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Posts with tag Soul-Shard

Breakfast Topic: Which class will change the most?

Over the next three days (and a week from Friday for paladins), Blizzard will be announcing some of the class revamp information that will be implemented in Cataclysm. This will by no means be all of the information, and if you followed us during the Wrath beta, you'll know that these things might change before the expansion comes out.

While I'm sure that the class you're waiting to hear info on the most is your own class, I've got a little bit of a different question for you: Which class do you think is going to be changing the most in Cataclysm?

Will it be warriors, due to the impending rage normalization? How about death knights, since blood will be the only tanking spec after the expansion hits? Will it be hunters with their mana changing to a focus system or warlocks with their complete revamp of Soul Shards? Let us know what you think.

Which class will change the most in Cataclysm?
Death Knight5123 (19.7%)
Druid1113 (4.3%)
Hunter5550 (21.4%)
Mage1007 (3.9%)
Paladin5664 (21.8%)
Priest610 (2.4%)
Rogue661 (2.5%)
Shaman1575 (6.1%)
Warlock2877 (11.1%)
Warrior1760 (6.8%)

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Breakfast Topics, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Blood Pact: 2009 through the Eye of Kilrogg

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "The avarice never ends! 'I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue.' Look, I don't wanna make waves, but this whole Christmas season is stupid, stupid, stupid!" ~ The Grinch

Hmmm... a look back at changes for warlocks in 2009. Well there was... no, wait, that was 2008. Well what about... nah, that's planned for Cataclysm. Wow, this is harder than I thought. Nothing particularly outstanding has happened in the warlock area this year; but so much has happened and, well things have changed. It's like waking up each morning and something is subtly different. Your blue toothbrush is now red... The sofa is now against this wall, not that one... each change is pretty unremarkable in it's own right but by the end of the year you are a stuntman living in LA married to a small, blond Portuguese skier who when she's not training does abstract painting, practices yoga and brews her own beer.

As we surfaced, bleary-eyed into January our memories of sacrificing succubus and SL/SL were fading faster than those of December 31st. Those heady days of power that also led to FotM wannabes flooding our ranks. Skill and complexity had been leaking out of the class for a while and Naxx wasn't really providing any of us with much of a worthwhile proving ground. Affliction spell rotations were causing carpal-tunnel injuries on those who were determined to take the cold-turkey approach to dropping their addiction to Shadow Bolt spam. Fans of demonology were taking felguards like some sort of methadone for simplistic raiding, meanwhile retaining the use of their fingers.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Class Discussion Panel - Warlock

Yesterday's Class Discussion Panel at BlizzCon 2009 didn't go over all the classes like previous years, but instead focused on major changes to two classes. One of those classes is the Warlock, which finally gets its long promised Soul Shard mechanic overhaul. The change, as Ghostcrawler had mentioned before, is extremely cool and wasn't something that could be implemented with a minor patch. The revamp is huge -- it overhauls the entire Soul Shard system in two significant ways:
  • Soul Shards are no longer items in the inventory (at last!) but are part of the Warlock UI
  • Soul Shards are not consumed by any Warlock spell other than the empowering ability, Soul Burn
I'll let all you Warlocks have a moment to digest that. When I first saw the changes, I was completely blown away and completely stoked -- the Warlock class will play completely differently from Mages, and indeed from any other class. Soul Shards will become a new resource mechanic akin to Death Knight runes except that they aren't used for spells but for "power moves". It makes a visual impact to playing the class, with the UI showing the Soul Shard resource.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Blood Pact: All about soul stones

The Moon has aligned with Mars, and the cosmic energies have infused this week's Blood Pact with diabolical tidbits of Warlock-related content that will sear the souls of mortal men! This week, Blood Pact invites you to sit in on an actual gaming session...

Nick W.: I'd like to roll a Craft(Writing) check to make a column.
Game Master: Alright, make your check.
*Click clatter of rolled dice...*
Nick W.: I rolled a four...
Game Master: You create an episode of Blood Pact.
Nick W.: Damn!

Though it may have been watered down by the "bring the player, not the class" mantra, Warlocks are a utility class at heart. We can rock the DPS as hard as anybody else, but our real value comes in our summons, our debuffs, and our Soul Stones. That's what I'd like to talk about this week.

Proper Soul Stoning is an important topic. One which I've never seen covered to my satisfaction. The general one line of advice everybody gives to new Warlocks is "make sure the healer has a Soul Stone." But that's about as helpful as "cast spells at things to make them die." Sometimes it's not true, and even when it is true, the fact of the matter is a great deal more complicated than the single sentence of instruction can convey.

So what is proper Soul Stoning procedure? Soul Shards are easy enough to come by these days that there really isn't any excuse for not being prepared to Soul Stone whenever it's appropriate, but when is that? And when it is appropriate, who is the best candidate for having the stone cast on them? The latter question is far too often ignored, particularly in raid situations where there's more than one healer to choose from.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

[Updated] Warlock soul-shard farming a thing of the past?

Yesterday, a couple new 3.1 changes for warlocks surfaced:
  • Drain Soul: Each time Drain Soul deals damage to a target which can grant experience, it now has a chance to generate a Soul Shard.
  • Soul Shard: This item now has a maximum count of 32 in inventory.
Upon reading the first change, my initial thought was something along the lines of, "aw man, now I get to spend half the raid throwing soul shards away!" Then I read the second change, and my QQ was nipped in the bud. I need to read faster!

This change is not yet on the test realms, so I have no first hand knowledge of how it will actually function. Fortunately, Ghostcrawler elaborated on what it will be like. Based on his commentary, it appears that this change is designed to keep warlocks from needing to meekly inform the raid leader that -- after so many wipes -- they need to head down to Dragonblight for some shard farming if they're to continue summoning pets and health stones.

Given the obtuse nature of this infernal reagent, I'm surprised this change was so long in coming. Warlocks have been complaining about how difficult it is to manage soul shards since before I rolled my first 'lock. I'm looking forward to seeing this change up on the PTR, where I can get a better idea of just how awesome it's going to be.

Updated: There's been a lot of talk about this being an unsatisfactory change to the soul shard situation. I think it's important to note that Ghostcrawler mentioned two changes would be coming for drain soul. One will be a very large change that will significantly alter gameplay, and the other is more of a minor tweak. A stopgap measure while the larger change is worked on. I think it's safe to say that the above changes announced for 3.1 fall into the latter category, and we can look forward to more significant alterations later on.
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches

GC says good things coming for Warlocks

Ghostcrawler said some things over at the forums that should make our year start brightly. Or grimly, depending on what makes your Warlock smile. I mentioned something about the problematic Soul Shard mechanic, which was on top of Ghostcrawler's to-do list for the class. He says that Blizzard is looking at making it "more interesting and less of a hassle," which should be music to our ears. They're exploring two models -- one is a major change in gameplay, but is "very cool", while the other would be a quick fix. The clunkiness of Soul Shards have been around for four years, so I think we can all wait just a bit longer for something very, very cool.

Another big thing he mentioned was the simplification of Affliction's rotation. It's not something I'm completely sold on, considering I actually have a lot of fun with Affliction, but the stuff is a bit of a headache to keep track of and I do need AddOns to help me monitor all those debuffs. Ghostcrawler also notes that Warlock DPS -- mostly Affliction, at least -- is built up over time, but since fights don't last very long, they're looking at how to fix things. Although he also says it might fix itself in Ulduar, which won't be the ez-mode players have been treated to in early Wrath.

Blizzard will also be improving demons, which is totally awesome considering they're worlds better now than they were four years ago. Finally, Ghostcrawler gives a nod to PvP, knowing that Warlocks do need a bit of work there, too. Very encouraging words to kick off our 2009, don't you think?

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums

Ritual of Summoning revamped

Soul Shards: love them or hate them, they're iconic of the Warlock class. Most choose to hate them, but I think locks are just full of hate in general and need to vent it somewhere. Along with a tantalizing note about "exciting changes to how soul shards might work," European CM Vaneck has just let us know that one common shard-based ability, Ritual of Summoning, is going to be changed Before the 3.1/Ulduar Patch (a promise I'm seeing a lot of lately; we can only hope that patch is soon).

Essentially, the new RoS will create a meeting stone-like object. It'll still take two players in addition to the Warlock, as well as one shard, but once the ritual has been cast, the stone can be re-used to summon as many people as desired within its five minute duration, and that summoning action will merely require any two players, just like a meeting stone. You can also summon multiple people simultaneously, and all just for one shard. You won't be able to summon in situations where you currently can't (Netherstorm, battlegrounds, in combat), but this will make summoning much easier, quicker, and less shard-intensive. A great idea.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches

Warlock glyphs in Beta build 8905

I'm having a lot of fun with the new Inscription profession. Not necessarily as an Inscriber, but as the recipient of these cool new customization features. As Daniel noted the last time, the Warlock glyphs look pretty sweet, and more glyphs for Warlocks appeared recently in the Wrath Beta. And just like the last time, a few of them really do look pretty spiffy, like this one for example...

Glyph of Drain Soul
Your Drain Soul ability occasionally creates an additional soul shard.
We might as well call this the Soul Shard specialization glyph -- an extra shard for Drain Soul? Yes please! Even if you pack your bag full with 28 Soul Shards before heading into an instance or raid, Warlocks still find themselves in situations where they run out of it, specially for those who have Shadowburn thrown in. Timing Drain Soul just right so it doesn't gimp your DPS is a pain in itself, so an extra shard for the effort is pure win. Besides, procs like these are like an Azerothian mini-lottery. This is also perfect for those lazy Warlocks -- and there are a ton of those -- who only bring a handful of shards to an instance.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

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