The content patch is hot on my heels, and to be 100% honest with you I just really do not feel ready for it yet. In some ways it has thrown me for a loop, simply because I was planning on having Hermia become my Inscriber, and that plan also included stockpiling masses of herbs before Wrath comes out to help speed the process up a little bit. Now, I am not so sure if I am going to be able to keep ahead of the pack, which does worry me in some ways.
There are a few things which are going to be introduced in the content patch. Here is a list which I blatantly stole from WoW Insider (why reinvent the wheel, right?) Obviously, only two of these really currently affect me.
- New class spells and talents
- Stormwind Harbour
- Barbershops in capital cities
- Zeppelin towers outside Orgrimmar and Tirisfal Glades
- Two brand new Arenas
- Guild Calendar
- Hunter pet skill revamp
The biggest concern I currently have though is that I have not planned what I should spec Saresa to in the meantime. As we are getting the content patch well before Wrath comes out by the looks of things, I really want to get in and do some testing to see which spec will become the most optimal 70 spec for raiding. I hadn’t really thought very much about this before, because I foolishly assumed that there would not be a great deal of time between the content patch and the expansion. You have to remember, I was not around for the pre-BC hubbub, and I really do not know what to expect. Even if I was around, it would have made very little difference to me as I was not raiding at the time – heck, I wasn’t even level 60. Of course, the expansion may come out not long at all after the content patch and this will all be moot. We will see.
While there will be more flexibility in raiding specs both at 70 and 80, I think it will take me some time to work out which is the best 70 raiding spec with the new talents, both in terms of math and theory crafting, and with what suits my playstyle. A great deal is changing for warlocks, but I believe that some of the greatest change in how we play is occurring in the Destruction tree. Honestly, this change is good in most ways, especially the movement away from Shadow Magery and into a more versatile and varied rotation. This just means that I need to work this rotation out! Not to mention a spec to match it!
I honestly believe that the standard Succy Sac spec is going to go the way of the dodo (or any level 80 form of the same spec). The emphasis on using both schools for casting in Wrath means that a straight shadow damage buff isn’t going to cut it anymore (especially a reduced version of the one currently in game). I will probably refrain from re-enchanting my blade until I see convincing proof of this, simply because it was an expensive chant and I don’t like to see it gone.
OK, from the top, here is how I have specced and my justification for each point spent. Bear with me, this is going to be one long long post. Also, please try to keep in mind that there are many other valuable talents which I could have chosen. This is a 70 spec, not an 80 spec, and so I chose things which would afford me the most benefit at the time.
Currently I have chosen to focus on damage dealing rather than stamina and utility. I may have to tweak this, depending on how it works out in game. Another issue is that this is quite difficult even to test in beta – I can’t imagine too many people want to go into BT just to test out level 70 stuff!
1. Improved Corruption 5/5: I think that Imp Corruption is once again going to be a bread and butter ability for all locks to have. The reason I decided that this was going to be important was because of the Molten Core talent in the Destruction tree, which I will outline shortly. It’s also a pretty nice talent all round anyway.
2. Demonic Embrace 4/5: Simply because a little bit of stamina can go a long way. I really wish that I could invest more in the Demonology tree, but I just love too many talents in the Destruction tree! I would be willing to shuffle these around some dependent on raid needs (so into imp healthstone or imp imp).
1. Improved Shadow Bolt 5/5: Hasn’t changed, pretty much the same talent as before. It will be interesting to see how this holds up in Wrath and whether it will be a mainstay anymore. For now, I plan to keep it, because I can see it being useful still.
2. Bane 5/5: Also the same as before. Shorter cast time? Yes please! Also shortens the cast time of Chaos Bolt, which is jinkieriffic.
3. Molten Core 3/3: Your shadow spells and damage over time effects have a 15% chance to increase the damage of your fire spells by 10% for 6 seconds. This is the reason why I specced into Improved Corruption. From my tinkerings on beta, this also seems to proc fairly frequently. A nice talent, and one which makes me love my Immolate and Incinerate again.
4. Cataclysm 3/3: Same as before, but with an added bonus: increases the chance to hit with your Destruction spells by 3%. Squee, a hit talent!
5. Devastation 5/5: More crit? Yummy!
6. Destructive Reach 2/2: Same old same old.
7. Improved Immolate 5/5: While this is the same as before, I see it as being more important now for two reasons. It allows you to get to Conflagrate, which apparently will no longer be useless, and it will help cancel out the effects of the new Glyph which will affect Immolate.
8. Ruin 1/1: It’s the same as before, still tasty!
9. Conflagrate 1/1: While the tooltip hasn’t changed, I will be interested to see what role Conflag plays in WotLK
10. Backlash 3/3: Also hasn’t changed much, but I like it just the way it is.
11. Shadow and Flame 5/5: A nifty talent
12. Backdraft 3/3: When you cast Conflagrate, the cast time and mana cost of your next three Destruction spells is reduced by 30% This is why I will now be including Conflagrate in my spell rotation. While the reduced mana doesn’t really excite me, the reduced cast time is very nice.
13. Fire and Brimstone 5/5: Increases the damage of your Immolate spell by an amount equal to 25% of your spellpower, and the critical strike chance of your Conflagrate spell is increased by 25% if the Immolate on the target has 5 or fewer seconds remaining. This is pretty clever on Blizzard’s behalf. By giving us quite a chance to get extra damage out of a Conflagrate, they stop us from over casting it or casting it too early to reap the benefits of Backdraft. It will be interesting to see how it works out
14. Chaos Bolt 1/1: Sends a bolt of chaotic fire at the enemy, dealing 1012 – 1278 Fire damage. Chaos Bolt can not be resisted, and pierces through all absorbtion effects. 12 sec cooldown. That is an absolute motza of spell damage. I can see this spell being cast whenever the cooldown is up, because it looks pretty nice to me.
As I am sure you are now aware (and may even be screaming at the computer) there are many great talents there which I could have taken. ‘Why didn’t you choose Soul Leech and Improved Soul Leech!?!” “Why do you not have Empowered Imp?” (that one was a tough one to resist indeed). As I stated before, I went for the talents which maximised my damage to the greatest degree at level 70. If I do see a need for better survivability as I raid, I will change it. It is a very difficult (and ultimately personal) decision in this case, because there are so many variables. I will be sure to let you know how it all works out, anyway!!