Warlocks in 3.2

So having seen and reviewed the changes which affect Warlocks in 3.2, I’m pretty happy. I feel Blizzard has definitely taken steps towards improving us as a class, and though there are some things in the patch notes I don’t like, I can’t really complain about these.

Let’s take a look at the relevant patch notes:

Resilience: No longer reduces the amount of damage done by damage-over-time spells, but instead reduces the amount of all damage done by players by the same proportion. The other effects of resilience (reducing critical chance, critical damage and mana drain effects) have not changed.

Ah ha! We just got hugely buffed in PvP, compared to other classes and their abilities. Now, resilience, that oh-so-hated-by-DoTing-Warlocks stat, is going to reduce all damage taken, instead of just the damage from DoTs. This means that while our DoTs are still partially mitigated, so is every other damage spell anyone casts, so for us it’s a buff while for everyone else it’s a nerf. Good times!

All pets now receive 40% of their master’s resilience and 100% of their master’s spell penetration. In addition, if a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.

Another good buff, this time applying to pets. They ought to now have significantly more survivability in PvP, thanks to gaining 40% of our resilience (I have around 700 off-hand, so my Felguard will be getting a whopping 280 of that). Additionally they get the same amount of spell penetration as we have, which is pretty tasty for the Imp and Succubus I guess, and they also share the same hit % as we have – effectively this means that if you’re hit capped, your pet will be too, which will buff our dps in PvE a lot. Just another reason to get capped!

Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target’s maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second. This applies to all 5 sources of Replenishment (Vampiric TouchJudgements of the WiseHunting PartyEnduring Winter Frostbolts and Soul Leech).

Destro Warlocks have their replenishment ability nerfed, but it’s happening across the board, so it’s not really aimed at Warlocks. Still.

Banish: Effect will now be cancelled if Banish is recast on a banished target.

This might actually be quite handy – if you want to free a target from the CC, you can recast the spell instead of waiting for the CC to wear off. I know that back in TBC it was quite irritating when you banished something and it was still banished for 20 seconds after everything else died – most Warlocks resorted to using Rank 1 for the shorter duration. The only downside I can see to this change is if you accidentally cast it on something you want to keep banished, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Dreadsteed: Can now be learned at level 40.

Felsteed: Can now be learned at level 20.

These changes are being made in line with the mount changes for the patch, so that we learn the class mount spells at the same time as we can learn to ride normal mounts.

Soulshatter cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5 minutes

This makes me want to sigh inwardly a little, in exasperation… What this is, is Blizzard attempting to help our threat management issues by reducing the CD of Soulshatter to be similar to things like Invisibility. Hence, we can reduce threat more often. But in my mind, this isn’t enough – 3 minutes is still a long cooldown, and the ability still costs a soul shard, whereas most threat reducing abilities cost nothing except perhaps a small amount of mana. The devs are heading in the right direction with this, don’t get me wrong, but they need to take it further.

Pandemic: Now also increases the critical damage bonus of Haunt by 100%.

Good buff for the Affliction guys, more dps.

Fel Domination cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 15 minutes.

Probably the change I like the most, this will help solve issues with pets being killed too easily in PvP, since even if the enemy take the (now increased) time to kill our minions, we can bring them back every 3 minutes. I presume talents still affect the CD, too, so it could be even less than every 3 minutes, which would be great.

Empowered Imp: The warlock’s critical hit chance is increased to 100%, up from 20% for the next spell cast after the Imp critically hits a target.

This is good for those PvE Destro ‘locks – if the Imp crits once, it will crit again on the next spell. More dps there too.

Fire and Brimstone: Reduced to 2/4/6/8/10% increased damage from Incinerate and Chaos Bolt on targets afflicted with Immolate, down from 3/6/9/12/15%.

A slight nerf to damage if you have/had this talent – admittedly there is an issue with burst damage at the moment, and Destro is part of that.

Character names can now be colorized according to class in the chat frame through an interface option in the Development settings.

We gonna be purple, mon.

Macros and scripts will no longer be able to target totems by name.

Goodbye totem-stomping macros! I’m an awful Warlock and never used one anyway, but this change means it’ll actually require effort to kill those dastardly Shaman totems.

Glyph of Lifetap: Duration of the buff from this glyph increased to 40 seconds.

What do you get when you take one of the best PvE dps glyphs a class have and improve it? This. I know that personally keeping the buff up (which currently lasts 20 seconds) was a chore if I didn’t actually need to Life Tap, such as earlier on in the fight, because I wouldn’t normally be using Life Tap then and it’s annoying to work into a rotation. This change ought to improve that problem as we only have to Tap half as much to keep the proc active. Also, if you forget about it, it now might still be there when you remember and you won’t lose dps.

Players can now use Blink, Shadowstep, and Demonic Teleport while participating in the illusion events in the Yogg-Saron encounter.

I’ve never killed Yogg-Saron, and so despite having seen the fight I’m really not sure how this will help. It’s my understanding that you port inside the thing’s mind, kill adds and then attack the brain before leaving again. Maybe this means you can teleport around the mind by dropping a Circle? Don’t know if that would be useful but perhaps this is more of a bug fix.

So that’s it for the moment, though I expect to see more changes coming soon, especially once the Warlock Q&A goes live.

Vel.

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