Warlock update!

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Do we like these?

When are we getting an official class name for the PHB "warlock" under the greater warlock archetype?
Double stat on Dire Radiance is a great news. Other changes don't change the class too much

www.wizards.com/dnd/files/warlock_update...
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I guess my GM will be happy that they change Hellish Rebuke to trigger only on the first damage you take before the end of your next turn.
I like the changes for the most part. I wish eldritch blast was made a class feature like magic missile was for mage. As far as I understand, it's a holdover from when the 4e warlock was still going to have stuff that altered it like they did in 3.5, and its completely senseless to force you to spend an at will slot on it. Like I said though, I like the changes they made.
So basically warlocks have an official implement version of twin strike.
So basically warlocks have an official implement version of twin strike.



Not quite. If the Dire Radiance damage counts as extra damage, it doesn't add more than what is listed there. Hellish Rebuke still works though.
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I'm not a fan of the change to Thief of Five Fates; it really doesn't make a significant impact on the playability of the power in a normal game, but it sets an uncomfortable precident for similar soft-control powers that really should not be set.

All in all however, I think it's a solid update that catches a few of the weaknesses of the class. The real question though is why does this update merit an official "Warlock Class Update" and not just a simple Errata?
I like the changes for the most part. I wish eldritch blast was made a class feature like magic missile was for mage. As far as I understand, it's a holdover from when the 4e warlock was still going to have stuff that altered it like they did in 3.5, and its completely senseless to force you to spend an at will slot on it. Like I said though, I like the changes they made.



I wish it was a class feature too. Shame it's not.

Has the striker eh Ess been beefed enough to satify? And is the control Eros ness in line with the Templar's (considering they're both secondary controllers) and consistent with the direction of control like they're moving to with Wizard classes?
So basically warlocks have an official implement version of twin strike.



Not quite. If the Dire Radiance damage counts as extra damage, it doesn't add more than what is listed there. Hellish Rebuke still works though.



Interesting. I hadn't realized, but the wording on Hellish Rebuke and Dire Radiance used to be the same ("takes an extra..."), yet on the final update, the word 'extra' has been removed from Hellish Rebuke. Do we have any official confirmation about the extra damage not getting any modifiers? If I'm not mistaken, the common assumption so far had been that HR benefitted from mods.
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Dire Radiance seems to have been screwed up a bit. Not only is the word "extra" still there (and why would they remove it from HR but leave it on DR?), but the second damage instance doesn't scale in epic tier (and this is obviously a mistake because it's not listed as a change at the end).
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I guess my GM will be happy that they change Hellish Rebuke to trigger only on the first damage you take before the end of your next turn.



I ruled it that way anyhow (the 'when' vs 'whenever' argument).
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I like the change to the Minions very very much.

This may replace Memory of Blades on my SM|Lock since I haven't been able to fit Repel Charge in yet.
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Yay they fixed star pact, otherwise this class still feels kinda sad.
Yay they fixed star pact, otherwise this class still feels kinda sad.



Same. They fixed a couple glaring problems, but the rest of our feedback seems to have been for naught. A missed opportunity, if you ask me.
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It begs to ask why is a Striker is rolling d6's for damage Even on Dailies something like 3d6 does not cut it, I mean there are weapon attacks on denders that can roll 2d6 Brutal 2 per [w] and some of which are 3 or 4 [w] on first level. Sorry you're not a martial character you have to be pissweak. Lets not even talk multi attack.
Implement based Strikers all need massive dice upgrades throughout their power lists and improved feat support for doing damage. Single target powers in particular need the biggest boosts.
Dice aren't where the damage comes from.  Static bonuses are.
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But if they're doing massive rewrites, it would be nice if they upgraded the dice so that they aren't blown completely out of the water.  Though that would require system-wide changes to the math, so it's unlikely to happen, but hey.
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Bah, really disappointing they didnt fix eldritch blast to not suck or just make it a class feature if its going to remain the same. It really took them that long to decide to give Star Pact warlocks dual stat powers? They ignored pretty much everything else people were sending in as feedback.
Considering weapon users can add stuff like surprising charge, vanguard/avalanche weapon, horned helm, etc. to their weapon dice, implement users pretty much get the shaft there, except for the consolation prize in dual implement for arcane people. We definitely need more implement tools.

Also, yeay, they reverted back on Hunger of Hadar, except limiting damage to once per turn. Much happier with that now.
But now you can fake being a weapon class by picking up the hexblade feat!  That fixes you, amirite?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Considering weapon users can add stuff like surprising charge, vanguard/avalanche weapon, horned helm, etc. to their weapon dice, implement users pretty much get the shaft there.



Not to mention, only weapon users get to have both the all important item bonus to damage AND a key word changing weapon enchant at the same time, because for some god forsaken reason there was never a caster verson of Iron Armband/Bracers of Archery.  Plus it's pretty clear they've suddenly decided they don't even want implement users using the keyword weapon enchants and it's only a matter of time before the rest of the enchants get changed like Flaming Weapon was.  And don't even get me started Superior Weapons vs Superior Implements.
Dire Radiance finally fixed after 3 years? World must be ending soon or something. Glad that Hunger of Hadar was fixed. I've never understood why people were confused by Five Fates. Power kinda sucks now, especially if your party uses focus fire. Cest la vie.
Dice aren't where the damage comes from.  Static bonuses are.



Only because the dice are so weak...Tell a Ranger that his Greatbow is a d6 weapon or a Barbarian that his ExecAxe only does d8 and see where their damage goes to.

Implement powers need to have ways to boost statics that arent available to [W] users to make this statement true. The sad thing is, the opposite is currently true. BoMS and the charge suite along with their ranged weapon equivalents put implements to shame.
I'd use a Ranger if his damage dice were limited to d4s.  A ranger's static bonuses should be eclipsing his damage dice by MILES, and he dips on them twice.  Sure, the bigger dice help, but it's multi-attacking that makes the Ranger the DPR king.  They're a bit more important on a barb, I grant you, but even then, he gets far more non-[W] damage sources than implement powers get damage dice.  Heck even Howling Strike stacks them up.

You'd have to go up to 5 or 6 times as many dice to start reaching parity.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
My barbarian wouldn't be too miffed: 2d12+3d8+38 (waraxe) to 5d8+38 is really not much of a difference. The average damage goes from 63.5 to 60.5 or a decrease of of less than 5%.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
You know, there are heroic levels in the game too. Level 2 feylock is dishing 2d6+5'ish damage at-will 3d6+5 with his encounter, 3d8+1d6+5 with his daily, while a level 2 paladin might be dealing 1d12+9 damage at will, 2d12+5 with his encounter, 4d12+5 with his daily, and has a per encounter way to deal another +4 or so damage to boot. And I'm comparing striker to defender.

Dice size does matter, I'd say all through heroic at the least. Especially when you're making 1 attack a round, you really need the bigger damage dice.
3d6+6 is still a lot less damage than 2d8+1d6+14 a ranger can get on twin fanged strike at level 1. (This is assuming a warlock with 20cha and Implement Focus, vs a ranger with 18str/18wis with weapon focus).

Warlocks trade higher DPR for increased survivability and battlefield control.
ignored again, for the most part. 

"What do you want?"
"Here's a giant list.  We've playtested this stuff for years."
"Tone it down."
"Uh. Ok."
"Now I'm going to assign your changes numbers and roll a d100.  If it lands on your change we'll do it."
"How many changes will you make?"
"We'll roll a d20 to decide that."
"I thought you were working on balance and not random chance?"
"We randomly rolled and random chance has spoken."
"..."

While not actually random it sure feels like a lot of the things most people asked for didn't make it into the final cut.  Great job on dual stat for starlocks, great job on clarifying a few powers... you missed a major opportunity to bring balance to this class: damage, eldritch blast as a class feature, allowing a striker to strike.
On the subject of damage dice mattering (or not)....

Was recently in a game...its a home game with homebrewed races.  To make an extreemly long story short, 4 races, 2 of those races have sub races (think the way the shifters have razorclaw or longtooth), 3 for one...around 11 for the other.  The one race that has 3 subraces?  It's the only medium sized race available...and has severe restrictions on holding items (having a touch of fun with this...so some things are...unique).

With that said...one person in our group chose to be a ranger hybrid, using a shortbow (since..well..only the small races could weild such a weapon well in the game).  He had all the important stuff for ranger...twinstrike..more twinstrike..with a touch of twinstrike for flavor.

He was still a striker, and did massive damage.  The DM at the request of us who know what we are doing because we have several who don't even know how to play optimized, admittedly softballed us sending us against a level 7 brute at level 1...instead of actually making a creature elite.  But the twinstriking ranger still did massive damage..and still functioned as a striker.
damage dice:  It doesn't matter if you're already one of the top 3 strikers in the game.  3-4 damage matters a lot when you're struggling to get by as a striker.
Warlocks trade higher DPR for increased survivability and battlefield control.

Dubious on survivability. A ranger like the Pathfinder, or an Avenger easily rivals survivability. And defenders like warden and fighter can match the damage of the average feylock, and are heck of a lot more survivable.

I won't argue control, I'm a bit biased since my opinion on control is that almost everyone who wants to, can do it.
Warlock survivability really depends on the build.  Their defenses are generally on the low side unless they're a race that gets +int and start with an 18/18 array.  If they're cha-based rather than con-based, they aren't that impressive on the surges/hp side of things.  And many of the pacts don't do that much for survivability.  Shadow walk helps, but it's very, very easy to lose out on it through being locked down by adjacent enemies, slowed, immobilized, restrained, grabbed, dazed, prone, ....

It's really disappointing that they didn't improve warlocks more on the striking front.  This was a chance to make a really fun and interesting class into one that's actually good.

I'd also love to see them work up a suite of feats and items that give bonuses only to powers with the implement keyword, as well as toning down some of the charge BS. 
[20:53] [SadisticFish] yeah Llamas convinced me
I am rather disappointed. They did nothing but apply a couple band-aids and fix Star'lock oversights that should have been fixed in the very first errata.
How exactly does the updated curse change anything?
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Well... if you were to be given an off-turn Eldritch Blast by a warlord, then it'd give you that extra curse damage.

Or, y'know, Eldritch Strike on opportunity attacks. And the far more frequent melee basic attacks offered by leader classes. Warlock stands distinct as the only class whose greatest method for dealing damage is to ditch the implement stuff, and is offered an in-class means to shirk implements.

I'm kinda disappointed by this too. But then, I was hoping for all of these Class Compendium dealies (even if this one doesn't seem to be treated as such) to add a little to the classes (the Wilderness Knack sort of thing) and do some overhauling of stats as ideal. What we have instead is very mild rules updates.
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How exactly does the updated curse change anything?



Opportunity attacks (ideally with Eldritch Strike), granted attacks, or generally any other attack that is not on your own turn can now allow you to deal curse damage more than once per round.

(Note that this is not new to this update, though I don't remember when it was put in, it was around the same time as the sneak attack change).
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I'm surprised that a lot of people seem so down on this update. There's some really good stuff in here. Allow me break down the buffs and nerfs in increased detail for those who didn't feel like going through the update with a fine-toothed comb:

BUFFS


(Note that I omit powers which are merely clerified or which have a neutral change from this list. I'm also not listing any of the changes listed in blue, such as Dire Radience now being friendly to Charisma-based Starlocks, as I think those changes are already pretty obvious.) 

Warlock’s Curse: Curse damage can now be dealt once per turn (frequency has been increased from once-per-round to once-per-turn, which is a boon for the damage of out-of-turn attacks, such as granted attacks).


Curse of the Dark Dream: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 3d8 to 3d10), it now deals half damage on a miss (bumped up from no damage on a miss), and its Sustain entry is now an Effect.


Dread Star: This power now deals half damage on a miss (bumped up from non damage on a miss).


Eldritch Rain: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 1d10 to 2d8).


Crown of Madness: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 2d6 to 2d10), the Hit entry has an additional effect (enemy immediately attacks his adjacent ally), and the Sustain entry is now an Effect.


Curse of the Bloody Fangs: This power now attacks Reflex (bumped up from targeting AC), its damage has been increased (bumped from 2d10 to 3d10), and its Sustain entry is now an Effect.


Shroud of Black Steel: Cut the polymorph keyword. 


Curse of the Black Frost: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 2d8 to 3d8), and its Sustain entry is now an Effect. 


Iron Spike of Dis: This power now slows on a miss (bumped up from doing nothing on a miss). 


Summons of Khirad: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 2d10 to 3d8), and its Sustain entry is now an Effect. 


Thief of Five Fates: This power has been redesigned (bumped from no damage to 2d6 damage on hit, simpler mechanic for enemy miss chance, target gains vulnerable 5 to all damage, also gains miss damage and identical effect with reduced duration). 


Bewitching Whispers: This power now deals damage (bumped from no damage to 2d8 damage).


Coldfire Vortex: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 2d10 to 3d8), and its secondary attack is now an Effect. 


Curse of the Golden Mist: This power now deals damage (bumped from no damage to 2d6 damage) and has a Miss entry (half damage and target loses its next standard action). The Hit entry’s language has been clarified.


Fireswarm: This power now deals damage on a miss (bumped from no damage to half damage). The Sustain entry is now an Effect, with clarified language.


Thirsting Maw: The Sustain entry is now an Effect, with clarified language. This power now deals damage and heals on a miss (bumped from no damage to half damage, and also healing you for half of the damage dealt on miss).


Thirsting Tendrils: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 3d6 to 3d8).


Delusions of Loyalty: The Sustain entry has been converted into a save ends effect in the Hit entry. On a miss, this power is no longer expended (not sure why they didn't use the Reliable keyword, but it's still nice to not waste the power on a miss).


Minions of Malbolge: The conjured flames now deal damage only to enemies (bumped up from dealing damage to creatures). 


Wrath of Acamar: The Special and Hit entries have been combined. This power now has a Miss entry (half damage, target is dazed for a turn). 


Raven’s Glamor: The invisibility lasts until the end of the warlock’s next turn (bumped from beginning of next turn to end of next turn), the Sustain now requires a move action, and the language has been clarified. 


Curse of the Twin Princes: This power now has a Miss entry (half damage and you get the power's hit entry for one turn).


Banish to the Void: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 2d10 to 3d8).


Curse of the Fey King: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 3d10 to 4d10).


Curse of the Dark Delirium: This power now deals damage (bumped from no damage to 3d10).


Doomsayer’s Action (paragon path feature): No longer counts against the normal once-per-turn Warlock’s Curse damage limit.


Soultheft: This power’s damage has been increased (bumped from 3d8 to 4d8), and its language has been tightened.


 

NERFS


(Note that I'm listing powers which have been reduced in power even if their language has been improved or clarified.)

Tendrils of Thuban: This power’s damage has been reduced (dropped from 4d10 to 3d10).


Hurl Through Hell: Damage has been reduced (dropped from 7d10 to 4d10), and the teleportation keyword has been cut. 


Will of the Feywild: Removed Effect entry (no longer dazes hit or miss). 


Whispers of the Fey: Combined Effect and Hit entries, language tightened.


Collect Life Spark (shadow) (paragon path feature): Invisibility now breaks on attack.


Soul Scorch: Combined Effect and Hit entries, language tightened.




Overall this update looks like a net win for the Warlock.
I'm surprised that a lot of people seem so down on this update. There's some really good stuff in here.
...
Overall this update looks like a net win for the Warlock.

This is how I feel.  Apparently my standards are lower than most people's, but I thought the changes they made due to feedback were great.  Sure warlock could have used a couple more bumps, but what they got was pretty good.  For the first time ever, I'm actually interested in making a Star'lock, and that makes me happy.
I don't think anyone's saying it's not an improvement.  It's just that here, with the option of bringing the Warlock right up to parity, doing some heavy work to make it really strong... the updates seem to have only gone hlfway.  They've fixed the most obvious and glaring issues, but few of the deeper, more systemic ones.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
But parity with what? Rangers? Barbarians or rogues with the charge-kit (or anyone who takes the charge-kit)? It's possible that the deliberate intent is to avoid making the Warlock a top-tier damage machine, as the current top-tier classes might already be consided excessive.

I say this having no idea where WotC is mentally setting the bar. I'm just putting it out there as an idea.