Affliction warlocks, PVP & PVE comparison

90 Human Warlock
11340
Hey so I don't really make many threads/posts on here, but I though I might as well give this a try. Please do not misunderstand this as a "QQ thread", I simply want to give my input/feedback in the most accurate way possible.

As most of the Warlocks out there / people with semi-decent experience in PVP know is that Affliction warlocks (Warlocks in general) are in a pityful state.

Before going more specific into details as I am sure most of you know the problem is balancing PVE>PVP and to be fair, statistically speaking I can understand Blizzard focusing PVE over PVP, lately though that seems to be changing mainly with the introduction of PVP power/Resillience thus making PVP gear > PVE gear, at least for the time being. I have also heard some rumors that GC (Ghost Crawler) the lead system designer (I do believe this is his job description, but don't quote me on that) have hired several top PVP'ers in order to help balance PVP.

Now lets look at some differences in PVP and PVE while I am sure most of you know this already, but I think it plays a margin-able role and perhaps people do not think of it as much.

First and foremost there is dispelling in PVP (purge like abilities) as I can imagine most of you already know, I do not believe any end-game encounter currently has such abilities of the kind. Now don't get me wrong, I do believe purge abilities are needed and should stay within the game; the part that I am interested in here is the differences between the two.

Let's firstly look at Warlocks, in PVE they are doing just fine and I do believe Blizzard has full control over where they want each class to be DPS wise, now why might I be bringing this up you may ask, well the difference here is simple. I am speaking of Dark Intent, this ability is quite important to Warlocks and provide us with 10% Spell power increase (realistically 10% more while PVE'ing), I do like that you have to recast it once in a while, but this tends to go from being a "once in a while case" to being every 30 or so seconds, especially with passive/auto casted purge like effects (devour magic/clone magic) and any team doing the maths will realize that purging this will gimp our damage by 10% compared to PVE, this is an issue that is occurring a lot be it intentionally or not.

A suggestion would be something like either A) Making it completely undispellable (unsure about this in regards to the 10% stamina increase being introduced in 5.2), B) Making the 10% Spell power passive and changing it to 10% stamina increase (thus making it worthwhile to dispel it) or C) Making it un-purgable on the Warlock, but making it purgable for other party members (again, making it worthwhile to dispel/keep an eye out for it). This was the first thing that came to mind when comparing Warlocks in PVP and in PVE. All of the above scenarios are not affecting PVE as far as I know.

Now the next problem is a huge one and to me, it completely removes the fun/skill in the class. I am speaking of our dot damage, again I will try to compare the two aspects of the game as thoroughly as I can.

So in my opinion there are two main issues the first and possibly the biggest one is Soulburn+Soul Swap. While I am not sure how big of a deal this is in PVE it is currently impacting PVP in a pretentious way (negative way), I will go a bit more into this and PVE later on here. At the moment in PVP all you are doing is Soulburn+Soul Swapping dots on all targets this gives a "bigger" output damage (scoreboard) wise then for instance haunting a target. This makes the spec/class very, very one-sided and boring.

If I am being realistic I do not see this in particular being looked into/changed over the course of this expansion which saddens me as the play-style has died down to where you cast little to nothing, perhaps a bit more in 5.2 with blood fear change (which i completely agree on, instant CC is not what this game needs). Now if we look at this in the PVE side of the game, I am no serious PVE'er or anything like that, but I do think this affects PVE to at least some degree aswell. Let us say for instance that an encounter has a number of adds (which I assume most encounters do have) in the few LFR (Looking For Raid, in-game GUI tool to find PUGs) whenever there was packs of 4+ adds I would soulburn+Seed of Corruption (which applies corruption to all targets) this would make the Nightfall RNG (Random Number Generated) proc pop all the time, causing me to be able to dot all targets instantly and gaining a huge DPS output (Nightfall at it's current state is 5%/corruption tick) which I am fine with, but these two combined might be something affecting PVE.

With this current mechanism being in it's current state it is reasonable that Warlock dots are so weak at this time, at least PVP wise. Now let's look at some numbers that I have gathered through the course of a couple of 3v3 games. I will start with the highest DPS wise ability which is corruption, please note that the count is at highest 4088 (on corruption) and 3157 (Unstable Affliction) so onwards to the numbers, corruption did on average 3471 non-crit and 7084 critical. This is less then what dots did in Cataclysm and with the HP pools nowadays and added defenses of certain classes this is not much. Now onto Unstable Affliction it did 4089 average non-crit and 8675 critical (please do note this is the dot tick and not the dispel mechanism). Then there is Agony on third place doing on average 3477 non-crit and 6985 critical. Again all of these numbers are virtually the same as they did in Cataclysm, PVP wise. Another thing to note is that Fel Flame did on average 9379 non-crit and 21320 critical, which is way higher then any of our dot damage.

Now what could be causing this huge gap between PVE and PVP dot wise, while I think I covered what I think might be the main issue I do think spells such as Malefic Grasp and Haunt are to blame as well.

Let's start off with the main difference between the two game aspects first and foremost you have most of the time control over your character in PVE (little to no CC like effects) cast upon your character, and with interrupts in PVP (which are good and should remain within the game) as the game-play is now in PVP you don't really cast at all due to Soulburn+Soul Swap as mentioned earlier, which is a huge problem. My point here is that you have most of the time the freedom to do as you wish in PVE when compared side by side with PVP, which in most cases are a good thing I would say. With talents such as Kil'jaeden's Cunning you also have the ability to stay mobile in PVE which leaves out any positional crowd controls.

Now that we know this we can look at Malefic Grasp while I do quite like this spell I think this can be easily adjusted in such a manner that it does not affect PVE in a bad manner, with the freedom to pretty much as you want in PVE while in PVP you are not able to do so most of the time this simply is the case in PVP. Let's look at some simple mathematics here since at this current stage Malefic Grasp does 50% of normal dot damage every second or so of which it ticks (before haste is involved), now let's say that this would get reduced to 20/25 percent then dot damage would need to be increased by about half of the percentage that Malefic Grasp used to do, in this case 10/12.5 percent thus adequately adjusting the two.

Now the other thing is Haunt which deals a substantial amount of damage upon impact and increases all damage done to the target by 25%, again I would like to point towards the Soulburn+Soul Swap dilemma it is simply way better overall to instantly apply dots to all targets and keeping them up at the moment in PVP, which is also making the play-style as mentioned before one-sided and boring. I think a possible change here would be to remove the shard cost of haunt and rather give it a cool-down, I don't see why this would affect PVE that much at least not in boss encounters as we have pretty much always a shard to spare here (5% nightfall chance + corruption adds), this adds up to another 25 percent roughly more dot-damage "advantage" in PVE rather than PVP, this accounts for around 35 percentage dot damage +/- depending on the purges / how much we are able to or have the globals to spare for Malefic Grasp.

While I do think most of these changes are easily done through some changes that I do not believe would affect PVE at all (perhaps something minor, but definitely nothing huge) there are a number of different ways you could accomplish this.

Firstly through PVP gear, you could give the 4-set PVP bonus remove the shard cost of Haunt and give it a cool-down of X amount of seconds while in a PVP zone or even increase dot damage by X percent. I wouldn't hope for any of these changes to come through without Soulburn+Soul Swap being changed in some way as that would put Warlocks over the top and it would still remain boring to play.

As we all see you are doing changes towards PVP zones/gear which I think is a step in the right direction, but I do definitely think that the options here are enormous.

Anyway I hope nobody misunderstood me as English is not my mother tongue, though I do try my best at it. And again since I can't stress this enough this is not a rant (otherwise commonly known as a "QQ thread") thread I simply would like to give some suggestions and hope that Blizzard will acknowledge/understand that there are some issues here.

I have spoken with several top level PVP'ers and we all agree on the main issues which I do believe I have addressed with this thread, I might add more and make this thread more readable if I do have the time.
Edited by Trizelæl on 05/02/2013 08:36 GMT
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90 Human Warlock
11340
Anyway for reference and other good suggestions you might want to check out;
http://www.arenajunkies.com/topic/233938-please-help-to-bring-affliction-back/
http://www.arenajunkies.com/topic/235364-52-warlock-changes/
http://www.arenajunkies.com/topic/234945-watcha-think-boys/

If you made it this far, thank you for reading and please discuss / add suggestions yourselves.
(post exceeded 10 000 characters)
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90 Undead Warlock
8020
hello my friend . Nice post and your suggestions are pretty good but I want to point out something.

05/02/2013 00:04Posted by Trizelæl
I will start with the highest DPS wise ability which is corruption, please note that the count is at highest 4088 (on corruption) and 3157 (Unstable Affliction) so onwards to the numbers, corruption did on average 3471 non-crit and 7084 critical. This is less then what dots did in Cataclysm and with the HP pools nowadays and added defenses of certain classes this is not much. Now onto Unstable Affliction it did 4089 average non-crit and 8675 critical (please do note this is the dot tick and not the dispel mechanism). Then there is Agony on third place doing on average 3477 non-crit and 6985 critical.

About agony the first tick is about 800 damage and after of 10 stacks it hit like 3900 - 4000 . With the current dispel mechanic most of the times agony gets dispelled before reach 10 stack so the damage from this ability is way lower than you say . I dont want to say something special just the facts .

05/02/2013 00:04Posted by Trizelæl
I am speaking of Dark Intent, this ability is quite important to Warlocks and provide us with 10% Spell power increase

There are similar buffs that some other classes got and they all are magic effects like BoM BoK etc .. Making DI non magic effect is too strong imo .

05/02/2013 00:04Posted by Trizelæl
Firstly through PVP gear, you could give the 4-set PVP bonus remove the shard cost of Haunt and give it a cool-down of X amount of seconds while in a PVP zone or even increase dot damage by X percent.

Thats a great suggestion here .. +1 from me .

05/02/2013 00:04Posted by Trizelæl
So in my opinion there are two main issues the first and possibly the biggest one is Soulburn+Soul Swap. While I am not sure how big of a deal this is in PVE it is currently impacting PVP in a pretentious way (negative way), I will go a bit more into this and PVE later on here. At the moment in PVP all you are doing is Soulburn+Soul Swapping dots on all targets this gives a "bigger" output damage (scoreboard) wise then for instance haunting a target. This makes the spec/class very, very one-sided and boring.

With the change of blood fear and the fact MG is still in pvp affliction have to cast a lot .. With the current state of the melee's mobility and their 10 ways to prevent a cast I found very difficult to remove Soulburn+Soulswap . Dont miss understand me I hate that ability too but nowdays even If I fake a warrior for example still I cant cast anything because he has 2nd interupt or charge or Shockwave or Spell reflect Or leap to LoS or well you know what I mean .
Still I think good warlocks will perform better when it comes to pressure an enemy than bad warlocks .. Even if our class became easier to play with these changes we really need them to be viable in arena .
Other way to balance and make us cast more ( I remind you our favorite class cast a lot more than other casters ) is to reward casting .. Maybe casted UA will be a little better than soul burn soul swap .But this is too complex mechanic and it wouldn't get in game .. ( for example casted UA will make X damage and 3 second silence on dispeller but the Soul burn+soul swap UA will do X damage and 2 second silence on dispeller.) Thats a reward if you manage to pick the hard way .. Something we all true pvp'rs like ;) .

p.s ) Sorry for my bad English .
Edited by Hellspawñ on 05/02/2013 01:06 GMT
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90 Goblin Death Knight
13975
05/02/2013 00:04Posted by Trizelæl
First and foremost there is dispelling in PVP (purge like abilities) as I can imagine most of you already know, I do not believe any end-game encounter currently has such abilities of the kind.


Heroic Spirit Kings, Wind Lord Mel'jarak, Protectors.
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90 Human Warlock
11340
Hey there, thanks for making some suggestions Hellspawn.

Minxy as previously stated in the original post I am not that familiar with high end PVE content regardless I doubt that it is being spammed as much as it is in PVP just with Devour Magic/Clone Magic being passive/auto casted abilities they are often being purged unintentionally, add some shaman or a mage doing a couple of spell steals/purges every now and then and this becomes a valid point in my opinion.

You might be right about that potentially bringing Warlocks over the top, which is not my goal I just want to point out some things that are indirectly or directly affecting PVP and hope that people can see what I do mean.

Hope to see more people posting here, currently at college so I won't be able to read this thread as frequently while I am in college.

Again thanks to both of you for feedback.
Edited by Trizelæl on 05/02/2013 08:41 GMT
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89 Orc Warrior
8400
Affliction warlocks are getting buffed in 5.2 anyway and even then their in a decent state now, not op though, for team combat. Quite desirable for some specific arena comps and also quite good in rbgs.

A fair few affliction warlocks in the top 10 or 20 brackets on most battlegroups.
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90 Human Warlock
8795
Affliction warlocks are getting buffed in 5.2 anyway and even then their in a decent state now, not op though, for team combat. Quite desirable for some specific arena comps and also quite good in rbgs.

A fair few affliction warlocks in the top 10 or 20 brackets on most battlegroups.


Desirable in RBGs I'll grant you that.

About your other comments I don't know where you get your information.

No warlocks are not desirable in any arena comps, as there is not a single one of them that is not better with a shadowpriest.

And no there are not a fair few affliction warlocks in the top 10/20 on most battlegroups. I've looked myself, but the very few that are anywhere near there are either camping rating from early in the season, or carried by R1 partners on competitive classes.
I played some random WLD to 2050 rating, and saw I was rank 9 warlock on Misery, the largest battlegroup on EU servers, with 4 of those above me camping rating.

Fed up people saying locks are fine, because we're not anywhere near fine on any competitive battlegroup like Misery or Cyclone where all the decent players tend to be.
Edited by Mýst on 05/02/2013 11:13 GMT
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90 Undead Warlock
8020
Desirable in RBGs I'll grant you that.

About your other comments I don't know where you get your information.

No warlocks are not desirable in any arena comps, as there is not a single one of them that is not better with a shadowpriest.

And no there are not a fair few affliction warlocks in the top 10/20 on most battlegroups. I've looked myself, but the very few that are anywhere near there are either camping rating from early in the season, or carried by R1 partners on competitive classes.
I played some random WLD to 2050 rating, and saw I was rank 9 warlock on Misery, the largest battlegroup on EU servers, with 4 of those above me camping rating.

Fed up people saying locks are fine, because we're not anywhere near fine on any competitive battlegroup like Misery or Cyclone where all the decent players tend to be.

Damn dude .. I totaly agree what you said is what I wanted to say.
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90 Human Warlock
11340
I agree with what you said aswell Myst, though in RBGs it is mainly Destruction Warlocks and that is due to spamming two abilities.
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90 Undead Warlock
10040
Kiiiind of in the wrong forum, more of a class specific thread. But a good thread nonetheless.
Maybe it has more chance to get seen here.

But yeah this expansion isn't one that plays into our hands unlike Cataclysm did, it's more about burst now. But that being said, affliction WAS good in wotlk, which was also a 'burst based' expansion. so maybe things can get brighter for us.

05/02/2013 11:10Posted by Mýst
Fed up people saying locks are fine, because we're not anywhere near fine on any competitive battlegroup like Misery or Cyclone where all the decent players tend to be.


Hell yeah i know that feel. So many warriors and mages saying warlocks are fine they do good damage and survive long bla bla. lol.
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90 Human Warlock
11340
How the game is in the current state I really, REALLY doubt they will fix anything and especially when you take into consideration that the amount of people who PVP are few compared to PVE.

Edit: That's gameplay wise for Warlocks.
Edited by Trizelæl on 08/02/2013 21:09 GMT
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90 Human Warlock
8720
Good thread Trize :)
Warlocks are playable atm, we are not the strongest caster class tho. There are loads of other classes that are way better, why would you want a warlock, when you can get a priest that does the same dmg, but way better survival. I just wish they would make coil a baseline ability and change the soul link back to what it used to. Personally I think that would change alot for us.
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