Reactions to the Tank and Destruction Warlock Class Tuning – The Community Asks “Why Now?”

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Reactions to the Tank and Destruction Warlock Class Tuning - The Community Asks



The community had many reactions to the recent announcement of Tank and Destruction Warlock class tuning, with many asking “Why Now?” and having some thoughts on the matter. We’re summarizing some of those thoughts in this article.

Tank Changes

Blizzard recently announced the following Guardian Druid and Vengeance Demon Hunter buffs:

Developers’ note: Vengeance Demon Hunter and Guardian Druid have fallen behind in damage, particularly in single target. Our intent with these changes is to improve their performance in single-target without unduly impacting AOE environments.

  • Druid
    Guardian
    Mangle and auto attack damage increased by 10%.

Demon Hunter

  • Vengeance
    All damage and healing abilities increased by 3%.
  • Fracture and Shear damage increased by 20%.
  • Auto attack damage increased by 10%.

Impact of the Buffs

After talking with our Guardian Druid writer, Pumps, and our Vengeance Demon Hunter writer, Itamae:

  • The Guardian Druid buff seems to be around 2% on Rygelon (190 dps), one of the best Mangle encounters.
  • The Vengeance DH buff seems to be 4-5% at best (300-350 dps), depending on Trinkets.

Below is the graphs on Warcraft Logs for Tanks from the last 2 weeks on 2 primarily single target bosses: Rygelon and Skolex

Rygelon at 95th Percentile Skolex at 95th Percentile

Using these graphs, Guardian Druid and Vengeance DH tanks look to be anywhere from 3,000 dps to 4,000 dps behind the upper end of the competition of Protection Paladin, Protection Warrior and Blood DK on single target. From these graphs, it looks to be a really small buff that doesn’t really help Guardian or Vengeance compete with the other tanks on single target.

Why Now?

The question of “Why Now?” for these buffs comes from how long these two Tank specs have been at the bottom of the Single Target damage meter and how much their class hasn’t been touched. Using a compilation of all Class Tuning:

  • Guardian Druid had its tier set nerfed on April 4th and nothing since then.
  • Vengeance Demon Hunter has received zero individual tuning over the entire season.

So the question of “Why Now?” comes up from the community. Why did it take 3 months since the last nerf for Guardian Druid and why did it take the entire Season for Vengeance to have these tuning buffs finally coming in, and at this magnitude?

If Blizzard did weekly or bi-weekly tuning passes, the magnitude of these buffs probably seems more reasonable as they can be fixed in the future. However, it’s taken over 2 months to get here, so the question is why aren’t these buffs bigger? On the other hand, why has it taken this long to get Guardian Druid single-target looked at after its tier set was nerfed and why is this the first time that Vengeance DH has gotten any tuning this entire Season?

Destruction Warlock Changes

And now, for the hot topic, Destruction Warlock. Blizzard previously announced the following changes:

  • (4) Set Bonus: Blasphemy no longer grants Rain of Chaos.
  • Chaos Bolt damage increased by 5% in PvE combat.
  • Incinerate damage increased by 20%.
  • Immolate damage increased by 20%.
  • Conflagrate damage increased by 10% in PvE combat.

These changes have now been delayed until the start of Season 4 due to community feedback.

Previous Changes

These are the previous changes to Destruction Warlocks in Season 3.

  • March 28th: All damage increased by 5%.
  • April 18th: Inferno (Talent) now has a reduced chance for Rain of Fire to generate Soul Shard Fragments when it deals damage beyond 5 targets.

Why Now

Looking at Raider.io, I think the community is very aware that Destruction Warlocks are one of two specs dominating the Mythic+ meta at the moment (the other being Survival Hunter).

Class Breakdown at +20s or Higher Class Breakdown at +25s or Higher

Most people will likely agree that Destruction Warlocks needs to be nerfed, but most of the conversation seems to be about the timing of these nerfs and whether or not they should be done right now. These conversations seem to fall mostly into three categories:

  • Should it be nerfed right before the MDI?
  • Should it be nerfed this far into a Season?
  • Should it just be done anyways for a Healthier Meta?

Right Before the MDI

One of the main critiques of the timing is that these changes were slated to occur 11 days before the start of the MDI Global Finals which start on July 8th, 2022. With many teams practicing their routes and Destruction Warlocks being one of the meta damage dealers, these changes would essentially negate any practice done so far, and force players to change their strategies with the Global Finals relatively soon.

As the MDI is played on the Tournament Realm, Naguura suggested Blizzard should look into tech where the tournament realm could be played on a different patch than live realms. This would allow the live balance team to ship balance patches without having to worry about affecting the competitive tournaments like the MDI or AWC (for PvP tuning).

Before the End of Season Title

The other critique of the timing is how long this season has gone on, and how the end of season 3 will be assumed end of season soon. As there’s the Cryptic Hero: Shadowlands Season 3 achievement and title for the top 0.1% of players.

With how integral to comps Destruction Warlock has been and how long it’s been this way, many players have mentioned that if these nerfs were to go through, it would essentially cap the current keystone levels.

Just Do It Anyways

The dissenting opinion is that Blizzard should’ve just made these changes anyways to have a healthier meta. Many members of the community want more tuning passes, but whenever a front runner is slated to be nerfed, there’s a portion of the community that meets it with backlash. Some players speculate that this backlash may be part of the reason why Blizzard doesn’t make consistent tuning patches. A large portion of the community seems to want consistent class tuning patches rather than at seemingly random times.

The main point of this argument is that Warlock is so dominant in Mythic+ compared to other specs and this trickles down to PUGs and Group Finder Mythic+ groups as well. By applying the nerf, more specs and classes will be able to get into PUGs and there would be less gatekeeping unless you’re playing one of the most powerful specs. By delaying the nerf, an argument is that if you’re not playing Warlock (or Hunter), then you should just wait until next season.





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