Feedback: Warlock Updates

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Warlocks in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

  • There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
  • New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

  • Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.

Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.

We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
  • Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

2 Likes

Greetings Warlocks,

We’ve been very excited to see the community’s reactions to the Warlock Hero Talents, and we appreciate all of your feedback.

In the coming weeks, you’ll see multiple changes to the Warlock class and specialization trees, and we’d like to provide some context for these changes here.

Core Goals

  • Ensure each capstone is interesting and exciting.
  • Reduce the amount of throughput talents, to free up utility choices.
  • Reduce the number of ranks for talents that don’t warrant multiple ranks.

Affliction
The Affliction specialization tree forces a choice between a single-target or multi-target profile rather than providing a viable build that is adaptable in both situations. We want to redesign, introduce, and remove talents, as well as address the tuning of Malefic Rapture to help reduce this friction.

Demonology
For Demonology, we want to address the number of long cooldowns available as well as reduce the amount of resource flooding. We’ll also look at underused talents such as Doom. The feedback provided during Season 3 was instrumental in helping illuminate a path forward for Doom, and you should expect a redesign of it in a future build.

Destruction
For Destruction, we have plans to reduce the fluctuation in power based on target count. We also want to take another look at how Destruction plays in multi-target situations and look for ways to improve underused talents such as Cataclysm and Soulfire.

More to come
As always, we’re reading feedback and discussing other changes. We’re still monitoring discussions about Hero Talents, and will make adjustments as needed.

Thank you for your thoughts thus far. We look forward to hearing more as development progresses!

5 Likes

Greetings Warlocks,

Today, we have various Core and Affliction tree changes hitting the Alpha. We want to take a moment to go a bit more in depth as to what certain changes were made and why. As a refresher, here are the goals for our Core and Afflictions that we posted last week along with some additional goals that we can dig into here.

Class

  • Ensure each capstone is interesting and exciting.
  • Reduce the amount of throughput talents, to free up utility choices.
  • Reduce the number of ranks for talents that don’t warrant multiple ranks.

Affliction

  • Address the tuning of Malefic Rapture in single-target and multi-target situations.
  • Reduce complexity and the amount of active buttons that contribute to it.
  • Erase the need to choose between a single-target or multi-target profile by adding more adaptability and flexibility.

While we cannot go over every change here, we’d like to get a bit more detailed than last week’s update and explain some of the bigger changes coming in this build.

Class Tree Throughput
We’re removing a lot of throughput talents from the class tree to allow warlocks to pick up more utility without feeling forced to take mandatory talents to be competitive. These talents aren’t compelling options when placed against utility as they will always be the right answer to have. This allows us to move that power into the specialization trees and tailor throughput-centric talents to be specific to that specialization’s gameplay.

Malefic Rapture
In addition to becoming baseline for Affliction, we are introducing new talents that will help Malefic Rapture become the go-to spender for both single-target and multi-target situations. This should also shift Seed of Corruption to being a means to apply Corruption to multiple targets rather than what you spam in dungeons. In addition, we are redesigning Siphon Life to be friendlier to Affliction’s rotation and expect that its new design will make it easier to optimize Malefic Rapture.

Affliction’s Adaptability
While we do want Affliction warlocks to have a preferred talent setup for single- versus multi-target situations, we don’t want it to feel like they are powerless if they are in the opposite situation. By focusing on Malefic Rapture being Affliction’s main spender and removing talents that are only valuable in multi-target situations (Soul Flame, Soul Swap, Doom Blossom, etc.), we’re hoping that the Affliction tree feels less punishing to fill out.

Is This It?
Not at all. We expect to make changes based on feedback and our own playtesting. We want to get the ball rolling on changes we knew we want to make, so we could start the discussion early on and make adjustments before The War Within launches.

Thank you all for the continued discussions and we look forward to your feedback!

1 Like

Affliction has changed A LOT, so I’m mainly going to talk about it, because changes to Destrution and Demonology are expected.

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  • WARLOCK CLASS TALENTS
  1. Fel Pact

You can get Fel Domination to have no CD if you pick this and the talent that reduces its CD by 2min in the Soul Harvester tree.

  1. Fiendish Stride

Now just 1 point, you go faster but take more damage than on live servers from Burning Rush. Pretty good change.

  1. Demonic Circle

We don’t have to pick Demonic Circle, so you can save up a point on certain dungeons/boss fights. That’s nice.

  1. Amplify Curse

Doesn’t fully work currently with Curse of the Satyr that you get via the Hellcaller tree that combines tongues and weakness. The amplified curse of tongue effect doesn’t work, casting speed is still at 30%.

  1. Demonic Inspiration and Wrathful minion

I think we could get rid of those talents ? They’re mandatory for pathing, they’re pretty weak, I’d rather be able to get more utility stuff.

  1. Accrued Vitality and Lifeblood

2 points talents that are very weak and never taken in any circumstances. They should be replaced because increased healing on Drain Life and some Leech after using a Healthstone that gives us back 100% HP are useless.
They should become 1 point talent that offer alternative pathing to Sweet Souls and Demonic Gateway to get to Dark Pact and Shadowfury.

  1. Swift Artifice:

New talent that’s unexpected. Reduces the cast time of create healthstone and soulstone. It’s not very useful even though there are a few fights where being able to quickly rez someone in M+ is ok-ish. Very niche.

The biggest issue is that it’s the only path to Resolute Barrier that is a pretty useful talent if you have a point to spare.

  1. Demonic Tactics

New talent that’s bugged currently. Instead of giving +5% crit to you and to your pet, it gives +10% crit to you. I suspect the +5% to your pet is also given to you.

  1. Teachings of the Black Harvest

Minor, but if you play Grimoire of Sacrifice with your Felhunter, this talent does nothing for you (not that it does a lot anyways). It’s the only pet with this issue.

It’s a remnant of early Dragonflight Beta when Spell Lock was given to the warlock and the Felhunter only kept Devour Magic.

  1. Resolute Barrier

A second point in this talent is pretty much useless, this could be a 1 point node.

  1. Fel Synergy

Not fully implemented yet, the talent does the same amount of healing with 1 or 2 points spent in it.

  1. Soul Link

Same issue, it’s the same DR whether you spend 1 or 2 points in it.

  1. Pact of Gluttony

Amazing new talent that allows you to use your healthstones every minute, even in combat. It makes a lot of sense, it’s something that I’ve wanted for a long time.

Healthstones for warlocks are extremely powerful, this basically gives us a off-GCD lay on hands every minute. It could probably be 2min in combat maybe? I think that would be more balanced, but I don’t want it to impact the CD off combat.

Demonic Healthstones (your new HS with this talent) don’t fully work with Soulburn, you only get the +30% extra healing, but not the +20% max HP for 12s. It’s a bug.

  1. Soul Conduit

It’s just 5% chance to get a refund now. This talent is in a weird place, because shard generations for all 3 specs is kind of all over the place, so it has to be weak for now. We get more shards on alpha than on live servers. Affliction especially with the rework is just drowning in them.

  1. Soulburn

Doesn’t work properly with the new Demonic Healthstones.

Only grants 4s movement speed buff with Demonic Circle instead of the 6s described in the tooltip.

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  • AFFLICTION

The tree got completely reworked even though we kept the same structure. Most of the weak/useless/annoying stuff has been removed (Pandemic invocation, Agonizing Corruption, Seized Vitality, etc), and replaced with very powerful and/or cool useful stuff.

I’m very Glad that Dread Touch has been removed.

The best thing in my opinion is the rework of the bottom section of the tree, where all 4 branches are only 1 point node, so you can easily mix and match between them, giving you at least a feeling of real flexibility.

Obviously Siphon Life has an extra DoT has been removed. And Malefic Rapture remains as our main spender, no matter the number of targets.

I do think there’s a problem with Rapture right now on Alpha, but that’s mostly due to the issue of shard generation.
We are starved of shards on live servers, on Alpha we are drowning in them, thanks to a couple new talents (and the Hellcaller hero tree). So we’re basically spamming rapture on alpha, which devalues the spell quite a lot.

Shard generation is the first thing that needs to be tuned to be able to get a better sense of what Affliction is supposed to be like.

Also, Malefic Rapture is bugged on Alpha right now, it’s pulling every NPCs hostile and neutral within 100 yards of the warlock, even if they don’t have a DoT on them.

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  • AFFLICTION SPEC TREE
  1. Nightfall

The talent became a lot more meaningful, especially with the Soul Harvester hero tree and with the new talent Improved Shadow Bolt (SB) that’s a choice node with Drain Soul (DS).

You get many more procs and can spend them into instant SB that hit very hard. It gives you a lot more mobility, gives you something to react to. It feels very good.

With the Soul Harvester tree, there’s a bug with Sataiel’s Ambition: If you get to 2 stacks of Nightfall, casting your first buffed SB/DS will trigger the Demonic Soul and it consumes your 2nd stack of Nightfall, without casting an additional SB/DS.

  1. Absolute Corruption (AC) and Siphon Life (SL)

SL is partially bugged, the +20% damage to corruption works, but not the healing part. With Wither being OP and likely to be extremely powerful after tuning, the healing part will probably have to be capped somehow, especially for AOE situations.

AC remains the same. It doesn’t work with Wither at the time, only the 15% damage amp, but Wither isn’t permanent.

I think just a 5% damage amp difference between the 2 talents is not enough to justify having to manage an extra DoT, even though the Hellcaller tree has some incentive to picking SL.

  1. Volatile Agony

New talent, doesn’t work at all right now.

Really cool and well thought-out talent. The devs want us to refresh Agony mid-pull manually in M+, but now we get a really cool reward for doing it. It’s basically Soul Flame but uncapped when you refresh agony. The 10s threshold is very good.

  1. Dark Virtuosity

With the powerful additions to the tree, this is just too weak and will never be picked. It’s competing against much better talents for the same pathing, even if you go Soul Harvester that has a heavy focus on SB/DS.

  1. Empowered Unstable Affliction (UA)

New talent, very cool and powerful. Casting UA faster is great for target swapping, and UA generating shards like Agony is super super powerful and useful. Works great.

  1. Kindled Malice

Just a passive damage increase to Rapture and Corruption. For Hellcaller, Wither is just so powerful you want to pick this.

  1. Cull The weak

New talent, very very powerful for AOE, allows Rapture to scale on big packs even if mobs only have 1 or 2 DoTs on them.

  1. Improved Shadowbolt

New choice node with DS, really cool talent. Casting SB with it feels very good, makes the spec feel a lot less sluggish, and with Nightfall it gives you a lot of extra mobility.

This talent feels kind of mandatory for the Soul Harvester tree, as you just get a lot of Nightfall procs, and we’re drowning in shards we want to spend, so we don’t have time to fully channel DS and fully benefit from it with Nightfall.

  1. Sacrolash’s Dark Strike

Just a 1 point talent node now. It’s the 3rd talent in the upper section of the tree that buffs Corruption.

It’s hard to see why we need 3 different talents following each other buffing the same spell.

This is probably one of the weakest talent in the tree now and it’s the only path to a new very powerful (and boring) talent, Summoner’s Embrace. It feeels bad to have to spec into it.

  1. Vile Taint

Please tweak Vile Taint so that it doesn’t replace manually applied curse of tongues/weakness (especially amplified ones) with a short useless curse of exhaustion. This prevents Affliction Warlocks from using utility curses in M+, when it’s THE curse spec.

Either remove the curse of exhaustion application, or prevent it from overriding existing curses, or replace it with the old original slow of Vile Taint.

  1. Relinquished:

New talent, increases the shard generation of Agony by a lot. I wish we had that on live servers. Helps the spec not feel sluggish and every shards not feel so rare and expensive.

Contributes to the drowning in shards currently on Alpha, especially for the Hellcaler tree.

  1. Malediction

New talent, +10% crit chance on your main DoTs, really powerful, we have +5% crit chance in the class tree as well. You also get +10% crit chance in the hellcaller tree. You crit a lot on alpha.

  1. Summoner’s Embrace and Grimoire of Sacrifice

Now a choice node, either you sac your pet or you get +3% damage.

I’m glad I no longer have to sacrifice my pet as affliction. Summoner’s Embrace is just very powerful, feels mandatory, and it’s stuck behind Sacrolash, which feels bad.

  1. Contagion

New talent, +30% crit damage to your main DoTs that already have +15% (+25% with the Hellcaller tree) crit chance baseline, just good stuff.

  1. Cunning Cruelty

New talent, this talent is visually quite cool, you randommly launch extra SB, this works on DS ticks, not just DS casts, so that’s really good. Pretty cool in AOE, as it incentivizes you to use your Nightfall procs.

It also has nice synergies with the Soul Harvester tree where you get a lot more *Nightfall procs, so you get more volleys, etc.

The main issue with this talent is the pathing, this talent is the most direct way to Soul Rot. This talent is essentialy a cleave/AOE talent, but we’ll have to pick it in ST, as Soul Harvester NEEDS Soul Rot in all situations (and Hellcaller maybe too).

  1. Inevitable Demise

This talent has scaling issues, it needs something else to see some play in PVE. Either it needs to make Drain Life scale with mastery, and/or it needs to include a Drain Life channel speed bonus, and or a modifier to gain stacks faster when you just have 1 target, just something.

This talent is very cool in theory, but it’s just not competitive at all. 2 points in it is unjustifiable, and it’s the only other path to Soul Rot which is an issue. Soul Rot is the only reason why we’d want to pick Inevitable Demise in the first place.

  1. Shadow Emrabce

I wish this talent would be removed, I’d have rather kept Siphon Life as an extra DoT to manage and get rid of this.

However, its place in the tree makes a lot more sense, you no longer have to spec into it. We get a lot more Nightfall procs, especially as Soul Harvester. If you play Improved SB instead of DS you only have 2 stacks to maintain.

It feels a lot less punitive and annoying to maintain than on live servers.
So pretty good changes, I don’t mind Shadow Embrace on alpha as much.

  1. Tormented Crescendo

Minor, but this talent still has the visual effect from the Sepulcher tier set, glowing yellow glitter, it’s just completely out of place with the esthetics of the spec.

Also Tormented Crescendo procs also consume Feast of Souls procs (and vice versa) from the Soul Harvester tree, clearly a bug, needs to be fixed. It’s not a big deal to be robbed of a few free Rapture currently on alpha, but when shard generation will be tuned, it will be one.

  1. Death’s Embrace

It’s very weak. The drain life healing bonus part to it feels out of place, and should probably be added to Inevitable Demise. The damage amp below 20% HP is very low.

This talent is mandatory because we want to get to Soul Rot, so it feels bad to have to spend a point into this (and Cunning Cruelty or Inevitable Demise).

  1. Soul Rot:

This talent is too hard to reach given its importance

I know the devs want 4 nice symmetrical branches at the bottom of the tree, but it shouldn’t be the priority.

We have to spend points in 2 talents that we don’t really or always want to get to it.
Soul Rot should at the very least swap places with Death’s Embrace, ideally with Inevitable Demise.

Dark Harvest could then take Soul Rot’s spot. And maybe a super powerful Inevitable Demise where Dark Harvest currently is.

→ Soul Rot is still not listed in the Affliction Mastery tooltip as benefitting from the stat.

  1. Withering Bolt

It makes a lot of sense where it is, after Shadow Embrace, clearly a very ST focus branch of the tree, but no longer mandatory, very nice.

  1. Haunt

Becomes a lot more relevant with the Soul Harvester tree, since Haunt will grant you Nightfall, which is fantastic to apply Shadow Embrace on pull, and easily maintain it without thinking about it.

  1. Oblivion

First this talent is bugged, it’s a 3s channel that is not affected by haste, it has to be.
I think this talent is meant as a bursty target swapping tool for affliction, which is really nice and convenient and could have a place.

It’s something that affliction could use in M+ especially, but it’s at the bottom of the ST focused talent branch, so IDK if it’s in the right spot.

This talent will probably need to scale with mastery or something, or in the long run casting 2 raptures instead of this will just do more damage in the same amount of time for the same amount of shards.

It has no interactions with spec/hero talents, maybe it should have the same than rapture?

  1. Haunted Soul

No longer stuck behind a 2 point talent that does nothing. Basically you’ll always want this and it’s really easy to get to.

  1. Malevolent Visionanry

You can now spend 1 point to make your Darkglare feel a lot stronger, but only in ST damage.

I think this talent needs to have a small AOE component to it as well. For example the main target takes the big damage proc and other targets with a DoT take a fraction of that damage when you summon it.

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  • Main issues with Affliction in my opinion
  1. Shard Generation

We have too many of them, we’re just spamming Malefic Rapture, which just devalues the spell and we don’t really know what Rapture is anymore, a spender? a filler? In AOE we’re just swimming in shards.

More shards than on live is very very welcome, it’s very important, but this is too much, especially for Hellcaller. It’s a first draft, I don’t expect shard generation to remain as it is.

  1. Soul Rot position in the tree

Soul Rot is too hard to reach, should be higher up the tree or stuck behind better talents.

  1. Multiple talents doing the same thing

3 different talents in the spec tree buffing corruption following each others for slightly different values and a different amount of points.

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Overall the spec doesn’t feel sluggish like it usually does, with faster UA, faster SB, more procs to react to, less DoT refreshes. It feels a bit too spammy because of the shard generation and constantly spamming rapture, but that will be fixed.

There are tons of good options in the tree, you almost want to pick everything. Flexibility in the bottom of the tree is fantastic. No longer have to play without a pet, spec is a bit simpler which is welcome.

The spec feels a lot more flexible, I’m overall very happy with this first iteration.

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  • HELLCALLER HERO TREE
  1. Wither

Wither is bonkers powerful, especially for Affliction as it scales with your Mastery. As Affliction on alpha, you can just spam Wither to pull and kill everything. The initial damage on application probably needs to be tuned down.

→ The affliction mastery tooltip needs to be adjusted when playing Hellcaller and mention Wither as being affected by the stat.

Instant Immolation for Destruction feels really good.

Wither doesn’t work with Internal Combustion nor Channel Demonfire in the destruction spec tree. It does work with all other talents that buff Immolation.

  1. Xalan’s Ferocity

I understand this is a tuning knob kind of talent. It’s very weak when you compare it to the sheer power of the other talents in this tree.

  1. Blackened Soul

When you cast Seed of Corruption/Rapture or Chaos Bolt/Rain of Fire, your targets with Wither gain a stack. Above 8, it becomes “acute” starts consuming 1 stack every second until it reaches 1, dealing additional damage on top of the Wither ticks.

The “acute” part often bugs out. Very often I can go wayyyy above 8 stacks and it doesn’t start consuming stacks. If I just build stacks with wither, I can build stacks forever. Also sometimes it randomly stops being acute even when it’s not down to 1 stack, usually when I can maintain 10+ stacks.

It’s not a big deal, it’s not game-breaking, but it makes the stack system a bit confusing.

Affliction generates a lot more stacks than destruction, due to the insane shard generation. I can keep Wither acute as affliction for a whole minute if I get a bit lucky.

  1. Xalan’s Cruelty

Tuning knob talent, this is extremely powerful. This is +10% crit chance. We have +5% crit change in the class tree. Destro has +3% in the spec tree. Affliction now has +10% for its DoTs in the spec tree.

It will probably get nerfed.

  1. Curse of the Satyr

Basically this saves us 1 keybind, and your curse of tongues now lasts 2 min, which is nice in M+.

It does work with Amplify Curse, though the curse of tongues part doesn’t work yet. It’s not a great talent, it’s not bad either.

For Affliction, Vile Taint removes it and replaces it with a short Curse of Exhaustion. Please fix Vile Taint so that it stops replacing manually applied curses.

  1. Aura of enfeeblement

Probably one of the few bad talent in the warlock hero trees. This is not well thought-out. At best this is a PVP talent that got lost on its way.

It will be completely unnoticeable in PVE, and you will NEVER use Unending Resolve to trigger this effect. No interaction with ampliy curse either.

The first version of this talent, where casting curse of tongues/weakness on a mob also affected surrounding NPCs was much much better, and should be brought back.

  1. Hatefury Ritual and Bleakhart Tactics

Wither does a lot more damage than Blackened Souls, so Hatefury Rituals is just a lot better right now, especially for Affliction, but I suspect for Destruction too.

Destruction can pick talents to extend Wither, and Wither being instant instead of Immolation, it’s not too bothersome to refresh it more often.

Wither doesn’t work with Absolute Corruption in the affliction tree yet.

  1. Zevrim’s Resilience and Illhoof’s Design
  • Zevrim’s Resilience

It’s just bad right now. The healing is insignificant. if you play well you use your Dark Pact before a big burst of damage that will likely consume the whole shield, so the healing would be nonexistent.

The healing needs to be buffed massively and probably last 20s, no matter if Dark Pact is still active or not.

  • Illhoof’s Design

It’s bugged right now. It just removes 10% of your HP without increasing your Soul Leech shield. So you actually get less HP and less shield.

In theory this is a cool talent, but when i think about it, I think it’s actually a survivability nerf more than anything:

This talent gets us a bigger shield pool to fill. Only the warlock can fill it. This talent doesn’t increase our ability to fill that shield.

So it means that on pull yes we’ll have 5% more HP in shield, but for the rest of the fight, where our Soul Leech is constantly being consumed and never allowed to build up, we’ll just have 10% less HP.

This talent also needs to buff our Soul Leech shield generation, double the passive regeneration we get from Demon Skin, and or double the amount of shield from dealing damage, from 3 to 6%.

  1. Mark of Xavius

Very powerful for both Destruction and Affliction. It’s +25% damage to Wither for destruction, +20% to Agony for affliction.

The combo part of the talent is bugged and doesn’t work. Casting back to back Wither or Agony doesn’t apply them to an additional target.

Casting Agony/Wither also lights up those spells on your action bars, which is confusing more than anything.
In Affliction it lights up Agony AND Wither, when it should be just Agony.
Casting Vile Taint or Cataclysm also lights up Agony and Wither in your action bars when it’s not supposed to.

  1. Seeds of their demise

Incentivizes you to refresh Wither very late. 4s is actually lower than the actual Pandemic window of the DoT, with or without Hatefury Rituals, so I wouldn’t mind the threshold be raised to 5/6s remaining.

It’s the main incentive for Affliction to play Siphon Life instead of Absolute Corruption with this tree, as this is a very good source of Blackened Soul stacks. Will blackened soul deal enough damage compared to Wither to justify it?

  1. Mark of Peroth’arn

Insanely powerful talent, Wither for Destruction and Agony for Affliction dealing damage 40% faster (but still the same DoT duration) is very very good for shard generation and for damage.

This talent is one of the reasons Affliction is drowning in shards as Hellcaller. Affliction got 3 talents that increased its shard generation, which is awesome, but tuning is required there between the spec and the hero tree.

Destruction is also swimming in shards in AOE with this, whether you play Inferno or Cataclysm, as it is a lot simpler for destruction to spread Wither, since it’s instant.

The Blackened Soul damage increase seems meaningless, especially for Destruction that’s struggling to build up stacks (in ST at least).

  1. Malevolence

Amazing looking and powerful 1min CD. You get a shadowy appearance with the horns from the old metamorphosis form from before Legion.

The damage you deal to target with Wither is good for burst, 15% haste for 20s helps both Affliction and Destruction not feel sluggish. It’s great.

It doesn’t have a sound effect and no clear visual effect on targets it hit when you cast it, so the fact that it costs a GCD feels bad.

I think this would be better if it was off the GCD, but we’ll see.

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  • SOUL HARVESTER HERO TREE
  1. Demonic Soul

It looks really cool, big shadowy figure that spawns above you very often.

For Demonology, I think it spawns too often, to the point where it just gets annoying. It kind of bugs because it hasn’t finished its animation and yet it’s supposed to respawn already.

It’s also quite big, you can’t see through it, it has a portal on the ground effect that hides what’s below/behind you. I don’t know how to solve this (or if it needs solving), it’s not as big a problem for Affliction as it doesn’t spawn so often, but this could create issues I think.

So sometimes when you generate a shard as Affliction or Demonology, you get a proc, your next Hand of Gul’dan or Rapture costs 1 shard less (so it’s free for Aff), and the figure spawns and deals a big burst of damage to your target.

This proc also consumes Tormented Crescendo proc that you might have, and vice versa, it’s a bug that needs to be fixed.

  1. Necrolyte Teachings

For Affliction it’s a big buff to SB/DS and Nightfall, a point further down the tree makes Haunt give you Nightfall so there’s a nice synergy, a bigger emphasis on your filler where Hellcaller was more about your DoTs.

For Demonology it’s a bit less interesting, bonus damage to SB, and the 2 Demonbolts from Power Siphon deal a bit more damage. It’s fine, but no extra synergy. Some incentive to go get Sacrificed Souls at the bottom of the demonology spec tree (if it remains).

  1. Soul Anathema

When you get demonic soul and cast a spender, the ghost/figure/demon/soul also applies a dot on all targets hit by Rapture/Hand of Gul’dan

The DoT doesn’t do a lot of damage. HOWEVER, this DoT counts towards Malefic Rapture Damage, which I imagine is a bug?

Also, since Malefic Rapture is bugged on alpha and pulls everything 100 yards around the caster, it also applies the DoT to all those mobs.

  1. Demoniac’s Fervor

Demonic Soul deals more damage to your main target. It does a ludicrous amount of damage.

  1. Gorebound Fortitude and Friends in Dark Places
  • Gorebound Fortitude

It’s very good and even better now that we have pact of gluttony in the class tree and Healthstones usable every minute in combat.

Very often we pick Soulburn just for its Healthstone benefit, with this talent we might save a point in the class tree if we want to.

  • Friends in Dark Places

it’s a +25% buff to your ark Pact shield, which is amazing, however it’s bugged on alpha and doesn’t work.

  1. Shared Fate and Feast of Souls

Those are 2 on-death effect when killing something, but the talent just below allows you to proc them even when nothing is dying.

  • Shared Fate

It’s extremely powerful in AOE, but it’s not clear when it activates, there is a visual effect (Soulflame pulsing effect on a mob), but there’s no debuff you can track or anything.
It needs something that we can track to see that it’s activating.

  • Feast of Souls

It gives you the initial buff of the tree, more cheaper or free spenders, so more occasions to spawn the demonic soul, deal more damage, etc.

  1. Eternal Servitude and Spirited Away
  • Eternal servitude

It’s ok, the only real scenario where you want to be able to summon yout pet again and again is if you’re constantly dying, which is not a great sign. It’s just a bit of QoL.

The funny thing is if you pick that and Fel Pact in the class tree, Fel domination has no CD. Time for pet-weaving???

  • Spirited Away

This looks more like a trap than anything else? Burning Rush is amazing BECAUSE it has no CD, so 1min CD is very hard to swallow. The damage part of Burning Rush is very often insignificant.

To justify a 1min CD, the movement speed bonus should be bigger (it’s barely better than Fiendish Stride), would probably have to be off the GCD, maybe last longer than 6s, and/or allow casting while moving.

Or you can keep it at that power level, but then the CD needs to be drastically reduced, 30s grand maximum, even above 20s CD is hard to imagine.

→ There are situations where warlocks don’t bother taking Fel Domination, so you could end up with a talent node where either you pick a CD reduction for a spell you don’t have, or pick a nerfed version of your main mobility tool.

  1. Sataiel’s Ambition

This talent is heavily bugged for Affliction.

It works as intended for Demonology, every time you consume a Demonic Core proc, the soul appears and does an attack, that’s why it feels very cluttered visually for Demonology.

For Affliction, it doesn’t work at all with Drain Soul talented.
It only works with Shadow Bolt IF you have 2 stacks of Nightfall queued up, then the first Shadow Bolt triggers the Soul and your 2nd Nightfall stack is erased.
If you cast Shadow Bolt and only have 1 stack of Nightfall, it never procs.

  1. Quietus

Nice synergy with the talent choice node 6, consuming Nightfall or Demonic Core has a CHANCE to trigger Shared Fate (AOE damage) or Feast of Souls (cheaper/free spender + big demonic soul damage).

No need to kill stuff to get the benefit of those talents, really nice.

  1. Mantle of the Harvester

For affliction this talent is your nightfall proc generator. Corruption deals damage 25% faster (but Dot duration is the same), and casting Haunt also grants Nightfall.

So you get a lot more procs, more demonic soul procs, etc. This also means that Soul Harvester affliction is constantly reacting to procs, and it makes Improved Shadow Bolt a lot more attractive than Drain Soul because you don’t really have the time to channel a full Drain Soul with everything going on.

Your SB/DS also trigger Tormented Crescendo, so free raptures, etc. sometimes you’re just alternating between instant SB and and instant raptures for a few GCDs. It feels cool, it’s also something we’re not used to.

You also trigger SB volley with the new spec talent Cunning Cruelty, etc. Just a lot of synergies all around.

Playing Absolute Corruption as Soul Harvester Affliction seems like a no-brainer, to give you a lot more GCDs to do what you have to do.

For demonology it’s just imp damage and bit more chance to get demonic cores when imploding imps.

  1. Shadow of Death

When casting Demonic Tyrant/Nether Portal for demo or Soul Rot for aff you get a 15s buff, nice Dark Soul purple effect on you.

All your spenders spawn the demonic soul, but the weaker version of Sataiel’s Ambition, which really needs a tooltip clarification about which soul we’re spawning.

It makes Soul Rot mandatory for affliction with this tree, and Soul Rot is currently too hard to get to in the spec tree.

You just want to spam HoG or Rapture as much as possible during those 15s as the demonic soul deals massive damage. You’ll want to cast 1 or 2 shards HoG during those 15s for additional procs.

This talent might make Soulbound Tyrant (gettting shards when summoning the tyrant) a lot more attractive.

Greetings Warlocks.

You’re going to see some Demonology changes in the War Within Alpha build today, alongside some additional changes to Affliction, Hellcaller, and Soul Harvester.

Destruction Warlocks – we’re working on changes for you that will become available for testing in a future build.

Here’s some context for the Demonology changes you’ll find in this build. As a refresher, here are the goals we previously stated for Demonology:

  • Reduce the amount of resources Demonology generates.
  • Redesign Doom to be an attractive talent choice.
  • Reduce the amount of major cooldowns Demonology has access to.

Demonic Cores
Over the course of Dragonflight, we’ve wanted to and tried to reduce the number of Demonic Cores available to Demonology warlocks to rein in their mobility, resource generation, and reduce the amount of rotational time spent going back and forth between Hand of Gul’dan and Demonbolt only. In addition, we want Demonbolt to return to being a moment rather than be your primary rotational button.

With these goals in mind, we are removing Demonic Knowledge to reduce the frequency of Demonic Cores and will make further adjustments down the road if the rate of Demonic Cores remains too high. Over the course of alpha and beta we will be tuning Demonology to compensate for this change.

Doom
This is our first iteration of Doom going into The War Within and will be iterating based off feedback we receive. We wanted to try bringing back a castable version of Doom, rather than a proc, while avoiding making it required to cast Doom multiple times before being able to perform your rotation. At the same time though, we want you to think about how you use Doom and when it is cast rather than bring back an effect like Hand of Doom that makes it largely passive.

Nether Portal
In this alpha build of The War Within, you’ll see that Nether Portal has been removed. While we love the fantasy that Nether Portal provides and that it created a moment that felt different rotationally, its gameplay and performance proved difficult to optimize. Too many major cooldowns can increase the number of peaks and valleys Demonology’s output can experience and how much effect the duration of an encounter can have on its performance.

We’d like to spend some time workshopping a new design for Nether Portal and have it return as a healthier addition to Demonology’s toolkit in the future.

What’s Next?
We’ll continue to read through feedback and the discussions happening across the community. As mentioned last week, these changes are by no means final, and we plan to iterate based off your thoughts and our own playtesting. Thank you for the discussions thus far and we’ll have more updates to share soon!

  • WARLOCK CLASSS TREE

FEEDBACK

  1. With the addition of Demonic Tactics, Pact of Gluttony and Soul Link and Fel Synergy now costing 2 points, we’ve actually lost a lot of flexibility in the class tree.
  1. We essentially have 2 (if not 1) points to spare for utility, the rest is mandatory. If you feel like Demonic Circle is mandatory you’re down to just 1 point, and you have to choose between : Shadowfury, Amplify Curse, Fiendish Stride, Fel Pact, Banish, Swift Artifice, etc.
  1. Talents like Darkfury, Teachings of the Satyrs, Resolute Barrier are just unreachable now.
  1. I think Demonic Inspiration and Wrathful Minion should go to free up some points. Or reduce the cost of 2 of either of those talents: Socrethar’s Guile/Sargerei Technique/Fel Synergy/Soul Link.
  1. Lifeblood and Accrued Vitality should be removed and replaced by something useful. We never pick them, they are too weak, they don’t make sense with how Warlocks work (Drain Life is too weak, Healthstones are super strong).

BUGS & ISSUES

  1. Demonic Tactics

Still grants +10% crit chance instead of 5%.

  1. Fel Synergy

Still has the same power level with 1 or 2 points.

  1. Soul Link

Same issue than Fel Synergy

  1. Pact of Gluttony

New bug

Only works with Create Soulwell. If you make a Healthstone with Create Healthstone you get a standard HS that you can’t even use. HS picked up in a soulwell are Demonic HS.
Doesn’t fully work with Soulburn yet.

  1. Soulburn

With Demonic Circle teleport and Soul-etched circle (Diabolist tree), you only get 4s of movement speed buff and root/snare immunity. Instead of the 6s described in the tooltip.

With Demonic HS you only get the extra +30% healing, but not the +20% max HP for 12s.

  1. Amplify Curse

Still doesn’t work properly with Curse of the Satyr (Hellcaller tree).

  1. Teachings of the Black Harvest

Useless if playing Grimoire of Sacrifice with the Felhunter, which is common in PVP.

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  • AFFLICTION

FEEDBACK

  1. I’ve played with it quite a bit, the spec feels very fluid, more modern. Talents like empowered UA, improved SB, improved MR are great additionsthat really help with the flow and get rid of the usual sluggishnesh of the spec.
  1. Shard generation has been nerfed just a bit, we’re a bit higher level so our secondary stats are lowering further. We’re still getting way more shards than on live servers, which is great.
  1. We’re still kind of spamming Raptures, and it doesn’t hit that hard, level 77, they hit for 60k with just Agony/Corruption/UA.
    When I play Hellcaller Wither ticks do as much damage as raptures. Raptures during burst windows every minute (Soul Rot + Vile Taint + Malevolence) do hit a lot harder.
    As Soul Harvester, Rapture damage is completely overshadowed by the Demonic Soul damage.
  1. As Hellcaller UA has now become our weakest DoT, it’s different. Wither dominates, then Agony, then UA. UA is generating shards now so it helps making it feel still relevant and.
  1. Not sure where Oblivion is going to fit, it’s hard to tell without more meaningful PVE content with priority adds or stuff like that, where I suppose it should shine.
  1. Spec is a lot more straightforward, you can easily mix and match to make the spec a tiny bit more or less complicated. You can make things easier by talenting out of Nightfall, Shadow Embrace or picking Absolute Corruption, and it still feels “whole”.
  1. We no longer have the ridiculous gap in difficulty between playing Absolute Corruption and the old Siphon Life in addition to a very rigid maintenance buff like Dread Touch. It’s a lot more gradual, it’s great in my opinion.

BUGS & ISSUES

  1. Volatile Agony

Still doesn’t work at all. But it’s a great idea as a talent, I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to fix one of the biggest pain point of Affliction in M+.

  1. Absolute Corruption

New bug

Now works with Wither but has a bugged interaction with Summon Darkglare. Summoning Darkglare causes infinite Wither to disappear 8s later (the exact DoT extension of Darkglare).

  1. Siphon Life

Still no healing.

  1. Dark Virtuosity

Too weak compared to what’s on offer in the tree.

  1. Kindled Malice

Feels redundant in-between Absolute Corruption/Siphon Life and Sacrolash’s Dark Strike. Some of those talents should be combined or something.

3 talents that follow each others that basically do the same thing with a very slight twist.

  1. Summoner’s Embrace

I’m not sure we need this talent to exist. It’s “boring”, it feels mandatory given its power level. I understand why it’s there, to offer an alternative to Grimoire of Sacrifice and I prefer playing with a pet.

However I think the rest of the tree is powerful enough that even without it we wouldn’t pick Grimoire of Sacrifice unless we really want to (or for PVP)?

It would also allow us to skip Sacrolash’s Dark Strike that feels mandatory pathing-wise if we want to.

  1. Tormented Crescendo

Tormented Crescendo and Succulent Soul (Soul Harvester tree) procs still consume each other.

Still has its old Sepulcher of the First Ones spell effect, glowy white/yellowish glitter that needs to go.

This talent doesn’t feel as relevant as it used to be. Used to be mandatory in raids because of the maintenance buff Aff had to manage, Malefic Wrath in SL, Dread Touch in DF.

It also helped quite a lot with “shard generation” by giving us free raptures and allowing us to save up shards. Now it’s just a little something to react too, a random proc that you get and a bit of mobility, which is really good. But this talent goes from foundational pillar of Affliction to just being a nice talent.

  1. Death’s Embrace

Too weak compared to what’s on offer in the bottom section of the tree. The healing buff to Drain Life doesn’t work right now, it’s bugged, and when it will work it will be insignificant. It needs a buff, or to be removed.

It’s annoying to be forced to take it to get to Soul Rot that we clearly almost always want. I would like Soul Rot to take the spot of Death’s Embrace in the tree.

  1. Malevolent Visionnary

Edit: Nevermind it works.

Doesn’t seem to be dealing damage to enemies with DoTs on them when cast? There’s clearly a small spell effect when summoning Darkglare on targets affected, but no initial burst damage.

  1. Haunted Soul

I would love it if it became a 18/20s buff that the warlock gets after casting Haunt and you don’t lose it immediatly when your Haunt target dies.

It would give us some more flexibility. But it’s minor.

  1. Nightfall

Doesn’t work properly with the Soul Harvester tree.

Sataiel’s Ambition and Quietus are only triggered if you accumulate 2 stacks of Nightfall before casting SB/DS. Then those talents trigger and both stacks of Nightfall are consumed even though you only cast 1 SB/DS.

Casting SB/DS with just 1 stack of Nightfall doesn’t trigger Sataiel’s Ambition and Quietus.

  1. Vile Taint

I can’t insist enough on this: Vile Taint has to stop replacing manually applied Curses of Tongues/Weakness/Satyr with the short Curse of exhaustion.

It’s extremely annoying, it’s useless and it prevents Affliction from playing with curses in M+.

Either remove the Curse of exhaustion application, or tweak it so that it detects already existing curses and doesn’t replace them, or bring back the old slow effect that was not tied to the curse, or allow Curse of exhaustion to be applied with the other curses at the same time. Any of those options is good.

PLEASE.

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  • DEMONOLOGY

FEEDBACK

  1. I like how Demonology currently works on live servers, and I don’t think it needs a lot more than a few tweaks. I think that Demonology shards and demonic core economy is just fine as sit is and doesn’t need any significant nerf. The flow of the spec is good.
  1. I understand that the Diabolist and Soul Harvester tree have shard generation mechanics so maybe a slight nerf to the economy to keep shards and demonic core procs “relevant” is required. I’ll say that I don’t feel the disappearance of Demonic knowledge on alpha. Everything still flows well.
  1. I think with the rework of the bottom left of the tree, that’s becoming focused on the Dreadstalkers, and the “new” Doom requires to move around a lot of talents in the tree, because verything is kind of scattered around.
  1. There are too many mandatory talents in the first section of the tree. There’s easily 12 points that you want to get. Some of them could probably become baseline or get mixed up together. Some weaker talents could be removed to clean up the pathing.
  1. There are no big issues, but it all feels a bit disorganized and scattered. Demonic Tyrant should definetily give us 5 shards on summon again though.

TALENT TREE REVIEW & BUGS

  1. Demoniac

I think this should be baseline, to free up some points in the first section of the tree.

  1. Dreadlash

Very weak in ST, so we don’t pick it. I think this should become baseline for the dogs or get merged with some of the many Dreadstalker talents down the tree like Wicked Maw or Dread Calling

  1. Shadowcaster

New talent, it’s ok, it’s not great. We have to pick it to get to Implosion though which feels bad.

  1. Implosion

I think it’s just a bit too far off the way and could replace Shadowcaster or Shadow’s Bite

  1. Shadow’s Bite

Weak boring talent that’s mandatory in ST. It should be removed and cool stuff should take its place to ease the pathing down the left midsection of the tree.

  1. Carnivorous Stalkers

One of the many dog talent scattered around in the tree. I think it should be moved, or merged with Dreadlash.

  1. Fel and Steel

Too weak at the moment to be competitive compared to the other options in that section of the tree.

  1. Rune of Shadows

New talent that’s really cool, makes casting Shadow Bolt feel a lot better. It’s a very powerful talent that feels mandatory and feels out of place in a section of the tree dedicated to your felguards?

I think this could be moved up the tree, and take Dreadlash current spot for example

  1. Improved Demonic Tactics

This talent is part of the rework, along with it are a bunch of other talents that sslightly buff your pets or your felguard slightly in a slightly different way.

Annihilan Training, Fel and Steel, Fiendish Prowess, Cavitation, Demonic Brutality, etc.

I like the idea of realy buffing our pets and making our felguard a beast, like it already is on live servers. But all those talents are hard to distinguish and without simulations it’s impossible to easily guess which one is better.

  1. Demonic Calling

Also a bit lost in the Felguard section of the tree, could probably take Improved Demonic Tactics spot.

  1. Umbral Blaze

One of the weaker talent in the tree. I don’t know how good the new talents Wicked Maw and Mark of Shatug are and if we’d want to pick them for ST/Cleave raids, but having to spend 2 points into Umbral Blaze or Imp Gang boss to get to them feels bad.

Maybe Dread Calling that feels out of place on the right side of the tree could actually take its spot? Would make the pathing on the right side of the tree a little better?

  1. Imp Gang Boss

Really cool talent for AOE. But again, if this is the only path to the new dog talents and we want them for ST damage, feels bad to have to spend 2 points into this to get to it.

  1. Demonic Brutality

Feels rather weak, pretty much the same thing than Cavitation on the right of it. It’s fine, and I understand you can’t just add more and more interactions and synergies or it gets impossible and overwhelming.

I still think this could be just a 1 point node.

  1. Dread Calling

I think Imp Gang Boss, Demonic Brutality and Dread Calling that form the door to the bottom section of the tree should just be 1 point node talents.

It feels very hard and expensive to get to the bottom section of the tree on alpha.

  1. Sacrificed Souls

This talent is boring, I don’t understand why it’s the only path to Demonic Tyrant. I think Demonic Tyrant should take its spot.

  1. Summon Demonic Tyrant

Should move up the tree. Should grant 5 shards on summon once again. The old 2 points talent node that did that got removed. The Demonic Tyrant is no longer the powerhouse it once was, it’s okay to give it the 5 shards back.

It feels bad to spam SB after summoning the tyrant, even with the new talent Rune of Shadows. Especially as a Soul Harvester where you really want to spam Hand of Gul’dan after Tyrant.

  1. Wicked Maw and Mark of Shatug

New Dreadstalkers focused talents. I don’t know if one that just buffs the warlock and one that just buffs Dreadstalkers+Tyrant+Doomguard is too expensive for what it does?

I think those 2 talents could be maybe combined ?

  1. Ferocity of F’harg

New very powerful talent.

The first point into it is very worth it, the second point not so much because the +15% critical strike chance to the dreadstalkers only comes from the first point.
The second point only increases slightly their attack speed.

The critical strike chance probably needs to be divided between the 2 points too.

  1. Doom

This version feels weak. It doesn’t benefit from mastery, it’s on just one target. Also it doesn’t work properly and doesn’t summon a Doomguard right now while talented into Pact of the Ered’ruin.

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                   **HERO TALENT TREES**
  • HELCALLER

Biggest problems are the “utility talents”. Otherwise I love hellcaler, Malevolence is and looks amazing. For Affliction having such a hard-hitting DoT as Wither feels amazing.

  1. Curse of the Satyr

Doesn’t work properly with Amplify Curse, gets removed by Vile Taint in Affliction which feels so bad.

  1. Aura of enfeeblement

This is just a bad talent that doesn’t do much of anything. The AOE curse of tongues/weakness should be brought back.

  1. Zevrim’s Resilience

Terribly weak, healing is unnoticeable, and if you play properly you’re not supposed to really get healing from it.

Healing should last 20s no matter what. Or this talent needs to be redesigned.

  1. Illhoof’s Design

Still doesn’t work. Only removes 10% HP and 10% Soul Leech shield at the moment.

This talent needs a Soul Leech shield generation buff incorporated, by buffing the generation from Soul Leech and/or Demonic Armor, or this talent will be a nerf to the warlock’s survivability instead of a buff.

  1. Blackened Soul

Affliction generates a lot more Blackened Souls stacks than Destruction in ST/2 targets cleave scenarios. Affliction can easily maintain Wither acute for 30/40/50/60s which Destruction cannot do except in mass AOE scenarios.

  1. Malevolence

I think it should be off the GCD.

It feels very sluggish in Affliction to have to cast it, then Vile Taint, then Soul Rot, and then start rapturing. It’s less of an issue in Destruction I find, but still not great.

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  • SOUL HARVESTER

Visually it feels quite cluttered with the Demonic Soul because of Sataiel’s Ambition. There are a lot of bugs with Affliction despite the great synergies the tree has with the Affliction spec. Spirited Away is problematic.

  1. Demonic Soul and Succulent Soul

For Affliction, the Succulent Soul procs and the Tormented Crescendo procs consume each others if you have both at the same time, which happens very often.

Both talents do essentially the same thing, but this is clearly a bug and makes affliction miss out on a lot of free Raptures.

  1. Sataiel’s Ambition

Main reason this spec feels visually cluttered. You just summon the Demonic Soul constantly with this. Having this big purple Demon surging from behind you at the beginning is cool, but it gets old very quickly.

For Affliction this talent is heavily bugged. Consuming Nightfall when you only have 1 stack of it doesn’t trigger the talent.
The only way to trigger it is to get 2 stacks of Nightfall, then cast SB/DS. Then the Demonic Soul is triggered, but both Nightfall stacks are consumed despite having cast only 1 SB/DS.*

Works for Demonology though.

  1. Quietus

Same issue for affliction with Nightfall. Only works if you stack up 2 Nightfall stacks

  1. Shared Fate

This needs to be a trackable debuff to know when and if it procs.

  1. Soul Anathema

The damage from this talent is still cosntantly refreshed without remaining damage being added up? Or there’s a cap to the damage that’s reached very quickly ?

You can easily maintain this with 80% + uptime, so haaving uncapped DoT damage on this might be too powerful?

  1. Spirited Away

Just like Illhoof’s Design for Hellcaller, this talent seems cool at first but you quickly realize is a trap/nerf more than anything.

CD needs to be drastically shorter, or the power level needs to be buffed massively, or we’ll just never take it. Burning Rush is so good BECAUSE it has no CD.

  1. Gorebound’s Fortitude

Doesn’t work properly with Pact of Gluttony and the new Demonic Healthstone. You only get the +30% extra healing, but not the +20% max HP buff for 12s.

  1. Shadow of Death

Feels better in Affliction because you naturally stock up shards before casting Soul Rot. Feels bad for Demonology because summoning Demonic Tyrant doesn’t grant 5 shards, so we’re back to casting SB -1 shard Hand of Gul’dan.

Visually it feels a bit stupid to have the demonic soul derping around, spawning continuously casting the same animation during burst, kind of canceling its animation because it’s spawning again.

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  • DIABOLIST

Visually it’s very cool. It flows really well with Demonology, it’s a bit too slow for Destruction in ST/2 targets cleave because Destruction’s shard generation and economy really depends on the number of targets, whereas it doesn’t change for Demonology.

There needs to be a different tuning for both specs. Obbiously in mass AOE scenarios Destruction would cycle really fast, so maybe Chaos Bolt needs to contribute to Diabolic Ritual more and Rain of Fire lesss ?

  1. Diabolic Ritual

Demonic Art only really works for Hand of Gul’dan and Chaos Bolt, it’s the only 2 spells that have their cast time reduced by it. But casting any other shard spending ability (even Summon Demon) consumes it and summons one of the big demon.

The following talent Touch of Rancora actually buffs the ability that consumes Demonic Art, but the only ability it actually buffs is Hand of Gul’dan, Chaos Bolt and Rainf of Fire. Yet Demonic Art is consumed by any shard speending ability, even Summon Demon and you lose all the benefits from Touch of Rancora

Something needs to change here so that we don’t miss out constantly on buffed HoG/RoF/CB.

  1. Secrets of the Coven

infernal Bolt cast time is super fast, it’s much shorter than the GCD. It feels weird and breaks the flow.

Just make it instant or have a cast time equal to our GCD.

  1. Soul-Etched Circles

Only grants 4s of movement speed buff and roots/snares immunity instead of the 6s described in the tooltip.

  1. Annihilan’s Bellow

This is a PVP talent that got lost on it way. In PVE we play Mortal Coil 99% of the time because of its healing component.

This is a disappointing node.

  1. Cruelty of Kerxan

Very weak talent. It doesn’t actually grant another Demonic Ritual that you could stack up with an existing one when casting your big CD.

For Desstruction when you play 3min inferno that means you get a 3s CD reduction on ONE Demonic ritual every 3 minutes. So it might as well not exist.

  1. Infernal Machine

Very weak, but less worse than Cruelty of Kerxan. You will always pick this as it stands.

Disappoint choice node as well. I think this could use a redesign.

  1. Infernal Vitality/Infernal Bulwark

2 strong options, those are pretty ok/good talents.

  1. Abyssal Dominion

Really cool talent for both Demonology and Destruction. Great synergies with their respective trees.

  1. Ruination

You can cast this while moving, it’s not written anywhere in the tooltip. Don’t know if it’s intended.

The summoning an imp part for Destruction really doesn’t make any sense. The fact that it deals more damage with your crit score for Destruction is strong/cool enough I think

Today’s Alpha update focuses primarily on Destruction.

The Path Ahead

Before we dive in, we want to acknowledge that our work with each specialization tree is not complete. We’ve seen the recent discussions regarding how bloated the Demonology and Destruction tree are in terms of available talents and ranks, as well as thoughts on the pathing of the Affliction tree.

In the near future, you will see that the Demonology tree is being restructured and condensed. Both the Destruction tree and the Affliction tree will also undergo a restructuring in the near future. In this context, a restructuring means that: the amount of 2-rank talent nodes will be reduced, talents may be removed, talents may be added, new pathing will be added, and talent nodes may be moved.

Destruction Update

Here are our stated goals, with the addition of a new goal, for Destruction moving into the War Within:

  • Reduce the fluctuation in throughput in relation to the number of targets in combat.
  • Improve underused talents such as Soulfire and Cataclysm.
  • Condense the number of talents and talent ranks available.

Beginning with our general changes, we are moving Chaos Bolt to be baseline. This is mainly to provide a Soul Shard spender once your specialization is chosen. We are also removing Chaosbringer but plan to provide additional tuning to Chaos Bolt, Rain of Fire, and Shadowburn baseline to ensure their power remains relatively the same.

Avatar of Destruction

We are removing Avatar of Destruction for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, we want to highlight Summon Infernal as a powerful moment and Avatar of Destruction lessens that by increasing the cadence in which an Infernal is present.

Secondly, Avatar of Destruction provides Destruction warlocks with a powerful, multi-target stun on a frequent basis. We could remove the stun, but we want to stay in line with our philosophy that when a player sees a demon there’s an understanding of what function that demon provides.

To replace Avatar of Destruction, we want to try bringing back Decimating Bolt as it fits the fantasy of a Destruction warlock well and provides more power to your rotational spells. We plan to iterate on this decision based on feedback we see from the community.

Inferno

We have redesigned Inferno to reduce how much throughput fluctuates based on the number of enemies present during an encounter. This will allow us to tune Destruction in all situations, regardless of the number of targets available. Additionally, this allows us to tune this talent to be a competitive option against Cataclysm rather than have it remain the correct choice.

Soulfire, Shadowburn, Channel Demonfire

We want to make each of these spells more appealing. In this build, you’ll see a redesign of Decimation as an experiment to accomplish this for Soulfire however we plan to expand more on this as well as Shadowburn and Channel Demonfire with the restructuring of the Destruction tree, mentioned earlier in this post. Stay tuned for future updates as we work to address this goal.

Thank you for the discussions thus far. We appreciate the continued feedback!

Greetings Warlocks.

Today’s Alpha update focuses on Demonology and addressing feedback received regarding how many talents were available within its specialization tree. You will see several talents removed as well as new talents being added. We’ve also reduced the number of available ranks across the talent tree.

Cooldown Alignment
We are removing all talents that reduce the cooldown of Demonology’s summon abilities and baking in those decreases baseline so that they align in a way that makes sense. These talents, along with the varying cooldowns, made playing Demonology more convoluted and difficult, especially for new players. This should free up some talent points and require less problem solving when it comes to trying to ensure your cooldowns align.

Demonic Tyrant
We are moving Summon Demonic Tyrant to the center of the Demonology tree to make it much easier to access. When we first set out to design the new talent trees, there was an idea that we could make Summon Demonic Tyrant an option against abilities such as Nether Portal. However, Summon Demonic Tyrant is so woven into the identity of Demonology and synergizes so well with other options on the tree – it’s difficult to have anything else compete.

Doom and Vilefiend
We are expanding upon Doom and Vilefiend by offering new talents to customize and upgrade these abilities. We want to ensure that these are competitive options with one another in both single- and multi-target situations so please provide feedback if one or the other isn’t quite hitting the mark. In terms of Immutable Hatred and the “Felguard portion” of the tree, we want to retain that as the passive damage opt-in for players who prefer that kind of damage profile.

Demonic Cores
Our goal with reining in the Demonic Core economy is to bring Demonology closer to Affliction and Destruction in terms of mobility. Warlocks provide powerful utility and have access to incredible survivability and mobility has usually been their weakness in exchange for those strengths. However, we are watching discussions happening across the community and thinking through feedback as it comes in.

Abyssal Dominion and What’s Ahead
In the Diabolist tree, we’ve redesigned Abyssal Dominion for both Demonology and Destruction, focusing on increasing the potency of both Demonic Tyrant and Infernal. We wanted to give a heads up that the Overfiend will reappear in the Destruction restructuring coming in a future build as the replacement for Avatar of Destruction. It will undergo a slight redesign, mainly to address some of the components that Avatar of Destruction provided and went missing with the inclusion of Decimating Bolt.


We hope to have the Destruction tree restructured with the new alpha build so keep an eye out for that in the future. Following the Destruction tree, we’ll be revisiting the Affliction tree to address its overall structure and pathing. Lastly, we’ll continue to look at hero talent trees and make further adjustments as the dust settles from our work on the class and specialization trees.

Thank you again for the feedback and thoughts!

DEMONOLOGY

  • GENERAL FEEDBACK

I like the revamped tree a lot, I think it’s really neat, well structured, a lot of connections, a lot of flexibility, clear sections dedicated to a specific part of your toolkit.

You feel like a powerful summoner, especially as a Diabolist Demonology warlock, between the imps, the dreadstalkers, the felguards, the big Vilefiend shadow/fire beast, the Doomguards, the Shivarra, Overlord, Pit Lord, Tyrant, etc.

You do feel the Demonic Core generation nerf, we’re spamming Shadow Bolt quite a lot, but the new talent Rune of Shadows that reduces SB cast time by 25% helps a lot.

The thing is, Demonbolt doesn’t feel like a “special moment” when you get to cast it instantly. It doesn’t do a lot of damage, it’s not visually very impressive (Green fire on Demonbolt one day maybe please?). They’re a lot more rare now, but it doesn’t feel special. It just feels less good than in Dragonflight.

With the return to a stronger Demonic Tyrant via Reign of Tyranny, Abyssal Dominion (Diabolist tree), and Summon Vilefiend, we’re back to having very rigid and static Demonic Tyrant set up phases.

Those phases are interesting and it’s where good demonology players can plan ahead to get the best tyrant possible. It’s also a very punishing sequence, especially with less Demonic core procs. The 2 demonic cores from the Dreadstalkers were instrumental for that set up. We’re very vulnerable to forced movement during that phase.

I understand wanting us to care more about Demonic Core procs and planning ahead. But it might be adding too much complexity compared to just spending them basically when you get them.

I think things like making Soul Siphon off the GCD and/or making Summon Demonic Tyrant instant AND generate either shards (like it used to) or demonic core procs would help a lot to make the rotation and Tyrant set up easier and less punishing.

  • DEMONOLOGY SPEC TREE
  1. Demoniac

Remove the RNG demonic core generation from the Dreadstalkers. Just make Dreadstalkers give us one guaranteed Demonic Core, maybe when we finish casting them.

  1. Blood Invocation

First, the name of the talent compared to what it does doesn’t really fit. It’s minor.

Then, the 5s CD reduction seems weak?

Maybe it’s ok for PVP, but for PVE, we really want to sync Power Siphon with our Tyrant set up to stock up on Demonbolts. It’s already synced by default with the 30s CD.

Maybe the CD reduction should be 10s?

  1. Umbral Blaze and Pact of the Imp Mother

I understand those 2 talents are there to buff up your Hand of gul’dan, and those 2 following each other makes sense.

However Umbral Blaze is quite weak, whereas Pact of the Imp Mother is really good and more useful than ever to fully benefit from Reign of Tyranny.

Pact of the Imp Mother is expensive to get to, I wouldn’t mind if it switched places with Umbral Blaze.

  1. Summon Demonic Tyrant and Reign of Tyranny

So with this talent and Abyssal Dominion in the Diabolist hero tree we’re back to having a powerful Tyrant that deals damage on its own. It’s great.

The loss of the guaranteed Demonic cores from the Dreadstalkers hurts the set up of the tyrant. It’s really hard (if not impossible) to get to 15 imps without Bloodlust/Power Infusion or Pact of the Imp Mother procs.

Either of those talents should grant us 3/4/5 shards upon Summoning the Tyrant.

Also I think Summon Demonic Tyrant should be an instant cast, to guarantee that your Tyrant set up can be completed without being punished by a sudden forced movement.

  1. Fiendish Oblations

This talent seems weak. This is 1 Demonic Core every 2 min. Maybe this could be 1 when casting the Felguard and 1 when it expires?

Only sims will tell us if the +10% to the felguard makes this competitive, but I doubt it.

  1. Doom and Doom Eternal

This new version of Doom is ok. The guaranteed Doomguard feels very good.

The timer reduction on Doom by consuming Demonic Core procs doesn’t work properly at the moment.

This spell gives us a bit of extra mobility in M+, which is nice. I fear we’re going to spam it a bit too much with the 5s timer reduction. Maybe we can adjust the timer reduction, make it a bit slower, but buff the damage instead to make up for it?

  1. Improved Demonic Tactics

This talent has potential scaling issues.

I don’t know which stats Demonology warlocks will favor, but if critical strike chance isn’t a priority, early on in the expansion this talent will be very weak.

I think it should grant a baseline increase to the felguard critical strike chance, like 5%, and then also the 30% from the warlock own rating.

  1. Demonic Brutality

This talent seems very weak given where it is in the tree. The bottom of the Demonology warlock tree is filled with very good stuff, and I don’t see us picking this instead of something else at this time.

  1. Mark of Shatug and Mark of F’harg

Very cool looking talent. I hope the 2 beasts stay as big from the Warlock POV.

Those talents have a few bugs. They are not extended by the Tyrant, contrary to the regular Vilefiend.

They also have a 45s CD for some reason instead of 30s.

  1. The Houndmaster’s Gambit

Very powerful talent that might cause issues because of how strong it is.

Vilefiend is a 30s CD, Summon Dreadstalkers is a 20s CD. I wouldn’t be surprised if with the current tuning, the best thing to do is to hold your Dreadstalkers to line them up with your Vilefiend. This is reinforced by the fact that Dreadstalkers are no longer a good Demonic Core generator.

Maybe that’s the dev’s intent? But then the CD of either ability has to change so they line up properly.

  1. Immutable Hatred

This will probably need a buff given that we’ll cast Demonbolt a lot less often than in Dragonflight.

  • DIABOLIST HERO TREE DEMONOLOGY
  1. Diabolic Ritual

Demonic Art has a lot of issues. It’s consumed by any soul shard spending ability, like Soulburn, Summon Felguard (even with Fel Domination that removes the shard cost).

Soulburn just erases the Demonic Art proc without summoning the demon.

If you’re casting a shard spending ability when Diabolic Ritual turns into Demonic art, Demonic Art is also consumed. Which leads to very often losing the benefit of the following talent in the tree: Touch of Rancora

  1. Touch of Rancora

It has a lot of issues as well. So this actually only works with Hand of Gul’dan, and that’s how it should be for a variety of reasons.

HOWEVER, the tooltip says any soulshard spending ability, and any soulshard spending ability will consume the cast time reduction and damage bonus without actually benefitting from it, unless you’re casting Hand of Gul’dan.

The talent needs to be adjusted:

  • Either the cast time reduction has to work on Hand of Gul’dan, Summon Vilefiend and Summon Dreadstalkers, but you only get the damage buff if you’re casting HoG.

  • Or, it needs to ONLY affect and be consumed by your next HOG. And for that to work, Touch of Rancora needs to become its own buff, separate from Demonic Art.

Also Touch of Rancora has to stop being consumed when casting a shard spending ability while Diabolic Ritual turns into Demonic Art.

  1. Secrets of the Coven

Infernal Bolt cast time is too fast, it’s below the GCD, so it just feels weird and bad to actually press the button. You very often end up queuing Infernal Bolt and a Shadow Bolt, which you don’t want.

Either make Infernal Bolt intant cast, or with a cast time capped to the GCD, or the same cast time than Shadow Bolt

I suspect it’s so fast because it has a reduced cast time per default, and things like Rune of Shadows also reduces its cast time on top of it.

  1. Cruelty of Kerxan and Infernal Machine

Both talents are very weak and unnoticeable. Demonology has a pretty good flow of building/spending shards, so the demons spawn very regularly.

I think this needs to be reworked to do something else.

  1. Abyssal Dominion

Very strong for Demonology, we’re back to having very powerful Demonic Tyrant and setting them up properly will be very important again.

  1. Flames of Xoroth

Tuning knob talent, so I know the value will probably change, but this is very weak at the moment.

  1. Ruination

Ruination can be cast while moving, that should be mentionned somewhere in the tooltip.

For Demonology, Ruination summons the 3 Wild imps too slowly, because the meteor takes a long time to land.

This has implications with your Tyrant set up. Because if a Ruination lines up when you’re setting up your Tyrant, you might not see those imps spawned by the time you get your tyrant out, and it doesn’t benefit from those imps.

Ruination should summon the 3 wild imps upon completion of the cast, not completion of the animation.

  • SOUL HARVESTER TREE DEMONOLOGY
  1. Friends in Dark Places

Doesn’t work.

  1. Gorebound Fortitude

Doesn’t work properly, especially with Demonic Healthstones. We don’t get the +20% max HP for 12s.

  1. Spirited Away

This talent feels more like a nerf and a trap than anything else. This needs a massive power buff or a big reduction to its CD (to something like 15/20s max).

  1. Shadow of Death

You really don’t benefit from this as Demonology at the moment.

When you summon your Tyrant, you have 0 shards, 0 Demonic core procs, so you’re left to spam Shadow Bolt and 1 shard Hand of Gul’dan. It feels bad and slow.

Summon Demonic Tyrant or Reign of Tyranny must give us shards or Demonic core procs upon summoning the Tyrant. I would prefer 5 shards like it used to.

Very excited for the coming revamp of the Affliction and Destruction tree.

2 Likes

Greetings Warlocks.

Today’s Alpha build focuses on restructuring the Destruction specialization tree. We will provide context for some of these changes in this post.

Heads up! Some talents are not yet implemented but should be in a future build.

Soul Fire, Channel Demonfire, and Shadowburn
We’re pivoting away from Soul Fire becoming another execute spell as Shadowburn already fills this purpose. Instead, it will serve as a reward for high critical strike chance and will naturally become more available when Shadowburn benefits from a low health target.

Both Channel Demonfire and Shadowburn spells are retaining their current uses and identities; however, we are introducing new talents that should increase how valuable these spells are in Destruction’s toolkit. We look forward to hearing your feedback regarding the direction of each of these spells.

Summon Infernal
We’ve moved Summon Infernal to a more central location in the Destruction tree to provide an interesting and powerful spell to look forward to while leveling. Additionally, it’s an incredibly iconic spell for Destruction and by making it easier to get we can ensure that regardless of your build you have a longer cooldown to look forward to.

Tree Structure
In this alpha build you’ll see new pathing and a reduction of available talents and ranks to reduce the bloating the previous tree had. We’re interested in hearing feedback regarding if it’s too easy to get across the tree, too difficult, if a talent’s placement doesn’t make sense, or if a talent can be taken and it won’t provide any benefit unless another talent is taken.

As mentioned last week, we will have an update for Affliction in a future build and will be focusing on hero talents and polish after. We appreciate the discussions and look forward to further feedback.

I’d like to offer some “first impression” feedback on playing around with the new affliction tree. This is primarily about how the new buttons “feel” rotationally and nothing more. With all the further changes on the horizon, I hope that this is useful, even if somewhat vague.

• Oblivion
This new talent seemingly fills two roles: on-demand burst for target switching and a commitment to a maximum single target talent investment. However, its placement in the tree places these two functions somewhat at odds to one another: it is too deep in in the single-target row to grab it as a “target swap” tool in an m+ build and for a dedicated single target capstone, it adds no depth to a single target rotation.

To clarify the latter: Oblivion is not only a filler spell with no rotational synergy, it actually punishes spending 2 Shards for it in your cooldown windows, where your Raptures are relatively more valuable. It would be fine (if not interesting) to fit Oblivion casts in-between your one-minute cooldown windows, but its 45 second cooldown bounces against that sooner or later.

The spell would probably benefit from a design and/or talent placement that commits to one of the two functions. If it is really meant to help Affliction swap to totems or short-lived priority mobs, it could work like this: while channeling Oblivion, your Raptures are instant cast and affect the target as if there were 3 dots present on the target.

• Malevolence (Hellcaller Capstone)
This feels like one ability too much that is on the global cooldown for our one-minute burst windows, especially when also playing with Soul Rot (which we will at least in Multi-Target scenarios due to the Haste synergy between Malevolence and Dark Harvest).
Vile Taint → Soul Rot → Darkglare → Malevolence is an (unhastened) 6 seconds before we can Rapture and we cannot even start ramping before an Add wave spawns, since they need to be already present for all of the abilities to hit.

There are probably two solutions: bake Malevolence into an existing ability (like Soul Rot works for Soul Harvester) or take it off the GCD like Dark Soul: Misery used to work in our cooldown rotation.
I do understand that this might cause issues with the damaging part of Malevolence. But even if the ability is both a “pay off” button an an enabling cooldown, it really does not feel like the former rotationally.