The Five Point Two Review and You

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Of WoW and Warlocks

Howdy All,

Well, it’s almost here. Patch 5.2 will be bringing more changes, more content, and more reasons to feel overwhelmed. Is it me or am I the only one who feels like I’ve fallen behind in so many different ways? No worries though because after a few weeks we’ll all be back into a normal routine of grinding and questing again. What feels odd and weird at the start of the patch will soon become the new normal and trust me, it won’t be so bad.

 

Let’s focus on the good stuff we can look forward to:

  • Warlock’s will have an epic quest line
  • There will be new areas to explore
  • There’s new quests lines, and new things to do
  • New lore storylines will be unfolding and old ones will be tying up loose ends
  • We have new raid content to tackle
  • There’s two new world bosses to conquer
  • There’ll be more shiny new loot
  • There’s going to be plenty of new adventures with to share with friends

 

Oh yes, there will be some changes

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a major patch and not had a few things change. I’m an old warlock ya know, and I can often be remiss in my memories so if I’ve overlooked an occasion where a patch didn’t bring some kind of change please correct me. Like all large content patches there’s going to be a buff here and a nerf there, and enough small tweaks for all the classes to go around. I didn’t taken part in the PTR so I can’t give an opinion as to what I think people will favor other than what I read.

 

In the latest patch notes (as of 2/25/13) on Battle.net is the full rundown of warlock revisions. This is a cut, copy and paste of those changes along with my take on how I see things playing out so to speak ;) Is this the final change? I have no idea, but being this close to the patch I’m guessing it’s pretty darn close to what we’ll see implemented. My apologies for the wall of text!

  1. Fel Armor now reduces damage taken by 10%, instead of increasing the Warlock’s armor. I see this as a number nudging and fudging and it won’t be too noticeable by most
  2. Blood Fear has been replaced by Blood Horror. Blood Horror costs 5% health, has 1 charge, and lasts 60 seconds with a 30-second cooldown. While Blood Horror is active, melee attacks that strike the Warlock will cause the attacker to be horrified for 4 seconds. I have to admit this one hurts, but we’ll still have our normal Fear spell with a 1.7 sec cast time we can use as well. Yes, this spell re-work might have changed due to PvP balance, but it’s still a nerf to me because I loved me my Blood Fear!. I read somewhere that the Blizzard’s original intention for BF was to be a defensive cooldown instead of the offensive weapon it became. Well, this new rework of Blood Fear into Blood Horror will make that a reality. While questing my tanking demon often has no problem with aggro and in dungeons and in raids my tank lead will do the same. If the new questing hub really is like a new Isle of Quel’danas then it might be a viable option since mob respawns and aggro were quite an annoyance common. If that’s the case, I might go with either Burning Rush or Unbound Will  as well depending on the situation. I haven’t read if the Blood Horror talent will have a special effect associated with it like our Dark Bargain talent. I hope it doesn’t mainly for PvP. Nothing is worse than having a cool defensive spell only to have a huge graphic broadcast it to your enemies. Maybe rogues should get a cool new graphic that never goes away when they Vanish? We can only hope.
  3. Burning Rush now also prevents movement-impairing effects from reducing the Warlock’s movement speed below 100% of normal, in addition to its other effects. This is nice, but it should have been this way from the start. It’s still a “Meh” IMHO.
  4. The Imp ability Blood Pact has been removed. The Blood Pact buff is gone and now it’s added to Dark Intent. You won’t just need an imp for the stamina buff anymore and every ‘lock spec can benefit from it. What’s not to like?
  5. Dark Intent now increases Stamina in addition to Spell Power. Warlocks will basically now have Power Word: Fortitude. We lose Blood Pact and we gain it back in Dark Intent. Nothing lost there other than simplifying buffs.
  6. Immolate now deals 20% more damage. This change buffs Destro’s filler spell so now all of our destructive peers can do more damage. I can’t argue with this one.
  7. Shadow Bolt now deals 15% more damage. This change buffs Demonology’s filler spell. No complaints here.
  8. Soul Leech now provides an absorption shield instead of healing. Like our Fel Armor changes I see this as number nudging and fudging. In a small way this kinda sucks because now I won’t show up on the list of top healers in recount ;)
  9. Sacrificial Pact now requires the pet to sacrifice 25% of its health to activate (was 50%). This is a nice buff to this talent. It will definitely make me consider using it more often, especially with the changes to the Grimoire of Sacrifice talent since I may consider actually using my demons in fights vs. sacrificing them for the buff. It also means that he differences between Grimoire of Sacrifice and Grimoire of Supremacy has been blurred so that their dps numbers are closer and more in line with one another. I really do want to go back to raiding with my Fel puppy again. I sure him! It’s so quiet without his drooling and snarling!
  10. Kil’jaeden’s Cunning is now a passive talent, and its activated ability has been removed. I know that some people might have swapped talents out of Tier 6 depending on the situations, but everyone LOVES utilizing this talent and Blizzard’s numbers must show this as well for them to make this kind of change. Eventually, I’m sure that all casting classes will be going to some kind of movement + casting style and getting away from the old dps turrent style of play. The question is would it be fair for our melee friends?
  11. The passive damage from Archimonde’s Vengeance no longer has a visual effect. Does anyone really care about this one? I won’t miss it, trust me. I just wish Blizzard removed the Glyph of Banish along with it. Do you know anyone who uses the Glyph of Banish? Do any PvPers out there find it useful? Please, let me know if you do because I still haven’t found anyone who utilizes it.
  12. Grimoire of Sacrifice now increases the damage of abilities by 15% (was 25%) for Destruction Warlocks and 35% (was 50%) for Affliction Warlocks. In addition, it now provides the spell Whiplash instead of Seduction when a Succubus is sacrificed. This is a nerf to the Grimoire of Sacrifice which I have to admit I like. While I’m sure we can agree that a nerf to any of our abilities isn’t always the most ideal I do hope this will make both the GoSac and the Grimoire of Supremacy talents on par with one another for dps output. Some locks hated the idea of sacrificing their minions for raiding, and some liked it. I was on the fence about it, but I am nostalgic for running with my minions. This change should give us a choice of choosing either Gosac or GoSupreme without getting penalized. The added change for our command demon spell using the GoSac talent with a Succubus is also a no-brainer and should’ve been hotfixed a few months back. This small change will make sacrificing a Succubus a viable choice for both PvP and PvE.
  13. Glyph of Burning Embers has been removed and its effects are now baseline for Destruction Warlocks. This is great to see and was needed for what was basically a mandatory glyph for Destro.
  14. Glyph of Soul Shards has been removed and its effects are now baseline for Affliction Warlocks. This is great to see and was needed for what was another mandatory glyph for Afflocks.
  15. New Glyph: Glyph of Ember Tap. This glyph increases the healing gained from Ember Tap by 33%, but the health is restored over 10 seconds. A decent change for Destro. Is it huge or a game changer? Nope. Is it another way for a Destro ‘lock to stay alive and keep on fighting? You bet! You can call it another cookie, or you can call it another HoT, but remember it’s another chance to take a licking and keep on ticking! Warlocks are notorious for staying alive and this helps keep up that image.
  16. New Glyph: Glyph of Drain Life. This glyph increases the healing gained from Drain Life by 30%. I look forward to playing around with this glyph when it goes live. I’d like to try it out before I cast judgment on it and it’s uses. I can imagine this glyph’s uses in questing, pvp and single target fights, but then again I’m taking a wait and see attitude because I’m not sure if it will affect our Harvest Life in any way. Since I haven’t read anything on that possibility it’s useless for me to speculate until I see otherwise.
  17. Glyph of Unstable Affliction has been redesigned. This glyph now reduces the cast time of Unstable Affliction by 25%. Going from a 1.5 second cast time down to about a 1.125 second cast time makes me think it’s for PvP balancing because I don’t see it being a game changer in PvE.

 

 

SPEC SPECIFIC CHANGES

Affliction

  • Unstable Affliction’s backlash effect is now always a critical hit and deals approximately 15% more damage. Affliction PVPers have to love this!

Demonology

  • Chaos Wave now has a new visual – I liked the Chaos Wave spell effect as it was and I have no idea why it needed changing. If anyone knows the reasoning here please toss me a link where I can read up on it. 
  • Hand of Gul’dan now deals 15% more damage – An increase to a Demo DoT? Woot, I’ll take it.
  • Shadowflame now deals 15% more damage. Another Woot!
  • Soul Fire now deals 22% more damage. Okay fine. I guess we’ll just cope with taking another nice buff.
  • Touch of Chaos now deals 15% more damage. This appears to bringing HoG and ToC in line with one another otherwise it would mean more Metamorphosis stance changing.
  • Wild Imp’s Firebolt now deals 15% more damage. Another buff in damage for Demo, but Demonic Fury regen should remain the same since each wild imp only casts 10 Firebolts and each bolt only generates 5 DF. Keep in mind this is a damage increase only.

 

Destruction

  • Conflagrate now deals 20% more damage. A buff for Destro! Can’t complain here. Desto PvP locks have got to be frothing at the mouth for this to be in the game already!
  • Fire and Brimstone now has a radius of 10 yards (was 15 yards). A small nerf in an AoE’s footprint, but let’s be honest in the fact that it’s probably due to PvP balance. Will it hurt for PvE on trash? Maybe a little bit, but most trash are usually grouped up and burned down anyway (No pun intended). Now, a Destro ‘lock will pause and wait a few seconds for a tank to gather up all the things before they unleash their wrath. Hrm, what’s waiting a few extra seconds when you can still go to town and burn’em down? It might just be a perfect time to cast a cackle laugh macro.
  • Incinerate now deals 10% more damage. Another small buff for a filler spell and another nice tweak to bringing Destro up in it’s numbers.

 

How do I view the changes overall?

Besides some of the small tweaks for PvP, I have to admit I like what I’m reading so far because it looks like a good move towards balance among our specs so that they’re closer in dps. I really do like the idea of a pure dps class having all three of their specs being on par with one another for both PvE and PvP, but that could just be me. While I have seen some Destro and Demo locks putting out good numbers in LFR and in heroics, a majority of ‘locks that I see are only running Affliction with GoSacrifice for most of the fights. I think it’s safe to say these revisions will allow players to bring their spec of choice to a run as compared to something they feel forced into playing because it’s been tested out in generating higher numbers.

 

Why I’m feeling a little pity towards Mages

Warlocks vs. Mages. The great debate between our two classes been a long running joke ever since I can remember. Yes, I know warlocks are superior in a variety of ways and I know I’m not being biased at all with my facts ;) however, I’m actually finding myself feeling sorry for the Mage class lately. If you can stand long enough to talk with a mage, you’ll hear about the struggles their class is going through right now with spells, specs and rotations. Granted, I could be wrong in what I’m seeing and it could be scoffed off as RNG, but when I ran all of my LFRs for this week, I saw 2 mages or less in all of them except for ToES where there wasn’t even one. In those same LFR groups there was anywhere from 4 to 6 warlocks in attendance. Even on my home server of Earthen Ring a small group of friends were helping another friend and fellow guildy gear up by throwing together a quick a Sha group run. We looked for warm bodies help in both guild chat, general chat, and in trade chat. Despite all of our recruiting efforts to fill spots up for the run we wound up having 8 warlocks show up and no mages at all. Zero, zilch, nada, none!

Despite my snarkiness and kidding of mages, I still dislike seeing this trend occur to any class. Competition and variety is a good thing despite what some may think. So let me be the first to say that I hope for the fun of the game, and for the benefit of mage players everywhere that I hope their issues and problems don’t end up like the problems we, as warlocks, faced less than 1 year ago. If this trend I’m seeing with mages continues then I believe the game will suffer for it, and sadly I might just feel some guilt when I poke fun of them in the future. So for now, I’m going to lay low on the mage jokes. When things turn around for them, I’ll go back to my abusing teasing of them. Trust me, I’m a warlock and why would I have to lie about something like that?

My biggest concern (and it might be selfish of me) is if the mage class numbers decline then who’s gonna buy all of those ugly green level multi-colored pastel transmog items I sell on the AH? Dear Blizzard, please bring back the 1, 1, 1, 2 rotation for mages because your current efforts to add more buttons for them doesn’t appear to be working as intended.

Have a great week all and I’ll see you on the other side of the patch! If you get time, you might just pay Navimie a visit yourself over on her blogsite The Daily Frostwolf.

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Comments
  1. Redbeard says:

    I wonder if the Affliction change means that we’ll see more Aff locks in BGs. Right now I see far more Destro and Demo in the mid-level BGs.

    • Heya Redbeard,

      Yep, I hear that too. Destro does got some nice burst and crits to keep people away from you for sure on a field of battle, and Demo with it’s AoE would be good for bunched fighting. Affliction still has some ramp up time, but it’s not like it used to be. Bah! I’d love to run more battlegrounds, my problem is that I’d have to give someonething else up. Hrm, I wonder if my wife will let me knock my RL job to PT? That would probably be a bad idea because I still wouldn’t be able to compete in the pvp gear grind.

  2. You know what would be cool?

    A glyph that makes our demons on fire! YES.

    • Hey Prinnie :)

      I would pay gold for that too as long as the Soulshards floating above my head would go away forever and only appear in my character portrait screen. Since Destro does get *ahem* bursty with flames on full embers, pets reflecting that would be a nice match. If that happened I’d definitely be making some Tmog runs in the Firelands again.

  3. Saga says:

    I’ve always been a Destro lock at heart, so I’m really hoping that they will pull better numbers in raids after these little buffs. Here’s to hoping!

    • Saga,

      It looks like your wish has come true :) Destro numbers are looking good atm from what I’m seeing so you gotta be happy about that! Don’t forget your on my list so expect an email hitting your inbox sometime next week :P

  4. mooftak says:

    Nice review. Now I don’t have to read the patch notes. Danke.

    Re:Mages being hurting units, have you tried leveling one lately? I rolled one on my horde server where I’ve got a ton of level 6-10 toons so I could see the starter zones and play with different classes, and man. Leveling mage sucks at the moment. At least 1-12 anyways. I’ve at least dallied up to 6 with each class (I think, possibly higher) and mage was by far the worst experience. Even after hitting 10 and picking a spec, it still sucks. My priest has an easier time of it because at least she can heal herself. Shaman? Piece of cake by comparison. Rogue? No problem. Hunter? Ha. Pally, well, I haven’t rolled one of these or a warrior because I already have a 50 pally, but I’m sure they’re fine. Anyways, there went any thought of rolling a mage to max level on my primary server. Throwing fire, ice, and arcaney stuff at 90 can’t be worth the hell that it takes to get there. To be fair, I hit the forums and the consensus is that mages blow for leveling in MoP, so it’s not just me being dumb. I mean, they can’t all be as awesome as locks, but the current situation is just not nice.

    • Heya Mooftak,

      Yep, I’d agree from what I’m hearing too. It appears mages are having a hard way to go atm. I’m sure there will be a buff here and a tweak there and Blizz will eventually fix. After watching what happened to our class over the year I just hate hearing that about any of the playstyles in the game. Even if it is mages! Ha! Oh, I still have my Forsaken mage I made for a post I did a year ago when I took part in the newbie blogger initiative. Right now I use him as a mule mainly because of time constraints. I do have a friend who has several level 90 who is currently leveling a mage and her concern was the same. At low levels she dies a lot! She’s no slouch of a player either so I take her word for it. Thanks for stopping by as always and sorry I didn’t get a chance to respond sooner. RL has been busy for me :)

  5. Great post. I thought I was the only one having mage issues. I re-speced frost and still feel like I’m fighting with a feather, not bolts of powerful magic. I finally abandoned her somewhere in the Outlands. Now, my Hunter and Priest are on a freight train to 90 – literally unstoppable.

    • Heya Jodi,

      Grats on the hunter and the priest. I’ve always wanted a priest at cap mainly to get a feel for the healing styles of Holy and Discipline so that I could copare them to my shammy. I can’t help but love the hunter class mainly because I’m a rare pet addict :) My next project is to get my hunter up to cap so I can use her to farm. Sad, but true. If I had the time I’d be raiding on that toon as well. When you hit 85 you really should try a solo tame on Deth’Tilac the rare spider. It’s well worth the 10 mins of excitement.

  6. Navimie says:

    Hmm as a non warlock I can only say one thing relevant to this post…

    Look it’s me! /wave

    • Navi,

      Ha! You’re too funny! It was nice chatting with ya on the Twisted Nether Blogcast. Even though it’s hard to really “talk” to catch up in an event like that. So will I be seeing you on a episode of Dance Moms anytime soon btw? /em bows and waves back. It was fun seeing you in that one place where people do that one thing that we can’t mention in public. I had so much fun and it’s always good to see you. Even if it’s on a low level alt :)

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