FEEDBACK: Warlock Class Changes

Something that’s been on my mind a lot is Spell Lock.

It’s our only interrupt. We are the only pure DPS class whose interrupt requires a specific pet, and worse, it’s a pet that has to be close to melee range to use it.

This is a big problem in a lot of ways. The obvious problem is that if you’re doing any content that requires interrupts (read: any content at all), you have to use the Felhunter. Imp and Succubus are just not viable on any fight that requires interrupts, which is a lot of them. Demonology just can’t interrupt people at all, since they have to use the Felguard at all times.
Worse, the Felhunter has to move close to its target to cast Spell Lock, so if you need to rapidly switch targets and interrupt something on the other side of the room from what you were just attacking, you pretty much can’t ever rely on the felhunter to get there in time to interrupt the bad.

The solution to these problem is simple: make Spell Lock baseline and give the Felhunter something else to use as their active ability. Maybe buff Devour Magic to eat 2 effects instead of one, and usable on allies to dispel harmful effects. I dunno.

Shadowlands is the perfect opportunity to give warlocks a baseline interrupt so we’re no longer placed a huge disadvantage by sluggish pet AI and movement.

33 Likes

Utterly agree. I’d love Blizzard to explain the reasoning behind forcing the class into using this pet when the game is requiring interrupts more and more AND demonology, the so called ‘master of demons’ has so few choices as to which pet they use (and it isn’t the useful one)

27 Likes

In BfA we had an Demonology Azerite who’s one of the effects is giving Demonic Tyrant the capacity to generate 5 shards on cast, and the truth is this effect is something i greatly miss while playing on Shadowlands Demonology.

It allowed a better use of both Demonic Consumption and Nether Portal talents and just made the spec much more fluid in contrast to without the effect.

8 Likes

Pet casting times feel real bad. I understand the idea of making the pets meaningful, but my biggest problem is the down time every time I die. I, unlike hunters, have to spend 5.5 sec summoning a demon every single time I resurrect. They only have to spend that much time when their pet actually dies. When it doesn’t, they can just call it over instantly. As a warlock, I can die and then have to wait to re-summon. It’s really not fun, and is the only thing keeping me from saying “I will definitely be maining lock”. If you want to make it less desirable to change pets inside of a combat, that’s completely acceptable. Having to sit around and cast a spell out of combat feels awful.

Possible solutions:

  1. Revert it.
  2. Let the pet come back with the warlock. It’s tied to him no matter what plain of existence he’s in, even death.
  3. Make the first one free. Every time you die, your first summon is instant. Can limit it to the last pet you summoned, even.
  4. Let the warlock spend soulshards to reduce the cast time when out of combat. Spend up to 3 shards, each one reducing the time by 1.5 sec.
  5. Fel Domination with a 5 minute cooldown, or a 15 minute cooldown, resetting on death.

Other than that, I am loving what you’ve done with affliction, specifically, so far. Keep it up. Malefic Ra/upture (whatever you decide to call it) is a huge step in the right direction. Depending on how you balance it, it could even make aff viable in situations where there are a lot of fast-dying mobs, like Mythic+ dungeons. Would be even better if it, instead of doing damage based on number of dots, it consumed them all and did their full damage, or some portion. Would still need to apply, burst, then reapply to repeat and could raise the shard cost to 2 or 3 if it’s overpowered. Otherwise, the idea I heard of a single target channel that costs a shard to speed up the tick rate on dots on a target sounds super-fun for single target.

5 Likes

I think it would be a cool addition to the Demonology play style and class fantasy if they had a talent similar to Beast Mastery hunters in that they could have 2 demons. Obviously not 2 Felguards but being that the class fantasy and all of its spells revolve around being a “master summoner” I don’t think that this would be too far fetched at all. Having access to your main damage source while also being able to say, kick with the felhunter or incap with the succubus would fix a GLARING weakness in this spec. Either this or give the felguard SOME ability to kick. Maybe if the axe throw cannot stun its target it gets interrupted instead. The cooldown of its axe throw is already 30 seconds, bringing it in line with other ranged interrupts.

I would also love to see Nether Portal become a viable talent again since it was entirely abandoned in favor of the Demonic Consumption build. Having one really strong demon is cool and all but summoning a massive demonic army with many different demon models is cooler. I think it fits the class fantasy better since Demo already gains access to its “strong” demon in the form of the Felguard.

9 Likes

Hello!

In this build of the Shadowlands Alpha, we’ve made some changes to Affliction Warlocks, based on your feedback. We want to address concerns with pet summoning, Curse of Doom, and Affliction’s single target rotation, among other things.

Thank you for all your posts!

Warlock

  • Fel Domination is now a baseline ability, learned at level 34, with a 3 minute cooldown. Fel Domination reduces summoning cast time by 5.5 seconds.
    • Summoning your pet shouldn’t be always easy, but sometimes you need a new pet in a pinch.
  • Curse of Doom removed for Affliction and Destruction.
  • Curse of Exhaustion is learned at level 58 for all three specializations.
  • Curse of Exhaustion slows the target by 50% for 8 seconds.
    • Developers’ notes: We love Curse of Doom, but it wasn’t working out well at a 60-second period. Also, we feel that Curse of Exhaustion will provide interesting choices when deciding which Curse to use.

Affliction

  • Shadow Embrace is now baseline as a part of Shadow Bolt (Rank 2), learned at level 52 for Affliction.
    • Developers’ notes: Shadow Bolt for Affliction was falling by the wayside in the rotation. This should encourage Warlocks to use it more often, and provide more gameplay while fighting a single target.
  • Unstable Affliction no longer has a limit of 1, and no longer amplifies damage on your target.
  • Unstable Affliction’s damage backlash on dispel increased substantially.
  • At level 56, Unstable Affliction is ranked up to gain an additional 5 seconds of duration.
    • Developers’ notes: This is a more of an experimental change than the rest, but we feel that Unstable Affliction is not meeting player expectations at a limit of 1. This change allows Affliction to focus more on spreading dots to many targets at once.
  • Corruption now ranks up at level 54 to gain an initial period, dealing .12 coefficient damage instantly.

Talents

  • Writhe in Agony now also causes Agony to start at 4 stacks, in addition to increasing its maximum stacks to 18.
  • New Talent: Inevitable Demise. Damaging an enemy with Agony increases the damage of your next Drain Life by 5%. This effect stacks up to 50 times.
  • Nightfall now activates slightly more often as Corruption spreads to more targets.
    • Developers’ notes: Previously, Nightfall was not occurring more often as you spread Corruption to multiple targets. This felt counter-intuitive, so we added functionality to increase its rate with multiple Corruptions. Similar to Agony, its increase is not linear, but you will see more Nightfalls multi-target.
  • Deathbolt is now a PvP talent.
    • Developers’ notes: With Unstable Affliction stacking gone, the instant burst single target damage from this felt more appropriate as a PvP talent, to act as a finisher.
  • Tongue Tied Removed. Replaced with–
  • Howl of Terror: Fears 5 targets within 10 yards for 20 seconds. Has a 1.5 second cast time and 40 second cooldown.
  • New talent: Dark Caller (in place of Shadow Embrace). Reduces the cooldown of Summon Darkglare by 1 minute.
    • Developers’ notes: This talent should allow Warlocks to specialize further into keeping lots of dots on many targets at once, and give them more room to use Malefic Rapture in that window.

PvP Talents

  • Soulshatter removes all active Corruptions, dealing 10% of their maximum HP and grants 10% Haste, stacking 5 times. Lasts 15 seconds, and is magic dispellable.
    • Developers’ notes: This talent was very under-utilized due to the heavy cost of removing all dots, so it now removes Corruption instead, and no longer generates soul shards.
  • Deathbolt now deals 60% damage equal to remaining duration of your dots, has a 0.5 second cast time, and a 45 second cooldown. Deathbolt missile is slower and more apparent.
  • Amplify Curse now affects Curse of Exhaustion, causing it to slow the target by 70%.

Demonology

Talents

  • Curse of Doom reverted to Doom, with damage increased.
23 Likes

Some good changes here! will have to test them out in the next build! however would it be possible to get ritual of doom back please? :smiley:

5 Likes

Cool - glad to hear the lock is being looked at.

While you’re posting - is there ANY chance you could comment on why demonology is still lacking a proper interrupt?

Also - re the summoning time and feel domination. Eh… okay? I guess? If the demons are less fragile (especially Fel Guard) it should be okay. But reducing it down to .5 seconds from 6 feels a bit… begrudging. Why not just bite the bullet and make it an insta-cast?

Oh and not sure why Doom is still a thing for Demo (who I hope still get some love). It’s clanky, doesn’t work properly and I’ve yet to meet a lock who loves it. I guess you guys do, as you said, but not sure the player base agrees. In a raid environment, for example, a lock is going to prioritize curse of weakness 100% of the time. While in mythic and grinding, nothing’s going to stay alive long enough for it to proc. In the words of Elsa… sings ‘let it gooooooo’

28 Likes

Interesting changes. Thank you SO MUCH for listening to Inevitable Demise as a talent. Same with the feedback on Curse of Doom - While historically an iconic Warlock spell, the current iteration didn’t fit with the current way Affliction and Destruction plays.

With Dark Caller being a thing now, you think we can see the same for Destruction with Summon Infernal? It is much of the reason as to why Destruction currently feels weak without the borrowed powers from BFA. Much of the power of current Destruction is tied to the Infernal cooldown, and without Vision of Perfection and Crashing Chaos to serve as cooldown reductions, the class just hits like a wet noodle for 2 and a half minutes.

11 Likes

But does it remove the Soul Shard cost of summoning a demon?

It’s very important that Fel Domination removes the soul shard cost, otherwise it has little value as an emergency panic button.

7 Likes

Doom has been in a weird spot ever since Legion. As it stands, the 5% chance to summon a Doomguard when Doom kills the target is laughable, since the chance that Doom itself will ever kill anything it next to zero. I have never seen it actually happen.

I feel like Doom needs a mechanical rework in order to become viable.

For example, it could be changed to always summon a Lesser Doomguard if the target dies while afflicted with Doom, but have some sort of cooldown to prevent it from being OP. That would give it some real use in the outdoor world and on add fights, and it fit well with Demonology’s kit.

7 Likes

Change is better than no change, so glad to see that. Fingers crossed this round is focused on Affliction, with future rounds coming for Demo and Destro.

Now for the changes themselves (reminder I’m a Demo main so more commenting on cross-spec changes):

Fel Domination is now a baseline ability, learned at level 34, with a 3 minute cooldown. Fel Domination reduces summoning cast time by 5.5 seconds.

Summoning your pet shouldn’t be always easy, but sometimes you need a new pet in a pinch.

So I guess the 6-sec summon is here to stay… sigh. Well: 1) 3-min CD feels very long; 2) For such a long CD why can’t it make the summon instant? Do Warlocks just have to always suffer hard-cast? 3) As others mentioned, the soul shard cost also needs to be removed for this to be an emergency “oh crap” button

Howl of Terror: Fears 5 targets within 10 yards for 20 seconds. Has a 1.5 second cast time and 40 second cooldown.

Deathbolt now deals 60% damage equal to remaining duration of your dots, has a 0.5 second cast time, and a 45 second cooldown. Deathbolt missile is slower and more apparent.

Our execute has a hard-cast, our emergency survival button has a hard-cast… why? WHY???

Curse of Doom removed for Affliction and Destruction
Curse of Doom reverted to Doom, with damage increased

So… does Demo have Doom baseline or is it a talent? If you have to force it into our rotation, can we have the 15-sec tick, imp summoning Doom back?

Corruption now ranks up at level 54 to gain an initial period, dealing .12 coefficient damage instantly.

I do NOT want Corruption in Demo rotation. But IF you have to force it into our rotation, make it instant-cast and keep this part, so that at minimum it serves as a baseline instant damage dealer the poor spec otherwise doesn’t have

We are 2 months into Alpha… I still can only hold minimum hope/ excitement for Shadowlands Demo / Warlock as a whole

10 Likes

So I just wanna ask some clarification to these changes.

  • Is UA still no Shard Cost?
  • Is it 1 UA debuff per mob or can 5 debuff icons stack like BFA?
  • Is the 1 Shard Generation if the target dies still part of the spell?

If the intent is to allow UA to be cast multiple targets, I feel it adds more ramp up to AoE.
Seed > Dot every mob with Agony, UA, and Siphon Life (if talented) > Malefic Rupture spam.
That’s 2 GCDs tabbing between per mob before considering Siphon Life.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing or just a Warlock life thing.

5 Likes

About Fel Domination and “pets shouldn’t be always easy to summon”.

I can’t agree with this, pet’s aren’t an advantage, in fact they are almost a weakness, no petless class has to suffer loosing talents, abilities or damage because your pet died or you lost x% of health (a poor equivalent)
No petless class has to deal with problematic Pet A.I, pathing issues that make the pet just stand there doing nothing or random despawns from a mechanic [Taloc elevator, Mother rooms or N’zoth psychus world].
No petless class is locked out of important utility spells (like interrupt) because they are using another pet, because their pet died or despawned.
“Summoning should be hard” is just adding another weakness to being a pet tied class, this weakness is even worse on a spec like Demonology who has:
• Soul Link as an important survival tool that vanishes once the pet is dead, and it’s the spec without demonic armor pvp talent.
• Soul Strike and Demonic Strength, very strong and important talents that only work with the felguard.
• Being the spec balanced around a specific pet (Felguard) but having to summon another one for some important effects like Interrupt.
• Has a good marging of your dps tied to the pet.

If the design team intends to keep the idea of pets shouldn`t be easy to summon my suggestion is as follow?

  1. Make Demonic Strenght and Soul Strike work with all pets, there is no reason to have a talent tied to a pet and punish the spec for it.
  2. Make Interrupt baseline for all warlocks and not tied to any pet as this effect is so important in M+ content [Felhunter utility would be spell purge]
  3. Instead of Fel Domination, who eats a GCD to then summon a pet with a second GCD, bring back Demonic Rebirth as a passive for all warlocks, ideally on a 1min-2min Cooldown, 3 minutes is way punishing for the warlock.
  4. Remove the soul shard cost to summon pets because as it stands, 6s to summon is already a high enough cost.

About Affliction changes

I actually love them, but it might introduce some problems balancing Maleficar Rapture between single target, spread cleave and AOE and also a balancing problem between convenant abilities as Soul Rot combos with Inevitable demise, Drain Soul combos with Decimating bolt and UA soul shard generator kills a lot of the value of the kyrian DOT shard generator.

About Doom

Doom is not a very popular spell for Demonology players, in BFA it’s a 2% dps gain and yet no one takes it instead of Demonic Calling, the spell is powerfull but its very unfun to use on demonology.

It shouldn’t exist anymore, or at least, keep it only as a talent and not baseline.

29 Likes

If the dev team is hellbent on making Warlock “the hard-cast class”, maybe consider unprune the talent “Kil’Jaedan’s Cunning”? I.e. the one that allows us to cast-while-moving at the expense of reduced movement speed?

In fact, that entire talent row was quite good and would be great to have back: Mannaroth’s Fury for double AOE radius and Archimonde’s Darkness for 2-charged burst CDs.

19 Likes

Now if an afflic warlock takes Drain Soul, does this basically negate this ability? I’ve Noticed something similar to the Anima powers that affect Shadow bolt but dont interact with Drain Soul, which replaces Shadow Bolt.

2 Likes

There is something i want to ask, Is the Dev Team aware that [Doom]/[Curse of Doom] summoning Doomguard effect does not work on BFA and looks like also don’t work on Shadowlands?

people have tried it thousands of times, killed thousands and thousands of enemies with Doom tick and no one have ever seen a Doomguard pop up from Doom, if the text is meant to not actually exist, why even have that text in there?

14 Likes

The long pet summon should be in instanced PVP only. Keeping fel domination for that purpose. However in PVE it’s still not enough.

Also on Aff. I hope that they could add a talent or Just to rapture that adds consistent splash damage with the intent of making Aff viable in Mythic Plus.

1 Like

I actually feel that the current rapture is much better for M+ already. I’ve been playing it torghast where I initiate with a couple of talented seeds. Throw a couple dots on the targets and once the seeds explode to put corruption on everything, I add the rest of my dots like agony and UA while weaving in rapture as I go.

The other option is to also spec into vile taint to get that AoE Dot on the targets all at once as well.

1 Like

Look, I’m not sure what you were intending with the increase in pet summon casts to begin with, but tacking on abilities to make it sometimes less painful feels petty.

If you want to prevent people from constantly re-summoning a pet that died, put a pet death recently debuff (Summoning Backlash. The backlash of your summon returning to the Twisting Nether prevents summoning a new pet for 6 seconds). Or just let Warlocks resummon pets over and over while the hunter rez takes 6 seconds or whatever, since that’s likely the one you were trying to fix anyways.

Personally, just doing questing while leveling, resummoning a pet feels so bad that I wouldn’t play the class just for that.

Especially considering all the weird things that just desummon your pet… like starting a M+ key…

9 Likes