Tag Archives: Warlock

Warlocks of Draenor: Halls of Blood LFR

So the next wing is open. More chances to get evil books.

highcouncil

Hellfire High Council

Ah, a council fight. Our favourite. The best strategy is to get them all to about 50% as fast as you can (multidot as Affliction, make use of Havoc as Destro), then burn them down one at a time. Generally, you want to kill off Gurtogg Bloodboil first, then Jubei’thos, then Dia Darkwhisper.

Abilities of note:

  • Dia Darkwhisper: Dia periodically casts Mark of the Necromancer, and her ability Reap interacts with it. If you have the debuff and she’s about to cast this, run as fast as you can to the outskirts of the room as she’ll plonk a big void zone beneath you. Wailing Horror hurts rather a lot. Avoid the ghosts!
  • Gurtogg: Fel Rage sees him fixate on a player, increase their health, and pummel them. In difficulties OTHER than LFR, each time he hits you his attack speed increases. Healers beware! When he hits 30% health, he periodically casts Tainted Blood, which reduces your maximum health by 10%, which persists until you wipe or beat the encounter.. Smash him to bits before your health drops too low!
  • Jubei’thosWindwalk sees him vanish, replaced by numerous mirror images that periodically throw their swords around. It’s indicated by an arrow which way they will throw, so try not to stand in front of them. They vanish after 45 seconds, but killing them is probably quicker. The lower Jubei’thos’s health, the lower the health of the images. Avoid Felstorm when he spins around. He lugs his Fel Blade around a bit too, indicated by a yellow arrow again.

Recommended spec: Affliction SHINES in 3 target council fights, and this is a 3 target council fight.

kilrogg

Kilrogg Deadeye

It’s an add fight! Here’s the add priority!

  • Blood Globule: These spawn from players hit by Heart Seeker. They move to Kilrogg, and if they reach him, they heal him and deal raid-wide damage.
  • Salivating Bloodthirster: These run to pools of fel blood. Kill them before they get there, or they turn into…
  • Hulking Terror: These should not face the raid.
  • Kilrogg

Here’s where to stand. When you have Heart Seeker aimed at you, use the demonic gateway. Small adds spawn where the ranged stand, so DPS them down as soon as you can.

kilroggposition

Notable abilities!

  • Heart Seeker: The player affected by this should run like buggery as far away from everyone as they can, aided by a Demonic Gateway if possible. Melee, don’t stand where the arrow is pointing. Players hit by this spawn an add that is of the highest priority.
  • Visions of Death: He places 3 circles on the ground that a healer and 2 DPS need to stand in. This whisks them away to THE DEATH REALM. Here, you kill things, interrupt Imps, avoid void zones left by dead Fiends, and don’t stand in front of the Mistresses! When you exit THE DEATH REALM, DPS get a large DPS buff, and healers get an ability that cleanses Fel Corruption. Oh! While we’re at it…
  • Fel Corruption: Less an ability, more a consequence of. Hulking Terrors inflict you with this, it’s cleansed by healers who leave THE REALM OF DEATH, and at 100 it mind controls you.
  • Death Throes: Avoid the spots on the ground. Don’t stop moving.

Recommended spec: Short-lived adds you can Havoc and Shadowburn? On-demand burst requirements? HELLO DESTRUCTION.

gorefiend

Gorefiend

Look at that stunner. 2 phase fight with occasional being eaten. What to watch out for?

Phase 1

  • ADDS. Kill them. Gorebound Spirit is the highest priority, then Gorebound Essence, then Gorebound Construct. Big’un, lit’lun, skelly.
  • Touch of Doom: You get affected by this? Get AWAY from everyone. You explode for big damage at the end of the debuff, which is reduced the further away from people you are, and leaves behind a void zone.
  • Shared Fate: 3 players are linked. One of them is rooted. The other 2 need to run to the rooted player, or they all take massive damage.
  • Hunger for Life: A Gorebound Construct will fixate on you. Run away from it.
  • Shadow of Death: Gorefiend kill you and eats you. Now you get to run around his stomach, DPS Gorebound Constructs, heal Tortured Essences, avoid void zones, and interrupt and prioritise killing Enraged Spirits. If you’re in the stomach for longer than 40 seconds, he digests you. To avoid this, go to the pillar in the middle. Adds in this room are doing the same, and will appear in the main room if they reach it. Avoid void zones.
  • Crushing Darkness: Spawns void zones that explode after a few seconds. Don’t stand in them.

Phase 2

  • Feast of Souls: His energy has hit 0, and he wants to refill it. Raid-wide damage every couple seconds. Yawn. He also spawns Unstable Souls which float toward him and refill his energy when they get to him. You can intercept these to extend the phase, which ends when his energy is filled, or after 1 minute. During this phase, he takes DOUBLE DAMAGE, so save your DPS cooldowns for now! Everyone should stack near Gorefiend with the melee to help the healers. Yay AoE healing.

Recommended Spec:  Short-lived adds you can Havoc and Shadowburn? On-demand burst requirements? HELLO DESTRUCTION.

Whoa deja vu. Plonk a Demonic Circle down to aid you in running out the raid for Mark of Doom, and use the Glyph of Conflagration to assist you in slowing adds down.

Warlocks of Draenor: Hellbreach LFR

On Tuesday in NA realms, and Wednesday on EU realms, the first wing of LFR opened, the Hellbreach! This sees you tackle the first 3 bosses of Hellfire Citadel, and let’s have a little overview of the bosses.

martak

Hellfire Assault

This is basically an add fight. You defend two cannons, while defeating enemies that try to destroy it. When the fight starts, your first priority is to get Siegemaster Mar’tak to 50% health, whereupon she leaves the fight. Try and cleave other adds down at the same time to not get overwhelmed.

The rest of the fight is then you avoiding ground crap, and DPSing the correct targets, according to a priority:

  • Siege vehicles: When defeated, they drop Felfire Munitions, which a DPS or a healer should pick up and take up the ramp to one of the cannons. This is how you beat the encounter: feeding the cannons enough ammo!
  • Gorebound Felcaster/Gorebound Terror: These are probably the most damaging of the adds. Try and interrupt as many casts of Felfire Volley as you can. At some point, the Felcaster will cast Metamorphosis and turn into the Terror, you NEED to focus these down ASAP before they get too many (or any!) casts of Felfire Volley off.
  • Hulking Berserkers: These focus on the tanks, but need to be killed relatively quickly lest they smash them to bits.
  • Contracted Engineers/Iron Dragoons: Just AoE and cleave these down, maybe as you’re DPSing the other, higher priority, adds.

Recommended spec: Destruction with Grimoire of Sacrifice and Charred Remains. This is your strongest AoE spec, and also has the strongest on-demand single target burst needed for the vehicles and Felcasters.

reaver

Iron Reaver

Big robot. Mostly single target. Takes to the skies when her energy is full. What to watch out for?

  • Blitz: When she starts casting this, move the hell out her way! She faces a random member of the raid, moves towards them, and takes anyone in her path with her. This silences, pacifies and deals a lot of damage. She then repeats the attack back to her tank (usually). When charging, she pushes the fire patches left by Barrage out her way.
  • Barrage: Hits in a rather wide cone in front of her. Again, move. Leaves little fire patches on the ground.
  • Pounding: This one’s unavoidable. Use Unending Resolve, Sacrificial Pact, or other damage-reducing cooldowns to limit the work your healers have to do. This ability moves the fire patches from Barrage away from her, so be wary of moving fire.
  • Unstable Orb: Plonks a DoT on random raid members. If it’s on you, don’t be within 8 yards of anyone.

Over time, her energy bar charges, and once it’s full, she flies into the sky (obviously got the Draenor Pathfinder achievement). She reduces any damage dealt to her by 95% while she’s in the sky, and you have new things to avoid/kill.

  • Artillery: Targets 3 people. Move!
  • Fuel Streak: She jets across the field, leaving a large streak of fuel that she then ignites a couple seconds later. Don’t be in it when it ignites, it HURTS. Sticks around a little bit.
  • Firebomb: Targets random raid members. Plonks a circle around them, which you have to move out of before she blows you up. Leaves a bomb behind which you NEED to destroy. After 25 seconds, the bombs explode dealing a LOT of damage.
  • Falling Slam: Another targeted AoE. Easily avoidable, and heralds the end of the air phase.

So it’s basically avoid fire and DPS bombs. Simple.

Recommended Spec: Any, really. They’re all passable on single target. I prefer Affliction at the moment, due to all the bloody Haste gear I keep getting.

Kormrok

Kormrok

Single target. Single phase. Boss leaps around into pools of crap that make him stronger. Don’t go in the pools yourself, they hurt!

  • Pound: Spread out 4 yards apart.
  • Explosive Energy: If he has this, he leapt into the orange pool. He’ll place Explosive Runes onto the ground, which someone needs to stand on. If someone DOESN’T, the whole raid takes damage. Use a personal cooldown to mitigate the damage if you’re the activator. When empowered by the orange pool, the runes spawn in a circle, then respawn when triggered, in front of who triggered it. You need make it so the runes respawn on top of each-other in 1 big rune, which you then trigger and it vanishes.
  • Foul Energy: He’s leapt into the green pool, and it powers up his Grasping Hands. This attack normally summons little hands that grab everyone bar the tanks. Kill the hands to free yourselves and others before the hands crush you to death! When empowered, the hands not only grab you, but drag you to the nearest pool of hurty gunk. Kill them even quicker! It also summons a hand that grabs the player currently tanking Kormrok, which needs to be killed ASAP.
  • Shadow Energy: The purple pool, which powers up Fel Outpouring. Ordinarily, this ability makes large blobs spawn from the purple pool, which move across the room then disappear. Avoid them, lest you suffer heavy damage. When empowered, he summons blobs from all 3 pools, which move in lots of directions. Avoid them, lest you suffer heavy damage again.

Recommended Spec: Having attempted this fight on Normal, I’d definitely take Destruction with Grimoire of Sacrifice and Charred Remains again. Being able to DPS the Grasping/Dragging hands down ASAP is very very important, and with AoE Chaos Bolt that becomes a lot easier. Demonology has very good burst AoE too, so it’s viable here.

The DANGER Zone: Surviving in Tanaan Jungle

Tanaan Jungle. Fraught with danger. Gul’dan’s sitting in his ugly, spiky, green castle, waiting for you to go and smack loot out of Archimonde and pals, and along the way you have to sink his battleship.

You lose, Gul'dan

You lose, Gul’dan

Tanaan jungle is dark. Really dark. If they were going for a sense of foreboding, it’s harder to instill more foreboding than “TURN OFF ALL THE LIGHTS AND LET LOOSE THE POWERFUL MONSTERS”.

Thankfully, Warlocks have it easier than most classes, by virtue of this little guy:

Not the Dwarf. The Voidy.

Not the Dwarf. The Voidy.

Yes, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with your Voidlords, people, as this guy’s your best friend in Tanaan. Keeping him alive is a priority, because so long as he’s between you and your foes, you cannot die. So, it’s all about maximising his survivability to minimise your risk of death, and the best way of doing that? Well, I went Affliction for this, as you gain access to the Health Funnel spell, which is a significant factor in keeping Old Voidy alive, and I took these talents:

talents

Dark Regeneration is the “OH SHIT” heal. Heals you AND your pet over 12 seconds. Shadowfury is best used as often as possible, or as a “OH SHIT” button for when things start hitting you. Stun, resummon your pet if needed, or just reposition yourself, get your pet to taunt off you, then resume. Soul Link heals your pet for 3% of damage you deal, thus directly increasing his survivability. The level 60 talents have no real benefit, though I suppose you can go Blood Horror, just in case something DOES target you, but be wary of it running into and pulling other mobs.

Supremacy makes the Voidwalker into a Voidlord, which is a no-brainer. Archimonde’s Darkness provides 2 charges of your DPS cooldown for when you NEED to pump extra damage on an enemy to finish it off quickly. Cataclysm is another great “OH SHIT” attack, as it hits like a truck in a large area, AND applies Agony and Unstable Affliction.

There’s useful glyphs too:

glyph

 

Demon Training increases the armor rating of your Voidlord by 10%. Fear turns the aforementioned spell into a better form of CC, rooting it in place for 20 seconds, as opposed to running around (and pulling extra mobs). Healthstone is more for YOUR survival, as it doubles the effectiveness of your stones, and turns it into a pretty powerful heal-over-time effect.

Health Funnel is an optional choice. It heals your demon for 15% instantly, as opposed to 36% over 6 seconds, but gives it a 10 second cooldown. You lose less health with the glyph too, 2% for the 1 GCD, instead of 12% over 6 GCDs. Thing is, it’s a bit less flexible than the non-glyphed version, thanks to the cooldown it places on it. It’s definitely good for if you can’t bear to sit and channel for ages instead of DPSing, though as Affliction, so long as your DoTs are rolling you’ll still do appreciable damage.

That glyph is, therefore, a matter of choice. Want a slightly bursty, quick heal, or a longer but more powerful heal?

Also! In moments of emergency, to resummon your demon if it dies, ALWAYS use Soulburn first, as it makes the summon instant! You really don’t want to be sat there casting for 5+ seconds while orcs and demons smack you in the face. Soulburn, Summon Voidlord, Soulshatter, Suffering. Make sure you have easy access to these!

pirates

 

Last piece of advice? Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Move slowly. Pull carefully. Good luck in Tanaan Jungle, my fel friends.

Suffer, Wither, Die! Affliction 101

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?

Talents

affytalents

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.

pirates

Useful Glyphs

  • 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.

cataclysm

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.

Key Spells

  • 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!

Demon

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.

Stat Priority

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.

Bring Me Your PANDAS

I had such lofty goals at the start of this expansion. I wanted a garrison full of Pandaren. I wanted Panda guards, Panda followers, and my characters to be Pandas themselves.

(PANDA WARLOCKS PLEASE, BLIZZARD)

There’s only 1 guaranteed Pandaren follower, however. Fen Tao, over in the Ashran towns. The rest you have to acquire through the inn, and that’s sadly subject to RNG. Week in, week out, I barely get any Pandaren.

Disappointing.

cowpanda

Demonology Warlocks

The Warlords Q&A was last Saturday, and a Warlock-specific question was asked. It of course created a huge furore among the Warlock community.

Why are you nerfing Demonology warlocks to the ground?

Because we’d rather you not play demonology…  There is an ebb and flow, now it’s your turn to be not the best spec, Demo locks.

Of course, in their sheer RAGE, people neglect to notice this:

We saw Aff and Destro mostly drift over to Demonology. We weren’t happy that this was the spec people were forced to play…

And also this!

Demo is still viable but probably not the best spec.

In other words, if you still want to play Demonology you can. You’ll still do good damage. If you want to play Destruction, or even Affliction, then you also can, because they will also do good damage. Warlocks are in a good place in 6.2, believe it or not, and having all 3 specs be viable is amazing! I mean, Affliction is mostly awful now, and Demonology was terrible in 5.4. 5.2 and 5.0, Destruction was rubbish. To have a patch where all 3 specs are actually USABLE is foreign ground for us.

Demonology won’t be the best. They’ve made sure of it.

In the meantime, we want to make sure we’re alleviating the pressure to play Demonology over other specs, which means making sure that it isn’t the best warlock spec.

Now, can we get a fix on Rain of Fire?

Please?

pirates

Jem and the RAGE

I have opinions. Opinions on things. Here I will throw out a few opinions for you to mull over.

Jem and the Holograms (2015)

Jem and the Holograms was this weird, dated-even-for-the-80’s, occasionally badly animated cartoon that was basically a means to sell toys, revolving around a woman called Jerrica Benton. By day, she’s the owner of a record company, Starlight Music, and also runs some sort of orphanage or foster care centre, because of course she does. By night, she’s JEM, the lead singer of Jem and the Holograms! She has a computer called Synergy that can basically do anything. She uses it to make earrings that project holograms over herself and her bandmates. Disguises!

jem1

It’s disgustingly 80’s and it’s AMAZING. It had the best intro music, it had songs throughout the episode, it had weird, fantastical sequences that defy explanation, and it spawned an INCREDIBLY funny (and entirely sick, NSFW) spoof series on YouTube called Jiz and the Mammograms.

(seriously, if you’re easily offended, I’d recommend not searching for it)

To great fanfare, a live-action movie was announced last year. To greater fanfare, the first trailer for it was shown yesterday.

Where is Synergy? Where are the Misfits? Where’s Jem’s record label? Where’s her AGENCY? Where are the goddamn motherfuckin’ HOLOGRAMS?

We’ve gone from the animation that had Jem as a reasonably strong, successful, capable woman, who runs her own record company, fronts a band, and is generally all-round awesome, to this live-action abomination that turns her into this… drippy wet-blanket that gets shunted around and turned into Yet Another Drone of the Music Industry. They turned what could be something truly awesome into another teenage drama movie with the Jem license painted sloppily over the top of it.

She is not Jem.

They are not the Holograms.

I am NOT happy.

BOTBANNING

Other major controversy that occurred yesterday was the banning of (supposedly) 100,000 accounts that used programs to play World of Warcraft for them. From dungeon botting, to battleground botting, to fishing botting, if you were automating your gameplay, and they found you out, then you got flushed. Well, for 6 months at least.

Now this is all well and good, cheaters who break the ToU that Blizzard CLEARLY set out (and evidently nobody reads) should get banned, but it’s entirely possible that it’s hit some innocent people too. People who use a virtual private network because they don’t trust, say, a hotel network, or people who use background programs like autoclickers to play Clicker Heroes, or those that run some programs that they HAVE to as a programmer might set off a flag to Warden, and got swept away too.

Now, for those innocent people, there are ways for you to hopefully get your account back, and I encourage you to do them!

There are, however, a small amount of people that feel they SHOULD be able to use programs to play the game for them, and that it’s Blizzard’s DUTY to change the ToU to reflect this.

No, really.

’cause Obama doesn’t have anything better to do, right?

obama

NEW PTR BUILD

And yet again, we see NO CHANGES for Destruction Warlocks. No change to the Rain of Fire issues they said they’d look at way back in 6.0. No change to the spec to make it actually viable in single target. Nothing to change the fact that you’re basically a turret and are absolutely fucked over when you have to move.

Meanwhile, Demonology is getting further smashed into the ground, thanks to a nerf on the Shadowflame DoT from Hand of Gul’dan, and Affliction is increasingly looking like the go-to spec for 6.2

It’s a shame that Affliction is just so cripplingly DULL.

cataboom2

*sigh*

Other Niggles

  • The Demonology 4-piece tier bonus has a chance to summon demons to aid you when you proc Molten Core. One of these demons is Prince Malchezaar from Karazhan. He’s big, and he will run into melee and you poor Rogues, Warriors et al will not be able to see a damn thing.
  • There’s apparently some RAGE about the new store mount but frankly I don’t care. Don’t like it/the fact Blizzard are charging £x for it/SLIPPERY SLOPE? Don’t fucking buy it and move along.
  • Retribution Paladins are also crying out for changes, it’s not just us Destruction fiends, and they’re getting jack too, which is a shame. Plus, Warlocks and Paladins joining forces and going “GIVE US SOMETHING!” is a weird thing, but there you go.

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IKRALLA RAGE FACE.

Skyrimming

Now that just sounds DIRTY.

Yesterday, I ended up redownloading Skyrim, then a couple of mods that prevent a small glitch affecting my game. For some reason, if you alt-tab out then go back in, it’d duplicate the crosshair with your mouse pointer, and everything’d be out of sync and just generally annoying. Now? I can alt-tab with gay abandon!

I reinstalled, added those mods, then created a new character, a Khajiit lady named Frisky McBiscuit, because THE LEGEND OF FRISKY MOVES ONWARDS. Frisky McBiscuit has been a name I’ve used in both Skyrim and Oblivion, as well as both recent Fallout games, and Mass Effect (where she sadly had to be Frisky Mc Shepard). Why? I don’t know, but I like to maintain that they’re all the same person, or reincarnations of the same person at least (considering one’s a Khajiit, another is Argonian, and the rest humans).

She’s gonna sneak, fire arrows, steal all your belongings then sell them back to you at a premium. She’s invisible, she’s fuckin’ with your mind, she’s got a silver tongue and a love of gold.

There’s also no pictures of her because I forgot to take screenshots while I was playing OOPS. Maybe tonight.

vanfire

In Other News

New PTR Build! Warlock changes?! NOPE.

Oh sure, there’s some stuff changed, but it’s all tooltip stuff, nothing mechanical.

As for Warlock set bonuses, Demonology’s 2-piece bonus sees a change.

  • Your Soul Fire increases the damage done by your Demons by 5% for 15 sec. This effect can stack up to 5 times.

So basically, thanks to the 25% nerf to EVERYTHING Demonology-related, your pet will probably do most of your damage. Thanks to the set bonus here, it’ll push pet damage out even further, and turn you into your demon’s buffer bitch.

“BUFF ME, STUPID WARLOCK”
“I’m sorry, Arakzekeel!” *casts Soul Fire 5 times*

Now who’s the master?

cataboom2

Achievements?

I HAVE GARONA. YAY. That’s me all caught up, Legendary-wise for now, at least on the Warlock. Next, the Monk, who has 18 runes thanks to the garrison mission, and will apparently get a bonus to rune collection thanks to the fact I have a character who has done the quest already. Huzzah!

Timewalker Dungeons: Why Bother?

I touched on this on Twitter earlier, and others did too, but today I’m going to write my FEELINGS down, because I have FEELINGS and I am not an emotionless machine with no FEELINGS.

Introduced in patch 6.2 will be “bonus events” that occur on certain days, affect the game in some way, then vanish 1 or 2 days later. These apparently occur on some sort of cycle. The events are:

  • Timewalking Dungeon Event: Players 71+/81+ can queue for special “Timewalker” dungeons where you are scaled down to the level the content appeared in, but earn rewards appropriate for the level you are when you queue.
  • Pet Battle Event: Earn triple the pet experience!
  • Draenor Dungeon Event: Killing stuff in level 100 Heroic or Mythic dungeons earns reputation with Draenor factions.
  • Apexis Bonus Event: Apexis Crystals appear more frequently when killing stuff in Draenor.
  • Battleground/Arena Skirmish Bonus Events: Earn triple the Honor Points when participating in a battleground, or arena skirmish.

All well and good. Stuff to encourage you to play the game, at least on those days. These seem like weekend bonuses. Other games do this too. Call of Duty sometimes does triple XP weekends, for example.

Issues?

In the video above, Qelric eloquently elaborates on her issues with Timewalker content. TL;DW?

  • It’s too fucking easy. This is indicative of what the content was at the end of the relevant expansion, when people have fantastic gear and faceroll everything. Rooms can be mass-pulled, trash can be engaged with the boss, healers can spend time DPSing instead of actually healing.
  • The rewards are just not up to snuff. 640 gear? You get better gear from LFR or your garrison, and when 6.2 hits, you can also get tokens from enemies in Tanaan that create 640 gear, much like with the 496 tokens on the Timeless Isle. What’s the incentive to run this content?

What IS the incentive? It’s not rewards, it’s DEFINITELY not the challenge.

For some people, these dungeons will trigger memories of “glory days” or of better times, which will then be stomped all over by the fact that these are still not the experiences you will have. You will go into this Timewalker content and you will storm through it, you will be aghast at how trivial it all is. If you’re going in there for the challenges you remember, be prepared for disappointment.

But maybe this is part of the plan? Maybe this is merely seen by Blizzard as an alternate avenue of gearing alts? That every once in a while, you can do something DIFFERENT from LFR, or grinding stupid gear tokens, and do a laughably easy dungeon for weirdly-coloured BC-era loot.

I’m not really sure I like that.

I don’t have the emotional attachment to these dungeons as Qelric does, primarily as I never ran them “at level”, I only started playing at the tail-end of Wrath. For me, the equivalent would be… Cataclysm heroics, maybe. I remember them being horrendously difficult. My guild and I did these places together, and we felt such achievement and accomplishment at merely doing this. My memories of the places are tied to the people I ran those dungeons with, and if they were butchered in the same way, I imagine I’d have much the same reaction.

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In Other News

Destruction has updated tier bonuses.

  • 2pc: Reduces cast time of Chaos Bolt by 1 second and increases damage by 5%.
  • 4pc: Your Chaos Bolt has a 9% chance to not consume an ember.

Simple, relatively unexciting boosts to DPS. The 2 piece allows for more embers to be cast in a shorter window (thus maybe making Glyph of Dark Soul more viable?) and the 4 piece boosts DPS by offering the occasional free Chaos Bolt. It’s not quite the instant Chaos Bolts we were seeing before the change, but still good.

Destruction still sucks at movement though.

Demonology has a changed bonus too.

  • 2pc: Your Soul Fire increases the damage done by your Demons by 5% for 15 seconds.

Seems straight forward. Cast Soul Fire, demon does more damage. Does this extend to Guardian pets as well? Your summoned imps and your Doomguard cooldown? TESTING NEEDED.

Not to be outdone, Affliction has a change too.

  • 2pc: Each time Drain Soul deals damage, it has a 20% chance to extend the duration of Dark Soul: Misery by 2 seconds.

So, your primary filler spell increases the duration of your primary DPS cooldown. Bit RNG, bit boring, but still a DPS boost if you get even just 1 timer extension.

They all boost DPS, but in very unexciting ways. It’s a shame.

woteva

(obviously stuff mentioned in both sections of this post are PTR stuff and are therefore subject to change, so take stuff with pinches of salt galore)

HUNGER

We’re all in a froth. 6.2 has been spat out onto the PTR and it brings lots of new content. Shipyards! Raids! Demons! More legendary rubbish with Khadgar and friends! Battle pets! Timewalker dungeons! Yadda yadda.

It feels like such a long time since we had any new content, but don’t forget that Blackrock Foundry only opened a few weeks ago. Mists of Pandaria seems to have inspired an impatience in people. We had chunks of content in a nice, managable pace, then 5.4 hit and we had nothing new until 6.0, about… 14 months later?

This massive gap between expansions seems to have made a lot of people hungrily consume new content in a huge rush. “IT’S BEEN SO LONG I MUST DO IT ALL NOW!” They blasted their way to 100, hammered the dungeons, did whatever content appealed to them until it was done, then… nothing. They complain there’s nothing to do, because they did it all so quickly and then don’t do anything else. Pet battles are “for casuals”, or there’s nothing they need from old raid bosses, or they don’t do PvP/PvE/LFR/whatever content they’re ignoring.

We HUNGER for 6.2.
We NEED 6.2.
IT COMES.

lunkick

6.2 PTR Warlock Patch Notes

I’m only gonna focus on the patch notes, rather than PTR changes, as the patch note information is more concrete, whereas undocumented changes are more fluid in nature.

Affliction sees buffs!

  • Corruption: Deals 12% more damage
  • Agony: Deals 12% more damage
  • Unstable Affliction: Deals 12% more damage

A nice damage boost! People who feel forced out of Affliction due to it being “inferior” to the other specs can now justify playing it again! Especially as Demonology takes a shattering nerf:

  • Shadow Bolt: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Mastery: Master Demonologist: decreased in effectiveness by 4%
  • Chaos Wave: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Doom: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Hand of Gul’dan: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Soul Fire: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Touch of Chaos: Damage reduced by 25%

OUCH. All of Demonology’s core abilities taking a bit of a hammering there. Naturally, this is only the first iteration of changes, but here’s hoping they change soonish!

But what about Destruction?

  • No.

Well, there’s still time. We do get a nice quality of life change though!

  • Dark Soul should now have its cooldown reset at the end of a raid encounter for all Warlock specializations.

Huzzah!

Mortal Kombat X

It’s amazing. AMAZING. Oh my goodness I’m loving it. And much to my surprise, I’m liking a character more than the amazing Kung Lao!

Ermac! Everyone’s favourite sentient soul prison! His variations are Mystic (with enhanced telekinesis), Master of Souls (gains a projectile and the ability to vanish completely from sight!) and Spectral (WITH THE POWER OF FLIGHT! Very mobile variant), with the latter being my favourite. I just like taking to the skies and flying around my boyfriend’s characters. Whoosh!

And with that, I disappear, much like Master of Souls Ermac.

Warlock Soloing: What’s the Best Spec?

Back before 6.0 the best Warlock soloing spec was Destruction. Ember Tap was very powerful, and as it pumped out the most damage, the shields it created with the Soul Leech talent were almost unbreakable.

In a 6.1 world, this is sadly not the case. Ember Tap was nerfed massively, and is pretty much so bad, it’s a waste to use it. Glyphing it and taking the Searing Flames talent improves it somewhat, but not to the point where you’d actually benefit much from using it. Not only that, but losing Health Funnel from the spec means that when your demon starts losing health, the only way to restore health to it is through Soul Link. Sure, Ember Tap restores health to it thanks to the perk you get while levelling in Draenor, but it would take about 40 embers to heal your pet to full from 1 hp, so that’s also terrible.

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What does that leave you? Demonology and Affliction both have Health Funnel and Drain Life. When you take the talent Harvest Life and the Glyph of Drain Life, it becomes a surprisingly powerful heal, however as it does rather poor damage, using it is a massive loss to DPS. When in a fight that has a rather tight time limit, this can be a nuisance, but sadly it’s one of the few ways you CAN restore health. What it then comes down to is which spec you do most DPS in. Currently, Demonology is the best performing of all 3 Warlock specs, so at the moment, it’s your spec of choice.

One thing Destruction does have going for it is the ease at which you can resurrect your pet. Demonology requires you to go into demon form then use 200 Fury on resummoning, which is quite a heavy hit. Flames of Xoroth may cost an ember, but you just hit the button and voila! Instant pet! Follow that with a Soulshatter and you’re set.

arooo

Other things to consider:

  • Mortal Coil has a heal attached to it, but it only works IF your target can be affected by the Horror effect of it. This means that 99% of bosses will render this ability useless. Better to go with Shadowfury on that talent row, in case of add swarms you need to stun!
  • Some bosses require you to be 100% alone lest you be stricken by mind control effects and reset the fight. Kael’thas for example. For this, you will need to tank the boss with your face and use Grimoire of Sacrifice, which requires Destruction or Affliction.
  • Glyph of Health Funnel is a minor glyph that adds a 10 second cooldown to Health Funnel, but turns the heal into a 15% instant. This is useful on DPS race-style fights where you don’t want your attention off the boss for too long, eg Ultraxion. Stops you having to channel for 6 seconds!
  • The Voidlord is a better tanky pet than the Infernal due to the Void Shield ability it has. For this reason, it’s best to go with a talent other than Demonic Servitude.
  • For ease of picking up more than one enemy, the Felguard/Wrathguard is a better bet. Have it Wrathstorm and it’ll generally pull threat off everything it touches.
  • Mannoroth’s Fury is a terrible talent.
  • Dark Bargain allows you to bypass some mechanics, eg if you’re REALLY insistent on having a pet out on Bloodlord Mandokir. Pop DB before he Decapitates and hope you kill him before the 7.5m DoT kills you.
  • Don’t forget to Soulstone yourself!

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What Warlocks can solo (thus far):

  • Vanilla: Everything!
  • Burning Crusade: Everything!
  • Wrath of the Lich King: Everything bar Valithria in ICC, though this fight can simply be walked around.
  • Cataclysm: Everything!
  • Mogu’shan Vaults: All bar Will of the Emperor (6th boss)
  • Heart of Fear: Imperial Vizier Zor’lok, Blade Lord Ta’yak, Garalon, Wind Lord Mel’jarak.
  • Terrace of Endless Spring: All bar Sha of Fear.
  • Throne of Thunder: Horridon, Council of Elders, Tortos, Megaera, Ji-Kun, Primordius, Dark Animus.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar: Immerseus, Fallen Protectors.

Some of the Mists bosses will need you to be at 650+ item level. Siege bosses even higher! In terms of current content, Kromog can be soloed until berserk (you’d need 78k dps to kill him), and Oregorger has been duo’ed by a Warlock and Death Knight pairing.