1. #1

    Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    The topic of Warlock specs came up yet again yesterday between my roommate and I (a common occurance considering we are both Locks) and while I am always a proponent of fixing broken / under performing specs, the end result was I'm fine with Destro doing the least sustained dps of the three specs. Whether all three specs need a boost or whether the dps difference is appropriate is a different discussion but, all things being equal, Desto should be the lowest sustained dps spec.

    Our basis was pure dps classes can bring three things to a raid: Burst Dps, Sustained DPS, and Utility.

    Right now, I think Locks are in perfect harmony if the numbers I've read are accurate. Each of the three specs shines in one of the categories.

    Destro:
    -Highest burst dps (which is ideal is some fights), lowest sustained dps, and average utility.
    Affliction:
    -Highest sustained dps, lowest burst dps, and average utility.
    Demo:
    -In the middle for both burst dps and sustained dps but brings the most raid utility via Demonic Pact.

    People from all classes want all three specs to be chart toppers and sure certain specs will favor certain fights which is fine, but if Destro had the same sustained dps levels as affliction, the same utility (if not more), and far superior burst, why would anyone go Affliction aside from play style preference? This is the flaw mages (and other classes) have right now. Arcane has the best sustained dps, the best burst dps, and equal if not more utility than the other specs. Hence it is glaringly obviously why nearly all raiding mages are arcane. Add in the fact it is a very straightforward rotation and you almost have to scratch you head.

    AoE is another aspect that could be noted but I think all the pure dps classes have comparable AoE. Some may be better but AoE is almost like icing on the cake, it is a factor but the heart and core of a dps class will always be boss performance.

    Locks need some tweaking still sure, but I fully support maintaining this balance while tweaking the class and I'd like to see the same model applied to other classes. Some already have this balance more or less in place but those are mostly hybrid classes (Druids, Shamans). I think the biggest challenge for the pure classes would be increasing their "Raid Utility" spec so that they have something that contributes enough to justify having neither the highest burst or highest sustained like Demonic Pact does.

    Just my 2 cents. Thoughts?

  2. #2

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Reasonably astute. I think that destro probably should be above demo for sustained dps because I think that you put a bit too much emphasis on the value of burst given the number of fights that actually require burst rather than simply target switching.

    On the whole, though, I think it's pretty special that we have three distinct and broadly viable raid specs, even if there are still issues.

  3. #3

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ratskinmahoney
    I think that destro probably should be above demo for sustained dps because I think that you put a bit too much emphasis on the value of burst given the number of fights that actually require burst rather than simply target switching.
    I may have a bias in my perception of burst dps or I'm downplaying the value of Utility. My current spec is Affliction so I can only sit back and drool at the thought of burst dps and am forced to rely an uncomfortably large amount on raid members in 10 mans due to the long ramp up time for afflictions dps. We did run into the awkward position of Demo not being the weakest of any of the three aspects but then again I couldn't differentiate that much between Affliction's and Destro's utility either.

    My guild consists mostly of very casual players with a handful of extremely skilled players also in the mix. As such, depending on who and how many of the more casual players we bring, those burst dps situations have recently been our most frequent points of failure. I haven't made the switch yet to provide more burst support because honestly I feel the other, better suited dps should just pick it up a bit and also because my raid leaders let me focus on Boss dps as much as possible thanks to Afflictions terrific sustained dps.

    Still, I can see the argument that Demo should be 1st for Utility, 2nd for Burst, and 3rd for Sustained. Does that mean Affliction can more utility?!?

  4. #4

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ViLeBiO
    Still, I can see the argument that Demo should be 1st for Utility, 2nd for Burst, and 3rd for Sustained. Does that mean Affliction can more utility?!?
    Well, it kind of does really, Destruction gives nothing useful I can think of (assuming a non-replenishment spec), but Affliction gives +5% spell crit debuff (ISB) and it could be argued that little self heal could reduce healers' stress... Although that might be stretching it a little...

  5. #5

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Eh.... totally different view of things.

    Destro: 3rd Sustained dps - 1st Burst - 1st Utility
    Demo: 1st Sustained dps - 3rd Burst - 2nd Utility
    Affliction: 2nd Sustained - 2nd Burst - 3rd Uility

    Destro is not really sustained dps. It's *constant* dps, which doesn't equate to the same thing. At the end of the fight if you're doing the right thing, your numbers will be lower than an affliction and a demo lock. However, you gain the ability to slow mobs and shadowfury, along with having nether protection. Destro has all the tricks AND replenishment but its dps isn't as high as it could and should be.

    Demo is your #1 dps winner, as long as cooldowns are managed properly, on proper, longer fights. Soulfire eventually ramps up so high that you skyrocket past other dps by the end of long fights. On short fights, demo is terrible and you'll usually mutter about being bottom of the charts because that's where you'll be. Switching targets for demo is terrible, the only saving grace is you might squeeze a couple soulfires out of each target, but your damage on adds will be terrible. If you're not using Meta religiously, you can use it to save yourself from a big hit, and it has ISB as well.

    Affliction is pretty good all around. You suffer with your threat but you have mobile dps, you lose a lot less time in gimmick-moving fights than any other class. It doesn't really bring anything to the table in terms of special abilities, but you're pretty well rounded in most other areas, target switching is ok with it, and you'll be pretty good overall dps. ISB is there, but it's not really a "Utility" thing that will save you, just a generic buff.
    (This signature was removed for violation of the Avatar & Signature Guidelines)

  6. #6

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by krasgoth

    Destro: 3rd Sustained dps - 1st Burst - 1st Utility
    Demo: 1st Sustained dps - 3rd Burst - 2nd Utility
    Affliction: 2nd Sustained - 2nd Burst - 3rd Uility
    Utility includes raid buffs. Demo has by far the best utility purely from DP. ISB's pretty good too. Destro comes in at second with replenishment and a reasonable amount of options in terms of stun and slow and the possibility of taking imp HS.

    Played well affliction is still the top spec for sustained single-target dps. And Demo is better on burst than afflic due to higher haste, SP and crit and burst being pretty much dependent on DD spells.

    Edit: I think the idea of 'burst' requires a bit of clarification. Destro has awesome burst over about 10 seconds or so, basically immo cb conf and then backdraft hasted incinerates. Over any longer period it's dps is not exceptionally high and any major advantage it had over demo is lost. Affliction is terrible for this kind of burst, obviously, since the dpct of all spells but SB is seriously gimped.

  7. #7

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    A good approach, but as mentioned above you have some facts wrong.

    1.) Sustained DPS ranking is Afflic > pDPS Demo > Destro > rDPS Demo. But because rDPS Demo is higher benefit and pDPS Demo in the same raid as rDPS Demo will reduce this benefit due to over-writing it means that the functional list is: Affliction > Destro > Demo.

    2.) While Destro has good short-term burst, it's lacking as that is expanded. So Destro wins on burst at ~4 seconds, but if burst is needed for 6-8 then Demo is superior. Ranking should be Destro = Demo > Affliction.

    3.) In a functional 25 man raid Affliction brings 0 utility and is not worth putting on a chart as utility. The value should be nil.

    These distort your 'balanced' model quite a bit. For instance, Destro is only 'second' damage because of conflicts with Demo buffs making pDPS Demo sub-optimal. It's actually third. It's utility is behind Demo as well, as is its survivability. It really looks like this:

    Personal DPS: Affliction > Destro > Demo
    Raid DPS: Demo > Affliction > Destro
    Survivability: Demo > Destro > Affliction
    Utility: Demo > Destro > Affliction

    Destro:
    - High burst, medium sustained, low AOE damage. Medium survivability and utility.
    Demo:
    - High burst, medium sustained, very high AOE damage. High survivability and very high utility.
    Affliction:
    - Low burst, high sustained, high AOE damage. Low survivability and no utility.

    If you're a designated Demo Lock there's no reason to switch specs for 25s. If you're not then you should have a Destro and Afflic spec so you can play off their strengths when needed. Either way the specs aren't especially well balanced as much as they each function well in a specific niche.

  8. #8

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    how exactly does destro have more survivability over affliction?

    running an ISB build means you wont take SL and you only have the increased stam.. but with all the self healing of affliction i think that makes it void?

    from my understanding destro and afflic are on par with survivability.. correct me if im wrong tho

  9. #9

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scryn
    how exactly does destro have more survivability over affliction?

    running an ISB build means you wont take SL and you only have the increased stam.. but with all the self healing of affliction i think that makes it void?

    from my understanding destro and afflic are on par with survivability.. correct me if im wrong tho
    I assume you mean ISL, but those builds aren't the top raiding builds. The 18/53 variants are, and they have SL.

  10. #10

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    The amount of healing done through affliction spells is not as good as having the damage mitigated period from a more survival friendly spec. Plus, to be completely honestly... as affliction your healing is not really competitive enough.

  11. #11

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    ahh ok that makes sense (only destro locks i see are running ISL and they are 10m locks :P)


  12. #12

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Check top world guilds and look at their Locks. You'll see Demo pop up in every one, but the important part is to look at those without a Demo spec. They'll usually have an Afflic spec (their 'easy content' build) and a Destro build with SL (their progression build). There are some exceptions, but that's the current trend and it makes sense. Affliction is the top DPS spec, but not the top spec for pressing hard content with. It is a decent balance, but Destro is still a bit low due to being behind Demo, which brings even more utility and survivability.

  13. #13
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    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    i raid demo 25, afflic 10.. i would most definatly be destro for if i could but we raid 1 lock only, and i would 10 as destro but we dont have a mage or a priest in the group we use scrolls and my fel puppys buff is nice i guess...

    that being said I honestly dont see a reason to be affliction for an extra ~2k potential damage for any hardmode as in hardmode its pretty much a givin that you have to targetswitch alot more and maintaining the perfect rotation for that extra damage diminishes by alot.. where as destro switching to adds the penalty isn't as severe (at least for me) add that to the other benifits.. and its real nice. For this reason i will never run the NIC trinket. when i find a fight that i can gurantee that my buff doesnt drop to some other reason. it would be worth it for stand and nuke. but that just isnt realisitc.

    that being said. i love watching my 10.4k demo dps on HM saurfang goto 7.8 because i have to switch and target 5 differant adds that never seem to get a sp buff on them.. and ya shadowbolt 3x with sometimes 2nd not landing or sometimes needing 4 depending on who targets what.. is very annoying...

    but my choice for any warlock would be Destro/Demo as my 2 specs for hardmodes. and whatever you want for normals as their all a joke.. dps differances that exists are not really that big.. blizzard doesnt have a fight tuned as hard on the dps side as they used to.. way more mechanic drivin these days,.


    ps: i love when im affliction and corruption drops off at 6-8s left, mostly after a target switch. another reason to ignore that trinket stupid refresh bugs. ps i run 1250haste

  14. #14

    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    I'm not gonna get into this 'oh such and such should be higher than such and such etc' argument, because every fight tells a different story. I am currently raiding strict 10man content as demo, currently starting to work on the Lich King, and i am totally satisfied with where warlocks are at right now. I am usually second or sometimes first on damage, providing an excellent buff. Yet despite that, i know i can also get alot of dps as affliction, and perhaps as destro as well. And i have them there when i need them.

    Providing more things to talk about as well. It's not all destro destro destro like it was back through 3.1/3.2.

  15. #15
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    Re: Burst vs Sustained vs Utility: Locks have it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenerena
    I'm not gonna get into this 'oh such and such should be higher than such and such etc' argument, because every fight tells a different story. I am currently raiding strict 10man content as demo, currently starting to work on the Lich King, and i am totally satisfied with where warlocks are at right now. I am usually second or sometimes first on damage, providing an excellent buff. Yet despite that, i know i can also get alot of dps as affliction, and perhaps as destro as well. And i have them there when i need them.
    I agree totally play what you like.

    Honestly theres no reason to be any 1 spec there is no hard dps checks in wrath of the lich king, Blizzard totally removed that I would say they lean more toward mechanic perfection now . So as long as you do decent competative damage you should be fine.

    Lich king is purely about defile control and downing valks (which you can also control)

    good luck in strict 10 man, i know some people who are doing that as well, that stuff is definatly on the harder side


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