Archive for June, 2013

Hail All,

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the summer season (or the winter season for my Aussie friends). My summer so far has been sunburns, mosquito bites, poison-ivy, yard work and honey-do lists that never go away no matter how many chores I get done. Ah, such is life. If it’s not one thing it’s another right? I apologize for the late post once again, but sadly my RL work has taken a sudden turn for being absolutely crazy. The good news is that I can see my workload lighten up by the end of July and life should be returning back to normal for me. I’ve got one month to go and I can’t wait for it to be over.

I really do hope you’ve been enjoying reading about other warlocks in the Unleashing the Warlock Within series. I still have a lot of responses and a lot of other warlock profiles I’ll be highlighting in the weeks to come, and I’m sure you’ll see some names you might recognize like:

  • Twizz
  • Blutt
  • Nagratz
  • Sasche
  • Ashayo
  • Hydra (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, *coughs*)

 

…and don’t be surprised if there’s a few more I’ll be adding to the list ;) Hey, a warlock shouldn’t give away all of their secrets now should they? Now, for this week’s post I thought I’d do a little catching up by writing one of my ranting typical blog posts since it’s been almost 6 weeks since I’ve done one.  

 

Have you seen the PTR Changes?

Earlier last week I get a DM from a fellow warlock asking me if I was keeping current on the information coming out of the PTR. After telling him, “no” (due to my RL workload), he sent me back a response telling me that I should go check it out because as he stated, “Omg, what are they doing on the PTR?” So with my curiosity peaked I went to have a look at what he was talking about. After reading up on the newest patch notes I then headed over to the class forums and spent quite a chunk of time reading the discussions and arguments. If you don’t know what’s going on with the new changes to Warlocks on the latest PTR build then I suggest you go and read Poneria’s posts over at WoWinsider.

As you can see for 5.4 the developers are making some changes to our class once again, like they do with every patch to some degree. Although these changes aren’t a complete class overhaul like we experienced at the MoP launch, they aren’t small changes either. So you can imagine how some players were a little upset.

Taking the ping pong changes with a grain of salt

I remember the hours I spent in the beta a little over a year ago playing around with rotations, and spells, and trying to grasp all of the new stuff that I couldn’t wrap my head around at the time. Just when I thought I was getting it right, Blizzard would make a change. I wasted a lot of time writing posts about the beta that became quickly outdated and obsolete within a day, and a few times within a few hours. Now if you rinse and repeat that same scenario over and over in your mind until you can’t take it anymore then you’ll know why the news coming out of the PTR doesn’t phase me at this point. It’s way too early to let this stuff make you nutty because it’s probably going to be changed a few times. Actually, it’s probably going to be changed a lot because it is early in the PTR. Hello? Player Test Realm is what PTR stands for isn’t it?

To this day, my wife says I still suffer from nightmares where I talk in my sleep repeating the words, “They changed it again!” It gives me a headache and makes me shudder just thinking about all of those changes and trying to keep up with them when I spent so much time in the beta. It was like being stuck in a room with a record player constantly repeating the Micheal Finnegan song. Omg! Save me! If you get the Micheal Finnegan song reference then you either have kids like me, or have had to endure being with a group of people who couldn’t sing very when they were together.

I’m here to tell you today that it’s going to be okay. Really. No, I mean really, really. Let’s try to put things into perspective by looking at what has happened since the PTR news was announced. Blizzard has already re-changed the changes once, and they have already added another updated announcement concerning the Kil’Jaeden’s Cunning talent. Don’t worry, I’m sure Blizzard is going to change and tweak it all again so why waste your energy on getting upset about it. Poor Lore, I hope he knows what he got himself into and I’m sure he will earn every bit of his paycheck until all of this is over.

 

The great KJC debate

Putting the changes to Mannoroth’s Fury, Fel fame, and everything else that isn’t Kil’Jaeden’s Cunning aside, the heart of the debate truly centers around the freedom to cast while moving. Within the span of six days the KJC forum posts shot to over 160 pages! Omg 160+ pages! Tbh, I’m actually shocked that this one single talent has become such a controversy. It seems that if you’re a warlock who enjoys KJC and the mobility it offers then you get scorned because some believe that casting and moving is unfair and OP. I’ve even read on a few posts and comment sections where warlocks who chose KJC were called lazy and bad players. Hahaha! Really?

On the opposite side of this argument it turns out that if you’re a warlock who doesn’t find the nerf to KJC as being absolutely horrible, or if you’re a player who doesn’t mind KJC being changed then you’re an idiot who doesn’t understand anything! Because everyone knows that if you’re not against KJC getting nerfed then you’re a fanboy of Blizzard. Hahaha! Really? Oh, how the forums can be so entertaining at times!

Where is all of this going to lead? I’m sure it will lead to more arguing and /flexing by folks on both sides. I’m sure there might some name calling and I’m sure there’ll be some flaring tempers. It might even be a fair guess that whatever Blizzard eventually decides to implement neither won’t be completely happy at the outcome. If there’s one thing this new PTR KJC proposals have done is demonstrate how difficult it must be when trying to design some semblance of balance between all of the different specs and all the different classes. The designers have my sympathy for that painful fact.

 

Movement and the fun factor

If I had to go back the old ways of being a casting turrent, I’m satisfied in knowing that I can live with it. When I rolled my first warlock I learned to stand and cast. There was nothing wrong with it. When I moved over to Affliction and learned to shoot-and-move since some of my spells were instant I learned how to do that too. Neither one of those styles of play were horrible and I know that after a week or so of going back to either of them it would feel like slipping into a pair of good blue jeans. It would just feel right. Now, would I be happy with going back to the shoot-n-scoot style of play now that I’ve been given the freedom to move and cast? No, I wouldn’t be totally happy, but I’m sure I’d get used to it again. You see, the one glaring trait that stands out on the forums for the warlocks who are pro-KJC is that they find the talent fun and I agree with them 100%.

Is fun important? You bet. The fun factor is the reason why I’ve kept logging into WoW for 8 years now. Heck, I’d even argue that the fun factor (other than responsibility stuff) is the motivation behind why we do anything both inside and outside the game. Think about it. For example: I don’t play a melee character because I tried melee and I don’t find it fun or appealing for me. Does that mean melee players suck and have no brains, or are too stupid to understand that what they are doing isn’t fun. No, because that style of play is fun for them and who am I to tell them what they’re doing isn’t fun? In fact, I’ll be the first to stand behind my tanks and melee players for their support! Ha! I kid…but I do mean it. And god bless those melee players because what they do adds to all of us supporting one another when it comes all of the different encounters.

As I began to write this post I was trying to understand why I find the ability to cast and move so appealing. What I found is that I can’t really describe or come up with reasons as to why I find KJC so much fun. Is it because both Archimond’s Vengeance and Mannoroth’s Fury are both yawners when it comes to opposing level 90 talent choices which makes KJC stand out as a clear and distinct winner? Is it because my main spec is Affliction and the idea to go back to standing still while channeling the painfully long spells of Malefic Grasp and Drain Soul is like the sound of someone scratching fingernails down a chalkboard while my skin breaks out in poison ivy and I can’t reach or itch it? Is it because I like running and jumping around like a madman every bit as much as a Druid Healer? I’m sure KJC is popular because of all of those reasons and everything I haven’t thought about.

Despite my love of KJC I have to admit that being able to completely pull off an entire dps rotation while moving (even with the debuff) feels a little unfair to some degree. Well, it felt a little unfair until I played my alts.

The how come we can’t do it too argument is not class homogenization

I’ve read a few comments when warlocks compared freedom of KJC’s movement and casting to both hunters and Elemental shaman only to have responses thrown back at them with comments about how these warlock players are what’s destroying the game because of class homogenization. I guess the class homogenization arguments sounds silly to me because at some point most of what we do in game really boils down to small set of skills. Every class shares ways to slow or CC, every class shares ways to self heal or to help aid in healing, just as every class has both defensive and offensive abilities. With this many classes, and this many talents and specializations isn’t there going to be a point where there is some kind of overlap? Isn’t there going to be some kind of familiarity with a particular style or ability?

For some reason, CC abilities come to my mind when I think about class homogenization. Does it really matter if it’s roots, frozen feet, nightmarish visions, or whatever else that works to help trap your numerous opponents from reaching you or your team? Maybe the real question about KJC to consider should be how much movement should be allowed to all players when you consider a full dps rotation? And what about the healing classes? Or what about the tanks? Shouldn’t their roles be included in this discussion? Yes, I’m sure the developers are considering all of this very carefully.

If you’ve played a hunter or an Elemental shaman during this last patch you’ll understand why some players have argued since they can move and dps with a full rotation then why can’t warlocks do it too?Over the past few weeks when I’ve been lucky to find the time to login to WoW I’ve been working wasting time piddling on my shaman and hunter alts. If you have never played either of these classes then I’ll be the first to admit to you that shooting or casting while moving with either of these two classes feels like you’re running on a warlock with KJC. I know some could argue that hunters shouldn’t be considered in that comparison because they dish up direct damage as compared to spell damage. No offense to those people and to that argument, but I’d like to quote the singer Billy Joel when he sings, “Everybody’s talking about the new sound funny, but it’s still rock-n-roll to me.”

With my Elemental shaman, outside of a few niche spells, I can kite and kill with ease with almost my entire single target dps rotation when using the Lightning Bolt Glyph. The only single target ability that has any cast time at all is my Lava Burst spell which procs like Nightfall making it an instant cast spell too. I can pull off an entire single dps target rotation on my Elemental shaman. I can even CC, heal and AoE instantly with my totems too. Believe me, standard level 90 questing mobs die with ease, and taking down elites and rare mobs becomes a breeze if you continue moving while casting.

OMG, I even forgot to mention Frost Shock. Elementalists (I love that word) also have an instant spell called Frost Shock. Frost Shock slows your targets movement temporarily like a warlock’s Curse of Exhaustion. When I’m using Frost Shock and one of my CC totems in combination then there’s very few mobs can ever catch me. The only time standing still and casting even becomes an issue with my Elemental shaman is when when dealing with multiple adds when standstill casting Chain Lighting and Earthquake help bring on additional AoE dps, or if I need to toss out some pocket heals to help take the strain off a healer. I can move and shoot (or cast) just as easily on my hunters as well. If you consider traps, pet abilities, concussive and scatter shot abilities then there isn’t much left that requires hunters to be stationary.

The only constant is change

I’ve often joked that I’m an old warlock and I am, but I like to think of it more along the lines of as being “experienced”. And with experience often comes perspective. So trust me when I say that at my age I’ve gained a lot of perspective on many things. I remember a long time ago back in the beginning when warlocks were a wee bit OP and Blizzard nerfed us. I even remember when the developers went back after the changes to tweak a little bit here and a little bit there, and brought us back up to where they thought was better aligned and fair with the lower other classes.

I remember when clever warlocks began using Drain Life as a filler until that got nerfed changed because that wasn’t what the developers had originally envisioned for that spell. I remember when I had to carrying tons of Soul Shards so that my bags appeared breaking at the seams and when Blizzard took them away I remember thinking, “OMG! What am I going to do without all those shards?” I remember having Bane spells, and I remember how Doom could proc a Doomguard if timed right. I remember in WotLK haste reigned supreme and almost every warlock went Destro because of it. I remember when we didn’t have Pandemic and you had to be spot-on with your DoTs or otherwise it was a horribad dps loss. And when I mean spot-on I mean all you did was stare at a spell timer bar which accounted for your latency so you could make your spell land exactly when it fell off. When you added in Haunt (which had a travel time to account for) it was maddening.

After all of these changes over the years there’s one thing I can’t recall. I don’t remember ever thinking I’d never play my warlock again because of a change. It never happened. Really. Even during Cataclysm I was still proud to be a warlock. Being a warlock was reason I started this blog. It’s the reason I started my audio segments because when you get right down to it we as warlocks, are like the Timex watches of WoW. We can take a licking and we keep on ticking ;) Okay, maybe that comparison is on the verge of a bad pun, but it’s true. Nerfs and buffs they come and go, but we’ll adapt, overcome, and survive any challenge thrown at us. We always have, and we always will. 

Focusing on what I’ve always done

I guess the main point I’ve been eluding to is that changes are going to happen. Will we be able to move and cast? Will we get nerfed and have to go back to being dps turrets again? Or maybe we’ll have to stagger cast or move the in a scoot-n-shoot type fashion? I have no clue how the KJC patch 5.4 changes will pan out, but at this point it doesn’t matter to me because I’ve always played a warlock to bring as much dps and utility to my team as I can. And I’ve always played a warlock to bring as much pain, fear and loathing to my enemies as I can. Patch or no patch, nerf or no nerf, buff or no buff, I’m going to focus on what I’ve always done – I’ll be playing my warlock.

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Hail All,

So another week has come and gone, and once again I missed my weekly self-imposed blog deadline. I was off by an entire week and so I apologize. Once again I can only report that LFR runs and raiding has rewarded me with only a few coins of gold and not one drop for better gear. RNG is as RNG does, right? I can’t complain too much because I did get lucky when I got a drop from a heroic scenario, but sadly it wasn’t that big of an up. The good news is that my Horde resto shaman still gets gear thrown at her like she’s a rock star. Go figure.

 

So if you haven’t heard, Blizzard did two things that have made me furious and by furious I really mean cash poor. First, they put the new “batmount” (the Armored Bloodwing) up for sale. Blizzard just take my money, okay? Yes, the batmount special ability is broken and glitchy, and it sometimes looks like it barrel rolls into the surface you’re standing on, and no, it doesn’t have any ground mount animations other than just flying, and no, it doesn’t carry any passengers, but I still want that dang thing! You just have to blame those greedy conniving designers because how can I resist? And the game developers write storylines that say warlocks are evil? Sheesh! Luckily for me, it’s close to Father’s day and so I put it on my wish list ;)

The second thing thing Blizzard did was offer their 50% discount special for all character transfers. OMG! If I didn’t know better, it’s like Blizzard knew I had some old toons on other servers that needed moving. It’s a conspiracy I say! To make matters worse, my oldest Hordeling (my daughter) saw what I was doing as I was transferring a few older toons and wanted me to move her Hunter and Warlock too. Her excuse? She needed my help and it would be easier on the same server. Bah! Who she kidding? I know she’s going to rob me of borrow gold so who is she fooling? Gah! Kids! I think I’m going to cut out the middle man and just endorse all my paychecks over to Blizzard, and then mail all of my in game gold to my daughter’s toons. It would make my life so much easier.

 

Fwiw, I moved all of my high level Alliance toons over to the Convert to Raid guild on Aerie Peak-US. All of my old Alliance toons were collecting dust and having them doing nothing made me feel guilty for not playing them. So I’ll be splitting up my game time between Earthen Ring and Aerie Peak for now as I take advantage of the 33% leveling increase.

 

A square peg at a roundtable

Last weekend, I was honored to take part as a guest on the Azeroth Roundtable podcast with Ben (@Althemage) and Jon (@Revendawn). If you haven’t heard, the podcast was formerly known as the Arcanum of Azeroth podcast and since Salem’s departure due to RL stuff, Ben and Jon have completely revamped and renamed the show. Of course, I had internet issues because it was storming in my area again. I think it’s Mother Nature’s cruel joke that whenever I’ve tried to take part in a live podcast show there always seems to be a flood, ice-storm, tornado, alien invasion, or a zombie apocolypse that seems to take place making my connections horribad.

Ben and Jon were quite accommodating despite my disconnections, and I had a great time whenever I could actually hear them or actually see the chat room. Omg, like everyone else I speak with those two are addicted to pet battles too. After hearing both of them all excited about Pet Battles it really did make me feel like a square peg at a roundtable. For the expansion so far I’ve resisted the addiction urge long enough from playing pet battles, but after talking with them I made Jon a promise I would try it out. So this weekend I shall plan to give it a try. If you get some time, please go and check out their show. The title of the episode where I failed them is called Have Some Cho Juice, but they have a lot of other episodes with other people who are much more entertaining and good at live shows. I’d like to also mention that Ben and Jon are some of my guildies over on Earthen Ring and I’m very proud of them for all of the good work they’re doing with their show ;P

Checking my list of things I want to cover for this post

  1. No warlock loot again – check
  2. Blizzard taking my money – Check
  3. My daughter taking my gold – check
  4. Ben and Jon at Azeroth Roundtable – Check
  5. Warlocks are  endearing characters – To do
  6. Highlighting Saga from Spellbound – To do    

 

Are warlocks endearing characters?

So I read a post by Vincentus over at LFRP called, Warlocks – Evil Misinterpreted. It’s a good post and everyone I know that plays a warlock eventually contemplates at some point as to how to view their warlock. From his point of view as an RPer, Vincentus in a round about way actually points out why warlocks are endearing. At least to me he does. In his post he gives ideas as how to view your character and to find their motivation for their actions. The only point I’d disagree with him about is when he says minions are not your friends. To me, my minions are my friends and companions, and I view them that way, but since I’m not an RPer I’m sure that considering your demons as a means to an end fits with the lore especially from the way Blizzard presents our class in the storylines.

To me, being completely evil is boring. Yes, being 100% evil might be fun for a bit especially when you have achieved world domination, but where’s the mystery? Where’s the suspense? Where’s the surprise? When a character is completely evil audiences loose touch with them quickly because they can’t sympathize with their actions especially when all the bad they do is justified with the phrase, “because they’re evil”. When you stop and think about scary and evil characters I’m sure you’ll find that the most memorable ones have a good story and motivation behind the character’s actions. When authors, screen writers, and movie directors get an evil character’s motivation presented in a clear way the “villain” of the story becomes quite memorable and sometimes people can empathize with them.

 

The question of, “Are warlocks evil?” has been around a long time. Don’t believe me? Hop over to google.com and type that question in the search window and you’ll see what I mean. You could spend several hours reading discussions from blogs, websites, and from the many forum posts. Vincentus offers some good advice in the fact that as warlocks, we’re wildcards and his key point is that if you’re always keeping them guessing about your motivations then you’re doing it right ;) 

So are warlocks all gloom and doom? Are we evil incarnate that’s hell bent on watching the world burn without a care? Or are we endearing and simply misunderstood?

 

Highlighting Saga

I can’t remember how long I’ve followed Saga’s blog over at Spellbound. Along with their writings about WoW and warlocks I always loved Saga’s blog name, and I love the look and feel of how they have the site is setup as well. Saga’s posts can vary from talking about what they are doing in game, to gear sets, to rotations, to talking about specific quests, to even something as simple as a Screenshot Sunday. Saga’s blog is always interesting, and never boring. 

If you’re wondering why I’m not referring to Saga as a “him” or a “her” it’s because to my own embarrassment I’m not really sure if Saga is a guy or a girl. I never asked and I always just considered Saga another warlock ;) Although, I suspect that Saga may be a girl IRL, and I can only hope Saga can clear that mystery up for me. I thought now would be as good a time as any for me to confess my ignorance on that matter since I probably should have asked long, long ago. Whenever I’ve corresponded with Saga it wasn’t really something I thought I needed to ask ;)

 

I would also like to point out that Saga was another warlock blogger who was kind enough to write me back after I contacted them asking for advice on blogging. He/she gave me a treasure trove of advice and one of the key points they offered was just to have fun. It sounds like simple advice, but all too often it’s easy to miss. Actually, it’s advice that should not only be carried with you for blogging, but for every aspect in your life as well. A positive attitude can carry you far no matter how bad things are going.

So with a heartfelt /bow and /salute, I present to you Saga…

Warlock Name: Démonique

Server: Stormrage – EU

Guild Name: KodeN

How long have you been a warlock? I created my Warlock in 2007, when my guild was still running Karazhan.

What specs are you currently running? My main spec at the moment is Destruction. I switch between Demonology and Affliction as off-spec depending on what I’m up to at the time.

What’s your favorite specialization and what do find the most appealing about that playstyle? I’ve always been a fan of the Destruction spec, since it allows me to melt faces with fel flames. It’s fairly quick paced with big crits, which I always enjoyed!

What’s your favorite spell and why? Chaos Bolt. It looks awesome and crits big. What else could a Warlock want?

What addons do you currently use besides the basic DBM and Recount? I’m an addon junkie.. So I will skip the UI altering ones, and just mention the utility ones I use.

NPCScan
AffDots
AskMrRobot
Auctioneer
BigBrother
ClassTimer
EnsidiaFails
EventAlert
Fatality
Grid
Herald
MapCoords
Mogit
Omen
OmniCC
Prat
Quartz
WarlockReminder

Do you prefer using a minion or using the Grimoire of Sacrifice? I always feel a little bit lost without a demon by my side, so I prefer using a minion. The class doesn’t feel like a proper Warlock if it doesn’t have a demon in tow, and so I always disliked the patches when Sacrifice was the way to go for the best dps.

Which is your favorite demon to command and why? Whatever the situation requires it what I will use, but I’ve always had a special connection to my Imp, Laznik. Perhaps because he was the very first demon I got. We have a love-hate relationship, you know.

Do you use any macros and if so which one? Right at this moment I don’t use any. I sometimes have specific ones for specific encounters or things I’m doing.

Your most (favorite / embarrassing / funny / proud / memorable) moment while playing your warlock was? (Feel free to use more than one) I really enjoyed the old Warlock quest to obtain our Dreadsteed. It was long and tedious, but also a whole lot of fun! Tanking Karathress in Serpentshrine Caverns is also a fond memory. I had to suit up in horrible-looking fire resistance gear (that made me look like I was getting ready for a day at the beach), and use my felpuppy. I remember hiding it out of LoS of the boss, and we had a Druid healer whose sole focus was keeping my pet alive! (So it could soak my damage with Soul Link.) Those were the good times! I don’t think I’ve ever died quite as many times as then though…

What flavor are your warlock cookies (examples: Chocolate Chip, Carmel, Salty QQ Mage Tears, Spicy Hawtness)? Fiery Hot with a hint of Awesome.

What is your favorite dungeon or PvP battleground and why? I always enjoyed Shadowfang Keep, but I have never been able to put a finger on why exactly. It may be linked to Silverpine Forest being one of my first zones when first leveling in WoW (as a horde back in the day), and the feeling of awe as I walked around. SFK is an extension of that, and I enjoy it to this day, even with the revamp.

Who is your favorite raid boss and why? I seem to be stuck in the past for these questions… I think my favourite raid boss is Onyxia. Even to this day I remember seeing her for the first time over my brother’s shoulder as he was introducing me to WoW. Later on I got to face her myself, and it was such an epic experience to fight a huge dragon together with 39 other people. I also really enjoy her lore, and getting to expose her in Stormwind.

What is your least favorite spell and why? To be fair, I’m quite fond of all the Warlock spells. I can’t decide on one for this.

If you could make up and give your warlock any title you wanted, what would it be? (examples: The Heartbreaker, Purveyor of Pain, The Uncaring, the Unforgiving) Démonique the Damned

What do you like most about playing a warlock? I like being evil and dabbling in fel magics. Getting to melt faces and laugh as I do so.

If you could add, change or remove anything with regards to the warlock class what would it be? I want a flying Warlock mount. Basically a Dreadsteed with demon wings. Blizzard, please?

Do you have any tips you can offer for newer warlock players, or to those who are new to your specialization? Play the spec that you enjoy. Unless you’re in a top guild, competing for the server first kills, the extra percent or so another spec might get you isn’t worth it if you don’t have fun. Try all specialisations, then pick the one that you enjoy the most. Then master it!

How can readers get in touch with you? They can check out my site http://spellbound.nu, my Twitter @SpellboundSaga or e-mail me on Saga@spellbound.nu