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Filed under: Warlock

Patch 5.4 PTR: More spell changes to facilitate warlock talent nerfs

Patch 54 PTR More spell changes to facilitate warlock talent nerfs
Warlocks around the world have been weeping at the Patch 5.4 PTR intended nerf to Kil'jaeden's Cunning and Mannoroth's Fury. Blizzard Community Manager Lore had already posted an explanation for the tier 6 talent nerfs and some unseen PTR mechanics that were not in the patch notes to help aid warlocks in recovering DPS lost to movement.

CM Lore is back tonight with another post of spell changes in the next build for warlocks in the continuing discussion of the Kil'jaeden's Cunning and Mannoroth's Fury talent nerfs. After the break, you may read about a minor note about Rain of Fire generating less embers (specifics currently unknown), so that the developers can further discourage use of the spell in single-target situations.

Fel Flame is being reworked entirely: it will no longer extended DoTs and it has a 1.5 second cast time instead of being instant-cast. In return, Fel Flame will be castable while moving and has received a small damage buff. Haunt, in return, will go back to being interrupted by movement. Affliction is being further compensated for the loss of Malefic Grasp while moving by expectedly moving the damage done power back into Haunt and the three DoTs.

Finally, Kil'jaeden's Cunning and Mannoroth's Fury are both on a 1 minute cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes) but also a lowered duration of 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds). Mannoroth's Fury applies to only the main AoEs but it provides a 100% damage increase to the specific AoE spells as well as the expanded area.

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Filed under: Warlock, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Inner demons in our talent selection

Blood Pact Inner demons in our talent selection MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill thinks it's too difficult to convey moving while casting in a static screenshot, so, instead, have the Scholomance potion guy in front of a Demonic Gateway.

We covered Karazhan's pets, mounts, and fun last week, so this week, we'll cover Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep in the continuing quest to colle--

No. Sorry. If you really thought I was going to skip this past week's bombshell of warlock PTR patch notes for collecting pets from retro raids, I will scold you later for having no faith in me. Let's talk level 90 talent problems.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Kil'jaeden's Cunning nerfs explained

Kil'jaeden's Cunning nerfs explained
The changes to Kil'jaeden's Cunning are causing quite the fracas on the forums, with players complaining bitterly that this toy they had grown accustomed to is likely to undergo some nerfs on the PTR, in this build at least. Blizzard Community Manager Lore has stepped into the fray, to clarify the situation with this much-loved ability, saying that this is not working as it was meant to. And it's reasonable to make that assertion. As Lore says, and you can read his full post after the break, this talent had become such an obvious choice that it was problematic. The new talent design was intended to remove "cookie-cutter" builds, and Kil'jaeden's Cunning wasn't doing that.

As Lore says, it's worth noting that the latest iteration of Kil'jaeden's Cunning is off the GCD, and can be cast during another cast. So, if you're halfway through a Chaos Bolt, and need to move, you can pop KJC without interrupting your Chaos Bolt, and be on your way. It seems from some reports that this is actually not working quite right on the PTR at the moment, but will be soon. What's more, Haunt is now castable while moving, independent of KJC. Lastly, do remember that this is PTR. It's all subject to change and iteration, and if you're worried, go and test it. Provide feedback. Be part of the design process!

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Filed under: Warlock

Blood Pact: Karazhan and its abyssal depths of fun

Blood Pact A tier four pets
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill .

Karazhan: the most beloved of retro raids. Players may put on the rose-colored glasses when they talk of how limited raiding was back in the Vanilla days, but Karazhan is often talked of with fondness. Going back is a pleasure, not a painful memory. It's with good reason -- the place is built like a castle tower, going up and up forever, and it's full of memorable mobs and scenery.

Karazhan also has some of the tier 4 Voidheart Raiment for warlocks, as well as a mount and now pets for everyone, so it's a weekly favorite of mine to visit.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Using CompareBot to see differences in logs

Blood Pact Using CompareBot to see differences in logs MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill didn't waste time getting a Whole Body Shrinka' so she could re-enact the Genie describing his living arrangments.

Originally, the last part of this column's series on World of Logs (WoL) would be talking about the other parts of RaidBots (EpeenBot and DPSBot) with WoL rankings, but as time went on, I realized I wanted to look at that data over a patch or tier rather than over just a week. Besides, I believe it's time next week for a break in these serious warlock matters.

The previous four posts went over a very basic introduction to WoL, the graphs of WoL important to warlocks, looking at buffs and debuffs on a timeline, and digging deep into the combat log. This final post will look at comparing two logs more easily than flipping between browser tabs.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Combat log kung fu for warlocks

Blood Pact Combat log kung fu for warlocks MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill is finishing out the World of Logs posts while she hunts for BC-era battle pets.

Have you ever tried to read the combat log? Maybe you're on the PTR testing a spell change or you want to know how often a new trinket procs, so you open the combat log chat window and start reading.

You get twenty-something lines down before you realize something horrifying -- that's only one second of combat. Your jaw slowly falls to the floor and you reach up to pull your hair out as you contemplate reading a combat log for an entire raid fight -- that can sometimes last more than six hundred seconds and includes far more actors than just you and the training dummy.

Luckily for us, when events are printed in a specified format without too much variety, computers can read and process --or parse -- these lines magnitudes faster than we humans can. World of Logs has graphs and charts to help us understand our performance, but it also includes what is basically Google for your combat log. Just like there are tips to speed up and pinpoint your browser searches, there are tricks you can use to query events better in the World of Logs expression editor.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Catching up on Patch 5.3

Blood Pact Catchup on Patch 53 MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill is free to pet battle all day, e'ry day.

I tried to gauge when Patch 5.3 would hit so that I'd end the series on World of Logs just in time, but unfortunately I overestimated and the new patch has cut me off. With my original plan of posts, I'd be a week short, but now...uhhhh it might be a halftime break.

In case you've missed the World of Logs posts so far, here's a recap:
  • A brief overview of ranking and the combo of how to tell what warlock or pet you would or should be looking at,
  • Looking closer at some of the graphs on World of Logs, and
  • How to use the buffs and debuffs graph to gauge proper cooldown or proc usage, as well as a basic understanding of what stats (for trinket procs) do for each spec.
I intend to explore some warlock-specific examples using the expression editor to dive deep into the combat log, but I'm not sure I can fit it all into one post. I'll finish the series off with a deeper look at the damage done tables and how the spells spread for each spec in general raid encounter styles.

But this week? This week is a little shorter and lighter while we go over what Patch 5.3 means for warlocks.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs

Blood Pact Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill is almost free for summer. Almost.

The last two weeks have been on simple topics like glancing at a raid parse on World of Logs (WoL) or looking at the various graphs WoL has. Before we dive into the actual combat log itself with the expression editor, I'm going to take a stop at what buffs and debuffs are going on in the fight. This information is still broad in scope and can apply to almost anyone, but it's still important foundation knowledge for warlocks and logs.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Should you be playing a warlock?

Should you be playing a warlock
We've said before that there's a WoW class for every type of player and if you find yourself a bit drawn to the darker side of WoW, perhaps warlock is the one for you. Warlocks have a unique playstyle in the game: they're a bit like mages, in that they're cloth-wearing casters, and a bit like hunters, in that they rely on pets. And yet they don't play very much like either class, relying on DoT (damage over time) spells and channeled spells to do damage and restore their own health and mana.

So is it time to go over to the dark side and level a warlock? Let's look at what the class has to offer.

Just what is a warlock?
As mages are master of the arcane, warlocks are masters of the dark arts, focusing on shadow and fire spells. They summon demonic minions, place curses on their enemies, and drain health from their opponents, and can even send the most fearsome of warriors running in terror. Their abilities are powered not only by their mana pool, but will sometimes cost health, which warlocks can drain from their foes as they die. They do their damage at range, using curses, banes, DoTs, drains, AoEs, and direct damage spells. Warlocks also offer a good amount of utility to a group with conjured Healthstones (which restore health on use) and Soulstones (which can bring a dead player to life) as well as their curses (which cause a variety of negative effects on a monster).

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Filed under: Warlock, WoW Rookie

Blood Pact: WoL, 'locks, and damage done

Blood Pact General damage done on World of Logs MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wants to coin WoL'lock, but isn't sure if she should.

Last week, I started off with some basics of World of Logs (WoL) regarding warlocks. I started to write a column to go spec by spec, but later I realized that might become a game of find and replace with the different buffs or DoTs important to each spec. So instead, this week is another general World of Logs lesson with a little more specific caster DPS focus with warlock flavor. We'll just build up to the nitty gritty spells next week.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: World of Logging warlocks, part 1

Blood Pact Logging 'locks, part 1 MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wonders how many logs would a warlock log if a warlock could log logs?

Occasionally I get a request to look through someone's raid log on World of Logs for warlock improvement. Sometimes it's for a guild applicant and sometimes it's for another tweeter. A thing I've thought about doing for a long time is a World of Logs 101 on warlocks -- both for warlock players and for non-warlock raid leaders.

I'm starting with the bare basics: how to tell warlocks apart on a World of Logs parse and exploring the DPS rankings. (It's actually not that difficult anymore!)

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: The chaotic influence of haste

Blood Pact The chaotic influence of haste MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill may play affliction in-game, but really she's a destro 'lock IRL.

I'm starting to dislike hit rating again. Previously, with reforging, it was totally possible to sit there with 14.96%, 14.97%, 14.98%, 14.99%, or the occasional rare times I nearly hit fifteen-even, just off by a mere handful of rating points. Now, with the huge amounts of stats on our gear, I feel like we're approaching Wrath-era hit rating juggling, where a new piece means you're way under hit cap or way over hit cap.

This is not a fun stat balancing. Hit is coming back around to the pre-reforge era where it it's actually irritating to balance, not just annoying.

But I don't want to talk about spell hit this time. I want to talk about the very-coolness of haste.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Kanrethad's defeat at mortal hands

Blood Pact Kanrethad
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill celebrates one year at WoW Insider with a fel fire victory.

I promise, I won't put unfortunate spoilers in the header this time.

One of my favorite Blood Pacts to write was a narrative based around our spells and the hints of a fascinating possible subplot just for warlocks. Instead of writing a traditional, straightforward guide for the final boss in the quest for green fire -- Ackthal's already written a great one -- I want to celebrate my personal victory with the quest and another special occasion with this story post.

See, this is my 53rd Blood Pact. I believe a certain moonkin now owes me a crown for the longest reign as WoW Insider's Defense Against With the Dark Arts professor.

For the sake of space, I've obviously shortened the story down from my actual experience with the final fight. But many of the elements are there, from spell details to actual NPC roleplay (none of the NPCs' dialogue is mine). Jump behind the cut to catch the story.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: To summon or not to summon, that's the question

Blood Pact To summon or not to summon, that's the question
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill scraps another attempt at Kanrethad to discuss being a pet class instead.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous pet bugs in encounter design like jumping down into Nefarian's pit in Blackwing Descent so your pet then did nothing but stand in the middle, or to take up Doomguards against a despawning abyssal phase 3 in Throne of the Four Winds -- and by opposing end them: to die, to sacrifice.

To sacrifice, perchance to DPS; Aye, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death, what meter-topping dreams of 5.0 may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil (no, not that one!), must give our developers pause.

My terrible warlock Shakespeare adaptation aside, we've had the ponderings about how tied to pets warlocks should or shouldn't be. As I continue to throw myself at Kanrethad's own demonic stampede, I've had some thoughts about the subject.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing

Blood Pact A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill muses about tanking, healing, and why she really does play a DPS.

I have a confession: I was once a tank. Technically I could have been half a tank, because I think I healed just as often, but once upon a time I rolled a druid with the intent of getting a melee DPS perspective.

One night in Wrath of the Lich King, my first guild had some trouble with kiting the adds on Gluth. So we upped the tank count to 3: the paladin tank moved to the back for holy tag with the undead while the former-bear warrior walked me through my feral spellbook as I sat in bear form on that pipe. I think it was the extra Mauls that hooked me. I became a bear tank with a branch-waving offspec.

I have fond memories of alt or PUG raids where I had cooldown-busting health pools and hero-bear resurrections between Gormok's death and the arena entrance of Acidmaw and Dreadscale. But as my guild tore apart in the beginnings of Icecrown Citadel, I've been back to pewpewing from the back as a warlock. My bear is merely an alt.

But my bear has made my warlock a little stronger.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

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