- Curse of Exhaustion range increased from 30 yards to 36 yards.
- Haunt casting time reduced from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
Curse of Exhaustion's range extension is definitely a nice little PvP buff. Having to rely solely on fear for an escape mechanism and crowd control in PvP has been a problem for Warlocks for a while now, so having a nice little buff that will help us keep those pesky warriors out of Intercept range is pretty sweet, and should allow a bit more time to escape to your nice and comfy Demonic Circle, if nothing else.
- Demonic Empathy reworked: When you or your pet is critically hit, the other has a 33/66/100 % chance to have their casting or attack speed increased by 30% for 8 sec. (Previously gave 2/4/6 % increased damage for the next 3 spells or abilities when you or your pet critically hit with a spell or ability).
- Metamorphosis' cooldown increased from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. You transform into a Demon, with full health and mana. While in Demon Form, you gain Demonic abilities and your armor is increased to 360%, but your pet is no longer summoned. When leaving Demon Form, your health and mana is returned to normal and your pet is re-summoned. Lasts 45 seconds (Previously transforms you into a Demon, increasing your armor by 360% and reducing the duration of stun and snare effects on you by 50%. While in Demon Form, you cannot cast spells, but you gain unique demon abilities)
The Demonic Empathy change looks like a good change all around. Once again, it's a bit of a PvP buff, which in theory should allow you a chance to get off a speedy Fear cast while being pounded on, or perhaps even a Shadow Bolt if it looks like your quarry is about to die.
Unfortunately, the Metamorphosis spell seems to further confuse an already confused skill. The Demonology tree is (rightly) built around the idea of summoning an uber buffed pet to be a legitimate part of the Warlock's ability and strategy. That the spell now dismisses that demon seems to fly in the face of the point of most of the rest of the tree. At the same time, the fact that a Warlock's magical spells are replaced with a subset of mostly melee focused skills turns the Warlock's class description on its head. Plus, it doesn't look like the DPS and utility of those skills is necessarily any better than those of the Warlock in non-metamorphosed mode.
It may be that Metamorphosis is more of a PvP skill, but what PvP functionality it has is being gutted too, with the 50% duration of stun and snare duration being removed. Adding an extra 2 minutes to the cooldown after all that is just adding insulting to injury, really.
Admittedly, there's probably some limited usefulness to this ability. If you've gathered some unavoidable aggro or physical focus fire in PvE or PvP, being able to summon up 360% more armor might come in handy, and being able to leap out of a fray could be good as well. However, unless this demon has absolutely insane DPS (and we mean makes the current 21/40 Shadow Bolt spam build look like a pea shooter good), it doesn't really feel like it should be a 51 point talent, certainly not with the latest nerfs.
- Bane no longer reduces casting time of Haunt.
- Eternal Flames reworked: Now called Fire and Brimstone. Increases the damage of your Immolate spell by an amount equal to 5% of your spell power, and the critical strike chance of your Conflagrate spell is increased by 5% is the immolate on the target has 5 or fewer seconds remaining. (Previously increased the damage done by your immolate on your target by 1%, and your Searing Pain and Incinerate spells increase the damage of your Immolate on the target by and additional 1/2/3/4/5 %, up to a total of 25%.)
- Chaos Bolt cooldown reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. Sends a bolt of Chaotic Fire at the enemy, dealing 1012 to 1278 Fire damage. Chaos Bolt cannot be resisted, and pierces through defensive immunities. (Previously sends a bolt of chaotic fire at the enemy, dealing 990 to 1256 Fire damage. Chaos Bolt cannot be resisted, and pierces through all absorption effects.)
It looks like Blizzard is really pushing fire as a viable damage source for Warlocks, and the new Fire and Brimstone talent seems confirm that. It gives a much better flat damage increase to Immolate, and rewards a solid Immolate/Incinerate/Conflagrate damage rotation as well. It may be that the 25% damage from Incinerate and Searing Pain might have been a bit more overall damage, but this at least leaves the talent a bit more flexible and doesn't absolutely require that a Warlock be locked into Incinerate spam.
Chaos Bolt is actually still not yet implemented on Beta servers, but it seems like it may go live next build with these tweaks. Once again, it's fire damage, and thus a definite boon to a fire chucking Warlock, although whether it has the power to find a place in a damage rotation is still a subject of debate. These new numbers should push it more toward the viable camp, of course.