Over the last while on this subreddit the topic of Warlocks being underpowered and unfairly nerfed has been rampant. After commenting on a lot of posts I decided I would just put everything I have read and commented about the Warlock discussion into one post. As a Warlock main but also an avid player of the other two classes here we go…
Part 1: Class Identity (lack of)
It is important to first define and explain the core of the problems with Warlock in the state of Destiny right now, the community doesn't understand class identity.
In a recent comment that I made I used an example of a bottom tree gunslinger Hunter, bubble Titan, and slova bomb Warlock who all have the same gun, same roll for example purposes. In both PvE and PvP the Hunter will be able to make the best use of that gun, the titan second, and the warlock third. Why? It comes down to class identity. Hunters as a class have their perks focused on making their gunplay and foundational gameplay better. In bottom tree gunslinger your perks are about you hitting precision shots to buff your gun to do that more. As a defender titan, your focus is on getting a melee kill to increase your defense to better be able to shoot the enemy with that gun. However, as a slova warlock my goal is to charge and use my grenade, then use my melee, which charges my grenade.
This is an example that demonstrates a contrast between Warlocks and the other two classes. Warlocks are ability focused and therefore it is easier to 'see' them. If you get killed repeatedly by a hunter in PvP using perhaps a similar loadout and gun to yours, then you would just draw the conclusion that the player is better than you, not that it is class-related. But if a Warlock charges up a handheld supernova and hits you with that repeatedly then you draw the conclusion that the ability is just OP. In reality, if the hunter player attempted to do the same things on a warlock it simply wouldn't work as well and if the warlock attempted to use a hunter grenade to the same degree then that wouldn't work as well. The community was able to call out the warlock stasis melee so quickly because they could clearly 'see' it. We have to remember that balance is not all 1 class, but different but equal classes.
Of course, there will likely be people in the comments pointing out a bunch of exceptions to this. However, that does not change the general class identities that we see in the game. All classes can do damage and have damage dealing subclasses. Hunters tend to have more and have possibly some of the best lethality, titans are the tanks, and warlocks can heal as well. But there is also the gameplay identities that can be summarized like this:
Hunters: Neutral game improves neutral game (examples: dodge reloads gun which allows for better gunplay, precision hits increase stability)
Titan: Abilities improve the neutral game (examples: sunspots buff damage and some ability regen, defender melee buffs other melees)
Warlock: Abilities improve abilities (examples: bottom tree storm caller melee gives ability energy, top tree nova melee gives grenade energy)
Yes, we can point to MANY examples where these cross over (specifically where hunters and titans cross) but overall we all know that warlocks are meant to be the ability-based class.
So why is this relevant? Well by having the ability to change our cooldowns via stats with armor 2.0 Warlock ability energy generation isn't exactly unique anymore. Sure it does help but it's not as class defining as it was previously. Demolitionist and Wellspring don't help either. Sure they can turn Warlock into even more of an ability user but it does take away class identity. It also doesn't help that everyone wants recovery and so we don't even have that going for us. If resilience was better for titans then they might want to run that instead.
Part 2: Stasis
Before I even start, let's face it Warlocks our melee ability for stasis at launch was overpowered. It did need a nerf, that isn't the issue here. We have 3 main issues. The first is that the other classes haven't received nerfs nearly as quickly or to the degree that we did. Behemoth titan is a massive issue as is revenant hunter. Neither has gotten nerfed as quickly or as dramatically as we have. The second reason is that our super isn't that great and the rest of our aspects don't feel great to use. The third is the one that I haven't seen anyone talk about but is likely a big issue and factor in this whole thing. All classes have the same grenades. In light subclasses, warlocks have the best grenades or at least the best selection of options. Very few Warlock grenades are bad and we always have at least 1 really solid one. Hunters have far worse grenades than we do and titans have some but not nearly as many. By having everyone have the same grenades it inherently devalues the warlock. Think of it like this, if only warlocks could use the dusk field grenade would your thoughts on the subclass change?
Part 3: 'Free'
I touched on this earlier but I want to further explain it. People assume that abilities and ability kills are simply 'free'. They are not. The reason our grenades and melees tend to be better is that is how the classes are supposed to be balanced. We inherently have less in other areas and therefore we are supposed to get more in the ability department. Earlier I mentioned being able to 'see' the effect of an ability more clearly but also abilities are just given to the player and not earned like an exotic or another weapon. Therefore people think that they are just OP but in reality, what the other classes are given is also free it just isn't as easy to 'see'. What Bungie has done, especially with stasis, is brought warlocks down in their abilities such that they are actually, in net outcome, weaker than other classes.
I just hope that when Bungie says that they are going to buff some weaker light subclasses they buff warlocks in the process.
Source: Original link
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