Warlock Feedback

I’ll be giving some general feedback and observations on Aff and Destro. I don’t really play or know Demo that well. I have a pretty well rounded background to include a 2.4/Glad, Cutting Edge, and some Mythic+ pushing, but I’m not top tier in any of that content nor do I claim to be an expert in any of that content. I will mainly be giving feedback from the pvp lens as that is the only content I have been playing recently.

Class Tree:
In general it seems like we have a lot of 2 point nodes. There are some nodes that are particularly lackluster for a 2 point node or provide very little benefit when choosing the second point.
Overall I do like the class tree as you have access to nearly all of our utility.

-Pet Kick: Make this a choice node to make everyone happy. One of the coolest things about having kick on the player was that you could actually use your other pets in other content. For example in pvp you could keep your succubus out to seduce players, voidwalker sac for the health increase via shadow bulwark, or sac imp for the dispel all while having your own interrupt. In M+ or Raid the same could be applied. This would have been an incredible increase in utility for the warlock while leaving the choice node as an option for players who wanted to play with the fel hunter kick (which is sometimes the best option, especially in pvp). We are back to having Fel Hunter in 99% of situations/content and using Fel Dom or a 6 second hard cast to swap pets for the utility we needed.
-Fel Dom + Fel Pact: Please just revert pet cast time back to 4 seconds. Keep Fel Dom. We no longer have BFA S4 levels of haste so a 4 second baseline cast can be a reasonable time for summoning a pet with Fel Dom in your back pocket for emergencies.
-Baseline Demonic Circle + Abyss Walker: love baseline circle, Abyss Walker is extremely lackluster. 4% for 10 seconds is very low and in pvp you normally use circle to avoid damage, so you don’t need additional damage reduction when using it. Change AW to Shadow Rift, Demonic Momentum, the Soulburn amp, or remove entirely.
-Burning Rush + Fiendish Stride: I love both, you still probably won’t use this in pvp, but the damage reduction and extra speed are great and could help with the loss of soul shape. With enough passive damage and healing through Fel Synergy, maybe you could take this in pvp.
-Demon Skin + Fel Armor: Very small increases per point in both nodes here, but I do like Demon Skin being baseline. I like the damage reduction for fel armor, but Monk gets 3% for 1 point, we spend 2 and get 3% plus a very meager 10% dot. Would prefer one or both of these become 1 point nodes or change Fel Armor with Demon Armor (extra armor + stamina) or buff the damage reduction.
-Curses of Enfeeblement + Amp Curse + Teachings of the Satyr: I’m good with all of this being in the class tree, though it is odd that Curse of Weakness is baseline and the other two you have to talent in to.
-Howl/Coil: Would have been amazing to have access to both, but I’m fine with a choice node.
-Demonic Embrace/Demonic Fortitude: Access to more health, great synergy with Demon Skin, Dark Pact, Healthstone, etc. Maybe merge demon armor with Demonic Embrace?
-Demonic Inspiation/Wathful Minion: I’m okay with these, I’m really happy that they at least buff Grimoire of Sacrifice, however I would rather have liked to see GrimSac get buffed or just provide a baseline increase to spell damage to the warlock.
-Banish/Greater Banish: I don’t know where the extra banish time will be useful unless it also applies in pvp. Banishing undead seems okay, but can we banish a lichborne dk?
-Nightmare: 2 point investment for a lackluster slow, I’d rather spend the global applying curse of weakness. Remove or buff. Rogue and Druid get talents for altering their cc, maybe make this reduce their damage or healing instead.
-Gorefiend’s Resolve: Another 2 point node that should be one. Interesting talent though.
-Sweet Souls: I love that this is back, never remove this again.
-Desperate Pact/Accrued Vitatlity/Grim Feast: I’m okay with Desp Pact despite being 2 points, but Accrued Vitality feels very weak for 2 points and was majorly nerfed from SL version. Buff AV, or reduce to 1 point. Grim Feast also received a huge nerf. 3 talents (5 points total) to buff drain life, but together they all feel pretty mediocre, especially if you aren’t aff and don’t have access to Inevitable Demise. Maybe swap one of these for Essence Drain (pvp talent).
-Demonic Gateway: Access to it could be better. Would like to see the pvp talent gateway mastery in the class tree to buff Gateway.
-Shadow Fury/Darkfury: just make darkfury make SF instant cast. Noone likes/wants/uses a shorter cd and larger aoe shadowfury. The range is already good enough and 15 less seconds on the cooldown doesn’t feel that great. Only casted stun in the game (minus lasso which is channeled).
-Shadowflame: okay with where it is as a choice node, but feels mediocre considering we have exhaustion and amplify curse.
-Strength of Will/Dark Accord/Resolute Barrier: Why did Unending Resolve lose rank 2. It only provides 25% DR on a 3 minute CD. 3 minute cds are awful especially when they are so weak. Compare this to blur, 20% on a 1 minute. Give us back 40% UR, merge Dark Accord and Resolute Barrier to make UR a 2 minute CD. Make strength of will be another 15% to UR so our choice is a 55% DR on a 3 minute cd or a 40% on a 2 minute, same way shaman has on their choice node.
-Dark Pact/Ichor of Devils/Frequent Donor: I love all 3 and the choices offered.
-Lifeblood: Not a bad 2 point node for leech.
-Fel Synergy: Fine.
-Soul Link/Profane Bargain, sad to see these get split up but I love the extra health with GrimSac.
-Grimoire of Synergy: I like it, doesn’t currently work with GrimSac.
-Summon Soulkeeper/Inquisitor’s Gaze: fun flavor nodes, though the minion isn’t particularly exciting as a capstone.
-Soul Conduit: fine.
-Teachings of the Black Harvest: A little lackluster, especially since kick is back on the felhunter.
-Demonic Resilience: Have to path through a boring node to get to it, but a decent buff to pet survivability.
-Soulburn: I love the interactions here, but needs to be off the GCD.

Things not here that I would like to see:
-Shade of Terror: Priest and Warrior both get a buff to their fear to not break on damage, why did lock not get it? Replace Nightmare with this.
-Demon Armor: Mentioned elsewhere, could be merged or replace other talents.
-Dark Soul: Many classes get access to major dps cooldowns (ret, war), or abilities/soulbind abilities (DH, Priest, Rogue) in their class tree. The only major damage buff we get is Soul Conduit, inquisitor/soulkeeper choice, and Grimoire of Synergy. Everything else we get is purely utility or survivability. Blizzard says they want to reduce cooldown stacking, but just look at trees like rogue and warrior where multiple damage or crit cooldowns can be stacked (spear, avatar, recklessness, shadow dance, symbols of death, etc.). Some of these have little to no flavor. Dark Soul should come back to the class tree. I’d give up any of our other class tree damage buffs for it. DS with haste helps aff damage windows and frankly without Dark Soul, Destruction Chaos bolts are complete wet noodles, nearly unusable in pvp, and are outshined by Soul Fire.
-Wilfreds. Would have been an incredible option for every spec.

Affliction Tree
-Malefic Rapture: I guess it is here to stay for now, but it feels awful to cast in pvp. I’ve also seen streamers doing dungeons where MR is better to cast over sow the seeds spam. Seems odd that sow isn’t the go to for aoe. I would rather have rapid contagion replace malefic rapture as aff’s shard spender as a buff to our dot damage/shard spending ability. There is also only 1 synergistic talent in the entire tree, tormented crescendo, which is a great talent and actually usable in pvp.
-Seed/Sow/Agonizing Corruption: Fine with all of these and I like the idea of Agonizing Corruption, but seems odd that people are opting to MR over sew spam.
-Xavian Teachings: Make this baseline and remove Corruption from the other specs. Why is this even a thing.
-Unstable Affliction: Doesn’t have any synergies until the capstones, which are actually decent. Would like to see other synergy such as contagion (damage buff to the target with UA, which could replace haunt) or rampant affliction.
-Nightfall/Shadowbolt/Essence Drain/Withering Bolt/Shadowy Embrace: Our filler can feel really bad with so many GCDs to press, but I like that nightfall stacks to 2 and synergizes well with SE and WB. Great synergy between each of these talents, though NF procs with Essence drain feel bad when they are wasted due to needing to refresh dots or use a cooldown that just came up. I really miss how in legion Essence Drain and Drain Life were merged. I would love to have seen that again.
-Harvester of Souls: filler node, feesl VERY weak.
-Writhe in Agony: fine.
-Absolute Corruption/Siphon Life: Okay choice node I guess, but at this point Siphon life feels awful, does little damage and only slightly contributes to MR. Buff siphon life, especially the healing done or merge this damage into another spell.
-Phantom Singularity/Vile Taint: Seems like a decent choice node, though would love to see Vile Taint instant cast. I love the new buffs to vile taint.
-Soul Flame: love to see this back. I’ve heard people say its either bugged or doesn’t do a lot of damage.
-Soul Tap: Seems OP with no CD, also adds to button bloat and GCD bloat. Remove or change. Would rather have a talent that increases agony shard gen over this.
-Soul Swap: Why does this even cost a soul shard? Its a worse damnation, especially since UA only applies to 1 target. Remove the soul shard cost and make it apply a second UA.
-Pandemic Invocation: Not the worst talent, but we never used this in BFA, doesn’t synergize when you have to remove and refresh dots, and isn’t great in PVP (you refresh too often).
-Sacrolash’s Dark Strike: I love that this is back, but wish they didn’t nerf the extension.
-Grimoire of Sacrifice: I’m happy they found a way to buff this, but I would rather have a MoP version of this or make it just buff your health/spell power.
-Creeping Death: loved the change to not reduce dot duration.
-Malefic Affliction/Doom Blossom/Dread Touch: Seems like a decent 1 target buff with an option to make 1 target cleave in a stacked setting. Would have INCREDIBLE synergy if rampant affliction was baseline or a talent.
-Tormented Crescendo: Nice free MR from time to time. Has decent uptime in pvp with Nightfall procs. Maybe asking too much, but what if the proc also gave you the dot extension from the set bonus?
-Haunt/Seized Vitality/Haunted Soul: Seized is probably the worst 2 point talent/filler other than Harvester of Souls. For some reason they gave us this from past Haunt versions, but heals for nothing and haunt already deals little damage. Maybe make this so haunt can instant cast?
-Darkglare/Malevolent Visionary/ Wilfred’s Sigil/Grim Reach. I actually love the buffs to all 3. Would have been neat to have access to wilfred’s or corruption leer.
-Wrath of Consumption: fine.
-Soul Rot/Soul-Eater’s Gluttony/Dark Harvest: I like the cooldown reduction talent. Would liked to have seen Soul Eater for the damage and radius buff.

Overall the tree seems like it has interesting choices in the capstones, but can be very GCD heavy. Would love to see UA go to 3 targets baseline or have MR replaced with Rapid Contagion somehow. There are so many option in the capstones for damaging more than 1 target that it isn’t immediately clear without a sim which one should perform best. Also would have like to seen Death’s Embrace make a return.

In PVP, I see there being two builds. One for where you never get to cast vs melee, and one where you do vs ranged/casters. Vs melee you probably take Darkglare/Grim Reach and Creeping Death/Dread Touch with Tormented Crescendo to MR for free. This lets you get your damage out while only having to cast a few UAs and Soul Rot and using your Nightfall procs to get free MR procs. With all the access to utility and pseudo interrupts, it will be a problem hard casting as aff, even with precognition. So many classes will have access to all their kicks, knockbacks, stun, incap, disorients, and grips, you will get trained by melee.
If you can cast, I think Deathbolt will work well with the Haunt/Soul Rot build. I’d really like to see Demon Armor make a return for survivability. I think aff has access to some great pvp talents, but you can be stuck picking the same 2 at all times (Rampant/Rapid) with only 1 talent being flexible, even though you have several talents that could see great uses.

Destruction Tree
Honestly I’m going to skip over a lot here and condense this because destro is pretty simple.
-I love that Rolling Havoc and Flashpoint are back.
-Cataclysm seems odd to have as a choice node when cata just has so much value with applying immolate.
-Depending on the talents you’ve taken, Channel Demonfire can be a bit GCD harsh to use.
-Why isn’t Flashover baseline or part of a talent?
-Why can’t we have both Roaring Blaze and Improved Conflag? In SL we had 3 charges of conflag and roaring blaze. This felt really great and let us have high uptime on RB.
-Would love to have also seen duplicitous havoc make a return.
-Power overwhelming is lackluster, would like to see this buff refresh. Works with ROF, but harder to stack for big chaos bolts.
-I love the revamped/buffed Madness of Azaqir.
-I love the idea of Chaos incarnate, but seems like depending on tuning Dimensional Rift will always be the best choice for single target.
-Why did we lose the damage reduction on our mastery? Destro has far less survivability compared to aff and demo and is more hard cast heavy.
-Soul Fire still takes forever to cast even with backdraft and outshines Chaos Bolt in terms of damage.
-Chaos bolt (especially in PVP) is a joke of a spell and a wet noodle. Losing Dark Soul was a major loss in damage for Chaos Bolt. Even when stacking Madness, Chaos Incarn, Eradication, and Ashen, Chaos Bolt deals pitiful damage. Soul Fire deals far more especially with roaring blaze and if it crits it hits hard. Chaos Bolt needs a pvp buff modifier or a choice node between Focused Chaos and Havoc. Crashing Chaos and Rain of Chaos used to buff chaos bolts and were highly synergistic. I would love to see Destro return to the glory of hard hitting chaos bolts and players being scared of a destro lock with cooldowns rolling. Right now the only viable build with destro will be a conflag/shadowburn/dimensional rift build where you don’t need to cast.

1 Like

Reasonable Wishlist given where Blizzard is with Dragonflight build.

General:

  1. Soulburn off GCD. Feels bad when unable to use Soulburn+HS or Soulburn+Demonic Teleport when we need it.
  2. Grimoire of Synergy to work with Grimoire of Sacrifice
  3. Shadowflame (add “cannot be reflected” like cone of cold)
  4. Resolute Barrier to trade spots with Accrued Vitality. Feels natural for Resolute Barrier to follow “Strength of Will” or “Dark Accord”. And “Grim Feast” to follow “Accrued Vitality”. Right now, talents are all over the place.

Destro:

  1. Backdraft to affect the next 2 spell casts instead of just 1
  2. Shadowburn to do more dmg than Conflag, it has similar cooldown and costs a shard.
  3. With the loss of Dark Soul, it would be nice to have 20% crit chance modifier added to Soulfire via “Decimation” talent as a passive bonus. Especially from a PVP standpoint, locks run zero % crit. Destro is more fun with more crits. Not asking for guaranteed crits.

Affliction:

  1. Reduce the cast time of Seed of Corruption by 0.5 secs. This is something locks have been asking every expansion.
  2. Soul Tap - Without weak auras, it is not clear as to when the spell is available for use. Keep it disabled till the lock has 5% Soul Leech Shield.
  3. From a PVP stand-point, dispelling Haunt should not remove the 20% dmg increase buff we receive from Haunted Soul. Please make it undispellable buff on the warlock instead.

Demonology

  1. DOA (dead on arrival) Build/Talents/PVP Talents - Quite a bit to unpack here and they are all connected. Demonbolt build is pretty lackluster without the damage oomph it had. Without Decimating Bolt and Shard of Annihilation, we can see how bad it is. Core talent for this build “From the Shadows” is gated behind “Annihilation Training” which only benefits Felguard. So, if we take “Pleasure through Pain”, we have invested in one dead/wasted talent point. I mean the easy fix would be to increase main pet’s dmg by 10% and reduce it’s damage taken by 10%. But Demonbolt build needs help. To me it seems DOA. Might as well scrap “Pleasure through Pain” and provide an alternate and better PVP talent that synergizes with the tree. Be it PVP or PVE, “Shadow’s bite”, “Power Siphon” and “Fel Covenant” will be the least picked or never picked talents. There are so many better options.
  2. Nether portal has been a crap talent across expansions. You can make it the best talent out there. Properly tuning Ner’Zhul’s volition (so it is fun and not frustrating when we don’t get additional demons spawn due to RNG) and having Pit Lord be the Demon Maestro in terms or raw dmg will go a long way in making Nether Portal dream come true.

PVP Talents:

  1. I’m getting the vibe it was the easiest and the laziest solution to make “Call Observer” and “Bonds of Fel” be class wide instead of properly adding new PVP talents to the Specs that lost them. IDK it could just be me. It feels bad when strong talents like dematerialize is made class wide for the monk. And some crap minor DPS increase talents is made class wide for warlocks. Call Observer can be 1 shot, can be dotted. It should at least get Psyfiend treatment in terms of targeting and healthpool.
  2. Pleasure through Pain, this is going to be another talent that is hardly picked or never picked. Joining this line up is Curse of Fragility and Curse of Shadows.
2 Likes

after playing wotlk dragonflight aff lock seems incredibly lackluster (lets not talk demo), its insane how they destroyed warlock after wotlk

If they copy/paste affliction and demo from wotlk to DF i’d play the new xpac 100%. Current retail warlock? no way in hell.

2 Likes

I feel like they have done a solid job for warlocks. Sure, have some minor gripes. But very excited for Dragonflight. I haven’t checked out WOTLK. so, am Just comparing SL to Dragonflight and am happy with the direction. As long as they nail down the tuning, we will be in a good spot.

There are a lot of under tuned talents number wise, 5%, 10%. I’m just worried these would be hardly impactful or noticeable or even frustrating.

Soul Conduit @ 15% is barely noticeable. Imagine 10%.
5% chance on demonbolt and shadowbolt to reset dreadstalkers.

We would need bad luck protection

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Portal really needs to be based on per shard spent, not when you spend shards. No idea why they won’t change it… makes no sense

I wish Pit Lord wasn’t tied to portal tbh… wish we could have supremacy back and add pit lord to it

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It would be better per demon summoned.

Dreadstalkers alone would summon 3 additional demons.

And we can go 3 shard guldan as long as possible and switch to a 2 shard or 1 shard guldan at the end and not lose value.

This way like the previous poster said, soulburn cheese won’t work and they wouldn’t have to put a GCD on soulburn.

Per shard spent is the same thing

Spend two shards (dreadstalkers)get two demons,

Spend 3 (HoG) get 3, etc.

It is 3 dreadstalkers when u talent for it.
You get 1 imp spawn automatically when u talent for it and a chance to summon another demon.

It is not the same, right?

If you are excited for df dont play wotlk. I made that mistake and now df talent trees just feel weak and badly designed. And lock looks like a disappointment…

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Are we really arguing that per shard spent isn’t better than “anytime you spend shards”? Lmao

Different? Sure but not by much. Per shard spent makes a lot more sense.

Tbh, everything is weak in retail. Spells hit like wet noodles. I mean, people had to use an int on chaos bolt or your dead, now you can take like 5 of them. Pyroblast used to be feared, now its nothing more then a glorified firebolt.
Play LK classic, notice how hard normal spells hit, then play DF beta or just retail in general. Tell me you dont get disappointed af by the way spells hit.

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What? It is probably because you haven’t thought about it.

  1. Getting 2 additional demons for a “call dreadstalkers” vs 3 additional demons for a “call dreadstalkers” is significant.
  2. There are other talents which proc additional imps - Pact of the Imp Mother (a chance at free hog, a total of 6 imps instead of 3 imps for that hand of guldan cost)
  3. Inner demons (summons a wild imp passively and 10% chance to also summon another imp).

Also the interaction with Soulburn as mentioned above and soulburn being put on GCD because of “per shared spent” mechanic is a poor fix and a big concern.

Locks are literally unkillable in DF.

I havent spent a ton of time messing with warlock however, that being said why did chaos bolt get nerfed so hard? I went from getting 30k chaosbolts to 9k? Makes me not even wanna level a warlock in DF ive always loved destro lock it felt so good to send a massive green ball of fel magic at my enemy and seeing the fat numbers now cataclysm hits harder feels really bad

I understand that tuning pass is not done. But it is weird that all shard spenders do lackluster damage - Chaos Bolt, Shadowburn and ROF

In fact, Shadowburn does less dmg than conflagrate. Chaos Bolt crits do less dmg than Soul Fire crits.