Placing a ground effect every 8 seconds or so felt odd at first, but after a while it just felt like a natural part of my rotation, another DoT to maintain, a marginal performance gain from a more complex rotation. In the world of the hardcore they describe that as having a higher “skill-cap.” Blizzard would probably describe it as “easy to learn, hard to master.”
It also wasn’t a spell that you could just cast without thinking– because the gain is so marginal it’s not worth casting if there is a chance the boss wont be in the area of effect for the entire duration. The marginal gain also means that, if things start getting hectic and I need to regain some headspace to deal with fight mechanics, it’s an easy decision to just drop it from my rotation for a short time.
But even more than mechanics, it is a signature Destruction Warlock ability– it plays into the fantasy perfectly. It looks cool, it feels cool. You are raining fucking hellfire, from the fucking sky. There is no such thing as a poor excuse to do that.
But I get that abilities that provide “free” AoE damage are unbalanced, [*cough*FrostDK*cough*] especially in cleave situations, of which there are many in the current tier. So I can begrudgingly accept that it’s fair enough that it got nerfed. And I guess we have to assume that the fact that they “fixed” it means that the whole situation was an oversight. Balance tweaks do regularly introduce one or two unintended situations like that.
But I keep thinking about how intelligently it adds to the class mechanics and the class fantasy… I have to wonder if it wasn’t the work of some brilliant designer, quietly implementing an increase to the skill-cap on Destruction Warlocks, that also caused them to look cool as shit while doing so.