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Posts with tag destruction

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Leveling

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

Choose My Adventure: The birth of Turpen, Gnome Warlock

WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

The polls are closed and the votes have been tallied. The audience has decided that for this little experiment, I am going to play a Gnome Warlock while I track my misadventures on my profile. As mentioned in the original post, most of the decisions regarding this character's growth will be made by you, our readers. I'll give weekly updates on my progress via the blog here, but so much more will be happening over on my profile. I've already started a photo album which will contain screenshots of my little 'lock as he goes from level 1 to level 80.

I've already rolled the character and I've named him Turpen, in homage to a certain Englishman on the WoW.com team. I've decided to play a male, because... well, I usually play female characters as you can see on my character list. Let's be different this time around! However, dear readers, there is still more for you to decide. There are three polls behind the cut below. Professions and my talent tree.

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Filed under: Quests, Leveling, Talents

Fire and Brimstone buffed for patch 3.1.2


When patch 3.1 went live, Destruction warlocks (and 0/40/31s) had a lovely time smacking everything in sight with massive Conflagrates. This was promptly nerfed, for PvP purposes; the devs felt it was overpowered for 'locks to be able to do that much, that fast. However, it was acknowledged that Destro would need some PvE buffing to make up for it.

It looks like we'll see that buff in patch 3.1.2, when the deep-Destro talent Fire and Brimstone is currently planned to be changed to:

The first part is entirely reworked, and the second part used to only apply if your target's Immolate had 5 or fewer seconds remaining.

There was also a brief and terrifying time where they were considering changing Glyph of Conflagrate to give an entirely different effect, but fortunately, the current plan is to leave it as-is. Will this F&B revision be enough to make Destruction competitive with Affliction again? We'll see; I know I'll be trying it out.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches

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: WTB Glyph of Haunt...anybody?


Greetings fellow Warlocks! Welcome, to our wicked weekly: Blood Pact! Here, heretical happenings are heard, diabolical deeds are done, and alliteration is always awesome. So continue to sit at your computer, continue to read your monitor, and enjoy the ramblings of Old Man Sentai as much as you're able.

I've dreaded the coming of 3.1 for awhile now. I love the new features of course. Being able to switch to a spec with replenishment any time my raid needs it will certainly be handy, and Ulduar will be a nice change of pace once I get in there -- even if I really wanted to get a few more Naxx achievements done before moving on. What I don't love is the new Affliction. There's so few buttons I feel like I'm playing Burning Crusade style Destruction. (Shadow Bolt, Shadow Bolt, Shadow Bolt, Shadow Bolt...)

3.0 Affliction's rotation went something akin to Shadow Bolt > Haunt > Corruption > Siphon Life > Curse of Agony > Unstable Affliction > Immolate > Shadow Bolt Spam, followed by dot refreshments as needed, and Drain Soul once the target was below 25%. There was some variation based on whether or not the group wanted Curse of Elements, or whether you liked your short duration dots to go up first, but on average that's how it was.

Now that Siphon Life has been removed as an active spell, as well as Unstable Affliction and Immolate being altered so that they're mutually exclusive on a given target, two dots are out of the rotation. I'm sure it's a welcome change for some, but I'll be referencing the period between 3.0 and 3.1 as the golden age of Affliction from now on. Oh well, such is WoW.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Top 3.1 specs so far from 3D Armory

Not to be outdone by TalentChic, the folks at 3D Armory also sent us their lists of what the most popular builds are in the game after patch 3.1, and since everybody seems to be build-hungry lately (and why not -- we each get two!), here they all are.

Warrior: Fury 18/53/0.
Paladin: 0/0/0, which means you need to log in, Paladins! Also 51/5/15 for Holy.
Hunter: 0/0/0 wins here, too, but Survival (6/14/51) comes in next.
Rogue: Combat 15/51/5.
Priest: 14/57/0 for Holy.
Death Knight: 17/0/54 Unholy.
Shaman: Elemental 57/14/0.
Mage: 0/53/18 Fire.
Warlock: 0/41/30 Destruction.
Druid: 14/0/57 Restoration, which surprised me.

Keep in mind that these are from only a small sample of the game, so they're not the most popular specs in the game, just the most popular among those surveyed by the 3D Armory. And unfortunately, unlike TalentChic, it doesn't look like there's any way to see where the points are going, just the distribution of points among the trees (though that reminds us that Blizzard probably has some amazing point-by-point stats on how popular talents are).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Hotfixes for Conflagration and Ulduar

Servers are still getting stabilized, players are reporting bugs left and right, and in general, it's the day after patchmas. So it's not too surprising that we're seeing some hotfixes. So far, here's what Blizz have let us know about:

  • Ulduar:
    • XT-002 Deconstructor's heart aggro radius lowered to 60 yards.
    • Trash before XT-002 Deconstructor disabled temporarily, because there was a problem with them being linked.
    • Shattering a Construct during the Ignis the Furnace Master encounter will now decrease the number of Strength of the Creator stack buffs he has by one.
  • Conflagrate nerfed to do 70% of Immolate's total periodic damage instantly, down from 100%.

The last point is the most significant. The stated reasoning is that destruction is too bursty in PvP, which seems to have been the reasoning for half of the changes we've seen in WotLK. I hear this nerf was not unexpected - Warlocks, how do you feel about it? Was this change deserved?

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Bugs

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: Look at me! I'm Illidan!



The wily Warlock, Will, wantonly waves his wand; working a witchery upon the writings of a whimsical wretch named Whelan. Watching warily, Will awaits the wicked words which he willed. Thus this week's Blood Pact was born.

Last week I covered a deep Destruction build, the week prior to that I covered a Demonology / Destruction hybrid build, and two weeks before I took over this column Zach said most of the things I would say about deep Affliction builds. So, unless there are any Affliction heavy hybrids I haven't heard of yet (which I'd love to hear about it if there is,) all that really leaves for Project: Respec is deep Demonology! So this week, that's what's on the table.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Deep in the third tree


Staring at you from the darkest corner of the dank tavern is a shadowy figure, garbed in deep purples with scarlet trim. As you step closer, you realize that before you stands the dreaded Blood Pact. Behind it, drowning in his own cliches, sits Nick Whelan.

For my second foray into non-Affliction specs, I decided it was time to go deep Destruction with 7 / 7 / 57. There aren't a lot of people who champion this spec, or any spec that includes Chaos Bolt really. But I tried the more popular 0 / 31 / 40 earlier in the week and found it far too similar to the spec I covered last week to justify posting about it so soon. So I did some research into what deep Destruction Warlocks are doing these days, and this is what I came up with.

I was somewhat surprised that this spec decides to put points in Affliction rather than spend the full 13 points in Demonology required to get Demonic Aegis, but part of the experiment is that I don't tweak the specs in any way that might affect DPS. Still, I'm tempted to switch some points into Demonic Aegis over the weekend to see if there's any improvement -- but I digress. Lets get down to business.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Educating myself on fel / emberstorm


The editors of WoW Insider have spoken the dark words, and another edition of Blood Pact has appeared to wreak havoc on the readership. This week, the first installment of Operation: Respec. And yes, columnist Nick Whelan is well aware that other classes have it way worse when dealing with respec costs. Please don't hate him.

I'd like to begin a new project for Blood Pact, which should prove both entertaining to play with, and interesting to write about, if this week is any indication. In an attempt to expand my perspective on the Warlock class -- thus expanding the perspective of this column -- I will test out a variety of different 'cookie cutter' specs, and detail my experiences playing with them. I've ever-so-inventively dubbed this project 'Operation: Respec.'

These won't be perfect tests of course. My contract with WoW Insider doesn't allow me to bill them my expenses, in or out of game. So any money spent on these tests will come straight out of my own digital pocket. I say this not to complain, but rather to explain why I won't be buying new gems, enchants, and gear for every test. Fortunately the stat requirements of the different Warlock specs are relatively similar. Mostly it's just crit rating and haste rating that get switched around, and for those I can at least switch between Spellstone and Firestone, as well as by using different statfood. Glyphs, unfortunately for my bankroll, have become rather essential to different play styles, so I will of course be switching between those within reason.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Warlock changes


Blizzard said that they'd be introducing a lot of changes for the Warlock class in Patch 3.1, and if the incomplete patch notes are any indication, it looks like they're following through on that promise. You can read through the patch notes, but the Warlock changes are incredibly interesting. There are a lot of them, so let's go through them one by one and I'll weigh in with my thoughts on whether the changes are good, bad, or badass. Let's start with the baseline changes.

Curse of the Elements (Rank 5) - Increased to 13% spell damage, up from 10%.
It appears that the effects of Malediction has been rolled into the highest rank of this spell -- which means raiding Warlocks regardless of spec no longer have an excuse not to throw it up during a boss fight. Of course, this also means the Warlocks in the raid will have to talk amongst themselves as to who gets that assignment. It's like the Scorpid Sting of Hunters. It's a fantastic debuff, but it doesn't show up on the damage meters.

Curse of Recklessness - Removed
One of the least utilized curses, if only because there are better armor reduction effects which don't actually help your enemies. The good news is that the armor reduction has been rolled into the next spell...

Curse of Weakness - Now also reduces the armor of the target by 5%.
Warlock curses aside from Curse of Agony are generally utility spells, and this one has just been improved. I'm still wondering where the flee prevention fits in now that Curse of Recklessness is gone, though. We'll see if Blizzard addresses that through another ability.

More changes after the jump...

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Analysis of Warlock changes in 3.1

By now, Warlocks, you've probably had a chance to take a look at the announced changes for patch 3.1. If you're late to the party, come in, I'll take your coat; Blizzard have announced some of the changes they'll be making to the Warlock class in the upcoming 3.1 content patch. Keeping in mind that this list is incomplete (they'll be making more changes, count on it) and subject to change (on the PTR, etc.), let's talk about what they've revealed so far.

Improved Shadow Bolt – this talent now provides a 5% spell critical strike buff (similar to Improved Scorch)

This goes along with what they were saying about Imp Scorch being too much of a "unique snowflake." It also restores group utility to a talent that had it stripped away in 3.0. I like it, a lot. This is also early enough in the tree that almost any warlock can pick it up if their raid needs it.

Improved Soul Leech – this talent now provides Replenishment (similar to shadow priests)

Has Blizz been reading my posts? I'm really glad that they're spreading Replenishment around. And Destruction could use a little bit of mana-back utility itself. Warlocks have always been the utility caster, and this is just stacking that higher and higher. Keep it coming, I say.

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Blood Pact: How the mighty have fallen, 2008 in review


I wasn't kidding the last time I wrote about the decline of Warlocks in the game. It's pretty palpable in major cities like Dalaran, walking around and seeing a glut of Death Knights crowding the mailbox and only the occasional Warlock summoning her Dreadsteed to cruise the cobblestone streets. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy (or sulfuric and crackly, you know) whenever I read an emote from Necrosis. I think it should be a point of pride. The class has fallen off the radar, and the sad part is -- nobody misses us.

How did we get here, though? What happened between the class' popularity or should I say notoriety, from early this year to now? I mean, 3.0 happened, right? Blizzard buffed the class, with all three specs having a unique feel and playstyle. The class has never been more viable... on paper. I mean, Warlock DPS is competitive in PvE and that's the plain truth. It's a different game now. All classes can DPS in Wrath, and if they're played right, they'll do incredibly well. This means that playing a Warlock is now seriously hard work.

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

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