Demonology Warlocks have been a hit or miss specialization in World of Warcraft for years now. As casters who were able to harness demonic power, they could metamorphize themselves into demons far before Demon Hunters were ever even imagined as a WoW class.
In Legion, “Demo Locks” lost their transformation ability so as not to conflict with the Demon Hunter. This resulted in a complete overhaul for their spec, one that left it feeling more like a management sim than a World of Warcraft DPS rotation. Thankfully, Blizzard has decided to overhaul Demonology once again. The master of demons seems to be back in a big way on the Battle for Azeroth test servers.
The goal of the Demonology Warlock is now to summon and control an army of demons, similar to how it was in Legion. In the Battle for Azeroth alpha, Blizzard has completely removed Demonic Empowerment, the spell cast to buff your demons after summoning them. Warlocks in Legion will remember this spell as an exercise in tedium, slowing down the rotation completely in order to individually power up each demon summoned.
Demonwrath, the old area of effect spell, has also been removed. Thankfully, that’s the only other spell that’s been taken away from the spec completely. Doom, the obnoxious damage-over-time spell, has been shifted to being a talent, while Implosion, that ability that makes summoned Imps explode, is now baseline.
Demo Locks now also have two DPS cooldowns. The first is Demon Commander, a big caster who enters the battlefield on your whim. The Demon Commander causes your current demons to stay summoned for an additional 15 seconds as well as increasing their damage. He will also cast shadow bolts at enemies until he dies. The other cooldown is Imp Swarm, which instantly spawns five imps around you.
Imps now have a much greater purpose to Demonology Warlocks. Each time an Imp casts a spell, they have a chance to generate a charge of Molten Core for their master. This reduces the lengthy cast time of the Soulfire spell, a new ability that deals instant burst damage to a target. Molten Core can stack up to four times. This creates a fun loop for the Demonology Warlock, allowing them to summon Imps as quickly as possible and reap the benefits in extremely fast Soulfire casts.
A few of the Demonology Warlock’s other spells have been lightly reworked, although nothing too significant. The talent tree is also almost completely different now. The new cooldowns and spells promote active gameplay for the Demonology Warlock now, something that was missing in Legion.
Whether or not this will be enough to “fix” Demonology won’t be determined until Battle for Azeroth is closer to release. But for disenfranchised Warlock players, this certainly seems like a step in the right direction.