Nobody Panic (Not yet, at least)
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
- 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.
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.
We need to bear in mind a few things:
- These are beta changes. More than l likely, they will not go live in their current condition.
- These are beta changes.
- These are beta changes.
- The devs are aware of the Warlock community’s gripes.
- In the original blue post, Jimmythenumbers explains:
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.