Archive for December, 2012

Howdy Everyone!

I hope this holiday season finds you and your family happy and healthy! Nothing sucks more than being sick during a holiday :( Trust me on that one. Due to my family’s hectic travel schedule during this winter break, I’ve decided to take a week off from blogging :) A little rest and relaxation never hurts right? Until then, I wish all of you a happy holiday season and safe travels on your journeys. I hope you enjoy my story about the Winter Veil tale :P

 

Orgrimmar celebrating Winter Veil

Orgrimmar celebrating Winter Veil

 

T’was the last night of Winter Veil, and all through the server
When a Horde warlock left a battleground and became debuffed as a deserter
While some might have accused him of sabotage or treason
This warlock knew he had quite a good reason

Perhaps the most likely reason of all
Was that today, he didn’t want to see anyone fall
It wasn’t that he didn’t need to get his honor points
Nor was it because being an undead he had sore joints

There’s plenty of time he thought, to keep an enemy at bay
But somehow it felt different on this particular day
When for a short time we’re all reminded to become better
By chatting with a friend, or writing a loved one a letter

Reminded by the fact that playing with friends truly matters
And that it’s not just about destroying bosses, or your ranking ladders
Because just like in game, and just like in life
The world can be filled with such terrible strife

For a few fleeting hours maybe the titans could see
We can all live in peace, and we can all live hassle-free
From all of the bickering, scuffles, and cross faction fighting
It seemed like a good idea, and it hit the warlock like lightning

So after equipping a fishing pole and flying past Halfill
Even though his farm needed more harvesting still
The ‘lock headed to Krasarang and flew toward the sea
Where he could sit in some peace, enjoy the views, and just “be”

The spot looked scenic, with fluffy clouds floating by
And the land’s water fowl soaring above him, ever so high
Then tossing his lure across the waves pounding like thunder
As a feeling shot through his back, worse than any hunger

The pain came upon him and he whelped out an “Ack!”
It turned out a rogue, plunged a dagger in his back
As the sound left his throat, and on the salty air he gagged
“Oh noes!” thought the warlock, “I’m still PvP Flagged!”

With a quick click of his mouse the ’lock cast Mortal Coil
And another attack from the rogue the warlock had foiled
The caster smiled to himself, and let out a sneer
Because he knew the next spell he would cast was going to be Fear

Trembling in place, the rogue stared at his stalker
Who Soul Burned a Soul Shard and summoned a Voidwalker,
Now armed with the blue demon that was positioned to trounce
The warlock’s health bar was full and he was ready to pounce

When the backstabbing rogue was surprised by what came next
He was so shocked in disbelief, it made him perplexed
Rather than take his life right then, and right there
The warlock slowly approached him and sat with a stare

This warlock wasn’t going to kill him, nor drain his poor soul
Even despite the rogue’s attack, which took a small toll
Instead the Undead seemed calm, and very well behaved
And shocking the rogue more it saluted, and waved

Knowing full well that he didn’t stand a chance
The rogue bowed in respect and began to cheer and dance
The warlock bowed back, and returned him the favor
And the two danced laughing like friends, clear of any danger

Then it happened so fast, and it happened so quick
The demon was on him like the DoTs that began to tick
Seconds later the silly rogue was dead on the shore
And standing above him was the warlock who settled the score

“Perhaps,” thought warlock, “I’m doing it wrong?”
The feeling came to him, and then it came upon him strong
“It seems that I’ve learned an important lesson this holiday,
all that the Alliance want to do, like me, is just play.”

So with his enemy’s Soul Shard still feeling warm in his hand
He summoned his Dredsteed to stand firm in the sand
And while mounting his beast he could feel pride swell in his heart
It was a love for his class, and his love for the Dark Arts

The ’lock yanked on the reins and the two darted across the water
As he que’d for more battlegrounds and prepared for his next slaughter
Then the warlock cackled as he rode through the night
And in his hoarse voice he hissed, “Happy Winter Veil to all, and to all a good fight!”

 

Winter Veil in Stormwind

What is it about wearing an ugly winter sweater that makes one want to sing? For some reason, no one liked my rendition of You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch...*sighs*

What is it about wearing an ugly winter sweater that makes one want to sing? For some reason, no one liked my rendition of You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch…*sighs* I guess I should wear pants with a sweater the next time I go carolling?

 

 

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Hail All,

I’m sure you probably know the meaning of the word mayhem, or at least have some idea as to what is implied when it’s being used. I know that I was surprised to find out that the word mayhem actually has three meanings. Really, it does. Which is a perfect segue for what we’re going to discuss about Mortal Coil because as a talent, Mortal Coil has three great uses from one simple spell. See what I did there?

Mayhem is a great term to use to help describe Mortal Coil because with short definitions it means:

  1. The crime of willfully inflicting a bodily injury on another so as to make the victim less capable of self-defense or, under modern statutes, so as to cripple or mutilate the victim
  2. Random or deliberate violence or damage
  3. A state of rowdy disorder

 

 

Now, I’m not advocating causing mayhem IRL, but when you talk about running your warlock in The World of Warcraft…well, that’s a completely different story! In game I’m all for bringing on the mayhem and I hope you are too! /em cackles loudly while cracking knuckles

 

Causing some mayhem with Goblin Chili. It tastes horrible, but it burps good!

Causing some mayhem with Goblin Chili. It tastes horrible, but it burps good! Hrm, I guess you could say the GI upset this Goblin specialty dish offers could be called a Mortal Coil?

 

Marvelous Mayhem

You may have remembered from last week’s discussion that all of the Tier 2 talents which become available at level 30 all offer warlocks a choice in crowd control (CC) spells. Mortal Coil is in essence a CC spell that when used correctly can truly enhance the “I hate warlocks” factor from your enemies in PvP,  it can make you look like a hero in a dungeon or a raid, and it’s a great “save-your-hide” spell for when you’re out and about solo questing. Let’s take a look:

Mortal Coil – is an instant cast spell with a 30 yard range on a 45 second cooldown. It causes the enemy target to run in horror for 3 seconds and the caster (the warlock) restores 15% of their maximum health.

Don’t be fooled by it’s simplicity. When you read it, Mortal Coil doesn’t look too spectacular all by itself. I know a few of the newer students in the Dark Arts might see this as a “meh” spell from it’s description. However, when you combine it with with some of our other spells Mortal Coil becomes quite an effective tool at your disposal.

Here’s an  important mechanic to remember about Mortal Coil. When it’s used on a target, the inflicted mob or player will turn and flee in the opposite direction from you. Please, keep that picture simmering in your mind for now, and we’ll get back to it later as it plays an important role in the discussion. Also, did you notice anything a little different or missing in the Mortal Coil definition as compared to say our Fear spell? Yes, both are CC spells, but unlike the Fear spell there’s nothing in the Mortal Coil’s spell description that says damage breaks the CC. Muahahaha! That should make you giddy!

 

Tossing out a Mortal Coil just to show you the spell's special effects

Tossing out a Mortal Coil just to show you the spell’s special effects

Mortal Coil Mayhem #1 – It’s another warlock cookie and then some

With the healing component of Mortal Coil you now have another warlock cookie to use. It’s another self-heal that you can use every 45 seconds if needed. As you know, a Healthstone will return an instant 20% of your health, and if you notice Mortal Coil will return 15%! Not too shabby for an instant heal that’s a crowd control spell! Yes, we might wear cloth, but because of spells like Mortal Coil we’re not glass cannons like a mage. Two big crit hits from a melee class and you can bet a mage is either spamming blink to get away or running to the nearest warlock in the hopes of protection. Two big crit hits from a melee class and as a warlock with Mortal Coil, you should be cackle laughing as you decide how to punish this obvious fool who tried to attack you. See the difference?  

 

Mortal coil Mayhem #2 – It’s crowd control

You’re are a master of disaster and mayhem, you’re a warlock! Trust me when I say that jealousy from the other lower classes in game is always annoying; however, it’s not without warrant from a talent and spell like Mortal Coil. No one likes to loose control of their character. Even with only 3 seconds in it’s duration, this spell will still make a pvp opponent scream in anguish because those three seconds will feel like 30 seconds to them as they run hapless, and hopeless while button smashing on their keyboard waiting to regain some semblance of control. Mortal Coil is like the foreshadowing of pain because most players know when they have been hit by Mortal Coil they need to try anything to escape because a warlock is about to hit them with something worse.

 

Mortal Coil Mayhem #3 – It can be used for better positioning

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying that the best way to a good offense is to have a good defense, and that the best way to a good defense is to have a good offense. Well, a warlock’s Mortal Coil spell fits that description perfectly. As we talked about before, when viewed alone and as a single spell Mortal Coil might not look that impressive. The key to understanding this spell’s true value and worth is when you stop to consider it’s use for positioning and offering you more options. Let me say that last line for greater affect and emphasis. The key to understanding Mortal Coil’s true value and worth is when you stop to consider it’s use for positioning and offering you more options both defensively and offensively.

 

Remember how we talked about using Mortal Coil on an enemy and how it caused them to flee in horror in the opposite direction? Good. Because positioning yourself for either protection or for using a stronger attack should always a driving force to your motivation. Yes, as warlocks we’ve often been accused of being conniving and ruthless, and with good reason too. Mortal Coil lays the ground work and the foundation on how we can destroy things. For the sake of brevity, and for the sake of not being too boring I’ll just mention a few examples of what I mean.

Helping the leader of the Belfs interrogate a prisoner. Is it me or am I the only one who can never pronounce the name Lor'thremar?

Helping the leader of the Belfs interrogate a prisoner. Is it me or am I the only one who can never pronounce the name Lor’Thremar?

 

 

Mortal Coil going solo

Three enemies jump you (mobs A, B and C) and immediately you’re getting pelted with damage at the start of the fight. Cast Fear on mob “A”, Mortal Coil  “B”, and then quickly destroy “C”. Instantly, you got back some health just from casting Mortal Coil and by the time “C’s” health is non-existent, target “B” hit from the Mortal Coil is now returning back to fight. Mob “B” arrives as his friend “C” is either dead or close to being dead, and his other companion “A” is still crowd controlled by Fear. What happens next? Well, I’ll leave that up to you to decide their fate because you now have the better position and more options to choose from.

There’s so many direction to go with this scenario and there really is no right or wrong answer. Imagine this same scenario with 3 or more mobs attacking you, but this time add your imagination to the mix. What would you do next? If you stop and think about it, all warlocks, should be thankful for Mortal Coil because it’s like an “Oh Noes!” button with it’s instant heal and a larger window of time to plan your next move for protection, for attacking, or for simply gaining some distance to outlast your attackers. It might not be be as great a distance as our Demonic Teleport or Demonic Gateway spells, but Mortal Coil still offers some breathing room to size up any situation.

I’d like to take a quick moment to give a /salute in praise for our Demonic Teleport again. The reason I bring it up is because I still very rarely see any warlocks using it. I cannot stress to a newer warlock enough about always setting one up at the start of any fight. Demonic Teleport is a life saver, and a game changer and the more you abuse it, the more you will understand my emphasis on it. All warlocks, new and old, should all get into the habit of dropping our teleports every chance we get. An easy way to make this a permanent habit is whenever you are fighting anything, stop and notice if you have a teleport dropped. If the answer is “No” then smack yourself and drop it. This is true for solo questing, pvp and for dungeons. I apologize for the Demonic Teleport commercial in the middle of the Mortal Coil post, but it really is the most under-utilized warlock spell IMHO! Use it and abuse it the way you should!

Why is it whenever I'm around Garrosh, all I wanna do is DoT his ugly face up until he drops? Omg, what was Thrall thinking! Oh yeah, that's decision was made after he met Aggra.

Why is it whenever I’m around Garrosh, all I wanna do is DoT his ugly face up until he drops? Omg, what was Thrall thinking! Oh yeah, he made that decision after he met Aggra. Ugh, he never would have made that mistake had he stuck with Jaina!

 

 

Mortal Coil in dungeons and in PvP

Ever been in a dungeon and someone pulls a large group (I’ve done this before…hehehe!) either intentionally or unintentionally? Hey, it happens and I’m sure you’ve either seen it or like me you accidently caused it too :P Well, you can easily lighten the load for your team by casting Mortal Coil on one of the mobs. As your target runs out of the group and away from any AoE, you can now CC them with Fear. By combining those two spells you’ve quickly and easily taken out one less mob giving you and your party a better chance at surviving. Have an under-geared healer having a hard time to keep mana in fights? Help them out and use this spell for a quick self-heal to lighten their load.

Ever been in PvP and watched an enemy healer hanging out on the edge of the fight helping to keep the opposing team alive? Well, smack’em with a Mortal Coil to peel them away from the group, and Fear them for CC. Ever thought about using Mortal Coil and Fear on a target who’s doing high damage just to buy your team some more time to recuperate? How about using it to stop a FC from capping? Has any of this got ya thinking about where to use it? I hope so!

As an important safety tip and qualitfy of life reminder I have to mention that you should always consider the direction your targeted mob will travel after Mortal Coil hits them. Please, be careful not to send them fleeing into another group pulling more aggro :) Keeping your target’s fleeing direction in mind is also a good idea to consider when you need to separate a mob from a pack for any CC, because you want to keep them away from getting hit with any AoE. After you have become accustomed to using Mortal Coil, you’ll soon be able to judge your distance and timing so that if you follow up with Fear, it will land the instant Mortal Coil falls off.

 

 

So I'm sitting there chillin' with Hukrath in Orgrimmar when I notice I get a letter in the mail...

So I’m sitting there chillin’ with Hukrath in Orgrimmar when I notice I get a letter in the mail…

Mortal Coil recap

  • Remember it’s another free 15% self-heal available every 45 seconds
  • It’s a free self-heal after using Life Tap for more mana
  • Combine it with a Healthstone, Drain Life, Harvest Life, a healing potion, or even a bandage and be at full health fast
  • You can use it offensively and defensively
  • Damage doesn’t break the 3 second CC
  • It buys you more time to get to safety
  • It buys you more time to get into a better attack position
  • You can use it to separate a target from a group for CC
  • It’s great to use in combinations with other spells – use your imagination!

    As you can see, it appears Vol'jin is deciding to make a move on Garrosh finally! Sheesh! It's about time don't you think VJ? We should have taking his sorry orc-rear out the second Cairne's body hit the floor! Can I get an Amen!?

    As you can see, it appears Vol’jin might be deciding to make a move on Garrosh finally! Sheesh! It’s about time don’t you think VJ? We should have taken his sorry orc-rear out the second Cairne’s body hit the floor! Can I get an Amen!?

 

 

What about you? What creative and clever ways are you using Mortal Coil? I’d love to hear about them and if there’s anything I’ve forgotten to mention, please let me know!

 

In between counceling the Dark Lady, helping Thrall when he's in a pinch and now doing double-secret agent work for Vol'Jin...I still found the time to get my Shadow Pan Rep up!

In between counceling the Dark Lady, helping Thrall when he’s in a pinch and now doing double-secret agent work for Vol’Jin…I still found the time to get my Shadow Pan Rep up!

I thought this picture was funny. Not the one I took, but the one on the wall

I thought this picture was funny. Not the one I took, but the one on the wall

Camping rares with my friend Irrina hopefing for a Brawler's Guild invite that never drops! Irrina was having some fun at my expense!

Camping rares with my friend Irrina hoping for a Brawlers Guild “Blood Invitation” to drop! At this point I lost count, but Irrina was having some fun at my expense!

Hail and Howdy!

I’m a fly by the seat of my pants, go with my gut kind of warlock. Maybe you can tell that already right? So for this post I’m going to talk about a few things that I wanted to bring up. First, I’m going to talk a little more about our ability Harvest Life – mainly as a follow-up. Then, we’re going to talk about Howling in Terror! No, Blizzard hasn’t announced more dailies to open up, ha! Instead, I’m referring to one of our old and very familiar crowd control (CC) talents called Howl of Terror. I also want to highlight what’s on the minds of our fellow brethren warlocks as well. (I’m not sure if it’s good grammar to use fellow and brethren together, but hey – I’m going with it!)

A beautiful baloon ride turned into a griping session about Horde and Alliance

A beautiful baloon ride was turned into a gripe session about Horde and Alliance.

Harvest Life – more discussion

When we last discussed the last level 15 Talent called Harvest Life I got some great responses. After reading through several of the comments, and from the two emails that people sent in, I came to the conclusion that what I wrote could be taken the wrong way. The main point I was trying to make was that yes, Harvest Life is a great talent. My only fear is that it will be spammed twenty times in a dungeon run on everything and everything by an inexperienced ‘lock.

For Afflictionists like myself, I also forgot to mention that if you SB: Harvest Life the health you take is increased by 33%! Gah! I can’t believe I forgot to mention the part about soul burning a shard and casting HL! That’s what I get for doing my posts late at night when I’m loopy due to lack of sleep :) Derpy me, I apologize!

After DoTs and seeds it's fun to toss out the green beam that help bring the boom!

After DoTs and seeds it’s fun to toss out the green beams that help bring the boom!

Now, none of the following information is scientific by any means nor is it using any of the SimC stuff. It’s just my own observations of things that I notice when I stop to pay better attention. I went to Orgrimmar to smack some target dummies around with my current mix-matched gear that I had on. I didn’t utilize any flasks or food buffs and I ran several sequences.

While hitting only 3 of the 4 target dummies I –

  • Cast Harvest Life 1x and noted the dps
  • Cast Harvest Life 2x in a row and noted the dps
  • Cast Harvest Life 3x in a row and noted the dps
  • Cast Harvest Life 4x in a row and noted the dps

    Testing Harvest Life on three and four target dummies

    Testing Harvest Life on three and four target dummies

Results? Casting HL(2x) yielded the highest dps. Any additional casts over 2x didn’t increase the dps. Channeling this spell 3x and 4x matched and maintained the dps level that was reached after the 2nd cast. Going from a single cast of Harvest Life to casting it 2x in a row was almost a 4k dps increase. Interesting. However, follow along and you’ll learn a small tidbit of information like I did as I compared Harvest Life to Rain of Fire (RoF).

While hitting 3 of the 4 target dummies I –

  • Cast HL(2x) and noted the dps
  • Repeated this process 2 more times and took an average

Then I hit 3 of 4 target dummies with –

  • Casting Rain of Fire (RoF) and noted the dps
  • Repeated this process 2 more times and took an average

Results? The difference between HL(2x’s) cast and a single cast of RoF was around 3,200 dps with RoF coming out on top the winner. So with three targets Rain of Fire was still a clear winner for me. Please note, that Harvest Life and Rain of Fire are both 6 seconds in their duration. However, I was casting HL 2x’s to get it’s max dps while RoF was beating it slightly in the span of 6 seconds.

Rain of Fire hitting three training dummies - and no, I'm not talking about Hoofit, Hend, Hotpox :)

Rain of Fire hitting three training dummies – and no, I’m not talking about nor am I making fun of Hoofit, Hend, and Hotpox :)

4 Green Beams vs. Rain of Fire

Then I was curious to see what would happen if I hit a 4th target with HL. Would it make that much of a difference? If you’re like me, you might have thought Harvest Life would have done a lot more damage with 4 targets. Sadly, HL still came out the loser by almost 1,600 dps. Keep in mind, I was still only hitting the three targets with RoF because it can’t reach the distance of 4 target dummies with it’s standard AoE footprint. So I had to pick Mannoroth’s Fury to reach all four in order to compare. As expected, RoF still came out the winner.

Where Harvest Life rocks it out

If you took a second to gander at the two pictures of me at the target dummies, take a quick look again and see if anything stands out. At first I wasn’t paying attention because I was too busy watching my casting bar and the damage meter. Take a close look at my character portrait. The mana drain using RoF 1x is huge compared to casting Harvest Life two times! In fact, after casting Harvest Life 2x’s in a row my mana bar hadn’t dropped and remained at full whereas, the single cast of RoF drained me of almost 1/5 of my mana! So between these two spells you could spam Harvest Life with little worry about a resource drain, but with RoF you go OOM very quickly. So here’s my take on HL and when it’s best utilized:

  • When AoE splash damage is dropping your health quickly
  • When trash mobs will last <30 seconds
  • When questing alone and you get jumped by a small group
  • You’re low on mana and need some AoE fast
  • Stacking with other AoE damage – for example RoF for Destro isn’t channeled, so you can cast RoF then channel HL! (I really wish Affliction could do that!)

Another fun way I’ve been using Harvest Life:

SB: Curse of the Elements / SB: Seed of Corruption / Harvest Life on the seeded tgt until seed pops / Seed of Corruption on as many mobs as I can and then channel HL / All the seeds go “Boom!” Muahahaha! Glorious! I’m not sure if that’s a winner for top AoE, but it sure is fun! With Corruption spread around from the SB: Seed of Corruption on the original target, Nightfall procs and Soul Shards replenish like a mage trying to spam the 1 button. Now, enough with the Harvest Life and let’s get on to chatting about how to make the lower classes hate us even more.

Helping guide young orc warlocks in the ways of the Dark Arts. Sylvannas referred me to Thrall :) Here my class is discussing the lesson that green fire isn't learned until patch 5.2 and after completing the new questline. Our former Warchief was onhand in case any of the little hordelings needed healing in case they got burned. He's very good with water ya know!

Helping guide young orc warlocks in the ways of the Dark Arts. Sylvannas referred me to Thrall :) Here my class is learning the lesson that green fire isn’t learned until patch 5.2 and only after completing the new questline. Our former Warchief was onhand in case any of the little hordelings needed healing in case they got burned. He’s very good with water ya know! By the way they dress these kids, I thought maybe they were Nightelves at first.

Tier 2 Talents at level 30 – Howling about Howl of Terror

All of our tier 2 choices deal with crowd control and the first choice we have at level 30 is called, Howl of Terror (Howl)! This is a perfect name for this ability. Howl of Terror makes me think of rogues in an evil sort of way. Gah! If you’ve ever been stun-locked by one of these nasty little back-stabbing critters, you’ll understand the anger and gnashing of teeth you get when you’ve lost complete control of your character in a battleground. Well, to be fair our Howl does the same thing, but it will do this against FIVE opponents! Woot!

Howl of Terror – An instant cast with a 40 second cooldown. A howl causing 5 enemies within 10 yards to flee in fear for 20 seconds. Damaged caused may cancel Howl of Terror. When hit by a damaging attack the cooldown on Howl of Terror is reduced by 1 second.

I’m sure if there was a poll among the lower species in WoW with regards to PvP, a warlock’s Fear spell would rank #1 as being the most hated, with Howl of Terror as a very close second. After casting Howl on your enemies, their toons will be running around the screen in Fear while the players themselves are sitting at their desks screaming and hollering, but not in terror. They’re screaming out of frustration, anger and raging hatred against you. Yes, you! The despicable warlock who took away their ability to do anything!

You could talent for Howl and try it out in dungeons and raids, however; I’m sure you can see why I wouldn’t recommend it. Howl can be very effective at CC’ing, but it can also cause wipes because your feared victims can also bring back a lot of friends to join the fight. To keep the respect factor up for warlocks, let’s promise one another right here and right now, that we’ll only use Howl either in solo questing, scenarios and spamming as much as possible in PvP! 

It takes a warlock to destroy a warlock. It's just a shame this guy was way too easy to take down. A mage in disguise maybe?

It takes a warlock to destroy a warlock. It’s just a shame this guy was way too easy to take down. A mage in disguise maybe?

Since many people will often que in random groups for PvP, it might be a good idea to macro Howl with a warning for your fellow players as well too. Something along the lines of “I’m casting Howl of Terror and damage will break it – that means you no pew pew – k thnx bye!” should be fine. A macro example might be:

  • #Showtooltip Howl of Terror
  • /stopcasting
  • /cast Howl of Terror
  • /s I’m casting Howl of Terror
  • /laugh

I’m sure you can think of some great places to use Howl particularly for PvP. Is a crowd filling up your flag room? A small group chasing down your flag carrier? What about when a zerg is taking place on your node? Clearing a path for a healer? How about if your small group is outnumbered and some culling would give you a chance at surviving? Howl is such a great talent for situations like these, it makes me proud to be a warlock esspecially when you know it really takes the QQ up a notch! /em sheds a tear of joy for Howl of Terror

Another good picture ruined by ugly pink floating shards on my head!

Another good picture ruined by ugly pink floating shards on my head!

What other despicable warlocks are talking about

DoTs and HoTs – Koalabear’s last post start off with some personal ingame achievements, but halfway through the discussion centers around talents, raiding, and what Koalabear has been enjoying. I always love to hear other warlocks talk about the talents and spells they enjoy. Koalabear uses Mortal Coil the same way I do :P check out the post and see what I mean.

Elkagarosa the Casual – Elkagarosa has a nice write up talking about the new dailies that were added in patch 5.1. Since they’ve been up I know I’ve been camping the elites to get my invite to the Brawler’s Guild! I’ve seen the invite drop 1x and I lost the roll :(

Fel Concentration – Poneria has a good discussion and write-up talking about self-reforging after not being satisfied with Reforge-it light. It’s a great walk-through. Pon would you take a look at my toon please! I hate to admit it, but I’m horrible at reforging!

Killing em’ Slowly – Fulguralis has been leading a thought provoking discussion concerning DoT uptime once you get to endgame and how to improve yourself particularly if you’re Affliction. I’d love to tell you more about it, but then there’d be spoilers.

Spellbound – I really enjoyed Saga’s last two posts. First, Saga talks about cleaning up her UI and going over the choices she prefers for addons. Her former post hits upon a great discussion point which is the difficulty in getting valor capped once you are revered or exalted with all of the MoP factions.

The Elizabella Chronicles – Severun has a great write up about warlock tanking using Dark Apotheosis and all of the tools at the disposal of Demonologists. Severun is a guest writer over at the Elizabella Chronicles and with posts like this makes me wish Severun was doing a post weekly :P Great Tmog btw Sev!

All the little details in the game! If you know this movie reference then yes, you're derpy like me.

All the little details in the game! If you know this movie reference then yes, you’re derpy like me.

Passing along some shout-outs about Warcraft podcasts

The Twisted Nether Blogcast – Fimlys and Hydra had Rho from Realm-Maintenance on as a guest last week. Rho did a great job and I enjoyed the show, even if his main spec is Destruction :P Ha! Just kidding Rho! You’re a warlock…what could be greater good sir?

Fel-Tron – Hasteur, from the Group Quest podcast, has started a new blog and podcast segment he named Fel-Tron. It’s all about the most clever and fun class to play…warlocks of course! I would also like to send my sincerest apologies to Hasteur. When I appeared on the Twisted Nether Blogcast a few weeks ago, I pronounced Fel-Tron correctly the first two times; however, on the third I called it “Fel Iron”. Gah! My bad Hasteur! I blame being a nervous, babbling, incoherent fool when I’m on anything live. I got it right the first two times though :) Keep up the great work my friend and stay evil!

WoWcast and Eljeppy – This isn’t completely related to warlocks, but since Eljeppy dual-boxes a team of warlocks I can’t help but mention him and his latest efforts! Eljeppy, from the podcast CtrlAltWoW, has taken over the blog and the podcast show called WoWcast from Alachia. His plans are to make it a mixture of interviews, discussions, and anything and everything about Warcraft. So please give it a listen when you can. With his funny, laid back personality I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fun with it and much success too!

I understand that Thrall stepped down because he wanted to focus on himself...er...his family and his shamanistic heritage. I just didn't know any of that included steriod abuse. Sorry Thrall...er...Goel...I liked you better when you were smaller in size, wearing battlegear and flirting with Jaina.

I understand that Thrall stepped down because he wanted to focus on himself…er…his family and his shamanistic heritage. I just didn’t know any of that included steriod abuse. Sorry Thrall…er…Goel…I liked you better when you were smaller in size, wearing battlegear and flirting with Jaina.

If you don’t think you have time to listen to podcasts, then I highly recommend Stitcher Radio. It’s sure helps keep me up to date.

If you hear of any warlocks being on any of the podcast shows as a special guest, please let me know. I’d like to highlight them here as they occur. It’s always good to shed some light on our dark and ominous ways ;) sharing the love for our class.

Should there be a warlock oath?

I’d like to do a post about creating “The Warlock Oath”. It will be a hodge-podge of ideas crafted into promises that warlocks will share and strive to achieve representing our class. Some will be out of fun, and some in all seriousness to our class. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. What would we call such a document? Or do you think something as simple as “The Warlock Oath” would suffice?

This type of infestation only happens when people overuse the Landro's pet buscuit treets. Let this be a good lesson that one of them is plenty. He made more annoying clacking noises than the entire hive over at the Klaxxi post.

This type of infestation only happens when people overuse the Landro’s pet buscuit treats. Let this be a good lesson that one of them is plenty. He made more annoying clacking noises than the entire hive over at the Klaxxi post.

Hail All,

Today, I think we should stop to consider a weapon well associated with the true symbolism of warlocks…the Scythe. Developed as an agricultural tool, the Scythe has a long handle like a staff or pole-arm with a long curved blade protruding at an angle. It’s used for cutting crops and harvesting grain. No, we’re not going to be talking about doing menial chores on your farm at Halfhill. Instead, we’re going to be talking about our last Level 15 talent choice known as Harvest Life. Like the Scythe, our Harvest Life ability is a handy tool to have when the timing is right.

This human female warlock looked great in her Tmog along with sporting her Scythe!

This human female warlock looked great in her Tmog along with sporting her Scythe!

If any of you are wondering why I skipped over the Soul Leech talent for this week, it’s because Soul Leech is a very simple and passive “set-it-and-forget-it” talent. A warlock does nothing other than choose the talent and keep up their normal dps. As you do damage, Soul Leech will return a small stream of health. That’s all there is to it :) So let’s move on to some of the fun stuff and talk about tossing green beams!

Some basics and some history about Drain Life

At Level 7, all warlocks will learn the common spell known as Drain Life. It’s a common class spell because it’s shared among all three warlock specialties. As you might already know, Drain Life does exactly what it’s says. Here’s what I mean:

Drain Life –  Is a channeled spell that costs 1% of base mana, plus 1% per second with a 40 yard range. It drains the life from the target causing 419 Shadow damage and restoring 2% of the caster’s total health every 1 second for a total of 6 seconds (*For Demonology warlocks it also Generates 10 Demonic Fury per second).

I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but back in the BC era Drain Life became quite powerful and many of our Affliction brethren began using it as a filler spell. Some people loved Drain Life as a filler spell and some people didn’t, but either way the game creators decided against this type of behavior and so in their way of stopping gameplay that was unexpected or unintended they nerfed it.

While Drain Life doesn’t offer huge dps gain, like it did back in BC, it does output some damage on top of it’s ability to self-heal, and if you’re an opportunistic warlock like me, you’ll take what you can get.

Vol'jin and Garrosh on the beach and not it wasn't a romantic gathering. Someone please put some clothes on Vol'jin...he looks cold. What is it with the Horde leaders feeling like the less they wear the more important they are?

Vol’jin and Garrosh on the beach together and it wasn’t a romantic gathering. Someone please put some clothes on Vol’jin…he looks cold. What is it with the Horde leaders feeling like the less clothing they wear the more important they are?

Hydra got me thinking

I thought about my conversation with Fimlys and Hydra from The Twisted Nether Blogcast, and how Hydra and I geeked-out discussing our joy for running Affliction as our main spec. What was it about Affliction that was the draw for both of us? What was they key reason for our love of that particular playstyle? After much pondering on these questions, the answer finally hit me. My love of Affliction (and I can’t speak for Hydra) is the same reason why I enjoy the Drain Life spell and it’s talented upgrade called Harvest Life.

Both Drain Life and Harvest Life give the “flavor” and feeling of warlockiness. It’s spells like them that are the reason why I fell in love with playing Affliction. It’s why the Affliction spec has been near and dear to many warlocks, and not just because it’s putting out good numbers atm. With Drain Life and Harvest Life we drain and steal our enemies life from them only to use it against them. How cool is that? Muahahaha!

Back in the day, if your enemy self healed in battle you’d cackle laugh to the point your stomach hurt because all the while you were drooling at the extra life you could drain, so that you could convert it to mana with Lifetap, only to use the extra mana for a continued onslaught of spells against them. What happened next was always inevitable. Your target would watch helplessly as their health bar fell and yours continued to climb until finally they met their end simply because you used their own health bar against them. I’m sure many experienced ‘locks would agree that “Drain Tanking” was a major reason our class is still hated today (besides the fact we’re more fun and we always look good).

Reaching level 15 and the Tier 1 Talents

When you reach level 15, you open up the Tier 1 talent point options which all really boil down to ways to self heal. The three choices are:

  • Dark Regeneration – An instant cast HoT (Heal over time) and buff to any other inc heals 
  • Soul Leach – A passive heal based on damage output
  • Harvest Life – A channeled drain restoring health and doing damage

When we take a closer look at Harvest Life’s detail window we can soon see the differences between it and the Drain Life  spell it replaces.

Harvest Life – 1% of base, mana plus 1% per second with a 40 yard range. Drains the life from all enemies within 15 yards of the target causing 267 Shadow damage and restoring 3-4.5% of the caster’s total health every 1 second and lasts 6 seconds. (*For Demonology – it generates 10 Demonic Fury per second plus 3 Demonic Fury per second on secondary targets)

One of the things I love about Harvest Life is that there is no limit on the number of targets it can hit because as long as any enemy mob is in the 15 yard range from your main target, all of them will suffer from our ghoulish green beams! For moments when you are surrounded by multiple enemies and AoE damage is incoming in a big way, channeling Harvest Life will fill your Health Bar rather quickly. I recently used this on a Sha of Anger fight with my guild. After I had been mind controlled, the team broke me from being CC’d by bringing my health below 50%. Upon being released I quickly cast this channel to bring my health bar back up and to help lighten the work for my healers.

Prepping for a guild Sha of Anger run. Please Blizzard designers, can you please allow Galleon to spawn anytme in the evening between say 7 pm and 2 am CST? Thank you.

Prepping for a guild Sha of Anger run. “Dear Blizzard designers, can you please allow Galleon to spawn anytme in the evening between say 7 pm and 2 am CST? Thank you.”

It’s not instant and it’s not a HoT – maybe we should call it a “battle heal”?

Like all of our talents, Harvest Life is situational. Can you cast it with only one target? Yes, you can. However, it’s much more effective for a large packs of trash, or for dense fighting in a battleground. I’m sure all of you can all ready think of certain situations and fights that stand out in your mind as when it’s best to use this spell. Should you use it for added AoE dps? No Maybe? Kinda? Sorta? Situational? See the comments from Sevrun below to get his take on it the dps power of Harvest Life. Keep in mind that there are effective AoE spells for all three specs that can offer high damage numbers besides spamming Harvest Life. Harvest Life is a good tool for keeping you up when your health is dropping fast around any enemy group. Due to RL sadly, I don’t find much time to PvP anymore; however, I do plan to start doing more after the holidays and I can’t wait to use this spells in a bg! If a large group is piled on my FC or protecting a node, I’m sure Harvest Life could be a rear-end saver with all of the close fighting and splash AoEs.

Are any of you using this in PvP? I’d love to hear about it so let me know! I don’t know about you, but I’m sure I’ll have to target macro and add a /laugh to it as well.

I'll post a better pick of the green beams showing Harvest Life. I'm so bad at taking screen shots, this is the only one that turned out at all.

I’ll post a better pick of the greeen beams of Harvest Life. I’m so bad at taking Screen shots, this is the only one that turned out at all.

Scarlet Halls and how Harvest Life saved me

I ran the Scarlet Halls with a few guildies and a pug tank. The tank was newly geared to run heroics and was still learning the craft of being a Prot Warrior. He shared this information with us from the start of the dungeon and the team agreed it would be no problem. Well, it wasn’t a problem except for one bad pull. When we go to the area with the cannons, the tank ran ahead of the group and pulled everything before we could catch up with him. Instantly, he was pummeled. What happened next was no shock.

All of the aggro’ed mobs ran to pummel the rest of us starting with the healer who dropped the second the elite trash pack reached him. After dying, the healer used the Soulstone I had placed on him only to drop to the floor again. Ouch! That’s when you know it’s going to hurt, right? So what was I to do? I looked down at the chat channel to see the tank type, “Just die and run back”. Obviously, this tank didn’t know that I’m the type of player who will fight to the end no matter what. Never give up and never surrender right?

I had already Sacrificed my demon and I was out of shards from DoT’ing everything up when we first tried to save the Tank and Healer. So I quickly Death Coiled a mob that was attacking me for the 3 seconds of CC and another boost to my health. I then put Blood Fear on a casting mob that stood across the room to lessen the oncoming pain as best I could (I’m Glyphed with Fear). I dropped my Infernal to help bring some AoE damage while I ate a cookie (aka Healthstone) for some instant health and to keep me from dying. The incoming damage was hitting us hard and another player died! So then I channeled Harvest Life. Within seconds the green bar on my character portrait went back up instead of down and so I turned my attention to one of the mobs who was at <20% health. I drained his soul until I got a shard replenished. I Soulburned the shard to summon Hukrath, my voidwalker to save the day next to the Infernal! /em cheers for demonic minions!

Once my Voidwalker was up taking and tanking the hits, it was a standard rinse and repeat from there. Dps’ing the mobs down one by one, recasting Blood Fear as needed and using Death Coil when it was off cooldown.

BTW, I typed /dance after all of the mobs were finally destroyed ;)

Here’s a warlocks only option for growing crops: carrots, carrots, and more carrots! I like carrots raw, but not cooked. Odd I know, but it’s an option!

When things go bad, it’s nice to have options

I’m sure if I think about it long enough there might have been a better way to handle what happened to my group in the Scarlet Halls. Other options I still had at my disposal was a Health Potion and my Lifeblood ability (I’m an Alchemist/Herbalist by trade), or channeling Harvest Life again. If I had chosen Dark Regeneration as my talent, I probably would’ve had to utilize both the Healing Potion and Lifeblood to continue to stay up while casting Drain Life. If I had been running with Soul Leach I know with total certainty that I would have found myself at a Spirit Guide getting ready for a corpse run.

Do situations like this always happen? No. Is it fun to gloat when they do? You bet! But, the point I’d like to make is no matter what talent choice you have chosen, you’ll serve you and your team well to know what options you have and how they can help you. Luckily for me on this run, Harvest Life bought me the needed time to save me from a large repair bill :) it was a nice option to have!

Harvesting Demonic Fury

It’s been a while since I ran Demonology in Beta, but don’t forget Harvest Life helps regenerate your Demonic Fury as well. Is it something you should use all the time? Not really, but for the same scenarios listed above it’s a great warlock life saver! I remember quite often when I was leveling in the beta, when in a large pack attacked (after knocking me off my Fel Steed), using Shadowfury for a stun and then unleashing Harvest Life just after I unleashed my imps! Muahahaha! So much fun! After the Christmas Holiday, I plan to switch my second spec back to Demo for a few weeks just for the added enjoyment and the challenge of playing a spec I don’t normally play. Plus, it will be nice to go back to Demo for a bit since it feels so long ago when I was using it.

I have to admit that it will be nice to see my Dark Angel wings again because they sure look better than seeing pink soul shards floating above my head!

OMG, they took a great name for a quest and ruined it! I may have to do a rant about this one. It's a complete fumble and horrible way to drop the ball IMHO.

OMG, they took a great name for a quest and ruined it! I may have to do a rant about this one. It’s a complete fumble and horrible way to drop the ball IMHO.

Other things about Harvest Life to consider

We talked about timing and situation already with regards to Harvest Life, now let’s chat about placement shall we? Don’t forget Harvest Life has a 40 yard range and a 15 yard AoE range from whatever target you plan to cast it on. I mention this because I want you to be careful not to over reach and pull too many mobs. I’m sure everyone will understand that it pulling too many mobs may happen accidently from time to time, the trick is we don’t want it to become a habit.

I’m sure the last thing any self-respecting warlock wants to do is to make our wonderful warlock class look bad. I’m sure you’ve seen the guy (a mage with a ‘lock alt trying to be cool) who spams Immolation Aura or Rain of Fire all of the time? Trust me, I’m sure they’ll be doing it with Harvest Life too. So for the love of Hellfire and Fel flame – if you have any dignity or self worth, please don’t be that person! Besides, it’s bad enough when EVERYTHING Blizzard adds in the game about us is that we’re always completely evil. Does anyone want to join me as I go fry some small helpless critters ingame with my Fel Flame to let off some steam about the name chosen in the quest above? I can’t look at it otherwise, I’ll have to rant!