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bartolimu

Warlock Cataclysm Preview Discussion - READ THE FIRST POST

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I was/am hoping that Fel Flames has no cooldown, none was mentioned. Everyone seems to assume it will have one; I'm curious, why?

Warlocks are missing (perhaps intentionally) a direct damage spell spammable while running that doesn't have a cooldown. If it did less damage than the other filler spells it wouldn't supplant them. Spamming it to keep UA up would be a dps loss over using the proper filler, so it wouldn't make PvE or PVP "too simple," and it would be very useful.

The fact that corruption was not refreshable after the last expected tick has always seemed to be a bug to me, and I hope it won't be extended to all of the other DoT. I would have preferred if the spell would do no damage after x seconds and was non-renewable after x seconds, that the debuff would report it would last for x seconds more, instead of 18 after being renewed. I spent a few days trying to add code to quartz to reflect the correct values once, and then switched to destro as less annoying.

I don't see the changes in clipping as "simplifying the game too much," since refreshing a DoT too early will still result in a lower dps than someone who does it perfectly. Fixing it so that you can refresh a DoT after the last tick, but before the debuff drops off would improve that, making the best dps the person who waits till the last moment to extend their DoTs and getting in more filler spells per encounter.

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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.

Good for mobility does indicate spamable. The fact that it is dual-school also seems to indicate a need to be able to use it during a single school lock out. that also leans toward spamable.

Instant cast however means it isn't spamable unless it does minor damage or limited by a energy/rage/rp mechanic. Given however, that in order for it to be of any value whatsoever to demon and destructon warlocks it MUST do more damage than immolate's opener, it is unlikely to be spamable unless they plan on changing immolates mechanics as 2.5k / 5k+ crits seems a tad much.

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If there is no cooldown, baseline, then it is equally good for all three specs. Or actually less so for Demo. Aff will pop it to keep UA going, some damage is better than no damage, giving the spec some freedom to pop it slightly earlier than at 'perfect' time. This doesn't fit with the description very well.

I can't see any other possibility than it having a cooldown that is talented down somewhere. Or else there is simply not much that speaks for Affliction to have less value from it.

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I have a question on the DoT refresh that I may be missing.

If the DoT does X% damamage when it run out (thinking spells like Immoliate) what happens in Catalysm when I "clip" before he DoT reaches that last tic?

1) Does this mean the normal damage will continue and not apply the final X% damage when the DoT would have normally run out?

2) Does this mean that the end of the DoT will still exist appling the X% of damage at the nomral duration and then automatically refresh because I casted immolate again before the DoT was up?

I read through most of these but this specific detailed seemed to be missing.

Just curious how people are ready this. I hope item #2

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I have a question on the DoT refresh that I may be missing.

If the DoT does X% damamage when it run out (thinking spells like Immoliate) what happens in Catalysm when I "clip" before he DoT reaches that last tic?

1) Does this mean the normal damage will continue and not apply the final X% damage when the DoT would have normally run out?

2) Does this mean that the end of the DoT will still exist appling the X% of damage at the nomral duration and then automatically refresh because I casted immolate again before the DoT was up?

I read through most of these but this specific detailed seemed to be missing.

Just curious how people are ready this. I hope item #2

Immolate, with no haste, will last 15 seconds, and deal damage every 3 seconds.

If you re-cast immolate after 14 seconds, you'll effectively have 29 continuous seconds of immolate ticking every 3 seconds.

e.g.

0.0s = Immolate lands

3s, 6s, 9s, 12s = Immolate Ticks

14s New Immolate lands

15s, 18s, 21s, 24s, 27s = Immolate Ticks

29s = Immolate falls off

Make sense?

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Immolate, with no haste, will last 15 seconds, and deal damage every 3 seconds.

If you re-cast immolate after 14 seconds, you'll effectively have 29 continuous seconds of immolate ticking every 3 seconds.

e.g.

0.0s = Immolate lands

3s, 6s, 9s, 12s = Immolate Ticks

14s New Immolate lands

15s, 18s, 21s, 24s, 27s = Immolate Ticks

29s = Immolate falls off

Make sense?

But if it is true it would kinda force future dot clipping.

If 15s, 18s, 21s, 24s, 27s = Immolate Ticks

and 29s = Immolate fails off

then

a) If you let it fall and cast new Immolate at 29s then next Immolate will be

32s, 35s, 38s, 41s, 44s = Immolate Ticks

44s = Immolate falls off

or

b) If you clip it at 28s then

30s, 33s, 35s, 38s, 41s = Immolate Ticks

43s = Immolate falls off (but you can refresh it at 42s)

Looks like if you want immolate tick each 3s for all fight you should refresh it before it falls off.

Weird, doesn't it?

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From the paladin preview:

• Blessing of Might will provide the benefit of Wisdom as well. If you have two paladins in your group, one will do Kings on everyone and the other will do Might on everyone. There should be much less need, and ideally no need, to provide specific buffs to specific classes.

Looks like getting might on pets won't be a problem anymore. And if they are still planning to revamp the pet buff system and have them just mirror owner buffs, this just removed the only potential issue I could see, as in having to put an AP only buff on warlocks just for their pets.

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Looks like if you want immolate tick each 3s for all fight you should refresh it before it falls off.

Weird, doesn't it?

The example without haste is a bad one because the change is made to benefit haste. Any level of haste where your tick timer divides evenly into the duration will end up being the same as the current situation, refresh-wise.

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... and the only reason affliction would use it if they have to move a lot or in pvp.

Regardless of FF's CD, Affl will want to use Fel Flame instead of refreshing UA manually for 2 reasons:

  1. FF is instant while UA is casted. Regardless of whether you move or not, instant > cast (even when unhasted cast time is 1.5sec, the speed of an unhasted GCD).
  2. In addition to resetting the duration of UA's DoT, it will do some damage instantly. Some damage is preferable to no damage by refreshing UA via casting UA.

The only* thing keeping FF from becoming an always-on-CD spell, regardless of CD length, for every warlock spec is FF's DPCT. If FF's DPCT is less than the DPCT of the instant portion of Immolate for Demo/Destro, then demo/destro locks will continue refreshing Immolate the old fashioned way, if FF's DPCT is higher, then demo/destro locks will join UA locks in using FF on CD, only delaying until their current debuff (Immo or UA) is about to expire.

*: This assumes Blizzard fixes the rolling issues with DoTs so that manually refreshing vs. rolling will not be necessary to add proc modifiers like NMIC, 4pt10, TotT, etc.

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I think it is safe to assume crit and damage modifier rolling must be fixed. Otherwise Destro locks will simply wait for a Emp Imp proc and keep an Immolate rolling with 100% crit rate for the entire fight.

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One of the most important considerations though, as mentioned earlier, is in fact that it would be unbalanced in pvp, to be able to refresh unstable affliction with an instant cast, that has no cooldown, that uses two spellschools (you would have to lock out a fire spell AND a shadow spell to prevent an affliction warlock from casting it). This alone convinces me that FF will not be without a cooldown.

Blizzard also stated they wanted it to be a demonology spell; it would indeed make sense if it was talented to reduce the cooldown in demonology, and it would fit the longer immolate duration. If immolate duration remains at 24 seconds, perhaps it will be talented down from a 30sec cooldown to 20 or 22 seconds, as an example.

With a larger cooldown like this, it would not be used simply to keep the dots rolling constantly, but would refresh UA while providing damage, or immolate, if its damage is high enough to be worth casting like this. Demonology, on the other hand, would be usable to refresh immolate, always. Perhaps talents would even buff its damage so that it would always be used on cooldown.

On the subject of hellfire being dangerous, as we would have to move into melee, it is no more dangerous than AoE'ing as a demonology lock is currently, surely? The best damage we can do AoE'ing is to move in and immolation aura, before casting our AoEs. So, doesn't this just become a matter of waiting for tanks to get solid aggro, or standing back and using something inferior?

As it is currently, rain of fire is buffed for destruction through empowered imp proccs, while affliction has plenty of talents that boost SoC. They are already much better for the other specs than for demonology, and blizzard have not stated that they wanted to make SoC/RoF unusable for demonology, just as while SoC is afflictions AoE, destruction *can* still use it, if the situation calls for it.

I am interested in how the shadowburn change will affect things; will it be usable at execute range, perhaps? It has a shorter range than other spells, at the moment, so perhaps that would change, or it may just become an awkward execute.

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As it is currently, rain of fire is buffed for destruction through empowered imp proccs, while affliction has plenty of talents that boost SoC. They are already much better for the other specs than for demonology, and blizzard have not stated that they wanted to make SoC/RoF unusable for demonology, just as while SoC is afflictions AoE, destruction *can* still use it, if the situation calls for it.

It has been shown that Seed of Corruption is better than RoF for all specs. Also, Empowered Imp works for spells outside of the destruction school, including Seed of Corruption.

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My guess is that Fel Flame will have a rather long cooldown, if not longer than 15 seconds. I don't think it will be intended to have us use a spell designed for Demonology and Destruction to refresh Unstable Affliction.

Also, it's rather funny how warlocks have been pretty much the only caster without an instant nuke up until now, only to get two at once (including Shadowburn). Maybe the latter one will finally be used in the Destruction rotation...?

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I think the clarification on channel duration can be extrapolated to explain how things will work for DoTs/HoTs as well.

From the WoW Damage Dealing Forums:

It's probably more accurate to say that the haste will lower the duration until you earn a whole additional tick, at which point the duration will go back up again (but with more damage / healing because of that extra tick). Getting more haste will never be a bad thing, but there will be break points where haste is more valuable than others. You should also never want to cancel the spell early.

This is definitely one of those cases where we'll have to see how it feels, but it is more intuitive when you're actually casting spells in the game than it might sound on paper.

and from the WoW Healing Forums:

We didn't explain this very well in the chat.

The answer we were trying to give was that "channels won't just get shorter and shorter the more haste you get." But a more complete answer is that hasted channels will get shorter until you get a whole additional tick, at which point the duration will go back up again. We don't want to do partial ticks or things like that because they encourage you to just recast the spell.

Assuming the above and Everlasting Affliction resetting the duration of Corruption after the next tick, then to maximize UA DPS, locks will want to refresh UA:

  • before the last UA damage tick
  • by Satisfying the equation: Time Remaining to Last UA DoT tick + Hasted UA Full Duration < 15sec

I feel like this goes against the "DoT Simplification" given to Locks in their class preview (DoTs cannot clip, but are reset with a mechanic similar to Everlasting Affliction). In my opinion, that window to refresh UA is hardly fluid nor intuitive, which I thought were design goals of the "DoT Simplification".

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What I got from the blue posts was duration of channels will go down while tick count will remain the same. Once there's enough haste to get 1 extra tick in the original duration, you gain 1 extra tick, start over with duration reduction but with ticks + 1.

This would also work nicely for dots, also not allowing any kind of dead time (it expires as soon as last tick does damage). So for example Drain Soul would fluctuate between 12.5 and 15 the first time then 12.86 and 15 for getting the 7th tick and so on.

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There appears to be a double hit tax on haste now, at least with dots.

Example

Haste takes you to 2.75 second ticks for UA

0.0 First Cast UA

2.75 UA tick

5.5 UA tick

8.25 UA tick

11 UA tick

13.75 UA tick

15 UA duration ends.

16.5 UA tick

Assuming a mob doesn't die, you only gain value from haste on the UA above if your UA ticks at 16.5. The only way to do that is to roll the hit dice again and reapply the dot. Of course if you are doing that between 13.75 and 15 seconds and you miss, the duration of UA ends and you lose the tick timer. As such the value of a dots haste is subjected to 2 hit rolls rather than just 1.

Also, you can still clip your dots under this new system

Haste takes you to 2.5

ticks at 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15

duration ends at 15. If you refresh at any time before 15, your second UA will only have 5 ticks rather than 6. Given that your haste will change due to eradication, bloodlust, trinkets, etc. you won't know the optimal time to refresh your dots. Moreover, because you may be prevented by being mid cast in something else, you are going to be playing guessing games on whether its best to cast a 2 second SB and lose the haste on the tick timer when a dot falls off, or lose a tick due to the early refresh of the durational timer.

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Also, it's rather funny how warlocks have been pretty much the only caster without an instant nuke up until now, only to get two at once (including Shadowburn). Maybe the latter one will finally be used in the Destrucion rotation...?

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

I believe it will become a long awaited execute spell (think Kill Shot, Hammer of Wrath, Execute) for Destruction.

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having the cooldown being longer than UA would be nonsensical. as every other time you'd need to recast UA. this would defeat the purpose of the spell. 15sec wouldn't improve mobility at all. my guess is it will be a low dps mobility filler spell probably like a 3sec cool down. it will prob be dmg vs moving trade off.

with the changes to other classes this sort of spell will be absolutely necessary..... as hunter get a range dmg taken reduction skill, paladins and ferals get an interrupt, dks get a spell reflect and warriors get that jumping in the air aoe stun before they land skill..... they put the running and inst fel fire for a reason.

No, it wouldn't. As mentioned before by Blizzard, they mean to incorporate Fel Flame into Destruction and Demonology, not Affliction. The fact that that it refreshes UA might as well be just an added bonus to add some synergy to our Affliction repertoire, but most probably not meant to be included as part of our rotation. It only makes sense that the cooldown will be equal or higher than UA's duration in order to have Affliction warlocks use it as an emergency refresh when we cannot stop to cast, be it PvE or PvP.

I bet the last thing they want is an Affliction warlock refreshing a dispel-protected DoT every 3 seconds while running away.

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* 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.

Curious if this ability is intended to replace Shadow Bolt so that each spec has it's very own primary nuke or whether this ability would solely be used to maintain the debuff. Personally I would much prefer the former...

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Curious if this ability is intended to replace Shadow Bolt so that each spec has it's very own primary nuke or whether this ability would solely be used to maintain the debuff. Personally I would much prefer the former...

Unless the uptime on the +pet damage debuff is short (under or just above the cast+travel time of the DD) then I suspect it will be rotated as necessary to maintain the debuff as near 100% as possible. Who knows, demon bolt may have a CD longer than the duration of the debuff, which will preclude the ability to maintain 100% debuff uptime, but I doubt it.

Instead, I believe that demon bolt will be similar to haunt: horrible DPCT by itself, but the benefit it gives will make it worth it's cast. This leads to the expected cast frequency of DB: as little as possible to maintain debuff uptime as near to 100% as possible.

But I'll end by asking, why did demonology get another nuke? It already uses the most cast-time nukes out of any lock spec.

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But I'll end by asking, why did demonology get another nuke? It already uses the most cast-time nukes out of any lock spec.

Well I don't think Demo Locks will be casting Incinerate even when Molten Core procs because Soul Fire will cost no shards at any stage of a fight, so that is one less nuke. Because of the Soul Shard changes affecting the cost of Soul Fire though I expect that the whole current system (Molten Core, Decimation) to get quite a big overhaul. Who knows, maybe Soul Fire will be the primary nuke for Demo Locks...

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Well I don't think Demo Locks will be casting Incinerate even when Molten Core procs because Soul Fire will cost no shards at any stage of a fight, so that is one less nuke. Because of the Soul Shard changes affecting the cost of Soul Fire though I expect that the whole current system (Molten Core, Decimation) to get quite a big overhaul. Who knows, maybe Soul Fire will be the primary nuke for Demo Locks...

I don't imagine Soul fire will be cast without decimation.

Right now this where the BiS numbers are:

Soul Fire's DPET - 12748

Incinerates DPET - 11617

Shadowbolts DPET - 9435

Given that the Soul Fire has all MC procs sub 35% included in its DPET, its non MC DPET will be lower. Then you are trading 40% haste for 18% damage and 15% crit. Also keep in mind that the longer cast on SF means that its more likely that you won't get to use all the MC charges before they either fall off or get refreshed.

I do think something has to change though because based on what is known we are now up to a pretty long list of standard combat abilities

1) curse

2) bane of doom (which is proposed at being more than once per minute for demon)

3) immolate

4) fel flame

5) corruption

6) demon bolt

7) shadow bolt

8) incinerate

9) soul fire

10) Demonic empowerment

11) metamorphosis

12) immolation aura

13) demon soul

14) hellfire (demon aoe)

15) shadowburn (as a possible option thanks to extra talent points)

and then we haven't even hit the utility buff/stuff that you might need in combat

16) dark intent

17-20) soul burn + spells

21) demon circle

22) demon portal

23) death coil

24) fear

25) banish

27) health stone

28) potion

etc...

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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.

In fact, it's worse than how you describe. You will actually *lose* dps if you do not clip! Because the DoT is now a constant duration, while the ticks have any arbitrary interval, you will always end up with a "useless" fraction of DoT in the end. If you do not refresh before the DoT expires, you lose that fraction and your new application will start counting from 0 again. However, if you do clip the existing DoT, you will have gained the time before your new application. You will overlay a small part that is not used, though. Example:

Assume 15 second UA and hasted 2 second ticks.

This means you are left with 1 second at the end that will not do any damage, unless you clip it to extend the duration.

Let's say you clip at 14.5 seconds with an identically hasted UA.

The result is that the next damage tick will happen 1.5 seconds into your new application. You've taken advantage of 0.5 seconds of the last 1.0 second tick from the previous application. You want to clip as late as possible to maximize DPS.

So in reality, instead of losing DPS if you clip, like today, you will lose DPS if you fail to clip even by a millisecond. It becomes more like Haunt, but unlike Haunt where missing to clip costs a percentage of damage on existing DoTs until next Haunt is applied, you will now lose the fraction tick fully, which will be approximately half a tick on average. And this applies to all DoTs individually.

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That is easily solved, if Blizzard want it to be. They simply need assert that clipping a dot early adds the 'clipped' duration to the tick duration, within a certain maximum time window (e.g 2 seconds). This would give a 2 second window where it would make no difference exactly when the dot landed, so long as it was within this window, and not too early or too late.

Taking a 15 second UA with 2 second ticks as above, your timeline could look as follows:

0: UA lands

14.5: new UA lands. 0.5 seconds which were clipped are added to 15 sec duration, giving 15.5 more seconds of UA

30: second UA drops off. Total 15 ticks.

Or

0: UA lands

13.5: new UA lands. 1.5 seconds which were clipped are added to 15 sec duration, giving 16.5 more seconds of UA

30: second UA drops off. Total 15 ticks.

This would prevent DPCT being an issue, so late refreshing would no longer be encouraged. You would still lose the extra tick fraction should the dot drop off, but given that you're no longer needing to clip late this wouldn't be an issue.

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Demon Bolt Speculation

There's already a preliminary version of Demon Bolt on the alpha: LINK

Apparently it's a dual-school (Shadow / Fire) spell that casts an 8 second debuff which causes the target to take 30% more damage from your pet, with a 2.5 second cast time and a 12 second cooldown. I'm not sure how big the damage is, though a quick comparison to Chaos Bolt gives us an identical cast time and cooldown, and a similar base damage (although the coefficient could still be anything)

Since it has a cooldown, it's obviously not something that will replace a filler spell, but rather something you just weave into your rotation to maintain the debuff. The dual-school aspect is interesting from a PvP perspective though, if the preview implication of dual-school spells being immune to lockouts is to be believed.

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