So truth be told I’m a fail warlock. Well, I guess the word lazy would be a better description of me than the word fail. You see, sometimes I’m not maxing out my dps, and often times I’m not watching my cooldowns as much as a should. There might even be a few times when I’m running in LFR when I don’t pop my Dark Soul spell or my trinkets when I should, and there are plenty of times when I probably should have tossed back a Jade Serpent Potion as well for good measure. Yep, I’m lazy and it’s even worse when I’m in vent or mumbles and particularly more so when it’s not progression. However, it’s an entirely different story for me when I’m with my raid team because that’s when I’m making sure every little bit of dps I can squeeze out counts.
I’m sure all of you heard the old saying, “practice makes perfect”, but I actually like the Vince Lombardi version of that catch phrase better. Mr. Lombardi if you don’t know, was the famous football coach who gained notoriety having won two superbowl championships (Coaching the Redskins and Green Bay Packers) and who won numerous awards and playoffs during his career. Mr. Lombardi improved upon that old adage about practice by saying, “Perfect practice, makes perfect.” Do you see the difference? I know when I examine my own laziness in warlocking, the difference between the two quotes is quite clear and it was obvious to me as to what I’ve been doing wrong.
Another great example of the point I’m trying to make comes from none other than the martial arts legend Bruce Lee where I see his famous line about what he fears quoted on twitter at least once daily. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once,” Mr. Lee said, “but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” When I thought about my own fail-laziness I realized I’m turning into the guy who practiced 10,000 kicks once. And that is not a good thing.
What’s worse is that I know that I’m being lazy and I should never allow myself be that way. Oh, I’ve got some good excuses I can offer for my behavior. Maybe you could call it the tedium of running LFR and Heroics each week? Or you could just call it being tired of chasing meters over the past several expansions? Either way, I know it’s a bad habit and I’m going to do my best to make it stop. It’s not good for me, it’s not good for the people I get grouped with and I especially don’t want it to become a bad habit. So right here and right now I promise to stop being fail-lazy. I bring up my own shortcomings because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the warlock being spotlighted this week is that you should strive to always do your best.
When I look back to my formative years, I noticed a trait among some of my favorite teachers. All of these great educators often showed me a way of looking at things that I might have never considered before and when I finally saw what they were trying to show me it always gave me that “Eureka!” or “A-ha!” moment that inspired my passion onward. Poneria is like one of those teachers. It’s posts like her recent Blood Pact: World of Logging warlocks, part 1 that have helped me look at the game and various aspects I never considered. In all honesty, I’m pretty sure that before reading her post I would’ve been the last person to even consider looking at World of Logs. That’s not the case anymore. Like an inspiring teacher with and end goal in mind, Poneria never says you have to read logs. She merely presents her knowledge as she leads you along and shows what she sees. She lets you reach your own conclusions as she lets you reach that “A-ha!” moment on your own.
A short history
For quite some time, I followed and read many warlock bloggers out there long before I ever decided to start my own blog. Poneria’s Fel Concentration was one of them. What seems like so long ago, I even distinctly remember stopping by The Warlock’s Den to read up on the forums when one of the postings caught my attention. Someone wrote that WoWInsider had hired a new warlock columnist and they were asking if anyone had ever heard of them. I smiled to myself because when I saw the name I knew they made a good choice. Back then, rarely did I ever reach out and communicate to the bloggers I followed. I did however, write to Pon to congratulate her on getting that spot whether she remembers it or not :)
When I finally made the decision to start this site, Poneria was also one of the writers I reached out to in asking for her advice and her opinions on how to be better at blogging. She was truthful and spot on with her advice and I hope she knows I appreciate more than she’ll ever know. Even now I consider myself a noob blogger, but looking back at what I was doing before Pon gave me some tips I was much, much worse :) Even as I sit here and type out this post I have a Webster’s Dictionary and a Thesaurus sitting next to me on my desk for quick reference. With every post (well, almost all) I sit and read each word out loud, and I read it slowly, making sure it conveys the thought I was trying to get across, and to re-check for bad spelling and grammar. All of these were simple and beneficial tips she recommended to me that I still use today. From her advice I realized how important it was to always strive to do my best in my writing, and that anything less was unfair not only to any visitors on my site, but also to myself as well.
I’m going to embarrass myself in this next confession, but I can admit that when I do make mistakes on my blog it’s always because I failed to follow her sage advice. All of the mistakes I make are because there are times when I’m rushing around trying to meet my own self-imposed deadline instead of taking my time and tackling my posts slowly. Trust me, if you ever start blogging never hit the “Post” button at 3 o’clock in the morning because the very next day you’ll be trying to fix and re-write everything you wrote the night before while kicking yourself at the same time.
Being a better warlock, and a being a better player
Like the blogging and writing advice she gave me over a year ago, Poneria has been out there fighting the good fight for warlocks ever since she took over the Blood Pact column at WoWInsider. Through her research and writing, it’s quite clear to me that her only goal has been to make sure that all of us become better at being warlocks. It wasn’t too long ago when Poneria also celebrated the victory of becoming the longest standing warlock columnist over at the WoWInsider online magazine. Gratsie Pon! I’d also like to take this time to publicly thank Poneria once again for the advice and help she offered me when I started writing, and for her passion and devotion to share the secrets and knowledge of how to become a better warlock. Isn’t that what we all strive for? To become a warlock other players will loathe to fear (no pun intended)?
To top things off, Poneria has a keen sense in Tmog fashion which we all know is just as important as our impressive dps and utility. Normally, I shy away from giving away any spoilers, but I have to say before you read her answers that my favorite title for her is “Poneria the Pernicious”. It has such a nice ring to it don’t you think? /em humbly bows and salutes Poneria
Warlock Name: Poneria (armory)
Eye or Why: Originally I was Poneria with an ‘i,’ and in online handles and the occasional fic I write, it’s always an ‘i’. The reason my toon in-game has a ‘y’ is because Elune happened to be the only realm three years ago that also had a Poner-eye-a. (I have been it with a y for so long that I don’t feel like tripping up raid invites to change it.)
Server: US-Elune (Alliance)
Guild Name: Undying Resolution (as of responding to Amijade, we are recruiting ranged deeps!)
How long have you been a warlock? She’s my original toon; I started with WoW in Feb 2008. I took a brief break as a bear/tree in T9/Trial of the Crusader, but I was also playing my warlock just as much then, so it wasn’t truly a break.
What specs are you currently running? Affliction! I run destruction as an offspec, both for soloing purposes and for raiding, but affliction is my fa…oh shhh, that’s the next question, isn’t it.
What’s your favorite specialization and what do find the most appealing about that playstyle? Affliction! I love the DoTs and being able to almost multitask with multiDoTing. I also like DPSing on the move, and often kill daily mobs in decorative chains of dead bodies simply because it’s more fun than standing there for 30 seconds every other mob.
What’s your favorite spell and why? Unending Breath. Before Dark Intent came along, I’d use it as a token of my appreciation for help with a mob or a buff given to me. Now, it’s great for Soulburn: Unending Breath, which is waterwalking, so I can fish more than before. (I love to fish, OK.)
What addons do you currently use besides the basic DBM and Recount? I’m an addonoholic. But if I were to log into raid after a major patch hit live servers and I only had half an hour to redo everything, here’s what would be important to me:
- Shadowed Unit Frames
- DBM (I’m trying out BigWigs)
- Skada (not Recount)
- Omen + Tidy Plates: Threat Plates
- Weak Auras
- Grid + Clique (for quick soulstone brezzing)
- Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text
- Dominos (action bar) + OPie + BindPad
- Gnosis (cast bar)
- Raven (buff frames)
- Addon Control Panel
I also have a lot of cosmetic/non-raiding addons like SLDataText and Fortress, PocketPlot, oGlow, Masque/ButtonFacade, Prat and WIM, MogIt, etc.
Do you prefer using a minion or using the Grimoire of Sacrifice? In the beginning I ran with GoSac a lot, but now I’ve started to run more with my voidlord Arcathion out. Occasionally I’ll have Colrak the observer out. When I played demo for a bit, my old felguard Skurikkilig or Bheezhem the favored felhunter were my top choices.
Which is your favorite demon to command and why? Bheezy is a longtime companion, and I like to think he’s chilling with Bizmir the imp in the Twisting Nether, recuperating from all the Cataclysm adventures.
As for my old leveling partner, I think Arcathion is really Ormmon the voidwalker, just evolved. I have a feeling that whenever I switch between Supremacy and Sacrifice, that for the few seconds Ormmon is summoned, he’s confused in a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde sort of way, wondering why he has Arcathion’s memories. Arcathion is definitely my soloing partner, whether that’s dailies or retro raids or grinding out dinosaur bones.
Do you use any macros and if so which one? I am as much as macroholic as an addon fiend. Most of my macros are old, so they may not be as efficient anymore since the UI has had improvements over time. (I might have some @player macros still when you can use @self to save a couple characters.)
For example, the ‘2’ button is my filler spell, and it looks like this:
/cast [equipped:Fishing Poles, nocombat] Fishing;[mod:shift, @mouseover, harm][mod:shift] Fel Flame; [spec:1]Malefic Grasp; [spec:2] Shadow Bolt
When I have a fishing pole equipped, it fishes. When I press shift, it shoots Fel Flame. When I’m in affliction spec, it shoots Malefic Grasp, and when I’m destruction it shoots Incinerate, which is Shadow Bolt technically (so it’s one less macro I have to change when I try out demonology occasionally).
Since I go destro the occasional times I PvP, my Havoc macro is tied to Fel Flame, since both I often would rather target via mouseover rather than manual target. I also need Fel Flame to be on something other than shift+2 when I PvP, since I keep fatfingering the Windows key + 2, which brings me out of WoW to a new 7-Zip window — right in the middle of intense PvP combat!
/cast [@mouseover,mod:shift,harm][mod:shift,@target] Havoc; [@mouseover,harm][@target] Fel Flame
I also combine spells into macros, like Agony and Curse of Exhaustion, since both are affliction spells. I then have a generic curses macro with Curse of the Elements/Enfeeblement.
/cast [mod:shift] Curse of Enfeeblement; Curse of the Elements
/cast [mod:shift] Curse of Exhaustion; Agony
Finally, I love my Symbiosis macro in the odd instance or fight when I receive it from a druid. It allows me to use Rejuvenation by myself, or as I often do, on my target’s target (often the tank) via my unit frames. The tooltip will change with Symbiosis from the generic Symbiosis tooltip to the Symbiosis: Rejuvenation when I am buffed from a druid, so it also serves as a good reminder if the druid doesn’t automatically whisper me about it.
/cast [@mouseover, help] [@player]Rejuvenation
If you want to learn more about getting the most out of macros, I’d suggest looking at the macro API and macro conditionals and also PvP guides (they tend to explain and use all the cool targeting tricks like @mouseover far more than PvErs do).
Your most (favorite / embarrassing / funny / proud / memorable) moment while playing your warlock was? (Feel free to use more than one) I’ll use two.
Back in Naxx 2.0 — my first real raiding experience — I remember the meaning of 129% threat with Patchwerk with the crappy Soulshatter of 50% threat drop on a 10-minute CD. I remember ribbing from my tank if I wasn’t on his threat tail within 3 globals. I remember standing up against the wall as Patchwerk came for me, and I actually had to wait until Patchwerk started his melee swing before ‘shattering. Sometimes I was just a hair too late!
The other moment I remember was with my current guild was in T11, with the dragon twins in Bastion of Twilight. We were killing them for either the first time or one of the first times (I can’t remember which), and we were losing people as the dragons were almost dead. I heard our Blood DK call on Vent that he was out of tank CDs, so we knew his death was imminent. We were dodging the purple circles around the room with Theralion on the floor, and I shattered to give myself time to continue my DoTs with Drain Soul. I had my back against the door in the corner with Theralion across the room. He turned to me, and I knew it: here we were, another sub-1% wipe. But he gave me the Engulfing Magic buff as he marched across the room, and I kill him first with both my Drain Soul execute and my heart pumping.
What flavor are your warlock cookies? Generally snickerdoodle (warlocks always be snickering at something!), but occasionally I make QQtmeal ("kyoo-cute-meal") ones (especially in PvP).
What is your favorite dungeon or PvP battleground and why? Naxxramas (2.0). I just have too many memories there and it’s great place to learn basic raiding maneuvers.
I like to walk around Karazhan for fun and to look at the walls while listening to the music, and Ulduar was super-cool with the various hard modes and the Putress tier, and Black Temple has Illidan, but Naxx was my first raid where I wasn’t loot-monkey and also the first raid where I jumped into raid leading (alt & PUG raids). I can’t tire of Naxx.
Who is your favorite raid boss and why? Primordius as destro (ALL THE NUMBERS :D) or Chimaeron as affliction (I could basically heal myself to that fight’s restrictions while DPSing and it was hella cool at the time).
What is your least favorite spell and why? Ritual of Summoning. Sometimes it’s a really useful spell, but if someone wants a summon for raid when they’ve been online for an hour, I magically go AFK for a while.
For memories’ sake, Heigan, for when a disconnecting Australian raid member was healed through the entire floor-waving dance, and Gothik, whose speed of shadow bolt flinging I dreamt of having one day.
If you could make up and give your warlock any title you wanted, what would it be? I have the titles in-game that I actually wanted for a long time on my warlock. I worked very hard to get Elder as that was the officer rank at the time in my first guild (and I wore it when I became an officer). I could wear Crusader as that is my current rank in UR, but it doesn’t fit Poneria the character very well.
I currently wear "of the Nightfall" since I play affliction, and of course, the old Shadow Trance talent in the affliction tree was Nightfall (now, it’s a passive). I’ve worn it off and on since I got it in Wrath. I suppose "the Fearless" would be a title I would like to have for fun, but I would need to find a heroic Terrace of the Endless Springs group to do it.
As for titles that don’t exist, when Poneria is feeling particularly evil, I’d like a "the Nefarious" or "the Wicked" or "the Vile." Or for the humorous evil title: "Poneria the Pernicious."
What do you like most about playing a warlock? The blurring of lines between life and death, minion and master, and fighting for good purposes and fighting for evil purposes. Warlocks appear to live on those lines and it’s interesting trying to justify going one way, the other, or even back and forth.
If you could add, change or remove anything with regards to the warlock class what would it be? Rain of Fire to 40 yds casting range instead of 30. Why is it still 30, Blizz, when everything else is 40. "Srsly."
Do you have any tips you can offer for newer warlock players, or to those who are new to your specialization?
1. What spec is the best depends on what spec you enjoy best. No, seriously, I mean it.
2. DoTs are made for chain-pulling. Fear, among your other defensive cooldowns, is made for when you pull too many.
3. Warlocks have depth in their spellbook when it comes to utility, though most people only focus on the components with damage. PvPing or doing solo work like the cosmetic green fire quest line or just soloing retro raids or dungeons will bring out all that awesome. Do things even if you suck so you can learn all the warlock secrets.
P.S. Fellow warlocks can send me warlocky screenshots along with tips, tricks, or questions, for use in the Blood Pact column, since I can always use more screenshots. Just give me a commenting name or Twitter handle so I can refer to you in the source part of the picture.
Megan O’Neill, aka "Poneria"
Blood Pact, WoW Insider
Fel Concentration, personal WoW blog