The upcoming Neverwinter Heart of Fire update comes with a full balancing pass that affects all classes to some extent. We’ll be going over all relevant aspects and tackle the most important points related to the current meta and builds within our extensive preview series. Today we analyze the Scourge Warlock, that first and foremost will see more relevance added to their Damnation tree.
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Similar to what the devs did to the Oathbound Paladin, a lot of activation times were reduced and most stuff can no longer be interrupted by other powers. This should speed up the clunky gameplay of the class and make it feel a lot smoother overall. Most players seem to like these type of changes although, outside PVP, not much gameplay advantage comes with it.
Buffing Temptation Builds
Currently Scourge Warlocks play a consistent role as supports with their buffing Temptation builds. Since the major powers and synergies are untouched in the Module 15 balance changes, this should largely stay the same. If anything, the demise of Divine Oracle Clerics means that Warlocks will become even more viable in one of the support slots. A major annoyance for non-DPS builds however remains that SWs cannot queue as healers. It’s something we mentioned related to the DC changes as well, but won’t be changed until Module 16.
Soul Puppets and Damnation
The big emphasis of this balancing pass was to add more relevance to Soul Puppets and the corresponding Damnation tree. Generally Soul Puppets should hit harder and be easier to maintain in Module 15. The capstone “Soul Desecration” got a major buff for example, now enhances encounter power damage and recharges them. The tests from players however are very diverse to say the least. Some say it’s now competitive to Fury builds, others are are not as sold, partially because the stacks of “Soul Investiture” are too hard to stack. This distinction by user @jaime4312 feels fairly accurate:
- Fury: A lot simpler and faster to play, doesn’t have to worry about stacking self – buffs quickly nor losing them.
- Damnation: Takes a while to be fully self – buffed, damage bonus from capstone works for encounter powers only.
For PVP please be advised to look up this and other helpful and quality comments by user @etelgrin.
Scourge Warlock DPS Role
Overall the state of Warlock DPS builds should stay the same. They can be potent in the current buff-heavy meta, but technically are considered a tier lower than the top DPS classes. SWs get a little help with “Murderous Flames” now affecting more powers and a buff to “All-consuming Curse”, which now always applies a Lesser Curse and adds to its damage. On the other hand “Killing Flames” (now 2x damage vs. targets below 25%) still feels underwhelming, especially compared to other “finishing” powers like Disintegrate (CW). Some theorycrafters additionally raised concerns that the tweaks to one of the main dailies, Hadar’s Grasp, could end up being a nerf.
Overall DPS Warlocks should have more options going down the damage path with Fury or Damnation. Most players labeled the changes a good step into the right direction, but hope that more buffs are headed their way in Module 16.
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