So in my infinite luck I managed to win a beta key from Icy Veins, and I’ve been messing around with the new Demonology!
Here’s Ikralla the Demonology Warlock, I’m Panda Steve, and these are my first impressions!
The Skull of the Man’ari is a really cool little weapon. The floating skull is actually an offhand weapon, whereas the main hand weapon is a dagger called the Spine of Thal’kiel.
Kinda wished it looked like an ACTUAL spine, y’know? But then again who am I to say what a Man’ari spine looks like?
The artifact quest is a fun lark that sees you join up with some familiar Warlocky faces, try to summon a demon, hijinks ensue, and you end up conquering a planet. All in a day’s work. You have chained-up demons as training dummies, huge infernals and demonic jailers wandering around, and the order hall is just generally pretty damn awesome.
The spec has seen a gigantic change from what it was in Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor, going from turning into a demon into summoning an army to besiege your foes, and it fits really well. Masters of demonic magics, it feels right that Demonology is capable of peerless summoning prowess. Going back to using Soul Shards doesn’t take much getting used to, and you never really feel starved of them.
DISCLAIMER: My level is 100, my gear level is 689, I have 1 artifact ability that boosts Shadow and Fire damage by 5%. All of this is still in beta, so things are subject to change. Abilities may differ in numbers, or be changed in functionality, even removed completely, so with that, let’s start with…
- Shadow Bolt‘s the same old, same old. It’s your filler, it does Shadow damage, and you’ll be casting it quite a lot as it’s your primary Soul Shard generator. At my gear level, it’s hitting for roughly 6,000 damage.
- Doom has a relatively uninteresting animation, but does a very large amount of damage (roughly 45k in the above mentioned gear). It also benefits from Pandemic, which means you can cast it with around 4-5 seconds remaining on the debuff without losing any damage (it’ll tick twice over the duration of Doom). If you were to doublecast Doom, then let it run out, the debuff would be 19 seconds, after 15 it would deal the full 45k, then after the remaining time runs out, it will deal a partial tick of around 17k.
- Hand of Gul’dan now has no cooldown, but has a short cast time and hits an 8 yard area around your target. It costs a number of shards to cast (from 1 to 4), deals more damage the more shards you use to cast it (1 shard around 2.7k, 2 shards around 5.4k, 3 shards around 8.1k, 4 shards around 11k), and for every shard consumed, it summons a Wild Imp which throws roughly 7 fireballs dealing around 1k damage. It’s pretty cool to drop a meteor on your opponent.
- Call Dreadstalkers is one of the new abilities for Demonology. It summons 2 of the aforementioned demons to attack your opponents for 12 seconds, on a 15 second cooldown. They hit for roughly 2.3k per hit, with an initial hit of around 10k each. They do about 9 attacks before they vanish, including that initial hit. They get some pretty nifty upgrades too when you pick the appropriate talents, but we’ll go over those soon!
- Demonic Empowerment boosts the health and haste of your demons by 50% for 12 seconds, as well as increasing their attack power based on your Mastery rating, so they hit harder and faster! The health boost directly buffs another ability, Thal’kiel’s Consumption. They also make your demons grow in size, so have fun with that, melee classes.
- Demonwrath is your baseline AoE spell. It causes all of your demons to pulse energy waves around them that damage anything within 10 yards for roughly 2.2k damage. It’s a channeled spell and hits 3 times, each time giving you a 15% chance to regenerate a Soul Shard! It’s also a form of movement DPS; if you need to move and you haven’t taken Shadowflame, or it’s on cooldown, you can channel this as you run! One thing to note is that each tick only hits an enemy ONCE; even if your foe is in range of 2 or more demons, they’re only hit by one pulse.
- Drain Life has mostly the same function as it does now. Channeled attack, hits 6 times, each hit doing around 1.9k damage, and healing you for 6x the amount (so roughly 11.3k per tick). Nothing overwhelmingly new here, though it seems to restore a lot more health than on live. That could just be my perception being off though!
- Thal’kiel’s Consumption is an ability you get from equipping your artifact weapon. It causes Thal’kiel to drain 10% of the life from all your active demons, then he fires a blast of Shadow damage at your target equal to the life he stole. The more total health your demons have, the more damage Thal’kiel’s attack will do, which means you should cast Demonic Empowerment before casting this spell! Currently has no discernible animation, but in the gif below, the second twitch from the Warlock cues a 66.5k hit; this is the hit from Thal’kiel. Has a 2 second cast time and a 45 second cooldown.
So these are your basic combat abilities. You throw out some Dreadstalkers on cooldown, build up shards to get a max damage Hand of Gul’dan, empower your demons so your pet skull can eat their health, build up shards with your filler, and make sure to replenish Doom at around 4 seconds remaining on the debuff. Overall, the spec has a nice ebb and flow to it; it doesn’t feel (DREAD PHRASE!) clunky like current Demonology.
But of course, this isn’t the full picture. We have other things to consider!
I’m only going to highlight certain talents here; ones that are majorly cool, or change things dramatically. This is primarily because PRETTY GIFS, but also because a lot of talents, while moved around, are functionally the same.
- Shadowflame acts as another form of movement DPS, albeit on a cooldown. It has 2 charges on a 14 second recharge time, is instant cast, deals an instant 7.5k damage, and puts on a DoT for 10.5k damage over 8 seconds, which can stack up to 3 times for triple the damage! It also generates a Soul Shard on each hit.
- Impending Doom summons a Wild Imp whenever Doom deals damage. It ties in really nicely with a talent two tiers down called Hand of Doom, which makes Hand of Gul’dan apply Doom to anything it hits. Great for adds that are both clumped together, and will live at least 15 seconds. Lots of imps!
- Improved Dreadstalkers is on the same tier as the aforementioned Impending Doom, and is infinitely cooler in terms of aesthetics, because it changes Summon Dreadstalkers to also summon 2 Wild Imps. That’s not the cool thing though:
- Trouble is, that talent tier has a THIRD awesome talent, Implosion. It makes all your Wild Imps fly towards a target and explode for about 26k damage to everything within 8 yards. It also looks awesome.
- Summon Darkglare is in the final talent tier, and is another talent that synergises well with Hand of Doom. It summons a giant eyeball thing that fires 7 eye lasers (each dealing around 7.2k damage) over the course of 12 seconds. Why does it work well with Hand of Doom? Because it only fires the lasers at targets you have inflicted with Doom! Drop a Hand of Gul’Doom on a clump of enemies and watch the Darkglare make short work of them all!
- The last talent I’ll focus on is Demonbolt, which is in the same tier as Summon Darkglare. It replaces Shadow Bolt, deals the same base damage and still restores a Soul Shard when cast, so what’s the big deal? Well, for every demon you have summoned, it deals an extra 20% (roughly 1,200) damage! It also looks a lot prettier than Shadow Bolt.
So yeah, new Demonology has a nice flow, it has the BEST artifact, but most importantly? It’s HELLA FUN, and surely that’s what matters most? Any bugs so far?
- As mentioned, Thal’kiel’s Consumption doesn’t have any animation attached to it.
- He doesn’t yell nearly as much as I’d like 😛
He DOES yell occasionally though! I think he did this one when I used Summon Dreadstalkers! I like a little bit of flavour.
Numerous changes here. Let’s look spec by spec, shall we?
Remember, old numbers are red, and shiny new numbers will be green.
- Corruption: Causes [21.6% 26% of Spell Power] Shadow damage over 18 seconds.
- Agony: Causes [120 + 26.3% 30% of SP] Shadow damage over 24 seconds.
- Drain Soul: Causes [4 + 76% 83.6% of SP] Shadow damage over 4 seconds.
- Haunt: Deals [1 + 375% 412.5% of SP] Shadow damage.
- Unstable Affliction: Causes [7 + 25% 27.5% of SP] Shadow damage over 14 seconds. Deals [8 + 200% 220% of SP] instant Shadow damage to dispeller if dispelled off a target.
So what we’re seeing here is a general buffing of our main rotational spells. Nothing overwhemingly huge, just a general 10% upscaling of things to bring us in line with other classes.
- Corruption: Causes [21.6% 26% of SP] Shadow damage over 18 seconds.
- Shadow Bolt: Causes [1 + 105% 126% of SP] Shadow damage.
- Hand of Gul’dan: Strikes target and all within 6 yards for [137.6% 165% of SP] instant Shadowflame damage, and an additional [18% 21.6% of SP] Shadowflame damage over 6 seconds.
- Soul Fire: Causes [1 + 68% 81.6% of SP] Fire damage.
- Touch of Chaos: Causes [ 1 + 56% 67.2% of SP] Chaos damage.
- Chaos Wave: Strikes target and all within 6 yards for [210% 250% of SP] Chaos damage.
- Demonbolt: Deals [1 + 375% 412.5% of SP] Chaos damage.
So again, a blanket buff of all our rotational abilities. Curiously, Demonbolt, which I speculated would receive a nerf last time I did one of these posts, got buffed as well! The buff it received isn’t as large as the buffs to the other spells, however.
This means it may well be worth casting 3 Demonbolts instead of 4 in Metamorphosis with Dark Soul active, and spend the rest on Soul Fires while the debuff runs out, thanks to the new spell power coefficients.
Arguably the spec that needed changing the most, Destruction sees no changes. I’m not worried personally. Destruction hasn’t seen any worthwhile changes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come.
Current state on the beta of Destruction is it’s hilariously weak on single target, very strong on cleave, and insanely overpowered on AoE. Movement DPS is no.
I’d prefer it to be like live, where it’s on par with everyone else in single target, but pulls ahead the more enemies you put in front of it. If you’re going to make us a stationary turret, at least give us the firepower to be able to do so.
Yes, they get a buff too! The pets in question being the Demonic Servitude pets, as they previously represented a DPS LOSS in taking them as your level 100 talent.
- Doom Bolt: (Doomguard/Terrorguard) Causes [1 + 108% 162% of SP] Shadow damage.
- Immolation: (Infernal/Abyssal) Burns nearby enemies for [15% 22.5% of SP] Fire damage every 2 seconds.
It’s a start! Naturally, tests will have to be done to determine whether they are an increase in DPS finally, but again, I’m not overly worried. I’m being positive, you see.
In these weeks leading up to patch 6.0.2 (my money is still on the 14th/15th of this month), we’re probably going to see the changes come thick and fast. Destruction will get its turn, don’t worry.
#wow #beta #warlock
Ugh. Here we go.
Why not begin with the change that has annoyed me the most?
- Ember Tap: Now heals 6.2% of your health, down from 13.6%
Why has this annoyed me? Well, it’s an apparent nerf because of the talent Searing Flames, which doubles the healing of Ember Tap. It’s also a massive nerf to our PET healing as well.
You remember? The pet healing which comes as part of one of our Draenor “Perks”? The pet healing we may not even get until we hit level 98?
Improved Ember Tap: Your Ember Tap also heals your pet demon for 20% as much.
Let’s look at some numbers, shall we?
Raenah has 200k health. Her Voidlord has 100k. You use Ember Tap while not talented into Searing Flames (because gosh, you just love to use Soul Leech!).
You are healed for 12,400 and your pet is healed for 20% of that, which is 2,480. Let’s say your pet is nearly dead. He’s at 1 health! Too many enemies hit him and he’s on the verge of returning to the void from whence he came! How many embers will you need to heal him to full?
FORTY ONE. It’s at this point it feels like this “perk” we have is absolutely and utterly pointless. Not only that, but the perk is rendered useless ANYWAY if we take Grimoire of Sacrifice, as this perk is dependent on you actually having a pet out.
No. That’s just utterly terrible. I can’t. Scrap the perk, give us back Health Funnel, and make the perk something else.
Oh gosh, the spec that’s reliant on RNG. I bet you can’t wait.
- Nightfall: Soul Shard generation proc rate is now 6%, down from 10%.
Don’t worry though, you still have the Enhanced Corruption perk, which increases that proc chance to…
Because we were absolutely SWIMMING in shards before, weren’t we? What with the double shard cost on Soulburn: Soul Swap and Soulburn: Haunt.
Affliction & Demonology
Oh yes, don’t think you’re getting away unscathed.
- Life Tap: Demonology and Affliction only.
- Health Funnel: Now restores 6% of health, down from 9%.
So this just means we’ve got a class that’s pretty well known for having strong self heals, and they’re nerfing them. Lots.
- Demonology 2pc: Hand of Gul’dan now has 1 additional maximum charge, and Corruption has a 10% 4% chance to generate 1 charge of Hand of Gul’dan when dealing damage.
I’ll be honest with this one, it was kind of expected. Remember my testing from a few days ago? Hand of Gul’dan was by far the most used spell with this set bonus. Maybe now you’ll have a chance to actually cast something else.
Remember this is beta, this is all subject to change. Remember this is beta, this is all subject to change. Remember this is beta, this is all subject to change.
#warlords #wow #warlock
I said I wouldn’t test Affliction because I was bored of it, and didn’t want the hassle of going to Stormwind to respec.
Then I remembered I can make a level 100 premade Warlock and make it Affliction!
It is just not interesting. I picked Grimoire of Supremacy and Demonic Servitude, because I wanted to play around with the new demons too. His Doom Bolts do more total DPS than your Corruption!
All you are doing is making sure you have 100% uptime on DoTs, throwing out Haunts to keep the debuff up as much as you can, and channeling. It got almost mind-numbing.
Affliction needs something. Anything. Give us another DoT, a proc to watch out for/react to other than Nightfall, ANYTHING.
Again, bear in mind I am not an amazing player, but that’s just terrible. It’s a full two thirds of the DPS of Demonology, and Destruction isn’t much better. Thankfully, these are the two specs that have seen the least tuning as of yet. Demonology got a few changes recently, let’s hope the next build brings something for the other 2. 6.0 may seem like it’ll be a while away, but time has a habit of catching up with you.
Recently on the live servers, I made a Pandaren named Ikralla. Yes, that’s my Twitter/Wordpress name. For some reason, I am getting a great amount of amusement portraying him on Twitter as a grumpy, miserable old bastard of a bear.
He’s a monk, he’s just left that infernal turtle, and he’s got the whole wide world to explore. Though I’m not on an RP realm with him (he’s on Runetotem-EU, because it’s connected to Nagrand-EU and that’s where most of my characters are based), I’ve decided to make his journey to level 90 a little story. He will travel Azeroth, bringing joy to all.
Since arriving in Stormwind, he’s been disdainful of the architecture:
Nearly picked a fight with a child over race:
Been amazed at the stupidity of his comrades:
And assaulted royalty with a chop to the groin:
Ever since, he’s work a mask to hide his identity from those wanting to bring him to justice, and has taken to getting drunk before going out:
He’s at the level range for Westfall. He’ll head there tonight, and I will post an update on progress when I have made… progress.
#warlords #wow #beta
A new beta build has gone out, and it’s a nice one for Demonology!
Recently, it had been nerfed to the degree that the optimal rotation would have been applying your DoTs, throw out a Hand of Gul’dan, then using either Drain Life or Touch of Chaos, depending on whether you want to generate or spend your Fury. Throw out a Cataclysm sometime.
With the rebuffing, some of these numbers are still a nerf from what they were originally, coming from Mists, but it was a bit overtuned to begin with so no worries.
- Shadow Bolt: Causes (1+ 52.5% 105% of Spell Power) Shadow damage.
- Touch of Chaos: Causes (1+ 40% 56% of SP) Chaos damage, extends corruption.
- Demonbolt: Deals (1+ 150% 375% of SP) Chaos damage. Damage buff/cost increasing debuff lasts 60 40 seconds.
- Hand of Gul’dan: Strikes target and all enemies within 6 yards for (68.8% 137.6% of SP) instant Shadowflame damage and an additional (18% of SP) Shadowflame damage over 6 seconds.
- Chaos Wave: Strikes target and all enemies within 6 yards for (105% 210% of SP) Chaos damage and reduces movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.
- Soul Fire: Causes (1+ 34% 68%) Fire damage and generates 30 Demonic Fury.
(These changes are up on my Warlock Changes for Warlords page, where all the changes so far are consolidated into one easy location!)
So a lot of our core rotational spells have had their spellpower coefficients adjusted so that our rotation goes back to normal. Soul Fire is now a better choice (when you have Molten Core procs!) than Touch of Chaos, as it should be anyway. Thanks to the Demonbolt buff (which honestly feels a little TOO strong to me, Maybe make it 350% or even 325%?), we have a clear choice for a single target talent (DB) and a clear choice for AoE talent (Cataclysm).
What’s left to fix? Demonic Servitude actually represents a DPS LOSS due to the Infernal/Abyssal and Doomguard/Terrorguard being less effective than your Fel/Wrathguard. In terms of Destruction, Rain of Fire is for some reason back in our single target rotation, which feels amazingly clunky. The removal of the mana regen from Shadowburn means we run dry VERY QUICKLY in execute phase, meaning we have to use Chaos Bolts as well, as the long cast time allows us to regenerate a bit of mana (Destruction has high in-combat mana regeneration anyway thanks to Chaotic Energy, and it gets even faster with more Haste). Affliction… just feels really dull now, thanks to the removal of snapshotting, but I don’t know what can be done about that to be honest.
What do I think will come next? Well, Destruction hasn’t seen much tuning yet…
And to round this off, here’s my voildord, Metasik, taking a selfie.
#wow #warlords #warlock
New AoE Chaos Bolt Animation
Apparently the beta build brought us more than mere Demonology changes. We now have a change to how the AoE Chaos Bolt (via the Chaotic Resources talent) looks.
It’s awful. It looks like snot.
A HUGE AMOUNT OF CHANGES FOR US!
- Shadow Bolt: Deals (52.5% of Spell Power) Shadow damage, down from 74% of SP.
- No, actually that’s it.
From what I gather and guess, the nerfs made here and in the last build were due to a massive bug that was inflating Demonology’s damage. They discovered the bug AFTER having nerfed it, then fixed it without retuning. I surmise then that the next beta build will have reversions to these Demonology changes, or at least they will be retuned to what they would have been retuned to anyway, rather than remain over-nerfed.
And according to Simcraft, Demonology is worse than A TANK SPEC, and marginally better than A HEALING SPEC.
It has to get better. It HAS to.
So here we have a new beta build, and it’s one of those number-tuning ones! Demonology sees a lot of changes, including a massive general DPS loss of around 33%.
Let’s have a look at the changes.
- Demonbolt: Deals (1+150% of spell power) as Chaos Damage, down from (1+250% of SP)
- Doom: Deals (4+120% of SP) Shadow damage over 60 seconds, down from (4+150% of SP)
- Shadow Bolt: Deals (1+74% of SP) Shadow damage, down from (1+124.2% of SP)
- Touch of Chaos: Deals (1+40% of SP) Chaos damage, down from (1+69.03% of SP)
- Soul Fire: Deals (1+34% of SP) Fire damage, down from (1+42.5% of SP)
- Hand of Gul’dan: Deals (68.8% of SP) instant Shadowflame damage, down from (86% of SP), and deals an additional (18% of SP) Shadowflame damage over 6 seconds, down from (22.5% of SP)
It’s no secret Demonology was performing extremely well on beta, but 33% better? Is this the price we pay for being able to do above average in a movement fight? Are Demonology warlocks going to become the new hunters? Fantastic on movement fights, slightly below average otherwise?
Only 2 changes here!
- Haunt: The periodic damage increasing debuff it puts on an enemy now increases you DoT damage by 30%, down from 35%.
- Drain Soul: Now learnt at level 24, instead of level 42.
Nice little quality of life change there, making Affliction’s main filler spell available sooner. Hopefully, the toning down of Haunt means that more power will be shifted back to the individual DoTs? Or perhaps this is just to tone down affliction DPS too.
- Destruction 2pc: When Immolate deals damage it has a 10% 4% chance to generate a full Burning Ember.
- Destruction 4pc: When a Burning Ember is filled up, you have a 15% chance to reduce the cast time of Chaos Bolt by 50% and cause Chaos Bolt to consume no Burning Embers when cast chance to cause your next Chaos Bolt to multistrike 3 additional times.
- Affliction PvP 4pc: After using Demonic Circle: Teleport, you gain 100 1300 Versatility for 10 seconds.
- Demonology PvP 2pc: When you or your pet are below 20% of maximum health, you gain 100 1300 Versatility.
I actually like the Destruction 4-piece change. Sure, speedy Chaos Bolts would be immense fun, but having a single Chaos Bolt effectively hit 4 times (maybe more if a normal Multistrike proc goes off!) will be CRAZY!
So. What’s the betting we’ll see some Destruction tuning soon?
#warlords #warcraft #beta