I’ve seen various blog articles of how to do X Fight as a Y Spec Class. I’ve thought about doing my own, but there’s always that nagging “Really? You need a guide on how to Caster DPS? It’s like…Faceroll on the Keyboard. And sometimes you have to move. /boggle”
(My inner self-defeater is a jerk. :|)
Then there’s the other side of how I convey strats to myself. Everybody likes to do the whole read the ability/debuff/buff verbatim and then maybe the strategy of what to do with it, but mostly it’s a read & hope everyone gets it, especially when being read on Vent.
I really dislike that. I prefer the conceptual explanations and I like them short. I write out flash cards to myself for boss strats. Fit all of one boss on one index card, often on one face of the index card. (Both sides if there’s a pause between phase changes, maybe.) It involves pictures with colored markers and descriptors like ” CRYSTAL = GG WASTE DPS. FLAME = FFS OW.” I’m thoroughly rude to myself on these things, but it gets the point across to myself faster.
So I’m not sure if posting my strats would end up looking very stupid or end up somewhat entertaining. Ditto for what would happen if I included a Paint rendering of my index card along with explanation.
Anyway, it’s an idea floating around. That might happen anyway. (The Paint idea would be fun…)
Last year, Halloween fell on a raid night, so the guild had a costume contest in between bosses. This year, it’s not on a raid night, so we decided to do it this week instead.
We killed Alysrazor (almost forgot to do loot!), which was actually a bunch of running around talking about raiding naked and discussing the stupid Dev Q&A questions that were being asked. Also there was a mention of not giving Mindy assist since last night she accidentally kicked one of our rogues from the raid during Heroic Alysrazor, which was hilarious in a good way. Several jokes were made about the differences between snooze-mode Alysrazor and heroic Alysrazor.
Then we moved on to go kill Domo, except as we pulled the Unstable Magma trash in front of Baleroc (that still, for some reason, spawns even after you’ve killed Baleroc), someone tripped the bridge cinematic, and several of our healers got stuck in the cinematic! Fortunately, only Amowrath died. (Poor Amo!)
We killed Domo after we had a derp pull of Domo. Derp pull = “Whoops, too many people ran out on Seeds, so he flipped Scorpion-Cat-Scorpion real fast, and now he hits like a truck, and we still have half his health to go.” We actually survived a while; we got a 2nd Orb phase, which was 4 Orbs, and we would have survived it had we enough people left alive to switch him to Scorpion. We’d stacked up, but he stayed in Cat, meaning we didn’t have enough people ALIVE to switch him to Scorpion.
After Domo was dead, we used his stage area as the costume contest stage. As always, click for a larger picture.
The first category — as our guild master-raid leader Ranico put it, “Let’s just get the obvious one out of the way,” — was Sexiest. Several people got into several categories, as it was all in fun anyway. Maerdred won Sexiest as a gentleman with a romantic picnic and a sheep. (The sheep is an old joke from last year.) Though, I did like Aesa’s costume — I think it was supposed to be a mummy. I thought that was well-done.
Scariest was next, and, well, required some imagination for some people. Juvenate said he was scary because the druid tier is ugly. Lissanna was a snowman, and when asked why snowmen were scary, someone interjected, “Well, winter is coming, and we all know that’s bad.”
Beefbus and Amowrath had an entertaining set of costumes. Beef was Amo, and Amowrath was himself in drag. Ranico tallied the votes and said, “Oddly, Amo, people are more scared of you, than they are of you in drag.” Beef won Scariest as Amo.
Cutest was the next category, and originally, no one leapt up on stage. After some prodding, we got an entirely animal-themed stage. Juv as a snazzy blood elf dancer counts as an “animal,” yeah? Liss got a turkey on biscuits to go with her boom-turkey self.
Last was Most Original, and I leapt up on stage immediately, as this was the only category I figured I fit into. I was originally the only one up there, and again, after prodding, the stage filled itself as I was about to win by default. So Ranico said, “Okay, if Pon gets more than half the votes, that is, 13 or more, then she wins.”
The ready check poll went out, and “Pon got 19 votes, so she wins.”
I went as Aladdin this year; last year I simply wore tier 8 to go as Putress.
It’s a simple set (just 3 pieces!), though the pants are hard to find. The pants are either a rare BoE or from some low level quests; I used Unbound Leggings (“quests”). The chest is the Runecloth Tunic and the belt is the Deathsilk Belt, both of which are tailor-made items. I recut my toon’s hair to a black waved bob to Aladdin’s hair style.
Sadly, I couldn’t find a genie-lamp offhand; just lots of lamp offhands. I also couldn’t find a red hat that didn’t totally cut out the hair.
The “Genie” is my voidwalker, Ormmon, and the carpet is, of course, the tailor-made and tailor-usable Magnificent Flying Carpet, one of my favorite mounts. I figured I’d use “the Seeker” as a title, since I was looking for a Cave of Wonders at the time.
I also pulled out the Green Wing Macaw in raid as Iago, but he mostly hung out in the threads of the carpet, so my guild probably never saw it.
Our last “category” is the winners of the categories and a poll for the ultimate winner. I personally voted for Maer, because his costume (this year and last year’s) always makes me giggle ridiculously, but apparently I won by a slim margin. So I got a 26-slot bag for my reward.
Then we moved on to kill Rag after our break. After a few attempts (even with some newbs in the fight!), we killed him on 25 for the 2nd time, earning some people their kill achievement. But we also managed to get the Ragnar-O’s achievement as well; we know it’s something with the lava waves and meteors, but it was totally by accident.
That’s Undying Resolution for you. (We’re looking for a resto shammy and a few caster deeps, if you want to join in the silly.)
As the wave of valor point gear hit the PTR, and now I have choices for slots, I’ve started getting together my BiS / DO WANT list. For Firelands, my guild did a thread where we listed the drops we wanted from each boss, and I feel like it’d be a good thing if we did it again. I make a list for myself regardless, but it’s fun sharing it anyway.
I’ve also been gearing up alts, and it’s a relief to find a gear list, just to make sure I’m on track with how the secondary stats work for my character. I’m especially a fan of the Vexryn’s paladin tank lists from Maintankadin, so I may copy that format a bit. Though, warlock stat priority isn’t as dynamic as tank or healer gear, so it ought’nt be too hard for people to guess.
But first, I want to talk about the tier gear: the set bonuses, the overall feeling of the stat allocation, combination & completion of set bonuses, and the looks.
Since I care about looks of gear, I looked at it first before I looked at the stats.
I realize there is going to be transmogrification in 4.3, and I even have my outfit picked out for it. I’m dressed in it on the PTR, and even just running around for a little bit on the PTR, I’ve grown a bit used to my “current gear” look, and while being Putress is awesome, it’s just not the same anymore. I might use transmogrification to be Putress for a while, but I will probably end up going back to the current tiers if I like them.
So, the cape first, because the cape is what I stare at most as I play my character. I’m not fond of the rounded / pointed capes (squarish ones wave in the air better), which is what the tier 13 valor one is, but the design at least uses the pointed edge to look cool. The Avengers cloaks of this tier are not my favorite, and I think the design looked better on the squarish quest Mantle cloaks.
I think when I took this I tried to put all the non-tier VP gear on myself (+tier shoulders), so I know that’s the VP wand in my right hand and the VP gloves. That might be the VP helm and VP chest; both look like warlock tier again. Unfortunately, there were no VP shoulders or legs, but there are substitutes for tier; there’s a drop for shoulders & crafted for legs.
As for the tier 13 itself, we get three recolors from the three sources: raid finder for ilvl 384, normal raids for ilvl 397, and heroic raids for ilvl 410. (In my hands are Incineratus (w/ Power Torrent) & the Talisman of Kalecgos, which are my chosen items for my Putress mogging set.)
I like the Raid Finder recolor, though the color scheme reminds me heavily of shaman tier 10. Maybe ours is a bit more fel with the green, but I do like that scheme best of the three. The 397-ilvl color isn’t as bad as the heroic recolor; the heroic recolor looks like they just played with the color sliders, rather than actually looking like a put-together set of colors. While the helm on the other two seems to float on top, the heroic helm just feels…heavy and almost obtrusive.
Considering my guild is considering doing the Raid Finder as learning runs, I might grab some pieces, at least for the plain looks if not for the stats.
Tier 13 — Set Bonuses
Both set bonuses are a bit meh in terms of damage boost for affliction. Of course, tier bonuses aren’t supposed to provide a huge jump in DPS, but something more like 5%.
2pc | The duration of your Doomguard and Infernal summons is increased by 30* sec and the cooldown of those spells is reduced by 4 min.
* 20 sec for demonology, but I’m only discussing affliction.
The Doomguard being out longer and possibly every wipe-attempt or twice a kill-attempt is definitely an up. It’s not a spectacular increase for affliction, but it’s an increase I’ll take anyway.
4pc | Soulburn grants a 10% increase to your spell power for 10 sec, and Soul Fire cast with Soulburn active now grants a Soul Shard.
This bonus would be more interesting if affliction actually had things to do with Soulburn. Technically, if you want to be sim-perfect in your DPS, you’re already adding in three Soulburned Soul Fires, despite SF hitting like a wet noodle even when you’re Destro. Blizzard keeps wanting warlocks to use Soul Fire — who knows why — but so far they’ve been pretty terrible at actually fixing the spell to make it useful.
If a spell doesn’t hit for a good use of its resources, nobody will use it. Throwing in a spell power buff just makes using the spell necessary. It’s still a pain in the ass to use. The pain in the ass that is Soul Fire is its cast time and it hits for crap, especially if you’re not specced into fire.
Blizzard has attempted to fix Soul Fire and make it appetizing for players to cast. They’ve buffed the spellpower coefficient for Soul Fire (so it hits a bit harder), and they’ve added a refund of shards to the Soulburn mechanic into the 4pc bonus. With a refund of shards, I can cast this on cooldown (45s for Soulburn) and get a decent spellpower boost out of it.
I still feel like I’m being forced into using a spell that’s neither useful for me nor flavored for me. Affliction flavor (RP, whatever you call it) is important to me.
Tier 13 — Drops and Stats
This tier they’re going back to, I think, the Burning Crusade model of tier piece acquisition. This time, all of the tier gear is acquired from tokens that drop from the bosses; nothing comes from Valor Points. To turn in the token, however, you still visit the Valor Point vendor in your faction capital. Our token is “____ of the Corrupted Conqueror,” which we share with paladins and priests.
- Hood = Warmaster Blackhorn
- Mantle = Hagara the Stormbinder
- Robes = Ultraxion
- Gloves = Warlord Zon’ozz
- Leggings = Yor’sahj the Unsleeping
Here’s the secondary stat pairings on each piece. The math symbols are for which stat is bigger on the item. I’m not putting specific numbers on the pieces since I figure we’ll all mix and match between the three source sets. It also helps in my head to figure out reforging; if the trashier stat is higher, then I’ll get more out of it.
|(t12) Balespider’s||Slot||(t13) Faceless Shroud|
|mastery > haste||Head||haste > crit|
|haste > hit||Shoulders||mastery > crit|
|haste > hit||Chest||haste > hit|
|haste > hit||Hands||mastery > hit|
|crit > mastery||Legs||haste > mastery|
The general affliction stat priority is hit (to cap) > haste > crit > mastery. Of course, your own specific priority will vary with each piece of gear you gain, so you can run your SimC yourself if you wish to have those very specific numbers.
Affliction likes hit like snickerdoodle cookies: you either eat until you’re full (1742/17%) or you eat until maybe one cookie short of full (~16.90-16.99%) before you give yourself a tummy ache (>17%).
Affliction loves haste like it’s hot, homemade apple pie (moar! MOAR!), and then crit is like not-in-your-top-ten-favorite-cookies-but-still-mmmm-cookies (it’s okay), and mastery is like the raisins in raisin-oatmeal cookies when you hate raisins (ewwwww raisins).
Alright, which ones should I replace / mix first?
I think I was spoiled by the hit/haste combos from Balespider’s tier 12, honestly. That, and I must be crazy, because I appear to be the only warlock I know of (though I don’t know many) who actually likes the aesthetic look of the Balespider set. It’s a great set all around for me, and it’ll be hard to part with. (Definitely a mogging keeper!)
For Faceless Shroud, the pieces by themselves are less appealing, but they aren’t horrible. The mastery should appeal to the Demo locks, and as they’re simming as highest warlock DPS on the PTR now (!!), they’ll be plenty happy.
I love the chest piece; it’s a straight upgrade of Balespider. The Faceless legs are better than Balespider, so I’ll trade those quickly. The helm has thankfully flipped the higher stat to haste, and switched out mastery for crit, so I like that piece too. The hands are usually the token Piece of Suck for affliction in the warlock tiers I’ve worn, so I’ll hold onto my Balespider’s Handwraps as long as I can, but the hands are also often the set bonus completer for me.
The shoulders, oh dear. I think something is wrong with the itemization; else, mastery really IS that bad.
Currently, on my spreadsheet with my own SimC values and a list of all the gear since I began it at the start of Cataclysm, the Mantle of the Faceless Shroud scores oddly. I thought the chunk of intellect from an item tier’s upgrade would offset the switch from the favored haste/hit to the unpleasant mastery/crit combo, but it’s not doing it. Even filling all the gem slots (red & red with 20 Intellect for the bonus) with rare gems just barely gets the normal raid (397) above my current t12 (378).
And when I gem the raid drop substitute (Mosswrought Shoulderguards, 397 off Morchok), which has the same gem sockets & gem bonus but a crit/haste combo of secondary stats, it’s within 12 points of the heroic tier 13 shoulders, which are half a tier higher in item level!
o_O WTF Shoulder Slot.
Needless to say, for now my target 4pc is head/chest/hands/legs. My 2pc will probably be chest/legs. I’ve re-evalutate if the shoulders get re-itemized or if SimC tells me I smell funny.
The shoulders and hands from Balespider are still delicious with their haste/hit combos, Faceless chest is haste/hit also, and Faceless legs, while less awesome than Faceless helm, will probably be easier to get as Yor’sahj is hopefully one of the earlier / easier bosses in Dragon Soul (he’s been tested first with Morchok, and he’s also listed earlier in the Dungeon Journal).
As for the other gear pieces…I’m still sorting through to do decide my priority for VP spending and EPGP rolling. That post will be later.
Specifically talent spec, glyphs, and pets.
I was going to do a fishing reprise, now that my guild has the feast. Because since we have the feast, that doesn’t mean “stop fishing.” Actually that means “keep fishing more.” But our guild bank is going through supplies quickly, so I figured less writing, more fishing. I’ll finish it later. I keep forgetting the more tag.