MoP Beta – Affliction’s Fast and Furious Changes

Posted: May 4, 2012 in Of WoW and Warlocks

Howdy and Hail my Disciples of Decay,

I already posted about how the MoP Beta is making me batty. Well here is another good reason why: The developers implemented several major changes again. Holy crapolie, Blizzard is humming right along with implementing new stuff very quickly. I’m surprised and happy about it at the same time. So once again, I type up a nice long post and then a few days later, it’s outdated. No worries, I’ll do what I can to keep up and keep people informed.

Now before you look at this page and say, “Whatinthehellareyoudoing, Amijade!” Hear me out. I want to prove a point. When I came home from work this evening, I had my nice little list of changes I was writing for this post.  Less than 4 hours after writing and posting it, Blizzard changed it again. Actually, I cannot confirm or deny if Blizzard actually made all the the original changes I posted about or not. Right now, there may have been some incorrect information either started by rumors from the forums or some bad data mining over at  MMOChampion. Either way, I’ll try to find out.

The strikethrough text I’ve left for you to see what I had originally written when I got home.  The purple highlights are what I added now, just as I’m just now getting ready for bed. All of the purple highlights are true facts that I could confirm after logging in to Beta. Do you see how fast it all changes? So what’s the changes now? Here’s the new rundown:

  • Soulburn does not consume shards anymore, but no longer works with Soul Fire
  • Soul Fire has been completely removed
  • Soul Leach for Affliction causes Malefic Grasp to heal you for 20% of the damage dealt
  • Drain Soul went down to 10.5 second channel and ticks every 3.5 seconds
  • Soul Shard count now appears in the character pane window below the health and mana bars once again
  • Malefic Grasp’s global cooldown spam is gone. It is now a flat 2.4 second channel.
  • Corruption and Doom now have a 10% scaling buff
  • Unstable Affliction’s cost went down from 5% to 3% of base mana
  • Agony’s cost went down from 4% to 2% of base mana
  • Fear is no longer in my spell book – Glitch maybe?

Hrm, I really like what I see.  It’s almost making me giddy. I plan to test it later on tonight and I’ll report back my thoughts and feelings on them.  For all considerations, it looks like it’s nothing but across the board “wins”. I’m just going to review the first two changes because they will make some big differences in play, while the last three are just number crunching.

Soulburn does not consume shards anymore, but no longer works with Soul Fire. This would lead us to believe that the direction of Haunt is to keep it up much greater than many on the forums had been led to believe. This kind of change almost screams, “Always, keep Haunt up!” While the change sounds like the shard starvation problems might be gone, it makes me wonder why would need soulshards anymore other than to disrupt or slow down our multi-dotting power. If it’s not there to throttle our AoE, then I’m thinking the developers could simply put Haunt on a gcd and just call it a day. So, we’ll wait and see. (This was changed within a few hours of learning about them.) I just still wish the old Haunt with its self-heal and animations would come back. I dearly miss the animation of the eery, green floating soul zipping back to refresh my health with its flourishing “swoosh” sound. Heck, they could even split the old Haunt self-heal with the numbers from MG. *Sniffs and wipes a tear from her cheek* Instead, Blizzard took out everything that was cool about our former Haunt spell and instead, gave us pink floating shards to dance above our heads! Bah! Oh, sorry…I’m lamenting again.

Soul Fire was removed. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about that one. I have a feeling they will be creating a replacement spell for Soul Fire in the future. I’m guessing a fire damage spell didn’t fit with the Affliction theme? If that is the case, it makes me wonder why they gave Rain of Fire back to Affliction?

Soul Leach for Affliction causes Malefic Grasp to heal you for 20% of the damage dealt. Like the change to Soulburn, this makes me really excited! I cannot stress that enough. One of the reasons many warlocks fell in love with Affliction, was because of the way we could use our enemies health against them. That mechanic and style of game play had been there from the beginning and it just “felt” right. It “felt” natural. However, so far in the MoP Beta there wasn’t any type of mechanics in place for that style…that feeling. It was gone. It was depressing. Now, after reading that change it feels like it has come back. I’m guessing this change may solve some of the Life Tap issues we’ve seen so far. Life Tapping two or three times meant that you were OOM. My first question about Soul Leach would be, “Does the healing effect only come from the MG spell damage alone or from a combination of both MG and our DoTs that it effects?” Remember, MG’s main ability or machanic speeds up our DoTs making them tick faster to cause more damage. So for now, we shall wait and see.

Drain Soul reduced to 10.5 second channel and a 3.5 tick rate. A move in the right direction, just not far enough. Couple several 2.4 MG channels in a row and then casting a 3.5 channel for Drain Soul would be like dancing a waltz. C’mon and count it with me, “One, two, three”, “One, two, three”, “One, two, three”, “Drain, two, three”.

Soul Shard Icons are back underneath our health and mana bars. That gets a thumbs up and it’s another nice thing to see, but I still have the annoying pink floating shards above my head. There is a new minor Glyph of Subtlety you can utilize which allows the floating shards/orbs to disappear out of combat.  I gotta give a boo and hiss to that one. I’m sorry on this one Blizzard, but that is just wrong. There is a simple fix to the pink floating shard issue controversy. Make the default for the floating shards set to “off” and then let the players who want to have the shards or orbs floating above their heads glyph for it. It’s really that simple! OMG get a clue B;ozzard, you make a great game but how can you be so dumb when listening to your paying customers about simple fixes like this one. It’s a simple idea and would end all of the arguing and make everyone happy. Why is that so hard to understand?  

Malefic Grasp’s global cooldown spamming is gone. Now it’s a flat 2.4 second channel. I am not impressed at all on this one. It seems they found a whole new dimension to boredom.

Corr/Doom, UA, and Agony changes are nice but they are just kind of “Meh” for me. Don’t get me wrong or misconstrue my point about them. It’s not becasue these changes to the spells aren’t an improvement. Heck yeah they are! But, they were just simple tweaking of base line mana costs and spell damage numbers. We should expect more and more of these number tweaks as we get closer to the launch of MoP. Whereas, the Soulburn and Soul Leach changes are all about game play and how the spec will “feel”.

Fear was no longer in the spellbook but this could be a glitch or bug.

Once again, if there’s anything I’ve learned in my first experiences testing the MoP Beta it’s that changes are always fast and furious.

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