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Posts with tag blood-pact

Lichborne: Passing time until Pandaria on your death knight

Lichborne Passing time until Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With a release date finally forthcoming for Mists of Pandaria, we have less than two months until the expansion drops and even less time until we reach patch 5.0.4. With all that in mind, how do you pass the time until then? This week, we'll take a look at a few things death knights can do to look and feel their best when the expansion drops.

Solo to swell your stables

Soloing is a time-honored death knight tradition, and with the expansion winding down, it's the perfect way to pass the time. When choosing your soloing target, you may factor in nostalgia, transmogrification needs, or just plain ease of access. Another popular reason is grabbing mounts and pets. In the Cataclysm era, both Vortex Pinnacle and The Stonecore normal modes drop a mount.

Soloing same-level dungeons can be a bit hairy, but considering these two were in the game at the start of the expansion, you should find that even with Dragon Soul raid finder gear, you'll barely break a sweat in blood spec. As a bonus, both of these mounts will be going account-wide in Mists of Pandaria, so you'll be grabbing some possible stylish mount options for your alts as well.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

6 ways to increase your warlock's DPS

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

As a warlock, I can name no fewer than six methods that the amateur demonologist can use in order to up his worth to a raid. Oh, while I could easily write out an entire Homer-esque adventure exclusively on what fledgling casters can do for their damage, brevity is oft the soul of wit -- so I will merely keep to the upped ante of six, to demonstrate that warlocks shall not have themselves outdone by trite magelings. After all, a mage really is useful for nothing more than a light snack and easy travel.

1. Know your spec. Unlike those wretched creatures that shall not be named, warlocks are blessed with multiple viable specs that they can use for raiding. I know that this is a topic I have blathered on about time and time again, but for a pure DPS class, it's rather important. Unlike my counterpart balance druid, there is no rigidity in spec choice. A balance druid will always be a balance druid, regardless of how strong their spec is in relation to feral or other DPS classes in the game. Warlocks and other pures are given that luxury.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Dark Intent update and T13 gearing

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

Greeting again, darklings. It's that time of the week once more for us to talk about all that drives our purpose: bringing horrible pain to our enemies. There are multiple cogs in our wheel of destruction, but this week I want to focus in on two of those. To start, there's the small matter of the ever-constant debate on weaponry and trinkets, something that comes up with every new tier. Second, there's the issue of Dark Intent. While it's been relatively established on the priority of the buff, there are a few kinks to work out, as always. The prior settlements that were made were based upon data that was relevant back in tier 11. Although there isn't too much that has changed since this, Blizzard's adjustments and gearing does merit bringing up the issue once more.

There can be little doubt that shadow priests are the best recipients for Dark Intent. A significantly large portion of their damage come from DoTs; furthermore, Mind Flay has a unique interaction with the ability as well that results in an even higher return. As shadow priests gain gear, more of their damage does actually shift toward Mind Blast, plus their tier 13 increases more of their non-DoT based damage. Again, none of this changes that they are still the best target for Dark Intent, but it does slightly reduce the disparity between shadow priests and non-shadow priests when getting it.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Cataclysm-era leveling guide for warlocks

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

Of all the things that I am, for all of the multitude of alts that I have, one things that I've never been all that good at is writing leveling guides. I have a hard enough time as it is following said guides; writing out my chaotic leveling process is a chore and a half. That all being said, the one thing I do have enormous amounts of experience in leveling. I've nearly reached the full limit on the amount of characters that I'm allowed to have. Allow me, then, to impart some of what I know about bringing your fledgling warlock up to speed into the endgame. After all, while the journey might be half the fun, the destination is all so glorious. We do need someone to stomp on those pesky mages.

The first order of business is to know your spec going into the game. While all warlocks focus on damage (so we don't have quite the same complications as hybrid classes), which spec you choose to go with is still important. Affliction has long been touted as the prime warlock leveling spec, and that is still somewhat true. Affliction offers the best multi-target, fast-paced farming that can't be matched by any of the others. The downside to this is that mob farming has fallen the way of the dinosaurs in WoW leveling; instead, questing and running dungeons is far more efficient, and affliction doesn't have its strength there.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Initial impressions of 4.3 raiding as a warlock

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

The first week of raiding after the release of patch 4.3 has more or less come and gone by this point, and while raiding isn't everything, it is the primary focus on this tier. Not only do we finally get to tackle with Deathwing himself, but Blizzard also introduced the Raid Finder tool in order to bring more players into the raiding game. Another part of this patch was an effort to bring destruction's damage up to par with that of our other two specs.

While there is still much more time needed in order to tell how exactly things are going to play out, for now it is time to lay down the initial impressions that raiding within this recent patch has left in my mouth. Some are good, some are bad, but the common denominator is that, hey -- at least we aren't mages.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Distinguishing destruction from fire

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests for something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

I like to think that I've been a solid supporter of the warlocks in their struggles against the devil mages. I know that I do have some split loyalties with the druids, but let's be fair in saying that a druid is wicked awesome in comparison to a mage. With that in mind, know that it brings me no joy to say that I'm worried. We talked about the new talents coming in the next expansion last week, and while I love what talents warlocks had and I think the new system has some great potential, there's one facet about it that concerns me.

Destruction and fire are very closely linked in playstyle. Both are heavy nuking specs that also utilize DOT effects to boost their damage. They both make use of an otherwise unwieldy long spell, albeit in different methods, but one cannot deny that the two specs are fairly similar. One of the key differences right now to set destruction apart from fire is Conflagration and Backdraft -- destruction has a form of focus on speed that fire doesn't. With traditional specs going out the window, one has to worry about how Blizzard intends to distinguish destruction from fire.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Spelling test


With a flash of flame and a gout of smoke, Blood Pact appears again! It demands that columnist Nick Whelan make a sacrifice! Either he must write on a relatively simple subject this week, or be doomed to perform poorly during his finals! Left with no other recourse, Whelan submits to the will of the column.

Spells are the essence of playing a Warlock. Just about every part of playing the game, save role playing, has spell casting as a central feature for us. Fighting for control of Arathi Basin, dueling on matters of honor with some upstart Mage, questing and leveling, or any instance from assailing Defias scum in The Deadmines, to unlocking the secrets of Azeroth in Ulduar. Without spells the only things a Warlock could do would be run, jump, and weakly bonk our foes with our staffs. And there just aren't enough platforming sections in WoW to make that kind of thing fun.

Depending on our spec and in-game vocation, different Warlocks focus on different spells. And the decision of which spells to focus on is based on numbers. Such as the time required to cast the spell, potential damage output the spell has, or the amount of time that the spell will allow us to reign destruction on our foes while they run around screaming in abject terror. Understanding the mechanical uses of spells is essential if we're to be effective Warlocks. But as I've said in the past: Rain of Fire isn't just an area of effect spell channeled over 10 seconds which causes 2-3k non-crit damage every 2 seconds to enemies within a 15 yard radius--it's fireballs falling out of the sky!

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Filed under: Warlock, RP, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Return to the depths of the third tree!


Warlocks had best beware! Blood Pact preys on people who wander too deeply into the dark depths of the internet! Author Nick Whelan apologizes for being a tad late this week -- sometimes final projects just don't go smoothly, ya know?

It's no secret that I haven't exactly been in a PvE mood lately. I don't know what it is, but every year around this time I just...lose all motivation to progress. I've come to accept it as the natural cycle of my WoW-life, but lately I've been thinking I want to get back into it. I'm not ravenously trolling Dalaran looking for a raid, but I've been doing some heroic pugs to dust the rust off of my shadowbolting finger.

Frustratingly, though, I've been having an exceptionally difficult time getting back into Affliction. Not only does the rotation and casting style fail to engage me, but it feels like far too much of a struggle to dish out DPS. Back during that golden age between patch 3.0 and patch 3.1, Affliction was a zen thing for me. My rotation was so deeply ingrained that typical spell casting was handled by my subconscious mind. My fingers seemed to move on their own! Post 3.1, Affliction seems to have been made so user friendly that I keep stumbling whenever I try to do something. Like switching from Windows 3.1 to Vista overnight.

The most reasonable course of action, I concluded, was to revisit the first instructions given to me by my Jedi teacher. I needed to unlearn what I had learned, by switching to a completely different spec. So without further ado, welcome to Project Respec: Post 3.1. As clever readers probably divined from the title of this post, the subject this week is Destruction!

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Minions are people too


Warlock writer Nick Whelan has been quoted as saying that the new WoW.com layout is ''trippin.' Stormwind City Guards later found Infinite Dust in the saddle bags of his Dreadsteed. While he was being held for further questioning, he wrote this week's Blood Pact.

On a whim, I pulled out some of my Dungeons and Dragons books a couple weeks back, and convinced a buddy of mine that we should pick up where we left off in one of our old games. Since then my head has been wrapped around Zalekios Gromar, Vasharan Warlock on a mission to kill the gods that spited his people in millennia past. And while the Eldritch Blast of D&D isn't exactly the same as WoW's Shadow Bolt, it certainly got me in the mood for role playing.

There was a time between my adventures near Northshire Abbey, and my discovery that I had a passion for group content while I was fighting a torrential updraft of trolls in Zul'Farrak, when RP was my primary reason for playing the game. And while you don't usually see me walking through Stormwind these days, there was a time when I was Lord Sentai Grehsk, The Corpseseeker. A Warlock driven by the horrors of war to seek world peace at any cost, regardless of how many people he needed to quietly murder to achieve it.

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Filed under: Warlock, RP, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Interview with a PVPer



Welcome Warlocks! Once weekly, Nick Whelan delves into the despicable underbelly of Dalaran to consort with cabalist casters, who help him channel Beelzebub into a fresh Blood Pact.


When I first took over this column, I remember discussing with several people my worries about the content I wouldn't be able to provide. At my best I'm a casual raider, and my PVP experience is limited to that time I did With a Little Helper from My Friends. Certainly I'm passionate about the class, can write better than a few other people I've seen published, and usually play enough to have some Warlock-specific ramble prepared every week. Still, I wanted to find some way of providing content for PVP oriented locks that they would at least find entertaining--even if it was simply footage of me getting one-shot by a level 75 tree Druid.

Then last week one of my readers left a comment suggesting I find a kickass PVP Warlock and interview them. The next few hours are kind of a blur. I remember banging my head against the wall a couple times, and waking up in a hospital, but that's not important.Interviewing a Warlock skilled in PVP could make for some interesting column content. So, I went to the armory to do some hunting.

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Filed under: Warlock, Interviews, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Onward, to 80!


Welcome Warlocks! This week, Nick is taking a break from your regularly scheduled Blood Pact to bring you a 71-80 leveling guide! About time, eh?

Wrath of the Lich King brought us Northrend, Naxxramas, and of course, ten more levels of DoTing, Rain of Firing, Shadow Bolting Warlockery. So saddle up your Dreadsteed, and float or fly your way to the frozen north--crown of the world. It's time to get diabolic. And this time, it's personal.

Transitioning from Outland to Northrend is a lot like transitioning from vanilla-WoW content to Outland was. The mobs hit a little harder, and the gear is a little better. The step up isn't quite as sudden or as large as it was last time, but you definitely want to take a good look at some of those quest greens you're offered, and it's best not to take a level 68 Vrykul too lightly. They're kinda mean.

These last 10 levels are rather straightforward in comparison with their predecessors. If you've made it this far, then what you're going to see over the next 10 levels is mostly just an inflation of your numbers that will make you squeal and clap your hands in glee. Other than that, though, you should continue playing as you did in the later part of the 61-70 bracket. If you're leveling Affliction, DoT-DoT-Fear still gets the job done with gusto. If you're leveling Demonology, the felguard still tanks, and your nukes still burn. If you're leveling Destruction, you're still insane and should get your head checked.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: How to be a professional Warlock


Blood Pact is a weekly column here at WoW Insider, where Nick Whelan delves into the darkest corner of the Slaughtered Lamb Inn, to take a peek at Warlocks and what they do.

I've been thinking for awhile now that I'd like to approach Blood Pact a bit differently. Thus far the bulk of my posts have focused on playing a Warlock at level 80. Granted, a casual Warlock at 80, but still, my aim has been towards max level players. Aside from the obvious problem that raises of excluding lower level 'locks, this approach pointlessly limits my available subject matter. And that's just plain silly. So, since I still haven't wriggled my way into a new raid group, I think this is a good opportunity to delve into some of the topics I've been ignoring, with the goal of writing a more balanced column in the future.

While pondering what specifically I should post this week, I perused the writings of some of my fellow class columnists, and discovered that most of them had, at some point, explored their class' profession choices. A topic which I then discovered had never been broached by Blood Pact. But then, since the topic of the post is rather evident in the title of the post, I guess there's no point in belaboring its introduction. I'll start with the secondary professions, move on to the gathering professions, and finish up with the production professions.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: What's up with everybody?


Another week, another Blood Pact! Bringing you all the wacky Warlockery that nine out of ten healers recommend for a healthy diet. And it's not because Nick paid them off or anything.

Hello again, my reprehensible cabal of spell casters I call a readership! How's it hangin?

Not a great deal has actually changed for me since last week. I was forced to disband my raiding group due to unfortunate scheduling problems, so I still haven't set foot in Ulduar. And since heroics stopped offering an interesting challenge months ago, I haven't had much of a reason to log in as of late. With Noblegarden upon us though, I suppose I'd better get to it--a proto-drake in my class color doesn't come along every day, yo!

Lacking any escapades of my own to pen for your amusement, I thought it would be nice if I did some research on how the various specs are being played these days, for the benefit of players (like me) who wish their spec' s play style would settle down longer than a handful of months. It's hard enough to be a DPS class beset by near-constant nerfs -- radically changing our play style all the time isn't helping. But enough QQ, lets talk about how Warlocks are doing their pew pew these days.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Overview of project respec

Another week has gone by already? Well, I guess that means it's time for Blood Pact! Nick Whelan's platform to wonder about things such as: what's up with there being female Warlocks in the game? Warlock is a gender specific title, indicative of masculinity. The feminine alternative is witch. So is Blizzard just made of fail or are all female members of the class actually men in disguise?

Over the past three weeks, Blood Pact has been running an experiment I dubbed Project Respec. The intent was to take a look at some of the major endgame specs for Warlocks, try them out, test them, and report back my impressions. Now, having covered all the major specs I intend to cover with the project at this time, I'm happy with the level of success the project has had. A lot of readers have expressed enjoying the series, and I've learned a lot about the class, and a lot about what I'd like to do with this column. I also made a fair amount of mistakes along the way, but the WoW Insider community was always quick to point me in the right direction, and I'm confident that when I pick up Project Respec again after 3.1, I'll be much better prepared.

This week, I'd like to sum up the Warlock specs I tested, and how they play. I won't bother saying much about their exact DPS output, because not only did my gear change between each test, but a few days of trials is hardly enough to get an absolutely comprehensive understanding of a play style. Instead, I'll be focusing on what it's like to play each of them, since they're all at least viable DPS specs. I'd also like to throw in my analysis of what will happen with them once patch 3.1 rolls around. Though, on the note of analysis, I should point out that computer issues continue to keep me off of the test realms, so my analysis is purely speculative.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Affliction and Demonology in Patch 3.0.2


It's easy to be disappointed with Warlocks, really. The best tree we have right now is Affliction, and is just really fun to play while dealing incredible damage. This is sad news for a lot of players who enjoyed playing Demonology or liked pressing their Shadow Bolt button with a dead Succubus. For one thing, going deep Demonology nets us a half-baked 51-point talent (more on that later) and killing off your Succubus for 10% more Shadow damage doesn't seem as compelling anymore.

To top it all off, we're simply squishier than ever in PvP. We've lost Stamina, lowered survivability, and need to make major sacrifices in PvP if we're to pursue deep Affliction or Destruction. Thankfully, Blizzard recognized this and -- according to Ghostcrawler -- will be making an important change to Soul Link by increasing the damage absorbed to 20%. It will still be inacessible if we take 51-point talents at Level 70, but it should be alright by Level 80. Unfortunately, when we finally get there, we'll be sharing gear with lowlife Mages and Priests. I mean that literally -- those guys simply used to have lower life totals.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

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