Update - Added a couple of clarifications at the end of the warlock post.
Cataclysm Class Preview - Warlock (Warlock Forums)
Cataclysm Class Preview: Shaman Q&AIn World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, warlocks will receive changes to their class talents and abilities. Outlined below are some of these changes. Keep in mind that this is an early preview and that these modifications are still under development, so you may see further adjustments to the listed changes as we get closer to launch. That said, here is a first look at these new warlock spells and abilities!
New Warlock Spells
Fel Flame (level 81): Quick-hitting spell dealing Shadowfire damage. This is similar to the mage ability Frostfire Bolt, in that the lower of the two resistances (in this case shadow and fire) on your target will be used for calculating its damage. Additionally, Fel Flame refreshes the duration of Immolate and Unstable Affliction. Our goal for Fel Flame is to provide a spell that's good for mobility and for use by Destruction and Demonology specs. Also, did we mention it uses green fire? Yep. Instant cast.
Dark Intent (level 83): Increases the target's chance for a critical effect with periodic damage or healing spells by 3%. When the target lands a crit, you get a buff to your damage for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to three times.
Demon Soul (level 85): Fuses the warlock's soul with his or her demon. This provides warlocks with a self-burst cooldown to use. The specific effects granted by Demon Soul depend on the demon chosen. Demon Soul lasts for a certain number of charges or until it expires (around 20 seconds), depending on the demon used. 2-minute cooldown.
Soul Shard Overhaul
This major change regarding Soul Shards was previously announced at BlizzCon 2009. Soul Shards will no longer be inventory items, but instead a new UI resource mechanic. Warlocks will have 3 Soul Shards that can be used during a fight and will not be able to gain additional shards during combat. Soul Shards will not be required outside of combat. Soul Burn will consume a Soul Shard resource, thereby allowing you to use the secondary effects of some spells. Soul Burn has no mana or health costs and is off the global cooldown. Planned secondary effects are outlined here.
- Summon Demon + Soul Burn = summon the demon instantly.
- Drain Life + Soul Burn = Reduces cast speed by 60%.
- Demonic Circle + Soul Burn = Increases movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds after teleporting.
- Unstable Affliction + Soul Burn = Instantly deals damage equal to 30% of its effect.
- Soul Fire + Soul Burn = Instant cast.
- Healthstone + Soul Burn = Increases total health by 20% for 8 seconds.
- Searing Pain + Soul Burn = Increases the crit chance of Searing Pain by 100%, and subsequent Searing Pain spells by 50% for 6 seconds.
Next you will find a list of some of the warlock spell and talent changes for the release of Cataclysm. There will be further changes, but those revealed below should offer some insight into our goals.
Changes to Abilities and Mechanics
- All warlock damage-over-time (DoT) spells will benefit from crit and haste innately. Haste will no longer act to reduce the DoT's duration, but rather to add additional ticks. When reapplying a DoT, you can no longer "clip" the final tick. Instead, this will just add duration to the spell, similar to how Everlasting Affliction currently works.
- Curse of Agony and Curse of Doom will be converted into Bane of Agony and Bane of Doom. Bane spells are considered magic instead of curses. This means you will be able to cast one Bane (e.g. Bane of Agony) and one Curse (e.g. Curse of Elements) on a single target.
- Hellfire will no longer deal damage to the warlock.
- Imps will lose Fire Shield, but will gain a new ability, Burning Ember, which is a stacking DoT.
- The succubus melee range will be increased. The succubus will no longer have Soothing Kiss, but will instead have Whiplash, which knocks back all enemies within 8 yards.
- Voidwalker Torment will do increased damage and generate a lot of area-of-effect (AoE) threat. Suffering will become a single-target taunt.
New Talents and Talent Changes
- Pandemic will now cause Drain Soul to refresh Unstable Affliction and Bane of Agony on targets below 25% health.
- The ability Fel Domination will be removed (because Soul Burn accomplishes the same effect).
- Demonology will gain a new direct-damage spell, Demon Bolt. Demon Bolt will add a debuff that improves the damage done by the demon to the target.
- We plan to add a new talent, Impending Doom, which will give certain spells a chance to reduce the cooldown on Metamorphosis and Bane of Doom.
- Metamorphosis will no longer be subject to demonic crowd control. Furthermore, abilities available only while under the effects of Metamorphosis will be altered to put more emphasis on the warlock's own spells.
- Shadowburn will now do additional damage to targets below 25% health.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
- Spell Damage
- Spell Crit
- Shadow DoTs
Shadow DoTs: The damage caused by Shadow damage-over-time spells is increased.
- Spell Damage
- Spell Haste
- Demon Damage
Demon Damage: The damage caused by pets and Metamorphosis is increased.
- Spell Damage
- Spell Critical Damage
- Fire Direct Damage
Fire Direct Damage: The damage caused by Fire direct damage spells is increased.
Well that concludes this Cataclysm preview for the warlock class. The development of these changes will continue to evolve in the coming months. Please be sure to provide any feedback and thoughts you might have on what was covered here.
Here are a few points of clarification on some of the popular questions or concerns we're seeing.
- On regenerating shards in combat, we will add a mechanic to regen shards if we find that we need to in order to handle variable combat length. We haven’t added one yet because we really want to emphasize locks using shards at the right time and not as fast as they can with then an Evocation-like spell to bring them back again. These are supposed to be special moments in a fight -- think Bloodlust perhaps -- and not used every 20 seconds on cooldown (or whatever the cooldown ends up being).
- Demon lovers, we haven’t ruled out adding a new demon, but we want to be very careful here. We’ve had a hard enough time finding niches for some of the current ones. So we first want to make sure existing demons are cool before we’re faced with Q&A several months from now asking why the new demon either isn’t cool enough, or why warlocks no longer use, say, their felhunter because of the new demon.
- The intent for Hellfire is for it to be a specialty of Demonology warlocks. Affliction would use Seed of Corruption and Destruction would use Rain of Fire.
We know there are a lot of additional questions and we'll do our best to answer what we can. Keep in mind, this is merely a preview of things to come.
Q: Will Maelstrom Weapon include Lava Burst?
A: That’s the plan currently.
Q: How can Elemental Overload proc Lava Burst when Lava Burst already hits so hard in PvP?
A: We’re going to change almost every number in Cataclysm to adjust for everything from single ranks of spells to larger health pools to new combat ratings. With much higher health pools, hopefully burst damage will go back to being a tool and not the only way to win matches.
Q: What happens to the Lightning Overload talent?
A: It provides a bonus to Elemental Overload.
Q: Elemental doesn’t want to drop Searing Totem at range. We want to drop Magma Totem.
A: Searing Totem needs to so more single-target damage than Magma. That said, if we’re happy with the ability to occasionally place totems at range there is no reason it couldn’t apply to any totem. Imagine, “After using this spell, the next totem you drop will appear at the feet of your target.”
Q: Will Elemental have to spend talent points just to get the Spirit to hit conversion?
A: It will be bundled with another attractive talent, such as Elemental Precision.
Q: Will Unleash Weapon work with Frostbrand?
A: Yes. We just provided some examples.
Q: Is Healing Rain channeled?
A: No, it's not a channeled spell.
Q: Is Earthquake channeled?
A: Probably, but we’ll see.
Q: Will Unleashed Weapon consume your enchants?
Q: Does the 10% spell power buff from Elemental scale with the shaman or the target’s spell power?
A: It will scale with the target the same as Demonic Pact and other buffs that bring the same benefit.
Q: Are you supporting two-handed weapons for Enhancement?
A: Once you start to get into the dual-wield talents, then Enhancement is a dual-wield tree.
Q: You didn’t address Enhancement survivability or mobility or X and Y!
A: This was just a preview and is not a comprehensive list of every change. Much more will be revealed in beta and much will change during beta.
Q: You didn’t answer the most important shaman question! What about Sentry Totem?
A: The Cataclysm is a time of great upheaval. Deathwing’s return to Azeroth tore a hole in the fabric of the universe that tragically resulted in the ultimate and irrevocable destruction of all Sentry Totems. Level designers are contemplating a shrine for the Sentry Totem near that of Uther the Lightbringer. We know shaman players will greet this news with grief, but as with all class changes we’ll have to get into beta before anything is final.