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.

Molten Core

Molten Core: Redesigned. This talent now increases the duration of Immolate by 3/6/9 seconds and provides a 4/8/12% chance to gain the Molten Core effect when Corruption deals damage. The Molten Core effect empowers the next 3 Incinerate or Soul Fire spells cast within 15 seconds (Incinerate: increases damage done by 6/12/18% and reduces cast time by 10/20/30%; Soul Fire: increases damage done by 6/12/18% and increases critical strike chance by 5/10/15%). Molten Core now has a new spell effect.

While it was a concern, Molten Core does seem to be proccing a decent amount from Corruption – it just means it’s vital that you keep the DoT up all the time and that you keep an eye out for the buff. It lasts a while, so if you don’t spot it right away it’s not a problem, but you don’t want to miss the chance to do extra dps!

While you’ll be spamming Shadow Bolt as your filler, if you spot MC popping up you ought to be changing over to three quick Incinerates before going back to the regular rotation. Incinerate casts pretty quickly with the buff, and also does increased damage (making it more powerful than SB), so it’s all win-win. You can cast Soul Fire as an option too, but it’s slow and will drain your shards pretty fast, so I don’t recommend it.

The new MC animation is also rather swish, and looks a little more destructive than it did.

Decimation

Decimation: Redesigned. When Shadowbolt, Incinerate or Soul Fire hit a target that is at or below 35% health, the cast time of Soul Fire is reduced by 20/40% for 10 seconds. Soul Fires cast under the effect of Decimation cost no shards.

So the big question here was whether the new Decimation effect would be refreshed by casting Soul Fire, effectively allowing you to spam SF once the opponent is under 35% health – and the answer is a joyful yes. It’s taking me some time to get used to the new method (I keep wanting to throw in a SB to refresh the effect!) but the damage is lovely, and I can see this being a real boost to our overall dps as a spec. The only disadvantage is that it feels comparatively slow when you look at the old 60% speed reduction, but it’s a minor point, and I would still be managing 3 to 4 casts per 10 second proc, even if it didn’t reset. You must remember to keep Corruption up for MC throughout the Decimate stage however, as the increased crit chance and damage is far too good to pass up!

Rotation

Your normal rotation will probably now look something like this:

And your Decimate phase rotation will look like this:

The Instances

While I’ve only had chance to run the Forge of Souls (the first of the three new instances) and part of the second one at the time of writing, I must say that so far I’ve been very impressed. The lore and storyline is presented really well, and if you ignore the fact that the instances themselves are a pain to find, the layout is good too. Loot so far has been non-existant for me, but I’m hoping something tasty and Warlock-y will drop before long.

A couple of things to note about FoS:

  • There are some spell reflecting mobs amongst the trash, so check before you cast your full suite of DoTs on yourself by accident…
  • In response to what everyone is thinking, yes, it’s entirely possible to fall off the edges of the walkways.
  • The first boss will do a big wooshy pink storm thing, at which point everyone needs to run into the centre of the room. A well-placed Circle can help you escape the 2500 damage per second the storm does, which might not sound bad until you consider that there’s a slowing effect too, so you’ll be taking a lot of damage if you don’t get out fast.
  • The second and last boss will use a mirroring ability whereby any damage done during that period to it is partially shared by the recipient of the spell. If it’s you taking the damage, be careful how many large Soul Fires you cast. If it’s that Gnome Rogue with the annoying voice you keep tripping over, cast like you’ve never cast before and simply claim you didn’t notice you were char-grilling him.
  • The boss also occasionally summons a veritable army of adds which you can’t kill, only avoid. Again, teleporting all over the place like a crazed Mage will help you escape some damage.

On the subject of instances, I will just point out my discontent with the raid gating going on in Icecrown Citadel; 28 days for the second wing to open is ridiculous considering the first has already been cleared already by some guilds! According to the blues, there won’t be as long a gap between the other openings, but I can’t at all understand making people wait a month when everyone is already bored of current content and looking for a fresh challenge.

I’ll talk more about my economic experiences in 3.3 in a future post, but suffice to say that, despite some disappointment, I’ve made at least double what I usually would in two days, so it’s going well!

How’s the patch going for you?

Vel.

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