Feedback: Warlocks

Demonology is going through a lot of changes, and clearly a lot of things are going to change again.

I just want to talk briefly about the tier set bonus for Demonology with the latest change on the PTR.

Demonology has the strongest tier set bonus in the game in Aberrus. Until the latest PTR patch, demonology probably had the weakest tier set bonus in the game coming into 10.2. This has now changed.

The tier set bonus, especially the 4P, seems very overpowered on the PTR now. It accounts for at least 15% of your overall DPS in ST, which is insane. The 2P accounts for nearly 3% of your overall. So you have a tier set bonus that buffs the output of the spec by nearly 20%.

I don’t play other classes, so I don’t know how impactful/powerful the other tier set bonuses are comparatively, but the bonuses for Affliction and Destruction simply don’t match up against the demonology bonuses.

I think the demonology 4P bonus needs quite a big nerf to bring it in line with the other 2 spec, probably around a 50% nerf. Or the other 2 specs need a rather substantial buff to their bonuses or toolkit if they hope to compete in PVE.

My feedback will mostly center around Destruction, since Demonology has been covered extensively by others and I didn’t play enough Aff on PTR to form an informed opinion. I will speak mostly from the M+ perspective:

Going from 10.1. into 10.2., Destro is one of the specs whose playstyle got significantly worse. This is a result of a) issues within the talent tree and b) the new tier set centered around Dimensional Rift.

Issues with the Destro talent tree are following:

Several choice nodes offer no real choice at all, as one of the options is clearly superior to the other. This is also supported by WCL when inspecting the talent builds of Destro Warlocks in M+ runs. These are following:

a. Reverse entropy/Internal combustion node

Reverse Entropy is so good for how the Destruction spec plays that even when it is slightly behind numerically, it still gets taken over Internal Combustion.

From m+ perspective, this is even more pronounced, as Internal Combustion gives you nothing in AoE, while Reverse Entropy is useful in every situation. Additionally, consuming Immolate has never been an appealing gameplay among the Warlock community (see old Conflagrate) and it is only suffered when the option is significantly better in Single Target.

b. Havoc/Mayhem node

Mayhem is there to provide a passive option to Havoc, which is numerically weaker than Havoc, probably for beginner players. While I understand the intent behind the talent, nobody will reasonably pick it, because even more casual players nowadays pick what is best.

c. Pandemonium/Cry Havoc node

Due to the way Destro plays in any AoE settings, Cry Havoc is completely dead. It doesnt do well in AoE, it doesn’t even do well in cleave/low target count AoE. Destro AoE is completely dominated by Rain of Fire and the idea that someone would cast a Chaos Bolt in AoE because of this talent is preposterous.

d. Inferno/Cataclysm node

Probably the biggest offender. If Warlock wants to do any respectable AoE damage, you just cannot choose anything else but Inferno, making Cataclysm a dead talent. This is doubly aweful, because Cataclysm is a great ability that fills an important hole in the design of the spec - it serves as a burst AoE option and AoE Immolate applicant, both of which Destro is currently sorely missing. It has also a natural synergy with Channel DF, making even that talent better.

In age where other classes need couple of GCDs to do their AoE damage, Destro is there tab targetting Immolates. If the worry is the Immolate spell itself loses purpose, lets compromise and let Cataclysm apply shorter Immolates. You can weave in Immolates refreshes in between RoF casts, the important thing is that you still have the burst and efficient Immolate application even at a price of shorter Immolates.

Solution here is very simple - bake Inferno into RoF baseline and allow us to pick Cataclysm.

e. Roaring Blaze/Improved Conflagrate

This one is about mathematics really - third charge of Conflagrate just doesn’t compare to the power of Roaring Blaze. Solution is to remove Explosive Potential talent which is right next to it and replace it with Improved Conflagrate.

f. Channel Demonfire

I’ve already discussed the solution - making Cataclysm accessible makes this talent much more attractive, even after the loss of current tier set.

g. Soul Fire

This ability has been reworked more times than Shadow Priest and it never really works out. I don’t think what the spec needs, especially after losing Madness and the cast time reduction on Chaos Bolt, is another spell with very long cast time. It might be heresy, because it borrows a bit from a Fire Mage, but listen to me:

Change Decimation from the execute talent and instead make each shard we spend have a chance to give charge of Soul Fire and make it instant. It would give Destro another “high point” in its gameplay, which I think it very much needs.

h. Fire and Brimstone

I had high hopes for this talent being played in Burn to Ashes, however the way things worked out with our build, we never really pick either in AoE.

For me, the dream scenario would be to turn this spell into an active - a damage CD: once pressed, it would make all Incinerates AND Conflagrates cleave all enemies around a target. Give it a 1 min CD and it once again gives Destro some interesting gameplay alternative.

i. Scalding Flames

This talent is not picked due to its position in the tree - while Flash Point opens both Eradication and Ashen Remains, which in turn unlock all three capstone nodes, Scalding Flames only unlock Ashen Remains and Sacrifice, which only unlock two capstones.

I think the fix here is more complex, as this talent is a victim of the most efficient pathing, which is to always go through Ashen Remains and Eradication. Conflagration of Chaos suffers from the same issue.

j. Shadowburn/Conflagration of Chaos

Speaking of Conflagration of Chaos, the talent further suffers from Shadowburn being always the inferior option to Chaos Bolt. Shadowburn just needs buffs.

Problems with a set are as follows:

Unlike the S2 tier set, the current set puts very strong limits on the build flexibility of the Destro spec. While the S2 tier set encouraged us to select a particular talent as well, the position of the talent within the tree still allowed us to make a meaningful choices later, depending on content - we could play Chaos Incarnate/Blasphemy build or choose Grand Warlock Design/Blashemy build for m+. There was also a distinct Single Target build.

Mostly, this is now over, because not only we now cannot use Chaos Incarnate - a major contributor to AoE damage, we also cannot use the Grand Warlock Design node, as we simply need the Blasphemy talent to ensure our consistent damage from pack to pack. And Destro can only ever pick two of the three capstones.

While Chaos Incarnate and Grand Warlock Design weren’t played together, they fulfilled a similar function for Destro - buffing our AoE (and ST) damage considerably - in case of Chaos Incarnate, we just always had the maximum benefit from Mastery for Rain of Fire, while in case of Grand Warlock Design, we got a buff from Crashing Chaos every 1.5 minute (with current version of the talent).

The Rifts will need further significant buffs to compensate for our inability to pick these talents.

1 Like

How hard is it to make Malefic Rupture to add +5second to all active dots as base and save this spec from its misery?
Aff spec is so dead the most outdated, disturbing to play spec in the game.
When i give it a go and run a key I feel like i want to delete this game. My brain feels pain physically, trying to maintain the gameplay of aff.
Affliction in m+ is UNPLAYABLE. I dont mean it is underperfoming it is literally 100% UNPLAYABLE.
@Kaivax

Worst change ever, it should be without a timer. In pvp against double melee this set bonus gets useless

Continuing the discussion from Guardians of the Dream PTR Development Notes:

The changes are not good. Like its a step back compared to a few weeks ago.
The changes before last week buffs were already in a good place. It just needed relevance in single target.

You adjusted the set to align it with other sets but other sets do way more damage comparatively to demo’s tier as of today on PTR.
The damage & the proc rate are just abyssmal with the changes (5% of my damage in a whole dungeon with a tier set that puts an aoe dot is insanely low) & it promotes degenerate gameplay in mythic+ where you need to doom brand every mob for a chance at the doomfiend and have it do relevant damage. And that’s on higher keys like +23/25/27 on PTR. Its not even doable on lower ones since stuff dies so you have even more ramp on a class that is plagued with ramp. Feels really bad to play into.

Immutable hatred needs a rework now. Or it needs to be brough back to what it was before this week changes.
Idk if the fix was to make it scale to the level of Nether portal but it felt good last week/2 weeks prior compared to now where it doesn’t feel good damage wise at all.
Tying it to demonic cores is a good idea but we’re now absolutely starved of cores & the damage of IH itself is not good. So its 2 bad changes in one.

A cool suggestion: Could have been more interesting to have it work like other demons empowering your felguard when they expire and every 2 3 stacks of that empowering buff then the felguard could hit the target for a large amount of Immutable hatred. Idk just a thought.

The new talents are a huge hit or miss.

The vilefiend talent that got nerfed was very strong and obviously it was a good nerf. But its still strong enough where soulstrike is completely out of the picture.
The issue is more soulstrike being worse compared to vilefiend even with the talent.
Maybe have soulstrike interact with more talents like Fel & Steel or Cavitation so these talents are also considered to create new playstyles.

Seperating soulstrike into the spell then another node was kind of bad since you only wanted soulstrike for the shard benefit. I’d really prefer having either the choice to greatly empower your felguard through talents or summons loads of different pets & atm soulstrike talents are subpar at doing the first one.

This is a bad talent. You never want to pick it in any situation. The benefit is so bad because of our cores are already very little now.
You implode way less since you don’t get imps back anymore. It needs a serious redesign or damage buff otherwise its a dead node. The fact that we’d take imp-erator who was a dmg loss in 10.1.5 compared to this even in m+ on the ptr right now just screams this is completely undertuned/a worthless talent.
I would love to see imp refund be incorporated into this talent so then its an option in aoe for mythic+ at least (our aoe is suffering on PTR atm especially for raid its looking grim).

Also another note:

This has done nothing for Nether portal and Guldan’s Ambition. I don’t understand how its such a struggle to make this talent interesting. Atm its either broken or worthless underwhelming.
An idea could be every 5 shard spent during Pitlord duration could increase its duration for a few seconds? or increase its damage by x% ?
Nether portal feels like it doesn’t fit demonology at all anymore with the changes and its purely bland former version of a fun, skill rewarding talent.

Suggestions:

  • Buff Soulstrike so it gets played. Make it part of other talents. Maybe buff Antoran Armaments soul strike part so its worthwhile in aoe.
  • Change Immuntable Hatred somewhat or make it more interesting than current on PTR.
  • Fix the tier so we don’t have to spam spread doom brand for it to do revelant damage/summon the doomfiend. Maybe making it explode spread it on a lower duration ? just an idea.
    Again there is a difference between good gameplay & degenerate gameplay. Nether portal shard spam was degenerate gameplay and its very similar to this currently with the new tier.
  • Move pact of the imp mother higher in the tree or rework it. Same with then node bellow Nether portal (I don’t even know the name its so worthless never bothered). Its never taken & atm it would be what we need as a QoL to make the class feel so much better.

Devs, you need to start making tier and talent changes based first on gameplay. stop with the whole thing of changing how we play or forceing us to play in a specific way when we already have a good gameplay loop.
With the aberrus tier i could handle it because it wasnt that bad (mainly speaking for destro) but this tier is awful, im not playing warlock because its THAT awful.
Get a grip and make the game fun first! balanced after!
its a game where we come to ENJOY our self, not be stressed about tab targeting cores or feeling forced to play a specific talent even though we dont like how it goes into our gameplay!
The game has gone from gameplay first to balancing every inch of a class just to make it “balanced”
Its awful and sad.

2 Likes

We are getting somewhat close to the end of the PTR and it seems not much is going to change (unless we are getting suprised ofc).

I am really sad to see how basicly nothing happened to demo and destro. Both specs received awfull Tier sets that force both a specific gameplay which completely negates the idea of having the that fancy new talent tree we got in DF. Here you are free to choose from what you want - Oh wait you cant you have to spec into those specific talents for your tier set! (Talking about destro here)

Demo’s set feels really strange and doesnt fit to the spec’s gameplay imo, I wish it would get a whole rework but most likely it wont.

Same goes to the removal of imp gang boss talent (rework). I get the idea behind it, many demos struggle doing good dps in aoe cuz of the somehwat complicated gameplay of demo in keys to keep up with imp management but completely removing that and replacing it with a save 1 button use huge aoe ability like vilefiend aoe is a really boring change. Atleast the vilefiend aoe could be a choice note with imp gang boss so let ppl decide if they want the easier aoe profile or not.

1 Like

Stolen Power is the talent you meant under Netherportal. And actually stolen power is pretty decent, it procs every 30 sec, having a 60% dmg buff on demonbolt like that is really decent and it would be a meta talent if it wasnt at such a dumb spot. The only issue with the talent is the spot where its at, if the talent would’ve been moved somewhere else then it would be played.

There is nothing positive to say.

Warlock just got worse and worse since the start of dragon. Started great in s4/pre patch, especially season 4 and it just got worse and worse and worse.

Gwd static cdr, which is boring af, no actual problem with any of the specs was actually solved.

No dot extension on malefic rapture
No Haunt integration into unstable affliction
No reversal of the AWFUL demo changes they did some time ago
No soul shard generation on channel demonfire and castable while moving.
No gwd in the class tree so you could make some truly glorious builds with rain of chaos/gwd or tyranny+gwd.
Nether portal was not changed in the correct way.
No cataclysm in place of pyrogenics, NOBODY LIKES TAB TARGETING DOTS! Just so you can finally start doing your rotation after the enemy has lost 25 % of their health!
Madness was removed instead of corrected.
Siphon life STILL EXISTS!

Im sure i could say more eventually other stuff would come to mind, but i think you get the picture.

This is one of the very few times ill say it, warlock doesn’t need changes, it needs a new developer, because god knows what you’re doing right now.

PATHETIC!

How can you take a spec that started great in s4 shadowlands, and just destroy it over a single expansion? WTF are you doing?! Get a grip already. Do you seriously think this is better? Or you’re just making changes at random, and sometimes the change is good, while most time it’s bad?

4 Likes

Destruction is actually in such a bad spot especially aoe i’m shocked blizzard just made a tier around dimentional rift and just did not change how the spell works in any way but damage numbers.

Pressing this spell feels pointless.
Even numbers the 4p on 5min ST did 3.6% of my damage.
It makes the rotation feel so much worse.
The numbers are not even good so its already a miss on what was changed.

The worse part of this spell is the straight RNG there is in the portals. One portal does 0.
There’s is 0 synergy with this spell with the rotation.
At least with Channel demonfire, we had raging demonfire talent (2/2) to make it a viable immolate uptime option in ST & AoE which made the spec flow a little better with the talent.
With Rifts its just press and do bad damage that takes a global away from your more meaningful rotation (chaos bolt, maintaining eradication, casting immolate or incinerate, conflag and keeping the debuff up, etc). Its even worse in aoe. I doubt you’ll even press rifts in aoe since you lose so much damage from using both rain & portal due to how Inferno works.

I don’t understand why we lost Madness for all of this. Madness destro was simply better than chaosbringer. If you want to remove Madness, its fine nobody likes short maintance buffs. But why remove the AoE damage & QoL associated with Madness ?
Destro aoe was nowhere stronger than others classes aoe & we’re heavily capped by gameplay anyway.

Small correction, i don’t know why i kept remembering how good pre patch warlock was, but no, s4 shadowlands warlock was better for every spec.

The only really cool thing about pre patch warlock was gwd+rain of chaos, and maybe crashing chaos. But you could get that before in s4 too, aside crashing chaos, which is less important than avatar of destruction or rain of chaos or gwd. And you also had avatar of destruction to boot so…

They need to go back to s4 shadowlands warlock. And start from there.

1 Like

The 2p & 4p are barely a dps increase at 20 higher ilvl than the current tier set for destruction. It is really bad.
Like really really really bad.
The set needs to change drastically or we’re going to see warlocks in both raid and m+ playing azureweave + full crafted/stats gear with no tier or simply still play the old tier until mythic gear with just stats.

It also drastically reduce the amount of choice you have in the lower part of the tree. Now the left half of the talent tree is mostly completely dead.

Now that class trinket is pretty much gone:

  • GWD for destro is proper dead.
  • Crashing chaos on 3 min might not be super good.
  • You’ll probably need diabolic embers if you play 3 min infernal.
  • Weaving rifts in aoe will feel terrible
  • The madness rework & the nerfed version aka chaosbringer means you absolutely need to play 2 points in that node (where as you could play one before with DE and still do great damage).
  • Rift doesn’t help power overwhelming vs crashing chaos since POW rift increase is very little.
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We are 1 week away from tier set release.

Destruction Warlock tier set needs god. It needs help. A lot of it. Forcing a talent path with extremely limited options + bad tunning is so bad.

Demonology Warlock: I hate maintance buffs with a passion but this takes the cake. Nerfing our core gen and making it tied to our tier set. At least it does okay damage.

Affliction Warlock: Pretty good. Still bugged with seed.

Feels bad man as an old time demonology/destro warlock.

Time to put on my rouge, fake a smile and join the mongo melee train.

1 Like