Patch 4.3 hits today in the US and tomorrow in the EU, so let’s have a look at the changes that are coming to Warlocks.
Shadowbolt has a new spell effect.
I didn’t dislike the old spell effect, but the new one looks pretty cool. I don’t have a movie editing program, so I couldn’t do any recording myself, but if anyone wants to see it before they get the patch themselves, I found a video here.
Soul Fire now scales with 72.6% of spell power, up from 62.5%.
I hope that this will make Soul Fire feel more like the hard-hitting spell I imagine it was always meant to be. It’s not a huge boost, but 10% should at least do something.
The Voidwalker ability Suffering now works like the hunter pet talent Taunt.
I’ll admit, this confuses me a little. It’s a simple taunt, I don’t quite understand the change made to this. I thought it already worked the same way? Edit: I realised that even though the tooltip isn’t updated the change is to the part that says that it will have no effect if the mob is already attacking the Voidwalker. So basically it should now properly be able to hold threat by taunting every cooldown. (If you’re wanting lots of threat though, I suggest popping Demon Soul and throwing out some Searing Pains.)
Fixed a bug that caused Doomguard and Infernal to benefit dramatically more than intended from Demonology Mastery.
This is a well-known bug that basically made your Doomguard and Infernal double-dip for their damage increase, making them do a lot more damage than intended for Demonology Warlocks. Not to worry though, Demonology was buffed in other ways and according to Sims is still a very high damage dealing spec.
Master Demonologist now grants a base bonus of 20%18.4% and 2.5%2.3% per mastery, up from 16% and 2% per mastery.
I suspect this is to make up for them “fixing” the Doomguard and Infernal.
Impending Doom is now also activated by Soul Fire.
This is a good change, since below 25% you will be casting a lot of Soul Fires as a Demonology Warlock!
All of these changes are made in an attempt to bring Destruction’s damage up. This spec has been falling behind in Cataclysm, and except for some utility on some fights there were times when it felt completely useless compared to the others. Simply because you couldn’t keep up on the dps. Looking at PTR data and Simcraft it does seem that the changes are working and Destruction is now on par with Affliction for single and duo-target fights.
Improved Soul Fire now lasts 20 sec, up from 15sec.
This is a welcome change. Improved Soul Fire is a rather clunky mechanic, and while this may not “fix” it per se, it might at least make it a bit easier to deal with when you have 5 more seconds. That’s 5 seconds more of hoping for a proc for an instant Soul Fire, so we won’t have to hardcast it.
Some Other Changes
While Warlock changes are of course the most interesting, I just wanted to highlight a few other ones as well. And of course, let’s not forget that there is a new raid instance, three new Heroics and the new Darkmoon Faire Island (and it’s time for Darkmoon Faire this weekend!).
- You will no longer be saved to a Heroic dungeon that you did in the Dungeon Finder. This means that you can still queue for it specifically with friends later in the day even if you got it through the Dungeon Finder earlier in the day.
- You now only have to kill 2 (you can choose yourself) bosses in both Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub before you can fight the final boss. (This will be nice for those groups that just don’t seem to understand the basic things like… not walking across green lines on the snake boss!)
- Lots of things that previously just showed up on the World Map will now show up on the Mini Map as well. Things such as Archaeology spots, Quest tracking areas etc.
- Improved quest flow in Northrend and Outland. Quest givers have been moved into instances for most of the dungeon quests. Northrend has had it’s required experience to level through it reduced by approximately 33%. (Finally! Maybe now I can level that Rogue.)
I’ve also updated the Destruction Warlock Guide for 4.3. There aren’t really any changes to rotation or anything, just the buffs to the spells already used.
What are you most excited about in the patch?