After a guildmate commented about the drop rate for the Unstable Corruptions and Lovely Charms, half my guild was out trying this yesterday. He did mention the minor note of in order to get to the hallway, you need to solo (or duo) the first boss at least as well as her trash. This guildmate, a hunter, managed to do it, so I was intrigued when our shadow priest could not solo it.
I mean, isn’t that the best non-warlock analogy for an affliction warlock? A shadow priest-hunter?
That, and I poked at Glow to see if he’d done the place solo yet or not. On my 380-ilvl bear, the ICC 5man heroics are now pretty solid to do; Halls of Reflection’s Lich King gauntlet still requires me to pay attention to down it. I figured the next challenge might be Wrath raids with a partner, but I don’t have one of those, so Cata regulars are next. I usually do solo attempts on my bear first, but with mogging, I might expand it to my other alts, especially my warlock.
If you click on the pictures, I swear they’re not that crappy a quality (still crappy, though).
So, here we go, Throne of the Tides on regular for a warlock. (more…)
Edit: The reason I didn’t know there was a SB: UA is because there isn’t one and the Wowhead comments aren’t updated. GG.
Recently, the guild chat conversation turned to beginning a warlock. One of my guildmates started a new warlock, and had said earlier in raid that she could never get one above 20, to which I jokingly said I’d teach her.
So now we spent the next 20 minutes or so talking warlock stuff in guild chat.
She’s only 12 or so right now, but we got into what exactly soul shards and soulburn are and do. She had a warlock back in Wrath, but it’s different now in Cataclysm, especially the whole soulburn mechanic. As she put it, you have to relearn it all over again.
So I hit “Save Draft” on my glyphs post, and put it aside as I pulled up a fresh blank post. Let’s talk about soul shards and soulburn. Hold onto your cowls! (more…)
Okay, yeah, yeah, more like “CC Essay.”
I’m a warlock. I’m going to talk about warlock CC. But I’m pretty sure it could apply to any form of CC.
Epeen Points | I’ve gotten a whisper thanking me for my CC, that I “healed” as much just by doing my CC stuff. I told the bear tank guildy I’ll go anywhere with him since he’s a great tank, and he said ditto back. So, /flex, I’m good at what I do in instances. Maybe not topping the charts in DPS (it’s a dungeon, who the flip cares about your DPS number so long as you get it done with the least pain possible), but I help out well enough.
Once, the tank mentioned he loved Fear because it never broke. I was a bit sad to tell him I was just refreshing it before the duration expired. Then it’s amusing when melee dps try to hit a Banished target and it just sits there immune to everything. It’s highly annoying when I pull out my succubus to seduce something only to have someone run over and break it immediately.
So let’s talk about complete CC: the beginning casts, the refreshes, and breaking CC. By “complete CC” I mean something that prevents the mob from telling off your party members for wearing such horribly clashing outfits.
Textwall Crits for 9001 Damage | I’m going over four warlock CCs in detail (jump to: Seduction, Enslave Demon, Fear, and Banish), for either non-warlocks or warlocks who want to refamiliarize themselves with the spells. If you want to skip to the part about executing warlock CC in party, you can. Yeah, okay, it’s maybe two articles together, but I felt like going into the specific spell mechanics was still important.
…when you’ve got Stranglethorn Vale?
PST Fellow Questing Fiends: don’t click the links!
…actually, I think, Gazimoff already did this title.
Anyway, World of Raids is looking for some bloggers to take some beta keys and I was tempted.
(Well, actually, I ended up posting anyway, but I’m still not sure of myself.)
I think it was temptation. I thought “Ooooh!” because they specifically mentioned DKs, Druids, and Warlocks, and I’m at least one of those three. But then I thought about why I wanted the key. Just to experience new content now rather than later? Or to actually test the material? I think I would test anyway, and I try my best to give constructive feedback when it’s wanted, but I’m not sure of myself.
For one, I’m a small blog. That is, I hit 50 views on a good day. (I haven’t gotten any beta scams in my email box, either.) It’s okay, for the most part, I’m writing more for me than for large swathes of trolls (and gnomes and draenei and…) to give me attention. So it’s not like me making a post about warlock mechanics in beta build XYZ is going to make much of a bang. Most likely warlocks are already following the beta-goers posting in the Warlocks’ Den or reading Jagoex in Blood Pact on WoW.com.
Jagoex is really good, too.
Then there’s Nibuca, whom I once dubbed the Queen of Affliction. She updated the affliction warlock part of Raider101. I’d write a good long draft on some 3.3 cool thing, she’d post, and I’d see that her post was both better and clearer (more succinct?) than mine ever was.
So my being in the beta would only go so far if I can’t bring the beta to the community through my blog.
Don’t know much about pyrology,
Don’t know much demonology,
Don’t know much about Molten Core,
Don’t know what a Conflagrate‘s for.
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a shadowy world this would be.
Now I don’t claim to be some wiz Eee Jay,
But I’m tryyyying to be.
So maybe by being an Eee Jay beta
I can win your key for me.
That is how the song goes, right?
Theorycrafting & Class Guides
I’m not EJ-technical. I try to understand the mechanics behind my spells. I even practice it on a dummy for hours. But the EJ how-to’s are a) stuck in BC, and b) written for people who already understand the mechanics.
In a word, they’re useless.
I’ve wanted to write a How To Be a Good Warlock series for a while. I’ve been told in-game I’m a “good warlock.” Whether that means I do uber DPS (prolly not) or that I simply take my healers into consideration and don’t Life Tap myself to death, I still consider myself pretty knowledgeable about affliction warlockery. I want to share it.
It’s late Wrath. I got into the blogging game late, too. I do more lurking in forums than I do posting, mainly because I don’t feel as knowledgeable as those who were there since Vanilla. Not to mention there are so many points of view I could be talking on, it’s hard to write a non textwall without generalizing and having it read wrong. I feel like all I want to say has already been said before and I’d get laughed at for reiterating something so basic. Even with all the PUG horror stories out there.
In Cataclysm, everything’s being changed. I’m in the starting gates right now. I haven’t been out on the practice track, but I’m ready for the race.
I Love To Tinker
When my dad and I played Baldur’s Gate or Myst or Might & Magic, we’d first do it blind. Maybe we used paper and pencil to write down the puzzle codes in-game or whatever, but we wouldn’t use any walkthroughs or maps or guides that didn’t come in the box. We’d beat the game au naturale first, and then we’d go back and God-mode the heck out of it.
I’ve been leveling my alts without heirlooms. I find it more fun that way, having to actually struggle against appropriate-level quests and actually using quest rewards that are actually better than what I’m wearing. I love making my own talent spec while leveling, never looking at a talenting or glyphing guide until I’m cap level. I like reading the quest text and exploring my way there instead of immediately Wowheading it for the coordinates.
I actually like making the trip back to the quest giver instead of having a turn-in in-the-field. *cough* Makes for strategic hearthstone setting.
I like exploring.
I think I have the right mindset for beta testing.
But I’m not quite confident enough to say I would be great for it, to add to the beta forums or the community well.
I feel like a minnow.
Here’s the whole linky post; I’ll probably end up quoting half most all of it anyway.
Unfortunately, Blizz released all this on a raid night for me.
First impressions belong in a real post. I do also want to go back and grab the old Cataclysm warlock info that’s already been released and think about it all together. Get the big picture, y’know. I don’t know whether I’ll break it up or just do one longgggggg post. Breaking it up is probably better, but that means either a ridiculous influx of posting about Cataclysm warlockery or posts for a week or half a week.
But I need to get dinner, make sure my RL raid snacks are on hand, make sure my in-game raid snacks and flasks and pots are on hand, make sure my head’s in the right spot for focusing on raiding, etc.
Aka, not writing a post about the awesomeness that is Cataclysm warlockery. So here’s a summary of what got released today:
Four new spells: one’s got a cosmetic change we warlocks have been wanting FOREVER, one’s stealing from mages, and one looks like a remake of Demonic Empowerment.
That fourth spell burns a soul shard to create an awesomer spell from our default arsenal. Soul shards themselves are a new resource mechanic: we get only 3, each worth only one use, per fight.
Some of the spells and mechanics we already know and love (or hate) will be changed. Most of them look good to me.
There will be new talents and some talents will be changed.
The mastery passive talent tree bonuses were revealed for each tree. I’m obviously going to focus on the affliction ones.
The full post is here. Here’s the parts I care about:
Here’s how the system works: As you spend points in a given talent tree, you’ll receive three different passive bonuses specific to that tree. The first bonus will increase your damage, healing, or survivability, depending on the intended role of the tree. The second bonus will be related to a stat commonly found on gear desirable to you, such as Haste or Crit. The third bonus will be the most interesting, as it will provide an effect completely unique to that tree — meaning there will be 30 different bonuses of this nature in the game. This third bonus is the one that will benefit from the Mastery rating found on high-level (level 80 to 85) gear.
There will still be talents that boost damage, of course, but those talents will also affect the way you play. For example, you can still expect to see talents like Improved Frostbolt, which reduces the cast time of the Frostbolt spell; it increases DPS, but it also affects the mage’s rotation. Piercing Ice, however, is just “6% more damage” and is the kind of talent we’re trying to eliminate by implementing the Mastery system.
So in summary, mastery is a set of 3 passive bonuses specific to your tree.
- a +dmg/heal/surv bonus: obviously depending on whether you are dps/heals/tank.
- a bonus related to a stat found on your desired gear: haste, crit, stamina, intellect, & hit are our favorable stats come Cataclysm. I’m thinking haste for the affliction tree, since we love it anyhow.
- an unique buff to your tree: Judging from the examples they gave holy priests (HoT to direct heals), disc priests (better bubbles), & frost dks (more rune power???), I think Corruption will be the buffed spell. After all, it is a staple of warlockery spells, especially affliction, and Corruption gets buffed a ton through those plain +X% damage talents we have at the moment.
There will be a mastery stat on Cataclysm gear that increases the effectiveness of the third bonus. This convinces me further that Corruption would get buffed, because it would be essentially taking Empowered Corruption out of the talent tree but still being used.
The mastery system also intends to get rid of plain X% more damage talents and implement them into these bonuses, leaving the quirky or interesting talents left in the trees. What flat X% damage talents do affliction locks have?
- Improved Curse of Agony
- Improved Corruption
- Soul Siphon –> but I think this is an interesting talent because it depends on your target debuffs
- Empowered Corruption, in a manner
- Shadow Mastery
- Death’s Embrace, but it’s like Soul Siphon, it’s an execution-phase talent
- the first half of Everlasting Affliction
- (destro tree) the first half of Improved Shadow Bolt
These are a core part of the affliction build. Not all of the talents, certainly, but you see all of these on cookie-cutter builds. So what talents will we get instead? Will these change tooltips but still be there? I’d like to see more curses (not that you ever use CoW or CoE in PvE, but we could for encounters requiring some slowing CC). Or maybe more felpuppy talents. Or maybe there will be talents that change or buff what your new soul shards do.
Any warlocks reading have any opinions on what we might see in our trees come Cataclysm?
Or other classes, what do you hypothesize about your new talents?
Eyonix has posted information about the stat changes in Cataclysm on the forums. I’m excited because it means totally revamping most or all of the theorycrafting formulae, so I finally get to see first-hand how these numbers and stat weights come about as we all try to do it again. I plan to spend somemore lurkage on Elitist Jerks to figure out how exactly the pros will figure this out.
However, I’m pretty sure most players don’t care about the math and really wish it would go away. That’s why they’re changing the stats, right? Math or no math, it’s going to affect how you play in Cataclysm versus how you play now in Wrath. So let’s go through these notes as fellow affliction warlocks. I’ve also included some of the blue posts further down the thread that I think are relevant points.
What you’ll see on gear
Stamina – Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.
More stamina means less dying to stupid mechanics like fall damage. Does anyone else remember having a health minimum (with Fortitude included) in order to do Malygos as a cloth-wearer because of the Vortex and its subsequent fall damage? Or, as everyone was just beginning to hit 80 and do the heroics, being the only clothy in an all-plate group (pally healers!) and being told to stay in on Loken’s Nova? More importantly, more stamina means more mana via life tap, and less chance to life tap yourself to death.
Spirit – Come Cataclysm, this stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters will have other systems in place to regenerate mana, and we are designing special solutions for Elemental shaman and Balance druids who often share gear with healers (more on this below). Raid buffs that currently boost Spirit (such as Blessing of Kings) will only boost the primary stats of Stamina, Strength, Agility, and Intellect. We are also likely changing the five-second rule and other quirks of the current regen system.
Any warlock worth their salt isn’t going to care really about the mp5 you get from Spirit. Why? Because we life tap. And what about life tap? Oh, it has a glyph. That scales with…spirit. Like Fel Armor.
Yes, but what about warlocks, who get a bonus to SP based on Spirit when they have the armor buff up? Will that spell and buff be reworked as well?
Eyonix: It seems so. I would remind players who are focusing on individual talents and abilities to remember that we’re going to be doing a major redesign on all talent trees. So fear not, these changes are meant to work in conjunction with the design of each class come Cataclysm.
But Blizz has us warlocks covered. I figured they would change the spirit scaling to something like intellect scaling, since intellect will be reigning over spellpower. But Eyonix goes further and reminds us that the talents will be majorly redone, so Life Tap and Fel Armor may not be what we currently know them as. Currently for affliction warlocks, Fel Armor is not affected through talents, and Life Tap’s only effect is whether you get 0/10/20% more mana return.
Will reforging become available when the stat changes come into effect? Or will my gear with spirit on it become trash until it does?
Eyonix: Your gear won’t have spirit on it as a mage when Cataclysm hits.
So they *better* redo Fel Armor and Glyph of Life Tap. Otherwise those will be worthless.
Intellect – Intellect will now grant Spell Power (more on this below). Intellect will also provide less mana than it currently does.
So we want lots of +int. Unfortunately, this means we will have to love mages for their buff. Ewwwww, mages. :) Even though we have Fel Intelligence via the felhound, Arcane Intellect is more powerful. I suspect that a lot of the enchants will be converted into the equivalent intellect, since there are a lot of spellpower enchants and few intellect ones.
Haste is changing its meaning for melee classes, but it will stay the same for us.
Mastery – This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It’s directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.
What makes affliction cool and unique? DoTs. Curses. Drains. Self-buffing debuffs like Haunt, Shadow Embrace. Fluid double conversion of health and mana. I feel like the concept is still too nebulous to ponder about, so I’ll talk about it more when Blizz talks about it more.
Armor – The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth.
Have I mentioned that I hated an all-plate group telling me to stay in on Loken’s Nova? But, as most healing blogs have already pointed out, this just means not having to prioritize raid-healing cloth-wearers over plate-wearers.
I don’t care about resilience because I don’t PvP as a warlock.
Hit will stay the same in meaning.
Crit will stay the same in meaning.
Stats being removed from items
Spell Power – Spell Power is another stat that you’ll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.
…I’m a little confused. Why not just put a crapton of intellect on the weapon? How does a stat you’re removing from gear make it easier to scale it better than the one you’re going to be using?
Stats you’ll never see again…ever
We never really cared about mp5 anyway.
Spell Ranks – Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.
So, finally, all those jackasses who won’t turn off their Rankwatch, citing you should just leave the dungeon/battleground now to go train one flipping rank…Rankwatch will be dead. However, using lower ranks is useful sometimes. I’m talking about Life Tap Rank 1 (~600 health to mana). I don’t Life Tap Rank 8 (3.3k health to mana) when the fight starts, because I just want the glyph buff. I also use it sometimes when I just need the glyph buff to reset but the raid is/I am taking a lot of damage, because I like to not piss off my healers by making the damage worse.
So uh, sorry healers, whenever spell ranks go away. You might hate warlocks. Again. Also, it was pointed out later on about things like mage food utilize different ranks.
How will this work with summon food and water? These items have level limits. How will a mage be able to create the lower level items with ranks gone?
Ghostcrawler: There won’t be a way or need to cast the lower level spells. If you’re just worried about losing the flavor of croissants vs. strudel, we’re keeping that. At some point you’ll just start making the better breads.
Ghostcrawler, I think you’re missing the point of the question. Like say you’re in SM:Armory, you’re level 35, so you can use Healthstone (lvl 34 min), no big deal. But the healer is level 33. Oops. But with this new system, you can’t create a Lesser Healthstone (lvl 22 min). Is it just going to scale depending on who is eating it, à la heirloom gear? Or will level 34s get the same food as level 85s?
Weapon Skill – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.
So Master or Arms and Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich? will become Feats of Strength? Future warlocks won’t have excuses to go banish an elemental into a punching bag? Awwww, come on… Way to go, Blizz, taking the cap-level toon’s only legit reason to run Stockades in the nude. Now we’ll just have to be silly. :P
What else you should know, stats-wise
Combat ratings – All ratings will be much harder to “cap out” at maximum gear levels. Ratings will be steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.
Ratings will be steeper? So I won’t still be hit-capped in my tier-10-esque gear when I raid at 85? I’ll need MORE? Good GAWD, Blizz, how much more could I possibly need? On the serious side of things, this means you need more crit rating and haste rating to cap those respective combat traits. I figure healers will be freaking out more about the haste conversion rate. But, I for one will be having fun seeing what popping my haste trinket and/or a haste potion during Heroism will reduce me to.
Reforging – While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.
So…that umpteen +hit you have? Convert it to haste. Or crit. Of course, the question isn’t really how much your Pawn scale is going to freak out every time you replace a slot, it’s whether you can only convert all or none of a stat to 50% of another. This will come up when you need X +hit to be capped, but your only gear choices are X – 13 +hit or X + 17 +hit. So you’re still going to be either gemming/enchanting for hit or being overcapped with a useless stat. Bwuh. But the Haste to Crit or Crit to Haste will be nice. I think they’ll limit it to the “green” stats, though. Otherwise we’d have casters with very little health but ungodly amounts of intellect/spellpower.
Gems – We are changing the gem colors of a few stats as a result of these adjustments. For example, Hit is likely to be blue instead of yellow. We’ll have more details on this in the future.
Currently, warlocks favor reddish sockets, because spellpower is a red gem stat. If they convert spellpower into the equivalent intellect, well…you have red gems with intellect and…yellow gems with intellect. BWUH? So yeah, the colors are going to change. If intellect stays yellow, then warlocks will favor yellow, green, and orange gems. If intellect switches to red, in order to replace spellpower, then our gem choice will hardly change, with the exception of spirited gems like Purified Dreadstone, since spirit will be gone and useless.
Changes to existing gear
If you are a DPS caster, expect to see:
- A lot more Stamina.
- All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
- No Spirit. You won’t miss Spirit, though, because you won’t need it for DPS or mana regen.
No surprise, given the rundown of stat changes. Though, it mentions stamina, not only intellect, as being a spellpower holder. Given this information, stamina might be the new spirit for warlocks (spellpower modifier for things like Fel Armor). You know, kind of like for cats, strength gives +2 attack power and agility gives you +1 attack power. So there might be a similar intellect/stamina conversion for spellpower. Which means all that food and all those gems that have +stam at the end? Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh. Om nom spellpower.
If you are a healer, expect to see:
- …Spirit instead of MP5. You’ll probably be happy with Spirit, though, because mana regen is going to matter more than it does currently. Healing paladins and shaman will benefit more from Spirit than they do currently.
If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:
- Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won’t have Hit on it.You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit.
- We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
- Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
So, the leather-wearing boomkin or mail-wearing elly won’t be snitching any cloth caster gear from you, because they will want totally different stats, which won’t be on your armor type. However, class-indifferent items like rings and neck pieces will still have stats they want, so we will still be competing will all casters on those slots.
Is there any way that we poor poor clothy dps casters can get some kind of assurance that we won’t have to compete with boomkins/ele shamans for our cloth gear once they hit their spirit/hit gear cap?
Ghostcrawler: There is a small Mastery bonus for wearing “your” gear. So a Balance druid who takes cloth will be essentially giving up free stats. Sometimes that may be worth it to them (just as sometimes it’s worth it for a Resto druid to take that piece of +hit gear), but often times it won’t be worth it especially if it’s an upgrade for you.
Healers won’t want +hit, and we won’t want their important spirit, but there may be some crossover anyway, especially with reforging coming into play. So we will both want the same piece of gear, but likely for different reforging reasons.
No more spellpower; instead, tons of intellect will be wanted. We will have a lot more stamina, and possibly spellpower from said stamina. The hit cap will go up again. We will still love haste, probably, and crit too. Spirit and mp5 will be gone, and mana regen will be implemented in talents. But warlocks life tap anyway. But our talents are being majorly redone, so Life Tap may change completely.
Mastery is focused on playing with your class and spec’s unique coolness, so I expect something along the lines of conversion of stats into damage or interesting curses or buffs to DoTs or more things that happen when we drain. We also can’t forget the revamp of soul shards, and how they will play into buffing our spells during combat.
There are a few concerns regarding the disappearance of spell ranks, but this is more for convenience than an actual issue.
We get to celebrate sharing only cloth gear with other clothies, though with reforging stats, we might still have crossover items. So same old, same old.
In summary, not much change on the clear horizon, lots of change on the fuzz horizon. But I don’t yet see any major QQ points.
Fellow warlocks, your thoughts on the stats changes in Cataclysm?