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Patch 3.3 PTR: Fine threads and feisty pets for warlocks

Even more tweaks to the warlock talent builds made it onto the PTR's 3.3 build yesterday. This time we see more buffs for pets. The Imp, the destruction lock's pet of choice, will now benefit from the Ruin critical strike damage bonus. So instead of having its critical Firebolt hits doing 150% of normal damage this will now be 200%. This will work out as a 10 to 15% damage increase for the imp. Since the Imp accounts for a little under 10% of a destruction lock's damage I think this should be a straight buff of just over 1%.

Felhunter's have also had a buff but this one seems slightly odd. On paper it looks exactly the same as the the one for the imp -- Pandemic has been extended to include Shadow Bite in dealing 100% extra damage on a critical strike. The confusion lies in that Shadow Bite seems to be doing that on the live servers already. When tested on the PTR with Pandemic, however, its criticals are looking like they are doing 150% extra damage. It seems this change is going to need some further work, even if it is just to clarify the language. With this confusion, I'm less certain what impact the change will have on affliction DPS but expect it to be something like half of that for destruction. However it shakes out, this is a further buff for warlock damage. It's certainly nice to see some continued attention being applied to lock mechanics as we progress with the patch testing.

As well as the pet changes the warlock tier ten models have been added. Datamined images have made their way onto the World of Raids and MMO-Champion websites. I would be lying if I said I was blown away by the models but they are nice. I will certainly be glad to get out of my mage-a-like tier 9 and put on something that feels more like a warlock's garb. The checks on the trim seem to evoke images of a court jester that I'm not overjoyed about and I wonder how a belt will fit with the robe that seems to have it's own belt built in. The stitching, while it does cry out "dilapidated", gives a nice touch I feel.

As for the set bonuses, I expect the mechanics of these bonuses to stay the same but the values may well come in for further changes before they go live. The 2 piece bonus is a straight buff to the main direct damage spells of each build. Corruption is also in there, which won't affect most specs, but will be significant for affliction -- it needs this extra bonus as it, obviously, gets more of it's damage from DoTs. The spells affected by this buff make up about 50% of the damage done by each spec and most of that damage comes from crits. My napkin maths says this bonus should shake out to roughly a 2.5% DPS boost. Very nice indeed.

The 4 piece bonus looks to give 10% to all your damage while the buff is up. In order for it to be as good as the 2 piece bonus the buff would need a 25% uptime. Initial indications suggest that it could well be more like 30-40% This is assuming that the buff doesn't have an internal cooldown (a period of time after it triggers in which it can't trigger again). So that's a 3-4% DPS gain, which sounds very nice indeed -- slightly better for affliction and destruction than demonology, due to their spell priorities. Bear in mind though, these figures are the kind of values that may well change before we see the patch go live.

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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