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D1RE March 02, 2011 01:48 PM

The current state of Warlocks...
... and my attempt to convey it to the general majority.

Hello everyone, D1RE here. I've become a fairly active member of this board lately, offering my thoughts and advice where I think I have something to contribute. Lately it seems people have largely lost their interest in playing their Warlock, mainly in PvP. A lot of people even go as far as claiming we're broken or useless, in this post I will give you my opinion on how we currently do and more importantly, why we're where we are. There will no tl;dr here, if you're not interested in reading the entire post and reply based on that, I'd rather you didn't post here.

General PvP and how Warlocks fare: We're currently one of the few pure DPS classes with two very viable PvP speccs and a third that, while not on the level of the first two, can still perform very well. Our damage output is amazing, our cc options are some of the best in the game and we can easily put out great pressure to single or multiple targets. In the hands of a skilled player, the Warlock is a mass-murdering maniac who not only considers genocide a great hobby, but his purpose in life.

In the hands of a novice however, things are different. Warlocks are glass cannons. While not as bad as hunters, the survivability of Warlocks outside of an Arena environment is awful. We have few defensive cooldowns and our selfhealing is downright terrible. Without considerable amounts of resilience a Warlock is very easy to kill because while we used to be the class benefitting the most from longer battles, we're now at the other end of the spectrum. That isn't to say that we can't drag out and win long battles, but with a severely gimped self healing and the removal of drain mana, we're not the outlasting class we used to be.

This changed two things: The class is much less forgiving of mistakes. The damage you take sticks and long battles are much less favorable, forcing the Warlock to embrace a much more aggressive play style. This is a change for many players because we used to be quite comfortable kiting, doting and fearing. A majority of the damage we took would be passively healed through and not a big worry. Wearing down an opponent was easily our best option in many cases. With the change to Fel Armor this tactic took a severe hit and combined with how much self healing was given out to other classes in this expansion most attempts at fear, dot and kite now fail. It also meant the Affliction specc took a pretty huge hit in world PvP and bg's, while Warlocks in general are all but dead in 2v2.

The Demonology spec however still shines quite brightly in battlegrounds, world PvP and duels. While the Fel Armor nerf was certainly noticeable, it affects the spec less because the play style is much more aggressive in nature and the toolbox is much better designed for taking out targets quickly and without letting them do much to you. The spec has amazing aoe potential and I've often found myself taking out 3-4 and sometimes up to 5 targets with a single healer backing me up, even if they had healers of their own. Duels are also a lot more manageable because the active mitigation combined with the burst potential and the ability to almost completely lock down a single target means that most classes are still beatable. A few hours ago I kicked the ass of a mouthy 2.2k rated Holy Paladin (we can still beat healers, they just take ****ing forever to die).

For 3v3 Arena we're arguably the best caster in the game at the moment. The burst of the Demonology spec and the pressure of the Affliction spec are both unrivaled and we come equipped with fear, arguably the best cc in the game (especially combined with UA). We have great synergy with almost every class and we have access to more setups than I care to list, many of them capable of taking rank 1 this season.

However, as any other class we do have our own problems. The most notable one was actually created last patch, we lost the ability to manage our mana effectively in PvP because our health regeneration was hit so badly. While I'm not a huge fan of comparing mechanics between classes because they work so differently, this is a place where I believe a comparison to mages is valid. They to rely on mana, but unlike a Warlock which will have to tap into his health pool when he is running low, a Mage will never run low. They don't have to think about it even, their mana is passively regenerated by an armor which also reduces the duration of all magical effects on them. I'm not a huge fan of crying for nerfs or whining about other classes, but how this mechanic can be deemed fine and our health regeneration was revoked is so far beyond the world in which I live that I can not even begin to comprehend it, but I digress.

Another issue we currently have is that pets are not scaling or even operating the way they are supposed to (or should, at least). Hand of Gul'dan is bugged, the Felguard is doing far too little damage, the Fel Hunter is essentially stuck with 1 working ability and Destruction suffers from either using a pet that has no synergy with their spec or a pet that lacks the utility a pet offers for the other two specs. Destruction and Demonology suffer from a lack of dispel protection and Afflictions dispel protection could use a buff as well.

Solutions? Well, as I’m only a player of this game and not a developer, nothing I say will actually happen because I say it. I can voice my opinion, but quite frankly doing so any other place than here feels like a waste because I’m sad to say that both the MMO champion forums and the official Blizzard forums are infested with trolls, clueless players and just plain stupid people, they also suffer from a severe lack of moderation. Still, the easy way to fix up the class currently would be to buff the dispel protection from UA by simply increasing its damage by a good 50%.

Demonology and Destruction are a bit tougher, but the easiest solutions I see here is to give the “Improved immolate” talent an additional effect: “When immolate is dispelled the target (not the dispeller) takes 50%/100% of the spells total damage.” This would give the specs a dispel protection that fit better with their concept and play style. Another fix that is desperately needed is for the Felguard to have his scaling with intellect buffed. He should gain at least 10% more attack power from our intellect, so as to stay ahead of the other pets in damage. This would also be a fairly painless way to improve the damage output of Demonology in PvE and it wouldn’t hurt our mobility. The Fel Armor change should also be reverted, for three reasons: Firstly, the change itself was hypocritical as ****. “We don’t balance around 2v2 or duels” and then change a mechanic that was only relevant in those scenarios is a move that I don’t think even Fox News would dare pull (okay, maybe they would). Secondly because the health/mana mechanic of Warlocks is far too important to be ****ed over like that and then ignored and thirdly, because the massive amount of self healing introduced into this game with Cataclysm means Warlocks are far from being the pure with the best self healing, yet the toolbox we’re given largely depends on us being able to outlast opponents.

These are of course all just my opinion, but I do like to think that I know our beloved class pretty well. This is written as a player that only plays this one class in any sort of endgame scenario, but who has experienced all parts of the endgame, though maybe not the current.

Sincerely yours,
- D1RE

* Credentials: Battlemaster, 2.3k rated in 2v2, 2.2k rated in 3v3 and I did 10/12 heroic bosses in ICC 25 while that was still relevant content. I also know the Cho’gall fight very well, as I was subbed in a few nights there while our guild was still working on progress there. Sad to say, I wasn’t there for the kill.

Scathbais March 02, 2011 02:05 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...
TL, I did read actually . Why do you have a problem with Fox News?BD

D1RE March 02, 2011 02:07 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...
Hey Fox, there are no palm trees in Madison, WI! Video shows angry protesters in front of palm trees : politics

Scathbais March 02, 2011 02:29 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...
That link doesn't show anything related to Fox, just disparaging remarks and a link to union thugs harassing protesters in Sacramento.

Got something else?

[EDIT] found a link in your link pointing to fox. the part showing the teamster shoving someone was called "union protests". Im going to fox news to see if i can find the whole segment. not just the part that was interpreted as lies. back soon]

The moral of this story: If you want people to focus on your main ideas, don't add additional, completely unrelated ones that will detract from it. :rolleyes:

D1RE March 02, 2011 02:32 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...
Fox News is well known for twisting facts and lying through their teeth, that was my point. Also, click the link in the header of the link I posted to see what they are talking about.

Scathbais March 02, 2011 02:44 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...

Originally Posted by D1RE (Post 338275)
Fox News is well known for twisting facts and lying through their teeth, that was my point. Also, click the link in the header of the link I posted to see what they are talking about.

Dude, you believe something from

Did you LISTEN to the video? At 0.12 into the video, the guy being interviewed said "not just Wisconsin, but a lot of surrounding states. I talked to someone from California......"

Tell me now, honestly. Is fox lying by showing a segment from Sacramento California when the guy being interviewed is talking about California?

Please listen to the video and come back and comment. Tell me truthfully if fox is lying.

D1RE March 02, 2011 04:03 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...
Look, I'd love to take this debate with you and if you want to we can, but let's do it in another thread then, shall we?

Emarisea March 02, 2011 06:13 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...

Originally Posted by D1RE (Post 338263)
but the easiest solutions I see here is to give the “Improved immolate” talent an additional effect: “When immolate is dispelled the target (not the dispeller) takes 50%/100% of the spells total damage.”

I really liked this idea when you mentioned it in another post. It doesnt really effect pve damage, but is something needed for Destro pvp. I think 100% dmg might be a bit OP, but this additional effect is along the right lines. Do you think that this is necessarily something Demo needs as well?

TPMdm March 02, 2011 06:16 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...
yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it FauxNews and CNN stands for Communist News Network. Both sides lie, CNN just has more credibility because they've been doing it longer. I personally don't care for either and don't get me started on the most biased of them all, MSNBC gah! There is a hammer and sickle in their logo somewhere I just can't find it.

D1RE March 02, 2011 06:17 PM

Re: The current state of Warlocks...
I don't see demo needing that specific buff to make it as competetive in arena as it should be, but it does need something and this would be an easy solution to many problems.

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