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Dear Group

Still musing and putting all the thought down for the Spitfire thingy pondering.  Honestly, like  Blessing of Kings said, there’s many issues in the one post, so … maybe many posts…

This is a draft / sketch, if you will.  Unfinished.  Only 30 max of you read this anyway, so who cares. :-P

I was thinking about the roles and stresses each role has and what I, as a DPS, do for others and want back from them.  It’s similar to WowWiki’s PvE class articles, but here’s what I’ve picked up as a lock in dungeons & raids.  Purple means your warlock can do this for you; green is what you can do for your warlock; half-n-half is win-win for both. :)

Tanks

Vigilance | AoE threat for trash mobs | Healthstones | Banish | Fear | Summoning | Felpuppy Spell Lock on caster mobs | Drain-tanking | Marking targets | Not dancing if I cast Rain of Fire | Watching my threat | Watching for patrols you might not see | Letting me know when you need another HS | Running to you when I aggro something |

SPECIAL NOTES: If adds come from a certain direction, put the tank between me & the adds.  E.g. hug the tank in BK-P2 or stand across from the doorway, not on the table, at Prince K in UK. // Put CoE on a boss when the tank pulls to get Omen to register, but don’t start DPSing. // Thank for good tanking at the end.

Healers

Healthstones | Soulstones | HoTs when I’m nearing OoM | Not Life Tapping to Death | Life Tapping during the HoT, not after | Staying out of abnormal air or floor distributions | Healing my pet | Using the SS when I cast it on you | Not dying next to a mob when you have an SS on you | Using my felpuppy to dispel that spell-reflected Corruption off myself |

SPECIAL NOTES: Thank healers for healing my minion.  I know I appreciate it on my druid when hunters thank me.  // Thank everybody who buffs my minion. // Offer a refill for anybody on HS after wipes. // Drain-tank or direct my damage to a mob gnawing on a healer. // If I have mage biscuits from another group, offer some.

Other DPS

CoE for casters | Not MD/ToT to me | Not having the same demon as me | Offering to trade off HS or Summoning |

SPECIAL NOTES: Offer extra mage biscuits to other mana classes.  // If a destro warlock is in group, switch to felpuppy.  // If another afflic lock in group, offer to switch to imp.

Buff Specials (since classes cross roles)

Buffing my pet | Wisdom on the Imp / Felpuppy | Might on the Felguard | Fortitude | Blood Pact | Divine Spirit | Fel Intelligence | Intellect | Gift/Mark of the Wild | Kings > Wis > Sanc | Wrath / Flametongue Totems | Demonic Pact (if demo) | Moonkin Aura | Replenishment (if destro)

Why Your Warlock Is Cursing You (/groan)

Unfortunately, all of these are true stories.  Please don’t be the story I have to add to the list.

Generally, don’t…

  • Sheep/shackle the mob I have 3 DoTs on already and then yell at ME about it.  L2SeeTargetDebuffs.
  • Continue to pull trash before Patchwerk in Naxx when all the casters (including the healers) just jumped through the health & mana-draining slime.  Yeah, it drains mana, too. It sucks.
  • Tell me to SS someone when it’s on CD.  Especially after someone used it last wipe.  Especially especially when I told you it’s on CD when you asked 30s ago.  I give you a blank stare of disbelief irl if you ask me this while I’m dead.  (my druid says replace ‘SS’ with ‘B-Rez’)
  • Ask me for a mage table.  Seriously, it’s happened.
  • Ask me to sheep something.  Yep, this one, too.
  • Tanks: say you got it, then force me to Soulshatter after I pull off you before my second round of DoTs expires on a boss without a phase change/threat-reset ability.
  • Yell at the healer for not being healed enough, but then say you still have your HS when I offer more.

Regarding soulstones:  Be intelligent with your SS usage.  You will never be soulstoned by me again if any of the following facepalming acts is committed.

  • You have the SS and are alive when it becomes obvious this is a wipe, yet you decide the boss wants a hug in his pull radius rather than running away to a safe rez spot.
  • You have the SS, can use it without pulling anything, and you release.  Bonus /headdesk: you say you were saving it for later.
  • You are the shaman with the SS and you use reincarnate instead.  Bonus /headdesk: you bitch about the expense of Ankhs afterwards.  L2Glyph.
  • You ask me to soulstone you because you can’t find / aren’t going to bother trying to find Icecrown Citadel from the graveyard.  For the 3D navigation impaired: Find ICC, look up & to the right, find the Argent Crusade banners, fly up to the level of the top of the banners, on that level, go in the door on the left (WG is to your right).  Corollary: I understand if it’s Gundrak, but I still probably won’t comply.
  • You die within 5 seconds of using the SS (on my druid, replace ‘SS’ with ‘B-Rez’).
  • You stand in The Bad and you/the raid/the RL tell me to SS you because you keep dying but your damage/tanking/healing is just so fucking awesome.  L2NotPissOffYourHealerCorollary: Lag used as a reason for dying will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Regarding portals that need clicking: Please fucking click it.  It’s always TWO other people.  Unless it’s a Doomguard, then it’s FOUR.  I click yours, you click mine, mkay?  Don’t move until the Warlock TV comes out of the floor or the Soulwell falls from the sky.  Moving cancels the casting and it’s just annoying to have to cast it again because you can’t be bothered to sit still for five seconds.  As a rule, I’ve found that placing the healthstone portal in the face  of a tank and/or rogue results in a faster click+click+summon.  Also, I will find a crowd of toons to sit the summoning portal on.  Granted, the LFG teleporter makes most of the summoning stories obsolete now.  But if you would like to piss off your warlock, feel free to

  • Invite me to a dungeon party, then ask me to summon you to an instance when you are originating from the same spot as me or closer.
  • Be in Dalaran, ask me to summon you to an instance, and when I agree, you port to Ironforge and say your hearthstone is down (whether it is or not, that’s just rude).
  • Leave the raid without telling anyone or asking for a summon back and then expecting me to do it anyway.
  • Not be in my dungeon party/raid but ask me to grab two buddies and summon you & your friends to [place].  Not even tipping me will make me a mage.  You get automatically ignored if you ask me to summon you to a place which is closer to you than it is to me.  Yeah, I /who random people whispering me.
  • Repeatedly ask for a HS but don’t click the portal.
  • Repeatedly ask for a HS but keep canceling the trade window by moving.
  • Refuse to click my portal after I clicked your mage table one.
  • Ask for a summon and then go AFK for 2min as we try to summon you.
  • Go outside to the instance portal and summon people whom I’ve already summoned inside the dungeon/raid.
  • Be silent when the call for summons goes out, but everybody then decides to ask for their personal summon in intervals of 2min 1s.  FFS PEOPLE.
  • You fall off Gluth’s pipe but whine that I’ve put the stone on the pipe and not on Grobbulus’s platform.  L2Walk or shut up and take the summon.

The Spitfire Controversy

It exploded in the WoW blogosphere, I think.  It seems to have subsided a little, so probably after compiling all my thoughts and ponderings on the subject, I’ll be too late and too repetitive.  I still feel like it would be a good exercise: for thinking, for writing, for perspective, for blogging, for whatever.

My core perspective is my two mains: an affliction warlock and a beartree druid.  My absolute “main” is my warlock — a DPS.  Moreover, a class whose three talent trees are all designed for the DPS role, so I play a pure DPS class, to be specific.  But I also have devoted a great deal of time and effort into being a great bear TANK and tree HEALER.  My tree is currently decked out in 4pc t9, bear is after warlock, and warlock is in progress through the Triumph handouts.  At first I was outraged by the post — because I swear, I’m a warlock at heart, a pure DPS.  Then I got to thinking…

And I’m still thinking.  Mostly reading other people’s perspectives and opinions and blog posts on the subject and then thinking some more through my own opinions and perspectives.

Would posting my thoughts be too late and/or too repetitive of others’ before?

PvE Dmg & Caster Movement

I feel especially lazy to cobble together images for my Minions & Spells post.  So I’m posting about this instead.   Stuff I got perusing MMO-Champion:

As Ghostcrawler mentioned in the “Balance Adjustments” thread for 3.3, we would like to buff warlock PvE damage for all three talent trees. We have a few changes in mind we can share with you and welcome your feedback. That being said, of course these changes are not yet implemented and are subject to revision or reversal before the next minor patch.

Affliction: While some warlocks will no doubt disagree, we think the damage output of Affliction in PvP is pretty good. Therefore, we want a buff that will increase sustained damage after a ramp-up period. The specific change we have in mind is to allow Shadow Embrace to stack up to 3 times for a total of a 15% damage bonus. The current healing debuff would change to 10% per stack.

Demonology: We want to double the damage bonus of Demonic Pact granted the warlock. To avoid making this an all-around buff to raid damage, however, the damage bonus provided to other players would remain unchanged.

Destruction: We want to double the damage bonus provided by Empowered Imp.

As a further buff to both Demonology and Affliction, we’re testing out the effects of doubling the damage bonus of Improved Shadow Bolt in the Destruction tree.

Again, these are preliminary ideas. These changes might be revised or reverted before going live. Just the same, these are not necessarily the only changes we are willing to make and your feedback is appreciated. :) (Source)

Woohoo! Actually, I’m pretty satisfied where my damage is at. I know I’m not giving it my all nor am I in the top raid tier, but I like it where I am.

The sustained damage increase sounds exciting, but I’m wary. Couple this with less gimmick fights where DoTs can be ticking away and yet the tank’s threat is stalled because we’re dancing, then I’ll be happy. I remember our tank cheering if he could get the taunt off before Heigan one-shotted me as we ran back to the platform. >.<  It’s not fun to make my dps take a backseat because two DoTs out of four overthreats the tank.

Zarhym later states that this would probably be coming in a minor patch, i.e., 3.3.something or 3.3.something-a, and it might be tweaked by spell coefficients or whatever.  Which I’m interested in, because if the spell coeffs get tweaked, maybe EJ might actually update the spell coeff page. (Doubt it.)  An invisible number mechanic like a spell coefficient is probably easier to change on the dev side than a talent (noooooes!  not the tooltips!  ANYTHING but tooltips!).

Farther down the thread, Destro locks should be happy to note that Conflagrate might get buffed, not just Empowered Imp.  Even I, the destro noob, was like “Imp…I mean, yeah they use the imp, but really?  Just the imp?”

**/—————————-\**

On another note, I noticed Lissana talking on Twitter about how moving fights really mess up the moonkin DPS rhythm.  Luckily, as an affliction lock, my DPS isn’t too dependent on standing still.  Yes, only Corruption and the curses are instant-cast–everything else has a casttime or is channeled.  But the only casttime worth major attention is Shadow Bolt.  Haunt & Unstable Affliction both have short base casttimes anyway.  But yeah, I get rather…uh…ticked…when Drain Soul gets interrupted because I need to move.  So I end up doing a little “moonfare spam” of my own when that happens.

So taking her post and the comments that ensue, what would “shot-on-the-run” changes mean for warlocks?  I mean, Lissana used moonkin as her specific example (and casters as the general), since she knows moonkin best.  Personally, I think I can only talk for affliction warlocks (if my opinion is even valid); I have no experience with either Demo or Destro in a raid situation.  I’ve solo’d some BC group quests and normal dungeons as a SL/SL lock, but that’s about all my experience in the demo tree.  I’ve yet to touch destro beyond the mandatory 15 points I spend for a full Ruin.  So I’m going to talk from purely affliction. All locks in the crowd are welcome to comment, of course. :)

“Shot on the Run” spell? Well, we already have that.  DoTs.  Plenty of them.  Though, I do still miss having 6.  (Immolate! I still love you! But only when I get the shadow spells locked out. <.< >.>)  Typically we take that one more half-second to finish the DoT cast and then we run like hell.  Once the DoT is up on the target, we really don’t care until we have to reapply them.  The only time I really hate moving is the Drain Soul execute phase, but like I said above, you also just spam DS as you move.

Pushback while running: I really like Hiddencamper’s comment.  Honestly, I read it and thought, “Now, there’s an idea.”  Not to mention you’d maybe see more life in the Fel Concentration talent (reduces pushback to Haunt, UA, and the drain spells).  Pushback with an arbitrary limit makes a lot of sense–you make the casttime longer, but you can still cast.

“Swiftfire”: Swiftbough adds maybe moonkin could get a Swiftmend for damage: the spell deals the full damage from the total DoT and consumes the DoT.  For affliction…nah, we like our DoTs unconsumed.  Though the Cataclysm shard rehaul sounds like it’s adding something similar, except instead of consuming the DoT buff, it consumes a shard.

Droodboy suggests upping the hit cap while moving.  I’m not terribly in favor of this.  For locks, it’s hard enough to find gear with both spirit and hit on it (gawsh, healy priests, GG).  Fel Armor works off the spirit stat.  So does the Life Tap glyph buff, I might add.  Fel Armor (30%) + Life Tap (20%) equates to 50% of your spirit gets added to your spellpower.  Not a total amazing jump, but that’s still +250 at the least, for me.  So less spirit for locks (because of more hit needed) means a less +spellpower to damage, which means unhappy locks.  It’s either a loss of spirit on our gear, or the loss of spellpower through gemming for hit.

  • Let’s see, math for gemming for hit over spellpower.  1% is 33 hit rating, rounded up.  JC’s can just barely cap this with one gem (Rigid Dragon’s Eye = +34 hit); the rest of us will have to do with two Rigid King’s Amber, a total of 40 +hit rating.  Two Runed Cardinal Rubies give you +46 spellpower.  Would you trade 46 spellpower for 1% of hit that is needed only when you move while casting?

Even for a measly +46 spellpower, I don’t move that much, honestly.  Maybe it’s a different situation for moonkin, but I don’t terribly like this idea.

Readers?  Thoughts on any of the above?

ALEB: Talents & Glyphs

About & Resources

This post is part of my Affliction Lock Endgame Basics (ALEB) series.  These are my choices on talents & glyphs for affliction warlocking at level 80.  I’ve seen variations, but I’ve tried to pick out what I believe are the core talents every affliction warlock should have, and then I’ll explain some of the optional ones I’ve taken or others have taken.  The major glyphs are practically unanimous in the affylock community, and the minor glyphs are unanimously a joke for the most part.

If you’d like to see other warlocks’ perspectives and advice on talents & glyphs, check out these: Killing Them Slowly (Fulgaris), Mystic Chicanery (Nibuca).

Talents

I rock deep affliction with shadow bolt support from destruction.  I’ve rocked this spec since I was leveling, and I have barely changed it since I broke 80.  Click the picture to see it bigger.  The green boxes signify what I think are the important or core talents of affliction raiding.  The purple boxes show talents I’ve taken or have seen taken, because they’re useful but you had a couple of points left to throw around.  There’s also glyphs in the picture (since I screenshotted the WowHead Talent Calculator), but I’ll discuss those later.  For those who can’t see the picture for whatever reason, here’s a link to the WHTC I used.

Talents - AffyLock

Important Talents:

  • Aff Tier 1 — All: Improved Curse of Agony buffs the “damage” curse affliction locks use; the other curse we like to use is Curse of the Elements, which helps all spellcasters on the target.  Suppression is important because it decreases the amount of hit rating you need on your gear to reach the hit cap.  Improved Corruption is just one buff of many to the staple spell of affliction.
  • Aff Tier 2 — Imp DS & SS: This tier tricks out Drain Soul for you.  Improved Drain Soul helps your mana if you use it as a finishing move on even trash and it reduces our ridiculously generated threat by a chunk.  Soul Siphon ups Drain Soul from a mere utility spell (shard generation) to a real damaging spell by buffing it according to however many Affliction buffs you have on the target.
  • Aff Tier 3 — Amplify Curse: This is the only useful spell in this tier for PvE action.  It means you can cast other things faster because your GCD for your curse is smaller.
  • Aff Tier 4 — Nightfall & Emp. Corr: Nightfall is the warlock version of the shammy Elemental Mastery.  Your Corruption ticks can proc an instant Shadow Bolt, which is awesome.  Empowered Corruption increases the spellpower coefficient of your Corruption: aka, more oomph per point of spellpower.
  • Aff Tier 5 — Sh. Emb. & SL: Shadow Embrace is a twice-stacking debuff applied by Haunt & Shadow Bolt that buffs all your shadow DoT damage on the target.  Siphon Life used to be a spell by itself, but is now a passive part of Corruption.  It drains health back to you as Corruption damages the target.  This is an excellent tool for soloing, but also gives warlocks a unique edge in helping out healers.
  • Aff Tier 6 — Shadow Mastery: This is a straight buff to your shadow spells and a bit of a buff to the Felhunter minion.  Rumor has it Blizzard is trying to bring back the felpuppy as the token affliction pet.
  • Aff Tier 7 — Erad. & Contg.: Eradication is amazing when it procs; when it does, this is a cue for you to spam Shadow Bolts, since even with moderate haste, you can see cast times under 2s.  Contagion is a buff to Corruption, Seed of Corruption, and Curse of Agony, and also provides the PvP dispell resist.
  • Aff Tier 8 — Malediction: This used to be a buff to others on only the Curse of Elements spell, but it’s now a straight buff to your spell damage and spell crit.
  • Aff Tier 9 — All: Death’s Embrace helps you out when your health is low, but it’s taken more because of the execute phase it defines.  At 35% target health, all your shadow spells do more damage.  Unstable Affliction is a staple DoT in the affliction rotation, as well as a powerful PvP spell if dispelled.  Pandemic is crit-ical (/groan): it allows Corr and UA ticks to crit, and it lets Haunt crit for twice the damage.
  • Aff Tier 10 — Everlasting Affliction: EA gives your Corruption infinite life while you work your rotation.  This is especially important if your take the Quick Decay glyph, since moderate haste could allow Corr to fall off if you didn’t have the arsenal of refreshing spells.
  • Aff Tier 11 — Haunt: This is the other talent-gained spell in the affliction rotation.  It buffs your shadow damage on the target as long as its debuff is applied and in tandem with Siphon Life, its heal offsets your Life Tap health drops.
  • Destro Tier 1 — All: Improved Shadow Bolt buffs the SB spell, since it’s one of the only non-Affliction tree spells you will use.  Bane makes casting SB less time-consuming.
  • Destro Tier 3 — Ruin: This is Destro’s Pandemic: it allows your SB (and the imp’s FB) to crit for twice the normal damage.

Optional Talents:

  • Aff Tier 2 — Improved Life Tap: I’ve taken this because it buffs the mana I get from Life Tap.  Less LTing means more SBing for me.
  • Aff Tier 3 — Fel Concentration: Despite being my blog’s name, this talent is useless in PvE.  However, I’ve seen PvP warlocks take it.
  • Aff Tier 6 — Improved Felhunter: Blizzard is trying to bring back the felpuppy as the affliction token pet; this talent buffs your Felhunter a bit.  If you use the FH a lot, it’s a good talent; however, I find the FH dies too much to party/raid damage for these 2 points to be useful to me.
  • Aff Tier 7 — Dark Pact: This lets you steal your pet’s mana instead of your own.  Prime use is with a phase imp buffed with Blessing of Wisdom, so you have your own regenerative, reusable mana pot.  Dark Pact will also proc the Life Tap glyph buff, which I find handy when healers have their hands full or a big party/raid-wide damage is incoming.
  • Demo Tier 1 — Imp. HS & Dem. Emb. & Fel Syn: Improved Healthstone buffs the amount of health returned by using a healthstone; this is a utility talent that other classes like.  Demonic Embrace increases your Stamina, which is important for survivability, but it’s also a buff to your mana pool through Life Tap.  Fel Synergy makes more sense since, as suggested by KoalaBear21, heals your pet for a portion of the damage you do.  Good stuff for those felpuppies who stubbornly stand in whatever AoE is behind the boss.  I’m too lazy to redo the picture right now–it’s the far-right one on tier 1.
  • Destro Tier 2 — Cataclysm: I took this once as throwaway talent points; it takes off a tiny bit of mana for using Shadow Bolt or Rain of Fire.  It’s a negligible difference for Shadow Bolt, but Rain of Fire, as typical AoE spells do, uses a massive chunk of mana.
  • Destro Tier 4 — Destructive Reach: Some warlocks take this in tandem with affliction’s Grim Reach to increase the range of all spells to 40 yds.  I think it’s mostly taken for the threat reduction on Destro spells, however.

Glyphs

The WowHead Talent Calculator also lets you pick glyphs, and it awesomely lists the description of the glyph along with what main talent tree the glyph affects.  Here’s a screenshot of the affliction major glyphs (QD hasn’t yet been classified as affliction, but it is). Click for the bigger picture.

Affliction Major Glyphs

The three you want to take are Quick Decay, Haunt, and Life Tap.  The Glyph of Haunt is a straight buff to Haunt’s debuff, which itself buffs your shadow damage on the target.  The Glyph of Life Tap gives you almost a second Fel Armor buff for 40 seconds.  All ranks of Life Tap and Dark Pact can trigger this buff, so it’s not uncommon for a warlock to use Life Tap (Rank 1) at the beginning of a fight.   The Glyph of Quick Decay applies your haste to your Corruption ticks.  You get faster ticks, which is more damage per second in the long run.  For more information on how QD works, revisit my post on the glyph.

The minor glyphs available for warlocks are more or less a joke.  Only Drain Soul is moderately useful: a small proc chance of generating two shards instead of just one off a Drain Soul tick.  The rest, well…just pick two more or leave them blank.  I picked Souls & Unending Breath: the former because at least I would use it and the latter because I’m lazy and wanted a hilarious “useful” buff to cast on people as thanks for casting a buff on me.

Questions & Comments?

As always, I welcome constructive criticism, question, suggestions, and opinions from other affy locks out there–new or old. :)  This post is currently updated for Patch 3.3.0a.

ALEB: Warlock Resources

* Will be updated as my ALEB series is written.

Here’s a listing of the various resources I’ve used to compile my Affliction Lock Endgame Basics (ALEB) series, with the bonus category of useful warlock addons.  I also frequently check these sites and use them myself as an affliction warlock in the ever-changing World of Warcraft.

general infoGeneral Information
These resources hold information relevant to all classes.  Typically these are awesome for their databases and the latest news.

Blood Pact : This is the warlock column from Wow.com.  I particularly like Dominic Hobbs; the previous columnist tended to just restate the patch notes and the obvious.  Hobbs takes the latest and the basics and brings it all to life.

Elitist Jerks : EJ are the kings of theorycrafting and math.  However, their organization of information sucks and the environment is not terribly friendly to newbies in metagaming.  Tough skin recommended for visitation.

MMO Champion : MMO-C is my go-to for patch notes and blue posts.  Recently with his datamining for the Wrath patches, he’s also a pretty awesome source for upcoming loot to watch out for.  Very well organized and frequently updated.

WowHead : My choice of database of WoW items, quests, & spells.  WowHead has excellent tools to use, including a talent calculator complete with glyphs and item comparisons.  The comments are often reliable to any quick questions about quests or items.

WowPopular : I use this site more to gauge what I can probably sell with my professions, but it’s nice to use every time a major game or class mechanic gets changed.  You can see the popularity by class and spec of different enchants, gems, gear…mix & match heaven.

WowWiki : The wiki is a good starting point for many things, theorycrafting to boss strats.  I use it more to browse for things, whereas WowHead I use for specifics.

Affliction Lock Endgame Basics

Kergguz is just starting out and, by the looks of it, he has barely a clue to some of it (which is perfectly OKAY) and wants to find out more.  WowWiki does a nice job in the class pages (“Starting a Warlock,” “What Warlocks Want New Warlocks To Know,” etc.), but it doesn’t have all the min/maxing that you can get out of Elitist Jerks, if you can find it in there.  EJ is a great resource, but their organization of information honestly sucks.  You have to end up reading through pages and pages of posts to get anywhere because the top post was getting updated but stopped back in May ’08, because it was originally posted a year or two ago and they decided to just keep going.  Or it’s just one giant megathread of every subtopic possible in one spec, and you just want to know one thing about one spell or piece of gear or rotation quirk.  It’s daunting, to say the least, to wade through all of that for one answer.  When you finally find what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance the material is not current anymore.  I’m still trying to learn some of the theorycrafting mechanics, but it’s kind of hard to do when their compendium on theorycrafting is half-stuck in the BC era thinking 70 is the level cap and wtf is Haunt.

So I’ll post a series that covers some basics of playing an affliction lock in the endgame, maybe a little min/maxing, for the new affliction warlock in the current patch.  This is, of course, pulled from my experience and playing style, so it’s not the only way nor THE way to do things.  Think of it more as my personal advice to new affliction locks.  I’ll link back to this post and fill in these links as I write them:

Opinions & constructive criticism are welcome in comments or in email, from new or from old locks.

Gear Jerks, Part 2

Need, Greed, and DE

As an enchanter myself, I was originally annoyed that enchanters would be outted in a group by the DE button. On my warlock enchanter I used to not say anything, take the items I luckily greeded and DE’d them later.  Once I was outted as a DE’r in the previous LFG system, it was like I got to have these mats waved in my face as I DE’d them and then watch them be given away, even if it was a fair roll that won it.  Enchanting is a profession that requires other people to help me get my raw materials, and it felt both right and wrong that I’d give away these raw materials to those people who helped me.  But I’ve tried it, and frankly, it’s a lot easier. Especially since most people aren’t needing things from UK or VH or HoL, unless they’re new, and then it goes to good use.  And Abyssal Shatter?  Holy crap, the amount of dust and essence I get from that is amazing.  When I run out of mats I…go LFG some more. To get more abyss crystals.  Which helps out people who want emblems, people who want abyss crystals for Berserking, and newly dinged 80s who want gear.  Win-win, I think.  I love the DE system now.

The Need & Greed/DE are apparently the problems.  People who can wear more than one armor class are annoyed they can’t roll on clear upgrades because it’s not the highest armor class.  They propose switching to a Main Spec / Off Spec / DE system OR letting Greed not share the same level as disenchanting.

That’s dumb.  Don’t be a lazy tard, but look up what upgrades for you drop in a dungeon and ask if people will pass before the party gets started killing things.  Really, is it so hard to do?  If it’s a regular instance and somebody is vying for a piece you also are, offer to run it again so you both can get it.  It happened all the time in ToC5 pugs because of the Black Heart or Mercy’s HoldAnd people were nice about it! People would talk it out while rolling.  Yes, the others who had no interest would pass if there was a DE’r present or roll greed if there wasn’t.  Which becomes a problem now if you are stuck not being able to Need something.  But…dude…you waited through all this trash and after the first boss before saying something?  I might feel bad for DE’ing something you could have used, but I don’t feel horrible since you didn’t give any heads up that you wanted something.

When you ask for people to pass on a lower armor class for you, ask for a specific item.  A resto shammy saying, “Hey, pass all leather/cloth pieces so I can look at them” is just begging for a ninja label. What, you want me to pass so at the last minute you can roll need/greed?  PFFFFFFFFFFT.

My Comments on Comments

Also, some of my thoughts on some comments from BBB’s thread:

Myrx:  * Make it impossible to vote-kick between the time that a boss fight starts, and the time that all loot from that boss is distributed.

This is a good idea. I personally haven’t been kicked or part of a kicking effort during a boss fight.  I think I was in a group that kicked a guy because he zoned in afk and continued to be afk for five minutes.  But there are nasty stories going on about being kicked like this.  I can’t yet find a flaw within this.  Readers, can you?

Myrx: * Allow toons with higher armor grades (Plate or Mail) to roll need on items of lower armor grades – but ONLY if a) it fits their current main spec, b) there are no toons present and rolling need who can only wear cloth (or leather, etc.).

He’s using his resto shammy as an example.  Point A has one major flaw: out of combat, you can change your spec.  So say an enhancement shammy contributes to killing a boss and notices a nice cloth healing piece drops.  He switches his spec to his resto healing set, and thus can roll need, because it’s now his MAIN SPEC.  And then he can beat out the priest or warlock or mage or whichever clothy actually wanted and could have used it in the spec they were performing.

You can’t make it so that you’re in combat while looting or just before looting, because then how will you resurrect people who die?  A delay in changing your spec, maybe?  Doesn’t sound really plausible to implement.  The game takes notice of your “main spec” as that which you enter the fight as?  I could see people starting the spec-switching cast just before entering combat as somebody else pulls.  Unless entering combat could break the cast.

Point B has its problem too. What if you have an Enh shammy with a resto off-spec rolling against a Resto shammy who healed the fight?  No toons of the cloth or leather restricted are present, so they both roll if the Enh switched into Resto for the loot roll?  So the Main Spec Resto shammy can lose a healing piece to an Off Spec Resto shammy.

I think this could be solved better and more permanently by walking in saying, “Hey, I could use Tattered Glacial-Woven Hood for my resto set.  If it drops, will you guys please pass if you don’t need it?” than lazily relying on game mechanics to fix people’s manners for you.

Ninja looting is not a disease of the game.  It’s a disease of every game.  Why?  Because it’s a disease festered and spread by people, not by programming.  Treating the game but not the people doesn’t solve anything.  It’s like needing on Frozen Orbs.  I greed.  Even as I watch you needing it like a jerk, I’m pressing greed.  Blizzard can’t “fix” it by defaulting Frozen Orbs to Greed, because then you WOULD see people being kicked just before the Orb gets looted.  And then what, Orbs just won’t drop at all.  Because the children won’t play nicely with each other.

Play nicely, people.  That’s all the game really needs to be “fixed.”

Gear Jerks, Part 1

Green isn’t working very well. How about orange? Or purple? Druid & warlock, heh, heh.

I’m having issues with some of the topics cropping up in blogs now.  Particularly the “Worst PuG Ever” or the “LFG sucks because” posts.  Because they generally deal with problems between people, but it gets blamed on some addon or the game mechanics of Blizzard’s new Dungeon Finder.  I swear, it’s a people problem, guys.

GearScore

I use GearScoreLite. It puts the GearScore in the tooltip when I mouseover your toon’s unit, and I’ve chosen to put in the average ilvl as well.  Honestly, I wish I could turn off the GS and just use the average ilvl.  But there’s no option for that.

Originally I started using it in raid as a warlock.  I would see other warlocks or dps specs beating me in the Repeencount and I wanted to know if I was sucking or if I was merely outgeared. Unfortunately, people like to move in raids.  I’d try to catch a moment to inspect somebody, but really only the tier pieces are recognizable by icon.  Often someone would move before I could catch what the name was or the tooltip that said where it dropped.  I had a vague idea of how ilvl corresponded to where it dropped.  200 for Naxx10/OS/EoE/t7 10 & purples in heroics.  213 for Naxx25/OS/EoE/t7.5.  226 for Ulduar10/t8.  Etc.  I had heard of GS, looked it up, and lo and behold, it had a Lite version that just put the ilvl in the tooltip.  Perfect.

I use the average ilvl in the opening 30 seconds of every pug. Y’know, before anyone says hello or before a mob pack gets pulled.  I use it to gauge how much I can goof off during a heroic.  Like answering IMs.  Really, chances are I’m talking enthusiatically in guild chat or with my friend on Pidgin while I’m healing your heroic.  Or tanking.  Or dpsing.

I don’t use it to judge your gear or your skill or your chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize.  I just use it to gauge if I need to take a chill pill since the heroic isn’t going to be superfast because people are in heroics/Naxx10 gear (ilvl 200) or if that DK is in fact being a slob because there’s no way his ilvl 226 gear would be putting out under 2k dps.  The only times I recall negative thoughts in my head relating to GS is when somebody underperforms in their current gear. I really do not mind people in 187 ilvl gear in heroics with me.  That’s why heroics drop ilvl 200 gear.  DUH.  However, I do believe the 187 people should not be in ToC5+* or new ICC 5mans.  Why?  ToC5+ drops 219 gear.  Theoretically, 219 ilvl drops means you should be in mostly 200-213s, not fresh off the questing street.  232s from the new ICC 5mans were meant for the people like me who didn’t terribly raid ToC in patch 3.2 but who ground enough heroics to be decked out in the gear you can get from Conquest Emblem vendors (226 ilvl).  So what I do have a problem with are fresh 80s in blues & greens in an instance that drops 232 gear, because that’s a 2 tier gear difference.  Would you take someone in Uld10 normal mode gear to ICC raiding? No, you’d probably say go to ToCr for a few drops and then come back.  Maybe you wouldn’t majorly suck in that gear in that raid, but you wouldn’t be what most guilds are looking for in a member for that raid.

Yes, I realize you can get emblems to buy 232/245 gear just by doing heroics.  But you can’t just do one heroic and poof 232/245 emblem gear.  The lowest cost is 30 emblems for a non ranged-slot (idol, librarm, totem) piece.  30 emblems is about 6-8 heroics, depending on the heroic you get.  Per piece.  That’s enough time in between to learn how to play your class and role in endgame.  I believe gear doesn’t make you a better player. It just makes your output numbers bigger, is all.

Bottom line for me in letting a jerk intimidate you in group for a lacking gearscore is the same as letting them intimidate you for a low Recount spam rank.  It’s your problem if they bother you.  If you think you rock, then you rock. It’s also a problem when people don’t stand up for newbies being shamed for this.  I don’t tolerate people who chew other people out when they’re there to gear up and are honestly trying.  If someone is trying to be just carried along and play loot monkey, well…I don’t tolerate that either.  I’m there to get emblems, so more than likely I’ll continue to the group until it’s done, but you’re on my ignore list after that.

I use GearScoreLite, but lightly. It’s not a major factor in my opinion of a player; it’s lighter than fluff, actually.

* In my shorthand I use 5/10/25 for the size of the raid and + for heroic or hardmode.  So Uld10+ is hardmode Ulduar 10, OS+3 is 3 drakes, ToC5+ is Trial of the Champion heroic.

Blogstorming

I know, probably not a very awesome blog post, but I’ve got ideas running in my head, and I don’t know if I’m awesome enough to write them down here and not be laughed or pfft’d at.  Assuming people read this.

User Interface Theories and Addon Reviews

I like addon reviews.  I like messing with my addons.  I have alts specifically for messing with my user interface.  I also like reading articles by others on how your UI should be set up for raiding or whatever.  Clutter is not good, etc.  I want to explore UI tweaking, but I need more than my opinion.

Loot List for the LFG/Badge Whore

I see lots of loot lists pop up every patch, but they always show what’s in the newest raid instance or BiS.  But I’m a 5man’r, a casual 10man’r.  I usually end up going through WowHead/MMO-Champion with twenty tabs in Firefox, and then ten more tabs comparing the gear I find in the various dungeons.  The BiS/Raid25 lists do nothing for me.  Even Raid10, because my guild is about a raid/tier behind everything.

What’s out there for people who cruise LFG or get our purple pixels largely by emblems and not by drops? Or what professional stuff can you use?  Or how can the new 80-dings efficiently catch up to the 3.3 raiders?  Also questions of how can a toon who’s solo’d 1-80 by questing transition smoothly into the hostile LFG environment without too many L2P comments thrown their way.  I want to explore the band of experience of good players with good gear looking for more, but who aren’t necessarily in a progression guild because of playtime or scheduling.

Theorycrafting & Gear Scales

Obvious explanation by itself.  Though I’m more intrigued on how to build my own gear scoring template, or if I even need one, and how tweaking stats by only so much really will or won’t matter.  There’s lots of links to gear score templates, but not many to how those are actually built.

Like trackbacks–I’m still trying to figure out how to do that whole “I linked to your blog” deal.

Memes

BlogAzeroth has a slew of them popping up.  But, c’mon, what would I going to put for the blogging one? “How long have you been blogging?” “Oh, barely a week. Unless you count Xanga in high school.”  Seriously, not interesting at all.  But I feel leechlike just chilling on the forums with my one intro post.

How To LFG

With all the FailPug hate going on due to, well, jerks in LFG, I’m wondering about exploring how to be a better pug, even on your bad days.  Yes, some FailPug jerks are just that, jerks.  But some of it is people just not knowing how different classes do the same job.  Like bears & palliesMaybe I can take what I learn in raid by healing or tanking or dps’ing with other classes and apply it to a 5man. Also not just covering interclass mechanics, but interpersonal. Like saying “hello” when you join a group rather than mowing through in silence.


What do you guys want to know? The few who come reading, anyway?

Hasty Tasting

So I’ve had the chance to test out the new glyphs which let haste affect a spell or two.  One of them I like, and one of them, ehhh, not so much.

Wicked Corruption

Originally, I wasn’t sure about the warlock glyph, Quick Decay.  I got it as fast as I could grab one and went straight to the dummy to test it out.  And, well, Corruption kept falling OFF.  Mainly because it only lasted for about 15s, and even then, it felt like it only lasted for about 12s.  Normally, I refresh my Haunt as it dies, and every once in a while I miss it for like a second because I wanted to cast a Shadow Bolt instead.  So I would start casting by 3s left on Corruption and I’d normally be fine.  But Haunt would hit and Corruption would fall OFF.

WTF Warlock Troubled Face.

And I read somewhere later that it had to do with how the whole buff interface showing 3s are left when REALLY it’s something like 2.3s.  >.>  /annoyed  But it was okay, just start casting 1s earlier.  Except that wasn’t okay, because I barely had time to cast Shadow Bolt.  Maybe one got in before I had to refresh everything.

Then they fixed it so Shadow Bolt refreshes the duration, in addition to Drain Life, Haunt, and Drain Soul.  First, I was worried, because I thought resetting the duration  my Shadow Bolt means Corruption will never tick.  That I’d have to do some weird Shadow Bolt stopcasting dance around my Corruption ticks.  Then I read about the difference between the duration and ticking.  The ticks work off when the server registers whether there should be one.  The duration is just the, well, the BUFF, the state that allows the ticks to happen.  The refreshing doesn’t stop the tick tock ticking, it just lets the server know that the buff is still there, that ticks still need to be ticking.

And it works.  I’ve watched my target debuffs sit there and bounce through Corruption being reset–15s, 14, 13, 12, 15, 14, 15, 14, 13, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 15, etc.–and then I look at Recount, and Corruption is still a big chunk of my damage as it’s always been.

I like this glyph.  This is a keeper.

Quicksilver Rejuvenation

As a healer, I tend to stack more haste than I do on my warlock.  Neither of them, though, is anywhere close to “ridiculously fast” aka 1s GCD.  For Affliction, the only thing it really does is let me squeeze in one more Shadow Bolt, and now, more DPS via faster Corruption.  But squeezing in Shadow Bolts, it’s a discrete thing.  You can’t squeeze in half a Shadow Bolt casttime: it’s one or nil.  On the other hand of the haste v. crit deal, Pandemic is amazing, and so is crit.

My druid doesn’t have 7 bazillion haste on her, either.  I don’t really know why, maybe because I don’t do progression 10mans or 25mans, so I’m not under pressure and against odds to squeeze out more heals per second.  Since I transitioned from DoTs to HoTs when learning how to heal, and my affliction heart cried when they took away two DoTs from my rotation…I don’t find it too hard to keep track of 7 bazillion HoTs everywhere.  Vuhdo helps, certainly, but it’s not too difficult to keep a whole raid going of rejuvs and a few lifeblooms and some regrowths and a WG off cooldown.  I’m okay with rolling HoTs and letting them tick in rhythm with casttimes.

For my druid, I end up balanced.  I don’t really know which one is “better.”  I’ve read various resto druid blogs discussing it, and then I think…they’re all top raiders.  What do I do?  I do 5 mans for the most part, and a 10man every week or so.  The 10mans I do often aren’t the hardest I could be doing for my gear.  I’ve yet to see half of Ulduar, really, even though my gear says I could do ToC10 easily.  I’m not pressured to perform well for a raiding spot.  “Robes-style” means we take whoever wants to go, gear loosely permitting.

In the 10mans it depends on whether it’s a guild group or not.  I raid heal more often than not: in pugs, it’s my default assignment; in guild runs, if one of our holy priests is healing with me, I might actually get to tank heal.  In 5mans, I’m the only healer.  Duh.  Well what’s the dynamic of 5mans?  Especially now with the random LFG?  With the people in ICC gear pulling 5k dps on roic trash who like to do dungeons in under 15min so they can move on to the next and vacuum up the badgers?

It’s frakkin’ fast in 5mans. You have the sit down, buff up, drink some water in the beginning, but after that it’s go go go.  I’ve often rezzed someone with my brez just because it was faster and spammed my group buff while running.   Then you have the tanks who like to pull the next group while people are still looting, so they might start the next mob pack out of range of my heals. Or ranged dps who manage to spread out everywhere on Scourgelord Tyrannus.  Or melee who forget that the spinny weapon thing in Pit of Saron does damage.   In 5mans, I count on the fact that I have heals ticking when I can’t cast due to running or range or quick huge incoming party damage.  I don’t need to spam Nourish standing still unless people really push it.  I count on my HoTs ticking on the tank while he continues to run out of range.  Wild Growth often sees chained cooldowns because the glyphed version is enough to cover a party and a pet, so it’s a fast-casting, quick-acting AoE heal.  Tranquility even gets pumped every once in a while.

The hasted rejuv makes my HoTs fall off faster.  I found myself casting my heals more, but I didn’t need to.  I overhealed way more, and it was just wasting mana.  I kept having to Innervate myself.  In FIVE MANS.  Granted, in 5mans due to ridiculous pull rates, but I hardly Innerv myself.  I usually save it for the priests and shammies, and if I do use my own Innerv, I only do so when I get that “Not enough mana” error message and I’ve already potted.  Which usually only happens if I’m in a raid that’s challenging for my gear and/or I had to brez somebody.  Maybe it’s different in the 25mans and progression 10mans.  But my 2k Rejuv ticks were doing fine without haste, and my mana pool liked it more.

Those resto bloggers are right: I’m a 5man’r, a casual 10man’r.  Tenths of a second aren’t going to terribly matter to me.  This glyph ain’t for me, so I traded it back for my WG+1 splash.

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