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Posts with tag demonology

Patch 3.0.2 primer for Warlocks part II

Demonology
Let's now take a look at the Demonology tree. Out of all the trees, Demonology has always been about utility. Obviously the most pet-centric spec, Patch 3.0.2 brings interesting synergies with the pet and Warlock that also brings significant gains in DPS. It's also still a great PvP spec, although Warlocks who choose to pursue SL/SL take a hit from the survivability nerfs in Demonology and miss out on some cool 51-point toys.

On the first tier, we already discussed the nerf to Demonic Embrace, which now only grants 10% total Stamina instead of 15%. The Spirit penalty was removed, however, and it actually matters because we actually get spell power gains from Spirit through Fel Armor. Five points here is mandatory. There's also Improved Imp, which we'll skip because we won't be using the Imp much as a Demonologist, anyway.

And then there's Improved Healthstone, which I highly recommend whether you raid or PvP. It's notable that when I tested it in Beta, players are no longer allowed to possess more than one Healthstone, regardless of rank. Because of this change, you might as well have the best one. Your raid or team will thank you for it.

On the second tier we'll find Improved Health Funnel, which was buffed to grant a mitigation mechanic while our pet is under the effect of Health Funnel. I'd normally say take it, but we'll have our hands full with other talents later on. If you use your pet to tank a lot, this talent helps. Otherwise, you can skip it.

On the other hand, you have to put three points in Fel Vitality, which rolls Fel Intellect and Stamina together. This one is a no-brainer. Demonic Brutality is a tougher choice. This is the buffed Improved Voidwalker which also increases the DPS of our Felguard. This is about as close as we'll get to an Improved Felguard for now, so it just might be worth investing in.

Improved Succubus in tier three has been reworked to a more usable form by making Seduction instant cast, which is awesome. It's not like we ever used her for Lash of Pain or Soothing Kiss, anyway. If you really want pure utility, pick this up as it will also situationally be handy in PvP. Despite the improvement, though, I'd much rather spend three points in Demonic Aegis on the same tier for the spell power bonus to Fel Armor.

Two key talents are also on the third tier -- the weaker but more accessible Soul Link and life-saving Fel Domination. Take them. Speaking of key talents, max out all the talents in tier four. Unholy Power opens up three different talents and Master Summoner is necessary to make Fel Domination absolutely worth it.

The good news is that Demonic Sacrifice is now completely optional. If you're a fan of demon-less raiding, which I admittedly am not, then pick this up to go along with a hybrid Destruction spec. Otherwise you can skip this talent and Master Conjuror, both on the fifth tier. It's important to note, however, that Firestones and Spellstones have been reworked to be weapon buffs like Mana Oils. They no longer need to be equipped but instead are a 5-charge consumable item that grants significant bonuses to direct damage spells or DoTs.

Mana Feed on the sixth tier is a good investment, particularly because Felguards eat through their mana extremely fast. Master Demonologist is another vital talent not only for the passive benefits but because it's required for Demonic Empowerment. That's about eight talents spent on this tier, so it's good that we can skip the underwhelming Improved Enslave Demon completely.

Tier seven is a mixed bag. If you're heavy into PvP, you should probably max out Demonic Reslience, specially with the weaker Soul Link. Otherwise, you can skip it and invest in the more DPS-oriented Demonic Knowledge, which should do wonders for you in PvE. Also on this tier is the utility spell Demonic Empowerment, which I've enthused about. I like it. I have it hotkeyed. I hope you like it, too.

Past the seventh tier we will be foregoing hybridization and should be committing to full Demonology. It's also where all these master and demon synergies start falling into place. Demonic Tactics on tier nine is a flat out DPS boost that should be maxed out. We'll also need it for another cool talent on the next tier. If we plan on sending our pet into the fray -- which we should, really -- Fel Synergy will help keep it alive. The more damage we deal, the more our demons stay up. How cool is that?

Improved Demonic Tactics is on the ninth tier and gives our demons that necessary punch for Demonic Empathy. The DPS boost is moderate at 3%, but is virtually guaranteed to be up for either the Warlock or her pet at all times. It's pretty weak for something so deep in the tree, however, so I recommend skipping it. What we're not skipping, however, is Summon Felguard. No, really.

Improved Demonic Tactics will come in handy for Demonic Pact, which grants a raidwide buff whenever our pet crits. If you're a raider, you'll want this. It won't stack with Shaman totems, though, so it's only good if you have considerable spell power. If you mostly PvP, you can skip it.

Finally, we have Metamorphosis. I wanted to do a Skill Mastery on this talent because it really needs to be discussed. First of all, I honestly don't think it's a finished spell. At its best, it's a 30 second DPS boost every three minutes and a perfect panic button for PvP. It boosts a Demonology Warlock's survivability to the stratosphere because of the 600% armor bonus and snare and stun duration reductions. It's very nearly a Warlock's version of The Beast Within.

Be warned, however, that the associated abilities in demon form are situational and even downright silly. Shadow Cleave gives you a low-damage melee strike... that also hits allies. I mean, if you have 30 seconds in this godly, er, demonic form, why would you waste your GCD on a silly melee strike? Then there's Challenging Howl, an AoE taunt for those Warlocks who've always dreamed of being Tankadins. Of course, the only thing vaguely tank-ish about a Warlock in demon form is the armor, and it's not even that high. Oh, and once 30 seconds are up, you're quite certain to die.

Immolation Aura is great, though. It scales very well with spell damage and is there to teach those big, bad Warriors a lesson for picking on us. It lasts 15 seconds, so if you can't get out of melee range within that span of time, at least you're dealing some hurt. It's pretty much the best demon form ability, although you'll rarely use it while raiding. There's also Demon Charge, which is like a Warrior's Intercept. The trouble is, it works from a minimum of 8 yards, meaning you'll actually have to get close to someone you're already far away from to begin with. [CLARIFICATION: That statement was supposed to mean "you're already 8 yards away, why the hell would I charge to my opponent?"]

I don't know about you, but I was fairly certain that our strategy was to kite things, not to tank things. Pretty much everything about Metamorphosis is counter-intuitive. That said, the ability does have its uses, and can be considered a boost to DPS when raiding. Hopefully it'll still get fixed at some point and, for the love of demons, it should get a female form. Even if you go deep into Demonology, you're completely excused if you skip Metamorphosis.

Zach helps guide you through the changes in 3.0.2, so you can be enthralled in all the demonic love Blizzard's thrown together. Check out other 3.0.2 Talent Guides, too, as well as everything about the so-called Echoes of Doom.

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

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Demonology 101: the Felguard


Meet the bad boy of Warlock pets, the Felguard. This 41-point Demonology talent is the favorite pet of many Warlocks -- and I have to confess, after speccing Demonology in the Wrath Beta -- I kind of like him a lot, too. He's tough, he dishes out some hurt, and he can stun opponents every thirty seconds. It was also originally the only demon with Avoidance, but the passive ability was buffed and handed out to all demons in Wrath or Patch 3.0.

When solo, the Felguard makes a great tank, although it loses out to the Voidwalker in terms of armor and health. However, Anguish and a higher DPS makes it generate more threat, allowing it to hold aggro better. Having Demonic Frenzy means that the Felguard gets stronger and stronger (up to 50%) with each damaging attack, and Cleave is a basic attack that can hit multiple opponents -- although care needs to be taken when used in PvE as Cleave can break crowd control. You should key bind Intercept as it can interrupt spellcasting, although it has a minimum 8 yard range so stunning its current target can sometimes be tricky. Think of a Felguard as Warrior lite.

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

Demonology 101: the Imp


Ok, this is fun. Out of all the demons I can summon, I hate the imp the most. Not for any other reason than it has major lip. Fortunately for me, because I prefer Affliction, I don't have to deal with Rupjub's tinny whining in Wrath of the Lich King. On the other hand, Destruction Warlocks will have to suffer them because they're the perfect pets for the tree.

Some basic stuff first... imps don't need a Soul Shard to summon, so it's great for lazy Warlocks. It also has a basic Firebolt that you'll need to set to auto-cast because that's pretty much all it can do once you've toggled it to attack. Firebolt was nerfed to a 2.5 second cast -- up from 2 -- but there are a lot of talents that pump up the imp's DPS (including the silly Demonic Power which brings back Firebolt's casting time to the original 2). It also provides a couple of group buffs -- the Fire Shield, which is kind of like a Druid's Thorns but with a Fire Resistance bonus; and Blood Pact, a Stamina buff that used to get a Warlock grouped with the tank. Blood Pact has been changed to grant a health bonus, rather than Stamina, so it will no longer stack with Commanding Shout.

Finally, an imp can Phase Shift, a sort of self-Banish that only breaks when the imp attacks. A Phase Shifted imp used to be standard for Affliction Warlocks with Dark Pact, because of the imp's high mana pool and monstrous regeneration rate. That's all set to change in Wrath, however, with the improvements to the Felhunter. The imp blows things up, that's kind of its nature, so in Wrath of the Lich King, if you're a Warlock that likes to blow things up, the imp is the demon that blows things up right with you.

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

Warlock changes in Beta build 8926


The nerf bat swung low and hard. Did it hit Warlocks? Well... yes and no. This is the stage in Beta where things are tuned downwards -- notoriously labeled the nerf patch -- and Warlocks are big, fat nerf targets. On the other hand, some spells got buffs and others were reworked. This is just Beta, so don't panic. Classes are buffed and nerfed throughout the testing process until everything is finely tuned.

Without further ado: they nerfed Death's Embrace to grant 9% crit to all Shadow Spells when an opponent is at 20% or below health, down from 15% crit. Eradication can no longer be a permanent buff now as it now notes that, "This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 sec". On the other hand, Death's Embrace and Eradication got cool new icons. Dark Pact, which I raved about when I talked about the Felhunter, has been nerfed back to its current form of granting 100% of the mana drained from pet (down from 200% in previous builds).

Curse of Exhaustion was nerfed to a 30% movement speed reduction, down from 50%. It's now back to the live realm's value but without the benefit of Amplify Curse, which was reworked in Beta. Fel Armor's mana regeneration was removed and replaced with a health regeneration rate of 2% per 5 seconds. I'm not too sure how to feel about that, but since Warlocks treat health as mana, anyway, it's not such a substantial nerf but merely a mechanical change. More nerfs and a few pleasant surprises after the jump.

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

Instant Corruption and other infernal joys


Hot on the heels of Blizzard asking Warlocks for feedback on Metamorphosis, the Wrath development team shows how amazingly fast they work and how they actually listen to players. Koraa and Ghostcrawler materialized into the Warlock Beta forums to announce -- simultaneously on separate threads -- that Metamorphosis was going to change significantly in an upcoming Beta build, with the changes happily incorporating most of the feedback that players threw in.

First of all, Metamorphosis will no longer replace a summoned demon -- a no-brainer feature that should have been there from the start considering that most talents in the tree buff up the Warlock's demon! It will also now increase armor by 600%, up from 360%, a coefficient that scales better with a Warlock's base armor of... cloth. Significantly, the demon form will now also increases all damage by 40%, after players realized that turning into a demon with many melee abilities and being cut off from normal spells actually reduced their DPS. Speaking of normal spells, Warlocks in demon form can now cast those, too. These changes come in addition to a few others that Blizzard is working on such as a few demon form-exclusive abilities -- and it seems like Demonology will finally be truly, diabolically fun. [EDIT: In my excitement I forgot to mention that the spell was reverted to a 5-minute cooldown and the form lasts 45 seconds. Still awesome!]

I griped about this on the last Blood Pact along with a throng of other Warlocks, and it seems like Blizzard has heard us -- Corruption will now be baseline instant cast! It's a change that has been a long time coming, and it's finally turning real. Improved Corruption will instead increase the damage of Corruption by up to 20%, effectively negating Empowered Corruption and hopefully freeing up space for a new, exciting talent or at least more points to use in an already bloated tree.

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

Metamorphosis feedback wanted

For all of you Warlock beta testers out there, Ghostcrawler is looking for your help! Since the Wrath Beta began, Metamorphosis has been one of those abilities that sound cool in theory, but the application was totally wrong, more or less. Ghostcrawler has put out a call for focused, constructive feedback on the ability. When you head over there, keep in mind that Ghostcrawler wants feedback specifically about Metamorphosis in this thread, and 'get rid of it' isn't constructive feedback. Those of you not beta testing may be interested in the thread as well, since it might be a pretty strong indicator of where Demonology will end up.

The most common feedback I've seen is that the ability renders most of your other talent points null and void for the duration of the transformation, rather than synergizing with them. I find myself agreeing with that wholeheartedly. It's an interesting concept, but no top end talent should nullify everything before it unless it's good enough to make up for all of those talent points you lost. Metamorphosis definitely does not have 51 talent points baked into it, and I'd say it would be impossible to even do that.

Filed under: Warlock, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Warlock talent changes added to official talent calculators

For every major class mechanic overhaul in the Wrath Beta, there's also a few minor tweaks for other classes as Blizzard works on perfecting the new talents and class balance for release. Today, it's the Warlocks' turn. MMO-Champion has discovered a few changes to the official talent calculator for the Warlock. Check it out after the jump.

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

Wrath Beta patch notes: Warlock part I

So, the world (and WoW Insider) is alive with the sound of the Wrath of the Lich King beta, and it's high time that we take a look at our favorite commander of evil... the Warlock. We'll want to be sure we understand what's coming for us, so as not to let anyone think those other evil guys are horning in on our territory. And, yeah, there's definitely some things changing.

A lot of the changes are a little hard to noggin out -- are they meant to be buffs? Nerfs? Inexplicably different, but not really better or worse? Demonology is certainly getting a thorough shuffle, but it's hard to say whether it's good or bad. We'll chat more about it after the cut. Let's start with what the first beta patch notes obviously say, and consider what each item means. Then, in Part II, we'll start looking at each tree individually, with each of its new spells.

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

WWI '08 Panel: Warlock

Warlocks got a few mentions at this morning's WWI class panel, not only with confirmation of some previously mentioned spells in the form of Demon Form and the Demonic Circle, but in relation to the Mage, confirming the eternal struggle that seems to go on between the two classes. Still, what these mentioned changes do for the class, I believe, is mostly unclear.

Demon Form and Damage

Demon Form, otherwise known as Illidan form to the dev team, is something that a lot of Warlocks having been asking for for quite some time. Admittedly, it's pretty cool. Being able to morph into a Demon and gaining temporary access to a whole new skill set to devastate the enemy with? Yeah, I can't see that not being fun. But the question remains: How will it perform?

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Blood Pact: Destro the only way to go?

Raiding warlocks have a very specific role - dealing damage. As we progress further in the high end-raiding game, one thing becomes more and more apparent. Our much-envied range of playstyles diminishes and we seem to be shoehorned, like other classes, into pretty much a single cookie-cutter spec.

The spec in question is destruction or 0/21/40 specifically. This spec capitalizes on the wonderful scalability of shadow bolt and consistently outperforms affliction when good spell hit and crit gear becomes available. For a detailed look at the 0/21/40 build, check out my "A Warlock's descent into Destruction" article.

I've recently respecced back to an affliction spec (40/0/21) just to revisit the good ol' days of mobility (instant DoTs) and an "unending" mana pool (Dark Pact). I know we tend to look back on the past with rose-colored glasses, and true enough, my experience with affliction again was ... less than satisfying. Why the difference?

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

Build Shop: Warlock 24/37/0


Every Tuesday, Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players.

Ah, warlocks. Before the Burning Crusade, there was no class I hated more. Of course, my opinion of the class did a 180 once I got my own Warlock to 70. This build (and variants of it) is often called SL/SL, because it picks up both Siphon Life and Soul Link (talents in the Affliction and Demonology trees, respectively). Unlike most other Warlock builds that focus on damage output, this build is meant to help you outlast your opponents by mitigating some of the damage you take, while using Siphon Life and Drain Life to get your health back. Warlocks with this build can be annoyingly difficult to kill, and is still a popular spec in 2v2 Arena.

The downside (and there's almost always a downside, folks) is that you won't top any DPS charts when it comes to PvE -- it's just the nature of the build. If you think you can live with that, I strongly encourage you to try this build out for yourself. I'm a big fan. And if you're looking for even more info on it, Zach covered this build in-depth last week.

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Filed under: Warlock, Build Shop

Brutallus goes ballistic on the PTR

Warlocks who have always been a bit frustrated when they go into Shadow Labyrinth and see all those huge, delicious demons who refuse to be enslaved will get a kick out of this: It seems that a warlock on the PTR managed to enslave one of the biggest, baddest demons we've yet seen in the World of Warcraft: Brutallus, the pit lord boss in the Sunwell Plateau. Not only that, he then managed to get him out of the instance and set him loose on the docks, where he proceeded to smash up all the level 1 sightseers and the level 70 Adventurers alike and generally make a huge mess of things.

This is a bug that is almost sure to be fixed before the patch goes live, of course, and with good reason. It'd be a bit of a drag if life for the Shattered Sun Offensive was a constant stream of fighting off massively powerful pit lords unleashed by a stream of bored warlocks. But still, for one brief, shining moment, all you Demonologists can bask in the glow of true power, and know that you once caused one of the mightiest of the Burning Legion to bend to your whim. Yeah, that's right, it's good to be the Warlock. And your parents said studying the dark arts would never get you anywhere.

Thanks for the tip and the screen shots, Pamine!

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Bugs, Humor, Screenshots, NPCs

Build Shop: Warlock ??/41+/??


This will be a somewhat unusual (and self-serving) Build Shop. You see, I have a Warlock alt, rolled one day when I was bored at level 60 with my priest, trying to get my Devout gloves. The warlock has always been either Affliction or Demonic Sacrifice-based, but I'd like to try out the Felguard for leveling purposes (currently, I'm at level 55). The question is, what Felguard spec should I use?

From my research in the official forums and a few other places, and from playing around with the talent calculator, here's the best I've been able to come up with: 15/46/0 or 5/46/10. Fairly similar, as you can see. However, I'm somewhat uncomfortable with both builds; essentially, few of the points that aren't in Demonology really satisfy me.

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Filed under: Warlock, Features, Leveling, Talents, Build Shop

Build Shop: Warlock 0/40/21



I apologize for this week's Build Shop being a day late; I've been driving all around North Carolina and internet access has been spotty. This week we look at the master of fire and shadow, the Warlock. I've got a lock at approximately level 55, so I'd rate my knowledge of the class "medium." This one should be a bit less noobish than last week's Warrior write-up, at any rate.

This build comes courtesy of Rixnor, of Serious Business on Duskwood (H), who "thought [he] would show you a Raiding Demonology build that doesn't get much love." He's tried 0/21/40 and 41/X/X, and likes 0/40/21 better for raiding. He says he "felt gimp" in 0/21/40 due to having to have a pet out all the time, a lot of the Destruction talents not doing much for him (he likes shadow), and aggro limitations. As he rightly points out, pretty much any good caster is putting out as much dps as he can without pulling aggro off the tank, which means anything that reduces threat increases available DPS. One thing I don't know is how much Soulshatter changes this balance, but still, reduced threat is nice.

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Filed under: Warlock, Features, Talents, Build Shop

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