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Posts with tag life-tap

Blood Pact: Destruction 101 at 90 in the end of Mists

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill mentions in a quick announcer voice that green fire spells are sold separately.

So, you just boosted to 90 on your warlock and...now what? This whole pet deal is bananas to you and maybe you've heard that destruction (often abbreviated as "destro") -- is a simple spec, so you figure you'll try that one out first. but where do you start? And how can you learn without embarrassing yourself?

Let's start, shall we?

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Argggggghimonde's Vengeance

Blood Pact Argggggghimonde's Vengeance MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill thinks up a silly idea for the crap talent.

Although I'm pretty sure no one takes this talent, I'll probably have to preface that statement with an "almost" just to be safe. Kil'jaeden's Cunning (KJC) is the "default" level 90 talent because Mannoroth's Fury (MF) is seriously situational and because Archimonde's Vengeance just plain sucks.

PvPers might have used it in the beginning of the expansion, but most PvErs don't give it a second look. The passive damage often doesn't actually work because unavoidable encounter damage can be termed "environmental" -- the same reason why your pets don't die while standing in green goop that otherwise kills you. The active damage just doesn't hit that hard.

Archimonde's Vengeance (AV) needs to be better if it's going to live in the same tier as KJC and MF.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Mistakes other people make

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "So this is hell. I'd never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the "burning marl." Old wives' tales! There's no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is--other people" ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

While I try not to read Arcane Brilliance if I can help it, I did notice that the one on January 16th had a lot of comments and an intriguing title. While I didn't expect Mr. Pants to actually start flaming mages I did hold out some hope for all those comments. Anyway, the piece inspired me to write a similar article. Not so much because there are a lot of warlocks that need improvement but rather they need a place to point others, so they may learn how to play with a lock.

So here's a short list of things I see in groups and raids that could be improved and make the whole experience a lot smoother.

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

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

When should you Life Tap?

Elleiras in her blog Fel Fire posted a humorous yet insightful entry about when Warlocks should Life Tap. She apologizes to all the Priests, Druids, and Shamans (sorry, Paladins, you're out of this equation) for not Life Tapping when there's an HoT on her. This is actually an excellent question for many Warlocks, who either don't Life Tap enough or on time, or Life Tap too much.

When to use Life Tap during a fight is actually kind of tricky. Life Tap eats the GCD, which eats into rotations, which then cuts down DPS. This is why it's almost never a good idea to Life Tap in succession -- even with the 4-piece bonus of the Plagueheart set. A few Warlocks argue that the first Life Tap will benefit the second one, which is true, but that also translates to a 3 second downtime. The only good time to Life Tap is just before you run out of mana so that your next cast won't result in an Out of Mana error message and when you move during a fight and no instant cast DoTs need to be refreshed.

Otherwise, casting Life Tap needs to be at a minimum, except when you have the 4-piece bonus. In that scenario, trying to keep a 100% uptime on the +Spirit buff is ideal, but probably won't happen. In a case where all instant cast DoTs are ticking, however, it's a good spot to insert a Life Tap just before casting a Shadow Bolt. Just don't do it so often that you find yourself Life Tapping when you have more mana than you need. The ideal is ending a boss fight at exactly 0 mana. Of course, Elleiras makes an excellent point, as well, so don't waste those sweet HoTs. When you see a swirly green thing around you (the good kind), Life Tap with gusto.

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Tips

Forum post of the day: Life Tap dancing

Breaking news: a few people still play Warlock and many of them still drive healers crazy. Bravely posting on a Level 1 Alt, Suepah of Wildhammer posed the question, "Why do healers care if I life tap to 10% or so?" She says that even if she taps down when the tank is pulling, she uses a bandage and stays out of the way of the mobs.

Timing is a major key, life tapping while the tank is pulling draws attention away from the task at hand. It also draws away from the healer's mana. My healer gets very frustrated when a Lock takes over his mana pool. To the point where he wanted to take a third rogue instead of a Warlock in a PUG. Life Tap is a cool ability in extended combat situations, but Warlocks can eat or drink at the end of a fight just like any other class.

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Filed under: Warlock, First Aid, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow tank, part 2


Dear corpsified bundles of beautifully-armored joy (but more particularly those who tank Azjol Nerub while wearing Expedition Bracers of the Bandit),

We had a little bit of controversy in the first installment, so I'm just going to state this as baldly as possible; if you hated what I wrote last time, there's a good chance you'll walk away from this one thinking I eat babies. Delicious, delicious babies. While I never mean to offend people, I reserve the right to tell them the truth, or at the very least a highly entertaining and plausible lie.

Truth, she be at times an ugly mistress. And she ain't gettin' any prettier as we move from DPS to tanking.

Tanks have significantly more responsibility, both in groups and raids, and they face the competing directives of maximizing mitigation (to keep their healers happy) and maximizing threat production (to keep their DPS happy). I've healed dozens of Death Knight tanks at this point, and while the average pugged DK tank has gotten noticeably better, there are still a few trends you'd want to be aware of as a healer. The problems in beta right now are made worse by Blizzard unintentionally overselling the ease of tanking on a Death Knight in 5-man runs. Many people seem to have interpreted the statement that they should be able to tank well with Blood, Frost, or Unholy specs as being tantamount to saying they can tank well regardless of how their talent points are spent in those trees.

Any experienced tank can tell you right now that this is not true, but people believing that it is is how you wind up with 11K-life Death Knights taking 7-8K enraged hits from Keristasza in the Nexus. If you've never tanked before but you're interested in tanking on a Death Knight -- or pragmatic enough to know you'll probably wind up tanking a certain number of 5-mans on your DPS Death Knight -- I hope this article helps you avoid what I went through in May 2007 when I started tanking and sucked at it.

I came to the beta to slowly lose my mind trying to heal insane tank damage and gulp Extra Strength Tylenol. And I'm all out of Extra Strength Tylenol.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Humor, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Mage mana costs to be slashed across the board

So Mages. Do you think you spend way too much mana to cast your spells? If you answered yes, here's some good news: The dev team agrees.

However, says Ghostcrawler, they didn't want to reduce the cooldown on Evocation anymore, nor did they want to make Mage Armor so powerful that other Mage armors were no longer worth using. Thus, they simply lowered the mana cost on Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Explosion.

Of course, we still won't know exactly how much until the next build hits the Beta servers, but it seems like it's got to be good news if it's anything of a significant cost reduction. Of course, some Mages are still hoping for a more active mana regeneration mechanic such as the Warlock's Life Tap, but in the meantime, hopefully this reduction is enough to make a difference.

[Thanks to VyseV1 for the heads up!]

Filed under: Mage, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Kalgan offers a possible WoTLK sneak peek for Warlocks

Kalgan chimed in on a thread in which the original poster insisted that Warlocks, despite dodging the bullet on life tap, still have a nerf bat incoming somewhere. He rebuffed the poster with a nice little tidbit that may intrigue Warlocks. He also ensures us that, no, he does not hate certain classes.

He says that they'd like to give Warlocks some type of escape or defense mechanism so that they don't have to balance warlocks around the idea that they'd be "tanking" melee classes in PvP. By melee classes, I assume he means Warriors, who can shake off a Warlock's main defense, Fear, with very little trouble in multiple ways.

He even brings up a spell that Warlocks may be getting in the expansion.

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Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Kalgan confirms the Life Tap and Flametongue rollbacks, offers up some Arena numbers

Sweet, back to taking over the world. Warlocks rejoice, Kalgan has just officially confirmed that previously mentioned removal of the Lifetap nerf was intentional. While they were originally concerned that Warlocks were still too overly represented in the arenas, he said, a recent downtrend in their numbers convinced them to withdraw the nerfs, at least until the numbers settle down again. He also shared a chart that revealed Blizzard's analysis of the number of a class in each arena type vs. their desired numbers for the 2200+ and 1850 score ranges. The numbers are shown as a percentage by class and team type. A Percentage of 100% means they're at Blizzard's expected representation level. Above that means they outpace it, below means they're below it.

We'll show you the charts here after the break.

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Filed under: Shaman, Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Classes, Forums, Arena

Lifetap and Flametongue changes rolled back on the PTR?

While the PTRs are still down to apply the latest round of changes, World of Raids has already sniffed out a few changes and additions to the latest patch files.

Possibly the most interesting change is the fact that the Warlock Life Tap nerf seems to be currently completely reversed. The spell is restored to its 2.3 status, with the highest rank swapping 580 health for 580 mana at the base value.

In addition, the Mortal Strike debuff appears to have been removed from the description of the Flametongue weapon and totem for Shamans.

Priests will now also be able to dispel up to 10 friendly and 10 hostile targets using Mass Dispel.

Also added this patch were the musical files for the Sunwell, as well as a handful of new effects with names such as "Quest Complete," "Summon Festival Scorchling," and "Guzzle Beer," which look to most involve the seasonal content for the Midsummer Fire Festival.

Welcome to progressive patching, folks. This is an incredible turn of events for sure. Not only is one of the most controversial nerfs in WoW history completely reversed, but it seems that Shamans can't quite celebrate their re-ascension to PvP power just yet. These could be temporary, of course, and we'll see what happens when the dust settles. If Blizzard has simply decided to revert these changes in the short term, how will they tackle the underlying issues of Warlock mana usage and Shaman PvP viability? Will they put it off for another patch, or take a different angle as testing continues? We'll be eager to find out!

Filed under: Priest, Shaman, Warlock, Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, Buffs

PTR Notes: Shaman buffs, Life Tap "change," and more

The PTRs just came back up about an hour ago from a new build being applied; some people were able to get on earlier, but any information they found is liable to be buggy. Here's what's been found since the realms came back online for real:
  • Shaman:
    • Flametongue weapon puts a 50% healing reduction on the target for 5 seconds, refreshing with every hit.
    • Toughness: each point in the talent now reduces the duration of movement-impairing effects by 10%, in addition to the previous effect of increasing armor. This means 50% reduced duration at 5/5.
    • Shamanistic Rage changed; now reduces all damage taken by 30% and gives a chance to regenerate mana equal to 30% [was 15%] of your AP. Lasts 15 s [was 30 s].
    • Global cooldown on dropping totems reduced from 1.5 s to 1 s.
  • [Warlock] Life Tap (rank 3) converts 20% of your maximum health to 20% of your maximum mana. Still terrible, and not very much of a change from the 15% it was at before.

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Filed under: Shaman, Warlock, Patches

Latest Life Tap change is up on the PTR

With the PTRs up again, the biggest thing everyone was looking for was to see how Life Tap was adjusted. The reports are in, and it seems like not only was the change adjusted quite a bit, it's almost arguably a buff to the skill.

Tipster Fortine linked us this thread, where a handful of Warlocks are reporting a return of 15% of their max mana at a cost of 5% of their max health, without the Improved Life Tap skill. The question, of course, is whether this is intended or not, but with no blue confirmation, it is hard to say at the moment if this was someone misplacing a piece of code, or an actual intended change.

It's definitely an improvement from the last iteration of the skill. However, scaling concerns could come into play. 5% of max HP may make this a buff in PvP, with Warlocks able to give up less health per Life Tap. However, PvE Warlocks will still have to lifetap more often to get the same amount of mana as before, which will mean less DPS for them while they wait on global cooldowns, and more Stamina will still technically be liability for them, even if not as much as before. We'll see if it's tweaked further though, it seems likely that the 5% figure on the HP may be deemed a bit too low, and we doubt Blizzard meant to buff Life Tap in PvP while nerfing it in PvE.

Filed under: Warlock, Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, News items

March of the Warlocks

The World of Warcraft community has pounded it into our heads that the recent Life Tap change was pretty lame. Luckily, Hortus has let us know that there will be additional changes coming to Lifetap, as Eliah told us a bit earlier.

I'm not here to hit you with the shovel of logic, detailing the Life Tap change yet again, so don't worry. My question is on the methods of giving feedback that the WoW community has displayed. Most specifically: Protests.

The Warlocks were a little more creative in their griefing than the Shaman have been. While it hasn't happened on all servers, many of them saw Warlocks summoning, enslaving, or kiting many powerful demons into the heart of Shattrath. Uvuros, Pit Lords, et cetera. Did this non-peaceful protest have anything to do with the devs' decision to make further adjustments to Life Tap? Personally, I somewhat doubt the protest was a direct contributor to that decision.

I don't think that a protest has ever directly changed something in WoW. I don't believe it strikes fear into the heart of Blizzard. However, it does bring the fact that there are issues into the spotlight. Is this the best way to do that? No, probably not. It does seem to get noticed, at the very least.

[EDIT: My apologies for any misunderstanding: I am aware that this protest was unofficial and not widely organized amongst the Warlock community, and I do not mean to trivialize the feedback the Warlock community has given on the topic. It is merely something that accompanied the Life Tap incident that I wished to supply thoughts on, and see the views of others.]

Filed under: Warlock, Patches

Life tap changes coming

This just in: many players are unhappy with the Life Tap changes that have come on the PTR. But in all seriousness, Blizzard has evidently taken notice, and they promise that more changes are to come. Specifically, Hortus just posted the following in the test realm forums: "Some changes are going to be made to lifetap in an upcoming PTR build. Until that time I think we've got enough feedback." So now it's time to just sit tight and see what happens, I suppose. That doesn't mean we can't talk about it -- how would you deal with Life Tap to fill Blizz's goals of making it hurt more in PvP, while not totally breaking it for PvE?

[Thanks, Fortine Gorganash - H]

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