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Warlock Upcoming DPS Changes

Author: inwowgold Source:

We have taken a fairly comprehensive look at the DPS of various classes and specs and are concerned that Warlock DPS isn't quite where it should be. By any means it's not abysmal, but we think it should be a little higher.
To give Warlocks a little extra nudge in PvP, we increased Soul Link up to 20% from 15%. You may already have this change.
Overall, in PvE, we just think a lot of classes benefited from getting the Warlock buffs a little more than the locks benefited from getting everyone else's buffs. So we decided to just buff lock damage across the board. Rather than change damage and coefficients of a lot of different ranks of spells, we just inflated talents that we were almost certain you'd already have. Shadow Mastery, Demonic Tactics and Emberstorm were all increased by 1% per rank for 5% in total.
Moonkin and Death knights provide this 13% debuff as part of their normal DPS rotation without losing any DPS. Warlocks have to give up casting a DPS curse to provide only a 10% benefit OR we have to spec deep affliction to get 13% benefit, but we still lose a DPS curse by applying it. This seems to go against the new debuffing philosophy.
On one hand, this is an entirely new system. It's going to take some time to see how it feels and tweaks on our part to get right. Assuming the overall change ends up feeling good, then we do need to look at situations where one class feels like they are paying substantially more (whether it's cost, talents, procs, giving up DPS or whatever) than another class.
On other hand, we don't want the buffs to be utterly identical or we lose some of the differences between classes and ultimately depth to the game. While we want to do more work on it, their talent has the same number of ranks and is located in the same spot on the talent tree and has the same duration and the same ease to apply, they risk being disappointed.
Warlock single-target DPS should be competitive with Mages, Hunters and Rouges. We try not to balance classes around their AOE ability since that is situational (but often very useful).
In our internal tests, Warlocks are close to Mages and below Hunters, which as we've already suggested (or was that in another thread) is a problem. Often we regret posting what we're seeing at the moment, because it just leads to other questions. We offer it only to say that we do not reach the conclusion that Warlock DPS is sub-par. However, Hunters may be OP.
Affliction and Destro are pretty close. Probably affliction continues to be a trickier rotation to pull off, even with the recent (and previously announced) change to Haunt. We're not convinced yet that Affliction is the black diamond slope for experts only, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on.
Demonology may be lower, but we're also not sure it would be fair for Demo to get the extra survivability and do the same DPS. However, we do think it is much less the case now that Demonology equals to PvP only and Destro equals to PvE only.
At last we want to reiterate that the Felhunter just felt like a jack-of-all-trades PvP pet. One of the things we're trying to do with Warlocks are get more of the demons feeling useful. The Voidwalker gets used a lot while leveling and then gets parked, even though it is one of the more - perhaps the most - iconic pets. A passive buff is something we'll consider though.

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