[UPDATED] Warlock changes in patch 3.0.3

Zach Yonzon
Z. Yonzon|11.04.08

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[UPDATED] Warlock changes in patch 3.0.3

Patch 3.0.3 isn't a hefty patch by any means, but it did bring some pretty nice changes for Warlocks. Some were simple bug fixes but others were outright improvements. As we reported, the Dreadsteed spell will become trainable to all Warlocks at Level 61. Players no longer need to do the quest line, which opens up at Level 60. The character must have Journeyman riding skill and the Felsteed spell learned.

Despite this welcome change, I implore all Warlocks to do the quest. It is one of the best and most flavor-rich quest lines in the game, and any Warlock worth her salt will have fun keeping up the Bell, the Wheel, and the Candle. The cost of materials are trivial in the new economy, so there really shouldn't be any excuse not to do the quest now. High level friends can and should (we're Warlocks, after all) be bribed to chaperone Level 60 Warlocks with the Dire Maul Achievement.

[UPDATE: Thanks to our industrious readers, I needed to change my shorts (I'm sending you my dry cleaning bill, Augustus) when I read about this change... the coefficients to Corruption and Immolate were significantly buffed to 20%. That's just... wait, let me change my shorts again (blast you, Augustus!). Oh, and apparently Ritual of Doom is actually cool now. It no longer kills a party member, the Doom Guard lasts for 15 minutes and just disappears afterwards like a zit to Oxy afterwards. How polite. So wow, yeah. Bdew, you can split my dry cleaning bill with Augustus.]

Some of the bug fixes include retention of the Demonic Sacrifice buff, which was removed when logging out or zoning, oftentimes wasting a Soul Shard. Blizzard also fixed the excessive threat granted by Demonic Empowerment, which should see fewer (or maybe no more) Voidwalkers tanking Illidan. At least not as successfully. On a good note, this Demon ability is now properly off the Global Cooldown, which makes it easier to use. Remember when I said to keybind it? Go keybind it.

Apparently, Destructive Reach wasn't properly reducing threat on Chaos Bolt and Shadowflame. Who knew? Anyway, it's all better now. Blizzard also fixed the buggy Rank 6 of Drain Soul, which really doesn't affect anybody on live since we all learn that rank of the spell at Level 77. Ranks 1-4 of Shadow Embrace was finally fixed, and will now stack properly with multiple applications. Ritual of Doom -- which really, nobody uses outside of Azerothian Russian Roulette -- now works correctly even when we have a pet out. Again, uh, who knew? Good job, Blizzard, for catching that one.

I know, bug fixes are boring. But hold on to your witches' hats, here come the good stuff. Blizzard promised to increase Warlock DPS in subtle ways and they're delivering on that by passively increasing the benefits of talents in all trees by about 5%. Shadow Mastery in Affliction had its damage bonus increased from 10% to 15%, with Emberstorm in Destruction also buffed from 10% to 15%. In Demonology, Demonic Tactics was buffed 100%, that is to say critical strike bonus for both demon and master was raised to 10% from the previously piddly 5%. The beautiful thing is that these are pretty much talents that any Warlock specced deep enough into the tree have already maxed, anyway, so the DPS increase will be pretty much a given.

There's more! Haunt was lowered to an 8 second cooldown, which is a flat out DPS increase because it takes the place of one more Shadow Bolt in our rotations. Healing from Haunt was also fixed, so Haunt re-applied before the debuff duration ends will properly heal, as well as when Haunt deals the killing blow. Shadowflame damage was increased by a massive 75%, too, which is awesome news except that none of us will have that ability before November 13. It's still a pretty nice gesture, though. Thanks, Blizz.

I've saved some of the best news for last. Soul Link damage absorption is now back to 20%. Yes, I know it used to be 30% at one happy point in time, but it's a mere 11-point talent now, so it really isn't such a bad deal. No, it still won't increase our damage dealt. Master Demonologist (Felhunter) will also reduce Holy damage, which is cool because it will now take Retribution Paladins 5 seconds to kill me instead of four. Finally -- and this is really fun -- Inferno is now usable indoors. It's a 1.5 second cast AoE stun! Come on, we've got to be happy about that one, right? Yes, so go log on to the game and unleash some hell.

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