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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by BonesTheRabbit View Post
    I'm sorry to say this, but Dark Bargain is a pretty awful survival talent. I'm thinking that anyone claiming that "it's the go to option" doesn't actually realize that Soul Link allows the warlock to double dip from heals, and receive support from a healer in total LoS. In reality, if you have a discipline priest or a restoration druid (or potentially a monk) available, then Soul Link is actually the go-to ability, because it provides long-term survivability without an unavoidable cost. The double-edged sword of it is just a matter of skillful toggling, rather than an unreasonable punishment that you can't do anything about. That last part is the important bit.

    Conversely, the issue with Dark Bargain, is that it effectively reads as follows: "Prevents all damage for 8 seconds. When the shield fades, all damage dealt to you is increased by 50% for 8 seconds." Does that really sound like a good survival talent to you? Can you name even one other survival cooldown that carries such a significant death sentence with it post-fade? Because honestly, I can't. The sole exception being Cauterize, and it's given to a class that can actually cleanse the debuff it invokes. Plus, it has a shorter cooldown, and auto-casts when needed.

    In conclusion, reducing the cooldown on Dark Bargain doesn't even scratch the surface.
    Well that's not entirely true.

    First of all you can postpone the damage done to you to 8 seconds in the future, perhaps to let a healer get out of CC or reset his dispel CD, or even get in LoS of you where you otherwise would've died.

    Second of all you can reduce the damage component of Dark Bargain either through other CDs such as the 50% reduced damage CD, or you can absorb 38k of the postponed damage with the Shadow absorb. (I forget it's name off the top of my head) You can use dark bargain to effectively absorb 75k of any school of damage. That being said that's not a whole lot of damage once we hit 90, but I believe the absorption skill increases in value too, so it's going to be higher.

    You can also double-dip with the 50% reduced damage CD (if you feel like blowing both at once) to get the 50% reduced on the initial damage, as well as 50% reduced on the 50% blowback damage, letting you buff it to effectively a 75% reduced damage CD.

    All the talents in that tier have some negative effects on the warlock. Soul Link reduced your pet's total health by half, pact causes you or your pet to sacrifice 50% of their HP as a shield on you, and dark bargain lets you prevent all damage for 8 seconds and postpone 50% of that incoming damage to after, where you can further mitigate the damage yourself or with the help of your healer.

  2. #22
    I was also faced with the argument that Dark Bargain allows the warlock to take Hour of Twilight on Ultraxion, as an example of its pinnacle performance in PvE content. While it's a decent point, it still doesn't change the fact that Dark Bargain is a comparitavely awful survival cooldown. Compare the Dark Bargain talent to all of the other abilities which can be used in the same manner. Here, I'll list them for you guys:

    • Anti-Magic Shell: Baseline ability. 45 second cooldown. Effectively reduces spell damage taken by 50% of maximum health. Grants runic power bar on absorb. Prevents magical debuffs from affecting the Death Knight.
    • Anti-Magic Zone: Talented ability. 2 minute cooldown. Absorbs approximately half of the aforementioned ability, assuming an individual -- not necessarily the death knight -- is alone in the area of effect.
    • Thick Hide + Barkskin: Specialization ability. 1 minute cooldown. Reduces spell damage taken by 40%. Can be used while under most crowd control effects.
    • Ironbark + Barkskin: Specialization ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 46%.
    • Survival Instincts: Specialization ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 50%.
    • Aspect of the Iron Hawk + Deterrence: Talented ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 49%. Unable to attack while damage is absorbed.
    • Ice Block: Baseline ability. 5 minute cooldown (Note: Effectively 3 minute cooldown with Cold Snap, but no longer baseline). Negates all damage and debuffs. Unable to act while damage is absorbed.
    • Greater Invisibility: Talented ability. 2.5 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 90%. Cleanses two DoT effects on cast.
    • Cauterize: Talented ability. 2 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the mage with 10% of maximum health (Note: effectively 50% of maximum health if paired correctly with Temporal Shield).
    • Stance of the Sturdy Ox + Fortifying Brew: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 40%.
    • Zen Meditation: Baseline Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 90%.
    • Diffuse Magic: Talented Ability. 1.5 minute cooldown. Reduces spell damage taken by 90% and clears all magical effects from caster.
    • Dampen Harm: Talented Ability. 1.5 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 50%.
    • Divine Shield: Baseline Ability. Negates all damage and debuffs. Reduces damage dealt by 50% while damage is absorbed.
    • Divine Protection: Baseline Ability. 1 minute cooldown. Reduces spell damage taken by 40%.
    • Ardent Defender: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the paladin with 15% of maximum health.
    • Guardian of Ancient Kings: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 50%.
    • Pain Suppression: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 40%.
    • Guardian Spirit: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the target with 50% of their maximum health.
    • Dispersion: Specialization Ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 90%. Unable to act while damage is absorbed.
    • Cheat Death: Talented Ability. 1.5 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the rogue with 10% of maximum health.
    • Cloak of Shadows: Baseline Ability. 2 minute cooldown. Negates all spell damage.
    • Astral Shift: Talented Ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 40%.
    • Shield Wall: Baseline Ability. 5 minute cooldown (Note: 2 minute cooldown as specialization ability). Reduces damage taken by 40%.

    So, what does this comprehensive list prove? Well, first and foremost, it proves that every class in the game is capable of taking at least one Hour of Twilight style effect, should they need to. Secondly, we learn that just about every class in the game has an equivalent ability, most of which are comparatively better, in almost all situations -- and especially so in the described PvE situation.

    The simple fact is that there's just no comparison for Dark Bargain with most other abilities when factoring in class toolkits. It's just awful, balance-wise. Not one of the parallel talented abilities has a 3 minute cooldown. The longest one is Greater Invisibility, at 2.5 minutes, which reduces damage taken by 90% for half the duration. It's also a complete threat dump, invisibility effect, and minor cleanse. Half of the baseline abilities -- including Unending Resolve -- are better than it, and it also comes at the cost of our only long-term survivability effect, where most other classes receive it baseline, or for specialization.

    At the end of the day, it's a brute force of a potentially amusing, but highly unrealistic concept: [link]

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-20 at 03:31 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Brusalk View Post
    First of all you can postpone the damage done to you to 8 seconds in the future, perhaps to let a healer get out of CC or reset his dispel CD, or even get in LoS of you where you otherwise would've died.
    This really doesn't change my effective analysis, though. Yes, you can do this. But it still doesn't change the fact that you'll be taking the excess damage after the effect fades, which means the healer needs to spam heal you to keep you alive and compensate accordingly. Survival cooldowns which result in spam-healing to stay alive aren't exactly the measure of balance I'd use, personally. The general idea of a survival cooldown is that it's supposed to dissuade enemies from attacking you, not make them want to attack you more; which is exactly what Dark Bargain does.

    I'd also argue that under this circumstance you have much better options: Demonic Circle, Dark Regeneration, Shadowfury or Howl of Terror, Unending Resolve, Healthstone, etc. None of them leave you more vulnerable post-use, and they all have shorter cooldowns. Warlocks used most of these same tools prior to the implementation of our current short-duration cooldowns. I can't really imagine Dark Bargain playing a make or break role under these circumstances.

    There's also the point that one benefit of using Soul Link with a pet, is that you can put your healer in complete LoS from you (and ideally, your assailants) with your pet nearby, and still receive full healing without an issue. This adds a whole new dimension to arena PvP and LoS strategies, and helps to proactively avoid the very circumstance that Dark Bargain supposedly resolves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brusalk View Post
    Second of all you can reduce the damage component of Dark Bargain either through other CDs such as the 50% reduced damage CD, or you can absorb 38k of the postponed damage with the Shadow absorb. (I forget it's name off the top of my head) You can use dark bargain to effectively absorb 75k of any school of damage. That being said that's not a whole lot of damage once we hit 90, but I believe the absorption skill increases in value too, so it's going to be higher.
    This is true, but the same synergy -- as well as some additional, depending on your pet and talent choices -- is present with Soul Link. Still, Twilight Ward doesn't absorb for that much, and you're still taking anywhere from 30% to 50% extra DPS while they attack you post-absorb. Furthermore, it absorbs all spell damage with your PvP 4-piece bonus, so the synergy with either talent choice is a bit of a moot point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brusalk View Post
    You can also double-dip with the 50% reduced damage CD (if you feel like blowing both at once) to get the 50% reduced on the initial damage, as well as 50% reduced on the 50% blowback damage, letting you buff it to effectively a 75% reduced damage CD.
    Popping two cool-downs to half-strength the post absorb death sentence is faulty at best. Even if it works, it leaves you with a glass house for the following 2.5 minutes. The point is that arena PvP is almost always a cooldown game, and if you need to use a second cooldown to make the first reasonably decent, it's just not a good cooldown to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brusalk View Post
    All the talents in that tier have some negative effects on the warlock. Soul Link reduced your pet's total health by half, pact causes you or your pet to sacrifice 50% of their HP as a shield on you, and dark bargain lets you prevent all damage for 8 seconds and postpone 50% of that incoming damage to after, where you can further mitigate the damage yourself or with the help of your healer.
    This is a bit skewed. Each talent has its flaws and benefits, yes. The main downside with Soul Link is it also double-dips on DoT effects and rare things like Havoc. The distinction between Soul Link and Dark Bargain, is that Soul Link's flaw can be influenced through active play (toggling it according to necessity) while Dark Bargain's excess damage post-absorb is an unavoidable side-effect of the spell.
    Last edited by BonesTheRabbit; 2012-09-20 at 09:35 AM.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by BonesTheRabbit View Post
    I was also faced with the argument that Dark Bargain allows the warlock to take Hour of Twilight on Ultraxion, as an example of its pinnacle performance in PvE content. While it's a decent point, it still doesn't change the fact that Dark Bargain is a comparitavely awful survival cooldown. Compare the Dark Bargain talent to all of the other abilities which can be used in the same manner. Here, I'll list them for you guys:

    • Anti-Magic Shell: Baseline ability. 45 second cooldown. Effectively reduces spell damage taken by 50% of maximum health. Grants runic power bar on absorb. Prevents magical debuffs from affecting the Death Knight.
    • Anti-Magic Zone: Talented ability. 2 minute cooldown. Absorbs approximately half of the aforementioned ability, assuming an individual -- not necessarily the death knight -- is alone in the area of effect.
    • Thick Hide + Barkskin: Specialization ability. 1 minute cooldown. Reduces spell damage taken by 40%. Can be used while under most crowd control effects.
    • Ironbark + Barkskin: Specialization ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 46%.
    • Survival Instincts: Specialization ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 50%.
    • Aspect of the Iron Hawk + Deterrence: Talented ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 49%. Unable to attack while damage is absorbed.
    • Ice Block: Baseline ability. 5 minute cooldown (Note: Effectively 3 minute cooldown with Cold Snap, but no longer baseline). Negates all damage and debuffs. Unable to act while damage is absorbed.
    • Greater Invisibility: Talented ability. 2.5 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 90%. Cleanses two DoT effects on cast.
    • Cauterize: Talented ability. 2 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the mage with 10% of maximum health (Note: effectively 50% of maximum health if paired correctly with Temporal Shield).
    • Stance of the Sturdy Ox + Fortifying Brew: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 40%.
    • Zen Meditation: Baseline Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 90%.
    • Diffuse Magic: Talented Ability. 1.5 minute cooldown. Reduces spell damage taken by 90% and clears all magical effects from caster.
    • Dampen Harm: Talented Ability. 1.5 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 50%.
    • Divine Shield: Baseline Ability. Negates all damage and debuffs. Reduces damage dealt by 50% while damage is absorbed.
    • Divine Protection: Baseline Ability. 1 minute cooldown. Reduces spell damage taken by 40%.
    • Ardent Defender: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the paladin with 15% of maximum health.
    • Guardian of Ancient Kings: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 50%.
    • Pain Suppression: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 40%.
    • Guardian Spirit: Specialization Ability. 3 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the target with 50% of their maximum health.
    • Dispersion: Specialization Ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 90%. Unable to act while damage is absorbed.
    • Cheat Death: Talented Ability. 1.5 minute cooldown. Anti-death effect leaving the rogue with 10% of maximum health.
    • Cloak of Shadows: Baseline Ability. 2 minute cooldown. Negates all spell damage.
    • Astral Shift: Talented Ability. 2 minute cooldown. Reduces damage taken by 40%.
    • Shield Wall: Baseline Ability. 5 minute cooldown (Note: 2 minute cooldown as specialization ability). Reduces damage taken by 40%.

    So, what does this comprehensive list prove? Well, first and foremost, it proves that every class in the game is capable of taking at least one Hour of Twilight style effect, should they need to. Secondly, we learn that just about every class in the game has an equivalent ability, most of which are comparatively better, in almost all situations -- and especially so in the described PvE situation.

    The simple fact is that there's just no comparison for Dark Bargain with most other abilities when factoring in class toolkits. It's just awful, balance-wise. Not one of the parallel talented abilities has a 3 minute cooldown. The longest one is Greater Invisibility, at 2.5 minutes, which reduces damage taken by 90% for half the duration. It's also a complete threat dump, invisibility effect, and minor cleanse. Half of the baseline abilities -- including Unending Resolve -- are better than it, and it also comes at the cost of our only long-term survivability effect, where most other classes receive it baseline, or for specialization.

    At the end of the day, it's a brute force of a potentially amusing, but highly unrealistic concept: [link]

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-20 at 03:31 AM ----------


    This really doesn't change my effective analysis, though. Yes, you can do this. But it still doesn't change the fact that you'll be taking the excess damage after the effect fades, which means the healer needs to spam heal you to keep you alive and compensate accordingly. Survival cooldowns which result in spam-healing to stay alive aren't exactly the measure of balance I'd use, personally. The general idea of a survival cooldown is that it's supposed to dissuade enemies from attacking you, not make them want to attack you more; which is exactly what Dark Bargain does.

    I'd also argue that under this circumstance you have much better options: Demonic Circle, Dark Regeneration, Shadowfury or Howl of Terror, Unending Resolve, Healthstone, etc. None of them leave you more vulnerable post-use, and they all have shorter cooldowns. Warlocks used most of these same tools prior to the implementation of our current short-duration cooldowns. I can't really imagine Dark Bargain playing a make or break role under these circumstances.

    There's also the point that one benefit of using Soul Link with a pet, is that you can put your healer in complete LoS from you (and ideally, your assailants) with your pet nearby, and still receive full healing without an issue. This adds a whole new dimension to arena PvP and LoS strategies, and helps to proactively avoid the very circumstance that Dark Bargain supposedly resolves.


    This is true, but the same synergy -- as well as some additional, depending on your pet and talent choices -- is present with Soul Link. Still, Twilight Ward doesn't absorb for that much, and you're still taking anywhere from 30% to 50% extra DPS while they attack you post-absorb. Furthermore, it absorbs all spell damage with your PvP 4-piece bonus, so the synergy with either talent choice is a bit of a moot point.


    Popping two cool-downs to half-strength the post absorb death sentence is faulty at best. Even if it works, it leaves you with a glass house for the following 2.5 minutes. The point is that arena PvP is almost always a cooldown game, and if you need to use a second cooldown to make the first reasonably decent, it's just not a good cooldown to begin with.


    This is a bit skewed. Each talent has its flaws and benefits, yes. The main downside with Soul Link is it also double-dips on DoT effects and rare things like Havoc. The distinction between Soul Link and Dark Bargain, is that Soul Link's flaw can be influenced through active play (toggling it according to necessity) while Dark Bargain's excess damage post-absorb is an unavoidable side-effect of the spell.
    I suppose my point of view on it isn't so much in a PvP mindset. I pretty much never PvP and I agree with a lot of what you said, but I don't think it's as bad an issue as you make it out to be.

    My main gripe is that it's on the GCD.

  4. #24
    Isn't it true though that if the DB dot kills you (even in PvP) you were taking so much damage that you would have been killed anyway? I mean DB still prevents 50% of the damage outright. I can see a point that the player used it at the wrong time, took some damage, gets the dot, and THEN gets focused for real so he now has to contend with the previous damage + the dot and probably succumbs to it, but that is a problem caused by bad play, not because DB is a bad talent.

    I think it's a situational/preference talent like every other in that row and is fine, even at 3 minutes.
    Your Soul Shall Suffer! ||| Forum rules ||| New England Patriots

  5. #25
    My biggest problem is that I don't PvP enough to have got used to this massive shift from passive defense to active defense. It's turned me off PvP even more.

    Why does this row have 2 shields and effective health (which does require active control), where it could and should have a shield, effective health and flat mitigation/something more passive? Isn't that the way other talent rows elsewhere work out with a deeply involved talent, a semi-involved talent and a purely passive where the level of involvement of each reaps greater returns.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by BonesTheRabbit View Post
    I was also faced with the argument that Dark Bargain allows the warlock to take Hour of Twilight on Ultraxion, as an example of its pinnacle performance in PvE content. While it's a decent point, it still doesn't change the fact that Dark Bargain is a comparitavely awful survival cooldown. Compare the Dark Bargain talent to all of the other abilities which can be used in the same manner. Here, I'll list them for you guys:
    As the Blizz devs would say - they don't compare abilities, they compare complete toolkits. Or that they don't design a class by filling out a form - "2 min cd 50% damage reduction, check". So really, it's not about how it measures up with other similar skills, it's about how it measures up to the other warlock talents on the same tier. If warlock survivability overall is too weak, that's not a dark bargain issue. If warlock survivability is too weak only when you pick dark bargain, then there's obviously a problem. I don't think this is the case though.

    The original poster preferred sacrificial pact because of it's 1 min. cooldown, but I'd never pick it over dark bargain for arenas. The shield it gives will disappear in a flash when you're getting focused. Maybe it'd be good for battlegrounds where you're less likely to face organized enemies.

    Soul link vs. dark bargain is more interesting. If I'm rolling with a holy paladin, I'm definitely taking soul link, as it should have some crazy synergy with beacon of light. If the paladin is sitting behind some corner, spamming heals on your linked pet and you're beaconed, you should be getting 75-100% healing with constant 50% damage reduction. Would it really work this way? Sounds overpowered. Druids keeping hots up on both you and your pet should be interesting as well.

    Then again if you just look at the math, soul link doesn't do much more but extend your healthpool by half of your pet's health. If both you and your pet have 200k health, you can take 300k damage, and it doesn't help the healer at all, because heals are split as well. Same effect could be accomplished with sacrifical pact. You're also making yourself vulnerable against comps that can do heavy damage on both you and your pet.


    So... I don't know. I'd say there's aren't any no-brainers here, so job well done Blizz. Maybe some pro arena players will prove me wrong, this is all just theorycrafting and I'm definitely not a 2k arena player by any means.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    I can see a point that the player used it at the wrong time, took some damage, gets the dot, and THEN gets focused for real so he now has to contend with the previous damage + the dot and probably succumbs to it, but that is a problem caused by bad play, not because DB is a bad talent.

    I think it's a situational/preference talent like every other in that row and is fine, even at 3 minutes.
    What's the correct play to compensate for this, then? I mean, if the answer is to pop a second cooldown, then I've already explained why that's a poor reflection on Dark Bargain, rather than the player. You'd probably be popping Dark Bargain while being focused. IE: do or die situation, because otherwise you'd use other, shorter cooldowns. Under such circumstances, good players will continue focusing you, because you're going to be taking the damage after the fact anyway, in addition to their continued focus (150% damage for that duration). Celestial Alignment, Icy Veins, Avenging Wrath, Recklessness, Stampede. All of these abilities last long enough to deal bursty damage during the DoT portion of Dark Bargain, unless you wait until the last minute to cast it. And the longer you wait to do so, the less damage you actually mitigate.

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-20 at 01:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessicka View Post
    Why does this row have 2 shields and effective health (which does require active control), where it could and should have a shield, effective health and flat mitigation/something more passive? Isn't that the way other talent rows elsewhere work out with a deeply involved talent, a semi-involved talent and a purely passive where the level of involvement of each reaps greater returns.
    I'm inclined to agree with this. Some sort of passive would be good for this talent tier, considering most classes have that exact setup in their own given options: Cauterize vs. Greater Invisibility, Second Wind vs Enraged Regeneration, Angelic Bulwark vs Desperate Prayer, etc. I often times look at the warlock class like an extreme of what it was in Cataclysm: Unnecessarily convoluted mechanics, for little to no quantifiable gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woebegone View Post
    As the Blizz devs would say - they don't compare abilities, they compare complete toolkits.
    Warlocks don't really have some abundance of burst defense abilities, and they are lacking in terms of long-term mitigation effects. They're also one of the only two classes in the game that actively damages themselves to perform abilities, and the only one to do this outside of executes. Comparing full toolkits really only furthers the point that this is a comparitavely poor talent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woebegone View Post
    Then again if you just look at the math, soul link doesn't do much more but extend your healthpool by half of your pet's health.
    Excluding both the LoS mechanics I covered earlier, as well as the point you just made with double-dipping on buff-heals, and the way mitigation functions with damage-sharing. I think those are significantly more prevalent features of the talent than the health extension itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woebegone View Post
    You're also making yourself vulnerable against comps that can do heavy damage on both you and your pet.
    To reiterate: It's a vulnerability that you have direct control of. Furthermore, it's also a vulnerability which ceases to exist entirely should you specialize into Grimoire of Sacrifice. The two effects pair to convert Soul Link into a standard health boost, contrary to the points above. The note about this, however, is it then grants synergy with percentage based heals such as Dark Regeneration, Drain Life, and the Healthstone.
    Last edited by BonesTheRabbit; 2012-09-20 at 07:34 PM.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by BonesTheRabbit View Post
    I'm inclined to agree with this. Some sort of passive would be good for this talent tier, considering most classes have that exact setup in their own given options: Cauterize vs. Greater Invisibility, Second Wind vs Enraged Regeneration, Angelic Bulwark vs Desperate Prayer, etc. I often times look at the warlock class like an extreme of what it was in Cataclysm: Unnecessarily convoluted mechanics, for little to no quantifiable gain.
    What I said about not designing classes by filling out a form was partially a reply to Jessicka (I was lazy with quotes). They should avoid homogenization rather than aim towards it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BonesTheRabbit View Post
    Warlocks don't really have some abundance of burst defense abilities, and they are lacking in terms of long-term mitigation effects. They're also one of the only two classes in the game that actively damages themselves to perform abilities, and the only one to do this outside of executes. Comparing full toolkits really only furthers the point that this is a comparitavely poor talent.
    If the warlock's defensive toolkit isn't up to the job, it should be addressed with a baseline skill, not one talent, as it would just make it mandatory (god I'm sounding like a Blizzard mouthpiece here). Maybe soul link should be made baseline to grant some long-term mitigation and add a third active mitigation talent into tier3.

    Quote Originally Posted by BonesTheRabbit View Post
    Excluding both the LoS mechanics I covered earlier, as well as the point you just made with double-dipping on buff-heals, and the way mitigation functions with damage-sharing. I think those are significantly more prevalent features of the talent than the health extension itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by BonesTheRabbit View Post
    To reiterate: It's a vulnerability that you have direct control of. Furthermore, it's also a vulnerability which ceases to exist entirely should you specialize into Grimoire of Sacrifice. The two effects pair to convert Soul Link into a standard health boost, contrary to the points above. The note about this, however, is it then grants synergy with percentage based heals such as Dark Regeneration, Drain Life, and the Healthstone.
    Answering both of these at the same time since they kinda intertwine. Yes, under ideal circumstances the benefits of soul link are awesome. If you don't have a healer behind you that can do heavy healing on two targets, the benefits become less appealing. If you're facing a team with heavy damage on two targets, it becomes a liability - you need your pet out and about for interrupts and you can't just send it to LoS when it's convenient. And yes, you can disable soul link, but opting out of your defensive talent means it was a bad talent for that situation. That's the drawback.

    Dark bargain is always an eight second guarantee that you will not die. There isn't much of a situational component here. It should buy your team time to recover, peel, CC your opponents, and / or time for you to get your blood fear off cooldown. No it won't deter your opponents from attacking you - outside of ice block and divine shield I don't know if anything does. Maybe Archimonde's Vengeance is something where they intend to address that.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by evertonbelmontt View Post
    It's not DB that is perfect, the problem lies on sacrificial Pact.

    DB is more reliable and smoother than any other ability on that tier.
    Sacrificial either needs his effect doubled to 20 secs or the damage (part of it) that was NOT absorved returns to you.
    Sometimes you can pop Sacrificial Pact and they'll just ignore/cc you and focus your partner, i think i don't need to say more. (50% HP loss, execution implications, pets WAY TOO FUC**** SQUISHY, 10secs barely works, etc)

    And after those changes, increase its CD if needed.
    IF sacrificial pact somehow returned the dmg to you ( a good idea would be that it could work like a opose Dark bargain, a DOT heal upon you for like 25% or 50% of the remaining shield HP) or got it's duration increased shield time to 20~25 secs, 2min CD, things could be better.

    Right now, DB is the "go to" ability on that tier.
    Altough DB is not perfect, it doesn't need an Cd reduction.
    Dark Bargain is fine they way it is, imo, since whenever we "ask for" buffs, they should rebalance us, and it's not worth it on dark bargain.

    The sad truth.

    Lol

    I still believe it needs a 2 min CD.

    Sac Pact>DB, in 2v2 and 3v3.

    Healer only needs 2-5 seconds at most to heal you. Sac Pact provides that window of opportunity 3 times for every 1 DB, making it the better choice.

    I don't use either atm. I use Soul Link mainly because i don't have to manage it unless my pet is being mauled.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Woebegone View Post
    What I said about not designing classes by filling out a form was partially a reply to Jessicka (I was lazy with quotes). They should avoid homogenization rather than aim towards it.
    That seems kind of arbitrary. Warlocks are a suitably unique class (only caster with a secondary resource and pet) and adding passive play elements doesn't change that. Priests don't suddenly become shamans because they both can dispel magic. But baseline utility like that does help to avoid situations where one class is innately gimped because it lacks an important mechanic, like a dispel or malleable play option. Warlocks are really the last class that should be avoiding that potential choice of simplicity, for the sake of maintaining arbitrary distinction. Besides, they already had the effect throughout Cataclysm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woebegone View Post
    Answering both of these at the same time since they kinda intertwine. Yes, under ideal circumstances the benefits of soul link are awesome. If you don't have a healer behind you that can do heavy healing on two targets, the benefits become less appealing.
    Having a healer in PvP isn't really ideal, insomuch as it is mandatory for the class' survival, exactly as it has been for the last few expansions now. I guess if we're just discussing balance for mechanics in duels, random battlegrounds, and triple DPS compositions, then everything I have to say is a moot point. While you could argue that some healer options aren't as optimal for the talent, I'd respond with the simple fact that not all healer options are as optimal for the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woebegone View Post
    If you're facing a team with heavy damage on two targets, it becomes a liability - you need your pet out and about for interrupts and you can't just send it to LoS when it's convenient. And yes, you can disable soul link, but opting out of your defensive talent means it was a bad talent for that situation. That's the drawback.
    Yes, I acknowledged this numerous times now. The only instance of this is DoT effects and Havoc. Everything else is either fixed by range differences, or mitigation effects. When you have some major damage coming from DoTs up that can't be cleansed, simply turn off the buff. When you don't, turn it back on. Claiming that the talent being situational makes it somehow universally poor implies that Second Wind is weak because it only comes at low health, or that Divine Shield is bad because it lowers your dealt damage. Furthermore, losing your pet on occasion is a much more tolerable issue than being significantly easier to kill.

    As for being unable to send your pet to LoS when it's convenient, why can't you exactly? If you're on the offensive, and ready to lock down the healer for a kill, then by all means, you'll want your pet out; that makes it a non-convenient time. But you're on the offensive, anyway. If you're on the defensive, there's really no reason why you or your pet can't go into LoS. If they split damage, just turn off the buff. Sure, it's not good in every single situation, but it's still a flaw you can actively control and manipulate. You can use the spell when it's ideal, and then abdicate from it when it's not. Dark Bargain is almost never ideal, because of the heavy flaw it carries and the fact that other options can be used to acknowledge the situation you claim it's optimal for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woebegone View Post
    Dark bargain is always an eight second guarantee that you will not die. There isn't much of a situational component here. It should buy your team time to recover, peel, CC your opponents, and / or time for you to get your blood fear off cooldown. No it won't deter your opponents from attacking you - outside of ice block and divine shield I don't know if anything does. Maybe Archimonde's Vengeance is something where they intend to address that.
    Most good players don't keep ripping into a Deterrence or Shield Wall unless they have no other option. Cloak of Shadows and AMS both shut down casters. Pain Suppression often invokes a target switch. There's plenty of non-immunity spells which dissuade skilled PvPers from training the same target, none of which carry the flaw of making them easier to kill than baseline. Contrary to your supposition, it is a situational component. The situation is having other options already on cooldown, and needing to buy eight seconds, with the capacity to compensate for the DoT.
    Last edited by BonesTheRabbit; 2012-09-21 at 08:46 PM.

  11. #31
    Roll with a Holy Paladin and get him to use Hand of Purity during the DOT part? I dunno.

  12. #32
    Mechagnome darkminaz's Avatar
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    DB - for pve pretty damn usefull, mostly since they removed the unkillable mage/roq spells to 200% hp.
    now we share with the dk the only "don't fucking die" button
    where the dk one doesn't need to be klicked but you simply die and have 3 sec to get healed (unless you are a tank you still die probably .. atleast thats what we found out)
    our spell is a klick and it does dmg over time after the duration, good healers can stop it from killing you.

    for pvp i' just sick with sac pact. nice little shield, pretty mutch every big fight rdy, with the downside that my pet gets killed faster


    I was also faced with the argument that Dark Bargain allows the warlock to take Hour of Twilight on Ultraxion, as an example of its pinnacle performance in PvE content. While it's a decent point, it still doesn't change the fact that Dark Bargain is a comparitavely awful survival cooldown. Compare the Dark Bargain talent to all of the other abilities which can be used in the same manner. Here, I'll list them for you guys:
    .. first of all cooldowns for 35% ultraxion? hrrhrr^^
    2nd. i more menth spells that are deadly and normaly need to be soked by a lot of players (zonzon is his name as fast as i can remember, big lila ball .. crappy boss)

    and we have way more to reduce dmg, sacrifice - captn. blueman 30% more max hp. 50% dmg reduce. shadowholy shield. + DB/sac/sl and you can't connect the classes like that. The devs will only say "apples are not oranges"

    so for pve i like db for some purposes for pvp it's a bit bad while looking at the rest and 2min would fix that but then again, there are bigger things that i would change first
    Last edited by darkminaz; 2012-09-22 at 06:34 AM.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by qu1rex View Post
    Situation#1
    During dark bargain, the dps don't need to swap off of you so...

    You press Dark bargain, for 8 seconds you end up preventing 500k damage,
    after dark bargain ends, you now have a DoT up on you which deals 250k
    The dps are still nuking you, but this time have a 250k dot on you at the same time.
    (you're now taking an additional 31k dps)

    Result? Warlock is now even easier to kill now that he used his "Life saving cooldown".

    --

    Situation#2

    Warlock is being battered, presses Dark Bargain to relieve pressure, mage sheeps, shaman hex's, rogue blinds, warlock fears, shadowpriest fears.
    (etc. etc. etc. etc.)
    Or they simply interrupt you.

    Congratulations, you've just used a 3minute cooldown and been CC'd throughout the duration.

    You are now a free kill.

    Dark Bargain would be a much better "life saving cooldown" if it simply reduced all incoming damage by 50%.
    About your first situation, you most likely have an equal number of dpsers in your team and including yourself are dpsing one of their people, by the time dark bargain runs out and then they manage to kill you, your team would have killed one of them already (unless you're baddies). So not only is it a life saving cooldown, it can be used offensively as well when the opposing team is stupid and focuses on the warlock, so that argument is kind of invalid.

    About situation #2, have you ever heard of dispell or a pvp trinket ? As for interrupting you, then that's just how it is, many games are won via a smart interrupt, so be smarter and don't let them interrupt you.

  14. #34
    Stood in the Fire paulywally's Avatar
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    Yeah ive been testing this in wargames the past week, and Sac Pact is clearly the better choice, overall.

    DB serves no viability over SP. End of story.

  15. #35
    Some people need to be reminded that this game thankfully isn't solely balanced around PvP, or around their whims.

  16. #36
    Mechagnome Kanariya's Avatar
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    PvE-wise, Dark Bargain is really strong, and as others have already mentioned, you can absorb the damage through absorption effects such as Twilight Ward. It's worth noting that you can also partially resist the DoT ticks if you're using any gear, potions or elixirs (i.e. Prismatic Elixir) with Resistance on them (Yeah, they didn't actually remove Resistance, just player buffs that gave it).

    PvP wise, you will usually only be using this ability as an "Oh Shit" button, and it's situational. However, don't think it's bad. It can be quite a powerful cooldown.

    Running with Sacrifical Pact can be seen as better if A.) You're not using Grimoire of Sacrifice and B.) Your pet is at full health.
    If both of these conditions are not meant, Sac Pact diminishes in quality. Using Sac Pact with Grim of Sac is like Lifetapping while three rogues are on you. If your pet is not at full health, you're wasting a CD for what could be an incredibly insignificant absorb.

    Running with Soul Link is one of the dumbest things anyone could do in Arena, as it not only reduces your pet's health by 50%, it also makes it much more attractive for them to beat your pet to death, and you'll take 50% of all that damage. Once it's on, it cannot be turned off for 10 seconds. It's also a very visual spell, so don't think your enemies won't notice.

    As you can see, the other two talents also have drawbacks. However, Sacrificial Pact is better in controlled PvP (Arena) than Dark Bargain. Both are better than Soul Link which is not viable at all for Arena unless you're using Grimoire of Sac, and it will still be the weakest choice.

    That doesn't mean Dark Bargain is weak, or in need of a buff, and there will still be plenty of players that will take it.

  17. #37
    A lot of the people posting here have never posted on the "CC and survivability" thread, so maybe there aren't a lot of you who have read it or seen what's been happening there.

    the problem is not with DB having a long cd or it having drawbacks that other immunities have, the problem is that this cd is good when the ONLY danger to you is going to occur in a certain timespan , this ability perfectly counters that. though given the aspect of pvp, that is not the case, DB might relieve you of pressure momentarily, but after those 8 secs are up, what will you do then ? the flaw is not in DB, it's in the fact that warlocks now hover on 2-3 cds for survivability and once those ( long ) cds are used, you are paper.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Beenieshaman View Post
    only problem , we can't heal.we can't spam a shield every 15sec etc
    can't just compare a lock to drood or priest just can't

    at the moment dark bargain CD is just to high that almost nobody wan't it but would have to wait for arena season to start to see any change
    Actually the shield part is wrong. You can shield yourself all the time in DA. That's how i absorb the damage of DB. For self heal one macro for Dark Regeneration / HS or a mortal coil can help. But I agree self heal are bad now (HL got nerfed way to much)

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