First of all, before we get to the rant concerning the Affliction spec. I would like to address the patch note for the Current PTR build.
- Malefic Grasp damage bonus reduced to 25% (was 70%>.
- Haunt now costs 1 Soul Shard, and no longer costs Mana.
- Haunt instant damage increased by 25%, and the cooldown reduced to 20 seconds (was 30 seconds).
- Writhe in Agony now only stacks 15 times (was 20).
- Affliction damage increased by 15%. In order to negate the nerf to MG.
- Hand of Guldan impact damage increased by 180%.
- Infernal Furnace (Artifact Trait) damage per point reduced to 8% (was 10%). not much of a nerf really…
- Developers’ Notes: Soul Shards are now divided into 10 Soul Shard Fragments for Destruction Warlocks, in order to provide a more reliable, granular Soul Shard generation, prevent random over capping of resources, rein in Soul Shard generation slightly, and reduce the number of Chaos Bolts being cast.
- Cataclysm cooldown reduced to 30 seconds (was 45 seconds), cast time reduced to 2.5 seconds (was 3 seconds), and damage reduced by 25%.
- Channel Demonfire damage increased by 56%, and cooldown increased to 25 seconds (was 15 seconds).
- Chaos Bolt cast from the Chaos Bolt rift now deals 60% increased damage.
- Chaos Bolt’s damage increased by 40%, and projectile speed increased by 25%.
- Conflagrate now generates 6 Soul Shard fragments (was 1 full Soul Shard/10 Soul Shard fragments). Conflagrate now generates double resources from hitting a second Havoc target.
- Fire and Brimstone now causes Incinerate to generate 1 Soul Shard Fragment per target.
And the list goes on.
Now onto the rant. There is a huge problem facing affliction warlocks currently. That simply being the adds in the nighthold all generate Reap souls stacks and Wrath of Consumption stacks. Since the nighthold encounters are all single-target with a boatload of adds. Also considering that in patch 7.2.0 blizzard tweaked the instances adds to generate both reap souls, and wrath of consumption stacks. Because of this Affliction Warlocks went from being in the middle of the pack to the top dog. What this means is that currently, most Affliction Warlocks are able to reach an uptime of 100% on both Reap Souls and Wrath of consumption. effectively granting us a 20% increase to all of our damage. What does this say about the balancing of affliction, nay the warlock currently, well Blizzard is basically saying. If you aren’t playing Destruction, then fuck you! (well not necessarily, but you get the point). If blizzard wanted to fix affliction, Malefic Grasp was far from the problem. Wrath of Consumption is the problem. I am getting very tired of having to switch my playstyle with every major patch of content. As an affliction warlock, it’s just plain ridiculous. I’ve finally gotten very comfortable with the MG/Soul Conduit/Effigy rotation. And I can safely vouch for MG not being the problem in the slightest.
Simply put, the affliction spec is very niche; we have no burst capabilities whatsoever. We are god awful at target swapping, we can’t do both single target and AoE only one or the other, now to top that off with the fact that the only two things affliction excels at are. Sustained Single Target, and Sustained Cleave, meaning no burst Single Target and especially no burst AoE, and terrible target swapping.
As a closing remark for the state of the warlock in 7.2.5, it’s simply this. Affliction is far from being dead. It will still have its place, albeit a very limited one. I suggest that everry warlock that is still playing affliction to use Writhe in Agony over Haunt. Writhe feels way better mechanically, and not to mention a very smooth option for Soul Shard generation. But if you are going to reroll, I’d suggest picking up Destruction.
That’s all for now.