Saturday, September 6, 2008

What Fel Dealings This?

So unless you've been living under the proverbial rock, or simply have more sense than 99.99% of the WoW population, you have probably been salivating over the promises of the new expansion. Wrath of the Lich King is like a frightening, undead pinata - vaguely threatening, but loaded with delicious candy. Talent candy! Skill candy! Candy that helps you remember how many murlocs you've killed!

But no self-respecting gamer would be satisfied with the 'Official' list of changes, and this warlock is certainly no exception! While I'm very excited at the prospects of Haunting things and transforming into a Demon, I've got my own little list of 'lock-related changes that I'd love to see in-game.

In no particular order:

Firestone:Physical Effects as Spellstone:Magic Effects

So hear me out, this one takes a bit of logic. Spellstone works by periodically purging all magic effects from your person. It's a great way of dispelling multiple DoTs from rival warlocks, shadow priests, or even Ignite procs from Mages. Now that Fel Armor is a physical buff, warlocks can self-purge with impunity. The added buff to spell crit is always a plus, and helps this otherwise mediocre conjured item get some more traction. But what of Spellstone's neglected step-brother, Firestone?

Oh what a maligned spell that is! All other budding warlocks who were thoroughly confused by Firestone when they first trained it, raise your hand.

::raises hand::

There are two benefits to Firestone presently. First, it boosts your fire spell damage, which is a cute bonus that is somewhat useful as you level because its not till much later that you can find a wand with comparable +spell damage. The melee proc is supposed to make daggers, a staple warlock weapon, a useful means of finishing something off as you level.

But lets be honest, most of the time you'd be much better off with a wand that you could use to blast something mana-free as it's running in Fear-induced hysteria than going toe-to-toe with a mob while wearing CLOTH. Anyone else see the problem?

Firestone is mediocre, but here's a way to buff it that seems to make sense: give it the ability, on use, to purge all physical maladies on the warlock, just like how Spellstone purges magic effects.

Imagine the warlock using the captured flame to cauterize and cleanse his wounds, and you'll get a flavor for the logic behind the change.

This would give locks choice of conjured item for use in pvp, one for use versus magic users, and one that would give us a little more breathing room vs. Mortal Strike, Rogue stuns, Bleed effects, and the like. With a cooldown similar to Spellstone it wouldn't be overpowered, since most melee can re-apply their effects within the next few swings. It would however provide a tactical power that, if used correctly, could give us a better chance against our worst matchups without being a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Oh, and give it the ability to shoot, like a wand. That would be awesome.

EDIT: lol I didn't even notice, they are relics now. Whee!

Health Funnel Friendly Targets

This one is going to be a little more controversial, but what if you could channel Health Funnel onto any friendly unit, not just your demons? I know that lore-wise, warlocks can heal their pets because they are bound to them, so to preserve that, give us a spell that costs a soul shard to mark a friendly target for 30 minutes, making them a viable target for Health Funnel.

ZOMG Feren warlocks can't heal, they is DPS!

I know, I know, which is why, as a heal, this is about as terrible as you can get. It's a channeled spell, meaning it is hugely open to interruption. There's a big laser beam that tips people off to our location. But most importantly, while we're channeling WE CANNOT CAST ANYTHING ELSE. Sure our DoTs are going to be working hard, but no nuke spam is a huge hit to our DPS. What this does do is allow warlocks to do some last-ditch tactical healing, at the cost of their own HP bar and damage potential. Seems like a fair trade to me.

Maybe augment the Demonic Circle spell such that warlocks can Health Funnel any friendly target within the circle? That might be a viable alternative to a whole new spell with such narrow applications.

Danger: Summoning Zone

Demonic Circle has so much potential from a thematic perspective it isn't even funny. Magic like this isn't to be trifled with, and to reflect that, I think Demonic Circle should augment more than just summoning speed and be more than just a teleport anchor. What if, kind of like hunter traps, Demonic Circle had an offensive component as well?

Say, a 30% slow effect on enemy targets that enter the circle? Decreased hit rating due to the babble of demonic voices? Or, ideally, make any enemy target standing within demonic circle succeptible to Banish. There should be a risk in breaching a warlock's rituatlistic field, enough that it acts as a deterrent to stabby melee and pernicious pets.

Of course, if I really could have my way I'd have the circle act as a beacon to some Elder God and watch in glee as my enemies are torn assunder by unspeakable, madness-inducing horrors.

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