Drain Tanking

Just a quickie today to recommend that y’all go out and read this post by Cynwise, of Cynwise’s Battlefield Manual.

It covers the Affliction method of drain tanking in an excellent amount of detail, yet is very easy to read and understand. Personally I don’t know a lot about this technique, and I certainly wouldn’t have been writing anything myself, so I also found it useful. These are the main sections of the guide:

  • Low level drain tanking
  • Siphon Life
  • GODDESS OF DEATH MODE*
  • Key talents
  • Show me, don’t tell me

The latter section contains a very crisp and clear video showing you exactly what to do when using this method to grind through mobs, so if you can’t be bothered reading, at least go and watch that.

On an unrelated note, I’m hopingĀ to have the next Memoirs episode by Friday, though I promise nothing. See you soon!

Vel.

* You can go for GOD OF DEATH MODE if you like. It’s really personal preference.

Affliction in Patch 3.3 – Useful links

While I’ve covered all the Warlock changes from the latest patch (here and here), it’s no secret that my speciality spec, as well as my favourite, is Demonology, and as such I’ve gone into more detail about those changes than the others (here). My in-game offspec, Destruction, didn’t really have a great deal of changes to talk about, so I reckon I can get away with not discussing that much. But one area I do fall down on is talking about Affliction at end game, because I really know very little and I also don’t play it (yet). I plan to rectify that in the future, but until that time, I’m happy to send all you Affliction Warlocks off to some other blogs who are a little more knowledgeable.

Before we start, thanks be to Syrana for pointing out these blogs and posts during her last TLC Thursday post.

Mystic Chicanery

This is Nibuca’s personal blog (hear her on the Twisting Nether podcast too) and in this post she discusses the new Glyph of Quick Decay, which decreases the time between ticks of your Corruption spell. This leads to a handy guide to Affliction spell priorities – definitely worth a look.

Killing ‘Em Slowly

This blog by Fulguralis is actually one I hadn’t seen until just recently (shock horror!) but one that I will certainly be reading from now on. There are three good posts here I want to identify:

  1. Affliction raiding spec – a detailed guide to where to put your talent points.
  2. Affliction glyphs and rotation – you’ve got the spec, now you need the correct glyphs and a swish rotation to match. I enjoyed the level of detail that the rotation section went into, as it covers pre- and post-25% health, and also includes a large section on multiple targets, something a lot of people (including myself, probably) skip over.
  3. Affliction stat choices and pets – choosing the correct pet is obviously a decision which can affect your gameplay (and more importantly, dps) a great deal, and then when loot starts dropping, you need to be sure what stats are best for you. As with the previous guides on this website, the length, detail and amount of effort put in were very impressive.

Hopefully these links will be of use! Do you know of any other good Affliction guides, blogs or articles? Leave a link in the comments below.

Vel.

Loremaster links

Loremaster's Colours

Okay, so, as you know, I recently achieved my Loremaster title. Now while I definitely did not use any addons which simply point out quests you haven’t done (because that would be cheating in my eyes and would spoil the challenge) I did use several very useful websites, which I will link for you shortly, because I’m nice like that.

My general strategy was to pick a continent and methodically work through it area by area. For example, for Eastern Kingdoms I started in Stranglethorn Vale and worked my way north, and for Kalimdor I started with Teldrassil and went south. If a quest I picked up ended in a different area, I would save it in my log until I had worked through to the area where I could turn it in. For this reason it is very important to keep quite an empty quest log where possible.

Within each area, I would do all the quests at every quest hub I could find and then move on. After sweeping the entire continent, I then returned to the first area and went through with a fine tooth comb, running to every inch of the place and checking the minimap constantly – hopefully you have, by now, realised that you can track low-level quests on your minimap!

After finely sweeping the whole continent, if I wasn’t finished I would then try to think of likely places for more quests, such as inside instances. In the case of Northrend, Outland and Eastern Kingdoms I didn’t need to do this (indeed by the time I reached Eastern Plaguelands I still had at least 15 easy quests left) but I found Kalimdor to be harder than the others and needed to refer to some of the links below to find those last few quests. I didn’t actually specifically look for dropped items which start quests, but you can do that too if you filter Wowhead to get a list.

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Impressions of Patch 3.3

Patch 3.3 has been out for a couple of days now, and I’ve had a chance to check out the new content, as well as the exciting new Warlock changes. Read on after the break for details of (Demonology) rotation changes, things to watch for, and my impressions of the patch overall thus far. You can also see my two guides to the patch for more information about the changes.

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My Keybindings

Keybindings

No need for an intro today – let’s get stuck in. The only thing I will say is that unlike most people who bind everything using 0-9, I’ve never understood this – isn’t it much easier to use the keys where your left hand naturally is anyway, such as F and E? Hence my apparently strange layout.

Yellow – Movement:

  • The standard WASD for movement, although A and D here are strafe left and right respectively, and not turn, because keyboard turning is for failures.

Green – Modifiers:

  • Shift and Alt are the two modifier keys I use (modifier keys are those which change the function of another key when held down, e.g. F is Attack 1 and Shift-F is Attack 2). I don’t use Ctrl because frankly it’s hard to reach – you have to swivel your hand round – and that’s both uncomfortable and unwieldy.

Red – Attacks:

  • F is my most-used spells, due to its easy accessibility. This means Shadow Bolt, Incinerate and Soul Fire, by using modifiers.
  • E is both my panic buttons and my main AoE spell, because if you hold down Alt, it’s like pressing A+E… AoE… Never mind. Here I have Rain of Fire, and Healthstone is bound to this too, because it’s a good key to spam in an emergency. Similarly, Every Man For Himself (the human racial which is like a PvP trinket) is here.
  • Q tends to be what I call my ‘QQ buttons’. Geddit? Anyway. So I have Fear, Howl of Terror and Death Coil here.
  • C is a bit of an all-rounder. This is Demonic Power with C, Metamorphosis with Alt-C and the character UI with Shift-C.
  • X is my curse button. Immolate, Curse of Agony and Corruption.
  • Z is the hardest to reach, so I have less-frequently used abilities on here, namely Life Tap, Summon Demonic Circle and Immolation Aura (for use in demon form).
  • As mentioned, I don’t believe in using all the numbers, but 1-4 is near enough that my extremely infrequently used abilities can be bound, sometimes. Mainly, these are Demon Armor and Wand.
  • 0, – and = are strange ones, and I have Drain Mana, Life and Soul on these. I don’t know why, at all, it’s just right for me. But I rarely use the abilities, so having them on the other side of the keyboard doesn’t matter.

Pink – Miscellaneous:

  • The grave accent ( ` ) up above Tab is my push-to-talk key for Vent.
  • R will reply to whispers, but with modifiers it will also Shadowflame or Searing Pain.
  • G sets my focus target.
  • V toggles nameplates, which I only use in PvP, but having it bound to a key (which I think is the default anyway) is handy.
  • Space is, of course, jump, but Shift-Space will also Teleport Demonic Circle.
  • The arrow keys. No longer shall I move with you! Up now resets Recount, while Right will toggle it (show or hide). Left toggles the currency screen (what can I say, I had use for it once) and Down toggles Omen.

As well as all the above, I do have a ‘ \ ‘ key between Shift and Z, which isn’t featured on the picture. This sends my pet to attack, or, if modified, summons either my land or air mount.

How do you keybind? I’d be interested to hear other points of view. Anyway, I hope you found this series of guides on addons, the UI and keybindings useful; it’s something I’ve meant to do for a long time!

See you tomorrow,

Vel.

My UI

Hot on the heels of my addon posts (recommended reading to understand this post, find them here and here), today I’m going to talk about my UI layout, and why things are where they are.

When I was working out where I wanted each thing to be on the screen, I had a few points in mind:

  • The major things should be obvious and easy to see
  • Little, less important things should be out of the way, but visible
  • Information which isn’t often needed, or isn’t wanted during a fight, should be hidden unless I want to see it
  • I wanted to keep the look of the default UI, because I just like the design of it
  • Lastly, I want to be able to see the whole raid’s unit frames at once

Taking those things into consideration, here’s what my UI looks like outside of combat:

UI3 Read the rest of this entry »

My Addons (O-Z)

Continuing straight on from yesterday, let’s run through the second half of my addons. The links lead to the relevant pages on Curse.

Omen is pretty much the bee’s knees of threat meters. Required for raids and instances, it displays your relative threat level in a nice, graphical interface alongside a percentage and some numbers I never take notice of.

Omen

Omen

This handy addon is one I only discovered recently. As with a couple of the others here, I don’t actually use it on Veliaf because I’m not big into professions with him, but for my alts it hugely simplifies things. Basically, Panda allows you to choose the relevant profession from a series of tabs, and then it simply allows for one-click milling/DEing/prospecting/making and away you go. Unfortunately there’s nothing out there which will allow you to set it to auto-DE and walk away, but you can certainly make things smoother.

Panda

Panda

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My Addons (A-L)

Following on from my rather wordy Warlock-specific addons guide, we’re now going to focus on the ones I use. Today, we cover approximately half of them. The links lead to the relevant pages on Curse.

Atlas is an addon I admittedly rarely use, but one which comes in very handy in the right situation. As the name might suggest, it provides maps for you – lots of maps. You can pull up the layout of any instance, battleground or transportation route, and see, for example, the accompanying bosses and their locations. It’s not necessarily useful in day-to-day life, but when you’re lost in some God-forsaken dungeon (*cough* Razorfen Downs *cough*) it can be a life saver.

Atlas3

Atlas - Left: Transportation Map - Right: Uldaman Map

AtlasLoot Enhanced started out being related to Atlas, but has since evolved into an addon of its own. In a nutshell, it allows you to look up all the boss loot in the game, in addition to reputation rewards, gear sets and crafted items, and this is great for things like checking up on prospective loot from the next raid boss.

AtlasLoot Enhanced

AtlasLoot Enhanced

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Warlock Addons

I’ve mentioned previously that I want to do a few posts on addons. I’m going to be talking in more detail about the addons I use in future posts, but for today let’s look at a couple of ones which are more tailored to our class.

So obviously one of our major abilities is that we use DoTs to bring down our foes, but the default UI makes these incredibly hard to track, unless you enjoy peering at tiny little images underneath the enemy health bar and giving yourself bad eyes. A good DoT addon should therefore either enlarge these graphics, provide visible numbers for each debuff so we can actually see how long there is before they expire, give us the timers in the form of a diminishing bar chart to compare all the durations at a glance, or all of the above. Let’s take a look at the more popular options:

  • DoTimer is a fairly comprehensive addon which is very popular among Warlocks, especially those of us who are Affliction specced (the fools). With the default settings, it places a movable bar chart on the screen, which will then show the durations of all your DoTs on the targeted enemy, in addition to buffs you’ve cast and any debuffs which affect multiple targets, such as Howl of Terror. The addon is highly customizable, and can show (or not show) nearly anything. It also comes packaged with several other sub-addons, used for tracking cooldowns, buffs and for notifying you of certain events (which you can specify).
DoTimer

DoTimer

  • Another well-known, similar addon is ForteXorcist, which is a generic spell and cooldown timer that’s similar to DoTimer. In addition to this, however, it features a host of Warlock specific utilities including, but not limited to, a soulstone manager, a summoning assistant and a shard tracker.
ForteXorcist

ForteXorcist

  • The final timer addon we’ll showcase today is the one I personally use, because I prefer a more visual way of looking at spell timers. TellMeWhen is an addon which displays graphics similar to those found on enemy health bars in the default UI, except these ones can of course be configured and moved. The cooldowns or durations are represented in much the same way as the action bars refresh, by darkening the icon in a clockwise motion. The addon can be set to show timers for any buff, cooldown or debuff (this includes procs), both on yourself and on the target, and also allows for numbers to be shown on top of the images.
TellMeWhen in action on my screen - I have DoTs shown on the top row, procs on the second and cooldowns on the bottom.

TellMeWhen in action on my screen - I have DoTs shown on the top row, procs on the second and cooldowns on the bottom.

As well as our beloved timers, there are a few other addons which are especially good for Warlocks I’m going to mention:

  • Something Warlocks may need to manage (less so these days than in the past) is their CC, specifically Banish and Fear. For this, we have CCTimer, which essentially whacks a huge great messageĀ onto the screen when the CC is either fading or has expired. While it’s somewhat intrusive, it’s also hard to miss, as you can see from Curse’s priestly screenshot:
CCTimer

CCTimer

  • People can be quite forgetful, and their damage can suffer for it. Indeed, I was chatting to a raider friend of mine recently (hi, Mindles!) who was telling me how she managed to do the whole first boss of the ToC raid without remembering to self-buff! This is why we have handy mods like WarlockReminder. It will print a message if you’re missing a pet or buff – such as Fel Armor or Spellstone – and also notifies you when the boss you’re fighting is low on health so you can remember to use an Infernal should you so wish.
  • The final addon for now is the ubiquitous Necrosis. Ever been spammed by those annoying macros when someone hops onto their Dreadsteed? Yeah. Still, this all-in-one addon combines timers, macros, a shard tracker, quick-click menus for various things, including pet summoning, and then some. As with most addons it can be set up as you wish.
Necrosis

Necrosis

That wraps it up for today – until tomorrow!

Vel.

Leveling a Warlock: Written Guides Summary

Well, despite a slight delay with regards to finishing and releasing the final installment, I can finally say that all my 11-80 leveling guides have now been finished! This means I’ve fully completed my series, all the way from 1-80. They’ve actually been great fun to write, and it’s also helped give me further insight into the other two specs I might not normally play as.

Links to the guides can be found after the break:

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