A Public Service Announcement

For some time now, I have been deliberating as to whether or not I will continue blogging here at der Hexenmeister, and unfortunately I have now come to a decision – I will not.

While you can read about the issue in greater detail in my earlier post, the main problem is that for me, as well as many of you no doubt, this blog is intrinsically linked with World of Warcraft, a game and community with which I am no longer involved. I simply wouldn’t feel comfortable with changing the entire theme of the blog and associating the name with another topic, but I am likewise unhappy with the blog as it currently exists; in a rather subsistent state. The only real option that then remains is to wind things up and move on.

With that said, you can still rest assured about several things. Firstly, DHM will stay exactly where it is – while no new content will appear after I leave, I will retain ownership of the blog and make sure that all the existing content remains online and available. I’d like to think that at least some of the posts I’ve written might be interesting to someone in the future! Secondly, I will not be giving up blogging. I don’t know where, when, or on what topic, but I will continue to blog – and that will include more fictional writing, such as the continuation of my Memoirs series. More details will follow.

I won’t be finishing things off here immediately – there are one or two more posts I’d like to write yet – but it won’t be long. Stay tuned for more information, anyway.

Vel.

P.S. In case you hadn’t guessed, no Weekly Warlock Wind-Up this week.

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Patch 3.2

First off, before I say anything to do with the patch at all, I’d like to congratulate Michelle, the author of the very good Fel Fire blog, on getting engaged – hopefully she and her fiance will have a great life together!

Now then.

A lot of the 3.2 Warlock changes have been covered by me before, here. However, in addition to those there are a couple of other things which need a mention.

Improved Shadowbolt has been changed slightly – the debuff is applied differently (it now has a chance to be applied rather than applying right away) but otherwise the effect is the same. Except for one small, overlooked feature – it will now increase the damage done by all shadow spells, meaning if this is on the mob all of our DoTs will benefit, etc. This is actually quite nice, and a subtle buff to our class, although bear in mind that this debuff probably won’t stack and so if there are multiple Warlocks using Shadow Bolt it will get used up very quickly.

Another small change that no one seems to have noticed (including me until recently) is the alteration to Shadowflame, which increases the size of the ‘cone’ area that the spell hits, bringing it in line with other similarly-shaped spells. It’s hardly a game breaking change, but you might just clip that moving Rogue now after all.

And honestly? That’s about it. All in all, there really is nothing huge going down for us as Warlocks specifically, despite our many (and in places, pretty serious) flaws. PvP survivability, I’m looking at you. Still, I’m not one to complain too much, especially as the patch consisted mainly of buffs. While we’re here however, let’s take a gander at a few of the other patch features we might or might not be interested in.

Obviously first up is the new instance/raid combo brought to us in the form of the Crusader’s Coliseum. Worldwide Personal opinions about jousting aside, the instance does look kind of fun, and while I won’t give away spoilers, I like cutscene/lore moments, of which there seem to be a couple. The new emblem system will also of course make it easier to get gear, good for all you newly-leveled Warlocks out there (psst, raid as Demo), and the raid itself will drop the Tier 9 and equivalent gear which will make you look identical to a mage or priest be better gear than what you have now, which is all good.

We also have the Isle of Conquest, the new 40-man battleground with airships, cannons, fortresses, tanks and other such warlike things. Myself, I don’t really like the vehicle system at all, and the novel idea of assaulting a keep with tanks wore off after Strand of the Ancients, but in fairness I haven’t played the BG and it might be awesome, so I’ll give you my informed opinion when I have one.

I’m also going to point out the new Druid forms to anyone who hasn’t heard about them, because they look a heck of a lot better than the old ones did. They also might be swaying me to respec my Druid back to Feral for leveling – I want to be Resto, so went Balance for leveling ease (Resto and Balance can share a lot of gear before the end game and still do decently) but I’m not really enjoying it. I did up to 70 as Feral and liked that a lot more, so maybe I should just bite the bullet and have two gear sets. Anyway, I’ll finally be able to try out the Flying Bear Technique.

I won’t discuss the profession changes, because I know very little about them, and the only other major happening is the changes to mounts and leveling, which you can read about on Darth’s blog here and on WoW.com here.

Anyway, don’t just listen to me ramble on about it; go enjoy 3.2 for yourselves right now!

Vel.

Warlocks in 3.2

So having seen and reviewed the changes which affect Warlocks in 3.2, I’m pretty happy. I feel Blizzard has definitely taken steps towards improving us as a class, and though there are some things in the patch notes I don’t like, I can’t really complain about these.

Let’s take a look at the relevant patch notes:

Resilience: No longer reduces the amount of damage done by damage-over-time spells, but instead reduces the amount of all damage done by players by the same proportion. The other effects of resilience (reducing critical chance, critical damage and mana drain effects) have not changed.

Ah ha! We just got hugely buffed in PvP, compared to other classes and their abilities. Now, resilience, that oh-so-hated-by-DoTing-Warlocks stat, is going to reduce all damage taken, instead of just the damage from DoTs. This means that while our DoTs are still partially mitigated, so is every other damage spell anyone casts, so for us it’s a buff while for everyone else it’s a nerf. Good times!

All pets now receive 40% of their master’s resilience and 100% of their master’s spell penetration. In addition, if a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.

Another good buff, this time applying to pets. They ought to now have significantly more survivability in PvP, thanks to gaining 40% of our resilience (I have around 700 off-hand, so my Felguard will be getting a whopping 280 of that). Additionally they get the same amount of spell penetration as we have, which is pretty tasty for the Imp and Succubus I guess, and they also share the same hit % as we have – effectively this means that if you’re hit capped, your pet will be too, which will buff our dps in PvE a lot. Just another reason to get capped!

Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target’s maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second. This applies to all 5 sources of Replenishment (Vampiric TouchJudgements of the WiseHunting PartyEnduring Winter Frostbolts and Soul Leech).

Destro Warlocks have their replenishment ability nerfed, but it’s happening across the board, so it’s not really aimed at Warlocks. Still.

Banish: Effect will now be cancelled if Banish is recast on a banished target.

This might actually be quite handy – if you want to free a target from the CC, you can recast the spell instead of waiting for the CC to wear off. I know that back in TBC it was quite irritating when you banished something and it was still banished for 20 seconds after everything else died – most Warlocks resorted to using Rank 1 for the shorter duration. The only downside I can see to this change is if you accidentally cast it on something you want to keep banished, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Dreadsteed: Can now be learned at level 40.

Felsteed: Can now be learned at level 20.

These changes are being made in line with the mount changes for the patch, so that we learn the class mount spells at the same time as we can learn to ride normal mounts.

Soulshatter cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5 minutes

This makes me want to sigh inwardly a little, in exasperation… What this is, is Blizzard attempting to help our threat management issues by reducing the CD of Soulshatter to be similar to things like Invisibility. Hence, we can reduce threat more often. But in my mind, this isn’t enough – 3 minutes is still a long cooldown, and the ability still costs a soul shard, whereas most threat reducing abilities cost nothing except perhaps a small amount of mana. The devs are heading in the right direction with this, don’t get me wrong, but they need to take it further.

Pandemic: Now also increases the critical damage bonus of Haunt by 100%.

Good buff for the Affliction guys, more dps.

Fel Domination cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 15 minutes.

Probably the change I like the most, this will help solve issues with pets being killed too easily in PvP, since even if the enemy take the (now increased) time to kill our minions, we can bring them back every 3 minutes. I presume talents still affect the CD, too, so it could be even less than every 3 minutes, which would be great.

Empowered Imp: The warlock’s critical hit chance is increased to 100%, up from 20% for the next spell cast after the Imp critically hits a target.

This is good for those PvE Destro ‘locks – if the Imp crits once, it will crit again on the next spell. More dps there too.

Fire and Brimstone: Reduced to 2/4/6/8/10% increased damage from Incinerate and Chaos Bolt on targets afflicted with Immolate, down from 3/6/9/12/15%.

A slight nerf to damage if you have/had this talent – admittedly there is an issue with burst damage at the moment, and Destro is part of that.

Character names can now be colorized according to class in the chat frame through an interface option in the Development settings.

We gonna be purple, mon.

Macros and scripts will no longer be able to target totems by name.

Goodbye totem-stomping macros! I’m an awful Warlock and never used one anyway, but this change means it’ll actually require effort to kill those dastardly Shaman totems.

Glyph of Lifetap: Duration of the buff from this glyph increased to 40 seconds.

What do you get when you take one of the best PvE dps glyphs a class have and improve it? This. I know that personally keeping the buff up (which currently lasts 20 seconds) was a chore if I didn’t actually need to Life Tap, such as earlier on in the fight, because I wouldn’t normally be using Life Tap then and it’s annoying to work into a rotation. This change ought to improve that problem as we only have to Tap half as much to keep the proc active. Also, if you forget about it, it now might still be there when you remember and you won’t lose dps.

Players can now use Blink, Shadowstep, and Demonic Teleport while participating in the illusion events in the Yogg-Saron encounter.

I’ve never killed Yogg-Saron, and so despite having seen the fight I’m really not sure how this will help. It’s my understanding that you port inside the thing’s mind, kill adds and then attack the brain before leaving again. Maybe this means you can teleport around the mind by dropping a Circle? Don’t know if that would be useful but perhaps this is more of a bug fix.

So that’s it for the moment, though I expect to see more changes coming soon, especially once the Warlock Q&A goes live.

Vel.