So I've been hugely impressed with some of the warlock changes introduced as part of WoWs latest expansion Mists of Pandaria. In particular I note that for the first time in WoWs history, Demonology is a dynamic, fun and interesting spec, which is also viable in pvp. Part of the reason for this was a correct decision to cut the 'junk' from demonolgy, streamline the spec and make it less visually clunky and more easy to control and predict.
But I am less than impressed with demonolgy on the PTR. So lets go through the changes, so that I can circumscribe what I thing has gone wrong.
1. Demonic lash, which is the auto ranged attack, cast in metamorphosis form is now gone. The animation for this attack used to be a visually impressive shadowbolt. That gave the spec its 'oomph.' Something to let you know you were casting a damaging attack. It has not been replaced such that we only cast touch of chaos in metamorphosis form. Touch of chaos is not visually impressive or appealing in any respect. I would liken it to a crazed badminton player smashing a shuttlecock at his opponent. It looks pathetic, but thats all we have now. The visual effect of metamorphosis has been severely degraded .Dont take my word for it, try it on the PTR.
In addition to this the extra burst we had is now gone. It was 'compensated' by buffing curse of doom, a spell that is neither visually impressive nor dynamic, nor useful in alot of raid encounters, and is hopeless in leveling situations. It is also apparent that the loss of our demonic lash and buff to curse of doom still represents a dps loss in pve by about 2percent according to my numbers. So why was this changed? To fix a bug with wands, but personally, I would prefer not to be able to use wands than to lose a specialization that I think has reinvented the warlock class.
2. Aura of enfeblement/elements no longer benefits from mannoroth's fury.
This is a really draconian nerf. Not only does it reduce the effectivenenss of some of the warlock final point talents, that are already in my view lacklustre, but it hurts the whole point of the spell being an aura. This change tends to damage the leveling and raid experience the most, and is less significant in pvp. I would propably increased the range of these auras to 45 yards to compensate. An 'aura' that has 20 yard radius hardly deserves to be called an aura.
3. Aura of enfeblement/elements is dispellable.
This is an example of an idea that is poorly executed. On the PTR the 'aura' is a self buff that is magical. First, let me say I don't think allowing mages to spell steal this aura helps pvp balance in the least. It would be considerably smarter to make the aura apply a 'curse' on all targets, instead of a non-dispellable debuff, say every 6 seconds, over 30 seconds , and allow that to be decursed.
I would be really interested to hear what other warlocks think about my critique. Thus far everyone I've talked to, especially the seasoned demonology artisans seem to be highly annyoed by the quality of life fall on the PTR.