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Posts with tag warlock-demonology-blood-pact

Blood Pact: How Mists of Pandaria will fix warlock PvP

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. 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. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

Greetings, warlocks. I know that I have generally focused heavily on PvE instead of PvP, but this is more so due to the fact that PvP is a difficult subject to generalize. Strategies are specific to the composition that you run and what you're up against, and they are exceptionally difficult to define in rote patterns. That's the draw that PvP has over PvE -- it's always changing, always different, always unpredictable, at least in the good cases. Yet there is one thing I can say about PvP: Affliction is the spec of choice.

Then again, when are the few times where that hasn't been true? There might be small pockets here and there when demonology or destruction has some meager viability in the PvP world, but they've normally been rather short-lived. Affliction has generally been our default PvP spec, much as mages have relied on frost. No more! I know people are tied of hearing it, but Mists of Pandaria will fix it.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Initial impressions of 4.3 raiding as a warlock

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. 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. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

The first week of raiding after the release of patch 4.3 has more or less come and gone by this point, and while raiding isn't everything, it is the primary focus on this tier. Not only do we finally get to tackle with Deathwing himself, but Blizzard also introduced the Raid Finder tool in order to bring more players into the raiding game. Another part of this patch was an effort to bring destruction's damage up to par with that of our other two specs.

While there is still much more time needed in order to tell how exactly things are going to play out, for now it is time to lay down the initial impressions that raiding within this recent patch has left in my mouth. Some are good, some are bad, but the common denominator is that, hey -- at least we aren't mages.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Learning from the witch doctor

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. 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.

I have been grateful as of late to have been invited into the Diablo 3 beta. While this might just seem like some bragging that has no relation to WoW, you couldn't be more wrong. If there is one thing that I have learned while playing through Diablo 3, it is that the game has been heavily influenced by the many paths that WoW has taken over the years. While the ARPG and MMO genre may not appear to have much crossover at first glance, the fundamentals are all there, more so in a game such as Diablo.

The witch doctor class in particular has been heavily inspired not just by the Diablo necromancer but also by WoW's warlock, even going so far as to have the Haunt spell, much in the same capacity that we do. As much as the development team has clearly learned from WoW, I think it is fair to say that there are quite a few things that went into creating such an amazing new game, and some of those things can also be brought back into WoW.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: The future of demonology balance

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. 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.

Last week, we talked about the future development of affliction warlocks, discussing how the spec is impacted by non-damage-related factors such as encounter design and utility. Both of these game features play a significant role in the viability of any spec. More so than ensuring that specs are balanced in terms of raw, dummy DPS, Blizzard also has to ensure that specs are compatible with a raid's design as a whole. This week, we'll talk some about demonology and what needs to be done to keep it viable, yet also interesting and fun to play.

It was noted last week that I wasn't able to get much into PVP balance, which is fair, as I didn't make many comparisons at all. PVP balance is an entirely different beast from anything else in the game. PVP balance rests just as much on which specs are popular as it does on the viability of a spec itself. If assassination rogues have a high representation and affliction has a slightly better counter to them, then affliction would end up being a better PVP choice, regardless of how the other two specs fare. I'll attempt to put more PVP perspective into the feature, but know that it's far more difficult to balance for all the variable situations you might come across.

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Filed under: Warlock, (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

Cataclysm Beta: Warlock evilness (goodness) in build 12984

If you follow the WoW Insider team on Twitter (and you should, if you haven't already), you were treated to some sweet hilarity early this morning when information of an upcoming beta build woke us up with a swift fist to the face. And let me tell you -- it has left an impression. Of all the builds that have come and gone, this one screams the loudest, telling the tale of just how close Cataclysm is to breaking the horizon. Instead of another huge list of major overhauls, this patch brings a good amount of substance to smaller but still important elements of the game. We're seeing new achievements, feats of strength, non-combat pets and spell refinements. And for the warlock class, there are changes that look dead sexy and are definitely worth a stare or two.

But before we dive into this fresh cesspool of puppy love, do keep in mind that there are spoilers ahead. If you lay awake at night anxious that the day ahead may shatter your dreams of a virgin expansion experience, you may want to skip this post. However, if you are craving Cataclysm goodness or just can't control the temptation any longer, come on in -- the water is warm and there is plenty of Unending Breath to go around.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, News items, (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: Warlock professions

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest, brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "The slightest loss of concentration is all it takes." -- Medivh.

Selecting professions for your characters often comes down to a choice of utility; if you have several toons, you may want to make some gather and others be the crafters. If you only have the one character at 80, there is a greater desire to be self-sufficient. Professions are also one of those things that many people feel are a part of their character and help define them almost as much as their class.

If you're uncertain which professions your warlock should take up then this is the place for you, as Blood Pact takes a look at all 14 and considers which are of the most use to the 'lock on the go.

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Filed under: Warlock, Raiding, (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

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