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).
The blasts come slightly faster now (above) than they did when first appearing on Lamannia (below)
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.
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.
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
🙂 😀 🙂