Archive for the ‘Of WoW and Warlocks’ Category

Hail Dastardly Denizens!

A source contacted me about a friend of theirs who happens to be in the tech alpha for WoD. They had some information to pass along to me since they knew I love warlocks. Needless to say I was shocked by what I heard. I’m not one for offering spoilers, but this info is just too juicy not to pass along. So if you don’t want any spoilers…turn back now! I will say this only one more time. If you do NOT want spoilers, then this is your last chance to shut down your browser and walk away.

You still here? Hehe. Good. If you’re reading this then you’re the conniving, immoral, and greedy warlocks Blizzard has made all of us out to be right? /em rubs evil bony hands in glee

Okay, just remember you asked for it

I guess this is a little payback on my part. Remember when Blizzard added the Kanrethad Ebonlocke green fire quest line and the designers forgot to mention that the Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion was for the first time attached to a new looting mechanic never seen anywhere else in the game? Oh, you remember…that little “First to Click” loot mechanic they didn’t tell us about? Ah, well let’s let bygones be bygones. Omg, I just said bygones? Who uses that word?

My source informed me that there will be a quest line for warlocks in WoD that will allow your Dreadsteed to fly. Crazier things have happened right? I mean we were given green fire so this doesn’t appear to be too far fetched. In fact, I kinda like the idea of adding demonic wings to one of the best looking ground mounts in the game. Do you think we’d have to call our majestic steeds All-Terrain vehicles (ATVs) when we’re able to eventually fly on them? Over land, water, and air we’ll roam. Nothing will be out of reach for us! World domination is here!

The source even included a data mined picture which sadly didn’t have a name attached. I’ll post the little beauty for your viewing pleasure now:

Of course, I have no clue why the image has blue shadings and I’m sure it would look much more impressive as burning flame red or with beautiful fel-green in the tinting. Personally, I’d also like to see the wings appear to be more bat-like-ish.


Crazier things have happened right?

Anyone remember when the name Heroes of the Storm was registered and passed around on the interwebs and people were going crazy thinking that was the name of the new expansion? Does anyone remember when The Mists of Pandaria expansion name was first mentioned and everyone thought that it was going to be an Iphone and Ipad app? I can even recall when MoP was finally announced there was a lot of shock and disbelief as some just couldn’t believe Blizzard was going to be adding panda bears to our beloved WoW. No way. It wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be.

Well to all of those naysers (Omg I just typed the word naysayer), I’d ask that you go and check your calendars and I’m sure if I told you it was April 1st that you could at least believe me on that one right? So on behalf of Legracen over at the Chaos Portal Show I’d like to wish all of you a fun, safe, and happy April Fools’ Day! All hate mail can be directed to @Legracen since he is the mastermind behind this April Fools’ day prank. I might be a despicable warlock, but even I enjoy a little tomfoolery from time to time. Omg, I just said tomfoolery.

I really would like to have bat wings on my Dreadsteed, and I think that idea sure beats having floating pink shards on my head when I run Affliction. What do you think is better? Floating pink shards above your head or a flying Dreadsteed? And how much hate mail will Legracen get over this idea?

Halllloooowww Everyone,

Yes, I know, it’s been almost 1, er…2…3 months a long time since my last post and I could probably come up with a whole slew of excuses as to why I’ve failed to write. Instead, I’ll just be honest with you and myself, and just openly admit that I’ve been lazy, wretched, and self-serving. What can I say? I’m a warlock right?

The reason for my laziness

In my last post back in November, I started to write up my own version of a basic “How to Demonology Guide” and I really did have every intention on getting it done. Since I’m a hack writer who constantly finds myself nitpicking and rewriting what I had previously written I soon came to realize that with all of my never ending revisions that I actually had written the post two or three times over. I know the expansion is winding down and it’s probably irrelevant at this point in time, but I still plan to get it posted because I’m still saddened that I haven’t seen very many Demonology warlocks anymore, and it is my hope that maybe, just maybe, a new fledgling warlock will read it and it might inspire them to try Demo.

Fwiw, I really do need to explain my absence if only to shed some of my own guilt so please humor me ;) A few days after my last post a couple of things occurred which made me lazy. First, my area was hit with two different snow storms that kept us from leaving our home for almost 2 weeks. My company also changed their vacation policy and I was forced to take three weeks of vacation before the end of the year. Then the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays arrived and they were followed up by our area getting hit with two more ice storms. So in a nutshell time has flown past me in a flash. What did I do during all of that down time? Omg, lots! I’m now running on two different flex teams, and I’ve filled in for a bunch of other teams with my alts on the nights when I’m not actually signed up to raid. Oh, and I guess I should mention I went from six toons at cap to now having 12!

The unexpected downtime with Recruit-A-Friend

You might be wondering how can I blame some snow, extra vacation time, and the holiday season as a reason for my being lazy when it comes to putting out posts? Well, I can blame them quite easily actually, but I have to truly blame two people who inspired me. You see, back in the early part of November I listened to @Ashayo and @Eljeppy on WoWgeekly as they discussed taking advantage of the Recruit-A-Friend program to help speed up the leveling process. I’ve always drooled at the 2 player rocket mount that you can only get through RAF, and when Blizzard offered up such a good deal on purchasing the game less than a week later it only helped to force and embolden galvanize my thoughts on getting a second account. 

Between hearing @Ashayo and @Eljeppy, and seeing Blizzard offering such a cheap deal I was already teetering on the edge, but it really was during that first snow storm hit that I jumped into getting a second account and taking advantage of Recruit-A-Friend. You see, normally when my area gets hit with that much snow and ice we either lose our cable and internet, or our electric service, and sometimes we lose both. This time; however, we were trapped inside our home but were fortunate enough to never lose any of our basic services. We had heat, we had TV, we had internet, and we had plenty of free time since we weren’t able to go anywhere.

On the very first day of being snowed in our home my oldest asked if she could play WoW. I let her start a new character on my account and after an hour or she approached me and asked if there was anyway we could play together. She didn’t have to ask me twice ;) and so I got her signed up on RAF. For the next five days, and for only a couple of hours each day we spent some Dad and daughter bonding time by questing, drinking hot chocolate, and running a ton of dungeons. When the snow began to melt less than one week later our toons had already reached the starting quest for the MoP Expansion.

As the home bound days, holidays and vacation days passed not only did we get our toons to cap, but we worked on a few more characters too. I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed playing the game with my daughter. She used to play the game a few years back, but when she started to notice boys all of that changed. In fact, when I asked her why the sudden turn around in wanting to play WoW her choice of words were something along the lines of, “because I love melting faces and OMG I really, really want a cloud serpent!”

Being greedy and self-serving

While my motives in purchasing a second account with RAF at the beginning might have been greedy and self-serving because I wanted to level a few new alts faster, and because I wanted that sweet two-player rocket mount it actually turned into something quite different. Instead, I found that I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter that was different from what we do in our normal lives. Don’t get me wrong, as a family we do a lot of things IRL together because we camp, we boat, we float, we hike, and from time to time we take trips or go on vacation. During the week we’re like most families in that we do homework, we attend sports games, and we try to stay sane with the demands of busy life; however, playing WoW with my daughter this time was something a little bit different and a little more special to me.

It was different because I got to have my daughter’s time and attention all to myself during the winter storms. She leaves for college this summer and I’m going to miss her more than she’ll ever know. So yes, I was greedy and self-serving in wanting to spend time with my daughter if even for a few hours fighting bad guys and flying on dragons. My daughter is old enough that I’ve come to grips with the fact that she’s not a little girl anymore. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m not the center of her world anymore like I was when she was younger. I’ve come to grips with the fact that when she leaves in six month to go off to college that her childhood years have come and gone and that they’re never going to come back.

So forgive my friends for being greedy and self-serving, and for being a few months behind on my posts.

What you can expect from me

I’ll be finishing up my demonology guide soon and from there I plan to write a post about taking a look at warlock demons and the skins that I would like to see available for them. Hunters can have their pick and choosing of companions so why can’t we?  Along with that I’ll be going back to look at more warlock transmogs, and I’ll be highlighting a few more warlocks with my Unleashing the Warlock Within series. I’ve got some things to rant about that I think need to be fixed for in-game quality of life stuff, and I want to talk about what warlocks could give up for the battle of the button bloat.

Just to make it easier to hold me accountable here’s a list:

  • Demonology Guide
  • Warlock minion skins
  • Rants and raves about things in-game
  • Button Bloat – What can we live without?
  • More Unleashing the Warlock Within player highlights


Things I’ve learned while I’ve been playing WoW with my daughter

Taurens can wear anything and they still look good. The view from the level of a gnome makes my neck ache. Tanking is a lot more fun than I remember. Trying to work too many farms on too many toons can become a second job and really hampers your play time. A new player has enough curiosity and questions to try your patience. Pet battling still isn’t for me. What you think is a fun aspect of the game isn’t always what someone in your party finds enjoyable. Newer players have a lot less tolerance for the trolls in LFR. Hot chocolate is best served with six medium sized marshmallows.


*If you want to hear a funny story listen to the latest Training Dummies podcast (Episode 61 titled – Bowling Bumper Boss Mods) to hear how Rob (Hotpox) found out my daughter plays WoW too.

About my podcast segments

To everyone who wrote and tweeted me about the “Winter Veil” song I did during the holidays, thank you! I really do appreciate the kind words. I haven’t had time to work on any segments lately, but I will be making more. The expansion is winding down and to be honest, so am I. I’m giving serious debate to taking part in the beta for The Warlords of Draenor due to time constraints and knowing how busy I’ll be getting when summer gets near. My segments are fun to put together and they do keep me out of trouble so I’m sure when inspiration hits me you can expect to hear some more snarkiness, and maybe even a very badly sung song or two.

Until next time, stay warm and have fun! 


Howdy and Hail All,

Okay. So, it’s been 1 month since my last post and yes, I feel really, really bad for my tardiness, but, let me explain why. It turns out my oldest did quite well on her ACT a few months back and so on the weekends we’ve been touring campuses for her future college. Its been a very surreal experience for me, and an eye opener for her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying touring the colleges with my daughter and I’m sure that whichever one she finally decides on to be her new home will be the right choice for her, but it still feels weird. I’m very proud, but it’s still weird.

For my life in Azeroth I’ve been busy raiding 3 nights per week. I’m doing 1 night in regular 10 man raiding, and 2 nights per week in flex raids. On the weekends I’ve been running in pug-flex groups on both the Alliance and Horde sides too. I’ve been quite busy in game and busy IRL, and to tell the truth I’ve been loving it. And while I feel like I’m getting a lot of things accomplished my blog has sadly been getting neglected and I hope this post makes up for it.

Believe it or not, I’ve written several posts that I just haven’t posted yet. The first one, which is my own little version of a Demonology 101 guide I’ll post next and it’s not really little. In fact, I think I’m driving myself nutty with all of the revisions I’ve made in trying to cut it down in size. The second post, which I’ll put up a little later this month, takes a closer look at our demons and their skins. It might sound gross, but it’s not what you think. 

Following up on my in-game and online friends – or should I just say friends?

A few weeks ago I was asked to be on the Training Dummies Podcast with Hend and Hotpox. It was an honor to have been invited on the show and I had such a good time chatting with the guys. As you know “live” shows make me a nervous wreck and of course in my dorky way I might have gotten a little long winded talking about warlocks with them. OMG, I went on and on and on about warlocks. Ya know, someone really needs to kick me when get to talking about warlocks and I can’t shut-up! /em slams head on desk in embarrassment. The good news is that Hend, who’s only ever tried Destruction, promised that he’s going to try Affliction and Demonology, and I promised that I’d go and help him get started. I’ll keep you posted as to how that turns out.

I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Saga from Spellbound was on the Twisted Nether Blogcast last month, and so was Ambermist from Tastes Like Battlechicken. I really enjoyed hearing both of them since I’ve followed their blogs for some time I’d like to personally say thank you to both of them for sharing their stories, and a special thanks goes to the TNB for doing the interviews! Also if you haven’t heard, @Eljeppy and @Ashayo have started their own podcast called WoWGeekly. I really enjoy hearing those two talk about their experiences playing the game, and they always make me laugh because they tell just as many stories as I do (but theirs are funnier). Nice show gentlemen, you have a friend and a fan in me so keep up the great work. I’m also very proud of my friend @Leetawow for all of her hard work and the success she’s having with her show that I’ve mentioned before called, Behind The Avatar. When you get time go and check them out!

About two months ago, I was very excited because I received an email from Ghemit wanting to know if I’d be a guest on the Lets WoW Podcast for their Halloween special with him, Dae and Uno. Of course I told him I would, but sadly about two weeks ago I saw Twitter explode with people talking about Ghemit leaving WoW. I just assumed that the holiday show he asked me to be on was cancelled, but you know what happens when you assume ;) It turns out that they still planned on doing the show, and Ghemit is just taking a break from the game and he plans to come back. He’s going to Blizzcon if that tells you anything :P So lucky for me this past Sunday night I spent 2 hours chatting it up with the Lets WoW Podcast crew via Skype. I had such a great time and those guys are a lot of fun! I also learned you need to be careful for what you say when you think people have a microphone turned off ;) So checked out their latest show called, “It’s not my fault!”.


The Lets Wow Podcast “Derp a Developer” Blizzard store mount contest

Here’s a few teasers I’ll toss out about my visit with the Lets Wow Podcast crew. First, Dae cosplaying a troll while Uno does a voice-over for her is classic! Go watch that 1 minute clip like now! Ghemit plans to “Derp a Developer” at Blizzcon, and I promised to give their next contest winner any in game mount of their choice. To enter the contest for a chance to win the mount all you have to do is email what question you’d like to see Ghemit ask a developer at the convention. Whatever question Ghemit picks to ask wins! So the more crazy and bizarre the question the better! Just submit your question to: ghemit @ letswowpodcast. com (with no spaces). The deadline for your question submission is November 9th and you can’t win if you don’t enter!

If I don’t say it often enough then I have to say it again. I am so very thankful and humbled for all of the great people and friends I’ve met from playing WoW and from having started this derpy little blog about warlocks. It amazes me to no end!


So many good podcasts and blogs and so little time

Sadly, I have to be honest in the fact I just can’t keep up with all of the WoW podcasts anymore. I still try to hear as many as I can during the week, but I think there’s well over 60+ shows now that are dedicated to WoW. OMG, that’s an insane amount of shows dedicated to one game and it’s jut too many for me to keep up with on a weekly basis. I do my best and try to listen to as many as I can, but now I’m playing them on Stitcher Radio as 1.5x speed just to stay current. Hey, it works so I can’t complain.


What? Demonology? Why you no run Affliction or Destruction?

Yes, it’s true. I’ve been running Demonology a lot lately and if you heard me talking endlessly on the Training Dummies (and you still managed to stay awake) then you might of heard my reasons as to why I’ve made a change. Let me just state that first and foremost, I am a warlock. I’m proud of having always played a warlock and it doesn’t really matter what spec I’m playing because at the end of the day I’m still a warlock. Despite the fact that I’m running more Demo lately, I still love Affliction even though I’m not quite happy with the new changes that arrived in patch 5.4.

Believe me, the shrill cries from my enemies as my DoTs tick down on them still rings like sweet music to my ears, but the recent changes to Affliction have made the spec feel much more dependent on RNG procs than I would prefer. The once smooth and flowing rotation style of Affliction now feels like it gets humming along and then it’s like, “OMG a proc! SB:Soulswap and re-DoT all things again!” Affliction in 5.4  feels too reactionary for me to enjoy atm. For me, it’s like Affliction has lost it’s groove so to speak or at least the groove I felt when I played it. So I decided it was time for a small change-up in my play style to keep the game fun and to keep me from getting bored.

Why did I go Demonology and not Destruction like a majority of the other warlocks out there? I know Destruction is fun, and I completely understand why people are loving big crits from Chaos Bolt hits like my friend Hend admitted on the Training Dummies show, but I can’t help to look at Demonology and think that it deserves some love and attention too. Let’s be honest, early on in the MoP expansion Affliction stood out in the spotlight and now it appears that Destruction is exploding once again (no pun intended) in popularity. Demonology, on the other hand, has never really peaked in popularity like Destruction or Affliction and so I decided it was about time to explain why it’s a specialization I hope other warlocks consider playing, or to at least try out for an off-spec. Another reason I decided to go Demo is because it offers more planning and control with my damage as compared to crossing my fingers and trinket watching.

Why should you consider playing Demonology? 

If you’ve never run Demonology, or you had in the past but haven’t dabbled with it in quite some time, please consider trying it out. Demonology really isn’t that hard to learn, and believe me when the timing is right and all of your cooldowns are gtg your head will swoon from the intoxicating surge of demonic power you’re about to unleash. When you reach the snapping point in your rotation and you’re about to destroy everything that moment is glorious!

If you’re a die-hard Destruction fan who gets excited about having your Dark Soul: Instability available just as bloodlust and/or heroism is popped and you have a spell bar full of embers, or if you’re an Afflictionist who cackles madly when your trinkets proc and you find that you still have enough shards for Soulburn:Soul Swap topped with plenty of Haunts, or if you never tried Demonology because you thought it looked too complicated and too confusing then I hope you consider dabbling into Demonology. So plan to stop back by and check out my little Demonology 101 Guide next week.


When RNG pays off is it too good to be true?

All Hallow’s Eve 2103 will be long remembered by me because two of the luckiest drops I ever got happened in the span of less than 40 mins, and like most things in my life it happened out of an accident. It all started when my youngest child woke up in the wee hours on Hallow’s Eve morning due to being sick. After finally getting him settled and back to bed it turns out that I was still wide awake and I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I logged into the game to check some auctions and it wasn’t long before a friend /w me asking if I’d give him a quick que for the Horseman since I have a healer and his toon is a dps. Okay fine. We finished the run without any problems and I left group to head to my farm to finish up my daily chores. When I arrived at the Halfhill Inn I started cleaning out my bags by the mailbox and when I clicked on the loot bag from the Horseman voila! Boom! The Reins of the Horseman sat in the loot window staring back at me. Needless to say, I passed out.


When I awoke and I couldn’t contain myself from the excitement I began telling everyone what happend. From /gchat to /whispers to /general to /trade and anyone on my friends list…I told everyone. If you were logged in-game at that time you might have seen me spamming my macro of, “OMG I got the Horseman Mount!” Yes, I was quite obnoxious about it ;) Since I still had a few hours before I had to leave for work, and because most people at that point put me on ignore I thought to myself, “Why not go and run Onyxia’s Lair?” So can you imagine my surprise when after my first attempt (for the week) I see the elusive Reins of the Onyxian Drake sitting in the loot window? Needless to say, I passed out again.


This time when I awoke from utter shock I wasn’t sure if I should tell anyone or not. First, I didn’t want to get put on ignore again, and second, I wasn’t sure if anyone would believe me. Heck, I didn’t even believe it myself. So I peeked back in my bags again and yep, the Onyxia mount was still there. Needless to say I passed out a third time. Now before you hate me for what might be considered bragging please keep in mind that I’ve run Ony every week on 6 toons for what feels like forever, and I have been running all of my toons for the Horseman’s mount every year as well. Please consider that both of these drops occurred after many failed attempts. I’m just quite dumbfounded that they finally dropped in under an hour on the same day. Holy crapolie!

Another lucky thing had happened to me just a few days before the rare mounts dropped too. I was on my Alliance Hunter and decided to check to see if Portent, the rare Quillen, was up. At the first place I stopped to look I came upon a set of tracks that didn’t continue further along the trail. I immediately tossed up a flare and there before me shimmering in the yellow glow of the flickering light was Portent. Out of the four different colors that this hunter pet can appear in this particular Portent was even in the color I was wanting too. I guess with all the bad RNG I’m having in not getting any decent gear drops, or secret drops, or runestone drops via raiding, when RNG pays off elsewhere in the game for me maybe it just seems too good to be true?


For everyone going to Blizzcon

Have a safe journey and enjoy the fun, and please make sure to send lots of pics on twitter! Have a great week everyone and have a great convention!

Howdy All,

As you can tell, I’m a little behind on my bi-monthly posts ;) My apologies truly, but sometimes RL just happens to get in the way of my hack writing. Luckily, my RL work has slowed up a bit, the kids are back in school, and the announcement of patch 5.4 being here on September 10th has helped me sharpen my focus on what I would like to accomplish before it hits. It often feels like I have too many alts and not enough time in the day! *Sighs*

I had a difficult time in trying to decide on what to write about this week. There’s so much news going on out there: Flex raiding, new mounts, new pets, new quests, new raids, a new trailer, and the new end goal of ousting Garrosh for good; however, I decided I want to take a step back and look at something that made the news a few weeks ago that I think deserves a little more attention and discussion.


A interesting topic sparked from an Elf

About 1 month ago I read a post over at The Grumpy Elf called, Will the Proving Grounds Help or Hurt?  The post is well written and well thought out, and it’s well worth the read. And while I agree with all of the points TGE is making, I couldn’t help and ponder about the upcoming addition to the game that designed to help players practice how to play their class with the use of a new training area called The Proving Grounds.

At first, I began reading The Grumpy Elf’s post with the idea that he would be discussing how newer and seasoned players would be taught how to play their class starting with basic rotations and eventually working their way towards mastering it; however, after reading the first few paragraphs I realized that derpy me misunderstood the meaning of the post’s title. The real point The Grumpy Elf is trying to convey is about how people might possibly use the new Proving Grounds area as a measuring stick, or as a way to judge another player on their abilities in-game. Like TGE, I never used a player’s gear score or in-game achievements to judge anyone, and I can honestly admit, that I don’t plan to use the Proving Grounds as a measuring stick either.

If you’re not in the beta or if you’re not aware of this new addition that is being added to WoW in the upcoming 5.4 patch then let me explain what the Proving Grounds are and what they’re suppose to do. The premise of the Proving Grounds is that a player will enter a solo instance or solo scenario type of environment to help practice the role of their class. In its basic concept it’s designed to aid a person and to make them a better player. It’s a novel concept particularly for players who would like to try taking on the role of tanking or healing without the added pressure of being in a group setting. It’s a safe place to get your feet wet in learning your role and where making mistakes won’t get you kicked. Now whether the Proving Grounds will be able to accomplish that task, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.


Easy to learn, difficult to master

Easy to learn, difficult to master. I hear this phrase tossed around all the time about World of Warcraft and most of Blizzard’s games in general. It’s a catchy phrase and it’s got that “cool” quality factor hidden in the wording that gives it a bit of mystique and intrigue. Like I said, it’s a catchy phrase, but the problem I have with how the phrase is used in that it’s very ambiguous as to where one would learn to master their playing skills. When I first heard about the Proving Grounds I have to admit I really like the idea behind it because I was hoping that Blizzard would finally create a learning environment in the game that actually trained players how to play their class better.

Sadly, some of the information I’ve been reading regarding the Proving Grounds on the PTR makes it sound like this new teaching system may fall short of my expectations. From what I can gather it sounds like a player is dropped off in a small arena to solo fight various waves of mobs and depending on the role they’ve chosen (heals, tank, or dps) it’s left up to the player to “practice” with little guidance or direction other than what Blizzard already offers in the game via the Spellbook and Core Abilities Tab. You have to agree that the Proving Grounds definitely sound better than just smacking a target dummy, but I can’t help but wonder how soon will it be before we’ll be seeing videos, blogs, and web magazines offering guides for how to complete the new Proving Ground encounters.

One of my biggest pet-peeves about WoW is when you have to alt-tab out of the game to gather information about how to do something in-game from another website, and when it comes to playing your class role better I don’t know anyone that doesn’t seek advice from some other place on the internet instead of learning it from the game. Shouldn’t it be Blizzard’s role to help train a player to the fundamentals of their class?  How many times have you seen or heard someone ask how to play a class better only to get directed to some place else? There’s a ton of sites out there that offer help in making you a better player, and I’m sure you’ve probably visited these sites yourself because who hasn’t heard of sites like Elitist Jerks? MMO Champion? Icy-Veins? or WoWInsider? I just find it odd and puzzling when I stop to consider why isn’t any of this player education coming from Blizzard?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for all of the hard work being done at these websites and for all of the writers and people who help compile all of this great information ( /em mourns the loss of The Warcraft Hunters Union and the Fatboss guys), but I can’t help but think that Blizzard is missing a great opportunity to take on the role for teaching their players how to actually play rather than let others do it for them.


Training and learning tools that are currently available in the game

When you stop and think about the training and learning tools that are currently available in the game, you’ll soon find there isn’t much of anything to teach a player how to really play. When I stopped and tried to think of what the game offered I could only count a few teaching tools and they are: Use X on Y quests, The Spellbook, the Core Abilities Tab, and Target Dummies.

In regards to the type of training that has a player use X on Y quests I know there’s still a very low level quest for warlocks where you’re asked to use the Immolate spell a few times on a nearby target dummy and then you’re done, you’re rewarded, and then you just move on. I call it the “Use X on Y” quest. All this type of teaching quest does is acknowledge that you learned how to find the Immolate spell on your action bar and that you could click on it a few times while targeting a target dummy. It’s a simple enough quest to complete, but for a new player that is just starting out there’s a lot of small details that this quest doesn’t show or explain.

As seasoned players we all know the difference between a DoT and a direct damage ability, and we understand the difference between a buff or a debuff including various other important terms we consider as common knowledge, but would a new player know these things? Would a new player who completed the Immolate spell quest understand what the debuff box on the target dummy’s character window showed and why it was important? The Immolate quest doesn’t explain that this spell should always be kept up on a target during battle and the only way a player might come find and understand this idea of keeping Immolate up on a target is if they read this concept on the Core Abilities Tab.

Another problem with the learn Immolate quest is that unlike a regular foe or mob you’d face in battle, the target dummy doesn’t fight back or respond. Did you spam Immolate twice on that thing? Yep. Okay, take your loot and move along because there’s nothing else to teach you here.


For seasoned players the game’s simple tasks and concepts like the “Use X on Y” quest and what a damage-over-time (DoT) spell is might be laughable and almost too elementary, but I’m trying to be open minded and imagine what learning the game would be like from the view of a new player. Other than a few of the “Use X on Y” quests does anyone ever recall a system in the game that told you what order you needed to toss out your spells and abilities to be the most optimal? Oh sure, we have the new Core Abilities tab but before Blizzard added this feature in MoP there was nothing to guide you to be a better player other than your spells tooltips, experimenting, or being taught from other players or visiting other websites.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought about how new players learn to master their class after helping a few fledgling warlocks who were still a little bit confused on how to do better. All of them complained that they wished something was in the game that could have shown them the few tips I merely pointed out. Where did I learn these tips? Well, as much as I’d like to think I’m clever, I’m not. I learned these tips like most players by reading as much as I can about our class from other sites. So while Blizzard’s implementation of the Core Abilities Tab is a start in the right direction I still believe it falls quite short of actually being helpful. The main problem with the Core Abilities Tab is that it’s too basic to offer any true value other than maybe being useful for attacking a daily quest mob. When you consider it’s worth for a dungeon boss you’ll find it rather lacking.


<Ability Name> Keep this on the target at all times.

<Ability Name> Use this spell next, or when it lights up.

<Ability Name> Use on target when it’s below 20% health.

<Ability Name> Spam this when you have nothing else to do.

The picture above shows the Core Abilities tab for an Affliction warlock. I remember back a few months ago when I once had another player ask me why it shows Corruption as the first spell to cast because when an Affliction warlock applies their DoTs instantly using the Soulburn: Soul Swap mechanic, then the DoTs are actually applied in a different order. The Core Abilities infers that the order should be Corr > Agony > UA. When applied using the Soulburn method they actually go up on the target as Agony > Corr > UA. I know that both Corruption and Agony are instant casts and as long as those spells are both up and ticking away it’s probably not a big difference in dps as to which order they are applied, but for a newer player you can understand their confusion. If you don’t know what you don’t know, how does a player know they’re doing it right?

All of the little intricacies

When I was helping three new fledgling warlocks just a few weeks ago I noticed a big difference in how they learned. For two of the players who were running on an alt-toon all it took was for me to throw out a few key terms and explanations about game mechanics that they already understood to get them up and running quickly, but the third player who was completely new to the game it took a little more time and effort to get them feeling confident about the what they were doing, and to grasp the reasoning behind it. My intention is not to embarrass this newer player for not knowing or understanding important game mechanics, instead, my intention is to point out how Blizzard could be doing more to help educate their player base a little bit better.

The problem the newer player was having was despite having a decent ilvl they were still having trouble with lower geared warlocks out performing them on the dps meters. So I had this player meet me by the target dummies and I had them show me what they normally did on their rotation. Within the first minute of watching and having them explain to me what they were doing a couple of small things soon stuck out on where they could improve. Unbeknownst to this player they were using trinkets and the Dark Soul ability incorrectly. The concept of renewing “DoT snapshots” was never explained to them and this player believed that when you popped a trinket or a big cooldown ability like Dark Soul that your spells increased at a higher damage output automatically. I don’t blame this person for thinking that way, nor do I look down on them. None of the teaching tools in the game explain this concept so how could you blame this player for thinking this way? 


Teaching new players

There’s so many different ways Blizzard could help teach people in game to play their class better, and I hope that if Blizzard is going to add a teaching aid (like the Proving Grounds) that they’d go all out and do it right. My youngest recently purchased the video game series Portal I and Portal II with allowance money he carefully saved up. I sat and watched my son load up the first game and within five minutes of entering the game’s world he had all of the basics down of what to do in a simple walk-through type of scenario. In about 15 minutes he was completely acclimated to the game’s world in moving, completing puzzles and scenarios, and using action buttons for his guns to pop in and out of the portals to manipulate objects and various things in the environment.

The Portal Game designers were able to teach my son, and me, all of these complex concepts within the span of 15 minutes in a very entertaining way (Omg those robots are hilarious!). I went back and counted 18 variables we had learned and mastered in that quick span of time. Now I understand that while the Portal game’s abilities and commands are nothing close to the number of of spells a WoW character would have access to using it’s still a great example of how a simple teaching method could be added for better training of players.

What if at every 10 levels you were told to go see your class trainer who walked you through simple concepts like what they show on the Core Abilities tab and how to use them in a real kind of setting? What if like the Proving Grounds players were placed in an instance or scenario as mobs appeared that you would battle as the trainer instructed you on what abilities you should use at the appropriate times?

If you’ve completed the Valley of the Four Winds area you might remember being instructed over in Paoquan Hallow about focusing energy. The questline is a tongue-in-cheek reference towards The Karate Kid movie that moves you along a path in training you how to focus your energy, and throughout the expansion that same mechanic is used several times. The mechanic itself is very easy to do and even though its only a single button push it still makes me wish Blizzard would have added a quest line like that back in Cataclysm to help teach people to push the button correctly on the Ultraxion fight. I’m sure if they did it might have saved more than a few wipes.


What I’d like to see in the Proving Grounds

Here’s the three key things I’d like to see in the proving grounds that could be toggled on or off as a player becomes confident in their skills: A Graphical Display, Class Trainers, and the option to have a Spectator Mode.


A Graphical Display

When it comes to a graphical display tool the easiest description I can offer is an older addon called Easy Destro. The Easy Destro addon became wildly popular back in WotLK when everyone started switching over to playing the Destruction spec because it began putting out the best numbers. All this particular addon did was incorporate a window to your screen that you could resize to be big or small, and could be moved anywhere for easy viewing. When you entered combat the Easy Destro addon would display the icon of the spell you needed to cast next to reach the optimal damage in your rotation. Once you cast the correct spell it would then instantly switch to the next spell you should be casting.

The simplicity of the Easy Destro addon helped players execute the Destruction warlock rotation for single target fights only and a lot of warlocks used it until they grasped the flow of the rotation. When a player felt comfortable with what they were doing they just turned it off. The addon didn’t offer and insight into burst, CC, or AoE education. It made learning the rotation quick and painless and people loved it.

Now I’m sure by even suggesting that Blizzard add a teaching feature like the Easy Destro Addon type of learning tool to the Proving Grounds many of the more elitist types would argue that it’s dumbing down the player base and making the game way too easy. I hate to break the news to them but isn’t that what the Core Abilities tab is trying to do only falling short? Blizzard could even take the Easy Destro addon a step further and add features that Easy Destro was lacking such as training for burst, CC and AoE situations. 

Class Trainers

My second suggestion for improving the Proving Grounds would be for Blizz to dust off all of those old class trainers who find themselves neglected and put them back to work. You just know those old NPCs are bored to tear. All they do is sit waiting around to offer a few low level quests to leveling players every now and then, and you know they probably go giddy whenever a player drops by to ask for a quick respec. C’mon Blizzard give some respect back to the Class trainers! Believe me, everyone loves to have a good mentor. How many movies have been made about a teacher that inspires their students? From The Karate Kid, to Mr. Holland’s Opus, there’s tons of movies that fit that genre and for good reason. And to help make the Class Trainer NPCs truly shine all Blizzard would need to do is let them help the player by filling in the little details that the graphical display can’t show or explain.

For a game that changes so often and so quickly, do you think it would be too difficult to add something like this? I don’t think so. By combining “use X on Y” type quests, offering a simple graphical display, and adding smaller details explained by a class trainer through the use of text I think it’s quite doable. Imagine walking into a small arena facing a single enemy as your class trainer sits off to the side waiting for you to begin. After accepting your training starter quest from them you are offered several choices as to what skills you’d like to work on.

“Hail <PLAYER NAME>! So you’ve come for more training in mastering our class? A very wise choice indeed. Well, if you feel up to it…which skills would you like to sharpen?

  • Basic Spells
  • Single Target Rotation
  • Advanced Single Target Rotation
  • Facing multiple enemies
  • Advanced skills – CC, Interrupts, and whatever else


If the newer warlock who didn’t understand how Dark Soul and DoT snapshots worked it could have been easily explained from the trainer followed by a combination of the “Use X on Y” quest coupled with the Graphical Display and some text from a class trainer. 


A Spectator Mode

To me the most important step Blizzard could do to help aid players is to allow the Proving Grounds to have a spectator mode. Have you ever tried to explain something to someone over the phone when the other person couldn’t see what you were seeing? With a spectator mode integrated into the Proving Grounds your friends and other experienced players could watch you and help offer advice if needed. Maybe you’re a tank and you need help learning how to use Tidy Plates? Maybe you’re a healer and need help learning a healing addon like Healbot or Vuhdo. Maybe you’re a dps who is just trying to get better at using your CC to the fullest? Adding a spectator mode would be a great tool to compliment all of those situations and more.

When you stop and think about it, Blizzard already has a spectator mode set in place such as when players group into a party or raid to practice on the target dummies. Another good example can be seen in the Brawler’s Guild as you can stand along the sides of the arena to watch other players compete. By adding a spectator mode to to the Proving Grounds groups can work at their own pace in a controlled environment so as not to interrupt or annoy other players, and it gives the group the opportunity not to be bothered or distracted by randomly re-spawning mobs.


A Brawler’s Guild with benefits

I guess When you get right down to it the type of Proving Grounds I’m envisioning is really another Brawler’s Guild, but with the added benefits of having a graphical display and a competent class trainer added to help offer advice and advanced tips. With all of the creative ideas I’ve watched Blizzard add into the game, I know that they could make a useful training tool like this a reality where a player would not only learn basic play, but could work towards advancing their skill to finally becoming master of their specialization and their class.

For the past week I’ve been working on this post and imagine my surprise when as I was driving home tonight and listening to the newest Convert to Raid podcast (#109) and it just so happens that they were interviewing Ion Hazzikostas. It’s a good interview and I recommend you give it a listen when you can find the time. Without giving too much away I’ll just say that when the topic of the Proving Grounds is brought up I became sadly disappointed. From the explanations Ion gave it sounds like the Proving Grounds are just going to be single person scenario with no guidance or instruction. Ion even admitted that the Proving Grounds won’t be offering a spectator mode either. The reason? The designers didn’t want players to be embarrassed if others players saw them make mistakes. I have an easy fix for that problem for the Blizzard to consider. Why not just allow a spectator mode to occur only if players enter as a party or a group? If a player enters alone, then spectator mode is turned off. I think that is an easy fix don’t you? 

From Ion’s answers it really does sound like the Proving Grounds is just a single player instance with no particular guidance.  I hope I’m wrong, but I’m thinking that if Blizzard wanted to take the easy route on creating the Proving Grounds then they should have just removed the Core Abilities Tab and instead added a “Core Link Tab” that listed other sites or videos that actually try to teach their players instead. When you click on any of the suggestions listed on the Core Link Tab then the game could automatically open a web browser and direct you to those sites. Adding something like that would probably be more helpful IMHO. And why not add a Core Link Tab because it’s what most people do anyway right?

What you can expect

Since I’m getting back on track in RL, and I’m back on track with getting out my bi-monthly posts I want to let you know what you can expect from me. I still have a lot of great warlocks to highlight with my Unleashing the Warlock Within series, I’m also working on a special post about our demons, and I’m collecting what feels like gigabytes and gigabytes of good and bad Tmog pictures too.

Have a great week and as always, thanks for reading!

Hail All,

I hope all of you are doing well, and if you’re in the States I hope that that your 4th of July Holiday went great. I’d like to thank everyone for the kind words concerning my “Car Wash / Warlock” segment. When you do something derpy like that you never know if people will enjoy it, or think you’re a nutcase. Maybe they’ll just think you’re a derpy nutcase? Either way, thank you all so much for the kind words. I blame Pandora for inspiring the idea behind that segment. I was having lunch reading the forums and listening to some music station on Pandora, and the channel happened to play the song Car Wash in the background when all of a sudden, “Bam!” The odd idea just popped into my goofy head. That’s how inspiration and motivation often strike me and there’s little I can do to stop it from happening.


The calm before the storm

It’s that time during an expansion when I like to think it’s the calm before the storm. There’s a lull in the game play as patch 5.4 is still a ways off from launch, and people are busy clearing content and leveling alts to pass the time until the new patch hits. I have to admit that for me, it feels like I can finally take a deep breath. And a much needed breath it has been too. I’m enjoying the constant rush of new content at the faster pace Blizzard has been providing it, while at the same time I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed when I try to find the time to run my alt characters. I’m thankful that this small break or lull in the action has given me the time to catch up with what I want to accomplish in game and to refresh my focus.

My goal is that when 5.4 hits, all six of my toons will be LFR geared for all of the latest content. That way, I can hop on any one of my home servers and jump into any group who might need a dps or heals. I’m getting close to that goal, but I still have a lot of work to do. I find it odd that sometimes it seems like gear drops on every single boss, then the next week it’s absolutely a bust. *Sighs* Such is life when it’s balanced around RNG whether it’s in game or not.


The creativity of people

Being a social creature, I love to see other people having fun and being creative in their own way. So I’d like to take the time to point out a few. Over on the Aerie Peak server I can’t help but mention @BelshnickleCTR and @Summer_Sal and the new video / podcast they have been producing called, The Converted Podcast. Shortly after the new CtR guild got up and running, these two began creating their show which highlights raid teams, players, and events within the CtR guild. They’re doing a great job and I find them both very entertaining as they carry their show. You can easily tell that both are having a lot of fun as they’re making it and it shows.

I also can’t help but mention the crew over at the AIE Podcast (also a video cast too) that have consistently put out great content for the AIE guild over the years. @AcuZod, @Alludra_AIE, and @Shownotfound (Ghomus) will soon be recording episode #153 of the show and once again it’s a group that plays well off of one another. Since the AIE Podcast is all about the AIE community, they have been covering news and events for every game where AIE has a community. Bah! I forget how many games that now includes, but I can tell you it’s a lot. It’s enough where I think listing all of them would bore you, but you could probably mention every major game title, tack on 20 more and you might be getting close. When you add the AIE Steam community to that number as well it begins to boggle ones mind.

While anyone can tune in to watch or listen to either of these shows, both are more focused on their members as compared to a greater mass market. Is that bad? No. It’s not. What it shows me is that they do what they do because they enjoy serving their fellow gamers.

And then there’s my WoW Muse Leeta

If you’ve been reading my blog from time to time, you may have heard me talk about @LeetaWoW. She’s my muse when it comes to Warcraft because she’s a person that makes me think, and wonder, and spurs on my motivation. I think I’ve known Leeta a little over a year and half now, and sadly we don’t get to talk as much as I would like. Her and I have a lot in common when it comes to WoW because we both love warlocks, we both enjoy a good Transmog set, we both enjoy the game and other people, and we both love listening to podcasts. Whenever we do find the time to talk with one another it’s like sitting down with an old friend that I’ve known for years. Leeta reminds me of my wife IRL to a large degree, she’s soft-spoken, genuine and is concerned for everyone but herself. As @CasuallyCasual described her on twitter, “Leeta is a true sweetheart!”

Recently, Leeta began pursuing her passion and has started her own podcast and I’m so happy for her. Unlike most podcasts her focus isn’t really about the game. Well it is, and it isn’t. Her focus is more about the people behind the characters she sees on the screen. The name for her show speaks for itself and it’s called, Behind the Avatar. I was honored when two weeks ago she asked me to take part on being on the show for episode #4. I had a lot of fun and of course I found myself repeating and saying all the things I do when I’m nervous taking part in anything recorded live. Chatting with Leeta is always fun though even if she’s recording me :)

In her latest episode she talks it up with @Eljeppy, who I always enjoy hearing on whatever podcast he’s on. Jeppy has so many great stories about the game and it’s always entertaining to hear them, trust me on that one.


Team Tweet Raid, Mementh and whatnot

Whatnot. I hear that word so much from WoW players I’m to the point that I’ve even found myself saying it now. I don’t know why but it reminds me of that Jerry Seinfeld episode with the “Yada, yada, yada” girlfriend of George Costanza. So usually when I login to WoW I’ll do some dailies, tend my farm, run something and whatnot. Well lately, the “whatnot” on Saturday nights has been running with Team Tweet Raid (TTR) helping other WoW twitter friends get achieves and tmog items from older content. TTR is run by one of my newest friends @Mementh who is the king of Re-tweeting what other people tweet that he finds interesting. Mementh is a good raid leader too. He’s patient and helpful in explaining the encounters out to the folks who have never done them before. Team Tweet Raid also makes runs for both Horde and Alliance toons. It’s a lot of fun and it’s something different, and if you’re interested you should check it out.


To join TTR is quite easy, just follow TTR on Twitter and DM @Mementh your Real ID so he can put you on the list. They even put out tweets before the run begins to remind people. I think it’s a creative way to bring new friends together to enjoy a change from what we normally do and whatnot! Gah! See? I keep saying whatnot now!


Another fun night spent with Navimie and the Frostwolf Clan

So the golden calf (@Navimie) and I have been playing phone tag. Er…maybe I should say /w tag? Tweet tag? How about any electronic communication tag? The good news for me was that Navimie and I got a chance to talk for a little bit over on the Frostwolves guild chat on their new server. Yes, Oceanic servers still hate my internet. Yes, it took me about 20 login attempts before I could get logged in. Persistance paid off because eventually I found myself on another level 1 warlock over at the Deathknell, in Tirisfal Glades on Oceanic’s Saurfang server vying for the good graces of Undertaker Mordo again. Navie immediately sent me an invite and derpy me got the opportunity to annoy chat with my home-away-from-home guildies, The Frostwoves.

Navie was accomodating and adorable as always and for those of you who are going to Blizzcon you’ll be glad to know that she’s going too! Pics Navie! I want pics of everything! Btw, I love the new Frostwolf guild logo.


Keeping on top of Patch 5.4 and the PTR

If you haven’t kept up on the latest news, you really should go read up on what @Slowpoker / Poneria has been posting on WoWInsider over on her Blood Pact column. She’s been following the changes quite extensively and has been doing a good job of bringing up the discussion on both the good and bad. I’m still in the sit and wait mode. Who knows how much of our play style will change? I’m sure some warlocks may like the new changes and some of them won’t. You can never make everyone happy. It seems like every expansion launch there’s a ton of QQ with every class until people accept the change and change their views. Me? I still plan to be playing my warlocks.

Also, a couple of posts back, Saga over on Spellbound had a great list of warlock gear that I forgot to mention too. If you need a quick shopping list of where you should be spending your time for an up in your gear, it’s a great list to check. Thanks for taking the time to put that together Saga! Linking all of those items takes some work!


Before anyone asks about my retiring comment

If you got a chance to hear my talk with Leeta on her Behind the Avatar Podcast you may have heard me talk about retiring. So if you would please indulge me I’d like to explain a couple of things. First, my RL job over the past few months has scaled up quite a bit. Basically, my workload has almost doubled, but I’m still doing my best at keeping up with my blog and my audio segment submissions. As it stands right now, I’m getting a post and a segment out every two weeks and I’m quite surprised I’ve been able to accomplish even that with my lack of spare time. My goal has always been to make a segment and a post 1x per week and since I’m the compulsive type it doesn’t make me feel better to know that I’ve had to cut back on them both.


I don’t want to give up my blog or making my segments, but I have considered retiring from my audio stuff. As most of you know, I started my audio segments as a fluke shortly after starting this blog and they kinda took on a life of their own. I’m getting close to covering everything I can about warlocks for the MoP expansion which was my original goal when I began creating them. Another big factor that I have to consider is that my oldest will be starting her senior year of high-school in less than six weeks. It will be my last year having her in the house and it’s going to be tough when she leaves. She’s a great kid and she’s my weed (I say that affectionately). She can grow anywhere she finds herself planted and she thrives in any environment. I just know when she does leave one year from now it will be quite difficult to take. And so anything that might take away from any time we could spend together during this next year has me considering the importance of it all.

I haven’t made a decision yet, so I plan to keep doing what I’m doing as it is now and try to make it work. If and when I do decide to make a choice it will probably be my segments that get retired because the blog is much more therapeutic for me. Just know that whatever I decide I’ll make sure all of you hear it from me first :)


Next week will be a new Tmog review, and depending upon any late breaking or major news announcements then the week after that I plan to highlight another warlock in the Unleashing the Warlock Within series. Have a great week everyone!

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.

Heya All,

Well, it happened. Once again I was reminded of never saying never. For a majority of warlocks, our time has been spent on the Isle of Thunder camping the Tome of the Lost Legion. Personally, I’ve tracked and logged over 70+ hours of camping the elite rare mobs out on the Isle hoping for that slim chance of a lucky drop. Add in the fact Blizzard also added the “first to click” component to looting this sought after item and needless to say I was far from successful. I only saw the tome drop once during all of that time and I’m sad to say I was unable to loot it. Ugh! /em faceplants keyboard repeatedly. Yes, it would appear I’m full of fail at this point.

I know three warlocks who have been successful in getting a drop within their first 5 attempts. A few more were fortunate to get their tome drop in less than two weeks after the launch of the patch. Between all of them only 2 have been successful at completing the green fire quest line and being honored with having their red fire transformed into the gorgeous hue of fel green. I’m happy for them, but for me I gave up my active camping of the tome and only looked for rare mobs when I was out questing. Hey, a warlock can’t completely neglect tending their carrots and planting their Songbells right?

Getting contacted by Rho

As you all might know Rho from the Realm-Maintenance podcast is in my guild and up until he got his lucky tome drop, I would see him all the time farming the elite rares out on the Island too. He was quite excited about his good fortune and if you don’t believe me check out @Jangasm’s Something Suggestive Podcast to hear his re-enactment of that special moment when he was overcome with surprise when the tome appeared in his loot window. It’s quite funny and it makes you want to /cheer right along with him. And his playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in the background? Quite fitting!

A few nights ago, I had just logged into WoW and was grouping up with friends over vent to start off on completing the Isle dailies when Rho whispered me and told me he’d be joining us on vent. I assumed he was wanting to meet, Mycale, a fellow warlock guildy who not only got a tome drop the first night, but had also completed the quest line within two days of receiving it. In all the confusing of getting people grouped up, killing a rare or two, and finishing off some quests Rho explained he just zoned onto the Isle and that he had something to show me. Judging by the excitement of his voice I could only think that he finally got his green fire and that he was going to show me. Rho is a Destro lock and the green fire special effects look particularly cool in that specialization so I was looking forward to seeing it first hand.

When I met up with Rho he immediately popped open a trade window and there in the window before me was a tome! Gah! Yes! He was offering to give me a tome! OMG! Nooooo! Rho explained to everyone on vent that he got a lucky drop from a regular random mob on the Island while questing, and that his only wish was that if I eventually got a lucky drop on another tome that I would pass along the kindness to another warlock. OMG! And here I just wrote last week I wouldn’t take a tome even if someone offered it to me! With a few people cheering for me in vent, and a few people whispering me about how amazing of a gift it was and that it would be rude if I didn’t take it(*coughs* Havah! *coughs* Dez!) and from Rho’s prodding…I took it. What can I say? I’m a greedy warlock right? Omg! I was honored and dumbfounded.


Really? Yes really!

I felt bad, but after accepting the tome from Rho I had to go /afk. It turns out my joyful screaming scared my poor dear wife and youngest child. So after taking a few minutes to calm my family down and explaining that nothing was wrong I returned back to vent and thanked Rho for his kindness and for his amazing gift. To this day, I won’t forget that conversation with my wife when I explained what had transpired. She gave me that dreaded look like I had antlers on my head again. My Warcraft life is so foreign to my wife that I had to assure her that later on I’d explain it to her like it was a movie on Lifetime. "Really, everything is okay!” I said. “Are you sure?” she screamed back still unsure if I was delusional. “Really!” I torted back. “Are you sure, you’re sure?” she yelled back again with still some concern in her voice, “Really?” Still unable to control my excitement I had to yell back with my most reassuring and confirming voice, “Yes, really!”

When the excitement from both vent and my household settle down I knew that there was still much work to do. Yes, I had the tome, but now I had to begin the real journey itself. Rho left me with these haunting words, “You thank me now, but wait until you get to the final encounter.”  So without offering any spoilers I’m happy to report that for the remainder of that night I began the quest line and stopped short of the final encounter. The only reason I stopped was because I decided I could at least survive on having 2 hours of sleep before work. The next day, every cup of coffee I drank to stay alive awake I raised in a silent toast and salute to Rho and Jan :) I’ll still never know if the heart palpitations I had that day was from the overdose of caffeine or my excitement from the night before. It’s was probably both, but more so because of the second reason.


I hope by posting my story that Rho knows that I’m truly honored and grateful. So thank you very much Rho! /em bows humbly and salutes

I’ll still be going after the tome when I can hoping to pass along the gift to other warlocks if it should ever appear for me. I still feel bad for a lot of other warlocks because if I was actively camping it for that long and I still didn’t get a drop, how difficult is it going to be for some who don’t play as regularly as myself?

Remembering what’s important

Please don’t think I’m bragging about Rho’s gift nor am I highlighting it because I want to make other warlocks drool. You see, the same day I was sleep deprived and elated about getting a tome I saw a tweet from my twitter friend @NevAHAddict who runs the blog Auction House Addict. She was linking her post about a fund raiser for a fellow WoW player. How could I not go and check it out and see? It turns out that the fund raising efforts were for none other than my friend @Demonicric (Demo as I call him). Then came a tweet from @HearthcastRewt and @HearthcastFreck over at the Hearthcast Podcast concerning the fund raising efforts For Demonicric too. There’s nothing like seeing the plight of another person, particularly a person you know, to give you a sharp jolt of reality as to what’s really important, both in-game and IRL.

If you don’t know, Demonicric is a great guy and a fellow warlock player who lost his vision a few years ago. He still plays WoW despite his loss of vision too. When I first began blogging and doing my warlock segments Demo contacted me just because he wanted to talk about warlocks. We met on Skype a few nights later and spent almost the entire night talking about warlocks, Warcraft, and everything in between (just remember Demo that if I cussed at you due to my lack of sleep the next day I didn’t mean it ;P ). I wrote a post about our Skype meeting and I even did a follow-up about Demo when his hard work paid off and he earned his Dragonwrath.


To put things in perspective for you about the kind of person Demonicric is…I’ve traded emails (when my email was working) and tweets with Demo over the past few weeks about my Unleashing the Warlock Within project and never once did bring up or mention that this fund raising event was going on. Nada, not a peep! He’s also one of the warlocks I’ve contacted about taking part in the project and I can’t believe he didn’t tell me he has a chance at regaining his sight IRL! Gah! Demo! You should have told me!

Rarely do I announce a charity or fun raising event and it’s not because I’m a mean, cruel warlock. While the latter might be true, it’s mainly because I have a few specific charity events I participate IRL and for me they’re important because their personal; however, for my gaming life this one hits too close to home for me not to become involved. I’d be remiss and a complete moron if I didn’t point out Demonicric’s fight to regain his sight and ask all of you for help if you can.

So with a good kick to my own rear to keep in mind what’s really important I’m challenging any WoW player who reads this to go now and donate anything they can spare. You can find all of the information about Demo’s cause, how to donate, and you can even watch a video clip of him doing his stand-up comedy routine —->HERE<—-. So please, even if you can only donate $1.00 it’s still $1.00 closer for helping his fund raising team reach their goal. I’m sure anything you can give is appreciated.

Yes Rho, I plan to pass your kindness along in more ways than one ;) and I hope others do too!


Wishing Jeppy a speedy recovery

If you haven’t heard or saw the tweet, more good news came from my Twitter friend @Eljeppy who announced that he’s back home from the Hospital and he’s doing good. It was great to see your tweet good sir, and it really did make my day. May your recovery go faster than a mage spam-clicking a portal whenever a warlock approaches, and I can’t wait to hear you back on CtrlAltWoW and that you’re back to dual-boxing your team warlock!



Apologies and quick finish

It appears I finally got my email problems fixed. So if anyone sent an email over the past few weeks and it got lost I apologize! Please resend me one if I didn’t respond and I’m sorry to put ya through that kind of a pain. Sadly, I shall be gone until next weekend due to RL stuff, but I’ll have my weekly post up by next Sunday night for my normal self-imposed deadline. Upcoming topics? Warlock Glyphs, warlock Tmog reviews, well known warlock profile highlights, and hopefully much more :)  Have a great week both in-game and IRL everyone and I’ll see you on the other side!