Draenor warlock guides from me

wodstratguide-credits

In March 2014, when the class columns ended at WoW Insider, I joked that it was my fault. I’d beaten the Warlock Columnist Curse twice over, and it was so mad it lost that it had to take all the class columns with it.

Dear Warlock Columnist Curse:

Look at all those WI alums. Long live class columns!

— Poneria

P.S. Magdalena & Chaithi are also awesome people anyway.

I had to double-check the email when it came in the summer from BradyGames — it couldn’t possibly be true that I’d be invited to contribute to a real, official, printed-on-paper book, right? But it was true — Anne had put my name into the pot and I got to work with her again! (Ken Schmidt is another other editor/writer on the project.)

It’s surreal for me to see my writing in the same context as the smell of a newly printed book, but there it is. That’s my writing there, all over the Warlock section. That’s mine. What? Wow, that still repeatedly blows my mind.

I’m keeping my copies for personal reasons, but a couple of the other section authors are holding giveaways for one of their copies:

  • US entries: Chase Hasbrouk aka Alaron @ The Fluid Druid
  • AUS/NZ entries: Matt Sampson aka Binkenstein @ TotemSpot
  • Sorry, EU! None that I know of

I think maybe Bink’s giveaway is over (it was limited to the end of BlizzCon), but Alaron’s is still going on for another day.

If you’re reading me here, you probably already know all of the information in the Warlock section. It’s a newbie’s guide — veteran players will know where to find more advanced DPS tricks online — but I’m still super proud of the work I did from July to the beginning of October.

Right after I sent in my final drafts, Wowhead approached me to update the warlock class DPS guide, so I did that, too. It’s got some typos in it as I still haven’t figured out how they copy my text into the tooltip generator, but I’m still working against burnout to clean some of it up.

Burnout? What burnout?

I’ve been guide-writing in some form or another since July, or 4 months straight. Moreover, other IRL aspects of my life have started demanding more. While I’d love to put out quality like WoW Insider or Wowhead can do, I simply don’t have as much time to spend on it as I once did. I got a promotion in my “day job,” so I basically did IRL work, came home, did guide work, slept, repeat. I didn’t have much recharge time for just me aside from mindless D3 slaughtering.

I’ve been quite burnt out on writing guides for the past couple of weeks, especially when it comes to a really broad audience — optimizing gear lists, for example. While I have organized a few gear list notes for myself, I haven’t gotten around to doing the typical column Ultimate Bookmarkable Gear List guide stuff because getting it all “correct” is super stressful for me. There is also a wide variety to gear in Draenor, at least to start with, and while that’s fun for the player playing through the game, it makes guide-writing that much more stressful, because it’s more to organize.

But that doesn’t mean I’m stopping guide-writing. I’m just taking a break, is all. I’ve earned one.

Knowing myself, I will probably have lists worked out as I level in Draenor — I’ve started my raid loot lists, already. I also figure that the people who would use a gear list right out of the starting gate have probably already found their roadmaps and therefore don’t need my guides anyway. So I’m not worried about it.

But if you’re going to take your time leveling and you like my writing, feel free to read what I have to list, whenever it is that I share it.

Draenor warlock guides from me

Welcome to 6.0 – Warlock Guides

You might know that I provided the information in Wowhead’s warlock class guide when the boosted 90 feature came out in March. Wowhead came back to me to update the guide for level 100 with some tips for the pre-expac patch.

It’s mostly the same tips, except we obviously don’t have the level 100 talents or some of the balance from Draenor Perks.  The core mechanics are still the same whether you’re level 90 or level 100.

While I’d been writing my own guide (that we’ll see…llllllaaaaterrrrr…) concurrently, the warlock community’s opinions on various things (Which L100 talent? What stat priority? Etc.) recently started to solidify, so I did my best to double-check my advice for the Wowhead guide. It’s possible I still have some slightly incorrect top-end things, as I had to write & commit-to-submit* some things before the other warlock guides were published.

*By “commit-to-submit” I mean I may not have submitted the whole piece yet, but there’s a point where you have to call a section “finished” even though it’s not quite done yet because you don’t have time to both finish it AND completely write another section.

So here it is!

But Pon, you got things WRONG! OK, so tell me nicely & I’ll correct them. If you tell me nastily, I’ll probably still verify & correct them, but you’re still an asshole.

It’s always cool to know where other resources are if you don’t like my windy, wordy ways. The warlock theorycrafting community appears to be split more or less across either the Icy Veins or MMO-Champion forums. The EJ warlock forums have been pretty dead since 5.2. I’m still looking around to see what places pop back into activity with the new expansion.

  • Gahhdo is the main SimC warlock dev (that I know of) and Icy Veins’ Zagam did the Icy Veins guides that have updated for 6.0.2 (aff/demo/destro)
  • Lockybalboa/Zagam/Liquidsteel did stickied affliction/demonology/destruction guides (respectively) on the IV Warlock forums
  • On MMO-C Warlock forums, we have Cabana with the affliction guide and Woz aka @NotsWarlock with the demonology guide. Brusalk is usually the destro go-to on MMO-C forums, but there isn’t a destro stickied guide as of writing.
  • My guide on Wowhead is all three specs in one, but is a more general & condensed version than the above detailed spec guides.

Do you want a transition guide?

What’s Next?

I plan on doing guides for each spec on the level 100 Silver Proving Grounds gating mechanic for random heroic dungeons. I want to do the PGs as faithfully to a new player who just hit level 100 as I can, so I haven’t been doing them as much on beta as I’d like to partially because of the premade PvP gear that the beta experience was assuming you had.

I also had problems finding blocks of time when the servers were also up to do it. But I digress.

I’m of the opinion that just because I am a pure DPS class doesn’t mean that the Proving Grounds can stop at one spec for completion. It’s one thing to spec to complete the hardest of the hard content (e.g. Mythic raid content), but to spec just to complete a simple gating mechanic seems stupid. So while I’ll probably blow through with destro (it’s easiest), I want to do PG guides for all the warlock specs, possibly up to Endless.

“But, Pon” — you say — “Silver is pretty easy! You don’t need a guide!”

True, if you’re the type of player who knows how to find a guide online outside of the game, you probably already have enough smarts in your head to figure out Silver waves without needing a guide.

I’ve never been great at doing bleeding-edge kind of guides where you learn the best of the best way to do things, so I’m going back to what I’m good at and what I enjoy — doing guides for newer warlocks who are stepping up in skill. I plan on doing PG guides per spec that show off what this wave level shows you about your toolkit as a [spec] warlock. For example, Endless as destruction really teaches you about Havoc use.

Another thing I want to do is going back through all the retro raids — again, as each spec with an eye for non-warlocks learning on an alt. This seems like a massive project, and I don’t really have a timeline for it. It’s a thing on the bucket list more than it’s a thing on the project list. One difference is that I plan to take not only my main (fer mounts, duh!) but my quest-greens/boost-90 warlock through to see what you can do with a fresh alt versus the completely decked-out main.

Finally, a lot of vocal followers liked my prose-style gear lists, so I figure I will do those again for fun. I’ll start with heroic dungeon loot & maybe crafted pieces, and then move on to raids/world bosses.

Welcome to 6.0 – Warlock Guides

Find me at FinalBoss and Wowhead

While there hasn’t been much news on the class information front for Warlords of Draenor, I’ve been writing elsewhere about WoW.

Attn: Boosted Warlocks

wowhead-guide-warlock-iconYou already know I wrote a series of warlock guides before leaving Blood Pact, but Wowhead came to me after the class column cuts and asked if I’d like to write a warlock guide for the freshly boosted 90s.

Wowhead has revealed its new class guides, and yep, I helped make the warlock one.

So go forth, use it, comment on it, etc.

Do keep in mind that it’s intended for the freshly made warlocks, and therefore it assumes one isn’t going to jump hardcore into the class on the first day. If you’re wondering why I forgot about min/maxing gear or a BiS list or why isn’t demo stance-dancing on there, it’s because new people just simply don’t need to be overwhelmed with that info. There are plenty of boosted 90s who are still trying to get the hang of which pet to use, nevermind spellplay tricks.

A guildmate boosted a warlock with the intent to raid immediately in heroic Siege with us. While he has the company of myself and two other guilded warlocks (plus a former warlock turned healer) to ask questions, other fresh warlocks might not. The biggest change he’s noticed that helped him a lot was some UI changes to help play affliction. Good thing I’ve written a warlock guide on those elements as well:

Penultimately, if you are planning on jumping into Siege with your new warlock, I’ve already written the loot guide for that as well.

Finally, it is a PvE-focused guide with a few snippets of PvP information, but I’d like to help out on the introducing warlocks to PvP front as well. I need help on that, and unfortunately it’s hard to find PvP information that isn’t outdated by a couple of seasons or is just straight gearing advice. I’d like to help introduce warlocks to tips and tricks on how to PvP as a warlock, whether that’s the use of pets or various talent use or how specific arena compositions with warlocks work.

So if you’re a PvP warlock and you would like to help spread the PvP love, you can email me here at my blog with tips and tricks or links to your own guides, whether it’s a blog or a Youtube/Twitch channel. (I already subscribe to a few PvP warlocks on Youtube; Twitch depends because I can’t always catch the streams live.)

Quipping for FinalBoss

firelord-finalbossYou should catch up on episodes of FinalBoss if you’re not already watching the show.

FinalBoss is a videocast about high-end raiding. They bring in the best of the best in the PvE world to come talk down to earth about their class and spec. If you can’t make it to the live Twitch stream every Sunday at 1pm Pacific (4pm Eastern, 10pm CET), the show uploads on Mondays to Youtube and Stitcher or iTunes for the audio-only version.

It really shows how well Bay organizes it all. The questions are direct and specific, the interviewees have answers prepared, but the show’s not so rigid it can’t have fun at the same time. I’m behind the scenes a little bit now, and I can see the level of work and organization that goes into making the show; these guys & gals work hard to make a quality show every week. It’s been a great crew to work with so far.

Previously, former Inconspicuous Bear Reesi was writing the intro blurbs for each episode. Now I’ve stepped into her shoes to quip and recap for the show before the episode uploads each Monday. From Episode #32 onward I’ve written the episode intro, and I’m quietly lurking in the chatroom each Sunday taking notes. Summarizing a 60-90 minute show in under 300 words is a little bit of a challenge for me as a writer, so I find the work entertaining.

Whenever you read an episode intro by me, I hope you like puns.

So come by and say hello, and stay a while to watch a pretty awesome online show about PvE in WoW.

My guild is recruiting!

We’ve got some spots opening up for the rest of Siege of Orgrimmar until Warlords of Draenor.

We’re specifically looking for:

a tank of any class
a paladin (or two) of any spec
ranged DPS

urbannerGuild progression: We’re a 25-man guild on Alliance-side US-Elune (PvE). Our focus is to complete the content when it’s current and heroic modes are gravy to us. That said, we’re also 10/14 25H right now, and Thok is our current brick wall.

Atmosphere: We have a lot of written rules, but don’t let that bog you down. We run with EPGP as our loot system, and if we’re gearing you up, you’ll tank your PR plenty. We have lots of in-guild jokes you can pick up on during trash in raids. If you don’t see us in WoW, a good half of us are playing Diablo III in the UR clan.

Raid Hours: We raid Wed/Thurs/Sun, typically starting at 8pm Eastern/server and ending at 11pm, with one 10-15min break somewhere in the middle. We may or may not trim our raiding hours or days down as we go into summertime, so let us know if you’re interested even if the hours aren’t quite right!

Gear/Experience We’re Looking For: While we can bring applicants up to speed in experience and gear, we’d prefer an experience minimum of 14/14N Siege in either 10 or 25man. We’d love you more if you have heroic experience and gear.

Sounds great! How do I apply? Just make an account on our forums with your intended main’s name and put up an application for our officers and members to look at.

Yo, I got questions about your guild!

  • Our coGMs: Mindalen + Ranico
  • Our other officers: Lissanda + Trusker + Zweibella.
  • If you want BattleTag contact: Lissanna#1777 or Mindalen#1769.

You can also talk to me on Elune at Ponerya or on BattleTag as Poneria#1125. Just give a friendly message about your class/spec LF guild in the BattleTag request so I know what’s going on with a random person on my Battletag requests.

 

Find me at FinalBoss and Wowhead