I haven’t been posting here. I can blame some of that on writing Warlock things at Blizzard Watch, but most of it is that I don’t like publishing unfinished posts, especially since Blizzard Watch has gotten me used to having to put images in to break up text, and I often don’t have amazing images lying around to use for random posts here. (I’m also writing on my tablet right now, and the tablet app for WordPress is …not well designed for actually writing & formatting start to finish. >:| *grump*)
I also feel bad about trying to get my feet wet with theorycrafting and then posting of my adventures with testing Legion alpha. I feel this pressure to post only polished theorycrafting, and it never happens largely because I start to research my stance and opposing stances and then halfway through it, I realize I actually know fuckall, and then I get super anxious and embarrassed that I’ve attempted to post anything at all (it must be stupid! I don’t know anything!), and …I end up not posting anything aside from rambling on Twitter.
But the lack of activity on the blog post front doesn’t mean I have a lack of stuff to do with Legion alpha testing.
I’ve acknowledged to myself that I’m likely not going to be a pure theorycrafter type — that is, I’m not going to be figuring out the numbers part of things, which means probably not the rotation part of things, either. I’ve found that I largely don’t care how much damage a properly executed rotation does, but I find fascinating how fluid the rotation is or how difficult it is to execute it, or how to learn/teach a player how to execute the rotation properly while doing mechanics, etc. I tend to focus much more on how well the UI is presenting information for the player to execute a rotation, and I also focus on how the buttons interact with each other and whether the player is feeling crunched to load everything up within a few seconds or whether the play is more spread out and something is always happening or whether there’s downtime at all or… I’m rambling again, sorry.
I focus not as much on how the rotation contributes to the role (exactly how much damage it does) but more on how the rotation contributes and relates back on itself (fluid/how it works). I’m more interested in exploring the class and spec to introduce and keep people playing it through many tiers rather than playing it because it does the most damage this raid tier. I’m still learning some theorycrafting and particularly reading theorycrafting in order to know what the player-found optimal rotation is, rather than assuming whatever I organically come to is best.
Guide writing will always be an interesting topic to me. I’ve never been good at being in all the awesome social circles and IRC chats associated with them in the WoW community, but I’m now in one I enjoy. It’s a Discord chat community for guide writers specifically. I’m already brainstorming on a project that moonkin player-theorycrafter Cyous came up with, where we look at how to teach the more abstract tricks of raiding like positioning and rotation deviation for your utility role in raid.
I’m also starting a blog project here at FC to have a leveling tour guide done for Warlocks. It’s not meant as a guide for leveling because leveling is somehow difficult, but more as a sort of, hey you just learned the ability that will become the crux of your rotation, etc. There are definitely parts of leveling where you feel like you’re doing it all wrong, and then a new ability makes it suddenly all click together. In Legion alpha, they’re also switching up some abilities as they change the spellbook again, so I feel it’s an important topic to test and research to make sure the current situation of level 1 Warlocks just meleeing a target doesn’t go live.
I’ll still be writing Warlock things in the Blizzard Watch columns, but I’m not raiding right now due to going back to school. I’m reluctant to volunteer for other Warlock guide writing not because I don’t want to do it or don’t have time, but because the playerbase tends to get super upset if the person doing the guide isn’t at least raiding, if not Mythicly/World-first chasing. I might write one here on FC just because I want to & can — I don’t know yet.
Warlocks in Legion
I’m fully testing all three specs — well, two specs, since Destruction isn’t live yet on alpha. I’m at 107 on the Afflictin Warlock and 108 (current realm max) on the Demonology Warlock, so I hope Destruction comes out soon! I’m leveling each spec on its own toon on the leveling realms, since we still can’t swap artifacts for specs yet on leveling. On the max-level PvP realm, we have all three artifacts in our bags, so I only need the one toon over there. I also have three leveling toons that start at level 1, one toon for each spec. I expect to reroll them because currently every level 1 is default specced to the first spec in the class (the first alphabetical spec). This is a problem because the spec switch costs 100g — which is a fine number for level 100, but absolutely terrible for a level 1 with nothing! The mailboxes also do not work properly, so I couldn’t send myself gold to use, and ended up having to get Fizzl from BlizzardWatch to trade me some gold in Brill just to swap specs to Demonology. So I’ll reroll when they fix this so I can get the true 1-9 no-spec experience that Warlocks will get on live.
I’m slowly using the PvP max-level realm to familiarize myself with how the other ranged specs work so I can do comparisons to the Warlock specs. (Edit: It looks like with Heroic dungeons being turned on, only the leveling realm gets to go into dungeons. Drats!) So far, the most and only really similar spec comparison is Beast Mastery Hunter and Demonology Warlock, but I need to replay BM Hunter to really drill down what’s similar or not. I feel it’s an important topic to write about what specs are like other specs, and what specs are like old versions of Warlock specs. I will always be somewhat Warlock-focused, so I’m really focusing on Shadow Priest right now because of its similarities to Metamorphosis Demonology. I have a draft post of feedback from playing a Shadow Priest in alpha as an old Demonology player, though I’m not entirely confident about my feedback being accepted from a theorycrafting standpoint, so it sits in drafts.
Another project is to look at tanking pet survivability. On the alpha, the Voidwalker has felt very squishy, and also the Felguard, to the point where many Warlocks will use the Infernal (through Demonic Servitude) just because it’s the only one that doesn’t die to anything. Although tanking pets contribute not much to high-end group content like arenas or raiding, I feel it’s an important topic because your tanking pet is often the pet you use in questing, which happens most in leveling but also when you have end-game questing or objective areas like Tanaan Jungle. The tanking pet is also often used in soloing old raids, which is important for transmogrification acquisition, and the Warlock is likely a good class for Cloth and Wand acquisitions through raid soloing particularly because of our tanking pet and self-healing capabilities. The Voidwalker being squishy also isn’t a trait unique to Legion alpha — the Voidwalker has been noticeably squishier as expansions come and go.
I realize that numbers tuning is far from being done in alpha, so it might just be quest mobs are hitting too hard, but I want to explore how the three tanky pets do over the course of leveling 100-110, provided a variety of talent setups and Warlock spec usage. The Voidwalker and Infernal can definitely tank, but the Felguard also has the tanky dodge/parry passive and a threat presence, despite it also being the DPS pet for its only usable spec, so I’m going to test the Felguard as well. I figure I will have details later on which talents as I do the tests, but I’ve already logged some questing on a WarcraftLogs raid parse and shared the resulting health graph of my tanking pet on Twitter.
So there’s stuff I’m doing
I just haven’t posted on them. 😐 Sorry.
Also, I’m sorry there are no images. Again — tablet app is not actually great for composing all the blog components on.