March 2nd marked the arrival of Unchained update to the European and North American versions of Blade and Soul. Among other things it introduced a new playable class - the Warlock. NCSoft is working to catch up western players to the other localized versions in Asia. This leaves only one class that has yet to be introduced in the West, Soul Fighter, which will be implemented at a later date.
Basic Info and Lore
Despite the popular image of Warlocks drawing on the fel magics and demonic powers to fight, the BnS Warlock is considered by the developers more shamanistic in this regard. However, personally, I have found little shamanistic in the Warlock through the gameplay and the class feels more like a “traditional” Warlock in terms of its abilities.
Warlock is a ranged caster who uses “shamanistic” powers and talismans to fight their enemies. Only two races are available as a choice for the Warlock - Lyn and Jin. Although the weapon for the character is a dagger, they’re more often seen using their talismans or casting spells during combat.
Being not as tough as the other classes, Warlocks must utilize their mobility and skills to either keep the enemies away and incapacitated while also bringing their health down or managing the abilities carefully as their cooldowns match their awesome strength. On lower levels it is not as required as a lowbie Warlock can overcome most common enemies simply by repeatedly using left mouse button skill which attacks the target with the talismans floating around the character. But as the Warlock gains levels and enemies become tougher, the need for precision use of abilities and cooldown management becomes a necessity rather than a luxury.
Some players (me included) have already experienced troubles during solo story points that other classes (Force Masters, Summoners, etc.) can pretty much fly through. Summoning Thrall has come in handy way more than once, but the duration of the skill is pretty brief and at times it took the servant a great amout fo time to switch to a target or even greater to take aggro away while the caster was beaten to a pulp. Although I do allow the the possibility of me just being a noob so far :D
Another frequently reported issue is Soul Shackle (skill bound to key 2) resetting the fight. The discussions on the official forums indicated that the issue has persisted through all the time since the Warlock class was introduced in Korean version of the game.
Group gamepley & PvP
Warlocks work really well in groups. One of their abilities, called Spiritualize, is considered one of the strongest buffs in the game as it unlocks Awakened versions of certain skills for everyone in the party as well as increases stats. Besides Spiritualize, Warlock can also aid their party through resetting group’s cooldowns by using Time Warp. It makes Warlock essential for group content or World PvP as their weakness as a glass cannon is not as easily exploited because of the presence of other characters.
In many ways the Warlock has been relegated to a support class due to heavy alterations of skills in recent patches which makes 1v1 arena PvP quite difficult for the average player.
The NA/EU version of Warlock is the same as in other localized versions, as in the “nerfed” one. For instance, here is a quote from Japan's first diamond Warlock and Korea's #6 Warlock, Nadwah:
“They nerfed the class completely when it comes to HP drain (which was really necessary tbh) the main part that kinda of broke the class is the removal of defense penetrate on the V skill. The part that completely made this class sh*t is that they removed the defense penetrate on the pet Q skill which was really important to initiate combos, not only they nerfed the defense break they also increased the cool down from 18 seconds to 24 seconds. Basically now if you make a single mistake during a fight you're pretty much done for.”
The Warlock will prove to be an interesting class for those looking for a challenge, especially when it comes to competitive 1v1 PvP as the character has both strong and weak sides that can be easily exploited.
Have you tried the Warlock yet? What are your impressions about the class? Let us know in the comments.