Cataclysm Class Previews: Warlock Changes

As I’m sure you’ve heard, starting a couple of days ago we’ve had a deluge of Cataclysm information, most noticeably the class previews, and of course one of these was all about Warlocks (MMO-Champion post). I’m not going to do my own in-depth review of the information because I don’t really feel qualified, since I haven’t actually played WoW in months, but you can go here for Dominic Hobbs’ analysis on WoW.com, which I found to be pretty comprehensive. You may also like to refer to my Blizzcon post about Warlock changes from August of last year.

With that said, I will make a few comments, so let’s have a look!

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Cataclysmic pets

Yesterday, we went through our current Warlock pets. With the high possibility that we’re going to see at least one new one come Cataclysm, I’m wondering: What would you like to see?

Myself, I think we need a minion which is fitting for the new world we’re going to find ourselves in. There’s going to be fire, there’s going to be lava and molten rock, there are going to be earthquakes and there’s going to be destruction. Now, I don’t know what comes to mind when you hear those words, but personally, I get this:

Oh, come on, it's not as if Wrath isn't a complete copy of LotR anyway.

Yes, that’s right – I want me a Balrog. It has fire, it has horns, it has wings. It’s probably one of the most demonic creatures out there (certainly more so than, say, our Voidwalker, which could almost be mistaken for a Water Elemental in the wrong light) and it’s a completely fitting pet for a cataclysm like the one about to hit Azeroth. If it makes you happier, think of it as a male version of the succubus*, albeit less seductive. It even has a whip. A WHIP OF FIRE.

I think to be able to summon a creature like this, we would definitely have to complete an epic quest chain. Something akin to walking barefoot through a sea of burning cinders and then fighting and defeating the creature hand-to-spell, with no other help, to prove we’re really tough enough. And that’s only after we obtain the items necessary to summon it, travel to the furthest ends of the planet, kill some underlings, align the planets and jump backwards over a hedge. That kind of quest line. It should be hard, and the rewards should be awesome.

When you summon the creature, which should be a hugely strenuous effort for your character (RP possibilities), at first nothing happens. Then you hear a distant roar, and a feel a faint tremor. Before you know it, a gaping hole appears in the air in front of you, and if you look inside, it’s like looking into the fires of hell themselves. Or the plane of the Fire Elementals, whatever rocks your canoe. Then, a demonic arm reaches out and grasps the edge of the portal, followed by a second, and then the head, which bellows out as it emerges, spewing fire and ash. Your character leaps backwards, narrowly avoiding a scything horn, as the rest of the body is hauled through the portal, unfurling great black wings as it comes, with smoke billowing out around the edges and a great thud as the feet hit the ground. Standing tall, it roars once more, shaking the very earth.**

Now that’s my kind of demon. What’s yours?

Vel.

*Technically that’s an incubus, a name which is sometimes interchanged with the word vampire. But give me some artistic license here.

** Think Kil’jaeden in the Sunwell crossed with the summoning of Ramuthra from The Amulet of Samarkand.

New pets?

Those of you who read WoW.com might have noticed this post about the possibility of new demons for us come Cataclysm. So, let’s have a look at what we’ve got, and what changes I’d like to see to our current pets. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some ideas for any new additions to our entourage.

Imp

Generally, I’m pretty happy with the Imp. I like the whole bad boy horns-and-ear-piercing thing it’s got going on, and the model is pretty good what with the green fire and all. I don’t think it would necessarily look better in purple or red, or any of the other skins that can be found around WoW, so aside from a slight tune up and sharpen (are those hands or paws, really?) I’ll be content if my ickle Quzpad stays the same way he’s always been.

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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.

Patch 3.3 – Warlock Changes

Patch 3.3 raid builds

Courtesy Dominic Hobbs of WoW.com

This post will be updated as the patch notes are updated.

Fun! Excitement! Amazement! All this and more! You will ooh, you will aah, you will scream and you will faint… Ladies and gentlement, your minds will be blown and your very grasp of reality will be shaken! For you have never seen the likes of these, the three-point-three patch notes!
Okay so they’re not that amazing, but still, let’s dive in.
  • Create Soulstone: The cooldown on this spell and duration of its buff have been lowered from 30 minutes down to 15 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.

I’ve always felt that the cooldown on this ability was rather long, and it’s nice to see it’s being shortened to bring it in line with the fact that instances these days are much shorter and faster than they used to be. More wipe recovery is good, no?

Affliction

  • Improved Drain Soul: This talent now reduces threat by 10%/20%, up from 5%/10%.

There have always been issues with Warlock threat, whatever Blizzard have said, and hopefully this will address some of them. The main problem is often that we can’t simply just let our dps drop to 0 to prevent any threat being generated, as our DoTs will continue to tick. Obviously this problem is therefore especially apparent with Affliction, which relies heavily upon DoTs, and so 20% less threat from two points in this talent will help out the spec quite a bit.

  • Improved Felhunter: This talent now also reduces the cooldown on the felhunter’s Shadow Bite ability by 2/4 seconds.

The developers are pushing quite hard for the Felhunter to be viable again (so Affliction will use it instead of the Succubus or mana battery Imp) and allowing the puppy’s main attack to hit more often – leading to increased damage – is a good way of doing it.

  • Shadow Mastery: This talent now also increases the damage done by the felhunter’s Shadow Bite ability by 3/6/9/12/15%.

As above – the more damage done by the pet, the better. Whether or not we’ll see the Felhunter become the de facto Affliction pet again I’m unsure, but it’s certainly going to be more of an option.

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Patch 3.3 – Non-Warlock Changes

Warlock T10

Warlock Tier 10

This post will be updated as the patch notes are changed.

Well, with patch 3.3 looming ever closer I’ve decided it’s finally time to do a review of the patch notes and take a look at what we can expect, both as Warlocks and in general. Today, we’re going to look at the new features (from a Warlock point of view) that stand out to me as well as anything notable to do with other classes, and tomorrow we’ll examine the actual (much more exciting) Warlock changes themselves in detail. Here we go!

  • Meeting Stones: To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character’s minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.

This is a very useful change for people who want to boost lower level characters, or even for people who previously would have been just slightly too low or high to use the stone when in a normal group and would keep the others waiting. I can also see the meeting stones being used as a method of transportation now – “Hey mister, can you summon me using that stone for two gold?”. At least it might relieve the pressure on us Warlocks to do it!

  • Area-of-Effect Damage Caps: We’ve redesigned the way area damage is capped when hitting many targets. Instead of a hard cap on total damage done, the game now caps the total damage done at a value equal to the damage the spell would do if it hit 10 targets. In other words, if a spell does 1000 damage to each target, it would hit up to 10 targets for 1000 each, but with more than 10 targets, each target would take 1000 damage divided by the number of targets. 20 targets would be hit for 500 damage each in that example.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but simply put, they’re preventing AoE damage spells from doing too much damage by giving the spells a damage cap. If you’re attacking 10 mobs or less, you’ll see no change from how it works currently, but if you’re attacking more than 10, you’ll only do as much damage as if there were 10, and the damage will be divided equally up between the mobs. I can see why this change is needed – Rain of Fire, for example, does some pretty crazy damage sometimes, and the dps does spiral out of control.

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Steady On! Patch 3.2.2 & Other Stories

Within the space of a day, everything suddenly seems to have caught up with me!

Several new game announcements, as well as a couple of planned posts I’ve now finished, in addition to some things happening in the game itself, have left me gasping for air slightly while I try to get them all sorted out and ready to go live with. I guess it’s my punishment for not publishing anything for a couple of days…

So earlier today patch 3.2.2 went live in the USA, and it will be hitting the EU realms tomorrow. This is really great news for many reasons, even if it did come pretty suddenly. Here are the patch notes from WoW.com since they’re not currently available on the official website.

Firstly, the big news this patch is that Onyxia is being rereleased as a level 80 raid. I personally can’t wait to try this out, and so I’m hoping it’s doable with a PuG, since I’m not in a raiding guild. It does make me a little sad that she’ll no longer be available as originally released at 60, but at least I caught my last ever attempt on video.

There are also some battleground changes which look nice, such as BG dailies being available for everyone regardless of level (well, 11 and up) and one which says battlegrounds won’t launch until both teams are full, but otherwise the patch is mostly talent tree changes and bug fixes.

There are actually no Warlock changes whatsoever (does this mean we’re working as intended?), although we do have a few fixes:

  • Demonic Circle: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of Frostfire Bolt.

This is just a simple tweak to make our Circle work properly.

  • Fel Armor: This spell was unable to set off trinkets and other effects. That has been corrected.

This point is good, since I used to use the Egg of Mortal Essence as its effect proc’d from the Fel Armor effect, and I’m sure other people do similar things – it’s kind of necessary that this works properly if you want to use the trinket.

  • When using Shadowbolt or Incinerate while having Backlash and Backdraft active, only Backlash will now be properly consumed.

The third fix is a tweak similar to the first.

Expect several posts in quick succession now!

Vel.