Thursday, October 4, 2007

Nerfliction Warlocks

"Woe." said the Warlock. "Woe to the day when the cries of our victims land upon open ears. For that day, so too will we feel the horrors of our Afflictions."

Okay, that's enough RP'ing from me...

Has anyone else noticed what's been happening to the 'lock class lately? And please, if you're one of the nerf-a-holics who has cried "OP" because you've been feared one too many times in your lifetime, don't answer. Infact, leave the blog. Now. But yeah, anyone else?

Lets take a quick peek at the Affliction tree, and the talents that have sustained nerfage since TBC release:

All of those dark red squares you see parked around specific talents represent spells those talents affect, which have been nerfed since the introduction of TBC. That's right. More than 1/3rd of the Affliction talent pool has been nerfed through 2 semi-significant patches, and worse yet, these are CORE talents we're talking about here. Can somebody say "wtf?"

Let's take a closer look:

Improved Corruption: Damage coefficient for Corruption was ninja-nerfed early in TBC; DoTS now affected by the crit-based Resilience stat.

Soul Siphon: It's spell, Life Drain, had it's damage coefficients adjusted early on as well, and will be considered a "Healing Spell" in Patch 2.3, making it susceptible to Warrior pwnage.

Improved Curse of Agony: Damage coefficient was nerfed early, and is now affected by Resilience. Yes. The crit stat. Mhm.

Empowered Corruption: Same changes as with "Improved Corruption." This talent helps soften the blow to damage a bit, but it has still been affected by nerfage none-the-less.

Curse of Exhaustion: Duration nerfed big time.

Siphon Life: Again, affected by a damage coefficient change and the Reslience adjustment.

Improved Howl of Terror: Duration of terror effect decreased, and a heartbeat check was added, breaking the effect very regularly upon the first few instances of damage. The same nerfs were also applied to Fear.

Unstable Affliction: Nerfed via the same damage coefficient changes and Resilience adjustments as almost everything else.

Looks to me that Blizzard has opened it's Blue ears to the constant anti-'lock crying, which is very worrisome. Why? Because even with all of this, the crying hasn't stopped. Which makes me wonder... will we be seeing even more nerfs in our not-so-distant future?


Someone take an air horn to Blizzard's ears. Fast.


Jesyka said...

I agree with resilence affecting damage over time damage. It was introduced as a counter to critical strikes, but then warlocks had a huge advantage in pvp simply because they didn't even have to land a single crit in order to kill someone.

All of the lock dots were nerfed a tiny bit for balance purposes. This isn't a bad thing - stop crying that we got nerfed. We are still fucking OP as hell. Blizzard didn't reduce our damage and make us useless... they simply brought us back down to the an eye level with other dps. However, something needs to be looked at with shadow priests now... in the same way they nerfed our damage. End-game shadow priests are tearing shit up.

CoEx duration being reduced is a small price to pay for getting it with a single point. Stop crying.

Heartbeat checks on fear SHOULD exist... and they still aren't that good. I mean I've seen a warrior and felgaurd rip someone a new ass while being feared... it's supposed to break on damage, right? Sure. Watch a warriors fear... it really is nerfed. It's entirely unfair to say our fears should go untouched. The duration of HoT could've remained the same, but meh.

Point is... we're still OP as shit. Stop qqing and be happy that you play a warlock. There are plenty of classes you could be playing that have suffered far worse in the the means of nerfage than locks.

QQ, Yago... QQ. <3

JAGOeX said...

lol, hush you. I'm saying that if the pattern continues, we WILL be seeing significant nerfs that will help dampen the viability of Affliction. They keep chipping away at the tree little by little. And sure, it's an excellent tree, but they've already redefined Resilience to make it less appealing and WILL BE reclassifying Drain Life. So, what's next? How far are they going to take it?

And as for Shadow Priests, Bliz commented at the Con that they're gonna get a damage nerf. The basic line of reasoning was that damage (I think direct damage, specifically) from casters should look something like this: Warlocks > Mages > Shadow Priests. So Bliz is currently scratching it's head as to how Mages and S. Priests should be flipped around.

Oh, and that heartbeat check is FINE, and the change on break via damage is about where it needs to be for Warlocks. You have to remember that Warriors AREN'T dependent on Fear like a Warlock is, so the two better not react to damage in the same way... for the sake of balance (if that's really what this is all about).

So yeah, eat it, or I'll step on your testicles. =)

Arydan/Impervious said...

You can't still believe that ALL of the warlock crying that's been going on is unjustified. I've seen countless GOOD players agree that warlocks need to be toned down. I've seen many warlocks admit to this as well.

Yes, there are bad players crying because they're getting beaten by warlocks because they're bad. Yes, there are people just jumping on the lock-hate bandwagon.

But a lot of what's being said isn't just mindless "crying." I mean, can that many players just be "bad?"

People cry about plenty of things, but you don't see all those things getting nerfed willy-nilly. There was a big enough outcry against the state of warlocks that the devs decided to take a look at the class.

And you know, there really haven't been any class-breaking nerfs for warlocks yet. Resil effecting Dots wasn't a nerf, it was a corrected oversight. The healing reduction effecting life drains is only helping to tone down a SPEC that was beginning to cross into the realm of ridiculous damage mitigation.

I don't think warlocks need to be nerfed into the ground, nor do I feel that's what's going to happen. If anything, I think we might see some very slow-coming, and gradual nerfs pertaining to very specific abilities.

It's very obvious to anyone that does decently rated small scale arena that warlocks have very few counters as it stands. Rogues, being the most obvious. However, compared to more obvious counter-class set-ups (like warrior vs rogue for instance) warlocks still stand a fair chance.

I'm not sure if any other nerfs will be coming with 2.3 for locks, but I'm almost certain that you aren't going to see a slew of nerfs destroying the class, regardless of the amount of QQ. Blizzard seems to be trying to gradually and carefully make changes.

It's really just passed the point for warlocks to believe they don't need to be balanced.

JAGOeX said...

But that's the thing -- diminishing one talent tree is anything but balancing the class. And the changes they are making aren't really all that significant, as you said... so why keep at it the way they are? It's only going to eventually ruin a decent talent tree while providing little answer to the question of balance.

It's Bliz's approach that I'm most worried about, and the pattern of changes. Not the changes themselves.

Jesyka said...

ary, i need to talk to you biatch. you logged on me :( use aim....

and jago... they didnt nerf the tree.. they nerfed dots. which coincidently all fall in the tree they are supposed to... affliction.

QQ more!!!!! :p

I'm still very much over-powered. They're buffing mages. We won't be seeing any major nerfs soon.

JAGOeX said...

"and jago... they didnt nerf the tree.. they nerfed dots. which coincidently all fall in the tree they are supposed to... affliction."

Jes, I lol'd at that statement. Hehehe...

Anonymous said...

locks are fine...
spriests are fine...

buffs should go out to battle healer pallys..and i mean not just the frontload ones.

nerfs should go out to cyclone.
or at least give other classes a chance to counter it.

if the nerfs roll hard on'll adapt jago..i know it.

but i highly doubt it.

as far as pve raiding not too keen on what is going on.
but as for arena's? well, the utility that locks bring is just too much to overlook, and if blizz is going to nerf that. well...i'd punch the next nerd wow player i see on a laptop at a wi-fi spot just because i can.


Anonymous said...

oh...i meant that i highly doubt they will nerf locks to the point of rogues, warriors, and mages.

oh yeah...mages are in need of a serious overhaul.

Zyphre said...

Since I have been leveling a warlock, and doing retarded amounts of research on the class (like I do on every one I have and plan to roll)I think I can offer a bit of different insight.

When you do math on mana vs damage + coeffs affliction beats every tree in the game hands down. How often do you see an affliction lock go oom? I mean realistically if you play the tree properly you have 0 out of combat downtime. You can literally just throw the void on something and reload with drain/siphon and not even sweat a long fight because of it :)

Your forgetting that they moved dark pact from the demonology tree to aff as well, its debatable as one of the most powerful mana generating components in the game. Personally I think the tree remains one of the most complete I have seen among any class thus far.

Destruction and demonology have undergone significant changes, and I intend to try them both (destro right now in fact) and omfgwtf where did my mana go. Its a tree for nuking then wishing that you still had thos first few tiers of affliction hehe. I'm leveling with a priest partner so its not so bad but yeah.

Moving on..

On the subject of shadowpriest and mage dps:

Shadowpriests are great until they are oom. They are load blowers. And only have a high sustained output on a single target, much like a rogue. They are really one trick ponies and dare I say the most predictable of specs to encounter in pvp. The fact that dispelling shadoweaving significantly lowers their output makes warlock dps more reliable in most situations. Try having a cooldown on shadowbolt, and having a single dot that takes 8% of your mana pool -_-. The other thing is they only do one type of damage. Scoff at it all you want, my spriest cant even run people through sfk in a timely manner... lol shadow immune mobs. Basically spriests are great for quick fights against singe targets, and living through lots of physical damage. But can't compete in most other situations.

Mages... Since launch were designed to be the burst damage whores. Glass cannons is the term I like to use. They nuke you from across the field and you die about the time you reach them... or they do when you get there. In pve situations good a full fire mage is insanely hard to beat in most any encounter. Their mana efficiency comes from crits, and longevity from class abilities such as mana stones, invisibility and evocation. You won't touch a fire mage in a medium length or under fight generally. In long, or multiple wave fights affliction warlocks and rogues start to really shine. The advantage being that they don't every really deplete themselves.

I don't see any major nerfs really jago. Coeffs are ever changing, as are tweaks to the trees. How many things in affliction actually have a cast timer? Does destruction get any + hit through talents? ;)

WTF @ draintanking fel overseer on heroic SL.

Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a pvper, so I'm not too concerned w/ the resilience nerfs and what not...

But can we do something to make affliction viable past mid T5 content, please?

I did NOT roll a warlock to become a shadow mage, but (as one of Jade's blog posts also talked about) once you get a certain level of gear, slinging shadow bolts just outpaces DoT damage every time.

And DAMN I miss affliction. (QQ right?)

So while they're nerfing half of affliction into utter uselessness for PvP, it's effecting PvE viability, forcing most warlocks into shadow magery.

Leave affliction alone, and dammit, let it be useful!

Enough ranting. /sigh

Dr. Christi

JAGOeX said...

I hear ya Dr. and I'm sure other high-lvl raiding 'locks would agree.

Oh, and about the mana efficiency thing -- you have a point Zy. But I think it's explainable when looking at DoTS vs. DD. Then it makes a little more sense.

Jesyka said...

It's not the gear that makes the shadowbolt spam more worthwhile, it's the encounters.

Affliction does so well in SSC and shit because there are a lot of multiple target fights. You get into BT, more than Hyjal... and you start craving the ability to spam shadowbolts because most of the fights (not all) cater to pewpew and not necessarly dotdotdot.

You get the t6 and you realize that you suddenly have gear that isn't +shadow dmg and hit. It's TONS of crit.. so why not make use of that especially when you're encountering a lot of fights in which you'll want to have nuke moments.

Gurtogg Bloodboil, for example... goes into a Phase 2 mode and gives everyone minus his MT for that phase 'Insignificance'. Whatever damage you do in that period of time with that buff... causes NO threat. So why the hell wouldn't you want the ability to unload 7k crits?

However... any of the longer fights that have any AOE damage (Najentus)... Affliction can just live for fucking ever. I get into those fights and blow hard at damage because there's no way in hell I'm lifetapping and risking taking a spine to my face. Even with 14k hp... you can go down so quick in some fights.

It's debatable. What it comes down to is a matter of the need for Affliction isn't as hardcore. And it's preference... there will ALWAYS be fights in which dots and dark pact will pwn any other spec. It's just a fact... the reason so many go destro is probably because raid healing in the end-game content is actually good enough to compensate your need to lifetap if you do it with intelligence.

Affliction is an outlasting spec that takes a little time to get the damage going and remaining. Demo/Destro nuking specs offer that insta-dmg that just seems more necessary on a lot of fights.

Regarding Spriests:

Once they get the gear in Hyjal and BT, they are not a class that goes out of mana. Heh... if you raided or watched BT videos, you'd see. At a lower level, and especially with a lot of shitty Spriests... they do go out of mana and lose their burst. GOOD Spriests can maintain and even top damage meters on certain fights. Makes me cry... they're almost as good as locks in some regards... sadly most lack hp and that's their biggest flaw.

JAGOeX said...

Affliction seems like it'd be a double-edged sword in high-end end-game with lots of mobs to DoT up. I mean, even in some encounters we find early on in TBC, it's easy to see how high-maintenance Affliction can be, and that at a certain point (or number of mobs), you miss windows of SB-spamming opportunities because you have to RE-DoT your first mob, and then your second... etc. I mean, it wouldn't be difficult to put out a shitton of DPS like this, but you miss out on potential crits, and just like the early UA vs. Ruin arguments, that's where the DPS argument actually is.