The Age of Warlocks

 Posted by at 8:24 am  DDO  Add comments
Jun 182015

The Age of Warlocks
Once again the internets are filled with bytes and bits of a new DDO update, speeding their happy way through webby pipes and tubes to the DDO servers, and eventually, to each of our personal computers. Happy bits and bytes, full of DDO goodness.

In this case the DDO goodness comes in a particular flavor, and it is Warlock shaped. The entire Update is a new class. All of it. New content and so forth is postponed till (at least) July, partitioned into an entirely separate Update that will probably be named something Shavarath-y since rumors and hints (and producer letters) portend Shavarath-based content.

But that is for later. For now, we have warlocks, in three flavors:

  • An evil demon-based warlock that seems to be most specialized in eldritch blasting
  • An evil cthulhu-based warlock that seems to be most specialized in … I am not certain. Spellcasting?
  • A chaotic fey-based warlock that seems to be most specialized in melee and melee support

Note how well these three choices marry up with the 5th Edition D&D warlock, at least in name. Which brings up a good question. How D&D are warlocks anyway?

Surprisingly well, in a words-match-abilities way, but then at the same time, not as well in a how-things-work sort of way. That seems complicated: allow me to me explain.

A caster class, who’s main attack power is a ball-like blast, that scales in power as the character levels sounds the most like … well, really to be honest, a World of Warcraft caster. At first glance you would not think warlocks were D&D at all. But they are, originating in version 3.5, then getting really built out in 4th edition. It’s all there, right down to the eldritch blast. Of course, there are some who think that 4th edition itself doesn’t have much D&D in it, but that is a discussion for another day (and maybe another blog altogether).

Fey Warlock blasting

The blasts come slightly faster now (above) than they did when first appearing on Lamannia (below)
tainted warlock blasting

But there are significant differences in implementation. In D&D, a warlock gets to choose a spell school (like Air, for instance) and can then cast every spell from that school at will. This is what makes a D&D warlock powerful, unlimited at-will spell use. Higher level warlocks get to choose a second (and eventually, a third) spell school. The eldritch blast is not the character’s primary weapon. The spells are.

But that does not translate well into DDO. There are hundreds and hundreds of spells in D&D, with probably dozens in every school, and dozens of spell schools. While in DDO, not so much, and many of the spells that do exist would not be improved by being able cast them at will. So instead, we get amped-up eldritch blast on a class that may turn out to be poorly suited for caster work altogether. I do not see warlocks taking the place of Pale Masters or elemental Savants, although there appear to be some handy synergies with warlocks and the Shiradi epic destiny.

TL;DR yes they are D&D but no they are not. It is not a black and white answer.

And it doesn’t matter. The warlocks are coming, whatever they are, and everybody is going to want one.


Brace Yourselves, Warlocks are coming
Warlocks everywhere


Me? I have no choice, I have a completionist who will suddenly no longer be complete. Once again Mawry Haversack is going to have to dive into Heroics, and this time without any sort of Otto’s enhancers. She’s going to have to actually earn all those experience points.

Definitely not as a Tainted Scholar, nor as a Soul Eater, Mawry can never be evil. Leaving only Enlightened Spirit, the melee and melee support warlock.

I am thinking a little bard might make those 20 levels go down easier, a sort of FeyBuckler(?) that matches the melee support of the Enlightened Spirit with Single Weapon Fighting and Swashbuckling. Lots of Charisma. Lots of Constitution. Little of anything else.

You know, now that I type that out, it seems like a pretty fun build!

See you on the other side, Mawry-the-soon-to-be-FeyBuckler

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  20 Responses to “The Age of Warlocks”

Comments (20)
  1. Wait, what day of the week is it?!

    I didn’t realise U26 was so “close”, woo, more DDO to DDO!

  2. hmmmm I like that idea.. some bard, some fighter & enough warlock to get the life….. πŸ˜€

  3. Korn’s “Got the Life” should be the official theme song for every completionist. πŸ˜›

  4. I think Warlocks are really cool. I built toons on Lamannia for all three Pacts and Enhancement trees and the builds are really fun. I love the new spells: Evard’s Black Tentacles are finally in DDO!

  5. The hubby is excited. His Drow wizard is walking The Green Mile this afternoon and coming out as a Warlock on the other side.

  6. I feel a Little (halfling) warlock/monk in my future…..

  7. The old Neverwinter Nights 2 folks will be happy. We saw a nasty NPC Warlock in that game. Lived up to the reputation of being a badass. Might, just might, convince me to roll one up. A monastic Warlock? Hmm. Alignment issues?

    • The Eldritch Blast seems appropriate for a Street Fighter II Ken / Ryu type monk.

      • It does indeed. Looks like 2 of the 3 classes can work with a Monk. One is non-Lawful, another non-Good, and the last for any alignment. Basically you can go all Grandmaster of Flowers with those blasts in Heroic content. Oooh…

  8. Long before WoW, there was…GAUNTLET.
    And the wizard (granted, not “warlock”) had an ‘Eldritch blast’-like attack. So really, Wow is just a rip-off of Gauntlet (and of course, Gauntlet II).

    • Which are all rip-offs of DnD…whats your point πŸ˜›

      • Just that the new warlock class reminds me more of the Gauntlet wizard, than anything in WoW. But then again, I’ve never played WoW (and not really interested in playing it, either).

        • It pains me too say it but the WoW Warlock is an excellent example of how to do a pet class right, although in DDO i’d make the summoner a support character (the WoW Lock has a DoT focus whereas the mage was more DPS/CC but all casters have that in DDO)

          Another good source would be Pathfinder (yeah yeah roar bad guys) their Summoner is a great example of what it could be in DDO (especially the options you get for customizing your “Eidolon”) although alot of the ruling are a topic of heavy debate that woulkd not be an issue in a Video game since there’s no debating…this is how it works (pending future changes based on feedback etc obviously)

          • Talking about “pets”, druids need more than one companion option, oh and MORE wild shapeses :3

          • Actually, on that note, have they updated the AI for the hirelings and companions since the last time they added “features”?

          • This one is for Bob, yes, they fixed hirelings. Intentionally or not, cause I did not see ANYTHING in the release notes, but I can attest that my tri-boxing game has improved dramatically now that my skelly and 3 hires run off and actually attack stuff without me having to tell them to do so.

          • Yeah, I think they’ve back to running half-way across the dungeon to throwing a Cure Light, but at least they’re doing things! =D

  9. “In D&D, a warlock gets to choose a spell school (like Air, for instance) and can then cast every spell from that school at will.”

    I don’t know where you got this, but I’ve never seen a D&D warlock that follows that pattern.

    The 3.5e warlock was a fairly unique caster. Instead of spells, they got an extremely limited number of at-will spell-like abilities, starting with Eldritch Blast. Besides that one, their “spells” were called invocations. Some invocations served to modify the eldritch blast (change the shape, add effects, etc), and other were standalone abilities (flight, darkvision, summoned insect swarm).

    But no warlock has ever been made with versatility in mind. They get their small number of invocations (13 at level 20) off a small list, expanded only in one book I can think of, and are limited by that very much.

    On another note, I too was considering swashbuckler/warlock. Any advice on that?

    • I am not in a position to research it (the spell school thing) but I know I didn’t make it up. As for the FeyBuckler, watch this space πŸ™‚

  10. There are actually 4 new lvl 13 quests and 1 raid listed in the adventure compendium…I’m guessing the new quest names made it into this update just not the content πŸ™‚

What do you think?

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