Monday, January 7, 2008

Affliction, where have you gone?

Are any Non-soul link builds popular at high ratings anymore anywhere? I really can't remember the last time I've seen a UA lock anywhere. Even on burn teams, I've typically been seeing warlocks as some sort of SL/SL or Felguard variant lately.

I have a couple ideas to sort of ease the reliance on soul link for group play for affliction, but I've given up hope on the destro side.

For affliction, I'm still convinced that moving soul siphon down to deep affliction would be the best way to go, but improving it more than it currently is. It's a pretty potent talent, but I think adding soul siphon to benefit siphon life the same way it does drain life would be a fantastic start, especially on a build that also contains Contagion. You could also possibly put mana drain scaling back into this talent as well if it's that deep, and deep enough so that even level 80 builds can't have both this and Soul Link.

In addition, I think that malediction could also be used to improve Curse of Tongues and Exhaustion by, say, 3/6/9% to improve their effectiveness in PvP as well.

That would provide a blanket of extra HP regen through better siphon life scaling, and more effective debuffs all around, which is what affliction is all about.

I think that with the proper pet resilience scaling (which is needed no matter what), this could probably put affliction back on the map for viable specs in any format.


Delily said...

One possible suggestion would be that if you want to move Siphon Life down to eliminate the SL/SL build, then let Soul Siphon affect it. Also, I'd suggest making Howl of Terror a terror effect and modifying Improved Howl of Terror reduce the cooldown on the spell. I also think we could use a few more curse spells, like one the reduces the range and another reduces the attack speed.
Affliction is all about weakening opponents, drain life back, and using fear as a last resort when opponents get on us.

Draele said...

Affliction locks are in a real bad way against Warriors and Rogues in the small formats, I think much more than Demo. Drain Tanking I simply don't find feasible anyway due to all the stuns/silences these two two classes can throw at you.

Making Howl of Terror a Horror effect would be an escape from Warriors, and having Contagion work against CloS(Divine Shield and Iceblock are immunities, but CloS is simply a debuff wipe + a -hit buff, not immunity) it wouldn't be such a stretch to have Contagion-like abilities work against CloS, which would allow things like Siphon Life/CoEx to continue to effect the Rogue when he cloaks so you can get a chance to kite the Rogue and gain a lil health from him.

It seems like Rogues are Warriors are on 80% of the team anyhow, simply getting escape tools against these two would do wonders.

Draele said...

Or if you really wanted to go down the obscure route you could have Dark Pact do *something* in PvP. As it is you're good for maybe one use of this ability before the pet is close to OOM, and even then you need to keep mana around for Devour and Spell Lock. I can't offer any ideas here but Dark Pact would be a prime candidate to add a secondary PvP-centric effect to

Draele said...

Another idea- Change the name of Improved Howl of Terror and have it drastically reduce the cooldown of Deathcoil as well. Would I be so crazy as to suggest reducing it by 30 seconds per point bringing it down to 1 minute?

This would be a smart across the board change and would make any other changes rather unnecessary.

Skeld said...

I'm all for buffing affliction, but can we please find some way to do it that doesn't destroy SL/SL? I enjoy SL/SL and would probably stay as that build even if affliction were buffed. I'm sick, I know.

T said...

Problem with affliction is pretty simple leiah: it is meant to be a steady dps/debuff tree, while in arena setting the DoT's don't do enough damage to really matter and debuffs simply suck. What good is 300 dps on a 12k hp dps class? And if the target gets healed by a 12k hp healer? Of course, dot damage cannot be los-ed, but is it really enough to take down a 10-12k hp 490 resi monster? Especially if said monster can deliver more damage in shorter amount of time (thanks to new melee weapons, or simply is a hunter/mage with 70+ spell penetration, again hai s3 gear), and you don't have 20% damage cushion and 70 resistance to all schools?

People go for SL/SL because it focuses on survival, health/mana control (arguably better than affliction) and simply outlasting. This way you are there to fear/drain mana/CoT/spell lock and can take serious punishment. 3v3/5v5 wise that results in other dps classes having time to kill their targets, 2v2 wise you+healer outlast every single opponent there is. MS is only 34-ish% debuff on you thanks to Demonic Aegis and Fel Armor. You can instasummon a new pet, and if it gets killed again, you can fear, run away and hardcast 5s another one.
As for Felguard - Felguard locks in 5v5 are control, griefing and dps. Felguard is the dps. Nuff said here.

Also, affliction warlocks have to keep their spell damage high. This leads to less stamina from gems and enchants in most cases, so you get squishier. Demo builds care for stamina, because their DPS is only an addition to tanking and utility they bring, and of course they get spelldmg from stamina. Funny, isn't it.

This said, i believe that one of the 2 dot nerfs was unnecessary and needs to be reverted. T out, hope you read it and comment/show me where i'm wrong.

Vague said...

Leiah, the biggest problem I currently have is dispelling my fel armor. I don't know why not all the locks are screaming about this, but then again most people don't play high end arena.

Every game I play now they *always* spam purge/dispell me, and with spell pen and armor pen in S3 gear, even with SL it's becoming a lot harder to survive, even in smaller brackets like 3v3. Any healing debuff effect on and the fact that my fel armor is always off makes me squishy, even in demo specs.

Ideally, what I'd like to see is pushing siphon life further in the affliction tree and giving it a decent buff. A self-banish ability is also needed for affli/destro imo.

Leiah said...

Word to that, guys. I've also noticed nearly 0 difference in DPS output from when I was specced UA vs specced SL/SL, although the survivability is obviously much better as SL/SL.

And the last poster is correct, in that warlocks are probably weaker to offensive dispels than most other classes in the game. Priests are as well, but their version of fel armor passively procs as either disc or holy constantly as they get attacked, meaning you have to be spam dispelling their mana-free buffs the whole time you're killing them.

Warlocks are much, much easier to keep dispelled, and 20 or 26% less healing received is absolutely devastating to a class that has dick for escape options.

Ramchand Easwar said...

And escape options is what is lacking as a whole. Co-ex is the only "escape" option if you can call it that, but then it is really lame as it is rite now. I would rather have Co-ex has a stun and slow effect rather have a simple slow effect alone. That way, even if it is dispelled, we get a breather to move out. I have had warriors whack me twice after amped co-ex and running away, thanks to hamstring.

Xyzlol said...

In response to

"In addition, I think that malediction could also be used to improve Curse of Tongues and Exhaustion by, say, 3/6/9% to improve their effectiveness in PvP as well."

I would have to agree with you in the most part in terms of needing to focus seemingly more on our curses and making us more of a debuff utility style class. Curse of tongues is already quite effective so maybe increase the duration of it rather the effect because i know how much paladins would love an even more effective CoT.

Put malediction lower in affliction, perhaps merge it with Improved curse of weakness.... Better yet.. make it called Malediction and have it just improve all our damn curses by a margin, apart from curse of agony. Curse of exhaustion is hardly useful anymore, with the fact that rogues are impossible to even get away from once on you, and warriors having 15 second intercepts and RnGcraft spamstrings....

But as for the point of your post, I guess we can't have everything, just like prot would be bad in arena, or how ret for paladins, or fire/arcane mages. Each class pretty much has their PVP tree or hybrid, but the only reason I wouldn't ever go affliction again is the 90% chance of me going against a rogue or warrior every game.

I would feel bad for the people who would have to hear me complain in vent.

Anonymous said...

Improving Curse of Exh, and Tongue seems really OP. Ranged and instant to cripple heals and melee? Rogues have a hard enough time getting anywhere once there 5 min cooldowns are gone, and healers without instant cast heals are even worse off.

Anonymous said...

I think a better idea would be to remove the 5% damage from Soul Link and instead have it split 20% of all healing/leech effects with the Minion.
Since this would increase the Minion's survivability at the Warlocks expense it would pretty much eliminate the SL/SL build, as they're primarily taking it for the added damage and survival.

To balance out the Demonology Tree you'd have to give the +5% damage back to Demonic Tactics. Keep the +crit as it is, just stack the +5% damage on top of it.
This would keep the full Demonology spec pretty much the way it is now, with the added bonus of extra Minion survivability in PvE (my main problem with the spec currently).


Anonymous said...

I think this is not much of a "feedback" post. However, this is the only way I can contact someone who care about the Warlock community and might shed some light on our current dark and gloom - or vice versa.

English is not my first language. If the grammar or spelling seems off, I apologize.

I play a warlock on a PVE server in Taiwan. I am not in a "top" raiding guild - currently downed Void Reaver in TK and the Lurker Below in SSC. I am not a good PVPlock. My best effort to abuse warlock overpoweredness is in season 2, which I tried 2v2 arena with a mage, and reached 1700. A medium warlock. A mediocre lock, a " nooblock" if you prefer. I often L2P from the warlock forum. Also I try to track the " blue posts", to see what blizzard have for us in the future. One thing I have noticed is, Blizzard seems have no customer service. Blizzard nerfed warlock severely in recent 3 patches. There had been no explanation about anything. No one to tell us about the rationale behind the change. No official post to sooth the pain of loss - granted warlock "was" overpowered at the time, but it still hurts.

In my opinion, the "blue post" thing should be part of the customer service job. A little explanation about the rationale behind the nerf - ok, fix - would be good, both helping us reason through the anger and gathering ideas on " how best to nerf us without side effect". Or simply serve as a scape goat and let the nerfed vent their anger. Even that would be good. I mean, forum-posting is the only way we can "feedback", right?

In all the confusion, the outrage, the bitterness, and the internet fighting/shouting/gloating/cursing of the nerfing trend, your posts were rare jewels. Those leaked information helped. Your posts, instead of the long overdue "blue" , gave us some idea why some of the changes are necessary, are adequate, are warranted, and what to expect. From what I gather, I know - or I assume - PVEer will suffer because of the tournament "where the big money come from" and the balancing issue about it.

Now patch 2.4 is coming. The lifetap change on PTR is absurd - not first-hand test data, but what I gathered is enough to make me worry. At the same time, all your posts were deleted, you got forum-baned. (were you?) The thing "to look foward to" for warlocks in patch 2.4 seems not coming. At the brightest moment of our shadow business, they bereaved us of our only information source. I wonder if the "public relationship with warlock" thing got you in trouble, and now you are "going down" with us.

It is wrong to punish someone doing what someone else is paid to do. It is wrong to ban you for giving warlocks some love and some hope about the future. Unless of course you got fed up of being "flamed" and asked your posts be removed. Just want to let you know, a dissatisfied customer in Taiwan is grateful for what you did for us, for warlocks.

About the balance thing, I am thinking about buffing shadow embrace, make it 6th tier talent, and reduce physical damage 3/6/9/12/15% on PVP target. Or make shadow embrace stack, meaning each DOT reduce physical damage 1/2/3/4/5% on PVP target. Since I am Afflock, I am all for buffing Affliction - obviously biased player is biased.

Since I am suggesting a warlock buff, it has as much hope coming on PTR as any other warlock buff, let alone on LIVE server. But I can dream. Guess I have to dream on.

Anonymous said...

Well, move it to 7th tier. Sorry, my mistake.

Can't let those soul-link demolocks have this, can we?

Anonymous said...

I am still learning how to PVP with my feral druid. When practicing in Alterac Valley, I noticed that my druid - with half resilience and less than one-fifth practice time than my warlock main - just does not die properly, even in catform, even when focus-fired, even when I choose to stand and fight and embrace the unavoidable consequence. Also, as a druid I have one more option in the fight or flight situation - I can escape. I spend much less time in graveyard waiting for res. Well, and much more time prowling SLOWLY to my destination.

Druid PVP is fun. Much more fun than facing all the stunlock or spell-interrupt, trying to get a fear off, or trying to burst down/drain down the warrior hacking at me.

Warlock wish list:
Affliction: buff siphon life, buff shadow embrace, give unstable affliction a bloom damage.
Demonology: mortal strike for felguard.
Destruction: make nether protection a percentage immune to all attacks for several seconds, can't chain proc I suppose. buff aftermath. buff pyroclasm. Do you think spellhaste coupled with stun on spell attack and the new firelock buff would make Destro viable?

Oh. And, pet scaling, don't change lifetap, please.

Druid wish list:
Balance: some ability like arctic wind or improved shadowbolt in nature school. change melee attack regen mana in moonkin form to spell attack. more intelligent trent
Feral: Less costly shapeshifting would be nice.
Resto: let TREES cast all non damaging-dealing druid spells. buff lifebloom cast in treeform - to offset the lifebloom nerf in arena.