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Fubbler

Demonology Warlock in BFA so far

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Dear fellow Warlocks,

Before BFA was released I decided I would spend my boost on a lock and play it with demonology chosen as a first spec - which I have never done before. So far I only had experience with destro lock and MM hunter, so based on that here are my first observations:

+ Super fun to play with the horde of demons

+ decent cleave

+ easy to level up with through taunts and strong sustain

+ not so many of them around (I like to be outstanding)

- quite tough to master

- different talent options (tough this can be also a positive, but it takes time to find the right set of talents for yourself)

- low mobility

So far so good. I believe this list will change as I keep on growing as a lock and the list will grow as well. Have you had any experience with demo lock before bfa? Can you compare it with current demonology and other specs? Please share your opinions

Edited by Fubbler

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The mobility of BFA Demo is much better than Legion Demo. Before, you were truly a stationary turret, unless you took a talent build for some instant Shadow Bolts that was only good on single target anyway. Or if you were doing cleave you could spam Demonwrath, which was about as fun as watching paint dry but at least let you move. The wind-up time is not as severe anymore, though frequent target-swapping is still more of an issue than it is for the other Warlock specs. On the negative side, the survivability is not what it was since the passive leech was reduced.

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HI again,

So I'm currently having my first doubts about this spec. My friend joined me in leveing up, he's a fury warrior and he seems to be clearing the waves way faster than I do, even though he is 5 levels behind. I'm currently considering switching to affliction which is more than sure to be a great dps.

A new plus:

+ lovely cooldowns

A new minus:

+ quite long set-up to summon all the demons and start doing decent damage

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56 minutes ago, Fubbler said:

HI again,

So I'm currently having my first doubts about this spec. My friend joined me in leveing up, he's a fury warrior and he seems to be clearing the waves way faster than I do, even though he is 5 levels behind. I'm currently considering switching to affliction which is more than sure to be a great dps.

A new plus:

+ lovely cooldowns

A new minus:

+ quite long set-up to summon all the demons and start doing decent damage

I agree with most of your assessments apart from perhaps tough to master. While Demo has a lot of abilities to get to grips, especially if you have never played it before, it isn't actually a difficult spec to master in my opinion. The rotation is relatively simple as everything is pretty much on CD. Don;t get me wrong though, I am very far more mastering it, perhaps I will find a lot of hidden complexity down the line.

It's pretty normal for melee to excel much quicker than casters (especially DoT ones), not only on levelling but in dungeons and the like. It's silly to compare to them in my opinion and especially not on something like the short pulls on levelling.  Pets are just glorified DoTs at the end of the day. 

Yes Affy has more instants on demand and better sustained ST/priority damage overall but it still has some ramp up. Affys cleave is almost non existant compared to Demo's and it has little AoE to speak of.

It's all going to to depend on how you pull etc but Destro has the best burst in my opinion at the moment over the 3 specs, especially if you are doing warmode. If you are with another person and can pull a lot you can easily melt a large pack with a Cata, CDF, Bane of Havoc etc. 

In the end find what suits you. All our specs have their strengths and weaknesses at the moment and complement one another quite nicely.

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On 8/14/2018 at 8:46 PM, Tarazet said:

The mobility of BFA Demo is much better than Legion Demo. Before, you were truly a stationary turret, unless you took a talent build for some instant Shadow Bolts that was only good on single target anyway. Or if you were doing cleave you could spam Demonwrath, which was about as fun as watching paint dry but at least let you move. The wind-up time is not as severe anymore, though frequent target-swapping is still more of an issue than it is for the other Warlock specs. On the negative side, the survivability is not what it was since the passive leech was reduced.

Yes but for Legion demo most fights were seen as ST and hence you took the SI-PT build and with Doom and lifetap over 40% of your casts were instant. That was far better than Destro and MG Affy.

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8 minutes ago, spikeysquad said:

I agree with most of your assessments apart from perhaps tough to master. While Demo has a lot of abilities to get to grips, especially if you have never played it before, it isn't actually a difficult spec to master in my opinion. The rotation is relatively simple as everything is pretty much on CD. Don;t get me wrong though, I am very far more mastering it, perhaps I will find a lot of hidden complexity down the line.

It's pretty normal for melee to excel much quicker than casters (especially DoT ones), not only on levelling but in dungeons and the like. It's silly to compare to them in my opinion and especially not on something like the short pulls on levelling.  Pets are just glorified DoTs at the end of the day. 

Yes Affy has more instants on demand and better sustained ST/priority damage overall but it still has some ramp up. Affys cleave is almost non existant compared to Demo's and it has little AoE to speak of.

It's all going to to depend on how you pull etc but Destro has the best burst in my opinion at the moment over the 3 specs, especially if you are doing warmode. If you are with another person and can pull a lot you can easily melt a large pack with a Cata, CDF, Bane of Havoc etc. 

In the end find what suits you. All our specs have their strengths and weaknesses at the moment and complement one another quite nicely.

@spikeysquad Thank you for your reply

So I'm aware that pulls on leveling are not that important, 3 levels lefts so I'm not going to pay much attention to it. My main focus is PvE, raids and m+. In such case, as an experienced Lock, which spec do you think would suit me the best?

I'm also waiting to see the dps on dungeons with talents set to work for Nether Portal. For PvP I think I'll be switching to destro.

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On 8/16/2018 at 10:41 AM, Fubbler said:

@spikeysquad Thank you for your reply

So I'm aware that pulls on leveling are not that important, 3 levels lefts so I'm not going to pay much attention to it. My main focus is PvE, raids and m+. In such case, as an experienced Lock, which spec do you think would suit me the best?

I'm also waiting to see the dps on dungeons with talents set to work for Nether Portal. For PvP I think I'll be switching to destro.

To be honest I have no clue what will suit you the best. Try them all, experiment with different talents, different group set ups, different dungeons and see what excels. Of course you need to take into account that quick dying mobs will not let demo and affy truly show their power. How the tank pulls also has an impact.

All in all, play around and see what spec can do and what it struggles with. Our niches seem to be a lot more defined this time around hence if you are willing to multispec you will have a lot more situations covered. In addition tuning will not be done until just before mythic Uldir is open and hence everything you know now could be turned on its head so it's good to be prepared for that. 

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 1:32 AM, spikeysquad said:

Yes but for Legion demo most fights were seen as ST and hence you took the SI-PT build and with Doom and lifetap over 40% of your casts were instant. That was far better than Destro and MG Affy.

True, but in BFA you can use Soul Strike as an instant filler/generator available every 10 seconds, there is no constant Demonic Empowerment casting, you can save up instant Demonbolts for movement phases, and the list goes on. The baseline mobility is good and it can be talented to be better, but that's within the context of the current BFA meta where all the casters are less mobile than they were before. Especially with low levels of Haste you are often juking yourself just so you don't die to mechanics.

Edited by Tarazet

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I've given up on Demonology because we don't have raid content yet and a tuning patch will surely shake things up before Uldir launches.  Affliction gives us the beast mode boss damage in dungeons so far, so that's how I've gone.  Demo and Destro mobility is too much of a handicap at this point.  I miss Demonwrath badly.

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9 hours ago, Zagam said:

I've given up on Demonology because we don't have raid content yet and a tuning patch will surely shake things up before Uldir launches.  Affliction gives us the beast mode boss damage in dungeons so far, so that's how I've gone.  Demo and Destro mobility is too much of a handicap at this point.  I miss Demonwrath badly.

To be honest I've given up on demo as well. I've tried on both MT and ST (training dummies) and destro did twice the damage... around 11-12k dps.

Affliction - I still cant force myself to play it as it's super boring, though when m+ launches I might switch to it.

Meanwhile, I am also leveling my alt hunter and cant wait to compare dps

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If you find Affliction boring, take Siphon Life and Creeping Death - you'll be updating DoTs left and right constantly.

I'm currently leveling my Paladin to give my guild a tank to use to help gear friends up - wow is Retribution crushing things.  Mobs used to take 5-6 casts as Destruction to kill - Retribution can literally one shot things with a good Templer's Verdict and can crush packs of 4-6 with Divine Storm -> Wake of Ashes -> Divine Storm -> Judgment -> Divine Storm.  It's insane.  The power of some other classes makes me hopeful for some AoE buffs for Affliction and make something else for Destro and Demo.

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On ‎8‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 8:14 AM, Zagam said:

If you find Affliction boring, take Siphon Life and Creeping Death - you'll be updating DoTs left and right constantly.

I'm currently leveling my Paladin to give my guild a tank to use to help gear friends up - wow is Retribution crushing things.  Mobs used to take 5-6 casts as Destruction to kill - Retribution can literally one shot things with a good Templer's Verdict and can crush packs of 4-6 with Divine Storm -> Wake of Ashes -> Divine Storm -> Judgment -> Divine Storm.  It's insane.  The power of some other classes makes me hopeful for some AoE buffs for Affliction and make something else for Destro and Demo.

I've played my Paladin since BFA launched, mainly Protection with some Retribution. My other half is playing a Demo Lock. There is definitely a difference in burst potential, but if there is any amount of time to sustain damage, Demo will catch up. I've started to aggressively chain pull, because while Demo's target swapping isn't as good as Destro, it's manageable as long as there isn't a lot of downtime and the spec performs great with a high target count up. The rhythm is also good for our Warrior who can do a short charge to the next pack and then get right back to stomping.

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On 8/27/2018 at 10:20 AM, Fubbler said:

To be honest I've given up on demo as well. I've tried on both MT and ST (training dummies) and destro did twice the damage... around 11-12k dps.

Affliction - I still cant force myself to play it as it's super boring, though when m+ launches I might switch to it.

Meanwhile, I am also leveling my alt hunter and cant wait to compare dps

To be honest if you are doing double the damage with Destro over Demo on a long enough fight (3/6 mins are good for locks) there is something going very wrong with your rotation. Every ST sim I have seen/done have the two specs relatively close together. Of course it will depend on gear, traits and the like. You can always see yourself to see what you should be doing and show where you may be going wrong. 

Again with 3-4 stacked targets the results should be similar. 

I agree with Tarazet that assuming the tank keeps pulling demo's output can definitely beat Destro's in certain dungeons (split targets are a pest) and groups. It still has an inferior toolkit in my opinion but for pure damage I can only see this getting stronger and stronger as stuff lives longer.

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15 hours ago, spikeysquad said:

To be honest if you are doing double the damage with Destro over Demo on a long enough fight (3/6 mins are good for locks) there is something going very wrong with your rotation. Every ST sim I have seen/done have the two specs relatively close together. Of course it will depend on gear, traits and the like. You can always see yourself to see what you should be doing and show where you may be going wrong. 

Again with 3-4 stacked targets the results should be similar. 

I agree with Tarazet that assuming the tank keeps pulling demo's output can definitely beat Destro's in certain dungeons (split targets are a pest) and groups. It still has an inferior toolkit in my opinion but for pure damage I can only see this getting stronger and stronger as stuff lives longer.

I'll try and record with the logs, perhaps you could help out?

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20 hours ago, Fubbler said:

I'll try and record with the logs, perhaps you could help out?

If you are struggling you can post them but I doubt the moment I will see anything that you cannot yourself. The addon Details can be quite handy for comparing damage sources (at least compared to Skada and the like). 

It will be easier once the raid is out to do proper log comparisons.

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I am still pretty new to playing a Warlock as Antorus was the first raid tier where I've played Affliction as my Main.

At the BFA launch, I decided to try out Demo and really liked it.  It is definitely a super fun spec to play and I'm starting to enjoy it a lot more than Affliction - considering that we lost our Sephuz and Reap Souls.

Regarding movement, I think it's actually doing fine considering that we have Soul Strike every 10 seconds as well as Demonic Calling and Demonic Core procs.  If you have some sort of an aura that tracks your procs, then instead of using Demonic Core procs as soon as they're available, it may be worthwhile to hold them a bit to have insta-casts at your disposal if you need to move.

This week, I ran half my Mythic dungeons as Demo and the other half as Affliction - and while Affliction clearly pulls ahead on most boss fights, Demo really shines on large trash packs, especially with a decent tank.  So I think that in M+ I'll probably run as Demo - especially in Fortified weeks - while I might decide boss-by-boss in Uldir.

I am ilvl 941 now and am running with Dreadlash / Demonic Calling / Soul Strike / Inner Demons / Sacrificed Souls.  According to raidbots, Summon Vilefiend is a slight dps increase on "Light Movement" fights and a slight dps loss on "Heavy Movement", I haven't really used it so far.

With my current gear (item level 941 and Heart of Azeroth level 17), a quick sim with raidbots using a 3 min "Light Movement" fight and "Optimal Raid Buffs" gives me 9240 dps.  Well, I never even came close to that, so I played around with raidbots a bit.  Selecting "No Buffs" yields 6627 dps - which is a lot closer to what I've actually experienced in dungeons.  Adding a flask yields 6912 dps.

Selecting "Heavy Movement" yields 5885 dps - but "Hectic Add Cleave" is a nice 9515 dps (no buffs, flask, potions, anything).

Then, I ran some custom sims - using the "Advanced" option.  I copied the simc script from github, replaced their gear with mine (copied from the simc addon in-game), then ran it with the same 3 min "Light Movement".  The result was 9240 dps.

Next, I edited the script to remove the use of potions, runes and food - this brought it down to 8548 dps.

Then, I wanted to know which effect pre-casting Demonbolt would make, so I edited the script to remove it - the result was 8436 dps, but that's with a 3 minute fight.  However, running it again with a 40 second fight also didn't make much of a difference.

Using or not using Demonic Tyrant turned out to make a huge difference - without summoning him at all, it's only 6990 dps.  This means that it will be very important to properly setup the DT usage - which could be difficult on super heavy movement fights.  Ideally, you should be able to get 2 Dreadstalkers and 6 Imps all the time (requires one Demonic Core proc) or 9 Imps with Bloodlust and 2 Demonic Core procs.  And ideally, you also want a Demonic Calling proc to reduce the total cast time of the sequence.

With my current gear, the total cast time of this sequence is 1.9 sec for Call Dreadstalkers, then 2 x 1.4 sec for Hand of Gul'dan and 1.9 sec for Summon Demonic Tyrant - that's 6.6 sec pure cast time plus one Global Cooldown (insta-cast Demonbolt with Demonic Core) - so that's about 8 seconds for the full sequence.  Since your Dreadstalkers will only be active for 12 sec, that only leaves you with about 3 secs - or let's say realistically two GCDs if anything goes wrong.  In theory, using a Demonic Gateway or Demonic Circle at any time during the sequence (as well as abandoning one of your Hand of Gul'dan casts) should work - but using any of these obviously requires preparation.

Finally - going back to using "Quick Sim" with 3 minute "Light Movement" - increasing the fight length to 5 minutes actually boosts this up to 12.4k dps (it's about the same for a 10 minute fight).  Selecting "Heavy Movement", "10 bosses" and "5 minutes" yields a whopping 24.7k dps - going full consumables and Bloodlust brings it very close to 30k!  So yeah, I'm absolutely looking forward to playing Demonology in M+ with massive trash pulls and lust on trash 🙂

So far, I've mostly PUG'ed Mythics and while I had a few decent tanks, the vast majority of them just charged into boss rooms and instantly pulled, leaving no time to setup gateways or portals.  However, on trash, I have really enjoyed playing Demonology so far - especially when tanks were chain-pulling, allowing me to keep most of my Demons and Demonic Core procs going.

From the top of my head, I think I've done something around 5k dps on bosses and about 8k dps on larger trash pulls, which seems to align with the above mentioned sims.

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