Warlocks – lots of bang, few choices

I realize that the ink is not wet on Warlocks yet. We’ve yet to see Souleater and things are sure to change. But there’s 1 significant thing (that I touched on) that emerges and one glaring absent that needs to be addressed; Warlocks are as I mentioned a 1 trick pony and they excel at destroying trash mobs (dependent on what tree of course) but they’re less successful in dealing with high HP targets.

I’ve played Warlocks a few times now – playing bot regular (medium) length quests and longer ones and one great place to start (on the high end) is ToEE. Because this is really the parting ground for sustainability (no cost Eldricht Blasts) and massive piles of HP (some of the rare).

In any given quest, short or long most of the action might be ‘fighting’ but not always. In those you can have a few pivotal battles, requiring specific tools (such as CC, tanking, high end DPS or the ability to take on large mobs) but in general terms you don’t always get the scope of a class or toons limitations.

That would be reserved for the exceptions – like finding out that a hybrid sonic/electric caster isn’t all that good in quests with monsters that heal on electric, or not having the right melee weapon against undead. However that usually don’t expose an inherent weakness to most of your build, only a minute disadvantage that can usually be dealt with by adding gear.

Or maybe it does show a trend; like with my hybrid caster that didn’t necessarily suffer from a small set of damage (sonic and electric mostly) but more importantly lack of high end quest DPS.

That’s almost the problem with Warlocks as a class (right now).

Warlocks are not bad in the DC department, but certainly not masters. This is of course needed considering that small spell selection. Particularly when you look at certain pacts. And unlike other casters Warlocks gets locked into specific roles fairly early – such as DPS and CC with Fey. Probably the most viable pact right now but Turbine is still working on balancing the different roles without making one pact the goto one.

The issue is therefor that as a role of medium sustainable DPS with some insta killing on the side, the Warlock is fairly premier – the issue is that once you end up in Epic the main attack does not scale very well and it’s really the only thing they got.

Naturally you can’t just boost the blast to do more damage to compensate for the lack of spells – that would make Warlocks too good as a DPS generalist. So the only solution as I see it is to add a unique high end attack to the Warlock with strings – something like a dot that scale better with Epics just to make Warlocks good as trash mob killers and okay at handling bosses.

That wouldn’t make Warlocks the new goto nuker or CC master; but it would make Warlock less of a one shoe fits all auto attacker.

My idea would be to let each pact get a unique high end attack. Say at level 18, so that you need to do very little multi classing to get it.

Such as a toon centered burst for one pact, a ray for another and a breath attack for the third. Each adding a significant form of DPS but with a different game play style. The Ray would be excellent if you’re more a caster type, the breath and dot more for close up, melee types.

So the caster type get the single target big hit and the burst and breath gets the multi target slightly less damage hit. You could even add ‘ticks’ to it. For each burst or breath there’s a chance for a stacking tick (like a small dot) and for the ray you have a chance for a secondary effect that effect red named.

Playing warlocks should feel more engaging that dropping a disco ball and pew pew.

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2 thoughts on “Warlocks – lots of bang, few choices

  1. Pingback: DDOCast 385 – DDO Debates: Warlock Preview « DDOcast – A DDO Podcast!

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