There was recently a Q&A session with the WoW developers regarding the Mists of Pandaria expansion. During this there were some questions regarding Warlocks, and I wanted to discuss what was said.
Q: Is drain life, death coil and soul harvest being removed since there are similar talents in it’s place?
A: Harvest of Life upgrades Drain Life (Drain Life turns into Harvest, which is a mechanic we use for several spells such as Strangulate -> Asphyxiate and HoJ -> Fist of Justice). Soul Harvest is being removed, but shards passively regen outside of combat or can Drain Soul in combat to replace them. Mortal Coil is the new Death Coil.
So Death Coil is no longer a spell you automatically get, you will have to pick it up in your talents (now renamed Mortal Coil), choosing between that and Shadowfury or Howl of Terror. I hope I’m misunderstanding this, and he means that Mortal Coil is the upgraded Death Coil, because it feels like we end up with less utility if we have to choose between these talents. Maybe for PvE it doesn’t have much impact – but what about PvP?
I quite like Soul Harvest, so I’m a bit sad to see it go, but I like that we can get new shards in battle through Drain Soul.
Q: With shadow orbs becoming a new resource, do you have any plans to improve the interface to make tracking shadows orbs easier, like what was done with paladins?
A: If you saw the way we handled the monk resource bar at Blizzcon, we are experimenting with doing that for various classes and specs who have resources like that. So we could move shadow orbs down in the middle of the screen for Shadow priests if that paradigm works out.
I realise that this is a question about Shadow Priests, but since they’re changing Warlocks to have a different resource depending on your spec (Affliction: Soul Shards/Demonology: Demonic Fury/Destruction: Infernal Embers), I suspect that they may be doing the same thing for us.
This means that we would be getting our resources at the bottom of the screen as well, instead of as small icons at our character portrait. I suspect this may be a good chance, because I believe our resources will end up being more interactive than the current Soul Burn system.
Q: How does the new warlock talent that allows you to move while casting, but doubles cast time affect channeled spells?
A: Channeled spells take twice as long to tick after you have started moving with that talent.
Not much to say on this, I already suspected that’s how it would work. I generally don’t like having things take longer to cast, and prefer to find a spot where I can stand still instead. The fact that we’re given this talent makes me wonder if there will be fights in MoP where you simply never get to stand still.
Q: Any plans to rework the crowd control system? Currently fear is not a reliable form of CC unless a glyph is used so they won’t move others, like warriors have no real CC at all. Speaking of which, how much CC will be needed in the new dungeons?
A: We’re currently exploring ways for Fear to behave more consistently without the glyph, but don’t have a precise answer yet.
Please, please Blizzard – get this to work. Fear is currently the only CC that will still aggro the mobs around the CC’d target. Personally, I would have just said to incorporate a “no aggro” in the glyph since their original reason for having Fear aggro was that the other mobs would react to someone running around like a maniac. Surely then if we glyph it so they stand in place, the glyph could also make them not aggro. Why would other mobs react more to someone looking scared standing in place than someone turning into a frog or a sheep?
Q: At Blizzcon you said that demolocks will create demonic fury and turn into a demon when it is maxed out. Will this be automatically or will we be able to choose when we use our full demonic fury?
A: You have control over when you transform. The amount of Demonic Fury you have determines the duration of the Metamorphosis.
This is why I suspect that our resources in the different specs will be more interactive. If the amount of Demonic Fury determines the duration of Metamorphosis, surely the other specs have similar uses for their resources. It will be interesting to find out!
Those were the questions that involved Warlocks, there were a lot of other interesting tidbits of course. If you want to read the entire thing, you can go check it out here, or MMO-Champion’s quicker version.