Warlock Issues GU66 and beyond...

Discussion in 'Mages' started by Mogrim, May 7, 2013.

  1. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    This is not to complain, but to look for ways to even the playing field. This means a little love for the Wizards too, of course. If the powers that be are interested in implementing a few of these, I would be happy to provide insights into which ones are more important.

    I don't want to see this ENTIRE list implemented. We'd be overpowered. I just threw a lot of positive changes out there to see what might stick.

    That said... here goes


    Raid Mechanics:

    Reality 1: Warlocks are heavily DOT based.
    Reality 2: Warlocks are heavily noxious based.
    Reality 3: The recent changes to Time Warp almost cut the time spent double-casting in half for mages.

    Problem 1: Most challenge mobs clear detriments. As a result, significant amounts of our dps doesn't happen.

    Problem 2: No gear in the last few expansions has a "debuff noxious proc". All other debuff types are represented on many pieces. This isn't massive, but considering it is harder to max out debuffs on mobs now than years ago, its just another brick in the wall. When you stack this with detriment clears, at any given time during a fight, the mob being battled is more likely to not have tons of noxious debuffs on it.

    Problem 3: While Time Warp resets were probably not working as intended, much of the love scouts got in their improvements seems to have been built against the backdrop of short fight parses mages were putting out with Time Warp working as it has previously.

    Group Dependency:

    Reality 1: Warlocks are more dependent on Upbeat Tempo for dps than any other class is on any other buff.
    Realty 2: A poorly communicated/timed/false positive/whatever Time Warp hurts a Warlock more because of overlapping with Focused Casting

    Problem 1: A raid night with no Troub and Warlocks are parsing with the Brigands. A raid night with a Troub who dies a lot? Same. The other 3 dps mages do not suffer the same massive burnout to their potential if the raid is a specific class short.

    Problem 2: The other 3 mages cannot so easily have their personal biggest way to spike dps ruined like Warlocks can with Time Warp miscommunication. As a result, on a given night the parse is likely to include multiple inadvertent overlaps of Focused Casting and Time Warp. This is why adjusting Focused Casting to be +100% to pre-modified base makes sense.

    Bad/Broken Spells:


    Absolution: Cast time makes it almost never usable
    Dissolve: Never worth casting (honestly, we're ok with this)
    Dark Infestation: If Dark Broodlings are triggered, the DOT portion fails to keep ticking.
    Dark Nebula: Practically never worth casting
    Rift: Only worth casting to someone spec'd right side prestige.
    Distortion: Only worth casting to someone spec'd left side prestige.
    Flames of Velious: Only worth casting to someone spec'd left side prestige.
    Master's Strike: Never worth using, despite having to earn. (Warlocks AND Wizards)
    Static Discharge: Never worth using.
    Encase: Only worth casting as rare filler if spec'd right side prestige.

    Stat Progression:

    Reality 1: The other 3 mage dps classes benefit from stat progression more because of their lifeburn/manaburn/soulburn and for the summoners, pet stat sharing. All of us grow in our OTHER abilities, but the other 3 class types have abilities that "double benefit".

    Reality 2: The other 3 mage dps classes benefit from Spell Double Attack progression more because they have more time when they are not guaranteed a Spell Double Attack.

    Combined Problem: This means for every upgrade we all get, the other 3 mage dps types actually grow a little more than we do.

    Solutions that would encourage Warlocks: More important ones first.

    Focused Casting: Make it add 100% to premodified base of spells instead of adding spell-multi. This focuses on fixing the stat-progression issue, as right now every point of spell-double attack gained on gear helps non-warlocks more than warlocks.

    Gift of Bertoxxulous: Make it maintained. The buff does minimal damage, so casting it over and over becomes tedious for minimal benefit, especially since it doesn't proc on all our spells anyhow. Furthermore, change Gift of Bertoxxulous's damage to be = to 1/2 our intelligence, and proc on all noxious spells. This would make it tie it in directly with stat growth, and would be useful in all scenarios.

    Curse of Darkness, Netherealm, Eternal Damnation: Cut the cast times in half for our temp buffs. These are meant to be able to be used mid-fight, but the duration on them takes too long to be worth using most of the time. They are meant to be great if used at the right time, but right now, they take so long that they should only be used pre-pull.

    Additional: Right Side Prestige Viability. Most people see that the Right Side Prestige "should" be the natural path for an AOE Warlock. However, it just doesn't play out that way. On AOE-rich content, it breaks even/slightly beats the left side, otherwise it is significantly worse. This could be addressed by having the right side prestige increments cap at 150 instead of 180 for Warlocks, making this side more viable. Wizards got this, we should too.

    Additional Solution: To share the wealth, make the duration of the Warlock/Wizard buffs on the left side prestige last for 45 seconds instead of 30. This allows for a more free-flow playstyle while not impacting dps very much.

    Get Absolution's base cast time changed to 3 seconds (meaning 1.5 w/ 100 cast speed).

    Boost Rift's damage by 25% (or reduce base cast time across the board) and make it do noxious damage so that it plays nicely with our Left Side Prestige. Fusion does elemental damage, Rift should do noxious damage.

    Fixing the dot on Dark Infestation to be independent to triggering broodlings would be nice.

    Increase pre-modified base damage of Master Strike by 50% and the base cast time cut in half to help both Warlocks and Wizards (albeit a situational improvement only, it drives many people nuts that "Master Strike" should never be used by a Sorcerer)

    Change Dark Aggravation to trigger the AOE part of its damage first. If the first of the two hits kills the targeted mob, the 2nd hit never happens. (this is really an extremely minor fix, but it would be nice. Interestingly, this spell does not work consistently with Time Warp or Focused Casting. It seems to fail double attacking a lot. Unsure why.

    Lastly, a few other ideas for a few of our endlines that don't work well:

    Change Volatility to make Aura of Void apply as an 8-target AOE instead of the +/- range oddity that Volatility currently is... it has been tested consistently that this does not work on Raid Mobs as advertised. In addition, casting Aura of Void does not trigger increments on the right side prestige. It should. A similar fix to a spell that wasn't working like that was given to Wizards.

    Alternative: Change Volatility to be: Harbinger of the Plague: Instant cast temp-buff that converts all of the Warlocks non-noxious spells and abilities to do disease damage, and changes the prerequisite of Gift of Bertoxxulous triggers to work for disease and poison damage.

    Change Aftershocks to give all Warlock damage over time spells an "aftershock" that is proportionate to the power of the spell that triggers once the spell expires naturally or TWICE if it is cured. This would help balance our dps against the rest of T1 dps that don't suffer from mobs that cure. Obviously for PVE only.

    Change Focused Catalyst: Each point should give the next +2crit bonus and reduce the health cost by 2%, with the final point making the ability impossible to resist and free to cast.
    Riktor and Thalador like this.
  2. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    In addition, left side prestige ability "occult bolt" should proc noxious influx
  3. Magic Missiles Active Member

    Very well written post Mogrim- and it brings up many issues with possible solutions for improvement.
    I am sure if there were any warlocks left they would agree.
  4. Chronus Active Member

    We are here, we talk sometimes in our worldwide channel. I do sort of disagree on every upgrade being a smaller thing for warlock, although this is true in terms of doublecast especially the extra bonuses from intelligence does help sanguine quite nicely.

    I do think FC being 100% pre mod would be utterly OP when combod with a timewarp, Slippery suggested 75%, I'm not sure it's enough and would need to play around with it a lot.

    The Dark Aggravation not doubling properly isn't mentioned, really annoying.
  5. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    Int helps Wizards more. (Myth)
    Health helps summoners more.
    Power helps Wizards more.
    Doublecast helps all of them more.

    I did mention doublecast issues with Dark Aggrovation, re-read my post ;-)

    The reason it matters that none of these stats help us as much is for in-raid buff priority.

    Equally geared and skilled, and the only buff a Warlock really ends up getting is Upbeat Tempo.

    As a result, the way to parse well on a Warlock is to be a better player than the other Mage dps, and get buffs that would normally go to them.
  6. Nayen Member

    Health helps a necromancer, conjurors get the same benefits as you. As a conjuror you normally dont get any single target buffs because it is better suited on another mage... UT is better on a necro or warlock (more dots) and TC is better on sorcs(wizards and warlocks) due to higher spell dmg and then the conjuror.
  7. slippery Well-Known Member

    A conjuror also doesn't need any other buffs.

    Broodlings and Netherlord are still pretty god awful. Acid Storm is okay, but the cast time/reuse is too long, one of them should be shorter.
  8. Nynaeve Active Member

    Seriously, it hate that Mages depend on Upbeat Tempo and Timewarp in the first place.
    Just give these guys groupwide or even raidwide buffs or something, because it just distorts which mage is good in DPS by himself and which is the raid's darling who gets these single-target buffs for his DPS. One guy will be hyped as a dps-god cause he always has support on him, others parse low cause they dont get them, or are even in the 4th group without any support.
    This truly svcks. You can never really compare DPS even between archtype classes for that reason.

    Even better would be: give Dirges and Troubies something else to do, or UP their own DPS, cause frankly I don't care watching the chat-log and I can't afford waiting with my big-hitting spells for their timewarp announce. There's enough going on in the log already without them, and enough to do for Locks. Support Classes should all be banned or given their own role.
    Macro and Laiina like this.
  9. Chronus Active Member

    Would rather they didn't do that, in SF beta they failed hard at trying to put it in and making them actually raidwide or groupwide would be overpowered.
  10. Nynaeve Active Member

    "would be overpowered" - NO cause they could scale depending on how many are affected. It's not my problem to mathematically figure out stuff, I just know I hate Support Classes because they benefit a few chosen players and the rest is left behind, and the guys who have buffs on are then hyped as being so awesome.
    PS. I always parse top in the top 4 without support anyway, but it would be much cooler to have the ACT log reflect people's own playing abilities and not who gets buffed up.
  11. Nynaeve Active Member

    good suggestions, i hope SOE reads this.
  12. Thalador Active Member

    Folks Mogrim took a lot of time to compose this thread so that it would not go down a rat hole. Let's get back on topic.

    I recently switched my raid main from my necro back to warlock to see what changes have been made. I have to say that I agree with Mogrim 100% here. In a group where I get UT and timewarps come often I do well. Take away either of those two things and I might as well stay home.
  13. Drax Member

    Excellent post by Mogrim which pretty much sums up all the Warlock issues that require attention.

    Of all the possible improvements that are suggested, the completely standout one is Warlock dependency on other classes.

    The difference in my Warlock DPS with a Troubie and/or Illy in the group is, without any exaggeration, massive. The difference their buffs make is completely disproportionate and I cannot think of any other class in the game that is so utterly dependant on another utility class in order to "switch on" their DPS.

    Warlocks, like several (maybe most?) other classes, have other irritations to cope with (trying to cast 4 temporary buffs when pulling - just make Gift of Bertox maintained please) and a raft of utterly useless spells that never, ever get used, but these all pale compared to our reliance on other classes.

    Of course not everyone agrees that Warlocks need some attention but, for those who care to read these forums widely, there is an unusually high degree of consensus amongst players of many classes that Warlocks deserve a boost. And that speaks volumes!
  14. Taka Active Member

    Does the dot component persist after broodlings pop during dark infestation?
    Does nihilistic from shroud of bert. count as our dps or our targets dps, further does it proc from our temp buffs?
    Does grasp of bert count as our dps or the targets, further does it proc from our temp buffs?
    Tuesday, May 14th, Patch notes....
    Does it now also double cast?
  15. Taka Active Member

    Nihilistic (from Shroud of Bert) and Venomous Runes(from Grasp of Bert) apply to the targets dps and not your own. If applied to yourself, then they do count towards your dps, but the melees in the group are better targets.

    Sorry for confusion.. now back on topic!
  16. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    I would love some Dev interaction on this issue. I know many classes didn't get "everything they wanted" when GU66 came around, but I feel like we were one of the only classes that were genuinely just... unhappy with the changes overall.

    I'm hoping some things in here... perhaps just some of the easy things like temp buff changes could be implemented to balance things a little, and make for a much more enjoyable play experience.
  17. Magic Missiles Active Member

    Putting a few linked encounters in the SG instances didn't exactly make up for lack of any real changes for warlocks. Please end the 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' petty buff parade.

    We're requesting focused feedback on the current state of each class. We're particularly interested in suggestions on how to make the classes more enjoyable, such as improving tedious abilities to be more user-friendly. Balance issues are always a concern, but numbers tend to spotlight those issues, while it's easy to overlook problems that simply make the classes less fun than they should be.

    We do read your normal forum feedback, but we have had the most success with feedback during betas and in the testing forum. However, it's difficult to address existing class issues when the focus is on new additions. The idea here is to put the focus on the classes as they exist on live, including everything from the new Prestige Abilities to the spells and combat arts granted at early levels. We're going to close this thread at the end of next week, but we'll do more focus feedback threads if they are successful. The goal is to get some improvements to live with the next game update.

    Thalador likes this.
  18. slippery Well-Known Member

    They don't put in encounters because they can't figure out how to make it so the game doesn't lag like mad.
  19. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    To make Aura of Void and Occult Bolt play nicely with prestige AA...

    1) Add a small initial spell damage to the initial hit of Aura of Void something like a 10k base damage disease hit. This will allow it to trigger procs and progress both left and right side prestige.

    2) Change Occult Bolt to be disease or poison damage.
  20. idunno125 New Member