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Posts with tag project-respec

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: 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

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