Blood Pact: 2009 through the Eye of Kilrogg
Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "The avarice never ends! 'I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue.' Look, I don't wanna make waves, but this whole Christmas season is stupid, stupid, stupid!" ~ The Grinch
Hmmm... a look back at changes for warlocks in 2009. Well there was... no, wait, that was 2008. Well what about... nah, that's planned for Cataclysm. Wow, this is harder than I thought. Nothing particularly outstanding has happened in the warlock area this year; but so much has happened and, well things have changed. It's like waking up each morning and something is subtly different. Your blue toothbrush is now red... The sofa is now against this wall, not that one... each change is pretty unremarkable in it's own right but by the end of the year you are a stuntman living in LA married to a small, blond Portuguese skier who when she's not training does abstract painting, practices yoga and brews her own beer.
As we surfaced, bleary-eyed into January our memories of sacrificing succubus and SL/SL were fading faster than those of December 31st. Those heady days of power that also led to FotM wannabes flooding our ranks. Skill and complexity had been leaking out of the class for a while and Naxx wasn't really providing any of us with much of a worthwhile proving ground. Affliction spell rotations were causing carpal-tunnel injuries on those who were determined to take the cold-turkey approach to dropping their addiction to Shadow Bolt spam. Fans of demonology were taking felguards like some sort of methadone for simplistic raiding, meanwhile retaining the use of their fingers.
Towards the end of January we stopped the quick summoning of one person, and instead summoned a strange demonic wardrobe-like object and let everyone else summon whomever from wherever (often that guy who just fell off the pipe). Shortly after this we remembered that one of our minions came in a box labeled 'tank' and used him as one. It turned out that this invalidated some kind of warranty, and there was a global recall of tanking voidwalkers. I think we got a big, blue vanity-pet as compensation but I can't be sure as I haven't seen one since.
Anyway, by now Ulduar had opened up and the move towards destruction began. I don't personally believe that the destruction talent build makes us like mages but it's true that those who like piling on DoTs, running with demons or being raid-useful were starting to feel a little disenfranchised about now. Not all bad though, a change was made to ease our soul-shard problems (a problem acknowledged by Ghostcrawler himself). Drain Soul might give a shard on each tick and we were now no longer able to carry more than 32 shards.
I did say at the start that there wasn't anything outstanding. To be fair this did mean we no longer had to head out and find things to kill for our fragments of soul. Instead we find a load of locks lining up by the practice dummies before and after raids, presumably gathering wooden practice souls.
Well, Ulduar was fun and destruction fairly interesting, the tiered items pretty nice (if a little weird); things were ok and moving along. Then the Argent guys finished their arena and... well, not much changed really. If you weren't raiding but leveling then you could summon your mounts sooner and just by speaking to the trainer. Also Banish could be removed by yourself or some other warlock with a sense of humor. For those that were raiding, demonology (or more specifically Demonic Pact) was making a name for itself and felguards making a raiding return.
Now we're seeing Arthas' homestead invaded and the pull between affliction and destruction hotting-up as they are both up to fighting weight -- with demo looking on in amusement throwing spell power to them both. It certainly feels a different world that we woke up in 12 months ago and there sure seem to be less locks kicking about these days (where did all those death knights and paladins come from?).
Looking forward to the next year seems a little odd since there's high hopes that it will contain the release of Cataclysm -- the expansion set to shake up the warlock class as much as Deathwing shakes Azeroth. Certainly I hope for a shard system that feels more like a benefit than a burden. I quite like the sound of the new system as it has been communicated so far, but I do have some reservations that it's just going to be another set of numbers to watch. This is the burning of a soul -- the very essence of a being -- to unleash its power for our own aims. It should be something emotive and worthy of the sacrifice made, not a simple resource like a rune or a candle.
I'm also going to kick the termite mound that is 'green fire'. This debate has gone back and forth for so long I'm wary of getting anywhere near it but... If I have any voice at all I add it to those calling for a minor glyph to make warlock spell-fire become fel-fire. I don't say this because I dislike our spells as they are, or because I feel like a mage when casting them. I just think that many people play a warlock because of the 'RP' nature of them. Sure, most people don't role play in the least, but warlocks have a dark edge to them, they have a sinister tang, a malicious essence. I would like to see more that enhances this feel and frankly, green fire is just freaky and 'wrong' enough to capture that demonic nastiness nicely. Also, our minor glyphs suck.
Ghostcrawler has stated that demonology locks should be included in raids for their own damage, not just for an awesome buff. I do hope there are plans afoot to deliver on this statement. Demonology should be able to offer so much to a raid but is almost always left out in the cold. Beastmaster hunters have been raid viable before so we know the theory can work though wouldn't it also be nice to have to consider demon selection for each fight? While I approve of the measures made to get formerly ignored minions summoned once again (welcome back felpuppies) it would be great to have all of them powerful, if situational. Unlike hunters, we can summon any of our pets (minions) at any time but we don't. We are pretty much tied into one minion when we select our talent spec. Only when soloing (or the very occasional boss fight) do we summon something else. Let's see more of the minions next year.
Well, that's it from Blood Pact for this week and 2009. While I've only been writing it for these last few months I hope you'll accept my thanks to all the loyal Blood Pact readers this year (even the mages in IAPEWARLOCKS). I hope that while you are reading this, you and yours are happy and well. A very merry Christmas and joyous new year to you all from myself and Blood Pact!
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DoTs, demons, and all the dastardly deeds done by Warlocks. If you're curious about what's new with Locks since the last patch, check out WoW.com's guide to patch 3.3 or find out what's upcoming in Cataclysm from the BlizzCon 2009: Class Discussion Panel.
Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Cataclysm
Reader Comments (Page 2 of 2)
duffry Dec 28th 2009 1:12PM
This is a suggestion with great merit. Growing wings was always my favourite version of the idea -- Though please, not (meta) purple or (T6) red, something classy, black, frayed & bony.
Othor_NL Dec 29th 2009 10:33AM
Just give Locks a flight form like druids. For example a cloud of bats or something.
Nina Dec 29th 2009 2:33PM
Metamorphisis, imo. Permanent tank/flying form. Doooo eeeet.
MasterAsh Dec 28th 2009 12:00PM
Given that I never went deep Aff before dual-specs (and even then did it only for PvP), my felguard Jhuutom and I have enjoyed this year thoroughly. As a stout demonoligist, I too would love to see more reason to switch between minions mid-fight. Interestingly enough, I think if encounters included elements which demanded it more, many other classes could enjoy doing more than just DPSing, too.
Oh, and I've really enjoyed the column since Dominic took over. He knows his stuff and keeps it approachable. He also meets the minimum requirements of mage bashing. :)
artifex Dec 28th 2009 12:13PM
Speaking of fel puppies, now that I'm in 2xT8 and 2xT9, I switched from destro to affy, something I haven't used since I was leveling. Missed my fel puppy enough that I picked up a helm from Ony to wear on my head, too, and I look like him now :) (just call me horny) And that affy actually doesn't suck for PvP, either. dot-dot-dot-dot-wait he's dead already.
videvekartuspaan Dec 28th 2009 1:13PM
I have to say, even though I play a pally, I've been reading the warlock column ever since Dominic started writing it. Great job.
Fung Dec 28th 2009 1:41PM
i've little to be positive about regarding my warlock this year, or in the slated changes for cataclysm.
HOWEVER, my favorite warlock related change this year?
the author of this column. glad to have you writing mr hobbs.
Matt Dec 28th 2009 10:32PM
Took the words right out of my mouth!
We all raise our glasses and tip our hats to you, Dominic. I never really enjoyed Blood Pact before you took over. Now I read it the minute it pops up in my rss reader. Cheers!
pravomoc Dec 28th 2009 2:05PM
It would be nice to bring out a variety of pets on fights, but it would require a retool of the class. At least for destruction and demonology, the appropriate pets add significant buffs to the warlock (which is why doomguards and infernals are a dps loss) and now the felpuppy is buffed by the warlock's dots enough that every spec has their pet. Pulling out a felpuppy on the faction champs always significantly lowered my destro-lock's dps.
That said, it would be nice to see the voidwalker get buffed back up to usability for some content again. With no stamina and no threat generation, he's generally a worthless minion now. Personally I never saw the problem with VW tanks on Sarth. After all, a warlock had to gear and spec for it to make it an option.
I have seen one VW in the recent past - a 70-point affliction warlock was using a voidwalker in heroic CoS. The warlock was doing 700 dps and probably bought his account on E-bay. I was tanking on my druid. I'm almost certain the voidwalker's Torment was active, but I never lost aggro.
Vodkamartini Dec 28th 2009 3:36PM
As a demonology warlock who still proudly spams DoTs, shadowbolts and soulfire while slapping a felguard into the fray ...
BUFF UP THE META TALENT IN CATACLYSM!!!
I want more out of it than a small dps/armor boost every few minutes, burning a rogue in occasional wg sessions in pve spec and the ability to /say trash in demonic.
Hell, make it the option for "warlock flying mount." Kinda like druids.
And give some customization to our fel friends. I think I'd like my Felguard to wield a 2H sword or a polearm like those lizard guys in OS. And maybe some better armor options for that thing or the succubus.
(In 2009, WoW historians note that gratitude toward mages became obsolete with reminders to bring your own food and water, dungeon designs putting the final boss near an exit and the 30 minute hearthstone. Nobody else but the underheralded warlock could summon you straight into the boss' lair yet, insure the healer survives death or give you a free health potion, they pointed out.)
Mo Dec 28th 2009 8:20PM
Another great article; keep it up.
I wanna add my 2 cents...
51st talent for Demonology: Doomguard as a permanent demon-pet. Screw Meta...we should be able to trap a sick-ass demon.
staffan.johansson Dec 28th 2009 10:20PM
From a purely academic point of view (I used to play a warlock, but tried out a DK and liked that better, and I was never that good with the details), I'm thinking that it's alright for Affliction and Destro locks to mostly run around with a specific demon out, one that provides buffs and abilities tailored to that spec. But Demonology is all about the demons, so they should have more incentive to mix it up a little.
Of course, this is all limited by the math. It is likely that one of the demons will turn out to bring one or two percent more damage overall than the others, and that demon will be the one they use, unless there's a gimmick fight somehow.
Psiwave Dec 30th 2009 5:30AM
I started my lock in feb and she quickly became my main, I love the class and I'm the only active one in my guild, it's a shame I missed the high point of the class but I've come to accept that I'm never going to top the DPS charts like I could on my DK. I'd like to see some of the theme return to the class, we're supposed to be arbiters of doom meddling with power unspeakable, I don't expect cheery hellos from the peoples of daleran. It makes me feel I'm doing it wrong.
tier 10 itemisation? Why no spirit?
pilar_80_2002 Jan 2nd 2010 9:05PM
I sense the nerfbat coming for Demon locks with felguards because lately when doing the random instances lvling my 69 lock - I find myself tanking and soloing the bosses or dishing out more damage than the tank and other 2 dps combined. No lie, happened numerous time - couple of time at Sethekk tanking and kiting the last boss plus outliving the entire group even with a mage in it, recently at UK with 2 ret pallys and dk tank (all 70+) doing more damage than them but I currently 69, no where never 70 right now. So yeah, imagine all the bitching I've been hearing about the Fel-manhandling tank when they see the Recount, lmao!! Can't wait for Heroics and all the bitching that going to happen when I use to finish up fights, mhaha!!
Oh, Demonic Hobbs, love your articles - please stay writing Blood Pact; your articles and snark makes for some good learning in tactics and evil plus it simply the best in Wow.com!!!