This article concerns content exclusive to Legion.
Affliction warlocks’ gameplay has always aligned well with their character, but in terms of abilities, we want to avoid the feeling that DoTs are amplifiers for your channeled single-target damage. Applying spells that do damage over time is very core to affliction, so we want to reinforce these spells as the primary source of damage, with other “filler” spells feeling more secondary. We’re adjusting the affliction rotation so that DoTs are stronger, and your focus is more on figuring out how best to juggle those DoTs to maximize damage output.
Mechanically, we’re altering how Soul Shards are generated and spent, in part to better deliver on the more DoT-driven damage. Soul Shards are now generated by each Agony you have up on your targets, instead of only by your most recent Corruption cast, to favor placing DoTs on several targets rapidly (multi-dotting). You’ll then spend Soul Shards on an extremely strong DoT in Unstable affliction, reinforcing the focus on DoTs.
Finally, in keeping with the affliction theme, Drain Life serves as the main filler spell, instead of Malefic Grasp or Drain Soul. This better matches the affliction identity because its damage stays secondary to the DoTs, which should be the primary focus of damage, instead of dwarfing them. It also adds significant self-healing, further playing to the affliction motif.
To give you an idea of the Affliction Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
- 3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
- Corrupts the target, causing moderate Shadow damage over 14 sec.
- 3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
- Inflicts increasing agony on the target, causing up to a huge amount of Shadow damage over 18 sec. Damage starts low and increases over the duration. Refreshing Agony maintains its current damage level.
- When Agony deals damage, you have a chance to regain a Soul Shard.
- Unstable Affliction
- 1 Soul Shard, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
- An especially insidious affliction that deals strong Shadow damage over 8 sec.
- If the target dies, the Soul Shard will be refunded.
- If Unstable Affliction is dispelled, the dispeller suffers strong Shadow damage and is silenced for 4 sec.
- Drain Life
- 3% Mana, plus 4,800 per sec, 40 yd range, Channeled
- Drains life from the target, causing moderate shadow damage and restoring 18% of the caster’s health over 6 sec.
- Drain Life’s damage is increased by 50% for each of your Corruption, Agony, and Unstable Affliction effects on the target.
- Mastery: Potent Afflictions
- Increases the damage of Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction by 62.5% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of an Affliction-specific talent:
- After you cast Unstable Affliction, you can cast a second one for free, within 3 seconds.
While all warlocks maintain the power to summon demons, demonology is distinguished by the ability to call forth waves of demons to overwhelm the opposition, and also to further empower the demons they summon. Over the years we strayed too far from this design, to the extent that demonology gameplay was defined more by the warlock becoming a demon. Legion provides a fitting opportunity for us to realign the spec around its core function of mastering control of demons, not transforming into them.
We also recognize that demonology had a large array of intertwined mechanics that weren’t intuitive, and they’ve undergone a greater degree of redesign as a result. For those who played demonology during Warlords of Draenor, the gameplay will feel quite different in Legion. Beta test feedback will be essential in helping us to ensure that the new spec feels strong and enjoyable and that we’ve accomplished our goal of returning demonology to its foundations.
To give you an idea of the Demonology Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
- Shadow Bolt
- 6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
- Sends a shadowy bolt at the enemy, causing minor Shadow damage. Generates 1 Soul Shard.
- Call Dreadstalkers
- 2 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 15 sec cooldown
- Summon 2 ferocious Dreadstalkers to attack the target for 12 sec.
- Hand of Gul’dan
- 1 to 5 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
- Calls down a demonic meteor full of Wild Imps which burst forth to attack the target for 12 sec.
- Deals up to a strong amount of Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds and summons up to 5 Wild Imps, based on Soul Shards consumed.
- Demonic Empowerment
- 6% Mana, 1.5 sec cast, 12 sec recharge, 3 charges
- Empowers up to 3 of your active demons with dark energies, increasing their Haste and health by 50% for 12 sec.
- Prefers stronger demons first.
- Mastery: Master Demonologist
- Demonic Empowerment also increases the damage of your demons by 50% (with Mastery from typical gear).
- 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
- Inflicts impending doom upon the target, causing absolutely massive Shadow damage after 20 seconds
- Generates a Soul Shard when it deals damage.
- 2.5% Mana per sec, Channeled
- Your demons crackle with demonic energy. Every 1 sec, all enemies within 10 yds of any of your demons take minor Shadow damage.
- Each time Demonwrath deals damage, it has a 15% chance to generate a Soul Shard.
- May be channeled while moving.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Demonology-specific talent:
- 6% Mana, Instant
- Causes all of your Wild Imps to be violently yanked toward the target, and then explode, dealing moderate Shadow damage to all enemies near them.
Destruction mechanics are in a solid place overall and are already a good match thematically, so we’re taking the opportunity in Legion to provide additional polish on existing gameplay. While resource mechanic functionality isn’t being drastically overhauled, we’ve changed Burning Embers back to Soul Shards. Not only does this return consistency across all warlock specs, it also reestablishes the Soul Shard as the iconic source of warlock power.
To give you an idea of the Destruction Warlock in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
- 6% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
- Draws fire toward the enemy, dealing moderate Fire damage.
- 6% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
- Burns the enemy with fire, causing minor Fire damage and an additional strong Fire damage over 15 sec.
- Immolate critical strikes have a 30% chance to generate a Soul Shard.
- 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 8 sec recharge, 2 charges
- Triggers an explosion of fire on the target, dealing moderate Fire damage and generating a Soul Shard.
- Also causes Backdraft, reducing the cast times of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30% for 5 sec.
- Chaos Bolt
- 2 Soul Shards, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
- Unleashes a devastating blast of chaos, causing huge Shadow damage. Chaos Bolt always critically strikes and your critical strike chance increases its damage.
- 8% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 20 sec cooldown
- Mark a target with Havoc for 8 sec, causing your single target spells to also strike them. Limit 1.
- Mastery: Chaotic Energies
- Your Destruction spells deal up to 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) additional damage, randomly.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Destruction-specific talent:
- Channel Demonfire
- 4.8% Mana, Channeled, 12 se cooldown
- Launches 15 bolts of felfire at Immolated enemies within 40 yds, over 3 sec. Each bolt deals moderate Fire damage.