If you have been playing a warlock as long as I have some of these changes and new spells for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm seem lackluster. For all you warlocks out there I know you guys have heard the term “magelock” but these Cataclysm changes make us even more “magelocky”.
The New spells
After going through Wrath of the Lich King and experiencing our “new” spells, I wasn’t really expecting much for Cataclysm. Turns out I was right. Our “new” spells are recycled, slightly modified versions of CURRENT mage spells.
Our new spell Fel Flame is a modified version of the mage’s Frostfire bolt. Both are instant cast and use two different schools of magic. The only real difference is the after effects of getting hit by the two spells. The mage spell will slow you and deal damage over time (DoT) upon hitting you. The new warlock Fel Flame will refresh one of two warlock DoT’s meaning immolate or Unstable Affliction has to be on the target for it to even refresh. Mage spell wins hands down because it adds a DoT and has the slow for utility.
The second new warlock spell is Dark Intent and again it is another copy of a mage spell that we warlocks will get in the NEW expansion. Dark Intent is a modified version of Focus Magic except warlocks need to be a little bit more selective on who to cast it on. The mage spell gives a flat out 3% crit to any caster while the warlock one will only give 3% crit to casters who do periodic damage and healing. I have to admit though the benefits we warlocks will receive from Dark Intent does sound nice. Currently mage’s get 3% crit if their target crits but Dark Intent will give us extra damage for 10 seconds which can stack 3 times.
The last spell warlocks will be getting is Demon Soul. There isn’t much information about this spell yet. It’s supposed to be a self burst cooldown which depends on what minion you have out. It sounds awfully like the old Demonic Sacrifice spell that warlocks had back in Burning Crusade which kind of makes it another recycled spell.
Soul Shard changes
Probably one of the most annoying and at the same time the one major thing that sets us apart from other classes is Soul Shards. Warlocks have been asking for shards to stack for a long time and now Blizzard is changing it so we don’t even need to carry 32 of them around with us anymore (we get a free bag space!).
So apparently we are only going to be allowed to use 3 soul shards (or should we call them runic shards now?) in a single combat encounter. It will be displayed in our user interface sort of how deathknight’s runes are. If you use a shard and a certain skill together you get some sort of bonus effect. I don’t know exactly how this will work out. The examples that Blizzard gave seemed really lackluster so again we’ll have to see how it plays out. Personally I think that shard usages are fine the way they are right now.
Changes to mechanics
One of the things that I am actually looking forward to is that warlock spells will now benefit from haste and crit. Our DoT’s will now crit and have additional tick damage which is a very nice change.
Two of the warlock curses: Curse of Agony and Curse of Doom will now be Bane of Agony and Bane of Doom. Now warlocks can put up a bane and a curse on a target. This is a quality of life change, although
most warlocks would probably have wanted one of those two spells becoming a bane instead of both.
The warlock changes that we are given so far is a huge disappointment. What do warlocks have to look forward to? Our new spells are far from new and our class is getting a revamp and turning into a cooldown based class like a deathknight. I mean go read the new mage new spells and compare them. Mages get a flying orb that deals damages and a line of ice that snares and hurts people while we get modified mage spells.
It feels like Blizzard doesn’t know what to do with warlocks and are now trying to turn us into some weird mage+deathknight hybrid with a pet. Am I the only one that thinks warlocks are getting the short end of the stick in Cataclysm?