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Patch 4.0.6 PTR: Positive changes for warlocks

Josh Myers

After the first round of patch 4.0.6 patch notes went up last week, warlocks were left feeling disheartened. While a slight utility buff was given in allowing Shadow and Flame to proc the 5% spell crit debuff through Incinerate casts, the majority of announced changes were nerfs. Zarhym, Blizzard community manager and everyone's favorite floating skull, took a journey to the warlock forums last night to announce a few changes to the posted patch notes. Please note that none of the changes he's mentioned are actually on the PTR for testing yet.

Good thread. While you're compiling feedback about the 4.0.6 warlock changes posted thus far, I want to make mention that the Glyph of Soul Swap change is being reverted for now. We don't feel that particular change is necessary as of yet, but will continue to evaluate Soul Swap's performance.

This change is a reversion of a previous nerf to Glyph of Soul Swap. Glyphed Soul Swap will now be working the same on the PTR as it is on live realms.

Also, another change not yet listed in the notes is to the default range of Curse of Exhaustion. With the movement speed reduction at 30% in 4.0.6, down from 50%, the range is being increased to 40 yards, up from 30.

The Curse of Exhaustion nerf was a heavy one, and this change is intended to ease the pain a small bit. It's still not as powerful as the live version, though. That is the point of nerfs, after all!

A number of crowd control effect durations are being reduced in PvP for patch 4.0.6. Those changes are not yet notated. The Unstable Affliction change relates to these changes and just happened to be listed first.

In general, dispelling warlock DoTs is a little more punishing than we intended in the current PvP model. That said, there are yet still more changes not listed which are worth mentioning here:

1. The reduction on the Unstable Affliction silence effect is 4 seconds, up from 3 as currently listed.

2. We do think it's a little too easy to counter warlocks (and Shadow priests) with a Resto shaman's Cleansing Waters talent (as was pointed out earlier in this thread), which is being nerfed in 4.0.6 as well.

Unstable Affliction is being changed to a happy medium between the live version of the spell (5-second silence) and the initial PTR version (3-second silence) -- still a nerf from live, but a less harsh one. Additionally, the restoration shaman talent Cleansing Waters will no longer be proccing twice from dispelling a magic effect and a curse effect off the recipient. Restoration shaman are one of warlocks' main counters right now, so this is a positive change for warlocks.

The PvE warlock 4-piece set bonus (Fel Spark) now increases the damage done by the next 2 Fel Flame spells by 300%, rather than increasing the critical effect chance of one by 100%.

The PvP warlock 4-piece set bonus has been redesigned. It now reduces the cooldown of Death Coil by 30 seconds.

The last two announced changes to the class were changes to set bonuses. As most warlocks know, Fel Flame rarely has a use in PvE. Hopefully, this change will provide the boost needed to have Fel Flame be a DPS boost. The current PvP four-piece bonus is a 5% cast time reduction buff to the primary nukes Shadow Bolt and Incinerate, while the PTR version provides a really positive change to one of the most useful survival cooldowns. For affliction warlocks who already favor Drain Life as a castable filler, this change is awesome. For destruction and demonology, I'm less certain.

Finally, there's an interesting change to Tremor Totem that any warlock who is well acquainted with their Fear button should be aware of. Check out Joe Perez's coverage of upcoming shaman changes for more information!
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