As a Demonologist, I have been having some trouble staying focused in Wrath. Both of my roommates dabble in Warcraft (actually, one of them more than doubles, he eats, sleeps and bathes in Warcraft), and play a Paladin and a Hunter. I hear no shortage of “HOLYGODIJUSTGOTTHEBIGGESTHEALI’VEEVERSEEN!” and “Wow, being a hunter is basically just cheating (in regards to soloing group quests, which I heartily recommend trying, every group quest recommended for only two I’ve found most classes may be able to solo, I did Last Rites on my own at 73, so anythings possible)”, and I often find myself thinking “so I paid for this whole new continent and got…what?”. The short answer is nothing. Demonology got zilch. I didn’t have to even add a spell to my UI, there’s no new button to press, my raid is still exactly the same: Curse of Choice, Immolate, Corruption, SB-SB-SB etc. Sure, I have ten more talent points to spend different ways, but how useful are those talents available to me anyways?
Metamorphosis is a flat 3% damage increase in a raid environment (and badass looking, and possibly the best aoe tool in the game), but really not all that attractive, considering it’s current opportunity cost is Devastation, which provides nearly an equal amount of bonus damage. Now, most people would tell you otherwise; but here’s why:
Devastation changes your stat priorities, and encourages haste stacking. How? Well, it encourages keeping up ISB as much as possible, and since ISB no longer applies to DoT’s, it encourages getting as many crits-after-the-crit as possible. and this can be done by stacking haste to get as many SB’s in on a mob as possible, making ruin scale even better. This is why I plan on using the oft ignored 50/21 spec. This spec allows for all my possible spell power needs to be taken care of through my demon, and even better, encourages Mages to toss me Focus Magic. This gives me the the ability to become a crit slamming machine, getting out as many high crit chance, high damage bolts as possible. It carries the benefits of having Demonic Pact for your raid, high demon survivability, and lots and lots of Shadow Bolt crits, but it will cost you the survivability of Metamorphosis, and it’s AOE ability, and possibly the sheer damage of 41/30 Felguard/Fire, though it benefits from having CoE up.
Sure, this is partly becaue I am one of the only locks planning to raid in my guild, but it has the benefit of bringing all the possible buffs to my raid.
Anyways, off that rant, back to my original rant, at 75, I gained Shadow Flame, which doesn’t even deserve linking, it’s not bad, it’s just…not what warlocks needed. It’s not Ice Lance of shadow (which is what warlocks needed). A conal shadow/fire instant cooldowned, short ranged, mini-nuke/DoT is not very useful. Sure, it sets off SoC, but when I’m staring up at a big ol boss baddie, it’s never something my finger will drift to press. Then, I got Demonic Teleport. Well, to put bluntly, it’s just blink, but worse. Sure, it can save raid wipes, and sure, it may be fun to pop around, but wouldn’t it be nice to have something even a tenth as useful as SoC that we got at 70. SoC was (and is) one of my most frequently pressed buttons, Demonic Teleport made it onto bar 4, barely.
Overall, I am very displeased with the changes given to warlocks, in that I believe that overall warlocks are going to be pigeon-holed into certain spec’s if they wish to DPS competently, which will be remarkably similar to what Blizzard said they would try to avoid, in fact, that Ghostcrawler explicitly stated that would indicate a failure on their part.
Overall, I feel satisfied, but far from ecstatic about playing the character that so much work has gone into already.
Well, As my first two posts have been PVE oriented, I will throw in some thoughts about the realm of player versus player combat, and why I think warlocks shouldn’t bother with it.
“What? Warlocks? NOT PVP!?” The short answer is yes…
The long answer is resilience. (WARNING: The long answer is wordy)
Resilience has hit no class harder than the warlock, because it affects all of our possibilities for damage, a warlock has three tools to bring firey hurt and shadowy pain upon their enemies: damage over time spells, direct damage spells, and pets. Resilience nerfs all three of these, and hard.
Damage over times spells are much like a rogue or warrior’s auto attack, all one has to do is land them and barring them being disspelled, they tick for damage, regardless of what the warlock is doing. They are then reduced by up to 12.5%, making killing somone with them very very difficult, as they don’t do damage very quickly, they just provide a constant stream of it. With DoTs being reduced by resilience a warlocks effective auto-attack is then reduced by resilience.
Our direct damage spells; Shadow Bolt, Incinerate, and to an extent Immol/Conflagr-ate, and then reduced by resilience in that their crit chance, and damge dealt is reduced significantly. Not to mention that we have to stand in one place for numerous seconds to cast them.
Our pets don’t gain any bonus from resilience, and die very very quickly in PVP because of it, so, they too are an unreliable source of damage to other players.
No other class in the game is hit this way; Mages have a number of instant casts and snares to keep their targets at range while dealing damage to them, albeit slowly. Mages also have a much more reliable CC than warlocks with Polymorph. Priests, while they do have DoTs as their main source of damage, have up to a 15% crit multiplier on Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death, which makes up a little bit for the resilience nerf to their crit rate, but also have the ability to snare, heal, shield and dispell. Hunters have a number of snares as well as a stun via their pet that doesn’t have to be used at range. Hunter pets can also be respec’d for more PVP worthy talents. Rogues and Warriors and Paladins have auto attacks, which are not reduced by resilience, and often have very high crit rates to offset their target’s resilience, and Shaman have snares, heals, and a speed increase. Druids have a number of things, Autoattack, Moonfire, and HoTs.
Warlocks are the odd ones out, as we have no damaging instant casts that can reliably be used in an arena.
Warlocks are forced to be the only DPS class not expected to deal damage in an arena, they are instead expected to outlast their opponent, slowly LoSing them until they run out of health and mana which was slowly drained to the warlock.
I agree that before Resilience affected DoTs Affliction was very powerful, possibly overly powerful in arenas, but with the changes made, Warlocks are now, in theory, the worst pvp class, in that they are hit the hardest by the new pvp stat that everyone in an arena is stacking.
Really, the only possibility to fix this would be to revert the changes to Resilience to not affect DoT’s. Warlocks would then have the choice of whether they are a dps class, or a tanking class in arenas. They would have the capability to kill somone if they needed too, which they sorely lack now, a SL/SL warlock does laughable amounts of damage.
I hope all one of you enjoyed my post about the glory that is Demonic Pact, so now I’ll indulge that little pyromaniac in all of you, and talk about the new destruction tree. It is all about Burnination. Lots and lots of constant fire damage, not just from you, but from your little pewpew’ing imp too.
The build I plan to try out at 80 (because it looks like a whole lot of hurt) is this. It variates from the “OMG PRESS SHADOWBOLT HARDER! (With a touch of Immolate)” style of play that 21/40 destro seems to encourage.
Instead It seems to encourage an Immo, Incin x 5, CB, Conflag, Repeat, all the while, letting your demonic little machine gun rip on your target.
With this, your immolate, and first two Incinerates come at an insanely fast cast time, after a Conflag with a crazy chance to crit. The Chaos Bolt in this rotation still depends on whether or not it will be pve viable at all.
All of that, with the imp damage will certainly be something to be reckoned with.
Last post I talked about the wondrous gift blizzard bestowed on Demonologists with Demonic Pact, well, lets just say it’s good somone in the raid will still have it, because destruction continues to bring nothing to the raiding table but shorter boss fights I suppose.
All in all, I shy away from destro in TBC because it was the spam spec, the way it looks now, careful balances of haste and watching of timers will lead to victory for destruction warlocks, pressing just one button, even a macro, won’t cut it anymore.
Turning the highest dps caster into a skill spec from a spam spec… I say Bravo Blizzard!
Well, as the summer comes to an end, and WotLK draws closer and closer, a ton of warlocks have been wondering how they are going to function in raids come lvl 80. (It looks like their reign of EZ-Mode Bolt spam to the top of the charts is over.)
It looks like the three trees are keeping their individual roles:
Affliction will be debuffs and DoT damage,
Demonology will be master and pet synergy,
Destruction will be… outright destruction.
The big difference I notice comes to the talents in the demonology tree, where late talents such as Demonic Pact bring a certain buffing aspect to the demonology tree. Well, actually, that is the only group buffing talent late in the tree, but it is so good, it could count for multiple talents!
Lets look at it with Bristinie shall we?
Thooghun has 5% crit from his agility at level 70, I would go so far as to say that will remain constant at 80, he then gets 5% crit from Demonic Tactics, so ten percent overall, self buffed. Well, lets say we toss in Improved Demonic Tactics, I have 21% crit (25% for shadow bolts with Devastation), So lets give Thooghun an additional 4% to crit (it isn’t 7% because putting 3 points there means you can’t get to max out Demonic Pact and get to Ruin) Now we’re looking at 14% chance to crit, before a single raid buff gets tossed in. With just a paladin’s Heart of the Crusader talent, that gets bumped up to 17% chance to crit, not bad at all. With a 2.0 weapon speed (assuming we don’t get haste scaling) we’re looking at a crit every 12 seconds if you’re lucky.
Well, lets go take a look at the Demonic Pact duration again… 12 seconds… interesting… So this could really turn out to be nearly a 10% increase in spell damage for you.
Well, what could it be for the raid you wonder? lets ask Aetherial Circle!
“Hey guys, who has more Spell Damage than 1505 raid buffed?”
“[Über leet mage]?”
Yeah, he has a bit more, but he could dps naked and probably still beat us, he’s that good.
So, since Demonology Warlocks scale the worst with spell damage, but have the most, giving 10% of their damage to the raid is even better!
So, Demonology Warlocks could possibly give to the raid up to 200 spell damage.
Is it just me, or is that the best caster buff in the game?
Hello everyone, thank you for coming to read my blog, and unfortunately, I haven’t written anything for it yet.
So there is my first post, which I can proudly say I have avoided writing, lets hope I whip up another for TP before I decide it’s time to put something up here!