The soul shard system is receiving a massive revamp, and will now become a core feature of the warlock class. Soul shards will no longer act as an inventory item, but rather exist as a resource, and appear below the warlock's health and mana bar. A new spell, Soulburn, will be the only warlock ability to cost a soul shard, and will empower most of your other spells to behave differently. For instance, when combined with Fear it causes the spell to become instant. Other examples include: guaranteeing your Searing Pain spell three critical hits, increased horror effect and additional healing from Death Coil, and instant summoning from your summon demon spell. Soul shards will regenerate quickly upon leaving combat, and you may also be able to use drain soul as a "soul shard evocation."
Cataclysm Class Preview - Warlock | 2010-04-07 19:52 |Zarhym
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, warlocks will receive changes to their class talents and abilities. Outlined below are some of these changes. Keep in mind that this is an early preview and that these modifications are still under development, so you may see further adjustments to the listed changes as we get closer to launch. That said, here is a first look at these new warlock spells and abilities!
New Warlock Spells
[Fel Flame] (level 81): Quick-hitting spell dealing Shadowfire damage. This is similar to the mage ability [Frostfire Bolt], in that the lower of the two resistances (in this case shadow and fire) on your target will be used for calculating its damage. Additionally, Fel Flame refreshes the duration of [Immolate] and [Unstable Affliction]. Our goal for Fel Flame is to provide a spell that's good for mobility and for use by Destruction and Demonology specs. Also, did we mention it uses green fire? Yep. Instant cast.
[Dark Intent] (level 83): Increases the target's chance for a critical effect with periodic damage or healing spells by 3%. When the target lands a crit, you get a buff to your damage for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to three times.
[Demon Soul] (level 85): Fuses the warlock's soul with his or her demon. This provides warlocks with a self-burst cooldown to use. The specific effects granted by Demon Soul depend on the demon chosen. Demon Soul lasts for a certain number of charges or until it expires (around 20 seconds), depending on the demon used. 2-minute cooldown.
Soul Shard Overhaul
This major change regarding Soul Shards was previously announced at BlizzCon 2009. Soul Shards will no longer be inventory items, but instead a new UI resource mechanic. Warlocks will have 3 Soul Shards that can be used during a fight and will not be able to gain additional shards during combat. Soul Shards will not be required outside of combat. [Soulburn] will consume a Soul Shard resource, thereby allowing you to use the secondary effects of some spells. Soulburn has no mana or health costs and is off the global cooldown. Planned secondary effects are outlined here.
Summon Demon + Soulburn = summon the demon instantly.
[Healthstone] + Soulburn = Increases total health by 20% for 8 seconds.
[Searing Pain] + Soulburn = Increases the crit chance of Searing Pain by 100%, and subsequent Searing Pain spells by 50% for 6 seconds.
Next you will find a list of some of the warlock spell and talent changes for the release of Cataclysm. There will be further changes, but those revealed below should offer some insight into our goals.
Changes to Abilities and Mechanics
All warlock damage-over-time (DoT) spells will benefit from crit and haste innately. Haste will no longer act to reduce the DoT's duration, but rather to add additional ticks. When reapplying a DoT, you can no longer "clip" the final tick. Instead, this will just add duration to the spell, similar to how [Everlasting Affliction] currently works.
Metamorphosis will no longer be subject to demonic crowd control. Furthermore, abilities available only while under the effects of Metamorphosis will be altered to put more emphasis on the warlock's own spells.
[Shadowburn] will now do additional damage to targets below 25% health.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
Shadow DoTs: The damage caused by Shadow damage-over-time spells is increased.
Demon Damage: The damage caused by pets and Metamorphosis is increased.
Spell Critical Damage
Fire Direct Damage: The damage caused by Fire direct damage spells is increased.
Well that concludes this Cataclysm preview for the warlock class. The development of these changes will continue to evolve in the coming months. Please be sure to provide any feedback and thoughts you might have on what was covered here.
Re: Cataclysm Class Preview - Warlock | 2010-04-07 19:52 |Zarhym
Here are a few points of clarification on some of the popular questions or concerns we're seeing.
On regenerating shards in combat, we will add a mechanic to regen shards if we find that we need to in order to handle variable combat length. We haven’t added one yet because we really want to emphasize locks using shards at the right time and not as fast as they can with then an [Evocation]-like spell to bring them back again. These are supposed to be special moments in a fight -- think [Bloodlust] perhaps -- and not used every 20 seconds on cooldown (or whatever the cooldown ends up being).
Demon lovers, we haven’t ruled out adding a new demon, but we want to be very careful here. We’ve had a hard enough time finding niches for some of the current ones. So we first want to make sure existing demons are cool before we’re faced with Q&A several months from now asking why the new demon either isn’t cool enough, or why warlocks no longer use, say, their felhunter because of the new demon.
Whiplash works similar to Freeze on the mage’s Water Elemental. It requires a targeting reticule. It isn’t just a melee ability that the succubus uses at-will.
As a clarification, we are removing Soothing Kiss, not [Seduction]. Soothing Kiss increased the chance the target would attack something else. Seduction is the crowd control more commonly associated with the Succubus, and it’s not going anywhere. ;)
We did mean to cover doomguards and infernals, but they didn't make it into our preview. Our plan is that you can summon a doomguard or infernal as a cooldown-based pet, much like the shaman elementals, without having to give up your current, permanent demon. If we add a new demon it will likely be one of these cooldown-based ones, and not a permanent pet like the imp, voidwalker, succubus, felguard or felhunter. We’re just not convinced there is a niche for a new permanent demon (and perhaps not even a temporary one).
Flying mounts and female Metamorphosis forms are great ideas and something we’ve had on the wish list for a long time. We can only create so many new creatures during a single expansion, and getting one of these might mean fewer new creatures in outdoor worlds or dungeons. It’s just a trade-off and sometimes you have to make hard calls. We’ll keep them on the list though.
We do like the idea of allowing warlocks to re-skin their demons and have been talking about possible ways to implement this. I have no concrete information for you at this time beyond that.
When it comes to naming demons, this has always been one of those sacred cows, where the hunter gets to name their pet because he loves his pet bear, but the warlock considers the demon to be something disposable -- a tool.
The Demon Bolt debuff will only affect the warlock's demon, not other demons. We wanted a Demo-themed nuke that made it feel like the pet was part of the damage.
For Soul Shard bags, we will probably do something like remove all the shards, reduce the bag size (a little) and convert it to a normal bag. This would be a one-time conversion. We'll probably get rid of the recipes, as we wouldn't want other classes to go out and get shard bags just to get a free bag.