Archive for the ‘Beta Testing Warlocks’ Category

Hail My Soon-To-Be-Revamped-and-Relaunched Brethren!

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see the words “Don’t Panic” I can’t help but think about the Douglas Adams book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Well, like the immortal words imprinted on that wholly remarkable book we should all take a quick step back before the “OMG” patch hits and take it’s sage advice of keeping calm and not to completely freak out.

Is it me or does the huge rush of information about the new patch and the upcoming MoP expansion seems to be overwhelming at times? There’s tons of excitement being generated from all of the WoW informational websites, personal blogs, Twitter and Blizzard Entertainment. Everyone I know is either diligently working to finish up bucket lists, leveling new toons, or they’re working on achievements and to grinding rep, raids and transmog gear. Keep in mind that I’m an old warlock, and I may rant and rave like a lunatic quite often, but hopefully you may glean a nugget of wisdom as we discuss some tips to surviving the massive changes headed our way.

It’s okay really…trust me

When you get done visting here, please head over to visit Saga over at Spellbound.nu and her new post called Warlock Changes 5.04. It’s a fantastic overview of what to expect from the entire patch. Nicely done Saga! I have no idea as to how many expansions you have participated in, but for me so far I’ve survived through The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm and now The Mists of Pandaria. I’m not sure what this says about me, but as you can see this is my 4th expansion playing WoW and why I feel so old :) So here are some quick and dirty tips I can offer to help you survive the upcoming patch. The first thing to remember is to always keep these things mind whenever you login. They are:

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Have fun
  3. Take your time
  4. Don’t get overwhelmed
  5. Don’t get burned out

Update your addons

While many of the more famous addons for WoW have been updated during the beta process, it’s always a good idea to update them weekly. This patch and this week is no exception. Will the mods work perfectly? Probably not. Will they eventually work out the bugs? Yes, they will. So, any important patch is a great time to remind people to support the addon community by making a small donation to the developers of your favorite addons. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than watching a good addon fall by the wayside because the author could no longer afford to give away their time and energy to making and updating the addons we all love.

Pick your specializations

The pre-expansion patch hitting in two days, gives the players a few weeks to relearn their class and get a feel for the changes before the new content arrives. As you know, warlocks are getting the biggest overhaul when it comes to specs, abilities and rotations. It may feel daunting, I know, but trust me when I say you’re going to have some fun relearning how things work. The good news is that we’ll have close to four weeks of playing around and tweaking our builds which is plenty of time to get us acclimated to our new skill set. When you login, your builds will have been wiped and you’ll be starting back from scratch. So choose your specializations…

You’ll need to pick your new specs!

Then pick your talents…

Choose your talents, but if you got the regents you can change as you need :) It’s soooo nice!

Then review the glyphs and decide which to buy and use…

Changing glyphs around is easy enough as long as you have the correct reagent

Next, take some time and read over the new spells in your spell book. At this point, it’s probably a good idea to review all of the suggestions made by Blizzard inside the new Core Abilities Tab. It’ll help give you the basic foundation of your roations when you’re setting up your spell bars.

Notice the tabs at the bottom of the new spellbook

Stock up on Reagents

Your next stop should be to immediately go to a Inscription Trainer and to find the NPC inscription supplies merchant so that you can grab plenty of reagents on hand to swap out your talents and glyphs as you need. If you are like me, during Cataclysm your talents and glyphs were set and then forgotten about. Hopefully in MoP, this will no longer be the case and you’ll want to change them depending upon the situation. I’d highly recommend getting at least two or more stacks to keep in your bag until you feel more comfortable with your play style. Here are the ones you’ll need based on your level (in case you forgot like me):

Stock up on your reagents and don’t overpay at the AH

Remember you don’t have to buy these items off the AH and in fact, I’d highly recommend against it. If they are listed on the AH it’s usually by a seller who is gouging uninformed players who either don’t know where to buy them or are too lazy to go find an Inscription Trainer for supplies. Save your gold by visiting the regeant vendor and pay next to nothing for these items. Example: Vanishing powder from the supplier cost 60 silver whereas on the AH in beta people were charging 5 gold each. Maybe I’m cheap, but hey…I work hard for my gold (and I’m always broke)!

Questing

I know some players who truly abhor the idea of doing dailie quests, while some players absolutely love them. I don’t mind either way and only dislike daily quests whenever grinding rep turns into a second job. However, running daily quests can be a great way to practice your new skills. By running daily quests you can experiment and practice to find what works best for you. What’s also nice about doing dailies is that you can solo at your own pace, and you won’t have to worry about of making a mistake in front of others as you get a feel for your new power. Another great thing about questing is that you can make some decent gold while you’re out practicing. Not bad, eh?

A trial by fire seems to works best for most people, and questing can help be the anvil to purify your Dark Arts skills.

This is the kind of trial by fire I’m talking about! Woot! You gotta love the looks of the new Chaos Bolt spell! Yummy pain with a green face!

Training Dummies

The target training areas in all the major city hubs such as Stormwind or Orgrimmar are going to be crazy! I mean CRAZY! How crazy you ask? Well, try to imagine a mage convention where someone offered to give away a free dvd of My Pretty Pony to the person who could scream the loudest and longest. It’s going to be that nuts I tell you! Even being this close to the end of beta, the training areas have been packed. No to mention that depending on what time of day it is, it can often get worse during peak times. If you have a slower computer or a video card that doesn’t like crowds, I don’t recommend going there.

Here’s a simple idea many don’t try because a lot players are too lazy don’t feel like traveling. Go to one of the empty cities. Remember them? I know we often forget about many of the old hub cities and only go visit them during a seasonal event, to put out a fire, or to go give praise to an elder. Each of those cities has a target dummy area and each city I visited in beta was either nearly empty or completely empty. Last night, in Orgrimmar there were roughly 25+ players at the training area at any given time. I took a quick flight over to UC and found only 1 person. I ported over the Silvermoon (yes, it’s still there btw) and I was alone. Typical for Silvermoon I know.

It’s true, you can learn a lot from a dummy only if you can see it. So prepare for crowds!

Dungeons and raids

Outside of rogues every class will be facing some kind of change. Everyone to some degree will be relearning their class and abilities all over again. So, when you decide to venture into a dungeon or a raid I’d highly recommend bringing along some friends and guildies. Remember what dungeons and heroics were like when Cataclysm first launched? Well, it won’t be quite that bad, but go easy and expect a few wipes.

Theory Crafting

There’s a lot of great resources out there on the web regarding theory crafting. Sadly, I wish I was the type that loved digging through spreadsheets and calculations, but in all honesty that isn’t something I find enjoyable. Many sites offer great advice on how to get the best dps we can from our specs and many ask do you have to do it their way? No, not if you don’t want to. You’ll soon come to find that what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you. Knowledge is power. Read any and everything you can about warlocks. Then go out in the world of Azeroth and try and see what works best for you.

The reason I say this is because of the discussion concerning the level 75 talents that we will have to choose from. Without going into too much detail, many of the theory crafters are pointing out that we should talent this way when it comes to the Grimoires:

As you can see, the Grimoire is Supremacy isn’t on this list. Out of these three choices in talents, for me, the Grimoire of Supremacy appears to have the biggest time and effort put forth for Blizzard to create. Personally, I can’t see Blizzard putting that much time and effort into a talent only to make not choosing it the “no-brainer”. I truly believe their intention with the new talent design is so that we have more choices in the way we play. Maybe, I’m viewing it completely wrong and Blizzard’s true intention is to make the Grimoire of Supremacy for questing only? I don’t see it that way and I don’t think that is what Blizzard had in mind. Maybe, it’s just derpy me and the way I think about things that makes me feel this way. I completely agree that providing sweet dps that tops the meters is what we, as warlocks, should always strive to achieve. We are a dps class right? But more importantly, I can’t stress enough when I say that a dead warlock offers no dps, and no utility. We shall see how it all unfolds soon enough and the way I look at it is this…any discussion about warlocks is a good thing :)

I can’t wait to use these tools for dungeons and raids! Omg, tossing demonic portal on top of Demonic gate means you can travel a huge distance in 2 seconds! Putting a demonic portal between two gates means you can effectively cover a huge area as well!

So, don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different things. Just because one talent sounds more appealing at first, it doesn’t mean the others won’t have their place as well. Remember, we can swap out talents and glyphs quickly so get used to being flexible. Doesn’t that sound smexy? Being flexible and adapting to any dire situation will make you a better player and it’ll make the other classes even more jealous of you and of the warlock class. That’s a win/win scenario for me!

Closing thoughts

As I finishing closing this post I can only hope that you are as excited about what’s going to happen this coming Tuesday with the new patch as I am. Our lives as warlocks will never be the same. I know being the smart, studious and great players that you are you’ll go out there and make our class proud. Always remember, you’re a warlock! You’re at the top of the food chain! Be proud! Hold your head high, keep your confidence in your strut when you walk, and go out and dominate the World of Warcraft because it’s ours for the taking! At least until we get nerfed :)

I know we still have a few more weeks left before September 25th arrives, but for me, this patch still feels like the end of an era in my WoW history and with my ‘lock. Before I go, I’ll leave you with my own take on a famous line…”So long Cataclysm, and thanks for all the Twilight Guppies, Fathom Eels, and Lavascale Catfish!”

It’s been fun, but now it’s almost over

Hail and Howdy All,

From the title of this post alone, most experienced warlocks will probably already know what I’m going to talk about today. However, if you’re a newer warlock who’s just now beginning your ascension into the Dark Arts of warlocking, then you might not be familiar with our Doomguard minion. The good news is that there isn’t too much to learn when commanding this demon in your arsenal for enhancing your dps. As with all good opportunities to increase your damage, the real skill and art about using your Doomguard is mastering good judgment for finding the best time to call him into battle.

The Big Red Button – Summoning a Doomguard or the new Terrorguard

What is a Doomguard? Besides the normal demons we command, warlocks also have the spell Summon Doomguard. It’s a single button push spell that I like to call “The Big Red Button” that summons this monster of a minion to battle next to you for one minute. Besides his good looks and imposing figure, the Doomguard is a nice boon to our single target dps. An easy way to understand and to think about your Doomguard is to view him as a single target trinket that you’ll never have to replace.

I’m sure many of the more experienced locks will agree that even though the Doomguard is a single button press, it’s still exciting to call him out for several reasons. The first reason the Doomguard is fun, is because you don’t summon them very often. A skilled warlock should be vigilant in constantly looking for the right opportunity to use their Doomguard during a fight. When a strategic time does occur, trust me when I say that you’ll be gleefully cackle laughing as this horror is blasting away at your foes. The second reason Doomguards are exciting is because we know that when the “Big Red Button” is pressed, it’s usually at the turning point of the fight and that’s the nail-biter moment, when you need to unleash everything you got to win or turn the tide of battle! Woot! Big red button push ftw!

*Please consider that it’s still MoP Beta and things are subject to change. While typing up this post I came to find that some of the numbers and spells in the newest Beta build did not match what the Wowhead database has listed. So some of the spells I didn’t link and I’m only listing what I’ve investigated from the Beta*

My Doomguard starting target practice

The Summon Doomguard spell in Cataclysm

The Summon Doomguard is an instant spell that has a 40 yard range on a 10 minute gcd which summons a Doomguard to attack your target that is afflicted with Bane of Doom or Bane of Agony for 45 seconds. When summoned, the Doomguard will appear by your side and attack your target inflicting extra damage to your enemy with his single dps spell called the Doom Bolt. He will continue to attack your enemy until either the target dies or his 1 minute timer has expired. The idea behind the Doomguard sounds simple enough until you consider his 10 minute global cool down.

The standard Doom Guard in the Mists of Pandaria Beta

The Doom Bolt is the only damaging spell your Doomguard will cast. The Doom Bolt has a 30 yard range with a 2.81 cast time that sends a bolt of energy at your enemy causing 8,938 shadow damage and the Doomguard will deal 20% more damage on targets that are less than 20% of health. I am not a mathematician or theory crafter, but here are some rough numbers to think about to put things into perspective:

  • Doomguard summoned for 60.00 seconds / 2.81 second Doom Bolt cast time = 21.3523 potential Doom Bolt casts
  • 21.3523 potential Doom Bolt casts x 8,938 shadow damage = 190,046.975 additional damage over 1 min
  • 20% more damage towards a total of 190,046.975 = 38,009.395 additional damage to targets < 20%
  • To get an idea of raw damage we add 190,046.975 + 38,009.395 = 228,056.37 total damage for targets <20% for one minute

As you can see roughly the Doomguard’s additional damage over 1 minute can range from 190k to 228k depending upon the level of your target’s health. Sadly, I wasn’t able to test to see if the numbers would change from a target that went from 25% to say 15%. I’m sure it’s safe to say that the additional 20% damage would kick in when the target reached the <20% mark. I’ll update this post when I find out.

Just before I took this picture I had proc’d four imps too. So I had six demons active at once. Also, please ignore the shoulders and gloves – I didn’t get to Tmog them yet :P

The Terrorguard in the MoP Beta with the Grimoire of Supremacy Talent

If a warlock chooses the Grimoire of Supremacy talent at level 75, the old Doomguard becomes upgraded to the new Terrorguard. Through this talent, the new Terrorguard will have 20% more health and do 20% more damage than the standard Doomguard. Other than the Terrorguard’s new appearance and higher numbers, he and the Doomguard, both work the exact same way. Both are at their best when it’s a single target burn.

Here is how the Terrorguard is currently listed in Beta:

Summon Terrorguard – An instant 40 yard range spell that Summons 1 Terrorguard to attack your target for 1 minute. The Terrorguard will cast Doom Bolt until it departs. The Doom Bolt is the only damaging spell this big guy will cast. It has a 30 yard range with a 2.81 second cast time that sends a bolt of energy at the target causing 10,859 shadow damage. It will also deal 20% more damage to targets below 20% of health.

If we plug the Terrorguard’s numbers into the same rough numbers as the Doomguard then we get:

  • Terrorguard summoned for 60.00 seconds / 2.81 second Doom Bolt cast time = 21.3523 potential Doom Bolt casts
  • 21.3523 potential Doom Bolt casts x 10,859 shadow damage = 231,864.626 additional damage over 1 min
  • 20% more damage to 190,046.975 = 46,372.9251 additional damage to targets < 20%
  • 231,864.626 + 46,372.9251 = 278,237.551 total damage for targets <20% for one minute

 

The Terrorguard as seen through the Eye of Kilrogg. The chains are a nice touch, however it covers up his face and the scary mouth in the stomach animation.

When should you use your Summon Doomguard or Summon Terrorguard spell?

Of course, the obvious choice would be to utilize the Doomguard or Terrorguard on a burn phase of a boss, or on a boss that has less than 20% of health. It sounds easy enough, but like all encounters in heroic dungeons, in PvP, and in raids, sometimes the choice isn’t always the most obvious one. What about bosses that you need to push to their next phase and your team is almost, but not quite getting him there? What about those times in a LFG when things can go awry and the added dps can mean the difference between keeping it together or having a wipe fest? How about an advance on the enemy flag carrier? How about a massive zerg on capturing a node?

As you can see, your choice of when to call forth your guard can be varied and situational. However, there are a couple of things to consider. A dead warlock = no summoned Doomguard/Terrorguard and no dps burst. I’ve been in a few fights where the raid was dropping quickly and nothing could save the group, only to watch a fellow ‘lock toss this guy out for less than 10 seconds. The warlock died and then the demon faded away without his master. It was a nice thought and a nice try, but it didn’t down the boss or save the raid. On the next attempt at the boss, this warlock’s Doomguard was still on the global cooldown and could not be used. Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but I’m sure you can see that it’s a good idea to make sure you’ll be alive to get the most value from this minion. With enough experience, you’ll come to find when it’s the best time to summon a guard for the greatest benefit for your play style, for your team or for your raid, so experiment and see what works for you.

If you see this, then you are about to feel the full fury of a warlock in WoW

So to get the most out of the “Big Red Button” and the single target dps increase of these demons it’s best to keep a few common sense rules:

  1. Don’t Die
  2. Learn good timing by understanding the fight or the situation to make the most of this spell
  3. Don’t forget to use it

Really Amijade? You’re telling me not to forget to use this spell? Yes, I am. It sounds simple enough, but in the heat of battle when things are going crazy and you find yourself flustered or frustrated anything can happen. On several occasions, I know I for one have forgotten to use this spell when I could have knocked it out of the park. With a 10 min gcd it’s easy to forget if it’s up or not. I’ve had several honest warlocks tell me they forget about it as well. Trust me, it can happen. So keep a cool head, don’t die and remember to use this ability!

A 10 minute global cool down is a terrible thing to waste, and as we all strive to be better players and better warlocks, I want you to learn from the mistake of myself and others. Trust me when I say that sharing knowledge of the Dark Arts can be enlightening, if not humbling.

Foreshadows of the future

Hail Everyone,

You know, just referring to any warlock as a Demonology Specialist, or as a Master of Demonology, makes me think it sounds like they’re a specialized type of doctor. Gah! It’s scary to think what type of diagnosis would be needed to go see a physician like that don’t you think? Example: “Hi Doctor, I’m Mrs. MacNeil and this here is my daughter…Regan.” If you get that movie reference, then you’ll understand why I just got the creeps while typing that line. That’s such a slow build up of a movie, but those last 20 mins…intense! /em shudders

Hangin’out with Ixithak, my beta Wrathguard

I don’t know why, but whenever I think of the demonology spec I think about that movie and I think back to the Burning Crusade when it was common to see a warlock running around with a Felguard in tow. Many Dark Art practitioners during BC enjoyed leveling as a demonologist mainly for the pure joy of commanding one of these big guys while it tore their enemies apart. Felguards can grab aggro like a tank, crank out some decent dps, stun, smack multiple mobs around with a big AoE, and to top it all off they can easily chase down a fleeing scared mage target. 

So will there really be a changing of the guard? Or should I say of the Felguard? When MoP launches in less than two months, I have a strong feeling you’ll be seeing a large influx of demonology students working towards mastering the new play style of this old specialization. The new changes to the demo spec are too shiny and too exciting not to pass up. So as both a refresher for me (since I’m not as skilled in Demo as I should be), and hopefully to help inform you…this week we’re going to examine the benefits of summoning the old faithful Felguard, and the new, sleek, Wrathguard.

The basic demon commands

Just like all the warlock minions, the Felguard and the Wrathguard both have all the basic pet commands for you to control and to keep your demons in line, or in the fight. For a quick recap they are:

  • Assist – Stance
  • Defensive – Stance
  • Passive – Stance
  • Attack – Command
  • Follow – Command
  • Move To – Command
  • Stay – Command
  • Avoidance – Passive
  • Fel Energy– Passive

    Thoozeras on Guard

The Felguard in Cataclysm

If you’re a newer warlock and have never run in a demonology spec, or if you’re thinking about trying it out, here’s a quick tip to keep in mind. For single target DPS the Fel Hunter is the demon of choice while the Felguard is the best demon for the job when it comes to clearing trash, AoE and general questing. Here’s what the big guy, the Felguard, can do:

  • Axe toss – An instant 30 yd range attack on a 30 sec global cooldown. The Felguard throws his axe at your target stunning them for 4 seconds. Some people use this as an opening attack before unleashing the power and glory of yummy warlock pain on their victims, and some save it because it’s good for stunning any adds who decide they want to play “pile on”. If you’re out of range from the target when the spell is cast your Felguard will run towards the mob to the 30 yard range to toss his axe, and then he’ll immediately return to your side unless commanded to do otherwise. In Beta, the second you use Axe Toss on a target the demon starts attacking it immediately. I’m not sure if this will stay this way or not.
  • Legion Strike – This is the basic and standard attack for the Felguard. This melee attack causes weapon damage + an additional 2862 damage to all nearby targets within 6 yards. The weapon damage is divided by all targets in that range. The targeted mob either by itself or in a group becomes wounded, which reduces any healing effectiveness on that mob for 5 seconds.
  • Felstorm – A hard hitting AoE melee range attack with a 45 global cooldown. This ability hits all targets in an 8 yard range for weapon damage along with 3488 damage every 1 second for 6 seconds.
  • Pursuit – works within an 8 – 25 yard range on a 15 second global cooldown which allows the Felguard to charge their enemy causing weapon damage and increases the Felguard’s movement by 30% for six seconds.

Thoozeras clearing the way for me to gather an herb

The Felguard in the Mists of Pandaria Expansion

  • Axe toss – An instant 30 yd range attack on a 30 sec global cooldown. The Felguard throws his axe at his target stunning them for 4 seconds. Currently, Axe Toss has no changes from Cataclysm to Beta.
  • Legion Strike – A basic sweeping melee attack where the Felguard causes weapon damage to all nearby targets within 6 yards. The weapon damage is divided by all targets in that range. The main target in the group becomes wounded, which reduces any healing by 10% for 5 seconds. This spell has had a few small changes from the Cataclysm model, but not enough to QQ about.
  • Felstorm – A good AoE melee range attack on a 45 global cooldown. This ability hits all targets in an 8 yard range for 150% weapon damage every 1 second for 6 seconds. Another very small and very slight change from it’s former self in Cataclysm. The spell is the same as in Cataclysm with only a few tweaking of the numbers.
  • Pursuit – works within an 8 – 25 yard range on a 15 second global cooldown. With Pursuit, the Felguard charges their enemy causing 150% weapon damage and increases the Felguard’s movement by 30% for six seconds. This is another good opener to consider or good for a chasing fleeing enemy. Pursuit did get a slight change in the positive with the addition of the weapon damage added to this skill. Is it huge? Sadly, no. Is it extra damage? Heck ya!

 

The small details on the new Wrathguard are amazing

 

The new Wrathguard from the Grimoire of Supremacy

When you hit level 75 in MoP, you’ll have the option to choose the talent the Grimoire of Supremacy which allows the warlock to “upgrade” their old demons into the new ones. It’s also important to remember by choosing this talent, the GosSup demons will automatically have an increase to their health and dps by 20%. By selecting this talent, a master of demonology will change or “upgrade” their standard Felguard into the new pimped-out model, the Wrathguard. Sadly, other than looks and a few small tweaks to damage numbers there will not be many changes between the Felguard or the Wrathguard.

If you decided to specialize in the Demonology tree, you may notice that the Wrathguard has more passive abilities when compared to our other minions. Don’t panic! When you read about them you’ll see that all of the basic demonic passive abilities are there, along with some added tanking benefits and one passive to be used for decoration when it comes to transmogging. The passive abilities of the Wrathguard are:

Avoidance – reduces AoE damage by 90% – All demons, including the standard and GoSup versions, have this as a passive talent.

Dual Wield – (sorry, but no link listed in the Wowhead database) Allows all weapons to be equipped in the off-hand of the demon – Only the Wrathguard currently has this ability. This has been added because you will be able to use a glyph to change the looks of your both your Felguard and Wrathguard’s weapons.  

Fel Energy – All demons use this new resource like the older mana system. Demons will gain 10 Fel energy per sec up to a maximum of 200 Fel energy. All demons, both the standard and the new GoSup ones, have this passive.

Void Reflexes – This passive ability increases the demon’s chance to dodge by 10%. This passive is also shared by our Voidwalkers and Voidlords to help aid in tanking.

Threatening Presence – A basic taunt which intimidates any target you attack by increasing it’s threat

Ixi the Wrathguard, helping to curb the local marauder infestation

The Wrathguard’s Special Attacks

  • Axe toss – An instant 30 yd range attack on a 30 sec global cooldown. The Felguard throws his axe at his target stunning them for 4 seconds. In Cataclysm, the Felguard will throw his axe to stun, but he will not attack until you command it. In MoP Beta, both the Felguard and the Wrathguard will both auto attack immediately after using this skin. I’m not sure if this will stay this way or not. IMHO, I prefer they do nothing until you command them to attack. 
  • Mortal Cleave – This is the new Legion Strike replacement and has received a slight change other than just it’s name and that it helps build your new resource, Demonic Fury. Each successful use will build 12 Demonic Fury which is the resource needed to utilize Metamorphosis. Mortal Cleave will remain as a basic attack where the Felguard causes weapon damage to all nearby targets within 6 yards. The weapon damage is divided by all targets in that range. The main target will also get smacked with a 25% healing debuff for five seconds too. The healing debuff on the main target is a slight increase up from the previous 10%.
  • WrathstormThe new replacement to the former Felstorm. A good AoE melee range attack on a 45 global cooldown. This ability hits all targets in an 8 yard range for weapon damage every 1 second for 6 seconds. It might have a different name, but it’s the same old Felstorm with a different skin.
  • Pursuit – Stays exactly the same as it’s former Cataclysm version. It has an 8 – 25 yard range on a 15 second global cooldown where the Wrathguard charges their enemy causing 150% weapon damage and increases the Felguard’s movement by 30% for six seconds.

Another view to see the new Wrathguard model. The swords are animated too, and sadly this picture doesn’t do them justice in how cool they look.

The Command Demon Ability

If you haven’t read about the new Command Demon ability, it’s basically taking the strongest spell from of our current summoned demon and allowing warlocks to put it on their action bar. For the Felguard the spell of choice is the Felstorm, and for the Wrathguard it will be Wrathstorm.

 

Transmogging, the Felguard and the Wrathguard

One of the minor glyph choices for warlocks in MoP will be the Glyph of Felguard. With this glyph, both the Felguard and the Wrathguard will equip a random two-hand axe, sword, or polearm from your backpack. For the Wrathguard, Blizzard has also added the passive ability called Dual Wield, which allows all weapons to be equipped in the off-hand of the demon too so that the Wrathguard can of course…dual wield.

I really like the idea of allowing players to “tweak” the look of their demons and I hope this becomes expanded upon. As it appears to me, it’s just kinda “meh”. Yes, it is a cool feature and I think the idea is sound, but the implementation of it falls flat IMHO and here’s some reasons why: The Shivarra dual wields, but you can’t change her weapons and why stop at just changing the look of the weapons only? 

I love the concept of personalizing your demons. It would open up so much more flexibility and freedom in character customization. What if you could change the color of your Observer from blue to red or any other color? Instead of 12 eyes, what if you could select a specific look like the character customization screen when you create toon? How about a Fel Imp without the horns or piercings? I guess my biggest gripe is that there are so many different ways Blizzard could have gotten creative with customizing our demons and this just seems bland. Even if Blizzard implemented and made such varied customization into a gold-sink, I know players would be frothing at the mouth to hand over their gold for that kind of change and personalization for their demons. Look at what transmogging has done!

Ixithak and the Sha of Anger; that guy really has some self-control issues

Closing thoughts

So will there be a changing of the guard for demonology? Should you use the Felguard or the Wrathguard? Is there a clear difference between the two? No, there isn’t much of a sizeable difference between the two other than the fact that the Wrathguard will have more health and higher dps from the GoSup talent. However, choosing one of the other level 75 talents and using the standard Felguard might work better for different situations, but at this time it’s still a “wait and see” for what MoP will bring. *Sighs* September 25th, just can’t get here fast enough for me.

Over the next post or two, we’ll be looking at our last two demon choices for warlocks and their new upgraded versions provided by the GoSup. Yep, we’ll be looking at our single target burn’em phase friend, the Doomguard, and our AoE fiend, the Infernal.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. So please feel free to let me know what you think!

Hello my Friends of Fiendish Fun,

What do you get when you add a feminine touch to a demon? Well before you answer “A mother-in-law”, I’m here to tell you this isn’t going to be that kind of post. Besides, who in their right mind would want to summon that kind of demon? All they would do is visit and complain about the rest of your family, and how much fun is that? Absolutely, none! (Yes, I’m kidding mother-in-laws okay?) However, if you’re a warlock in Warcraft you’ll be glad to know that our female demons have plenty of venom and vigor to make them a force your enemies will envy and hate. Trust me, you’re a warlock and you control dangerous demons…what’s not to envy and hate?

Disantia, my personal Succubus posing for the camera

If you’re a newer student to warlockery, then the first thing you must learn and understand is that a warlock’s succubus has always been a minion that has been both admired and abhorred. And from the looks of a standard succubus it’s easy to see why. They are dressed, (or should I say undressed?) for attention. Between their devilish wings, horns and knee-high furry hoofed feet it’s hard not to notice the fatal beauty radiating from these creatures. While many players admire these demons for their sadistic charm, other players find them annoying either because of their overt overtones of “Oohs” and “Ahhs” or because they, themselves, have been directly seduced by a succubus.

So why should you want to summon on of these demonic fem fatales? Now I can’t speak from a RP point-of-view, (although I can only imagine the various scenarios that could could from that type of play) but these whip-cracking, butt-smacking, crowd controlling demons have long been a favorite for PvP and you’ll soon see why. For the lone warlock who’s questing, or the warlock who finds themselves in a small dungeon group the Succubus can also be quite useful when surrounded by any humanoid prey. What’s important to note is that not much will change for these minions moving from Cataclysm into the new Mists of Pandaria expansion. However, there are some key things to consider when we look at our temptresses of dark tidings the Succubus, and the new Shivarra.

 Basic Demonic Commands

Like all of our warlock demons, the Succubus and the Shivarra have all of the basic commands to control their enticements along with a few tricks to fend off your foes.  Here’s a quick review:

  • Assist – Your demon will automatically assist you in attacking your current target 
  • Defensive – Your summoned demon will attack any mob or any enemy player that begins attacking it or you
  • Passive – Your minion will not attack anything until you commanded it to do so
  • Attack – You command your demon to attack your current target
  • Follow – You command your demon to follow you
  • Move To – You command your demon to move to a specific location. A green targeting reticule will appear and your demon will move to that specific location and wait until his next command
  • Stay – You command your demon to stay where they are standing until you give it another command

A target and their mount seduced by Disantia. I’m terribly sorry for the ugly pink shard I couldn’t crop out of the picture. I blame having ugly pink shards on my head during combat. Sorry, that annoying pink graphic still just steams me! As you can see it ruined this picture.

The Succubus in Cataclysm

Besides having the basic commands like all of our summoned servants the Succubus has her own special abilities that make her particularly alluring, and it’s not just simply because of her sultry good looks. What makes her popular in particular is her knockback and CC skills. Here’s the breakdown of what a succubus can do:

Lash of Pain – An instant and basic melee attack that lashes a target within a 20 yard range causing around 3,100 shadow damage

Lesser Invisibility – Grants the demon Lesser Invisibility for 5 mins. This ability can only be used out of combat, and when it’s set on passive the Shivarra will automatically self-cast the spell on herself when it comes off from the gcd and if you’re OOC. I’ve tried researching this spell to find out exactly what it does; however, there is no clear definition. The best information I can find through the Wowhead database is that it makes this demon more difficult to see from 100 yards or more. A good idea is to use this tactical advantage in area with many obstacles on the terrain. This can help add to the difficulty of seeing her approach and attack. I have yet to find anything where this ability is described as reducing damage or enhancing dps. As with all demonic tricks, surprise is always a good way to foul your foe so look for rocks, bushes, and other places where a hidden Succubus can pounce on a victim.

Whiplash – Who doesn’t like a good knockback? This spell deals 4,500 shadow damage and gives a knockback to all enemies from within five yards. This is a targeting ability with a 25 second gcd. While I rarely have time to pvp anymore, I’m sure people still love this spell for knocking folks off of the cliff at the Lumber Yard and from the rooftops in WSG. Are your enemies grouped on your Flag Carrier or Node? Drop this spell on them and watch them go reeling. A nice /cackle macro should be used in combination with this ability because using it will give you an evil glee.

Seduction – One of the most powerful spells for this demon next to Whiplash. The Seduction spell seduces any humanoid target for 30 seconds and it has a 30 yard range. Keep in mind, that any damage to the target while they are being seduced will break the target from the crowd control. This spell, combined with a mouse-over macro will be a must have for any warlock who wants to make CC look easy.

Soul Link with a Succubus

The Succubus in Mists of Pandaria

As much as I would like to say that there are a few new or enhanced skills for our Succubus when MoP arrives, but sadly there isn’t. All of the abilities you just read for her play style in Cataclysm remain the same in the MoP expansion except for some minor increases to her shadow damage numbers.  She looks the same, acts the same, and has the same abilities with only the dps variance being the difference. I could list all of these abilities again, but I don’t want to waste your time. Besides, I’m sure most of you want to hear about the new Shivarra instead!

The Level 75 Talent Choice – Grimoire of Supremacy

Remember, the Grimoire of Supremacy is the new talent choice at level 75 that allows warlocks to “upgrade” their demons to the new ones. All of these new minions have a 20% increase to their health and to their Dps. If a warlock chooses this talent, then their former Succubus will become the Shivarra. You may remember the look or skin of these demons because you encounter them when you first entered Hellfire Peninsula. They’re the tall, bluish skinned female demons that have six arms, four swords, and a G-string that could chafe even a rock elemental.

The new Shivarra demon

The Shivarra 

Like the Succubus before her, the Shivarra’s abilities might be different in name, but they’re basically the same spells with only two major differences. First, is her higher dps and health from the GoSup talent and the other is the flexibility added to the former Seduction spell. As it stands right now in beta, here are her abilities:

  • Bladedance – The Shivarra’s Melee attack that does roughly 7,400 shadow damage. Another basic damage spell like the older version called Lash of Pain
  • Lesser Invisibility – Same as the Succubus with no new differences in the beta at this time
  • Fellash – An instant and targetable spell that does around 4,300 shadow damage and knocks back all enemies within five yards of the impact site. This is the same as the former Succubus spell called Whiplash
  • Mesmerize – Like the Succubus and her Seduction ability, this is one of the most powerful spells for this demon. Mesmerize seduces the target for 30 seconds and has a 30 yard range. Like the spell Seduction, any damage to the target while they are being seduced will break the target from the crowd control. However, Mesmerize will not only work on humanoids, but it’ll also crowd control beasts, dragonkin, giants, mechanical and undead.  For PvP and questing, this opens up many more opportunities where once again a warlock can be a strong CC utility class to be feared (no joking intended on that one :P)

Bladedancing with a Target – A quick spinning attack

The Command Demon Ability

Don’t forget that in the new expansion, Blizzard has also added the Command Demon ability. This spell will fire off the most powerful spell for the demon you have summoned. For the Succubus, it will be Whiplash and for the Shivarra it will be Fellash. While both of these are good choices, I’m a little surprised that Seduction or Mesmerize weren’t considered for this button as well. IMHO, I think it would have been nice to have the choice as to which spell would be your preferred one to use with Command Demon ability. Sadly, this is not the case with the lastest beta build. 

Things to consider

I’ve read a few places on the forums where some warlocks aren’t certain as to whether or not the new Grimoire of Supremacy will be a worthy talent choice for use in PvP. I’m not a number cruncher by any means; however, the wider utility of the Shivarra’s Mesmerize spell, along with the passive increase in health and damage makes me believe that it will be a difficult choice on which way to talent. As such, my only advice is to try out all three talents in that bracket and see what works best for you or for any given situation.

One of the more refreshing changes in MoP is that now we’ll now be able to swap in and out of specs very quickly in between fights. This much needed feature truly opens up gameplay based on your talent of choice without having to constantly run back to town to see a trainer. Even with the announcement of the September 25th launch date, for me, the expansion can’t get here soon enough because in all honesty the beta has spoiled me when it comes to swapping out talents so quickly. It really is a great feature. Trust me when I say that next to the new AoE looting, being able to swap talents on the fly will make you wonder why it wasn’t implemented sooner.

Mesmerizing a Target (and yes, that G-string may chafe! Please support your local alchemists, they have potions and oils for that sort of thing)

Heya All,

Yep, it’s not a very creative title to this post, but I think it gets to the point. This week we’re talking about an Affliction warlock’s faithful friend the Fel Hunter, and their new upgrade replacement minion (upgraded by choosing the Grimoire of Supremacy, a level 75 talent) called a Giant Eyeball…er…Little Willy grown up The Observer.

Surveying the local problems in Beta

If you’ve read some of my posts then you probably know that I’ll always be a die-hard Affliction fan. When I first delved into the Dark Arts, it was the first spec I learned and it’s been my favorite ever since. You’ll also come to find that not all warlocks like Affliction and that’s okay, it happens. However, if you are a lower level ‘lock or if you’re thinking about rolling a warlock Alt, then I suggest you should give it a try. In fact, my only good advice to give is to try all three warlock specializations and find the spec that’s right for you and your playstyle.

The reason I am talking about Affliction in particular is because next to the yummy spell HAUNT, nothing to me is more iconic than standing with a Fel Hunter by your side. You may, like me, fall in love with those brown bundles of fur and teeth as you train one from a wee-little pup to become the bane of your enemy casters. Trust me when I say that watching your very own Fel puppy running rabid while snarling, drooling and attacking a fleeing mob while your DoTs tick away their life is described with one easy word…glorious! *Insert cackle laugh here*

Curbing Your Dog and/or How To Poke an Eyeball

Like all of our minions, the Fel Puppy and the Observer have all the basic pet stances and commands along with a few passive abilities. Like any good warlock, your should always be in full control of your demons. So live-em, love-em, use them! They are:

  • Assist – Pet Stance – Your pet assists you in fighting
  • Defensive – Pet Stance – Your pet will only attack enemy mobs that attack you or it
  • Passive – Pet Stance – Your pet will not attack only until you command it
  • Attack – Pet Command – You send your pet to attack
  • Follow – Pet Command – You command your pet to follow you
  • Move To – Pet Command – You command your pet to move to a specific location
  • Stay – Pet Command – You command your pet to stay where it stands until you command it to do something else
  • Avoidance – Passive Ability – Helps keep your pet from dying from Boss AoE (area of effect) damage
  • Fel Energy– Passive Ability – Your demons use Fel Energy as a resource in MoP vs. mana in Cataclysm and they gain 10 Fel Energy every second for a maximum of 200 Fel Energy
Dhroodum doing his version of Lament of the Fel Puppy. His favorite food is an enemy caster!

A Fel Pup’s Special Abilities in Cataclysm

As you know, on top of all of these fun things you can do with your minion, each demon also has several special abilities to aid in annoying and destroying silly mages our enemies. For the Fel Hunter in Cataclysm, they are:

1. Shadow Bite – Rawr! (Munch, Munch, nom nom nom) A basic melee attack that causes shadow damage

2.  Devour Magic – Purges 1 beneficial magic effect from the user, if the magic purged is devoured the Fel Hunter receives a small heal

3. Spell Lock – (Should be called “Spell Lockout”) Silences an enemy for 3 seconds. If this spell is used on a casting enemy, then it locks them out from casting any spells from school of magic for 6 seconds. Woot!

The Mists of Pandaria Fel Hunter’s Special Abilities

1. Shadow Bite – A basic melee attack that does 6,215 shadow damage. It’s an instant cast with a .6 second cast time and consumes 60 Fel Energy

2. Devour Magic – An instant 30 yard range cast with a 15 second gcd. This spell purges 1 beneficial magic effect from the enemy target. If the purged spell is devoured, the Fel Hunter gets healed for 5,673. Costs 60 Fel Energy

3. Spell Lock – An instant 40 yard range cast on a 24 second gcd. This spell silences an enemy for 3 seconds and if it’s used on a target that is casting, then this spell will lock them out from using that particular school of magic for 6 seconds. Costs 20 Fel Energy.

As you can see, there’s not too much difference with the Fel Hunter of Cataclysm Live and the Fel Hunter of MoP; however, when you upgrade your Fel puppy to the new Observer there are some cool new tricks to learn.

The Voidlord’s Optic Blast ability being used on an enemy. Why did it have to be pink?! Bah!

The New Observer

One of our newest demons to command is the Observer. Yes, it looks like one big floating eyeball, or should I say eyeballs? When I started running with my Observer in the beta, I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. Back then, all of the demonic minions for warlocks had the “My Demon is Gigantique” bug because Blizzard was working on the fine tuning them for proportion.  All of our demons were about 4x’s their current size, and it made standing around or even questing painful because the demon covered up your view. OMG, I’m so glad they got that fixed!

This is Bragkek’s best attempt at smiling. I wish you could see all the individual animations because they are nice touch. Bring a drool cup or towel because you’ll need it.

They have added some new animations, grunting sounds and some nifty looking spells (albeit one is pink colored). Besides the pink animation to one of his prized abilities, I like him it and I think he’s it’s a cool addition to our stable of minions. Sorry, I wasn’t sure if I should refer to the Observer as a “she” or “he” so I decided on using “it” because I’m not sure how you would determine which is which? If you’re an experienced warlock you might remember Shirrak the Deadwatcher from the Auchenai Crypts in Auchidon. Well if you do, that’s the same skin of your new Observer. What makes this demon fun besides it’s good looks and constant slavering of drool?  It’s special abilities of course! Here they are:

1. Tongue Lash – (OMG, I can already predict that general channels are going to have this ability linked quite often – bah!) This is the Oberserver’s basic attack. It licks the enemy causing 6,020 shadow damage. It has a 10 yard melee range with a .6 second cast time and costs 60 Fel Energy.

2. Clone Magic – This spell steals 1 magic effect from an enemy. If the stolen spell is devoured, then the Observer gets a 5,525 heal and the it will gain 60 Fel Energy. It has a 30 yard range with a 15 second gcd with a cost of 20 Fel Energy to cast.

3. Optical Blast – This 40 yard range “pink-swirly” laser looking spell (yes, can you believe it’s pink? Ugh!) blasts an enemy with lasers dealing 1.432% weapon damage and silences them for 3 seconds. If this spell is used on a target that is casting, it prevents any spells from that school of magic for 6 seconds.  It has a 24 second gcd and costs 20 Fel Energy. As you may have noticed, what sets this spell apart from the Fel Hunter’s Spell Lock is the added weapon damage. Is it a game changer? Not really. Is it nice to have? Heck ya! Anything extra we can pick up is always a good thing, I just wish it’s weapon damage was a little more powerful.

Bragkek my beta Observer giving out a good Tongue Lashing

Key Things to Keep In Mind

You will be able to summon and command the Observer in the Mists of Pandaria expansion by choosing the level 75 talent that “upgrades” our older demons to the new ones called the Grimoire of Supremacy. Another perq to this talent is that the Observer will cause 20% more damage and have 20% more health than the standard Fel Hunter.

We also have the new Command Demon button which will fire off our current demon’s most powerful spell. For the Fel Hunter it utilizes Spell Lock, and for the Observer it will cast Optical Blast. As you can tell by reading over their abilities, these minions are strongest against the caster classes so keep that in mind when choosing a demon for a specific fight.

Like everything else in the game, my best recommend is to experiment with them for yourself and just have fun.

Someone in my Beta guild joked that it looked like I was cleaning out the glands of Bragkek my Observer. Actually, I was pointing at an NPC in the distance. However, you can see why they were confused.

Hail All,

First, let me give you my sincerest apologies for two reasons. Apology #1 – I’m sorry, but I accidently published a post that wasn’t finished two days ago and I didn’t know it. It’s finished now, (What You Need To Know About Tanking Blueberries) but sadly I had quite a lot of hits on it when it was published and not completed. If you read that post while it was unfinished then I truly am sorry for my error. I’m trying a new software program for blog publishing and I’m still learning how it works. I guess I hit the wrong button, hehehe! Doh! Apology #2 – This post you’re about to read is a rant. It’s my way of getting my frustrations out about one of the very few things I don’t like about warlocks in Mists of Pandaria Beta so far. Normally, I’m very positive about most things about warlocks, but this one drives me crazy for some reason and I guess I’m trying to figure out why it bothers me so much! So please accept my apologies and enjoy my rant :)

I don’t do this often, but yes I’m going to rant once again about warlocks having the floating Soul Shards above our heads. If you remember, back in early April, I wrote the post MoP Beta – Floating Pink Shards? Yes, I’m writing about them again. Yes, I know we can choose two different minor glyphs that can change the way they look. First we have the Glyph of Subtlety. This glyph makes them disappear out-of-combat, but if you do a lot of questing and dailies the annoying things are still there all the time annoying the heck out of you. Then we have the Glyph of Verdant Spheres which simply turns the pink, floating cotton-candy looking shards into green orbs that always look like they are in a windstorm. Omg, I dislike them terribly. Okay, dislike isn’t strong enough for my feelings on this matter. I really do mean to say that I hate them. Ugh, hate is such an ugly word, but dammit I really do hate these things!

For the folks who like them, I understand why you like them. I understand there is lore behind them. I understand that you like they way they look and I’m more than happy to let you wear them. But please, for the love of Hellfire and Green Flames help me to get Blizzard to see that if you want them, then you can simply glyph for them. By default you shouldn’t see them at all like in Vanilla WoW, or in the Burning Crusade, or in Wrath, or in Cataclysm! If you want the pink ones or green ones then the player can simply glyph for them. Done! Easy fix! Yes, I have voiced my opinion nicely and in a constructive way on the forums about this issue too and sadly there has been no comment or Blue Post from Blizzard about them.

Here is why I don’t like hate them with a passion:

  • They show your enemy your status – Shouldn’t rogues have combo points floating above their heads or DK’s with floating runes?
  • If the mechanic becomes such that your enemies aren’t allowed to see them then what’s the point to them?
  • What is the point of them other than something new? We can’t have green fire but we can have these things?
  • They blend too much with the pink and purple colors of our Malefic Grasp and Drain Soul spells (which we use a lot in Affliction) – so again what’s the point to them?
  • They are pink, and fluffy, cotton-candy looking – What warlock wants to see anything pink on anything other than in entrails of their enemies?
  • They completely ruin the look your transmog gear – Yeah, my black outfit looks absolutely dumb with pink tufts…ugh! Maybe if I was a powder-puff girl!
  • They look goofy on all of the race models, except for maybe Belfs. If I was a Belf maybe I could live with them, but on my undead they hang right in front of my face!
  • They ruin your view when you zoom in to take screen shots in first person!

Here is what made me go on this small rant. I’m in Beta out questing in the world and I decided to switch from Glyph of Subtlety to the Glyph of Verdant Spheres because seeing those horrid pink things above my head was driving me insane. I could at least hold my food down with the green ones for a small period of time. The more I sat and looked at them with the Tmog gear that I spent so many hours farming, the more annoyed I became. So here I am with green, wind-blown balls floating around my head and I decided to take an action shot for a post I’m working on. I zoomed into First Person perspective and this is what I see:

The things I HATE, LOATHE, and DESPISE in MoP Beta. What a view they give eh? Makes for a nice screen shot doesn’t it? Bah!

It didn’t matter what angle I tried using to take my action shot picture because those big green things just sat in the way obstructing the view. I decide to drop the Glyph of Verdant Spheres and go without any of the glyphs, but I got the same images with the ugly pink shards. I refuse to post the picture because it will infuriate me again and it’s bad enough to look at the picture above. Btw, don’t those kind of resemble green fire? I’m just saying… 

So for any action shots where I’m trying to pull my avatar out of the picture to focus on the action it won’t happen because all you will see is the image above. I even tried using the Eye of Kilrogg to take a picture, but I forgot that our minion disappears when you summon the Eye of Kilrogg and of course if you enter any combat it breaks the channel of the Eye anyway. Bah! Yes, I know I can resize and cut my own image out of the picture, but why should I have too? Why can’t I use the entire screen surface as my canvass like I do with all of my other toons? I love my warlock, truly I do, but I hate this pain-in-the-rear worthless graphic animation!

Sorry for the rant everyone! Now that I’ve gotten out of my system I do feel better…but I still hate those things!

Hail My Vivacious and Sagacious Students of Shadow,

Today’s post is going to be all about blueberries, and I’m not talking about the RL fruit that’s good in muffins. Nope! I ‘m actually going to talk about our warlock minion tanks known as our voidwalkers and our new voidlords. I’m not quite sure when warlocks began to coin their voidwalkers with the name blueberry, but the term has been branded onto these minions like a “two-button rotation” is now synonymous with the mage class. First, we’re going to discuss the basic abilities of our blueberries, and then we can examine the differences between a standard voidwalker (VW) and the newer upgraded versions called the voidlords (VL) that can be attained by selecting the Grimoire of Supremacy at level 75 in the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

We’re talking about blueberries, but not this kind! Although, they do look good don’t they?

For a long time, voidwalkers were once great tanks. Solo questing with your blueberry was fun and productive because our big, blue, and barricading buddies would keep the bad guys at bay. (Ouch, sorry! There was a lot of alliteration in that last line. Doh!) Not too long ago in dungeon runs, believe it or not, if there was ever a need for a spot tank or OT for a quick burn or tricky mechanic you could actually use your voidwalker. Like the tenacity pets of hunters, our blueberries could taunt and tank at our command. Then, *sighs* Blizzard nerfed them. I’ve heard and read several reasons for this really bad, horrible and disastrous decision. Much of the reasoning behind the nerf was because players were using and abusing the voidwalkers as tanks in certain dungeons instead of using a MT or an OT. As we all know Blizzard giveth and Blizzard taketh away, and holie crapolie they sure took it away to the extreme!

If you talk to any experienced ‘lock about their blueberry you’ll probably hear the same sad tale about the downfall of our voidwalkers since the nerf. I can’t remember the exact date, but for some reason my memory believes the nerf came shortly after Blizzard found that ‘locks were using the voidwalkers to tank Sartharion in Obsidian Sanctum for OS3d runs. The blueberry would tank Sarth while the raid burned the drakes down first. I should research the exact date of the nerf, but today I’m feeling too lazy :P

Whatever the reason, the nerf to our minions devastated the voidwalkers ability to tank and hold aggro. When you approached a mob and sent your blueberry in to attack, warlocks actually had to hold back on their dps otherwise they very quickly and very easily pulled aggro from the VW. The nerf was so bad that most ‘locks never used their blueberries anymore other than running around with them in major cities for it’s good looks, it’s trite sayings, and it’s sentimental value. You know if we, as warlocks, needed a minion that was this squishy and harmless they should have just let us summon mages right? Yes I know, who would want to stop and wait for a mage to eat and drink all the time? I guess using a blueberry was perhaps a better than a mage for our QoL despite their inability to tank.

Hukrath sporting his Shadow Shield

Now, I’m not ashamed to admit it and I have enough self-confidence to say it out loud. I <3 me my blueberry, Hukrath! Yes I do! Because even with his nerf he’s big, he’s blue, and he’s fun to be around. Sure, he can be a little snarky sometimes. Yes, he can even be a little daft every now and then. On more than one occasion, Hukrath decided to drag every mob in an instance back to wipe our group on accident because I forgot to dismiss him for fun and glory. Ah the memories! Despite Hukrath’s antics, I’m not even exactly sure what it is that I like about him so much. Maybe, he has just grown on me? Have you ever seen the movie Scarface? Remember when Tony yells, “Say hello to my little friend!” Well, I wanted to scream that line every time I sent Hukrath in to a fight. I always got a smug, and prideful feeling when he used to call back to me, “As you wish” as he chased down my next prey as they fled from him in terror. Muahahaha! Oh the joys of being a warlock!

Luckily, we as warlocks, can all stand loud and proud with our blueberries again because in Mists of Pandaria they can taunt and tank like before. Before the nerf I mean :) Currently, in game at level 8 you will be able to learn the ability to Summon Voidwalker and just like the imp, you will not be able to truly command these demons until level 10 when your pet bar opens up; then you can control him at your will. From level 8 to level 10 they are like a protective companion that taunts and attacks whatever you decide to destroy. As you gain in levels and abilities, so will your Blueberry.

The Pet Action Bar for the Voidlord. Yep, it’s the small one at the top! I have the pet command Follow and the stance Assist selected for questing.

 

Basic Pet / Minion Commands

In Last week’s post, we discussed imps and Fel imps, and I realized that I forgot to mention or discuss some of the basic pet and minions commands. If you have never played a pet class before, get familiar with using the pet bar located above your standard action bars on your UI. Yes, you will be clicking on them and you won’t break anything, trust me. There are several kinds of demonic pet skills. They are: Pet stances, pet commands, passive skills and special ability spells.

 Pet Stances

Pet Stances are listed by Blizzard as passive abilities. I like to think of them as “semi-passive” and here is why. You can only select and use one Pet Stance active at any given time. They are not completely passive because you have to select one; however, after choosing a stance it’s basically a set-it and forget-it ability. The pet stances are:

  • Assist – Your demon will automatically assist you in attacking your current target 
  • Defensive – Your summoned demon will attack any mob or any enemy player that begins attacking it or you
  • Passive – Your minion will not attack anything until you commanded it to do so

 

Pet Commands

Next, we come to the basic Pet Command options. These commands are extremely straightforward and even a beginner will get the hand of it rather quickly. The Pet Commands are:

  • Attack – You command your demon to attack your current target
  • Follow – You command your demon to follow you
  • Move To – You command your demon to move to a specific location. A green targeting reticule will appear and your demon will move to that specific location and wait until his next command
  • Stay – You command your demon to stay where they are standing until you give it another command

Your pet tab will list all of their abilities including the passive ones!

 

Pet Passive Abilities

Every pet or demonic minion has a few passive abilities as well. These passive abilities won’t show up on your pet command bar, but can be found under your pet’s talent windows. What’s nice about them is that you don’t have to do anything to use them because they are automatically built into the mechanics of the pet itself. For our VWs and VLs the passive abilities are:

  • Avoidance – This reduces the damage from AoE attacks by 90%! You gotta like that number!
  • Fel Energy – Demons use Fel Energy as a resource now and for each second they gain 10 Fel Energy up to a maximum amount of 200 Fel energy
  • Void Reflexes – This passive ability is used by our VWs and VLs which increases their chance to dodge and parry by 10%. Not only can these minions now take a hit they also have a good chance to dodge and parry it – not too shabby. For future posts, I’ll make sure to include the passive abilities for each pet as well, and I promise to go back and add it on my post about imps and Fel imps

 

Hukrath on a beach smiling for the camera after we took down some nice sized sharks.

 

The Voidwalker’s Special Abilities in Cataclysm

Here are the current “live” abilities of our voidwalkers in Cataclysm:

  • Torment (level 10) – The VW’s basic attack that casts shadow damage to the current target building a high amount of threat
  • Suffering (level 16) – At melee range, this spell taunts the current target or anything attacking the warlock. This spell does nothing if the VW is already attacking the mob
  • Sacrifice (level 28) – Sacrifices and destroys part of it’s own health to shield or mini-bubble the warlock for 30 seconds preventing any interrupts of the warlock’s spell casting or until the shield fails.
  • Consume Shadows (level 56) – A quick out-of-combat skill allowing a 30% health and mana regen for the voidwalker over 6 seconds. It also increases any stealth detection for you and your allies for 30 seconds in a 30 yard range

 

The Voidwalker and Voidlord’s Special Abilities in Mists of Pandaria:

You have probably heard the old saying, “The devil is in the details”. Well, dissecting the Mists of Pandaria Beta is good example of that statement. Here are a few reasons why. Many of the spells that are listed from the MoP Wowhead Database do not correspond with what you can use when you are in Beta. Many of the spell levels don’t match when you can actually gain or use them. So which one is right? Who knows…it’s still Beta and it’s still changing :) However, bear with me a moment and I’ll provide a quick list of what each void minion offers at level 85 in the current Beta build. They are:

  • Torment (level 10) – Same as Cataclysm in that it’s a passive ability generating a high threat level
  • Suffering (level 15) – Same passive spell as in Cataclysm remaining as the voidwalker’s main taunt to a target
  • Threatening Presence (level *Not listed) – This one is a bit wonky and confusing in the way it reads; however, I’m sure it’s true intention is on building and holding threat.
  • Disarm (level 20) – A passive and instant ability that removes the weapon and shield from a target for 10 seconds with a 1 minute gcd.
  • Shadow Bulwark  (level 54) – The former out-of-combat health and mana restoration ability called Consume Shadows that our VWs had in cataclysm has now been changed to a quick “Oh Noes” button for your blueberry for use during combat. Shadow Bulwark grants the demon 30% of it’s maximum health for 20 seconds. Pop this while questing when your VW or VL drops in health, use a Health Funnel to bring them back up and you now have a recovery option from losing your blueberry tank with 1 minute gcd. I like this spell a lot now that our voids can tank!
  • Shadow Shield and Void Shield – (level 28) – The Shadow Shield is used by the VW and the Void Shield is used by the VL. This spell takes the place of the former Sacrifice, but rather than protecting the warlock, it protects the demon instead. Visually, the shields look like a purple ‘lock version of a shaman’s Earth Shield encircling the demon for protection. Each time an enemy target strikes the shield the enemy will suffer shadow damage with each attack. A single hit reduces the shields by 20%. Roughly, it will take about five hits before it’s protection breaks and you’ll need to reapply. It can be set to automatically be recast if it falls off, but this hasn’t always been the case during my testing of it. These shields also reduces the damage done to the demon by 60% for 30 seconds or until they are destroyed. Shadow Shield and Void Shield have a 10 second gcd and both are currently listed under MoP WoWhead’s database under the same spell name. In Beta, the names are different and distinct.
  • *A Special Note: Don’t forget that all of the new demons offered by the Grimoire of Supremacy at level 75, including the voidlords, have 20% more health and provide 20% more damage! Woot! 

 

My beta voidlord, Azaros, sporting his Void Shield. It’s a shame I probably won’t be able to keep his name. It’s growing on me!

 

Command Demon – This is a new addition Blizzard has added for our convenience. Rather than being placed on the pet’s action bar, you can place this spell anywhere on any of your action bars. When you cast Command Demon, the demon you are controlling will fire off its most powerful spell. For both the VW and the VL, the Command Demon ability will cast Disarm. It would appear that the Command Demon button will make keybinding and macro writing much easier too.

 

Our New Minion’s Demonic Voices and Personalities

A few weeks ago, I posted about the newer upgraded demons missing personalities and new voices. At that time in Beta, the new minions simply kept many of the same sounds as their lesser counterparts. Well, Blizzard finally fixed those issues and now our new demons have their own voices along with some unique (some annoying of course) personalities. You might have already seen or visited this link, but a few weeks ago MMOChampion captured the latest sound clips of the new warlock minions. If you haven’t had time to check them out they are listed over here at YouTube–> MoP Warlock Minion Sound Clips. FYI and a quick warning, it’s a 7 minute audio clip. The Fel imp sounds even more obnoxious than the standard imp. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I know some people are annoyed by the sounds of the succubus and the imps, but I enjoy them for their smart aleck style banter.

For next week, we’ll take a look the demons that mages and healers love to hate. No, it’s not our Succubus or Shivarra (Heh, mages could only dream to summon one of them).  Instead, we’re going to look at the Fel Hunter and his new, upgraded version called the Observer. Until then, have a great week and enjoy the summer weather.