For the last six years, I’ve been playing my Warlock. I’ve raided on her, I’ve farmed transmog on her, soloed bosses I couldn’t on other characters, devoted a lot of time and attention to her and her development. I’ve summoned, I’ve given glowy green cookies, I’ve thrown bolts of pure chaos at my foes and summoned legions of demons to do my bidding.
Sure I’m still playing as Shokei, the Warlock formerly known as Raenah. She’s still my main, ostensibly. She’s the character I raid on, with my highest /played and the best, shinest gear, but…
Recently Yopaat has taken over more of my time. For all I said I was going to just level the Warlock, Rogue and Monk, and here I am with a Warlock I don’t have fun on any more, a Warrior I barely log into, and a Shaman that’s simply enlightening to play, whether Elemental OR Enhancement.
There’s issues afoot with the Warlock class. They’ve been acknowledged as such by Ol’ Mister Hazzithingybob, but due to a lack of ideas and ways to implement changes, we’re just gonna have to suffer with them until 7.2 at the EARLIEST, and who knows when that will be? Given that it’s going to be a major patch with a raid in the Tomb of Sargeras, and I doubt they’d want to make the Nighthold a short-lived raid, then we’re looking at five to six months where there’s a class that just feels busted to play. How so?
Affliction’s problem is, on the face of it, relatively simple. It’s one of the worst specs for single target, but arguably the best for mass AoE. You can’t buff the DoTs too much or they make the AoE and cleave utterly eclipse any other spec in the game. Soul Effigy is a concept that Mages bitched about for the entirety of Warlords of Draenor (Prismatic Crystal) and almost universally approved its removal in Legion, so why not give that awful talent to Warlocks instead? And make it so that it’s the only way Affliction can do respectable single target DPS, and utterly frustrating on fights where enemies move around a lot (Cenarius, Ursoc).
Not only that, but you get the feeling that two of Ulthalesh’s golden traits are just out of place. Back in the beta, your weapon would occasionally release souls that you can kill that would end up triggering your golden traits (the first makes a powerful explosion around enemies you kill, the second increases DoT damage by 2% for 20 seconds, stacking 5 times). These two golden traits are utterly useless on fights where you have no adds to damage (Nythendra, Ursoc) or fights where adds die too quickly for you to even fire off a DoT at them (Elerethe, sometimes Dragons, depending on which ones you get and raid setup). Not only that, the Reap Souls ability on single target stacks up terribly slowly, roughly 3-4 per minute (givng you 15-20 seconds of buff time), whereas when you have adds to kill (Il’gynoth, Dragons, Cenarius, Xavius, Elerethe if your team doesn’t AoE the spiders down immediately) they stack REALLY quickly, and on certain fights (Ilgy and Cenarius), it’s possible to have the Reap Souls buff up the entire fight.
The spec I’ve been using most, the one I’m least disillusioned with.
You don’t feel like a mighty conjurer of demons when all you’re doing is throwing small amounts of imps and demon dogs at a target. Demonic Empowerment feels annoying to have to use after EVERY summon; make it a maintenance buff on YOU that makes every demon you summon/have summoned have the usual DE effect, have it give you an aura of power that empowers your demons or whatever you need to do to explain it.
Utterly crippled by movement, Demonology can pump out some ridiculous numbers but the second you have to move? You’re not generating shards, you’re not summoning demons, you’re not empowering them, you’re losing all the DPS forever and you’re not catching back up. Demonwrath tickles, especially on one target, and Doom, once applied, doesn’t need to be recast for, like, EVER. You may be generating shards with Demonwrath, but if you’re moving, you sure as shit can’t spend them.
Admittedly I’ve left Destruction twisting in the wind this expansion, so maybe I’m not best placed to comment on it, but hang on? I spent nearly 5 years as Destruction, from the last patch of Cataclysm up to the first of Legion, so what went wrong? What made me drop the spec I loved, stuck with through the Great Pandarian Revamp and loved even more?
Burning Embers were the perfect resource. It just made the spec flow properly. They generated at, seemingly, the perfect speed, and you spent them at the perfect speed too. The shift to Shards made the spec, ugh, clunky at best. Chaos Bolt, that fantastic nuke we all knew and loved, doesn’t feel like it hits very hard at all anymore, especially for the cast time it has. Another spec crippled by the slightest movement, but whereas Demonology shines in single target and has passable cleave/AoE, Destruction shines in cleave. Trouble is, if you can’t cleave, Destruction’s a waste of time, thanks to its single target numbers being so damn low.
There was going to be a moan about the current talent setup where you have to choose between doing passable single target or passable AoE and nothing in-between when other classes/specs don’t HAVE to make that decision and can do both and MORE! with just a cookie cutter build, but thanks to a rejiggling of the talents, that’s not as much of a problem in 7.1.5 anymore. Huzzah.
I think my main issue though was that it just doesn’t feel FUN any more, but I can’t put my finger on specifically WHY and that really annoys me. It’s not purely the numbers, as I was still using it when it was the worst Warlock spec (pre-SoO days!) and enjoying myself. There’s just something missing from it and my inability to specify what is a frustration.
General Warlock Stuff
- Healthstones feel junky compared to potions
- While having specific demons be better for specific specs is great for class fantasy!!! it makes for a boring time. I don’t do PvP so my Succubus sees absolutely no sunlight any more, and while I could just summon her regardless, I feel bad that I am gimping my numbers just to satisfy her wanting to see some scenery.
- Make Mortal Coil trigger the healing again, even if the target isn’t affected by the horror. It’d make for a nice “oh shit!” cooldown and provide an actual CHOICE on that talent tier, otherwise everyone’s just gonna take Circle forever.
- Speaking of that talent row, Shadowfury having a cast time kinda sucks. Things move!
- I want my Wrathguard back.
- That’s probably it.
It was light outside when I started writing this and now I’m sitting in the dark. Here’s Yopaat. Bye.
Suffer. Wither. Die.
Third and final spec overview! Told you I’d get around to it.
Usual disclaimer applies: This is all based on Alpha/Beta stuff, and naturally subject to change at a moment’s notice. If/when things change, I will update this post to reflect it!
- Probably the most unchanged spec once again, if you’ve played Affliction in the past, you’ll know what to do here.
- Has better AoE options than before!
- YOU GET A SCYTHE
- You still have Soul Shards, but now you have 5. You only start a fight with 1, however. Have fun with that.
ULTHALESH, THE DEADWIND HARVESTER. Such a badass name. Such a badass scythe. Now you’ve become a reaper of souls!
Here’s the layout of your weapon’s traits:
As before, you start at the node with the solid gold frame and work your way around, picking the traits you want/need. Blizzard speculate it’ll take 1-3 months to fill it all out, rather than over the course of the entire expansion. Possible future patch upgrades then?
- Reap Soul: Deals x Shadow damage every 5 sec for 42 sec. Each time Reap Soul deals damage, it increases in damage frequency by 6.66%.
A new ability! It’s on a 45 second cooldown, and gives you a new DoT to manage/track. It ticks after 5 seconds, then each successive time ticks a little bit faster. I imagine the base damage will be relatively low (closer to Corruption than Agony or Unstable Affliction) due to the fact the speed of ticks ramps the hell up.
Nice touch with the 6.66% too. Well done.
From left to right, these are the three traits with the fancy draconic borders.
- Soul Flame: When you kill a target, its soul bursts into flames, dealing Shadowflame damage to everything around it.
- Wrath of Consumption: Killing an enemy causes your damage over time effects to deal x% more damage. This ability stacks up to 5 times.
- Harvester of Souls: Your Drain spells have a chance to trigger on all targets afflicted by your Corruption for 3 sec.
So these traits seem to have multiple target fights in mind. Short-lived adds? Soul Flame comes in handy. Kill one, damage the rest. Wrath of Consumption helps too as when you kill something, your DoTs tick harder. Harvester of Souls potentially targets everything with Corruption on it, and yay it brings back the old Harvest Life effect! You’ll look like a fel maypole again.
From left to right, these traits have no fancy border. Sob.
- Shadowy Incantations: Increases your Shadow damage dealt by x%.
- Hideous Corruption: Increases the damage of your Corruption by x%
- Long Dark Night of the Soul: Increases the healing of your Drain spells by x%.
- Compound Interest: Each Agony and Corruption you cast increases the damage of your next Unstable Affliction by 10%.
- Sweet Souls: Your Healthstone fully heals you. Any party member using a Healthstone also heals you for the amount they were healed.
- Perdition: Increases the critical damage of your Agony, Corruption, Drain, and Unstable Affliction by x%.
- Inherently Unstable: Increases the critical strike chance of your Unstable Affliction by 0%.
- Seeds of Doom: Increases the detonation damage of your Seed of Corruption by 0%.
- Drained to a Husk: Increases the damage of your Drains by x%.
- Fatal Echoes: When your Unstable Affliction expires, it has a 25% chance to reapply itself.
- Inimitable Agony: Increases the damage of your Agony by x%.
- Mere Flesh: Reduces damage you take by x%.
Mostly +damage% buffs to your regular abilities. Standout abilities here to me are Compound Interest, which buffs Unstable Affliction for each Agony and Corruption you cast, Sweet Souls, which makes Healthstones useful again, and Fatal Echoes, which can potentially save you Soul Shards over the course of a fight!
The weapon also has an equip effect:
So the more of those passive damage boost traits you have unlocked, the more that add killing benefits you over the course of a fight. From my understanding, the Tormented Souls that appear that you need to kill actually proc this 10% shadow damage/passive effect double boost too, so you don’t suffer on single target fights/fights with no adds to kill! Proper job.
As before your basic rotation is simplified, and you can leave it like that and pick passive talents, or make things more complex by adding active abilities. I would ASSUME that taking active abilities over passive ones would provide higher DPS over the course of a fight (more complexity = more reward, surely?) but this all remains to be seen of course.
Haunt is no longer a spell that buffs your DoTs, but a sledgehammer of a spell on a 15 second cooldown. Probably your add-killing spell, due to the fact it a) does a crapload of damage, and b) has the cooldown reset if the target it hits dies. Could also act as a cooldown-based filler. Have DoTs up, cast Haunt, then Drain Life until you need to refresh your DoTs/recause Haunt.
Writhe in Agony either doubles the damage per stack of Agony, or doubles the maximum stacks of Agony. I’m not 100% sure either way. The former would be slightly preferable, as it’d reach maximum damage output a bit quicker.
Drain Soul replaces Drain Life. It hits a LOT harder (600% of spell power vs the 150% of Drain Life (though it can increase to 300% for reasons you’ll see below)), and replenishes a shard if the target you’re draining dies during the channel. It appears to lose the “+50% damage for each of your DoT effects” bonus (hence why Drain Life can hit 300% of spell power), but it still hits twice as hard as that through base spell power regardless.
Contagion sounds simple. Adds a secondary effect to Unstable Affliction that increases all damage you deal to the target, including through Unstable Affliction itself I’d assume. Nice passive damage boost.
Absolute Corruption sounds AMAZING. By making it a one-time-cast ability, it makes you spend less time/global cooldowns refreshing DoTs, and considering Affliction has potentially 5 (Agony Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Reap Soul from the artifact, and Siphon Life from the talents below), it simplifies things a tad.
I still don’t like Mana Tap because, although the damage boost is nice, it can put you in danger. It would still make you Life Tap more, and that’s still potentially dangerous.
Soul Leech is something you take when you want to smooth out damage over the course of a fight a bit. General boss AoE pulses will probably eat it all up in one go, but you’ll generally take less damage than anyone else because of it. Always handy.
Mortal Coil, as I have said before, would probably only be useful if the heal works regardless of whether or not the target succumbs to the Horror.
Howl of Terror just screams “PVP TALENT” to me, which confuses me as there’s a separate PvP talent tier now. Unless adds or bosses (ha) are susceptible now? I doubt it.
Siphon Life gives you a new DoT to make a weakaura for, and thus adds complexity to the spec. We all like complexity, right? Remains to be seen how useful the heal will be, whether it’s a flat percentage based on your maximum health, or based on damage it deals, so much up in the air with this one.
Sow the Seeds makes Seed of Corruption less goddamn useless, making it consume 1 Soul Shard to apply to 5 enemies, provided they’re close together. Anything that makes that spell worth casting is a plus in my book.
Soul Harvest is something you can press when RNG hates you and Agony isn’t giving you shards.
Situational talents for situational uses. Need to move quickly out of voidzones that aren’t in predetermined locations? Burning Rush! Need to move from place to place in a predictable manner? Demonic Circle! (you can probably combine it with Demonic Gateway usage too, to easily move back and forth) Need to flatten out/negate large damage spikes? Dark Pact!
Supremacy and Service, in terms of a single-target fight, come down to personal preference (at least at this point in time, when there’s a LONG way before number tuning). Sacrifice is most likely most viable in an AoE fight, due to it hitting an 8 yard area.
That being said, I don’t like how it’s reworked in theory. In practice, it might be amazing, but I lament the loss of the passive heal and flat, non RNG-based damage boost.
Of note, the Grimoire of Supremacy demons we have now will be in the forms of glyphs to the Summon Whateverdemon abilities.
Soul Effigy allows you to tailor a single target fight to your strengths, i.e. make it a multidot encounter! It will double the potential generation of Soul Shards (due to having two Agony spells running constantly), which is a nice bonus. The magnitude of damage transferral is unknown at this point, but it’s still good just for the Shard boost. Potentially drops in usefulness with 3+ permanent targets (e.g. various Council fights) as you’ll spend all your time just refreshing DoTs and doing bugger all else.
Phantom Singularity is an AoE that is centered on a target (unlike Rain of Fire, which you target yourself), that hits 8 times (for damage totalling 200% of spell power) and heals you for a nice wedge of that damage. I think the AoE applications of this ability are of more use than the heal, considering the only other AoE ability you get is Seed of Corruption.
Demonic Servitude is your passive option for the tier, and I’d imagine would be tuned SLIGHTLY lower than Soul Effigy for this reason. Still nice to have a Doomguard running around though!
Here are your core abilities! They’re a skeleton, which you flesh out with talents and artifact traits.
- Agony is one of your three main DoTs, and functions much as it does now. Each time it deals damage, it adds a stack. The more stacks, the more damage it does, and refreshing the DoT maintains the stack level. It also has a chance to regenerate a Soul Shard each time it deals damage (the old Nightfall passive that used to affect Corruption), and this is NOT capped at “your most recent Agony application” anymore.
- Corruption is same old same old, with less Nightfall.
- Unstable Affliction is your sole Shard spender (unless you take the Haunt and/or Sow the Seeds talents), and deals a LOT of damage over 8 seconds. If a target dies when this DoT is running, the cost is refunded, and if it’s dispelled, the dispeller takes a heavy hit of damage and is silenced. Nice!
- Drain Life is your new filler! It’s a channeled spell over 6 seconds, and each tick deals Shadow damage and restores 3% health. The damage it does depends on how many of your baseline DoTs you have on the target; each one confers a 50% damage boost.
- Seed of Corruption functions mostly the same as now. Plants an evil seed in a target that explodes after 18 seconds, or when they take a certain amount of damage, or when they’re hit with another seeded target’s explosion. The talent Sow the Seeds makes this spell put seeds in 4 extra nearby targets, meaning easy explosions! The explosions deal a lot of damage to enemies near them, and applies Corruption to everyone hit.
- Life Tap eats 10% of your health and restores 30% of your mana. Nom.
- Mastery: Potent Afflictions increases the damage of Corruption, Agony and Unstable Affliction by a flat percentage based on your Mastery stat. Simple damage boost.
They still haven’t been dug out (or even implemented?) yet. The tweet I put in the Grimoire of Whatever talent section is the only glyph info we have so far.
(#WoW #Warlock #Legion)
INFORMATION! We have some at last! Here’s my take on it all.
To this end, we’re going to once again standardize Warlocks on their most class-defining resources: Mana and Soul Shards
This means that all three Warlock specs will be using Soul Shards. Not only that, but all three specs will also be using Life Tap. Currently, Destruction has a passive ability called Chaotic Energy that replaces Life Tap, which increases mana regeneration by a huge amount (further increased by haste); presumably, this is going away so we become more mana-dependent again.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I know they want to get closer to the class fantasy of trading one’s soul for power, and I’m all for that, but… I did like how Chaotic Energy worked. You still were capable of running out of mana, which is why you used Chaos Bolt to effectively “recover” it; thanks to its long cast time, you took advantage of your 625% increased mana regen.
But yes. All specs use Soul Shards now. 5 is apparently the maximum.
We want to re-incentivize demon variety, strengthening the various utilities that each demon supplies, and causing some demons to be favored based on the Warlock’s spec.
According to a tweet from the developers, Affliction will favour the use of Felhunters, Demonology the use of Felguards, and Destruction will see best success with Imps. I like this idea! I’m sick of seeing observers all the damn time, cool as they are.
Affliction is staying mostly the same, except Haunt is apparently being relegated to a talent and is being reworked. Drain Life becomes your filler ability, which I quite like the idea of. It’s still regenerating your health, and for each DoT present on your foe, it increases the damage of Drain Life by 50% (so up to 150% increase!). I like how in keeping this is with the Warlock fantasy; curses to empower your spells, your opponent’s life to replenish yours.
Agony and Corruption are mostly the same. The Nightfall effect gets baked not into Corruption, but AGONY now, and isn’t capped at one target, so the more targets you throw Agony on, the more chance you have of generating a Soul Shard.
Your spender of shards is apparently Unstable Affliction now, so I’d imagine it will see a boost in power to compensate for the potential inability to cast it (shards being bound by the RNG of Nightfall, of course), so potentially like a Shadow Priest’s Devouring Plague spell. There’s also a talent that makes Seed of Corruption cost a Soul Shard, but makes the application of the spell an AoE (currently the only AoE part of it is the explosion, so this is a marked improvement over the current spell!).
In conclusion, Affliction is going back to being all about those DoTs, less about the filler. Single target fights will probably not be your strongest type of battle, but add a target or two more into the mix? Affliction will be the KING.
I suppose I won’t be able to use that picture to symbolise Demonology anymore, will I?
Demonology is going to be all about the demon summoning, and the empowering of those demons. I’ll go through abilities a bit more specifically here.
- Shadow Bolt: This is your main filler, and regenerates a Soul Shard. Same old, same old. Well, apart from the Soul Shard bit.
- Call Dreadstalkers: A new ability! This costs 2 shards, and summons 2 Dreadstalkers for 12 seconds, on a 15 second cooldown.
- Hand of Gul’dan: For the cost of 1 to 5 Soul Shards, a meteor full of Wild Imps smacks your target on the head. Hits everyone in 8 yards of the target, and depending on how many shards you used to cast it, you get that number of imps to bombard your foe.
- Doom: Plonks a 20 second DoT on your foe. At the end, your enemy takes massive damage, and you regen a shard.
- Demonwrath: A channeled spell that has no maximum duration! Every second, your demons crackle and inflict damage to every enemy within 10 yards of them, and each time it deals damage, you have a 15% chance to regen a shard.
- Demonic Empowerment: This empowers 3 of your your demons with 50% increased Haste and health for 12 seconds. More haste means they attack quicker, which means more DPS! It favours your stronger demons, so probably your Felguard and Dreadstalkers before your Wild Imps. Has 3 charges on a 12 second recharge time.
And for the preview talent:
- Implosion: Pulls all your summoned Wild Imps to a target. They then explode, dealing damage to every enemy nearby.
- Power Trip: Mentioned in a tweet, this talent apparently makes your Demonic Empowerment power up ALL your active demons, not just 3 of them.
So Demonology is all about summoning and empowering a demonic army to assault your foes! I’m REALLY excited about playing this, I’ve gotta say. The current Demonology is a bit clunky, this new hotness looks really fun to play. Can we have it now?
Destruction, like Affliction, is not seeing any overwhelmingly drastic changes, though as I mentioned above, Burning Embers are being replaced with Soul Shards. Immolate is the DoT you want on your enemy at all times (still), Incinerate is your filler (still), Conflagrate provides Backdraft and has 2 charges on an 8 second recharge (still) but also replenishes a Soul Shard. Chaos Bolt functions the same as now, but costs 2 shards. Havoc seems to have changed a bit; rather than affecting the next 3 spells cast (or 1 Chaos Bolt), it places an 8 second debuff on an enemy and copies ALL spells to that enemy for the duration, so you can Havoc-cleave multiple Chaos Bolts! This makes me happy.
The preview talent, Channel Demonfire, throws fireballs at all enemies with Immolate on them over 3 seconds, but this isn’t the only AoE talent. Fire and Brimstone is now also a talent, which passively makes Incinerate into an AoE, but no word on whether it reduces the damage of it, like current Fire and Brimstone does. Also, for those of us concerned at Conflagrate being our only shard generator, according to @WarcraftDevs, “there are several talents that deal with Soul Shards,” so fret not!
Shadowburn returns as a talent too, with “improved usability,” but no word on what that actually is, so wait and see I guess?
The final thing to note is our mastery. Chaotic Energies makes your spells deal up to x% additional damage randomly. So with a (for example) 50% mastery rating, if your Chaos Bolt does 100,000 damage normally, then with this new mastery, it can do anywhere between 100,000 and 150,000 damage, based on luck I suppose.
I… actually kinda like that. It fits with the Destruction fantasy of using chaotic, destructive energies to deal damage. If our very damage has to be chaotic to fulfill that, then I am more than happy to oblige.
So! In conclusion, on the face of it, Warlocks look to be going into a good place come Legion, and I definitely want to carry on playing as one. Phew! Affliction still looks rather boring, but to me it always did compared to Demonology and Destruction, and those two specs looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try them out!
Ah, Affliction. It’s apparently going to be the new hotness, the go-to Warlock spec in 6.2, and I’ve been promising to do another spec guide for a goddamn long time, so why not Affliction?
Tier 1: Self Healing
- Dark Regeneration: Restores 20% of maximum health over 12 sec to you and your pet, and increases all healing received by 25% for the duration (2 min cooldown)
- Soul Leech: Drain Soul and Haunt grant you and your pet shadowy shields that absorb 30% of the damage they dealt for 15 seconds
- Harvest Life: Drain Life deals 50% more damage and 100% more healing
Dark Regeneration is your default here. Soul Leech, unlike Destruction, doesn’t activate from a wide range of spells, and the Drain Soul damage it DOES activate from is merely the spell’s base damage, and NOT the damage from triggering the DoTs, which means any shield you make is going to be pitiful.
Harvest Life, when taken with the Glyph of Drain Soul, turns Drain Life into a VERY powerful heal, even able to heal through damage from soloing a Mists of Pandaria raid boss, but comes at the cost of DPS.
Tier 2: Crowd Control
- Howl of Terror: Your howl causes 5 enemies within 10 yds to flee in fear, disorienting them for 20 sec. Damage may cancel the effect. Being hit by a damaging attack reduces your cooldown on Howl of Terror by 1 sec. (40 second cooldown)
- Mortal Coil: Horrifies an enemy target into fleeing, incapacitating them for 3 sec, and restores 11% of the caster’s maximum health. (45 second cooldown)
- Shadowfury: Stuns all enemies within 8 yds for 3 sec. (30 second cooldown)
Now that Mortal Coil’s healing only activates when it successfully Horrifies, its usefulness is diminished in a boss fight, unless you have adds you can Horror. Shadowfury is therefore the default.
Tier 3: Damage Mitigation
- Soul Link: 20% of all damage taken is split with your demon pet, and 3% of damage you deal heals you and your demon.
- Sacrificial Pact: Sacrifices 20% of your demon’s current health to shield you for 400% of the sacrificed health for 20 sec. If you have no demon, your health is sacrificed instead. Usable while suffering from control impairing effects. (1 min cooldown)
- Dark Bargain: Prevents all damage for 8 sec, but when the effect ends, you take 50% of the damage prevented over 8 sec. Usable while suffering from control impairing effects. (3 min cooldown)
Your choice will fluctuate between Soul Link and Sacrificial Pact. Soul Link is best taken when there’s constant yet small damage. Sacrificial Pact is best with large, periodic spikes of damage.
Tier 4: Utility… At a Cost
- Blood Horror: While active, any time an enemy melee attack deals damage to the Warlock, the enemy will run in horror, incapacitated for up to 4 sec. 1 charge. Blood Horror lasts 60 sec. (1 min cooldown)
- Burning Rush: Increase your movement speed by 50%, but also deals damage to you equal to 4% of your maximum health per second. Movement-impairing effects may not reduce you below 100% of normal movement speed. Lasts until cancelled
- Unbound Will: Purges all Magic effects, movement impairing effects, and loss of control effects from yourself and your demon. (2 min cooldown)
I tend to stick with Burning Rush as a default. A speed boost is NEVER not useful, and the damage it inflicts can be mitigated through Sacrificial Pact and other shields. Unbound Will is good if there’s a debuff you KNOW you don’t want.
Tier 5: DEMONS
- Grimoire of Supremacy: You command stronger demons, replacing your normal minions. These demons deal 20% additional damage and have more powerful abilities
- Grimoire of Service: Instantly summon a second demon which fights for 25 sec. The demon will instantly use one of its special abilities when summoned. (2 min cooldown)
- Grimoire of Sacrifice: Sacrifice your demon to gain one of its abilities, and to increase the damage of your Drain Soul, Haunt, and Drain Life by 25%. Also causes you to regenerate 2% of maximum health every 8 sec. (30 second cooldown)
Currently, Grimoire of Sacrifice is not useful. Service is taken if you use Demonic Servitude, whereas Supremacy is taken if you use Cataclysm or Soulburn: Haunt.
Tier 6: Situational DPS Increases
- Archimonde’s Darkness: Dark Soul now has 2 charges
- Kil’jaeden’s Cunning: The cunning of Kil’jaeden allows you to move while casting Warlock spells for 8 sec. Castable while casting other spells. (35 second cooldown)
- Mannoroth’s Fury: Increases the area of effect by 500% and damage by 100% of Seed of Corruption, Hellfire, Immolation Aura, and Rain of Fire for 10 sec. (1 min cooldown)
Mannoroth’s Fury might as well not exist. Take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning if you need to move around a lot, otherwise Archimonde’s Darkness is your default.
Tier 7: Performance Enhancers
- Soulburn: Haunt: Grants the Soulburn empowerment to your Haunt spell. Your Haunt spell also increases the damage of your Damage Over Time effects to all targets by 20% for 30 seconds
- Cataclysm: Conjures a cataclysm at the target location, dealing [750% of Spell Power] Shadowflame damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and applying Agony and Unstable Affliction. (1 min cooldown)
- Demonic Servitude: You are now able to maintain your control over even greater demons indefinitely, allowing you to summon Doomguards and Infernals as permanent pets
All three talents are viable here. Demonic Servitude is best for single target or highly mobile fights, Cataclysm for burst cleave/AoE damage, and Soulburn: Haunt is best for sustained cleave damage.
Cataclysm is your default when there’s 3 or more targets to use it on.
- Glyph of Eternal Resolve: Turns Unending Resolve into a passive effect that reduces all damage taken by 10%. Useful for fights where you’re constantly taking damage. You can’t use this glyph when using either Glyph of Strengthened Resolve (increases the cooldown of Unending Resolve by 60 seconds but increases the damage reduction by 20%, useful if you need stronger UR less often) or Glyph of Unending Resolve (reduces the cooldown of Unending Resolve by 1 minute, but halves the damage reduction, useful if you need UR more often). Each of these glyphs has its uses, so swap them out depending on the fight requirements.
- Glyph of Demonic Circle: Reduces the cooldown of Demonic Circle: Teleport by 4 seconds. Use this glyph if you need to use your circle often.
- Glyph of Healthstone: Doubles the health restored by your Healthstone, but turns it into a 10 second heal-over-time. Double the healing is great, no matter what form you get it!
- Glyph of Siphon Life: Each tick of Corruption restores 0.35% of your health. It’s a small amount, sure, but if you have no other useful glyphs, more healing is always good.
Abilities and Rotation
The playstyle of Affliction has you cast and maintain 3 DoTS (damage over time spells) on your enemies. Your filler is a channeled spell, and you have a single target nuke that costs a Soul Shard. You start a fight with 4 Soul Shards, and regenerate them through ticks of Corruption. It has a chance (6%) to proc Nightfall on each tick, which restores a shard.
- Agony: Inflicts increasing agony on the target, causing [120 + 388.8% of Spell Power] Shadow damage over 24 seconds. Damage starts low and increases over the duration.
- Corruption: Corrupts the target, causing [210.6% of Spell Power] Shadow damage over 18 seconds. Your most recently applied Corruption has a 6% chance to generate a Soul Shard each time it deals damage.
- Unstable Affliction: Causes [7 + 210% of Spell Power] Shadow damage over 14 seconds. If dispelled, the dispeller suffers [8 + 240% of Spell Power] instant Shadow Damage and is silenced for 4 seconds. This damage is always a critical strike.
- Drain Soul: Drains the target’s soul, causing [4 + 83.6% of Spell Power] Shadow damage over 4 seconds. If the target dies and yields experience or honor, one Soul Shard is energized. When Drain Soul deals damage, it causes all your other damage over time spells on the target to instantly deal 40% of their normal damage. (courtesy of a Draenor Perk while levelling, it deals 100% additional damage on targets on 20% health or below)
- Haunt: A ghostly soul haunts the target, dealing [1 + 412.5% of Spell Power] Shadow damage and increasing damage over time you deal to the target by 30% for 8 seconds. (courtesy of a Draenor Perk while levelling, the damage over time increase lasts a further 2 seconds)
- Dark Soul: Misery: Infuses your soul with the misery of fallen foes, increasing Haste by 30% for 20 seconds.
- Seed of Corruption: Embeds a demon seed in the enemy target, causing [94.5% of Spell Power] Shadow damage over 18 sec. Detonates for [68.25% of Spell Power] Shadow damage to all enemies within 10 yards after the target dies or takes [94.5% of Spell Power] damage from your spells.
Your basic single target rotation goes as thus:
- Cast Agony and ensure it stays on your target. It deals increasing damage for each stack of itself on your target, dealing maximum damage per tick at 10. Having Agony drop off means the stacks need to build up again.
- Cast Corruption and refresh before it runs out.
- Cast Unstable Affliction and refresh before it runs out.
- Cast Haunt if you are capped on Soul Shards, or if you have Dark Soul: Misery or powerful trinket/legendary ring procs active, or if the boss is at <20% health.
- Drain Soul as filler.
Haunt is best saved for when you have powerful buffs on you, like your legendary ring proc, Dark Soul, or trinkets, as it amplifies damage already amplified by these effects. If you have no shards when these effects trigger, it’s wasted potential damage. However, if you have 4 Soul Shards, you should cast Haunt, so that future procs of Nightfall are not wasted. Try to keep Haunt active for the whole duration of your Dark Soul buff (20 seconds, so 2 casts of Haunt).
If you choose Soulburn: Haunt as your level 100 talent, then you want to keep the Haunting Spirits buff active at all times, so recast Soulburn: Haunt when the buff has about 8-9 seconds remaining, but favor regular Haunt when previous conditions are met, and you have more than half the Haunting Spirits buff timer remaining.
Your multiple target rotation doesn’t change much when you have 2 or 3 targets. You keep DoTs rolling on all the enemies, and otherwise continue Haunt/Drain Soul-ing as normal on one of them. With 4+ targets, start using Seed of Corruption as a filler, and use Soulburn: Seed of Corruption to apply the Corruption DoT. Prioritize maintaining Agony over Unstable Affliction, as it does more damage. Use Cataclysm on cooldown, if chosen as your level 100 talent.
Always remember, Life Tap when you’re low on mana!
If using Demonic Servitude as your level 100 talent, then your demon of choice is obviously the Doomguard/Terrorguard. If Grimoire of Service is your level 75 talent as well, then use it to summon a second Doomguard on cooldown.
Otherwise, the other demons are tuned roughly the same in terms of DPS, bar the Voidwalker/Voidlord. If a fight features a lot of target switching across large distances, then the Imp/Fel Imp may well be the best choice, as it’s a ranged demon, and thus doesn’t need to move to switch target. The Felhunter/Observer demons have your interrupt, so choose them if that’s needed in a fight.
Haste = Mastery >> Multistrike = Critical Strike > Versatility
Mastery increases the damage of your damage-over-time spells, and Haste reduces cast times and increases the number of times your damage-over-time spells tick over their durations.
Mastery pulls ahead slightly when facing more than 1 target, so generally it’s wise to gem/enchant full-on Mastery.
I said I wouldn’t test Affliction because I was bored of it, and didn’t want the hassle of going to Stormwind to respec.
Then I remembered I can make a level 100 premade Warlock and make it Affliction!
It is just not interesting. I picked Grimoire of Supremacy and Demonic Servitude, because I wanted to play around with the new demons too. His Doom Bolts do more total DPS than your Corruption!
All you are doing is making sure you have 100% uptime on DoTs, throwing out Haunts to keep the debuff up as much as you can, and channeling. It got almost mind-numbing.
Affliction needs something. Anything. Give us another DoT, a proc to watch out for/react to other than Nightfall, ANYTHING.
Again, bear in mind I am not an amazing player, but that’s just terrible. It’s a full two thirds of the DPS of Demonology, and Destruction isn’t much better. Thankfully, these are the two specs that have seen the least tuning as of yet. Demonology got a few changes recently, let’s hope the next build brings something for the other 2. 6.0 may seem like it’ll be a while away, but time has a habit of catching up with you.
Recently on the live servers, I made a Pandaren named Ikralla. Yes, that’s my Twitter/Wordpress name. For some reason, I am getting a great amount of amusement portraying him on Twitter as a grumpy, miserable old bastard of a bear.
He’s a monk, he’s just left that infernal turtle, and he’s got the whole wide world to explore. Though I’m not on an RP realm with him (he’s on Runetotem-EU, because it’s connected to Nagrand-EU and that’s where most of my characters are based), I’ve decided to make his journey to level 90 a little story. He will travel Azeroth, bringing joy to all.
Since arriving in Stormwind, he’s been disdainful of the architecture:
Nearly picked a fight with a child over race:
Been amazed at the stupidity of his comrades:
And assaulted royalty with a chop to the groin:
Ever since, he’s work a mask to hide his identity from those wanting to bring him to justice, and has taken to getting drunk before going out:
He’s at the level range for Westfall. He’ll head there tonight, and I will post an update on progress when I have made… progress.
#warlords #wow #beta
In this downtime between expansion packs, I’ve been experimenting with the warlock slightly. Messing around with macros, mainly, and I thought I’d share a few with you!
Fire & Brimstone macro
/cast [mod:shift] !Fire and Brimstone
/cancelaura [nomod] Fire and Brimstone
What does this do? Well, I use it with Immolate, Conflagrate and Incinerate. Activating/deactivating Fire & Brimstone doesn’t incur a global cooldown, so pressing shift & the keybind for, say, Incinerate, activates F&B then casts Incinerate as AoE! Pressing your Incinerate key with no modifier will deactivate F&B if active, then cast Incinerate as single target.
Replace the red text with the spell of choice. Spells this works with are Incinerate, Immolate, Conflagrate, and your Curses.
This interrupts your current cast, and immediately casts Shadowburn. Useful for if there’s an add you can get bonus embers off through Shadowburn, but will die too fast if you don’t get that Shadowburn off right now, rather than let your cast complete THEN Shadowburn.
Soulstone mouseover macro
/use [@mouseover,noharm][@target,noharm] Soulstone
This casts Soulstone on either your mouseover, or your target if you’re not hovering over anyone.
Soulburn: Soul Swap
#showtooltip Soul Swap
/cast Soul Swap
Simple macro really, this basically inflicts all 3 DoTs at once as affliction, with only 1 button press! Useful for when your trinkets proc. Instant application of powerful DoTs!
/cast [@mouseover] Havoc
Hover your mouse over a nameplate or an enemy, press this button, and you use Havoc on it without having to change targets! Useful for Chaos Bolting.
Want your green fire? Well, these macros should help!
#showtooltip Fel Flame Breath
/cast [@player] Fel Flame Breath
/cast [@player] Demonic Siphon
/target Pit Lord
/cast Enslave Demon
/target Doom Lord
What do these do? The Fel Flame Breath macro makes your Pit Lord cast said spell on you, which deals damage to you but also removes annoying debuffs. The Demonic Syphon macro forces the Pit Lord to use that ability, which heals you! The Charge macro forces the Pit Lord to charge Kanrethad, stunning him for a time, and makes him take extra damage. Use it when he’s casting Cataclysm to interrupt it. The last two macros do exactly as they say. They enslave the Pit Lord, and banish a Doom Lord.
Camera distance console command
/console CameraDistanceMaxFactor 5
Not a macro, but type this and marvel as you are able to zoom out a lot further than you could before! See all the crap on the ground! Avoid it all!
Well, these are the macros I use on a regular basis, along with a useful console command and a set of macros for a very tough, situational fight. Happy warlocking!
Here’s Raenah! And today, instead of nuking enemies to death as a Destruction warlock, she has decided to go Affliction. But how do we aff? Well, here’s a nice, basic guide!
Secondary Resource: Soul Shards!
These are what fuel your ability Haunt, as well as adding utility to other spells through the use of Soulburn. You regenerate them through procs of Nightfall, and through the use of Drain Soul.
Your DoTs are your bread & butter here. Agony has no cast time, and each time it deals damage, it adds a stack to itself. The more stacks it has, the more damage it does! Ideally you want to refresh it before it drops off to preserve the number of stacks (which cap at 10). Unstable Affliction and Corruption are slightly simpler. The former has a cast time that can be reduced by a glyph, and the only maintenance they need is for you to refresh them before they drop off.
Haunt is your main debuff. It increases DoT damage on your target by 35% and lasts 8 seconds. It costs a shard to cast, and will be the main spender of them. You want to refresh Haunt as the debuff falls off, not before.
You have 2 channeled abilities which function as your filler. Malefic Grasp channels for 4 seconds, and ticks every 1. When it deals damage, it also forces your DoTs to tick for 30% of their usual damage. It cannot be cast while moving, unless you take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning as your level 90 talent. Drain Soul is your execute spell, and replaces Malefic Grasp in your rotation when your target is below 20%. It channels for 12 seconds, deals damage every 2, and refills soul shards when it deals damage every second time, or when it kills an enemy. When your target is below 20%, it deals double damage, and forces your DoTs to deal 60% of their damage per tick. Fancy!
Fel Flame is your movement DPS. It’s instant cast, but has an exorbitant mana cost that prevents spamming. It’s also rendered useless if you take KJC as your 90 talent (which makes Malefic Grasp your movement filler).
Seed of Corruption is your AoE spell. It places an 18 second DoT on your target, which then explodes when they take a certain amount of damage or die. This explosion damages all enemies within 10 yards. When used with Soulburn, the explosion also adds Corruption to each affected target.
Soulburn also has an affect on Soul Swap. Normally, Soul Swap copies your DoTs and allows you to paste them onto another enemy. You’d use this when you have superpowered DoTs thanks to trinket procs, Dark Soul and the like. Soulburn changes Soul Swap’s funtionality to instantly apply all 3 DoTs! This is useful at the pull of a boss, or when you want to apply all 3 DoTs quickly (when trinkets proc, for instance).
Curse of the Elements is simple. It places a 5 minute debuff on your target that makes it take 5% more magical damage. It’s passively applied by rogues and their poisons, so if a rogue is in your group, you don’t need to cast it! Soulburn makes it affect enemies in a 10 yard radius around the target.
Life Tap restores mana at the cost of health.
Dark Soul is your DPS cooldown. The affliction version is called Dark Soul: Misery, and increases your haste by 30%. Line it up with trinket procs, if you can, for added oomph!
Well, it’s more of a priority-based system, really.
- Curse of the Elements. More damage!
- Agony. Refresh it before it drops off.
- Unstable Affliction. Refresh it before it drops off.
- Corruption. Refresh it before it drops off.
- Haunt. Refresh just after the debuff drops, and if you don’t need to refresh a DoT first.
- Malefic Grasp/Drain Soul. The latter in execute.
- Fel Flame if you need to move.
- Life Tap if needed to regain mana.
Looks simple, right?
Demon of Choice
You’ll want to stick with the Felhunter, or the Observer if you use Grimoire of Supremacy. The Imp is good if you are switching target a lot, as it doesn’t have to run all over the place, it just stands there like a turret, throwing those little fireballs. Cute.
When you cast one of your DoTs, it snapshots your stats when it takes effect. It then uses these potentially boosted stats in the damage calculation, so you want to refresh your DoTs when you have powerful haste/intellect procs from trinkets.
Bear in mind that snapshotting is going away in patch 6.0, which means your DoTs will dynamically update their damage as things proc and drop off.
Soul Leech is pretty much the default talent of tier 1. It passively provides you with a damage-absorbing shield when Malefic Grasp, Drain Soul, Haunt and Fel Flame deal damage, equal to 20% of the damage dealt. It caps at 15% of your total health.
Mortal Coil is the talent I usually opt for in tier 2, as it provides a heal! The horror effect is usually resisted by most raid mobs and bosses.
Soul Link is the best choice in tier 3 if you’re using a pet, whereas if you’re using Grimoire of Sacrifice, Sacrificial Pact is slightly better.
Burning Rush is the talent I usually take in tier 4, as fast movement can come in very useful in certain boss encounters.
Grimoire of Supremacy is the current talent of choice for affliction in tier 5, as it sims as being the highest DPS. If you don’t want to deal with the tiny amount of micromanagement you might have to do with your pet, however, then Sacrifice may be better for you.
Archimonde’s Darkness is your best choice in tier 6 for fights with little to no movement. Fights which require lots of movement will see Kil’jaeden’s Cunning become the best choice. Mannoroth’s Fury is… kinda bad for affliction, unless you’re using Seed of Corruption a lot, and even then I’d go with one of the others.
Glyph of Unstable Affliction reduces the cast time of the named spell by 25%.
Glyph of Eternal Resolve turns the eponymous ability into a passive one that reduces damage taken by 10%.
Glyph of Siphon Life causes your Corruption to heal you for 0.5% of your total health every time it deals damage.
Glyph of Healthstone turns your fel cookies into HoTs that restore double the amount of health they’d normally do, but over 10 seconds.
Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion makes this curse reduce an enemy’s movement speed by 70%, but makes the debuff only last 15 seconds instead of 30. It also incurs a 10 second cooldown.
Glyph of Verdant Spheres turns those shards that appear above your head into wonderous green balls, as seen at the start of the article.
And finally, a quick section on…
Hit to 15%
Anyway, this should be all the basic information you need to start playing affliction! Happy cursing! And don’t stand in the soup.