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It’s the end of the world as we know it

Panic now and get it over with.

Done yet? How about now?

Ok. Now we can talk. Any long-time reader of the blog should be suitably surprised. I’m going to do something I’m pretty sure I’ve never done before.. that is, on the day that patch notes are released I’m going to mull them over and contemplate the implications for affliction warlocks.

I’m totally making this crap up. So be prepared.

PTR Patch notes are here.

Suppression, a tier-1 talent at the top of the Affliction tree, will now effect all schools of spells. Cataclysim in the destruction tree no longer effects +hit. So it looks like all warlocks who are below the hit cap will be speccing into Affliction to pick up Suppression. It -also- looks like for the first time ever you could actually spec into Suppression and not have to put the footnote that the spell hit there won’t effect demonogy spells (specifically soulshatter).

Curses/Maeldiction
Nkay… They’re continuing to streamline our curses. Combining (the neutered) CoR with CoW to come up with a suitably boring CoW. I figure I’ll still be using either CoEl or CoA or CoD. So this has little effect on me. Maybe it’s different in PVP.

CoEl increase for all warlocks to 13%. The bonus to CoEl was removed from Maeldiction and now it just gives bonus to the warlocks spell damage. That means that the CoEl can be maintained by any warlock of any spec, not just someone who’s spec’d into Mael. Affliction warlocks everywhere /cheer. Frankly unless I have 3+ people that can benefit from CoEl I’ve been using CoA so this is practically a non-change for me.

Corruption
More and more Blizz seems to be pushing Afflocks to make Corruption their cornerstone spell. I guess it make sense.

Cast sequence now:
Shadow Bolt, Haunt, Corruption, CoA, Unstable Affliction, Immolate, Siphon Life

– Siphon Life is becoming a passive effect granted with any Corruption. The patchnotes don’t mention an increase to Corruption’s damage.. I’m hoping they just kind of sneak that in.
– Since Haunt and Shadow Embrace will no longer effect Immolate.. we again have to ask if Immolate is worth casting. I wish we could just solve this and put the question to rest. I’m tired of having to ask the same thing over and over again.
– Corruptions can proc Eradiction which will give my Shadow Bolts more +crit. This will cause me to cast more Shadow Bolts. I wonder at the math to show how many Shadow Bolts it will take to maximize this talent.
– Improved Shadow Bolt increases the damage done by Shadow Bolt AND increases spell crit strike (for me only or for everyone?) on the mob. So ISB+Pandemic can give me a yummy +crit bonus.. that works on SB, UA and Corr.

New cast sequence:
Shadow Bolt, Haunt, Corruption, CoA, Unstable Affliction, Immolate(?)

Refresh haunt as soon as it come off coodown… So I really only have to refresh Haunt, CoA, UA and Immo (?). It also looks like I get a lot more Shadow Bolt filler.

Oh.. and these new glyph have the potential to be sexy:
Glyph of Haunt *new* — The bonus damage granted by your Haunt spell is increased by an additional 3%.
Glyph of Life Tap *new* — When you use Life Tap, you gain 20% of your spirit as spell power for 20 sec.

“What about the bad?”
As usual, the forums are lit up like a christmas tree with screams from warlocks about how horrible their life is because of the nerf. uh-huh. Emo much?

Seriously, I’m looking.. for Affliction.. I’m not seeing so much bad. There’s a potential “bad” in that we’re losing a bit of DPS from Siphon Life (I wonder if 40% of the corruption damage is more or less than what we’re getting from it now). Eradication -used- to grant haste. I guess there’s a potential nerf there with losing that haste and gaining crit on your shadow bolt. Shadow Embrace and Haunt no longer give additional damage to Immolate. But seriously.. it’s one fire spell. At the moment I’m not convinced it’s a “huge” nerf.. and infact I’m not convinced that the DPS isn’t made up from the buffs included in this patch. I’m very firmly in the “wait-and-see” camp.

Destruction or demonology might be a different story.. but really, someone who plays those specs would have to say.

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10 comments to It’s the end of the world as we know it

  • I’ve already gone through a panic QQ and am now on the very tentative first steps of a rebound (brought on by the announcement of the Jousting tournament and the new tailoring belts, omfg! 2(+1) sockets, hit, haste, sp. power??? OMFG!!!).

    I had to remind myself a few times these were the FIRST PTR notes. Things will change, things will be altered. As it stands, though, the developers have told us to remove Immolate from our affliction rotation. There’s no real reason to keep it in there. Shadow bolt spam will be better for our dps, at least in this current version of the 3.1 affliction build. They’ve also taken Siphon Life away from us. Did anyone seriously use it in pve raids for the healing effect? It was a nice bonus, but you used it because it also caused damage and boosted your dps. Your healers took care of getting you back to full, not a measly 400 health tic per second. It was great in aoe grinding, but it was never meant as a “omg i’m healzors!!!” ability. So great, corruption gives us health, but it also killed affliction dps.

    I would be shocked, and tremendously surprised, if no further changes happened to the Affliction Warlock. Right now we’ve had our dps cut by about 20-30%, depending how your recount stats show up.

    For myself, as a well geared warlock, I was averaging 3500-4500 dps. 20-30% less puts me at 2450-3150 dps. In some of the top end-game gear available to me, I would be putting out the same dps that your average fresh 80 hunter in BC blues could put out…

    Destruction, on the other hand, has potential… maybe I’ll finally go back to having a blog and document how the different trees go when I get around to PTR’ing my toon! Eeeee!

    latusthegoats last blog post..Has enough time passed?

  • More and more I’m thinking that Afflic is being pushed to Shadow, and Destro to Fire. Which puts Immolate into the Destro lock’s toolbox. Well, it was already there because of Conflagrate, but I think it’s become of less interest for Affliction.

    Grimmtooths last blog post..The game is changing

  • Nibuca

    GC speaks:
    All in all it should be about a wash or possibly a small nerf. Affliction dps is very high in most raid settings, particularly once so many other classes get brought under control. So we weren’t at all trying to buff Affliction with these changes, and all in all a small nerf is probably fine.

    Warlocks are fine. L2P. *sigh*

    I actually hoped we’d get a smide of burst dps. That’d be spiff.

  • Illiara

    I’ll admit that I panicked too, but I’m starting to warm to the patch.

    At first I wasn’t fond of the idea of losing some of the complexity of the rotation, but I spent the past two weeks alternating my playing between my new DK and my hunter…and maybe Affliction could use a LITTLE simplification.

    I DO hope they buff Corruption or Shadowbolt to make up for the DPS loss from Immolate and Siphon Life though. I’m admittedly not too fond of losing one of the spec’s signature spells.

  • Leokun

    Blizzard really needs to pay attention to what they are doing to affliction. The way I see it the new Affliction could potentially become the new 0/21/40.

    Assuming that Immolate is dropped from the rotation and CotE is used over CoA we would end with something like this:

    CotE, Shadow Bolt, Haunt, Corruption, Unstable Affliction

    Which looks dreadfully familiar…

  • Yeah, I think I went through the whole QQ to Wait and See phases in my entry yesterday. You can see I get angry and then cool off. I’m still kinda peeved, especially with your blue reposting in here confirming what I’ve already come to terms with: it should *almost* be a wash, erring on the side of nerf.

    Now, I know they keep saying ‘locks are fine and all that jazz, but is it just me who feels like we’re always just slightly behind the curve. When are they going to have the other classes “brought under control”. If everyone else is out of control and we’re under control, isn’t that just a way of looking at it. I mean, is it the whole world that is messed up, or just you? Maybe I want to be out of control for once. In control all the time is sort of dull and mediocre, which completely doesn’t fit with the Warlock psyche.

    Long story short… I’ve always wanted to focus on shadow damage so I approve of the push in the direction. Simplification is probably warranted. I can tolerate using more s-bolts. Having to figure out if crit makes up for straight DoT damage sounds like messy maths. Potentially getting nerf but not really knowing because its hidding in blizz jargon = no bueno.

    Fulguraliss last blog post..Faith, Hope, and Love

  • Leokun

    It seems to me they are aligning the stars for a very crit heavy succubus spec to be viable. It sounds interesting considering one could potentially get around 30% crit from talents with a spec revolving around the succubus.

  • mbf

    What I’d like to see for affliction is some sort of conlag-alike. It would help us tremendously on trash where we’re weak and provide some needed burst. Something that would suck up the affliction effects on a mob and implode in some sort of shadow vacuum bomb like thing. It would need to be instant cast or 1.5 secs at most.

    sb-haunt-corr-ua-vacuum pack: kaboom for trash, not so useful on bosses though as it eats your DoTs.

  • Ooooh, that’s a really good idea. A DoT bomb sort of like how Obliterate works for DKs… That would be pretty neat. Though we’d still have to be able to apply a few dots to explode off, and that is still tough on some trash…

    Fulguraliss last blog post..Faith, Hope, and Love

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