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Warlocks not warlockey anymore

hargert

First Post
I have loved the 3.5 Warlock from the moment it was released but something has been bugging me that I could not quite put my finger on. I think I have figured it out at last. In 3.5 the warlock is an endless fountain of magic, he never runs out and has full access to all of his powers. Now however he is just like wizards or everyone else in the fact that he gets the same daily/encounter/at will powers like everyone else. Also from the D&D xp it looks like the mixing invocations with eldritch blast seems to be gone as well. My question is does a direct pact and some wonky curses make the warlock feel like the Warlock of old? I hope I am wrong and once we see the PHB and what options are available it will click again to the great class that people liked enough to make him core.

Harg
 

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NaturalZero

Adventurer
Except now he still has the same number of at-will abilities with extra per-encounter and per-day abilities on top. The warlock didnt loose anything, he actually gained more.
 

frankthedm

First Post
The BIG problem is if ALL the warlock's abilities are usable every round, that means they have to be balanced for every round use. This way the warlock gets to have powers that are too strong foe every round usage, adding in some variety in his combat options. Spaming summons and Walls every round would really be a problem in 4E, so some powers have to be once a battle or once a day.
 

hargert

First Post
I get the game balance part of it, but then what makes a Warlock? Is he just a single target hitting wizard with slightly better armor? What is his "thing" that makes him stand out and make people want to play one?
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
NaturalZero said:
Except now he still has the same number of at-will abilities with extra per-encounter and per-day abilities on top. The warlock didnt loose anything, he actually gained more.
I think the concern is not that the warlock lost anything, its that everyone else stole his schtick. In 3.5, the warlock was the only class that could use his powers at will, and now everyone can. So what make the warlock special now?

We'll have to see, but the obvious answer is that the warlock is a striker while the wizard is a controller, so the warlock will do more damage more reliably, but have less non-damaging options.

If that does turn out to be the heart of it, then I agree the warlock isn't nearly as special any more... he would just perform sort of like a damage-focussed wizard.
 
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Surgoshan

First Post
I've noticed one neat thing, the warlock pushes people around like mad. Isn't he the one with a power that, on a hit, slides someone three spaces and keeps sliding them every turn until they save? And I think a lot of his powers are like that. The wizard raises fog and throws magic missiles, the warlock is a telekinetic bowling ball.
 

hargert

First Post
Thanks jaelis that sums up what I was thinking in a nutshell. I do have high hopes that they managed to give the Warlock some great stuff that will let them stand out from everyone else and not just a single target hitting wizard.
 

Badkarmaboy

First Post
jaelis said:
I think the concern is not that the warlock lost anything, its that everyone else stole his schtick. In 3.5, the warlock was the only class that could use his powers at will, and now everyone can. So what make the warlock special now?

We'll have to see, but the obvious answer is that the warlock is a striker while the wizard is a controller, so the warlock will do more damage more reliably, but have less non-damaging options.

If that does turn out to be the heart of it, then I agree the warlock isn't nearly as special any more... he would just perform sort of like a damage-focussed wizard.

I'd say it's the flavor of the class that makes it unique. They do damage, but they also do a lot of secondary effects-forced movement, penalties, etc.

As to your original point- there were other classes that did at will stuff in 3.5 too- Dragonfire Adept for one.
 

VBMEW-01

First Post
I think a lot of the old blast-altering abilities could probably be feated if they aren't already in the PH (which seems at least possible).

I loved the 3E Warlock and think it set the stage for everything that has come since. I believe that the pacts will add a lot of the flavor that seems to be missing (seeing as we haven't seen much on those yet) and hope that future powers build on this theme.

I like that they are grouped right (as per role), and see them out-shining the Wizard in many fights where single hits outshine massive AoEs. What really intrigues me here (though it is off-topic) is how our Sorcerer works into that separation dynamic.

I think the Warlock is a winner now, and less of a worry for the DM, because he is at least more obviously balanced with everyone else now.
 

hargert

First Post
I dont think balance was ever the Warlocks issue in 3.5 if anything he is underpowered. People just see at will magic and wet themselves. I think we will just have to wait until June or if they put up a piece on them to tell for sure. Only 70 some days more to go.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
I think that the big differentiator in Warlocks in play is going to be their 'striker' angle, and the big thematic difference is that (various) pacts.

Of course, this is a big, big unknown :))), but the pacts have the potential to really make warlocks feel different to wizards IMO.

Cheers
 


Wulfram

First Post
In 4e, WotC has clearly taken a decision to make all classes work in a similar way, with all classes working on the same basic per day/per encounter/per day set up,.

This does seem to take away some of the individuality of classes compared to 3e, which even in core had 3 distinct systems and gained quite a few more, but it should also help keep the game better balanced.

The Wizard with new mechanics type classes, like the Warlock and the Sorceror, will just need to find new things to justify their existance.
 

hargert

First Post
As I said I understand balance but I would hate it if all classes felt the same. This is not a video game that you play with random people via the web, it does not need 100% perfect balance if it comes at the cost of every class playing the same way. (not saying that this is the case). I like classes each having their own thing and playing differently and that is what I loved about the Warlock is it did play differently then the other classes. I for one do hope that as we get to see the leveling up stuff it will add to each class and make them feel less "sameness"
 

Surgoshan

First Post
I don't think you'll have to worry about sameness. The rogue and rangers are both striker classes, right? But they play (so far as I can tell) completely differently because one is ranged and the other is supposed to move in and out of melee. The organization and use of powers may be the same, but the fact that the powers have such wildly different effects should mean the classes play entirely differently.
 

Mal Malenkirk

First Post
The etymology of the word Warlock isn't : 'One who uses his powers at will'. It's 'One who breaks faith.'

Basically, the core of what it means to be a warlock is to make pact with unholy beings for powers, so in that sense I'd say the warlock is more 'warlockey' then ever. The powers of the sample warlock character are especially evocative in that respect.
 

hargert

First Post
I am basing it on the 3.5 version that was released with Complete Arcane, not what general people feel a "Warlock" is. Yes it is not a male witch or as you said someone who "breaks faith". In fact the orginal did not even need to be the one who made the pact in the first place it could have been his great grandfather who did. And while powers at will are not part of the name it was a big part of what made them different from the classes that came before.
 


Valdrax

First Post
hargert said:
My question is does a direct pact and some wonky curses make the warlock feel like the Warlock of old?
If the Warlock, to you, is nothing but mechanics: No.
If the Warlock, to you, is largely about flavor: Yes, but...

The new Warlock's flavor is firmly fused with the Binder from Tome of Magic. The Infernal Warlock may track quite well with the old Warlock. Mechanically, however, he's completely different with an entirely different role and focus in mind. I think it's an improvement, actually.

Surgoshan said:
I don't think you'll have to worry about sameness. The rogue and rangers are both striker classes, right? But they play (so far as I can tell) completely differently because one is ranged and the other is supposed to move in and out of melee.
Off-topic:

I think this is a common misinterpretation of the two classes. Rogues can act at range. Sneak Attack and Deft Strike (as shown in the preview) both work with slings & crossbows. Rangers can act in melee. Biggie Smalls, from WotC_Huscarl's blog, is clearly a melee Ranger.

I think the difference between the classes is that the Rogue slips past defenses, and the Ranger relies on accuracy. The difference is subtle, but telling. Rogues get attacks that bypass armor and leave people bleeding. Rangers get attacks that trade damage for to-hit bonus and attacks that tag multiple targets.

The Rogue powers show so far show a bias towards melee, and the DDXP Ranger was set up as an archer first and foremost, but I don't think that's what really *defines* the difference between the two.
 

Falling Icicle

Adventurer
hargert said:
I get the game balance part of it, but then what makes a Warlock? Is he just a single target hitting wizard with slightly better armor? What is his "thing" that makes him stand out and make people want to play one?

In 4th edition, classes are no longer distinguished as much by mechanics as by theme. A Wizard, Warlock and even Fighter function much the same way, but they differ significantly in what their powers do and their overall style and role. In 4th edition, classes are more about theme than different forms of resource management.

Even in 3rd edition, Warlocks had a very strong flavor that set them apart from other arcanists. They were mortals who were imbued with power by some distant patron for some mysterious or nefarious purpose. But even though his power came from fiends, fey, or something else, a Warlock could use that power however he wanted. This theme hasn't really changed.

What makes a Warlock different from a Wizard in 4th edition? Not only the striker role, but pacts and the style of his spells. If anything, I'd say Warlocks are actually more different now. Instead of largely copying Wizard spells, they now have their own, unique spell list that is entirely different from what Wizards get.
 

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