Tl;dr. 10 seconds of casting to “burst”
This is not intended to complain but to be a potential help for making affliction warlocks better in future patches. I’m going to offer ideas and potential fixes for the class. From a gladiator xp warlock that has played for something like 10 years almost exclusively on affliction.
My main problem when playing lock is getting trained so hard, and everyone in a double melee comp, or even single melee, or most comps in general immediately knows to train the affliction warlock. I mean if left alone, affliction can demolish. But when trained, we get shut down so hard. This is what needs balance: the contrast between dominating when not trained to doing very little when trained.
Fire mages burst is instant cast, and they have multiple schools, for contrast. This is why they succeed.
To contrast, Warlocks need to cast Unstable affliction (on at least one target) soul rot, hope it doesn’t get dispelled, and then cast up to five raptures to get burst off. (A low burst spec that had its “burst” nerfed in the most recent patch) When not trained, it’s huge, when trained….it’s quite easy to counter.
Overall warlock dmg is higher than most classes but it’s split between three targets…it’s healable because it’s a slow rot. It’s not dangerous damage. A lot of classes can keep up with affliction in overall damage and the kicker is they are doing all their damage to one target; It’s much more dangerous.
To contrast with previous successful specs, you can look at soul link siphon life warlocks. They had two schools of magic as well as all relevant dots being all INSTANT cast.
I think to fix warlocks, they don’t need more buffed damage or more shields to absorb damage. They need to be more like a warlock that isn’t trained…and damage balanced around a class that is getting spells off regularly.
Here are some POTENTIAL ideas to help.
Maybe make spellcating uninterruptible while our new shield holds. The shield that just got buffed.
Put diminishing returns on melee kicks
Give affliction soul swap back. It was such a fun spell and good creative thinking by blizzard.
Give us fire school dots
Give us casting circle like abilities on shorter than a 3 minute spell coupled with our wall (unending resolve)
Cast while moving abilities
Instant cast unstable might be too much, but maybe not
I don’t wanna see a buff that brings my corruption damage from 650 to 700 a tick, it’s not appealing. Utility that allows me to spread dots quickly when trained, and find windows to fear a healer and rapture spam sounds fun. Coordinated kills are fun.
What’s not fun, is having the arena gates open, and having to cast a demonic gateway at the entrance gate because if I take two steps any melee class is going to already be there to kick it. Then, getting kicked in my first unstable cast, kicked on a second, stunned on a third, and be at 30% health with a couple of agony’s and corruptions ticking for 400. Running, gating, walling and finally getting some casts off, and a full health healer dispelling my 5 dot / rapture “burst”
It’s not fun just running away all game and hoping a healer is bad enough not to dispel when I cast soul rot.
Not to mention none of our legendaries are worth anything now. I was hoping corruption would refresh curse of agony to make up for lost globals having to cast exhaustion, and it does not.
Anyways, from a long time affliction warlock,
We were successful when we had more instant casts, and now we have some of the lowest burst in the game, requiring about 10 seconds of casting. This is the heart of the issue and why there are almost no afflictions at the top of the pvp leaderboards.
Hope this helps