Archive for the “Warlock” Category

Ideas, thoughts and experiences which are relevant to the Warlock class. Look for tasty tips here occasionally as well!

So, I was chatting with a friend after my raid tonight, and he got to his usual ranting of ‘DPS are all idiots, when I raid I assume 90% of the DPS are going to be incompetent, tanking is so much more difficult and important, yadayadayada’.

Bullshit.  Let’s dispell some dumb-ass myths here, shall we?

1.  DPS do not need to know what is going on in the fight, tanks do.

Since when does a tank need to be more aware of everything that is happening around them than a DPS?  What, my magical ‘Oh look, I’m a ranged DPS!’ bubble means I won’t die in the fire?  Or I won’t die when one of the tanks goes down, because, ’Oh, I’m just a DPS’.  Everyone in the raid should be aware of what is happening around them, regardless of what they do.  Whether I am tanking or DPSing, I have a fairly good awareness of what is going on.  The only time I am more aware of what is happening to other players is when I am healing, because, hey… that’s my job.

2.  Tanking is harder than DPSing.

So you have a much more complex job as a tank?  Let’s see….

Tank

DPS

– Has to use a few abilities to attack

– Has to use a few abilities to attack

- Has to watch out for stuff on the ground, etc

- Has to watch out for stuff on the ground, etc

- Has to hit ‘Oh Shit!’ buttons where appropriate

- Has to hit ‘Oh Shit!’ buttons where appropriate

- Has to maintain threat

- Has to not pull threat

- Has to live

- Has to live.

 

All looks very similar to me.  Sure, you are all looking at a different side of the boss.  And you have a slightly different view of the whole ‘aggro’ issue.  But, at the end of the day, tanking isn’t automatically more complex just through the virtue of being a different role.

3.  DPS just aren’t as important as tanks.

Yuh huh.  Tell that to the enrage timer.  Or to the boss who has to ‘have that shield nuked down NOW!’ (hai there, Valkyr Twins!).  Or to your healers when they go OOM because the fight is just taking so damn long (although, according to my friend, if you use mana you must be a ‘bad’ healer…).

It’s people like this that really piss me off.  It’s even more annoying when they are friends.  Seriously…

Oh, and your “Clearly DPS aren’t as important because if you lose one, it’s not an instant wipe?” argument?

Stick it where the sun don’t shine, buddy.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments 5 Comments »

This post is based entirely on unsubstantiated opinion.  In fact, my minimal raiding since the patch means that I don’t have conclusive proof that this is the case.  However, I am going to write it anyway.

The nerf to Fire and Brimstone in 3.2 seemed to get by without much criticism.  I don’t know whether Warlocks as a community have just become totally deadened to nerfs, or whether it was seen as a negligible difference between our pre-3.2 state and our current one, but I think that it was a bigger nerf than it was given credit for.  How catastrophic was it for Warlocks, really?

That’s damned right.  It’s Stay Puft Marshmallow Man catastrophic.  Or close to.

See, after 3.2, I couldn’t work out why my DPS kinda sucked a little.  I mean, it’s not bad, exactly… but it just ‘ain’t what she used to be’.  I have turned things upside down and inside out trying to work out what’s going on, and the only thing that has changed is that pesky talent.  It cost me something along the lines of 300DPS!  (well… at a rough approximation… given I haven’t been able to test much).  At least!  How the hell did something like this just slip by?  Where was my theorycrafting?  And why on earth were we nerfed? (One Warlock suggested that it was simply ‘because it’s not a patch without a Lock nerf’… so true!)

Has anyone else noticed this drop in DPS?  Do I just all of a sudden fail at Warlock?  Should I convert this (perish the thought) to a Resto Druid blog?

Comments 6 Comments »

Yet Another Destructive Reach Community Service Announcement.  Brought to you by the Imp Credit Union – where your money is ALWAYS in safe (albeit firey) hands

So, I heard through the ever-delightful Syrana that WoW.com is looking for a brand spankin’ (emphasis on the spank!) new shiny Warlock Blogger to write their Blood Pact column.  Now, I figure that surely MOST of you guys are Warlocks (or hey, why else would you be here?), and you surely must know a little something about the class.  If those two very basic things apply to you (ie – Warlock, and know something about them), you should consider heading on over to throw your hat (or imp, if you have an attachment to your hat) in the ring!

As for me?

Well…

I kinda suck at research.  I really suck at deadlines.  I have a job that is so demanding that I have difficulty keeping this place up and running, as well as looking after Blog Azeroth stuffs and Shared Topics and what not.  Seriously… it would be a bad idea.

Does that mean that I didn’t consider it for a split second?

Are you fricking kidding?  Of COURSE I considered it!  If you look at all the stuff I write, what seems to be the common element?  (Hint: it ain’t Warlocks.)  I love making people angry.  I love stirring up trouble.  I love being able to inspire irrational hatred and fear in people (wow… am I a Warlock or a politician?)

What better place to attract angry people and piss off the masses than writing for WoW.com?  It’s like my dream job!  Not to mention the fame, fortune, and other stuff involved (… I suspect there is actually no fame, or fortune…. but the other stuff could be shiny).

But, since one must be practical in both their assessment of their ability (in every sense of the word) to do a job… I decided it wasn’t for me.  Let’s face it – I kinda suck at this whole blogging mumbo-jumbo.

However, it might be for you!

Head on over and take a look!

Comments Comments Off

As I write this, I am pretending in my own head that I am actually writing a study guide for my Year 12 students.  It’s the only way I can assuage my conscience (although it is small, it is also annoying, like a splinter that wont come out).

It’s been a good long while since I pondered the wonders of Warlockery.  Well, today, I FELT like a Warlock.  I cackled delightful cackles of glee and mirth.  Why?

Mages got Nerfed!  It’s like Christmas!  Well, by nerfed… they got stuff given to them and then taken away.  I think that’s even more fun personally.  I often enjoy doing that same thing with very small children and candy.  Then I eat it reeeeeaaaaaally slowly, right in front of them, and watch as the last little glimmer of hope fades from their eyes.  THAT’S when you know you have killed their spirit!

Oh yeah, this is good stuff.  I’ma going to pour myself a big fat glass of mage tears, and giggle through 32 pages of QQ.  Just like the good old days!

mage tears

*raises glass* Here’s to Blizzard, making Mages cry since… well…. since forever!

Comments 11 Comments »

It’s been a while.

Yeah, I know.

I’ve been sick (in bed/under self imposed house arrest for 4 days!), I’ve been lazy, and I have been just plain unmotivated.  Not to mention 20 kinds of cranky – I could almost pack that cranky up, label it as Heinz and whack it on the shelf!  Instead of concentrating properly on WoW I have been reading soppy romances, crying over babies, and generally doing a lot of nothing.  Oh, and bemoaning the fact that I do not have a bathtub.  And that all these people I know are getting engaged.  I swear I am going to be the last one in my high school class on the shelf!  I’ll need dusting!

Because a Warlock's got to get clean too you know!Because a Warlock has to get clean too, you know!

 

Anyway, I have not been playing my Warlock much of late.  Weird, huh? Instead, I have been embracing my hotter side and futzing around on my tree.  We could almost say that I have been doing so much futzing that my Tree is almost my main… but we won’t go there, not really.  Besides, what defines a main, anyway?

Playtime?

Gear?

Effort invested?

Care factor?

Skill at the class?

I used to think it was probably a combination of all of these things.  If you play something more, it MUST be your main, right?  Weeeeeeeeeeeell…. maybe.  But not necessarily.  I play my Druid a lot more than my Warlock, but that’s through mere convenience than anything else at this point.  To be honest, I think I am having difficulty adjusting to being on an Oceanic server when I have trained myself into thinking playtime is 4-6.  So Sar is kinda neglected in that way.

What about gear?  Surely your main would be better geared, right?  Again… nope!  Hermia by and large has gear Sar can only envy… Herm even beat Sar to the epic achievement.  By three pieces!

I guess it just comes down to the fact that I feel more at home in Saresa.  Slinging heals is fun (although I will be the first to admit I am not much good!!!), but throwing around firey balls of doom?  That’s what I’m talking about baby!  I love my Druid to bits, but I can not be damned researching her properly, finding out what the best spec is for her properly, or any of that.  I just play her, heal crap, and have a great old time.  But Sar is who I look forward to coming home to.  I can remember every button push on her, and to draw a somewhat weird parallel…  You know how there’s that one person you have been with, where stuff just worked.  It might not have been for very long, but you were with them, and everything just put itself together perfectly.  Like you both knew exactly what the other person wanted, at the exact right time.  You didn’t even have to think that hard about it – you just did it, and it was great.

Sar is like that for me.

Without all the erotic stuff.

Comments Comments Off

The short answer?  Not much.

The long answer?

Well, there are many things in the Q&A which are very interesting to Warlocks.  Some are things which we have known for a while, some are new news.  Some are things which we would hope to change, and others are not.  I am going to discuss (and it has been a long time coming, I know, but I have been flat out beating my head against the PvP wall on my Druid) what Ghostcrawler’s statements mean to me.  Not to Warlocks everywhere, because everything means something different to everyone, but to myself and my interpretation of the class.

The Affliction tree focuses on damage-over-time spells, curses, and shadow magic in general. The Demonology tree emphasizes the damage and abilities done by demons. The Destruction tree gives up a little of both to become a little bit more like a mage with direct damage and fire magic. Overall, the vision is for warlocks to feel less fragile than mages. They have historically had higher health pools and easier to sustain mana, but fewer emergency escapes. Keeping the mage and warlock feeling distinct is a big challenge. They fill a similar role and share similar gear so sometimes even the profiles of their character art look similar.

The underlining is mine.  I find Blizzard’s interpretation of the Destruction tree to be an interesting one.  When I play my Destruction Warlock, I never feel ‘like a mage’.  Sure, I use a lot of direct damage.  At the moment I am basically forced to use a great deal of fire.  However, where it matters, in my mind, I do not feel at all like a mage.  I know that we are generally perceived as mage-like, and to be honest, it annoys the hell out of me.  I don’t refer to Shadow Priests as ‘warlock-like’, even if they both sling shadow DoTs.  Warlocks of any spec should not be specifically designed to resemble mages!  If there is too much commonality between the two classes, something should be done to remedy that.  Most of this probably fits back under the ‘make us evil again’ banner.  However, I can’t say I feel ‘less fragile’ than a mage.  I have the same amount of hit points, give or take a few.  I can’t get away from stuff.  Damned if my pet can keep it off me!  So at the moment, is a Warlock just a gimped Mage with no escape abilities?

Going forward, we want to try and make the warlock experience more different from the mage. Our new plans for Soul Shards will help here. We want to make them a core mechanic instead of a minor feature that can be neglected at best and feels tedious at worst.

Well, thanks GC!  Although… the Soul Shard bit scares me a little.

We hope to be able to talk more about it at BlizzCon, but the basic idea is that shards provide a combat boost when needed without becoming a resource that needs to be farmed. Currently too many of the shard abilities are maintenance-like things such as demons and stones. Blowing a shard should be a big deal — an exciting moment. We want to make shards fun and remove the hassle, but we want to make them a core part of the warlock experience and not a marginalized feature.

I find it difficult to comment on this until I know exactly what it is they are going to do.  However, I personally don’t have THAT huge an issue with Soul Shards (although I’d rather have a purchasable reagent that I can farm the gold for in 2 seconds than shards).  Should they stack?  Hell yes!  Should we perhaps have a chance to obtain them off all spells… and should we not have a limit?  However, I don’t mind that I need them to do most things.  Except for Soulshatter.  That pisses me right off.

We are going to lower the cooldown of Soulshatter to three minutes. We don’t think the shard cost is a big expense in PvE situations. Threat-dump abilities are tricky to balance. We don’t want these spells to feel rotational — you aren’t supposed to do say Curse of Agony, Immolate, Soulshatter, Curse of Agony, Immolate, Soulshatter. They are there for emergencies.

Three minutes.  Better than five minutes, but still not good enough.  Hunters get 30 seconds on Feign Death, which is a total aggro wipe.  Sure, they can’t cast for a couple of seconds while it kicks in, but they also don’t sacrifice health and a reagent.  Hell, Mages get 2 (although not foolproof) mechanisms to dump threat in Mirror Image and Invisibility!  Why do Warlocks get the gimpy 50% dump that costs a shard?  Although, thankfully, it apparently can not be resisted any longer.  Thank fricking Christ.  Still, anyone have memories of this in raid?

- Warlock 1 Shatters… mob moves to Warlock 2

- Warlock 2 Shatters… mob moves to Warlock 3

- Warlock 3 Shatters… Threat still too high, Warlock gets nommed.

We’d agree that the “interesting tradeoff” isn’t that interesting, and in fact it’s hard to find niches for so many different AE spells. Long-term this might be the kind of spell that gets cut. (Re: Hellfire)

No!!!!!  Not my suicide!!  Gimpy aggro dump AND no more suicide?  Well, not only can we not be evil… we can’t be emo anymore either!  What will I do with my razorblades now?

We definitely understand some (many? all?) warlocks would love to have green fire and we’ll try and find a cool way to deliver on this. At this point, we’d probably rather do it with a flashy new spell rather than just change up an existing one, but we’ll have to see. As with the new druid forms, after waiting so long, we’d want to do it right.

One thing to say:  Green Fire NAOW.  On EVERYTHING that is fire.  Plain and Simple.  Fire MUST be green.  And evil looking.  How hard is this to understand?

This is Sar, signing out, with one simple request

GREEN FIRE.  Or the Mage gets it!

Comments 4 Comments »

Brought to you via a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic!

Euripides of OutDPS suggested a really interesting Shared Topic for this week – What would happen if there were WoW Lobbyists?  After all, there are just as many people who play WoW as there are who hunt (according to the statistics), and the Gun Lobby in the US is supposedly a powerful thing indeed (here in Australia, we don’t even have one, and if we did, well…. they wouldn’t be especially powerful.  I guess they are kinda like the Shooter’s Party).  What if we could bring our power to bear (not as in Druids) and force those nasty politicians to do what we want?

Unfortunately, I don’t think a WoW lobby would work at all.  Frankly… the lesser classes would bring it down.  The Warlocks would have to do ALL the work (as usual), and since there’s a lot less Warlocks than there is everyone else, the whole thing would just be a shambles.  Just imagine…

  • A Paladin meets the President to try to get WoW players, oh… better internet? *shrugs*  Talk would soon disintegrate into ‘My Hammer is so Awesome!’ and other illogical babbling, along with their usual pacifist ‘noooo, we can’t kill the sick people who will infect everyone else and wipe all of humanity out!  It’s just not NICE!”
  • A Mage comes along to try and resolve the situation, since they have ‘superior Intellect’ and all.  Unfortunately, a Secret Service guy thinks the Mage looks questionable (so… I am guessing it’s a Gnome Mage who is approaching then), and the Mage overreacts and sheeps the guy.  Mayhem ensues.
  • So the Priest rocks up to try and save the day.  They stub their toe along the way and keel over, dead.  Yes, the Priest, once again, forgot to heal themselves.
  • The Death Knight, being a creature of little brain, spies the dead Priest keeled over, immediately thinks that the President must have killed him, and charges into get revenge.
  • The Rogue sees the opportunity to carry out their assassination plot and tries to help the Death Knight… but subtlely, so that the DK is the one thrown in jail for killing the bloody President.
  • The Druid just Shadowmelds and waits… typical.
  • The Hunter tries to trap the idiot DK, succeeds in stepping in their own trap and setting their pet on the dead Priest… I guess the kitty was hungry?
  • The Warrior keeps yelling for everyone to attack him, but all the other people have WAY too much aggro by now, and they just get ignored.  Bored, they start punching a wall, and get arrested for destroying public property.
  • The Shaman is so confused by which totem is the most appropriate for this mess that he doesn’t achieve anything at all.  Meanwhile, people are getting into a weird frenzy of slapping, sheeping, poking and /spitting.
  • Finally, the Warlock /sighs, kills most everyone with a nasty bout of AoE, and then sets about making it look like it was the Druid’s fault all along, while muttering to themselves how bloody stupid everyone is.

So, essentially… a WoW lobby would bring about the end of the world.  One way or another.  Although the situation might have been avoided if the damn Mage had remembered to cast Intelligence on everyone!

Comments 4 Comments »

Since Blizzcon is in a mere six weeks (and boy oh boy am I excited!), I have been pondering ways that Blizzard can try and fix Warlocks.  Once, we were feared.  People were terrified of Warlocks.  They dedicated massive amounts of QQ to Warlocks.  Blizzard nerfed us, and nerfed us, and nerfed us… yet people were still afraid.  Then, all of a sudden, we just weren’t evil anymore.  Seriously?  When did that happen?  Could it have been when the Ritual of Doom stopped killing innocent people?  Could it have been when Death Knights suddenly arrived with their annoying reverse-fear?  Was it when fear got made so crappy that even the lamest of Rogues could escape it?  WHAT happened?!?

So, in the interests of getting our monopoly on ‘Holy Shit it’s a WARLOCK!!’ back, I propose the following:

  • Make Curse of Doom castable on players:  Curse of Doom should be able to be used in PvP.  If it gets dispelled, then it shifts to another target in the party.  It also loses 10 seconds off its duration per dispell.  Teams would have to race to try and get it on a plate wearer or a non squishy before the big kaboom!
  • Bring back Warlock Roulette: The Ritual of Doom should kill someone.  Plain and simple.

bringbackthegank

  • Buff Infernals: Whatever happened to the good old days of releasing infernals in crowded lowbie areas?  Bring back the gank!
  • Team Tap: A Life Tap spell which takes health off a selected member of the party, and returns it to the Warlock.  Like that annoying Mage that you just want to stomp on until they shut their pie hole!
  • Moving Hellfire: Now, I might be wrong on this.  My memory could be faulty.  But I have vague memories of low level runs where I first got Hellfire, and I thought it looked like a GREAT spell!  So, here I went, through wherever it was (Gnomer?  I don’t even remember), and hit the Hellfire spell.  Wait, I’m dying?  What the hell?  Oh well, I’ll just run!  Wait… it’s STILL going?  Oh noes, oh noes!  *die*  At the very least, the Hellfire in the cinematic (you know, the one with the Undead Warlock roflstomping some Murlocs) does not get interrupted by movement.  Bring back the uninterruptable Hellfire!  It does SFA damage to anything anyway, I want a moving AoE!

Fluffehbunneh

  • Killing critters: Not enough locks kill critters.  Kill more critters!
  • Delete Death Knights:  Or at least force them all to wear pink.

pinkDK

Comments 10 Comments »

So, I know that these numbers may not seem like a lot to many people.  I have seen people beat this time and time again, but for me it was a pretty impressive indicator of what I am capable of after all, and what I can achieve (providing things go well… like my internet not totally crapping its pants). 

I ventured into Ulduar25 with the new guild on Sunday night.  I was kinda laggy for the most part, and I have really only set foot in the raid itself once or twice, so it was a bit of an iffy experience in the first place.  However, once I settled into a rhythm and found my stride, things started to work really well.  I was generally on the cusp of being in the top 5 on a number of fights (I was 6th SO often!) but there was one minor fight where I truly impressed myself.

Usually I hover around the 4k DPS mark.  It’s not spectacular, it’s not bad, it’s just eh.  Kinda adequate, nothing more or less.  However, on one of Freya’s tree dude things (y’know, the guys who drop badges) I managed to pull off a smidge over 5k DPS.  5130DPS to be precise.  Not bad if I do say so myself!

I’m not 100% sure what changed.  Maybe I was lagging less.  Maybe it was that I have decided to ditch the Soul Fires for a while and see how that goes (they just don’t crit enough for my liking, and when they don’t crit they are kinda lame).  However, I jumped up to 3rd on that fight, top of all the Warlocks and only beaten by 2 Hunters.

So, the new rotation is something like this:

CoD, Immolate, Incin my little heart out, Conflag, Chaos Bolt, rinse and repeat.  I don’t like to Conflag early, even though I did end up glyphing for it, because it throws the bloody timer all out of whack.  However, since I no longer Soul Fire, I might give it a go… I think I might see an increase out of it once I am used to it.

I was excited, anyway :-)

Comments 5 Comments »

I’ll admit, I enjoy being prepared.  I like knowing that I am ready for any situation, that no matter what happens, whether it be everyone dying in a gigantic fire (happens a lot), me blowing shards putting up summoning portals when one is already there (also happens a lot), me being asked to put up a summoning portal RIGHT NEXT TO THE GOD DAMN DOOR (also happens a lot!)  … well, no matter what pain in the ass situation happens, I like knowing that I will have enough shards to see the raid through.

Then Blizz came along and stomped on my shiny little world with their ridiculous 32 shard limit.  Bastards.

Yes, I realise this is old news.  ‘But it’s been like this for AGES now Sar!  Have your knickers been in a knot about it for this long?  You’ll do yourself an injury!’

Well… I’m just mad about it tonight.

This here is how I used to raid

That’s 59 shards right there.  Enough for summoning, for pet killing, for soulshattering every time the cooldown was up, for healthstoning and soulstoning… you name it, I could do it.  Sure sure, shards are easier to come by now… but if we sit there wiping on a boss all night, I don’t want to have to gimp my damage and hurt the raid by having to drain soul for 5 fricking minutes on a fight!

Tonight, I kept running out.  We wiped a few times, and all of a sudden I was down to 5 shards.  That wont last me 5 minutes in a boss fight! 

I’m a lock.  I like souls.  I like collecting the souls of many people, and keeping those souls in my bag, waiting for me to put them to nefarious uses.  Now I feel like I have been getting ripped off for all these years.  My total belief system has been undermined.

Those shards must not truly represent a whole soul.

Think about it.  If I can get multiple shards off one mob (or person!), then either they have more than one soul, or I am getting just a minute fraction of it.  Talk about being totally unevil.  That’s merely an inconvenience!  A flesh wound!  First Death Knights get the monopoly on evil, and now this?

I’m going to kill some kittens until I feel better.

Comments 8 Comments »