Monday, September 3, 2007

The Crusade Against Drain Life

...And The Nerf Brigade Just Keeps Coming!

In my previous post I detailed how Fear is about as unfair a mechanic as we see in the game. I feel I'm a pretty good judge for what's "OP" and what's not. Fear is one of them. Lately, however, as far as the WoW community is concerned (or at least a *very* vocal minority) Drain Life is the next skill on the list. Yes, there is a list. There's always a list. Since Warlocks became anything short of a free HK there has been a segment of the WoW population who has taken upon themselves to crusade against us. First it was Deathcoil. That lasted...nearly a year? Blizzard (rightfully) didn't relent so they quieted up for a bit. In patch 1.13 (TBC talents at level 60) there was a massive outcry about DoTs which did get hit with the nerfbat due to excessive scaling. Then it was Fear again, which got nerfed. Then for a brief period Fel Armor received some ill will, but come on...Fel Armor? Gimme a break. That died off without much of a fight. Then it was DoTs + Resilience, which did get a response, but nothing quite game breaking as many had hoped.

What's my point in listing all of those off? The nerf cries will always be there. We're an exceptional 1v1 class. People get their egos wounded over that. We're an annoying class. People don't like getting feared and don't like dying to DoTs after they kill us(FFS they won already! They proved the better, reaped the honor, etc. How can they have the audacity to complain about dying after the fact?) We're an easy target. I digress. They keep coming. They always will whether we're powerful or not. Let's face it, as the saying on the Warlock forum "They won't stop until we're left with Corruption and autowand" is quite true.

With a solid momentum from DoTs + Resilience the nerf criers have chosen a new target: Drain Life.

Is Drain Life a good skill? Sure. It's a staple in many a Warlock's arsenal. One, again, necessary to assist in keeping the Warlock alive for the DoT damage to deliver. The thing about all the complaints is they tend to focus on Drain Life and its use in 2v2/3v3 arena brackets in one specific build: 23/38/0. This build is make specifically to take a beating and slowly, ever so slowly, drain the life/mana from your foes. It does quite well, especially when teamed with Druids. The issue, however, isn't that Drain Life is particularly powerful. It's that Drain Life + Drain Mana + talents in this build provides + a specific partner = one powerful combo.

My point here, is that Drain Life isn't particularly overpowered in any sense. It's not some god skill in a deep Affliction spec. Felguard Locks don't have a claim to fame with Drain Life. The issue is this one particular talent spec in one particular area of the game. The question now to ask is...."Is this a bad thing?" It's a niche build. It excels using particular skill combos (of which Drain Life is one of) to exceed at one task. This build, however, is not some cure-all as far as specs go. It's mediocre in battlegrounds as the whole "drain everything they got" strategy doesn't extend beyond 3v3. Without UA or Felguard it's left rather flaccid, not to mention its complete ineptitude at dealing any form of burst damage. It's raid damage leaves much to be desired as well, and while it's not a terrible solo/5-man spec, it's not exactly stellar either.

No, Drain Life is balanced. It's quite powerful in one spec, a spec that has found it's place to be firmly in the 2v2 and 3v3 arena brackets. Something you can't say for other popular arena specs that do rather well in other areas of play. I, for one, haven't felt the slightest inclination to go back to 23/38/0. IMO it was quite boring and too limited. I find 43/7/11 to be a great one-size-fits-all spec that does moderately well in all areas of play. Which is the point of it all. You can have a niche spec or a generalist spec. I, for one, relish the idea of having these options. The game would become a terrible thing if everything were to become so dilituted as to remove these choice.

No, if you want to call nerf on anything I suggest raiding Mages set their sights on Seed of Corruption. The brokenness of this skill far exceeds anything the sniveling PvP forum whiners could ever grasp. Out damaging Mages in AoE is just heresy as far as I'm concerned...but that's another topic in itself ;)


Anonymous said...

I dont want SoC nerfed because mages also go after our single target damage.

If we cant AOE equal to mages they shouldnt dps a single target better than us

I also read a lolworthy QQ about locks today.Some guy was complainging about how OP lock flag carriers are.

I guess its true they wont stop till we are free HK again

Anonymous said...

"If we cant AOE equal to mages they shouldnt dps a single target better than us"

Seriously? First of all, mages DON'T single target dps better than locks currently. At least not in an all out spamfest both specced for the job. Second of all, you provide much more versatility in a raid. Fear/Banish/Pets/Debuffs > Sheep (granted we do have AB/Amp and Damp magic/Water/Portals). Third of all, blizzard themselves said Mages should dominate AOE when asked recently about the role of the mage class.

Anyway, that's pretty desperate to go after Drain Life. I think people just don't like the fact that Locks are healing themselves as well as hurting their opponent. You got it right when you say that Warlocks are an annoying class. Their talent trees allow for a lot of different viable builds unlike some other classes, so people assume that these improved talents on one lock applies to all of the others, thus giving the impression that every talent is overpowered.


Anonymous said...

First, to the response on the subject of mages being better single target DPS, I have to disagree whole-heartedly. As with everything, spec has a lot to do on which situation is better. In my experiences the 0/21/40 spec using shadow generates more damage in "Stand and nuke" situations than your standard frost or fire mages. Arcane mages are still comparable.

For drain life, the issue I hear over and over is not so much as the fact that damage is being done while healing ones self, it is more that the healing component takes no reduction from wound poison or mortal strike while still receiving benefit from Fel armor. I do feel that this should not be the case and that if a spell receives a healing bonus it should also be subject to healing reduction.

On the other hand, this little trick around MS and wound poison really only pertains to two classes. History has shown that if a mechanic in pvp does not hinder a majority of the classes then Blizzard does not seem convinced to make major changes. Look at WoTF, it really only affects two classes, and it has barely had any changes to it since its inception into the game. Honest opinion…..Soul Link will be the next thing on Blizzard’s to-nerf list.



Moth said...

Its funny listening to all the cry babies complaining about Locks and fear and death coil and DoTs...I say "PLAY ONE!"
(Tongue in cheek) We have no defense, no armor, no physical attack, no escape mechanism...and when a MS warrior is beating for 4-5k....drain life is all we have left in the hopes our DoTs do their job.

Again to all the cry babies..I say again "PLAY ONE!" ...and then see how underpowered Bliz is making us. ;p

Draele said...

In regard to Wounding Poison/Mortal Strike and heals not working while Fel Armor does...Read Fel Armor it is worded "health generated" so it explicitly functions with Drain Life. Also looking at Drain Life it is specifically a leech effect, not a heal effect. It would appear to be an intentional design decision with the phrases "leech" and "health generated from spell effects" otherwise they would simply take the easier route and simply say "healing". As they have not and created specific terms for Drain Life/Siphon Life it can only be intended.

Anonymous said...

My apologies Draele, I did not mean to imply that the circumventing of MS/wound poison was unintentional by Blizzard. The statements where more to show some sympathy to one particular dynamic of drain life that my friends complain about.

Ultimately I do agree with your views about the ridiculous amounts of nerf cries from the public. Any dramatic changes to the spell would be uncalled for and would significantly hurt the PVE and PVP aspects of being a warlock. I believe that if they were to change anything about the spell, having MS/wound poison affect the healing would alleviate the crying and it would also not be seriously detrimental to most warlocks.

Then again, changing it will allow them more time to gripe about whatever else they can think of. I do in many ways agree with moth when he recommends people play one. If people would take the time to look or play a warlock, or any class for that matter, to 70 they would notice there are some areas in our talents and spells that need improvement. Master Conjurer anyone?

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA... MS/Wound Poison screws Drain life next patch... Now my rogue and my bro's druid can 2v2 your ass down even quicker... Apart from 2 locks in the same team, you are generally the first to die and then your healer friend will die aswell. AOE fear and I will trinket before I move as the trinket is already targeted

Locks are not OP, they are just a DPS class and are doing their job with DPS lol.

Anonymous said...

I think there's something wrong with a class when they can do damage/heal at the same time while making you lose control of your character

Anonymous said...


When ever I surf on web I never forget to visit this website[url=].[/url]Lots of good information here Do you pay attention towards your health?. Here is a fact for you. Recent Research indicates that about 50% of all U.S. adults are either fat or weighty[url=].[/url] So if you're one of these people, you're not alone. Its true that we all can't be like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, and have sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now next question is how you can achive quick weight loss? You can easily lose with with little effort. If you improve some of your daily diet habbits then, its like piece of cake to quickly lose weight.

About me: I am blogger of [url=]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also health trainer who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under difficult training program than you may also try [url=]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=]Colon Cleansing[/url] for quick weight loss.