Monday, April 30, 2012

MoP Warlock Destro Play Changes

Back in Wrath, I converted from my beloved Affliction to Destruction. As with many, I jumped when running Wrath dungeons was just too painful due to the slow ramp up DOT DPS and tanks wanting to go light-speed through. From what I remember from Wrath, play-style was rather monotonous: Curse, Corruption, Immolate, Conflagerate, (backdraft), Incinerate(x3), Chaos Bolt, repeat.

Panda introduces some differences, maybe. 

My, oh my, I am actually on fire!
Burning Embers triggered.
First off, a new resource. Destro works with Burning Embers. You create a burning ember each time you cast Incinerate (or Fel Flame, they all like Fel Flame. You asked for Green Fire, now cast it on every time/mob!). On the training dummies, I am getting 2 Incinerates = 1 burning ember, it takes 1 ember to cast Chaos Bolt. So not really a huge change to your rotation. With some exceptions...

(I am guessing that the GUI is broken, because I can't tell when I have embers, except for when Chaos Bolt becomes active. My hands glow, it looks like I am standing in fire, but... it's a beta.)

As I mentioned, we cannot cast spells that are officially considered class specific. No more Corruption for Destro.

Conflagrate is like Hand of Gul'dan, you get 2 instant casts, then you wait for the 10s cooldown before casting another. 

Burning Embers are resources also for:
Fire and Brimstone + Inc.
Playability-wise, I was finding Destro burning faster (curse - instant, FF - instant, conflag - instant, immolate - 1.3s (x3) and cb - 3.7s), but also very squishy. I could easily handle 2 (maybe 3) mobs, but once I got more, the Imp wasn't enough protection. I ended up running with ol'Blue in order to handle the larger crowds coming around. This may simply be my lack of playing for a year, but demo does have the big guy to handle a lot of the dirty work. Overall, shorter rotation, a new resource that I can't quite explore due to the bar not showing correctly. 

 Another look at talents and I found my old friend "Soul Harvest" hidden as "Dark Regeneration". One advantage is that DR is not for only 'Out of Combat', more like Lifebloom for Alchemist. For Destro, I think I might go back into the old tree spells and pickup Soul Leech.

Hey Afflock, your shards are hanging out.

MoP Warlock Demo Play Changes

Ok, it's almost midnight local on a Saturday night and I've finally been able to logon to the Beta. They've added a new 'create template' option, which means no more copying from the page, yeah! Now I officially have a level 85 warlock in MoP beta.

Demo SpellBook (note destro and affliction tabs disabled)
As Poneria mentioned the spellbook is different. They've combined all of the spells I could use as a Demonolgy lock onto a single tab. This includes demo spells (metamorphasis, hand of guldan) with talent spells (shadowfury) and even the demon spells (Imp:Flee). They are listed as active or passive spells.

Good? Sure, as I re-learn to play my warlock, I can focus on only those spells that I am familiar with. If it doesn't show on my tab, I can't play it.

Bad? Does this mean my demo lock no longer can cast Immolate? Yep! Sure does. The in-game spell helper says "these tabs show spells you would have if you chosen a different spec."

Hand of Gul'dan is instant cast (sort of) and it follows the target around (not a circle the tank drags the mob out of). This is really nice, because I can target a single mob in a crowd and it will encompass all of them in the crowd. Note the 2 at the bottom of button #3 (new Hand icon). 2 charges, then it goes into a cooldown.

I didn't get my loot monkey, but when I am looting these monkeys, I am looting all the corpses in the immediate vicinity that I killed. 1 body, 20 silver, 2 bodies 40 silver, etc... It's AWESOME! As long as I stay within, say, 20 yards of all the bodies, I can loot them all at once.

Metamorphosis is a stance, not a spell. Metamorphosis uses a new warlock resource called "Demonic Fury". You build fury as you fight mobs. (Fel Flame generates 15 Demonic Fury. Corruption - 6 with each tick) As a resource, I can use it to transform back and forth into demo mode. Flipping back and forth is definitely an option, using a bit of your fury each time you do. Keep your Fury high enough, you can stay in demo form quite some time. :) I managed about 45 seconds without trying. Since you can't fire off corruption from demo form, you need to flop back and forth to get the nice dot effect.

At about 50% DF, you grow horns!!  
The demo talent Wild Imps easily spawns 4 more imps for you, just by casting shadow bolt. When transformed, shadow bolt converts to Demonic Slash, a frontal attack that does 6 million damage? ~20 seconds out of combat, all my fury drained away. Otherwise, well placed attacks, I could keep going.

Yeah, did you notice it?? Demonology doesn't have any shard management!?! None. I can't even soul harvest, it's a passive spell on my pet talent tab. "You and your pet regen health at 2% while out of combat." In Cata, that was my pre/post fight spell, regen shards, heal up. Drain Life now (10 fury per second)?? :)

Overall changes. Spell rotation is only a few keys and not a range of them. (curse), Hand of Gul'dan, Corruption,  Fel Flame, Shadow Bolt, Soul Fire, plus those you pick up from your talent tree. No Immolate, No Incinerate on my toolbar. The first 5 spells on the toolbar are all instant cast. Shadow bolt has a 2.5 second cast time. I put Meta on my #1, because I found I was bopping in and out of meta as needed. Too many mobs? Pop meta and several of those change into meta talents:

I just changed two talents, drain life from
all near you, but attacker in front of you.
Many of the items that Cynwise brought up about locks in Cata, may be gone in Pandas. Playstyle is easier for beginners, but has a high level of complexity for the long time players. Gone are the clunky mechanics around soul shards and soul burn, replaced with an energy bar that requires the player to be actively attacking. The simplified talent tree is no longer a 'build' question, but simply to provide access to a different set of spells. PVP? Maybe you want ShadowFury for the stun or Howl of Terror for the AOE Fear. It's no longer a spec (destro vs affliction), but a simple click away. I thought this was a fun way to play. Flipping back and forth, I can manage 3-4 mobs attacking me. I feel like I am doing real damage as I watch other classes play through. In fact, I am still up and it's after 2am. Ugh!

No wand slot? When equipped, swapped into sword slot..

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Need These!

I just found this helm referenced on WoW Insider as part of the new item restoration service that Blizzard will perform. The helm is a level 50 cloth helm that is a quest reward from BRD.  The quest giver is the warlock trainer down in the Drag, Zevrost.

During the numerous Brewfest runs, I picked up the remote and was able to drop right down into the bar of the dungeon. From there it is a quick run through the dungeon, to the location of each stone. 4 of the 6 stones were found in the first room, then two down the flight of stairs. No boss fights, and at max level, my puppy did all the killing for me of those few that attacked me.

Hearth back to Orgrimmar and turn in quest. Took only 5 minutes. (definitely need that remote) No more skullcap, now this lock has HORNS!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Panda Beta Initial Thoughts

Last night I finished off the Panda starting area on the Beta. When it was all done, my baby monk dinged level 12. As I was playing through the area, I had a few opinions about the area.
  1. Nice revision to the character creation UI. It's nice being able to see options for hair, skin, etc. before you apply it to your character. "Ooo, I like how that face has the stripe across the eye.". I wasn't absolutely thrilled on the Orc faces (grumpy, dopey, sleepy... ). Little deceptive, ATM, because picking a race/class, shows mid-level tier gear, then swaps to level 1 gear once you select the class/level. Playing my warlock, I never (don't remember) running at any-time with a staff with a felhound head on it. Of course, Elk never raided in TBC. 
  2. The leveling went REALLY quick. I went from 0 to 12 in about 4 hours played. Truth be told, I hate leveling and this was (IMHO) a nice speed. Even without the aide of BOA gear, I am able to delve into BGs and start playing with specializations before finishing the zone. In addition, if I really needed to get all the way to 90!!, passing through the 'training' levels quickly will make it that much more pleasant. 
  3. Some humor was a bit off color. What's really stuck with me is a segment with the monkeys. They're bad monkeys, and they vandalized Panda's propaganda. You destroy the monkey's flag, but it's read to you at that time. "poo is not to be eaten", "mouth only hole for banana", etc.. IMHO, this seemed (a bit) offensive. Sure it's got a 'crude humor' warning on the box (and this is Beta), I know... 
  4. Mixed use of phasing - There were phased portions, like escort quests and there were non-phased, grind, quests. In the beta with only a few dozen people in the area, killing 10 monsters wasn't THAT bad, but... I was really hoping to not have to.  I didn't have to wait for my escort to appear, but I did have to wait for the other guy to kill the guardian spirit (maybe that was a beta bug). 
  5. Oh, that's a vehicle? There was a section where you need to jump on pillars using the vehicle mechanic. Hop to next pillar as by selecting the next vehicle. This created some nice changes to the standard game play. 
  6. Garrosh made me want to go Alliance. When you finally make it to Orgrimmar and swear your allegiance to the Horde, Garrosh is down right nasty. "If you see your dirty alliance brethren, kill them. Don't feel any sympathy, they made the wrong choice, blah blah blah."  Oops! Sorry Garrosh, I meant to go Alliance..  They're definitely laying the ground-work for us to kill him at the end of MoP. Felt more welcomed as a DK.
Overall, I was sad when I finished the area.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Panda Lock Talent Preview

Swifty does a preview of each of the warlock talents, pets and glyphs based on the Beta. If they actually stick with the current build, I see a bunch of fun talents. Unfortunately he doesn't play a warlock, so the review is a bit slanted. He doesn't seem to know what we had before (i.e. glyph to have succy remove dots before seduce).

Still fun to see what's coming up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So you think you want to play the Beta...

This Mists of Panda beta is in full swing and everyone with an Annual Pass is or will eventually jump on board. Even if is just to run around as a Panda for a short time. Watching the general chat in-game, there are a bunch of people complaining about the issues.

Here is my 5 things to keep in mind:

  1. This is a BETA. Things are changing constantly, quest lines are changing, what you do now, may be completely different next update. If you want to provide valuable input, check the Blizz forums. The way a quest works, or what you need to do something is flexible at this time. Contribute.
  2. Expect regular downloads. Beta is not on the regular maintenance window. Major enough bug, you may have to download all 25gb again. I just downloaded a 3GB patch since last week. They appear to have a planned reboot each Monday, but as problems arise, they will reboot mid-day, and they do.
  3. Bugs are being fixed. Expect problems with quests, skills, mini/quest bosses and even dungeons. The pink blocks in this bug were part of the view. Lowering my view resolution from HIGH to GOOD fixed this issue.
  4. Addons may NOT work. In fact, Blizzard disabled all addons during Cata beta until about 2 months before release. Get used to the standard interface.
  5. Don't feel attached to anything you do.  You don't keep your character, gear, etc. Starting off, you can 1) create a new toon and start at one leveling up, 2) copy your existing toon over or 3) copy over a pre-made character over in top level tier 13 gear. For options 2 & 3, log on to then access your beta license and copy (see forum post).. Pre-mades come level 85, fully equipped and with 4000g. No point starting the new Panda raids using my partial Tier 13 set, when I could start off with 4-piece set bonus. 
Otherwise, have fun! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

(Secrets from the Beta) Druid Saddles!

One of the new glyphs to come out in MoP is Druid Travel (mount) form. Yes, you can finally now mount your tank and he can take you around the dungeon/raid as necessary. They can turn into a beautiful Stag mount form. No longer will you need to spend 16kg to buy the 3 person mount, or worry about getting the 2 person love rocket.

What Jesse doesn't mention that coming in Panda is new Druid saddles. These saddles will allow you to hop on the back of a druid in bear form. Similar to the Horde's Venomhide Mount quest chain, (or I believe there is something Alliance) you'll need to gather the various materials to make the saddle. It's looking like 20x Ravasaur Leather and 20x MoP Cloth.

Unfortunately, they don't appear to have saddles for Druid flight or swim form (yet) or Warlock flying mounts (yet), but this is only phase one of the beta..

Taming MOAR Pets

WFH means Work Warcraft From Home Monday was a work from home kind of day, so I worked on a little project of my own. I saw this on Twit...