Dragon 384 - Warlock Basics

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DnDi_Large.png    Dragon 384
Warlock Basics

By Matthew Sernett

Power flows from many sources. For those who study dusty tomes or seek out wrinkled sages, knowledge is power. For those willing to beg upon bended knee, power is a reward. Warlocks walk a straighter path: Power comes from those who possess it, and if you want that power, take it from them.

A warlock’s magic is not for the weak of will or weak of heart. You must have the courage of the thief to take the power and the fortitude of the warrior to keep it. Lack either, and you might have to keep the promises you make.

Talk about this article here.

384_warlock_basics.jpg


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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

It took them almost 3 years to give the Warlocks their d8 curse damage feat...
It took them almost 3 years to give the Warlocks their d8 curse damage feat...


3 years?

June 2008

February 2010

I'm no math expert, but I'm not getting three years here . . .

Tongue out

Oops. I thought 3 PHB's, 3 years. Almost 2 years. Thats still pretty bad though.

Yeah, this article finally lets warlocks be strikers. Certainly not up to ranger or barbarian levels, no reason they need to be, but now they can actually fill that role.

But it is really indefensible that it took two years to happen. All of this stuff should have come out in arcane power instead of crap like empowering shadows and warlock implement expertise. My warlock is now level 24, so what, I sucked for 24 levels and now get to be okay for 3 or 4 levels after a few retrains?

Sorry, I'm just venting. This article really is very good. Except the inevitable doom feat is written a little odd.
I don't like this article.

It's basically a stripped-down "Warlock Essentials" with contextless or bad advice (Fey Packs should avoid a high Constitution?! Make it 8?!), sprinkled with stuff that is not basic at all (Hobgoblins?!).

Stuff it should mention (Eldritch Strike, how your class and build actually works) is ignored, but stuff that is not needed (Your Eldritch Pact, Race and Pact) get padded.

Things about Warlocks folks still have gripes/questions about could have been covered in print and not in FAQs (Can everyone in a burst get Curse damage, or only one target? What about Warlock buddies damaging/cursing each other's targets?).

It is not give the Basics of playing a Warlock. As such, I don't consider this article a success. Maybe there was some sort of space restriction to prevent some of the content that I felt this article needed, but I can't shake the disappointment I felt on reading it.

P.S. If Killing Curse doesn't end up in something a like Dragon 2010 Annual, oh boy....

P.P.S. Two excerpts to illustrate my points:

Vestige Pacts: [...] You gain different benefits from the pact depending on which vestige aids you at the moment. This looks complex but in practice it’s simple. Many powers grant you an extra benefit regardless of the vestige you choose, and, when you use a daily power, you can choose to change the Pact Boon from which you benefit. Remember to take a look at the Pact Boon in such daily powers and decide if the switch makes sense during the combat.

Githyanki: Githyanki make excellent warlocks, but the Lich Queen has outlawed all such ties to other powers unless by her express permission.[...]

D&DNext: HTFU Edition
Yeah, I already posted in the errata thread about how stupid it was to include stuff on Hobgoblins and Githyanki, as well as that race chart listing a bunch of MM races that are not PC-legal.
I liked the article a lot! Nice powers and feats that were needed, and i havent even read it all! Warlocks are the most flavourfull striker class there is, and i love them! Keep it up wizards!
I'm divided on this article. I  really enjoyed the feats. I thought the paragon ones that enhanced daily powers were a really nice way to dabble in other pact's powers while still maintaining your chosen pact's themes with their use.

However, the "basics" part of the article seemed rather uninspired. Like I read it all several times over with past Warlock articles, Arcane Power, and the original descriptions of the class in the PHB. There seemed to be no point to it, and as noted above with Githyanki and Hobgoblin entries, it's not at all "basic".
Planes Wanderer
You know what would be a great idea?  To keep putting out articles about the Warlock month after month after month after month (4 consecutive issues now), and essentially ignore 25% of the other classes.  Yeah, that would be awesome.
I actually thought most of the fluff was pretty good. The only part of the fluff that had me almost fall out of my seat was the erroneous idea that eldritch blast was a good at-will that warlocks should be happy they have to take. Lets see: a power that does the same damage as a basic ranged attack with a longbow, except at only one quarter the range of a longbow. Any class with longbow proficiency and dex already has an at-will (RBA) that is miles ahead. It really is one of the worst at-wills in the game.
Yeah, I found its claims of "high damage" to be a joke. When defenders or leaders are throwing down similar dice (heck, all defenders can be doing 1d10 at level 1 without even spending a feat thanks to various 1d10 +2 prof weapons). The Seeker, Psion, and Invoker can also all deal the same damage, often as a nice damage type, and with secondary effects.

Your forced into a sad ranged basic attack. Its no wonder the melee alernative is so popular.

Eldritch should atleast be doing a d12, and maybe like impose a penalty to a defence.
You know what would be a great idea?  To keep putting out articles about the Warlock month after month after month after month (4 consecutive issues now), and essentially ignore 25% of the other classes.  Yeah, that would be awesome.


Boo hoo.  Warlock's actually need this much attention.  Not all classes do.

Seriously.


I'm the party striker in the game I've got a Gnome Feypact Warlock in. I think I do the least damage and have the most uninspiring at-wills. I can do lame damage, or I can do even lamer damage with a lame status effect that doesn't help the party at all.


I'm actually fairly happy with my controller aspects, but I don't play a Striker to be the party's backup controller. I think my Seeker would have been a better Striker. I may see if I can switch them back out. I like the current character and he works well in a silly campaign, but feeling useless constantly just plain sucks.


I'm sure I could break him or something if I did some tricked-out uber-op stuff, but I don't do that and don't like doing it either. Plz to be fixing class, WotC, so I can have a viable damned character.

It's spelled Corellon Larethian, not Correlon, Correllon, Correlllon, Corellion, Correlian or any other way of getting it wrong. I'm a total grognard and I still play 4E.

Boo hoo.  Warlock's actually need this much attention.  Not all classes do.


Plz to be fixing class, WotC, so I can have a viable damned character.


Really?  Really?  So instead of having Wizards release errata or ONE article to "fix" Warlocks, you'd prefer they continue to throw sh... er, stuff at the wall and hope something sticks?  I don't.  If the class truly needs fixing, then errata the core mechanics, offer a math fix feat, put out an at-will that raises the bar, etc.
I'd love for them to do that, don't get me wrong, but they won't and I know it.
It's spelled Corellon Larethian, not Correlon, Correllon, Correlllon, Corellion, Correlian or any other way of getting it wrong. I'm a total grognard and I still play 4E.
You know what would be a great idea?  To keep putting out articles about the Warlock month after month after month after month (4 consecutive issues now), and essentially ignore 25% of the other classes.  Yeah, that would be awesome.



Warlocks actually needed this article more than 25% of "other classes" needed an article. Warlocks in particular needed feats like Killing Curse and Cursed Spells more than 25% of "other classes" needed anything to begin with. This article has, by itself, done a lot to help Warlocks in many ways (albeit not entirely of course).

The only time your complaint is valid is when it's the likes of the fighter, getting it's BILLIONTH article over every single other class in the game.

The Warlock deserves more support and actually needs it, making complaining about an underpowered class getting support more than a bit ridiculous.
I honestly don't find the Warlock underpowered.  But then again, I view it as a half-striker half-controller class.  I realize that many consider it underpowered because it is a striker class and doesn't match DPR with some other striker classes.

Did I miss a bunch of fighter articles?  I see ones in 382, 379, and 378.  Not exactly an excessive amount.

I agree that the Warlock deserves some attention, but I think it needs a new at-will, a math fix feat, or some errata.  Extra encounter/daily/utility powers don't "fix" a class.  Five Warlock articles which don't go out of their way to "fix" the class, while there are 5 core classes (plus the Artificer) that only have one article each, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Did I miss a bunch of fighter articles?



Yes. Fighters have the most support of any class in 4E. They have articles like the Gladiator article, that heavily favor them in particular and many other examples since 4E was released amongst many many articles that give them more options. There are TWO entire books now with extra fighter options, Martial Power and Martial Power 2. Nobody disputes that the fighter with just the PHB was already an incredibly solid class.

Warlocks have had very little in comparison, as they don't even benefit much from articles on other classes or general striker articles (of which fighters gain a lot from articles on defenders on a regular basis).

 
I agree that the Warlock deserves some attention, but I think it needs a new at-will



Warlocks don't need new at-wills, they need a striker feature that actually allows them to function as a striker and that's what this article does.

a math fix feat,



Which is what this article provides. Did you even read it? The epic tier feat that adds +int to curse damage is precisely a math fix feat. The only thing I would like to see done with that is to shift it down a tier into paragon, but it's a good and absolutely mandatory feat for epic warlocks as it is.

or some errata



They don't need errata, they need articles exactly like this one that make their striker feature more viable.

Which again, is precisely what this article is.

Extra encounter/daily/utility powers don't "fix" a class.



Which is why none are in this article. Thank you for pointing that out, given this is an article that adds a lot of basic feats Warlocks should have had for a long time, like finally boosting curse dice to d8 to be in line with other strikers that already had similar feats.

Five Warlock articles which don't go out of their way to "fix" the class



I don't know where you get this from, because this article added one particular feat that helps Warlocks a gigantic amount in the tier they've struggled to deal damage in most. A lot of the other feats in this article are very good and useful to boot.

Five Warlock articles which don't go out of their way to "fix" the class,



You keep saying this, yet completely ignore the amount of good this article actually has done.
Let me be critical: The article has a feat any of us could have come up with on day one, a few decent other options, nothing broken, and we warlock players are nonetheless excited as all get out. That tells you something. This article could have been stronger. There are some really weak feats mixed in with the decent ones.

Let me be thankful: Thank you to the author and WotC for finally providing some half-strong feats that address core warlock issues. We needed that. We need more.

As for the "basics" part, it is easy to be critical here. It does a decent job of providing a perspective. There are people every day looking at warlocks and wondering which path to choose. For them, the article is a decent perspective on that. Like anything else, you could devote a lot of pages to it and/or cover it from a lot of other perspectives. It read well to me.

Because players of warlocks must always end by complaining about being dissed, let me end with a note about how Darklocks (and Vestigelocks) always are dissed when it comes to feats in warlock articles. Once again, no pact-specific feat! Curses!

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Because players of warlocks must always end by complaining about being dissed, let me end with a note about how Darklocks (and Vestigelocks) always are dissed when it comes to feats in warlock articles. Once again, no pact-specific feat! Curses!



Well, Vestigelocks may be a bit short on feats, but they did get an article full of goodies last month. As for Darklocks... yeah, being left out sucks, but getting Bloodied Boon is well worth missing a random pact feat or two. I think this feat is quite silly with Darkspiral Aura, more so than any other pact boon other than star...

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valid points



I agree with most of what you're saying regarding the fact that this article in particular gets Warlocks a lot closer to where the player base thinks they should be.  My issue is purely with the fact that there are 5 articles dedicated specifically to Warlocks, while 6 other classes (5 of them core) have 1 article each.

As far as fighters, yes the gladiator article helps them a lot, but it doesn't do so to the exclusion of all other classes.  I don't view the Martial Power 2 coming out before the Arcane Power 2 as a love-fest for Fighters -- that's the order they came out for the first set, and I don't think anyone was expecting anything different.  Wizard's book publishing schedule is a lot less dynamic than their article publishing schedule.

My issue is purely with the fact that there are 5 articles dedicated specifically to Warlocks, while 6 other classes (5 of them core) have 1 article each.



Absolutely, I'm still baffled why some classes have just had absolutely nothing - especially the artificer which seems to have been absolutely ignored since it was published in the EPG.

I'm never going to complain when an underpowered class gets some things that really do actually benefit it. That's rare enough that it demands some serious praise.
My issue is purely with the fact that there are 5 articles dedicated specifically to Warlocks, while 6 other classes (5 of them core) have 1 article each.



Absolutely, I'm still baffled why some classes have just had absolutely nothing - especially the artificer which seems to have been absolutely ignored since it was published in the EPG.

I'm never going to complain when an underpowered class gets some things that really do actually benefit it. That's rare enough that it demands some serious praise.



Artificer got a whole new build…

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe


Artificer got a whole new build…


And an awesome build it is.
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