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Patch 7.2.5 Affliction Warlock Changes

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Class changes are coming for Affliction Warlocks in Patch 7.2.5 and Blizzard started a discussion about their balance aims for the specialization.

Patch 7.2.5 Affliction Warlock Changes from the Patch Notes

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

  • Affliction
    • Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp damage bonus reduced to 40% (was 70%).
    • HauntHaunt now costs 1 Soul Shard, and no longer costs Mana.
    • HauntHaunt instant damage increased by 25%, and cooldown reduced to 20 seconds (was 30 seconds).

Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp nerfs are coming. The talent is too strong (impactful) and taken in all situations (for both single/multi-target fights). It provides over a 20% DPS increase as a single-target talent and will be nerfed to 25% (down from 70%). HauntHaunt should be a viable Soul Shard spender talent and Blizzard has buffed the spell in the latest build of 7.2.5 as seen above. Soul EffigySoul Effigy will be entirely removed and a new replacement talent will be added. Changes to Affliction Warlock Tier 20 Set Bonuses (Item - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P BonusItem - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P Bonus // Item - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P BonusItem - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P Bonus) will be made and it won't focus on Drain SoulDrain Soul.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Hi Affliction Warlocks. Thanks for the posts and feedback so far. I'd like to talk a bit about the change to Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp. In general, we agree that communication is warranted since we changed/nerfed a widely taken talent.

Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp is very powerful on live. With the current state of Affliction, the talent is taken on virtually every situation in Nighthold, from single-target to sustained multi-target boss fights. There are things about Affliction that we’re not entirely happy with, many of which the community has echoed, and the current feel of Affliction being a single-target spec that focuses its damage into one target rather than spreads its damage out over many targets more evenly, is generally one of them. Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp at a high tuning value is a heavy contributor to that. It’s not ideal that even on a sustained multi-target fight right now, Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp wins out over Writhe in AgonyWrithe in Agony on the same row, when at first glance Writhe in AgonyWrithe in Agony looks like it should be the go-to talent for sustained multi-target since its benefit scales up uniformly per additional target whereas Malefic Grasp reads as a single-target talent.

Separately, we want to allow HauntHaunt to be a viable Soul Shard spender talent. We’ve heard this from players and also want a Soul Shard spender other than Unstable AfflictionUnstable Affliction in single-target situations. Ways to make HauntHaunt as a Soul Shard spender competitive with a Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp at the live value of 70% include dramatically increasing its instant nuke damage, drastically increasing its damage bonus %, or reducing its cooldown further – none of which would feel right on Affliction for a variety of reasons.

Lastly, Affliction’s first talent tier is a really high-power talent tier compared to most talent tiers we have, with Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp being over a 20% DPS increase as a single talent. Generally, we aim for talent tiers to be more in the 5-10% range. Very high values can both have distortive effects on the spec and make it hard to balance other talents on the same tier.

That all said, in the next PTR patch, changes you should see are:
  • All Affliction damage done increased by 15%
  • Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp will go down to a +25% damage increase (down from +70% on live)
  • Writhe in AgonyWrithe in Agony will be reduced to increase Agony’s max stacks by +5 (down from +10 on live)
  • HauntHaunt will stay as it currently is on PTR


Based on our numbers, 1) this 15% damage buff negates the 70%->25% reduction to Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp, coming out as neutral change DPS-wise for Affliction Warlocks using Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp going from 7.2->7.2.5 and 2) brings the relative balance of the Level 15 talent tier much closer to each other. As usual, the numbers may change during PTR according to further playtesting and feedback.

As a footnote, the most recent PTR patch with the current reduction to Malefic GraspMalefic Grasp from 70%->40% that came with no other explanation or indication that further changes (compensatory buffs to the baseline spec, further relevant talent adjustments) were coming wasn’t ideal and we’ll try to be more mindful of that in future PTR cycles.

We hear you all on Soul EffigySoul Effigy. We’re going to remove it in the next PTR patch. It’s concerning when the community sentiment towards a talent isn’t that it’s overpowered or underpowered, but that everyone is terrified they’re going to have to play that way if it becomes strong.

It should be understandable how the original concept of Soul EffigySoul Effigy. would seem fun in theory, despite it clearly not working out in practice. As an Affliction Warlock, I'm very happy to walk into a 2-target boss fight. At a basic level, you know you're going to get double value out of your DoTs. Walking into a 1-target fight with Soul EffigySoul Effigy. just doesn't feel nearly the same. Mechanically, the gameplay of the two situations is very similar, but in the end Soul EffigySoul Effigy. doesn't play out well. Could be any of a number of actors - the reduced damage transfer, feeling like the effigy is just there for increased soul shard generation, the usability issues, or the unnaturalness of it as a concept. 

Anyways, it’s gone. Replacement talent to come.

Thanks for the comment Seph, can you clarify whether Affliction will be receiving the nerf to Soul ConduitSoul Conduit or not? The notes said only demo was excluded from the SC nerf however on PTR the talent remains 20% for Aff (the tooltip at least, I have not tested the actual %).

Soul ConduitSoul Conduit should be unchanged for Affliction. Latest patch notes should reflect that.

This is also further compounded by our current T20 set bonus, which puts a lot of emphasis on drain damage and complete drains - both of which are part of the MG play style, which was just effectively neutered.

The Tier 20 set bonus for Affliction (Item - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P BonusItem - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P Bonus // Item - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P BonusItem - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P Bonus) is changing soon. It won’t be so focused on Drain SoulDrain Soul.

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This post makes me super happy <3

My second character is Affliction and I was dreading my future together with the inevitable Effigy is there were no changes to 7.2.5 ^_^

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2 hours ago, Arkpit said:

This post makes me super happy <3

My second character is Affliction and I was dreading my future together with the inevitable Effigy is there were no changes to 7.2.5 ^_^

Effigy on movement fights.. :( Some good changes here though.

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Honestly, I quit because of Soul Effigy a couple weeks after raids were initially released after the expansion.

They waited too long to get it out of viability and ultimately remove it.

Maybe I'll try to get back into the game next expansion.  Catching up is never fun, so I'm done until then.

 

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17 hours ago, Trensharo said:

Honestly, I quit because of Soul Effigy a couple weeks after raids were initially released after the expansion.

They waited too long to get it out of viability and ultimately remove it.

Maybe I'll try to get back into the game next expansion.  Catching up is never fun, so I'm done until then.

 

I didn't quit exclusively because of Effigy, I think Aff and the class as whole, has issues outside of that.

That being said, I feel you. They've been way too slow to address the issues Warlock has (most of these issues have been around since alpha), and it's hard not to feel like they've just been ignoring you. I myself quit not long ago, and uninstalled the game for the first time in 10 years or so.

I'm also interested in seeing how they plan to make Haunt viable. Doesn't seem viable to me to use shards on anything other than UA, though I'd appreciate if it was. They need to have some sort of synergy (maybe haunt resetting or extending UA?), and also fix the Shard generation.

Addition: In fact, all the classes I've tried in this expansion feels bland, boring and/or poorly designed. They don't feel like classes in an MMO but something .. Well, arcade-y. D3-like.

Edited by Weltenfeind
Wording, clarification, and typos.
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On 5/3/2017 at 10:52 AM, Weltenfeind said:

That being said, I feel you. They've been way too slow to address the issues Warlock has (most of these issues have been around since alpha), and it's hard not to feel like they've just been ignoring you. I myself quit not long ago, and uninstalled the game for the first time in 10 years or so.

I feel like I spoke with you a while ago about trying new classes in the hopes that you might find something you like - I'm sad to hear you didn't, but hopefully you'll be back in the future! :(

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On 7/5/2017 at 8:35 PM, Blainie said:

I feel like I spoke with you a while ago about trying new classes in the hopes that you might find something you like - I'm sad to hear you didn't, but hopefully you'll be back in the future! :(

Yes, we did speak a little here on the forums. I'll be back if the classes (or atleast Warlock) gets fun for me to play again, which honestly, I don't have any hopes will happen this expansion. It's quite clear their design philosophy has changed throughout the years (and it should), but it'll obviously be at the cost of some of their veteran players (I've been around on/off since Vanilla).

That's just how it goes. :)

Edited by Weltenfeind

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On 5/10/2017 at 3:46 PM, Weltenfeind said:

That's just how it goes. :)

Just one of the things that comes with evolving designs I guess. It's still sad that it has to happen!

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On 6/4/2017 at 1:56 AM, thetravellor said:

Some of the reactions are a little OTT, you quit and uninstalled the game because one spell was changed?

I think it's important to remember that classes change a HUGE amount in each expansion. When I last spoke to him, he was incredibly unhappy with how his main class since Vanilla (Warlock) had been changed so drastically. For someone that is already very annoyed with the changes, one final change to a spell they perhaps liked (or lack of change to one they hate) can cause them to just not enjoy the game anymore.

I think it's reasonable if it has kind of built up over time.

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Honestly speaking, I couldn't give a rats ass if someone thinks it's over the top, it's my choice, and I'm not going to pay Blizzard for something I don't like. That's essentially the only way of showing my dissatisfaction with the game. It's like people forget that playing the game actually COSTS money.

However, as I clearly stated in my post, there are plenty of other stuff wrong with the class, and I assume he got my post mixed up with the other guy. Also, I think most people agree that the artifact system isn't as good as it could be, or that the legendary system is shit. There are honestly plenty of reasons NOT to play, currently, but whether I play or not basically boils down to whether I like the classes/combat.

Edited by Weltenfeind

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8 hours ago, Weltenfeind said:

Honestly speaking, I couldn't give a rats ass if someone thinks it's over the top, it's my choice, and I'm not going to pay Blizzard for something I don't like. That's essentially the only way of showing my dissatisfaction with the game.

Fair enough, IMO. If you are paying for your account, it's your choice to not pay for something you don't like. If you went to a restaurant for a few years and liked the cake there, but one day they took out your favourite part of it, you might no longer be willing to pay for it.

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7 hours ago, Blainie said:

Fair enough, IMO. If you are paying for your account, it's your choice to not pay for something you don't like. If you went to a restaurant for a few years and liked the cake there, but one day they took out your favourite part of it, you might no longer be willing to pay for it.

Fantastic analogy there Blainie; it's very much the same for me at the moment.

I mained a warlock in quite a high-end raiding guild in MoP and the current state of the class is just shocking - I have always hated affliction because it's never had a singularly impactful ability (e.g. I remember having 4m+ chaos bolts in MoP before the stat squish) and despite leveling it as destruction my guild asked me to play it as aff for NH. Thankfully that's only as my alt and for when my hunter's not needed.

With the current state of affliction it's not even remotely fun and there's no BANG of an ability hitting the target! I get that it's meant to be a completely different playstyle, but adding in the necessity of taking soul effigy on single target fights (especially with so much movement in NH) it's quite frustrating to find enjoyment in it. Which makes it even worse that it's completely untouchable as the best warlock spec and currently one of the strongest specs in the game at the moment. Similar to how mages almost HAVE to play as frost at the moment with the ice lance bug. 

Personally, I'm so dang excited to have the distinct difference between aff and destro back - multi dotting vs impactful casting on ST or 2 targets. I'd actually enjoy being able to swap between the two like I did in MoP, even though the legendary system makes that a little difficult. If they kept soul effigy the way it was and destro didn't get a buff, I'd never touch my lock again. 

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8 hours ago, Luthixx said:

With the current state of affliction it's not even remotely fun and there's no BANG of an ability hitting the target!

This is always a huge change, especially with how the feel of the class changes with it - you almost feel like your damage is just categorically lower because you don't see those huge hits flowing anymore. Instead, you just see smaller numbers popping up more frequently and it doesn't have that same, as you put it, bang! 

I'm completely on board with changing class because of it.

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