Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Busy Warlocking

I've been distracted from my Priest levelling project in the past couple of weeks due to my main(s) suddenly requiring a lot of attention. I was steadily raiding ICC with my guild, 3 nights per week, and my main ( a druid tank) was well-geared enough that I don't really need to worry about emblems anymore, so outside of raid time I can work on my priest.

However, we had some big changes recently - attendance at raids slowed down to the point where we didn't have a steady 10-man group (we have never really got into 25mans) and our guild leader decided to step down, due to getting a new job and having less time to spend online. I wasn't ready to step into the guild leader shoes myself, as I know how much work it takes and I admire anyone who can do it. So we decided to merge with another guild who are also struggling with raid signs. It was my guild who disappeared, as we all took the other guild's name, and I was sad to see it go. It happened a few days before my 2-year anniversary of joining my guild, so there was a tear in my eye, but it was for the best.

The merge has gone well so far, and our new guildies have been very welcoming. The big advantage is that it doesn't feel like our family has gone, we've just grown. A number of us are excited to be doing 25-man raids again. The downside though is that there wasn't any room for my main in raids - I'm a feral druid tank, and there are more than enough tanks in the guild already.

So...... I've applied, and been accepted, as a raider on my warlock. I do love playing my warlock, but I have very limited experience of raiding with her. I spent some time grinding enough badges for T9 and did some reading up on the 3.3 changes. I got a place in the 25-man group, and I was very pleased when I was doing pretty respectible dps! I'm towards the bottom of the meter, but I'm not too far behind the others. I'm playing affliction spec, as I tried destro before and didn't really enjoy it. I guess I found it a bit repetitive. I love the way that affliction damage builds up, and instead of a repeated rotation, it's a group of debuffs that you need to manage. If you can juggle all your spells and keep them all stacked on your target, then the damage just adds up and up... I also enjoy the challenge of trying to keep a crit-buffed corruption on the target, especially on fights with adds, and I'm starting to improve at this.

However! After a recent discussion with the other locks in the guild, it was noticed that we don't have a regular demonology lock in raids, and it was decided that this is something we should have. There are quite a few warlocks in the guild, and a couple of them have demo offspec, but none of them wants to use it as a main spec. I'm not sure why this is, but I assumed that it was because it's as boring as I found destro to be. I haven't played as demonology since level 70 though, so I wasn't sure. I offered to get a demo offspec, and take my turn being the miserable lock in the corner, giving a buff to everyone else, while the affli locks destroy the target. With my badge level gear however, I pointed out that there wouldn't be much point in me being the Demonic Pact giver until I'd upgraded my gear.

That was until we had a raid this week where we had two warlocks, neither with demo spec, and no elemental shaman. I realised I needed to suck it up and go get demo spec now - my meager offering will be better than nothing. So having only just started to feel like I'm mastering affliction spec, I'm now reading up on demonology spec and spending time with the target dummy again.

The first thing I noticed is that it's more complex than I thought - in fact I had a hard time getting the hang of it. I decided a new addon might be called for to help me monitor Molten Core and Decimation. I've started using Sexycooldowns to help me as affliction, and I really recommend this. However, I need something that notifies me when Molten Core procs (as opposed to when it's about to fall off) so I'm going to give Power Auras a go, as recommended in Optecs great video here. I'm also going to try a new addon for tracking how effective Demonic Pact is - this will be especially useful due to my low gear level as I'm not sure whether I'll really be any more effective than a totem of wrath (when there's on available). The addon is here: DemoPact

So now that I'm raiding each week in 25-man ICC, I have a basic set of emblem gear, and I'm happy with one spec and learning another, my thoughts are turning to potential gear upgrades I might get in ICC. I've browsed wowhead like a child browses a toy catalogue before Christmas, eagerly eyeing the shiny items. There's just one problem though - and that's hit rating.

I'm off for now to try and piece together a suit of armor with just the right amount of hit. More on gearing next time.

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