bg. There's just too many dispels to get agony to 15 stacks 5 UAs, corruption, ps and darkglare before getting off a deathbolt. And to be honest almost everyone is dead before you get to that point. It is of course deeply satisfying when it goes off.
I have been "trying" pvp today. I just deleted a topic about changes they shoulda, coulda made prior to release. As of now... the class fun factor in pvp is ZERO. You are just trying to survive and run away.... it's ridiculous.

I'll say it until I'm done with wow.... arena/esports pruning ruined this game during WoD and that mentality is going to kill this game. People don't want to play an immersive MMO like they do nintendo.
I've been subbed since BC, when I made this warlock actually. I've seen a lot of changes, prunings, shifts in class design, etc over the years. Affliction is not the worst it has been, but coming from Legion it is pretty rough. Affliction in Legion was really strong, and it didn't help we boasted great self healing as well as damage. It is clear the focus of the class for BFA was demo, and overall they did a good job with it, but it is clear less effort was spent working on affliction.

Affliction, and warlocks in general to a lesser extent, haves always had a complex identity. I imagine this identity is a nightmare to balance but is why we all love warlocks. We are casters but tough, we can't heal others but excel at healing ourselves, our mobility isn't great but instead we debilitate our enemies, etc. In 8.0 this all feels lacking in the spec.

First, we are super squishy. I don't know why I suddenly feel so squishy, but looking through my passives I see NOTHING that reduces damage. Maybe the new system in BFA adds something to warlocks, but I'm not holding my breath. Unending Resolve is strong, but we need something more consistent. I would gladly give that spell up for just about anything to help us be more passively tanky.

Second, our self healing is a joke. I think the root lies, at least in part, with the removal of life tap. Granted, while nostalgic I don't necessarily mind seeing it go, but it was a VERY worrying sign in terms of how affliction would be designed. No self-damage means "justifiably" less self healing. In legion we honestly had too much passive healing, due to our FILLER being drain life/soul, but now without talents we have NONE, and with talents it is very poor. If self-damage is necessary for self-healing I'll gladly make that trade-off, and if people hate lifetap just make it passive that certain spells cost health(baseline or talented). The fact we lose lifetap and drain life rapidly drains our mana is just a slap in the face.

Third, our control is very weak. Upon reaching 110 I immediately aimed to get Sacrolash's Dark Strike, and upon finally getting it I never took it off. Historically we've had curses and passive effects that would debilitate enemies that have slowly been pruned away. I don't feel this is healthy, and the absence of curse of exhaustion is especially felt. Now maybe a 60% slow that can be spread via AOE and is passively applied was a bit much, but soon we'll have nothing at all except an AOE with a cast time, costing a soul shard, that is only 30%, that you must also talent into and competes with one of our only self-heal options. We don't even have howl of terror anymore, which seems insane to me.

I understand affliction is difficult to balance, hence why it is a constant roller-coaster ride of being overpowered and underpowered. Some ideas, off the top of my head:

Add curses back. If you are concerned about them being niche you can make them talents, and if worried about button-bloat just make them passively applied with corruption.

Give us an option to replace Unending Resolve with a passive. I don't even care what that passive is, something that's up 100% of the time is better than a tiny window of survival and death the rest of the time.

Our self healing needs a big boost, both passively and actively. The fact all of our self-healing is tied into talents and drain life is just sad. I'll gladly welcome self-damage to make it happen, or at least the ability to opt into it. Something like this talent row:
1. Demon Armor: More armor, and a boost to self healing
2. Fel Armor: Passive self healing, and a passive that is good against magic or general damage
3. Opt out of life tap and/or any self-damage we have

I could go on, but I felt the need to vent and rant >_<
07/28/2018 05:13 PMPosted by Richardd
I could go on, but I felt the need to vent and rant >_<

Let it out, bro.
07/28/2018 05:32 PMPosted by Schirmlock
07/28/2018 05:13 PMPosted by Richardd
I could go on, but I felt the need to vent and rant >_<

Let it out, bro.


This class design is bollocks, I tell you! BOLLOCKS!
07/28/2018 05:32 PMPosted by Schirmlock
07/28/2018 05:13 PMPosted by Richardd
I could go on, but I felt the need to vent and rant >_<

Let it out, bro.


Thanks. I recall all the venting during Cata when warlocks were truly in a bad place, and it is cathartic. Hopefully things improve at 120, but honestly we'll be lucky if they re-balance things at all in 8.1.
07/28/2018 07:15 PMPosted by Richardd
<span class="truncated">...</span>
Let it out, bro.


Thanks. I recall all the venting during Cata when warlocks were truly in a bad place, and it is cathartic. Hopefully things improve at 120, but honestly we'll be lucky if they re-balance things at all in 8.1.


The idea that we have to wait till 8.1 or later to address balance issues and general class design is absurd. Blizzard needs to be addressing these things now and it should have been all done in ptr. But no, they dont give any real weight to feedback.
...

Thanks. I recall all the venting during Cata when warlocks were truly in a bad place, and it is cathartic. Hopefully things improve at 120, but honestly we'll be lucky if they re-balance things at all in 8.1.


The idea that we have to wait till 8.1 or later to address balance issues and general class design is absurd. Blizzard needs to be addressing these things now and it should have been all done in ptr. But no, they dont give any real weight to feedback.

The fact of the matter is they have 36 specs, which these days function as unique classes, that they have to maintain and balance. On top of it, they have LOTS of issues with the prepatch as a whole they are trying to fix, and then the expansion launch in just a little over 2 weeks. On top of that, I wouldn't even say that affliction is the most in need of attention across the 36 specs.

This isn't to serve as an excuse, August 14th was WAY too soon and they should have pushed it out at least a couple of months. That said, the best we can do is give constant qualitative feedback and try to give the new Azerite system a chance. I doubt it will fix all of our issues, but hopefully at least mitigate them some.
feedback- It sucks. Its competitive but the overall feel of aff is just !@#$. Would trade it for legion aff any damn day. The burst takes too long, the survival is awful, our damage is easily negated, and we still have no mobility.
07/28/2018 11:03 PMPosted by Vonnetta
feedback- It sucks. Its competitive but the overall feel of aff is just !@#$. Would trade it for legion aff any damn day. The burst takes too long, the survival is awful, our damage is easily negated, and we still have no mobility.

Affy and burst in the same sentence lul.
Join me brothers.. I re-rolled Rogue, and I'm loving it.

Lock mobility / survivability / CC is where I see the most problem with Lock in PvP. Honestly, I enjoy each spec (except maybe Demo...) and the Damage is there.

The real problem is what most have been saying, "the old base abilities are now just talents". We do not get anything new / cool to play with and we have to be forced to opt. half !@# mobility, or half $%^ defensive.

We have crap CC now, without taking Mortal Coil. The choices are tough, and fear breaks to freaking everything, and our stun is a 1.5sec cast. Lock used to be the CC kings, and that was a major part of their survivability. Look at boomkins for instance in caster balance: a class that has passive crit/dmg reduction against melee, roots, silences, spammable CC that doesn't break, bear-form survivability, stealth opener, Thorns and.. well, just so much more. When looking at other casters, there is similar utility, mobility, survivability.

I dunno.. Warlock is just not in a good place for PvP, you are just a punching bag that is kind of scary.. but easy to control.

There is a reason there weren't any Locks even close to Worlds this season. Just stay away from Warlock if you're going to PvP. PvE, they're fine for the most part.

Just my thoughts..
I hate Shadowbolt spam affliction. It doesn't feel like it plays the "Class/spec" fantasy at all. Shadowbolt is not a curse or disease... nor does it do anything to our current curses or diseases. Where "Draining" felt more inline with the class/spec fantasy. It didn't feel like a Demo lock spitting shadowbolts. It made affliction feel different.

Please bring draining back.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum