Posts Tagged “Warlock Talents”

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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Scratch my earlier talent tree suppositions, I found a link to the ‘new’ tree. As with everything, take it with a grain of salt. Even if it is accurate, some of it may change!

To have a look, click here.

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Jagoex over at Warlock Therapy put up an excellent post detailing some of the leaked talent information for Warlocks in the upcoming expansion. Alot of the changes do look very interesting indeed, and, as usual, there are some things which look promising and some which look, well… not so crash hot. Now Jagoex has pretty much stated that he is going to do a blog about the changes in the future, so I am not going to steal his thunder and rip the idea out from underneath him! Instead, I will just write about my concerns with the current destruction tree, and the changes which are upcoming. To be brutally honest, I am not familiar enough with either Affliction or Demonology to be a true judge of the talent changes there anyway!

Existing Talents (Destruction)

There are a number of flaws (in my opinion) in the Destruction tree. Beginning at the very top of the tree, Cataclysm is a waste of 5 points. A 5% mana cost reduction is quite frankly not worth the cost to invest. I find Aftermath to be similarly wasteful – I can see how its inclusion as a soloing talent can be justified, but again, it is really not very useful. Buffs to pet talents really do not synergise well with the Destruction tree, especially at an end game level where most Destruction locks are 0/21/40. Improved Searing Pain is also a completely ridiculous talent(and frightening when you come across warlocks who take its inclusion in the talent tree as justification for spamming Searing Pain in instances because they specced into it!). Searing Pain is a highly situational spell, and not useful in most cases. Intensity has saved my patoot a couple of times, but is very situational in instances (Killing your Inner Demon anyone?), and its follow on talent Pyroclasm is essentially useless, especially when people use the spell Seed of Corruption for AoE now. Finally, Nether Protection, Soul Leech and Shadowfury strike me as very strong PvP talents, which is fine, but frustrating when you are a dedicated PvE player.

‘New’ Talents (Destruction)

I am not going to reiterate exactly what the talents do, since Jagoex has already done that hard work for me. I am just putting up my ideas about each.

Molten Core: I think that this talent (based on its positioning) will be replacing Aftermath, which will be welcome. I find it interesting that Shadow spells create a buff to Fire spells – the feeling I get is that Blizzard are trying to move warlocks away from single schooling (or even just Shadow Bolt spamming), to which I have to say ‘Huzzah!’.

Kindling Soul: I think that this will be going along side Shadow and Flame rather than replacing anything – there are two left over points if Molten Core replaces Aftermath, and these might just be them. This talent I absolutely DO NOT LIKE. Yes, that deserves caps. A talent which requires Destruction locks to stack spirit? None of the new talents in the other trees, surprisingly, have anything to do with Spirit – unless I am just blind. I can see this causing massive issues with gear in the future, not to mention the nightmare of balancing yet another stat! If only one tree is dependent on Spirit, will we see different gear for each spec in the future?

Torture: This looks as though it would also go alongside Shadow and Flame based on the points requirement, which is a relief because I am not sure if I would spec in Kindling Soul as it is. This is another talent which is encouraging warlocks to mix it up a little and cast some fire spells in with their shadow. I am still not quite sure why the heck they would include Searing Pain as one of the spells which gets an instant cast though. However, it also provides a chance to throw an instant Incinerate, which to me is great.

Eternal Flames: Once again there is an emphasis on Searing Pain here. I am not sure if Blizzard decided to make this spell less situational, or what, but as the spell currently stands this is illogical. I do like the chance for Incinerate to refresh Immolate though, that is nice. Although the implications for Conflagrate there are interesting indeed…

Decimate: Intriguing stuff. Makes ANY spell instant cast, and ignores most any damage mitigation (resistances, absorption, and immunity) that the target may have. While it does not say, I suspect that this spell would cost a Soul Shard. What the heck, I can live with that! The only real catch that I can see is that you can’t cast another spell from the same school for three seconds – no biggie if Incinerates are truly going to be as powerful as Shadow Bolts. I can see some future dramas if this spell ignores resilience though.

Changes that I would like to see

  1. Green Fire! Come on Blizz, you know you want to!
  2. Perhaps a Destruction Talent improving Soulshatter? A shorter cooldown perhaps, fairly far down the tree? I don’t know about any other destruction locks out there, but bosses like me – ALOT
  3. Please get rid of this buffing of Searing Pain. It is a situational spell, and we all know that that’s what its purpose is. If you do want to buff it, increase its threat. I know lots of locks who spam Shadow Bolt when lock tanking because a Shadow Bolt crit seems to produce more threat.

Any changes you would like to see? Leave a comment!

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For lack of anything more original or creative to write, I am going to do a specific breakdown of my talent choices. While 0/21/40 is one of the most popular destruction raiding specs, people generally don’t detail exactly what they specced in, and why they did so. Perhaps people find this to be obvious, but I have many memories of tossing up between talent trees and places to spend points with much confusion.

Pros and Cons of the Succy Sac Spec

Pros

  • The 15% boost to shadow damage is incredibly nice, especially when your gear hits the point where SB spam is the vast majority of your damage.
  • High burst DPS on both trash and bosses (for those of you concerned with your Damage Meter readings)
  • Improved Shadow Bolt is invaluable in raiding, increasing the shadow damage taken by the target by 20%. This helps ALL shadow dealers in raids – this includes shadow priests!

Cons

  • I personally find it to be an irritating soloing spec – the poor mana management results in an increased down time, and there are often some nasty occurances when I get a little too trigger happy on the life tap button.
  • Pets are essentially useless for anything other than a little added damage or crowd control – you do far too much spell damage for them to make viable tanks. This means that you quite often feel more like a mage than a warlock, which is a somewhat horrific thought!
  • If you try to PvP with it you feel ridiculous. Emphasis on the ‘glass’ part of glass cannon. While destruction can be an integral part of a PvP spec, I just don’t believe Sac Spec to be one of the more viable PvP specs.

My Talent Build

Demonology

Improved Healthstone 2/2: Healthstone strengths have always been split up amongst the locks in the raid to provide all possible strength healthstones. However, I have always had 2/2 in all my specs simply because strong cookies taste good.

Demonic Embrace: 5/5: This talent increases total Stamina by 15%, and reduces spirit by 5%. Quite frankly, I do not need spirit – ever – and the recent boosts to spirit pretty much negate the effects of this talent anyway.

Improved Health Funnel 1/2: Just a filler point. I used to put it in Imp Imp, but found myself stuck in the tank group in raids a couple of times because of that one point, which got on my nerves. I am a selfish creature, I know!

Fel Intellect 3/3: Increases various pet abilities (blah), and mana by 3%. Basically useless, but there’s not much else that can be done with those points.

Fel Domination 1/1: Emgergency 15min c/d ability which decreases pet summoning time by 5.5 seconds, and the mana cost by 50%. Great for when you happen to score a battle rez.

Fel Stamina 3/3: Increases pet stamina by 15% (blah again), and yours by 3%. Yay for more HP

Demonic Aegis 3/3: Increases the effectiveness of your Demon Armor and Fel Armor spells by 30%. Imp Fel Armor means 30 more spell damage, and more healing taken.

Master Summoner 2/2: Decreases summoning time of pets by 4 seconds and the mana cost by 40%. Great buff to Fel Domination, and handy in general.

Demonic Sacrifice 1/1: Sacrifices your pet, leaving you with a 30 minute buff dependent on pet used. Since I am succy sac specced, I get 15% extra shadow damage.

Destruction

Improved Shadow Bolt 5/5: Your Shadow Bolt critical strikes increase shadow damage dealt to the target (BY ALL PEOPLE IN THE GROUP) by 20% until 4 non periodic shadow damage sources are applied, or 12 seconds is up. A great boost to the whole raid.

Bane 5/5: Reduces cast time of Shadow Bolts and Incinerate by 0.5 sec, and Soul Fire by 2 sec. Faster SB = more DPS!

Devastation 5/5: Increases the critical strike chance of your Destruction spells by 5%. More crit = more damage, and also more ISB up time, which also equals more damage!

Shadowburn 1/1: Basically an instant cast Shadow Bolt, costing a soul shard.

Intensity 2/2: Increases resistance to spell interruption/pushback by 70%. Not really required, and very situational, but you need to spend 2 points somewhere on this tier or above to progress further down.

Destructive Reach 2/2: Increases the range of your destruction spells by 20%, and reduces threat caused by 10%. This is about all the threat mitigation we get, so embrace it!

Improved Immolate 5/5: Increases the initial damage of your Immolate spell by 25%. Remember this initial damage can also crit!

Ruin 1/1: Increases the critical strike bonus of your destruction spells by 100%. Again, more damage!

Emberstorm 5/5: Increases the damage done by your fire spells by 10%, and reduces the cast time of Incinerate by 10%. I don’t use this so much anymore, but it nice, and gives me the versatility to go fire lock whenever I choose

Backlash 3/3: Increases spell crit chance by 3%, and gives you a 20% chance to get an instant Shadow Bolt or Incinerate upon being hit. This is mainly useful for the spell crit chance, but is also great when soloing. If you are being beat upon in a raid and it procs, I would not suggest using it until your tank gains aggro again (you want to lose aggro, not get more!) UNLESS you are hit by some form of spell AoE or something which procs it.

Conflagrate 1/1: Instant cast spell which ignites a target afflicted by Immolate, causing fire damage and consuming the Immolate spell. Very useful for much of your time, until SB spam out damages everything else.

Shadow and Flame 5/5: Your Shadow Bolt and Incinerate gain an additional 20% of your bonus spell damage. Again, more damage!

Talents I do not have, but which can be useful

Cataclysm: Reduces mana cost of spells by 1/2/3/4/5 %. I don’t have this because I can not justify the loss of damage to save some mana.

Nether Protection: When hit with a shadow or fire spell, you have a 10/20/30% chance to become immune to to Shadow and Fire spells for 4 sec. Too situational for me to justify putting points in it.

Soul Leech: Gives your Destruction spells a 10/20/30% chance to return health equal to 20% of the damage caused. I find it difficult again to justify the loss of damage in order to gain some health returns.

Summary

Additional Damage:

  • Regular: +30
  • Shadow: anywhere between 15% to 55% increase (55% allowing for ISB being up, and casting a Shadow Bolt. Non ISB Bolts have 35%)
  • Fire: 20%, with an additional 25% to the initial Immolate damage.

Additional Crit: 8%

Additional Damage to Crit: 100%

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