Signs of the End Times

Best hunt a hole, pards, the number one sign of the impending apocalypse has occured; I’ve leveled a Warlock to completion WITHOUT killing it.

Here is the ridiculous part; within an hour of reaching level 90, I was in LFR… without ever stepping foot in a single heroic OR regular instance other than the Chemical Brothers valentines event.

Let that sink in for a moment. My first real Pandaria group was LFR.

How that happened isn’t all that interesting, but in order to save a snapshot in time of how I was able to pull that off at least once in Pandaria, here we go;

When I reached 90, I looked to see what I had available to throw together.

I leveled Engineering to max, so I had the 476 Goggles.
I did Sha of Anger at level 89, so I had the Claw drop quest starter to turn in with the Shado-Pan for boots.
My friend Lilbigears and his wife Em chain-ran the Chemical Brothers with me until I got my 480 necklace. (An easy to get alternative for alts is to wait a few days of dailies until Exalted with the Klaxxi for the 489 necklace).
I had the Inscription-crafted Bind on Account staff I’d made (and upgraded) for my Priest, so I had a non-optimal weapon ready to use. Ew, spirit.

So, four epics all ready to go.

Then, the surprise epics.

I planned on making iLevel 450 PvP Contender Tailoring items to go with them, but when I checked my Tailoring skill I had ‘discovered’ recipes for epic Chest and Glove items, and the only mats needed were Imperial Silk. Oh, and what is that in my bags? A convenient stack of Imperial Silk gathered while I was leveling my Priest slowly over a month or more. !

SIX epics ready to equip within minutes. Crazy.

Throw in the Tailoring 450 PvP items, the Ghost Iron Dragonling, two crafted rings from my Jewelcrafter all from mats I had lying around, and there I was – iLevel 459.

FOUR FIFTY NINE? One damn point away? Oh noes… I’m going to have to run a heroic after all!

Except, I had a BoE 450 cloak sitting in my bank unsold. It’s a Strength/Stam cloak, but if I just leave it in my inventory, will it still count?


Boom, LFR here I come!

And LFR there I went, after I did the reforge, gem, enchant dance.

So, yeah. Theres that. No reputation items, nothing that needed grinding or dailies in any way on this character. Just running Chemical Brothers at 89 in groups, and I could have avoided that for the 489 necklace from Klaxxi.

I’m not saying this is a ‘level a main and go to LFR’ plan, because it depended on having alts that I’d already leveled professions and farmed mats for.

Not everyone has a max level Tailor with the epic recipes and a big stackof Imperial Silk just sitting around gathering dust. but you might have enough gold on your main to buy those crafted items on the AH, so it still counts.

Also, those Jewelcrafting rings I made were crafted from mats just sitting around on my Hunter, and I was glad of it because there was only one ring on the Auction House, and it was a ridiculous 1200 gold. Ouch!

The point remains, I leveled an alt for fun while my Hunter main is coasting along fully decked out, and I was able to reap the benefits of having done the reputations and professions on my other characters.

Fact: the game is not necessarily as alt-unfriendly as has been said elsewhere.

What is still alt-unfriendly is if I wanted to pursue the Legendary questline on more than one character.

Go figure, a Legendary questline requires commitment and time investment. Oh noes!

I think I’ll keep that something special for my Hunter to do.

My next goals are to take this Warlock for a spin in old content, seeing what I can and cannot do. My son wants to get his Warlock the tier hat from Karazhan, so I’ll probably try and run that tonight with some folks to give him another shot.

Yes, Alex loves his Warlock. Truth be told, he likes his Warlock more than his Death Knight, by a lot. I think part of it is the cool pets, and the other parts are how cool Worgen Warlocks look, and how great the transmog sets look.

Warlocks have the ‘it’ factor going for them.

Death Knights suffer from not having historical tier sets added for content that was out before they existed. He loves running old content, but without Tier drops to chase, he gets bummed.

Anyway, my other goal is to continue to raid with my Warlock in LFR, and to that end, I’m thinking it’s time to buy a second spec… one to configure just for raiding.

So, help me write the next chapter for my Warlock. Experienced Warlockery types, what spec should I go with for raiding?

23 thoughts on “Signs of the End Times

  1. Pingback: Group Quest #104: Expect the Unexpected | Group Quest

  2. Great comments! I found I had to relearn all 3 lock specs for MoP and it took some time. I will put in a word for destro for soloing old instance and raid content since you seem interested in that. I am an avid soloist for fun and xmogs, or, since MoP, to relearn my class in the privacy of my own raid so to speak. Destro is fast and fun for soloing, one great advantage being Ember Tap which restores massive amounts of health. Many of the old raids are easy for locks (Ive never finished Karazhan though, because I have no patience for the chess game).

    Build embers on trash and use them against the boss for high burst and self-heal. Kiljaeden’s Cunning (level 90 talent) allows you to move and nuke at the same time, in some cases all I literally need to do is back up, move forward in a straight line (or strafe if that works better) while casting to keep a boss from targeting me with anything. The old lock standbys of Fear (glyphed for dungeons) and Banish (against demons) are fun to play with as a soloist since these days group dungeon runs don’t usually involve much CC. With your Shivarra or other female demon out, you can Fear one target, Seduce a second, while you nuke targets 3,4, and 5. I love destro’s two target abilities in old dungeons — being able to Chaos Bolt, Shadowburn, or incinerate two targets at once multiplies your damage.

    Destro’s basic rotation is easy to grasp, so if you solo a raid without much prior research you are able to learn as you go and respond quickly. But destro also has subtleties that are fun to play with once you are comfortable with the basics. I find the AoE ok a bit lacking in LFR and MoP heroics, but for old content more than adequate. One piece of advice: If you find yourself suddenly dying on a boss where previous fights in that raid have been easy, you may be facing a mechanic that one or two-shots anything more than one player — first boss of Black Temple is the classic example of that — dismiss demon in these cases, tank it alone, and you will be fine.

    That said all these affliction posts are making me want to play Affliction again! Long live warlocks!


  3. Right now Affliction is the top. If you haven’t had years of pushing specific buttons for it you shouldn’t have too much of a problem picking up the rotation. You will definitely need a dot tracker though. I also really love having an aura pop up with an icon and sound when the mob/boss hits 20% so I know when to switch to drain soul.


    Destruction is a TON of fun. Who doesn’t love shooting giant green dragon fireballs at people? The other positive to Destro is it is VERY easy to pick up and does decent damage. Not quite as much as Aff, but it isn’t bad for LFR etc.

    Honestly, if this is just going to be an alt that you do LFR or an alt raid on, I would go Destro just for the sheer fun and ease of it. I am a long time Aff lock and I struggled big time with the changes that happened with MoP. It is only now that I have gotten back into the “flow” of the spec. I know that new Aff locks won’t have the issues I did, but it is a tougher spec to master. Even with all the changes.

    For either spec you will still need a DoT/Debuff tracker and something that lets you know when the mob is at 20% or less health for the execute phase.

    Good luck and let me know if you want some other tips.


    • I’m still loving Demonology for soloing and questing, although I’m going to keep a huge stack of books in my bags so I can switch from Kil’jaeden to Mannoroth when switching from questing to old raid farming.

      I’ve run LFR as Affliction, and it didn’t take long to pick up the basics, and get into the flow. I can see how it must be pretty cool, but I would like to try Destro too. I haven’t done LFR this week yet, so I think I’ll respec again, reforge and try that out.

      WTH, so far it’s been nothing but good times.


      • Destro is easy peasy to pick up and is a BLAST with trash AoE.

        Your mana regen is INSANE as Destro so use it to your advantage. Since you don’t have to channel RoF as Destro I cast it every time I can, it helps to build embers if you have immolate on the target. Big thing, remember to not use up your three conflagrate charges with a CB during a boss fight. It makes more sense to use them to speed up your incinerates and get more of those off.

        Other than that, keep immolate up on all targets and pop off a CB every time you have an ember.

        If you want Aff info let me know and I will help you with some starter basics as well. I know that Fulguralis posted something on it. I can’t remember when, although it was in the last few months.


      • I have no idea what you just said.

        That’s not a joke, I have no idea what that meant. Looks like I’kk have to spec and find out what the spells you get are, and then come back and re-read, lol.

        Warlocks talk in secret codes, how appropriate! I even learned my second spec at the Slaughtered Lamb.


      • LOL!!!

        Destro = Destruction (I’m sure you knew that though)
        RoF = Rain of Fire
        Embers = Your secondary resource as Destro. You get 3 as default (until 5.2) but should glyph for 4
        Immolate = Your primary (and only) DoT
        Conflagrate = You hit this spell every time it is off cooldown, it gives you 3 charges each time you use it. These can be used to speed up your Incinerates or a full 3 will give you an instant CB
        Incinerate = Your primary filler spell
        CB = Chaos Bolt, your primary nuke spell. It costs one ember to use. You should use it each time it is available

        Hopefully that helps! 😀


      • use the ‘core abilities’ page in the spell book, it’s awesome.

        Destro lacks some oomph on the meters right now, but you get to be on fire, so there’s a bonus right there. If you use havoc well, you’ll be fine.

        Affliction is my personal preference, but the spell effects for destro are quite nice.


      • I fully intended to respec and try Destro in LFR last night, but then went ahead and queued and ran as Affliction.

        It was fun, and I got it a little more, but juggling the big big groups of adds with multiple dots kinda blows.

        And then I found this new spell in my spell book that Icy Veins didn’t say much about, called Seed of Corruption. It at least let me feel like I was doing something. Longer cast time than I expected from remembering Seed in the old Karazhan days when having a Warlock along meant ‘ask the warlock to spam Seed and wait for the blowing up’.


      • Make sure you soulburn at least the first seed then send out a second one (they stack) then you can hit MG to cause them both to explode. The soulburned ones will put corruption up on all the targets.

        Unless they changed it, the seed only explodes from your damage or when the timer goes off (around 12 seconds).

        Destro AoE is a blast! Fire & Brimstone then immolate everything, then pop down a RoF. That should generate at least one more ember for you. Use that to F&B again and hit conflag. Rinse and repeat with Immolate, RoF as needed and hit off a F&B as much as possible.

        I usually end trash packs with full embers. 😀


      • Re: Seed of Corruption – generally the thing to do, when there are 5+ adds, is to cast a Soulburn Seed of Corruption, then a normal Seed of Corruption on the same target (the second does not override the first, for whatever reason), then Agony, then tab to another target, Seed & Agony, tab, etc. rinsing and repeating. When Corruption gets a little low from your initial Soulburn Seed, cast another Soulburn Seed on whatever target you’re on while you’re throwing more seeds around and re-upping Agony. It works very well, though it is a bit more work than many other classes have to do for AoE.

        I was thinking about this more, and what I think I really like about Affliction is it feels almost like you’re dancing, nay, waltzing around as you’re killing things. There’s a definite rhythm to applying the buffs, and then layering on Haunts and Malefic Grasps. Take, for example, the AoE “rotation” above: 1, 2, 3; Seed, Agony, Tab. For single target, there’s the reapplication of DoTs, especially when Misery comes off cooldown and you want to reaapply to maximize output (along with any trinkets you can add in): 1, 2, 3; Unstable affliction, Corruption, Agony. That’s the rhythm, and then Haunt and MG are the “harmonies.” That you can do this all while moving constantly with the movement talent makes it feel even more like dancing.

        I know, I’m a big geek. Still, that’s the appeal to me, how the spec is more fun, less kludgy than the others. I don’t know that there’s another DPS class that feels as graceful. Maybe the WW monk?


  4. I’ve always been a Demonology whore but this expansion I’ve been raiding as Affliction. The DPS is pretty fantastic, the rotation is relatively easy (keep up dots, use malefic grasp/drain soul as filler, use two cooldowns), it’s very mobile and the haste breakpoint is pretty easy to reach. If you do decide to go Affliction, the addon “ClassTimer” is pretty good but you might want to check in to one that can track your dots on multiple targets since multi-dotting is a pretty significant DPS gain.

    All three specs stand on their own, are very unique and a lot of fun so I’d just go with whichever you’ve been having the most fun with and perfect it from there. Good luck =)


  5. Hey Bear, sorry this comment is later than I would have liked.

    tithian and Andrew did a good job of describing the Affliction Warlock in Mists. You still need a good DoT timer to get the most out of the spec (I use Need to Know) but overall the gameplay is more forgiving than it used to be.

    I always imagine my DoTs crushing the life out of my enemy until that moment when I cast Drain Soul and suck the last spark of life out of him!


    • Yes! A timer is essential to make the spec work. I use InlineAura, which puts a timer number directly on the hotbar buttons. I like this because seeing remaining duration on the button I need to press helps reinforce for me when it’s optimal to reup that particular ability. The addon also will light buttons up when associated procs occur. All in all, a great find for me – I used it originally for feral DPS, but it’s useful across all specs.

      (Also, sorry for the scattered post above – was typing on my phone on the way into work. Affliction is amazing, though – I soloed Ruby Sanctum 10 man with it yesterday with a 489 average ilvl. 😀 )


    • I use ElvUI now, I love having my health bars and the enemy health bars centered at the bottom of my field of view isntead of the upper left. ElvUI has built in dot timers with waterfall display on your target, so I was able to see exactly what you’re talking about.

      Oh, didn’t I say?

      Um, I might have added a second spec, tricked it up for Affliction, and used it to run the second half of LFR last night.



  6. I think all the Warlock DPS specs are close enough in DPS that you should choose fun over meters.

    For me Destro is the most fun – fire, fire, fire + chaos bolts + easy switches between single-target and AOE DPS. The rotation just flows and it’s always fun sniping kills with shadowburn.

    Affliction is fun-ish but hasn’t stuck for me so far. And Demonology is a big no for me – I don’t enjoy having to switch in and out of Meta to do different things with different DoTs.


      • Silly ol’ bear, DPS isn’t to be fun, it is to be perfection under pressure to not step in the bad, to not break rotation to pop a heal or brez, to execute without dropping dots, and to never, ever aoe fewer than 4 mobs.

        I kid – though I know those who would agree 100% with that assessment.

        I’m currently having a blast on my priest as disc, DPSing hard while atonement healing. Typically #1 in heals and 10th – 15th in DPS on LFR. My raid leader HATES me. I tell him it’ll all be different when 5.2 pops and he needs to let me shine while I can.

        I’ve heard from reliable sources (as my ‘lock is still stuck in the 50s) that affliction isn’t as fun as demo, because of lack of the quirky toys, but for melting faces, there’s nothing better (even spriest – which I find hard to believe). So, I guess, since fun’s subjective – best advice, go out and try it. Icy Veins for gearing and rotation advice of course 🙂

        Happy hunting BWB.


      • It is, if you like seeing mobs melt.

        Do you like micro-managing timers and dots? Affliction used to be primarily about clipping dots at the right time, but now it mostly involves shard and cooldown management. Knowing when to do what can means that you can easily outperform better geared warlocks. Also, the major disadvantage of affliction is now gone: you can do insane amounts of burst with the proper opener in raids. It is not uncommon to see (well geared) locks peak at 150-200k dps in the first 20-30 seconds of the fight. AoE-wise, affliction can do a good burst by multi-casting Seed but it still kinda sucks for sustained AoE dps.

        It is true that Demo has more toys to play with, but most of them are pretty useless in non-solo situations, unless you’re on AoE duty. So my advice is keep demo for AoE and solo stuff, have affliction handy for solo-dps.


      • What tithian said – it’s almost all shard management. Where it really, really shines though is when you’re doing old content, or farming anything. The affliction warlock does more damage with one cast of Soulburn soul swap than I think any other spec can accomplish, and it’s fire and forget. For example, I was farming charms for the bracelet achieve (favorite spot for this is the beach in Twilight Highlands where horde and ally mobs continue rapidly re spawning. Great for farming cloth). Chain cast agony and corruption, and you do not have to stop – either the DoTs will manage it, or your void walker will sweep up. I also can’t think of a spec that was easier to manage killing multiple mobs while leveling in Pandaria with as little effort.

        All in all, I love my affliction warlock. She’s been my main this expansion – so much fun – and she’s the toon I’ve completed all of the Wrathion stuff with. That said, I may be transferring my play energies to a spriest. The feel isn’t quite the same, but having a healing spec would be valuable for the occasions when I actually have time to normal mode raid, since healers are ever needed.


  7. LFR is quite alt-friendly, true. The real pain with regards to alts IMHO is the reputation system, specifically gating rep behind standing with Golden Lotus.

    I also find after doing my “daily chores” I have little energy or time left for alts. Now I had a 1 month break early MoP and so I’m quite behind and catching up, but still – if you are playing one char more or less seriously there is a lot of daily grind to cover before you can think about twinks.

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT


    • Personally, I think alt-rep-leveling is much more tolerable now… get your main to revered and buy the double-rep token. I slowly ground my main to revered with Cloud Serpent, bought the rep item, and had two alts that hadn’t touched it to exalted in three days. (One in less than one, because I got lucky with egg finding)

      Makes it a lot less miserable, at least for me. Still have to do it the hard way once, but my main is the druid that can take anything herself, to make it easier for the others.


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