The short answer? Not much.
The long answer?
Well, there are many things in the Q&A which are very interesting to Warlocks. Some are things which we have known for a while, some are new news. Some are things which we would hope to change, and others are not. I am going to discuss (and it has been a long time coming, I know, but I have been flat out beating my head against the PvP wall on my Druid) what Ghostcrawler’s statements mean to me. Not to Warlocks everywhere, because everything means something different to everyone, but to myself and my interpretation of the class.
The Affliction tree focuses on damage-over-time spells, curses, and shadow magic in general. The Demonology tree emphasizes the damage and abilities done by demons. The Destruction tree gives up a little of both to become a little bit more like a mage with direct damage and fire magic. Overall, the vision is for warlocks to feel less fragile than mages. They have historically had higher health pools and easier to sustain mana, but fewer emergency escapes. Keeping the mage and warlock feeling distinct is a big challenge. They fill a similar role and share similar gear so sometimes even the profiles of their character art look similar.
The underlining is mine. I find Blizzard’s interpretation of the Destruction tree to be an interesting one. When I play my Destruction Warlock, I never feel ‘like a mage’. Sure, I use a lot of direct damage. At the moment I am basically forced to use a great deal of fire. However, where it matters, in my mind, I do not feel at all like a mage. I know that we are generally perceived as mage-like, and to be honest, it annoys the hell out of me. I don’t refer to Shadow Priests as ‘warlock-like’, even if they both sling shadow DoTs. Warlocks of any spec should not be specifically designed to resemble mages! If there is too much commonality between the two classes, something should be done to remedy that. Most of this probably fits back under the ‘make us evil again’ banner. However, I can’t say I feel ‘less fragile’ than a mage. I have the same amount of hit points, give or take a few. I can’t get away from stuff. Damned if my pet can keep it off me! So at the moment, is a Warlock just a gimped Mage with no escape abilities?
Going forward, we want to try and make the warlock experience more different from the mage. Our new plans for Soul Shards will help here. We want to make them a core mechanic instead of a minor feature that can be neglected at best and feels tedious at worst.
Well, thanks GC! Although… the Soul Shard bit scares me a little.
We hope to be able to talk more about it at BlizzCon, but the basic idea is that shards provide a combat boost when needed without becoming a resource that needs to be farmed. Currently too many of the shard abilities are maintenance-like things such as demons and stones. Blowing a shard should be a big deal — an exciting moment. We want to make shards fun and remove the hassle, but we want to make them a core part of the warlock experience and not a marginalized feature.
I find it difficult to comment on this until I know exactly what it is they are going to do. However, I personally don’t have THAT huge an issue with Soul Shards (although I’d rather have a purchasable reagent that I can farm the gold for in 2 seconds than shards). Should they stack? Hell yes! Should we perhaps have a chance to obtain them off all spells… and should we not have a limit? However, I don’t mind that I need them to do most things. Except for Soulshatter. That pisses me right off.
We are going to lower the cooldown of Soulshatter to three minutes. We don’t think the shard cost is a big expense in PvE situations. Threat-dump abilities are tricky to balance. We don’t want these spells to feel rotational — you aren’t supposed to do say Curse of Agony, Immolate, Soulshatter, Curse of Agony, Immolate, Soulshatter. They are there for emergencies.
Three minutes. Better than five minutes, but still not good enough. Hunters get 30 seconds on Feign Death, which is a total aggro wipe. Sure, they can’t cast for a couple of seconds while it kicks in, but they also don’t sacrifice health and a reagent. Hell, Mages get 2 (although not foolproof) mechanisms to dump threat in Mirror Image and Invisibility! Why do Warlocks get the gimpy 50% dump that costs a shard? Although, thankfully, it apparently can not be resisted any longer. Thank fricking Christ. Still, anyone have memories of this in raid?
- Warlock 1 Shatters… mob moves to Warlock 2
- Warlock 2 Shatters… mob moves to Warlock 3
- Warlock 3 Shatters… Threat still too high, Warlock gets nommed.
We’d agree that the “interesting tradeoff” isn’t that interesting, and in fact it’s hard to find niches for so many different AE spells. Long-term this might be the kind of spell that gets cut. (Re: Hellfire)
No!!!!! Not my suicide!! Gimpy aggro dump AND no more suicide? Well, not only can we not be evil… we can’t be emo anymore either! What will I do with my razorblades now?
We definitely understand some (many? all?) warlocks would love to have green fire and we’ll try and find a cool way to deliver on this. At this point, we’d probably rather do it with a flashy new spell rather than just change up an existing one, but we’ll have to see. As with the new druid forms, after waiting so long, we’d want to do it right.
One thing to say: Green Fire NAOW. On EVERYTHING that is fire. Plain and Simple. Fire MUST be green. And evil looking. How hard is this to understand?
This is Sar, signing out, with one simple request
GREEN FIRE. Or the Mage gets it!