Hi Affliction Warlocks. Thanks for the posts and feedback so far. I'd like to talk a bit about the change to Malefic Grasp
. In general, we agree that communication is warranted since we changed/nerfed a widely taken talent.Malefic Grasp
is very powerful on live. With the current state of Affliction
, the talent is taken on virtually every situation in Nighthold, from single-target to sustained multi-target boss fights. There are things about Affliction
that we're not entirely happy with, many of which the community has echoed, and the current feel of Affliction
being a single-target spec that focuses its damage into one target rather than spreads its damage out over many targets more evenly, is generally one of them. Malefic Grasp
at a high tuning value is a heavy contributor to that. It's not ideal that even on a sustained multi-target fight right now, Malefic Grasp
wins out over Writhe in Agony on the same row, when at first glance Writhe in Agony
looks like it should be the go-to talent for sustained multi-target since its benefit scales up uniformly per additional target whereas Malefic Grasp
reads as a single-target talent.
Separately, we want to allow Haunt to be a viable Soul Shard
spender talent. We've heard this from players and also want a Soul Shard
spender other than Unstable Affliction
in single-target situations. Ways to make Haunt
as a Soul Shard
spender competitive with a Malefic Grasp
at the live value of 70% include dramatically increasing its instant nuke damage, drastically increasing its damage bonus %, or reducing its cooldown further – none of which would feel right on Affliction
for a variety of reasons.
Lastly, Affliction's first talent tier is a really high-power talent tier compared to most talent tiers we have, with Malefic Grasp
being over a 20% DPS increase as a single talent. Generally, we aim for talent tiers to be more in the 5-10% range. Very high values can both have distortive effects on the spec and make it hard to balance other talents on the same tier.
That all said, in the next PTR patch, changes you should see are:
- All Affliction damage done increased by 15%
- Malefic Grasp will go down to a +25% damage increase (down from +70% on live)
- Writhe in Agony will be reduced to increase Agony's max stacks by +5 (down from +10 on live)
- Haunt will stay as it currently is on PTR
Based on our numbers, 1) this 15% damage buff negates the 70%->25% reduction to Malefic Grasp
, coming out as neutral change DPS-wise for Affliction Warlocks using Malefic Grasp
going from 7.2->7.2.5 and 2) brings the relative balance of the Level 15 talent tier much closer to each other. As usual, the numbers may change during PTR according to further playtesting and feedback.
As a footnote, the most recent PTR patch with the current reduction to Malefic Grasp
from 70%->40% that came with no other explanation or indication that further changes (compensatory buffs to the baseline spec, further relevant talent adjustments) were coming wasn't ideal and we'll try to be more mindful of that in future PTR cycles.