Aug 11th 2009 2:03AM I think this is one of those easier said than done things ...
And also one of those thankless that one can never do right by everyone. There is an inherent contradiction haunting in the background. On one hand who ever takes the reins has to remain not only objective, but provide good commentary about all the facets of warlocking - not just parroting the flavor of the month or worse, letting a personal bias into the blog. The problem, of course, is to do the former is to run the risk of being considered wishy-washy ... on the other hand while strong statements tend to be perceived as decisive they run the risk of alienating a portion of the audience and a historical tendency to end up being proven wrong over the play of the game ...
Especially considering the fact that if there is a generalization that can be made about us warlocks is that we are a cantankerous and contrary bunch. Ask ten warlocks just what sort of role we play ... you'll get about fifteen different answers.
Personally I'd prefer it if it were some brave soul we've never even heard of before.
A new point of view is often more invigorating.
Feb 2nd 2009 8:56AM I asked our Deathknights all about this betrayal and revenge thing. And what happens when Arthas has finally been defeated.
The conclusion was simple.
After having been in the vengeance business so long, the only truly fitting career, post Arthas, is that of Pirate.
Though there will probably be a big argument over just who gets to be the Dread Pirate Robert.
Jan 28th 2009 4:42PM
Life Tap is a cool ability, a valuable ability ... but it's not a core ability. If you make it so then yes, I can see where the problems arise.
The Guild I belong to, very happily, has perhaps the best Healing Corp on our Server. And so there I was, level 60, having been there for quite a while, and this brand spanking new instance called Zul'Gurub is patched in and is all the rage, and no one's cleared it yet.
I wasn't in my Guild then, I was traveling with them, helping fill out their Raids with the hope that maybe I would eventually earn an invite.
And so, this very first time with them, just before we were to start the first pulls, I get a private tell from the Raid Leader, one of the Guild's few Officers at the time.
"Don't be afraid to Life Tap. Let my Mana be your DPS."
I knew I had found not just a good guild, but one a smart one too.
Even today, when things get dicey, I'll hear over Vent, "Nelli Tap through, I got you covered".
It's a matter of trust, a matter of teamwork. They trust me to be intelligent about my life tapping and I trust them to keep me alive. I also never take it for granted. They know I carry bandages and food. Though sometimes (most times it seems), when I'm fully prepared to eat my strudel or bandage, the heal will come in before I can even start.
I never demand a heal for my Life Tap.
And I make sure they now just how much their heals are appreciated.
Jan 2nd 2009 5:23PM Actually, one of our main tanks is usually a wolver.
I've got some baby spice ... next time he's going to be a wolver pup!
Dec 31st 2008 11:02PM I read things like this and I just scratch my head ... and sometimes I think i must be playing some other game than everyone else, because I keep hearing all about this doom and gloom ...
... and I just don't see it.
I play a warlock because it's fun, and the enjoyment hasn't stopped. I got an interesting selection of minions to play with, I can work well all by myself and in groups, the new expansion gave great storylines to track down and a bevy of new challenges to solve.
Now I admit I hear most of the cries from the PvP side of the game, and that facet has never been able to hold my attention very long. But that's fine, this is a game big enough to support all different playstyles, and that's one of the great things about the game. But in my limited excursions back into the battlefield it was ... nothings changed. Rogues still stun lock me (nothing new there) and otherwise I tended to die not one-on-one but one-on-three-or-four. By the Great Gear, even herbing in Winterspring I get chased by not one but two rogues. (again, however, nothing new there except for the question that if we are so useless how come the Horde wastes so many folks to take me out? The rush to get an easy kill? Fine, three folks beating on me means two of them ain't beating on my compatriots). I walk off of the battlefield with more honor than I started with, so all is good. Perhaps because I am a PvP noob I haven't noticed a change.
On the PvE side, I seem to be holding my own. In instances and heroics and raids while I'm not seeing these numbers that get tossed about in everyone's banter somehow I still lurk the upper portion of the DPS chart and my total damage out is strong ... I mean 25-manning Patchwerk, I was number four (I kind'a cycled through the upper four positions on the bosses that night ... as if i was trying each position out or something) on the chart, the boss went down comfortably before the enrage counter and we were two folks short. And I'm a deep spec'd demonologist and if I believed what all the pundits say I should be bringing the least to the raid and lurking the bottom of the charts.
I'm certainly carrying my weight and I still got some blues and a green in my gear.
I don't know why I seem to be doing okay and the rest of the warlock community keeps speaking of the doldrums. This is not to say I wouldn't appreciate some buffs to our capability to be able to make an even bigger contribution - I may be a touch naive but I'm not stupid :) I don't see myself as some 733t skilled player, just your average work a day warlock.
The only difference I can think of is that I always try to be constructive. Instead of getting despondent about what supposedly has been taken away I tend to look at what I have and say ... what can I do with it?
Anyhows, I'll keep playing my warlock as long as it's fun.
And it hasn't stopped yet.
Dec 1st 2008 7:21PM Denial? Sometimes. But sometimes a warlock can know just where they stand. Dug out from my story files:
"It was just real important to help Miss Freyara out, Mezzy. She's one of our few friends, who trust us, and helps us, and she's helped us so many times, it was only right for us to come to her aid when she needed it.
"That's real important, Mezzy. It's the difference, I guess. In the Cathedral on Sundays, they talk about what you should do ...
"But tonight, tonight we were just not talking about it ...
"We were actually doin' it. Can you understand that?"
The two companions were in Kharanos, late at night, beneath the sable sky. The stars above were scattered like diamonds, the snow below shimmering in the soft moonlight. Alone on a small hill, overlooking the trail, the little gnome lass stood. She watched, as torch carrying messengers passed along the trail, carrying important missives between Ironforge and the outposts of Loch Modan. In the distance, through the cool dry air, the grumblings of the striders at depot could be heard, as well as the occassional growl of a snowcat hunting.
The big blue voidwalker drifted at the lass' side, his bracers reflecting a gentle blue and gold in the starlight. As she spoke, her breath frosted, the night air cool and crisp.
"I guess, well, I sometimes even I don't understand it. Every one talks about high morality, of lofty words and principles. Of good and evil and balance, and chaos and order.
"And that Their way, is somehow, good ... and everyone else is somehow wrong."
Looking down, she scuffed the snow with one boot.
"And yet, every night, I hear the alarm bells ring in Stormwind, or Lakeshire or Astranaar. I remember that quiet refuge, in the Ashenvale Forest, when we walked in to see the dryad's blood staining the fine wood floors and we knew something beautiful had been forever lost.
"Or when we sit in the tavern in Southshore, listening to the knights and squires and mages laugh and raise a glass, to toast their swords and all the blood they spilled at the nearby mill.
"Something's not quite right, Mezzy. And I can't quite fit the cogs together to make a workin' gadget."
She hugged herself, arms wrapping tight. Her garb was heavy, protective, collected from Ratchet to Booty Bay to new gloves gifted from a rare friend.
"I don't claim to be smart or philosophical. Or wise enough to tell other folks what to do - and yet I look at these fine words and overlay them upon the world in which we live, and they don't quite fit.
"We are at war. We see it every day. In the craters, the corpses, the broken war machines, the haunting of the Legion. And we can't help but know that all they are doing is licking their wounds and preparing for their next invasion.
"I have heard one person speak of honor, sacrifice, the courage of oneself to stand before darkness, and prevail.
"And yet, that is how we live, Mezzy.
"You and me.
"How many times have we put ourselves into harms way, because it was the right thing to do? How many times have we been blasted to the spirit plane so that another might breathe and hold on a few minutes longer?
"And how many times have I had to look into those fel burning fires and say, no, you can't have him. To remind Them that you, Mezzy, you are my friend and you stand with me. Not Them.
"And yet there is a city full of folk who would send us to the abyss, with a cruel hatred as deep as those they claim to fight.
"Maybe I am too simple, too pragmatic, but I live here, in the mountains of Kharanos. Our world, however, is a world of war crafted from experience ... and not a world of words that only exists in the breath of a voice, as hard to grasp as smoke, as hard to hold onto as the memory of a dream upon waking.
"I remember hearing that mercy is to be lauded, but for the wicked the path of salvation is bought with pain.
"But you know Mezzy, we've heard that before.
"Spoken to us, by a man of the cloth, I guess. He was wearin' bright fancy robes, just like the archbishop in tha Cathedral in Stormwind.
"Last night in fact.
"Up in tha Scarlet Monastery."
Rubbing her upper arms with her small hands, the small movement added a touch of warmth against the winter's night.
"In the end, Mezzy, I think it is very simple.
"Gods, demons, light and shadow ...
"We, me and you, we don't need beliefs in them. Gods and demons, they exist. That's a fact.
"We can summon them.
"Light and shadow are magics. Tools for healing and hurting.
"And in the end, what is important is not what you believe in.
"What's important is what you do with those beliefs."
"And that is what makes all the difference in all the worlds."
The Alliance warlock shrugged her shoulders. Her quiet gaze rose to the clear midnight sky.
"Oh Mezzy look!
"A shooting star!
"Make a wish ..."
Dec 1st 2008 6:01PM In general, the Horde tends to treat their warlocks better, or at least there is a less detested niche for them.
Dec 1st 2008 8:32AM My warlock is definitely not evil.
The correct term, as I keep trying to explain to certain of my Guildmates is, of course, "Ethically Challenged".
From a roleplaying standpoint, playing an Alliance warlock is absolute gold. Because, in one way or another, you do have to reconcile the balance between the nature of the magics and the cultures. And the best part about it is that Blizzard did not chose the easy way out but painted this condition in many different shades of gray. On one hand, yes, there is a cultural bias against the practitioners of the demonic arts, on the other hand all one has to do is read warlock quest texts to understand that the truth is far more complicated - with their continual warnings against falling to the fel side of things and occassional surprise that you've managed not to.
The choice isn't between good and evil, right or wrong ... its which path you choose to take between them.
Nov 26th 2008 8:49AM Excuse me?
Jaina took the cowards way out?
My apologies, but that dog doesn't hunt.
The coward's way out, the easy way out, would have been to blindly follow one's leader no matter what. Instead she chose to act on her convictions and chose the more difficult path.
Instead of doing what was expected, what was would have gotten her the accolades of Stormwind ...
Instead, she chose to do the right thing.
A hero is more that a guy with a big sword. If there was a hero or two in the Battle for the Undercity, the one person it wasn't was Varian Wrynn.
What has this done? Well from a story telling aspect it's pure genius. And like Jaina's choice, it was a choice between predictable, stereotypical black-and-white action adventure and a tale that actually questions the notion of right and wrong; the conflict triangle of Lich King-Alliance-Horde continues to be painted in many shades of grey.
Which, as players, forces us to make our own ethical and moral choices about the game's evolving story line. From a role-playing standpoint that's pure gold.
And it is in this discussion where we will find out whether or not the writers who are guiding the Varian Wrynn story are going to do more than a stereotypical action adventure. Hollywood style entertainments are fine for Saturday night and a bucket of pop corn, but a story that actually questions our values and nature, those are the tales you remember.
I happen to find the interesting parallel not Wrynn-Thrall but Wrynn-Arthas.
Both are driven, right or wrong, by a deep and passionate feeling of vengence, often to the point of blindness.
The question, I guess, is whether or not Wrynn is going to grow up enough to take down the Lich King ... or, like the strong willed King before him, become the next Lich King.
Oct 27th 2008 1:29PM The intent of Demonic Sacrifice is NOT to create a build where sacrificing one's minion becomes more powerful than having one's minion. The changes to Demonic Sacrifice support this, taking a decent bite out of the traditional sacrifice/destruction specs (from personal experience my deep Demonology spec is doing as good or better than my compatriot trying to maintain a version of her DS/Destro spec) and the buffing of the Felhunter and Imp to provide advantages to having a live minion for Affliction and Destruction.
Blizzard finally has come out and confirmed the reason for Demonic Sacrifice is to give a Demonologist (because so many of our capabilities are tied to our minions) some manner of consolation buff for those instances where having a minion out is untenable. They admit that these days (especially with the recent minion buffs) caseslike this are getting fewer and farther between, but they believe there is still enough such situations to keep the talent around.