Archive for January, 2011

CastI don’t understand how it is possible not to love fishing. Fishing is a fun and relaxing way to spend some in game downtime and collect valuable ingredients for buffs. I have idled away many an hour chatting to Zhavida@Dragonblight casting into shoal after shoal of fish up and down the Stranglethorn coast. As I recall she was more often found on the Tanaris coast at the same time…but since we were in different countries at the time, why shouldn’t our chars be in different zone?

Oh the joy!

The joy of casting my High Test Eternium Fishing Line with my Nat Pagle Extreme Angler FC-5000 into a swirling pool of Firefin Snappers is only exceeded with the rush of joy felt on observing a pool of Floating Wreckage. Oh the wonder of pulling out an Iron or Mithril Bound Trunk and opening to find a nasty green, a Banana Bunch, a health or mana pot and some mageweave.

Then the whole quest cycle to get Nat Pagle‘s Nimbus Two Thousand of fishing rods. The joy of fishing for rare and unseen (before or indeed after the quest hand in) fish all around Azeroth. Anglers with a sense of humour will forever be riding back to the Oases of The Barrens for more Deviate Fish. Pet collectors will spend frustrating weeks pulling Lobsters out of the highland lakes in Terokkar Forest hoping to snag Mr Pinchy. The determined buffers will line the shores of the Twilight Highlands pulling up Deepsea Sagefish for that precious Intellect buffage.

Have rod will travel.

I don’t get it. I honestly don’t, it’s de rigeur for every class to bemoan how chronically nerfed they are and how overpowered everyone else is. However, my despair over what has happened to my beloved Warlock class since 4.0 goes beyond what one might confuse for normal class rage.

Not content with overwhelming Affliction with choices and encouraging us to spec into tier two of the Destruction tree to get any reliable DPS rolling, Blizzard insist on nerfing our AoE abilities through laughable into virtually non-existent. Here is the detail:

No one has what might be referred to as a rotation these days, we all have priority lists, but take a look at this. Affi locks have three DoTs; these are our money makers: Corruption (Corr), Bane Of Agony (BoA) and Unstable Affliction (UA). All effected by Haste now and at sufficient levels we can squeeze out extra ticks, nice. We have a utility spell with a relatively low DCPT: Haunt, that is invaluable if only for refreshing Corruption, you’re doing something wrong if manage to cast Corruption more than once on a mob. So far so good.

Leaving Improved Soul Fire within our sticky, decaying reach, (Destruction tier two, requiring only ten points to secure it) and making the 15% Haste buff absolutely essential, has forced us to spec down into Destro.

So now we are popping a Soul Burn (SoB) to instant cast Soul Fire (SF) as an opener. Aggro anyone? We follow up the instant cast SF with a Shadow Bolt (SB), for the Shadow and Flame buff. Then we roll out our three DoTs and keep them up with recasts and with Haunt. Of course, I could extend the duration of UA with Fel Flame couldn’t I? That’s an instant cast so I can do that while I’m moving…Never mind that now!

I need to breakup my nice smooth Wrath rotation by hard casting Soul Fire (a slooow 2.2 second, long assed cast without SoB) to keep that Haste buff up all the time (it’s only got a 15s duration) to maximise my DPS. Now what did I forget? Oh yeah, Curse of the Elements on the likely longest living mob (i.e. the sheep).

When I hit the sub-25%, ‘execute’ phase, I can finally put my feet up and cast Drain Soul and nip to the toilet quickly as we burn down the mob. Or I could in Wrath. Now I am constantly refreshing the ISF buff and BoA, what a relief Drain Soul refreshes Corr and UA for me – how lazy we ‘locks are! If there are other mobs to kill I need to consider a Soul Swap – I would be mad (read crap DPS) not to. Soul Swap sucks Corr, UA and BoA off a mob and exhales them onto another. If glyphed it duplicates the DoTs on the two mobs, if not they are removed from the first an deposited on the second. All for the price of two global cooldowns…instead of three. Did I forget something, yes I did. I need to use the Demon Soul buff on cooldown…I do neglect this a lot and I shouldn’t.

Yeah, that’s my head exploding.

To summerise the opening cycle:

1. CotE (then switch to main target)
2. SoB
3. SF
4. SB
5. Demon Soul
6. Corr
7. UA
8. BoA

Then prioritise:
1. Improved Soul Fire
2. BoA
3. UA
4. Haunt (because it falls off much sooner than Corr, it’s recast can slide a little)
5. Demon Soul (on cooldown)
6. Shadow Bolt Filler

1. ISF
2: BoA
3. Drain Soul Filler (refreshes Corr and UA)

Soul Swap (near target death)
Fel Flame (if moving, otherwise not, the DCPT is poor)

Of course, don’t forget not to stand in the fire, because a dead Warlock does no DPS at all.

Would you like to look at AoE packs now? No, I thought not. We could Rain of Fire (RoF) or if feeling really brave we could Soul Burn > Seed of Corruption (finally the SoC explosion adds a Cor to all the mobs it hits), then RoF or a single target rotation on each mob in turn, a perfect chance to use Soul Swap repeatedly.

What could be easier and more conducive to knocking out easy, massive DPS than this priority list? Thanks for all the choices Blizzard, I now have so many more ways to suck at DPS. When the news broke that in patch 4.0.6 ISF was dropping to tier three in Destruction I was relieved! We can’t spec down that far! No more Soul Fire, the joy! Hopefully we’ll be compensated for the loss of 15% Haste…surely? Surely?

So let’s have a quick peek at the proposed changes for 4.0.6. Well, the much trailed death of Drain Mana (vanilla talent) has arrived. So long, useless old friend. They have hot fixed Soul Swap so it’s not borked by Grounding Totems, well done Blizzard. Now we get down to it. It was nice to get some bonus utility from UA, so why the hell have Blizzard lowered the silence effect (which was dispellable!) from 5 secs to 3? Some small value in PvE and it’s not as if we were ever PvP monsters! Druids and Frost Mages are still pwning everyone with their rooting/ring of frost spells and we have had Curse of Exhaustion nerfed! The Curse slowed targets, it didn’t immobilise them. Movement speed is reduced 30%, down from 50%.

Last but by no means least. I’ve had issues with Soul Swapping, it can be useful but often the ability can be a waste of one GCD as your next target mob dies too quickly, less than ten seconds, so you can’t use your Soul Swap again, to DoT up the next, third, target along. It only saves 1 GCD as it is and you get the unbuffed DoTs ticking a fraction faster…so why extend the glyphed Soul Swap cooldown by 5 seconds to 15? That ability is going to be FAIL in PvE on trash packs, where we were in danger of actually damaging trash there for a moment!

Arcane Mage anyone?

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