Archive for the “Cataclysm” Category

Holy crap, what a week its been. First off, plenty of kudos to the entire Blizzard team for what was a mostly problem free launch. I started playing early afternoon on the launch date and didn’t experience a single problem logging on to the game and playing. Most of the people I spoke to had the same experience. I don’t remember the Wrath of the Lich King launch going anywhere near as well. I’d also like to thank the good folks at Amazon for getting my collector’s edition to me first thing Tuesday morning.

My actual gaming experience has been nothing short of excellent. It took me less than a week to get from 80 – 85 and it didn’t feel the least bit like a grind. Aside from my many encounters with Horde gankers, which is to be expected playing on a pvp server, I don’t have a single negative thing to say about any of the zones I quested in or any of the dungeons I took part in. Mount Hyjal, Deepholm, and Twilight Highlands are all visually stunning. My personal favorite of the three was Hyjal. I’m a huge Nightelf fanboy and I thoroughly enjoyed geeking out at all the Nightelf lore getting tossed at you from all angles in the zone. I also really enjoyed all the cut scenes Blizzard added in each of the zones. I felt it gave you a chance to just sit back and appreciate the fruits of all your labors. I’m not going to spoil anything for all of you haven’t hit 85 yet, but the cut scene towards the end of the Twilight Highlands was pure freaking win. I’d put it right up there with the Wrathgate scene in terms of pure awesomeness.

The only bad things I have to say about the first week would hold true at the start of any expansion and for any game. Auction house prices are absolutely ridiculous, making leveling crafting professions damned expensive. This does mean however, that there are plenty of opportunities for gathers to make an absolute killing. I managed to turn a couple of hours farming Obsidium Ore during the week on my Death Knight into almost 6000 gold in profits. Had I spent more time farming and playing the auction house I very easily could have made double or triple that. Ganking was also absolutely crazy and continues to be so. If you play on a PvP server be prepared to either suck it up or take matters into your own hands. I preferred the second of the two options. My advice is to team up with a couple of guildies or put the word out in general chat that you’re looking to clear out the zone of unwanted members of the opposing faction. You’d surprised how effective you can be with just two or three of you working together to kill other players. Not only is it great fun if you’re into PvPing, but you’ll also get plenty of praise from members of your own faction for making their lives easier if just for the next hour or so.

So there’s my quick and dirty run down of the first week of Cataclysm. I hope y’all have been having just as much fun as I have. I can’t wait to try my hand at a few heroics here in the coming week and getting prepared for raiding.

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So, last night I settled in for a fun filled evening of Cataclysm.  Release nights are so exciting!

First, I tried to log in.

I was successful.

So successful, in fact, that the game sat on ‘Success!’ for a good half an hour to remind me that, yes, I am indeed the most successful person in the universe.

Yes, yes, Blizzard does think I am awesome.

Then, my character popped up in all her awesome hawtness.

I logged her in, and stared at the loading screen.

Then I went and made dinner.

Then I came back and stared at the loading screen.

Then I ate dinner.

Stared some more.

Cleaned up after dinner.

Stared some more.

Logged out and in.

Actual success!  As in, in within 5 minutes!

I got to Stormwind, started making my way out to Vashjir… when some twatwaffle didn’t dismount on the boat.

So, the event bugged.

We all, of course, died.

And then I spent the rest of the evening getting chain disconnected because half the server was clearly at the same graveyard.

Oh release day, I do love you!

… On the plus side, I watched some Top Gear, re-read another Stephen King Dark Tower book, painted my toenails, and ate a full bag of lollies.  A very productive and eventful evening indeed!

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Like Sar, I have spent exactly zero seconds on the PTR so my Affliction spec comes with the same caveat.

Affliction Talent Tree

Doom and Gloom (2/2): Increases crit chance for one of our DoTs? Sure I’ll take it

Improved Life Tap (2/2): In a world where mana is not to be taken for granted, what’s not to like about getting more mana back from Life Tap?

Improved Corruption (3/3): Increased damage for our bread and butter DoT is very much a no brainer

Jinx (2/2): With Curse of Agony becoming Bane of Agony, it allows us to work a nice utility curse into our rotation. This talent allows us to cast to only once and affect all nearby mobs. Situational? Yes. Useful? I would say so.

Soul Siphon (2/2): More damage from our execute spell for each Affliction effect on the target makes me all warm and fuzzy

Siphon Life (2/2): Allows me to passively heal myself while I Life Tap my mana back. Pure win.

Cure of Exhaustion (0/1): Doubt this has any real use outside of PvP

Improved Fear (0/2): Once again, pretty much PvP only

Eradication (3/3): Anything to help reduce the cast times of Unstable Affliction and Shadow Bolt is ok by me

Improved Howl of Terror (0/2): More of a PvP talent in my opinion with little to offer in PvE

Soul Swap (1/1): I love the potential of this talent in PvP and the best thing about it is that it could be very useful in PvE as well. With more of a focus being put on CC, it’s possible we could be dpsing trash down one at a time and having the ability to instantly apply all our DoTs will be a huge DPS boost.

Shadow Embrace (3/3): Straight up damage increase to all of our DoT’s. Nothing fancy here just a nice meat and potatoes type talent.

Death’s Embrace (3/3): Does this mean we now channel Drain Life until 25% and spam Shadow Blots after wards? Way to turn my world upside down Blizz.

Nightfall (2/2): Instant cast Shadow Bolts are yummy.

Soulburn: Seed of Corruption (1/1): Seems like a pretty fun talent. Usefulness may be a bit limited but could be pretty strong in BG’s or while AoEing

Everlasting Affliction (3/3): Increased crit chance for 3 of our top abilities and free refreshes of Corruption.

Pandemic (2/2): Nothing wrong with lowering the Global Cooldown of our instant cast abilities and the refresh to Unstable Affliction is nice

Haunt (1/1): Always been a big fan of Haunt and don’t see anything to change my mind about it in Cataclysm.

A hint of Destruction

The thought of dipping into demonology never once crossed my mind.

Bane (3/3): Faster Shadow Bolt casts are lovely

Shadow and Flame (1/3): Nice little bump to the damage of Shadow Bolt and a chance for a debuff to be applied to the target.

Looking over the talent tree for the first time raised a few questions for me. Is Drain Life now the filler spell for Affliction? Should I now only use Shadow Bolt when the mob is below 25%? How difficult will it be to adjust to this?

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With 4.0 literally on top of us, I thought it was high time I got off my rotund rear and wrote a guide to what I think is the best spec for Destro Warlocks.  This, of course, comes with the previously mentioned caveat that I haven’t played in the beta or the PTR, and so I could make a mistake.

Destro Click me to go to the talent calculator page

We are forced to put 31 talents into Destruction, which really makes those choices a bit of a no brainer.  However, for those who might be curious, I have highlighted my choices below.  To be fair, it’s more a matter of ‘what don’t I need’ than ‘what do I need’ with these trees.  But hey… let’s see anyway.

Bane (3/3): A reduction of cast speed wasn’t the first thing I reached for, simply because I wasn’t sure how Haste works out in 4.0.  However, it is a handy talent to have, and you are forced to choose it to progress further down the tree.

Shadow and Flame (3/3): I think Shadow and Flame is worth having solely for the 12% increase to Incinerate.  However, the Improved Shadow Bolt is always nice for those looking for utility, and if you are lacking an equivalent buff in your raid, it could be very handy.

Improved Immolate (2/2): Again, kinda a no brainer.  20% to your Immolate is pretty shiny.

Improved Soul Fire (2/2): Improved Soul Fire changes up the Warlock rotation, giving us a hard hitting opener.  Improved Soul Fire causes you to receive a 15% increase to spell haste for 15 seconds if you hit a target at 80% or greater health.  Think of it as a reverse execute.  I’m not sure yet how this pans out mathematically, but you’ve got to spend the points somewhere regardless.

Emberstorm (2/2): Another boring, make you cast faster talent (this time affecting Soul Fire and Immolate).

Improved Searing Pain (2/2): This talent confuses me, as it would confuse anyone who hasn’t played PTR or beta.  I’ve heard talk that Blizzard have buffed the holy hell out of Searing Pain, although this spell still scares me.  An increase in damage is fine, but is it accompanied by an increase in threat generation?  Because, really?  More threat?  I’ll test Searing Pain out when the patch hits and see what happens.  It is also worth noting that it only increases the crit chance of Searing Pain when the target has less than 50% health.  Searing Pain is probably not worth casting before that point.

Aftermath (0/2): PvE stuns are a snore.  Especially when half the crap in an instance is immune to your stun effects anyway.  If you are lacking in stun effects in your raid, I guess you consider it, but I am not seeing any PvE raiding worth in this talent.  Probably a fight specific talent.

Backdraft (3/3): Pretty similar to the old Backdraft (as in, y’know… not new).  Just as worthwhile as before.

Shadowburn (1/1):  Shadow damage, but it will be interesting to play with, considering the new Soul Shard mechanic.  I imagine it will kick absolute arse on long boss fights with more than one target  (something in the style of High King Maulgar).

Burning Embers (2/2): Finally, getting to the new stuff in the tree!  Burning Embers puts a DoT on the target, caused by your Imp’s Firebolt or your Soul Fire, equal to 30% of the damage dealt by said spell.  The DoT lasts for 7 seconds.  Again, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.  Things I would like to know: do you and your Imp have separate Burning Embers DoTs?  I am guessing that it can not proc while it is up, although it may be that it refreshes if it procs while it is going.  Lots of question marks here, but it’s nice to see something new and interesting.

Soul Leech (2/2):  Same ‘blah, play nice with the others’ raid utility as Soul Leech and Improved Soul Leech, condensed down into two talent points.  No reason not to take it, really, and I’d make a comment about utility here if every other bastard didn’t have some form of Replenishment as well.

Backlash (0/3): It’s PvE.  Stop getting hit, foo’.

Nether Ward (1/1):  Eh.  It might be useful, and I had to throw a point somewhere.  Basically takes Shadow Ward, and makes it better by turning into a damage absorption bubble of every magical flavour.  No, it won’t stop that Rogue from hurting you when he stabs you in the kidney.

Fire and Brimstone (3/3):  Increases damage, increases this, Increases that.  You know the drill: it makes you hit harder, it makes you crit more, you want it.  Because, really, Destruction Warlocks are like diamond connoisseurs – the small ones are pretty, but the big ones are so much better.  And yeah, I had to use diamond there, because the other things that are better big, just aren’t pretty when they are small.  No one likes a small yacht.  Just ask Ghostcrawler.

Shadowfury (1/1): I’m not enthused at all about Shadowfury.  I know a lot of people who think it’s an exciting PvE spell, and it does give us a little more mobility, but I have just plain never liked it.  I put a point into it because I had to, more than anything else.  I’m totally not all about the Shadow either: while I have always thought it would be nice to have to use a mix of shadow and fire in our rotation, the buffs we receive to fire through specialising in Destruction make me disinclined to use Shadow spells.

Nether Protection (0/2):  PvE raiding.  Stop pulling aggro, foo’.  Or, you know, only spec into this when the situation requires it.  Which won’t be too often, except for if you are Lock Tanking. 

Empowered Imp (2/2): Imps handing out Instant Soul Fires, hopefully like candy.  Which leads to (hopefully) more Burning Embers uptime.  Nommy.  … OK, so maybe not like candy.  4% seems pretty low.  I’m hoping this gets increased or something. 

Bane of Havoc (1/1): The other new hotness in the Destro tree.  To be honest, my first thought was ‘This is REALLY going to screw some people over in PvP’, but it will also be pretty damn awesome in PvE as well. Add fights?  Whoo hoo!  For those who can’t click through to wowhead, bane of havoc causes 15% of the damage dealt to other targets to also hit the baned target.

Chaos Bolt (1/1): Do you have to ask?  It’s shiny, it’s fun, and we hopefully get to use it quite a bit.

Crap in the other trees

This was actually a more difficult decision process than the Destruction tree.  I decided to go with the following:

Improved Corruption (2/3): I’ve heard that Corruption is working its way into the Destro rotation.  However, if it is not, then of course you do not want this. 

Dark Arts (3/3):  More Firebolts = More chances for Empowered Imp and Burning Embers to proc. Just makes sense, really.

Thoughts, queries, notions, theories?  Fire away in the comments!

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I have to preface this with the obvious warning – I haven’t played in the beta.  I haven’t played in the PTR.  Hell, I haven’t played in live in forever and a day.  This series is compiled purely on my intuition, and a smidgen of research.  As I have a minimal depth of knowledge of the other trees, my choices in talents there could be very questionable.  There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of information floating around on the interwebs about Warlocks in Cataclysm (perhaps because there is a lot of discontent with the state of the class currently, but I am not really qualified to comment on that, being that I haven’t been playing and all!)

So.  With the arrival of Patch 4.0 staring us in the face, I am sure we are all asking ourselves ‘What the fricking hell am I going to do when my talents reset?’  Which, of course, is a damned good question.

Cataclysm and 4.0 bring us the most drastic overhaul to talent trees I have ever seen.  With a mass culling of talents, the introduction of ‘masteries’, and a different way to approach talents, the game is looking very different.  But, of course, you knew all this already.  So let’s get down into the nitty gritty.

Talent trees info

Affliction: Shadow Mastery grants you a lovely 25% increase to Shadow damage.  Certainly nothing to scoff at. At 80, you are able to train into your Mastery: Potent Afflictions (no link available, alas), which also increases all periodic shadow damage by 13.04% at level 80, increasing by 1.63% with each point you gain in Mastery.

Demonology: Demonic Knowledge grants you a 15% increase to Fire and Shadow spell damage.  Your Mastery: Master Demonologist, Increases damage done by your demons and by yourself in demon form by 12% at level 80.  This increases by 1.5% per point.

Destruction: Cataclysm (see, Destro is so damned awesome that the name of the expansion is in our talent tree!) increases fire damage by a shiny 25%.  Our Mastery: Firey Apocalypse, increases all fire damage by 10% at level 80, increasing by 1.25% per point.

While the above are interesting to consider, they don’t actually help you much in the way of choosing a tree to follow.  I can’t make a substantive judgement at this point to say which tree is shaping up to be the best damage in Cataclysm, and (unless I am blind, which is very likely), there is little around on EJ or other sites to suggest which is most viable at the moment.  I would say to go with the playstyle you are most comfortable and happy with for the remainder of Wrath, operating on the (perhaps foolish) assumption that each of the specs will be more than viable for end game raiding at this point.  Preliminary speculation suggests that Affliction is the strongest tree, with Destruction being a close second (Affliction edges us out with their Execute) and Demonology being third (which I personally find to be rather disappointing).

A breakdown of the talent trees and glyph choices will be published over the next few days.  As each post is published, I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post for future reference.  I more than welcome any criticisms or queries on any of the following – I know that my research is bound to be flawed, and I’d love to be able to fix errors!

4.0 Destruction Derby: Guide to speccing for Destruction ‘Locks

All About Affliction: Guide to speccing for Affliction ‘Locks

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I don’t care when Cataclysm comes out.

I don’t care what happens in it.

I don’t care if it is all new and shiny and everything in between.


Because I am already sick to death of hearing about it.

Today, I unsubscribed to almost every single WoW blog I read.  You in the beta?  I don’t read you anymore.  You talking about stuff that’s in the beta, or the PTR, or anything else?  Sorry, on the hit list.  I’m sticking my head in the sand and waiting for this to all pass me by.

I realised I was having a bit of a weird reaction to the plethora of beta news that’s floating around when I had a rather snippy reaction to someone today.  “Have you seen the awesome lock changes?” they ask me.  “No, don’t know, don’t care!” I growled.  Wait, what?  Since when do I not care what is happening to Warlocks?  Since when do I not care whether things are good or lame or what have you? Well… since people started nattering on about it constantly.

There’s only ever been one real reason why I’ve been excited about Cataclysm coming out, and that was because I thought Wrath was a stinking pile of felhunter poop.  Anything to get away from the expansion that I have had so much difficulty enjoying.  I don’t care about what is actually happening in Cataclysm, so long as it’s more interesting than Wrath.  I don’t much care about class mechanics at this point, so long as they come out OK in the end.  Stuff gets changed, and changed, and changed again before it makes it to live, so I’m not going to bother my pretty little head about it now.  Sure, it may be exciting to some, but at this point… it’s kinda like having a friend narrate the whole plot of a movie to me without me being able to watch it.  And yeah, I know I could download the PTR and poke around, but I can’t be bothered.  Which is how WoW seems to be affecting a heck of a lot of people these days.  I should really make a new character and call it Bartleby, because that’s who I most resemble with my current attitude to WoW, Cataclysm, and blogging about it in general.

Yep, I’m suffering ‘Cataclysm: DILIGAF’ syndrome.  How about you?  Excited, or just plain over it already?

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… more range….




Perhaps I shouldn’t be too disappointed at the heinous oversight that is my lack of beta invite after all!


In other news, I’m looking for opinions on what you guys will want in Cataclysm.

Levelling guides?  *eeep*

Talent analysis?  Spell analysis?

Raid guides (subject to my guild raiding again at the time… might be difficult otherwise)?

More random nonsense?

What will be most useful to you?  What will you want to read?  I’m hoping Cata comes out roughly near the Christmas holidays, when I have little better to do than sit under the air conditioning, in my house in the middle of nowhere, and tap tap tap away at my computer like Poe’s raven on steroids.

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And that is possibly the longest post title ever.


I know the talents aren’t finished.  I know you have to work on them a lot more.  Thank bloody goodness for that, because, as they stand, they are a pile of crap.

When you get around to editing them, think of poor little Fluffy sitting there in the corner.  So small and cute and cuddly and utterly defenceless.

And remember… I’m waiting.

<3 Sar

P.S.  Don’t even ask how my Druid feels about the Restoration tree.  Let’s just not go there.

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and then there was light… or however it would happen if the Bible met My Fair Lady, in Azeroth.

OK, OK, so I am not the only one who has been asking about this for a long time.  However, since I am a total egomaniac, I am going to take all the credit anyway.  Yay me!

I am sure that you have all now heard that in Cataclysm, you will be forced to choose between 10 and 25 man raiding.  The long held perception of dumb-dumb 10 man raids will hopefully be done away with.  People won’t feel forced to run the same content twice a week to remain competitive.  10 mans should be more challenging because there will no longer be any over gearing.

I know many people who are afraid that this will be the end of 25man raiding.  The same old chestnut gets mentioned every time this is discussed.  “But why would you bother doing 25mans if 10mans gave the same loot?” 

Why?  Because you bloody well like 25mans, that’s why!

Believe it or not, some people prefer 25man raiding.  I used to play with someone who actually missed 40man raids.  Some people like that large size, that epic scale, the camaraderie you get with the people of your class and role that just doesn’t happen in 10mans (Arcis Warlock Chat, I miss you so much <3).  The level of inner competition and drive was amazing in 25mans, solely because you had so many more people who could potentially be kicking your arse at your job.

Others like 10mans.  The intimate feel, the huge sense of responsibility on your shoulders knowing that, if you mess up, that’s ten percent of your raid gone.  Raiding in a group that is small enough that everyone can actually have a chat on Vent (or even get a word in edgewise), and everyone can carry some of the responsibility of running the raid.

For most of Wrath, 10 man exclusive guilds have been punished for being just that.  The player base refuses to see them as anything other than casual, regardless of how seriously they play the game.  More attention is given to 25man downings than 10 (partly because the top guilds raid both levels of content, and so over gear the ten man equivalent).  The emphasis on bloody gearscore has also meant that 10man only guilds and players are, again, largely seen as casual or scrubbish.  This annoys the hell out of me.

Not one type of raiding is better, or more important, than the other.  But by allowing people to do both, 10 man is always going to be pushed to the bottom of the pile, where 25man raiders run the 10 ‘just for badges’, making 10man raiders appear lazy or unmotivated.

I’m not sure how popular this change is going to be.  I remember once suggesting this on a TNB Round Table, and I think most of the people there at the time vehemently disagreed with me.  However, I think it will most definitely be for the better.

Now let’s just pray for some challenging raid content.  Heck, this change may see me go back to serious raiding!

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It’s a wonderful world when a Warlock can tumble out of bed, plonk herself down at a computer without even bothering with any of her morning regime, and start deconstructing some Warlock changes.  Faaaaaantastic!  I haven’t yet cleaned out my feedreader, so if this is a bit repetitive, I apologise.  Unfortunately, the problem with big announcements is every bloody damned blogger out there writes about them, which is why I kinda gave up on the whole idea.  However, I think this one is big enough to warrant some special Sar input.

You all know all the things that I thought were wrong with Warlocks.  As a quick refresher, here are my problems with Destruction

- I’ll say it: I think we need slightly higher DPS.  I also lost that bursty feeling with my Warlock – not necessarily a bad thing, but it was an aspect of the class that I enjoyed.

- Pet micromanagement is minimal to non existent.  As a result, there are many Warlocks (myself included) who are outright useless with their pets, and just whack them on auto attack.

- No green fire.  You knew that one was coming.

- The perception of lolDestro.  Honestly, I am not sure how this could be corrected.  Blizzard have given Destruction Warlocks a rotation that I feel is comparable in difficulty to Affliction Warlocks – we use a similar amount of spells, both with priority based rotations.  At the moment Destruction is a slightly more mobile spec, but hey, that is the opposite to what the roles have traditionally been (and yes, before you ask, I have played both playstyles.  The only spec I have not toyed with in Wrath is Demonology).  This is something that needs to be worked on player side rather than Blizzard side, in my opinion, and can mainly be put down to ignorant or elitist raid leaders and other assorted asshats, and a general misunderstanding of the Destruction Warlock.

Anyway, let’s get on to the good stuff and see what Blizzard has done to improve (we hope) Warlocks.  I’m not going to paste the whole thread, but rather the snippets that I feel are important.

New Warlock Spells
Fel Flame (level 81): Quick-hitting spell dealing Shadowfire damage. This is similar to the mage ability Frostfire Bolt, in that the lower of the two resistances (in this case shadow and fire) on your target will be used for calculating its damage. Additionally, Fel Flame refreshes the duration of Immolate and Unstable Affliction. Our goal for Fel Flame is to provide a spell that’s good for mobility and for use by Destruction and Demonology specs. Also, did we mention it uses green fire? Yep. Instant cast.
Dark Intent (level 83): Increases the target’s chance for a critical effect with periodic damage or healing spells by 3%. When the target lands a crit, you get a buff to your damage for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to three times.
Demon Soul (level 85): Fuses the warlock’s soul with his or her demon. This provides warlocks with a self-burst cooldown to use. The specific effects granted by Demon Soul depend on the demon chosen. Demon Soul lasts for a certain number of charges or until it expires (around 20 seconds), depending on the demon used. 2-minute cooldown.

a) Fel Flame:  I think Fel Flame will be successful where Shadowburn wasn’t for Destruction Warlocks because it will refresh the duration of Immolate, thus serving a purpose besides being an instant cast spell that was actually a steaming pile of crap.  It will be interesting to see how much damage this spell deals – I can’t imagine it will be greater than the initial burst damage of Immolate, especially on an instant cast.  The Conflagrate debacle will make Blizzard very wary of giving players instant cast spells which are too powerful.
And green fire?  Well, yes, you gave us ONE green spell.  Not really what we were asking for, but then, not surprising to see that you aren’t interested in giving it to us either.  At this point I am beginning to feel that you are messing with our heads with this one (‘The more you ask, the less likely you are to receive’ type deal).  Harumph.
b) Focus Magic, Warlock Style Dark Intent:  Warlocks bring all the buffs to the yard!  It will be interesting to see how this turns out – if other classes get the same benefit from Haste and Crit to their DoTs/HoTs as Warlocks are getting (and I can not imagine why they would not be), this could potentially be VERY powerful on a Restoration Druid.  Of course, I may just say that since my alt is a Restoration Druid, and I do like mah shiny buffs.  I guess you could also throw it on an Affliction Warlock, if you were feeling generous.  It’s tough to call at this point in time who this would be best for, because all the other classes could be totally different within a week or two!  I just hope it doesn’t turn into a greedy ‘let’s keep this only amongst the Warlocks’ thing like the Mages have going.
c) Demon Soul: Interesting.  Too vague for me to be able to say much there, really.  At this point: a button to whack every 2 minutes (or when appropriate) to make me even more awesome.

Soul Shard Overhaul
This major change regarding Soul Shards was previously announced at BlizzCon 2009. Soul Shards will no longer be inventory items, but instead a new UI resource mechanic. Warlocks will have 3 Soul Shards that can be used during a fight and will not be able to gain additional shards during combat. Soul Shards will not be required outside of combat. Soul Burn will consume a Soul Shard resource, thereby allowing you to use the secondary effects of some spells. Soul Burn has no mana or health costs and is off the global cooldown. Planned secondary effects are outlined here.

  • Summon Demon + Soul Burn = summon the demon instantly.
  • Drain Life + Soul Burn = Reduces cast speed by 60%.
  • Demonic Circle + Soul Burn = Increases movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds after teleporting.
  • Unstable Affliction + Soul Burn = Instantly deals damage equal to 30% of its effect.
  • Soul Fire + Soul Burn = Instant cast.
  • Healthstone + Soul Burn = Increases total health by 20% for 8 seconds.
  • Searing Pain + Soul Burn = Increases the crit chance of Searing Pain by 100%, and subsequent Searing Pain spells by 50% for 6 seconds.

First things first – what will happen to my shard bag, bizatches?  My guess is they will delete the recipe, wipe them out of people’s Tailoring spell books, and let us kindly keep the one we have as a soulbound standard bag.  Or, at least, that would be NICE.
To be honest, many of these strike me as incredibly meh for Destruction Warlocks.  Whoopdie fricking doo.

  • Instant demon summon makes me question what changes they are making to the Demonology tree: do I smell the demise of Fel Domination?  This is what I get for not reading the notes through PROPERLY the first time around – funnily enough, it says this at the bottom!  Stupid Sar is stupid.
  • Drain Life sounds interesting, but as bosses are highly likely to be immune or some such thing, this will probably find its place in PvP (especially in Arena if you are trying to kill that pesky healer, although the whole ‘Channelled, sitting duck, damn you for running out of LoS will make that interesting as well).
  • Demonic Circle, again more a PvP/specific boss fight thing.
  • Unstable Affliction – I am sure Nib or Hydra have some thoughts on that one
  • Soul Fire – intriguing.  I may just end up throwing a Soul Fire every so often in a fight.
  • Healthstone – shiny I guess, but I’m not going to throw my arms around and praise the Blizz gods for it
  • Searing Pain – boy oh boy I hope this means more Warlock tanking in Cataclysm.  Otherwise, this is going to be kinda lame.  More upfront threat as a Warlock tank?  Nomtastic.

As I have said in the past, I have had a lot of issues with Soul Shards (mainly that they don’t bloody stack!), however, I have never been concerned about the fact that we have to use them full stop.  Sure, this might take away from the ‘pain in the ass’ factor (because really, getting shards was sooooo bloody difficult, right?), but it also takes a hell of a lot away from the aesthetics of being a Warlock.  Just another small way of making us less evil and more like cuddly teddy bears, or some other equally revolting fuzzy creature (Dwarf Priests, amirite?)

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

  • All warlock damage-over-time (DoT) spells will benefit from crit and haste innately. Haste will no longer act to reduce the DoT’s duration, but rather to add additional ticks. When reapplying a DoT, you can no longer “clip” the final tick. Instead, this will just add duration to the spell, similar to how Everlasting Affliction currently works.
  • Curse of Agony and Curse of Doom will be converted into Bane of Agony and Bane of Doom. Bane spells are considered magic instead of curses. This means you will be able to cast one Bane (e.g. Bane of Agony) and one Curse (e.g. Curse of Elements) on a single target.
  • Hellfire will no longer deal damage to the warlock.
  • Imps will lose Fire Shield, but will gain a new ability, Burning Ember, which is a stacking DoT.
  • The succubus melee range will be increased. The succubus will no longer have Soothing Kiss, but will instead have Whiplash, which knocks back all enemies within 8 yards.
  • Voidwalker Torment will do increased damage and generate a lot of area-of-effect (AoE) threat. Suffering will become a single-target taunt.

DoT changes are pretty damn awesome.  Although, while no clipping will make life easier, it will also take away from some of the fun and challenge of playing a DoT class.  I am sure the Affliction Warlocks are singing the praises of this one though.
It is nice to see a distinction drawn between utility curses and damage based curses.  Changing CoA and CoD to BoA and BoD will no doubt confuse people for some time (yay new acronyms!), but it will add a great deal to Warlock raid utility.  Except, of course, for the fact that all our good curses are also covered by other class abilities.  Damn it!
As a little aside, I am VERY interested to see what all the changes to decursing and cleansing will do to Warlock PvP.  Especially the proposed changes for Druids.

DAMN IT HELLFIRE.  All I can say is that it had better become a fricking awesome AoE spell, because Blizzard, you just cost me or my guild another good 100g+ a week.  Thank you kindly.  On a serious note, I really do feel that this takes away (again!) from the whole Warlock aesthetic.  I would have much rathered a change to Hellfire which made it an immensely powerful, difficult to heal through AoE.  It would be nice to force people to have to consider the implications of using the spell, and have Warlocks actually want to use it as something other than a ‘oh crap, wipe’ ability.

I have nothing but good things to say about the Imp change.  Fire Shield was not powerful enough to warrant us even bothering to use it effectively.  I just turned it off auto-cast to save my Imp the mana.  Stacking DoTs are <3

Whiplash both intrigues and scares me.  I can see a lot of PvE boo boos while Warlocks adjust to using this effectively.  This will probably end up having more PvP utility.

Fixing Voidwalkers is nice.  Lets see if it helps.

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • Pandemic will now cause Drain Soul to refresh Unstable Affliction and Bane of Agony on targets below 25% health.
  • The ability Fel Domination will be removed (because Soul Burn accomplishes the same effect).
  • Demonology will gain a new direct-damage spell, Demon Bolt. Demon Bolt will add a debuff that improves the damage done by the demon to the target.
  • We plan to add a new talent, Impending Doom, which will give certain spells a chance to reduce the cooldown on Metamorphosis and Curse of Doom.
  • Metamorphosis will no longer be subject to demonic crowd control. Furthermore, abilities available only while under the effects of Metamorphosis will be altered to put more emphasis on the warlock’s own spells.
  • Shadowburn will now do additional damage to targets below 25% health.

I’m not going to comment on all of these, because they aren’t especially exciting, and pretty much all of them seem to be targeted at Demonology.  Demon Bolt will hopefully prove to be awesome for Demonology Warlocks, and I hope they aren’t let down in the same way as they were with Metamorphosis.  Improvements to Shadowburn will be fantastic.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
Spell Damage
Spell Crit
Shadow DoTs
Spell Damage
Spell Haste
Demon Damage
Spell Damage
Spell Critical Damage
Fire Direct Damage

Shadow DoTs: The damage caused by Shadow damage-over-time spells is increased.
Demon Damage: The damage caused by pets and Metamorphosis is increased.
Fire Direct Damage: The damage caused by Fire direct damage spells is increased.

Well, my hopes and dreams of having Destruction not being purely a fire tree have been dashed for good.  I do miss my Shadow spells, and I would have liked to be able to cast a variety of spells without being punished.  One of the reasons I originally fell in love with the Warlock class was that we weren’t distinguished from one another by a school of spells, but more by a playstyle.  We were able to cast spells from both schools, and yet still felt distinct from one another.  Well, guess I’ll have to deal with the lame ass Mage look for yet another expansion.  Apart from that, there are no surprises here (apart from a chortle at the inconsistent wording Blizzard have used).

In sum

Nothing especially surprising announced here.  The new spells sound nice and shiny, although I have already heard them referred to as ‘Oh, the Warlock version of x Mage spell’ (way to promote class individuality there Blizzard, since we ALL know that is so valued right now /smirk).  The changes to DoTs will be incredibly welcome for Affliction Warlocks, and I think Demonology Warlocks will be thankful to get some love (although understandably wary and dubious of proposed changes).  I know that many Warlocks out there are celebrating the changes to Soul Shards, and in many ways I feel like the whiny person in the corner at a party with my attitude to that.

It does appear that Warlocks (at least, the ones who use a Succubus) will have to consider pet micromanagement a little more, which is very welcome.  Or, it will mean that people ignore the Succy in favour of something easier.

I don’t see too many changes here which make me want to jump up and down with joy.  The Soul Shard changes feel very disappointing to me in terms of what we get out of them, but that could also be because they were hyped up so much – I was really expecting something fantastic and out of this world.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that, as always, PvP balancing means that PvE Warlocks will again be missing out in the long run, but I guess you could say that is true for all classes.

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