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Definitive Warlock Guide

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13 minutes ago, Larsen said:

Nost had the updated set bonuses from the start.

Thanks for the clarification! I definitely agree with using a 4-piece Dreadmist then.

Edited by Deathlace

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On 12/29/2016 at 8:07 AM, Xashe said:

While your opinions are valid (anyone can play their warlock however they want) they are not correct in this context. The spec outlined in the guide is the MOST EFFICIENT way to level from 1-60. Imp CoA? NEEDED when taking on multiple mobs (makes your CoA do more damage per mana spent). Imp Drain Soul? ABSOLUTELY NEEDED to cut mana regen corners and maximize efficient grinding up time. In the context of this guide, don't try to reinvent the wheel. What is outlined in the spec progression section should be taken as gospel.

Want more proof? Here is my 1-60 /played on old nost - 5days, 1hour, 26mins, 56secs
NYEb5uC.jpg

I challenge you to do better.

Not trying to re-invent the wheel, nor am I trying to devalue the guide, I just think too many people throw out the term "efficiency" and then just assume that everything will fall into place, forgetting to define what they mean exactly.

In terms of RAW efficiency...yes this build is great and I agree 100%, but it makes a few assumptions:

  • You are never ganked, nor do you actively seek out any PvP (Nost PvP had 11K+ players online the other day...)
  • You never die (because corpse walks are a massive loss of time in Vanilla)
  • Every DoT you apply (especially CoA) lasts its full duration before the mob dies so that it provides the maximum damage per mana spent
  • You solo everything and don't play with any friends, or you never have a healer in group content
  • There is zero competition for mobs (because any competition will create a natural down time where you regen)

Find me one Warlock, who is leveling on Nost PvP (or will level on Elysium PvP) where all of these conditions are being met...

On the topic of CoA, assuming you follow this guide exactly, you will have Improved CoA 3/3 at level 30.  At that level, you have access to CoA rank 3 which does 324 damage over 24 seconds.  This is base damage, not modified by spell power or anything.  With 3/3 Improved CoA it will do 343 damage.  So for 3 talent points, you are getting a paltry 19 more damage spread across 24 seconds of time.  That's 2.375 damage per tick...I have no idea if the game rounds up or down.  Or...you could take 1.5 seconds and wand once with your Gravestone Scepter and do 44 damage (on average, base not modified) for zero mana.

I don't know, maybe I'm over thinking it, but there's a reason why Blizzard changed Improved CoA in BC to only cost two talent points, and up the damage by 5/10%.

I'm not saying to stop pulling multiple mobs and increase your speed...if you have the access to the mobs with no competition, then please continue to pull multiple mobs and DoT them all up.  I just think Improved CoA is perhaps the worst talent in the tree in terms of return investment, and it's worth taking an honest look and seeing if those 3 talent points are better spent elsewhere (which I believe they are).

I cannot beat your played time, because for me the game is not a race.  Also I entered STV one time, but that's a story for another thread :-)

Edited by AgentMulder

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I never take Imp. Drain Soul. It's such a hassle to use and the need to get the killing blow with the spell's pitiful damage negates a lot of what you gain from the extra mana regen. Mana is never really an issue and I'd rather not have to go through that annoying little Drain Soul dance with every mob I kill. You'll take several extra hits and waste several seconds doing it. If you grind the right way, you should have no downtime anyway so there's no serious need for more mana. Got better things to do than try to finish mobs off with a channeled DoT that does like 3% damage per tick.

The smoothest leveling spec I've found is Dark Pact and drain-tanking mobs while your succubus attacks and is ready to offtank adds. You stay at full life all the time and never have to worry about pet aggro, plus Seduce makes you virtually ungankable. You can also use the imp for even more mana regen, but then your pet offers no damage and no help in PvP. The spec is amazing for survivability because you have pushback protection for your Drain Life, your pet free to tank adds so you don't waste time and mana on fear, and instant free mana from Dark Pact.

Dark Pact is an insanely powerful ability that only becomes bad at 60 when it prevents you from getting Ruin. You don't want Ruin while leveling anyway, and the ability to regain half a mana bar in two globals is absurdly strong in both PvE and mid-level PvP.

The base spec looks like this and then you can take whatever you want after 40. I usually go with the same Destruction talents as SM/Ruin so I have a good Shadow Bolt and can DPS properly in dungeons around 50 when you get access to the ones that actually contain gear worth taking the time to get. This route gives you a spec that's fantstic for solo leveling, gank prevention, and doing pre-60 dungeons.

Imp. CoA is completely unnecessary :D that spell is like 20% of your damage and half the time the mob is dead before you get the good ticks anyway. Spending three points to increase your DPS by like 1-2% is grossly wasteful and serves absolutely no purpose while leveling.

It's so simple and smooth to play. You basically do this:
- Pull mob with Corruption + CoA (or Siphon Life if you want)
- Drain Life until mob is dead
- Loot, Lifetap + Dark Pact, pull another

If you get an add or want to tag more than one mob at a time, have the pet attack it to get aggro (or just Seduce); you waste no time or mana handling it. You can handle two adds if you fear, but I don't see the point of spending that much extra mana trying to juggle three mobs. You can probably tank two mobs while draining, too, but then you won't finish the fight at full health and your Drain Life will get interrupted more.

If you get ganked while fighting a mob, simply Seduce and finish the mob. Dark Pact once or twice, then start the fight at full life and mana. Melees don't expect you to be able to just stand there tanking them with your considerable self-healing.

Edited by Larsen

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Larsen, Imp Drain Soul does not require a Drain Soul tick getting the kill to proc. Any of your spells/wand getting the kill will proc it, but your pet getting the kill will not. It is absolutely worth getting and using rank 1 on targets that are near death, especially with a macro or addon that can automatically keep your inventory clean of excess shards.

I do agree that Imp CoA is generally a waste. While leveling, you should think about it on a per-mob basis rather than raw DPS... what are the odds that the extra 1-3 damage per tick cause your target to die significantly sooner? Would the extra damage allow you to expend less mana to kill a typical mob? In my experience, no. Sometimes a target might die one tick sooner but with a pet and multiple DOTs ticking and the usual play style of moving onto your next target before the original one dies anyway, it very rarely provides an actual improvement to efficiency or speed. I get more benefit from other talents.

Edited by Suprfli6

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2 hours ago, Suprfli6 said:

Larsen, Imp Drain Soul does not require a Drain Soul tick getting the kill to proc. Any of your spells/wand getting the kill will proc it, but your pet getting the kill will not. 

 

 

:O Are you sure about that? WTF. I mean, I knew that pet does not trigger it but are you sure that wand is enough? :O 

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I guess they changed that since the early stages of the server. It was a reported bug but people insisted that was intended. I still think it's an unnecessary investment and a hassle when you can grind without downtime anyway.

Can't really do it while wanding, though. It's a channeled spell.

Edited by Larsen

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I'm pretty sure you can wand and then start channeling DS and have the wand damage land after you being channeling, but I can't remember if wand damage has a travel time on nost or not.

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when it comes to imp drain soul, all you need is to be channeling the spell when the mob dies from a damage source of yours. whether it be a tick from one of your DoTs, the damage tick from the drain soul, or a shadow bolt in flight. as long as its NOT your pet that gets the killing blow. if youre having an issue with your pet killing the mob, simply modify the drain soul macro to have your pet stop attacking when you use it.

another thing to consider, is that using rank 1 drain soul is all you need. no need casting anything higher level since the damage is pathetic.

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On 02/01/2017 at 5:26 AM, Larsen said:

I never take Imp. Drain Soul. It's such a hassle to use and the need to get the killing blow with the spell's pitiful damage negates a lot of what you gain from the extra mana regen. Mana is never really an issue and I'd rather not have to go through that annoying little Drain Soul dance with every mob I kill. You'll take several extra hits and waste several seconds doing it. If you grind the right way, you should have no downtime anyway so there's no serious need for more mana. Got better things to do than try to finish mobs off with a channeled DoT that does like 3% damage per tick.

The smoothest leveling spec I've found is Dark Pact and drain-tanking mobs while your succubus attacks and is ready to offtank adds. You stay at full life all the time and never have to worry about pet aggro, plus Seduce makes you virtually ungankable. You can also use the imp for even more mana regen, but then your pet offers no damage and no help in PvP. The spec is amazing for survivability because you have pushback protection for your Drain Life, your pet free to tank adds so you don't waste time and mana on fear, and instant free mana from Dark Pact.

Dark Pact is an insanely powerful ability that only becomes bad at 60 when it prevents you from getting Ruin. You don't want Ruin while leveling anyway, and the ability to regain half a mana bar in two globals is absurdly strong in both PvE and mid-level PvP.

The base spec looks like this and then you can take whatever you want after 40. I usually go with the same Destruction talents as SM/Ruin so I have a good Shadow Bolt and can DPS properly in dungeons around 50 when you get access to the ones that actually contain gear worth taking the time to get. This route gives you a spec that's fantstic for solo leveling, gank prevention, and doing pre-60 dungeons.

Imp. CoA is completely unnecessary :D that spell is like 20% of your damage and half the time the mob is dead before you get the good ticks anyway. Spending three points to increase your DPS by like 1-2% is grossly wasteful and serves absolutely no purpose while leveling.

It's so simple and smooth to play. You basically do this:
- Pull mob with Corruption + CoA (or Siphon Life if you want)
- Drain Life until mob is dead
- Loot, Lifetap + Dark Pact, pull another

If you get an add or want to tag more than one mob at a time, have the pet attack it to get aggro (or just Seduce); you waste no time or mana handling it. You can handle two adds if you fear, but I don't see the point of spending that much extra mana trying to juggle three mobs. You can probably tank two mobs while draining, too, but then you won't finish the fight at full health and your Drain Life will get interrupted more.

If you get ganked while fighting a mob, simply Seduce and finish the mob. Dark Pact once or twice, then start the fight at full life and mana. Melees don't expect you to be able to just stand there tanking them with your considerable self-healing.

I think I'm going with this. Sounds like it has the added benefit of not needing up-to-date wands!

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Drain tanking is amazing when you have access to +damage gear, since it converts life into mana at above 100% efficiency with improved lifetap, then converts mana back into life+damage also with above 100% efficiency with drain life. In a way +damage is a strictly better version of spirit when you're utilizing drain life. This is the spec with the lowest killtime (ignoring destro because it's terrible for levelling) because all your DoTs tick super hard with eg. dreamweave/shadowweave gear along with Shadow Mastery (use lesser magic wand/gravestone scepter when you're too low level for Drain Life to be a better option) and you'll finish every mob with 100% hp/mana or be killing packs of 3+ mobs comfortably. 

 

As far as only going 2/5 improved corruption, I can see the logic but it's a huge pain in the попа - same as relying on drain soul to kill every mob. That's more of a personal preference though, important to remember that it's better to choose a spec/playstyle that you "enjoy" playing than it is to choose the spec that levels 4% faster and also possesses zero PVP potential

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Drain tanking is not that great at a PvP server while leveling. The reason is that to utilize this spec you need to kill 2-3 mobs and while Dark Pact can help you avoid overusing Life Tap, you are still an easy target without a void to sac and 3 mobs (even one feared) with aggro on you. This spec was extremely good at TBC where impr drain life was only 2 points, and with the shield that increased your healing received and spell dmg (cannot recall the name now). 

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You always die if you get ganked with three mobs on you. I don't recommend trying to fight three mobs at a time, it's a waste of resources. People like to overpull because it makes them feel like gods when they can say they pull three mobs at a time and survive, but you don't save any meaningful time doing this. The low damage you do to the adds, the time and mana you waste controlling them, and the guaranteed death every single time an enemy player sees you fighting three mobs makes it a poor decision in most cases. It's mostly just an epeen thing.

The spec is good for leveling PvP because it facilitates the use of succubus, allowing you to park a ganker if you get attacked while fighting a mob, or survive/win 1v2 fights. Sacrificing Voidwalker is okay but it's not that strong in the earlier levels, and it leaves you without a pet and won't really save you from some ganks anyway because the shield is just some extra health whereas Seduce lets you CC a ganker, finish the mob off, bandage/pact and then fight. The spec is also nice because you're basically always at full health and have a way to gain back a huge chunk of your mana for free with Dark Pact. You can be ready for a fight at all times.

You just become far less gankable, which is really the main concern when leveling on a PvP server. The pushback protection on Drain Life also makes this spell usable against melees, which is very powerful especially if you can juke their interrupt with Immolate or something. Warlocks are so vulnerable around 40-50 when the melees start to get real weapons, so this can help a lot.

Edited by Larsen

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Really now. If a rogue kicks your immolate, he deserves to die. There will be no normal rogue that would do that. On the contrary you will get locked on your drain life. Succubus might be somewhat ok if you are horde. Still having a succubus around in invisibility and drain her mana with dark pact might end up unable to cast seduce. If you have her on autoattack, they will kill her extremely easy.

It is not epeen to be able to kill 3 mobs. What are you talking about? Why fuckin epeen for farming fast? Only losers do that. Since we cleared that out, even 2 mobs might be a problem without a voidwalker to sac. In general you cannot expect using succu for mana battery AND have her cast seduce on demand. 

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5 hours ago, Rayaleith said:

Really now. If a rogue kicks your immolate, he deserves to die. There will be no normal rogue that would do that. On the contrary you will get locked on your drain life. Succubus might be somewhat ok if you are horde. Still having a succubus around in invisibility and drain her mana with dark pact might end up unable to cast seduce. If you have her on autoattack, they will kill her extremely easy.

It is not epeen to be able to kill 3 mobs. What are you talking about? Why ваууin epeen for farming fast? Only losers do that. Since we cleared that out, even 2 mobs might be a problem without a voidwalker to sac. In general you cannot expect using succu for mana battery AND have her cast seduce on demand. 

I suppose you can always use her as mana battery while always leaving mana for 1 seduce? If she autoattacks but doesnt cast anything her mana regenerates right?

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Rogues aren't the only melee opponents you'll be fighting. There's hunters, feral druids, etc. Drain Life can be very powerful at those levels when you have it talented, spruced up with Shadoweave gear, and can actually use it while someone's hitting you because of the 70% pushback protection.

You can literally tank two mobs at a time if you want, you just won't finish the fight at full health if you do. The spec isn't any less capable of fighting multiples than the Voidwalker spec, but pulling a third isn't worth the cast time and mana of keeping it feared while you kill the first two. In any spec.

I'm talking about the epeen of people in threads like these going "your spec sucks because I can kill THREE MOBS AT ONCE!!!!11½"

 

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So is there an argument for respeccing into the drain-tanking build at around 40, when you get access to Shadoweave/Dreamweave? Could go Imp Drain Soul -> Fel Domination -> Nightfall before that.

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i give up on you guys...

imp drain soul is a literal cornerstone of leveling a lock. 
drain tanking is suicide on a PvP server, though i will concede that it is a viable path on PvE servers
accept the fact that you are going to die the majority of the time because you will be jumped when you are low, no spec will save you from this fact
while an excellent set of gear for leveling, shadoweave gear has a TOTAL of +13 stam on it. making it even more of an option to regular imp VW tanking

dont try to hard to reinvent the wheel guys. these are tried and true methods. if you want to go off and do your own thing, thats up to you, but dont try to argue that anything other than this gospel will make your leveling experience better or more efficient. 

goodluck

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The problem with the "gospel" is that this is going to be the most populous server of all time, to the point where people are planning out exploration-only routes for the first few levels. None of it is "tried and true" under these conditions.

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My only question is why should I take the trinket at the level 50 warlock quest. I know I will replace the weapon but if I plan on seriously raiding i should/will have enough shards to always summon me voidwalker plus the weapon can help you out if you aren't lucky with drops I suppose.

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3 hours ago, maha099 said:

The problem with the "gospel" is that this is going to be the most populous server of all time, to the point where people are planning out exploration-only routes for the first few levels. None of it is "tried and true" under these conditions.

you do realize that any deviation from the gospel cant happen until level 15? almost everyone, and i mean everyone, will spend their first 5 talent points the same way (unless you are going against the gospel out of spite or ignorance) and that none of anything can apply to the "first few levels"? so i dont know what you are trying to convey... and population wise? its going to be big, but not as big as you think. the playerbase that are going to reroll on the fresh server are all the new hats, or those wanting a fresh start. the majority of the established player base will stay on nost pvp come jan 7th

 

9 minutes ago, Brokenhandz said:

My only question is why should I take the trinket at the level 50 warlock quest. I know I will replace the weapon but if I plan on seriously raiding i should/will have enough shards to always summon me voidwalker plus the weapon can help you out if you aren't lucky with drops I suppose.

What will make you look worse? having a weapon that you will replace easily in later content? or being out of shards in the middle of a raid because you are maximizing dps and using shadowburn every time you have ISB up and dont realize you are running out of shards? or you are progressing through a wipefest on a boss and are running out of shards because you sac your succubus every attempts and now you have to SS the MT for a pull and you cant?

if you want to take the weapon, take it. its big, and cool looking, and very unique. its got +spell hit, which is awesome, and its a goddamn scythe!!! all im saying is that the trinket will work all the way until soul shards are no longer a thing. which is many many expansions away from vanilla.

 

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1 hour ago, Xashe said:

you do realize that any deviation from the gospel cant happen until level 15? almost everyone, and i mean everyone, will spend their first 5 talent points the same way (unless you are going against the gospel out of spite or ignorance) and that none of anything can apply to the "first few levels"? so i dont know what you are trying to convey... and population wise? its going to be big, but not as big as you think. the playerbase that are going to reroll on the fresh server are all the new hats, or those wanting a fresh start. the majority of the established player base will stay on nost pvp come jan 7th

 

What will make you look worse? having a weapon that you will replace easily in later content? or being out of shards in the middle of a raid because you are maximizing dps and using shadowburn every time you have ISB up and dont realize you are running out of shards? or you are progressing through a wipefest on a boss and are running out of shards because you sac your succubus every attempts and now you have to SS the MT for a pull and you cant?

if you want to take the weapon, take it. its big, and cool looking, and very unique. its got +spell hit, which is awesome, and its a goddamn scythe!!! all im saying is that the trinket will work all the way until soul shards are no longer a thing. which is many many expansions away from vanilla.

 

Thats true i see your point, I just thought the trinket only applied to voidwalker which I didn't think i would be using alot aside from solo content. I've got your thread Bmarked anyway the nostalrius one and its been really helpful thanks for taking the time to write back <3

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How to spec when leveling on pve realm? I get why imp CoA isn't good, but I don't get why not to take imp drain life.

And is the shadoweave set worth it or just go for spirit gear and ignore stamina when possible, since void tanks all?

Edited by Ram

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On 1/6/2017 at 1:56 PM, Xashe said:

you do realize that any deviation from the gospel cant happen until level 15? almost everyone, and i mean everyone, will spend their first 5 talent points the same way (unless you are going against the gospel out of spite or ignorance) and that none of anything can apply to the "first few levels"? so i dont know what you are trying to convey... and population wise? its going to be big, but not as big as you think. the playerbase that are going to reroll on the fresh server are all the new hats, or those wanting a fresh start. the majority of the established player base will stay on nost pvp come jan 7th

Server has been live for two days and already the devs have hinted at the need for a 4th server.  The queues have approached 15,000 regularly, so that's 25,000 players with the cap + queue.  Or...1000% beyond the "original retail experience".  At that point the type of player is irrelevant, total noob or established vet.

I don't think anyone is arguing what happens by level 15, as your tier 1 options are only 7 to choose from, 5 if you don't count Destro. Now Destro...that is going against the gospel lol.

We're talking about effective leveling in an extremely crowded environment, and how there is a need to shift focus from "you must take every talent that increases raw damage" to "maybe consider survivability over raw damage".  No one is purposely going against the gospel out of spite or ignorance, we're actually just trying to have a constructive conversation about the other talent choices that exist, with folks chiming in who've taken these paths and are providing feedback.

I simply fail to see how spending 3 talent points to boost my CoA damage from 324 to 343 is efficient, like at all.  The only argument for spending those points is if you're making sure that mobs do not die any sooner than 24 seconds, cause that's how you actually use that extra damage.  But that in itself is counter-intuitive to maintaining speed.  In most rotations, you aren't even putting CoA up.  Typically it's Siphon Life (nice to always stay topped off) + Corruption + wand (switching to drain soul as needed).

If you told me I could spend 3 talent points to have 19 damage on a DoT that takes 24 seconds, vs. 42% additional pushback protection on 3 spells...yeah I'm going with the pushback protection all day every day.  Fel Concentration provides this protection against ALL types of incoming damage, melee and spell, so it's useful against every single enemy.

There are points that are flexible, it just so happens that those flexible points for the Warlock are coming between levels 25 and 40.

Edited by AgentMulder
More grammarz. MOAR!

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I've been looking at the AH for ".... Of wrath" items but I can't seem to find any, is this normal?

 

Thanks

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