Blizz released their preview of the Warlock class for Legion in a post on 2015-11-09. This will be my final detailed analysis of the previews, as beyond that I have less than casual acquaintance with the classes being previewed. I might do a little overview thing if I can muster some opinions.
Floramel is my third raiding main, and in many ways my alternate raiding main. Through Kara, I raided with Grimm primarily but brought Flora in when we were heavy on the boomstick toting crowd. Flora was also my main DPS raider in Cata for my main guild, as at that time Grimm was off with the Effers and there was no cross-realm raiding.
So I’ve spent a lot of time in the Warlock suit, and have spent time as well in all the various specs. As one does when one is a raider. So I’ve played Aff, Destro, and Demo on and off for years.
I guess I need to explain my feelings, which I have many, about the three specs.
- Demonology has long been my favorite spec, though it has not often been the one with the best output. I suspect that its past similarity to the Beastmaster Hunter spec has played a large part in my fondness for it. At any rate, I feel that this spec in many ways exemplifies the very core of Warlockdom.
- Affliction also “feels” like a perfect fit for the Warlock idiom, based in no small part to my experiences with the early Warlock Class quests, which had a definite “evil” flair to them – and the whole idea of inflicting pain to further your ends is just diabolically excellent.
- Destruction – Of all the specs for Warlocks, this one seems most ill at ease, especially considering that in the BC days it was customary to sacrifice one of your demons to gain power as Desto. And then there’s the rivalry between Destro and Fire mages. Why Destro didn’t have green fire from Day One is beyond me, but the fact that they don’t is a constant source of confusion with regard to Fire Mages.
As I have said, I have played all three. I’ve only really raided a lot on Aff and Destro. While Demo has been pretty good for an expansion or two, my non-LFR raiding opportunities have been few and far between. Not that I’m complaining. Any day you wake up as a Warlock is a good day.
My views of the three specs plays a lot into how I mentally RP Floramel. Sarcastic, snarky, with an undercurrent of anger, Flora cuts a wide swath through any environment she encounters, be it physical or social. She does one thing, she does it very well, and then she moves on. She isn’t interested in making friends or cultivating ties unless you’re another warlock with some connections she can exploit. She’s fiercely loyal to her family, but outside of them, you’re all soul shards waiting to be harvested.
An Overview of the Preview
So here’s what we know now, but be mindful that it is all dependent on further revelations based on talents and the Artifact weapon.
First, a quote that sets the tone:
[…] while Affliction and Destruction Warlocks have maintained consistent, distinguished fantasies, the core identity of the Demonology Warlock has strayed too far from its roots in recent years.
Warlock resources have also become too cumbersome, causing confusion that outweighed their depth. To this end, we’re going to once again standardize Warlocks on their most class-defining resources: Mana and Soul Shards. Finally, demons have always served various utility purposes, but most of them are very niche, while the same one or two demons see the vast majority of limelight
Translation: Aff and Destro, you cool. Demo, stand by for heavy rolls.
We want to re-incentivize demon variety, strengthening the various utilities that each demon supplies, and causing some demons to be favored based on the Warlock’s spec.
Translation: See, Blizzard DOES care about diversity!
So here’s how it all rolls up.
- Affliction – DoTs are stronger, spells that DoTs used to accentuate are de-emphasized. Agony is now your main resource generator, and it’s accentuated when you have multiple Agonys up.
- Demonology – Moving away from the Warlock becoming a demon, and more towards MOAR DEMONS.
- Destruction – You’re fine. Big difference is that burning embers are now soul shards, like it is for the other two specs.
And the good news is: even though soul shards are coming back in a big way, we don’t need soul shard bags for them. (You remember those, don’t you?)
I have hated, with energy too great for meager words to express, the Demonology rotation post-Cataclysm. Having to learn and program two rotations of two sets of similar but unrelated spells was ridiculous, and I’m glad that that’s going out the window.
I am simultaneously amused and annoyed that Shadow Priests are picking up the bifurcated rotation (Shadow/Void Form) in our stead. And I am hopeful that that can be reconsidered before that particular train wreck goes live. Whoever thought Normal/Demonform was a good thing should have a long talk with the present Shadow Priest designer – unless they’re the same person, which is a distinct possibility.
That said, amping up the importance of demons and getting rid of the Demon Form thing altogether put a little fel sparkle in my eye. These are good things and I am happy to hear about them.