Posts Tagged “Warlock”

I said before that I would do it, and finally I have. The Life Tap debate has been going on for as long as I have been a lock… perhaps even longer! Does Life Tap generate threat? Is Life Tapping during a fight the ultimate sin? Should Warlocks even be able to Life Tap? Never fear, friends, all will be revealed (or at least some!)

For starters: Life Tap absolutely, totally does NOT pull aggro. I discovered this through a series of tests using my friendly neighbourhood druid, Kalf, as a stick to be beaten upon while I experimented. We ventured out to SMV, and played around with some nasty boars (you know, the level 68 ones who hang around Wildhammer). I didn’t want a mob which would be too hazardous to our delicate little tree’s branches, after all!

The method used was simple. I got Kalf to shift to tree and flail madly at piggies, this being one of the lowest threat generators I could think of. Seriously, I manage to pull easily off epic geared tanks, I should be able to pull off a plant! While he was doing this, I carefully watched Omen and Life Tapped my little heart out. What did I see?

Nothing. Zip, zilch zero. OK, I figured this may not be reliable since I didn’t touch the mob, so test number 2 – lets throw a DoT up on the mob and see how much aggro it generates.

My Corruption ranged between 250-300 TPS on a level 68 Boar. It was unfortunately enough to pull off Mr Broccoli, so I had him actually try to hold the mob while we did it again. The TPS was still the same. So then, I put Corruption on a mob, had Kalf hold it, and tapped away. There was NO noticable difference between my TPS with Life Tapping, and without. Clearly the numbers might have varied very slightly – the nature of DoTs means that it changes incredibly fast, and it’s really hard to keep track!

Conclusion: Life Tap does not generate threat. If it doesn’t generate threat, you can not pull aggro doing it. Life Tap at will! Well, with the following caveats:

Good Warlocks always establish their healers preference regarding Life Tap. I generally find Druids and Priests don’t have any problems with it, since they can HoT a Warlock who is tapping. Paladins have a bit of a tougher time, so I try to be more conservative. Shaman… well, I don’t 5 man with Shaman much, but I guess chain heal could help cover it? If your healer is having difficulty dealing with the extra healing, use anything you have at your disposal to reduce the need to tap, or heal yourself after tapping. Drain Life is especially good for this (unless you are fighting mechanicals, because I am 99.9% sure they are immune). Bandages can help if you are in a pinch, or a Healthstone.

In raid situations, I generally tap as much as I like. The healers can cover my small amount of damage taken, and it is my responsibility to push out the biggest numbers I can possibly manage. If I have to drain or bandage, I am wasting valuable DPS. However, I also eat/drink during down times (locks who tap when healers are trying to mana up are just plain rude), and carry mana pots for boss fights (where I pot and tap at the same time – more bang for your buck!)

As for the gripes that warlocks have ‘endless mana pools and it isn’t fair!’, well…

My dear, I don’t give a damn.

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… and probably regretted it right afterwards hehe. I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a guest on an Episode of the Epic Dolls Podcast, talking about my favourite thing in the whole wide world… Warlocks!! I haven’t listened to it yet (I have a thing where I hate the sound of my own voice, not to mention I am kinda scared to hear what bloopers slipped out of my mouth while I was talking!) so I can’t guarantee that I said anything at all useful. Leala and Rae, however, were great! Many thanks again!

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So, the WotLK talents have been popped up on WI. Now, I still have a good mad on, but oh well, I am going to write about them anyway. I am sorry that this post is now going to look a touch Christmas-y, but I am going to highlight what I consider to be good changes in green, and bad ones in red. Of course, as always, keep in mind that these things can and will probably change before release! These are apparently 100% legitimate, but I am a cynic and still have reservations. If I am lucky enough to get a Beta invite, I guess I will know for sure!

  • Aftermath (Destruction) – Now a 2-point talent, down from 5 – definitely good for those of us who choose to spec in it, it was an absolute waste as a 5 point talent. I may even consider taking Aftermath now!
  • All demon abilities and spells will automatically be learned as pets gain levels. Demon Master trainers will be removed – Good I guess, although I did enjoy going to the Demon Master and purchasing my grimoires. I just think this takes a bit of flavour away from the class, and is completely unnecessary.
  • Blood Pact now works raid-wide (not just in party) - great for the poor lock who gets stuck with the tanks. However, this may not have such a significant impact with so many buffs becoming raid wide.
  • Cataclysm (Destruction) – Now also increases your chance to hit with Destruction spells by 1% per point – finally, a hit talent for Destruction locks! However, I do believe (in the current state of affairs) that this now advantages Destro locks more than Aff locks (since Aff locks do still use Shadowbolt, and thus need to be hit capped, while most Shadowmages don’t use Aff spells often). This could change though after release, with the game play changes – after all, play styles change significantly after expansions!
  • Curse of Recklessness will no longer prevent Fear effects, only prevent NPCs from fleeing (e.g. at low health) - makes fear kiting in instances much more difficult, and makes it an unreliable form of CC.
  • Dark Pact: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects – eh, new description.
  • Demon Armor – Now increases healing done by spells and effects by 20%, but no longer has in-combat health regeneration – I don’t know to be honest if this will make Demon Armor more appealing or even less appealing!
  • Demon Skin, Demon Armor and Fel Armor are no longer Magic effects and cannot be dispelled - excellent!
  • Fel Armor – Now increases your spell damage equal to 30% of your total Spirit, but no longer increases healing done by spells and effects by 20% - URGH, Spirit! Why this focus on Spirit!!! My healer friends were sad, because they liked to test on me for cheating personal best heals :) *MASSIVE NEW EDIT!!! I have heard rumours that the Spirit aspect of this merely replaces the +healing taken, not the plus damage component. If that’s true, it would be fricking awesome!*
  • Fel Stamina (Demonology) has been merged with Fel Intellect into Fel Vitality – logical in my opinion. Much better use of talent points.
  • Howl of Terror now costs 15% of base mana – currently costs 200 mana for rank 2. A Warlock’s base mana value is 2615, which makes this spell now cost approximately 390 mana (392.25 to be exact, but will no doubt be rounded). So, approximately doubled.
  • Improved Curse of Weakness (Affliction) is now “Frailty” – Increases the amount of attack power reduced by your Curse of Weakness spell by 10/20%, and increases the amount of armor reduced by your Curse of Recklessness by 10/20% – Two for one!
  • Improved Enslave Demon (Demonology) is now a Tier 5 talent, up from Tier 4 – More of a meh change in my opinion. I have never had Imp. Enslave, and have always gotten by just fine, so I am not sure how useful the spell is anyway.
  • Improved Lash of Pain (Destruction) and Improved Firebolt (Destruction) have been merged into one talent, Demonic Power – Great if they put something worthwhile in its place!
  • Improved Shadow Bolt (Destruction) – Now increases damage by your next Shadow damage spells by 3/6/9/12/15%, down from 4/8/12/16/20% – The wording of this makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed. Does the use of the word YOUR mean that this is going to become a caster-only debuff? Of course, less damage is not nice, but I suppose they want the other classes to catch up! :)
  • Mana Feed: Tooltip updated to be more consistent with other similar effects – Eh again… just the change of the words.
  • Master Demonologist – Felguard (Demonology) – Now increases all damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and reduces all damage done to you by 1/2/3/4/5% – much nicer than all resistances!
  • Master Demonologist – Imp (Demonology) – Now increases Fire damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Fire spells by 1/2/3/4/5% – an interesting change… the reduced threat was nice, but I am sure this will be considered equally nice!
  • Master Demonologist – Succubus (Demonology) – Now increases Shadow damage by 1/2/3/4/5%, and critical hit chance with Shadow spells by 1/2/3/4/5% – hmmm… very interesting indeed. I am not sure if it will end the Sac build, but the crit is nice. It is a large damage loss though (formerly 10% to all damage done, and if you sac’ed her, 15% to shadow damage).
  • Master Demonologist (Demonology) – Most effects have been altered – see above!
  • New Talent: Demonic Empowerment (Demonology) – Grants your Summoned Demon power for a short time – How much power? More details please!
  • New Talent: Eradication (Affliction) – Your Corruption, Siphon Life and Curse of Agony ticks have a 5/10/15% chance to increase your spell haste by 20% for 8 sec. This effect has a 10 second cooldown - That is a nice buff to the Affliction tree, with haste = more DoTs cast!
  • New Talent: Molten Core (Destruction) – Your Shadow spells and damage over time effects have a 5/10/15% chance to increase the damage of your Fire spells by 10% for 6 sec – A great way to get us to mix it up a little, and use more than one school. The end of SB Spam? We can only hope.
  • Pyroclasm (Destruction) – Now also includes Conflagrate – I never really bothered with Pyroclasm, and probably still wont.
  • Shadowfury (Destruction) – Can now be cast while moving. Stun duration increased to 3 seconds, up from 2 - a nice buff for PvP locks.
  • Soul Link (Demonology) is now an 11-point talent (used to be a 31-point talent), but the 5% bonus damage from this talent has been removed. In addition, the damage absorbed by Soul Link is now 15%, down from 20% – I suspect this may have been done to provide us with more versatility in our PvP builds. The damage loss is justified by its higher positioning.
  • Soul Siphon (Affliction): Now also increases the damage of your Drain Soul – makes sense!
  • Suppression (Affliction) is now a 3-point talent, down from 5. Now increases your chance to hit with Affliction spells by 1/2/3%, down from 1/2/3/4/5% – not sure about the reason for this change, although I still don’t find Suppression to be overly useful.
  • Unstable Affliction (Affliction): Silence effect reduced to 3 seconds, down from 5 – Not so great, but… oh well.

There is a fairly healthy mix of green in there, which looks promising. However, alot of the improvements seem to be fairly minor, while some of the nerfs are pretty huge. Things which I haven’t coloured I view as either insignificant, or I just can’t really make my mind up whether it is good or bad! I am still VERY disturbed by the mention of spirit. I am also concerned about the loss of the Paladin blessing Salvation. The new version looks to be fiddly, and altogether poor. Not sure why Blizz would nerf Salv… like it isn’t hard enough to pull aggro! Maybe tanks will be made uber in the expansion…

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I will admit, I was in a bit of a kerfuffle over what I should blog about the last couple of days (the lolcats didn’t give that away?) Well, after some discussion in the BA Chatroom, I have decided to share with you a strange and horrible secret -

I am not perfect.

Seriously… I am really, REALLY imperfect come to think of it. There are so many strange or stupid things which I have done, and odd things which I did not know.

1. I had immense trouble levelling fishing. When I was a wee low level warlock, I thought it might be a good idea to level fishing. Don’t ask me why, these things just strike me randomly. Well I purchased my fishing rod, and happily cast away in the Stormwind canals… again… and again… and again… to no avail. After about thirty minutes of this, I complained to my then partner “I can’t seem to level this fishing up!” Well, he came over, he had a look… and then informed me you actually have to CLICK the bobber when it, um, bobs.

2. First Aid is for Wimps: Go have a look at Sar’s Armory Page. I’ll wait. *whistles idlely* You back? Cool beans. You see what Sar’s First Aid skill is at? Yep, that’s right. It’s BAD. When I was levelling, I made a half hearted attempt to level first aid, but just found it to be too much trouble when I was using all my cloth for tailoring. Besides, I had drain life, right? And healthstones? Who needs silly bandages? And yes, I still raid with that horrible first aid skill, and look immensely guilty everytime they say “DPS, you will just have to bandage yourself”. Dang. I occasionally think of levelling it… but I never have the gold. It’s very sad indeed. If it makes you feel better – Hermia has full first aid!

3. How do you swim? For the longest time I just did not understand how you made your character dive underwater. I avoided all underwater quests for as long as I could, because I was just to afraid to ask. Eventually, someone told me. It also meant I could finally use Underwater Breathing – usefully! Huzzah!

4. When I hit 70 and learnt Seed of Corruption, for some reason I decided it was much better than normal Corruption… and so used it all the time.

5. I have, on occasion, soulstoned myself. Or a tank. Or even a random DPS!

6. I levelled destro. ‘Nuff said.

7. I foolishly brought a horse at some point, because you could buy it at a much lower level than you needed to ride it (not sure if this is still true). I thought I had found a loop hole in the system! Boy, did I feel stupid.

8. Believed someone for a second when they berated me for pulling aggro with my Life Tap. For those of you who do not know, Life Tap generates 0 threat (don’t believe me? see here). You can not pull aggro with Life Tap. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a total fool. These afore mentioned fools will always back up their argument with ‘My main is a 70 warlock, I would KNOW’. Stupid people. I just wish I had remembered their names so I could humiliate them (because I am mean like that). In fact, just to prove this… I am going to get Kalf to melee a mob, in Tree Form, with me just life tapping. I am sure if it pulled aggro, I could pull off a meleeing tree!

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The other day I said that enchanting a warlock is a fairly simple business. However, I guess it may not be all that simple to some of us! This is my guide to the enchants which I chose for Sar, why I chose them, and occasionally some viable alternatives which I think should be considered.

Helm: Glyph of Power.

Fairly easy to obtain, at what I consider to be a reasonable price (considering how rarely helms get replaced). I honestly don’t think there is any better out there.

Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Orb.

I am Scryer, so this is the obvious choice for me. Aldor warlocks can also go for Greater Inscription of Discipline. Both choices are almost equal, although I am a fan of the spell crit on mine!

Cloak: Subtlety

I wrote a fairly lengthy post on Subtlety, so I wont rewrite it all again!

Hands: Major Spellpower

Gloves are a tricky proposition, because there are 3 very viable enchants that you can have. At the moment I actually have Blasting on my gloves, which I think is almost as good as Major Spellpower. If hit is an issue for you, there is also Spell Strike, which is a great enchant to boost that all-important hit!

Chest: Exceptional Stats

I personally do not believe there are many good enchants out there for warlock chest pieces. Basically, you are torn between Exceptional Stats and Exceptional Health (Exceptional Mana is also a possibility if you are really lacking in that department!) The only reason I value Exceptional Stats over the Health is that you get the benefit of the plus to intellect, which does yield you that smidgen more crit.

Legs: Runic Spellthread

Runic Spellthread is simply the best caster enchant for legs that you can get, and is also cheap and easily available with Primal Nethers no longer being bind on pickup. If you are in the middle of gearing yourself up and don’t want to blow the gold on expensive leg enchants, you can also go for the much cheaper Mystic Spellthread.

Boots: Fortitude

At the moment, the jury is out on which boot enchant is the best – Fortitude or Vitality. The only reason I came down on the side of Fortitude is that it is a cheaper enchant, and a little bit of extra health never goes astray on a boss fight. Also, being the spec that I am, if I know that health is going to be an issue I sacrifice my voidwalker for the extra 200 health every four seconds.

Bracers: Spellpower

Obviously, once again the spell damage enchant is the best one to go for here.

Weapon: Soulfrost

There are 3 enchants which are viable for warlocks to have on their weapon: Soulfrost, Sunfire, and Major Spell Power. I had Major Spell Power for quite a long time, but when I got a weapon I was satisfied I would be keeping for a while (and I have had it for maybe, oh, 6 months?) I spent the gold and got Soulfrost put on it. Soulfrost would obviously be beneficial to most warlocks, however, our firey friends would clearly prefer a Sunfire enchant.

Oh, and if you really want to give it a test run… Deathfrost would be interesting, but I would suggest that the proc would not make up for the lost DPS.

Have fun with your enchanting! Oh, and enchanters, do not forget about your +12 spell damage to rings!

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So, I am sure that you have read all the changes to each of the classes already (I am a bit behind here, seeing as I got out of bed about 2 hours ago!). However, I think it is only fair that I subject you to MY view of all the fun and exciting things that Blizzard have done for us!


First and foremost, there is no plan to make any changes to shard farming as we know it. Do I have an issue with this? Heck no! I have never had an issue with farming soul shards, based on the following principles: A) Free reagents people! How can we complain about something which is ‘free’? B) As a raiding warlock, it is really not difficult to ensure that you have a sufficient amount of shards. I always try to enter a raid with 30-40 shards (I like to be prepared! I also know warlocks who go in with over 50) based on the principle that each death will cost me up to 3 shards. However, if I do run low, it’s pretty simple to farm more on trash as we go. I also know that there is NOTHING worse than that sinking feeling when you pull aggro, mash Soulshatter… and realise you have no shards. Jinkies!

However, this is not to say that I would not like to see changes to the soul shard system. First and foremost in my opinion is providing soul shard bags with an enhancement. Shard bags not helping the class in any other way is patently unfair. We are essentially forced to sacrifice a bag slot, just as hunters are. However, we do not reap any benefit from this apart from a slightly larger shard bag. Bring our bags in line with quivers!

The two announced class changes are very interesting indeed. The first of these is an ability called Demonic Circle, where we can scribe a circle in the ground and teleport back to it later. While it does sound interesting, I would really like to know more about it before I judge its viability in a PvE situation. How long does the circle last? Does it have ‘charges’, or can we only return to it once? I will admit I didn’t even consider the PvP applications initially (I just don’t think that way), but Daniel Whitcomb has that well and truly covered I believe over at WI. The only initial PvE use that I could think of was for bosses like Shade of Aran, if you were too slow/lazy to run to the outside. I suppose it could also be useful on fights like Prince, allowing you to place a circle in a common ‘safe spot’ and then zip over to it when necessary.

Demon Form is the other announced change. A Demonic Form will be the 51 point Demonology talent (makes sense, hey?), and the big news is that they will have an AoE shadowbolt ability. I am still a little dubious about this myself, and once again I really do want to know more before I make an adequate assessment. Initial impressions have me seeing this as a PvP talent, but this could change as more abilities are discussed. One major question is ‘Is it banishable?’


The changes to Druids are covered in much better depth than what I could ever aspire to across the Druid blogosphere. So, I will just say the one thing I am excited about:

Dire Cat! Huzzah!…(oh… and the Dire forms will look a little different). Dire Cat might add some viability to kitty DPS in raids (well, maybe it IS viable, and I just suck at it. Although, I was impressed with Hermia’s DPS output yesterday when she was catting it up – 480DPS! I think it’s nothing to sneeze at based on her gear!)

Other Classes

Some of the changes to other classes also are great buffs to every class (especially Shaman changes!). The two most notable ones are Shaman Totems providing a raid wide buff (as opposed to being party based), and Windfury no longer being a weapon buff (advantaging Druids and Rogues notably). Huzzah!

Best change overall: Best in show goes to the Hunters. Yay for Pet Talents!

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As you all know, I recently (as in yesterday) got back into the arena side of things. And I did awesomely, with a grand total of 2 wins and 10 losses on my 2v2, and 2 wins, 8 losses on my 3v3. What can I say, I am an arena star!

Anyway, arenaing naturally leads one to look at the gear that you dream of getting, but know you will never attain when you are a total scrub like myself. I knew this before, but doing more arena reminded me of an old gripe that I have had: Warlock Sets.

Why is it that Blizzard deems it appropriate for Warlocks to have two sets for PvP, but only one set for PvE? I have always been jealous of those classes who get more than one set for different specs. I want lots of shiny Tier pieces! I want to be able to take a token for ‘off set’ over and over. Of course, you may argue that there isn’t as much differentiation between Warlock specs as there is, say, Warrior specs. You would be right. I would argue, however, that there is enough differentiation between Warlock specs to warrant more than one set.

For argument’s sake, let us look at the existing sets. In arena, there are two Warlock sets for each season, and these work around two very basic principles.

1. A Damage/Crit set: Obviously for our pewpew Warlocks!

2. A Damage set: Higher spell damage than the Damage/Crit set, this is aimed at our feardotdot Warlocks.

This works quite well, as it allows people to gear to their spec. For instance, because I am of the feardotdot school of PvP Warlocks, I will aim for pieces which are straight spell damage. Crit for DoTs, as we all know, is useless (DoTs don’t crit!)

Then, on the other hand, we have the PvE sets.

Tier 4: Voidheart Raiment: The Voidheart set I believe is fairly balanced across the board. The two set bonus is my favourite bonus across all sets, and is useful for anyone. Plus damage always makes me smile! The 4 set bonus is great for Affliction locks, but useful for most every spec. At this gear level, I believe most shadow mage specced locks would still be using Immolate. If you are not, then the 4 set bonus is clearly useless.

VERDICT: Across the board, leaning towards Affliction.

Tier 5: Corruptor Raiment: The two set bonus here is out and out demonology. In particular, it’s a total waste for shadow mages like myself, as I do not have a pet. The four set bonus is also craptacular for shadow mages, but is nice for Affliction locks and some Demonology locks (especially any locks with insta Corruption). It would also be great for Fire Locks.

VERDICT: Demonology is favoured, Affliction and Fire Locks do well out of the 4 set bonus, and Shadow Mages are left hung out to dry.

Tier 6: Malefic Raiment: The two set bonus again favours Affliction, Demonology, and Fire Locks. Shadow mages who don’t use DoTs (or use limited DoTs) gain no benefit from this. However, the four set bonus is again fantastic for all classes. More plus damage? Yes please!

VERDICT: Realistically, great for all classes. However, the 2 set bonus is not especially great for shadow mages. However, on fights where healing was a foreseen issue, I am sure it wouldn’t be hard to whack up a DoT or two.

Clearly the set bonuses tend to favour one spec over another for each set. However, the itemisation of the raid sets is also a concern in my opinion. I believe that there should be a choice between gear that has crit on it, and gear that has more damage and no crit. At the bare minimum those two options should be present. Not all warlocks want crit. We are already able to select non-crit based weapons, why should we be stuck with essentially ‘useless’ crit on gear? If our PvPing brethren can choose between crit and damage based gear, then our PvE friends should be able to as well. It would also mean warlocks no longer felt they ‘had’ to spec a certain way because that is the way the gear pushes us. Is it just me who thinks this would be more fair?

Edit: I know the links aren’t to the sets, and I apologise. I thought it would be more beneficial to have the Wowhead mouse overs of an individual piece to show the set bonuses. Apologies for any inconvenience!

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As you all know, Sar has come to a bit of a crossroads in her progression. Recently, I was also informed that the guild’s raid times have been changed to an earlier start, which means that it is going to be increasingly difficult for me to make raids on time (since it translates to raid starts being at 11.30am for me, and that is really not practical). So, I have 4 options:

  1. Quit raiding and go back to casual 5 manning and Kara-ing: Not especially appealing to do on Sar, because I can do this on Hermia with much more satisfaction.
  2. Try and make raids: I CAN plausibly make the required raids, but it means that I need to commit hours during the day which I would rather spend doing ‘real life stuff’
  3. Look for a new guild: There are two guilds on Cenarius that raid hours which are fantastic for me (WipE and Demons Downunder). Both of these guilds also have good reputations on Cenarius, so it would certainly not be a matter of the only available guilds being filled with asshats.
  4. Find an alternative to raiding: Start focusing on arena or battlegrounds on Saresa, or make Hermia my main.

Point number 3 is a difficult one a couple of reasons. I am an exceedingly shy person, and I do have trouble getting to know new people. Being in raids with people I do not know makes me nervous, and when I am nervous I make a lot of silly mistakes. This is hardly ideal when you are trying to make a good impression on new guildmates! Also, I have perhaps an extreme sense of loyalty. I feel bad for contemplating the idea of leaving the people who geared me up and helped me along!

So, for now, i think I have settled for point number 4. This means that I am going to spend a bit of time experimenting with different arena specs, but for now am leaning towards trading my cookie cutter Succy Sac spec for a cookie cutter SL/SL spec (because I will be doing 2v2 battles with Kalf, our friendly neighbourhood resto druid). Of course, because I am a total noob at PvP, I am happy to hear tips from some friendly arena lovers out there!

So, instead of working hard for the loot, I will be working hard for the glory! I am not focusing on gear here, instead on just honing my skills and learning something along the way. Perhaps being a bit inventive and creative and coming up with different ways of killing suckers some other undoubtedly nice people. I will certainly keep you all posted.

P.S. My sister is watching Sex and the City… again. She purchased all six seasons, and is currently half way through. I am going insane. Save me!

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Yay, the 2.4.3 patch notes are up. While there’s lots of exciting things for everyone, I am just going to focus on the warlock related stuff. Sorry my image is so small, narrow columns and all that!

The most important one in my opinion is the removal of Curse of Shadows, and the adding of it’s effects to Curse of Elements. I have to admit, I am somewhat suspicious of this change (yes, I am a cynic). While it will make life easier in 5man instances and raids which are low on warlocks, it just seems somewhat unusual to me to be getting something which makes our lives easier. With nothing that makes life more difficult. Hmmmm…. something to ponder!

The Summon Felsteed at 30 is also wonderful for you levelling locks out there, and brings warlocks into line with the changes to mounts. Just think – no more STV on foot!


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Back on to warlocky goodness, today’s little post is about the enchant ‘Subtlety‘. It’s a pretty basic, yet pricey, enchant. It is applied to Cloaks, and reduces threat to the wearer by 2%. Now, 2% might not sound like much at all to you, but sometimes it is enough to save your scrawny little warlock rear.

I recently got an upgrade to my cloak. Now, in all honesty, I should not be wearing my new cloak, because I haven’t gotten it enchanted yet. However, me being the little damage loving freak that I am, wanted to do more DPS darn it! I could have shelled out the gold for it, but I am in the midst of one of my stingy ‘will farm all mats!’ phases since I am perpetually poor. So, I have been raiding with my new, unenchanted cloak. Nasty stuff.

In my spec I have an inherent 10% threat reduction to my Destruction spells through the talent Destructive Reach. Since I only use Destruction spells (excepting Curse of Doom where appropriate), it basically means I generate 10% less threat. In raids, I also have Greater Blessing of Salvation on at all times, which is another 30% threat reduction. So I have 37% threat reduction (38% with Subtlety) *See comment below for the math, thanks heaps Higgins!* . Why is this 2% so important you ask?

First, because I like to gloat, lets look at the damage meter for our fight against Morogrim Tidewalker yesterday.

Now, if I was an intelligent creature, I also would have also screened the ‘threat’ part of the damage meter. Since I didn’t, we will just have to work with what we have. For this fight, most of my DPS was on the boss – so one tank had to consistently stay above me in threat to hold aggro. For the AoE parts of the fight, I was water tombed, or just plain ignorant, so I did very little AoE damage. The vast majority of my time was spent on Tidewalker.

On the threat meter, much of my time was spent hovering between just below the MT, to above him but just short of the ‘pull’ mark. Since monsters are lazy, ranged DPS can exceed the MT’s threat by up to 29.9% before pulling aggro (monsters just can’t be assed running!). I had determined that I would try and save Soulshatter to when Morogrim was at 50%, because the length of the cooldown is so prohibitive. This meant that I did have some times where I had to ease up on the pedal and let the tank get a bit more of a lead. Time not casting is lost DPS, lost DPS means the whole raid is disadvantaged. So the extra 2% threat reduction means perhaps an extra cast. A little less dependence on Soulshatter. A bit more of an advantage to the raid. Think of it as a +damage enchant even!


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