Giving the Affliction spec a drive around the block gave me much delight, but also confounded me. You see, I’ve long been of the opinion that Demonology is the quintessential Warlock spec, expressing best what makes warlocks awesome.
But when I started playing Affliction, something odd happened. I had this feeling of, I dunno, rightness as I went along, as if I had found my happy place. Was it me, or had I found the spec that "clicks" best for the class?
That got me thinking. Every class, I believe, has its essential spec, the spec that best illustrates what makes that class awesome.
Hunters, for example; Grimm would say, and I agree, that Beast Mastery, more than any other, illustrates the core awesomeness of that class. It’s all about the pets. Sure, a raid leader might tell you MM because s/he’s more interested in DPS on the charts, but I think most people, once they thought of it, would agree that BM is the signature Hunter build.
You can do this for other classes, too. Holy Priest? Feral Druid? Elemental Shaman? Sub Rogue? I’m not sure about some of those, but off the top of my head, that’s what I think about in relation to those classes.
So, for warlocks, I’m suddenly torn. Demonology has long been my favorite for this role. All about the demons. You even get to be a demon from time to time.
But long have I eyed Affliction. It’s inherent emphasis on the suffering of my foes has always been attractive to me. I’ve never played it for long because it’s never really held up to its promise for me – oh, how excited I was when Wrath came out, and oh, how disappointed I was when I tried it! – but I always had my eyes on it, secretly desiring its subtleties.
So the question comes down to how much of this is my desire for Affliction and my current enjoyment of it – and how much the Affliction playstyle reflects the true heart of Warlockery.
When you think of warlocks, do you think of demons, or do you think of DoTs? I guess that’s what it comes down to.
One last – unrelated – thing. A unforeseen delight of Affliction is the sight of my Felpup hopping into battle like the happy little psychopath that it is. If warlocks had hearts, that would warm them. If nothing else, I have that.