The Great Destro Migration
I know it’s been a while, folks, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to discuss something that’s going to ruin the game for me, so I decided to step forward and rant…and damn does it feel good.
In light of the recent PTR, Affliction has been gutted roadkill. Admittedly, I saw it coming. I have seen the DPS numbers Affliction was putting out, and with overpowered classes having been nerfed, I knew we would rise up again because of our spammable CC. There was no way Blizzard would let it sit where it was. So, they did what they always do–nerf things. Under the guise of “rotation simplification,” they turned Affliction in the the most mind-numbing playstyle ever. There’s essentially four buttons to cast now: Unstable Affliction, Haunt, and Corruption, and Curse of Agony. Part of the fun of playing Affliction was feeling like you were weighing down on your opponent over time. Now factor in resilience and the loss of Siphon Life, coupled with the Fear nerf, and you’ve got a skeleton of a playstyle. You know what, though? I’m not upset about it at all. However, I am upset that the seesaw tipped in Destruction’s favor. As a result, we’re going to experience something I’ve dubbed “The Great Destruction Migration.”
Destruction had many issues in PvP, most of which involved survivability–and that’s what made it fun to play. It needed some new toys, but it didn’t need to shop at FAO Shwartz.
- Aftermath - Increases the periodic damage done by your Immolate by 6%, and your Conflagrate has a 100% chance to daze the target for 5 sec.
This is what Destruction needed–a snare. The 10% chance to daze on all spells was nice, but it was unreliable. It’s nice to see that we now have a reliable snare and a more definitive control tool. Overall, this is an excellent change because Destruction Warlocks are notoriously squishy.
- Molten Skin - Reduces all damage taken by 6%.
Okay, so this isn’t terrible. The assumption is that Destruction Warlocks will have picked up Soul Link, so another 6% reduction, and another possible 5% from the Glyph of Soul Link make Destruction feel significantly less squishy.
- Conflagrate - Consumes an Immolate or Shadowflame effect on the enemy target to instantly deal damage equal to 15 sec of your Immolate or 8 sec of your Shadowflame.
This is absurd. I know Conflagrate and Shadowburn needed some more damage scaling, but I feel this is a somewhat ridiculous. However, I understand this is how Blizzard plans to scale Destruction in PvE, but it’s going to scale too well in PvP.
- Chaos Bolt - Damage increased about 15%.
This is a great change. While most Warlocks feel it is still not enough, it is not a bad spell. I enjoy casting it, and it’s great for eating DKs who think they’re safe in their shields.
Now, this is all well and good, and I understand Blizzard made a clear effort to make Destruction better in PvP, but it put all the strength into Conflagrate. Allow me to explain: Conflagrate is hitting hard. We’re talking very hard. While Destruction needed some more power, it doesn’t need an instant cast nuke. We’ve seen what’s happened to those (read: Arcane Barrage). Granted this one is dependent on your Immolate’s bonuses, that you actually cast Immolate, and it has a 10 second cooldown, but it’s just going to cause people to get pissed off. The forums are already filling up now with “NERF CONFLAG” threads. Blizzard, we don’t need this. All you needed to do was up Conflagrate and Shadowburn’s damage somewhat. Conflagrate didn’t need to be the nuke. It’s already the playmaker because you’re not going to get a cast off in PvP without Backdraft procs.
Please, Blizzard, don’t let Conflagrate go live.
What This Means for Destruction
1). Everyone and their mother is going to spec Destruction.
Stay the hell away from my spec. I’ve been playing Destruction since Vanilla in PvP. I’ve seen it change many, many times. I played it in BC too when it was considered unplayable. I have always loved Destruction. I don’t want every Goddamn noob playing my spec. Part of the fun of Destruction was the skill required to play it effectively, but now that Conflag hits like a truck full of bowling balls, everyone’s going want to drive.
2). Nether Protection will be nerfed.
One of the best defensive spells in the game, Nether Protection gives Destruction Warlocks the edge against other casters. Note that it doesn’t shut other casters down, however. It is easily dispelled. The only caster against which this is most effective Moonkins because they can’t dispel/Spellsteal the buff. Despite how easy it is to work around, people will still complain when they see their Frostbolts, Lightning Bolts, and Starfires hit for around 1500. Spell damage reduction aside, there’s still the 6% reduction from Molten Skin, 20% from Soul Link, 5% from the glyph that will keep Warlocks from getting chunked (note that it’s not a flat reduction and that Soul Link is an absorbtion effect; in other words, the numbers are multiplicative). I feel Destruction Warlocks will be too good against other casters. Expect the 60% reduction to go to like 30%.
3). Shadowfury will be nerfed.
I’ve been feeling this one for a long time. Part of the reason Shadowfury got buffed several times throughout beta was because Destruction was lacking as a whole. Shadowfury is Destruction’s primary defensive spell. It can stop groups of attackers, giving you the breathing room to Fear a target, cast a nuke, or Conflag someone’s face. People will already be pissed that Conflagrate will hit very hard, now imagine how they’ll feel when they are hit very hard while stunned.
4). Conflagrate will be nerfed along with Nether Protection and Shadowfury.
This one is obvious. But if it isn’t nerfed before it goes live, then we’ll get a bunch more nerfs. Because of Conflag’s strength, people will begin to scrutinize the spec as a whole. Right now it’s not taken seriously, but with Conflagrate people rise up with their torches and pitchforks.
5). Oh yeah, everyone and their mother is going to spec Destruction.
Seriously folks, stop it. My spec. Leave it alone. I don’t want Destruction to go the ways of Affliction. I don’t want the migration to happen.
Don’t buff Conflagrate. Instead, give a damage bonus multiplier to spells cast while under the Backdraft buff. It makes more sense. The strength of Destruction should not be in its instant casts (that’s why Affliction was nerfed), it should be in the nukes. A Backdrafted Chaos Bolt should be something to be afraid of–it requires the Immolate setup as well as the Conflagrate. It makes way too much sense.
Seriously Blizzard, all we needed was the snare on Conflagrate. Now leave the spec alone.
You too, reader. Leave my spec alone. I don’t need your flavor of the month antics screwing up what I love most about my class.