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bartolimu

Warlock Cataclysm Preview Discussion - READ THE FIRST POST

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As many of you are probably aware, Blizzard has promised to release a preview of Warlock mechanics for Cataclysm today. The Moderation Staff would like to make the following policy statement regarding the pending announcements and your discussions of them.

With the upcoming changes being announced keep the following guidelines in mind when posting. This is the place to discuss these changes only.

Failure to do so will result in an automatic infraction.

  • Do not merely link blue post information without any useful contribution of your own.
  • Do not bitch, whine or moan about the changes during your discussion of them.
  • Do not suggest what you think Blizzard should do. Neither we nor Blizzard care about your great idea.
  • Do not post class change discussion in the current 3.3.3 threads.
  • Do remember that all normal rules apply.
  • Do remember that these are proposed changes and subject to fine tuning and/or complete overhaul.

Those suggestions should provide a good baseline for appropriate discussion of the changes in development. However, I understand warlock psychology and the needs of the warlock population. You crave answers, quantification of penalties, and certainty in what is and is not acceptable. To that end, I am providing the following supplementary rules:

1. Discussion of revealed information will be limited to this thread only. Attempts to spread discussion to other threads without specific mod permission (we won't grant it, don't ask) will result in at least a 1-day ban.

2. Anyone copy/pasting or linking to information that has already been linked/pasted will receive disciplinary action. Read before posting. This has always been a rule and is even more important now than usual.

3. Whining about Cataclysm changes will result in an infraction severe enough to result in AT LEAST a one-week ban. Note that this may result in a large number of infraction points being assigned at once. Don't let that happen to you.

4. Useless speculation and/or wishlisting will result in AT LEAST a three-day ban.

5. If your post does not actually contribute to the conversation in a worthwhile manner, expect to be disciplined more harshly than usual.

Those of you reading other threads should feel free to report any Cataclysm discussion in them. That discussion should be in here. As with any big news, the number of terrible, stupid and otherwise annoying posts is likely to increase for a while. Help us moderators keep this forum readable and the information readily available.

Thank you. And now, on with the show!

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In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, warlocks will receive changes to their class talents and abilities. Outlined below are some of these changes. Keep in mind that this is an early preview and that these modifications are still under development, so you may see further adjustments to the listed changes as we get closer to launch. That said, here is a first look at these new warlock spells and abilities!

New Warlock Spells

Fel Flame (level 81): Quick-hitting spell dealing Shadowfire damage. This is similar to the mage ability Frostfire Bolt, in that the lower of the two resistances (in this case shadow and fire) on your target will be used for calculating its damage. Additionally, Fel Flame refreshes the duration of Immolate and Unstable Affliction. Our goal for Fel Flame is to provide a spell that's good for mobility and for use by Destruction and Demonology specs. Also, did we mention it uses green fire? Yep. Instant cast.

Dark Intent (level 83): Increases the target's chance for a critical effect with periodic damage or healing spells by 3%. When the target lands a crit, you get a buff to your damage for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to three times.

Demon Soul (level 85): Fuses the warlock's soul with his or her demon. This provides warlocks with a self-burst cooldown to use. The specific effects granted by Demon Soul depend on the demon chosen. Demon Soul lasts for a certain number of charges or until it expires (around 20 seconds), depending on the demon used. 2-minute cooldown.

Soul Shard Overhaul

This major change regarding Soul Shards was previously announced at BlizzCon 2009. Soul Shards will no longer be inventory items, but instead a new UI resource mechanic. Warlocks will have 3 Soul Shards that can be used during a fight and will not be able to gain additional shards during combat. Soul Shards will not be required outside of combat. Soul Burn will consume a Soul Shard resource, thereby allowing you to use the secondary effects of some spells. Soul Burn has no mana or health costs and is off the global cooldown. Planned secondary effects are outlined here.

* Summon Demon + Soul Burn = summon the demon instantly.

* Drain Life + Soul Burn = Reduces cast speed by 60%.

* Demonic Circle + Soul Burn = Increases movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds after teleporting.

* Unstable Affliction + Soul Burn = Instantly deals damage equal to 30% of its effect.

* Soul Fire + Soul Burn = Instant cast.

* Healthstone + Soul Burn = Increases total health by 20% for 8 seconds.

* Searing Pain + Soul Burn = Increases the crit chance of Searing Pain by 100%, and subsequent Searing Pain spells by 50% for 6 seconds.

Next you will find a list of some of the warlock spell and talent changes for the release of Cataclysm. There will be further changes, but those revealed below should offer some insight into our goals.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

* All warlock damage-over-time (DoT) spells will benefit from crit and haste innately. Haste will no longer act to reduce the DoT's duration, but rather to add additional ticks. When reapplying a DoT, you can no longer "clip" the final tick. Instead, this will just add duration to the spell, similar to how Everlasting Affliction currently works.

* Curse of Agony and Curse of Doom will be converted into Bane of Agony and Bane of Doom. Bane spells are considered magic instead of curses. This means you will be able to cast one Bane (e.g. Bane of Agony) and one Curse (e.g. Curse of Elements) on a single target.

* Hellfire will no longer deal damage to the warlock.

* Imps will lose Fire Shield, but will gain a new ability, Burning Ember, which is a stacking DoT.

* The succubus melee range will be increased. The succubus will no longer have Soothing Kiss, but will instead have Whiplash, which knocks back all enemies within 8 yards.

* Voidwalker Torment will do increased damage and generate a lot of area-of-effect (AoE) threat. Suffering will become a single-target taunt.

New Talents and Talent Changes

* Pandemic will now cause Drain Soul to refresh Unstable Affliction and Bane of Agony on targets below 25% health.

* The ability Fel Domination will be removed (because Soul Burn accomplishes the same effect).

* Demonology will gain a new direct-damage spell, Demon Bolt. Demon Bolt will add a debuff that improves the damage done by the demon to the target.

* We plan to add a new talent, Impending Doom, which will give certain spells a chance to reduce the cooldown on Metamorphosis and Bane of Doom.

* Metamorphosis will no longer be subject to demonic crowd control. Furthermore, abilities available only while under the effects of Metamorphosis will be altered to put more emphasis on the warlock's own spells.

* Shadowburn will now do additional damage to targets below 25% health.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Affliction

* Spell Damage

* Spell Crit

* Shadow DoTs

Shadow DoTs: The damage caused by Shadow damage-over-time spells is increased.

Demonology

* Spell Damage

* Spell Haste

* Demon Damage

Demon Damage: The damage caused by pets and Metamorphosis is increased.

Destruction

* Spell Damage

* Spell Critical Damage

* Fire Direct Damage

Fire Direct Damage: The damage caused by Fire direct damage spells is increased.

Well that concludes this Cataclysm preview for the warlock class. The development of these changes will continue to evolve in the coming months. Please be sure to provide any feedback and thoughts you might have on what was covered here.

The changes with Hellfire, it does however suck that we are no longer given a free out of durability. Also the succubus is being given a knockback? I forsee a lot of funny hi-jinks with that. Another huge thing that they changed is the Bane of agony and Bane of Doom. No we no longer have to lose dps for keeping up elements.

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Agreed, PvP hijinks with succubus can ensue, as well as some rather interesting PvP mechanics, Instant Soul Fire, Teleport w/ Increased Speed for 8 secs and 20% more total health. Warlock PvP has become rather interesting to me again.

Metamorph no longer affected by Demon CC.

Loads of interesting spell rotations going off in my head, as well, like Conflag then 3x Soul Fires ( no shard cost anymore ) followed by Fel Fire to reset duration of immolate, then Soul Fire spamming again.

Can't wait to continue reading other ppls ideas here.

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My favorite change has to be the fact that dots can no longer be clipped, instead they just add duration.

EDIT: I read the information slightly wrong, but this still strikes me as an interesting change by lessening the negative effect of clipping dots.

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My favorite change has to be the fact that dots can no longer be clipped, instead they just add duration.

I have a feeling that if they haven't already put a cap on the amount of times this can happen, they might have to in beta, since spamming corruption on someone until they have 5 minutes worth of it sounds overpowered and annoying.

This is not how I understand it to be, they said it will work just as everlasting affliction works, meaning it will still have its max duration (added with haste as implied) but you cant continuously stack more duration by spamming a dot.

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I am really interested in how the statement, "Haste will no longer act to reduce the DoT's duration, but rather to add additional ticks." will work. Is there going to be certain haste cut-off points that will need to be acquired before you benefit from an additional tick of damage (ie. At 99 haste we receive no bonus but at 100 haste we get an additional tick) ?

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The Demon Soul Synergy dealy looks pretty rad to me. Different buffs for different pets? Might that mean if you merged with a voidwalker, you could tank? Hmm...

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A question I have is will the UA-SB combo deal damage equal to the entire effect or the effect of the spell until that point? In other words, would it be more beneficial to UA-SB while UA is near the end of its duration, or can it be done at the beginning?

A second question, is will the imp overtake the fel hunter as the number 1 pet for affliction? I did not see anything relating to a fel hound change, but an additional stacking DoT could be fairly interesting.

Edit: A third question: Forgive this one but the language for me is not entirely clear. Does the Drain Life-SB combo reduce ALL casting time by 60%, or just the channeling time of Drain Life? If it is the former, then all I really have to say is wow.

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Soul Shards not being acquired in combat has some interesting ramifications. Won't that mean that longer fights will significantly reduce a warlock's DPS? Perhaps it is their intention to greatly increase burst capability? If there are no cooldowns on activating them, 3 instant Soul Fires sounds awfully deadly.

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I am really interested in how the statement, "Haste will no longer act to reduce the DoT's duration, but rather to add additional ticks." will work. Is there going to be certain haste cut-off points that will need to be acquired before you benefit from an additional tick of damage (ie. At 99 haste we receive no bonus but at 100 haste we get an additional tick) ?

You're overthinking it. As long as the spell doesn't fall off the mob, the spell will tick at the hasted rate, eventually creating what is essentially an extra tick. All this does is stop the problem some of us have of haste effects making Corruption impossible to refresh with Haunt because the duration drops below Haunt's cooldown plus travel time.

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- Impending Doom is strange. The benefit to reduced CD on Metamorphosis is obvious, but it doesn't seem too hot for reducing the CD on Bane of Doom. If you are using BoD as part of your rotation it will already be on the boss. If Impending Doom procs the spell will be ready sooner, but you won't want to apply it over the old one. In its current form it only seems useful for boss encounters where there are two bosses (Twins, Four Horsemen, etc) and boss adds die too quickly. Perhaps they need to reduce both the CD *and* the duration of existing applications?

- Will the Imp's Burning Ember be subject to the Warlock's crit and haste values? Will Blizzard be nice enough to have it count towards our Drain Soul bonus?

- Will Torment's range be increased so a Voidwalker could be used to bunch up or (very) temporarily control adds (eg: Freya+3)? Current range is 10 yards.

- Would Searing Pain + Soul Burn be viable as a bit of burst for Destro PvE due to the massive crit boost and Searing Pain's short cast time?

- Who will be our primary targets for Dark Intent? I'm guessing Shadow Priests (DoT based DPS) and Holy Paladins (Flash Heal). If neither exist in the raid / party, who would be our secondary targets?

- The change to Shadowburn coupled with it's 15 second CD seems to be a PvP finisher rather than a PvE "Execute" style spell for Destro. Do you think that is their intent, or will they want it to be both?

- Besides suicide, when do people actually use Hellfire? I only use it to save durability damage but do people AoE farm with it or something?

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A question I have is will the UA-SB combo deal damage equal to the entire effect or the effect of the spell until that point? In other words, would it be more beneficial to UA-SB while UA is near the end of its duration, or can it be done at the beginning?

Edit: A third question: Forgive this one but the language for me is not entirely clear. Does the Drain Life-SB combo reduce ALL casting time by 60%, or just the channeling time of Drain Life? If it is the former, then all I really have to say is wow.

My suspicion is you'll trigger Soul Burn just before you cast the spell, and it will apply the effects immediately. Hence, you'll do 30% of a full-duration UA when the spell is applied with Soul Burn.

The Drain Life thing is not at all clear to me either. Hopefully they'll explain it further.

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Edit: A third question: Forgive this one but the language for me is not entirely clear. Does the Drain Life-SB combo reduce ALL casting time by 60%, or just the channeling time of Drain Life? If it is the former, then all I really have to say is wow.

It says it reduces casting speed not casting time. To me, this means it's a debuff on the target's casting while you drain, not a buff to the speed of your drain.

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- Impending Doom is strange. The benefit to reduced CD on Metamorphosis is obvious, but it doesn't seem too hot for reducing the CD on Bane of Doom. If you are using BoD as part of your rotation it will already be on the boss. If Impending Doom procs the spell will be ready sooner, but you won't want to apply it over the old one.

Yes, you will. BoD will benefit from haste, meaning it will fire in less than 60 seconds. Impending Doom will lower the cooldown such that you can cast it more often than the default cooldown (currently 60 seconds).

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It says it reduces casting speed not casting time. To me, this means it's a debuff on the target's casting while you drain, not a buff to the speed of your drain.

They do not mention a duration for the reduction. Between that and bart's suspicion (which is extremely probable), you can assume the reduction is specifically to Drain Life. The point seems to be a quick self-heal without killing DPS, which makes it very powerful for soloing or any situation where combat is sporadic.

It has nothing to do with decreasing the casting speed of an enemy. Who would honestly blow a shard on that when Warlocks already have a spammable curse that can't be interrupted?

Yes, you will. BoD will benefit from haste, meaning it will fire in less than 60 seconds. Impending Doom will lower the cooldown such that you can cast it more often than the default cooldown (currently 60 seconds).

This doesn't fit your description of the change to DoTs ticking faster, rather than having a shorter duration. Even if haste pushes it to tick once every 40 seconds, you'll only refresh it every 59.

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This doesn't fit your description of the change to DoTs ticking faster, rather than having a shorter duration. Even if haste pushes it to tick once every 40 seconds, you'll only refresh it every 59.

If you only have one tic, such as with CoD, faster dot tick is the same as shorter duration. Although I suppose with a huge amount of haste you would get 2 ticks out of it in 1 minute?

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This doesn't fit your description of the change to DoTs ticking faster, rather than having a shorter duration. Even if haste pushes it to tick once every 40 seconds, you'll only refresh it every 59.

If you only have one tic, such as with CoD, faster dot tick is the same as shorter duration. Although I suppose with a huge amount of haste you would get 2 ticks out of it in 1 minute?

Exactly. It's perfectly consistent. Faster cooldown on BoD would also allow you to refresh it earlier, without losing any duration or resetting the tick counter at all.

Let's assume you've got enough haste to make BoD tick at 40 seconds.

0:00.0 - Apply BoD

0:40.0 - BoD ticks

1:00.0 - BoD falls off, cooldown finishes.

Now, assume some Impending Doom reduction of the cooldown.

0:00.0 - Apply BoD

0:40.0 - BoD ticks

0:50.0 - BoD cooldown finishes. Reapply before 1:00.0

1:20.0 - BoD ticks again.

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When I read the description of the talent change, it brought to mind the Elemental Shaman set bonus which reduced the cooldown on Elemental Mastery by a couple seconds after spell casts. The description of Impending Doom seemed like it would function in a similar manner.

My point was basically once you've reduced the cooldown on BoD by 1-2 seconds, anything beyond that isn't really useful unless you have multiple targets to DoT.

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That's mostly true. The main advantage from Doom's perspective is greater flexibility, so you'll have more opportunity to renew the spell at a time that doesn't impact your rotation.

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I've gotten so accustomed to the current dot mechanics that I don't really think anymore about how counterintuitive they have gotten, and I'm really excited to see such a shift in our basic playstyle. Unless I'm understanding things wrong, the changes will require recasting/refreshing dots shortly before they fall off, as opposed to the current need to refresh immediately after the dot's final tick. I think this will make the warlock class, particularly affliction, a lot more "approachable" to newer players without necessarily becoming any easier to play.

One of the things I see that could use some clarification is whether BoA will use the same increasing damage mechanic that CoA currently does. If thats the case, will the damage of the hasted ticks be calculated over the duration of the dot (ticks in the first 8 seconds small, next 8 medium, last 8 large) or ramp up quickly and remain at maximum level for the remainder (first 4 ticks small, next 4 medium, rest of duration large)? On top of that, will an early refresh reset the dot to its small ticks or allow the remaining big ones to tick off?

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With the changes to refreshing dots, if you know that in a encounter that you will have to switch off the boss and kill an add for a 1 minute(think heroic Professor), couldn't you spam your dots to get a dot that to last 1 min(or whatever you need it to)? It would become humanly possible to keep 100% uptime on dots even with target switching, for long periods of time. This would push warlock dps in game much closer to what simcraft estimates.

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The PVP and PVE ramifications of the idea of stacking DoT durations indefinitely are a sign of it being too good to be true.

BTW - the new edited info about Hellfire being meant as Demo's SoC/RoF is worrying, because it requires being in melee...

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BTW - the new edited info about Hellfire being meant as Demo's SoC/RoF is worrying, because it requires being in melee...

It seems like they'll have to give demo some threat reduction for at least AoE situations (if not accross the board). AoE in melee range is a lot riskier in general with the lower aggro threshold, and emphasizing hellfire will pretty much make it manadatory to do so.

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BTW - the new edited info about Hellfire being meant as Demo's SoC/RoF is worrying, because it requires being in melee...

More like Blizzard has noticed that Demo locks like to Meta-Immoaura and stand in there. So why not make it so Hellfire works for them? If it is dangerous, I'm sure Seed and RoF aren't going to be exclusive, so you can use them when needed. If the three AoEs are going to be exclusive, then yes, worrisome. But since there was some comment about Elemental Shamans dropping Magma and the totem being teleported or some such to the target, I would think they know that meleerange is a good option, but never a good requirement for casters.

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One thing I'm curious about is Ruin and what's going to happen to it if the current Destro Mastery remains the same. If you keep Ruin the way it is, it's going to make Crit and Mastery almost the guarenteed top stats for destro because the crit damage bonus from Mastery stacked with Ruin will be impressive, to say the least. Coupled with Soul Burn+Searing pain in pvp, your crit burst potential would be ridiculous.

EDIT: If they DON'T keep Ruin, then I ponder what will become of SBolt for affliction locks? Will they eventually make ALL shadow spells besides Shadowburn in the Affliction tree and make say Pandemic increase it's crit damage or will they simply no longer allow SBolt to crit for double damage?

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