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Posts with tag demonology-warlock-blood-pact

Blood Pact: The warlock study guide for Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. In a dark and hidden place, the true masters of the arcane arts share secrets and swap stories. 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 and invites you to take a seat.

Didn't we mention that the position of the warlock writer here at WoW Insider is something akin to the Defense of the Dark Arts teacher position at Hogwarts? Well, our current warlock Adam has taken a brief leave to attend to dark, sinister forces, which means that in the meantime, you guys are left with me to deliver your weekly dose of felfire and brimstone. That's like leaving the sorcerer's apprentice to clean the workshop all by himself, and well, you all know how that one turns out. Anyway, let's see what we can get away with this week.

Let's face it, playing a DPS class is a bit of a chore. It's challenging, certainly, and there's an unspoken need to be competitive, always measured by your performance on the meters. For some players, this is a motivation for playing their class -- diving into loads of data, crunching numbers, and testing against target dummies. It's a lot of hard work. For some players who pick up the warlock class mostly because they like the flavor -- it's still a roleplaying game, after all -- all that can be a little daunting. In fact, there are still many players who aren't hardcore enough to troll forums, read blogs, or pore through spreadsheets to squeeze the most DPS out of their class.

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

Blood Pact: Warlock soloing instance bosses for fun and profit


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. In a dark and hidden place, the true masters of the arcane arts share secrets and swap stories. 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 and invites you to take a seat.

Did you know that warlocks can do more than bask in the tears of the weak and cowardly as we blaze a trail to supremacy? It's true! While tears are their own reward, it's sometimes good to take a moment to pad your purse or pick up a hot new ride or just earn the respect you know you're due.

"But," I hear the doubters in the back exclaim, "those things are not the rewards of one man. It takes a well-honed team of friends five, 10, even 20 strong to wrest some of those treasures from the enemies who hold them." This might be true for most heroes, but warlocks are not "most." Quite aside from knowing that "friend" is another word for "disposable minion," warlocks are masters at daring alone what once took many hands.

The dungeons and raids of the previous eras of World of Warcraft have many rewards to offer, and it's never been easier for an enterprising warlock to go after them. There's gold, achievements, titles, and for the patient, even pets and mounts to be won. By readying yourself to run these solo, you can save yourself the hassle of coordinating with other retro seekers, as well as avoiding the agony of having to roll off when that dreamed-of 1 percent drop finally pops up in the loot window. All you need is to equip yourself with the right tools and use a few of the right tactics.

After the jump, all you need to know to take down instance bosses as well as a list of which ones to go after now before they are gone when Cataclysm launches.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Soul Shards, talent specs and the 4.0.1 warlock

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. Today, Zach Yonzon fills in while the new warlock columnist dusts his robes off after his trip from the Twisting Nether. A new warlock columnist? Why, yes -- holding the warlock columnist position here at WoW Insider is akin to holding the Defense of the Dark Arts teacher position at Hogwarts, you know.

Let's get this one out of the way: The game isn't balanced for level 80. You can't cry about being broken or your spec not being viable or your DPS not being up to par because, right now, everything is in flux. The new mechanics are balanced for level 85 and some values in the game aren't properly scaled for this level, so none of the numbers you see will be truly representative of how it's going to be a couple of months down the line. You won't even get a feel of how important mastery is because there just isn't the proper gear to support it.

Unless you're hell bent on being on top of the meters at a time when it's largely meaningless, you're better off using this period to get a feel for how the class plays.

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

Blood Pact: Conjuring DPS rotations for patch 4.0.1, part 1


The people are quiet, with red eyes glazed and empty as they stare off into the dark distance. They move slowly, as if anchored to the worn bodies dragging along behind them. Is this a scene of war? A B-rated horror movie? No. It's Monday, the poisonous end to the weekend and dawn of the dreaded work week. But fear not, for Eli Khoury has your cure: a bloody Mary and Blood Pact, freshly poured and on the house. Drink up.

Greetings, conjurers of fire and dark.

With the expansion eyeing a Dec. 7 release date and a major content patch less than a few weeks away, the Blood Pact mailroom has filled to the brim with the stench of uncertainty. Many prodding letters continue to suffocate the space with their incessancy, searching for some much-needed warlock satisfaction and firing off question after question about what to expect of our class in the weeks to come. Those searing questions, and the interesting succubus-themed cosplay images that some of you have sent, are quite the interesting read, let me tell you.

Of all the questions that I've received, however, there is one theme that is a constant amidst all of the babble. No, it's not regarding the rumors of a certain warlock's untimely demise (which have been highly exaggerated, let me assure you). Nor is it about the threesome between the Cobra Commander, Batman and a very unlucky druid, which apparently inspired the wretched warlock T11 design that has had me scratching my head these past few weeks. But what I am talking about is warlock DPS -- or more specifically, what our DPS rotations will look like in the upcoming patch and expansion.

Today, we're going all scabies and starting from scratch. We'll be working with the raw goodness from the Public Test Realm (PTR), grabbing, pulling and yanking data out from our spell books to find a key ingredient to our DPS equation: the overall worth of our abilities. Once that information is gathered, we can calculate the average damage per cast time (aDPCT) of our spells and put together a priority-based rotation, not only helping our understanding and appreciation of the design process, but also (and perhaps most importantly) maximizing our DPS output in patch 4.0.1 and Cataclysm. We wouldn't want to fall behind those simpleton, button-mashing mages and hunters, would we?

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Filed under: Warlock, Raiding, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Cataclysm

Blood Pact: The Soulburning warlock

A familiar necrotic stench fills the air as sights and sounds fade into a fog of Fear. Your hope is not that the warlock considers you a friend among foes, but that he has a use for you -- for that is the only way to survive this hell and receive his hallowed Blood Pact.

It's Friday -- the portal to the weekend and new home of Blood Pact, the festering pot of warlock goodness that seeks to satisfy your burning soul. So sit back, banish away the worries of the week, masticate on newborn flesh and ponder in disgust the obvious reason for a certain class's obsession with sheep, as you plot to kill them all. It's fry day, after all.

Soul Shards. These two simple words have been the source of much warlock angst. Ask any warlock, especially those who have played since the days of old, what he thinks of the tiny purple reagents and you will likely be met with a shaking finger in your face and a foaming rant about losing an entire bag slot and precious farming time to the little devils. Personally, I clearly and regretfully remember the redundancy of having to seek out "green" level mobs to farm Soul Shards from before patch 3.1. And even now, my bags are still constantly full (thanks, Abyssal Bag). If there was ever a reason to overly appreciate a dumb and inanimate hunk of wood or develop an unimaginable hate for pixelated bag space issues, Soul Shards would be it.

Bombarded by complaints of inconvenience, calls for stackable Soul Shards -- or something, anything that would improve a warlock's quality of life or death or whatever -- Blizzard has been listening. Come Cataclysm, the Soul Shard reagent will be no more, and the entire outdated system will cease to exist as we know it. In its place will spawn a resource mechanic, not completely unlike the death knight's rune system -- but different enough to make it fresh, new and completely our own. With this new mechanic arrive some sexy spell-altering effects, some of which are more attractive than others, but all of which warrant a closer look nonetheless.

Now, the following statement may be a tad obvious, but after suffering the displeasure of raiding with individuals who sport ilvl277 gear and still stand in fire, ooze or whatever the hell else is beneath their feet trying to kill them, I have lost all faith in the common sense of man, and so this must be said: The information in this post may contain what some consider to be Cataclysm spoilers. So please, proceed with caution.

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

Blood Pact: Demonology changes in the beta

Bloody tears stream from the eyes of the hopelessly insane, huddled silently in wait and separated from reality by the voices echoing within their minds. The whispers speak their names in bidding, and the horror lies not in their sinister calling but in knowledge of a dreaded fate if a summon were to go unanswered. This is the life, and death, of enslaved demons, warlock minions, and the Blood Pact they dare not deny their masters.

The darkest of salutations, warlocks.

Monday is upon us. You know what that means, don't you? It is time to check your kill quotas for the month, browse the local newspapers for a fine selection of newborn baby announcements (aka dinner plans) and peruse the obituary section for mage funerals to attend, corpses to desecrate and mourners to cast into mage heaven (read: a Celine Dion concert, aka warlock hell) with their fallen brethren. I hear that Julia Sunstriker is going to meet a timely, explosive, bright and violent death soon. It would be a pity to miss that party, wouldn't it?

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves with images of pain and our pleasure, Mondays also mean that we have class matters to attend to. And with the incoming Cataclysm on the not-so-distant horizon, we are going to continue processing the goodness that a lucky few of us are witnessing in the beta.

Last week, we spent a great deal of energy and saliva lusting over the devilishly delicious talents placed into the affliction tree -- I am still recovering from the loss of fluids. This week, we're going to switch specs and dissect, discuss, devour and digest the key changes made for those master summoners among us, the demonology warlocks. Needless to say, there will be what some may consider spoilers ahead, so if you're the type that wants to experience every detail of the expansion as a virgin and first hand, be careful where you click. That giant "Read more" is probably something you should stay away from.

Those of you who are yearning for more, you may want to grab some food and drink for sustenance and have a mop and bucket ready for easy cleanup, because this is going to get nasty -- in a good kind of way, of course.

Ready? Good. Let's press on.

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Filed under: Warlock, News items, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: Warlock specializations and talents


A familiar necrotic stench fills the air as sights and sounds fade into a fog of Fear. You tremble at the searing touch of flame that has enveloped those around you. Your hope is not that the warlock considers you a friend among foes, but that he has a use for you -- for that is the only way to survive this hell and receive his hallowed Blood Pact.

Finally, it has happened. The alpha has met its omega, the nondisclosure agreement is no more, and a freshly patched beta has released a swarm of much-anticipated Cataclysm information onto an unsurprisingly anxious and open-mouthed crowd. Standing before us are the revamped talent trees, relieved of the rot that has infested them for so long and ready for us to dissect and devour. I hope you're hungry.

Many talent changes have already been covered here at WoW.com, but what is missing is most important, not only because it pertains to what may become the most-shaken and altered class of patch 4.0, but also because their presence alone keeps the population of mages at bay. And too many mages means too much Lady Gaga, apple martinis and glittery body sprays. Ugh.

So, let's not waste a moment on pleasantries or poems, warlocks, for the time of our new arrival is nigh.

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Cataclysm

Blood Pact: Tip-top trinkets

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "Shinies for the Great Rain Stone! Good! Good! We offer these right away. Lafoo thought of this, yes? He a very smart Rainspeaker." -- High-Oracle Soo-say

Unlike your normal gear items, trinkets offer a little more interaction. Whether they are proc-based and trigger themselves in response to things you do, or on-use and need to be activated, or even just charge themselves up to give a steady buff they normally need some degree of user attention. This makes them something of a personal choice item. There are certainly those that are bad, better or brilliant but choice and playstyle often impacts trinket selection.

Below I've listed out fifteen trinkets that can take a warlock from freshly dinging 80 to the best the game has to offer. They are in a rough DPS benefit order, though that will depend on your other gear, spec and preference to some degree. So lets see what shinies await us.

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

Blood Pact: Shattering souls

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "I sense that you have the potential to become one of the most powerful warlocks of this era." -- Strahad Farsan

Before Wrath of the Lich King, one of the biggest DPS-boosting buffs around was Blessing of Salvation. This buff made you less interesting to mobs and essentially allowed you to do up to 30 percent more damage. It didn't help you do the damage, but it stopped you being so limited by the threat generated by the tank. Warlocks who didn't have a paladin to grant this buff were wise to be very cautious with their Shadow Bolts of massive critability.

These days, the tanks innately generate more threat. As such, the fear of having your damage capped by their threat generation abilities is much reduced. However, it is still possible to be threat-capped and if this happens, then anything that reduces your threat is suddenly your best ally. At level 66, you can learn Soulshatter, an unassuming little ability that sits quietly in your spell book until you really need it.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Emblem upgrades


Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "We will never be without power! I have secured our future! Bask in my glory!" -- Gul'dan

I recently turned my attention back to one of my 'locks that I had pretty much stopped playing after Trial of the (Grand) Crusader. This means that his gear isn't bad by any means but that there are quite a few upgrades I can get for him without even having to get him raiding again. Pretty much all of these items come from spending Emblems of Frost.

Emblems of Frost can be collected a number of ways, the easiest being the random heroic. Completing a random Lich King heroic dungeon (using the dungeon finder tool -- /LFD) for the first time each day will earn you two Emblems of Frost, so that's 14 each week. Do note that the random element of this tool is the dungeon; feel free to form your own party before using it. You can also do the weekly raid quest for another 5 emblems. Toravon the Ice Watcher is holding a couple more for you, so if you can kill him on 10- and 25-man modes, then you can bag another four from him. To collect any more in a week you need to raid Icecrown Citadel, where if you clear it and do the ICC quest, you can get up to 60 more. After the break, we'll see what we can spend them on.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Stones, armor and artistry


Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "You have come a long way to speak with me. But fear not, I know why Gakin has sent you, and he was wise to, for I can help you in your search." -- Takar the Seer

Each week, the voidwalker hauls in the Blood Pact fan mail and dumps it at my desk. Those that don't end up lining the felhound's cage typically get used to fuel the furnaces in the succubus' torture den. Every so often, the imp picks one out and dances round the room reading it aloud, while dodging any spells and other projectiles I hurl in his direction. This week, he snatched up this one from Vincent Quillen.
Hi Mr. Hobbs,
I'm playing my first warlock currently, and it's my first character to make it past lvl 20 after trying six other classes. I'm currently at lvl 65, demonology. I've read all of your articles and they played a big part in feeding my love of the mighty lock.
The reason I write is with an idea for an article. After unlocking fel armor, i began to wonder about the various uses of the two armors and if there were any finer points that I'm missing. Also, the spellstone and firestone. As a demo lock, I expect the 1% perk to be indifferent, and my pet feeds on both stats. Is one beter hands down or are there different times for each?
Also, I've been scouring the internet for how to tell when it's a good time to pop Meta in a raid, but all i can find is people saying that it's "an artform."
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance if you decide to write about these questions.
Fan and loyal reader, Vincent Quillen
After suitably punishing the little snot-ball (he's currently cleaning out Matt Rossi's jock-strap drawer), I decided to indulge the little guy for once. Hell, it saved me coming up with anything else to talk about.

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

Blood Pact: Running circles around the Lich King

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "The breaking of this one has been taxing. The atrocities that I have committed upon his soul. He has resisted for so long, but he will bow down before his king soon." -- The Lich King

It's been a while since Blood Pact had a foray into Icecrown Citadel, but we can't leave without a look at the king. With the increasing faction buff, more and more people are starting to encounter the final fight of the instance, either for the first time or as a hard mode. I'm not about to try and explain the whole fight; your best bet is to watch our strategy video for that. What I aim to do here is to once again look at the encounter through the filter of our spell book, to see how we can get that little bit more from the fight.

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

Blood Pact: Truth, science and flying monsters


Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "We do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us, except the ones who are dead." -- GLaDOS

Last week saw things in the world of WoW.com turn on their heads somewhat, with the Archmage Pants and myself trading columns for a week. A little back story might be in order. I was flicking through the forum for the Cataclysm mage changes ("Know your enemy" -- Sun Tzu) and found a lot of crying about spells being removed. For those who didn't read it, the feeling was that spells like Dampen Magic had "no clear role" in the game. Over 1,000 posts later, Ghostcrawler himself felt it necessary to step in and make a semi-retraction of the phrase to stem the flow of tears.

This experience played right into a hypothesis I have that mages are credulous crybabies. I stress here that this is a hypothesis, a tentative explanation for an observation, little better than a guess. However, these things beg to be tested and elevated to the status of theory. And so a test was performed to study both the credulity and propensity for lacrimation of mages. I put forward that this test was entirely successful in validating the hypothesis and that further such studies should be performed to corroborate -- maybe I should ask someone for a research grant. Either way, I feel that we are well on the way to scientifically proving that mages are indeed credulous crybabies.

This, my fellow warlocks, is how you come about facts. It has nothing to do with simply trusting the assertions of someone claiming a list of "facts" with no proper basis in reality. Especially when that someone is a mage.

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

Blood Pact: Leveling up through the Dungeon Finder tool

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "You want him? ... Oh, go ahead. I was gonna kill him anyway." -- Grand Warlock Nethekurse

Over the months, we have looked at the leveling process from a warlock's point of view. Mostly we looked at new talents and abilities, with a few glimpses at key quests. Today, Blood Pact has a look at one of the ways of getting your hands on the XP: the Dungeon Finder.

A lot of attention gets paid to using the Dungeon Finder (DF) at 80 to collect and farm emblems. For sure, this is a great way to get your fresh level 80 character some gear that will enable you to raid. But you can use DF right from level 15 (by which time you should have learned how to curse properly and figured out which end of a Shadow Bolt does the damage). It's a powerful tool for covering the rest of the distance to 80. You can even use it to get into RFC and Stocks, which previously tended to be out of bounds for one faction or the other.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Leveling a warlock, 60 to 80

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven? Behold, now, the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge! And death to the living!" ~ Grand Apothecary Putress

Whether you're racing towards the endgame or pootling along enjoying the ride, everyone likes to make that leveling experience a little smoother. Blood Pact caps off this series of guides with a look at the final (for now) twenty levels. We'll look at the talents you can play with, the spells you can learn and some of the quests you don't want to miss. We'll be covering the Outland and Northrend experience from the warlock's point of view.

Maybe you have been leveling for a while and are looking for some insight into this final push or have had a lock 'parked' at 60 or 70 for some time; hopefully this guide will help you push that demon-loving toon to the final malefic leveling milestone.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

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