You found a warlock blog!


One that’s written by Poneria, aka Megan O’Neill. Grats?

You can’t kill me for loot, though — I’m friendly. Plus, the warlock columnist curse already tried and failed…twice.

I’ve got the usual About Me page, and you can read my resume of things I’ve written since I started blogging at Fel Concentration. Or you can skip straight to the blog below to read some more current(-ish?) writing.

If you’re looking for a general introductory warlock guide, I wrote Wowhead’s Warlock DPS Guide, which is updated for patch 6.0.3.

You found a warlock blog!

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Healthstones

Self-healing is a weird and intricate balance for warlocks because we tend to use our health as a semi-resource bar often enough for healing to matter. There’s the obvious Life Tap that we’ve had for many years, but more recently, Mists of Pandaria brought abilities that cost health, like Unbound Will or Burning Rush.

I feel like this is a subject that the devs still don’t know how to balance correctly yet. The changes tend to swing from not enough to far too much/overpowered, as we know well enough with Drain Life’s evolution, or even with how Harvest Life evolved in MoP beta. We had the Life Tap fiasco in MoP beta where our self-healing was so nerfed so far such that we couldn’t recover from Life Tap, so we eventually either went OOM or dead. So we warlocks have this weird balance where we need enough self-healing to make up for the health-costing abilities, but not so much self-healing that we can basically ignore boss mechanics when we feel like it or an otherwise lack of outside healing.

The major change for Healthstones is that it’s going to be a 1-use per fight (down from 3-5 use) and that it’s tied to the same CD as a healing potion (in Warlords, Healing Tonic). Additionally, the amount a Healthstone heals for also got nerfed.

Better-Good Design

When the newest build came out, Zinnin () asked Celestalon if Healthstones needed to be nerfed further, because they were already below the potion’s heal. Celestalon replied that the Tonic-Healthstone relationship was supposed to be more like the 300-275 stat food relationship, where one is technically better but the other isn’t absolutely terrible.

The difference between 275 & 300 stat foods is 25 stat,. If you represent this in a ratio, 300:275, then we get 1.09:1. It was further of a minor difference because in Mists, 25 Intellect (e.g.) was almost nothing of a boost compared to what you’d get from a gem or an enchant.

Let’s see how healthstones & tonics compare.

Healthstones: Build 18738

I got to thinking about the influence of Versatility and Blood Pact’s healing increase component, so I asked around on Twitter for a body to eat a handful of cookies for me and Dayani (@healiocentric /Healiocentric blog ) volunteered. After doing some gear switches to play with Versatility a bit, with both of us eating cookies and sharing numbers in party chat, we figured out that the tooltip takes into account the Versatility the user has, but not the Blood Pact passive. The total heal takes into account both.

I’ve unfortunately lost all the exact numbers because I didn’t record our party chat until half of it was cut off by the chat log’s limit. But the important thing is that I can replicate them!

The flat Healthstone heal is 15%.  My maximum health will always be 289,740. (Unless I exchange some gear or drink a stamina flask, but warlocks always have the 10% raid buff due to the Blood Pact passive.)

Then you take into account your Versatility. On my premade orc in 660 PvP gear, I have 1.63% Versatility. 15*1.0163 = 15.2445%. The tooltip still says 15%.

Then we need to factor in how I’m a warlock who is at least level 80, which means I have the Blood Pact passive. Blood Pact is a complex passive in Warlords that has 3 parts, but the important part here is that line about “increases all healing you receive by 10%.”

So we take our 15.2445 and multiply it by 1.10, which gives us 16.76895% of max health, which is 48,586.35573 health. When I take a health dip (by using the equipment sets feature to go full nude then fully geared again in one click), then use a healthstone, I receive a heal for 48587. It’s off by 1, so I know from Theck’s lessons that there’s some rounding going on in there. But I don’t care enough about 1 health point to go find out where.

When I put raid buffs on with a cauldron in Shattrath, my theory holds.

Base heal (15%) * Versatility (1.0463) * Blood Pact healing passive (1.10) = 17.2% heal. I should get something around a 50020 heal and I got 50021.

Dayani’s cookie-eating corresponded — on a shaman, her Versatility affected her cookie heal. (Also A’dal’s pesky Shatt buff affected it!)

Healing Tonics 

At level 95, I’m still in my raid gear when I got copied over, which gives me a max health of 148,980 and some Versatility of 1.22% (because I’m human, so I get free Versatility). I also unglyphed Healthstone and didn’t have Grimoire of Sacrifice buffed when I logged in. I was buffed with Dark Intent, but that’s spellpower and multistrike, so who cares.

My crafted Healing Tonic says it restores 56,681 health. When I actually drank the Healing Tonic, it healed me for 62350.

That’s accurate, because 56681*1.10 (to account for Blood Pact) = 62349.1.

The tooltip for the Healing Point takes into account Versatility, as it turns out. The Wowhead tooltip scaled down to level 95 for Healing Tonic is 56000. 56000*1.0122 = 56683, which is close enough for government work. Same thing when you apply it to the level 100 version — 68000 — though the Versatility % tooltip must do some rounding. Eventually you do it the long way through rating and Dayani is amazing again with math and figuring out the rounding spot, and you get basically the correct answer where the 68000 Tonic heals a warlock for 68000*1.0163 = 69109 on the tooltip, but effectively 76019 when we include Blood Pact.

Comparison: Tonics & Stones

So here’s the deal. Give or take some rounding errors, Healthstones work like this:

% max health heal =15% max health * (1+Vers) * Blood Pact

And Tonics work like this:

# heal = 68000 * (1+Vers) * Blood Pact

Assuming a warlock standing around, you get Blood Pact; if you’re some other class or situation, you can get some other healing done/taken effect going on (like A’dal’s Swiggity Swattrath Buff).

It comes down to whether a 68k heal is better than 15% max health. If 68k was 15% of your maximum health, you’d have 453,333.3333 repeating health. So maybe when we get to the end of the expansion and you’re sitting at 453,334 health, your Healthstone will finally match Healing Tonic.

Right now, in 660 PvP gear, we have 289,740 max health (15% = 43461). Even if I use Shadow Bulwark off a voidwalker sacrifice, I can only get up to 376,662 health (15% = 56499.3).

68k right now is about 23.5% max health. That’s almost 1.5 times a Healthstone’s heal. That’s not a better-good competition, that’s a good-crap competition.

At 1.09, Healthstone heals 62385 health, or 21.5% max health.

At 1.10, Healthstone heals 61818 health, or 21% max.

At 1.15, Healthstone heals 59130 health, or 20% max.

At 1.20, Healthstone heals 56667 health, or 19.5% max.

At 1.25, Healthstone heals 54400 health, or 18.8% max.

If I take a look at the Shadow Bulwark situation, where I increased my maximum health without touching my Versatility, where I increased my healthstone’s heal without increasing the tonic’s heal — the tonic is still better, 68000 to 56499 being 1.20 ratio. You’re only going to get to a stamina-only increase like that through a temporary raid CD. Stamina flasks don’t even begin to compare to that (30% max health is in the realm of 85k; a stamina flask is 18k health).

I don’t feel like or think that’s balanced. 15% is way too low.

If 68k is the accepted base heal for a potion, the Healthstone should be brought back up to a 20% max health heal, to at least give a little choice. To go to the 1.09 ratio of the stat foods, Healthstone would have to be buffed from live realms to 21.5% max health.

Otherwise, if we’re tuning to Healthstone’s 15%, the Tonic needs to be nerfed to something like 48k to get to a ratio of 1.09. The compromise 1.20 ratio would be a 52k heal.


Buff Healthstones and/or nerf Healing Tonics.

Edit: Already Changed

I @’d my post to Celestalon, and he replied that Healthstone has already been changed in the next build to be a flat base heal of 50k instead of based on max health percent. So now both warlock formulas for Tonics and ‘Stones are: # heal = [68000 (Tonic) / 50000 (Healthstone)] * (1+Versatility) * Blood Pact.

I’d reasoned out a 1.20:1 ratio as fair, which left me at thinking buffing Healthstone to heal 52k. Not too shabby for speculation!

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Healthstones

Spell spreads and quest mob learning

Yeah, it’s been a while, but I have ideas floating around.

After discussion with Catulla & Cynwise on how to destro, I was describing how I think the various warlock specs play across their spell toolkits.

In short: Affliction tends to divide based on how long the target takes to die (aka, health pool). Demonology depends on the number of targets available. Destruction plays across not only how many targets are available but how they are spread in the field of play.

I described destro as having a unique toolkit across all the number-differentiations of mobs: single target, dual (2 targets), multitarget (3+ not necessarily clumped), cleave (tight clump around central target), and area of effect (loose clump within a target circle). As contrast, affliction and demonology both have single target toolkits and AoE/cleave toolkits, with the middling “multitarget but not AoE/cleave” being simply the single target toolkits on multiple mobs (aka multidotting).

Destro is unique because it ports its single target spells to nearly all of the target number situations, and it also differentiates between cleave and area of effect (though destro’s cleave methods and AoE methods do overlap in use quite often). Cynwise pointed out that you can almost think of Fire and Brimstone (FnB) as a stance, a la Metamorphosis. I agree, especially now that FnB is a toggle rather than an outright spender.

Cat then asked if I could provide an example for each type for destro. So I sketched out destro’s spells according to how you differentiate multitarget and single target toolkits. Someone else asked for affliction after I posted the destro spread, so I did affliction and demonology as well. I’m probably rusty on the demo one, though; it’s based off what I remember using in Throne of Thunder, particularly on Lei Shen.

I was Frapsing myself trying to solo things on the Timeless Isle, just talking randomly through stuff with the examples I find on the Isle (mainly Kilnmasters as being good Havoc examples and Chanters being good RoF-as-aggro examples). I thought about making these spread notes into a video with examples of mobs in-game in soloable places (read: Isle of Giants, Isle of Thunder, Timeless Isle — the Isles are really good for practice), so maybe newer warlocks can see how to practice on their own.

(It’s also pretty general knowledge on how to approach world mobs and instance trash packs, which leads to figuring out which spec might perform best on an encounter without having pulled much on a boss. It’s only warlock-specific in using the warlock spells.)

I’ve ground out exalted Emperor Shaohao rep relearning (& re-enjoying) destruction, and I previously ground out my Bone White Raptor on the Isle of Giants when I learned demonology for tier 15. I do believe there are plenty of practice examples for players out there in dailies or general max-level world content for the various specs and minor tricks. Video editing allows for me to put a static slide of a spell toolkit (or major chunk of spell chunks), and then demonstrate it with footage of a quest mob or elite.

I’m not sure if that idea is too ambitious or if it’s even useful at all for players.

Spell spreads and quest mob learning

World of Logs series in Blood Pact

Originally, I envisioned this long series going step by step through a warlock parse — well, three of them, since there’s the three specs — and it would make everything super-clear. Then I realized that would soon be outdated if major mechanics were changed in patches. Although warlocks were totally reworked for Mists of Pandaria’s launch and we haven’t seen anything spec-breakingly change yet, it could happen later down the expansion road.

So instead I started to write a How To Read World of Logs series, with both veteran warlocks and raid leaders in mind, just with a warlock/caster DPS’s focus and examples. It is still the warlock class column, after all, but you might have noticed there aren’t many class columns still regularly active on WoW Insider. Blood Pact is really the only ranged DPS one left at the moment (sometimes there’s a hunter column every once in a bit). So I’m not bothered if something I write turns out to apply to most DPS in general — what helps people, helps people. Plus, not only are warlocks reading my columns, but warlock alts who might not know everything yet (especially with the MoP revamp).

Hopefully, these posts will help you decipher a log parse for a warlock in future patches, not just this one. There might be a few details to change, but I would prefer to teach method and a little common sense rather than to have you all come back patch after patch. The latter might be better for business, but I don’t think it would be better in the long run for your game play. Yeah, I do get paid to write a column, but I would prefer to help other warlocks learn and love the class.

So here’s the series, just five posts, though they total 7742 words, and only the Introduction is actually under the 1500-word limit! They’re all summed up in the last post anyway, but here it is again:

  • Introduction: types of warlocks, pets, and rankings 101
  • Graphs & Tables: Analyze Damage Done, Player details, Damage done by spell
  • Buffs & Debuffs: what is says + favorable stats from procs
  • Combat log kung fu: digging into the expression editor/combat log with two warlock examples
  • CompareBot: using CompareBot (part of RaidBots) to compare WoL tables for 2-3 warlocks

Unfortunately, as @snack_road pointed out to me, it’s possible what I’m trying to do isn’t going to work in the 1500-wd per week column format. Five posts is bordering on too long; on a regular blog that would be something like a week or two (a post every day? every other day?), but on WI it’s over a month of the same flipping topic. So before I try to do a SimulationCraft series, I want to write it out first (at least, most of it), and then try to present it in less than a month. It might be insane to try, but you never know, it might work.

I realized one problem with my quality too late in the writing of the series — I was writing it one post at a time. I think if I had written it all out ahead of time, maybe I could have grouped it together a little better. Did I really need the rankings in the 101 post? Probably not. Should I have instead gone over what specs tend to crop up on what fights? Maybe.

The last post for WoL was going to be a DPSBot/Rankings population comparison, because ranking can really be misleading sometimes. If you play demonology on Horridon, you’ll likely rank because hardly anyone plays it on Horridon, but if you play destruction, you’ll need to be actually good to rank. I also hadn’t done much of the spreadsheeting to compare the RaidBots to WoL ranking DPS limits, and then Cynwise posted his Class Distribution Data for Patch 5.3. So I realized, I ought to look at this over an entire tier (sayyyyyy Throne of Thunder), and then I could show things like how a class changes over a tier, since as we get more in stat budget, the order of top DPS naturally shifts a bit.


Maybe you’re figured this out already, but I’m usually experimenting with format or topic in one way or another when I post a Blood Pact to pending. So far, the more I experiment, the better I get and also the more fun I have, so I’m going to keep doing it. Some people might not agree with how I’ve been doing the column compared to past writers. But after a year I finally realized it’s better in the long run to go do my thing the way I want to rather than trying to please all the critics all the time. It’s exhausting trying to be “correct” about everything all the time, and it’s much more relaxing and really exciting to just be in a discussion with other people. So I’m trying to provide discussion jumping-off points for topics rather than trying to list out what you should be doing this patch.

I’m still working on how to get lots of specific details on “heavy” topics like SimC or WoL into that 1500-wd space, but even the “lighter” topics like stories or soloing are meant to inspire rather than dictate. Hopefully it all works in the end. As always, if you have any ideas or topics you want me to explore (or any screenshots to show!), you can always send them to me: megan at wowinsider dot com.

World of Logs series in Blood Pact

Because Waypoint

Look. I’m not on Medivh primarily. Sure, I have an alt in Waypoint because they are awesome, but my established characters are over on Elune. And I like raiding over there on Elune.

My problem is I also like to write. Or, at least I did. I haven’t in a while. I keep telling myself that I don’t have enough time, that when I move to a solo apartment I’ll have my creative space, that I’ll just finish this one thing and leave this note here and then I’ll get back into it (but I never do).

So I’m jealous of the Waypoint crew. They have fun RP stuff that goes on (even though they only joke about being an RP guild) that I would love to get in on.

But I’m not on their server, and cross-realm parties only go so far. (For one, we’d have to be online at the same time, and usually that time I’m raiding or otherwise working. Sadface.)

But then their Tumblr account posted this and Cynwise posted this in response. I said something on Twitter about wanting to write a little something, and Snack said “do iiiiiiit, it’s a lot of fun.” I don’t want to butt in unexpectedly or godmode or whatever, so here’s just a little fic for the Waypoint folks featuring Poneria the warlock (and also a little of Machairi the nelf rogue).

Continue reading “Because Waypoint”

Because Waypoint

Back in business? Maybe

Sorry for the … uh what shall we call this. I don’t want want to say this blog is dead, though it rather was for a while. When your warlock blog becomes a series of writing rants or posts about how your guild is recruiting, it might fit the bill of mostly dead. It’s not all-dead, because there’s only one thing you can do with all-dead.

Speaking of recruiting, my guild is 5/12 N on 25-man as of last night. We finished off T14 as 4/16 25H. We’re a bit full at the moment, though being full never lasts for long. At this point I think we’re looking for an awesome mage or warlock to fill it out. We’re trying to add a third night to our 25man schedule, so being able to raid at least 2 of 3 nights — Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday — is something you need to be able to do. Preferably a Sunday night since that’s the added day and our raiders are already used to showing up for W & Th.

I should update our kill pictures and other things on my guild page, but I have other things I’m doing. Have a screenshot.


Back to the blog.

Writing Blood Pact basically just meant that everything I wanted to talk about warlock-wise went there. For one, it’s paid over there and not over here, but for two, I also felt a little guilty if I wanted to take a topic over here, even if I thought it was too long/big to discuss over there. I just kept telling myself that it was writing practice, to work on my tendency to filling space with needless words.

But, writing for Blood Pact is highly public, and since I am The Warlock Columnist with all the capital letters of importance, any misstep I make is blown out of (or just into bigger) proportion instead of what happens when a random blogger missteps in her own corner of the internet. There’s not much room to learn, unless I try to do it with the creative side instead of with the actual facts.

Also, hi, I’ve been the warlock columnist at WoW Insider for a year now and I haven’t died yet. Go me. Insert joke about knocking on a tree druid without somehow sounding perverse.

Moving on, I’m trying to learn from my lessons there. I’m going to explore doing fun projects or topics, researching before I write this time, and then trying to not sound/read like a school paper summary on the topic. But to support that, I need space to muse and go in the wrong directions of the maze despite all the hate the internet gives you when you dare to do something suboptimally. Learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Well, OK, you can read textbooks all you want and do experiments by yourself, but I think you get more out of learning when you do it with someone else, conversing about it.

Doing my own little projects is a thing I having really done since high school. Oddly enough, my depression and anxiety issues really started get in my way around then, too. Maybe coincidence — I’m sure I haven’t been taking care of myself as well as I should now that I’m on my own and have no parents to schedule things for me. But I have found myself less angry and less agitated in general when I create outside of pure research writing, which is what most of Blood Pact and boss guides for the guild have been. When I creatively write, whether fiction or poetry, or when I draw or when I try to organize gear or strategies or transmogs together, then I seem to find my inner peace more often.

So I’m going to go in that direction and hope it takes me closer to my mountain. I feel like I don’t know where my mountain is. Some days I’m surrounded by trees, so it’s a nice view, but I can’t see my mountain. Sometimes, much like last week and rather most of 2013 so far, those trees are thorns and I’m all out of swords.

So here’s to CFN and  some theorycrafting pursuits that are hopefully not as incorrect or misled as I think they probably will be. (Maybe some toon roleplay? Maybe.) FC is going to stop trying to be fancy pants warlock who is always perfect and just go back to being my personal space, where often warlock things will happen.

Back in business? Maybe

Progression and Recruitment

My guild has reached a milestone where we’ve done heroic content before any nerf and actually been the first 25man guild on our server to hit up heroic content. Of course, there’s plenty of 10man guilds who have beaten the pants off us, but  if you prefer the 25man size, we’re actually pretty good for our schedule now.

We are recruiting! Now that we’re better than when we started out, we’re going to be a bit pickier than before, so here’s some things you might want to know.

What class/specs we want:

  • Ranged DPS: We’re looking for caster deeps, particularly warlocks (!) and (unfortunately) mages.

We are heavy on melee right now, full on our healer complement, and are working on a third/swing tank, but if you think you are awesome, feel free to apply. We’ll take a great player over a specific class.

Some info bits about us:

  • 25-man focus. We have a progression/gearing 10man, but the focus is on the 25man.
  • We’re 2/16 25H, with heroic Stone Guard and heroic Feng kills under our belts.
  • Required raid nights are Wednesday & Thursday, 8-11:00pm server/Eastern.
  • We use an out-of-game raid calendar, from which raid leads will approve 25 to go that week/day.
  • We start raid invites around 7:55pm server, and we usually invite by you whispering a codeword to the raid leader (who invites automatically via an addon). So be online and ready to go.
  • We end raids before or at 11:00pm server most days; it depends on pulls when exactly. Around 9:30pm is our halfway break (10-15min).
  • The guild provides food, pots, and flasks, but as a trial/applicant, bringing your own stuff helps out your app.
  • We use EPGP for loot. We’ve rarely had actual problems with it, and people are actually really generous with passing to help gear others.
  • A few guildmates PvP, but most of us don’t. Our server is heavily Alliance PvE.`

Regarding guild disposition:

  • As I put it: we derp a lot, and still kill things. So be prepared for derping, because it happens. Derpful kills are termed “UR-style kills.” We have had kills where the last member standing was the Greater Earth Elemental and/or our Blood DK.
  • As my GM put it: “we are a rule guild.” We have a lot of rules, but it’s mostly so we’re clear on our expectations and demands.
  • As my raid leader put it: “There’s really only two rules. One, don’t be a dick, both online in raid and offline on Twitter/elsewhere. Two: tell us if you have to leave or whatever.” (I may or may not violate One in offline mode occasionally, but I’m way better than I was.)

I have some tips on applying, particularly to my guild, from watching various applicants come and go.

Have some raid experience:

  • Bring a raid log: chances are, someone will ask for a World of Logs from you. If you have one to show off, bring it! Otherwise, we’ll likely pull you from raidbots.
  • Experience > gear: Even if you’ve taken a break from raiding, if you have past raid logs from Cataclysm or even Wrath, bring them.
  • Name your raiding alts: If you’ve raided on a different character for a while, even with the account-wide achievs active, name which alts you’ve played before & what roles (tanking/DPS/heals). We like to double-check backgrounds on raid progression.
  • Be prepared to explain your stuff. Guildmates are allowed to look at your app and comment on any oddities or differences they see in your app.

But gear is not unimportant:

  • Log out in your intended raiding spec and gear, please, so we can see you properly on the Armory. Even if you mess around with odd talents, please let your Armory reflect how you’re going to approach a general boss fight.
  • We’re moving into heroic modes starting with Mogu’shan Vaults, so while we admire dedication, being dressed in all LFR gear won’t get you very far. Some of the lower geared raiders we have are approximately 490 ilvl, so aim for that.
  • Professions! Be using your bonuses. Cooking is a great bonus, if you can make your own food.
  • I know my GM in particular likes to look at how well you’ve kept up with reputations; it’s a dedication thing but also if there’s good gear to be bought still.

Remember, it’s a 25-man environment:

  • Make sure your computer can handle all the graphical/combat log requirements. Anyone remember shamans + green healy thing on Ultraxion?! You don’t need top-of-the-line, but be able to raid on what you’ve got.
  • There’s more people. Be willing to work with more people, especially if you’re applying for healing. As far as DPS goes, feel free to talk to other raid members or your class or role. When it looked like we were going to get a third warlock, the other warlock and I made a warlock channel so we could all talk to each other during the fight (we whisper each other enough now).

And now, have some pretty progression pictures that I just posted of past kills. You can see other kills on my guild’s page here.

Progression and Recruitment

Reforging by hand

I installed Reforgelite to try it out, and found it pretty good for a while. Then I tried to play with not-quite-hit-cap while still meeting my haste threshold, and Reforgelite proceeded to disappoint me on taking 4-5 attempts per new piece of gear to find a set of stats I was pleased with. That’s easily 500-800 gold of reforging, and I just didn’t want to waste more on it. I tried my old by hand method with pen, paper, and basic arithmetic, and netted myself a better simulated DPS with that reforging than anything Reforgelite had ever given me with that gearset.

So I’m back to my old method of reforging, which is doing the math by hand. It’s not even difficult math. It’s mostly a logic problem. I referred to it on Twitter as being like the old logic problem where you have a two-seater boat and you must get a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage across a river. The wolf will eat the goat and the goat will eat the cabbage, so you have to pick which you leave alone wisely.

So let me show you how I do it. You might think it’s just a bunch of work, but what works for you works for you and what works for me works for me.


Since I do this a lot, it doesn’t take me very long. 5 minutes? It’s not the seconds an addon might take, but I don’t mind it.

Stat weights, gear upgrades, and reforging

One stat weight priority does not, in fact, rule them all.

The stat weights that come out of SimulationCraft are meant for additions to the gear that has already been simmed. You may judge enchants, gems, and upgrades in ilevel with these, since you are doing nothing to the original gear. Reforging, however, is not an addition, but a transfer. Different reforges will yield slightly different simulated DPS and stat weights.

Different gemming schemes will also simulate differently, since you are replacing gems not adding gems. Upgrades in ilevel will generally increase your DPS, as they’ll have more of a stat (primarily, more intellect) on them than before, but a change in secondary stats may put a minor ilevel upgrade a little below your current piece, reforging depending. With a good understanding of how a gear change will affect the simulation, you can guess without re-simming.

But it is safest to re-simulate for every gear change you make, no matter how small.

However, you can use the stat weights as a general guideline for what reforging strategy is the best. Ideally, your secondary stats — mastery, haste, and crit — will align to the same value when you’ve found the perfect reforge. That is, you have the Goldilocks amount of each stat on your gear.

On hit: Similarly, because the stat weights address additions to your gear, the weight for hit will drop significantly when simulated with a hit-capped gearset, as any additional hit will be useless. This is not evidence that the hit cap is insignificant. Meeting the hit cap helps you deal with your personal lag at realizing when your spells have missed a target. If you don’t want to worry about missing, then cap your hit as close as possible to cap.

I don’t like missing. It’s just fucking annoying. Thus I try to cap my hit within a certain margin.

My personal margin for hit used to be within a hybrid gem’s worth of hit. As my current gear will reforge for more than that, but not quite double on some pieces, I’ve now accepted 4900 (14.41%) as the lowest I’ll go, though I prefer 5000-5100 (14.70-15.00%).

I used my most recent simulation stat weights for the gem calculations. My stat weights have changed only a little (a margin of 0.10 points, maybe) over about 4 gear piece changes, so I feel confident using recent stat weights on a 1-piece change. In this case, especially so, since the stats on that piece were the same (mastery & crit –> mastery & crit). My most recent simulation yielded these stat weights:

  • 3.81 intellect
  • 3.13 spellpower
  • 1.94 mastery
  • 2.05 haste
  • 1.64 hit
  • 1.35 crit
  • 0.06 error margin

In the past, I’ve found that mastery rises significantly after I’ve reached a haste threshold of 11-12% (4677-5102 rating) on my gear. This is not surprising considering the major T14N haste DoT breakpoint is 4717 (Corruption +2).

Previously, mastery had been greater than haste, but this simulation, my gear was severely lacking in haste pieces. Even with reforging mostly to haste, I barely hit the 4717 breakpoint I wanted.

This time I was only a few reforges off the haste breakpoint, so I felt confident going for the “haste (4717) > mastery > haste” gearing/reforging strategy.


You can’t reforge to another stat already present on that piece of gear. The exception is that expertise counts like hit for spellcasters, so reforging to expertise on a piece of gear that already has hit is effectively adding hit without breaking the rule.

Other than that rule, reforging is about knowing when to stop (caps and breakpoints). The more you know about specific amounts of a stat affecting your gear, the better you can reforge without an optimizer.

I’ve enchanted and gemmed each piece separately. I’m trying out pure hit gems in blue sockets, so I can push as much reforging towards favorable stats. Once I reached about 11-12% haste, my mastery stat weight grew so that hybrid gems (orange for mastery/intellect) started to overtake my pure intellect gems (red), so I gem on a yellow-based scheme:

  • Prismatic or yellow sockets = +320 mastery / Fractured Amberjewel
  • Red sockets = +80 intellect & +160 mastery / Artful Vermillion Onyx
  • Blue sockets (way below hit cap) = +320 hit / Rigid River’s Heart
  • Blue sockets (close to cap) = +160 hit & +160 mastery / Sensei’s Wild Jade

I start with all my gear unreforged. It doesn’t cost gold to unreforge, and at worst, I might spend 150-200g reforging a bunch of pieces. But this starts with me what I need to achieve and all my options.

I already have a shorthand I write with; most are obvious, except hit is T since H is already haste. My stat priority is I > SP > T (to cap) > M >= H (4717) > C. I also have reduced the slots to two-letter combinations in my shorthand. I used to have a “wd” for the ranged slot, and a mh/2h designation, but not anymore!

I write down the slots, their secondary stats in priority order, and how much the lesser stat will reforge into. Parentheses indicate I’d rather leave that piece alone, but here’s how much it will reforge to, just in case. Writing down both stats helps me lay out which stats I can or can’t reforge into. The second column is for knowing what pieces I’ve set aside for reforging.

hd = TC –> 257 ? –> ?
nk = T(M –> 145) ? –> ?
sh = HC –> 205 ? –> ?
bk = MC –> 166 ? –> ?
ch = MC –> 299 ? –> ?
wr = T(H –> 184) ? –> ?
ha = T(H –> 260) ? –> ?
wa = M(H –> 220) ? –> ?
lg = TC –> 303 ? –> ?
ft = M(H –> 220) ? –> ?
f1 = T(M –> 129) ? –> ?
f2 = T(H –> 166) ? –> ?
t1 = n/a ? –> ?
t2 = (H –> 382) ? –> ?
mh = MC –> 92 ? –> ?
oh = T(M –> 150) ? –> ?

I want to meet a specific cap (5100 hit but no more) and a specific breakpoint (at least 4717 haste). So I write down at the unreforged totals:

  • 4965 hit
  • 4177 haste

I want a tiny bit more hit (135 rating to cap) and a handful of haste (540 rating).

Immediately, I see from my list that reforging the main hand dagger to hit will net me pretty close to cap. I’ll have 5057 hit rating (14.87%), which is close enough for me.

It’s time to work on haste. I need more haste, so I don’t want to reforge any of it off just yet, so I strike out all the “H –> #” reforges. I also would prefer not to reforge off any mastery, so I temporarily strike out my “M –> #” reforges. I also strike out my shoulders as reforging to mastery, since I obviously cannot reforge the crit on there to haste. Here’s what’s left:

  • hd = TC –> 257
  • bk = MC –> 166
  • ch = MC –> 299
  • lg = TC –> 303

I won’t be reforging my back and chest pieces to mastery, since they already have mastery on them. Leaving them alone would be leaving all that unwanted crit on there, so that makes them prime pieces for haste reforging.

166 + 299 = 465, which is 75 off from the desired 540+. I do have some haste pieces without mastery on my reforge list, however, and I could always reforge those off into mastery to hit the correct haste breakpoint. Let’s look at those:

  • wr = TH –> 184
  • ha = TH –> 260
  • f2 = TH –> 166
  • t2 = H –> 382

The lowest +haste reforge is the head slot at 257, and the matching -haste reforge that I chose was the second finger slot at 166.

Here’s the math again: 4177 + 166 + 299 + 257 – 166 = 4733. That’s only 16 rating off the haste breakpoint. Pretty tight, eh!

I then let all the remaining mastery-able reforges be mastery, since affliction loves that stat right now. Here’s the end result with 5057 hit (14.87%), 4733 haste (11.14%), and 6204 mastery (55.02%):

hd = TC –> 257 C –> H
nk = T(M –> 145)
sh = HC –> 205 C –> M
bk = MC –> 166 C –> H
ch = MC –> 299 C –> H
wr = T(H –> 184)
ha = T(H –> 260)
wa = M(H –> 220)
lg = TC –> 303 C –> M
ft = M(H –> 220)
f1 = T(M –> 129)
f2 = T(H –> 166) H –> M
t1 = n/a
t2 = (H –> 382)
mh = MC –> 92 C –> T
oh = T(M –> 150)

And really…that’s it. That’s all there is to reforging by hand. No complicated math; just adding and subtracting goats and cabbages.

Reforging by hand

Warlock soloing

I thought that I’d get back into dungeon/raid soloing when my bear got gear and level 90, but I’ve started up again on the warlock this time, now that the Wrath raids are actually really doable at 90.

I have a somewhat private soloing blog that might be resurrected later. Maybe.

Anyway. This was my first pull in a long time of AQ40.

(But I already know the mounts from previous AQ runs with friends.)

Warlock soloing