Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wonky Warlock Spec is Wonky

Okay. This isn't going to be some new habit I get into with my article naming convention here, because I normally hate that "X Y is X" crap. But I really don't know what else to say, except I found some UGLY spec on Elitist Jerks a while back, dual specced my warlock into it as the 'garbage looking spec that EJ says is good, so huh, whatever' fully expecting to keep my normal deep destro spec, but since actually USING it once or twice, I'm pretty well convinced it's going to stay my main.

Golly, Elitist Jerks know what they're talking about. Whooda thot, rite?

I also tend to shy away from 'here's a pwnzor spec, and a step by step guide on how to squeeze every drop of threat/dps/healing out of it' posts because 1) I'm a horrible player that is mostly out to just enjoy myself, whether or not I top charts, and 2) I'm sloppy. Even with the spec I'm about to show you, I'm still not doing it right, so there's still a whole lot of room for improvement.

The basic spec revolves around getting one key talent out of Demonology, and then dumping the rest of the points elsewhere, because Demonology is generally pretty bad. YES, TIMMY. I know your Demo deeps are leet. Just shh. The adults are talking. This post is hard to type, so lemme just bang it out.

The key talent in question is Decimation. Once a boss dips below 35%, each time you hit him with an Incinerate, you get a free, ridiculously hasted Soul Fire. What's a Soul Fire? It's basically a warlock's Pyroblast, but costs a soul shard to use, and takes three and a half days to cast. With Decimation procs, though, they cast in 1.6 sec and cost no shard. This is a big deal.

Another part of new warlock DPS (for any spec) is the Glyph of Lifetap, which you'll notice has a certain nice synergy with the 4 piece Tier 7 bonus (which I offer). Basically, whenever I lifetap, I get a huge boost in damage. When I lifetap, and Dying Curse stacks with my Sundial, I'm basically sitting at around 4500+ spelldamage for the next few casts. Maybe I hit 5k, I dunno. I've seen like 4495 or something, but I stopped trying to open my character sheet and touch myself during raids when all the planents lined up. It got distracting. But this basically means there's a use for a downranked spell again in WoW! Rank one Lifetap only hits you for like 45 HP or something silly, but gives the full benefit of the glyph and t7 bonus, so rather than bang yourself in the face to start a fight and piss off a healer, you cast rank one, and begin your rotations. Then you want to lifetap every 20 seconds to keep the Lifetap glyph going (the first ten seconds of each tap are also augmented by the T7 bonus, but it'd be silly to Lifetap every ten seconds).

The starting rotation looking something like this:

Rank 1 Lifetap
Curse of Doom (this is ALWAYS your first spell, you want it done and up again asap)
Incinerate spam

At that point you just conflag whenever you can while spamming incinerates, and refresh dots. But a magical thing happens at 35%, when you suddenly realize you have free Soul Fires coming. At this point EJ pulls a typical EJ move and actually gets out a protractor and starts talking about whether your Incinerates are hitting the bosses HEAD or BODY. If the hitbox is centered on its HEAD then you have that much extra range. You basically triangulate the hypotenuse's rhombus and solve for the cosin. A2 + B2 = more deeps or something. I just spam shit. I'm sloppy. I mentioned this, I believe.

In theory, if you're standing at the absolute max range from your target, your 35% and under rotation starts weaving like

Cast Incinerate 1
Incinerate 1 finishes casting
Cast Incinerate 2
Incinerate 1 hits, proccing Soul Fire
Incinerate 2 finishes casting
Cast Soul Fire 1
Incinerate 2 hits, proccing Soul Fire 2
Bake some cookies
Go AFK for beer

Whatever. Under 35% I'd basically cast those two first Incinerates (because casting one and standing around waiting for it to land is silly), then chuck a Soul Fire, then just see if the timing lined up. If I was ever casting an 8 day Soul Fire on accident, I'd interrupt the cast and start again. Then I'd realize I hadn't Lifetapped in 20 seconds, and Corruption was running low. One good thing that keeps me on my toes is refreshing dots, I always Tap before refreshing them for maximum punch, but when they're just ticking away I focus on Conflag's timer and just avoiding raid damage etc, and forget to do it.

I even put a big silly icon dead in the center of my screen when it starts proccing, so I don't miss when the boss is dropping below 35%. My other buffs below are any buff I have that's under 20 seconds in length (usually item procs). I'm showing 15s left on Lifetap Glyph, 1s left on my Dying Curse, 6s on Decimate (again, I put it up above after I wasn't seeing it there, that little area is always pretty 'busy'), 5s left on T7 4-piece, and I'll be peeing for 4 more seconds with a horrible sexually transmitted disease, and that shit makes me scream, yo. You can also see my conflag button greyed out up above the buffs, so I see when to pop that shit. My warlock UI is horrifically ugly, I really need to trim it down, but I got wrapped up in my priest (and then warrior), and stopped playing it for a long stretch of time.


SO. Like I said, there's a lot of room for improvement, but last night's naxx 25 I was topping charts pretty easily. I felt all badass, then I read Jong's DPS paladin blog for the first time today, saw he pulls like 6660+, and felt all inadequate again : /

Anyway. The reason I said the sepc is ugly is just beacause I feel like you're diving all the way down this tree for what feels like a 'side talent'. Like, Chaos Bolt and Decimate should swap places, and this should be the 51 point destruction talent. After having used it, it certainly feels more like a 51 point talent than some thing 36 points deep and off in the gutter. Then you have like 1 point in Backlash, 1 in Destructive Reach, none in Supression, and two random ass points just chillin in Demonic Tactics. I guess I'm just anal, because I like putting 5 points into talents with 5 point slots. I hate having 12% chance for something to happen, when it should be 15%.

But yeah. It friggin works. If you're a lock, give it a go.



Hatch said...

This excellent post demands a manifold response:

1) Grats on the mad dps!

2) Hilarious! Especially the line about getting out the protractor and calculating the cosine of whether you are attacking the head or body, etc.

3) You mentioned a rhombus, and I am obligated to point out that it is the kind of rectangle a *bitch* would draw.

4) What mod are you using that puts those cooldowns up as big buttons for you? Is it just your action bar mod (bongos or some such)? Or does it track *buffs*? Because right now I'm using NeedtoKnow to track short-term buffs, and it just isn't as pretty as big-ass buttons.

5) That kind of mixed spec makes me really interested in playing a warlock. What I'd really like to see is a hybrid spec that gets the felguard, but then spends the rest of the points in another tree to give the lock good dps on their own as well. If a spec like that was competitive, I'd find it really exciting.

6) I'm right there with you on the "want to fill out every talent I put a point in" thing.

7) Thanks for showing me Jong's site, another to add to the reader.

Anonymous said...

That sounds really cool! And I do have a warlock alt, and I hadn't decided yet what to do with his dual specs .... (I think that's going to be my plan for the weekend ;) )

HP said...

I don't know anything about lock DPS so what you're saying is news to me!

I like EJ but sometimes when they talk about stuff, I start to tune shit out. Especially when they start crunching numbers... They're like this is good because yada yada yada and I'm like OK, I believe you. So I'm bad -=P

Krunchy said...

Dammit Iso, sometimes reading your posts makes me want to reactivate my account. In this case, it also makes me want to level my lock again. That is definitely some cool stuff they do with spec and synergy and it really makes me want to play and give it a whirl.

oshin said...

I saw a lock with this spec the other night in ulduar. I was wondering if he was some kind of nutjob, as these days almost everything specs 61 into one tree and the rest into whatever.

Then I saw his dps.Nice to know why hes specced that way.

I can imagine it getting fixed though, blizzard do seem to have a round-peg-in-a-round-hole mentality about specs now and I dont think 40/31 fits in that.

It kind of reminds me of how I thought frostfire would be on my mage, on paper it looks like you`ll blow everybody away, because reguluar old fireball had like 110% crit damage with ignite.
Frostfire has like 230% or something (cba to look it up). Turns out the way frostfire works is that a normal hit doesnt do that much damage compared to fireball, while a crit does pretty huge damage. Anyway, the point is that blizzard beat mages to the punch and the spec was balanced for raid dps.

Rich said...

@Hatch: The dual spec funtion takes care of 'wanting a felguard'. You can't pick one up in this spec, because those points would lock you out of conflag (31 points deep in destro, and needed).

I had a post a while back about Felguard/SL, but that was before the changes. It's easily the number one warlock leveling spec for 71-80. the first 80 in the world was felguard/SL. the more mobs you pull, the easier it is to live since you have more incoming health. I easily soloed elites 4 levels above me, it's kind of silly.

that spec:

the protractor shit is true, read the EJ post, they talk about head and body. I agree with HP here, once it gets a bit too deep and the math comes out, I usually just nod my head and read 'the conclusion'.


Rich said...

ah, forgot the buttons:

yeah, that's Satrina Buff Frames.

That shit is AWESOME. It does everything any other timer mod does, and better. It can display bars, icons, whatever, and you can have as many windows in as many different locations as you want.

primer on creating filters:

the primer is a bit daunting, but you basically install the mod and there are two frames, buffs and debuffs. you add a new frame, go to the filters section and add a filter for like


or whatever the name of the buff you want is. Then you scale it all huge, and put it wherever.

or you can make it like my 'under 20 seconds one'


(duration under 20 sec)

The one other kooky thing they just added was white and blacklisting. I upgraded it to the newest version, then ran into Naxx, and realized it was only showing debuffs I explicitly allowed (not 'everything'), and thaddeus suddenly became very interesting.

I'll type up a full post on Satrina for my next post. I've been meaning to do it for a while now. I love it to death.

Krunchy said...

lol. The irony is I was debating telling you in that comment that I hadn't forgotten about those two game cards I owe you. No worries, Iso, regardless of whether I reactivate my account, I'll get those back to you. <3

By the way, when did they finally do the dual spec thing? I never heard anything about it.

Rich said...

3.1 it's awesome. I was kind of on the fenca about it, but it really is sweet.

I expected to be shoved into shadow on my priest, and i really don't like shadow, but I said fuggit. My priest is full heals, PVE disc and PVE holy. The priest heals, but just can switch depending on if the fight favors CoH over Penance.

with a DPS class like your mage, you could go deep frost for fights that can use the slowing (deconstructor x002 in ulduar, or something like Gluth in Naxx), and then go balls out fire for whatever else.

my tank is arms & prot, it's good clean fun. The one thing that's strange is that it totally drains your mana doing a switch (5 sec cast), but rogues, warriors, and DKs don't get penalized.

Either make it a full 1 HP/1 MP left after doing it, or just don't remove any resources at all... why give mana users (and no one else) the short end of the stick?

Krunchy said...

Wait, so you can change at any time as long as you can get the 5 sec cast off, but it drains your mana? That kind of sucks. Interesting that they let you change in the middle of combat, though. Now I'm all psyched about trying out some of this new stuff.

Speaking of new stuff, whatever happened to the new encounters and stuff that you used to bounce off of us? That was actually pretty interesting stuff. Any more of that coming?

Silkworm said...

Krunchy: You can not spec into it in combat. You cen change it out of combat and drains your mana bar. Its merely a convenience for people who spec in/out almost daily. (i.e. for PvP and Pve or like me Moonkin vs Resto or warriors for tanking and dpsing)

Ixo: I read something about reapplying dots and doing things while they are ticking. Make sure your dot finishes properly. Dots tick at 2-3 sec intervals. If you refresh a dot before it finishes, you lose that last tick plus with the new dot you need to wait another 2/3 secs to tick. Someone with a lot of free time actually had a spreadsheet on EJ on this making sure you get the point.

Also the Life Tap Glyph is given so that when you actually replace your leet Naxx gear with überleet Ulduar set, you don't lose the set bonus. Almost all classes have a similar t7 replacement glyph now.

Rich said...

krunch, all that stuff became a finalized dungeon, and I'm using the whole thing to shop around for a job. We'll see how that turns out.

I do know about refreshing dots early. Especially CoA, which ramps up in damage the longer it's on, missing those last two or three ticks of CoA is a huge loss in damage, but corruption is static, and if you refresh it early it isn't a huge penalty (just a waste of a GCD, and mana). If it's a matter of refreshing corruption now or on two GCDs, and I have better spells that will be cooled down then, I refresh it early. but never a CoA, and obviously never a Curse of Doom. Immolate I try and time to reapply an instant after it falls off, which is tricky because it isn't instant, but usually can be done.

Posh said...

Damn me. My lock is still only 70 from TBC days. And if I start to level him im sure, he will be 80 and this specc is no longer possible.
But sure sounds like alot of fun.

Cool, you have found Jongs blog, he is freaking funny. One of my favorite blogs to read.

Anonymous said...

Weird spec, but it does look like fun. You'd basically be towards the middle of the pack in terms of dps until boss hits 35% then suddenly you're on top....interesting. Almost makes me want to reactivate, but sticking by my decision to stay off that treadmill.

dal said...

"If the hitbox is centered on its HEAD then you have that much extra range. You basically triangulate the hypotenuse's rhombus and solve for the cosin. A2 + B2 = more deeps or something. I just spam shit. I'm sloppy. I mentioned this, I believe."

Stop making me snort fizzy drink out my nose. Bitch.