Saturday, January 24, 2009

Warlock: Potential Level 80 Build

So, I obviously just blogged about what I may try to do later in the game. And I'm thinking this may be it.

Devastation vs. Haunt

I opted to go with Devastation versus Haunt. This means I don't get Everlasting Affliction to rebuff my Corruption, unless I decide to use Drain Life in the middle of a fight, but if I'm planning on keeping Shadow Bolt as a good portion of my spell rotation (and yes, I have to play with this, a LOT, because I have no idea what the spell rotation will be, or how applicable keeping SB in my rotation will be... Geeze people, I'm only level 73. I'm not clairvoyant.), I'd rather have 5% crit for said yummy-bolts-of-death and worry about the GCD instead. Besides which, what I said previously about the Haunt-Spell-Cycle precluding Shadowbolting still holds true....

I will miss the boost to DoT effects that Haunt gives. Damnit.

No More Shadowburn

While Shadowburn is going to figure highly in my leveling build, because damnit I LIKE it and it's so nice to have an instant cast spell to finish off that mob that's just so annoyingly clinging to life... let's face it, on boss fights, it usually isn't applicable unless you have a zillion and ten shards to spare. Granted, I loved using it on the Curator during Evocation, shard be damned, but overall, not as useful as something else would be. So sadly, in my proposed level 80 spec, it goes buhbye.

Unstable Affliction and Pandemic

I'm a leeeetle iffy on this right now, basically because currently my crit chance is 13%. Which means if I spend the points in UA and Pandemic right now, I have a 13% chance / tick of causing 100% more damage from that tick? That's how I'm reading it right now. Anyone see anything different? Currently, I plan on keeping it, because if I am going to go with a hybrid spec, I imagine that I'll be boosting my spell crit chance a bit more than I was.


Damnit, I'm looking deeper at the Destruction tree and I see some things that are making me twitch with desire. But I'll play with Affliction first before I see if the grass is indeed greener on the other side.


Please, unload your thoughts if you have a lock, especially a level 80 lock, about what I'm thinking. I won't be offended really. I've done hybrid before when everyone was telling me I was a dummy, so I'll really be okay with you guys saying I shouldn't be hybrid. But what I'm really looking for is commentary in the form of, "Have you considered this hybrid spec, because of X, Y and Z".


  1. I got my affliction lock to 80 in November, all level 200 a while later. It was disappointing. I read all the EJ forums for the 53/0/18 build. It was a interesting rotation juggling all the spells in the rotation with the procs. I find all the movement in Northrend raids kept me far away from an optimal rotation. But I do not like FPSs at all so you will do better than I. Still, when you are stationary on PatchWerk your DPS is average, I certainly did not see any compensation for the complexity. I went to the 0/31/40 build and it was better. I was talking to someone who also has a pally and lock and he said when he got on his lock it "just did not seem like a lock". If you must play a lock, I would say at least try the full affliction (unlike meta, Haunt is actually worth getting) and the 0/31/40 build.

    But I would recommend you at least rethink whether you want to play a lock.

  2. I've played with Haunt back when it first came out when we were still capped at level 70. To a certain extent, playing a warlock is watching your DoT timers, and I don't mind doing that, but perhaps my warlock upbringing is showing in the fact that I can't imagine not doing >>any<< Shadowbolts.

    I went into Drak'Tharon keep tonight with my current spec (at level 74), and was hitting close to 1200 DPS. My rotation was UA, Corr, CoA, SL, SB, SB, then usually re-DoT something, I can't recall which, SB, re-DoT, SB... etc. At least on Bosses.

    On Trash, it was Corr them all, SoC if there were enough to make it worthwhile, otherwise, SB and Shadowburn.

    While I do appreciate the thoughts in the first paragraph, your second statement confuses me a little bit. I should rethink whether or not I want to play a warlock? O.o If you come back and check here, please elaborate on what you mean.

    Are you saying that I shouldn't be a warlock, or are you trying to encourage me to look into a more standardized spec?

  3. Or, now that I read it again, you're saying that since my current main is a paladin, I should rethink playing a 'lock because a pally is better? :)

    I like my alts. A warlock plays very different than a paladin. It is that variety that I crave. :)

  4. I don't know what your intent at 80 is, but if it's raiding/heroics, not taking Haunt when going that deep into affliciton does not make any sense. It buffs your dot damage by 20% which is huge. Devastation is simply not going to help you that much.

    If you want a more direct damage oriented spec utilizing devastation, i suggest going to 0/40/31 using imp with fire/incinerate (immolate, corruption, coa or curse of choice followed by incinerate spam) or 0/41/30 with felguard.

    Shadow has been really gimped in destruction atm...

    I also suggest checking out the Warlock's Den and the warlock forum on Elitist Jerks, both are a treasure trove of lock information.

  5. Thank you, Willis! I have on occasion looked at Warlock's Den and EJ. I'll have to go look again. :)

    I think I'm going to have to do a lot of playing around with stuff to figure out where I want to wind up. Like I said, I like being all dotty, but at the same time, alot of what I hear about deep affliction is that you do nothing but watch your dot timers. I'm not sure that's what I want... though then again, what's the difference between watching dot timers and watching casting-bar?

  6. Affliction seems like too much of a hassle at the moment and I've always been a big fan of Demonology so this is the build I'm going for at 80.


    I'm having too much fun with Metamorphosis to give it up >.>

  7. Just thinking about it, yeah, you lose 20% of the DoT damage, but how much damage do you make up for that with ruin, destruction, ISB?

    Seriously, this is going to suck! I'm going to ding 80, and then spend hours on a training dummy with one spec, then have to respec and do it all over again.

    I've never been a big fan of demonology. I did it once, briefly, but found that if I wanted to play with a pet, I'd log in my hunter. :P

    Destruction to me seems a little like I'm just playing a fire-mage... o.O Or it did, not sure what end game mages are like now. :)

    The thing about warlock I've always liked are the dots. I just don't know if I want to do nothing but dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, re-apply, wash, rinse, repeat. Which admittedly, is the same thing that any other spell caster is doing, always casting. It's the principle of the thing, damnit. :)

    Admittedly, if I go ahead and hit 80 and try it out and one is markedly better than the other, then it's a no brainer, but if the difference thus far is negligible...

    And it's something I'll have to recheck periodically, as the more crit or spell damage or haste that I get is going to affect the variety of dps output.

  8. I have yet to try the various 31/40, 30/41, or the 40/31, 41/30 builds but I did all my heroics and OS/VoA raids with the 56/0/15 Haunt/Ruin build (I was hit capped from gear) and I have to say there is clearly a glass ceiling that Affliction dps can't surpass. The main theory behind the Haunt/Ruin rotation relies a lot on being able to utilize Drain Soul once the boss get to 25% HP but there are so many debuffs that we have to maintain to fully benefit from Drain Soul that you end up not getting as much from Drain Soul to keep the debuffs up. The highest Drain Soul I have ever seen (per tick) is around 8400 (roughly 2.8k dps) and that requires as much of my debuff on the boss as possible, even with 400 haste it still took me around 6 seconds to recast every DoT and they all don't last long enough for the full duration of Drain Soul.

    I have now switched over to deep destruction and it is definitely not the old destruction. No longer is it as boring as before in term of just sac/sb-spam, there is a full rotation you still have to maintain and dots to watch for along with CD that is coming up. If Haunt/Ruin was fun, the new Immo/Conflagate/Inc rotation is still pretty busy.

    Shadow is indeed pretty much dead, only to be used for proc'ing Molten Core.

  9. My belief is that one would enjoy playing a warlock at 80 more if you have never played one at 70. YMMV, but I recommend against playing a warlock.

    I actually preferred sacing the pet but Bliz is going to insist that locks use their pet. I like getting my complexity from reading EJ posts, not real-time twitching so I, perhaps unique upon the planet, liked Mister Shadowbolt.

    My unscientific samples is that pallies are more likely to have a warlock and less likely to have a warrior.

    A couple of other points:

    my understanding is that the target dummies are not very helpful for affliction - they have 1 HP and so can't model the DS and other mechanics that happen at low health.

    Please note the recent mmo-champion posting where Bliz said " We are changing some talents and spells in all 3 trees." So any analysis you have of current builds and spells may soon be irrelevant.

    Maybe rather than say don't play a lock, I mean that they are now lollock and it seems to me that Bliz doesn't have a great grasp on the class. Why not give them a while to see if they improve it or it gets worse?

    Regardless, good luck.

  10. /retract

    You shouldn't call an ex if you are not sober and I shouldn't make late night posts about what Blizzard did to my poor lock. What's important is that you enjoy it!

  11. @Kinzlayer: I'd think that for Affliction, the higher your spell damage the higher your DPS would wind up going, with all the boosts we get to things like corruption from our spell damage. There'd be less need to worry about stacking as much crit as you'd theorhetically want with a demo/destro build that relies on crittable spells?

    @Hagu: No worries! I was just unsure what you meant initially. :) And HAH, I beat your odds sir! I have a warrior, a paladin AND a warlock (and everything else, but whatever!). They have made some changes to warlock that I'm not sure I'm thrilled with... namely because the 'lock's that I've seen haven't been topping the charts. And that's always a negative change.

    They've been good so far at balancing out the classes... I'm willing to see where they take warlock, the same as I was willing to see where they took paladin and where they're currently rerouting BM hunters to.

    Thus far, I'm having fun with my wierd-ass spec.

  12. Go for the big purple dot and fire spec all the way (0/53/17) I dont care what anyone else says, i'm not juggling 7 different dots, that's boring! I will never leave my deep demonology spec. I have full T7 right now and my single DPS on the boss dummy is 2600. My AOE DPS on 4 dummies is 5400. I mention AOE becuase that is basically ALL I do in a raid. raid group is set up nicely enough and my raid team works cohesively enough that I dont have to worry about agro. Not to mention, if I get agro, I can either choose to dump it or charge to the front line in my big purple dot and AOE the snot outta them. With the huge armor bonus and increased dmg buff (3 AOE spells going off at once), by the time you toss me a heal, the group will resemble a stack of pancakes.