Yet Another Warlock Nerf

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Nobody Panic (Not yet, at least)

MMO-Champion’s Blue Tracker has reported a seemingly gamebreaking post regarding buffs, debuffs, and raid stacking:

With the release of upcoming content patch players will see a change in the way we allow buffs and debuffs to stack exclusively in a raid. For the most part, what this change means is that many buffs and debuffs that were previously allowed to stack together no longer can, and that many buffs and debuffs that only a single talent specialization could bring can now be brought by multiple different specializations. The philosophy behind this change shows up in many of the changes we have made in Wrath of The Lich King, such as when we made almost all buffs raid-wide. We want players to be able to form raids and parties based on who they want to play with, rather than who has the correct talents and abilities to min-max their raid performance.

There is a rather large list of buffs that no longer stack; however, I’ll quote the ones that matter:

- Armor Debuff (Minor): Faerie Fire, Sting (Hunter pet), Curse of Recklessness
- Increased Spell Damage Taken Debuff: Ebon Plaguebringer, Earth and Moon, Curse of the Elements
- Increased Spell Power Buff: Focus Magic, Improved Divine Spirit, Flametongue Totem, Totem of Wrath, Demonic Pact

- Attack Power Debuff: Demoralizing Roar, Curse of Weakness, Demoralizing Shout

- Health Buff: Commanding Shout, Blood Pact
- Intellect Buff: Arcane Intellect, Fel Intelligence
- Spirit Buff: Divine Spirit, Fel Intelligence
- Cast Speed Slow: Curse of Tongues, Slow, Mind-numbing Poison

Furthermore, the post lists many changes to these debuffs (again, I’ll post the ones that matter):

- Improved Shadow Bolt: Buffs only self.
- Shadow Embrace: Buffs only self.
- Blood Pact: Grants health instead of Stamina.
- Fel Intelligence: Has replacement ranks that grant flat values of Intellect and Spirit.
- Frost Aura: Excludes properly against all other resistance buffs.
- Demonic Pact: Now buffs raid instead of debuffing monsters.

The Freakout

Now, if you’re an intelligent raiding Warlock, you’re probably freaking out by now. For the other Warlocks, this is why (in addition to the above changes):

  • Increased spell damage taken debuffs: They do not stack. This means that Boomkins and Death Knights are just as desirable as an affliction Warlocks. Seems good, right? Wrong. Curse of the Elements is the only one of these debuffs that does not include holy damage. Why take a Warlock when his primary raid debuff isn’t as strong as other classes’ debuffs?
  • Intellect and Spirit Buffs: Does not stack.
  • Armor Debuff (Minor): Does not stack.
  • Attack Power Debuff: Does not stack.
  • Cast Speed Slow: Does not stack.

This appears to take away all of the utility of an affliction Warlock. As a result, forums are going absolutely nuts: Warlocks are torching houses, pillaging towns, and looting shops.

Well, Warlocks, I have something to tell you: CALM DOWN.

Chill Out

We need to bear in mind a few things:

Before we are done, we will thoroughly test the performance of every class. Do not assume that the classes’ current performance relative to others in the beta is final. Some classes (and specializations) will need to be reduced in power and some increased.

  • If Blizzard intends to tear down affliction’s utility, we can only hope they will rebuild the entire tree (Lord knows it needs fixing; see haste/crit scaling).

Essentially, what I am saying to the Warlock community is this: The game is not finished. Most of the class-related issues will be resolved. I’m just sick of people freaking out about the beta before it’s even finished.

Let’s just wait and hope on the prospect of our “considerable changes.” If you’re waiting on line at midnight before the game’s release and there are no changes, then you can start burning things.

Post info

  • Date posted: August 29th, 2008
  • Post author: Smatter
  • Category: misc
  • Tags:

About the author

This post was written by Smatter, who contributed 16 posts on Yet Another Warlock Nerf.
You can read a short bio and find all posts by Smatter by clicking his name.


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8 responses to “Nobody Panic (Not yet, at least)”

  1. Graylo says:

    I wouldn’t worry about Curse of Elements. Some of the things I’ve been reading indicate it will still be the best-in-class debuff, due to the reduction in resistances. I always thought that you couldn’t reduce boss resistances but some very smart people are saying that you can and it has been shown on WWS reports.

    However, this change is a HUGE nerf for warlocks. No more Shadow Weaving, Only being able to use your own Imp Shadow Bolt. That is likely at least a 10% decrease in DPS.

  2. Scott says:

    This is on just about everyone’s blog today and everyone sees to have the same response. A majority of it for everyone to just FTFA! Nice to see one that says “We’ll see.” I don’t think any of the changes will be “gamebreaking.”

    I’m not sad to see stacks of Mortal Strike and Wound Poison going the way of the DoDo

  3. Horns says:

    This change was necessary. With buffs/auras/etc. going raidwide, there would be simply too many buffs to go around and damage would skyrocket.

    Nothing will change basically. You’ll still take just enough healers and tanks, and get the least possible number of DPS classes who will bring the most beneficial buffs to the raid, and fill other spots with the best DPS class(es). Why is that different from what we are doing today?

    10 classes = 30 different specs. Someone has to bite the dust.

  4. Smatter says:

    Exactly, Horns. Although, in its current stage, this change will harm us somewhat. Yet, I suppose the sacrifice is for the greater good of the game and the overall enjoyment of all classes/specs.

  5. Romil says:

    I agree Horns… cant get too excited yet being that this is the beta. Things get added, then get taken away just as quickly.

    We also have to keep in mind that we don’t know which spec’s will dominate in the expansion. Affliction lock’s may come out with higher DPS than Destro locks, as unlikely as this seems, we just dont know enough about the talents yet to say for sure what is the best raid spec for Warlock’s.

    Although as an affliction warlock in game currently, this does freak me out a bit.

  6. Jaqi says:

    As someone who would much rather raid Afflic than any other spec, this rather worries me. I don’t want to spam SB for the whole rest of the next expansion, but I don’t want to be entirely out of a raiding spot, either.

    I’ve already made my own post about what I’ve seen regarding warlocks in the beta, but it pretty much sums up to the fact that we can always reroll deathknights if they screw us over too much. :P

  7. donnie says:

    Lock that crited the mob causing the shadow debuff will be the solely one that will benefit from it … Freking A !

    Get ur own god damn crit gear ! I have a lock in raid that tops all dps meters … why ? cause he stacked haste gear like a madman … eating our imp SB like popcorn. Mind you that my guild is curently half way in BT … so not all of us have haste gear.

  8. Alghieri says:

    Great info. My only comment is that all warlocks are smart, as I believe that mathematically

    Warlock - (intelligence, wits, brains) = Mage.

    Please correct my math if you see any errors.