Affliction Warlock Feedback

(Xoja) #1621
A little off topic here but I don’t think Blizz allocates development resources to this game like they used to.

There was a time we had a dev that was dedicated to the Warlock class that took feedback and interacted with Warlocks that played the game.

Now the specs are split up between devs. Don’t even know who works on Destro but it seems that Seph works on Affliction and Nimox works on Demo, or at least they are the ones posting about them.

And yet, despite this, Warlock specializations feel very homogenized in terms of damage mechanics (build and spend).

Class development seems very stagnant. Communication is very low considering the community response to class design. Classes seem to be in maintenance mode because artifact designs are more important.

The passion seems to be gone. Some of the players seem more passionate about class design than the developers do.

(Jessail) #1622
11/14/2018 10:33 AMPosted by Xoja
And yet, despite this, Warlock specializations feel very homogenized in terms of damage mechanics (build and spend).

That pretty much describes almost all DPS specs except for mages now.

(Xoja) #1623
11/14/2018 11:36 AMPosted by Jessail
11/14/2018 10:33 AMPosted by Xoja
And yet, despite this, Warlock specializations feel very homogenized in terms of damage mechanics (build and spend).

That pretty much describes almost all DPS specs

I know. But I’m just pointing it out about Warlocks.

(Slizzer) #1624
And sadly, looking at stock dip it's obvious they are not going to bring more devs, rather on the opposite i think.
However, I would suggest to approach this top down, as the cost saving/profitability increase would be sensible starting with Ion :).

(Ojoverde) #1625
Next blizzcon we are going mobile bois! Our top devs were moved to mobile platform, dont you have phones? wow mobile!

(Mallunoth) #1626
11/14/2018 04:04 PMPosted by Ojoverde
Next blizzcon we are going mobile bois! Our top devs were moved to mobile platform, dont you have phones? wow mobile!

Except Locks because we have no mobility. BTW I got loads of free salt. Anyone?

(Punschkrapfn) #1627
11/14/2018 08:09 AMPosted by Ojoverde
Lol....they will nerf our damage because they increased the range on dark pact and we cant let warlocks be this much op

Good, affliction needs to be nerf'd into the ground for an entire expansion.

(Jessail) #1628
11/15/2018 06:55 AMPosted by Punschkrapfn
Good, affliction needs to be nerf'd into the ground for an entire expansion

We had all of vanilla, BC, a good chunk of Lich king, and most of Cata for that. So pardon us if we try to do well (even after having been nerfed into the ground again). In this xpac.

(Punschkrapfn) #1629
Affliction was never bad. It just wasn't top always.

(Jessail) #1630
11/15/2018 07:07 AMPosted by Punschkrapfn
Affliction was never bad. It just wasn't top always.

You must not have played warlock in classic. Our DOTs were banned in raids due to the debuff limit (we were in raids for Curse of Elements only). Affliction wasn't viable because it didn't buff shadowbolt damage at all. So the primary build was about half way into destro with tiny buffs from affliction and Demonology for survivability. This was actually pretty much the case mostly up until lich king when damage on the go actually started to matter for Naxx, ICC, and Ulduar. Honestly destro was king in cata and lich king due to it's ability to put a lot more damage quickly and then throttle as to not pull aggro.

(Punschkrapfn) #1631
If you think they were nerfed into the ground this xpac, I seriously doubt you know what entails a proper nerf. Again they were always fine or great, not top, you're complaining about vanilla? Ret says hi. Locks want all this utility, thats great, bring them down to very middle or slightly lower middle of the pack like other ranged with lots of utility. Representation of locks/hunters and now demon hunters in every expansion, even with the dips and rises, is telling of how good they always were.

(Sefirosuwar) #1632
Aff is no where near nerfed to the ground in a pure DPS sense in this expac for raids or ST in mythic plus-
BUT playstyle and PVP - we are 6 feet below the ground as a spec - :

(Xoja) #1633
This thread isn’t about Ret, Hunters, Demon Hunters or representation of any classes. It is about Affliction gameplay - talents, honor talents, spellbook, etc. and is not limited to PVE logs.

(Jessail) #1634
Side note forum upgrades are apparently happening today in 9min

(Sefirosuwar) #1635
lets see how quickly we can build it back up.

(Xoja) #1636
Forums should be back up this evening, I’ll post the new thread if I see they didn’t migrate this one which likely won’t happen.

(Jessail) #1637

Looks like it got migrated, that said we might still wish to do a new one.

(Xoja) #1638

I’ll just leave it here:

I’m going to try to discuss all of the talents with some commentary but I would like to point out some big red flags I see with Affliction first.

UA stacking

There’s been a lot of discussion about UA stacking among players, and from Blue posts we know that it has been discussed internally at Blizzard. The general reason for UA stacking is that it provides burst opportunities. This isn’t false, as getting up multiple UA stacks does translate to damage. However, I’d like to point out that when we had Haunt as a spender, it didn’t really have the problem of not offering burst. Haunt was a good way to bypass some of the ramp up time Affliction had for DPS because it was direct damage. It also has the added bonus of enhancing DoT damage. IMO it functioned okay as a spender. I don’t think Warlocks want to see burst opportunities taken away at this point, but I think there are better ways to give us these burst opportunities.

UA stacking generally doesn’t feel good in PVP. Okay, so you’re in a battleground. You’re getting shards, you’re throwing out UAs and refreshing your Corruptions and Agonies. It’s fine, until you get noticed and then either focused down or pressured enough to where you can’t throw out UAs quite as much. That’s fine, that’s not really what I’m referring to. I’m talking about Arenas. Aff Warlocks barely get to play in Arenas, unless they are somehow left free to cast by some amazing miracle. In the past, we’ve been able to circumvent that because we didn’t have to get 3+ UAs on someone to feel like we’re doing damage. It was one UA, and it had good dispel protection. As a Warlock you just had to find that perfect balance of staying alive and throwing out pressure. Now it’s all about staying alive - there is no pressure. There is only staying alive until you can get a 100 ID stack Drain Life off (which is understandably being nerfed on the PTR, but are there other changes coming that actually benefit our non-Azerite trait damage in PVP?)

Honor Talents

Demon Armor (Aff + Destro)

It’s on the 8.1 PTR, and it gives us an activated buff that provides passive Armor and HP. I was honestly expecting something like this, and we got it. The only feedback I really have to give is that it is going to be a mandatory Honor Talent, effectively leaving us with 2 choices. I don’t expect you guys to address this, I really don’t. But I am just throwing it out there that we only have 3 Honor Talents and the picks are very clear cut for most classes. Take that information how you will.

Endless Affliction

This talent is very… Useless. I’m sorry, but it is. No one wants to gimp their UA damage for extra duration, especially at the cost of an Honor Talent slot. Nobody wanted it in Legion after it got changed to its current form either. It’s a completely dead talent that could instead be something that really enhances UA or improves the quality of life of UA in PVP.

Perhaps I will add more Honor Talent feedback, but that may come in another thread because most of the talents are Warlock-wide and not just Affliction.

Pandemic Invocation

Refreshing Corruption, Agony and Siphon Life with less than 5 seconds remaining will deal X Shadow damage and has a % chance to grant a Soul Shard.

Honestly, this trait was cool. But we discussed it a bit in the old thread after it was datamined. Credit to Sefirosuwar for pointing this out. Why is this Azerite trait more effective than Soul Conduit? It gives bonus damage and a chance to get a shard. SC just gives a chance to get a shard and is generally a dead talent in BfA. Food for thought. I really don’t think talents should ever feel less interesting or engaging than Azerite traits.

I know a lot of this sounds nitpicky. But that’s what we’re here for on this forum - to point out things and spark debate and discussion about design decisions. Honestly, I know you guys read this feedback. You might not respond to it, but please take these feedback points as seriously as you can. Thank you for reading. I hate being negative about things, truthfully.


There are a lot of dead talents. I’m going to try to give commentary about each of them though. To make a general statement about talents, my biggest issue with the system is that it has transformed from a system that gave mostly utility options to almost all rotational choices.

Level 15:

Nightfall - It’s Nightfall! A fan favorite of old school Affliction Warlocks, right? Oh, wait… nobody picks it. Honestly I was excited to see this make a return in BfA. But why is it a talent instead of a baseline proc in the spellbook? Nightfall is a good thing, we just can’t afford to take it in most situations. Shadow Bolt feels lame without it, to be honest.

Drain Soul - Another fan favorite. But yeah, nobody picks it apart from a select few that just do not tolerate Shadow Bolt. You guys tried to give us a playstyle choice here but DS is really lacking. You know, back in WotLK it really felt good to get a Drain Soul execute tick off. Really. Freaking. Good. It was tons of damage and a great way to finish someone or something off. DS + MG also felt good in Legion PVE for reasons I probably don’t need to point out.

Deathbolt - The best choice in all scenarios. It can be a satisfying button to press but it kind of feels like it doesn’t belong at times. It gives our DoTs purpose that they shouldn’t need. Maybe I’m a weirdo… that’s just how I feel about this talent. I don’t necessary want to see it gone but I think the other talents in the row should be buffed.

Level 30:

Writhe in Agony & Absolute Corruption - Just going to say that it was fun to use WiA and AC together, and I can understand why you guys made them compete… butitwasfuntousethemtogether. I never thought Legion talents were perfect, but the talent placement did give us differing paths for single target and multi-dotting. Now we have a row dedicated to multi-dotting. Competing multi-dot options seem weird. I know Ion said in a Q&A that you guys are exploring improving multi-dotting over single target for Affliction niche and maybe this is something to look at.

Siphon Life - Honestly, I think it’s fine. At first when it came back in Legion I wondered why it had to be a talent but then I realized I didn’t mind because there is actually a negative to taking SL - it adds a global. So, sometimes you want SL but other times you don’t. That’s how a talent actually should be IMO. The problem is when you have talents that are never ideal.

Level 45:

Demon Skin - the nerf from the Legion version was puzzling, at least from a PVP perspective. But it won’t feel as bad with the bonus stamina and Demon Armor. I feel neutral about this talent.

Burning Rush - Not really much to say. I know why it exists, and like I said before it is good to have talents that can be ideal, but not always. As long as they can be ideal in some form.

Dark Pact - I still don’t understand why it is based off of current HP and not max HP. I feel like you guys want to limit this talent, but when you limit it like this it does not feel like a real option in most cases. I’m not gonna say it’s completely useless like some of the other talents are, but it’s up there. I can only think of a couple scenarios I might want it - in a duel, or in a PVE encounter where you need a big defensive. Is that enough to keep it the way it is? I really don’t know.

Level 60:

Sow the Seeds - Making it plant one extra seed instead of two really destroyed this talent. I don’t know what else to say. Not only that, it made it a lot less exciting to use. I had a lot of fun with StS in Legion, especially paired with Nightfall when it was an Honor Talent and gave instant SoC.

Phantom Singularity - By far the best performer. The level 60 row is similar to the level 15 row in this way. PS is a pretty satisfying ability to press and I don’t have the same issue with it that I do with Deathbolt but I really just think the other options need to be improved.

Vile Taint - Cool concept. Fun animation. Just not a good ability. It didn’t really turn out as expected I’m thinking. I also think that if you are going to give Affliction a slow it needs to be a little more reliable and effective than VT or Whiplash (main problem with that is actually being in a situation where you can give up having an interrupt AND a dispel - a choice no other class has to make just to have a slow). The shard cost of VT is also puzzling… does it need to be throttled by both a 20 sec CD and a shard?

Level 75:

This row just doesn’t make sense anymore. Mostly because of the Coil/DC choice, but also because Demonic Circle is not a CC ability and it is on a CC talent row. Clearly for limitation - but is it a limitation that still makes sense? Especially in PVP… I dunno, I think we are back in a situation where these should be separate again, and not a choice.

Level 90:

Shadow Embrace - makes sense to have this as an option with Shadow Bolt, but it could probably use a bit improving to really be worthy of a talent choice.

Haunt - A great choice in a somewhat-competitive row. Thought it was more fun as a spender than UA is though :slight_smile: at least in PVP. I know strictly-PVE Warlocks will say “what’s the difference? they both do damage” but there’s more to it than that.

Grimoire of Sacrifice - Does a surprising amount of damage, especially with multi-dotting situations. A good source of passive damage in PVP. An option for Warlocks that do not want to drag a pet along. Ideal in some situations, not in others - a good talent overall.

Level 100:

Soul Conduit - Dead as a doornail. Uninteresting. An upcoming Azerite trait beats Soul Conduit, a talent, in functionality. The chance to get a shard is different but that’s not what I’m referring to here. To be honest I felt that Soul Conduit was boring in Legion too, even though it was the best choice at times. But now it doesn’t fit the criteria of a viable talent choice. It competes with free haste or a haste cooldown, basically.

Creeping Death - Actually glad to see this become a talent. It’s not necessarily exciting, but it’s a very nice passive and it fits my criteria - ideal in some situations, but not all.

Dark Soul: Misery - To be completely honest, I like this but I kinda wish it was a baseline cooldown over Darkglare. I think I get why though. Creeping Death and DS:M would be pretty crazy together. It’d be fun of course… Yeah… fun… but yeah, probably too crazy.

Okay, that’s it for talents.

Just going to end with some ideas. I don’t know if any of these will happen, but I want to put them out there. Also not saying they all need to happen. I know there is a budget for balancing, but I also think there is some wiggle room with Affliction.

  1. Consider changing UA or giving us an option to improve the QoL of UA in PVP (I did talk about Endless Affliction above).

  2. Consider giving us more flexibility with utility/mobility. Baseline Mortal Coil or Demonic Circle would do wonders, and a lot of Warlocks have been asking about this for ages. A change like this would be fantastic for PVP Warlocks and would solve a lot of problems without having to rework things and would not make us invincible, it would just allow us to deal with pressure a bit better.

  3. Improve/update talents like Nightfall, Drain Soul, Darkfury, Soul Conduit, etc. that generally see little to no action in BfA.

  4. Or… Instead of improving Nightfall as a talent, just make it baseline and have it buff Drain Soul if we have it picked. There’s been a lot of discussion about Nightfall among Warlocks and most agree that it deserves to be a baseline proc.

  5. Not Affliction-related, but has the team considered giving us another Honor Talent slot? 4 would do wonders over 3, and I think it would make for some more engaging gameplay all around.

(Drakaeon) #1639

When will we see any Warlock related communication OR changes?


(Diora) #1640

Glad to see this thread made it over.Even though they dont acknowledge it , its still a nice place to throw feedback and criticism