Regional FlagAff / demo: Bacoñ over timeSource
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#1 - 2017/02/24 05:21:00 PM
This isn't a breakdown so much as a concern I've had with the design direction of these two specs with the legion overhaul. I may be alone in this concern.

The concern I had with these two specs since demo was introduced on the alpha was that they are both effectively dot specs, with demo being far more limited due to it needing a secondary resource in order to apply its "dots(guardians)". I was concerned that these two would need some significantly impactful mechanics to really differentiate the two and give them their own proper niches.

Aff was always thee multi-dot spec for instance, if you go back to mop what made aff awesome wasn't tunneling single target, but spreading your super powerful dots to every target in sight.

In wod aff was made lackluster (at least for me) due to really reigning in that multi-dot potential, and making a significant chunk of its power come from channeling drain soul. This predominately meant that the only time you really played the spec was to turret single target, and there wasn't a whole lot of management or depth to the spec while doing that.

Now with legion, demonology seemed to take up that mantle, being this more limited dot spec that predominately was about tunneling a single target but with more going on in its kit than wod aff to keep things interesting.

My assumption when looking at the two early on was that demonology would be made *thee ST spec* of the class, and aff would be *thee multi-dot spec* of the class in order to differentiate the two dot specs and give them firm niches.

And then 7.1.5 strolled in, and brought MG back as a powerful talent. This made aff step hard on demos toes, making aff look a lot more like wod aff, which was what demo was most closely emulating. And then I saw the tier 20 set bonuses, that are entirely based around drain soul, which further emphasizes aff becoming a single target turret instead of being the iconic multi-dotter it was.

So now I'm concerned / confused about the direction of these two specs as they are increasingly being pushed to overlap and compete for the same niche, while both being on the same class. I'm not sure why we should have what is effectively two single target turret dot specs, instead of 3 unique specs that all have separate niches.

But maybe that's just me, as I regularly see feedback where players are typically very concerned with ST and maybe they prefer the class have 2 specs whose function is to mostly do the same thing. Personally, when I think aff, I think *thee super strong multi-dot spec* and I'd like to see that come back.

Game Designer
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#2 - 2017/02/26 07:06:00 AM
We do agree that Affliction should feel most at home when it is applying DoTs to multiple targets. With specs like this where the basic mechanics and history of the spec lean towards being strong in one area, there's often a fine line to draw on how it should perform in the other areas (here, single-target damage). It shouldn't feel useless, but should feel like other players may have the advantage there. It's fine for a talent like Malefic Grasp to exist, but this logic probably implies it's slightly stronger than would be ideal. It's good feedback on the preliminary T20 set bonuses that they might push Affliction _away_ from feeling good when multi-dotting, which is something we'd want to avoid.

More broadly and looking ahead to the future, we agree that different specs--especially different specs within a pure DPS class--should have better delineated distinct strengths than they currently have in some cases. That doesn't mean the magnitude of the difference has to be very large (see the "useless" comment above). Especially in a context like single-target DPS, which is the subject of intense analysis and scrutiny, even a few % of difference in DPS is more than enough for players to notice and take seriously as a strength or weakness of a spec. Simply that it should be more clear what the scenario is that each spec has to look forward to as the place where it stands out, such as sustained multi-dotting for Affliction, or situations that allow Destruction to leverage Havoc especially well.

Game Designer
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#73 - 2017/02/28 12:34:00 AM
02/27/2017 10:43 AMPosted by Dopameanix
Bear with me. I get that the idea is for various specs to excel in different situations. That's one way to approach the class design. But, let's assume, for argument's sake, that there are 3 ways to build an affliction lock, due to talents (similarly for demo or destro).

Why would you use the talents to create the "specialization" inside of the spec itself, and largely let the spec determine how the class feels? Meaning, why couldnt each warlock spec have excellent single target, "cleave" or aoe dps, (via various talent builds) and let the player pick which spec he wants to play based on how that rotation feels?

I happen to LOVE using MG and tunneling. I like for cleave i can throw out a few agonys, throw out a seed, and then go back to channeling on a high priority mob. I do not want to manage 2-3 dots on multiple targets very much in order to do relevant dps. I'm worried that because I'm affliction, you'll eventually revert to me being completely "meh" on single target if I'm not multi-dotting. I hate that idea.

Help me understand why achieving that (equal balance via talents between given specs) is difficult to do from a balance standpoint? Why does one spec have to be the "single target" spec, one a multi-dot, one a havoc.... etc?

Please don't kill what I've come to really like about affliction. I've seen the "de-homogenization" at work recently (with holy paladin design from the WoD rotational style) and I just think the "variety" is better served in talents than it is changing the spec design every few months.

The answer is probably that there should be some mix of both (quite possibly a mix we're still trying to settle into the right place, given that Legion greatly expanded the use of spec-specific talents that change your rotation). Both of the following are good things to have happen in the game:

1) You really like the MG playstyle, and feel good when you're using it well, and feel extra good when that happens when it's also the highest-DPS talent for the situation.

2) A fight happens to be perfect for Affliction (perhaps that should be sustained multi-DoT, but it doesn't matter right now what it is, just that some situation is) and you feel good as you shine on that fight, including making your raidmates of other specs/class temporarily jealous of you.

#2 is more controversial I believe, but it remains true even in a world with some nontrivial barrier to swapping specs. Yes, one complication is the fact that some players will always care enough about min/maxing to put in the effort to overcome the barrier and play the "best" spec as often as possible. That's okay though; in fact, it's good to have it be up to players to make that choice of whether it's worth it for them. In 7.2, we're even reducing some of the oft-cited barriers to playing multiple specs through changes to the artifact and legendary systems.

Without delving deeper into those issues, the point is that if you see your Demonology friend doing more DPS than you on one fight, and you do more DPS than him on the next fight, that is a fundamentally good experience to have players coming across in the game. It adds texture and meaning to the choice of specs. And on a more basic level, feeling sometimes slightly advantaged, and sometimes slightly envious of what someone else can do, is a much richer experience than feeling neither of those.