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Upcoming Affliction Simplification


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#41 DiamondTear

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:03 PM

Through classic raiding, and up until we started Black Temple (more or less) I was always Affliction. One of the things I really liked about it was the mobility it offered. Haunt and Shadow Embrace have pretty much made Affliction the complete opposite now. I don't have a problem with the rotation and the different duration of DoTs relative to each other. It's the loss of mobility I'd like to see changed.


Even during Heigan dance you have time to refresh haunt, because the cast time is so short. During other bosses it should be easy to find time to cast it during the 4-6 sec window you get.

#42 pelux

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 08:47 PM

Competitive affliction DPS requires that Shadow Embrace and Haunt are kept on the target at all times. Having Haunt itself be one of the only 2 spells that applies Shadow Embrace means that missing a Haunt can easily lead to both debuffs dropping.

I'd like to see the Shadow Embrace debuff application added to more affliction effects.

Edit.: I'm not necessarily referring to a miss due to lack or appropriate HIT rating but also movement and various environmental effects which can prevent the timely reapplication of Haunt.

#43 rutiene

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:18 AM

It's fine now because the content is no more difficult than hogger. Once we actually start to get challenging content, affliction's lack of simplicitiy will become far more of a hinderance. Regardless, there isn't much point in debating if, since it's already been decided that it's going to be simplified.


It's not even about simplicity. I can keep my dots on as long as I can cast them, even if hell is breaking loose. 50 attempts of 3 Drake Sartharion with no flame wall or fissure mistakes has shown that. It's about the fact that 30% of our dps is tied to two cast time spells. On 3 drake Sartharion, even while maintaining as perfect of a rotation as I can manage, I can never break top 3. And yet, for the more simple fights in Naxxaramas, I'm almost always first. I definitely think this is will be the downfall of Affliction.

The problem will also get worse because we have always scaled worse than most (read: melee) classes with gear.

#44 Rhod

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:26 AM

I'd prefer haunt to be more of a "focus" effect. There are many fights where there is a dps switch or a reordering of damage priority (Sarth, 4Horse, etc.) but there is a huge "ramp up" time problem with affliction in that UA and Haunt are both big chunks of our damage. Why isn't haunt tied into our pet or simply our target? The effect is applied to the target as long as either our pet or our focus is on the target increasing dots on that target by 20%. If we dot up another target, we can switch the focus to another target quickly by simply putting the pet on another target or switching focus.

The best example I can give is hunter's mark (usuable on one target, fast to put up and switch, provides a damage boost). I'd also like to see a warlock synergy with it in that each warlock can put it up on a target and affect all dots by a smaller precentage (10%?). Thus, we are once again a debuffing class and, with a little coordination, can boost our fellow warlock's damage. Also, through working together multiple locks could keep the buff up on all targets at once drastically increasing the damage of coordinated warlocks and multi-DoT management.

Furthermore, this makes affliction a bit more interesting for PVP with faster switching and focusing of damage.

#45 Kana

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:20 PM

Making all dots refresh themselves doesn't really solve the problem. It lets people who struggle with running the cycle do a little better, but the spec would still want to avoid clipping as much as possible to allow more nuke time. Same thing for blocking clipping; the fundamental cycle won't change, only the consequences of being suboptimal at running it will.

I think the most likely solution is giving affliction something like Glyph of Scourge Strike, either via talent or via Glyph of Haunt. Giving haunt a 50 percent chance to refresh each affliction debuffs on the target would cut a lot of what makes affliction's cycle difficult, without losing the variability that makes it fun. Maybe increase UA and immolate to 18 second durations, too, so that you'll have more than one chance to refresh them. Unfortunately that doesn't remove the need for timers, which seems like the main thrust of the dev's problem with affliction.

#46 TangoDigital

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:15 PM

I think the single, by far most effective change they could do is the implementation of a really decent DoT monitor UI Element. Something along the the lines of the DKs rune display, but movable and a little more "in your face". It should have very clear and easily readable indicators and sounds for when your DoTs are up, when they are about to fade and when they are removed and/or run out.

This would make playing affliction much less of a hassle, which is (IMO) the main reason people view it as "hard" to play. It would also benefit every class and spec in the game that actually uses DoT spells.
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#47 marano

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:58 PM

- I think shadow embrace should have 1 stack (but with the effect of the current 2 stacks) and should be triggered/refreshed by: SB and by drain SOUL.

- Haunt should be instant and replenish mana rather than health. This would reduce the times we need to life tap, thereby making our rotation simpler. If you haven't noticed, Affliction is very mana consuming.

- UA should be instant and refresh SL

- Immolate should not make part of our rotation. Affliction should be about shadow. This would also free up that weird point in MC.

- The talent grim reach should be removed and our Affliction spells should have a vaster range natively.

- ISB should affect ALL shadow damage! (This has nothing to do with simplifying our rotation, but I just felt like getting it off my chest)

- They should make 3/3 eradication not a waste of talents by decreasing the internal cooldown.

The initial rotation would be: SB (SE triggered)- haunt - UA - corr - coa - SL - sb*x
Following rotations would be: haunt (corr refreshed) - UA (SL refreshed) - coa - sb*x

One other thing that has been bugging me for a while: They shouldn't force us to use our pets... The demo tree should be the tamagotchi tree, not the aff and destro tree. Oh well, that was off topic, sorry...

#48 Nachtschaduw

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 04:10 AM

Well especially a haunt that doesn't require travel time (or at least a lot less, maybe 0.5 sec) and adding 2 seconds to CoA would end up making affli a lot more simple, another option is adding siphon life as a passive talent that applies to your corruption.

Another thing is making immolate useless for affli of which I am quite a fan, it is excellent dps, but as a fire spell it isn't "right" to be in a rotation of all shadow spells. Granted on that, immolate is just so nice to time with UA.

Having haunt replace immo in this case would really help out.

#49 Nachtschaduw

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 04:14 AM

I think the best thing that would improve Affliction would be to add a new filler spell that was either 1.5 casting time, or even better, a channeled spell like Drain Life. To me, it's always been the odd casting time of SB that's made maintaining dot rotations annoying.


As far as I have read the idea is to keep channeled spells to shadow priests to keep them a little unique.

#50 Nachtschaduw

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 04:29 AM

Also, instant haunt and UA would have a too big of an impact for pvp from a dev standpoint.

#51 Fatsummoner

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 05:33 AM

Though with all the boosts that resilience offers in PvP, dots aren't as powerful as say a 7k hit. I don't think that having all instant dots would affect PvP as much as one would think.

#52 Kana

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 07:34 AM

Instant haunt would make it arcane barrage with a heal component.

Which would be awesome, but barrage is already pretty ridiculous. Can't see it happening.

#53 Vid

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:00 AM

- I think shadow embrace should have 1 stack (but with the effect of the current 2 stacks) and should be triggered/refreshed by: SB and by drain SOUL.


I agree; one of these two changes should be implemented. It's nigh impossible to keep both stacks of SE up sub 25% without losing major dps, unless you get a nightfall proc as you're refreshing dots. Either one of these two ideas would work well to address that problem, though implementing both would be redundant.

As for the talk of combining or eliminating dots: How would we feel about SL having its functionality and damage merged into UA? For starters, it seems a little ridiculous that our weakest dot eats up a glyph slot. This change, by substantially increasing UA ticks, would also help afflocks make more use of crit, through harder hitting Pandemic procs.
I don't pvp, but it seems like this might also help with some of the issues (ie: total brokenness) that locks are dealing with in pvp. By combining both dots with pvp functionality into one, whether an instant or 1.5sec cast, it would free up some casting/movement time. The risk, I suppose, would be that deep affliction (especially with an instant haunt) might become the only viable pvp spec. Still an improvment over no viable pvp specs.

#54 NykylaiHellray

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:33 AM

There was some mention of a curse system redesign. As this is probably one of the most cluttered aspects of warlocks.

If i remember it was in regards to a suggestion of merging curses (or giving them all the curse of agony damage effect), on which Ghostcrawler took note and mentioned it was an interesting idea.

As for the idea of Siphon Life merged into another affliction spell. I would prefer the suggeston of having it be a dot which is applied everytime corruption is applied/refreshed. Only because unlike UA its a spell we have from the onset.

#55 gravemindwarlock

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 11:36 AM

Without having to actually alter the current spell selection, they could incorporate a new mechanic into the conjured Spellstone item. Currently giving increased DoT damage, giving it the ability to refresh a DoT every 30ish seconds (first one cast within that timeframe). Considering a 15 second timeframe for each rotation stage, every second stage would have it's first spell refreshed, most likely Haunt. A sustained Haunt would, as previously mentioned, prevent the Warlock from casting a low DPS move, even though the effect it gives is substantial.
The only problem I could see is the timing of the refresh, as it could throw off your rotations if a spell was missed. This is especially true on fights that require movement or other events.

#56 Atomos

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 01:13 PM

Honestly, I believe that they have already implemented enough changes to ease the need for DoT timers. It results in perhaps slightly less DPS, but that's the way it should be - the higher the DPS, the tougher it should be to get to that point. Right?

Consider the following priority lists:

1. Corruption during double-trinket proc and all spell buffs/debuffs stacked. Corruption damage is not rechecked when refreshed as a result of Everlasting Affliction, so when you can get an extra 1055 spellpower from your trinkets (assuming IoDS and Dying Curse) and 4-piece T7 proc, an extra 17-20% spellpower and 17-20% crit from caster raid buffs/debuff, and a multiplicative 51% overall damage increase from Haunt, Shadow Embrace and Death's Embrace, you could well be increasing your overall DPS 20% just by manually refreshing your Corruption at the right time.
2. Haunt - This gives by far your best DPS-related debuff, and is a decent nuke while you're at it. Recast it before the debuff breaks every time (it can be done in most situations). This should be what keeps your Corruption up in all but the most unusual of circumstances.
3. Unstable Affliction/Immolate - By casting Unstable Affliction and Immolate in succession, the dots end in time with each other. This set of DoTs will cause the second greatest DPS and are important to keep in the rhythm of your priority. By separating this set with an extra SB the first time, you will be able to increase your Haunt uptime percent.
4. Curse of Agony/Siphon Life - Similarly, with improved Curse of Agony, these two dots last the same period of time, and should be cast together. Also, if cast after UA/Immolate, this will rotate cleanly after every two casts of the UA/Immolate group (unless Haunt interrupts it).
5. Life Tap - When all of your afflictions are up, and you've used enough mana to not fill up entirely with one life tap, cast it (and only once!). This allows your Fel Armor to regen your health as you cover the rest of the buffs (most healers will still overheal you though), as well as procs your T7 4-piece. It's not a bad idea to tap this right before popping your trinket and following through on priority 1, even if you aren't getting mana out of it.
6. Shadow Bolt - When everything is up and you have an extra 5-6 seconds, this is your spam buttion. Know it. Love it. Use it. But know that this spell does less damage per cast than any of your DoTs (even Siphon Life all by itself).

As you can see, Haunt unfortunately breaks up what is otherwise a manageable (I can't call it easy) rotation. If the current priority list results in frustration for you, or you need more flexibility during your fight, consider the following priority list:
1. Corruption
2. UA/Imo (cast a Haunt and 1-2 SB after this to ease timing when you first put your DoTs up)
3. CoA/SL
4. LT (once again, if you'd get a couple of extra casts out of it from the extra mana)
5. Haunt/SB

The Haunt debuffs will not be able to be counted on at all times, but they will be available consistently enough to keep Corruption running. You may wish in the rotation above to use this macro:

/castsequence reset=4 Haunt, Shadow Bolt, Shadow Bolt

Edited: (I suck at macros, and generally don't use them unless I absolutly need to, so the old one was totally wrong).

This will give you one less button to concern yourself with during the fight... Maybe a new place to put your Soulshatter :-)

On a side note, if you are required to fulfill the 13% spell damage debuff (no Balance Druid or Ebon Plaguebringer DK), this will not be an end-all DPS killer for you. In fact, chances are so long as there are at least two or three other casters in the group, CoE will be a net DPS buff for your group - not to mention you'll have an extra 2 seconds in the minute to cast an extra shadow bolt.

One strategy that I need to test at some point is using CoD instead of CoA. While it requires one less UCD and less attention during DoT rotation, it does not help keep the Molten Core proc up (you already have 3 shadow dots and some Haunt/SBs proccing it, so no big worries there), but more importantly does not benefit from many of the damage-increasing buffs we can apply to CoA. It also results in an extra second of DPS time every two minutes, meaning the resulting rotation from the priority list may oscillate a little more than desirable, perhaps resulting in a missed/clipped DoT. As a result, I theorize that CoA will actually provide more DPS, but I cannot confirm this.

I'm new to the theorycrafting world (this is my first post!), so I am incredibly supportive of any constructive criticism you may offer - or statistic evidence to back this up. Eight buttons (seven with macro) , with two pairs always cast in succession and the third nearly always. A priority list of five sets of abilites is quite manageable, especially given that Destro locks (the nearest comparison) are also rotating a priority list of five sets (CoA, Imo, CB, Inc, Conf/SF*3). And you don't even have to consistently burn shards to do it!

#57 DiamondTear

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:31 PM

(no Balance Druid or Elemental Shammy)


You mean an unholy DK, not an elemental shammy.

#58 Nachtschaduw

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 04:22 PM

Apart from the simplification I would love any trinket procs etc affect DoTs that already are ticking, also make them crit baseline instead of us having to invest 3 talent points in a hotfix.

#59 Darkstarrz

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 06:13 PM

I really just think they should make dots last longer to leave us with more shadowbolt uptime. The rotations are fine, but I do agree there is alot to manage, and I would not be able to do it without a dot timer, I'm not gonna lie. I think making dots longer durations or even having haunt renew another dot could definately simplify the affliction rotation. Having to rely on an addon though is somewhat of an annoyance, and I think blizzard will hopefully make a good decision on this topic.

#60 Atomos

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 07:06 PM

You mean an unholy DK, not an elemental shammy.


Entirely right, edited for content. Totally what I get for posting that content in the middle of the night.




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