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Posts with tag warlocks

Blood Pact: How to be a professional Warlock


Blood Pact is a weekly column here at WoW Insider, where Nick Whelan delves into the darkest corner of the Slaughtered Lamb Inn, to take a peek at Warlocks and what they do.

I've been thinking for awhile now that I'd like to approach Blood Pact a bit differently. Thus far the bulk of my posts have focused on playing a Warlock at level 80. Granted, a casual Warlock at 80, but still, my aim has been towards max level players. Aside from the obvious problem that raises of excluding lower level 'locks, this approach pointlessly limits my available subject matter. And that's just plain silly. So, since I still haven't wriggled my way into a new raid group, I think this is a good opportunity to delve into some of the topics I've been ignoring, with the goal of writing a more balanced column in the future.

While pondering what specifically I should post this week, I perused the writings of some of my fellow class columnists, and discovered that most of them had, at some point, explored their class' profession choices. A topic which I then discovered had never been broached by Blood Pact. But then, since the topic of the post is rather evident in the title of the post, I guess there's no point in belaboring its introduction. I'll start with the secondary professions, move on to the gathering professions, and finish up with the production professions.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

QuickArmory's Stats tool lets you browse and inspect popular talent builds

We've been covering quite a few different ways to see what players are up to in terms of talents after dual specs have been released (both 3D Armory and TalentChic have good information if you're looking for it), and here's another: Erorus at QuickArmory sent us some info on how to pull some talent demographics out of his site as well. He's created a Talent stats page that needs a little explanation, but is actually full of great info on what kinds of builds players are choosing. First, choose a class at the top, and then you'll be taken to a screen where you can see, in percentage points, the given percentage of players of that class who took those points on the tree. In other words, if you look at the Mage page, 62% (as of this writing) of Mages surveyed by the application took at least one point in Inceneration (and 61% took all the points), but only 1% of Mages put any points in Blazing Speed (probably because it sucks -- oh snap!). You can also see the percentage points by spec (by clicking the tabs at the top) and even some general distribution statistics on how people chose to spec within the dual spec system. And the main page for each class includes some percentages on glyph choices as well.

But it gets wilder -- you can even compare populations by clicking on the talents, so you can look at, for example, all the Warlocks who specced Felguard (they're using Glyph of Felguard, duh), or all of the Hunters who specced both Explosive Shot and Aimed Shot.

Very impressive. Of course, keep in mind the population here: these are only level 80 characters already in the QuickArmory system (about 12k as of this writing), so it's far from a representative sample of the entire WoW population. But then again, they're also self-selecting -- people who have put themselves into QuickArmory are likely to be more on top of good talent and glyph choices anyway. At any rate, even with the small selection, there are lots of fascinating ways to look at this talent data.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Talents

Phat Loot Phriday: Soulscribe


Hey hey, now we're talking. Here's our first Ulduar item, and it is an excellent caster dagger.

Name: Soulscribe (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDB)
Type: Epic Unique Main-hand Dagger
Damage/Speed: 88-283 / 1.80 (103.3 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +54 Stamina, +49 Intellect. These stats and the name point to Warlocks as the main users of this dagger, but really, given the rest of the stats, almost any caster could get some good use out of this thing. The main thing it's missing is Spirit, so if you count on that, you might want to look elsewhere, but this is Ulduar gear: chances are it's an upgrade no matter who you are.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

Changes in the 3.1 live patch notes

Now that we have official patch notes for patch 3.1, I thought I'd take a look and see what changed between the last PTR notes and today. And the answer is: not much. Only eight new/changed lines, and nothing that I'd call major. But you may disagree, dear reader, and so I'll list everything I found right here.

  • [Hunter] Roar of Sacrifice can be used on the hunter only
  • [Shaman] Unleashed Rage: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. No longer increases agility, but instead increases your total expertise by 3/6/9. [was 3/6/9%, though that was probably a typo]
  • [Warlock] Drain Soul: Each time Drain Soul deals damage to a target which can grant experience, it now has a chance to generate a Soul Shard

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Buffs

WoW Insider Show live today at 3:30pm Eastern


Oh yes, the official podcast of WoW Insider is back on the air today at 3:30pm Eastern (which is April 4, 2009 3:30 PM EDT -- like what we did there?), and it's going to be a blast. Not only will Turpster be on with us, and I believe Michael "Belfaire" Sacco should also be in attendance, but we're welcoming one of the newest writers on WoW Insider, Mr. Nick Whelan. Nick originally wrote about Warlocks at his blog, Curse of Senility (and still does), but we've recently recruited him to start writing our Blood Pact column, and so today on the show we'll be talking Warlocks: where they are now, where they'll be in 3.1, and where they want to be in general. And we'll also talk about all the most popular posts for the past week, including the April Fools news, the latest on the next big content patch, and where 25-man gear should sit in relation to the 10-man loot.

And of course we'll answer your emails, which you can still send to us at theshow@wow.com. Should be fun. Tune in over on the Ustream page (or just in the second half of this post -- you'll find an embed there) at the time listed above this afternoon, and sit back and let the soothing sounds of WoW Insider raid your ears like so many groups through Naxx. The only epic loot we drop... is knowledge.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Bosses, WoW Insider Show

Warlocks in the Arena

There were a few interesting notes coming out of those early Arena rankings we saw the other day, but probably most interesting is that Warlocks have appeared to come back with a bit of a vengeance. They're not on super solid ground yet (the Death Knight seems to be the overwhelming force, and as long as you throw a Pally and a DPS in the same group with them, you can do alright), but they're definitely higher in those rankings than we've seen them before. And just in time for that little surge comes this great series from Yet Another Warlock Nerf about how to take your Warlock into the Wrath Arenas.

He's got some excellent tips on talents and gear -- when you're a Warlock in the Arenas, most of your game is basically keeping DoTs up as much as possible, while also trying to protect yourself from a stealthed Rogue or angry Priest. As with most Arena battles, it's a game of timing -- you want your cooldowns to be up and ready at the exact second when the other team is at their weakest. If you can Spell Lock or Fear a healer at the exact moment when their partner is vulnerable to your own offensive cooldowns, then you'll rack up another win.

Interesting stuff. There's lots more to learn, and especially if you're an Arena veteran, there's probably lots more you already know. But things have changed quite a bit from the old BC Arenas, and especially if you're a Warlock, a guide like this is a good place to pick them up again.

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

Blizzard posts early Arena Tourney standings


Aratil has posted the early US standings, and Vaneras has posted some early EU Arena tournament standings (the actual tournament doesn't end for a few weeks yet, so it's far from over) on the forums. Strangely enough, while RMP still rules the day in the EU (three of the top teams there, including the first place team, are made up of a Rogue, Mage, and Priest), Death Knights have taken over the rest of the tournament. The American side has seven out of 10 teams made up of Death Knights, Paladins, and Warlocks, and another team that subs the Warlock for a Hunter. And on the EU side, five out of the ten are DK, Pally, Hunter as well.

Arena players were worried in the last pro tournament that Death Knights might take over the Arenas and it looks like that might be what's going on here. Of course, there are still weeks left to go, so anything could happen, but as it stands right now, looks like the final winners will probably have plenty of Runeblade wielders in their ranks.

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Dinner with the multiboxers

I wish I'd been invited to this at BlizzCon -- TGDaily sat down with a group of multiboxers last weekend, and lived to tell the tale. I don't think multiboxers are the most hated people in the game (Paladins and Warlocks probably get to trade off that title), but it's true that just like twinks, they can draw some ire. Blizzard has given them a free pass in the game (most likely because they're spending ungodly amounts of money keeping up their fleets of characters), but apparently multiboxers are just people. People willing to shell out lots of money and time on overpowering themselves inside a game.

And that's really where the issue lies -- most of these people aren't no-lifers, they're just folks with money to burn that want to trounce a battleground all by themselves or run Karazhan solo. But at the same time, there is a sense of superiority that comes across -- they brag (under their breath in a crowded restaurant) that they can beat anyone else's player, and they claim that "other people can only see a quarter of the game," which just patently isn't true. This is a generalization I'm making, of course, but playing 10 characters by yourself seems to give an inflated sense of self-worth in the game (after all, aren't you 10 times better than someone playing with just one character?) and that could be the reason that multiboxers have the reputation they do.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP

WoW Insider's BlizzCon Bingo 2008

Our BlizzCon Bingo game is back for its second year -- last year whether you won or not depended on what you saw, but people mostly were able to complete the necessary five across, with or without the help of the free space. This year, things are a little tougher, mostly because we just don't know what Blizzard is going to do -- will they announce the third expansion? Will they announce a new IP? Will they announce anything, or just treat the whole weekend as a Wrath preview?

Whatever happens, make sure you print out your bingo card before you go, and then throughout the weekend, cross off everything that you see on there. If, by the end of the weekend, you've nabbed five across, you win! And while last year, all you won was the satisfaction of seeing something cool, well heck, let's throw something else into the mix -- if you're the first person to personally show me a completed bingo card by the end of the convention, I'll have a prize waiting for you.

And no cheating! Trust us, there'll be plenty of Paladin complaining at the Q&As -- you won't have to go do it yourself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Contests, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

The Colosseum: Apox, Warlock

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

Last week, we talked to Ryzer, who is a member of an unorthodox 3v3 Arena team. In that bracket, it's not uncommon to see Warlocks and it's not uncommon to Druids. What is much less common, however, is the Two Warlock, One Druid makeup of SUPER CUTIE FEAR SQUAD. (The caps are theirs, not mine.) In a bracket of Arena often reserved for Rogue-teams (including the feared Rogue-Mage-Priest composition), the over-time based gladiators have achieved the 10th ranking on their battlegroup.

After Ryzer's interview, several folks dropped me a line wanting to know more about this team. The good news is that Apox was also able to interview with your intrepid WoW Insider staff. Check out what he had to say behind the cut.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Interviews, Arena, The Colosseum

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an orc

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the second in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

If you've seen Lord of the Rings, or read any other fantasy story in which orcs are portrayed, you probably think orcs are hideous humanoid monsters charging mindlessly forward to slaughter helpless innocents. Azerothian orcs are significantly different, however, with a shamanistic culture that prides honor above all other virtues.

But unless you've played World of Warcraft or Warcraft 3, you probably wouldn't know that. The orcs of Warcraft 1 and 2 were pretty squarely in "bad guy" territory, and it is only with the story of Thrall's rise to power and return to shamanism that we find out what the orcs' true history is.

Ironically, the story of the orcs is a bit like that of the horrors of modern Nazis and the lore of the ancient Jews mixed together. Imagine that the vast majority of your species came under the sway of a terrible and evil leader, utterly determined to commit genocide against your peaceful neighbors. After carrying out this deplorable task, your people sought a new enemy, and found a new world to destroy. In the midst of this conquest, however, your people's political leadership failed, the way back home was cut off, and you all ended up as slaves in exile, lethargic and utterly without hope. Suddenly, a hero appeared to unite your people, overcome your former masters, restore your ancient faith, reclaim your dignity, and establish a new homeland.

What follows is a brief account of the events most orcs know about or lived through, and a glimpse of the effects they would have had on your character.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Blood Pact: How your baby 'lock stacks up against your main

Natalie is stepping in to help out V'Ming on Blood Pact this week.

Leveling alts seems to be a popular way for some folks to pass the time they wait for Wrath to hit. After reading what people love about playing a 'lock, perhaps you're toying with the idea of crossing over to the dark side to join us. So, for this week's Blood Pact, we'll explain the things you should know about starting a warlock if you're coming from the perspective of having a level 70 main from a different class.

Think of a warlock as the bastard child of a mage and a hunter: high damage-producing, squishy casters with pets. If your main is one of these classes, you'll feel right at home with ranged damage, casting, mana management, and pets. On the other hand, any class that relies solely on melee or provides a primary healing function for a group is so not similar to a warlock. The polar opposite of a warlock is either the protection warrior or the holy paladin.

Here's how to change your mindset based on what your main's class or group function is.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Classes, Alts, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Mages and Rogues jump in Arena stats, while Hunters fall behind


Vhiari, keeper of the Armory stats, has updated once again, this time taking a look at Arena performance across all three rankings and all of the classes contained within. The 2v2 comparison (showing Arena rankings, across the bottom, with the percentage of players in each class at that ranking) tells the overall story: Mages are seeing major gains in the Arena, as are Rogues, which Vhiari speculates may be at the cost of Warlocks (who took a small tumble). And just as last time, Hunters continue to struggle in all three brackets -- 5v5 has the same situation as above, but in less extreme amounts.

Of course, these are stats, and what these stats actually mean is up to you (and more importantly, up to Blizzard -- this is just a sign of who's getting which rankings at which levels, and this could be the result of many different things, so there's no reason to expect buffs or nerfs based on just this information). Still, it's a pretty clear look at just who's winning out there, for whatever reason -- the stats say Mages have done well the past few months, while Hunters continue to struggle inside the Arenas.

[via WoR]

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Odds and ends, PvP, Arena

Phat Loot Phriday: Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer


Been a while since we did a staff, and considering how badass (and just plain weird) this baby looks, why not this one?

Name: Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer (Wowhead, Allakahzam, Thottbot)
Type: Epic Staff
Damage/Speed: 145-323 / 3.20 (73.2 DPS)
Abilities:
  • +70 Stamina, +47 Intellect, which makes it perfect for Warlocks, though really any caster would probably benefit
  • Improves spell critical strike rating by 36, spell haste rating by 55, and increases damage and healing by 259. In other words, it rocks. Having a two-hand weapon limits you a bit, but this baby is your one stop shop for every stat important to a caster. Definitely a beautiful caster staff.
  • And it's in the shape of a stretched-out Felhunter, or, depending on any conspiracy theories you may have about Blizzard continuity, a Zergling (more on that in a second). I couldn't find a video for you, but apparently it writhes and the mouth opens and closes as you hold it, too -- pretty weird and wacky.
  • So about the Zergling thing -- Zerglings, as you may know, are the lower-rung units in the Zerg race of Starcraft, another Blizzard game. They look very similar to Felhunters in WoW, and it's true, this staff does look a little bit more like a Zergling than any other Felhunter we've seen in Azeroth. Plus, the name of the staff seems to be a reference to a Devouring One, another Zerg groupie. And it comes from Outland (a place out in the middle of space), and we have already seen Zergling noncombat pets in game.
  • So I submit to you the conspiracy theory of all conspiracy theories: What if Warcraft and Starcraft are taking place in the same universe? And what if, depending on timelines, Zerglings are Felhunters and vice versa -- what if the Zerg is an evolved (or primitive) form of the Burning Legion? Just something to bend your mind a little bit on this Friday afternoon.
How to Get It: Drops from the marquee star of the last expansion, Illy Dan himself. Drops at a rate of somewhere between 10-20%, so not super rare, but unless you're seriously farming the guy and/or are a Warlock or high DPS-doer who really needs a nice staff, you might have to wait a bit.

But who doesn't want this thing, really? Put an "of the Devourer" after anything, and it becomes instantly more desirable. Tell me you wouldn't want a "Cupcake of the Devourer." Have you heard about that new Apple product, the "iPhone of the Devourer"? And dude, I'm so jealous -- my friend just got a "Nintendo Wii of the Devourer"!

Getting Rid of It: Sells for 18g 39s 48c to vendors, disenchants into a Void Crystal. You should keep it though -- if the Zerg do invade Azeroth, maybe you can hold it hostage or something.

Filed under: Warlock, Fan stuff, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore

Choosing a class for raiding with low FPS

NSDragon wants to know over on Livejournal: what's the best class to raid with on a low-end system (as in, one that gets only about 3-10 FPS during raid boss fights)? First of all, there's no reason you should be raiding with a system like that anyway -- even a cheap PC will run World of Warcraft better than that, and even if you can't afford a new computer, odds are that you can at least add some RAM in there and speed things up a bit. But let's assume that you're a great person and you've given all your money to charity, so there is no way that you can afford to buy anything faster.

In that case, as most of the commenters on the thread say, ranged DPS is probably your best bet. You won't be able to pour out as much aggro as someone who isn't lagging, but at least you'll be able to use your 3 frames per second to do some damage, and you're sure you won't draw aggro and wipe the raid. As for which ranged DPS class, though, I'm not sure -- Hunters have autofire, so you can be sure that you'll be pushing out DPS constantly. Mages aren't too hard to raid with (most Mages will actually tell you that they just press one button over and over again). Warlocks might be easier with their DoTs, but even that relies on timing in a way that Hunter DPS really doesn't. I'd say Hunter.

Some people are saying Healers, which I originally thought was a bad idea, but if you combine their recommendation of just looking at the floor (to speed up the FPS) and watching the healing meters, you might have something there. Wouldn't be very fun (whack-a-mole FTW), but you'd be helpful to the raid in situations where you wouldn't have to move around much. So healer might be a viable choice for a low-end computer user as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes

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