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Lockybalboa

Warlock Legion Preview

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From the Blizzard Preview post...



 

Affliction
Affliction warlocks are masters of shadow-touched powers, but unlike shadow priests—deadliest when pushed to the brink of insanity—these warlocks delight in using fel forces to cause intense pain and suffering in others. They revel in corrupting minds and agonizing souls, leaving enemies in a state of torment that would see them undone in due time. Even the most battle-hardened warriors can be deceived, landing blow after blow against the warlock, only to succumb to their suffering as their very vitality is siphoned away by the dark spellcaster. 

"These warlocks delight in using fel forces to cause intense pain and suffering in others"

Gameplay
Affliction Warlocks’ gameplay has always aligned well with their character, but in terms of abilities, we want to avoid the feeling that DoTs are amplifiers for your channeled single-target damage. Applying spells that do damage over time is very core to Affliction, so we want to reinforce these spells as the primary source of damage, with other “filler” spells feeling more secondary. We’re adjusting the Affliction rotation so that DoTs are stronger, and your focus is more on figuring out how best to juggle those DoTs to maximize damage output.

Mechanically, we’re altering how Soul Shards are generated and spent, in part to better deliver on the more DoT-driven damage. Soul Shards are now generated by each Agony you have up on your targets, instead of only by your most recent Corruption cast, to favor placing DoTs on several targets rapidly (multi-dotting). You’ll then spend Soul Shards on an extremely strong DoT in Unstable Affliction, reinforcing the focus on DoTs.

Finally, in keeping with the Affliction theme, Drain Life serves as the main filler spell, instead of Malefic Grasp or Drain Soul. This better matches the Affliction identity because its damage stays secondary to the DoTs, which should be the primary focus of damage, instead of dwarfing them. It also adds significant self-healing, further playing to the Affliction motif.

To give you an idea of the Affliction Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:

  • Corruption
    • 3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Corrupts the target, causing moderate Shadow damage over 14 sec.
  • Agony
    • 3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Inflicts increasing agony on the target, causing up to a huge amount of Shadow damage over 18 sec. Damage starts low and increases over the duration. Refreshing Agony maintains its current damage level.
    • When Agony deals damage, you have a chance to regain a Soul Shard.
  • Unstable Affliction
    • 1 Soul Shard, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • An especially insidious affliction that deals strong Shadow damage over 8 sec.
    • If the target dies, the Soul Shard will be refunded.
    • If Unstable Affliction is dispelled, the dispeller suffers strong Shadow damage and is silenced for 4 sec.
  • Drain Life
    • 3% Mana, plus 4,800 per sec, 40 yd range, Channeled
    • Drains life from the target, causing moderate shadow damage and restoring 18% of the caster’s health over 6 sec.
    • Drain Life’s damage is increased by 50% for each of your Corruption, Agony, and Unstable Affliction effects on the target.
  • Mastery: Potent Afflictions
    • Increases the damage of Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction by 62.5% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of an Affliction-specific talent:
  • Contagion
    • Passive
    • After you cast Unstable Affliction, you can cast a second one for free, within 3 seconds.

LCPW02.jpg

Demonology
By their very nature, demons are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came. 

"The demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of malefic beings on the field of battle"

Gameplay
While all Warlocks maintain the power to summon demons, Demonology is distinguished by the ability to call forth waves of demons to overwhelm the opposition, and also to further empower the demons they summon. Over the years we strayed too far from this design, to the extent that Demonology gameplay was defined more by the Warlock becoming a demon. Legion provides a fitting opportunity for us to realign the spec around its core function of mastering control of demons, not transforming into them.

We also recognize that Demonology had a large array of intertwined mechanics that weren’t intuitive, and they’ve undergone a greater degree of redesign as a result. For those who played Demonology during Warlords of Draenor, the gameplay will feel quite different in Legion. Beta test feedback will be essential in helping us to ensure that the new spec feels strong and enjoyable and that we’ve accomplished our goal of returning Demonology to its foundations.

To give you an idea of the Demonology Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
  • Shadow Bolt
    • 6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • Sends a shadowy bolt at the enemy, causing minor Shadow damage. Generates 1 Soul Shard.
  • Call Dreadstalkers
    • 2 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 15 sec cooldown
    • Summon 2 ferocious Dreadstalkers to attack the target for 12 sec.
  • Hand of Gul’dan
    • 1 to 5 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • Calls down a demonic meteor full of Wild Imps which burst forth to attack the target for 12 sec.
    • Deals up to a strong amount of Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds and summons up to 5 Wild Imps, based on Soul Shards consumed.
  • Demonic Empowerment
    • 6% Mana, 1.5 sec cast, 12 sec recharge, 3 charges
    • Empowers up to 3 of your active demons with dark energies, increasing their Haste and health by 50% for 12 sec.
    • Prefers stronger demons first.
  • Mastery: Master Demonologist
    • Demonic Empowerment also increases the damage of your demons by 50% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Doom
    • 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Inflicts impending doom upon the target, causing absolutely massive Shadow damage after 20 seconds
    • Generates a Soul Shard when it deals damage.
  • Demonwrath
    • 2.5% Mana per sec, Channeled
    • Your demons crackle with demonic energy. Every 1 sec, all enemies within 10 yds of any of your demons take minor Shadow damage.
    • Each time Demonwrath deals damage, it has a 15% chance to generate a Soul Shard.
    • May be channeled while moving.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Demonology-specific talent:
  • Implosion
    • 6% Mana, Instant
    • Causes all of your Wild Imps to be violently yanked toward the target, and then explode, dealing moderate Shadow damage to all enemies near them.

LCPW03.jpg

Destruction
Warlocks who command the power of destruction favor incantations of pure chaos and aggression in battle. In this regard, they’d find a stronger kinship with fire mages than warlocks of other disciplines—if not for their propensity to make use of magic deemed detestable by all mage orders. The destruction warlock is well-versed in discharging a dizzying array of shadow, fel, fire, and chaos magics upon opponents that rattle souls and conflagrate bodies. They require little motivation for the havoc they wreak, happy to revel in the destruction they cause—thrilled at any opportunity to watch the world erupt in discord around them. 

"Warlocks who command the power of destruction favor incantations of pure chaos and aggression"

Gameplay
Destruction mechanics are in a solid place overall and are already a good match thematically, so we’re taking the opportunity in Legion to provide additional polish on existing gameplay. While resource mechanic functionality isn’t being drastically overhauled, we’ve changed Burning Embers back to Soul Shards. Not only does this return consistency across all Warlock specs, it also reestablishes the Soul Shard as the iconic source of Warlock power.

To give you an idea of the Destruction Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
  • Incinerate
    • 6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
    • Draws fire toward the enemy, dealing moderate Fire damage.
  • Immolate
    • 6% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • Burns the enemy with fire, causing minor Fire damage and an additional strong Fire damage over 15 sec.
    • Immolate critical strikes have a 30% chance to generate a Soul Shard.
  • Conflagrate
    • 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 8 sec recharge, 2 charges
    • Triggers an explosion of fire on the target, dealing moderate Fire damage and generating a Soul Shard.
    • Also causes Backdraft, reducing the cast times of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30% for 5 sec.
  • Chaos Bolt
    • 2 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • Unleashes a devastating blast of chaos, causing huge Shadow damage. Chaos Bolt always critically strikes and your critical strike chance increases its damage.
  • Havoc
    • 8% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 20 sec cooldown
    • Mark a target with Havoc for 8 sec, causing your single target spells to also strike them. Limit 1.
  • Mastery: Chaotic Energies
    • Your Destruction spells deal up to 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) additional damage, randomly.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Destruction-specific talent:
  • Channel Demonfire
    • 4.8% Mana, Channeled, 12 se cooldown
    • Launches 15 bolts of felfire at Immolated enemies within 40 yds, over 3 sec. Each bolt deals moderate Fire damage.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our review later today with a look at Death Knights and Shaman.

 

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THE BREAKDOWN

A bit of a TL;DR for people along with some thoughts on the changes

 

 

The big news is that ALL warlock specs are going BACK to Soul Shards. For Destro this really doesn't seem to really have much meaning outside of a name change, for Demo it is a bit more of a change since going from Fury back to Shards will be interesting. Takes some of the weird and clunky out of Demo.

 

Affliction

 

WoD stripped Aff of basically all of its multi-dotting power and in so doing has regulated the spec to fights that are pure ST or pure 1-3 targets with no adds and little movement. This...sucked. Good news is Blizzard seems to have seen the light and is returning Aff to Multi-Dotting glory.

 

  • Corruption, basically no changes.
  • Agony, basically the same EXCEPT it now generates Soul Shards.
  • Unstable Affliction, 8 second duration, COSTS a Soul Shard, has a Soul Burn type mechanic where if the target dies with UA on it the SS will be refunded.
  • Drain Life, THE NEW FILLER SPELL. The glory...month of DL being a filler spell was really cool...not sure if I want it to make a full return though. Drain Soul, to me, was more iconic then DL was. "Restoring 18% of the casters life over 6 seconds" sounds a bit over powered. IMO this should be 20% of MISSING hp over 6sec to keep some better balance to it. Won't shock me to see these numbers changed drastically before live.

 

 

Destruction

 

The theme and mechanics of Destro are in a good place, something that the community and Blizz agrees on *grumbles something about Rain of Fire*.

 

Overall we're not going to see a lot of changes to Destro.

  • Burning Embers are now Soul Shards
  • Immolate, basically the same BUT NOW Crit ticks have a chance to generate a Soul Shard.
  • Conflagrate, basically the same but it seems that Backdraft is changing. It now reads "Backdraft, reducing the cast times of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30% for 5 sec" sounds like they are flatly removing the charges of Backdraft and just giving a time frame. This will be nice to have IMO since it makes everything work a bit better with haste levels.
  • Chaos Bolt, no changes
  • Havoc,  no changes.

 

 

Demonology

 

THE warlock spec. Hands down one of the most loved specs ever made and one that Blizzard never seems to stop nerfing.

 

There has been a lot of community uproar about Demo in the past couple of years, mostly because Demo has undergone so many major changes that it has left everyone a bit jaded. TIME FOR ONE MORE ROUND OF MAJOR CHANGES!

 

To me, the highlight of Demo was ToT. UVLS was a major herp derp moment for Blizzard, but it did produce - to me - the best Demo playstyle ever seen. An army of Imps tearing through the world reducing everything to cinder. Yes please.

 

Since then we have gone further and further away from demo controlling demons to demo BECOMING a demon. Why? Not sure, but it seems that Blizzard is wanting to return Demo to CONTROLLING demons and get us away from BEING one.

 

Thus, the changes:

  • Shadow Bolt, 2.5 second cast time?! Generates a Soul Shard. Sorry, but 2.5 seconds of standing there twirling my hands is never fun to me - but at least it does something useful.
  • NEW SPELL: Call Dread Stalkers - summon two badass demons to kick ass for 12 seconds. Costs TWO Soul Shards.
  • Hand of Gul'dan - MASSIVE change. Now costs between 1 and 5 Soul Shards. Based on how many shards used, calls down a meteor full of Wild Imps which burst forth to attack the target for 12 seconds. Summons up to 5 Imps based on Soul Shards used. This sounds SO VERY COOL. Imp Army is best army.
  • Demonic Empowerment - buff your demons...yay.
  • Doom, basically the same but now also generates a Soul Shard on damage.
  • NEW SPELL: Demonwrath - "Your demons crackle with demonic energy. Every 1 sec, all enemies within 10 yds of any of your demons take minor Shadow damage. Each time Demonwrath deals damage, it has a 15% chance to generate a Soul Shard. May be channeled while moving." Very cool, sounds like a strong spell and will have good mechanics.
  • NEW TALENT: Implosion - "Causes all of your Wild Imps to be violently yanked toward the target, and then explode, dealing moderate Shadow damage to all enemies near them." I can't stop giggling evilly...it just sounds so awesome...hehehhehehehehehehe

 

 

Over all I am happy with the changes that are coming. A lot of this could change (probably will change) but it sounds like Blizz is at least on the right track, something that they have not been on in a long time.

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  • Chaos Bolt, no changes

 

Maybe it's just me but I think the fact that they are making Chaos Bolts cost two shards is a bit extreme. I am not sure what the max shard count will be but if it is 4 like shards/embers are currently this means you will have max two Chaos Bolts for at any one time. With an RNG factor for generating shards You may not get much more then that for a whole burn phase.

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The max number of shards is 5, so still a max of unleashing 2 Chaos Bolts in a row without getting good RNG. Havoc is also changed so that ALL spells get copied over while it's up, so no more limitation there.

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Havoc is also changed so that ALL spells get copied over while it's up, so no more limitation there.

Maybe I am reading it wrong but the "Limit 1" at the end I believe implies that you only get 1 cast per Havoc.

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Havoc is also changed so that ALL spells get copied over while it's up, so no more limitation there.

Maybe I am reading it wrong but the "Limit 1" at the end I believe implies that you only get 1 cast per Havoc.
I'm going off of this tweet here when I say all spells, but we'll see how it gets implemented.

Can you clarify the "limit 1" on Havoc's description? Limit 1 what?

You may only place Havoc on one target at a time. That matters when it's improved via talents.

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Ah OK. Interesting find. Hope we get some talent previews up before too long. Could change a lot of thoughts since it sounds like their are several options to go with.

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More updates from @WarcraftDevs:

 

Then you'll be quite interested in the Power Trip talent, which does exactly that!

 

 

WarcraftDevs added,

darlissa @darlisza
@Celestalon I'd prefer if all demons were buffed, so I don't have to track which are my most powerful 3 and when are they about to despawn.

 

 

 

Also, every spec is getting Life Tap, and we are keeping green fire.

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The max number of shards is 5, so still a max of unleashing 2 Chaos Bolts in a row without getting good RNG. Havoc is also changed so that ALL spells get copied over while it's up, so no more limitation there.

You can actually do 3, if you were to "pool" your Conflagrate charges or get lucky with some Immolate ticks.  If you had 5 Burning Emb...I mean Soul Shards, you fire 1 Chaos Bolt, Conflag for Backdraft effect, fire off two more Chaos Bolts, Conflag again, then spam Incinerate and hope that an Immolate tick grants a Shard.  You could luckily get 4 Chaos Bolts in a short matter of time.

 

 

Havoc is also changed so that ALL spells get copied over while it's up, so no more limitation there.

Maybe I am reading it wrong but the "Limit 1" at the end I believe implies that you only get 1 cast per Havoc.

 

My interpretation is that "Limit 1" means that only one application of Havoc, but that any spells you fire under that 8 second window go to a secondary target - which would be a VERY nice buff for 2 target cleave, which is Destruction's niche.  I miss the old Havoc that lasted for 10 minutes and did 10% of all damage you dealt elsewhere - this would be the return of good Havoc.  It also lends itself to be open to be modified by talents.  Think of applying Havoc to two targets.  Could be fun!

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I've seen this discussed elsewhere, but is it possible that Havoc'd Conflag would generate 2 shards? I'd say it's a possibility since Havoc'd generators behave as if 2 were casted now.

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If Conflag generates 1 SS, then two Conflags via Havoc would generate 2 SS.

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I overall like the changes, glad to see meta go bye bye. I'm probably one of the few locks willing to say i hated it...ever since they added it i thought it was stupid. Then again, i like the lore behind the class...and it didn't fit. I don't like how they went back to all specs using shards. I thought their whole reasoning behind the shards/embers/DE change initially was so the specs would feel totally unique from each other? I kinda liked that, but it will be easier to manage addons/weak auras...i guess...getting demonic leap back would be cool too.

Edited by vaeevictiss

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Good riddance to Meta. Nothing fun about the way it was implemented. Weak in caster form/crazy strong in Demon form. I'm loving the changes so far. So happy to see diversity coming back to WOW.

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Dark Soul being removed and replaced with shorter CDs on Infernal and Doomguard.  Infernal and Doomguard damage being compensated to replace Dark Soul.  Interesting.

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Dark Soul being removed and replaced with shorter CDs on Infernal and Doomguard.  Infernal and Doomguard damage being compensated to replace Dark Soul.  Interesting.

 

Have been on board with pretty much everything so far except this.  It just seems like each new expansion, starting in MoP, is quietly reducing any sort of complexity for a lot of classes.  It seems like there is a push to create an actual rotation system as opposed to a priority system.  I guess it helps newer player's just getting into the game or end-game content but man it's a little disheartening.  

 

But you can also see it in the ranged dps class design's. Almost every spec now has an identical "new resource" that you build and dump with. No more CD's just build with 1 and 2, dump with 3 and 4.  

 

I still have high hopes for Legion and don't want to get carried away with anything yet. I am really looking forward to seeing how Demo and Aff play out...Would love to bench Destro after the long tiers of SoO and HFC.

 

But...I am slightly concerned to see how these new rotations play-out. My deep fear is that by the next expansion every spec has extremely basic 3 button rotations with just a bunch of passive's...Hope not.

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Yeah that's an interesting decision on their part. A long time ago locks complained we didn't have an CD to blow and increase our dps like other classes. I hated the complaints. I thought, 'why does every class need this?'. But when we got Dark Soul I thought it was pretty fun and gave nice control over our toons on when we wanna burn something. 

 

But it might still function that way given it's just going into another CD. I don't mind if CDs are reduced in number and made more powerful. My only real issue about this change is: Demon AI. The degree to which this demon buff compensates locks will depend in part on how often they screw up, hit the intended target, get caught on an object, stand there with their thumbs up their butts, and so on. 

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