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.
The second spec overview of three, Destruction doesn’t see too many drastic changes thankfully. If you played it in Warlords or Mists, you’ll know what you’re doing in Legion.
- Burning Embers are replaced with Soul Shards, of which you can have a maximum of 5. Soul Shards mainly fuel your usage of Chaos Bolt. You start a fight with 1 shard, and need to build them up, much like Burning Embers.
- Mainly unchanged, thanks to some changes to Havoc it looks to be amazing at 2 target cleave fights, and with the right talent setup, looks to excel at AoE too. You can’t do both at the same time though. It’s either brilliant cleave or brilliant AoE.
- Single target looks to be the same as now; competitive.
- New Mastery is a bit random. By design!
The Scepter of Sargeras! Supposedly the weapon that destroyed the real Draenor, when Nerzhul opened a shitload of portals. If Demonology has the most unique artifact, Destruction has hands-down the plain best-looking one!
Here’s your “talent tree” for the weapon. You start at a fixed point (the node with the solid gold circle), and work your way around. The traits with fancy borders are major traits, the rest minor.
- Dimensional Rift: Rips a hole in time and space, opening a portal that damages your target. (3 charges, 1.5 second cast, 45 second recharge)
There are 3 potential portals this ability can open, each with an equal chance of appearing, and each benefitting from your Crit rating. Chaos Tear fires a single Chaos Bolt at your opponent. Similar to your Chaos Bolt, it will always crit. Its damage scales with your critical strike chance, as yours does, but NOT from your Mastery or Chaos Bolt-modifying artifact traits.
The second portal is the Chaos Portal. This casts the spell Chaos Barrage, throwing out a projectile every 0.25 seconds for 5.5 seconds, totalling 22 bolts! Its cast rate will increase with haste, as will the next portal, Shadow Tear. This third portal will fire Shadow Bolts every 2 seconds for 14 seconds, for a total of 7 projectiles.
From left to right!
- Dimension Ripper: Incinerate has a 6% chance to grant a charge of Dimensional Rift.
- Conflagration of Chaos: Conflagrate has a chance to guarantee your next Conflagrate critically strikes, and to increase its damage by your critical strike chance.
- Lord of Flames: Once every 10 minutes, Rain of Fire summons 6 Infernals to serve you for 8 seconds.
So more uses of your artifact ability? Excellent! A chance to turn Conflagrate into a mini Chaos Bolt? Awesome! Raining Infernals from the skies! AMAZING.
Once every 10 minutes? Ehhh.
From left to right again!
- Chaotic Instability: Increases the critical strike damage of Chaos Bolt by 5%/10%/15%
- Fire and the Flames: Reduces cast time of Incinerate by 5%/6%/10%.
- Planeswalker: Transporting through your Demonic Gateway heals you for 50% of your maximum health.
- Soulsnatcher: Chaos Bolt has a 5%/10%/15% chance to refund 1 Soul Shard.
- Demonic Durability: Reduces cooldown of Unending Resolve by 30 seconds.
- Master of Disaster: Increases damage dealt by Incinerate by 5%/10%/15%.
- Devourer of Life: Drain Life has a 15%/30%/45% chance to increase its damage and healing by 15%/30%/45% for 15 seconds.
- Fire From the Sky: Increases damage dealt by Rain of Fire by 5%/10%/15%.
- Flames of the Pit: Increases Fire damage you deal by 4%.
- Residual Flames: Increases damage dealt by Immolate by 10%/20%/30%.
- Impish Incineration: Increases damage dealt by your Imp’s Firebolt by 15%. (Grimoire of Supremacy: Increases damage dealt by your Doomguard’s Doom Bolt by 18%) (Grimoire of Sacrifice: Increases damage by 3%)
- Eternal Struggle: After casting Life Tap, you take 10%/20%/30% less damage for 6 seconds.
- Burning Hunger: Increases the critical strike chance of Immolate by 10%/20%/30%.
Mostly we’re seeing passive increases to your rotational abilities. Impish Incineration changes what it does based on which Grimoire talent you choose, which is nice. Eternal Struggle seems to turn Life Tap into potentially a risky damage reduction cooldown? High risk, high reward, we all love that.
Talent choices in Legion seem to be more meaningful this time around, most of them having some sort of impact upon your rotation. Your basic rotation itself is simplified, and you add complexity through your talent choices!
- Backdraft: Casting Conflagrate reduces the cast time of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30% for 5 seconds.
- Roaring Blaze: Conflagrate increases your remaining Immolate damage on the target by 50% until Immolate expires or is refreshed.
- Shadowburn: Blasts a target for (340% of Spell Power) damage. Generates 2 Soul Shards if the target dies within 5 seconds. (1 Soul Shard cost)
Destro gets the instant cast spell it’s always wanted but could never have! Costs a shard though. Shadowburn is now usable at any health level, not just in execute range, but it’s still best to kill off a target with it for the shard regeneration. The Backdraft effect is now a talent, but doesn’t operate on a charge system, it just makes your filler and nuke both cast faster for a flat 5 seconds. Roaring Blaze, if you take it, will make you want to bank a charge of Conflagrate for whenever you need to cast Immolate on a target, and I’d assume is best used on a single target fight, otherwise you won’t have enough charges to go around!
- Reverse Entropy: Reduces the cast time of Chaos Bolt and Rain of Fire by 0.5 seconds and they restore 35% of your maximum mana.
- Fire and Brimstone: Incinerate now hits all enemies near your target.
- Mana Tap: Consumes 40% of your current mana to increase your damage by 10% for 20 seconds.
Fire and Brimstone also receives the “changed and shunted to a talent” treatment, now it makes Incinerate always AoE. Great for fights when you need that sort of thing, which if this expansion is anything to go by, will be every fight.
Faster Chaos Bolts and less need to cast Life Tap? Reverse Entropy looks to be a powerful choice! Mana Tap does almost the opposite; it’ll cause you to cast Life Tap MORE often, but you get a nice 10% damage buff to compensate. Probably best not to take this on fights where you’re expected to take a lot of damage, or on healer-intensive fights, as the less you’re Life Tapping lost mana, the more they can focus on everyone else.
- Demon Skin: Your Soul Leech absorption now passively recharges at a rate of 1% of maximum health every 1 second, and may now absorb up to 20% of maximum health.
- Mortal Coil: Horrifies an enemy target into fleeing, incapacitating for 3 seconds and healing you for 11% of maximum health. (45 second cooldown)
- Shadowfury: Stuns all enemies within 8 yards for 3 seconds. (1.5 second cast, 30 second cooldown)
If the healing of Mortal Coil still only procs when it actually horrifies the target, it’ll be useless on bosses and therefore can be skipped. Might be useful for regular questing though. Demon Skin improves the (now baseline) Soul Leech, and makes it a passive constantly regenerating shield, instead of a temporary shield from damage dealt, and may well prove to be the default talent for this tier, especially if the absorb reduces Life Tap damage. Shadowfury controversially has a cast time now, and is not useful in fights with no adds, for obvious reasons.
- Eradication: Chaos Bolt increases the damage you deal to the target by 12% for 6 seconds.
- Cataclysm: Conjures a cataclysm at the target location, dealing (700% of Spell Power) Shadowflame damage to all enemies within 8 yards and afflicting them with Immolate.
- Soul Harvest: Immediately generate 5 Soul Shards. (2 second cast, 2 minute cooldown)
Cataclysm hits like a TRUCK. Almost twice the Spell Power modifier of Chaos Bolt! Great for fights where AoE/cleave is needed, as you can do a serious chunk of damage with this. Eradication best saved for fights where you’re focusing on one target, so you can take full advantage of the 6 seconds of extra damage. Soul Harvest seems pretty underwhelming compared to these two, though if you have cause to spam as many Chaos Bolts as you possibly can (Feast of Souls phase on Gorefiend, perhaps?), then this may see some use. Even better if you take Shadowburn in tandem with Soul Harvest, you can throw out a serious number of high-damaging spells consecutively, though whether you end up doing more damage with this than with Chaos Bolt depends on whether you get lucky with your critical hits.
- Demonic Circle: Summons a Demonic Circle for 6 minutes, allowing you to cast it again to teleport to its location and remove all movement slowing effects. Limit 1. (0.5 second cast)
- Burning Rush: Increases your movement speed by 50%, but also damages you for 4% of your maximum health every 1 second. Movement-impairing effects may not reduce you below 100% of normal movement speed. Lasts until cancelled.
- Dark Pact: Sacrifices 20% of your demon’s current health to shield you for 400% of the sacrificed health for 20 seconds. If you have no demon, your health is sacrificed instead. Usable while suffering from control-impairing effects. (1 minute cooldown)
Need massive damage reduction to survive a particular fight mechanic? Need speed boosts? Need to move to a particular, predictable spot every so often? This tier has it all!
But you can only choose one.
- Grimoire of Supremacy: You are able to maintain control over even greater demons indefintely, allowing you to summon a Doomguard or Infernal as a permanent pet.
- Grimoire of Service: Summons a second demon to fight for you for 25 seconds and deals 100% increased damage. The demon will immediately use one of its special abilities when summoned (Imp cleanses 1 harmful Magic effect from you, Voidwalker taunts. Succubus seduces, Felhunter interrupts). (2 minute cooldown)
- Grimoire of Sacrifice: Sacrifice your demon to gain Demonic Power, causing your spells to sometimes also deal (100% of Spell Power) Shadow damage to the target and other enemies within 8 yards. Lasts 1 hour or until you summon a demon. (30 second cooldown)
Grimoire of Sacrifice goes from a “definite flat damage increase” talent to a “sometimes AoE damage” talent, though an artifact trait will ALSO flatly increase all your damage by 3% if you take this. Will apparently proc around 20 times per minute, increasing with Haste.
This tier comes down to “do you want big demons, normal demons, or no demons?” Supremacy will be good if you need to move a lot, as the Doomguard will do a respectable portion of your damage while you reposition. Similarly with Service, when you need to move, spit out your extra pet. On Patchwerk fights, or fights with a lot of AoE, you might wanna take Sacrifice.
- Wreak Havoc: Havoc now lasts 20 seconds, and has no cooldown.
- Channel Demonfire: Launches 15 bolts of felfire over 3 seconds at random targets afflictied by your Immolate within 40 yards. Each bolt deals (50% of Spell Power) Fire damage. (3 second channel, 15 second cooldown)
- Soul Conduit: Every Soul Shard you spend has a 20% chance to be refunded.
Wreak Havoc sounds AMAZING for permacleave fights (think Twin Ogron, or Hellfire High Council) , as it makes Havoc essentially last forever, almost doubling damage output! Channel Demonfire will be great on AoE fights, especially if you take Cataclysm as well. Cataclysm mass-inflicts Immolate, Channel Demonfire then has a chance to hit ALL the enemies! Soul Conduit will therefore be the single target talent of choice, as the other two talents won’t really have much (if any) benefit.
Your core spec abilities are a skeleton, to which you can take talents to flesh out. Here’s Destruction’s baseline abilities!
- Immolate is your DoT, and you want maximum uptime on it. Each tick has a 15% chance to regenerate a Soul Shard, 30% on crits..
- Conflagrate has 2 charges on a 12 second cooldown, is instant cast, and generates 1 Soul Shard when used.
- Incinerate is your main filler, and there’s nothing particularly of note to say about it.
- Chaos Bolt costs 2 Soul Shards, and is your primary nuke spell. It always critically strikes, and your Critical Strike rating increases the damage it deals. If your Crit rating is 25%, then Chaos Bolt will deal 1.25x its normal damage.
- Life Tap makes a return for Destruction! Restores a flat 30% of your mana, at a cost of 10% of your health.
- Havoc, as mentioned above, works slightly differently in Legion, in that it debuffs an enemy for 8 seconds, and copies all spells cast on another target to it for the entire duration of the buff, as opposed to working on a charge-based system. You can only have 1 Havoc spell active at a time.
- Rain of Fire makes a comeback, though it never really went away, just… went useless for a while. Not instant anymore, it now has a 2 second cast time, and hits an 8 yard radius of your choosing with fiery rain for 8 seconds at a cost of 3 Soul Shards! Deals VERY respectable damage now, and obviously rains Infernals down with the appropriate artifact ability, so seems worth the cost in an AoE-fest.
- Mastery: Chaotic Energies is a strange one. It increases the damage your spells do by x% (where x is your mastery rating) RANDOMLY. If your Mastery is 50%, then your spells can hit 50% harder, but they’re just as likely to hit 1% harder, or 25% harder, or 15.34% harder. It apparently smooths out over the course of a fight, but I kinda dislike that I can perform flawlessly on a fight, but RNG dictates that my damage is rubbish anyway. It also reduces damage you take by a random amount, up to x%.
Glyphs are working differently in Legion. Major glyphs are apparently gone, and now you apply the glyph directly to the spell, meaning you can have one per (eligible) ability, I guess?
- Glyph of Crimson Banish: Your Banish spell is now red.
- Glyph of Soulwell: Your Soulwell glows with an eerie light.
- Glyph of the Abyssal: Transforms your Infernal into an Abyssal.
- Glyph of the Demon Eye: Transforms your eye of Kilrogg into a demonic floating eye.
- Glyph of the Fel Imp: Transforms your Imp into a Flame Imp.
- Glyph of the Inquisitor’s Eye: Transforms your Eye of Kilrogg into an Inquisitor’s Eye.
- Glyph of the Observer: Transforms your Felhunter into an Observer.
- Glyph of the Shivarra: Transforms your Succubus into a Shivarra.
- Glyph of the Terrorguard: Transforms your Doomguard into a Terrorguard.
- Glyph of the Voidlord: Transforms your Voidwalker into a Voidlord.
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!
At level 100, Destruction is not really much different than it was at level 90, which is rather fortunate, but for those of you who have never played it, here’s the basics!
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: Incinerate, Shadowburn, and Chaos Bolt grant you and your pet shadowy shields that absorb 15% of the damage they dealt for 15 sec.
- Searing Flames: Ember Tap causes 50% more healing, and refunds 50% of its Burning Ember cost.
Searing Flames is better for PvP than it is for PvE. Soul Leech and Dark Regeneration are your talents of choice here depending on what an encounter requires. Dark Regeneration is good for when you need an “OH SHIT” button, whereas Soul Leech helps smooth out constant damage over the course of an encounter.
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)
Again dependent on your needs. Does an encounter have adds that need stunning? Shadowfury is the way to go. Otherwise, go with Mortal Coil for the heal it provides.
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)
Soul Link is great for smoothing out low but constant damage. Sacrificial Pact is good if you take large, predictable, periodic hits. Dark Bargain is good if you want to bypass some fight mechanics involving damage, but be very wary of the DoT it applies afterwards!
Tier 4: Utility for health
- 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: Iincrease 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)
Blood Horror has practically no use in PvE, it’s mainly a PvP talent. Burning Rush is the default talent, as there’s always a use for a speed boost! Unbound Will is something you take if you have need of it on an encounter, as opposed to it being an all-purpose talent. Bear in mind these health costs can be mitigated by shields from Soul Leech or Sacrificial Pact.
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 Incinerate, Chaos Bolt, and Shadowburn by 25%. Does not apply to spells affected by Fire and Brimstone. Also causes you to regenerate 2% of maximum health every 8 sec. (30 second cooldown)
In 6.1, Sacrifice is looking to be the best talent for AoE AND Single Target when taken in tandem with Charred Remains. For times of high movement, you’ll want to go with Supremacy or Service, as Destruction has almost no movement DPS if you don’t take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning, and your damage will end up coming from your demons.
Service or Supremacy? Service has higher DPS when taken with Demonic Servitude. Supremacy has higher DPS if not.
A note about Grimoire of Sacrifice. When taken with Soul Link, it also increases your total health by 20%.
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)
You need to move a lot in a fight? Take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning. Every other situation, take Archimonde’s Darkness. With the hotfix to Rain of Fire a while back, Mannoroth’s Fury is useless for Destruction.
tier 7: performance enhancers
- Charred Remains: Incinerate and Conflagrate deal 50% less damage but generate 200% more Burning Embers. Fire and Brimstone can now also affect Chaos Bolt.
- Cataclysm: Conjures a cataclysm at the target location, dealing [750% of Spell Power] Shadowflame damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and applying Immolate. (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.
Charred Remains is the talent you want to take for stationary encounters in 6.1, whether for single target or sustained AoE, and in tandem with Grimoire of Sacrifice. For encounters with movement, go with Demonic Servitude and Grimoire of Service, as your demon(s) will do 25-30% of your DPS over the course of a fight, and doing 25% DPS is better than doing 0 DPS! Take Cataclysm if you have 2-3 constant targets, or when you need a quick, strong burst of AoE.
Charred Remains + Grimoire of Sacrifice is viable on movement fights so long as you take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning with it.
TL:DR Talent setups
- Stationary fights: Grimoire of Sacrifice + Archimonde’s Darkness + Charred Remains
- Movement fights: Grimoire of Service + Archimonde’s Darkness + Demonic Servitude OR Grimoire of Sacrifice + Kil’jaeden’s Cunning + Charred Remains
- Glyph of Dark Soul: Reduces the duration and cooldown of Dark Soul by 50%. Great when taken with Archimonde’s Darkness, as it allows you to be able to have a Dark Soul charge nearly every time you’re about to cap on embers!
- Glyph of Eternal Resolve: Turns Unending Resolve into a passive ability that provides a constant 10% damage reduction. Taking constant, frequent damage? Use this and Soul Link and laugh as all your fellow raiders die before you!
- Glyph of Demonic Circle: Reduces your Demonic Circle: Teleport’s cooldown by 4 seconds, which is great if you need to use it often.
- Glyph of Healthstone: Changes how your healthstones work, turning it from an instant heal to a heal-over-time with double potency.
- Glyph of Siphon Life: Each tick of Immolate will heal you for 0.35% of your total health, thus increasing survivability.
Abilities and Rotation
The Destruction playstyle is about generating Burning Embers, then spending them when you have powerful procs/cooldowns active. You typically start a fight with 1 Ember, and the capacity to hold 4. Each full Ember is made of 10 increments, or what some people call “emberbits”.
- Immolate: Burns the enemy for [1 + 45.82% of Spell Power] Fire damage and an additional [5 + 45.82% of Spell Power] Fire damage over 15 sec. Immolate critical strikes generate Burning Embers.
- Conflagrate: Target enemy instantly explodes, dealing [189% of Spell Power] Fire damage and generating Burning Embers. Targets afflicted by Immolate will have 50% reduced movement speed for 5 sec. (2 charges, 12 second recharge time)
- Incinerate: Deals [1 + 132.82% of Spell Power] Fire damage to an enemy and generates Burning Embers.
- Chaos Bolt: Unleashes a blast of chaos, causing [1 + 261.3% of Spell Power] Shadow damage. Chaos Bolt always critically strikes and your critical strike chance increases its damage.
- Shadowburn: Instantly blasts a target below 20% health for [1 + 390.6% of Spell Power] Shadow damage. Generates Burning Embers if the target dies within 5 sec.
- Ember Tap: Heals 6.20% of your health.
- Flames of Xoroth: The flames of Xoroth instantly revive your last demon. (1 min cooldown)
- Dark Soul: Instability: Infuses your soul with unstable power, increasing your critical strike chance by 30% for 20 sec. (2 min cooldown)
- Havoc: Causes your next Chaos Bolt or three other single target spells to also strike this target. (15 second cooldown)
- Fire and Brimstone: While active causes your Immolate, Incinerate, and Conflagrate to consume a Burning Ember, hit all enemies within 10 yards of the target, and deal 43.4% of their normal damage.
- Rain of Fire: Burns enemies in the area of effect for [(7.5% of Spell power) * 8] Fire damage over 6 sec, dealing 50% increased damage to targets affected by Immolate.
rotation: single target
- Immolate: Make sure this is rolling at all times!
- Chaos Bolt/Shadowburn: When you’re about to cap on embers, or if you have powerful buffs. See below for what to look for!
- Conflagrate: Provides 3 stacks of Backdraft, which halves the cost and cast time of Incinerate, and the cast time of Chaos Bolt.
- Cataclysm: If talented.
- Incinerate: Filler spell!
- Rain of Fire: Only if you’re forced to move, you can’t cast Conflagrate, and you don’t have Kil’jaeden’s Cunning active/talented.
Rotation: 2-5 enemies
- Immolate as many enemies as possible.
- Cataclysm, making sure to hit as many enemies as possible. Stun them beforehand with Shadowfury if you can to guarantee a hit!
- Havoc in tandem with Shadowfury if possible, or Chaos Bolt if not.
Otherwise, maintain your single-target rotation on your primary target.
rotation: 5+ enemies
- Activate Fire and Brimstone
- F&B Immolate. Keep that DoT rolling!
- F&B Conflagrate
- Havoc & Shadowburn/Chaos Bolt
- Rain of Fire so long as all the enemies stay in it for the full duration
- F&B Incinerate
With Charred Remains, your AoE rotation looks like this:
- Activate Fire and Brimstone
- F&B Immolate
- F&B Incinerate to generate embers
- F&B Chaos Bolt to spend embers (bear in mind 1 cast of F&B Chaos Bolt costs TWO EMBERS)
Mastering the Chaos: Further Explanations
When do I cast Chaos Bolt?
- Cast ONE Chaos Bolt if you are about to cap on Burning Embers, and you have no major procs/cooldowns available.
- Cast as many Chaos Bolts as you can when you have trinket procs, Dark Soul, or your legendary ring proc. Best situation is if all these buffs happen at the same time, but don’t waste 1 powerful proc hoping a second one will happen, ’cause it may not!
Try and have as many filled Burning Embers as possible without capping. This allows you to fire off as many super-powered Chaos Bolts as possible when you get powerful buffs.
Why don’t I just sit at 4 embers?
Because you don’t generate any more embers than that. It’s wasted Embers, effectively, and means you cast fewer Chaos Bolts over the course of a fight. Chaos Bolt is your hardest-hitting spell. It’s better to fire one with no procs and get that big hit in and start generating Embers (and thus future Chaos Bolts), than cap on Embers and keep firing out lil’ nothing spells, waiting for the stars to align.
What do I use Backdraft on?
When you use Conflagrate, you gain 3 stacks of Backdraft (caps at 6 stacks). You can use 1 Backdraft stack to halve the cost/cast time of Incinerate by 50%, or consume 3 to halve the cast time of Chaos Bolt.
Generally, you want to be using Backdraft on Incinerate, however if you need to cast a Chaos Bolt very quickly (eg just before a powerful buff fades, or when a boss takes increased damage for a short time) then it’s a DPS gain to squeeze that fast Chaos Bolt out.
What demon do I use?
If using Grimoire of Service, use the Felhunter. If using Grimoire of Supremacy, use the Observer. If using Demonic Servitude, use the Doomguard/Terrorguard.
The Imp, Succubus and Felhunter all do similar DPS, but the Felhunter has an interrupt and those are always useful. Similarly, their Supremacy upgrades (Fel Imp, Shivarra and Observer respectively) do similar DPS to one-another, but Obervers have an interrupt too (and eye lasers!).
The permanent Doomguard/Terrorguard provided by Demonic Servitude eclipses all of those, however, so if you’re running with that talent, then damn well use it!
Using Havoc and Shadowburn together is a great way to do a LOT of damage. You see, whereas you can only use it with 1 Chaos Bolt, you can cast Shadowburn 3 times per use of Havoc.. The way to abuse this is to cast Havoc on a boss, and then cast Shadowburn on an add that’s below 20% health. Even if the boss is above 20% health, it will take the hit from Shadowburn, and Shadowburn hits VERY hard, harder than Chaos Bolt if it crits. Not only that, but if the add then dies, you get 2 Embers back (the Ember cost is refunded, then you also get a bonus Ember), which allows you to cast futher Shadowburns or Chaos Bolts.
secondary Stat priority
You basically want gear with as much Mastery and Critical Strike as possible. Multistrike is a good stat too, but falls behind the previous two. Haste is your next best stat, followed by Versatility.
Mastery >> Critical Strike > Haste >= Multistrike >> Versatility
Apparently they did! Let’s start with a general hotfix (*salute*) first.
Haste is now 11.1% more effective. What this means is you need 90 Haste rating to gain 1% Haste, whereas before you needed 100. This is a boost for damn near all classes and specs, as it’s pretty much FREE HASTE RATING YAY but the warlock spec it benefits most is Affliction, Haste being one of its best secondary stats along with Mastery. It only really amounts to around a 1% damage boost that everybody gets, but hey! Enjoy it.
- Mastery: Master Demonologist‘s effects have been increased by 33%
Whoa. 33% is a large number! Those that play Demonology are saying their Demonbolts hit like crazy now, and Demonology is a very very good turret spec, like Arcane Mages. Thing is, unlike Arcane, Demonology will also be very good at movement DPS, not as good as melee or hunters, but still a lot better than the other casters, so did we just see Demonology become the best spec in the game when you factor in every aspect of an encounter?
It’s safe to say that this is a pretty healthy buff. 10-15% higher DPS some people are saying. Gosh!
Ah yes, my spec of choice.
- Devastation now causes the Warlock to gain 15% (up from 5%) of the Critical Strike stat from all sources.
As an example! Raenah, my Warlock, currently has 1006 Critical Strike from her gear. 5% of this is 50.3, which is rounded to 50 and added on to her total to give her 1056 Crit. It takes 110 Crit rating to give a 1% boost, which means Raenah has a 14.6% chance of a crit, when you factor in the 5% baseline Critical Strike rating.
With the new buff, 15% of 1006 is 150.9. I assume this gets rounded up to 151, and not rounded down, making her have 1157 Crit. This converts to a 15.5% Critical Strike chance, which is a boost of 0.9, which is a 6.16% increase from the previous number!
It’s basically nothing to be too excited about at this point, but as gear gets better and stats get larger, you’ll see more and more of an effect from this buff. Obviously it will boost Chaos Bolt damage slightly too, and higher crit means more embers and better AoEing, but for now it’s still a relatively small boost. We’ll see how well this shines when the gear scales upwards!
Today, I’m gonna talk about a bit of WoW, and a bit of other games I play, because my blog, my rules. That, and I need to get updating this thing more regularly!
World of Warcraft
Warlocks got a small buff in an area we… kinda didn’t need. Havoc’s base cooldown is reduced to 20 seconds (meaning 15 seconds thanks to the Draenor Perk). Our cleave was already pretty strong anyway as Destruction, it’s our AoE and ember generation that has suffered thanks to the recent Rain of Fire nerf, and our movement DPS that suffers immensely due to the loss of Fel Flame. Obviously, this change will have an effect on our ember generation… provided we have more than 1 target in a fight. On a boss like the Butcher? Useless!
Warlocks aren’t in a terrible place at the moment though. On fights where you can cleave, Destruction really shines, and Twin Ogron is a fight almost MADE for Affliction. Strong single target fights like The Butcher? Demonology with Demonbolt is the way to go! Highmaul isn’t too bad for us at the moment, but what will Blackrock Foundry throw at us?
In other WoW news, I’m loving my ol’ garrison and the missions! Gladiator warrior is INSANELY fun. LFR Highmaul is LAUGHABLY easy. Both my 100 characters are on the Abrogator Stone part of the legendary quest.
The new patch was released for Ultra Street Fighter 4 on Monday, bringing with it OMEGA MODE CHARACTERS!
And yes, some of them are hilariously broken.
Several characters have infinite combos. Ibuki and Crimson Viper both have slightly technical ones, and Gen’s infinite (GENFINITE) is hilariously easy to do.
That being said, ignoring these slightly glaring errors, Omega is such fun! My favourite characters so far are probably Gen (not because of the Genfinite, but because his custom combos remind me of how he was in Alpha), and Decapre (no charge motions!).
The Omega mode brings a whole new level of fun and silliness to the game, and best of all? FREE CONTENT! Didn’t have to pay a penny for it!
My favourite non-Omega character however is probably a tie between Gouken and Poison. You know what makes me sad though? I watch a lot of Street Fighter match videos on YouTube, because yay free time, and every time Poison features, you can GUARANTEE that the comments will feature jokes and insults about the fact she’s trans. I know, YouTube comments are generally a fucking cesspool anyway, but I still feel a twinge of sadness for the human race that we can’t just get over this. That every time she’s mentioned, there’s always some joke or insult about her.
This is even with 2 very prominent, well-known members of the competitive Street Fighter player base being trans individuals themselves! It’s staggering how narrow-minded and pathetic some people can be.
Anyway, enough of the serious talk, it’s not what I am good at.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
I bought this a while back on my PS Vita, and I’ve finally got around to playing it. It’s one of those SRPG’s I love so much, similar to Final Fantasy Tactics in fact. Isometric grids, character classes, strategy, moving things around, that sorta stuff.
The story is a political one, and your main character, Denam Pavel, is fighting to bring freedom to his country! So, a lot like Final Fantasy Tactics, I guess. Trying to keep spoilers to a minimum, seeing as I haven’t finished it yet, but there are several paths you can take through the game. Law, Neutral and Chaos. I’m on the Chaos path at the moment!
Favourite character class so far is the Ninja (DOUBLE ATTACK!), but I’ve just unlocked a Warlock class, so you better believe I’m gonna be levelling one of those! Rather than the demon summoners of WoW, Warlocks in Tactics Ogre specialise in Draconic magic, and the summoning and controlling of golems. Pretty snazzy, yes?
Anyway, that’s what I’m doing at the moment. You up to anything interesting?
In Stormwind, Flaskataur sells your PvE tier 17 gear! It’s the Heroic version, it’s item level 680, and it allows you to use your tier set bonuses! I equipped all 5 pieces, it shot my item level up to a mighty 624.
I pointed Raenah in the general direction of the garrison training dummies (located near the mine, or if you have a Mage Tower in there for some filthy reason. Ugh, mages) and fired a few spells at them. Do bear in mind that I’m not used to the Charred Remains Destruction playstyle yet, and Demonology is always one of those inscrutable mysteries to me.
Let’s remind ourselves of what the tier bonuses are for these 2 specs!
- Demonology 2 piece: Hand of Gul’dan now has 1 additional maximum charge, and Corruption has a 10% chance to generate 1 charge of Hand of Gul’dan when dealing damage.
- Demonology 4 piece: Hand of Gul’dan has a 50% chance to empower your inner demon, temporarily bringing your Metamorphosis form out even while you are not transformed.
- Destruction 2 piece: When Immolate deals damage it has a 4% chance to generate a Burning Ember.
- Destruction 4 piece: When a Burning Ember is filled up, you have a chance to cause your next Chaos Bolt to multistrike 3 additional times.
The Demonology 2 piece is fun at first, but actually gets annoying; at times you’re constantly throwing out Hand of Gul’dans, as you don’t wanna stay at 3 (potential wasted procs = lost DPS), but it comes at the detriment of doing literally ANYTHING ELSE.
The Demonology 4 piece is cool! It summons a small, ghosty version of your Metamorphosis model which throws a few Soul Fires then buggers off again.
The proc chance on the Destruction 2 piece is pretty low, I think I saw it occur maybe once? It ties in nicely to the 4 piece though. That seems to proc often!
So as you see, the 2pc bonus makes Hand of Gul’dan by FAR your most used spell. The 4pc accounts for around 5% of my total DPS.
I used Grimoire of Synergy and Demonbolt as my level 75 and level 90 talents. When best to cast Demonbolt? Cap on fury, pop Dark Soul and Metamorphosis, throw out 4 Demonbolts then a Soul Fire. If you can, cast another spell, this’ll turn you back into caster form. At more than 4 casts, Demonbolt becomes less efficient in terms of the damage it does vs the cost.
Outside of Meta, you’re building Fury by Shadow Bolting, throwing out Soul Fires if your Molten Core stacks get too high (I aim at around 6-7), and refreshing Corruption and Doom as needed.
With Grimoire of Synergy, thanks to the sheer number of things I was throwing out, the 15% damage buff was active on my demon almost 50% of the time! Due to the demon’s slower attacks however, it was only active on me just over 20%. It’s still a nice, noticeable buff though, giving you a proc to watch out for and react to.
Here, I went for the standard Grimoire of Sacrifice choice, with Charred Remains as my level 100 talent. I’m not fully used to the CR playstyle yet, but I suppose it’ll come with practice.
Single target Destruction suffers. Charred Remains means Incinerate and Conflagrate tickle your opponent, but you get to chuck out a lot more Chaos Bolts, as you can see above. Rotation is largely unchanged, only when you get close to capping embers, you probably want to throw out TWO Chaos Bolts, not one. When Chaotic Infusion procs, cast the Chaos Bolt straight away, and look at those glorious multistrikes fly.
It’s still a “build up embers, empty when Dark Soul/trinkets pop” playstyle, but with a LOT more flux in what you do outside of the burn time. Your embers will fill up fast and go down faster if you let them.
For both of these tests, I didn’t use any glyphs. I could probably have done with the Life Pact and Dark Soul glyphs on Demonology, but we live and learn.
I’m not going to test Affliction, partly because running from the garrison (where I can test in peace) and respeccing in Stormwind is an annoyance I don’t need, and partly because Affliction just doesn’t interest me any more. The spec just doesn’t engage me like it used to.
#warlords #wow #warlock