Warlords of Draenor: Warlock Racials and Ability Bloat

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Well, the other day we had an influx of information from the Blizzard devs about the new racials in WoD. Most of them have been redesigned, as hit and expertise are going away, and various racial bonuses are to those two stats. Also, we have a bit of information about what abilities may be going away in order to reduce ability bloat (and also to reduce the amount of CC in the game!)

So, let’s have a look at the racial changes first shall we? Starting with:

BLOOD ELF
Arcane Acuity is a new passive racial that increases crit by 1%. That’s a pretty simple bonus, and while it currently benefits Destruction only (mastery and haste benefit Affliction and Demonology WAY more than crit), we’ve been assured that ALL secondary stats will be made more beneficial for ALL specs, so this is a wait-and-see if this is a benefit.

Arcane Torrent is still a silence and interrupt (the latter only on non-player units), but the 2% mana restoration is now a 3% restoration! I’d treat it as a second life tap, I guess, though not as powerful. It’s good for the interrupt though, currently we only have Spell Lock from our feldogs (or Optic Blast from the upgraded version, the observer). Of course, Demonology also gets Carrion Swarm, but frankly I forget I have that sometimes.

DWARF
Might of the Mountain is a new ability that replaces the mace specialization of old. It’s a pretty powerful new passive ability, being a 2% bonus to crit damage which Destruction warlocks will absolutely love but other specs might not be raving about. Still, any bonus is a good bonus, right? It’s important to clarify that this is crit DAMAGE, not crit CHANCE.

Stoneform removes magic and curse effects, in addition to what it could before, but you can’t use it when CC’d. Seems pretty simple to me. Something you’d use to remove a nasty debuff. Dwarves look pretty good at the moment!

GNOME
Expansive Mind is unchanged for warlocks.

Escape Artist‘s cooldown is down to 1 minute. Useful for breaking out of those slows!

Shortblade Specialization has been replaced with Nimble Fingers, which is a flat 1% increase to haste. Again, a pretty simple benefit. All three specs’ll be happy with that, as haste is brilliant for Demo and Affliction, and shares honors with crit for Destro.

GOBLIN
Time is Money used to increase spell haste, now it’s a flat 1% increase to haste. What’s the difference? Well, you’ll cast slightly faster, as before, but all the other benefits of haste will take effect, namely shortening your GCD, affecting RPPM benefits (usually trinkets), and suchlike. Haste also increases the mana regen of Destruction!

HUMAN
An interesting one, this. The Human Spirit used to increase the spirit stat by 3%, which is pretty straight forward, though useless for a warlock. In Warlords of Draenor, it’s a passive bonus to two secondary stats of your choice. This is pretty damn cool! The EXACT numbers are unclear, though apparently it scales with your level. Whether it’s a competitive-enough bonus remains to be seen.

ORC
Hardiness reduces stun effects by 10%. It used to be 15%. Pretty self-explanatory. They have a 2% pet damage boost, but they had that anyway. Axe Specialization is going bye-bye, but warlocks don’t use axes, sadly.

TROLL
Ah, the race everyone seemed to want to be. The race that seems to have the most severe changes! Berserking sees a 5% drop in power, to a 15% boost to haste. Still good, still stacks with Dark Soul, and still useful for Affliction and Demonology. It’s not a crippling drop by any stretch. With haste breakpoints gone, it might not be a massive deal, but 15% is not anything to turn your nose up at.

Beast Slaying is changed. Trolls had a massive benefit to their performance thanks to this talent, which increased damage against beasts by 5%. A number of bosses, adds and trash packs were beast types, and though 5% doesn’t sound much, over the course of an encounter it adds up. What’s it changing to? A 20% bonus to experience gained from killing a beast. Yay for levelling, boo for when you get to max level. Does this mean we’ll see everyone race change to orcs? Maybe even DWARVES? Probably not.

UNDEAD
Will of the Forsaken‘s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2. Simples.

At the time of typing, WORGEN racials are unchanged, and while the human racial Every Man For Himself sees no changes, it’s not that they’re not looking at it, it’s that they’re unsure of what to do with it. Watch this space?

WARLOCK ABILITY BLOAT
To be honest, thanks to the revamp warlocks saw at the end of Cataclysm, it’s unlikely we’ll see too much upheaval in our abilities, as our 3 specs are pretty streamlined anyway. We are seeing some changes though.

  • Disarm abilties are gone. This means our Voidwalker/Voidlord’s Command Demon ability is gone. We don’t yet know what it’s being replaced with; maybe its Grimoire of Sacrifice ability?
  • Pet-cast CC is more limited, and in some cases has been removed. This probably affects the Succubus/Shivarra abilities.

This is all we know for sure so far. What could we see removed from warlocks though? Bear in mind this is pure speculation on my part!

  • Curse of the Elements. Perhaps it could be baked into one of our abilities, like how rogues apply it? I’d lump it in with Immolate/Corruption. While it’s active on a mob, they take extra magic damage.
  • Create Healthstone. We have Create Soulwell, just summon one and click it, and watch as others try to do the same, despite not being in a group with you! Hilarity ensues!
  • I’m clutching at straws here. As I mentioned before, we were pretty streamlined back when we got revamped. Perhaps Malefic Grasp could change to Drain Soul when your target is 20% health? Obviously, this would mean you wouldn’t be able to regenerate soul shards at will, so maybe introduce a passive that grants us a soul shard every 15-20 seconds or so?

Well, that’s enough speculation on my part. As a reward, have a picture of my panda!

SAILING

She’s now level 90, so perhaps my next transmog post will be about her?

Quick and Dirty Guide: Level 70 Raid Soloing (Part 1)!

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Ah, the Burning Crusade. Some of the fights in this expansion were a little more sophisticated than the previous batch, and there are three absolutely dastardly fights that can catch you out if you’re not prepared (heh, no Illidan is not one of them).

And yes, one of these fights isn’t a fight.

KARAZHAN

12 bosses. Only 1 poses any threat to you, and not in the traditional sense.

Notable bosses

Attumen the Horseman: Notable for only one reason: He drops the Fiery Warhorse’s Reins. It’s like a 1% drop chance. Have fun.

Opera Event (Red Riding Hood): The opera event changes each week (and I believe it’s random across characters too, so your warlock may get one event, your warrior a different one). The Red Riding Hood version has a chance to drop a battle pet item, the Spiky Collar (Lil’ Bad Wolf)

Nightbane: This one requires some faffing around to be able to summon him in the first place. Firstly, be honored with the Violet Eye. You then pick up a quest called Medivh’s Journal from Archmage Alturus. Follow that long and boring quest chain, and then you will be able to summon this underwhelming boss once a week. Huzzah.

The Curator: He drops the Menagerie Custodian battle pet.

Prince Malchezaar: Drops the Netherspace Abyssal battle pet. He also drops Gorehowl, if you’re interested in that.

Chess Event: Here’s the toughie. Here’s one of those dastardly fights I mentioned earlier. It’s also the “not a fight” fight. You basically play chess against Medivh, only the guy is a cheating bastard. I cannot guarantee this strategy will work for you, but personally, I haven’t lost with it yet. Remember, unit movements are not bound by ACTUAL chess rules.

Enter your king. Hero/Lust. Exit king.
Move both pawns in front of your knights forward one square.
Move your rooks diagonally 2 squares.
Move the pawns in front of your king and queen.
Occupy the queen, kill anything that gets close. Spam attack the enemy king if you can. When Medivh cheats, move the queen out the flame, exit her, move the king out, hero/lust, then go back to the queen.
Collect loot.

There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

MAGTHERIDON’S LAIR

The fight is a non-issue. Literally the only notable thing here is that he drops a 20-slot bag, which is nice.

GRUUL’S LAIR

Gruul himself is another non-issue. Nuke the bastard. The previous boss is a slightly different matter, however.

High King Maulgar: This fight has a kill priority. You face 5 enemies simultaneously. Kill Olm the Summoner first to stop the constant fearing, then either Blindeye or Krosh (to stop the healing or the polymorphing respectively). Kiggler is your 4th target, and Maulgar your 5th.

This fight is only tough if you let the CCers live too long. Don’t let them. Think of this as a training session for part of the Kael’thas fight.

SERPENTSHRINE CAVERN

An easy place to solo, up to a point. You can skip all the bosses and go straight to Lady Vashj, but bear in mind Hydross the Unstable and Morogrim Tidewalker (as well as Vashj herself) drop battle pets.

Notable bosses

Fathom-Lord Karathress: You wanna nuke him down very quickly, as his Cataclysm Bolt attack deals 5000 damage, +10% of your maximum health. That’s a lot. If you need to, kill his adds first, this’ll prevent interruptions. Just don’t dally! Clear all trash before engaging him.

Lady Vashj: This is the second of the tough Burning Crusade bosses. Back before 5.4 changed how Mannoroth’s Fury works, I’d have used that talent, but now I’d recommend Kil’jaeden’s Cunning, as you’re gonna be moving a lot. First phase is easy. Nuke her. Third phase is easy, nuke her. It’s the time in between that is the frustrating part.

She stands in the middle, and creates a shield that renders her immune to all attacks. The shield is powered by 4 generators, you need to deactivate them one by one with an item called Tainted Core. These drop from Tainted Elementals. One spawns every 30 seconds or so, throws a few bolts at you, then despawns. Zoom out as far as you can, and try and discern where the bolt comes from (it’s bright green). Go over to them (Burning Rush if you need to) and nuke them. I’d go petless for this fight, as your demon has a habit of going over and twatting them to death, preventing you from looting it. While you are holding a core, no more Tainted Elementals will spawn, so use it promptly by clicking on one of the generators.

There are three other adds in this fight. Enchanted Elementals spawn from the outside of the platform and walk (do they walk? Hover?) towards Vashj. When they reach her, they die and put a buff on her that increases her damage output by 10%. It stacks to 99. Ouch. Try and kill as many as you can while waiting for the Tainted Elemental to spawn.

Coilfang Elites are naga that run to you and slow you. Kill them. Coilfang Striders are annoying lanky monsters that fear you. Kill them VERY QUICKLY. They’re disruptive.

Once you have deactivated the shield, it becomes a frenetic “kill her before she kills me” kinda deal, as she’ll be hitting VERY hard. Frankly, with my warlock’s health (840k when using GoSac & Soul Link together) I can let Vashj get to 99 stacks and not really feel much from her, but lower geared characters will wanna pop their damage-reducing cooldowns here, as well as their offensive ones, and kill this fishy bitch before she manages to nuke you.

And with that, I am done. Next time, we’re causing a setback in Tempest Keep, getting prepared for the Black Temple, getting immensely bored in the Battle for Mount Hyjal, and pushing Kil’jaeden back through the Sunwell!

Screw You, Shaohao

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What next?

Quick and Dirty Guide: Level 60 Raid Soloing!

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Honestly, there’s very little level 60 content that should give you any problems at level 90, but here’s a small guide anyway.

MOLTEN CORE

Lucifron: Has an annoying curse that increases ability cost by 100%. Nuke him before he can cast it. Drops T1 gloves for warlocks and warriors, and T1 boots for druids, paladins, mages and shaman.

Magmadar: Nuke! Easy. Drops T1 legs, and the Blazing Rune, which teaches you to summon a Corefire Imp battlepet!

Gehennas: Nuke. Drops T1 gloves for rogues, shaman, priests and paladins, and T1 boots for warrior and hunter.

Garr: Nuke. Has a habit of smacking you around the place. Drops T1 headgear, and the Bindings of the Windseeker, one of the items needed to create THUNDERFURY, BLESSED BLADE OF THE WINDSEEKER!

Shazzrah: Nuke. Yawn. Drops T1 gloves for mages, druids and hunters, and T1 booties for priests, rogues and warlocks.

Baron Geddon: One of only two enemies that pose any real threat, and that’s due to his Living Bomb ability that knocks you into the air. You go up so high, you take fall damage. Still not a threat. Drops the 2nd half of the Bindings of the Windseeker, and T1 shoulders for shaman, warlocks, druids, paladins and mages.

Golemagg: Nuke. Notable loot includes Sulfuron Ingot, needed to make Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, Core of Hardened Ash, which allows you to summon an Ashstone Core battlepet, as well as T1 chest armor.

Sulfuron Harbinger: Noticing a pattern here? NUKE! Drops the summon item for the Harbinger of Flame battlepet, and T1 shoulder armor for hunters, priests, rogues and warriors.

Executus: DON’T nuke Executus! Nuke everything else instead. Drops literally nothing interesting. Wanker.

Ragnaros: Nuke, but be wary of Wrath of Ragnaros. It knocks back, and may cause fall damage. Drops T2 leg armor, as well as the Eye of Sulfuras, which is needed to create Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. He also drops Aegis of Stormwind, which isn’t really notable, other than being a nice shield!

BLACKWING LAIR

A couple bosses here may give you issues here, but more on that in a sec. Damn near everything else is a nukefest. 3 battlepets drop here, from Razorgore, Broodlord Lashlayer, and Chromaggus. Blackwing Technicians drop Elementium Ingots, needed to craft Thunderfury.

Tier 2 Armor Drops
Head/Chest: Nefarian
Shoulder: Chromaggus
Gloves: Flamegor/Ebonroc/Firemaw
Boots: Broodlord Lashlayer
Waist: Vaelastrasz the Corrupt
Bracers: Razorgore the Untamed

Notable Bosses

Razorgore: With this encounter, before you can attack the boss itself, you need to kill the enemies on the platform to the left of the entrance, then use the orb to control the boss. You then run around destroying all the eggs. Sounds easy? It’s not! Adds will start pouring in and will attack Razorgore and yourself. You want them to attack YOU. Each class has different methods for getting passive aggro, warlocks for example can use Grimoire of Sacrifice. It heals you every few seconds, generating healing aggro that makes the adds focus on you.

So what I do is activate whatever ability I’ll use to get aggro from adds (GoSac, Eternal Flame, Riptide, Renew, whatever your class does!), then I control Razorgore, kill the eggs furthest away from my character, you should be able to kill roughly half of them before the mind control wears off. AoE the adds around me to alleviate any pressure on me, then use the orb again. Kill the remaining eggs, which’ll cause the adds to leave, and Razorgore to attack you. Then it becomes a simple nuke!

Vaelastrasz the Corrupt: Not a difficult boss by any stretch of the imagination anymore, but back in the day he was apparently a MASSIVE block for a lot of guilds, and was known as the “guild killer” of Vanilla WoW. This solo is a DPS race that you will most likely win, unless you’re insistent on doing it as a healer or something. After a short amount of time has elapsed in the encounter, he’ll put Burning Adrenaline on you. This doubles your damage and makes all your spells instant casts, with one MAJOR caveat: every second that passes will reduce your maximum health by 5%, and when 20 seconds have elapsed, you die. Just blow everything you have on the boss, and enjoy your run back afterwards. Warlocks and Shamans can Soulstone/Reincarnate themselves, saving them the run!

Chromaggus: This is a relatively easy fight, to be honest, but some classes will struggle with it. Periodically, he’ll inflict debuffs called Brood Afflictions on you. There’s 5, and when all of them are on you, you’ll be mind controlled. When solo, this means the encounter resets and you get to stand there for like 5 minutes until it wears off. Yawn! If you’ve been looting the trash throughout the place, you’ll have picked up Hourglass Sand. Using this removes the Bronze affliction, and you have to remove the others yourself. Naturally, some classes won’t be able to do this as easily as others.

The other hindrance with Chromaggus is something you may notice if you target him before he’s pulled. He has a buff on him that gives him a MASSIVE vulnerability to a certain school of magic, but makes him very resistant to the others. When you see the message “Chromaggus’ skin begins to shimmer” his weakness changes. To trivialise the encounter entirely, you can wait until he has a weakness to whatever school of magic you use, then go crazy. See how high you can get your Chaos Bolt damage!

RUINS OF AHN’QIRAJ

Literally nothing here poses a threat. Bosses drop tokens which, along with scarabs you collect in the dungeon, can be turned in to some NPCs outside the instance for class-specific items. A ring, a cloak, and a weapon. NEXT!

TEMPLE OF AHN’QIRAJ

Some things here pose a threat though! The bosses of this place also drop tokens, which you can hand in to a few NPCs along with scarabs near the start of the dungeon, to acquire the “tier 2.5” armor, which is quite a distinctive set for characters, designed after the insectoid inhabitants of Ahn’Qiraj. Some of the armor is weird looking, but it’s meant to have that vibe.

NOTABLE BOSSES

The Prophet Skeram: Drops Jewel of Maddening Whispers, which allows you to summon a Mini Mindslayer battlepet. It’s kinda cute. Casters will want to be wary of the CONSTANT interrupting. Use instant cast spells. He clones himself, just kill everything. INSTANT CAST SPELLS ONLY! Can’t stress that enough.

Twin Emperors: They knock you around and it’s annoying. Clear all the trash (the anubis thingies) in the room before this boss, else when you engage the emperors, they’ll all come steaming in as well. Vek’lor is immune to physical damage, Vek’nilash to magical. If you wanna loot BOTH bosses, you’ll need to hit both of them at some point. They share health, heal each-other, and teleport every 30 seconds or so, which acts as an aggro dump. You’ll need to hit the twin you AREN’T focusing on again, else you’ll be unable to loot him.

For example, on my warlock, I focus on Vek’lor with my magical damage, but at the start of the encounter, and at every teleport, I twat Vek’nilash with my staff to get on his aggro table, so that I may loot him when I kill them.

It then becomes about outdamaging their heal. At 90 with a decent (and easily obtainable) gear level, you should have no issues beyond those already mentioned. Has a chance at dropping the Anubisath Idol, which is the BEST BATTLE PET EVER. Seriously, it like never dies.

Viscidus: This boss is annoying. What you need to do is DPS the boss until he’s nearly dead, then use frost abilities to freeze him, then when he’s frozen, attack him until he shatters. The Elemental Force enchant works if you don’t have frost abilities, and as for actually shattering him, that’s class dependant. As a warlock, I use Grimoire of Service, have a felhunter as my active pet, then summon a second one when he’s frozen. We then twat him until he explodes. My shaman summons an elemental, and pops Heroism at the frozen stage. My rogue… just attacks. My monk uses Storm, Earth and Fire (YES on a single target fight! The copy racks up the hit count). DK’s use army of the dead. You need to hit him 30 times in 30 seconds to shatter him when he’s frozen, and 20 frost hits to freeze him in the first place. Drops the Viscidus Globule, which is a pretty sucky battlepet, but hey.

C’Thun: DPS the big eye. Kill tentacles if you really want, it’s not mandatory though. When you get the eye to 0, phase 2 will begin, and you’ll notice you do drastically reduced damage! Oh no! What gives?

Just wait. You’ll go into C’Thun’s stomach, where you need to kill 2 tentacles at the back (they’re hard to miss), then stand on the bubbling platform at the back and jump to get out. C’Thun’ll turn a nasty shade of purple, and you can nuke the bastard. Be wary of the stomach acid, it kinda hurts. You wanna be out of that nasty digestive system asap.

Next quick and dirty guide’ll be for level 70 raids, which have a few tough fights.

One of which isn’t a fight at all, but a chess battle.

Medivh, you suck.

Warlords of Draenor LV100 Talent: Chaotic Resources!

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Bear in mind this is stuff that can change between now and when Warlords is released, so take it with a pinch of salt!

WoDTalents

So according to some sort of press day Blizzard had on Thursday, our talents are largely unchanged from what we saw at Blizzcon, but I wanna focus on Chaotic Resources, particularly because we have a screenshot of the tooltip for it! I wanna focus on the Destruction part of it, as I rarely play Demonology or Affliction.

ChaoticResources

The Destro part is a change from the old version at Blizzcon, where you dealt 25% of your normal damage with Incinerate and Conflagrate, but generated quadruple the embers. Now, it’s 40% for triple the embers, and your Fire & Brimstone ability will also affect Chaos Bolt.

You hear that? AOE CHAOS BOLT?!

This is interesting, as the old version of the talent seemed to be very much focused on single target, as in AoE situations, you’d do next to no damage due to the talent reducing the damage of your main AoE spells, and Fire & Brimstone reducing them further. With the talent as it stands, it gives us an AoE option! Now, you’ll build a few embers, and throw them out to cast AoE Chaos Bolts.

Do bear in mind that Fire & Brimstone carries a damage reduction of spells it modifies, so (to use today’s stat numbers), you’re not gonna see 10 Chaos Bolts hit for 2m each. My Fire & Brimstone reduces damage to 71.57%
of its normal, so each one would hit for about 1.4m. Still a hefty amount of damage!

But let’s assume your incinerates hit for 100k normally. With the talent, they’d normally deal 40k damage (while generating triple embers), and with F&B on top of that they’d do about 28k. I assume then that in an AoE situation you’d Incinerate until you hit 2 embers, then AoE your Chaos Bolts for some AoE bursty times.

In a single target situation, you’ll most likely do as you do now, but Chaos Bolting more frequently due to the increased ember generation.

Well, that’s me excited about the next expansion! Boom, Chaos Bolt!

chaosbolt

Info source: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1462539-Press-day-Warlock-info-chat
Me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ikralla

A Warlock Wanting to be a Priest

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Oh don’t be silly, she likes being a warlock too much. Those Sunwell Priest robes are just too comfortable!

Despite the relative ease of acquiring the set (it all drops in the Sunwell), depending on your luck it can take AGES to acccumulate this set. I’ve still not got the proper gloves, Handguards of the Dawn, I just like the rest of the set.

Cowl of Light’s Purity – Kil’jaeden, Sunwell
Shawl of Wonderment – Eredar Twins, Sunwell
Robes of Faltered Light – M’uru, Sunwell
Buccaneer’s Gloves (the set gloves drop from Kil’jaeden and the fucker won’t drop them!)
Nethershard Girdle – Moroes, Karazhan
Staff of Justified Sins – Quest: A Boon for the Powerful

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And here’s an Azeroth-shattering boom.

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I can’t wait for the new character models. The humans look pretty derpy as they are, but the new models look fantastic! I’d take more pictures of my pandaren, but only my shaman is level 90, and there’s literally NO mail that looks decent.

Transmog: Death Knight Style!

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Here’s Gestherya flying around, and looking over the rivers of Stormwind.

She’s got one of the WotLK crafted sets on, called the Ornate Saronite Battlegear. It’s easily made through blacksmithing, because I haven’t got around to gathering a set for her yet. Truth be told, I don’t know what I want her to look like in the end. Can’t do the Tyrant set, my paladin has that…

She has a better sword now. Greatsword of Pride’s Fall dropped in LFR the other day. This is a good thing. As Unholy, I seem to have leapt from about 60k dps to 130k!

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