I’m not feeling the magic (and I’m not alone)
As all diehard Warlocks know, the future of Warlocks in Wotlk is rather bleak. Our core class issues haven’t been addressed, and, with two months left, we wonder if they ever will be addressed. I, for one, am terrible disheartened as I am a loyal Warlock.
Since the days of Vanilla WoW, I’ve played a Warlock. It was the first class I played at launch and it’s the class whose playstyle I enjoy the most. I’ve tried the other classes. Nothing really does it for me, especially melee (I can’t just hack and slash things to death). I recall that when BC details began to leak, I was excited. It was clear then that Blizzard wanted to address the Warlock class, which, prior to BC, was a joke. The talents trees and spells felt new. The Warlock playstyle was revamped and made into a damned fun, exhilarating experience.
This was the case for all classes; there was something new for everyone. There was something to pull players into the expansion and be excited to play WoW. However, with Wotlk on the horizon, I’m just not feeling it.
I am not alone in my dispair. A topic appeared in the Warlock forums yesterday that epitomized my feelings. You can find it here.
The topic’s poster, Maso, uses a quote from Ghostcrawler on the Warrior beta forums:
It’s a BAD thing if someone logs into Lich King, plays for a few hours, is unimpressed with the changes to their class and decides not to go explore Northrend. That is not something we want to happen. On the other hand, it’s also a bad thing if you are totally dominated or shown up by other classes. But when you think about it from our perspective, we really do want everyone to be excited about their class.
I wonder if anyone is truly excited for Warlocks in the expansion. I’ve said it before—I’m not.
The Community Responds
After reading through the 5 pages of post (as of my time of writing), I’ve come across some interesting quotes that I will highlight here:
“…we’re literally FORCED to spec Meta for good PvP survivability and that is terrible. I don’t want that, and I’m pretty sure any PvP lock that cares about actual viability wants that. Give us real survivability tools.”
In regards to Destruction, Flyingpie writes:
“Nothing creative besides back draft and Chaotic Mind [which has been removed]. I’ve revised my thoughts on the destro talents and i’m actually looking at destro pvp specs in which i do not pick up anything from the last two tiers of the tree.”
“I’m more excited about my rogue changes than my warlock changes. I played my warlock on the PTR and within 10 minutes lost the “new nad exciting!” feel. I’m sure northrend and the new trainable abilities would have a much longer appeal, but in comparison to what my rogue is getting, my warlock seems extremely lackluster.”
“I don’t see much happening to fix the loss of class identity, which has been on the decline for some time now. At the advent of TBC we had 3 viable trees, each with a unique playstyle. If you wanted a change, paying the respec fee was almost as good as rerolling in terms of variety.
Since then it’s been like the Death of a Thousand Cuts, resulting in 1 boring cookie cutter spec for PVP and another boring cookie cutter spec for PVE. If you don’t like spamming shadowbolts in raids, too bad. Demo isn’t what it should be (despite countless testimonials by the player base) and affliction DPS is non-competitive period. Arena PVP revolves around being propped up by a healer and spamming drain life instead of shadowbolt. Wheee!
Who is driving the bus?”
“I primarily PVE and its really casual on this character, but im not excited at all about the changes, well except maybe for corruption being instant. Haunt may do good damage but its really lame sounding, and a cast time for a 12 second effect kind of sucks. Make our 51 a curse of doom that works on players. Make our dots contagious. give us enough affliction effects that we dont use shadowbolt. let us put multiple curses on one target since apparently our curses are no better to weaker than lots of other classes effects.
to make me the slightest bit excited i think they have to make some from the ground up fundamental changes to the lock class.”
“Why are we not being buffed in places where we need it. Why are we mostly free hk again for other characters. Why are the developers not doing their job when it comes to the warlock class? Why are several other classes overpowered, why are several other classes underpowered - so much.
Why is Blizzard failing us?
This is not how I remember this company.“
“There’s very little that I’m excited about in the expansion….The weeks go by and such review remains unmentioned, abilities keep getting nerfed, and the developer’s continue to respond to none of the well-written feed-back posts. The developer’s are also talking in past tense about talents/abilities being in flux. They are also actively discussing dps balancing; something they said they wouldn’t do until all the talents were set. These are not good indicators for me.
To be honest. At this point I don’t intend to buy the expansion”
“Let’s see… I’m excited for…. flying carpets. Yes, that’ll be cool for a few minutes. As far as being excited for this toon [Priest] or my main lock in the xpac? LOL!”
“I remember reading about the Cripple DoT and drooling on myself quite happily. Now we have Haunt, a 1.5 second new spell that will tell us:
You can’t cast that while stunned
You can’t cast that while stunned
You can’t cast that while stunned
You are dead. Please reroll a Death Knight. okthxbubye”
“Even affliction is all gimmick and no substance. I’m excited.. About the UNHOLY DK SPEC, which was everything affliction ever wanted. the snare aura, the use of diseases instead of magic effects (awesome.. SO much fewer ways to remove it!), etc.”
“Not excited at all. I see all these other classes get these amazing new 51 point talents and we get what amounts to another shadowbolt, a costume change, and another searing pain that amplifies our dots and has no PVP utility.
It just seemed to me that Blizzard forgot that locks do PVP as well. Our only improvements have been to PVE, which we never complained about in the first place.”
Out of the current 88 posts in the topic, one person is excited for the expansion. Does Blizzard not see that this is a problem? Do the cries of the Warlock community fall upon def ears?
No Cause for Excitement
The only thing I was truly excited about in the expansion was Demonic Circle. However, after seeing it in action, I realize that it’s nothing more than a more directional Blink. Yet, this level 20 spell is far superior to our level 80 spell because Blink “frees the caster of stuns and bonds.”
I expected a lot more from Demonic Circle. I do recall a blue post several months ago that hinted at Demonic Circle. The post also said something about a buff for standing in the circle (a reduction in pet-summoning time was the example). I wanted the Demonic Circle to be an new, important part of the Warlock playstyle. I wanted the circle to be to Warlocks what Totems are to Shamans.
Besides Demonic Circle, we’ve got our other new spell, Shadowflame. Look at that tooltip carefully: 363 to 397 shadow damage and 212 fire damage over 8 seconds. Note that this is Rank 2, obtained at level 75. Compare this to Rank 5 of Cone of Cold: 335 to 365 frost damage and a 50% movement speed reduction. Cone of Cold (Rank 5) is learned at level 58. Interesting, isn’t it?
Best of all, these new spells aren’t new at all. These mechanics existed before. Demonic Circle is Blink, Shadowflame is Cone of Cold. There’s nothing new about them. In fact, they’re inferior to their old copies.
Distraught and Disheartened
The appeal of Wotlk Warlocks is virtually non-existent. Best of all, this isn’t a new development. Blizzard is aware of our unaddressed concerns, but chooses not to respond. The Warlock beta forum is a wasteland compared to that of other classes (if you don’t believe me, check out MMO-Champion’s Blue Tracker). Yet, what bothers me most of all is that Blizzard would rather repond to ignorant trolls than intelligent players.
This doesn’t make sense to me at all. The Warlock community has no idea what Blizzard intends to do with the class. The future of the Warlock class is grim.
The Grass is Greener
I’m confident that intelligent players of other classes can tell you why they’re excited for Wotlk. Hell, I can tell you why: Mirror Image, Typhoon, Beast Mastery, Arcane Barrage, Dispersion, Divine Hymn, Nourish, Freezing Arrow, Master’s Call, Frostfire Bolt, Living Bomb, Deep Freeze, Sacred Shield, Diving Storm, Army of the Dead…the list goes on. These abilities have flavor. The establish their respective classes’ identity. Warlocks just don’t feel like Warlocks anymore. BC is proof of that.
It’s clear that Blizzard does want each class to feel special. Take a look at Ghostcrawler’s review of Mirror Image:
I like to think of Mirror Image as a case where the process just worked. There were some cool talents in the mage trees.There were some nice damage mechanics, like Hot Streak, that felt interesting and different. But LK mages weren’t getting anything that felt cool and exciting except for easy ports to Dalaran. And the mages felt it. And they told us. And we went back to work. It was a really hard spell to implement from a technical standpoint, but totally worth it. So I’m glad Mirror Image worked out. It’s fun. It’s a little unpredictable. It changes the game for everyone, not just mages. We had a mirror image run up and melee Patchwerk last night. Dumb image.
I think it’s very cute how the Mage community came together over Mirror Image. It’s positively sweet; touching, really. At least we know Blizzard is capable of love. We’re just not getting it. I’ve said it before: this is why we can’t have nice things.
Blizzard, I’m not feeling the magic and I’m not alone.