We do agree that Affliction should feel most at home when it is applying DoTs to multiple targets. With specs like this where the basic mechanics and history of the spec lean towards being strong in one area, there's often a fine line to draw on how it should perform in the other areas (here, single-target damage). It shouldn't feel useless, but should feel like other players may have the advantage there. It's fine for a talent like Malefic Grasp
to exist, but this logic probably implies it's slightly stronger than would be ideal. It's good feedback on the preliminary T20 set bonuses (Item - Warlock T20 Affliction 2P Bonus
, Item - Warlock T20 Affliction 4P Bonus
) that they might push Affliction _away_ from feeling good when multi-dotting, which is something we'd want to avoid.
More broadly and looking ahead to the future, we agree that different specs--especially different specs within a pure DPS class--should have better delineated distinct strengths than they currently have in some cases. That doesn't mean the magnitude of the difference has to be very large (see the "useless" comment above). Especially in a context like single-target DPS, which is the subject of intense analysis and scrutiny, even a few % of difference in DPS is more than enough for players to notice and take seriously as a strength or weakness of a spec. Simply that it should be more clear what the scenario is that each spec has to look forward to as the place where it stands out, such as sustained multi-dotting for Affliction, or situations that allow Destruction to leverage Havoc especially well.
Bear with me. I get that the idea is for various specs to excel in different situations. That's one way to approach the class design. But, let's assume, for argument's sake, that there are 3 ways to build an affliction lock, due to talents (similarly for demo or destro).
Why would you use the talents to create the "specialization" inside of the spec itself, and largely let the spec determine how the class feels? Meaning, why couldnt each warlock spec have excellent single target, "cleave" or aoe dps, (via various talent builds) and let the player pick which spec he wants to play based on how that rotation feels?
I happen to LOVE using MG and tunneling. I like for cleave i can throw out a few agonys, throw out a seed, and then go back to channeling on a high priority mob. I do not want to manage 2-3 dots on multiple targets very much in order to do relevant dps. I'm worried that because I'm affliction, you'll eventually revert to me being completely "meh" on single target if I'm not multi-dotting. I hate that idea.
Help me understand why achieving that (equal balance via talents between given specs) is difficult to do from a balance standpoint? Why does one spec have to be the "single target" spec, one a multi-dot, one a havoc.... etc?
Please don't kill what I've come to really like about affliction. I've seen the "de-homogenization" at work recently (with holy paladin design from the WoD rotational style) and I just think the "variety" is better served in talents than it is changing the spec design every few months.