Sliding Away

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For the last six years, I’ve been playing my Warlock. I’ve raided on her, I’ve farmed transmog on her, soloed bosses I couldn’t on other characters, devoted a lot of time and attention to her and her development. I’ve summoned, I’ve given glowy green cookies, I’ve thrown bolts of pure chaos at my foes and summoned legions of demons to do my bidding.

But now?

Sure I’m still playing as Shokei, the Warlock formerly known as Raenah. She’s still my main, ostensibly. She’s the character I raid on, with my highest /played and the best, shinest gear, but…

Recently Yopaat has taken over more of my time. For all I said I was going to just level the Warlock, Rogue and Monk, and here I am with a Warlock I don’t have fun on any more, a Warrior I barely log into, and a Shaman that’s simply enlightening to play, whether Elemental OR Enhancement.

There’s issues afoot with the Warlock class. They’ve been acknowledged as such by Ol’ Mister Hazzithingybob, but due to a lack of ideas and ways to implement changes, we’re just gonna have to suffer with them until 7.2 at the EARLIEST, and who knows when that will be? Given that it’s going to be a major patch with a raid in the Tomb of Sargeras, and I doubt they’d want to make the Nighthold a short-lived raid, then we’re looking at five to six months where there’s a class that just feels busted to play. How so?

Affliction

Affliction’s problem is, on the face of it, relatively simple. It’s one of the worst specs for single target, but arguably the best for mass AoE. You can’t buff the DoTs too much or they make the AoE and cleave utterly eclipse any other spec in the game. Soul Effigy is a concept that Mages bitched about for the entirety of Warlords of Draenor (Prismatic Crystal) and almost universally approved its removal in Legion, so why not give that awful talent to Warlocks instead? And make it so that it’s the only way Affliction can do respectable single target DPS, and utterly frustrating on fights where enemies move around a lot (Cenarius, Ursoc).

Not only that, but you get the feeling that two of Ulthalesh’s golden traits are just out of place. Back in the beta, your weapon would occasionally release souls that you can kill that would end up triggering your golden traits (the first makes a powerful explosion around enemies you kill, the second increases DoT damage by 2% for 20 seconds, stacking 5 times). These two golden traits are utterly useless on fights where you have no adds to damage (Nythendra, Ursoc) or fights where adds die too quickly for you to even fire off a DoT at them (Elerethe, sometimes Dragons, depending on which ones you get and raid setup). Not only that, the Reap Souls ability on single target stacks up terribly slowly, roughly 3-4 per minute (givng you 15-20 seconds of buff time), whereas when you have adds to kill (Il’gynoth, Dragons, Cenarius, Xavius, Elerethe if your team doesn’t AoE the spiders down immediately) they stack REALLY quickly, and on certain fights (Ilgy and Cenarius), it’s possible to have the Reap Souls buff up the entire fight.

Demonology

The spec I’ve been using most, the one I’m least disillusioned with.

You don’t feel like a mighty conjurer of demons when all you’re doing is throwing small amounts of imps and demon dogs at a target. Demonic Empowerment feels annoying to have to use after EVERY summon; make it a maintenance buff on YOU that makes every demon you summon/have summoned have the usual DE effect, have it give you an aura of power that empowers your demons or whatever you need to do to explain it.

Utterly crippled by movement, Demonology can pump out some ridiculous numbers but the second you have to move? You’re not generating shards, you’re not summoning demons, you’re not empowering them, you’re losing all the DPS forever and you’re not catching back up. Demonwrath tickles, especially on one target, and Doom, once applied, doesn’t need to be recast for, like, EVER. You may be generating shards with Demonwrath, but if you’re moving, you sure as shit can’t spend them.

Destruction

Admittedly I’ve left Destruction twisting in the wind this expansion, so maybe I’m not best placed to comment on it, but hang on? I spent nearly 5 years as Destruction, from the last patch of Cataclysm up to the first of Legion, so what went wrong? What made me drop the spec I loved, stuck with through the Great Pandarian Revamp and loved even more?

Soul Shards.

Burning Embers were the perfect resource. It just made the spec flow properly. They generated at, seemingly, the perfect speed, and you spent them at the perfect speed too. The shift to Shards made the spec, ugh, clunky at best. Chaos Bolt, that fantastic nuke we all knew and loved, doesn’t feel like it hits very hard at all anymore, especially for the cast time it has. Another spec crippled by the slightest movement, but whereas Demonology shines in single target and has passable cleave/AoE, Destruction shines in cleave. Trouble is, if you can’t cleave, Destruction’s a waste of time, thanks to its single target numbers being so damn low.

There was going to be a moan about the current talent setup where you have to choose between doing passable single target or passable AoE and nothing in-between when other classes/specs don’t HAVE to make that decision and can do both and MORE! with just a cookie cutter build, but thanks to a rejiggling of the talents, that’s not as much of a problem in 7.1.5 anymore. Huzzah.

I think my main issue though was that it just doesn’t feel FUN any more, but I can’t put my finger on specifically WHY and that really annoys me. It’s not purely the numbers, as I was still using it when it was the worst Warlock spec (pre-SoO days!) and enjoying myself. There’s just something missing from it and my inability to specify what is a frustration.

General Warlock Stuff

  • Healthstones feel junky compared to potions
  • While having specific demons be better for specific specs is great for class fantasy!!! it makes for a boring time. I don’t do PvP so my Succubus sees absolutely no sunlight any more, and while I could just summon her regardless, I feel bad that I am gimping my numbers just to satisfy her wanting to see some scenery.
  • Make Mortal Coil trigger the healing again, even if the target isn’t affected by the horror. It’d make for a nice “oh shit!” cooldown and provide an actual CHOICE on that talent tier, otherwise everyone’s just gonna take Circle forever.
  • Speaking of that talent row, Shadowfury having a cast time kinda sucks. Things move!
  • I want my Wrathguard back.
  • That’s probably it.

It was light outside when I started writing this and now I’m sitting in the dark. Here’s Yopaat. Bye.

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3 thoughts on “Sliding Away

    Marathal said:
    December 30, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I haz those feels. But for my Shadowpriest. I feel like the soul has been ripped out of him, the utility I use to have dropping out of Shadow to toss a heal on the tank when the healer was silenced, popping a quick heal on myself to ease the burden on the healer. Sure I was mid pack to bottom for DPS, but I had survivability. Now? I’m just an all DPS class. I have a long cool down heal that does not a heck of a lot compared to the damage we see and some form of heal I can do for a 3 second cast for a quick 200k, but then I damages me for the same as a DoT. And the changes? The fixes because of how we play at the moment? Just make me wonder what the idea was behind “Class fantasy”

    Dobablo said:
    December 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    My problem with affliction is that it won’t let me queue as a tank. Just make sure the DPS wait for three stacks of sunder (agony) before they get started.

    flameflash said:
    January 3, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I’ve never touched Demonology so I have no clue there. Well, I’ve touched it, but now it won’t return my calls (Goblin lowbie warlock).

    On who was invariably my 2nd main affliction has always been my preferred spec. Dotting things up and watching them die? Yes please! From what I’ve seen of Legion on my 103 lock so far though, the issue for me is actually lack of time to cast my filler. I’m constantly refreshing something so I don’t feel comfortable multi-dotting as much. Meanwhile, it’s just not dying as fast as it does when I’m destruction.

    I spent the time, and later the gold, on getting green fire, so by golly I’m going to use it!

    Of the two I play, when I flipped back to destruction and was literally raining down fire upon my enemies again I noticed the immediate spike in how fast they died. Not far along, so I don’t know how warlock would do in a raid scene, but doing a dungeon where everybody is running? Oh yeah.

    My warlock while trying to cast at things:

    Daughter and I quest together, burning things to death. It’s quite satisfying watching a pair of chaos bolts nuke our target while our massively “hyyyge” demons block us from seeing anything around them.

    Yet when I think of how fast things die with my fire mage… yeah, it takes one fire mage (and a holy priest standing behind him healing his glass cannon butt) to feel almighty and powerful compared to needing two destro warlocks. :/

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