The Old Gods are coming! The Old Gods are coming! THOQ FSSH N’ZOTH! ETH’RAZZQI WORG ZZ OU! A̭͍͕̦̠̭̿͌̓̆Q̣͚͎̭̤̣Ě̬̮̙̰̣̻͌V́̅ͮ̍ A̯̯̪̱ͥ̌̓͊̆ͪ̚Q̘̖̰̺͉̪̭͎ͫ̆̄͑͊̎E̜̘̲̱̮̘̯͇ͭ͑͊̎ͥ͒V̜͙̥͇̺̰̰̾͆ A͈̩̼͚̗͓̖͒Q̗̪̻͉ͫ͛͜͝E̴̢̥̲̻͎̦̞̣͐̿ͩ͌ͅV̧̛͓͇̄͡
I mean, probably.
Things I Love In The Prepatch So Far
- 8.0 Demonology is honestly the best, most fun iteration of Demonology I have ever played! It combines the demon summoning of Legion (but cuts out the boring Demonic Empowerment spam) with the Molten Core gameplay of Mists (but cuts out the stupid Metamorphosis weaving) and honestly, it ends up being something just supremely fun and interesting! Plus, the chance to summon Prince Melchezaar is just lovely. Give me Jaraxxus too and I’ll never change spec again.
- Sticking on the Warlock front, 8.0 Affliction is actually rather interesting too. Reap Souls has thankfully gone into the bin (sadly so has Soul Flame but we can’t have everything our way), and I enjoy the Deathbolt gameplay so far. Going back to a casted filler rather than a channelled one feels a bit better as well. No more do I feel like a bargain basement Shadow Priest.
- STORY. MORE STORY. It’s not exactly going the way I’d like it to so far, but I am confident there’ll be some interesting twists and turns. REMEMBER PEOPLE, this is just the prologue to the expansion, there’s a shitload more stuff to come, and I fully expect some of it to be tentacular.
- I like that Mistweaver Monk has the castable Soothing Mist back, and you can do instant Vivify/Enveloping Mist through it. Makes it a little different to other healers. Plus I love Fistweaving, and a few of their new talents gives that gameplay style a very tidy little boost. Can’t wait to test it out in a raid environment!
- The anticipation everyone has for the new expansion. It’s so close!
Things I Hate In The Prepatch So Far
- Something feels like it’s “missing” from Destruction. Probably the lack of fire-spewing portals from the artifact. I liked those.
- “Your talents have been reset” nooooooo now I have to look things up!
- I, like many, many others, am a little miffed at the events that have transpired in the story recently. Still, there’s another week to go, and I suspect the Alliance will get a satisfying retribution. For all the moaning that the Alliance is losing an important racial capital on Kalimdor, it’s important to remember the Horde are losing their only bastion on the Eastern Kingdoms too. Whether or not that is a like-for-like is up to you to decide, but this whole faction conflict does not seem entirely one-sided. Shame it has to be the Horde ACTING, and the Alliance REACTING yet again though.
- Inxy, the lovely Goblin up there, is currently flying around the WoD zones, levelling via bonus areas and collecting treasures, and rocketing her way to level 100. Kinda wish that was viable in Legion content too. Powerlevel via exploration!
- Sylvanas’s movie needed a sea shanty like Jaina’s. Yo ho ho and a bottle of plague, that sorta thing.
Having a laptop that’s capable of running graphical settings at higher than the lowest level means I can now make pretty, pretty pictures.
I can see where my time is going to be spent from now on. Searching high and low for the pretty things!
I did the worst yesterday, here’s the best today!
Not just ol’ Skelly here, but all the talking weapons we got over Legion have buckets of personality, and I have hopes (slim as they are) that they’re allowed to be chatty when transmogged to in Battle for Azeroth too, even if it’s just their generic battle phrases (like when you use Call Dreadstalkers, Jack Skellington goes “RELEASE THE HOUNDS!”).
Warlocks get the best stuff.
Every raid had its standout (in my opinion!) boss. Il’gynoth, Star Augur, Odyn, Maiden of Vigilance, Imonar. The fact we had a decent number of raids compared to Warlords was another triumph, and while I’m a tad bored of fel green, the general aesthetic of each raid this expansion was very strong thematically.
I’ll never get bored of Old God purple though. Just saying.
The Mage Tower
Those challenges were amazingly fun, at least for warlocks. The twins were frustrating without Sacrolash’s Dark Strike, but easy enough after that. The demon worm and his master was a challenging ask, making such an interrupt-heavy fight for a spec that ordinarily has no interrupt! Demonology had Sigryn and her cronies, which was a mechanically demanding fight but by far the most fun of the three.
Also no spec had Agatha, because fuck Agatha.
The cinematics were fantastic this time around, and I am confident they will only get better going forward.
But still, Ysera… *sob*
I know, they’re repetitive, grindy, and frustrating for people who just can’t leave a single quest undone, they’re still an amazingly solid addition to the game, and mean that rather than be holed up in our garrisons like we were in Warlords, we’re still, even at this late stage of the expansion, flying around the world actually DOING stuff. Long may they continue.
Filthy, filthy, FILTHY!
Practically topless. Rippling abs! Solid pectorals! And that’s just the girls!
SOMETHING’S NOT QUITE RIGHT
AN ILLUSION! WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?!
Coven of Shivarra
Fuck your RNG bullshit. I used to like shivarra before this boss, but now my succubus shall stay a succubus out of sheer protest.
FUCK YOU XAVIUS. YOU DESERVE EVERY DEATH PLAYERS HAVE UNLEASHED UPON YOU. STOMP YOUR FACE INTO THE GROUND UNTIL THERE IS NOTHING LEFT BUT MUSH.
Their campaign basically amounted to “SAVE US, PALADINS! HELP! WE’RE QUITE USELESS!” which is a bit of a disappointment really.
Warlocks are just too good and cool and awesome, it saps all the fun out of every other lesser class. Warlocks get all the best stuff!
Ugh it was too easy to progress to max level, FISHING SHOULD TAKE YEARS yet I went from 700 to 800 in the space of an hour.
“Ah yes, remember that time I asked you for a ludicrous amount of Apexis crystals? Oh what larks we had! Ooh watch out for that Vrykul, he’s looking rather mean! Anyway yes, as I was saying…”
“LEAVE ME ALONE”
Jesus fucking Christ what the shit.
Hyped up to be the main villain of Legion, yet we offed him really early on. Still, it feels as good to beat him as it did to beat Xavius. THIS IS FOR VARIAN/YSERA etc.
“I’VE SACRIFICED EVERYTHING, WHAT HAVE YOU GIVEN?” oh honey have you seen the amount I cast Life Tap? Plus, you’ve been asleep in a vault for years and years napping. I had to build a garrison with my bare hands, damn you.
As Legion draws to a close, I’d like to take a brief look back at the raid bosses of this expansion. This is the first expansion where I have raided the entire duration at a higher level than LFR, and that’s been such an amazing experience, and thankfully we’ve had some really good fights during that time as well! Here are my favourites:
Il’gynoth, Heart of Corruption
This fight is probably my favourite fight in Legion, primarily because it has a lot of storyline significance, at least as far as his whispers go. Offering us little hints about where the rest of this expansion and the next will go, puzzles to figure out, references to scour. Her third death? A sea of stars? Her heart is a crater?
Plus, I absolutely adore instant death mechanics, and Il’gynoth’s door slam is up there with Elegon’s pit in my opinion. It’s a shame it dies in the first heart phase now because I GUARANTEE people’d still not leave the chamber even now.
Odyn’s appearance in the Trial of Valor raid was an absolute masterstroke. It basically took his Halls of Valor boss fight, and went “what if we upscaled this to a raid format and also threw a couple of the other bosses in at the start?” and what we got was a long, difficult but ultimately pleasing encounter. Also, any opportunity to see that glorious beard is fine with me.
Star Augur Etraeus
Taking place on one of the prettiest boss rooms to date, Etraeus is a relatively simple fight, but my favourite thing about the fight was how the heroic additions were reinforcements of what you needed to do already. Phase one, you generally stacked in three groups (two groups on each side, melee in the middle) and the additional mechanic, Frigid Nova, had damage reduction based on how many players were near you. Phase two you’re generally spread out, trying to avoid dropping fel pools on people, and the new Fel Nova sees you take less damage the further you are from him. Phase three, you’re generally stacked as a whole on top of the boss for healer ease, and Void Nova just damages and adds a stacking DoT, making the stacking even more helpful to the healers.
Grand Magistrix Elisande
This fight was won or lost based on how well you handled the very first phase. Take too long in it, and say hello to a shitload of Arcanetic Rings in each subsequent phase. This meant expedient killing of the speedy add, and judicious usage of Heroism (i.e. right at the start of the fight!). The combinations of mechanics, and the fact they echo in later phases, made this a difficult but very satisfying fight.
Honourable Mentions: Trilliax, Gul’dan, Kil’jaeden.
Not every fight was a winner, mind. Some fights I just plain hated:
Eonar the Life-Binder
This tower defence fight. Waves after waves of enemies lurch from portals, and eventually Eonar blasts a ship out the sky. I hate this fight, it feels less like a boss and more like trash that rewards epic loot if you’re lucky. Never mind the fact that everything seems to be dead just as I arrive somewhere, more than anything, it commits the crime of being utterly DULL.
The Coven of Shivarra
Antorus ain’t doing so brilliantly, having two bosses in the hated section. This fight earns my ire for its use of RNG. This fight can be easily lost by the flip of a coin, based on what titan is tormented and when. Every time I’ve died on this fight, it’s because of the Norgannon adds. Here they come to stomp all over me in my safe zone from the Storm of Darkness, giving me the choice of dying to the adds, or dying to the storm outside. Here they come to stomp all over me because Diima bunged her Orb of Frost on me, reducing my movement speed by 85%. The fight has ridiculously nasty overlaps, and it’s almost impossible to practice them consistently because they change from pull to pull.
This fight takes ten fucking years and everything’s so dark and not even the presence of tentacular tentacles can save it. Odyn was a long but fun fight. Helya is a long, terrible, painful slog and that stupid orb needs to STOP TARGETING ME. STOP IT! I DON’T HAVE MOVEMENT SPEED INCREASES FOR THE LOVE O- I’m sorry, I lost myself a little there.
High Botanist Tel’arn
Utter, utter chaos in the last phase and it makes my laptop slow down to a crawl, so I ain’t moving for love nor money. It’s really odd how this is the only fight in the Nighthold that does that, especially with Etraeus existing. Anyway, those stupid spiky spores and the Call of Night and the Parasitic Fetter can bite me.
Dishonourable Mentions: Mistress Sassz’ine, Elerethe Renferal, Spellblade Aluriel.
But not every fight even inspires a sense of hatred. Some fights were just… there. Underwhelming, boring, mechanically limited, here are my most disappointing fights of Legion:
Just… what the hell was this? Stand in the middle and spank the boss? Occasionally move out then back in so the blades avoid the raid? Nothing else? Ignore all those adds at the end because they do literally nothing except lag my laptop? And this is an END BOSS?
Oh look, it’s another “stack on the boss and every ten years, spread for 5 seconds” snoozefest. At least this one had murloc adds. Mrglrglrlgl!
Oh look, it’s another “stack slightly behind the boss, then move side to side every so often” snoozefest. At least this one gave a person a reason to move outside the raid (8 yards only though) so they don’t spread disease about.
Argus the Unmaker
Look, this is meant to be the end boss of the expansion, yet it too boiled down to “stack up, move if you have a bomb/he makes a cone/there’s a swirly” and for an end boss OF THE EXPANSION that’s just a bit too simplistic. The saving grace of this fight was the transition from phase three to four (INSTAKILL!) and the usage of death almost as a resource (for tanks to drop stacks, for people to collect orbs to activate Titanforging) and the need to keep the tree alive.
But a strong phase 4, the phase you’re probably in the fight for the least, does not a good end boss make. The first three phases, unless you botch up the cone of death in phase one, you just don’t feel like you’re under any palpable threat.
Honourable Meh-ntions: Tichondrius, Portal Keeper Hasabel, Cenarius.
Anyway, there’s the notable bosses of this expansion for me. But what about you? Who did you love or hate? Who do you forget even exist? Let me know! As for me, I have a void elf to level.
Time to get back to the grind in WoW.
(with a little more Civ woven in of course, I mean the expansion is next month, and oh god Dynasty Warriors 9 is out soon too)
Fings Wot I Want
- A void elf, but that apparently involves getting the last Legion reputation to exalted, and ugh Mac’Aree sucks.
- That snazzy mage tower appearance for Affliction, but that involves getting a specific legendary and the game seems to want to give me anything BUT that legendary. Even going so far as to not give me ANY affliction-specific legendaries at all, let alone the one I want.
- To kill Argus the Whateverthefrig on Heroic, but then that’s going to happen sooner or later, we’re making good progress through Antorus the Uncomfortable Seat.
- To get Affliction to 75. I’m at 73. This is probably the easiest to do, maybe I should get right on that?
The Celts in Civ VIwait that’s not WoW-related!
- Though while I’m on the subject of Civ VI, another African or South American civ would be lovely too.
- The enthusiasm to level my horde character to come back. She’s level 60, and she’s stalled. Though I’ve been playing the game as a whole less recently, due to a random Civ renaissance in my life.
- MORE WARLOCKS.
Fings Wot I Don’t Want
- I… I just… Look, Eonar is an atrocious fight and I hope to hell Blizz never do anything like that again.
- Norgannon’s Foresight.
Another East Asian/European civ, bar Georgia I guess. Give us some underrepresented areas!Wait that’s not WoW-related!
- To be stuck at 3-set the whole bloody tier.
- Like, just in general Malfurion, he’s awful.
I don’t know either, but let’s talk about Demonology instead. It’s been noted that the spec has issues, some of them stemming from Demonic Empowerment and the slow ramp-up of the spec in general. “This is a large problem that requires iteration, not just a numbers fix” says Ion Hazzithingymajig back in December last year, so how can we improve the spec?
Here’s my idea. Note that this is more of a revamp, not a “WoD Survival Hunter to Legion Survival Hunter” complete overhaul. I love the idea of being a summoner, and I’d like to… refine it? Help improve it? Well, we’ll see.
Gone. No more. The core of my idea is moving to a more cooldown-centric style of play, as opposed to “filler to make shards, spend, filler again” like we do now. A few spells would change as a result, so let’s look at the core rotational abilities, namely Shadow Bolt, Doom, Summon Dreadstalkers, Hand of Gul’dan, and Demonic Empowerment.
It’s rarely worth casting this on any add as it only ticks the once, and by the time you’ve Doomed a number of things, they’ve started to die, unless you drop a Hand of Gul’dan on them with the Hand of Doom talent. Your Darkglare would have nothing to shoot its lasers at! My fix? Ehh, make it tick twice over the duration? Once halfway through, once at the end.
Hand of Gul’dan
With my proposed binning of Soul Shards, Hand of Gul’dan would become a combination of the version of the spell we have now, and the version from Mists. Basically, make it instant cast and have 2 charges, with a 10 second recharge time. The meteor drops, enemy is hit, 4 imps are summoned. These imps last 30 seconds. Why so long? Because of a new ability I would add that I will detail later on.
Eh, frankly this ability is alright as it is. Don’t take my feldoggies away! Maybe make them last longer but with a longer cooldown (15 seconds duration/20 second cooldown?).
The filler, the ability you cast when there’s nothing to do. Give it a 10% chance to generate a charge of Hand of Gul’dan.
Currently, this buffs all your active demons’ haste and health by 50% and 20% respectively, and through your mastery also slaps on a damage boost to them. In my version of Demonology, the damage boost via mastery is a passive, at-all-times damage boost, and Demonic Empowerment becomes a 2 minute cooldown that buffs your the haste and health of your demons, and DOUBLES the effect of your mastery for x amount of time. This is a spell you’ll have active on your demons at all times anyway, so the damage boost might as well become a passive and the spell itself be used as a major DPS cooldown.
I know you’d like me to say “GET RID OF IT!” but in my Demonology vision, it becomes even more integral due to a BRAND NEW SPELL I would add:
Remember I said I’d extend the duration a group of imps stays summoned for from 12 seconds to 30? Well, here’s why. This spell, on a 90 second cooldown, costs all your remaining mana and all of your imps, and from their/your energy, a powerful new demon is summoned.
- 4 imps, or one Hand of Gul’dan-worth, nets you one of those fancy Demonic Jailers. You know, with the cage on their back?
- 8 imps? An Inquisitor is yours!
- 12 imps? Gosh, here’s a Fel Lord!
- 16 imps? I dunno, a dreadlord?
- Did you get lucky with your Shadow Bolt procs and have 20 or more imps? Well here’s the PIT LORD you always wanted!
The fact this summoning drains all your mana to use as well as eats up all your imps necessitates the usage of Life Tap. Combine this with Demonic Empowerment for a hugely powerful demon! It’d naturally have to be worth the cost of the spell, so have each of the demons do a similar amount of damage as the equivalent number of imps used to summon it, +4. While I’m at it, making new spells, how about we bring an old one back?
Back in Mists/Warlords, you could use Glyph of Imp Swarm to give you the ability to summon 4 imps instantly, on a 2 minute cooldown. Seeing as my Demonology vision bins the Soul Shards, make Imp Swarm a level 100 talent that replaces Soul Conduit. It contributes to burst, especially when opening, and would help you get a Fel Lord out through Demonic Sacrifice relatively quickly (2 Hands, Imp Swarm, Demonic Sacrifice, Life Tap, resume normal rotation).
This is just an idea. We may not even get a revamp for Battle for Azeroth, but it’d certainly be nice for some of the issues that have been addressed by Blizzard themselves to be sorted out. Maybe my idea would create MORE issues, I don’t know, I’m no designer. Just an enthusiastic Warlock who’s stuck with Demonology through thick and thin this expansion.
I love the spec, but it can be improved. Here’s to hoping.