Hi Affliction Warlocks. Thanks for the posts and feedback so far. I'd like to talk a bit about the change to Stretta Malefica
. In general, we agree that communication is warranted since we changed/nerfed a widely taken talent.Stretta Malefica
is very powerful on live. With the current state of Afflizione
, the talent is taken on virtually every situation in Nighthold, from single-target to sustained multi-target boss fights. There are things about Afflizione
that we're not entirely happy with, many of which the community has echoed, and the current feel of Afflizione
being a single-target spec that focuses its damage into one target rather than spreads its damage out over many targets more evenly, is generally one of them. Stretta Malefica
at a high tuning value is a heavy contributor to that. It's not ideal that even on a sustained multi-target fight right now, Stretta Malefica
wins out over Writhe in Agony on the same row, when at first glance Writhe in Agonia
looks like it should be the go-to talent for sustained multi-target since its benefit scales up uniformly per additional target whereas Stretta Malefica
reads as a single-target talent.
Separately, we want to allow Haunt to be a viable
spender talent. We've heard this from players and also want a
spender other than Afflizione Instabile
in single-target situations. Ways to make Tormento
spender competitive with a Stretta Malefica
at the live value of 70% include dramatically increasing its instant nuke damage, drastically increasing its damage bonus %, or reducing its cooldown further – none of which would feel right on Afflizione
for a variety of reasons.
Lastly, Affliction's first talent tier is a really high-power talent tier compared to most talent tiers we have, with Stretta Malefica
being over a 20% DPS increase as a single talent. Generally, we aim for talent tiers to be more in the 5-10% range. Very high values can both have distortive effects on the spec and make it hard to balance other talents on the same tier.
That all said, in the next PTR patch, changes you should see are:
- All Affliction damage done increased by 15%
- Stretta Malefica will go down to a +25% damage increase (down from +70% on live)
- Writhe in Agonia will be reduced to increase Agonia's max stacks by +5 (down from +10 on live)
- Tormento will stay as it currently is on PTR
Based on our numbers, 1) this 15% damage buff negates the 70%->25% reduction to Stretta Malefica
, coming out as neutral change DPS-wise for Affliction Warlocks using Stretta Malefica
going from 7.2->7.2.5 and 2) brings the relative balance of the Level 15 talent tier much closer to each other. As usual, the numbers may change during PTR according to further playtesting and feedback.
As a footnote, the most recent PTR patch with the current reduction to Stretta Malefica
from 70%->40% that came with no other explanation or indication that further changes (compensatory buffs to the baseline spec, further relevant talent adjustments) were coming wasn't ideal and we'll try to be more mindful of that in future PTR cycles.